Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Public Eyes

I’m not refereeing to your children in this post. I’m talking about the people around you everywhere you go with your kids.

As a new parent, most of us are really nervous about taking your children out and worrying what others think of you or think of the baby that may cry or coo or have a tantrum.

I remember being so nervous about it and sweating like crazy. I wouldn’t go places by myself in such worry of what may happen. I let that get to me too much.


I remember the one evening we went to dinner and he was fussy so I quickly grabbed him and walked outside to rock him until he would calm. I try to be considerate to the best I can be. I’m not there to make anyone uncomfortable or listen to my baby cry like crazy while we all want to enjoy a nice evening out.

Another time we were in Target and our son did have a meltdown. We made a plan since I only had a few items to get. I quickly went for all the items while my husband took our son to the car and drove around while he calmed down. He still tells people how embarrassed he felt, though there is nothing you can do when they have tantrums, especially as an infant. I could hear my son all the way across the store he was so loud. WOOF!

Now that he’s a toddler, my nerves have calmed a bit and I have more of a “deal with it” attitude. He doesn’t cry like a newborn anymore, but he is a toddler and a busy guy at that. I don’t have the mentality of worrying what others think because well, most of them are parents themselves and understand that we’re doing the best we can in the situation. Also, toddlers can be jerks.


A few scenarios that have happened to us that I want to share because I’m certain you all have experienced it too.

First one, we went out a few months back when restrictions were starting to lift and had dinner with our neighbors. We went to a new restaurant together to try out and it’s a touch more upscale than other restaurants in the area but not a reason for me to think my child wouldn’t be welcomed there. Our neighbors raised two boys, so they know what it’s like going out with kids and I felt very comfortable going with them.

However, my son likes to be busy, so we brought crayons and coloring items as we usually do to occupy him. That doesn’t always work though. He was chatty with his noises and crawling around the booth a bit between us. I kept seeing this woman at a table near us give me those looks of judgement. She was there with her husband and when I say she was giving me looks, I was getting heated inside and wanted to make a comment.

I refrained because it’s always not worth it. My son wasn’t screaming, he wasn’t throwing a tantrum and he was staying within our booth. It’s up to her to stare and not enjoy herself because she’s too worried about how my kid is acting. This occurs more than you’d like it too, but I really try to not pay attention to them. I also have my husband hitting my arm saying, “knock it off.”


There’s another scenario we run into often and that is with the judgement of the younger people who do not have kids or are not around them. When I say younger, I mean 20 an under. I don’t think I’m old by any means. 😜

We went to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on Father’s Day. It was HOT! I’m so glad we went early because it only got hotter too and we were all sweaty by the time we left.

My son has enjoyed the zoo more every time we have gone! This time he was so excited to walk on his own most of the time and would become overwhelmed and excited with the animals he saw so he would squeal in excitement.

It was hilarious to us that he thought the animals were that cool and most parents thought it was funny too. The part where this turns is when we go into the monkey building. That cute squeal echoes inside there. We kept telling him to say “wow” or we would do the “shhh” finger move. I had one mom laugh and tell us, “Oh, he is just excited!!” Then we had a teenager and her mom eyeballing us.

To be totally fair here, we were passing people and not around most of the same people for long because he was too excited to stand still long enough to oodle at any of the monkeys. He quickly moved on to the next one! But this teenager and her mom somehow stayed close to us and I noticed the looks. I happened to fall back, and my son and husband got ahead of me. As I passed them, I hear the teenager say, “why would you let your kid keep squealing like that?” and I kept moving along.

I didn’t stick around for the mother’s response because as irritated as I was to hear that, we again were attempting to correct him since it was loud and we recognized that. She is also a teenager and I know I had once made those comments too not knowing much. There is some grace to be given in those situations.

I would really like to do a PSA for everyone around us when our kids are loud or acting out that the parents are TRYING and we don’t want to ruin your time either. Also, if you think they’re annoying, we probably already rolled our eyes and realized it ourselves. So nothing you do or say is making the situation better for anyone, especially the parents.


The last scenario is the best one and not often do not happen to us because I believe people are more afraid to say the nice things than they are to be mean to people.

We go out to dinner here and there. It’s not always easy to keep a toddler occupied and happy. We have a little pack of crayons, matchbox cars, and learning cards on hand in his diaper bag to pull out and play with at the table.

For Father’s Day we went out to Texas Roadhouse and it’s always loud in there so I’m never worried about how loud he would be. But this night, of course, had a giant backup in their kitchen for the food and it was coming out late. We were waiting much longer than usual.

My husband and I stayed on edge a little knowing we only have X amount of time until he loses all interest in sitting in that booth. We both kept playing with him whether it was passing the cars across the table, coloring, picking at the blooming onion or he pretended to tickle us. He is NOT always that pleasant and we were very thankful that he was being so good with us being there for so long.

The entire situation was solidified when a lady, who I noticed was a mom too with her husband and 2 daughters that were maybe in their early 20s. She stopped at our table before they left to tell us how good our son was being and how cute he was.

A big sigh of relief came over me and my husband as we said thank you to them. That small comment to us really means a lot when they see we were doing what we could to keep him busy during that long wait for dinner.


Again, every time we go out as a family, we are looking to enjoy ourselves as much as the next table. The public eye is always on you as a parent to make sure you’re “doing it right.”

The hardest part is to not let that pressure take over enjoying your time out together. Keep your heads up, bring some things to enjoy with the kids at the table, and understand not everyone is accepting of our choice of bringing kids to dinner but that is on them. They can be miserable if they choose to be. 😉

Posted in Favorite Things, Two Cents Worth of...

Favorite Things – 2 years old

It has been a long while since I did a favorite things list! Now that we’re 2 whole years old, I figured we could share some of the fun things he loves. It’s geared towards summer a little and our travel life with going somewhere almost every weekend. These things are what he and we love!


Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.


Click on any of the linked items below to be taken
to the page in Amazon to purchase!

  1. Water table – He absolutely loves to splash and make a mess in his water table. His aunt and one of my long-time friends bought him this for his 1st birthday but he can now reach all of the fun things on it. The water cannon is his absolute favorite part since he can “hit” mom and dad with it! “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”

  2. Amazon Fire Tablet – This is his “TV” as he calls it. We only use it for car rides that are longer than an hour usually. We do not intend to be sticklers, but because that’s a long time we ask a toddler to ride with us and we do it very often. We don’t use our tablet inside the house usually, mainly because we don’t use one ourselves. This is a perfect size and does what we need it to do for him! Not too costly and keeps up with the current streaming apps we use.

  3. Stasher bags – These bags are my favorite for snacks and a million other things outside of only kid’s stuff. We have been buying them for a few years now to create a nice collection. They are not super cheap, but they are cost savers in the long run. The best part about them, they’re dishwasher safe! They come in all sorts of colors and sizes too. Our favorite are any of the standup ones! I recently saw a hack that you put the bag over your herbs, like cilantro, and place the stems into a water jar so they create their own greenhouse and stay fresh longer! Who knew?!

  4. Water WOW books – They use a water pen that keeps this activity clean and mess free! We like to use them on trips and to occupy him while waiting in a doctors office for the ridiculous amount of time you sit there. They sell them all over. I’ve bought them on Amazon and in TJ Maxx or Marshalls for quick gifts. He loves all the different ones out there.

  5. Lego DUPLOs – This is a new favorite for him! His aunt & uncle got him these for his birthday knowing he’s just like his cousin. He enjoys picking all the different kinds of legos out and stacking random creations. They’re great for getting creative and letting him explore his imagination. Also, the big ones are best for parents so you don’t die on the smaller ones when you step on them.

  6. Kid Recliner – This is by far his favorite thing in the house. We got this for Christmas last year, but his rear end is in it every morning and evening! He lounges like a little old man and will ask for it to be “up” with his feet kicked back and hands behind his head with his favorite cartoon on.

  7. Fishing Sets – He received two different sets of these and both are so much fun for him and us. His dad is a big fisherman so he already knows fishing is part of his life. Now that he has his own play rods, we catch fish most mornings! The one set is magnets with colors and numbers on the fish. The other set has plastic hooks and rings on the fish to catch. That set even has a measuring tape and booklet to know which fish you caught! These are right up his alley to enjoy some indoor play!

  8. Large Puzzles by Melissa & Doug – We have enjoyed playing with puzzles for a while now. The chunky ones like this are certainly a young toddler’s favorite to position into place and learn what they are. We have a few different ones that include his name, Disney Mickey set, and a zoo animal set.

  9. OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps, Taupe – This seat is a perfect transition for us from highchair to the table with us. Now our kid likes to tell us when he’s ready for things and we haven’t used our highchair in almost a year. We love this booster because it gives him independence at the table with us and lets him sit high enough to enjoy his meals, when he wants them.  It’s small and easy enough to remove and travel with if need be too!

Let us know if you snag any of these items or have them already and how you like them! They also serve as great gifts for those in your life with littles. I am sure my list to continue to grow, but we don’t need to overwhelm anyone with how many items are actually in and around our house!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Two Trips Around the Sun

2 years. 730 days. 17,520 hours. 1,051,200 seconds.

All the moments we’ve spent loving our son since he came into this world as of May 28,, 2019. (Tomorrow for some reading this). Two years since he has been born!

I was talking with someone this past week about when it’s his turn to have kids and how excited he is. He had every question under the sun about how it is. I loved that conversation!

It brought out a side of me that simply showed how amazing motherhood is. More vaguely, parenthood.


I was always taught and brought up to know that you let others brag about your children. Mainly because you sound like a bit of an ass constantly bragging about your own kids, but also, when others say it, you can puff your chest as a proud parent in knowing you are raising a good human.

I give a little “toot toot” about my son and how much I love him, but you read my blogs about the sides of him that make me go “boy, you’re moving in with grandma tomorrow!”

I was overwhelmed with talking about how much I love parenting my son. In a good way, that it surprised even me. I think because we as adults constantly dwell on the bad side of things, rather than the best sides of things. It’s our nature.

I have had moments before where I wasn’t sure it was for me. I know my son picked me to be his mom, but I wasn’t sure I was cut out to be a mom in general. I have always wanted to be a mom but I had my doubts, which I believe is normal for some of us.

He brings out the best of it all, even the tough moments and smiling back at them.


I’m not the one who will scream, “I LOVE BEING A MOM!” It’s freaking hard and some days being a mom isn’t what you want on your to-do list. But in that conversation I had, my heart swelled so much talking about it all and truly how much I love it and most importantly, my son.

We talked about how my husband was in every moment of our son’s birth. It is one of my favorite parts of welcoming our son into the world.

My husband legitimately called out every moment like a sports broadcaster while I pushed. Ask him. It’s now funny because I told him if he again tells me the details he did then, I’ll probably ask him to shut up. 😉

Either way, our son has been bringing us literal joy, laughter, worry, memories, anger, and most importantly more love into our life for the past 2 years on this side of the world. Of course, he brought us all that while I was pregnant too.

In these past two years, they are not kidding when they say you see your heart on the outside of your body when your children are born. It continues to grow as he does. (cliché, I know!)

He knows how to make his mom smile and cry at the same time.

He is my boy. He is my husband’s buddy. He is our world.

Happy 2nd Birthday, bubs! Mom & Dad love you!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Being Outside Melts Feelings

I recently read another post saying how the best advice ever given to her was when children are having a bad day, moment, or whatever it is, either put them in the bath or take them outside.

Sure, that’s the shortened version of it but you get the gist.

It’s from a Facebook post on The Motherhood Project. Check it out here!

I would have to 100% agree with this advice and wish it was given to me when my son was an infant because I whole heartedly agree with that right in this moment and this week. If I had tried one of those two options when we had those “bad” nights as an infant, I would only dream that they had worked.

You’re not only distracting them from the moment they’re in, but you’re providing them an outlet to relax and melt those feelings they’re having.

Add in the winter we had here in Pennsylvania, and you’ll know the time outside is necessary for all of us to melt away any of those cabin fever and seasonal depression feelings.

My son is an outdoor kid through and through. He cries when we come inside no matter how long we have been outside. He doesn’t care if he’s tired, he wants to remain outside being a boy! Winter didn’t stop us from going outside, it only slowed us down from being out as much as we would like because someone didn’t keep his gloves on.

Recently, he has developed more of his moments of independence and proving he wants what he wants when he wants it. The attitude is there and while I know and admit it’s because of being inside a lot, and from his mother’s attitude, the weather broke here and WOW.

He continually goes to the door and exclaims, “shoes!!” letting us know he wants to go outside and play. This morning specifically, he was an angry elf no matter what we did. We had breakfast, played in the back room, offered a bath, offered to help make breakfast, not one of those options were what he wanted.

I mentioned a family walk and his eyes lit up. He ran to grab his boots and I hear, “shoes!” So we got him ready and went to the driveway first.

I kid you not, this boy shook with excitement when we got the chalk out. He would spend all day in the driveway as long as we have a few items for him to tinker with.

It isn’t much but he is outside the four walls of our home that he knows every nook and cranny of. The fresh air feels so good for all of us. He and his dad did venture off of our family walk to go shed hunting before the rain hits here.

What I’m saying is GO OUTSIDE! You don’t need to be an outdoor person to enjoy this spring weather. Go in your back yard, take a walk in the neighborhood, eat lunch together in your driveway. I don’t care what you do but enjoy the weather together and watch all of the feelings we all have from whatever is going on melt away.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Traveling with a Toddler

We recently went to Florida to visit my in-laws for my father-in-law’s 60th birthday and given everything going on, I certainly thought about driving there.

Once I accepted the actual reality of putting a 20 month old into a car for an 18 hour, give or take, car ride we decided against it and went with the option of flying on a 2 hour and 20 minute flight.

Mom brain makes you think all the worst of course. So rather than explain every single one I had, let’s fast forward to how we did for his very first flights to and from Florida.

I asked friends on Facebook for their best traveling tips for a kiddo on the plane and I went to the ever trustworthy Pinterest. 😉

I gathered all of the fun tips that truly did allow us to have a pretty awesome trip with our little dude.

Below are a few of them that maybe will help you or you can store for the next trip you take. Thank you to all of my friends who shared the wonderful tips for us to use and now pass along to others!

  • If you are traveling with a car seat, it flies free. This was for Spirit Airlines.

  • Said car seat is also NOT weighed by the airlines. Use this to your advantage. Strap in your bulky items. We packed his diapers, life jacket, wipes and our jackets into the car seat. This saved room and weight in our baggage. (This was my favorite tip given to me so I had to share it because I would not have thought of this!)

  • If you have a diaper bag, I’ve recommended this before, but get yourself the backpack types. They’re much easier to carry with a child than a bag over your shoulder.

  • Arrive roughly 1 ½ hours before your flight. Here’s my thought on it and it worked PERFECTLY for us both times. You always board about a half hour before the flight. This gives you about an hour to check your bags, go through security with a little cushion due to checking the snacks & drinks, and a bathroom break for everyone on the walk to your terminal. We spent no more than 15 minutes waiting in a seat before we could board. BOOM. Less time for him to be bored. This was in the Pittsburgh & Tampa airports that are rather large.
  • Bring the saving grace items. Ours is his binky (pacifier), that he is slowly getting rid of, but it’s used for naps and bed time. Well, it’s great for any panic moments on a plane too! Pop that baby in and you saved a mild meltdown for 20 minutes. Every minute counts. 😊 We used this both ways. No shame.

  • Pack an extra set of clothes & more diapers than you expect. Wouldn’t you rather be prepared than up a creek without a paddle?
    (I legit forgot the wipes in Florida for the trip home to save weight, thinking I had them. We also left the house at 4:30 am, sooo tired! Thank god for having the tiniest pack in his diaper bag from a sample and we had no poop incidents!)

  • Kid’s snacks and drinks are welcome. Pack them in a clear Ziploc bag to make security checks easy on yourself.
    To be sure of the snacks and drinks, check the TSA website. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/kids-rule-airport 
    Clear containers for drinks are allowed. I brought him a sippy cup of milk with us as well as Capri Suns since they have a clear bottom. Now, in Pittsburgh we had no issues with them but in the Tampa airport she told me Capri Suns weren’t allowed but she would allow us to proceed. (I call BS). They were all nice to us but it took a little more time in security for them to check those items. I’d still wait that long to ensure he has all his snacks on the flight!
  • You get priority boarding if your children are under 2 years old. This was golden for boarding and situating ourselves as we were first to board on both of our flights.
  • Allow them to snack while taking off and landing. Give up your mama rules people. He had a bit of trouble on the first landing with his ears, even while eating, but it wasn’t too bad. He grabbed and pulled on them but didn’t cry. I chalk that up to being his dad’s son. His father has trouble with his ears on every flight as well.
  • Keep it fun for them. Bring activities that fit within your diaper bag/backpack. We used his tablet for Netflix and Disney+ as well as the Melissa & Doug water wow books. He even had playdough that is allowed through since it’s less than 3 ounces and another board book. Bring what they like!

At the end of the day, make sure you keep yourself calm and the child as happy as you can. It’s a lot for you all on those travel days! You all will be tired once you arrive to your destination.

For us, it did offset his schedule for a solid day once we arrived in both locations. That’s a simple fact of changing their daily routines but as usual, you roll with the punches and adapt along with them. That’s your only option when it comes down to it.

Don’t overthink it, while I know you probably will. I did too. 😊

Happy traveling everyone! We have our first flight travel in the books now!