Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Our precious "baby" girl is 3 years old today!!  I can't believe it.  These past three years have just flown by and I am constantly amazed by everything Samantha is soaking in and learning.  She is simply amazing.

Miss Samantha woke up bright and early at 4:45am to exclaim that today was her birthday and she is 3 years old!!  Way too early, but oh so cute!

We had Jesus class today and Samantha brought in cupcakes for the class that were so delicious.  The whole class sang Happy Birthday to her and I loved seeing her face light up as she knew this was for her.  It melted my heart to see her so happy.  Apparently when it's your 3rd birthday you don't have to take a nap...and neither does your brother, so that made for an interesting afternoon but we all survived.

After daddy got home from work we opened presents.  We did things a little out of order but I was so anxious to see her open her gifts.

She absolutely loved everything!!  After gifts we made a quick Walmart run and Samantha, of course, chose Happy Meal's for dinner for her and Zach.  Mommy and Daddy had chicken.

After dinner we went out for Sweet Frog frozen yogurt and then came home for cupcakes!!
We are now trying night two of no pacifier.  Last night went well...only 10 minutes of crying but now she's crying just at the mention of going to bed.  Hopefully this doesn't last long!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ooey Gooey *Edible* Slime!!

A few days ago I came across a blog post at Blog Me Mom for 1ingredient edible slime.  This was perfect for us because lets face it, with a 14 month old in the house EVERYTHING ends up in his mouth.

  • Fiber supplement with Psyllium (For orange slime, plain Metamucil will work, but if you want colored slime, you need to buy a clear store brand that has the ingredient Psyllium)
  • water
  • food coloring
  • microwave safe bowl
This recipe is seriously so easy!!  Take 1 tablespoon of fiber supplement, add your food coloring, mix in 1 cup of water and pop into the microwave for 5 minutes.  Be sure to stay by the microwave because the mix will bubble up a lot and you want to make sure it doesn't spill over.

Here is what our mix started out like.  I went to two stores and could not find a clear supplement that also contained Psyllium so I ended up purchasing the store brand orange flavored stuff.  I decided to try out coloring it anyways and I'm not too disappointed by the results.

I tried to get a picture of it bubbling up but I didn't have much luck.  It goes down pretty quickly when you open the microwave.
This was our first go around and I left it in the microwave for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes this is what it looked like.
Zach loved playing with it but I think it could have cooked a little longer.  It wasn't "sticky" exactly but the pieces did seem to cling to the skin.  I also added WAY too much food coloring and Zach ended up looking like a smurf.

Here is the best part...he tried to eat it and I didn't have to worry!!  Such a great feeling.

Tonight, I gave the recipe a go for the second time.  Samantha requested pink slime but it didn't turn out pink unfortunately, it was more of a dark purple.  I made it the same way as yesterday but cooked it for 7 minutes instead of 5.  The bowl is significantly cleaner than my bowl from yesterday.  While playing my skin did get little flecks of slime here and there but nothing like the blue goo.  This time was so much better than yesterday.

Besides toying with the cook time, you can also adjust the amounts of fiber supplement and water to get different consistencies of goo.  We have that on our list of things to try and will be sure to post again once we have tried them all!!
While Samantha was busy with her slime this evening, Zachary was off having a nice chat with his Babu in Chicago.

I guess he had enough after yesterday!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jesus Class!

Today is Wednesday and you know what that means?  It's Jesus Class day!!!  With all of the crazy weather Virginia has been getting, Jesus class seems to have been cancelled more  often than not, so Samantha has been getting especially excited on days we actually get to go.  Oh and for the record, I do not think that this weather is crazy at all.  It's SNOW people....just snow.  I find it ridiculous that everything needs to get shut down for just a little bit of snow.  But that's another post for another day!!

I have to admit I was a little nervous heading to class today.  Samantha has been struggling quite a bit with not getting what she wants lately and it's been incredibly frustrating for me.  For example, some days our teacher Mrs. S will hand out scarves that the kids will use to dance with for a song.  She walks around the circle, pulls a scarf out of the bag, and hands it to each child.  Samantha is desperate for the purple scarf.  Last week Samantha didn't get the purple scarf, truthfully I don't think she's ever gotten the purple scarf, but anyways this causes her to have a complete meltdown.  Like on the floor screaming and crying meltdowns.  Last week I got her calmed down enough to stop crying but she refused to participate in the song/dance and wanted nothing to do with the class.  After the scarf song Mrs. S brought out a giant board filled with colorful patterned tiles.  She then handed out corresponding tiles to each of the children that they got to take turns matching with the tiles on the board.  There was a pink tile on the board and that was the one Samantha wanted.  She didn't get it...another meltdown took place.  This time I took her out of class and we ended up sitting in the hallway for the rest of the activity and into story time.  Thankfully she did okay for the rest of class.  Before class today (and during the week too) we talked about how we don't always get what we want and have to be happy with what we're given.  This was always answered with "but I want the purple scarf."  Oy!  We talked about it the whole way to class and kept repeating our little mantra that we always say before going to Kid Care at the gym "Nooooo crying!".  I was so scared to see if she would actually not cry through the class.  Thank God, there was no scarf activity today so I didn't even have to worry about it.  It is so nerve wracking never knowing when your child is going to melt down.  I'm sure this is normal 2 year old behavior but still.  Someone please reassure me that this is normal...please?

Thankfully we made it through class without a hitch.  Well, until the end at least when she cried because we had to leave.  This week we learned about triangles.  Samantha is great with shapes so this was pretty fun.  We sang a song about triangles and we even got to play a real triangle!  Samantha got a kick out of hitting it but freaked out when it made the sound.  She sort of cowered into my lap!!  Hopefully she can still have a future in music though!  Our craft was these seriously adorable little turtles.

Samantha loved making this!!  She actually liked putting the glue onto the triangles and giving them to me to paste on.  It was a great team project.  For snack we got triangle strawberries and triangle crackers.  Yummy!!

Jesus class is so much fun and sadly, we only have a few weeks left before it's over.  I can't wait to sign up for next year!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sensory Bin - Take 8: The Apple Bin

With all of the sickies going on around here, we didn't get to open our last sensory bin a single time.  :-(  I am super bummed but the awesome mom who made it has agreed to let us play once the rotations are over, so I am very excited about that!!

We just had the next been for two weeks and passed it on today.  It was this great apple picking bin.

Samantha seriously LOVED it.  She wanted to play with all the time.

Unfortunately I didn't get many pictures this week.  Samantha's favorite was sorting the apples, especially the ones with caterpillars on them.  She was also very good at separating them by size: small, medium, and large.  We were also able to do sorting with the different varieties of felt leaves and plastic gem apples and leaves.
She was also a fan of rice transferring.  She transferred the rice EVERYWHERE.  Into the round container, the truck, the crate, the floor!!  I definitely think I need to invest in a small tarp or start putting down a blanket because no matter how many times we tell her to keep the rice (or whatever contents the bin may have) it never seems to stay where it belongs!
Overall this was an amazing bins and definitely one of Samantha's favorites so far!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

yes, we are still here!!

WARNING: This post contains graphic baby bodily functions.  Read at your own risk!

What a few weeks we have had!!  Sadly, blogging has fallen to the wayside while life happens.  About three weeks ago, Samantha and I came down with what I thought was a stomach bug but boy was I wrong.  Well, maybe not wrong...but whatever we had was extremely tame compared to what was to come!  We were both sick to our stomachs for just a day and then after that we could hear our tummies grumbling for a few more days, but we didn't get sick.  Okay, all is great right?  Then almost two weeks ago, the stomach bug hit us full force.  Thank God it happened on a day Chris had off work or I seriously would have lost my mind.  Samantha woke up around 3:30 am crying, which isn't unusual.  I went in and tried to put her back into bed without turning on the light but she kept complaining about her jammies.  I ended up turning on the light and I found her jammies and bed covered in puke.  I got her all cleaned up and new sheets on the bed, got her back into bed and hoped all was well.  I climbed back into bed myself but kept myself awake with worry watching her on the monitor.  Around an hour later, I heard her run to the door again.  I was hoping she was just scared, but the second I opened the door to get her, she threw up everywhere.  (I was at least grateful she got out of bed that time!)  Upon walking into the hallway, she threw up yet again.  I got her over the toilet and woke up Chris who came to help clean up.  We ended up coming down stairs where she proceeded to vomit for 12 hours.  Poor thing was totally happy, just throwing up.  Then she would burst into tears upset because her puke made a mess on the floor.  (She was really great about using her bucket, but hey, accidents happen)  I felt SO bad for her.  Thankfully after the 12 hours she was good as new.

The following day, I was to go to Maryland for a Scentsy convention.  Since Samantha was better I went ahead and went.  As I got in the car to come home 10 hours later, I noticed a text from Chris that Zach was sick.  Thankfully he only threw up for 6 hours and then seemed to be done.  Or so we thought!  He proceeded to throw up once a day almost every day, for nearly a week.  And only while he was laying in his bed, so I felt like I spent entire days just changing and washing sheets.  Ugh!!  He even took a 2-3 day break in there so we got excited thinking it was over, but then it all started again.  Thankfully now he's been puke free for a few days so I am praying that it won't come back again.  He is now finally *fingers crossed* starting to get over the diarrhea, which I can't fully attribute to the stomach bug.  He's also cutting three of his four molars.  Poor dude.  I am just so sick of puke and poop.  I'm ready for a break!!  Since the illness, Zach has also started waking up during the nights.  At the beginning I was thinking it was the vomiting that made him wake up, but even on the off nights that he didn't throw up, he still woke up.  Usually I could feed him and he'd go right back to sleep.  Still, it's super frustrating because I am exhausted.  Today he skipped the midnight wake up, but he woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to conquer the day, at 3:30am.  Yet another prayer, please go back to your great-ish sleeping schedule Zachary!!!  Like a friend said, I don't think I ever been more excited to "spring forward" than I have as a parent.

These past few days we've also been dealing with a TON of acting out from Samantha.  I am so frustrated with her and I feel like we are really struggling.  I will save that for another post though, because I could really use some advice from people who have been there, but this post has gotten long enough already!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Simple Bathtub Paint!

One of my kids' favorite activities is bath time!!  They could seriously spend hours in there if I'd let
them.  Today I decided to give them a little treat and let them paint in the tub.  This paint was seriously so easy to make.  All I used was: a muffin tin, shaving cream, and food coloring.

I decided to use all 12 circles which ended up being WAY too much paint.  They painted for what felt like forever, and there was still stuff left over!

Of course they couldn't both look at the camera together!!  Note how clean the before pictures are.  ;-)

Hard at work.

After about 10 minutes I had to take Zach out of the tub because he kept trying to put the paint in his mouth.  Since this is made with shaving cream, it is definitely NOT eating friendly.  I have seen a few edible bath paint recipes floating around, so we will probably give one of those a shot later on.
By the time she was finished, our bath was SUPER colorful.  The colors looked so pretty mixed all together.



The water was a mess by the time she was finished so I dumped it out and put in fresh water so she could take an actual bath.  Clean up was relatively easy but there are still hints of color on the sides of the tub and in the grout.  I'll go back later with a magic eraser and do some touch ups but overall, it was not too bad.  Samantha had such a fun time and says she would love to do it again!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two Ingredient PlayDough!

The east coast has been "slammed" with snow this past week.  Seriously, there is like an inch in our front yard and school has been cancelled every day this week!!  We have been going stir crazy so today we decided to try out the two ingredient playdough recipe.  I'm beginning to think I should change this blog to all of my internet finding/pinterest fails because something as simple as 2 ingredient playdough was a mess for me, haha.

Here are the ingredients we started with.  I bought this stuff months ago meaning to try it and then we never did.  Then I saw the playdough making its rounds on all my friends blogs which reminded me that I had the stuff, so today was the day.  All you need is conditioner and corn starch.

The recipe is simple:
  • 1 part conditioner
  • 2 parts cornstarch
That's it!!  Depending on the type of conditioner you use, you may need to adjust the amounts of each ingredient, but this is a good starting point.


It took a while for me to find a good consistency.  What I found worked for me was to add too much conditioner so that it was extra gooey and then slowly add the corn starch until it got to the desired thickness.

I then made a second batch which was so much easier since I already knew how to make it to my liking.

Word of advice...don't give this dough to your 13 month old because he will probably try to eat it!!  He was very angry with me when I took it away!
This dough smells amazing, just from the conditioner, no additional scents added.   A lot of the blogs I've seen added food coloring as well, but I searched high and low and couldn't find any and had no motivation to go to the store.  Samantha had nothing against the plain dough and played with it for a long time!  We stored it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator so we'll see how long it keeps.  This dough was a huge hit and I can see it being a regular here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sensory Bin - Take 6: The Ocean Bin

The past two weeks we have been the proud owners of this awesome ocean themed sensory bin!!  (Also - if you've been following along, you might have noticed that I missed Take 5.  I do have pictures for that bin, they just got lost in the holiday shuffle and I need to track them down.)  Back to this weeks bin though!  OCEAN!

This bin was full of sea life!  Dolphins, whales, sharks, starfish, etc.  Tons of seashells which Samantha loved and a bucket and shovel.
There was also a fantastic book about many of the under the sea animals.
Samantha loved digging out all of the sea animals and putting them in the bucket.  I encouraged her to find the animals she discovered in the book of sea creatures and match them up.

Zachary just enjoyed playing with all the animals and then, unfortunately, throwing the shredded paper EVERYWHERE!!  For my two little boogers, this bin definitely requires a lot of constant clean up!

Apparently whales can fly and say "vroom" too!!  Did you know that?!
We have had so much fun with this bin and I know we will get lots more play time out of it before we must pass it on to its new home.