Archives for posts with tag: shopping

It’s a few days into April here in the Chicagoland area. You wouldn’t think it though. It is still very cold and windy on a regular basis. I am not entirely sure summer will ever arrive for us. I am starting to accept that. (Ok, maybe not. I still long for warm sun and playing outside without shivering)

I am into my 2nd trimester. I have a 3 year old that is as active and hilarious as always. I also know what this second baby is as far as gender! We got our Panorama test results back earlier this week. My family is coming by on Sunday for us to tell them. I didn’t do anything cutesy with Jack and I decided I wanted to do something cutesy this time around. I am over the moon about what we are having!

My energy levels have been way up. As a matter of fact, today is my first “rest day” in over  a week! I have been running and doing Pilates. It feels great to not feel like total death on a regular basis. I feel slightly like my normal not pregnant self. Jack hasn’t asked me to “not be cranky anymore” in a while. So, he too has seen the improvement. I felt bad every time he said that to me, but hormones man, hormones. I always apologized to him and explained sometimes having a baby in my belly makes me cranky and it will get better.

The checkout girl at Whole Foods yesterday asked me if Jack was a “helper or a hinderance” as far as grocery shopping. He is a chatty kid and I always speak to him like he is an adult, so I answer his questions and have conversations with him. He was being his chatty self in line. Helping me put all the food on the belt. Talking about each item and asking me questions. I was answering them. Telling him no to more candy and reusable bags (the kid has probably 50.) The comment took me aback. Obviously he is my little helper. Even on days where I wish I could just do it all myself, I always think “one day I will want him to help and if I always deter him now, he may not be interested in helping at all” I wanted to tell her that. To give her my insights on how to parent, but I just smiled and said “he is my little helper!” I really try to avoid making him feel like he is in the way. I would certainly never tell a stranger, right in front of him, “oh, he hinders all of my errands. We never get anything done!” I am convinced that often, people do not think before they speak. I don’t think I would ever ask that of someone. And as a matter of fact on every other errand we have ever been on and someone sees his utter exuberance for life, they always say “You have a little helper on your hands!” They smile and usually tell me how cute he is.

My kid isn’t a hinderance. This second one won’t be either. Sure, sometimes it takes longer to get out the door than I would like. Sure, sometimes we have to stop in a public bathroom, which I hate because they are gross. Sure, sometimes he wants to put the jam on his toast and I am thinking we have to eat now so we can get out the door for school by 8:30. Sure, sometimes he spills food or drinks during dinner. But that is part of it all. That is part of childhood. That is part of parenting. That is part of this whole adventure together. It is my job to build him up, not tear him down. It is my job to teach him how to put the jam on his toast and to cheer him on as he does so. If he thinks I will scold him for those small unimportant mistakes, then what will he think when he makes a big one? I don’t want him to keep big things from me. I want him to know that he can come to me and sure, I may be upset, but I won’t hate him. I will help him. I will love him.

Don’t tell you kids they are a hinderance. Just don’t And certainly don’t ask someone that in front of their child.

Jack has been interested in small chores lately. Much to my enjoyment. Especially since he is still shy of 18 months old. I am not one to argue with him taking interest in the things I do around here.

He has been curious about my pantry and other food when I am unpacking the groceries. He actually enjoys playing in the pantry while I am cooking or doing something in the kitchen. The cans and jars make great stacking items. I let him explore away. I love love love watching him explore his world. I encourage all parents to let their kids get messy, destroy orderly things in the home, play with safe non toy specific items, and just explore the world around them. I try not to tell people how to parent in general, but that is something I really believe in. I always say “I am not one to stifle his creativity!” Obviously, unless it is downright dangerous. I am not going to approve playing in comet powder, ya know?

Just checking things out momma! Also ignore my pantry. I have never claimed to be an organized orderly person. I may be able to keep the house neat enough (usually, today is not one of those days) but my cabinets and such have a life of their own. I am ok with that. I have accepted that part of me. You should too! Ha!

Time to explore these neat items! No salt added tomato sauce? Don’t mind if I do, don’t mind if I do!

So he likes to help out in the pantry and I am not going to stop him. Sure sometimes I end up having to put away a bunch of things that were already put away but it is the thought that counts. He is interested in our home and the goings on. He is paying attention to the things I do around here and wants to participate. So I say, my precious boy, participate away!

Next up has been cooking. That has been in the last two weeks or so. Maybe a little less. It is half interested in the food and half wanting my attention because he is a momma’s boy. I say that but unless you have met him you have NO idea! It isn’t bad but it usually means that I am functioning while holding a 27+lb toddler. Not a big deal to me though. So I have tried to include him in the cooking time as opposed to him having a fit on the ground. First it started with me holding him and him helping with safe foods, no raw meat or eggs yet! Then we let him sit on one of our island chairs. That was a little nerve wrecking because initially we just let him sit on it and it is a very high chair. THEN the other evening when Jason wasn’t home yet I needed a solution. And DUH the kid sits in a booster seat at our normal table, so I transferred it to the island chair. Made life nice and easy. And he could help me cook. He was stirring food, stirring just in the bowl without food in there. Watching me and then mimicking me.

Showing him what to do with the spinach. Yes I sneak spinach into whatever I can since he hates green foods. 🙂

good job jack!

I was happy J was home to take these. This was the first time he really helped me out in the kitchen! I am so proud of my little chef.

Sous chef Jack

He is pretty talented at a young 17 months old! Watch out Jamie Oliver!

Yesterday I was running around doing things, or trying! He was playing in our family room/kitchen/dining room. (all three are connected so it is easy to run through them.) I was in the laundry room, off the family room, doing laundry. He peaked his head in and took interest. So I put the wet laundry on the door of the dryer and showed him how to put it in the dryer. It took him two seconds to pick it up. Then he started tossing whatever I put on the door in there! I was so proud. He was squealing with joy. I didn’t take a photo because I didn’t have my phone on me. I wasn’t about to run to grab it and ruin this lovely mother/son moment. It is in my brain though, and I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

Another thing he has been doing a lot over the past month or two is trying to vacuum with his toy vacuum. When he makes a mess with food or a sensory bin he sometimes finds his vacuum and walks around trying to vacuum it up. He is fascinated by my vacuum and LOVES when I vacuum. LOVES it! Inspects the vacuum and tries to push it. That is where his interest in helping really began. I almost forgot about it because it has been going on for so long.

I posted a Facebook status yesterday. Regarding his interest in chores. I ended it with Dear daughter in law, you’re welcome! HA! I hope I can continue to raise my child to be helpful around the home. Or at least once he moves out and has a home and family of his own that he knows sharing responsibilities around the home is the way to go. That he can cook a meal and wash some laundry. I have been told his interest in helping me will change as he gets older. That may be true or maybe it won’t. Either way I feel I am instilling him with good habits. Showing him being helpful and doing things together is good.




I did make it to the mall yesterday. By myself. I got a few cute things. I encountered something interesting though. It has happened to me once before as well. When I went into The Limited I was approached by the employees, normal hi how are you, etc.  But both times I have stopped there recently I have been asked if I was shopping for work clothing. One time I was with Jackson during the middle of the day on a Thursday. I am a stay at home mom. So no I am not shopping for “work clothing” per say. In a way I guess you could say that every time I get dressed it is for work, but it is not a structured office environment.

I find it odd that they just assume that if you go there you are buying work clothing. Can’t I just enjoy wearing nice outfits on a daily basis?  Since I have been asked twice on two very different occasions, once with a baby once without, by two different employees, I am guessing they are instructed to ask this question by corporate. I have worked retail a good deal and I know that you are often instructed on how to greet and engage customers. They are just doing their job as told by their supervisor.

I am the kind of shopper who is very low maintenance. I don’t like someone hounding me or suggesting outfits to me. I can manage entirely by myself. If I need help I will seek someone out. I don’t want to waste their time and I rarely have a purpose when shopping, other than I want something new to wear. I know they are there to help, but I just don’t really need it normally.

I am guessing from this experience their marketing  direction is geared toward the working woman and the working mom. I think they should know that even us “stay at home moms” enjoy looking nice too. It is not all dirty unwashed hair, sweat pants, and makeup free days. That stereo type is really offensive to me! We also are capable of getting up, working out, showering, doing our hair and makeup, and getting dressed in a presentable manner every single day. I have been doing it since I was in the hospital after having him! So when you see someone come into your store it doesn’t always mean she is looking for an outfit for the office in the office park. Sometimes she is looking for an outfit to wear while playing with her adorable 7 month old. Because he is special too and looking beautiful and put together for him (your boss!) is very important.

I think the next time I go there and I am asked that I am going to say “Yes!  My ____month old boss is very strict about the dress code for our walks to the park. And if I don’t have on something nice for his plum, pear, and yogurt lunch meeting, well forget it, I get written up!”

So here is to being a stay at home mom and wearing nice outfits and getting ready each day! Even if it is just to walk to the park or make a batch of sweet potatoes for the cutest sweetest boss in the entire world!

Today my plan is to get out and about without Jack man. I want to go shopping by myself. He hates being at the mall and hate being in the dressing room. I cannot really blame him. It is probably very boring and not very engaging. I am still feeling guilty about times when I am not with him. Last night I was even feeling guilty about all the time I spent making him food this week. At least once a day for the past 3 days I have made him some food. I totally have that “I have to do it all” mentality. I keep telling myself I can’t feel guilty for not playing with him because I am making dinner or making him baby food or cleaning up the kitchen or washing clothing! I am taking care of him by doing all of that. It is not like I am sitting around letting him cry while I just nap or ignore him. And I am not abusing him like that 21 year old “pot mom” Who spanked her 10 month old (I am entirely against spanking in any way, shape, or form, so this is especially upsetting to me) and blew marijuana smoke in this poor child’s mouth! This story had me near tears this week. Also, a warning, the spanking is on the video in the article so if you find that very upsetting I would skip watching it. I happened to see it on a news clip on the TV.

So I try to take time each night, if I am feeling bad that he wanted to play all day and I had to get a few things done so he had to entertain himself, to remind myself that those things are making his quality of life better. He is also very all about momma. He always wants to be in my arms. Which can make getting things done a bit tough. I told Jason on Thursday night that I just needed a couple hours to myself to get out of the house for a breather. So I can get new fall clothing without having to sing songs while half dressed in the dressing room. My mom told me that this is perfectly normal. That it is GOOD for Jack and I to have some time apart. I am not a bad mom for wanting one afternoon to myself. I am still trying to convince myself of that. Last Sunday was so fun getting out with the girls. Jack lit up when I got home. That feeling was nice. He missed me and I missed him. I will keep that thought in mind today.

I mentioned that I have been a baby food cooking machine the past few days. Here is my latest culinary masterpiece. I am not joking either. I considered snacking on his food last night after he went to bed. But I resisted since I ate a good deal of it while preparing it.

mmmm they are so delicious and healthy!

Baked Gala apples with cinnamon sprinkled on them! The recipe called for butter, but I omitted it. I have given him yogurt but I did not want to introduce butter at such an early age. He doesn’t need it. I don’t use butter a lot in my cooking, so there is no need for him to get accustomed to that in his food already. There is lots of time in life later for him to want butter! I cored the apples, placed them in the pan, filled it with a generous amount of water, and sprinkled with cinnamon. I then baked them at 400 for 40 minutes. I did include some of the skins when pureeing them. But I cut some off and snacked on the parts that were “scraps.” OH MY were they yummy! This kid eats like a king. I also finished off the extra applesauce. There was a nice amount left in the blender but not enough to fill up an entire freezer tray so I ate it.

We also had a first yesterday. He was successful at eating finger food himself! I milled some cheerios into “dust” then sprinkled it on his sweet potato chunks. He was able to grab them and scoop them into his mouth. I was so proud of him. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was calling people and chirping all about his awesome accomplishment. He was so excited to be able to do it too. It was like he was trying to eat popcorn! I videoed it, so no pics sorry! But he did awesome and I am so proud of my big guy! He is developing so well!

Do you have “guilt” about momma things? How do you remind yourself that you are doing a great job? Are you able to take time for yourself? If so, how often? Do you feel guilty when you do?

What are some other “finger foods” you found went over well with your little one?