Friday, November 28, 2008

2 year old photo shoot

Since Olivia was born, I decided to start a tradition of taking her to the studio to have her photo taken every year on or close to her birthday. This way, we would have a collection and see how she grew each year.

Last year, when she was a year old, it was so easy. She wasn't shy or afraid and smile for the photographer. The photograher commented this was the easiest shoot of her day.

Well, this year was an entirely different story. It was a disaster. The photographer managed to get only about 4 shots before she cried and did not want to have anything to do with that afterwards. She did not smile for the photos but I have to buy them anyway, right.....:)

Here are the only ones that were taken that came out right.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What I did with my potato harvest

Since my surprise harvest of potatoes a few weeks back, I have been trying to cook dishes that uses potatoes. I came up with these dishes:

1. A crockpot dish with sausage, potatoes and vegetables.

2. Roasted potatoes with chicken in mushroom sauce. I usually make this dish with mash potatoes but roasting is easier.

3. Curry chicken with potatoes.

I have used up all my potatoes except this one that is shaped like a mouse. Perhaps I will put it back into the soil and harvest it next summer. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Best birthday present

Olivia got a bunch of birthday presents for her birthday. She received puzzles, elmo puppet, personalized bracelet, Disney princess doll, building blocks and gift cards.

However, the present that she enjoyed most is the one given by her Aunt D, Uncle M and cousins J & S. What is it? It's a grow with me play kitchen from Fisher Price.

It has 2 levels. One is for toddlers, shown above and the other is for preschooler, a taller version.

The kitchen has a sink, stovetop, oven, microwave, pot, blender, spoon, fork, phone, plate, cup, and cooking utensils. When it converts to the preschooler version, it has a fridge and dishwasher.

So far, she really liked playing with it.

Initially I had planned to buy this kitchen for Olivia either for her birthday or for Hanukkah. What a coincidence that she received this for her birthday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Olivia's 2nd Birthday Bash

We had Olivia's birthday party the day before her actual birthday. It was at 4pm at a local gymnasium. This place provide the activities, pizza, cake and party favours. All we had to do was show up! :)

Right before leaving for the party

On the way to the party

The party started with the kids going on the trampoline and slide. Then they run and jumped on this bouncy stretch of rubber. I think the best was the blow up bounce castle when they jumped and jumped and jumped. Did you noticed that kids like to jump? LOL. Olivia had such a great time, running around and jumping that I hardly got a good photo of her. I think this photo best described how she was feeling.

After an hour of playing, it's time for a snack. We adjourned to the party room for pizza.

Then, it's cake time!! It's Olivia's favorite type of cake, ice cream cake.

The party ended when everyone has had cake and favors were handed out to the children.

I don't think Olivia knew it was her birthday but we were glad she had a swell time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Building an Eco Friendly Dollhouse

As parents, we're always trying to come up with fun and exciting activities to do with the kids. With winter on the way, finding plenty of fun indoor activities to do is important. Building a dollhouse is one such activity that can be both educational and fun at the same time! Win win! Make it even more educational by building an eco-friendly dollhouse. Here are some great tips on building a "green" dollhouse with your kids! Important Note: Make sure that the parents do all the cutting with scissors, knives and box cutters, as not to harm the kids

    1.) Little Boxes: As is customary when building all homes, you need a frame. For your eco-friendly dollhouse, finding your frame is as easy as finding a spare shoe box! While you may choose to go more elaborate with a bigger cardboard box, all you really need is a shoe box! Stack your shoe boxes, one on top of the other and create separate floors, separate rooms or even separate dollhouses! By the time you are done building, you might have a whole neighborhood! It's best to decorate each room first before attaching them all together. My recommendation is to have at least 4 shoeboxes of about the same size grouped side by side (2 and 2). You might even want to stack these inside a larger cardboard box to give the house a sturdier frame. By reusing old shoeboxes, you are also helping the environment by not throwing away cardboard. Add to that, many shoe manufacturers today make their shoeboxes out of recycled materials. Once you have a basic frame, start cut out a front door, windows, and indoor entryways.

    2.) Floor Decor: When decorating the floors on your eco-friendly dollhouse, think about recycling old pieces of fabric, carpet squares, old washcloths and even wrapping paper. If you want to create the look of hardwood floors, glue together some popsicle sticks using an eco-friendly glue or paste. Use additional scraps of fabric or carpeting to make area rugs and runners. You can even use recycled construction paper and create more elaborately designed rugs. Of course, markers work well too for your floor decor.

    3.) Wall Decor: This is the perfect way to use up that old wallpaper that you've been hanging on to forever! Decorating the walls of your dollhouse in old wrapping paper is also a great idea. If you have any spare bits of cork board lying around from an old bulletin board, this would also make a suitable wall covering. Non-toxic paints also work, though make sure you supervise the painting process to minimize the mess. As for wall art, look through your children's magazines and old books for ideas. Cut out little photos and pictures, making frames out of toothpicks or pipe cleaners. Un-cancelled stamps on old letters also make great wall art! Decorating the floors and walls of your dollhouse is the perfect chance to let your child's creativity shine through.

    4.) Furniture Makes The Home: While this might not be true in a real home, when it comes to a dollhouse, it's all about the doll furniture. When thinking about your dollhouse furnishings, it's important to be as resourceful as you can. Make a bed frame out of an empty JELLO box. Dress the bed in old fabric, tissues, and cotton balls for pillows. Use an upside down thimble as a wastebasket, a plastic bottle cap or checkers dishware, and toilet paper rolls as the pipes on an old stove. Make a miniature bathtub out of a small baking tin or a dresser by gluing together a few matchbooks. You can use small beads for the drawer knobs! You can also make your own furniture out of non-toxic clay and cardboard. Also, fill in the holes by borrowing doll house furniture from some of your other dollhouses.

Reuse and recycle - two of the most important things to keep in mind when creating your eco friendly dollhouse. Being resourceful is the key. Use what materials you have lying around the house (as long as they are safe). When it comes to other materials like paints, clays and markers - make sure you opt for the non-toxic variety. Also, as stated earlier, make sure that the parents do all of the necessary cutting. Building a dollhouse is a great indoor activity that will provide hours of entertainment, both during the process and after!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm a China Doll

Let me post about what Olivia dressed up as for Halloween before posting about her b-day party.

I put her in the same Chinese traditional outfit from the Purim Festival, since it still fit her and also because I'm a cheapo mom...hehe. I did not tie up her hair cos it's too short (read: I'm lazy and not good at

Hubby and I took her around our block and got quite a big loot of chocolates and candy. We were only out for maybe a little over an hour. I don't think she knows what's going on yet but hubby let her sucked on a lollipop, right before dinner!!

Getting M&Ms from a neighbor.

Saying "Thank You"

Due to that, she did not go to bed until 10pm! And now, whenever she sees the pumpkin container, she'll say lollipop, lollipop.....GREAT!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday

Our beloved Olivia turned 2 today. Happy 2nd Birthday, baby!! You are our pride and joy.

We had her birthday party yesterday and invited her little friends from daycare and some of our neighbors who has kids her age. I will post about the party later.

By the way, for you mommies out there with young kids, terrible 2s start between 18-24 months and hit BIG time when they turn two. This is what we have been experiencing. It's a difficult age but a fun and fulfilling one as well.