Thursday, March 26, 2009

Listening & Doing

Have you ever noticed that the busier you are the less likely your child (or children) is to listen and do what you ask of them?

Have you ever noticed that the louder your voice gets the more that child tunes you out?

Have you ever had a child take total and complete advantage of the fact that you are on the telephone and therefore cannot see them or stop them from sneaking into the kitchen cabinet for the cookies you told them 5 minutes ago they couldn't have?

It has been a very frustrating two weeks at our house with the resident 4-almost-5 year-old! Dee and I are coordinating/directing a wedding this weekend and all of the last minute details, emergencies, melt-downs, etc. have been taking our full attention.

Demi has decided that the only way to get attention is to misbehave -- 'cause when she does that, she has our full attention! For example, emptying all of the soft soap refill into the bathroom sink, toilet and your sippy cup has a tendency to draw adult attention. Driving your older sister nuts, hiding under her bed, pinching her and pulling her hair also gets you lots of attention. Cranking the volume up on the TV to the highest possible level draws some attention. So does picking up the phone extension and chattering to whomever Mommy is talking to at that particular time (our clients just love that, I'm sure!).

Lest you think that we are the only ones feeling the brunt of Demi's misbehavior let me fill you in on what is happening at school! Her teachers have been in and out of the classroom in meetings over the last week or so. And our brilliant 4-almost-5 year-old has seized every opportunity to wreck havoc there too. She actually got sent to see the pre-school "principal" one day this week! ARGH!

Hopefully next week will see a return to normalcy for all of us. The wedding will be over and the next one we're coordinating isn't until the second weekend in May. Oh, wait . . . her birthday is next week!

Forget normalcy -- I wouldn't know what that was if it walked up to me, introduced itself and whacked me over the head with a baseball bat! I've heard that it's wonderful, if overrated . . . normalcy, that is -- not the whack with the bat.

-- Jen

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Top O' the Mornin' to ya!

Thought I'd share a little Leprechaun that I made for a bulletin board in Demi's Pre-K classroom. This wee little man is just too cute!

There are two small bulletin boards as you enter the classroom suite for the Pre-K. Both were in desperate need of some TLC. So, I asked permission to decorate them for spring and St. Patrick's Day and permission was granted.

The spring bulletin board has a March theme -- you know . . . "in like a lion, out like a lamb." The lion and lamb were created using the Animal Kingdom cartridge, the text is from ZooBalloo and the picket fence is from Paper Doll Dress Up.

The St. Patty's Day board is all from Paper Doll Dress Up except the text, it is from George and Basic Shapes -- it's hard to see in the picture, but along the top of the bulletin board it says "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" A little bit of chalk, my favorite black and white pens, and some glitter and glitter glue finish them off perfectly!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We have a new addition to the family!

She's really cute. She's 5 years old. Weighs about 14 lbs. and she's furry! Her name is Gracie and she is a white and tan Shih Tzu.

Since Demi's 3rd birthday (almost 2 years ago now) she has been bugging us for a dog. We live in a rental with no fenced in yard and didn't really want to go the puppy route. Carpet + puppy = lots of carpet cleaning! My Mom is constantly sending me e-mails about critters that need good homes. And I am forever calling my Mom and asking her if she's trying to break my heart or what -- because I'd take them all if I could afford to feed them!

Lately Demi's pitch for a dog has gone into overdrive for some reason. A typical conversation in the car going to or coming home from pre-school goes like this...

Demi: "Momma, can I have a dog?"

Me: "No, Demi. No dog right now."

Demi: "Momma, can I have a kitten?"

Me: "No, Demi. We have a cat."

Demi: Momma, can I have a baby brother or sister?"

Me: "NO, Demi!" (While I'm thinking, not only NO, but HELL NO!)

Last Friday Mom forwarded me yet another e-mail from one of her co-workers who had a dog that needed a good home. I didn't open it until Saturday afternoon and immediately fell in love with this cute little pooch. Dee heard me commenting on how cute this dog was and came over to see. She asked me what the deal was with this dog and I let her read the e-mail. Then she turns to me and says, "What do you think? She could be Demi's birthday present." Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

So to make a long story a little shorter, I called and we went and met Gracie. Gracie is a very calm and laid back little dog. Just as sweet as she can be -- is housebroken, well-trained and formerly belonged to an older couple who just couldn't take care of her anymore. Gracie came home with us and has settled in quite well. And to say that Demi is thrilled is an understatement! As a matter fact, we're all thrilled -- except the cat . . . O'Malley is NOT thrilled, but adjusting!

Yesterday Dee picked Demi up from school. Demi said, "Nana, can I have a dog?" Dee said, "Demi you have a dog!" Oh, yeah! Thank you for my dog, Nana. I love her so much!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Baby Shower Stuff

My sister-in-law, Brooke and my baby brother, Andy, are expecting their second child any day now. Another precious little girl! Brooke's baby shower was a couple of weeks ago and Dee and I made several things for the shower and to give them as gifts.

Brooke selected several "cowgirl" themed items on her baby registry at Target and thus a diaper cake was born! Using the handy-dandy Cricut machine and the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge we cut out a cowgirl, a couple of horseshoes, a stick horse, cowgirl hat, cow and horse. We also cut out a baby bottle using the Doodlecharms cartridge. With a little chalk and my favorite markers they turned out so cute!

Here's a close-up of the die cuts.

Dee and I also created the baby shower favors using our Cricut machine. We used the baby bib cut file from Okieladybug's blog (Thanks, Okie!) and cut it in white, then cut out the inner section from some Anna Griffen scrapbook paper in our paper stash. The baby head is from the Doodlecharms cartridge. Chalk and ink "stitching" completed the bib. I typed a little "thank you" and Dee punched them out, matted them and then we attached them to the back of the bib. We then filled a small, clear treat bag with pink and white M & M candies, stapled the bag closed and attached it to the bib. They were a hit!

The diaper cake was part of our gift as well as a couple of "store-bought" outfits. Another part of our gift was "Little Sister" and "Big Sister" shirts for the girls. Brooke had seen some cute t-shirts at a local baby boutique and really wanted them for her girls, but at $30 a pop they stayed at the store. I knew that you could cut fabric with the Cricut machine and had unsuccessfully tried it once before. Undaunted, I scoured the Cricut message board and learned some tricks to make this time work. Heat 'n Bond is the key -- that and a new cutting blade. The baby head is from the Doodlecharms cartridge, the little girl is from the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge and the lettering is from the George & Basic Shapes cartridge. Brooke loved them!

OK . . . the last thing we made was a "big sister" card for a gift we purchased for Layla. Layla is 16 months old and is not taking too kindly to sharing her Momma with anyone. So we know that a new baby is really going to put her sharing skills to the test. To help ease her into the whole baby idea we bought her a baby doll stroller and a baby doll that came with a blanket and "snugli"-like carrier. Demi loved picking this gift out for her favorite little cousin.

Dee had seen a "big sister" card similar to this online and wanted to re-create it for Layla. We created the baby using the Paper Doll Dress-Up, the baby's curl, hair bow and the baby bottle are from Doodlecharms, the heart is from George & Basic Shapes, and the duckie is from the Animal Kingdom cartridge (I cut the diaper by hand!).

Whew! A lot of work, but a lot of fun! And, yes, we spoil our nieces (and our nephews, too)!