Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Valentine Craft


Xander LOVES painting.  Probably because I love painting, and kind of pushed it on him when he was about six months old!  In the past we’ve painted things for Paul, we’ve painted an entire book worth of pages for all the grandma’s for Mother’s Day, we’ve even painted a sign that hangs in his room!  So yesterday, while I was on Instagram I saw a picture of a friend’s two year old using toilet paper rolls as stamps with paint I knew we had a new project.


Needless to say it was a complete hit!  (Note the little lip biting, this is his “I’m concentrating hard” face!) I bent and taped the toilet paper rolls into a heart shape and we used them as a stamp.  Well, Xander used it as a stamp until he realized he could use it as a paint brush anyways!


I put freezer paper on my table as well as underneath it to save myself the trouble of having to clean up paint–it’s washable, but I still don’t want to have to clean it up!


I gave in and let him have an actual paint brush which made him pretty happy.  Of course, he painted his hands with it instead of the paper–but hey, you win some and you lose some.


His finished “masterpieces.” I think the white one is my favorite.  Either way it kept him busy for a solid hour while Paul worked on painting his room. I think I might print off a picture of him painting and give them out as Valentine’s this year.  We’ll be traveling on Valentine’s Day so that’s about all we’ll have time to do.

Out with the old.

I’m a list maker.  I’ve always made lists, and while I hate seeing what seems like a never ending list of things I need to accomplish, I absolutely love drawing a line through things as I DO finish them.  With the upcoming move my to do lists have grown exponentially, and my patience with just about everything has basically evaporated.  But, I can say that I’ve gotten the majority of the things completed.  One of the tasks I’ve kind of held off on has been selling all our “junk” and things we won’t be taking with us to Key West.  Mostly it’s consisted of things we upgraded (ie: lamps in our living room) but there have been a few other things that I didn’t really WANT to sell.


Case in point: early last summer, before I nearly cut my thumb off, I made a sand and water table for Xander and hand-painted a half dozen different types of fish and sea life all over it.  But, movers are known to not be so gentle with things, so we decided it would probably be best to sell the water table before we left and then I can make another one once we get to Key West.

The day I finished it.

The day I finished it.

Paul thought it’d take a while to sell it, but I knew otherwise.  Turns out I was right.  I put it on Craigslist and then posted the link in our play group.  I got several emails with interest, and a few moms in the play group wanted it also.  It was sold within four hours, and the lady came and picked it up today.  I’m totally going to blame it on the pregnancy, but I had a few tears in my eyes as Paul helped her load it into her car.  Mostly because I’m not sure I’ll ever paint something that detailed ever again, but also because Xander started pulling himself up to standing once the table was finished, and we played with it all summer long.

Xander's friends playing with the table at his birthday party.

Xander’s friends playing with the table at his birthday party.

I probably wouldn’t be like this if I ever got rid of any of his stuff, but since we knew we wanted more kids (and we really wanted a boy!) I kept everything.  Later on once the boys are grown and I’m getting rid of old toys and clothes I’ll probably get sentimental all over again, or maybe selling the water table will remind me that even though we don’t have it any more, his toys are getting loved by other babies and their mommas are getting to enjoy them the same way I have been able to.

Tuesday Timeout: Little Smiles and Sweet Things

In the last week, Xander has started throwing major fits anytime we’re in the car.  Who can really blame the kid after being in the car for 12 hours a little over a week ago on the way to Phoenix and back?  Then this morning when he was brushing his teeth Paul found that Xander’s little canines are starting to pop through, which explains a LOT of the crankiness we’ve been dealing with lately!

We had our going away party with our play group (Shout out to Barbara for organizing it!! We had a blast and THANK YOU!!) at Chuck E Cheese on Sunday.  There were a few times during the “party” where my little man did NOT feel like partying, all he wanted was to be held and cuddled.  Annoying at the time, but on the way home we were talking about how well the other kids are talking and how big they all are, and it hit me that Xander will not want to be held and cuddled for too much longer.  So I’m realizing that I need to soak all these cuddles up and try and enjoy it–even when my back hurts and all I want to do is catch up with my mommy friends!


I’m so blessed to be his mommy, even when he is cranky! So I’m trying to remind myself–often, that the fits and tantrums won’t last long and in the meantime I need to look for those little smiles and sweet things he does to get me through the bad times.  Especially since it won’t be long before I’m not the #1 in his life and I’m replaced by sports, iguana hunting, or even worse some girl! Haha!

Twenty-two weeks down!

And here’s the weekly bump picture.  Baby #2 can’t decide if I should be bloated or not.  Last week I was super bloated all day long–so I’m really not THAT big.  I feel like this week is a more accurate bump picture.  It’s hard to believe that even if I go past my due date I’m officially halfway through this pregnancy.  Even harder to realize we still haven’t picked out a name for the little guy.  And I have no clue what I want to decorate his room with.  With Xander both of these things were already set in stone–and I’d already purchased several things for his room.  Maybe we’ll get our acts together soon–or maybe he’ll just be “Baby Armijo” until we come up with something we can both agree on. 😉

Traveling with a 17 month old.

Xander did so well during our trip, I wanted to share the activities that I packed and make note of changes I plan on making before our Crazy Cross-Country Trip!

Our activity bin.

Our activity bin.

All the different bags.

All the different bags.

They all fit (with exception of the MagnaDoodle into the square cube, along with the DVD player and Xander’s heartbeat giraffe.  I only brought five bags with us, I have ten planned altogether.  I definitely didn’t need to bring all five, I’m thinking two or three for each leg of the trip will be sufficient, all the others will go in the trunk until the next part.  Also, there is a box of Color Wonder markers that I put in the box, it was easier to keep them all together than to separate them into different bags.  The only time Xander gets to use markers are when they’re Color Wonder.  Those things are amazing, they only color on the special paper!  So, if he decides to color on the car or his car seat, it doesn’t show up!


Bag #1

Bag #1

Bag #1 had a Signing Time DVD, a Color Wonder drawing pad, the buckle toy I made, an old baby wash bottle filled with old school laundry pins (he takes them out and puts in them back in over and over), and then Brown Bear Brown Bear. He played with everything in this bag, with the exception of the buckle toy.

Bag #2

Bag #2

Bag #2 had two little shaker balls, a Signing Time DVD, another board book, a bunch of velcro popsicle sticks, and an old wallet filled with business cards and a pen.  I took the ink out of the pen before we left, so he can’t “click” it over and over, but he could pretend to write.  This bag didn’t really get played with.  He played with the popsicle sticks and the shaker balls, but that was it.  It actually fell underneath Paul’s seat and I didn’t find it until we got back!

Bag #3

Bag #3

Bag #3 was in a Target bag, but it fell apart during the trip.  It consisted of a MagnaDoodle, Cars DVD, the ABC Can, and several toy cars.  Everything was played with in this bag, and the MagnaDoodle was probably the favorite toy of the trip.  He played with it for 45 minutes at one time!  It will definitely be kept out during the cross-country trip!


Bag #4

This was a last-minute bag, but Xander loves EVERYTHING in it.  It has his flash cards, a new board book, Signing Time DVD, an empty tube of deodorant, a crayon roll, a toothbrush, and his hairbrush.  The deodorant kept him SO busy.  He would take the lid off, pretend to put it on, then put the lid back on.  He also will happily “brush his teeth” for quite a while.  I never ended up getting out the flash cards, but I know they would have been a good little activity as well.  He likes to get them out, do the signs, and then put them back in.  For it being last-minute, this bag was a winner.


Bag #5

This bag had his baby laptop, a train puzzle, a Spiderman color pad, the cloth color book I made last year, and a Shrek DVD. We didn’t watch the DVD or get out the colors book, but he played with the other toys.  Before we left I attached velcro to the puzzle and the pieces so that we didn’t lose any of them, and as a bonus it made it easier for Xander to attempt the puzzle–not that he got the pieces in the right spot! The Spiderman pad is an off brand of Crayola Color Wonders, so it works with the markers and I don’t have to worry about a mess being made.

All in all, the bags made the trip go SO much smoother, and I’m glad I put the effort into them.  Whenever we travel next I’ll bring them all, but only keep 3, maybe 4 in the front of the car with us and the rest will be tucked away in the trunk.  Another thing that kept him really busy was his blanket.  On the way home he played “Peek A Boo” with us (he has a mirror so he can see us and vice versa) for about 30 minutes.  Between the bags, the DVDs and of course his Hullabaloo cds I’m pretty confident that the trip to Key West won’t be TOO much of a nightmare.  (Hopefully I didn’t just shoot myself in the foot!) And if it gets too bad, we can always find a place to stop like we did on the way home.  That not only helped Xander, but REALLY helped me.  Even though I’m only halfway into this pregnancy I’m already needing to get out and walk around a little, so those pit stops aren’t just important for my little man!

I hope the travel tips are able to help you out, and if you have any you’d like to share I’d love to hear them!  We could definitely use any advice you have! :)

Thanks for reading,



Tuesday Timeout: Enjoying the little things

First things first, we had a great time in Phoenix visiting family and Paul did amazing at his half-marathon too!  In September he finished the Heartbreak Ridge half-marathon in a little over 2 hours.  He finished the Phoenix half in 1 hour and 49 minutes!  Basically he cut off 11 minutes! I think he’s amazing, especially since he’s either been sick or working for the last month and hasn’t trained for this at all!

Playing with his Aunt Ivy.  He loves her!

Playing with his Aunt Ivy. He loves her!

Anyway, we headed back home a little early yesterday because I had a photography class last night.  The instructor brought up the whole point of Tuesday Timeout during the class: our kids WANT pictures of us.  And taking that extra five seconds to snap a picture of Xander and I–even when I’m not looking so hot–is more than worth it.  When they’re as little as he is, he isn’t going to remember all the things we do.  It’s important, to me anyways, that he has photos to look back on some day and think, “Oh man, my mom was so cool!” Even though he’ll probably look back and think something more along the lines of how weird I was, but hey, the best laid plans…

Perfect little photo op.  Thanks to Paul for setting it up for me. :)

Perfect little photo op. Thanks to Paul for setting it up for me. :)

Yesterday on the way home he did really well.  He never got on his schedule while we were in Phoenix, so he had some major issues napping in the car.  We had to stop at one point just to get him out of the car, and I think stopping every few hours might be the key to success when it comes to driving during the day.  We stopped at an outlet mall and let him play on the rides and then we just walked around for a little while.  After that he was our sweet boy until we were about 15 minutes from the house.  (But to be fair we made several stops before coming home, so I’m blaming those last 15 minutes on us!)

Riding the Pumbaa

Riding the Pumbaa

He had so much fun riding the Pumbaa pig, and was Mr. Cautious the entire time keeping his hands tight around the handle bars.  Made me laugh!  It’s little things like him riding rides and the smile on his face that basically says, “Look how big I am Momma!” that makes me really enjoy being his momma!  I can’t wait to see what comes next, but at the same time wish I had a button to push to slow it all down!

And here's the belly bump at 21 weeks!

And here’s the belly bump at 21 weeks!

Later this week I’ll post on the road trip activities and what I plan on modifying before we go on our Crazy Cross-Country Road-trip in a few weeks.  I really do think we’re a bit insane, especially since we’ll be another month into this pregnancy… It will be nice to see my family though, it’s been almost a year since I’ve seen my sisters and I miss them!