Make It Monday: Big Girl Room Decor

Make It Monday: Big Girl Room Decor

We never have really decorated Junebug’s bedroom. Mainly because we have been moving around and haven’t truly settled into a home. This is our third home since Junebug’s birth nearly 2 years ago. Since I seem to be nesting on and off I decided to take advantage and make some decor for Junebug’s bedroom. The piece I’m sharing today is the only one I’ve gotten completed, although I still need to get a photo frame and a newborn photo of Junebug’s to complete the project in its entirety.

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I found a cute nursery photo that I’m using for inspiration for Junebug’s room (and will add coordinating decor for the new baby should we end up putting them in the same room).

I saw in the photo a cute wall display using the baby’s initial and newborn photos in coordinating frames. I picked up a letter C and some lilac colored acrylic paint at Walmart and got started.

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I found a matching scrapbook paper and gathered my materials.

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I painted the edge of the letter with the lilac paint.

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I applied a thin layer of mod podge and laid it on the white side of the scrapbook paper.

I carefully cut around the letter using an xacto knife.

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After flipping it over, I added another thin layer of mod podge to the top, to protect the paper from wear.

I plan on painting a plain frame with the lilac acrylic paint and putting one of Junebug’s tutu newborn photos in the frame and then hanging them on the wall together. She wore a purple tutu in her newborn photos so that’s what I’m basing her “color” off of. I have a pink tutu made for Pumpkin if baby is a girl, so I will do pink decor and a pink letter for a girl. A boy will get a teal frame and wear a onesie with a teal tie or suspenders added to it for newborn photos.

The goal is to make super chic princessy type decor for Junebug. She is all about princesses, but I don’t really want to put actual characters in there so her room can grow with her. I can’t wait to make more decor and actually put things up in her room! ūüôā

Xoxo Megan

Toddler Tuesday: Tot School

Toddler Tuesday: Tot School

Hi friends, ¬†as I mentioned last week, I’ve been placing my focus on Tot School set up in the past couple weeks, so I’ve been less active here on Life’s Tiny Graces. ¬†I hope you haven’t missed me too much! ¬†If you did, here’s a LONG post to make up for my absence! ūüėõ

When hubby and I first started dating, he mentioned that he wanted to possibly do home school with his children. ¬†When we got engaged, and I joined Pinterest, I started looking further into the concept of home schooling and what that would mean for me and for our family. ¬†I came across a term I’d never heard of before and pinned a few things on it to go back and look at later. ¬†This term came back up recently while I was looking for activities to use with Junebug (24 months old). ¬†The term was Tot School. ¬†Being a former daycare teacher, I liked what I was seeing and decided to give it a shot with Junebug and see how she liked it. ¬†I’ve been following the blog 1+1+1=1 for a lot of my ideas and to learn more about Tot School, since she and her kiddos were the ones to coin the term. ¬†http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/ ¬†She’s got a TON of awesome information and a bunch of great printables that I’ve been using to get our Tot School running.

So far we’ve done a full planned out week (Pond Theme) and she loved it!

Since Junebug has shown a TON of interest lately in babies, I thought a Baby/ Baby Animal Theme would be perfect to study next. ¬†Here are some of the activities that we played with over the¬†weekend! ¬†We hadn’t even officially started the week and she was head over heels for all the new stuff we had out! ¬†We’re pretty relaxed about Tot School, and since it’s not really about teaching, per say, as it’s about learning through purposeful play, I think that’s perfect. ¬†We are pretty intentional about doing calendar time in the morning and talking about the weather, but Junebug finds that fun, so we have incorporated it into our day.

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(Yes, she’s in her Elmo jammies for these pictures- she couldn’t wait to jump in and play and I wanted to try to get a photo of the first time she played with each of the Tot Trays)

Junebug had a blast coloring in the tracing sheet. ¬†At nearly 2, she isn’t quite ready to trace letters, so she just free colored the sheet, which is absolutely perfect. ¬†I told her what it said (A is for animals) and which animals were featured on the sheet and that was perfect for her interest level. ¬†She loved matching the baby animal cards to the ones on her Tot Tray. ¬†She got a bit frustrated because the pieces kept sliding around, so I ended up putting some magnets on the back this morning and she was much happier with it the second time around. ¬†I love her focus and curiosity about which animals were on the cards. ¬†The third activity I definitely had to help her with, but she was super excited about it and wanted to do it again. ¬†It’s hard to tell from the photo, since they’re all together, but this is a set of two piece puzzles with an adult and baby animal to match. ¬†I purchased this a few years ago when I was putting together my teaching week for my Early Childhood Education classes. ¬†It’s got several different matches, but I pulled out the pairs I thought she’d be most interested in and can pull out more pairs as the week goes on to keep that Tot Tray interesting.

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Here are some of the other activities and Tot Trays we have out right now. ¬†As I mentioned yesterday, Junebug’s Gramma B got her a set of baby doll sized baby items which included this little car seat and bounce chair. ¬†Junebug had both her babies in them and enjoyed sharing them with her friend that came over to play yesterday. ¬†It’s so much fun watching her share and take turns. ¬†I’m hopeful that she’ll be a great big sister once Pumpkin comes! ¬†The bottle Tot Tray is by far her favorite Tot Tray yet. ¬†She loves scooping the little bottle toys into the real bottle and then dumping them back into the bowl. ¬†She played with this for quite a while over the weekend and has gone back to play with it several times. ¬†Junebug has enjoyed matching the babies with the adults with the table top game. ¬†She thought they were super fun because they’re on popsicle sticks. ¬†She loved looking through her newborn photos and identifying Momma and Dada and herself ūüôā ¬†In my “lesson plan” I have a shape and color for the week. This week is the color red and the heart shape. The last Tot Tray is a one to one correspondence exercise where Junebug scoops one heart shape into each section of the ice cube tray. Junebug has been favoring using her fingers for this type of activity. I think its easier for her to control how many pieces she gets this way.

I have other Tot Tray ideas for this week’s theme and will pull them out if Junebug happens to lose interest in any of the activities that are on her school shelves.

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This is our current Tot School set up in Junebug’s playroom. I used a shoe rack that I purchased at a rummage sale for the shelf. ¬†I keep our current themed books in the blue basket and have the color and shape of the week taped up behind the shelf. ¬†Any artwork for the week is displayed behind the shelf.

I’ve been working with Junebug on how to use the Tot Trays (picking up the whole tray, keeping the pieces together, cleaning up and putting it back on the shelf when she’s finished playing) and reminding her which books need to stay in the blue basket. ¬†She’s been really good at remembering for the most part, but I sometimes find little bottles and plastic hearts in funny places around her playroom ūüôā ¬†We’ve also been working on making sure she remembers that the top shelf of the tall bookshelf next to her school shelves is for Momma’s stuff. ¬†I store art supplies that I don’t necessarily want her to have full access to, theme planning binders and my lesson plan book up on that shelf so it’s handy if I have a free moment in the day to plan.

I picked up some spray paint that is close in color to the basket and plan on spray painting all of the metal trays at some point. ¬†It’s been pretty rainy lately and whenever I happen to think of it when I have time, it happens to be raining. ¬†I’ll get them done eventually. ¬†Right now it makes it easy to clean if Junebug happens to color off of her sheets.

We’re having a ton of fun learning about Tot School and exploring how our own set up is working for our own little school. ¬†I cant wait to see how it continues!

xoxo Megan and Junebug

Spiritual Sunday: Ordination Celebration

Spiritual Sunday: Ordination Celebration

This weekend, the Diocese of Green Bay ordained a new Priest! ¬†That in and of itself is SUPER awesome, since there is a shortage of Priests, but what’s even cooler is that I know the new Priest and he’s from our new parish!

So, congrats to the newly ordained Fr. Edward Looney, and THANK YOU for saying yes to the call to the Priesthood!

We had hoped to go to the actual ordination yesterday, but we thought it might be too much for Junebug. ¬†We decided we’d go to Fr. Looney’s Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving today at our parish and participate in the Eucharistic procession. ¬†It was such an awesome experience to see his first Mass! ¬†We’re really glad we were able to go to it!

We ended up going to the reception afterwards and ate dinner next to one of the Priests I grew up with at my home parish, so I got to do a little catching up with Fr. Bob! ¬†He’s celebrating his 50th anniversary in the Priesthood this year. ¬†How cool!

Congrats again, Fr. Looney, and great job today ūüôā

Make It Monday: Baby Doll Diapers

Make It Monday: Baby Doll Diapers

This was something that I had initially planned on doing for a gift for Junebug for her birthday or Christmas, but since Junebug has been thoroughly enjoying pretending to change her baby doll’s diapers lately, I thought I’d get some made now! ¬†They also will fit in great with our theme for Tot School this week: Babies and Baby Animals!!! ¬†I used a no-sew pattern from¬†http://www.happytogetherbyjess.com/felt-baby-doll-diaper-pattern/ and purchased a cheap 12 pack of colored felt from Walmart. ¬†Jess from Happy Together used SUPER fun patterned felt, but since we were also working on setting up for Tot School, our budget was a little smaller this week. ¬†There are a TON of cute patterns out there on Pinterest, but since my sewing machine is buried right now in my cleaning/organizing/dejunkifying our life process, I chose to go for the no-sew option, otherwise it wouldn’t get done. ¬†I’m pretty honest with myself occasionally lol

(I apologize for cell phone quality pictures… I really need to either replace the batteries in my good camera or find the charger for our point and shoot camera…. I haven’t come across either batteries or a charger in all the digging through boxes I’ve been doing lately though :/ )

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I ended up cutting out 11 diapers for Junebug’s baby and used the white sheet of felt to make some fabric wipes. ¬†Since Junebug was cloth diapered and the plan is to cloth diaper with Pumpkin, I thought this would be fun for her to have multicolored diapers since that’s what she had ūüôā

 

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I only had enough velcro on hand to make 8 diapers (purple one not shown since it was already being used by Junebug and her baby doll).  I initially wanted to put a long strip of velcro down the middle of the front to make the diapers more adjustable for more than one baby doll, but I had to make do.  Maybe the remaining three diapers will get a longer strip once I restock on velcro.

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Here is our lovely Maya (she was finally named today after months of being “baby doll”) wearing one of the new diapers. ¬†Junebug was pretty amused that she had a diaper on but will need some guidance on learning how to properly use the diapers so she can change Maya herself.

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My mother in law picked up a set of baby doll sized baby items at a rummage sale, including this cute little back pack diaper bag. ¬†I stuffed the wipes in one side and the diapers in the backpack and Junebug had fun wearing it on her back around the house. ¬†She was very excited to show off her new diapers to Dada when he got home from work. ¬†I’m hoping these will be something fun that she’ll play with a lot since babies are a popular pass time around our house! ¬†I tried getting an action shot of Junebug playing with Maya and the diapers, but she’s super active and my cell phone camera tends to take really blurry photos of her, so none of them were usable.

My plan is to have Junebug completely proficient in changing diapers by October so that I don’t have to lift a finger when Pumpkin gets here. ¬†I think she’d be a great diaper changer, don’t you? (Wouldn’t that be so great?!?)

xoxo Megan and Junebug

MIA Momma

MIA Momma

Hey friends, I have been a bit MIA lately. ¬†Since Junebug’s second birthday is approaching, I’ve been busy setting up plans for not only her party, but for Tot School. ¬†If you’re not familiar with Tot School, it’s basically the toddler version of homeschooling. ¬†Since we plan on homeschooling our kiddos, we thought it might be a good idea to get Junebug used to doing schooling with me at home. ¬†Since she isn’t in daycare during the day, she doesn’t get some of the same experiences that other kiddos get, which definitely isn’t a bad thing, but I wanted to start helping her learn some concepts and make use of all of the daycare stuff that is cluttering our basement from the years I was teaching daycare.

Currently, Junebug and I are working on a Pond Theme. ¬†We’ve been having fun learning about the animals that live in ponds and even took a trip to the zoo with a couple of our friends to look at some real life pond animals!! ¬†We’ve been reading lots of pond related stories and I’ve got some tot trays set up with little activities for Junebug to work on, which I will try to share next week on Toddler Tuesday.

I’m trying not to make too much of a theme schedule, as I’m trying to pick up on Junebug’s interests. ¬†It’s helpful to only be observing one child’s interests vs a large group like in a daycare class. ¬†She’s been very interested in helping out with babies (feeding them, changing them, pushing them in strollers) and Lux’s care lately (playing in her food, putting her into her kennel and taking her out when we we leave the house) so I thought a Baby Theme and a Pet Theme would be fun for her. ¬†I’ve been busy pinning to secret boards I have set up on Pinterest (I do secret boards so I don’t overwhelm people with the volume of pins I pin in one sitting, not because I’m stingy with my ideas lol) ¬†and working on organization of our playroom to accommodate Tot School.

I’m thinking of using my spending money this month to buy a laminator so that our Tot School activities hold up for not only Junebug, but for future kiddos that will likely play with them too! ¬†Otherwise, I’ll put what I can in the plastic binder page protectors to keep those in good shape. ¬†Hopefully I can find something in my budget that will be a good investment!

Until next time!

xoxo Megan and Junebug