Today

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Today. Oh today. I just want to bottle you up and have this feeling to take a sip of whenever I need it. Five hours alone with Bennie this morning (she got up at five, Tuesday at 10:30!). Then a nap for her and cookie making with Tuesday. She ran after the mailman barefoot to take him one warm from the oven.

My mom popped over in the middle of her busy day. I happened to have the door open when my neighbor came home from work. She had a rough day. Come over I yelled across the street, we have cookies! So she did, with wine. We chatted a bit. Tuesday packed up some cookies for the guy mowing the lawn.

It poured all day, big fat lovely rain. We stayed cozy and I said a rare yes to Bob the Builder. I started getting things organized in the storage room, where I’d thrown stuff all winter. Dinner was left overs and easy. Then we came upstairs and I asked Tuesday to read to Bennie so I could put away a weeks worth of laundry. And she took her job so seriously. Making up whatever she couldn’t remember.

Bj came upstairs then and Bennet started dancing to some music. It took me a moment to realize it was coming from my phone… My locked phone. That’s when I realized she could change the sound played for my timer and alarms without getting the phone unlocked. And I laughed when I figured out that’s why Banana Phone started playing in the library earlier in the week. Silly Bennet.

Bj read Superfudge to Tuesday so I put Bennet down (a rare event). She was so snuggly I didn’t want to lay her in her crib after she drifted off to sleep in my arms. So I held her.

And wrote this.

  • Marin - I love this post!April 18, 2014 – 1:36 amReplyCancel

  • Julia - Oh Amber, such a special day! It’s so nice to have days like this. Charlotte fell asleep on the sofa a few nights ago, and I found myself not wanting to not put her down after I carried her to bed… she is still my baby!April 18, 2014 – 7:21 amReplyCancel

    • Amber - Oh I know! When they are sleeping they seem especially perfect!April 18, 2014 – 11:27 amReplyCancel

  • mary m - perfect.April 18, 2014 – 8:29 amReplyCancel

  • Ceara - Good thing you blogged about it so you can relive this day forever and always. Moments like these you gotta bottle up!April 18, 2014 – 11:19 amReplyCancel

  • jessica - That is an awesome chair you have got there! I would love to have one just like it!April 18, 2014 – 6:50 pmReplyCancel

Happy Days

I am loving the 100happydays project! I decided to do a photo to represent a happy moment for Bennie, Tuesday and I.

ambershappydays

My happy moments: 1.Tuesday singing in the car 2. family dance party 3. Mexican food 4. roses for our anniversary 5. Bj brought me home a Pinterest shirt 6. Breakfast pies in the freezer (and eggs from a friend!) 7. site of a three hour nap (trying to recover from a bad cold) 8. spring is here! 9. squeezing in a tiny bit of scraping

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Tuesday’s happy moments: 1. splashing in rain puddles 2. at the RC track with papa 3. checking out at Goodwill 4. legos 5. Forest School 6. Our daisy meetings are at a sustainable community and this night we toured the greenhouse 7. Pjs in the car on the way to grandma and grandpa’s house 8. getting the garden beds cleaned out 9. request for lunch, granted

bennieshappydays

Bennie’s happy moments: 1. riding the bear at the book store 2. toddler antics 3. always happy swinging 4. dancing in the aisles at the pizza place 5. walking through the forest 6. peek-a-boo 7. first cutting and gluing, she loved it 8. selfies! 9. bedtime dancing

This project was super easy some days (every thing is great! no one is breaking down!) and hard others (vomit! coughing! screaming!). I thought it was so good to focus on the happy moments and Tuesday is a big fan too. Here’s to happiness!!

  • Julie - So fun to share these happy moments with your family!April 8, 2014 – 7:04 amReplyCancel

  • mary m - love seeing them on instagram, and even better to see them all laid out :) April 8, 2014 – 8:15 amReplyCancel

  • Mary Lou - Really well done. Thanks for sharing!April 8, 2014 – 9:24 amReplyCancel

  • Julia - I love this project! I look forward to seeing your happy photos each day.April 8, 2014 – 1:55 pmReplyCancel

Project Life style scrapbooking in a smaller space

When I scrapbook I tend to work in little bits here in there. Lets be honest, little bits is how I get most of my crafting time done. I do get bigger chunks, but it seems like I have to be ready to drop it at a moment (baby wakes up, pot is about to boil over, phone rings, etc.).  So I have to have my projects in a place I can get to them, but one that little fingers won’t find so tempting or easy to get to. Project Life is one of those things that I have out a lot. It lends itself well to doing little bits at a time. Printing the photos (I do this at home), pulling out cards, dressing them up with stickers, journaling… I rarely do all of that in one sitting. But one thing that was driving me crazy was having a giant 12×12 scrapbook open on my desk. It takes up pretty much the whole working area. Plus it’s awkward and slick to be working on top of the page protectors. When I had everything laid out then I had to lift up one side of the plastic to get my photos in. Like I said, annoying.

It’s huge! The book measures 33 x 13.75 inches open! I came up with a solution that is so easy! I saw on Marcy Penner’s blog when she was doing this size Project Life that she had something similar, I caught a glimpse of it in one of her videos but never found more info out about it.

I made my simply by laying a page protector over a sheet of 12×12 white cardstock (the plastic is bigger than the paper, just make sure it is hanging out evenly). I took a small awl and poked a hole in the intersections of the individual pockets (it does not damage the page protectors).

Then I simply took a ruler and a sharpie and connected the dots. It’s important to note that the outside “pockets” will be too small. That doesn’t really matter as this is more of a visual guide, than an exact thing. You can see in the photos that the pictures “hang off” the edge of the paper. It doesn’t bother me enough to search out bigger paper.

I printed out Becky Higgin’s handy (and free) reference sheet. Under each style I stared it if I owned some and put in pencil how many. If I’ve made a template for the style I circle the star.

Here is a shot of it in action. In this case I’m still working on printing out my photos and filling in with cards. Once I’ve decided what will go in all the pockets I get out the album and fill it up!

I can’t tell you how much better I love this system. Having the project be totally flat means I can put stuff on top of it if I need to (like a tray from another craft project). I’m sure piling up projects in process is not for everyone, but I like the option of getting things up on one of the highest surfaces in my house (Bennie has sticky fingers!). I’ve added lots of photos to show how to do it, but really it’s a super easy and quick system to implement. If having the album out is driving you nuts try this!

And let me know if you would be interested in a general overview of how I put my weekly spreads together. I really have it down so they are super quick, but can be more embellished if I feel like it.

  • mary m - That’s a great idea! YOu forget how big the album is totally spread out…April 2, 2014 – 11:17 amReplyCancel

Easy, practically free dolly bike seat

dolly bike seat for glide bike

(Tuesday biked the 2.5 mile round trip to the library… got hot and had to change into Bennet’s extra shirt!)

I bought Tuesday this balance bike three years ago (when she was two). I tried to get her the ubiquitous Skutt, but had to return it because it was way too big for her. We found this Early Rider bike on clearance at Gilt and decided to give it a go since it has a smaller profile. Not that any of that really mattered since she basically took no interest in it whatsoever for years. She would never try and sit on it and we didn’t push it. Every once and a while I’d get it out, but she loved her trike, and preferred that.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I don’t even know what happened. She saw the bike in the garage, or we were talking about bikes or hmm, I don’t know. But she wanted to try this so she put on her helmet, got on and away she went. Within two days she could glide with her legs out in front of her for almost a block! As soon as she showed interest in the bike I jumped on it and asked her if she wanted to make a dolly bike seat for Apple (I showed her this pin). She said yes!

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This is the seat we came up with after a little trial and error (the pink is simply a design element Tuesday added). The basic idea of the seat is the same as the original post, but we tweaked it a bit. First of all, Apple would not stay in the seat with out a seatbelt. So I just folded duct tape length wise and cut a hole through the cardboard to cinch it up. Tuesday specifically requested this next picture to show how she makes sure her dolly* is snug:

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Eventually that tiny bit of cardboard above the hole gave way, I just put tape above it, which I should have done in the first place.

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This is the bottom of the seat, and the main thing we changed. Instead of just cardboard we used a piece of balsa wood we had laying around as a secure base to attach the dolly seat to the seat of the bike. We tried cardboard first and the weight of the doll quickly bent it.

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Now, lest you think I’m crazy for putting packing tape all over her fancy looking balance bike, let me introduce you to Hugo’s Amazing Tape. I’m pretty sure we will be keeping a roll of this in our house indefinitely. And since it’s reusable it will probably be the same roll! Why is it so amazing? Because it only sticks to itself. Yes, it really is amazing. So there is no sticky residue on the dolly seat or the bike seat. And since you can use it again and again I wrapped around a liberal amount.

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(Tuesday could not believe I even wanted her to pose with her bike without her helmet, the sun was fading, but we always wear a helmet! It’s the law here in Oregon!)

The dolly seat was made with the thickest cardboard we could find, from a booster seat box. It’s held up great. The bike has no kickstand so she has to lay it down, or lean it up against things. This hasn’t been a problem for the seat. Now we’re just trying to decide when to move her to a pedal bike. Has anyone used one of these balance bikes? How did the transition go?

*the doll with rainbow highlights is Pepper, Bennet’s doll… Tuesday’s doll Apple was already dressed in Pj’s, and unfortunately, not available for this impromptu shoot.

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  • Julia - We have never used a balance bike, but it looks cool! I love the photo of Tuesday by the tree with Apple… so cute! The dolly seat is the cutest idea ever!March 31, 2014 – 4:44 pmReplyCancel

    • Amber - I think we’re going to get Tuesday a bigger balance bike for older kids, I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve heard that big kids (even those that can already ride two wheelers) like them for being more adventurous (trails, tricks, etc.).
      AmberMarch 31, 2014 – 11:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - How cute!Both my boys have had balance bikes since they were about 2.5. At almost 5 & 3.5, they are still loving them! And their balance is incredible (on and off the bike). When my oldest was 3, after only a few months using his, he jumped onto a friends pedal bike without trainer wheels & off he went like he’d been doing it for years!He now has both and uses them equally, depending on his mood(without trainer wheels). My youngest isn’t at all interested in a peddle bike & prefers to speed around on his balance bike. When the time comes, we probably won’t bother with trainer wheels for him either though. It’s incredible how quickly they learn to balance on these bikes!March 31, 2014 – 9:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Amber - Kerry, I’ve heard that from so many parents, and it totally makes sense! I can’t wait to see her on a pedal bike!March 31, 2014 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie - I don’t remember balance bikes being around way back when, but they sure look like a great idea! Love these photos… Tuesday looks like she’s having so much fun!April 1, 2014 – 7:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - What a cute idea!
    We converted a toddler bike to a balance bike (took off the pedals) for my son when he was 3. He used it a bit that summer and a lot the next when he was 4. By the end of summer, he just hopped on a friend’s two wheeler bike at a play date and took off. It was awesome not having to do training wheels or anything. So for my youngest, my husband took off the whole pedal assembly. (We didn’t do that sooner just in case we decided to turn it back into a pedal bike.)
    We got so many comments/weird looks because my son’s bike was missing the pedals. It was awesome and I’m so glad I heard about balance bikes when he was younger!
    I would suggest borrowing a neighbor’s/friend’s bike in a few months and see how she does.April 7, 2014 – 9:25 pmReplyCancel