Monday, July 30, 2012

Rapunzel Snacks

Okay, I did it: I had my kids try something I saw on Pinterest and...

...I must say, it was pretty fun! We used rice pasta of course (darned gluten sensitivity!) and my kids carefully pushed the dry pasta through the pieces of hot dog before I tossed them into a pot of boiling water to cook.

One of my friends called these "Rapunzel Snacks" with their long flowing hair -- I thought that was pretty clever. My kids called them hot dog squid. Either way, my kids loved doing this and giggled the entire time.

Thank you Pinterest!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recycled Tatooine Settlement

Some of the coolest toys are free. I taught my son this lesson when we created his new Tatooine Settlement.

This is what it looked like before we started:

Yep, those are molded paper pulp packaging pieces (try to say that quickly five times!) from something electronic. For some reason when I saw the pieces I immediately thought about Tatooine from Star Wars. Tatooine is the desert planet where both Anakin and Luke Skywalker grew up.


And since my son has a bajillion LEGO Star Wars figures I thought this toy would be perfect for him. All I had to do was use a craft knife to create some doors and windows and we instantly had our little version of Tatooine.

I made sure at least half of the doors were sized for the LEGOs,...

... and I sprinkled the openings all over.

These babies should give my son many hours of Star Wars fun!

Hooray for free toys!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flower Lunch

Today I made a happy lunch. Really, it was my effort to get my daughter to eat a sandwich. Did it work? No. Did it make my kids smile throughout lunch? Absolutely!

I love fun parenting moments!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Personalizing Her Cast

My daughter decided on a pink cast this time instead of purple like last time. It's not that she likes pink more than purple, but that she wanted me to be able to use more color on her cast drawings this time around. Once she returned home, she couldn't wait for me to decorate it. She was very specific about what she wanted me to draw on her cast...

Hello Kitty,

a purple flower,

Kai with a Fangblade,

a dollar,

Perry the Platypus,

if you've ever watched Phineas and Ferb you know what this is... totally her idea,

and an eyeball. A brown one. With a bow.

At least she feels like her arm has some personality now. Happy I can help make my daughter smile a little about the situation. Oh, and here's a photo of what my daughter's elbow looks like now.

Wow. Big pins, little arm. They tell me they'll just yank those puppies out next month. Sweet.

Here's hoping my daughter's arm heals up quickly!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ice Cream in a Bag

We tried making Ice Cream in a Bag on one of our camping trips this summer. I must say, it's a pretty fun activity that worked well!

I mixed all of the ingredients in a big bowl before our trip (I made a Strawberry Rice Cream mixture) and then I separated the mixture into two quart sized Ziplock bags. Then I put each quart of ingredients into its own gallon sized bag with some reminders of the following instructions written on the outside so I wouldn't forget:

- Fill the gallon bag half full with ice
- Add 1/2 cup salt
- Put quart sized bag with ice cream mixture inside gallon bag with ice
-Seal gallon sized bag
-Shake bag until ice cream has hardened (about 5 minutes)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Easing Her Surgery

after some x-rays

My poor little girl broke her elbow on Monday while learning how to "safety fall" from the beam at gymnastics. It's always hard to see my babies in pain, and unfortunately, my daughter has had more than her fair share of visits to the hospital. Just this year my daughter has battled MRSA, a spiral fracture of her tibia, countless physical therapy visits, an ongoing struggle with amblyopia (which has required an eye patch for much of the year), and now this. But through it all, my daughter has remained much stronger than I. I feel so weak, but I have felt so much more secure knowing that we have medical insurance -- I am so very thankful for that.

splint, sling, & bracelets

I think that all of my daughter's medical problems have helped my creative spontaneity. When my child is suffering, my parental instincts kick in and all I can think of are ways to help my child feel better. Some ideas work, some don't, and every child is different.

an arm-cast-worthy wardrobe

*    *    *

Yesterday, the doctors decided my daughter needs surgery on her elbow. This idea made my daughter wilt into a pile of tears.

I held my girl close to me and I began to tell her what it would be like:

"You will get to lie down on a table with wheels on the bottom, kind of like a giant skateboard, and the doctors will give you some medicine that will make you very sleepy..."

My daughter looked up at me with her big brown eyes.

"... And sometimes, you get so sleepy that you get to have some fun dreams. Maybe you will start to dream of Hello Kitties.. with wings... flying under a rainbow..."

And my daughter began to giggle.

"... And before you know it, you'll wake up and it'll be all over and we can go back home..."

 *    *    *

After my kids went to bed I found the perfect gift to give my daughter for surgery day...

I love you baby girl. I hope you have pleasant dreams.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Death Star Piñata

This was one of my favorite projects for my son's Star Wars birthday party: the Death Star Piñata. Now, unfortunately, I slapped this baby together so quickly that I didn't get any photos of the actual decorating of the piñata, just the assembling part. But I'll post what I have!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lightsaber Bubble Wands

I put together a fun Star Wars themed birthday party for my son while I was on my "blogging break." I can't say that I made many projects for my son's party that were completely original -- there are a ton of blog posts out there on Star Wars parties! But as far as I know, this idea is mine: I turned bubble wands into lightsabers for party favors.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dryer Lint Fire Starters

So, if you hadn't noticed, I took a little break from blogging. This whole blogging business is just supposed to be a hobby, but I was beginning to feel like it was work. Hobbies are supposed to be fun, right? Never fear, I'm back, and I have a lot of catching up to do!

Summer has been fun so far! We've been camping three times since I last checked in here. I love camping. A lot. And one of my favorite parts of camping is warming myself by a campfire. At the beginning of camping season I try to make a bunch of fire starters to last us several trips. I'm not sure where I learned about these -- I seem to remember seeing these made on TV a long time ago (like fifteen years ago-ish) -- and I don't claim these are my creation, I just claim that they are totally awesome work!

super awesome fire starters