Preschool Tour

IMG_8495

Yesterday morning Elin had a scheduled tour of the preschool she will attend in the fall. The school asks that all children come in for a tour and a chance to meet the teacher during the application process.

Elin has been excited all week for her tour of the classroom.  She is very anxious for school and has been very interested in school ever since she learned that her older cousins go to school.  She will be attending the same preschool that they went and the same one that I went to 28 years ago!  In fact, my same preschool teacher is there but Elin won’t be in her class until she is 4 years old.

IMG_8555

Elin made herself right at home as soon as we got there and proceeded to play with everything in the class!  We were there for an hour and she covered a lot of ground while she was there.  Of course her favorite area was was the play kitchen area and she also enjoyed checking out the many books in the classroom.

IMG_8532

IMG_8506

IMG_8512

IMG_8528

The teacher gave Elin a tiny stuffed cat from the reward box and Elin was thrilled.  We named him Figaro after Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, of course.

IMG_8536

Starting in August, Elin will go three days a week in the mornings.  This is a big deal because she has never been watched by anyone other than family and a close family friend and she has never been without out us at someone else’s house other than family.  However, after seeing her today be so comfortable in the classroom and with the teacher, I don’t think she will be too scared or bashful when the big day rolls around.

She was all smiles as we left the school.  I’m so glad she was happy and comfortable there.

IMG_8550 IMG_8548 IMG_8546 IMG_8541

One year Blogiversary

-0036

This blog has officially turned one year old! I am so glad that I decided to start one and that have kept up with it. I am so forgetful and I know there are many moments and activities that would have come and gone and I would have forgotten about them or I would have the pictures but wouldn’t have remembered all the details about what we were doing.

In one year’s time I have learned so much and gotten to know so many new people that I consider friends. There are so many things about blogging that I have yet to to learn and discover and I can’t wait to keep exploring this new world.

 

 

Weekending

The weekend went by all too fast as usual.

On Friday night, Elin and I worked on some special Valentines for some far away friends and then we finished up the final packing on Saturday morning and made a trip to the post office to mail them off.  I took some pictures of her making the Valentines but I’ll save those for a future post. Right now the Valentines are top secret.

DSCN7736

Then we went to Gymboree as we usually do.  As Elin napped, I decided on a whim to check if there were still tickets to Disney on Ice and as luck would have it there were–and good seats!  So, even thought there were just a few hours before the event, I went ahead and purchased tickets and surprised Elin with the news when she woke up.

IMG_8398

Elin enjoyed the show and stayed engrossed in the show the whole time.  The music was pretty loud but she didn’t seem to mind.

IMG_8416

Her favorite parts were the ones that had Mickey& Minnie and the whole gang, Snow White, and Ariel.  She also loved the flying Tinkerbell.

IMG_8425

She also couldn’t keep her eyes off the palace.  She kept asking us who was going to come out the door next. She also kept saying she wanted to go in there.

IMG_8429

She was so excited to see her friend Kelsey as we were leaving.

IMG_8442

She was hugely disappointed that Minnie and Mickey were not outside. She thought they would be there for photos and she kept asking where they were waiting for her. Then she broke into a run when she saw the souvenir stand. I felt awful not buying her anything, but nothing looked awesome to buy so I told her that her extra special souvenir was waiting at home and that should would get it in the morning since it was bedtime by the time we got home. That worked and luckily I keep a bin of future toys when I see good things on Amazon or at a store.

In the morning, she was the proud owner of a set of princess figurines. They are actually bath toys, but I knew she would love playing with them with her princess castle and she played with them all day long! We have never read Snow White or watched the movie, but she had remembered all about her from the ice show and she kept taking about taking a bite of the apple and she was clearly the favorite in the pack of dolls–so we also watched the movie.

 

51r-vxqKL-L418mZpf7YfL

All in all, a pretty good weekend.

Two Frozen Parties

Elin had two Frozen themed parties to go to within 4 days of each other.   As you can imagine she was extremely excited for both.

The first party was held at Gymboree.  She was thrilled to see her pal Kelsey there!  Those two enjoyed running around and playing some Frozen themed games and listening the movie soundtrack.

IMG_8085

IMG_8139

Elin’s favorite activity was hanging like a monkey from the ladder.  She really thought that was exciting.

IMG_8153

Then it was time for snacks and crafts.  The snack was ice cream and unfortunately Elin is still not a fan so they gave her some animal crackers and gold fish.  I can’t believe she still doesn’t like ice cream!  I think she doesn’t enjoy the coldness.

The craft was making an adorable Olaf!  She is obsessed with snowmen so she loved making Olaf and loves how he is adorning our refrigerator right now.

IMG_8183

IMG_8182.2015-01-17_002511

IMG_8190

Our next Frozen themed party was a few days later at our local library.   This party encouraged dressing up so Elin wore her Elsa outfit.  We arrived to the party early enough to have time to browse the books first.

IMG_8290.2015-01-20_211917

The  party had many Elsa’s! All the kids sat and listened to trivia about the movie and then they played they played parts of the movie and all the kids sang along.

IMG_8300

Elin enjoyed getting to know other princesses.  It’s amazing to me with all those Elsa costumes no two costumes were alike!!

IMG_8308

Crafting time was next and we made another Olaf.  Elin loved this activity and gluing on all the snowflakes.

IMG_8334

They had the cutest cupcakes for a snack and blue punch.  The punch was a mixture of blue Hawaiian punch, sprint and sherbert.  It was very pretty and I’m sure very good.

IMG_8344

There was a photo area set up to get pictures taken.

IMG_8361

IMG_8373

Some other activities we did was playing with a substance that looked like sand but was similar to snow.  It was very odd  in that it was cold and light and fluffy but the kids seemed to like it.  Coloring Anna and Elsa pages were also a hit.

This was the second Frozen party they put on because it was so popular the first time and they fulfilled the registrant limit within the first hour of the registration being live.

The library did such a good job putting together the event and it was free! I hope they continue to offer such fun events!

Crayon Hearts

DSCN7668

It’s the time of year where everything in stores starts to turn pink and red for Valentine’s Day. I have been busy gathering some cute craft ideas for Elin to work on and brainstorming some ideas for Valentine Cards. One idea that I have seen on Pinterest and on other blogs for awhile is the ever popular crayon molds. I found a heart silicone mold and the rest was history.

DSCN7563

I followed this tutorial. I have seen many different tutorials and they are all the same but I liked how her little trees and gingerbread men turned out that she made for Christmas so this is the one I followed. Everything was pretty easy. I peeled the papers of the crayons the night before since that part was the most tedious and then the next day I broke them up in little pieces. I didn’t let Elin in on that part because I don’t want her breaking her crayons that we use. But I did let her assist in putting them in the molds and making different color combinations. She loved looking at all the colorful pieces.

IMG_8241

IMG_8228

DSCN7574

I only used 3-4 different colors in a mold. I don’t like when there are too many colors and the colors mix too much. Also, I didn’t use any black, brown or gray.

Then they were popped in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 250. I let them cool for 15 minutes or so before trying to pop them out. They popped out beautifully.

 

DSCN7656

These are my favorite ones. I love paintings by Jen Ramos and the swaths of colors remind me of some of the colors she uses in her paintings.

DSCN7649

I think these are so adorable and will make a lovely small gift to attach to a Valentine for a toddler or small child.

 

Letter to Elin 2015

 

2015 yellow

Dearest Elin,

It has been a joy and a blessing to watch you this past year. Looking back through pictures, it is amazing to me how much you have grown and changed. I am very much looking forward to all the new firsts and milestones coming up for you in 2015. Here is a peek at some of my predictions for you.

Sleep Transitioning: We have been so lucky that you have never tried to attempt to escape your crib and that you have never asked to go into a big girl bed at home despite sleeping in one at Nana’s house. You love your crib and we love that it keeps you safe in the night. Keeping you in a crib is still one small item that keeps you still a baby to us. However, I am sure at some point this year you will transition to a toddler bed.

Potty Training: I know that we have both be slacking in this department. You show a little interest in it but not all the time and then I am not the best about always remembering to make you sit on the potty. This year we will have to buckle down and work on this, especially because they will not allow you in preschool untrained and I know you will want to go to school.

Preschool: I can’t believe that I will be signing you up for preschool in a couple weeks and by mid-late year you will be officially attending preschool. Preschool is such a big step in your small little life. You will learn so many things there and meet so many different people. I’m sure you will enjoy it and that excites me for you but again it will be a little bittersweet because it means that you will grow up even quicker.

Gymboree: Gymboree has been such a huge part of your life. You go numerous times a week and have learned so much there. But, all good things come to and end and I think by the time the summer rolls around it will be time to let our membership go. By this time I think you will be ready to transition to some different activities.

I’m sure there are many more milestones and exciting things that will happen this upcoming year and I am so excited to watch you experience it all. And through it all I hope that you always remember that Mommy loves you.

Snowman Craft

DSCN7519

Do you want to build a snowman? If you ask Elin, she will always tell you an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  She loves all things snowman-related. Since we have no snow in sight, we will be making  our snowman from Hefty foam paper plates and construction paper.

We will be taking down all our Christmas decor this weekend and the house will be in need of some winter-themed decorations.

The Hefty website site offers cute winter craft ideas and that is where we got our tutorial. I purchased the Hefty Everyday foam plates for this craft.

I pre-cut out the snowman eyes, nose, and buttons since Elin is still too young to use scissors with any accuracy. For some educational fun, we did talk about the shapes and colors as we taped them to our plates.

DSCN7524

DSCN7529

DSCN7532

DSCN7534

Then I punched holes in the snowman head and body to tie then together with ribbon. The blue bow is placed on top of that so you don’t see the ribbon. Elin was a bit over-zealous when pushing on the buttons, but these strong Hefty foam plates sprung right back into shape!

DSCN7540

DSCN7543       DSCN7546

I think he turned out pretty cute and I think the Hefty foam plates have a sparkly sheen and it looks like snow. I love that this is an easy craft that can be made with everyday materials for when we are stuck inside on a snow day. We are planning on making the glittery snowflakes next for extra festiveness.

Here are some other crafts and tips from the Hefty website–I’m going to keep these in mind for next year!:

Thank you to Hefty for sponsoring this post.

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

marcum family 2014 christmas-0032

I realize that I have not shared any of the pictures from Elin’s Christmas card photo shoot. This shoot was one of the best ones yet.  Usually Elin will clam up when the photographer comes over, therefore making it hard to get nice smiles and natural expressions.  However, this session Elin was into and did not act shy around our lovely photographer.

marcum family 2014 christmas-0010

I decided to take photos next to Elin’s Christmas tree in her room. We have special ornaments that also go on the tree, but had to take them off because she was enthralled by them and was taking them off the tree branches to get a better look at them. A lot of them are dated and have special significance, so I thought we should wait a year or two before we try to put those back out.

marcum family 2014 christmas-0078

marcum family 2014 christmas-0038

marcum family 2014 christmas-0012

marcum family 2014 christmas-0040

marcum family 2014 christmas-0014

marcum family 2014 christmas-0026

marcum family 2014 christmas-0036

First Christmas Baking Experience

DSCN7219

“This is the way we roll the dough, roll the dough, roll the dough....” This song and our unit on baking at Gymboree class was helpful because on Sunday Elin helped make Christmas sugar cookies for the first time.

DSCN7218

She has been exited to make cookies because they mention baking in several of Elin’s Christmas books and shows that she has been reading and watching. I knew she was definitely going to want to make snowmen and Christmas trees so I made sure to gather all the essentials for a morning marathon of baking and decorating.

This was my first time making this particular sugar cookie recipe so it was a first for both of us.

Elin’s favorite part was using the cookie cutters to cut the shapes.

DSCN7231

Then after waiting for the cookies to bake and cool it was finally time to decorate them. She had blast making just a couple and then she completely lost interest  and left me to finish them myself. Awesome.

Try not to be jealous of our artistic ability of cookie decorating…..

DSCN7281

Elin managed to pull herself away from playing to come and act as a taste tester and she enjoyed them. I’m going to have to work on my decorating skills for next year.

DSCN7264-7270

Christmas Memory Book

DSCN6961

Christmas is such a special holiday that I wanted to document all of our Christmases in one book so that in the future we can look back at all our special holiday memories over the years in one book.  I am not a person who enjoys scrapbooking, so I was interested in finding a pre-made book where I can just pop in our photos and handwrite some special notes.  There are not many options out there so I bought the one that had excellent reviews and seemed like it was going to be perfect.  The book was called Christmas Memories by Lynn Anderson Peterson.  When I received it I knew right away that it was not going to work for me because one of size, it could not accommodate a 5 x 7 Christmas card horizontally.  One of the things I was excited about was to be able to keep one of each  of  our cards each year in the book.  Sadly I had to return the book and I was back and trying to figure out what to do.

DSCN6971

I ended up deciding to buy my own album and making my own pages.  I try to keep it at just about 4 pages for each Christmas.  I start each year with our Christmas Card and I type up a very brief paragraph stating how old Elin was at Christmas, what special things we did that year, and then a few of Elin’s special presents.  Then I put pictures of our Santa visits,  other holiday activities, and then pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I keep it pretty simple and just enough to capture the highlights.  The idea will be that many years from now we can look back and see everything we did in previous years, how the Christmas tree and decor has changed over the years, and to document how we celebrated the holiday.  I think many years from now it will be so much fun to keep the book out at Christmas and have one place where all our Christmas pictures and memories are documented.

Elin-Santas