Tag Archives: a day in the life with a kid

How To Make Perfect Puffy Paint (with Supplies You Already Have)

Puffy Paint. The most amazing creation my two-and-a-half year old has found so far. I’m not a huge fan of any of the puffy paints and puffy fabric paints I’ve found for sale on line or in brick and mortar stores. They are great for adult crafts and t-shirt designs. They are entirely too expensive and not that great for kid sensory activities. What a waste!

Enter Pinterest. Puffy Paint Perfection!

puffy paint

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (gel) shaving cream
your choice of coloring.

food coloring
water colors
tempera paint

puffy paint

This stuff is simply fantastic. The video above shows how it puffs out of the wall upon application, dries puffy, and then smashes down when a finger depresses it. It does not reform.

In fact, this stuff is so fantastic….

I let my daughter paint in her favorite oversized Tinkerbell Coloring Book. I laid it flat to dry (to completely dry it took somewhere between 24 & 36 hours). I just knew I had ruined the coloring book. i couldn’t rip out the page because I let her paint on the cover! 48 hours later, I was able to safely close the book without sticking. It flattened, and did not reform, but it didn’t ruin it either.

puffy paint

Puffy paint seems to be the new lifesaver of our house! The paint itself entertained Kara for almost 45 minutes. These days, that’s a long long long time! So, we painted… and painted… and painted… and painted. We painted with:

  • Brushes
  • Q Tips
  • Fingers
  • Toothpicks
  • Cotton Balls

puffy paint
To make the paint, I made a batch…. 3/4 cup of each was plenty! I felt so wasteful when she was done painting and there was left over paint (more on that further down the post). After mixing the two ingredients (if for some reason its too dry, add more cream, if its too wet add more flour – it is fail proof!), I put a couple spoon fulls in each compartment and added color.

puffy paint

Quite frankly? It makes zero difference what you use to color. The water colors did take a bit more quantity than the food coloring or tempera paint. Food coloring took 8-10 drops. Tempera paint took less than a squirt. For cost efficiency, if you already own tempera paint (I got ours at Walmart Back to School Sales for $1.00 per bottle), its cheapest. If you have a kid who puts things in their mouths, food coloring is cheap and safest. If you only have water colors, it works too!

puffy paint

Now as for waste….. I HATE WASTING PRODUCTS!

I make as many messy art things for Kara as possible so that its cheaper and so that she gets to experience “experiments” as she calls them as well as new sensory events. I don’t want to waste what we’ve created. So, for our “waste,” we painted wax paper. Then I let her smash the paper together. This created two things:

  1. Gave my smaller child a less-mess activity. Everything goes in his mouth. I didnt want this in his mouth today. I let his fingers paint through the paper – a no mess activity!
  2. We made window catchers after the paint dried to give away. We added the window catcher as the “card” to our Woven Gift Basket we made in The 3rd Week of our Proverbs 31 Preschool Study.

puffy paint


Raw and Confidential Confessions of a Special Needs Mom

Confessions of a Special Needs Mom

I’ve written this for one reason: to give light and insight into the emotions of a club I hope you are never a part of: the special needs club. Specifically, the special needs club of a rare condition. You see, unlike cancer and autism (that have their own difficulties)… no one has ever heard of us. There are several conditions that fit this club, obviously L1 being my club of best fit.

1. There’s a Difference in Being Alone and Being Lonely

confessions of a special needs mom 10

He needed brain surgery? We’ll be here awhile. He needs observation for seizures? Darnit, I hoped this wouldn’t happen. We’re going to give him fluids for hydration? That was easy. While we’re at it, lets grab a renal ultrasound, stomach xray, and brain MRI. Check! Some mamas and papas get very lonely. Some mamas and papas need help making time for each other. Some mamas and papas want some time to breathe. Some mamas and papas just want to sit silently with their children. If you want to help, knowing what they need is a lot more helpful than pushing your agenda on us!

2. We Remember Who Respects Us…
We Remember who Doesn’t…

confessions of a special needs mom 4

Did you text us love hope and prayer even when we forgot to text you back? That gives us reassurance. Were you in the hospital 24 hours straight showing support in your way, not ours? That causes us stress. Did you ask us what we wanted for dinner and when you could drop it off? That shows us love. Did you make a fuss when we mentioned it wasn’t a good time? That pisses us off. Did you pray from the quiet of your bedroom? That gives us comfort. Did you ask for favors? That off-sets our focus. Did you reply with any ideas you had to our facebook status questions? That gives us room to grow. Did you reply to facebook statuses with messages we were doing something wrong? That’s just plain silly.

3.  Never Disregard Our Research

confessions of a special needs mom 8

Okay okay okay. I get it! Really! I worked in a vet clinic for four years, my best friends are veterinarians and pharm D’s and I’m fully aware they hate hearing…. “I looked it up on Google and….” But let me give you something to think about……

More doctors have looked at my son than I can count, literally. There were 11 doctors in NICU, 7 or 8 at his current pediatrician’s office (he’s seen 3 of them), 9 or 10 specialty offices, we’ve Tweet: How much do you know about L1 Syndrome? Did you know it affects fewer than 5,000 boys?been in the hospital twice since NICU discharge with rounds twice a day… usually that means two teams of doctors and each team has 3-6 doctors on the team. This doesn’t include nursing staff, support staff, therapists, and nurse practitioners. Want to know how many of those doctors had heard of L1 Syndrome? NONE. The Genetics Doctor and our Occupational Therapist had heard of x-linked hydrocephalus before, but both had information that were myths.

My point: I do my research. Four years at N.C. State University taught me how to conduct proper research. It doesn’t matter if your sister is a nurse, aunt is a pediatrician, or dad is a kidney specialist. Unless you are answering specific questions I’ve already looked up or you are an L1 Syndrome Specialist just because something happened similarly to your nephew’s best friend’s cousin…. or just because your sister has hydrocephalus…. I’m willing to bet the situation was entirely different.


4. Don’t Remind Us What Isn’t Done

confessions of a special needs mom 9

We are fully aware that our floors need vacuuming, cars need cleaning out, and baseboards need scrubbing. We also understand that you want us to run to the mall with you, catch a late night movie, and hit the next party. We comprehend the fact that we (to you, anyway) become hermits. It isn’t rocket science that we are “different” from you and your family. Instead of pointing all this out, why don’t you just reply to our random texts with a “hey! I was thinking about you last night! how are you?” Why don’t you just take out our garbage. Why don’t you just shout out to us on facebook – we might see it – eventually 🙂


5. Paperwork and Phone Calls are More Exhausting than Therapies and Our Jobs Could Ever Be

confessions of a special needs mom 6

Lemme tell you. I work for the post office, outside the home. I also take care of my 2-1/2 year old and 8 month old. I have two dogs. I have a husband. NOTHING is more exhausting than spending 3 days straight on the phone with insurance companies, billing and claims departments, and doctors only to realize I am no closer to having anything straightened out than I was 72 hours ago… then I wonder why I am trying. No one else is.


confessions of a special needs mom 7

Tweet: Be the difference: help spread the word that L1 Syndrome exists! http://ctt.ec/ufT9b+ Is that NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF L1 Syndrome! Help me change that. Change the world. Do you have a picture of my boy Noah or another L1 Baby? Instagram and tweet hashtagging: l1legend, xlinked, xlinkhydrocephalus, and my own tag – l1syndromeawareness! SPREAD AWARENESS! There is no cure. But, there are treatments. And, since no one has ever heard of it…. there is a clearly a need for people like you who are willing to stand up and make a difference.

7. We Need Your Prayer

Moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Noah himself, and extended family too…. we all need your prayers. One thing parents of special needs children will never complain about: too much prayer.

confessions of a special needs mom 5

confessions of a special needs mom 3

confessions of a special needs mom 2

To Recap:

1. We don’t fear the hospital, we dread it.
2. We remember who respects us, and who doesn’t.
3. Never disregard our research.
4. Don’t remind us what isn’t done.
5. Paperwork and phone calls are exhausting.
6. The #1 Worst Thing: No one knows us
7. We Need your prayer.