Archive for December, 2011

Jumping Jellyfish!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, I’m constantly trying to look for craft ideas for my three year old.  Today we were at the aquarium and they had a big table of craft supplies out.  We managed to put a jellyfish together.  It was so easy she could do it herself so I thought I’d pass it on to any other desperate mamas out there.

What you need:

  • egg carton (cut into sections)
  • tape
  • yarn and/or ribbon
  • marker/crayon or googly eyes
  • scissors

I’m sure you can figure it out just by looking at the picture but basically we cut the yarn up and taped it onto an egg carton section as tentacles.  Then I cut a slit on the top and tied a knot on one end of the ribbon and slipped it through.  Then she drew on eyes.  Ta-da!


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The Lazy Baker

A few years ago, my sisters and I decided to stop buying each other Christmas presents and start baking for each other instead.  The first year I showed up with a batch of cookies and realized quickly that I missed the memo where we were going to be making hoards of sweets for each other.  Since then I’ve had to come up with ideas for a few different things that I can make, and the easier the better since I do have two (three if you count my husband) hardcore little demands on my time.  🙂

This year I’ve made three things, and there has been no baking involved.  I think I’ve managed to find the three easiest treats to make, and they taste pretty darn good!

First: cookie dough truffles. (recipe here) These were really easy, though probably my hardest treat because I had to haul out my mixer and roll up the little balls.  They turned out really yummy though, even if my husband thinks raw cookie dough sounds sick.  Good thing they’re not for him.  And by the way, it certainly didn’t stop him from sampling them…

Second: peanut butter bars. (recipe here) These were so easy I actually made them in the microwave.  During commercial breaks.  They’re really good too, not as sweet as they look, which I like.  A nice contrast to the sweet cookie dough.

Third: fudge.  (recipe here) I’m not actually a huge fan of chocolate fudge, but I couldn’t find a vanilla fudge recipe fast enough so I used this one.  It was, yet again, insanely easy.  The consistency isn’t quite as firm as I would like but it’s still pretty damn good.  I’m pretty sure these bad boys took me all of fifteen minutes to make.

So there you go, three ideas if you’re stuck making candy for your crazy sisters and you have little imps pulling at your pant legs.  I really hope they enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed sampling!  Merry Christmas!

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The F Word

I am a bad mom. My sweet little three year old daughter says Fuck. That’s right, I said it, it’s out there. When she’s frustrated she folds her arms, lowers her little chin and says “Fuuuuuck”. We first found out about this from her daycare provider. That wasn’t embarrassing at all. She not only decided to swear at daycare, she taught the other kids to swear too! So now we’re worse than the parents who pretend they don’t notice the fever when they bring their sick kid in, we’re the ones who taught our kid to swear.

I don’t even know how it happened. I thought we were careful. We’re not all THAT crass… but the little monkey picks up on everything! I’m starting to think she eavesdrops on us. Maybe she wakes up in the middle of the night, tiptoes to our room and listens to us swear in our sleep. But however she learned it there’s one thing for sure, there’s no unlearning it.

Right after this started, I took the kids to my mom’s house for a few days. My mother is a very lovely woman. She doesn’t swear, she doesn’t judge, and she adores her grandchildren. We’re sitting at the table, enjoying a cup of tea when along comes my child who swears. My mother looks at me with that “did she just say what I think she said?” look and I had to say yes, she said fuck. So my mother asks me where she learned that… you guessed it, I lied and said “I’m not sure, I think at daycare”.

At first we tried ignoring her. Didn’t work. Then we tried explaining that it was a bad word. Didn’t work. Then we tried telling her she would get a time out if she said it again. Well, this was what happened…

Picture it: I’m sitting at the table eating dinner with my cute little daughter. She talks a lot so it’s not unusual for her to start rambling on about something right about now. “mommy” she says “I’m not supposed to say fuck. If I say fuck you will get mad and give me a time out. And you can’t say fuck either, it’s a bad word.” What am I supposed to say to that?? How do you explain to a three year old that by saying she’s not supposed to say fuck, she’s SAYING fuck??

It’s been just over a month now and our attempts at ignoring seem to finally be paying off. I haven’t heard her say fuck for a while now. I’m really hoping she’s forgotten the word even exists, though I have a feeling it’ll resurface at some point… hopefully not until she’s a teenager. Unfortunately last week she was playing under the Christmas tree and my husband and I looked at each other startled with our eyebrows raised because it sure sounded like she used a word that COULD mean rooster…

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I’m not a girly girl by any stretch of the imagination.  I have nothing against them, some of my closest friends are.  And those friends would tell you themselves that they mock my fashion sense.  When I was pregnant with my first and I found out it was a girl, I instantly decided that she was not going to be a princess.  She was going to be down to earth, athletic (which I am NOT) and funny as all hell.

So I set her up with Dora.  Other than the insane amount of marketing involved, it’s hard to dislike Dora at the core.  She speaks Spanish, goes on missions, wears mismatched shorts and t-shirts, and her best friend is a monkey.  Boy did that take off, more than I had expected.  She absolutely adores Dora, so much so that every gift anyone has given her has revolved around Dora for a couple of years now.

Well, it didn’t last.  Don’t get me wrong, she still loves Dora, but something happened.  Someone gave her a colouring book filled with princesses.  Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, and Aurora.  At first she didn’t pay much attention to it but it was like this little gremlin in the closet that just kept calling her name.  Suddenly she noticed princess stuff EVERYWHERE.  And it really is everywhere.  I tried brushing it off and telling myself that it’s ok.  After all, I was a little girl once and idolized barbie and I’m not setting any plastic surgery records.

Then a funny thing happened, and I realized that Dora had been shoved to the back of the line.  We went shopping for her halloween costume.  I had pre-picked out a lovely SuperGirl costume.  She spotted Cinderella.  I couldn’t believe it.  She didn’t even know the story of Cinderella!  “BUT she’s my FAVORITE mom!!”  How can she be your favorite if you don’t even know what her story is????  I gave in and bought it for her.  I felt kind of embarrassed buying it.  I felt even more embarrassed when she told anyone who would listen that she’s Cinderella.  But in the end, I realized that it doesn’t really matter.  She’s a little girl and I need to let her have fun however she likes (well, within reason).  And when I let her pick out a sticker book the other day, she picked CARS.  I have a funny feeling that one day when she’s going through her goth phase I’ll look back at my pictures of little Cinderella and weep for the princess I once had.

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If you haven’t been swept up by the Pinterest craze, it’s a website that allows you to keep track of different ideas on the internet and it’s become quite popular. At first I resisted because I didn’t really get it, but once I joined I realized that it’s not only a place to organize ideas, it’s a place to find them! Biggest use for me: craft ideas. I’m always desperate for ideas to keep my 3 year old busy on these chilly winter days. My latest attempt: Flubber.

It was super easy to make and seriously kept her busy, alone, for about an hour and a half. It’s basically a large amount of silly putty.

Here is the recipe I used: http://frugalfunchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/04/flubber-recipe.html

Warning: if you get it on your clothes, soak it in water until it comes off. Do not put it in the wash or it will melt on and ruin the fabric. I learned this the hard way 🙂

Have fun!

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Seriously, doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all. Sweeping the middle of the floor is better than nothing. Don’t worry about moving the couch every time you haul out the vacuum. Just try to do little bits here and there, never spend hours on any one chore or you’ll never want to do it again. Sometimes when I have to clean the kitchen at the end of the day and have no energy left, I actually just do it in 5 minute segments. If I’m watching a show I just get up at every commercial break and wash a few dishes and by the end of the show, it’s done. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect, who has time to be? Just do what you can and you’ll probably find it inspires you to do more. 🙂

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I haaaaaate dealing with all things dishes. However, one of the biggest problems I have is that once I run a load of dishes in the dishwasher, it takes forever for someone to empty it. In the meantime, they pile up on the counters, in the sink, anywhere there’s a free spot. And then it snowballs… making dinner is a pain because there’s no room, nothing’s being washed because the sink and dishwasher are both full. So here’s a little tip: empty the dishwasher as soon as it’s done. I now open the door, let the steam out and give them a little air, and try to empty it out within the hour. It’s amazing how much more I like my kitchen when the counters are clear.

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