Tuesday, February 2, 2016

11 Months Old!

Flora is eleven months old!
Flora Nell is getting so big and I can hardly believe it.  It is shocking to me that she will be one next month, but this seems to be how it goes with babies.  She is working on becoming an expert walker and now chooses it over crawling about 50% of the time.  She is very proud of herself and enjoys showing off.
Flora also seems to take a sense of pride in doing anything that is slightly unsafe.  She climbs everything.  I left the playroom for maybe two minutes to finish unloading the dishwasher and came back to her on top of Jeremy's desk.  I don't leave her alone in there anymore.
She enjoys bouncing on the trampoline, making messes, and upsetting her siblings by knocking over any block tower they attempt to make.  She also likes sliding chairs around the dining room.
Flora is constantly following Pearl and Axel around and they are generally pretty good about including her in playtime.  She always tries to snatch their snacks and manages to get her hands on those snacks pretty often.  
Flora has four teeth now and is very confident that she can handle eating anything even though she safely cannot do that.  She is very much like Pearl at this age, I have to watch her like a hawk.
I guess I should start planning a birthday party.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gilmore Girls Free Printables

I could say something like, "I've been on a Gilmore Girls kick recently," but that would be a lie because I have been into the show for basically half of my life.  I love how smart and endearing all of the characters are.  Gilmore Girls and Seinfeld are the two shows that I could watch over and over again for the rest of my life and never tire of them.  I was thrilled when they put all of the Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix and I am so dang excited for the reboot to happen.
I have been really busy lately and needed a fun project that wasn't work or kid related so I made a series of Gilmore Girls printables to share.  Some of them may include my biased opinions on Rory's boyfriends.  I'm sorry if you don't agree, but you are just wrong.  They are saved in 8x10 format and you are welcome to re-size, make into cards, or do whatever you wish with them.  Just don't use the art for profit or I will get all Paris Geller on you.
Find the free Gilmore Girls printables here.  Please send me photos and let me know how you used them.

Friday, January 1, 2016

10 Months Old!

Flora is ten months old!
Flora thoroughly enjoyed the month of December.  She tried kinds of foods at family gatherings, became pretty good at opening presents, and loved being the center of attention.  Despite never ending teething and a very runny nose, she still managed to be quite happy most of the time.  I love her cheesy little smile and I especially appreciate that she is in a good mood more often than not.
She is getting very good at mimicking sounds and we have taught her a few words this month.  One that has seemed to stick is "thank you."  We have even gotten her to say Per-Per a few times which is one of the nicknames we have for Pearl.  Hopefully she will be able to get something down for Axel soon.
Flora isn't yet walking all over the house on her own, but has begun to take steps without being prompted by us and walks all over the place while holding hands.  She will even walk hand-in-hand with Pearl.  I can't wait for her to get this walking thing down because I'm kind of over her having dirty hands and knees.  I also think maybe she will try to eat less things off of the floor if she isn't crawling.  I don't think she will choose it as her primary mode of transport though until she can walk faster than she can crawl.  She seems to be always rushing around after her siblings.  She puts her head down to power-crawl like she is really on a mission to get to them.  It's pretty cute.
The kids got a little play tent for Christmas and they have all been enjoying playing together in it.  Pearl and Axel like to pretend that Flora is a little baby dragon coming to destroy their castle.  She doesn't seem to mind playing the dragon and laughs as she breaks the little fabric door down.  It makes me happy to see them include her in their play time even if she is generally the villain.  I'm sure as she gets older, she won't always want to be the one they are running away from.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

9 Months Old!

Flora is nine months old!
Baby Flo has been so much fun this month.  She absolutely loves playing in the evening with Jeremy and her siblings.  Jeremy will pick her up and they will run through the house chasing Pearl and Axel.  She smiles and laughs the whole time.  We also discovered that if we give her an empty bowl, she will pretend to eat food out of it.  She really cracks us up with that trick. 
She is getting a lot better at walking with assistance and has even taken a couple of steps on her own.  It's amazing how motivated Flora is to learn new things.  She is saying "dada" now and seems to know what it means along with still saying "mama" all the time.
Flora is consistently going to bed in her crib, but still ends up in our bed at some point every night.  Night time has been rough for me this month.  Axel has been waking up and yelling for me pretty often.  Flora has proven to be a light sleeper and his yelling often wakes her up.  I regularly have two kids awake in the middle of the night and have to go back and forth between them until they are asleep.  I'm hoping that Axel's waking is a short lived phase.  Since Flora's nights have been less restful, she has been napping more.  That part of the sleeping arrangement is definitely welcome.  I'm glad at least one kid in this house is finally getting in naps for a decent length of time.
I am excited for her to spend more time with family at all of the holiday gatherings this month.  She is a charmer with her big grin and sweet laugh, I can't wait to show her off.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pearl Plays PDX #9 - Beauty and the Beast at the Keller Auditorium

Full Disclosure - I received two free tickets for this event as a media guest.  All opinions are my own.
Pearl and I attended the Broadway in Portland showing of Beauty and the Beast at Keller Auditorium last night.  Pearl is four years old with a bedtime generally around 8:00 pm.  The show started at 7:30 pm.  I wasn't sure how she would handle being out so late.  I had plenty of cash on hand to keep her distracted with snacks if necessary.  For the most part, my treat distractions were not needed.
After we arrived, I relaxed a little.  The auditorium was full of kids under the age of 10.  There were so many adorable fancy outfits and just a buzz of general excitement.  Pearl was so bubbly, it was hilarious.  The atmosphere helped her settle into the appropriate mood I think.  As we found our seats, she was smiling from ear to ear, just examining the glowing flower on stage.
The opening song in town was wonderful.  Pearl was mesmerized.  It was the perfect start.  She maintained that it was her favorite part even after the show was over.  Most of her favorite moments were the highly choreographed numbers with lots of characters on stage.  The production did a fantastic job incorporating child level humor so the kids never seemed to lose interest.  The show lasted until 10:00 pm and I only heard one child cry the entire time.  Pearl barely even acted tired.  She was so excited that she chatted my ear off the whole drive home.  If you are hesitant, I can confidently tell you not to worry about taking your kids.  They will be entertained and will most likely not be a distraction.  There are also two matinee showings this weekend if you are concerned about bedtime.
Photo c/o Broadway in Portland
Another concern parents may have is whether the show is too scary for little ones.  There are a few scary moments.  Nearly all of them involve someone being chased in the woods by  wolves.  During the first wolf attack, I held Pearl's hand.  She was concerned, but seemed fine once she realized that Belle's dad was unharmed.  If you are concerned about scary moments, maybe talk to your child beforehand about the wolf parts.  The production handled the Beast character very well.  He is clearly mean at times, but is never at any point terrifying.  Only the most sensitive of small children may take issue with him.  Overall, the fun outweighs any of the brief scary moments.  You can always hold a hand or keep your child on your lap when you see those moments coming.
The show plays throughout the rest of the week in Portland.  If you are looking for a special family outing, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DIY Holiday Fireplace Mantel Decor

 Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have shamefully already put up Christmas decorations.  I wanted to update our decor because I am a bit tired of looking at the same items year after year.  We are on a budget though and Christmas decor just does not fall into the "need" category.  I put our fireplace mantel together completely with items and supplies we already had.  I feel great about how it turned out and I'm enjoying the newness without having spent any money.
Here are a few things I quickly put together that you can do too:
1. I printed off some Christmas related lyrics on pretty paper.  I used a frame and mat from artwork that we usually have in our guest room so I didn't have to purchase anything.  Holiday decorations are temporary so it's totally fine to borrow things from other parts of the house.
2. I updated an old wreath DIY that was once wrapped in yarn. I used more rustic looking scrap fabric that I had left over and a glue gun.  The fabric I used is all from the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store.
3. I framed one of our Christmas cards from Tiny Prints to display.
4. I painted an old vase, a shot glass, and an empty spice container with leftover gold paint. I used them to hold greenery trimmed from a tree in my yard.
5. I made a string art reindeer using supplies I had in my craftroom.  If you are not sure how to do string art, there are tons of tutorials all over the internet.  Just google "string art."  I repurposed a cheap craft box that I bought years ago as my background.  The wood was thin and soft enough that I was able to use push pins instead of nails which made the project a whole lot easier.
6. I made a simple advent calendar banner with craft paper, tape, and baker's twine.  All things I already had on hand.  I'm probably most excited about this project because it will be the first time I have done an advent calendar with my kids.
Are you working on any DIY projects for the holidays?

Monday, November 2, 2015

8 Months Old!

Flora is eight months old!
This girl is just the sweetest.  Her smile really does light up the whole room and she generally smiles all the time.  She has been learning a lot of new things and is always so proud of herself when she gets something new figured out.  She knows how to clap now and gets really excited when she can clap along with other people.
Her first word came out at the beginning of the month. I am happy to announce that it was "mama".  I taught her to say it, but I didn't think she really knew what it meant at first.  She now occasionally yells it when she wants me to come to her so she has definitely made the association by now.  Jeremy has been working on dad with her.  She has definitely made the "da" sound a few times, but we are still perfecting it.  I have also gotten her to say "hi" a few times while waving.
She walks along the furniture in the living room with ease now, but is always holding on.  I didn't think she was capable of standing on her own yet, but Jeremy got her to do it on Halloween and yelled at me across the room to see her.  I caught a split second of it before she sat down.
Flora is constantly grabbing everything and is obsessed with her sibling's water bottles.  She will go to extreme lengths to obtain them and is unfortunately really good at drinking from them so I have to keep an eye on that situation.  I have no idea why she thinks she is so thirsty.
We are going strong with nursing and she still eats like three times a night.  She sleeps really great in between feedings though.  I transitioned her to the crib last week which means she starts out there and ends up sleeping in our room by around 1:00 am.  That's still progress, I guess.  I really don't mind sleeping with her.  I will miss it when that stage is behind us.
See how much she has grown!