Showing posts with label simple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label simple. Show all posts

Feb 4, 2013

Mommy "Lesson" Plans

Like I've mentioned to you all, my hubby and I decided after Noah was born that I would return to work part-time.  (I plan on writing a post later to detail all of the thoughts that went into that decision making process, so stay tuned) Anyway, since I work as a nurse, "part-time" for me consists of two 12 hour night shifts per week.  This entails me leaving for work around 6:00pm and getting home around 8:10 the next morning.  I am fortunate enough to have my mother in law nearby to watch Noah one day a week so that I can sleep in between my night shifts, but all of the other days I have him to myself =).  Although finding time to sleep can be a challenge, we are making it work!
I know that alot of moms use daycare.  In fact, I was in daycare (part-time) as a child!  So I have nothing against putting my child there.  Quite the contrary, I was nervous that by not putting Noah in daycare he might miss out on all the cool, neat lesson plans they have for their children everyday!  Let's face it, daycares have really come along way since you and I were little....they really are more like "baby schools"! 

So my type A personality kicked in and I decided that if I was going to be (essentially) a stay at a home mom, I would need to do my part in keeping Noah up to the standards of his peers.  Like alot of us busy young moms, I like lists and organization.  So I took to Microsoft Publisher again and made what I think is a nifty little grid for planning out Noah's week.   Take a gander...



After making my little chart, I filled it in with details and ideas that I found from babycenter.com, thebump.com and other related baby info sites.  Now please remember, I am NOT a teacher, but I do believe that as Noah's mom I "teach" him everyday.  This little guide will help me structure out some fun activities for us and remind me what stage of development Noah is working on =) 

Here is my filled out chart...




So there you have it.  For all of you other stay at home moms out there, browsing the Internet does turn up some really useful mommy information.  Here are some of the subject areas I found for infants:

Reading
Singing
Textures
Noises
Nature
Art
Sign Language

And learning areas...
 Senses
Cognitive
Language
Social/Emotional
Fine Motor Skills
Gross Motor Skills

Initially I was trying to find a way to incorporate all of these areas into one schedule chart, but it was becoming just too confusing.  I like the simplicity of the chart above.  But I will be mindful to try and include all of these areas in Noah's daily activities week to week.  Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you found this helpful!

Feb 3, 2013

DIY Nursery w/ Homemade Decor: Part 2 DIY Yarn Letters

Have you all seen those alphabet letters or name decals that a lot of cute nurseries have hanging on the wall?  Usually they are found somewhere above or around the crib...well when i was decorating Noah's nursey, I decided I needed wanted them. So I set out in a hot pursuit of four wooden block letters. First place on the tour was Michaels of course!  Fast forward to me standing in Michaels looking at their wooden block letters while mentally tallying up the price of Noah's name at a steep $5-6  per wooden letter block.  And that price wasn't even for the large sized blocks.  Now 'Noah' is a short name, so the letters would have only set me back $25-30, but that even seemed like more than I wanted to spend on this particular decoration. Additionally, they were unfinished and would need a coat of paint or something to help them out.  So that was a quick elimination for me. Next I thought I'd check out Joann fabrics, which actually turned out to be a little more espensive than Michaels. Humph I thought, what now?

Then the familiar little voice I often have came creeping into my head..."pshhh you can make these". My conscious mind wasn't as confident, but  I was up for the challenge.   So I came up with a home-made alternative that involved some cardboard, ribbon, yarn, hot glue gun, and a lot of patience.  Since I originally posted this project Here the same idea has popped up on Pinterest and other crafty homemade blogs. Seems like crafty minds think alike!  So here's what happened.
DIY Yarn Letters:

Need: 
Yarn, a color of your choice
Cardboard
Scissors or Exacto Knife
Hot Glue Gun


Step 1: 
I took my cardboard and free handed large block letters for N-O-A-H.  Then I used an exacto knife to cut my letters out through the cardboard.
(Tip- Keep your letter edges as straight and smooth as possible.  It makes for easier yarn application)


Step 2:
Glue one end of your yarn on the back edge of your first letter.  When the yarn and glue are set, you can begin wrapping your letter, laying each strand of yarn tightly next to the other.  Be careful not to wind too tightly or your cardboard letter may bow. 
(Tip:  Be creative wit your yarn if you need to.  It's ok to overlap sections and wrap multiple times to make sure that your cardboard is covered)


Step 3: 
I had some green ribbon lying around, so I doubled my ribbon and glued it to the back of my letters for easy hanging. 

And there you have it.  DIY Yarn Letters for baby.  If I did this project again in the future, I think it may be neat to use multiple colors of yarn.  The fun part is, this project is so easy and inexpensive, and it adds a great custom/*homemade* touch to your nursery.  I like it...and I hope Noah will like reaching up and touching his soft letters too...he's definitely getting close to that stage!  =)

So....the breakdown
Total cost of this project.
$2.99  (for the yarn)
Winning?

Jan 31, 2013

DIY Nursery w/ Homemade Decor: Part 1 DIY Crayon Wall Art

With Noah being my first baby, I had plenty of time on my hands to be creative and crafty in his nursery.  Nine long months to be exact.  I spent hours looking through nursery ideas online, browsing pinterest for inspiration, and crafting with my own twist on things. 

The end result was this.  A green, monkey themed nursery, with touches of "mommy" hidden about the room. 







Perhaps the nicest compliment I've ever been given was by our newborn photographer when she came to take Noah's photos.  "This nursery looks like it belongs in a magazine!"  'Holy Geez', I thought, 'Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit, I've outdone myself!'  Don't worry, I didn't let it go to my head, but I was very flattered indeed and excited that someone else appreciated my craftiness.  So I thought I'd share the ideas I found/modified/came up with so that you have inspiration for your very own DIY/homemade nursery too!

DIY Craft #1: Crayon Art

Need: 
Box of crayons (I got mine at Michael's for $1)
Blank canvas (also purchased at Michael's for around $5)
Hot glue gun
Hair-dryer

Step 1:  Line up your crayons in rainbow order



Step 2:  Hot glue your crayons to your canvas



Step 3:  Blow dry your crayons until they begin to melt.  You can direct the trickle of wax down the canvas with your blow dryer as well.
(Tip:  Hot wax can fly off of your canvas, so make sure you have the area around you covered by newspaper or some other protective barrier)

And there you are!  For under $10, you have your very own colorful piece of artwork.  Infants love bright colors and it's also a great way for toddlers to learn about the colors of the rainbow.

Let me know how yours turn out!

Check back later for Part 2 of the DIY nursery series, featuring my step by step instructions on make your own alphabet letters!

Simplify your Grocery Shopping

I used to love grocery shopping... and then I had a baby.  Now it gives me anxiety.  Why?...Because who knows when sweet little Noah will decide that the friendly sights and sounds at the grocery no longer amuse him or that the little toys mommy brought from home are a less than satisfactory distraction.  The thought of Noah having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store is enough to make me want to eat from the canned goods in the back of my pantry for the next 2 months. 

Ok maybe that is a little dramatic.  But seriously, taking an infant, even a gooood infant, to the grocery store can be a daunting task.  In the past I've always carried a scribbled, hurried grocery list, usually consisting of a nice mix of Dan's illegible handwriting and my half thought out items.  With this sort of system, I have often found myself still forgetting items, missing aisles, retracing my steps, and becoming overwhelmed at making sure I get everything I need.  The extra time and stress that kind of grocery trip leads to does not mesh well with a 6 month old.

So in an effort to simplify and streamline my grocery shopping experience as much as possible, I created a handy little pdf. to share with you all.  It's divided into the main sections of our grocery store and ordered essentially in the sequence that I hit them.  I also included a meal section (hubby and I plan out our meals every week) to offer little reminders as to what I may need to look for at the store AND for a reference to me and hubby (since we often forget what we planned to eat)! 

Please feel free to use my pdf. or be inspired to create one of your own.  And let me know how it works for you!

Happy Grocery Shopping everyone =)
Grocery List Made Simple

Morning Sunshine

After what has seemed like days of dreary, overcast skies here in Lancaster County, the sun has finally decided to grace us again with its presence.  What a relief too, I for one was beginning to miss it.

So today, amongst many things, I am thankful for the sun.


And I am thankful for the daily reminder of why going part time was the best decision Dan and I  could have made for our family....

Look at the face that I woke up to this morning!  Now if that's not enough recharge you and prepare you for whatever the day has in store,  I don't know what is. 

Good morning everyone!  How did you wake up today?  


Jan 30, 2013

DIY Ribbon Jar

In the spirit of homemade craftiness, I made Noah, affectionately "Noahbear"  a "ribbon jar".  I was browsing Pinterest the other day and came across a similar idea.  The link took me to a website suggesting that I tie ribbon together, glue to the bottom of an unused travel wipes container, and let said child "go to town" pulling out the magical never-ending strand of ribbon.  Perfect! I thought.  This looked simple enough. 

Problem was, my travel wipes container had a hole opening the size of a small fist.  There would be no fun in pulling ribbon through that mammoth sized hole.  So I racked my brain for a different idea and came up with a mason jar, which I have plenty of lying around the house. 

Step 1:
I took said jar and created a cardboard top for it (in place of the metal one). 


Step 2:
I glued some fun baby boy fabric to the top and cut an "X" in the center of the lid for the ribbon to travel through.

Step 3:
I tied together various lengths of colorful, fun ribbon that I had on hand.

Step 4:
I stuffed fun ribbon into jar.

Step 5:
I gave to child (under supervision since strangulation by ribbon is not a fate I wish for my son) and he had a blast.  Look at the face on this kid....

Now that's one happy baby!  Who knew something so simple could be so fun?  Noah loves to play with this 'toy'.  He grasps the concept of "if i pull, something new will pop through that little hole!"  And it's adorable to see his face light up each time he does it.  You can't beat $0 baby toys =)

Simple.Homemade.Happy.

How Appropriate for the First Day of my Blog!

My hubby and I try to make dinnertime a place and time where we can catch up with eachother on the day's activities.  It's share time.  We share what we did during the day, what made us laugh, funny things we heard on the radio, silly Noah things, etc, etc.  Tonight my husband decided to share with me a video that his sister had shared with him.  You may have seen it already, it's called "A Pep Talk from Kid President to You."  It is currently trending on a lot of social media sites, but incase you haven't seen it yet, here is the link

http://youtu.be/l-gQLqv9f4o



Did you watch it?  Did you get chills?  I know I did.  First things first, how cute was that kid?  I mean seriously, he was perfect.  But that 3 minute video was so powerful, and the message it was delivering is one that every single person can identify with.  As he said, we've got "air coming through our nose" and "a heartbeat" so go out into the world and "be awesome", "give the world a reason to dance".  And perhaps my most favorite message; that little child reminds us that we are all on the "same team". 

Such simple truths.  So this blog is my way of "doing something".  And from this day forward, I'm going to remind myself that I am on the same team as every person I meet.  If this means waiting an extra second to hold the door open for the person behind me or letting someone out in front of me while driving or taking the time to wish the cashier a good day, I will be "awesome".  And I am sure I will be a happier person for it.