Happy 1st birthday, Olive

My dearest Olive,

Today you are one, and there’s so much I want to remember about this most incredible year of our lives – I say ours, because it’s not just me who you have this effect on, it’s everyone you meet and even people you’ve never met. You see, you have this uncanny way of making people fall in love with you, even if it’s just through pictures and videos.

Olive, you are the definition of sweetheart – you have THE sweetest heart. In fact, Daddy, Ginny, and I feel so strongly about this that we even call you “Sweetie Olive.”

I couldn’t possibly document your first year with the justice it deserves, but I’ll give you some of the highlights.

For the first few months of your life, you slept like a champ (now Daddy gets special time with you in the night when you wake). No one is more delighted than you to wake up – since you were born, you’d wake up sweetly cooing, then you’d sit up, smile, and babble, and now that you’re older, you “talk” to your baby doll and laugh. Your morning energy and sweetness makes any exhaustion melt away.

Best birthday gifts for toddlers

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Whether you’re searching for birthday gifts for your own kids or are attending a birthday party or holiday for kiddos, I have the best birthday gifts for toddlers to make your search easy peasy.

My daughters both have birthdays in January after they’ve been spoiled during Christmas, so even though we don’t go crazy overboard with gifts and “stuff” in general, I was struggling to come up with what to get – but this is a list of our favorites and other parent and kid-approved favorites.

When kids have lots of, or every, toy out there, this budget-friendly list will bring endless fun, education, or entertainment.

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Indoor Activities for Kids

Whether you and your kiddos are feeling stir crazy in the icy winter months or don’t want to brave the rain, snow, or summer heat, it’s best to have an arsenal of fun indoor activities for kids.

Check out these mom and kid-approved activities for when you’re cooped up inside with your toddlers or preschool kiddos.

Marshmallow tinker toys

All you need is a bag of thin pretzel sticks and marshmallows to build a tee pee, house, or other fun, puffy creations. Simply show your child how to poke the marshmallow on the end of the pretzel to start creating masterpieces – feel free to bring in toy figurines to join in the fun.

Tee pee playtime

Adventure awaits as imaginations run free during tee pee playtime. My girls use their teepee as a reading nook, for puppet shows, and endless pretend play – we often have lions, dinosaurs, or lava running wild in our basement, our teepee offering the only protection from the dangers.

Be sure to throw in some comfy pillows and blankets to make it super cozy.

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