Tag Archives: toddler

Today’s Arduous Shopping Trip (Or, Why You Should Always Carry A Quarter In Your Purse)

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Today’s shopping trip required a long venting text to a friend afterward…I LOVE my local Aldi’s, but this shopping trip in particular was a fairly trying one.

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Let me tell you the tale…

I was rushing to grab just a few items before I had to pick up my older daughter from dance class. I carried my 2.5 year old daughter above my big pregnant belly to hurry the trip along. I set her in a shopping cart, and rummaged in my purse for a quarter to unlock it. Nothing. Just 3 pennies. Jealously, I look over at a happy elderly couple blessed with a 25 cent cart of their own before I hustle my daughter out of the cold and into the store. She immediately begins crying, “I’m tired of walking! I want a shopping cart!”. How do you explain to a 2 year old the process of renting a shopping cart and getting your quarter back for returning it to the corral when you’re done so the grocery store can cut costs? You don’t. So she cried throughout the entire store.

Aldi shopping trip

So I’m in Aldi’s discount grocery store, 36.5 weeks pregnant, in high heeled boots, with a crying toddler. I had neither a cart, nor reusable bags. I was there to buy, among other items, a heavy bag of flour and cans of beans.

I tried to distract my daughter from her tears with a pack of napkins to carry, oh what fun! Alas, this lasted only 3 minutes before she began crying about having to carry those heavy napkins.

After finally locating the beans (having asked an employee for direction who looked at me as if bean buying was a highly irregular occurrence…”Beans??”, she exclaimed! And I suddenly felt like a very odd, very gassy person.), I was lucky enough to find a box for my groceries!

This box happened to be on the lowest shelf, so I squatted down to unload my arm full of groceries. My daughter happily put her napkins in the box too. I slowwwly unsquatted my pregnant self back to a standing position. Hefting the box (with flour and beans and impulse buys) onto my hip, I turned to leave with a satisfied sigh.

Except then I saw the milk display case. Nearly empty, but with a $1.49 sign above it. “Wow!”, I thought! “I should buy some milk while I’m here! That’s a great price!”. Unfortunately, it just so happened that all the gallons of milk on the top shelves were gone. Only the very bottom row had any milk left in stock.

Not one to let slight annoyances get in the way of a good deal, I squatted down once again. And by some miracle, I was able to haul my body, my box of groceries, AND that gallon of milk back up off the floor. In my high heeled boots, without falling over!

At this point, I was definitely done “window shopping” and listening to my daughter whine, so we headed to the register. We walked right up to a deserted checkout with an employee ready and waiting for us! What luck!! The skies were clearing!

However, double checking my list as I threw items onto the belt, I realized I’d forgotten powdered sugar – a definite must have to make my daughter a birthday cake this weekend! I felt bad, but I told the cashier I needed to run and grab it as more customers lined up behind me. The baking aisle was as close as it could be; it would only take a second.

But my daughter panicked, screaming, “Mommy, don’t leave me!!” as she began crying louder than before.

Feeling nearly defeated, I threw the sugar on the belt and whipped out my credit card. I was almost done; I just might be able to make it to the car without any more trauma or drama!

Except going out the door, we encountered a lady whose toddler decided to stop right smack in the middle of it, which stopped the lady short in front of us, which caused ME to smack my daughter upside the head with the gallon of milk and step on her shoe. Upon which another round of crying ensued.

But you know, it was all worth it. I came home and was able to proudly tell my hubby how I saved him a whole dollar* on my shopping trip AND we managed to survive!

Moral of the story: Pay it forward; next time, leave your quarter in the cart just in case a very pregnant mama with a very whiny toddler comes along quarter-less and bag-less. 🙂

*I exaggerate, but all other details in story are completely unembellished.

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. 😉

How do I make my toddler stop whining?

How do I make my child stop whining?

A new installment in:

Ask Away Thursday!


“How Do I Make My Toddler Stop Whining?”

How do I make my child stop whining?

Ah, toddlerhood. Meltdowns, tantrums, whining, sharing struggles…Oh, but you’ll miss these days, they say…

Unless you are blessed with the world’s most easygoing child, these trying times just come with the territory of raising a toddler. It is a difficult time for both mother and child! Your toddler is trying to learn and discover the world around him, and also testing his boundaries, to see what is acceptable and what is not. Toddlers are also learning how to manage their emotions- something I still struggle with myself! 🙂

So first off, I find it helpful to look at the world through my toddler’s eyes. I hate sharing. When the kids spot my chocolate during one of my numerous coffee breaks, do I extend a bite to them with a warm, loving heart? Usually not. (I may or may not have a serious addiction to sugar.) I have a tendency to whine, “Nooo, this is Mommy’s snack! You already have a snack!”. So try to understand where your toddler is coming from when he’s out of sorts…Our struggles in the #momlife and #toddlerlife are sometimes similar, yet different.

Work on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They can still say it in a whiny voice, but at least they sound polite, and you can coach the correct tone to use as you teach them to use their manners.

If things continue to escalate, and you find yourself at the end of your rope, here’s what I would recommend:

Stay calm. 

Easier said than done- no one knows that better than me, I’m afraid. But do your best.

Gently correct.

I always try reasoning with and explaining to my child first. Whether or not she understands, it is worth a try…

“No, you can’t have that toy, because it is your sister’s turn. Be patient.”

“Stop; I told you that you have to wait a few minutes!”


Honestly, that rarely works, but it’s good to give them a warning.

So next, we move on to the threats….

“I said, WAIT; Do you want to get in trouble?”

(It’s okay to put a little emphasis in there, just don’t yell!)

If I’m feeling like mom of the year, I might sympathize with my child in a compassionate voice:

“I know you want that toy, but you have to wait a minute, okay? It’s alright…”. *hug*…*pat, pat*…*kisses*

At this point, if the whining still continues, I usually send my kid to the steps. That is our designated time-out spot. It works surprisingly well! I don’t have whining and crying in my face, she sits and pouts for a few minutes, gets it out of her system, and she moves on.

Another idea: try to distract your child. Redirect them to another activity. Whining kids are sometimes just bored kids! Getting outdoors is usually a perfect cure for most toddler ailments!

You may also consider, is your toddler getting enough sleep? Has he recently transitioned from two naps to one? Or started getting up earlier, going to bed later?

Is your daily life hectic? Maybe your toddler needs more quiet time to decompress. I noticed recently that my four year old seemed out of sorts after a fun, yet busy, weekend and several busy weekdays. Try slowing the pace of daily life if you can, and see if that helps. Plan a quiet activity he can do alone or with you during those especially whiny times of day. My 4 year old was exhausted after our busy Easter weekend/week, and she got pretty rotten at that point….We all felt better after a quiet, uneventful ‘jammie day’ spent at home.


We are currently in the throes of the very same situation as this momma. If my advice does not help, she at least has my utmost sympathy!


For more advice, check out what these bloggers had to say on the topic of whining:


Monica from A Mother Loving Mess

Crystal from Love More Live Blessed

Jen from Heaven Not Harvard


Nikki at Healing Mama Remedies was unavailable for comment as her toddler was busy whining.


Marisa from Call To Mothering was experiencing technical difficulties.

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When Your Child Puts You to Shame


The other day, I was seriously suffering from extreme hunger… I had just gone through an oral surgery and everything I tried to eat hurt my mouth. You’ve all probably heard the phrase, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry” and it is so true! Hunger really does have an effect on us. It’s been shown that people on diets are grumpier and more irritable. I tend to be somewhat grumpy and irritable on a good day, so I, if anyone, should stay fueled up! Ha!

Sadly, on this particular day, I was not fueled. It was mid afternoon, and I felt like my stomach was eating itself. I was busy tying up some gift packages with ribbon, when my little daughter comes up to the kitchen counter, interested in my activity. She reached up, enticed by a roll of bright green ribbon. And she promptly dropped it. It rolled across the floor, unwinding itself at warp speed.

I snapped, “Why did you do that?!? Don’t TOUCH!” and I immediately felt foolish. It was just a spool of ribbon! And she’s just a curious toddler!

But my sweet girl said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I can roll it! I can roll it back up!”.

Luckily, my pride got in the way for no more than a second. I apologized. My precious girl questioned why, and I replied, “Because Mommy shouldn’t have yelled at you. That wasn’t nice.”. And she reassured me, “It’s okay, Mommy. It’s okay when we say sorry to ‘each-udders’ that we love.” Then she paused a moment before continuing, “I’m sorry I touched the ribbon. I love you.” as she carefully rewound it onto the spool.

We are supposed to set examples for our children, but sometimes, they set the example for us.

Have your children ever put you to shame?