Curly Crafty Mom: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Children's Place Outlet... ohhhh, yeah!

Yesterday I had one of the BEST shopping trips of all times at the Mills, which is our outlet mall here in St. Louis. My friend Katie that I used to work with 7 years ago, and that I have known for 10 years (where does time go?) lives close to the Mills and she told me about all of the good deals they were having at Children's Place Outlet. I wish I saw more of Katie but we live on opposite ends of the earth from each other (ok, so she is in North County and I am in South County, but still...). So, we are going to try to get together a little more often.

Are you ready to see what I scored? You are going to be sooo... jealous!!!

So, are you ready for the total? $17.71!! I did not pay more then $2.99 an item (ok, the Dorothy shoes were $3.99). I had a 15% off coupon and a $10 rewards certificate, so that did help, too. You'll also see some socks, I had a $10 rewards card to Old Navy as well so I scored 6 pairs of socks.

Ok, so I must brag more... See these CUTE sweater dresses? Yep, $2.99 each. And, yes, people are already selling them on EBay. It was funny, because I was so bummed that they did not have any 24 mo. sweater dresses, but, while I was waiting to check out, sure enough... a lady came out from the back with a RACK of SWEATER DRESSES! Needless to say, people came rushing over to grab them off the rack while she was trying to wheel on by... yes, I was one of those crazy shoppers!!! These dresses are adorable!!

Removable hood puffer jacket- $2.99!!! I was so bummed that they did not have pink, so I was settling for white... when, from the back ANOTHER cart wheeled out and so I found it in 24 mo.!!!! YES!!! Did I tell you that Katie and I waited in line for 30 minutes? And our kids were angels? Did I tell you I had mini oreos? ha!

And, I have been wanting a pair of red Dorothy shoes for little Miss Auttie and sure enough, size 5 (next year) for $3.99! Actually, ALL their shoes even the summer shoes were marked $3.99!!! Now, you want to hear something funny? Katie bought Lainie THREE pairs of glitter shoes- black, gold and red! Ha!

Now you may wonder, where are the boy clothes? The boy section was just not as exciting, and since Nathan is not growing as fast as Autumn, I still have a ton of clothes for him in size 3T, which is what he is wearing right now. Also, I need to keep in mind that I will need to stick to his school's uniform policy once he is in kindergarten (I know, its a year and a half away, but I like to buy ahead!), so I may need to switch to a different brand of clothing that will fit those needs better.

Then I met Katie in the parking lot by Babies R US so we could exchange our House Party freebies. She had a Velvetta party, so she gave me a ton of Velvetta storage containers, recipe cards and a clip! I can't wait to make the velvetta rotel dip for the next date night with my husband. I gave her a Kristin Hannah book, Carnival cruise lines bag, Gold Fish (they mysteriously sent me a box of 60 small bags of these things!), and this free sinus stuff I will never use...

Katie is so sweet, she even got Autumn a little belated birthday gift since I only had family at her party. Won't this outfit be super cute on her next summer?

P.S. Thanks for all of the blog template suggestions... now I just need to find time to do it.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sensory Issues and the Many Faces of Autumn

Since Nathan has started preschool, we have had a couple of issues... first off, last week, the teacher told us that Nathan was pushing kids in the class and had been in time out twice. That night I spoke to Nathan about how pushing is not appropriate and also explained that if he kept it up, the trackmaster trains might be going away for awhile. Of course, he admitted to it and apologized over a hundred times. I was so happy that the teacher told me that he has stopped the pushing and has been a lot better.

Next, the teacher brought up that Nathan has some sensory issues, specifically with crafts such as finger painting. I have known this for quite awhile, and I really do hope he grows out of it soon. He has gotten better in that he will play with playdough and he doesn't mind mud or water that he may run into outside, its mainly just crafty messes. The teacher told me that one of her sons did not enjoy getting his hands dirty until he was 5, so I hope it doesn't take that long with Nathan.

So, I have decided I am going to introduce Nathan to new a sensory activity each weekend. This weekend I decided I would introduce him to finger painting with chocolate pudding, one of my favorite activities as a child! If any of you have any other ideas for activities that would help, please mention them.

Here is Nathan holding up his pudding box

Dumping the pudding mix into the bowl... he is such a big help in the kitchen!

Pouring the milk

Mixing, lots and lots of mixing

More mixing

Enjoying his pudding... however, you can also paint with pudding!

Of course, Nathan would not put his smock on and started to freak out when I told him he could paint with the pudding. I told him, its no big deal, lets make a big brown lake for your critters, but no... he started to cry and well lets just say he has some anxiety over getting those fingers dirty. I even tried to explain to him that he could lick the pudding off his fingers or even wash his hands in the sink right away.

Finally I got him to finger paint a bit, but... it was hard.

End result

Then I came up with the brilliant idea of him putting his pudding hand print on the paper. This... was a success.

Why was it a success? Because Nathan LOVED how it splattered all over his arm, shirt, the table, etc... Why did he love that? I have no idea! But, at least he got over his sensory issues to make two pudding handprints.

Of course, we had to wash his hand off right away... and his shirt...

Autumn, on the other hand, well, she doesn't seem to have an issue with the messy pudding...

She took this pudding business quite seriously

Such an innocent little girl

She can stuff that little mouth of hers quite well...

Yeah, I think she enjoyed her first dose of pudding.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blog Template Help

If anyone can share with me some tips on how I can change my blog template to something different (other then what Blogger offers), it would be appreciated. Thanks!

Finally... playmates

Nathan and Autumn are actually starting to become playmates... well, sort of.

Normally we do the kids baths separate, it has just been easier... Jeremi has given Nathan a bath since Autumn has been born, which Nathan calls the 'shower bath' and I give Autumn her bath. Jeremi has been working late the last few weeks because they are training a new guy at his work, so I have taken over the baths for both the kids. Well, lets just say, Mommy does not do the shower bath which consists of a regular bath, but with the shower running the entire time. Yeah, I don't think so. hee, hee! Lately I have been putting the kids in the tub together and it is working out GREAT! We tried this a couple of months ago and Nathan would throw a fit over her grabbing his toys, her getting on his side of the tub and he would roll around and splash water in her face, etc. It was awful. But, now... it seems they sort of play together and giggle together. Its much better.

Maybe they actually like each other afterall. Maybe.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Pioneer Woman Recipes

I finally had a chance to try out some Pioneer Woman recipes, and surprisingly enough, neither of these are in her new cookbook that I have... however, one of them has been raved over by most of my friends (Hot Crash Potatoes) and the other is one I haven't heard anyone rave over but I love anything with lemons so I wanted to try it (Baked Lemon Pasta).

First, I tried her Hot Crash Pototoes, which were SO good. My husband picked up the red skinned potatoes and I was a little concerned because they were slightly larger then what the recipe calls for, but... my tastebuds were still happy! The recipe also calls for fresh chives, rosemary, etc., but all I had on hand was dried basil, which wasn't bad. I would love to try this recipe again with small potatoes and some fresh herbs... but, really, I can't imagine it tasting any better! YUM! I served the potatoes with a really easy Brown Sugar Porkchop recipe (put raw porkchops in baking dish, pour 1 tbsp brown sugar on each porkchop, sprinkle some soy sauce over the brown sugar, then put a dab of butter on top of each porkchop. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until done. So good!)

The next recipe I tried was Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta... this pasta would be PERFECT in the Spring or Summer, but since I love lemon pasta, I couldn't wait. Every bite was grand, and I must say it is better then the other lemon pasta recipe I have in a cookbook here at home. I served it with garlic bread, but I think a nice green salad with crusty bread would be even better. I am not a big fan of chicken in my pasta, so I was perfectly happy with this vegetarian dish.

Ok, and not to brag about my AWESOME red chicken chili that I can make... but, seriously, this is the BEST chili I have ever had in my LIFE. I love, love, love this chili... this is the second time I have made it, and I made some alterations to it because last time it was a TAD bit too spicy. I am so glad I made it this second time, because it turned out PERFECT... heck, even little Miss Autumn loves her Momma's chili! Anyway, I got this recipe from a lady at my work, she won our chili cookoff with this chili... anyway, her husband actually made the chili but he sort of changed some of the ingredients from the actual recipe that was taken out of a book. Well, I figured out these changes and YAY now I can make this perfect chili anytime I wish. Seriously, YUM!!!! And, don't worry, I edited my last blog post to reflect the changes that I made to the chili just this last weekend. I just can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the final result, YET AGAIN... but, trust me, it is good.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Autumn's 1st Valentine Cards

I decided that Autumn is old enough this year to autograph her own valentine cards in her own little way. I decided to let her color them the same way that I let Nathan color his valentine cards the first year I did them with him...

My mom is collecting all kinds of Tinkerbell items for Autumn, so I thought it would be appropriate to purchase Tinkerbell valentine cards for her.

Inside a baby wipe container I have stored all of Nathan's old Crayola TaDoodles which are easy to hold for a baby. These TaDoodles are so neat because they are markers, crayons and some even have a paint brush tip. Better yet, they are WASHABLE, and, really, they are, all of the stains washed right off of Autumn's jacket.

Autumn just LOVED the TaDoodles, especially the ones with the paint brush tip.

Here she is holding the blue paint brush TaDoodle

Ooooh, messy, messy!

Look at all of those paint streaks

Autumn had fun swapping out the TaDoodles that she wanted on her tray

She kept eyeballing her hand

Of course, big brother had to join in on the fun, too! I got out his jumbo coloring book. However...

These TaDoodles were just TOO messy for Mr. Squeaky Clean... So, of course, Nathan had to wash his hands for 30 minutes to get the markers off. Uhh, yeah, doesn't that sound like a typical 3 year old excuse? I know, I know, he just wanted to play in the sink.

What was next? Pink heart stickers!!

Autumn had fun sticking them onto her valentine cards

And, here is the final result... her valentine card!

Next week we'll be working on Nathan's valentine cards... they will be extra special this year because we'll be actually giving them out to his preschool class instead of just family and friends... PLUS, I hope, if Nathan will cooperate, he will put 'N' on each card (as there is no way I'll get him to write his entire name on 10+ cards). Wish me luck.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy 14 months, Autumn!

Autumn is 14 months as of today, and boy is her little (or should I say big?) personality is really starting to bubble out of her. Here is a list of what she is up to these days...

Loves caps, this morning I gave her my chapstick while I was getting ready and she can pull the lid off and on. Yesterday she had my perfume bottle.

This girl loves chairs, climbing up on them, standing up on them... and Nathan's cushie chair in his room is next to a small bookshelf hanger and she loves to pull all the books out of it onto the floor.

Did I mention she is a tornado?

This is Autumn's favorite toy... we got it for her at Christmas time, and I was worried it may be too babyish for her. Oh, heck no. This toy is so popular that she has mastered climbing on it and getting off. She bounces on it, laughs, turns it side to side... and, Nathan loves it too!

Autumn's hair is getting thicker and curlier... and, she is really still a little string bean! Tall and slender and Nathan used to be such a short chunky guy at her age!

Autumn goes to bed around 7:30 or 8pm and wakes around 4:30-5:30am right now. She sleeps straight through the night. She also takes one nap during the day for about 2-3 hours... although, she naps better for me then my mom! heheh!!

Autumn loves to eat and it is so nice that I can make one meal for both kids now as sometimes the kids will not eat what I may for Jeremi and I. Also, I am proud to say she LOVES to drink just plain water and I haven't spoiled her on juice like I did with Nathan. However she is still taking 2 bottles of whole milk as I haven't taken away the bottle yet. I also am still nursing her in the morning and before bed, and plan to until she is 2.

Autumn LOVES water and baths. She does this funny thing in the tub right now where she lays flat like a pancake on her belly and her little buns are sticking out of the water. Its so funny. I cannot wait to put her in her first swim class in the Spring. Actually, I can't wait to get her in a class at the Little Gym this summer as she LOVES music and dancing. So many good times ahead!

Autumn is still a big time Momma's girl!! If Mom is in the room, watch out, she does not want ANYONE else, and she will push or cry if you get inbetween her and Momma! Which... sort of makes it hard on Mommy but oh well!

Auttie gives BIG kissies!

Autumn is still not talking much but does say Mama, Dada, Yummm yumm, and babah.

Happy 14 month birthday, Auttie!

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Sunday, January 17, 2010


Everyday that Nathan has school, I always call my mom after his class to see what the teacher has put in his folder. We have gotten all kinds of interesting things in folder so far in his 3 short days at school. School newsletter, church offering envelopes, tuition form for next year, t-ball enrollment form (he is too young to sign up by 17 days! boo!) and... drumroll... Nathan's 1st CRAFT! Ok, so as you all know, I LOVE crafts, so of course I could NOT wait to see Nathan's first craft that he did at school.

And, here it is... Nathan's first craft...


And, this is where it went as soon as we got home, because I was one proud Mama...

(Special Note: that is our new fridge! And, yes, we need to put our 2010 calendar on there.)

So, of course, after getting his first craft, I have been bugging the poor boy about when I will get my next craft... he told me on Tuesday they didn't do a craft, but last Thursday they made penguins! So, I am hoping to see a penguin sometime soon. Unless, of course, they decorate the classroom with it.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dinosaurs Unearthed

Jeremi and I decided to check out the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at the Science Center today after Autumn's nap. Isn't she cute with her piggy tails and corkers? We decided to take the long way there because I hadn't seen the new and rebuilt highway 40.

We haven't been to the science center since March of 2002, and you may ask why I remember that? Well, because we went there to see the Titanic exhibit and it was one of those BEAUTIFUL March days, we were engaged and would be married approx. one year from then on March 29, 2003!

We arrived at the science center a little late, so we only had an hour and a half to explore the dinosaur exhibit and part of the museum. We bought our tickets to the exhibit and it was $25 for two adults, both Nathan and Autumn were free. I did not realize that the science center itself is free, so we might take Nathan back sometime to explore the rest of it.

We saw... lots... and lots... of animatic dinosaurs and heard lots... and lots... of growling.

Nathan's first reaction to the gigantic dinosaurs hovering over him- I love his face!

Autumn's reaction

Here I am with the kids- great photo except Autumn is looking off to the distance :(

Nathan being brave by the dino's... Isn't his Gymbo shirt just perfect?

Just some general photos

Autumn just smiled and laughed at those dinosaur's...

After the dinosaur exhibit we only had 30 minutes left to explore the museum. We headed over to the walkway that lets you walk over highway 40 in an enclosed overpass. Of course, on the way there, Nathan fell in LOVE with this table that shows you how to suspend a bridge.

He played at this table for quite some time, he loved raising and lowering the bridge

I am helping him put the cables on the bridge

Walking over the highway

You can point these radar guns at cars to see how fast they are going

Nathing looking out over the highway (or maybe at a plane! ha!)

We also saw my work at the science center, they had a booth for some sort of science fair they had going on there. I kept seeing people wearing SA backpacks around the museum.

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