Saturday, January 26, 2013

J's 5th Birthday: PIRATES!

J turned 5 this month (*sob*). We had a big old pirate party, and it was amazing. The kids all had a great time and, most importantly, J was absolutely thrilled with the decorations and things. So here we go!
Pirate hats - Acquired with eye patches, swords, and mustaches (as desired) by arriving guests.

The treasure chest: Goodie bags (a.k.a. treasure) was put in the chest, which was made of a divided cardboard box and duct tape. The tissue paper was taped over the bags, red "X" marks the spot! This worked great until J got impatient during the plunder and ripped off the whole sheet...oh well. The kids had to do a treasure hunt and find the treasure chest (with the help of First Mate Daddy). 
Treasure bags - sewn from black fabric and stamped using poster paint
The "Pirate Pirate" - This ship (complete with two cannons) served as plaything, pirate gear storage (swords, etc), and gift receptacle. The white thing is one of the clues from the treasure hunt!
The Jolly Roger (which may or may not still be hanging up, on J's request)

"To Prevent Scurvy"
Pirate Booty, Cuties oranges, Grog (root beer), cannonballs (chocolate cake balls), and there were Goldfish crackers that I hadn't put in that blue bowl yet when I took the picture.
The treasure map cake, made by yours truly

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Status of The Night Weaning Attempt

Dee is only waking up once per night (yay!!) but I still suck at putting her back in her bed. So we're making progress, but we're not there yet. My mom informed me that my brother used to be like this, and he is *still* a terrible sleeper at 24. So that's not particularly encouraging.

And here's a picture of Dee (with a cold) with pigtails *squeee!!* (Not squeeing for the cold, just the pigtails. That cold was hellish.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Random Babble

I'm having a little trouble getting into the swing of things this morning, so let me just brain vomit on you for a while. Anyone who needs a towel is welcome to grab one. ;-)

My baby is 5 now. 5. FIVE. I get that he isn't a baby anymore, but 5 is no longer a toddler, no longer even a preschooler. He's 5 and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall (and soccer, too, if he still wants to). He's smart and sweet and so polite (it kills me a little when he says "Yes, ma'am" to me). Don't get me wrong, he's certainly got his mean moments and the occasional attitude, but over all, J is just about the sweetest little boy I've ever met. He sings songs to his sister (mostly "Rock a bye baby" which I think is probably a sweet way to threaten to put your baby in a tree if they don't stop crying). He makes crafts and things all the time. The other day he just made a dinosaur sculpture out of cardboard, told me it was a new duckbill that lives underground (so didn't go extinct), and named it "Dinoduckduck Di" for it's species name. He writes songs about superheroes and P-funk. I love him so much I can't breathe when I think about it.

As J and Dee both get older, the urge desire need ache for another baby (specifically a boy) is getting stronger. I know I hate being pregnant. I am sick the first half of the pregnancy, then everything hurts and I can't sleep and my sciatica gets so bad I can hardly walk. The heartburn is horrible. There's the utter exhaustion. But then...there's the magic of seeing that little pink line. Of knowing (in between pukes) that there's a person you are building, cell by cell, inside you. Speculations of whether that person is a he or a she. The little wiggles. Having the baby all to yourself. And the delivery...if I could have another delivery like Dee's, I would do it in a heartbeat. C is not on board with this.

I'm a little torn. I have *always* wanted 4 kids. I have 3 younger siblings, and 4 older ones (WAY older, like 15-20 years older, so we're not very close). When we were first talking about family, we had decided that we'd have 2 biological kids (presumably boys, given how C's family goes) and adopt 2 kids (girls). Once we entered the real adult world and realized that adoption is super expensive ($17-$30k, from the estimates I've seen) we have sort of pared down to adopt only one, just for financial reasons. I just can't deal with the heartbreak of the foster-to-adopt system, and I really want a baby so I can breastfeed it. But this yearning inside for 1 more biological kid is really tough. I would love to have a biological kid in a few years, and then adopt one so they have age-mates (within a couple years) like J and Dee, who are 3 years apart.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guest Post: DIY Cozy Coupe into a Minnie Coupe

I want to thank my friend Brea Peters for this fantastic tutorial! She made this awesome Minnie Coupe for her sweet daughter, who happens to be the same age as Dee. Brea can be found on Etsy (where she makes some seriously awesome tees and bows) with her shop SASSIEnSWEETboutique. Check it out!

DIY: Cozy Coupe into a Minnie Coupe

1. Disassemble the car (take off the roof, pull out the steering wheel.
2. Sand everything down. You need to do this so the paint sticks better.
3. Tape off the wheels (I used plastic sacks and taped them).  
4. Spray the body pink and the top black ( I used Krylon Spray paint).
5. When the pink is dry paint the polka dots ( I used a bowl for the "stencil" and white latex paint). 
6. Put it all back together.
7. This step my DH did. He cut two circles with flat bottoms out of wood, painted them black and attached them with screws from underneath the roof (they are super secure and won't come off).
8. Attach a bow :). I made my bow from pieces of hot pink and white polka dot fabric that comes in pre-cut pieces ( at Hobby Lobby in the same aisle as the bandanas and pre-cut felt pieces) I literally just made it into a bow and hot glued it to the wood :).
9. I personalized it a bit by adding DD's name to the license plate area and then painted Minnie Coupe on the front. 
10. Stand back and say "damn I'm good!!" :)

Thanks for the inquiries about the ear size, I'm waiting to hear back from Brea about it!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Chores for the Kiddos

J (now that he's 5) has requested chores to do so he can earn an allowance. After searching a bit, I found this great chart that breaks down chores by age! (from The Happy Housewife). Since I want to start simply, I think I will make a chart for both kids, probably with magnets and a dead cookie sheet (which I can cover with fabric). Dee is enthusiastic about cleaning up, but she doesn't really put things "way" where they go always. We've found some funny things in our tupperware cabinet as a result of her help, anyway!

(Click the photo for the source site)

I think to start, we'll have J do the following:
1. Vacuum entryway.
2. Mop the entryway.
3. Feed the dogs and let them out of their kennels after they're done eating.
4. 5 minute clean up of the living room (toys, clothes, books)
5. Make his bed.
6. Help put his clothes away.

Dee's chores:
1. Put stuffed animals away.
2. Put books away.
3. Wipe down baseboards. (Maybe. We'll see how she does with this one.)
4. Help put her clothes away.

J will be earning money, but I don't think Dee needs to do that yet. Maybe when she turns 5? Or understands? I think C and I had agreed on $1 a week for J, as long as he does everything on his list. A magnetic chart will definitely make it easier.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Night-Weaning Update

We had that one lovely night. Then we had the canines. (cue horror movie music)

The four worst teeth.

One. After. Another. For 2 months.

Finally, they are all through. Yay!

I've been sort of trying to do this approach, where basically you just gently stop letting baby nurse if she doesn't sleep between nursings at night, and don't nurse baby to sleep between, say, 11 and 6. This is for the first 3 nights. We've sort of been stalled here for the last few weeks. *yawn*


Dee has spent many more nights in her own bed, but I still have a hideous time putting her back in her own bed if she wakes up at like 3 or 4. I'd rather go back in my bed and sleep, even if it means bringing her with me.

(Also, I'm going to start calling my baby girl Dee, because it's closer to what her name is, and she does sometimes get called this (when she was born, I had thought we'd call her a nickname that started with L, but that didn't really stick). I may start calling J "Jay" here, but I don't know. So for now, I will be going back and changing references to "L" to say "Dee." Maybe. I'll work on it. So please don't be confused!)