30 Nov 2010



Sometimes we correct Jayce's pronunciation or grammar, but some words we just leave alone, because we know that pretty soon he'll figure it out for himself and they'll be gone.

Jayce usually calls bananas "bean-as." This morning he called a banana a "ban-a," and I was sad.

So, in light of the constantly evolving language of a 2 year old, I thought I'd record a few of our favorites here before they're gone, and we forget how much they made us smile.

Marker-wave, instead of Microwave.

Pep-peans, instead of Pepperonis.

He subsitutes 'a' in sentences for the parts of the sentence that he doesn't quite get yet.

"A doin, Dad?" for "What are you doing, Dad?"

"Ay go." for "Here you go." He says this one a lot.

He also says, "I sure do" a lot. He usually uses it correctly, which cracks me up, but yesterday I said, "Okay, let's go outside for a bit." and he said "I sure do." This cracked me up too.

It figures that when I was thinking about this post I had a dozen things to record, but now that I'm typing I can only remember a few. Maybe I'll add to it later.

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26 Nov 2010

Shutterfly Love

I'm a bit fan of Shutterfly.  I've been using it for about 6 years now and it has never let me down.

When we took our trip to Israel and Jordan over 5 years ago, I took advantage of their inexpensive print packages to order the 200+ photos that I was eager to show off.


When we lived abroad I took full advantage of Shutterfly's photo sharing website, particularly after each new European vacation, and again after we found out that we were pregnant and wanted to share ultrasound and belly pictures.


After Jayce was born I've used Shutterfly to make a "Grandparents Calendar" every year, so that Jayce's grandparents have some sweet pictures of the little guy each month.


When Jayce reached about 6 months old I realized that I could never keep up with the scrap booking goals that I had set for myself, and turned to Shutterfly's photo books to help record our memories.  I even made one for him with photos of all of his different family members to help learn their names, faces and eventually the spelling of their names.


And now it's that time of the year where I've been back and forth on their site for another reason, Christmas cards!!!  They always have such fun and cute options and I usually have several different varieties saved before I finally decide on one and order it. This year is no exception.  I just love the cute simplicity of this one.


Shutterfly has a great deal going on now for bloggers where you can get 50 Christmas cards for free!  Interested?  Check it out here.  It didn't take much convincing for me, and my family is already giving me a hard time about my indecisiveness.  I guess it's a good problem to have when there are lots of cute photos and lots of cute cards to choose from.  Stay tuned for my final decision.



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Homemade Felt Pizza Shop

This week on Lemon Tree Creations we're posting some of our gift ideas. I made this little pizza shop for Jayce that I love, and I thought I'd share it here as well.


Jayce just loves pizza. (It's a good thing too, because pizza nights have been a tradition at our house since the old days when we they were pizza and Arrested Development nights.) Anyway, this summer we found Jayce a little kitchen with a bin full of dishes at a yard sale, and the first thing that he decided to make and serve to us all was pizza. Ever since then I've had in my mind that I need to make him a little pizza shop, and I finally did.

First off, I bought a plain red kid's apron at JoAnn's and decorated it with Silhouette's heat transfer material. Now he is officially the pizza shop chef.


I followed this tutorial for making a Lily Bean felt pizza. The only thing that I did differently was make my toppings a single layer that did not need to be sewed. (I tried to do it the way that she instructs, but I just couldn't pull off sewing little circles. I decided to let myself off the hook.)


Next I made him some uncooked pizza dough. I traced a salad plate (8 inches in diameter) onto the felt with a sharpie to get a nice circle, and then sewed around the line. I left a 3 inch strip open, trimmed the fabric around the circle, turned it inside out and used fabric glue to glue the opening shut. I would DEFINITELY recommend sewing before cutting out the circle. I tried it both ways and it's much easier to guide the fabric through the sewing machine when you have some excess to hold onto.



Next I got some mozzarella-colored yarn and made some shredded cheese.



I cut two 6 inch circles out of red felt. These would be the sauce. I also picked up 2 of these tins, perfect for my little chef to cook his pizza in! (I found these at the first thrift store that I went to, so just keep your eye out if you might make a little pizza shop someday. There are still plenty of days before Christmas!)


Next up was the pizza toppings. I went pretty basic: pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. I found a small cupcake pan at the thrift store that was perfect for housing the toppings and made them easily accessible to the chef.


I had a few empty spice containers which quickly became pizza shop spice containers! I simply peeled off the old labels, made a few very basic labels on my computer, and printed them onto 2 inch by 4 inch shipping labels. It was the perfect fit. I filled the olives jar with some large wooden beads that I had on hand, and the spices jar will be filled with some small beads and the top taped shut. Just enough to make a fun rattling sound when when the chef is spicing up his pizza.



The final touch? A pizza box!!


No, I did not make this, but I'm sure that if you tell the pizza person at the drive through window that your kid loves to play pizza shop, and could you please have an empty pizza box for him to play with, that he'll oblige as easily as ours did. He will likely oblige more quickly than your husband will when you send him out for pizza and explain this scenario to him right as he's going out the door. I'm just saying.


There you have it! A fun little pizza shop! Hopefully I can wait until Christmas to let Jayce play with it.

We've been out of town, but will be home soon and I'll be back to posting more than once every 2 weeks. Hopefully.

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15 Nov 2010

Dancing to the Moon Song


I almost always have the sound turned off on my computer. I don't really watch videos or anything, and since I do most of my "computer stuff" while Jayce is asleep and the house is quiet, it always really startles me when am on a web site or blog that I read often and discover that a playlist is embedded somewhere and some song is suddenly blaring from my computer. I don't normally welcome these instances, other than one that happened recently.

One morning a few months ago Jayce was playing in the other room and I went to the gorgeous blog Dreamy Whites. After I sat on it for a few seconds a song started up and I quickly muted the computer. Jayce came running over and said, "Song Mom, song!!" so I un-muted it and Jayce started doing a little dance to the music. I watched him with an amused smile for a second, and then scooped him up and danced around the kitchen with him, both of us giggling.

The song is John Mayer's "Half of My Heart" with Taylor Swift, although Jayce has affectionately named it, "The Moon Song." (I really don't know why.)

A few days later I was checking something on the computer and Jayce ran over and declared, "Song Mom, dance dance!" So I went back to Dreamy Whites, picked up Jayce and started dancing. After this, it became "a thing." We danced to this song at least once a day for a few weeks. I'd scoop him up, he'd put his chin on my shoulder and instruct me to dance slow, and we would sway around the kitchen. After a few seconds of this he'd instruct me to dance fast, and I would spin us both around and around. Then we'd dance slow again, while his giggling calmed down and my dizziness subsided a bit, before he'd instruct me to dance fast. Each session of "dancing fast" would get faster and faster, until he eventually had his head and shoulders thrown back giggling and giggling. Luckily he's still too young to see when I'm overcome by the sweetness of the moment and my eyes are full of tears. This little ritual has subsided a bit in the last few weeks, but can still be quickly brought to life if I suggest to him that we dance to the Moon Song.

When we were getting our photos done a few months ago, I said to him at one point, "Should we show Sarah how we dance?" and she took the above picture. It was the first image that I bought. To anyone else it looks like a picture of us laughing, but all that I see is us dancing.

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8 Nov 2010

Sweet Birthday Songs

When Chris and Jayce sang happy birthday to me last week, I was surprised that Jayce knew the words and tempo, he was really good at it! Actually, it was pretty stinkin' adorable, especially given how cute any songs are out of kids this age. So I got him to sing to me again on camera. I have 2 versions, a "Happy To You" and a "Happy Birthday Mo-om." They are both perfect.

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2 Nov 2010

Trick or Treating

I am unhappy to admit that I didn't really get a good picture of Jayce in his adorable and hilarious hamburger costume!  But some friends came over to trick or treat with us and Jayce was just too excited to run around with their little boy to stand still and let me snap a few shots. Oh well, these will do for now.


Jayce was a little expert trick or treater!  He would say a little slowly and timidly, "trick or tre-at," but he got it out at each door along with a thank you, which I was happy with.


Last year there weren't that many people on our street participating in trick or treating, but this year almost everyone was.  It took us an hour just to do our street, and by the time we got back to our house the buckets were full and it was cold outside, so we headed in.


Jayce handed out candy to all of the kids who came to our house as well.  As soon as the doorbell rang, he would run for the door, grab the bowl, and then hand out 1 piece of candy to each kid.  He was so deliberate about it, it was really sweet.


He was excited to light the candles in our pumpkins at home, and insisted on touching the pumpkins at every house that we went to for candy when we were out.


In keeping with our tradition from the past few years, we took cookies up to Chris' class the day before Halloween with Jayce in his costume.  Since Jayce doesn't have a class to share Halloween treats with, we share them with his dad's class.


Last year Jayce handed the cookies out to each student, but this year the icing wasn't quite set and I was a little worried about how messy the situation might get.  So instead the students lined up, filed in front of Jayce and he would tell them which cookie they should get.  Seriously.  They would say, "Which one should I take Jayce?" and he would point, and say "This one. Here. That one."  It was pretty funny and he was really pleased with his power.


We also got a surprise Halloween night when a group of students showed up on our doorstep around 9:30.  They were all dressed up and apparently just "visiting" the homes of some of the professors to wish them a happy halloween.  One of the students was dressed up fairly accurately as one of Chris' colleagues, which sent Chris into uproarious laughter, which woke up Jayce.  They told us his was the best reaction of the night.  I'm just glad that they knocked on the door to say hi instead of toilet papering the house!


Jayce also got to go trick or treating at the school, since they have an open dorm trick or treat night.  So now we have a house full of candy and a little trick or treating hamburger pro.



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1 Nov 2010

We arrived home from the pumpkin patch last weekend and got started carving.


Chris typically hates this sort of thing, but it was the first year where Jayce could really participate and had some sense of what was going on, and I don't think he wanted to miss out on the fun.


Jayce dictated our pumpkins, (silly and happy), and it didn't take us long to get them onto the porch.


Jayce loved this!  He kept talking about how the pumpkins were glowing all night long.




Aside from the pumpkins, Jayce and I did a little bit more fall decorating around the house.  We went on a few different field trips to parks where the leaves were changing, gathered up the pretty colored leaves and stomped on the dry ones.


When we got home, I picked the most colorful, dipped them in wax, and strung them up a few places in the house just to kick up the fall-ness a little bit.


This was an easy and cheap decoration.





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