threefunnyvoices

Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

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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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

 

 

A Home with a Gun? April 14, 2013

Filed under: Things that might be a little touchy — threefunnyvoices @ 9:31 pm
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Guns are a big thing down here. Most of the time, if you ask someone why they carry a gun you will get the response “because I can.” Knowing this, when Brennan is asked to go to someones house to play, I ask if there are guns in the house and if so, are they locked up so that the kids can’t get to them. Fair enough, right? Apparently not. I was told tonight that it’s none of my business and I had a lot of nerve asking. (Only in not terms not as nice as this)

 

So, I ask you…do you ask?

 

I ask because I am trusting that other parents are going to protect my child as I would their child. I ask because I know my child well enough to know that if he saw one, his curiosity would most likely get the better of him. I ask because I feel it is my right as a parent to know. But is this right?

I never knew when I became a parent that there was such a HUGE gray area and very little black and white. I am learning I operate better in the black and white.

How do you handle the gray areas when it comes to your child and their safety in the home of someone else? How do you ask the tough questions without coming across as judgmental or rude? Do you care if you DO come across that way?

Leave your answers below…I am truly interested.

 

~C

 

It started out so simple… March 25, 2013

And it became a HUGE mess!

While my boy and I were out at Kids Fest this weekend, we stumbled upon an activity center that had gallon bags full of shaving cream and food coloring. The kid LOVED it and it was simple enough that I knew I could replicate it at home, which is exactly what we did this morning.

It started out simple enough. Gather a few gallon zip seal bags, a can of shaving cream and some food coloring.

I let the kiddos spray the shaving cream into the bags and choose the colors they wanted to use. (Shockingly, they both wanted to use the same colors. Now, had I suggested this, it would have been the beginnings of WWIII, but since they did it on their own, it was the best idea they had all morning!)

After sealing the bags, they set to squishing…

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…and pounding…

and adding more colors.

Then they realized that we could OPEN the bags and play with the stuff inside which meant I better act fast. I stripped them down to their skivvies and plopped them in the tub. Lord above did they have fun. From this point on, it all got a little fuzzy. There was slipping and sliding, giggles, splatters of shaving cream flying and LOVELY artwork being created right before my very eyes. When all was said and done, we ended with this scene…..

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If you ask the kids, it is the best thing they have done EVER and they would like to do it when we get together again tomorrow. MOM on the other hand thinks that this much excitement should be experienced once every few months!

 

~C

 

How to Appear Manic to the ENTIRE WORLD!!! March 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 10:19 pm
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If you haven’t read my post from earlier this evening, this will not make any sense. I will sound like a mom boo-hoo’ing about her sick kid…

Since my last rambling and selfish display, I have had to make a temporary bed for my child, in the bathroom, with the shower on as hot as it can get so I could get some steam action for him. A simple humidifier was not cutting the mustard…and thank God for my medic friend who reminded me of this trick. (Which, subsequently, I learned back in the day while watching Terms of Endearment) For a brief time, the boy slept…soundly…and without struggling to breathe. Then, just like that, it was over.

There is not enough hot tea, Vicks or steam in the world to get this kid to get a nice deep breath. So now I am sitting here hoping and praying that we don’t have to make the 30 minute drive to the closest ER in the middle of the night. I want so badly to make everything ok for him…to hear him sleep without snorting and snarfing for every breath. When he wakes up crying it breaks my heart and there’s not a damn thing I can do. Having a sick kid SUCKS!

Thankfully (?) I have come to the realization that I am not going to sleep again tonight. Accepting it is just necessary at this point. This, however, has allowed me the ability to prop him upright in a bean bag and set up a stock pot on the stove to steam the front half of the apartment. Hopefully this will give him the chance he needs to get some good healing sleep so that tomorrow we don’t have to go through this all again.

In closing, I would like to thank all those parents who over medicated their children and used cold medicine to turn their kids into zombies so that I can sit here tonight, without an option to medicate my boy who would greatly appreciate it. You guys are awesome and deserve Parent of the Decade awards! Bravo!

~C

 

Would You Like a Little Whine With That Sneeze?

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 7:45 pm
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My darling child (whom I love more than the air I breathe and the life I have been given)  has been sick for days now and it has taken its toll on me.

Tonight is the 5th night in a row that he has been down and out. I know he didn’t plan it. I know he is just little and I know that one day I will want him to wake up in the middle of the night and want ME to be the one to take care of him. I am sure there will be nights that I cry because he won’t let me bring him chicken soup or rub his back and kiss his forehead while I take his temperature. But, right now…at this very moment…I have had just about enough of this crap.

I haven’t slept for more than 45 minutes at any one time since he got sick. My bed is full of kid germs and nose crust…even though I have been changing the sheets daily. My back has permanent indentations where his feet have been pushing against my kidneys while he sleeps in my bed at night. Everywhere I go, I am picking up dirty tissues and popsicle wrappers.  My life revolves around wiping boogies and medication schedules.

Also, I get it that his “nose doesn’t come out” and that every little thing irritates him. I get it that he, like every other male in the world, is whiny and needs waited on hand and foot when he is feeling ill. I get all of these things…

But for the love of God, can I get a break? Can I sleep? Can I NOT pick your boogies off the sleeve of my shirt? Will you PLEASE stop whining…just for an hour so that my brain can learn to recognize other sounds? PLEASE!

Yes, I am whining…Yes, I sound like a wretched mother…Yes, I am too tired to care. Yes, tomorrow is a new day and yes, my patience and tolerance levels will be replenished…but for now…for now….I am going to go pour myself an extra big glass of wine and hopefully drift peacefully off to sleep and say a little prayer along the way that he does the same…for the betterment of everyone we come in contact with!

 

~C

 

The Definition of Insanity February 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 7:53 pm
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Anyone who knows me knows that I spend 1/2 my life pulling my hair out because my son pushes me to the brink of insanity. The child climbs everything (Last night he climbed my chair in the living room and jumped THROUGH the table next to it and did it all before I knew he wasn’t on the floor anymore!) and is in every room, in everything he is not supposed to be, all at the same time. There are days I feel like I should just lay down and die before he can kill me because I am sure that death is imminent and I WILL have control of the last seconds of my life since I can clearly not control anything else. You know that scene in “Mr. Mom” where Michael Keaton’s washing machine goes crazy, his son sets off the smoke detector while making lunch, the baby is zooming around in the walker & eating canned chili and the vacuum cleaner takes on a life of it’s own? I HAVE LIVED THAT!! I know first hand just how badly MK wants to cry, scream and crap his pants while running down the street, never looking back. I am not saying this is an everyday thing, but…

Having said that, I have to ask just what the hell is wrong with me! I decided that I would take on a second little boy, 40 hours a week. This kiddo is the same age as my son and behaves just like him! Somehow, I have deluded myself into believing that this is a good thing for my kid; that somehow it is going to calm him down and distract him from his usual insanity. In the back of my head, however, there is a tiny voice that I am trying my best to ignore and it’s telling me “WOMAN!!! YOU ARE FLIPPIN INSANE!!! RUN!! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!” but here I sit.

I cannot lie. I am semi-excited. WHY!? I have no freakin’ clue! I just am. I remember how much my son loved having the little one I used to take care of  to play with. He was able to tell you that it was time for  the little one to arrive…and he was right. He LOVED having a pal to chum around with…someone to boss around….someone to hug and do things with…someone who thought that poop and boogies were as cool as he did. I am excited to give that to him again…even though it will push me past the brink of insanity and I am sure that somewhere, a little southern paper’s headline will read “Crazy lady, found naked, rolling in a mud puddle while reciting the ABC’s in her best Elmo voice”.

~C

 

Looking for Something to Do With Those Empty Toilet Paper Rolls? February 22, 2013

For some reason, I felt like I should keep my empty t.p. rolls….and now I have an overabundance of them. (It would have behooved me to have a purpose for them when I started saving them because I have enough of them to arm the entire neighborhood with today’s craft project. *sigh*)

 

Anyway….

 

I recalled that somewhere along the line, either as a big sister, a baby sitter, a classroom aid in a daycare or in my Childhood Development classes, we made binoculars out of T.P. rolls.  This was perfect timing because B is a huge fan of playing “explorer” right now so we took to the task of making him a set. It was so easy…and took no time.

HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

2 empty tp rolls

glue gun

markers/crayons/paint/stickers (whatever you want to use to decorate them)

ribbon/string/yarn (something to make a strap with)

 

Start by plugging in your glue gun so it is ready to use when you need it

Set up your little one with the rolls and the chosen decorating tools and let them go to town. (While they are doing this, the adult can cut the ribbon they will need to use as a strap)

 

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After you have accomplished the task of decorating your one of a kind binoculars, it’s time for an adult to glue them together. Just run a line of hot glue along the side of one of the tubes and press the two tubes together.

Now, add a dot of glue on the inside of the tube, but on the outside curve, on both tubes and attach your ribbon.

When you are done, you should have something that looks a little like this:

 

That’s it!

Now, if you are into something a little more structured and decorative, you can find instructions on how to make camo binoculars here: http://www.freekidscrafts.com/binoculars-e1148.html

I am sure that if you search Pinterest, there are lots of patterns and ideas, but I prefer to let B make his own design.

Ok…go enjoy yourselves and let us see some of those lovely creations!

~C

 

A Hug From 1500 Miles Away February 21, 2013

The boy’s Gimah lives 1500 miles away (give or take 500. I haven’t calculated it exactly…but rest assured she lives far away.) and therefore we are always looking for new things that he can make to send to her. I recently stumbled across “Send a Hug” on Pinterest. The ladies at http://www.supermommoments.com came up with this one and we did our own interpretation of it. We think it’s a hit!  (Not to mention SUPER easy to do!)

This would be perfect to do as a yearly gift for a grandparent. It would double nicely as a growth chart that they can hang on to!

Send A Hug

Simply trace your child’s hands. Let them color them in. Measure their “wing span” and then cut a piece of ribbon or string in that length. We adhered the string with a little hot glue, one end of the string on each hand, so that it looks like your little one is coming to give the recipient(s) a hug.

We attached a personalized note on the string with a piece of clear tape.

It was so simple to make and ended up bringing tears to Gimah’s eyes when she opened her care package.

 

~C

 

 
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