Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Toys 101: Organizing

We live in a one bedroom with limited space so when I saw everything we got for Bear in addition to everything grandparents, aunts and uncles got Bear I just about started crying. I sat down, planned the space and came up with a few ideas on saving space…

Out with the old – first of all I need to get rid of everything Bear no longer plays with or the things we can part with. Stacking donuts are fun, but now we play with stacking blocks. Same with stuffed animals, we can donate the Lamaze octopus to make room for the new teddy bears. Please don’t donate dirty, ripped or broken toys – these are better off recycled or tossed. Anything in good condition should be moved to a new home

Bins, Buckets & Labels – At the dollar store you can find either really big Tupperware or large plastic baskets that fit on a shelf you might already have. You can also spend a few extra bucks and get them from Target or Wal-Mart.
Consider what types or categories of toys you have. For example we have a wooden train set (bin 1), a ton of mega blocks (bin 2), stuffed things (bin 3), trucks (bin 4) and miscellaneous toys (bin 5).

I find that Bear gets really overwhelmed and over-stimulated when he wants to play with mega blocks and all the train parts fall out too. He’s not sure what goes with what or which to play with first. This also makes for a bigger mess in the living room. I have made up and will share when I have them ready some cute labels with pictures of what is inside each box that I am going to cut out and tape on the outside of each bin.

Cleanup Skills – I also figured this will make great cleanup skills. Bear is good about picking up his toys with me when it’s time for bed but this will make it 100x easier than cramming as much as we can on a shelf only to have stuff fall off.

What are you doing to make good cleanup habits and organization?

Love,
PlusPeace

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Spoonful of Sugar



I saw these on a blog I frequest (http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/12/medicine-ice-lollipop.html) and had to share!

I am SURE no kid loves taking tylenol, or any other icky sticky medicine, not to mention it's almost impossible to get the entire dose out of the little cup.

Pour the dose of medicine and 1 drop food coloring into a small cup (the plastic dosage cup would work great but there are also lolipop molds on amazon) put a stick in the center (the dull end of a skewer or a lolipop stick) and anchor it down with tape. Then freeze until frozen and offer up the lolipop when a dose is needed!

Enjoy,
PlusPeace

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Cutest Gift Ever



Dear Nana discovered these gems yesterday so we decided to give it a whirl. We didn't expect them to turn out this cute. We sat around the table for about 45 minutes deciding who we should give them to! So here is a breakdown of the how-to as well as some tips on doing them with a toddler.

You will need:
Ornaments - the non-breaking ones are best. We found that the glitter and matte ones turned out the best.
Thick White Non-Toxic Paint (white, black & orange)
A thick paintbrush, and a thin paintbrush
A sharpie
A toddler

Directions:
It is helpful to have a helper (as in two adults) for this project. Sit the kiddo on one persons lap and cover only one hand in white paint. Get a nice handprint with the palm at the bottom of the bulb and fingers pointing up. About a medium thickness of paint works best and an apron is recommended. After all the ornaments have one handprint wash your toddlers hand and paint the other with white paint and do the same to all and give a final wash to the hands.

Next step is for you to do or an older kid in the family. With the fine brush, use the black to paint hats & coal eyes and mouth on each of the fingertips to look like snowmen. Then use the same brush for the carrot noses.

When completely dry, use the sharpie to write your kids name and the year. You can make these every year as keepsakes!! SO CUTE!!!

The trick for these is do them fast, use two adults and thick paint.

Love,
PlusPeace

These are ours:



(http://fullofgreatideas.blogspot.com/2010/11/five-fingers-snowman-ornament.html)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Couples Night

It's so hard to feel great about yourself and your relationships when time and sleep are lacking. Take a night this week with your significant other and enjoy a meal after the kids go to bed - or better yet send them to a relative for a night!

Winter Date Night In!

On the menu:
Mug Soup

Progresso Hearty Vegetable Soup
Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (frozen aisle)
4 Small Red Potatoes
Rotini Pasta
Two Large Ceramic Mugs

Desert:
Butter
Cinnamon
Sugar

Preheat oven to 425. Dice potatoes and boil with pasta until everything is cooked through. Drain the pasta and potatoes and add the soup. After the dough is thawed place the mugs top down on the pastry and use a knife to cut a circle about ¼ inch larger than the top of the mug. Ladle soup into the mugs until ¾ full, place the pastry rounds on top of the mugs and carefully place mugs on a baking sheet and cook as directed on the pastry package (I believe it’s 15 minutes).

In the mean time cut the extra puff pastry into hearts or strips. Brush on melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar on each. When the soup is done, place the deserts on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes (or as directed on pastry package).

The soup is good with an arugula and feta salad and vinaigrette but can be eaten plain too. This meal is easy. Total cook time is about 25minutes. And prep is 8 minutes.

Sit at the table or by the fireplace (if you are blessed enough to have one – we don’t) with candles and low lights. I recommend wearing something a little nicer than the everyday attire. Dark jeans, heals or flats with a white button up and sweater look nice but not too nice. Make your hubby wear a button up too!

Movies and music are also great but I’d avoid TV for this one night…who knows maybe one thing will lead to another and hanging around in the bedroom will be more appropriate 

Enjoy the night,
PlusPeace

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What

Who is traveling for the Holidays?

I have no idea how I am going to prepare for traveling. We are home for Christmas and then traveling New Years or just after. Not sure how we will get through the long car rides now that Bear doesn't sleep as much. We got a Kindle for the family and I am thinking of using a system similar to the "driving mirror" (http://pluspeace.blogspot.com/2011/07/peek-boo-i-see-you-while-driving.html) and playing shows but I am not sure if I want to get into the habit of doing that. Maybe just for Special Trips we will..hmm...

If anyone has thoughts/suggestions - please share!

Love,
PlusPeace

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Things Everyone Spends Money On

This Holiday, along with my brown wrapping paper, I will be using the "feather" gift tags and "cookie tags". It does help that I work for a printing company but any ol' color printer will do!



Neat envelopes: printable envelope templates are all over the internet and they tell you to get "pretty paper" i think newspaper or colorful pages from magazines look really neat!

Setting the tone: during the holidays it's always really nice to have great Christmas music playing. I suggest www.pandora.com and choose "Eliot Smith Christmas" radio. It's great new Christmas tunes! Another good one is Barry Louis Polisar and Rafi radio for kid time :)

DIY Silly Christmas Photoshoot: Cut giant holiday things out of chipboard (thin cardboard - painting them is optional) and pose your kid(s) with them and snap some silly photos for Christmas cards instead. Great ideas: Giant ornament, antlers, snowman with a hole for your kiddos face hehe, the posibilities are endless..

Also if anyone is interested in some Holiday Card templates made by me - let me know (hmpeterson5445@gmail.com)

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookies Your Kid Can't Mess Up

These are so easy! Bear helped and they are deliciousssss!


You Need:
Apron for your kiddo (and maybe you)
1 Stick of Butter (very soft not melted)
Roughly 1.5 Cups of pecans
1 Cup flour
Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F) Put the pecans and a food processor and chop until very fine - in the end you will need 1 cup. Mix butter, flour and pecans in a mixing bowl - little hands work great for this!

Roll into 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. When they are ready to come out they will be golden brown on the top and bottom - some may have cracks, that's OK.

Let sit for 5 minutes on the pan. In the mean time fill gallon baggy with about 2 cups of confectioners sugar.

After cooled but still warm, place 4 balls in the baggy to coat, repeat until all the cookies are coated and enjoy!

It's best to store these once they are completely cooled. If you put them in a container together while still warm they will all mush together.


Cinnamon is a great addition to these for a little extra spice! They will be gone in moments and clearly - they contain nuts!

Love,
PlusPeace


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wrapping Paper

This is going to be our first Christmas we stay home as a family and start our own traditions. Due partly to costs and partly to start a new tradition we will only be wrapping presents in brown paper. Your can get a giant roll of it at the craft store and either have your tot help decorate the paper with finger paints or just leave it plain. Surprisingly this looks nice and rustic under the tree :)

What traditions have you started with your new addition?

Love,
PlusPeace

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Incredible Edible..

..EGG!

Bear's first sentence is "Cook egg, Mama!" - more like a demand. It's hard getting his attention long enough to get some food with value into his tummy. So we have he amazing egg-pop. Basically a hard boiled egg with a fork stuck up the middle.

What we do is after grocery shopping, Bear and I will boil 4 or so eggs (9 minutes after boiling makes the perfect hard boiled egg). Then we draw silly faces on the shells with sharpie before putting them back into the carton - Bear loves this part. Then we just pull em out for snacks! I let him pick which face he wants to eat - sounds weird, I know!

Occasionally if I am making a food with loits of color i'll peel and dye one of the eggs. I was snacking on canned beats which Bear didn't want and dyed an egg pink - he really loved that. Spinach juice, pomegranate juice, etc are all good for coloring.

Happy Snacking!
PlusPeace

Thursday, November 24, 2011

$50 Christmas


So I am tight on cash and I have already wrote about my plans for Christmas but this morning I went out real quick to grab some last minute things and passed a Walgreens sign saying "Toy's But One Get One FREE" and I turned that car around and went for it. I am kind of liking the "pre-black Friday" sales. Yes it is Thanksgiving and maybe I hsould not be out shopping but we got ALL of Bear's Christmas gifts for......$50.00!!! We got:

First Learning wood train tracks with trains
Little Tots Speed trcks play track with 4 cars
100 piece Mega Bloks set
Little Tots bull dozer with construction man and traffic signs
Fisher Price rumblin' rocks dump truck with construction man and boulder
Magnetic Alphabet case with chalk, lower case and upper case magnetic alphabets

GREAT stuff for Walgreens being a pharmacy and variety store!

So seriously, if you are tight on money, take advantage of the sales this weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
PlusPeace

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh The Wonderful Snow

Yep - it's that time of year! Woke up this morning to rain which turned to snow, and not the pretty kind,the wet, slipper, slushy kind. Are you prepared for winter weather?

The all included snow geaqr may seem like the best option for toddlers which range anywhere from $65-140!!! I almost gave in but hit up Target. The Snowbibs were solid colored for $14.00 and the puffy, lined jacket was $18.00 thats a total of $32 and grabbed a fleece lined hat and mittens from the dollar store - as a set!

If you are not near a Target or Dollar store - check out a second hand store. Most kids this age will only wear snow gear for 3 months out of the year and only for several hours at a time. No need for anything fancy - although the Northface sets are CUTE!

Needless to say it's time for white fluffy stuff and our kids' growing minds will no doubt want to be in it for hours at a time!

Love,
PlusPeace

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Survived Teething


After THREE weeks of no sleep, temper tantrums, sore gums and snot, the teeth are finally broken through (for now). So to any mom thinking they will never make it through toddler teething - you will! There will be a time when you get a semi-decent nights sleep not long from now.

More fun things to come!

Love,
PlusPeace

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Message From Bear to You

ghjfdhkufhlpidaawfyhull,bvve565 xssvxxccv vzfa v c vf bfdn665rb56r6rn6rn65rnh5rn5r5656ryuh ng f gfrtbvtrtdxcdx mgv hb gxxxxxxc

Friday, November 11, 2011

Timeout Success

When I'm asked how I deal with my screaming, tantrum throwing, biting toddler I respond, normally, with "timeouts" or "attempting timeouts".

How I do it:
He gets a warning.
He does it again.
I pick him up and tell him he is in time out for one minute.
I sit him on a chair - it was the floor but the floor was too entertaining.
He tries to get down.
I put him back.
Repeat. (don't worry it gets better just be persistent).
I ignore him and do something else for the time being.
Once he's sat there for a full minute - screaming or not - I go over, I get down at his level I tell him why he was there, then hug, kiss, lets do something else.

I have to say that I didn't think it was working but yesterday I gave him a warning not to hit me or he was going in time out and he stopped, pointed at the time out chair and went to go do something else.

Then today, he threw his dinner on the floor, I asked him to pick it up and put it in Mama's hand and he got down, picked it up and chucked it across the room again. I told him he needs to pick it up and put it in my hand or he'd get a time out. Of course he threw it again except this time AT me! So to time out for one minute - at first he threw a mini fit but towards the end of the minute he got quiet and sat contently until I came back. I put him down asked him to help clean up the dinner he threw on the floor and he went right over, picked up each piece and put it in my hand!!

We've been doing time outs when needed for about 3 weeks and I am glad he is understanding the purpose and how to behave.

If you are doing time outs and not seeing results - just keep up with it!

Best of luck in approaching the terrible twos..

Love,
PlusPeace

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Random Fun Thing

So I think I have said before that party cups are a fun play toy. Not to mention you can get 400 of them for 3.99 at the grocery store. Bear woke up this morning to a random "Tower of Cups" I made before he got up.

I made a giant pyramid of plastic party cups in the living room and let him just knock em all down. Then he helped me stack them and count them, etc for over 50 minutes.

If you want some good ol' random fun - buy party cups - they take up minimal space and are easy to clean up!

Love,
PlusPeace

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Loose Ends.


I've got a lot of loose ends to some of these blogs so lets wrap em up!

Well apparently the thing with the kitten is a-ok. It just takes time to adjust when you add a furry friend to the mix! He's learned how to pick her up and doesn't boot her across the room anymore!!

The Halloween costumes came out great! Tiger was definitely the way to go and Bear had a blast going from door to door with us:

And I thought I would share these books for Grandma and Grandpa this Christmas, they are neat! http://www.spoonsisters.com/product/65901.html

All for now, it's getting late!

Love,
PlusPeace

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kahlan Wins!

Congrats!! Email me (hmpeterson5445@gmail.com) or if we're friends on FB that works too :)

Thanks for playing everyone!!!!!!!!! I have a bunch of new posts coming soon soon soon..

Love,
PlusPeace

Friday, October 28, 2011

SURPRISE!


100th Post Giveaway!!!!!

Well I have typed out one hundred posts! Woohoo - and figured hey, lets do another giveaway. Keeping it simple this time. Comment your little one's favorite food and first name and be entered to win a mini Monster Sillybet in orange!


You must have a child under the age of 2 to enter, and please only enter once. Comment by FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4th, 2011 12am EST to qualify. Winner will be chosen in a drawing at random on Saturday November 5th, 2011 and if you win please comment back your email address so I can get in touch with you and the Sillybet will be shipped the following Friday.

If you don't win but want to get a Monster Sillybet for the holidays visit my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PlusPeace Message me "Mommy" and I will give you 10% off the item price!


Goodluck!

PlusPeace

How to Handle a Teething Toddler

Bear has been a TERROR since he started teething again. Maybe this will all sound familiar, he is short tempered because he's in pain and doesn't understand why, then he's frustrated because it hurts to eat and he can't tell me, then he throws a tantrum while I try to figure out what he wants, then he bites me. Which logically would be a good way to show someone that your mouth hurts.

Step Number 1: Stay calm. The angrier I get, the shorter my temper is and the less helpful I will be. If you stay composed, while trying to figure everything out it goes way smoother. I know it's not easy having a little 2.5' person hanging off your leg by his teeth but trust me, as much as you want to flip out, you'll only feel guilty for doing it.

Number 2: Figure out exactly what he needs. If it's some kind of food, let him explore the kitchen and find what he wants - within reason. Keep in mind hard foods may hurt, yogurt, peanut butter, canned fruit and vegetables, spaghettios, etc are all nice soft foods.

Number 3: Tylenol, Orajel Night & a redbull for you (you wont be getting much sleep).

Some great things Bear likes is me keeping him distracted (like playing and being silly), brushing his teeth (he loves how this feels) & that vibtrating corn teether that he liked when he was 6 months is now a favorite again.

Best of luck,
PlusPeace


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Budgeting for Tot’s Second Christmas

Holidays are coming!!!!
Last Christmas I tried to keep it small, after all, he wouldn’t remember it anyway. This year he is running and enjoying the family activities more and more and I want this year to be super special! I really just love the Holidays, cool crisp days, freezing nights and maybe the occasional light snow…YEAH RIGHT! More like heavy snow, cold winds and brown slush covered streets. But I do love every moment of the end of the year. We’ve been through a lot this year, and I want to top it off with a star on the tree!
I have super low income, and as we all know, the cost of living is high. I am starting my Christmas shopping this Friday. Here is the plan:
I use instapaper.com as a go to for one big universal wish list. As I browse the internet I just click a button in my toolbar and it saves the page to my account on instapaper.com. From there I have categories; Bear, Tim, Nana, Popy & Aunty. I now have a list of ideas on what to get each person – so easy!
The idea is to hunt for sales between now and Christmas to avoid Black Friday shopping – with a Toddler that sounds like a nightmare! (Hugs to all the moms out there who do it) I’m hoping to be able to pace myself and buy 1 item per week so I don’t overwhelm myself with debt.
Here are a few of the items I plan to get my Tot!
Tool set by GreenToys.com as well as some of their trucks
Construction plate at spoonsisters.com
A play camera since he shows interest in mine.
A toy chest from the local unfinished furniture shop.
(there were pictures but they didn't load for some reason!)
What are you getting your little ones for Christmas??

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, October 24, 2011

DIY Photo Shoot - Results!




I promised pictures from my DIY photo shoot. Which went really well. It was hard because he just wanted to RUN EVERYWHERE! But with the help of my Mom and a friend, we were able to capture some goodies :)

Happy Fall!

Love,
PlusPeace



Sunday, October 23, 2011

DIY Toddler Costume for...



...$7.49!!!!

Amazing right?

So my mom always made our costumes on Halloween, we NEVER had store bought ones and I LOVED it as a kid. It meant that nobody else had the exact same costume as mine! I plan to carry this tradition on, last year Bear was a pitiful looking cowboy because I completely ran out of time. This year he will be...drumrollllll...a tiger!



This costume can be ANY animal just add the proper tail and ears. I got orange fleece (1 yard) at 50% off at JoAnn Fabrics - all solid colored fleece was 50% off so I got a yard for $4.49. I bought a black fabric paint pen for $2.99 and I have a sewing machine, white thread, two buttons and scissors at home.

Instead of buying a pattern, i traced a hat bear already owns, cut it out and sew it together. I did the same with the coveralls, but I have to give credit to my mother for helping with the pattern as it was my first time making baby sized pants. But after I got it down I could make 100 pair almost effortlessly! We traced a pair of loose fitting pants on a piece of paper and then cut it out and traced it onto the fabric. We added the length of the bib to the top and the length of his legs to the bottom. Cut out all four pieces and pretty much sewed 4 straight lines and voila! Done. No need to hem the edges of fleece because it doesn't unravel. Then I drew stripes with the fabric paint pen. I also cut out a tail to safety pin on and drew stripes on that as well and let it dry, then ironed to heat set the ink, sewed on two buttons by hand and that was it. Total probably took 2 hours.
When the time comes I'll use eye liner and make his nose black and give him some whiskers and he'll be the cutest kid on the block!!

Buy black fleece for a cat, brown for a monkey, grey or a dog or wolf, etc! I am going to put him in a long sleeve white shirt and may also end up making him mittens to match with the scraps.

We decided to go as a pack of tigers so I got orange dye for Tim and I to dye one of our white shirts orange ($2.29) and I'll use a sharpie we already have for the stripes.

Have a safe Halloween :)

Love,
PlusPeace

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adding New Members to the Family...

…ones that bark or purr.
We got a kitten, totally unplanned, they were off a dairy farm where Nana buys milk and there were two little cuties left. We brought one home with the necessary accessories and Bear was in heaven, until he learned that the kitten was not leaving. He’s been extremely jealous the past few days and this morning even kicked the kitten. NOT OK! So it was Time-Out for Bear. I know adding a new member to the family will make him jealous but I am stuck on how to teach him to play nice with the kitty. Will it just pass or is there something specific I should be doing? When I come home I immediately come to Bear, not the kitten, and I have spent all my time when both of us are awake playing and tending to him, so I am not sure WHY he is jealous. I am determined to find the answer one way or another and will get back to you all when I know.
Has anyone added pets to the mix lately?
Love,
PlusPeace

Sunday, October 16, 2011

DIY Photo Shoot


Doing a DIM (do it myself) photo shoot today!

What will I bring?
Smiles
Cannon Rebel T2i
Blanket
Toy Truck

Bear dressed in something casual

Where am I going?
I did them last year at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, so we will head there again.

This is one from last year:
I'll post the results after!! Truthfull I just cant afford a photographer but I took the picture above on 10.17.10 last year so it's been almost exactly a year! I jUst love the fall!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Internet =[

My internet was down, something to do with an orange cat - I guess I have lots of catching up to do after this weekend!

What are you favorite kid-friendly weekend activities???

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best Deal EVER!

I am not sure why the 1st years, "Take & Toss" is called that. I would never dream of tossing any of those plastic spoons or cups - they are AMAZING! I just got 5 sippy cups and 5 straw cups for 2.99/pack - on top of that the lids fit the other cups which was awesome because I know I'll loose a cup and not a lit. I have take and toss containers, bowls, cups, spoons, forks, knives - if you are looking for cheap toddler-ware, go take and toss!

Just a helpful, money-saving tip =]

Love,
PlusPeace

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Painty Mess


I often write about the dollar store - it is my favorite place for cheap, quick activities - so here we are at the dollar store (again) and we see paint. Another crazy messy project that Bear will somehow get on the ceiling, or walls, or carpet! I remembered that list of 25 things to do with a toddler and so we got the paints (6 colors) and we got home. I stripped him down to his diapers - i put on a shirt I dont care about and I lay 5 pieces of paper in the tub and plopped out the colors on the floor of the bathtub and set him in there. At first he didn't understand what to do with it and didn't real.y want to touch it but then i started smearing it on him and the sides of the tub and making handprints and he joined in - turned out to be tons of fun. For cleanup I took the shower head down and his diaper off and just gave everything a hose down. The paper was covered in hand and footprints so i hung them to dry and saved them for the baby book or a memoir or something.
Bundles of fun for only $1.00!

Love,
PlusPeace

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Indoor RICE Box


A spin on the "sand box" - this is totally not my idea I've seen tons of mom's post this in va

rious places but I thought I'd try it. It's very risky, tiny grains of rice, in my living room, with a toddler. It went very well! We went to the dollar store where they sell 1.5lb bags of long grain white rice and I have "under the bed" boxes already (they are shallow) and we bought 4 bags of rice (6lb) enough to evenly coat the bottom with about 3/4 of an inch. I grabbed a plastic parking cone (mini) they had in the checkout sections and some of Bear's trucks, measureing cups, anything solid plastic, and layed out a big blanket (for easy cleanup) and we have so much fun. We drew the alphabet in the rice and played trucks, filled various containers and poured them out - a blast. And the cleanup was easy just bundled up the blanket poured it into the container, put the lid on and slid it under the couch for later!


I hope someone else trys this because it was an awesome rainy day activity :)

Love,

PlusPeace

Monday, October 3, 2011

Snactivity!



Snacktivity - an edible craft!


Cheerio necklace - you will need fairly thick string, multi-grain cheerios, scissors.

This is more for you to make and them to wear. Today we got bored and made cheerio necklaces. I discovered they are good to make adult sized. I sit on the floor while he plays and he stops to take a bit. I also made one for Bear to wear (supervised as these can probably be a choking hazard) and he liked taking it on and off (repeat).

Just string 25 on and let dangle! You might need to show them how it works, he just kinda looked at it before understanding he could eat it. ha


Have fun,
PlusPeace

Sunday, October 2, 2011

25 Things to Do...

With a Wiggly Toddler! - This list is taken from the courage zone, my sister posted this to my wall and I found it really fun!

1. Put him in an empty bath tub, give him water colors and let him go.
2. Put rice in a cake pan and let him pour from cup to cup.
3. Put him outside everyday regardless of weather.
4. Give him a small spray bottle of water and a rag. Set him loose on the fridge front, bathroom tile, linoleum, etc.
5. Make homemade play dough; give him a rolling pin.
6. When reading aloud, ask him many questions. Get him pointing, naming, giggling over each picture.
7. Have him run and tag the front door, run back and give you a high five, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
8. Find an empty box we can fit in; stay in the room with him to ensure safety- but get that book you’ve wanted to read for a while, because he’ll be busy for a while.
9. Teach him how to build a fort with the cushions.
10. Let him spread the PB and J.
11. Play with him for at least 10 minutes at a game he loves. This will satisfy much of the need for attention that leads to naughtiness.
12. Bubbles!
13. Boys tend to be tactile learners; stacking cups and plastic containers in an accessible cabinet can be fun.
14. Fill the kitchen sink with soapy foam; get out a big ladle and some cups and let him go at it. Let him “do dishes.”
15. If you have a play house, let him throw a safe ball out of it.
16. Find an old spoon and let him dig in dirt.
17. Music facilitates learning like no other activity. Make up silly songs to everything- be silly and tease your children with music.
18. When he is feeling mean and you are feeling mean, tickle him.
19. Don’t be afraid to repeat activities often; if he is getting restless, immediately choose a “go-to.”
20. Let the little guy “help” you in all of your tasks until he discovers his blocks or trains again. You’ll be teaching him valuable skills. This one can be hard because we want to get things done, but the boy will be grown soon and might now want to help anymore. This may be one of the most special times of your lives.
21. Play a favorite dance song of yours; let loose and dance around. Your boy will either laugh or join in; both are fun.
22. Use your pull up bar low on the door frame- and let him swing.
23. Find markers and a notebook; let him go to.
24. Assess his needs- is he hungry, tired, wet, overstimulated, bored, or lonely? Help him fulfill that need.
25. Replace every negative thought immediately with a positive one. Instead of, “My kids drive me crazy” think on purpose “This is a phase; Jonny really is a good kid” or “My kids must be bored. What can I do to help them?”

Enjoy =]
PlusPeace

Saturday, October 1, 2011

VACATION! - Need Your Help

Hi Ladies!

I went back to work 5 weeks after Bear was born and have worked full time work weeks since. I take off the occasional Friday or sick day but haven't spent more than a weekend at a time with Bear since those 5 weeks. I have the entire week off next week and have two day trips planned but other than that I am not sure what to do! I feel like we should do something mom and son special but low cost - anyone have suggestions? FYI it's rainy and I live in Maine =]

Thanks!
PlusPeace

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What on Earth Do You Feed a Toddler?!





I know what they should be eating, but what they are actually eating is a mystery to me! Bear's diet these days seems like:

1 Cup Dirt
8 Cups juice/water/milk
1/2 Cup lint
1 Pound of Goldfish/Cheerios mix
3 Peas

I know this is clearly NOT true, he's healthy and growing! This is the recommended diet for a "toddler" keep in mind every kid is different and younger toddlers just learning to walk and run probably wont sit long enough to wolf down this food.

16 Ounces of Whole Milk (or equivalent)
3/4 Cup Veggies
1 Cup Fruit (only 4 ounces of 100% juice/day)
1 1/2 Ounces Meat/Beans
2 Ounces of Grain
1-2 Tablespoons Fat/Oil

Gerber sent me this nifty thing with a few coupons on their (overly expensive IMO) products for toddlers and some meal plans. I've revised them and included them below. Many of these can be cooked in bulk ahead of time or as meals for the whole family. This is the goal - Bear will eat only about half of each meal, the rest ends up on the floor, in the pants, hoarded in the cheeks, etc.

Breakfast:
1/2 Cup whole milk (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm kjyhhjumjj-Bear)
1/4 of a banana sliced - you can eat the rest =]
1/4 cup Cream of Wheat with milk and a teaspoon of maple syrup

Snack 1:
Juice Box - i like clifford
1/4 Cup diced cold cooked carrots (leftovers work nice)
1 tbs ranch
hand full of goldfish

Lunch:
water
Small yogurt with 3 chopped up strawberries
Mac n Cheese with hotdogs - I make this in a big dish for everyone and we snack on it all week for lunches.

Snack 2:
Juice box
1/4 cup sweet potato chips - i make these by slicing sweet potatoes this, very lightly coat in olive oil and bake until crunchy. If you dont want to make yourself Bear loves veggie straws.
1 small Pear

Dinner:
8oz whole milk
1 cup pasta pinwheels - cook pasta in 1/2 low sodium chicken broth 1/2 water. drain and add chopped cooked chicken and peas. Red sauce or alfredo optional.


Other fun snacks:
Black olives
cheerios
oatmeal
cheddar rice cakes
spoon of peanut-butter

Bear will eat all this stuff he's not picky. He prefers Greek yogurt from regular and LOVES peas - see pic below!
Any suggestions or meals you'd like to share??

Love,
plusPeace



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PLAYDOUGH RECIPES!

There are many, many play dough recipes out there but these are two of my favorites. This first one is colored and flavored with Kool-Aid so it’s totally ok if you’re little one eats it. The second is still edible but tastes like salt so probably not the best to eat a ton of. Both are oodles of fun and pretty simple to make.
Kool-Dough:
3 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 C. Flour
1 C. Water
1 Packet Kool-Aid drink mix (unsweetened)
1 Tbs. Cooking Oil
½ Cup Salt
Mix all the try ingredients with a spoon in a large pan. Add water & oil and stir on medium heat. It will start to look doughy and turn the color of the Kool-Aid. Scrape out of the pan into a ball and let rest on wax paper to cool. Once cooled, have fun! (10 minutes total time)
Sea-Captain’s Dough: (because it’s salty)
1 C. Salt
1 C. Water
2 C. Flour
1 Tbs. Oil
Food Coloring
Mix it all together with hands until dough forms. Break the dough into three balls and press thumb into center of each. Put different colored drops in each and knead until the color is mixed in evenly. Now play!
This is great to squish in between small fingers and chuck across the room! Ha – it’s actually great for getting dinner ready. Set the kiddo in his highchair at the table and let him entertain himself while you get dinner ready. To cleanup just ball it all back together and store in Tupperware or a baggy.
FYI if you make more than one color, I’d only give the little ones one color at a time unless you want a brown glob.
Hope you have fun!
PlusPeace

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just a Few Friendly Reminders

-Don’t wear white with a toddler around! If you do, bleach, aspirin and dawn dish soap (grease cutter) should do the trick.
-Make sure you’re not in a bad mood when you wear gray, it throws your whole day off and makes you feel…well…gray! I even went home and changed to a colored shirt because I was feeling crappy and the gray hoodie wasn’t helping.
-If you’re making toast, don’t leave the room. I’ve burnt 6 pieces of bread today.
-It’s cold and flu season, get your shot, wash your hands, wash your babe’s hands and ask your childcare provider to notify you if another kid in daycare is or has been sick recently!
-It may also be time to do a toy cleaning – I dread this too – fill the tub with 4-5 inches of hot water and 1 cup white vinegar, throw all the plastic toys in and then dry ‘em off.
-Prep for winter weather (in NE especially), put the plastic shrink wrap stuff on the windows (or at least buy it), clean the window sills and remove all AC units (it helps to wash the filters before putting away for the season).
-Lastly, if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! (Bear’s new favorite song).
Love,
PlusPeace

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Containers Everywhere

I don't know about you guys but I loose tupperware like there's no tomorrow! I think there is a creature that steals it and tucks it into the shadows or trash's it on me. I recently started saving containers of all kinds, I used to only save glass jars, but knowing I didn't spend extra money on them when they disappear makes me feel a lot better!

The most useful sizes and uses:
Jelly Jars - Great for storing pennies, pencils, extra screws, paint water etc. I find they work better for non-food items.
Olivio, Cream Cheese and other short round containers - Great for lunches, car snacks and toddler learning toys. Put in & take out!
Spray Bottles - after thoroughly cleaned can be repurposed - i have one filled with vinegar and water which is my go-to cleaner, also nice to just fill with water to keep the plants watered.
Yogurt, Ricotta and other tall round containers - make nice leftover containers, soup, if they are large enough you can poke 5 holes in the bottom and toss bath toys in them to drain. I have one in my fridge with holes poked in the lid and baking soda inside to absorb smells.

When I go on a day/weekend trip I buy Gerber Toddler meals (the ones you zap in the microwave for 30 secs) and bring them along. I normally get them only when they are on sale ($1.25) but it's alot cheaper than eating out or buying a kids meal. I save the blue containers for regular baby meals. The tray in microwavable and fits into a sandwich bag nicely! Bear also likes to play with them. I just like that they each have a meal compartment and a smaller veggie one. This morning I put yogurt in one side and scrambled eggs in the other. Bear tends to throw regular plates but doesn't throw these.

Single serving yogurt or pudding packs - I use these as snack cups at home. I fill it with cheerios or cheesy bunnies and it is just the right size for bear to walk around with!

Love,
PlusPeace

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Outdoor Activities with No Big Production



Often going outside is a huge production, especially if you don't have a yard. Theres normally a stroller, snacks and toys involved. Nana lived in a condo complex with a deck and shared yard and we live in the good ol' city and have a shared yard as well. Here are a few things Bear and I like to do to wind down before bedtime, and get a little fresh air.
Nature Walks! He has a fascination with nature, sticks, flowers, ponds, bushes, fallen leaves. This will be especially fun in the fall. He picks up things and collects them through the walk and we have a spot by the door where he pus them before we come inside. We keep it close to home, whether it's the yard, sidewalk or driveway.

Plant Bucket! This one involves work on your part in the spring but surprisingly will be entertaining for 3 out of 4 seasons. In the spring we planted herbs in a 10 gallon plant bucket, Bear helped maintain the "garden" all spring and summer and now it's empty and makes a fantastic dirt digging excursion. We put it on wheels (set the bucket on a wood board that we screwed 4 wheels to).

Sandbox for Apartment Living! So this is just if you don't want the work of a garden but like the idea of the above. Get a 10 gallon plastic bucket $15 and a couple bags of sand ($? - free if ya live near the beach!) 12x12 wood board (scrap wood is fine) 4 screw on wheels (1.00 each at hardware store) Screw the wheels on the board (corners) and place the bucket on top (you can put a screw through the middle or the weight of the sand should hold it tight. Fill up the bucket 3 inches from the top and throw some digging toys in there. HOURS of fun and since your little one wont be SITTING in the sand no cleaning sand out of cracks (literally) and ruining your lawn. This is great for a deck or porch and would be a great activity to wear him out!
Walks! I mean no stroller. Let your toddler roam around close to you, take a walk with no destination to tucker him out!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sharing is Caring and...

Should be Fun! If you have a toddler around the ages of 14 months + you probably see your little one getting a tad possessive when there is another child of similar age around. I recently took Bear to visit a co-worker and her daughter, who is close in age to Bear, they at first were hesitant and played separately. Then got a little grouchy and took a few toys from eachother. I notice Bear doing this occasionally when it's just me and him playing. It's not that he actually wants the toy, he just doesn't want anyone else to have it.

I noticed that when Olivia and Bear were playing with bigger toys, designed for one toddler, they didn't want to share but when playing with smaller toys, like blocks or books, shared just fine!

Playdate basics:

If they playdate is at your house, set out toys they can both play with. This will be a great learning experience, especially if you little one doesn't play with other kids on a one-on-one basis daily. Great toys for this age group are fridge magnets (large ones), blocks, multiple trucks, books, instruments, tubberware, or an activity both will enjoy like playing in the yard or sprinklers, etc. Avoid having a rocking horse, ride on toys, or large toys designed for one little mind.

You play too! When we sat down with the kids and showed them how to play, say thank you, and share, they got the hang of it and actually ENJOYED giving eachother toys, no this was not a dream, it was really happening!

Snacks. It's always nice to bring a snack if you are meating at a mutual place, like a playground, just make sure you bring enough for both and keep in mind that some kids have allergies. Some great sharing foods are ricecakes (cheese or plain, not the sugary caramel ones), goldfish, juiceboxes and cherios. Notive none of those foods are messy, like oranges and yogurt, nothing worse than having a mommy bring a messy snack and then sticking you with a dirty kid.

When your toddler hands you something say thank you and encourage them to do the same when playing. Make sure you keep an eye on your kid, and no hitting or grabbing is involved. If you've implemented a discipline plan already then stick with it during play time too. If your kid isn't playing nice, don't leave it up to the other parent to pull him off theirs - that's not very nice huh? A great thing to do is involve the other parent in your plan for good ol' mannered fun and everyone can have a good time :)

This may see mdull and boring but everyone actually had a good time, I was proud to see Bear smile and hand Olivia a block and have her say thank you and hand him one too. It was cute, and, magical!

Love,
PlusPeace

Playdough recipe coming soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Comments

Hi Everyone,

I just want to apologize that I never responded to a bunch of comments. I never got emails/notifications on my home page that they were there. Going forward the issue is resolved! Thank you all for your patience.

Love,
PlusPeace

Cleanup - Everybody do your share!

Where have the weeks gone? It’s almost fall and Portlanders (Portlandites?) are starting to fall back into the cracks and disappear for the winter. I don’t know about all of you Mommies but this year has been so rainy! Bear is learning how to listen to directions and I thought I’d share some fun cleanup ideas that have helped all of us learn to keep the house tidy!
Remember your little one is ALWAYS watching you, they look to you to learn what to do, sadly I have learned this the hard way. Bear started “texting” on my cell phone the other day and recycled my car keys. When you make a mess, make sure you clean it up, it also helps to say what things are and where they go. Here are a few cleanup times that baby can help with!
Groceries: When we go grocery shopping, Bear always helps fill the cart and put the groceries away when we get home. He’s getting good. He knows that we keep the canned goods in a bag next to recycling (we have very limited shelf space) and he knows where the paper towels and bottled tea goes too. He’s even learned that some things go in the fridge!
Mail: We keep our mail on a low shelf that Bear can sort of reach. Most paper ends up in his mouth but he’s learned that when he pulls the mail off, he brings it to us and then we say “go put it back” and he gets right on it, slides it right back where it belongs!
Toys: This one is HUGE – it’s so easy to put the baby to bed and throw all the toys in the bin yourself. Take 10 minutes before bed time and cleanup together. Say “where do the blocks go?” and you take 3 and give him 1 and both drop them where they go. After a while he will learn what goes where and you can sit back.
Recycling and Trash: this is a good one. Bear hasn’t quite gotten what exactly is trash and what is recycling but if I hand him something and say “please put this in the trash” he’s right on it!
It helps to clap and say yay when he gets it right. He smiles and feels good about helping. That’s what I like to see J
More later today on a new topic!
Love,
PlusPeace

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Versatile Foods

As my Bear get's older it gets harder and harder to actually make dinner. But I'm a big fan of everyone eating together. Because funds have been low lately and time is scarce we have been cooking with "versatile" foods - there is one food used in all recipes and only 4 other ingrdients. Below are a few recipes that I hope you enjoy too!

Frozen Chicken Patties:
Meal 1: Chicken Parm. - Put one patty for each person in the oven at 450 for 10 minutes while that cooks put a pot of water to boil for your choice of pasta. Flip the patties after 10 minutes and cook for 5 more minutes. By now your pasta should be done so strain and add red sauce to the put and remove from heat. Take out your patties and top with shredded mozarella, put back in oven for 5 more minutes. Put pasta in bowls and top with a cheezy patty.

Meal 2: Chrispy Ranch Sandwiches with home cooked crispy taters. - turn oven to broil. Slice up potatoes thin and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper, lay out evenly on a pan lined with tinfoil, put in the oven on the top rack until they start to brown, flip em and pull them out when they look crispy. If you want to skip this step buy frozen french fries or potato chips. turn oven down to 450 and cook patties 15 minutes then flip and cook for 10 minutes. Put on a bun with lettuce, ranch and whatever else you want - tomato, bacon, etc.

Meal 3: Crispy Chicken Salad. - cook chicken like above recipe. Slice up romaine, cherry tomatoes, peppers and then cut chicken into strips and top with your favorite dressing!

Other ideas - buffalo chicken sandwiches (add hot sauce to the ranch in recipe 2)

BlackBeans (vegetarian):
Meal 1: Black Bean Burrito. Make whole wheat rice (either in microwave or stove top) Drain black beans and a can of corn, rinse and add to rice. Add a can of diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese. I usually add in some kind of seasoning like taco seasoning or soul seasoning but salt and pepper works too. This can be eaten as is or in a tortilla. Extra toppers: hot peppers, hot sauce, chives, sour cream, etc

Black Bean Nachos:
Meal 2: Turn oven to 450. Lay out tortilla chipscorn chips on a pan lined with tinfoil. Drain beans and rinse, evenly distribute over chips, sprinkle mild salsa and top with cheese and pop in the oven until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and avocado slices.

Meal 3: Black bean breakfast for dinner! Drain and rinse black beans, cut up chives and add to beans. Add diced tomatoes to mix. Beat eggs in a bowl and heat skillet with butter. Add egg to skillet, when the bottom is cooked flip and add mixture and cheddar cheese. Fold omlette in half until cooked through.

I hope everyone else enjoys these simple recipes! Bear loves beans and chicken so I usually just cut all this up small and give to him too.

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tight Budget with a Growing Toddler

it's so hard staying on budget with a growing toddler. They constantly need meals, snacks, band-aids, shampoo, etc not to mention all the running around! I've recently made a few lifestyle changes in order to cut back on unnecessary spending and I gave up on coupons - as wonderful as they are, I just dont have the time!

Cut back on extra driving - I find I take the long way after I pick up Bear and have had a stressful day. It added up to about $8 in gas each week of extra driving.

Stop drinking coffee - yes it's hard and yes it's a crazy money sucking delicious addiction BUT it was costing me $28 per week because I don't own a coffee pot. I switched to tea and only spend $2.50 for 2 weeks.

Switch Grocery Stores - we used to shop at Hannaford for about $115/week. Then we gave in and switched to Save-a-lot and, go figure, we saved a lot. We brought our weekly bill down $45 for three! And any additional stuff like tp, trash bags, toothbrushes, etc, we get at the dollar store which is conveniently located next to the grocery store - WIN!

Make yourself aware of your budget - open up excel and put your weekly paycheck in, add up all your bills and divide by 4 now subtract that from your paycheck. That is what you have to work with for food, gas and any other expenses. What I did in order to "trick" myself into saving money is I divided my car payment by 3 instead of 4 - now at the end of the month I have $80 in my savings account - genius!

Buy Bulk Where Applicable - if you have a large family or lots of space, buying in bulk is smart. I would only buy canned and paper goods as others go bad fast.

Make healthier choices - when it came to grocery shopping we were being tempted to buy the largest box if cookies because it was cheapest - reality is, we do not need to be eating all those cookies. So we buy the small and make it last or dont buy them at all!

Diaper Butts - try store brand diapers. I like target 144 diapers for $28 and it lasts us around 15 days.

Don't carry the debit card around - I have found this is a big no-no I have been giving myself a cash budget and it's been working so far. I spend less and have found myself not exceeding my budget.

Hope these help!
Love,
PlusPeace



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rainy Day Fun


Yet again - we are in for another solid 5 days of rain. How on earth do I entertain a toddler in the rain?? Normally an art project would be fun but he's too little to understand or enjoy doing any crafts so I did the crafting and he reaped the fun!
Diaper Box Rocketboatruck! (I just kept cutting and taping so I have no idea what this could be!)
You Will Need - 1 or 2 cardboard boxes the ones for diapers are ideal.
Scissors
Box Cutter/Knife
Packing Tape/Duct Tape (or if you're like me) Security Tape
Imagination

Cut the sides down in a wave shape so you little one can see over the side and can easily be put in/taken out.
Cut out windows - one in the front and two on the sides. Round or square - get creative!
Now cut out various shapes and tape em on. For example, a half roof, wheel, front engine, steam pipe - anything really!
Tape along the cut edges to avoid paper burn, paper cuts or picking/chewing on the sides.
Now push the little bugger around and wear yourselves out.
Now go take a nap ;)

Hope you enjoy this project - here is a picture of ours:

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Hot.

Getting through hot days with a 14 month old is tough. He’s cranky, I’m cranky and to top it off he’s teething and gets a heat rash from head to toe. Here is a list of a few things we did last week to cool off:
Set up fans – not necessarily in windows. Keeping the windows and blinds closed if you have no AC is important. Open at night, closed in the day. Make sure there is a fan near baby’s crib but not too close where fingers can get in trouble!
Get AC for the bedroom or common room in the house – nothing fancy needed just enough to take some humidity out and take the edge off the heat. I scored one for free from a friend but some great places to look are craigslist.org and freecycle.com. Make sure it’s working before buying and always clean/check the filter before running it in your own home.
If it gets unbearable, jump in the tub. Bathrooms tend to stay cool, put 3(ish) inches of cool water in the bottom of the tub and fill it with toys and stuff for baby to play with. I think last week we spent half a day playing in the bathtub.
Stay in the shade – if you want to be outside or have older kids too. Set up the sprinkler in a shady area. If you don’t have any shade hang a tarp off the house or post and hang out with the cool water. I do this because I’m not big on public pools, they kinda gross me out and some kids can be really aggressive.
Setup a few layers of towel on a hard surface – like tile kitchen or bathroom and get a bowl of ice cubes for baby to play with. They slip and slide all over but they are very fun and (obviously) cool.
POPSICLES! This recipe is from when I was a kiddo. Get maraschino cherries, orange juice and those neat little popsicle makers you throw in the freezer. Put a cherry in the bottom with a few drizzles of the grenadine from the jar, fill the rest with oj and pop in the freezer. We called them Sun-Rise Pops. When you pull them out the grenadine and cherry stay in the end and fades into the orange juice – looks like a sunrise! Refreshing and delicious.
If you do go outside, remember sunscreen, keep your baby ery hydrated and if either of you or the fam seem worn out get to a cool place quick. Heat exhaustion is dangerous and even more so for a baby or toddler. If worse comes to worse – go to the store or a walmart and walk around for a bit to keep cool.
Stay cool mamas,
PlusPeace

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where Have I Gone?

I haven't posted in a while - having a one year old, working full time and everything else in life is catching up to me this month! More to come next month, I've just been busy!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summers!!!

PlusPeace

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peek-A-Boo, I see you (while driving)

So I thought about doing this for a while and didn’t actually get to making it yet but I have everything I need and it’s pretty easy! Ever wonder what your baby is doing in his rear-faing seat when you’re on the road? Buying mirrors for the headrest is around $25-30 – CRAZY! I got all the stuff to make mine for $6.00. Here’s what you’ll need.
-Mirror – doesn’t have to be great, a desktop or bureau top makeup mirror will work. Make sure it is smaller than the headrest in your car. I got mine at a Salvation Army for $1 – try similar places or yard sale. (After all it is yard sale season!)
-2 ft of elastic band – anything cheap will do. I got 2ft for $3 at Michaels.
-Needle and Thread – I’m sure you or someone you know has some lying around
-1 old t-shirt, blanket or sweatshirt – stay away from jersey or super stretchy fabric.
-Super Glue – got some at the dollar for…$1.
-Scissors.
-Two ½ inch(ish) buttons.
How-To:
-Trace the mirror onto the fabric (t-shirt)
-Cut diagonal slits on the corners of your outline (cut on the INSIDE of the outline not the outside “/ \”)
-Cut out 2 inches around the mirror outline – so you have a 2 inch border around the mirror.
-Cut your elastic in half so you have two strips that are 1ft long.
-Sew 1 button to the end of each strip.
-Cut small ¼ inch holes 2 inches apart (about 5) on the other end of the strips.
-Lay the strips on top of the fabric cut out so they are at least 4 inches from the outside edge of the sides and sew down the middle (by hand or machine)
-Cover the back of the mirror in super glue and set inside your outline.
-Stretch the slit corners around the corners of the mirror.
-When it is dry, bring to the car and place the mirror onto the front of the headrest where baby sits. Stretch the straps until tight and button closed in the back. To tilt the mirror so it shows little baby’s face in the rear-view mirror, roll up some of the remaining fabric and stuff between the top of the head rest and the mirror. Make sure it is tight under the elastic and will not come out.
Now go for a drive – I am at work and can’t add pictures but I have illustrations coming later tonight =]
Love,
PlusPeace

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Uses for Old Things

So now that our babies have grown out of just about EVERYTHING – here are a few suggestions on what to do.
-Donating – always a great option. Either to a friend, Goodwill or Salvation Army (just remember carseats should not be donated)
-Bathtub – I used Bears old little baby bathtub as a play tub on the deck. I filled it up with the hose and float some duckies and ships in it and it was a blast. They also usually have that nice little drain plug on the bottom for an easy empty.
-Car Seats/Strollers – car seats should not be donated but Babies R Us and a few other baby places let you trade in your old seat for 25% off a new one.
-Clothes – If you’re a quilter or a crafter making blankets and toys out of your babies old clothes can be a great keepsake.
-Everything – why not clean out the whole house while you’re in the cleanup phase? Host a yard sale! If you don’t have enough stuff put together a neighborhood yard sale and combine junk! Use a different color sticker for each person’s stuff so you can split up the money easily.
-Small Toys – I think I saw this in a Martha Stewart magazine, take a picture of your kid and their favorite toy at that age and get some of those picture boxes (2.5 inches deep should work ok) put your lo’s picture in the back and a toy or toy artistically placed in the box, if you make one each year you’ll have a neat collection on your wall of your child growing up. What’s nice about this is it’s not just a picture it’s a little memory in there too – and great to show to future girlfriends/boyfriends hehe J
Anybody have any more ideas?
Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yay - Hose!

We all love the hot weather - well I do! In Maine we don't get much of it so I suck it all up when I can. Here are some fun outdoor activities!

Sprinkler! This will bring hours of fun for a 1 year old - get one of those little turtle shaped ones and stick your baby in a swim diaper - and LOTS of sunscreen - and play in the cool water.

We got a little blow up pool for the deck ($10) and a tub full of ducks ($12) and that brings hours of fun too. Heck you can even sit in there too! Grab some funnels and extra Tupperware and play, play, play!

The Park! We have a park here in town and they have a little play area with fountains - it was nice to see all the other kids in the park too. Careful of the pushy kids though.

While your at the park bring the kiddo to the park! The swings are fun and you can both go on the slide - yay.

That's all I have at the moment. I have more recipes coming soon just need to find more than 6 minutes to type =]

Love,
PlusPeace

Friday, June 24, 2011

recipe Day #3 - OOps

So I totally slacked this week with the daily recipes – Bear is teething and we both fell asleep at 8:30pm last night! Yikes! I got nothing done…Today I have a recipe for black bean baby burrito and some serving size suggestions from babycenter.com (I refer to this website often for questions like this)
What/how much to serve your baby:
· Whole milk
· Other dairy (soft pasteurized cheese, full-fat yogurt and cottage cheese)
· Same food as family, mashed or chopped into bite-size pieces
· Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals)
· Other grains (whole wheat bread, pasta, rice)
· New fruits: melon, papaya, apricot, grapefruit (citrus is now okay)
· New vegetables: broccoli and cauliflower "trees"
· Protein (eggs; cut-up or ground meat, poultry, boneless fish; tofu; beans; thinly spread smooth peanut butter)
· Citrus and non-citrus juice
· Honey is now okay
How much per day
· 2 to 3 servings dairy (1 serving = 1 cup milk, ½ to 1 oz. cheese, 1/3 to ½ cup yogurt or cottage cheese)
· 4 to 6 servings cereals and other grains (1 serving = ¼ to 1/3 cup cereal, ¼ cup pasta or rice, ¼ to ½ slice bread or bagel)
· ¼ to ½ cup fruit
· ¼ to ½ cup vegetables
· 2 servings protein (1 serving = 2 tablespoons ground or two 1-inch cubes meat, poultry, or fish; 1 egg; ¼ cup tofu or cooked beans; 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter)
· 3 to 4 oz. juice
Burrito! – this makes enough for two adult burritos too
1 Green Pepper – chopped up really small
1 Seasoning assortment – I cant remember the brand but they have them in the seasoning aisle (maybe mccormick?) and it’s a cardboard pieces with 6 plastic ‘bubbles’ with premeasured spices – get the Mexican one.
½ Sweet Onion – chopped up small
1 can of black beans – drained, low sodium
1 bag of Uncle Bens whole grain rice (I like the 90 second rice)
1 bag of whole wheat tortillas
1 Avocado
½ cup shredded Yellow Cheddar
Greek Yogurt (side)
Salsa (optional) more for the adults as salsa can be spicy
In a frying pan with a 1 tbs olive oil toss in the peppers, onions and beans – let cook until the veggies are real soft. Add in the rice and seasoning – the Mexican seasoning may have something spicy – leave that out and taste things as you put them in – you know your baby and what he will/will not eat. Zap a tortilla in the microwave for 12 seconds – you can do this in the oven but I find they are easier for a baby to eat gummy than crispy. Lay the tortilla out flat and spread on greek yogurt (thin) and add the topping from the pan (thin). Add shredded cheddar on top and slice and peel the avocado and put thin slices on top. Fold in half and cut up to bite size pieces – this will be a messy meal but delicious!
I really enjoy these burritos too, the beans and avocado add lots of protein!
Love,
PlusPeace

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recipe Night #2

Day #2 of Recipe Madness! Ok not really madness but it is fun and healthy!

On the menu I snagged this recipe from wholesomtoddlerfood.com and I love to eat them too!
"1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and chopped further if needed
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs - (3/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup wheat germ or flax meal is a healthy substitution!)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese Try tomato & basil cheddar!)
3 Large eggsor 5 egg yolks
Heat oven to 375F

1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. *Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired*.
3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm
You can "roll" this out and then try using small cookie cutters to make these into fun shapes"
Serve with cottage cheese and peeled grapes - and whole milk of course!

Love,
PlusPeace

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day #1 - Recipe Madness!

Upon request I will be posting a balanced meal-a-day in hopes to have a week’s worth of dinners or lunches with a few breakfast and snack suggestions along the way. If anyone has any recipes they’d like to share, please feel free to comment or email me hollybean5445@hotmail.com
Day #1 On the Menu:
Veggie, Chicken & Rice Smoosh
Apple Sauce
Oyster Crackers
Whole Milk
Graham Cracker

Veggie, Chicken & Rice Smoosh (this is enough for extras to freeze)
-2 Whole Carrots
-1 Celery Stick
-5 (or a small handful of) Pearl Onions
-5 Small Red Potatoes (peeled)
-1 Jar of (your choice of brand) Vegetable Barley Baby Food OR 1 small can of Tomato Paste
-1 baby Spoonful of Better Than Bullion Chicken Bullion (I use the reduced sodium) OR use home-made Chicken Broth in place of Bullion and Water.
-1 Cup of Water (give or take)
Prep your veggies – wash everything thoroughly! Thick grate carrots or chop into rounds, cut up celery, peel the onions and chop the potatoes into halves. Toss into a pot with ½ cup of water or chicken broth. Cover and Steam until the water is gone, add bullion (if you didn’t use broth) and the other half cup of water. Steam until the veggies are mushy all the way through. Dump in the jar of Vegetable Barley baby food or can of tomato paste. Depending on the stage your baby is in the next step will vary.
For 12 months + use a potato masher and mash everything in the pot until it is chucky but able to be fed with a spoon (this is the equivalent of stage 3+ foods) If your baby is younger pour into the blender when cool and puree for a thin consistency.
I usually make enough to either freeze or put in the fridge to use the rest of the week. 1 portion of this is equivalent to 1 jar of Gerber 2nd foods (if you serve with apple sauce and crackers) if not use a 3rd foods jar – I cant remember ounces, but will post more on serving sizes later.
To make the rice, I still use rice cereal of your choice and mix with chicken broth. For applesauce, you can either make your own by coring a sweet apple and steaming in the oven until mooshy and pureeing until smooth or buy the kind in squeeze packets at the grocery store.
I serve this with oyster crackers because they are just the right size for small fingers and dissolve quickly in baby’s mouth.
For desert a graham cracker will do =] I usually serve whole milk with meals – or formula if you have not switched yet!
Enjoy!
PlusPeace

Thursday, June 16, 2011

suggestions?

this one is meant for comments. what would you ladies like to see more of on this blog? what are your babies eating? i would like to post some relevant healthy recipes later this evening. any thoughts...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

Well I am TRYING to get some work done but my little munchkin will nt stop throwing fits! I keep reminding myself "this is a phase, this is a phase" but here are some tips I've been using to get through it...

I do not own a gated playpen area nor do I really want to spend the money on one, but my little man get's into EVERYTHING! Before I start working or doing something that I can't give Bear my full attention I sweep through and pick up all small things off the floor that are not baby safe, pt away all chords that are plugged in and clean off surfaces. (this takes 3 - 4 minutes)

I bring a bunch of entertaining toys and a laundry basket for Bear to play with and set them near where I am working.

Play some music if you can't be chatting with your baby while you work or do chores this way neither of you are listening to nothing.

If your baby is bored and requires some attention it can be frustrating, take a deep breath and a 5 minute break for play time.

If possible schedule your time so baby is napping.

Always have snacks and juice handy so you don't have to interrupt what you re doing to prepare anything - goldfish and a juice box work great!

Sometimes things are just impossible but having patience is number one - your baby just wants to play and thats a happy thing =]

Love,
PlusPeace