Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rainy Day Project- Edible Playdough

Do your kids love playdough? Do they also love to eat it? Maybe that is just my kids then! Guess that doesn't say much about my cooking!
Well, with black clouds covering the sky this morning, I knew that it would be a perfect day for playing inside with playdough. What could be better than playing with playdough? How about making your own and having it be edible?

All you need for edible playdough is peanut butter, honey, powdered milk and cocoa. My recipe, which I stole from my mom (we used to make it as kids), did not have any measurements, so please bear with my guesstimates. I put about 1 cup of peanut butter in a large bowl. Then added 1 teaspoon of honey. Finally, stir in small amounts of powdered milk until the peanut butter becomes doughy and less sticky. You can add cocoa to taste for a chocolate flavor, but I did not find this step necessary as the kids enjoyed the peanut butter taste.

Then get out some placemats and utensils and start creating!

The playdough was still a but sticky and stuck to the kids hands! Even better for licking and tasting that yummy peanut butter dough I say!

When we were finished, I put the leftovers in the refrigerator. Because the kids are playing with it with their hands, I would not keep it for more than a day or two. I also would not use it with the tools and accessories that they use with their real playdough!
Hopefully, I have not further confused my kids (or anyone elses') as far as not eating playdough and not playing with your food! Enjoy your next rainy day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reese's Birth Story

Taken from my pregnancy organizer from my pregnancy with Reese
June 6th, 2007
I went to the doctor for a checkup 6 days after my due date fully expecting to have to go back to work and wait a few more days. They checked my urine, weight and blood pressure like usual. Then they checked the fundal height and did a cervix check. Because I still was not dilated, the midwife said that I had 2 options: 1) They could insert a catheter that they would then fill with water to mimic the baby's head and cause cause the cervix to start to open (dilate), 2) they could do an ultrasound to make sure the baby is ok and wait 3 days to see if labor started or be induced anyway. We decided to more forward and go ahead with the 1st option and induce labor. They did a non-stress test which checked the baby's heartbeat and movements while I was resting. Everything looked normal, so they told us to come back around 4pm to have the catheter inserted. If I don't go into labor naturally overnight, we are to go to the hospital at 6:30am to start the pitocin. Either way, she will probably be born within the next 48 hours. Although this is not how we planned it, we are definitely ready for things to get moving!
Rather than go to work, I went home from the doctor's office and spent the afternoon resting. At 4:30 we returned to the doctor's office. After going to the bathroom, I prepared for the catheter to be inserted. Kathe explained to us how the cather should work (called the Foley Method) to induce labor and what we should expect. She inserted the catheter and filled the ballon with water. The balloon mimics the baby's head descending down the birth canal and tricks my body to start dilating or opening. Hopefully, it will cause enough dilation that contractions start, if not they will give me pitocin at the hospital to induce contractions. She told us to go home and get a good night's sleep so that we would be rested for a day of labor. We are to check into the hospital at 6:30am if nothing happens overnight. If we start having contractions overnight we just call the office and they will let us know whether or not to come in and notify Kathe.
I was too uncomfortable to do anything but go home. My mom came over to hang out with us for a little bit that night. She made me some eggs, but for the first time I was not hungry at all! I barely drank anything either because it was so uncomfortable to use the restroom with the catheter. I later found out that not drinking had been a mistake because dehydration can cause problems with delivery. I slept (read rested uncomfortably on the couch and in the spare bedroom so as not to disturb Randy) At 5am I jumped into the shower and prepared to leave for the hospital. We checked in a 6:30 on the dot and they took me to a room and got me all hooked up on the monitors. Fortunately, I had started contracting overnight and did not need the pitocin. Once in the hospital, I moved around a lot from the tub to the bathroom to the birthing ball. I even took a stroll through the hallway. Sometime around noon, they did break my water to keep the momentum going. I had terrible back labor and feeling that I needed to have a bowel movement. This sensation was very distracting to me and I did ask the midwife for some meds. She steered me towards something that could be inserted through my IV and did not have the numbing effects so that I could still get up and move around. Though I was not numb, I was sort of delirious. Everyone in the room kept laughing because I would mumble something incoherent or totally unrelated to the topic of conversation. Sometime around 3pm I began to have the urge to push and started to bear down. The midwife noticed this and said something about my being a natural and not even needing her there! Ninety minutes later, Reese was finally born, weighing exactly 9 pounds and 20 inches in length. She was facing backwards (posterior) which explained all of the back labor and pain. She suffered from shoulder distotia, but they said that it should heal within the week and not cause any long term damage. Several family members were there to greet her into the world immediately! That night there were horrible storms and grammy and grampy had trees down and no power at their house when they returned home!

Happy Father's Day

We spent Sunday doing just what Randy loves to do: boating! The kids love it as well and were all smiles while floating in the river!

Because it was really buggy out, we did not sit on the beach like we usually do. Instead we got out the tube and Randy attempted to take each of the kids for a ride.

Reese went first and did pretty well. She started to lose her grip and fell from Randy's back to a spot next to him on the tube. At that point she decided that she wanted off and back in the boat.
After seeing big sister try the tube, Aidan was all excited for his turn. We got him up on Randy's back, but as soon as the boat started to move, his face showed complete terror! We stopped and pulled him back in almost before he got started!

Randy then spent a few minutes tubing by himself and the kids thoroughly enjoyed watching him. We spent some time driving around the channel and finally stopped at a little island. We were the only ones there and the bugs were almost non-existent. Several hours later we packed up the boat. We ordered a pizza for dinner and spent the evening just relaxing together as a family.
Randy recently heard this song by Rodney Atkins on the radio and told me that it reminded him so much of his relationship with the kids that he started to get a little bit teary eyed.
Recently, it has really become apparent how much the kids adore their father and want to be just like him! They worry about him and ask about him constantly from the time that he leaves in the morning until he returns home! This past weekend, Aidan was all too happy to sit on the potty for daddy and show off that he is officially a big boy and no longer a baby!
The kids and I are so lucky to have such a fun loving, hard-working, loving, giving husband and father! Thanks for all that you do! We love you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aidan's Birth Story

Originally posted on MySpace February 21, 2009

He's finally here!

I have been a bit impatient for Aidan to make his big appearance, and now that he is actually here I can hardly believe it!
Wednesday afternoon we went in for a regularly scheduled appointment. The midwife told us that I was dilated "maybe" to a 1 and high and thick. I was very disappointed, knowing that our due date was only 2 days away, I prepared to go at least a week overdue like I did with Reese.
After work on Thursday I cleaned house and prepared to be gone as if I knew that it was going to happen soon. I went to bed Thursday night having contractions about once an hour. When I woke up at about 5 am, they were about 10 minutes apart. I called the doctor's office at 8am and they told me to come in and they would check me. After dropping off Reese, we got there around 9. I was dilated to a 2 and anticipating a few more hours of labor. We followed the midwife's recommendation to go do some walking at the mall rather than be stuck at the hospital. An hour and a half later my contractions were much stronger and closer together. We returned to the office to be checked again. This time I was 5-6 cm dilated and almost totally effaced. We were immediately escorted across the hall into the hospital and partially admitted. They got me into a room and in my gown. They were hooking up all of the baby monitors when I felt the urge to push. The nurse told me that I could go ahead and push, when I reminded her that I needed antibiotics for the Strep B I carried. They immediately inserted the needle and pushed the antibiotics in as quickly as they could. About an hour and a half later at 12:59 pm Aidan was born! He weighed in at 10 pounds, 1 ounce and was 22.5 inches long! Afterwards we received our hospital bracelets and were officially "admitted" to the hospital! It couldn't have gone any better if we had planned the whole process. I went into labor on my own, on my actual due date, was able to get through the whole thing without an epidural or even any pain meds, and everyone was healthy and happy!

See the other posts here.

My first attempt at blogging

I was looking through my blog and email for the accounts that I had written about my children's births and came across this site. I made this site when I was expecting Aidan. It was so fun to read through and reminisce about that time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How to throw a Little Mermaid party

Several weeks ago, I asked my daughter what kind of party she would like to have for her upcoming birthday. She responded, "A Little Mermaid party!" With that I began the planning invitations and decor with an under the sea theme. Invitations came first. I wanted something with a mermaid on it, I didn't care if it was Ariel, it just had to be a mermaid. As I suspected, I was unable to find anything in the stores except for invites with pictures of all of the Disney princesses. When I was unsuccessful at the store, I started searching online. I found a really cute one that a lady had made for her daughter by cutting and pasting her daughters face onto the body of a mermaid with fish and sea animals floating in the background. I searched for something that would be suitable to paste my daughters face on and couldn't find anything. Luckily, I was reminiscing and looking through old photos and happend upon one of my daughter sitting on the front of our boat in her swimsuit and sunglasses. I decided that I could just print the photo out onto cardstock and attach a paper mermaid tail.

When I finished the mock up of the first card, I showed it to my daughter. She squealed, "I have a mermaid tail! That's so funny!" I knew that it was perfect because she couldn't wait to deliver them to family members.
Once the invitations were finished, I moved onto decor. I was thinking simple seashells and sea animals created out of craft paper. While looking through a paper crafting book at work, I came across animals made using paper and toilet paper tubes. The book showed a crab and I decided to make an octopus and seahorse as well. I covered the toilet paper tubes in colored paper and then added claws and eyes for the crab, 8 legs for the octopus and a cutout seahorse. I then attached a string and hung them from the light fixtures with some green crepe paper for seaweed.

While coloring with the kids one night, I noticed several pages of fish and sea animals. I ripped the pages out, got some crayons and went to work (coloring has always been one of my favorite activities). Once they were taped to the closet door, I draped green crepe paper seaweed in front of them.

Hello Mr. Crab!

I had several small fish, crabs and seahorses left and decided that I would tape them to the kitchen cabinets. I dug through my gift wrap and found some shiny blue tissue paper and cut it to fit the insets of my cabinets. Then I cut some seaweed out of 2 different colors of paper. Layering it all together really made the kitchen look festive!

With everything decorated, the final piece of the party was the cake. I researched online and finally saw an idea for a large rectangular base cake frosted in blue to represent water with a smaller circular cake frosted and covered in graham crackers to look like an island. We topped ours with a mermaid doll from the Dollar Store.

I wish that I would have added a palm tree or something, but it was pretty cute and most importantly, Reese loved it!
I had so much fun planning this party and putting everything together. I honestly can't wait for the next one, except that will mean that Reese will be yet another year older!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So proud

For the past 2 days I have been working on potty training Aidan. Yesterday there were lots of little accidents where he would start peeing and then I would rush him over to the potty chair to finish. Today he actually started to get it and would say, "pooping!" This was my cue that he had to pee and I would yank down his pants and put him on the potty. We actually made it all afternoon, from nap until bedtime, without any accidents (except for poop!) and we didn't just sit at home! I had Aidan go on the potty right before we left the house to run some errands. About an hour after getting in the car, we arrived at the restaurant for dinner. I immediately took him to the restroom and had him go before we even sat down to order food. After going out to dinner, we went to my in-laws to go for a swim. Aidan had gone on the potty before we got into the pool, but an hour later Randy thought that he smelled poop. My first mistake was that I asked Aidan if he had to poop! Of course, he said no and we continued swimming. A little while later I grabbed him off of the ladder and felt something warm in his suit. I immediately got out of the pool and took him into the bathroom. I pulled his suit off in the shower and set him on the toilet. He didn't poop anymore, but he did pee. He was so proud of himself, he pumped his little arms in the air and exclaimed, "I did it!" It was so cute! I cleaned him and his suit up and we went back to swimming. We returned home in time to have a snack and get ready for bed. I put Aidan on the potty before taking him upstairs and he went. I put a diaper on him because I did not want him to have an accident in his bed overnight. After tucking him in he cried histerically for several minutes. Finally, Randy went upstairs to check on him. Aidan was pulling at his diaper and screaming, "Diaper, diaper!" He wanted the diaper off and underwear on to sleep in! Randy finally got him calmed down and convinced him that he could put his underwear back on as soon as he woke up in the morning! Knock on wood, but I think that we may have created a monster! I am so proud of how well he has done in just 2 days! It really goes to show how much better potty training can go, when the child is ready for it. I think that I tried too early for Reese (started at 15 months after finding out I was pregnant again, in hopes that we would have her out of diapers before 2nd came along) and it ended up being a very frustrating experience for both of us. Besides being the right time for both of us, I think that I am more patient and knowledgeable having been through this stage before. Whatever it is, I hope that things continue this well!

Mommy's Preschool

For several months now, Reese has been obsessed with school. She has lied about her age, obsessed about getting tall enough, pretended to go to school, and much more. I have her enrolled in 4 year old Pre-K starting in August, but to her that seems like 100 years from now. I recently read a post on another blog about home preschool and had a lightbulb moment. I am home for 12 weeks in the summer, why not incorporate preschool into our day? I researched a little bit on the topic and immediately began to plan. I wrote out ideas for lessons, gathered up games and activities, and bought a few supplies. I told Reese that we would start Mommy's preschool on Monday and it was all she could talk about all weekend long.
On Monday morning we began preschool and it went better than I could have imagined. The kids played with some educational materials while daddy headed out the door and I got organized. Then we gathered to sing a welcome song and talk about the date and weather.

Afterwards, I introduced our topic for the week, the alphabet, by singing the alphabet and reading "Dr. Seuss' ABC's". Since Reese already recognizes most letters of the alphabet, I made flash cards with upper and lower case letters for her to match up. I gave her 5 at a time to match. Aidan (2) is still learning his letters, so he and I looked over some alphabet books with pictures of words that start with the letters. When they were finished with their individual activities we had craft time with stickers.

I did not set any time constraints, whenever they were finished we moved on to the next thing. Finally, we moved to the toy room for them to free play.
My goal in doing preschool is not to make them smarter or more advanced than their peers, I simply want to keep them engaged and busy this summer rather than zoned out in front of the tv. I also hope that it will make Reese a bit more prepared for the start of preschool in the fall, as far as her attention span and following a schedule. Hopefully we can have some fun and the kids will be learning a little bit in the process.

Showing Concern

Last night we went swimming at grammy's. Grammy was guiding Aidan around the pool in his floatie and they were "crashing" into people and things. When he crashed into me, I fell back in the pool like I was having trouble swimming. Aidan immediately asked, "You ok mommy?" As soon as I had reassured him that I was ok, he went on crashing. He came upon his big sister Reese, crashed her and floated off as if nothing had happened, without so much as a glance back!

Happy Birthday Reese

Today my little princess turns 4!
We started the day by singing "Happy Birthday" and with 4 candles in her favorite sprinkle covered doughnut!

The morning and afternoon were pretty typical, preschool, lunch and naps. We went out to dinner at Happy Joe's, where Reese experienced the entire restaurant singing along to the horn honking and siren ringing version of Happy Birthday.

She ate the whole sundae by herself!
After dinner, we went to grammy and grampy's pool where Reese swam like a fish for nearly 2 hours. She was so tired from the days events that she willing went straight to bed as soon as we got home! We are far from finished celebrating her birthday though, as we are having a Little Mermaid themed birthday party with all of our extended family on Sunday.
It sounds so cliched, but I can't believe how fast time flies! I am amazed at what a beautiful, energetic, smart, caring, creative little person she has become. I can't wait to see what the rest of her life has in store for her, but really wish that it would all unfold just a bit slower. I am so blessed to call her my daughter!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thirst Quenching

We spent all day Sunday on the boat, as we have the past four weeks. This week was exceptionally hot and we were all trying to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of our preferred beverage. At one point Randy's dad had set his beer down and I turned to find Aidan chugging the remainder of the can! Of course, I took it away from him as quickly as possible, but he was hooked! He immediately walked over to the beer cooler and opened it to grab another. I tried to offer him a pop thinking that the can would confuse him, but he immdiately spit out the orange flavored pop, whereas he guzzled down the beer. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching him like a hawk! We are going to be in a lot of trouble if he already likes the taste of beer!

Aidan withan unopened can that he confiscated from the cooler. Fortunately, he is unable to open the cans himself just yet!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No more kisses!

It's official, my little boys is getting too old for kisses. When I tuck him into bed at night, he absolutely refuses to let me give him a goodnight kiss. Though he is still a snuggler and very affectionate the rest of the day, I miss my kiss goodnight!

The end of goodnight kisses, his recent move into a larger carseat, expanded vocabulary, wanting to everything himself and the struggle with potty training are all indicators that my baby boy has suddenly become a toddler.