Oct 28, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

Hello everyone!  I'm sorry for my recent absence, life has just got in the way of my blogging. :) My classes have started again, report cards and conferences coming up, and busy with crafting too!  I need to take the next weekish off to get everything together.  I will be back next Wednesday (and maybe Friday real quick to post a few Halloween pics)!  I hope you come back and join me next week!  Thanks!

Oct 22, 2013

Fall Walk

Whew, I'm glad Monday is over and we can cruise though them rest of the week!  Something about Monday always gets me a little crazy.  Having 2 days off of school always makes me nervous when I head back.  I really have no clue why, you would think after 4 years of teaching and one year of subbing I would have Mondays down pat, I don't.  I always worry about the week ahead, getting everything prepped on Monday morning, getting everything accomplished throughout the week, etc... My list could go on over the things I worry about, therefore I'm really glad that Monday is over.  Yes, I do need some serious help, lol!  If anyone has any great ideas, tips, books, etc... that will help a person to worry less, please please please let me know!  My hubby would appreciate it too! :)  

One thing I'm so thankful that I don't have to worry about is Harper.  I'm so thankful and lucky that my mom is able to watch her.  I know that when I leave for work she will wake up to someone who loves her and will take good care of her!  In my crazy world of constant worries, I'm thankful that my most important little buddy is well taken care of!  Now that I have rambled on about my worrying I should share the fun thing Harper, Nana, and I did last night!  

The weather here is still pretty warm for this time of the year (although I have heard by the end of the week snow could be in the air...yikes) so I have been taking Harper for lots of walks. Sometimes Nana goes sometimes Matt goes, sometimes it is just me and Harper (or Harper and I ...whatever I never got the hang of that rule, sadly I'm embarrassed saying that considering I'm a teacher.  Please forgive me!)  Anyways, on on walks Harper LOVES to point out fun things she sees, lately it has been pumpkins galore.  She also enjoys any other kinds of decorations, garden gnomes or animals, flags, etc... I decided to make her a fun scavenger hunt for last night.  I drew four pictures (a pumpkin, a leaf, a rock, and a tree) then I made a grid with the numbers 1-3 next to the pictures.  I explained to her that we were going to find three of each item.  I think she kind of understood, but I helped her out a lot!  Every time we found an item, she got to stick a Halloween sticker on the number.  We would count the stickers and praise her for finding the items.  She really seemed to enjoy it, although by the end she was getting tired.  We even took a fun little lantern on the walk because it was dark out and I wanted her to be able to see her hunt.  



Being stubborn, not wanting to smile!


We finished the whole board!

Gaga (daddy in Harper talk) came home right at the end of the walk!  He was so proud! 

She wanted to finish the walk with lawn mower fun!  She wasn't thrilled when she discovered she couldn't cut the lawn in the dark! 

I got the stickers from the Dollar Tree and just made the chart out of computer paper.  You could do something like this for older children and have more objects to find.  You could also have them use tally marks every time they found an item.  Then, they could graph the items and discuss which they found the most of and which the least, etc... The possibilities are endless! 

I also enjoyed the walk because it was interactive.  It wasn't just her sitting in the stroller checking out the scenery, which is still always good, fresh air is never a bad thing.  I just liked that she could keep busy and work on recognizing different things!  

I hope you enjoyed going on our walk and thanks for stopping by!  As always please send me any easy fun ideas that you have for entertaining your little ones!  

Oct 20, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was really chill and that is the perfect kind of weekend for me!  I was so tired on Friday night that I actually fell asleep before Harper and Matt, crazy!  We did put Harper down but she wasn't having it. She was really fussy this weekend!!!  So we got her up and let her watch the Toy Story Halloween movie (we DVR'ed it on Wednesday).  She laid through the whole movie with me and seemed to enjoy it.  After the movie I was so tired I had to crash and I left her and Matt to hang out while I headed to bed.  

Saturday was really rainy all day.  We stayed inside, in our jammies until it was time to take Harper to swim lessons.  She had a ball at swim lessons!  She practiced going under the water a few times, she kicked balls to her friends in the water, and even worked on the laying on her back while kicking her feet (she really didn't enjoy that part).  She loves the "wawa" and always looks forward to going.  Throughout the week she will grab her swimmy diapers for me to put on her, she is always ready to head to swim lessons! I enjoy taking her because she gets around other little ones, which she doesn't have much of an opportunity to do.  




Saturday night was meltdown city at our house.  I really don't know what sparked it but Harper just freaked out.  She didn't seem to know what she wanted or didn't want, she was unhappy, and probably overtired. The only thing that made her feel better was when I brought out a craft for her to do.  She loves to craft (very fitting considering who her mama and grandma are) so I grabbed this little wooden turkey she could color from JoAnn Fabrics.  She enjoyed coloring it and kept calling "mama" to help her color.  It came with little markers and she especially enjoyed the purple one!  I let her find a place to put her turkey to decorate the house....she decided it should be in her choo choo!  After that I went to do some grocery shopping and she hung out with Matt.  It was really nice grocery shopping solo!  I could get everything done quickly and without having to ask her to sit down 500,000 times!  I think I might go when Matt is around more often!


At first she refused to let me take a picture of her!


Working hard on it!


Sunday was really chill too!  I woke up feeling kind of blah so Matt took Harper to church and I laid around and worked on lesson plans for my sub job.  That is pretty much what we did all day, hang out, lesson planned, played, played, and played.  Harper tried her first PB&J and discovered she wasn't a fan (we will keep trying).  I also got her an all natural peanut butter cup to try, she LOVED it and wanted to eat the 2nd one before I put her to bed.  I told her if she could say, "pumpkin," "Harper," or "Minnie" I would give her the chocolate, no such luck!  This child does not have the slightest interest in talking!  I keep trying, she won't budge....did I mention that Matt and I are both really stubborn...she has no chance, really!  


She loves to color, especially while sitting at the "big girl" computer desk!  If you are wondering why she isn't wearing pants, she threw a huge fit.  I got them on her and she yanked them off as fast as she could!  Not sure why but we just rolled with it! 


Cheesing with Mama!

All in all it was a great weekend with my family, a lot of laughter, love, and especially a lot of fussing!  :) What would I do without my little fussy princess?!   Happy Monday, I hope you all had a great weekend too!

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Oct 17, 2013

Friday Finds

Well we made it, Friday is finally here!!  I have to say I couldn't be more excited right now.  This weekend is going to be great, 2 days off always are!  I was going to go to a haunted house (and really looking forward to it) but it was $25.00 a person, and that is just too much to pay this year!  Hopefully Matt and I will have teaching jobs next year, because I would love to go to one again!  

I know I have said this before but Halloween really is my favorite holiday!  I love being scared!!  Our first October together I begged him to take me to a haunted house, he kindly agreed (scary things are not his first pick).  Little did I know my engagement ring was in the door pocket next to me the whole ride down.  We went through part of a haunted house and were about to go to another when Matt said he was ready to go.  I was totally bummed out because I wanted to stay and do the second part.  I sadly sulked to the car (whining a little bit....or A LOT) when he popped the question!  It wasn't a romantic proposal, it was in parking lot outside of haunted house, but we were doing one of my most favorite things to do and he knew I would love it, and I did!  It was perfect to me, plus I didn't even care about missing the second part of the haunted house anymore!  :)  Then, we took a year off and the next year we went when I was 7 months pregnant.  I remember crawling around this haunted house at one point, I didn't even care that my belly was in my way, I was in Halloween heaven!  To make a really long and off topic story short, I love Halloween and can't wait until I can hit up another haunted house!! 

Christmas is also high up on my love list and I'm so excited because today on Pinterest I saw this:  http://www.cinemablend.com/television/ABC-Family-25-Days-Christmas-2013-Schedule-Announced-59902.html   ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas schedule has been announced!  I LOVE Christmas movies too, and in a few short weeks I will be doing my second "What's In My DVD Player" for Christmas themed movies...can't wait to share!!  PS-I'm currently in the middle of a Friday the 13th Marathon!  

I was on Facebook yesterday when I noticed someone posted this link to their page.  I immediately had to check it out because I love reminiscing about my childhood.  You have to check this out, so many things they had in the article were definitely things I did, had, or loved!  It was such a fun reminder of the simpler times in life!  Check it out!!   It's called, "50 Things You Will Never Be Able To Forget." 

This website Buzz Feed (which you all have probably already heard about) also posted these two interesting articles about Disney.  Since I'm obsessed with not only Halloween but all things Disney I had to check them out.  

The first is about 8 Disneyland attractions that were never built.  It was interesting to see what ideas people came up with for different rides, also why they didn't work out.  
The second is 3 Disney attractions that had to be closed because they were too scary.  Again, really interesting.  I definitely remember the alien ride, I also remember it creeped my whole family out...fun, fun, fun! If you are a fan of Disney at all, they are two fun reads!  

Do you happen to have a little one in your life who loves trains?!?  Well I just found this awesome blog with a great way to make Thomas trains out of play dough and Duplos!  You have got to check this out for the train lovers in your family...it is a whole blog dedicated to train play!  To say that it is impressive is an understatement!  I love finding creative moms who share their ideas...it makes my life so much easier and Harper's life more fun!!  Check it out, Play Dough Train Set!

I thought my post today needed at least one picture!  Harper loves being a good Mommy, her baby was thirsty!  

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by everyone!!  

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Color Matching Fun

Yesterday was my day off, Wednesdays Nana works so I get to be a stay at home mom for the day.  It's funny but sometimes I feel like I get more quiet time at work then I do on Wednesdays!  Not that I'm complaining but wow, who knew a little one could be this busy!?!?  Crazy!  Plus, Harper is going through this extremely picky eating phase.  This child only wants yogurt, I'm telling you we went through more than 1/2 a tub in one day!  She throws these massively HUGE fits if I feed her anything but yogurt.  Now she is getting into the fridge on her own and will stand at the fridge with the doors wide open fussing at the yogurt until you get her some.  Every time I said, "no" she freaked out and threw a tantrum.  I guess she will be surviving on yogurt for the time being because I can't bribe or reason with her at this age....I've tried both! :)  I will give into you banana yogurt....for now.  Sometimes I am thankful for a job, most of the time I wake up wishing I didn't have to be away from little miss, but sometimes I go to work thankful for some adult interaction and a quiet half-hour lunch to myself!  Haha!  

Anyways, in between her diva-like moments today we had some fun working on color matching (I guess that is what you would call it).  I got an old egg carton, some pom-poms (little colorful puff balls), and construction paper to match the pom poms.  Then, I cut out small circles of the different colored construction paper and glued them into the bottom of each tray of the egg carton.  I threw the pom poms into a bucket and had Harper practice matching the pom poms with the correct egg tray.  I also gave her a mini tongs (get those motor skills working) to practice picking up the pom poms.  It was a little challenging because they kept wanting to fall out, but it was great practice!  We used our hands quite a bit too!  All in all, it was a lot of fun and Harper was able to match quite a few!!  






What a face! :) 

I was thinking if you didn't have construction paper, don't feel like you need to go out and buy some.  Just color white computer paper using markers!  Also, I got my pom poms at the Dollar Tree and a small pack of sparkly ones at JoAnn Fabrics, both $1.00 I believe!  

Anyone else have any cheap but fun ways to keep your little ones busy??  Please leave a comment if so!! I'm always looking for fun and affordable things to do with her! 

Happy Thursday, we are one day away everyone...we can do it everyone!!!  Thanks for stopping by!


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Oct 15, 2013

Anyone In The Mood For A Donut?

Well, I'm back with a Tasty Tuesday winner today!  I have been in the mood for donuts all the time lately.  No, before you ask, I'm not pregnant.  Sometimes I just get these crazy cravings, and of course they are always junk food related, sadly.  

I was doing my usual blog hopping yesterday morning before Harper woke up, it is one of my favorite times of the day.  The quiet peacefulness of the morning, my favorite blogs, and a yogurt!  Anyways, I was on Mix and Match Mama and she had posted her Meal Planning Monday list.  She has been doing this segment on Mondays and includes a few dinner items, and a few desserts.  I'm always looking for tasty and easy which is pretty much what you get when you go to her blog!

Today I just so happened to stumble upon this lovely recipe: Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes.  You had me a donut Mix and Match Mama, but add a little pumpkin to a donut and that just kicks it up a notch!  So I scrolled down the list of ingredients and luckily I had everything I needed.




I asked Harper to help me out, which she loved, and we got busy making these delicious little treats.  Let me tell you, if you enjoy sugar, and pumpkin...you will LOVE these bad boys!  They are just about bite size and really moist and delicious!  

For those of you wondering about the junk food around my parents, I haven't baked much at all since they have started their new healthy lifestyles.  One day I wanted brownies so I baked a box, had a few and sent the rest in to school with Matt.  He said they were devoured before lunch was finished, and I didn't have to feel guilty about leaving them around the house.  Tomorrow morning Matt will take the rest of the donuts to school too!  It is the best of both worlds.  I still get a little something sweet, my parents don't have to be too tempted, and it makes a teacher's day!  That is all good in my book!  I recommend heading on over to her blog and getting started making some of these sweet treats, I'm pretty sure you will be happy you did!!

By the way, today is my 100th post!  It is pretty exciting for me because I have previously started two other blogs and got bored, busy, or not motivated to blog.  I have really enjoyed this blog and I hope you have too!  Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by!


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Oct 14, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was extra special because there is an extra day in it!!  I don't have school today due to an in-service day, because I'm a sub I don't have to attend.  No complaints here, I'll gladly take an extra day, thank you!  

Friday night after school I decided to have a mommy daughter date night.  Harper and I were the only two around the house so we decided to eat a quick dinner and head out to a pumpkin patch!  There were a bunch of different bounce houses, a corn maze, and lots of goats.  Harper wanted nothing to do with the bounce houses, didn't really enjoy the maze, but she loved the goats!  We spent the majority of the time petting and feeding them.  Then, we got a really cute mini pumpkin for 50 cents.  She picked it out and loves it, every time she sees a pumpkin she screams with delight!  It is so fun!





Saturday was pretty chill, just what I enjoy!  We hung out around the house all morning, went to swim lessons (which she enjoyed) and then hung out all night.  She had fun sweeping the driveway and insisted that "mama" help her too!  This child loves to clean, I hope that stays with her!!





Yesterday we went to a birthday party.  Our friends from NC had a daughter a year ago, we have never had the chance to meet her until yesterday.  All their family lives in Ohio, so they had her first birthday party in Ohio yesterday and we were lucky enough to go!  We got to meet Ms. Rylynn for the first time, what a cutie!  Then, we took the kiddos to a really fun playground!  





It was a fun weekend with lots of relaxing, lots of playing, and lots of hugs from my little girl!  What more could I ask for?!  

Oh and Harper doesn't say too much, but this past week she has started to say, "Abby".  Abby is our good friends for NC (who moved back to PA) their daughter.  We went to the pumpkin place last weekend with them and they were at the birthday party yesterday.  Harper really loves Abby!  Now, whenever we ask her who her friend is, she proudly says, "Abby"!  It is so funny and really sweet!   

Abby and Harper!

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Oct 10, 2013

How To Survive A Dentist Appointment with A 1.5 Year Old



I'm really excited about my post today because I'm excited to share my tricks (that really worked)!! Every Wednesday my mom works so I stay home with Harper.  Yesterday I was really dreading my dentist appointment because I knew I would have to take Harper (I had to reschedule it, that is why it was on a Wednesday).  I know how Harper gets and I had no idea how she would do.  My dentist's office is very open, I don't even think there are doors to close so I knew I couldn't contain her in the room.  

I knew I had to plan for the trip in order for things to go well.  I decided to grab a few different bags including one large one to place everything in.  Harper enjoys taking things out of bags so I knew I wanted to start there.  Then, I went to the basement on the hunt for fun items to place in the bags.  

First off I wanted to grab items that Harper hasn't played with before or much at all.  I knew they would be unique and special and hopefully hold her attention.  The only other criteria was that they must be easy to clean up, nothing too messy.  After grabbing a pile of things I brought them up and placed them in the different bags.  

Here is a list of bag possibilities:
*Stickers
*Books they don't read often 
*Small photo album (I stuck my engagement photo album in there)
*A few Popsicle sticks
*Plastic Easter eggs
*I added a bulletin boarder (from my classroom)
*Fabric scraps
*A small treat (I hid a bag of treats for her to find-she did and enjoyed it)
*Magnets
*Hairbrush
*Pipe cleaners
*Kitchen utensils
*Old cell phone
*Small game they don't play often (Barrel of Monkeys)
*Holiday decorations (such as small pumpkins or fabric ornaments) 
The possibilities are endless, just take a look around your house!



It was so worth the extra time getting this bag prepared.  She sat in the corner of the office for 30 minutes without getting up, running around, or trying to escape the office.  She was so interested in all the new and exciting things to find in the bags that she wasn't concerned with the happenings around her.  It was the most successful and peaceful visit to a dentist office I have had.  I have decided to keep the bag packed and add a few new things to it next time.  It will be ready for me to grab and go!  Amen for the simple things in life!





Speaking of the simple things, last night we went to the mall.  I'm excited because they have added a kid's area.  There are a few small climbing things in it and a little slide.  Harper had the best time in there!  I have always seen them at other malls but was thrilled to find out our mall added on!  Simple things I'm telling you all!!

Playing at the mall on the "papa" ball.  Papa loves baseball, Harper loves Papa!


Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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Oct 9, 2013

Crafting

Sorry about my absence yesterday.  I know I said I would share my recent crafts but life just got so busy. 

Have you ever seen burlees?  I did a post about them awhile ago.  I first saw them when I was living in NC and I fell in love with them.  The only problem was their price, they are quite pricey.  I just can't justify spending a lot of money on them.  I immediately took to Pinterest to discover how people made them.  I knew I wasn't the only one out there who wanted to try!  I recently found this tutorial on Pinterest.  It explains how to create them.  I will say that I stuffed mine with plastic grocery bags instead of paper or pillow filling.  I also sealed the edges of mine with hot glue.  

Here are how mine turned out:




I love how they all turned out!  So don't feel like you have to spend 40 plus dollars on these little guys....you can easily make them yourself and add your own personal touches!  They really aren't that hard to make!  Happy Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!

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Oct 8, 2013

See You Tomorrow

I know I said I would post about my crafting today, but I am a little busier than I thought I would be and don't have time to post today.  I will definitely be back tomorrow with a craft update, sorry about that!

Oct 7, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was wonderful again, and really busy as always!

Friday night (believe it or not) I actually took Harper to a high school football game.  I don't know if I have said it much or not, but I REALLY don't enjoy football, at all.  My husband is obsessed with it, he coaches a middle school team and watches it all the time.  I am the complete opposite.  In my defense I have tried to get into football, I have asked questions when I didn't understand (which was a lot of questions).  I have sat down for 5-10 minute increments where I tried my hardest to focus on the game, it's just not happening people!  No way, no how, never.  But anyways I knew it would mean A LOT to Matt if I went to a game with him and brought Harper.  I decided if I was going to go to a game it would have to be the biggest game in my old school's schedule, their greatest rivalry, PREP.  I figured this would be the best game to go to because there would be plenty of interesting people doing lots of crazy things (at least I could keep busy people watching).  I was right, the McDowell vs. Prep game never fails to disappoint in terms of interesting people and crazy antics!  It was a great first quarter and then Harper got antsy so we walked around a bit and left.  I can say I made it to a game this season so I'm set, and Matt had the joy of having us there for a little bit at least!

Harper had to go dressed in blue and white to support her Mama's old high school!  Sadly, they lost, but she looked darn cute!





Saturday our friends came to visit, it was such a great time!  We took our daughters to a pumpkin farm. They played in a corn sandbox, tons of corn kernels in a giant wooden box.  They loved this!  They also went down giant slides on hillsides, played in hay stack mazes, and got to pet some animals.  It was truly an awesome day and a great place to go!  If anyone is near Erie, PA at all, Port Farms is the place to go!  It doesn't disappoint!
I would love to post pics of all the girls together but I try not to post pics unless I get permission.  I never asked their parents so it's just Harper.  (Just in case you were wondering)
She was trying to pick up heavy pumpkins!


Harper and daddy going down the big slide!

Going down the small slide by herself!

Queen of the hay!

We did get rained out at the end of the day so we took the kiddos home, had a great dinner, the moms did some crafts while the kids and dads played (and watched sports).  It was the best visit, so glad they moved back to PA!

After they left we decided to make a trek to the other side of town to do a pumpkin walk.  It is a walk along a path in a wooded area decorated with hundreds of pumpkins.  The pumpkins are all carved and lit up.  The best thing is they are carved by many different local places, including schools!  It was so cool to see what people can do with pumpkins.  This is the second year we have done it and we have decided to make it a yearly tradition!  Harper loved it!

Checking out pumpkins!

It was raining but we were trying to make the best of it!  Harper doesn't look happy here, but she was enjoying it!

Just for fun, here is last years family pic at the pumpkin walk:  
She has grown a lot in a year! 



We couldn't get her to smile with daddy, she was more interested in the pumpkins behind her!

A view of some on the walk!

A lighthouse, how cool is this!?

Eyes closed again, but I love this little girl!  


We spent Sunday with my parents at the Franklin Apple Festival.  http://www.franklinapplefest.com/  It was a day filled with crafts, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and lemonade (my favorite fair foods).  My poor parents shared a veggie gyro (no meat and pretty darn healthy...they are doing great on their healthy lifestyle change). Don't worry I kept my eating junky food in front of them at a minimum!  There were so many great vendors we didn't get a chance to see everything.  I did get Harper the most adorable hat for the winter and she insisted on wearing it the rest of the afternoon (it was humid and 80 degrees, gotta love her).

Sock monkey hat!

By the way, Harper turned 20 months on Saturday, getting so big :(  We officially started wearing our 24 month clothes tonight, with a brand new set of pjs.  We are back to the cold weather jammies (it is supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow) and boy do I love her in a one piece!


She loves pumpkins! 

Cute little mermaid on them!  

All in all it was a great day and weekend!  I said it last week and I'll say it again, what a blessing it is to have great family and friends!

I hope you all had a great weekend and a wonderful day today!  Even though it is the dreaded Monday morning, I'm thankful for all the blessings in my life and it's going to be a great week!  See you tomorrow with a peek at what crafts I've been up to lately!  Until then....thanks for stopping by! 

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