Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Life Lately--Halloween Edition

Olivia is really into the holidays.  Any holiday.  She's always looking forward to the next one.  And when there isn't one, she makes up birthdays for her dolls, or parties for this and that.  She just loves a good celebration. (I may have created a monster ;) )  She also thinks these holidays should be done up big!  Fun for her is walking into a store (any store) and roaming the aisles of (fill in the holiday) decorations.  She's a girl after my own heart, for sure.

So our current obsession is Halloween.  She has been talking about it for weeks now.  So much so, that both Michael and I thought it was much closer than it was and then one day we were like "it's still 7 weeks from now!"  Ha ha!

I pulled out my tote of fall decorations, but to be honest it is pretty minimal.  I have a few pumpkins and scarecrows, but that is about it.  So I've been trying to add a little here and there.
One of the things I did, was bought these glittery foam things from the dollar spot at Target.  I figured Olivia could decorate her room with them since she is so into it right now. This is her way of decorating.  Putting them in a straight line across her closet doors. LOL!!!  If that doesn't just scream Olivia, I don't know what does.  My sweet linear thinker...

She also painted a pumpkin sun catcher, and we bought her this little dollar pumpkin that has a battery operated light in it.  She thought she was big stuff having her room "decorated".

I bought these wooden spiders from Hobby Lobby and the kids painted them.  Olivia is very specific about her decorations.  She kept saying we needed ghosts (see door above) and spiders.  These are more heavy duty than if we had done a paper craft, so I plan on keeping them and using them as decoration year after year.

Hanging in our hallway

We have already checked out the Halloween stuff at Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and Target, but it never gets old for this one!  We had plans for Saturday, but Michael woke up with a back issue.  It finally got better later in the day, so our plan B was dinner out using a gift card and walking the aisles of Toys R Us and Target.  Olivia loves Target!

I had just recently picked up this shirt for Olivia too.  I know it's hard to read, but it says BOO! in gold glitter.  You cannot even begin to imagine her love for it.  It is definitely the little things with this one!

Olivia's shirt was cute, cheap, and from Target (discount!). But they didn't have any boys ones I liked.  So while I was at Toys R Us, I went to look at their shirts.  (Twice the price as Olivia's--no thanks!).  I didn't end up with a shirt, but these glow in the dark pajamas were on sale for 40% off.  Both kids love them.  We came home and they couldn't wait to get them on. Then they had a glow in the dark dance party in our room in front of the mirror.  Olivia has talked about them non stop since Saturday.  They've already been washed and are back in the rotation.

Let the Halloween festivities begin!

And if you need some cheap decorations, check out the dollar spot at Target!

All of my other pumpkins and scarecrows have been rearranged about a dozen times in the past week, so I'm starting to get nervous about Christmas!  It's for the kids anyway, though, right? ;)

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life Lately

Here is some of what we've been up to this last month...

 We started out the month with two of our friends having a birthday (both on the 2nd!).  Luckily for us they had parties on different days.  Jordyn's birthday was a pool party.  Michael took both of the kids swimming.  Olivia wore her puddle jumpers and we got a floatie thing for Logan.  But they enjoyed the little kiddie pool the most.  It was actually Logan's first time going swimming.  (Crazy, I know.)

One day out of the blue Olivia decided that she wanted to start writing her letters.  I gave her this dry erase practice thing I had bought her.  Over the course of about two weeks she taught herself how to write all of her capital letters.  They aren't always perfect, and no matter how hard she tries she keeps writing her 'S' backwards, but it's still pretty impressive how quickly she got it!

 We got an early morning delivery of some new shoes for Olivia (thanks, Grandma!).  She had to try them on immediately.  I wanted to take a picture to send to Grandma, and Logan came running over yelling "Cheese!".

Early morning cartoon watching.

It was Star Wars week at Target due to the new movie coming out. There was a Chewbacca at each door, and he made his noise when you walked by the sensor.  Olivia stopped for a picture one of the days we were in there grocery shopping.

Just waking up from nap...

Charlotte's first birthday party was at a restaurant.  My friend Alycia is the queen of crafty detail, so it was super cute!

We checked out a new outside play area at our local outside mall.  It was hot, but the kids loved it.

 Ta da!

Logan loves stickers!  This time he covered himself instead of the paper! :)

Michael set up the projector in our room, and then the kids laid backwards on our bed to watch.  I crawled in with them too.  Everything is better on the big screen.

The next morning I apparently took too long to go in to get Logan.  He had his shirt all wrapped and contorted around himself.  He is purposely looking away, too.  He cracks me up.  And yes, those are his teeth marks all over his crib.  Olivia left her own marks back in the day, plus it's been moved a hundred times and been banged up, so at this point... I just don't care.  (His hand is on his belly button in almost every picture.  He does it constantly.  It's like it's his calming mechanism.  Like sucking a thumb, only I don't know how to break this habit.)

Michael had to run a few errands one Saturday.  So he took Olivia with him and they made it a "date".  They started out at McDonald's.  

I knew all of the driving and some of the errands wouldn't really be all that fun for her.  So I sent her with a small notebook and a marker.  She's really into drawing lately.  This is what she did for fun...

Michael's mom has made both of the kids a nice fleece blanket.  Logan's is superheros and Olivia's is princesses.  Olivia's just came in the mail this month, so one morning they both got cozy on the couch.

My friend Alycia is starting her crafting business.  She had a booth at a local moms bazaar.  We went to see her and Anna and Elsa were there too!  Olivia was literally star struck at first.  She was so excited on the way there.  She couldn't stop talking about it.  But once she got up there she just stared at them, wringing her hands together, her face started getting red, and she was trying to talk but nothing was coming out.  It was adorable.  She finally got up enough courage to say a few things and get her picture taken.

We've been up to a few other things too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Logan's Words

Warning: This is a "my blog is my children's baby book" post.  It's more for me to remember, so it may be boring to you. ;)

We all know Olivia talked early, and once she started her vocabulary just exploded.  She had 40 words by 14 months and 55 words by 15 months, and at that point I just stopped counting because we were way beyond any milestones.  Obviously this wasn't "normal", and we never expected any future kids to have these same abilities.

Logan had a few words when he turned 1, but not anywhere near what Olivia did.  We didn't expect him to have a language explosion.  He seems to excel in motor skills (where Olivia clearly did not).  People would make comments about how he was a boy and boys don't talk as early, etc. Plus, he whined way more than Olivia ever did.  So I think I took the words he did have for granted.  Or didn't notice the amount he had.

We went to his 18 month appointment and they asked about his language skills.  I said that he didn't have as much as Olivia did, but that I thought he was fine and pretty average in that department.  The doctor responded with "he only has to have 3 words by 18 months".  Wow!  Well, considering he has some 2 and 3 word phrases he says, I guess we're doing OK.

I never had a list for him like I did with Olivia.  But the other day as we were getting ready to leave the house, I noticed that he used at least a dozen words in about a ten minute time frame.  So I started making a list of his words.

1. shoe (he's obsessed!)
2. stinky (when he has a dirty diaper)
3. eat
4. shower (he loves taking them and will try to start undressing if he thinks I am going to take one!)
5. teeth (for asking to brush his teeth)
7. all done/all gone
8. please (I had to teach him this so he would stop whining when he wanted something)
9. thank you
10. more
11. mama
12. boppa
13. Olivia
14. sissy
15. car
16. ball
17. dance
18. pouch (the ones you eat)
19. hello
20. good bye
21. chair
22. one, two...
23. nice
24. uh oh
25. no
26. bebo (for his belly button--the name comes from a Sandra Boynton book)
27. let's go
28. hat
29. whoa
30. clean up (he sings the song)
31. night night
32. yay!
33. pull
34. spoon
35. let it go (he sings it! which is sort of amazing to me since we haven't seen the movie in forever)
36. go go
37. tickle
38. where'd he go?/ where'd it go?
39. peek a boo
40. there he is
41. roar (from the book dinosaur roar, but he also makes the roar sound for some animals)
42. pillow
43. broom
44. book
45. head

He may have more. These are the ones I recorded in a day.  Of course, some of them are ones that probably only Michael or I know what he's saying.  But he's consistent with these and uses them appropriately.

So he can't recognize his capital letters at 19 months like his sister, but I think he's doing pretty good in the language department... for a boy. ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Olivia's Princess Room

I finally got around to taking some pictures of Olivia's room!
When we found out we were moving, we decided to go ahead and make the switch from toddler bed to big girl bed.  In doing so, that meant we needed new bedding and bedroom decor.  Since she's into princesses, that is the route we went.  I didn't want to pick just one princess, because she changes her likes and dislikes often.  So we went a little generic and used them all!
Looking in from her door.  She has a queen bed.  Not because I think a 4 year old needs a queen, but because that is what we already had.  Plus, when guests come, they stay in her room and she sleeps on an air mattress in our room (which she enjoys).  But it's really hard to find little girl bedding for a queen!!  I didn't necessarily want character bedding, but even if I did it wasn't an option.  Since purple is her favorite color, I was trying to go with that, but even that was hard to find.  So we went with this fun colorful dot one.  It helps incorporate all of the princess colors.

I did a lot of do it yourself in this room to keep the cost down.  We also just used a lot of what we already had.  The princess pictures are actually from a calendar that I picked up that Target dollar spot.  And the frames were a clearance deal that was unbeatable. The whole project only cost about $20!  She picked out the 4 princesses she wanted to use.

I used my silhouette and painted this canvas for her.  We already had the canvas (because they come in 2 packs and it was leftover from a different project).  I saw something similar to this on Pinterest/etsy. I just used vinyl I had, so really this cost me about $3 in paint!  Not bad.  I tried to use purple with my projects, because most store bought princess stuff I found was pink.

We tried using the canopy over her bed for a few weeks, but she kept getting tangled in it and/or pulling it down.  So instead it is over her chair as a reading corner.  The double doors are her closet, and the door to the right is her bedroom door open.  Behind it is her bow hanger.

She was really into Merida (from Brave) for a while, but there isn't much out there in the way of decor or decorations.  So I just made my own.  I printed a silhouette off the internet, traced it on to purple paper, and cut the letters out of vinyl with my silhouette.  The frame is one we already have.  Cheap, but cute!

Ariel is still her favorite, so I painted this piece of wood.  I added the quote using vinyl.  The little decorations came from JoAnn's.  Except the fork dinglehopper.  It's actually leftover from her first birthday. ;)

This Ariel picture is actually just a piece of scrapbook paper.  It came on a 12 by 12 sheet, but the rest of the page was just blue.  I cut out the part I wanted and threw it in an IKEA frame.

Both of the kids have pretty big closets.  We had her dress up holder in her room, but once she got her doll house we had to move it to the closet.  It still gets a lot of use!  I'm using her shelf for our craft supplies, one bin for outgrown clothes, one big for clearance stuff that she has yet to grow into.  There is even a shelf in there with our kid videos.  We had to be creative with our storage!  Also, I just taped the extra calendar pictures onto the inside of her closet doors.

We don't have a toy room.  We don't even have an extra living space like our home in Ohio.  But the kids rooms are pretty big, so they have some of their toys in their room.  It doesn't look all cute and glamorous, but it works.

The two frames still need pictures, but everything else is pretty much done. A lot of the decor that we did buy came from Hobby Lobby.

So that's it.  Olivia loves it.  Both kids play in there.  It's fun, bright, reflects her interests, and is a space she can call her own.  Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back To School

Olivia has been asking us to find her a preschool for months now.  I tried explaining that we had to wait for summer to be over. Over the summer we started collecting things like a Wonder Woman lunchbox (per her request), and some close toed shoes (since she mostly wears sandals), a mermaid nap mat, and some lunch box containers and ice packs.  With each new item her enthusiasm would grow.  For the last week it has been nearly bubbling over since she knew the time was finally here.

We started a new tradition this year... an ice cream dinner the night before school starts.  This is one of those things that I picked up along the way and just stored until the right moment.  A family at my old school use to do this and I thought it would be fun.  Plus, I still remember the one time in third grade where we got ice cream for dinner.  I knew this would be a great memory!

Olivia has had ice cream at home all of two times--and one was just a few months ago on her 4th birthday.  Neither time involved toppings.  Her ice cream experiences can be summed up by turning in her Chick-fil-a kids meal toy for a small cup.  She was over the moon that she got to put toppings on her ice cream.

She isn't one that sugar makes her crazy, so I wasn't worried about her sleeping or bouncing off the walls.  We may have to reevaluate this tradition later if Logan is that way.  He got his very own almond milk ice cream! (His pint cost almost as much as the 4 1/2 gallon tub I bought for us! Yikes!)

After that special treat it was time for a bath.  When baths were done, I painted Olivia's nails while Michael read some back to school books.  We have tons of those floating around from my teaching days!

Logan pretty much threw a fit that his toes weren't getting painted... so they may or may not be blue. ;)

Then as part of our bedtime routine, we read this new book.
It was early to bed around here for everyone!

Breakfast was an owl for the owl room!

Sort of a long story, but Michael couldn't join us at drop off today.  So she took a quick picture with him before he left for work.  She is a daddy's girl through and through!

If I try to take a picture of Olivia, Logan runs over and tries to join in.  Then he says, "cheeeese". :)

I just love these sweet babies of mine!

It's finally here!

We have two backpacks from last year, so no new one this time!  She chose to use her Strawberry Shortcake one.  It was so full with her lunch, snack, homework, and change of clothes that she almost fell over! :)

Love her!

Carrying in her nap mat and teacher gifts!

She was suppose to stop outside the door and put her snack in the snack bucket and her lunch in the lunch bucket.  But she could hardly be bothered with this.  Meanwhile, Logan started crying for fear that I was going to leave him.  She rushed into the room, turned around and said, "Bye Mom!  Have a good day!".  The teacher said, "Don't you want to give her a hug or a kiss goodbye?" She gave me a quick hug and was off to play!  She's going to have a fantastic year.  I just know it!

And Logan gets his mommy all to himself for 10 hours a week.  I think everyone wins! Ha!