Archive | July, 2012

Girly Room Redo

30 Jul

Every little girl needs a special place all her own to pretend, dance, read, sleep and dream.  I know an awesome little girl with an amazing   imagination . . . but her room did not match her vibrant personality.  It was a hodge podge of mismatched furniture, random decor and NO organization at all!  Her mom had no clue where to start, what to do or even what she wanted.  A lot of brainstorming and a little (ok, a lot) of elbow grease, and I turned this not-so-special room into something very special for a wonderful little girl.   Oh, and the best part?  It was TOTALLY FREE!!!!!!

Before: Ok, for starters, the room was a mess.  Ha ha, that’s what happens when kids actually live in rooms: they get messy.  You see all those sweet rooms in catalogs and you know darn well that now child has EVER actually stepped foot in there!

There was very little on the walls, a blah bunk bed shared with older brother.  Toys every where and no special “reading nook” or anything like that.  And this is a little girl who loves to read and color, so a designated place to curl up with books or crayons was definitely in order!

You can see, mismatched bedding, white night stand with a girly lamp, but then a sports poster over it . . . it didn’t scream girl OR boy.  All this room screamed was “Somebody please give me a style and purpose!  HEEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!

First order of business, we moved big brother out and into his own room.  They didn’t need or particularly even want to share a room, so out moved brother and his bunk beds into his own room.

Next, every little girl needs a nice comfy bed of her own.  We pulled a bed frame and mattress out of storage and fashioned a girly canopy to hang over the head of the bed.  Yes, I said fashioned.  Out of a lace curtain, a wire hanger, and some ribbon.  Just open up the hanger, bend it into hoop shape, wrap it in some ivory ribbon and then slide the curtain over the ribbon.  Use used more ribbon to hang it from a hook in the ceiling, and tie it back with yet more ribbon.  Viola!  Canopy!

For the lack of headboard situation, I painted one!  That’s right, just painted it right onto the wall, then stenciled the little girl’s name onto the headboard to make it a little more personal.

Using my mural-tastic talents (I know, there I go tooting my own horn again) I painted a tree on the wall opposite the bed.  For added color and texture, I cut out leaves from scrap book paper and flowers from fabric and glued those to the ends of some of the branches.

The larger flowers are actually cardboard cutouts of flowers with fabric glued to them and ribbon wrapped around to serve as photo holders.  She can display family photos or drawings and change them out any time without messing with picture frames.

Beneath the tree her dad is going to hang some small shelves for her books, and her mom is on the lookout for comfy pillows for snuggling up in her new reading nook.

Glue Sun Catchers

27 Jul

Since Little C’s accident, I have been trying to keep him quiet and slightly less adventurous than usual.  Playing games, watching movies and doing crafts.  Yesterday 11am we had already played 4 board games and watched a few episodes of Curious George.  I needed something that would keep him happy and not have him asking to ride his bike, scooter or go to the park (all things a child with a head injury should avoid)

What’s a mommy to do?  Make school glue sun catchers! 

What you need:

  • white school glue
  • wax paper
  • water color paint
  • scissors

 

Start by pouring glue onto wax paper.  The larger the blob, the longer it will take to dry, so try to keep it the size of your hand or smaller.  Once you have your glue blob, get your paint brush good and wet and dip it in the water color paint.

 

 

Drip the paint onto the glue wherever you want, alternating colors so that as the glue spreads they will mix. 

 

 

Little C was sort of swirling the paint brush around in the glue, which is fine.  That is one way to mix the colors!

 

 

When you are done with the painting, leave the colorful blob to dry over night.  As it dries the glue will continue to spread, mixing the colors together.

 

 

After about 24 hours the glue should be dry.  Cut your blob out, leaving the wax paper on it as a backing.  We taped ours to the window, but you could use a hole punch and punch a hole in it and hang it with string.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
They turned out pretty cool!  And it kept Little C busy for a good 20-30 minutes!

Oh OW!

25 Jul

I got a call today at work that no mother EVER wants to get!  My Little C had fallen and busted his head open on the corner of the wall!  After 2ish hours at the ER he was stapled back together and sent on his not-so-merry way.  He screamed like you wouldn’t believe when the doctor stapled his head, and just as I was getting him calmed down she came back in and announced that she didn’t like the way the bottom 2 staples looked . . . so she needed to take them out and do them again!  Oh my poor little peanut!  He was not a happy camper about having it done again!

After the ordeal the nurse offered him stickers, but he told her he didn’t like stickers.  So she offered him a Popsicle, which he took but refused to eat.  I suppose he figured it was tainted with what a child of 2 could only assume was the glee the doctor found in hurting him.

I must say he is in pretty high spirits for now . . .but I’m not looking forward to bed time when he tries to lay on his tender little noggin!

This was Little C’s 3rd time to the ER in a year, his 2nd time for head trauma.  He is my danger child.  He seeks it out, or it seeks him out, I’m not sure which.  Heaven help us both for when he gets older and starts skate boarding or something!

This brings me to a not so DIY, but VERY important parenting post.  Kids get hurt, it’s a fact of life.  Cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises . . . many of which cannot even avoided.  Little C simply slipped and fell, he wasn’t messing around or rough housing or jumping off furniture.  So how do we prevent our kids from getting hurt?  And what do we do if and when they get hurt even when we are being as safety conscious as possible?

Prevention

  • always make you child wear a helmet when they are biking, skate boarding, riding a scooter or roller skating.  Thousands of kids go to the hospital daily for head injuries that could have been avoided if they’d worn a helmet.  Elbow, knee and wrist guards are a good rule as well, especially if they are new to the wheels they are riding.
  • If your child plays sports, make sure he or she stretches properly before every practice or game.  Make sure all safety equipment and pads fit properly and are not cracked or falling apart.
  • Do not allow children to run near pools or other wet surfaces.  If you child has been swimming they need to dry off before entering a garage where they may slip with wet feet, or a house where linoleum will also become slippery.  Never allow diving in shallow water or rough play in or near a pool.  Make sure you supervise children while in or near water at all times.  Even good swimmers can get tired or swim out too far and be unable to swim back.  Even if your child is wearing inflatable swim aids, this does not prevent drowning all together.
  • When playing on a playground or swing set, always stay right by your child.  Never allow them to climb to a point too high for their age and abilities and aid them in going up ladders and other climbing areas.  Falls are the number one reason kids go to the hospital.  Make sure playground equipment is safe and sturdy and report any that needs repair immediately.
  • Being Summer, and being a record setting HOT Summer, many kids are going to the hospital with heat related illnesses.   When playing outside, make sure children stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks from running etc.  Play in shaded areas and apply sunscreen often to prevent sunburn.  If your child becomes dizzy, nauseated, lethargic or complains of a headache get them out of the sun and call your doctor right away.

Post-Injury Care

  • head injuries- if there is blood, dizziness, vomiting, dilated pupils, fatigue or confusion seek medical attention immediately.   If it is just a bump or scrape, apply ice and keep an eye on the child, but always call your doctor after a head injury.
  • sunburn-if your child gets sunburn, apply a cooling lotion like aloe vera to the burn.  Give them a cool bath or apply cool tea soaked rags to the burn.  Call your doctor if they blister, swell or become physically ill.

This is the best advice I can give you . . .but always ALWAYS follow your gut.  You know your child better than anyone, so you know if they seem out of sorts after an injury.  Never  second guess yourself.  If you are unsure, call you doctor.  Don’t wait.

 

Soctopus!

18 Jul

My kids were wacked out crazy tonight.  Big A spent the day at zoo camp learning about the animals and was over tired.  Little C spent the day at daycare, had a nap but was worn out and cranky from the heat and disappointed that he couldn’t go to zoo camp with his brother.  There was fighting, hitting and all around chaos.  My solution was craft time.

I have a basket of rogue socks that is starting to take over it’s special little corner of the laundry room.  I save these sad and lonely socks on the odd chance their sole mate (get it?  sole mate. . . .like the sole of your foot!  Ha!)  might turn up.  More often than not, the mate doesn’t turn up and then these poor little socks get a new meaning to their lives.  They become craft projects.

Soctopus, What you need:

  • Socks of any size, the larger the sock, the larger the soctopus
  • batting or crumpled newspaper or magazine.  I like to recycle, so I use paper from the bin.
  • google eyes
  • tacky glue
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • permanent marker
  • pompoms

Start by making a ball of paper to whatever size you want the head and stuff it into the toe of your sock.  If you are using batting, just pack it good so it doesn’t get too floppy.

Cut the tentacles starting at the opening of the sock and working up about 1/2 inch from the base of your ball.  Make then as fat or narrow as you like.  They will roll and stretch so don’t make them too thin or they will just rip.

Cut a piece of ribbon and tie it in a tight double knot at the base of the ball to keep the stuffing in.

Glue on google eyes, pompom nose and pompom “hat” if you prefer.

Draw on a smile or whatever you want.  Little C wanted a sad soctopus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wow, first off let me apologize for the poor quality of these photos!  My good camera battery died.  Secondly, I’m sorry you can see the mess behind the boys, but that just goes to show you that we are REAL people and our house is NEVER spotless!

Painted Houses

17 Jul

Today it was well over 100 degrees outside . . . AGAIN!  This momma just cannot handle the kind of heat we’ve been experiencing over the past several weeks.  But I also cannot spend every day all day long making fancy projects for my kids when they are bored.  Once in a while I need to cheat a little.  I had to buy some new paints for myself and told the boys they could pick out a project to do today.  A lazy craft, if you will.  They passed up all the common kid pleasers- Crayola coloring items, paint by number, clay, beads . . . They knew what they were looking for and so did I.  Birdhouses.  My kids love to paint and decorate birdhouses!

We actually ended up with these really cute little wooden castles, not for birds, but maybe for decor or something else.  The boys were so excited to paint their castles and move some little characters in!  I was excited because this project required nothing of me at all!  (even crafty moms need a day off from DIY-ing once in a while!)

I have to say that the boys had a blast painting their castles and making them unique.  Little C was going a rainbow theme .  I’m pretty sure he used one of every color we had!

Big A was going for a themed look.  He painted scenery on 2 sides for added fun when he plays with his castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has a happy, sunny side with mountains and green grass . . . And a scary “evil” side with clouds, lightening and even a tornado!

 

All in all, I feel like lazy-mom’s-craft-day was a success!

DIY Butterfly Feeder

14 Jul

My kids and I love butterflies.  We’ve ordered many sets of larvae for our Bugville habitat and watched them grow and change into butterflies, and set them free in our backyard.  I even have a butterfly tattoo!  So when Big A asked if we could make a butterfly feeder for the deck so we could watch them all the time of course I said yes!

It’s VERY easy to make your own butterfly feeder, and while it will attract a few other types of insects and a curious squirrel or two, it’s a very cool thing to make!

What you need:

  • very shallow bowl, plate, ice cream bucket lid or the base for a flower pot
  • sugar
  • water
  • rocks
  • flowers or other vegetation

Start by boiling a few table spoons of sugar in enough water to cover the bottom of your feeder.  No more than in inch of water should stand in the bottom.

When the sugar has fully dissolved in the water, remove from heat and let cool completely.   Pour the mixture into your feeder and place rocks in the bottom.  This will be where your butterflies sit while they eat, so make sure they are large enough that they are not submerged in the water.  If a butterfly gets it’s wings wet, it cannot fly until they are dry again, it will be forced to sit out in the open unable to fly, making it prey to birds.

Adorn your feeder with flowers or other plants to help camouflage them while they eat, and to show them that there is good food in the feeder.  Butterflies are attracted to bright colors, flowers and sweet nectar.

Place the feeder up of the ground as butterflies do not walk when looking for food, they fly.  (duh, right?)

I must tell you that your feeder will attract ants.  Don’t be surprises when there are ants!  It may also attract bees, so keep it away from open windows or doorways unless you want bees in your house!

You will need to change the solution every few days, similar to watering your plants or giving your pet fresh water.  Butterflies don’t want old water!

Sit back and enjoy your new butterfly friends!

No Sew Shirt Revamp

13 Jul

I’ve been working out really hard for the past few months and am showing some serious results.  It’s very exciting, but at the same time I don’t want to go buy a whole new wardrobe just yet . . .I’m not done losing weight!  So what do you do when you are in between and aren’t ready to buy your skinny clothes?  You make your fat clothes skinny!

Soooooo simple, and I was worried at first because one wrong move and I would be down a few tank tops.  But, it’s actually pretty difficult to mess up!

What you need:

  • tank top or t-shirt that is 2 sizes or more too large
  • scissors

Turn your shirt inside out and cut along the seams from bottom to armpit on both sides.  Stay right next to the seam to use it as a guideline.

Cut slits horizontally on the front and back of where your

seam has been cut. Make them about 1-1 1/2 inches long.

Once all your tabs have been made, start tying them together in a simple double knot.  Pull tight enough that they won’t come undone when you wear the shirt, but not pulling so hard that you create gaps in the shirt. Do this all the way down both sides of the shirt.

When the knots are all tied, turn your shirt right side out, put it on marvel in the fact that you’ve just turned a too large shirt into a cute fitted shirt with

NO SEWING!

 

You can wash it just like you always would, and if any of the knots come loose, simply retie them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a small amount of gaping shown here, but only because of how I was twisting to show you my finished shirt.