Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Class Valentines

I've long wanted to get in on the melted crayon mold fun that's all over Pinterest and the blogosphere and we've finally done it for Valentine's Day!

Lucas has been saving up broken crayons all school year (and perhaps breaking a few on purpose--that silly kid!) and I purchased a silicone heart pan. The hardest part was peeling all the little papers and after that it was a blast to arrange the crayons in the hearts, bake and admire the creations!

Then I discovered this awesome free printable from The Long Thread. They say "Have a colorful Valentine's Day" at the bottom! I'm the queen of enjoying all the wonderful free printables that designers share on their blogs. My trick is to upload them to Staples.com and have them printed in color on card stock. It's cheap and so easy--plus the quality is always great.

Over the past few days, Lucas has been writing his classmates names and his name, then we taped the card to the front of little treat bags, dropped in a crayon heart, tied them up and viola! Fun Valentine's for his class!

I'm pretty sure we're all looking forward to having enough crayon nubs to make another batch!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nathaniel Turned 3!

Way-too-quickly after Christmas -- as in, we barely got our Christmas decorations down in time for his party! -- Nathaniel turned 3!

This boy is the light of our lives! I surmise that because he barely uttered a sound until about 9 months ago, he spent the first 2+ years of his life developing the most expressive facial and body movements ever seen in such a young child. When he's happy, he doesn't just smile, his entire head lights up and his back straightens and he seems to literally jump with excitement! When he's sad or moping, he doesn't just get a down-turned face, he hangs his head and droops his shoulders and does this crazy, lumbering walk while his arms droop and swing.

And nearly every day over the past nine months, Nathaniel has amazed and delighted us with his new-found words, expressions and songs. He is amazing! (Oh, and also a genius, of course. I mean, really a genius!!)

We had small celebrations with our little family for Naffy's first and second birthdays and for his third -- the first birthday he really, truly "got" -- we had a really wonderful party.

Nathaniel's birthday was on a Friday and our party was going to be that Saturday. But, I wanted to do something to help make his actual day special.

Inspired by a few posts on Oh Happy Day, Lucas and I made this little party hats and ribbon neckties for our dino collection. They greeted Nathaniel at his seat on his birthday morning.

Lucas was pretty pleased with our work!

Panda-cakes are Nathaniel's favorite breakfast (food in general, actually!) so he enjoyed a stack of three pancakes topped with sprinkles and a candle on this birthday morning!

For our BIG celebration on Saturday, we decided to fill the day with Nathaniel's favorite things. There's nothing this boy loves more than WATER! We invited a few families to join us at a local indoor pool for some fun time splashing!

After an afternoon break to give the littles time for a nap, we invited those friends back to our house for a good old-fashioned birthday party filled with playtime, pizza and cupcakes!

Using things we had around the house, I was just thrilled with the little table scape I put together while Nathaniel was napping and Abel was on the pizza and beer run! (If you have a Wegman's nearby, they sell these awesome sheets of pizza which serve 32!)

When Nathaniel woke up, I told him it was time to put on his fancy clothes, to which he immediately replied, "Spiderman!!!" That wasn't exactly what I meant, but why not let the birthday boy wear whatever he wants? I dug out his Halloween costume and he couldn't have been happier!

Does it get any better than this? I don't think so!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Missing Susan

From The DC Moms

After she died, it took me a long time to write about Susan. And now, suddenly and far-too-long at the same time, she has been gone for an entire year. I did lose count of how many moons it's been since she died, but whenever I look up and see the moon--full or just a sliver--I think of her. So, so often, I think of her. I didn't know Susan as well as so many others. I only knew her for a few years before she died. But she touched my life forever. And I am so, so grateful that I may have touched hers just a bit as well.

I miss you, Susan. I love you, Susan.

As we honor Susan’s memory, please consider furthering her legacy through a contribution to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Link to Susan’s Toddler Planet site: http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/

Please join bloggers throughout the web in honoring Susan Niebur's life and contributions with a post, and please add your link below.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Spelling Practice

We've had this magnetic wall and alphabet magnets for several years, but other than the magnets getting batted off the wall at every opportunity, they don't get much use. You see, although we followed the directions and put at least three (or was it four?) coats of magnetic paint on the walls, they barely hold lightweight magnets and you can forget holding up a piece of paper.

Recently, as I was struggling to engage Lucas in the practice of his spelling words (homework is a huge struggle every. single. day.), a light bulb went off.

We ran downstairs and pretended to be on the Electric Company -- pulling the letters down to form words. Yay for our magnetic wall! Yay for alphabet magnets! They certainly make spelling practice a lot more fun -- for both of us!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!