DIY felt flower crown

I’ve been wanting to make a felt flower crown for Gemma for a long time so I finally gave it a try! I used a simple women’s headband that I already had and some felt in various colors.

Before I started the project, I made some simple felt flowers (from this tutorial). I use this tutorial a lot for different projects and find it really easy. I also had to make some leaves, but I just cut them out free-hand. The trick to this project was to make a base to secure underneath the headband to give it support and something to glue all of the flowers and leaves to.

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Ready to Go Homemade Play Dough

As a toddler/preschool teacher, one of my favorite go-to activities was play dough. I made a point to always keep the ingredients for my favorite simple recipe in my classroom. Now that LL is getting a little older, I am finding myself wanting to make it at home too!

I am far from a germ-a-phobe, but reusable play dough is just not for me (at least with young kids). Toddler hands are never really clean, and we all know that everything goes in their mouths. I have always viewed play dough as a one time use material. By using inexpensive ingredients, I don’t have guilt about tossing it in the trash when we are done playing. If LL isn’t interested in it that day, it does keep for a few days in the fridge.

Rather than mix up the recipe every time we want to play, I decided to make ahead one big batch of the dry ingredients, so that I can save myself some time. This way all I have to do is scoop out the desired amount, add a little water, and play! It takes some of the prep-work out of messy play, and that is always a plus in my book!

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Starting to Bento – The Best Boxes

Drake’s pre-school program next year will be on a different schedule than the one he is in this year. He will be there 4 hours instead of 2 1/2, and for the first time I’ll have to start packing lunches. Drake’s school is nut-free, which I imagine is the norm these days with the increase in peanut and nut allergies, but means that good ole peanut butter and jelly — a staple in our home for getting protein in — is out.

Drake isn’t the best eater; he’s non-adventurous and suspicious of anything new and even of things he has tried in the past at times. I myself don’t have a great relationship with food — I am picky and I don’t eat anything close to three meals a day, so this has always presented a problem when I am trying to instill good eating habits in my children. So this new lunch packing presents a whole new set of challenges for me as I try to find foods that don’t have peanut butter in them for Drake to bring to school.  I know school is still months away (September and we are only at April currently), but I realize that if I don’t start trying to widen Drake’s food palette now, it might be too late when September does roll around.  He will only go to school 2-3 days a week so in the end if he is hungry at school he can always come home to eat, but I need to find a way to make our eating habits better as a whole, both for school and in home.

I am very focused on always trying to get protein into Drake. He loves yogurt, peanut butter, and chicken nuggets. Carbs are his best friend so he eats no shortage of that. Dairy also is fine as he drinks lots of milk and will also have cheese (slices and in grilled cheese) and sour cream with meat. Fruits we do ok as well. He likes bananas, oranges, apples, grapes (sometimes), strawberries (sometimes), and blueberries (sometimes). Veggies however are where we stall out. I do find it strange as I grew up loving veggies. I still like them a lot, but I realize that I don’t really cook them often at all and thus we have a dearth of them in our home.

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Don’t forget to look out for number one….

I mentioned in my go-get-your-flu-shot post that we as mothers are so busy with our babies — feeding, changing diapers, running around for their doctors appointments, etc. — that it’s easy to forget about our own health and well-being. I had been dancing up to four times a week, 1-2 hours a day right up until the day I gave birth, and went I back at it at 5 weeks postpartum feeling great. Then 4 months later I suddenly became extremely exhausted after just one hour, to the point where I would be so inexplicably dehydrated until I went to bed. If I didn’t get enough water into my system (which was hard, because my stomach was literally sloshing around with all the water I was guzzling), I would wake up the next day with a migraine at 8am, throw up nothing but water at noon, and be out of commission in bed until about 5pm. That happened three times to me — once when my parents decided to visit so they were able to help me with the baby, and twice I just brought Winter into bed with me all day and she did fairly well.

A kind parent-baby instructor approached me and asked if I was feeling ok because it looked like I’d lost a lot of weight. A couple months after giving birth, the scale revealed I’d dropped 10 more pounds than my pre-pregnancy weight. I was wearing some perhaps not the most flattering clothes that day (skinny jeans and a baggy shirt that made me look like a Tim Burton claymation character), but I told her that I hadn’t been feeling awesome and I had been thinking about booking a physical. She encouraged me to do so. I contacted my gynecologist, but they didn’t want to see the whites of my eyes until a full year after delivery for a physical, and when I mentioned my migraines, they didn’t want to touch it with a 10 foot pole. I thought surely, it would be post-partum related? Maybe the baby, being older, was nursing more, and I needed more fluid intake to compensate? I made an appointment with my doctor, which involved a month wait. I went in for some blood work ahead of time, and got a call a few days later that everything turned up normal.

Ever since I was in college I drank water like I lived in the desert, to the point where one doctor warned me that I could deplete all my electrolytes and die like some athletes have. Yes, he told me I could die! And I was anything but athletic in college. I drank tonnes of water, and peed more than anyone I’ve ever worked with. Before I became pregnant, I dreaded how much more I’d have to consume and expel once I was pregnant.

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Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read

It’s no secret that I love children’s books. I love picture books, children’s chapter books, and young adult fiction (yes, I’m totally one of those embarrassing Harry Potter and Hunger Games fans!). I often prefer reading books geared for younger audiences because they are quicker-paced (I barely have time to read and need to read books that move quickly enough for me to keep up with), cleaner, and often have great, focused storylines.

Once in a while, I’ll read a children’s book that I want to shout about from the rooftops. Something about the story, the characters, and the way its written make the book something magical that should be read by not only children, but also by everyone else on the planet!

Here are some of my favorite children’s book must-reads:

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Transitioning to Daycare

A little while back I shared that Miss H will be transitioning from her nanny share to a daycare. When I wrote the post the changes still felt so far away. Now, we’re at less than 2 weeks away from big changes! Time is moving too fast.

Backpack on and ready for school!

When I originally shared about Miss H’s new daycare, it was still a very new center. So new, in fact, that it wasn’t even open yet! We’d made our decision based on how passionate the center director was about what she was going to do there, and how comfortable Mr. H felt with her (as I wasn’t able to visit). I’m excited to share that the center has been open for almost 2 months now, and a couple of weeks ago Mr. H and I were able to drop by for a visit.

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The Tutu Stage

Have a little girl? I can’t guarantee it, because I’m sure not all little girls in the world will find their cute selves in this stage, but for the most part The Tutu Stage, is real and alive. There seems to be many stages that most kiddos pass through as they grow — the pink, princess, the superhero, the pajamas all day (this is a favorite also) — and of course the tutu stage. Since I myself have fallen witness to this very adorable stage, I thought a full post on this adorable moment in time was required.

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