big boy room!

So after fixing up Micah's room a couple weeks back, I had to do something with Caleb's!  His poor walls were so bare!

I had a couple of Hobby Lobby gift cards so I decided to go there and look around.  All of their metal decor was 50% off!  I was able to get a few things there and add them to the other items I had:

I was really excited to find the multi-colored chevron hanging...they had several of these at Hobby Lobby on clearance.  All they consisted of was heavy fabric stapled onto a wooden frame; I think they had used them as a display at one time.  Most of them were kind of ugly but this one just seemed to stand out and yell Caleb's name.  So I snagged it for $8.  The horseshoe, metal "C" hanging, and gasoline sign were also all from Hobby Lobby and 50% off.  I found the mustache/top hat fabric remnant at Walmart and used it to make a dresser cover and a wall hanging (I stapled it to a cheap canvas I found at Jo-Ann).  The mailbox is from Jo-Ann...Caleb loves getting mail so I figured it would be fun to leave little notes and surprises for him in there once in a while.  I got the clock from Target; he can't tell time yet but it will be good to have when he can.  And finally, I made the Cowboy and Engineer pictures from that Goodwill book I found a few weeks back.

I hung stuff up yesterday afternoon.  I thought Caleb would come running when he heard me hammering nails into the wall, but he was distracted by a movie he was watching, so in the end it was kind of fun to see him run in there and see everything at once!  He hadn't seen any of the stuff I found so it was all a big surprise!

Here's one wall....it's the one to your right when you first walk in, between his bedroom door and his closet:

Then there's the wall by his train table...you can see it straight ahead as you walk in:

And here's what's going on over his bed:

And finally, his dresser:

Hopefully that will help it from getting scratched...and dusty.  :o)

There's still a lot of blank space above his dresser, but we can figure that out at some point.  Whatever we put there, it'll have to be like his other stuff...cheap or free!


book-inspired art: Perfect Square


One of the books Caleb picked out at the library this week was Perfect Square by Michael Hall.  Turns out it's a really cool book, and a great jumping-off point for some art projects.  All you need is some construction paper, scissors, a hole punch, and a glue stick!

In the book, a square is cut, ripped, wrinkled, etc. in order to make other things.  We used the pictures in the book as a guide, but I reminded Caleb that his didn't have to look exactly like what we saw in the book.

See his dinosaur supervising?
The first object was a fountain...I drew lines on the square as a guide for Caleb and his scissors, and I helped him with the hole punching since he couldn't quite get enough grip on our hole punch to do it himself (note to self....find one that a kid can use!).

Next came a garden (this one was fun...all Caleb had to do was rip the square up into little pieces!).

Then a park (by ripping the square into strips)...he ended up doing this one by himself since his little brother needed a diaper change right then!

Then a bridge (the square was "shattered" in this case).  We were the most creative with this one since the bridge in the book was kind of intricate!

Then a river (Mommy got her pinking shears for this one!).

And finally, a mountain (lots of fun since we got to crumble up the square!).

Caleb had a lot of fun with this book.  It's just cool that a random choice he made at the library led to a good hour of creative fun (as well as an opportunity to work on his cutting and gluing skills!).


Mommy Workouts: Monsters, Inc.

photo source

Here's another workout you can squeeze in while your little one(s) watch Monsters, Inc.!  (Please note that this is the first movie, not Monsters University.)

Feel free to increase the reps or duration of any of these exercises.  Pay attention to elements that happen right after the other, or else happen for a sustained period (such as the scare floor montage where children are screaming a LOT!).  And as always, please remember that I'm not a fitness expert!

Monsters, Inc. Workout!

Opening credits:  Warm-up/stretch

Anytime a child screams: 10 crunches

Anytime you hear "Simulation Terminated" :  20 lunges (10 for each leg)

Anytime Boo says "Kitty!" or "Boo!" :  10 bicep curls with weights

Anytime someone says "Mike Wasowski!" :  10 tricep curls with weights

Anytime Randall disappears/reappears or blends in with his surroundings:  10 squats

Anytime someone says "Googlybear" :  10 jump-ropes

Anytime Roz mentions paperwork:  10-second plank

Anytime someone yells "2319!" :  10 burpees

Anytime you see Boo's door: Jog in place until it's not there anymore (i.e., it's taken back up to storage, the scene changes to another setting, or it goes through the shredder)

Lengthy scenes in Sully's apartment/factory locker room/Abominable snowman's cave:  Rehydrate and keep moving (jog in place, step side to side, jumping jacks, hamstring curls, whatever).  Or just take a break!

Closing credits:  Cool down/stretch



velcro belt

So my four-year-old has no rear end to speak of.  Even when he wears pants with the adjustable waist set at the tightest setting, he ends up flashing the world whenever he squats down to play.  Not a good look.

I didn't want to fork over the money for a little boy belt unless I absolutely had to, so I tried this tutorial from "I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar."  I already had velcro and a D-ring on hand, so I got a yard of brown belt material at the Lobby last time I was there and gave it a try this morning.

The tutorial is super simple, and I love that she includes pictures of every step for us visual learners.  In about ten minutes we had success!

Do you see a plumber butt or Spiderman underwear?  Neither do I.

I didn't tell him to hold his shirt up this high, I promise...guess he's proud of his abs and pecs too.

I love this belt, and love that it only cost me $1.74.  But even if I had to buy the other materials, I'm betting it would have still come in under $5.  Yay for cheap boy accessories!


Micah 6:8

Today I made one last thing for Micah's room.

It's a paraphrase of Micah 6:8; I came across it when I was pregnant and really wanted to eventually incorporate it into his room.  I used a frame I already had, as well as the wrapping paper from this project.  I had a lot of letter stickers left from the other hangings in the room too.  In the end it just came down to getting the handprint and footprint from Micah.  Which is easier said than done with a five-month-old.  He wanted to make a fist and curl his toes more than helping me out on this one.  :o)  So we did the best we could, and then I used one of Caleb's paintbrushes to fill in the muddled spots.  I actually used Caleb's paint too...it's non-toxic and washable, so I thought it was a pretty good option for something involving a baby. 

I'm about 90% happy with it.  Kinda wish I had used lighter-colored letters so they'd pop more against the navy blue cardstock, but since I wanted to use stuff I already had I'm okay with it for now.  We could always try again further down the road when Micah's a little older (and more cooperative with art projects!), but for now this complements the rest of the stuff in his room nicely.  Plus it adds another Scripture to his walls, so that's always a great thing in my book.  :o)


Mommy Workouts: Tangled

So I've been seeing all of these TV show-themed workouts on Pinterest.  I have to say, the idea of working some exercise in while catching up on shows is appealing!  But usually when I want to exercise it's the morning...and if the TV's on, it's on Disney Junior or PBS.  Or maybe we're watching a DVD.  Either way, it's kid stuff.  So I decided to make up some workouts based on the stuff my four-year-old usually wants to watch.  Plus I find when I exercise in front of him, he almost always wants to join in.  Bonus!

He wanted to watch Tangled this morning, so I sat with him and took some notes.  I noted things that kept repeating, as well as any long pauses where not much action was happening.  Most of these pauses happen when Rapunzel and Flynn/Eugene are sitting around talking (or he's cutting her hair at the end so that the "youth spell" on her fake mom is broken and she dries up and falls out of the tower..spoiler alert!!).  During these pauses, you can take the time to catch your breath and rehydrate.  If you feel like the pause is too long and you want to do something, simply jog in place.

You will find that some of these elements happen almost simultaneously, such as Gothel finding the crown and then the wanted poster in Flynn's satchel, or when Flynn hits the guards with the frying pan, but then Maximus wants to fight him.  When that happens, simply do the exercises for both elements, one after the other.  Or consider when Gothel confronts the Stabbington brothers and basically everything she says to them is in patronizing sing-song.  Take that opportunity to do a few sets of crunches (and also jump up to do some lunges and squats since that scene also includes the crown and wanted poster!).  Just do your best and have fun with it!

This goes without saying, but PLEASE note that I am not a fitness expert.  I am simply a stay-at-home mom with some post-baby weight to lose.  Proceed at your own risk. And of course, feel free to increase the number of repetitions, the duration of each set, or you can change the exercises altogether.  :o)

Tangled Workout!

Opening Narration:  Warm-up
Do whatever you want to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate going a little.  You can march a little, do arm raises, hamstring curls, whatever.  Just something.

Anytime there is a song (including the glowing hair incantation and when everyone is dancing in the town square):
Switch off between running in place, jump-roping (no actual rope needed), high knee kicks, and those kick-butt things (I don't know what their technical name is.  Basically you jog in place, but kick your heels up high behind you so you can literally kick your booty!).  You can switch between all of these during the same song, or do one per song.  Whatever.

Anytime Gothel (a.k.a. Rapunzel's fake mom) says something in sing-song (including "Let down your hair," "I don't know why it takes so long," "Enjoy your crown," "I'm making hazelnut soup," etc.):
10 crunches

Anytime the frying pan hits someone or something:
10 bicep curls with weights

Anytime Flynn and Maximus fight:
10 tricep curls with weights (either up and down behind your head, or lean slightly forward with knees bent and bring the weights back and forth behind you near your sides)

Anytime you see Flynn's "Wanted" poster:
10 squats

Anytime you see Rapunzel's crown:
10 lunges

Anytime Rapunzel hugs anyone (including Maximus):
10-second plank

Long conversations between Flynn and Rapunzel (like in the secret passage, in the cave filling up with water, by the campfire, etc.):
Hydrate, catch your breath, jog in place if you want 

Closing narration/credits:  Cool-down and stretch


there's no place like space!

So recently we took the plunge and started hanging up stuff in our house.  We're currently renting, and since we didn't anticipate being in this house for more than a year, we didn't do much decorating at first.  But since it was hard to feel settled without some homey touches, we decided to hang a few things here and there.  So glad we did!

Micah's room has gotten the most attention so far, only because it's the smallest of the bedrooms and I already had some of the decor on hand.

I made these back in September, just a month or so before Micah was born.  I had attempted to hang them with Command picture hooks, but they didn't really work.  Nails work much better!

Also found an amazing set of wall decals from Target on clearance!  I put a bunch of them above his crib, as well as over his changing table where some vintage space flashcards were already on display:

I think they do a good job in filling blank space on the wall without doing any damage since they're removable.

During a recent trip to Goodwill, I found an adorable vintage book for 77 cents:

Really, it's such a fun little book.  It has an occupation for each letter, along with a poem:

There's even a milkman in it.  A MILKMAN.  Do those guys even exist anymore?

What made it even more interesting is that a little girl had written on a few pages.  Not to be messy, but to record her hopes and dreams:

Who is this Kelly Baldwin?  When did she read this book?  Where is she now?  And did she ever realize her dream of being a nurse or a teacher?  Makes me wonder.  That's the magic of used books, I guess!

Anyway, the rest of the book was in excellent condition, so I just removed the two staples holding it together (two VERY rusty staples, might I add...glad my tetanus shot is up to date!) and then cut down the middle to get the "R" page:

I used a 12" X 12" frame I already had (hint:  get LP display frames at Michael's....they have them on sale for $4.99 a LOT and they're the perfect size for scrapbook paper!), and for the backing I used some super cute wrapping paper I found at TJ Maxx:

I am deliriously happy with how well it turned out.  And how cheaply it all came together.  77 cents for the book (with lots of usable pages leftover), $2.99 for the wrapping paper (again, lots leftover), and the frame was free.  This is hanging above his dresser, and the chevron pattern of the paper ties in well with his dresser topper:

There's still a blank wall opposite the big window in his room, so I still need to figure out something to put there.  It'll most likely be another Scripture, and I would love to use more of that chevron paper in it somehow!
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