March 31, 2023

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.

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.

March 24, 2023

Learning to Let Go

Over the past 3 years of being a mother, I think it's only been within the last few months that I've learned to let go--not of my little one's hand or heart or that sort of thing, but the little stuff.  The stuff that unfortunately clutters my mind and worries me for no reason, like how I'm going to manage to get laundry done and the house cleaned.

Case in point: this weekend is S's birthday.  As much as I love to decorate and entertain, I knew I wouldn't be up for it this year, with being pregnant and having just arrived home from a major trip to Florida with a nearly 3-year-old in tow.
Just dying to get into that big can of Play Doh
So I just let it go.  It actually wasn't too hard.  A few months back, I told myself that it was ok to have a low-key family party, just a few foods, sloppy homemade cupcakes, pre-made decorations (oh the horror!) and NO PRESSURE!  And I eagerly accepted help from family who offered to bring food and drink.
I even let the birthday boy help with the decorating.  Can't wait to see what other ideas he comes up with in the next few days.
I'm thanking myself right now for not taking on the stress of a complicated party.  Don't get me wrong, there will still be decorations and gift bags, but it's been more relaxed and enjoyable, putting it all together a bit at a time.  So what if my veggie dip is not homemade, or I nixed the hummus.

Moms, I think this is really the best gift we can give ourselves, the gift of letting go. Even if it's just every once in a while.  And of course, this does not refer to letting ourselves go!

March 23, 2023

Easy Crafts for Kids with Family Fun Magazine {Giveaway}

I picked up my first Family Fun magazine at Disney World (ironically, considering where I just came from this week) many years ago and was instantly hooked.  As an art teacher, I was always looking for interesting, fun, and cheap ways to get kids creating and crafting, and Family Fun was filled with great stuff, including kid-friendly recipes.  Plus the Family Fun website is a treasure trove of activities too.

I've been a subscriber for a while now, even prior to having kids, and I look forward to it arriving in the mail each month (psst, you can get 10 issues for 10 bucks via their website!).  I was recently sent a special edition of Family Fun, called Easy Crafts for Kids.
The issue, available on newsstands from now until May, includes 171 Spring projects to make in 30 minutes or less and has some cute ideas for Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and beyond.
These Beneficial Bugs below would be so cute in our garden, and fun to make too.
This issue will definitely remain in my art/craft book collection for a long time because of its many go-to ideas for kids of all ages.

I have an extra copy of Easy Crafts for Kids for one lucky reader! (a $9.99 value)
To Enter
Visit Family Fun and leave a comment here about something that impressed you or that you'd like to make.
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)
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  • If you're a Fan of Katydid and Kid on Facebook leave a comment letting me know
  • If you're a Fan of FamilyFun on Facebook, leave a comment letting me know
  • Follow my blog publicly via Google Friend Connect
  • Follow @FamilyFun 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 copy of Family Fun magazine's Easy Crafts for Kids @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 Sunday April 3rd 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 received a copy of Family Fun's  Easy Crafts for Kids  for review purposes.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: Day 1

The kick-off event for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration began on Thursday evening, with a tour and party at Disney's Wedding Pavilion, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
To be honest, I really didn't know anything about Disney weddings, and where they were held.  The Wedding Pavilion is located on the beach between the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian hotels, and would be a charming place to get married.
Conference attendees were invited to a cocktail party before the family dinner, and when we arrived we picked out our bridal mouse ears to wear.
 There was also a sweet candy bar set up for the picking.
You'd better believe I filled up on that!
Then we headed to the chapel, the main window of which frames a perfect view of Cinderella's castle.

Guest speakers included Carley Roney of The Knot, who spoke about tailoring her site to her online community and the importance of audience.

Also speaking was David Tutera, of My Fair Wedding, which I haven't seen since we don't have cable tv.  However David was an incredibly motivating and engaging speaker, and totally made me want to watch the show.
I love this candid photo of him during another part of the event.
We also got a preview of the new Cinderella gown from the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Collection wedding dresses from Alfred Angelo.
One couple who had gotten married at the Pavilion was treated to a surprise vow renewal, with us as their guests.  They were a cute couple, and even had fireworks and a carriage ride at the end.
After the activities at the Wedding Pavilion, we met our families at the beach nearby for dinner.  As usual, Disney did not fail to disappoint, with a Dixieland band, carnival games, character greetings, a sand artist, and wonderful food.
I met my newest blog friend, Desi of Wee Share, when we happened to sit at the same table.  Our kids and husbands hit it off instantly, and we kept running into each other all week, even in the crowded parks.  I'm hoping Desi will send me some of her photos, especially the shots she got of the kids playing together on the sand.
We also got a bit of face time with Mickey and Minnie, and surprisingly Soren was actually the one who wanted to meet them. 
Minnie very sweetly took his face in her hands and rubbed noses with him. It was adorable!

We ended the night exhausted, but happily so, eager for another day of fun and magic.
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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