Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cause and Effect

I didn't think there were enough kids' quotes from June to warrant a post, so I combined them along with July's memorable ones.

While wearing the adorable Dumbo costume I found at a garage sale, Logan said, "Lookit. Me got BIG ears!"

Mia loves to tell me about what it will be like when she grows up. For example, she plans to keep horses. She told me, "Mom I've got the perfect names for my horses for when I grow up: Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Icing, and Strawberry Pie." She then went on to explain that Vanilla Icing is a spotted horse (I had assumed it would be all white.), Chocolate Chip is a gray horse (I would have guessed it would have brown spots.), and Strawberry Pie is all white.

Mia called out in a sing-song voice, "Fly-y-yyyy, come out. We're gonna kill you." Logan added, "Buzz buzz." Unfortunately, flies don't come when called so I had to stalk it all over the place with the flyswatter before finishing it off.

Logan: "Me want to wave bye-bye to Daddy."
Me: "He's still getting ready. Do you hear the shower?"
Logan: "He's getting all wet. With shower water." 

It makes me wonder if the kids have too much screen time when Mia says something like this: "Mom, can you pause the book? I need to go pee-pee!"

Mia said this while trying to carry a bunch of toys up to her room, "Whew! If only I had four hands like Curious George. Then all this stuff would be easier to carry!"

Logan is taking pride in his accomplishments. A good one: "Me do it myself. Ta-Da!" (after making his own PB&J sandwich) and a not so good one: "Me go pee-pee. Ta-Da!" (too bad it was on the floor)

Mia: "I'm not good at patience."

Logan slept late, but woke up feeling chipper, which is when we had this cute conversation.
Me: "Hi, Handsome!"
Logan: "Hi!"
Me: "How'd you sleep?"
Logan: "20 minutes."

He's All Boy ... and the Mommyisms Keep Coming

Oh the joys of being the mom of a two-year-old boy! He constantly keeps me on my toes, and makes me say the oddest things that I never dreamed of saying. I laugh at times, but still I overreact more often than I should, making me wonder how in the world God expects me to survive raising a two-year-old boy.

Then, I realized that I have less than one month left of being the mom of a two-year-old boy, and it made me sad. Some day, when he's a "big boy," the crazy things Logan does will actually make me crazy, but for now they crack me up (okay, not always at that moment, but looking back...) I want to always remember these little moments when my baby was still a baby.

Also, you have to laugh along at my attempts to reason with this boy. I honestly used the phrase, "For future reference..." not once, but twice this month. Ha! I'll keep you posted on how well that works...

July 12, 2012
"We don't pour water on our bedroom floor. "We've actually had this conversation before, so obviously it doesn't work to tell him this, but it hasn't stopped me. 

July 17, 2012
"Why'd you put a rock in the toilet?" The funny part isn't really that he put a rock in the toilet, but that I asked WHY he did this. Duh, Mom. If he had given me an explanation it likely would have been along the lines of, "I wanted to see what would happen if I put a rock in the toilet. Guess what? Not much. You asked why and then fished it out."

July 18, 2012
"For future reference, we don't ever, ever lick the peanut butter jar or other food containers."

July 26, 2012
"NO! NO! NO! We don't barrel roll off the sofa!"

July 26, 2012
"Not sure why you have a watering can in here, but we're definitely not going to put blueberries in it."

July 26, 2012
"Don't lick pepper off the table." 
We let the kids pour their own pepper at meals (but not salt) since they tend to use quite a bit. Logan made a pile on the table and then you can guess what he did.

July 30, 2012
"For future reference, please don't wipe your boogers on the wall." (I discovered a section of the wall in the living room where he has apparently been depositing them on a few occasions. When I asked who did it, he was very quick to confess. No guilt, just honesty, which you have to love. Then he offered to help me wash the wall.)

July 31, 2012
The first thing I said to him this morning: "Hi, there. Where's your diaper?"

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Work Here is Done

I noted recently that Mia has been entertaining herself more frequently by coming up with her own craft projects, which is pretty cool considering she is only five. This one in particular impressed me, so I thought that I would share her inspiration. She started with a coffee filter and a pair of safety scissors, and she trimmed it so that I first thought she was making a flower of some sort. I was pleasantly surprised to see the results. Both the originality of her idea and her craftsmanship are top-notch as far as I am concerned.

{When she asked for red, orange, and yellow paint I figured it would be a sun instead of a flower. It turned out to be a cute lion, however.}

{Once the paint was dry, she asked me for a permanent marker to draw this face.}

{Hopefully, I didn't mess up her creativity by asking if she wanted to add a nose and ears to her lion's face. Other than that suggestion -- and pouring the acrylic paints for her -- she did this project completely on her own. That's my girl!}

Friday, July 27, 2012

When DIY May Not be a Good Idea: Homemade Cloud Dough

I am sharing this because I want everyone to know that contrary to what people may believe, I am not some kind of Super Mom. Although I often try to come up with fun things to do with my kids, they don't always go well as I hope. I love homemade craft materials, so today we today we made Cloud Dough. (Mia informed me that they made this at preschool and called it "Moon Sand.") This turned out to be a perfect example of something that should be filed under "What Was I Thinking?!"

To be clear, Mia and Logan had a blast with this stuff, so that wasn't the problem. It is neat to play with since it is soft and flows through your fingers, but it can also be molded. Both kids enjoyed making "sand castles" on the dining room table. It was just insanely messy, and caused me more stress than I would have liked. I don't know if I didn't mix it long enough or if I really just should have let them play with it in a larger container. My kids poured it out of the plastic container I used to mix up the Cloud Dough, and it was everywhere by the time they were done. (The good news is that this kept them entertained for at least half an hour, maybe more like an hour.)

Instead of using 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil, I used 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of baby oil to make our batch of Cloud Dough. (I only had so much baby oil. It was left over from when I used to make my own baby wipes solution. If you are interested in another craft you can make using baby oil, try this wave bottle.) Let's just say that I am glad I halved the recipe, and it was good that I needed to vacuum, anyway. If after reading this, you still want to make your own cloud dough, (I know it's making the rounds on Pinterest, which is where I first heard of it), consider having it be an outside activity, or at the very least, plan on doing some serious vacuuming and/or sweeping afterward.


{You can use cookie cutters, rolling pins, or any other tools you would normally use with play dough.}
{Of course, you can just use your hands, too.}

{See, it can be molded, which is cool, right?}

{The end result, while less than ideal, does show how much fun these two had!}

Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere!

Earlier this month, I decided we should have a bubble day. We tried out three different recipes for homemade bubble solutions and we also experimented with homemade (and other unconventional) bubble wands. Some ideas worked out better than others.

{This first picture is from the "Bouncing Bubble Solution." That is why they are wearing mittens. Unfortunately, this not only did not make "bouncing" bubbles, it didn't even make bubbles. I don't know this is because it was supposed to "set" for 24 hours and our batch "set" for 48, or if our distilled water was too old -- if that is even possible, or if it just doesn't work.}

{I made each of the kids their own plastic bottle bubble blower using Gatorade bottles from the recycling bin. I cut off the bottoms along the indentation (see photo) because the plastic was too tough to simply cut off the bottom portion. Water bottles are made of thinner plastic and would have worked better, I think, but we don't buy those.}

{I poured out some bubble solution on a baking sheet, and it worked well for the kids to dip their new bottle bubble blowers into the solution. I don't know if it shows up in the picture, but these blowers make nice big bubbles and are very simple for the kids to use.}

{This was another easy to make DIY bubble blower. I just twisted some pipe cleaners into big wands. I made circles and hearts, but in the end, bubbles are all the same shape so it doesn't matter what shape you make. They work nicely, which is really what is important to know.}

{We played with other kitchen utensils as bubble blowers. Cookie cutters were not the best we tried, but they do work. I found some of the ideas here.}

{Slotted spoons and slotted spatulas make good bubble wands. Wire whisks do not, unfortunately. It seemed like it would, but I was wrong.}

The other two recipes for bubble solution came from here. The one called "Fancy Homemade Bubbles" I won't share because I don't think it is worth sharing. I am not sure what makes them fancy other than the sugar, perhaps? And more importantly, it wasn't the best solution, so we won't be making it again. I was very tempted to make colored bubbles, but I really felt that it would turn out badly, and I didn't want to stain clothing or anything else. Ultimately, I think this is the best recipe (or at least the best we have tried). The name says it all I think. We made it with glycerin which I got in the Wilton section of Jo-Ann, which I am sure is not the cheapest way to buy it, but it came in a small bottle and I knew we would only need a small amount. Since I had a half-off coupon, it only cost me $1.50, which is about what I was willing to spend on what might have only been one day's worth of fun. I do have about 1/3 of the glycerin left, so we will get to make more bubbles later in the summer. I will have to try it with Karo syrup sometime, too.

Best Homemade Bubble Solution

1 cup water
2 tablespoons light Karo syrup or 2 tablespoons glycerin
4 tablespoons dishwashing liquid (We used blue Dawn.)
Mix together and have fun!

Beaded "Sun Catchers"

Here is a project Mia and I recently did on a rainy day. The goal was to create "sun catchers," but since our beads were more opaque than translucent, we just ended up with decorative ornaments. I found this idea here. The original directions said to bake for 20 minutes, but I found that ours took a bit longer, more like 30 minutes. I suppose this depends on the size of the beads you use.

{Make a single layer of cheap plastic beads inside an oven-safe dish. I think ours were from Walmart. We used ceramic ramekins, but muffins tins, cake pans, mugs, or glass dishes would all likely work. Note: I first lined ours with parchment paper to protect the ceramic in case this didn't work; I didn't want plastic melted to something I use for food.}

{Once the dishes are filled, bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, checking every so often. Note: This may be slightly smelly while the plastic melts, so I turned on the fan.

{Remove from the oven and allow to cool. This does not take very long. Once the plastic is cool, overturn the dish and the sun catcher should pop right out. Peel off and discard the parchment paper if you used it to line your dish.}

{Thread fishing line through the finished project to display. For the top one, I found a pin hole already there, but the bottom one required that I use a cordless drill and make one.}

Monday, July 16, 2012

Play with Your Food

I have been out of sorts today. I returned from a trip to the hospital feeling a bit grumpy because the tests should have given me answers, but instead I only have more questions. The one good bit of news that I have to keep reminding myself is that if they couldn't find a solid mass, then it probably can't be the really scary c-word. Unfortunately, it wasn't a cyst either, so who knows what the painful lump is? I have to follow up with my doctor tomorrow and go from there... Anyway, I was grouchy with the kids (which was pretty unfair to them) and so I tried to make up for it by serving a fun lunch. They're very forgiving, so I think we're good now.

{Make a watermelon sandwich: 1) Cut a piece of bread into a wedge. 2) Spread on strawberry jelly. 3) Add raisins for "seeds." 4) Cut green grapes in half and arrange to make the "rind." 5) Serve to a couple of cute kids. (Don't be surprised if they pick off the raisins and say, "eww." It doesn't stop me from trying to serve raisins every now and then.) Thank you, FamilyFun magazine for a yummy idea!}

{And now, have an "octapple".}

{Isn't it cute? I made one for each kid. 1) Cut a granny smith apple in half. I cut out the seeds and inside stuff as best as I could. 2) Arrange more halved green grapes to me the tentacles. 3) I used two dollops of Cool Whip for the eyes (since I didn't have a mini marshmallow on hand). Then I topped the Cool Whip with two mini chocolate chip eye balls. 4) Spread 6 mini chocolate chips with peanut butter to adhere the mouth. 5) Serve to a couple of cute kids. (Don't be surprised if they won't eat the green apple. It is tart, after all.) Thanks again, FamilyFun magazine.}

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red, White, and a Little Bit Blue

So once again this summer, I feel like I am "behind" with my blogging. I know, it probably didn't affect too many people because I can't imagine too many people were worried by my lack of posts, right? And really, it's not that big of a deal because I have been busy doing what's important: making memories with the kids (and trying not to be a grouch in the process, if I am being completely honest, because sometimes I have all of these ideas and trying to do all of them and have fun at the same time ends up being kind of challenging at times.)

Also, in case anyone is wondering whey there haven't been more craft ideas lately, there are two reasons for this. The first one I mentioned. It is summer. We are enjoying life -- outdoors -- as much as possible. And the rest of the time? If Mia wants to do a "project," as she calls them, she comes up with her own almost every time, which is a welcome break, in a way. (And Logan does not like to get messy with paint and other crafty materials. Now dirt, sand, mud, ... totally another story. He's definitely a boy.)

Oh, and one more thing. I got my stitches out this morning so I am just now getting full usage from my left thumb (amazing how much I rely on that digit and never knew it until recently) after slicing into it with a serrated kitchen knife on July 3. I was attempting to cut a cantaloupe in half while apparently distracted by a couple of kids who were begging me to frost sugar cookies that weren't yet cool, and this was supposed to keep them occupied for a bit. This caused me to panic a bit. The first thing I did was call Brett to tell him that I might need him to come home a little early (it wasn't quite 3:30) since I cut myself and might need stitches. I was running it under water because I freaked myself out and couldn't think straight enough to remember what to do next. Thankfully, Brett reminded me to put pressure on it. See, that's why I keep him around, that and he is pretty good at folding laundry (even without being asked).

First, I tried a paper towel but it was sticking to the wound, so I spent the next half hour with a damp washcloth wrapped around the injured thumb, while continuing on with the important business of frosting star-shaped sugar cookies. Yes, I somehow figured out a way to hold a cookie in my bad hand and frost it at the same time. (Thankfully, it was my non-dominant hand that got hurt.) You didn't think I was going to let the kids down did you? So, Brett came home while we were finishing that up, and I was not nearly as worried once I realized the bleeding had stopped.

{These were supposed to have red popping candy on them like the ones in FamilyFun, but it turned out that the stuff we had at home was pink, so we just used red and blue sugars.}

Still, it didn't look the best, sort of purplish-reddish, and I wasn't really sure how deep it was so I wondered if it would get infected. So, I did what seemed logical at the time. I decided to do as many chores as humanly possible (three loads of laundry, dishes, cleaning the stove top, finally cutting that melon and putting it away, etc.) to see how this affected my day-to-day life. This, folks, is apparently how a stay-at-home-mom gauges the severity of an injury. I decided that getting it wet probably wasn't the best thing for healing purposes. Then, I showed my cut to Brett, and he informed me that it made him queasy just looking at it. So, obviously, I turned to my friend the Internet to determine the next course of action. When I Googled "how to tell if a cut needs stitches," two of the three first websites suggested that if I hadn't had a tetanus shot in over 5 years, I would want to get that and have the doctor examine the laceration at the same time to determine whether or not stitches were needed.

I decided I did not want to go to the ER to sit forever and wait while all of the crazy people who were undoubtedly setting themselves on fire (hey, it's been insanely dry lately, and fireworks are just plain dangerous, so of course it makes perfect sense for the state to legalize them this year...), so once I determined that the Urgent Care was open, that is where I went. I got there around 8:00 pm and was just leaving at 9:00 pm when they were closing. I will skip over the details of how I nearly passed out when I got the shot of lidocaine ... and just let you know that I was looking very festive for the 4th of July when I left (with two lovely blue stitches on my previously reddish thumb which was then wrapped in a yard or so of white gauze). Good thing I went when I did, because it turned out that they were closed the next day.

My sense of humor seemed to be intact during this ordeal. I remember apologizing about turning green and breaking out in a sweat, saying that I "always think I can do this." The nurse later asked me how much of the melon I had gotten cut, and I told her it was the first slice, and after I finally tasted it later in the night, it had turned out not to even have been worth cutting. Ha! I also remember telling her that I was glad that it had happened to me and not one of the kids. While walking out the door, I told the receptionist to have a nice holiday and thankfully didn't jinx us by informing her that I had gotten our holiday crisis out of the way early, so we were good, right? She agreed that we should be in the clear. (In an unrelated note, this was the last time I have had a break from the kids. I really know how to celebrate "me time," huh?)

After I got home, I thought it was a good thing that I had made and hung these paper stars before cutting myself.

The next day, I was determined to make these Lady Liberty crowns (from the June/July 2012 issue of FamilyFun Magazine), and fortunately, I was still able to do some crafting even with my thumb being useless. They turned out pretty well, too.

I was feeling ambitious after that, so I made these red, white, and blue strawberries using my Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chef Series white chocolate (with some help from the tempering unit). They looked good and more importantly they were very yummy.

Then, I made these red raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry parfaits for dinner. This was another idea from FamilyFun, but I couldn't find the starfruit for garnish, and ours aren't in fancy glasses. And mine look much messier. There is definitely a technique to this, but the article didn't tell what it was. The best we came up with was putting the Cool Whip into a baggie, snipping off the end, and piping in in. (I would have used my DCD pastry bag but then I would have had to wash it by hand and I wasn't really up for that with my injury, which I was trying to keep as dry as possible.)

At the fireworks, Mia gave us a running account of the names of the fireworks. So funny! Here are some of my transcribed notes. She mentions the "Cheer Colors," and then tells me that she already told me "all the kinds of fireworks," but after I asked her to tell me again (so I could try to get it recorded) she says that one is called a "Dribble Blop." She goes on to describe something "kind of like angels or fairies or something. It's just gold. It's beautiful!" The next part I caught was, "Wow! That was bright. That is called 'Bright Blossom.'" When I asked her to tell me about another type of firework she replied, "Well, the 'Puffball' ones are round and big." A bit later she says, "That was called a 'Gold Hanger'. I've never seen 'Gold Hangers' before." She concludes by saying, "That was a 'Cherry Tree.' I'm getting tired of telling you fireworks."

{How cute are we?}

{I had to include this one just for the look on her face.}

After looking at my thumb on Friday when I got to switch from gauze to a plain band-aid, I noted that it was red, white, and blue: white stripe where the band-aid had been, red "boo-boo," and blue stitches. So festive. And it was funny to see me at the beach, I am sure, with my latex glove secured with a rubber band which cut off circulation somewhat but did the trick for keeping the are dry. Fortunately, it healed well. I kept it amazingly dry despite a few showers, and one bath in cool vinegar water. I got sunburn in a few spots like my shoulder and upper thigh, and hilariously, parts of my tummy where I apparently did a lousy job of applying sunscreen. I was the only one in the family who had this problem so I will just go ahead and blame my injury and not the fact that it was the first time wearing a bikini in approximately forever. By the way, if you get a sunburn, a 15 minute soak in a lukewarm bath with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar really does help. I got that tip straight from Green Grandma's Vinegar Fridays. I think I took the glove off for this photo, but you can sort of see how I am holding it upward to prevent any possible wetness from Lake Michigan. So, it looks like I am giving a thumbs up for the fun we had with Daddy home for 5 whole days.

{Seeing these two together was my favorite thing about the beach.}

{Logan loved when Daddy picked him up...}

{Except that he kept losing his shoes!}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mommyisms (and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say Until I Became a Mom)

More Mommyisms (Generic "Mom" Things I Catch Myself Saying):

"Someone's going to get hurt..."

"I can't understand you when you're crying."

"Just because ___________ does something doesn't mean you should."

"Pick it up before the dog gets it!"  

"Well, I told you not to ____________ ."

"But I just gave you a new one." (Band Aid)

"Yuck! Stop drinking the bath water."

"What do you say?" (please, thank you)

"Eat over your plate, please."

... and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say (Until I Became a Mom):

"NO! We don't ride the dog!" (11/19/11) -- said to Logan

"Eat your taco. Don't drum with it." (4/11/12) -- said to Logan

"We don't use our rugs as toilet paper." (4/25/12) -- said to Mia

"Don't put your cheese in the boat." (5/3/12) -- said to Logan

"Get off your sister and come eat lunch." (5/7/12) -- said to Logan

"Please don't wipe your nose on the ottoman." (6/10/12) -- said to Logan

"Don't put your spoon in your diaper." (6/25/12) -- said to Logan

"Can you please not drive the car on my face?" (6/29/12) -- said to Logan

Do as I Say:

It also turns out that I have a few catch phrases that I say particularly often since I hear the kids repeating them back to me and to each other.

"Oh my gosh!"

"What's going on here?" 

"Sorry. I'll try to keep it in the tub." ~ Mia (6/29/12)

"Me making bad choice." ~ Logan (7/2/12)