Miffy Takes Her Adventure to Walmart

As my children age, their demands to have toys of their favorite household characters increases tenfold. Now my two-year-old would be happy with a cardboard box, but it’s always heartwarming to see the joy on his face when he receives a figurine set or stuffed plush of the characters he loves so much.

When my oldest was introduced to the delightful little white bunny, Miffy, he was hooked. He developed tunnel vision for Miffy and her friends. Trying to separate him from his “shows” and bedtime stories is an act of congress (he sleeps with his Miffy books at night). So, when we learned Miffy would have her own line of toys at Walmart, we were ecstatic!

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Miffy’s adventures now penetrate beyond animation and illustrations on a page, she is now a physical character my son loves. The MIFFY 6” Miffy Plush and MIFFY Little Blue Car are carried from room-to-room. They are attached to his hip and are showcased in my son’s personal show and tell productions.

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The MIFFY 6” Miffy Plush is extremely affordable and wonderfully soft. She is the perfectly sized companion to join my son from his car seat to the living room and finally to his bed at night. My son gazes with much affection at the little white bunny and gives her hugs on the regular. Before going to bed at night, he takes Miffy around the house and has every member of the family gets a goodnight kiss from Miffy herself.

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Get your MIFFY 6” Miffy Plush >> HERE <<

We recently added a scenic roadway rug to our kid’s playroom, and my two-year-old likes to drive his plastic toy cars along the streets and paths. Miffy’s adventures, both big and small, take to the streets on my son’s playroom floor with the MIFFY Little Blue Car figurine set. “Vroom, vroom” (as my son would say) Miffy goes speeding by as my son drives her from the mountains to the coast. Miffy has become a world class travelerwith my kid behind the wheel.

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Get your MIFFY Little Blue Car >> HERE <<

This new, and exciting Miffy product launch is what this mom, and her son’s, dreams are made of. I am able to reduce his screen time, and give him more playtime with Miffy and her friends. Check out this wonderfully and affordably made toy line, now available at your local Walmart and online >> HERE <<

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Make every day an adventure, be it big or small!

Find Miffy here:
Instagram – @Miffy_Official_USA
Twitter – @MiffyOfficialUS
Facebook – @MiffyandFriendsUS
Website – www.miffyfun.com

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3 Simple Ways to Raise Charitable Children

Over the weekend my family participated in the Charlotte Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk in support of The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. This is the second year we have taken part of this event with Team Christian B.

My two-year-old has had an active role in raising awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis for each year of his life and our newest addition is starting the trend as well. As a nonprofit employee, advocate, and volunteer, I understand and appreciate the work of the nonprofit, but especially the individuals who commit their time to various causes.

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As a parent who hopes to raise young men who care and respect others for who they are, it is important my children are exposed to various causes throughout their lifetime. These organizations are on the front lines working towards improving the health and wellness of citizens, the equality of individuals no matter their race, age, gender, etc. and I want my kids to be right there with them.

My fellow parents/guardians/role models, I challenge you to join me in creating a culture where becoming a catalyst of positive change is inherent in the younger generation.

Here are 3 simple ways we can raise charitable children:  

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1. Exposure – In this day and age, we have an overabundance of resources available at our fingertips to share with our kids about charitable work and how to give back to our communities. For most of us, we read to our kids before bed. Reading time is a wonderful opportunity to share stories of volunteerism, causes involving children (for example, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation), or kids donating back to a cause. Along with reading, society is attached to it’s electronic devices, which means we can share videos from local charities with our kids. Videos and audio easily explain the work of the organization, but it truly takes hold of their focus.

2. Communication – How often we speak to our kids about giving back says a lot about our commitment to raising charitable children. The conversation needs to go beyond the initial exposure and into daily conversation. I’ve made it a point to talk to my son about doing what’s right for others, loving our friends, sharing what we have with others (I use giving his toys to children as an example he will understand). How are you talking about advocacy and awareness?

3. Take Action – Now my sons are two and two months, so their ways of giving back are limited, but they can participate in my charitable efforts. For example, joining me as we walked for a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis or attending an event through the nonprofit I work for, are simple ways of exposing and communicating causes with my kids. As they get older I will push them to research and find an organization that speaks to them. Once they make a connection I will encourage them to make a contribution to their selected cause such as donating a portion of their allowance, fundraising on behalf of the organization, volunteering their time, etc. There are so many ways to get them involved in one of the many, many causes out there.

Taking part in charity is something my kids will have been exposed to since the start of their lives. It’s important to me they will understand the importance of giving back and what it does for those in their communities and in their country. They will make a positive difference.

5 Lies I’ve Told My Toddler

As my son rapidly progresses through the “terrible twos,” I now understand why my parents told the occasional white lie. It wasn’t because they wanted to give themselves a break, but that they wanted to spare us both (the parent and toddler) from the frustration of all the emotions raging through their child’s tiny body.

My son, for the most part, is a happy-go-lucky kid, but sometimes that unhinged two-year-old makes his appearance. In a matter of seconds, he is a puddle of anger and sadness inconsolably running around the house reeking havoc.

In order to tame the miniature hulk bursting from my son’s body, I’ve had to tell the occasional fib. Here are 5 lies I’ve had to tell my toddler to calm his nerves and give myself a moment to breathe.

  1. I didn’t turn Netflix off. Netflix asked to take a nap. He’s exhausted! As we are getting ready for bed and all he wants to do is continue that one episode of Trollhunters. You know, that one episode we’ve watched over 30 times in the last three weeks. Sometimes you do what you have to do to in order to keep your sanity and get your kid to bed because he boycotted naptime at school.

 

  1. Give mommy one-minute; just one. Mommy really needs like 10 minutes, but you don’t know that. You don’t understand the concept of time, right?

 

  1. The dogs put Anton in the washing machine. They thought it was time for him to take a bath. So blame them, not me! He takes his stuffed alligator (Anton) all over God’s green earth, which means that gator is covered in anything and everything. I’m thinking of my child’s health.

 

  1. Oh man! We ran out of cheese puffs. Sorry buddy. As I make this statement, I stare at the three bags of organic puffs I bought at the store the other day. I really just don’t want to vacuum the couch today. Also, you need eat some fruit. Please take this apple.

 

  1. I have no idea where that book that is. I think it went on vacation. Perhaps to the beach! Moms and dads you know what I’m talking about! I love Peppa Pig, but Easter has passed and we are still reading the “Peppa Pig Easter Egg Hunt” book. Let’s expand our minds and read a new book, please!

What white lies do you tell your kids? Be open and honest. There is no judgement here. Trust me!

Karma at the Department Store

I’ve always heard that how you behaved as a child will be reflected in your own children. Now my parents will gloat my sister and I were good, dare I even say great, kids about 98% of the time. Like any child, we had our moments, but they were few and far between.

My 2% of reckless childhood behavior all took place in department stores. I found it to be a thrilling adventure to hide amongst the racks of clothes at Belk, Hamricks (that’s a throwback), and department stores of the like. There was something comforting about wrapping myself in a variety of cotton-blend garments.

While I found it to be therapeutic, it caused my mother an immense amount panic. She would pace back and forth throughout the store calling my name. Little did she know, I had my eyes on her the entire time.

As soon as she found me, she didn’t yell at me, but I was the recipient of the “mom look.” The “look” that will stop any child in his or her tracks and cause them to crumble in fear. I never truly understood why she was so upset with me; until the moment my kid took off into the racks.

We recently went to our local Belk to return a few items. This was the first time we really went out on a shopping adventure as an entire family; the four of us. My husband was at the counter making the exchange with the sales clerk and I was overseeing the little ones.

I bent down to pick up our newborn’s muslin blanket that had fallen onto the floor and when I popped back up, my two-year-old was no longer at my side. It’s amazing really, how fast the mind can go into a negative headspace when your child has vanished. There were a series of 99 horrible scenarios that raced through my mind, but I took a deep breath and remained calm.

I heard the faint giggles of a red-headed little boy muffled by what seemed to be piles of clothes. At that moment I had a flash-back of spinning around in the center of the clothes rack with my arms stretched out wide. I took action and searched for a little pair of feet in size 6 black canvas sneakers under the racks.

Rorie Ayden for Karma Blog

My Red-Headed Little Boy

At last, amongst the women’s leisurewear, I saw two chestnut brown eyes peering through Lily Pulitzer-like workout pants. I was instantaneously relieved when he popped out of the rack that I hugged him and then gave him the “mom-look” that I had been accustom to when I disappeared into a world of textile bliss. Just like when my mom would give me the “look,” my son stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned to me with apprehension.

There’s a saying, “Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve.” I was definitely served what I dished out to my parents in my youth. To my mom and dad, I apologize. I now fully understand the torment that takes place when you can’t find your child, even if they are enjoying the true bliss that is the clothing rack.

Unclog Those Ducts

This is a safe space, right?

Please don’t judge me, but I have to say it! I can’t hold it in anymore! I’m tired of breastfeeding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve breastfeed both of my children. I understand and recognize the true benefits of breastfeeding, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it! I mean, I feel like it’s all I do outside of family and work. It’s exhausting!

My newborn consumes SO. MUCH. MILK. When he’s not feeding, I’m pumping. My fridge and freezer is stock piled full of milk (not a bad thing). I mean there is enough milk to feed all the newborns in my local community.

With this insane amount of milk production, I am prone to clogged milk ducts.

Have any of my other moms out there experience the true nuisance of a clogged duct? The pinging reminder that something is just not right. As someone who has dealt with clogged ducts, and even mastitis (that’s another story), I have some tips for how to take down those periodically tender ducts.

If you suspect you have a clogged milk duct, the first thing you should do is feed your babe on the inflamed side. The more you feed, the more it helps release the clogged duct. You should try to drain the infected side as much as possible. You can ensure this is done by having the baby latch on appropriately, rotate feeding positions, and pump following your feeding. Additionally, I recommend breast compressions and/or massage while feeding. A gentle, yet firm, massage will help breakup the clogged duct.

Along with those remedies, you may be looking for some immediate relief. I’m always searching for a quick fix, especially since I feed and pump 24/7. Warm compresses applied to the inflamed area not only take away the tender feelings, but they also help breakup the clogged duct(s). I like to apply a wet, warm compress right before feedings or take a nice warm shower (a.k.a. a moment of mama relaxation). I also recommend using cold/hot packs (thank you for the mom for the recommendation). It’s so easy to pop them into the microwave for a quick fix.

Now, if you’re doing all of this, it’s been more than 48 hours, and you still feel like you have a clogged duct, it’s time to call your doctor because you may have mastitis. Let me tell you from experience, you do not want to mess around with mastitis. It’s like living with an amplified clogged milk duct accompanied with flu-like symptoms. Yikes!

Even though I’m exhausted by the idea of breastfeeding, I AM a breastfeeding mama. It’s important I take care of myself, so that I can continue to provide my newborn with the “liquid gold” I know he needs. Let’s be honest, there are no benefits of living life with a clogged duct or mastitis…unless you like to torture yourself.

The Plate Spinner

Do you know those people in the circus or on variety shows who spin china plates on sticks? As a wife, mother, full-time employee, etc. I feel like the World Plate Spinning Champion. I know I’m not the only one carefully trying to balance plates in hopes of preventing a serious crash on a daily basis.

Listen, I’m only three weeks into this two child parenting gig, and so far I haven’t broken any of my plates, but I’ve come close. I don’t know how parents with more than two children do it. I praise the parents who manage to keep their sanity, the homestead afloat, and have more than two kids. You’re my heroes!

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My oldest (two-years old), is obsessed with his baby brother and wants to do everything he can to help us. Which is great; however, with this said, we’ve hit the “no” phase of toddler life. Every request is accompanied with “NO!” It amazes me that such a small word can cause a world of parenting frustration.

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On top of saying no to anything and everything, he’s slowly transforming into a miniature Godzilla. He walks into his playroom, rips out every drawer and dumps out the contents, flips over all of toy displays, and then walks out of the room proud of his destruction (insert mic drop). When we ask for him to cleanup or help us clean he says, you guessed it, “NO!” My husband and I look at each other and all we can say is “why?” and slowly shake our heads in disbelief.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s still my little love bug and the sweetest, but lord have mercy, the toddler years are rough. I did I mention; it’s only just begun?!

The newest member of our family is a mellow baby with a sweet disposition. We’ve finally have his days and nights fixed (thank you Jesus!), but he’s now awake all day long and wants to eat, ALL.THE.TIME. I feel bad for dairy cows everywhere. I’m a walking, talking, milk factory.

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He just farted…

Along with is hearty appetite comes some of the manliest farts I’ve ever heard. This child could put the loudest gas passers to shame. The toots don’t come alone; they are accompanied by the dirtiest of diapers. At least I know he’s healthy, right?!

All the spit up stains, dirty diapers, and gas is worth the love of this baby boy. He fits perfectly into our lives and it feels like he’s been here since the very beginning.

This is not a platform for me to complain and ask for your sympathies, I’m just taking a moment to highlight the messy life I love so much. Life with two kids, boys, under the age of three keeps me on my toes at all times. I’m beyond thankful for my husband as well as my family. It’s true, it does take a village to raise a child!

Circus music softly plays in the background, as I keep my plates balanced and steadily spinning.

Product Review and Mom Approved: SippyNipple

As parents, we’ve all been in a number of sticky situations when it comes to our kids. I’m sure you can recall the moments of panic and stress that go along with frantically searching your diaper bag for the right size diaper, the beloved pacifier, or a bottle/sippy cup to quench their thirst.

I wish, like all of you, that there was an answer to all of our problems when it comes to rummaging through the endless pit of our diaper bags. If only there was a way to find all of the lost items we need to handle outbursts of frustration (not just our own, but those of our kids as well). If only!

There is one solution to tackle the bottle and sippy cup problem – SippyNipple is the leak proof water bottle baby nipple for on the go moments.  Dr. Mike’s (certified pediatrician) design allows parents to attach bottle and sippy cup nipples to various water bottles. Not only are you saving money by not purchasing more bottles and cups, you are also supporting the environment by recycling your plastic water bottles.

My toddler can’t go anywhere without his sippy cup. If we were to ever be without it, prepare yourself for a meltdown. Even though I live about 5 minutes away from my son’s preschool, he enjoys his juice and snack on the ride home. Without these items, those 5 minutes seem like 50 minutes.

Recently, I was frantically racing to pick up my son from school and I forgot THE CUP! Sheer terror set in when I realized I didn’t have a beverage on hand for the ride home, but then I remembered I had my SippyNipple in the front pocket of my diaper bag. I quickly grabbed my toddler nipple and locking ring and assembled it to the water bottle I had in the front seat. Let’s just say, we had a very calm car ride home.

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SippyNipple offers three nipple sizes for the many stages of your child – 3+ months, 6+ months, and Toddler teething aid. Each pack comes with two nipples and two locking rings. The locking rings are color coded (green and purple) for easy day-to-day use. Green rings fit Ozarka, Arrowhead, Nestle Waters, Poland Spring, Nestle Pure Life, and Zephyrhills, while the purple ring fits Dasani, Deja Blue, and Aquafina. You can use SippyNipple whenever, wherever.

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Click HERE and enter for your chance to win a pack of 3+ Month SippyNipple Two-Pack – CLOSED

Go to @MakingMillMama on Instagram and follow the steps for an additional entry

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Sippy 2 pack toddler

Moms, dads, and caregivers, it’s time to lighten your diaper bag and the load on your shoulders, by purchasing SippyNipple. This is a must-have item for both my toddler and newborn. When you’re in a pinch, SippyNipple has your back.

Get your hands on SippyNipple TODAY!

What’s in My Toddler’s Easter Basket – Hoppy Easter 2017

There are two things you should know about me; 1. I love most holidays and 2. I love to shower my loved ones with gifts. So, when the Easter Bunny asked me to step in this year and put together my son’s Easter basket, I hopped right on board!

My son is at a great age where he gets excited over gifts and celebrations, which means Easter 2017 is going to be a whole lot of FUN! I had a blast carefully picking out each stuffer for my son’s Easter basket.

Here’s a look at what goodies he will be receiving this year:

As I mentioned in my blog post, Toddler Favorites: Top 5 Netflix Movies and Shows, my son LOVES Disney’s Zootopia, so I wanted to make sure I included a few pieces from his favorite movie in his basket. I found this great action figure set of Nick, the Fox, and the characters from the ice cream parlor scene. In addition to this playset, I found a Zootopia Play Pack which includes crayons, coloring sheet, and stickers. The Play Pack is perfect to throw in the diaper bag and have on hand at restaurants or on-the-go.

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Zootopia Play Pack Grab & Go via         Dollar Tree

Spring is here and the sun is shining, quite brightly I might add, so I grabbed my son an adorable pair of mirrored sunglasses from Target. He’s always trying to steal my sunglasses, so now he can have a pair of his own.

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Toddler mirrored sunglasses via Target

Along with the sunglasses, the Target dollar section has adorable Easter items, perfect for any bunny. Of those items, I grabbed a blue bunny bubble wand and light up bunny baton. We are going to have countless hours of fun blowing bubbles outside and playing Troll Hunter with his light up wand.

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Bubble Wand via Target

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Bunny Baton via Target

My son has been mastering drinking from a cup without a lid, so I found the most adorable tribal cup from Target to add to his basket. It matches the plates and bowls we already have in stock. We will be practicing with water until we are spill-free for up to 10 days straight.

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Tribal Drinking Cup via Target

Finally, no Easter basket is complete without candy. My kid could care less about chocolate, it’s the only way we truly differ personality wise, so I grabbed him some gummy treats. Along with Zootopia, he’s a fan of both Mickey Mouse and Dory from Finding Dory. The gummy treats are accompanied by stickers. My son is obsessed with stickers and sticking them on everyone else except for himself.

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Disney Junior Gummies and Stickers via Dollar Tree

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Finding Dory Fish Gummies via   Dollar Tree

Easter 2017 is going to be exciting with a new baby and new home to celebrate in, but I want my son’s Easter basket to be an added piece of bliss on April 16th.  He deserves all of the hoppy-ness in the world.

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What are you putting in your kid’s Easter basket this year?

10 Ways I’m #RockingMotherhood

Motherhood cannot be perfected by a Nashville or Reyes filter like the life we often portray on Instagram. It’s messy and chaotic, but I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t remember what life was like prior to becoming a mother. I truly believe my life started when my son was placed in my arms. He and I were instantaneously bonded. Now I will admit life as a mother has brought forth many challenges, but I can confirm these obstacles have been well worth the stressful and anxiety ridden days.

Mommy and Rorie

I want to send a shout-out over to Caitlin at Better with Babies for tagging me to participate in the #RockingMotherhood Challenge. Often as a mother, especially a young mom, I am often faced with the opinions (both appreciated as well as unwanted) of how I can be better, what I am “doing wrong,” etc. as a parent. I am going to take on this challenge and highlight the 10 ways that I think I am rocking this thing called motherhood.

Being the mom to an outgoing, fearless, loving, and stubborn two-year-old boy and soon-to-enter-this-world baby boy, my life is filled with constant surprises and unexpected adventure. I love being their mom; it’s my life’s work! Here are the 10 ways I am #RockingMotherhood.

The #RockingMotherhood Challenge is an opportunity for moms to encourage other moms by tagging them to highlight the 10 ways they are #RockingMotherhood.

  1. I Express Unconditional Love – The love I have for my boys is limitless. My sons, along with my husband, are my true loves. My boys have a strong hold on my heart. I would do anything for them, because as a wife and mother, I believe that is my responsibility.
  1. I Say I Love You ALL.THE.TIME. – Whenever there is an opportunity to say “I love you” to my sons, I say it! My kids will never have to question how much I love them. My two-year-old is constantly saying “I love you” and it just melts my heart.
  1. Family Comes First – No matter what’s going on in my life, if it’s a personal crisis, work, etc. my husband and my sons will always come first. There is nothing that I would ever put in front of them. They are my priority!
  1. I am Patient with My Son – I make a conscious effort to be patient with my son at all times. Whenever he has a moment of frustration or throws a toddler tantrum, I get down to his levels, talk him through what he is experiencing, and sooth him. There are a lot of feelings and emotions raging through such a small human being. He often doesn’t know how to handle what’s going on, and as a mother I’m suppose to guide and comfort him through it.
  1. I Play with My Son – Whether it’s reading the Pout Pout Fish 18 times a day, watching Troll Hunters and snuggling on the couch, holding a conversation on play cell phones, or building the tallest Lego structure, I take time to sit down and play with my son. I think it’s important to have that one-on-one time with my little guy!
  1. I Let Things Go – Before I had my son I was insanely particular about everything. If something was out of place, I would have an internal breakdown. Now as a mother, “I let it go,” as Elsa put it in Disney’s Frozen. My previous need for perfection is something I do not want to pass along to my sons. I want them to know it’s OK to make mistakes and not everything has to be perfect.
  1. My Son Has Manners – My two-year-old says please and thank you unprompted. I have a little gentleman on my hands. Whenever he asks for something he starts of his request with “please” and ends it with the sweetest “thank you.” I will take all of the credit!
  1. I Worry About Being a Good Parent – I worry about being a good parent all of the time, which in my mind means I am a good parent. I question if I am showing my son enough affection, am I teaching him the right things, am I responding to his needs appropriately, etc. My boys are my everything and I want to make sure I am doing my best as a parent to lead them down the right path, whatever that may be.
  1. I am Raising Good Men – As a mother it is my job to make sure my kids are working towards the greater good. The way I speak, react, and interact with my kids is all in hopes of raising decent human beings. They will be men who will care for others, be accepting of everyone, stand up for what is right, and show love and respect. We need to good men, and God-willing, I am doing my part to ensure that we do.
  1. I am a Certified Mama Bear – I self-identify as a mama bear. You may or may not see this as a good thing, but I wear the badge with pride. I am extremely protective of my boys and I will do everything in my power to protect my babies. Do you know the signs at the zoo that say “Please don’t mess with the caged animals”? Well they apply to my every day life as well. I should walk around with a sign that says, “Please don’t mess with my kids, because it will not turn out well for you.”

Hey moms, I’m tagging you to participate in the #RockingMotherhood Challenge:

  1. Brittney at Our Shouts of Joy
  2. Cacia at DIAMOM
  3. Jaclyn at Jaclyn Bree – Living the Rocky Life

 

#RockingMotherhood Guidelines

1.Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.

2.List 10 things you believe make you a good mother.

3.Tag some bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.

4.Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

Hey moms! You’re #RockingMotherhood

Toddler Favorites: Top 5 Netflix Movies and Shows

Unlike most toddlers, my son enjoys sitting down and watching a full length movie. There are very few TV shows that grab his attention, but I will mention two here that he loves! He doesn’t want 15 minute clips, he wants a one-and-a-half-hour feature film; the whole enchilada (clearly I’m craving Mexican food #pregnancy)!

Like most American households, we love and utilize Netflix on a daily basis. My two-year-old can navigate through the app on his IPad better than I can on the TV. He has his select movies and Netflix original series that he defaults to watching every single day. I’m not exaggerating when I say EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I could probably act out every one of these movies and each episode of the shows word for word. Good thing he has good taste in his digital selections.

* Yes! My two-year-old son has an IPad and I’m OK with that. He uses it for much more than watching movies and shows. He plays educational games about shapes, colors, sizes, letters, numbers, and spelling. I’ve witnessed the benefits of using the IPad at a young age. * 

Here are my son’s top 5 Netflix movies and shows:

Disney’s Zootopia:

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Photo courtesy of movies.disney.com

This movie was one of the first movies my son watched all the way through. There are certain parts *SPOILER* such as Judy being scratched in the face by Gideon or when Nick goes back in time to relive his saddening experience with the boy scouts, that he is not a fan of. He is very empathetic child, and when he sees his favorite characters go through a hard time, it breaks him down.

When the opening credits start and he sees young Judy enter the screen, he squeals in delight, laughs, jumps up and down, and screams “JUDY!!!” When he’s not feeling well or when he just wants to sit down and relax, this is the movie he goes for.

I will say, as a parent, I enjoy watching this movie. There are plenty of jokes only understood by adults and the storyline is something I can get behind. I want my son to believe that he can do anything he puts his mind to, just like Judy who became the first bunny cop in Zootopia history. As his biggest advocate, I know he can!

Justin Time Go!:

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Photo courtesy of http://www.netflix.com

This Netflix original series is great for your little explorer. It follows a young boy named Justin and his two imaginary friends, Olive and Squidgy, who go back in history and travel the world. He goes to Alaska, Germany, the Polynesian Islands, and other far off destinations.

Each episode focuses on a particular lesson that kids face on day-to-day basis. For example, the importance of going to bed and getting a good nights sleep or facing your fears. If you have an older child, this is a great show for them to not only learn about the world, but to become more self-aware as they continue to develop and grow.

I think my son has a crush on the character Olive, because he often stops dead in his tracks when she comes on the screen. She is the voice of reason for Justin and it appears for my son as well. I often catch him mimicking Olive’s statements, i.e. “cuckoo clock”, “let’s go!”, or “be patient.” I love that this show encourages my son to step outside of his current vocabulary and phrase words together.

Dreamwork’s Troll Hunters:

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Photo courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com

“JIM!!!!” is currently being screamed into my ear by my two-year-old. This Netflix original series created by Guillermo del Toro, is quite possibly my son’s favorite show to watch. It’s the story of a young boy, Jim and his friends, both troll and human, as they try to save two worlds from destruction.

You think “trolls? Geeze that must scare your son, right?” Well, you are wrong! My son often acts out the role of troll hunter, pointing his toy sword, a stick, light saber, whatever he can get his hands on, taking on the “baaaadddd guuuuuuuuyssss!” as he likes to put it. He can easily differentiate between the “good” trolls and the “bad” trolls.

We have watched this series as a family, because it’s great, about 7 or 8 times all the way through. I often catch jokes that I missed the time before as we re-watch and re-watch the series over and over again. This show gets two thumbs up from my entire clan.

Hotel Transylvania 2:

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Photo courtesy of http://www.sonypictures.com

Adam Sandler’s second installment of the Hotel Transylvania movie series is frequently observed in my household. Both Hotel Transylvania movies are cute and family-friendly. Even though it is rated PG for action, rude humor, and “scary” images, I don’t think it’s inappropriate for my son to watch.

As Dracula works towards bringing out the vampire in his grandson, who is half human and half monster, he learns the lesson of accepting his grandson for who he is. The movie really focuses on the importance of being true to yourself as well as the love of family.

My son often points at Dennis, the young boy, and says “you, you, you!” Which is my son’s terms, “you” is how he refers to himself. Dennis has curly red hair just like my son, so essentially in my toddler’s eyes they are the same person.

Pixar’s Finding Dory:

The pitter patter of small feet runs across the house as my son runs to his room to collect his stuffed Dory. He embraces the plush fish in both arms and gazes lovingly at the screen as the Pixar logo appears. His eyes light right up!

We are currently learning all of our animals, in particular sea life, so my son loves to watch all of the sea critters interact and come together at the aquarium within the movie. The beluga whale, played by Ty Burrell, cracks my son up! His little giggles echo throughout the house. It’s one of my favorite sounds in the world!

Even though my son is young, Finding Dory has encouraged us to talk to my son about holding our hands, staying close, and not running away. I mentioned earlier that he is extremely empathetic, so when Dory is separated from her family, his little heart breaks into a million pieces, but by the end of the movie he is whole again. We explain the sadness he is experiencing along with Dory, is what happens when we run away from mommy and daddy. So, when we ask if he is going to stay close to us and always hold our hand, he wildly shakes his head yes and says “Okay!” We just love Finding Dory and all that it offers our little one.

These are just 5 of the many wonderful selections Netflix has to offer in terms of show and movies for toddlers. My son likes what he likes and he always go right back to these 5 selections time after time.