The Chirping Moms: August 2012

August 31, 2012

Friday Favorites: Back to School Books

Maggie never minds being left with a babysitter, doesn't mind if I drop her at a friends house & she never sticks by my side at "mommy & me" classes. She loves to run off at any chance she gets. So, I figured starting school would be a breeze. BUT lately she tells me "I don't want to go to school" at any chance she gets. She says she wants to stay home & does not want to meet her teacher. I panicked & asked around to some of my friends who have little ones who started preschool last year. Everyone said to start reading books about starting school (why didn't I think of that!?). Anyway, I checked out a TON from the library & bought some on Amazon. We'll see if they helped out next week when we have our big FIRST DAY! These are our favorites:

The Night Before Preschool
    Emily's First Day Of School


 Dora Goes to School
This one has been helpful because she likes seeing some of the "characters" she recognizes going to school too. 

Over here at Aiden's house, he is about to enter his first full year of preschool after completing a two morning week program from January-May!  He's done the preschool thing, but I'm still one anxious mommy after he has spent the past three months by my side.  Plus, we are starting at a new program this fall which I'm very excited about but I know will bring him some anxiety as he enters a new building with new teachers and new classmates.  He is always a little slow to warm up, doesn't get left with family too often (as we are SO far from all our relatives), and loves spending his days with people he knows!  So as we are about to start another school year, we have been jumping into some of our favorite back to school books too. Here are some of his must-reads:

Llama Llama Misses Mama
Seriously, one of the cutest book series alive and the PERFECT read for little ones heading off to school!

I Love You All Day Long
Such a sweet book!

Maisy Goes to Preschool
I love that Aiden got hooked on Maisy books at a young age so this was a MUST read for him!  SO cute and such a great transition into preschool.  

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PS:  Make sure to scroll down and enter an awesome new blog hop called Friday Chaos!

Friday Chaos

We are SO excited to be co-hosting a NEW blog hop this week called Friday Chaos!  Link up and connect with some new bloggers-what a great way to find some exciting new blogs to read!



Lotte & myself decided to create this blog hop as we love linking up to different parties every week but have found it's much easier if it's all under one roof. So we put our minds together and came up with a Friday Social Networking hop called the FRIDAY CHAOS!

This week we have 4 co-hosters! Be sure the check them all out, follow via GFC and leave a comment! 


This is a link up for bloggers who want to increase traffic to their blogs and meet new friends!

1. Follow both hosts (The first two links below) via GFC, Facebook & Twitter and any other one's you fancy.
2. Follow all of the co-hosts(the next 4 links) 
3. Grab the button and put it on your blog somewhere to be seen.
BericeBaby
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.ohsoamelia.com" title="ohsoamelia"><img src="http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj578/BericeBaby/Untitled7.jpg" alt="Ohsoamelia" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
4. Don't just add your blog hoping to get followers, join in the fun and visit a few blogs.
4. Tweet about this hop


 If you would like to co-host one of the weeks let either Charlotte or myself know.

Okay, Lets get this chaos started!
BLOG

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

PINTEREST

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

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August 30, 2012

10 Must-Do Activities for Little Ones


1.  Shaving Cream and Cars:  Oh my word, if you have a truck/train/car loving boy----this is definitely a MUST do activity!  Put a little shaving cream on a big cookie sheet and let your little one go to town.  You could really do this with any small toy (plastic animals, Little People, etc.)  Aiden LOVED this activity!  Once he was done playing, then we did a little car wash through a bucket of water and started it all over again!


2.  Watercolor Resist Painting:  Grab a plain piece of white paper.  Let your child draw all over the paper with a white crayon.  (I did this next to him to help keep him engaged, because if your little one has an attention span like mine, it's not always easy to keep them going!).  


 Then, we pulled out our watercolors and painted over our design.  The white crayon then pops out---Aiden loved the painting part!  


3.  Mess Free Painting:  Put a piece of paper in the a big Ziploc bag.  Add some splotches of paint on the paper.  Seal it up and tape it to a window---then they can paint away without actually getting paint ALL over themselves and the table.  A simple activity to keep one busy.


 4.  Sidewalk Paint:  
Mix together:
  • 2 T Cornstarch
  • 4 T Water
  • Approximately 6 Drops of Food Coloring


We had fun mixing all the ingredients and then heading outside to paint!



5.  Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad---We received this for a birthday party favor and what an awesome activity it is!  The sticker pad comes with several different habitats:  jungle, farm, sea, and more where you can reuse over 150 stickers in each habitat.  Both of my boys (1 1/2 and 3 1/2 LOVE this)---and what a deal for less than six dollars!


6.  Flashcards- We received an preschool evaluation key set to review from the Etsy shop, Teacher By Design.  It is a great way to work on letters, numbers, shapes, and colors with your children.  The shop has lots of wonderful things for preschool aged children and for all our readers, you can get 25% off with code BACK2SCHOOL2012!  

7.  Stickers and Numbers:  I've been working with Aiden on counting and number correspondence.  For this one, we separated our paper into six boxes.  He picked a number for each box.  I wrote the number in the box.  Then, he placed that many stickers in the box and he attempted to write the number, with a little help from Mommy!  Everything is more fun with stickers around here.


8.  Playdoh Animal Tracks:  Mix Playdoh with any pretend animal/dinosaurs you have----and you will easily keep your kids content for at least 45 minutes!  We created caves, lakes, oceans for the animals to live in.  We created different food for the animals to eat.  We created trees, volcanoes, and much more:)  The opportunities are endless with this activity!

9.  IPAD:  We do LOVE our IPAD around here---we don't use it daily as my husband is a train commuter and often takes it with him to help survive his daily commute.  But occasionally he leaves it for us or he is working from home and we take full advantage of our IPAD moments.  I have to ask our readers---please send me some of your favorite apps for ages 3-4?!?!  I'm always looking for great educational apps that are worth the money!  Right now, we are loving Monkey Preschool/Monkey Math, Team Uminumbers, Super Why, and the Monster at the End of this Book.  


10.  And last, but certainly not least, we are SAVORING every moment of our last days of summer!  I know that before we know it, the weather will be cooling down and our days of swimsuits, sandals, and sunglasses will be ending.  



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August 29, 2012

Wordless Where To Wednesday


The Chirping Moms headed out to lunch thanks to completing the summer reading program at the library and earning some free kids' meals.  A three year old, a two year old, an one year old, and one sweet baby.  Enough said---although all in all, we had a pretty fun outing and NO DISHES!!!!

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for the $50 gift card to Bella Bliss---it ends tomorrow at midnight!
Also, check out our giveaway for $20 store credit to Missy Madewell, an Etsy shop that features adorable Hang Tight towels!
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August 28, 2012

What to WHERE: A New Link- Up

I am in desperate need of fall fashion ideas. Last fall I had just had Alex, so I didn't go out a whole lot & when I did was not crazy about buying outfits for my "weeks post baby" self. So this fall I am ready to add to my wardrobe but feel like I could use some major help in deciding what to buy! I was so excited to see that two of my favorite blogs teamed up to start a new weekly link-up: What to Where. This week is all about Back-to-School Open House outfits. I can't wait to see what everyone else posts, but here are a few items on the top of my fall shopping list:

The Pants & flats are from Joe Fresh. This company (pretty new to the US) was a big part of my summer wardrobe. I LOVE their fit & their prices are fantastic. 

The sweater & necklace are from Bella Bliss. Yes, that's right, the adorably comfortable line of kids clothes ALSO make clothes for Mom! SO, if you enter this week's giveaway & win...why not spend the $50 on some clothes for yourself - you deserve it!


Then, be sure to visit I Pick Pretty to see all of the other wonderful outfits & link yourself up too!


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An Easy Crowd Pleasing Recipe & New Kitchen Towels (with a giveaway!)

I am a creature of habit when it comes to recipes. I wish I tried new things more often, but usually when I make something that turns out well it quickly becomes my go to recipe. This summer it has been Oreo Pudding Pie. It is SO easy & every time I make it/ take it somewhere it is gobbled up by the crowd in minutes. I found the recipe on the insert in the Oreo pie crust, but have made a few changes. 
Ingredients: 
Oreo pie crust
2 packages Jell-O Orea Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tub of Cool Whip, thawed
2 1/2 cups cold milk
Package of Oreo cookies

Directions:
Mix milk & dry pudding mixes.
Beat with wire whisk for 2 min
Still in about 3/4 of the Cool Whip
Mix in a bunch of crushed Oreo cookies
Pour into pie crust
Refrigerate
Top with more crushed Oreos or a few Oreo halves (or however you would like to decorate!)
When we were at the beach, I didn't have an Oreo pie crust & made the recipe in a large rectangular pan instead & used crushed Oreos on the bottom. This was a great way to make it for a large group of people!
2 things I can promise you: this recipe is easy to make & it will be a hit!

And now my favorite new kitchen accessory:

Julie & I recently got sets of Hang Tight Towels from Missy MadeWell. They have brightened up my kitchen AND I actually still have a towel hanging at the end of the day. My tornado toddler loves to run through the house tearing down anything she can: cute hanging kitchen towels are always her first victim. Not anymore! These towels don't go anywhere.
Melissa, the shop owner, created these towels for the very reason I love them. She got sick of her 1 year old pulling down the dish towel every time he walked through the kitchen. She went looking for a "modern" looking towel that didn't have crochet, snaps or buttons in order to hang them & couldn't find anything. So after a few "prototypes" she came up with the Hang Tight Towel. 

Melissa is offering all of our readers FREE SHIPPING for the next 2 weeks with code: HANGTIGHT
She is also giving one lucky winner $20 to spend in her awesome shop! I'm so excited to have this extra giveaway this week - because Moms should win a little something for themselves too. 
Good luck readers & thank you Missy MadeWell!
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We have a winner: Amber M. Thank you for entering everyone!

We were not compensated for this post, however we did receive items for review from Missy MadeWell.








August 27, 2012

This Week's Giveaway: Bella Bliss Clothing

For any of our Twitter pals, it is no secret that I love Bella Bliss clothing. Their clothes are beautiful, classic & the softest clothes around. I have enjoyed Bella Bliss since I ordered Maggie's 1st birthday dress. I was so pleased with how cute it was, but still so comfortable & soft. Since then we have enjoyed Christmas dresses, sweaters, play clothes & bathing suits: all of which I have been so happy with. 
And now that it's time for our first "school clothes": Bella Bliss it is! 
I think these corduroy pants with ric rac are just too cute & Maggie loves them because they are soft & comfortable. For the boys pants, they are just as soft & Aiden loves all the toys he can fit in the big pockets. Both of the kids are wearing shirts that are 100% pima cotton: SUPER soft. 
Aiden is all set for fall with this Bella Bliss sweater!
There are so many great back to school basics to choose from. Bella Bliss carries size newborn - 14 yr. They use the highest quality fabrics & the softest pima. Their clothes truly last from one kid to the next too. Anything I have of Maggie's from Bella Bliss still looks wonderful & like new for Alex. 
For this week's giveaway, Bella Bliss is offering a $50gift card to one lucky winner! 
Thank you to everyone who entered this week's giveaway.
THE WINNER IS: MEREDITH TICHENOR
Happy Fall shopping!
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We were not compensated for this post, however we did receive items for review from Bella Bliss.
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