threefunnyvoices

Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

The Darkest Shades of “Baby Blues” November 10, 2013

Today, I was cruising through the Scary Mommy site and came across a post about a mom who was telling her postpartum story. As I read it, I realized that she and I had a lot in common and I realized that if she and I had so much in common, maybe one of you out there may have faced or are facing the same thing. So, this is my brave:

 

First, I need to give a brief back story. I promise to keep it very brief. When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my baby and I lost his father. It was an accident based on stupidity and (as I eventually learned) was ruled incorrectly by the police. I spent the next couple of months trying to deal with his “suicide” until I learned that it was an accidental fall. It was traumatic, no matter how you looked at it.

 

Somewhere, in the days following the accident, someone made me go to the doctor to make sure everything was ok with the baby. I remember laying on the table, waiting to hear a heartbeat and it took them FOREVER to find one, but they did and things were ok. They got me some medication to fight the nausea so that I would be able to at least try to eat something and immediately got me into therapy. When I say immediately, I mean I had my first session before we even had the funeral. My therapist was wonderful and I kept her for two months after I had my son.

 

During all of this, I lived with a family member and while I was exhausted, I seemed to be doing ok. My therapist had no need to worry about any kind of postpartum other than the usual hormonal shifts that occur after having a baby. Life seemed ok and I found a little apartment for my baby and I and moved in quickly.

 

We lived out in the boonies. No one was going to know that the house was out there, and if they did, there was no way they were coming to the house undetected. We had a huge long, winding lane to our house and it seemed that someone was always awake. I was safe as I could be, and so was my baby. However, as the days went by, I started to get weird.

 

I would stay up through a large portion of the night. I would check on my son every 15-20 minutes, even though he was usually asleep beside me or even on me. I started to worry about silly little things that never seemed to bother me before. I would bawl at diaper commercials (yes…seriously…I remember the commercial well and if I were to see it today, I may burst into tears just because) and seemed to be preparing for the worst. I didn’t get any kind of real quality sleep until my sons daytime naps because I felt better during the day.

 

I remember, one day, my sister and I were leaving the house and we drove by a cop. I was certain that someone had called them on me and they were headed to my house to try to find a reason to take my child from me…even though I knew that there was nothing wrong. It wasn’t just a little paranoia. I had trouble breathing, broke into a sweat and wanted to turn around and go home and lock the doors and pull the blinds. My sister was able to calm me down a bit and told me I was freaking out because I needed to sleep. “Maybe she’s right” I thought.

 

Things like this happened several more times before my next doctors appointment. I hated feeling that way and I ended up staying home as much as possible. When I went for my next appointment, I filled out their little postpartum depression survey and passed with flying colors. I tried to tell the PA about what was happening and was told that it was totally normal and that things would get back to normal shortly.

 

The days went by and it was more of the same. We left the house only when we absolutely had to and I always preferred to have someone with me. This, however, was totally unrealistic and I found myself alone with my son a majority of the time. When he was awake, everything seemed to be absolutely fine. He was a perfect distraction and so long as we were home, life was good…for a while.

 

I started getting really nervous when I had to leave him alone while I went to the bathroom. I was sure something was going to happen to him. This progressed into complete meltdowns while I was showering, which I would only do when he was asleep for the night. Before I would get into the shower, I had to close all the curtains, lock all the windows and doors and sometimes I would pull his crib as close as I could to the bathroom door. (Our bathroom was right off of our shared bedroom) While I was showering, after going through the lockdown process, I was SURE I heard people in my apartment. I would rush and get out in under three minutes. I would first check the baby and then go through the house and make sure that no one had gotten in somehow.

 

I called my doctor and they had me come into the office. I explained to her what had happened and was once again told that it was “normal” and that I was likely “dealing with the trauma” of losing my husband (he wasn’t) and “learning my new mommy instincts”. They wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and sent me on my way. Somewhere in my gut I knew this wasn’t normal, but I wanted there to be a resolution so badly that I went along with it.

 

Then the night came that I saw myself. I had gone through the lock down routine. The nervousness and paranoia had gotten to the point where I would get cold…like, into the depths of my soul…and I would shiver. I moved my son to the bathroom door and I started the shower. In that time, I had a vision of my son’s paternal grandmother coming and watching us, learning our routine, and waiting until the time was right where she would pounce and take my child while I was in the shower. I was not going to allow that to happen, so I grabbed a butcher knife and got into the shower. I saw myself, standing there, holding a knife with one hand and trying to wash up with the other, all the while forming different plans to make sure that she didn’t get out of our house.

 

The woman lived several hours away and did not have a vehicle. There was no way this was possible….but that was not what took control of my mind and emotions. A complete paranoia took over my life. I would jokingly call it “postpartum psychosis” because I never knew there was such a thing. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until a few years later that I had heard the term and when I did, I FREAKED OUT! I was furious that I had gone through this, that I had said something to my doctor and that it was never even considered…and was labeled as “normal”.

 

I don’t know when it stopped happening for me. I just know that it did. I had a few friends and family members that I could call at any time of the day or night and just ramble. I think that’s what did it for me; knowing that I had someone out there that would hear me. I don’t remember how much of that time I shared or in what detail. I just know that I would talk and I didn’t feel like I was alone or that I was cracking under the pressure of my new life.

 

I no longer take armed showers. I no longer fear my son’s paternal family. I do still worry about something happening to my son, but not in any extreme sense. I worry about him like any mom would worry about her child. We sleep with our windows and doors locked but that just makes sense. I still have my incredible network of friends that I could call at any time and they would be there for me, just like they were in those darker hours.

 

That is my truth…that is my brave.

PPD and all related illnesses are SO real. They are not something that you should just have to accept and wait out. If you are experiencing any form of postpartum, reach out and make your voice heard. Do not stop until you get the help you feel you need. It is out there for you, don’t let anyone stop you from getting it. You are worth it and so is your family. You will make it through, but you need someone by your side. You need someone you can trust, someone who can help calm you down and help you regain your focus. They are out there.

 

Here are some websites that I found that I wish I had known about when I was going through my experience. They are full of useful information and have links to other great places.

 

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/ppd.html

http://www.postpartum.net/

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/

http://www.melaniesbattle.org/about.html

https://www.facebook.com/beyondpostpartum

 

Remember to hang in there, to ask for help and that sometimes we can just go moment to moment, hour to hour…eventually it will get better. Call on your network of people and let them help you.

 

Peace and Blessings to all of you

~C

 

 

 

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Adventures in the land of SuperBugs (AKA: Nifty Home Remedies) October 25, 2013

Hi!

I know it has been FOREVER since any of us have posted but life, as usual, gets in the way.  Lately, life has revolved around school and dealing with a child who has been incredibly ill. For those of you who do not know, let me catch you up to speed.  (There is a fair amount of rambling to start this post. If you would like to jump ahead and head straight for the Homemade Pedia electroLyte drink recipe or the homemade cough syrup recipe go right ahead…scroll away)

Last Saturday, the boy and I suited up the grandparents and great grandmother and headed off to the state fair. We had a GREAT time while we were there and my three year old was better behaved than most adults that we saw. He rode his first ride, saw his first tractor pull and even tried his first cotton candy. Life was good.

Around 4pm we decided it was time to end our adventure and we started the 2.5 hour drive back home. The decision was made that we would stop at Olive Garden for dinner about half way back. By the time we got there, the little one had been asleep for almost an hour. We woke him, waited for our seat and were pleased to see that we were put all the way in the back of the restaurant. It gave the boy a bench to sprawl out on and rest until dinner got there. We placed our orders and he was still as lifeless as they come. Our salad and breadsticks came and he was STILL lifeless. He normally jumps at the prospect of a breadstick. By the time I had finished my salad, I got a feeling that something was seriously not normal with the little fella, so I picked him up and snuggled him and started the head to toe checklist.

“Does your head hurt?”

“Do your ears hurt?”

“Does your belly hurt?”

I got a “no” in response to all of these questions. Then he started mumbling and next thing I knew, he did it….

He tossed his cookies right there in the middle of Olive Garden. And not just a minor “oops”.  It was a horrifying site and it took a stroke of genius on my mother’s part to contain the catastrophe. When he finally slowed down, we made a break for it. The whole time, we chalked it up to “Oh…he had too much junk at the fair”. Then we realized that he had had a slice of pizza and a little bit of cotton candy…for the entire 6 hours we were there. Then I felt his head and my poor baby was burning up! We made nice with the restaurant staff, left a hefty tip and busted outta there after cleaning him up for the trip home.

I finally got him in the door and settled in for the night…and that was supposed to be it.

Fast forward 1 week and this is the situation:

After 6 days without any real food in his system, sleeping for 90 minutes at a time (with multiple hours in between), night terrors, a fever that could not be broken, countless “Get the boy outside, he’s gonna be sick” moments, two trips to the pediatricians, some fluids and a blood test, we have established that he has a super bug. This is the sickest he has ever been…and he has had chicken pox 3 times.  He has lost 2 pounds in a week and is hurtin’ in the iron department.

Thankfully, we have an awesome pediatrician who helped us find a heavy duty anti-nausea medication which has allowed him to finally eat a little something and has restored my hope that one day, my child will once again be the child that I know and love and not a little male version of Linda Blair and a bowl of split pea soup.

I spent a lot of time, in the early morning hours, searching for something….ANYTHING…I could try that would help my poor baby feel better. I found some things that helped him maintain. Knowing now what we are facing, that was the best anything was going to do so long as he was unable to keep food in his system.

First, let’s go for the:

Homemade PEDIA electroLYTE drink…
REMEMBER: DO NOT GIVE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 1 HONEY

This is SUPER easy to make and so much cheaper than the stuff you buy at the store.

You will need:

1/2 cup of boiling water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar (or honey…or raw sugar….or agave)

3 tablespoons dry jello powder (any flavor your little one likes)

3 1/2 cups of cold water

In a bowl, combine the boiling water and dry ingredients.  Stir until everything is completely dissolved. Add cold water and serve at room temperature, by the spoonful every 5-10 minutes for an upset belly. If it is to lower a fever, you can serve over a little ice.  Pour in a container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Maybe you are a bit like me and think that a sick child needs variety and therefore you make three different flavors of this stuff and at the end of the week you still have it coming out of your eyeballs! Have no fear…it shall not go to waste! Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it so that you always have it on hand should the little buggers need it again. I found that these work really well.

Now comes the really fun stuff.

HomeMade Cough Syrups

We lucked into some local, raw honey this week at a steal so I went a little crazy and made a variety of cough syrups.

You will need to get some glass jars with lids…I like the Walmart version of a Mason Jar the best (a pint size will be fine)

LEMON GINGER SYRUP:

1 Lemon

1 piece of raw ginger 2-3″ long

Thinly slice one whole lemon and put 1/4 of the slices in the bottom.

Peel your ginger and gently crush it.  Cut it in quarters and place 1 piece in on top of the lemons.

Add approx 1/3 of a cup of honey.

Repeat the process until all ingredients are used OR you run out of room in your jar.

Let jar sit in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, over night is best.

During the first day or two your honey will be thick, but as time goes on it will thin out. You can take by the tablespoon full, directly out of the jar or add it to a cup of tea.  GOOD STUFF and the lemon will provide you with Vitamin C, the ginger will help with any nausea that you may have.

SPICY:

Fill your honey jar approximately 3/4 full and add 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper (dried) to it. The cayenne will provide you with capsaicin, which is a natural pain reliever. Add this to a cup of homemade cocoa (Not instant cocoa…the honey would make it WAY too sweet) and have yourself a little Mexican Hot Chocolate to help soothe those aches and pains! OLE!

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Swap out your lemons for oranges or grapefruit.

Add a sprig of rosemary to your lemon or orange honey for improved circulation, additional iron, Vitamin B6, and calcium. It will also help with muscle pain. You can use fresh or dried.

Mint Leaves (fresh) will help with digestion and will help soothe the effects of IBS and clear skin issues such as eczema and acne.

The longer you let them sit, the stronger they will be. The honey will help preserve the fruit to prevent it from spoiling. You will be able to hold on to these for several weeks in the refrigerator. However, if you are like me, you will find various reasons to use them…reasons like “OH! That one tastes good, let’s have a scoop!”

So there you have it…a couple of the nifty things I learned through the last week. I also learned how to make my own Vapo-Rub and I will post the instructions soon. For now, however, I must get some sleep because 90 minutes have come and gone and the little monster shows no signs of waking up any time soon! YAY!!

 

Ice Cream Dough July 24, 2013

As previously mentioned in other posts, it is hotter than hot here. Maybe it is because we are freshly relocated and this is our first summer below the Mason Dixon…but I personally think it’s just HOT.  It’s so bad that the other day I asked my little one to come outside with me and he ran excitedly to the door, stopped short of crossing the threshold and then he said “Mama…it’s too hot! I’m going to color!”. This is coming from the child who lives to be outside.  Unfortunately part of the conditions for living in the complex we live in is no swimming pools or hoses. This is not cool…literally or figuratively.

Now I am faced with finding things to keep him occupied inside…and have a limited budget for new products at the moment. Can you say “challenging”?  I set to scouring Pinterest for new ideas and I found this one .

How could it possibly be as cool as it seems? Well, trust me when I say that it is! We are just cleaning up from 90 minutes of hardcore playtime.

Since I have this need to eyeball most measurements when it comes to things like this, I know I didn’t make it exactly right but we came darn close. And the best part is that it cost me less than a $1.

We dumped approximately 1 ½ cups of cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Then I took all the conditioner samples I have laying around the house. I figured out which ones would smell similar and took to squeezing 9 little packages into the cornstarch. I started to mix it and instead of coming together as a dough, it was mealy. I added  water about a teaspoon at a time until it started to come together as a dough. Once it got to the consistency I liked, I divided it into three equal(ish) balls and placed them in their own little containers.  Then I added about half a pack each of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Flavor Packets. They worked GREAT! Added a nice color and even made the dough smell like something other than conditioner.

We gathered all of the little plastic ice cream cones we have for the boys kitchen set, various dishes and “Toppings”. After the spread was all set up we went to town. It was a great way to pass the time without any kind of screen in front of us and he thought I was actually letting him play in ice cream. Crazy kid….

~C

 

PS….sorry that the photos are all of smooshed ice cream. It really does ball up nice and look like ice cream but someone in these photos couldn’t let them stay looking pretty. He needed to smash them all. Boys…

 

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Ice cream dough 1

 

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Easy Peasy Cleaning Cloths

 

It seems that I am always running out of dish cloths because I am CONSTANTLY cleaning up random messes made by the resident 3 year old.  This means that I always have multiple wet rags that never really dry because it is so stinking humid here in the summer.  This oogs me out. Too many bugs…too much blech icky grossness in a dish rag…just too much gross for me to have scattered about my kitchen.  It was because of this that I set out for a solution. I hit my favorite DIY/Homemade goodies website

Jill always seems to have an answer to what I am looking for.  This day held true to that statement. I found her recipe for Homemade REUSABLE Repurposed Cleaning Cloths.  Since I had all of these items on hand, I set to making them right away. I AM IN LOVE!

If you use a plain scented castile soap, you can add any essential oil that you like. I had lavender soap so I added a few drops of peppermint and a few drops of rosemary essential oil to the soap and water mixture. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it smells heavenly.  I use the cloths all day every day. When they get gross I just throw them in the washer and then back in my jar of solution. I don’t even throw them through the dryer. What’s the sense of drying something that you are just going to throw immediately into a jar of liquid, right?

These things save so much time and money and you don’t have to worry about chemicals being smeared all over your counters and skin. If you try them please let me know what you think.

** I, personally, would cut back on the soap a bit or beef up the amount of water. It is a little soapy for me, but I just rinsed the cloths a little before I used them. Live and learn J

~C

 

Why is the male species so wimpy when they are sick? June 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 10:44 pm
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It’s no secret that we have been sick in this house as of late. In the last month there has been a shingles outbreak, an encounter with poison ivy, an ear infection and now my son is on his third bout of chicken pox. Yes, that’s right….his THIRD bout. I am less than excited about this for many reasons. I do not appreciate that my child has to go through all of this yet again, but I have to say that he is a trooper. He doesn’t scratch a lot and while he has his whiny moments, overall, he is in good spirits and super duper lovey. (It makes me sad that he has to be sick to give me my snuggle fill, but I will take it where I can get it)

This got me to thinking….when is it that men become such huge babies when they are sick? I mean, seriously? We all have that one (probably more) man in our lives who is so incredibly pathetic about having to deal with an illness. The first one I can recall in my life was my father. HUGE BABY! He would lay on the couch and groan and pout. I learned early on that it was ridiculous.

Later, I got married and that man took it to a whole new level. He used to ask me to sit and rub his head until he fell asleep. He would cry…yes…cry…because his nose was stuffed up. We went to the ER one night because of a UTI, which while painful is manageable, especially when we went to the ER at midnight and his Dr.’s office opened at 8am.

We also had a cat who (because “it would suck if someone chopped off MY manhood”…wise words of the ex-husband) got very territorial one night. I had friends that came over and they brought their new baby. I was holding the baby and I could see the fire in the cat’s eyes. I asked my husband to pick him up and chill him out. So, instead of moving slowly, he swooped in to pick him up and the cat went INSANE and bit and scratched the ever living crap out of hubster’s arm. I clearly remember seeing the cat hanging from his wrist, using only it’s teeth. After the insanity had stopped and I had a chance to tend to my husband’s arm, I got him cleaned up and cleaned the wounds. We wrapped it and kept a close eye on it. (Please do not think I am making light of the situation. It was scary and had the husband cried, I would have totally understood…but he took it like a man and I was impressed)

Life was good until one day he was listening to the radio and Sweaty Teddy started belting out his biggest hit…”Cat Scratch Fever”. After that, it was on. For YEARS the ex swore that he had Cat Scratch Fever because of the run in with the cat and if he thought about it too long he would start with fake symptoms.

Then, one day, he got chicken pox (Apparently caring for those with the pox is my calling in life) and OH MY GOD!!! Just shoot me! He whined and cried and whimpered about every little thing. At the time, we had no TV in our bedroom and he found this to be unacceptable so one night during his epic pox battle, he sniffled and pouted about not being able to see tv in bed. It was insanely late at night…like 2 or 3am…and I asked him what he wanted me to do about (HUGE! MISTAKE!!). His response was “Well, will you move the bed into the family room?”

MOVE THE BED!!! MOVE! THE! BED!!!!

I don’t know what is more ridiculous…the fact that he had the balls to ask me to do it or the fact that I DID IT!

Fast forward 10 years, 1 divorce and a rekindling of a romance with my high school sweetheart.

He had a chronic illness that made him feel like he had the flue 24/7. He took it in stride and I was impressed. I thought that maybe, just maybe I had found a man…a real man…the kind that doesn’t cry because of a paper cut. Then, allergy season hit. Lord have mercy! You would think he was John Travolta in the Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

I get it. Allergies suck….chicken pox are evil…UTI’s are hellish and Cat Scratch Fever?? Well, there are just no words. But ya know what…women (for the most part) don’t become ridiculous piles of gelatinous self pity. So, I ask you…when do men go from being Super Duper Party Troopers when they are sick to being previously mentioned blobs of whine?

I think I know the answer. I think that every man starts out as a tough guy. I think that they all learn, throughout childhood, that they can handle most any illness that comes their way. Life is good and while they still want a mom hug and some of her sickness expertise, they do not cling like day old boogers on the wall.

Years pass and suddenly they meet “that” girl. The one that is bound to be their first long term relationship. The one who accepts their oddities and even embraces them. The one that makes their world a much better place…THE ONE THAT CODDLES THEM WHEN THEY ARE SICK! Most of us women have been there. We are nurturers. The majority of us show our love by caring for others in some fashion and when we are teenagers, we seize the day and throw all of our tendencies at our man when he is sick.

THIS, ladies, is when it happens. They realize that their illness evokes pity from their lady and once they realize how good they have it with that first one, they expect the rest of us to do it…every. single. time!

So, can we change the evolution of womankind? Probably not…so here is my hope. I hope that one day, after I am no longer cool enough, that my son finds that perfect woman. I hope that she is everything he ever wanted…and I hope that when he is sick, she tells him to suck it up and make his own damn soup! This is the girl that I will approve of him marrying!

 

 

How 2 Cups of Flour and 2 Cups of Water Saved My Sanity April 22, 2013

By the time the milk paintings were complete, I thought that B was ready to calmly face the world. HOLY MOSES WAS I WRONG!!

What to do? What to do?

Then I remembered reading a post a while back about “Magic Playdough” The woman who wrote the post makes astronomical amounts of plain play dough every year for the first day of school. She separated the dough into individual balls (saving two balls to use later), pushed a well into the top and added 7-10 drops of food coloring into the well. Then, she took took the two balls she had held back, and used little pieces to plug the hole in the others. The goal is to have a collection of plain colored balls that look like there is nothing special about them. She then wrapped them up, added a little note about “mix and mash and if color should appear, it will be a great school year”. I thought this was adorable and wanted to try it at home…sort of.

We obviously did not need 50 balls of play dough so I scaled the recipe WAY back and added a little extra something to it. Here is what I came up with.

Magic Play Dough

2 cups of flour

2 cups of water

Lavender Essential Oil

place all ingredients in a pan on the stove and cook slowly (while stirring regularly) until it comes together and looks like dough. When it is done, place it on a piece of wax paper and knead it until it is nice and smooth. Divide into 6 balls and put two back. With the remaining 4, use your thumb to push a well into the balls. Add 7-10 drops of food coloring per ball. Fill hole with pieces of dough from extra 2 balls and GENTLY form them so that they look like a plain white ball of dough.

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As the dough was cooling, I lined the table with some wax paper and taped it down and got some plastic silverware and other small things that would make fun imprints in the dough.

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Then I unleashed the wild child on his first real encounter with play dough…

We mushed, and folded, and mushed and folded and mushed and folded and mushed and folded…

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And ended up with these (I would add more red food coloring next time)

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It took no time for him to discover that it smelled good (and all that lavender helped calm him down…like, whoa)

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And it felt good

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And because I made it, I knew exactly what was in it and I didn’t freak out when he did this…

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Let the games begin…

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And THAT is how 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water (and a little Lavender Oil)  saved my sanity!

The dough will store nicely in ziploc bags and keep for quite some time. Best use of flour and water I have seen in weeks!

~C

PS: As I sat, enjoying the quiet stillness that this activity blessed me with, I couldn’t help but think that this would make for a GREAT party favor for your little ones birthday party…especially if it is a Magic theme!

 

Milk Painting

I knew this morning when I woke up that it was just going to be one of those days. When the boy woke up he solidified the fact. He was INSANE all morning! I decided to take to my arsenal of kid projects (aka pinterest) and occupy every possible second of his day. I stumbled across “Milk Paintings” (http://flutterflutter.ca/2012/03/17/spring-break-diy-milk-art/). These were fun and a great way to use up some old milk that we had sitting in the fridge. They were really easy as well.

 

All you need is:

Milk (2% or whole)

A plate

food coloring

cheap liquid dish soap

 

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Pour a thin layer of milk onto the plate

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Add a few drops of food coloring to the milk

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Slowly drip a few drops of the dish soap onto the plate and get ready. The magic happens quickly. You go from the picture above to this:

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To this:

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to this:

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When the swirling stopped, I handed the little one a fork and let him experiment with mixing colors:

 

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We made three or four different paintings and he enjoyed every second of it!

~C

 

 

 
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