Tag Archives: parenting

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

Advertisements

How To Never Quit Praying (In the Mind of a 2-year-old)

Prayer pails are a great visual way to never quit praying. Prayer is serious, and it isn’t meant to be easy. It is our job as parents to teach our children how to pray, and how to never quit praying. No matter what.

Why Teach Our Children to Never Stop Praying?

Last week, in our Proverbs 31 Study for Preschoolers, we discussed Proverbs 31: 23 which concentrates on praying for our husbands. What should a preschooler do? They have no husband. A Preschooler can’t learn to pray for their husband as an adult until they first learn to pray. What a better time to learn than now.

What is a Payer Pail?

Prayer pails are super super cute, totally customizable, and super encouraging for children to never ever run out of prayer ideas!

Simply put…. a prayer pail is a bucket or jar that is decorated however a child sees fit. My 2-1/2 year old picked out her Washi Tape colors at the store, and we came home and got to work. I found an old candy jar I found at Aldi last winter for $2.47. Throw together some supplies, and the project took 5 minutes.

Supplies

  • Jar or pail
  • Sharpie
  • Wax Paper
  • Washi Tape

prayer jar pin
Now our plan is to place this jar in my daughter’s bedroom, and whenever we have a new person to pray for, a new activity to talk to Jesus about, or a special prayer of thanks…. I will write it down on a small piece of paper, fold it up, and throw it in our jar – to keep indefinitely. This way too, not only does she have a visual reminder of how often she prays, she has a crockpot full of prayers, encouraging her to never stop praying. ❤

 

prayer jar blog

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.

6. THE NUMBER ONE WORST THING

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.

Week 13 Proverbs 31: 24: How to Find the Artist in You

Proverbs can move mountains! Want to make a difference? Be the difference! They always say if there is a topic you want to read about, go to the Bible. Porn? Bible. Good deeds? Bible. Heros? Bible. Murder? Bible. In this chapter, men learn how to be Godly men and Godly women. Learn how to be Confident, and teach your children confidence.

Proverbs 31, preschool christian education

We introduced our study 13 weeks ago week briefly recapping the Proverbs 31’s introduction. We started a curriculum, with resources, to help parents teach children that they are worth more than rubies (31:10). We are learning that we don’t have to be perfect, or teach our children to be perfect. All we have to do is be the best we can be and model the best we can do for our babies.

We followed the initial teaching of value with activities to encourage babies to be confident, respectful, and good (31:11-12) and then moved toward our Proverbs 31:13 Eager as a Beaver week. Once our children were aware it was okay and encouraged to be eager every single day of their lives, what they were already being prior to our study that sometimes annoys the crap out of adults!,  the introduction to work ethic in Proverbs 31:14 made sense. Creating value and work ethic in infancy by responding to an infant’s immediate cry sets our babies up for success. Teaching our preschoolers work ethic begins the success.

It is important as parents that our children are aware women and men are both equally valuable (Proverbs 31:15), and understand that everyone has a role in the homestead of equal importance.

In fact, sign up for our mailing list (on the right) .today and snag your FREE Proverbs Subway Art for every member of your family! —>>–>>–>>

Speaking of roles in the homestead, it is a-okay for both men and women to work and invest in their family (Proverbs 31:16), and no one, should be exempt. Investment comes in many forms. Parents, did you remind your babies in Week 7 how strong they are? Our lads, and our ladies are so strong, and Proverbs 31:17 reminds us how critical it is they know it! Week 8 helps our babies discover that Godly women work. And work. And work. Doing something. It doesn’t matter what. They don’t have to be creative. They don’t have to sing. They don’t have to be handy. They just have to not be lazy. In addition to working early in the morning and diligently all day long, also work deep into the night (Proverbs 31: 18, 19). They must know they are strong from the week prior to understand they can handle their mountain of diligence. We added to their studies in Week 9 coaching them into giving. After working and working and working the most sacred thing our kiddos can be taught is to give.

Next we showed and modeled for our children. Instead of teaching THEM to do something…. we are showing them that we are working just as hard. They can rely on us. They can trust us. We prepare for them. We, as men and women of Christ, prepare. We used our preparations to show that we should fear nothing, we prepared, and our children will always be clothed and ready (Proverbs 31: 22,24,25). And then in week 12 we spent time observing and learning How A 2-year-old Prays (or any age child – your child) in Proverbs 31:23.

week 13 proverbs31.24

 

Now its time to lighten up, remember the child, find the youth in eachTweet: To our children, we are the world. TO GOD, we are the world. You. You are the world. of us parents no matter how old, and create a timeless admiration and fascination in art. There is a reason creativity is so inspiring. And, I’m of the belief that we all have the ability to be creative, and all have the ability to inspire. Its said that while we may be just one person to the world, to one person we are the world. “To our children, we are the world. TO GOD, we are the world. You. You are the world.”

 

 

MONDAY:

  • Stamps: My 2-1/2 year old LOVES stamps. Last year for Christmas I bought her a whole box of self-stampers, something like this with an assortment of stamps. She hasn’t even opened them all yet, but loves them and none have dried out yet. For today’s activities I looked up a few ways to make DIY stamps as well for Kara to freely craft whatever her heart desired, and we stamped inside the outlines of numbers 1-5. There are a billion ways, here are a few of my favorite. I will link my own personal creation soon, too!
    • Clip Zine has a huugge assortment of listings of project ideas and patterns. This, of course, takes some preparation to get it ready for your child to play with, though.
    • There are a ton of ideas out there, but for the purpose of homeschooling and children I really like projects that are fast to prepare so the child can become involved. What could is preparing for our children if we have no time to play with them? Titus2Homemaker has several ideas in this post; some take no preparation and some come from dollar store preps. How much more could we ask for?
    • Saving the best for last, and one that I personally will also be using: Craftaholics Anonymous creates tanogram stamp peices and provides a free printable to have your child match, sequence, build, copy. They’re fantastic, and develop so many skills at once! This will certainly become a busy bag for us!

TUESDAY:

  • Markers: my personal activities are the dot markers. They make wonderful busy bag on-the-go bags (we’re not quite careful enough with them for car use though!) and a very quick search will leave you enough printables to last years if you laminate them first, weeks if you don’t! What are my favorite four activities:
    • Draw the outlines of letters and let your child dot the shape of the letter.
    • Powerful Mothering shares her ideas of using dots to dot in a pattern followed by using scissors to cut it. We are still on straight line scissor activities, but this could become quite complex for a more advanced child!
    • Southern Shore Mamas shares my favorite activity, but it does take some prep work during nap time. Starting with a somewhat simple coloring page, I draw in my dots where I want Kara to dot. Then I color in the background a color so that Kara must color match her dots to the color I say it should be.
    • Another favorite activity is to fill a page with a sentence of the same letter such as “Harry the Hippo has a happy voice when he hollers through the hall.” Allow your child to dot all the H’s!

WEDNESDAY:

  • Paint: This will be our recipe for this week’s painting sessions, thank you One Little Project! I’ll have to let each of you know after my experiment which one produces the most vibrant colors for us: food coloring, water colors, tempera paint! 🙂 We will be painting on a variety of papers: tissue paper, wax cooking paper, aluminum foil, and construction paper.
  • We also made our own paint this week.
    • 3/4 cup shaving cream (the gel works better!)
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • coloring of choice (post about choices coming soon)

puffy paint

THURSDAY:

  • Salt/Flower: Of course salt dough crafts are becoming more popular. This week we are going to try out a salt and flour playdoh recipe. Actually, we’ll do a few and check back letting you know which recipe is best and which coloring options provide the most vibrant colors!

FRIDAY:

  • Art Supply Assortment: What could be better than dumping out some crafts… yarn, stick, cardboard, markers, pens, gel glitters, glue, pom poms, felt, foam, and more and letting a child invent! All week long, your child has been making things. At this point, let them be creative!

    • Older children that have the fine motor skills for advanced weaving, necklace making from embroidery string, knitting, etc., could even try selling to friends!

Is anyone joining us on our FACEBOOK page? Please do! Lets us know if you are studying proverbs with us! We have 5 more weeks of activities left! Or, subscribe to the right hand side and grab some free SubWay Art Proverbs Printables!

Top 4 Reasons to Rescue Another Child with Breastmilk

why i donate breastmilk

  1. Breast milk is medicine.
    For babies born under three pounds, or babies born sick, breast milk can truly save their lives. I had donor milk for Noah with his L1 Syndrome in case my milk didn’t come in with a pump (I knew he wouldn’t be able to nurse before or after brain surgery). The goodies in breastmilk are endless!
  2. You truly impact lives.
    For a typical 12 pound baby, 30-40 ounces of breast milk daily may be sufficient. But, for a mirco preemie baby, or a very sick child, those same 30-40 ounces of milk can feed more than 20 babies for an entire day. It really is miraculous. While you can obviously sell your milk as well, these mommies that need this milk so desperately are also paying enormous hospital bills and food bills while being their for their babies. These mommies who receive your milk, either informally mother to mother or through a non-profit milk bank that doesn’t charge its recipients for milk, will forever remember that your donor milk saved their babies life. Trust me, the girl who gave Noah milk is forever etched in my heart. No one will make me forget her, ever.
  3. Every baby deserves the best.
    Some mommies simply can’t produce milk. Or, their babies can’t tolerate the mom’s diet and mom needs a bit to detox her diet before feeding baby that milk. That doesn’t mean that baby should be forced to transfer to formula if mom wants milk! Having a baby is expensive no matter how you raise him. Share that gold, baby! Share it! Milk is liquid gold!
  4. Even older babies love it!
    This is, of course, my personal theory. Science and facts are divided on whether or not whole milk is actually as beneficial for a growing toddler as what was once believed. Science and facts are not divided as to if breast milk is beneficial. So, lets cut to the chase. Breast milk it is!

best reasons to donate breastmilk

Max’s mommy was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, and he was born five weeks early. His latch wasn’t established early enough and mommy’s supply never regulated properly because of it. Immediately, she knew she needed milk for him, so they turned to milk sharing. He gets the best of the best from a mommy that couldn’t produce everything he needed. I met Max when he was 8 months old. Max (image shown above with permission) is my biggest donation to date with just over 220 ounces given to him. What a day that was; his mom needed that milk so dearly, she joined me on the side of I-85 in Charlotte, NC as I watched the smoke pour out from under my hood. I never made it to her that day to drop off the donation. She made it to me.

I have donated approximately 900 ounces of milk to date, I just wish I would have met max sooner!

Do you breastfeed? Receive donor milk? Donate milk? Please, leave a comment and share your stories!