Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Birthday Gift Ideas

Now that Patrick has a couple months of being ONE under his belt, I thought I would post about some of his favorite birthday presents. P is, umm, lucky? that his birthday falls right before Christmas! He was blessed to receive a lot of great presents that are currently saving us from cabin fever this winter. I thought I would list 10 gifts, varying in prices, that my one year old is loving.

1.) Mega Bloks Lil Dump Truck: P loves trucks and cars of all sorts, but this one is fun for him to store random things in. The come with blocks, but P likes to put his Little People in them. They had a bunch of these at our local TJ Maxx for under $10.

2.) Classic Bead Maze: Patrick runs to these things no matter where they are. Church, doctor's office, wherever he sees one. Now we have one at home that he loves to play with as well.

3.) Mega Bloks: You really can't go wrong with Mega Bloks. Patrick received a couple bags of these for his birthday and we really enjoy them. He is partial to the Mega Bloks Train he received because, again, he loves anything with wheels. 

4.) Corn Popper Walker: This makes a lot of noise and he can push it, which makes it a favorite toy for my rowdy one year old. I will say it doesn't work as well on our wood floors, but he definitely makes it pop all over the carpet.

5.) Rubber Balls: Who knew that simple balls could be so fun? P grabs the bin full of them first thing in the morning. He proceeds to throw the balls all out, then kicks and throws them around all day.

6.) Books: Patrick is a huge fan of books. I love receiving them as gifts, but am more hesitant to give them. I just never know what the person may already have in their library. As Patrick begins to learn words, he likes books that he can identify things in. Currently, he loves books with dogs and cats in them. 

7.) Little Tikes Cozy Truck: Patrick would seriously let me push him around this truck all day long. He especially likes helping Marc collect the trash in the bins around the house on trash night. He also loves when I play music on my phone and push him around the house while he honks the horn. P is still a little too small to figure out how to use it himself, but he enjoys being pushed around or pushing the truck himself.

8.) Little People Sounds Farm: Patrick has super heroes, a nativity, and a Little People farm. He seriously is obsessed with them all. (Although the nativity is put away now.) The farm is fun because it sings and plays different sounds. It comes with animals, hay, and a farmer. The rooster on the top Patrick loves as well, although it seriously drives him mad that it is attached and won't come off like the other animals. 

9.) Basketball Goal: Although this says it is for 1.5 year olds, Patrick loves the basketball goal he received for his birthday! He enjoys "dunking" and making goals. He also likes to clap for himself after he makes the basket because, duh. 

10.) Puzzles: Puzzles! I thought this was a unique idea to give as a present. Patrick got a truck puzzle for his birthday party and it was actually the FIRST puzzle he has ever received. Does that make me a bad mom? He doesn't really get the entire idea of it, but he loves to take the pieces apart and clap them back together on the board. 

What are some of your little toddler's favorite toys?

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Lovin'

Brutal temps have finally hit Indiana. This winter had been so mild compared to last year and I was enjoying every second of it, however winter has definitely caught up with us. Begrudgingly, I try to remain optimistic. Valentine's Day! Short month! Spring is coming (?)!


Marc and I got to celebrate Valentine's Day early. Nana came up to stay with Patrick and we went to see American Sniper. We always used to go to the movies before little P came along, so it was nice to be able to go out and enjoy a movie with just us. 

One "goal" of mine this year was to read more, and I've definitely been doing that! I absolutely love to read and decided that with some time management I can get some reading done during the day. My goal was to read eight books this year. I was going to go for ten, but I didn't want to be overzealous. Well, I definitely think I undershot my goal because I've already read three. I usually spend P's one nap doing some reading. As a result my house is a disaster by 5:00pm, but my sanity still hangs on.

I made a Goodreads account years ago. I think I used my college email, I'm not for sure. I do know that I had a baby since then and can't remember my email or password so I just made a new account. Feel free to add me because I love getting book recommendations! (My reading choices are all over the place, I know.)

Also - my mom's birthday is this month! I'm so thankful to have a mom that I can call my best friend. I honestly hope I can be as good of a mom as she is. I do try, but feel like I come up short most days. She is such an inspiration and an amazing role model. We had a "girls night" downtown last night with her friend, my aunt, and cousin. It was such a blast and I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

Little P and I are still enjoying our daily adventures but we are both daydreaming about the warmer weather. Every time we go to the garage he points to his little red wagon. Sigh. Then we pass the park on our way out of the neighborhood and he points to the swings. He is going to be so happy when we can play outside again! We miss the sunshine and warm weather.

I'm looking forward to spring activities and I have already been gathering little treasures for Patrick's Easter basket!! Too soon? I'm going with no ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is in my Diaper Bag [today]!

I like to pride myself on being organized in certain areas of my life. My work cubicle, for example, was always organized. As was my desk in school. At the very beginning of motherhood, my diaper bag would always fall into the "organized" section of my life. Now that little P is older and we are always on the go, I find my diaper bag being such a chaotic mess. I find myself throwing things in the bag only to turn around and throw them all out again. Spilled juice and snacks seem to pile up in the bottom (disgusting) so I usually organize it every couple of nights. One never knows what you are going to find at the bottom of the diaper bag.

For the past year I've used a Kate Spade bag that I adore, but the straps are falling apart. No doubt it is from me weighing it down with a million things. Also, I put it through the washer a couple of times. So I thought she needed a little break. I purchased this Skip Hop diaper bag to rotate in. Especially with an upcoming trip to New Mexico, I wanted something that was durable. I also didn't want something super pricey because I know when the next baby [hopefully] comes around I will want a new bag. Call me spoiled.

Enough rambling - here what is inside my bag! 

I do love these zip-up side bottle holders!
I will say that this diaper bag is deep but not very wide. I can fit a couple more things in here that aren't pictured (sunglasses, keys, P's jacket, more snacks or toys), but that is pretty much it. It is packed to the max.

I never leave the house without a sippy cup of apple juice. I usually bring two sippys with me, one with juice and one with water.
The ones I use the most:

Sidebar: Anyone else find it hard to find a sippy cup that their toddler loves? Send me suggestions, please. P would much prefer his bottle.

Along those lines. I always have snacks. Patrick loves the pouches of fruits and veggies. He loves these, but he really isn't picky about brands and flavors.
All packed up and ready for adventures.
Toys are always in my bag to help keep him entertained at restaurants and such. I have always kept bath books in my diaper bag since he was a baby, just because they are so easy to wipe off and keep cleanish. Plus, P loves them. Also his favorite Brown Bear book, little Sophie or big Sophie, Patrick's favorite train, and some other random toys. 

We don't go far without Tylenol for the both of us. Hand sanitizer. Baby lotion and Aquaphor for P. Hand cream, lipstick, and my wallet for me.

Diapers (duh) and wipes. I also love the hand and face wipes from Johnson's (or I currently have the Target brand) because I am a germ freak to the max.

It has been interesting to see the different things added and taken away as Patrick grows from a baby to toddler!

Friday, February 6, 2015


 Let it snow.
 Let it snow.
Done now.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Aunt Joannie's Hot Fudge Brownies

Although I do not make them as well as Aunt Joannie, I do love these hot fudge brownies. She gave me a recipe book for my wedding shower way back when and I was so excited to see that she included these. I made them for a Super Bowl get together on Sunday and was reminded of my deep love for them, so I thought I would share them!

Aunt Joannie's Hot Fudge Brownies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour (I spelled it flower at first)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Herseys Cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 package chocolate chips
1 jar Mrs Richardson's Hot Fudge*

1.) Preheat oven to 350 and grease pan.

2.) Mix first 4 ingredients together well and then add the other dry ingredients.

3.) Add chocolate chips and hot fudge. Yum

4.) Pour into pan and bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.

5.) Optional: Top with powdered sugar or chocolate icing.

6.) Refrigerate until firm enough to cut.

*I had to use Smuckers on Sunday because I couldn't find Mrs Richardson's anywhere. I also realized I only had 1.5 tsp of vanilla left, GRR.

These are Patrick approved!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Year, New Goals.

Trying to reorganize my life in the new year is off to a rocky start. I felt like January would be a good time to set some goals, like the rest of the world, but then just never found the time. HA!  Is that real?  At least I had good intentions.

Well, I've come to the realization that I don't have enough hours in the day. (Like every other busy person.) So...I think I am going to have to do the unthinkable and that is, get up before the baby.

I planned to start working out with Marc in the morning, and that happened once in January. The problems are:
    1.) P still gets up in the night for a snack.
              -I'm still nursing, he won't take a bottle, so basically it is up to me.
              -We are working on crying it out, but I (and P) hates it.
              -If I nurse him at 5 or 6, he goes back to sleep for a couple hours. Praise the Lord! And I am lazy. Hence, the reorganizing of my life.
     2.) In January, the teething and ear infection monsters came and no one got any sleep. Except maybe Marc. But sometimes even he was up, which means the crying was real.

SO BASICALLY - I can either feed my [non]starving child, or get up at the crack of dawn and start the day with a cranky babe. I choose happy baby. But I also choose sleep. Ahh! Since Patrick is back to only waking up once, I am going to try REALLY hard to break that habit in the coming months, and I'm also going to try to get up and start my day before he wakes. Maybs.

My next goal was to declutter. Surprisingly, we JUST did this before Patrick entered the world. We went through the entire house and got rid of a bunch of stuff. Stuff is back. Or just misplaced. BUT, I'm determined to make my house look more presentable.

Chores. Laundry and dishes of course are never ending, but I can't decide if I would like to do a little housework every day, or one big day of cleaning. Typically I do a bunch of cleaning on Sunday, and I do enjoy the sparkling clean house at the start of the week, but I don't know if it would be better to split some things up. Any ideas? The key - I can't do much with Patrick up. He is down to one nap which brings me to my next thought...

I would also love to spend more time reading and less time scrolling through Facebook. When Patrick took two naps, I would spend one nap doing house stuff, and the other nap doing Amy stuff. This usually included laying in bed watching TV. Bring me all the lazy. BUT, since P is phasing out of his morning nap, I think I would like to spend his naps doing something I enjoy and not the tenth load of laundry. Reading used to be something I loved to do, but with limited time, I just kind of put it to the side.

Here are my ideas:

  • Wake up a little early to work out or do some house stuff.
  • Use nap time to read or do something I want to do, like start on dinner. 
  • Have time in the evening to do stuff with Marc, and spend less time stressing about my never ending To Dos. And possibly going to bed a little early. Honestly though, I think our evenings go very smoothly.

(Side bar: Marc is extremely helpful. He helps with chores, does anything I ask, and he always plays with P after work. He also does bath and helps do the bedtime routine with me. Thank the Lord for a good husband and for one that has good work hours!)

Also note, phasing out of a nap is hard. But just look at that adorable picture of P! That was a picture of yesterday when he decided that one nap was plenty and that afternoons were meant for partying. He wins!

Were the people with multiple children giving me all the eye rolls? Probably ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January Update

The New Year has brought the O'Leary family a lot of happiness and smiles so far, I can only pray the rest of the year continues this way!

Patrick has had three [double] ear infections in the past six weeks, but he is finally coming around. After three different antibiotics and many trips to the pediatrician, he seems to be on the mend. Although the teething beast is still making the nightly rounds, I'm so happy to see P as his normal happy self.

My best friend welcomed her THIRD baby boy this month and we got to visit the other week. It is so strange that Patrick isn't the baby of the gang now. He wanted to pet baby Eli like a cat, and wasn't a big fan when momma held the baby. I can't wait to watch these boys grow up together. Patrick always has such a great time hanging out with the Creason boys and I am excited to watch Eli interact with them!

Marc and I attended his company work party this month as well. It was nice to have a little night out with just us. Although, I was a nervous wreck and was obsessively checking my phone until I got the word that he was peacefully asleep. (We are going through a big mommy phase currently.) It was a great event and was nice to put names to faces. Marc is truly the greatest husband and the hardest worker!

We have had some unseasonably warm days this week. Patrick has loved having the opportunity to play outside and get some fresh air. We both cannot wait until warm weather.

In a couple of months we will be making the journey to New Mexico for my brother's wedding! This will be our family vacation this year and I can't wait. The airplane ride is obviously longer than Florida and Patrick is obviously older, but hopefully all goes smoothly.

So thankful for a great beginning of another year!