Curly Crafty Mom: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Wrap Up

In May:

1. We got Nathan's first achievement test scores back, and Mathematics was completely in the above average category!

2. Went to the library for their monthly family night (Whiskers and Tails), the kids got to pet and read to several different breeds of dogs. Nathan guessed the correct number of milk bones in a jar and won a bag full of goodies.

3. Nathan and Autumn both had appointments with a pulmonary specialist, and both were allergy tested. Both are extremally allergic to CATS!

4. We went strawberry picking, it was tasty! We have gone every year since 2009!

5. I had a wonderful Mother's Day! We celebrated it at church (Nathan's Kindergarten class helped out that Sunday with the service- he got to ring the church bells!), then we went to Laumeier Sculpture Park for Mother's Day Brunch and the art fair

6. Nathan turned SIX! We had a Star Wars party!

7. We participated in Make Tracks at the Zoo. I ran a 5K in 31 minutes, 15 seconds (PR!). My PR goal for the Make Tracks at the Zoo 5K, was to run it in under 31 minutes. I missed my goal by 15 seconds, but still set a PR... I may try to get in a 5K in the Fall to try to ounce again, meet my goal. We'll see. Nathan and Autumn ran the kids dash, and WOW did they LOVE it.

8. In May I ran 32.3 miles. Not sure I am happy with that, since I have ran more in all the other months of this year. Its hard, when I am not actively training for a race. My half marathon training will start at the end of August for the Wine and Dine. (April: 47.3 miles, March: 69.05 miles, February: 57 miles, and in January: 36.51 miles).

9. Nathan's first t-ball game

10. Nathan's school picnic, complete with silly string fight on the playground

11. Celebrated Memorial Day at the pool, Nathan treaded water for the first time without assistance

12. I really did not think I would finish two books in May, but I read two books in the last week of May! I finished Insurgent, which I had been anticpating to come out for awhile. I was really not getting into the book up to 30%, then it took off and had an ending that is making me drool for book #3 to come out. I also read Jacob's Story, a book my SIL gave to me almost 2 years ago at Christmas. This is a sad yet very inspirational and uplifting book about baby Jacob, whom they found out had some problems at their 20 week ultrasound.

13. There was a hearing this month, where the Judge dismissed J's motion for reconsider. I believe there is 9 more days till the case closes. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing else happens, as I am ready for this to be over.

14. Also, my old deck was torn out, and a new PATIO (thanks to Brian and his brother!) was put in! LOVE!

15. Had my THIRD Baby Mania sale, made around $427!

16. Our hotel and air is booked for Paris! I found a travel agent at Brentwood Travel, she's been really helpful so far.
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And, how I am doing on my resolutions:

(1) Grow in my faith - Still reading my Once a Day Bible, I am about 20 days behind, but I am starting to get caught up. Right now I am reading the story about David, and I am really enjoying it. So many pieces are coming together, that weren't before for me. I've studied the bible for years, but reading it chronologically has really helped me to understand it better, and to refresh a lot of the stories/verses in my mind.

(2) Friendships - I sort of lacked in getting together with friends in May. Jill and I did a Baby Mania sale together, but that was about it. Hoping to see my friend Katie, who I have known forever but never get to see at least once or twice next month! I want to try to introduce Brian to a few of my friends in June I hope, as they haven't met him yet.

(3) Risks - May has been a pretty mellow month as far as risks...

(4) Quality time with my kids - May was a pretty good month, we did an activity at the library and at the art museum... the kids love these, but its hard to fit them in sometimes.

(5) Time to myself each week that isn't BUSY time. Recharge time. I actually did a GREAT job with this... Its mainly on the weekends I don't have the kids, or this week, the first summer schedule week where J has the kids full-time. For instance, last night, Nathan had t-ball practice. I got home around 7:30pm, sat down to read, read 130 pages (finished the book!) then went to bed at 9:30pm. It is SO much work when I have the kids full-time the entire school year (minus 2 weekends, and 4 hrs during the week!) that I really enjoy relaxing when I don't have them. I also have been able to get outside to run, which I have loved... especially Cliff Cave, a new park my boyfriend's friend Kevin suggested. Running outside by myself is so relaxing in a mental sort of way (not physical!).

(6) Pursuing my interests: I will give myself a PAT on the back for these: 5K PR, planning trip to France, keeping up with 2 books a month, planning to join a Zumba gym this summer... more runs outside!

(7) Meals - I started on a meal plan, but now that we are on the summer schedule and I will have the kids every other week, I need to rethink this... however, next week I am off work, so that may not be a good week. Ok, FAIL!

(8) Mornings. I hate mornings. Try to be better about getting up on time. - Getting to work a little earlier, doing better.

(9) Finish my accumulating to-do list (its another blog!). - I really hope to nail this down, this summer, especially on the weeks I do not have the kids. We'll see! I did get all of my garage sale stuff out from the basement, and after my June 9 garage sale, I plan to try to sell it on Craigs List, if that fails, Good Will. I just want it out of my basement!

Nathan's 6th Birthday Party!

I had Nathan's 6th birthday party the Sunday after his birthday. I put a lot of energy and thought into his party, as I LOVE planning parties. I decided upon a Star Wars and Money theme... just because, he loves both! The morning of his party day was the Make Tracks at the Zoo, so when we finally got home from the zoo, it was only an hour and a half till party time! We had a small party with just close family, and the kids. I had done a little craft table at Autumn's birthday, and decided to do the same thing with Nathan's party. It gives the kids something to do while I do last minute food preparations. I decided upon Galaxy Playdough (look at Autumn in the photo, trying to get her playdough out!) with lots of little fun things to stick in it (shiny pebbles, glow in the dark stars, glitter) and cutters. The kids LOVED it. It was a little messy though!

Nathan working on his Galaxy Playdough craft


These are the favors I made for Nathan and Autumn. I figured since it was Star Wars and space, I'd use a 'little dipper' (watering can) to hold their favor goodies in. There is just stickers, a life saber sucker, blow up light sabers, a sack of gold and a watergun in them. Then, the jar next to it is the Galaxy Playdough craft.

The food table turned out really nice... with Yoda Soda, Storm Trooper Cheese Ball and Scoopers, The Force Fruit Salad, Corn-obi, Vader Potaters, Corellian Cucumber Salad, Carbonite Jell-O, Hutt Dogs and Bantha steak.
Above the table you will see 6 balloons, this is Nathan's 'money pinata'... more on that later.

Jeff and Tracy were kind enough to bring some wine, to pair with the Anne Gunn's steaks!

The Darth Cake.

The kids enjoying their food. Gotta love the kiddie table.

After eating, it was GIFT opening time. I, of course, had to do a money-themed gag gift on Nathan. Got this idea from Pinterest. It was a Kleenex box I wrapped in Star Wars paper, then I taped six one dollar bills together, and when he went to pull the tissue out, the long string of dollar bills came out. He LOVED it! He told me he wants a gag gift at ALL his parties now!

Nathan's reaction after he opened his BIG gift from Mom. A Millenium Falcon ship for his action figures! Nathan also got a skateboard and ramp, a Millenium Falcon and Cars2 book, some Skechers Hot Light shoes, coin books (so he can collect the states and presidents), etc.!

Nathan with his coin books... guess a trip to the coin store is in order!

Brian also brought over his collection of life sabers... with a new one for Nathan. I stayed out of this fight! Ha, ha!

Even Autumn got a little gift, a Lalaloopsie Doll House!

After opening presents, we did cake. Nathan was excited about his Darth Vader cake, he helped me pick it out at the bakery weeks before his party!

Blowing candles out by age 6 is as easy as can be.

Even Autumn got a turn at blowing the candles out. She took these HUGE breaths, isn't she silly?

Nathan with his slice of cake

Next, Nathan popped his six money balloons. He had Brian cover his ears, he didn't like the sound of the balloons popping!

But, he did like counting all the money that fell out of them.

Next up, was a game outside... Brian and I made life sabers out of pool noodles. Another idea from Pinterest. I had everyone try to hit their balloon from the front of the yard to the end of the yard.

Nathan and my Mom, my Mom isn't doing so good with her balloon in my garden! Ha!

Autumn cheating, she's carrying her balloon and her life saber across the yard. How funny. :) All in all, a GREAT PARTY! Happy 6th, Nathan!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

I would like to thank all of our soldiers that devoted their lives in protecting us so that we can live in freedom. 

Memorial Day was pretty busy yet low key this year. I picked the kids up from their Dad's house at 7:30am today and we headed over to Krispy Kremes. After both kids had downed 2 doughnuts each, we headed over to Watson Trails Park. This was MY park as a child, and I haven't gotten the kids over there since when Autumn was in a pumpkin seat.

First I let the kids play on the playgrounds (there is two, well, actually there are THREE playgrounds, the third one is a little off the beaten path, though). Then we walked a bunch of trails, which I might add... the trails are NOT as grand as they were when I was a child. We could see homes, buildings, etc. at almost every time during our hike, but when I was little and in girlscouts it was quite easy to get lost on the trails and you were always in the thick of the woods. I was hoping to find an old Gazebo and wishing well, but they were gone, too! Boo! We still had a grand time, though!

After Watson Trails Park, we went home for a bit and rested. Then, we started BBQ'ing. Brian did the MEAT and I did the SIDES and well, dessert. It was pretty swell. He BBQ'ed fancy burgers (by fancy, I mean he did some fun stuff with the meat) with normal toppings on it for Nathan and with DOOLEY'S SCOOPABLE CHEDDAR CHEESE with a touch of BBQ sauce for us. Autumn had a Nathan's hot dog (yes, there is such a thing as NATHAN'S hot dogs!).

I made corn on the cob, big slices of watermelon, cherries, uhh. Oh, bruschetta for the grown ups! And, I made a mixed berry pie that was splendid!

Oh, and I made these for the kids. Just mini icecream sandwich with red, white and blue sprinkles.

Then, we hit the POOL for the first time at Brian's complex. Of course, little cutiepants fell asleep on the drive over to the pool. She woke up quickly, though!

Nathan is really starting to learn how to float and swim in the water. He was swimming in the 8' section without any floatation assistance whatsoever! SO glad I decided to bipass swim classes this year, and just get to the pool more instead!

After swimming, the kids were starving, so of course, there was more of this.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Makes Tracks at the Zoo 5K and Kids Run

Not that I didn't have enough to do on Nathan's 6th birthday party day, I decided to schedule a race for all of us that morning. Yeah... maybe not the best idea ever, but... Nathan REALLY had his heart set on this race. We did this race back in May 2010, see here. Nathan was practically Autumn's age there. He has remembered this race from 2 years ago, and has been wanting to rerun in it again ever since. Last year, it just did not work out, so I had to make sure to get him in it this year. EVEN if it was on his party day. (I would have done his party Saturday, but we had his school picnic and t-ball... it was a BUSY weekend!) The shirts were really cute this year, here we all are in our bright red running shirts!

My race was before the kids race, at 7:30am. I had a goal to be under 31 minutes, and I FAILED! I think, I was just up WAY too late the night before getting Nathan's party read, and I was tired. But, I only missed my goal by 15 seconds, as I came in at 31 minutes and 15 seconds, so I can't complain TOO much. When I ran this race for the first time (and it was my first race ever) two years ago, I came in at 32 minutes and 24 seconds. I placed 754 out of 2680 runners. And, even better yet, I came in 70 out of 290 for my age group!

Next up, was the kids races. Brian ran with Nathan, since he was faster... and, I ran with little Auttie. You can see Brian and Nathan running in this photo.

Me and Auttie running. She LOVED it. I was worried she was going to ask me to carry her the entire time! 

Kids with their final ribbons. They both ran a 1/4 mile race, Nathan will advance to a longer race next year due to his age, and Autumn will still do the 1/4 mile race. They do not record the times for the races until it a mile. So proud of Nathan and Autumn!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nathan's School Pinic

The last couple of years we haven't made it to Nathan's school picnic, because it lands up on his birthday party day. But, this year we were able to go for the first time after his t-ball game and it was a lot of fun. It was from 10-4pm and is a pretty small and low-key picnic, no crazy rides or anything, but I think it was perfect for the kids. We paid $10 for an unlimited bounce pass for each kid and then some game tickets. The first game the kids did was the frog game...

Then, the pig game was the kids FAVORITE. We must have played this at least 10 times. Mainly, we played it so much because Nathan always picked the slowest piggy and he wanted to win!

Auttie's favorite was the inflatable slide... I could not believe she could climb up to the top by herself. She is so brave.

Then, at the very end of the picnic, they had a silly string fight on the playground. This was Nathan's first EVA silly string fight. At $2 a can, the boy used up 4 cans, and had 1 can that he took home to keep in his room. He had SO much fun!

Poor Auttie didn't want anything to do with the silly string fight, yet she still got hit. AWWWWWW.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nathan's 2nd T-Ball Game (Since I forgot my camera for the 1st game!)

Look at this photo. Is Autumn REALLY getting THIS big? Really. I look at photos of her from last year, she looks like a baby still. Now... THIS. Oh, gosh, I know she's my daughter but she is SO cute! Especially in piggies!

This is Nathan's second year of t-ball. He is on the purple Rockies team, again. Nathan is always on the Barney purple team! He is really starting to get to know some of the boys on the team, since most of them were on the team last year. It is neat to watch their friendships blossom. Here is Nathan at the beginning of the game. Brian has been working with Nathan on catching, hitting, throwing and base running. A few hours of practice a few times a week at home really shows at practices and the games! So proud of my boy!

And here is a picture of me and my favorite BriBri.

And me and my favorite Aut.

Nathan at bat.

My big girl with her Smile! shirt in the dugout.

Nathan's team is killer this year. Gotta love that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art Museum in May - Mummies and Scarab Beetles

The last two months, we have taken advantage of the free Kids Art program at the STL Art Museum. This month, the theme was MUMMIES, and I got the kids there in time for the tour of the mummies gallery. The kids got to learn a lot of interesting tidbits, such as what a mummy is, what they do with the organs (ew!), the sex of the mummy, etc. After the tour, the kids got to work on a free craft and create their own scarab beetle using Crayola model magic.

Here is how Nathan's turned out. They gave the kids a lot of different colors of the model magic. The model magic has sort of the same texture as playdough but a little more airy and it dries more solid.

Autumn LOVES playdough, so this craft was right up her alley. In fact, she got some more model magic this past weekend.

Autumn's final masterpiece!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nathan's First Visit with the Pediatric Pulmonary DR

Earlier this week, Nathan had his first visit with the Pediatric Pulmonary doctor that was referred to us by his pediatrician. I never realized how LONG this doctor appointment would be... 2 hours! But, it was long overdue, and my hope is to avoid any 911 or ER visits in the future with our new Asthma Action Plan. At the visit, we spoke to the doctor, and then he sent Nathan over to another office where they did several breathing tests without Albuterol and then with it. The lady that performed these tests gave Nathan a toy to play with while she was giving him the Albuterol through the nebulizer, and it was just a fun picture I had to snap. Too bad its blurry, but I had my Android on me and it doesn't take fantastic pictures. To make a long story short, these tests showed that Nathan does have a little bit of asthma.

Next up, was the allergy test! The doctor gave us a choice, a quick and simple blood draw from the wrist or they would dip rods in different allergens and poke his back (just drops, no needles). I am sure you don't even need to guess which one we chose, as Nathan asked us several times after the doctor left if he was going to take his blood, and that he didn't want that test, he wanted the drops test! As you can see from the photo, Nathan definitely has some allergies. 4 is highest (worse) and 1 was lowest.

He scored 4 on these:
Mold mix
Cat pelt
Cat hair
Oak mix
American Elm

Pigweed (3)
Dog (2)

The rest he scored No or 1 on.

This surprised me, because I have a Calico cat at home, and she is almost always downstairs. And, when Nathan plays downstairs or when he handles her, he never seems to break out or itch his eyes. The doctor told me to keep the cat out of Nathan's bedroom.

Next, the doctor gave us an Asthma Action Plan. I love this! It tells you that Nathan should always be in the Green Zone, and the preventative medicines he needs to take every day (Flovent 2x day/night and Singulair).

Then, there is a Yellow Zone, this means he is not at his best and needs to use caution. It says he can  use his 'Quick Relief' medicine- the Albuterol in the inhaler or in the nebulizer.

The Red Zone, means you are having an emergency. And, were late in acting possibly. This is the use of stomach muscles, ribs showing when breathing, constant coughing, etc. BOTH kids have been here, and its scary! Also, it says to use the oral steroid at this point.

I am hoping we can avoid RED ZONE and even YELLOW by having Nathan on the daily inhaler AND the Singulair (a chewable pill before bed, every day). So, far these both have helped eliminate his cough.

We go back to see the doctor in August, and he may tone down the medicines then for the Fall, but since April and May are BAD months (ER visits last two years!), he needs to be on all these meds during these Spring months. Wish us luck! Autumn goes to see him next week, I can't wait to get her on a better treatment schedule.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nathan's 6!

Nathan woke up to a door framed with BALLOONS! I got a bag of balloons, I *think* at the dollar store, and it had all different sizes and colors... it even had one of those looooong balloons, that the kids both LOVED. Nathan chased Autumn around with it, claiming it was his sword balloon.

Nathan really lucked on on his birthday, because they went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for a field trip! Unfortunately, I didn't get to go, but here are a couple photos from a Mom that did go. Its always kind of neat to see what trouble (or not) your kid is up to when they aren't around you! Ha!

He even potted a plant on the field trip. Lets hope it grows. Wonder if it'll be a veggie or a flower or who knows?

I am sort of a mean Mommy, but I am not letting Nathan have his birthday gifts until his party on Sunday. I did give him a few small gifts, such as the Skippy Jon Jones book (which we read tonight), Star Wars figures... and, I painted a froggy piggy bank for him at The Painted Zebra for his special coins. Nathan is really into counting money, or just collecting it. I also have to say, is it just me or is Nathan looking more grown up in the face lately? Its something I have just noticed recently, but I see it in this photo... Sigh. I still can't believe he's going to be a 1st grader soon!

And, of course, we have to include a photo of Autumn!
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