Mary McBride

Mary McBride is mother to two Ethiopian daughters and wife to one geek husband. She lives in San Francisco with her sweet little family and one too many cats. Mary writes about adoption, family life, and her inability to resist dessert on her family blog, Finding Magnolia. Follow Finding Magnolia on Twitter and like them on Facebook to stay updated on all of their family adventures.

Farewell to Elvie's Babyhood, and Farewell to Disney Baby

This month, Elvie turned two, and while she still retains some babyish habits, I have to admit that our baby days are over. We are full on into toddlerhood and all that lies beyond. Most days, I can’t believe that it all flew by so quickly. I look back at the photos from the beginning, and I compare them to the little girl who is sprawling out on my bed in the morning, taking over my entire pillow, and I think, “Impossible!” But of course it is not impossible, and I have records in so many places that it wasn’t all just a very fast-moving dream. One of the reasons, among many others, that I have loved writing for the Disney Baby blog is that I have been able to record our special moments with Elvie one more place, to share her amazing story with even more people. But now those days have come to a close. My farewell to Elvie’s babyhood also means a farewell to the Disney Baby blog.

Comfier and Cuter Diaper Changes? Yes, Please!

I’ve been evaluating a lot of our baby gear lately, trying to decide what we still can use, what we need to donate or consign, and what we need to replace. The toddler years still share some common needs with the baby years, and I want to make sure that I’m stocked on the basics. One particular area of continued need is our diaper changing system. With all the extra medical devices that have been a part of Elvie’s babyhood, almost everything on our changing table has taken a beating, including the changing pad covers. I know it’s not something many people feel like they need to be picky about, but I really want my changing pad covers to be functional, soft, and look good in the room. The Disney Baby character changing pad covers are bright, featuring familiar characters, with the added bonus of being super soft. If you’re picky about little things like I am, you’re sure to find one that will suit you and delight your little one.

Toddler Take-Along Essentials

The baby stage is sweet and snuggly, but I have to admit that moving into the toddler stage has been somewhat of a relief. When Elvie was a baby, we had to bring so much stuff along with us. My bag was always unwieldy, and I almost always forgot something essential and had to pick up an extra while we were out. These days, there are just six things we need to bring along, even if we will be out all day. My bag is lighter, and we get out more, because it’s simpler. Here are my six essentials that I throw into my bag as we leave.

A Party Planning Timeline for Busy Party Planners

For our family, the last five months have been extraordinarily busy. We traveled, came home and had a surgery for Elvie ten days later, then adjusted to life with Elvie in a body brace through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and into the New Year. By the time her birthday rolled around, we had another surgery scheduled and were still working hard on physical therapy. Despite the pace of life, I wanted to throw Elvie a party that would be magical and memorable, and I knew it would be worth it to make it happen. And we did! What really made it work for me was having a timeline. It allowed me to spread out tasks and get everything done, without a whole lot of extra stress. If you’re in a busy season of life, it is still possible to throw a party for your little one without making it the most stressful item on your to do list. Below is my timeline; I hope it helps.

Turning 2: Elvie's Simple and Fun Farm Animal Party

When it came time to plan Elvie’s birthday party, I knew just what she would like. Her very favorite books involve animal sounds, and some of the ones she makes with gusto are farm animal sounds. I planned a simple party around a farm animal theme, and everyone had a good time, especially Elvie. We invited our guests to come by for cupcakes, snacks, and pin the tail on the donkey, and the rest of the magic was made by the people who came to celebrate Elvie turning two. It was a lovely little party, and we are so happy with how everything turned out. Here are some photos of the food, the decor, and of course the birthday girl.

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