It’s probably no surprise to you to hear that I have a serioussweet tooth. And one of my all time favorite desserts is a root beer float. When Hubs and I started dating we used to go anywhere and everywhere for a good root beer float. When I was in college I discovered Float just a few blocks from campus here in Pasadena. Since my first visit I was hooked! I have since become a regular at this spot and I still love it just as much as day one.
They actually have an amazing menu of creative floats mixing specialty glass bottle sodas with delicious handmade ice cream. From the combinations to the the toppings, I am always amazed at the creativity. Today we tried the Neapolitan and it was seriously the best thing ever! It had strawberry chip ice cream, manhattan vanilla soda, mini chocolate donuts, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles. And that’s not all. Want to know the best part? Lila got a mini one! That’s right. Every Monday from 3-6 they offer a Mommy & Me Float. Buy one float, get a mini float for your mini me- free!
It’s no secret that my little lady, Lila, is my BABY. I have defiantly been known to be a helicopter parent because I am pretty much that girl’s shadow. Since she is my first and only kid I have been keen on not missing a moment. I mean, not missing a singlemoment. She spends nearly one hundred percent of her time with me. I rarely will have my mom watch her for any reason. I can’t explain why I feel so attached to her, I just never want to be without her. Does anybody else feel that way?
Now that Lila is in full on kid mode I wanted to share with you ways that I have been encouraging her independence in different ways around the house. It’s hard for me sometimes to stop myself from just doing everything for her.
In The Kitchen
- If I am cooking in the kitchen, I give Lila a special title of “Kitchen Helper.” She begs to be called this and will do anything I ask as long as she is referred to by this nickname. Figuring this out was a game changer in getting her excited to help out.
- While in the kitchen I will ask her help for getting ingredients out the refrigerator. She can reach even the highest shelf in our fridge so unless something is really far back or blocked by a lot of other items, she can grab things with ease.
- When the ingredients are being chopped or mixed I try to include her as much as possible while still being safe. Her favorite thing to do is pour pre-measured ingredients into bowl or mix with spoon in bowl.
- When lunch is getting cooked I will hand her items to put items in trash. She really loves putting things in the trash can and my husband will ask her to do this from all over the house.
- One thing I have never done is fed Lila. You know like put some on a spoon and fly it into their mouth pretending it’s an airplane? Not me. Ever since Lila started eating solid food I put her plate in front of her with a fork/spoon and let her have at it. At first mealtime was pretty messy, but the better her hands got with utensils the less messy it became. Since she has never had help, she doesn’t expect it. She is very independent when it comes to eating and even picking what she is hungry for.
- I usually will offer two options and let her pick. This makes it easy because she has control over what she is eating while I get to pick what the options are. We do this for snacks and full meals.
- When mealtime is over Lila will actually ask for a wipe and wipe her own face. It is something she started doing all on her own and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She sometimes needs help with her hands and if she asks I will help her.
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a clothing rack with all of her available options. The majority of her outfits that she wears inside or outside daily are all created by her. I do monitor which selections go on the rack, but when it comes to picking outfits it is all her. Unless we are taking photos where she needs to be wearing a specific outfit. I really do try to never go against her outfit choices once they have been picked out.
- Things that she can do by herself while getting dressed/undressed include:
- pulling her shirt off of her head
- pushing her arms through sleeves
- pulling her socks off
- putting her shoes on
- pulling her shoes off
- putting shoes in the shoes basket by our front door
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a hamper where she puts her own clothes in a dirty bin after they have been worn.
- When the bin fills up she will help me transfer the clothes from bin to washer, washer to dryer, and dryer to bin.
- We are having a hard time learning how to fold without turning the clothing into scrunched up piles. We will get there! haha. (Tips welcomed!)
In The Bathroom
- Washing handsis something that I do need to watch her do because she is up on a high stool. But she does the water and soap all on her own.
- Letting me know she needs a new diaper. She will always tell me when she needs a new diaper and even go and get one for me to change her.Potty training is around the corner and that’s a whole new ball game.
- This is simple but I alwayslet her pick which towel to use when she gets out of the bath. She will pick it before hand and we use it when she needs to dry off.
I hope you enjoyed these simple ways I am encouraging independence at home. We are adding to the list everyday it seems that before I know it I’ll have a little citizen on my hands.
*Photos by Rebecca Orlandini Photography
Happy Monday. I have swing music playing in our clean living room with our bags already unpacked and I am feeling like it is indeed a happy Monday. Last Friday we headed west to Marina Del Rey and stayed at the Jamaica Bay Inn- the cutest spot right on the beach. When we arrived to the hotel it was pretty late at night and pitch dark outside so we went straight to our room. Lila was so excited to be in a new place and wanted to explore so badly. I told her in the morning we would make sure to explore every inch of the place but that she had to go to bed. When we woke up in the morning we went straight to our balcony and realized how beautiful the grounds were. The sun was shining bright and you could smell the ocean breeze- it was pretty fantastic.
For breakfast we ordered room service and watched Disney Channel with Lila on the bed. If that’s not vacation I don’t what it is! After breakfast we got dressed and walked around the grounds and then the beach. There was an adorable playground right there on the beach and we had to tear Lila away from it. When we all have worked up an appetite from playtime we took a short walk back to the hotel restaurant. That restaurant became a quick favorite of mine, their fish tacos I am already craving again! After lunch at the hotel we checked out the gorgeous heated pool with a view. Lila absolutely loves to swim and the temperature of this pool was beyond. When we were done at the pool we went back to the room and gave Lila a shower and got her in cozy clothes hoping we could get her to take a nap, since she got all of that exercise at the pool.
Later in the evening we stayed in the room since it was dark outside. What’s up with it getting dark at 4 o’clock these days?? The room was so cozy it was really easy to just hang out and lounge. We brought a small backpack of activates for Lila to do and play with so she was happy just to have music on and coloring with her toys around her.
I definitely did not miss home this trip. Something about those ocean ions just keep your mind at ease. I also loved our morning walks around the hotel. It was such a beautiful place to explore and experience. I already want to come back to just to get those fish tacos and go on a walk through the sand with Lila.
Thanks for reading! If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting Los Angeles, look no further!