Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crawling Machine

And he is off...........
This little man figured out how to crawl forward overnight, literally. He had been crawling backwards for almost two weeks. I loved it, it was so funny to watch. We were at the In laws house Sunday talking about him going backwards etc. The next morning, K, C and I were are all sitting on the floor, K was eating some cereal. I guess he decided he wanted her cereal bad, because out of no where he started crawling forward to get to the bowl!!! I was screaming with excitement it was so funny. I was on the phone texting the hubby since he was at work. Thankfully I got a good video to send him as well. Here we are almost a week later and he is picking up speed by the minute. It's so fun to watch, he literally "rediscovers" his toys, and his surrounds all over again as he is able to explore them from a new perspective. Oh did I mention that he can now pull himself up on a lot of his toys, and is trying to figure out how to do it with our furniture. I swear this little man is not satisfied with his latest achievements, he has to keep on going on to bigger and better things!!! 
Have you ever seen a cuter little baby boy? I know I haven't!!!!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Flower Hand Bouquet

K is on Spring Break for the next TWO weeks. What the heck are these schools thinking?!! This means mommy will be busy planning crafts and activities to keep the busy Sugar Bear entertained. This girl is NON STOP!!!! Since Spring is here we decided to make flowers! They turned out cute and it was really simple.
Items needed:
7 pieces of construction paper (your choice of colors)
6 craft sticks
Green Paint
Green Easter Grass (optional)

First paint one side of each craft stick green. They will dry while you are doing the rest of the craft.
Next have your child (or parent if your child is younger) trace one hand on 6 different colors of construction paper and cut them out.

*Yes she switched clothes. She heard her friends outside and took a break to go play

Glue one hand to each craft stick.

Next take the last piece of construction paper and fold it to form a cone shape. Use tape to secure it in place. We tried glue, and it did not stick at all. I would have needed to hold it in place for a while and let it dry.
If you decided to use the Easter grass, have your child fill the paper cone with the grass, then place all the flower hands inside in any arrangement that he/she would like.

All finished! Here is what it looks like.
These are fun because they have multiple uses. Spring/Easter craft and decor of course. Or you could give them as presents to grandparents, family, or teachers. Give these instead of real flowers, they would love it. Hope you enjoy this craft as much as we did!
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Shopping, Sales, Savings

This weekend Just Between Friends hosted their bi-annual sale in my area. I was so excited because I missed both sales last year. If you are not familiar with JBF, it's national consignment sale for kids/children's clothes,furniture, toys and more. It is very popular and you often have lines around the building of people waiting to get. Click here for more info and to find out if there is an event near you. I was suppose to go Friday, but between work, a school party for K, and my little brother's dance competition, it just didn't happen. Ryan worked Saturday, and you could forget about me taking both kids by myself. No thanks! So Sunday was the last day of the sale, and my last chance to go. I asked my mother in law if she wanted to go, so off we went. I figured there wouldn't be much left considering it was the last day. The benefit to waiting however, is everything was 50% off!! So if I did manage to find something, at least I would be getting a great deal. I had to sort through everything carefully, but I found great stuff, and got everything for an amazing price. Everything I chose was in excellent condition, clean, no stains, holes, fading etc. I am all about buying used. I love a good Saturday morning of yard sales. I have found some of my best deals buying used. However, I am very picky. If I am going to buy new, it needs to be in excellent condition. I purchased 16 items including brands like Gap, Gymboree, Carters, Old Navy, etc for $30!! I am sooo excited with the great stuff I found, and all the money I saved. Here is the loot! Lots of great things for the baby, and cute stuff for K.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

6 months of Joy

Since C was 1 month old, I have been taking his picture every month on the same couch with the same blocks spelling out his age. I have seen people do this many times with a toy or stuffed animal. It's so cute to see how they grow and how small that toy or stuffed animal looks next to them over time. I have also seen people using chalk boards or signs to display the baby's age. I wanted to do this with K and am bummed I didn't fall through. I mean I was only a new mom, with a deployed husband, couldn't I get my act together? ;)
So I made a promise to myself that I would dedicate my time and get it done with C. I am pleased to say that we are 6  months in (almost 7) and I have kept up with it. I LOVE already being able to look back a few months and see how much he has changed! I highly recommend doing this with your little one! You won't regret it!! They grow so quick, take all the pictures you can to preserve those memories!! 
*I have to give credit to my BFF April for the idea of taking pictures with the blocks!! Here is my little love!!

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Painting with Marshmallows

A few weeks ago I was browsing through some blogs and saw a picture of a a child painting a rainbow with marshmallows. I didn't get a chance to read the blog, but I thought it was such a great idea. I do not even know if we did it the same way as the blog did. I like to give credit where it's due, but again I only saw the picture, so I don't know what blog it was from. So I set it up how I thought it should go. Anyhow I was really excited to try this with K. She loves painting and I knew she would like this twist. I set up the marshmallows (left over from our St.Patrick's Day rice crispy treats)  and paint, one marshmallow per paint color. I set down a piece of paper, told her what we were doing, and let her jump on it. She debated whether she wanted to dab the marshmallows for a dotted rainbow, or slide them for a smooth rainbow. I asked her why can't you do both? So she did! I didn't get pictures of the second painting, I was feeding the baby by that time. She had a ton of fun with this. I see an Easter activity with marshmallows in our future.
She got bored of using paper, and soon the activity ended up like this............

Thank goodness the paint is washable!!!  I would say she liked this activity. Can't go wrong with paint!!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cloth Diaper Review

We have used cloth diapers on C since he was 4 weeks old. I love, love, love it! There was a big learning curve to cloth, so many options, rules, ways of caring for the diapers, I was definitely intimidated. But I stuck with it, and will never go back to disposables again. We have a mixture of diapers in our stash. Each one I like for different reasons. One of my favorite diapers in our stash is Fancy Pants Diapers. I got lucky big time when I found these diapers. It's a small company run by Susan Nash, who is so sweet and kind. She has been an amazing help from day one. She has always answered any questions and emails very quickly, and since I am local, she is always willing to meet me with my order to save on shipping costs.  Here is an excerpt about the diapers from their website.
                                         "Fancy Pants Diapers are one-size pocket diapers. All of the diapers (silky          and minky) have a layer of waterproof PUL lining the outer fabric, so none of them need a cover.
All Fancy Pants diapers have special snaps that enable each diaper to be adjusted (click to see how) to fit most babies from birth to potty training. Each diaper comes with two microfiber absorbent inserts, as shown in the picture below. We include two inserts instead of just one so that our customers have the ability to double up inserts for heavy wetters or night time (just make sure the leg gussets are snug!).The interior of most Fancy Pants Diapers is smooth microsuede and has elastic at the back of the diaper where the inserts go in. However, a few of the prints have a fleece interior, and a flap where the inserts are stuffed in."
We started with Fancy Pants when C was 4 weeks old. I was very surprised to find that they fit him really well this early. They were a little bulky on him, but I LOVE me some fluffy booty!! C is a little chunkers so it didn't effect us at all. If you had a smaller baby like my daughter who was only 7lbs at 4 weeks, they would probably be pretty big for them at this stage. Obviously that wasn't the case and I was able to use them right away for C!
From the beginning I noticed the amazing quality of the diapers. The sewing skills on these diapers amazes me. Very professional and quality work is being done on these diapers. I can confidently say that they rate right up there with my "brand name" diapers such as Bumgenius and Fuzzi Bunz. 
Each diaper has the ability to adjust the waist to 5 different settings. They even have a cross over snap to get a snug, tight fit if you are using them on newborns. Each diaper also adjust to three different rise settings. Let me tell you, when they say this diaper accommodates a baby from 7lbs-32lbs they truly mean it. C is still on the highest rise setting and he is over 18lbs at 6 months. Some diapers with material that have a little bit of a stretch I can still use the tightest waist snaps. Otherwise he is on the second tightest waist setting. The diapers either come in a silky or minky fabric. At this time I have about 15 fancy pants diapers, in all different fabrics and colors. I love the variety of fabric colors and designs they have to offer. I have a boy, so it can be hard to find "cute" designs. Leave it to Fancy Pants to solve this problem for me. So many cute designs, I couldn't stop buying them. 
Speaking of buying, Fancy Pants prices are amazing and affordable. Belive it or not, cloth diapers can get expensive!! Fancy Pants allows you to cloth diaper your baby, stay away from the chemicals in disposables, help the environment, all while not breaking the bank. Also if you like her Facebook page here, you can take advantage of her amazing sales she runs frequently. I mean who doesn't like to save money when you can?
So I have already touched on a few reason why I love Fancy Pants;Quality, Selection, and Price! Let me dive into what I like about the actual diaper.
1. Generous Sizing- I mentioned before and I'll say it again, these diapers will grow with your baby from newborn to potty training.
2. Stay Dry-This is crucial for us! I can't use anything other than stay dry on C or he will get a red bottom and rash right away. The stay dry fabric wicks the pee away from baby's bottom and into the insert in the pocket. We consistently change C's diaper every two hours, however if we are on the road or get distracted, I feel confident going longer between changed because I know he is not actually wet and sitting in his pee like he would with cotton prefolds or non stay dry diapers. 
3.Leak Proof- Seriously! We have had maybe 4 leaks in the almost 6 months we have been using Fancy Pants. Two were from user error (*cough,husband,cough*)and the other two were in the morning after a full night of wearing the diaper. Which I can't really blame on the diaper. After 12 hours of peeing into something, you are going to have a leak or two, especially if you have a heavy wetter. Thankfully we don't so this is not even an issue for us. We use Fancy Pants as our night time diaper because they are so reliable, and absorbent, we can sleep peacefully knowing we won't have any middle of the night surprises.
4. Soft interior material- The interior of the diapers are either a soft microsuede material, or fleece. You can't get much softer than that! I love knowing that my baby is sitting on soft, cozy material and not paper!
5.Durability- I wash my diapers every 1-3 days depending on how many C goes through, and let's just be honest, how lazy I am being on that day. So these diapers get washed very frequently. I usually dry them outside in the sun. It helps sun out any stains, it also prolongs the life of the diaper. But I do often throw them in the dryer on Med heat, especially during the winter. I have not seen one sign of wear and tear on these diapers. No fading, rips, stains, lose seams, NADA!! 
6. Inserts- OK I have to mention the inserts because each diaper comes with TWO microfiber insert.  I have not found another company yet, that sends two full size inserts with their diapers. I really appreciate this, because I can use the diaper day or night without having to spend even more money for extra insert for night time stuffing. 
7.Legs and back gussets- I can't even begin to tell you how many times these diapers have prevented a major poop blow out! The gussets help protect those crucial areas that poop explosions always find their way out of. No blow outs = no extra laundry, no clothes going in the trash, and no mid-day baths because there is poop running all the way up your baby's back. 
Of course nothing in life is perfect, and if I HAD to find any con's about this diaper here they are.
*The fleece material is not as "solid food" poop friendly haha. What I mean by this is now that we have introduced solids, I am finding the poop sticks to the fleece a lot more, and is harder to rinse off and creates more stains than usual. We will be getting a diaper sprayer soon, so I am hoping this solves the problem for us. For now I just rinse them as much as possible and sun out any stain.
*Our microfiber inserts are starting to show wear and tear, and a few are starting to lose their "fluffyness". Which, after as much use as they get, it's expected. They still work, but we will need to replace them in the near future.
I think that is the extent of my cons list. Obviously C is only 61/2 months. So things may change as he gets older. New issues may arise. But I am confident in the product that Fancy Pants makes. I know these diapers will last us until he is potty trained. So for your viewing pleasure, here is C in a few of his Fancy Pants Diapers.

If you are on the fence about cloth, seriously give Fancy Pants Diapers a try. Or if you are a dedicated cloth diaper family, try Fancy Pants! You won't regret it!!

*I did not receive any monetary gain or free products for this review. This review is my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Fancy Pants Diaper
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Day of green!

K was very bummed that St.Patrick's Day did not fall on a school day. She had so much fun last year at Preschool, she was looking forward to all of the activities again. So I of course had to make it special for her. It rained all weekend here, so it was nice to have a lot of activities planned to keep her busy. She had no clue the leprechauns would come to her house. So her reaction when she saw the first evidence of foot prints on the stairs was priceless!! We toured the house finding all the mischief the leprechauns had been up to. The leprechauns had walked all over the house and got green foot prints all over the tile, the kitchen table, her light table, even the bathroom. They got into K's craft stuff and made confetti with green construction paper and threw it everywhere. They even turned the toilet water green!!

The excitement and look on her face was amazing and worth all the effort. Since it was St.Patrick's day we wanted to keep with the green theme, so we made green eggs and green milk for breakfast. K helped me make the eggs. It's one of her favorite foods to make.

After lunch we made some yummy green rice crispy treats. I thought K was going to lose her mind, she was so excited. I think she literally asked me every 5 minutes while the treats were cooling, if they were ready. I don't blame her, I love me a good rice crispy treat. I also have to admit that I may have eaten a piece or two....ok more like 4 or 5 ooops! Don't judge, they were soooo good!

Later that day K's Uncle came over to spend some time with us. She LOVES her Uncles, and loves them even more when they come over for a visit.They both had homework to finish, so they made a contest to see who would finish first. After homework and dinner, we made a green volcano! As you may have seen before in my posts, K loves making volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda. This time I bought a large bottle of vinegar. Learned my lesson last time when we ran out. We did a few rounds of controlled eruptions. Then I let K go to town. She used the entire bottle of vinegar! She loved it. She kept doing eruption, after eruption. Both her hands turned green from the food coloring. This discovery led to a game of leprechaun and she chased her Uncle through the house trying to wipe her green hands all over him.

We had a ton of fun!! The only sad part of the day is that Daddy had to work so he missed out on all of the activities. But we made sure we sent him videos and pictures so he could see what we were doing. Hope you had as much fun on St. Patrick's day as we did!
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Friday, March 16, 2012

My Poor Buddah Boy

I know my posts are slacking. It has been a busy week, between a funeral, Disneyland, work, school, and now a sick baby, there has not been any time. I took C to the doctor yesterday and he has RSV and a double ear infection. My poor baby. He is in pretty good spirits considering how sick he is. He is very clingy though and wants olny mommy for the most part. He is on antibiotics for his ears, and albuterol for the RSV. This is the crucial point in RSV where it could take a turn for the worse. But we are confident we caught it in time and he will only get better from here. I hope life calms down and I can resume my regular postings. I am sad having to miss out on all of the linky parties!

Poor buddah boy! We can't wait for you to feel better!!
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Disneyland or Bust!

We will be going to Disneyland this week. The whole family is so excited. In December we went for two days with my mother in law. We got a 3-day Military park hopper ticker for $99. Amazing deal!!! We stayed at the Sheraton Anaheim, which was awesome. The rooms were spacious and clean, this is a must since I am a fanatic about clean hotels. We were able to get early check in which was great. It allowed us to unpack our stuff and head straight to the park instead of leaving all of our luggage locked in the car until check in time. I think one of the best parts of the hotel was the FREE shuttle to and from Disneyland. The shuttle ran every 30 minutes, and it was so convenient. C was 3 months old when we went, so having the shuttle was a must for us. I was able to leave the park on my own to put C down for a a nap, while everybody else stayed for more fun.
The first day we went to California Adventure. This was decided because we knew we would not get to the hotel until late morning. This park is much smaller, and we would be able to accomplish most of the park in a shorter time span. We wanted to save our full day for Disneyland. We were absolutely excited when we went to the park and realized how empty it was. We were just walking onto rides, and getting front row seating at the shows. AMAZING!! Unfortunately we had to cut our day short when it starting pouring rain around 6pm. But thankfully we felt we accomplished a lot in the time that we were there.

The next day we went to Disneyland. We got there about 15 minutes after if was opened. We headed straight to Fantasyland to get on all of the kid ride. We walked right onto Snow  White, Pinocchio, Kasey Jr train ride, and the carousel. It was so much fun! We made a quick detour to Adventure Land and jumped on The Pirates of The Caribbean. I think we waited in line all of 5 minutes!!By this time C needed a diaper change and needed to eat. So mommy headed to the baby center while Daddy, K, and Nana went on some more adventures. We met up about 30 minutes later and headed to It's a Small World. We were told we HAVE to see it during Christmas time. I must say it was beautiful. I haven't been on that ride since I was little. After that we headed to Toon Town where we got to see goofy , meet Mickey, and K rode on the roller coaster with Daddy. We were all very hungry by this time so we grabbed some lunch and sat down to relax. The crowds were really picking up by now and we were all getting a little tired. Mommy needed to go back to the hotel, she had a headache and C needed a nap really bad. Thank goodness for the hotel shuttle. I was able to hop on it no problem and get back to the hotel, where C took a 3 hour nap!! Daddy, K, and Nana stayed a little longer and went on Splash Mountain and climbed the tree house near Indiana Jones. Then they headed back to the hotel for a quick cat nap themselves. We all woke up just in time to make it back to the Park for the Christmas Parade. We were at the beginning of the parade so we were able to make it to Tomorrow land in time to get fast passes for Star Tours and walk right on Buzz Light Year before the mass crowd from the parade started coming. While waiting we grabbed some pizza and had some dinner. K,  Nana, and I then went on Star Tours. It was awesome! I know they redid the ride, and it was more than I expected. K was absolutely in love with the ride. She couldn't stop laughing and screaming. Afterwards she kept saying that it was the best ride she ever went on! Mommy and Daddy got to ride Space Mountain, and then we headed over to the castle for the fireworks show. We were so disappointed to learn that they had to cancel the fireworks due to windy conditions. Oh well maybe next year. By this time we were all exhausted and both kids were passed out, so we decided to call it a night. The next morning we had breakfast with the characters. If you have never done this, I highly recommend it. It's a little pricey, but it's like having the characters all to yourself. They come by your table and sign books and take pictures. It's a lot of fun. This ended our 2 1/2 day vacation at Disneyland. We had so much fun! We can't wait to go this week.

We learned a few tricks while there last time. We will be getting to Disney before the park opens. They let you in a little bit before opening time and have the area roped off at the end of Main St. We will use this time for last minute bathroom trips and make our way to the rope to wait. Here is our "hopeful" ride list for the day.
1. Princess meet and greet-we didn't get to go last time. The line gets LONG,FAST. So we are heading here first.
2. Minnie's house-Line was too long last time
3. Tour the Castle-after all these years of going to Disneyland I never knew you could go inside!
4.We will try to ride a few of the ride in Fanstasyland depending on the lines. We got to ride quite a few last time so it won't be too bad if we don't get to do many of them.
5. Lunch break at Hungry Bear Restaurant-I have read good reviews and have never eaten here before.
Depending on the crowd we will try to ride the follwoing rides after lunch:
6. Splash Mountain
7.Pirated of the Caribbean
8. Jungle Cruise
9. Take the boat over to Tom Sawyer Island
Lunch time is usually when the crowds are in full force. If it's too much we will use this time to take the train and relax and enjoy and nice ride around the park. We will get off near Autotopia and try to ride the Monorail.
Hopefully we will have a few hours for more rides before we find good seats for the Parade and Fantasmic.
This sounds like so much to do, so hopefully we accomplish at least half of what we have planned. Nana and Kappa are coming too. So lots of help with the kids yay! Pictures and updated will follow.
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Waterbead Love

I have mentioned before how much K loves her water beads. But there is someone in the household who has also fallen in love with them too.

I love it! Every time he sees me pull out the container that holds them, he gets so excited and starts kicking his feet and smiling from ear to ear. He loves feeling them and touching them. He does so well with not putting him in his mouth. Of course I am always right there the entire time to monitor him.
He also loves playing with them with his big sister.

What fun would playtime be if he couldn't put something in his mouth.
Much better mommy!!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Eruption of Color

Two weeks ago we went camping at the beach with family and friends. One of the kids had a volcano that the dad did with all of the kids and K loved it. We were at Lakeshore Learning picking up a few things and K sees the volcanothat they used at the beach. Of course she begged and pleated for me to buy it for her. I did not want to spend the money when I knew there were cheaper ways to do it. So yesterday I went out and purchesed all of the materials we would need for our experiment.


Vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. That's all you need, three things!! I used four clear plastic cups and put them in a clear baking dish. Since I was doing this on the light table, I wanted to  make sure it was protected from the liquid. I had K pick out the colors she wanted and add them to the vinegar.
Next I added baking soda to a cup, this allowed her to easily have access to it instead of pouring it from the box. Before I let her add the baking soda I asked her a few questions about prediction.
1. What do you think is going to happen?
2.How much baking soda do you think we need to add?
3.Will it makes any sounds?
4. If we put in a little bit what will happen? How about a big spoon full?
Then I explained that by combining the vinegar and baking soda it creates what is called a chemical reaction. In 5 year old terms-when you mix these two things together something cool happens!! I handed her the spoon and let her go to town.
She loved it! With each cup she added more and more baking soda because she figured out that you will get a bigger reaction the more you add. She wanted to see what it would look like with the light table on. So we finished these colors, and did four more different colors.
This was so much fun for K and myself. I loved seeing her reaction when the baking soda foamed up. It was also fun to see her mind working and seeing her try different things to get different reactions. Such a little scientists! Of course we ran out of vinegar much to K's disappointment. So my advice if you are going to try this-buy LOTS of vinegar. The kids are going to want to try it over and over again. She has already asked three different time to try this again. This is on our list of experiments to do again soon!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mess Free Finger Painting

This idea, like a million others, has been making it's way through the blogs and Pinterest. I loved the idea and wanted to try it with K. There are a few different versions of this activity so I just went with what interested us the most. All we used was a quart size ziplock baggie and Paint. Easy!  Like usual, I let K make the decisions in this activity. She decided where she wanted to sit, what colors she wanted to use, and how much paint she wanted to put in. I try to give her as much independence as I can with our activities. I really enjoy seeing where her imagination takes her. I will give "suggestions" but she can take it or leave it.
She choose two colors per bag, and added the two colors in different areas of the bag so they were not touching yet. After she added the paint we sealed the bags and taped all four sides down to the light table.  I asked her before hand what color she thought it would make. Then fun the began. It was so fun to watch her blend the colors to see if she was right.

After she had blended the colors and played for a bit, I turned on the light table to give this activity a whole new perspective. She liked how the paint looked a lot better with the light on.

Of course mom had to suggestion some educational ideas for her to do. So she practiced writing her name as well as practiced spelling her sight words. Any fun way I can throw in learning, I will do. She LOVES school but is not a big fan of practicing her spelling and sight words with mom. I left the bags on the table through the next day so she was able to go back to it as she wanted and play more. We will definitely be doing this activity again!