Keiko Zoll

Keiko Zoll is a writer, designer, advocate, geek and all-around sassypants, blogging about parenting, geek chic, and living an inspired life at Good Strong Words. She's mom to Judah and wife to high school sweetheart, Larry (collectively known as Team Zoll). Keiko is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Infertility Voice. She is best known for her lullabies, Sunday morning pancakes, Instagram-ing way too many photos of food, and obsession with mason jars.Follow Keiko's adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Our Secret to a Well-Behaved Toddler When Dining Out

Anytime we go out to eat, friends, family, waiters, and even complete strangers will turn to us and say, “He’s so good!” gesturing to our 16-month-old. Sometimes I think a well-behaved toddler in a restaurant must be a rare thing indeed given the amount of times we hear this compliment given to us!

There’s really only one thing we do that has basically ensured that Judah will not only behave well, but enjoy himself at the same time. Here’s our secret to his fabulous behavior.

Learning to Love the Mess

Toddlers and messes go hand in hand. It’s simply a part of life as a toddler! I could spend every waking minute chasing after Judah with a baby wipe in hand… Or, I could take a far more Zen approach to toddler messes.

Dare I say it: I’ve even learned how to love the mess.

Learning to Love the Mess

The Hardest Part About Parenting

Parenting is hard work! There’s just no other way to say it. It’s the kind of work that can leave you completely exhausted and wiped out at the end of a long day – and then seeing your little one flash you a smile, blow you a kiss, or do something positively adorable that makes every second of all that hard work worth it.

All the messes, the tantrums, the diaper blowouts… these are nothing compared to what I think is the hardest part about parenting of all. The answer is in this picture below.

The Hardest Part About Parenting

How We're Teaching Our Toddler to Walk

Judah is 16 months old. He can sing along with songs, he can clap on rhythm, and he speaks over fifty words. The only thing he can’t do yet? Walk. Judah is so close: he cruises, he crawls, and a few times now, he’s even let go and stayed standing for thirty seconds. It’s those first steps that continue to elude him. Our doctor isn’t worried and truthfully, neither are we. Some toddlers just take their own time to learn how to walk.

That doesn’t mean we’re aren’t encouraging our son to take his first steps. Here are five ways we’re helping Judah learn how to walk!

How We're Teaching Our Toddler to Walk

Judah's Apple Picking Adventure!

We can officially check off “apple picking” from our Fall Activity List. We had a great weekend outing with our friends Becca and Rafi, and their little toddler – also a Judah! (It is a small world, after all.) Our boys enjoyed exploring the apple fields of Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The weather was perfect: not too sunny, not too hot – and there were still plenty of apples left for picking.

We left with bags and bellies full of apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, and local honey. The boys were exhausted and had a fantastic time. Here are highlights from our apple picking adventure!

Rocket Fuel