8-10 month flashback

Since Thanksgiving break is upon us (and we will be visiting our family), I decided to clean out my camera in order to have lots of room for photos. That's when I stumbled upon these gems from last winter/spring. The Rose was 8-10 months in these photos. Not yet walking. So presh. Love her.

They say time goes by so fast and it does. Hug your babies, folks. Your babies become toddlers who become teens (so I hear).

Enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow! May it be restful and may your hearts be thankful for the blessings God has given!

The Rose's Room

This weekend we finally finished The Rose's room. It's been a long time coming, since we moved into our rental at the end of September. Her room was the last room of the house to get finished. Now that it is put together we feel more settled and complete. I'm also so glad to have it finished because I feel like it is a much better reflection of her personality.

We kept the same pieces from her original nursery at the old Swift Abode (bless that home) but added some things (and removed some things) that better suite a toddler.

Here goes!

One of the things I am most excited about (but isn't pictured yet) is The Rose's art and craft station. We took off the closet doors (don't worry, they're removable) and are in the process of converting her closet into a art, craft and toy area. Right now everything is in plastic bins and my favorite ikea cart but for Christmas The Rose is getting THIS (shhhh! it's a secret!) and we're hoping with some Christmas money to get her a toy organizer that's a little more permanent.

Another thing we'd like to add to the room eventually is a nice big rug, maybe like this one, but we'll have to wait on some Christmas money for that one, too!

So, that's The Rose's Room! It's not perfect but it's good enough for now... because aren't we all like that?! Happy Monday, friends!

just play

This week has been a challenging week for The Rose and me. She's been battling a cold and has been unlike herself. She's been up at night multiple times in the middle of the night almost every night. I've been having weird, hard dreams and so we are both pretty much exhausted by this Friday.

Throughout the week I tried to maintain our normal schedule between her swim lessons two times and week and story time playdates two times a week and grocery shopping and cleaning and preparing meals and all the above. And yesterday I was in the middle of putting up all the dishes when I realized that I needed to take some time to just stop and play.
 It's interesting. You know. I've started writing about creative ways to teach toddlers as I am learning some of them myself and I plan all these things and I schedule out our day to do all these things and I think that all these things are really good (and they are) but I forget that sometimes a girl just needs to play. And sometimes The Rose needs me to play too.
 So yesterday I stopped in the middle of loading the dishwasher and sat on my dirty kitchen floor and just played. I didn't look at my phone. I didn't get a book. I didn't clean a thing. I just played with my girl and let her lead in the play. 

And you know what she really wanted to do? She wanted to pretend to put things in the toaster (yes, unplugged you worrying mamas). And that's what we did. Would I have planned ahead of time to pretend to put things in the toaster and pop them in and out for five minutes straight. Um, no. But she wanted to and she had lots of fun and she learned about a toaster. (I think).
So, mamas, in all your busyness and goodness you're doing for your kiddos today, don't forget to play!

And yes, I wiped her snot nose shortly after taking these photos.

Also, my sweet friend Kirstin shared this beautifully written (and freeing!) blog post with me today. It is so good and worth a read!

a handmade Christmas: mason jar snow globes

Last night I made my first decoration of the Christmas season, inspired by this beautiful blog. And it was super easy (and cheap)!
 All you need are mason jars, small trees (like these) and anything to use as snow. I used powdered sugar because I had it lying around.
I also added some baker's twine to give it a more complete look.
I made five of these for less than $5 total!
 Now I have to start getting out Christmas decorations so I can figure out where I want to put these up! Happy Wednesday, friends!

a handmade Christmas: handmade doll

Last week I started working on Christmas crafts. Every year I have goals to do so much for Christmas (making homemade decor and gifts) but then I never actually getting around to doing most of it (or any of it). This year I started early.

For The Rose we've decided to keep her gifts simple this year, knowing that she is going to get great gifts and toys from lots of family. Last year we only gave each other four main gifts: something we want, need, wear and read. You can read about it all over Pinterest if you're interested.

With that in mind I decided to make her something that I hope she wants: a little doll.

This doll measures about 18 inches. I used this tutorial as inspiration, but I made my own pattern because I wanted a larger doll. Once I had my pattern ready (which took a while), actually making the doll only took me a couple hours. I used fabric and felt that I purchased from Joann's and buttons from my Great-Grandma's stash. This whole thing cost me only $10! 

It was so fun, I plan to make a few more for some of The Rose's friends for Christmas! And I plan to tweak a few things when I do, like I will probably try to change up the eyes and mouth (maybe use some fabric paint?) and the arms and legs (maybe just make them straight and add different style shoes?) and also the hair (more specific for the kiddos)
 Most of all, I am proud of myself for actually unpacking my sewing machine and getting this thing put together before 11:55pm on Christmas Eve. Because let's be honest... that's usually how I roll.

Are you making anything handmade for your littles this year? Please share in the comments below! I would love to see!

creating with a toddler: yogurt

Last week I shared my first post about intentionally teaching The Rose through creative outlets. Today I wanted to share one of my favorite activities I've done with her. We've done this twice so far, so we're still newbies. The first time I just let her paint on her highchair. This time she painted on some brown cardstock.

For this activity, my goal was to teach her how to paint. That's it. Because she still puts everything in her mouth we used whole milk yogurt and food die instead of real paint.

I also introduced a paint brush but she mostly just used it like a spoon.

A few pointers:
  • We used cardstock because it held together much better after being painted on. 
  • Also, if you plan save these paintings and you use yogurt, make sure there are not many yogurt clumps left when finished. Because it's still yogurt and it can be smelly. I found that as long as it wasn't in clumps it didn't smell after it dried. 
  • We used cardstock cards so that when the paintings dry we can mail them out to Grandparents and Great-Grandparents. It makes fun and easy mail!
  • Plan to have your kiddo take a bath afterward!
  • If you have a pet, let them lick the highchair clean. It saves me time, and Honey doesn't mind!

I hope you are enjoying your Thursday! For us it's a rainy, lazy Thursday. Those.are.the.best!
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