Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby No. 2 :: 12 weeks


And so it begins. Here we are, already at week 12. 

Obviously, I need a little practice at standing sideways but I couldn't manage to get it together to retake the picture. I'll work on it. My plan is to wear this tank top each week because I felt like with Chandler my pictures varied really depended on what I wore, people would say, "you look bigger on week 23 than on week 26".  Maybe this will help.

Pregnancy Highlights this Week:

How Far Along: 12 weeks

Size of baby: a lime

Measurements: a little over 2 inches, weighs 1/2 oz. 

Baby Milestones: fingers are starting to open and close, toes beginning to curl, mouth is beginning to make sucking movement

Best Moment this week: Having a craft night with Lifegroup girls and catching up with a few friends I hadn't seen in a while

Gender: ??

Movement: none

Food/Drink Craving: Tater tots

Sleep: pretty good; I have had lots of crazy and hard dreams this pregnancy so far, waking up much sooner this pregnancy to go to the bathroom (at least once a night right now)

What I am looking forward to: my next appointment, hearing the heartbeat

Symptoms: Feeling less tired these days but still nauseous 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Lucy (and her friend)

Chandler has become a fanatic for animals recently. His Mammy and Pappy gave him the book First 100 Animals and he loves looking at all the faces of the animals. He also earned My First Animal Board book from the summer library reading program this summer and he has certain "favorite pages". He also likes to point out the kittens playing in Goodnight Moon, butterfly on the wall in Goodnight Sleepyhead, and the bunny in the Big Bulldozer.

Our next door neighbors have two cats that occasionally lay in the window facing our house. Every time we step outside Chandler has to check to see if the cats are in the window. I got a few pictures the other day that capture his excitement for the cats.

Oooh yay! Look... the cats are in the window.

Chandler's sign for cat. He signs cat the same way he signs eat. (we aren't sure if he wants to eat the cat or if he just isn't sure where his cheek is)

Here is Lucy's friend (not sure what her name is so I mainly refer to her as Ethel)

 and of course, Lucy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby No. 2

This little cutie is making it hard for momma to eat lately. 

{9 weeks}

I have been trying a few new recipes and thought I would share the favorites: 
1a monte pics 2010 monte cristo 012
I'm sure they still aren't super healthy but Cody loves these sandwiches and at least these aren't fried.


sloppy joes

Actually I didn't make these but lovely Miranda did and they are amazing!

Check out our Recipes We Love tab for other favorites.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 13 (Reversible Tote Bag)

We hope you have enjoyed all the Busy Bag Tutorials. You can go to the Busy Bag tab at the top for future reference. If you make any of these, we'd love to hear about them! Thanks again to all the ladies that participated and shared there hard work!


And last but not least we have sweet Crystal who graciously made a bag for each mommy to take all of her bags home it. They turned out super cute!

Name: Crystal

Kids/Ages: 2 girls, ages 20 months and 4 months
How do you spend your free time? When I’m not doing dishes and laundry, I’m sewing, crafting, or walking around Hobby Lobby 
When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day? I could spend all day making stuff. I was always making something. Whether it was brownies in my Easy Bake Oven (yeah that’s a throw back!), making Spin Art (did anyone else have one of these?), or using whatever supplies  we had in our play room to put together some sort of craft (usually involving lots of glue and/or glitter J). One day I was spending the day at my grandmother’s house and my cousin and I spent the entire day making a wreath. We had found a stencil in the shape of Texas and decided we wanted to cut a bunch of them out and make a wreath out of the shapes. We even traced our own wreath form out of a piece of cardboard. Then we painted and glued all of the pieces on the wreath form. I loved doing stuff like that. 
Fondest memory with your mom as a child? McDonald’s Thursdays. My Mom was not able to start staying home with us until I was about 9 or so. So, when she worked outside of the home, she really wanted to make sure she got some good quality time with us. She took us to McDonald’s every Thursday after she picked us up from daycare.  We always looked forward to the happy meals, but looking back, it was so much more than that. It was such a sweet time with her; a time when she really showed us that she cared about being with us. She always made sure to spend intentional time with us during that season.
What does special time with your children look like? This varies right now since they are so young. Sometimes it’s just getting alone time at home when one is awake and the other is asleep. As far a special time with my baby, sometimes that simply consists of me being able to sit and nurse her without interruptions. Poor thing, her Mama is always distracted/tending to her sister when she’s trying to nurse! With my oldest daughter, sometimes it’s coming and getting in bed with us on a Saturday morning while the baby is still asleep, or sitting on the front porch and drinking coffee with Mommy and Daddy. (Yes she likes coffee, and yes, we put it in her sippy cup! Really it’s just a cup of milk with a splash of coffee). She does go on dates with each of us individually as well. Daddy usually takes her for a treat and then to Home Depot for their dates together, whereas I prefer to take her for coffee and T.J. Maxx!
Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? Definitely the going to the pool or homemade sidewalk chalk paint. We also take family walks to the park in the evenings sometimes which we really enjoy.
Favorite blog for children's activities/crafts/parenting? I don’t really read blogs, but I did get hooked on Pinterest! Who needs anything else when you’ve got that?!
A favorite tradition that you want to pass down with your children? This is probably a little different than most people. But back in 2005, I lost my cousin in a car accident. Every year, on the anniversary of the accident, we eat chips and queso and pigs in a blanket for dinner. (These were her two favorite foods and a must have at any family function!) It is our way of turning the focus off of the negative aspect of the day and choosing to remember her and reminisce on her great life. This is also my way of letting my girls get to know her without ever getting to meet her. I hope they will always celebrate what an amazing person she was.
When I talked to Chelsea about this swap, one of the questions I had for her was “What are we going to put all of these busy bags in to distribute them?” I thought it would be great to have some sort of durable bag to put them in. Not to mention, to tote them around in when you’re away from home and want to take them with you. Plus, I had the perfect fabric. A while back, I scored a major deal on They had some fabric that was 65% off and I also had a webcode for an additional 20% off. When I realized I could get this fabric for a little less than $2 a yard, I jumped on it and bought a ton!  

I used this tutorial to make the totes:
I love this tote because you can make it any size you want. I think I small one would be cute to make as a little lunch bag. I am also thinking a medium one would be cute as a party favor for a girls sleepover. You could even whip one up to use as a nice gift bag. Yes, you really could whip one up, they are that easy.

I did make the following modifications:
-Mine was 22x18. I know, that sounds ginormous, but remember I have to fit 25 busy bags in here people.  This width actually worked out perfect because it’s half the width of the fabric so, all I had to do was fold my fabric in half and then cut at 18 inches. The best way to do this if you are making several bags is to do it assembly line style. Cut all of your squares first, then pin them all, then sew them all.
-I used 1 ½ inch wide ribbon for the handles. The tutorial shows you how to make fabric handles which are great, but remember? That I made 25 of these? And yeah, I like to iron, but not that much. Plus, the ribbon is just cute.

Color/Number Wheel coming soon on Planet of the Apels


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 12 (Build-A-Letter)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Name: Laura Stiller

Kids/Ages: Cannon is 13 months and Baby #2 is due Jan. 6th


How do you spend your free time?
photography, blogging, reading and running (when not prego!)

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day? reading or playing outside with the neighborhood kids

Fondest memory with your mom as a child? going to the library, getting a HUGE stack of books and eating orange push ups and reading all afternoon

What does special time with your children look like? Taking the time to sit on the floor and play together

Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? Going for walks in the wagon

Favorite blog for children's activities/crafts/parenting?
(um, there is no way I can pick just one!)

A favorite tradition that you want to pass down with your children?
reading and cuddling


The Build-A-Letter activity helps your child learn to match shapes as well as practice learning their letters. The idea is that your child uses foam shapes to create each uppercase letter.

Each activity bag has the entire uppercase alphabet printed out on card stock and enough foam shapes to make each letter (not all at the same time). Foam pieces are different colors so you can also use them to learn colors, as well as shapes.

Once your child has mastered building each letter, you can use this activity in a variety of different ways:
«  Cut apart the letters
(cut each page in half) and use them to form words
«  Use the template online
to print the lowercase letters (
«  Cut enough additional
foam pieces to build ALL of the alphabet at one time.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

To make your own Build-A-Letter Activity Bag you'll need a few things. Here are the supplies I purchased to make 26 activity bags:
  • Bright Foam Sheets (I actually only used one of the packages pictured!)
    12 ct.
    $4.99 each (40% off at JoAnns, regularly $7.99)
    Total Cost: $5.20
  • Gray Cardstock
    110 lb
    250 sheets
    $13.99 each
    Total Cost for two: $30.29
  • Ziploc Bags
    Gallon Size Freezer Bags
    40 count
    $2.97 each
    Total Cost for one: $2.97
Total cost to make 26 activity bags: $38.46

Cost per individual bag: $1.48

You can find the uppdercase letters template at Tired, Need Sleep. (I added the "W" to her original templates, since she forget it. :-)

To assemble this bag I printed the alphabet onto card stock.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Then I traced the template onto sheets of foam and cut and cut and cut and cut . . . until I couldn't cut nay more. I used a disappearing ink fabric marker to trace the shapes onto the foam so that I didn't leave an ugly marker/pen line behind on each of the shapes.

Finally, I sorted enough of the shapes into each activity bag to makes the letters.

I let Cannon do a test run, and at 13-months, the versatility and purpose of this activity was completely lost on him. So, we have some room to grow.

But by golly - squishing foam shapes into tiny wads is awesomely fun!

-Build-a-Letter Direction cards
-Capital letter template
-Lowercase template

Go see Magnetic Pompoms on Planet of the Apels!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Busy Bags: Day 11 (Pipe Cleaner Fun)


Name: Ashley Cates

Kids/Ages: Parker- 2 1/2, Cooper due in November

How do you spend your free time? Free time?  What's that?  

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day? I spent a lot of my days "playing school" with my imaginary students at my Granny & Gramps's house. 

Fondest memory with your mom as a child?  It was just my mom and I in the house growing up, so more than just 1 favorite memory I have with my mom, I loved always having her with me.  No matter what was going on, she was always by my side and would do anything for me.  Ever since I've had Parker, my first child, I have learned to respect and appreciate all the sacrifices she made for me growing up.  

What does special time with your children look like? Spending the entire day doing "Parker Activities"- not worrying about anything else going on or what "needs" to be done.  

Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? While I walk, Parker rides his bike. 

Favorite blog for children's activities/crafts/parenting? Pinterest is my new addiction. 


I emailed out and had friends save their Pringles cans for me and thankfully, I had more than 26! I also collected the Crystal Lite drink containers, but my hole punch wouldn't work on the lids, so I trashed those.  I hole punched the Pringle can lids with 5 holes in it.  I colored reinforcement holes 5 different colors to match the 5 different colors of pipe cleaners... so each Pringles container has a red, green, blue, yellow and white reinforcement hole around the hole I punched in the lid.  These will be the holes the child matches the color of pipe cleaner up to.   I also spray painted the cans black.  

Supplies for each bag: 
  • 1 Pringles Can or another container you can take the lid on and off and also poke holes in (ie, sour cream container, coffee container, etc.) 
  • hole punch 
  • Hole Reinforcements (I did 5 for each can, because each can will have 5 colors of pipe cleaners to feed through) 
  • Various Colors of Pipe Cleaners (I used 5 different colors: green, red, blue, yellow and white) 
  • I also spray painted the Pringles cans 
Cost Breakdown:
  • 5 bags of pipe cleaners (.99 each bag at Michaels)
  • $2 on hole reinforcements at Target (but have a ridiculous amount left over) 
  • $1 on a new hole punch.    
    • $8.00 total plus the cost of the large baggies 
There are lots of variations of this to make it harder or easier, some would be: 
  • making letters out of pipe cleaners
  • using them for stringing objects
  • learning how to wrap the pipe cleaner around a pencil (or similar object)
Helpful Tutorials: 
-Pipe Cleaner Fun Direction Cards

Check out Popsicle Matching on Planet of the Apel's today.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 10 (Rainbow Noodle Lacing)


Name: Claire Bellington

Kids/Ages: Kay- 20 months, Jane- 3 months

How I spend my free time: with my husband : )

Favorite way to spend my day as a child: swimming in the creek at my Papa & Granny’s house or playing with my dolls 

Fondest memory of my mom as a child: listening to her tell stories that she would make up for me and my sister

Special time with my children: Just getting on the floor and playing with them will make their day! We love to read our “special” book together- “I Love You As Big As the World” by David Van Buren.

Favorite outdoor activity with my kids: Going on walks to the Sonic by our house : )  YUM! 

Favorite Blog for children’s activities/crafts/parenting:

Favorite tradition to pass down to my children: “Christmas Eve Gift”- A game where on Christmas Eve morning you try to see how many people in the family you can say “Christmas Eve Gift!” to first.  (supposedly the person that gets you first you have to give them a gift on Christmas Eve, but we just do it for the competition!)


This fun activity can help reinforce fine motor skills, color recognition, patterns, and just plain ole’ creativity!

Supplies Needed: (most of these you most likely already have)
-Rubbing Alcohol
-Assorted pastas for stringing (anything with holes)- $0.92 for 1 box @ Walmart
-Food coloring (I used cool neon coloring but any colors will do)- $2.98 for 1 box @ Walmart
-Ziploc baggies (small or large)
-Paper towels
-Cookie sheets
-Yarn/string/pipe cleaners- $1.97 for 100 pipe cleaners and $1.97 for the braided string I used, both from Walmart

All in all this would be a cheap activity to make considering most of the supplies you might already have in your pantry.

1. Put some food coloring in a bag (about 5 drops or as many as you want) with 1 Tb of Rubbing Alcohol. Add some pasta and squish.


2. Do this for as many colors as you wish.
3. Lay out cookie sheets with paper towels on them and spread wet pasta out to dry, completely, before letting your tot touch it. (You don’t have to do this much pasta unless you are making alot of bags!)


4. Once you have your colored pasta and it is very dry, throw it in a gallon bag with string, pipe cleaners, or yarn.

Let your toddler practice his or her fine motor skills by stringing the pasta


Or make colorful jewelry of their own creation!


Note: I wouldn’t advise this...


The food coloring can rub off when it gets wet, so you might want to supervise this activity if you think your little on might want to taste!

Have fun creating with your little one!

I used this link as a guide when creating my bags.

-Noodle Necklace Direction card

Go check out Beanbag Games on Planet of the Apels today.