12 Cute Valentine Gifts For Toddlers & Babies

Valentine's Day ranks up there with Christmas as one of my very favorite holidays. I'm that cheesy person who loves celebrating love. Making Valentine's cards was always a highlight of February in elementary school. In high school, a handsome teenager decided to ask me to be his girlfriend on Valentine's Day in a Target parking lot. That handsome 17-year old is still by my side 11 years later. Valentine's Day is a celebration of friendships, of relationships, of love. And let's be honest, our world could use a little more love most days.

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, I've rounded up a dozen of my favorite pieces of festive gear for babies and toddlers below.

Valentine Gift Ideas For Toddlers and Babies | Valentine Toddler, Valentine baby, Valentine crafts, Valentine Cards

One: Heart Swim Trunks | Nordstrom | After a chilly trip out East last weekend, dreams of hanging out by the pool and lounging on the beach have been heavy on my mind. It may be a little early to rock the swimwear, but it's never to early to stock up. 

Two: Loved Zippered Sleeper | Target | For those sweet dreamers, this little zippered sleeper is a simple way to stay festive for Valentine's Day.

Three: Heart Onesie | Gap | I'm picky on graphic prints, but this heart onesie is perfection. It looks modern, comfy and gender neutral. Perfect for the littlest of valentines. 

Four: Striped Heart Dress | Gap | It is no secret that anything with black and white stripes automatically catches my eye. This dress is one that I am seriously considering buying incase baby #2 is a girl. I love everything about it!

Five: Heart Shaped Rattle | Bannor Toys | A wooden teething rattle in the shape of a heart from my favorite toy shop? Yes, please!

Six: Donut Heart Tee | Etsy | Perhaps I'm a little biased on this one since donuts are one of my favorite treats, but this little graphic tee is the perfect way to celebrate February without being too cheesy. 

Seven: Heart Knit Blanket | Pottery Barn Kids | I love the entire Emily & Merrit collection from Pottery Barn Kids and this sweet blanket is no exception. 

Eight: Hearts & Arrows Hat | Old Navy | Brody has been into wearing hats lately, so I've been scouring shops for cute ones. The festive print on this cap makes it a winner.

Nine: Valentine's Socks | Old Navy | Let's be real--there is no such thing as too many baby socks. Every time I need a pair, I can never find one.

Ten: Pink Heart Glass Water Bottle | Nordstrom | I'm a big fan of glass water bottles--for an older toddler, this set is too cute. Matching bottle for mom included. 

Eleven: All You Need Is Love Tee | Etsy | An ode to The Beatles--this shirt is perfect for the little trendsetter. 

Twelve: Heart Diaper Cover & Hat | Pottery Barn Kids | We had a striped version of this diaper cover when Brody was an infant and it was one of my favorite wardrobe items of his. Add a monogram and this is perfect for Valentine's Day (or the beach!).

Shop My Valentine Favorites:

Do you have any Valentine's traditions? I'd love to hear them in the comments! 

The First 10 Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal

I started writing notes on my phone as our first weeks of pregnancy came and went. I wanted to record my feelings, my thoughts, my fears and excitement. Here are the first 10 weeks.

Pregnancy, Pregnant, Pregnancy Fashion, First Trimester, Pregnant Bump, Morning Sickness

Pregnancy Week 4:

I had a feeling I might be pregnant. My husband I decided that this month we would start trying. In full honesty, I wasn't expecting it to happen right away. We had gone through phases in the past few months where we sort of tracked ovulation. Then we went back and forth on whether we were really ready to add to the family. The thoughts of a newborn and those long days and nights would make us pause. We felt like our old selves again. We loved the new stages with Brody. But we also always knew we wanted him to have a sibling. So November came and we both agreed it was time to start getting serious. We didn't think too deeply into it. Didn't calculate when a baby would be due if we conceived. Didn't plan on our casual Mexican food happy hour being my last margarita for a long time. Didn't enjoy one last feast of sushi (this, I regret). And so a week passed and I had some slight bleeding one-week before my period was due. Being a childbirth educator this time around, I immediately became suspicious that it was implantation bleeding. It fit every characteristic. I decided to keep it hush hush because I didn't want either of us getting too excited. I didn't want to assume anything, so I stuck that little tidbit of knowledge far in the back of my head and I went on my jolly way. 

A week passed and Brody and I were in the Target parking lot (surprise, surprise). As we were pulling out, I had the urge to run into the store and buy some pregnancy tests. As soon as we got home and unloaded the car, I took it. I checked it out a few minutes later, and sure enough two faint lines. My first reaction? I freaked out. How were we going to survive the newborn phase again? How would Brody feel? A million thoughts raced through my mind. I sent my best friend and picture of the test with the words "freaking out". We had prayed, hoped and planned for this sweet addition and here I was with cold feet. I calculated the due date, the last week of July. Great, I thought, the exact week of our annual beach vacation. This would have been 20 some years in a row we attended. So much for being a planner. But as time started to pass I started getting excited. Really excited. I started picturing Brody as a big brother. The thought made me smile. 

My husband was due home from work in the next hour. How would I share the news? I saw a fortune cookie sitting on the counter leftover from our takeout order the night before. I fished out the fortune and made my own. "You will be a big brother in July", I wrote. I stuck it in the cookie and told Brody he could have this cookie as soon as dad came home. When my husband walked through the door, the first word out of his Brody's mouth was cookie. I handed him the cookie and told him to give dad the paper inside. My husband, not the least bit suspicious (he reads every fortune cookie), flipped over the paper and started reading it outloud. It took a few seconds to hit, then his eyes became huge realizing what was going on. His genuine excitement filled me with joy. The rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts and feelings that come with pregnancy and a newborn have begun. So here we are, letting the dust settle, the parents of soon-to-be 2 kiddos and boy are we grateful for the blessing. 

Pregnancy Announcement, Pregnancy Photos, Pregnant Fashion, Pregnant Belly | Pregnancy The First 10 Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal

Pregnancy Week 5:

We’re hanging out at a birthday party. I overhear a recent mom of 2 comment on how much harder it is to have two than she ever expected. I look and my husband and we just give each other that look of "uh oh".

Pregnancy Week 6:

Nauseous. Ugh, it comes on in waves and is a double-edged sword. On one hand I have little to no appetite (except for hot fries which I’ve been craving all week) on the other hand, the empty feeling in my stomach almost feels worse. I stepped on the scale today and I saw my pre-Brody number. Two years later I finally lost those last pounds from my pregnancy with Brody. I guess it just took getting pregnant. Things are a bit mixed up.

I had our babysitter come over for an extra afternoon this week. I told her I had a project I needed to finish, but honestly I walked upstairs and locked myself in my room and took a nap. It felt good. She's coming back today and I may do the same. I feel a bit guilty, but I'm chalking it up as self-care and ain't nobody allowed to mess with this mommas self care. That's one thing I learned the hard way my first time around. 

The highlight of the week? Finding out two of my favorite mom friends are expecting #2 as well. We adopted a family for the holidays and went out shopping together one night. Afterwards we headed to dinner and towards the end my friend asked me if we were going to have another. July I replied. And the table erupted in surprise and excited as 3 out of 4 of us shared our pregnancy news. The three of us are all due within a 9 week period. I'm getting excited.

Pregnancy Announcement, Pregnancy Photos, Pregnant Fashion, Pregnant Belly | Pregnancy The First 10 Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal

Pregnancy Week 7

First prenatal appointment. Our insurance has changed since we had Brody, so this time I decided to use a midwife. I hate change. When I find something I like, I stick with it--hence the closet stuffed with striped dresses. But I think I am going to like the midwife. She definitely spent a lot more time with me than typical doctor appointments and it felt really personal and genuine. I do have to admit the mom guilt with babe #2 started today. When the midwife asked if I wanted an early ultrasound, I said yes (I told myself I would pass on this option). Ugh! But on one hand it was so reassuring to see our little embryo's heart beating. One of those moments that leave me in awe of the human body. Trying not to overthink things this time around. I'm vowing to write down all my crazy thoughts, worries and success this time around rather than keeping them bottled up. Writing is my therapy. 

I wake up at 4:30am dry heaving in the toilet. Nothing comes up, although I almost wish it would in hopes of some sort of temporary relief. I hear Brody yelling in his room ready to get up. Praying I can fix his breakfast without making myself sick. Success. I get him situated with breakfast where I can see him from the couch. I lay down with a box of crackers. Even the tiny nibbles I am taking feel like too much, but I know this is the only way to cut the edge off the nausea. I doze off and awaken to two bottles of play dough in my face and Brody chanting "dough". He also has clumps of cereal in his hair. I'm too exhausted to clean it up. How did I fall asleep!? By mid morning I am feeling better. Feeling grateful for the flexibility of my schedule--I don't know how the moms who head to work in the mornings do this. I'm convinced they are superhuman.  

Pregnancy Week 8:

Sleep. Nights consist of tossing and turning for hours. I keep waking up at 2 or 3 am and I can't go back to sleep. I've caught up on every news story in the world by 5am. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night. It's impossible not to compare this pregnancy to Brody's, but it is so different. 

Feeling normal(ish). It's almost concerning. The past few days have been great. Energy, minimal nausea, I'm pleasant--the first time in weeks. Week 8 is known to be the peak of morning sickness for many, am I jinxing it? Perhaps. But for the moment being, I'm counting my lucky stars. Last night I was craving cornbread and I walked into my mom's house and what was sitting on the counter? A fresh pan of cornbread. Husband says I should buy a lottery ticket--I'm thinking he's right.

I jinxed it. Crackers and ginger ale are getting old.

Pregnancy Announcement, Pregnancy Photos, Pregnant Fashion, Pregnant Belly | Pregnancy The First 10 Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal

Pregnancy Week 9

It's the day after Christmas and I woke up feeling oddly energized. There's a pep in my step today. Perhaps it was the whirlwind of Christmas and Christmas Eve and surprising our family with our exciting news. Or perhaps it's the new year on the horizon and my excitement to set goals, freshen up our home, make dreams happen. Regardless, I am excited and motivated today. Bottling up this extra energy and cleaning up our home which hasn't been cleaned nearly a month and a half. I'm fairly certain the dirty dishes have been sitting in the sink since last Wednesday. And our last trip to the grocery store was about 10 days ago. I've got some serious catching up to do, but I'm feeling grateful and excited for what is ahead.

A couch potato. That's what I was today. My husband commented that I was the sexiest potato he's ever seen, not even sure his sweet words could make this mess of a mom any more presentable. I woke up feeling great. Pretty perky and even had a little appetite. By lunch I was craving BBQ so we headed to our favorite butcher (The Pork Shop if you’re in Arizona) and before we even pulled into the tiny parking lot, I was green. Too nauseous to even be able to talk about food. Too nauseous for the bites of cracker I was forcing down my throat. Too nauseous to be anything but a couch potato for the rest of the day. So our mid-week date night sure didn't happen, but we are just going with the flow these days. I’m forever grateful for all of the extra hands in town for the holidays--they have sure been keeping Brody entertained!

Pregnancy Week 10

Date night success! I over did it a bit today, So by the time 4:00 rolled around and my husband asked me what I wanted to do for date night--I replied with pull into a parking lot somewhere and sleep. I wasn't kidding. We loaded Brody in the car and headed to drop him off at his grandma’s house. We ended up at the movie theater for the first time in a few months. We were those people that arrive right as the previews are rapping up. The lovely first row of seats were empty and waiting for us. We cried our way through the movie Lion--if you're a mom (especially a hormonal expectant Momma) it sure pulled at the heartstrings. Puffy eyed we headed to pick up Brody with a stop at Bahama Buck's along the way--snow cones are my cocktail of choice when margaritas are out of the question these days. As our last day of 2016 is just a night's sleep away, I am so grateful for the year we have had.

Feeling good for the third day in a row. I'm one of those weird people who thinks I'm jinxing it when I say things like this out loud, so I'm knocking on wood as I type this. This afternoon is my next midwife appointment. I feel calm about it. Pap smear, blood test, all that fun stuff. I'm just excited to hear the baby's heartbeat. I'm still not to the point where it feels real. Where it feels like we are going to have another baby in our home. That has yet to sink in. With Brody, I immediately started scoping out gear and nursery ideas and cute outfits. This time, I'm just looking around our house thinking what can get I get rid of? How can I make this more organized? What can I clean up? I have been stalking baby moccasins though. Those may be one of my first purchases for baby #2.

Midwife appointment #2. This one gave us a little scare when the Doppler couldn't detect a heartbeat. Usually 10 weeks is the earliest that they can detect heartbeats, but since we are nearly 11 weeks and the heartbeat couldn't be detected, the midwife was a little concerned. So we headed off to the ultrasound room once again. As the midwife prepped the machine, Brody decided to climb and squeeze his entire body into the basket under the stroller. Of course, getting stuck. I couldn't stop giggling as I watched my husband try to fish him out of the basket. The perfect distraction while the midwife worked to check on our little babe. Within minutes our little babe was up on the screen--heart beating perfectly. 4 little limbs. One arm lifted up almost as if giving us a wave. The tiny little babe rolled around full of energy. We left in awe of what just over 10 weeks can do. In awe of the human body. Full of gratitude for a beating heart and this little rambunctious one.

What was the hardest part of your first trimester? I'd love to hear.

PS: There's a giveaway for a Fawn Design Diaper Bag over on the Momma Society Instagram this week!

Hello 2017! A Look Back & What's To Come

As I sit here, I am in awe that another year has come to a close. 2016 was the year of finding my balance. The year of working on myself. The year that I truly loved motherhood day after day, for the first time ever. A year full of lessons, some tougher than I anticipated. A year of learning to say no more times than I was used to, but a year of many unexpected yes's. A year I will forever be grateful for. 

Brody with Boy Doll Handmade

January kicked off with organizing Brody's toys. Tackling the clutter. We baby proofed our home office so I could start getting work done with a mobile toddler in tow. One of the sweetest gifts arrived for Brody--a treasure now tucked away in his keepsake box. I celebrated the 1 Year anniversary of Momma Society & what a year it was!

Baby Proofing Home Office Space

February rolled around and so did our first Valentine's Day together. We packaged up little socks for Brody's friends and had a Valentine's Day exchange. I had the opportunity to interview the founders of one of my favorite companies--they were even more lovely than I could have imagined. Jada Pinkett-Smith's interview with ABC News shook me to my core. I vowed to start taking care of myself. I struggled with my identity through my first year of motherhood and finally decided to take a leap and peruse a dream of mine to become a childbirth educator. I spent my first weekend away from Brody.

Best Childbirth Books

March was knocking at our door and so was a sense of renewal. We started making plans for Brody's 1st birthday celebration. I collaborated with a mattress company and the project evolved into a big partnership with pictures I took of Brody in nearly every baby magazine in the UK. For a non-professional photographer, this was a neat accomplishment. I shared 5 ways I wish I would have taken better care of myself as a new mom. I joined the team of experts at Project Nursery and started monthly contributions to one of my favorite sites. The weather started to warm up and we started our monthly picnics. I let Brody eat handfuls of peanut butter--that was fun to clean up. I fell in love with dressing boys and spilled the beans on how and where I shop for baby boy clothes--this post has been one of the most popular of 2016. 

Baby Mattresses Naturalmat
First Birthday Party Picture Momma Society

April came and so did my excitement for warm weather. I finally caught up on laundry (literally for the first time in over a year). I rounded up our favorite toddler toys. I shared all of the details on Brody's 1st Birthday celebration--still one of my favorite days of my life. My dream of getting together a bunch of Momma Society moms came true! I was so nervous to do this and scared it would be a bust, but I decided to go for it anyways. The event sold out and it was pure magic. One momma came all the way from Tucson for the event. We were spoiled with blowouts from Dry Bar and some awesome swag bags. Definitely one of the highlights of 2016. 

Dry Bar Phoenix Momma Society Mingle
Diamond Backs Baseball Game Chase Field Petsmart

In May, we weaned. I shared 6 things you need to know about weaning and felt strangely content being finished with that phase of motherhood. We went on our annual peach picking adventure at Schnepf Farms. I threw a Mother's Day Brunch. The temperatures in Arizona were getting close to triple digits and I shared my tips for keeping babies and toddlers cool in the Summer. We ended the month by bringing Brody to his first ball game. It was the perfect afternoon. 

Father's Day Best Qualities of Dads | Momma Society

We blinked and it was June. With Father's Day on the horizon, I shared 5 qualities that make amazing dads (and awesome husbands), along with some of my favorite pictures of Brody and my husband--ever. We had another picnic and totally fed our kid an overload of ice cream--this seemed to be a trend in 2016. We started tossing around the idea of expanding our family and I shared 6 Things You Should Do Before Getting Pregnant.

Momma Society Outer Banks Vacation

July kicked off with the lovely Megan Garcia sharing her tips for Prepping For a Hospital Birth. I took a little blogging break as we travelled to our annual North Carolina Beach trip and prepped for an upcoming adventure. I launched the private Momma Society Facebook Group hoping to create a little haven where modern moms could connect, vent, share advice, and support each other. It has been beautiful to see experienced mommas cheer on new mommas, strangers become friends, and share this thing called motherhood together. Definitely a highlight from 2016. PS: have you joined?

Venice with Toddler | Momma Society

August rolled around and we jetted off to Italy with more luggage than I've ever seen in my life. Trains, planes, overnight ferry rides, and 5 humans + nearly a dozen pieces of luggage shoved into a station wagon. We filled our bellies with enough gelato to last us a lifetime. We hiked so much we basically took the rest of 2016 off from exercise. We disturbed all of the Vatican visitors with toddler tantrums. And we headed home with memories to last a lifetime. 

What to Expect When You're Expecting | Momma Soceity
Journaling Morning Miracle Momma Society

September arrived and I got back to blogging. I shared 9-must haves when traveling with a toddler. I wrote about things you should know about traveling abroad with a toddler (including how we scored an empty seat for Brody on almost every flight). I continued the theme of taking care of myself and started a life changing morning routine. A lively conversation erupted on our Momma Society Facebook Group about social media etiquette during pregnancy and I followed it up with a post you might want to share with your family if you're expecting. We wrapped up the month by finally finishing Brody's under-the-stairs play closet---this post had the most popular Momma Society picture of 2016. 

Closet Play Room Rennevation Small Space Design

October came and I finally finished a post on 45 pieces of baby gear I wouldn't have survived without. It had been in my drafts for 6 months (yes, 6 months!). I survived my first (and only) week of solo parenting and shared 5 lessons I learned while my husband was away. We headed to the annual ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas to scope out the baby trends for 2017--I rounded up the 17 coolest baby products you need to check out in 2017.  

Family Love Spouse Husband Anniversary

November arrived and so did my excitement for the holidays. JD and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. We started thinking about taking Christmas pictures and shopping for Christmas pajamas. We tossed around the idea of trading-in vehicles and the moms in the Momma Society Facebook Group ranked the top 7 Features You'd Want In A Vehicle When You're A Parent. I started my annual holiday gift guides--the guide for the modern mom was the first up. There were plans for nearly half a dozen, but only one was finished enough to publish #exhaustion. Regardless, it was my favorite gift guide ever. 

With December, I went MIA. Blog posts were few and far between. Instagram posts were equally sparse. My inbox, which I pride myself in keeping cleaned out, was a solid 3+ weeks behind. I was a couch potato, but we celebrated the holidays and gave thanks for the beautiful year we had.

So, What's ahead for 2017?

New Years Pregnancy Announcement | Sibling Pregnancy Announcement | Momma Society

We're expecting! We have prayed for, hoped for and dreamed of this sweet little babe. Although I've been living on crackers and ginger ale, taking more naps than Brody, and fallen off the bandwagon with blogging over the past couple of months, we cannot wait until this Summer when our family grows. My, how pregnancy can be so very different each time around!

If you want to know all of the details on when baby #2 is arriving, whether we are going to find out the sex or wait, how we shared the news with family, food cravings/aversions and every other pregnancy related questions you can think of---here's a little video with all of the scoop.

On the Momma Society Agenda for 2017

  • A redesign! Momma Society is getting a facelift and I can't wait to share the new look and feel with all of you. 
  • Deeper support for new moms & mommas-to-be--still figuring out exactly how to accomplish this.
  • More virtual hugs and encouragement to the thousands of lovely mommas signed up on the Momma Society email list. 
  • A Youtube channel. PS: If you want to subscribe, I'd be forever grateful! Trying to set-up a custom url and makes you hit 100 subscribers first.

I hope your 2017 is filled with wonderful memories, plenty of "me time" and sleep-filled nights! Thanks for being a part of this beautiful community.

How To Use Natural Family Planning Methods to Conceive (or Avoid Conception)

One of the best parts of being a woman in our modern age is having the ability to make choices for our health and bodies. Whether that is birth control, IUD's, barrier methods or Natural Family Planning, the perfect fit is out there for every woman. Most of my friends would probably be surprised to hear that my husband and I use Natural Family Planning methods.

Since Natural Family Planning often gets a bad rap, I thought I would share our past experiences using the method to achieve and/or postpone pregnancy. I know it is often seen as a little voodoo, unreliable, and un-sexy, at least those were some of my thoughts initially, but the more we have used this method--the more we have loved it. I'm also sprinkling in some pictures of baby Brody because #babyfever, right!?

How to Use Natural Family Planning Methods To Conceive | Momma Society- The Community of Modern Moms

As a woman, I enjoy understanding how my body works. I love watching as cycles change and identifying when things are off kilter. My cycle has never arrived like clockwork, but through Natural Family Planning Methods I’ve always been able to find some predictability and consistency to it.

Our love affair with Natural Family Planning took some courting. Before we were married, our church required us to take a series on Natural Family Planning (The Creighton Model). I'll admit it; my husband and I both hated it. They armed us with this little chart book with stickers, a visual guide to cervical mucus and a sharpie. They had us chart our sex life, what was going on with my body, the viscosity of my cervical mucus. It was quite a bit of work. I remember on our way to our last session, my husband and I just scribbled in some markings and stuck random stickers to the chart. We quickly threw the supplies away and gave up on the system deeming it too complicated and time consuming when we returned home.

How to Use Natural Family Planning Methods To Conceive | Momma Society- The Community of Modern Moms

A couple of years passed and thanks to technology the process has become a whole lot more manageable, so we gave it a try again. I think part of our success this time around has been my true interest in the reproduction process. I’m a birth junkie and I love understanding the science behind it.  

So, What is Natural Family Planning?

Natural Family Planning encompasses different methodologies woman can use to track their fertility and/or postpone pregnancy. By observing and measuring cues from our body, women are able to predict ovulation. After a few months, a woman will be able to understand when her body is ovulating and when she is most fertile.

How Does Natural Family Planning Work?

As a very basic overview, there are two main observable factors in woman that are used to determine ovulation: cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Along with documenting our periods, these two factors can be solid indicators of ovulation.

During a woman’s cycle, our cervical mucus changes in thickness, color, and viscosity. As we approach ovulation, the cervical mucus looks similar to egg whites. During unfertile periods, it is cloudy. Understanding and tracking your cervical mucus daily is the first step in determining fertile times.

For basal body temperature, you can observe body temperature changes. When you are ovulating, your body temperature is typically very slightly elevated from normal. So our most fertile period would be the few days prior to the basal body temperature increasing. This temperature is taken when you are at rest, typically first thing in the morning before you roll out of bed.

Isn’t the female body amazing?

How to Use Natural Family Planning Methods To Conceive | Momma Society- The Community of Modern Moms

There's an app for that.

If your head is spinning, I can relate. There is a lot to understand about Natural Family Planning in order for it to be a fully effective method. Thankfully, technology has made Natural Family Planning a breeze. There’s no need for cheesy charts and sticker books anymore. Apps like Glow and Kindara are a lifesaver. Month over month, they collect your cycle information and each day you can record your cervical mucus details and basal body temperature readings. The apps will then help you predict your chance of pregnancy based on this information.

If you are trying to conceive, you will be able to identify the days with your best chances for baby making. If the day of your expected period has passed and aunt flow hasn’t arrived, it’s time to take an at home pregnancy test! e.p.t® Pregnancy Tests are 99% accurate when taken the right after your missed period.

As a mom or momma-to-be, you will never forget that #momentoftruth after taking an at-home pregnancy test. I can still remember every detail on the afternoon I found out I was expecting Brody. The initial shock, the onset of excitement, and then the thought of how I would share the news with my husband.  It was a whirlwind of excitement waiting him to come home from work. Spoiler alert: I burst into happy tears when he walked in the door. e.p.t® created the original home pregnancy test in 1977 and almost 40 years later, millions of women have still rely on them for their own #momentoftruth.

Whether you are trying to grow your family, looking for an alternative to other birth control methods, or hoping to understand your body more deeply, Natural Family Planning can be a fascinating topic.

How to Use Natural Family Planning Methods To Conceive | Momma Society- The Community of Modern Moms

Resources for Natural Family Planning

To learn more about natural family planning methods, here are some great resources.

Creighton Model

American Pregnancy Association

Billings Ovulation Method

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft and Activity

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CreateWithCommand #CollectiveBias

I am always on the hunt for new activities to try with Brody in the afternoons. I feel like we read the same books, do the same activities, and play with the same toys over and over again most days. So today we decided to venture out of our norm. To try something new. To create a little festive spirit and decorate our front door. 

Toddler Snowflake Craft Ornament
A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

We pulled out a package of white pony beads and a handful of shiny silver pipe cleaners and got to work making snowflakes. Making the snowflake shape is a mom (or older kid) job, however decorating the snowflake with beads is the perfect toddler activity. 

Brody is not one to sit still, but I was so impressed by how he calm and concentrated he was through this whole project. At first he loved running his hands through the bowl of beads, then we moved on to feeding the pony beads through a straight pipe cleaner to help Brody get used to the process, and finally we ventured on to sliding pony beads onto a snowflake-shaped pipe cleaner. It was an afternoon of fun! Follow the directions below to do this activity with your toddler. 

A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

How To Create Your Own Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes

Supplies:

  • One package of plastic pony beads
  • One package of silver pipe cleaners
  • 1 wreath
  • 1 Command™ Brand Outdoor Hook

Instructions:

  • Cut 2 pipe cleaners in half to create the base of the snowflake.
  • Using 3 of the 4 pieces you have cut, set them on a table to create a snowflake shape.
  • With the remaining half piece, cut it in half again and set to the side for later.
  • Twist the pieces together to secure.
  • Let your little one add a few bead onto each of the arms of the snowflake.
  • Take another pipe cleaner and cut it into 4 equal pieces. With the addition of the piece you cut in step 2, you should now have 6 pieces to use on the snowflake arms.
  • Twist one of these 6 pieces around each of the snowflake arms, creating a V-shape.
  • Let you little one adorn the ends with more pony beads.
  • To hold the beads in place and prevent sharp edges, fold the tips under on each of the ends.
A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms

We made 4 snowflakes. They would make a fun ornament for a tree, but since we haven't gotten a tree yet, we decided to decorate a wreath for our front door with them! With a little piece of extra pipe cleaner, we secured the snowflakes to the wreath. We also added a big metal letter to the middle of the wreath with ribbon. 

A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
A Super Simple Toddler Holiday Craft Activity For Preschool | Pipe cleaner pony bead snowflakes | Momma Society-The Community of Modern Moms
To hang the wreath, we used a Command™ Brand Outdoor Hook on our glass door. These hooks can hold up to 5lbs! I keep a stash of Command Brand hooks around our house this time of year so we do not have to mess with nail holes when we are hanging decorations. You can find them in the hardware aisle at Target. From Nov 26-Dec 2nd they will be on sale at Target if you want to stock up for the new year. For more great content ideas check out Create with Command.