growth chart

here’s how i understand the story behind this:

dane’s mom, lisa, wanted to make caleb a growth chart by using a 2×4 for his 1st birthday.  the tradition goes (in their family) that whenever the kids were measured she would then paint whatever they wanted next to their measurement.  not only do you see how much they had grown over the years/months/days, but what exactly was on their mind at the time and age of their measurement. and she’s a fantastic artist so i hear it’s quite the masterpiece. 🙂

lisa wanted to do the same for caleb, but didn’t know how it would work since she lives in california.

then she talked to her son, the engineer. and he came up with a plan and blueprint for caleb’s beautiful growth chart.  he designed it so it’s still solid wood (he only used 4 2×4’s), could be painted by grandma lisa, and functioned as a growth chart.  genius!

let me show you…

here it is attached to the wall next to his closet door. you can see the measuring tape fastened to the side and you’ll notice the divided blocks in the middle section.

i’m so proud that my husband designed and built all of this!  and all from nothing, really, just an idea all the way across the united states!

the blocks are attached by magnets that are screwed in on the inside as well as on the back of each block (i took of picture of that, too, but it was blurry).

the bottom two blocks are ‘missing’ so we can send them off to grandma lisa to paint for caleb now that he is almost as tall as the 3rd block!

so each time he reaches a new block, we will have her paint whatever he wants on the block and she will send it right back to add to the custom made chart!

and here is where caleb is measuring at 13 months!  he’s grown almost 7 inches in a year!

this was all a surprise to me. i didn’t find out what it was until the day of caleb’s party.  needless to say, i was shocked and impressed.  so simple, yet, so unique.

dane and i went back and forth on whether or not we should paint it white, but i like it just like it is.

party hats

here’s how i made caleb’s party hats. they’re easy, but they take a few different steps which can be time consuming.

1. starting at the corner of a piece of scrapbook paper (cardstock works great) mark 3 different spots 8″ equidistant from the corner. then, using those dots as a guide cut in along in a curve. and i cut the top corner off since it seemed to work better when gluing together.

2. pick some cutesy ribbon that can handle a needle and thread.

3. then sew on the ribbon however you like. i tried not to make them too girly.

if you come to the party then please don’t look too closely at the sewing job…i’m a bit rusty.

4. use a hole punch and elastic string and tie on each side.

5. hot glue (or staple) the hat together.

6. hot glue on a cute little fuzzy pom pom on top!

i just went to hobby lobby because they were having a sale on their paper this week and i wasn’t too impressed with the choices for the colors i was interested in. they turned out ok, though for my first time.


guest book

i LOVE that it’s april! i can now officially start putting all the pieces to caleb’s birthday party together!

(and not get funny looks when i talk about it because his birthday is actually this month and not 6 months down the road)

i can’t remember where i got this idea. none of my ideas for the party are original…just tweaked a bit.  i’m sure i found it somewhere on

it’s a thumbprint/sign-in/write a special note/draw a cute picture kind of guestbook! and i love it. i already inserted our ‘signatures’ to let others know what’s expected in the book. i need my mother-in-law or sis-in-law to fill in the outer white parts with some cutesy drawings as i’m clearly not that artistic. here is mom and dad holding hands. i’m certain there’s a better picture of this somewhere on my hard drive…why did i pick this one?

here’s caleb’s thumbprint.  i did my best to make him look like he was enjoying being outside. i even tried drawing in his four front teeth, but it kind of makes him look like a monster! ha! mom? nicole? help, please?!!?


all you need is a journal type book.  i went down the artist/drawing aisle and got this red one on sale for $2. it’s much bigger than i wanted, but it was the right color and price!

i bought this multicolored stamp pad for about $6. i will put this and a tin of colored pencils next to the book so peeps can ‘sign in’ with their favorite color.

then you just stamp your thumb onto the denoted spot (i drew a line in the middle of each page and made two sign-ins per page) and write something sweet and/or draw a pretty scene! oh, and make sure you have some wet wipes or damp cloths handy to wash off those fingers after they finish!

i really hope to use this book with his first few birthdays. it will be fun to look back and see who came and if my drawing skills get any better with time. hehe.

paper flower

caleb’s birthday is coming up…in April.  ha!  yes, i have already picked out a theme, colors, decor, and place.  i am one of those moms

but, i only do it way ahead of time so that mom brain will not get the better of me once his birthday is actually upon us.

so, there.  totally justified.

(it always comes back to mom brain)

anyway, i made this paper flower to begin what will be many many craft projects for the party. (that’s also another reason i started planing early)

you can get the tutorial here:’ll prolly be making those party hats, too.

for some reason, my blog is not allowing me to insert a link over text. shoot.