Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's Here! SILLYKIDS July Box FREE Printable!!

Well, I couldn't wait any longer - I just had to share a few hours early :)

This is the first ever totally free monthly "subscription" box for your preschooler - all I ask in return is that you share it with friends and follow the blog (but it's still not a requirement).

Here is how this works.  The first of the month, every month, I will post a blog with a link to download and print a set of activity cards with a theme, shopping list, a craft, a recipe, a toy, an activity and an educational game.  All you have to do, I print it out, grab your shopping list and head to the nearest dollar store (I shop at the Dollar Tree and Target unless otherwise specified) many of the items used a some you probably already have on hand.

Each box I have budgeted $20 - some months will be less, put all the purchased items and the printed cards into the box and present to your preschooler (SillyKid) when you see fit!  Please read through the parent letter and activities before jumping in - all of the crafts/activities can be done 90% by your toddler but you will need to step in for certain spots.

Please, please share pictures of your cuties doing some of the activities - I will share mine as we do them - if you're an instagrammer, find me: PlusPeace and look for hash-tag #SillyKidsBox

Drum-roll please.....

SILLYKIDS July 2013 Monthly Box: Camp Kid!!

Download your copy: HERE!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to do so below.  Also please be respectful, all the drawings, pictures and instructions are written/illustrated/taken by me.  Please feel free to share with friends but do not sell or copy any of the materials.  Some of the crafts, recipes and activities were found online or taught to me by others somewhere down the line so this is my disclaimer that not everything in here is "original" just adapted :)

I also threw in an action figure for an additional $1.  You can definitely tailor this to your kid - be imaginative!


P.S. Look for our pictures of the activities throughout this week!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SillyKids - My Own Box

I have been doing Citrus Lane for Bear for about 8 months now.  I REALLY liked it up until about May's Box which I didn't feel was as age appropriate as it had been.  I decided to give it one more month's try and wasn't thrilled with this box either.  I love this company but I think Bear has outgrown it.

I looked into other boxes for kids his age.  I was not impressed with Bluum we got a sun hat that was styled for a baby but was even too big for me and starfish sunglasses that were definitely not for us - totally fine, we put them into the "Birthday Box" for when we have a birthday to attend. I also looked into craft boxes but just didn't see the value there - yes, all the supplies come to you, ready to go but I can just as easily mix supplies we already have into some new items for some fun crafts.

Citrus Lane was $25/month so I've decided to make my own little boxes for Bear each month with a budget of $20 with things I know he'll like and activities he'll enjoy.

I have 6 months of boxes planned out with the perfect mix of toys and activities!  At the beginning of the month I'll post a shopping list, a free download and some instructions.  All you need is a printer, a box and a pre-schooler with a big imagination!

Since I didn't set a huge budget for this project and each box will contain a Recipe, an Activity, a Craft, Something Educational and a Toy, I will primarily shop at the Dollar Tree - If you don't have one near you, a lot of these things can be found very cheap anyway!

The first "box" will launch on Monday July 1st with the first them ever:

Will you join me?


Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Kid is Three

My kid is how old?? THREE?!

I get Parenting Early Years and found this months issue particularly good.  It went through some things that your kid is doing and learning by age.  I kind of stopped paying attention to the milestone stuff when I realized how generalized the milestone ages are.  For example some kids walk as early as 9 months and others not until after their first birthday.  I do however always notice when Bear learns something new, like how to make the "spider man hand in web-shooting mode".  You would think that would be something really simple but his hands were never used to only bend certain fingers at certain times so this was a really big deal for him.  It took us over a week and yesterday he finally nailed it.

The article outlines a few things that I didn't even think to notice...

Use scissors - safety scissors of course and we have been practicing cutting on the lines.  Not quite there yet.

Put pants on - he can certainly take them off easily and usually get them up but the band on his undies get stuck on the way up.

Put a shirt on - this ones tricky.  He's just recently shown any interest in putting his own shirt one so he tries for a while until his arms are all stuck and them I step in.

Some that were not on this very short list - putting on slip on shoes, using the pedals on a tricycle (still working on this one) and making mom and dad dinner.  Ok I added in that last one but to be fair Bear made me dinner last week and it was splendid!

Here is what Bear made - Pizza Croissants

You Will Need:
Baking pan lined with tinfoil
Pizza Sauce - we used the kind in a squeeze bottle - easier for small hands
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1 Tube of Croissant Dough (pillsbury or store brand)

I let Bear do all of it,  I ripped the tinfoil and opened the tube.  He pulled them all apart slopped on the pizza parts and (sort of) rolled them up - more like a fold.  I popped them in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes and PRESTO! Your Kid made dinner.  Served with apple slices.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Choking Hazards, Birthday Party & Bye Bye Baba

Over last weekend we had Bear's Birthday Party - can you believe he's THREE?!  Me either!

Bear has never really been one to put things in his mouth that are hard and small so we just assumed the risk wasn't there anymore.  The morning of Bear's party he was playing in the hallway and the two bedrooms while we were steps away in the living room, getting everything ready.  He came out and showed me a quarter he found on floor and asked me if he could put it in his piggy bank.  Of course I said yes and went back to what I was doing.  About 10 minutes later I head him cry out kind of muffled.  Tim and I both knew it was a weird cry and bolted to find him.  He was on our bed with the most terrified look on his face.  He was scared, I was scared.  Something took over me immediately and I looked in his mouth, leaned him forward and smacked his back – out popped a quarter.

This is scary and it was very real.  I am not saying this to scare anyone, but learn from our mistake.  Even if your child is older and doesn't seem to put things in his mouth, he may and when you least expect it.  Be prepared, know how to handle the situation and make sure your partner does too.

When you clean up, look around for things like bottle caps, coins, buttons and other items you probably don’t think about often.

On happier news, Bear’s party went great!  It ended up not raining but was a bit cloudy so we had emergency tents set up in the yard.  We have WAY too much food still in our fridge (I may have over-shopped) but he had so much fun so all the running around, cooking and decorating was well worth it!

Since the choking incident Nana brought up an excellent point.  Now that his teeth are strong enough to break through things (like rubber sippy cup tops) it may be time to bid them farewell. 

Since we got rid of the original Baba last year Bear has adopted the new soft top sippy cups as the new Baba.  He was pretty content with our method last time, I told him I was going to give them to a new baby who needed them now that he was a big boy and didn’t need them anymore.  He never asked for it again.

Since this method worked so well, we thought we would try it out again!  This time Bear decided to be a little more involved which was great.  I mentioned that it was almost time to pick out new big boy cups at the store and time to say goodbye to baba but he just screamed at me and said no.  So I dropped it. 

About an hour later I said we needed to go grocery shopping and he got all excited, looked at me and stated “I am a big boy so I can get a new cup!!”

At the store he picked out two new cups, a Lightning McQueen hard top sippy and a new hard top cup with Mickey on it that said “just like mommy’s cup” on the label and the top looks sort of like a starbucks coffee cup but doesn’t leak, neat!

When we got home, Bear helped decorate a box to put the old Baba’s in to mail to a kid who needed them now.  We used rubber stamps, markers and I even let him put the postage stamp on. 

Night time was hard at first, he kept asking me if his box was still there and we had to go look out the window to make sure it was there.  He had a few short moment of panic while trying to fall asleep when he wanted the baba but I laid down with him and we talked it out.  I explained that we give lots of things away when we don’t need them anymore like clothes, toys, etc so someone else can enjoy them just like we did.

He woke up several times during the night to ask “Mama, can I have my…..big cup?” and then this morning was curious why the box was gone and who was going to get it.  Luckily I have a friend with a baby boy and she agreed to take a picture of her son with the box to show Bear.

Very excited – this worked exactly as planned!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Some Days I Don't Feel "There"

I am being very honest in this post so please - only helpful insights..

My son's behavior has taken a major turn as of late.  He hits, screams and kicks.  I know to some degree this is normal for a three year old but it seems to be escalating quickly.

I was just flipping through a board on WTE about Stay at Home Mom's feeling guilty about having their husbands be the bread runner and them getting to spend the day with their children - something they ENJOY doing.  One woman posted that more women need to be staying home with their children and, in turn, the men will be more responsible etc.  I don't agree with this since it simple does not work like that for the majority of American families, and quite frankly, its a little ignorant to say things like that.  The cost of living is too much these days and jobs don't pay what they used to.  Suuure if your husband is a doctor or engineer, but what about the average lower-middle class who work in industries like manufacturing or construction?

I digress, what I pulled from her response that has stuck with me is this: Many women who work, are too mentally exhausted to give their children their full attention by the end of the day.

THIS IS MY PROBLEM!  No, I am not blaming my job on my son's recently terrible behavior, I am blaming myself because I also recently discovered this quote:

"If you choose the lifestyle, you quite simply have to accept the results it produces."

This was not aimed at this context but I think it works for everyone and every way of living.  Do not blame anyone other than yourself for choosing to live the way you are.  No, I can't just up and quit my job, but I can focus my attention on my son 100% when we are together.  I don't need to do the dishes, I don't need to check facebook but I do need to make sure my son grows up understanding responsibility, respect and humility.  He needs to be able to make good decisions on his own, in real world settings and it is my number one priority to not only display that for him, but to teach him HOW to do that.

His recent behavior change is not really anger but a cry for me and for Daddy to play with him, to teach him, to love him and to show him.

Now I am the one feeling guilty, I feel like I've been taking something away from my kid but I need to remember it's not too late.  He's only three, the past doesn't matter, NOW is what matters!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Coconut Nutella Fudge Pops

Tim and I used to make Nutella Whipped Cream and eat in on Strawberries.  By far, our favorite summertime desert!  I will include the recipe for that too at the bottom.  I had intended to make that tonight for desert but discovered the strawberries to be rotten.  Huge bummer considering they cost like $4.99. 

I was looking around the fridge and cupboards for some magical food to fill that creamy Nutella craving that would pair with the heat outside. I decided to break out the Popsicle molds and try out some Popsicles! 

Coconut Nutella Fudge Pops (makes 6) 

2 Heaping Spoonfulls of Nutella
8oz Heavy Whipping Cream (or just Heavy Cream)
Handfull of Shredded Coconut (Sweetened)

Stick Blender
Large Ziplock Baggy
6 Popsicle Molds

Kid Friendly Recipe!

In you bowl pour in the heavy whipping cream.  Use the stick blender to make stiff peeks.  If you've never whipped cream before keep checking it - if you go too long, you'll have butter.  

Once you have stiff peeks, add two heaping spoonfulls of Nutella.  Blend again until smooth - only 4-5 pulses.  Toss in a handfull of coconut and fold in with the spatula.  

Open up for ziplock and fold down the sites (this makes it easier to stuff).  Scoop out the mixture into the bag and twist the top like a piping bag.  

Cut off a 1/4" nub on the corner of the bag and pipe into the popsicle molds.  

Do not fill to the top, after filling 6 you'll have a little left in the bag.  Tap the molds to make the mixture settle and pipe more in to make them filled to the line (most molds have a fill line).  If there is any left - safe to eat!

Now put the stick/covers on your molds and freeze for 2.5-3 hours (until hardened) and of course this is the hardest part.

I don't add any sugar, Nutella and the coconut have enough sugar in them for us!  To make just the topping for strawberries or as fruit dip, stop before adding the coconut and pipe or spoon over cut fruit.  For icecream topping do the same but add chopped walnuts - yum!

What is your favorite summertime treat?