Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homework (the fun kind)

My new stamp club started in Janaury, and I am so glad that I joined. I found a card makers group through Meet Up and attended a few classes in the fall. The stamp club gives me a dedicated time to stamp and craft each month. I was in a stamp club for over two years in San Antonio, which I really enjoyed. (If you are looking for a Stampin' Up Demonstrator, I can recommend Candy in San Antonio or Pam and Bethani here in the Bay Area of California.)

We received homework at my first stamp club meeting, but it is the fun kind of homework. I am happy to have a craft space in our current house. Our homework was to use this Mojo Monday sketch to create a card. I pulled out some of my retired Stampin' Up supplies that I had not used in a while and am happy with the results.

I used May Flaum's photography tips to get better pictures of the card. I find it challenging to capture good photos of my cards and scrapbook pages.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hidden Villa

The weather on Saturday was beautiful, so it was a good day for us to check out Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. I learned about Hidden Villa in January from Bay Area Kid Fun. Before heading out to the farm, we stopped for Vietnamese sandwiches at Lee's Sandwiches, which started in San Jose and has made it's way to Houston and Dallas.

First we visited the animals, including some babies on the farm.

Then we went for one of the shorter hikes in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The best line of the hike was Alex saying, "Being in the mountains makes me crazy."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

We did little things to celebrate Valentine's Day last Thursday. Alex made friendship cards for his classmates. I packed a heart shaped cheese sandwich in his lunch box. I bought some sandwich cutters on Amazon a while ago, and we mainly used the dinosaur one. I figure that I only have a short window to pack heart shaped sandwiches on my son's lunch before it becomes uncool.

I wanted to share one of the cards that I made for Valentine's Day. I really like the woodgrain embossing folder that I bought through my stamp club that begun last month.

Supplies used:
From Stampin' Up!:
Woodgrain embossing folder
Stamp (retired)
Riding Hood Red & Chocolate Chip ink
Very Vanilla card stock
Chocolate Chip satin ribbon (retired)
Oval punch

From Martha Stewart Crafts:
Heart punch

Other card stock:
Bazzill Swiss Dots in red & Kraft

Saturday, February 9, 2013


We would have preferred a different outcome to the Superbowl, but we still had a fun last weekend watching the game. We prepared Alex to cheer on the 49ers.

John's 49ers jersey came in the Friday before the big game. I had been looking into a jersey for him for over a year, but the timing had not worked out. I am glad that his jersey came in time to wear on Sunday.

I found a recipe online that looked good, so John made jalapeno poppers for the game. You could smell them cooking outside, and we set off the smoke alarm for the first time in this house. But they tasted great!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Potty Training

I have not really blogged about potty training Alex even though it has been on my mind for the past year. Three year olds are supposed to be potty trained, right? Boys may take longer, but I assumed that some sort of switch would turn on around the time Alex turned three. When we moved to Cupertino, I considered joining the local YMCA until I found out that Alex would be in the infant/toddler room for their child care while I worked out unless he was potty trained. One of the preschool/daycare options that I visited would have kept him with the younger kids until he was potty trained. As a parent of the three year old, potty training can become a big deal.

When I discussed this with Alex's new pediatrician, she said that only about half of kids are potty trained right at age three. She has not been concerned about the timing of Alex's potty training and gave lots of helpful tips. The preschool/daycare that we chose does not hold back kids based on potty training, and Alex's teachers have been very helpful in the process. I kept looking for signs that Alex would be ready to potty train. Some kids want to be clean, but Alex does not care about that. He likes to play in the dirt and would sit in a soiled diaper or pull-up. We tried sticker charts, rewards, and encouragement with little progress, but Alex had also been through a lot of changes in the past year due to our moves.

As we started the new year and Alex approached age four, I went back to the pediatrician. Again, she shared good advice but was not concerned. We started a new approach with the countdown of Alex's last big box of pull-ups. We started a new sticker chart. There was still only a little progress until the end of Janaury. One Sunday, I reminded Alex that he has a bunch of underwear. We moved it to its own special drawer in his closet. (My parents actually bought those plastic drawers at the beginning of college for my first dorm room.) Alex became really interested in wearing his superhero underwear. He's had minimal accidents during the past week and a half and now prefers to wear underwear over pull-ups. He still needs reminding and gets distracted, but he is doing a great job!

I took this photo a year ago, and called Alex "Captain Underpants" when he put the underwear on his head. He still thinks that this photo is funny, but I expect that may change in about ten years.