Monday, September 1, 2014

Grace's Meet the Teacher night

People warned me that babies grow up fast and wow they weren't kidding. Grace has been home with me since she was born and starting this week, she'll spend two days a week at preschool. We had the chance to visit and meet her teacher this past week and we talked to her about it a ton before actually going. While she may have outgrown her severe separation anxiety, she still gets extremely reserved around new people and new places. So we've learned that talking about things before they happen helps her transition. We talked about it so much (and watched the preschool Daniel Tiger episodes so often) that she was beyond excited to go visit. She was literally jumping up and down yelling "go to preschool now!"

The visit was both good and bad. I'll start with the good:

She loves her classroom. It has a play kitchen, lots of art easels, a fun reading area, and much more. To her delight, there are even dress up clothes in the corner. When she realized that she was going to get to play there again, she couldn't stop smiling.

We had to basically drag her out of the classroom. She was having so much fun coloring and exploring.

The bad:

The moment we went to talk to her teacher, she shut down. This wasn't completely unexpected but I keep hoping she'll grow out of it. She does not like people she's never met and has no desire to speak to them. Her teacher completely understood and didn't try to push it. She let her be but promised that she was looking to buy some dress up shoes to add to the classroom collection which at least got a little smile out of Grace. I'm absolutely sure that by next week, all we'll be hearing about is her teacher. She did the exact same thing with her ballet teachers and now she loves them. But as a mom, it's hard to know that I'm going to leave her there for 4 hours with someone she's so shy around. Honestly, it's hard for me to leave her for that long with anyone!

I keep telling myself she'll absolutely love it and she's going to get so much from it. I think it's going to really help her conversational skills and she will love the crafts and activities. I'm sure she will adjust faster than Connor and I will! Connor will have a hard time getting used to her being gone, they are constant playmates at home and really do love each other. It will be great to have some one on one time with him and I have to say it's so much easier to run errands with one than with two!

I will update later this week about how her first day went. How did you feel when your first (or second, or third?) went to school for the first time?

Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set Giveaway!

The summer might be ending but we're still spending a ton of time outside. Are you taking advantage of every last minute of summer? This swing set would be the ultimate end of summer treat for your kids! 

Welcome to the Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set Giveaway Event!

We have come together with our hosts Everything Mommyhood and Mom To Bed by 8 to offer our readers a Tree House Swing Set giveaway from Little Tikes. Special thanks to our co-hosts Budget Earth and Bayou City Mamas

My kids would absolutely love this swing set! A backyard “tree” house with swing set that includes a climbing wall, sliding board and more! Kids can climb to the platform two different ways, the climbing wall or by climbing the tree trunk then they can slide down and do it again and again! Your kids will get years of enjoyment from this fun and durable swing set. Perfect for children ages 3-8 years old.

Lookout tree with steering wheel Climbing wall Kids can climb the tree trunk Grab handles molded into the tree trunk Fun slide Swingset extension Maximum number of kids on climber: 4 Maximum child per swing: 1 Weight limit up to 81lbs. per child The Tree House Swing Set must be anchored Accessories included: Anchor kit and 2 Swings Assembly Required 

You can check out Everything Mommyhood's more in depth review with more pictures here - Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set Review

Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set, retail $499.99. Open to US Residents, 18 and up only. One entry per household/IP Address. Void where prohibited. Winner will be chosen randomly via the Giveaway Tools entry form and will be emailed. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway ends 9/21/14 at 11:59pm Eastern.

Disclosure: Everything Mommyhood received the item mentioned above in exchange for her honest review & giveaway. We were not compensated for this posting. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own and were not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and any other social media are not affiliated with this posting or giveaway. Everything Mommyhood and contributing bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. Little Tikes is responsible for fulfillment of prize. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Rare quiet moments

I took this picture in January of 2013 when Connor was only 3 months old:

This is how I found them this morning:

Thomas the Tank Engine Toddler Bed Giveaway!

Are you ready for another amazing giveaway? I wish I could win this toddler bed for my kids. I think they would fight over who would get to sleep in it every night!

Welcome to the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ Giveaway, hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro and sponsored by Step2!

Is your little one ready to transition to a toddler bed? Have another baby coming and need to free up your crib? Let Thomas the Tank help your child drift off into dreamland! Details of the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ (obtained from the Step2 website):
All aboard to dreamland in the Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ by Step2. Little train conductors will love that this bed resembles their favorite tank engine. This train bed promotes imaginative play as kids pretend to go on an adventure with Thomas along the island of Sodor. The Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed is the cutest train bed you’ve ever seen! Made in USA with imported parts.
  • Three dimensional friendly face
  • Realistic train decals
  • Storage compartment behind the smoke stack
  • Fits standard toddler/crib mattress making the transition from crib to bed easy and fun!
  • Adult assembly required
  • Recommended for ages 2 and up
  • Available exclusively at Toys "R" Us for $199.99
Check out this fun bed in action!

One lucky reader will WIN the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™!
Open to the Continental US only. Ends 9/10/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by the Step2 Company. Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact vivaveltoro{at} with any questions about this giveaway.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Toddler Fun Tuesday: How to make DIY shaped homemade crayons!

How to make crayons shapes

If you have toddlers in your house, I'm sure you have plenty of broken crayons. I know that I have a huge Ziploc bag full! Today, I'm sharing a fun project for kids young and old to give new life to those broken crayons.

For her Christmas presents to her siblings and cousins, my niece Emma (with some help from my mom) made heart shaped crayons and personalized coloring books. My mom took pictures to document the process so I could share it with all of my readers.

First, they removed the paper from the crayon pieces. Lesson learned: Crayola's are by far the easiest to remove the paper from. They filled the silicone molds with the pieces. They made hearts, but there are so many shape choices available at Amazon or your local craft store.
Use as many or as few colors as you would like. I personally love the combination of lots of different colors.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.

 Place the mold on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 15-20 minutes (until they are melted)

Let the crayons completely cool and then pop them out of the molds. If they stick at all, place the mold in the freezer for an hour and then they should pop right out.

Emma with the completed project:

Yes, she's a goofball! :) Grace and the other kids loved their personalized gifts and Emma loved making them. Homemade crayons would also make great party favors. This is a project I will be doing with Grace in the near future!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School with Oliver's Labels Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a school package of labels from Oliver's Labels in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and 100% my own. 

Grace starts preschool in the next couple of weeks and she is ready! Every day she gets dressed, puts on her backpack, and tells me "go to preschool now mom!" She might be ready but I'm not sure I am. Before she starts school, I want to make sure that all of her items are labeled so that we don't lose anything. Oliver's Labels recently contacted me about reviewing their School Package and I was excited because I've heard amazing things about their labels from some of my mom friends. They allowed me to customize a school package for Grace and I'm beyond thrilled with the result!

Oliver's Labels offers several different packages to choose from including starter, school, and camp packages. You can also order each product individually. There are many great designs to choose from including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bubble Guppies, Eric Carle, and Dora. There are honestly so many adorable designs that Grace was overwhelmed when I let her choose her labels. Lucky for us, the best part about ordering a package is that you can choose as many designs and fonts as you want. It is all totally custom! 

Grace finally settled upon Eric Carle, Bubble Guppies, and Princess labels. I was able to fully customize the text and decided to keep the labels simple with just her name. With the school package, we received:

20 original labels- These are perfect for lunchboxes, school supplies, and books!

35 Stick-eez™ Clothing Labels- I love that these labels are easy to apply and last through washing. 

30 Mini Labels- These would be great for pens and pencils and other small school supplies. I actually am using most of these to label Grace's bows and headbands. She loves wearing them but she rarely keeps them on more than a few hours and I don't want to lose our entire collection at preschool! 

6 Shoe Labels- I actually ordered another set of these because Grace has way too many shoes! 

3 Mini Bag Tags and 1 Large Bag Tag- These tags are good quality plastic and easily attach to the bags. 

Oliver's Labels offers an additional "Found It" feature on most of their labels that I really appreciate. It is totally free and is an exclusive lost and found system. If someone finds your item, they can enter the code into the website and Oliver's Labels will email you right away.

All of the labels we received are extremely high quality. The colors are bright and the labels are easy to apply. Grace has worn the shoes multiples times and the labels are still sticking with no peeling. If you're looking for labels for your kids for back to school, check out all of the great designs at Oliver's Labels!


Oliver's Labels is giving one of my readers a School Package, valued at $41.99. This package contains:
  • 20 x Original Labels
  • 35 x Stick-eez™ Clothing Labels
  • 30 x Mini Labels
  • 6 x Shoe Labels
  • 1 x Large Bag Tag
  • 3 x Mini Bag Tags

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.  The giveaway runs through Monday, September 8th at 11:59 PM CST! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. Winners may only win one School Package from Oliver's Labels during this campaign. If you have one this prize from another blog, please do not enter. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Oliver's Labels for the labels. Now hopefully Grace doesn't lose anything at preschool! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Grace's Haircut and Donation!

Just over two years ago, I posted pictures of Grace's very first haircut. She was a year and a half old and her hair only reached just past her ears.

For two years, I never did more than trim it. And this was what it looked like yesterday:

Long and beautiful. She constantly told me that she loved her long hair until a few months ago when I decided to cut mine shoulder length. I cut nearly 8 inches off and she was shocked when I came back home. Immediately, she asked to get her hair cut short like mine. I have to be honest, I didn't do it for several months because:
1. I love her long hair.
2. I was afraid she'd change her mind right afterwards
3. She normally fights and cries during quick trims, so I thought a full cut might be a disaster.

But after weeks of begging me to get her haircut, we finally went yesterday.

I planned on getting her hair cut to her shoulders, similar to mine. When the stylist started measuring how much she was going to cut, she mentioned that if we cut it just a bit shorter, she could donate it to Locks of Love. When I explained to Grace that she would be able to give her hair to another little girl that needed it, she immediately smiled and said "yes, I do that!" We've been talking a lot lately about giving things to other kids who need them and I was so proud of her when she was excited about donating her hair. The stylist put her hair in ponytails and when she made the first cut, I almost cried. Much to my surprise, Grace was excited with a smile on her face the entire time. She let us take pictures and did everything the stylist asked her to do.

When the cut was done, she even let her blow dry it and put a braid in. I was completely shocked and pleasantly surprised by how well she did.

She even got a certificate for donating her hair and she is so proud of it. It is currently hanging on the fridge.

As soon as Mike came in the door from work, she ran to him shouting "look at my haircut, short like mommy's!" I miss her long hair, but I know it went towards a good cause. Plus it's much easier to wash and brush now. It makes her look so much older ::tear::. I know she's excited to start preschool soon with her new big girl haircut.


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