Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cling Wrap Painted Flowers

I am digging the new centerpiece on my kitchen table!  Best flowers ever!

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I found the tutorial to make these cute flowers over at Ape 2 Zebra Toys.  It was a really easy project.  And a big plus…no mess!  No paint on fingers, no paint on clothes…awesome!  (I still used washable paint just in case!)

Trenton picked out two colors to put on his flower, I covered it with cling wrap, and then he smashed, smushed, banged, and patted the flower to make a neat tie-dyeish painted flower.

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After seeing how this type of painting worked, Trenton became very serious about his art.

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Charlotte was excited about getting to make her own flowers.  She loved going, “pat, pat, pat” to her flowers, but as soon as I took the camera out, she wanted it!

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Trenton’s flowers are on the top, and Charlotte’s are on the bottom.  So cute!

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It took a full 24 hours for the paint to totally dry.  I poked holes in the flowers with a paper clip, threaded pipe cleaners through the holes, into and out of buttons, and back through the same hole in the flowers. 

I LOVE our new flowers!  And they will never wilt!

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15 Months!

It’s hard to believe that our little baby girl is already 15 months old!  Charlotte is such a funny little girl and has a great big personality.  She loves making faces to get others to laugh.  She is definitely on the go and is a very fast runner!  Big brother has taught her some tricks too.  Her favorite is spinning around in circles.  She says “round round” while making herself dizzy!  Charlotte has a great vocabulary; much more extensive than Trenton did at this age.  Charlotte has FINALLY gotten some teeth!  She has four on the bottom and two on top with two more on top getting ready to pop through. 

We spent some time at the pediatrician’s office last week.  Trenton spiked a fever early in the week, and by Thursday morning Charlotte had it too.  I figured it was just a virus, but I had to call the doctor since her temperature was over 102 degrees.  Dr. Altman had us come in to get a urine sample as a precautionary measure.  We were all surprised when the dipstick test showed bacteria in her urine.  Charlotte was put on an antibiotic treatment and will start a new preventative antibiotic once she is finished with her 10-day treatment.

Yesterday I took Charlotte back to the pediatrician’s office for her 15-month check up.  Because Charlotte hadn’t been without fever all that long and now had a cold, we decided to wait to give her the 15-month vaccinations. 

Charlotte is doing wonderfully developmentally, but she does not seem to be growing the way she should.  She has only gained 9 ounces since her 1-year appointment, and hasn’t grown any height wise.  She weighs 21 pounds (20th percentile) and is 29.25 inches tall (15th percentile).  Charlotte is having some lab work done next week to make sure there are no underlying issues as to why her growth has slowed down so much. 

It is so much fun watching Charlotte develop into a little person.  She is such a sweet, loving little girl, but she also likes stomping her foot at Mommy when she wants something!  This is such a fun age, and I’m loving every minute of it…well, except for when she and Trenton insist on fighting over the same toy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Salad Spinner Painting–Patriotic Star Garland

We tried out salad spinner painting to make this super cute patriotic star garland.  This is a perfect craft for 4th of July!  It’s also a cute thing to send to deployed military members.

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While the kids were napping, I cut out five circles out of card stock to fit in the bottom of my salad spinner.  I drew a star on one side of the paper so that I would easily be able to cut the shapes later.

I had everything ready to go when the kids woke up. 

The first circle was placed in the salad spinner basket with the star drawing side down.  I used medicine droppers to drop spots of red and blue paint.  We used Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint; wouldn’t want to ruin my salad spinner!

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Close up the salad spinner, and then it’s time for the fun part – spinning!

The kids had a blast taking turns spinning our paintings!

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After taking the first painting out of the spinner, I decided to mix a little water in with our paint.  The thinner paint spread out a lot better.

Once the paint was dry, I used the star outlines that were on the back side of the painting to cut each circle into a star.

Next, I cut slits into each horizontal point on the stars and strung a piece of red ribbon through.  Before stringing, I cut the end of the ribbon into a point and sealed the edge with a lighter to make it easier to fit through the slits. 

When all of the stars were on the ribbon, I knotted loops into both ends of the ribbon to serve as hangers.  I tied a decorative bow around where I had knotted the loop.  I also put smaller decorative bows between each of the stars.

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I love the way this garland turned out!  I’d really like to keep it for myself, but I already promised the kids that we would send it to Daddy.  We may just have to make another one to have here at home!

This post is linked to:
* We Did It! Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
* Summer Safari – Pennant Party @ Craft Monkey
* HIGH PAW – Show Us Your Best @ Best Toys for Toddlers
* It’s Playtime! @ Hands On: As We Grow
* Made by Little Hands Monday @ Delicate Construction
* Show & Tell @ ABC and 123

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gifts for a Deployed Daddy

With Jarrod deployed for Father’s Day and his birthday for the second year in a row, I’ve had to become pretty inventive when it comes to gift giving.

But why reinvent the wheel, right?  A couple of internet searches yielded some wonderful ideas.

I found this great idea and free download for a Father’s Day gift over at Nothing But Country.

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I triple bagged these before putting them in my flat rate box just in case they burst en route to Jarrod.  Wouldn’t want them to ruin the rest of the gifts we packed!

Pillowcases are great gifts to send to a deployed loved one.  I took this handprint birthday cake idea from Meet the Dubiens, and had Trenton put it on a pillowcase.

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Daddy was going to get two birthday cakes on his pillowcase (Trenton’s and Charlotte’s), but after painting Trenton’s hand and trying to keep him from smearing the paint before I could finish, I knew there was no way I could make a cake with Charlotte’s hand.  Maybe next year!

Oh, and if you’re wondering why the year is in a black box, mommy brain got the best of me.

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Painting a black box to cover my mistake and then painting white numbers was definitely a better idea than my original; painting 2000+11.

Charlotte made Daddy’s balloon birthday card.

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I thought that fingerprint balloons would be a cute idea.  Charlotte wanted to point her finger straight down onto the paper though, so the balloons don’t really look like fingerprints.  I was still really happy with the way the card turned out.

Handmade/homemade gifts are always so fun to make, and gift recipients usually love them.  What are some of your favorites?

This post is linked to:
* Made by Little Hands Monday @ Delicate Construction
* Show & Tell @ ABCs and 123s
* Summer Fun Party @ Come Together Kids

Friday, June 10, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

We had a great time back in Texas, but it sure is nice to be back in our own house in Virginia!  My mom was great and helped us drive back here.  Unlike when Jarrod and I drove from here to Texas without stopping for the night, Mom and I split the trip into two days.

The first day started off fairly well.  We had only been on a road a little over an hour, and Trenton was already saying it was time to stop at a hotel!  Only a few minutes later he was asleep.  Charlotte was sleeping too. 

Score!

Not so much.

A morning nap for Trenton meant that he didn’t take an afternoon nap.  He was good (with a few normal 2-year-old whiny moments here and there) up until around 4:30pm.  Then it was meltdown time.  Dinner didn’t help.  Charlotte, who had been an amazingly good baby up until this point, got upset too, and the kids cried in harmony.  We kept driving thinking that at any point Trenton would fall asleep and we’d get some quiet time.  This was not the case.  We finally pulled into a hotel just north of Montgomery, Alabama around 8pm. 

While Mom got the kids settled into the hotel, I ran up the street to Wal-Mart to buy a few new DVDs for the next day’s drive.  Out of the ten DVDs I had packed for our drive, Trenton watched one for about 30 minutes the first day and then decided that he didn’t want any more. 

Boy was Dora a lifesaver for that second day on the road!  Trenton watched NINE HOURS of Dora the Explorer our second day on the road, and he was a very happy little boy.  Mommy and Mimi were much happier too (although Mommy still has Dora songs running through her head)!  And Charlotte slept almost 3/4 of the twelve hours we were on the road the second day.   

We pulled into our driveway around 9PM.  I think the kids thought it was Christmas.  It was like all of their toys were new!  Within 45 minutes all of their toys were also all over my living room floor!

It was almost 11:00 before we all turned in for the night.  And what a great night of sleep it was! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cartagena, Spain

After passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and entering the Mediterranean Sea, the ship anchored off the coast of Cartagena, Spain for their second liberty port.

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1st day – Secretary of the Navy Reception – AWESOME!!!  I’ve got some great pics to show and the SECNAV actually cut the cake with our sword, which is engraved with our wedding day’s date!  The setup was spectacular and my team that contributed did a fantastic job!

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2nd day – Cartagena by Foot walking tour was an absolute blast.  We had a really good time and a really great tour guide.  I was up early and on the boat out to the pier.  We started by walking around the lower elevation of Cartagena and then headed on up the mountain to one of the fortresses.  The city/harbor is surrounded by mountains and protects the harbor with fortresses on top. The photos tell it all…what a gorgeous place that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Can’t wait to bring my wife to this city for a week or two!  Sangria wine….yummy!!!


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3rd day – Duty day!

Portsmouth, England

Jarrod sent me some stuff to post about the ship’s recent trip to Portsmouth, England.  His internet connection wasn’t great, so he wasn’t able to send a lot of pictures.  _______________________________________________________

Day of arrival – Duty day!  I stayed on the ship and put out fires all afternoon…such as not having a water barge (we couldn’t make water utilizing reactor power, so we had to rent a 120K gallon water barge).
 
1st full day in port – Portsmouth D-Day Museum & Blue Reef Aquarium – Great time, but it was COLD!!!  I really enjoyed the D-Day Museum, the scenic route around Portsmouth, and the Blue Reef Aquarium…even though my beautiful wife wasn’t with me I was able to squeeze some pleasure out of the day.  The D-Day museum discussed the preparations and build up for the invasion into France to prevent the Nazi’s from crossing over English Channel and entering Britain.  It was quite an experience and extremely informative from the build up side, D-Day “minus” aspect looking years in advance.  Portsmouth was one of four or five major launching points for the invasion of France in order to stop Hitler.  But that was only part of my day!  Upon completing the D-Day museum, I walked out the back of the center and marched straight to South Sea Castle.  I tell you, it would be a comfy place for me and my queen!  Castles are distinguished from forts by having a moat around them…this particular one having angled edges to improve defenses and allow for better targeting.  This castle is situated over the deepest part of the channel and protects the English Channel in conjunction with two “island forts” in the middle of the channel.  These are better seen once I get the pictures uploaded!  After an amazing look around the castle, I headed down to Blue Reef Aquarium where I viewed lots of interesting fish that the kids would have really enjoyed.  It was like many other nature centers we as a family visit, and I really missed my family while going through it!  It was way more than just an aquarium and helped to top off a wonderful day away from the ship!
 
2nd full day in port – Stonehenge and Bath…Stonehenge-big pile of rocks in the middle of a field.  But they sure are COOL!  Bath – SPECTACULAR!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed Bath and must save for the pleasure of allowing my dream girl a stay for a few days.  There was a gorgeous cathedral and the Roman “baths” were something else.  This bath area originated from a hot spring that the Romans build buildings around and enclosed, thus using gravity to move the spring water through the different bath tubs and then out into the river.  Really complex and intricate tile work was amazing to see!
 
3rd full day in port – Hampton Court & Windsor (not the castleSad smile)  So I spent my last full day in England checking out Hampton Court and then the town of Windsor.  Hampton Court was a really big castle complex.  Really amazing work done there and I enjoyed walking through and seeing the architecture and layout.  The chapel within was beautiful, but no photos were allowed.  I’m sure some photos can be found on the internet if you’re interested.  Now Windsor…wow!!!  I did not tour the castle, as the line for entry wrapped around the block.  But from the outside it is extremely impressive.  So I toured around the town…had an ice cream cone and a “swirl chocolate stick” that was stuck in the top of the cream cone.  It was good.  Then I lounged around in a park and read a bit, and made my way back toward the bus where I came across a “walking puzzle” that I played.  It was a fun game…saying something about chess originating from the kids sport. It was fun!  The weather turned cloudy and I made my way back to the bus where I enjoyed a quiet couple of hours reading and listening to some music! 

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