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mamapapabubba mamapapabubba

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Jen Kossowan  Mama to Gracen & Sam 👧🏼👶🏼 🎈play 🎨 creative projects 🥑 healthful food ✈️ travel 💙 preemie mom 🇨🇦 okanagan 💌 jen@mamapapabubba.com

Oh hello, Palm Springs. 🌴 Our girls’ week is officially in progress and we’re having way too much fun. ☀️

A BAG A DAY WHILE IM AWAY ✈️ My little tradition with the kids when I go on a little trip or get away. ❤️ I don’t go away often and I truly don’t like leaving them, but I think preparing a little something for them to open each day makes me feel better and makes my departure a little easier. It’s something to look forward to each day and an easy way to keep track of how many days there are until mama gets home. 😊 What’s inside changes each time, but I always include a hand written note and something simple for them use / do / enjoy that day. Sometimes it’s stuff we already have on hand, sometimes it’s small things I’ve bought - it just depends. .
Here’s what I’ve left this time (swipe right to see):
monday | bubble wands & sidewalk chalk to use outdoors 🌳☀️
tuesday | bath crayons & stampers to use in the tub 🛁
wednesday | colouring contest pages & some crayons and pencil crayons 🖍
thursday | treats to enjoy with a Netflix show 🖥

CAR COLOUR SORT 🚗🚕🚙 I’m a big fan of letting my kiddos’ interests lead the way when it comes to the activities we do, so this was a perfect fit for my boy who LOVES cars, trucks, and colours! 🌈 It really doesn’t get easier either - construction paper taped down to the table (or floor), cars and trucks in coordinating colours, and a little basket to keep the vehicles in until they’re sorted. 🚘 I set the basket of cars down on the table, and off he went - I didn’t even have to explain {though obviously you can demonstrate how to match the cars if needed}. By the end of it, he was zooooming his cars across the table, screeching the brakes, and wildly parking them on their coloured ‘parking spots’, which was just so funny and perfectly him. ☺️ All the details at http://mamapapabubba.com/2018/02/22/car-and-truck-colour-sorting/ - clickable link in profile.

I knew that moving to a small town wouldn’t be easy... In Kuwait, we lived in a complex with all of our closest friends, travelled as much as we could, & were always doing or hosting something. Even things like grocery shopping & driving down the road were an adventure. In Vancouver, we were constantly out and about soaking up the city. Never ever did I think to myself, ‘Gosh, I wonder what we can do today...’ The options were plentiful & new things were always popping up. I ADORED living in Vancouver. The transition to small town Okanagan hasn’t been easy, but that was expected. Surprisingly, the hardest part has been the lack of support for Sam. I knew we were spoiled in Van... We had the most amazing IDP consultant and physiotherapist & both went out of their way to see Sam succeed. When we considered leaving the city, one of the first things I looked into was what was available in terms of support for Sam... On paper, everything is here. There was no reason for us not to leave. I don’t know if it’s disorganization or overload or something else, but we’ve been here 6 and a half months & we still aren’t in a solid routine with our IDP consultant. We saw one twice, weren’t contacted for several months, & then were just recently transferred to a new one as she is covering a 10 month maternity leave, “which will take Sam to the point where he’ll be exited out of the program anyways”. We’ve seen our physio twice & after our initial meet and greet, we were told that she had done an assessment and scored him in the 25th percentile across the board for his corrected age {waaaay lower than where he was in Vancouver} & haven’t heard back. I feel like I have to chase people down just to get the services he’s SUPPOSED to be getting and it’s frustrating. On the bright side, our new consultant seems more dedicated to supporting Sam & best of all - we’re going to see the amazing Laura (@kidsphysiomum) of @kidsphysio when we’re in Vancouver in a couple of weeks! She’s going to do an assessment AND give us a program to do at home with Sam that will be perfectly suited to his needs & ensure that he continues crushing his goals. SO excited to have a plan & be back on track!!

GREEN ORANGE CREAMSICLE SMOOTHIE 🍊🌿 Since we started making daily green smoothies back in 2011 (😱), this one has always remained my personal favourite. {I mean orange and vanilla?! Talk about a MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN!!} I have a proper recipe on my site, but I switch things up a little based on what we have and it always turns out delicious. Basically it’s a GIANT handful of spinach (like as much as you can possibly hold), a frozen banana, a couple of big oranges (and a mandarin or clementine just for fun if you have one on hand), a handful of frozen mango, pineapple, or peaches, a big splash of good vanilla, a big splash of pure OJ, and enough water to blend it all up! Soooooo delicious and perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up! 🍌🍍🍊🍊🍊

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK STORY TELLING TRAY 💙 Anyone else have a little one who just adores the Little Blue Truck books? Because we read them on repeat in our house! One of my favourite things to put together is story telling baskets / trays to go along with our very favourite books... The kids can use the objects to play out the story as it’s being read to them, they can retell it using the objects independently, or they can use the props and what they know about the story to direct their own story / play. 🙌🏼 All the details over on the blog at http://mamapapabubba.com/2018/03/02/little-blue-truck-story-telling-basket/ (clickable link in profile).

SIDEWALK CHALK SHAPE JUMP ☀️ The easiest thing ever and Sam is just loving it! ‘Jump game, Mama? Jump gaaaame??’ Basically I drew shapes on our driveway, he picks one to start on, and then I call out different shapes for him to jump to. That’s it! ✨With G spending most of her toddler and preschool years in the Kuwait, I’m pretty sure we’ve played every possible version of this (gotta make the most of what you have and in our case, it was a massive, communal concrete courtyard!) We did the same thing with colours, numbers, letters, sight words, addition questions, colour mixing - my gosh - I could go on! Tons of possibilities and all you need is a couple of pieces of chalk. 🙌🏼 {Also, if you’re going to watch the video of us playing, please try to ignore my annoying excited Mom voice.... 😬🙈}

Is it weird that I would watch this boy eat all day long if I could?! Also, lost a couple of peas to the water... 😂

Before & After ✨ {Although the before was really 10 minutes into my speedy girl’s cleaning mission, so it’s more of an ‘in progress’ shot - just imagine lots more mess. ☺️😂} LOVE starting the weekend with a freshly cleaned house... Next up, the disaster that is our upper floor. 👊🏼

QUINOA CHILI 🌶 If a make a huge pot of this this morning, will I get the weekend off of cooking? 🤔 Please say so! I made this in Stories this week, but basically it’s a sautéed onion, celery, and garlic puréed into a big jar of tomato sauce and some tomato paste {no chunks of slimy stuff if you want Miss G to happily eat it! 😏} Then the purée goes back into the pot with a couple of cans of black beans, a can of kidney beans, a can of baked beans, a half a cup of uncooked quinoa, and some chili powder, cumin, oregano, and parsley {I add parsley to everything because it doesn’t taste like much and extra greens are extra greens! 🤷🏼‍♀️} and simmer until the quinoa is tender. Lastly, add some frozen corn and salt and pepper to taste, give it a couple of more minutes, and you’ve got chili for a couple of days at least. 🙌🏼 Serve topped with cheese, avocado, cilantro or whatever else you like! 🥑

Dinner remnants all over his face, wild hair, that droopy little eye that sometimes pops up in photos... Our perfect little Sam. 💙 I’m finishing up a post on prematurity currently and every time I reflect back on all this little boy has been through, it makes extra, extra grateful that we are where we are.

SPRING BOOKS FOR TODDLERS 🌷We brought out our spring books yesterday and oh, did the kids ever have fun sorting through them! We seem to have loaaaaads of spring and Easter themed books, but this little collection of board books includes many of my favorites to read with Sam. My one must read? The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett. (Such a sweet story!) 🥚Also, I’ve had lots of questions about how we store our seasonal books recently, and while I wish I could tell you I have some awesome system, the truth is they’re all stored between two big bins (sorted by holiday and season) and I just pull them out when needed / return them once we’re done with them. Nothing fancy, but it works. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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