Thursday, May 9, 2013

water table fun!

The weather recently has been insane!  We have been so lucky to be seeing temps in the 70's which are  really rare in Spring, sometimes even rare in Summer.  With that being said, we have been spending lots of time outside (and I got the sunburn to prove it).

The girls got this water table from my parents for Christmas (thanks Grammy and Grandpa!) and this was one of the first times they had used it and they LOVED it!

I added bubbles and totally blew their minds.  Whitney kept saying 'bubble! bubble!' While throwing them everywhere.

Who doesn't loving playing in the water while it's 75 degrees out!

Of course both girls were totally soaked after playing in the water but it was well worth the extra laundry I'll have to do over the Summer!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mothers Day Forever Bouquet

I am in charge of putting together crafts for Story Hour at my local library and this weeks theme was Mothers Day.  I don't know about you but I love getting a beautiful bouquet of flowers, they look so beautiful and smell so sweet but sadly only last about a week.  So this Mothers Day give Mom a bouquet she can keep forever!

All you need is paint (green- I only have primary colors so this was a fun craft with an added lesson about color theory), some glue and some flower pot and flower cut outs.  I have a die-cut machine so I used that but you can easily cut out a flower pot shape and then some flower shapes by hand.

Here are all our supplies!

First, take your green paint and paint it on your child's hand with a brush, you want to put on a decent amount- just don't slather it on or it'll look goopy.

Brooklyn was thrilled to get the okay to get all dirty with paint!  Anytime we craft she always asks if it's okay to get her hands dirty.

Here was our first handprint.  Note: When making the handprint off center the paper a bit so their hand is slightly tipped, this way the thumb won't be under the flower pot. (see below)

This was our second try.
Once the handprint is on, glue the flower pot and then a flower at the tip of each finger (aka stem).

Ta-da!  A beautiful bouquet that Mom can treasure forever (I know I will!)

keeping little hands busy

If you asked me what the hardest thing is about being a stay-at-home-mom keeping my girls little hands busy would be close to the top of the list.  Some days I think Brooklyn's favorite thing to say is 'Mommy, I don't know what to do' so I am always trying to come up with new things for her and Whitney to do.

This is something that is so simple and easy I often forget about it.

We have an art easel (back left) and I have a roll of paper for that so I just tore off a bit of paper, taped it to the floor and let them go at it will markers, crayons and colored pencils.

We had an elephant, lion, tractor, rainbow and all sorts of other masterpieces!

Whitney loves markers and I'm sure she spent equal amounts of time scribbling and putting on and taking off the covers.  Both of which are great for fine motor skills.  Go Whitney!

Monday, May 6, 2013

once upon a twine...

This is by far one of the easiest things you can do with an empty bottle!  It only takes three items to create and the end result is rustic and beautiful!

Please excuse my messy table, I was in full-on craft mode so it's a wonder you can even see any of the surface of my table.

You need:
-white glue
-bottle (cleaned with any labels removed)
-jute (fancy name for twine) yarn or string of your choice.

I found starting at the bottom worked best, right under the neck of the bottle was the trickiest spot but it all worked out.  I used a brush to paint on the glue and found it to be the easiest way to get an even application.

You can put it on in strips too, and that'll do the trick also!

All done!  When finished you can add fresh flowers and this could be a great addition to a summer tablescape!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bittersweet Sunday

This week the weather has been beautiful.  Temperatures have been in the 70's, there was barely ever a cloud in the sky and a warm breeze always seemed to be blowing.  Shawn's been busy with Spring work on the farm and has been up early and out late.  Friday night was actually the first night all week that we were able to eat dinner together as a family.  Under normal circumstances Shawn working so much would mean that as soon has he had time off we'd do something as a family.  Yet unfortunately that was not the case.

When Shawn came in at 2:00pm I gave him a quick kiss and headed out to meet up with a friend.  Usually this would be cause for excitement, some time away with a few girl friends while Shawn stayed at home with Brooklyn and Whitney.

I met up with two of my friends and together we went to a wake.

As we walked into the funeral home the first thing that I saw was a Dora book, and next to that a toy tractor.  Instantly my heart started to race, I could feel my hands start to shake and a lump formed in my throat.

Then it really, really hit me: I am at the wake of a 19-month-old baby.  A baby.  The books and toys weren't there for children to play with... they were his toys... his books...

After signing the guest book we walked around the corner where the casket was, and in front of that the little boys Mother and Father.  As I waited my turn to see them I felt the tears fill my eyes and run down my cheeks and before I knew it I was standing in front of the parents of a sweet little boy that was taken away far too soon.  A flood of emotions filled me as I hugged his mother, and then his father.  Saying 'I'm so sorry' and 'I'm here if you need anything' seemed so little, so insignificant.  What I really wanted to do was leave, run, get out of there as fast as I could and find some way to fix all this, to bring back their little boy.

Dammit, this just isn't fair.

Being a Mother myself I can not even begin to imagine what terrible pain she is going through, and will continue to go through as the days, weeks, months and years pass.  All I can do is pray.  The night I found out this little boy had passed I prayed for his families strength, and although it will never go away I prayed that little-by-little their pain might ease over time.

This was not my first wake.  But the ones I have been to have been for the elderly, the ones that have lived long, full lives.  Ones filled with children, and grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.  Today is not how it's supposed to be, it's not supposed to happen this way.

I'd be lying if I didn't leave the funeral home feeling guilty.  Guilty because I knew that that night I'd be able to sit down to dinner with my family, to do bath time and kiss our girls goodnight after singing Twinkle, Twinkle.  Meanwhile another family just minutes down the road was changed forever.

So I prayed some more.  And I'm not the overly religious type so I'm pretty sure God was surprised to hear from me so much in just one afternoon.  And then I wrote this, I find writing to be an outlet.  A way to work through things.

Before I finish this post I want to leave you with this, it was the poem on the card at the funeral home:

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an Afterglow of smiles when the day is done.
I'd like to leave an echo...
Whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
of happy memories that I leave behind me when day is done.

Rest in peace, sweet angel.

Monday, April 8, 2013

a little break with a lot going on

Whoa... has it really be a few months since I last posted??  Yuck.  Well, there's nothing I can do to change that so lets just agree to move forward and not linger on my absence.

So, what's been going on?


Since the new year I've decided to open and ETSY shop!  Yesterday was my very first official day of having my shop open and I am so excited!  It's something I've wanted to do for quite some time and I finally took the plunge.  I have been working really hard making products to list in my shop, and although I only have 12 items listed I actually have probably triple that finished that I still have to photograph and list so stay tuned, there will be many more additions to Chunky Love in the near future!

I hope you'll take a second to look at my shop (better yet favorite it? or follow me?), Facebook page (give this 'ole girl a like would ya?)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Whitney's first year

12 months
52 weeks
365 days
8760 hours
525,600 minutes
31,536,000 seconds

That's how long it has been since my sweet little Whitney came into this world and changed my life.
And I have cherished every single moment with her.  She is my little ray of sunshine.  I am pretty sure Whitney was born smiling, and hasn't stopped.  Each one of my days with her is filled with laughter, love and a pure innocence and curiosity you can't find anywhere but in a child so small.

Before Whitney was born I was so afraid I wouldn't love her well enough.  Brooklyn had been my only child for three years and my heart was already so filled with love that I didn't think I could possibly fit one more ounce of love in there.  But on December 6, 2011 at 5:27am I realized that your heart does not have a limit on how much love it can hold.  Seeing Whitney take her first breath, hearing her first cry confirmed what I had wondered to be true: a mother's heart is just big enough to hold love for all her children.

So before I totally lose it I want to share with you a years worth of photos of my little sunshine. 

Starting at 2 weeks old I put Whitney in the same 12 month sized onesie and snapped a photo documenting her first year.  Being around her everyday it's hard for me to see the big changes that slowly happen.  Like her itty-bitty body filling out, just to thin again a little when she started to crawl, her hair that was once very dark is now a light brown with blonde highlights, and how her chubby little face now looks more like that of a toddler than an infant.

Happy Birthday, Whitney Reese!

My wish for you on your very first birthday is that you always keep a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye.

Love Always,