I don’t care who you are or how old your kids are…I bet you that no mother is able to get through the book Love You Forever without weeping, crying or at least squeezing out a single tear. Are you up for it? My mom and I tried it and we couldn’t stop the tears….
When you’re a mom, you will do anything for your kid. I’m not just talking about the many times you have taken a booger from your child’s finger and wiped it on your own pants or spending endless hours watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but the little things that we have done for our kids just to make them smile. Meyer is obsessed with Elsa from Frozen to the point where she is wearing her glittery blue dress pretty much every day when I get home from work. She has the Barbie doll, the stuffed doll, the movie, the coloring books. You name it, she probably has it. But the one thing that she can’t have? A braid in her hair just like Elsa. I know, wipe your eyes, it is extremely depressing. Her hair just won’t grow long yet! And every time she sees anyone with a braid, or I wear a braid, or she sees Elsa’s braid, she just looks at me with those sad eyes and says, “Mommy, I want a braid like Elsa!” I couldn’t take it anymore! I decided to take this matter into my own hands last night. I gathered some of my long, blonde hair extensions, a blue headband from her collection and my sewing kit. About thirty minutes later, I had crafted a sweet little homemade Elsa braid to give to Meyer. When I presented my little gift to her the next day, her face lit up like I had just told her she had landed the starring role in the Broadway version of Frozen. She was so happy and immediately put on her new headband. Today is only Day One, but I’m pretty sure she is never going to take that thing off.
Depending on your body, your tolerance and your support system, pregnancy can be exhausting. Especially when you are 34 weeks and still feel like you can still do everything but naturally can’t, like me. I was the girl who could carry my toddler, the laundry basket full of clothes and a bag of groceries throughout the house with ease. Now my toddler has to carry me, my purse and her baby bag wherever we go. I do have my days where I feel like I can still skip up and down the stairs whistling happily, but those days are getting to be few and far between. My daily strength workouts have changed to a few squats and a push up a few times a week, my weekday lunch break walks have slowed down and incorporated more time on benches than on my feet and I am in bed by 8:00 PM nightly. But there are a few things that keep me going that I make sure to incorporate into my daily routine. I know these things are beneficial to my body and my baby, so it is crucial that I don’t forget to do them.
Every morning, I drink my concoction of water, lemon juice, honey and my Standard Process Prebiotic Inulin powder (a Prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in the gut). Then I take my prenatal vitamins and my Floradix Iron and Herbs supplement. For my prenatals, my personal choice is a combination of Standard Process vitamins that support pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. I opted out of the traditional over the counter prenatal vitamins that contain a handful of ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce and went with a more homeopathic route when I was pregnant with Meyer and chose to do the same with Baby G #2. Call me a hippie, but Standard Process vitamins are all natural and derived from food, so I know exactly what I am ingesting. I take Folic Acid B12, Calcium Lactate and Tuna Omega 3 Oil along with my balanced diet. Another step I never miss? I make sure to lather my belly every morning and night with either coconut oil or Shea Moisture lotion. Lastly, (and when I can), I try to squeeze in a walk or a strength training workout at least 3 times a week. It is so important to stay active (unless of course advised by your doctor not to) whether it is a simple walk around the block, yoga or a quick dip in the pool. (I think sitting on the couch in yoga pants watching TV with a resistance band around your legs works too). A good foot massage from the hubby, a hot bubble bath and a classic chick flick also should be incorporated into your week too…just sayin’.
Trying to keep myself happy and healthy with this pregnancy is exhausting enough but to be honest, I don’t remember my first pregnancy being this tiring! I remember being 8 months pregnant and still doing my Tracy Anderson workout videos in our loft downtown and walking up and down 7 flights of stairs daily a week before my due date. Then it dawned on me. Meyer was making me exhausted! I mean, I’m not blaming her or anything, but being pregnant alone is a lot easier than being pregnant with a toddler. Not only am I trying to get through my daily duties carrying around a watermelon in my belly, but I have a clingy toddler (who would be my personal cape if she could) that I am constantly chasing around. Which got me thinking about everything else I did with the first pregnancy that I didn’t with the second. Oh, poor second baby, they never have it as good as the first-born, right? You always hear the stories and see the commercials about the difference between the first and second born (organic everything vs. generic brand and using anti-bacterial on everything vs. simply brushing it off) but let me tell you, it is the truth! With Meyer, I documented my growing bump with a weekly picture in front of my chalkboard wall with the week # spelled out in chalk. I have yet to snap one weekly bump picture with Baby #2. I did a maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Meyer where I proudly displayed my naked self in the dusty hills of Temecula but never did that with Baby #2. I used to read to my bump and play music to it with one of those pregnancy audio belts during my first pregnancy but with Baby #2, it just gets a few nudges from Meyer and the music I listen to in the car.
A few weekends ago, my husband and I took our two-year old daughter on a trip to Austin, Texas and to the exact location where we said our ‘I Dos.’ It felt like home to be back and was heartwarming to see Meyer stomping around in the very spot where we began our life together and technically the thought of her eventually coming into the world. We even had a tree planted next to the ceremony site that Meyer got to see. To her it was just a tree and a rock but to us it commemorated a very special moment in our lives.
To bring Meyer to Austin was very special to us and we had to mark the occasion by buying her some cowboy boots, of course! The entire time we were there, she kept saying ‘Austin, Texas’ over and over again and didn’t want to take off her new boots once they were on her feet. We ate BBQ, walked up and down Congress Avenue, checked out a street fair on 6th Street, went to a few breweries and even got to see the famed bats emerge from the Congress Avenue Bridge. But the most special moment was taking her to Memory Lane Event Center in Dripping Springs, TX (right outside of Austin) where we got married on March 27, 2015. We chose this venue due to its proximity between California and Maine and because Austin is one of our favorite cities. Yes, she cried all the way there because she had to pee so bad and didn’t want to go on the potty. Then she ended up pooping in her Pull-Up in the parking lot, leaving Anthony and I a big mess to clean up, but all things aside, we were finally at Memory Lane with her in tow. Phew! Once we composed ourselves, we walked inside and were greeted by the friendly and familiar faces that had helped us out on our special day. It was crazy to be back and it felt like we were just there, prepping for the big day. We roamed the property, found our tree and snapped a few pictures where we said our vows and were pronounced husband and wife. It was such an incredible moment and we hope that Meyer can one day look back and thank us for sharing that special memory with her.
When I was pregnant with Meyer, the only ailment I suffered from (besides the giant tummy, indigestion and pregnancy waddle) was constant bloody noses. Which was totally normal for me because I had been getting nose bleeds since I was a kid, these were just more frequent due to pregnancy Rhinitis. But with this baby, I developed a full on sinus infection along with the nose bleeds, which was awesome! I didn’t even realize it was a sinus infection until I woke up one morning and the whole right side of my nose and cheek were swollen. It was one of those things where I could see my cheek from my eye line, so I was convinced that I looked like Sloth from The Goonies, even though it really wasn’t that bad. Along with going to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to get antibiotics that were approved by my OB/GYN, my holistic chiropractor told me that I should try the Neti Pot. The what pot? I had heard of this contraption but was very reluctant to use it, fearing that I would choke or sneeze mid-cleanse. And who wants to manipulate that feeling of having water up their nose themselves? That’s the WORST feeling ever! Hesitantly, I went to CVS and bought one. It looked like a tiny teapot that Meyer used in her Minnie Mouse brunch set, except you shove it up your nose. So, I filled it up with filtered water, added the packet of saline and gave it a shot. ACK! What a strange, yet satisfying feeling. As I was leaning over my sink, with the spout in one of my nostrils, the saline solution was traveling through my nasal passage and coming out the other nostril. Although it felt and looked crazy weird, it actually worked! I highly recommend it, if you can stomach that jumping into a pool without your nose plugged feeling.
Hey guys! I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles for my next favorite list, so here it is: there’s no sarcasm there, I swear! : )
- Click and Carry is possibly the most clever and helpful gadget ever! Like most moms, I am constantly juggling my purse, the baby bag and a shopping bag or two among other things. Click and Carry makes it so you can carry everything in one hand or on one shoulder. It’s awesome! Even Meyer likes it because she has so many purses and so little time!
- Zara Colored Skinny Pants are my favorite go to bottoms and are magical like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I swear, I have worn my same favorite red pair while I was at my skinniest and while I was pregnant.
- California Tot Rabbit Ears Faux Leather Bow-Stretch Headbands are the cutest most versatile headbands ever. Meyer loves them because they are comfortable and I love them because they are adorable. And once your baby gets a little older and doesn’t want to wear a headband anymore, they serve as a pigtail holder as well.
- Apothic Brew Wine is so yummy and different from any wine you have ever had. This red wine is infused with cold brew coffee and you can actually taste it unlike those other ‘hints of berry or chocolate’ reds that just taste like wine…And yes, I do choose to have a glass here and there even though I am pregnant…don’t judge me, I have a two-year old!
- Stitch Fix maternity Tank Tops are amazing and can even be worn when you aren’t pregnant. I ordered the set of three (white, black and tan) maternity tanks and have worn them again, at my skinniest (they are long so you can wear them with leggings) and at 9 months pregnant when my belly was ginormous.
- Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a blessing in a bottle. I still try to workout at least 3 times a week, whether it is with my resistance bands or P90X and I get so sore afterwards, especially now. This cooling gel feels so good on your sore muscles and will make you feel like normal again fast!
- Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte Lip is the perfect addition to your makeup bag. My favorite color is ‘Adorned’ but it comes in 5 colors to suit you and your skin tone.
- Simon and Schuster ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ Pop Up Book will bring you back to your childhood and keep your kiddos busy for hours. This very detailed pop-up book is based on the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ story, not the cartoon (so think more on the scary side if you know what I mean) and is so wonderfully done that I find something new every time I look at it. Meyer is just fascinated with the book but I have to hide it from her because she loves to look at it so much, it started to rip.
- Classic Disney DVDs are so fun to watch over and over again with your kids. They are so nostalgic! I know what you are thinking- ‘who still watches DVDs?’ But, we do! Not only do we have a DVD player in the Tahoe (it makes car rides so much smoother), we now have one in our loft. I had bought Moana and Frozen for Meyer to watch and my mom recently whipped out her collection and let Meyer have a few of the classics as well.
- Limm Resistance Loop Exercise Bands will keep you trim and tight even if you just use them for 20 minutes a day! If I just have a few moments to myself, or if I want to feel productive while watching TV, I put one on my calves and do my squat reps. They come in 5 different colors/resistance levels from Extra Heavy to Extra Light so even Meyer can ‘workout’ with me!
- Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Spray may look like it is from the 1980’s, but it will make you feel like a million bucks! When my friend introduced me to this can of heaven, I thought, ‘where the hell did you get that, your grandmother’s powder room?’ But wow, let me tell you how amazing this product is. When used on your legs, it hides any veins, blemishes or stretch marks you may have and even makes your legs look thinner! I even use it on my arms to give them an even, tan tone when going sleeveless.
- Oregon Chai Tea Latte at Trader Joe’s is so yummy and tastes just like a Chai latte at Starbucks (one of my faves). You just add the concentrated mix to some hot water, top it off with milk and BAM- let your morning begin!
Meyer is officially obsessed with wearing her Disney Princess dresses. Obsessed. Like to the point where she wants to put them on immediately when she wakes up and even wear them when she goes to bed (I had to put my foot down with that one). She has two Elsa dresses from Frozen, a Tinkerbell dress, a Minnie Mouse dress and newest to the collection? Elena of Avalor. We have no issues with Meyer wearing any of the dresses except that damn Elena dress….she is like the newest addition to the family that kind of crept up out of nowhere and has taken over the entire house. What do I mean by that? One word for you…GLITTER. It is as if I am living with an actual real life fairy, you guys. There is glitter everywhere. I wake up and there is glitter on my face. My husband will get to work and there is glitter on his backpack. It’s like the glitter finds ways into everything, even when the dress isn’t there! And to boot, we just got a new couch, which now shimmers and shines because Meyer walked into the living room wearing that dress and POOF- sparkle party! We have now restricted Meyer to basically only wearing that dress when she is A.) outside B.) standing in the empty bath tub, not moving, or C.) when she is at anyone else’s home but ours. But I can’t do that to my little girl, right? She loves that dress! So, I figured that I have two options. I can follow my Princess around all day, like her royal court, only with a vacuum in my hand, or I can figure out a way to keep sparkles from falling off clothes. My internet search engine must think I am a stripper or something with all the ‘glitter’/’sparkle’/’removing glitter’ searches I have done over the past few days. But I finally think I found a solution to this problem. I soaked the dress in cold water, shook the hell out of it (I was totally humming AC/DC’s ‘Shook Me All Night Long’ the entire time) and sprayed it with hairspray. Apparently, that will keep the sparkles on and keep my house from looking as if Dorothy and her ruby red slippers angrily stomped around every inch of my home…
Call me crazy, but I actually like potty training. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I get to see my little toddler’s proud face every time she goes potty, or if I am just looking forward to having one in underwear and one in diapers when the baby gets here in July, but either way, I am one happy momma! I have been working with Meyer on the potty since she was about 10 months old but I haven’t really been adamant about it until last month. It all started when she got some Disney princess underwear from my parents on her 2nd birthday. She wanted to wear them every day. So I told her that in order to do so, she had to use the potty, not her diapers. She agreed. We busted out the Pull-Ups and her potty seat and made sure that she knew she had to tell us when she had to go pee. (We also ask her every 5 seconds when she is wearing her underwear, just in case). She tells us when she has to go for the most part, but does cry wolf every once in a while, seemingly amused to see my husband and I scrambling around to grab her and race her to the potty. And of course, she has had a few accidents along the way (peeing on my bed, in her highchair and her Aunt Sarah’s floor) but nothing that couldn’t be cleaned up with some cleaning spray and/or detergent. Over the last few weeks, I think she has only worn a diaper a few times because she is still scared to go poop on the potty, but for the most part it is underwear and Pull-Ups 24/7. And yes, I do bribe her with gummy bears….how else will she learn? Her little face though when she starts to pee on the potty and seeing us so proud of her is worth all those loads of laundry we had to do after her accidents. And last night we had quite a breakthrough. I knew she had to go poop before her bath and I kept asking her if she wanted to go on the potty, to which she responded, ‘NO!’ So I tried over and over again to sit her on the big potty, then the little potty…still it was a no go. So, I put a diaper on her and told her that she could go in there if she wanted to. Still nothing. Then, I took off the diaper so I could put her in the tub and I could see that she was uncomfortable, so I had an idea. I put her on her little potty and told her that I was going to tell her a story. ‘There was once a little Princess named Anna, who was scared to go poop on the potty. Her big sister Elsa, who goes poop on the potty, told her that there was no reason to be scared and that she would help her through it. So Elsa sang to Anna while she tried to poop on the potty and finally, she was able to go and wasn’t scared anymore!’ And with that, she finally Let it Go (no pun intended). Thank you Frozen, it worked! Meyer finally went poop on the potty! She was grinning ear to ear and was so impressed by what she had done and I was so elated, it was as if I just won the Powerball! So I snapped a picture and texted it to Anthony. Little did I know, he was in the middle of dinner when he saw the poop picture flash on his phone and immediately lost his appetite. Oops!
I am a huge fan of birthday parties but for Meyer’s 2nd, I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate than by taking her to Disneyland. For her first birthday, we did a lemonade themed birthday party at the local children’s gym (she is my little Meyer lemon after all) and invited all of our family and friends. But when my husband and I came down to planning her 2nd birthday party, we felt that we wanted to do something different. If we threw her another big party this year, would we have to do the same every year? We thought about having small gathering at a local park but it seemed a bit pricey to rent the space for a few hours and then we would have to get it catered, buy all the decorations, yadda yadda yadda… Even if we just did it at our house, we would have to make the food, buy the cake and then there would be the dreaded cleanup afterwards. ACK! So, we decided to take her to Disneyland. Meyer’s first time at Disneyland was more magical than I remember my first time being, so celebrating her 2nd birthday there would surely be amazing! When I took her for the first time, it was as if I was reliving my childhood again through her eyes and watching her little dreams come true all at the same time. And to do that again on her birthday? How much more magical could it get? If you want to have your child’s next birthday at Disneyland, or any theme park for that matter, I have a few tips and advice to share.
Tell everyone that it is your child’s birthday. Scream it loud and proud! Especially at Disneyland, you have no idea how much attention your little one will get when they know it is her birthday. Our first stop at the park was the Disneyland Town Hall, where you can get a free birthday pin to flash to everyone. Once the characters and staff see that, they are surely to give you an extra hug, smile and birthday cheer. We even bought Meyer a birthday princess crown to wear, just in case anyone missed her pin. I even picked up some tiny party hats for anyone in our party to wear if they wanted to as well. With any character we met, I made sure to tell them it was Meyer’s birthday too and they either wished her a happy birthday or signed her autograph book ‘happy birthday.’ Meyer seemed so amazed that ‘they actually knew it was her birthday!’
Plan a special meal around your child. At Disneyland, they have a few different spots that offer a character breakfast or lunch, which is totally worth it! Disney’s PCH Grill, Goofy’s Kitchen, Storyteller’s Café and The Plaza Inn. We chose to do a character breakfast at The Plaza Inn, which is inside the park (most of the others are at the surrounding hotels, so if you are staying at one, those might be a better choice for you). At The Plaza Inn, it is a set price for an all you can eat breakfast buffet which consists of Mickey shaped waffles, pancakes, pastries, fruit, omelets, cereal, and basically anything else you can think of to eat. While you are eating, various characters come around the dining room and stop to talk to the kids and snap pictures. We met Captain Hook, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, Chip and Dale, Rafiki, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore.
Let your child dress themselves. Whether it is an old Halloween costume of their favorite Disney character, a frilly princess dress or a loud tutu, bring it on! And I am talking about the entire party, not just the birthday boy/girl. Most everyone in our party (my husband aside) dressed up in some sort of Disney attire and Meyer wore a Minnie Mouse t-shirt and bright red tutu. If you don’t want to splurge on an outfit at the Disney store, you can check out Amazon or Target as well to get some pretty good deals. I actually found my Minnie ears on Amazon for about 75% off the price you would pay at the park and I got a cute Mickey t-shirt at Kohl’s. Have fun with it and let your child pick whatever they want to wear. After all, it is their special day!
Maximize the birthday theme as much as you can. There are a few rides at Disneyland that have a small shout out to birthday parties and you can take full advantage of that and ‘pretend’ that they are specially catered to your child. Wink wink. The Winnie the Pooh ride has a scene at the end where they are celebrating a birthday, Alice and the gang of course sing A Very Merry Unbirthday To You on the Alice in Wonderland ride, and the Haunted Mansion even has a dining room birthday scene to celebrate.
Include the family to join you (or friends if your child is older). Meyer is only two, so at this age the only friends she really has are family. When she gets a little older, it will be fun to invite her closest friends to come along with us, but this time around, inviting her grandparents and cousin made the day extra special for her.
Let them indulge. What didn’t she eat that day? I let her go crazy and tried to forget all the mom ground rules and organic, cage free, sugar-free, Non-GMO, no fun guidelines that I normally try to follow. She had Mickey Mouse waffles, a Mickey shaped lollipop, an ice cream cone, a whole pickle, her chocolate birthday cake, etc. etc. etc. It’s one day, they can splurge! (Cut to 10:00 pm that night when they are still running around on a sugar high and you are already two glasses of wine deep, trying to get them to fall asleep…..I’m sorry!)
Get them that handy-dandy autograph book. I couldn’t stress it enough, especially when going to any theme park that has characters walking around. The autograph book is key! It may seem annoying at the time to dig around in your purse and whip it out every time you see a character, handing their giant gloved hand a tiny pen and see them struggle to sign when they can’t really see out of the eye sockets of their costume, but when you can look back and flip through that book with your kids, it brings back such special memories! And if you tell the characters that it is your child’s birthday, they will write a special message in the book and spend a little more time with them talking about their birthday or giving them an extra hug.
Let them pick their present at the end. Instead of buying them a present beforehand, tell them that if they are a good girl/boy, they can pick out their very own present at the end of the day. We went to Downtown Disney to pick Meyer’s present out and lucky for us she was asleep so she didn’t get the chance to pick out everything and then scream when we told her that we were only buying one thing. We got her the Animators’ Collection Deluxe Figure set featuring all of the princesses and it was as if I had handed her a check for a million dollars when she saw it after she woke up. Bonus points for Mom and Dad!
Have a plan. Trust me, I am usually one to just fly by the seat of my pants but when you only have one day at a busy theme park and there are other family members involved, a plan is essential. Whether it is a list of rides you want to go on, places you must visit or times for the different shows, a plan will make your day less stressful. And the best part about Disneyland is the app that you can download to your phone that tells you the wait times for the rides, locations for all the food, restrooms and shops and even where and when your favorite characters will be appearing. With a princess obsessed daughter, that came in the most handy. I know Meyer wanted to meet her favorite, Princess Tiana from Princess and the Frog, so I made sure I was camped out in front of Mark Twain’s Riverboat at exactly 11:59 am. so we would not miss her appearance at 12:00 pm-12:05 pm. But on the day we went, it was sprinkling a bit and apparently Tiana doesn’t come out in the rain, so my plan was shattered (really, girl?). Luckily, Meyer didn’t seem to care that much (she was preoccupied by her giant pickle) but I was more upset that I pretty much stalked her and didn’t get to meet her in the end. The good news? While we were walking to Mickey’s Toon Town later that day, I heard a familiar song coming from the Fantasyland Theater, dropped everything and ran up there to scope it out. It was TIANA!!!!!!!!!! I jotted down the next showtime for Mickey and the Magical Map and next thing I knew, we were enjoying the show with princesses like Mulan, Pocahontas and Tiana to boot. Score for Mommy! We all certainly had a blast celebrating Meyer’s 2nd birthday at Disneyland and didn’t have a messy house to clean up afterwards or a room full of toys that she didn’t need.
When compiling a list of my favorite things, I look at items that I use daily and things that simply make me (or someone I love) extremely happy. There are a few items that I use so often, they are always on my shopping list and there are some things that I know Meyer just adores. I took a look around my closet, our kitchen and Meyer’s room and made my next ‘cannot live without’ list. Here are some more of my favorite things:
1. Ecco Aimee Shoes. Besides going barefoot, these are the best things that I have ever worn on my feet. They are so comfortable, are super cute and can be worn with basically everything in my wardrobe.
2. Floradix Iron and Herbs. I am a huge fan of herbs and vitamins, especially now that I am pregnant. I make sure to take this liquid magic daily to give my body (and my baby) all the iron and vitamins that we need. It isn’t the best tasting concoction out there (think licorice with a hint of copper) but hey, it does a body good!
3. Illume Winter White candle. This is probably the best smelling candle I have ever sniffed and it even looks pretty to boot. It looks more like a conversation piece than a candle and smells like you are running through the woods with a tray of sugar cookies and an Abercrombie model.
4. Better Life cleaning products. There are a ton of ‘natural’ products on the market that may be all the rage right now but they still contain a few bad ingredients that Better Life does not. The number one offender that I see way too often is phenoxyethanol. Although I feel like no product can really be 100% natural unless you bust out the vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda, these products are pretty close to it.
5. Minnie’s Happy Helpers Brunch Cafe. Available at Toys R Us and Walmart to name a few, this toy is just as much fun for the adults as it is for kids! I have two words for you…Cereal Dispenser! And not only can you get a bowl of cereal on the go (the ‘cereal’ is actually plastic bows and Minnie faces) but you can ‘pour’ a cup of coffee, make some scrambled eggs (with a real sizzling sound) and flip your waffle in the waffle maker. Meyer could play with this thing for hours and she is delighted to help whenever I order a cup of coffee from her. It is darling.
6. Leslie Patricelli books. Call me simple and right to the point but these books do just that. With titles like Toot, Potty, Blankie, Tickle and No No Yes Yes to name a few, these books are cute, vibrant and informative for your kids. I love them and Meyer can’t get enough of them. She lingers on all the pages, she laughs and points at the pictures and she always says ‘again!’ when I am finished.
7. Kiddopotamus Tinydiner Placemat. This is the one product that I always get asked about when I am out in public. It is a simple, waterproof and handy mat that you stick to the table to eliminate any mess (if you can imagine) and make cleanup easy. Yes, if you are st a restaurant, you can just wash the table and use a plate, but with this product, you just whip it out of the baby bag, stick it to the table and know your baby is eating off a clean surface. Once they are done, you just wipe it clean, roll it up and put it back in the baby bag for next time. Genius!