Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Treat Making

Along with Christmas comes baking. I have been doing way too much of it. Seriously. It makes me a little sick to look at all of the treats sitting on our kitchen counter.
I had Hailey help me with some of my baking. We made Holiday Pretzel Treats. Hailey loved it. She had so much fun unwrapping all of the candy kisses. She even did a great job sorting the wrapper from the chocolate. I’m not gonna lie, I was very pleasantly surprised with how well Hailey did with making these treats. She didn’t try to eat a single kiss. And she did a great job putting kisses on the pretzels. I put the kisses on the pretzels all in order in a line, but Hailey chose to be random. Even stretching to the very farthest pretzel from her. Cracked me up.
Christmas 2011 treats
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After the pretzels came out of the oven, with the chocolate soft, I let Hailey try to smash an M&M into the chocolate. Can you tell which one she did? After that I decided that wasn’t the best idea. It wasn’t long before I heard Hailey complaining about her eye.
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Hailey had gotten chocolate on her hand, and then rubbed her eye. She also couldn’t wait the 4-6 minutes for the chocolate to soften and began eating M&Ms. Actually, sucking on them in her hand and making a mess. So, things went pretty smoothly until it was time to bake. Which was still great. This was definitely the least stressful and messy recipe we’ve made together. I’d totally do it again.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kids | ROYGBP: The Colors of the Rainbow


Isn’t that how you spell rainbow? ROYGBP totally equals rainbow. Or it should. Because that’s what I taught Hailey.

Ok, that’s not really what I taught her, but it kind of looks like it.

I quickly made some activity pages (download here) for Hailey with outlined letters on them. One for each letter of the rainbow. ROYGBP. Get it? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple

Ah, yes. ROYGBP does equal rainbow!

Anyway, we ripped up our construction paper into little bits of paper, rubbed glue all over our letter and pressed on our pieces of paper.

I’ve seen this activity done in different ways all over the internet. Thank you Pinterest. I’ve seen moms using different small things that can be glued onto paper, glitter for the letter G, sprinkles for the letter S. I don’t have any fun things like that immediately on hand, but I do have an abundance of construction paper.

I thought this would be a fun activity to teach her about the colors of the rainbow and some letters. Hailey already recognizes all of the letters, so we focused on what each of these letters say. We did this activity way back in October. And she still knows what sounds the letters r, o, y, g, b, and p say.

Using a glue stick was also a fun way to help her get a feel of how to write the letters. With my help, she traced the letters while applying glue to the page.

Hailey wasn’t super interested in decorating her letters. I did most of it, and tried to encourage her to help. Hailey was focused on coloring with the glue stick. She totally missed the point of the glue. In hindsight, I wish I had bought the glue sticks with the colored glue that dries clear. That way she could see where the glue is on the page and then maybe it’d be easier for her to figure it out. 

I saved up all of the ripped paper that we didn’t use, thinking I’d use it for something else sometime. The other day I came up with another way to use that paper.

I took my small muffin tin with 6 spots and placed one piece of paper, each a different color, in each spot. 

I then spread out other ripped up bits of paper and had Hailey sort the colors. She did surprising well with this. She even got a little silly and put the pieces in the wrong places on purpose. It didn’t keep her attention super long, but it’s an easy activity for us to pull out for a few minutes every few days.

I’m thinking about doing this with other objects. Letters, numbers, shapes, pictures… you name it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dragon! Beware!

Call me crazy, I just spent one entire week making Hailey’s Halloween costume. Worth it? So totally! I love how it turned out.

Dragon Costume 2011
I used McCall’s pattern MP440. It was one of those patterns that was on display near the cutting counter at JoAnn’s. And I got sucked in. I was planning on making Hailey a dinosaur costume, but then I saw this pattern for a dragon and loved it.

Let me tell you what, it was no easy pattern. First off, I haven’t actually sewn with a real pattern very often, and it’s been a while. I prefer using tutorials online that have full color pictures (not illustrations) and detailed instructions. So just reading the pattern itself was a challenge.

I definitely was confused more than once how something went together or worked. Especially the feet. Wow, I was lost. Thank goodness for Kyle and his mind. He didn’t need the pattern to figure out what was supposed to happen. That’s why he does what he does.

I learned a few things with this project: a better and easier way to sew on a zipper, how to make a dart, and all of those markings on the pattern pieces really are important… it may look like jibberish when you mark it, but it totally makes sense once you start sewing. Too bad I didn’t mark all of them…

I made a couple changes/additions to Hailey’s costume from what the pattern said. I realized that Hailey was totally going to look like a boy. A dragon isn’t a typical girl costume. So, I made a quick bow and stitched it to the top. The gloves in the pattern were supposed to be stuffed, like her feet are. But, how was she supposed to be able to hold anything? So, I traced Hailey’s hand and made my own three fingered dragon hands-with no stuffing.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shapes and Colors

Since we moved away from family, and it’s just me and Hailey during the day again, I’ve been looking for activities for the two of us to do. You can only read the same books so many times a day before you go crazy. One night after looking all over the internet for ideas of things Hailey and I could do together I came up with this idea.

Hailey's Shapes

I made a page of shapes on the computer and printed it out. I cut out the shapes on that page, and then used those shapes as templates to cut out more shapes from different colors of construction paper. Hailey and I then taped the shapes to the wall in her room. She went crazy. She loved it! Just putting the shapes on the wall was super exciting and fun to her. At first she didn’t get how to get the shapes to stick to the wall. But she has it figured out now.

We’ve done a few activities with these shapes. We scatter them all over the wall, and then I ask her to find all of the [blank] shapes. She goes back and forth looking for all of those shapes. Her attention span only lasts through one finding all of one shape, or not even that long. That’s ok. I’ve also asked her to find certain colors and she will pull those off of the wall. Today we sorted shapes. I put up labeled shapes and then she pulled a shape off the wall and we put it underneath the corresponding shape.

We do a little bit here and there. I leave it up on the wall all day and we come back to it occasionally.

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I also had her color a page with the shapes and colors. The goal was to have her color each shape the appropriate color (color the blue rectangle blue…). I also wanted her to put the appropriate colored sticker in each shape as well. She had fun doing this. I definitely had to give her some direction, but I’m sure with practice she’ll figure it out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Pleat Bag

A few weeks ago I bought fabric to make myself a new bag. I’m not going to call it a diaper bag, even though I house diapers in it, and I’m not going to call it a purse, because I feel like it’s just too big for that. It’s an in between bag, because that’s what stage we’re in right now. We’re in between baby and… well, not a baby.

So anyway, I bought fabric (from the Central Park collection by Kate Spain, for Moda Fabrics) but didn’t have a pattern. I originally saw a pattern online I liked, but after buying the fabric decided it wasn’t what I wanted. I hunted and searched all over the internet, but couldn’t find the right pattern. The biggest part of the problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted. Then last weekend Kyle and I took a quick trip to Portland and while there I spotted a lady who had a bag I loved. And decided I wanted. But, I had no pattern. Only the very detailed mental images I tried so hard to take of her bag.

This bag is my own design, and actually is not the same bag I saw in Portland. And that’s ok, because I’m super happy with it. And super proud of myself to make my own bag totally from scratch, beginning in my head.

I had no idea what I was doing. I was a bit nervous about cutting up my super cute and expensive fabric, but I figured that if it didn’t turn out I’d learn from it, use the fabric for something else, and I would use different fabric to make another bag. Luckily for me it turned out pretty good on the first try.

Sweet Pleat Bag 06

I’m calling it the Sweet Pleat Bag. If I make anymore that name may change. But that’s what it is for now. It has pleats on the front and pleats on the back. Even pleats on the inside, but if I were to make it again I don’t think I would pleat the lining. The back has a nice big pocket on the outside, the inside has an elastic to hold Hailey’s sippy cup in place (I very much dislike having a wet bag because her cup fell over and leaked), small pockets to store things, and even a ring to clip my keys to so I know right where they are when I need them. 

Sweet Pleat Bag

Yay for my new bag! And it only took me 4 of Hailey’s naps to get it done. Whew! A lot of work, but so worth it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Basket

I made Hailey a small simple Easter basket. I think it turned out pretty good! I didn’t want to buy her an expensive ugly basket, because I didn’t want to pay for it or keep it. But this basket I like and want to keep. I plan on using it to store some of Hailey’s things post Easter.

I used a tutorial [found here] to make the basket. I added the handle. It was pretty easy to make, and of course so fun.

Now we can send Hailey on an Easter egg hunt!

Happy [early] Easter!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Reason to Be Excited about Grocery Shopping

Do you coupon? I’ve been trying to use coupons off and on for the past 6 months. And holy cow is it a lot of work. I have been able to find some pretty decent deals, which has been exciting. I have only used what coupons I can find online. We don’t have a newspaper subscription, but I fully intend on buying one once we settle down permanently for a little while. I also find it difficult to try to figure out who has the best deals on what, and I don’t like running around to 4 different stores to get the biggest amount of savings. Sometimes I feel like it’s such a hassle! I usually just check out Target’s coupons for the week, see what other coupons are available online, print out the ones I will use, and make my weekly trip to Target and WinCo.

So, anyway… I’ve been trying to save our family some money, especially since we aren’t making any to begin with. I’m sure with time I’ll learn to realize what a good deal looks like and I’ll start saving even more money.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I made this pretty sweet grocery list/coupon organizer. From this tutorial.

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And I’m super excited about it.

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Please ignore my ugly sewing on the bottom. I was having some issues…

See look, it has pockets for my coupons, a zippered pouch for a calculator, cash, or whatever else, a spot for my pen, and I can stick my grocery list right inside it too. Everything I need to grocery shop is all in one place!

What has my life come to? I get excited over organizing my coupons and grocery list. I think I need to get out more…

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our Sunday Battle Plan

As of recently I come home from church each Sunday and I admit it, I wonder why I even go in the first place. Don’t worry, no one call my bishop or relief society president. I’m not going inactive. I’m just suffering from Sundays at church with a pre-nursery toddler.

Every Sunday we spend 3 hours in a wrestling match with Hailey. Or at least it feels that way. Yes, I am exaggerating a little bit… but in my defense, Kyle and I come home after church exhausted and crash as soon as we get the chance. I am grateful that we only have one Hailey. A couple in our ward has twin boys just days older than Hailey. They hang out in the foyer all during sacrament meeting, they don’t even try to sit in the chapel. And I don’t blame them.

Toddlers are so busy! Seriously. I feel bad for Hailey having to hang out with us during church. That’s so boring, for her! My mission these past few weeks has been finding ways to make our church going experience a better one, for all of us.

A few weeks ago I ran across a tutorial online to make this super cute bag.

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I love it. There are spots for Hailey’s crayons on the front, and inside I keep a notebook that I made, just for Hailey.   

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She can color in it and load it up with all the stickers her little heart desires.

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And then today I finished making these fun ABC cards.

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They are double sided and have pictures and words that correspond with each letter. I printed them out and then had them hard laminated so they’re super durable and can hold up to Hailey’s teeth (She’s been biting everything recently! Including me…) I had a hole drilled in the top corner and bound them together with a metal ring so Hailey can flip through them.

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This idea wasn’t totally my own. One Sunday we were sharing a bench with another family in our ward. The woman sitting next to us asked if she could hold Hailey. I of course said yes, I’ll take any opportunity for a small break. Of course Hailey was so good for her. I couldn’t believe it. She must have super mom powers that I have yet to gain (and really, really want.) She also had some small laminated cards hooked together on a ring that she was flipping through and looking at with Hailey. Hailey loved it. And I thought, why haven’t I ever thought of that before!? Oh yeah… those super mom powers… Anyway, after that Sunday I was determined to make my own flip cards for Hailey. And I finally finished them. Tomorrow is the big day that we get to test them out. Wish us luck!

Oh yeah… interested in making your own church ABC cards? Want to know what words I used for each letter?

A- armor of God

B- blessing

C- church

D- Dad

E- eternity

F- family

G- grandparents

H- Holy Ghost

I- inspiration

J- Jesus Christ

K- kindness

L- liahona

M- Mom

N- nature

O- obey

P- prophet

Q- quiet

R- resurrection

S- sacrament

T- temple

U- unselfish

V- vision

W- word of wisdom

X- exaltation

Y- you

Z- zion

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Last week I posted about my winter woes. And about my lack of ways to entertain Hailey without driving myself crazy.

Here’s a classic activity we did this week.

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Play-doh! The homemade kind. For if (when) it gets eaten.

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Want to play too?

You will need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons food coloring
1 tablespoon oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a sauce pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, stirring until a ball forms. Remove from the pan and knead for 2-3 minutes. Store in an air tight container or plastic bags.

And voila! Play-doh.

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Don’t limit yourself to just the play-doh. The container is fun to play with too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Toddler Backpack and a Husband Who Sews

Earlier this week I told Kyle that I wanted to make a bag for Hailey to take to the library to put her books in. I get tired of stuffing them in my purse.

Here's the result:




I think it's pretty awesome.

Oh, and did I mention that Kyle made it, not me?

Oh yeah, and he made it without a pattern? Seriously. Kyle amazes me, all the time, with the things he comes up with.

I'm looking forward to our library trip this week. Hailey is going in style.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Painting with Pudding

Lately I have been feeling a little blah. It's cold, snowy and dark outside. Hailey and I are cooped up inside most days, with a lack of variability in our day to day activities. And I'm suffering from a lack of motivation to get things done.

At least this is what it feels like to me.

We do some fun things, like going grocery shopping (insert here: a very unenthusiastic "yah".) Fridays are good days, well, mornings. That is our library day... and recently we've been trying to drag it out as long as we can, like by going to three story times in a row. Anyway... there aren't a lot of different things that I have come up with to do with Hailey.

I feel like Hailey is in a little bit of a limbo stage. She's starting to move out of baby-ness and becoming more toddler-like. She no longer sleeps all day, or is immobile. She's constantly on-the-go, with one or two naps a day. She understands a lot of what I say, and is super curious about everything around her- she's constantly getting into something. There's a whole lot more that we can do together now, than we could do before. We read books and she interacts with me and enthusiastically lets me know that there is a banana on the current page. She tells me when she is hungry or wants a drink. She points out that her doll is a baby, and roars when she sees her dinosaur. This kid is now super interactive. Great! But she doesn't understand coloring, she's not old enough to help me point out shapes and letters, her interest in cooking is solely eating, not in helping with the food preparation... There are so many fun things I want to do with Hailey, but she's just not there yet.

Don't get me wrong. I love the stage she's in. I love how much fun I have chasing her around the house, speed reading books with her (I say this because actual reading doesn't happen, turning pages does), and pretending to eat her food that she so generously offers me.

But sometimes, err... a lot of the time, I wish there was more we could do together. So, recently I've been searching for fun and crafty things I can do with Hailey. And there's not really a whole lot, besides what we already do.

Except for painting with pudding. Which we tried out this afternoon.

Wait. Wasn't it painting with pudding? Painting, eating... what's the difference? There isn't any with Hailey. Really, should I be so surprised? No. I don't think so.

A mess was made. 

A really BIG mess.

 A bath was required. 
Followed by lots and lots of clean up in the kitchen. Was it worth it? Most definitely. Will we do it again? You betcha.

Do I wish Hailey was older? Sometimes- for selfish, I'm sick of being bored, reasons. Do I really want her to be older? No way! Not when we can have this much fun, making this big of a mess, with chocolate- and get away with it.

I'll keep my Hailey as she is, thank you very much. Now winter, that's another story.

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