Wednesday, February 26, 2014

As the Sun Sinks Slowly in the West (Wordless Wednesday)

Life is's a few shots from the past week.  Hopefully I'll be writing again soon.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Toddler Approved and SAFE Homemade Playdough

A couple weeks ago my BFF posted this on her
Facebook page...I can't believe I fall into that first category!

About a month ago, I got adventurous and decided to try out a couple of the homemade playdough recipes I had seen on blogs and pinterest.  I tried two different "easy" methods and I've got to tell you I love the results of one so much, I want to share it here with you today.  But first, the flop...

Have you heard about the playdough you make using cornstarch and hair conditioner?  Yeah, I tried it...I used our wonderful-smelling but uber-cheap green apple suave hair conditioner for the experiment.  I mixed it as directed and found the mixing very easy...the problem was the texture and smell of the resulting was just - chemically.  I know, I know - DUH!  But I had read all these blog posts raving about how great this stuff was and then it just wasn't.

The texture was kinda wet, but dry at the same time and it broke into pieces rather than being pliable like I expect playdough to be.  But, the chemically thing is what killed this for me.  I threw it out without ever letting Buddy even see it because there was no way I was going to give him that ball of uck to try to play with!

The second method I tried turned out makes a nice sized-batch, the texture is amazingly soft and pliable and just what playdough should be, the smell is amazing, it's easy and quick to make and best of all - it's totally safe for toddlers!  Even better than all that, you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry!

Here's all you'll need to make this beautiful playdough:
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 small package jello

And here's how easy it is to make:

Mix all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat on low until the mixture thickens, forms a ball and no longer sticks to your fingers.  The key is to be patient and stir occasionally while you're heating the mixture.
Once the mixture is a ball, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. After it's cool enough to touch without hurting yourself, dump it onto a clean surface and knead it together a few times.

That's it!  Allow it to cool the rest of the way and then have fun!  Buddy LOVES his play-dough!  I love his play-dough!  I loved it so much I made three batches the same day - orange, lime and pineapple (I added a little yellow food coloring to the pineapple mixture because it didn't have much color).

This play-dough is so easy and versatile!  I read that you can store it in your fridge and learned from experience that it can be frozen and thawed with no problem - don't ask why I know this.  It is easily stored in a Ziploc baggie and stays good for a long time.  I actually keep ours inside individual Ziploc baggies at room temperature and we've had it for about 4 weeks now with no signs of mold or drying out or loss of pliability!

I gave Buddy a ball of each of the colors to play with originally, but they became one homogeneous ball after that...I've let him play with the same ball every day or so for weeks and it keeps him busy for a at least a half hour every single time!  He talks and narrates "stories" of what's happening with his playdough the whole time he's playing - most of it I can't understand, but clearly his imagination is at work.  And the tactile nature of playing with playdough is great for kids!

I searched for pictures of Buddy playing with his, and all I could find was this cute video I took...and since it's nap time, this is all you're getting!  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Trials and Tribulations of the Un-Potty-Trained

So, you know I’m a stay-at-home Mom, right?  And if you’ve ever spent much time with a toddler, you know how easy it would be to kinda lose your mind if all you ever did was try to train a toddler to act like a human being with manners, right?

Yeaaaaaah…so that’s kinda the point where I am.  Losing.My.Mind.  Seriously.  Like, so bad that I am regularly amazed at the crazy stuff I do to entertain my semi-wild-child (and myself).

Today, it’s songs to encourage him to use the toilet.  We’re reaching the point where some serious effort to accomplish this potty-training thing needs to happen.  I don’t think we’re at the point where I’m ready to push for it to happen, but that point is nearing.  For now, I’m employing several approaches to encourage Buddy to think going potty is a better idea than going in the diaper.  I’m not so sure it’s working very well…

Some days I take the “reverse psychology” approach – wherein I beg my son to never grow up and always stay a baby.  He’s MY little baby and he can never, ever, not in a million years grow up.  And don’t you dare ever quit wearing diapers! *wink, wink* (That’s the reverse psychology part, but don’t tell him!)

Yeah.  That stuff isn’t working.  I don’t think he understands reverse psychology yet.

Some days I take the “I’m so sick of this stinky sh*t, literally” approach.  Wherein, I lecture my son about how stinky and gross it is to poop in his diaper and then expect me to wipe his butt clean.  He repeats “Eewwwww, Poop!” and “Yuck!” while I lecture.  I tend to do this mostly on days when he comes to me with fingers covered in his own excrement…cause that sh*t just pushes me over the edge!

I don’t think that’s working, either.

Other days I try to make him feel guilty by fake-crying about how much I hate poopy diapers.  He generally looks at me like I’m crazy.

He’s not buying it.

Today, I’m singing creative original tunes about going potty!  Here’s a few examples:
  • Poop First, Wipe Second (A practical, yet fun tune/rap)
  • Poopin’ on the Potty is GREAT! (A happy, celebratory little ditty)
  • Poop, poop, poop in the potty! (To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
  • Pootay in the USA (a la Miley Cyrus style!)

So, there you go…a peek into my warped little mind.  And just for funsies, this is the post-kerplunk smile of pride Buddy had today!

So maybe serenading is the way to go.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday - Buddy's First Ocean Visit!

Here's a few pics from last week...we took Buddy to see the ocean for the first time!  I hadn't planned to get in the water, seeing as it was January and all - Buddy had other plans.  Silly Mommy!!

Today I linked up DH and my love story at the It's a Love Story Bloghop, you should too!

City Girl Finding Her Place in the World

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Life Happens So Fast - Here are Some Random Thoughts on a Tuesday!

Well, well, we are on a lovely Tuesday morning and I sit here debating what to say.  I've been MIA longer than I imagined I would and I wonder if it's even worth the time to keep blogging some days.  When I started CHill Thoughts, I never imagined I would stick with it or that writing would be liberating for me.  But, like most things that seem great and amazing at first, the shine of newness and excitement has worn off and I'm left here wondering what to do with my little blog.

If nothing else, I'm thrifty and when I bought the domain for my blog I did it for two years.  It would be a waste of money to give up while I still own my domain!  So, I'll keep banging my face against this here keyboard and hoping something that makes sense turns up and you keep on doing what you're doing...What are you doing, by the way?

It seems like since I slowed down with my blogging, CHill Thoughts has become an internet troll magnet.  I get at least a dozen blog comments each day from people trying to cleverly hide links to other sites and YouTube videos in the comment.  Fortunately, I have settings in place to prevent 99% of the spam comments from ever appearing on the blog.  But, it is a little disheartening when I log into my email to see that I have a bunch of new comments on the blog and not a single one of them is a legitimate comment!

So, what are you doing?  I'd love to hear what you're up to in a comment below!  Is anyone other than non-english-speaking-hacker-robots even visiting this little dusty corner of the internet?  What did you have for breakfast?  What color are your underwear?  How many keys are on your key ring?  What do you want me to write about?  What do you want me to not write about?  Know any good jokes?  How much money did you lose betting on the Superbowl?  How many pounds did you gain thanks to the Superbowl?

Pick a question, any question, and leave me a little love note indicating you're a real, live human and you are out there reading this dribble!

Out here in the real world, things are changing faster than I can even keep up with...I'll tell you more about it in the comings days, but here's a quick run-down of things happening in my life now:

  • I'm no longer in Colorado!
  • My oldest son joined the US Army!
  • I'm learning to live in a small apartment space in a large city - a far cry from the quiet mountains I've grown accustomed to over the past few years!
  • I'm learning to cook using a camp stove and toaster oven mostly!
  • Driving on the freeway - and it always seems like it's rush-hour! AAAaaack!
  • Will Buddy ever potty train?  Signs point to "NO"!
  • Chickens in the city! Seriously.
  • Valentine's Day is coming!
  • I just watched Fight Club for the first time last night...I had no idea what I had missed out on!

I'm sure there's more, but you get the idea...

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