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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Day, Another Project

I ask myself, will I attempt things like this with kid #3?  Who knows...

Yet another Pinterest Project has made it to my blog.  Since Evelyn moved into our room we haven't made a lot of changes to the space (aside from the furniture swap).  The curtains stayed the same, shelf stayed up, I just swapped the picture over the crib for a mirror I had and put some of her own items on the shelf.
Part of that was sheer laziness, another part was wishful thinking that it wasn't worth doing for the short time we'd be in this house, and the other part was not wanting to buy or hang stuff just to have things on the walls.  If I'm going to put something up I want to love it.

Enter our newest craft. I saw these cute canvases on someone's board but there have been lots of variations all over the internet. I thought letting the kids lend a hand would be fun so after painting the basecoat and sticking on the letters...

(The full verse is Romans 15:13 but we only did the first half, split between three canvases: "May the God of Hope fill you with joy and peace.")

I prepped our work area:

Prepped the crew:
And after a brief hesitation they went to town!:
The "After" photos...
Cleanup was actually a breeze, I had slipped trash bags over their chairs and the plastic trays wipe up easily.
Then it was baths for the artists:

These are the nearly-finished products. 

 This is where I hit a snag.  See, the letters are supposed to peel off easily leaving the orange to show through underneath.  Well, I should have used vinyl letters, because the paper glossy letters I used sort of separated and I was left with a lot of paper stuck to the paint.  Also, like cheap painter's tape, my scrapbooking letters were not exactly leak-proof. I've been working on cleaning things up with an exacto-knife to scrape off the paper and hand painting in some of the letters.  I'll post completed pics soon!

In meantime, here are some suggestions for making this project work better:
-Use vinyl letters or a cricut and contact paper, not scrapbooking paper letters.
-If you're not doing this as a toddler activity, spray paint would not leak under the letters and give you a more uniform color if you're doing a solid color.
-If you are doing this for kids, use a non-toxic paint.  I did not check the label before I did it, which I realized about 2.5 seconds into letting them sink their hands into the gooey paint.  So I had to watch them like a hawk to make sure none of it made it's way into their mouths.  Wasn't hard really, we were painting for all of five minutes as I didn't want things to get out of control, but still...
-If your kids are not just rinsing off in the tub and are prone to drinking the bathwater, make sure you empty the water after you get the paint off and then refill.  I didn't want my kids drinking green water ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

DIY On The Cheap

Since I have a hobby of making hair pretties, the single ribbon strand just wasn't cutting it anymore for Evie's collection.  So, while browsing Pinterest (where else?!) I found a very cute idea using an old frame.  The original used an ornately carved wooden frame spray painted a glossy pink.  So that was my original plan, though I wasn't set on the pink; maybe blue, white, or even orange?

After lots of thrift store searching I could not find the proper frame...until my mom donated this lovely little gem to the cause (I really should have taken a "before" picture with the "Picasso" it originally contained.)  Besides being free, the best part is that it was such a girl and neutral color to begin with, I didn't feel the need to paint it!  (Bonus for saving on spray paint!!)

It was so simple to remove the original art, then I just bought some fun ribbons, snipped them to size, and hot-glued them to the back.  Stapling them might have been a stronger solution, but since the clippies are really pretty light, I just reinforced the ribbons with a single strand I ran over all the rough ends on the back with more glue.

In the end we did staple the hanging ribbon, but I should have folded it a little differently (and gotten shorter staples for next time; you can't see it in this picture but in the upper right hand corner there is a bubble from the staple coming through a bit) to get a better look for the ribbon, but overall I'm very happy with it!  I especially like the little gold hooks I found at Hobby Lobby for hanging headbands and clips that don't clip to the ribbon well.

Yay for a less than $7 new storage and decor piece!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Toddler Trifling

 Cold weather means lots of indoor activities.  The other day Evelyn woke up early from her nap and I needed something to keep her busy until her brother woke up.  Thankfully I was prepared for just such an occasion and had picked up some pipe cleaners with the intention of trying a toddler activity I'd seen on Pinterest.  I pulled them out and Evelyn went to town!  Now when I give her the pipe cleaners she goes right to the cabinet the strainer is in and tries to get it out herself.
 Samson looked on...
 Stop it mom!  You're like the stinkin' paparazzi!
 What a wonderful brother-sister moment.
 Another rocking favorite is the glider...they are now big enough to climb up and make it rock themselves.
Elijah found a glove and decided to be MJ for the morning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sometime I Just Have to Put My Thoughts Into Words

I've been thinking about adoption a lot lately.  By lately I mean in the last three years or so.  When we first found out that having a baby wasn't going to be easy for us, we knew we had two basic options- use medical intervention, or adopt.  But really, it's never that simple, is it?  At first we said "no IVF," I didn't like the idea of making a whole bunch of embryos (I'd heard of people ending up with 12+ in frozen storage), and I figured that if we had to go that far down the road, it was a sign we should adopt.

The thing is, going that far down the road, happened a lot sooner than I thought.  Within about 9 months we were standing on the doorstep of IVF and, having researched adoption, the price tag was looking very appealing.  Add other things like wanting to experience pregnancy and infancy, desireing to have a biological child, and finding out that we could pick the number of eggs fertilized, suddenly IVF seemed like the best option.

A little over two years later and I have two adorable, precious, wonderful kids that I wouldn't get up for the world.  But I feel a little sad.  I don't think everyone is called to adopt, but I know that even if every single happily married couple adopted just one kid, there would still be orphans out there that needed homes.  This is staggering to me, and the thing is, Andy and I have hearts for adoption.  We also have five, 5, 5!!!  Frozen embryos in storage...just waiting.

Here's the kicker.  I don't think God gives people a desire to adopt if He isn't going to provide the way.  But right now, I'm just not seeing it.  Money is not something we have a lot of, and we probably never will.  If we are called to have lots of children, I'm going to have to get over myself and my love of shopping.  For real, it will be hard for me.  I might have to give up hopes of travelling, a beautiful house, lots of animals, oh, and free time.  Yeah, that free time thing is gonna have to go, even more so than how it is now.

So today, with butterflies in my stomach, a lump in my throat, and a whole lot of unknowns, I'm praying that God will make it oh so clear to me what this burning desire to help His Little Ones is going to look like.  Maybe we're not going to adopt, maybe my part is to be an advocate for these little voices, I'm just not sure yet.

But if it is adopting a child or children ourselves, then I am going to have to be prepared for the possiblity of some pretty tough things.  Besides the things we might have to give up, we are either going to have a whole lot of kids (by the time I carry and deliver more of our own, using up our five embryos, and then adopt), or there is the possibility that somehow our embryos are not going to result in five babies. In reality I never expected all of them to result in pregnancies, statistically that is almost unheard of.  So some might not survive freezing, there might be miscarriage, or just an innability to get pregnant again.  I'm not trying to be morbid, these are the facts, with any pregnancy really.  There are twinges of fear in me, and some really big pokes of fear, but I know that whatever the plan, it's God's plan, so we are going to be ok.

Since none of this is going to happen next week (I have plenty on my plate right now), and it doesn't do to dwell on dreams (name that movie), I'll continue to pray for clarity that might not come any time soon.  In the meantime, check out this blog: http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/ if she doesn't get you thinking about God's desires for His children, nothing will.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Kids Wielding Spoons!

Nothing has kept these two as intent and quiet as giving them their own spoons to eat their yogurt today.  I've let them try spoons before but it's always been highly supervised and really, I was practically doing it for them.  While they mastered the fork awhile ago I wasn't quite ready to let them loose with a fluid-like substance that could easily coat ceilings and walls...until today.

They actually did great!  And as I said, they ate happily and quietly for at least five minutes- something that rarely happens and which I'm sure will wear off soon enough:)

By the way, the only reason I can think of for why Evelyn looks like she got hit by a train is that we had a playdate this morning and the kiddos played hard.  I did not notice how exhausted she looked until I started writing this post!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Expert Lounger

Obviously, judging by Evelyn's fabulous outfit, these were both taken on the same lazy afternoon at home.  Striped shirt, messy sprout/top knot, one sock, and brother's pants...yup!  Fresh from naptime.
  But apparently someone didn't get enough sleep because Little Miss Fashion Statement was found lounging in various locations throughout the house.  Making some important phone calls on the couch...
Hanging out with her BFF Samson and the daily press.
That's my girl!  A pro at chillin' :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tubs With Friends

I remember taking baths with my cousins as a kid, and "showers" with my friends (Steph, Cassie, Riss, Julie, etc. you remember our showers?)...we used to spend hours and hours in the pool at MBYC and when we'd get too cold to swim anymore we'd go warm up under the showers in the junior bathrooms.   Once properly warmed we could resume swimming for another couple of hours.  We were fish.
It was the age of being completely oblivious to feeling awkward with each other, though we kept out suits on we certainly would not have thought twice about it if we had all been buck naked!   Obviously our kiddos are still very much unaware of what "naked" means other than that it's super fun to run from mom that way!

So every once in awhile when a friend their age is over and the kids get bored we toss 'em all in a tub together and they splash and play and eat bubbles.

Here are Elijah, Evelyn, and Annika having a nice soak two Sundays ago:

Meanwhile, the mommas (Alison and I) got to relax, chat, and eat chinese food.  Not a bad deal!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Peek-A-Boo Fool

In the midst of the massive amounts of whining Elijah has been doing lately he did take a momentary break to do something endearing.  Thank goodness for those little moments!  And since those are more fun to share than the whining, here is Elijah playing peek-a-boo with our table while standing on Daddy's tool box.

Where's Eli?!

There he is!

And here we go again...