Tuesday, March 8, 2016

St. Patrick's Day

There are all kinds of fun things you can do with the kids for St. Patrick's Day.  I've done a lot of hand print crafts in the past and it's a little challenging with the babies.  I wanted something with paint because tracing and cutting hands take a little time.  Time and free hands just aren't something that go along with little ones running around or needing held!

I keep all of my corks from wine bottles so liked the idea of using that as the 'brush' for them to dip in the paint and dot on.  All ages can help with this to some extent.  I printed a template of a shamrock on plain old paper and just put tape on the bottom side and not even a lot.  Just a few places to keep it down.  Since the idea was to dot it on the canvas there shouldn't be too much bleed like if you were taping off a wall to paint a line.

Remember how I always do the craft before hand with JP to make sure it's going to work, well this time I completely forgot!  It was 9:00 the night before when it dawned on me what day it was and what our plans were for the morning.  I just had to hope it was going to work as good as I thought it would in my mind.  Thank goodness that it did!

I used 2 shades of green paint just to give it some variety.  I was a little concerned about how it would look if they were dotting both and it wasn't dry but it turned out fine and looked really cute.




The kids did really well with this craft.  They weren't messy and had fun.  The funny thing was they thought they were supposed to put the paint on the shamrock template and not around it.  I had to help JP with that because all of his paint was going on it.




 













Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss has a birthday in early March.  I've actually been learning a lot about him lately as we gear up for Relay for Life season.  He died of cancer and some of his phrases fit very well with cancer awareness/prevention.

Having his birthday to celebrate was a fun way to make a regular play date a little more unique.  I had a couple of small snacks, craft and photo booth.  It's not easy getting the 2 and 3 year olds in a 'proper' photo booth picture.  I'm sure if you were watching us try and saw how many photos I deleted you'd be laughing.

For the snacks I made Green Eggs and Ham and then little Cat in the Hat treats on a stick.

The Cat in the Hat treats are just strawberries, bananas and marshmallows layered on the stick.  The Green Eggs and Ham I used my usual deviled egg recipe except I swapped out most of the mayo for avocado.  The recipe is my grandma's and I'm surprised there weren't onions in it because she said they belonged in everything.  Something happened to that gene in me because I can't eat onions and everyone in my family loves them.  I seriously gag and get nauseous.

Grandma H's Deviled Eggs:
-1 dozen eggs
-2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip
-1 tsp. brown mustard
-Lawry's salt and Pepper to taste
-Paprika

Boil and peel eggs.  Cut in half and take out the yolks.  Mix the Miracle Whip and brown mustard with the salt and pepper.  Gradually add to the mashed egg yolks until the consistency is right.  Fill the egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.

My substitution was a whole avocado and just a dollop of mayo.  I haven't tried the DIY mayo yet but did find some in the store with not so many 'bad' ingredients so for now that's what I use.  Just add mayo/Miracle Whip to get the right consistency with the avocado and yolks.  It didn't turn out as green as I'd envisioned because an avocado ripe enough to mash isn't very green, it's more yellow but oh well, it was still good!  Sometimes things turn out much better in my mind ;)


Whenever I have a craft I do it before hand with JP just to make sure I have everything and that it will work ok.  As I got doing this with him I realized that kids with bigger hands than his would have to overlap their fish a little.  I barely got his hands on a standard 8.5 x 11 paper they are so big.  

Supplies for 1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish hand print craft are:
-Paper (light blue, neutral, white would be best in my opinion)
-Paint (yellow, green, red, blue)
-Markers
-Paint brushes
-Paper plate/tray, something to put the paint on
-Wipes, towels for cleanup ;)



 

I started at the bottom with the blue fish and worked my way up from there with JP and thought it worked well.  Once the paint dries you can use the markers to add the eyes and lips and wording.  

I found a photo booth printable on etsy from ChoosaRoo.  It was perfect. For the backdrop I just used the craft paper in a roll that I have and some red string to give it some color.  



I can't believe I didn't notice the strap from my camera hanging down.  It's a good thing I'm not paid for taking pictures! 


This was the best I could get with these two funny guys.  I guess it's a lot to as at that age to stand still, look at the camera and hold props the proper direction all when there are other kids around.  Their mom was smart and dressed them to the theme.  There's always something I forget!


Before everyone came I did manage to get a good one of JP. 




As they get older they understand how it's supposed to work and model all of the props!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Things All Parents Should Know

What parent doesn't want the best for their family?  Everyone tries to do everything in their power to do what they believe is best.  What do you do though when the marketing and advertising we see is deceptive?  We've all seen the commercials with little boys in the bathroom then "life's bleachable moments" or 'Bleach means clean".  That must mean that's what we are supposed to use to keep the house clean, right?

WRONG!

Did you know bleach is a registered pesticide?

Did you know the Sodium Hyochlorite is a neurotoxin, causing kidney and liver damage, severe lung damage and reproductive issues?

Did you know the Organochlorines & Dioxins (chlorine's by-products) are extremely dangerous to your health and the environment?

Did you know the Dioxins (Agent Orange) are 300,000 more potent than DDT?

Did you know the Dioxins are a carcinogen?

Did you know the vapors interfere with brain function and have been shown to aggravate heart conditions and asthma?

Now that you know that would you use it in your house...around your kids?  NO WAY!

The manufacturers of the 'leading brands' such as Cascade, Johnson & Johnson baby products, Eucerin, Tide, Windex, Clorox, Pledge, Lysol, 409 etc. all have products with ingredients of concern like listed above.  Why are they allowed into our homes?

How much trouble would a person be in with the law if they were intentionally giving something that burns the skin, causes breathing problems or is carcinogenic to their kids?

Why are these manufactures allowed to do this to us?

Why, why why...I sound like my toddler with all of the questions!!

I don't have the answers but I do have a solution.  There are safe manufacturers out there and not new ones either.  30+ years ago some people saw this happening and knew there was a need for safer more cost effective solutions in our homes.

Here is a great infographic summarizing some of the dangers with the 'leading brands'.  Note I use the quotes when I say that.  For now they probably do have that title, it won't be long before things change.  More and more people are becoming educated about what's going on around them.  Be one of those people, know what you are using and make better choices.

Once we know better, we do better.



Changing4Better.com/HelpingYou