Spending Quality Time

Whidbey Island Deception Pass

Whidbey Island Deception Pass

I’ve wondered on occasion if I use my time wisely throughout the day in matters of cleaning, cooking, crafts, taking care of child(ren), my spouse, friendships, etc… The list goes on and on. Yes I would hope that I do manage my time well but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here is my typical day in bullet points:

  • Wake up to my husband getting my daughter, hear them playing, changing diaper, and coming into our room. At this point I still almost always have my eyes closed until she is sitting in bed with me and we say “Morning” to each other.
  • Then as I slowly peel my eyes open, put on my glasses, and get out of bed I begin my day. Usually I head to the toilet first, deposit any change (aka #1 or #2), followed by brushing my teeth. At this point my daughter has noticed this, puts down my cell phone (my husband usually gives her the phone first thing as a distraction… not what I’d like to do, but I’m not the one waking up to get her) and comes to get her toothbrush too. We brush our teeth, I make the bed, and get dressed and then I usually grab some clothes for her on the way down the stairs.
  • Breakfast is always so hard for me. I’m not a cook at all. I get inspired here and there, but it does not come naturally to me. I love to eat, not to cook. So its either cereal, eggs, or bread with fruit. I feel really badly for my baby. I’m not really into reading about every health story and whats best. I’m lazy when it comes to that. Sorry, its the truth. I’m all about convenience. But I do try, trust me. Fruit is my go to healthy food.
  • When she is all done “al don”, I take her out of the high chair, kiss, put her down and she has been so trained by now that she will bring me the PS remote if I’m too slow to put on her “show”. Frozen has been played every day since we came back from Washington (unfortunately for my stepdad). So I’ve been asking her what she wants to watch. I start naming off shows like “Super Why”, “Croods”, “Caillou”, “Tinkerbell”, etc… and she will say “uh uh” which means no. Once I find one she likes she says some jibber-jabber and I start the show
  • I clean up dishes while the show is playing and then go to my To Do list that I’ve prepped the night before. Depending on the day I have certain tasks I’ve assigned to days of the week. Monday – start laundry, Tuesday – Toilets, Wednesday – more laundry, Thursday – Craft day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – depend on if I’m cleaning up a certain room and I will try to focus on that.
  • After I have started my To do list, I then sit down at my kitchen work area where my computer is, open the tab to Facebook and get sucked into the abyss. Facebook has been horrible and its my own fault. I am part of garage sale groups so I am constantly searching for great deals or posting my own things to sell. This takes up most of my morning. My daughter will come over to me once in a while to get my attention. I want to say that I do give her my attention too. She will climb up on the chair next to me and I will hand her a pad of paper and pen. She will sit with me scribbling for a good 5-7 minutes, then move on.
  • I do play with her. We play chase, tickling, and going through her ABC. Unfortunately she has not wanted me or my husband to read to her before bed time for the past month. She wants to read the book herself. I haven’t done too much research into whether this is normal or not. But I figure she still is grabbing books all the time, so they must interest her. She just wants to be independent.
  • Lunch time starts between 11 – 12 depending on the day. Its either nuggets, hot dog, mac n cheese, or something left over from dinner the night before. She is pretty independent when it comes to feeding herself. And I’ve learned to let her be messy. She actually doesn’t like it when she gets messy now because of me. If she has sticky fingers she’ll whine until I wipe them clean.
  • Naptime is 1-3, which means quiet time for me. I reset the toys, do any dishes, and work on my to do list. My To do list consists of projects I’m working on like birthday gifts I may have to sew, little home decor projects, or de-cluttering zones in my home. I really look forward to the 2 hours of quiet time too because I don’t have little fingers getting into everything. Sad, but true.
  • After naps, snack time and playing outside in the backyard with bubbles or ball or the cozy coupe cars. I haven’t been taking her to the park lately because of windy weather, but when I can we’ll go to the park and let her slide, swing, or walk around.
  • Then its dinner time, bath, and bedtime routine.
Fox in Cozy Coupe Ride

Fox in Cozy Coupe Ride

The day goes by so quickly some times that I feel like I haven’t really had any quality time with her. I wonder what would happen if I just disconnect from Facebook for a week and spent real quality time with her. I honestly think I would be ok. I would have to do more play time with her and schedule learning time. I have tried to do that in the past but have always gotten off schedule. What if my day went more like this:

  • Wake up, Breakfast, Dishes, Start To Do list cleaning
  • Reading time with toddler
  • Activity to associate with book
  • Lunch
  • Play time – puzzles or play house
  • Nap
  • Snack
  • Play time outside with bubbles or ball
  • Dinner
  • Reading time
  • Bath and Night Night
Snack time and Play

Snack time and Play

See, it looks so easy on paper. But then I check my darn email (54 emails to check, I MUST LOOK), get stuck on Facebook, and I put on another show for her. I’m being realistic here. My life is not how I wish it could be, but its also not terrible. My daughter loves to play chase with me or get tickled. She’ll sit in my lap while we watch her show and we’ll sing “go” together (frozen movie). I guess I’m trying to validate my current schedule.  But what’s wrong with it being not so perfect?! Its mundane but it has routine which is good for her and when I do go off schedule is when she gets cranky.

So in conclusion, quality time is based on my daughters needs and mine. I’ll keep tweaking the schedule and trying new things. But overall, she is happy, so I am happy. We enjoy our time together and that’s the quality that I’ll try to achieve.

Bouncy House Play

Bouncy House Play

 

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Airplane Sorry Bags & WA Trip

Airplane Sorry Bags & WA Trip

We just returned from a 5 night, 6 day trip to visit my brother and his family in Washington. We had a mini family reunion too, just immediate family. It was exhausting and it was also a lot of firsts for us. It was our first flight with our 2 year old, which if we had gone a week early we would have saved $300+ on flying, etc… Our first time to take a shuttle onto a ferry! Super fun, but I wish we could have taken her around the boat. Too scared though that she would jump overboard. Lol

The one thing I was really excited to make for the trip was the Airplane Sorry bags found here (link). I estimated that if you make about 30 bags total (15 for each way, to and from your destination), it costs about $0.50 per bag with the goodies I put in. I will come back to this at the end of my trip story, or you can scroll to near the end.

So again it was our first trip and although I’m really a big planner, I hate doing research for things! Funny right?! I just hate having to scourge through all the muck of information. I got a general consensus from our normal go to mommies and then also based our needs on my daughter’s personality.

Our trip to WA was horrific (it really felt that way and go ahead, nod your head if you remember that feeling). Let’s just say that it was poor timing on my part as far as turning on the movie, giving her sippy drinks, and since it was a first experience for her, poor thing had a hard time.
On the return trip things went much more smoothly. She still had smaller meltdowns, but since I dealt with them ALL, I say they were much easier coming home. She had her juice cup, Frozen (the movie) was playing on her device and she was happy. She already took her nap in the shuttle and I was surprised that she wasn’t as cranky. Probably because the TO flight was right at nap time. My bad :/. I’m am not gonna be that person that reads every horrible story on the internet and freaks out. I figure I get criticism and scolded when I do research and when I don’t. I just have to learn to shut out the negative and let in the positive.

I’m positive that my husband never wants to go through that again (we’ve been banned from attending a wedding in May for fear of embarrassment). I’m positive that as she gets older it will slowly become easier in ways and other things will be difficult.
I’m positive that I will have the memories from our first flight and the ringing from my ears will eventually subside.
I’m positive that although this was a trying week, my baby girl is the sweetest girl and is my perfect little one. Just like your child fits you.

Happy Child

Happy Child

Back to the Airplane Sorry Bags. So cost is $0.50 for 30 bags total or $15 total estimated.
Included:
Sandwich Baggie with labels – I owned both baggies and labels
Starbursts 6 pieces per bag = $5 (estimated)
Tissue pack (8 pack at dollar tree) = $4
Earplugs (5pk at dollar tree) = $6

Sorry Bags

Sorry Bags

Total $15 and so worth it. Both my husband and I were late on delivering the first set of bags, so we saved them for the return flight. All the comments I heard were “this is new”, “oh cool, earplugs … I may need it for that kid” (another kid 3 rows behind us had a really hard time). The best part was that they ate the candy and I didn’t feel like I was getting dirty looks the whole time like with the first flight.

Now I know more for our maybe next trip to Disneyland. We’ll see how that turns out.

Happy Sunday Recap!

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ABC Playmat Games

20140307-154247.jpg

ABC play mats are so much fun in our house at the moment. Our LB is fascinated with letters especially from watching Super Why (a lot). As of now the main game we play is “What Letter is This?” Which she gets about 70% of them right and the ones she doesn’t know she calls them all “double-you”!!

I do try to incorporate colors because of how colorful they are, but she is still interested in letters mostly.

This is her game that she plays and I love that she does it. Kids CAN learn to clean up at a young age! After we lay out all the letters, she gets to take them apart and put them in their bin. As she does this she says the letter out loud. I swear I didn’t force her to do this. But she sees me on a daily basis putting things back and after all, once it’s put back it can be dumped out again. That’s the best part 🙂

Some other games that we are trying and will try in the future is:
– Jump on a letter when it’s called out
– Simple spelling words
– Sounding out letters

I’m sure there are plenty more, but this is our Play for the week. Also I won’t keep this out all week. First reason is because I would have to search for all the pieces at the end of the night and I just don’t want to. Second, if she only gets to play with it a few days in the week, I feel like it holds her interest longer. A lot of moms do the toy rotation and I like it too. My mindset is the toys that have a million pieces should only come out a 2-3 times a week.

Have a happy Wednesday and Play!

Trial and Error with Play Dough

February 26, 2014

Pinterest Play Dough Recipe

Since my daughter turned one last April, I have been pinning like crazy different recipes of play dough. There are (too) many to choose from that are edible, some require cooking, and others are no cooking recipes. I aim for the easiest of it all and since I prefer cooking as little as possible; I found this great recipe at Fun at Home with Kids.

I had everything the recipe called for in my kitchen and so I thought I’d share with you my process and thoughts on making it. The pictures provided for this post are my second attempt at making the play dough. Our first time was on February 15 and my girls only played with it for about 5 minutes before moving on. But I did do some things different each time and I will share what I liked and what I didn’t.

First you will need:

  • Baby Cereal (1 cup)
    • The original recipe said rice cereal, but I only had oatmeal. It still works!
  • Vegetable Oil (3 Tablespoons, Tbs)
    • I just used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Cornstarch (1 cup) or Gluten Free Cornflour
    • I’m not sure if its corn flour, but the second test I used Almond Flour.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (1 – 2 packs) or water
    • The first attempt I used about 1.5 packs of applesauce. The second time I only used one, but it was strawberry flavored.
  • Food coloring (optional)
    • I think my food coloring must be bad because it hasn’t blended well with any of the projects I’ve done in the past couple years… then again it may be about 5 years old…yikes!
Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

Bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

applesauce, cornstarch, baby cereal, almond flour, vegetable oil, and food coloring

First Batch/Attempt:

On my first trial of the play dough I used cornstarch instead of almond flour, about 1.5 packs of applesauce, and added red food coloring. Because this is edible, I tried it before my girls did just to make sure it wasn’t yuck! It actually was bland at first and had a sweet after taste from the applesauce. I thought the cornstarch would make it cakey, but it was really smooth in texture. Also I initially added only one applesauce pack (1/2 cup), but it wasn’t mixing well. I added ½ of the second cup and mixed slowly. The instruction from Fun at Home with Kids says to either add more flour or water depending on dry or wetness. Overall it was easy to mold in my hands and the babies loved playing with it. My only fail was the food coloring. As you can see from the picture below, it didn’t blend well for me. I think either the food coloring is expired or I mixed it in at the wrong time.

I had this in the fridge since I made it on the 15th and opened it up again on the 25th. 10 days is truly too long for its shelf life. It had a smell when I opened the container, so I threw it in the trash immediately. I will watch more closely with the second batch when it starts to turn.

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

First batch made 2/15/14, food coloring not blended well

Second Batch/Attempt:

My second attempt I changed a few things. I used almond flour instead of cornstarch, no food coloring, and I used strawberry flavored applesauce (that’s all I had). My thought process was that if I used already colored applesauce, it may help turn the color of the play dough more pink-ish. Nope! I think because I used almond flour, which is much heavier in texture than the fine cornstarch; my plan failed again. But then again, it may have just not worked because it wasn’t food coloring… uh. Yea, here is the step by step pictures I took. Pretty self explanatory and please refer to original post for all the details.

PD steps1

PD steps2

I used alphabet cookie cutters. My little bunny is really into her letters as of late. Although she is starting to call almost all her letters “W” which she learned from her daddy. Its OK though, she’ll have fun playing with all her “W’s” in the play dough.

PD steps3

Hope my trial and error in play dough making helps you make yours better the first or second time. I always like to see the trials and what needed to be fixed. Anytime I attempt a recipe through Pinterest, it doesn’t always work out perfectly for me the first time.

Thanks for reading along. I’ll be posting a DIY tutorial this Friday.

Sherie Signature

Resources

–          Fun at Home with Kids

–         My Pinterest