Recap: Why Lil’ Kickers is a toddler must

As Noah is approaching 3 years old, I am trying to fill our days together with various activities. Especially as the weather gets cooler, finding things for us to do becomes limited. Toddlers have a lot of energy and I am trying to to keep up! He also is at the stage where he enjoys trying new things and learning about everything. “Mommy, what’s this?” is on repeat in our house!

During the winter, I like him to be in a least one lesson a week and Lil’ Kickers is the perfect fit for a busy toddler. With 19 locations in just Illinois alone, there is a class and location perfect for all families.

Our Lil' Kickers recap of our soccer lessons in Chicago

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Sneak Peek: Nursery Essentials

When we had our son, we looked everywhere for the perfect crib, rocker, and mattress.  We wanted the perfect everything, I mean everything. I wanted our nursery to look like a Pinterest mom’s dream. But reality hit and it all comes with a price tag. Some cribs we were looking at were as high as $1,000 dollars. No thanks. That’s like a year supply of diapers! And don’t even get me started with a rocker….

Nursery furniture can come with a high price tag, but it is possible to find what you want without breaking the bank.

Our nursery furniture and essentials for baby.Crib:

We first needed to find a crib that was within our price range, but most importantly met all the safety features. It was an added bonus if it we could find a convertible crib that would turn into a toddler bed. With a lot of research, we found this Delta crib on Amazon. It has really good reviews and happens to be a 4-in-1 bed. WE LOVE IT! Honestly, I had never heard of the brand Delta, but I was impressed. I was also a little hesitant to order a crib online, but it took less than 30 minutes to put together and very sturdy AND he hasn’t climbed out of it, yet. It has a 3 position mattress height adjustments and fit’s a standard crib mattress. Within the next 6 months, we will convert it into a toddler bed. We will use this same crib when our daughter is born this winter. We are now avid Delta shoppers-and no I am not sponsored to say that 🙂

Our nursery essentials: crib, mattress, rockerIMG_2621IMG_2626.JPGCrib Mattress:

I remember putting zero thought into a crib mattress. Now looking back, I probably should have take a little more time picking one out. To my surprise, baby mattresses taking a beating over the years (I can spare you the details…) and now we found one that is better quality. This Sealy Ortho Rest has:

  • 50 made coils are durability tested for lasting use; steel coils offer a firm foundation and excellent support
  • 2 hypoallergenic layers offer cushioned comfort for infants and toddlers
  • Reinforced waterproof cover and binding resist liquids and stains

This is definitely an upgrade from what we originally had and will last us a long time. It’s affordable, reliable, and you can find it at Walmart.

IMG_2558IMG_2566Dresser:

After we ordered the Delta crib and we were pleased with the quality of it, we went ahead and ordered the matching Delta dresser.  Again, very impressed with Delta and the overall quality of it. Almost three years later, it’s sturdy and all drawers still work. Zero issues. Both kids will share the dresser and we hope to have it for years to come.

The attached changing kit does not come with it, but it is also Delta and you can nail it into the dresser, which we did. It prevents it from sliding around, especially as babies get squirmy during diaper changes. The strap is a nice feature in case you need to buckle them in if they are extra fussy.

Our nursery dresserOur nursery dresserRocker:

I am OBSESSED with our rocker. That might be the most adult thing I have ever said. Haha. When babies are first born, this is the most significant place you will spend with them. Just hours and hours of feedings, rocking, mom and dad eating and sleeping (hopefully for everyone). However, they are very, very expensive. Of course, I love the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware rockers, but they are large and pricy. We also have a small space and wanted something that was both comfortable and on the smaller side. We again went with Delta and it’s perfect for us! Still going strong for us and it will be used quite a bit when our girl is born.

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So that’s it! Those are the essentials. A lot of is definitely trial and error and finding what fits for your preferences. If you have any questions, let me know! I know that finding the perfect furniture can be super overwhelming. Plus combined with those pregnancy hormones, I know all about it!

As for the little stuff, you can see what noise machine (the one we use was actually ours for years before using it with Noah), monitor and other things we love here.

Now we wait and get ready for baby number 2!

As always, thanks for following along and you can sign up for weekly emails here and on Instagram.

Until next time,

Christine

The section on the crib mattress was in collaboration with Kolcraft, but all my opinions expressed are my own. 

This post contains affiliate links, but all my opinions expressed are my own. 

Our Summer Essentials (mommy & son)

Summer is here and I couldn’t be more excited to explore the city on my days off with Noah. I want to try to soak in as much time enjoying it before the dreaded, tiring, third trimester hits.

There are a few essentials we both use that you could probably find in my diaper bag on a daily basis. I feel like everybody has those few things we all use during the warmer months right? Some of these things you could find at Target, Amazon or even Walgreens. If you have any questions about any of them, send them my way. And I would love to hear some of your go-to-products for the summer!

summer essentials for mom and toddler for parks, beach, and pool. Sunscreen, skin and hair products

summer essentials for mom and toddler for parks, beach, and pool. Sunscreen, skin and hair products

summer essentials for mom and toddler for parks, beach, and pool. Sunscreen, skin and hair products

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Picky Toddler: Tips for meal time

I am going to admit it, Noah is in a terrible, terrible food stage right now. He is very picky and will eat the same thing every day if he could. On days I make something new for him, he just won’t eat it. He might even go for 4 plus hours without eating, he just isn’t interested. We have tried so many things like smoothies, fruit, applesauce and no luck. I spoke with our pediatrician and apparently it’s very normal for his age, but it’s driving me crazy!

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My Lil’ Kicker: Soccer Lessons with Lil’Kickers

Soccer lessons at Lil' Kickers

Staying indoors all winter long with a toddler can be really, really boring. To help bare with the cold months, we started soccer lessons when Noah was 20 months and we LOVE it. The program is designed to help develop children’s social, emotional, and cognitive skills while providing physical exercise. They promote players who are good sports and good teammates, on and off the field. The coaches are very encouraging, always high-fiving, and players get stamps at the end of each lesson (my son’s favorite part). My favorite part? Noah get’s to get channel some of his energy all while having a positive learning experience. It is a 50 minute lesson with an adult, but at the age of 3, a parent is no longer required.

Ages: 18 months – 9 years
Classes: Weekday & Weekend
Spring Session: Mar 19th – Jun 17th

You can book a free trial class using this link.

TIP: They have locations in Chicago and Chicago-land suburbs.

(TheChicagoGoodLife is a partner of Lil’Kickers)

Our Little Goldfish

swimming lessons at Goldfish swim school. They are offering a great holiday package this year.

Growing up, I was always around water and was taught how to swim at a very young age. In fact, I remember taking swimming lessons with my mom when I was 8 years old. Manny, on the other hand, learned how to swim in his adulthood. He has a slight fear of water and we did not want to pass that same feeling along to Noah. I view swimming as a life skill and it is extremely important to teach him at a very young age, plus it’s a fun experience for all of us!

Through some research and word of mouth, we found Goldfish Swim School and we LOVE IT! It’s our new favorite activity to do as a family. We each take a turn in the water with him during the 30 minute class (because of his age, we are in the water with him). We have the same teacher each lesson in a very small class and they work with you and the level your child is at.

swimming lessons at Goldfish swim school. They are offering a great holiday package this year.

At first, Noah cried and kept trying to get out of the pool. I never felt embarrassed or worried what the teacher would think. She worked with Noah and did not force him to do anything, just made modifications along the way. During lesson 2, he went completely under water. I was shocked! It actually took my breath away, but he loved it and does it in the bath now 🙂

By lesson 4, he was finally using the barbell, kicking his feet and using his arms to paddle. We couldn’t believe how much progress he was making. Not only is he learning how to swim, he is more confident in the water compared to the first lesson. This is priceless.

But one of the best features is there are showers, soap, lotion, diapers, wipes, hair dryers, and changing tables. Everything is there for you! Even when it’s super cold, Noah just plays with the various toys and activities until we are all dry and ready to go. He is learning such an important skill he will use his entire life and we are all having the best time while doing it.

They are also offering a great holiday package this season. With 12 locations across the Chicago-land area, they offer swim lessons for children ages four months to age 12. This year, the holiday gift package includes:

  • 2 months of swim lessons
  • the annual registration fee
  • a gift basket of Goldfish retail items

All for $189 (*regular price $220). Such a great idea to gift an experience you can do as a family in the new year!

swimming lessons at Goldfish swim school. They are offering a great holiday package this year.

Until next time…

Christine

Helmets and Head Shapes

IMG_0143 (1)Around a year ago, my son had to wear a helmet from ages 3-6 months. Right around his 3 month check up, we started to notice that Noah’s head shape was starting to take on more of a “flat head” appearance in the back. But it wasn’t until our pediatrician suggested we see a specialist that it really sunk in for me. It was just too difficult to even imagine having him wear a helmet, but even worse, to think about what could happen in the future when he was older. It was not an easy decision. We were seeking the perfect head shape, but it was starting to become very obvious to us that it wasn’t going away. Read more at Motherhood & Family

SafeHouse with our Junior Spy

We are always on the hunt for fun activities to do as a family. Things that are different and unique, but still kid friendly. We recently went as a family to the spy-themed restaurant, Safehouse on 60 E. Ontario in River North and had such an adventure! This was probably the most unique dining experiences we have had in Chicago. I am usually not one for themed restaurants, but they go all out and stay in “character” the entire time.  There is so much for everyone to do, you could spend hours just exploring. But not only is it entertaining for the entire family, the food is INCREDIBLE. Read more at Motherhood & Family

Picnic Essentials

There are many items we need for the park, but there are a few that we MUST have before we leave the house for long periods of time. Now that Noah is a toddler, some of the items are necessary to keep him entertained and make motherhood just a little easier on our summer adventures.

This waterproof picnic blanket is the best! It folds up really small, easy to clean up spills and has handles to make it easy to carry. Picnic Blanket ( 70x80 extra large fold & portable )for family travel , camping , outdoor concert tablecloth lawn or beach mat with color stripes , best kids water-resistant mat tote bag with handle Read more at Motherhood & Family

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Our Summer Must-Haves

The heat of summer is IMG_4804here and there are a few products that are must haves for us this season. Now that Noah is 17 months, we are enjoying the pool, being outside and staying up late. But I am not going to lie, one of my “mom triggers” is the sun and his sensitive skin. All moms have a few triggers like nap schedules, food, etc. The sun is mine, I will admit it. So the products below definitely work for us. Hopefully, for you too! Read more at Motherhood & Family