Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Baby Chick Craft

To start getting the kids into the Easter spirit, we made baby chicks a few weeks back. I had taken pictures and wanted to post them on the blog but totally forgot about them till yesterday when I was doing the egg dyeing post.

So without further delay, here is a simple Baby Chick Craft!

First cut out big yellow circles for the body, some small orange triangles for the beak, some orange feet (look more like duck feet but oh well!), some yellow wings, and some extra large googly eyes.

* Eyes missing from the picture. 

Have the kids go to town attaching all the different features and add their own finishing touches.

 *E1's before he decided he needed the "extra" beak.

 * E3's with extra long girl eye lashes.
 *E1's after the "extra" beak.
* A group shot of our adorable baby chicks!

And there you go, a simple baby chick craft! 
Made any fun Easter crafts in your house this month? Would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dyeing Eggs With Kool-Aid

Now let me start by saying that I'm actually not big on dyeing eggs. My oldest is turning 5 soon and this is the first time I have actually dyed eggs with the kids of Easter. Why you may ask? Well, to be honest, I don't like the whole vinegar smell and it just seems like a whole lot of work. Funny thing is, I use a vinegar and water mixture as my all purpose cleaner, every single day but for some reason, I can't stand it when it comes to dyeing eggs.

While browsing through Pinterest a few weeks ago , I came across a pin that said dye your eggs with Kool Aid. I remember thinking, oh, I never knew you could dye eggs with Kool Aid, it sounds so simple! But then didn't really think about it again, I didn't even pin it.

Then when I was in the supermarket picking up an ice-cream cake for my husband's birthday, I came across the holiday aisle with the endless boxes of egg dyes and I happened to remember the Kool Aid pin. So I thought, why not! Unfortunately, the store only had Tropical Punch flavor available at 4 packs for $1, so that is what I got.

Today was the start of spring break for the 3 older kids, so I thought it would be fun for us to dye some eggs. I hard boiled 6 eggs, thinking they could each do 2 and got the dye baths ready.

I wanted to see if we could do some fun patterns, like an ombre look so I tried to make dye baths in different amounts.

One of the great things about using Kool Aid is that it smells really good! Nowadays with what I know about the dangers of food coloring and such, I would never drink Kool Aid. But I must say it was nice to not smell vinegar when dyeing the eggs. And it was super easy. I emptied the contents of the 4 packs that I bought into 3 clear cups and then added room temperature water and stirred. That's it!

Each kid put in one of their eggs and watched them change colors! I was amazed at how vibrant the color turned out and the kids were pretty excited at their first egg dyeing experience. Like I mentioned earlier we tried to do an ombre look but the kids weren't quite patient enough to successfully do it.

So after they were done dyeing their eggs and we were waiting for them to dry, I decided to boil up 3 more eggs for myself to see if I could make some more artsy ones.

First here is how the kids' eggs turn out:

Here is how mine turned out:

Pretty good first experience for me and the kids I must say! I'm actually kinda inspired to get some other colors next year so we could have some rainbow colored eggs!

Do you dye eggs for Easter? Have you dyed eggs with Kool Aid before?


Sunday, March 24, 2013

N's birth story

Happy Birthday to my little guy who's turning 3 today!
I still remember going in for our sonogram to find out if we were having a boy or girl.
To be honest I wouldn't have been able to tell by looking at it until the nurse pointed it out to us.
We were so excited once again! The second pregnancy was different from the first. With H I craved veggies while with N I craved meat.  I definitely got tired more easily and morning sickness was worse in the first trimester. I also could not stand the smell of garlic. Which is odd since I love garlic! I use it a lot in my cooking but not for those 9 months. N was more "camera shy" when it came to get a peek to see what he looked like. Fortunately at the end of the checkup the nursed tried again and was able to get a shot.
N was 6 days early. When I went to the OB for my last visit and she told me that I was ready to have him. So she stripped my membranes and told me go get some lunch close by and she will see me soon.  Alston & I decided to have lunch at a fancy Japanese restaurant I've been wanting to go to. Afterwards we went to a bookstore to kill some time. Funny when I was browsing around the store a lady said to me. "Boy it looks like you can have your baby any minute now." Little did she know she was right on the dot. Once I felt the contractions coming on stronger I told Alston it was time to go. We went to the hospital around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. While I was changing into those "lovely" hospital gowns my water broke. After that everything seem to go so quickly. This time it only took about 20-30 minutes to push this guy out. Our little tiger arrived at 7:40 pm, 7lbs 5 oz. It was pure joy holding him in my arms and having him suck his thumb so loudly. haha!  Funny thing is that he never really sucked his thumb after that.
N's first ride home
Happy Birthday my little prince charming! (Because he's sure knows how to charm one's heart) 
I love you so much! - Mommy

Would you like to share your birth or adoption stories? We would love to hear from you! 
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Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

H's birth story

I can't believe it, my baby girl is turning 5 today!
I still remember how excited I was when I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test.

H was fashionably late... 5 days later. Boy was I ready for her. And to think, everyone said I would deliver early, ha ha! My OB decided to induce so I went to the hospital around 12:30PM on a Wednesday afternoon. My contractions started after the pitocin but it wasn't too bad until around midnight. At that point I still wasn't sure if I wanted an epidural but kept that option open. Around 3AM the contractions were coming on stronger.  I was only dilated halfway and my water did not break yet. So eventually they had to break it to move things along. I was exhausted but could not sleep since the contractions were so close. I decided on an epidural since I knew I needed the "strength & energy" to get through labor. And good thing since H didn't make her debut til 9:42AM, Thursday. Time was a blur to me but it seemed like I was pushing forever. And I guess it didn't help when Alston, my husband, counted "slowly" with each push. The nurse at first guided and say "push 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc." and then Alston eventually took over and counted 1.....2.....3.....4.....5..... For those who never gone through this you hold your breath as you pushed. Fortunately the nurse was kind enough to correct him for my sake.

I was given oxygen at one point while I was delivering since they noticed the baby's heart rate was dropping. When that happened I got really nervous. They thought her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck but it ended up it was because she was had her hand against her cheek when she was being delivered. This is her signature trademark, we even have an ultrasound picture of her in that pose.
The total time I was actually pushing was close to 2 hrs. I guess it's true when they say the first one usually takes longer, at least in my case. The moment she came into this world and gave her first cry, it was music to my ears. To finally be able to hold her in my arms and see her face to face. Even tho there were doctors and nurses all around, at that moment it was just me, my husband and her. Our family!
7lb, 12 oz. Welcome baby girl!
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl! I love you so much! - Mommy
First car ride home!
Would you like to share your birth or adoption stories? Email us at
Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello Kitty party

You can guess from the title what H wanted for her birthday. I guess the one for her 1st birthday didn't count. Hehe it's ok, I love Hello Kitty! My husband told me that each year the birthdays are becoming more lavish. I think I'm just getting more practice each year. Plus this gives me a creative outlet from my everyday duties as a SAHM. Take a peek into H's party!
Hello Friend You Are Invited:
I actually saw this when I googled for some inspiration and loved the simplicity of the design. I didn't want the text to compete with the image so I modified it by placing it on the back.
Hello Decor:
Paper pompoms & streamers, simple yet spruces up a room with color. I used tulle to hang them. These are so easy to make and cheaper to DIY. If you can fold paper you can make these.
Hello Treats:
We had a number of people coming so I decided to make a cake for the adults while the kids could enjoy some cupcake cones. I also made some HK cake pops. I wished they turned out less lumpy and more smooth. H was happy, so that's all that mattered. A friend at the party gave me a tip to add oil to the chocolate next time. Did you ever make cake pops?
Hello Favors:
The best thing about Hello Kitty you can pretty much find it anywhere. I found cute pails at Target for the girls and solid color pails for the boys. I had fun designing personalized thank you tags and candy wrappers.
Hello Games:
We had face painting or I should say hand painting since everyone wanted it on their hands.
I made up a HK Bingo game and used 3/4" round labels to mark the spaces.
And of course you can't have a party without a pinata. I just used a cardboard box and tissue paper to make one. Amazing how fast kids can clean up that pile of goodies. If only that would work the same with cleaning up the toys.

Yes it took alot of time and planning but I had tons of fun. To have H come up to me at the end of the day and say "Thank you Mommy! (gives me a big hug and kiss) Thank you so much for the party!" Now that's the best feeling! So what's next on my agenda? I've got my lil guy's birthday party in less than 2 weeks. Can you say busy?

Guess what his theme will be?
Do you enjoy planning parties as much as I do? Or does the thought scare you?


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Inspiring Our Kids

In the past few months John and I have noticed that E1 and E2 have been increasingly interested in drawing and coloring. As an artist this is pretty exciting because I would love for my children to grow up to be artists as well! So we decided to foster this interest and get each of the three older children sketch books at Christmas time for them to draw to their hearts content. It was also a great way for me to keep some of their better masterpieces because in the past we would lose track of all the loose pieces of paper.

* One of E2's masterpieces

When we gifted the kids with the sketchbooks, we already knew that E3 wasn't too interested in drawing or coloring but we wanted her to have a chance to draw as well if she wanted to. She drew in her book a few times and haven't touched it since. E2 has drawn more in her sketchbook and her book is about half way filled so far. As for E1, his sketchbook was filled within a few weeks and he has gone on to fill up 2 other notebooks that we have given him. I am totally loving this new interest of his and has even started giving him little drawing lessons to help foster it. 

*One of E1's masterpieces

One of the lessons I learned last summer during a parenting seminar was that we should not overlook the importance of giving our children a vision and inspiring them to greatness! The director of Children's Ministry at the church that I attend talked about how she once told her granddaughter that she displayed great leadership skills and could grow up to be a great leader one day. And her granddaughter really took it to heart and remembered her words even though she was only 3 or 4. Also during one of our recent Sunday sermons the pastor was giving an illustration about a man that was quite the trouble maker as a child and one of his teachers actually said in his end of the year reviews that he would most likely end up in prison when he grew up. But when he went on to his new grade and met his new teacher, his teacher said something very profound to him, she said, "I have heard a lot about you and I don't believe a word of it!" And that line totally changed him around and he went on to be a great mentor and inspired other great men.

With that lesson in mind, I have been more intentional with some of my conversations with the kids to make sure I inspire them. I have been telling E1 I love all his drawings and with lots of practice and patience I truly believe he could be a great artist one day. And I totally love how his face lights up when I tell him these things. I have also been encouraging E2 to draw more since I can tell she shows interest as well.

We have been trying to figure out where E3's interests lie and we think it is more in singing and dancing. So we might consider signing her up for a dance class to see if that is where things go.

Though I am totally excited with the fact that some of my children share in my interest in art, I also need to remind myself that this might change when they get older and I should be just as supportive of their new interests even if it is not something I enjoy. Not sure if it is Asian parents or just parents in general but many parents can impose their own unfulfilled dreams on their kids even if it means it is not what their kids are interested in. Or they steer their kids toward interests that they think will be beneficial for them (ie. being a doctor, lawyer) even if it is not what their children are truly interested in. My parents were a little like that when I was younger but I'm glad that they eventually came around and was able to fully support my interest in art.

What do you do to inspire your kids?
How did your parents support your interests?


Friday, March 8, 2013

March Coloring Contest

Our first coloring contest of 2013 starts TODAY! Bumble wishes everyone a "Happy Easter" and would also like to take this time to introduce his new little sister, Bea!

Contest Rules:

Contest Start Date:   03/08/2013
Contest End Date:    03/31/2013

1) Only 1 entry per child. "Like" our FB page and post your child's colored masterpiece on our page with first name/initials (whatever you are comfortable with) and their age. You can either scan or take a picture of the colored paged to post on our page.
2) Entries posted by someone who has not liked our page will be disqualified.
3) Get your friends to "Like" our page and vote by liking your child's masterpiece. The page with the most "Like"s wins. If there is a tie the winner will be chosen based on our discretion.
4) Only residents of 48 states in the continental US are eligible.
5) Prize depending on gender: Girls will get a hair clip from BOJ and boys will get a pin from BOJ.
6) Winner will be announced 1 day after the contest end date on our FB page and on the blog.
7) The winning coloring sheet will also be posted on our blog when the winner to announced.
8) For privacy reasons, we ask that the winner send BOJ a private message on our FB page so that we can connect with you and get the prize mailed out in a timely manner.
9) We want as many children to have a chance to win our coloring page contests; so we reserve the right to limit the amount of times a child can win consecutively.

Here is the link for our Facebook page.

Don't forget to pin this to your Pinterest boards to share with others.
Eva and Zi

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Princess & Pirate party

These past few weeks I'm been super busy planning and prepping for H's party this coming Saturday. (I'll share the details next time) Birthdays were so memorable for me as child. Having friends over, cake, presents and all kinds of good food. That was when I couldn’t wait to be another year older. Oh how things have changed. Now I have the opportunity to make them fun and hopefully unforgettable for my kids. I always get so excited when their birthdays come up.

March is a busy month for me since my kids’ birthdays are only 4 days apart. Last year we had a combined birthday party. The question was what would be fun for a 4 year-old girl and 2 year-old boy? Since my daughter is the typical girl in her princess phase, what better than to plan a princess and pirate party.

I drew a princess and a pirate illustration of my kids to carryout in my designs. For the invitations I decided to make a map. I printed on parchment paper and burned the edges for effect. I made a castle for my princess and a pirate ship for my lil captain.
We had a candy table for guests.  I made labels for each treat to go along with the theme.
For some fun activities we had a craft where the kids decorated tiaras or pirate hats. And a couple of games I came up with:
“Where’s me gold treasure?”
I drew a big treasure map where you had to find gold coins. I placed them in a treasure chest package. Some had gold coins while others had fools gold = a wooden coin. The one with the most gold coins wins a prize.
“Save the Princess” 
A modified version of hot potato where the kids passed the princess doll and whoever is holding the princess when the music stops saves the princess and wins a prize.

At the end of the day everyone had fun and most importantly I had a very happy birthday girl and boy!

What are some of your favorite birthday party themes that you've seen or planned? 
Do you do combined birthday parties?

A little shout out to Zi's husband, whose birthday is today.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!