I’m Raising a Houdini Threenager

IMG_2245This weekend we went on a road trip.  On our way home as I was driving through a construction zone I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

Me:  “Honey, how are you touching me?”  I honestly thought it might be one of her dolls she was poking me with but then my husband proceeded to freak out.

Freaked Out Hubby:  “OMG!!!  Pull over!!!  What are you doing out of your seat?  Get in your seat!”

Me:  “I can’t pull over it!  I’m in construction.”

Hubby unbuckles, turns to reach back and put her in her seat.  While he is trying to put her in the seat his leg slips and causes the car to slip into neutral.  I shout and quickly get us back in gear.  He gets her back in her seat and gets back in his seat buckled up.  We couldn’t figure out how she got out.  We knew I had put her in properly.  He said the seat was still buckled when he went to put her back and had to unbuckle everything.  We soon pulled over for gas and I went all Cagney and Lacey on her.

This is how she did it.  First she pushed her chest buckle down.

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This gave her enough room to reach down to the mechanism that loosens the straps, pull it and loosen the straps with her body weight.

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Next she reached her arms up and pulled herself right on out of the carseat and climbed down.

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She tried to do it three more times before we finally made it home.  I’m never going to survive my Houdini Threenager.

IMG_2249I said, “That was kind of impressive.”

Still Freaked Out Hubby said, “And yet she can’t dress herself.  If it was a shirt, she would still be sitting there with one arm in and crying.”

True.

 

The New Switch Witch Tradition

IMG_3983I LOVE Halloween!  I really do!  But I have a child who is sensitive to dyes.  As in after her daddy let her have a few dye filled candies yesterday and I let her have the treats (orange cupcake, cheese balls) that her dance class provided, today she had a screaming meltdown which lasted over an hour.  The whole time in Michael’s, 30 minutes in the parking lot trying to calm her down enough to get her in the car seat, all the way home and 20 minutes at home.  I thought a guy in the parking lot was calling the cops on me because she was screaming so bad as I tried to put her in the car seat. It was awful.  So no more.  I can’t take it. Absolutely no red dye tomorrow.

What is a Halloween loving momma to do for her Halloween loving daughter?  Enter the new Switch Witch tradition.  I went to a couple of the dollar stores and got a cauldron and a handful of toys, hair bows and games.  Before bed I will have her place her trick or treat bag on the kitchen table in the witch’s cauldron.  In the morning all the candy (I’ll let her keep a few pieces of chocolate) will be replaced with the prizes.

I think it will be a fun way to keep the candy out of her hands.  There are several ways to take care of the candy.  Several dentist offices do have programs where you can exchange the candy for dental supplies and/or cash.  I’m sending mine to a friend who is currently deployed.

Full Disclosure:  I didn’t come up this idea on my own.  I read about it somewhere and thought it was a great idea.  A big thank you to the genius behind it.

The Latest Halloween Trend – The Mash Up Costume!

Glee made Mash Up songs into a delightful art, my daughter will be tackling the Mash Up Costume.  Seriously!  I am betting next year Mash Up Costumes will be all the rage.  My toddler is such a trendsetter.

It started so innocently.  She said she wanted to be a bat for Halloween.  I sighed a big sigh of relief because I was positive she was going to want to be Peppa Pig and I thought a bat costume would be so much easier than a pig costume.  Then I found the world’s most adorable pig costume for $8 at a thrift store.  I thought I could convince her to be Peppa Pig but nope.  She still was insisting on being a bat but I had already bought the pig.  So we compromised.  I found this brilliant tutorial on a bat wing shrug over at My Poppet!  A bat wing shrug!  And that is how my daughter has become Peppa Pig dressed as a bat for Halloween.

Pig Bat

Pig Bat

 

This morning she informed me she now wants to be a mermaid.  I said NO!

What do you think would make a great Mash Up Costume?

In what can only be described as a stroke of genius, my husband decided that for the costume party he will be a pig and I will be a bat.  Get it?  I’m so excited this year.

Green Kid Fall Discovery Pack

I’ve made no secret of my love for the Green Kid Crafts monthly boxes.  The Green Kid Crafts boxes make great gifts for children (and parents who are worried they aren’t creative enough) or splurge on the subscription for your monthly dose of fun, education and engagement.  The Creativity and STEM Science box provides all the hands-on material needed to inspire creative and educational fun for kids 3-10.  For an exclusive sneak peek of their fall boxes, go here.  Must order by 8-31-2014.

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I have gotten the September Weather Science box before and loved it.  We still use the weather station and cloud identifier window.  My daughter will love the October Legends and Folktales.  She is constantly telling me she is a queen and will enjoy making her own crown.  November looks promising with gift ideas your kid can make.

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Full disclosure:  I am an affiliate for Green Kid Crafts.   If you click through my site and purchase, I might get a kickback.  However, I would recommend these boxes even if all I got was a wave and a “How do you do?”  The opinions are mine alone and if you doubt I have strong opinions feel free to contact my husband.

Toddler Lunch Planning

Baby Bug starts school next week and I have been scouring the net for lunch ideas.  My child is weird and doesn’t care for sandwiches on regular bread, peanut butter or mac n cheese.  We avoid dyes and GMO laden foods.  As you can guess meal planning is one of my least favorite past times ever. However, her school does not provide food so it is completely up to me.   As I looked at all the options it dawned on me part of my problem was everything is presented in a full lunch.  I need a mix and match idea list so I created one.  My plan is to provide her lunch with one item from each list.  My categories are Main Entree, Vegetable/Fruit and Fun Factor.

 

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Main Entree Ideas: (I will start with the ones I know she likes but at dinner time practice the ones I think she will like before I send them to school.)

Tortellini Salad (Pasta and Peas tossed in Pesto)

Rolled Turkey with Cheese

Rice Balls (Cook short-grain rice and roll in small cooked vegetables)

Turkey, Lettuce and Tzatziki Sauce rolled into a wrap

Soba Noodle Salad

Tuna Fish on Pita

Rice with Polish Sausage or Ground Meat

Grilled Chicken Pita

Egg Salad in a wrap

Meatballs

Applegate’s Little Smokies

Lentil Soup

Salmon Patties

I’m most excited to try this Honey-Glazed bacon wrapped chicken strips from Paleo Cupboard.

 

Vegetables

Vegetables/Fruits: (If her main entree includes vegetables, I’ll add fruit otherwise it will be vegetables.)

Cucumber, Broccoli, Peach, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Melon, Pineapple, Green Beans, Blueberries, Strawberries, Carrots

Fruit kabobs

Roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella tossed in vinaigrette

Small Salad with dressing (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Frog Princesses and Princes Cupcakes

Fun Factor:

Raisins

Vegetable Chips

Air Popped Popcorn

Cheese Stick

Crackers

Apple Sauce

Natural Gummy Bears

Mini Muffins

What are some of your favorite lunch ideas?

Toddler Kisses

Since my daughter was first in my arms I’ve kissed her tons every day.  Her chubby hands, tiny feet, dimpled knees, round cheeks, etc.  With the exception of private parts, I’ve kissed her about everywhere.  I have not kissed her on her lips.  I don’t know I ever made a conscious decision about this but it felt like that might pass germs or something so I avoided it.  Lately my 2.5 year old has began to kiss me but she only wants to kiss me on the lips or if I get a booboo(owie) she will kiss it.

Last night I said, “Sweetheart, I would like you to kiss me on my cheek right now because I’m sick.  I don’t want you to get my germs and get sick.”

She said, “I want sick, too.” and pouted.

So sweet and funny.

It had me wondering though.  Do other parents kiss their kids on the lips?  I didn’t start out with an opinion about it either way.  I have no recollection if my parents and I ever kissed on the lips.  I was too young to remember.  I do remember I would kiss my grandpa because we had this whole joke thing going where I would kiss him with my puckered fish lips.

I did some googling and learned this has been a recent controversy – just search Jessica Alba or Will Smith(apparently a pic of him pretending to kiss his son on the lips caused an uproar).  Really?  Some of the backlash says it is sexual.  I completely disagree.  A peck on the lips is not sexual.  Intimate?  Yes.  The same way holding hands with someone shows you have a close relationship.   If the amount of intimacy you have with your partner only consists of a peck on the lips and hand holding, you might need to spice things up.  A peck from my husband would say the opposite of romance.  It would say I love you but not tonight honey I have a headache.  Even on TV all romantic kissing involves the tongue.  There is no tongue action happening with my toddler.  She likes to sneak in and give me a quick peck.  Innocent and sweet.   Honestly I bet this controversy is only in the US where we like to make every single thing about sex.  Just look at all the hoopla about breastfeeding pictures.

I didn’t initiate this gesture.  She did.  It makes her happy and giggly so I go with it.  As usual my daughter finds a way to make me question myself about topics I never even knew existed.  She is determined to make me a better person whether I want to be or not.  I think she enjoys making me squirm in my own discomfort.  My mother is having a good old time watching me get my payback for not being an easy child.

Do you kiss your kids on the lips?  Do certain cultures do it more than others?  Now, I have all these questions I’m just dying to  answer for this silly topic.

 

I Love Green Kids Crafts!

#ad Affiliate links in this post.  Opinions are totally mine.

I love Green Kids Crafts!  This is the most amazing monthly subscription box I’ve gotten in the past few years.  It is a small green box delivered monthly geared towards ages 3-8.  There are so many things I love about these boxes.  For the record, my daughter is only 2.5 and we love doing these boxes together.

Green Kid CraftsThere is a theme.  Our first theme was weather and included a weather chart, a cloud viewer to distinguish the different cloud types and a wind sock.  All simple but intelligent crafts.  All the instructions are easy to follow.  Open the box and let the fun and learning begin. I admit science is not one of my strongest areas of knowledge.  These boxes make me look like a science genius to my daughter.

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The main thing I love is they truly stand behind their green stance and even the box has a use!  One month the box could be used to show how to cook things in the sun and once it was able to be turned into a cash box complete with toy money.  There are usually ideas for the plastic as well so there is basically little to no waste generated with this product.  LOVE!!!

For ONE week only (3/13-3/20/14), you can save 40% on your first month of any new subscription to Green Kid Crafts!!  Use offer code 40FIRST at checkout when ordering 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions.  Your subscription will start with an all new Feathered Friends Discovery Box and will ship around April 10th.

Green Kid Crafts is a mom-owned company that uses only planet and kid-friendly materials and donates a portion of every sale to environmental charities.

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 I am a Green Kids Affiliate and may receive compensation for your purchase.  I would recommend Green Kid Crafts if I only got a hug for someone buying one.  They are simply that awesome!  Do you love doing crafts and science experiences with your kid?   This is totally the box for you.  Get it now!

Christmas Gift Tradition

Disclaimer: This post does contain Amazon links.  I am an Amazon Affiliate.  If you click through to Amazon and end up spending money, I might get a tiny percentage.  I will not know who bought the item.  All proceeds from my Amazon link go towards my adoption fund for our second child.

I’ve been thinking about gifts lately and wondering if I want to institute some sort of tradition.  Several of my friends go with the four gift rule:  1 thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing they wear and 1 thing they read.  So I started looking for ideas to fall in these categories.

1 Thing they want:  This is a relative term for a 2 year old.  It can be as simple as a can of bubbles which she is currently obsessed with or some more things for her kitchen.  I’m leaning towards something like this cleaning set.


1 thing they need:  So much is needed but she LOVES brushing her teeth.  I’m thinking she needs an electric toothbrush.  Of course, I still have her stocking items so I might be able to put the toothbrush in her stocking and find another need.


1 thing they wear: You would think it would be easy to find clothes for a kid but there are so many cute ones to pick from.


1 thing they read: Another very hard choice to pin down.


I did see a neat thing where someone wrapped 30 books and for 30 days leading up to Christmas each night they opened a book and read it.  I might do this but wrap up books we already own since we have so many.  Except I might get a few Christmas classics to toss in there like The Night Before Christmas.

What about you?  Do you have rules on gift giving?  I usually finish all my shopping early so I have to think about these things before Thanksgiving.  

Babywearing Rules!

First posted for International Babywearing Week 2012.  I’m reposting for 2013 since I read it and it all still holds true.  :-)

This week is International Babywearing Week.  I love wearing Baby Bug.  I fully admit babywearing sounds weird and conjures up images of someone wearing a shirt made of babies.  I assure you I do not make shirts out of babies and no babies are harmed when worn properly.  In fact, research shows babies that are worn are happier and healthier.  You can find more research and facts on Babywearing International’s webpage.

I didn’t always know I would wear my baby.  I think because we did adopt I felt it was more important than ever to do every thing I could to ensure we bonded.  Babywearing simply seemed to be one of the best things I could do.  Baby Bug spent a month in NICU before we got her.  She was used to being in this plastic box covered in wires and listening to a monitor beep.  None of which is natural for a baby.  The very first thing I bought, after a carseat to bring her home in, was a Moby.  I wore her in the Moby the majority of the first four to five months after we brought her home.  She loved it!!  It calmed her down being right next to my warm body and hearing my heartbeat.  I feel strongly it is part of the reason we were able to bond.

 4 week old 6lb Baby Bug in the Moby.

When I announced I was going on a long road trip with Baby Bug this summer people were very skeptical.  “That is going to be horrible with a 9/10 month old!”  “She is going to be crazy!”  I, however, had few doubts. We had moved on from our Moby.  I was sad to give it up but the South is way too hot in the summer for a Moby.  I had acquired an Ergo and a water ring sling.  She loves the Ergo.  I can wear her anywhere and she is perfectly content.  If I’m holding her in my arms, she wants to move around and act crazy.  When she was sleepy while visiting relatives I could put her in the ring sling and with in minutes I could rock her to sleep.  While sightseeing I put her in the Ergo and off we would go.

Meeting the wildlife at Natural Bridge, VA.

 Posing like statues at the TN Parthenon.

 Sluicing in North Carolina

During our four hours of sluicing in North Carolina, we did all the positions of the Ergo.  On my front to sleep, on my hip to eat and on my back to play.  I wore Baby Bug to the top of the St. Louis Arch, on a ghost tour of Gettysburg and we rode around Valley Forge.  She enjoyed Philadelphia, Jamestown and trekking through cemeteries on genealogy hunts all from the comfort of the Ergo.   Together we enjoyed 18 states in 19 days.  I couldn’t imagine trying to do it without the ease and comfort of babywearing.  Every single day someone asked me about wearing her.  “Is it comfortable?” Yes.  “Does she like it?” Yes.  “I wish I had something like that when my baby was little.”  I’m sure they did.  People have been babywearing since the dawn of man.  I love answering questions about babywearing.  I even met one of my current new best friends because she saw me wearing Baby Bug in the grocery store and stopped me to talk.

I must warn you ->  babywearing can become an addiction much like cloth diapers.  There are so many types and the possibilities are endless.   I currently own a Moby, Ergo(husband’s current favorite), Baby Bjorn, water ring sling and a bamboo ring sling(my current favorite).   I joined a local babywearing group, the Savannah Slingers.  They have a facebook group where we can offer advice, provide the inside track on good deals and generally share our obsession.  We meet at least once a month in the park to try out different carriers and learn tricks.  I’ve learned I want a Mei Tai, Omni and a woven wrap next.

If you aren’t a babywearer, I suggest you search for local babywearing groups and see if they have a meetup or a lending library of carriers so you can try one.  Also, check out the website TheBabyWearer for information, advice and if you are really lucky a good deal on a used carrier.  I realize babywearing is not for everyone or for every child.  I do think it is worth a try.

If you are a fellow babywearer -> Happy International Babywearing Week.  What is your favorite carrier?  Do you have a local group or feel alone in your love of babywearing?

Disney on Ice Presents Princesses & Heroes in Savannah

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Enter a world of wonder where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel as she yearns to explore the world above the waves and Prince Eric breaks Ursula’s slithering spell to reclaim his one true love. See Prince Philip defeat the evil Maleficent as she transforms herself into a fire- breathing dragon in a race against time to rescue Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora. Be there to discover a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin. And, watch in awe as the dreams of Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Rapunzel and Tiana all come true. High flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends are just a wish away! See Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes where believing is just the beginning!

Performed Oct. 30th – Nov. 3rd at the Savannah Civic Center – Martin Luther King Arena, Savannah, GA.  Get your tickets today!