Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Newest Addition!








Welcome Home, baby!
Born 5:59 am on December 28th
7 lbs, 2 ounces and 21 inches long



Have a great day!

Jen

Sunday, December 27, 2009

While Waiting for Baby: 10 Tips to Involve Siblings

The girls are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their baby brother. While waiting for baby, there are many ways to involve your child and get them excited about the new addition to the family.




1. Have your child create posters to welcome the new baby when he comes home. Post outside to share with neighbors waiting for the news. Look at the girls' creative masterpieces!




2. Prepare goody bags for siblings from the baby to hand out after the baby arrives. My bags are filled with activity books, markers, stickers. I may include some packets of snacks- crackers, etc.



3. Purchase lolly pops for the kids to pass out after the baby is born.




4. Let them know that baby can hear in the womb and give them the opportunity to sing lullubies.

5. Be sure that your child attends some of your appointments to hear baby's heartbeat. My girls enjoyed helping my midwife find the heartbeat and take my blood pressure. They also were at the first sonogram.

6. Every new big sibling needs a special badge to wear! Surprise your child when they come to visit their new brother or sister.



And don't forget about......



7. Read books to prepare little ones waiting for their new brother or sister. I didn't do this too much with my girls being they are older, but we did read a few titles such as Froggy's Baby Sister and The Berenstain Bears' New Baby. Other great titles include: A Baby for Grace and I'm a Big Sister.




8. Have your older child pick out a special book to read to the baby after it is born.

9. Have fun sharing new clothes and shopping for baby with the kids.

10. Depending on the age of your child, share details about what will be happening during labor. My 7 year old is just fascinated!

My girls prepared themselves by practicing with their baby dolls for the past nine months. Lots of feeding, diaper changing, and pretend burping has been going on around here.



Do you have any creative tips for involving siblings? If so, be sure to share!
Being that I am writing this post on the 27th, you can see that baby didn't make an appearance on his due date- Christmas Day! Patiently waiting for our new baby to arrive!

Have a wonderful day!

Jen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Cuties!



Merry Christmas and Happy W.W! For more Wordless Wednesday, be sure to visit www.5minutesformom.com.

Jen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Just in case I go into labor tonight (close to due date- the 25th) or don't get a chance to get online again before Christmas, I'd like to wish you a wonderful holiday with your families.

Family, Friends, and Jesus- the true gifts of Christmas- enjoy them!

Christmas Blessings from my family to yours!

Jen

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yummy Christmas Trees!


The girls loved making these edible Christmas Trees!




I found the idea on the blogosphere and can kick myself for not writing down where. I'd like to give the blog some recognition- so Thank you, mystery blogger!


This was a simple activity to organize.
Here's what you need:


frosting, green food coloring, mini-mnm's, and sugar cones

They liked putting in their own food coloring and mixing up the frosting. We used butter knives to put the frosting on the cone. Also, I put a little frosting on the bottom of the cone and stuck it to wax paper on a small plate.









Merry Christmas!

Jen

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Charades

Looking for a simple activity to do with your kids for family night? How about Christmas Charades? I made up little cards based on the Christmas story and popular Christmas characters and winter activities. The girls and Dad acted out the cards and guessed, while Mom facilitated. I did act out one- can you believe I picked a donkey? So there I was 9 months pregnant on all fours acting like a donkey. Not a sight you probably want to see!

Here are some suggestions for homemade Christmas Charades:

Mary/Joseph
WiseMen
Baby Jesus
Shepher
Animals from Nativity
Inn Keeper
Gabriel the Angel
Rudolph
Frosty
Sledriding
Snowball battle
Building a snowman
Caroling
Trimming the Tree
Santa
Christmas Morning
Riding on a one-horse open sleigh
Elf

The Grinch
Scrooge

Be creative coming up with more and have fun. We sure did!

Christmas Blessings,

Jen

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Almost Due!



I haven't posted any pregnancy pics, so I thought I'd show off my baby bump before it's gone. 9 days until Christmas and 9 days until my due date! When do you think my baby boy will arrive?

For more W.W., be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.


Christmas Blessings!

Jen

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get to Bed, Girlies!! 5 Tips for Bedtime Success

Bedtime isn't too stressful in our home now that the girls are getting older, but I must admit that it hasn't always been this way. With our first child, we took the easy way out and had a family bed. She came around 9 months old when she was teething and then stayed until about 3 years old. I don't regret this though, because it was a way for me to bond with her when I was working full-time. (before I had children I said that I would NEVER do this. Funny, huh?) Next, she moved into a toddler bed, but it was next to our bed. When our second was born, she loved her crib, so we didn't have her sleep with us like our first. When the girls were 4 and 2, they finally moved into big girl beds in their own room. At first we would lay with them to get them to sleep and then eventually we weaned them of this. Often we would find one in the other's bed.

For the most part bedtime goes pretty smoothly in our household with occasional bouts of drama. Here are some bedtime tips that have worked for us.

1. Set a bedtime and try to stick to a routine. I try to give the girls a warning a 1/2 hr before to let them know that it's getting close to bedtime. (Of course there is always an exception to the rule, such as special occasions. The girls have been up a little later due to Christmas specials. I wish they aired them an hr. earlier.)

2. Limit physical activity 1/2 before bed- dancing, jumping around, etc. Encourage calm activities. (Need to remind my husband of this who loves to tickle them right before bed!)

3. Limit sugar intake- small desert after dinner, but no sweets after that.

4. Stories before bed, soft bedtime songs, and prayers help to settle the girls.

5. Rewards. Yes, we are guilty of bribery. At one point, we were having such a difficult time keeping our girls in bed and it was driving us bonkers, so we bribed them with warmed chocolate milk. If they stayed in bed they would get this warm treat in the morning with their breakfast. It worked! Eventually we weaned them and every once in a while they will ask "Hey, where's our chocolate milk?"

Do you have some creative tips for getting your kiddos to bed on time and staying in bed? If so, be one of the first 100 bloggers to post your tips and tricks and you will receive a pink St. Eve's Cozy for you and for one of your readers(girls sizes 6-9). St. Eve's collections include undergarments, pajamas, and more for both boys and girls. They feature trendy themes and the very cute Drama U characters. For more details and to enter, head on over to www.twittermoms.com!
Be sure to check out all of the adorable characters over at www.DramaU.net as well.

Guess what? The girls went to bed right away tonight! No Drama. Woo Hoo. Now it's my turn. I wish I had a grown up Cozy right now.

Take Care!

Jen

Monday, December 14, 2009

Officially Banning Silly Putty!

Yesterday, I came home with a glob of silly putty stuck in my couch cover. Sunshine, my 7 year old, was the culprit who left it sitting on the couch and hubby was the one who smooshed it with his behind. Let's just say that Mom was not happy. Now before you judge and say- Oh, it's just a couch cover- it is just a material thing, you have to understand something about me and my home. I live very simply. I've never had brand new furniture. My living room table and end table were $20 at a yard sale that I refinished. My couch is older than dirt- therefore why the couch cover is important to me. I purchased it years ago for about $90 because what I really needed was new couch, but didn't have enough money to purchase one. Therefore, a cover was the next best thing.

Over the years, I have found writing on the walls, marker stained into my living room tables, and paint spills on the floor. I've told the family- this is the one thing I'd like to keep nice, so when I found the putty stuck into it- you should have seen my face!

Well, to make a long story short- after a half and hour of scraping, picking, wet-toweling, I actually got most of the putty off of the couch. My daughter's reaction-Sheeew-Thank goodness, I didn't want to have to do chores to get a new one!

If you have silly putty stuck somewhere around your house, even on your child, here are a couple of links with advice:

Remove Silly Putty from Carpet

Reomve Silly Putty from Hair


Silly putty- although a creative tool, is officially banned from my presence, for now anyways.

Have a great day!!

Jen

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hershey Kiss Ornaments














I love making these Hershey Kiss wreaths with the girls. It brings back so many memories of making them with my own mother. They are pretty simple to make and you get to eat chocolate while you are making them- can't beat a creative activity with chocolate. For directions, click on last years post.
http://raisingcreativeandcuriouskids.blogspot.com/2008/12/hershey-kisses.html



Don't they look great hanging on the tree. So tempting though!

Christmas Greetings!

Jen

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordfull Wednesday: Talent Show 2009

Watch out world- here we come! Both girls decided to participate in this year's school talent show. Peanut chose to do a ballerina dance to Nutcracker music and Sunshine chose a gymnastics routine to the music- Who Let the Dog's Out! Mom and Dad were very proud of both of them for practicing so hard and then performing by themselves in front of hundreds of people. Here are some pics of the girls on their special night!


Peanut in her dress-up! The funny thing about this act is that she doesn't even take ballet lessons. Who am I though to stop her interpretation of how to dance creatively to the Nutcracker? Actually, based on her personality, my husband and I were shocked that she even got on stage- great for her confidence.



My little gymnast, Sunshine! She scared Momma bigtime with her act. During rehearsal, she fell on her face and got a bloody nose. She was determined to do back handsprings in the show even though this skill was pretty new. She ended up doing three on show night without an injury- phew! Can you tell who the extrovert is in the family?




Happy Wordless (or in my case wordfull) Wednesday! For more W.W., be sure to visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Jen

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The 12 Books of Christmas!

What better gift to give your child this Christmas than the gift of reading! Today, I wrapped up 12 of our favorite Christmas stories. Each day during the last 12 days before Christmas, my girls will take turns unwrapping a book for Mom or Dad to read to them. I numbered the books from 1 to 12. I saved The Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve and a Christmas book about the birth of Jesus for Christmas Day.

I wish I could take credit for this fun Christmas tradition, but I read it somewhere last year.(can't remember where??) I showed Peanut the 12 wrapped books and she is excited to get started.

"Can we start today Mamma? Can I open one, please?"

You can adapt this idea to however it works best for your family. The original idea may have even been to do it each day during the month of December. Also, if you don't own a lot of Christmas stories, books from the library can be used as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

Jen

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