A’s favorite snacks

Snack IdeasThe other day A asked me to refill his thermos with water and I told him I needed a minute to finish switching the laundry. When I walked back into the kitchen he had gotten his stool out, got a plastic glass from the cabinet and was busy getting water for himself and for J. And at that moment a light bulb went off in my head. Of course he can do that himself! Why has he not been doing that himself? Being the first born, there are so many things I just do for A without really thinking that he is old enough to do those things independently.

I have a drawer for the boys in our pantry (and a door container…as displayed here) for non-refrigerated snacks, but if they want anything from the fridge I have to prep it for them (get it out of a container, wash an apple, etc.). For A at least (J is a little young for that) he needs to be able to get veggie and fruit snacks himself.

Seeing lots of ideas on Pinterest (as one usually does nowadays), I decided to get a little snack box going on the bottom shelf of the fridge. I filled it with individual snack bags of veggies, and then cut-up individual sections of grapes, washed all the apples, etc.

A has a non-refrigerated allergy friendly snack at school (in addition to lunch), but he usually asks for another snack when he gets home. He can now pick something out himself, that is already prepped. Even though it’s only a few extra minutes of prep work each time, it’s incredibly helpful for him to be able to get these things on his own. And again I think, why didn’t I do this sooner?

Snack IdeasHere’s our little snack line-up in action. Nothing fancy, but effective.

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Ice painting

Ice PaintingI’ve seen this activity done lots of different ways on Pinterest. My idea was to use our Popsicle molds, because it would make a convenient handle for the boys. I set them up in their holder:

Ice popsicle paintingAnd then on one particularly hot day, I let the boys fill them with water, and then choose what type of food coloring to put in each. They picked green, green/blue, purple, orange, and “red” (which turned out to be hot pink). Their favorite part was shaking the color in the molds after I had sealed the tops. I stuck them in the freezer and actually forgot about them until this weekend, when they said they were bored with all their outdoor toys.

Ice paintingSo, I grabbed the popsicle paints for an activity. I found that they colored much better on paper than the patio. It also took a little bit of work to get the “paints” working because it was overcast. They started out making pictures and then went Pollock-style and were just dumping paint all over them. The food coloring did stain their hands some, but it came off in the bath.

I tried to save the finished pictures, but when I left them out to dry in the yard, the boys started running through the yard using the paper as capes. So…that’s an option too. 🙂 Happy Monday!

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2 Boxes + Crayons

I can’t remember if this was a craft or a meme I saw on Pinterest, but I saw a picture of a kid in a packing box with crayons and when it rained for most of the morning on Saturday it seemed like a great idea.

One quick trip to my parents to grab two boxes, some packing tape, and a stack of crayons and we had a good hour of entertainment for the boys. While I thought J would like it more (because he is constantly sitting in boxes), in actuality it was A who has gotten a bigger kick out of it. He is still working on his Mario castle.

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J ended up turning his box over and creating a make-shift shop (he sold crayons and pretend food):

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Dose of green

One of my favorite things to do with the boys during the summer is take them to the local plant nursery and let them wander around. A is really interested in plants right now, and so he asks many, many questions when we go (what type of plant is it? can you eat it? how much sun does it need? What would happen if a laser jumped out of the sky, hit the plant and it exploded into a million fruit snacks? You know. Typical stuff.). We never leave without buying a little something and this time was no exception. A picked out a yellow orange plant that required full sun because in his words “I like plants that like the sun”. So that’s, that.

I was actually looking for lemon grass because I had seen something on pinterest saying it repelled mosquitoes and figured it would be easier to find than the elusive citronella plant (it may not be elusive where you are, but then you may live someplace where mosquitoes aren’t chomping at the bit outside your back door. Lucky you!). The nursery worker told me they were completely sold out because in his words “somebody pinned something to that pinterest board about it being a mosquito repellant and our whole stock was gone in about two days”. That, people, is the reach of pinterest. They did, however, have citronella plants. So I picked up one of those. I honestly almost bought the whole lot of citronella plants because I felt bad for them. Just sitting there, like the person who used to be popular, but then a new girl came to school, and so they aren’t popular anymore and they have to sit by themselves at the lunch table. You know what I’m talking about.

ANYWAY. In the words of the nursery worker “I’m going to tell you straight…if you are trying to fend off mosquitoes naturally you are much better off to get the citronella plant than lemon grass. I don’t even know where they came up with lemon grass being a mosquito repellant.” True story.

So did you go out and buy lemon grass this year?? I would love to know! Anyway, here is a dose of green:

Does of green

Oregano

IMG_2378 A’s full sun flower pick

IMG_2379 Citronella plant

IMG_2380Who needs parsley or cilantro?? I have enough to feed the neighborhood!

IMG_2381Our new/old container (from my parent’s house). A and I also transplanted our spinach and re-potted it with richer soil in an effort to save it. You can see it in the back. It’s saying “help me, this lady isn’t a qualified gardener!” Hahaha.

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A Finished Project: Night Sky

About two months ago I was inspired by this picture I found on Pinterest. I had a canvas that I had done and re-done several times and decided to use it to create a canvas for J Baby’s room. A helped me put it all together and it took quite a bit of work, so when we were done A didn’t really want to part with it. Now I am in the process of creating a similar design for J’s room so they can both have one.

Here is the version in A’s room:

Materials you will need:

Canvas

White Art paper (I used folded easel paper from A’s easel)

Mod Podge (or you can create your own)

Staple gun (watch yourself!)

tissue paper

Lots of blue, white, and black acrylic paint

Star stamp (I cut mine out of a sponge)

Silver glitter

What we did:

First, I let A color the easel paper with a variety of crayons (his only instructions were to not use only black and to cover all the paper)

Second, I wrapped the canvas in the easel paper like wrapping a present and then stapled it using a staple gun (keep away from children! Use at your own crafting risk!).

Third, we tore tissue paper and then decopouged it on to the top easel paper now stapled to the canvas. I did not tissue paper the sides and let the crayon show. This is not easy as you want the tissue paper to remain fairly smooth. You layer and layer until you get the look that you want. Then let it dry for a full 6 hours or more (I let it dry overnight).

Fourth, I painted the black lines on the canvas. Let dry.

Fifth, I let A paint the blue in between the black lines. Basically I would let him paint some, then I would add white paint and he would paint some more. It’s okay if it overlaps through the black lines, you won’t be able to see it. Then you let that dry.

Sixth, I mixed silver glitter with white paint and then let A use the star sponge stamp to stamp the stars. Then I went back and painted the black lines around the stars.

Finally I poured glue in the middle of the circle moon and let A dump silver glitter all over it. Let dry and then shake outside.

And that’s it! It sounds like a lot of steps but I extended it out over a long period of time. It gave us a craft to pull out every once in a while and of course A loved it when it was finished and said “please, please can I keep it in my room and you make J another one?” So I am…

I couldn’t figure out how to photograph so the colors would show up correctly, but here’s the idea (they are especially wrong since J’s room is painted green and this makes it look peach. Doh. Anyway, I am doing it a bit differently than A’s canvas and it is taking me a bit longer, but I’ll have it done eventually!

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Pizza, Pick 3, and a Movie

One of the ideas we started since J arrived is weekend movie night. My sister and her family have been doing this for awhile and I really liked the idea. We thought it would be fun to start for A, and gives him something to look forward to on either Friday or Saturday night! Our first movie night we watched Tangled (which A LOVED). This past Saturday we did make your own pizza, and we watched a little Jack and the Neverland Pirates movie I had DVR’d. I also started a pick three with A. First, make your own pizza.

We bought fresh pizza dough from Publix, which was really good. I let A help me put it all together which he really enjoyed and then we all got to pick our toppings for our third of the pizza.

Rolling the dough…

Spreading the sauce…

Sprinkling the cheese.

A only wanted cheddar and monterey jack cheese, while I opted for mozzarella, ham and red onion, and my husband had mozzarella and pepperoni.

While the pizza was cooking (If you get the pizza dough from publix there are instructions on the package for cooking it), I started making our salads, which leads me to my pick three for A.

We have had some trouble getting A to 1) eat at dinner and stop talking, 2) eat the meal we make, and 3) stop running around singing at the top of his lungs while we are finishing dinner.

Based on this I started a pick three for A. I put out the items for salad, vegetable, etc. and let A pick three selections of them and put them in his own bowl. I set out some fruit, vegetables, and lettuce choices (some of the ones I usually have out are a choice of blueberries, mandarin oranges, spinach, cucumbers, carrot sticks, romaine lettuce pieces, tomato halves, croutons, asparagus tops…it depends on what we are having). I let him pick one fruit, one vegetable, and one lettuce choice. I don’t give him a large portion either, as I have found he does better starting with smaller portions. Then we let him sit at the table and color on his little coloring mat and eat his pick three bowl while we finish making dinner. It has really worked out great. We found that he eats most of what is in the bowl and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we aren’t hovering over him while he eats it. Then once we sit down I feel less stressed about making him eat more of the main part of the meal because he has already started with a healthy bowl of food. We don’t do this every night, but I am trying to incorporate it at least three or four times a week. If you need more options of food choices, I have found some great food lists on Pinterest, here and here!

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J’s Nursery: Part III

The inspiration for these ideas was mixing “old” with “new”. It’s not necessarily old, but I wanted to incorporate items I borrowed from family with items we had and a few new purchases. I started out with a theme for J’s room, but ended up being more inspired by colors and patterns and went away from being too themed. One of the best ideas I ever got while looking for design ideas for the nursery was from Dear Genevieve where she discussed how there will be plenty of time for all the themed things the kids will want later and it’s nice to start out a bit more adult, because you are the one who really enjoys it at first. So here are some pictures with that idea in mind:

The rocking nook. Something we did not have with A and I said I would definitely have with the next baby. The chair is borrowed from my sister, the ottoman was a 25 dollar find from Marshalls. The ottoman is actually a cream color, I found this fabric (it’s Pottery Barn cotton) at a local shop and my Mom slip covered the ottoman for me. The blanket I made with this guide from Pinterest, and the pillow I made with matching minky dot on one side and the matching fabric to the blanket on the other.

For some reason the shelf looks crooked in the picture, but I assure you it is not in real life! The shelf is borrowed from my parents. The little pink bunny and music boxes were mine from when I was a baby, the drum is from plan toy (I love the sound it makes!), letter J tree, mushroom, owl, baby book, and little wood frame are from Anthropologie, the bird is from Target, and the letter J plaque is from Hobby Lobby. And of course Sophie the Giraffe.

I made these from washcloths purchased on etsy from Little Things Boutique, with a quilting hoop, and ribbon. I am going to get a fancier hook for the top hook, but haven’t done so yet.

The shelf above the crib. I had to be very careful with my choices and to make sure everything was secure because my husband and I debated for a long time about the shelf being above the crib. I am still moving some things around on it, but this is what I have so far.

That’s all for this week! I will post a completed picture of the whole nursery soon!

 

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J’s Nursery: Part II

From inspiration to creation.

The inspiration:

A canvas idea I found on Pinterest.

The creation:

The changes I made: I used buttons instead of decoupaged leaves and I kept the background white instead of antiquing it to match J’s room. I free form traced the tree with a pencil first, then painted it a deep brown. I then had my husband seal the canvas with a matte finish, and then I glued the buttons on with a clear finish sewing bonding glue.

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Christmas Ornaments…Spoiler Alert

**Attention** If you are a Grandparent/Great-Grandparent of A, stop reading…unless you want to be spoiled on an item coming to a Christmas present near you!

Who needs emoticons when your child provides you with unlimited “winky faces”?

This year has been tougher to get A to do crafts then last year. I suppose it’s an age thing. When he was really little of course crafting was not his thing. Then around 1-2 and 2-3 he was really into doing crafts and we did a lot. Now, it depends on his mood if he will actually participate, or just make me regret that I came up with an idea that involves any glue/paint/glitter.

However, my sister told me about a few craft ornament ideas on pinterest and from that became these:

These are glass ornaments. Which means if your child tends to try to crush things in their hands like a grown man crushes a soda can, this type of ornament is not for you. I was more worried A would be of the cling-on variety (not the characters from Star Trek, mind you), aka not let go. However my fellow blogger and friend’s post on Tales of a Peanut was super helpful. She did this craft as well and recommended showing them how to hold the ornament before you get paint all over their hands. Yes. Smart.

All you need is acrylic white paint and a paint brush for this. Just keep baby wipes handy and you need to stay with the child. Acrylic paint is permanent. Not like the fun washable kind that won’t come out of a pair of A’s old pajamas.

Anyway….

Here are the finished products!

We did snowmen handprints (Tales of a Peanut) reindeer thumbprints (Little Bit Funky), and light bulb strand finger prints (Meet the Dubiens). A was really into this craft so I just ran with it and we did lots of different things. I added the links in parenthesis above for each to get more complete instructions than what I have provided here!

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