Monday, February 28, 2011

Swings, Slides & Sun!

Let me start off by saying that this is what happens to the baby's hair when daddy gives the baths.  I am starting with this first so you will have a chance to get used to it while viewing the following pictures.  I must say however, I am starting to like this curly headed mohawk, for right now at least.

We started out day at Ihop (are you surprised?) and this is what happens to a sleepy baby when he eats and hasn't napped.

(please excuse the end of the video....TJ thought he could sneak some more syrup while I was playing videographer and everyone was watching Deuce.  Dad is a hawk when it comes to TJ & sugar though.)

Saturday was so nice that we decided to go visit the park!  Yea!  NE Park is only a few miles from our house and it's a beautiful, quiet park.  So I put on my good shoes and out we went.
Deuce was asleep when we got there and after looking at the picture, I can see why so many people have asked me if he is a girl because he is "too pretty to be a boy."  I guess that's a compliment but I think it irritates Ed sometimes.  I must say that I was kind of weirded out by a lady at the Y pool who asked if he was a girl.  Because seriously, I bring my "daughter" to the Y to swim in swim trunks and no shirt...just sayin'.
Anyway, back to the park.  NE Park has a nice track around it that is about a mile long.  Perfect for stroller walking.  We had been there before but hadn't done a whole lot of walking so we were much more investigative this time.  We discovered that there is a canoe & kayak launch, a large pond for fishing and trails for horseback riding throughout.  We saw at least 4 different horses.  There is a huge swimming pool, a baseball field and numerous soccer fields.  We walked the track twice while Deuce napped.  TJ actually ran the entire time around the second lap.  We told him he could only run as far as we could see him so he would run and wait a little and then run some more and wait a little but he ran none the less.
After the 2nd time around the track Ed & TJ decided to throw the football for a bit while Deuce finished his nap.  I was so ready for him to wake up though so I could take him on the playground.  Finally he did and he had his first trip on the swings.  And o.m.g. he loved it!  Can't you tell?

TJ was beyond excited to play the "bigger,stronger" brother part by carting him everywhere and pushing him on the swings.  But he made sure Deuce didn't get higher than him on the swings.  He took Deuce on his first trip down the big slides.  I'm not sure that he was fully aware of what was going on but he was definitely having a blast!
They played tic-tack-toe on top of the jungle gym thing and rode on the bouncing frog.
I attempted to get a family photo of us and this is how it turned out.  Saweeeet!  Not 1 complete face & Deuce with a fist full of mommy's hair.  Glad I captured that!
And when it was time to load up the car, Deuce had his first driving lesson from daddy.
Don't worry, the car wasn't on.  I see several trips to the park in our near future!

These are what sunny days were intended for...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hurry Up Spring!

I am so ready for Spring, I can't stand it.  Now that Deuce is able to crawl and play, I can't wait to take him to the park or just let him roam around outside!  We went to the park a couple of times last year but he wasn't even sitting up on his own then so he didn't really get to explore.  Although I enjoy winter because I love the holidays and I love family get together's, I am ready for some sunshine and warm weather (consistently, I might add).  I hate leaving the house in the morning when it's dark and getting home from work when it's dark.  So in my haste to help spring arrive faster, I asked (okay, I forced) my sister to help me make a spring wreath with cupcake liners for the front door of my house while she stayed with us this weekend.

Foam Wreath: $3.99
Box of Push Pins: $1.87
Cupcake Liners in Assorted Colors: $0.99 per pack (I bought 5 packs on clearance at Michael's but we didn't use them all)
Glue Gun: $0 (already had)
We set up an assembly line to make it go faster
First, push the pin in to the center of TWO liners.  Don't push it all the way in, only about half way.
Holding on the the bottom half of the pin, fold or crinkle the liners however you wish.
(sorry for the not-so-good picture)
Put a dab of glue around the base of the liner and on the pin.  Insert the pin into the foam wreath until the glue & liner hit the foam.  Push the remaining part of the pin almost all the way into the foam from the inside of the liners.  We learned that if you push the pin ALL the way in it is very likely to go all the way through the liners and they will fall off before the glue has a chance to dry.  Be careful not to burn yourself!  We started around the outside of the wreath and made our way to the inside, filling in any holes at the end.
Almost finished!
Final product on the front door!  It took us about an hour to complete with the two of us.  We took turns folding the liners and doing the gluing.  We used about 4 bags of liners with 75 in each bag.

I linked this post to:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Skillz Baby!

Deuce has been working on his basketball skills recently.  As you can see in the video below, he is working on dribbling with both hands and the proper hand positioning when taking a shot.

(You will also see that he has mastered shaking his head "no")

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Old School Favorite with a New School Twist

The most recent craft project supplies.
64 pack Crayola crayons: $4.99
Silicone heart molds: $2.50 per pack of 2 from Target
I decided to try making my own crayons based on the tutorial over at How Does She.  I think I may use them at a certain birthday party that is coming up in - oh, 2 months from today.
I broke the crayons in several pieces and peeled the labels off.  I placed the pieces in each mold.
I added 1 small piece of a contrast color to some of the molds just to see what would happen.  I used bright, fun colors and no dark colors.  I didn't want them to all turn out black from too much color mixing.  I put them in the oven at 250 degrees for 13 minutes and walaa!
I did this late at night so I let them cool in the mold over night.  Then I just popped them out!
Super fun idea for revamping a regular crayon!  I only used one of the molds because I wasn't sure what would happen to it after "cooking" crayons.  I will say I haven't tried to clean it yet but when I popped the crayons out, there was some leftover crayon resin still in the mold.  I rinsed it out but that didn't work.  I am thinking I may have to put it back in the oven to heat it back up to get the resin out.  This way I can start fresh with my new batch! little man is 10 months old today!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Visit from Aunt Laura!

My sister came to stay with us for the weekend.  She lives in Raleigh and we only work a few miles from each other so I see her pretty often.  But she doesn't get to see the boys as much.  She said she wanted to take Deuce swimming so she decided to pack up some clothes and the dog & come stay!  It's really nice to have her come stay with us because it gives me a break from everything.  Not a complete break as in I disappear, but she loves babies so she always wants to feed him & bathe him and get him dressed.  And put him to sleep and cuddle with him and play with him and basically love on him every second.  It's an extra pair of hands that can always be used with a baby around.

Deuce & TJ were supposed to take swim lessons starting in January but with TJ's basketball schedule and tournaments we weren't able to enroll them.  The class was only 6 weeks and we would have missed at least 3 weeks because of basketball so that was pointless to me.  We don't have that $ to waste!  So they will most likely take lessons in the fall when basketball is over.  Plus I figure that in the infant swim classes they just want to make sure the baby is comfortable in the water and float him around and I can do that on my own until swim lesson start.  My sister was more than happy to give him a "lesson" on Saturday.  He loves the water.  We sat him on the side of the pool and he would lean forward until he fell in (into our arms of course).  He loves splashing the water in his face (& ours!)

Swimming wears most everyone out, especially a baby.  After swimming, Laura & I took Deuce on a couple of errands to pick up some supplies for craft projects we worked on Saturday night (more on that later).  He would fall asleep as soon as we got to the next destination so he never really got a good afternoon nap.  We got home in time for the Carolina game and then cooked dinner.  Deuce loves to follow Laura's dog, Mac, around the house.  He was out early by about 8:15.  Mac was tired too!
Ed & TJ decided to put together the awesome telescope that we got from Nana & Grandpa Bob for Christmas.  But, we obviously don't know how to work it because we couldn't see very much.  We may have to go to the directions again on this one.
We went to church on Sunday & then had lunch afterwards.  Laura, Deuce & I watched a movie while the boys went to basketball practice.  I was sad to see her go and I know Deuce was too!  Lucky for Laura, I am visiting Amanda on Wednesday so she will be joining us to watch the little guy while I get my hair did.

Speaking of hair: The Curls....seriously taking over!  He looked like we had put rollers in his hair!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Basketball & Reading

In case you haven't noticed, we like sports.  More specifically basketball.  Actually, I like football better but the boys like basketball.  And as a sign that the littlest one is already paying attention to everything his big brother does, he is following suit.  He speed crawls to any available basketball he can find.
{I Love My Chunky Cheek Baby!}
I'll be darned if Santa wasn't right on with this gift!
{And he moves too fast for my cell phone to capture him!  Check out the belly & saggy britches!}
Since I was little I have enjoyed spending quality time reading magazines, hoping to find the next beauty secret for the average girl.  It started with YM.  I even entered one of their "girl next door" contests where my mom took a bunch of pictures of me posing at Wilson Park and we submitted them with hopes of becoming the new "fresh face."  Seriously embarrassing that I am admitting this.  And what's even more embarrassing is the hot pink t-shirt and bright green shorts I was wearing with my white tube socks and dirty keds for the photo shoot.  I am honestly cringing right now at the image although I'm sure my mom will smile at the fondness of the memory as she reads this.  Anyway, I eventually made my way up to Cosmo, Vogue & Elle as I aged.  But now, I read this:
And it excites me every time I find it in the mailbox.  It's like a birthday card full of money or something.  For once in my life a magazine with articles that actually relate to me.  I mean I was in college reading Vogue like I was going to go out and purchase the $999 dress on the model titled "Look Like a Celebrity Without Paying Like One." Uh huh.  Because $999 is a bargain.

Not everything in Parenting magazine relates to me or even goes along with my morals & standards but it's pretty darn close.  One of my favorite sections is at the front called "Back Talk" where they ask a general question and mommy's answer.  In the March issue the question is What's Your Favorite Memory of You & Your Kids?  The answers range from "My 2 year old daughter loves '80s and hip-hop music.  At night when I put her to bed, she wants me to sing 'Drop It Like It's Hot' instead of lullabies."  (This made me laugh out loud because it's so something I would do.) to "When my 7 year old son dropped his ice cream on the sidewalk, his 9 year old brother gave him his own - willingly and unprompted!  That was my 'I am doing a good job' mommy moment."  I like to read stuff like this because it makes me feel normal (if there is such a thing) in this world of parenting.  One of the nice things about parenting is that you can read and read and read about the "correct" way to raise your children but ultimately it is up to us as parents to decide what we think is appropriate for our kids.  So far I think I am pretty set in my ways about certain things but very laid back and indecisive about others.  And I know this will continue to evolve and change as Deuce gets older and I think I am okay with that.
"On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult."

It is also noted in the March issue of Parenting that March 2nd is Read Across America DayMarch 2nd is the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  According the the NEA website, the purpose of Read Across America is to motivate children to read because it's an important factor in student achievement and it creates lifelong successful readers.  Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.  Reading is also very near & dear to my mom's heart as she has been a literacy specialist in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System for years.  It is part of Deuce's bedtime routine that we read books together every night.  I hope you all will celebrate Read Across America Day with a child! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from our family to yours!

We spent the weekend at what else?  A basketball tournament.  TJ's first game on Saturday was at 1:30pm in High Point.  When we got there, Deuce had not had a nap.  I couldn't believe he didn't go to sleep in the car on the way.  So he was extremely fussy when we arrived.  And I mean full on temper tantrum, screaming, arching his back and flailing his head.  I knew he was exhausted because he kept closing his eyes but there was just so much going on around him he just wouldn't give in.  Plus it was like 500 degrees in the gym.  I am sure people were staring at me while he was screaming thinking that girl needs to tame her child but whatever.  After a good 15 minutes he finally just gave up on the nap and decided he was going to skip it.  So I gave him some snacks and he was over it.  Then my mom & sister arrived.  HALLELUJAH!  All he needed was some of his Nana.
Out.  Like a light.  Looking HUGE!  He slept for 2 solid hours amongst all of the whistles, horns, dribbling and screaming parents from a last second shot that won the game for TJ's team.  There was a lot of energy in that gym and he wasn't phased the slightest!
Check out the insane hair!  It is wild, curly & all over the place!
So today is Valentine's Day and I wanted to make TJ's Valentine's for his class this year.  The easy thing to do is go buy the box of perforated cards (oh, how we have done this before) but I thought I would try something new this year.  Seriously, the craft bug is living in my head right now.  I got this idea from eighteen25.  Follow the link for the tutorial and some free printables.

This project cost about $10.  I know it's more than the $2.99 box of premade cards but I think these are much cuter!  Valentine's Match Books.  I made 2 different styles and added pictures that Regan took of us (check out the link for a peak at our shoot!).  I had to buy the black card stock, double sided tape and the candy.  I had all of the other supplies.  I downloaded the free printable and added the pictures.  I then printed them onto mailing labels and attached the labels to the card stock.  I think they came out great!
I made 40 of them so he could pass them out to his class, his teachers, his after school group and take one to his momma, of course!  I'm sure she'll love it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Attempts at Craftiness

Sometimes I wish I was a stay at home mom.  Other times I don't.  I have all of these things that I want to do and I never have the time to get them done.  Don't worry SAHM friends....I was a SAHM until I found a job and I didn't manage to get anything accomplished then either so I'm not sure it would really matter.  Taking care of the kiddos is such a full-time job that I know all of you have things you want to do too and just don't have the time for it.  So I am trying to force myself to set one project goal at a time and make it something small and easy that I can complete without much effort (amongst bottle washing, butt changing, dinner cooking & basketball games).  Then I won't feel overwhelmed and will feel satisfied when it's finished.  I am making a list because I am such a visual person and feel satiated when I can physically cross stuff off the list.  We'll see how it goes.

I saw the idea for a hanging wreath over at The Creative Homemaker and decided that I wanted to make my own version.  I went to the store with the idea that I would buy a heart and wrap it in pretty valentine's colors and hang it on the front door for the upcoming holiday.  But when I couldn't find a heart I liked, I sort of changed my idea.  Well I totally changed it.  I saw a wooden "G" and thought I could sort of revamp the idea into a monogram.  Where it was going to go I had no clue, I just wanted to try it out.  So I got the "G" and then headed over to the sewing section of Michael's to find some yarn.  I found some yarn that matched the colors of our bathroom perfectly!  We had the entire inside of the house repainted in April, like a week before Deuce was born, and I haven't hung anything up in the bathroom since.  So I thought I would take a chance & see if I have even the slightest bit of craftiness in my blood.

This is our shower curtain.  It is a dark teal with different shades of brown.  The walls are a seafoam green.
My letter ($3) & my yarn ($3).
I tied a knot around the letter to begin with and then very precisely wrapped the yarn around the letter.  Okay, I tried to be precise but it didn't always work.
I had some brown ribbon already at home.
So I made a bow & hung it on the wall.  Done.  Simple & easy.
Wrapping the yarn around a "G" was a little difficult around the serif points of the letter.  I may revisit it to see if I can figure out a more unified way of doing it.  Or maybe finding a different type of yarn would be better.  Something that doesn't have to be wrapped so perfectly & can be overlapped without affecting the look.  I imagine some other letters or shapes wouldn't be as difficult.  But I think it came out pretty good for a $6 project and it will complete my bathroom least for a little while.

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