New Beginnings

There was more to our trip to Great Wolf Lodge the other week than celebrating my birthday. We were also celebrating my new job and Dylan starting "school." Initially I'll be working 3 days a week with Dylan going to daycare those days.

On Monday I took him for a 3 hour visit to acclimate him to the classroom, teachers and other students. He had joined right in when we were touring daycares and did not want to leave so I felt pretty confident about our decision.

He was a bit clingy initially. After a few minutes, I encouraged him to try a toy he had enjoyed during our tour. Soon he was engrossed and a few of the other kids had joined him. I left and he was on his own until lunchtime. The teachers told me he did great! Participating and following directions. He was even eating noodles *with* sauce (unless it's mac 'n cheese he usually eats them plain) when I arrived to pick him up.

Today we begin his first full day at school and my first full day at my new job. Saturday I'll end my part time job in retail. I'm excited to still have time with Dylan during the week and have my nights & weekends free with both him & Trent now. Here's to new beginnings!


Fall Leaf Fun

A few photos I took of Dylan last week playing in the leaves in our backyard.

I wanted a photo or two of him in his Christmas sweater and decided to let him play. From my journaling: "The result was a lot of silliness, a lot of laughter, a lot of fun action photos and one really good smile shot." So much fun.

Supplies: The Last Warm Day mini kit by Agnes Biro; Framestatic by Juliana Kneipp; A Kind Word Vol. 3 by Deena Rutter; The Fiona kit by Rebecca Wagler; Another Typewriter font.


Vote 2012 - the layout

Each opportunity to vote, we take Dylan along with us to help expose him to this great privilege we have. Last month he & I went to an early voting site while Trent was at work. I snapped a quick photo of the two of us afterward using my iPhone.

Supplies: Blossom, All American, and In Bloom kits by Karen Funk; Digi Essentials 4 by Karla Dudley; Recollect kit by Sara Schmutz; Cut It Out masks by Robyn Meierotto; Autumnal Bits + Pieces elements by Erica Coombs; Century Gothic & Another Typewriter fonts. Scraplift of 'Relax' by Aria Andrus.


Birthday Weekend

I had one request for my birthday this year - a trip to Charlotte to get a couple things for our new home from Ikea. Not only did Trent agree, but we had a few last minute changes to our plans that led to a bit of extra fun. We went to Great Wolf Lodge first to celebrate. I confess, I was probably as excited as Dylan especially once I realized that this was the first time I've ever had a birthday pool party.

Trent booked a KidKamp suite which featured a "tent room" complete with a bunk bed for Dylan. For a first hotel stay, we set the bar high for him. He'll now think every hotel should have this:

Nervous that he'd try to sleep on the top bunk, we told him he had to be 5 to go up there. Amazingly, he believed us after trying to climb up and getting nervous about being so high. The next day at Ikea he even told Trent's aunt & uncle that you have to be 5 to get on the top bunk. ;)

Both Friday night and Saturday morning we played hard at the indoor waterpark in the resort. On Friday, Trent's cousin Laura joined us and helped keep an eye on Dylan so we could enjoy the big slides too.

I missed a photo of the one time Dylan tried a slide in the kids' area. There were a variety of water spraying/dumping mechanisms on the structure he had to climb to get to the slides and they made him nervous. Hopefully he'll be more willing when we join friends at the Williamsburg location in March.

After all our fun at Great Wolf, we spent 4 hours at Ikea with Laura & her parents (thanks for helping us entertain Dylan & load the car!) and then stopped in Greensboro on our way home for dinner with my dad and his wife. We returned late Saturday night, exhausted but full of good memories.


Thankful Turkey

I remembered making version(s?) of toilet tube turkeys as a child and decided to try it with Dylan a couple weeks ago. Rather than just making the turkey, we talked about a few things we were thankful for and incorporated them into the design. A simple way to address this season of Thanksgiving with my 3 year old and remind us daily as we see it on our mantle just how blessed we are.

  • toilet paper tube
  • construction paper
  • crayon or pencil or pen
  • scissors
  • glue (we used a glue stick and glue dots)
  • googly eyes (optional)
  • feathers (optional - could use instead of paper)
  • markers (optional)

To start our project, I drew feather shapes onto 4 pieces of construction paper. We talked about things we were thankful for and I wrote one on each feather. (Note here's where I made a small error - didn't plan ahead enough so two of our thankful things are upside down! Oops! My advice, write some on the far left & some on far right to leave enough space to glue and still see words.)

I held the paper while Dylan practiced his cutting skills with his new scissors - he loves any excuse to use them!

Next he glued each of the feathers to one side of the tube.

I helped him add glue dots to the back of the googly eyes. The dots make it so much easier for him to stick the eyes and they stay in place immediately - no waiting on glue to dry.

Then he glued on the beak and wattle I had cut out for him.

Here's the completed turkey:

And, yes, he thinks the wattle is the mouth. :)

A version of this post originally ran on November 1, 2012 for Arts & Crafts Thursday at Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill blog here.


Wordless Wednesday: fall


theatre & lunch

Last month our playgroup spent the morning in downtown Durham getting a little culture. We visited the Carolina Theatre to see Skippyjon Jones and had lunch at a local spot, Dame's Chicken & Waffles (the gingerbread waffles? One word - amazing).

Supplies: Give Thanks papers by Sara Schmutz; Painted Textures by Robyn Meierotto; Autumnal Bits & Pieces by Erica Coombs; Album Cards by Karla Dudley; Just the Way You Are and Another Typewriter fonts.


Trick or Treat - the layout

Last year Dylan trick or treated with one of his playgroup friends. This year we drove over to our old neighborhood to meet up with one of his buddies there so they could go together. After one house, he said he was done. Thankfully, we were able to convince him to continue on with his friend and by the 2nd house he was hooked. He even helped hand out candy with his friend's father after we were done!

Supplies: DHD November Blueprint template by Jen Papadimitriou; Have a Hoot papers by Celeste Knight; Digi Essentials 2 by Karla Dudley; DHD Daydream Believer collaboration kit; Halloween Free by Jen Allyson; Trick or Treat & Country Fair kits by Sara Schmutz; Kooky Spooky kit by Miss Mint.


Half Bath Hardware Revamp

We've been knee deep in home improvement projects from the moment we closed on our new house. Day 1 started with all sorts of fun from changing door hardware to toilet repair (sorry no pictures of that excitement! Seriously crazy when the bolts holding the tank to the bowl literally fall out with a touch due to rust. Oy.). Last week I tacked a little project that had been an eyesore to me from the beginning, but small enough it wasn't a high priority either - the two toned brass & chrome hardware in our half bath.

I removed the hardware and took it outside where I wiped it down, gave it a light sanding and then painted it using Rust-oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I've spotted users all over the internet and was curious to see if it was as good as everyone said. After the first coat, I was a bit skeptical. Still wet, it was very shinny with lots of little flecks - almost like glitter.

Two more coats later (all because I kept missing spots) and allowing the full 24 hour dry period, I was excited. The hardware looked fantastic and brand new.

I was happy with the style of the hardware from the beginning, but now I love the color too. It's really warmed up the small room. And at $7.50 for the can of paint, it was far cheaper than replacing both pieces plus I still have some paint left for another project.

Next on the list for the half bath - new wall paint (fine with the current color but the flat finish is showing everything) and a new mirror (it has quite a bit of chipping along back edges). But for the moment I'm going to relax and enjoy that this part is checked off my to-do list.


NC State Fair 2012

Our visit to the Fair last month summed up in 16 photos ...

Supplies: Neutral Cardstocks by Audrey Neal; Toolbox Mist v1 by Gennifer Bursett; Protectors Set 2 by Karla Dudley; Another Typewriter & Century Gothic fonts.


Little Tikes Neighborhood Market

Over the summer, Little Tikes hosted a giveaway to raise awareness for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. To enter, a photo needed to be shared on Twitter and include the hashtag #LittleTikesLovesLemonade. 5 winners received a free Neighborhood Market playset.

I shared a photo of Dylan driving his Cozy Coupe down our sidewalk. In early July I was contacted by Little Tikes and notified that we were one of the lucky winners!

All of this happened right as we were preparing to sell our house and move. I knew if Dylan saw this new toy, he'd want to open it immediately. Given that anything already boxed would be easier to move, I opted to ship it to my in-laws house and have them store it until we were in our new home.

The day we picked up the toy, I snuck it into our car while Dylan was busy playing with his grandmother. He fell asleep on the ride home. I took advantage of the opportunity to get it into the house without him seeing. A few minutes later, he walked in, saw the box and just stopped & stared. He finally walked over to the box and said, "Wow! Cool." This is before we had even opened it!

All 3 of us worked on putting it together (ok, so Dylan focused more on the toy food & cash register while Trent & I did the "construction" part). And all 3 of us have been playing with it since. Our days are now filled with, "Dada, you want to buy?" "Mama, you want to buy?" Dylan loves selling us food from his market. He even had me write "Dylan's Market" on the sign just like the box.

The entire market is so cute - It has a handle on one end and wheels on the opposite to easily move it to different locations. The food area has clear sliding doors on the front and 2 shelves with 3 bins each to hold the food (it comes with fruit, ice cream cones & cupcakes). Under the sign is an awning to pull down when closed or roll up when open. To complete the fun, the market includes a cash register, 4 plastic dollars and a credit card.

Note: The Neighborhood Market was received free to me as a prize in a giveaway sponsored by Little Tikes. A review or otherwise was not required as part of my win. The opinions expressed within the review are my own.