Unique Gift Ideas For The Toddler Who Has Everything!

Unigue gift ideas for toddler

If you have multiple kids, are you struggling with gift ideas this year? We have two little girls, and feel like our older daughter has everything a girl could possibly need already…Little Sis can share and/or get all the hand me down toys. Why buy anything else?

On the other hand…she can’t live on hand-me-downs her whole life!

Unique gifts for toddler

We’re not planning to go overboard on the number of gifts, or money spent, but we have been searching for some unique gift ideas our 2.5 year old would enjoy. That’s why I was so excited when Uncommon Goods contacted me about doing a post for them. I had heard about the company before, but never realized what a wide variety of awesome gift ideas they had, even for kids!

I also like that Uncommon Goods features many organic, recycled items from small manufactures and artists – but no leather, fur, or feathers. You ‘ll always know no animals were harmed in the making of any of their products. They pay employees a fair wage, and also give back when you shop.

abhor buying the character-of-the-year themed toys no one will care about in a year – or less. My husband and I prefer to buy our kids classic, good quality toys that will stand the test of time. I definitely found that at Uncommon Goods, as well as useful items that are still fun and exciting for a kid to open.

Click here to see all kid items on the site, or keep reading to see some of my favorite finds for toddlers! Scroll all the way to the bottom for links to gifts for the grown ups in your life!

Toddler gift idea plate
I love this Ms. Food Face Plate! What a fun idea! (They also have a Mr. Food plate!)

Search by age, refine your search to toys/apparel/crafts, etc, OR search for only handmade items, items made in the USA, recycled or exclusives.

Check out this personalized rolling pin, handmade in Erie, Pennsylvania!

unique gift ideas toddler rolling pin
My little one loves play-doh, and I’m sure she’d be thrilled to roll out her name! 🙂

My 2.5 year old seems obsessed with anything magnetic. For a year now, she has been playing with wooden magnetic blocks, similar to this robot toy made from sustainably harvested wood. I think he would be a good addition to her stash!

toddler gift idea
The Magbot Magnetic Block Set, good for boys AND girls!

We actually have crayons similar to this already, and my kids play with them as much as they use them for coloring. They stack them, put them on their fingers like claws…and the product description even says you can string these on twine to make a colorful necklace!

Unique gift ideas for toddler
Highly recommend these fun, inexpensive finger crayons! They have been a hit with my two and four year old!

There’s also a Holiday gift guide on the Uncommon Goods blog with “Creative Gifts for Clever Kids”. The collection of sports themed bowls you’ll find there were actually designed by a kid!

kid gift ideas sports fan
What little sports fan wouldn’t love one of these on Christmas morning! So fun!

So if you’re looking to find unique gift ideas for your baby, toddler, mom, sister, friend, dad, or hubby – really, anyone on your gift list! – head to Uncommon Goods and check out the selection of items you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere!

Click here to find unique gifts for women : http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-women

Click here to find unique gifts for the guys in your life : http://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/by-recipient/gifts-for-men

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are totally my own. I am honest to a fault. 😉

It’s a….Gender Reveal Party!

It's a...Gender Reveal Party!!

Have you heard of the gender reveal party fad? In the past couple years, it seems like there has been a surge of people hosting gender reveal parties! I’m not normally one to jump on bandwagons, but I wanted to do something special and different for baby number 3! I thought a gender reveal would be the perfect way to share our excitement and celebrate our newest little one with people who are dear to us.

It's a...Gender Reveal Party!!

So we decided to find out the baby’s gender at the same time as our guests. Our ultrasound technician put the two most important photos of our baby in an envelope (which she sealed and STAPLED shut!! Do I not look trustworthy??). I was intently watching the ultrasound the entire time, but…I still had no idea what we were having when we left the hospital.

I drove to my cake lady’s house and dropped off our precious envelope.

She then made us this adorable cake, which she layered with pink or blue icing inside. We weren’t sure which. And no matter how much I texted her that night, she wouldn’t give me a single darn hint!

Gender reveal party cake

I went home and got to work decorating the house, mostly with repurposed decor we had laying around already. I had also made a trip to the Dollar Tree earlier in the week for pink and blue paper ware and balloons and glow sticks for the kids. 🙂

I made a couple signs that night…one for the front door…

Old Wive's Tales poster

And one I hung in the kitchen.

Old Wive's Tales Gender Predictions

I made a quick, easy garland with pink and blue ribbons from my craft stash. I used mini binder clips to hang our ultrasound pics (All but the ones with the “parts”.)

Ultrasound Pic Banner

I decorated our dining room table with a pink sparkly piece of material from JoAnn Fabrics and a blue polka dot table runner.

Gender Reveal Party decorations

I used a blue, antique cut glass bowl and put pink Good N Plentys in it. My girls and I enjoyed eating all the white ones. 🙂

gender party dining room decor

I love using photos for decorating at parties…so on the dining room table, I put photos of me and my husband while dating/engaged, a photo of us with our first baby, and a photo with our second. In front of the frames, I formed a question mark with heart rhinestones I picked up at the Dollar Tree. I don’t know if my guests picked up on the symbolism, but it made me happy. 🙂

gender party dining room table decor

I got to work early the next morning painting these pumpkins my mom gave me. I didn’t want my girls insisting on “helping” me, haha! These were not only cute decorations, but they also made cute photo props later on!

It's a....girl? Boy?

I incorporated the big question on everyone’s mind in our refreshment layout. 🙂

Gender Reveal Party M&M's

Finally, at 6:30pm, the day after we’d had our ultrasound, it was time to party! I was 98% sure that a third little girl would be joining our family…we have a total of 6 girls in the family on my husband’s side. None of Hubby’s siblings have had a boy, so what are the chances we would? Our friends were cheering and laughing, calling out their gender predictions as I sliced into the cake. The moment had arrived!

Cutting our gender reveal cake!!

And to my absolute shock, it was BLUE! I was speechless. I couldn’t stop staring at those blue layers.

The big moment!!

Moments later, I’m still staring at the cake wondering, “How can this be?”. But my four year old  simply shrugged, “I knew it was a boy!”. And somehow she did…she has stuck to her belief for months now.

Surprise! It's a boy!

Date night on the night after the party, I was officially 21 weeks. And the blue pumpkin makes for an adorable photo prop! Love my little man already!

Bump pic - 21 weeks!

If you’re planning a gender reveal party, check out my Reveal Party board on Pinterest!

How to Survive the Picky Eater Battle with No Tears!

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

The Great Picky Eater Food Battle is not for the faint of heart.

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

Lately, my two year old refuses to eat pretty much everything. Unless it is peanut butter, cheese, yogurt or her favorite fruits. She also likes ham, so regardless of what kind of meat I’m serving, I exclaim, “Eat! You like this; it’s ham!”. Sometimes, it even works! 😉

My picky eater refuses foods that aren’t aesthetically pleasing….

She turns up her nose at unfamiliar foods (unless they’re highly processed and full of artificial flavors)….

My toddler has even looked at her dinner plate and remarked, “Bleh!”. How rude! …

No matter how much I bribe her, or threaten time-outs, she Will. Not. Eat. She clenches her lips together, covers her mouth with her hand, and turns as far away from me as possible. And I know I have no course of action that doesn’t include handcuffs, straps, and pliers.

So what to do? I am a strict mom, but even I don’t believe in prying my daughter’s mouth open to shove food in it. 😉

Everyone says, “They’ll eat when they’re hungry!”. But what parent can stand there and watch their child starve nutritionally? While their child simultaneously grows unbearably crabby because, like their mama, they get HANGRY when they don’t eat.

Today, I am going to share what is helping us through this challenging time!

My mealtime tips for  dealing with a picky eater –

  • Serve several foods your child WILL EAT and one new food.
  • Serve small portions to avoid waste, frustration, or child getting overwhelmed at the sight of new food.
  • Encourage your child to try at least one bite.
  • Promise they don’t have to finish new food, or even swallow it. (My kids are big fans of spitting yucky foods in the trash after holding it their mouth for eons.)
  • If child still refuses to try even one bite, threaten to take away a privilege. For us, that’s tv time, which we often allow after dinner and before bed.
  • Follow through. No bite, no privilege.
  • Don’t get mad. Stay calm. Act like it’s no biggie if your kid is iron deficient because she refuses to eat her spinach.
  • Put cheese on it! My kids favorite food group – everything looks and tastes better with cheese!
  • Serve new foods at lunch, and familiar favorites at dinner. Your kids will have a full belly for bedtime and sleep soundly.
  • If kids don’t eat much of their lunch, don’t give them a snack. Or give them a small, but healthy snack to tide them over. NO TREATS! Go ahead, break out your secret stash of chocolate and eat it right in front of them. You deserve it for preparing food they didn’t want and washing a plate they wouldn’t eat off.
  • Keep trying!My mealtime tips for a picky eater

Our greatest success recently has been simply getting the food into my 2.5 year old daughter’s mouth. Whether or not she likes it, or will even swallow the food, at least she is opening her mouth! We accomplished this mainly by threatening a consequence (revoking tv privileges after dinner) and promising she can spit the offensive food in the trash if she so desires.

I trust that in time, her delicate palate will broaden itself from the repeated exposure to new flavors and textures. And if it doesn’t well…there’s always those sneaky veg recipes on Pinterest.

‘Fess Up Time: Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

Parenting Fails – we’ve all been there, done that!

Parenting Fails and Newborn Tales

My general theory is that whether you make huge mistakes or simple parenting fails, your kid can still turn out either good or bad. Many successful people have emerged from a terrible home life. And sometimes kids from good, strong families lose their way. The Bible promises that if you train up a child in the way he should go, in the end he will not depart from it. So just do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

With that being said, however….parenting fails can still make us feel like idiots! I’ll never forget the time I took my newborn first child to the pool in her adorable two piece baby bikini and shades. I laid her on a lounge chair on top of a beach towel and started snapping away with my camera. She was three months old and cute as a bug. I was beside myself with motherly pride and adoration, when all of a sudden she rolled off the lounge and onto the concrete! Luckily, the chair was very low to the ground and she was not injured, but I was so ashamed of myself for being stupid enough to let something like that happen. I didn’t tell anyone (besides hubby) for almost two years because I was so embarrassed!

Beach Babe - Don't Call Me Supermom
An adorable photo from the fateful day!

I also forgot the diaper bag the first time we ever took our newborn daughter to church, when she was a week old. Now that I’m a “seasoned” parent of four years, I realize that these things happen to everyone. We all experience parenting fails, and that doesn’t make us bad at what we do! In fact, it’s the guilt we feel afterwards that makes us good parents!

If you’re having a rough day, check out these stories and realize you’re not alone when you feel helpless, inadequate, or just plain stupid. We’re all in this together! 🙂

Jen from Heaven Not Harvard: One time in the Wal-mart parking lot, I was so busy making sure my daughter’s car seat was in correctly and tightly secured that she started to roll away in the shopping cart into the traffic flow! 😱😳 Luckily, there were no cars and I grabbed her in seconds. My husband was just coming out from buying something he’d forgotten when he saw my eyeballs about jump out of my skull and my legs road runner spiral into action.

Aditi from Silver Linings – My parents, hubby dearest, and two month old baby came home after an evening spent roaming around the shopping mall. We had just started getting ready for bed when the crying began. Desperate, never ending and extremely loud to four adults who were new to being around an infant. We tried everything, feeding, bathing, more clothes, less clothes, gripe water, steam etc. Panic had just started to seep in, when for some reason my brilliant husband got our industrial fan, switched it to low and put it bang in front of the little one lying in the bouncer. And lo and behold, the crying stopped. My hubby quipped, “He just needed to feel like the star of a Bollywood movie with the wind blowing his hair in the scene where he’s introduced.”

Bärbel from Simple Summit – My daughter was 5 days old when we went to the pediatrician’s office for her first check-up. When the nurse called her name, my husband and I just kept sitting in the waiting room. She called it again – this time, the full name and we both got up, embarrassed. “We are new at this, can you tell?”, was our excuse. 🙂
We have also left the diaper bag at home before, or ended up staying out longer than anticipated so I ran out of diapers. I shook out the poopie in her diapers so I could reuse them again. So embarrassing!

Crystal from Love More Live Blessed – I had my pack-n-play up way before I had my son. I would throw diapers in there until I could put them away. I know, I know, so lazy. Anyway, one day I threw a package of diapers across the room into the pack-n-play. A second later, I realized my newborn was in there too! Ahh!! He was fine, the diapers didn’t hit him – but I sure felt guilty.

Nikki from Healing Mama Remedies – I was nursing my son while looking on my phone, then I dropped my phone on his head! I felt horrible!

Ashli from The Million Dollar Mama – I thought squeaking the dog’s toy in front of my 8 week old might make him laugh – it terrified the crap out of him!

Hannah from Sunshine And Spoons – On my oldest daughter’s first Sunday in church, I took her downstairs to feed her a bottle and forgot to burp her. When we came back upstairs and sat down in our pew, she threw up her entire bottle all over my dress.

With my 3rd child, I forgot to bring any diapers to church and she uncharacteristically had TWO really messy diapers. The first time it happened, I begged a too-small diaper from my sister in law. The second time, I was too embarrassed to ask again. Church was almost over so when it finished, I put a rag in her carseat so she wouldn’t leak all over it and took my smelly, oozing child home to change! I left diapers in the church nursery after that.

When my 4th and youngest baby was just 3 months old, I took him to a Sunday School picnic. I thought I did a good job keeping him out of the sun. However, I let someone else hold him for a while and she forgot to do the same. He had THE worst sunburn on his forehead and nose that I’ve ever seen. Note to self: Always bring a hat for the baby!

 As always, thanks for reading! And remember, if you’re a parent, or parent-to-be, take it easy on yourself. We all make mistakes from time to time, but it will all be okay in the end!

Proverbs 22:6