We got to watch my cutie-pie nephew one evening this week, and as luck would have it, he was feeling crafty!
He initially needed a bit of an assist with the glitter paint, and then he got further help from my oldest, who said I was skimpy on the snowman buttons and tree stars. A success all around, especially as I didn't get any paint on his sweet embroidered jumper. Whew!
Afterward, I got Son Two in his seat for some painting as well. Think this, but in green.
(Because he was already feeling a little green, poor guy.)
Our usually very independent youngest child was all of a sudden wanting to cuddle on the same blanket as our little guest. It was adorable and, given the size differential, a little unnerving.
It was nice to cuddle a baby for a while, with wispy hair and tiny fingernails (that are so weirdly sharp). And little prints make the best decorations, like the turkeys we made for my youngest's first Thanksgiving. Laminated together, they stay up all year as an unobtrusive addition to our top shelves.
There are hundreds of great ideas for hand and foot print art, but some of the toughest things for me to part with were the baby clothes. Some were stained and not able to be reused - or reused again - but it's hard to part with them when they're so soft and smell so good and imbued with love.
So don't! Those pieces with small patterns can become retro Christmas light ornaments when combined with an empty spool. From Kojo Designs:
And this is a striking and simple way to save the cute monograms or embroidered animals on the corners of sleepers. From Simply Made Fun:
As Teresa notes, the design is baby-friendly if it's pulled off the tree. It can also include an embroidered message or year, initials, ... or, because you're already crazy busy, it can just be a plain wooden hoop.
I also love the Advent calendar idea from Jedi Craft Girl at Holidappy. It uses baby socks, the hardest baby gear for me to part with. What a great way to get them out of the keepsake box!
Such tiny feet! Be still my heart! Attached to a loop and hung on a tree, the socks could be filled with light candy or a few coins for a fun seek and find game. Those nights are coming, those chilly nights on Christmas break when no one wants to leave the house, but everyone's tired of looking at each other. I've never experienced that, but I've heard such things happen.
Also, popcorn is essential in a dinner emergency. It's fast and it's appreciated, lowering the house decibel level immediately upon presentation. And it's a whole grain, so throw in an apple and hold on until bedtime.
Postscript - upon being reinstated as the smallest human in the house, Son Two is once again an independent Playhut dweller. Just a boy and his Beanie Boos.