Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Decorations

IMG_4603 I didn’t get as many pictures as I’d have liked, but I’ll still share a few ideas. (Maybe I’ll have more next year when I am not trying to stay afloat after delivering a baby ;) I don’t know about you, but the more ideas I come across, the easier ideas flow. So, here are a few things I did in my home. IMG_4607 ** Hung plastic eggs from the ceiling. I found these last year at Big Lots. They were about $4 a piece and I hesitated buying them, but my son’s face when he walked out and saw them was worth every penny! He was so excited! I just use a tiny push pin and it holds.IMG_4604 **Use books to decorate! This is one of my son’s Easter books, and his newborn picture book. The colors matched well. The bunny statue my mom bought on a mega sale for me. I put two little plastic eggs in the pack on his back.IMG_4605 **This normally holds decorative, tiled balls. I filled it with Easter grass and plopped some pretty iridescent eggs on top. Ta-dah! Instant Easter!IMG_4558 **The table for Easter morning. I’m still figuring out Easter traditions. For me, it’s tricky to celebrate AND still make it out the door in time for church. Hmm…perhaps celebrate Saturday morning? The traditionalist in me doesn’t like that because Christ rose 3 days later! We’ll have to see.

It was a fun Easter, but I made a note to fill each egg with only ONE jelly bean. Holy cow did we have sugar overload in our house! Here’s my son enjoying one of MANY jelly beans! When does the drooling stage end?!IMG_4581 And here’s our attempt at a family photo. Why must it always be so much drama? ;)IMG_4593 Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

5 Weeks to the Day

I’ve been incognito because baby Allie has made her appearance and has been with us for 5 weeks now! Prior to her birth, I was having a hard time understanding how I could love 2 kids equally when my heart has been so overflowing with love for my precious little Cooper. But, now that she is here, I get it!

I’ll be totally honest though, I did struggle with feelings of guilt for the first few weeks seeing Cooper struggling to adjust to not having quite as much attention from mom. However, he’s continuing to adjust, and seeing how much he loves his baby sister melts my heart to pieces. That’s all it is, just adjustment, and that’s a good thing for my little guy to learn. =) IMG_4278 So…onto real life blogging, not just keeping you in the know! Speaking of Cooper’s adjusting, I busted out his first “Big Brother Gift”, today. I’m impressed he lasted 5 weeks without having an emotional breakdown from the adjustment. The only other “signs” of adjusting he had been showing was overreacting to certain situations (i.e. – I fell and it’s the end of the world, or temper tantrum because it’s bath time, that sort of thing, which is semi-normal for a toddler without the transition of a sibling).

He also shared 2 hilarious quips regarding little sister. The first was when a friend delivered us dinner and asked, “How do you like your little sister?” to which Cooper responded, “Mmm, she only cries.”

The second was when I was adjusting a nursing pad (I’m blessed with an abundance of milk and have to keep an eye on those squirmy suckers), and he started crying, “No, no, no…no getting out the food!!” Ahh, the way they express their frustrations crack me up!

The main purpose of my blog entry today was to share that the “Big Brother Basket” worked wonders! The situation which required the “basket intervention” was when Cooper woke up from his nap, wanting to walk around the entire house holding my hand, without explanation. Finally, he led me over to the swing and started crying, “You put Allie in so you can hug me!” I relented and sat there with my baby Cooper in my lap, embraced with the tightest of hugs for about 5-10 minutes. Allie got to cry a bit while I loved on my son. But, alas, I cannot keep Allie crying for too long. So, this is what I explained to Cooper,

“You know, Allie had a feeling you’d get frustrated that she would take up so much of mommy’s time, so she left you some presents! Let’s go get one that you can play with while I feed Allie.”

His first one was the Magnetic Fishing Game. He happily played with it on the coffee table while I fed Allie. We even had a little educational session naming the different types of underwater sea creatures! I’ll keep you posted on future situations requiring a “Big Brother Gift”. =) Until then, I’ll attempt to provide other fun ideas I’m attempting whilst learning to juggle two kiddos! IMG_4550

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birth Announcements

Cooper's Announcement-cropped

For my son, Cooper, I designed hand-made announcements before he was born 2 1/2 years ago and cut and prepared all the pieces before he was born so they’d be easy to assemble as soon as we had the adorable pictures to finalize them. My husband chided me saying, “You’ll never do this with baby #2!” I’m happy to have proven him wrong! Here was my son’s announcement, pardon the crooked factor, I scanned it in that way. To create it, I printed out the announcement part on orange-ish bazzill construction paper. I designed the size and layout in Publisher, but you could also do this in Word. I printed it out and THEN cut them. (Your printer will jam less if you do it this way) Then, I cut out brown bazzill paper for the background for the pictures. I found the ribbon at Michaels, and printed out the monogram on white bazzill paper. I printed out the pictures at Costco, 2 strips per 4x6 I had printed. I actually applied the Sepia tone in Publisher. If you’d like to know how, here it is:

C=0, M=60, Y=81, K=63

1. Right click on your picture, choose Format Picture
2. Go to Picture Tab
3. Click on Recolor
4. Choose Color > More Colors
5. Go to the Custom Tab
6. Change the Color Model to CMYK
7. Enter the above CMYK figures for Sepia
8. Click > OK > OK > OK

With everything pre-cut and ready to go, they were pretty easy to assemble. I had some friends over and we chatted while assembling. It was quite easy (well, I speak for myself, not my friends I suppose).

Announcement - small pixels - front

For Allison’s announcements, I wasn’t quite on top of things, but still managed to get them out within a month of her being born. I had sort of looked at ideas and knew I wanted the colors of her nursery. Again, I used green bazzill paper as the base of the announcement and printed them before I cut them.

Glue StickThis time, I printed the pictures at home, just due to time. I had the “Sweet Song Bird” stamp I’d found at Michael’s. I stamped them onto pink bazzill paper. The little white strip with her birth “stats” is just printed on cardstock and cut to fit. Lastly I used a “Pioneer” Embellishment Glue Stick I found at Michael’s for $1.99 to apply the ribbon.  I only had to use one glue stick for all 50 announcements, plus 30 thank you notes. Here’s what the back looked like:Announcement - small pixels The “a little birdie told me” was also a stamp I’d found at Michael’s and the little felt bird was in the dollar bin at Michael’s, a whole box of them! Awesome! I also used the Adhesive Stripsglue stick to apply the felt birds. For the pictures and everything else, I used the Tombow Mono Adhesive Dispenser (they went by much quicker than the glue stick).

If you take the time to plan it out, it’s very doable. My husband took some to work and they LOVED them! It’s fun to see people’s reactions. Have fun scrapping and/or crafting!

Oh yes, and here are the thank you notes!Thank You Notes