Jul 31, 2011

P is for Pirate - tot school

John is 32 months

I am so proud of myself! I FINALLY got a real week of tot school stuff put together again. Since Matthew's birthday party was pirate themed, we did 'P is for Pirate' last week. We will probably continue it this week since we didn't quite get to everything.

A big thanks to 2 Teaching Mommies for sharing their great printables so there was very little work on my part!

The first activity we did was a do-a-dot P (although we used my old bingo daubers!). John hasn't done this type of activity in a while and he showed HUGE improvement with this! He was able to cover most of the dots whereas he used to just make dots all over the paper haphazardly. I was so proud! Then I asked him to try to make a P out of dots with a blank peice of paper and he did a pretty good job of making a P on his own! Very exciting!

We used the foam p and pegs. John only wanted to use green pegs. Matthew played with the pegs as well. He was so cute because he knew that the peg needed to go in the hole, but he didn't have the coordination to get it there!

I put play-doh in the shape of a P on a sheet of laminated paper. Then John used a peg to punch holes in the P. Very similar to the do-a-dot activity. I like that this also helps work on pre-writing skills and he is practicing making the shape of a P.

We did a pirate puzzle. I love that this was practicing numbers 11-20. John did pretty good with this although he lost interest in it before finishing all the pieces so I helped finish it.

I guess when I type it out, it doesn't seem like we did a whole lot, but we are SO busy that I am glad we can squeeze in even the little that we did! Hopefully this week we can do even more activities!

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Jul 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Happy Birthday to my precious baby Matthew! He is ONE today! I can not believe it has been a year already. A year of pure happiness (well, only a few frustrations!) with the sweetest baby in the world. I have never met another baby who is always so happy, laid back, sweet, and loving. I am so excited for what the future holds for Matthew although I really want him to stay a baby forever! I love love love this little boy and can't imagine life without him!

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Jul 25, 2011

lil Mop Top is on FACEBOOK!

So, I am breaking down and heading to facebook! Although I have my personal facebook account, I am still figuring out how to combine my blogging world with the facebook world, so please be patient! :) And PLEASE come be a fan HERE! I am hoping to use this platform to keep you wonderful readers updated on the little things that are going on (that probably don't require a FULL post!) and share things I find around the internet. Check it out! Plus I am super excited to have more interaction with readers!

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Jul 20, 2011

Paper Flowers - easy tutorial

Ever since my post on the Build-A-Library baby shower, I keep getting asked 'lil Mop Top, how did you make those cute paper flowers on the beautiful diaper cake?!'. Ok, so no one actually asked me that, but let's pretend, shall we?

Are you ready for an EASY tutorial? Here we go!!!!

1. Cut several circles from paper. I used a baby book. Then cut little snips into the circle all the way around.

2. Crumple circles into a ball.

3. Flatten paper and hot glue layers together. I glued about 6 circles together.

See, I told you that was easy! Then put those easy and cute flowers wherever you need them. And, just in case you thought I was crafty, I got this idea from another blog. I just can't remember which one. So, if it was you, THANKS for the great idea!

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Jul 18, 2011

Build-a-Library Baby Shower!

After what felt like months of prepping and planning, we finally had our Build-a-Library baby shower last weekend! We had an amazing turn out (about 40 guests!) and the shower was a complete success! Not only did my sister receive many many gifts, but she now has 50 new books for Baby Emma's new library. For that reason alone, I am SO glad we chose this theme for the shower!

So, here is a huge post on everything that we had going on a this shower!

Remember these?

We started out with these precious invites that we made to set the theme of the shower. I love that we asked guests to bring books so baby Emma is now set for a while on book!

Having a guest list of 60 people, we knew hosting this shower at one of our homes wouldn't fit everyone. So, we had the shower at a local botannical gardens that had a nice open space in an air conditioned building. This was a nice room to rent, but that meant we had to plan for much more in decor so the room wouldn't be so plain. Since we were having guests bring books, we based all the decorations around books.

Starting with the sign in table...

We put up a chalkboard at this table to help welcome guests when they arrived. My sister made the chalkboard for the party (and has a wonderful blog HERE for all her remodeling projects!). Isn't it cute?!

My sister, Allison, and I made a pretty diaper cake. I used to not like diaper cakes because the diapers get all rolled up and funky. However, I saw the swirled diaper cakes which are much prettier and are easier to make. I used an old baby book to make paper flowers for the decorations as well as the paper bunting topper. I wrote 'emma' on the bunting with a marker. I love the simple look of the cake!

We used a quote from the book "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes" by Mem Fox for an activity during the shower, so we ordered a copy of the book for guests to sign the inside cover. I think it will be so sweet for the baby to read later and see all the names of the people who were at the shower!

The third item on this table were the party favors. I used the library card template to make a thank-you card. We made easy bookmarks out of scrap material and paper clips. After clipping the bookmarks to the cards, we set them out for guests to take with them on their way home. Easy and practical!

Moving on to the fireplace...

We made a canvas quote from Dr. Seuss' "Oh, The Places You'll Go". Didn't it turn out so sweet for a baby girl? I posted the instructions on how to make this canvas HERE. It was SUPER easy to make and it fits the theme of the shower perfectly. I also love that Emily can take it home and put it in her nursery after the shower. Emily has a collection of E's at her house, so we took those and put them on the fireplace since the baby's name will be Emma. Another personal touch for the decorations.

Again using an old baby book, I made a bunting to hang across the fireplace. Another easy project that looks so cute at this shower.

The food table...

We had tons of food (of course!). My sisters and I all have an old set of Beatrix Potter baby dishes from when we were babies. So we tried to use those for some of the food items. We used books covered in pink paper and our own kid's books as part of the decoration on the food table as well.

For the cupcakes, I made the cupcake toppers out of...you guessed it...old baby books! I used the cricut to cut out a bunch of circles and then hot glued them to tooth picks. Easy? YES!

Guest tables...

We found a thick children's book at a thrift store, cut out the pages, and then turned them into table runners. We simply hot glued the pages together and then used scalloped scissors to trim the edges. We had grand plans of making these all ruffled and cute, but it was taking WAY to look to do all the folding and sewing. So, we went with the simple look. We added flowers, candles, and books for more decoration.

At each seat, we put out a post card with a quote from "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes". I made the postcards at Vistaprint when they were offering 100 free postcards. So I just had to pay shipping for these! We also printed out instructions for each guest that asked them to write a message of encouragement for Emily and Jeremy for certain time periods (ie when the baby is 1 month, 2 months, etc). Then we collected those, put an address sticker on it, and will mail them to her at the appropriate time. Seeing as how this is Emily's first baby, I think it will be so nice for her to get some encouraging mail especially on those days when you want to rip your hair out! :) We didn't want to play games at the shower (and didn't really have time considering Emily had to open a million presents) so we thought this would be a nice activity they could do at their leisure while chatting with friends at their tables.

The craft table...

Last, but not least, we had a craft table set up for the shower. Again, we didn't want to play games, so this was another activity for guests to do at their leisure. I originally wanted to have people make onesies, but I feel like that has become too popular. Plus, having 40 people makine onesies might difficult! After doing a google search, I found an ABC printable book on another blog. (The free printable isn't offered there anymore!) I loved the idea and it fit the shower perfectly. We put directions on a chalkboard and set out markers for people to make their pages. Now that the shower is over, I will laminate the pages and bind them together for Baby Emma! We used the Beatrix Potter nursery dishes for candy at this table.

I made the banner above the craft table by hot glueing circles that were cut out of baby books. I became best friends with my hot glue gun with all these projects!

We ended up making decorations for the gift table. With over 40 guests, Em got a TON of gifts so she is extremely lucky to have such caring people in her life!

So, there you have it! I think we had a wonderful shower for my sister and she is set for the new baby. I can't wait for my neice to arrive in September!!

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