March 31, 2023

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Since beginning this blog way back in 2008, I've always looked forward to the big blog hop party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom, The Ultimate Blog Party.  Well the twin mamas Susan and Janice are back and ready to party again, from April 1-8th, and I'm playing along.
Ultimate Blog Party 2011
If you've never been to Katydid and Kid, greetings and salutations!  I'm Kathleen, your hostess, and here's a little about me:
I'm cook, companion, chief entertainment officer, bottom-wiper, and mother to a 3 year-old boy, Soren, and soon to be mother to another child, due in early July (ultrasound results weren't too clear, but we think it's another boy).  I like arts and crafts, having been an art teacher in my previous, pre-motherhood incarnation, and I try my best to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  My blog title was born from a childhood nickname and also my love of "doing" (as in Katy "did" that).
My son's birthday crown, knitted, shrunk, and felted from an old sweater and wool.
I've been at this post as writer and editor of Katydid and Kid since I was pregnant with my first child, and though I've considered throwing in the towel many times, I just can't shake the addictiveness of blogging, which has become a big part of my life and one of my favorite creative outlets.  Admittedly, Katydid and Kid has had its ups and downs, depending on how I choose to spend my precious free time each week.

Because I like giving away stuff here (check out the $300 Graco Stroller you could win from me too!), I have a cute, brand-new laptop bag from Runaway Rabbit up for grabs.
I have the exact same bag, and love how much it holds and how cute it is; I get complements on it all the time.
It's perfect for computer stuff, arts and crafts, and even diapers. I take mine on short visits all the time--it holds a ton of things, and is really comfortable to carry, either cross-body or just on one shoulder.
I'm not asking for anything in return, like following my blog, subscribing, etc. like I usually do with giveaways (though I'd love it if you connected with me somehow, even on Twitter or Facebook).  Just leave a comment and introduce yourself or tell me something fun about you.  And I'll try my hardest to visit each and everyone's blog too! 

I'll pick a winner from the comments on April 9th and mail this out to the winner soon after.  Happy partying!

Oh, and as per the UBP guidelines, here are the prizes that I'd love to win:
$100 towards any purchase of stylish products from Pear Tree Greetings for 2 winners
Provided by: Pear Tree Greetings
$25 Marshall’s Gift Card for 1 winner
Provided by: Jennifer of Eighty MPH Mom
Gift basket full of knitting goodies including pair of needles, two skeins of yarn, knit pumpkin kit, copy of “Stitch ‘n Bitch: Superstar Knitting”. For 1 winner
Provided by: Pure Sugar
$50 Gift Card from either or (winner’s choice) for 1 winner
Provided by: Toronto Teacher Mom
Maine Hand Crafted Birdhouse with top opening feature to easily poor birdseed for 1 winner
Provided by: Kreative Karing

WINNER OF THE BAG: #24, Heather @ Girl Gone Mom.

Paper Chocolate Bunny Craft (Tutorial)

With Easter coming up in less than a month, we've gotten out our plastic egg stash, our baskets, and one lone fuzzy chick whose origins elude me at the moment.  Looking for something to both occupy my 3 year-old and add some spring festivity to our door, we made some paper "chocolate" bunnies using construction paper, glue and chalk.
 My version, definitely too stuffy compared to Soren's
You don't really need much, just some brown paper (even a paper bag will do), items for coloring, either crayons, chalk, or markers, glue and any doo-dads like sequins, foam shapes or paper you have lying about.
First you'll need to draw or trace a bunny shape.  I drew this one, but you could easily search for "bunny coloring pages" or clip art online to find one to trace.
Next, cut out your rabbit.  Depending on their age, the kiddos can cut these out themselves.
I traced my original bunny onto more brown paper to make 2 more identical rabbits.
Let your kids color their rabbits as they wish, with whatever coloring agents you'd like.  I was envisioning something along the lines of these:
Older kids could cut out items like carrots and clothing from construction paper.

Next, put some Elmer's glue on a plate or in a jar and give your child an old brush.  Then let them paint glue on their rabbits, and add the embellishments.
Soren was most taken with the googly eyes.  Wow, these bunnies won't need the beta carotene in carrots for good vision!
We also glued on a little bit of cotton for the tails--which definitely seems like a necessity for this project.
Once dry, we taped them to our front door.  Let's hope the mailman doesn't take a nibble from the ears.
I love the silhouette they create on the inside of the door. Like they're just taking a break on our front porch from all their hopping around.

What Little Boys Are Made Of

Chris and I often joke about how nearly every form of play our son engages in is destructive.  Balloons? Wants to maul and pop them.  Play dough? Pounded and mangled, especially if he ever requests me to make something out of it for him (poor flattened snow man, alive for seconds).  Painting?  Let's just say he has a rough touch; he usually paints so deliberately and roughly that he wears through the paper to the easel (his dad is the same way with drawing).
He's now in his "all eraser period" of drawing, where he draws with chalk only to erase it.  It's not so much about the mark making, but just getting something on the chalk board to be able to eradicate it.

If you've taken an art history class, you might have heard of the artist Robert Rauschenburg, who made some "eraser drawings" at one point in his career.  Chris and I used to crack up at this video clip, from the documentary, Painters Painting, where he talks about erasing a Willem de Kooning drawing (we're dorks, I know, please bear with us).

(you're welcome dear husband, I know you're glad I dug up that clip)
Ah-hem, back to my post.  As much as I thought I knew about boys--snips and snails and puppy dog tails, all that---I really find myself swimming in new territory every time.  Who knew that my son would rather tip over the mini basketball hoop onto the kids in a play area than shoot the balls?
Or crawl out of said play area, a walled in space, finding the only exit underneath the soccer goal nets.  Never mind that all the toys and balls are inside the field--not sure what he wanted to play with beyond that area.
And the poor block table set up for some of the quieter kids--when Soren wandered over, he just knocked down someone's creation, then tossed a few blocks.  It's exhausting and embarrassing for me, but completely delightful for him.  Sigh.

However, I do try to keep on the sunny side, and remind myself how lucky we are to have such an exuberant child, albeit one who .  Despite his behavior, he really is sweet and considerate, being careful of the smaller kids (usually!) and waiting his turn without my cajoling on things like the slide.
Soren's also quite a gentleman when it comes to the ladies.  He wanted to take my friend's daughter on a little tour of the facility (a fitness center, which hosts a tot event each week) when she got there, even though this was his first time there!  It was cute (and I hope my friend doesn't mind that I posted this photo).
Soren did the same thing when we were in Disney World, with my blogger friend Desi's daughter Raileigh, taking her around The Boneyard.  Something about that "Lucky Charms" shirt, I guess.
It melts my heart!  Yet at the same time, it's so confusing!  Oh, boys, how we girls adore and are confounded by you.
P.S. Thanks Desi for sharing the photos!  And, no, I don't dress him in that Lucky Charms shirt exclusively--it was pure coincidence.

March 29, 2023

Less than A Hundred

Thanks to my creepy baby countdown widget hovering over there in my sidebar (------>), I realized that in just under a hundred days, my life will change, yet again, with the birth of baby #2.

Here's what I'm lookin' like lately:
Definitely grounded, not unlike a beached whale (hahaha) but pleasantly happy.  I'm really trying to enjoy this pregnancy, most likely my last (direct questions and queries to The Mister on that one), and thus far it's been pretty smooth sailing.

It's funny how one's belly changes with the days--just the other night, I awoke in bed to feel a head or butt wedged into the side of my belly, as the baby was lying transverse. I was wondering why I looked weird at SoJo's party, well at least I noticed more flabbiness under the upper bulge.

Soren's been excited to meet this baby, and keeps telling me that he's going to help change the baby (ie. bring me diapers and wipes) and play with him (her?) and share his toys. I'm holding him to his word, right here in black and white and in HTML on this blog. :)

We're keeping busy, muddling through yet another cold snap here in Pennsylvania. Let's hope it's the last.  My son is painting thunderstorms (seriously, that's what he told me this picture was), so he's certainly thinking summertime.
Now to you, dear readers: any tips on savoring or preparing for a second pregnancy? I think I must be missing something, since so far it's been pretty easy.  Though the third trimester is rapidly approaching, as I'm now 26 weeks.

Graco Signature Series 3-in-1 Modular Stroller {Giveaway}

Like many first time mothers, one of the hardest things I had to decide upon when I was pregnant with my son was the stroller.  There are so may choices, some fancy and pricey, others bare-bones and, well, on the cheap side.  After long visits to a local baby store, I decided upon a Graco Quatro Tour stroller, and it's never let me down, even though we really abuse that thing, living in town with just one car (I take it everywhere, including our trip to Disney World last year, as seen below).
Not only does my Graco stroller stand up to unbelievable wear-and-tear, but it was quite reasonably priced too--under $200.

Because I like Graco products (we also own a Pack N' Play that we intend to use with our second child, due this summer), I became a member of the Graco Nation a few years back, and as a member, I am pleased to be able to share some info (and a giveaway!) about one of their newest strollers, the Signature Series 3-in-1 Modular Stroller.
Here are some of the specifics:
  • 3 Seating Options:
    1. Infant Car Seat Mode - baby is 7” closer to you* (* compared to a traditional Graco® travel system)
    2. Rear-Facing Stroller Seat Mode - baby faces you
    3. Forward-Facing Stroller Seat Mode - baby faces the world
  • Accepts all Graco® Infant Car Seats - stroller includes car seat adapter to create your own travel system
  • Stroller holds child up to 50 lbs. for years of comfortable strolling
  • One-hand fold closes easily in two steps
  • 3-position, flat reclining seat adjusts in forward and rear facing positions
  • Closeness Handle™ keeps you within arm’s reach of baby
  • Wheel suspension and single front swivel wheels provide superior maneuverability
  • Parent essentials include two parent cup holders, storage basket and storage pocket
  • Convertible 3 or 5-point harness grows with your child
Quite fancy! It also comes in 2 neutral colorways, both in darker colors to hide the inevitable dirt that will get on your stroller.
Though I haven't personally tested it out, this stroller looks extremely maneuverable with it swiveled front wheels.  It also seems to be easy to get a child in and out of it, without having to unlock and raise/lower a bar over the baby when strapping him/her in.
Like my current Graco stroller, the basket underneath looks quite generous in its sizing, and there are plenty of snack and drink holders for both parent and child.  And of course I like how many options there are for using it, from infancy to preschooler.
I'll say it again, I'm a fan of Graco and am pleased to feature this new stroller here at Katydid and Kid.  And the big news?
One very lucky K&K reader will win their own...
Graco Signature Series 3-in1 Modular Stroller ($299)!!!

To Enter
Visit Graco and leave a comment here about your favorite product or your favorite feature about the stroller AND why you'd like to win this.
Extra Entries (you must complete the first mandatory entry before doing the extras.  Also, leave a separate comment for each one):
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link (2 entries)
  • Subscribe to my updates
  • If you're a Fan of Katydid and Kid on Facebook leave a comment letting me know
  • If you're a Fan of Graco Baby on Facebook, leave a comment letting me know
  • Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect
  • Follow @GracoBaby on Twitter (leave your Twitter handle)
  • Follow @katydidandkid and tweet this giveaway, leaving a link to your tweet in the comments. You can tweet once per day (leave a comment each day). You can copy and paste my tweet if you'd like: #Win a @GracoBaby Signature Series 3-in-1 Modular Stroller ($299!) @KatydidandKid #Giveaway
You must do the first entry in order to enter ("I want to win, thanks!" comments will NOT be considered). You will have until Wednesday April 13th at 11:59pmEST to enter. The winner will be chosen via random number generator the next day and notified by email.I'll also post the winners on my blog HERE. If I don't hear back from the winner within 72 hours, I'll pick another.
Disclosure: I was not compensated nor did I receive a sample item to review for this post. I'm just a fan of Graco, and wanted to share this great opportunity with my readers.

March 28, 2023


When people ask me about motherhood and my perception of time in regards to it, my response typically is that the days are so long and seem to last forever, but then when looking back, suddenly, months have flown by. It's weird how such a seemingly contradictory statement can be so true.
This weekend marked Soren's third birthday, and while flipping through some of our photo albums and reflecting on his birth day, I'm still flummoxed that it was an entire 3 years ago.
Wasn't it just a few months back that I opened this can of worms that brought forth many of the highest and lowest experiences of my life?
Despite some of the daily difficulties of parenting a very energetic little boy, I'm really enjoying 3 so far.  It's great to have someone to chat with (though I wish there was a mute button sometimes) and to be able to relate to him more so than in the earlier 2 years. 
His joy is infectious, as are his frustrating moments and tantrums. He certainly lives up to one of the meanings of his name--"severe".   But his curiosity about life, his sweetness and innocence, and his eagerness to try new things are so inspiring to his cynical parents.
As Chris often says, he's our "grist for the mill" in that the highest potential for growth in one's life occurs when things are hard--and I can't say it's been unicorns and rainbows with Soren.

To our little bag of grist, we hope that 3 continues to be a great adventure for you, and we look forward to watching you grown and change.  Be easy on us darling, and Happy Birthday!

Love, Mama and Dada.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: Day 2

Last Friday was the main conference day, where we were treated to a wonderful breakfast at Citricos in the Grand Floridian.  It was so nice to actually sit down for a leisurely meal, chatting with fellow moms and bloggers--so unlike the typical breakfasts in our home filled with complaints and power struggles.

We headed to the conference space, to be greeted by Disney president Meg Crofton, who spoke of Disney wanting to create memories and memorable experiences for guests, rather than thinking of themselves as a hotel/theme park business.
I confess that I wasn't so good at taking notes or tweeting, since I was trying to soak it all in and be present while listening to the talk.  And I confess my photos totally suck, since I was reluctant to try and squeeze my DSLR camera into my luggage and made do with my point-and-shoot.

We also got to hear Matt Jacobson, Head of Marketing for Facebook, give an informal and informative talk about managing your personal and professional accounts, certainly helpful for bloggers.  He stressed that it is great to separate your blog page from your personal page, and not to feel the need to "friend" anyone who asks.  I'm working on organizing my two accounts, and keeping my personal page, well, personal.

He encouraged bloggers to:
  1. Import blog posts onto a Facebook page for your blog
  2. Integrate social plug-ins on Facebook
  3. Advertise to target new moms and build your blog or business 
  4. Use insight tools and analytics to understand your audience (I'm not so good at this part)
We also heard from the inspirational and funny Rene Syler, former host of CBS's Early Show and writer of the blog, Good Enough Mother.  She was such an awesome speaker, charming, insightful, and definitely someone you want to keep an eye out for.

Following another delicious meal, we listened to Chris Brogan, president of Human Business Works, New York Times best-selling author and consultant.  I liked how informal, witty and snarky he was.  You can view some of his talk in the videos below. 
I like that Chris encouraged us to be catalysts, rather than just talking "me, me, me".  Raise each other up, retweet things that really grab you, connect with your audience via social media, and help others find the resources they need.

He also said to limit what is said on your "outposts", like Facebook and Twitter, meaning don't repeat things in all places. It makes readers unfollow you in those places, when you just repeat/post there when they've already seen it elsewhere.  Create some mystery, and let those outposts bring readers back to your home base (ie. your blog).

There were some other pertinent announcements, like the big Star Wars Weekend in May (sooo wish I could get there for that--how fun!).  Check out Minnie Mouse in the Princess Leia outfit below.
And then the big announcement by The Fairy Godmother (yes, THE Fairy Godmother) about which blogger would win the night's stay in Cinderella's castle.
The winner was Andrea, of Savings Lifestyle--and she got to enjoy it without kids!

The day ended with a family dance party held on the track area of the Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show, where we were wined and dined to the sounds of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Disney Junior's newest show.
The venue was positively spectacular, and everyone was having a great time.
There were even coloring pages and crayons for the kids at the tables, and a kids buffet.  Disney really knows how to cater to families.  We adults got to enjoy a variety of salads, bread, scrumptious desserts, and even cut-to-order Prime Rib (didn't try that though).
The music was fun for the kids, lots of ska-like "pirate" music from the show.
That's Sharkey and Bones, the show's hosts, below.  My friend's son is a huge fan, so I kept thinking of him the entire time.  We did get to take home some goodies bags with stickers and such that he loved.  
It seems like the tie-in marketing hasn't yet made it to stores yet, as I searched all over Disney to find something Jake-ified for our friend, with no luck.
As you can see, young and old alike enjoyed the evening, and dancing with Captain Hook and the other Disney characters who came out for the event.
Not bad for ending the 2nd day of the conference, bellies full, swashbuckling music still in our brains.
Disclosure: I paid a fee to attend the conference. Hotel accommodations during the conference were included in the fee, as were Park tickets,  selected meals and freebies in our conference totes.  All opinions are my own.
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