05 July 2012

Since February...

One of these days, I'll actually be good about maintaining a space to put thoughts down into. I always tell myself you need to write more regularly, and then I never do it. I think, like everything else, I may need to start adding a calendar reminder and just blogging about whatever is in my mind on that day.

Needless to say, with a toddler in the house, a lot has happened since my last update in February.

The Kidlet
My son has started talking in short sentences, and has started showing a lot of preferences for things like colors, books, and activities. It is FANTASTIC to be able to hold short conversations with him, to watch him develop into his own little person with preferences, and to be able to meet his needs and wants because he can communicate them well.

I cannot believe that he is turning two in just a few short weeks. Time is going by way too fast! The Peanut picked out his own evite design (Yo Gabba Gabba of course), and we're probably going with some sort of "sea" theme, though since he doesn't really have a lot of kids coming to his parties at this point, the "theme" will probably mostly consist of the fact that the cupcakes will be designed like fish, maybe I'll try to revamp the birthday banner so that the letters look like fish as well.

His current favorites:
Color: Orange
Foods: Grapes, Mac & Cheese, Banana Bread, Ice Cream
Books: "I Wish that I had Duck Feet", "Daddy Adventure Day", "Giraffes Can't Dance", and "The Belly Button Book"
TV: Peppa Pig, Pocoyo, Fresh Beat Band, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Ellen Degeneres Show
Toys: Matchbox Cars, Train Colorforms
Activities: Coloring with markers, painting (homemade watercolors!), dancing to the iPod, and playing the keyboard

We're still working on climbing up and down stairs. The downfall to living in an apartment is that we don't really have any good stairs for practicing on.

Crafts and Miscellaneous Pinterest Inspirations
The quiet book is still coming along slowly. I've finished 5 pages, and am almost done with a 6th page. I'm hoping to find some time during my vacation at the end of the month to finish this for my son's second birthday. He's already discovered some of the finished pages and has been entertained by them, so I'm hopeful that this will be a hit!

Colored Noodles Busy Bag: I followed the instructions on this pin not too long ago to dye some shell macaroni 6 different colors. I recommend not using shells (use something that doesn't curl in on itself - the rigatoni like in the picture is a good idea). Also note: Once they are dyed, spread them out on something to let them air dry. I made the mistake of letting them dry in the bags, which caused some of them to stick to one another pretty badly, resulting in breaking some that had to be chucked. My son actually specifically asks to play with these every other day or so. I paired them with 6 cleaned out yogurt cups so that he can pour them back and forth, and eventually sort them.

Moon Sand: Moon sand, cloud dough, whatever you want to call it; this is awesome and stupidly cheap and easy to make. The recipe calls for baby oil, but I used vegetable oil, as I didn't know if my son was going to try to eat it, and didn't really want him ingesting the baby oil if he did. It feels and acts pretty much like fine beach sand, and is fairly easy to clean up.

Homemade Tub Scrub: This is from Martha Stewart's Website, and now that I have tried it, I swear by it. I use eucalyptus oil, and find that this mix is easier to spread than the commercial tub cleaner that we used to get, gets the tub CLEANER with less effort (maybe because it's easier to spread?), AND is cheaper. WIN-WIN!
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid soap 
  • several drops of an antibacterial essential oil (such as tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint)
  • one cup of baking soda
  • Add just enough water to form a paste
  • Use it with a sponge or brush to scour bathtub surfaces
On my to try soon list:
  • Discovery Bottles - pretty much waiting on my getting decent bottles to use for this.
  • Gel in Ziploc Bags - I've seen this done with paint too, so I'm not sure whether I'm going to use paint or some sort of hair gel/glitter/etc. combintation
  • Cookie Sheet Activities - looks quick and easy to do! Just need to get some magnetic letters?
  • Baking Soda and dyed vinegar - When I was mixing the baking soda and vinegar for our homemade water colors this weekend, my son was thrilled to see the fizzing, so we will be doing this as soon as I get my hands on a few droppers!
  • Busy Bags - Not sure which ones I'll be trying first here. I'd love to make the paint sampler matching, but need to find where I can get some paint sampler sheets. Once our parmesan cheese container is empty, it's definitely getting transformed into a q-tip or pipe cleaner catcher.

Being Social
I've been making an effort to be more social. With my schedule and my husband's schedule, it is actually a very hard task! I've found a few parenting groups in the area, one of which is geared towards Working Parents, so I'm hopeful that we'll be able to forge some connections there. I've already been to two of the meetups with this group, and they seem very nice!

I have gotten bitten by the gaming bug again and have been playing Final Fantasy X-2 (yes, I'm a shameless FFVIII and FFX/FFX-2 lover, FFVII be damned). I've also discovered a free online MMORPG as of yesterday - Allods Online - that is VERY similar in playstyle to World of Warcraft, which I played for about 5 years (Husband got me hooked shortly after it first came out in 2004, and we quit when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy in 2009, because we weren't playing enough to justify $30/month for both accounts, we were getting bored of the daily grind with almost no new content. I was also tired of all the guild drama. I've considered going back into WoW, since I've invested so much into the characters there, but it's so incredibly "dumbed down" from when I started playing that it's mostly about end game and daily grind, and I don't really want to fork over $15/month when I don't have much time to game anyway.

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