If I was rich, I would buy all of Emma’s things from Land of Nod. I LOVE that store. Did you know they recently opened a brick & mortar store at the South Coast Plaza? I was so in love with everything in there. Right now they are having their friends and family event and you can get 15% off with coupon code BUDDY (Ends on Monday August 5th so hurry!). These are some things I am coveting:
This dollhouse bookcase. I always wanted a dollhouse growing up so I am always on the lookout for a cool one to get Emma. This one does double duty as a bookcase too!
Speaking of bookcases, I’ve been looking for a low bookshelf for all of Emma’s books. And I love grey right now:
I love fairs. I remember growing up in Oklahoma, the fair was a big deal. The rides, the food, the animals! I was so excited we had a chance to take Emma to a fair for the first time. I was surprised by how much she loved it. And even though I was dead tired by the end of the day, I was surprised how much more fun I had taking Emma to the fair than all of the times I have gone before! It’s just so fun to see a little person experience things for the first time.
We decided to try taking the OC Fair Express bus rather than driving ourselves since it was so close to our house and would save us a lot of money. It ended up being $5/person for the bus trip and fair admission. I think normally it’s something like $11 for fair admission and $10 for parking. The bus was pretty cool. It came on time, was pretty fast, and dropped us off near the entrance. Kids will love riding the bus too since they won’t be confined to their carseats.
When we arrived, they had the petting zoo right at the entrance so we went there first. Boy, I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t seen many petting zoos before but this petting zoo was wild, crazy, and fun. They had SO many animals and admission was free! You could buy some animal feed for pretty cheap if you wanted to but the animals were not shy at all. They had the usual goats, sheep, pigs, etc. But they ALSO had llamas, kangaroos, deer, and who knows what else. I didn’t even recognize some of the animals! They all were really friendly and you could tell all of the kids in there were having a blast. Emma, of course, was little Miss Shy and mostly just wanted to observe the animals. She definitely enjoyed it though because when it was time to leave the fair and we passed by the petting zoo, she kept pointing to it, so daddybot had to end up taking her in there again!
All of the animals seemed fairly happy except for this one kangaroo that was sitting in the far corner just staring outside. He was like that when we first got there and still there when we left! He looked so sad and like he was plotting to escape somehow ha ha. It kind of made me wonder how the animals are treated in petting zoos? Is it cruel? They honestly seemed to enjoy all of the interaction other than this baby roo.
Next, we were starving so we had to have some fair food. We started out with our favorite, roasted corn ($4.75 – though if you walk further into the fair there is cheaper corn in the back for $4). And we learned it’s Emmabot’s favorite too! Here she was chomping on her ear of corn.
Her new favorite word is “EAT EAT EAT” and she constantly says it if she wants to eat something. So adorable. She can also say corn in vietnamese….”bap”. Other than the corn, we also had a bbq tri tip sandwich (DELISH), and a brick of curly fries ($7). OMG I totally forgot to take a picture but this thing was huge and super greasy.
We stopped by some kids tent they had there that Emma just loved. They had a reptile area, a sand pit, and games all over the place like a mega sized Operation game, chess, ring toss, life size maze etc. When we got there they were having a hula hoop contest and it was so hilarious watching the little kids compete. Emma mostly played in the Lego area. We are finding that she really likes Legos. We may have to get her a set soon! While in the kids tent we saw some people carrying their carnival game prizes. The one that caught our eye was a GIANT SOCK MONKEY. When we saw it, we knew we had to get it!
Turns out to win the sock monkey you have to play the rubber ducky game. It’s where they have a bunch of rubber duckies swimming around in a pool of water and you try to toss a ring around the duck’s neck. It costs $5 for 4 rings. We plotted our strategy but in the end did not win it. SO SAD!
We walked around trying to find a ride that Emma might enjoy but there were either a height requirement or the ride went too fast or spun too much. Emmabot is just like her father so we are kind of worried she might get motion sickness easily. Since she is so young right now we didn’t want to push our luck. She was happy just looking at the rides and kept pointing at them.
Lastly, we couldn’t leave the fair without taking a family photobooth picture ($6). I was kind of too tired to do it but daddybot pushed for it and I’m so glad he did. I think this should become a yearly tradition. It will be funny to see how the pictures change over the years. Here’s this years:
The lady told us to be ready when we press the button but of course we weren’t! Surprisingly Emma was very smiley in these pictures. I guess it shows what a fun time she was having! 🙂
Overall, we had a lot of fun. Everything is super overpriced but that’s expected at the fair. The memories were truly priceless! 🙂
These were the top 10 things that Emma loved her first year of life. These would make great baby shower gifts!
1. Baby Banana Bendable Training Toothbrush – We also had the infamous Sophie The Giraffe, but Emma preferred this teether since it fit in her small hands more easily and the material seemed more fun to chew.
2. Books. I’ll do a future post on some of her favorite books but I’ve learned the classics are classics for a reason!
3. Summer Infant SwaddleMe – We had a variety of swaddlers but kept returning back to use these mostly. It was just the easiest one to use for new parents and quick. We also had The Miracle Blanket which was probably better at containing her hands but a bit more complicated to use!
4. Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper – We didn’t have this exact version of the Rock n Play but they are all basically the same. It provides a cozy, slanted place for baby to sleep. Emma loved sleeping in this and was often found here during the day!
5. Playtex Baby Drop-Ins – We had so much trouble with the bottle since Emma was breastfed but in the end she uses this at my inlaws while they are taking care of her. I LOVED this brand of bottles because it was one less thing to wash and it seems more sterile/clean in my opinion. Based on a tip from a friend, I bought the imitation liners from Target…much cheaper!
6. Baby Snacks – Like puffs, yogurt drops, rice crackers, etc…Emma loved them all. These Gerber Graduates Lil’ Crunchies were probably her all time favorite though. Babies love the independence of being able to eat finger foods like these by themselves. And even though we try to limit these snacks for her, they are a godsend when you are eating out and need something to distract them!
7. Windup Water Toy – We didn’t have this exact one but I couldn’t find the one we have online. But basically we used this while Emma takes her bath and she LOVES it. She always tries to catch her windup fishie.
8. Sound Machine – we started out with this portable Cloud b Gentle Giraffe that would only play for 45 mins at a time. I had to keep resetting it. Finally, we invested in a real sound machine and LOVE this one. Not only does it play white noise but it has 5 other settings including ocean, classical music, etc. It also has a nifty projector with 3 different cartridges. It has every feature I would want in a sound machine!
9. Yoga Ball – Emma fell asleep many nights while we bounced her on this yoga ball. Cheap and a free workout!
10. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes – This is one of the highest rated toys on amazon. It’s quite a simple toy with a few blinking lights and songs but all kids love it! The size is great for car trips too.
Let me just start by saying I’m lazy. Most of the time we feed Emma with those fruit and vegetable pouches. I like those because you don’t even need a spoon! Ultimate convenience. Also, it’s really discouraging when you have a picky eater and you spend all of this time making her food and she won’t even have one bite. Of course every baby is different but this is one tried and true recipe that Emma loves!
First off, if you’re going to make baby purées it’s easiest if you use one of those hand stick blenders. We have this one:
Ill use it and then toss it in the dishwasher. So easy to clean!
You’ll also need an ice cube tray to hold and freeze all of the food you make.
Now if you live near a Trader Joe’s, this will even be easier. They sell butternut squash already cut up in a bag. All you have to do is snip a corner and microwave! While its microwaving, I quickly peel a pear using a peeler and then cut it up into chunks. Using the hand blender, I blend it all up. It literally takes me less then 15 mins to do all of this. I portion them into the ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer. These are good for 3 months. I just pop a few out when Emma wants to eat it and either microwave it for 45 secs or leave in the fridge to defrost.
Emma loves this purée!! It’s a great combo because butternut squash is super healthy and pears are easily digestible. I don’t know about your baby but Emma was frequently constipated when we first started solids. You can also substitute the pear for apple.
By starting this blog, I am hoping to instill the same love for writing/blogging that I have, in my daughter Emma. Hopefully, as she gets older she will contribute more and more to these posts! Currently, she is only 14 months old and is just starting to learn some words here and there. I’ll try to capture her thoughts on a variety of adventures we go on, the food we eat, and the toys she plays with. It is also an easy way for me to document her life and share any tips I learn as a new mom with other parents as well.