The Chirping Moms

February 12, 2016

A Valentine's Day Giveaway From Classic Kids Photography

We've always loved our photos from Classic Kids & this week we had our 1st newborn session with them. How sweet is our little king Miles? Classic Kids Photography is celebrating Valentine's Day with a BIG giveaway! They are giving one lucky winner a photo session and an 8x10 fine-art photograph for you and your loved ones! The value is $700 and the winner can visit any Classic Kids location.

How to enter:

You can enter on Facebook and Instagram (enter both places for more chances!).

Click here to visit the Facebook post.
Click here to visit the Instagram photo.

Good luck! 

Winner will be announced on 2-16-16. Gift certificate valued at $700.00. Valid at any Classic Kids Photography location booked by 4-16-16.

Friday Favorites: Valentine's Day Kids' Style

Dressing for Valentine's Day is pretty easy in our house because we have quite a lot of pink, red and sparkly items. I also enjoy getting the girls things to wear for Valentine's Day, because I know they'll wear them for months after - again because they are pink, red and sparkly. Now I have 2 boys to add to the mix of little Valentine's. For Tommy, I realized we can just re-use red Christmas pants and shirts. Below are some of our favorite Valentine styles this year. 

First up are this year's homemade shirts. I've used Once Upon A Design iron on appliqu├ęs to make the kids shirts for the past few years. It's my favorite shop for iron ons - they always have the cutest fabrics and the quality is fantastic. Be sure to check it out for St. Patrick's Day and Easter. Check out the top of their shop page for a great coupon code. This year, with 4  little ones, I decided it was time to spell out "L O V E". I just love these sweet Valentines of mine! 

I've always heard great thing about Cienta shoes and the girls needed new sneakers. We got our new sneakers just in time for Valentine's Day and the colors couldn't be more perfect. We've found Cienta shoes on Zappos, Amazon and many other places. They are comfy and cute!  

We found awesome heart shirts this year from Mini Boden. Again, they are great for Valentine's Day but we'll be sporting them the rest of the winter and into spring.

Have a happy, love filled Valentine's Day! 


February 11, 2016

Capturing Fun Moments with VTech

For my first 2 babies, I didn't have a video monitor. I didn't think I needed one. Then with my 3rd, I received one as a gift. We set it up and I was really surprised what a difference it made. We live in a 100 year old house, so it's not easy to "sneak in" and peak on the baby. So it was nice to be able to see into the nursery without actually going in and disturbing the baby. 

But most of all, I've enjoyed a video monitor because I can see what's going on before and after Tommy wakes up too. I like watching him roll around and snuggle his favorite blankie or crawl around the crib to find his pacifier himself. When he wakes up from his naps or in the morning, he's not quick to cry or yell for someone to come in. He actually likes hanging out in his crib for a bit (neither of my girls liked to do that!). So I often watch him hang out to see what he does in there after waking. He likes to walk around the crib and loves what looks like "peek a boo practice". Maggie, Alex and I have watched him on the monitor several times, cracking up, as he does this. Tommy puts his blanket on his head, pulls it off and shoots his arms in the air as if to say surprise! If it weren't for a video monitor, I'd never see these fun moments. 

The funniest moment I've seen on our video monitor was soon after we moved into our new house. The monitor wasn't hung yet and sat on a table near the crib, making it much more "close up" than I was used to. I was unpacking boxes while Tommy napped and I glanced at the video monitor and did a double take. I couldn't have possible seen what I thought I was seeing. But yes, I was: a bare baby behind up close on the screen. It was summer and I had made the mistake of putting Tommy down for a nap in just a diaper and tshirt. I ran upstairs and he was cracking up, running around the crib in just the tshirt. He had taken off his diaper and thrown it across the room! 

Now we have 2 babies sleeping in the nursery. 2 weeks ago, we welcomed another baby boy to our family. While Miles isn't sleeping in the nursery at night, he seems to like napping in there. His big sisters love that the crib is up high and at the perfect height to "sing him lullabies". I love catching their sweet moments with their baby brother on the video monitor, especially their little voices singing to him. 

Thanks to the VTech VM343 we get to see these fun moments. The VTech VM343 digital video monitor has a pan and tilt camera that comes equip with automatic night vision. The camera also provides full-color, high resolution video on a 4.3 inch screen. I also really like that the VTech VM343 has digital transmission, so it ensures all of your videos are private and secure. It also helps  cut down on background noise. Last, but not least, the fact that the VTech VM343 comes with up to 1,000 feet of range is key. I can go about chasing Maggie and Alex around the house and outside while the babies nap, knowing I can still see them on the monitor. 

I'm looking forward to many more fun moments captured on our video monitor. Soon enough, both of the boys will be sleeping in the room at the same time and I am sure I'll catch them interacting. Hopefully I also get to see plenty of sleeping on the monitor and not just their silly antics! 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It's A Boy!

We are excited to announce the newest member of our family: John Miles Byrne arrived last week! Our family is loving our new baby boy and my heart is bursting with joy. John Miles was born January 31st at 1:06 AM. He's 7 lbs 15 oz and 20 in. His big sisters and big brother were eager to meet him and didn't waste any time covering him in hugs and kisses. Plenty more photos and details to come, but for now we're spending our days snuggling this sweet little newborn. 


February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day Fun for Kids: Craft + Book + Snack

We're back with another fun Valentine's Day craft, book and snack! Today's craft is something we found while reading today's book. All the details below: 
Craft: Valentine Pig "Hogs & Kisses"
While reading The Night Before Valentine's Day, my girls got a kick out of the pig made of hearts. It's their favorite page and I realized we could make that same craft very easily. They thought the pig was really cute and laughed that it said "Hogs & Kisses XOXO". Here's how we recreated the picture in the book:
Supplies: White heart doilies, pink paper or card stock, red paper or card stock, black marker, glue, ribbon or washi tape 
Directions: Cut out a large pink heart that's just a little smaller than the doily and glue it to the doily. Cut 3 small pink hearts for the pig's ears and snout and glue them on. Use the marker to draw the face. Make 2 small hearts to use on the cheeks. Last glue on the ribbon/ stick on the washi tape and cover with a small red heart for the pig's "bow tie" and write "Hogs & Kisses XOXO". 
Book: The Night Before Valentine's Day 
Have you read any of "The Night Before" series? We really enjoy them, especially The Night Before Kindergarten. The Night Before Valentine's Day is a festive, catchy book about the holiday and my kids love looking at the Valentine's Day crafts and cards throughout that the kids are creating. Plus, once the principal shows up dressed as cupid, we always get some laughs! 

Snack: Heart Shaped Jello
For this snack, I made red jello the night before. I made it in a large pan then recommended so it would be really thin and easy for the kids to make shapes. Then the next day I let them use cookie cutters to make red hearts as a snack. Easy & fun! 
For two other fun Valentine's Day Craft + Book + Snack posts, check out these:
DIY I Love You Magnets
Easy Washi Tape Valentine's Day Banner  

February 9, 2016

Two Easy Valentine Craft Ideas for Kids

Valentine's Day is just around the corner & the kids couldn't me more excited to share their love.  Their valentines are ready to go & we have had a lot of fun this past week reading a few of our favorite Valentine books & doing some fun Valentine crafts.  Today, we are sharing two of our favorite Valentine crafts that we did last week.

1.  Valentine Lacing Heart

Directions:  We found this big red felt heart at the craft store.  If you can't find something similar, just make a heart out of felt (or yardstick) and punch holes around it.  The kids had so much fun lacing baker's twine between the holes to create this special Valentine heart.

2.  Valentine Shaving Cream Art

Directions:  For this craft, I just mixed some regular shaving cream with food coloring.  The kids had a blast painting with red, pink, & purple shaving cream!

And for a super simple snack idea, the kids had fun making Valentine cheese hearts & crackers!

And here are a few favorite Valentine books for kids.

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat
Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool by James Dean
The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll
Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
Snowy Valentine by David Petersen
A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Colander


Star Wars Constellation Craft for Kids

My two boys are all about Star Wars right now.  Our couch often turns into the Death Star.  Pencils become miniature light sabers.  Our dogs are little Yodas.  They are the biggest little Star Wars fans out there & so they couldn't have been more excited when they discovered that their favorite characters are now appearing on the boxes of their favorite cereal!

Right now, General Mills Big G Cereals are featuring limited edition glow-in-the-dark Star Wars decals inside specially marked boxes of Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crips, & Cheerios Multi Grain.  There are six decals in all, including:  R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewbacca, BB-8, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, & a Stormtrooper.  These fun repositionable decals can bring the force to bedrooms, playrooms, or any other rooms that your kids want to decorate!

We have been doing lots of crafts lately, thanks to the cold weather & more than enough snow days in our part of the country.  We decided it would be fun to turn these decals into a fun new backdrop for them to use to keep in their room to play with their Star Wars characters.  We created a fun Star Wars Constellation Canvas Craft.  Below, I am sharing directions for your kids on how to create this fun backdrop.

Star Wars Constellation Canvas Craft
Supplies Needed:
8 x 10 Canvas
Black Paint
Glow In the Dark Stars
Glow in the Dark Paint
Paint Brush or Sponge
Limited Edition Star Wars decals

1.  Paint the canvas black.  The boys did two coats to make sure that you couldn't see the white canvas at all.
2.  Form a constellation using the glow in the dark stars.  My five year old son is learning about space in school so he really wanted to create a moon!
3.  Using the glow in the dark paint, trace between the stars to draw your constellation.
4.  Add stars.
5.  Let the paint dry.
6.  Add the Star Wars decals.  Since they are reusable, you can change them out depending on what character you want on there for the day.  You are now ready to play!

The boys loved making the craft & using it during their playtime, especially because it featured their favorite Star Wars characters.  If you have a Star Wars fan in your house, make sure to pick up these specially marked boxes of General Mills Big G Cereals for your very own limited edition glow-in-the dark Star Wars decals.   For the latest information & updates from General Mills, make sure to follow their Twitter, Pinterest, & Instagram accounts.  

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by General Mills via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of General Mills or Momtrends
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