Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chronicle Books is having an awesome promotion right now- Celebrate the Haul-idays! All you have to do is visit their web site and find $500 worth of books you'd love to have on your shelves at home. Post the list on your blog and BAM! You're entered to win all of those books. You can win my list too! Just post a comment on this post and if I win, you win my list too! Hurry. This contest ends December 10th.

Here are the books I'd love for the boys:

Duck! Rabbit!

Monet's Impressions

Creature ABC

Stereobook: Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Roar, Butterflies Soar!

I Know a Lot of Things

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas

Eric Carle's Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar

N is for Navidad

And to Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue

C Is for Caboose


Art Up Close

C is for Construction: Big Trucks and Diggers from A to Z

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Walk the Dog

The First Christmas

The Hanukkah Mice

The World Almanac for Kids Puzzler Decks: Trucks, Trains & More, Ages 3–5

One Too Many


Around the World with Mouk

The World Almanac for Kids Puzzler Deck: Kindergarten Skills, Ages 3-5

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood

Magritte's Imagination

B Is for Baseball

Tony and the Pizza Champions

The Big, Bigger, Biggest Book

Oh you can't forget some books for mom!

Every Day's a Holiday

I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper

Dirty Little Secrets from Otherwise Perfect Moms

The Little Book of Saints

Don't forget to post a comment so you can win all of these books too! You can also go here and see all of the other blogs participating in this awesome promotion. See one with a great list of books? Leave a comment for them as well!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My grandmother passed away a little while ago. It was expected, but that isn't making it any easier. I love you Grandma! The boys will miss you GeGe. I think I'll be taking a blog break for a bit.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dill Pickles had a really tough day yesterday. That meant Mommy and little Sweet Pickles had a rough day too. I was trying to get Dill calmed down to take a nap or at least stop bouncing and crashing all over the house. He was sitting,, he was jumping and climbing all over me while I was sitting in the rocking chair trying to get him wrapped in his weighted blanket. I was really at the end of my rope and really tired because I didn't sleep well the night before. Out of no where Dill grabs my face with his two hands, looks me in the eye and starts singing "Two, four, six, eight! Who do we appreciate? Mommy! Mommy! Yeah Mommy!" I started crying. Where on earth did he learn that I asked. My teacher he replied. Now you have to give me a high five and sing my name! I sang and gave him a high 5, then I tossed him into his bean bag with his weighted blanket to take a nap. The nap didn't happen, but somehow we managed to have a peaceful, meltdown free afternoon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How about a post with lots picture and random stuff. I guess it's all kinda related. I finally started the Harvest blocks from Shannon Makes Stuff. Did you you know it's illegal to sell spray paint in our wonderful city? I'm sure that ban has greatly decreased the amount of tagging. Yeah right. I bet the taggers have no problem heading off to the suburbs to buy their spray paint. I should have been like them and did it too. No wonder the paint at Joann's was $0.69. This is what the wood looked like after 2 coats of paint. I found some other paint that we used 4 years ago to paint a mural on Dill Pickle's wall when he was a baby. I figured old paint couldn't make it any worse, right?

Our wonderful pumpkins. Daddy had to represent his favorite football team while Sweet Pickles chose a happy jack o lantern.

Mama Pickles went with a scared pumpkin and Dill Pickles wanted a jack o lantern with teeth. Every morning Dill brings his pumpkin into the house and it goes everywhere with him. The bathroom, his bedroom, the basement. I think it's his new best friend.

Instead of real candles we used battery ones from Walgreens. The bigger pumpkins had 2 candles; the smaller pumpkins used 1. They worked out really well. Especially since Dill has been lugging his all over the house. :) Finally! The finished Halloween costumes. Aren't they the cutest race car driver and dalmatian you have every seen? I ended up making a hat for Sweet Pickles because I just couldn't see him keeping that hood thing on his head. Daddy Pickles helped me turn a pattern for a monkey beanie hat into a dalmatian. I told Daddy he should become a pattern maker.

Speaking of Daddy Pickles, I love him with all my heart, but last night at 11:15pm he came to me with a big hole in his work pants and asked me to fix them. I thought I had quite a few more years before the boys started bringing me last minute things. Maybe Daddy just wanted to help me get ready for them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I know I try to stay anonymous on here, but we can let my first name slip, right? Heard of the blog ohdeedoh? They write about everything for kids and I was in one of their posts today! My friend Sarah was looking for a boyish dollhouse for her son and I told her about one my boys have been drooling over at Costco. Our friend Roni is a contributor at ohdeedoh and thought it was a great find too so she decided to blog about it! Read her post here. Check out the rest of the posts too. Some of the kids bedrooms are insanely beautiful. They would never last a second here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yahoo!! Both Halloween costumes are finished with time to spare! Here's Sweet Pickles in his dalmation costume. I still don't have a picture of Dill Pickles in his race car driver costume, but he is wearing it tomorrow for OT. Sweetie has his Halloween party at school tomorrow. He can't wait to be a puppy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Well that's odd. My Google Followers hasn't appeared on my blog in a while. I finally decided to tackle it today. Some good ole Googling (is that even a verb?) told me that Google Followers doesn't seem to appear when you use the Shelfari widget. I deleted Shelfari and tada! My Followers are back. I dunno. I liked having my Shelfari there, but I like my Followers too. Maybe we can come up with a friendly compromise.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can I please just get 5 or 6 more hours in the day? Really. A nanny and housekeeper sound good too. I don't need both. Just one or the other. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

One Halloween costume down, one to go! I wish I had a better picture than the one that is on Daddy Pickle's phone. Maybe I can get Dill to stand still long enough to snap a pic. When his race car driver costume is on he is raring to go!

Feeling your pennies are pinched a little too tight? During the month of October if you create a wish list at Growing Tree Toys, you can Win Your Wish List! All you have to do is create a wish list before October 31st and you can win up to $1000 worth of toys from your wish list. Mine is full of building blocks, dress-up clothes and yes, even a doll house. I don't see any reason why boys can't play with doll houses!! I could put more on my list like the puppet theater and puppets. Oh what fun I could have shopping!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What on earth was I thinking when I waited until 2 weeks before Halloween to start sewing 2 Halloween costumes????

Monday, October 11, 2010

I just got back from a fun shopping trip to Joann's and Michael's with my mom and sister. Dill Pickles wants to be a race car driver for Halloween. I am going to sew his this costume except he wants the middle contrast to be red, not yellow.

Sweet Pickles want to be a dalmatian so I am going to attempt to turn this pattern into a dalmatian. I'm pretty sure I can. I'll just have to jazz up the ears a little. Grammie suggested being thrifty and using the same pattern for both boys instead of buy a separate dog pattern. Why didn't I think of that?
At Michael's I picked up some Mod Podge. I want to try and decorate my house a little more for the holidays, but we need decorations that can stand the abuse of 2 little boys. Shannon at Shannon Makes Stuff had this great tutorial for making a fall harvest decoration. Instead of me running around trying to gather all the pieces, I bought the DIY kit from her ETSY shop.

If this turns out pretty well I'd like to make this one too. She sells this as a DIY kit as well.
Now I'm off to hem and wash fabric while the boys are pretending to take a nap!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yahoo! I received my book swap partner from Zoe at Playing By The Book. I will be sending a wonderful picture book to and receiving a picture book from Claire in Australia of Ope Shope Hope. How exciting! What book to send, what book to send? I have a bunch of our favorites running through my mind right now. As Dill Pickles likes to say, "This is going to be kinda tricky."

Speaking of Dill Pickles, today was his 4th birthday. Happy Birthday to my favorite big brother! Well, I guess if you'd like to be technical it still isn't his birthday yet because he was born just a few minutes before midnight. :) Sadly, his day was spent on the couch and in bed sick. We had a small party for him yesterday at Grammie's house and then Dill and Sweet Pickles were set to have a sleepover at Grammie's house while Mama and Daddy Pickles went to a wedding. By 8p Grammie was calling Mama Pickles to let her know that Dill was rather sick and at 10p Mama and Daddy Pickles picked up sick little Dill Pickles and Sweet Pickles and brought them home. Dill was ok with being sick on his birthday. I told him we could have cupcakes tomorrow if he was feeling better. Daddy Pickles was sick today too. I hope no one else gets it!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Is is sensory or is it behavior? Isn't that a question we're always asking? I know I am constantly pondering that in my head. Earlier this week I went to conference given by Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris who wrote the book Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior? Let me tell you it certainly made me think. It made me thing about a lot of things. Of course Dill Pickles constantly popped into my head while we were watching short video clips of students. We had to figure out why the child was acting the way they were and what they were trying to tell us. I could only think is this how it's going to be for Dill once he gets into first and second grades? Are his teachers going to understand his sensory needs? Are they just going to think he's a bad kid who can't sit still and pay attention? Sometimes it was all I had to keep from crying. But who knows what the future holds. For now I just have to live in today and only think about one tomorrow at a time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It has been feeling a lot like fall around here. So much that the other day we actually had to turn our heat on. I was resisting as long as possible, but when it dropped to 61 degrees in the house I had to give in. The boys have been very into leaves and fall. We got new fall books from the library. I'm working on getting them up in Shelfari, but I saw this wonderful idea on I Can Teach My Child. All they did was take duct tape and make a bracelet sticky side out and then take a walk outside. Because the sticky side is out, little ones can stick anything they want to their bracelet. I bet the boys would love collecting leaves on a walk. Be sure to check out the original post.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I love books. I often wonder if it is the teacher in me, or was it my love of books that lead me to be a teacher. Anyways, I picked up a few books to help me out with teaching Dill and Sweet Pickles about our faith. I just love and for books. Nothing like free or cheap new and used books. These are my newest books. I already read The Catholic Home a few weeks ago when I got it from the library. I liked it so much I had to buy it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

With 2 weeks of great days at school under the belt for Dill Pickles, I think I can finally post about what was causing his crying at school. We usually call Dill Pickles by a nickname, for the sake of the blog, let's call him DP. He goes by DP almost all the time, except for when he's in trouble. Then it's most certainly the full name Dill Pickles. At school last year, Dill just wrote DP on his morning sign in card. This year his teacher wanted him to try writing Dill instead. She felt it was important to learn how to spell his full name. I agree. There are going to be formal times when he will need to write his full first name. Apparently Dill was not ready to make the switch from writing DP to writing Dill. All he had to do was trace over the letters, but it was too much for him and he just didn't know how to say it, so he cried. And cried. And cried.

One day on the way to school I asked Dill for the 9 millionth time why he was crying and he blurted out, "I don't like school because writing Dill is too hard. I just want to write DP." Wow. I thought about it and you know, Dill is still only 3. Writing his full first name might be too hard for him right now especially since he does have fine motor skill problems. I told him I would talk to his teacher.

Dill has 2 teachers in his classroom, a regular ed pre-school teacher and a special ed pre-school teacher. Since it was the special ed teacher who told me at the beginning of the year that she wanted him to write his full name, I figured I would talk to her. She was with another parent. The regular ed teacher walked up to Dill and handed him his name card with his full first name and a marker. He started sobbing. This confirmed for me that he was just not ready to write his name. The special ed teacher came running over and I explained everything to her. No problem she said. We can switch back to DP. Since that day **KNOCK ON WOOD** we have not had any crying at school. I wish just wish we could have figured it out sooner so Dill didn't have to be stressed for so long. It was only a week, but I'm sure it felt like an eternity to him.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Zoe at Playing by the Book is coordinating a picture book swap. It sounds like a lot of fun, so I signed up. Want to participate? Clicky below.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We had an appointment with our new allergist the other day. I wasn't too fond of our old one, but we were limited to him because of our insurance. We found our new allergist when Sweet Pickles was in the hospital. He was the pulmonologist who consulted with the infectious disease doctor. When we found out he was an allergist as well we asked if he was taking new patients. He said he only dealt with the "big" allergies. We rattled off our list- milk, eggs, peanuts. Come on down was his immediate response.

At our appointment I told him Dill was having some issues with using the nebulizer every morning. It was a constant fight. He said no problem. We'll give him a puffer with a spacer. Poof! Just like that. When we mentioned the same problem to our old allergist, oh well, it's just something you'll have to deal with. He's too young for an inhaler. Our new allergist also gave us an eczema treatment plan (which was a heck of a lot more than our other guy did). After only a few days of this new cream- shazam! The boys legs look incredible! I can't remember the last time the back of Dill Pickle's knees looked normal. Maybe when he was born? I can't wait to see them looking like normal legs again.

We go back in 2 months for Dill Pickles and in 4 months for Sweet Pickles. Have I mentioned I love our new allergist?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lots of separation anxiety this week at school for Dill Pickles. I think we may have solved the underlying issue, but I am afraid to post about it for fear of jynxing it. I will post about it next week as long as we keep having success. Sweet Pickles loves school. He even made a point to tell Dill Pickles that he is a big boy and doesn't cry at school. Way to help your big brother out there Sweetie. :)

I did make this yummy dinner last night. We all loved it except for Dill Pickles. It was something new so of course he "Just couldn't like it." I will make it again and hopefully Dill will try it again. I think it might have been the quinoa. It does have a different kind of texture. Due to allergies we obviously omitted the cheese.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 large green peppers
3/4 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Drain tomatoes reserving juice; set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. In a Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; invert onto paper towels.

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, garlic, parsley, paprika, salt, pepper flakes and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in one can tomato sauce, corn, quinoa and tomatoes; heat through.

Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine the reserved tomato juice and remaining tomato sauce; pour over peppers.

Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Transitioning back to school has been a lot harder on Dill Pickles than anticipated. I'm hoping after another week of the new routine he will be ok. The littlest things that wouldn't seem important to one person are so important to Dill. He wakes up at 640a every morning. Last school year he would watch the last 15 minutes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney Channel. When Shaun the Sheep came on he knew it was time for his nebulizer. Then breakfast, then get dressed and off to school. The Disney Channel has changed its lineup. Now it's Handy Manny and Dance-A-Lot Robot. He likes those shows. But it's a new routine. And it is taking Dill longer to adjust than I thought.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I can't believe school is starting tomorrow! Where did the summer go? My boys are growing faster than I ever thought they would.

Sweet Pickles

Dill Pickles

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Daddy Pickles and I both attended Catholic schools. We wanted our children to do the same, but I just can't see a Catholic school being a successful place for Dill Pickles with his sensory issues. We unfortunately know that the school closest to our house wouldn't be a good match for him based upon talking to others in the neighborhood. This saddens me, but this will just bring us to do something better for him ourselves.

Starting in a few weeks Dill Pickles will be attending Children of the Lord at my mom's church. It's a Sunday School-like program that goes on during 9:30am Mass. I taught Children of the Lord when I was in high school. It makes me smile to now be sending my son there.

While I am confident that Dill will learn a lot, we will still be doing things at home as well. I was so excited to read a post by Lacy at Catholic Icing announcing that she would be posting a Catholic pre-school curriculum weekly she is using at her child's co-op pre-school. I'm sure I could have come up with things like this myself, but it will be so much easier to use the bulk of what someone else has come up with and tweak it a bit for my own. I think we will do her activities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I still have to decide if we will do them right away when Dill Pickles comes home from school or in the afternoon after naptime. We will just have to see what will work best for us!

Catholic ABC's

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I've updated our Shelfari with our new library books. Can you guess why we chose this theme? :) We have a few more on request from the library. We hope they come in soon!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sweet Pickles wanted his own calendar in his bedroom like his big brother Dill Pickles, so I stopped by Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and picked one up. I thought I had more contact paper than I really did, so I had to come up with some other way to laminate the calendar because I promised him he would have it the next day.

I saw this on another blog and I can't remeber where for the life of me. I have a laminator at home and I just used two laminating sheets overlapping each other. Make sure that the sheet feeding in first is on top of the second sheet.

As it feeds into the laminator it will get kinda wonky at the end. I wasn't worried because my cards did not go all the way to the end.

Once your laminating is out of the machine you will see that the wonky part is now a little wrinkly. That's ok. You're going to cut it off anyways. :)

Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. I'll try and take picks of both boys' calendars tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Both Dill Pickles and Sweet Pickles start school on Tuesday. I am excited, but sad. As challenging as our summer was, I am kinda sad to see them go. But they won't be gone long. Dill's class is only 2.5 hours long and Sweetie's is 2 hours. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be busy days. Take Dill to school, take Sweetie to school, hang out for an hour, pick up Dill from school, pick up Sweetie from school, head to my sister's house for lunch, take Dill to occupational therapy while Sweetie stays with my sister, get Sweetie, head home. Phew. Leave the house at 7:45am and return at 3pm. Wow.

I found something else to add to my Christmas list- this adorable spool doll Nativity set at Holes in My Shiny Veneer. I just had to post it here so I wouldn't forget about it! I should have plenty of time to find spools on sale at Michael's and then raid my mom's fabric stash for the necessary scraps. Yippee for a Nativity set I don't have to worry about the boys breaking into a million pieces!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I thought had scheduled 2 posts to go automatically but they never did. Hmmm..... maybe I don't know how to schedule posts afterall. I put them up today and I guess I'll have to figure out what I did wrong. I was so proud of myself that I had written stuff ahead of time. Oh well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mama Reads Again!

I love to read! For a while I wasn't. The little pickles kept me too busy. I just did not have time. I was not a happy Mama. Then one day I decided that I needed to be happy and take some time for me. I started reading again here and there. There was plenty of reading time while Sweet Pickles was in the hospital. Who can sleep there when you have machines beeping and booping and people coming in and out of your room all day and night. So here's a list of all that Mama has read since June. I think it's a pretty good list if I do say so myself.

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and The Battle of the Labrynth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian by Rick Riodran

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Loving Lefties: How to Raise Your Left Handed Child in a Right Handed World by Jane M. Healey

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Look Me in The Eye by John Elder Robison

Right now I am reading The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day by Meredith Gould.

Books in my 'To Be Read' pile include:
Wild Things: The Art of Raising Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

Growing an In Sync Child: Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn, and Grow by Carol Kranowitz and Joye Newman

Have any good book suggestions? I am open to just about anything.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christmas in August?

It is August and yes, I am thinking about Christmas. I've actually been thinking for a while about it, I just have not had the chance to blog about it. As I fell over a toy for the zillionth time the other day I decided that the boys had too many toys. They don't need any more toys and certainly not toys that are loud an obnoxious.

I tried to make my own toys/gifts for Christmas last year and it kinda worked out, but not like I had hoped. I didn't get nearly everything done and this year I vowed to start sooner. Then Sweet Pickles got sick and life was put on hold. I did finally manage to finish making pillows for my sister that were supposed to be her Christmas gift almost 2 years ago. I just gave them to her the other day while they were in town visiting. I forgot to take a picture of them, but they were really nice.

I have lots of ideas of things I'd like to make for Christmas gifts. Alphabet bean bags, number bean bags, softies, card table play houses, pillow pets. I just need to sit down and figure out who is getting what and then get started. I think that will be my goal for the week. I'd like to post them on here so I won't lose my silly piece of paper with my list, but then my sister would know what her kids are getting .....errrrr....... supposed to be getting for Christmas. Think she can keep a secret?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yes, we are still here. It has been quite a summer.

Sweet Pickles ended up being in the hospital for 2 weeks. He was sent home at one point with a PICC line so that we could administer his IV antibiotics at home, but ended up right back in the hospital less than 36 hours later. After nearly another week in the hospital Little Sweetie was finally able to go home.

Once home Mama and Daddy Pickles had fun administering IV antibiotics 4 times a day for the next 6.5 weeks. Finally near the end of July, Sweet Pickles was deemed healthy enough to stop taking antibiotics and the PICC line was removed. Our summer fun was finally ready to begin at the end of July, because, well, there's only so much fun you can have when you are hooked up to an IV for 7.5 hours a day.

We have been busy the past month doing all the things we couldn't do before- swimming, visiting our cottage, playdates with friends, going to story time at the library and bowling. School starts in 2 weeks and we'd like to cram as much fun as we can into our remaining free time. Once we get back into the swing of our school routine, I hope to be posting regularly. I have lots of things rattling around in my pickle jar. For now I will leave you with this picture of Sweet Pickles and his PICC line that he lovingly called his "tubie."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can we please just get well?

I was sick. I got better.
Dill Pickles was sick. He got better.
Sweet Pickles got sick. So far he is not better. Little Sweetie has been in the hospital since last Thursday with a staph pnemonia. Sunday he was transferred to a children's hospital. Today we learned he has an abscess on his lung. For now they are hoping it goes away with the multitude of antibiotics being given to Sweet Pickles. If not they will have to sedate him and drain it with a needle.

Please send good thoughts and prayers our way. Being hospitalized this long is starting to get tough for the whole Pickles Family.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I think that's the only word for it. I was sick all last week. This week the boys are sick. We've also gone from winter to summer in a matter of days. Yuck!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer is Coming

Before you know it, summer will be here. Dill Pickles does best with structure, structure, structure. Can I say it again? Structure. Lazy days of laying around doing nothing turns into meltdown after meltdown round these parts. So far we have 3 things planned for the summer; our usual weekly OT session, a new weekly group OT session and free bowling from Kids Bowl Free. Ok, that will take up about 9 hours of our week. What do do with the other 159 hours left in the week? I'm not so sure yet. We're looking into a 2.5 hour day camp program. It's so close to summer though I'm don't know if they have any spaces left. Of course we have the summer reading program at our local library that kicks off June 14th. This year's theme is Reading is Art-Rageous. I found this weekly meme and I thought it would be fun to try and participate. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes you can!

Yes, you can re-dye a playsilk! A trip to the grocery store this afternoon produced 5 more lemon lime and grape Kool Aid packs. I can't find any blue Kool Aid to save my life, so I bought some Berry Jammer by Wylers. Just before dinner I mixed up 4 cups of hot water, 1 cup of white vinegar and 5 packs of green Kool Aid. I poured it into my big soup pot and brought it to a slow boil. I plopped the playsilk back in viola! The color went into the playsilk as fast as the last time. I quickly did the purple and had the same great results.

I have been going back and forth between typing this post and coloring the last 15"x60" playsilk with the Wyler's Berry Jammer. That playsilk sucked up the color just like the other ones. I am so excited to finish these and make some more. The weather was cold and rainy here today and the boys had so much fun playing with them.

You'd think I would have picked up more batteries for my camera was I was out, but no, I forgot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Regular Moms vs Special Needs Moms

I follow the blog Hopeful Parents and I loved this post from today. I laughed so loud I was afraid I was going to wake the boys. I cried a little too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Playsilk Follow Up

Oh well. I was just talking with my mom about my playsilks. Her Bachelor's is in Textiles. I called her to ask if she thought I could redye the playsilks I made tonight. Maybe it would give them a more even color. She wasn't so sure it would work. Seems the vinegar might have already set the color in the fabric and not allow it to take in any more color. She said I could try it again and see what happened. I might. For future endeavors she suggested a bigger pot, more water and more Kool Aid packets. She said the generic Kool Aid most likely used a different/cheaper color agent which made it harder for the fabric to soak it up.

Something else I forgot to mention. When I used the generic Kool Aid, my hands were stained something horrible. When I used the Kool Aid brand tonight, not a drop of color on me. I was afraid of looking like a rainbow at pre-school pick up tomorrow!

Playsilks and Pretending

Dill Pickles has trouble with pretending. I am always looking for ways to help promote creativity and open ended play with him. I've been wanting playsilks for almost a year now, but I just could not justify spending $10-$15 on a square of colored silk. I stumbled upon a blog a while ago (I can't remember which one) where the mom made playsilks. I thought that was a great idea and I tucked it away in my brain for someday.

A few weeks ago playsilks popped back into my head and I knew there had to be a tutorial out there somewhere. I Googled and came up with this one from Confessions of a Stash Junkie. I ordered three 35"x35" and three 15"x60" Habotai 8mm silk scarves from Dharma Trading Company. They arrived quickly and I stashed them on the every growing pile on my dresser. Yesterday when I was at Food for Less I picked up a bunch of generic Kool Aid packets on sale. This morning while Daddy Pickles entertained the boys, I tried my hand at dying two scarves- one 35"x35" and one 15"x60".

I followed mama k's tutorial to a t. I even used 5 packets for good measure. After an hour, my water still wasn't clear or a milky color and it was getting close to lunch. I had to stop and rinse them out and let them dry. Here's some pics.

I love the bright colors! I did wash them in the washing machine and the colors faded a little but not too much. The boys had so much fun with them. Actually, they were fighting over who was going to get which one. I knew I had to do more after they went to bed, so I quickly ran to Jewel after dinner. I picked up some grape, lemon-lime and lemonade Kool Aid brand because they did not have any generic brands. The large orange scarf did have a few white spots in it from being wrinkled in the jar, so I thought I would try putting the mixture right into the pot and then put the scarf in the pot. I also thought maybe using 5 packets was too much, so I only used 3 this time.

I was in for a surprise, let me tell you! First, my camera battery died and I didn't have any replacements. Then, wow. Maybe it was because I used the Kool Aid brand and not the generics, but the scarves sucked the colors up the instant I put them into the pots. The parts of the scarves that went into the pot first are a deep color and the part that went in last is a lighter shade. It looks tie-dyed. Maybe if I used all 5 packets there would have been more dye left for the rest of the scarf. Who knows. The next time I try it (and I assure you I will be making many more of these for us and as gifts for others) I will use 5 packets and a smidge more water.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Where has the time gone??

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Pickles!! We love you!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Instead of cleaning my kitchen or making applesauce oatmeal muffins for Sweet Pickles to bring as a birthday treat to Moms, Pops and Tots tomorrow, I am updating my Shelfari. Procrastination reigns supreme tonight!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Books and Muffins: A lovely Combination!

We have our new library books! I am working on getting them into Shelfari, but I have to find them all first. Dill Pickles is CONVINCED that he is packing a suitcase with his swim trunks and his swim shirt, getting on a purple plane and flying to a vacation house so he can go to an indoor water park. Him parading around the house in full swim regalia is the norm these days talking about how he and Daddy Pickles are going to go in the tube. Today he decided that he was bringing all of his library books with. I think most of them are still in his suitcase. I guess I'd better tell him that if his luggage is over 50 pounds, Southwest Airlines will charge him.

I'm not a morning person. I never really was and now that I go to be later and frequently get up at night with little boys who can't sleep or to roll over a snoring husband, I am really not a morning person. In an effort to make the morning routine a little easier I have been making batches of waffles and pancakes and freezing them. I've also decided to try making some muffins. I made 12 of these muffins last night and as of now there aren't any left. While I was waiting for dinner to cook I whipped up another batch, this time I added the flax seed and some cranberries. I'm allergic to flax seed so I omitted them the first time so I could see what the muffins tasted like. The cranberries were also waaaaaaaaaay in the back of the cabinet and last night at 10pm I was too lazy to get a chair and get them out. I unfortunately can't find the blog I got the recipe from, but it wasn't hers anyways. She gives credit to Tosca Reno.

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
1 cup Dry old-fashioned oatmeal flakes
1 cup Unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Skim milk, soy milk, rice or almond milk (your choice)
2 Egg whites, beaten
2 tbsp Ground flax seed
2 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
3/4 cup Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Dried cranberries
1/4 cup Dried cherries
1/4 Raisins

Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin tin by lining with paper or silicon liners, or cooking spray. Combine oatmeal, applesauce, milk, eggs, flax and oil in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine dry ingredients, including dried fruit. Make a well in the center of the dried ingredients and pour wet ingredients into it. Stir until all ingredients are just combined. Using small ladle, fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15 - 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

And last but surely not least, we found out today that Dill Pickle's pre-school class has been saved for the 2010-2011 school year!!!!! But I am told next year at this time it will be up on the chopping block again. They just mysteriously "found" a large sum of money, but that money won't be there next year. Oh well. One year at a time I guess.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Goodbye Gardening!

Our library books are finally due tomorrow. We have reached the renewal limit; it's time for a new theme. Dill Pickles usually picks the next theme, but he couldn't come up with one for the next round. Our current theme has been gardening based upon Dill's latest obsession with growing plants. He has been learning about plants and gardening in school. His class planted a Peace Garden today and Sweet Pickles and I were on hand to help. Auntie Sheesh helped as well. I haven't gotten a chance to look at the pics she took on my camera. Maybe if there aren't too many other classmates in the pictures I will post some. I think I will take this lack of a theme opportunity to check out some math themed books. Dill has been bringing math themed books home from the classroom library. I found a bunch in the Lakeshore Learning catalog last night. Now I'm off to see if they are at my local library. If not, I guess we'll try request them. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still waiting.....

.... sort of. Insurance finally came through and said oh yeah, we're supposed to cover that. So now we wait for our therapy clinic to bill us for all of the co-pays we owe for the past four months.

Still waiting on the decision to be made if Dill Pickle's classroom will be slashed with the budget. At parent teacher conferences tonight Dill's teacher said she still knew nothing, but she has a city-wide pre-school meeting on Friday. She said as soon as she finds out anything, she will let us know. Daddy Pickles and I signed quite a few petitions and will be writing out own letters to our wonderful politicians. Maybe we should have Dill make an appointment with these folks and deliver them in person.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wait wait wait. That's all I seem to be doing lately. Waiting to hear from our insurance company if they are going to cover Dill Pickles occupational therapy. Monday they were supposed to announce which pre-school programs would be closing and which would be staying open. Nope, they changed their minds. Now they are waiting until Friday. Nice. They had better not push it back again because I don't know how much more waiting I can take.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I don't have to wait any longer for a letter from the school to explain what is going on with Dill Pickle's classroom next year. It was on the news last night and in the newspapers today. Next year our great and wonderful city will only be offering the Pre-School for All program in schools that have 93% poverty or more. This means Dill Pickle's current classroom will not be open next year. He will either be in a special education classroom or bussed to a school with 93% or more poverty so that he can be in a pre-school class with typical developing peers. We are beyond upset and angry. He has come so far in the 3 months he's been at his current school. What the (*#@(*&$(* are we going to do?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

17,000 teachers were pink slipped in our state yesterday. Now schools must struggle to find classrooms for some 425,000 or more students who lost a teacher. I know at least one of Dill Pickle's teacher got a slip. I've even heard that next year his classroom won't exist due to budget cuts. He's in a state Pre-School for All classroom. His school district and many, many others have not received their money from the state to help with education. I am hopeful that he will still have some classroom to go to in the fall, afterall he has an IEP that mandates he is in a classroom. But our school district is the largest in the state and they try to get away with "bending" the rules. Dill Pickles and I will not be bent or broken. He will not fall between the cracks. I will not let him.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can someone please explain to me how some of these moms who have 8 kids and homeschool them all find the time to post daily? I have 2 kids and aparently I can't even post once a month. *sigh* At least I updated our bookshelf to show what books we are enjoying this month. Later this week we plan on attending a HUGE flower and garden show. Dill Pickles is obsessed with flowers and plants lately. We hope to put this obsession to good use by starting our garden from seed this year. We'll see how that goes. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to update you on our "Snow Dough" experience from this afternoon. It lasted for all of about 15 minutes. Once we made snowmen the boys took the snowmen apart and started throwing the play dough balls all around the kitchen. Lovely. Snow Dough balls covered in dog hair. While I was excited to try it, next time I think I need to wait longer in between play dough days. We brought out our play dough box on Monday and the boys played happily for over an hour. I guess they used up all of their doughmagination the other day.
It seems that the day goes smoother for Dill Pickles when it's structured and planned. Yea for figuring out what seems to work! Oh my for almost no time to get anything else done. This afternoon we plan on playing with "Snow Dough." The homemade recipe was inspired by a post on My Montessori Journey. Here's the basic idea:

1 c. flour
1/2 cup salt
1 T. cooking oil
1 T. cream of tartar
1 c. water
Food coloring of your choice
Add-ins of your choice (i.e. spices, extracts, glitter, etc.)

I added 1 tsp. of vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp. of a white/shimmering glitter and it doesn't seem like enough. It smells a bit vanilla-like, but I can still smell the salt. I think next time I would add 1 T. of glitter. We'll see how the boys like it this afternoon after nap time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Maybe I really need to start making my Christmas gifts in March! I still need to make my sister's Christmas gift from 2008. I did make a bunch of gifts though. Dill and Sweet Pickles each received a wooden name train. They also got bean bags with a letter from their name on each bag. I think they really like them a lot. Of course I still owe one to my niece as a Christmas gift. My needle kept breaking and I was getting frustrated so I just stopped.

I added a Shelfari to the sidebar. We pick a monthly theme and check out lots of books from the library based on the theme. This month is winter. The boys really like all the books. I can't believe I actually checked out Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. I had to memorize that and a ton of other Frost poems my senior year of high school for English class. I thought I was done with Frost. Aparently not.

I'm really going to try and write more here. I want to. I really do. I am just beat by the end of the day, especially is Daddy Pickles is at the fire house.