Mess-free toddler painting… yes, really!

Norman loves this painting activity because it is quite loud and fun… But it isn’t messy!

First you need a can (I usually use an old formula can but you could use a coffee can or whatever you have available).

Place some paint in the can along with several marbles. Add your paper cut to the right size.

Last, give the can to your baby or toddler to roll, kick and shake! The more action the better.

We’ve done a variety of colors in the past, but this week I cut out hearts and put them in the can with red, pink, white and purple paint to create Valentines. I think they turned out super cute!

2015/01/img_1996-1.jpg

2015/01/img_6989.jpg

Advertisements

Exploring my One Little Word – Mindful(ness)

IMG_6598_BW

As I’ve been exploring my word for the year in the Ali Edwards workshop, I’ve struggled to put into words what mindfulness means to me.

Last weekend we were able to go to the beach for the first time with our son and watching him and my husband I thought to myself, “This is what I want. to just focus on these moments and to feel at peace.” It was such a wonderful, relaxing day and it was so much fun, too! I’m hoping to carry that feeling through the year. Ali encourages us to make our words visible so I’ve printed out this photo and placed it above my desk where I work each day.

7ThingsMindfulMy aunt has graciously subscribed me to Mindful Magazine for the year and I can’t wait to explore it as I continue my OLW journey. Their tagline is “taking time for what matters.” How perfect is that? I found the graphic at the left on their Facebook page and I think that it is so helpful in understanding mindfulness. Number 1 is easy when you have a little one. Watching him learn and discover everyday reminds you of the wonder around you like nothing else can. Number 2 and number 5 are big areas of struggle that I will be working on this year!

Making banana pancakes… yum.

IMG_3060In case you are wondering, yes I am listening to Jack Johnson right now… Is there any other way to write a post about banana pancakes? I think not!

After seeing several recipes for banana pancakes on Pinterest, I decided to whip up some of my own for the little guy. I used a buckwheat pancake mix and followed the directions on the back of the bag. I made one modification to help use up the baby food purees that the little man now refuses to eat, though. Instead of just water I added the pureed sweet potatoes that he now hates. They turned out great!

I tried two variations as well. In the first I put a little bit of batter in the pan, added a banana slice and then put a bit more batter over the bananaIMG_3063. In the second, I just dipped the banana slice into the batter and put it in the pan. The second method made much smaller pancakes and it made them harder to flip. In the future I will definitely stick with option 1!

What was the verdict? The little guy ate the majority of one of the larger pancakes this morning so I’d call it a success! I also liked that these were a little more healthy than a waffle or traditional pancake.

Recipe Rating: Weelicious Broccoli Cheese Patties

IMG_3044If Norman could type, I’d make him post this review himself but alas he isn’t quite able to do so yet. Baby bear is at the stage where he isn’t as into purees as he used to be but he also can’t always have what I’m having either. Since he only has two teeth we have to be somewhat selective on our food choices for him. Enter my Pinterest “Toddler Food” board and Weelicious.

IMG_3046These patties looked simple enough and contained ingredients I already had around the kitchen (score). You can see the delicious patties to the left. Yummy. If I had it to do over I would make them a little smaller and flatter but overall they turned out well.

I taste tested them and thought they tasted pretty darn good! The true test of course was to see if baby enjoyed them… YES! He devoured two patties at dinner and another two for lunch the next day. A resounding success! My overall Pinterest project rating for this recipe is 4 out of 5 pins!

This one is about poop (and why I cloth diaper)

Our friend rocking a cloth diaper! Photo courtesy of Caitlin.
Our friend rocking a cloth diaper! Photo courtesy of Caitlin.

If the title hasn’t scared you away, read on for more about our cloth diaper adventures! Before my son was born hubby and I discussed cloth diapering and he was firmly against it. During those early newborn days when we were going through a million diapers a day (ok, maybe only half a million) I mentioned it again. Our son HATED to be even the slightest bit wet or dirty and it seemed like a good option since we were going through so many diapers a day! After much discussion, I told him he’d never have to wash them or clean the dreaded poop and he relented. I happily logged on to the interwebs to get some fluff for my boy.

After some research I decided to try prefolds and covers since they were an inexpensive way to get started. I ordered from Kelly’s Closet because they have a rewards program and I thought it would be nice to get those diaper dollars back so we could buy even more fluff. Well, they sent a free pocket diaper with my order and I soon discovered that I vastly preferred that style to the prefold and cover system. I still have my Flip diapers but they aren’t my go-to system these days. We love our pocket diapers and the flexibility they offer to stuff with various materials to keep our heavy wetter dry and happy.

Norman rocking a cloth diaper while investigating a Pinterest Sensory Board project.
Norman rocking a cloth diaper while investigating a Pinterest Sensory Board project.

I know what you are thinking… isn’t cloth diapering gross? What the heck do you do with the poop? I’m here to tell you that as a mom I’ve had many, many gross things happen. Poop happens and yes, it can be gross. Which is why at the top of my Christmas list was the Bumkins Cloth Diaper sprayer. My husband questioned whether I could truly want a diaper sprayer for Christmas and I assured him I did! Now I can just spray the diaper gently into the toilet and voila, no poop. No dunking and swishing (that was truly gross). The soiled diaper goes into wet bag until laundry day and life is good again!

Do you have more questions about cloth? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

You want to hang a drip pan in the playroom?

Baby Bear exploring his new magnet board.
Baby Bear exploring his new magnet board.

If you have children under the age of 5 and you spend any time at all on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen the DIY “Drip Pan Magnet Board” project many times. When I was pregnant with Baby Bear, I pinned the project knowing of course that it would be some time before he’d be ready! Baby Bear is now 9 months old and can stand well with support so I decided it was time. My hubby skeptically asked why I would want to hang an oil drip pan in our playroom… but it is safe to say I won that discussion as evidenced to the left.

Some of the projects on Pinterest use heavy duty velcro to hang the drip pan from the wall, but I didn’t think that would hold up to our boy. Luckily, the husband is somewhat handy and did all of the drilling for me.

Here are the supplies we used:
A drip pan
Wall anchors (we like these)
Magnets (make sure you check that they aren’t too small for baby, some of the ones I got online were). We have both the alphabet and animals right now.

Pretty simple! Handy hubby just drilled the anchors into the studs and we slapped some magnets on! Baby Bear is already getting a lot of use out of the magnet board and I think he will use it for a long time.

My overall Pinterest project rating for this DIY is 5 out of 5 pins!

One Little Word – 2015

OLWThe last two years I’ve selected a word to help guide me. In 2013 it was balance. I was seeking balance that year as we faced fertility treatments and the start of a new business. In 2014, I was pregnant and I just new our lives were about to change forever. I selected the word flexible to help me remember to bend. To let my priorities change… to learn and grow as we brought a new little life into the world. Honestly, I could still stand to be more flexible but my little word helped me through the year. As my birth plan went out the window and in the aftermath I questioned myself – I remembered that it is necessary to be flexible.  As I struggled with nursing my son, I tried to remember to be flexible. As we race through our day with laundry piled up and my “schedule” thrown out the window, I try to remember to be flexible.For 2015 I want to focus on mindfulness. To be here in the present moment with my son and my husband. To spend a little less time on Facebook and a little more time enjoying our days together. In the spirit of this adventure and to truly focus on my One Little Word, I’ll be taking the class with Ali Edwards. As I journey through this year I hope to document my progress here… along with our Pinterest projects, recipe successes (and failures) plus much more.