A journal

Thanks for visiting me at Experiment MOM (Mother of Multiples). My digital Scrap for Hire business, ScraPicts, is coming soon so please check back with me again or Click the Follow Me button on lefthand side of my blog.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Babies!

WOW does time fly!!  It has been an amazing exhausting year and it has been so worth all the struggles we have gone through to bring these fabulous babies into the world.  Let's walk down memory lane, shall we?

Here was their first baby picture
Just 8 and 10 cells, we couldn't have imagined how adorable our little frosties would turn out!

Here's me - very pregnant!

Ready to deliver!

Three Days old

2 months old

4 months old

6 months old
8 months old
10 months
12 months

Looking at ALL the pictures I think it is funny that Greyson is almost always on the left of the pictures and Jack is on the right (except for the bath picture).

Love Love Love them!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - A couple days in San Diego

I'm a new member of the Saddleback Mothers of Multiples Club

On Wednesday August 15, I officially was initiated into the Saddleback Mother of Multiples Club (SMOMC).  From about 6 months of my pregnancy until March of this year, I was a member of the North Suburban Parents of Multiples Club on the North Shore of Massachusetts and then we moved to California. It took me a few months to get my act together to seek out and join a local multiples club but I knew that I had join one. I had found it incredibly helpful through my pregnancy and early months as a new mom of multiples to have the support and understanding of other mothers with multiples.  It's not that moms of singletons can't be supportive but they have not experienced the same kinds of struggles that other MOMs have.

I highly recommend that any mom who is expecting multiples find a local MOM club. They offer such a great support system as well as fun events for moms, dads and families with multiples.  Many clubs also have support for special needs multiples, preemies and NICU multiples and educational tools like acces to library of books on parenting multiples etc.

I am so happy to have found a local branch of the mother of multiples club and plan on being very engaged and active in the club. I already have volunteered for several committees including becoming the Editor of the monthly newsletter and serving on the IT committee.  I also am starting a loose playgroup for southern Orange county MOMs.  I have already found it to be rewarding and can't wait for all the fun twin activities planned for this coming year!

Pictures from the Initiation courtesy of Star Hjorth
cake pops candy display

new member initiation

some lovely ladies I had dinner with

our theme was black and white and I was happy to already have a dress for it

Friday, August 17, 2012

Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Invitations

How cute did our Very Hungy Caterpillar invitations turn out?! These were pretty simple to make. I got the card stock already in the shape of an apple at Michael's.  I already had a rubber stamp that says Party Time and I made the invitation section by grabbing a photo of the VHC off the internet and printed the invite on some light green card stock.  I then used the Dot painters Like Do-A-Dot to stamp the different colored circles on the perimeter of the invite.  Add a butterfly sticker and use a regular hole punch to add some hungry caterpillar munch holes and that's it!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Eric Carle-Inspired Letters using Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Picasa

The crafts for the boys' Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed birthday continue with these Eric Carle-inspired letters that I want to use as cake toppers.  

I've written a tutorial on how to create these letters using the common programs Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Picasa.  

Creating Eric Carle Letters with Microsoft Powerpoint, Word and Picasa

Download Paper Cutout Font free here http://www.petflow.com/invite/uu8703518 and install into Microsoft Word

Open new document and change font size to size of letters you want – I used about 400 point.  You can also resize later.

Type your word and leave extra space around the letters

Using snipping tool capture each letter individually and save.

Import into Picasa.

Use the image processing tools to convert your letters to Pencil Sketch (optional) and save.

Open Microsoft Powerpoint

Insert one of your saved Sketch letters. Size it larger or smaller as desired.  In the Drawing menu select the scribble tool. Trace over your letter.  Doesn’t have to be perfect because you are going to cut these out later.  After completing the tracing, format the line to be about 2point and black if desired. (i used a red line here for illustration purposes)

Insert your Texture Background  (SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW) onto the page.

Find your traced letter and bring it to the front (right click and bring to front)
Place it over your Texture Background.

Repeat with several letters to make the most of the texture background and your ink!

Print on card stock and cut out letters.  Tape letters to skewers if desired.

Creating Eric Carle Texture Backgrounds using Eric Carle Graphics

(I used the Eric Carle Garland letters but you could even scan images from the books)

Scan the colors/images you like and save the images

Open in Picasa and crop one or two sections of the image and save those crops (you only need to do this if there are words or images you don’t want obstructing your desired texture…)

Open Microsoft Powerpoint.

Insert your images. Copy paste and rotate to create a solid swatch of your texture.  Group the individual elements (select all) and save as an image.  Now insert that image into a new Powerpoint page and crop found in the format menu) it to be square-ish if desired.  Save it.

a section of the purple texture i wanted to use

several patches of the purple crop aligned together

the final purple texture background image
Stayed Tuned in Early September to see these cake toppers in action at the birthday party!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saving money during Reduce Your Use days

Southern CA is no stranger to power outages. Even in June, I was hearing of rolling and scheduled brown outs in several towns near us. Recently, our power company (San Diego Gas and Electric) started a program where they will alert you to days that are expected to have higher than usual power draws and they request that you "Reduce your Use" on those days.  

Here is an excerpt from the press release in June:

"SAN DIEGO, June 6, 2012 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced the launch of Reduce Your Use day rewards. Starting this summer, most SDG&E residential and small business customers are eligible to earn a bill credit for using less electricity on specific days. These Reduce Your Use days may be called on hot summer days when energy demand is high and will last from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Customers who are eligible for Reduce Your Use day rewards are encouraged to set up email or text alerts by visiting sdge.com/reduceuse so that they can be notified the day before a Reduce Your Use day occurs. This will enable customers to plan ahead and take steps to save the most energy and maximize their reward.           
SDG&E customers who respond by reducing their energy use from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Reduce Your Use days will see a credit of $0.75 per reduced kilowatt hour (kWh) on their next energy bill. Customers can log into My Account at sdge.com on Reduce Your Use days to view their conservation goal. The online tool will also display how much energy they used and saved during the Reduce Your Use day."
There was a one Reduce Your Use day in July and three so far in August due to the heat wave we are having.  On each of the Reduce your use days if you use less Kwh than your average expected use between 11AM and 6PM you will get a credit on your bill. EASY!!  So in July I tested it out and I didn't run the AC or do laundry or run the dishwasher between 11 and 6 on 7/20/2012 and I got a $4.50 credit on my bill.  

But the real test of my resolve to save money came this past week when the temperatures soared into the high 90s and the humidity was killer.  Could I put off running the AC during the hottest part of the day?  Well on thursday we went out to the coast with some friends for a playdate and when we got home the kids had baths and a nap so they weren't too miserably hot.  I still had to put on the AC by 5 but I had made it most of the day so I thought it was ok.  Friday, we headed over to the Y so I could work out and the kids went to the daycare there. I still had to do diaper laundry but I got it all washed and out in the sun to dry by 11. It was really hot by 4 so I had to turn on the AC.  On Saturday the kids had swim lessons in the morning and then napped for 4 hours (!!) when we got home.  I ran the AC from about 3-430 but then we left to head out to the Fair so off it went. In order to try and keep the house cool, I made sure to keep the house closed up as much as possible and keep the blinds closed on the side of the house where the sun was beating it. 

I thought we did pretty well conserving energy and luckily my efforts were handsomely rewarded!  Check out our energy use chart for the past week.  Disregard the temperature axis.  The real temp were in the 90s

Do you see our savings?  $27.75 in rewards in just three days of not using the AC!  Nice.  We are expecting another week of abnormally high temps here so maybe we'll have a few more of these Reduce Your Use days.  

How do you save energy?  Does your electric company offer these type of rewards for saving energy?


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