Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday

Joseph's First Birthday Party

I have always adored birthdays.  I love having a special day to celebrate each unique arrival on the earth.  I enjoy my birthdays.  I claim all I've had so far.  So, it is no wonder that I went out of my way to make Joseph's 1st birthday one for the books.

We had fun decorations.

We ate "cub" cakes with paw prints and gummy bears picnicking.

We snacked on bears, bears and more bears.  Gummy bears, cinnamon bears, chocolate covered bears and even teddy bear trail mix.

Here's Joe's little cake.

The boy of honor.

Mmmmm.  Cake!

Happy Birthday Little Man!

St. Patrick's Day 2012

A bonny breakfast!

A leprechaun lunch!

And our lucky lad and lass.

They really are our good luck charms.

The Binky Fairy

Rachel has been a fantastic sleeper.  Part of that is due to her love of the binky.  She was only allowed a binky during naps and bed time since she was 1 year old.  She was so happy to have her binky that she would just lay there in the dark, sucking away.  I've been hesitant to take the binky away.  It's selfish really.  I just wanted her to continue to love going to bed so it would be easier for me.  But all good  things must come to an end.  At almost 3 years old I thought Rachel would do better giving her binky away then just having it disappear in the middle of the night.  So we decorated a special box.  I even let her use a sticker with blinking lights so that the binky fairy could find her box in the dark.

Then we gathered up all of her binkies and put them in the box.

Look at that face.  You can see the determination and the sorrow.  She was giving away some of her prized possessions in hopes of a prize even greater.

While Rachel slept the Binky Fairy came and took the box of binkies.  Big kids, like Rachel, give their pacifiers to the Binky Fairy to take to new babies.  The Binky Fairy rewards them for their generosity.  These magic balloons lasted for more than 2 weeks before they deflated and sunk to the floor.  Rachel had been eying the music box for a long time.  It seemed a fitting gift from a fairy.

Rachel was pleased with herself the next morning.  She had slept all night without her binky.  Now she had some fun spoils for her good deed.  She gobbled up the m&ms in one sitting and played the music box until Mom and Dad thought they would cry.  What a wonderful girl.  We are so proud of her.

Halloween Plates

Halloween Plates

A couple of you have asked for a tutorial on the Halloween plates.  I don't have spectacular pictures of each step.  But this should give you the idea.

I bought some plates at thrift stores.  I only used the green and yellow plates for this project.  The yellow ones worked especially well with this project because of the rings around the edges. 

I spray painted them white.  Now here's where I might confuse you.  Half of the plates (the big green ones) I then sprayed black.

I only have pictures for the big plates.  I took the black plate and "painted" it with elmer's glue.  Thinner layers of glue result in smaller cracks.  Thicker glue equals thicker cracks.

I waited until the glue was tacky.  You don't want it wet, but if it's dry the treatment won't work.  Then I painted white craft paint over the top.  Use broad strokes to avoid brush lines.  Plus if you go over the same area twice you run the risk of removing glue with your paint brush.  (I used black paint on top of the white base plates.)

It's super fun to watch the plates as the glue and paint dries.  It only takes a couple of minutes for the cracks to begin to appear.  The lower left plate was black painted on top of a white base.  The other plates you see were white painted on top of black.  I really prefer the darker color on top.

I bought the center medallions from Michaels.  I just modge podged them on. 

One of my favorites.

Side note:  I wasn't satisfied with the way the big plates looked.  The white paint made them look kind of cloudy.  So I painted a thin layer of black over the top then gently buffed them with a paper towel.  It gave them a different quality than the smaller plates but you don't notice from far away.

My last step will be to spray them with a glaze of some sort to keep them from disintegrating.

What's Up?

Have you been wondering, "what's up?  Why is Jessica posting old blog posts?" 

The answer won't surprise you.  I am trying to put some of the ideas that I've had over the years onto this blog so that I can share them with the world.  No, I'm not trying to build up a money making blog.  I just think that if you have a good idea it should be shared.  Now with pinterest it's easy to spread the wealth.

Thanks for reading!


Doug and I started a tradition when we were expecting our first baby.  We obtained a recording of her heartbeat.  Then we went and built a bear with a sound box in the chest.  Every time you press the button you can hear her heartbeat.

The idea was that the next time we got pregnant, the first child would be able to help make the next animal.  It was with mixed excitement and grief that we went to the Build-a-Bear workshop in 2009 to make an animal for our second child.  (Our first died from complications from a rare form of dwarfism after only 6 days.)  Again, we obtained a recording of the baby's heartbeat to personalize it even more.

So on January 22nd 2011 we returned for the 3rd time to build a bear for our unborn child.  This time our daughter took a leading role in helping make this special toy for her baby brother.  She took her time and inspected all of the options.

We helped her choose a little dog for the baby.

And we allowed her to choose a new teddy bear for herself.  It's hard for a 1 year old to make a toy for someone else and not get to play with it.

She loved exploring the stuffing machine.

She kissed the heart going into her brother's puppy.  Then she watched as her teddy and his dog were brought to life.

We were thrilled to have a 3rd heartbeat to add to our collection.

Aren't they cute?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Potty Training

On April 2, 2012  I started potty training my daughter.  (Now that isn't completely accurate.  We've been practicing sitting on the potty and talking about the potty for months.)  That day we had a poop fiasco.  I'll spare you the details but my daughter was traumatized and I was happy to let her go back to diapers for a while.

Fast forward to June 30th.  Sweet Pea walked into the bathroom and announced that she wanted to use the potty.  I dropped everything for the day and we started potty training.  Within a couple of hours I had a reward system in place and she was doing spectacularly well.  Every time she tinkled she got 2 rocks.  Every time she pooped she got 11. (No rhyme to the number of rocks it's just what came out when I was talking to her.)  She immediately began earning rewards: a new box of crayons, a bowl of popcorn all for herself, etc.  Her main goal was to get her very own tricycle.  My goal was to keep her motivated long enough to build a habit.  This was perfect.  She didn't want to miss any opportunity to score rocks for the jar.  Pooping was the most exciting because it paid off with the biggest rewards.

She was victorious and has been almost completely accident free ever since that fateful day in June.  And yes, she earned her tricycle about 20 days later.