Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Painted Cross

I feel like we've been talking about Easter around our house for a few months now.  I guess it probably started soon after Valentine's Day.  At the first mention of Easter, Olivia commented on how she is going to get a basket.  This sort of shocked me.  I don't remember saying that to her any time recently, but I can't imagine that she remembers from last year.  I asked her what would be in her basket and she replied "Eggs!".  I asked what was in the eggs and she said, "eggs!". :)  So she has been talking about her Easter basket and Easter eggs for a while now.  I think the basket and eggs are fun, and I have no problem with her looking forward to getting it.  I don't think she expects anything.  She'd probably be just as happy with empty eggs, actually.  But I wanted to make sure that she didn't think Easter was just all about getting eggs.  When it came time to doing a craft, I wanted to choose something that was related to the real meaning of Easter.  So I chose a simple cross.

I took a large white piece of "finger painting" paper and made a cross on it with blue painters tape.

Then I gave Olivia some of that glitter paint we used at Halloween and let her get to painting.

While she painted I tried to talk to her about why we celebrate Easter. How do you explain that to a two year old?
Honestly, I don't think she has any concept of death, so I was finding it a little challenging.

But I basically told her that Jesus died on the cross for our bad choices (sins). That is the part she remembers.  Whether she understands it or not, I don't know.  I tried to help it make sense and explained that he rose again on the third day.

Even if she doesn't quite understand, it did start us talking about it.  We did this last week.  Since then she will randomly say, "Mommy, remember what Easter is all about?" and I will ask her what and she will reply, "The cross".  I will ask her what about the cross and she will say, "Jesus died on the cross" and then she will wait a minute and say, "And rose again!"  I'm sure these are just words at this point, but at least it's a start.

And her beautiful artwork is hanging on the fridge to help remind us all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Visit with the Easter Bunny

Have you noticed that Olivia is wearing the same exact outfit in the last 3 posts?! :)  We had a busy Saturday!  After our stop at Lowe's and the Easter egg hunt, we headed to the mall. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then had a visit with the Easter bunny.  Thankfully the line was MUCH smaller than it was with Santa.

Olivia was pretty happy to be seeing him.  She seems to really be into the dressed up characters now.  Logan slept through the whole thing.

We decided to continue our day out and head to Barnes and Noble.

 Once we got to the children's section, she gathered every Frozen book she could find.  She made herself comfortable on a chair and got to reading.  Yes, she does look at every single page.

After reading for quite some time, she finally decided to play with the train table.

The trains didn't last too long though.  She spotted some Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First books, and sat down to read them.  Those are her two favorite shows at the moment.  (Frozen and Tangled are her two favorite movies).

It was a good day out.  Logan did great, too.  He's starting to become less fussy, which is nice.  He and I looked for Easter basket goodies while Olivie indulged in her reading.  It worked out well.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt 2014

We will be out of town next week when most of the Easter Egg Hunts will be going on.  I wanted to make sure to get to one, so when I saw an advertisement on Facebook for a local church I put it on our calendar. 

It was at a pretty small church (I didn't know), and some of the ways they did things were a little bit odd.  But Olivia had fun.  She didn't realize what was going on.  It was all about the experience for her.

 She got to hunt in an area that was for kids 4 and under.  Most of the bigger kids took off running.  She sort of just stayed in her spot and collected the eggs that were right in front of her.

One thing is for sure... she wasn't greedy.  She filled her basket until she was just done (as you can see by her expression) and then started heading up the hill.  There were still plenty of eggs on the ground.  I think she was the first one to quit.  It actually didn't matter though, because you had to turn in your empty eggs (weird, right?) and they gave you a baggie of candy.  So she could have collected one egg and got the same thing as the kids that collected 20.  I think she was on to something.  Quit early and beat the lines. ;)

We probably won't be going back there next year, but she's 2 and she enjoyed "the hunt".  That was the point.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lowes Build and Grow

Both Lowe's and Home Depot have programs for kids to come and build something in their store.  They have been doing this for years.  I actually signed Little Man and his dad up to attend a few way back in the day.  They aren't every week, and you do need to pre-register so you will want to check out their sites before just showing up.  The best part--they are free.  Technically the suggested age is 5, but I know a lot of people that take their two year olds.  We were itching to get out of the house, so I thought we'd go ahead and give it a try.

This weeks project was a recycling truck.
Obviously it was a little above Olivia, but she didn't seem to mind. Michael held her hand and guided the hammer for her.

She liked putting the nails in the holes too.

Daddy's can do anything! :)

This guy drank a bottle and then hung out in his seat as content as can be.

"Reading" the directions

Sliding the doors on the pin

Putting the dividers in

adding the stickers

test driving the truck

The finished product

Registration opens Monday for the next Lowe's event on May 10th.  I've heard it fills up fast depending on your area, so if you are interested you will want to sign up right away.  We have a schedule conflict that day. Plus, it isn't something we will be doing every time because of Olivia's age.  But we will definitely do another one.  Hopefully something fun like a bird house or something.

It looks like you can register for a Home Depot event for either May 3rd or June 7th.  Happy building!

 You can also purchase other types of kits and build them at home. They also have little aprons and safety goggle kids you can buy.  You know... if you become hard core builders. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Preschool Bound!

Olivia is officially registered for preschool starting in the fall.

I began looking into things in January since I knew registration usually started in February.  I gathered information, but with the end of my pregnancy and then the addition of a newborn, nothing got done until this week.  We were finally able to go tour the local preschool that I was interested in.  Olivia loved it.  Michael and I both thought it was a great choice as well.  The best part is that it is .7 miles from our door step.  It takes 2 minutes to get there!

I toured a lot of preschools when looking for Little Man years ago.  Between that and teaching at a Christian school that had a preschool, I pretty much know what is out there.  I had a few key things that I was looking for.  Other than that, they are all pretty much the same.

We aren't sure what her educational future will hold.  At this point, it is looking like we will home school once she gets to Kindergarten.  Our personal choice is to not send her to a public school (barring something crazy would happen and we would be forced to).  We can't afford a Christian school.  So home school is looking likely.  Regardless, we want her to be able to have some social interaction with her peers, learn how to act and behave in a classroom setting, practice sharing and taking turns, experience having to listen and obey a teacher and so much more.

She will be going to a local church preschool two mornings a week.  Her day will be from 8:45 to 11:30.  She will be in the three year old class with 11 other children and two teachers.  She starts at the end of August, but I'm sure she would go tomorrow if she could.  She walked right into the classroom and just made herself at home.  She was a little sad when it was time to go.  I told her she could come back when she was 3.  The director asked her when she would be 3 and she responded, "June 23rd!".  The director called her a little smarty pants. :)  This girl is ready!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stitch Fix--Fix 1

Look what came in the mail yesterday?

My first fix!

Ok.  It looked a little better than this. I tore into it before taking a picture.  But even the presentation was cute.  And it tells you just what to do.

You get a card with instructions, an invoice, a prepaid bag to put the unwanted items back in the mail, and a little note from your stylist with cards showing you how to wear the items.  Again, the idea is that you buy a few pieces that can mix and match with items that are already in your closet.

First, I got skinny jeans.  The funny thing is that I have been avoiding this trend for years now thinking that I couldn't pull it off.  I literally just bought myself my first pair of skinny jeans from Old Navy two days ago.  I loved the fit of the ones that were sent to me.  They are about twice as much as I would normally pay for a pair of jeans.  I realize that jeans are a staple investment and that most people probably pay what these cost.  Unfortunately, my jean budget is still for places like Old Navy and Target.

The shirt was very comfortable.  It's probably not something that I would normally be drawn to, but I liked it. I just felt like it made me look a little boxy and the stripes weren't helping my post-baby-still-have-the-fat-roll body.

When I signed up for my stitch I was just imagining that it would come with a chevron top.  This "zig zag" shirt was pretty much what I was expecting.  I am right on the border of sizes and it was just a smidge too tight around certain parts, but was still alright.  By itself as seen here, it's not the most flattering.  Obviously it would be way cuter without that post pregnancy stomach!

But when I paired it with the navy blue sweater that was sent, it was a great piece.  This picture is 4 out of the 5 pieces sent--jeans, shirt, sweater and necklace.  I actually like this outfit.  I don't think that it is necessarily too far off from something I would pick out for myself.  I do think the items were much better quality than what I would normally get at Kohl's, Target, or Old Navy.  If price wasn't an issue, I would have kept this entire outfit.

Ultimately I could only choose to keep one piece.  I would have liked to keep the sweater and zig zag shirt, but it was just a bit more than I wanted to spend. So I kept the zig zag shirt (with help deciding from Michael).  I can find a navy sweater that is similar for cheaper. It's a pretty basic piece.  But the shirt is more unique.

I definitely plan on doing this again.  I can't do it every month, but I don't shop for clothes every month anyway.  I actually hardly ever shop for clothes.  But I will do it here and there to add quality pieces to my collection.  It was a lot of fun!

When you "check out" they ask you about each piece--did it fit right, did you like the style, what did you think of the price, etc.  I'm anxious to see how they use that information to help guide my next fix.  Warning: It might be a little addicting! :)

If you want to sign up, use my referral code and I can get some shopping credit!  I think every girl should try it at least once.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pinterest Pasta

We tried two new recipes this week and they both happened to have pasta involved.

We like pesto and the picture just looked yummy.  This blog that I got it from was actually someone else who got it off of Pinterest, tried it, and liked it.  I didn't read the comments until I was about to make it. Some people were complaining that the shells got hard. So I made a few modifications.  I put some milk in the bottom of my pan, added a little extra cream cheese (because yum), and I covered it with aluminum foil.  The shells weren't hard at all. It seemed a bit salty to me, but we still liked it.  Well, Olivia wouldn't try it because it had chicken in it.  Typical.

The other recipe came from my sister.  I think I mentioned it on here before, but she is always sharing her recipes with me.  When I first moved out on my own it was her sending me recipes that got me cooking. Growing up I avoided cooking at all costs.  I was already going to school, active in my youth group, working 30 hours a week, trying to have a social life, and I had a ridiculous amount of chores.  Adding cooking to the list was not something I was going to do, so I showed little interest.  I could read a recipe, but hadn't made any meal from start to finish.  My sister loves to find new recipes, so she'd send me her good ones.  She would even look for recipes for two that she thought looked good and send them my way.  I would call her up if I had any cooking related questions.  From there I pretty much taught myself.  Turns out, I actually enjoy cooking!
She found this pin for Spicy Sausage Pasta and tried it.  I think she said she made it with shrimp though.  Her family liked it, so I thought it was worth a try.  I made it just as the recipe called. Michael and I both liked it.  I will definitely make it again.