Stocking Ideas for a 4 Year Old Boy and a 6 Month Old

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for a 4 Year Old Boy and a 6 Month Old

We do our stocking gifts on St. Nicholas Day and, because of that, our stockings have already been bought, packed, opened, and enjoyed! So, I thought I’d share what were in my son’s stockings in case there are any of you still working on some last minute Christmas stocking stuffers!

Four Year Old Boy Stocking Stuffers

1. Crayola 10-Count Ultra Clean Expression Stamper Markers

K absolutely loves all kinds of arts and crafts projects. He spends a lot of his day at his craft table creating. Since the only markers he really has are our favorite Pip Squeak Skinnies, I decided it would be fun to include some “fancy” markers in his stocking. I remember having stamp markers when I was a kid and I knew he would love them too!

 

 

 

 

2. Crayola Glitter Markers

K has just recently become enamored with glitter. And while I have a high tolerance for messy projects and do own an assortment of glitter – that is just not something I want to tackle regularly. When I saw these glitter markers, I knew they would be just perfect!

 

 

 

 

3. World of Reading Star Wars Ewoks Join the Fight: Level 1

I bought my little Star Wars lover both Ewoks Join the Fight and AT-AT Attack  easy readers. They are still a little above K’s reading ability, but with a theme he loves so much, I’m sure he will have extra motivation to learn the words!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Fisher-Price Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines Blaze

Like many little boys, K absolutely loves cars. I saw this cute little truck and I knew he’d love it, even though he has no idea who Blaze is! It was only five dollars and looked to be a pretty sturdy little car. K decided it looks like a monster truck Lighting McQueen!

 

 

 

5. Minifigures Super Heroes Figure

At not even four year old, the Lego obsession has already begun for K. He has a bin of assorted blocks passed down from my brothers, but I thought he would enjoy some more people to play with.

Lego purists – look away! Being four, I knew K would not care about perfect figurines, so I bought both this Super Hero set and a Star Wars set of cheap knock off Lego mini-figs. He loves them.

Unfortunately they ship from China, so it does take a couple weeks for them to arrive. You might not be able to get them in time for Christmas, but I still recommend taking a look!

 

6. Chocolate Coins

Each year, I usually include chocolate coins in K’s stocking as a nod back to the St. Nicholas Story. However, this year I couldn’t find them at the stores I was at and didn’t have time to track them down. Since I thought the ones on Amazon were a little pricey, we just went with a bag of Christmas themed chocolates.

 

 

 

 

Six Month Old Stocking Stuffers

1. Disney/Pixar Cars Easy Grasp Flatware

The nice thing about gifts for a baby, is that they really have no clue what is going on. So, you will notice that most of Baby J’s stocking stuffers are practical baby items that I needed to get anyway. First up, this cheap but sturdy set of silverware. The fact that it is also Cars themed probably means that big brother will use them whenever he can. 🙂

 

 

 

 

2. Simba Suction Plate with Spoon & Fork Set

Isn’t this little plate set so cute? It is more like a cross between a plate and bowl – perfect for my little guy that is all about eating “real food” these days!

 

 

 

3. Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch | Baby Starter Kit

Speaking of cute, aren’t these adorable?! Baby J tried one of those applesauce pouches recently and actually did a pretty good job with it. So, I decided to get him some refillable ones. He has already used them and they are great! Really easy to clean too!

 

 

 

 

4. Baby Buddy Baby’s 1st Toothbrush

I guess after all that eating you need to brush your teeth, right? Even if you do only have two! 🙂

This was the first toothbrush I used with K and loved it enough to buy it again for Baby J.

 

 

 

 

5. Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies

Little brother has a strong desire to play with everything that big brother plays with – only problem is, everything Baby J plays with, also is going to go in the mouth! I scored two of these cute Little People cars at Once Upon a Child for a couple dollars and they were perfect for his stocking!

 

 

 

6. Little People Sofie & School Bus

This cute little bus and person is another deal I found at Once Upon a Child for a few dollars. J loves it (K does too!) and it is safe for all the baby slobber he can throw at it!

 

 

 

 

 

What goodies are in your kid’s stocking this year?

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Baby’s First Christmas – Gift Guide

Baby's first Christmas gift guide

K was born five days after Christmas, so he was just about one before he got to experience his first Christmas. Because of that, I didn’t really get to experience “baby’s first Christmas” since by his first Christmas he wasn’t really a baby anymore! J, however, will be 7 months at Christmas time, so this year we will have baby’s first Christmas! Hooray!

In honor of that, I thought it would be fun to round up some good gifts for a baby. I hope you enjoy these ideas for the little bitty one in your life!

1. Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether

I bought this neat little teether for J when he was about four months old and already chewing like crazy. It is his favorite teether, he loves it!

The ring part is really easy for little hands to grab and the little fingers are the perfect size for chewing. Plus, the silicone material is safer than plastic and such a great texture for ouchy gums.

 

 

2. Pacific Play Tents I See U 6′ Tunnel

This is a gift I am thinking of getting my newly mobile baby to perhaps discourage him from the thrill of crawling under the table.

It is something that would be fun for both him and big brother to crawl in, but will also easily fold up to be stored away since we don’t have a lot of room for big toys like this.

3. Foamnasium Gymnasium

On the topic of toys for climbing, this is another gift I am pondering for this Christmas. While a little pricey, these awesome climbing blocks would be a toy that both my boys would play with for years.

They are perfect for gross motor building (especially when you can’t get outside some days) and are open ended for lots of imaginative play. I know my fellas (and all their little friends) would love them!

4. Green Sprouts Glass Sip ‘n Straw Cup

Since J is six months old now, I have been looking into getting him a water cup. While I don’t mind plastic for things that will be drank right away during a meal, for a water bottle that will be sipped all day, I do prefer glass or stainless steel.

I really want a small stainless steel straw cup with handles, but haven’t been able to find one with all those qualifications. This Green Sprouts cup is close, but it is glass instead of stainless. For a BPA free plastic cup, I thought this one looked good.

5. Oball 4-inch Infant Rattle

A little blue Oball was the first toy K ever played with when he was a baby and J loves it too. They are so easy to grab and throw and the rattle aspect adds an extra fun element.

Ball’s are one of my go-to baby gifts and would make a perfect stocking stuffer!

 

 

 

6. Baby’s Book Tower (Leslie Patricelli board books)

When K was a baby, he had a set of tiny board books, I believe they were Baby Einstein. He loved them for the longest time. They were the perfect size and only had a few pages, he loved being able to “read” them by himself. I always kept a couple in the diaper bag.

I found these Leslie Patricelli baby books and they look awesome! The same style books, but with the always adorable Leslie Patricelli style. I’ll definitely be looking at these for J.

 

 

7. Angel Dear Blankie

Isn’t this little lovey the cutest thing?! I bought this precious little fox recently for my newborn nephew and would have gotten one for J too if he didn’t already have way too many.

Don’t care for the fox? No worries! There are 13 different styles!

 

 

 

8. Infantino Squeeze and Stack Block Set
J is always trying to move in on big brother’s block buildings, so I’m thinking I might need to get him this set of soft blocks that are perfect for babies.

Soft enough to chew on, yet sturdy enough to stack, I think he would love having these to play with.

 

9. BEBE Designer Teething Necklace

I have a teething necklace like this one, but I would love to have one of these really cool silicone necklaces – I know J would love it too! Isn’t it pretty?

Plus, it’s a two for one gift – a gift for mom and baby!

 

 

 

10. ERGObaby Original Carrier

One more gift that is a little bit for you, a little bit for the baby! We received an ERGObaby carrier when K was born and it has been well used.

Perfect for fussy, clingy babies, or babies like mine who just want to be up and seeing the world, this carrier is my absolute favorite. Now that J is big enough, my favorite way to use it is in the backpack position – makes life so much easier!

 

 

What are your favorite gifts for baby?

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

truthinthetinsel-468

One Year Old Gift Guide (Things They’ll Play With For Years To Come)

One Year Old Gift Guide

Recently a friend of mine’s little boy turned one and as I was trying to pick out a gift for his birthday party, I realized just how difficult it is to find good gifts for that age. Sure, there is an abundance of overpriced plastic toys that light up and make noise, toys that generally are played with for a short time and then either forgotten or outgrown.

The last thing I want to do is spend money on something that my child (or yours!) is going to use for a few weeks or months and then move on from. I want something that a learning, growing, rambunctious one year old will be able to play with for years to come! Something that is fun, but also supports their rapid development and growth.

Is that too much to ask for?

I don’t think so.

And to prove it I want to share 10 great gift ideas for the one year old in your life. Perfect for Christmas, birthdays, or any time!

1. Little Tykes Scooteroo – Riding Toy
This nifty little bike is the gift I finally settled on purchasing for for my aforementioned friend’s little boy.

Small, lightweight, and super cute – this little riding toy is perfect for beginning walkers and toddlers to scoot around on.

And, hold the phone, swimming in a sea of pricey ride on toys, this little gem clocks in at only $15! What?! It’s a no brainer.

 

2. Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Block Cart

One word – classic.

Blocks are the toy that never grows old and your kiddo will play with these for years to come. This exact set is a gift that my son got for his first birthday and he still plays with them now at almost 4 years old.

The little cart they come in is an added bonus, opening up even more avenues for fun play.

 

3. Crocodile Creek 5″ Playground Ball

I don’t think I’ve ever met a little one who doesn’t like playing with a ball. Similar to blocks, it is a classic toy for a reason.

These playground balls are extra durable for lots of fun games and they are a little smaller, perfect for little hands. Plus, they come in a ton of different styles – these cute firetrucks, a globe, flowers, pirates, and a whole bunch more!

One or two of these are definitely on my list for my kiddos this year.

 

4. Dyson Ball Vacuum With Real Suction and Sounds

This neat toy vacuum cleaner was another gift that my son received when he was one. He thought it was the coolest thing to be able to vacuum like momma!

3 years later, the toy vacuum can still be found in the playroom, getting plenty of use by my son and his friends.

 

 

 

 

5. Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

Yes, yet another toy that my son got for his first birthday! (Are you sick of hearing that yet?)

The only difference is that the one we have isn’t adjustable like this one is. I actually thought I was buying the adjustable one, but got the wrong one. Definitely get the adjustable one though! Then, you’ll have a gift that will grow with your child for quite a few years.

 

6. Foamnasium Gymnasium

Although they are on the pricey side, these awesome climbing blocks are something I am seriously considering getting as a gift for both my 6 month old and almost 4 year old.

Perfect for gross motor skills and hours of open ended imaginative play, I think they are worth the investment and would be something they’d play with for years and years.

 

7. Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm

For K’s first Christmas (his birthday is a few days after Christmas), we actually bought him the Little People Nativity Set. He loved it that first year and continues to enjoy playing with it every year when we pull out the Christmas stuff. I highly recommend it as a Christmas gift.

If you are looking for a non-Christmas gift though, there are a bunch of other sets to choose from. I thought this little farm was perfect for a one year old!

 

8. Little Tikes Cozy Truck

K’s little cousin has this “souped up” version of the classic Cozy Coupe and I think it is pretty great.

It is a little bit bigger which means it has a bit more leg room for continued use as your child grows. It also has a fun trunk in the back, great to play with even if you can’t ride around in it yet. Plus it has the nifty little footplate that can go in the bottom, so that young riders can be pushed around without their feet getting stuck.

 

9. Remo Kids Percussion, Floor Tom

K got his Remo drum for his second Christmas, but it would have been just as good of a gift for his first (we have a larger version, similar to this one). Even J, at six months old, enjoys playing with this high quality drum.

I love buying my kids kid-sized versions of real things, and these drums are a perfect example of that.  This drum is the real deal. You just might want to get some earplugs to go with it, or do what we do and keep it in their bedroom! 🙂

 

10. Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag 

K has a giant tub of these blocks that he received as a hand-me-down and he has been playing with them since before he was one.

With their simple design, Mega Bloks are the easiest toy of their kind for young builders. If your child is older, and you have a little more money to spend, I recommend Duplos, which are the toddler version of Legos and have more building options. However, both Mega Bloks and Duplos are great building toys.

Also, whatever set you’re buying, I always recommend starting with a simple set of plain pieces first. Let them practice connecting the pieces and building with their imaginations before introducing pre-made sets. 

 

What are your favorite toys for one year olds? Anything you’d add to this list?

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

 

truthinthetinsel-468

 

The Treadmill of Mothering Small Children

The Treadmill of Mothering Small

The afternoon felt like I was stuck in that movie Groundhog’s Day.

At this point my 8 week old was starting to fall into some semblance of predictable routines. He woke for the day around the same time, stayed up for a while, cat napped the rest of the morning, and then usually took a longer nap around 1 or 2.

At about 1:30 it seemed pretty obvious that he was getting tired and needed to take that longer nap. I finished up lunch and started looking forward to spending the afternoon catching up on house work (bad move – never count those chickens!).

Then began the seemingly endless cycle. Nurse, rock, lay down baby. Try to start working on something. Baby wakes up 10 minutes later. Play with smiley baby, rock cranky baby, nurse again, lay down. Baby wakes up 3 minutes later. Rock baby. Baby falls asleep in arms. Moments before attempting the lay down baby’s eyes open wide and he smiles as if to say “gotcha.”

IMG_6907

Oh, you thought I was sleeping, mom? 

I tried retreating to the bedroom, where he does such a good job sleeping at night. I rocked. I nursed. I set him in his bed. Happy, sleepy, and sucking on a paci.

I ran downstairs and cleaned the dining room for 15 minutes like a mad woman while listening to my baby cry over the monitor. Mom guilt crept in (I never let big brother cry like that this young!).

I climbed the stairs to the bedroom and peeked over the side of the crib. My good natured little boy smiled at the sight of his mommy. He wanted to be happy and play, but what he really needed was sleep. I tried one more time.

Rock.

Nurse.

Rock.

He drifted off to sleep.

Eyes pop open. “Just kidding mom!

It was 4 pm. I finally gave up.

I carried him downstairs and big brother entertained him in the swing while I managed to finish washing the dishes.

DSC_4391

But who could be mad at this face?

I had begun the work of cleaning the kitchen that morning when I started unloading the dishwasher at breakfast…

…and had finished just in time to start cooking dinner.

Sometimes life with little ones feels like a treadmill. Walking and walking, but going nowhere.

Like life is on repeat. Feed, clothe, soothe. Discipline, teach, correct. Walk, walk, walk – still in the same place.

IMG_7081

Didn’t I just feed you?

So often it feels like there is so much I want to do in life, but instead I spend the day just getting the bare minimum done. If that.

But is that really the case?

Let’s rewind this day back to the beginning again.

The day began with a late start due to extra morning snuggles with my two little boys. (Pouring into K’s love language – physical touch)

I fed my son breakfast, read him his Bible, and helped him with some preschool activities (Enriching his body, spirit, and mind)

I spent the afternoon caring for a baby who needed a little extra TLC. (Meeting his need for attachment and teaching him that mommy loves him, hears him, and can be trusted)

IMG_7134

Sleepy snuggles while doing computer work? Could life get any better?

All that and I managed to do the dishes? I’ll call that a win.

It’s all in your perspective.

That.. and a lot of grace.

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum

Dear Mom of a Newborn…

Dear Mom of a Newborn

Dear Mom of a Newborn,

It gets easier.

I promise.

You’re sitting there, feeling pain in places you didn’t know you even had, holding this tiny being that completely depends on you, and you’re wondering. Wondering what life will look like now. Wondering how you’re going to balance it all. Wondering if you’ll ever get to take a shower that lasts longer than 2 minutes again.

Mama. I get it.

And you know what?

You’ll figure it out.

As my second baby is now ending his newborn phase I experienced all these thoughts for the second time around.

DSC_4292

“How will I get anything done with two to care for?”

“Will my house always look like a tornado just came through?”

“Will I ever get to take a shower for more than 2 minutes again?!”

“And where is child #1?”

However, from the haze of the first few weeks, months, I have emerged. And you know what?

It got easier.

We have good days. We have bad days. But we’re figuring out our new rhythm.

Because that’s life. It gets hard. Then it gets easier. Then it’s hard and easy at the same time. It’s up and down and all over the place. But there is nothing that life can throw at you that you can’t take.

DSC_4283

So we adjust.

We finally figure out how to nurse the baby with only one hand.

We learn to get the basics done as soon as we lay the baby down for a nap. Because who knows if we have 2 minutes or 2 hours.

We corral the older sibling in a nearby area so we can keep an eye on him.

We celebrate the small things – getting through the grocery store in one piece, sleeping in ever increasing increments, finally getting to take that shower.

So, as you sit there and cradle that tiny little one, please know. You got this. You will have days when it doesn’t seem that way. And on those days you’ll need to lean hard into the strength of the Savior. Kiss those sweet baby toes and pray a prayer to just get through another day.

Version 2

Then. One day you’ll wake up and realize. You’ve found your new normal.

You’ve got this Mama.

The Most Important Phrase to Help with the Adjustment to a New Sibling

The Most Important Phrase to Help with

He came downstairs from his quiet time and wanted the cookie I had promised him. The only problem was that I was trapped.

Trapped under a peacefully sleeping baby.

I told him that I couldn’t get up and get his cookie right then. He would have to be patient and wait.

I could see the frustration building on his face and I felt for him. He was transitioning well into the role of big brother, but that didn’t mean it was always easy. Newborns are pretty demanding, so big brother was getting a lot of practice with coming second.

DSC_4259

Anyways.. back to the cookie situation. I really didn’t want to disturb said sleeping baby – either by getting up to get the cookie or from the screams of a three year old’s meltdown. So, I broke out the miracle phrase.

“You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

“When you were a baby you liked mommy to hold you when you were sleeping too. You always wanted to be held!”

His scowl immediately melted into a smile. He loves hearing about when he was a baby.

DSC_4358

Before Baby J was born we spent a lot of time looking through old pictures and talking about what K was like when he was a baby. He ate up every minute of it.

Not only does he like hearing about himself as a baby, the phrase helps him remember that he is the big kid. Baby J can’t wait patiently, but a big boy can. Baby J doesn’t help clean up, but a big kid can. Baby J needs mommy to help him with everything, but a big boy can do it himself.

DSC_4407

K had his time to be a baby, but now he is a big boy and before long baby J will be a big boy just like him!

But for now, when that frustration starts to well up, it helps to remember – “You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

What tips do you have for easing that transition when a newborn comes along?

5 Things To Buy For When New Baby Comes (That You Might Not Have Thought Of!)

Onesies, blankets, and diapers.

Burp cloths, pacifiers, and bottles.

You’ve made your list and checked it twice. You’re all ready for new baby to come.

Or are you?

As I am going through my second time in the newborn stage, I’ve come up with five items you might not of thought of buying, but sure are making my life a lot easier!

5tobuy

 

#1 Lamp with a Dimmer Switch

The last thing you want when you wake up for a midnight nursing session is to be blinded by the lights in your room. When K was a newborn I just happened to have an LED lamp with a dimmer switch and I quickly found that it was perfect for all those middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. Being able to adjust the brightness means I can turn it up to see better while changing that diaper and turn it down when baby is finally sleeping again.

Try checking out this one, this one, or this one.

#2 Bedrest Pillow

I had no idea what I wanted was a “bedrest pillow” – all I knew is that I wanted one of those pillows with the arms! I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time sitting in bed nursing and I thought that one of those pillows would make that a lot more comfortable. I was right! It has been great having one. The bedrest pillow can just stay at the head of the bed and I don’t have to worry about rearranging the pillows to nurse comfortably.

I got mine at Target, but you can also grab one from Amazon here.

#3 Giant Water Bottle

While you are nursing you are constantly thirsty! I know for me as soon as I sit down to nurse it’s like all of a sudden I’m stranded in the desert. Must. Have. Water.

When K was a newborn I just used two regular sized water cups and this go around I have a nice big water jug from the hospital. Oh, and a water bottle with a straw is a must! Just trust me!

This large CamelBak would be a good choice. This large water bottle would also be great. Bonus points since it’s double walled – you don’t have to worry about water rings!

#4 Snacks

Second only to thirst while nursing, is hunger! Snack attacks seem to come out of nowhere when you’re a nursing mama (even in the middle of the night!), so having healthy snacks around is so important.

Already chopped veggies or baby carrots and dip, Larabars, trail mix, cheese sticks, etc. Don’t forget to stash some away wherever you do your nighttime nursing!

#5 Amazon Prime

Back around Christmas time we signed up for the Amazon Prime free 30 day trial for the first time because there was a gift I wanted to purchase and have arrive in the quick 2 day shipping. I thought about canceling before the 30 days were up, but honestly forgot about it until it was too late (that’s how they get ya I guess!). However, I’m so glad we ended up keeping it!

There have been multiple times already where I needed to buy something but really didn’t want to have to go out to the store with a newborn. I was able to order it on Amazon Prime and it was here in just two days. Perfect!

Plus, access to Amazon Prime Video has been perfect for some nursing entertainment.

You can grab the free trial here – Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Bonus – Amazon Baby Registry

Another cool thing that I wish I would have known about when I was registering for gifts for baby #1 is the Amazon Baby Registry. What an easy and convenient way to compile a registry! If you are looking for something like this, you can check it out here – Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Now I want to hear your must haves! What baby items have you found that are indispensable? 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.