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Little Table Activities

In our home, we have this “little table“. You know the one every home with little kids under 5 have. Many from IKEA with a natural wood finish and 2 white chairs. That is the one I am talking about. In our home just about every evening, you will hear us tell our 3 and 5-year-old “go to the little table”. There we do fun activities that usually involve a small set up and gives the kids something to do on their own while we make dinner or get ready to leave the house.

Most dinner nights my hubby is the cook and I put together some version of that for the kids since they do not eat as adventurous as the adults.

Fall is around the corner and with kids going back to school we are changing our schedule, getting into a new groove, and perhaps more soups and raining cold evenings inside.

Over time I captured some of these “little table activities” and posted them to Instagram #littletableactivites for others to glean from and use in their homes when looking for something new to do inside.

Here is little more about the activities, what you need, and tips on things I used or did. Some of my favorite I have in plastic like shoe boxes to pull out and use again and again. Others are a one-time thing or part of a larger project like learning the alphabet.

Some of my favorite little table activities that I keep in clear plastic shoe-boxes to reuse are play-dough and tools,  fake snow, and watercolors with paper. I try to keep the messy activities on days the kids are taking a bath shortly after. What I love about these activities and it keeps them occupied for a good hour.

Other little table activities that have been a hit with my kids are things I have found at the dollar section at Target are more holiday and seasonal, like coloring pumpkins, make a Frankenstein illuminator, and fall stain-glass painting. Seasonal little table activities from the dollar store or Target are a lot of fun for a one-time use.

We also do more educationally little table activities like working on our letters and learning the alphabet. You can make these ahead of time and have a few letters in the box ready to go.

I plan on doing a lot more little table activities as the days get shorter here in the PNW. Follow us at Two Working Moms on Facebook or #TWM on Instagram to see whats new. * L

 

 


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Healthy Bento Box Lunches

This week my oldest is starting Kindergarten. I am super excited for this little boy to learn and blossom and make new friends. He is so ready and we are all very excited about this new stage of life.

I also can’t wait to have an excuse to make bento box lunches. Back in the day when I was single and made my own lunch, I got really into bento boxes.

Here are a few I made:

My kids and I are vegetarian and he isn’t as adventurous of an eater as I am so I am going to have to modify his bento box lot but overall I hope to keep them healthy, add variety, and maybe even toss in something he might not like/eat in hopes he does one day.

Overall I say we eat healthily but yeah my kids eat mac and cheeses a lot. We do eat a lot of homemade stuff and my hubby is a great cook and loves making new things. That said I saw this list of popular oat cereals and granola snack bars that have a very high level of weed-killing poison called Roundup. Most like me thing oats are healthy and good for our kids, but the truth is in America we use Roundup and this is not something I would eat or want my kids to eat.

Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Here is a sample of what you will see in the report with all the Roundup food products listed. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer that is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S. Take a look and see what brands to avoid and guess we will be shopping for our Oats at WholeFoods:

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As a mom, I am always on the quest to feed my kids healthy food. Looking forward to making fun bento boxes and avoiding bad foods including the dirty dozen.

Some things I really love to use is these metal bento boxes. They have compartments and it is super easy for my kids to open on their own and since they are metal they are easy to clean and don’t stain.

You can find bento stuff just about anywhere, including on Amazon. To get started I would recommend the following:

  1. Metal Bento Box
  2. Silicone Cups
  3. Vegetable Cutters
  4. Food Picks
  5. Egg Shaper

If you need some inspiration I just love following Kid Lunch Box on IG. They have a lot of meat dishes and food, but I love the variety of foods they use.

This will be new for me, or shall as I say a reborn passion of mine with a kid spin to it.

Follow me and my working mom bestie on Instagram and you can check out my new bento box lunch creations this year. It will be vegetarian and as healthy as  I can get it with my picky 5-year-old. * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 8

For our 8th week running challenge, we are staying at 4-miles for our two short runs and adding another mile to our long run for a total of 9 miles.

Week 8 of 12 challenge:

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Can we talk about food??? You wouldn’t think this would be a topic for a runner but it is. There is this whole other food list you have never heard of like Goop and other Energy Gels until you are a runner.

What do you eat before, during and after a race? If you are still with Two Working Moms and this free virtual running group then you might be finding you are a little more hungry.

I run first thing in the morning and I like this time since my tummy is empty and I don’t have a lot of food or liquids swishing around. That said I don’t really eat or drink before I run. I do have a few sips of my double expresso ice coffee and sometimes a half banana if it is a long run or I am driving more than 30 minutes to get there.

Same for during the race. I try not to drink too much and just take small sips here and there. It really depends on the weather, sun, and temperature. One day during and half marathon I tried Goop since it was offered. I squirted that stuff in my mouth and instantly regretted it. I gaged and wish I had more water as this gummy like stuff filled my mouth. Why!!!! Never, ever, do anything new on a race. Especially eat something you never have tried before.

Some people love having a little snack while running. My running vest even has a spot to hold a snack but I don’t think it is for me. If you are interested I would give it a try but maybe not on a very long run or on race day.

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Post run it is game and brunch on!!!! I don’t like beer so you won’t find me in the gardens drinking after a race but I am totally game for something with a lot of bread.

What do you eat before, during, or after a run?

Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. 

Keep us posted on how your runs are going. * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 7

You all are doing great, and so happy to be seeing your posts and status updates on your runs. We are getting up there and only 5 more weekly challenges left.

For our 7th week, we are staying at 4-miles for our two short runs and adding another mile to our long run for a total of 8 miles.

Week 7 of 12 challenge:

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I don’t have a lot of nice running clothes but the one thing I really should get more of is compression running socks. I have a few and I save them for my long runs. They make me feel stronger and for some reason, I feel safer. My first half marathon I didn’t use compression socks and I damaged a muscle that took weeks to heal. Not to say the socks would have prevented this but since then I have used compression socks on race day and long runs and haven’t had any issues.

Do you just love your running socks or other clothing to share with the rest of us? Don’t forget to take a photo of what you are using and keep us posted on your runs.

Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 6

We are halfway done with our 12-week running challenge!!!! This virtual running group has been a lot of fun and on days I am not feeling like running I do so I can keep up with the posts and be accountable for our virtual gunning group. Love seeing your posts and photos!!! Who knows maybe one day we can do a half marathon together.

For our 6th week, we are staying at 4-miles for our two short runs and adding another mile to our long run for a total of 7 miles.

Week 6 of 12 challenge:

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With all this running you might notice you are getting faster, stronger, and maybe you aren’t that sore after your short runs. You are changing and that is awesome. One way to keep track of this is with a running app. I use Runkeeper and have since my first half marathon. I love it but wanted to test some others out.

I tried my hubbies apple watch for my 6-mile run and it was a disaster. The feeling of the watch kind of bothered my skin so I turned it around and I think that act paused my app and I missed miles of my run. I also struggled with navigation but this was the first time I used an apple watch so I guess that is understandable.

How about you, what do you use to track your running data?

Take a photo of what you are using to stay hydrated and why you like it. Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. * L


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Potty Talk

If you already use the potty, don’t have kids, or have kids who already use the potty, then this blog post isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you do have a kid or little one who is about to go on the potty training journey do read on and make sure to pour yourself a glass of wine while you are at it.

My kids are 5 and 2 and right now we are trying to get one kid to stop talking about the potty and the other one to use it.

Before I get to the current day, let’s talk about my first journey of potty training with my son Deklan. Not sure about you but a lot of what I heard when researching potty training was don’t start too early.

If you do or force it, your kid will rebel and you might end up with a bed wetter and be the worst mom ever… or something like that.

For some reason, this advice really hit home for my husband. The thing with having an active partner in parenting is you have to be on the same page. I really wanted to get my son potty trained while I was on short-term disability for 8 weeks (aka Amazon Maternity back when they didn’t give any). I thought being home with a newborn was the perfect time to do that pantless thing while making your kid drink lots of juice. My hubby thought 2 and a half was too young but kind of just went along with it.

To prepare I did a lot of what was recommended:

  • Read the books
  • Got a stool for the potty and stickers for my son to personalize
  • Found some good kids books to read while on the potty
  • Charts with stickers for tracking progress
  • Basket with toys and treats for rewards
  • Visual timer to use while on the potty
  • Inserted a smaller potty seat
  • Bought fun underwear

38875510_224240011571861_1580216930323660800_nThe potty training weekend went great but as soon as my son was with my husband he put diapers on him and it just never stuck. Soon after I went back to work, life with a newborn was too much. Now thinking back trying to potty train a kid while home with a newborn, with a partner who isn’t sure, is a bad strategy for sure.

It wasn’t till 6 months later at my son’s 3-year-old check-in with his Dr. that it all changed. The Dr. asked if my son Deklan stays dry at night. He has for months and apparently, the Dr. thought Deklan was VERY ready to be potty trained.

That weekend we did the pantless thing again, and again he did great. This time we didn’t put him back in diapers, in fact, we didn’t even get pull-ups, nothing not even underwear since we heard that can be confusing.  He never once had an accident and now thinking back he was ready. I think he was ready 6 months prior when we first tried but I guess we weren’t ready.

Now 2 years later my little girl was showing signs she was ready. Often if not all the time she is dry in the morning. So at 2 and a half, we started the process. My hubby was more onboard and so was our fabulous nanny. She was the one who actually noticed she was ready first.

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I got ready again and bought a bunch of toys and treats as rewards. We got the sticker chart, we did the weekend thing and it didn’t really stick. We did put pullups on at night but that wasn’t when she had accidents. She did great with pee but often she would poop in her pants during the day.

At first, the accidents happened a lot. Like maybe every day or a few times a day. 99% of the time it was poop. Even after sitting on the potty 5 minutes later she would poop. Or in the bathtub, or after she just sat on the potty for 15 minutes. There really wasn’t any kind of pattern.

One day we went to the zoo with friends. She was in underwear and I had a spare set of clothes. She pooped herself while watching the tigers so we changed. Then just an hour later she pooped herself again and it ran down her leg and into her shoe. It took all of my wet wipes and tossing the clothes and shoes to get my daughter clean enough to walk out of the zoo. I was that mom with a little one with no shoes and only a shirt.

We did everything to avoid the poop accidents and at one point I thought she was just doing it out of spite. In the end, the thing that worked was time. The accidents got less and less. My mom joked, she would get it before college (at the time I didn’t think this was funny). Then one day we realized she hasn’t hadn’t had an accident in weeks.

It is official my daughter is potty trained and our family is done with diapers. The advice I would tell others is every kid is different and eventually, they will get it and that might be over the weekend or over a few months. In the meant time I would suggest these 3 things that I learned along the way:

  1. Little potty for travel. Don’t use this at home. Some who have their kids have a hard time switching to the big one (Lessons from a few of my friends). Do bring this potty to places and have it in the car. There will be times when there isn’t a bathroom or your kid will just refuse a dirty one (who can blame them).
  2. Potty insert for at home to make it smaller.
  3. Potty liners for public toilets (clean and makes the hole look smaller so it is less scary).

All the best on the potty training adventure. * L

P.S. Still trying to figure out how to get my oldest to stop talking about the potty and poop.

 

 


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Virtual Running Group – Week 5

It is never too late to be part of this totally free running group, so join us. There is no catch and no cost. You just run and keep us posted on your progress.

It is getting real in week 5 on our virtual running group 12 week challenge.

This week we are adding another mile to our short and long run.

Week 5 of 12 running challenge:

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I don’t know about you but I run about a 10-minute pace and after running for 30 minutes in the heat of summer you start to get thirsty. It is great if you can run around a place that has drinking fountains but if not you might want to consider running with water or a hydration bag of some kind.

One time I was so thirsty and desperate for water I used a public bathroom. I washed my hands so fast that the warm water out of the sink foamed up some residual soap as I gulped it down. Yuck….. don’t be that lady and run with water.

Take a photo of what you are using to stay hydrated and why you like it. I ended up getting a hydration vest. Still testing it out and will keep you posted if I love it. Ran with it one time for our long 6-mile run and I had the bottles on backward. I realized this since it wasn’t fitting it right (thought it was a bad design at the time) and the next day I noticed my ribs hurt from it rubbing against them. Should have read the directions better.

Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. Let’s get out there and run together!!!* L