Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! One thing about little kids, you don’t forget these Hallmark holidays since school reminds you of them constantly! This year, I actually was (somewhat) more organized in that I had time to think of what to do instead of just running to Target to grab whatever was left, haha!

Since school here has a strict “no food” policy, candy is out of the question. I also hate the idea of giving out a goody bag or present that will only end up in the trash. So, I landed on stickers and erasers for the kids. I mean, what kid doesn’t love stickers and need erasers as they learn to write?

I ended up drawing a simple whale design and scanning it in to use as the template for each valentine. The girls got to color them in for each classmate and fill the little bags attached to the back. This took maybe 1-2 hours of one afternoon. The girls had fun and it was a great, cost efficient solution!

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Ornaments Galore

One of the exciting things about your kids getting older is the ability to do more complex crafts.  Of course there is still an amount of hand holding involved, but generally, you can start to talk about ideas and they can give you their thoughts. Also, it’s fun to see them getting excited about different crafts and hear what they want to create.

I got a great suggestion from one of my co-workers about one of her holiday memories, which was making clay ornaments every year to adorn her family’s Christmas tree.  I thought this sounded like such a fun family tradition that I wanted to try out.  Also, I thought these would be really sweet gifts from the girls to their teachers.

I did a bunch of research on different mediums and decided on a super lightweight clay that air-dried, no baking needed!  Also, it was easy to clean up and I bought a kit of many different colors.  It was easy to work with and dried fairly quickly.

We wanted up making a bunch of little figures in a book that came with the clay at first, and then once the girls were more comfortable, they branched out to their own made up ideas.  I think they we’re all very cute in the end!

The girls had a great time making little ornaments and can’t wait to give them to their teachers.  I think this is a nice change of pceto holiday cookies, although we will likely make those soon as well.  What kind of holiday activities do you like to do with your kids?

A New Addition

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I know I have been remiss in my postings lately. There has been a lot of activity in our household lately! First of all, the new baby arrived two weeks early! That was a surprise for everyone! I hate to say it, but we were not as prepared for the birth of baby number two like we were for baby number one, but we do love her just as much and her sister is beyond excited to be a big sister! Life has been turned on its head with learning how to balance two children. I’m very fortunate to have the help of my mother, who seems to have a knack for putting babies to sleep! Life is certainly not boring right now!

The other big thing is that we bought a house! Wait, what???  More about that later…. back to the baby!

Baby, it’s a new year!

I can’t believe that January is almost over! I was looking through my blog and I noticed that the quantity of my posts seems to have diminished a little. I apologize for that, everyone! Thanks for your patience!

I can explain, really.  I have been a little preoccupied lately as I am pregnant with #2!  People aren’t kidding when they say that every pregnancy is different!  I don’t know if it’s getting older, or having a child already, or what, but I have been so exhausted with this pregnancy.  I literally could barely keep my eyes awake to get home from work, shovel some semblance of a meal into my mouth, and then go narcoleptic on my husband and daughter by passing out on whatever horizontal surface was closest.  That coupled with the terrible bout of morning sickness (really, I don’t know why people specify morning.  It lasts ALL DAY LONG…) made things very challenging for the past couple of months.  I’m hoping now that I’m in the middle of my second trimester that things will begin to improve!

We did find out that we’re having a girl!  My eldest daughter is very excited to be an older sister!  We’ve been trying to prepare her for the shock of no longer being an only child by talking with her frequently about “baby” and how she will be so helpful and such a great example for baby.  Of course, my daughter immediately decided that the baby is “her” baby and will never fail to give her baby a hug before she gives me a hug.  Ironic, but sweet seeing as how it could go the other way!

Needless to say, all this passing out left and right hasn’t really given me much opportunity to craft anything.  Even if I did find the energy to pick up some knitting needles or a crochet hook, I’d probably pass out on top of it and end up skewering myself involuntarily.  I think I’ll leave the major crafting to when I have a little more control of my ability to stay awake. Until then though, happy crafting!

Back to Our Roots!

We are going on a long-planned trip to Taiwan in a week for 10 days. I remember the last time I went to Taiwan, which was almost 14 years ago. I can’t believe it has been that long!  Now, while going and seeing family is always great, I must say one of the best things about going to Taiwan is the food.  Food food food!  I recently stumbled across this CNN article all about the wonderful foods that I’m about to partake in.  I had to laugh at the first one.  This is is so quintessentially Taiwanese: simple, affordable, delicious, and fatty!  I just LOVE going to Taiwan and having this.

I’m positively drooling just thinking of all the yummy foods I’m going to get.  At the top of my list are the 滷肉飯 (Braised Pork over Rice), 太陽餅 (Suncakes), Zhong-zhi, 割包 (Gua-bao – Taiwanese Hamburger), Do-hua (delivious tofu curd over sweet peanut soup), and the 鳳梨酥 (Pineapple cakes).  But oh, the list goes on and on!

This will be my daughter’s first time going to Taiwan so I’m looking forward to having her try all sorts of yummy foods that are part of her heritage.  If she’s anything like her dad and me, she’ll be a very happy girl!  What are your favorite foods to share with your family?

Happy First Anniversary!

Well, I’m extremely embarrassed to say that my blog site’s one year anniversary came and went and I didn’t quite notice! A lot has happened these past couple days, one being the new addition to our growing family! Welcome to my littlest nephew and congratulations to the newly minted parents!

As I reflect on what I’ve accomplished in a year of blogging, I’ve learned a lot about being a parent, adapting to new environments, and growing personally. This blog has allowed me to focus my creative energies on small and finite projects which help me to being a little bit of joy into people’s lives, all while helping me fulfill a creative urge within myself. Thank you to all my readers, supporters, and patient friends who have accepted my gifts as I experiment with my crafting.

I hope that you all continue to enjoy my posts and I look forward to a new year in learning new and exciting skills! I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Intersession

I’m sorry I don’t have any pretty crafts to post this time around. I do want to let you all know that I’ve been crafting away when I can.

My daughter was unlucky enough to catch the hand foot mouth disease, which is essentially a very bad cold with a high-grade fever. The disease got it’s name because it results in blister-like sores developing on the child’s hands, feet, and in their throat. It’s absolutely miserable. I can tell you from personal experience. Because I got it right after her.

I am still suffering the tail-end of the coughing and was lucky enough (knock on wood) to not get any sores.  The fever was lovely and the sudden fits of coughing are always a nice surprise. Especially on the subway where everyone looks at you like you have the plague and back away from you quietly. Or at client meetings where you have to leave the room and catch the client’s look of agitation that you may drop dead. Or on a job site, when the job super meets you for the first time and then you run out of the room coughing like making his acquaintance caused you to suddenly contract a fatal disease. Always a fun time….

Next week we are going to visit my parents in Seattle!  It will be my daughter’s first trip to Seattle and I can’t wait to show her around!  Until we return, happy crafting!