Category Archives: Kiddos

Kids Valentine Idea – You’re My Main SQUEEZE

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Last year I blogged about the Valentine snack I was sending to daycare with my son. It’s become one of my most popular blog posts and pins on Pinterest. Since this topic seems to be so popular, I decided to share the Valentine treat I’m sending with him this year. I got the idea from Pinterest and I used a pre-made label I found on another blog. I’ve got an infant and a toddler that keep me very busy, I need SIMPLE! I didn’t want to do candy, I’m sure the kids will get plenty of that and my son LOVES these Go Go Squeez applesauce pouches so I knew this was the right fit for his Valentine this year.

I bought the regular applesauce flavor of the Go Go Squeez pouches. These are great on the go, no spoon needed! Plus they are all natural….and I must say, they are very tasty! I found the big pack on sale at Target so my son has a few extra for himself. I printed the “valentine, you’re my main squeeze” label from here:
http://funkypolkadotgiraffe.blogspot.com/2013/02/preschool-valentines-youre-my-main.html.
There’s a free pdf document you can print. EASY! Next, I took some colored construction paper I already had and cut circles with some fancy scissors. Make these circles bigger than the label circles so the label will sit in the middle. Adhere the cut out “main squeeze” label to the construction paper circle with a glue stick or tape. Punch a hole in the top and use some ribbon to tie it around the applesauce pouch. At the bottom of the label I wrote – FROM: CADE. That’s it! Easy peasy, cheap, healthy and cute!

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Simply Elegant Wisteria Nursery

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Since I’m on “unofficial” bedrest to prevent our baby girl from arriving too early, I thought it would be the perfect time to post her nursery on the blog!

A mixture of new & old, along with bargain finds & handmade items make up a simple, yet elegant nursery fit for a princess! A big shout out to my sister, Nicole, who made the bedding, a pillow & the beautiful chevron blanket you will see hanging in her nursery. She is very talented & I’m so happy to have some of her handmade work in our daugther’s room. She hand embroidered our son’s name for his nursery & she’s made more beautiful creations for our baby girl!

Entering the nursery, here is the view.
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The rocking chair & ottoman are both from Target. I got a great deal on the ottoman (check out my ways to save $ at Target post) & the chair was only $99.
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I bought all of the fabric for the nursery from fabric.com & made the cornice box myself (a “how to” post coming soon on that). The sheer curtains I had saved from our spare bedroom & the little basket under the window was a 50% off Hobby Lobby find. I got the idea for hanging blankets in the nursery from Pinterest & used a curtain rod I already had. It beautifully showcases the chevron blanket Nicole made & the beautiful white blanket great grandma Susan made. The shelf above is a simple floating shelf that was on sale at Target & it will showcase special items.
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The crib & changing table were in my son’s nursery & we knew we wanted to re-use them. After spending nearly $200 on his bedding set & not using half of it, I asked my sister if she would make the bedding & luckily she agreed. The bed skirt is wisteria print & I immedietly fell in love with the pattern. That fabric set the tone of the entire room. We used this tutorial to make the crib skirt http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2012/04/silliest-little-adjustable-crib-skirt-tutorial-on-the-web/. It’s held up by push pins and as the crib level adjusts, I can adjust the skirt without it bunching up at the bottom. Nicole had an idea for the crib rail so no tutuorial was needed, but I’m sure there are many online if you need one. I love the grey ribbon holding it on the crib, it gives it a more elegant look. Above the crib are ceiling medallions that I got on clearance at Lowes for $4 a piece. Painted yellow to match the theme & a round mirror glued in the middle make them gorgeous mirrors. The geometric pattern on two of the medallions matches the pattern on the ottoman & the pattern on the middle medallion matches the wisteria print on the bed skirt & cornice box. Above the changing table is an open frame with our daugther’s initials. The frame was in my parents garage, I totally lucked out by finding it because I had been looking & hadn’t found anything I liked that was a reasonable price. FREE is pretty reasonable to me ūüėČ It was brown & old so it took some sanding & a few coats of paint, but now in white it’s exactly what I wanted. The monogram came from an Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/woodenletters. I ordered the 20 inch monogram & it was only $23! Painted grey so it would really stick out against the lilac walls & white frame, it really makes a statement when you enter the room.
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The bows & books wall was inspired by Pinterest. My girlfriend April (thanks April) brought me back the bookshelves from Ikea which are actually spice racks. All 4 cost just under $20. They come unfinished, so you can paint them any color you’d like. I thought white would look best to tie in with the rest of the furniture. The nursery is small, it’s the smallest room in our house so we needed space saving options & these spice racks worked perfect. Above the bookshelves is a beautiful bow display. I had this metal piece in our spare bedroom at one time & kept it, hoping to use it again. Painted the same grey as the monogram, it works perfect for bows & headbands & looks very pretty too!
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I wanted a simple but elegant nursery for our baby girl, Maci. I didn’t go with a “theme” this time because I wanted to add things I liked as I found them. Putting the nursery together this way worked out best for me because it saved me money by re-using a lot of items I already had, giving me flexibility in colors, designs, etc & allowing me to find items on sale & making them work for me!

Now we are just waiting on our princess to arrive!

Vintage Modern Sports Bedroom

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If you follow my blog then you know that I like to decorate and make crafts all while trying to save money. I’m pregnant with my second child and I have two children’s bedrooms to decorate. My son’s nursery was a woodland theme with pastel colors, white furniture and whimsical birds. It was adorable, but a very baby theme. With baby #2 on the way, we decided to move our son into the larger bedroom and keep the smaller bedroom a nursery. Immediately I started to fret, two bedrooms to design & decorate by November and on a budget! I wanted a theme for my son that would grow with him. I asked him what he wanted and I knew it would be sports or animals and he choose sports. I wanted a sports theme that wasn’t too “kid” like, I don’t want to change his room again in a year when he outgrows the bright colors and whimsical looking sports balls. I decided on vintage modern because we were going to be bringing alot of modern items into the room from his nursery and I liked the look of the vintage sports things I was finding. Muted colors, realistic looking sports balls and it would definitely grow with him. He had fun shopping with me at Hobby Lobby and watching his dad & I build things and decorate pieces for his room. He’s so proud to show off his room to anyone who comes over and I’m proud to say that I decorated and furnished the bedroom for just under $150. Here’s how I did it…….

First, I used all the furniture from his nursery that I would not be using for our second child. I had bought a modern green rocker for his nursery and he loves to sit in it so I knew that piece would transfer along with his toy box and book shelf. My parents gave us the twin bed, I got the red bed side table on clearance from Hobby Lobby for $17 and I got the dresser on sale when the dorm room furniture came out at 50% off for $30.

Second, I looked around our house for pieces I could use in his room. His room was a spare bedroom before so I had some picture frames and shelves I could re-use. The pictures of vintage sports balls in the black frames are pictures I found online and printed. I framed them in frames I already had making that project, FREE!

Third, I used coupons, shopped sales and re-sale stores. I got his bedding which incorporates all the colors of his room from Kohls. It was on sale and I had a 30% off coupon making his bed set, skirt and a spare set of sheets just under $50. All of the decorations are either made by me, bought from Hobby Lobby or from a re-sale store. I bought pieces for his room at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off making each item from there no more than $5 each. I got a few odds and ends from re-sale stores and my sister made some pillows with fabric I bought on sale.

Fourth, I created a board on Pinterest for his bedroom which helped me gather ideas and then figure out how I could do them cheaper! My favorite two ideas were this custom canvas that I painted which was inspired by an expensive canvas that was way out of my budget. I was able to re-create a custom one for only $20 saving over $100 from the original!
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I also had my husband build this vintage basketball hoop, Pinterest inspired, of course! We had the pallet boards already and a friend gave us the vintage rim. My hubby assembled the backboard and attached the hoop and voila….a FREE vintage basketball hoop that brings a lot of character to the room!
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Another Pinterest find was putting a pool noodle under the fitted sheet to keep our boy from rolling out of his bed. That’s the lump you see under his blankets ūüôā It has worked really well and looks much better than those big toddler rails which aren’t cheap by the way!

The shelves above the chair and bookcase were shelves we already had and I decorated them with various items that are a combination of what we already had, Hobby Lobby bargains and thrift store finds. The window curtain came from the original nursery and it helps tie in the green from the rocking chair and bedding. I re-covered the lamp with very inexpensive navy blue fabric.
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Hearing my son talk about his “big boy room” and tell me how “cool” it is brings me so much joy. I wanted him to be a big part of designing the room and he picked out alot of the decorations, fabric and has definetly put his “touch” on the room. I was lucky to get 10 minutes to get some pictures for this post, he loves playing in his room and didn’t like me cleaning up. I re-used as much as I could to create a Vintage Modern Sports room for my baby boy that will grow with him through the years.

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With a little planning, inspiration and determination you can create anything you want and on a budget! Now onto my baby girl’s room next!

Easy DIY Burp Cloths

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I really enjoy making gifts for people, it’s meaningful and I enjoy making things. Many of my friends are having babies over the next few months and I decided to¬†teach myself ¬†how to make burp cloths. The ones you buy at the store are tiny, thin and in my opinion worthless, not to mention they can be expensive! When I had my son, I was given many cloth diaper burp cloths that people had made and I ended up buying a whole package of cloth diapers to use as extra burp cloths. They are large, wide and super absorbent. This is a practical item that everyone uses and I must admit, they were pretty easy to make. Here’s how……

First, buy a pack of cloth diapers. There are many varieties, I bought these because they were on sale. Next buy fabric, the amount you need depends on how many you are making and how wide the middle of your cloth diaper is.

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Next, measure the middle of your cloth diaper and cut your fabric about an inch wider than the middle of the diaper. You need to be able to fold the sides over for a clean edge. Fold the extra fabric over on each side and iron it flat. As you can see it’s not perfect, but sides will be flat.

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After you have ironed down the sides, turn it over and pin it to the middle of the diaper, lining up the edges the best you can. My fabric was exactly the length of my diaper so I didn’t have to fold the top or bottom edge, but if your fabric is longer, you may need to fold the top and bottom edge as well.

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Now you are ready to sew, it took me a few tries on adjusting the tension and I used a straight stitch. Try to sew in a straight line.

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I ended up removing the pins because they were in my way, however the fabric does tend to move if it’s not pinned down so that should be your preference. Once you get to a corner, turn the fabric with the needle down and continue sewing so you get one continuous stitch.

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Once you are done, iron the whole burp cloth so it will fold neatly. I also made one with a piece of ribbon along the bottom. Exact same concept. Cut the ribbon to the length of the cloth diaper with a little over on each edge so you can fold the ends down and iron flat. Pin into place and sew all the way around in one continuous sitch with the needle down when turning the fabric.

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Here they are all done. Super cute, huh? These three took me less than an hour to make, next time it will go even faster now that I know what I’m doing. Look for cloth diapers on sale and stock up to make cute and practical gifts for those mom’s to be! Oh and if you are a mom to be, guess you know what you will be getting from me ūüôā

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Birthday Party On A Budget

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My baby boy just turned two, we had a Choo Choo¬†Train themed party for him with our family & friends. I had gone a little overboard on the first birthday party so I put myself on a budget for this party. His first birthday was a cowboy themed party complete with western scenes that I painted¬†with cutouts for the kids to put their faces in for pictures, a huge spread of food, a custom ordered cake and about $100 worth of decorations. This year I put myself on a $100 budget to host a Choo Choo¬†Train themed party for about¬†the same amount of people. I had the theme in mind already since Cade loves choo¬†choo’s and we have toy trains that I could use to decorate with. The colors I took from the toy train colors and I really lucked out finding a lot of items on clearance which helped me stick to my budget. Here are some pictures and how I was able to plan a party for about 35 people with a $100 budget.

First I shopped around, I lucked out and found all the plates, cups and napkins at Target on clearance. This all totaled in at $8.00. Yellow plastic cups and white plates with red, orange, green and blue accents matched the theme perfectly. I had plenty of plastic utensils leftover from various parties and I put the red & orange napkins and the utensils in a blue utensil holder that I already had.

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I got the Happy Birthday banner from Dollar Tree for $1.00, the colors matched the theme perfectly! I wanted everything to be colorful!

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I made the cupcake cake and all of the food. 50 cupcakes cost me $4.50 to make. I got cake mix on sale for $1.00 a box, I used 3 boxes. My secret ingredient to making super moist cake & cookies is to add a box of pudding mix. 3 boxes of pudding mix¬†cost me¬†$0.50 each. I made homemade buttercream¬†icing. I had all of the ingredients for this already, as well as eggs and oil for the cake mix. I shaped the cupcakes into a 2 and iced the whole thing in green to look like grass, then I made chocolate buttercream¬†and drew train tracks over the 2 and put a toy train on top for decoration. The cupcakes that didn’t fit were iced and put on a side table.

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I did all cold foods so I didn’t have to turn my oven on and I could make everything ahead of time. I buy¬†all of my produce from Aldi’s. They have the best tasting produce, and it’s much cheaper than a large grocery store. I made fruit & veggie “trains” with toy trains and color coordinated plastic containers I got at Dollar tree for $2.00. I made dollar roll sandwiches, pasta salad and chips and dip. Simple things that everyone likes. The food was the most important part, I had a lot of people to feed. The food came in at $65.00 including the drinks. We always have bottled water so I had to buy soda, tea and juice boxes for the kids. I had coupons for almost everything I didn’t buy at Aldi’s and my local grocery store¬†had select soda on sale for $1.00 a piece. All of the¬† serving containers were things I already had, and luckily the colors matched!

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I didn’t buy¬†many decorations, so I made some with things I already had. I used a chalkboard to create a train ticket. I used a wreath I already had and wrapped it in burlap and ribbon and bought a train and an arrow at the craft store for $0.60 a piece and glued them to the wreath, this hung on the front door. I decorated around the house with toy trains and I did buy some brightly colored balloons for $16.00 (small splurge). I didn’t want to over decorate, but I think the theme was evident. It was raining so I wasn’t able to decorate outside like I had planned, but I would suggest using suitcases to decorate with by the front door and use tape to make a train track leading up to your front door. Also a home-made railroad¬†crossing sign would be cute too.

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The favors were a Thomas The Train coloring sheet that I personalized with “Choo Choo Cade is Two”. I printed¬†one for free online and added the personalization and made copies of the coloring sheet.¬†I bought a¬†pack of 8¬†small crayons for $2.00. I rolled the coloring sheet and attached the crayons with ribbon.

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The birthday boy had lots of fun at his party and really enjoyed everyone singing happy birthday to him. My grand total was $99.70, just under budget! I was very happy with how everything turned out and even more happy that I stuck to my budget. It took a little more planning and a lot more work, but I saved a lot of money and got the exact result I was looking for. Cade had a memorable 2nd birthday party and it didn’t break the bank! My sister made Cade his conductor hat and the overalls were a birthday gift. They said “Engineers Crew” and worked perfect! He looked adorable!

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Here’s the buttercream icing recipe I used….

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbls milk

Cream together the shortening & butter, add vanilla, gradually add the sugar. Icing will appear dry, add milk one tablespoon at a time until light and fluffy. Makes about 3 cups. Add 3/4 cup of cocoa to make chocolate buttercream.

Toddler Valentine Ideas

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My son, Cade won’t be at daycare on Valentine’s Day so I sent his Valentine’s for his friends today. They are all toddler’s and don’t really get the idea of Valentine’s day so I wanted to include a treat with the Valentine. Guess where the idea came from…….yep, you guessed it, Pinterest! The whole thing cost me $4.00 for 7 Valentine’s (with¬†2 packs of goldfish left over)¬†and I must say they ended up pretty cute.

I bought the sweet variety of goldfish crackers, it is Valentine’s day after all. 9 come in a pack for around $4 at your grocery store (look for them on sale or find a coupon).¬†I made the Valentine’s on the computer with the business card template and then cut them out and taped them to pack of goldfish. Cheap, easy, cute and the kids will love getting a snack!¬†Follow me on Pinterest to see where I get some of my inspiration for my ideas. https://pinterest.com/kelseydavies/
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My other favorites were a small plastic shovel placed in a clear treat bag, then fill the bottom of the bag with some type of treat and tie the top with a tag that says “I Dig You”. Another fish idea is Swedish Fish in a clear treat bag tied up to make it look like fish you bring home from the pet store with a tag that says “Out of all the fish in the sea, I’m glad we’re in the same school”. Instead of a treat, a cute toy option is a Hot Wheels car with a Valentine that says “I wheelie like you”. Lastly, a 2 pack of Starburst taped to a Valentine that says “You’re a star”. I’d love to see the Valentine’s you or your children have created, share them with me here!

Have Toddler Will Travel – Tips for traveling with a toddler

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Thinking about traveling with a toddler can make your nerves/anxiety shoot through the roof!! Having flown four times so far¬†with my son at 9 months, 18 months, 23 months & 26 months and anticipating another flying adventure in our near future, I thought a “refresher”¬†with tips¬†when traveling with a toddler would help calm my already increasing nerves.

  1. First tell yourself that all of the bad, worst case scenario’s floating around in your head will NOT happen.
  2. Then tell yourself that you aren’t the first person to ever travel with a toddler and that some people do this ALL THE TIME.
  3. Start preparing a list (that’s the¬†OCD in me) with everything you wish to bring for your toddler on the trip.
  4. Then cross out HALF of what’s on the list, you don’t¬†really need it and it’s a waste of precious carry-on or checked luggage space. Less is more in this case!
  5. I start packing early, I make sure all the outfits I wish to bring are clean in advance and I pack everything we can do without until the trip as early as possible.
  6. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT bring your child’s loud and obnoxious¬†toys on the plane. Simple toys that make no or minimal noise, books,¬†coloring books and small items are best.¬†The other passengers on the plane are already thinking in their heads “great, a baby, this is going to be a long flight”. I know this because I use to be one of these people, but proper preparing is key to proving them wrong!
  7. Make sure your carry on diaper bag is packed only with necessities and a few play items. You need to be able to access diapers, a paci, snacks/drinks, etc easily. If your child needs a blanket or something special to sleep, that would be considered a necessity. You want them to sleep! A change of clothes for the child, yourself and your spouse might not be a bad idea either……accident’s happen!
  8. Try to plan the¬†flight around your child’s nap time (I know this is hard). A sleeping baby is the best baby on a plane ride.
  9. SIT IN THE BACK OF THE PLANE – You get to board first, do yourself and everyone else a favor by sitting in the back. If the flight isn’t full, you just might get the whole back aisle to yourself!
  10. Try to make the flight fun, talk about the airplane, the people, the clouds, the sky, and your surroundings. Engage your child in learning something new.
  11. Ask for help (especially if you are traveling with a child alone). In my experience of flying with my son, I’ve had my husband with me, but the flight attendants have still been very receptive to our needs, often asking if we need anything extra and allowing us to move seats to be more comfortable.
  12. Be very careful what you bring in your carry-on luggage. The 3oz¬†rule does not apply to baby formula or breast milk, but you will be taken to the side and it will be screened. When my son was on formula, I pre-measured the formula in the bottle’s we needed and then bought bottled water at the airport after we went through security. Now that he drinks plain milk or juice, I bring an empty cup and buy the item after I pass through security. This way I don’t have to be pulled aside for screening. The 3oz¬†rule does apply to diaper cream, toiletries, lotion, etc. Purchase a small set of the trial size stuff and save yourself some room and a headache at security!
  13. While waiting for your flight, let your child roam (with you right next to them of course). They will be sitting for an extended period of time, let them walk around with you, talk to them about things they might see, wear them out so they will sleep ūüôā
  14. What to bring; a diaper bag with what you consider necessities for you/your child, an umbrella stroller (you gate check this for free), car seat and pack n play (if needed these are checked at the counter for free), I combine my son’s clothes with ours. Surprisingly, I can fit all 3 of us into one checked bag. Like I said before, less is more. If you have a washing machine where you are going, plan on using it and pack less. How many times have you overpacked and then not used half of what you brought?? I know I have and I learned the hard way.
  15. RELAX….your child can sense tension in you and may act out because of it, the airport is a stressful place for most people, try to remind yourself that things will be out of your control and go with the flow. Remind yourself of where you are headed, why you are going there, and the reward once you get there. In my experience, I stressed so bad about my son’s behavior on the plane, and he’s always proved me wrong and was an angel. That doesn’t mean there was the occasional cry or struggle in our seat, but overall he was great. He slept the majority of the time and by following the suggestions above, we were prepared and ready to meet his every need. We’ve had fellow passengers telling us how good he was and that they were surprised at how quiet he was. I couldn’t help but smile and give myself and my husband a pat on the back ūüôā

Tips:

Instead of liquid hand sanitizer, bring hand sanitizing¬†wipes. I sanitize the area my son will be touching on the plane as soon as we sit down. No, I’m not a germ freak but think of how many people have touched those area’s and how quickly planes are cleaned…..yeah….gross!

Download children’s books/games on your phone/tablet and have your child try them before the flight. I don’t know a toddler that doesn’t want to play with anything techy!

Change their diaper right before you get on the plane (if possible), the changing tables on the planes are a joke! Overnight diapers are great for long trips/overnight.

Keep them happy! Whether it be snacks, games, toys, etc…..keep them happy! The plane is not the place to suddenly start disciplining your child. I’m not saying you should let them get away with things, but don’t make a scene.

I bring an empty ziplock bag for trash and stick it in the back seat pocket, this makes it easy to hand to the flight attendant. We usually have quite a bit of trash.

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Here’s our little frequent flyer!

These ideas are based on my experience flying with my child who is now 2 1/2. Cade now sits in his own seat and no longer takes a pacifier so suckers are great for helping him pop his ears. He loves to look out the window and talk about the clouds, the plane and anything else we come across in the sky. I’ve updated this post several times, adding new things I’ve learned. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Does anyone have tips about traveling while potty training? I’m sure that will be a hurdle for us to jump here very soon!