Baby

Our Top 6 Fall-Themed Toddler Books

If there’s one thing I cherish about our bedtime routine, it’s the heartwarming sight of C clutching a book with his blue baby eyes begging me to read. My youngest has truly blossomed into a little bookworm.

Every night, without fail, he insists on reading at least three books. And when I say “insist,” I mean that endearing toddler persistence where no bedtime is complete without flipping through those colorful pages. His current favorite? Board books.

With fall around the corner, I decided to curate a collection of autumn-themed board books for C. The seasonal colors, warm tales, and the anticipation of holidays make them perfect bedtime stories. So, if you too have a little bookworm at home or are simply looking to introduce your child to the joy of reading, here are our top 6 fall-themed toddler books:

  1. “Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn” by Kenard Pak – A delightful tale that captures the essence of the changing seasons.
  2. “Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin” by Tad Hills – Join the duo in their quest to find the perfect pumpkin.
  3. “The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin” by Sonali Fry – A seasonal spin on the classic nursery rhyme that C absolutely adores.
  4. “Apple Picking Day!” by Candice Ransom – Dive into a day at the apple orchard, filled with fun and, of course, apples! And you can keep it for early reading later!
  5. “In the Middle of Fall” by Kevin Henkes – A beautifully illustrated book that captures the essence of fall in all its glory.
  6. “Pumpkin Soup” by Helen Cooper – A warm tale of friendship and the adventures of making pumpkin soup.

Each of these books brings a slice of autumn into our bedtime routine, and I love watching C’s reactions to the tales and illustrations. If you’re looking to add some fall magic to your little one’s library, these are some of my top recommendations.

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Uncategorized

The Unexpected Potty Training Hack

Before my two adorable munchkins came into my life, I was chasing miles on the pavement. These days, however, I’m chasing a different kind of milestone. While those runs gave me the thrill of an accomplished mile, nothing quite matches the exhilaration of seeing my son, F, achieve a new “big boy” milestone. Potty training, as most parents would know, is a journey in itself.

We’ve tried it all. From the fancy potty seats that fit snugly on the big toilets to the colorful, toddler-friendly standalone potties. But F, with his typical toddler charisma, was far from impressed or motivated. Until a serendipitous moment at Target turned things around.

My husband was searching for Hot Wheels for F when a lady told him how she had used them to work on potty training with her little on. F is obsessed with cars. So obsessed. Anything with wheels gets him all riled up. So we thought, “why not?” Each successful potty run would get him a car.

To say it worked would be an understatement. Within two days, eight shiny cars had found their way from the basket to F’s collection. But the cherry on top? We went apple picking yesterday and when he saw other kids using the porta potty, he realized he had to go pee and told me. This is a HUGE accomplishment, seriously. Let’s just say it was a bit of a struggle with his little brother in tow and no other adult to help. We may have had a tiny accident, with a bit of pee landing on our pants, but in my books? A resounding success!

Our potty training adventure isn’t over. There are more cars to earn and probably a few more porta potty misadventures to endure. But these moments, these milestones, are what make the mom-life marathon worth every step.

If you

And a quick note to my lovely readers, if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may earn a small commission. Your support keeps our adventures (and misadventures) going!

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Environment

I’d like more than 30 years

My anxiety is really high.

Seems everywhere I look, there’s another article saying we are killing the Earth. That Canada’s permafrost is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, that recycling our plastic is actually causing a bigger problem than it should be, and that we only have 30 more years until the Earth becomes uninhabitable.

I read these things, and I think, why aren’t more people concerned. Why are people still grabbing plastic bags at the grocery store? Why haven’t all coffee shops started offering biodegradable cups? Why are we still using plastic wrap when we have beeswax wraps? Why haven’t we switched back to glass bottles instead of plastic?!?!

The answer: people don’t think they make an impact.

And that thought seriously makes me sick to my stomach. Because one small change by even a handful of people makes a HUGE change. Say you go to the grocery store once a week for a year, and you get on average 4 plastic bags per trip. That’s 208 bags in a year. If you brought your own reusable canvas tote, you’d save 208 plastic bags by yourself, from landing in landfills. Now say 9 other households you know do the same, that’s 2,080 plastic bags REMOVED from the landfill. That’s 2,080 plastic bags that won’t blow into the ocean or land up on the side of the highway because you chose NOT to take them at the grocery store.

But they still have the bags at the store, you say. So it doesn’t matter, you say.

And here, I remind you that the grocery store orders more plastic bags when they run out. And if they aren’t running out of bags, they won’t order more. And if they don’t order more, the company making the bags won’t create more. Which means, we won’t add more single use plastic into our waste stream.

And yes, I understand that sometimes we forget our bags at home. But we can still ask for paper bags, ask the bagger to NOT put that single banana in its own bag, to not have a bag for larger items. Every single bag you don’t take can help us make a tiny change.

So let’s try this week to do something small. One small change.

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Fitness, Health

Two Miles to Maybe Half Marathon?

A few days ago Andy told me we were doing a Half Marathon. Yes, he TOLD me. Apparently my husband thinks I truly enjoy torturing myself.

After I stopped arguing with him, I took a few days to think about it. And I reconsidered it … a bit. I decided that it wouldn’t be horrible to at least do the training part. Maybe I won’t sign up for an actual half marathon race, but maybe I can start running again. So today, I ran two miles. Two miles in 25 sweat-drenched minutes. Two miles of why-did-I-ever-stop-running questions racing through my head.

A few years ago, I was in the best shape of my life. I was coming off of a break up, eating better, and spending a lot of time in the gym on treadmills and ellipticals. At that time, I had set myself a goal to run 365 miles in a year. A mile a day.

It wasn’t bad at all. I would run two, three, sometimes four miles at a time to “bank” miles. So when I went away for vacation, I wouldn’t have to find time to run if I couldn’t. And I hit my goal, all well within my time limit.

Running gave me more than I thought it would. It was a personal therapy session every day where I could tune out all the horrible thoughts in my head. It let me focus on the task at hand. In turn, I got a stronger body and mind.

But after that year, I stopped. I let life get in the way. I let the typical “when you get comfortable in a relationship you get fat” story come true. I gave up on myself when I should have reminded myself to stay strong, give myself my needed therapy runs and stop eating like I was still running every day.

So I’m hoping if I force myself to “train” for this magical half marathon, that maybe I can feel better about myself – both mentally and physically. So today was day one. Yikes.

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