Tag Archives: Ollie Hayes

Our Fixer Upper :: Ollie’s Nursery

As we prepare for our next little one in this house, I wanted to show you my favorite room today as part of our Fixer Upper series, Ollie’s nursery. When we purchase the home, this was an immediate — “This has to go” — moment. The walls were so bright and loud, and definitely against my style. Although I am sure the older owners loved the bright and cheerful Barney-inspired paint, my inner self just cringed every time I walked past this room.

It honestly took us the first 9 months to invest in the first floor of our house, so the purple stayed well into our time of moving in. Once we found that we were pregnant, I could not wait to redo this room. Once we dove into it, however, we quickly discovered that bright purple paint took a few more coats than normal to cover up… and on the simple removal of a tiny wall paper border was a nightmare to remove. After the fact, we found a bit of left over wall paper in the closet next to some Gorilla Glue… I would have to assume Gorilla Glue is not what the sales associate at Lowe’s recommended, but it made much more sense why we were struggling not to remove the wall along with the paper.

Although they are hard to see here, there was also a bit of love that had happened over the years to our carpet. And by love, I mean, a few little girls that called this their previous bedroom may have attempted to paint their own finger nails bright red. There was actually multiple nail polish-like stain through the upper level, and so we had to invest in new flooring as well. We also did some little things like swapped out the light fixtures, painted the baseboards, and all of the outlets were originally different shades of white/painted. So we changed every outlet and outlet cover in the entire room. It truly made such a difference.

Before:

Our Fixer Upper

Our Fixer Upper

After:

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

crib | dresser | bookshelf | crib bedding | pegboard inspiration | end table | rocker | baskets | laundry hamper | pillows | adventure prints | peter pan quote | adventure awaits sign

Our first purchase for the nursery was this “Adventures Awaits” sign from Hobby Lobby. Pairing that with Oh Joy!’s crib bedding and a few extras from some of my baby showers, Ollie’s nursery came together so amazing! One of my favorite pieces in the room was this hand crafted pegboard that hangs above Ollie’s dresser and changing station that Dusty made for me. Inspired by Shanty2Chic, it turned out perfect.

Another one of my favorite pieces of the nursery is this Peter Pan quote by Ever N After, an Etsy shop that I stumbled upon during my pregnancy and fell in love. Each design is handmade and made to order. Brittany’s wooden signs are beautiful hand lettered calligraphy on stained wood and she never uses any stencils! How talented!!

The quote “Little boys should never be sent to bed, they always wake up a day older” in Peter Pan allowed me to have a bit of Disney in Ollie’s nursery without having a Disney-fied room. I sprinkled a few other Disney items throughout including an Oliver & Company Oliver plush toy, Disney Mouseketeer hat, and Mickey and Minnie, of course. However, this rustic wooden sign is by far my favorite. It is truly something that you cannot get from a store.

It is amazing to see where this room was originally with its “Barney-purple” and wall paper border that took weeks upon weeks to remove, but I am so grateful for how it turned out. We have spent so many hours in the midst of these four walls, and I cannot imagine Ollie in any other space in our home. It was those hours of nursing, millions of diaper changes, and book after book reading to him that really has made this area special, and I love it.

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Adventures Awaits Nursery

Food Pouches and Juices Boxes without the Mess

Thank you, The Flipping Holder, for sponsoring this post, Food Pouches and Juices Boxes with the Mess. I was selected for this opportunity by The Flipping Holder; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Food Pouches and Juices Boxes without the Mess

I would have never ever thought I could just hand over a food pouch to my little one in a million years and let him roam the house freely with it. Just typing those words makes me imagine blackberry and purple carrot all over my white rug. But then I was introduced to this — The Flipping Holder. The Flipping Holder is simply a case for food pouches and juice pouches/boxes that flips according to its use.

The Flipping Holder is different than any other pouch holder product I have seen because of a few reasons:

  1. It holds both food and juice pouches in one unit (not at the same time obviously).
  2. It is one solid piece, which means no clasps for kids to figure out how to open and nothing to break off.
  3. It literally works with every baby food pouch that I have tried including Plum Organic, Aldi’s Little Journey Brand, Happy Family, and Earth’s Best. It also is suppose to work with reuseable food pouches (although I have not tried this yet personally).
  4. We have not made it to the juice stage, but with a flip, it would work with all major brands of juice pouches and juice boxes.
  5. It has super easy to hold handles which makes a closed loop. Super important if you plan on tethering to a high chair or carseat.
  6. Its design needs minimal washing – our little one eats off of the pouch spout, not the holder, so no need to wash between uses unless there is a bit of food dribble (and we definitely have that from time to time but its super rare.

LOVE: The functionality! We cannot get enough of popping in a food pouch in the morning for our little one and letting him go. No more wrapping him up in a IKEA bib full body wrap and locking him into a car seat to turn around to still a mess everywhere. It is literally changing the way we eat our morning yogurt!

LIKE: I am super grateful that it requires minimal washing in between uses but if you find that you do need to wash it, The Flipping Holder is 100% top rack dishwasher safe.

BUMMER: After a week of use, my guy has realized that he can shake it upside down and still make a bit of a mess. It’s harder and less frequent, but happens. The Flipping Holder has been a life changer but I will understand that it isn’t 100% fool proof either. Obviously, there has to be a way to get the food out somehow.

Overall, I love this product, and I cannot say it enough about it to my friends and family. It has changed the way we do eating on the go and food pouches in general. I am super excited that as we move into juices after the age of two that we will have continued use for this item for a long time. What do you use to keep your little ones clean during snack time?

The Flipping Holder

The Flipping Holder

The Flipping Holder

Here is a little bit more about Leah, the owner of LCeeeDesigns and The Flipping Holder:

How did you get your shop started?
This business started as an idea in 2013. I always had an interest in bringing ideas to life, but typically in the context of crafts and sewing. In the spring of 2013, my son and I travelled by plane to visit my sister. He was 1 year old at the time, and I purchased food pouches believing they’d be perfect food for the plane ride. Unfortunately for the person sitting next to us, it turns out he was very good at making squeezy messes instead of eating. For months I avoided food pouches until the idea struck to create a holder that would make pouches much easier for toddler hands. My husband and I created an initial idea – a cup with a lid. However, our son was able to open it and still make a mess. Over the next couple of years we worked on other ideas until this final design stuck. In 2015 we had prototypes in hand and by mid-2016 we had manufacturing and sales underway.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The biggest challenge has been learning the countless necessities required in launching a product and running a business. You need so much more than an idea: manufacturing, materials, packaging, shipping and other logistics, websites, social media accounts, business formation documents, tax details, etc. Small business requires a breadth of knowledge that is beyond what I learned in college or even in my other employment.

What is one thing unique about you?
Besides running this business, I work full time in a professional role as an attorney. Thankfully, I am supported by my stay-at-home husband and my three sons.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
Hands down, the best part is hearing from parents who have found the Flipping Holder to be helpful and stress-reducing. We recently received a warm message from a customer whose daughter with Cerebral Palsy could finally eat by herself like her little brother because of this holder. Those kind words and true connection with a fellow mom meant the world to me.

How did you get your shop name?
My shop is LCeeeDesigns, which started as an Etsy store selling breastfeeding and pumping related products. LCeee is based on my first name, Leah Ceee, which is an acronym for my grandparents’ names (Lois, Edward, Arthur, Helen, Christian, Edward, Ethel, Elizabeth). Specifically about our product, Flipping Holder was chosen because it reflects the holder’s functionality – upright is holds food pouches and flipping it over it holds juice boxes and juice pouches.

What is one way that you keep organized?
My running “to do list” notebook. I must write things down to remember them.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Not easily 🙂 I have come to learn that balance is more about seasons of life. We just welcomed our third son and in this season, my time is heavily family focused. There are other seasons where I am able to put more emphasis on the business. And yet other seasons where I am consumed by my full time employment. One key for me, however, is that I read my sons their bedtime stories every night, which ensures I have at least that time dedicated to them no matter how busy I am.

The Flipping Holder

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Thank you, Fox Family Boutique, for sponsoring this post, Montessori Learning with a Toddler. I was selected for this opportunity by Fox Family Boutique; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

If you have been around Bahorich Abode long, you know that we love anything that is truly intentional in nature. One area of our lives that strive to be intentional is our love of learning around the home. In a previous career, I taught middle school English literature and now I spend my days motivating employees to continue their love of learning throughout their careers. It is obvious that exploring, adventuring, and continuing to learn new and exciting things is important to us.

Because of this, we are continually searching for ideas that interest our little Ollie, capture his attentions, and meet his individual needs and curiosities. There are many reasons why we are encouraging Montessori learning in our homes, but the love of learning is definitely one of them. Montessori creates such a flexible learning environment with a child-centered learning environment and reality oriented through science, math, and things like daily chores. Although Ollie won’t start traditional Montessori schooling for another year, we are definitely allowing him to learn through Montessori-like activities at home.

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Toddlers love to tinker and we have become big advocates for open-ended play, developing gross-motor skills, and providing ample opportunities to explore their surroundings. This is why I have fallen in love with busy board. Busy boards help develop your child’s logic and fine motor skills, and not to mention, they captivate them for a long time. Busy boards help with color perception, coordination of movement, imagination, perseverance, exhibiting own activity, and skills using simple locks, velcro, and zippers.

“It follows that at the beginning of his life the individual can accomplish wonders – without effort and quite unconsciously.” Maria Montessori

The unfortunate thing about busy board is either they are expensive, massive, or take time to build on your own. So I knew when I found Fox Family Boutique, her design was perfect.

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

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LOVE: Beyond the Montessori learning that is happening when Ollie plays with it, it is so compact! It fits perfectly in his on-the-road bag and we plan on toting it with us when we fly to Disney World in a few weeks. It is a great size for him to pick up and it does not have to be mounted anywhere like the larger ones do.

LIKE: The quality is amazing. The handcrafted wooden piece is so sturdy and well designed. I love the different colors and activities that Fox Family Boutique was able to include in such a compact busy board.

BUMMER: Some of the locks are still hard to open for Ollie. All busy boards are definitely to be used with adult supervision; however, these locks are still a bit tricky for our 14 month old and if we are not careful, I could see a pinched little finger. It hasn’t happened yet, so maybe I am just a bit cautious. I do like that the locks are a bit difficult because this means it will grow with him a bit. So maybe the bummer is more of a growth opportunity for us.

Fox Family Boutique is one of two shops that owner Tatiana has. Her and her husband’s shops are their family business. Tatiana focuses on her busy boards over at Fox Family Boutique, and her husband’s focuses on puzzles and crafts made of wood over at Master Wooden. They have three small children, twins boys who are 4 years old and a girl who is 3! They implement their ideas together with their children. Their children help decide what they need for development, what they like to play, and what interests them, which helps with the designs in the shop. How neat!

Residing in Ukraine, it is very difficult to make a living for many folks, especially for those that have such a big family. Tatiana works at home with my husband. They have assistants, as the business is developing and growing and they are not always able to keep up with the volumes, which is amazing for them! All their work is handmade which limits their volumes. In every board or puzzle, they put their souls into, and they love their shops and their customers.

Beyond the intentionality of their shop and why they work each and every day, it is such an honor to help support them from around the world! Their busy boards and puzzles (which Ollie loves as well) are so well priced and well-made.

I am so excited to share with you a 10% off coupon for their shop. This is a great gift for those looking for a different and unique gift for their little ones for the holidays and beyond. We cannot get enough of ours. Use the coupon code BLOG10 for a discount to either of their shops!

Ollie loves his wooden puzzle as well. It allows for spacial learning and it is so colorful and cute. My favorite is the little elephant inside the elephant puzzle. I think it is so perfect!

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

Montessori Learning with a Toddler

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Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Thank you, Smiling Tree Toys, for sponsoring this post, Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys. I was selected for this opportunity by Smiling Tree Toys; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

As Ollie is learning and growing, we continue to try and be intentional with his development the best we know how. Life is all about balance with the good and bad; however, with Ollie’s health and learning, we want the very best for him. When I looking for great things to gift Ollie for his birthday, I knew that a letter puzzle would be the perfect thing as we grow into his second year of life.

When I found Smiling Tree Toys, I just knew that their products just resonated our family’s beliefs. Smiling Tree Toys isn’t just a family business; it’s a defining part of their family. They keep the personal, the passionate, and the eco-handmade touch in every aspect of Smiling Tree Toys. From sustainably harvested American hardwoods, to their homegrown organic camelina oil/beeswax finish, to natural cotton drawstring bags made-in-the-USA, they ensure every aspect of Smiling Tree Toys is respectful of and gentle on mother earth and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Their wooden name puzzles are a timeless and classic gift that Ollie is loving to play with and learning in the process! Made of natural maple letters, it contrasts with the walnut base, and it is something that it honestly going to last him a lifetime! They also give back which is another way of our intentionality reaching beyond just our little home. Smiling Tree Toys donates to Peace Corps development projects in honor of every purchase. How neat is that?

Our Spell Well Name Puzzle is so well made and sturdy. It will honestly ask a lifetime. I know it is something that we are going to continue to use as Ollie further develops his eye and hand coordination, learn letters, and spelling of his name. It was the perfect gift for his birthday and I am so glad that I found Smiling Tree Toys.

Looking to get your little one a great item for his or her upcoming birthday? Use the code “BAHORICH15” for 15% off their Spell Well Name Puzzles this weekend only! Also, use #SMILINGTREELOVE to tag your Smiling Tree moments on Instagram to enter their monthly giveaways!

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

Last week it happened. Mr. Oliver Hayes turned one. His birthday weekend has came and gone… it is such a blur.

Over the next month, expect a whole lot of sentimental posts as I reflect on the past year of this family. I may be a slight mess. You would expect this normally from a mom that is getting ready to have a one year old, but I was so consumed with finishing a few projects at work and getting the house ready to host folks for his party, I did not reflect enough for my soul. I know parenting is different for most. You can read a ton of blog posts, books, and articles on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Living all of this is totally a different story. So here’s my account of what we learned during our first year:

Labor was not that bad. There are parts, but the actual pushing was not it for me.

Breastfeeding is laboring. It is a commitment and you have to believe in yourself.

A baby needs very little, not a registry full of items.

Swaddles are amazing.

So are pacifiers, and in hindsight, we would have given one to Ollie a bit sooner.

The first three weeks of parenting is a complete blur.

Do not be ashamed of loading your baby up in the car so that they will go to sleep.

Walks around the neighborhood are also the best for this.

Always have an extra, extra change of clothes, especially during the “blowout” phases.

You will laugh a lot.

You will feel overwhelmed.

You will cry.

All of this is okay.

Start a bedtime routine on day one and stick to it.

Don’t get too wrapped up in percentiles and developmental milestones.

Trust your gut on food, weight, milk, and the rest. You honestly do know best.

Summer babes do not need shoes. Figure out shoes when it gets cold outside, but don’t worry about them before then.

Take advantage of cuddle time.

If you have a local Children’s Hospital, go there first. Don’t mess with the regional one down the street (you’ll just get transferred).

Baby giggles are the best.

You will end up baby-proofing your life, not just your house.

Nothing is better than the snuggles.

Soak up every moment. The days can sometimes be long, but the year is so fast.

Ollie’s Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday

Thank you, Front Sight, for sponsoring this post, Ollie’s Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday. I was selected for this opportunity by Front Sight; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes is one year’s old! I cannot believe it and I feel like I’m saying this on repeat. This year just flew by and we had an amazing time celebrating this weekend!

Around here, we are Disney people. So I knew long before Mr. Ollie was born that I wanted to have a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party for his first birthday (and maybe every party afterwards). I wanted to keep the decorating simple so we could enjoy our time and worked bit by bit over the past month to keep that famous mouse in the details.

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!
Oliver Hayes turns 1!
Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Shirts | Banner | Chalkboard | Cake | Ears

One thing I really wanted to was have the best matching shirts for us. Knowing us, we’ll be rewearing these in the parks over and over for years to come. I found Front Sight on Etsy and instantly fell in love. Over at Ellie ‘n Ollie, we have opened up our own magically inspired tee shop; however, we don’t design matching shirts for the whole family. Front Sight was just the perfect place to have my whole theme come together.

Front Sight created a coupon code just for you for 15% off of their products at their Etsy shop through August 31, 2017. The coupon code is BAHORICH17. So if you are looking for the best birthday tees (or park tees) for your family to match, look no further their Front Sight!

Also, in celebration of Ollie’s birthday, I have partnered with Front Sight to giveaway a full mommy, daddy, and baby mouse set! Hop on over to our Instagram to find out more about the details!!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Transitioning to Solids with Earth’s Best Organic

Thank you, Earth’s Best Organic, for sponsoring this post, Transitioning to Solids with Earth’s Best Organic. I was selected for this opportunity by Earth’s Best Organic; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

So Ollie is officially eating solids now. He actually has for awhile. Honestly though, it took a bit. You see, Ollie is a runt. A 2 percentile kiddo. A little nugget. And although I love aspects of it, it is really rough. People feel free to tell you how much your kid needs more milk, how you don’t feed him enough, and in other words, how you are basically a terrible mom.

None of this was true though. I produced plenty of milk. He ate until he was full, and he was a happy, active baby. Nevertheless, I was excited to start solid foods. I was hoping that it would relieve some of the criticism of having a runt child, but it didn’t. Ollie did not like pureed foods. I was devastated. We tried a whole load of them from homemade avocados mixed with breast milk to wonderful organic Earth’s Best peas and carrots and apples. We tried for three weeks every night introducing new and different foods, the same food, doing everything the books said. Nothing worked.

Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food comes in three stages and I just loved their awesome lineup of organic foods for Ollie spanning stages 1, 2, and 3. Their foods have a vast range of fruits and vegetables to suit even a very picky baby, with Stage 1 options like sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, bananas, and prunes. These were what we started baby Ollie with… but nothing worked. I started to think that it was not necessarily the taste (because honestly, I tasted them and they were pretty yummy), but the texture.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

So we attempted Earth’s Best Organic Stage 2 options which are even more diverse, including even some exotic fruits and vegetables, fruit and veggie blends, and fruit and grain blends. These Earth’s Best products are all organic, which that means no additives, no preservatives, and even no added salt or sugar. These are some of the best on the market and we have been consistently impressed with the quality and taste like I said before. Highly recommended, yet still no luck.

Again the criticism started. How he was seven months old and shouldn’t he be bigger? How hard are we actually trying to get him to eat baby food? Why would he not eat baby food? What were we doing wrong? He was definitely interested in what we were eating, but he just would not take the food we were trying.

So we slowly started giving him our food from the table. Soon enough, we thought we were pretty much doing what the cool kids call “Baby Lead Weaning”. I’m not making fun. I did a bunch of research and we aren’t really doing BLW; however, we were giving Ollie only table foods and he’s really been a great eater every since. He loves table food and loves to eat… and still a runt.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

But then I was posed another problem. Baby food. I bought loads of Earth’s Best Organic baby food along with a few others, trying to get him to like this kind or that kind. What do I do with it? I tried to give it away here and there, but now that Ollie is almost one years old we still have quite a bit. So I brainstormed and came up with two great ways that Ollie is eating all his purees and having a blast while doing it!

1. Baby Food “Ice”

As we learned, Ollie didn’t dislike the taste, but he hated the texture. I bought these great chocolate candied molds (in cool shapes and sizes) and freeze his food into bite-sized pieces. They are great to weave two or three of these in with a meal and it makes sure that he gets a varied a foods during dinner!

2. Baby Food Popsicles

It’s been a long time since I have made popsicles, but I found these great full sized popsicles containers to squeeze Ollie’s food into. He’s obsessed with ice cream so now while mom and dad have a snack, we can distract him with his own “popsicle” too — just carrot flavored! He is just as happy as can be as we are loving him eating a more healthier option than us!

So if you are having trouble with your little one eating baby food, don’t despair and keep trying. Go with your gut but allow others to help too! You have this momma!

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

One thing I knew even before Baby Ollie was born is that I wanted to make sure that reading was important in his life. Beyond the developmental components that reading to a baby delivers, reading was a big part of my childhood and I knew that I wanted it to be just as important in my little boy’s life. Additionally, being in the learning and development world, I know that readers tend to become lifelong learners and leaders, something else I wanted to promote for my kiddos.

In 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics states that literacy promotion in the household is an essential component of primary pediatric care and advocates for reading to newborns.

Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

So why would we not want to read to our little ones? Sometimes it’s just plain hard to make sure that it is our daily routine; however, I have found 5 easy tips to make sure reading is a part of Ollie’s daily life in hopes that he will love reading for the rest of his years.

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

Tip #1: Make it Part of Your Bedtime Routine

My absolute favorite time to read-aloud is right before nap or bedtime. It is a great way to tell Baby Ollie we are ready to bed and it is time to calm down. Plus I love the extra snuggles before we all go to sleep. Our nighttime ritual is typically bathing, lotion, pajamas, reading, and then feeding. We alway sit in the same rocker in his room with the lights dimmed and read by his bed stand light.

Tip #2: Read While You Wait

I always keep a few books in our diaper bag so that when the moment arrives, we have them on hand. They are great to pull out at a restaurant or at the doctor’s office to keep us company and include a unplanned story time in the moment. I also make sure that they are the type of books that I won’t get too upset if they disappear at a sitter’s house or at daycare. These two books with received free at his pediatrician’s office and they are perfect!

Tip #3: Sing and Read

You have a captive audience during bath time, so use these moments to play with language. Babies love songs and rhymes so sing the stories that you have learned from reading. This will allow just another time in the day to have your baby connect story, and song, to a pleasurable experience. Baby Ollie loves baby time and sometimes we will tell stories through his bath toy characters. This allows his to soak on more language and connect with words over and over.

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

Tip #4: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

I stumbled upon this article the over day and just fell in love with it. I know some parents hate reading the same book over and over to their kids as they grow into their toddler years; however, it is actually super beneficial. By repeating the same book over and over, it helps your children develop a better vocabulary and word recognition, pattern and rhythm, fluency, comprehension, and confidence.

Right now, we are reading one book a season every night as part of our bedtime routine. Pippin the Penguin is the most adorable rhythmic story about a penguin in the snow… perfect for winter and we’ve loved it so much we have continued it into summer. No judgement here. Ollie sits in my lap every night and holds his own Pippin as we read. As summer continues along, we will find a new book to read over and over every night. I look forward to our “bed time book” may more than even he does at this point!

Tip #5: Play with Books

Keep your baby books in your home where your baby can reach them and encourage them to play with books. We have books on a reachable shelf in his nursery and in his play room. I try to keep an assortment of board books for him to explore through and, of course, chew on. The nicer books with paper pages and ones that I want to keep nice are on high shelves but still visible in each space. Right now he loves turning the pages on his own!

Weaving stories into baby’s routines each day will help create a future reader and lifelong learner. Run, grab a book, and read to your little one today!

11 Months Old

Eleven Month

It takes a village to raise a little one… and Mr. Ollie Hayes, you are no different. Mom and dad left for a full week this month and thank goodness for our friends and family that love keeping you. You love everybody so it is easy. You joyously go into their arms and giggle and smile at all.

You have eight teeth now and are really working hard on your molars… so hard that you keep getting ear infections. You also may be allergic to the seasons changing. Don’t worry, we all are. It’s no fun.

You can walk and dance and you love doing both. The other thing that you love doing is opening up cabinets, which in turn required us to baby safety lock all of the cabinets in the kitchen. I thought I could get away without doing it… and alas, you win again. You walk around with a ball in one hand and a book in the other. I love it because it makes me think that you are equal parts of your father and me.

You have started sleeping really poorly at night for your first time in your life. If you could knock it off, we would appreciate it; however those ear infections, weaning, and teething are not necessarily helping you any. It’s okay though. You’ve learned quickly that we love cuddling with you in our bed…

You give the best kisses, all open mouthed and slobbery. But you have started biting too. You can’t be a biter so we’ll work on that. You still love food and are so happy. I love that you are my little one Mr. Ollie. I love it.

I miss my little buddy this morning lots. Even if he was a tornado in every room he visited yesterday. 😂 #olliehayes

"I believe all of life is shot through with God’s presence, and that part of the gift of walking with him is seeing his fingerprints in all sorts of unexpected ways." @sniequist #olliehayes

So if he's standing here banging on the glass and yelling, "Da da da..." do you think he's ready for @dustn_b to come home? #olliehayes #daddysboy

The men in this family just can't hang. #olliehayes