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Monday, December 28, 2009

50 posts floating through my head, not much in your reader

This darling girl turned 4 months old on Christmas day...what a blessing! Though I'm not getting much more than the essentials done these days, (particularly during this season of family gatherings and celebration) my girls and sweet husband are filling my days to the brim and I'm sitting back and soaking it all in.

I'm taking the rest of the year off from blogging, but stay tuned for some vintage problem solvin' and great giveaways in the new year! Also don't miss the Robeez giveaway going on now - newborn to 4T!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and many blessings in the new year!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gingerbread House

I picked up a gingerbread kit after Christmas last year, not really sure how interested Sweetpea would be, but figuring it was worth the $2 investment to find out. This craft was much more fun and not nearly as stressful as I'd imagined ahead of time...I highly recommend it as a fun holiday craft for your toddler or preschooler!

We decorated the roof prior to assembly - I think this was key to structural integrity, at least with a little one spreading the icing.

She absolutely adored adding all the candies.

I "glued" the walls together with frosting while Sweetpea decorated the roof pieces. I did some of the frosting piping, creating doors and windows as directed. Then I let her try it. The frosting was pretty thick so she had some trouble with it.

Ta da! Now give me back that knife little one ;)

Hey, is that a goatee, or have you been sneaking some frosting? Aw heck, who can resist those eyes? Have some more if you want...

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robeez review & giveaway! {deadline extended}

Most of us with little ones recognize Robeez - sweet baby shoes that actually stay on, keeping little feet warm and looking adorable at the same time...The folks at Robeez were kind enough to send me a free pair for review and another pair for one of my readers!

Upon receiving the holiday guide I noticed two things right away - first, there are new styles available that are significantly different than the ones I was familiar with from when Sweetpea was a baby. The cute "traditional" Robeez styles are still available, but now there are also several options that look like real shoes - like the classic MJ bow that Sugar Plum will be sporting this season. These shoes are absolutely darling - and the construction and attention to detail are impeccable.

The other thing I learned is that Robeez offers styles for children up to 4 years old - both the soft sole style and a tredz version. I have yet to find a shoe that I truly love for Sweetpea so we will definitely be looking into the tredz line of Robeez shoes.

Want to win a pair of Robeez shoes from this year's holiday collection? Simply let me know what style is your favorite and why. The winner must be located in the US or Canada. Size and gender will be confirmed and style requests will be accommodated if possible.

For additional entries:

- Follow me on twitter and leave a message letting me know.

- Tweet about this giveaway and leave me an additional comment with the direct link to your message.

- Subscribe to this blog and leave me an additional comment letting me know.

You can tweet daily for additional entries if you'd like. The giveaway closes on 1/1/10 at midnight and a winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries. Good luck!

If you are thinking of buying some Robeez, now is definitely a good time - they are partnering with KIDS (kids in distressed situations) again this year. For each pair of Robeez purchased through 12/23/09, a pair of soft soled shoes is donated to the KIDS organization!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mail Time! Make your own mailbox...

Sweetpea has a little ride on toy that she loves to play with. It has a little compartment in the front and lately she stuffs it with her drawings and "delivers the mail". I saw this cute mailbox craft idea at No Time for Flashcards and thought she would enjoy it.

First we found a box that was the perfect size. I remember when I received this amazing and sweet gift from Sheri at Earth Mama Angel Baby that I knew this box would come in handy for a craft some day. (more on what was inside soon, one of these days when I'm a little more coherent)

I cut a slot in the lid and we used the box to measure the size of brown wrapping paper we needed to cover our mailbox.

Once we had the size about right there was much coloring and sticker application.

We then carefully wrapped the box in the paper and wrapped the lid as well.

Are you as fascinated with the process as Sugar Plum was?

Turned out our paper wasn't quite wide enough to wrap all the way around the box. Oops - there is a definite "back" to this mailbox. Interestingly enough I took pictures of this entire process and forgot to take a good picture of the finished product...

Here Sweetpea is "delivering" mail from the little compartment in her ride on toy to the mail box.

And now it's time to ride off into the sunset!

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Repurposed spyglass

Does your little one like pirates, exploring, or Diego? Then chances are they know what a spyglass is and they would like to play with one! We decided to repurpose the core from a toilet paper roll into a spyglass, complete with markers and stickers.

Step 1: use toilet paper roll up and save core. (no pictures of that part!)

Step 2: decorate your toilet roll core. A paper towel roll will also work well here. (this step is optional, of course!)

Doesn't that look like a proper pirate spyglass? ;)

Step 3: Play with your new spyglass!

Ahoy, matey! Who goes there?!?

What do you use toilet paper rolls for in your house?

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dairy sensitivity and colic

Sugar Plum is a pretty laid back little girl. She doesn't get upset easily and is quick to flash a grin. She has also perfected the over the back spit up routine and occasionally seemed to suffer from gas pains. As she approached the three month mark, her evening fussiness seemed to be ramping up. Could this be colic? Wasn't colic supposed to be subsiding at three months, not starting?

On an especially horrible night for all involved, poor Sugar Plum was beyond consoling, arching her back and wailing for hours on end. I was searching the internet while patting her back and swaying back and forth, willing my google search to render a solution. It seemed that I'd tried all the suggestions that kept coming up, so I turned to my twitter friends for a solution.

How is it that in all my searches for colic, colicky baby, calming the colicky baby, breastfed colic and so on, none had turned up a discussion of dairy sensitivity? Thankfully @kblogger and @SomewhatCrunchy came to my rescue and suggested removing dairy from my diet. Once I knew to search for dairy sensitivity in breastfed babies I found all kinds of resources.

Apparently it can take weeks to see an improvement, but Sugar Plum was so much better in a matter of days. I also learned that Soy milk might also cause a problem (it does seem to bother her - anyone interested in 2/3 of a carton of plain light organic soy milk?) but that goat's milk products might be tolerable. I've tried some goat's milk cheese and at least in small doses it doesn't seem to bother her.

The next challenge is finding food to eat...and getting enough calcium. Sugar Plum's GaSue is a dietitian and she happened to be visiting for Thanksgiving. She was nice enough to let me pick her brain for ideas over lunch one day - in addition to small quantities of goat's milk products, I'll be enjoying calcium fortified orange juice, dark greens and a few calcium supplements spaced throughout the day. I'm eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, and I am going to check out rice milk ice cream the next time I'm at the store...

For more information on going dairy free and dairy sensitivity in babies, here are some helpful links:

Kellymom has a section on food sensitivity and also on getting enough calcium

Fussy Baby has several good articles on the dairy sensitive baby and going dairy free

Go Dairy Free is a good resource for dairy free foods and recipes

Do any of you have suggestions for eating dairy free? Any snack ideas or recipes you don't mind sharing? I'd love to hear them!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3 months from a different perspective

Sweetpea has taken a keen interest in my camera lately. I'm hoping to get a new fancy camera one of these days {{hint hint honey!}} and let her have this one. In the meantime, I've been letting her borrow mine and explore - gritting my teeth and pretending I'm not expecting it to get smashed at any moment...here is one of her pictures of Sugar Plum at 3 months old.

Don't mind this mama's tired eyes, lack of makeup and unshowered hair...not one of my better moments. Concentrate instead on that adorable little I'm posing next to! :) (and doesn't the tree outside the window behind us look neat too?)

Sugar Plum is getting so big, smiling, laughing and playing with the toys suspended over her chair. Her hair is starting to come back in on top, quite a bit lighter this time. She can get about 75% of the way rolled over before she gets stuck and is holding her head up like a champ.

Sweetpea is quite the doting big sister. She loves to pick out Sugar Plum's outfits, bring her diapers and wipes when I'm doing diaper changes, and offering her toys. Unfortunately she has also shared a cold that we just keep passing back and forth to each other. Thankfully it's just a cold and not the flu, but it breaks my heart to hear Sugar Plum's little baby cough. The vaporizer is on full blast and we've been liberally doling out saline spray and love.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Countdown to Christmas: Activity garland

Last year's garland hung up on the mantle

Last year's Christmas activity garland was such a success I imagine we'll be doing it for many years to come. We come up with a list of 24 things we want to do to celebrate the holiday season. Since this time of year is so hectic, I assign each activity to a specific day when I think we'll have the time to enjoy it.

This year's list is a bit more basic since we have a baby in the house - I didn't think we could count on any outside activities. If the weather is nice enough or we decide to have Sugar Plum stay with someone then these will be bonus activities. Below is our list. Each one will be written on a paper chain and made into a garland we use to count down to Christmas. We will hang the garland on our mantle with the stockings. Sweetpea is going to help make the garland this year as part of our first activity!
make Christmas chain
put up Christmas tree
decorate Christmas tree
paint pine cone ornaments
decorate mantle with pine cone ornaments and stockings
make dough ornaments
Santa coloring pages
hot chocolate and Christmas music by the tree
gingerbread house
bake cookies
drive around looking at neighborhood lights
decorate cookies
make grandparent gifts
deliver cookies to friends
family handprint wreath
make & decorate felt trees
visit Santa
handprint reindeer
write letter to Santa
caroling at grandparent's houses
handprint Santa
cookies to firemen
angel craft
family over for dinner

How do you count down to Christmas and organize your holiday activities? What are your favorite traditions?

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