July 21, 2014

DIY: Chalkboard Craze

Summer has given us chalk fever.  Our driveway, deck, path and side of the house is covered in doodles and then one day I found doodles on the kitchen floor, dog bowls and garbage can.  The next day the coffee table and fireplace screen thanks to my sneaky chalk bandit.  Fortunately it was only chalk but it made me realize that maybe Ella needed her own place to doodle with chalk while stuck indoors (thanks to her nursing mama).  Chalk is so much less risky in the hands of an unsupervised toddler than crayons.

So I broke out the chalk paint and some scrap wood boards and went crazy.  A quick, easy nap time project.  Love those!

And so does Ella. 
I put one large chalkboard in the living room and one smaller one in the basement.  

The best thing about the smaller board is it's portability.  She can color anywhere right on her lap.
I also made one for my office/craft area.

And I couldn't stop there.

Framed chalkboards are perfect for greeting guests on the front door or just adding a little decoration.  I also use them for parties and entertaining.

This large chalkboard in our kitchen has many uses: entertaining, reminders, lists and messages.

And then I tried to create a space for Ella to eventually be able to write her own messages.  It is still a little high so in the meantime it is her time out corner.  My first real attempt at structured discipline.  

It's not working so well.  She actually likes to sit there - for now.

While I love all our chalkboards, there is one thing I learned in the process about chalkboards in the home.  They are messy and dusty.  While chalk dust is easy to clean up, it does get everywhere, especially when you allow your toddler to color.  So just keep that in mind when you plan your chalkboard project. 

June 27, 2014

Griffin: one month

We've made it to the one month mark already.  With Ella, as fun as each new stage was, I was always sad with how quickly we were flying through them.  I have found myself more excited to see Griffin grow and become his own little man.  I think it is because I now really understand how fun and amazing it is to watch their little personalities emerge and I know Griffin and Ella will love having each other as playmates.

With that being said, hitting the one month mark really made me realize how fast this is going and it was a reminder to slow down and really cherish the moment, especially all those sweet newborn snuggles.  It is a challenge with a toddler needing my attention not only practically since she still can't do a lot for herself but more importantly she needs affirmation that I still love her more than anything in the whole world and that Griffin is not taking away any of that love.  


Fortunately Ella has handled Griffin's arrival better than I ever imagined.  She immediately opened her heart to him.  She is loving, nurturing and totally ready to play and boss him around.  While the meltdowns have happened, we have kept them to a minimum.  I hope that continues!

So thankful that Griffin joined our family and made us a family of four!

June 23, 2014

loving paternity leave

It has been a crazy three weeks since Griffin was born but it has been full of daddy time for us all, which is much overdue.  He works so hard year-round with very long hours that keep him from spending a lot of quality time with us so when we do get a chance to have him all to ourselves we pack it with LOTS of fun family activities.
Lucky for us, he got three weeks of paid paternity leave.  Three weeks!

Three weeks of swimming!

Trips to the lake.


Family walks.

Ella's first train ride to a little train restaurant.  She really did love the train but she was upset we wouldn't let her run around on it.

And lots of cuddles - especially while watching the World Cup with Daddy.

 So blessed.

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