Happy Birthday J

The little man has officially turned two…You’re thinking “Terrible Two’s?” Well, he’s been “warming up” WELL before he actually turned two (shaking my head with a heavy sigh). haha Honestly it’s not too bad yet since I’ve been blessed with a baby full of sunshine – mostly…but bad enough that I might be reading up on a few articles to help me get through this phase of his life in good mental standing. (Or perhaps I can ask my own mom. If my memory serves me right, it’s possible I wasn’t always this easy-going and delightful in my toddler years. lol)

Enough of that though. Birthdays have always been exciting for me, like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I may have genetically passed this trait on to J since for a few months now, he’s been running around the house singing happy birthday to everyone he can think of and demanding cake after each performance. So when his birthday came around, D and I wanted to make it a special day filled with fun and wonder.

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Me and my Birthday Boy – After opening his first gift, a little Batmobile with Batman sitting in it. (He loves Batman.)

After spending the morning at home, smothering him with hugs and kisses and feeding him “Birthday” Oreos, we took him to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

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The aquatic creatures we saw there were truly amazing. God is so much more of a “fun” artist than I realize sometimes. Some of the fish we saw looked like they were from another world!

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The National Aquarium also has a section dedicated to the tropical rainforest. You almost feel like you’re really there (if the rainforest had smooth gravel walkways and no gargantuan mosquitoes trying to chase you down).

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J got a chance to stalk some pretty intimidating, but beautiful sharks up-close.

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This crocodile better make different dinner plans because J is not available!

We also saw a great dolphin show at the aquarium. (DOH! I should’ve taken a pic but there was too much excitement!)

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Enjoying the view of the surrounding Baltimore Inner Harbor

After a great day at the aquarium, we went back home and had birthday cake and presents! This was his very first time being able to blow out birthday candles and he was so excited, I had to keep him from diving head-first into the cake!

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YES! Chocolate cake right before bed!

Birthdays are great…especially when you get to celebrate that little munchkin who lights up your world.

Happy Birthday J!

Beauty is in the Eye of the Artist’s Mama

I’ve always felt that art cannot be judged as being good or not good because art is an expression of one’s own freedom, flavor, emotion, etc. So there’s no one-right-way to do things, in my book. I feel like children’s art in particular is special because little minds, unfettered by the adult knowledge of reality or expectations, can create the most beautiful pieces.

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Being a toddler artist is hard work! 😉

Now that being said, I have become that mama that beams with pride at all of the wild scribblings and finger paintings of my baby and thinks they’re the most beautiful works of toddler art I’ve ever seen. Yep, that’s me with the big treasure chest full of colorful scribbles that I plan on keeping forever and ever and ever!

After about 20 scribble-art papers, I came to realize, I couldn’t remember the fun details of the day when he had made each particular scribble. So when I got J to paint with a paint brush for the first time, I decided to save the work in a more special way that would not just disappear into the ever-growing stack of scribble masterpieces.

J's first paintbrush scribble

J’s first paintbrush scribble

Dwayne says it already looks like some sort of pre-historic pterodactyl skeleton. Can you see what he’s talking about? (A little creepy!) Well, I decided to cut out the shape of a cute little bird. If you look closely, you can see where I traced out the shape and cut it out already.

I was really lucky because I was able to position the shape at a place where the paint scribble allowed for a perfect color-change for the beak.

Scribbles allowed for a distinguishable beak

J’s scribbles allowed for a distinguishable beak

All I had to add was an eye and the shape of a wing! I pasted this cute little bird onto some scrapbook paper I had lying around and added some paper grass and pipe-cleaner legs. I used a decorative edge scissor to cut a scalloped border across the top.

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Jay’s little paint scribble bird proudly displayed on the fridge.

We’re in the process of hanging a clothes line in J’s room to start displaying his especially nice works of art (which, to his mama…is like ALL of them.) Until then, my fridge space will just continue to get buried with J’s creations.

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Now as for my own crafts, I’ve got a few WIPs (Works In Progress) and hopefully I’ll get to complete them soon so I can show you what I’ve been up to!