Director Jewels: February 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interview with Lincoln: 3 Years Old

My second birthday interview with Lincoln was a lot of fun even though he wasn't really talking yet. Now that he is three years old, he was actually able to chime in on some answers (his answers are in italics - you can tell he was in a great mood to help me blog) - and I filled in the gaps for him. I think this is such a fun project to preserve some of the little things about your kids at different stages of their lives.

How old are you? Uh-uh, no. Three. 

What makes you happy? Not me happy! Not happy! Firetrucks driving down the street. Eating macaroni or spaghetti or cookies. Singing and dancing with Mommy. Running around like crazy with Daddy.

What is your favorite toy? He primarily plays with firetrucks, ambulances, little Hot Wheels cars, and "guys" (action figures or Mario plush characters).

What is your favorite stuffed animal? The plush Mario guys. Daddy is excited about this.

What is your favorite real animal? Not me animal. He pretends to be an alligator and a lion and a dinosaur.

What is your favorite thing to sleep with? Firetruck blankie he received for Christmas.

What is your favorite color? I can't get an answer out of him, so an educated guess is red (firetrucks) or blue (his room).

What is your favorite fruit? Apples have been really popular lately.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Honey toast, smoothies (unless Mommy hides too many veggies in them), pancakes, waffles, apple slices, banana.

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Annie's macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets and fries with applesauce, apple slices, grapes, or some other fruit.

What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? He tends to be most excited about pizza or macaroni right now. For his birthday dinner, we had leftover macaroni. But for lunch, we had chicken nuggets at Fritz's train restaurant.

What is your favorite drink? Definitely juice. He only has this a few times a week and primarily drinks water.

What is your favorite dessert? Cookies or birthday cake.

What is a food that makes you want to puke? Vegetables. All of them.

What is your favorite thing to do? Run as fast as possible, avoid sleep, jump on Daddy, climb on Mommy. He also really loves reading books, watching movies, and helping Mommy or Daddy with anything. 

What is your favorite TV show? Little Einsteins, Chuck & Friends, Scooby-Doo, Doc McStuffins.
 
What is your favorite movie? We haven't actually watched a lot of full-length movies lately. He was obsessed with Tangled for awhile and he still likes Lady & the Tramp and Winnie the Pooh.

What are you really good at? Running, climbing, causing commotions.

What is your favorite song? Uh-uh, not my song. He just started singing with us in the last couple of weeks, so there aren't lots of favorites yet. We've heard him sing Jingle Bells, the Little Einsteins theme, and some classical pieces from Little Einsteins.

 Who is the Coolest Person on Earth? I think this title still goes to Mommy and Daddy, but he really loves all his grandparents, too. And firefighters ("fire guys")

What do you and your mom do together? Read books, play cars, eat lunch, go shopping (sometimes), go to storytime at the library, laundry, play with counters, have Imagination Movers dance parties. 

What do you and your dad do together? Run and jump, jumping jacks, go shopping and ride in a car cart, gymnastics, read books, play Mario.

When you were little, what did you do? Cry like baby sister.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Fritz's, gymnastics, anywhere he can run!

What do you think your parents are too strict about? We make him go potty every hour, say he can't watch shows all day, don't let him drag Addie around by the neck, make him sleep at night, tell him not to run around and slam into the furniture...you know, just things like that.

Who is your best friend? Addie, Grace, and Kinley.

What are some of your favorite things to say? "Not me!" "Mommy, I needa read a book!" "Wait! I needa drive a car!" "Inky WITH you!" "I'm Inky James!" "I'm a boy!" "Wee-oooh, wee-oooh!"
 
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the snow, drive cars, play at the park, run.

What is your favorite book? Sweet Pickles series, anything about a firetruck, Berenstain Bears.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Need to drive a firetruck!


Somehow we are already on our way to age four, and that just seems too old. I hope Lincoln continues to enjoy these favorites for a long time....maybe it will help me believe I can slow down time.

Questions compiled from A Beautiful Ruckus, Ali Edwards, and Paper Nook.  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lincoln: 3 Years Old

Three years. Three.

Three, somehow, seems so much bigger than two. I'm doing my best, as your mommy, to appreciate the milestones. But, little boy - my heart aches just a little bit every now and then to hold my first tiny baby - yes, you just after you were born or even when we found breastfeeding to be a struggle.

I remember when you turned two, I thought the time had flown by. This year went even faster, so I can only assume that's going to be what I say every single year from now until forever.

You learned a lot this year. We went from hardly any communication to having real conversations all day, every day. It is amazing to be able to talk to you and have you respond. Yes - even when the only response I receive is negative.

This year, we had fun. We struggled and laughed and grew together. When I look at you, I see a little boy - but even a few months ago, you still had some baby expressions. Those are very fleeting now.

One of the biggest moments this year? Your coffee burn. As traumatic as it was, it really only set you back for a little while. You've more or less forgotten about the incident - at least, I hope you have. We said goodbye to your pacifiers, but vehicles like trucks and trains and cars are all here to stay - probably forever. 

We had ups and downs with reading after you destroyed some library books, but thankfully lately you love it again. We have our battles about food - sometimes you love things and sometimes you completely refuse to eat. Since Daddy and I are both super picky, we aren't really sure what to do to encourage you. We'll work on it this year. You are still nursing, though it's down to once or twice a day. I can sense the end is coming, because you don't always remember to ask. I know I'll be sad to see the end of a milestone, but I think I'm okay with it.

You had a blast adventuring with us - also known as, running around at top speed while we try to keep up. Some of our favorite adventures this past year were apple picking, visiting the pumpkin patch and corn maze, and the Enchanted Forest. We wore the cutest Halloween costumes. And we took a magical Christmas trip that is probably going to become a family tradition.

You know pretty much every color and you no longer pronounce "yellow" wrong. You are great at identifying shapes, too - square, circle, star, heart, triangle, rectangle, and even harder ones like oval. I love all the things you say. We are starting to really work on letters and numbers.

You can almost quote Ephesians 6:1 by yourself, and can repeat Philippians 4:13. I need to make recordings of these verses before the way you say them changes, because it is precious. Your favorite shows right now are Little Einsteins, Scooby-Doo, Doc McStuffins, and Paw Patrol. You've recently started singing and it blows me away with cuteness.

You love your sister desperately. If you don't know where she is, you say "Mommy, where's my Addie go?" You almost always refer to her as "my Addie." I think it is the sweetest thing ever. You spend much of your time torturing her, too - but you two are really good friends at heart.

Sleeping is....interesting. You usually go down to sleep around 8pm and sleep for at least 4-6 hours before waking. Sometimes you just wake up once and go right back to sleep. Sometimes you crawl in bed with us. Sometimes you're up multiple times. And on occasion, you even sleep in your own bed until 8am. That's happened twice in the past year, if memory serves me correctly. You don't nap unless we are in the car too late in the afternoon or you are sick.

You are wearing 4T shirts and 3T pants. There are a few size 5 pajamas that have found their way into your drawer as well - and they fit you just fine. That's crazy! You weigh 36 pounds. We've been doing some serious potty learning in the last few weeks - but that's a long story that deserves its own post.

I know there are more things I could say - more stories I could tell, but these are the few that have left the biggest impressions in my mind.

We love you so much, Lincoln. It is still unbelievable to me that I have the privilege of being your mommy. You make me crazy, but you inspire me, as well. I live for the moments where you wrap your arms around my neck and squeeze soooo tight....for the whispered "I love you, Mommy" at bedtime. You are amazing, my wonderful, precious son.

Let's tackle age three with all the enthusiasm we can. But, please try to slow down just a little so Mommy can keep up.

I love you so much, sweet boy.

Love,
Mommy

Wordless Wednesday: The Beauty of Sleeping Babies


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Time to Get Dressed! {Toddler Time Tuesday}

Kids clothes. They're beyond adorable. Mini versions of the latest fashions look so much cuter than anything I happen to try on in a fitting room.

My favorite kid brands are Carter's, Osh Kosh, and The Children's Place (I'm a little beyond obsessed with their stretchie pajamas). If it were up to me, my kids would always be wearing clothes from these places. And most of the time? They are.

But even at the ages of three (Lincoln) and one (Addie), these kids have minds of their own when it comes to fashion. Okay, maybe not fashion. But they certainly have opinions on what they think they should wear.

Given the opportunity, Lincoln would just wear the same outfit forever. He is not particularly attached to any of his clothing (unless it has a firetruck on it), but heaven help us all when it is time to get dressed in the morning or put on pajamas at night. You would think it was the end of the world; that we were ripping away his best friend and only comfort in the world when we dare to remove an article of clothing from his body. This has been a pretty consistent pattern for a long time now - I'm sure he will eventually outgrow it.

Addie, on the other hand, actually seems to enjoy getting dressed and wearing specific pieces of clothing. She is most attached to any shirt that has a princess on it (she has a Rapunzel shirt, as well as one with Belle, Ariel, and Cinderella. I should probably get her a Princess Peach shirt to appease Daddy) or any ruffly, twirly princessy skirt.

She also is a little bit obsessed with her fashionable hair accessories. A few days ago, we were heading downstairs to get in the van when Addie suddenly reached up and patted her head desperately. After a few seconds, I realized she was looking for a headband. This crafting mama was pretty proud.

Now it's your turn! Link up a post below sharing about the clothes your toddlers insist on wearing. I've heard stories - I know some of you have funny tales to share. 

Director Jewels

Don't forget to plan ahead for our next toddler discussion!

Upcoming Toddler Time Tuesday Topics
February 25 - Toddler's Favorite Outfits
March 4 - Daily Routines
March 11 - Most Interesting Place you have Changed a Diaper (yeah...since I failed to get this post up last week)




Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's New at Adelaide's Attic {February 2014}


It's been almost two months since I opened up my shop on Etsy! Adelaide's Attic by Director Jewels has been a fun experience so far, and I can't wait to see how it continues to grow. I want to take a moment to showcase a few new shop items each month - please share with a friend if you see something they might love.

And, don't forget to enter my current shop giveaway - and follow the links there to four other chances to win a $25 shop gift card!

Black and White Geometric Owl Pal

Personalized Name Ribbon Tag Pillow - Princess Theme

Personalized Name Ribbon Tag Pillow - Blue Geometric Theme

Unicorn Rosette Headband

Singed Flower Headband in Lime with Chevron Accent

Vintage-Inspired Singed Flower Headband with Cameo Accent

Singed Flower Headband in Gray and Royal Blue on Lace

There are a few more fun items listed as well - you can see everything in the shop!

What's your favorite of the new items? Or, what's something else you would love to see available for purchase?

8/52.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Lincoln - Birthday sundae for the 3-year-old this week.
Addie - Exploring a yellow brick road. You know, since we're close to Kansas and all.
 
Linking up at Practising Simplicity.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

500 Posts + Celebrating Age 3


Well, hi there! You may have noticed that every so often on this little old blog, I randomly disappear for a few days. These unplanned absences (yes, I say unplanned because I sit here looking at a calendar that listed a post to write every day last week and every day this week) always seem to coincide with major events in our home: drama performances, Halloween sewing marathons, and of course - birthdays.

The little boy who lives here turned three years old yesterday. THREE. Now, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the craziness that I've been a mama for 1,096 days of my life - but we've been having fun celebrating Lincoln this week. At the same time, I'm planning a firetruck birthday party, taking care of sick little ones, and oh yeah - running that Etsy shop. All I have to say right now is thank goodness for Grandma.

In other news, this is my 500th Blog Post!!! That's a little bit crazy if you ask me, since I've only been blogging with purpose for a little over a year. All of those old vacation photos and Wordless Wednesday posts got us to this number, but it's exciting, anyway - right? Here's to the next 500 posts - and let's assume it won't take me four and a half years to get there, as it did for the first set!

I will be back with more content next week! Lots of fun things in the works...giveaways, party ideas, and all about my favorite cloth diapers!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

7/52.



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Lincoln - He is not feeling well today, so there have been lots of extra snuggles.
Addie - She's been showing her opinion lately. Usually in a loud fashion.
 
Linking up at Practising Simplicity.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Win a $25 Adelaide's Attic Gift Card (2 Winners) - Handmade From the Heart Giveaway Hop

Last month, I launched my Etsy shop, Adelaide's Attic by Director Jewels. It has been such a fun adventure so far, and I can't wait to share all the exciting things happening for the shop this month!


In addition to this giveaway, if you want a chance to win some products from my shop, check out the following blogs - they're all hosting Adelaide's Attic gift card giveaways, too!

Momma Without a Clue | Momma's Baby Cupcakes | Moments That Take My Breath Away | Our Piece of Earth


Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to the [2nd annual] Handmade from the Heart Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network! This Hop was such a success last year that we brought it back for round 2 because it seems everyone loves beautiful handmade items! Each blogger in this Event has a handmade giveaway worth at least $25, so be sure to hop around and celebrate Handmade from the Heart! And you definitely do not want to miss the fantastic handmade goodness of the Grand Prize... a $150 Etsy Gift Card!

If you're new to my blog and my shop, you can expect to find a variety of handmade items. I am planning to upload lots of new goodies later this month, so stay tuned to my shop Facebook page for details on that!

For now, here are some sneak peeks of the things you'll find in Adelaide's Attic!










See something you love? Use coupon code HANDMADEHOP2014 for 10% off your purchase now through March 15!

What's one item you would love to see featured in my shop?

Giveaway

Two Director Jewels readers will each win a $25 Gift Card to my shop, Adelaide's Attic. This giveaway will end on February 28 at 11:59pm CST.  This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers only.

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below (you may need Javascript enabled to see the form and it may take a moment to load)! Once you complete the first entry, the other options will open up so that you can complete them as well.  All of the "extra entries" are optional - you can do just one, or as many as you want! Winners will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once you finished entering my giveaway, hop on over and enter to win the Grand Prize - a $150 Etsy Gift Card!

http://blogging-mamas.com/2014/02/win-150-etsy-gift-card-handmade-heart-grand-prize-lovehandmade-uscan/


Chances are, if you like my shop, you'll love all of the giveaway prizes in this hop - because everything is handmade!







Disclosure: So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Handmade from the Heart participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. For more information, you can read my Giveaway Policy and my Disclosure Policy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial

Planning a Mickey or Minnie Mouse party?  Make sure you check out my Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party Invitation Tutorial, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Toddler-Friendly Party Food IdeasMickey Mouse Clubhouse Free Printable Sign Decorations and Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Treat Bag Tutorial! This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog and my family!

I'm heading into the weekend planning Lincoln's third birthday party (what?!), so I've been looking at Pinterest and lots of old party photos. I realized that one of my favorite elements of his second birthday party - his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Banner - never made it to the blog. It was really fun to make, and is an easy DIY project.

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial - #DisneySide #MickeyMouse #Birthday

Supplies Needed:
-Mickey Mouse Printable Template and Circle Printable Template from my DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Invitations
-Mini Hole Punch
-Red and White Ribbon
-Yellow, White, and Red Paper
-2" Letters (I used a Cricut, but you could buy scrapbooking stickers or even print and cut these, too)
-Glue Stick or similar, unless you are using stickers for the letters.
-6 White Buttons
-Hot Glue or similar (Tacky Glue would probably work)

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial - #DisneySide #MickeyMouse #Birthday

How to Make It: 

1. Print Mickey Mouse heads on black paper and cut. You'll need 16 for this banner, which is 4 sheets of paper.


2. Print one sheet of red circles and two sheets of yellow (if not using a Cricut or similar die cut machine). Cut out the circles, then cut them each in half. Attach the half circles to the bottom half of the Mickey heads. You need three red half circles and thirteen yellow half circles.




Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial - #DisneySide #MickeyMouse #Birthday

3. Using glue, attach buttons to the red half circles as shown.

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial - #DisneySide #MickeyMouse #Birthday

4. Punch one mini hole in each Mickey ear. I punched the Mickeys with red circles on both ends, too, even though they were at the edge of the banner. I used little nails that were already in my fireplace to hang them this way. If you have an alternate method for hanging, you could skip the edge holes.

5. Attach your letters to the yellow Mickey heads. If you have stickers, this will take considerably less time than gluing each one individually. 

6. Tie the Mickey heads together with ribbon. I used just red ribbon between each of the yellow Mickey heads, then red and white ribbon together surrounding the red Mickey heads.

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Birthday Party Banner Tutorial - #DisneySide #MickeyMouse #Birthday

 That's it! It's super simple and was easily one of my favorite things about his second birthday party. It would be great for a #DisneySide event, too - just change up the saying!

Don't have time to make your own banner? You can snag a similar one here.

Planning a party for a Minnie Mouse fan? I have a couple of Minnie inspired headbands available in my Etsy shop!

Pink Minnie Headband

Red Minnie Headband

Happy party planning!

Wordless Wednesday: What Happens When Lincoln Goes to a Library Program


Never mind the exotic animals. Just give him some trucks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

9 of the Best Free Apps for Early Preschoolers {Toddler Time Tuesday}



Lincoln loves my phone. Loves it. His primary opportunity to play games is the early morning when Addie is still asleep on top of me and I need him to not jump on her and/or wake her up.

In spite of how little we actually play apps, we have accumulated quite a collection of them! Some are more popular than others. Some are more educational than others. I do strive for every app to be educational in some way.

So without further ado, here are our favorite nine free (and cheap) apps for toddlers and early preschoolers!


-Animal Train for Toddlers - Yomio. The full version of this app is $2.99 and it's one that I am glad we purchased. This is just a fun little train featuring interactive animals on each screen. I like the background music - it's not annoying - and we have fun identifying each animal and the sounds they make.


-I Hear Ewe - Animal Sounds for Toddlers - Claireware Software. This freebie was the first game Lincoln really enjoyed. It's very simple, but it's great for a little one just learning to use a touch screen. Lincoln naturally skipped right over the animals once he figured out there was a vehicle section.


-Kids Trains & Transportation - Puzzle for Toddlers - Pixel Envision.
and
-Kids Car, Trucks & Construction Vehicles - Puzzles for Toddlers - Pixel Envision. Both of these apps feature vehicle puzzles in varying styles, with balloons to pop after each level is complete. This is one of our most popular apps - Lincoln plays it over and over again. We have the free version of one and the full version of the other. The free version comes with a nice selection of puzzles!





-Disney Puzzle Packs - Disney. There are a variety of puzzle styles and multiple Disney character options in this collection of puzzles. Lincoln especially loves the matching games. The free version includes one puzzle for each character. The full upgrade is $9.99. You can read my full review for more details.


-My Vehicle Universe - An Interactive Educational Game - Kids Games Club by TabTale. We had the free version of this app for a long time - it comes with a four of the sections of vehicles. Lincoln really enjoys it, so we upgraded to the full version. There are multiple activities included, but his favorite is matching the cars in the moving puzzle.


-My Little Town: Toddler's Seek & Find (In The Morning). An interactive activity book (2+). - wonderkind.
-My Zoo Animals: Toddler's Seek & Find - An interactive activity book. - wonderkind.
-Tiny Firefighters - wonderkind.

Some of my very favorite apps are developed by wonderkind. We have the full version of Tiny Firefighters and it keeps Lincoln entertained for quite awhile. These are unique apps that allow a child to interact with the imaginary world that is presented. You just tap the screen and a world of possibilities is opened as each character (and most of the buildings/backgrounds) moves around or speaks. I love the consistent design between all of the apps and want to add more of these to our collection! We just have the free versions of My Zoo Animals and My Little Town. The freebies each feature one of three possible interaction scenes.


Now it's your turn! Link up a post below featuring your favorite free (or cheap) toddler apps. We're always looking for new favorites.

Director Jewels

Don't forget to plan ahead for our next toddler discussion!

Upcoming Toddler Time Tuesday Topics
February 18 - Most Interesting Place you have Changed a Diaper
February 25 - Toddler's Favorite Outfits
March 4 - Daily Routines





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