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Happy New Year

On New Years Eve I got to thinking.  At first I started to get depressed and angry.  And then I started broadening my thinking.  Instead of focusing on the one main event, I remembered all of the little things.  The things that made the year good, not bad.  What made me happy.  All of the billion of little things that I don’t want to forget.

Like our move to Fort Leavenworth.  I’m not going to think about the complete shitshow that move was, but focus instead on the end result.  Not only was a move exactly what the doctor ordered after everything, I absolutely adore this house.  Hands down my favorite house out of the last 10 years.  High ceilings, a one story floorpan, hardwood floors, big open rooms; it’s to die for.

Huh. There was a time when we had a clean, organized house. Who would’ve thunk it?

Even a ghost to add a little bit of character!  Not to mention the community our building has established.  13 kids, ranging in age from 2-9 crammed into our postage stamp backyard; it’s perfection.  And the icing on the cake?  Not only do I get along with all of the adults, but none of the kids are annoying!

Or that there was a huge VW scandal and now I get to sell my car back for a profit after driving it for 2 and a half years!  I thought I was going to be saddled with the worst car on the face of the earth until Jordan turned 16 and got to destroy it the rest of the way (by doing things like accidentally putting gas in it, like her mother), but instead we’re saying goodbye and good riddance and replacing it with a Wrangler.  Now that’s happiness.

Actually my annual Florida trip with my best girls and without kids–now that’s happiness.  It never ceases to amaze me how it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since we’ve last seen one another–it never feels like more than a week.Our annual beach trip with my favorite non-blood-related family, which was made all the better this year by my brother’s sober appearance.  The kids got to spend some quality time with their uncle and fell in love with him.  It’s been six months and yet C still runs around the house randomly yelling “Uncle Buuuuuuuccck!!!!”There are all kinds of good memories with Jeff, but since he refuses to be photographed, they’re a lot more difficult to remember.  Seriously, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to take 3 family shots during the kids’ annual school photo shoot.  This is his “I’m going to f*cking kill you Amanda if you make me take one more picture” face.And yet, he still manages to have brilliant ideas.  Like asking our photographer to impose a butterfly in our family photos to represent Zoe.  It’s on Carter’s back in the top picture.

Then there’s Jordan.  First her second half of Kindergarten (at the end of which she received the “Rule Follower Queen” award from her teacher) and now 1st grade.  FIRST GRADE!!!!  She is a girlie girl through and through.  Princesses, dressing up, absolutely no sports, wants to get married but not have kids or work, loves anything sparkly, hasn’t put on a pair of jeans or sweatpants in over 2 years.  And she definitely has the crafty gene.  That kid adores making stuff.  Sometimes the ideas she comes up with blow me away. She’s my little clone (“Whatever floats your boat chick pea!”)–minus the girlie girl stuff.  I have no idea where she got that from.

Jordan can be accurately summed up with this exchange:

“So tomorrow you have to pull out all the stuff we don’t want the packers to take. You can pick 3 dress up dresses, 5 Barbies and a few other toys. Then you need to pick 10 dresses, 10 pjs, 10 pairs of underwear.”
“Okay!”
“Oh and 3 pairs of shoes.”
“What?!?! NO NOT THREE!!!! I need TEN–one pair for each outfit!!”

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her and see how old she is.  And then she opens her mouth and not just an attitude, but an ATT-I-TUDE, comes flying out.  Along with a perfect replica of my death stare.  Then I flash forward 10 years down the road when the two of us are going to be at each other like cats and dogs and try to treasure the fact that she actually likes me now.

Only Jordan dresses like this to go fishing.  Or, just yesterday when we pulled out the science experiment kit she got for Christmas she asked me, “I want to dress up like a scientist while we do it…wait, what do they wear?”  She put on her tan spring jacket, made herself a pair of glasses out of pipe cleaners and was ready to go.She’s showing random glimpses of unselfishness this year, thankfully.  Every time we passed an Angel Tree in December she insisted on picking an angel and buying a present for a little girl (always a girl, never a boy) in need.  She’s made countless cards, pictures and treats for our neighbors.  No worries though, she’s still herself.  Like when she bought “me” a witch for my birthday. She lost her first tooth this year, a day before her 6th birthday.We visited her best friends and my Irish twin in Californiaand followed it up with a fantastic day at Disneyland,during which time Jordan became obsessed with the Les Miserables soundtrack.

The magic brush.  That discovery just might be my favorite part of 2016. 

And then there’s Carter.  He is every bit of a boy’s boy as Jordan is a girlie girl.  Like when he was in the bathtub at the hotel last week and wanted me to help him “put this cup on my penis.  No, I want this cup on my penis.  Help me put this cup on my penis!!!!!!That kid is obsessed with trucks and trains.  Like a serious obsession.  He will sit down and play with trucks all by himself for hours.  Literally hours.  One of my favorite memories was right around his second birthday when we went to Barnes and Noble just so he could play with their train set.  After 45 minutes, and not a single sound out of him, I told him it was time to go.  This was his reaction.  As obsessed as he is though, he hates it when they’re on.  We took him to Touch a Truck for his second birthday.  He was in absolute heaven for the first ten minutes…until “horn friendly” hour started.  Then he wanted out of there and now.And as much as Jordan is my little clone, Carter is Jordan’s.   He copies everything she does, from repeating everything she says, inflections and all, to wanting to skip the same songs she does, to putting on makeup.Except he’s a giant shithead to boot.  Like when we’re all playing in the backyard and he gets bored.  He steps onto the road and just waits.  He waits and waits and waits, until we make eye contact, waits until I open up my mouth to yell at him, and then he makes a run for it, his little legs taking him as fast as they can go down the street.  When he gets into those moods there is absolutely no way to get the kid to listen to you.  Like when he rides the vacuum,  and eats sandor shaving cream.The more you tell that kid to stop, the more he does it.  I honestly don’t know which one of the two are going to give me more hell when they’re teenagers.

He’s also a bottomless pit.  This kid eats as much as Jordan and I combined.  And it always tastes better when it comes off of someone else’s plate.  Like when he threw a fit the other morning because Jeff only gave him one bite of his breakfast sandwich.  “I wanted three bites!  I wanted THREEEEEEEE BITEEEESSSSSS!!!”  Or the time when he refused to eat the chicken I cooked for dinner, instead climbing down off of his chair and running away.  When he came back 5 minutes later he had an entire mouthful of dog food.

Regardless what he’s eating (and nine times out of ten it’s not something that’s made for human consumption), he makes a mess out of it every time.

Then there’s how Carter used to squint at me whenever I said, “Look at me!” “Look at me!”. And called Jeff “Deedee”, blocks “dada”, tires “babas”, balloons “beebees” and sewer lids “blllbbllll”.

Then there was the time he burnt his arm on a lightbulb in a chicken coop.  Still has the scar to prove it! Or how C just didn’t “get” trick-or-treating.  Thankfully we hit the safe trick or treating event downtown the day before Halloween, where we quickly discovered that C wanted his candy and he wanted it NOW.  10 businesses (and 10 temper tantrums later) we were done.  Needless to say, C did not go trick or treating Halloween night.That Jordan and Carter have learned how to play with each other over the last year.  Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of fights, but in the last month or two they’ve really discovered how much fun they can have together.  Not only am I able to actually get stuff done now, but things like this happen. And, of course, he’s thankful for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

And then there’s this guy.  Who does nothing but this all day every day.  And whom Jordan still hates.

This moment right here.  This was the morning after we came back from the hospital and we were all together again.  Not complete, not right, but it still felt good. So I can’t say that I’m glad 2016 is over.  The kids are growing up so fast.  I look at Carter and remember how much fun Jordan was at that age and think that it won’t be too much longer until he’s running around, 6 years old.  And by that point I’ll want to murder Jordan even more than I do now.  I know that 2017 will bring tons of memories, all just as good (if not better) than these ones, but I’m not in any rush for the days to go by.  I’m treasuring each moment that passes.  Well, as much as I can with a 6 year old filled with attitude and a 2 year old shithead.  Never a dull moment, that’s for sure…

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Step three: DIY Hooded Towels.

I found these amazingly adorable hooded towels on Pinterest a year or two ago by Crazy Little Projects.  I fell in love with them immediately.  Not only are they super cheap and super cute, but, most importantly, they’re super easy.  I made J a duck towel for the bath and a shark towel for the beach about two years ago.  Last year for Nolan’s 1st birthday I made him either the dog or shark…I can’t remember now.  I want to say dog.

Since poor C is still using baby towels and J’s duck is looking a bit forlorn, I figured I’d make them each a towel for Christmas.  Although there are a ton of choices, it was super easy to decide on one for each:  Elmo for C and a Princess one for J.

I picked up my supplies:  a red bath towel and matching hand towel for Elmo from Target and a purple bath towel, matching hand towel and yellow hand towel for the Princess crown from Walmart.  There isn’t a particular reason I bought them at two different stores…just turned out Walmart didn’t have an appropriate shade of red for Elmo.  See, chalk it up to yet another reason why Target kicks Walmart’s butt!

Check out the Princess hooded towel tutorial on Crazy Little Projects’ blog for the clear and easy to understand directions.  I’m just going to give a quick synopsis and I’m sure it’ll be confusing since I can’t explain anything, haha.

Since the crown is a separate piece this one was a tad bit more “difficult” than the other towels I’ve made previously.  Which means not at all.  I started by cutting the yellow hand towel in half so the width was about 8.5 inches.diy-princess-hooded-towel-14Then I cut a crown shape from one of the halves.  Crazy Little Projects has a template if you want to use it.  I just eyeballed it.  I made the crown go the entire width of the towel (there were 4 spikes) and the tip of each spike was about halfway up the length of the towel. I laid the first one on top of the rest of the hand towel and cut out a carbon copy.  I matched them and sewed them together, leaving the finished edge of the towel open as instructed.  I flipped it right side out so the stitching was hidden.diy-princess-hooded-towel-15The jewels were next.  I scrounged up some sparkly purple scraps from a long ago project which worked perfectly.  Now Crazy Little Projects does it the smart way and has you use Heat n Bond on the back of the jewels and then attaches them using an appliqué stitch.  I didn’t bother.  Instead I cut out four diamonds and sewed them directly onto the crown with a zigzag stitch.  I’m sure it won’t last nearly as long but if there’s one thing you’ve learned about me by now it’s that I am L-A-Z-Y.diy-princess-hooded-towel-12diy-princess-hooded-towel-13Now time for the part I’ve done before:  making the hood.  I cut the purple hand towel in half the fat way and put half of it aside for a future project.  I folded the finished edge about 4 inches up and stitched it down.diy-princess-hooded-towel-11I folded the hand towel in half (so the folded part was on the outside) and zigzagged it on the back to form a hood.diy-princess-hooded-towel-9diy-princess-hooded-towel-10I flipped it right side out and then pinned the crown on.  I took Crazy Little Projects advice and took the hood into the bathroom so I could adjust the crown as needed.  Don’t I look nice 😉 diy-princess-hooded-towel-8I sewed the crown onto the hand towel along the bottom edge. Crazy Little Projects advises tucking the open edge of the crown in before sewing it down to hide the raw edges.  Since with mine the end of the crown is already a finished edge I didn’t bother folding it in.  It would’ve looked nicer, yes, but honestly I don’t think my machine could’ve gotten through all of those layers.  I recently broke a needle and was on my last one so I didn’t want to risk breaking this one and having to wait until I could make it to Joann’s to purchase replacements before finishing the towel.  It looks fine.diy-princess-hooded-towel-7Then it just needs to be attached to the towel!  First, Crazy Little Projects recommends folding the bath towel in 3-4 inches on each short side and sewing it down, which I did. diy-princess-hooded-towel-6Then you find the center of the towel by folding it in half and form a pleat that’s about an inch wide. diy-princess-hooded-towel-5Sew across it. diy-princess-hooded-towel-4Then take the hood, match the hood seam with the center of the pleat and pin together.  Make sure you match the right sides of the towel together.  Although as you’ll see in a minute for Elmo, it’s really not a big deal if you’re not paying attention and mess that part up.diy-princess-hooded-towel-3Sew the two towels together and voila, finished! diy-princess-hooded-towel-2 diy-princess-hooded-towel-1diy-hooded-princess-towel-21diy-hooded-princess-towel-20

The Elmo towel was even more straightforward than the last one and very similar to the towels I’ve already made.  Once again, refer to Crazy Little Projects Elmo tutorial for the complete (and better!) instructions. Especially since for some reason my camera did not like this shade of red and the photos are difficult to see.

So same thing.  Cut the hand towel in half the fat way, fold the finished edge up about 3 inches and sew it, fold the towel in half (with the finished edge on the inside) and zigzag down the back to form a hood. diy-elmo-hooded-towel-6 diy-elmo-hooded-towel-4Next cut out your face pieces.  I used regular fabric for the eyes and mouth and an orange towel for the nose (since that’s what I happened to have on hand).  I just eyeballed the pieces and am actually surprised at how well they turned out!  Usually circles are extremely difficult for me. diy-elmo-hooded-towel-9Once again Crazy Little Projects recommends ironing Heat n Bond to the back the pieces and sewing them on with an appliqué stitch.  And once again I ignored this advice and just zigzagged them on as is.  I’m sure they’ll be fine… diy-elmo-hooded-towel-8There was one step on here that I’ve never seen in her other tutorials before, including the princess one.  She instructs you to sew a line across the top of the triangle and then cut it where the seam is.  Not sure why, but not one to question experts I did as told. diy-elmo-hooded-towel-3Then I did the same things as above to the bath towel.  Folded each side in about 4 inches, sewed it together.  Folded it in half to find the middle, formed a pleat and sewed it down. diy-elmo-hooded-towel-7Matched the seam of the hood to the middle of the pleat in the bath towel and attached them together. And that’s it!diy-elmo-hooded-towel-1diy-hooded-elmo-towel-10Like I said I wasn’t paying attention to make sure the right sides were together with the Elmo towel so it turns out that the seams I sewed on each side of the bath towel are facing out, not in.  I actually made this exact same mistake on Nolan’s towel.  Fortunately unless you’re looking super closely you’d never even notice the mistake.  And even if it was an obvious mistake it’s not like a 20 month old is going to care.  He’s just going to be excited to see Elmo!  I can’t wait to give them their towels Christmas morning!

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Cinderella coach pumpkin. Because J doesn’t do anything that doesn’t relate back to princesses.

Right before Halloween I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest and knew instantly that was how J would want to make her pumpkin this year.  Unsurprisingly I was correct.  She was stoked when I showed it to her.  The only thing I regret is that I showed it to her the first week of October and had to listen to her ask me every single day for the next three weeks (sometimes several times a day) “Can we carve our pumpkins today?!”  Needless to say I think I was the most excited when the time finally came to make the darn thing just so I wouldn’t have to listen to her talk about it anymore!

I followed the pin to Let’s Go Fly a Kite‘s blog, which then linked me to the original tutorial on The Fairfield House.  The pumpkin was pretty self-explanatory but I scrolled through really quickly just to make sure there wasn’t anything unexpected.

First we gutted the pumpkin.  Usually J hates anything gross and refuses to help with this part.  To my total surprise she got really into it this year! cinderella-coach-pumpkin-6Hubby cut out a rectangle for the door and two small squares for windows. While at Target a few weeks before I saw small jars of paint for $1 in the Halloween section.  I had J pick a color out for her coach.  She went with red.  cinderella-coach-pumpkin-8cinderella-coach-pumpkin-7While the paint was still wet she sprinkled some confetti glitter all over it.  The child has no idea just how lucky she is that although that stuff drives me insane, I let her use it anyway.  It’s banned in most households!  J’s best friends who come over for play dates quite frequently are in heaven here 😉
cinderella-coach-pumpkin-2The next night, after the paint was dry, we hotglued some red glitter hearts all around the door, followed by curtains from her Barbie Dreamhouse onto the sides.  cinderella-coach-pumpkin-5It rained the next few nights so I left the pumpkin inside so all of the paint wouldn’t wash off.  Since it was just sitting there J got the hankering to add stickers all around it. cinderella-coach-pumpkin-1And then a tiara resting on top (I didn’t attach it at all, just set it right on the stem.  Which C loved because every time we walked past the pumpkin he would swipe the tiara and put it on.  Priceless). cinderella-coach-pumpkin-3I didn’t bother attaching the wheels either.  J picked out four different colored mini pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and I merely leaned them against the pumpkin.  Voila, finished! cinderella-coach-pumpkin-4C also had to get into the pumpkin decorating spirit.  And by that I mean I took off his shirt, put him in his high chair with some paint, a pumpkin and a paint brush.  He spent approximately 15 seconds painting his pumpkin and the rest of the time painting himself.  And eating the paint. IMGP2653 IMGP2664We tried again the next night.  This time I mixed up some homemade paint…the flour/water/food coloring recipe.  It went slightly better–he did not enjoy the taste of the paint so instead he just painted himself and the dog.  Although I do have to give him credit–he did paint the actual pumpkin this time too! IMGP2677 IMGP2673 IMGP2679 IMGP2681Happy Halloween!

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The Flying Monkey. Best Costume Ever.

After J decided on Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz for Halloween, I knew C had to fit in the theme as well.  Last year J was Snow White, so myself, C, Hubby and our dog Jack were all Dwarfs.  I’m going to continue the family theme until the kids are old enough to express their own opinion for what they want to be–it’s so much fun!  This year, though, I decided to check myself, Hubby and Roman out of the family costume and just force C.

You can read about J’s Glinda dress here and here.

I  knew immediately that I wanted to make him a Flying Monkey.  Although it would go better if J was the Wicked Witch of the West instead, I didn’t care.  I checked Pinterest and Google for some DIY Flying Monkey costume ideas and found the perfect tutorial on ehow.com.  I made just a few changes…namely using grey felt instead of brown.  The monkeys are grey in the movie!!!  And the example child is even dressed in grey sweatpants under his costume, so why would the tail and wings be BROWN?!  I found that quite odd.

I spent $0 on this costume!  See, this is why it pays to stock up on felt when a fabric store is going out of business.  I have about a yard each of grey, blue, red and white felt just laying around, waiting to be used.

As instructed, I started with the wings.  J has about 6 sets of fairy wings in her dress up closet so I just picked the shabbiest looking pair and cut the bottom half off. I laid out my yard of grey felt and (very sloppily) cut around the wings, leaving about an inch border.diy-flying-monkey-costume-8Then I went about cutting out a billion feathers. I think this is how many I put on one of the wings.diy-flying-monkey-costume-11I placed them on the wings to make sure I cut enough before gluing anything down. diy-flying-monkey-costume-10I also decided to use the straps that came with the wings originally to attach them to the costume instead of hot gluing them to the vest.  Seemed much easier and more comfortable.  I cut the strap off of the half of the wings I wasn’t using, slid it to the middle and knotted it in place.  Then I folded the grey felt wing outline all around the edge of the wings, hot gluing it as I went.  I glued the feathers on one by one, making sure to cover all of the wings.  Finally I glued the strap down just to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere.diy-flying-monkey-costume-9

Easy peasy!

I moved onto the vest next.  I took one of C’s shirts, folded it in half, folded some dark blue felt in half, placed the fold on top of the fold and cut around it (minus the sleeves)–no need for a template.  I repeated to make a front piece.  I did make a template for the zigzag design because I think that would’ve gone horribly wrong otherwise, haha.  I  drew half of it on a piece of random construction paper, folded some red felt in half, placed the straight edge on the fold and cut around it.  Then I placed the red piece right on the white piece and cut around it, leaving about 1/2 inch border on the white.diy-flying-monkey-costume-7I went back to the following the tutorial.  I pinned the front and back pieces of the vest together at the shoulders and sides and sewed them together.  And then instead of hot gluing the red and white zig zag pieces together, I actually sewed them.  I’m not really sure why…just didn’t feel like wasting the glue I guess?diy-flying-monkey-costume-6And then I attached the zig zag design to the front of the vest, this time using glue.  Don’t ask my reasons, okay?!  I then cut the front in half, as instructed.  Once I did that though, I discovered the downside to having sewn it–it wasn’t connected where I cut, haha.diy-flying-monkey-costume-5I remedied that by glueing the red to the white along the two lines.  Ta-da, vest is finished!diy-flying-monkey-costume-4Tail was next.  I folded the grey felt in half and cut a tail shape out free handed.  It was 13 inches, about the length of C’s butt to the floor.diy-flying-monkey-costume-3I sewed it together around the edges, leaving just the end open, and then pulled it through so the seams were hidden.diy-flying-monkey-costume-1No, you’re not going crazy, that’s a different tail.  After I sewed the original one together I got stuck trying to flip it–I hadn’t made it wide enough and had a rough time pulling it through.  Surprise surprise.  Instead of fighting with it I decided just to cut a second one out.  This one is longer and fatter than the original.

After I pulled the tail through I snuck into J’s room and stole some of her fluff (I mentioned before that she’s obsessed with a bag of polyfil I bought awhile back.  She calls it her “fluff” and sleeps with it at night.  I either have to sneak some when she’s not looking or endure a ten minute long cry fest after asking her permission to have some.  I took the easy way out this time).  I shoved it inside, pushing it all the way to the bottom, until it was nice and full.diy-flying-monkey-costume-2

I flipped the vest over to the back, found the approximate halfway point and sewed the open end of the tail to the underside of the back of the vest (so you can’t see the end of the tail).  Bam, finished!  Seriously, this costume FLEW!  Hahaha, and that was totally not intention right there.diy-flying-monkey-costume-12

Last but not least:  the hat.  The piece de resistance!  I had a container of sour cream that’s been sitting in the fridge for about a month too long, so I dumped the remainder out and washed it.  I varied the tutorial instructions in one way–I used my hole punch to put holes in each side of the container and then tied my cord through the holes before doing any gluing.diy-flying-monkey-costume-15

Then I followed the tutorial instructions–traced the bottom of the container on some blue felt, measured the circumference and width, added an inch and cut the correct size rectangle out of blue felt.  I notched the top, although I don’t think I made my triangles big enough because my felt didn’t go on straight around the container.  Oh well.  I made half a zig zag shape on a folded piece of construction paper that was about 6 inches long.  I cut it out, folded the red felt in half, lined the fold of the template with the fold of the felt and cut it out.  I repeated the same steps for the white, once again leaving about 1/4 inch border around it.diy-flying-monkey-costume-14

I glued the blue felt around the sour cream container, covering it as best (and straight) as I could.  Good enough.  I glued the red onto the white, then the white onto the blue and voila!  The whole thing was finished!diy-flying-monkey-costume-16diy-flying-monkey-costume-13

Turned out I didn’t make the cord quite long enough to go around his fat little head.  He was not cooperating when I was trying it on him to measure so I must’ve made it a bit too short.  Luckily Hubby came up with a great idea that worked like a charm–even better than going under the chin I think.  Instead we put the cord around the back of his head.  It actually makes it a little bit harder for him to get off…at least for now.  Until he gets the hang of it, that is.

C hates the whole costume, hahahahaha.  Which I think makes it even better.  He doesn’t even like wearing the vest, which I can’t figure out for the life of me why that matters.  I think he’s the cutest flying monkey ever though!diy-flying-monkey-costume-19diy-flying-monkey-costume-18diy-flying-monkey-costume-19diy-glinda-dress-and-flying-monkey-costume-3diy-flying-monkey-costume-17j-and-c-diy-wizard-of-oz-costumes

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DIY Toddler Busy Board

C turned 1 back in April and one of his presents was a DIY Toddler Busy Board.  As you can see, this post is just a teeny tiny bit overdue.  That’s just how I like to roll.

I found this pin on Pintest that I pinned (let’s see how many times I can use the word “pin” in a sentence) 2 years ago, knowing that I wanted to do it for a future child.  C already has a ton of toys due to being the second child and a spoiled rotten grandchild, so we decided to keep his birthday low key.  This board was the only thing he got from us.

Once his birthday got closer I started to do some mad research on Busy Boards, looking at ideas for things to put on it and ways to paint it.  Then I started searching the Dollar Tree, Walmart and thrift shops for the items.  We ended up with a decent spread, and plenty of room to add more if we find some stuff.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything at all about how Hubby built the box itself.  I do know that it has sides and a back, so it’s like a giant box.  That way he could screw everything in but we wouldn’t have to worry about C playing with all of the nails and stuff poking out the other side.  Plus the door knob I had would actually turn and the side part moves, which I think is pretty cool.diy-toddler-busy-board-sidediy-toddler-busy-board-2 diy-toddler-busy-board-backIf you have any questions let me know and I can relay them to him and he can answer them!

So this is everything he attached on there:

a wheel from an office chairdiy-toddler-busy-board-wheela switch from a lamp (he just cut off the cord on either end)diy-toddler-busy-board-switch

a door knobdiy-toddler-busy-board-door-knob

an old school telephone corddiy-toddler-busy-board-cord

a door that opens and closes with a sliding lock on itdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock-door diy-toddler-busy-board-door-open

a light switchdiy-toddler-busy-board-light-switch

and door stoppers.diy-toddler-busy-board-door-stoppers

After I painted it he also glued on a combination lockdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock

and a mirrordiy-toddler-busy-board-mirror

After he did his part (which took entirely too long.  I had to nag him for weeks to just do it!) I took over.  Although I found tons of ideas, the way Millionayres painted hers was by far my favorite.  I had a bunch of leftover red and white paint from previous projects so I used those colors instead.  Painting it this way was very time consuming and the lines turned out a bit wonky, but overall I love it.

First I used painters tape all around the front, about an inch from the edge.  diy-toddler-busy-board-3I painted all of the sides and that first inch red.  Then I taped around all of the “things” since I’m like the worst painter in the world.diy-toddler-busy-board-6

I peeled off the edge.  Not too bad…for me!diy-toddler-busy-board-4Then I taped the diagonal lines.  I spaced them out so they were the same width as the tape just to make it easy in my head.  I painted all of the empty spaces (and quite a bit of the painters tape 😉 ) white.  diy-toddler-busy-board-5I peeled off that tape and then covered up all of the white lines.  I just reused the same tape since it was still sticky and about the right length. diy-toddler-busy-board

I painted the remaining space red, and voila it was finished!

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Just in time for C’s birthday, too.  If I remember correctly we had a day to spare.  Perfect.  And he loves it.  It doesn’t keep his attention for long, but really what does??  It’s funny because at first the door stoppers and telephone cord were his favorites, but now that he’s a bit older he loves flipping the light switch and opening and closing the door.  When Hubby built the door he left an empty space in there, so C loves to shove things inside and shut it, then open it to retrieve the object.  Over and over.  He hasn’t shown any interest in any of the other items yet, but I know he will.  All in all, a success!

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Beep Beep! Family on the Bus!

This is a project I made almost 3 years ago for J that I just happened to rediscover when packing the car bag for our recent 5 hour drive home.  J absolutely loved this project and since rediscovering it has started playing with it again.  I need to update the photos a bit, but she didn’t seem to mind.  Although she wouldn’t believe me that there was a picture of her in the bag–she kept insisting that it was C!

I’d highly recommend making this if you have kids between the ages of 2 and 5.  It is ridiculously easy and not at all time consuming.  And your kids will get hours of use from it!

So I started with the bus.  I printed off a picture of a bus I found online, glued it onto a leftover box from Amazon and cut it out.  Then I hot glued strips of velcro in each window and one on the bottom for the driver. I think I used the soft side, although I don’t know why it would matter.diy-busy-bag-photo-school-bus-2

Next I went through my giant collection of photographs and picked out one picture of each family member and close friend.  I cut the faces out and then laminated them (I own this laminator and absolutely adore it).  I hot glued small squares of the opposite side of the velcro onto the back of each photograph.  That’s it!  diy-busy-bag-photo-school-bus-1

Like I said, I made this almost 3 years ago and it was played with–a lot.  And as you can see it’s still in relatively good shape!  There are quite a few family members who are missing so before C gets old enough to use it I’ll need to do a little updating.  Love it!!diy-busy-bag-photo-school-bus-3