It was another beautiful weekend and we had a ton of outdoor fun. While sitting out on the grass, I was struck by this beautiful shadow that was cast on one of the rocks. I quick ran inside & grabbed some paints and was going to capture the shadow on the rock with some paint. We explored shadows and art last month and I thought this would be a beautiful project to do. Alas, the sun disappeared and did not come back and I lost my lovely shadow.
I swore to myself that I was done with turkey crafts, but I could not resist doing just on more. My daughter wanted to make a craft out of cupcake liners and by craft she meant she wanted to cut them all up with her safety scissors. I had a different idea in mind for the wrappers.
Cupcake Liner Turkey
Paint a paper bowl brown & let it dry.
Cut a peanut like shape out of brown construction paper. Glue on googly eyes & cut a beak & wattle out of construction paper and glue those on as well.
Flip the bowl over & glue different colored cupcake liners that are folded in half to the back of the bowl. Fan them out half way around the bowl.
Flip the bowl back over & let the glue dry.
Cut out feet & glue them to the bottom of the bowl. Glue the body to the front of the bowl & you are finished.
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It has been a vicious 4 weeks in our home. The change of season has brought a lot of beauty, fall treats & fun things to do, but it has also brought with it a collection of colds, stomach bugs & other viruses. Let the passing around of illnesses begin. Until I can find a giant bubble on Amazon or matching hazmat suits, it is inevitable that we will continue to get sick as the cooler weather approaches.
This week our daughter was sick for the 3rd time within the past few weeks. She has had a rough run of it & so have mommy and daddy. The difference is we can take medicine to alleviate our symptoms. There are not many options over the counter for a toddler, but there are things that you can do to remedy your young one’s symptoms.
Fluids: Keeping them hydrated is essential. Fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration. Give them water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices.
Rest: Our poor little toddler’s bodies are working so hard when they are sick that they need the extra sleep to get better. Of course as we all know, if a toddler does not want to sleep they won’t. Books, videos and cuddle time are a great way to get them to relax.If you are lucky they will doze off somewhere in between.
Garlic: When I was sick as a child, my father used to make me hold a clove of garlic between my teeth. He said that it had healing properties. Turns out he was right. I am not so sure if holding it between the teeth will work, but eating it certainly will. If your child has an appetite, add a little fresh minced garlic to their meal.
Vapor Rub: Vapor rub is wonderful for clearing a stuffy nose. Do not apply too close to the face. When our daughter caught her first cold I read that you should apply the rub to the feet instead of the chest. I did it & then tried it on myself the next time I was sick. It worked great. Our daughter loves Vicks. She asks for it even when she is not sick, of course mommy has to say no.
Humidifier: Every home should have one of these. A cool mist humidifier can help ease many cold symptoms. Running one while they sleep can help the little one breath better and control coughs.
Honey: Raw honey has a number of health benefits. It can be used on skin ailments & it can be used to help cold symptoms. It is a great alternative to cough syrup. If your child is resistant to take a spoonful like mine is, sneak it into their juice or try a peanut butter & honey sandwich.
Ball Syringe: Have your child blow their nose as much as possible to clear out all of the mucus. Too much mucus can lead to post nasal drip which will irritate their throat more. Teach them not to suck it back in. If they let you, use a ball syringe to clear out the mucus.
Chicken Soup: Every mama’s favorite cold cure is hot chicken soup. Studies have proven that this is not just an old wives tale.
Popsicles: The frozen treats are fun to eat & will help sooth their little sore throats. Try to stick to bars that are 100% fruit juice.
Elevation: There is a reason that your child’s cough & sniffles always seem worse at night. Staying propped up will keep the nasal passages clear.
Don’t forget to give plenty of hugs, kisses & cuddles while your precious little ones heal.
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When we made the decision to start a family, it never occurred to me that we might only have one child. In every day dream that I ever had there were always two children. I saw my husband carrying a little girl on his shoulders while I held a little boy’s hand. Of course they were perfect well behaved children & we were all full of smiles walking together hand in hand. After our daughter was born, I woke up from that dream. After what seemed like endless sleepless nights & a colicky infant that cried constantly, we started to rethink baby #2.
Things eventually began to get easier, the cries slowed down, our baby began to sleep through the night & I began talking to my husband about baby #2. His mind had not changed. We went back and forth with it, named off the pros and cons and even asked for opinions here on my blog. It was a hard sell, but after a lot of convincing the day finally came and we began to try to get pregnant. We were not successful. With my advanced age and some medical issues, it seemed that my dreams for a second baby came to an end.
Even though my husband & I were perfectly happy with being parents to our one sweet little girl, there were some concerns about her being an only child. I worried about how it would affect her socially. Would she be spoiled from always being the center of attention? Would she learn how to share? These were definitely valid concerns as I already noticed that Mai had problems in dealing with organized events & classes she was in involving other children.
We recently started her in daycare a couple times a week. Even though it still pains me to send her off to day care, I know that it will be beneficial to her. Being an only child there is much that she can learn from this environment.
1. Sharing: Our daughter came home from daycare the other day and said to me “Mama the kids took my toys.” This made me sad for a moment and then as horrible as this sounds, it made me smile. While the kids were not actually taking the toys out of her hands, she still thought they were taking them from her because in her mind all of the toys are hers. Other than the occasional play date, she has seldom had to share. She has free reign over a houseful of toys daily.
2. Patience: At home when our daughter wants something she is attended to right way or at least pretty quickly. She is not accustomed to waiting. With several other children to attend to, her daycare provider is not always at her instant beck & call. At daycare she is not the center of the universe. She needs to wait until it is her turn.
3. Learned behaviors: This can be a good thing and a bad thing as she may also pick up bad behavior, but socializing with other child especially of an older age can be a great learning tool. For instance, my daughter has a difficult time sitting still in her seat & eating, but at daycare we get a report back each day that she sat & ate almost everything on her plate at each meal & snack. I was amazed. Our provider explained that at first she was resistant pushing her plate away as she often does at home, but when the other children continued to eat & talk, she joined in. Hopefully she can take some potty training cues.
4. Basic socialization: We talk with our child all the time, but it is not quite the same as interacting with her peers. After 2 1/2 years of mostly talking to mommy, daddy & nanna, she is now able to chat with children her own age. Today she told me all about her new friend Colton & how he really likes bears, but is still afraid of them too. Oh, the conversations they must have.
5. Dealing With Conflict: All of my friends that have multiple children have kids that fight like cats & dogs. They love each other. They hate each other. They beat up on each other. Having only our daughter I feel that we shield her from far too much sometimes. After daycare the other day, our daughter told us, “Colton hurt me.” What happened? “Colton pushed me.” I checked with the provider to make sure that it was nothing serious. She assured me that nothing concerning happened, but then I learned that they also got into a verbal argument over a picture in a book. One was certain that the picture was of a boy, the other thought it was a girl. Neither backed down. Debates, conflict, differences of opinion are a part of life & something that should be introduced early. The longer you shield your children from these things the harder it will be for them to deal with at a later age.
I am enjoying listening to all of Mai’s new experiences. She is loving her days with her new friends & is learning a lot along the way.
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My daughter is very much her father’s little girl. Not only does she adore him, she looks like him & she acts like him too. There are traces of me in there too, but for the most part she is daddy’s girl. From those beautiful blue eyes & dimples to the way she has to arrange her Fruit Loops by color she is her father through & through.
Yesterday was Father’s Day & Mai had made a special gift for her #1 guy.
With a marker draw out your letters one at a time on a piece of the masking or duct tape.
Place the letters on the tie. Make sure they are flat & pressed firmly.
Using fabric markers, let your little Picasso go to work coloring the tie.
Watch her demonstrate why she is just like her father by lining up all the marker caps in a row.
Remove the letters slowly. If as you are removing them you see that the letter isn’t properly formed, replace it & give it a little bit of an outline.
After it is complete, put in the dryer on high heat for about 5 minutes for the marker to set.
Give Daddy your present & a kiss.
Mai was very proud of her homemade gift & daddy loved it. I hope all the Father’s out there had a wonderful Father’s Day.
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Since the terrible twos have hit, I have felt pretty good about my ability in diffusing tantrums and meltdowns. While I sometimes complain or joke about how awful it is, inside I felt as if I had a good handle on it. I even kind of found a few of her fits humorous, although I would never laugh. I thought to myself the two aren’t so terrible. She was such a challenging infant that this is a breeze. As usual in life as soon as you think something like this, there will be a moment to prove you wrong. Today, was a very bad day. It started off innocently enough. In the morning, we read books in bed, we painted pictures & did a little house cleaning.
I tried putting Mai down for an early nap, but she was not sleepy. I was taking her to story time at a local museum today. A children’s author and illustrator was going to read some of his favorite stories and then show the kids how he did some of his illustrations. I thought this was right up my daughter’s alley as she loved books and has always enjoyed watching me draw, plus I try to let her interact with other children as often as possible. When we arrived at the museum, we were greeted with Hawaiin leis, sunglasses and juice boxes for the kids. There were rows of stools for all the children to sit on while they listened to an amusing tale about a jelly fish and his fish friend Peanut butter. Mai interacted with the other children and happily listened to the story and clapped at the colorful illustrations.
After the stories, the author pulled out an easel and engaged the children, asking them to give him a sea creature and an emotion to draw. The older children shouted out answers “happy trout”, hungry salmon”,”burping shark”. Mai pushed through the crowd to get closer to the action.
As she got to the front where all of the kids were sitting Indian style, she kept going. “Mai Mai wants to draw”. Uh Oh! Mommy jumped up and ran to get her. “No honey, he is drawing. You can sit with the other kids and watch.” “Mai Mai wants to draw too.”. “Mai, come on and sit down with mommy.” But, she kept pushing forward. I scooped her up and brought her to the front of the pack, where we sat down. She fought to get up and go to the easel. “Mai we will have to go home if you don’t sit down.” I whispered. She arched her back & wriggled out my arms, screaming. It was definitely time to go. As I gathered up her backpack and our spring jackets, she continued her frustrated display. We walked out of the room leaving a trail of yells and cries echoing over the voice of the author. Stares & glares were directed our way as I struggled to hold my frantic daughter in my arms as she yelled the words “Don’t take me”. I quickly left the building before the desk attendant had the opportunity to dial 911 and report a child abduction.
The scene in the parking lot was not much better. She continued to scream “don’t take me “while kicking her feet & trying to thrust herself out of my arms. It is amazing how freakishly strong your child is when they want to get away. While trying to load her in the car, her tiny little hands grabbed the edge of the door and she spread her body out wide to make it nearly impossible for me to get her into the car. I tried to calm her down with some toys that were in the backseat. I tried to calm her with soft words and then a few loud ones. The screaming and resistance would not end. I could not get her in the car seat. I sat in the backseat with my daughter writhing on my lap and closed the door. I let the tantrum run it’s course as I took long deep breaths in order to keep my composure. After a short while that felt rather long, she flipped the switch. She picked up the toy I presented her earlier and said “Mama look.” It was finally over.
When something like this happens, it makes you question your parenting. What am I doing wrong? Why did this happen? How should I have handled this? When all eyes are on you, you can’t help but feel judged. You are even judging yourself.
We both went down for a nap when we got home. When she woke up both our batteries were recharged and my lovely girl was back again. The rest of the evening was filled with living room picnics, more books and sheet forts. The horrors of the afternoon almost seemed a distant memory. Besides, how can I stay mad at this face?
It is official, we are entering the Christmas season.With Thanksgiving behind us, it is time to take down our turkeys & cornucopias and replace them with stockings & Christmas wreaths. It is also time to break out all our favorite holiday recipes & Christmas crafts. This is a very exciting holiday season for us. Our daughter is older this year & is learning more about Christmas & all of the magic and wonder that comes with it. Lately, she has become mommy’s little helper & loves cooking and baking with me. I look forward to the next month of baking Christmas cookies & other Yuletide favorites with her.
Mai has always been a finicky eater. I agonize over planning meals. I have always tried to open her up to a wide variety of foods but she is very resistant. One trick that has always worked for me is wrapping full meals inside a crescent roll & then serving her bite sized pieces. My daughter is not a fan of meat other than ground turkey. I use this tactic to sneak in shredded chicken or beef & also vegetables. I have stuffed them with chicken & broccoli or with holiday leftovers such as turkey, stuffing & cranberry sauce.
One of my favorite holiday party platters takes any of these different combinations & puts it into a wreath form.
For this recipe, I chose a ground turkey taco wreath but as I said their are a number of possibilities that you can experiment with.
Ingredients are enough to make two to three wreaths. You can freeze unused portions.
1 lb ground turkey (ground beef will also work)
2-3 cans of large crescent rolls ( I used Pillsbury Grands)
1 taco seasoning packet
6 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 a tomato (diced)
1 cup of frozen corn
1/3 cup of sliced black olives
2 cups of mexican cheese
Red & Green peppers for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350
In a large skillet, brown meat & drain. Add taco seasoning & follow package directions. Place aside.
In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese & sour cream. Mix well.
Add cooked meat mixture & mix well.
Stir in the corn, olives, cheese until evenly distributed throughout mixture. Mix in diced tomatoes last.
On a greased baking sheet, overlap crescent rolls in a circular pattern pointed side out. Pinch crescent together. Add mixture to the overlapping crescents following the circular pattern about an inch thick & an inch high.
Pull a crescent point in and fold over diagonally, pull each point in one at a time.
Slice peppers into tiny pieces & press into your wreath scattering them. Slice 4 long slices of red pepper to form your wreath bow. Repeat for each wreath.
Bake in the oven according to crescent recommendations for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cook times may vary according to oven.
Let cool & transfer to a serving dish & serve.
This is a delicious all in one meal. It is perfect to bring to holiday parties. The best part of all, my picky little lady loves them. I hope you enjoy.
Up next…What Happens When Mommy’s Not Home?