Random Shit to Entertain Baby

It’s a little known fact that the less toys a child has, the more they play. Now, I won’t lie to you and say my boys have nothing but a cardboard box and some crayons. In fact, they have a whole playroom; however, they’re also toddlers. When they were babies, I kept things minimal on purpose!

Babies don’t need toys. Babies need freedom to explore.

The infant brain is has more neurons that stars in the galaxy! These neurons need to excited, or used, otherwise they die off. When a baby is given a toy that does the same thing repeatedly, we’re limiting the brains capability and allowing the “use it or lose it” phenomenon to lessen our babies potential. So, avoid gimmicky battery operated toys, definitely avoid screen time, and instead provide rich sensory experiences with a bunch of random crap!

Materials to keep on hand for babies:

  • clothespins
  • craft poms
  • ribbons
  • ziplock bags
  • cardboard
  • egg cartons
  • cans
  • spoons
  • pots, pans
  • strainer
  • pipe cleaners
  • pasta
  • stones
  • finger paint
  • playing cards
  • muffin tins
  • sand/cornmeal
  • sponges
  • pillow cases
  • empty water bottles
  • mirrors
  • beans
  • waterbeads
  • parachute
  • bubble wrap
  • duct tape
  • food coloring

There’s probably more I could add to this list, but my brain is fried. Did I mention I have toddlers now? LOL

Besides reading stories, singing songs, wrestling, and baby dance parties get creative with these materials. Allow baby to explore them with no “point” in mind. Set the stones out with a pot and see what baby does. Perhaps they’ll have fun moving stones from a pot to a pan. Maybe they choose to throw them into the pot and laugh at the noise, or maybe they’ll bang the pot like a drum.

Set playing cards out next to a toaster or ziploc bag.

Put beans into an old sock for a sensory toy.

Use the clotespins with craft poms to make paint brushes and let baby “paint” with water onto a cardboard box.

Stuff things into a pillow case and let them dig them out.

Throw poms, bottle caps (supervised), beans, and stones into the muffin tins.

The sky is the limit with these materials and that’s the point! Let baby explore their world, and their abilities, creatively without rules or judgement. My boys are two now and will play with just about anything and I marvel at their creativity! They’ve never required “toys” to stay busy and explore. They create fun with whatever is around!

Sty gold!

That Girl


Welcome to the Infertility Party

I consider myself a bit of a veteran in the infertile world and I’ve found that only humor, faith, and a kick ass group of friends can help you navigate it without losing your mind entirely. This post is dedicated to the newbies wondering how they’ll make it out alive.


I was post anesthesia

I was post anesthesia

1. The fertility center is a “fork in the road” (emotionally) EVERY single time you walk in the door, whether it’s the first time or the last time. You can choose to break down, because you despise the fact that you’re there, or you can smile, laugh, and find the humor in each awkward situation. I remember one day being spread eagle in the stirrups, my lady parts exposed, and a tech intern (who looked 12 years old & very uncomfortable) walked in. I awkwardly found a way to meet her eyes and said, “Welcome to the party!” She laughed, but more importanly, so did I! Humor helps.

2. I used to hate getting sonograms because for awhile there EVERY single one was bad news. I’d leave in tears, call my mom, consider driving off the 360 bridge, and go home to curl up in fetal position and watch bad daytime TV. So, one day I asked my husband to go with me. When he saw the 2 foot long vaginal wand next to the computer screen his eyes got huge and he asked, “Where does that go?”. I laughed and said, “I’ll give you one guess”. He said, “Chels, I beg you…when the nurse goes to insert that, lift your ass off the table and yelp, ‘Whoa, wrong hole!'” Ha ha ha ha ha! Well, I didn’t have the balls to pull that off, but I did giggle through the whole exam.

3. Our first IUI was extremely stressful. The doctors & nurses gave us ZERO instructions regarding the process and we had no idea what to expect. All we knew is they’d take our “sample” (aka sperm), spin it in a machine to whip the lil guys into action, and then insert the juice via a catheter. Well, I made a playlist for our first IUI and included songs like, “Whip It”, “Spin Me Round”, and “Whip My Hair” to make us smile.


first prayer as man and wife

1. It can be hard to keep the faith when you experience a disappointment every 28 days. When you were a teenager, your period meant you couldn’t wear your fave white shorts to the party Friday night, but as an infertile adult, every period is like being punched in the gut and hearing God laugh, “Ha ha ha, not this time!” I had to stop looking at God as the evil one reframe my thinking to remind myself that it was not Him doing this to me. God was the one in charge of the process as my protector and provider. Only He can decide when the time is right for your baby to be born. It’s your job to take the tests, swallow the pills, follow the schedules, but ultimately He is still in charge.

2. I also went through a period of wondering if using infertility treatments meant I was playing God. Was I creating a “synthetic baby” as portrayed in the media? My baby sister, Skyler, said “Science only goes so far. God decides if life gets created”. She was right. The medicine may assist you in the process, but life does not form inside you without God’s consent.

3. My one and only pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage after 6-8 weeks (estimated gestation). The grief experienced there is a whole other level (and another blog post), but it nearly killed me. I was PISSED at God before I decided that maybe this was God’s way of saying, “Don’t give up. It’s still not time for your baby, but here’s a glimmer of hope that this is possible for you one day”.

Kick Ass Friends

The day I found out I was pregnant…before the loss

The day I found out I was pregnant…before the loss

1. My girlfriends and their husbands have been amazeballs! They’ve been an ear to hear me, a shoulder to cry on, and bartenders when I needed a cocktail or a glass of wine.

2. They have NEVER tried to give me unsolicited advice or tell me what they think I should do…not once, which is awesome! I get so sick of people telling me, “use this oil”, “drink this tea”, “gain weight”, “stop running”, “don’t stress”….AHHHHHHHH!

3. They also gladly engage in my monthly, “I’m Not Pregnant Party,” which is how I avoid the 28 day mental breakdown. Instead of falling apart, I’d try to focus on what I could do since I wasn’t pregnant at the end/beginning of each cycle. I’d go for a run, eat sushi, and drink martinis.

Chelsea Vail, Deep Eddy vodka

PS: Don’t let the posts in the media about the 65 year old mom of multiples or the she-man who got pregnant discourage you…those should be signs that the science is strong. If those peops can get preggers, so can you. It may just take awhile. Keep heart.