On Leighton: Dress & Bag (handmade in Mexico)
Lately Shane and I have really been trying to involve Leighton in the cooking process. She wants to be held and on our level, so the easiest way to get things done these days seems to be to include her in. And it makes her pretty happy too. = ) I've had a couple friends tell me about learning towers and how they bought them and loved them because they make their toddler feel independent but still close to mom and dad like they still part of the action. After researching them for a bit, we decided to go with this learning tower from buybuy BABY, I love the different color options it comes in, and I love how the sides are open for the child to climb in and out all by themselves. If you're child is younger, you may want to supervise this, but at almost 2, Leighton is very careful about climbing in and out by herself while we are with her.
Not only has the learning tower come in handy while helping us cook, Leighton actually uses it to eat in sometimes. For a quick lunch or a snack, it's perfect and makes her feel much less confined than a high chair. We also use it for painting. We push it up to the kitchen counter and set her poster board and paint out and let her paint away while standing in her learning tower. I was having to tote her around all day while at the house (when we're not babywearing!) so it's been so nice to help her gain just a little independence (but not too much. I'm not ready for her to grow up quite yet!)
Since we've started cooking together, we decided that we needed a couple more essentials for Leighton. We bought her a little apron apron that is just for her and a special Mickey Mouse waffle maker, She absolutely loves Minnie Mouse (and waffles!) so I thought this would be perfect to cook our first meal together. I decided to alter my paleo pancake recipe and make waffles with the waffle maker instead. All we did was peel one banana and mash it up with 2 eggs. From there we just poured in the batter and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Then we added our favorite topping. For us, that was blueberries. Leighton had so much fun cooking with me (especially peeling the banana and adding the blueberries), and she was so excited when she discovered we had made Mickey. Of course she doesn't even know that Mickey exists, and she calls him Minnie, but that is what makes it so cute and fun. We had so much fun, Shane bought ingredients and we cooked our first pizza together as a family over the weekend. We will definitely be adding this to the list as a weekly tradition. Have you cooked with your toddler any? What is your favorite meal to make together?