Saturday, April 30, 2011

no slip placemat

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Bear's placemat was ridiculously gross. the top was okay. but it seems i didn’t clean the underside (i’m not grody, i swear. just forgetful.) so i threw it away. he’s gone without for about two weeks. and if i scrub his spot on the table anymore, i’ll start wearing away the wood.

we were at target last night and he spotted a dORa placemat in the $1 spot.
after i picked it up, i noticed how slick the bottom was. i imagined it sliding across the table into big sister Pip’s lap.

bUt.

i HAd a pLaN.

today i set to work to “gripperize” the back of the placemat. i got a roll of the gripper cabinet liner that i had leftover from painting our cabinets (pictures coming soon). i put the new placemat face down and traced around it. when i cut the liner, i cut inside my lines a bit so i didn’t have to worry about getting it lined up perfectly.

then i put scrapbooking adhesive squares in each corner and covered the back of the placemat with liquid stitch.



[[and i have to just say: i. LoVe. LiQUiD. sTiTCh. i may love it even more than aileen’s craft glue in the famous gold bottle. it’s a little bit runnier and easier to spread around.]] then i set the gripper sheet down on the back of the placemat. i taped the edges to keep it together a bit while it dried. it turned out pretty good.

after a trial run,
                 Bear, dORa, and fiLMoRe (from Cars
                                                                       gave it their stamp of approval.

 
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

magnets on the fridge

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my mom brought over these bAmBi magnets on easter.


she got them out of something, i’m not sure what.
like many families with small children, we have an overabundance of cRaPOLa.

we don’t have oNe of anything, we’ve got FoUR.
and of course as i’m writing this , that song from the LiTtLe meRMaiD pops into my head.

i’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty.
i’ve got whozits and whatzits galore.
you want thingamabobs, i’ve got 20.


anyway. Bear saw them and wanted to keep them (of course).
i had to figure out wHAt to do with them and wHErE to put them.
so i made a matching game out of them on the fridge door.



once i showed him one match, Bear matched up all the rest.
since then, he’s gone back to the fridge many times and done them.
he’s also separated them into “mommies” (the big ones) and “babies” (little ones).

it’LL dO foR nOW.

eventually they’ll lose their luster and
                   be forgotten in the dUsTY dePtHs of the craft cabinet.
then next spring, i’ll clean it out and find them.

                                  and they’ll go BaCk on the fridge.


also on the fridge is set of leftovers from Bear Man’s room.


heRE’s tHe BaCksTOry:


i had purchased thin wood letters that spelled out his name and painted them to stick on the wall over his crib. it looked so cute! LINCOLN
 then he was born. and he didn’t look like a lincoln.


so the hubs and i spent the next 2 dAYs taking turns combing through the baby name book to find baby boy a name. finally we settled on a name that suited Bear perfectly. and one of the first things i did upon bringing him home was to take LINCOLN down off of the wall.



once i was able to get out and about, i went back to hobby lobby and got the letters i needed to put his new name up there. and there they hung for two years over the crib he never once slept in because we coslept (safely) from the time he was 7-8 months. ((and a good thing too as the crib was later recalled))
so when i converted his room from a nursery to a biG bOY room, i didn’t know what to do with them, yet couldn’t part with them either. so i glued some magnets on the back using aileen’s craft glue from the infamous gold bottle. and put them….    
wHeRe eLsE?  on the fRiDGe.

not only does it help with his letter recognition, but he can practice putting them in order to spell his name.

but let me ask this… in the spirit of those capital one Vikings…

what’s on yOuR fridge?

 
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

discouraged

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so. at the risk of sounding like i’m fishing for compliments, i have to ask.



dOEs tHiS BloG sTiNK?


i guess i don’t understand this whole blog community thing? i love and know most of my followers.

i wish you could've heard me giggle the other day when i hit 10!


but i have to ask….


HoW dO bLOggErs geT hUnDReDs oF foLLoWErs??

what are the tricks and tips?
what is it about the blog that draws people in?
or is it the blogger themselves?


not sure how many people will read this.


i’ve also been posting on quite a few LiNk pARtiEs, commenting on other’s link,
but haven’t gotten too many comments that way.


so any heLP, aDvICe, ConSTruCtIVe cRiTicISm is appreciated.
                       (as long as it’s not a “you suck. get off the computer” type thing)

iF yOu aRE onE Of mY FollOWerS, i appreciate you being in my top 10
i’m following you all back.


if YoU’rE noT oNe Of My fOLLowERs, give me a trial run. follow me and if nothing appeals to you, throw me back into the bloggy ocean.


**sigh** i guess where I’m going with all this is it’s discouraging for me to put what i think are good posts out there that few people are ever likely to see. **sigh again**


sorry for the pity party. i'm not always like this. check any other post and you'll see that
i'm usually a sUNshINe giRL

so let me ask you this.... 
when you read this, please drop me a comment to make my day!   
AND give me your blog address so i can come and check you out too!!
 
 
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Monday, April 25, 2011

recovering our ottoman

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so. we had this ottoman. it was blue. it matched our denim jean couch.

the couch has sent to another home to live and been replaced by a streamlined, neutral smaller apartment couch. so of course, this ottoman stuck out like a sore thumb.

it’s impossible to get rid of too. Bear likes to play “cherry-picker” in it. to explain: he gets in the ottoman, pretends like he’s raising it up and chopping down the tree branches (((hangers in disguise)))

i’ve wanted to recover it for over a month and finally got up the energy to tackle the project. i ended up not using the fabric i wanted to because i just wanted that ugly blue to gO aWAy. ((truth be told, i used a queen sized sheet that we no longer use because we got a king bed)) i think that i may add some embellishment or trim to the lid at some point.


it’s fairly simple. understand though, I am by nO mEAns a professional ((that’s fairly obvious looking at my work though)) so i will tell you that the results are not pErFEct but are jUsT fiNE in my book.
and….the after. a little bit better, right?

 
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recycled cardboard flowers

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a few months ago, i purchased new dishes that i fell in love with the first time I saw them.  when they arrived the bowls had x-shaped pieces of cardboard in between them.  i saved them thinking that they would be wonderful to do a project with.  we’re getting our front door decorated for spring, so we turned them into flowers.

Bear picked the colors red, pink, and purple to paint with.  purple was actually his first choice.  much to his dad’s unspoken dismay, it has been this little boy’s favorite color since he was about 16 months old.  i used washed out single serving applesauce containers as bowls for the paint.  at first he started using the round dauber sponges, and then moved on to a paintbrush. 


the tool he actually seemed to have the most fun with was the spoon i used to scoop some extra paint back into the bottle.  didn’t really matter to me as long as he was having fun.  

i cut out green stems and leaves to glue onto them.  i had planned on letting him glue it wherever he wanted (i wanted to make sure it looked like he made it, not me).  but he surprised me by sticking it down pretty accurately… 


how are you getting ready for spring?

 
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

quiet time

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sometimes i forget what quiet sounds like
during the day, we're bombarded with
so many noises
the tv
the tHumP of a car's bass
airplanes flying overhead
a neighbor's ever-bArKiNg dog
the cat crying in the bathroom for water from the faucet
the cRAsH of a lego tower
the sMaSh of matchbox cares
Bear's singing, talking, yelling

but then there are moments

mOmENts LiKe tHeSe

that are filled with sweet silence
and i sMiLe

not because the noise has ceased
but that is has been replaced

with the cOMfoRt oF kNOwiNg

that when we're together,
we don't always need words
soMeTImEs iT's jUst eNoUGh
tO bE nEAr eAcH oThEr


 
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Friday, April 22, 2011

when a little helps you paint

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finally finished painting our living room and entry way…
was dreading the entryway and its vaulted ceiling.
using the standard extension pole, edger, and roller
i got the walls and ceiling line painted.

about halfway through Bear volunteered
to help me paint by grabbing the edger off of the table
and scrubbing it on the wall.
not exactly the desired effect,
but he felt so proud for helping, so i obliged him.


all was accident-free until he decided to come
down onto the landing with me.
a lack of space combined with his excitement led to this….



i haven't laughed that hard in quite a while!!
i ended up carrying him bucket-style
(the only way i can think of to describe it) into the bathroom. 
and the rug, once destined for the garbage
has now been relocated to our family room.
i love it...sometime, i may even have the rest of us
add our footprints to it too! (hmm….the gears are turning)

once we were done painting, something still wasn’t right.
in the corners, I could still see the annoying hue of
the butter-yellow paint peeking through.

i should probably tell you that this vaulted ceiling
is above two flights of stairs,
so standing on a ladder is virtually impossible.
so i macguyver-ed it



this would be my paintbrush taped to
the extension pole
using a profuse amount of packing tape.
i used it to brush paint into the corners.
whatever works, right? whatever works.


happy painting!

 
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

process over product

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today we made do-a-dot easter eggs.
and by “we” i mean myself, my 2 year old, and my 15 year old.




i was quite surprised when I asked her
if she wanted to do them with us
and she said “yes”


 it was a sImPLe, eAsY pRojEct with
                  egg-shaped construction paper
                  and do-a-dot markers.
but the pRocESs of making them
                  created in our hEaRTs
a feeling so much more beautiful
                  than the pRoDucTs themselves.

 
 
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

colorful book organization

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i love to read. always have.


when I was 10, i was reading v.c. andrews and danielle steel novels.
i’m pretty sure this is where i got my outlandish ideas about romance.
not only was reading enjoyable to me, but it provided an eSCapE                        
though i’m grown and have a family of my own,
                                i still love to curl up with a good book…
              not that i really have time with classes and home-preschooling a 2 year old.
so i’ve adjusted my passion from my books to Bear's books
                     (which works anyway since i’m a preschool teacher by trade).


we probably read 10+ books a day.
that being said, we’ve got a ton of books!
books that are ours.
books that are the library’s.
books. books. books.
                     they seemed to have multiplied and are stacked in every corner.


i put some in Bear's room and some in the family room.
he has his own little corner in our living room.
that’s where i put all of his favorites.


i originally had them organized in two sections: hardcover and softcover.
but the look was still messy and disorganized.


then i saw this picture on meg duerksen’s blog whatever


       (incidentally...her blog is phenomenal..you've got to check it out.)


so i tried it myself and absolutely loved the organized colorful look it had.




now, don’t get me wrong…
              i don’t make Bear keep this up.
however, he’s able to go over and find the exact book he’s looking for…
                                                                                                      somehow.
and most of the time he puts them back into the same color family.
not sure if I’m teaching him organization or compulsiveness…
                                                             but yay for learning how to sort by colors!!
 
 
 
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

my happy (heart) list

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when Bear was 20-some months old, he said that something gave him “a HaPPy hEaRT”.  hearing this sent me aglow and the saying has stuck for the past year (we’ll see how long it goes!). this is the first time i’ve participated in Mamarazzi’s the happy list link party. i think it’s such a great idea. in our home, we do start each dinner by taking turns stating what we are grateful for that day. but i adore the idea of reflecting back over the week as a whole…

mY heARt iS hAppY foR.....


Bear napping on me


getting packages in the mail…especially books


my hubby taking the day off to spend time with Little Man


spending time with the little ones at our church for MOPS/MOPPETS


having a library filled with wonderful books for us to check out


for the whole family being able to go to Pip’s concert and enjoy her band


the cute little birdfeeder for our front yard…it entertains the cats and Bear
 
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

find your giant

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young david so fresh and
filled with faith
to take on that giant
with a sling and a pebble
such courage
such immeasurable faith
do you have the type of faith
that can act as your shield
against the evils of the world
and the lashes of the whip?
what are you willing to
pick up a stone for?
find your giant.
look him in the eye.
believe.
wind your arm back,
push forward,
and let go.
God will do the rest.
--ajc


1 Samuel 17:1-58
inspired by the voice of truth by casting crowns


 
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remember the cross

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Bear and i help out in the 2s room at MOPS at our church.  it gives him some opportunity to socialize while i assist our church in providing moms with a little break and some time to reflect on faith.  we created Easter egg suncatchers.   but to put an emphasis on the religious aspect of easter, i gave them the silver hearts to place inside too.  that way when the sun shone in, we could see the cRoSS. 


 
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

a letter to the editor

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you have to know how anxious i am about putting this all out there.  but here you go…this is a copy of an email i just sent to the editors of Parents magazine.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just got done reading the article, “Visiting William” by an Anonymous writer in the May 2011 issue of Parents magazine.  My heart breaks for the mother who had to watch her child yo-yoed around by a father suffering from bipolar disorder.  I was moved to tears for the little girl after reading of their last meeting.  Still, I feel moved to share another side with you.  I sincerely wish that you would have (or in the future) include a story further exploring the life of bipolar parents.  On behalf of many bipolar parents (and readers, I’m sure) I feel it necessary to clear the air for those who aren’t necessarily familiar with the disorder and all it entails.  I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic depression when I was 22 years old.  Since then, the fight against the stigma society holds has been hard.  There have been times I have brought up my disorder and have seen the person visibly cringe.  Being bipolar isn’t something I would have chosen for myself.  One can’t change the fact that they are bipolar any easier than a redhead can change their freckles or a basketball player can alter their foot size.  It’s all in how we’re “wired.”  There are many of us who, with the help of medications, are well-adjusted, properly balanced and able to have secure, strong, affectionate relationships with our children.  Life with bipolar disorder isn’t always the way popular culture sees it: a rollercoaster at an amusement park.  With the help of medications, life for me is more like a drive through the country.  There are some dips and peaks, but for the most part, I’m able to sit back and enjoy the ride.


 
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Easter egg sensory table

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this Step2 Water Activity Table was the best $30 i’ve eVeR spent!  i actually bought it with birthday money that my husband’s grandmother sent me last year.  it has truly been a gift to me!  i generally switch out the contents every month or so to keep it iNviTiNG to Bear.  in the summertime, we'll take it outside and filled with water. 

i’ve put a few different things in it:
beans
dried pasta
popcorn
beads and buttons
styrofoam peanuts
       but i don't recommended unless you don’t mind bits of them alllll over your house.. 
       they are a bit staticy and stick to anything and everything 


since it’s sPRinG and getting close to EaSTeR, i bought a pack of plastic easter eggs and 2 bags of green easter grass to put into the table.  Bear added his own bucket, shovel, and egg carton from his play kitchen.  he likes to hide “prizes” in the eggs and find them. 



you don’t have to spend money on a table like this if you don’t want to.  an under the bed plastic storage tub works just fine.  (it’s what we used before i bought the table.)

i'm going to change up the contents after Easter to a more summery theme....see you then!
 
 
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

homemade hot pockets

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sometimes i struggle with what dish to make for dinner that will appeal to the preferences of mY hUsBAnd, mY tEEn, mY pICkY toDDleR, and mY picKy sELf. 

i made homemade pizza pockets one night out of crescent rolls and they were pretty good.  so i decided to try my hand at a homemade hot pockets.  

i used a tube of pillsbury premade pizza dough and a cup each of chopped broccoli, chopped ham, and velveeta cubes. 

after baking the pizza crust for a little bit (longer than the instructions say due to my slow-to-cook oven), i cut it into eight squares.  after a few pieces of each of the three ingredients were tucked inside, i folded them diagonally to make triangles.  then they were baked until the crust turned brown. 


surprisingly enough, eVerYOne liked them, including me.
 
 
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