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The Sweetest Toddler: Our Little Em at Two and Half Years Old

It’s been a minute since I last shared a baby update and somewhere along the way my baby morphed into a toddler without my ever slowing down to acknowledge that fact. Friends, this motherhood journey never fails to amaze me with how beautiful and hard it can be, all at the same time. Our little girl is now a little over two and half years old, and over the last six months she has grown and matured so much that it’s actually pretty emotional for me. I’m the mom who cries regularly (read: many times a week) over everything from how much I love my kid to how quickly she’s growing to how smart she is to how much of a pain in the ass she can be some days. (Let’s be honest with each other on that, ok?) At two and a half she still stays home with me full-time save for busy shoot or prep days when she’s generally with a sitter. This fall she’ll be starting pre-k (more on that later) so I am feeling really emotional now that we’re in the final stretch of this time where it’s just been Mommy and Bébé conquering the world. So here we are, at two and a half, full of spunk, melting down a few times a day and as obsessed as ever with her daddy, her big brothers and her puppy Harper.

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The Best Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

A few weeks ago marked Em’s inaugural plane flight when we flew to Florida to visit her baby cousin Marley. I was a little worried about the trip because our girl (who is now a few months over two years old) is a mover and a shaker. She’s not a big fan of sitting still for any real length of time and she’s known to be a little feisty. (I’m mean, there’s a reason why her nickname is Felicia. Yes, that’s a real thing.) I wasn’t so much worried about the flights themselves as I was about the down time in airports, but the flight time was obviously a concern, too. To prepare for our trip I sent out a blast on my personal Facebook page asking all of my toddler parent friends to serve me up their best tips for traveling with toddlers. Luckily, they delivered en masse. We put a bunch of their tips to the test and overall (despite some serious travel delays), we survived the trip relatively unscathed and feel mostly prepared for our next trip whenever it may be. When we knew we were having a baby, we adopted a “have baby, will travel” policy. Sure, it can be easier said than done, but it’s really important to us that our little sidekick join us on lots of adventures, near and far, so the timing now is perfect to get us all in the swing of things, especially since many of her cousins live out of state. Here are some of the best tips that were shared by friends and what worked for us, including links to some of the best toddler travel gear ever made! (A resounding endorsement if ever there was one.)

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Our Favorite Baby + Toddler Toys

In a shocking turn of events, our sweet little Emerson turns two in just a few weeks. Two! It is so so true what they say. The days are long, but the years are short. It’s immensely bittersweet for me, which I’ll ruminate on at great length as her birthday approaches, but suffice it to say that I love watching her grow up, I just wish it were happening a little slower. (Classic Mom feels, I guess.) As I prepare her little wish lists for her birthday and Christmas for grandparents, aunts and uncles, I realized it was perfect timing to share some of our favorite toddler toys! I am really committed to the idea that fewer, higher quality toys (and things in general) is the way to go, both from the standpoint of not wanting to waste money on things that feel really disposable, but also because it helps keep clutter in check. I am someone who gets really stressed out by visual clutter, so choosing toys that look great, function even better, keep her happy and are easily tucked away at the end of the day keeps me feeling sane. Plus I love that idea that we try to mostly select toys that are really well made and could easily be passed down to her kids someday. I am all about that nostalgia life. Keeping reading for a bunch of our current favorites and please comment with links to your favorites so I can check them out!

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Real Talk with Real Moms: Finding Confidence as a Mom

Today my sister is 27 weeks pregnant with her first baby, a little girl who is already loved so very much. I was pregnant myself at this time two years ago (Emerson turned 18 months a couple weeks ago), so naturally we’re talking a lot about babies these days, and the things you need for babies and all the crazy large and small ways that babies change your life. One thing that has come up more than once is Ash saying, “I have no clue what I’m doing!” And that honestly just makes me laugh. Because no one knows what they’re doing when they have a baby, am I right? I sometimes still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and my baby has quickly morphed into a tiny toddler girl with an abundance of spitfire and sass. So today I’m joining up with my fellow mom friends to dish on finding confidence as a mom.

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How I Keep Memories for Emerson

Back when I was still pregnant with Emerson, I started hunting in earnest for the perfect baby book. I wanted something that would be special for her as she grows older and wants to flip through the pages, but frankly, I know myself well enough to know that keeping detailed records, creating monthly scrapbook pages or in some other way extravagantly keeping memories in a physical way was never going to happen. I finally picked the Lucy Darling Little Artist Memory Book, which is easily among the best baby books out there.

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I Never Planned to Have a Baby (Ever)

[Lettering by Juliana Moore.] I think the only right way to open this conversation is to say how deeply and completely I love our daughter. Lest anyone should come at this thinking that I’m being flippant or ungrateful, I assure you nothing could be farther from the truth. I have friends who are struggling to …

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3 Yummy Baby Food Recipes for Little Champions

This post was created in collaboration with Munchkin. It’s the little things. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! When we started introducing Emerson to solids at around four months, it was always my intention to make all or as much of her food as possible. For the most part that is what we’ve …

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Baby Talk: Baby E at Seven Months Old

Our internet was down earlier without reason so I gladly stole some extra baby snuggles and spent some time thinking about this post. We’ll jump right into the cliches as I proclaim that I can’t believe that little Baby E is already seven months old. Really, how does it go so fast? Even when you know …

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