Hellobee

DIY Ruffle Lamp Shade

I never knew I’d care so much about a silly lampshade. I mean, it’s a lampshade, for crying out loud! But there I was, staring at a normal shade to sit on top of an old Eiffel Tower lamp I’ve had for ages, and I knew “normal” just wasn’t going to cut it. So I took to Pinterest to see how I could spruce an old shade up a bit.

And then I saw it: my inspiration for the lampshade.

The blogger answered questions about the project in the comments, but didn’t really give any directions in the post, so I had to wing it. Luckily, it was super easy and didn’t have any sewing involved. I took pictures along the way just in case you want to make something similar. Oh, and you can definitely make this during nap time; I think it took me around 30 minutes once I had everything together!

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2 year / 4.5 year update

So much has happened since my last update (6 months ago! Or, now that this post is getting written super late, almost 8 months ago!). We bought a house, packed up and moved (to the town next door!), summer started and the kids were in daycare only part time (3 mornings a week) and home with their aunt part time. I went through a huge project at work and life is only just starting to settle down now. But here we are, with a 2 year old and a 4.5 year old. Life is just as hectic as ever, but so much fun, too!

L I L  M I S S  W A G O N
2 Year Stats
Height: 35 in (78%)
Weight: 30 lbs (91%)
Head Circumference: 19.75 in (98%)

It’s quite clear that LMW is staying on her growth curves and is still quite a big girl for her age. With her being so big for her age and Wagon Jr. being so small, people often assume they’re twins. She’s definitely growing out of her clothes that are 18-24 month and fitting nicely into 2T items.

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Building an Emotional IQ

What, exactly, do you say to your child when she hangs over the back of the sofa, tears streaming down her red face, fists clenched, trying desperately to understand why her friend no longer wants to be her friend? Meanwhile, said friend calls over, “I have better friends than you. They’re nicer. I gave you two chances. Now I’m not your friend anymore.” Ellie turns to me with a look of painful desperation. “See? See? She hates me!” And off she goes. Who knows where. That’s just what Ellie does when her feelings are so strong she just can’t seem to share space with anyone else.

My heart was shattering into a million pieces. Meanwhile, my head was in a million places at once. “I hate Susie. We should never have invited her over in the first place.” If only Ellie would learn to apologize without looking like a warrior ready to ambush. Her ‘I’m sorry; let’s be friends again’ picture might have gone over better if she hadn’t hurled it at Susie’s head… Children are mean. Good thing we’re homeschooling– no more kids for us. We will just be our own, lonely, sane unit.

I was feeling so much. Angry. Worried. Disappointed. Sad. Frustrated. I know Ellie was, too, but she was having a hard time approaching Susie in a way that would mend the disagreement. I had tried to gently coach her through an apology. “Why be nice?” she asked me, incredulous. “Susie’s not being nice. She said she hated me. And she does. So now I just want her to go home.” Ellie was smart enough to direct many of these statements towards me, but, like most seven-year-olds, wasn’t quite emotionally intelligent enough to realize that her words, even when not directed at her friend, were hurting her just the same.

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Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce

Mr. Chocolate and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. In honor of that I decided to try to make a special dinner and chose this Scallop and Fettuccine dish with a bacon cream sauce. I don’t cook much with seafood honestly so I was a bit nervous about it, but I thought it would be a nice special treat for us on our anniversary. This was Juliet’s first taste of scallops and she loved every bite!

The original recipe called for fennel as well but Mr. Chocolate hates the taste of fennel so I omitted it. It still tasted delicious to us!

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coral, mint and gold nursery on a budget

I love Pinterest and how easy it makes collecting inspiration.  I started pinning ideas for the nursery weeks before we knew what we were having.  I was really fixated on two prints that I found, one for a girl’s room and one for a boy’s.  Both gave me inspiration on the direction I wanted to take the nursery.  The first print, by Joni Lay, had flaminogs… and I decided I had to make a flamingo themed nursery. For a boy, I found a vintage race car print on Etsy and just knew that if we had a son, his room had to be vintage car themed.  But, that’s the funny thing about inspiration… once you start putting ideas together, they inspire others, and so on and so on. In the end, we designed a watercolor nursery in our original color scheme for a girl: coral, mint, navy and gold.

We reused and re-purposed as much as possible in this room.  We had it painted when we bought the house in 2009 and I love the color so much.  I didn’t want to change the paint color (it’s Benjamin Moore Stone Castle color matched by Sherwin Williams), but we did put new laminate flooring in all our bedrooms this summer.  The carpet was old and gross, and it had to go.  This room is very small – maybe 10×10 – and we knew we had to maximize space.  Since this room is so small we bought new furniture in white to make the room look larger.  The laminate flooring helped make the room look bigger and brighter, too.

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Liam’s Preschool Book

As Liam’s first day of preschool crept up closer and closer, I started to feel very anxious about this big change in his routine. I have left him home with our beloved nanny since he was 4 months old, so leaving him somewhere while I went to work wasn’t new for me. The difference though in leaving him at home, in a place where he is comfortable, and leaving him somewhere new with lots of other kids and teachers, seemed huge to me. My biggest worry was that he would feel lost in the afternoon, when he had to switch classrooms and teachers, as some kids go home  at noon and the school combines the remaining children into two groups, based on age.

I asked some other Bee mamas for advice about this transition and they were so helpful. Mrs. Stroller suggested talking to Liam about his new routine, going over the different parts of the day several times before he actually had to live the new routine. Mrs. Twine pointed me to something called Social Stories, where you create a personalized story for the child about his or her new routine. It is recommended to use real pictures of the child doing the things in the story, but since I didn’t have any, I just used clip art. If he has a problem with any particular part of his routine after he starts, I’ll ask his teachers to take some pictures of him in school and use those to create another story. For now, though, this has been working out great! Social Stories are designed to help kids with special needs, namely autism, adjust to new routines and expectations. However, as I’ve learned in my training and experience as a teacher, what works for kids with special needs is beneficial for all kids. Here is Liam’s story!

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Summer Theme Week: Superhero

At the end of Fairy Tale week, I let the kids decide what we would learn about next.  They agreed that the following week should be Superhero week. I was a little nervous at first. My creative side works best when I have a deep understanding of my topics. Superheroes are not exactly my forte, although now being a mother to three little guys I am becoming more familiar with all of them, but in most cases they now know more about the characters than I do. So I tried to keep it simple and go with what I knew of the characters.

Throughout this week I didn’t really have a long project like the alphabet book in our Fairy Tale week, but I wanted something to be cohesive that linked all the days together. I cut up strips of paper with a superhero and their power written on it.  Each morning they picked which super hero they would be for the day. James kept cheating to make sure he got Spiderman and Lilly wanted to be Wonder Woman, but Nick and Joe had fun pretending to be a different super hero every day.

Batman

-          I looked around for some printables for this week and I came across a Batman preschool  pack.  I used several of their pages. The first was Heroes vs. Villains which had a page of heroes and villains to cut out and than a spot to paste the pictures in the correct spot. It gave us a chance to talk about what a hero is and what type of behaviors make someone a villain.  The kids love to cut and paste so they had a really great time with these.  The second was a Bat symbol memory game.  The Batman Symbol was printed in various colors and there were also cards with the name of the color spelled out.

-          Batman paper doll. I found this printable and let the kids use water colors to make their Batmans. They are still  hanging up on our wall because Lilly wont let me take them down.

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