Strong Willed Child or Dreamer

I have never read any parenting books before but I bought this one on a recommendation (.13 on amazon)!  
While I dont really believe in labeling your children (in the same way that I dont really get into labeling my parenting style) I think its really important as parents to do our best to understand our children, their personalities, their needs, wants, etc on a personal level instead of just having a "this is whats best for children" mentality. Each child is so so different and requires you to parent, respond, interact, entertain in such different ways. 

For example, I hate routine. Any kind really. I find it super mundane and really prefer to drift, never quite sure what the next day holds. I hate making plans and sticking to them or being nailed down to something. However I have been realizing that this has been coming through in my parenting. Routine is super important to children and Cruz thrives on it. I had to understand that even though my son is only 2, I needed to start paying more attention to who he was and and that even if I had a preconceived notion about the way things should be, it was more important to watch him and his cues as a way to understand the best means of parenting him in particular. Its easy to file children away into certain groups like "strong willed" or "stubborn" when that may not be the case at all.  I embrace that he is his own unique person but realized that I needed to put more effort and attention into understand his personality and the things that work well for it. 

I am interested to see what this books hold. Do you guys read any parenting books or have any suggestions on the subject?


Busy Busy Busy. 

It was Cruz's birthday and then mine (our birthdays are five days apart). I am pretty sure Cruz thinks that its all just one big birthday for him because usually we do a little something fun on his actual birthday and sing and do presents. Then we have a little family party that weekend. And then at some point in the week I get a cake and a happy birthday song for my birthday, but Cruz obviously thinks its for him. So I think he might grow up under the impressions that birthday celebrations are a week long instead of just a day. Oh well, I always love a good excuse to celebrate my boy a little extra. 

I am off to make valentines and red velvet cupcakes for my own sweet valentine. 

*the valentine I made for Cruz. 
My first attempt at drawing with Illustrator. I've since decided its just not my strong suit. 


Etsy Love

I ordered these two little vintage kitchen sets for Cruz's kitchen from here. I am so excited and I can't wait for them to get here. Hopefully in time for his birthday party because I think I am going to give him the rest of his presents on his actual birthday (I am so awful, I can almost never wait to give him his presents. He got a good 1/4 of his Christmas presents early because I am just addicted to that little smile of his). The rest of his gifts are all art supplies and crafts because he really plays with those things so much more then actual toys.

 only $6.00 for this whole lot!
and $4.00 for this one! Love etsy!

I also really wanted one of these for his kitchen, but I just couldnt afford it with the rest of his gifts. Maybe next year!


Birthday Presents

For Cruz's birthday this year I decided to flesh out his play kitchen because it is his favorite thing and we spend countless hours playing there. His new favorite kitchen thing to do is play with spices, probably because he sees me using them almost every night when I am making dinner.

Well, last week he wanted to pour cream of tar tar in the coffee pot which I usually wouldn't care about but I had just bought the spice for making playdough and I didnt want him to spill it all. So in a moment of genius I decided to let him play with the only spice that I happen to have two of...cinnamon.

Fast forward about 15 minutes and everything, everything is coated in cinnamon. For those of you who dont know, it irritates/burns your skin. Cruz and I were covered in bright right splotches all evening. It also coats the inside of your nose and stays put for a good long time causing you to go into coughing/sneezing fits at frequent intervals.

Needless to say it was not my best move. But it did inspire me to come up with a way to satisfy Cruz's desire to play with spices without sacrificing my ability to smell anything for several days.

So this little project was born. I made them as a birthday gift and I can't wait to see if he likes them.

I thought glitter was a good representation of "spices" plus they come in little jars with tops just like spice jars. I got these at Michael's but you can get glitter at almost any craft store.

I took the original label off of one jar to use as a template. I taped it down on the paper and then folded the paper over several times (I made 4 labels, so 4 times) so that I could cut them all at once.

I used butcher paper from the thrift store that I had laying around. Its pretty thin so I had to tape it down to keep it from moving around. It made it much easier to paint.

You can get creative with the labels. We have a lot of McCormick spices so I was sort of trying to emulate that look with the stripe. 

Let the paint dry. During this time I put the chickens in, burnt my dinner, ate my burnt dinner anyways, folded Cruz laundry, tripped over the dog and went to the bathroom. 

 After it dried I wrote the spice names with a thin, black sharpie. Again, get as creative as you want. I made "pepper" for the silver sparkles, "cream of tartar" for the white, "cinnamon" for the red and "coriander" for the gold. 

ed: this post was written in advance and scheduled for today which is actually Cruz's birthday! We are most likely in San Francisco at the kid museum and Cruz may or may not have already opened this gift. I will be sure to let you know how he likes them!