Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sending Hugs via USPS

We don't live in the same cities as Bea's grandparents. In fact, it's likely that most kids now a days don't. But that doesn't mean we don't walk about them all. the. time. So, when I saw this blog post about sending a hug in an envelope, I knew we had a craft on our hands (one that Mama could actually do).

We even had a giant roll of easel paper from IKEA sitting around, like it was waiting on this project! Bea was on board immediately:
This is SO FUNNY mommy.

I'm pretty sure this was the most fun part of the entire thing for her. She's now taking to putting random body parts on her chalkboard and asks to "trace it". It's much easier this way:
The tracing results were... cartoonish at best:

But it didn't deter Bea from adding her own special touches to make it look a little more like the real thing:
A bow is a must to tame her "Wild Gypsy Hair"
Getting the perfect placement is tricky ...
Then she spent most of the afternoon and early evening adding a little touch here and there:

Seriously, these feet... when did she turn into a teenager?
Concentration is key.
 Daddy was even recruited when he got home from work for his creative influence:

Instructing Daddy takes patience sometimes.
After a few final touches (like nail polish and a snake sticker, of course):
Lookin' Good.
She declared it "All Done" so we cut it out (as best we could, without disrupting any of her artistic process):
The resemblance is uncanny- said no one ever.
And folded in the arms, ready for a hug:
Kind of like a bear hug, only creepier.
Then added a personal note:
My poetic toddler. She's talented, huh?

And mailed it away:
The grandparents were... confused I think. But, overall, were excited to receive another piece of original Busy Bea artwork to add to their fridge gallery.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Tid Bits ...

  • I bought new running shoes this weekend. And by running shoes, I really mean "mostly-for-walking-and-some-bike-communiting" shoes. They're neat and they're made to make my feet feel barefoot. It's TBD if that's a good thing or not.
  • I told my doula client-turned-friend-and-neighbor (the one who is determined to turn me into a running lover) that I bought said shoes (and some workout pants that actually fit), and she texted back, "Yes! Yes! Yes! When do you want to get started". WTH have I done?
  • How have I just now discovered the awesome-ness of the band FUN. ? They're super quirky, which we all know I'm a fan of, and have recently secured a spot on my new minted "Cardio Mix" iTunes list.
  • Yea, so, that same list might also have Justin Beiber's song "Boyfriend" on it. Deal with it. I'm a closet Beliber. 
  • I just ordered and received a really awesome breastfeeding video to show my clients at postpartum visits. While screening it last week, Bea climbed up on the couch to "watch babies snuggle their mamas". I nearly melted into the couch from cuteness overload.
  • Speaking of Busy Bea, girlfriend starts going to Parent's Morning Out next week for TWO DAYS a week! That's 8 glorious hours I'll have to myself to do fun, mommy things like go to the gym and get a pedicure clean the house and go grocery shopping un "assisted".
  • We're in the process of turning our office (which used to be used to house the dogs, who have been moved into the living room) into an office/guest room combo. But before that happens, my husband has to sort through some of his textbooks to make room for a futon/guestbed. This a really hard task for a hoarder for him. 
  • Want proof? He's been tasked with paring down his book collection for over two weeks, this is as far as he's gotten in that time:
At this rate, you might find my body under a stack of old Engineering Textbooks some day
  • God, I love this man- but he loves books with a fierce passion. This is a problem for families who live in small houses... you know, like OURS.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Our week, Instagramed ...

Let's close out the week in style; even if most everyone will be long gone from their computers for the weekend, but still. I have a lot of Instagram Photos and I want to share them, darn it.

So here goes ...
Helping Daddy at the Home Depot. And by helping, I mean commandeering the cart from him
Having lunch with Daddy. And seriously, can I get an AMEN on how beautiful this kiddo's eyelashes are?
Picnicking at Duke Gardens to burn off energy pre-nap.
But it was hot and humid, so Bea had to stay hydrated. With my water bottle, of course.
Painting her heart's desire at Bull City Craft's Preschool Playcraft
Pack Leader? Yea, clearly. I think we can tell who's really in charge here, huh?
Checking out her new "school shoes" which of course, she picked out. She chose the "Farkly" ones (sparkly)
Those pig tails... No matter how big she grows someday, this is how I will always remember her in my Mama Heart.
Testing out the jump-ability and stomp-ability of her new shoes. They passed.
And here are two videos from a recent trip to Petsmart, which Bea calls "the zoo". She's taken a new interest in the kitties up for adoption... Daddy has not yet been persuaded though:


Thursday, August 23, 2012

9 Things I Love: Toddler Edition (Part 2)

Let's round out that list from yesterday, shall we? Oh, and by the way, the titles of each item (in bold) are linked to where you can purchase them online (or you could buy them in a local store... you know, if you're insular like us)

Where were we? Oh yes...

5. Salt Water Sandals:
Oh, hoow do I love these sandals? Let me count the ways... First of all, they're basically waterproof (hence the name "Salt Water") and are actually designed to be worn IN the ocean! Of course, my toddler hates the beach, so we mainly bought them because they can be worn to the park, splashed in puddles, stomped around in at the splash park and still look nice enough for to ear to church. It's the perfect toddler shoe, in my opinion. Plus, they are flexible enough on the bottom that Bea doesn't get tripped up that easily, but still stiff enough that they're durable.

6. Super Why and Dinosaur Train:

Sooooo, I was totally one of "those moms" who Before Kids was all, "TV? It rots your brain. My kids will never watch that stuff, they'll play with puzzles and do science experiments". And then, I became a mother. And then I became a mother to an incredibly talkative, and inquisitive toddler. And I'll be honest here- I like to shower or sit on the toilet sometimes without an audience from her. These shows allow that to happen AND, I don't feel like her brain cells are melting away. For 28 minutes each day, while she eats breakfast, Beatrice Kate gets to choose which show she wants to watch. She goes through phases. For one solid month, it was Dinosaur Train. Now, we're on a Super Why! kick. Fortunately, these shows don't feed my mom guilt any more than it has to because from watching them, Bea has learned to spell, knows all her letters and even knows what a Pteranodon and a Triceratops are. I mean come on, I even had to Google that one. Bea's quenches her thirst for strange, college level knowledge, and I get to put my contacts in. It's a win-win.

7. Razbaby RaZ-Berry Teether:
You might recognize this little gem from a previous 9 Things List and that's because now that Bea is cutting her two year molars, it's made a reappearance. She can chew, and chew and chew until her little heart is content, and because it's made of a (BPA Free) super-strength silicone, she can't chew it apart (unlike the countless toothbrushes we tried before this). We love it, she loves it. Enough said.

8. Snack Taxi:
Snack traps are soooooooooooo yesterday. Now that Bea is so grown up a toddler now, she requires more sophisticated things to carry around her many snack needs. The Snack Taxi is our solution. It's basically a velcro-ed pouch that has a semi-waterproof liner in it that can hold snacks. We got ours at Twig, a natural products shop in Chapel Hill and it seems to work great. The biggest advantage over the traditional snack trap is that it's compact and easily slips into any bag, unlike a bulky snack trap. Oh, and we're saving the environment and stuff.

9. The Public Library!

If you're not a member of your local library, stop what you're doing right. now. and go get a card. If your library is anything like ours (and I suspect it is) then you're missing out on SO MANY fantastic (Free!) things. Bea can blow through books like I can (and that's saying something) so we get bored of the same stories frequently. Having a library card lets her go and spend sometimes hours browsing the aisles and searching for books. The Children's Section in our library has kid-height shelves and puts the books in bins, rather than filing them away perpendicular to the aisle. Bea can snoop through them all easily, without leaving a trail of discarded books in her wake. It makes the librarians and her mother happy. Plus, our library has a full schedule of free storytimes and sing-a-long times. If nothing else, it gets us out of the house for two hours a couple times a week and Bea is good for a solid nap afterward. And trust me, if I'm allowed to check out books (I'm a compulsive over-due lendee) then you'll be able to too!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

9 Things I Love: Toddler Edition (Part 1)

Now that we're fully consumed by all things toddler in this house, I thought it was time for another installment of 9 Things I Love and this time, we'll focus on the things that make life easier with an early preschooler.

These are in no particular order and no, the companies didn't pay me to endorse their products (but I'm not saying I would turn it down!).

1. The Aquaduck Faucet Extender
Bea has been potty trained for most of the year, but getting her to wash her hands has been a battle. A disgusting, gross, kid-who-picks-their-nose kind of battle because you know, "Bea Bea do it myself" is her mantra these days. Plus, she's getting' kind of heavy so lifting her around to all the house sinks is hard work. So, when I was at a doula client's house this February, and saw this on her bathroom sink for her toddler, I was in love with this little thing. It enables Bea to climb up to the sink and reach the water without drowning the bathroom in the process. Plus, it's pink. And she likes all things pink (much to our dismay).

2. Washable Crayons

Probably this is a "Duh" product, but seriously, crayons have saved our sanity more times than I can count. Whether it's in a doctor's office, and she just has to draw out a creative urge or we're at church and Bea spends the entire sermon tearing the wrappers off. I carry a box of Crayons in every bag I own these days. Oh, and make sure their washable. Otherwise, situations like these are unpleasant:
In her defense, she did ask if she could draw on the floor.
3. Crayola Glue Sticks
Along the same lines as Crayons, Bea loves to glue stuff down. Well, actually, she likes to paint pictures with glue and then occasionally will add a few pieces of ribbon here and there. These glue sticks are good for that. They go on purple and dry (quickly) clear. Plus their non-toxic, so when Bea inevitably puts a stick of glue in her mouth- I'm not as freaked out by it when it's this brand. And see the weirdly shaped tops (which also can serve as a base)? Those are perfect for little toddler hands (and coordination) to help them stand their glue sticks up in between additions.

4. Bull City Craft

Maybe you're sensing a theme here? Life with a toddler is a lot easier when there is craft time. And unfortunately for Bea, the limits of my craftiness mentoring end at glue sticks and crayons. Luckily, here in town, we have Bull City Craft. We visited BCC for the first time this week and holy, moley, we'll be back. For $5 ($5!) your preschooler can have access to unlimited crafting supplies for hours on end (we stayed for an hour before Bea figured out the shop is located right next to her favorite Frozen Yogurt place). The advantages to a place like this are countless. Your toddler can wonder around, in a craft-induced haze, until their tiny toddler heart is content. Plus? The mess stays out of your house. For me, that's worth $5 alone. But for Bea, she got to paint, play with Play-Doh, do some collage building, draw with crayons and pencils and even do a little playtime with their in-house toys. This place is the Bees Bea's Knees for us, and we'll be back weekly for sure. I mean, come on, they even provide smocks? Be still my neat-freak heart:

Tomorrow I'll round out the list with my favorite things (right now at least) so stay tuned. And if you have any favorite toddler things, let me know in the comments. I'm always looking to steal for new ideas.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks ...

You might recall, we took Bea to a Durham Bulls Game recently. If you're not from North Carolina, or more specifically, from the Triangle, you may not be familiar with the awesomeness of Triple A Durham Bulls Baseball.

It's an establishment here in Durham and more often than not, if you live in the Bull City- you're an avid Bulls Fan. If you've ever seen the movie Bull Durham you'd understand why. It was filmed here after all and we're fame whores like that!

Thankfully- Beatrice Kate was pleasantly accepting of this city-wide citizenship requirement. In fact, she not only accepted the fact that she was expected to love Bulls Baseball... she loved it. Or rather, she loved the food.
What's that you're having Daddy? Can we share?

Seriously, we were there for the entire game and I think we might have seen oh, 2 innings total. The rest of the time? We spent walking around the stadium, finding something else for a "snack".
Taking the Bird's Eye View to scout for potential snacks.

Normally, the kiddo is a very healthy eater, so we figured- hey, why not let her indulge a little. Clearly, we need to learn to set limits because she started off by pre-gaming with a hotdog:
Oh, that second hotdog isn't for me? LAME.

Then added potato chips:
Technically, it's a vegetable you guys.

And then she snaked a few tortilla chips from Aunt Sue:
You cannot resist my charms... hand over the tortillas...

And the moved on to peanuts:
The Peanut Gallery.
"No. I'll do it myself" said toddlers everywhere.

Oh, the peanuts! She spent literally an hour deshelling and eating peanuts:
Just a couple more ought to do it ...

I'm not sure which she thought was more fun- eating peanuts or dropping and smashing their shells into the concrete:

Small Motor Skills of a neurosurgeon. With the patience of one too.

At least their biodegradable right? And come on, who could deny this face a little piece of Americana Happiness? Not I:
I know this photo is blurry, but my God, is she cute or what?
Even if we have to sing "Take me out to the Ball Game" over and over and over as a result ...