Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wood Pallet Board Photo DIY

I love crafting. All things crafting and when I came across this idea on one of my local Crafting Facebook Groups I had to give it a try. The process is super simple. I had snapchatted (add me at: mdvorak76) the whole process but forgot to take actual photos for the blog, but it's super easy to do!

  • One crafting pallet board in desired size. I got the size "Large" from Walmart for $4, which is a little smaller than 12x18.
  • A poster sized print of desired photo that best matches the sized pallet board you are using. I got mine in the 12x18 size at Walgreen's. With a coupon it was $7.
  • Mod Podge. I used regular satin finish, but I know some who use the Antique Finish. 
  • Paint brushes. I use the foam ones for Mod Podge, they work best for me. 
  • Pen/marker
  • Ruler
  1. Flip your photo over and place the pallet board in the back side of the print. Measure around the board to make sure the print is the same size of the board and mark the border as you do so. 
  2. Make marks on the back of the print where each of the gaps between the slats end and begin, use a ruler to draw he lines across the whole print. 
  3. Cut each line you marked with a scissors; the outer border and each of the slats so your photo will now be cut into four pieces (or however many panels your pallet board has).  
  4. Using Mod Podge, attach each of the four pieces you have cut your print into, to each section of the pallet board. 
  5. Do a top coat of Mod Podge and let dry over night.
  6. If desired, use sandpaper or a nail file to rough up edges and get an aged look.
  7. I have a Cricut machine, so I also cut out a quote in vinyl and attached that! 

It really is a simple process! I will be making two more, one for each set of grandparents so I hope to update the post with pictures soon! Hope this all made sense and I would love to see your finished product if you try it! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas with Family

As a Military family there is one thing you value more than anything, and that is time with family you rarely get to see. This Christmas, Jake's parents, & his brother and his wife came and spent a week with us. It was so nice to see them. We exchanged gifts on Christmas morning and here are the gifts Ripley was spoiled with.

 Ripley doesn't really know her family well but she had a blast hanging out with them and being spoiled. His brother even babysat one night so we could double date with his parents and see Star Wars. We played a lot of board games, watched some movies, went to the beach, and played at the park. Also, during their stay Ripley said "Grandma" and started giving kisses! It was so sad when they had to leave because I hate that Ripley has to grow up not knowing her family. They all love her to pieces and they have to miss out on everything. It's depressing at times, but hopefully when she is older and Jake finally leaves the Military we can make up for lost time. 
Overall, we had a great Holiday Season. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Meeting Santa

We recently had the pleasure of attending Jake's first Christmas party at his new Duty Station. It was held in an elegant parking garage where they fed us bags of chips that expired two months ago, Girl Scout Cookies that expired 3 months ago, and candy bars that expired as far back as 4 months ago. I get it, they were probably donated, but talk about an issue waiting to happen had someone gotten sick from it...They mostly just tasted VERY stale. So far we are not sick. 
Aside from that, and the horrible Christmas singing from some guy on stage, (he should definitely keep his day job in the Military, haha) it was a decent get together. 

Our good friends and their kids were there of course, we had some food (pot luck style randomness), and Ripley got to meet The Grinch and eventually Santa. Usually, Santa parachutes in like a badass, but conveniently it was raining so he just rolled up in a firetruck. 
Ripley had no idea what to think of The Grinch. She was very weary of him...

And Santa she was downright TERRIFIED of! Even while on Daddy's lap...I don't blame her. If someone put me on the lap of some random guy with half his face covered in white fuzz I would be scared too!

Here's to hoping next year goes better! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our First Foster Baby

Two weeks ago we finally got the call that the Humane Society had a puppy that needed our help! 
I applied to be a foster mom about 4 months ago and had been impatiently waiting for a call. The foster coordinator let us know there was a 6 week old Rat Terrier Mix puppy named Kirby, who just needed some extra love and care until he was 8 weeks and could get neutered and put up for adoption. I of course accepted and little Kirby came into our lives. 
I had forgotten just how much work a puppy is! Taking them out every 30 minutes while they are awake, crate training, and that energy! He was CRAZY when he first got here but I think interacting with our adult dogs taught him a lot about proper doggie mannerisms. 
At first he was very mouthy. He nipped at all of us (playing of course) and chewed on shoes, cords, furniture, etc. However, he learned quick what was on and off limits thanks to positive reinforcement training. 
He was a lot of work but I am so glad he got to come and stay with us. I know I made a positive differencce in his life and that is what matters! Bringing him back to the shelter when his 2 weeks were up BROKE MY HEART. I didn't think it would be that hard but I started bawling me eyes out when I got back in the car and realized he wasn't with me anymore. I felt like I was abandoning him. In his short stay he has already become a part of our family and I seriously felt I was just leaving my own dog at a shelter to be alone and sad in a cage. I feel a little better now because I KNOW he will find a home right away. Just look at his face! It's beyond adorable. He will be snatched up quick. He got neutered yesterday and still hasn't become available for adoption (I stalked the webpage all day). I hope he finds his forever home soon with a family who will love him until his last days. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ripley's One Year Update

I was finally able to get Ripley in for her one year check up after our Tricare fiasco...she's 13 months now but oh well! Her Pediatrician had no concerns with her what-so-ever! She said she was developing perfectly and was right on track. 
She is only 28 3/4 inches tall (25th percentile) and 17.5lbs (2%). 
Yes she is a tiny thing, but she eats solids like a champ and still nurses. She is just petite which makes sense because her father and I aren't big people. She is on the move all the time too, running everywhere all day so I know she is burning calories like crazy. At first I was seriously concerned that she weighed so little but her Dr. assured me I had nothing to worry about.

 She also had her hemoglobin tested and it was a little low so we are making sure we feed her more beans and other iron rich foods to get that regulated. Apparently it's not that uncommon so with a small diet change she should get those numbers back in the normal range.  
She got caught up on her vaccines and is doing great! 

Talking: "Dada" "Momma" "Yes" "Nana" (banana)
Signs: Eat, Milk, More.
Favorite foods: BBQ chicken, fruit, corn, goldfish, bananas, and mommy's milk.
Favorite Shows: Paw Patrol, My Little Pony, and Tickety Toc.
Favorite App: Pink Fong Songs and Stories. 
Clothing: Size 9 month onesies and pants. 12 month shirts. 
Will hand you things if you ask for it. 
Will put away her toys.
Will bark like a puppy when you ask her "What does a puppy say?"
Loves to open her books and look through them on her own.
Now only gets her Paci at nap time and will throw it down when she wakes up. 
Sleeps through the whole night 7PM to 7AM.
Loves going for walks and playing at the park.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Montessori Animal Matching [FREE Downloadable Flashcards]

For Ripley's first birthday back in October I decided to get her a bunch of Little People Animals to go with her Little People Zoo that we got from some friends. At the time, Fisher Price was having a huge sale. That in combination with a coupon and free shipping, each animal cost my roughly $.60. I stocked up on as much as I could. Not only does she love playing with them in her zoo, but I also decided to use them as a learning tool. 
I went to work, searched google, found pictures of all the animals, and cropped them into a word document for printing.  
Once I had the cards printed and cut I went ahead and laminated them with my new Scotch Thermal Laminator that was only $20. 
We work on our animal matching every day and I know she will pick up on it quickly! I hold up each animal, say it's name, place it on the correct card and make sure she can see both the card and animal clearly. I then put a set of three cards in front of her, give her an animal, and ask her to place it on the right animal. We've only been working on it for a few days so she hasn't quite figured it all out yet but I know she is learning! Once she masters that we will add baby animals to match to the adults and incorporate flashcards of the name of the animals too! 
Below is a download of the animals I used. They are super easy to make and you can make your own set with whichever animals you choose if mine isn't what you are looking for! After making mine I forgot we also have some farm animal Little People Animals in her Little People Barn. I'll have to make cards for them too! 
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Montessori: Rice Sensory Box

I am REALLY trying to take the Montessori route when it comes to educating Ripley. According to my research it is the best education route out there and the benefits are endless. I've slowly been introducing activities that follow the learning plan. Yetserday, I put together a rice sensory bin. The benefits of this activity. It helps them enhance their sense of touch by feeling the rice, and they can practice pouring and using simple tools in their box like scoops or measuring cups. Using these materials will help strengthen the muscles used for pouring water from a pitcher to a cup and the muscles used for writing. For Ripley's first bin I just hid numerous items of all shapes, sizes, and textures for her to uncover and find. It's so fun to watch her explore! 
I plan on dyeing the rice soon to introduce some color and get some scoops too! 
Judging by the look on her face, I would say she had a lot of fun!