Since being placed on "light duty" last week, I've been doing some thinking and planning about our outdoor area here at home. Normally, we'd be spending a couple days each week at various parks doing some walking and exploring. Now, not so much.
Our backyard has really been for the most part unused over the last year or so. John has been throwing down grass seed the last couple summers, and the grass is starting to look a little better. He's also been working on getting the non-backyard stuff out of the backyard. I'm hunting for awesome stuff for Jillian to play with outside. She loves being outside, but I can't quite tell her to play in the grass in a small enclosed area and expect that to work out for us. We need some kind of outside toys.
That's what I was in search of at the Tot Swap this week. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but Jillian did find a car. At $18, I thought it was a bit overpriced, but as soon as she bee-lined for it and wouldn't get out, I knew we were leaving with it. It's a Cozy Coupe-type car that has clearly seen better days, but it's just for outside, and it works fine. She loves it! Thanks, Melissa, for hooking us up with a ticket to the "private sale"!! (completely unrelated to the outdoor project, we scored a pair of cute Stride Rite shoes that you can see Jillian wearing in this picture - she just LOVES shoes...)
Then I awoke this morning to an email from Tired Mom Tésa telling me that I won her latest blog contest! And how awesome is this? I won a brand new Little Tikes TotSports Basketball Set. I am totally excited. Anyway, check out her blog if you get a chance. She has two little ones a bit older than Jillian and does some fantastic reviews and clearly, some great giveaways! And, well, she's just cool.
My mom went to her community yard sale today and found us a Fisher Price sand/water table with cover and two chairs for a whopping $8!!! I SO can't wait to get it all together in our "new" backyard!!
Jillian's little pool from last summer seems to be in good shape still, too. I totally envision afternoons catching some rays in the backyard while Jilly plays!!! I might even be able to relax with a book, or my knitting!
Which reminds me...thank you to Denise and Brenna for hooking me up with a knitting refresher yesterday. I started a daunting project years (and I mean YEARS) ago and gave up on it. So yesterday we got together and Denise's and Brenna quickly finished off my botched project so I could start an EASY project. It truly doesn't get easier than a pattern called "easy scarf" right? Here's the work in progress. I don't think I have enough of this yarn to make a full length scarf, but it's good practice for me. And I've already found some patterns I want to try next! I was joking with John (well, maybe not joking) that everyone we know this year for Christmas will either get a scarf or a toddler craft as their gift! ;-)
Without a doubt I've been completely less motivated than usual over the past couple weeks. But here's a little of what we've gotten into.
Jillian learned how to peel those eggs she dyed before Easter. Jillian has gotten a chance to try out her Do-A-Dot markers that I ordered off Amazon with my SwagBucks. Woohoo! For months I've thought these are awe-some, but of course my little one doesn't share my level of enthusiasm. Though she doesn't hate them... We've spent some time outdoors enjoying the springtime weather! Finishing up with the letter "R", we did a stArt (story + art) project around Jillian's "Rainbow Rob" book. I saw this craft on a blog or two over the last several weeks (I can't remember which one...). Jillian again, was not as enthused as I was. She was much more interested in eating the fruit loops than gluing them on the rainbow. So I pulled out the Do-A-Dot markers. And that worked for a little while. We went walking and birding. Jillian learned about how her feet smell after wearing shoes without socks. EW. We spent lots of time singing together about the Itsy Bitsy Spider, too. Jilly's getting much better about intentionally coloring specific parts of pictures! And the most fun? Jillian has been making faces lately...and they are freakin' adorable! Join up with some Tot School fun over at 1+1+1=1!
For two weeks this month, Giant and General Mills are teaming up to give away a 2010 eco-friendly Hybrid car!
What does that mean to you, my loyal blog readers? It means that I'm giving away a $20 Giant gift card! From April 16-29th, buy five (5) participating General Mills products with your Giant gift card, use a reusable shopping bag, and you'll be automatically entered to win that Hybrid car!!
Here are the qualifying General Mills products for each of the two weeks:
Week 1, April 16-22 Cascadian Farms Cereal Cascadian Farms Frozen Vegetables Progresso Light, Reduced Sodium and High Fiber Soups Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes Betty Crocker Boxed Muffins Betty Crocker Cookie Pouch Nature Valley Crunchy, Sweet & Salty, Trail Mix and Yogurt Bars Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters General Mills Fiber One Chewy Bars Betty Crocker Gushers, Fruit Shapes, Fruit by the Foot or Fruit Rollups Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Yo-Pus, Yoplait Fiber One or Yoplait Delights Multi Pack Yoplait Original, Light, Thick & Creamy, Light Thick & Creamy or Whips Pillsbury Grands Biscuits Totino's Pizza Rolls 90 Ct. Cheerios 18 Oz Cinnamon Toast Crunch 24.9 Oz Honey Nut Cheerios 25.25 Oz Kix 18 Oz Lucky Charms 24 Oz Multigrain Cheerios 16.2 Oz
Week 2, April 23-29 Cascadian Farms Cereal Green Giant Vegetables Nature Valley Crunchy or Sweet & Salty Granola Bars Green Giant Boxed Vegetables or Prepared Vegetables, Simple Steam Seasoned Vegetables or Rices Green Giant Wanchai Ferry Entrees Yoplait Frozen Smoothies Totino's Pizza Rolls Pillsbury Savorings Fiber One Muffins Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Pillsbury Sweet Rolls Yoplait Greek Style Yogurt Yoplait Kid Multi Pack Cheerios 14 Oz Cocoa Puffs 16.5 Oz Honey Nut Cheerios 17 Oz Lucky Charms 16 oz Multigrain Cheerios 12.8 Oz Reeses Peanut Butter Puffs 18 Oz
To win the Giant gift card, leave a comment telling me which product(s) you would stock up on if you win! This is a quick contest! Winner will be announced Thursday evening and I will contact you by email if you win (please make sure that your email is public and if it's not, leave it in your comment for me). Winner will be chosen by random.org's random integer generator and your gift card will arrive via Fedex.
Want an extra entry? Tweet about this giveaway, post it on Facebook, or mention and link to this giveaway on your blog, and leave me a separate comment telling me that you did. Good luck!!
General Mills and Giant provided a Giant gift card to me, as well as the information for this giveaway and the additional gift card for giveaway through MyBlogSparkTM.
Well, I've been a bit of a blog slacker lately. It's not that we haven't done anything, it's just that we haven't done much exciting. And Jillian spent the weekend away at her Bubbie and Paw-Paw's house.
Anyhow, I finally got around to getting Jillian to the doctor for her two-year checkup today (three months late...). She was none too pleased about this event. As soon as we pulled in the parking lot, she started in with her "no, no, no" and head shaking.
Well she freaked out when they wanted her to stand on the scale - we had to do it the hard way and let me hold her, then weigh me separately, and subtract the weight. Apparently I've lost another pound....
She freaked out about everything really. It was not the best morning ever.
Here she is after a visit from the nurse, but before the doctor came in. Also, not my best photography, but you get the idea.
Pitiful, isn't she?
The official stats: Weight = 24 lbs. Height = 32-1/4"
Two shots later and we were out the door (and she was much happier!).
Over the weekend, Jillian got to hunt for Easter eggs!
She enjoyed the Easter egg hunt at church on Saturday (complete with Easter bunny, real bunnies, and crafts!).
She got to hunt Easter eggs at my mom's house after Easter lunch, and then again at Granny's house in the evening!
Totally NOT egg-hunt related, the weather around these parts has been unseasonably warm. And by warm, I mean HOT. Like 90 degrees in April hot. So while our weather on Easter was beautiful for a change, today was HOT. We ventured to the Patapsco State Park tire playground for a bit this morning before it got too steamy. Jillian had a blast!
I specify "Easter week", because it means that we didn't accomplish half of what we set out to. And this beautiful weather means we're spending much more time outdoors. I'm going to have to start thinking up some good outdoor Tot School activities!
We started the week out going for a long walk at Patapsco Valley State Park's Avalon Area. I wanted some outside time, and I thought it would be especially neat as there was a CSX train that wreck there the end of last week. I was hoping we'd see some of the train and cleanup - and we did!
This is one of my favorite parks to visit - there's so much to explore! The next day, I found some great kid-size hula hoops at the dollar store that I picked up for Jillian. I was hoping we could use them for some bean bag tossing games. This lasted all of five seconds. She was much more into putting the bean bags back in the bag. Then she found a ball. She's totally into kicking balls around. We did a stArt (story + art) project last week, and read the book, "I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track" by Joshua Prince. We both really enjoyed the book, and Jillian sort of enjoyed 'building' her own railroad track. I figured we were already set up at the table, so I made some Easter stamps from dollar store erasers hot glued to corks. This was fun for a minute. Then it devolved into complete finger painting. With non-finger paints. So I then felt obliged to get out the actual finger paints. There was Easter egg hunting galore. First at church on Saturday... Then at my mom's house on Sunday. And at my mother-in-law's house, too, but I didn't get any pictures of that one :-( We read lots of "R" books this week (did I mention our very loose theme was "R"?). The ant on the railroad track book was by far our favorite of the bunch! And I borrowed "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" with Shirley Temple from the library. Jillian enjoyed watching about half of this movie, and was inspired to climb up to our piano and do her own playing and singing! This week we'll continue with "R", since there were a couple activities I really wanted to get in and didn't last week. And I'm SO excited that I finally got Do-A-Dot markers! I had enough Swag Bucks to redeem for Amazon.com gift cards and got a set totally for free! They came yesterday, so no doubt there will be lots of dot art this week!!
Head over to 1+1+1=1 to read some wonderful Tot School posts!
We LOVED this book by Joshua Prince! I loved reading it, and Jillian loved having it read to her. It's about a railroad switch operator named Jack who sees an ant headed the wrong way on a the railroad track. He tries to flip the switch so the ant and the oncoming train don't have a run-in with one another, but can't do it. At the end, the ant is attracted to Jack's lunch and leaves the track on his own, and they share lunch together.
I helped Jillian make a railroad track for our stArt project. I drew two lines on a piece of construction paper and helped her color some popsicle sticks brown to make the railroad ties. Then I let her glue the ties on the "rails". While she was busy making the ties, I grabbed a few black pompoms, hot glued them together, and added some googly eyes. A black pipe cleaner cut into pieces made the ant's legs and antennae. I don't think she loved this craft, but she did get really excited when she glued the ties on the rails. She liked the ant I made best of all! For more story + art ideas, check out A Mommy's Adventures!
I'm a funeral director turned stay at home mom who's married to a loving and very hard working husband. I knit, I sing in the church choir, I cook and bake, and I am lucky enough to be entertained daily by the antics of my two little girls!