Thursday, January 31, 2013

Be My Valentine {Garland}

When we lived in Indiana, we lived on "St. James Place".  Of course, with a Monopoly-style name, you've got to be a bit "gamey" with your decor, right?  So our living room had a game theme.  

When we moved to ND, we decided to keep the game theme going in our basement family room.  

As I was browsing Pintrest one day, I noticed heart garland posted here with a link for Etsy.  The cost was $17 + $6.50 for shipping.  So what did I do?  Yep, you guessed it, I made it myself... for $5.00!

I bought two kinds of Valentine ribbon for $1.99 each.  I chose to use a white ribbon with red hearts for the main ribbon and a simple red with white stitching for the accent ribbon.

I bought a pack for cards at the dollar store.  I had planned to look at Goodwill for cards, but with $1 for a new pack, who can argue?  

I took a joker out of the deck to make a template.  I punched two holes in the top of it.  Liking the placement of my holes, I then used the joker as a template for all the heart cards.  I punched holes in each of heart cards and strung them on the white ribbon.  

I put them in number order (it's the OCD in me), but the example on Etsy had them randomly placed-- suit yourself.  I threaded them through the white ribbon as I was going along and easily shifted them as needed.  

After I was finished threading cards, I decided to cut small pieces of the red ribbon and place them between every other pair of cards.  I believe the example had contrasting ribbon between every pair, so, again, suit yourself.  

I used some pieces of packing tape to tape it to the top of the mantle and there you have it-- adorable Valentines garland for $5 (with plenty of ribbon left over) all while I watched an episode of "Parenthood" on Netflix!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

App Review: Bugaboo Flashcards

Bugaboo Flashcards

I do not review things often, but I have to share my love for these guys.

The wonderful hubster bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  Although I wasn't sure I really wanted one at first, I have now fallen deeply, madly in love with it.  This app is one of the reasons why.  

When we moved from Indiana to North Dakota one of the (many) big changes educationally was that the school here is very serious about drilling math facts.  I bought flashcards for both kids, which did absolutely no good, of course, because the  kids never used them!  When I was checking out free apps I found Bugaboo Flashcards.  I immediately added it and had the kids try it out.  Very quickly I discovered it had big potential.  So, I forked out the $1.99 for the full version (Seriously, I am so cheap, this really was a debate!).  For less than the cost of a pack of flashcards, I have an app that can quiz on kids on +, -, x, or division.  I can easily choose which operation and which numbers (0- 12) I want  them quizzed on.  I get a report at the end on the amount of facts correctly answered, how many were given and the time taken to answer them all.  My 6 year old thinks it's great.  My 10 year old, understandably, thinks the  graphics are a bit "beneath him" but he will still admit that it is a LOT more fun than flashcards.  He also enjoys the fact that he can practice just the facts he is struggling with.

In my opinion, this is a "must have" app for grade school kiddos.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Diary of a Potty Training Mama

Day 2/ Potty Training Boot Camp:

Despite gummy fish (I have never bribed a child to go potty before!), 

despite two successfully potty-trained older children, 

I'm pretty sure the experts are wrong...  

I'm fairly confident he will in fact go away to college in diapers.  

That is all.

(Unless those Buzz Lightyear "to the rescue" undies can be just enough to sway him...)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Got Snow?

I'm thinking that since we're now in ND, where snow comes in October and sticks around until April, I'm going to have to work on my creative snow titles.  You're going to be seeing a lot of snow posts and I can only say "Snow Much Fun" so many times.  So I digress...

Sometimes with little Mister #3, I forget to do stuff.  You know what I mean?  With my first, I took him to the playground before he could walk, I would take him outside when there were 2 snowflakes falling, etc.  I forget to do that kind of stuff with David sometimes.  David, like the big kids, got a new sled for Christmas.  (I went to insert the blog where I wrote about their sledding adventure on Christmas Day and guess what?  Yep, didn't write one-- oops!)  He did not get to try his out as soon as they did, but I eventually got him out (and, of course, by out I mean in the front yard)!

My children will eat snow first thing when they get outside.  Sometimes even in the school parking lot as we're walking to the car.  Apparently I don't feed them enough!

David's sled has a little cord on the front that I can pull him around with.  We tried the sidewalks first, but my neighbors do way too good of a job keeping them cleared off!

The cackling that I heard during his trips down the driveway made the whole bundling up in 20 layers totally worth it!  He was one happy boy!

Peek-a-boo in the playhouse!

And then, as always happens, one small bit of snow touched his skin and he was DONE!  Sidenote: Toddlers nap really well if you throw them out in the snow first!  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

He's Asking Me About Table Manners?

After seeing Ruby cash in her "date with dad" coupon on Saturday, Eli was anxious to cash in a coupon of his own.  He wanted to go bowling with Mom.  I don't know where the urge to go bowling came from, I have only taken him bowling once-- when I was pregnant with Ruby seven years ago-- well, maybe that's exactly where the bowling urge came from!

We first went to lunch at Olive Garden.  He had never been to an Olive Garden before, so he was psyched to try it out.  We had awesome conversation, a wonderful server on her first day of the job after 20 years as a stay-at-home mom, and at one point, Eli even asked me if it was "okay" to dip his breadstick in his soup.  For a boy who regularly picks up his entire slab of meat with a fork and starts gnawing it like a wild animal, that was a big deal!

After an incredible chicken Parmesan lunch, we headed to the bowling alley.  I was a bit traumatized as a kid by an adult trying to "teach" me to bowl, so I decided to just let him do his thing with very little input from me. It turns out, we're both terrible bowlers!

This was such a special date with him.  I know it to be true, but sometimes life gets in the way and I forget how grown-up he is getting!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weekend Makeover

We have been in North Dakota for almost 6 months, but Miss Ruby is still struggling.  It is so strange; she is not the child we worried about adjustment issues with at all, but, nevertheless, here we are.  Her first three days back to school last week (after Christmas break) were especially rocky.  So we decided it might be time for a little extra special something for our Ruby.

On Saturday, she redeemed her "Date Night with Dad" coupon that she received for Christmas.

Here she is getting ready.  She and Dad went to the water park, out for pizza, ice skating and to play video games at Planet Pizza.  Dad described it as the "Ferris Bueller" date.  Crack Me Up!

On Sunday, I finally agreed to let her get her hair cut again.  She even talked me in to bangs-- ugh!  Did I mention she also lost her front tooth on Saturday morning?

After her haircut, we allowed her to get her ears pierced.  I showed Ruby her birthstone (emerald) and asked her if she'd like to have those.  I also showed her all her other choices, from stars, to flowers, to just plain gold balls.  After quite some time she said, "Are there any rubies?".  So, guess what kind of earrings she ended up with?

There were a couple minutes there I thought she might completely back out, but she was brave and only cried until the nice lady handed her a sucker!

Short hair cut with bangs and earrings-- a weekend makeover to remember!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

There is a 7 year old girl upstairs acting like a drama queen... over everything... I need to ramble a little bit here, k?  Thanks.

Harry[about Auld Lang Syne] What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot'? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends.

I can't think of New Year's without thinking of that movie quote.  "When Harry Met Sally" was my very favorite movie for the longest time.  So I digress.

New Year's Eve for the last several years has involved the Indianapolis Children's Museum's Noon Year's Eve party.  There's singing and dancing and a countdown at the big water clock.  There is confetti, which Ruby made a confetti angel in one year and earned her self a spot in the Indianapolis Star (newspaper).

Since we are now about 19 hours away from Indy, I had to come up with a new plan.  I decided to host our own family Noon Year's Eve party.  We had a balloon drop at noon (so thankful my hubbie was home to help with this)...

and noise makers-- which turned out to not make any noise at all-- I totally didn't know they were noise-less  when I bought them, but nice I was on like day 4 of the same headache, I was very thankful!

There was great food (if I do say so myself!)...

and some great planning for the new year!  Eli said, "In the new year I will be respectful."  (Yep, loved his!)  Ruby said, "In the new year I will go to church.".  Jason said, "In the new year I will be healthier."  And I said, "In the new year I will forgive.".

This year, both Jason and Eli made it to the real new year at midnight.  David, Ruby, and I... well, noon year was the only countdown we celebrated!