Friday, August 31, 2012

Like Father, Like Son

IMG_4948

The Way She Sleeps

IMG_4919

I think it’s really funny that Dakota likes to be held this way so much. It’s even funnier that half the time when I’m holding her this way, she falls asleep. I don’t know why she finds it so comfortable, but whenever she’s fussy, I just turn her around and she calms right down.

I guess she doesn’t want to miss anything!

A Day at the Park

We’ve been having pretty nice weather here, so the other morning I took Harper and Dakota out to the park.

We’ve been to duck pond park a many times, but every time I’ve taken Harper I’ve forgotten to bring bread for him to feed the ducks…until now.

IMG_4881

IMG_4894

He just loved it! He laughed and laughed when the ducks would grab the bread with their bills and shake it. He kept asking for more bread long after we’d run out, so I guess we’ll be heading back to the pond to feed the ducks again real soon.

IMG_4890

After feeding the ducks we walked around the path to the park. On the way we spotted lots of pretty flowers and butterflies.

We finally made it to the park, and he was happy to get out of the stroller so he could run and stretch his legs. I brought a couple of his toy cars for him to push around and he liked watching them go down the slide.

IMG_4900

IMG_4901

We even managed to find some circles while we were playing. There were some on the bench his cars were driving on:

IMG_4906

There was a big circle window on the bottom of the play equipment:

IMG_4911

And even a few that he could stick his hands through:

IMG_4913

We had a great time playing and I’m getting braver and braver when it comes to taking both the little kids out to do things on my own. Dakota was awake the entire time we played at the park, but she was happy as long as I held her facing outward so she could see what was going on. It made taking pictures a challenge, but I managed! Smile

Homemade Baby Mobile

IMG_4926

IMG_4927

I’m not sure why or how, but I got it in my mind that I wasn’t going to buy a mobile, but make one. Once I thought about it, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard, and really, it wasn’t. It isn’t your typical music playing variety, but I didn’t think it needed music since she has a couple little stuffed animals that play sounds and music.

I used a wire wreath form as the base, and my cricut to cut out all the butterflies. I cut doubles of them all so that I could just sandwich the thread in the middles and then tie beads between each butterfly. I didn’t like the top being plain, so I just picked up some silk flowers to drape across the top, and wa-la, I was finished!

Framing the Crib

I saw this really cute idea on Pinterest, and I just fell in love with it!

94083079685443781_9zWg1p51_c[1]

The part that really drew me in was the fabric draped above the bed. I had no idea how to even begin to recreate this look, but fortunately, my mom did.

My mom recommended we go with tulle instead of fabric just because of the amount of money 12 yards of fabric was going to be. The tulle was reasonably priced at a few bucks a yard, and we found a pale pink to go against the pale yellow walls.  We didn’t hang the tulle as close to the crib as the people who hung the fabric did because I was worried about Dakota reaching out and getting ahold of it and pulling it down.

IMG_4924

IMG_4925

The rub-on was purchased from Just the Frosting. I just love the saying!

IMG_4928

Ladybug

The ladybug that is between the window’s in Dakota’s room was made by Zoe.

IMG_4388

She made it in her art class last year and I’ve just been hanging onto it with the intention of putting it in Kota’s room.

IMG_4934

She created it using nothing more that cut, painted and layered card board. It’s the perfect addition to Kota’s room! I wouldn’t have known what else to put right between those windows so I was happy I had this piece of art!

DJ

I needed some kind of art to go above Dakota’s changing table, so mom and I thought it would be fun to decoupage her initials.

IMG_4315

I bought the letters at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and we broke out the Mod Podge and got to work! I’d never really mod podged before, but mom had done some so she led the way.

It’s quite messy, but really pretty easy. You just select your papers, tear or cut them and start gluing them down. Once your letter or shape is covered, you do several coats of the mod podge on top to make it nice and smooth. I have to admit that mom ended up doing most of the work on these, but I tried to help when I wasn’t holding or entertaining one of the two babies. Without her help, I’d probably still be trying to finish them!

IMG_4932

Curtains

My mom has mad sewing skills and she took the time to make the curtains, blinds and valance for Dakota’s room. Because I have no specific colors or theme, she was able to go out and choose some fabric that she liked without too much trouble. (Since she was making these at home she didn’t really have anything to go on except what stood out to her…luckily, she has good taste!) She went with a multicolor butterfly pattern for the valance, and it goes perfectly in her room! I absolutely love the simple lace trim! It’s just so sweet and girly!

IMG_4938

She also made pink roman shades.

IMG_4388

The romans weren’t dark enough, so we were getting a ton of sunlight through them. We figured the best way to combat some of the sun was to make curtains…

IMG_4318

They are perfect! They won’t open and close, but just stay the way you see them in the photos. I just adore that pompom fringe!!! The best part of anything homemade is in the details!

IMG_4937

Check out the tiebacks:

IMG_4935

Adorable, right?

I’m so lucky that my mom made these. I couldn’t have found anything nearly as cute in any store, and they just fit the nursery beautifully!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Canvas Art

I’ve been meaning to post about Dakota’s room, but I keep forgetting for one reason or another. 

Her room was a big conglomeration of little projects. I really like to make things and I’ve seen a ton of cute ideas on Pinterest, so instead of buying everything, I got to work.

Of all the projects I made myself, the altered canvas’ were my favorite. They were easy to do (once I decided what I was going to do!) and a lot of fun.The first one I did was nothing more than sunshine and flowers. I had a new flower punch that I was dying to use and this seemed the perfect project to try it out. I spray painted the canvas’ first, then using my punches, scissors, cricut and other supplies created the designs.

IMG_3897

IMG_3893

IMG_3895

IMG_3894

The next canvas was based on a design I had seen online (I couldn’t find it anywhere after the first time I saw it!!) and wanted to replicate. I picked up a 3 dimensional butterfly punch and decided that was going to be my second canvas. It’s probably my least favorite of the three I made, but I’m okay with it. It was really hard to figure out the placement of the butterflies and how many to make…and I still don’t love how the butterfly’s are placed.

 IMG_3912

IMG_3914

I was having a really hard time thinking of a third design, but luckily my mom was here and she helped me think of the next one. I used my cricut to cut out the little girl and dog, and a punch for the balloons. I used twine for the balloon strings.

IMG_4923

IMG_4384

These are all hung above her dresser and make me happy every time I’m in her room. Hopefully they will make her happy when she’s older too.

IMG_4946

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bubbles are Round

Although I intended to do some sort of “circle” activity with Harper this morning, we ended up having to run a few errands and by the time we got home it was naptime.

IMG_4850

So, instead of working on circles we talked about “round” while we were out blowing bubbles this afternoon.

IMG_4847

I don’t know if he understood what I was telling him when I explained that the bubbles were round, but he certainly had a great time running after them and popping them! We also looked at a tennis ball and bouncy ball we found in the garage and talked about how they were like the round bubbles…I’ll have to see if he remembers the word tomorrow.

IMG_4852

Doesn’t he look like he’s being a little stinker in this next picture? Just look at that crinkled up nose and that evil grin!

IMG_4859

He really wasn’t being a stinker, he was just “getting mama” with the bubbles. He just loved when they would pop in my face and I’d shout and act silly about it! And, the sun was in his eyes, hence the squinty eyes.

IMG_4866

Kitty Cat Pockets

Yesterday I had to run into Sams Club to drop off a couple prescriptions and while I waited for them to be filled I decided to look around.

Somehow I ended up in the clothing area, and realized that they actually had some pretty cute stuff for little kids. I ended up picking up two Carter’s brand outfits for Dakota, each priced at a whopping $7.48.

I absolutely love this one:

IMG_4838

Those little kitty cat pockets are just too stinkin’ cute! I‘m glad I went with the 0-3 month size because the newborn one would have been too short. She’s just so long and skinny right now, it’s kind of hard to find things that fit her, but luckily this one fit just right.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Circles

Since school is back in session, I though Harper and I could do a little learning time each day too. I didn’t have a well thought out plan for this morning, but I decided we would work on the circle shape this week. He can already identify a circle, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do some circular activities to keep him thinking…

So, today’s little activity was to paint using different size circles. Like I said though, I wasn’t fully prepared, so we only had 2 circles, but it worked just fine.

IMG_4834

He’s using a lid to make his big circles and he used the eraser end of an old pencil for his small circle. As you can see from his face, he thoroughly enjoyed sticking that lid in the puddle of brown paint!

IMG_4835

We did a couple pages like the one above, but once Dakota woke up, things got crazy so we packed it up. It ended up being a very short activity, but he did enjoy it. Tomorrow I think we’ll do some sorting or possibly gluing…guess I better start thinking about it now!

Middle School

IMG_4828

Today was Landon’s first day of middle school. He was up at 7am sharp, in the shower and downstairs ready to go long before he had to be.

*We’re trying a new schedule for him and instead of showering at night, he does it in the morning before school. I came up with this plan because he has been so terrible about applying his medicine for his eczema after showering. When he showers at night, he rushes so that he can play a video game or watch TV and he doesn’t bother with the medicines, but in the morning there is a no TV/video game rule, so no need to rush. I hope it’ll work, but honestly, I think we’re doomed no matter what. I just can’t think of too many 11 year old boys out there who want to take the time to care for their skin, no matter how necessary it really is.

I told him I was walking him to the bus on his first day because I wanted to see what the bus situation was, and he told me I could with the condition that I only go the first day! I promised, and off we went.

When he got home at 4:30!!!!, he told me he had a pretty good day. He had to learn how to use a combination lock, and he said it took him a good ten minutes to get it to open on his own! He bought lunch today and said he had about 2 minutes to actually eat because it took so long to get the food. (He had chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. Love those healthy school lunches!) He’s excited about AVID and woodshop, but language arts…not so much. He said that he knew one or two kids in his classes, but mostly it was all new kids and that he made one new friend today.

All in all it sounded like 6th grade got off to a good start. I’m looking forward to hearing more about school this week, and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that he stays enthusiastic until at least Friday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bonding

Ever since Dakota’s been home, Harper hasn’t been a big fan. I guess that’s not really too surprising, especially when for the first couple weeks she was here all she did was scream. But, now that time has passed and she’s not crying all the time, he’s warming up to her.

After our long day yesterday, Kota really needed to get on the floor and stretch her legs. So, I put her down on her blanket, and that’s when Harper decided to go over and see her.

IMG_4809

He was lying there talking to her, so I grabbed my camera and started snapping away. I don’t know what he was saying, but she was very interested in whatever it was.

IMG_4813

At one point he even tried to get her to hold onto his finger! I was really surprised considering he won’t usually even sit close to her! As he was talking to her, she broke out into this huge smile, which was just adorable! I was so happy I had my camera in my hand! My guess is that as he gets used to her and she gets older, she’ll always think he’s pretty funny. I know Harper sure thinks everything Landon does is a riot!

IMG_4816

Getting Ready for School

 IMG_4821

After a long summer, Landon is eager to start school tomorrow. Middle school is going to be quite different and he’s looking forward to the experience. New school, new teachers, new friends, it’s going to be quite a year!

We went out and did some back to school shopping today and got him some new supplies, a new backpack and even a new lunchbox that I’m hoping I won’t have to pack too much this year! Making lunches is probably my least favorite thing to do when it comes to school, but he hates waiting in line for lunch, so we’ll see what happens.

When we went clothes shopping we mostly focused on fall/winter clothes, but now that I’m looking for clothes for him to wear to school, I’m not too impressed with his summer stuff. It’s going to be hot here for awhile, so I think I’m going to have to break down and buy him a few more shirts and shorts to get him through until it cools down.

Our Tiger

Yesterday was Zoe’s college move in day. I’d been dreading it all week, and then boom, it was time. She was packed and completely ready to go the night before, she even had everything in Brandon’s car…all she had to do was get up in the morning and leave…and she did.

030

They set out super early (7:15am) so that she could be the first to get in the room to choose her bed. She got there long before her other two roommates and claimed the single bed so that she wouldn’t have to share a bunk. I asked her to wait to do most of her unpacking until I could get there to help, and she was nice enough to do that for me.

When we got there, Zoe, Brandon and one of her roommates were in the lounge playing pool. We relaxed there for a bit, letting them finish their game, and then headed up to her dorm to help her unpack.

IMG_4784

Her new roommate, Aimy, seems like a great girl. She was very talkative and easy going and she and Zoe hit it off immediately. Their other roommate was out while we were there so we didn’t get to meet her…hopefully next time.

IMG_4787

Zoe ended up on the very top floor of her tower, and 13 stories is pretty high up! It’s especially high when you have to take the stairs because the elevators are busy…

037

The girls mentioned that their bathroom door was locked and that their room key didn’t open it. I found the RA’s number and after Zoe called him he came up immediately to open the door. We were all a little shocked to see just how small the bathroom was! It is quite literally a toilet and tub. No frills. (The sinks are in the main rooms.) I am interested to hear how 5 girls manage using this one tiny bathroom…glad it’s them and not me!

IMG_4789

IMG_4791

This is the view from Zoe’s bed. To the left, where the light is on, is the sink area. The door directly behind Landon is the bathroom. Down by the window is another closet with a bookshelf on bottom.

IMG_4792

This view is from the windows towards Zoe’s end of the room. All the girls have their beds lining the one wall. They were originally set up as bunks, but they took them down immediately because no one wanted the top. Behind Zoe is a small refrigerator and microwave that the college provided.

IMG_4796

This is Zoe’s bed, which Dakota found quite comfortable!

IMG_4800

IMG_4795

As you can see, the room is pretty...cozy. Each girl has her own space, but it is extremely limited. Hopefully they will all get along and figure out how to live together without too much drama. Zoe’s desk is pushed right up against Aimy’s which ends right at the closet door. They aren’t even able to open their room door completely with this set-up, but they don’t seem to mind!

031

Being there yesterday was so surreal for me. I mean, all of Zoe’s life I’ve dreamed of big things for her, but when it came down to it, I was so not ready for her to move on. I know she is going to have the time of her life and that she isn’t far from us, but it’s going to be tough not seeing her on a daily basis. As she’s gotten older she and I have become a little less mom and daughter and a little more friend-like.

It’s nice to be included in her life and to know what’s going on, and I’m going to miss seeing her pretty face and hearing her funny stories; hopefully she’ll tell me all the great things she’s doing when she comes home on the weekends.

So far today I’ve texted her a couple of times, but I’m doing my best to butt out. I know she’s got things to do and figure out and I’ve just got to stay out of the way to let her do her thing. Luckily, I’m more proud than I am sad because I think that is what has kept me strong and sane throughout this process. I can’t express enough how much it means to me to see her go to college and live a life I never did. I want her to be everything she wants, and I’m happy to step back and watch, even though it’s incredibly hard.

Mario Enemies and More...

Harper loves making books. He's made several books in the past couple of years and just lately made one all about Mario's enemies (t...