Thursday, September 27, 2012

Instax Mini: A fun little camera

I referenced photos from Abel's Instax Mini on a recent post and my good friend, Tech Savvy Mama, commented that she'd never heard of it. Thanks for inspiring this post, Leticia!

One of my favorite blogs is Oh Happy Day by Jordan Ferney. She has mentioned the Instax Mini camera a few times with nice reviews so when I was brainstorming a gift for impossible-to-buy-for Abel last Christmas, the FujiFilm Instax Mini 25 jumped into my head. After more than 12 years together, I can read him pretty well (sometimes!) and I think he was rather uncertain about the gift when he first opened it. However, it quickly became a favorite toy!

He debuted the camera at a low-key New Year's Eve neighborhood party (along with photo props also inspired by Jordan!!) and the photo props, camera, and especially the adorable instant photos MADE the party. Seriously, once we broke them out, everyone had a blast and even strangers were asking to pose for photos!

Certainly an Instax Mini couldn't be your only camera. The prints are small -- about the size of a credit card, including the border, making the actual photo even smaller. And the cost averages out to about $0.60 per print (like Jordan, we have also found the best deal ordering the film on eBay via Asia!).

But it's definitely a really fun camera to break out on special occasions -- or even to make any occasion special!

This is not a sponsored post and does not contain sponsored links. I purchased our camera and film via my own dimes. In fact, I don't make a cent off of this blog!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pro Parent Tip: Toothbrushes

Here's another in my irregular series of parenting tips (see past tip here)....

Getting up and down stairs with children can take F O R E V E R. In our world, the kids eat breakfast then brush their teeth and often brushing teeth is the last task before getting out the door in the morning. We don't have a bathroom on our first floor, so every day, brushing teeth required an extra trek up and down the stairs. UGH!

Until...I started keeping an extra toothbrush for each boy and an extra tube of toothpaste in the kitchen! Now they can brush their teeth at the kitchen sink (which, surprisingly, seems to still give them a thrill after about the 100th time!). They enjoy it and we shave precious minutes off of a hectic morning.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012

DIY Update

Last May I wrote about the DIY project in our dining room

Geesh, what a terrible picture! Sorry!
Since then, this frame has become one of my favorite things in the house. And, it gets a ton of compliments. I changed out the paperclips for teeny tiny clothespins and really enjoy updating the items on display.

I'm no good at keeping up with regular segments on this blog, but I thought it would be fun to photograph the frame every now and then to see how it changes.

Here's what it looks like today:

Top L to R:
An easy tissue paper flower
Wedding invitation
Beautiful handmade baby card that I recently re-discovered.
Wedding invitation
Back of an old Moo business card

Middle L to R:
Adorable photo of the boys from the Instax Mini I got Abel for Christmas (such a fun camera to have, BTW)
Photo booth photos of Abel and me from a wedding

Bottom L to R:
Original art by Nathaniel
Instax photo of Abel and me on NYE
Family photo from an incredible vista in Cameron County, PA -- we could see four different mountain ranges!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big Boy Bed Blues

Our little monkey Nathaniel had been climbing out of his crib for a few months. He didn't do it very often, and we never actually witnessed the act itself, but the evidence was clear! Luckily he really is a monkey (remember some of his early days of climbing?!) and can scale things with great ease and dexterity, so we weren't really worried about him getting hurt.

During our August vacation to the Pennsylvania mountains, Nathaniel slept on the bottom bunk of bunk beds with a bed rail and when we got home, we brought Lucas's old toddler bed down from the attic and set it up.

He was thrilled!

Why yes, that is ink on his right cheek from a little self-adornment session!

I expected some transition issues -- after all, now he could get out of bed without any effort at all. But, I was not expecting weeks of night time challenges. Finally, last week, in pure exasperation, I threatened to get out his crib again.

He agreed with excitement!

Total backfire! The crib had already been sent down to my sister in South Carolina!!!

So, I got out the pack 'n play, thinking he'd never want to sleep in that, especially since he's about 1/4 of a Nathaniel too long for it. Silly me, he climbed right in, happy as a clam.

So now he has the pack 'n play and his big boy bed tightly squeezed into his tiny room and he is mostly choosing to sleep in the pack 'n play. His occupational therapist suggested that maybe he likes/wants/needs the confined space the crib and pack 'n play provide. So, we attached the bed rail to the side of his toddler bed and that seems to have helped.

Our little guy is only getting bigger, though, so we're not sure what we'll do next.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 3, 2012

So polite!

Little buddy Nathaniel is one of the most polite 2.5 year olds ever, IMHO. He is fantastic with please (peeeeeese!) and thank you (tan too! or more often No! tan too!) and even excuses himself after burps (me me!) and from the dinner table (quse me pees!).

One thing that has been cracking me up lately is the encouraging tone he uses when he wants us to do something for him. He'll say, "Mama you can do it!" when he wants me to do something. I like to think his encouraging tone is modeled after the encouraging tone I use with him when I want him to try to do something on his own, "You can do it, Nathaniel!"

And while we are trying to help Nathaniel be more independent, what Mama can resist such a gentle and encouraging, "Mama you can do it!" and not respond by helping a buddy out?

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!