Saturday, December 22, 2012

Diapers for Sale

Selling the following diapers for my brother:

 1 USED wetbags (1 white) $5 each,

16 NEW Organic Cotton Soakers $7.50 each,

1 NEW small Bummis Whisper Wrap velcro girl design $10 and 1 USED medium Fleece cover girl design $10

2 NEW Planet Wise Pail Liners $15 each,

1 USED Dark Pink Flip cover (needs elastic repair in legs) $5.

(can get photo if you're interested)

Steal ALL for only $150!

Prices are plus shipping.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yes, I Let Them Get Away With That

A few things I "let" my girls do:

Tank, showing me what she wants for lunch
And that's what we had!
Monster climbing the wood pile.
Helping decorate their Aunt's birthday cupcakes
And eating their Aunt's birthday cupcakes
First snow of the year; Eating snow from the dirty exercise ball.
Helping Papa fix the chainsaw
Creating a "net"/"trap" with the Christmas tree decorations to "save"/"catch" something
Monster, painting Tank's nails violet
Going to The Nutcracker Ballet with Monster (3 yo)
Building a fort out of the couch cushions
Sitting on the fort just like her cat

Turning the box car I made into a cradle

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Real Life Eating

So many bloggers post about the great, healthy, fun food that they make for their children. In my attempts to be as real as possible, I'd like to take a day a week to explain exactly what my girls are eating. I'll post recipes for some of the best meals, but at least you'll know I'm not perfect.

The girls each had a bowl of Froot Loops with organic milk, an organic apple, and three or four clementines. I had a bunch of Pinterest no-bake breakfast bites, which I'm going to call "Everything But the Sink" bites. Find a link to the recipe I used and my alterations below.

While I was in the shower, the girls helped themselves to a bowl of goldfish crackers. I ended up having more breakfast bites and a clementine that Tank was rolling on the floor with her foot. Tank figured out how to open the fridge. Not good.

We all had hot dogs, cheddar cheese, and Ritz crackers. This is not a normal lunch for us. I love hot dogs, but they are disgusting, aren't they? We usually don't have them in the house, but when we went shopping the other day, Monster asked for them and then Tank said "hot dog" for the first time and I couldn't say no. The truth is, I can rarely say no to them.

Monster had some local/organic carrots during Tank's nap. And home-popped popcorn with coconut oil.

Everyone has water to drink today.

Herb Roasted Chicken (local, w/ local/organic herbs) & roasted root veggies (local/organic). The girls and I devoured a fair amount of the veggies and half of the chicken - just the three of us.

After dinner, I picked the rest of the chicken off the bones and froze the bones. They'll become broth in the future. The leftover chicken and veggies will become a chicken pot pie once I make my own crust and add some gravy. (The pot pie was actually better than the chicken dinner, I think!)

So yeah, that's what we had the other day to eat. I'm posting this a bit behind schedule because the week got crazy. I'm sure they had more snacks than I wrote down. Monster always eats a pre-bedtime snack as well. Tank nurses like crazy still.

Everything But the Sink Bites
Monster calls them "dessert balls" or "donut balls" (because they look like donut holes). Here's the original recipe I followed, and my alterations. We've made 3 batches of these in the last 3 days. I've eaten most of them... [Update 12/9/12: This morning we made 3 more batches. Monster made her own batch, with a little of my help. Hers included chocolate and white chocolate chips and no coconut. My batch (doubled) included chocolate nibs from Askinosie, peanut butter chips, unsweetened coconut, and cranberries.]

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes, and roll into balls. Easy!

In the second batch, I cut the chocolate chips down and added crushed pecans, chia seeds, and dried cranberries. To help it stay together better, I added more peanut butter. In the future, I'll cut down the sweeter things (sweetened coconut, sweetened cranberries, chocolate chips, etc) even more. You can substitute whatever you want for all of it - just think of the possibilities!

The girls really love baking with me, and this recipe was fun and easy for them to help with.

Herb Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting Chicken, 3-5 lbs
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed (I just use pepper)
1 large clove garlic, crushed (I minced it)
1/4 c fresh rosemary needles, chopped (mine were dried)
1/4 c parsley (again, I used dried)
2 tbs marjoram leaves (I used dried oregano)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs red (or white) wine vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 c red (or white) cooking wine

Gravy (optional)
1 tbs flour
sea salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400*. Prepare chicken by rinsing and drying it. Loosen skin.

Combine herbs, pepper, garlic, salt, vinegar & oil.

Rub 1/2 herb mixture into flesh under skin. Spread remaining over chicken and into cavity.

Place chicken in roasting pan. (I roast mine separately from the veggies, which I just chop and sprinkle with olive oil. I put them in the oven with the chicken. I save all the cuttings from the veggies and freeze them; later, I'll make veggie broth from them.)

Bake for 30 minutes, add wine and lower to 350*. Bake 20 minutes more for each pound, or until 165* internally. Baste several times.

For optional gravy, reserve cooking juices in a pan on low, whisk in flour, salt & pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Box Cars

On Tuesdays we have a friend come over to play. Bug's mom and I switch childcare time - on Tuesdays I watch Bug for 4 hours and on Fridays she watches Monster and Tank for 4 hours. I highly recommend finding someone to do this with. It's been a lifesaver and it's FREE!

Bug is only 6 months older than Tank and they play very well together. Sometimes Monster plays well with them, but sometimes she wants to spend time playing by herself. I didn't have anything planned for them today, and Monster got bored quickly. She wanted to watch TV, but I don't allow her to watch TV while we have friends over. Then she wanted to play with all the boxes we've been getting in the mail, since I bought most of my Christmas presents online this year. (Another lifesaver for a SAHM of two - I don't have to worry about finding time away from the girls to get them the perfect Christmas gifts.) Monster specifically asked to make cars, and luckily I'm adept at following online instructions, which I found here.

Box Car Materials:
* Larger box
* Packing tape
* Box cutter
* Paper plates
* Glue
* Crayons/Markers/Paint

First, I got out the boxes. Luckily, I had three relatively big ones. Of course, the kids had to play in them before we did anything else.

That's Bug in the box in the front. Monster's hiding in the box in back.

Build the Box Car
1. Tape the boxes up really well. I've decided there's no such thing as too much tape in this case.
2. Using the box cutters, cut a semi-circle at the back end of either side of the box. These will be the doors. If you want doors that open and shut, don't cut it all the way through. It'll be able to swing open (but you'll probably need to reinforce it with tape). Make sure you cut the pieces all the way off - I didn't do it at this step and had to do it later. It's easier here!
3. Cut from the back of the car to 2/3 the way (or a little less) towards the front to make up the seat part. Do NOT cut the part off the middle, though. (Here's Tank checking out the first car after I did this step.)

4. Fold the piece you just cut on top of itself and tape tape tape! This will become the windshield.
5. Cut out the window for the windshield. Make the edges thick so it doesn't break very easily. Then tape it in place.

6. Using paper plates (or circles you've cut out yourself), glue on the tires. Finally, a part the kids can help with!
7. We also taped on paper plates for a steering wheel, but they ripped off the first time the kids tried to turn them. (Tank, since she's the smallest kiddo, go the smallest car. It was a bit too small.)

8. Monster spent some time coloring her car and gluing extra pieces of paper on it so it would have com devices and lots of buttons. (She's been watching lots of Lunar Jim lately.)

I had to let go of my perfectionism and the kids had to practice patience while I made it. Then I had to let go of my creations so they could play with them - and ruin them. One of the first things Bug did was rip off all the glued-on parts. And Tank squished one of the cars pretty quickly too. But they had fun!

After we were done, the living room was trashed. Cars are everywhere, broken into pieces, upside down, and on their sides. Here's a photo - after a couple more hours of playing with three kids. I've decided to post at least one "real life" photo of my house every week. I'm sick of mom sites pretending they can play with the kids, teach them (even home school them), cook the meals, and keep the house clean all at once. It's not possible. (Notice you never see photos of the moms themselves. Maybe they don't shower or do their hair or even get dressed...)

Have fun with your cars! It's a lot of work, but it's so much fun once they're done. Right now Monster has hers on its end, sitting inside it (apparently it's a cradle... and a boat... and she's using it to build a fort with a blanket too).

Playtime with Monster and Tank

Switching focus a bit on the blog. I'd love to start working toward something I can use to catalog my time with the girls, but also have a better audience. So today, I want to share some of the things the girls and I have been doing.

Sand Castle Dough
Emma loves building sand castles, but the problem is that we don't live near enough to the beach to do it, and we don't (yet) have a sand box. When we're up north at Gram-Gram and Papa's house, she spends a lot of time in their "sand" (aka: dirt) pit. At Grandma and Grandpa's house when she's in the sandbox, she always asks for water to make her sand wet enough to build castles. So when I saw this Mouldable Sand Recipe from The Imagination Tree, I knew we had to try it.

The recipe is very simple:
* 5 cups plain flour
* 1 cup baby oil
* lots of glitter

We tripled the batch and could have probably quadrupled it for the size of our bin, but I'm glad we didn't because that stuff is messy. Luckily, I had read a post earlier about how cloud dough (which really, this is) is so very messy, and I was prepared. We had the drop cloth from our painting supplies down, I had the girls stripped (mostly), and I was prepared with a broom (and a vacuum if that wasn't sufficient).

I made sure the girls knew that the sand stayed in the bin and that they weren't to get off the drop cloth until I'd cleaned them up. Still, we (I) tracked it through the house. Thankfully, it sweeps up really easily on our wood floors.

I wanted to take a good photo of the entire invitation to play, with everything set out, but they weren't that patient. We had plastic containers for building sand castles, trucks, spoons, knives (plastic butter knives, don't worry), forks, animals, sea shells, a potato masher, cups, and that great cupcake filler thing I've only used once on cupcakes but that they love for play dough.

Both Tank (20 months) and Monster (3 years 2 months) loved helping me create the sand by measuring it out, pouring it in, and mixing it. (We started mixing with a wooden baking spoon, but soon just gave in to using our hands.) The sand smells amazing because of the baby oil and isn't too sticky or oily on your skin. Tank had fun until she realized she was dirty. Monster loved it and spent a lot of time creating sand castles, burying/digging for treasure, and then stripping naked and getting in the tub to bury herself. She finally decided she'd had enough when she realized she was too messy to eat her snack. :)

When they were finished, clean up was relatively easy, as I said before. I shook out the drop cloth outside, put the toys in the sink, and plopped the lid on the bin. It's waiting for next time, which will probably be tomorrow when we have a friend over to play.

Have fun!