Friday, August 31, 2012

Great toddler activity blog post

Check out this awesome list over at Counting on Me for 101 Things to Do With you Toddler.

I will have to remember these for rainy days.

On a side note, Destructo went into the childcare at my MOPS group today.  He had his paci and had been crying on and off when I picked him up.  :(  I hate it when he is sad.  But I know getting to play with other kids is good for him.  Hopefully he gets used to it soon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Picky Toddler Eating

Destructo has always been a great eater.  We would take him out to restaurants when he was just 12 months old and have numerous people stop by to ask us how old he was and compliment us on how well he was eating.  I always assumed that it was because we skipped right over purees and did baby led weaning.  (See my post here to learn more about this concept.)

But now in the last two months, my son has went from champion of eating to subsisting on bananas, bread, and snacks. I knew toddlers could become quite picky eaters.  I also know that Destructo is currently getting molars in.  But I am not quite sure what to do about it.  I have tried the just try one bite approach hoping that he would try it and be like hmmm this sure is delicious.  Let me gobble it all down.  But he is kind of too young for that approach (and way too stubborn) and is just now understanding what take one bite means.

I have tried letting him have "cookies" if he eats halfway decent.  And by cookies, I mean whole wheat graham crackers of course.  But this just leads to more temper tantrums on the days he doesn't eat well and therefore doesn't get cookies.

We have tried letting him out of his chair and making him go in the living room since he wasn't eating.  This just results in tantrums.  As does the opposite of this approach when we keep him in the chair until the entire family is done eating.  I have tried telling him it was all my food and not to touch it (oh yeah mothering at it's best right there.)  This worked  really well twice and never again since I am pretty sure Destructo is smart enough to know as his mother, I can't actually starve him.

I am not too worried nutrient wise.  He is still nursing 2-3 times a day and nearly always eats a really good breakfast.  I have just started making sure I give him as much as he wants in the morning.  But I would like him to eat more balanced meals.  In a given day, he will eat eggs and toast and fruit in the morning and maybe fruit for the rest of the meals.  Carrots and sweet potatoes are typically (but not always) winners as well.  Protein in his diet is unheard of unless it is of the egg or peanut persuasion.

Just for the record, Destructo is truly a weirdo.  What child doesn't like ketchup?  He actually cries when you show him the bottle or ask him if he wants ketchup.  Lord help us if it actually touches his lips.  This results in an amazingly dramatic tantrum.  He also won't eat ranch dressing, cheese cubes, or mac n cheese (or really any pasta with the exception of an occasional bite of spaghetti with meat sauce.  He is not a normal child.  :)

A face I see all too often at meal time now a days

So what do you guys have to say?  Any sure fire tips, tactics, hints for me? 

Here are some links I found that give creative ideas that I am going to be trying in the near future.  I will keep you guys updated if I have any luck with any of them.

Fun creative kids meals and snack  This lady arranges the food into fun designs or shapes.  I love the solar system arrangement.
Dr. Sears Feeding the Picky Eater article

Wholesome Toddler Food  This link has great information about how many calories your toddler should be eating per day and info about feeding a balanced diet

Muffin Tin Meals This blog has pictures of something that the Dr. Sears article talks about.  Cutting up bite sized healthy foods and putting them in muffin trays.  I am for sure trying this this weekend.  Destructo loves playing with my pots and pans and sorting things.  I bet this will entertain him, but also encourage him to eat.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-- The Saga Continues

Okay so for anyone that didn't see my earlier post, you need to check out this post What Destructo does when He Thinks Mommy isn't Looking for this Wordless Wednesday to make sense.

That darn pirate ship attacked me.  I swear I wasn't standing on it momma.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ten Responses to Use when Faced with Cloth Diaper Criticism

As any cloth diapering mama knows, there is a lot of criticism about using cloth diapers out there.  Even if cloth diapering is becoming more and more mainstream, it is still sometimes viewed as a time suck, taking a step backwards, gross, not as good for the baby, or too much hassle.  It can get frustrating and even overwhelming to a new mother who has decided to use cloth when she is faced with tons of negative comments.  Especially since cloth diapering is a learning process anyway and you typically feel unsure of yourself to begin with.

So here are the top ten criticisms I have faced in regards to cloth diapering and ways they can be dealt with.
1)  That is disgusting.  I don't want to put poop in my washing machine.  My common answer to this one is a simple so anytime your baby has a blow out diaper are you going to throw those clothes away?  Because it seems to me like during the newborn explosive poo phase that practice could get expensive.

2)  That is so gross.  I don't want to handle that much poop.  Answer:  Well then maybe you shouldn't have kids.  Child rearing is gross on many days and levels.  Some days I get covered in a multitude of different bodily fluids.  You just have to roll with the punches (and hopefully wash your hands.)

3)  They are too expensive of an investment.  Cost savings in using cloth  I usually just point out stats like this.  I calculated that my diapers would start paying for themselves at the one year mark.  So anything after one year is saving money.  Anything with baby number two would be super extra money saving (you know if I could quite just having to have the newest and cutest designs.) You could also point out that enough prefolds and covers can be bought to cloth diaper a baby for less than a hundred bucks.

4)  The baby will have more rashes with cloth diapers.  This just isn't true at all.  If anything disposables make the baby more rash prone because they can't breathe as well as cloth diapers can.  The Real Diaper Association says there is no difference in diaper rash occurrence in cloth diapers or disposables.  (There is a great informative link on their site, see here.)

5)  It takes too much time to wash, stuff, etc.  cloth diapers.  I was getting this a lot so I kept up with the time it took me in a week to do everything cloth diaper related.  It was about an hour.  So yes, it does take slightly more time than using disposables would.  But not really when you consider that you have to go to the store to buy the disposable diapers.  I figure it all balances out in the end.

6)  It will raise the water bill too much.  Or an alternative is that it wastes too much water.  Again in my personal experience, yes my water bill did go up slightly.  But it is still far cheaper than spending 20 bucks a week in disposables.  Especially since my kid is the poopingest kid ever and still goes through 6-8 diapers a day even at 16 months.  Heck some days he has hit ten diapers.  And according to the Real Diaper Association, "The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth."  (See link here.)

7)  Disposables are just as safe and healthy for babies as cloth.  My answer is that there are known chemicals that cause cancer in lab animals that are used in the manufacture of cloth diapers.  Why chance it?  Some links I like that back that up are:

8)  My child potty trained early even in disposables.  Okay so yay for your child.  But the majority of children don't potty train until closer to three.  If I can speed that process up even by a little bit, I am thankful for that.  I hate changing diapers.  Kids in cloth diapers feel wet (especially if you are using organic fibers.)  This leads them to potty train slightly earlier than their disposable diapered counterparts.

9)  I never had leaks in my disposables.  Again maybe the person didn't.  But in my personal experience and in talking with many cloth diaper users, diaper blowouts are much less frequent or non existent in cloth diapers.  That was why I was so excited when Destructo's belly button had healed enough to start using cloth.  I was tired of having to change his clothes 8 times a day when his diaper leaked.  I nearly never (at least before my leg elastics wore out on my Bumgenius diapers) had poop leaks.  And only occasional pee leaks and usually only when he is napping on his stomach. 

10)  Disposable diapers are just as cute as cloth.  Okay so I have never actually heard this one.  But if I did, I wouldn't hesitate to call the person crazy.  Cloth diapers after all are adorable.  And isn't that why we all cloth diaper?  I mean I need matching diapers to my son's outfits!

I mean come on what is cuter than a sports diaper?

Monday, August 27, 2012

As I Sit Rocking my Son

Last night Destructo decided to wake up crying right as I was about to drift off to sleep. All mothers know that this truly is the most dreaded wake up call. You are all relaxed and warm and cozy and bam instant groggy alertness.  So I went in and was rocking him and probably rocked him far longer than I needed to.  It hit me even more in that instant that when I am old and gray, I will never wish I had slept a little bit more.  I will remember those nights cuddled with my little boy in the glider rockie rocking the night and all its scary monsters away.

Then immediately after this realization, Destructo in a moment of uncharacteristic calm and sweetness reached up and put his hand on my cheek and smiled at me.  This nearly brought tears to my eyes.  But the thoughts that followed had me literally crying.

I had flashbacks from my pregnancy and the first year of his life and the last three months of toddler hood.  I saw all his firsts.  His first smile, his first army crawling, his first steps.  (And let me just send a shout out to the big man in Heaven for letting me be there for all of his major firsts.  I really struggled with PPD and horrible anxiety and guilt over being a working mom Destructo's first year of life.  I would have been devastated to miss Destructo's first steps and luckily it was minutes after I got home from work one day.)

Then my sleepy mind had a mind time warp thing going on and I could see all the milestones yet to come.  Kai's first hair cut (which really means he isn't a baby anymore.)  The terrible twos. His first day of preschool.  Kindergarten.  Sports (you know soccer and hockey of course.)  Middle school.  Hitting double digits on his birthday.  His first school dance.  High school.  His first date (when he is thirty of course.)  Prom.  Graduation.  Going away to college.  His first serious relationship.  Engagement and marriage.  My first grandchild.

In theory, I have at least 20 more years until some of these milestones happen.  But if his entire first nearly year and a half can literally blaze by in the blink of an eye, so too will the next twenty years.  As I thought about all these milestones, I can picture Kai in them.  Screaming and hitting when we have to get his hair cut because he hates sitting still (and is it ever curly hair since this momma can't stand the thought of cutting it.)  Wearing his little backpack so excited for all the adventures of preschool.  Telling me about his new best friend that he made on the first day of kindergarten and  how they got to have cookies for snack.

I see him running down a soccer field and scoring a goal, looking into the stands for me to give him a thumbs up.  (Or the alternative vision to this is if Mr. Destructo gets his way and turns our son into the next hockey champ him wobbly on his ice skates taking his first skating lessons.)  Being nervous on the night before middle school starts about getting a locker and having to change classes for the first time but being too cool a boy to admit he is nervous.  Watching him shyly ask a girl to dance at his first school dance (that of course this momma bear is chaperoning.)

High school and the teen years fill me with dread.  Watching him leave the house on his first date, catching him kissing his first girl (when he is 30 let me repeat that,)  and knowing fully well my grip on my little boy is ending and another lovely lady will one day fill the top spot in his heart.  Seeing him all smiles in his tux asking to borrow his dad's nice vehicle to pick up his prom date (and this could also be laughable seeing we like to drive cars until they no longer drive.)  Okay let's rethink that thought asking Grandpa to borrow his Camaro to pick up his prom date.  I see sitting up all night waiting to make sure he safely comes home after Prom and worrying about whether he is making the right choices at the party he will most likely attend. Graduation day in his cap and gown and yellow cords (you know because he is graduating with honors of course.)

I see him getting in his car that while nothing special he loves and driving away to college.  I also see me following right behind to help him settle into his dorm room and clucking around like a mother hen to make sure everything is perfect before I leave.   I can just hear his voice, no longer the voice of a child calling to tell me he is going to bring a girl home for us to meet and knowing in my heart that she is the one God has set aside to be Kai's wife.  I picture seeing the ring he has picked out for his soon to be fiancee and advising him to make sure he asks her dad for permission.  (Mr. Destructo did this with my dad and I expect my son to do this as well.)

I see Destructo in his tux and the look of love on his face as his blond haired bride walks down the aisle.  I see their first kiss as a married couple.  (And yes in my imaginings his wife has blond hair.  If you have ever met Kai, you know why!)  I can just imagine my excitement when I hear the words you are going to be a grandma.  I picture holding my baby grandchild in my arms and being transported to that day many years ago when I held my own newborn son.  I can just picture picking out the features that my grandchild acquired from Destructo.

This will be me in a few decades staring at my first grandchild

And after all this imagining and half an hour of rockie rocking, I literally was in tears.  As my tears rolled down my cheeks onto Destructo's face, I only had one thought thank goodness Mr. Destructo is already asleep because he would make so much fun of me for being a sappy, sentimental woman.  (And now he is going to know all about this if he ever gets on here and reads this.)  My time traveling of last night will help me to remember even on the horrible days how fleeting this time God gives us with little children really is and that I should laugh even when everything is going wrong.  I won't be able to hold his hand forever, but I will cherish it while I can.

John 16:21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

This post is linked up at:
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Mommy Moments 
My Pregnancy Journal 
Titus 2sday 
Tuesday Baby Link Up  
Women Helping Women 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Destructo does when he thinks mommy isn't looking?

But little does he know that I am always watching. I have eyes in the back of my head. (Or at least that is what I am going to tell him as he grows up.) I think he is practicing to be an Olympic gymnast.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Woolzies Dryer Ball Review

I got a wonderful opportunity to review Woolzies dryer balls and once that was done to offer one lucky reader a set of these dryer balls.  I have to say I was very pleased with these dryer balls.

According to the Woolzies website, "Woolzies are pure handmade New Zealand wool dryer balls that soften your laundry naturally without any of the chemicals of conventional fabric softeners. Unlike the plastic dryer balls, they are PVC free and won't fall apart or melt on you. Woolzies save time and energy by cutting down on drying time by an average of 25% per load. They also help reduce static and wrinkles."

I found all of these to be true.  I have a super crappy old dryer that takes 2+ hours for a large load.  But since I have been using these, it has been down to about 1.5 hours.  For anything other than super large loads, it was closer to the hour or 1.25 hour range.

Since I use cloth diapers on Destructo, I haven't been able to use any fabric softeners or dryer sheets to soften my clothes and/or prevent static cling.  In the effort of full disclosure, this is not a time of year that I have huge static problems anyways so while it does seem to have cut back on the little static I did have the verdict is still out until winter when I have bad static problems.  The only pants I have that get static now are my work scrubs and I noticed no static.  The company also said to ball up a piece of aluminum foil the same size as the dryer balls and to put that in for further static control.

Wrinkles were much reduced in my husbands work shirts which is nice since my idea of ironing is to throw them in the dryer with a wet wash rag.  Ta da ironed.  I know, I know, I am quite the domestic goddess.  They can be used to leave a nice smelling scent on your clothes as well.  The company included a note in with the dryer balls that said to put a few drops of pure essential oils in your scent of choice directly on the dryer balls and that will leave your clothes lightly scented.  I did not try this just because I am not one of those people that need scent to their clothes as long as they don't smell dirty!

When I first started thinking that dryer balls might be for me, I wondered if they would be very loud.  Honestly they aren't.  My dryer is super loud anyways since it is old and the door doesn't close quite right, but I don't notice a whole lot of additional noise.  I have even turned the dryer on at night (which I don't normally do because of the chance of fire but I needed a pair of shorts for the morning) and it didn't keep me up at all and I am a super light sleeper.

Finally, I highly recommend these products.  The top things I like are that these dryer balls will last about year, are all natural, reduce static cling, can be used even if you have wool allergies, and are handmade.  But I can say the biggest perk in my book was the reduced drying time which in turns reduces energy and saves money.  Oh and an added perk is that Destructo loves to steal the "baaaals" out of the dryer and toss them around.

I swear I did NOT just steal this out of the dryer

If you are interested in buying these,  you can get a set here.  They are 35.99 for a set of six with free shipping to the US and Canada and 6.95 shipping elsewhere in the world.  You won't regret buying them!

Disclosure:  I was given a set of these Woolzies dryer balls for free to review and keep and they are providing a set to one reader.  I was not paid to review them and all opinions are honest and my own.    See my full disclosure policy tab for more information.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

I am always looking for ways to be frugal and save money, especially down the road if I get to be a stay at home mom since we will have to scrimp and save more.  I decided that making laundry soap was a great way to save money.  I talked to numerous friends on one of my message boards and a lot of them had tried a particular recipe and loved it.  I wanted a liquid soap recipe, but they all involved cooking and the one I used just involved mixing ingredients in a garbage bag so you can probably figure out which recipe this lazy gal went with.

Without further ado, here is the original blog post on Being Creative to Keep my Sanity that the recipe comes from.

3 bars of Fels Naptha or 2 bars of Zote.

Around 3.5 lbs oxy clean (can be store brand.)  I always buy the store brand and then just use half of the six pound tub.

Laundry crystals  (Optional but I love scent on my clean clothes.  I used Purex the first time, but splurged on the second batch I made and got Gain crystals and my clothes smell like Gain!)

Okay there are the ingredients linked to Amazon for those that like shopping from their couch!

I followed her recipe with the exception of adding a container of the Purex crystals just for scent.  Hopefully Destructo does okay with this since I have always used scent free detergents thus far.  But it just smelled so good and I used to be a Gain addict because your entire closet would smell good and you could smell the scent on your clothes for days.  If he doesn't do well with it, I figure I can give my mom this batch and make it without the crystals.

I am washing my first load of clothes with this right now.  And funny story to go along with that.  I decided to make the soap in the living room floor.  I do NOT recommend this.   I inevitably spilled some of the ingredients on my living room rug.  No biggie, but this involved me having to vacuum.  But hey, at least my living room smells good.  I stored it in a giant Rubbermaid container.  But I had the genius idea that I could keep a small amount of the soap in the Purex crystals container and be able to pour it out.  It worked wonderfully. 

So I went to do the first load and I was ohh so excited.  I decided to wash my guest pillows.  Destructo likes to crawl all over them and they had hand prints on them.  Take my word when I say do NOT wash bed pillows in your normal sized washing machine.  Especially not the down alternative kind.  I might or might not have flooded my entire laundry room.  Mr. Destructo didn't even  offer to help me.  Maybe because I had put him into a scent overload by making this soap next to his chair while he watched TV.   Ooops.  Now the pillows are chillaxing in my bath tub since they weigh at least 50 pounds.  I am not really sure what the plan is from there.  I guess I am going to hope that Mr. Destructo needs to shower before I do and has to deal with them???

Okay I am convinced.  The towels seemed clean and smelled pretty good.  Yes these were the towels I used to mop up my flooded floor.  The real test will come when I wash some of Destructo's clothes.  He gets everything filthy.  I plan on this true test of champions tomorrow.  I will keep you guys updated. Oh and just so you guys know this cost me around 25 bucks to make and according to the original blog author should last around a year. 

Next up on the I can make stuff cheaply is dishwasher detergent.

Edited to add:  This lasted from the end of August to the middle of May.  I kept up with the receipt when I bought the stuff to make new and it will end up being around 2.50 a month.  This is also with me using Gain crystals this time which are more expensive since I love the way Gain smells.  If you don't do the Purex crystals/Gain crystals which are mainly just because I love the fresh clean scent on my clothes, it brings the monthly cost down to somewhere around 1.50.

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Flashback Friday-- My Owl Baby Shower

I had two baby showers.  Actually scratch that, I had three.  My mom and sisters threw me one, my mother in law threw me one, and work threw me one.  Destructo sure was a loved little baby.  The theme for my mom's baby shower was owls.  She actually made the cake totally by herself including teaching herself how to work with fondant.  What can I say my mom is freaking Martha Stewart.

It was a lot of fun.  We did fill in the blank letters that everyone filled out and I can give to Destructo one day when he is grown.  (Or in reality to his future wife who might actually care if he turns out anything like his daddy!)  You can see the format of those here.  I love reading some of these responses a year later.  Some are super funny such as I hope you respect traffic laws because those tickets add up or I hope you aren't afraid of your dad.  LOL  Some were super sweet such as I hope you never forget you are loved or I hope you love with all your heart.  And some are just down right true.  I hope you learn math.  It's hard (at least for Destructo's mommy.)  Or I hope you ride horses like your mommy.  Darn tooting.

We played two games one where you had to identify baby pictures of various family members.  This was hard even for me because my mom included my grandparents as babies.  I kept that poster she had made and will give it to Destructo one day.

The other game was the delivering a baby game.  My mom froze little plastic babies in ice cubes and you had to "break the water" and get the baby out to win.  It was hilarious watching everyone try to get their little plastic babies out.  Some people were very passive about it just letting the ice cubes dissolve in their drinks.  Others were sucking on them or rubbing them in their hands or hitting them with their forks.  It was pretty amusing.

Overall it was a great baby shower.  I had my childhood friend travel in from Michigan to be there with me and this meant the world to me.  Shouts out to Kelly if she is reading this.  My two closest college friends also both made it there and that was fun to be together once again.  And finally it wouldn't be complete without my "internet stranger" friend Becky buying me a way too generous gift that has come in so handy time and time again.  (The baby crack white noise machine  and the swaddles I talked about in this post.)

And now to the pictures.
Mom and sisters with the owl clothes hanging on the clothesline

Owl cake, birds nest no bake cookies, and matching suckers
Awesome owl hat my friend Laura made
Sweets table
Food table
My momma and baby owl decoration
Clothes line with the shirt that my mom made me. 
Guess who was who as a baby game
Destructo's auntie LoeLoe and auntie Po-trishie

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Mastitis Experience more Aptly Named the Time I was Hit by a Double Decker Bus

Breastfeeding was not easy for me in the early days.  (To read more about that journey, click here.)  By 3 weeks though, things were getting easier.  I had Kai nursing at least half of the feedings and was pumping the others when I just couldn't get him latched on.  That is until I woke up with a plugged duct one morning.  No big deal.  I took some Advil and put hot compresses on the area, encouraged Destructo to nurse more frequently, and even added in a pumping session to try to help.  I was massaging the area before and after nursing.  (Basically I was walking around groping myself all day.  Haha)

Not a care in the world that day
But it was a stubborn plugged duct and I was having trouble getting rid of it.  My mom was with me that day and helping me clean up the house and take care of Kai.  I had a friend from work come over and then Mr. Destructo's parents came over.  I felt fine most of the day until lunchtime.  By lunch, I was feeling kind of chilly.  I thought it was just the ceiling fan being on so I grabbed a blanket.  I was also very, very tired, but what new mom isn't. 

But then I started feeling like I had literally been hit by a bus.  I went in my bedroom to go to the bathroom and just had to lay down.  My mom eventually came looking for me and asked if I was okay.  She wanted to know if I had a fever (which I said no to since I had checked it earlier in the day and I didn't.)  I finally decided to take my temp around 4 PM and it was 101.  Crap, crap, crap.  I knew right then I had mastitis.  By 6 PM my temp was up to 103.5.  I felt so bad.  My head was pounding.  I was cold and hot all at once.   I had red streaks going to the plugged duct area and red streaks forming on the other side and the entire red area was very hot.  I felt achy like I had the flu and so very weak.

The worst part in all this was when Kai needed to eat. The pain in both breasts was so bad, I couldn't even nurse him and had to resort to pumping.  (Heck who am I kidding, I couldn't even so much as pick him up because even my shirt touching me was enough to make me want to cry.)  My supply had tanked though and I was barely getting anything.  I sobbed knowing that my meager fridge supply wasn't going to be enough.  Since I had been struggling with getting him to latch all along, I had a bit of pumped milk.  But it wasn't enough and I knew that unless something dramatic changed I would have to give him formula.  This broke my heart since I so wanted breastfeeding to work and I knew this was the beginning of the end.  (Luckily it wasn't.  Fenugreek and blessed thistle and tons of pumping/nursing got my supply back up and we are still breastfeeding today at nearly 16 months.)  I cried bitterly as I watched my hubby feed him his first breast milk/ formula bottle in the middle of the night.

Around 7, we put in a call to my OB who confirmed mastitis and called in a prescription to the all night pharmacy in the city next to ours.  This was the worst part of the whole experience.  I had to keep Kai alone since my family had already left while I had a 103 fever and was dizzy and felt about as bad as I have ever felt so that Mr. Destructo could go get my antibiotics. 

This bottle was the worst for me since it was all formula

The next day my mom drove back up to get me and Destructo and bring us to her house so that she could care for Kai since Sam had to work the next day.  I was still running a 103-104 fever (at one point it was 104.5 and I was slightly delirious.)  Getting out of bed when you are running a fever that high to pump is hell let me tell you.  Long story short, this went on for two full days and then by day three I started feeling better.  It took me about a week to fully recover though.  Words of wisdom to my readers:  If you think you have mastitis, call your doctor right away.  The sooner you start on antibiotics, the sooner you will be feeling better.

Here is a awesome link that talks about mastitis and plugged ducts:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-- Playdough Fun

Teaching shapes with playdough

Mommy really needs to buy some cookie cutters for him
If you want to make this playdough, you can check out this post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Christmas Gift Ideas I am Considering for Destructo

I am super excited about Christmas this year.  Destructo will be just under 20 months old and will really be big enough to get excited about snow, presents, the nativity set at church, seeing the Christmas lights.  So of course I have been thinking about what I can buy him or make him as his gifts.  Here are the top ten ideas I am tossing around right now.

1)  A kitchen set made out of an old TV stand.  I saw pictures of these floating around on pinterest and was really interested.  The nice wooden kitchen sets that you can buy are 100 dollars or more.  Plus what would be more fun than a project for me and Mr. Destructo to work on together for Kai.  Destructo loves cooking and mixing things and I can only imagine how much he would love a kitchen set.  This kitchen set is what I am aiming for (or something very similar.) 

2)    I actually already got this for him.  I found it for 12 bucks at one of my consignment sales brand new in the package never opened.  He loves building things with his blocks and he loves playing with his farm set so I figured this was a good combo.

3)    This Thomas play set was on clearance at Target for 13 dollars.  So I went ahead and picked it up.  Destructo is really into trains right now so hopefully he will still be at Christmas time.

4)  A food set to go with the kitchen (assuming we make the kitchen set.)  I would like something like this setor this set.

5)  A pots and pans set such as this one or this set.   

6)  A dishes set for the kitchen.  Can you guys tell I am really stuck on the kitchen set?  I hope Mr. Destructo is on board with helping me make this since I am not the handiest with tools.  Oh and I hope Grandma Destructo is on board as well since I don't own a sewing machine nor know how to use one.
This is the set I have my eyes on.  

7)  A chefs hat and apron.  Again Grandma Destructo are you reading this?  I want it to match his room.

8)  A toddlers Bible.  He already has a lift the flap bible that he loves, but I would like a little older of a version so that he can use it even when he moves out of the toddler board book stage.  Any suggestions?

9)  A fishing pole.  Mr. Destructo loves fishing (and so do I for that matter.)  I figure Destructo will be fishing this time next year so Christmas would be a good time to get him a cute little fishing pole.  I love this set as well for pretend play around the house.

10)  And while I am fantasizing about all the awesome things I would like to buy Kai for Christmas if money was no option this would be tops on my list.   I mean what could be more fun than a giant wooden swing set?  This set is literally nearly 1000 bucks so I can guarantee you guys which one will not happen this Christmas (or any Christmas unless Mr. Destructo builds it himself.)    But hey a girl can dream right?

More than anything I want to teach Kai that Christmas isn't about the presents or good food or a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.  That the only reason we celebrate Christmas is because God sent his only son down from heaven to die for our sins and save us.  But this is a whole other post that I will write closer to Christmas.

Linked up at:
Thursday Favorite Things
Toddle Along Tuesday

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I Won the Liebster Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. It is for blogs with 200 or less followers, so it’s also a great way to spread the word about smaller blogs and get them more readers and followers! When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person(s) who nominated you. You pass the Award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions. You’re not allowed to nominate the blog(s) who nominated you! (To get the button, right click the picture on my page and save the picture to your computer. You can then upload to your blog.)

Thank you so much to Camille at Crazy Mama! and Jay at Learning to Play and Playing to Learn for nominating me for this award!  I really appreciate it.

Random facts about me:
1)  I have two younger sisters.
2)  I am terrified of the grey aliens with the big eyes.
3)  I have a dog, cat, turtle, and fish.
4)  I hate tomatoes unless they are cooked.  The seeds really gross me out.
5)  I love Thoroughbred horse racing.
6)  I did an internship on a horse breeding farm.
7)  I go to the Kentucky Derby every year.
8)  I love gardening, but really fail at it.
9)  I stay up way too late just to get some mommy down time.
10)  I have a degree in animal science.
11)  I am a weather geek.

I am nominating these wonderful blogs for this award:
1)  Emily at  Organized Chaos-- Life of a Mom
2)  Mary at A day in the life
3)  Anissa at Chasing Hailey
4)  Julie at The Path to an Organized Tomorrow
5)  Roshni at BIG A little a
6)  Carre at Frugal Foodie Mama
7)  Amanda at My Show
8)  Karen at Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
9)  Randalin at Harvesting Kale
10)  Mindi at Simply Stavish
11)  Jess at Jess And the Boys

Questions I Was Asked:
  1. What was your favorite toy as a kid?   Either playdough, board games, or my kitchen set
  2. What was the last TV show you watched?  Teen Mom maybe?
  3. What was the last food you ate?  spaghetti or pretzels
  4. What food do you wish you had right now?  One of my hubby's delicious omelets
  5. Where would you love to visit?  Australia
  6. Do you play any musical instruments?  Not well
  7. What's your favorite season?  Fall
  8. Has anything exciting happened to you recently, or will it anytime soon?  Not anything too noteworthy.  I hope to get to stay at home with my little man in the next year.
  9. What's something that's been annoying you or bothering you lately?  Molars arggghhh
  10. Who are the first people you would call if you won the lottery?  No one.  I would bask in the glow of being rich with just my hubby
  11. What are the first things you would buy if you won the lottery?  Land to farm
Questions for my Nominees:
1)  What is your favorite food?
2)  What is your dream job?
3)  What did you want to be when you were a little kid?
4)  What was your favorite book as a kid?
5)  What is your favorite color?
6)  What season is your favorite?
7)  What is your favorite holiday?
8)  If you could have one day to do anything, what would it be?
9)  Which chore would you rather do, dust, grocery shop, or laundry?
10)  How many kids did you think you would have as a child?  (I always said I would have twins Adam and Amy.)
11)  What do you look forward to most about fall?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Playdough and Goop

I finally got around to making playdough for Destructo.  I want to make some in each of the primary colors, but ran out of baking soda before I could do blue and green.  I guess those will have to be for tomorrow and by tomorrow I most likely mean Tuesday since I will probably be off then.

I used the second recipe from this post.  It is basically one cup baking soda, 1/2 cup corn starch, and 3/4 cup water plus food coloring.  You mix the three ingredients and heat it on medium stirring constantly.  You want to heat it just until it starts really balling up and then stop.   The red was kind of crumbly because I heated it just slightly too long.  They yellow was perfect.

I decided to go with this recipe because it doesn't contain tons of salt which could possibly be toxic if your child decided to eat the entire amount of playdough.  I don't plan on letting that happen with Destructo, but he did get his name for a reason.  I am going to store it in the fridge in ziplocks just to extend its life.

I also made "goop."  I used to make this as a sensory activity for the kids at the daycare when I worked there.  It is just corn starch and water (equal parts) with a little food coloring mixed in.  But for whatever reason this particular batch didn't seem to work so I added a bit more corn starch and now it is working great.  It is a lot of fun to play with and can be a liquid and a solid.  I keep it in a ziplock baggie for nice and clean sensory play. 

For any of my readers with older kids, I found this link that can turn making goop (or ooze as the page calls it) into a science activity.

Liquid or Solid?

I will get some pictures up of Destructo playing with his playdough in the next day or two.  We had company over most of the day, so I didn't end up getting the playdough out.  He did play with the goop, but was pretty distracted by the little boy who was over.