Booster Seat

Sometimes I feel as though every time I blink we hit another milestone! The move to a booster seat was the most recent. Only one car so far as the carseat in mine has higher limits. But, when Dylan hit the 40" mark last month, he hit the height limit on the carseat in Trent's car so we went shopping for a replacement and moved up to a high back booster. He's loving his new "big boy" seat and, thankfully, not refusing the carseat still when he rides in my car.

Supplies: En Route kit by Erica Coombs; Grunge frames by Jen Allyson; You are All Boy papers by Sarah Sullivan; This Week elements by Karla Dudley; American Typewriter font.


Chalkboard Wine Labels

What happens when a friend is planning a party and also follows you on Pinterest? You get random emails asking you to recreate something you just pinned. ;) Which is how another pin that might have been a "someday" became a quick reality!

The party was for her husband's 40th birthday and she wanted to give out small wine bottles for favors. Where I came in - creating custom chalkboard labels to add to the bottles. The tutorial I had pinned was for creating chalkboard images in Photoshop and included free chalkboard backgrounds to download. Easy enough. The catch - the tutorial used hand lettering scanned in. I've never been the best at lettering. Possibly could do it if I'd just sketch more. Something I haven't made a priority in a long time. So, I quickly went in search of some fun, free fonts to try to create something similar.

I used a mix of two fonts one for the numbers and one for the letters (Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded). Played around with text sizes. Added a border. And set up a sheet for her to print onto labels.

With the addition of kraft tags she made, the bottles looked great and certainly were a fun favor.


Blurb Flash Sale

If you've been considering a photo book, a custom planner, a book of your blog, etc - now is a good time to mark it off the to do list. Blurb is having a flash sale today through Monday, February 25th which means you can save 25%.

Blurb Flash Sale| 2/22/13-2/25/13 | Discount Code: FLASH25OFF

I've been very happy with my Blurb custom planner. Now that I'm working again, it's filling up with events and appointments. I confess sometimes I'll simply thumb through during my work day as it's filled with family photos. Check out my review here. It was so easy to create too using Blurb's downloadable free software. Now I just need to make a decision on what my next book should be. So many options - blog, Instagram, notebook, family trip ...


girls night

Admittedly the title is semi-deceiving as our husbands were there too. But, given the rare occasion we get out of the house without kids, dressed up and get together - the night deserved a girls only photo and it's own page. :)

These are 4 of the 5 ladies that I am so blessed to have become friends with during a prenatal water aerobics class 4 years ago. Amazing how that one class led to our playgroup and friendships that I have relied on a lot as I find my way through this adventure called parenthood. Hopefully as the boys and girl (soon to be plural!) get older, we'll have more dressed up nights out!

Supplies: This is Now papers by Sarah Sullivan; Falling into October - Barely There alpha by October Dawn; Noted Doodle Stamps by Jen Allyson; Back to Basics tags by Sara Schmutz.


Paper Plate Dinosaur

Dinosaurs continue to be a big hit in this house. As part of celebrating Draw a Dinosaur Day at the end of January, we also made a paper plate dinosaur. Here's how ...

  • paper plate
  • markers, crayons or paint to color the plate
  • scissors
  • brads (glue or tape could also be used)

Start by coloring a paper plate. We used markers, but crayons or paint would also work.

Cut the plate into 3 pieces as shown below by cutting it in half and then cutting one of the pieces in half.

From the one of the quarter pieces, help your child cut a tail. Start at the smooth portion and cut a curve back toward the outer edge of the plate on the opposite side of the piece to create the tail. Don't toss the extra piece. Set it aside. Then take the other quarter piece and cut a neck/head shape. Again, save the remaining portion. Attach the tail and neck/head using brads (glue or tape could also be used).

Take the "extra" pieces left from cutting the tail and neck/head and cut 4 legs. Attach these to the body as well.

That's it - you've made a dinosaur! (How Dylan got his to stand on it's own is beyond me! Preschooler magic?)

A version of this post originally ran on January 24, 2013 for Arts & Crafts Thursday at Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill blog here.


The Toddler Room

Grateful I thought to take photos last week of Dylan's "toddler room" as it's already transitioning into a "big boy" room with the arrival of his new twin bed this past weekend.

His room was the first to be completed after our move. I wasn't sure how he would take the new room and new house so I set out to get his room set up as fully as possible before he even arrived. That meant little details like getting curtains hung happened immediately. A few details such as wall decor actually did wait a little which was nice as he gave some input. I'm sure he'll have a bit more to say as I rework it to coordinate with the new furniture layout. That will have to be another post! For now, here's how his room looked before we started the transition to "big boy."

From the hall looking in.

Bookcase & closet at back of room. (Details on art trio over bookcase here.)

Toddler bed and bookcase. His new twin bed is now along the wall where the bookcase was.

Looking back toward door at the dresser & reading corner. Also a rare capture of Cali in his room - she still isn't so sure about Dylan. ;)


[almost] Wordless Wednesday: Valentines

Glad I thought to grab these on clearance last year after the holiday so Dylan is ready for his class party tomorrow!

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday and Sarah Halstead


Heart Penguin

Dylan created this adorable penguin a couple weeks ago:

It started off as a bunch of hearts. I forgot to take photos of the pieces & process, but if you want to help your child make one it's very simple. Cut 5 hearts of various sizes out of colored construction paper - a large one in black, medium one in white, and three smaller ones in orange. Cut a bow of out another color if you would like. Ours was a blue bow tie, but you could also make it a hair bow for a girl penguin. :)

Let your child glue together the hearts, bow and two googly eyes. Dry and admire!

The idea to make the penguins came from this post at Rainbows within Reach blog.


Afternoon Treat

Earlier in the week, Dylan & I took advantage of the warm weather and stopped by Goodberry's for an afternoon treat.

Supplies: February Blueprint Challenge template; Love is in the Air mini kit by Sara Schmutz; Little Beachy papers by Sarah Sullivan; Layered Stitches by Vanessa Fenton; Vanity Fair - Persimmon elements by Jen Allyson.


Wordless Wednesday: Paper Heart Wreath

Inspired by this Pin

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday and Sarah Halstead


Super Bowl XLVII

Yesterday was our first at home, by ourselves Super Bowl Sunday in several years. It was perfectly awesome too. While I've loved our fun with friends the past few Super Bowls, it was nice to spend a quiet evening in the night before a work/school day when we all have to be up early.

The boys (bless them) went grocery shopping in the afternoon without me so I could finish some stuff around the house. They returned with food for our week's dinner menu plan and for our "party." We had homemade Chex Mix, Harris Teeter take & bake pizza, and fresh veggies with dip.

Dylan's Cars party plate he fixed himself.
Then we ate our first official meal at our new kitchen table. We've actually had it since November, but as it was a Craigslist find ($15!) and I'm still searching for chairs I like - it mainly gets used as a spot for Dylan and I to craft. Last night we pushed the crafts aside, grabbed chairs from the dining room and piled around it so we could watch the game and all eat together.

Our $15 Craigslist find in November - kid not included ;)
(and proud that the drill and 2 of those boxes are now put up!)
Dylan was in bed by halftime. It wasn't long after before I was on the couch in my pjs with a glass of wine watching the ads (really, I'm not that into the game itself) with Trent. Perfect end to our weekend.



It's been just over a month. In some ways it feels as though it's been longer. Other times as though it was just yesterday. I am in a better place than I was even a week ago, but certainly not healed. Not "over" this. And, truthfully, I'm not sure I ever expect to be.

There are many different views of everything and miscarriage is certainly one of those things. I told a friend recently that I was glad I at least had enough sense almost a year ago to tell her to cry, to mourn. Miscarriage was the loss of a baby, a loss of her dream and she had every right and need to grieve. How bizarre that I found myself on the opposite side of that and reminding myself the same thing. I haven't necessarily felt that I couldn't or shouldn't, it just seems (and probably so with a lot of grief) that the world view is you should be past, over, moved on quickly.

Perhaps there is nothing tangible beyond the photo I still have of the positive pregnancy test, but that makes this child no less real to me. I felt the changes. I saw the ultrasound. I had that amazing moment where the unreal of the "2 lines" turns into the real real of "I can see it." And moments later my world was rocked as the doctor apologized and told me there was no heartbeat. Before the exam he had promised me photos. After, while I saw them on his desk, I was so devastated I didn't dare look much less ask for one. Even now I'm not sure I would want one. Regardless, the baby was there, the photos are in my file and the existence noted. But to the world beyond, these things are easily brushed aside leaving a very lonely feeling.

Most days I am ok. What is hard are the days it hits me unexpectedly. Like the day last week on my drive to work when I found myself wiping tears from my face, trying to get control before I arrived at the office. Those moments I feel as though I'm thrown backwards emotionally.

In the midst of all of this, I am grateful.

I am grateful that I do have the support of many including friends who have been through miscarriage. One has been especially helpful in answering questions and sharing details of her experience. Letting me feel less alone and helping me to better anticipate what to expect - such as those moments of unexpected grief.

I am also grateful I noticed that something wasn't quite right the day of my appointment. That I brought up my concerns to my doctor. That he took me seriously and did the ultrasound. I am grateful I had forewarning so I was less panicked when reality set in.

I am grateful for the healthy, wonderful, beautiful 3 and a half year old son I have. He's certainly gotten a lot more hugs in the weeks since and was a source of comfort during the first doctor's appointment even while my heart broke when he asked what he saw on the ultrasound monitor.

I am grateful and overall very blessed. These things I know. And yet, my heart still hurts and I still grieve. Because it was a loss. My future, our family's future shifted. The positives here in no way fix things. That will take time. For now, I continue taking each day as it comes and try to embrace all the emotions that come with it. And I say a prayer of thanks for my family of 3. We are blessed.