Category / Toddler

Favorite Places to Shop and Top 3 Tips for Dressing Boys

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

cardigan Beau Hudson // tee Jean & June // jeans Hudson // boots Hunter

 

There’s no question if you’re into kid fashion, it’s easier to hunt down original stuff for the girls than for the boys. So far, we’ve managed to stay away from character clothing (yes, I’m THAT non-fun mom), and I’ve never been one to do the cliche “little slugger” type stuff. And…I can only do so much Under Armour. Beyond those categories, it can SEEM like there’s not much to choose from for the boys. But boy mama fashionistas, you know better!

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com  

shirt Janie & Jack // suspenders Little Mister // olive chinos Oshkosh

 

Embrace the hunt, because it IS a hunt — and look in unexpected places…and LIVE UP the fact that most little boys (unlike girls, accordingly to my friends who have them) don’t CARE what you put them in — so pick what you like! As a boy mom who loves fashion, (and married a guy who happens to love it as well), I truly believe that dressing boys really IS just as much fun, if you’re willing to look a little harder. I a believer that a sense of style is NOT something reserved only for the female half of the population and I take personal pride in the fact that Crew (as much as a three year old can), LIKES clothing and notices what people wear!

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

shirt Gymboree // linen blazer Janie & Jack // carrot pin Etsy

 

I get asked a lot where I shop for Crew, and thought it made sense to compile my list all at once and share it out. (You’ll see I don’t stick to one style — we go from classic and preppy to whimsical and wordy!) While I certainly do pick up something from Target and Carters from time to time, I don’t often have much luck, and while I definitely buy Gap and Old Navy items (they consistently nail cuteness!), I only do so much there, too, because EVERYONE is wearing the same thing (again, so few resources — means boy moms are all going to the same spots!).

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

shirt Gap // shorts Gymboree // sandals Target

 

Ultimately, I do most of my shopping online to get outside the bubble of what Des Moines has to offer. Below is a list of the stores/brands I have purchased from and would recommend to my best girlfriends, because of the high quality, sense of style, expansive selection, or some combination of the three. (Note that several of these are Etsy shops or small independent brands — I love to support small businesses in this arena!)

 

My top 3 tips when it comes to shopping for boys:

1. Shop the sale racks. Most people buy kids clothes based on growth spurts and needs for the current season. I like to shop the sales for the following year(s) and not just to save money, and to be able to fit more pieces of higher-quality kidswear into my budget, but doing so also reduces the chance that you’ll see the same item everywhere if he’s not wearing it the season it was released. (Nothing worse than paying good money for a cute item only to see it everywhere and it becomes less special!) Additional tip: when shopping at a retailer with both store locations AND online space, look for the items that are “online exclusives” — you’ll be less likely to see these around, because they aren’t in the stores.

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

shirt Ralph Lauren // shorts Gymboree // pink Converse Von Maur

2. Shop the girls’ section. Yep, you read that right. If the (already much larger!) girl department gets to offer dinosaur jammies and other “traditionally boy” things for little ladies, then I say the boy department gets to borrow right back. One of my favorite looks ever on Crew was the spring/Easter season this year when he rocked some pink Converse tennis shoes. Paired with a linen blazer, or a Polo button-down and some chino shorts, or any other decidedly “boy” pieces, the pink shoes made a fun statement (and he loved them!). Another favorite girl department item I’ve bought three years in a row? H&M black fleece-lined leggings (they technically show up in both departments) — the skinny look works on boys when paired with a cool sweatshirt and tennis shoes, and they’re comfy for napping, stay up on skinny waists, and are warm for Iowa winters!

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

coat Old Navy // sweater Childrens Place // bow tie Etsy // shorts Beaufort Bonnet // saddle shoes Amazon

3. Shop small/local. Because they have to set themselves apart, local/small online shops get some of the BEST stuff that blows the big box-store styles out of the water. Their entire business is childrenswear, so they do it WELL. Yes, the price point is typically higher, but so is the QUALITY and the ORIGINALITY – two things that rank high in my book. Plus, you’re supporting small businesses who often make their purchasing/creation decisions based on their first-hand experience with their own kiddos — the same ones you’re supporting by choosing to spend your dollars there.

tips + resources for dressing boys | www.lifeinyellow.com

navy and gray layered tees Old Navy // yellow chinos Old Navy

Above are some of my favorite outfits from the past year or so, from all seasons (if items are still available, I’ve linked them below each photo). I’m excited to start pulling together quarterly posts with seasonal outfit ideas for boys, if you’re looking for some “look book” inspiration! Stay tuned later this week — I’m starting with looks for SPRING!

Crew Does Two: The Fourth Quarter

Crew Update // Year 2 Quarter 4 (Photo by April+August)

You turn three this week. (Excuse me while I clap for joy and choke back a lump in my throat, all at once!)

Sometimes I can’t believe this birthday is already here, and yet I often forget you’re only 36 months new in this world. You have moments where you’re already wise beyond your years, you’re a smart little cookie, and the number one thing we hear is how verbal and outgoing you are for your age. So yes, I suppose the math is right and you’re due to turn three. And yet…didn’t we just meet, in a hospital room, in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm?

Cut to three years later. You have a lot more hair and a personality that makes me burst with pride. You’re uber-friendly, love fiercely, are developing a sense of humor and like to tell us your version of a joke, then say you’re “just kidding”. You thrive around people and have never met a stranger. You’re positive and excited about any and every experience, you want to know everyone’s names, and you’re full of questions about everything.

You love to play games where we’re all together. You sing All. The. Time. (real songs and ones you make up) and get especially excited about spotting water towers when we’re in the car. You love to cook (imaginary but prefer the real deal) and mazes and magnets are high on your list of interests. It goes without saying, but this is all still secondary to garbage trucks and anything associated (the trash can aisle at Target is one of your faves). You are no happier than when you have a special job or task to do, the most popular of which is bringing all the trash cans in the house to dump into our large kitchen one — whether or not it’s trash day.

You’re freaked out by thunder, noodles, and tunnel slides. In that order. I’m happy to report that after months (seriously, since maybe September?) of you coming into our bed within a couple hours of bedtime nervous to sleep by yourself, you now make it most nights on your own until 5 or 6 before coming in, and once in a while, we don’t see you until morning. #progress

Everything that has already happened, happened “last week”. It could have been this morning, or a month ago — it was all “last week”.

Your manners have improved dramatically — way less reminders to use “please” and “thank you” — and you’ve started to say them with overly dramatic emphasis, especially with our Elf on the Shelf, Dash. (“THANK YOU for my gingerbread house, Dash!!!”)

You would prefer to stay in jammies all day, but when you do get dressed, you still don’t fight me on whatever I want to put you in (yay!). You particularly love shoes and when a new pair appears, you ask to wear them around the house immediately. It makes it hard not to shop for you, when you seem to appreciate it almost as much as I do! I had to laugh at Thanksgiving — I had to wake you up VERY early from a nap so you were less than thrilled about anything, including getting dressed. But when you spotted yourself in the mirror wearing your bow tie and suspenders, you broke into a grin and checked yourself out. So funny!

You moved up to the three-year-old room at school this month. We talked about it beforehand but you were sad and still had a couple tears come day one as you missed your previous teacher. Two days in, you excitedly told me you were headed to the new room that day — it’s been back and forth on levels of enthusiasm and you miss your old teachers and classmates, but you are definitely thriving.

We didn’t realize just how ready you were for the move up. You are tasked with filling your own plate at meals (and we hear you are eating better, as a result!), pouring your own drinks and ditching your pacifier for naps (we followed suit at home and within a week you no longer asked for it at naptime – you love to declare now that because you’re big you only use it at nighttime). You get to enjoy new freedoms like playing on the BIG KID playground instead of the toddler one, and a whole new set of toys and activities to peruse each day. Your previous teachers (and others) have noted several times how verbal and outgoing you are. It’s been refreshing to see you be able to have more significant conversations with your peers now that you’re with this older group. You are always “that kid” giving everyone hugs and enthusiastically yelling out “hi [Name]!” to each friend. In your previous room, depending on a two-year-old’s mood, you may or may not get anything in response, and I could tell it was starting to hurt your feelings when it happened. My favorite thing about this new, older, age group is all the reciprocated conversation and enthusiasm you’re experiencing from the other kids. You play it cool, but sincerely grin at all the “Bye, Crew! See you tomorrow!”s when I pick you up now.

Crew Update // Year 2 Quarter 4 (Photo by April+August)

New favorite foods this quarter are pizza, strawberries, pancakes, and gingerbread anything. Texture is still a big thing for you. You’ve started to actually eat little hard candies (smarties, etc) that before you would just suck on and spit out, nervous to chew. You are still hit or miss on trying a bite of something new, but if we catch you in the right mood, it DOES happen. You are still an avid milk drinker, but won’t touch chocolate milk (or hot chocolate as we’ve tried a couple times this season!).

Of course, you went as a garbageman for Halloween. And I can’t wait to share a separate rundown of your “Trash Bash” 3rd birthday party! Garbage trucks are still your favorite toys — and as many as we seem to collect, they all serve a different purpose and have a spot in your heart! (They are also excellent for hauling around another little treasure — your safety coins that you earn at swim lessons!) It’s so fun to see as you grow which things become “treasures” in your world.

Speaking of swimming, you are still doing weekly lessons and making great strides. But the thing that really gets you pumped up (and frankly, out the door on Monday mornings) is the promise of soccer practice. You’ve been doing a weekly program at school with some of your classmates and you are ALL about it. You also love kicking a ball around with us at home. Thank goodness for Dad; you’ve already passed me up in dribbling skills.

You’d think all this activity would keep you needing sleep but alas, after three very grateful years of a 3.5+ hour napper (and 12 hours at night), you’re finally cutting yourself back. In part, I think because of the lack of a paci now at naptime, and I think you’re just outgrowing the need for so much sleep. A typical day is now 1.5 to maybe 2 hours, and you aren’t ready to truly fall asleep until closer to 8:30 or even 9, still sleeping until about 7:30 most mornings. (You went ONE day without a nap and promptly passed out, HARD, when we got in the car to go somewhere at 5:30 that evening, so I don’t think you’re ready to drop it altogether!)

The holiday season was especially fun this year as you could grasp more of the concepts and the real “magic” has begun to set in. We took you on a Polar Express train ride and you were SO. EXCITED. to see Santa come on board to hand out jingle bells.

You got so excited for Christmas lights on all the houses, and spent every December morning checking on Dash, our elf, to see what crazy thing he’d been up to. You make everything more fun and we’re so lucky to have known you these last three years. Our hearts burst for you when you’re excited, and ache when you’re sad, and we know there’s so much more of that to come. We can’t wait to see what is in store for you as you make your way to four.

Happy birthday week, little light. Thanks so much for picking us for this parenthood adventure.

(Shout out to  April + August for the family and lollipop photos, pictured above!)

Our Favorite Christmas Books

I have the fondest memories of pulling out favorite Christmas books each year as a kid and it’s been so fun to continue that tradition with Crew. Our stash has grown quite a bit this year, as we’ve moved firmly out of the baby/board book phase, and into the “real” storybooks. It’s fun to pull out old favorites, and discover new works and authors.

WHEN SANTA WAS A BABY. For a little boy who LOVES to talk about how he used to be a baby, and thinks Santa is his bestie, this book hits all the right notes. Love the illustrations in this and the story is so charming.

THE POLAR EXPRESS. Of course. Whether or not you have a train fanatic, this is a classic. And hit home especially hard this year when we were able to ride a “Polar Express” train in a nearby town and Santa handed out bells. The movie has been captivating as well!

OLIVE THE OTHER REINDEER. Crew is drawn to stories with animal main characters, so I knew this one would be a favorite. Love the clever take on the classic song lyric.

WHY CHRISTMAS TREES AREN’T PERFECT. This is one I remember loving as a kid and while it’s still a bit wordy for an almost three-year-old, we paraphrase it to get the message across.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. Another classic and we are big fans of Dr. Seuss in general. Crew is starting to find the silly words and quirky characters funnier as he gets a bit older and understands the oddity of this writing style. Again, we love (both) movie versions of this fun story.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. We have a couple versions of this story but this one is, hands down, the coolest pop-up book I’ve ever seen. It’s truly a work of art, and Crew is fascinated with each page (some of them interactive). For a rather wordy and old fashioned story (who is this St. Nick they speak of?! And why is he smoking?! LOL) the elaborate art keeps him engaged and following along.

OLIVIA HELPS WITH CHRISTMAS. Crew has been an Olivia fan for a while — he gets a kick out of her naughty antics. So of course, this was a natural pick to keep the mischief going.

THE SWEET SMELL OF CHRISTMAS. This was one of the books that really helped Crew to “get” the whole idea of getting ready for Christmas (decorating, baking, etc) but also that Santa just comes on ONE night, not all month long. 🙂 Plus the scratch and sniff stickers are a fun sensory way to experience the season.

(Looking for younger readers? We’ve loved both Little Blue Truck’s Christmas – complete with twinkling lights at the end! – and Dream Snow by Eric Carle — love that you can feel the bumps of snowflakes!)

I’m a sucker for children’s books in general, so I love to hear what others are reading. Which good Christmas reads did I miss??

Halloween Classroom Treats

Bugs + Kisses Halloween Treats | www.lifeinyellow.com

I’ve always loved Halloween — it’s smack dab in the middle of gorgeous, festive, fall and the costumes, treats, and traditions are all so much fun. It’s a new (less spooky!) kind of fun with a kiddo, and this is the first year that Crew can actually understand reading and talking about trick-or-treating, answer people who ask him what he’s going to be, and (somewhat) understands how far off it is…(“I think Halloween is in two more tomorrows, Mom!”).

Bugs + Kisses Halloween Treats | www.lifeinyellow.com

The minute the merchandise hits the stores, I’m all over it. Because we can’t bring homemade treats to school, I kept an eye out for individually wrapped candies, and per Crew’s interest in bugs, found some little spring spiders that you push down to “lock” and then a few moments later they jump a couple feet in the air, to the delight of a certain two-year-old. Sold. I can’t take credit for the “bugs and kisses” — I saw it somewhere on Pinterest at some point and it stuck in my head! The spiders are from Target and I used these treat bags), and whipped up a business card size design to fold in half length-wise and staple across the tops. Quick and cute!

Halloween 2017: Crew’s Garbage Man Costume

DIY Garbage Man Costume

I always appreciate some costume idea inspiration sooner than later — so today I’m sharing Crew’s costume he’ll be donning in a few short weeks (and who are we kidding, several times before then!).

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

It was no surprise that of course Crew wanted to be a garbage man for Halloween (the first year he’s had any kind of say!). I had grabbed the vest at IKEA for dress-up (he’s a size 3T and it’s the smallest size they make — Youth XS). To make it a little more special, I ordered an iron-on patch with his name. As much as I love to make his costumes as opposed to buying them, we just had to have a piece of legit merchandise directly from Mecca — this youth size trucker hat was perfect, and he was SO excited when I showed it to him.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Obviously, the best way to haul his loot this year would be in what else — a garbage can. We bought a black Sterilite flip-lid style, hit it with some green spray paint, and added a WM decal bought on eBay. Even though it said it was meant for plastic, the spray paint is pretty delicate and scratches/flakes easily, so right before Beggars Night arrives, I’ll probably hit it again for touch-ups.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Page added two replacement 7” plastic grill wheels by running a threaded rod through the back-bottom of the can. Eight washers, two nuts, and two stop nuts later, Crew was mobile.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

To make it easier to pull, Page added a wooden handle that he also sprayed with the same paint. He drilled it directly into the back of the can.

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

Crew has himself a mini-version of the big guy, and he could NOT be more excited!

DIY Garbage Man Costume and Trash Can | www.lifeinyellow.com

And if you’re in search of more ideas…see how we embraced the pacifier last year when Crew went as a scuba diver (and Dad was the shark who chased him!) and his very first Halloween when he went as Albert Einstein (scroll to the bottom of that post). 🙂 Happy costume planning!

gift ideas for the garbage / recycling truck enthusiast

garbage truck gift ideas | lifeinyellow.com

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If I’ve learned one thing since becoming a mama (to a garbage truck OBSESSED little boy), it’s that there’s a whole subculture of boys — and girls — like mine, who LIVE for garbage day. The garbage truck topic is a super specific one — there’s no Pixar movie or TV show about them, and there are far fewer books (the closest we can usually come are zillions of books about construction vehicles), and you know finding cute clothes or home decor items about, well, trash essentially — is a hurdle.

But if you have a garbage enthusiast in your world, you know they happy dance each week on trash day, you know they can hear the unique rumble of their stop-and-start brakes a mile away, and that they will find any excuse to throw something in the trash and dump it out. I never thought I’d add garbage truck expert to my resume, but here we are, and I feel compelled to share the best of what we’ve found (and loved) for anyone else looking to gift something to a future Waste Management worker. 😉

  1. Melissa & Doug recycling truck — this was Crew’s very first truck and it is STILL a favorite. In general, I find that even with all the bells and whistles some of these have, he prefers to make his own sound effects, and manually fill and dump the receptacles. A LITTLE frustrating for younger (under 2) to get the trash can on the levers just right, but with time, he figured it out.
  2. Dickie Toys garbage truck — this is probably the very favorite of Crew’s entire fleet. Rather large, but still quiet, this one has a simple one-touch button to raise and lower a dumpster into the top of the truck. The dumpster slides open as it dumps and any number of small toys/trash can fit inside. ENDLESS HOURS of entertainment from this one, and it’s still ticking after months of (daily) rough play.
  3. Garbage Truck pajamas — it’s tough, like I said, to make something with garbage trucks particularly cute, but these fit the bill. I do think they shrink but the price is right and they’re soft. I’ve since bought them again in the next size up.
  4. I Am a Garbage Truck — We literally wore out our copy of this, and while a super short/simple read, it teaches the difference between trash and recycling. Added bonus that the book is shaped like the truck.
  5. Trashy Town — I can’t say it’s on my top ten list of kids’ books across the board, but as far as this subject, it’s a cute read with cool illustrations and introduces us to Mr. Gilly, the garbage truck driver. We have since added a truck to our entourage that came with a driver, and of course, he is referred to as Mr. Gilly. There are only a handful of garbage truck books out there (we’ve purchased them all) and many of them stink (pun intended), so if you want a book on the subject, this would be my go-to title.
  6. VTech Go Go Smart Wheels garbage truck — I had to search a bit to find this particular vehicle, but it was worth it for as much as it’s been played with. Crew was a superfan of the VTech parking garage from day one his first Christmas, and we still rotate it in and out of play as he’s since learned to build tracks and play with it on a new level. He would have loved this little truck all on its own, but it’s especially a must-have if your kiddo has any of the Smart Wheels sets.
  7. Pottery Barn Kids recycling truck (currently on sale!) — Like I said, many of the trucks that get played with the most (and have also LASTED the longest) are the simplest ones, without all the buttons and batteries. The fact that there are “guys” that fit these trucks was a big deal for Crew, and the simple dumping truckbed can hold quite a bit.
  8. Garbage truck puzzle — While he needs help to build the puzzle (“it’s almost a garbage truck! we’re doing it!”) it’s a bonus that the truck itself Velcro opens and closes to hold the pieces, and the wheels actually roll.
  9. Play Doh garbage truck — This is one we don’t have but it’s on my list for future reference. Crew loves Play Doh but still needs something to DO with it — cookie cutters, plastic scissors, etc. This would be a fun addition to our Play Doh bin.
  10. Little Tikes Rey Recycler — I didn’t see this one until Crew was too old for it, although it still catches his eye when we see it at the store! For the littlest garbage fan, (or to keep a younger sibling out of an older one’s collection), this is a great starter truck!

And of course, if you want to see how we brought the garbage theme into Crew’s room decor, check out that post here!

Crew Does Two — The Second Quarter

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Now that Crew is two, I’ve scaled back to quarterly, rather than monthly, updates on everything from growth to preferences to all the (mostly) fun little quirks of his personality. Much has happened in the last three months!

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So much growing up has happened from two and a quarter to two and a half! You potty-trained like a rockstar, the baby gates were finally uninstalled (not that we really USE them anymore, but they had been a great way to corral you and keep you out of the contractors’ way in the basement!) — and most recently, you’ve moved out of the crib, and your nursery, to a big kid room with a “big boy bed” that you are ridiculously proud of. The first couple weeks, you wouldn’t wander out, and you still stay put at bedtime and through the night, but when you wake up, you’ve started to get out and either play on your own, or come find us. All new levels of independence for you!

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You became fascinated by the fact that boys stand up and girls sit down to potty, and you’re all about babies in tummies (pregnancy) and the idea that your baby pictures are actually YOU and that you were once in my tummy. It kills me that you look at baby pics of yourself and say “awww he’s so cute!” ha!

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We are outside all the time — bike riding, gator driving, chalk drawing, water table playing, bug hunting — you name it. It’s been a great change of pace to take the energy and messes outside on a regular basis. It’s been fun to strike out on some “adventures!” around town exploring new parks and sights downtown, since you’re so much more capable this summer than last when it comes to climbing, balancing, etc.

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It seems almost irrelevant now to update on your language — you’re just full-blown talking, in complete sentences, and constantly working new words into your vocabulary. Just the other day you slipped “usually” into a sentence, in a semi-correct sense 🙂 In general it’s just lots and lots (and lots) of questions. “Mommy, what are you doing?” “Member? Member we go to the zoo?” “What’s that thing up there?” “Why?” “I hear something…what is that?”

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You are listening to every word and have a memory I’m downright jealous of. You’re also pretty good at holding your own in a debate. The one time you tried to get out of bed at bedtime (about a week after you moved to the big kid bed and I’d taken the crib apart that day), I talked to you over the monitor and said, “Crew, lay down and close your eyes, if you get up again you have to sleep in the crib.” To which you stared right into the monitor camera, frowned in consideration and said, “No Mom, you took the crib down.” Crew — 1. Mom — 0.

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Other sounds bytes we hear…

“It’s not nighttime yet. Nighttime is later.” (stalling for bedtime)

“I wake up and we go to the park.” (your concept of things happening in the future, although you’ve just recently started saying “in a few minutes” and “tomorrow”)

“You’re okay, Mom/Dad” (when you feel guilty for running into one of us with something — on the hour of every day!)

“I need a kiss and a hug!” (before leaving you with the sitter, or at school, or before I leave home for work)

“Mom I’m coming to play with you! We can share! We can take turns!” (you’re alllll about someone to play with, and the encouragement to take turns and share is pretty highly motivated by the fact that YOU want a turn at something) 😉

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You aren’t a bit shy, and are quick to wave to a stranger or introduce yourself to someone new. I’m constantly thinking about how to lead you to be friendly and trusting, but smart with a healthy dose of wary. (I’m constantly asking friends with kids how they teach stranger danger to a kiddo who asks random people in Costco to hold him?!)

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I love that you’re still a bit of a mama’s boy, and are so affectionate toward the people in your world. You throw sporadic hugs around your babysitter, dance up and down waiting for Mimi to pull into the driveway, and if I lay down with you for a minute to help you settle down for a nap/bedtime, you quietly rub my arm or my back (often asking me to rub yours in return ha!), and your kisses lately are pretty agressive 😉 You grab both sides of our faces to pull us in!

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I swear you remember every page of every book — you can recite key words/phrases on each page correctly. We’ve started to play the few games we’ve found for the age 2-3 crowd (Memory, Orchard, Cootie, etc). You’re so good about keeping track of whose turn it is and love to exclaim, “we’re all playing!”

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You nail right versus left MOST of the time, can accurately count to ten, although getting to twenty often repeats a number at least once. You have a whole repertoire of songs and sing all. the. time. often substituting words from whatever activity you’re doing at the moment…”Old McDonald had a waffle…” etc. 🙂

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You finally let us get a pair of flip flops on you (the cutest) but otherwise to Mom’s delight you are still super laid back about whatever I want you to wear (I’m thanking my lucky stars for each day this continues…). In general, you love jammies and would prefer to stay in them all day. Often when it’s time to get dressed, no matter what it is, you whine that you want to keep your “jammy pants” on.

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When you’re lost in thought or observing other kids, you either have your tongue out or your hands clasped behind your back. You love to cook, assist with any project, and while in general I think you’re pretty easy going and you have yet to throw a tantrum just to throw one, you DO go zero to sixty on the frustrated scale if we do something for you you know (or think) you can do yourself. I actively build in extra time now for everything because to KEEP my happy kid happy, we need the extra minute here and there for you to put on your own shoes, climb into your own carseat, etc. “I DID IT!” is a daily phrase in our house, as is “No Mom back up”, “Dad I got it!”, and several other variations on these Mr. Independence sayings. And God help the person who flushes the toilet for you. #rageblackout

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In early June, you moved up from the toddlers room at school to the “transition” room (as in transition to pre-school!!). We instantly noticed some new words/phrases as you hung with some new older kids. It’s officially “Mom and Dad” now — no mommy and daddy — and “oh my GOODNESS!” is your new dramatic exclamation. There were tears over missing your old teacher, but otherwise you are thriving in the older room with curriculum that’s more challenging for you. You’ll start to learn a little Spanish, have to follow directions like walking in a line, and do more activities around learning your letters. It makes my heart swell with pride to hear the reports that when a friend is hurt or crying, you share a toy or try to give them a hug. Compassion will get you everywhere, sweet boy.

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You’re a SMIDGE less picky of an eater than when I last blogged an update, but still definitely particular. You continue to hate any kind of noodle, but you finally realized you like peanut butter again, and you’re much more daring about trying a quick taste of just about anything new — although much of the time you still instantly tell us “I don’t like it.” I reflect a lot on how we started you on solids by pureeing everything — I think I’d take a different approach if I had it to do over. Aside from one or two fruits, you’re just now working up the courage to BITE into the ones aren’t in the form of applesauce/smoothie/etc.

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There are probably a million more little things I could think of on any given day to note here. And on the hour, you say something funny that I want to jot down in my memory forever. I can’t believe we’re already here, at two and a half. You’ve been here forever and yet time continues to fly.

As we get further from two and closer to three, stick with us as we try and navigate your need to do everything on your own. Keep needing us for other stuff. Continue to love fiercely with that oh-so-big heart of yours. Don’t stop your constant jumping and grinning. Carry on with your questions and never stop learning about your world. And more than anything, know how much we always love you, crazy kid of ours.

Love, 
Mom (but always Mommy)

Red, White, and BOY (‘Merica style for the little guys!)

Red White and BOY |www.lifeinyellow.com

1. dinosaur t-shirt | 2. 1776 hoodie (check out the matching shorts!) | 3. flag trunks
4. hot dog flag t-shirt | 5. seersucker trunks | 6. rockets t-shirt | 7. shoes

You know I’m always on a mission to seek out the harder-to-find cute boy clothes that are comfy enough they’ll love them, and original enough that I enjoy buying them. I’m a sucker for red, white, and blue any time of year, but especially during these summer months. Plus, cameras are always out on the 4th, so I know I’ll get a photo opp! If your little man is in need of something to wear to the parade, the fireworks, or whatever else you have planned, check out the above. (I’m loving the long-sleeveed hoodie for after the sun goes down, and we are total fankids of Native shoes — they are easy to get on and off, and do. not. stink!) Wishing you a safe and happy upcoming holiday!