Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Indoor campout and learning that a toddler can turn anything into a weapon

When I was little I played school 24/7. My best friend's father who lived around the corner from me, had a floor to ceiling chalkboard in his basement workshop, and for many years I played in that workshop on a regular basis. My friend and I both 'taught' our pretend classrooms side by side with a chalk line drawn down the middle of the board to separate our classrooms. PLO was permanently written on my side ;) Remember PLO!?

While I decided when I was older that a classroom was not where I would spend my days, I continue to love creating. Today, my little guy is my student :) ... and I have oh so much fun dreaming up fun activities to do with him in my favourite space.. our home.

This creation all started after I saw the idea for a s'mores snack online. From there, it snowballed. I am loving pretend play with Max now that he is starting to understand that not everything is literal. i.e. even though I am calling this cotton ball a marshmallow does not mean you put it in your mouth and chew it ;) Everyone around us seems to be going camping this summer, and while I would love too as well, the timing for us this year would not be ideal.
So.. I give you.. our indoor camp out.

This was so much fun to put together and for the most part I had all of the materials needed lying around the house and playroom.
I made Max a pair of binoculars to play with. There are countless ways to decorate these and you can use various materials as well.. paper, felt, yarn, buttons.. really anything you have lying around. I also bought a little lantern for Max to use in the tent. This also gave me a super cute photo op ;)

I looked up camping books for toddlers and found a Curious George and Dr. Seuss book; two series that we enjoy reading. I thought it would be fun to have a snuggle in our tent and read about what you do when you go camping.

I made two fun signs from materials I already had at home; again super cheap and easy.

The snack was super simple; honey teddy grahams, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.. CAUTION.. highly addictive.

Our fire was made out of tissue and blocks. Again, you can use different materials, sticks, paper towel rolls, rolled construction paper, etc. 
Take a cotton ball and glue it on the end of a piece of doweling and boom, you can roast a marshmallow over your pretend fire.

Of course, often times, your idea does not turn out exactly as you had planned. Max refused the snack at first (likely because three different foods were touching each other.. oh the horror!), but came back to it hours later right before bed time (of course). Then at one point he turned the roasting sticks into weapons.. during one of his "I'm an insane toddler with way too much energy coming out of my limbs and now I am going the beat the fire and mommy's leg" moments... which was kiboshed in two seconds flat by mommy.

Overall though, we had fun sitting in the tent, reading the books and playing with the lantern in the dark :) I'll leave the set up out for awhile to let him explore it some more, and who knows maybe in the next few days he will sit quietly in my lap and pretend to roast marshmallows with me in a gentle manner .. ya right.. that poor tissue paper does not know what's coming ;)

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. I'll sign off for now.. I have to go put out the fire ;)

~ K

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Welcome home Mason

We are officially a family of four (or six if you include the pets)! Mason is two weeks old already! He is the sweetest little peanut, more petite than Max and so very chill. Diaper changes and baths are the only thing he currently protests. He is a crazy night time sleeper.. sleeping about 5-6 hours when he first goes down, and then a couple more hours after his feeding between 4-5:30ish. I know this is likely to not last, but I am loving not feeling the need to nap during the day for the time being.. especially since I honestly don’t know how I would ever try to nap with having the babe and a toddler to care for and a gazillion other things to do every day. We are so lucky to have Mason here with us and I am loving every second of him as well as being home with my boys :)

We have been out a few times, twice to the drop-in center (I had helpers both times) and to the park once (again with a helper), and a few doctor’s appointments.  I also took Mason to Walmart and Giant Tiger with me to shop for some cheapy tops, since my maternity clothes are way to baggy, yet my normal clothes are still much too tight. I struck out at Wal-mart and was super frustrated and a little down, but found a couple of loose work out tops and GT and they have been my go-tos for the past week. This morning, I was feeling extra confident and took Max for a wagon ride while walking our pup AND wearing Mason in my carrier… and I NAILED it :) We were gone about 45 minutes and everyone enjoyed the fresh morning air.

So without further ado, welcome to Mason’s nursery :) Originally I did not think I would change or style this room differently after moving Max to his new bog boy room. I felt like I had “done the boy nursery” so to say and I was more focused on Max’s new space. But in the end I decided that the new little man in our lives needed his own special space, and my taste has changed a bit since two years ago. This time around the space is much more minimalist in nature. With Max I had a lot more decorations and little trinkets lets say. This space has the bare minimum and I wouldn’t have it any other way.. I love it! 

I have been loving foxes lately, and while I had not planned on having a theme, those sneaky little foxes somehow found their way in the room ;) I chose a light grey for the walls, with orange and teals as the accent colours. I had a friend sew me a new cover for a chair cushion (after my pregnancy with this little one, and continuing to read books to Max at bedtime in this chair up until the 7th month the cushion had become mayyyybe 1cm in thickness…lol.. can you say heavy load!?). 

Max had a pom pom garland hanging above his change table and he loved loved loved staring at it from a very young age, so I bought a tissue paper tassel garland for this little peanut and matched the colours on the prints above the crib to the tissue colours.

I said goodbye to my side of the road and kijiji dressers and bought the dresser that matches Max’s new dresser in his new room. I LOVE these dressers.. they look rustic yet are much more functional (being new) compared to the dressers I was using. I fought daily with my cheapy/free finds I used in Max’s nursery, opening and closing the drawers and having them catch every time had become pretty annoying. 

While Mason is still sleeping in our room I still change him in his nursery and I also do his early am feed in our rocker. With the window open a crack and the fresh air coming in, and the birds starting to sing as the sun is coming up it is a very peaceful moment for Mason and I, where we get to have some alone time in the midst of our busy home during the day .. enter Max trying to climb on my back as I feed Mason on the couch or trying to fit a soother into his mouth while I explain to him he is nursing and cannot take the soother at that moment. Lol

Life has become much more busy and at times much more frustrating as I am learning to not feel constant guilt about one little boy lacking attention from me when the other has my focus. However, at the same time it feels as though Mason was always meant to be here with us, and thinking about it just being the three of us already seems so long ago and incomplete.. because watching these brothers together gives me a warm, goosebump, starburst kind of feeling :) I have two sweet boys.. I am so lucky.

~ K

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Adventure Awaits

For quite some time I went back and forth on how I wanted to decorate Max’s next stage bedroom. Even though he is still a toddler, I didn’t want to go with something too ‘toddler-ish’ knowing in a couple years I would likely want to update it again. After finding a mural on Pinterest that was used in a nursery I fell in love and my creative juices started flowing from that point on.

I was in a very motivated mood a couple of months ago and tackled the mural behind his bed. I only needed painter’s tape and a very steady hand for the rolling rocks at the bottom to get the look. I ordered gold triangle decals from Etsy which act as the stars. I went back and forth on whether to add these, but in the end I was glad I did as they gave the wall more vibrancy. The other three walls were painted the same colour as the mountain tips. 

A good friend of mine who knew the direction I was going in sent the airplane to Max for his birthday as a decoration for his new big boy room. I immediately pictured it being hung from the ceiling and dive bombing into the room. My dad, of course, made this happen with fishing wire :)

I then moved over his ‘M’ from his nursery. Initially I had planned on spray painting it, but after the entire room was painted I decided the bronze fits in well.

I searched for a bed frame for a long time. They just don’t make them like they used to when we were kids. I wanted something wood and very basic. I found what I was looking for at, of course, our local thrift store…  for $12!! I painted the head and foot board the same colour of the mountains. I found a globe pillow at Home Sense (insert happy dance in the store isle… or at least in my head), airplane bed sheets at Target and a blue bedspread to resemble water, which was purchased from Sears. All of which were reasonably priced. I did learn though in my searches how freaking pricey children’s bedding can be if you are willing to shell out the cash… yikes. Twin mattress from Sleep Country on sale and water proof mattress pad cover (a necessity) from Wal-mart.

I found a world map from Wal-mart back in the fall when school supplies filled the store, and my dad so graciously mounded it for me with a frame and trim.

My friend’s dad who has become my personal wood worker made the neatest airplane shelf for Max, that will be hung beside the world map. We have not gotten around to hanging it yet, but I will post a picture of it on instagram once it is up and some little trinkets have been put on it J

You know I love a good reading corner. In the one corner of the room is my mom’s old wooden red chair form her childhood and a wooden box on wheels filled with our bedtime favs (found at Homesense). I used an M stencil on the front to make it more personalized. Hanging above that is the car mirror I made from a cheapy mirror from Jysk and about 30-40 cars I scooped from my husband’s uncle’s flea market store for $10. I LOVE how this turned out.
RED alert- when you buy a cheap mirror, make sure the mirror part is clear. It was not until I finished the bloody thing and hung it and stood back that I realized it had a wonky line down the middle making your reflection look somewhat like it does in those mirrors at the carnival… just my luck. The piece as a whole still looks cool though ;)

Looking into the room from the hallway the picture on the wall and the wooden cubbies are from target. Have you seen their new Pillowfort line!? Let me tell you, it is very dangerous. Everything is absolutely adorable. If they had this line at the start of the year I would have struggled even more in picking a theme. They make it so easy to assemble the perfect themed room… dinosaurs, astronauts, sea creatures, you name it.. the possibilities are endless. Total eye candy :)

The dressers in Max’s nursery were taken from a flea market and the side of the road. While they totally did the trick for the first couple of years (don’t worry they had been disinfected to the max and re-painted) it was time to move up. We bought a new dresser for each of the boy’s rooms from the Brick. I think the dresser fits in perfect with the room and the look. We got them on sale for $300 e/… not too bad, and they are nice quality. 

I have learned from the past, when we first moved into our home, to take my time and not buy too quickly. There are a few things that I have donated in the last while after looking at them and thinking ‘what was I thinking!?’ I just didn’t know what my style was at that point six years ago when we first moved in. So, while I am eager to buy more for the room, I am being careful to not buy too quickly and then end up regretting my decisions. I would still like to add a rug beside the bed. I just have no idea what it should look like. I also have space to add some other little play area or something in the room. For now given his age, it is likely best to have the bare minimum in the room; less the little monkey can get into should he decide to wake up and wreak havoc while we are sleeping. I have bought a set of airplane hooks from Target, but I am still deciding where to hang them. One will likely go underneath the picture just inside the door. They look somewhat yellowish in this picture but they are silver in colour. I will likely spray paint them something else to warm them up a little.

Since my belly currently fits in with the room’s theme perfectly as it shoots out like a rocket, the timing for this room to be ready was perfect as it was becoming more and more of a struggle sitting Max on my lap in our rocker for bed time stories. One of my fav parts of the day now is lowering his one bedrail and lying beside him to read him a mountain of bedtime stories before tucking him in. He transitioned to his big boy bed and new room flawlessly; he is the epitome of superstar. I may be a tad bias though ;)

Stay tuned for a little tour of Max’s nursery, which also was given a facelift to make a special space for the new little man who will be entering our lives in the next few weeks J

Thank for stopping by,

~ K

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Four pairs of feet

Sharing a few of my favourite maternity pictures we had taken at home this past weekend by my husband's very talented uncle. I had mentioned on Instagram today after posting this first photo, I had an "oh my gosh" moment when I first saw the picture. To see four sets of feet is very unreal to me still. Even though it has only been two short years since Max was born, I am so used to our family of three it is hard to imagine being a family of four. I am so excited though, to see what this little baby boy looks like in comparison to his brother and to learn what his personality will be like. I am also eager to see how Max responds to our growing family. Max is so settled in our home, it is his favourite place to be in the whole world. He is very particular about where things are in our home, instantly noticing when something has been added, so it should be interesting to see his reaction when we add a little babe to our home. It is an exciting time for sure, but at the same time a nerve wracking one :) We have six weeks to go! Although, I do not think my stomach can grow much larger. Yikes!!

~ K

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Everything Easter

Nerd alert...I truly wish I my job was filling Easter baskets for boys and girls of all ages.. all.. day.. long. I love it. I love choosing new items that he is ready for developmentally, I love picking out fun things that are going to catch his eye and elicit that "I'm so excited" look on his face, and I love arranging the items in the basket just so, so that that everything has a place and can be easily seen. 

Max's 2 year old Easter basket

New kicks! This little boy's feet are growing like weeds and the pair he had last summer/fall are getting a tad snug! ~ from Winners

Minion eggs! You can buy these in the store, but since I had a sharpie, a random stash of googly eyes and some plastic eggs lying around, why not make a few homemade one! If you have the time and resources to do this, the homemade ones are so much cuter :)

A kite!! We are constantly reading books over here and a lot of the books Max is drawn to lately seem to all have kites in the background. here is hoping for one or two perfect windy days this spring/summer so we can go into our back field and test it out. With Max's current obsession being to identify every colour he sees, this one is the perfect fit for him! ~ from Amazon

CHOCOLATE! Max's fav. is Smarties so the Spring tin of individual mini boxes was an easy decision among the mountain of options, and of course every little person needs some sort of choco bunny in their basket :)

I still love the plastic carrots I found last year. I saw them again this year at the bulk barn. A cute variation to the plastic egg. These will be filled with PC whole wheat penguin crackers.  

Sidewalk chalk. This is the first time we will be trying this outside. I think he finally has the patience, or will at least by the summer months to help me create a messy masterpiece on our driveway.

Bubble wand. This is a staple that he will likely find in his basket for the next few years. He loves them.

Melissa and Doug reuseable sticker pad. With five different scenes this book is perfect for my little sticker lover. He can arrange the scenes over and over, and his OCD mama will continue to take the stickers off the scene and put them back on the sticker sheet for him to play again the next day, and the next day, and the next. Max has the vehicle version right now. He received it as a gift at his 2nd birthday. He loved it so much I chose the animal one for his basket. There are a few other versions too so you can choose whatever your little one is interested in!

Stegosaurus umbrella. This is ADORABLE. I can't wait for us to go singing in the rain with this super cute little person umbrella. ~ from Target

Nesting buckets. They are colourful, are numbered and will be perfect for the sandbox that we are (likely) going to buy Max for the summertime ~ from Amazon

I have not purchased this yet as it is not on sale and likely will be in weeks to come, but this may or may not be beside Max's basket Easter morning as well. It is supposed to be a nice weekend weather-wise so we will be sending lots of time outside if that happens. 

This weekend we are gearing up for a small and easy Easter egg hunt, reading our favourite Easter books on repeat, eating fruit in colour coded plastic eggs, and playing many rounds of bunny toss (a game I found on Pinterest and was able to make with leftover felt, a hot glue gun, rice, a large piece of cardboard and black paint) and hopping bunnies, a game Max's super fun Aunt bought for him from the dollarstore. It has also been a very good "mom's getting dinner on the table and I need you to sit still in your booster seat distraction." He loves this little game and there are always a ton of giggles when one of us gets dinged off the head ;)

(image taken from Little Baby Garvin Blog)

Easter crafts have been covered by daycare. Max came home this week with three different festive hand/foot Easter artwork. Here is my fav.

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter! Have so much fun with your little ones egg hunting and chocolate eating the weekend away!

~ K

Monday, 15 February 2016

Love Day 2016

We have had so much fun celebrating Valentine's day (more like month for us). We kicked off February by making some new artwork to add to our V-Day decorations. It was super easy, I just cut up small pieces of tissue and fastened strips of clear tape across a matte from an old picture frame (you are to use contact paper, but I did not feel like spending the $). 

Max also painted red hearts on a piece of white card stock I had cut into a heart, using a empty toilet paper roll that had been shaped into a heart. I took this idea from Pinterest.. you can easily look it up.  It turned out pretty cute too.

I love having a fun activity or snack set up for Max when he wakes up from his afternoon nap. He is very particular about where everything goes in his environment, like his mama everything has it's place, and so he very quickly notices when anything is new or added in our home. The afternoon I put up our Valentines decorations he must have pointed and said "heart" about fifty times in ten minutes. Too cute.

Friday Max celebrated V-Day at daycare. He wore his festive shirt (see below) and gave strawberry applesauce squeeze packs to his four little friends there. Idea taken from Pinterest.. once again my scalloped paper punch saves the day!

For lunch the day before, because let's be honest we celebrate holidays for more than just the day it falls on, we had heart shaped cucumber, PB & J sandwiches and pink smoothies with festive paper straws.

On Valentine's Day we kicked off our morning with a tray of red fruit for breakfast. Max ate the raspberries and decided he wanted a banana instead so I finished off the watermelon and apple slices.

For his little treat I found a Valentine's monkey from the dollarstore (Max is currently loving Curious George, an Elmo colouring book with stickers, and Valentine's smarties. Let me tell you, he was SO excited for this gift. I put it on the living chair while he was still eating breakfast and as soon as he locked his eyes on it be yelled "out" meaning he wanted our of his booster seat asap. He was pretty pleased with his present, and I'm sure the fact that he got to eat smarties at 8am. It was Valentine's Day after all :)

We ended the day with cupcakes. Likely the highlight of his day. I believe I saw him lick his plate when he had managed to eat every crumb on his plate ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and for my fellow Canadians, enjoyed spending Family Day with your loved ones today. My husband had to work so Max and I took a trip to Winners to get out of the house. We scored on adorable new running shoes for Max for the spring and a few new Easter decorations.. I can't help myself :)

~ K

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that!

Max is in love with the Cat in the Hat. It is the first thing he asks for each morning when he wakes up, other than his cup of milk. "go go"!? With his eyes squinting from the brightness of the television, thank goodness for on-demand!!

So naturally, Cat in the Hat was the perfect theme for his second birthday party. I did not go as crazy as I did last year with the decorations, which was much less stressful; however, I did make sure there were a few super cute key pieces that would stand out ... because as you all know.. I love a good theme :)

Max's birthday fell in the middle of the week this year. I took the day off work because i could not imagine not being with him on his special day. We celebrated by visiting an indoor playground and having a mini celebration for just the three of us in the evening complete with festive cupcakes and presents. Max opened a Mr. Potato head, a Leap Frog Junior reader and a little motorized fish. He also was successful in "sneaking" a bite of his cupcake before dinner time.

The following Saturday was the big party day.

For the decorations I made a welcome sign that I found from Pinterest for the front door. We had the party at our local YMCA, so this helped everyone know which room we were partying in!

My super talented friend, the one who creates the rock art, created this for us. I had seen this online and thought it would be so fun for the little ones to get pictures behind. To be completely honest, I'm not sure who enjoyed this more... the kids or the parents ;) I have seen many pictures surfaced of the daddy's getting their mug taken as the Cat in the Hat :)

For Balloons, I kept it simple. I found a Cat in the Hat helium balloon online and paired it with a couple of solid red balloons, and then I bought our traditional (well traditional since last year) massive number balloon, which always fills space well. I love being able to bring the balloons home afterwards and having them in our home for a week or so afterwards to remind us (or me at least) of how much fun the party was.

The two centerpieces I made came from pinterest as well. With Christmas just ending I was able to find a lot of the supplies in the Christmas section (box and ribbon). The wooden numbers came from Hobby Lobby.

I bought a package of Cat in the Hat party hats online. There was way more then I needed, so I used a few as part of the decorations. All of the kiddos looked super cute in their hats.  I found themed plates online as well which added to the table nicely.

I totally scored on the favours. I am not going to give away where I found them, but I flipped out when I came across these, and bought the store's entire inventory. I loved that each little person got to leave with a nice little thank you gift.

I was so pleased with the cake. It came from Isn't Life Sweet located in Wyoming. It was half chocolate and half vanilla and was absolutely delicious. I have definitely found my go to local bakery!

For food we kept it simple this year. For the kids I had cheese strings, yogurt tubes, mini muffins, gold fish crackers, veggie sticks, a platter with cucumber, blueberries and strawberries, juice boxes and water and then pizza for the parents and the older kids that came. I think everyone enjoyed the spread.

For the first hour we munched out and sang Happy Birthday to our sweet boy, and for the second hour the kids ran wild in the gym, complete with a bouncy slide and castle. Max was a tad intimidated of these, but in true Max fashion with about 10 minutes left he decided they were not so scary and started having fun on them.

We had a complete blast at Max's 2nd Birthday party and are so appreciative of all who joined us. Celebrating our boy with our family and friends was so special to us.
Until next year!

~ K