DIY Memory Game

I wanted to come up with a fun DIY Valentine’s Day gift for Charlotte this year. I searched the Internet high and low and finally came across this Custom Memory Game.

Of course I didn’t want to just order it, so I decided to make my own version using Adobe InDesign.


  1. Open up an 8.5″ x 11″ document
  2. Create (6) 3″ x 3″ photo boxes per page – I used 18 photos total, so I had 3 pages.Photo Boxes
  3. Start to fill each photo box with close up photos of family, friends, and pets.Filled Boxes
  4. Find a background design that will go on the back of your card. I chose hearts. I snagged the image from Google. My image was too small to spread across the whole backside, so I used the image three times, spread across columns that were slightly larger than the fronts of the card.Back of Card
  5. Once everything is all set up in InDesign, it’s time to print. My printer isn’t amazing, but it was definitely good enough. I printed the front sides first onto cardstock. Remember, you need to print TWO COPIES of EACH PAGE.
  6. Then, I put the printed-on cardstock back in my printer to print the back side.
  7. Once the printing was complete, I started to cut out my cards using a paper cutter.
  8. Then, I used this corner rounder punch to round all of my edges and give my cards a slightly more “finished” look.
  9. Next, it was time to laminate. Again, we don’t have a fancy laminator, so I just used a standard 5mil thick lamination sleeve to laminate my cards. I was able to fit 12 cards per sheet.
  10. Once everything is laminated and cooled, I cut the cards out and was done!
  11. I ended up buying a little zipper pouch for card storage. I ordered this one (I used the small one with the little heart cut out) from Amazon.

The final result was well worth the effort and tediousness of all that cutting. Charlotte LOVES the cards. She doesn’t understand how to play Memory quite yet, but she matches the cards and loves pointing out all of her friends and family. Definitely a success!


27 Big Bumpdate Weeks


bump close up

 How far along: 27 Weeks (I started this post at 27 weeks and am finishing tonight at 27 weeks and 4 days… Oops)

Total weight gain: Yesterday (last week) our sales guy was in the office for the first time since the holidays. As we were chatting, he interupted himself and said, “WOW! You’re really getting big.” I barely looked up at him and said, “Yeah, you, too!” Without a smile, laugh or hint of a joke.


Maybe that was a little harsh, but he caught me in a sensitive moment (week? month? 10 months?).

Maternity clothes: I need some new stuff and don’t know where to go. I was thinking maybe I’d head over to Destination Maternity/Pea in the Pod this weekend. I think I have $50 in store credit from my last pregnancy.

Stretch marks: Body is definitely stretching, but thankfully no marks yet.

Sleep: Last night I had the weirdest dream that I could feel the baby falling and flipping when I rolled from one side to the other. I’m thinking that he was up all night squiggling (I’m not 100% sure what squiggling is, but that’s what his movements feel like. A combo of twisty pinchy movements.).

Otherwise my sleep has been okay. Definitely a lot of weird/loud dreams lately. I need to calm it down. Maybe I need to go back to reading books (instead of Facebook or Pinterest) before bed.

Best moment of this week: I had such a great weekend and a lovely time brunching with my ladies, their men and all of the babes. It just makes my heart happy. I’ll post more pics, but here’s one of all the kiddies…  

 Miss anything: not today! Today I’m feeling good.

Movement: So. Much. Movement. He’s really starting to feel giant! Tonight I felt an elbow or knee. I just love it! I feel like he’s going to be here in no time!

Food cravings: This weekend at brunch, I ate a half a donut. Mmmmmmmm. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nada. 

Have you started to show yet: I’m a walking show. 

Gender: little man!

Labor signs: Still having a pretty decent amount of Braxton Hicks contractions. But nothing real.

Belly button in or out: My belly button is getting weird. It pokes out a little, but only because it’s so stretched.

Wedding rings on or off: On, but sometimes I wish off.

Happy or moody most of the time: I’m happy today!

Looking forward to: My sweetie pie Kate is coming home this weekend for her shower! I’m excited to see her and to catch up.

26 Week Bumpdate

    How far along: 26 Weeks, 5 Days

Total weight gain: Haven’t been on the scale this week. Probably a good thing. I also haven’t been to the gym this week. I’d been doing SO well, but dropped the ball over the past week or so, as we’ve been super busy.

To add to my lack of gym time, my lovely father said to me yesterday, “You’re really carrying much bigger this time!” Add that to the list of comments that require a follow-up punch in the gut.

Maternity clothes: I still need more maternity clothes. Haven’t bought anything since I last mentioned that.

Stretch marks: Still stretch mark free… which reminds me, I STILL need to buy more vitamin e oil.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping pretty well lately. I’ve actually been comfortable on my back. I have to be inclined and angled, but still. I’m pretty comfy.

Best moment of this week: We had a really great Valentine’s Day Weekend! It was a ton of fun! AND, we started our Love & Logic Class that I won… FOR FREE! The class is 6 weeks, 2 hours per week. We’ve had one class and already it’s great. I just love talking parenting and learning new ways to stay sane and better handle the tot.

Miss anything: I miss not feeling chubby. The past few days, I’ve not been feeling so pretty. I think I need to get my butt back to the gym.

Movement: This tiny man creature is SUCH a mover and a shaker. Multiple times this week, I’ve literally jumped out of my seat because he’s poked in such a way that feels like a part tickle, part inside pinch. Silly bugger.

Food cravings: I like sweet things. And pizza. I’ve also still been craving donuts. Before this pregnancy is over, I will have a donut.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Have you started to show yet: Just a bit.

Gender: A gentleman.

Labor signs: I have a decent amount of very mild braxton hicks.

Belly button in or out: My belly button is disappearing.

Wedding rings on or off: Mornings are my fingers’ least favorite time of day.

Happy or moody most of the time: I think I’ve been a happy little lady lately. As long as you’re not calling my fat. That tends to piss me off pretty quickly.

Looking forward to: We’re going to make some good progress on the rooms this weekend! I’m looking forward to that, because it’s really starting to stress me out.


Our Little One is 19 Months!


 This past month has absolutely flown by, but in terms of our little girl, has also been one of the best. She’s really coming into her own and developing this contagious, happy, silly and fun personality.

Every day (literally), either Mark or I (or both) will come into the room just to tell the other how amazing our little girl is. She’s constantly laughing or exploring with her little perma-smile. Now, don’t get me wrong… she’s still got her sour sass, but her sweet is just so incredibly sweet.

She plays this game where all of a sudden she’ll “target” me and start running towards me for a tackle hug. <MELT> And she gives the best hugs and the best kisses. She just loves.

She’s a total talker now. Even when she doesn’t have the words, she’s babbling non-stop.

Her obsession over babies (real or dolls) has hit an all-time high that has me so deeply excited for our little guy to arrive. She’s even stopped throwing baby as much (baby steps, right?). She sits quietly for long stretches just feeding her baby and rocking her and reading to her. She does the same with her teddy bear. It’s absolutely heart warming to watch. 

Our car rides have become pretty silly. We have a lot of dance parties. A lot. Charlotte loves music. She loves a good acoustic song, but you should see her head pop up and her body and arms bounce when a rap song comes on. Oy. Maybe they have Kidz Bop – Rap Edition.

New Words: Honestly, I feel like she surprises me every day and I constantly forget words I’ve heard until she says them…

  • Nana – any time the dog barks, she whips her head to look at the door and says, “Nana?”
  • She’s currently working on Toby. I can’t even remember what she says… maybe Bobo or something like that. She’s been working on that one for a couple days now.
  • Bir – Bird (she loves to point out the birds)
  • Neiggghhh (Yes, what the horse says. It’s kind of a word… might even count as a foreign language)
  • Moooo (cow’s language)
  • Baaaa (sheep)
  • Boo – I’m not 100%, but I feel like she’s saying blue.
  • She can point out hearts! She can’t say heart, but she knows the shape!
  • Shhh – lotion
  • Liii – Lights
  • I’m sure there are more new ones, but I’m blanking.

New Tricks:

  • She “counts” items in books… she uses her little pointer finger to “count out” the items
  • She counts with her fingers and noises that sound like 1 -2 – 3
  • She can do the hand motions and dances for SO many nursery rhymes
  • She can climb up and down steps (assisted)    
  • She loves to talk on the phone
  • She peels her own banana and orange  
  • She literally LOVES to carry items that are entirely too big for her to carry (little person chairs, push toys, her baby stroller, etc)      
  • She loves to twirl and dance  
  • She can climb onto the couch by herself
  • She recognizes songs even if they are new versions – this sounds like a weird one, but my point is that she actually listens to the lyrics of songs. In fact, even if it’s a new song she’s never heard, she will pick out words and do a corresponding hand motion or action. IE: Stomp your feet, clap your hands, face (she will point to her face), up and down (she will lift and lower her arms), etc.
  • She still totally loves to clean up. In fact, she helps put her toys away without throwing a tantrum. She seems to enjoy being helpful (YESS!!!!).
  • She’s become very responsive to us disciplining through choice, “Would you rather leave that toy on the bench or on the chair? If you don’t decide, momma will choose for you.” – We used to have to take the toy to put it down, but she’s become very responsive and will just put it down herself.


Book: Where the Wild Things Are (this makes me so happy because I just love this book)

Toy: Teddy & Baby… and probably her stroller.

Food: Fruit. Lately, bananas. But she loves fruit. And we’ve had a lot of luck with Almond butter and no-sugar, fresh jam.


Clothes: Still 18 months, although the pants are decently short in many brands

Diapers: 4 (I think she’s on her way out of size 4. She keeps leaking through her night diaper.)

Shoes: Oy. I don’t know. She’s wearing a 4.5, but hubs measured her with a print out from Stride Rite last night that said she’s a 6. That just makes no sense to me because she clomps around like she’s in clown shoes in a size 5.

Daily Schedule:

  • 7/8:30: Depending on when she goes to sleep and what her plans for the day are, she wakes up between 7 and 8:30
  • 8/830: Breakfast
  • 10: On non-school days, Charlotte takes a morning rest; although, she has not been napping lately. We are debating getting rid of this.
  • 12: Lunch
  • 1/2: Depending on her mood, Charlotte’s afternoon nap falls somewhere between 1 and 2/230. She will typically sleep anywhere between 2-3.5 hours. Usually it’s around 2.5..
  • 6: Dinner, Bath (on bath days – she bathes every other day and on swim days)
  • 7/8: Charlotte goes to bed most often around 7:30/7:45ish

School Schedule: Charlotte goes to school from 9-12:30 on Thursdays and Fridays (on these days, she eats a snack and lunch at school and does not nap)




DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles


With Charlotte in school this year, I thought it was the perfect time to make DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles as Valentines for her class. My intention was to have us do the project together.

Yes, I thought a project that involves glitter glue, GLITTER (excessive amounts), hot water and a hot glue gun would be a great activity for my toddler and I to complete together. I was wrong. In fact, Charlotte’s only real participation was shaking a few of the bottles up for mommy.

So I did what any improvising Momma would do… I put Charlotte to bed and binge watched TV while I finished making TWELVE glitter sensory bottles.


Instructions to Make ONE Bottle

Materials (there is a bit of a trial and error that needs to go into this, but here’s what worked for me):

  • Plastic Bottles (I used 11.5 oz Fiji water bottles because they’re cute and small and sturdy – NOTE, I didn’t want to waste the water, so I drank about 80 ounces in one night and then saved the rest. I had to pee fiercly all night.)
  • Glitter glue (1/3-1/2 a X ounce bottle)
  • Extra fine glitter (I bought an X ounce bottle and could have literally used it for all 12 bottles. You really only need about a teaspoon… in my opinion.)
  • Hot Water
  • Glue Gun
  • Tiny Figurine (I added one tiny animal figurine per bottle because I thought it’d be cute. My toddler and her friends confirmed. The figurine is a fun addition.)
  • Essential Oil (optional – I used lemon)


  1. Consume water from water bottle.
  2. Peel off the label from the water bottle. This was a HUGE pain in the ass for me. I tried using this Goop Off Soap, soaking in HOT water, a scrubber sponge, vegetable oil, prayer… nothing was working. So, I Googled ways to get label adhesive off of a plastic bottle and found the most effective solution. Simply put a couple drops of essential oil on a paper towel and rub the adhesive off. It was SO much easier and so much faster. Just make sure to use a child-safe essential oil.
  3. Put the glitter glue into the bottle. Then, fill the water bottle to about 2/3 – 3/4 full with HOT tap water. Add the glitter.
  4. Cap it and shake, shake, shake.
  5. At this point, you may need to add glitter or glue (the glitter glue will help slow down the flow) depending on how your bottle is shaking.
  6. Note that at this point, my bottle filled with bubbles. So once I perfected my glitter to glue to water ratio, I waited for the glitter to settle at the bottom and squeezed all the bubbles out.
  7. Then, I filled my bottle up with hot water the rest of the way. Leave enough room to shake the bottle, but honestly, you can go pretty high. My water line was at the little plastic seal from the cap.
  8. Add your figurine, cap it and shake again.
  9. Once you’re in love with your bottle, put some hot glue on the inside of the cap and twist the cap back onto the bottle. Voila! You’re done!


  • At first, my glitter was totally sticking to the sides of the bottle and just not working. Turns out I had used too much glitter and too much glue. I simply poured my mixture out into a paper cup and then added a fraction of the mixture back into my bottle and added hot tap water until my ratio made sense.
  • Make sure to glue the cap onto the bottle. Otherwise, babe might unscrew the top and either a) make a huge mess or b) drink glitter. Both are terrible.

Toddler-Made DIY Gift Tags


One element that Charlotte helped with was the little gift tags used on each of the bottles.

  1. Facilitate child painting or drawing on cardstock (we used cardstock that was finger… well, hand-painted a few days before)
  2. Use your favorite paper punch (I bought the cutest dang heart punch ever on Amazon. I’m obsessed.) to cut out shapes from the best areas of the artwork.
  3. Write your note!


LATE Weekend in Review


I’m all sorts of tardy with my blogging. Remember when I was 25 weeks pregnant? Yeah? Well, don’t expect to see a photo or update because somehow it’s already Thursday. BUT, I will post this very late update from our fun-filled weekend!

This past weekend was busy busy and Charlotte was just perfection. She is in this stage that’s literal magic. She’s still very much a sour patch kid, as my husband and I like to call her (a name we once used to describe me), but her sweet moments are just SO sweet and frequent.

Anyway, Friday we laid low. Our internet was out, so I’m pretty sure we ended up going to bed early that night. On Saturday, I took Charlotte to gymnastics class while Mark installed the new light fixture in the nursery (for baby boy) and waited for the cable guy. When we got home, it was time to pack up right away to meet our friends at our local nature preserve for the Winter Frolic.

It was absolutley adorable. There was a story time, a petting zoo (which was actually VERY creepy… it was reptiles and dead animal furs… C was creeped out by the furs), an indoor farmers market, a horse drawn carriage, and more. We had a lot of fun!

 Then, after the frolic, Mark left right away to go have a little boys night and left Charlotte and I to fend for ourselves 🙂 She napped and when she woke up, we went to my parents’ house for dinner. Charlotte had a blast carrying her tiny person chair all around the house and loving on her teddy (who has become even more of an obsession since we ditched the paci).

On Sunday, we painted in the morning and did lots of playing. Then, post-nap, it was superbowl time! We headed to our friends’ house to watch the game and spend time with their little kiddies. The whole thing was great.

Charlotte and their oldest, Ellie, are at a really good age to play together. They’re a year apart and always seem to be on different pages, but on Sunday, they played so well! AND, our friends have a new little one, too! You know how C feels about babies… so you can imagine how excited she was to sit with mommy and baby Ari and rub little Ari’s back. The whole thing was great!




Look at that hand holding..


I can’t even… so cute.

Dancing ladies

Hugs for Ari

Dancing Queens!

Holding Daddy’s hand

 All in all, a total whirlwind of a weekend (that left me feeling like I needed another weekend on Monday) and a total blast!

A Busy Valentine’s Day Weekend

My Vday weekend update starts with a mini celebration this past Tuesday. Like the geek that he is, the hubs has spent 12+ hours over the past two(ish) months re-watching (in order) all of the Star Wars movies to refresh his memory before seeing the new movie on the big screen.

Now, if you’ve been to our house, you know that we have a pretty small TV. So, each of these 12 Star Wars Hours were spent curled up about 2 feet from the TV. Anyway, I told Mark I needed him home early so I could workout on Tuesday night, but instead surprised him with tickets to go see Star Wars at the iMax 3D theater. He was very pleased 🙂

On Thursday, Charlie brought in a little gift for her classmates. Because this is a religious school that does not celebrate Valentine’s Day, we kept it nice and general. But of course, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give valentines 🙂

I’ll do a full blog on the sensory bottles “we” made for her class, but the gist is that while I had hoped it would be something C and I could do together, it turned into me binge watching “The Fall” and making 12 sensory bottles until around midnight. BUT, the kids loved them!


On Friday, we went to my parents’ house for dinner with my bro! As always, it was great being able to see him and giving C the opportunity to fall even more in love with her quirky uncle.

Saturday morning, C went to gymnastics (where she was a little gymnast rockstar, according to Daddy) and then we went to our favorite spot, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, for a Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Social with our friends.

Charlotte loved it! She pointed out every single baby she saw, she peeked into every stroller, ate her first cup of ice cream and about 2.5 cheese sticks, she discovered Mr. Potato Head, did her first exercise class, and played with her best girls, Ellie & Ari.



C’s face when Mommy says, “Say Cheese!”

And when Mommy says, “Say puppy dog!”

That evening, it was time for Marky’s VDay date that he planned for me. Not only was I surprised that he had planned anything (no offense, love), but I was so pleasantly surprised by our activity.


We went to Sur La Table for an Italian cooking class and it was fabulous! We had so much fun. (Thanks to Milly for watching the tiny one and giving us a night out!) We cooked a tasty salad, tenderloin and pasta carbonera… with custard for dessert. We had such a great time cooking and enjoying each other.

Definitely a perfect Valentine’s Day celebration.

On Sunday, the actual Vday, I decorated the bathroom mirror with little hearts (cut out from Charlotte’s beautiful artwork) that listed just some of the ways I love my sweet man.

 Then, we were off! It was Baby Day!

First stop: the hospital to visit my beautiful friend who just had a tiny little man on Friday. Will. Oy. How cute, huh?

Then, we played cupid fairy and dropped off some cupcakes at a friend’s house who just recently had a little guy.

With all the driving (probably 2 hours total), I decided to give C her Valentine’s Day gift from Mommy early. I’ll do a separate post, but I made her a memory game with cards featuring our family. She LOVES THEM!

And our next stop: Another baby visit! This time we were off to our friends’ house to meet their newest addition, Mackenzie, and play with their older daughter, Madison. We brought lunch and caught up and watched the girls play. Charlotte is finally at an age where she’s really playing with her friends. It’s a blast to watch.

By the time we got home, it was 2 or 230 (we left the house at 9am). Thankfully, Charlotte napped right away so we could all get a little rest in. Then, Mark’s dad and step mom came over to see the little lady and brought us some dinner on the cold snowy evening. It was great!

All in all, a total whirlwind of fun and love.

The Paci Update


Charlotte’s final paci nap!

 Honestly, I really anticipated having more of a story to tell here, but instead, I will happily bore you with the uneventful details of Operation Bye-Bye-Paci.

On Friday evening, we started Charlotte on the Paci Elimination Diet. Diet rules? Remove each and every paci from C’s room/life, put in a ziploc bag in a very high cabinet, and see what happens. Our Pediatrician said that the worst thing to do is to be inconsistent. She urged us to stay strong and once we removed paci, to not give it back.

Typically, C only really uses her paci during or around sleep times. If she’s sleepy or has just woken up, we would let her hang onto it for as long as she wanted.

Anyway, Friday night, we went through her normal bedtime routine. Drink milk, read books, brush teeth, then it was time for bed. Most nights, I take Charlotte to her room after she brushes her teeth. I tend to hand her bunny and her paci, then we crank her music box, hug and smooch a bit and I put her in bed (sometimes I give her bunny and paci once in bed). Then, I make sure teddy is laying next to her and parachute her blanky over her once… twice… three times as I count. Then, “tuck, tuck, tuck” as I tuck her in.

I went through the whole routine, sans paci, and when I said goodnight, she let out a little whine and pointed to her mouth. I played dumb. “What? Oh, do you want this little lamb?” as I handed her a stuffed animal. She made another little whine as I said goodnight and left the room.

Then, she amazed me. I spent the next 30-45 minutes watching her play in her crib until she just fell asleep. No problem. Goodnight, Charlotte.

I was convinced that the next day’s naps would be crazy, but honestly, they weren’t. She slept totally fine and besides her two mini whines that first night, hasn’t made a single hint that she wants or misses the dang thing.

I’m baffled.

Relieved, but baffled.

So, we are officially a no-paci household!

Charlie’s 18-Month Check Up

**I just found this in my drafts. Thought I had posted it, but I guess not! Written 2/4/16**
Remember how I told you that Charlotte was Ms. Monster at our family photos? Well, she totally redeemed herself at her 18-month check up (FYI, C, next time let’s shine for the photos and bring the evil for the doc).

Literally, from the second we arrived, she was the perfect little munch. She got undressed with no fuss… in fact, she even helped!

She sat on the scale like a big girl AND let the nurse measure her height and head circumference… again, no prob!

The doc did her exam… wait a second. Did the doc do her exam? I know we talked a lot… but I’m feeling like she didn’t really look at her. Shit. Am I having a pregnancy moment or did the doc really not look at Charlotte? Ugh my brain. Okay, so I’ll have to check in with Mark on this one…

Regardless, she was well behaved for all 55/60 minutes of our appointment. The last 5 minutes, which fell about 1.5-2 hours into her naptime got a little whiny, but not bad.

First, the facts:

  • Height: 32.5″ (75th percentile)
  • Weight: 23 lbs 8 Oz (60th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 50th percentile

Other details/questions/etc:

  • Vitamins: We can give C half a Flinstone multi-vitamin (typically recommended for ages 2 and up, but with all her teefers, she’ll be a-ok to munch them down)
  • Food: The doc made me feel like we have no problem in terms of food… even though many days, mealtimes feel like a nightmare. She said you have to look at it from a week’s perspective. I feel like even from a daily perspective, C does well. Just usually has at least one meal a day that she does not eat well at.
  • Sleep: Go C!! Keep it up, gf!
  • Talking: Sounds like C is doing just fine! They expect at least 3 words, which Charlotte has no problem. Can’t wait for them to continue! I swear, every day she shows me new skills that she’s picked up.
  • PACI: OKAY GUYS, this is the big one. Doc said that most dentists recommend ditching the paci at a year, some by 2. With that in mind, we’ve decided that this weekend will be it for Charlie & paci. It gives me a little bit of a sad feeling. Like, our baby is really growing up. I think she will be totally fine with the transition, but I might cry. Our doc’s one recommendation was that when we drop it, we go cold turkey. The wishy washy take it away, give it back scenario makes it much harder on the kidlings. WISH US LUCK!

I think that might be all… but seeing as how I can’t remember if she even looked at my baby, I wouldn’t trust anything I said. Okay, time to call hubs to find out what really happened.