Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY Growth Chart

Every time I go to my sister's house, I'm envious of this little spot she has in her mudroom where she marks the boys' heights. It's so cute and original, written in whatever writing utensil she had available at the moment, with the names and dates for each measurement. It's a great tool to be able to see how the kids compare at a particular age, and my 5 year old nephew, Cash, gets so excited to see how much he's grown since he was 1, 2, 3, etc and to see how he compared to his little peanut of a brother, Briggs, at that same age. I wanted something like this...but I'm lacking a practical spot in my home that would accommodate such a thing.

I began searching personalized growth charts for Easton for his birthday - thinking I would get him one for himself that I could hang in his room, perhaps on the back of his door, etc. and loved the idea that it was portable, so it could move with him as he changed rooms, and if we ever move. A personlized growth chart is not ideal for using as a comparison with other kids, and heck, that means I'd need another when baby #2 rolls around.

Pinterest to the rescue! I came across this marvelous idea of a DIY growth chart and I was sold! Off to Lowe's I went to pick up a 1x8x6, some wood stain and a paint pen. I started by lightly sanding the wood, and wiping it down with a damn cloth to get off any of the sand particles. I applied two coats of dark walnut stain, letting it dry between coats. I brushed the stain on with a foam brush, and wiped most of it off with a rag to give it a vintage look.

Sorry it's not Sherwin Williams, Lia. :)

After letting it dry, (I gave it several days due to lack of time), it was time to make this piece of wood look like a ruler. Using a pencil and a ruler, I made 1 inch marks along the entire length of the board. In order to mimic the look of an actual ruler, I made the "quarter" lines (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1 inch marks) all 2 inches long, and the other lines (1/12, 2/12, 4/12, 5/12, 7/12, 8/12, 10/12, 11/12 inch marks) all 1 inch long. When this was done, I went over the lines with my paint pen. Also, I started my ruler at 6 inches, because I wanted to hang it on the wall so decided to start by ruler at 6 inches and hang it 6 inches off the ground. Depending on how you plan to display the growth chart, you may or may not need to do this.

As for the numbers, this was the tricky part for me. I tried printing the numbers off the computer, and tracing over them to make a small indent in the board, but it just wasn't working. So, I pulled out the handy dandy Cricut and some vinyl. After many trial runs, I landed on a font and size I was happy with (which I don't remember what they were), and cut it out on the vinyl. I took the shadow of the number, and laid it on the board, then colored inside the number with the paint pen. Note that when working with the shadow, you need to include the interior cuts of the number on 4 and 6, so that you don't just have one blob of a number.
There we have it. $17 dollars later, and I have myself a growth chart! And I found the perfect little spot for it in the entryway from the garage. I love it! And we just added Easton's 1 year measurements. I can't wait to see how he grows!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: It's Official!

After lots and lots of practice, it is safe to say that we have a WALKER!!! My baby boy is officially a toddler! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday: Inside the Bag

Awhile back, I gave you a sneak peek inside what has become my purse; Easton's diaper bag. I promised that  I would check back as Easton grew up to see how things have changed, and what better time to do it than on Toddle Along Tuesday: Diaper Bag Edition!
So here I am, a year into mommyhood, and I'm still using, and happy with, my Vera Bradley diaper bag! It's not only stylish but it's durable, practical and easy to clean. As Easton has grown over the course of the past year, his needs have changed, therefore the contents of the diaper bag have changed, so I'm here to give you an update!

1. Paci wipes - because when Easton doesn't want his paci, on the floor it goes!
2. Diapers and wipes, duh!
3. Changing pad, because I'm OCD when it comes to laying Easton on those random changing tables
4. Butt Paste - because, well, diaper rash happens!
5. Baby food pouches and a spoon
6. Baby Tylenol
7. Hand sanitizer and chapstick for me
8. Rattle, which can probably be retired
9. Extra paci and paci clip, to help avoid the paci being tossed on the ground
10. Snacks for Easton - cherrios, goldfish and 'surfboards'
11. A ball - Easton's favorite
12. Change of clothes
13. Book
14. Sippy cup
15. Arm n' Hammer disposable bags for poopy diapers on-the-go

At any given time, you can also likely find a pair of Easton's socks, which he enjoys taking off, a hoodie for these chilly spring days and my keys, phone and credit card. Although for my birthday this past year, the hubby got me Coach's latest crossbody purse, which makes carrying a purse and a diaper bag totally feasable. Better yet, it makes leaving the diaper bag in the car while running into a store carrying a baby on your hip totally feasable! :)

I'll be back for another "Inside the Bag" update in a few months! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pure Michigan

We love The Mitten State -- how about you?

Order your mitten shirt today and support local businesses!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

A Year of Easton via monthly progression photos:

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Celebrating ONE!

Well here we have it. First birthday come and gone. And the celebration was one to remember! Way back before I can even remember, I secured the date and theme: The Cat in the Hat. From there, I went on a pinterest rampage, pinning every Cat in the Hat party idea possible. The possibilities were endless, it was up to me to decide how crazy I wanted to get.

On his actual birthday, we started the morning out with balloons, followed by pancakes, some shopping and finished it off with grilled cheese and a cupcake! Easton couldn't have been more thrilled!

Invitations for the big day were created by none other than ME! I fiddled around with the wording, and landed on the following. I was quite pleased with the DIY-ness.

Next up, the decorations. I decided I didn't want to go Cat in the Hat overboard, so my focus was the color scheme; red, white and turquoise. Being April, we weren't sure what to expect as far as weather, so we hoped for the best and planned for the worst. That being said, we kept decorations simple, with the chance that there'd be 50+ people inside (15 being 5 and under) and decorations would go overlooked anyway. My mother-in-law snatched up an awesome Cat in the Hat cutout on display at Kroger which was a great addition to the decor!

A Year of Easton progression display:

One of my favorite pinterest replica's was Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday To You guest book. I displayed the book on the entry table as guests arrived with a cute sign asking them to write a birthday note to Easton. This will be fun to read to him each year on his birthday!

And Easton's party attire (sorry for the lack of good photos):

Next was the food. I spent lots of time pondering over the menu and landed on festive, yet simple. That being said, we had a schmorisborg of appetizers (which I failed to get a picture of), that entailed green (deviled) eggs and ham (rolls), truffula fruits, oodles of noodles, wings and things (chicken wings), pink yink ink drink and more! The main course: pizza! Because who doesn't like pizza, well, besides Carter ;)! And since I"m lacking pictures of the food display, I'll showcase some of the party guests.

And last but certainly not least, the goods: dessert!! Cookies came highly recommended by a neighbor, and the smash cake was courtesy of Aunt Coll. Thanks to pinterest for the adorable marshmallow pops idea!

Easton was not shy when it came time for cake. I'm not sure how he felt about all the singing (perhaps we were all a little off key), but come cake, he was both hands in!

 All done!

We lucked out with the weather. It was a perfect 60 and sunny and that was a huge relief. We pulled out all sorts of things with wheels, blew up the bounce house and wore all the kiddos out.

Each little one left the party with none other than a Dr. Seuss coloring book.

And talk about presents! Can I please show you how spoiled this kid is?
The gift bag below won for 'most creative' and Easton got his very own table set from mommy and daddy!

And what's a party without the traditional fab 4 shot:

Well, that's a wrap! And as bittersweet as it is to say that I have a ONE year old, I'm looking forward to year two!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

12 = 1!

(21 lbs 11oz (30th percentile), 30 inches tall (55th percentile) -- and a 19 inch head (92nd percentile) for the record!)

I don't know how it happened, but somehow, someway, you are ONE!!  It just doesn't seem possible that you have already been here for an entire year. The first year of your life has, by far, been the best year of ours! You are such a happy, smart, giggly and brave little boy and your daddy and I couldn't be more proud than to say you are 'ours'. We love you so much and look forward to watching you grow and create your future!
the day you were born 4.6.11

This past month was a busy one. You celebrated many firsts which included your first St. Patty's Day, your first vacation, your first plane ride,  your first time in a pool and ocean, and your first trip to the beach. That's right, we went to Florida, and by "we", I mean I was crazy enough to travel alone with you. :)

You eat like a rockstar, aside from the fact that 42 pieces of food end up on the floor during every meal. You love feeding yourself (and Cooper) and won't eat any pureed food for me, but have no problem eating it for Miss Dawn. Your favorite is grilled cheese, but mac n' cheese, hot dogs and perogies aren't far behind. You also love fruit - bananas, peaches, pears, blueberries and grapes to name a few. And now that we get to try strawberries, I'm sure those will be a hit too! We have begun weaning you off formula and you don't seem to mind milk - our biggest challenge is going to be breaking the bottle!

 This past month you learned all about sharing and Grandma enjoyed letting you feed her your Cherrios.

Your vocabulary is expanding daily and currently includes 'ball', 'uh oh', 'dada', 'sit', 'gaga' (grandma) 'car' and 'byebye', followed by the most adorable little wave. I like to believe that you say 'mama' but it's so far and few between. You can carry on quite the conversation and mimic everything we say, trying out new sounds. You are a great shopping partner and enjoy 'talking' to everyone!

You are the most independent little guy, for the most part. While you have your needy moments, you will sit and play by yourself for quite some time. Your favorite toys are any sort of ball, car and this past month you learned to put little shape blocks into the bucket. You are learning to follow directions when you are asked to do something like 'put the blocks in the bucket' or 'come here'.

swimming in the pool
grilled cheese
going for walks in your little car

changing your diaper
getting in your carseat

And your 12 month photos: it's a good thing we're done with monthly shots in the chair because you want nothing to do with it!

And while you're here - show some love!
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