Adventuring, Photography, Toddler Fashion

Spring colors galore.

img_8026If there’s one thing that the deep dark Chicagoland winters bring, it’s gorgeous spring colors.  Penny and I ventured out to Cantigny Park on a bright spring day to try and capture some of the amazing blooms that appear almost overnight this time of year.  The entire place smelled of spring and made both of us want to prance around.  Ok, maybe just Penny.  I followed from afar and snapped the prancing.

She has taken to galloping around lately rather than walking.  I’m not sure if she’s pretending to be a horse or some other animal, but she is in full on imagination mode.

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And when we can find tree branches that are low enough for her to climb and pretend to be like her brothers, the more the better!  Adventure is a high priority for us.  We have too many days filled with the “have to’s” and “ought to’s” that we all have to make time for prancing and meandering and exploring and climbing and adventuring.  Life is the best on those days.  Full of free spirits and sunshine.

And Penny loves to bring her friends.  Elsa is a special friend and her presence almost always results in spontaneous “Let it Go” serenades in the tiny little toddler voice with only maybe a quarter of the words actually present.  But a lot of dramatic arm movements, to be sure.

The other thing we never leave the house without it our Twist Shake Baby cups.  They never leak or spill and are big enough to keep this thirsty babe hydrated on all of our adventures.  The sippies are especially great because I add frozen fruit to keep it cool and give the water some flavor and the fruit mixer keeps the fruit on the bottom instead of clogging the spout.

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In these photos, Penny is wearing a bow from Erinn and Lou, a romper from Rhett Tucker One of a Kind, moccasins from Amuse Leather Co.

Her Elsa doll is from Dandelion Attic.

Parenting, Reading, Toddler Fashion

Meet Mardi.

When you get a new book in the mail, what’s the first thing you do?  Wait, that’s a stupid question.

The obvious choice is to rip that box open and tear in right away!  Especially when it’s a book about a puppy.  Meet Mardi, by Linda Dembo, is a sweet story about how a puppy comes to meet her family, taking some adventures along the way.  Penny adores puppies in all shapes and sizes and she was absolutely enthralled with this story!  You can see it in her expressions as she flips through the pages.  Whenever she’s into something these days, she taps at the picture a bunch of times as she says the name of the person or thing.  Mawwwwww-di has been heard a LOT in this house lately!

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Giving Mardi kisses.

I also love that the story ends with a “life lesson” that Mardi has learned.  At this point, Penny is a smidge young to be internalizing the moral of the story, but that’s the beautiful thing about story.   Toddlers love reading the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over….but with all that repetition the story and its morals sink in deep over time.  And this one is great.  Sometimes life is uncomfortable and change can be no fun, but then great things can come of it!  Part of raising strong kids is sprinkling these truths into their lives on a regular basis.  Exposure to hard lessons through books makes the lessons a little easier to stomach when they present themselves in “real” life.

Find out how to get your own copy of Meet Mardi here.  And while you’re at the website check out some of the fun games they have for Mardi fans!

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In these images, Penny is wearing a bow by Huxen and Co. [ use PENNY15 to save ], a top by Little Harts and Arrows, and shorts by Freckled and Co.