Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Things about me...

I heard about this from my friend Steph, so I thought I would try it, too. 

1.  I had my chauffeur's license for 10 years. (yes, I could drive a short bus).
2.  I am licensed to teach K-8 (anything, but reading in 6-8) and I could be a principal for a pre-school-12th school... however, at this time I have no desire to be a principal, after going through my internship.
3.  I love to shop (nothing new, huh?)
4.  My favorite color is blue- any shade.
5.  I went through a phase that I wanted to be a lawyer.
6. Because of #5, I took Latin in high school as my foreign language, I don't know how to say anything-- but I might be able to translate something....
7. I decided to "like" Andy when our friends were dating each other... we are the only ones who got married.
8.  I got to meet my French cousins for the first time while visiting France and Germany after college.
9.  I am a sugar-aholic. 
10.  Every morning I have a Diet Coke with breakfast.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Days 11-14

Valentine Countdown was not as successful  as I had hoped... Jackson is just not into doing much crafty stuff right now... but we will try again next year.  Here's what happened the days leading up to Valentine's Day...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Color Matching Boys

I found yet another craft to work on...

This is a great idea for a wooden toy.  It's a great color matching activity, children have to use small motor skills and even helps with recognizing color words.
I got the idea from here.  I changed it a bit by painting the little guys all one color and I added the color name to each the boy and the pot.  I used my Silhouette to cut out the vinyl for the color names and it worked so slick!  After painting I put on the word, then I covered them with Mod Podge and a spray  of acrylic sealer.  I ordered more so I could make them for some more gifts (now that I know how easy they are), of course I ordered the right sized boy and the wrong sized pots... oops.  Didn't get them all done! 

We gave them to this sweet little boy for his 2nd birthday!

I linked to this party:

Happy Valentine's Day

Freezer Paper Stencils

My boys all got a hand-made shirt for Valentine's Day.  They are my special Valentine's!  I made the boys' t-shirts by cutting out stencils using Freezer paper.  I found the patterns here.  Then for Andy, his favorite saying and the name of his coporation is Go Big or Go Home.  So when I found this on the Silhouette website, I couldn't resist!  I printed it out on a piece of vinyl using my Silhouette die cutting machine and then use acrylic paint to paint in the stencil.  The acrylic paint is permanent, but it looks faded.  I love all my creations... of course the house didn't get cleaned and Jman watched a little too much TV, but it's good for my sanity!!

They are so stinking cute!!

As part of our Valentine's Night out... Andy and I went to Prairie du Chein for dinner.  We didn't have reservations at the Hibachi Grill (no kidding, in PDC there is a Japanese restaurant!) until 7:30, so we stopped by Walmart... oh what a fun life we lead!  I got the  boys a bunch of long-sleeved shirts that I can embellish for next year and Andy got some microfiber towels that I am going to embellish with AJ's Pro-shop so he could give them away when he sells bowling balls.  After dinner we also hit up Culvers... yum!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

3 Months old

3 months...

My baby is now 3 months old (it was on Tuesday, but that's how it goes when you have a 3 month old)! He is getting so big! I love all of his smiles, giggles, and even his cry is kind of cute (except at 2:30 in the morning). Here is a quick list of the things little Maxwell is up to these days...

  • He loves to look at his big brother. When Jackson is playing he watches him like a hawk and if Jackson goes up to him he will smile.
  • He gets kisses from his big brother at bedtime and SMILES so big! Maxwell likes to give big open mouthed kisses to Jackson!
  • Sleeps from 9-1030pm before going down after his last "meal". He sleeps after his last "meal" for 4-9 hours just depending. We have moved him from the swing, but he only likes to sleep propped up. So, he sleeps on his boppy in the pack'n play in our room.
  • He wakes between 8:30 and 9am, eats and goes back down for an hour or two.
  • He is still nursing almost exclusively... sometimes he gets a bottle, but not very often. It's just easier. I still pump every morning and have quite a stash built up. :)
  • He eats about every 3-4 hours in the morning/early afternoon, but by 4pm, it's every 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
  • He is less of a messy eater... he has gotten it down and goes pretty fast these days. But he likes to hang out and suck. I call myself the "human pacifier".
  • As I eluded to above, still not that interested in a pacifier.
  • He only cries when he is hungry and right before he falls asleep.
  • After every "meal" he spits up... a lot. The most is usually about an hour after he eats.
  • He smiles all the time. I missed this with Jman since I went back to work and I just love it!  
  • Maxwell is very vocal and makes TONS of sounds all the time, he gets especially "wild" when he and Daddy are playing after Jman goes to bed.
  • He is now in 3-6 month clothing (but can still wear 3 month stuff and some 6 month things)
  • We are cloth diapering... this has caused a lot of his clothing to fit a little snug (3 month), but otherwise it's going well. :)
  • Hates belly time. Screams after about 15 seconds, but we keep trying it. :)
  • Grabs at toys that are hanging.
  • sucks on his hands when he is upset... sometimes gets a couple of fingers in his mouth, he likes that. He is really a noisy sucker. ;)
  • clasps his hands together in front of his face and looks at them for a long time.
  • He loves these flat blanket toys he got for Christmas. they make crinkly noises and have soft plastic corners or silky corner, he really likes them and will grab and play with them.
  • Likes to have a burp cloth near his face (probably because we always have one close by, because of his spitting up).
  • Still has all his hair (minus the back where it rubs from sleeping) and is starting to get a curl on his forehead I think. His hair is still lighter than Jman's and really fluffy after a bath.
  • He also has great head control and loves to stand up! Strong legs!!

That's quite a list. He is just such a good baby. We fall more in love with him each day!

Day 5 - 10 Valentine's Day Countdown

Days 5 & 6:  Ran out of time, because we were in La Crosse shopping and out to  church and lunch and then a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  Ooops.

Day 7:  Valentine's Day Sensory Tub

For this activity in our countdown, I put a bunch of cotton balls, pink/purple/red/white pom-poms, heart beads on string, foam hearts, heart bracletts, and fake rose petals.  I gave Jman a pair of tongs and a cupcake pan.  I tried to steer him into sorting, but he wasn't that interested.  Sorry about the cruddy pictures... my cameras are both on the fritz.

Day 8:  Fun Family Photo- this is to come.  We had our family photo taken for Maxwell's 3 month picture.  Every family picture with a 2 year old is a fun family photo...not. ;)

Day 9: Make a snack with Valentine's Day- we made cookie-- Jackson is just like his mother, eating the batter. We made heart shaped chocolate chip cookies and regular cookies for our playdate the next day.

Day 10:  Valentine's Day Party with friends (no pictures of this)

We played hop on the hearts - where the kiddos hopped on hearts we laid down.  Made them into patterns and ate our heart shaped cookies.  The Mommies made cute little plaques.

Only a few more days until Februay 14th!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cloth diapers

Three of my friends from my Stroller Strides days (they are still my friends) talked so much about their use of cloth diapers (and saving money using them) that I decided to up on the cloth diaper bandwagon.  Solely, because I want to find ways to save money, so I can still do the stuff I want to do even  though I am not working without the amount of guilt I feel not contributing finiancially to our household.  It's a nice bonus that we can also save a little waste. 

I decided to go with the Bum Genius diapers, because that is what most of the girls I talked to were using.  I got 10 diapers that were "seconds"- work the same, but much cheaper.   I got mine from Cotton Babies.  When Maxwell was born  some friends gave us diapers, too.  They got them from  Green Bottoms in Davenport.  We are still using disposable wipes, because I just don't want to invest the time and money into making/getting cloth wipes.  Also, I like the idea that I can just throw those away, too. :)

We started on February 4-  here is a picture of Maxwell sporting the cutie diapers!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Today I was thinking about our poor, neglected cat, Spooky.  She was our first baby... we got her just before Jackson was concieved.   We  loved her and cuddled her and even after Jackson was born there was a  lap available for her to cuddle up each night... now there are two kids to take up our laps and one of them likes to pullher tail.

I am always posting some antic of the kiddos, so I thought I would make a list of things I love about Spooky!
  • This is a picture of one of her favorite spots in the house... the sink.  She will curl up in the sink daily.  When I was getting ready for work at our old house, she would be in the right hand sink and we could only use the left sink. 
  • She doesn't mind water... you can spray her and she won't run away.  You can turn on the water when she is in the sink and she won't move.  She sits by the drain in the basement waiting for water to come out of the hose.
  • Spooky has a love/hate relationship with Jackson.  She growls at him when he pulls her tail, but she rarely goes more than a few feet from him.  She also loves to go into Jackson's room at bedtime and go under his bed (or lay at the end of his bed once he is asleep).  We often have to shake her treat container to get her out of there at night.I walked by Maxwell's room and saw Jackson reading Spooky, "Just one more story.  Just one more story."  By the time I got back upstairs with the camera the cat was on her way out.  We say, "Just one more story." to Jackson at bedtime when we are starting our last book for the night.  I love that kid!!

  • She doesn't make much noise.  We rarely here her "talk", unless she is hungry!
  • When we go to sleep, Spooky joins us in bed.  Andy calls her "the chaperone", because most nights she sleeps right in between us (often under the covers).  She likes to be close, but she rarely comes by our heads.
  • Spooky gets to go on a lot of  overnight trips.  Whenever we go to visit anyone for more than a couple of days Spook heads to Grandma and Grandpa Olson's where she gets spoiled, she pouts for a few days when she gets back.  She lived with Uncle Michael and Aunt Jenny for the summer, too, because she doesn't get along with other cats.
  • She's an indoor cat.  She pretends that she wants to be outside-- lies by the door, sneaks out when the door opens, but she never goes very far.
  • Spooky eats out of "fancy" dishes, they are the cat Fiestaware.  Very hard to find!
  • She stalks chicken and ham dishes.  She loves them and if you don't watch your food carefully, she will get to it.  Yes, our cat gets on the counters... like I said before she is not afraid of water.  We take her off when  she gets up there, but sometimes it's a loosing battle.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Taking pictures of a very active 2 year  old  who does not like pictures anymore (runs away, hides his face, tells you to go away and no pictures, or makes the worst faces ever) is a stressful thing, even when it's nothing fancy and just a spur of the moment- moment!

Jackson (2 1/2) and Maxwell (12 weeks

Valentine Countdown Day3

Valentine Countdown Day 3: Tissue paper hearts
from: My Delicious Ambiguity
Jackson was not too interested in this activity.  I'm not entirely sure why (prob because there was no candy involved).  The idea is to get tissue paper to make hearts on a piece of paper.  I save a lot of my tissue paper from holidays and birthdays, so this was a free activity to do.  You put a piece of white paper on the table (I tape it down), the child paints using vinegar (this could be why he wasn't interested, no colors), and then lie different sized tissue hearts on the paper.   I might have to wait until next year for this one!

The problem  with this activity... it didn't work.  There was a very light pink color on the paper, but it wasn't that great.  I think I will have the Jman glue down the leftover hearts after naptime and call it good enough!

BTW: I used Picnic to make my picture a little more snazzy...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Countdown

I am attempting to do SOMETHING educational with Jackson each day. For me, I need a plan (could this be because of my teacher-ness? Probably. I mean I even bought a lesson plan book so I could plan this kind of stuff out... old habits die hard). So I have been looking online and finally decided to just go for it and purchase a Valentine's Day Countdown from My Delicious Ambiguity. So stinkin' cute and I don't have to come up with the ideas! It took me forever to finally put it together but here is what I came up with for our Valentine Countdown.

Valentine's Countdown Days 1 & Day 2

This is the countdown.  I only used 14 days, although the kit came with 31 numbers and 70 activities!  I picked 17 I thinkto do, I put a couple activities in a few of the pockets to make the activity have a little more "meat" for the day.  I loved the variety though, because I picked activities Jackson can do this year and there are plenty to do next year with him and Maxwell!

 The Banner "Valentine Countdown" is the FIRST project I completed using my Silhouette SD.  Love it, although it took me 3 tries to figure out how to get it all to print, but now I have tried it and I will get moving on some other projects I have in mind.

I tried to get rid of these cookie sheets, but snagged them out of the Good Will bag to make this project.  I spray painted them pink, Andy drilled holes in them and I attached them together using ribbon. For #7-14 I Modge Podged them onto the cookie sheets.  I HATE the look and will probably re-do it for next year.  I used the glossy Modge Podge and I really don't like it. But otherwise I am happy with the project.

Day 1:  Counting Hearts
  Jman has a short attention span with counting when I want him to (he can count to 16 when you aren't paying attention to  him), but we tried a bit and then he just played.  He also used some plastic tongs to put the hearts in different sections of the numbered egg crate.

 materials for Day 1... #1-12 in the bottomof the egg carton, conversation hearts (but you could use beads or something else if your child is distracted by the candy).  I got some bowls at Walmart for $1.50 for 2.  I went a little crazy getting things for all our activities, but I will be able to use them next year, too!

Day 2:  Sandpaper Heart rubbings...

This did not go over very well.  Jackson was not into the rubbing and was just cranky (probably because I turned off Team Umizumi- his new favorite show).  But we tried!

 To make the little guy happy, I brought out the glitter glue (from Dollar Tree- super good deal). He loves this stuff! He left the activity smiling and happy to go take his bath.

What baby Maxwell was doing while we were trying to do the rubbings.

Some brotherly love. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First Sensory Bin

I finally got around to making Jackson a sensory bin.  He had a blast!  He asks to play in the "rice" every day!  I got my idea from Jada Roo Can Do, Andrea does a new bin EVERY month (sometimes twice) plus tons of other AWESOME preschool ideas.  The teacher in me is itching to make some felt mats, matching games, and other themed ideas.  The Mommy in me still likes my naps and a clean house. :)  Maybe in the future we can do more of her awesome ideas!  Andrea is also great about linking all of her projects to other super sites, so it's fun to browse (and waste time) looking at all the ideas other mommies have come up with!

I used just a plain bag of white rice (5lbs-- I used about 4 I think).  Inside I dumped a bag of dinosaur figures that I found at the local variety store (Horsfalls  in Lansing, it's a post all on it's own).  I also added a few "D" and some shapes to the bucket.  This bucket has a lid, but it does leak rice if you tip it, so I want to find something a little more "leak-proof".

 The tools are a variety of old cooking utensils (thanks, Grandma Donna), plastic tongs, and scoops.
 This is Jackson playing in his sensory tub with Grandma Jo (2nd time that day).  The rice does get all over the place, so you want to sweep it up as quick as you can.  But it does entertain them for a long time! 
 Jackson and his friend Hayden (see that Grandma Nola??) playing in the tub while the Mommies crafted (they are both sitting in it with their feet in the  rice)
See the floor?  That's what it  looks like after two  2 year olds step in a bucket of rice.   I didn't mind, because they were kept occupied for more than a 1/2 hour!   Jackson took out all the dinosaurs the next day and he used his tractors in the tub to "push the snow".  We have a lot of snow around these parts!

Such a fun and EASY activity!!  I am going to make another one for Valentine's Day... I have to get to a store that has pink/red pom-poms.  I want a different texture for this month!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another wreath...

Since my Christmas fabric wreath broke and I didn't get to show it off to anyone... I decided to make one for Valentine's Day... I love it.  It took 3 days of naptime to accomplish, because Maxell (12 weeks, wow) doesn't sleep too long during the day.  Here it is...

This is what it looks like on our door, but I can' figure out how to make it look correct, please turn your head to the left to envision the beauty. ;)
Picture of my mantle... Lots of blogged ideas
prints:  owl, subway art left, subway art right, wreath, heart bouqet ( can't remember)

I'm officially done making things for Valentine's Day!  I have to work on a couple of gifts now!