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Archive for January, 2011

A Baby Book for Ella

OK so I am determined to get and finish a baby book for Ella! I have heard too many mommy tales of beautiful, completed baby books for baby #1 and baby #2 well, empty pages. Ava’s Baby book is surprisingly up to date and complete for the most part!  I like Ava’s baby book but do not LOVE it.  Now after months of searching I have decided it is hard to find a really unique baby book that I will LOVE!

Here are my top three:

1.  Rag and Bone Baby Book: Looks well made and I Love that it has so many pattern choices I think I like the yellow zinnia the best!   $68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  My Own Little Story: This is an electronic baby book where you complete all the information through the computer and then have it printed into a hard bound book.  I like the idea but like my blog that is still unpublished I wonder if I would prefer a hard copy to fill out slowly.  I may avoid logging on to complete this!  $35-65

3.  Binth Baby Book: This was the book my talented designer friend Emily choose for her daughter.  It is no wonder it is beautiful, modern and unique!  I LOVE it and had to include it on my list although it will never make it to checkout as it is way above my price range.   $110

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Craft Frenzy #5: The Oven Mitt

So I have come to the conclusion that crafts and sewing is a dangerously addictive habit! And I have not even broken out the sewing machine.  So far I have been an all hand stiched gal!  For what ever reason the sewing machine completly intimadates me!  I am hoping for some help when my mom arrives to finish up the crafts on my list!  It certainly will be a lot faster!

Ava’s two favorite things to cook in her oven are cookies and cupcakes both items that demand a proper oven mitt! Her Melissa and Doug cookie set came with an adorable red and white check oven mitt but her kitchen is pink! What to do?

So, I used the red and white oven mitt as a pattern and created these which perfectly match her adorable kitchen and aprons. I lined them with a fun flannel pattern and made loops adorned with buttons to create proper storage. With no where to hang the oven mitts I purchased S hooks from Lowes! PERFECT!

**They have no real insulation purely for play! Plus toddlers should not handle hot food even with the proper mitts!

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The Answer?

In about two months Ava will be THREE! I cannot believe it! Where did the time go?

Well I can tell you that mere seconds were spent looking at my camera, as Ava is a master at camera avoidance! However, I think I found the answer…. she apparently WILL look at the i-phone! Figures! Although there is a little part of me that is hopeful that when her three year pictures come around she will surprise me… here is to hope!

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Guess?

I love that everyday Ava is getting more into pretend play. From talking animals and cars to tea parties and kitchen play, so fun! This totally makes me laugh…. can you guess which plate is for me and which is for Ava?

She also always gets the chocolate doughnut!

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My only belly picture

When I began this blog Ava was already about a year old.  I always regretted that I had not started it earlier, all the things I could have recorded from my pregnancy to her birth up until that first birthday.  I am grateful that Ella will have a record from her beginning.

Yet I feel like I have hardly written about my pregnancy at all.  Perhaps it is because I felt like it was my last chance to focus just on Ava, or that Ava was about what I had energy for, or that this pregnancy that flown by at a record speed… What ever the reason this is one of few and the last entry I will ever do about being pregnant.  After Ella we are done… two, that was the deal!  Larry says I will one day miss being pregnant, I am not sure about that!?  I know that there are moments that I will miss but more of my pregnancies are filled with those experiences that I can live without; heartburn, months of nausea, back pain, no sleep, hormone swings….

In my opinion the best part is yet to come.  A babies actual arrival day is hard to top but coming in second place is 6 months!  There is nothing like a snugly 6 month old baby who finally sleeps through the night! And it only gets better from there…

After a month in a half of nesting madness I hit a day of total anxiety, emotional releases and frustration and then the next day THE WALL!  I am done and ready little girl!   With my due date changed to January 29th I am now 15 days away and hoping for a slightly earlier arrival.  I am looking forward to my mom arriving a providing us with loving calm, support, and food!  I am ready for it to be a month later with the birth and early days of nursing past me.  I am ready to introduce Ava to her new little sister.  I know when I leave for the hospital with contractions I will already be crying… I will be crying because it will be Ava’s final moments as an only child, it will be the last moments of our family of three.  I will be crying because I know how powerful and amazing the next hours will be.  I know what it feels like to hear that first cry and actually hold someone in your arms that until that moment you did not fully realize will be in your heart forever.

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Craft Frenzy #4: The Purse

OK so I think I am finally hitting my crafting wall despite the fact that there are more projects on the to do list. The nesting motivation is slowing which hopefully means we will be welcoming Ella any day!  Perhaps my mom and a sewing machine tutorial can help me finish up my list next month.  Meanwhile I will share my felt finale… THE PURSE!

As I said I loved the flowers from my hair clip organizers so much I just had to find another use for them…. the answer, a purse.  Ava loves carrying all her STUFF so now a pretty purse will help with the task! It was fun and has endless possibilities in size, shape, colors… I could just make these!  However as I said, for now a break from the needle and thread…

 

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How Do You Fill Your Day?

I have a friend who until recently ran an at-home daycare.  Two adults and something like 10 kids!  I used to think I could do this as a source of income,  I do not think I could!  Another reason why finding daycare for children can be so overwhelming.  I have a degree and have worked with children my whole life but to take on this task? Let’s just say I commend those who do it and do it well!  With her husband achiving a promotion and a move further south she will now be a stay at home mom.  The last time I saw her she asked, “OK so tell me.  How do you fill your day?”

The million dollar question!  How should I fill my day?  I felt like responding!

I think this is a constant struggle for any stay-at-home-mom.  Day after day, week after week, month after month… well I think you get the idea.  To feel like a good, creative mom all the time?  I wonder if that is even possible.  I struggle with success, guilt, failure in a circle constantly.

I often wonder if I even put more pressure on myself as a former teacher I know just how much kids are capable of, how they crave structure and purposeful activities.  But to live everyday with such intent is no small task.  There are days where I think, man we had fun!  There are days where I get a lot done everything except to feel like a really good mom and then there are days where I wonder what did we do?

When I was teaching somedays the students and I would write in poster paper everything we did that day.  At the end of the day we would review it as a way of feeling accomplishment and recapping our focus. The days I did this I always felt better even though we did not do anything different from any other day.  I have been thinking that this is what I should do once a week as a mom.  Perhaps it will help me keep in perspective that I am giving her what she needs and what I want to be giving her as a parent.  Some days of course would be more impressive than others but that is to be expected!  This is something I constantly have to tell to myself!  Maybe someday I will believe it!

I find myself even more worried with Ella arriving.  How will I possibly give Ava everything she needs?  I am thankful that preschool is around the corner at least there I know someone will give her the purpose and structure she craves.  I still want home to provide this…. AH parenthood!  Endless questions, guilt, success and challenges!

How do you fill your day? I would LOVE ideas!!!!

Here are some of our favorite activities that fill time of course some we do everyday while others are more rare!

**story time, dance party, tea party, pretend play cooking, baking real food, legos, baby doll play, puzzles, lacing beads, blocks/legos, play dough, painting (lots of choices on types and paper size or color), stickers/ stamps, showers or bath just to play, park time at least three days a week rain or shine with Lola, play dates, Gymboree class, errands, children’s museum, zoo, other outings, and yes TV!  Some days I feel super successful on limiting TV to hardly any others…. well there are days where I am not as good about it!  There are other 5 min. games, activities and toys throughout the day as a toddlers attention span is short!  I was serious… if you have a game, toy, activity that you could not live without SHARE!!!!!

How I have Ava help with chores:

** sorting laundry and putting it in the machine/ pushing the buttons, pushing the buttons on the dishwasher, putting away silverware (nothing sharp!), dusting or washing with a cloth while I clean, feeding the pets, sweeping while I vacuum.

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NESTING!  NESTING!  NESTING!

I am obsessed!  My house needs to be spotless, the baby stuff cleaned and ready and everything, I mean EVERYTHING needs to have a place!  I am normally organized.  Some may say slightly OCD but when I hit a pregnant nesting phase watch out there is no stopping me.  Just look at how much I have blogged this week.  I am determined to get all my drafted articles published and caught up before Ella’s arrival~

I decided that Ava’s former diaper caddy needs to now move upstairs to Ella’s area.  This sent her hair clip and pony tail holders to the land of no home which is unacceptable!  Since I cannot seem to snap out of my creative felt addicted state I came up with the perfect solution!  I LOVE these!!!!!  The ribbons hold all the clips I need them to and the felt leaf pockets at the bottom hold pony tail holders! Not to mention that the flowers are so fun!  Someday when I start an Etsy shop these will definitely be among my products!  I loved the flowers so much that I am currently creating a new flower purse for my little princess.  More to come on that later….

Check out my most recent hair clip organizer here!

 

 

 

 

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Craft Frenzy #2: Felt Play Mats

So Ava’s third Christmas gift was meant to be a felt play mat. However, this little elf did not finish in time, despite my very best effort!  Daddy saved the day with his personal gift of a pink princess hat and magic wand!!!

I was surprised to find that play mats are so limited in the market place. They are wonderful tools for imaginative pretend play! The only type I could seem to readily find were road rugs for car play. With Ava’s love for animals I wanted to create play mats that could be used for zoo play or farm play.  Once I began this project I discovered just why even Etsy does not have a selection.  THEY TAKE FOREVER, you could never turn a profit!

Last Christmas my mom gave Ava the Melissa and Doug Wood Farm Set which I complemented with the Anamalz farm animals. This year I planned to give her the Amamalz zoo set along with a two-sided play mat.  It looks like perhaps now a birthday present.  It is not a project I would repeat! It was WAY more work than expected but I LOVE the results.  I hope it will be well loved and used by the imaginations of both my girls!

I included a ribbon to make storage easy!

THE ZOO although I could not get a picture that captured the entire mat

a few of Anamalz wonderful creations

THE FARM

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Green Tea Time

Although I LOVED making felt food when it came to Ava’s second Christmas gift I hit the purchase button on Amazon.

I wanted to get her the matching plate and bowl set to her current Green Toys tea set allowing us to have a more formal tea party.  I love the Green Toys products; recycled, safe for eating on!  Of course, what would plates be without a yummy to accompany them.  Here is where I was lazy.  I am sure given time and more determination I could have created my own tea cakes but why when Haba created their petit fours!  They are adorable and they even fit in her little mini muffin tin perfectly!  I even got a silver candy tin from Michael’s to store them when they are not being baked or enjoyed!  Finally, I added the Haba tin of wood tea bags.  Again something I could have made but minus the adorable tin that sits so cute on the shelf of her kitchen set.

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