Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Crafts

Painting wooden shapes is an easy and relaxing way to spend your evening. I bought these blank shapes from a friend of mine for very cheap, and I enjoyed coming up with patterns to put on each one.  I've been trying to sell them online and in the classifieds, but no luck yet! Hopefully someone will be interested after Thanksgiving. =) I might end up raffling them off so that proceeds can be donated to our local cat welfare or humane society. 



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Club Review #7: The Last Anniversary



Sophie has unexpectedly inherited the home of her ex-boyfriend's Aunt Connie. The house is located on Scribbly Gum Island, home of the famous Munro Baby mystery. She moves onto the island and quickly blends into the unconventional family. On Scribbly Gum, it seems everyone has something to hide; Grace is planning an escape from her perfect life. Margie has gotten involved with a stranger, and Aunt Rose decides to take her life into her own hands. As Sophie's life changes dramatically, she realizes that sometimes you have to make up your own "fairy tale ending". You will be shocked by the twists and turns in The Last Anniversary. As I read on, nearly each page gave me a surprise. Once again Liane Moriarty has outdone herself!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fun Fall Activities


Fall is the best time of year, in my opinion, to go outside and enjoy the weather. As I write this, however, there is a nice blanket of snow on the ground, because, well, I live in Ohio. Prior to this snowfall, JI and I were able to get out to a lovely fall festival where we experienced a pumpkin patch, a bounce house, a real train caboose, a real firetruck, and more!  I am signed up for a newsletter called Macaroni Kid that appears in my inbox at least once a week and has SO MANY ideas of free, cheap, and other fun things to do around central Ohio. Check out the link to see if there's a rep in your area!




   

Fall is also an awesome time to explore your neighborhood and discover things you might not notice during the lush green summer. Here in Ohio, we find a lot of wooly bears during the early fall. There are lots of different shapes and colors to be found in the leaves on the ground, and of course hitting up the playground is always a hit! Afterward, you can warm up with some hot chocolate, or in JI's case, Mommy's leftover Starbucks.

This past weekend, JI and I had special VIP tickets to the grand opening of the planetarium at COSI. We were part of the very first audience ever to see the show in the new planetarium! It was Sesame Street's One World One Sky show, and JI absolutely loved it. Not every town has a planetarium, but it was something new that we had never done before, and unlike anything we'd ever done. JI has not been to a movie or anything similar, and I was so happy to see him not only behaving well, but being very interested in the show and all the things they were talking about on the screen. I was especially surprised because JI is not really a fan of Sesame! He doesn't even know any characters other than Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster! If you can find something new to try out in your area, it is almost guaranteed to be a hit. I was skeptical because JI doesn't always love new things, but he's getting older and acting more mature (for a 3-year old!) and it worked out well.

Waiting for the show to start.
Mom: Are you excited to be here?
JI: YEAH!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our New Favorite Pasttime




Painting! 
I have been doing a lot of painting lately, making ornaments and so forth (more on that later), and JI has decided that every time Mommy paints, he needs to paint too. I don't mind because I have learned exactly how to keep him in check with the messiness! First, we get shirtless or strip to undies. Then, I put one color at a time in his palette, so that the picture doesn't turn into a nasty gray-green mess. I have a cheapo set of brushes that I got at Michael's for $1.49, and those are JI's to use as he desires. I don't even mind if he paints on his skin, because it is all acrylic and it washes or scrapes right off! He has a lot of fun, it works his motor skills, and I get free window coverings to protect my eyes from the blinding sun reflecting off my neighbor's roof. We all win!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Belated Happy Halloween!


I've always been the type to prefer scary Halloween costumes over funny or popular (i.e. Disney Princess) costumes. For his first Halloween, JI was a Superman Baby (thanks to my mom lol), for his second he was a dragon, last year he was a skeleton, and this year he was a zombie. There is a horrible game called Plants vs. Zombies, and JI LOVES it. He decided way back in the summer that he wanted to be the Newspaper Zombie, which I mentioned in a post in September. Here are the results of my homemade costumes:







Everything came from the thrift store, and both our costumes together cost less than $10 total. We got so many compliments while we were out trick or treating, and I had people stopping me to take my picture! I even had one woman have her mom take her photo with me, like I was famous or something ahahahaha! It was great. JI loved it because he was one of the lone scary kids among a sea of cuteness and super heroes, and folks actually gave him extra candy for it. Overall, an excellent Halloween!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Welcome to Baby2's Finished Nursery

Baby2's nursery finally got finished last night. I wasn't sure we'd do it before he came, but we did! And it. looks. awesome. (If I do say so myself.) I adore how it all turned out. It took a week longer than expected as all our free time to work in here last week got taken up having to fight with Verizon to get me a new cell phone after mine died. That's a long story of a two-day ordeal for another time. 

Without further delay, welcome to Baby2's nursery! I'll take you around on a tour picture by picture. If there is an item I bought and can link to, it's linked for you. You can also click on any photo for a larger view.


Here is the view from the door. The 5' by 7' rug covered up all M2's bleach art. I worried how it would look. It really adds something to the room to bring it together. The walls are painted in Beach Blanket by Valspar, as mentioned in this post. We got the new, top-of-the-line paint that's not supposed to fade and should be easy to clean. 

                            

The panorama view gives you a better idea of the whole room. The blue spot is Baby2's special initial that I painted. It's blued out for now since we don't want to share his name (or clues!) until his arrival. There's a big empty spot between the bed and door where a toy box of some sort will end up.



The Davinci Kalani crib in cherry is awesome. M2 has the same one. Our niece has the Kalani in Espresso. It's a great bed that converts to a toddler bed then full-size head and foot boards. The mattress is the Davinci Emily that M2 and our niece have. M2 picked the sheet. It's Target Circo brand I found during a big sale and mentioned in another nursery post.

What you can't see is the American Baby organic cotton mattress cover underneath. That thing is awesome! It's so soft, fits well, is waterproof and has no icky vinyl making the added cost worth it. It should help keep baby warmer in the winter as well. We had another brand for M2 that didn't quite cut it. It was thin, had vinyl and didn't quite fit. After trying out one for Baby2, I ordered one as a back up and one for M2. I hung them all to dry in order to avoid any shrinkage. I want one for our bed!

The soother is a Fisher-Price rain forest one my mom found for Baby2. The pictures above the crib are from Amazon by BedTime Originals and fit the nautical theme perfectly. I may adjust how they're spaced out, I'm not sold on this arrangement yet.



The chest and changing table corner. I painted the anchor on the wall. It's made of heavy duty cardboard. All it took was buying the anchor at the craft store, getting some antiqued gold paint, a soft sponge brush and about an hour to put on three coats of paint. The frame next to it will showcase Baby2's hand and footprints. The frame on the dresser waits for the birth announcement. Info on the lamp is in a previous post.

The changing pad covers don't quite fit the theme. The animals are from M2's theme. Since they're really nice ones and are so soft, we're reusing them rather than buying new ones simply to fit the theme. I don't think you can even buy these anymore. When I looked for a link, nothing came up.

The changing table itself was M2's. I couldn't have lived without it, it's one of the "must have" items on my list for new parents. The fabric cubes are from Target and hold toys, wipes and diapers. I went through all M2's toys, pulling out the baby ones and putting them in these cubes so they're easy to get to. There's also a basket you can't quite see in this shot for all his blankets.


Above the changing table are cute canvas art I found on Amazon and nautical-related Bosson heads that belonged to A's mom. Notice the pirate on the top right giving the fisherman to his left the side eye.


Another view of the crib corner. The curtains are Eclipse blackout curtains for nap time and to keep the heat in during winter. We already had them in the room. Since they match, they stay. I couldn't find tiebacks I liked so went to Michael's. They had some nifty ribbon that matches the room and makes easy tiebacks.

Again, the blue cube is blocking out the painted initial. Above it is a plaque M2 picked that says, "Twinkle twinkle little star, do you know how loved you are?" During a family shopping trip at a local craft store for baby room items, I picked it up. As soon as M2 saw it, she grabbed and hugged it. A pretty clear sign she wanted it for her brother. She kept going in his room to look at it before it was put up.


The bookcase corner includes a shelf set that A's dad made. A had it in his room as a kid. Everything on it, including the bookcase itself, (minus the monitor and nightlight) is a special item that belonged to A, his mom, me or my aunt. My aunt made the ceramic piggy bank at the bottom for me when I was about 6 years old. The frame at the top is being saved for something special. The middle shelf and bottom will soon be stuffed with books. I just haven't put them there yet. To be honest, I totally forgot about the books until now.

                     

This little guy is the nightlight on the bookcase. I love it so had to give him some extra attention with his own picture! I almost got a moon until this KinderGlo portable dragon popped up as just being available. You can set it to change colors (you can see it glowing in the bookcase corner pic) or to stay on one color. He's rechargeable and comes off the base. M2 has an elephant she adores. It's come in handy at night when I check on her or have to change a diaper. Instead of turning on a bright light, I nudge her elephant. Enough light is provided without waking up a baby.

Next to Puff the Magic Dragon lives the Angel Care Deluxe Plus monitor. We use the same for M2 and love it. Video monitors don't really work for us since I'd constantly be looking at it to be sure the baby was ok. The Angel Care beeps if baby stops breathing for any period of time. It's not fool proof and the usual safety measures should be taken. I still slept better having it as a back up. With one in each nursery, we've gotten no weird feedback so far from either monitor.


One final panorama of the room looking toward the door. All we need now is the baby boy to put in the crib.