Color and Number Matching Eggs

Yesterday I was consumed by all things plastic and inexpensive at Walmart-- from instruments to dress up, their Easter department is awesome!!  

image.jpg

I picked up two sets of large plastic eggs for $0.88 each, grabbed a sharpie (now hidden from grace!) and whipped up this super simple busy game for toddlers that encouraged hand and eye coordination to put the eggs together- as well as color and number matching! I can't wait to share with Grace when she gets up from her nap!! 

 

image.jpg

Easter with Toddlers- Crafts and Treats

 

Happy March! While I have yet to really explore St. Patricks Day activities with the kiddos, this morning I felt compelled to pin a few fun activities and treats to get the wee ones excited for the Easter Bunny coming to town at the end of the month! While these treats and activities don't relay any reminder of what the holiday is truly about and Jesus' resurrection, they are fun and simple and easy to do to create fun decorations and treat for your home and little ones!

Check out my board here! https://www.pinterest.com/kkennedydc/a-toddler-easter/?fb_ref=195836421204870723%3A1e677759dea35db6ffdc

Crafting on Bedrest: Busy Bag Mr. Potato Head kits for Toddler Travel

"Have baby, will travel" has been our motto since Grace was born. Within three weeks of birth she had gone on two 4+ hour roadtrips to visit great grandparents and was on her first cross-country plane ride at 6 weeks - 15 flights by age 1. Under age 1 is easy, but as we know, curious toddlers need distractions, which initially led me to a search for busy bags and quiet books.

I was absolutely delighted when one of the mom's from my Mother's Together group invited me to participate in a "Busy Bag Exchange" where each mom makes a dozen of one type of busy bag, and then goes home with a dozen new bags to keep her toddler distracted throughout the upcoming holiday travel season. From all the research I had done, I immediately knew I wanted to make the Mr. Potato Head velcro games as my project- providing children an opportunity to quietly and creatively dress their own flat Mr. Potato Head with a variety of hats, shoes, eyes, and other parts in all different colors, shapes, and sizes. 

When I ended up in the hospital, Sarah asked if I still wanted to participate, offering to help in any and every imaginable way (the sweetest!). Fortunately I figured I had this covered as I would have plenty of time to tackle the dozen MPH Bags. I debated cutting and sewing out of felt, but finally decided on just doing printed and laminated (waterproof! you never know what will happen with a carton of milk on a tray table during a turbulent flight!) I ordered up a laminator and got to work! (My nurses all think I may be the first person to ever have a laminator sent to a hospital room... hmmm)

After scouring the web, I landed on Jayme Carlton's awesome templates which were easy to just print off on cardstock, cut and laminate. Using both the main template and the additional accessories template  provided more variety for the kids' imaginations.

image.jpg

Give it a try!

Materials:

Directions:

1. Download the Files from Jayme Carleton's Website here and print on cardstock

2. Laminate sheets 

3. Cut all printed parts out and organize

4. Add rough side of velcro dots to potato where a hat, eyes, hands/ears, nose, mouth and shoes go. All individual parts should have the soft side of the velcro dots (less rough when your child is putting her hand in the bag).

5. Assemble bags and give away!!! 


I am hoping to do something similar on a snowman for the holidays, could also do a tree and ornaments!



Halloween Crafting with kits from the Paper Source

image.jpg

 

On Day 12 of Camp Bedrest, while celebrating our 26 week milestone, I decided to tackle some craft kits that my girlfriends had spoiled me with. While the nurses laugh because my room is overflowing with crafting supplies, yarn, beads, etc. - these kits from Paper Source worked out especially well in comparison to other projects because they were self contained, easy to do on the lap desk, and I could do in a semi reclined position. (hint hint: I know a few of you reading the blog have been asking for ideas for other friends around the world-- these are good ones!)

 

 

image.jpg

I loved making the scarecrows because I was able to add a little creativity of my own, trying new hay-hairstyles and coming up with ideas for their outfits. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the extra paper provided to really make the project your own, and I feel like these are cute little additions to my room for now, or a friends' garden or something. When Grace came to visit she loved the mini-puppet show I was able to put on for her. All-in-all the project probably took about 30 - 45 minutes and was a great way to pass the time. In addition to the kit itself, you also need to have a pair of scissors and glue stick on hand, and any other scraps to decorate if desired. Would highly recommend as a family activity for those with kids ages 3 and up. ($14.95, makes six; The Paper Source)

image.jpg

 

Ashley brought over these Halloween Wreath kit at the absolute perfect time on Saturday - I had just moved rooms and was excited to have some help decorating it for Halloween this week! (Grant also brought over a bucket of candy and tombstones to decorate the entry portion and treat the nurses- thank goodness I am not allowed out of bed or I would eat it all!)

I spent my Sunday morning catching up on phone calls with friends while punching out the flower shapes and building the dimension. Super easy to do, the wreath was a great distraction and I absolutely loved building the flowers out and arranging on the wreath. This project is completely completely self contained, you don't need a think other than the kit, which makes it great also if you are traveling. I was so delighted making it, and even more so now having it hang in my room to welcome visitors!! A quick check on their website also showed the Paper Source has similar kits for every occasion from Christmas to Baby Showers- be sure to check them out! (On Sale now but regularly $19.99, Paper Source)

Happy Crafting!

Camp Bedrest: Rebranding the Experience

Despite being attached to a bed, flat on my back 24 hours a day, I am not sleeping much. That said, around 2am it dawned on my always-on marketing brain that to stay positive the next few weeks, I need to re-brand this situation. During my last pregnancy, I oversaw an extremely large ($$$$) rebranding of my former company after our acquisition, and to be frank, I've been missing that challenge. 

So welcome to the "official" unveiling of, Camp Bedrest!

Admittedly this logo needs some work!

Admittedly this logo needs some work!

We have made it to Day 10 of Camp Bedrest, which comes with some phenomenal milestones- an increase in viability by 20% and we have cut down a potential NICU stay by an entire month! Sunday we will celebrate reaching 26 weeks and my body is hanging in here at stable condition, with only minor braxton hicks contractions, no onset of labor but still 2cms dilated (we assume, could be more dilated but not doing a physical exam unless anything changes or until week 28).

So why "Camp"? Well I feel like camp is something you may be hesitant to go to at first, it is unknown and scary and for a daunting amount of time... but eventually, you can look back and laugh and find some good memories of the time spent and lessons learned. Also, "hospitalized bedrest" just sounds sterile, boring and completely depressing. Camp can be fun (though I admit this is far from glamping!) but also a time of "survival" - which is where I feel I am at right now. It occurred to me there are so many similarities to hospital bedrest and being sent away to summer camp against your will as a child (I actually loved Camp Campbell of the Redwoods, though):

  • All of a sudden I have people telling me what to do and when to do it
  • Arts & Crafts are a main attraction
  • Plenty of time to read
  • The food is terrible but gets the job done and all meals provided for me
  • Miss family and friends like mad, but everyone writes to keep in touch
  • The bunk really isn't all that comfortable, but its "mine"
  • You are forced to make new friends- with people who also don't really want to be here (the nurses have been exceptional)
  • It is only temporary

So while one could point out all of the differences (I haven't been outside or even left the confines of my room yet, so I definitely haven't gone on any hikes... and unfortunately no smores), I am choosing to consider this an opportunity to explore my daily activity list! (have I mentioned I love activities?!)

  • Knit, Crochet and Needlepoint (amazing friends have sent me kits to learn all three!)
  • Read: My hospital library is overflowing with books from family and friends, probably almost 2 dozen titles to tackle, averaging a book a day!
  • Meditate: I've been spending 30-45 minutes each evening unwinding and doing visualizations/meditations I have found online, helps put the harder days in perspective and prepare me for the battles to come
  • Color: adult coloring books are seriously worth all the hype!
  • Facetime or catch up with friends: the nurses laugh because I am always on Facetime chatting with friends & their babies or have a stream of visitors - I recognize things get busy and likely this will settle down a bunch in the coming weeks but it has been amazing to pass time these past 10 days
  • Read letters from friends and family: my walls are decorated with quotes and notes of inspiration - when I feel a waterfall of tears coming, I just read and re-read - everyone has a story, I am so honored so many of you have shared yours
  • Pray - more than ever, taking time for prayer has become a staple to get through each day
  • Spanish: I've been practicing my very very basic Spanish. I have little hope that it will really improve all that greatly as I have taken Spanish lessons since 5th grade with little success, but I hope to at least be able to read Graceface some children's stories en espanol without completely botching the language
  • Physical Therapy: this is really un-exciting as it essentially includes rolling my ankles and breathing into a peak-flow meter. But checking off an activity gives me some sense of accomplishment
  • Board games: I may be bed bound, but I am still competitive
  • spa- my friend Cathryn suggested getting face masks and doing some pampering- a wise suggestion- my skin is going to be glowing by the time I get out of here! 

So ya, these are not exactly your typical camp activities, but they are keeping me busy!**

Hope you and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful weekend! Please please please be updating your instagram and facebook feeds with photos- I love living vicariously through your adventures and seeing your smiling faces! Hope to see some pumpkin patch pics of the little ones!

xo,

KKA, Day 10

** note - please please please do not ask me "so what do you do all day" - nothing stresses me out more than feeling like I have to prove my time is being well spent while on this emotional rollercoaster - I am doing my best to fill these days, and honestly won't be writing the next great American novel even though you may think I have the time. Somehow, especially with all of my awesome visitors, the days are slipping by more quickly than anticipated - and my baby girl is cookin! Kthanksbye

 

 

Bedrest Craft Review: Martha Stewart's Pinwheels

Time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy  

Cost: $5.99 on sale at Amazon.com

Apologies for the screen shot, blogging from my phone right now! http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Stewart-Crafts-Festive-Pinwheel/dp/B0052UO6W6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445349897&sr=8-1&keywords=pinwheel+martha+stewart

Apologies for the screen shot, blogging from my phone right now! http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Stewart-Crafts-Festive-Pinwheel/dp/B0052UO6W6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445349897&sr=8-1&keywords=pinwheel+martha+stewart

An easy time killer, I bought this pinwheel set from Amazon for $5.99 with free same day delivery so I would have something handmade to give my friend's children as they come to visit. A hospital can be very very scary for a little one, so figured it may bring distraction at the very least. Little L & B loved learning to blow on the pinwheels and watch them spin, while not much, something entertaining for 30 seconds at least-- and loved seeing a photo of them in their Garden when they got home!

image.jpg

The kit (makes six) is easy to use, nice end result, but doesn't require much creativity. For a quick $6 craft that was beyond simple to do from bed, well worth it- but I wasn't wowed by the quality of the kit (the plastic washers were barely useable).  

Overall, they turned it nice and brighten my room until I have a chance to hand them out!  

 

image.jpg

Crafting on Bedrest: Lollipop Ghosts for the Nurses

My whole life I have always had such great respect for nurses- they truly are the lifeline for patients everywhere. So many brilliant and dedicated friends and family members have been on the front lines of taking care of others, but these past few days have given me even greater perspective for all they do.  

In complete honesty, I woke up today in a rage of tears unlike I've ever faced. Perhaps coupled by the pregnancy hormones, I felt defeated and "stuck". With Grant out of town and the baby being a handful for my parents, I was pretty lonely and feeling helpless. My nurse Deborah came right in and did more than check up on my vitals, she befriended me- acknowledging that while I may be a patient she is taking care of physically, I'm also a terrified woman who is facing a roller coaster of emotions. Excited that we reached the 25 week milestone today (hooray!) but overwhelmed that we still have 15 more weeks of pregnancy to hit the 40 mark. That is a long long time. 

If you know me well, you know I am also terrible at asking for help and sitting still, so being so dependent on these strangers has been a challenge. That said, the kindness each nurse bestows upon me makes the loneliness far more bearable. I can't do all that much to thank them, but with some basics on hand, I figured I could at least surprise them with a little sweet treat to brighten their day (and long long shifts) as they brighten mine! 

image.jpg

Ghost Tootsie Pops

 a childhood favorite, my mom has made these every year! Simple and quick, was able to make a nice batch in about twenty minutes from the comfort of my hospital bed! They're not much, but it is something! 

 

Materials 

  • white paper napkins (single ply works best. I only had double in hand but pulled them apart) 
  • tootsie pops
  • fine tip black felt marker
  • pipe cleaners or ribbons

 

  1. cover each tootsie pop with the napkin
  2. secure with ribbon or pipe cleaner
  3. draw a scary ghost face
  4. enjoy!!