Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Tie-Dye" Painting Craft

My original inspiration for this craft was found on Pinterest (see original post here).  I knew Carson wasn't going to make straight lines like the pin I saw, but I liked the process.  Here's a look at what they did:

I didn't want to buy anything for this craft so I decided to use cotton balls instead of pom poms.  I'm not sure if it was Carson's artistic creativity or the cotton balls, but our egg came out looking tie-dyed which I LOVE!  Carson had so much fun making this, too!

What You Need:
-Paints (I let Carson choose 4 colors)
-Cotton balls & clothespins (you'll need one set for each paint color)
-Paper plate to use as a "palette"
-Egg template (I just found mine on Google images, you could also just sketch one out)

How to Make:
1. Clip a cotton ball onto each clothespin.
2. Squirt a little of each color paint onto your fancy paper plate artist's palette.
3. Depending on your child's age, you can give them all of the clips at once, or choose one at a time.  I let Carson explore a clothespin with no paint first because I knew he'd put it all over his body.  Once he was ready, I gave him one color to start "making dots" and eventually he used two at a time.  Like I said, use your own judgment!
4. Once your child is satisfied with their egg, set it aside and let it dry.
[Optional]: I cut out Carson's egg and glued it to a background with his name, date, and a Happy Easter message.  Do whatever you want with yours!

Here are some pictures of Carson creating his masterpiece:

The cotton balls started to fall apart and he didn't like the "fuzzies"! :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Toddler Hand Print Easter Craft

For Easter I knew I wanted to do some painting crafts because Carson is SO into coloring and painting right now!  At the same time, he's a super wiggly 22 month old so I wanted to keep it fairly simple.

What You Need:
-white paint + paintbrush
-pink paint (or marker)
-black marker
-pastel paper

How to Make:
1. Before putting paint on your child's hand, make sure to have your paper near and ready.  Carson wanted to make a fist the whole time so this took a few tries!  Paint your child's palm and two fingers.  I chose to paint Carson's index finger and pinky.  Once the hand is painted, don't waste any time and get that print on the paper!
2. Once the hand print dries, you can add the nose, mouth, whiskers, and eyes.  I used pink paint for the nose and sharpie for everything else.

Easy peasy!  Here are a few that we gave as little cards:

Here's a look at the hand print craft we did for Easter last year:


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toddler Easter Basket Ideas

Last year I did a post with ideas for Baby's First Easter Basket.  This year, I decided to share some ideas for toddlers.  At 22 months, I feel like Carson is in an in-between stage with Easter baskets.  He's not quite ready for candy, but he also doesn't need Easter bibs/outfits anymore.  This year I didn't want to spend a lot since a.) we just moved, b.) we have a new baby coming very soon, and c.) Carson's birthday is in May!

Here is what I came up with for a toddler Easter basket on a budget!

I feel like Carson's Easter basket looks like it was sponsored by Crayola but I promise it wasn't....they just have good prices!

Here's a look at what's inside (click the links to find the products)
I think I might also add in some bunny-themed treats like bunny crackers or bunny grahams.  Here's a breakdown of what I spent and my total approximate cost:

Coloring Book: $1
Crayons: $2
Bath Drops: $1
Bubbles: $3
Bathtub Finger Paint (2): $2
Swim Trunks: $5
Book: $1
Sidewalk Chalk: $2.50
Bunny Ears: $0 (these were saved from last year!)
Total Cost: $17.50!

What are you putting in your child's Easter basket this year?  


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bumpdate: 38 Weeks

38 Weeks!
Baby is currently the size of a PUMPKIN!  (This makes me laugh, haha!)

Next Appointment: April day!  ;)

Gender: Adding another BOY to our family!  Check out our reveal photo.  

Total Weight Gain: As of 37w5d I was +28.

Maternity Clothes: For the most part, yes.  I'm running out of cute/comfy things to wear.  I wish I had more variety!

Sleep: Sleep is ok.  I have a hard time getting to sleep and if I wake up (which I always do to use the restroom), I can't get back to sleep very easily!

Movement: The movement has slowed down but Mason still seems to pass his little "kick count tests" that I do.  Because his heart rate has shown decelerations during contractions, I'm on orders to do my kick counts twice a day after eating.  

Food Cravings/Aversions: I've had Subway more times than I'd like to admit this past week.  Specifically a Spicy Italian sub with extra lettuce/red onions on honey wheat bread.  YUM!  

Best Moment This Week: Finally seeing my doctor instead of someone else at the office!  See "extra notes" for news on how my appointment went.

What I Miss: Flexibility!  Showers seem to be a major work out lately.  I also miss being able to easily paint my toe nails and even put on skinny jeans.  

What I'm Looking Forward To: Meeting Mr. Mason THIS WEEK!

Symptoms: Heartburn and contractions!

Extra Notes From the Week: I had my appointment on Tuesday 4/8 and finally got to see MY doctor.  When she saw me she said she was so glad I waited for her to come back.  :)  I had my NST first and we heard the arrhythmia again.  Even though it's concerning, the specialist I saw at the hospital for Mason's echo gave me a lot of confidence that the issue will (hopefully) resolve itself.  We also noticed that Mason's heart rate was all over the place (again) and would either go down really low or go up really high when I had a contraction.  We also noticed my blood pressure was slightly elevated.  Nothing too concerning since it wasn't super high and my urine test came back clear for protein.  I saw my doctor next and she checked me and said "Oh wow, there's NO way you're going to make it to your due date!"  Talk about instant excitement and anxiety!  She said I was "a good 3+" dilated but she wasn't quite ready to call me a 4 yet.  I'm still 70% effaced but she doesn't think that will change until I'm in active labor.  We talked about how we felt about my blood pressure creeping up and Mason's crazy heart rate.  Because of this, we decided to schedule an induction for FRIDAY APRIL 18th!  This is almost exactly like my pregnancy with Carson.  I had the same "issues" at the end and was induced because of those issues.  My doctor isn't sure I'll make it to my induction but the fact that I'm not having regular contractions gave us both some comfort.  (Not that my doctor needs comforted, ha!)

Here's a cool thing about all of this: I was induced with Carson at 39w1d and it was Friday May 18th.  If I make it to my induction with Mason, I'll be 39w1d and it will be Friday April 18th!  So crazy!

Here's a little comparison to see just how HUGE I got in the last 10 weeks, eek!

Carson was NOT into the photo shoot this week.  Wrangling a toddler at 38w (+3 days) pregnant is tough work!

Chip and Dixie were a little more cooperative.  :)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Name Art {For the Nursery}

For the longest time I couldn't think of what I wanted to hang above Mason's crib.  I considered a wall decal, I considered a little flag bunting/banner, and I thought of other ideas.  I just kept coming back to name art.  Carson loves the name art we hung over his crib and loves to spell out his name with me.  I figured it would be a fun little thing to make for Mason, too!  I wanted to change it up this time so I made Mason's name art a little different than the way I made Carson's.  (Scroll down to see a picture of Carson's!)

What You Need
Wooden Letters
Paint, Paint Brush(es)
Canvas (I bought an 8x24 for a 5-letter name)
Hot glue gun
Thumb Tacks**
Ribbon (optional)

How to Make

  1. First paint your wooden letters.  I chose a dark gray color called "Hippo Gray".  I painted the fronts of the letters first with a sponge brush and then went back and painted the sides with a smaller angled paintbrush.
  2. Iron your fabric and cut to size.  I bought an 8"x24" canvas and I purchased 1/3yd. of fabric.  
  3. Once your fabric is prepped, wrap your canvas.  Wrap the edges like you would wrap a gift and staple into place.
  4. Place your wooden letters on the canvas to plan your spacing.  Once you have them placed how you like, stick them on with some hot glue!
  5. Optional: If you want to add in another color, glue a piece of ribbon around the edge of the canvas to add some dimension.  I thought about doing this with navy blue ribbon but then decided I liked it without the ribbon.
**After using my hot glue gun to glue my letters onto the fabric covered canvas, I discovered they didn't seem very secure.  Because this will be hung over Mason's crib, I decided to secure them a little better.  I got some thumb tacks from my desk drawer and pushed them through the back of the canvas into the letters.  This really holds the letters in place with no chance of falling!

I bought all of my supplies at JoAnn's and the total cost of this project was under $15!  I used a 25% off total purchase coupon and bought the items while many of them were on sale.  

Here's a look at the name art I made a few years ago for Carson's nursery.  Similar, but different.  :)


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bumpdate: 37 Weeks {FULL TERM!}

37 Weeks!
Baby is currently the size of a WINTER MELON!

Next Appointment: Today (April 8)....and I'm officially 37w5d!

Gender: Adding another BOY to our family!  Check out our reveal photo.  

Total Weight Gain: As of 36w6d I was +27.

Maternity Clothes: Yes but I found a few non-maternity shirts that will work for me still.  I can't even believe it!  (Scroll down for selfie!)

Sleep: I've been having trouble falling asleep at night so I've been reading a bit which helps make me sleepy.  I usually fall asleep some time after midnight and then I get up a few times to use the bathroom.  I've had some contractions (BH most likely) that have woken me up and I'm always paranoid so I stay awake to see if they're timeable.  So far, nothing serious!

Movement: I think poor Mason is running out of space!  I still get plenty of movement, but he always seems to be in the same position because I can see his little tush stick out on the right and a foot sticking out on the left!  It's pretty funny but it makes me sad he can't move around as much in there!  

Food Cravings/Aversions: Still no meat over here EXCEPT I've been loving dairy meat.  I know I'm not supposed to eat it but I really craved Jimmy John's and Subway.  I also got a hot sub from a pizza place that was delicious!  This week I also craved smoothies (normal).

Best Moment This Week: I finished up the nursery for the most part!  Mason's wall art is hung, his clothes are folded in the dresser, and his bedding is on his bed!  I know he won't be in there right away but it looks cute anyway.  :)  Now we just need to put a chair in there so I can rock him every night just like his big brother!  

What I Miss: Being able to take deep breaths!

What I'm Looking Forward To: My appointment today!  My doctor has been out/busy so I haven't seen her the last 2 weeks (except for a brief meeting after an ultrasound/NST at 36w).  I'm excited to see her again.

Symptoms: I've still been having more contractions but nothing that I can time so that's good.  

Extra Notes From the Week: My doctor was out of town for the week so I was scheduled to see another doctor who I've met before.  When I got to the office the doctor I was scheduled with had left for an emergency delivery.   They had re-scheduled me with an older male doctor I had never met before.  Unfortunately I wasn't very happy with him.  He obviously didn't read my chart and was very rushed!  I had woken up the night before my appointment around 3am very nauseous with a bad headache.  When I got to my appointment that afternoon I still had the headache after taking Tylenol 3x.  When I asked him about it he just said "take more pills".  Weird that he didn't ask me ANY other questions.  He also asked "Have you started dilating at all?"  If he would have read my chart he would have seen I started to dilate at 31w!  Then he checked me VERY fast and said "What were you last time?"  I told him 3cm/70% and he said "Ok, about the same then."  I didn't feel like he really even checked!  Luckily I haven't had anything concerning going on and my headache went away so I'm just ready to see my regular doctor again!

Here I am before going to a friend's house for a "Celebrate the Pregnants" brunch.  There are currently 5 girls pregnant in our group of friends and we're all due between April and August - so fun!  Anyway, this is one of the non-maternity tops I found that actually fits still.  Probably because it looks like a maternity top, haha!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Bumpdate: 36 Weeks

I'll be 38weeks this Thursday so I'm a bit behind on my updates again.  I always take the pictures on time but then it takes me a while to get them uploaded and edited!

36 Weeks!
Baby is currently the size of a HONEYDEW MELON!

Next Appointment: Wednesday April 2nd I have a doctor check and my weekly NST.

Gender: Adding another BOY to our family!  Check out our reveal photo.  

Total Weight Gain: Surprisingly I've been holding steady at +25 for a few weeks now!

Maternity Clothes: Yes and while I'm not looking forward to that awkward in between time, I can't wait to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes.  I miss having a variety!  

Sleep: Same old story.  I wake up for at least a little bit in the middle of every night.  The other night I was up for almost 2 hours so I decided to search Etsy for a newborn hat for Mason.  Insomnia productivity!

Movement: Even though I feel like movement has slowed down, every time I have an ultrasound or NST the tech/nurse/doctor will comment on what an active baby I have! :)

Food Cravings/Aversions: I haven't had much of an appetite lately.  I usually have to force myself to eat because not much sounds good.  If I was allowed, I would probably live on smoothies at this point.

Best Moment This Week: I spent a lot of time at the doctor and hospital (see "extra notes" for more details) and we got great news about Mason's arrhythmia.  The MFM (maternal fetal medicine) doctor said he's 99% sure it's a benign arrhythmia which means it will resolve itself!  He said most cases dissipate before birth but if it's still there after birth it isn't a big concern.  Usually it just means that the baby will need to be monitored.  We were praying about this and I'm so glad we got such good news!

What I Miss: Energy!  I also miss coffee lately.  I want to try the new vanilla macchiato from Starbucks!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Being FULL TERM next week!  That totally blows my mind, it went so fast!  

Symptoms: I've started having contractions that I can actually feel now.  Luckily they haven't gotten close enough together to be concerning.  I also still have heartburn (mostly in bed at night) and my energy levels are super low.  

Extra Notes From the Week: SO much to catch up on.  I had a regularly scheduled appointment on 3/26 along with an NST.  I found out at my appointment that I was 2cm and 70% effaced.  The doctor said she wasn't concerned with my contractions since they didn't seem to be causing me to dilate anymore (I was 2cm the week before).  However since I was 2cm at 35w6d she said to continue my "limited activity".  I've been on limited activity for a while now so that was fine with me.  I headed over to my NST.  What they saw was that I was contracting (I wasn't feeling them....which is typical for me) and when I contracted Mason's heart rate would go down.  This EXACT thing happened with Carson!  Because of this they decided to do a spur of the moment ultrasound to check amniotic fluid levels and the size of the baby.  Mason was measuring around 6lbs7oz and the fluid levels were great, yay!  Then they put me back on the monitors.  :/  I was still contracting and Mason's heart rate was kind of all over the place and we continued to hear the arrhythmia.  Dr. G came in and said she was 90% sure everything was fine but wanted me to go to L&D for "extensive monitoring" and to get some IV fluids to stop/slow my contractions.  I made arrangements for my mom to babysit Carson and drove home to get Nick.  I was kind of panicking at this point and threw a few things in the hospital bag.  Nothing for myself but 2 blankies for Mason and his coming home outfit....priorities!  ;)  Anyway, Nick & I got to the hospital and got a room in triage right away.  They checked me and I was still 2cm/70%.  Mason's heart was doing the same stuff - dipping down low and spiking up to the 170's.  They started my IV fluids which really helped my contractions but before I was on the fluids for long, Mason's heart rate dropped down into the 60's a few times.  They checked me again and I was now 3cm/70%.  The doctor said "I'm not at all concerned that this is labor" which was comforting.  Since my contractions basically stopped I was free to go home.  They called to check in with Dr. G and she wanted me to get an ultrasound of Mason's heart the next day.  SO on Thursday 3/27 I went to the hospital again to see a maternal fetal medicine specialist.  We got an echo cardiogram of Mason's heart done which was really interesting.  The doctor only got orders to check on the arrhythmia and he said that he was 99% sure it was benign which means it will resolve itself!  I was so happy.  There is a 1% chance it can turn into a fetal rapid heart rate which would mean I would have to deliver ASAP but he's confident we're in the 99%.  The doctor said he thinks the cause of the arrhythmia is that the heart is sending 2 electrical signals to beat when it should only be sending one.  When it sends two in a row, the heart gets confused and pauses for second....that's the arrhythmia we hear.  I'm sure he explained it much better than I did so hopefully that makes sense!  Unfortunately he wasn't able to examine the decelerations related to my contractions since they weren't on my orders.  He said that's fairly normal but he was happy to hear I'm being monitored with weekly NSTs.

Carson was a wiggle worm this week!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Carson Anthony: 22 Months

In 2 months I will have a 2 year old.  How is that possible?!  Carson is growing up before my eyes and it's so fun to watch him grow and develop but I wish it could happen a little slower!

What Carson Loves Right Now
-Carson loves balloons ("boons!")  He gets excited if he sees them anywhere and I can blow one up at home and it will be his favorite toy for days!  We still have a mylar Valentine balloon that survived our move that Nick keeps refilling and Carson LOVES playing with it!
-Carson loves walking the dogs.  He can be totally content with walking them around inside the house which is a great activity when it's too cold to go outside.  We've been lucky enough to have a few warmer days and Carson loves taking the dogs for walks in our new neighborhood.  One day he even requested the stroller but still insisted on holding a about royal treatment!  :)

-Carson loves his Mega Bloks Dump Truck.  He actually got this for his first birthday but this past month he has fallen in love with it all over again!  He loves to push it around the house and collect things as he goes.  The most common collector's items include balls, small cars, and water bottles.  He also loves to ram it into things and say "boom!"  We're working on not chasing poor Chip and Dixie with the truck.  :/
-Carson is still really into basketball.  He'll request to watch it on TV and also loves playing with his hoop.

-Carson loves to run!  As soon as Nick gets home from work Carson will go over to him and say "Run Dada!" and Nick will take his hands and they'll run around the house together.  Carson could seriously do it for hours!
-Carson's favorite foods include chicken nuggets (and veggie nuggets), peanut butter sandwiches, bananas ("beh-lah"), any fruit, and "cookies" (aka Teddy Grahams or Annie's Bunny Grahams).  I usually buy Annie's and Carson specifically asks for "bunny cookie please" after dinner every night!  This month he has finally gotten back into veggies a bit.  He really likes corn and broccoli and sometimes will eat steamed carrots.  

What I Love Right Now: Carson has turned into a major cuddle bug this past month!  I'm not sure if it's because he was teething almost the entire month or just because he's a sweetie, but I love it.  At our new house we have a gate at the top of the steps instead of at the entrance to the playroom so he has free range of the entire second floor.  Sometimes we'll be playing in the playroom and he'll run to his room, grab his blankies ("bank-eee") and run back, put them on my lap, and lay his head down.  It's seriously the sweetest thing!  He loves snuggling while we read stories together and sometimes even while we're just playing on the floor.  He almost always wants to be sitting on my lap which I love!  I also love that his speech TOTALLY took off!  He has more words than I can begin to count and mimics everything.  It's so fun to watch him communicate!
Carson built this "fort" on his own during our creative!

Some of our Biggest StrugglesRemember how Carson insists Mommy put him to bed?  Wellll, we haven't made much progress.  I have to admit, it's kind of my fault.  I love doing his bedtime routine so I do it every night.  Most nights, if possible, Nick will be in there with us and read a few stories but now Carson won't even let Nick hold the book.  He's okay if Nick reads the story, but he wants Mommy to hold it.  Oye!

Another "struggle" is that Carson recently learned "no" and shakes his head.  It's REALLY cute and funny but he's learning what no means and when we ask him questions like "Do you want to go put your jammies on?" He'll say "no!", shake his head, and run away.  It can be a little tricky but so far, he's only thrown a few tantrums when he didn't get his way.  I'm nervous for what's to come!

A struggle of mine that I always forget to mention is cleaning.  Carson is absolutely terrified of the vacuum!  He won't even walk by one if it's in the hallway.  It's really funny but it makes cleaning really hard...especially since I can't wear him in the Ergo anymore with my pregnant belly!  Luckily he's fine if he can play with me or Nick while the other one of us vacuums but he always has one eye on the evil machine, haha!

Exciting Milestones & Physical ChangesCarson added two more teeth this month!  He got his top two canines (cuspids).  They took a LONG time to come through and we could tell they were really bothering him.  His poor gums were swollen.  He's still working on the bottom two and I'm sure once those come through we'll start on the 2 year molars!

This month Carson learned to do a somersault on his own!  He had been doing it with assistance for a while but then randomly one day he got into position and did it himself.  The cutest thing was that when he finished, he got the biggest smile on his face and said "I did it!"  Now he does them all the time and still exclaims "I did it!" after each one.  So cute!

Carson has gotten really familiar with his colors this past month.  His favorite color seems to be yellow and he always points out yellow things.  He also likes orange and green a lot.  We're still practicing blue, red, and purple but he's doing great.  He'll point out white cars and white things in books but we don't really have white toys to practice that with so I'm not sure if he's mastered white yet.  :)

As far as speech Carson had a language EXPLOSION!  I can't even make a word list anymore because he literally has so many.  I'm so thrilled!  He says 2-word sentences all the time and sometimes even puts 3 words together.  One example is "Bunny cookies please"...every night after dinner.  :)  He is a little parrot and will repeat almost anything and he often recalls the words and uses them correctly later.  With the growth in his speech he has also become quite the negotiator.  A few times when he has gone to doctor's appointments with me he played a few games on my phone.  One was "Toddler Cars" and the other was a balloon game.  He quickly became obsessed.  He started asking for "car game" all. the. time.  When I would say "no car game" he would say "boon game!"  He also does this by asking to watch "Elmo compu" (we watch Sesame Street songs on YouTube and dance).  If I say "no Elmo", he'll respond with "Grover compu!"  Such a silly boy!

This month he started saying "Mah-deh" for Mason and it's really adorable.  He loves to give "Mah-deh" hugs and kisses and even tells him goodnight before bed!  I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to see what he'll think when Mason is outside of Mommy's tummy!

Animal Sounds (15): Cow, Elephant, Pig, Fish, Duck (although it doesn't sound like a quack...more like "duck! duck! duck!"), Sheep, Chicken (which really sounds like he's clearing his throat for some odd reason!), Snake, Dog ("bow-wow!"), Owl, Cat (sort of sounds like he's saying "awww" in a high pitched voice, haha!), Monkey ("ha-ha!"), Lion/Tiger ("rah!"), Goat, Horse

**As of 22 months Carson says just about every animal name too!

Body Parts He Can Identify (24): Head, Hair, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Cheeks, Mouth, Tongue, Hands, Fingers, Feet, Toes, Tummy, Belly Button, Knees (he usually thinks I say "sneeze" so he'll give me a fake sneeze and giggle!), Shoulders, Bum, Wee-Wee, Legs, Arms, Chin, Neck, Elbows, Teeth

Things We're Looking Forward ToBy the time Carson is 23 months he will most likely have met his new little brother Mason!  I can't wait to see what he thinks and I'm hoping it won't be too rough of a transition.  I'm also looking forward to warmer weather so we can get outside more because Carson loves being out there!