Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall Crafts

This fall I've been trying to do some crafts with the girls (mostly Little A) in the afternoon and on weekends.  Little A does a lot at day care, but I like to do some things with her too. 
Leaf Collage
The leaf collage took a few days, and Little A had fun working on her project.  First, we went for a walk to collect leaves from around our neighborhood.  When we got home, we put the leaves between the pages of books so they would be really flat.  A few days later, we took the leaves out and Little A arranged her favorite leaves on contact paper.  I folded the contact paper, with paper on, in half, then pulled the paper backing off one side.  When she was finished, I took the rest of the paper backing off, and pressed it on top of her leaves.  I hung her collage up on our sliding glass door.  It looks really cool when the sun shines on it!
Little A really loves any project that involves glue, so this was a big hit.  I drew trees on a piece of paper and cut tissue paper into small square.  I picked a mix of what I considered "fall" colors, and gave Little A the glue.  She insisted that she needed purple leaves, so we added some purple leaves too.  She made a bunch of trees to send to family. 

Paper Plate Pumpkins
Little A and Baby J both did this project, but I couldn't get any pictures of Baby J because I was busy keeping the paint brush out of her mouth.  This was a project from Momma's Fun World via Pinterest.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Your Mission...

It's hard to believe Baby J's birthday is less than 2 weeks away!  Her party planning started just about the time she was born, so I'm excited to share the invitations today.  Just after Baby J was born, I was going through my Google Reader, and saw this post.  I knew right away that Baby J's birthday party would have a secret agent theme.  I ordered this book over the summer to help with the planning.  I thought about using the blue and red for the theme, but later decided I really wanted to use pink, so I'm using pink, black and grey instead.  More details to follow...

Monday, November 5, 2012

11 Months

Baby J is a silly, silly girl.  She was cracking me up while I was trying to take her pictures this month.  So many funny faces (as you'll note from the picture overload on this post). 
One of Baby J's favorite things this month is to play peek-a-boo.  We've been playing for months, but now she initiates it.  If there's a blankie nearby, she'll pick it up, cover her head and then pull it down smiling.  It is absolutely adorable!  E and I will hide on the side of walls and peek out at her, which makes her giggle like crazy. 
She also seems to be getting ready to dress herself (maybe she's trying to tell me she's done with the matching outfits?  I hope not!).  Any time she finds clothes, she picks them up and tries to put them over her head.  She'll do the same thing with reusable bags.  Apparently they make great hats.
Baby J is standing all by herself now.  Every day you get more and more stable.  I'm sure it won't be long until she tries her first steps (and then my life will get even busier!). 
This one might be my favorite of the month, playing with her bison!  Such a sweetie!

This month Baby J has been eating more table food with us.  Some favorites are cheese, ham, bananas, peas and crackers.  We'll give her a little bit of whatever we're eating to try.  If she likes it, and she runs out she'll scream to let us know she needs more.  If she doesn't like it, she throws it right on the floor.  She's very opinionated.
Baby J is also starting to get pretty chatty.  No real words yet, but lots of ma ma ma ma and da da da da.  She clearly knows who we are, and lets us know she's looking for us. 
I'm taking this silly face as a sign she was ready to be done.  So hard to believe there's only 1 more round of pictures left! 

What to Expect Giveaway!!

Last week Little A grew up on me.  Somehow she reached 2 1/2.  How did that happen?  How in the world has it been over three years since I first found out I was pregnant with Baby Steinhoff.

I can still remember getting that first positive pregnancy test.  I had been feeling a little off, but I initially wrote that off to a busy month with lots of travel.  E and I had decided we were ready to add to our little family, but we had just started trying.  I was expecting it would be at least a few months before I would get pregnant.  But, there I was looking at a positive pregnancy test in mid-July.  I was in shock.  That couldn’t be possible.  I called E.  No fancy way to announce it, I just called and told him the good news. 
After talking to E, I figured the next step was probably to call the doctor.  While scheduling my first appointment, the nice lady on the phone informed me that I was probably about 6 weeks along.  6 weeks!  If I wasn’t freaked out already, I certainly was after that call.

At the time, I didn’t realize that the first 2 weeks don’t really count.  There were a lot of things I didn’t know about being pregnant.  So, after a quick trip to Target for a few more pregnancy tests to make sure I was really pregnant, I headed to the bookstore.  As I approached the pregnancy section at Barnes and Noble, I was a little (more) overwhelmed.  There were so many books!  When I saw the familiar What to Expect cover, I quickly grabbed a copy and headed to check out, praying that nobody I knew would see me.  
Reading through the first few chapters of What To Expect When You’re Expecting was so great to give me some general information about what was going on with my body, and my new baby, before I was ready to share the good news with family and friends.  Throughout my pregnancy, when I had any weird feelings, or questions about what was going on with me, I first turned to What to Expect.  I appreciated that there were short explanations for a variety of common pregnancy issues.  Yes, I could have searched for my answers online, but, if you’ve ever looked up health related questions online, you know that there is often way more information that you really need to know.  With What to Expect, I didn’t feel like there was information overload.  I found answers, but didn’t have to see accounts of every worst case experience like I may have found on the web.

My very favorite part of the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book though is the weekly guide to baby’s progress.  When I was pregnant with Little A, on Wednesday nights, E and I would get ready for bed, and then we would read about what was happening with our baby.  As soon as I got my positive pregnancy test with Baby J, I got the book back out, and we followed along with her progress too.  Through both pregnancies, it was such a fun time to read what was happening together.

Now that the girls are growing (far too quickly!) I’ve enjoyed having What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year to check in with from time to time.  Even after going through the first two years with Little A, my brain can’t seem to remember much about baby development, so I find myself turning to What to Expect as a reminder the common ages for reaching different milestones.
The people at What to Expect have offered a set of all 3 books to one lucky reader.  To enter, leave a comment below with your go to sources for information about pregnancy and little ones.  Entries will close Monday, November 12th.  I will announce a winner on Tuesday, November 13th.