Wednesday, July 24, 2013

crunch time

So I've entered the countdown phase of pregnancy. Based on the last go around, I like to slow roast babies, so i don't expect a baby or any newborn photos until Labor Day. That said, don't expect too much around this site at all until about that time. There's so much to still get done! For example: Read the manual, install the carseat. Buy the last few needed labor/birth/baby items and pack the bags for the birth center. Remember peter's swim suit. Get the house cleaned to my preferences before company starts arriving. Freeze a few meals. Stock the pantry. Get a chicken with a broken leg mended. Decide which class Emagene is going to take for the month of August and sign her up. Soon. Load up on library movies and books for that first month of no sleeping. Draw a treasure map to entertain Emagene while I'm laboring with her sister. Get a handle on the typical end of summer yard work. Print off the helpful tips pages I was encouraged to create for out of town helpers. Cast my belly and paint it. And somewhere in there i would love to find the time and money to get a pedicure, a prenatal massage, a cut and color, and a maternity photo session.

While all this seems overwhelming, I have a month, easy, to get it completed. And as I'm sure you've learned about me by now, i'm pretty good at prioritizing. By the end of today. I'll have read the carseat manual, made an extensive shopping and packing list, and possibly reserved a handful of library materials, prematurely. Some people call this phase nesting. I can see why they do. However, in my case, I'm just like this normally - detailed, particular and focused. Forgetful pregnancy brain drives me crazy!! 

And I like to ramble.

That said, I think I'll go edit some photos for a story in pictures about Emagene's summer art classes at the rec center.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A wet and crafty time

It's summer reading program time. At our local library this means reading 20 minutes a day for 10 days, turning in a log and getting a prize. It also means story time at the local water park or story time at the library. We choose the library because I just don't want to deal with having to leave the water park by a certain time with my little mermaid, or risk a meltdown versus paying the day use rate for the park. Fairly standard summer reading program stuff. 

Weekly storytime is a program we attend all year long. They have a theme of the day with 3 books, a handful of songs and rhymes, and a puppet show. The whole thing lasts about 30 minutes, which is perfect for the 1-5 year range it's aimed at. They pass out song sheets with a list of suggested titles to further explore the theme at home. But my favorite thing by far is the play to increase literacy ideas on the back of the sheet. Since this week's theme was bath time stories, the play idea was obviously homemade bath tub paints. 

We moved into our house a little over a year ago and inherited the last guy's kitchen cleaners. Being am Eco-friendly family, we haven't used his dish soaps at all. Well, we did use one bottle of dish soap to make bubbles and today we used the other to make the paint. A bit of soap, some cornstarch, a few drops of food coloring and we have a rainbow of bath time magic. 
We just got back from a preschool craft class at the rec center earlier in the week that featured finger paints, so this activity worked well on a hot Friday afternoon after grocery shopping all day. Not to mention that my painter is also my fish, what better way to mix her favorite activities than a cool bath and Wall paints??

Naturally I helped a bit, but she thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to get messy and create! 

Add a warm shower and a rag, and my bathtub actually came out cleaner in the end

I'm sure you can find recipes for this stuff all over Pinterest and other craft center blogs. I won't clutter the interwebs with a repeat recipe, but I will pass on a tip from my childern's librarian: food coloring works the best as a paint dye. Some mixes call for tempura paints or other color additives, stick with the food coloring. And let the kids mix it in. It's fun to watch the paint turns colors as you stir!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

why i am thankful for not sleeping

What do the first trimester of pregnancy and the third trimester have in common? Those of you have been here, already know: lack of sleep, inability to eat, and complete exhaustion most of the time. While sitting around doing nothing might seem nice, occasionally, it is incredibly boring and unhelpful in the world of Preparation for Labor. Basically, in the beginning everything internally is moving around and relocating while momma scrambles to get her new diet regimen up to speed. Near the end, the stomach is super tiny, but baby is fattening. So eating enough causes heartburn and indigestion making it nearly impossible to eat very much at one time. Then comes the amazingness of waking up completely to roll over, reminding you of your frequent need to urinate, or the wonderful leg cramps that can wake you from the dead of sleep, again reminding you to waddle to the loo, and you have a recipe for exhaustion come morning. Some women are even blessed with overactive brains resulting in pregnancy insomnia.

That said, I am choosing to see some of this as a blessing. I am now back to waking up a little before Emagene, instead of her waking me up. The beauty of this is simple. I am now able to have a cuppa tea while stalking the blogosphere, bake something yummy for breakfast, or kick it on the porch swing with my read of choice (and the greedy chickens), that way when she wakes up I don't feel quite as compelled to spend my day staring at my iPhone trying to "keep up" with whats going on in the world. She gets her morning video with breakfast while I do a little yoga and then we're off and running. A day full of playtime and chores. With the heat kicking in it's nice to get some of the me time I need before trying to fill an afternoon of forced indoor play. I can only come up with so many recycled craft ideas without a little outside influence. 

I do feel the need to say I am SOOO glad the heat has waited until now! The 100+ temps are about a month late based on the last 3 summers of hellacious heat we've lived through. For that I am eternally grateful! 

But this momma still gets cabin fever like you would not believe! Summer is the time for playing outside all day. Running through streams, climbing trees, reading on the grass, chasing butterflies, exploring every city pool or natural swimming hole you can find. Summer is not for sitting around inside, watching videos and playing computer games, unless its over 100 by noon and you'll risk death by attempting that soccer game at 2. Then its safer to stay indoors and finger paint. And go crazy with cabin fever! So yay for porch reading before 9 due simple to the inability to sleep when 8 months pregnant!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The photo journal of one E G Dalton

Emagene stole my iPhone and instead of deleting all the pics she took, I thought i'd share them with you. It began with me asking her to take a picture of my belly for the obligatory Facebook status update.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Busy bags

One of the ladies in my community posted this link with the awesome idea of doing a busy bag party ourselves. If you have no idea what a busy bag is, I suggest following the link, but I will give you a brief overview.

Busy bags are educational, mind enriching, activity bags that are self contained, easily transportable and usually homemade. Seriously, that link above is full of amazingness!!

So in preparation for our gathering and swapping of bags, I made a mini felt board.
As you can see the board and all it's pieces fit inside a ziplock bag and can easily be stuffed into a diaper bag or purse and taken along for use on plane rides, in waiting rooms, in the car or at home when mom is burnt out of ideas.

As I gathered felt and hot glue, I searched for inspiration on how to make the board part not a flimsy, frustrating mess for a 2-year old strapped into a carseat. I didn't find any help, so I'm gonna share what I did, in case someone else goes looking.

First: I started by cutting the sheets of felt into quarters.
Then I sized cut up pieces of cereal boxes to hot glue between the pieces of felt, making enough for all 10 Momma's that would be at the bag swap on Saturday (everyone makes a different batch and then we all get together, swap them and leave with 10 new activities to entertain and stimulate our children's brains).
Afterwards, I hot glued a box piece to one piece of felt and then glued the other piece of felt over the board, sealing the edges and making it a reversible board.

Finally, I cut out random shapes that fit the scale of the board and could easily be used for creating multiple scenes. 
Naturally the next step was to let Emagene try it out and see if it "worked." Apparently it does!

 The turtle and flower blossom are from a set of felt stickers I found at Joann's fabrics. They were too cute not to include, but i highly recommend de-sticky-ing them by rubbing them on the carpet or something. They are easily reusable stickers, unless they stick together at which point separating them is nearly impossible!

And there you have it, my go at busy bags.