Saturday, December 13, 2014

Homemade Snow Ice Cream

So today me and the kids made ice cream at home in about 4 mins. How? With SNOW! This week we got hit with a ton of snow and this old fashioned recipe for making snow into ice cream has been something I have wanted to try for some time. So since today is St. Lucia Day, I thought it was the perfect time to try it out.

So we gathered the ingredients. Bug wanted to make chocolate so instead of adding vanilla and sugar we just added in hot cocoa mix.

We mixed about 1 cup of milk with one cup of cream (this made a ton so try 1/2 a cup of each if you only want a bit), and added in about a half cup of hot cocoa mix (maybe more).

Then I went and grabbed a big bowl of fresh clean snow.

Last you just pour the cream into the snow and mix until it is the consistency of ice cream. YUM!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shameless Fluff Piece

LOL Yes this is a Fluff Piece in more ways than one. We got Fluff Mail this week. the five new Alvababy diapers I bought came. Now don't get me wrong I know that they are made in China and I know that they undersell American made WAHM diapes but we buy those too, however if I didn't buy from places like Alvababy, we could not afford to cloth diaper. Not only are their diapers cute and affordable, but they are one of the highest quality diapers on the market and in my opinion hold up better than many companies like Bum Genius. You never know what you are going to get with a WAHM unless you have ordered from them a few times, but you always know what to expect with Alvababy.
The one WAHM Mom run company though that I love is called Babycoon Designs. She makes almost exclusively "geek culture" kids and baby clothes and diapers. My all time favorite pocket diaper and favorite fitted diaper that we own are both Babycoon. Her quality is on par with Alvababy, though more expensive, worth every penny. She is also a local company to where I live and very approachable. She always helps out a customer and goes the extra mile to make sure her fans and customers are super happy.
My other favorite 11 pockets that we own are all Alvababy. We own tons more in various brands and quality levels but those 12 (11 alva, 1 babycoon) are my favorite.
So without further ado.. some cute diaper pics to oggle.

Here is our 11 Alvababy pockets and our one Babycoon pocket.

And here are the 5 new Alvababy Pockets we just got. I love Fluff Mail... don't you?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bucket Filling Isn't Just The Absence of Bucket Dipping

As the Mom of a Kindergartner I am very familiar with "bucket dipping" and " bucket filling". These are the easy to understand concepts that most schools across the US, which help to allow kids to understand and correct their own behavior. A bucket dipper is an individual who participates in an activity which is harmful either physically or emotionally to another individual. This is a pretty easy concept. Not being a bucket dipper can be a challenge but most kids have it mastered. The bigger challenge, and concept is in being a bucket filler.
What is a bucket filler? Doesn't that just mean not bucket dipping. No. To be a bucket filler, you have to go above and beyond. It is not enough to just be someone who is not harmful to people. A bucket filler is helpful to people. Not just helpful but kind, builds up their friends, and is forgiving and loving to even their enemies.
This concept goes so much further than the classroom though. Even in marriage, adult friendships, workplaces. It is not enough to simply not hurt people, you need to build up people. Don't just make sure your kids are fed and dressed, make sure they really know you are there for them, that they are loved and happy. Don't just do your homework, do it well, put in the extra effort, show your teacher you really care. Don't just not fight with your spouse, show them you miss them, love them.
So you may wonder why I am writing this. Honestly, this was a conversation I had with Bug. He was sad that he did not win a "bucket filler award" yet, when he hasn't been a bucket dipper in a really long time. I asked what kind things he had done to help his friends, or compliments he had given his teacher, or extra hard work he did on schoolwork, or friends he had said kind, friendly things to. He looked confused. "but I am not a bucket dipper!" I had to explain that all he is doing is being bucket neutral, which sadly the schools don't really teach kids that bucket filling is more than the absence of bucket dipping, and they are growing up in a world where most people are bucket dipping and self serving. To them simply not hurting people for personal gain is a really huge step. Yet it's a first step. There has to be a second side to that. It is so hard to remember that. We live in a world where we so long ago forgot how to build others up, we self promote, collect friends like trading cards, and only spend time doing the bare minimum in relationships.  I myself am horribly guilty of this. I think most of us are.
So let's take a page from our children, and remember to be bucket fillers. Bucket fillers not just bucket neutral.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Handmade Halloween

Well it was another handmade Halloween this year, and the first with two kids. I have to say coming up with and hand making 3 costumes this year (Hubby had to work) was both fun but difficult. So the costumes this year were Princess Leia, Darth Vader and an Ewok. We had a great holiday and for the first time ever I trick or treated while baby wearing!
The Darth Vader costume, the only parts I didn't make were the helmet (which was given to us) and the light saber. The Ewok costume was entirely handmade except for the upcycled monkey costume feety pajamas I used as the base. The Princess Leia costume was completely handmade.
So without further ado... here are the pics! I didn't end up getting any pic of myself as the biggest Princess Leia ever with all my baby weight but I got lots of the kids.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day After Our Rainbow Baby

So yesterday was October 15th. The day we light candles to remember our lost babies, that we lost either before or after birth. Last year on that day I was almost 8 weeks pregnant. I was still so sad about losing our sweet babies and so scared that River would be one more. I always thought though that if she made it and was born safely that this year I would not feel so sad on this day. Yet yesterday I found my thoughts with Asya Rose and feeling very sad. River is a gift from heaven and I look at every day with her as a gift and a blessing but just having a Rainbow baby doesn't completely erase the sadness. I wish I had something more to say on this subject but I don't. All I really have to say is that I love both my girls and I don't think that that will ever get easier. Having River though does make things a lot better. I love her so much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Common Core and the Case for Less Worksheets!

This Monday at our staff development day, we teachers (albeit preschool and daycare teachers but still), were taught something very different from what is being taught in most Elementary schools these days. That creativity, playtime, "Big Body Play"(running, jumping, tagging, even wrestling), and even (GASP) letting kids be kids, is GOOD! Conversely it was yet again another week of the attack of the worksheets for kindergartners everywhere.
Worksheets worksheets worksheets! That is literally all I see come home from my son, these days. Once in a while he will bring home the classic "kindergarten project" that we all remember. Construction paper cut outs and alphabet handwriting and nursery rhyme story characters. Yet overwhelmingly it's worksheets. All of which state "common core" on the headline. 10-15 of them a day... 50 or so a week. All of which I glance at to see he obviously knows the material and then recycle. He is 5 (barely) and comes home with at least 2-3 worksheets of homework a night. HOMEWORK! I have tried to play ball, tried to be the good little school age Mom, tried to not care that my son is spending precious days locked inside a stuffy classroom writing out a thousand wksheets a month... but I can't. I just can't. Maybe it was our own Staff Development curriculum that fired me up, or maybe that my recycle bin is overwhelmingly my sons hmwk.... either way I am taking a stand. I have wanted to write this piece for a while now but this morning I was handed in the form of a tiny boys artwork, the perfect example of what my child can do ALL BY HIMSELF! Left to his own devises, he created this. No adult helped, not even with the spelling. He did this entirely on his own!!!

Note that he even spelled Tyrannosaurus correctly! I was floored. I asked him if he did it in school, he said "no we don't do things like this in school. I asked him if Daddy had helped him, he said, "No I looked up in books and TV how to spell the words, I did it all by myself."
So while my son is ok playing ball and doing his hand cramping duty of a thousand worksheets, I am not as ok with them. My son can spell and write words like Tyrannosaurus on his own yet his school has him doing countless worksheets describing the difference between a sphere and a circle. Now I am not blaming his teacher, she is just doing what she has to to keep her job. She has to teach to the testing which will cost her her job if her students don't perform well enough. I am just saying that these kids need less worksheets and more time to create things like this. They need the freedom to do what they want, to show teachers what they are really capable of. 
So I am here to say MY SON IS NOT A NUMBER! My son is AMAZING! My son and all his classmates are worth so much more!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

TMNT-riffic Birthday!

Well Bug is 5! I began this blog when he was 9 weeks old... it is so hard to believe that he is 5 years old now. So for his 5th birthday we threw him a kick butt TMNT party. He had such a great time! As usual I made most of the decor and the cake by hand. So without further ado here is some of his birthday pics.
Here is Bug's Pinata! Leonardo is his favorite TMNT.

The shirt I made him. It looks like it's purple and Donny but it actually is blue and Leo.

The Cake! It was made with homemade apple sauce instead of oil.

Not handmade but we found this stuffed Leo and hand to buy it for him. It is his new best friend. He takes him everywhere.

Busy Couple of Weeks

I am so sorry to all my readers for my long gaps between posts this Fall. In the last few weeks My sweet Bug turned 5, my baby girl turned 4 months, we celebrated what would have been our sweet angel's 1st birthday, I returned to work, had to harvest our garden early because of early frost, and threw a massive TMNT birthday party for Bug. So I have a few posts to get to but let's begin with this. Here are some of the hand made projects I have been working on lately. I am looking at the sheer amount of these and realizing why I have been so flipping busy lately :)

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