What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

Summer is quickly approaching, and for most of us, summer means pool and beach trips. Those of us with more than one child have a pretty good idea about what your tiny tot will need for a trip to the pool, but if you aren’t sure, I decided to share what’s in our pool bag.

We are a family of four, so our pool bag is this giant monogrammed Land’s End tote with a zipper top. It holds everything we need for some fun in the sun and I love it!

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For our toddler, we always pack the following items:

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  1. A snack (not pictured). We try to always bring a healthy snack for both kids no matter where we go. Dry cereal works well, as do small fruits (grapes) or veggies (carrot sticks), and things like granola bars or Belvita biscuits.
  2. A swimsuit, a cover up (a hooded towel will work well for a small child), and sunglasses
  3. A sunscreen for sensitive skin
  4. Swim diapers and wipes (if your toddler isn’t quite potty trained. Ours is not).
  5. Diaper ointment and lotion. Some kids’ skin is sensitive to chlorine, so it’s a good idea to have some lotion on hand to replenish their skin’s moisture
  6. Pool shoes and goggles
  7. Something to drink in a plastic, lidded cup
  8. Detangler and a hairbrush (not pictured)

I always feel the most organized and prepared for anything when I create a checklist beforehand, run down my list, and physically check it off. I decided to share that list with you as well. To download it, simply right click on the picture below, save it to your device, and then print it. For best results, do not print larger than 8X10 inches.

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Enjoy your pool and beach trips this summer!

 

Living Room Toy Storage: How to have a beautifully organized living room when you have kids

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We all want living rooms that look incredible but that are still for, well…living. I want my living room to be a place where my family can be comfortable, but also a place that doesn’t look like a playground or a toy store. With a few easy tricks, you can have a stylish, functional living room with children.

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1. Use stylish storage furniture to hide toys

A cute chest or footlocker looks nice and provides a place to store small toys. This chest could also double as additional seating as well.

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2. Create a small “playroom nook” that melts into a corner of your living room

This tiny playroom nook is cute and takes up such a small amount of space in your living room. It’s literally a corner. You could do book ledges like this one, or your could use cube shelves and baskets. There are so many different ways to customize this to make it work for you.

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3. Use an extra closet to store toys

What better way to hide toys than behind closed doors? If you don’t have a playroom, but you do have an extra closet, fill it to the brim with organizers and attractive storage for your kids’ playthings.

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4. Repurpose an old bookshelf to hold toys or art supplies

I have a few old shelves at my house that I could use for this. I could paint and modify them, then add some color-coordinated storage to corral those wayward toys. This would only take up a small amount of space, too.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup! Our playroom is about to undergo a major revamp in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to share it  with you!

Stay tuned for more DIY, parenting, and housey-goodness!

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Lumber In My Minivan!! We hope you all have a wonderful day.

And Happy Mother’s Day especially to this lady. Your granddaughters and I love you very much!!

We will resume regular posting schedule on Tuesday.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

In 2014, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Although he had turned 50 the year before and had already survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he had put off his colonoscopy. My mother convinced him to get his test one year later, even though he really didn’t want to.

His routine colonoscopy resulted in doctors discovering a blockage and he had to have a colon resectioning. It was after his surgery that we learned he had colon cancer. Over the next three years, he had aggressive chemo treatments, radiation, seed therapy, and many more surgeries. Despite having excellent medical care, he passed away in 2017. He was 54.

Although my dad didn’t survive cancer, he was able to live three more years after his diagnosis. I believe if he hadn’t had his colonoscopy and discovered his cancer when he did, he would not have lived as long as he did.

Colon cancer is now the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third most common cause of cancer deaths. More than 142,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, and while 90% of them are 50 or older, colon cancer is on the rise for people in their thirties and forties. Typically, a person doesn’t get their first colonoscopy until they are fifty, unless they have a family history.

There are three things that automatically increase your risk of colon cancer- having a family history, being a carrier of the Lynch syndrome gene, or having an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease. The following lifestyle changes can drastically reduce most people’s risk of colon cancer: maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet and limiting your sugar and red meats, and getting a yearly physical and blood work. If you are fifty or older, you should get a colonoscopy yearly, but if you carry a high risk of developing colon cancer, you will need to get your first one before age 50.

If you are unsure about what age you need to get your first one, consult your doctor. Consult the infographic below for more information.

Colon cancer is a difficult and often deadly disease, but if caught early, it’s treatable. Making smart lifestyle choices and getting your yearly health screenings can make a huge difference.

Have a great weekend.

AWOL, but still alive…

A brief hiatus, and now: a return. 

I apologize for my lack of posts lately. I intended to take the week of Thanksgiving off, but I did not intend to take three weeks off. Several things led to my taking three weeks off of blogging- some of them were planned, and some of them were not. 

Without revealing too many details, my family has been struggling lately. Some of the struggle is due to missing my dad and grandfather and trying to navigate through grief and the holiday season. Many of you can likely relate to this. In addition, we are dealing with something else in our home. We covet your prayers, and perhaps I’ll talk about this at a later date, but for now I need to keep quiet for my family’s sake. 

In the midst of all of those things, I was also diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia. Needless to say, I simply haven’t had the energy to blog. I apologize for my abrupt absence. I will be resuming my four-times-a-week posting schedule this week. 

My sweet girls and I. 

And it feels good to be back.