Aug 30, 2010

Gap Inspired Baby Jeans

I went shopping today and saw these cute jeans at babyGap:

I thought I could use some of John's old jeans to make cute jeans like these for Matthew. Using freezer paper and white paint, this is what I came up with in all of 20 minutes.

These were some practice jeans because I don't think Matthew will ever fit into them! He is so dang big! I am not really a big fan of skulls and I wanted to use an easy stencil so I chose stars. A bonus was that I had a star punch so I didn't have to cut each one out! I used a sponge brush with VERY little paint to make it look distressed, although you can't really tell in the picture.

My model was sleeping the whole time, so here is the best way I could show them off! haha!

If I had to do it again I would put more stars across the pants. My excuse though is the star punch broke so I stopped making stars since these were just practice jeans. :) But I bet all you crafty people out there can come up with something awesome and I would love to see it if you do!

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Aug 28, 2010

Black & White - Tot School

This whole week of activities was inspired by little Matthew. Since babies are attracted to black and white designs, I wanted John to make black and white pictures that we could use to show Matthew. So, I started thinking of some black and white activities we could do throughout the week. When I looked online for printables and more ideas, the black and white activities quickly evolved into the theme of 'opposites'. So, this week we are combined black and white activities with teaching John about opposites. I had enough on the 'to do' list that this could have easily taken two weeks!

Here is what we did this week:

Black & White painting This was our'inspiration' activity. I wanted John to use black paint on white paper to create designs to show Matthew. Well, we had two road blocks. I didn't have black paint or paint brushes. Those are pretty essential to this activity and I didn't realize I was missing those vital pieces until I was setting up. So, I tried to mix blue, red, and green paints together to get close to black and used a sponge brush. We ended up with some blue paintings, but I think Matthew won't mind! I also introduced opposites by folding the paper in half and letting John paint on one side. Then we folded the paper over onto the painted side, rubbed over it with our hands, and then when we unfolded the paper we had the opposite design transfered to the other side of the paper. I made a big deal when we did it, saying 'ooooh! wow!!!' and so when we did it the 2nd and 3rd time, John said 'oooooooooh!' all on his own. It was cute!

Matthew was just so impressed with John's designs! :)

Zebra Arts & Crafts: I found this printable here. I cut up black pieces of paper and let John glue the strips to make the zebra stripes. He of course loved using the glue even if the stripes weren't quite perfect! And don't you love his robot apron?! Thanks Aunt Kristin and Uncle Ben!

Panda Paper Bag Puppet: I helped John make a Panda puppet from a paper bag. I found the printables here and John actually did really well with this! I cut out the pieces for him (duh!) and I put the glue on each piece and he glued them in the correct spot. I was very impressed! It was cute to watch him figure out how to glue it down correctly since he tried to put it down with the glue face up. After the puppet dried we had fun playing with it. I used it to have the panda 'read' books to John and he thought it was cute!

Black and White Sensory Tub: I filled up a big tupperware box with beans and a bunch of black and white objects that I found around the house. We pulled it out a couple times this week and I just let John explore what was inside. He often took the different objects out and lined them up. He was very good about putting everything back in the box, including the beans! Sometimes we tried to sort the items by color. We also worked on the concept of same/diferent. I would hold up two objects from the bin (ex: two crayons, or a shoe and a comb) and ask if they were the same or different. Inside the tub were items such as plastic animals (cow, lamb), a black shoe, white shoe, black & white shoe, dominoes with white and black pictures, a black crayon, white crayon, white comb, cat in the hat doll, playing card, flash cards with black and white animals, etc. Tons of stuff!

Other Activities:

-Big/Small: I gathered up a bunch of toys to try to teach John 'big' vs 'small'. I found items that we had in two different sizes and put them in a box. Then I would take out the matching items and ask him which one was the big item or the small item. We then sorted them into two piles. Well, we tried to sort them! Half way through John started taking the toys and matching them back up instead of sorting by size! The toys I found were bears, airplanes, footballs, taggie balls, trucks, rings, and pigs. He knows the signs for big and small and can say the words, but he still hasn't grasped the concept of big vs small. I liked the activity though and will keep trying it with him!

-Full/Empty: We used cups in the bath tub to learn 'full' vs 'empty'. I first filled up the cup and said 'full!' and then dumped it out and said 'empty!'. I did that a couple times and then gave John the cup. He immediately copied what I did and said 'full' and 'empty'. After doing that for a while, he practiced pouring from one cup to another. He is getting so much better at that! The cutest thing was Brad usually gives John a bath now that I am usually feeding Matthew at the same time. And I can hear them saying 'full' and 'empty' as they played with the cups! awwwwww!!

-Up/Down: We had a little step stool that John used to step up and down. He would say 'up' and 'down' as he did it. One day he had a toy airplane and he came up to me, held it up and said 'up'. Then he set it down and said 'down'. So, I guess he is learning something! :)

-We have an Easter book that has tons of flaps in it. One of the pages is all opposites so we have been using that book this week to go over opposites. He knows full/empty, sad/happy, messy/neat, night/day, and up/down. What a smarty! :)

-Heavy/light- Nana came over for lunch one day and John kept wanting to pick up the ketchup bottle. Nana would say it is heavy and he would show us his muscles and then pick up the bottle. Then she would give him something light to hold in comparison. He did that over and over and over again! It was a perfect activity even though Nana didn't even know that was our 'theme' for the week!

We sang this song that I found somewhere online:

If You're Happy and You Know it
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands
If You're Happy and You Know it, then your face will surely show it
If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap your Hands

If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo
If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo
If You're Sad and You Know it, then your face will surely show it
If You're Sad and You Know it, Say Boo Hoo

I think we had a pretty good week and could tell things were starting to sink in by the end of the week!

...and one last opposite which is pretty representative of the boys right now...

...awake (and a crazy man full of energy!)...

...and asleep (and a precious little baby!)...

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Aug 22, 2010

I've Been Tagged!!

Well, my lovely sister (from Denson Duet) has tagged me to answer some questions. And I just KNOW you are dying to learn all you can about me! Here are Em's 8 questions for me:

1. What is your greatest achievement?
Hmmmm...I guess I would be required to say having my boys. :) But, I am really proud of John because he is so sweet and so smart! I can't take all the credit, but I like to think I had a part in that. Of course Matthew will be just as sweet and just as smart when he gets older!

2. What is your worst habit?
Very much like Em, I like to have things planned out and be on schedule. It is weird b/c I hate when things start to get off schedule yet when I was teaching I was REALLY flexible in my classroom and was able to easily go with the flow when activities or technology wasn't quite working. I am getting better though and can see a huge difference in taking care of Matthew compared to taking care of John- I am not on any kind of schedule and so far it isn't too bd!

3. What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I always wanted to be a teacher! :) I think if I go back to teaching I think it would be neat to teach education classes at a college.

4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Playing with my sisters. I hope John and Matthew are close like I am with my sisters because it is so fun!

5. How did you decide on the name for your blog?
My first blog was called Mop Top 3.0 because Brad called me Mop Top. He said since I have super crazy curly hair, he could use me to mop the floor. How sweet! So, when I made this blog for mostly baby stuff, I called it lil Mop Top.

6. What is your favorite place to go out to eat?
I am boring and like Corner Bakery! Except they changed their meal that I always get- the corner combo. It used to be a 1/2 sandwhich, salad, and chips which was the perfect amount for me. The last time I went apparently they don't give you chips with it anymore. What is up with that?!?! Do they expect me to actually pay for those chips now?? geez!!!

7. What is the last book that you read? (I need a new one friends!)
I just finished reading 'One Fifth Avenue' by Candace Bushnell. It was only ok. It was one of those books I wanted to finish just to see what the point was, but it wasn't really keeping my attention. But hey, when you have a baby permanently attached to your boob, you need something to do!

8. What is your favorite family tradition? (new or old)
Hmmmm, we are kind of just starting our family traditions but I love all the holiday dinners that we have at each other's houses. I love to host (even though it will stress me out!) and decorate for the dinners. I also love going to a 4th of July parade with John!

See, aren't you glad my sister asked all these questions? I bet it just made your day to read about me! :)

Aug 21, 2010

Pictures of the Boys!

This was another week hanging around the house, so I don't have a ton to share. My goal is to get my act together next week and do more fun stuff with John. I am actually venturing out next week to playgroup with both boys! I am excited to be social but a little worried about how my first time out with two kiddos will be. Anyways, here is what went on this week...

Matthew had his first tummy time. He did really well and lasted several minutes before crying! John had to join in and kept trying to feed him french toast! haha!

Matthew's umbilical cord FINALLY fell off and we could give him a real bath. He got so big already and the bath pictures really show it! He has outgrown all his newborn clothes and moved right on up to 3 month clothes. Ummmm, hello, he is only three weeks old! Holy canoli!

His hair gets all curly when it is wet...

and super straight when it is dry! Look how long it is!!!

Brad took John to the park Friday morning before it got too hot and it seems like he had a blast! He is getting so big too and outgrew he shorts in the past week. I seriously think these boys are going to be taller than me any day now!

Last but not least, we visited my grandpa today who is in rehab after having a heart attack about two weeks ago. This was the first time he met Matthew and I am glad he got to see him and hold him!

Anyway, off to try to sleep for a minute before Matthew wakes ready to eat again! :)

Aug 13, 2010

Messy, Messy, Messy!

I am still not back into my 'groove' of planning specific activities for the week. So we have just been playing and doing activities on the fly. Some ended up being messier than others!

For a fun sensory activity, John played with shaving cream. It is SUPER HOT here so there was no way we were going outside. I figured I would put a towel on the kitchen floor and we would be fine. Not so much! This is definitely an outdoor activity...especially when John John decided to clap his hands with shaving cream on them which splattered shaving cream everywhere. He also lathered up his legs and feet and then ran through the living room. Lovely! But he had fun so it was worth the clean up!

Another afternoon I filled the sink with water, dumped in some plastic bowls, plates, and tupperware lids and let John 'wash' the dishes. I showed him how to use the sponge and then put the dishes in the drying rack. He loved it! He eventually just used a bowl to transfer water to the drying side of the sink. Be sure to have a ton of towels laying around to help catch the water as it splashes everywhere!

And, lastly, we pulled out the fabric memory game I made and John enjoyed matching up the different patterns.

We pulled out flashcards often and he is doing really well at sorting by shapes and naming shapes. Naming colors is still a work in progress though! I am most proud though that he can count to ten now! He doesn't always do it perfectly, but he is so good with numbers right now! And since I am a nerdy math teacher, I am soooo excited! haha! :)

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Aug 8, 2010

No Sew Fabric Memory Game

I feel like I haven't done anything crafty or creative lately! I guess that is what happens when you have a 1.5 week old baby at home. :) So tonight I made a super easy game for John to play with this week. I was so glad to be doing something besides watching TV and was able to finish up the project with only having to stop to nurse one time. Impressive!

Since John is still working on learning colors, I used fabric scraps to make a matching game for him. I decided to make the game dual-purpose and backed each piece of fabric with denim so when he is older we can use the pieces to play memory. This also made the pieces a little more sturdy which I liked. This was SO easy to make and here are the steps...

1. Gather your materials. I used 10 different fabric scraps (I would probably make more if John was older, but he is only 20 months!), an old pair of jeans, iron-on fusing (I used Heat and Bond), scissors (or mat and rotary cutter), and pinking shears.

2. Cut out your pieces. I cut mine 4 inches by 4 inches. That turned out to be kind of big once it was all said and done so I would suggest maybe 3x3 might be a little better. You will need two of each piece of fabric and then enough fusing and denim for however many pieces you are making. Since I used 10 fabrics, I needed 20 pieces of fusing and 20 pieces of denim.

3. Iron on the fusing to the back of the fabric pieces and then iron those to the back of the denim.

4. Trim with pinking shears.

DONE!! See, wasn't that easy?!

You can lay out the pieces face up for younger children and have them find matches...

...or lay them out face down and play memory.

I hope John likes this activity tomorrow!

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Aug 7, 2010

Two Random Activities!

I haven't had time to really plan and organize activities this week since precious little Matthew has arrived. But I did manage to try to entertain John with random activities through the week since we are basically homebound for a little while.

I pulled out the camera today while I was playing with John so here are the two activities we did today. (The other activities we did throughout the week were cute and I will post about them when we do them again!)

1. Everytime I have pulled out the cereal container, John has insisted on trying to pour the cereal himself. So I filled up an empty container with pinto beans and let him pour to his hearts content into a big strainer. Notice I put a sheet down for easy clean up since I knew there was about a 100% chance John wouldn't be perfect at pouring and I didn't want beans scattered across the kitchen floor! He really liked it and actually followed directions when I said he had to stay on the sheet the whole time!

2. I have seen lots of 'dot' pictures around the blog world. So I made my own dot sheet by spelling out John's name in block letters and drawing in circles. Very difficult, I know. :) I pulled out my old bingo dobbers and tried to teach John how to mark the circles. He got the concept but didn't have perfect aim. He ended up having more fun taking the caps on and off the dobbers. He was so cute though doing this activity!

And because I am so in love with my precious boys, here are some pictures since Matthew was born. {I am still in shock at how much hair he has!!!}

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