Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! Here are some of my goals for 2012:

1. Start a morning routine for after breakfast.

2. Every week focus on a theme based on Logan's interest. Logan knows some of his letters, but we haven't been consistently practicing, etc. I'm okay with that, since we spend most of our time playing, but since I am thinking of foregoing preschool, I think it's probably time I start working more intently on letters, since every attempt before hand has been mostly incidental. 

3. Share more of our open ended activities.  I love crafts as much as the next person and Logan actually enjoys them too. But the majority of the activities that we do every day are open ended.

4. Create some efficient organization solutions for our supplies and play!

5. Become more playful in 2012.

6.  As soon as Logan turned two he stopped taking naps. I would like to create different activity boxes that he can play with quietly and independently for a little while each day. I also want to start rotating his toys.

7. Spend more time kissing, hugging, and laughing with my little boy. Enjoy that he still loves to cuddle, hold hands, and kiss his mama. Love and live in every moment. 

8. Blog more. Obviously. 

Do you make resolutions each year? 

Psssss....... If you want to take a look at my personal goals for the year, you can can click here!

2011 Resolutions, Revisited

I always like to look back at last year's resolutions and see how I did. I'm sharing with you, and plan on sharing my new ones this week! Here is a blast from the past, January 2011:

1. Venture out more into blogging. This means writing more often, including some new topics that I'm passionate about, linking up to parties, and leaving comments. The last two are a little scary, cause I'm kind of shy sometimes.
Hey, I kind of did this one! When I started this year I had about five followers, and now I am super lucky to have  a bunch more. 

2. Continue our voyage into attempting to live more frugally. I want to make use of more free and wonderful resources that are available in our area. I'm contemplating making my own cleaners (which goes hand in hand with my desire for a healthier, greener living). I plan to start utilizing meal planning and coupon clipping more often. I want to save more money in order to continue to stay at home with my little boy.
I did some of this too! I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher soap. I make a great deal of more food from scratch. I tried to make my own bread. I still need to meal plan more often and be more consistent with my coupon usage. 

3. Live healthier. It's really a nicer way of saying that I want to lose weight. I'm hoping to include more new recipes that are healthy and yummy into our diets. I'm on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables, be more active, and feel happier. And I might just buy the Thirty Day Shred with some of my birthday money. I feel a little afraid after typing that last sentence.
I've incorporated new healthy recipes into our diet. My kiddo eats fruits and veggies like they are going out of style. 

4. Become an organization princess. The Martha Stewarts out there leave me in envy. I'm just like them, in believing that everything should have a place. BUT sometimes while cleaning up, I end up with stuff that doesn't have a designated place, and someone is ringing the doorbell and I will *cough*cough*cough shove said homeless stuff just anywhere it will fit for the time being. By "anywhere" I usually mean the computer armoirethat I never use. It is one of my shameful secrets. But this year I'm making up for it. In my mind this means restarting (and sticking to) my cleaning schedule, purging, and organizing even those areas that I don't often address until it is too late. Helloooooooo kitchen pantry, and closet o' mystery in the basement. I'm coming for you.
I am just started working on this one in December. I am looking forward to continuing this is 2012.

5. Make my house prettier. I've been inspired by all those in blogland who live on a budget but manage to make their houses beautiful by using their creativity and imagination. I have a couple of new things that I want to attempt. Perhaps even BY MYSELF..... WITH TOOLS.
It just didn't happen this year.

6. Be brave. Try at least one new thing every week for a whole year. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut and have one week blend into the next. I'm going to make a conscious effort to do something that may or may not be enjoyable and may or may not make me comfortable. But I am bound to learn something. Hopefully about myself.
I started this one with a vengeance, but started to slack off as the year went on. But I did do one thing this year that was super brave, and that I thought I would never do. I entered into therapy. It hasn't been easy, but I know that in the long run, there will be a very large benefit. 

7. Continue to try and be the best possible parent that I can be. With extra kisses.

I have tried to do this every day. But it is my personal belief that there are just never enough kisses. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

The cookies are laid out along with a giant glass of milk. The reindeer have their magic reindeer food. The little guy is snug bed, and I don't know who is more excited this year, him or me! I'm wondering just how early I'll be getting up tomorrow, but it is the one time of year that I actually enjoy waking up early! Holidays are always a very special time. To me, they also serve as a very powerful reminder to how much I have to be thankful for and to take the time and enjoy all the special moments and those in between.

From my family to yours, I wish you a  in very Merry Christmas! I hope your day is filled with happiness and lots of love. 


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Ornaments

I brought the kiddo to a local light parade. Logan loved all the lighted floats and music, with the exception of Santa. We are still working on that, but he's getting closer to at least tolerating the idea of Santa. We were able to head home earlier than expected, and when we got home we decided to try our hand at making cinnamon applesauce ornaments. I simply googled a recipe that called for equal parts applesauce and cinnamon. My little man helped pour the ingredients in and mix them around.

Next I rolled it out. I didn't take pictures of this because it was a sticky mess, and I ended up having to add more cinnamon..... and then some flour. I saw a tip last night that recommends you roll it between two pieces of wax paper. I imagine that would have been significantly better.

Once I finally rolled out the dough, and pried the extra bits off of our fingers, the next part was fun! In the beginning of December, I scored 101 cookie cutters for a mere six dollars thanks to the Christmas Tree Shoppe. We doubled our collection of Christmas cookie cutters, and Logan picked out the ones he loved best to make the ornaments.

Once they were rolled out and on a tray, I put them in the oven on a low temperature for about an hour. I flipped them half way through, and then Logan and I went to play with one of our sleeping cats. 

In addition, I let them continue to dry overnight.

Once they were done, I let the little guy decorate them. We had more, but we already handed them some out as gifts to some family members before I remembered to take the picture. The blue ornament in the middle is Logan's version of his favorite blue girl, Smurfette.

Once the paint dries we used ribbon or ornament hangers to hang them. These ornaments smell heavenly. We saved a handful to decorate our tree, and Logan loves pointing them out to anyone who sees our tree. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stuff my kid says #17

Singing: We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy good year.

Indeed. I love this kid.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Activities: Reindeer Sandwich

We have been enjoying out advent activities. His favorite song to sing is Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. He likes to sing it like, "Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer/ had a very shiny nose/ and if you ever saw it/ you would even say it blows." Despite my best efforts to correct him, he insists that he is singing it accurately. Right or wrong, he loves the song. So, I figured my little buddy would love this special treat one day as part of his lunch. When he saw it, he was completely delighted! 

 He carefully picked off the M&M's and the pretzels, and then declared he was "all done, thank you." Don't worry, I rounded it out with a clementine (which he refused to eat) and some Greek yogurt and blueberries (which he devoured). 

This idea came from Superhero and Princesses, which recently became private.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mess Free Paint on the Light Table

We have just started our journey into the many ways we can play with the light table. Our most recent trial was playing on the light table with bags of paint. I let Logan select the colors. For the first one he only wanted red with glitter in it.

The second one I suggested we use two colors and he picked blue and yellow. Which was perfect since when he mixed them together they created green. We used some left over Crayola finger paint for this activity. Since it is less thick than other paint, the light easily shone through. 

Don't have a light box? You can yield the same results by taping a Ziploc bag to a window. This is a quick, essentially free (if you have items on hand) way to learn about colors!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Tree

It is a family tradition that is practically written in stone. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we go pick out a Christmas tree at a local family farm. It is something my parents started twenty-one years ago, and we have adopted and continued year after year. There is something about the tradition that makes walking the same pathways year after year even more special.

The very first year we brought Logan to tag our Christmas tree, he wasn't even a month old. He is my first baby, and I waffled between sitting in the car with him in the chilly air, or bundling him up and facing the cold together. My desire and eagerness to start our many firsts as a family, along with a little reassuring from the husband, and out we went to find our first, most perfect Christmas tree, for our first, most perfect baby. 

The past couple of years have been unseasonably warm and very unlike New England. This year, there was a chill in the air, so we bundled up our now three year old. He insisted on adding his new hat, and he was ready, doing his running walking that he does when he is trying to use his walking feet but is really excited. 

While we waited inside to get our official tree tag, Logan investigated the giant pine cones they on sale. He wanted one, but I figured that we would easily find some for free in our neighborhood (which we did that day). 

Once we got to the actual fields he was off and running!

Finally, he stopped running, and turned to my husband and I and exclaimed, "Mama! Dada! I found it! The perfect tree!" 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Advent Activities

Can you believe that there is twenty-five days until Christmas? This is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Every year we do at least one Christmas related activity per day until the big day. Here is a list of activities that we will be doing this Christmas season:
  1. Curl up in bed and watch a Christmas movie
  2. Decorate the house for Christmas
  3.  Pick out a Christmas tree
  4. Decorate a Christmas tree
  5. Wear Christmas socks
  6. Take a late night drive to enjoy the Christmas lights
  7. Drink homemade hot chocolate
  8. Make gingerbread cookies with cousins
  9. See a lighted boat parade
  10. Go to a special holiday event in our town 
  11. Bake lots of cookies
  12. Eat reindeer sandwiches
  13. Eat a candy cane or two
  14. Have a Christmas music dance party
  15. Go to a festival of lights 
  16. Make and deliver cookies to our neighbors
  17. Make ornaments 
  18. See Santa 
  19. Dress up in a Santa hat and take pictures!
  20. Play in a Christmas themed sensory bin
  21. Read Christmas stories 
  22. Make a Christmas hand print wreath
  23. Paint with Christmas cookie cutters
  24. Make Christmas themed sun catchers
  25. Have a special Christmas eve party at grandparent's house
Do you plan these types of list? I would love to see them!

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