Wednesday, August 31, 2011

painting with legos

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cReAtiViTY is free, but the lack of it is costly.

these words jumped into my head
while i watched
             my Bear doing aRt,
                            head down,
                            absolutely engrossed in his woRK

he wanted to pAiNT, but plain old paintbrushes
          just wouldn't do.
so out came the LeGOs and mEGa-bLoCKs

at first he was content
               to stamp and paint

until he ReALiZeD
             that the paint cOuLD bE concrete
             and the block cOuLD bE a cement spreader.

and that's when the reAL LeaRNinG bEgaN.

above title provided by bear

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Monday, August 29, 2011

in {her} shoes...carly

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it's moMMa moNDaY again! i love these days because i find it so amazing to hear about all the different walks of life we come from. if you're interested in participating in this series, please leave a comment below or email me.

i'm so excited about this week's in {her} shoes guest post
from Carly over at Mason's Roost...
she is another woman that i find beyond inspiring.


I’m Carly from Mason’s Roost. I live in Hawaii (where I was born and raised) with my husband and our son Mason. There’s two parts of Mason’s Roost. There’s the crafty part and then there’s the mom part, which is why I’m posting here today. Mason’s Roost has been an outlet for me to put down in words, the best way I can, of my journey as a heart mom.
Mason, who is now 1 year old, was born with a heart defect. He had the first surgery at 16 days old and the second at 8 months. This first year of life has been horrible and fantastic at the same time. Having a heart baby has taught me humility, thankfulness, and reliance on God.

You may be wondering where humility comes in and let me explain. Mason is not mine. He is the Lord's. He is the good and perfect gift, the blessing beyond all comprehension, he is the Lord's. He doesn't belong to me. God gives, God takes away. I came to realize this soon after we found out Mason had a heart defect. I begged God "Please don't take him. I want him. Please don’t take him!" God gives, God takes away. There is nothing more humbling than realizing and accepting that nothing is within your control, you have no power, you have no strength. You must rely on someone else to get you through, to hold you up, to heal, to comfort, to decide the direction of your life. This has been the most challenging aspect of my life as a mom because there’s not just that, there’s the other side of knowing Mason is the Lord’s and treating him as the gift and blessing that he is.

Being a mom is stressful. Lets be honest, babies and kids can be annoying sometimes, even sweet heart babies! Its easy to show frustration and in the moment forget that children are gifts. It’s a challenge to remind myself daily, and on rough days, multiple times a day, that I am accountable for how I treat Mason, how I treat this gift God has given me.

Watching Mason reach milestones has been the most rewarding thing to me. There was a possibility that he wouldn’t survive. There still is a possibility that something sudden could happen with his heart. Knowing that, everything is a celebration! Reaching his first birthday was overwhelming. He’s so healthy, so happy, so busy. Being able to watch him explore the world, after struggling to survive, has been the greatest reward.

We have been shown such love and encouragement from our family, friends, community, and church and my hope is that we raise Mason to show that same love to those around him. Dinners were delivered, hotel rooms were paid for, cards poured in, books were made, Sunday school kids drew pictures, people came to pray over him… love was poured out for Mason and I hope to instill or force (kidding) a heart for other people.

I would ask Mason to describe me in three words but I’m afraid I’d have no idea what he was saying. I just asked my husband and he laughed in hysterics. Thanks. After a while he came up with: nurturing, loving, and demanding. Ha. I guess that’s a nice way of saying bossy? I’m not going to deny that because it’s true!

{we don’t wear much else than “slippers” in Hawaii}

Thank you Andie for letting me share!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a working man shirt for a bear

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everytime we see a construction worker, bear shouts out,
"lOOk! a woRKiN' mAn!"

he's quickly outgrowing his shirts,
so i'm making ones for him that are peRSonALizED and fUn for him to wear. 

so what better than a workin' man shirt?

we originally tried to use this flourescent green tie-dye shirt spray.  one bottle covered and area the size of my hand, so we tripped back to the craft store and got a pack of the powdered things that would get it done.

rEAdY fOr pAiNT...

tHe fiNiSHeD pRodUCt

tHe sHiRT iN aCTioN

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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Friday, August 26, 2011

alphabet {block} soup: using wooden blocks for literacy awareness

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i adore those oLd stackable wOOdeN bLoCKs with the letters on them. but they are a bit babyish for my little bear. he's very adament at times that he needs the "reAL" item, not a tOy. so i thought i would make some letter blocks for him that allowed him to build towers while working on his sMaLL mOtOr sKiLLs and LitERacY aWaREneSS

***please note: i did use smaller blocks because he is an older child. 
you may want to use larger blocks so they are not able to be placed in mouth***

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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

color scavenger hunt

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we're goin' on a cOLoR huNT...

we're gonna catch a r A i n B O w !

i used to do this with just colored paper when i taught preschool 2 centers ago. 
i was reminded of the idea at a site that is such a gReAT rEsOUrcE for early
childhood projects. 
at the artful parent, jean used colored buckets to have her preschooler search for corresponding items in their house.  here's the link to her post.
what better way for kiddos to practice their early math skills of
soRTinG and cLaSSifiCAtioN!

for storage purposes, i used gift bags with labels stuck on so they would store easily.

because he's 2, i had Bear choose one bag at a time. i found the order he chose them in to be interesting. with each bag came a color hunt from room to room looking for items that both matched and would fit in the bags. 
((a great two-fer-one activity... identifying items by color and size.)) 

after Bear had filled each bag, he set them on the bench at our dining room table.  then we went through each one to see what he found.

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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, August 22, 2011

in {her}

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happy moMMa moNDaY to you all!  sorry i've been so quiet the past few days.  we've been on vacation, having some much-needed family time!! 

this week's guest poster for the in {her} shoes series is 
her blog is a must-fave for beginner bloggers!

Hello there, Crayon Freckles' awesome readers! I'm so honored to guest post here and share how it is to be in my shoes.


I'm showing you two pairs of my shoes and here's the reason why. They symbolize the yin and yang of my life as a mother and a wife to my family. The first pair is my work horse shoes. I use them when working out in the gym, when doing my DIY projects, when going out with my kids for outdoor activities, when grocery shopping, or any activity that I can just be me. It's so symbolical of how motherhood is like in my family - a never-ending yet noble job. Then there's the other pair which I wear on special occasions when I want to show my best foot forward. This represents the yang of my other self wherein I just want things pretty, or smooth-sailing, or the easy yet beautiful road. How I wish it's like that all the time, but no, my friends, my life is as colorful as yours, too.

I love my roles as a wife and mother at the same time, not because it's all sunshine, lollipops, and roses, but because I have people to share with the ups and downs of this journey called life.

I grew up in the Philippines, worked as a computer programmer, met my future husband when he went there on a vacation, married in 1999, got here in California in 2000, then became a mother in 2001. I think what made motherhood and wifehood a challenge for me during the first stages is because the Asian culture is so totally different from the Western culture. To mention a few, when I was struggling to learn my new role as a mom, and I know it's something that we'll never show off in blogland, I had difficulty with diaper changes, the hormonal changes, the sleepless nights when the Princess One was sick. From where I came from, there were so many relatives and friends that were always willing to help out without compensation at all but here, I was on my own trying to figure out what worked best for us. I looked at the day care options at that time so I can still work full time but after discouraging results, I decided to stay at home for almost two years with my eldest. I vowed then that unless my mother arrives here in the U.S., we won't have another baby. Through the kindness of God, my mother chose to live with us and that's when Princess Two finally came in our lives. And my life had been easier and more relaxed. THANK YOU, MOM!
The most rewarding part of motherhood is when the babies started responding with love through hugs and kisses. Another blessing of motherhood for me is to see that look of amazement and wonder in their eyes when they discover something new! Such pure innocence shared and it feels so magical for me. Then they grow, and right now, the most tangible benefit of motherhood is that my eldest can help me with chores at home, achieve and excel at school, and think for herself.

I strongly believe that parents have the responsibility to instill important values to their children. Coming from an Asian culture, my husband and I are in the process of cultivating in their minds the importance of respecting people who are older than them, to have love for work, to live with passion and excellence, and most importantly, to love God first above all.

I asked Princess One to describe me in three words and she named me as a good cook - LOL! (I'm so glad she's still in that age where she thinks I'm the best and greatest mommy of all. I hope this idea lingers for a few more years before she realizes that I'm no Rachael Ray.) She can't think of anything more but I'm hoping that later on, she and Princess Two will describe me as a fun-loving, supportive, and caring mother they can ever have.

Motherhood helped me become a better person far more effective than all self-help books combined and let me share you what I've learned.

1. Take care of yourself first by eating right, sleeping whenever you can, exercising, and not being afraid to ask for help. In that way, you'll be able to give more and love more.

2. With kids, quality time means quantity time.

3. Be supportive in their worthwhile pursuits and ecstatic with their achievements. These effectively build their self-esteem.

4. Last, but not the least, your husband, though technically your partner, is still a kid at heart, so make time for him, too.
So there you have it, my friends, some insights on how it is to be in my shoes :) When you get the chance, come join my Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop and share your creativity with us every Sunday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

diy chipboard preschool number book

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i bought this scalloped-edge cHiPBoaRD bOOk about a year ago for $1 at a craft store. it has sat in my craft cabinet ever since.  also in there gathering dust was a pack of $1 number flashcards. 
i had a massive headache and just needed some good aRT tHeRaPY...

throw them together with some glue, markers,
                          and quality moMMa-buDDy aRt tiME and this is what you get.

Bear loves the book and has been "reading" it to whoever will listen. 
                          here's the finished product:

Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, August 15, 2011

in {her} shoes...aunna

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today is momma monday.  the day that i like to celebrate the strength, love, and beautiful-ness of my fellow momma bloggas.  today's featured blogger is aunna, whose blog, Rips in My Jeans i loved the second i clicked onto it.  here's her story: 

First of all, I cannot tell how excited I am to be here! I nearly squealed with delight when Andie contacted me to do a guest post. My blog is so brand new, so I was a bit shocked that anyone would want to read what I had to say. So, thank you Andie, for that sweet boost to my self esteem!

Anyways, I'm Aunna. I'm at stay at home mama to two very cute, very crazy boys and also an awesome wife to my Officer Hotstuff. My boys are my life...all three of them. Maverick is 4 going on 16 and Hudson is 4 months old. I love to sew, craft, cook, blog stalk, and wear my pj's all day.

When Andie said she would like me to talk about being a mom to a child with serious health problems, I was a little taken aback at first. You see, I'm a mom to a "heart baby". My oldest son was the 1 in 115 babies born with a congenital heart defect

A little history: I got married the October after I graduated high school and became pregnant the following February. I was very much still a kid myself when I gave birth to Maverick. Everything looked fine on every ultrasound and even at birth, but at his first follow-up a heart murmur was discovered. We were on our way to St. Louis Children's Hospital the very next day. We were warned that it could be nothing or it could be very bad. Maverick had a ventricular septal defect...a hole in his heart. At first, we were told to take a "wait and see" approach, but as the weeks went on and it was obvious that Maverick was just getting sicker, it was made known to us that our baby was in congestive heart failure. His body was working so hard just to breathe and pump blood that he was "failing to thrive". He was 2 months old and only 8.5 lbs.

I knew in my heart that God could heal my child if He chose to. I also knew that He could take Maverick home to be with Him. We knew surgery was a possibility, and in early May we had set a date. My baby was now in God and the doctor's hands.

At 6 months old and weighing only 11 lbs., I had to let my son be taken from my arms and into an operating room. I'm sitting here crying remembering that feeling. I just kept praying "God, I trust matter what."

Six hours later, we were told the surgery was a success. The "small hole" was actually the size of a pencil eraser. Now, if you imagine a baby's heart is the size of his fist, you will realize that it was in no way small. We were ushered to a waiting area and were told by a smiling nurse that Maverick was already off the ventilator and was sucking on his pacifier. I broke down. It was not until then that the gravity of our situation really sunk in.

We were in the ICU for 2 1/2 days. That's it. 56 hours after surgery, Maverick was sitting up, smiling, and eating baby food. We haven't looked back since.

I think the most challenging part of being a "heart mommy" was giving the control that I so desperately wanted over to God. Becoming pregnant with my newest little guy, I knew that he could also have the same defect as Maverick or something worse. But I had to let God take care of that. Thankfully, Hudson is perfect. Realizing that these children are on loan to me, that they are God's, was also a hard pill to swallow. Sure, the twice a months trips to St. Louis, the medications, the worry....that was hard, too. But not near as hard as letting God take care of my baby when I couldn't.

 You know what? The most challenging part of being a "heart mommy" IS the most rewarding part. Not knowing what the future holds for my babies and being ok with that has made me the kind of mom that I've always wanted to be. I am not the helicopter parent that always worries that I feared I would become. Also, watching my sons as living, breathing testaments to God's mercy and love is more than enough reward for the heartache we went through to get us here.

It is obvious by my writings above that I am a believer. And I pray every night that my children will grow to have the same belief in a loving God as I have. I want my kids to realize that life is way more than we could ever make it by ourselves. I look at my two sons, one who has cheated death and the other who I honestly didn't think I could have, and KNOW that they have a purpose. I want them to know that Jesus was born, died, and rose again not just so we could have life, but an ABUNDANT life.

But seriously, I would hope that the other two words my boys would use to describe me would be faithful and patient. Let me put emphasis on the word "hope". I know I may not be there yet, but one day I hope my sons look at me and see not just some nutty woman who yells at them and their dad from behind a sewing machine, but a mom who had an unwavering faith in God and the love in her heart to be patient enough to let them make (and learn from) their mistakes.
Ok, now that I've written a stinkin' book, I'd like to thank you guys for reading. And another great big thank you to Andie for letting me invade her blog.
Ok, now that I've poured my heart out, here's the hard part of this post. Andie asked me what three words my children would use to describe me. I know one. Crazy. Maverick has made it very clear that he thinks I'm a nut. He tells me all the time. Probably because I make up weird songs and dance down the aisles in Wal-Mart.

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