Kids Bedroom Wall Art Decor

Yay! After collecting unique pieces from here and there…. I finally completed the wall art collages for both the kids’ rooms! We ended up moving, so I got a chance to kind of move things around a little bit…. but you can see how it started out, along with when I was making one of the glitter shoe pieces myself.
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Okay… So where are some of these goodies all from?

Bicycle – After Valentine’s Day clearance at Target

The two small square canvas art – Dollar section at Target

Fabulous Me – $10 clearance at Target

Green Owl – On sale for $4.99 at Kohls

Keep Calm and Sparkle On – Purchased a print from Etsy and put in a frame from Target

Pink Crown – Hobby Lobby – Don’t forget the 40% coupon!

Glitter Shoe – DIY see link above.

Cinderella quote – $4.99 Kohls

Chandelier Canvas Art – Ethereal Vision from Oliver Gal (but I happened to find it priced down on Zulily!)

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One another side of my daughter’s room, I found the pink chevron board from Hobby Lobby when I ordered the crown… and the cute Owl vinyl wall art was from Dollar Tree!! weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

 

 

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For my little man…. the goodies came from:

Teal Chevron board – Target

Keep Calm and Go Get Mom/Wake up and Be Awesome – $4.99 on sale at Kohls

The large Initial Letter – $11.99 at Ross

You are my Sunshine – $7.99 at Marshalls

A Little Man Sleeps Here – Print ordered from Etsy and frame from Target

Robot Wood Cut-Out – Etsy

Mustache (its actually a corkboard) – Kohls

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Toddler Breakfast Eating: Banana Raisin Granola Porridge

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I feel like breakfast is the one meal that I have struggled the most with in terms of finding things that are healthy and with variety to feed my children in the morning. Let’s not forget that it should be quick too – because 1) I’m not a morning person and 2) I don’t cook. This comes from a person who usually just grabs a protein shake to-go as I’m running out the door to go do a gazillion things… Or I turn to caffeine for myself to wake me up and suppress my appetite. Sigh. But of course, I wouldn’t do that to my kids! So here’s the thing…. My daughter doesn’t like eggs. My son dabbles with it. Both will do the pancake thing but I’m not too enthusiastic about how much they soak it with syrup. Plus, if they do eat pancakes, I’d prefer it be some healthy homemade version I’ve seen a recipe for on Pinterest. But… remember I’m not a morning person and I don’t cook… so therefore, it is unlikely that I’d be up every morning making pancakes for my little people.

Surprisingly enough… my kids have been eating nearly the SAME breakfast (variation) since they were both 15 months old? (Around there). Its crazy that they are ok with eating similar breakfast day in and day out. Its basically a toddler variation of of the rice cereal that they at as babies. To be honest, its like softer version of adult oatmeal in my opinion, which is why I titled it “porridge”. I’ve actually bought some Steel Oats to try and make other variations of oatmeal, but the kids are still happy with this breakfast, so I’m not one to try and fix something that isn’t broken. This post is specifically about Banana Raisin Granola…. but – I’ll list some other fruit variations we do at the bottom. The base – the cereal is all the same. The variation is all in the fruit that’s mixed.

Nonetheless, my kids like it, and its healthy, organic, and its a great way for them to start the day. Here’s how it goes:

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So what’s not pictured here: Horizon 2% DHA Milk (or whatever milk you want to use) and an organic Banana.

Directions – Warm up about 2-3oz of milk in the microwave. Mix in about 3 tablespoons of the baby cereal (I alternate between the HappyBellies multi-grain, rice, and oatmeal) or as much to get the consistency you like. Then I mash/dice in 1/2 a banana. My daughter likes a 1.5 tablespoons of the granola and dumps a box of the organic raisins in.  Mix…… and she kills it!

This is my daughter’s favorite variation.

Other fruit variations that we rotate through: (Note – my kids like the granola added in no matter what fruit it is. This started more recently – I’d only do it for experienced eaters because they are really crunchy with some big pieces)

– Applesauce – You can buy the 4oz snack packages in organic apple flavor and non-organic I have found a berry flavor as well. I usually add cinnamon sometimes instead of buying the cinnamon flavored applesauce.

– Pear – Trader Joes sells the 4oz snack packages of pear sauce – this is great for the younger kids. My kids are older now, so I usually get a can of diced pears or use the Dole’s diced Pears 4oz snack packages that are come in 100% juice – not syrup! My kids like to drink the juice after I’ve put all the diced pieces into their bowl.  Don’t forget fresh pears are always good!

– Passion Fruit – My daughter likes the passion fruit that comes from the Dole’s Tropical Fruit cups – again – the one in 100% juice!

– Mango or Peach Mango – For this one, I usually buy frozen organic peaches and Trader Joes has frozen organic mangoes. I put enough to fill a small sauce pan and boil it with some water until its pretty soft. Then I drain the fruit and toss it in the Magic Bullet and smooth it out a bit. These end up in small 2oz containers in the fridge – or freezer if you make a lot. Each breakfast serving usually requires about 2oz of fruit.

-Blueberry or Blueberry/Raspberry – Similar to Mango, buy the frozen organic fruit and boil it in a saucepan. For the berries, no need to puree – just spoon it into the bowl and/or containers.

 

P.S. If you are wondering what happens when we aren’t home and are traveling? Well…. for the most part, if you are staying at a house or somewhere with a microwave and fridge, then just bring a can of the rice cereal. You can buy milk and bananas anywhere to make a simple breakfast version. On days when I’m just doing a quick overnighter somewhere or staying at someone’s house – I usually grab the Gerber Graduates Breakfast – apple cinnamon oatmeal. The kids like it. 🙂

My new favorite Pinata filler! Knobby Balls!

This year, my nanny was able to head down to Tijuana and pick up this HUGE, and I mean, HUGE pinata for only $13. It looked amazing, but then I thought… crap. what am I going to fill it up with!?!?
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I always high up the after Easter sale at Target to pick up the candy for my kids’ parties (stock up for May and July no prob). But I thought this year, it would be good to do a larger filler for the pinata. I saw these balls filled up with a pinata before at a local store…. so I went on eBay and found a listing for 50 of these 4.5 inch “knobby” balls for $19.99! Had to pay $10 shipping… but still!
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Got a foot pump at our local Ace Hardware store for $10. Which I could probably use in long run for other things anyways.

It was total success! For a bunch of kids 6 and under… they were totally happy with all the balls that came bouncing out of the pinata unexpectedly.
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Definitely going to do that one again!

Check out pix of my lil guy helping to fill the pinata. Heehee.
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Behavior Chart App: iRewardChart

After finding myself struggling more so with getting my soon-to-be 5-yr-old to get up in the morning and to bed in a timely manner… I started to search for a better reward system. I had purchased a behavior clip chart in the past (I just opted to buy a nice one on Etsy because I was short on time and lazy to make one myself), which had made some progress when we first started it – but it just wasn’t enough. See my thoughts on it here.

So I went back on the hunt for something better. I’ve seen all sorts of things floating around for a reward system, star chart, marble jar… all using the same concept of accumulating something in exchange for the behaviors that we want. I like that this is visually more clear to kids their progress and they see what they are working towards (vs. the clip chart that only shows progress).

I settled on iRewardChart Lite on Google Play for Android.

OMG… so far… One week in… this has been a parenting game changer for me. My daughter totally understands the concept – obviously because I know they have a marble jar in her preschool classroom. But I really like it because together, we decided on 4 simple things that I wanted her to accomplish weekly, and then we decided on the rewards that she would like to earn in exchange.

I LOVE that you can earn more than one star in a day and I LOVE that you can lose stars too (red stars). My daughter loves being able to click on the stars herself and track her progress. We talk about how many stars she has, and after a reward, how many she has left, and deciding how she wants to spend the stars that she has earned. Lots of learning opportunities here in my opinion.

I’m keeping it really simple to start with the following tasks: Sharing, Homework, Getting up on time in the AM, Getting ready on time in the PM. For her rewards, I just settled on a handful of things: A new $2 toy (right now she is trying to collect all the My Little Pony toys from McDonald’s), Extra 10 mins iPad time, A new book, A new iPad app, Movie Night, Ice cream. For the most part, each one is valued at 10 stars for now. As she gets more on point, I might up the value or add more enticing high value items. In fact, her birthday is coming up, and I told her that things she didn’t get off her wishlist, we can add to the reward chart.

My 2.5 year old is not quite needing this system yet. We are mostly just working on Sharing, No spitting, and Gentle Hands with him. But I ended up liking this app so much, that I paid for the full version ($3.99) and added him so that he didn’t feel left out with the “stars”.

Looking forward to seeing how this app works for us long-term.

Behavior Clip Chart

Halfway through the Feisty Fours, I was on a mission to curb some tantrums and all sorts of crazy behaviors that needed to be nipped in the bud! I combed Pinterest for ideas and saw a bunch of various Behavior Clip Charts that people made. I went on Google images and found lots of ideas both parents and classrooms used. There are lots of ways to create your own with just scrapbook paper and printing the wording on your own. Definitely an easy DIY!

However, I was strapped for time and a little lazy to be honest…. so I took it to Etsy and found this super cute Behavior Clip Chart with personalized clips for my two kiddos.

So we implemented this… and to be honest, it lasted well for a few weeks before it failed me. Mostly because we weren’t really diligent in enforcing it I think. But I don’t know…. I also think that it just wasn’t that serious in my daughter’s eyes. Perhaps moving up and down the chart didn’t yield enough reward nor consequence? It might work for some people… and I know they use similar in classrooms… but for us… it didn’t. It’s definitely still stuck on our fridge and perhaps I may find use for this method again at a different age.

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The perfect desk for my soon-to-be Kindergartner

Miss V is about to turn FIVE next month…. *sniff* and then off to Kindergarten she goes this fall. *double sniff*

So as she has been starting to have “homework” assignments from preschool and totally getting into drawing/writing, I’ve been on the hunt for THE desk. For me, I was looking for something simple, modern, dark wood, and little-people sized…. and look what I found!!!!

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I fell in love with this KidKraft desk the moment I saw it on Amazon. It looked perfect! But… it was selling for about $168 on Amazon and Walmart too. I had it in my Amazon shopping cart for months and months… until finally this week I found it on Craigslist!!! OMG! And for $100 LIKE NEW. Seriously. I was ecstatic. I picked it up the next day and it was in darn good condition. I must say that its pretty well built in my opinion and perfectly sized for my daughter. She definitely has some room to grow with it. Product info says its recommended for ages 3-8. So I’ll be happy to get a few good years of use with this desk.
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Funny thing is… I was definitely more excited about this desk than she was. I mean, she liked it… but the first thing she ended up saying to me was “But mommy, I don’t have a computer.” hmph. I’m assuming she’s just wondering because she sees that the two “big” desks downstairs both have computers on them. 🙂
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In any case, once I showed her that she could put whatever she wanted in “her” desk drawer and that she could decorate it with a picture frame… she got into it. I’m going to be in search of some cute desk accessories now. Oh. And I’m still on the hunt for a second one – for my lil’ man.

Thank you Craigslist!!! You came through like a champ!

Xylitol and a Successful Dentist Visit!

 

 

 

 

Yay! I’m a proud mama today. Got both kids in to see the dentist and they both did great! My kids have been brushing AND flossing for the longest. I think we started flossing them right before they turned 2. Of course, their teeth are so spaced apart still that they don’t truly need to floss, but it was much easier to start building the habit early when its really nothing to them. Once my daughter turned 4, her teeth started to get closer so I’m glad that she was comfortable getting that floss with fluoride in between her teeth. There are lots of the little floss pick kinds for kids that are colorful and have fluoride.

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My daughter (who is almost 5) definitely tried to fight sitting in the chair at first… ugh. But with some bribing and coaxing by the dentist and I, she did end up sitting through the exam and even got a full polish. Whew!

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My son on the other hand was all smiles and open to the experience this time around. HUGE change from the last two times we came when he was crying his head off just for being on his backside. It was almost intrigued by what was going on and seemed like he was just soaking in the experience. I guess it also helped that his sister went first… so of course, he wanted to do the same. Love his smile!

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And yes! He sat through the polishing as well. Whoo hoo!  I got both kids in and out of the dentist in less than 40 mins. Only one tiny tantrum from my oldest. No cavities and no plaque. See you in 6 months!

P.S. Our dentist gave the kids these lollipops for doing so well. I was like, why is she giving out candy. Well, turns out they are these pretty cool xylitol lollipops. Apparently, recent research shows xylitol is a natural enemy of bacteria. WHAT?

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YES! Read up about the dental benefits of xylitol! Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used in place of conventional sugar. Unlike conventional sugar, it does not cause tooth decay and is produced from natural sources – making it an ideal replacement for sugar or artificial sweeteners. I’m going to start looking into these types of candies when needed as rewards or treats for the kids. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Groupon Deal: What to Expect Gift Set

Whooo! Look what’s on Groupon today! Great deal on the set of books if you are expecting or know someone who is.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Set  for $18.99!

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When shopping on Groupon – Don’t forget to log in through Ebates first to get additional cash back!

Cough Combat

The kids got a lot more coughing going on this season for some reason. In the past, I used Elderberry syrup and last year tried making my own cough syrup with honey and lemon. Nothing was truly effective. As I was browsing through the aisle at Target, I came across Hyland’s Cold ‘n Cough and Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup. I though since my kids are past the infant stage, I could try something a little stronger… although still staying within the boundaries of being “natural”.

Let me just say that I am quite pleased with the two! If my child is only battling a cough, then I reach for Zarbee’s. But when there is a little sniffling or runny nose going on with the cough, then I reach for the Hyland’s. I’m not sure how effective the Hyland’s is in terms of combating a cold, but I will say that my kids have neither developed a fever or anything further then the basic symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, cough). Let’s just say I barely reached for the Tylenol in the past 4 months.

I think that Zarbee’s works really well and quickly. There have been some nights where I can hear my son coughing up a storm! One dose of Zarbee’s and it calms it down enough for him to get a better night’s rest. It’s probably going to be my go-to for the cough for a while (sorry Elderberry).

P.S. When I first tried giving my kids Zarbee’s – it was actually the adult version because that’s what I had in stock at home. I just gave a really small dose – .5ml (my kids are both over 35lbs). Honey Lemon… sounds familiar.

7 Baby Products that make you go Hmmmm

There are many great products and inventions out there that really are innovative and make life better. Then there are the ones that make you go “hmmmmm”

iPotty. – Because it want them to enjoy sitting on the shitter for hours on end.

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The BabyKeeper Hanging Harness.  Because its better than holding the baby while you pee yourself.

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Mr. Milker.  Allows the man to “bond” with the baby, while maybe confusing the hell out of them.

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Poop Alarm. – Because its easier than smelling or peaking at the diaper yourself?

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Tinkle Tube. – Because peeing into a tube is more efficient than teaching your child to simply hold or better steer his penis.

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Potty Mitts. Yes…. I can only imagine the 40 yr-old to wears latex gloves to the restroom because he grew up on Potty Mitts.

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Heelarious Baby Heels  –   Wrong. Just wrong.

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