Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Baby Booty!

Nolan is a little monster when it comes to getting his diaper changed and putting pants on him. He runs away, flips over, laughs, and pretty much does everything in his power not to get changed! For a not quite 22lb little kiddo he is amazingly strong. I try all the tricks and they work a time or two but never consistently. Yesterday, before nap I just didn't bother putting his pants back on. I should have known better because he can and has easily undone his velcro diapers before. Usually he just undoes it and then refastens it over and over to hear the sound.

I went in to check on him, not trusting the monitor, because his nap was quite long yesterday. This is what I found.

It was so funny and cute that I didn't mind the extra laundry!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Artsy Gift

Today Nolan had a friend's second birthday party to attend. I always feel like, while pretty, gift wrap, gift bags, and even cards are really wasteful. Even when it's my special day I don't want friends and family spending lots of money on the packaging especially if it's not reusable.

I've seen fun wrapping ideas on Pinterest recently that involved using scrap fabrics. I wasn't quite prepared enough to fashion gift wrap from the fabric I have on hand but I came up with another idea. Nolan could decorate the wrapping paper. We have a large roll of white paper that he uses to paint and color on. How fun and one of a kind would it be if Nolan painted his friend's wrapping paper?

I also decided to have him paint the gift tag. This we did a little different. We used our favorite puffy paint recipe and painted the back of the gift tag. The front of the gift tag was then clean and legible still.

Here was out gift on the way to delivery. Tim saw it before we left and not knowing what we had done was quite amazed with how it looked and the specialness of the handmade wrapping!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sensory bags

Edit: Found the site which inspired our activity It's here!

I saw a great blog a few days ago on sensory play that's less messy. I can't find the link now but if I come across it again I'll post it. Basically a lot of the learning experiences Nolan is having now involve big messes. I'm pretty sure that's going to be the case for a while with a little boy!!

For those times when I just don't have the time to clean him up afterwards, I've been looking for cleaner play that will keep him entertained. In came the idea of sensory bags. Basically you take the fun messy stuff and out it in a ziploc bag instead. They get the squishy feelings and such but none of the mess.

Knowing my boy prefers this though...
...I was afraid he would simply open the ziploc bags and spill everything!

Instead I used our FoodSaver and double sealed each end of the bag. Of course he could still poke them but the chance of him plain ole opening the bag is much less!

Our first go is water, baby oil, and a little coloring. Nolan like to flip it up and down and see the different patterns. He nudges and pokes it too.

This morning I decided to make some finger paint in one. Basically I added the ingresdients (powdered milk, water, coloring) to the bag and sealed. Now as he plays with it he'll mix it up himself. Once he is done with it we'll open and paint! The color isn't super bright as I'm waiting on food coloring to come in the mail and used a bit of purchased finger paint to get some color.

None the less Nolan is having a blast with his clean toys!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Growing up too Fast!

My little boy is growing up too fast. Just this week he has had a word explosion. Every day he says something new. In the last two weeks he has slept through the night for the first time ever and has done that twice! Big deal for me. We've also slowly been weaning.

Nolan was a very frequent nurser until about 20 months. This meant numerous times during the day and night. At 20 mo I started limiting him some and cut down to just when waking up, before nap, before bed, and anytime he woke in the night (2-3 times).

Every transition was very peaceful for both of us. I didn't force it but just saw how'd he'd do if I stopped offering. The hardest step was the first one and that was when I stopped just letting him nurse whenever he asked during the day. Any time he asked randomly throughout the day I redirected him towards something fun. If he fussed or got really upset I let him nurse and tried again later. Eventually it just wasn't something he thought of unless we were in his bedroom in the rocking chair.

The morning feeding was simple to drop as he was ready to go explore and nursing was only slowing him down. Naptime amazingly went well too. One day instead of sitting down in our chair where he immediately expects to nurse I grabbed his blankie and binky and stood up rocking him. He laid his head down on my shoulder and after a few minutes I laid him in bed. He didn't make a peep and we haven't nursed at naptime since. Recently Nolan has been sleeping better . On those night he doesn't nurse much if at all in the night. Since we have had days with just one nursing session total, tonight I decided to go for it.

After his bath I grabbed his blankie and slung it over my shoulder. Then he laid his head down on my shoulder and I rocked him back and forth while standing for only about 5 seconds before he motioned to his crib and leaned for it. Since he asked, I laid him down. I said goodnight and told him I loved him then he took out his paci, said "Bye Bye", and waved at me. It's been an hour and I haven't heard a peep!!

While I'm not saying we've completely weaned it's still a bittersweet moment. I wanted to nurse until he was 2 at a minimum but due to some personal medical issues decided to transition him slowly as long as he was okay with it. We made it 22 months for sure! Considering Nolan never took a bottle that's a lot of work!

Apparently he thinks he is big enough to ride with no carseat. Not yet my little one!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Art Wall

Since we've been doing so many art projects lately I've been really wanting to put my ideas for artwork display onto paper, err... on to our walls! Here is what I've been thinking about.

I bookmarked this blog a few months ago and then once I got involved on Pinterest pinned it right away. By the way if you're not yet on Pinterest you need to be!! The project's been on the back of my mind ever since. It'd look perfect above our large cubby hole bookcase in the playroom. The only thing holding me back is that I don't think I can stencil the letter with paint and have it come out nice enough for my satisfaction. I'd love to cricut the lettering out of vinyl (contact paper) but I don't have a cricut. The lettering I've seen for sale is usually in a plain box font and I want something nicer.

Hmm... maybe I'll ask on Facebook if any friends have a cricut and would be willing to make the letter for me! If you happen to know of a service that lets you order just the saying you want let me know!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bikini Time!!

This is my first time wearing a bikini in public since I had Nolan. AHHHH!

Not too shabby considering the picture below. I gained around 37 pounds with Nolan but lost almost 50 afterwards!

Friday, August 12, 2011


A few months back I bought Nolan a balance bike. I scoured the internet and eventually saw one on a deal a day site. I ended up saving over 20 dollars on a nice metal one that will grow with him. If you haven't seen a toddler on one of these bikes before definitely search YouTube. It's amazing how great they can ride on them at such a young age.
Unfortunately my tiny man is nowhere near tall enough to ride on it yet. They say most 2 year olds can use the bike but I'm pretty sure he'll need a while longer. I did find a second brand of bike that actually is small enough for him to use now (and will grow taller as he does) so I'm considering selling this one and going for the tinier one. Nolan was quite upset when we built the bike and it was too tall. He holds it up himself and tries to climb on but since he can't straddle it he topples. In fact, every time he see it he cries to ride it and I have to put him on it and walk around holding it upright. Poor baby! So if you know anyone who wants a balance bike let me know! It'd make my decision to purchase Nol the tinier one even easier.

Thursday we went to a fun park playdate with a bike theme. Nolan brought his roadside found push motorcycle. It's tiny enough that his legs can easily motor it all around. He ended up riding more than he ever has before and tired himself out. After a sleepless night the night before, this was greeting me when we arrived home from the park.

He's so adorable when he sleeps!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing while Learning

As you've seen by recent posts, we've expanded a lot of Nolan's normal activities to include even more play. That's not to say we weren't playing before but I'm now working educational activities that provoke him to explore and more unstructured yet structured free play in to our daily routine. For him, just sitting on the floor with one of his numerous toys has always been difficult. Our mom's group activities are always the highlight of his days but once we were home he would be ready to leave again. He likes to explore new things and be on the go. The shelves of the same toys day after day were background most of the time.

By planning a new activity each afternoon, Nolan has started enjoying the time spent inside the house more. I can see his little brain really working and also have seen improvement in his speech and communication with me. He uses this time to interact one on one and to ask me things about the activities we are doing. It can be hard to find something new and fun to do so I've been busy scouring the web. 

Besides Pinterest I've found a few blogs I love! Most even have Facebook pages with even more ideas from readers!

Play at Home Mom  - This is the site that started all the fun for us. They have amazing ideas to engage your little ones.

Wasting Nothing - While just getting going, a friend of mine contributes here and I know the great things to come!

Let the Children Play

Raising Playful Tots

I think today we might explore Home Depot or Lowe's a bit to gather some supplies for our new sensory board!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Indoor water fun

Today we did our afternoon play indoors. Even so, it still involved water. Our first fun was with water beads. These are some sort of polymer that is the same substance out of which contact lenses are made. They are sold for vase decoration and in the home and garden section of most retailers. They come in various colors but we only found clear ones at our local dollar store.

Once Nolan woke from his nap, I showed him the fun he was about to have. He put his hand in the container and asked "Eat?"

I only had to tell him a few times that the beads were for playing not eating. None ended up in the mouth even though they are non toxic and safe. Nolan started off exploring with his fingers, then he got brave and threw a few out of the box. I had him help me pick those up and we worked on keeping the mess contained. Here you can see him happy with himself for getting a bead that fell out and putting it back.

Eventually he got brave and started putting his feet, one at a time, in the container. This ended with him holding my hands and jumping up and down on the squishy beads. After cleaning up we moved on to more water fun. Next up was water colors.

Nolan loved the idea of putting his brush first into the water, then into the paint, and lastly on the paper. Sometimes he got the order a little mixed up but overall you could see the concentration and effort he put in to his painting. When did my baby get so big!?!?!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Puff Paint Fun

Today's fun after nap project was painting with puffy paint. I got the idea from here, a new favorite blog! the paint was very easy to make but I had no food coloring on hand. Instead, I used a few drops of finger paint to color the yellow and blue mixtures and then jello and koolaid for the other colors. Nolan is just starting to enjoy such activities so this was perfect timing.

I wasn't sure how messy he'd be or if he'd try to eat the paint. Turns out he wasn't too messy but....

...you can see the red on his face where he tried to taste the paint. Of course it is all non-toxic and fine if swallowed. I'm guessing the addition of jello as a coloring agent even made it tasty.

After a quick pop in the microwave, above is the finished product!

Afternoon snack was also an experiment. I made Kale chips baked with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. They were interesting but not quite right. I might try them again and layer them thinner on the pan before baking and cook a bit higher so they are crispy! Interested in trying them for your little one? Look here!