Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Easy + Inexpensive Hair Bow DIY

Confession time...

I hate big baby hair bows, and I cannot lie. 

Praise the Lord no one is forcing YOU to wear a comparatively large hair bow.

Praise the LORD.  For real.

In addition to my strong distaste for the look of abnormally large hair bows, I would also like to argue that they are not practical for everyday wear.  Especially for stay at home kiddos who rarely change out of their footie pajamas (sheepish grin)...

And this is a shame.  Can't MY little girl enjoy wearing a cute hair bow without being totally impractical and ridiculous?  Surely there has to be a happy medium.  Surely there is a way for form to meet function, cuteness to meet practicality...?  

Yes.  My friends, there is a way for you to have your cake and eat it too.

I am addicted to these stretchy headbands.

Why?  So glad you asked.

One.  They are way more practical for our everyday-sort of living.  Charlie wears them frequently with her casual outfits at home footie pajamas, and they don't look out of place.  Not too dressy or formal or in-your-face.  Even better, they transition well and can be worn to church, too!

Two.  They are crazy cheap.  I have made Charlie a bazillion of these for less than $0.50 a piece.  And since they are so inexpensive, we can afford having a wide selection of different colors and patterns on hand!

Three.  They are so comfortable.  They've never left a mark on her head, and she has never fussed about wearing them.

Four.  They are the easiest thing in the world to make.  Can you use a pair of scissors?  Can you tie a knot?  Done.  That's it.

If you are smitten as much as I am, here are a few DIY tips!

1. Choose and buy elastics here.  Or do your own online search for other shops!  I ordered a yard of each pattern/color.  A yard easily makes two headbands for little ones.  In some shops, the elastic is called 5/8'' FOE (Fold Over Elastic).

2. Tie and knot the elastic to size.  This might involve tying around your little one's head directly, or, in my case, Charlie's head is about the size of my sugar canister...  :)

3.  Trim the elastic.  You could do a straight edge if you wanted, but I like an angled edge!

4.  Though this part is optional, I like to quickly run the edges through a flame (use a stove, lighter or match for this!).  This seals the edges and prevents fraying.

Also, scraps of this elastic made great hair ties!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Trapped by Sweet Charlotte

This one time, I had planned for some much-needed time away - just a few hours, of course.  I had a babysitter lined up and everything.  ...  And then, Charlotte had a horrible, crazy-fussy day...  So I ended up staying home to keep the peace.

And then, this other time, I had planned to meet with some friends to have a little scrapbooking retreat day.  As luck would have it, Charlotte happened to be going through an incredibly nuts-o, topsy-turvy sleep crisis that week month - complete with screaming, fighting, hours of rocking, etc.  So, I stayed home again.  Anything to get my baby to sleep...

This one other time, Mark and I had finally snuck away to catch up with some dear friends for lunch.  Unfortunately, Charlotte decided to have a little screaming fit for the poor babysitter, so I ran home prematurely to evade shorten another crisis.

Just this week, Mark and I had planned to take a mini-trip to see the musical Wicked (a three-year-in-the-making-dream), and you know what?  We sold the tickets on Craigslist.  Because...Charlotte.

And, just yesterday, we decided to cancel our entire (desperately needed) family vacation.  Why?  I'll give you one guess...


She is attached to my hip.  She may as well be duct-taped there.  She will not eat or sleep or cooperate for anyone else - not even Daddy.  
"She was fierce, she was strong, she wasn't simple.  She was crazy, and sometimes she barely slept.  She always had something to say.  She had flaws, and that was okay.  And when she was down, she got right back up.  She was a beast in her own way, but one idea described her best.  She was unstoppable, and she took anything she wanted with a smile."  -R.M. Drake
So, you see, I am trapped in my own home with a beast - my sweet Charlotte.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week - she demands I stay, parent, and attend to her every whim.

And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sure, I've cried about it.  I've felt overwhelmed.  I've drank a few extra glasses of wine, eaten a few extra pieces of dark chocolate, read some extra Psalms of Lament and thrown a few extra pity parties for myself.  (More to come, I'm sure.)

But, I still wouldn't have it any other way.

Though I'm tired and discouraged, I am very aware this season will pass all-too-quickly.

Someday, the whirlwind will be over.  The house will be empty.  No one will be around to throw up on my furniture or poop on the sheets.  No one will need extra hugs and snuggles and songs at 7, and then 9 and then 1, and then 3 in the morning.  No more diapers, no more footie pajamas, no more chubby cheeks and stubby toes.  No more board books and puzzle pieces and high-pitched jingly toys.  No more squeals and giggles.  Everything will be different.  My house will be clean.  The dishes will be caught up.  I will go on vacations with my husband, attend musicals and scrapbooking retreats, spend plenty of afternoons in coffee shops...

...and I will miss her.

I will wish to be back, trapped in my own home, with my sweet Charlotte.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

W + C May Update

Will - Age 2 + 1 month

Color : Blue

Toy/s : Matchbox cars, trains, airplanes, tractors, footballs, plastic dinosaurs and farm animals

Food/s : Chips and salsa, French fries and ketchup, balsamic vinaigrette, chicken poppers, pickles

Words : LOTS!  Full sentences.  '''Have fun with the kids?'' "'Daddy go to work?''  "'Dog! Come here, right now!''  ''Shoot!''  "How about...''  ''Go to Papa's house?''

TV : Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street

Outfit : Dinosaur jammers

Accomplishments : Can count to six (on a good day), knows all basic shapes and colors, really good at puzzles and shape sorters!, working on bike riding, can shoot hoops like daddy with a ''gooseneck!'', can put his own shoes on

Game : Wrestling with Daddy, impromptu dance parties

Animal/s : Dogs, cows, dinosaurs, horses

Song/s : On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, Hosanna, Deep & Wide, Jesus Loves Me

Funnies : For some reason, Will does not say ''yes''...  He will ask a question, we will interpret, then he says, "Okay!'' as if it's your idea...  W: Have fun with the kids?  Me: You want to go outside and have fun with the kids?  W:  OKAY!!

Book/s : Tractor board book, anything Dr. Seuss, Things That Go board book

Best Friend : Daddy, Papa George, Papa Dave

Fascinations : Sun, moon, stars, airplanes in the sky, how things work!, fixing things, playing water, books!

Favorite Outside Activity : Play with the hose and water, ride his new bike!

Drink : Grammy's "Cow Juice''

In Bed at Night : TWO stuffed cubes, Piggy

Charlotte - Age 9 months

Color : Mama thinks you look best in chambray and black.  We will see what your favorite color turns out to be!

Toy/s : Teethers!  Little rag doll and water baby

Food/s : ANYTHING.  Seriously.  You've never spit anything back out.

Words : No words yet.  Just ''lioness'' roars and babbles.

TV : Not yet!

Outfit : You love having bare feet, and especially being buck naked...

Accomplishments : Standing and climbing on everything!  Starting to walk alongside things.  Two teeth, working on SIX more.  :(  Solids 3-4 times a day, two naps.  Usually sleeps through the night!

Game : Chasing Will!

Animal/s : None yet.

Song/s : Mama sings "You Are My Charlie Bear" to you!

Funnies : You are always funny and very sociable.  I think you'll be the life of the party!

Book/s : That's Not My Princess!

Best Friend : MAMA.  You won't eat or sleep for ANYone else.  Ugh.

Fascinations : The patio window, Mama's bill drawer, Mama's makeup bag, water!, jewelry

Favorite Outside Activity : Eating grass

Drink : Formula!

In Bed at Night : Paci, lovie, bunny

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tot School : Bird + Red Week


Life tends to get a little hectic around here with two tiny kiddos.  It is very easy to life in survival mode.  Dirty diapers, dirty dishes, crumb-filled floors, smelly laundry, babies ripping apart your decorations, toddlers whining about who-knows-what, cooking the next meal, another dirty diaper, babies sticking scary things into their mouths, spills in the bathroom, toddlers belly-flopping off their booster seats in a tantrum, another dirty diaper...  Before I know it, weeks have passed, and I have spent all my time evading crises and scrubbing up messes - instead of attending to the fun, adventurous, whimsical sorts of things that make for the best memories.  Our theme weeks, this far, have been an excuse to plan and do some special (yet, simple) things. 

This week, we dusted off the bird feeders that had been sitting in our garage for over a year, we filled them, and Mark & Will hung them...  And then we waited...  And then, we spent another two weeks watching and marveling at the birds who came to pay us a visit.  Simple, but special.  I cannot tell you how much excitement this added to our lives.  Will oohs, and ahhs, and exclaims, and points, ''WOOK!  Birdie, mama!  WOOK!"  This never would have happened, had we not been purposeful about it.  Such is the season of life we're living in.  I know it sounds silly, but theme weeks have been a way to hold us accountable in having more fun.

Red play-dough (the week's color!), and some cutting tools.

Plastic eggs and tongs - the idea was to use the tongs to place the eggs in the carton, but Will is so not interested in this.  I think he thinks it's totally lame to use the tongs, when it is much easier to just use his hands and put the eggs in the right place.  Duh.  Why make things difficult, mom?!

Lots of fun birdie books from the library.

Free coloring pages.

We read "'The Singer'' story in our Jesus Storybook Bible, adapted from the Sermon on the Mount.  If God takes care of the little birdies and flowers, surely He will take care of us!

The bird seed sensory bin was a HIT this week.  Best ever.  Unlike the tongs, Will did get a kick out of using the scooper to fill jars with bird seed.  Accidentally, he learned the difference between a blue jay and cardinal, since both were guests in his bin for the week.

We threaded "'worms'' (pipe cleaners) through the holes in a colander.

Painted bird houses for Grandma Betty and Auntie Marliss!

We used up some of mama's paper scraps to make bird nests...  I made lines of glue across a page, and Will had to match up a rectangular scrap of paper to stick in the glue.  It ended up being a nest, of sorts. 

Puzzle piecing!  Will scored a new puzzle for his birthday that he loves.  It is super handy because it covers all the basic shapes and colors.  He's a pro!

That's all, folks!
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