top 10 products necessary for surviving a toddler and crawler

I had a moment in Target the other day when I had both kids with me.  Fellow moms with littles, I think you know where I'm going with this post!  We get a bad reputation due to our little ones' need to scream out in Target, and us needing so desperately to know we can be part of society still even with our unpredictable littles.  I get it. I totally used to judge moms with crazy kids at Target, and then I became one.  I do use caution when entering a store with both kids...I come prepared with my Mary Poppins' bag of goodies and such.  However, this moment I'm referring to wasn't related to a tantrum or fussy baby.  

This was the moment that I spent $160. on diapers, formula, and coffee. And nothing more.  Now, I really do like to peer in other people's baskets at the grocery store.  I think the obsession started around the Holidays when I was cooking so many casseroles, desserts and other goodies and I was in line behind a couple of teenage boys.  There I was with my cart filled with green beans, potatoes, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, butter, milk, etc. and these boys in front of me had a cart filled with Ramen, Mountain Dew, Monster Energy drinks, Bologna, Doritos, etc.  So, ANYWAY, I totally look at what people are buying and try to figure out what kind of person they are, who they live with, what they like to cook and how many people that they have to shop for because my grocery list has changed DRASTICALLY over the last 5 years!! So, back to Target.  I'm in the line, and I look at my cart and almost bust out laughing because I literally have 4 different kinds of diapers (overnights and regular for each boy), formula, and coffee.  I literally judged myself and thought, purchases totally scream out "desperate mom in need of caffeine and babies with clean behinds"!

It got me thinking about what products I use at this phase to get me through the week.  Some are definite purchases every time I go to the store, and some are things that I specifically need more for my own peace of mind during this phase of crazy littles.  I don't know if any of you ladies out there do this, but sometimes my imagination takes off, and I think..."Okay, so if the Today show came to my house to interview me on the latest tips for the stay at home mom....what would I say?!" The imagination takes off and before you know it, I'm making a list of the top 10 products necessary for surviving a toddler and crawler.  So here it goes, my top products during this season of life.

10. Clorox Wipes/Spot Shot: Enough said....wipe down those counters, tables, toys, anything. Keeps my peace of mind knowing that I attempted a daily cleaning at least.  Spot shot has cleaned so much spit up, crayons, etc. it's hard to keep track of just how much of a lifesaver it is!

9. Glade Air Fresheners/Diaper Genie: Walking into a room and smelling something other than bathroom related scents is amazing.  I put different scents in each room, and I'm happier on the days that have refilled scents of vanilla/lavender and linen/fresh.  I also have 2 Diaper Genies, and have never had anyone complain about diaper related scents!

8. Aveeno Products: These are for me and the kids.  I love Aveeno baby wash, it doesn't have an overwhelming scent, and doesn't leave any residue behind.  For me, I love their Positively Radiant face wash and their body creams really help dry skin!

7. Community Coffee/Coffee Mate: My absolute favorite coffee is Community Coffee, French Vanilla.  I make about 5 cups in the morning, which is enough for me to have one mug and for Ryan to have a slightly larger mug on the way to work.  I switch out flavors of Coffee Mate creamer, but my favorites are the Cinnamon Cream and Vanilla Caramel.

6. Shutterfly Photo Bundles: If you get a membership, they send a coupon of 101 free 4x6 prints about every 6 months.  This is perfect for printing my cell phone pics of the kids and I actually put them in a regular album, not a scrapbook.  Ryan and I both have memberships, so I get 2 coupons every six months, which helps to keep the life documented.  I love having physical albums, much more than Digital Albums.  Plus, I can print the ones that I know only I want to see, not necessarily all the Facebook world.  I only use Shutterfly for cell phone pictures, I use for my nicer camera photos, or ones that I will frame.  Mpix has a higher quality in my opinion, but Shutterfly works great for casual snapshots.

5. Snacks for Mommy Only: That's right, I buy things that only I can have.  Like Dove Dark chocolate, and for a salty snack either popcorn or these Black Bean chips that I know no one else likes in my house!  If you can believe this...I am the only one in my house that likes I have to keep that on hand now, LOL.

4. Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Aroma Therapy: My precious cousin got me some of this during the stressful holiday season, and I must say, amazing!  I use the sugar scrubs and occasionally the body cream. Aroma Therapy works. 

3. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Workout: I have recently started doing this during nap time.  It is only a 20 minute workout, but MERCY.  Jillian doesn't joke around.  It has been amazing for relieving tension and also helps me focus for the remainder of nap time to get tasks done like editing photos, cleaning, laundry and oh yeah, writing blogs. ;)  I really have noticed a difference in my mood too.  On days that I don't do the workout, I end up sleeping or not focusing and spend a lot more time staring at food that I want to eat, and of course eating some of it too, haha.

2. Bubbles: Definitely a favorite for the kids.  In fact, my bubble machine is been slowing down, so I'm about to buy another.  Both of my kids love popping bubbles.  Noah as of today was running face first into the bubbles yelling, "AAA-CHOOO!" We like to pretend sneeze a lot over here!

1. The Bible: The number one. Hands down.  A MUST READ.  On days that I receive encouragement from the Word, are days that I refocus on what is really important, love my kids better, am less selfish, and less irritable when things go downhill.  Because I am reminded, AGAIN, that this world that I live in, is not about me.  I am not at the center of the universe.  We all exist to bring Glory to God.  I am not worthy of Him, yet He saved me, and paid the price for my sin.  God is my ultimate, and I hope that my life reflects that.  


I hope this blog encourages you today!