Sunday, May 24, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Art/Schoolwork Supplies for Preschoolers

As you all know, I am basically homeschooling Destructo for preschool.  I would like to put him in some sort of program this coming year but at best it will be ten hours a week.  Preschool is just so expensive.  So we do all kinds of schoolwork and crafts at home.

Here are my top ten favorite art supplies that we use on a regular basis.

1)  Do a Dot markers.  I love these for helping Destructo work on is fine motor skills.  I have found a lot of print outs that he can "paint" by using these.  They are basically bingo dabbers.  He has to keep the dot in the circle.
2)  Pipe Cleaners  So many uses.  Crafts, fine motor skills, he pretends they are spaghetti and cooks them.  You can put them in a strainer as a fine motor/busy activity.

3) Melissa & Doug Deluxe Alphabet Stamp Set.  This is the best money I have spent in quite awhile.  We use it to make words and to work on fine motor skills all at once.  He loves when I help him spell out simple words like mom, dad, etc.  But I sometimes write them on his dry erase board and he has to find the letters and stamp them onto paper. I also found some cool print outs that I use to have him stamp a letter in each circle and then stamp the word.  (If you like this one the link is on the bottom of the page!)

4) Googly eyes.  These make any art project more fun!

5) Crayola My First Crayola Washable Markers 8ct.  These markers had a rounded, blunt tip.  They were amazing when Destructo was first learning to use markers.  He couldn't push too hard and destroy the tip.

6) Jumbo Glue Sticks - 3 Pack.  These glue sticks are the best by far.  They are purple so Destructo can see where he is putting the glue.  They are really thick so he can't push so hard he breaks them in half.  I will never buy another type of glue stick again.

7) blunt kids scissors .  Scissors are a weapon in a toddler or preschoolers hands.  Blunt tip at least makes them less dangerous.

8) Color Wonder paper and markers.  These are great for when your kiddo wants to draw and color and you can't be rightthere to supervise.  They don't show up on walls, floors, and clothes.  They are also really good for car trips and church for this same reason.

9) Contact paper.  I will have to add a picture for this one tomorrow when Destructo is awake.  We use it for lots of things.  Makeshift laminating, collages, sticking things to walls and making it harder for Owl to immediately tear it down.  So useful.

 10) Pom Poms.  I use these for everything.  Crafts, games, counting practice, you name it, I have used pom poms for it.  Just be careful because they can be a choking hazard with littles.

There you have it.  My favorite art and school supplies at this moment in time.  What do you guys love?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Fluff Fashions

Here is my totally unbiased list of top ten summer cloth diaper prints, styles, fashion.  Whatever.  And of course it is biased since it is my opinion haha.  All of these are available at the wonderful Kelly's Closet my favorite store to buy fluff fluff fluff.    Click here to visit Kelly's Closet and see for yourself why I love it so.  Free diaper coupons, points on each dollar you spend that can be redeemed for gift certificates, and awesome sales.

So on to my list.  I feel motivated tonight.  Like getting back my blog (back) on.  Maybe it is the happy pills.  Or maybe I just really miss blogging.  And Owl is down to one wake up a night finally at fourteen months.  ::side eyes the baby that hates sleep::

Anyways done rambling.

First on my list is Grovia shell in Adventure.  I mean what a perfect diaper for a camping road trip or a canoe trip.  I want this diaper badly.  But my last baby is already a year old so I really need to refrain from buying more diapers haha.

Blueberry in Snails is next up on my list.  Snails are the bane of my existence in the summer so they had to be included.  They have been decimating my veggie garden the past two years.  Does anyone have any wonderful organic snail remedies?  Nevertheless they scream summer to me so snail fluff it is.

Every last print in this Thirsties Ocean package is a must for the fashion forward fluff butt in your life.  There are whales, sand dollars, fish, octopi and more.  And yes this counts as one.  It is a package.

Softbums Omni in Froggy reminds me of chasing frogs and toads around my Aunt Cheryl's huge backyard and being oh so delighted when we captured them into buckets.  Now as an adult I love to listen to the sound of croaking frogs on a summer night.  It is relaxing and oh so summery.

Twinkle Tots Bots Easy Fit reminds me of being a kid and playing until dark on those long summer evenings.  Then watching the stars on your best friends lawn.  Okay this post was about fashion not my idyllic childhood but hey it can be both.  I hope my boys look back one day and have a smile on their faces just like I do when I picture summers of my youth.

Next up on the road through my past is the Moraki Nautical Collection.  We used to go to Lake Michigan nearly every summer for vacation.  The boat and anchor makes me think of a little fishing village where we used to get smoked fish and fish jerky called Leland in northern Michigan.

 Bottombumpers in Ahoy and Sweet Cherry remind me of summer for two reasons.  Pirates and the ocean scream vacation on the beach.  You might wonder why I chose a diaper with cherries on it.  Well as I mentioned previously we went "up north" every year for vacation.  Traverse City always has a cherry festival and we went to it every single year.  We would have cherry pit spitting contests (I sucked horribly at it), eat cherry ice cream, salsa, everything.  I remember getting so sticky from eating cherries on the beach.  We are actually going to Traverse City this year and I can't wait to take both my boys to all the places I loved as a kid.

Next up is Wolbybug cover in Ladybug.  This one is pretty self explanatory as the ladybugs are everywhere in summer.

Finally are Bonnie and Clyde Rumparooz.  What better print but to explain what happens when you don't securely put your trash up while camping.  Or when your brother in laws spread smoked fish around your tent as a prank.  I don't actually remember this happening but I have heard the stories.  Poor Uncle Tom.  Okay I don't actually know if that is ten or not.  I think it is a few more than ten but I am sure all you fluff lovers don't mind.

What diapers would you say are summer essentials?

All photos are via Kelly's Closet.   Be sure to check them out.

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Sensory Processing Disorder Means to Me

Since I last blogged we have had an ear infection, two stomach bugs, and pink eye for those keeping count.  I have been to the pediatrician's office twice in two weeks.  Joy.  But alas that isn't what this post is about.  Just venting.

We had Destructo's occupational therapy (OT) evaluation.  While I am still waiting on the final report, it was very obvious he had sensory issues and they recommended an hour weekly therapy sessions.  It really bothers me that SPD isn't a recognized medical diagnosis.  This means that insurance won't cover it.  OT is really expensive so we are always having to make decisions.  Do we pay for OT and forgo preschool?  What about feeding therapy that was also recommended to have him evaluated for?  I hate all these adult decisions.  

So what does sensory processing disorder mean to me/us?  

SPD is having a kid that spins circles non stop when he gets overwhelmed, bored, the moon is full.

It is telling your four year old to get electrical cords, mini blinds, pencils, insert whatever inedible object you choose here.

It is being thrilled when your child actually eats healthy protein rich food since he is the pickiest eater ever.  

It is realizing that he will actually starve himself when you take him in for a well check and he has fallen off the scale in height vs weight and BMI.  

It is beginning to cater to him more about meals even though you are firmly against this because again starvation.

SPD is having a very active, loud kid.  Did I mention he is loud?

It is having a kid that walks through a store with his hands out to his sides touching everything he passes.  

It is not being able to serve food too hot or too cold.

It is washing his meat off to avoid him seeing spices on it so he will actually eat it.

It is knowing exactly how to make his sandwich to avoid having to listen to long and ear splitting tantrums.

SPD is a child who only tolerated being held facing out from a very young age, was resistant to cuddling as a baby, and only slept in the swing for five months.  

SPD was violent tantrums as a young toddler complete with biting, hitting his head into things, and kicking things.

It is having a child that was terrified and would flee anytime the garage door was opened. 

It is not being able to ride an elevator without severe fear for the first two years of his life.

It is having to apologize to other children's parents because your son was too aggressive or even worse licked their child (this one happened a lot.)

SPD is having bite marks in many many objects throughout your house.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have bite marks in my debit card, mini blinds, metal Arnica tube, and the majority of his toys.

It is having more teethers, chewies, and bubble gum laying around than a store.

It is rejoicing the day you realize your three year old can chew gum without swallowing it because maybe just maybe it will help with his oral fixation.

It is saying numerous times every day to not lick the bird house post, stop licking your brother, we don't put that in our mouth, etc

It is a child that refuses to get his hands dirty for the first two years or to play with playdough.  (And  yay again I see we are making progress because he has no problem with this anymore.)

It is letting your child go longer than he should without a bath because the idea of having to wash his hair is worse than a stinky kid.  

It is a child that has too long toe nails because he only lets his Auntie Dayna cut them and that isn't always convenient.

It is being somewhat grateful he bites his finger nails for this same reason.  

It is laundry.  Tons of laundry.  Because said child won't continue wearing an outfit if it gets the least bit wet even if it is just water.

It is a child that prefers sweat pants to shorts or jeans even in the heat of summer.  

It is a child who can smell as well as a bloodhound.  Which makes picky eating even more challenging.

It is your kid having more of a tan than you would like because sunscreen is a battle you just can't fight daily and keep your sanity.

It is learning your three year old can foam at the mouth when they draw blood.  Not the actual drawing of the blood but just telling him that they are going to causes it.  Same thing with shots (but today he did great yay!)

It is epsom salt baths, cutting high fructose corn syrup, cutting back on food dyes, weighted vests, and other things that you try in the hopes that maybe it will make a difference in behavior.

It is having a kid that has explosive temper tantrums regularly.

It is being able to immediately hear when he is getting overloaded by sensory input just by the tone of his voice.

It is cutting tags out of shirts and pants, making sure sock seams are straight, and having a kid walk around with his pants rolled up to his knees because they got wet and he can't stand that feeling.

It is trampolines, sit and spins, playdough, and kinetic sand being on Christmas wish lists.  Yay for turning  your home into a sensory gym.

I could go on and on but you get the point.  I have learned more about SPD in the four years since Destructo was born than ever before.  And in learning about it, I realized that I have a lot of the same sensory issues as Destructo.  And I turned out just fine which makes me worry about him a whole lot less.  Or did I?