Director Jewels: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lincoln's Reading Corner October 2012


Did you catch last month's Reading Corner?  When I wrote that post, I assumed that the next installment would contain all of the same books - we read them that much!  But it turns out, the selection has actually changed up quite a bit!  So without further ado - here are Lincoln's Top 8 Books in October 2012!


1. The Berenstain Bears New BabyI requested this book from the library since it is about welcoming a little sister into the family!  It has not been Lincoln's top choice, but he has let me read it a few times.  I always try to compare Small Bear to Lincoln - maybe he's making the correlation that he, too, is going to have a baby sister?  Yeah, probably not.  But I'll keep trying!

2. Old MacDonald Had a Farm.  This book is from a 4-board-book collection - I have no idea where we got it. It has little pop-up flaps on every page with all of the different animals on Old MacDonald's farm.  Lincoln thinks it's pretty great.

3. All Things Bright and Beautiful.  This is another from a (different) 4-board-book collection.  This one contains the first couple lines of lyrics to the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful and also features pop-up flaps on every page.  This is probably Lincoln's very favorite of all the books this month!  I can't tell you how many times we have read this!

4. Little Bee Finger Puppet Book.  This book is cute - it features a little bee finger puppet that you can use to interact with your little one while reading.  This one is especially popular around here at bedtime, when he is exhausted and needs a distraction to get through the ordeal of putting on pj's.  I just discovered that this book is part of a series...may be adding Little Puppy or Little Mouse to our stocking stuffer list!

5.  Where Does It Park? 
This book was a summer reading program prize this year and I am so glad we chose this one!  It has been a favorite for months, I just forgot to put it on the September list.  It is a simple board book that asks Where does a car park?  Where does a train park?  Where does a bus park?  You get the idea.  Andrew and I both have it memorized.

6.  The Good Shepherd. 
This is in the same collection as All Things Bright and Beautiful (above).  Also featuring pop-up flaps, it's the story of a shepherd who goes searching for a little lost lamb.  He makes quite the journey, as he looks everywhere from his barn to the desert.  Lincoln always grins when we get to the end and the sheep is found!

7.  The Lord is My Shepherd (Little Golden Books)
This Little Golden Book is a picture representation of the 23rd Psalm.  Maybe Lincoln thinks shepherds are awesome, since he randomly found this book (and the previous one) amidst the hundreds of books in our house and keeps insisting that we read them?

8.  Little Lion's Bible
.  This fun book has a furry lion on the cover, which makes it a great book for little ones like Lincoln!  Each page is a short version of a Bible story - featuring everything from Creation to Daniel to Jonah.  I know this one will stay in our collection for many, many years to come.

And that's it!  What books are your little ones enjoying right now?  We're always on the lookout for new stories!

Wordless Wednesday: Tiny Chef


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiting for Adelaide


Hi, little lady.

My name is mama.

I'm pretty anxious to meet you.  Your due date is one month from today...but it's only ten days until you are full-term! 

So...do you think we could speed up that arrival just a bit?  It would be totally fine by me.

I can't believe I am so close to seeing your precious face for the first time!  It's starting to drive me crazy, wondering what you look like.

I love you, sweet baby girl.

And I hope you are ready to wear lots and lots of gorgeous giant flower headbands.  Your collection is growing. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lincoln & Adelaide's Christmas Wishlists 2012

Oh my goodness - I cannot believe that Christmas is less than two months away!  That is crazy!  Since I will have a newborn by then, I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the holidays now.  But I'm not sure it's working.  Holidays are overwhelming for little ones...all of the celebrations and new toys - while fun - can equal extra sleepiness and tantrums.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but with two kids under two, I would say it's unlikely we'll get through the season without at least a few meltdowns. 

Today I'm thinking about things that would be fun for the little ones to find wrapped up under the Christmas tree.  Granted - they are both still going to be so young at Christmas (and they already have so much stuff) that probably most of these things are entirely unnecessary.  But half the fun is getting to see the joy on their faces when they open the gifts, right?  Don't anybody tell me that Adelaide won't be old enough to express joy.  I don't want to hear it!

So without further ado - a few fun things that I have found scattered about the internet that look like fun for our family!


Lincoln's Wishlist - 2012
Little People DC Super Friends Batcave Playset.  I happen to have it on good authority that this one will be waiting under a tree for Lincoln this year.  Daddy definitely believes that Lincoln should find Batman to be the most awesome thing ever, so he will be pleased.  And hey - Batman is driving a truck so it is sure to be a hit!

Little People Batmobile. Because what Batman can live without his nifty Batmobile?  Again - it's a car, so would probably be greatly loved.

Winnie the Pooh Crochet Hat (by KnitnutbyJL on etsy).  I think this is one of the cutest things ever!  Lincoln's sock monkey hat (which you can see in photos here) is a huge hit - every time he wears it, he attracts attention and comments from adoring strangers.  So Winnie the Pooh would probably have the same effect, right?  He is kind of in love with Pooh Bear or "ba" as he calls him - so I think this would make him smile.


Dracula BabyLit Board Book.  As a former librarian, I find these BabyLit books unbelievably adorable.  This one gets the Daddy stamp of approval as well.  We will probably (eventually) end up with the entire collection of these cute board books!

Lightning McQueen Pillow.  I wouldn't be a very truthful mama if I didn't admit that Lightning McQueen should probably be represented in some way this holiday season.  We already have so many car toys - maybe a pillow would be fun?

Hyrule Hero Tshirt by geeklingdesigns on etsy. Wardrobe choice by Daddy.

Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo.  This one he will actually be receiving under our tree here at home!  I picked up this toy at Target during an amazing sale last year - it retails for $50 but I paid $18 for it, brand new!  Since we saved so much on the zoo set itself, we've been able to collect some extra animals throughout the year, so we'll have a big collection of animals and zookeepers to get the zoo off to an awesome start.  And yes - we even have a safari truck, so we're covered in the chance he's disappointed it is not a car!


Adelaide's Wishlist - 2012
Black & White Headband by Lil' Giggles Couture.  I know.  What tiny baby needs this many flowers on top of her head?  Then again, what tiny baby doesn't need this?!

Trumpette Mary Jane Socks.  Trumpette is my absolute favorite brand of baby socks.  Lincoln has had a few sets, and he wears them pretty much every day.  There are far, far too many cute designs for girls and I have been lucky to find quite a few of them while garage-saling and consignment shopping this year.  But I never seem to think it's truly enough.  These are just precious!

Sophie the Giraffe.  We didn't have this toy for Lincoln, but I always kind of wanted it.  Supposedly every baby loves Sophie!  I think she's cute, in addition to being a great teether.

I'm a Peach Onesie by GamerMomCreations on etsy.  This is one of those items that I showed to Daddy and he said "have you bought this yet?"  Since she will be residing in the Nintendo-theme nursery, it seems appropriate that she have at least some related clothing.

Daddy's Little Princess Onesie by geeklingdesigns on etsy.  Following on the heels of that last wishlist item - another perfect onesie for Daddy and his princess.

Lamaze Princess Sophie Take-Along Toy.  Okay, okay.  She really doesn't need this at all.  But I've always thought it was adorable.

Disney Princess Belle Inspired Hairbow by QuickEgoods on etsy.  I like Princess Peach and all, but my hope is that Addie's true loyalty lies with Belle.  So my pick is this super adorable Belle-inspired bow!  She can wear it every day...if she has any hair.  :)


So that's it!  What do you think?  I know some of it is fairly impractical, but it's all pretty cute.  I'll be honest, though - the top item on my kids' wishlists is money for their college accounts.  Might as well ask for that now, before they realize what's going on, right?  ;)


I'm linking up with Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday!  What are your kiddos wishing for this holiday season?

Picky Family Recipe: Homemade Creamy Broccoli Soup


I don't have a lot of cravings during pregnancy - most of the time I consider it success if I feel like eating at all.  So when I had a ridiculous desire for soup last week, I had to follow through.  I made a Facebook status asking for delicious soup recipes with no small chunks of onions or tomatoes or other vegetables.  I really am not opposed to vegetables, but I have issues with food textures.  Chunky=bad in my world.  Please don't judge.  Andrew feels the same way, so we have a somewhat limited repertoire of family recipes. 

A fabulous friend of mine suggested this Creamy Broccoli Soup that her family enjoys.  It seemed to fit the picky family bill, so we decided to give it a try!


Ingredient List 
slightly modified from the original to accomodate our picky choices!

2 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 c. Carrot, shredded (about 2.5 carrots for me)
1/2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup
4 c. Half-and-Half or 2 c. Milk and 2 c. Cream
1 lb. Broccoli Crowns, trimmed and chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Directions
In a large pot, saute onion powder, carrot, and garlic in butter over medium-low heat until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the soups, half-and-half (or milk and cream), broccoli, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender (about 15-20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Yields about 4 servings. 


Here's a little peek at the how the creation process went for us here!

Peeling the Carrots

Broccoli, washed and ready to be chopped

Sauteing the first four ingredients.

Mixing in the Soups.

Everything in the pot - just waiting for it to cook!

Mine definitely burned to the bottom of my pan. :(
Lots of stirring after I noticed that!

The finished product, with a little cheddar cheese on top!

Testing it out.

I actually doubled the recipe so that I could freeze half of it to have on hand when Addie arrives in a few weeks.  This made it take somewhat longer to cook the soup enough for the broccoli to be tender.  Lincoln was pretty impatient by the time it was all finished!

Picky Family Verdict - 

Mommy: It was delicious!  I threw in some crackers, sopped up some bread, and devoured it.

Daddy: It was good, but could use larger chunks of broccoli next time.

Lincoln (20 months): Surprisingly...he wouldn't touch it.  I got about two bites in his mouth and he was done.  Maybe it was a fussy night?  I'm going to give it another shot when we thaw some of what went in the freezer.  I'm hoping it was a fluke because this one is definitely staying in our recipe repertoire! 

So, overall - I'd say it was a hit, even with Lincoln's disappointing reaction.  Give it a try and hopefully you will find a new favorite for your family as well!  Make sure you hop over and give Christi some love if you try it out!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Simple Moments v.2

This week has been trying at times, so I'm really trying to appreciate the simple moments - especially before baby sister arrives and everything goes a little bit more crazy around here.

It went from 80 degrees to 40 one day this week, and I think it's definitely time for the footie pj's to be the go-to at bedtime.  There's something just adorable about a kid in footies.  Don't you agree?

I snapped away one morning while Lincoln was still bidding all of his toys good morning.  Look at that crazy hair!


 

What a precious little dude.  Even on days (like the afternoon that these were taken) when he is determined to take my patience to its absolute limit.



I'm linking up to The Simple Things over at Simple as That today (they're having a 2-year Simple Things celebration giveaway this week, make sure you stop by)!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's-a-Nintendo Super Mario Brothers Halloween!



I was a bit of a blogging slacker last year around this time, so our Halloween photos never quite made it into a post.  I am currently brainstorming on what to do about costumes this year (yes, I know Halloween is less than a week away) and decided it was time to remedy the situation.  These photos were too cute not to share!

Daddy picked out our theme this year when he decided that Lincoln should be dressed as Toad.  As a good, responsible wife who has learned more Nintendo and Mario Brothers history than I ever thought possible, I knew immediately that our little Toad would need some people to complement him and make his costume more believable.  So the quest to find and/or make the perfect costumes for all of us began!


Thankfully, I already had the perfect Princess Peach dress on hand!  It's been hanging out in my collection ever since I wore it as a bridesmaid in a friend's antebellum-themed wedding several years ago.  I added a blue medallion and blonde wig - and poof!  Instant Peach.

It was too late in the game for me to make overalls for Daddy by the time I figured out that this was the plan - and it actually took me forever to track down a pair.  Finally found them at Walmart (of all places), but I worried for awhile that the whole idea would fall apart.  The Mario hat we hat on hand from another Mario costume that didn't fit quite right.


And as for Lincoln - his shirt is just an inside-out onesie, the pants are from Carter's.  The vest I sewed out of felt - it took all of ten minutes to make.  And his hat, we picked up at a costume shop a few weeks ago.  It was adult-sized, which didn't work super well.  I spent some time experimenting and ended up attaching it to a basic white baby cap (so that it wasn't dropping over his face), and added a chin strap to keep it atop his head.

I wasn't sure how well he would handle wearing a hat that was twice the size of his head - but he really didn't even seem to notice it.  For the most part, anyway.


After some family fun and playing with his cousin at the park, we headed out to the annual Trunk or Treat at church.  And thanks to our awesome costumes - we even tied for first place in the trunk contest (just like our Scooby Doo costumes helped us win in 2010)!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby Bump: Week 35


How far along? 35 weeks.  Two more left until full term - yay!

Weight gain/loss: I unfortunately glanced at the scale at my appointment this past week.  I've gained about 42 pounds.  It still seems to be all baby, so I guess I can't complain.  Much.

Feeling: Frustrated.  It's hard to move.  It's hard to sleep.  I never seem to make any progress on the dishes or the laundry or the sewing projects.  It's hard to care for a little boy who wants to make the biggest messes in the world and destroy all my furniture with his cars. 

Don't let his innocent face deceive you.  He tried to get in the trash can and toilet just one too many times while I took my bump photos today, so he was sentenced to a few minutes in the baby jail.

Maternity clothes?  Yes.  Some of the shirts are starting to be too short, whereas my jeans are randomly falling off?  Are they just losing their elasticity because I'm so enormous?!

Sleep: Lincoln slept most of the night the past two days, which was an improvement over the rest of the week.  If I could convince him to sleep a little later in the morning, it would rock my world.  Falling asleep is starting to be really difficult; I can't get comfortable for anything.  Especially when Lincoln ends up in bed with us because he won't sleep otherwise. :\

Food cravings:  I've reached the point of pregnancy where pretty much everything I eat tastes like dirt 95% of the time.  Delightful, right?  Really looking forward to the return of my normal taste buds in a few weeks.  On this note, however, I had Pizza Hut for lunch and even though I am suffering heartburn an hour later - it was delicious and totally worth it.

Gender: Still a girl. 
 
Movement?  I've been trying this week to identify exactly what little appendages are poking me.  Andrew thinks he felt fingers a few days ago, and we thought maybe a knee or elbow yesterday.  She is pretty much bouncing on my bladder - even Lincoln is no longer interested in following me to the bathroom all the time (and this is usually one of the day's highlights).

What I miss?  Feeling like myself, food, sleep.  Being able to do small tasks like walking up the stairs once or taking a shower without feeling like I might fall over.

Best moment this week: We had some great fun this past weekend at Enchanted Forest and the pumpkin patch.  Also got to have some time out with the hubby and friends last night to see an early screening of Wreck-It Ralph!  That was fun.

What I'm looking forward to:  Reaching full term so that I can start trying to walk this baby out of me.  Also anxious to meet a friend's baby who is due to arrive within the next few days!  Can't wait to sneak in some baby snuggles even before Adelaide makes her appearance!

Next Appointment: Wednesday, October 31.  Weekly appointments now - that means the rest of pregnancy should go quickly, right?!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Enchanted Forest 2012: Lincoln + a Firetruck & Winnie the Pooh!

I'll be the first to admit, getting out of the house at 34 weeks pregnant can sometimes be a challenge.  Most days I lack the motivation to even attempt it.  But if Daddy is home, the odds of success are a lot higher!

Since it's fall, there are tons of fun activities to do with the munchkin.  He's still a bit too young for most of them, but we wanted to at least give a shot at starting some fall family traditions!

The first thing on our list was the Enchanted Forest!  A few years ago, Andrew and I were part of this great seasonal troupe as actors - and we wanted to try it out from the audience side.  We were definitely not disappointed!


All right. So if you look at this photo, it might seem that Lincoln was not having the time of his life.  In fact, he was throwing a nice little tantrum.  There's quite a line for admission to the forest (we waited about an hour and a half), and they provide some great entertainment - costumed characters who interact with you, and a firetruck and an ambulance to tour.  If you caught my post on Lincoln's latest obsession earlier this week, you can imagine his excitement.  The face he is making above?  It happened when we had to remove him from the driver's seat of the fire truck.


He couldn't be bothered to look away from the truck long enough to pose for a photo with Mommy!


Once it started to get dark, some characters came out to visit with us!  He isn't super familiar with Finding Nemo, but he did recognize him as a fish - or "shhhhishhh!" as he shrieks.  Yes, it's always a shriek.


He was able to "drive" the firetruck several times while we waited.  And it was probably the highlight of his small life so far.


Family photo time!  Excuse my dead eyes as you remember that I am super pregnant and had been, at this point, standing up for like two hours straight.


Binky had to come out as it was past Lincoln's bedtime before we ever got into the forest, but you can still see the smile hiding behind it when he got to check out the inside of the ambulance!  The EMT commented on how fearless our child seems to be.  Yes, he was running around and trying to climb on the bed and pull things off the walls.


Finally we got to head into the forest and watch some great character skits!  Since some of the forest folk are friends, we had to pose for a few photos.  Here we are with Effie the Forest Fairy!


Lincoln's favorite part of the night (aside from the amazing firetruck/ambulance) definitely had to be seeing Winnie the Pooh and friends!

We wrapped up our forest adventure on a hayride that took us past a band of marauding pirates.  The gunshot effects didn't even scare Lincoln - awesome!  He was a very tired little boy when all was said and done, and fell asleep almost immediately in the car on the way home.  We can't wait until next year, when we'll get to take two kiddos out into the Enchanted Forest! 

(Cutest sock monkey hat on this earth was purchased here.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Preparing for A Little Sister

I have a little "helper."


His name is Lincoln, and he really has no idea how his life is about to change.

But he is pretty excited whenever something for Adelaide shows up in our house - be it clothing, blankets, or this nifty box of newborn-sized diapers that I snagged for a great price on Amazon a few months ago.

He did spend a lot of time just throwing the packages around the living room.  But then he very sweetly helped me carry two of them to the nursery!  Then he threw a tantrum when I put them away in the closet.  Oh well.  We'll take it one step at a time.


I can't wait to see (read: I'm a little bit afraid to see) what he thinks of the bassinet, swing, and bouncer when those come out of storage in the next few weeks!
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