Wednesday Confessional

Well, Wednesday Confessional became Thursday Confessional. Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day...

I think we all have toys that we love to hate (or hate to love?) with our kiddos. A dear friend gave Miss E an AWESOME Minnie Mouse bingo game for Christmas. It even came with a cute little purse! Along with that, Miss E now is in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is great because it's shorter than Sesame Street so I don't feel guilty about putting my kid in front of the TV for a full hour (read: ignore my child for a full hour) at once, but it gives me 25 minutes of me time when I need it. Like when she was up at 5:30 this morning and I really needed my quiet time and a cup of coffee before I became a mom for the day.

The only downside is that there are FIVE HUNDRED MILLION itty bitty Minnie Mouse heads (for the bingo chips, of course) that end up in every nook and cranny of our house. I've (sort of) solved that problem by only allowing a few pieces out at a time, and keeping the rest in a baggy above the fridge. Which is also really helpful when I see one on the floor while vacuuming so I don't feel guilty when I let it go through the crevice tool.

Please don't judge me. There is dust ON my vacuum.
And a ton of dog hair and other yuck on the inside. Sigh.
Word to the wise: if you're going to pull this, for the love of all things that are good, please do not leave the vacuum out for all to see as poor Minnie chokes on dog hair. This will be traumatic to your toddler. I witnessed it first hand. Not pretty.

"But mommy (SOB) she's (SOB) getting so (SOB) dirty!!!!"

What have you done to traumatize your children this week? I want to hear about it!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


Baby Food 101: Where to start?

When I had Miss E, the thought of making my own baby food for her was kind of daunting. But in the end, I was staying at home, and having only one paycheck coming in was the kick in the rear I needed to follow it through. The best part about it was that it was SO easy! Not only that, it was by far the cheapest way to ensure I was giving her the best foods out there while saving a ton of cash. It only takes a couple of hours per week, and you're done.

Mr. C is the second child, and there are a LOT of things I've done differently (read: skimped on) this time around. One thing I've promised myself, though, is to stick with making his food just as I did with his big sister. The way this kid eats, there is no way we could afford the awesome organic food pouches. At five months old, he's already eating close to 18 ounces of solid food a day... it would be costing us close to $10/day! That's just way too much.


I know they sell fancy cookers/blenders in one, which may help cut down the time it takes, but seriously. Use your food processor. Or better yet, use a hand emulsion blender if you have one lying around. SO EASY. And no need to spend an extra $100-200 when you already have something handy in your kitchen!

I'm drinking Dunkin'. Helps me get through the day...
Other helpful things?

I bought silicone ice cube trays with one ounce squares. If you're Type A like me, they're perfect for measuring how much kiddo is taking in.

The nice part about these is that you don't have to be neat about it.
Just dump in the pureed food, then smooth it out in to all of the
squares until they're relatively full. Wipe with a paper towel and toss in the freezer!

I also picked up these Tupperware Midgets, which are two ounces, and can go in the freezer. Be sure to leave a little space at the top for expansion, but they're PERFECT for throwing into your purse in the morning so kiddo can have a nicely thawed snack come lunch time.

Mmmmm... Freshly baked squash. Such a pretty color!
Next time, I'll discuss the perfect first foods, and how to go about getting them to the right consistency for your little guy or girl to munch on.

Happy eating!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


The In Between

Sometimes with Miss E I feel like we're in between. In between time periods. In between life's stages. She's almost a kid, but still has the emotional maturity of a, well, two year old. I struggle when to let her be and when to intervene. When to push her, and when to give her a hand. And because of the way her personality is, I never know how she's going to react. She gets frustrated VERY easily, and really needs to be pushed to try new things. And I'm not just talking about brussel sprouts here.

My point is, I think this is where my struggle lies as a parent of a toddler lately. I want to provide the right amount of support without being over-bearing, but also letting her know she's her own person.

The other day was cleaning day, so I had the kids in their room so that while I cleaned the upstairs, I could quickly tend to, oh I don't know, Miss E trying to suffocate Mr. C.

Yes. That happened. Twice.

Anywho, once I was finished I needed to go downstairs to start dinner, so I grabbed Mr. C and told Miss E to come along. She said, "No."

And it wasn't a defiant "NO! I AM NOT DOING WHAT YOU'RE TELLING ME TO DO BECAUSE I'M TWO" kind of "NO." This was a matter-of-fact, casual conversation kind of, "No."

And because I'm really trying to give her more (controlled?) independence, and because I really needed to get dinner started, and Mr. C fed, and well, you get the picture, I said, "O.K. Call me if you need me."


Of course I leave her when I need to change out laundry or go to the bathroom, or I don't know, take a shower? But this is the first time she independently requested alone play time without my direction. It felt really weird.

I go on about my evening and probably 20 or so minutes later I realize that it's silent upstairs. Like, the eerie silence you could only expect all of the clothes from the closet strewn across the room. Or all of the toilet paper thrown all over the bathroom. And then the realization hits that the diaper pail is no longer locked because of those stupid springy things that broke, and OHMYGOODNESS THERE IS POOP ALL OVER THEIR ROOM. And anticipating this I grab the camera (of course), then RUN AS FAST AS POSSIBLE up the stairs...

"Mommy, I practice buttons."

My sweet, sweet girl. Playing by herself. Because I let her. Love that kid.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


Valentine's Day Recap

Yes, it's been over a week since V-Day. We've been through a lot since then. Let me bring you to where we are today...

February 15: Mrs. Kuda has a fever. Ignores it. Tells Mr. Kuda to not touch anything and to take babies far far away.

February 16-17: Continue with Mrs. Kuda's fever, but she works both days anyway as a means to stay away from babies. Enter Mr. C fever. And hacking cough. And overall 5 month old pathetic-ness. Sigh. Enter Miss E and her crankiness. Which can only mean one thing...

February 18: Continue Mr. C and Miss E fever. Mr. C has a hard time breathing. Inhaler. Doesn't. WORK. Off to the ER. Oral steroids are awesome.

February 19: Miss E starts crying while eating.

February 20: Miss E starts screaming while eating. Open mouth? Open canker sore. Infected. Plus an ear infection.

So do I have a good excuse? Yeah. I thought so.

But let's rewind a smidgen to Valentine's Day. Mr. Kuda and I really don't celebrate it, but Miss E is just at this age where everything is so... FUN.  Everything is new and exciting and FUN. So I did my best to build it up. And honestly? It was the best. day. EVER!

At the beginning of the week, I set up Miss E's desk with books that depicted love and discussed Valentine's Day. She always comes down at the beginning of the week wondering what we'll be doing, so she was really excited to see new books!

Well, OF COURSE we had to make cookies! Miss E is such a trooper when it comes to long baking tasks. Nine times out of ten she'll stick with me through the end. She loved frosting them and sprinkling sprinkles.  They were DELICIOUS! I'm really trying to instill giving to others, so we gave a majority of our cookies to friends and my group at CBS, including her two teachers.
The kiddos also received "love gifts" from mommy and daddy. Truth be told, I've been wanting to get Miss E a doll/stroller set for awhile, and it was just a good reason. And poor Mr. C doesn't get anything that's his own, so there you go. Needless to say, both were a hit...
Love how he's really starting to engage in toys!
Her name is Clara.
We actually did some really great work, too. Thanks to some really awesome material I found, Miss E practiced matching hearts and completing simple heart puzzles. I even made some cutting strips, since the scissors Santa brought her have been making a star appearance during most of her Tot School time. She just loves it!

It was just one of those days as a mom that made my heart melt. Both kids were kind to each other. Miss E was on her best behavior. We played outside in the beautiful weather. We even made a little craft for Mr. Kuda to hang up at work. I loved every second of it.
I mean, seriously. How cute are they?

Sometimes I wonder if anything I say actually enters into their brains. If all the things I'm trying to teach ever reach deep inside. I'll leave you with this.

A few days after Valentine's Day, I was putting Miss E to bed. It's not so strange for her to call out for one more thing before I close the door, and sometimes I ignore her, but this particular night I didn't.

Miss E: Momma? I tell you something.

Mrs. Kuda: Yes, love?

E: We gave cookies to Sally and Amber.

K: We did, honey. Wasn't that nice?

E: Yes, momma. They are yummy.

K: Did it feel good to do that?

E: Yes, momma. It was nice. It was good. Sally and Amber are happy. Bye.

I just love her little heart.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


Wednesday Confessional

All right. We all do something that may be a bit, um, non-mom worthy. Time to fess up!

I may have told a bit of a white lie to Emma the other day. For two reasons: I knew how much of the brownie batch was left, and I knew I wasn't willing to share. And I just needed a break from kiddo-land.

Wait. That was three.

So I told Emma I needed to do the dishes. Which was actually true, once I finished the at-least-two-servings of brownies sitting in the pan from the other night. I felt like I was hiding some deep dark secret while stuffing my face in a corner of the kitchen. The shame.

This was after I had a few bites. Emma didn't suspect a thing...
Please tell me I'm not the only one! What have you done this week that may be confession-worthy? I promise you're in good company!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


Welcome To Tot School!

Miss E ~ Age 24-26 months

While I'll generally be writing weekly about just the random happenings of this here stay at home mom, I do have a more specific goal: to complete Tot School activities each week. When Mr. Kuda and I decided for sure that I was going to stay home with the kiddos, I knew that I would have to have something planned each week. I'm too type A and in need of a routine/schedule not to. But the question was what the heck am I going to do with her?

Chalk drawing on Halloween
Enter Tot School. Carisa is an awesome mom who home schools her kiddos, and has an amazing arsenal of materials for toddlers through grade school and beyond (in which many materials are FREE! ohmygoodness. amazing.). Her materials, along with her gusto, gave me the courage to move forward and actually create something special for little Miss E.  But because I haven't been blogging AT ALL since I had Mr. C, you get to play catch up with me :)  I've decided to follow her format of doing a letter of the week. Miss E thinks this is hilarious, and now that we're on the letter 'E,' (her favorite letter, of course), she's really starting to get into it, and even requesting more Tot School activities.  Here's a little montage of what we've done over the past two-plus months. Hopefully I'll be able to get more specific as to what we've been doing each week as I post more often...

Miss E's Binder to hold all of her goodies,
and her "tracer," which she's obsessed with.

 I'm trying to keep things interesting by giving her a few different options each day. Sometimes she interested, and sometimes she's not. I'm really trying to let her direct us where we go.

This play dough was given to us by a friend, homemade and smelled of yummy fall spices. Miss E was hooked! We used refrigerator letter magnets to make letters in the dough, which helps reinforce the letter of the week even more. She LOVED this.

Miss E loves to trace. This was her first time, and you can really see her progress over time! I love watching her try new things and succeeding. So cool.

Here are some of the activities we did for the letter A. Miss E was really interested in it at first, but her personality is a bit strong. When she likes something, she LOVES it. When a new activity is difficult, she'll often leave it until she knows she can master it. This usually means I leave things out on her desk (accidentally on purpose), and she'll explore it herself.

Shadow matching
Simple Sequences
And now we're at E! I think doing dot art is Miss E's favorite activity. She's really starting to recognize certain letters. I'll definitely need to review each one... I haven't decided how I'll do that yet, but I need to do it soon. Maybe we'll just go over her Tot School notebook each week? Let me know if you have any ideas. She loves showing off her "work," and says, "Mommy, I did that!!" after we put them up on the refrigerator.

Too cool for school...

On this particular day, Miss E couldn't do enough Tot School printouts for the letter E. I think we worked for over an hour, and it only stopped because Mr. C woke up from his nap.  And yes, it was necessary to wear sunglasses to Tot School this morning. Don't you know that helps?

This is just the beginning! So excited you've joined me for the ride!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda


Here We Go Again...

So it's been a year. Or more. But a lot has changed since then, and I'm back! Insert daydream of countless blog readers cheering front in front of their computer and/or iphone and/or tablet...

What exactly has changed? Well for starters, this happened:

It's funny to look at my last post. My 2012 New Year's resolutions.  I wanted to do more! HA! Which included running. I did run with my sweet friend 3 times per week for the first month of the year. Until I almost blacked out. Because I was pregnant and didn't realize it. Enter Mr. C. For four months old, he's massive. And an absolute blessing and joy. Seriously. This kid is amazing, and such a welcome addition to our family.

And as a result of this little man, I am officially home indefinitely with the kids (have you ever considered daycare for more than one child in the DC Metro area? Yeah. Ridiculous). I cannot believe how God has worked over the course of the year to change my heart, my family, and my life goals.  When I was home with Miss E, I knew that time would come to a close, but now that the future is uncertain as far as when (or if, Mr. Kuda?) I go back to work full time, I feel as if I need to buckle down and find a structured time to focus on activities for the kids. They aren't going to be going to "school" every day, and I've felt strongly pulled to transform some of our time together to structured learning time.

Don't get me wrong, having a twenty-six month old along with an infant does not in any way lend itself to actually planning any grandiose lessons (just you watch me try...), but I've been inspired a bit and will have some help. Hopefully you'll get to learn along with me as I figure out how to manage more than one child's needs while also running our household. Honestly? I'm tired of writing posts in my head every day without actually typing them out! It's time I get disciplined, and jump right back in where I left off.

Hope you'll join me in our newest adventures!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kuda

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