Friday, September 30, 2011

Animal Alphabet Printables

I recently printed these free animal themed letters for C and R to color.  Each letter features animals and plants that begin with the letter.  I laminated these so that C and R can hang them on their bedroom doors.

I only printed a C and an R, but it would be fun to print the whole alphabet and use them to decorate a play room or child's room; you could also print all the letters of your child's name!  Click here to print any or all of the letters from

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sun Catcher Planets

This week we enjoyed reading Going Around the Sun:  Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes.

The rhyming text follows the model of "Over in the Meadow" and is written as a dialogue between Mother Sun and her planets.  Each page offers interesting facts about the planets as they appear in the book; there is also a section at the end with more solar system facts.

C noticed the page of "Tips from the Illustrator" at the end of the book and just had to make the suggested wax paper sun catcher planets.

He began by peeling and sharpening crayons in the colors he would need.

He then placed the crayon shavings between two pieces of wax paper.  I put an old towel over the wax paper and pressed a warm iron on top to melt the crayon between the pieces of wax paper.

Then I cut out planet shapes from the wax paper melted crayon "sandwiches" - I guess I forgot to take a picture of this step.

After using a window crayon to draw the sun on our sliding glass door, C taped the planets on the door in order.

We did include Pluto; C remembered that Pluto doesn't stay in line, so he taped the dwarf planet further up on the door.

He loved this activity, and it was a great review of the solar system.  (R was playing with the neighbors when C did this - I'm hoping to do a fall sun catcher craft with her soon using this same method.)

Click here to purchase  Going Around the Sun:  Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun da-middles Review and Giveaway

I haven't had any time to make special after school snacks for the big kids, but last week I remembered a package I had received from My Blog Spark and decided to try baking with a newborn in my arms.

Betty Crocker FUN da-middles are super easy to make (you can watch a video demonstration by clicking here), so it only took a few minutes to prepare them before baking.  Once the ingredients for the cupcake batter are mixed, you simply fill the cupcake liners 1/3 of the way with batter, squeeze some of the cream filling into each cup, and then cover the filling with more batter.  If I can make these while holding a newborn, anyone can make them!

Unfortunately, only T liked these cupcakes.  The flavor just didn't work for the rest of us.  They do come in two other flavors though.  If I could have chosen a flavor, I would have selected the chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream filling or even the white cupcakes with chocolate cream filling!  We are definitely a chocolate house!!!!

Maybe you will like them though! If you would like to receive a prize pack just like the one I received pictured at the top of this post, leave a comment to enter my giveaway.  For an extra entry, follow my blog and leave me a comment letting me know that you follow me!

    Your prize pack will contain:
  • One sample of new Betty Crocker Fun da-middles cupcake mix
  • One cupcake pan
  • One oven mitt
  • One package of cupcake liners
  • One box of cupcake gift notes

This giveaway begins upon posting and ends on Thursday, September 29th at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Please make sure that you either include an email address or that I can contact you through a blog.  

If you would like to try FUN da-middles, click here for a coupon!

Two Weeks

I'm not sure if anyone else notices, but K has changed so much already.

She is much more alert, she looks and feels bigger, and she already looks more like a baby and less like a newborn.

K still wants to be held all the time.  I know this won't last forever, so I am trying to enjoy every minute.

I have never had any problems getting my babies to nurse.  K is doing great - she spends most of the day eating.

If I have to put her down, the vacuum cleaner soothes her instantly - I have to get a white noise machine.

I love her long fingers and toes!  They are so kissable.

One of my favorite times of the day is when I am packing lunches for C and R because they both spend that time entertaining K.  It's very sweet.  I have to remember to take pictures!!!!

My favorite baby item this week is our new rocker from The Land of Nod - thank you Grandma and Grandpa!
We spend a good part of the day in this chair!  This is me first thing in the morning - lovely!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breakfast Conversation

R:  Why can't I feed K?

C:  Because you don't have bumps

R:  Yes, I do.  All girls have bumps.

C:  Well, your bumps aren't big like Mom's, so they don't work.

Mom:  You have to give birth to a baby to make milk.

C:  Mom, you are like a cow!  Ha ha ha ha ha!

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Week

A week has passed already?  How did that happen?  K is so sweet; I could just stare at her all day long.

Here are just a few things I love about her:

I love the way she calms down when Daddy plays music for her on the radio.  I also love to see her stare at C and R when they sing to her or read to her.

She has a perfectly round head, just like all of her siblings - they have all had little heads, so that must help prevent misshapen heads on the way out.

Her skin has been perfectly pink from birth and it is so soft; I love to rub my cheek against her cheek.

K makes the sweetest faces - often raising her eyebrows or pursing her lips.

She looks a lot like C when he was born; it will be fun to see if that continues or if she changes.

She already has great head control for a newborn - I'm sure the small head helps.

Her eyes seem very well developed and she is already examining shadows, faces, and light.

I know it sounds crazy, but even the pediatrician commented that she is trying to smile!

Oh, I love this little girl!  She is the perfect addition to our family.

I am hoping to continue writing weekly updates for my own personal record.  I'm also going to incorporate our favorite baby products of the week.  This week, I love:

- our Peg Perego infant car seat (our seat is red) - this seat is the nicest we have ever owned (and we never skimp on car seats); it is comfortable, meets the strictest safety standards, and K loves it.

As a matter of fact, the car seat is one of only two places that I can put her down and she will remain content for a while.

- Hanna Andersson My Best Ever First Socks - I love Hanna Andersson, and these socks have been one of my absolute favorite baby items for years.  They stay on little feet, and that is all that matters!  I almost always give these socks as part of a baby gift, and they are the only socks I put on my own babies.

- Huggies Pure and Natural diapers - we are using these for the first time and I have no complaints.  The thing that I think is super cool is the little line on the outside that changes color if the diaper is wet.  I'm not sure how new this feature is because we haven't used diapers in over three years, but I love the feature.  C and R are both obsessed with checking to see if the line on K's diaper is yellow (dry) or blue (wet).

Petals, Leaves, and Contact Paper

On Friday, I was sitting on the couch snuggling with K when I realized that some of the flowers we received earlier in the week were wilting.  I thought it would be fun to tape up some clear contact paper and let C and R stick the petals and leaves on to make some pretty sun catcher art when they came home from school.  It wouldn't take much effort on my part, so I could definitely manage that type of project while caring for a newborn.


After they had snack, I taped the clear contact paper onto our sliding glass door with the sticky part out.

Then I gave them the flowers and told them they could use the petals and leaves to create whatever kind of art they wanted.

Directions given,  Artwork started.  Easy.

R put these petals together to look like a butterfly!

Then, K had her first diaper blowout which caused great excitement (C, R, and Kelly all had to see what happened).  The doorbell rang.  I told the kids not to answer the door without me, but R "didn't hear me".  (We later went over rules regarding answering the door, but it was just neighborhood kids!)  When R opened the door, the dog ran out.  I was in the middle of cleaning the baby.  C declared the project boring.  The baby was crying.  The dog was still outside.  Luckily, our dog doesn't take off and the kids were able to get her back in the house without much difficulty.  The chaos of the situation was pretty funny after everything calmed down, but a bit unsettling while it was happening!

The artwork looks pretty though!  When C and R declared it complete, I covered it with another sheet of contact paper to keep everything in place.

Friday, September 16, 2011


We have had a very exciting week around here!  Monday was a huge day because K was born and R had her first day of Kindergarten.

I was very happy that after K was born and all was well, Dad was able to leave the hospital (after being up all night and being so wonderful in the delivery room) and get home in time to take some pictures of R heading off to her first day of school.

In true R fashion, she was completely embarrassed by the idea of posing for photos as she got on the bus.  Last week at orientation, the principal told all of the children to wave goodbye to their parents as they went off to see their classrooms.  R wanted no part of that and made it clear that she was not going to look at me, never mind wave!

She is really enjoying school so far, and I am not surprised.  R loves to be with other children, and she is very social.  Her personality is very similar to T's; it's funny how similar they are socially.  Anyway, she has adjusted very well to the long school day and everything that comes along with it.

Yesterday, I asked R what she likes best about school.  I can't say that I was surprised when she answered that her favorite parts of the day are lunch, recess, and riding the bus!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Introducing K

Our beautiful baby girl arrived Monday, September 12th at 3:30 AM.  Her birth weight was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and she measured 21 1/2 inches long.  As you can see, her siblings already adore her!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Soccer Season

R and C are both playing soccer again this year.  I was very happy to be able to attend both of their games over the weekend.  I think it's going to be a great season!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pajama Winner!!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Fun Kids Pajamas giveaway!  To pick a winner this time, I asked C and R to each pick a number between one and twenty-nine (there were twenty-nine entries).  C picked eight and R picked two, so I added the two numbers together and got ten.  The tenth entry and the winner of this giveaway is Debbie who left the following comment, "There are so many to choose from, but with winter on it's way I would definitely have to get Selena the footed Disney pajamas."  Congratulations Debbie!  I will be in touch via email.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School

T and C went off to their first day of school in the pouring rain - no outside photos this year!

To start the day, I made homemade waffles and used chocolate chips and whipped cream to write the number of the grades they are beginning.

That is a nine - T doesn't like whipped cream.

First day of high school!

First day of second grade!
R doesn't have her first day of Kindergarten until Monday, but she did have orientation today.

R had a special K for Kindergarten waffle with banana slices.  

Seeing as though my due date is tomorrow, I can't even tell you how happy I was that I could bring her to this special school day. R met her new teacher (she already knew her though - she was C's Kindergarten teacher and we are SO happy to have her again!!!!!!!!!!), met some of her classmates, learned a little about Kindergarten, and went on a short bus ride to learn about bus safety.

I think Kelly is a little sad that summer is over and everyone is heading off to school.  Little does she know, there will be a baby to keep her company soon!

Lunch Box Love

It's time for me to start packing lunches again.  My children will be in school for six hours each day, and I see the lunch box as an opportunity to let my children know that I love them.  I like to do that with little messages.  Sometimes I write a little note, or put a picture or a knock knock joke in there, but I also LOVE to write on their food!

A little heart or smiley face goes a long way.  I used fast dry icing to write on these homemade chocolate chip cookies that C will find in his lunch today.

Food safe markers are typically thought of as a tool for decorating cakes and cookies, but they can be used to write on anything from sandwiches to fruits and vegetables.

To make the lunches special, I will also use large cookie cutters to cut their sandwiches into fun shapes and

tiny cookie cutters will be used to make shapes out of cheese, fruit leather, vegetables, and anything else that can be cut.

A simple online search will reveal amazing lunches that people make for their children.  I am not claiming to be that creative, but I think a little lunch box love goes a long way.