Category Archives: Family

DIY Baby Snuggler Swaddle Wrap

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Part II of the recent baby shower gift I put together. These snuggler swaddle wraps seem to be popping up on all the registries lately and so I thought perhaps I would make a pattern so my lovely friends could have them in patterns of their choice (instead of the limited styles they have at the store). I made this one as part of the most recent baby shower gift I put together and in doing so I was able to make it out of really cute flannel monster fabric…and I was able to save $20.00 over the cost of the swaddler at Target. The way I see it…that’s win/win. After all If I can make it for less….my friends get more 🙂

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First I started by googling snuggle swaddlers so I could break down the pieces needed to create one of my own. There are a surprising number of free patterns from sewing to knitting. I took the opportunity to really assess a few for sewing and then drew out my own. Above is the pattern I made by taping together a few pieces of paper (I used some from the last presentation I went to at work so as not to waist fresh printer paper but do as you like. News paper works well for patterns as well and allows for less taping on small projects like this) and then drawing and cutting out the basic pattern. The straight areas of these patterns line up with the center fold of the fabric you are using. Next iron fabric and cut out both pieces twice (once for the outer shell and once for the liner)

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Next sew together pleats where all of the triangle cut outs appear in the pattern above -2 sets at the feet and one set at the shoulders (as you can see I added two pleats to the bottom of the main piece so it would line up with and match the front pocket piece). Then line up your outer shell and your liner (with the outer patterns facing in and sew from foot pleat to foot pleat leaving an opening between the pleats. Turn both pieces right side out and iron.

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With the outer shell patterns facing in again line up the bottom foot pleats of the main body and the front pouch and sew from armpit to armpit. I used my surger to finish off the fabric at the toes to remove all raw edges. Then flip right side out for an almost completed project. At this point you can happily hold up your very recognizable swaddler and parade around the room proudly showing what you have accomplished.

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Finally attach Velcro as your securing method. I placed a strip of Velcro on the top of the front pouch for the first fold. I placed two pieces horizontally and one piece vertically for the second fold (this allows the front piece to be adjustable based on the size of the baby).

**Update…the swaddle and sleep sack were a great success. Another successful baby shower gift complete.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Motherhood, parenting

DIY Baby Sleepsack

20141117_124520 Baby sleepsacks are all the rage throughout the winter months as they keep new babies nice and warm without new parents having to worry about bulky blankets which are a risk for smothering and infant death. Sleepsacks can be purchased at just about every baby store and online registry these days…but many are expensive and there are limited prints and styles. Here is one I made as a baby shower gift for a friend – the total cost was (hopefully my friend doesn’t see this post) about $5.00. There are many variations (zippers in the front instead of snaps, or Velcro along the sides, or even kimono style wrap front designs), no matter which style you choose these are always sure to be a big hit.

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I started by picking a fabric I knew my friends would enjoy (they had registered for other fun monster print items) and then I mapped out a pattern. If you already have a sleepsack handy you can literally just trace the one you have. If you don’t you can make a paper pattern by looking up different styles as I did here. (I also used a baby onesie (3-6months) when creating the pattern to ensure the neck and arm holes would be big enough for baby to fit into them comfortably.)

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Next cut out the pattern  x 4- front and back of the outside and front and back of the liner. I used a crushed velvet material for the liner and a flannel for the outer shell. Then sew from armpit to armpit leaving about 3 inches of space on one side (this will allow the sleepsack to open so the baby can be placed inside). You can see my opening where I have left pins in the liner.

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Flip the two pieces inside out and stuff the outer shell into the liner and sew together the arm pit holes and the yolk of the neck. You can close the top of 3 shoulders but leave one open so you can turn the sack right side out.

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Open the whole you have left at the top of the shoulder and proceed to stuff the sack through it turning the whole thing right side out.

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Now you only need to close up one hole and get ready to add buttons or snaps. I used a blind hem to  close the top of the shoulder so it would match the other three however you can use a straight stitch over the top after you tuck in all the raw unfinished edges.

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Finally add buttons to the top for a clean finished look and snaps to the insides of one shoulder and the open side. I used the button on the left to secure the left shoulder (it doesn’t open). The button on the right is just for decoration as safety snaps are what the parents actually use to close the garment up. Vowalla one happy custom sleepsack ready for a new baby.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Motherhood, parenting

Bat-Themed Kids Group Costumes

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When it comes to costumes I have a couple of rules. Fun, Warm, and durable.

Having four girls is rough business for dressing alike.  I tried to do it a lot when they were younger and then thought they’d hate it later and so it wasn’t worth the effort to find that much of one thing.  My girls find their own way of matching anyway. Weeping Angels last year and this year they wanted to do Batman Characters.  They were inspired by these pics on Pinterest.  (I can’t find the original source of these and they are just awesome, so if you know, tell me so I can add the right credit)

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The Cosplayer part of me wanted to take these and make them a little less poofy and more comic booky or kid appropriate gritty.  I started brainstorming.  Batman and Robin for the little girls wasn’t a big deal.  Joker with a tutu was going to e interesting, and Poison Ivy… well my Poison Ivy is 12.  I wanted her covered and still looking like a pre-teen.  A Challenge!

Confession time, unlike my wonderful counterpart Lexivsblog, I do not sew.  Machines drive me batty. Last year’s angel dresses were like a Grandma sweat shop.  My mom is a wonderful and giving woman.  Anything for her grandkids.  This year, I wanted to close down the sweat shop and give mom a break. I needed something that avoided the sewing machine.  These pins the girls picked out looked promising and I decided to use what I could from them with what we had around the house as much as possible.  The only times I make costumes is when it is cheaper than buying.  I wanted it done on the cheap.

The first thing I needed was the crocheted top.  I found these 10 inch tutu tops at The Hair Bow Company, and I was super happy to see that they are lined with a soft fabric.  At $4.25/each this was the most expensive part of their costumes.  Next I found Net instead of tulle for a grittier, gauzy look at 1.25/yrd.  I got four yards for each girl, not knowing how much I would need.

I used this fantastic cutter, cutting 4 in strips of the net.

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Then I tied the net through the crocheted top.

One half knot worked just fine.  It doesn’t come out easy.

Also…  word to the wise, netting rips really easily.  Be gentile.

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The skirt with cutting and tying, took about 30 minutes and for Robin’s fluffier, shorter costume, only used two yards. The others were equal to or less than two yards.  I have a TON left over.

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Not too shabby for about $7 and 30 minutes

but it needed more,,, and I was really worried about warmth and wardrobe malfunctions.

I poured through the girls’ closets for black long sleeved shirts and black leggings.

I also went through the dress-up bin and found an old Batman costume that was really worse for wear, dating all the way back to 2008.  All that was left was the mask and main piece.

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I cut out the Bat symbol from the old costume, and used the mask, and cut off the cape.  The sweat shop did open for making the bottom part of this costume into a skirt for Poison Ivy.

Robin’s R is a paper print out of the Teen Titans’ Robin Logo sewed onto a black felt circle.

Next came Poison Ivy’s Bodice.  The greenery I had was from an artificial grape vine. I stuffed the top with phone books and hot glued the leaves on, leaving the sides for stretchiness.  As it was, it was STILL hard to get her into it after.  If you do this, REALLY STRETCH the crocheted top before gluing.

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I wasn’t loving the plain-ness of the top so I added some tool which turned out to be very glittery.

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I used the same loops in the top to add some color to the top. I also hot glued a flower of the red tool and some Christmas holly berried to the center.

For the Joker’s costume I made a tulle tie and flower, but it just didn’t have the umph that I wanted.

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I poured through Joker costumes and comic book pics and realized that there are many versions of the Joker.

But What is consistent was that the Joker always has a sense of style and flair.  That’s what I was missing.  If the Joker were a girl and the kind of Dame to wear a tutu, what would she need?  I freaking fascinator, that’s what.

I cut a sort of pointy oval shape out of felt, hot glued some net for over the face, and tied a few shorter strips of the colored netting I had into a knot and hot glued that onto the felt and face netting.  Then I added a $.25 purple Christmas bobble to the top, twisting the stem through the knot.  It seriously took 5 minutes.

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I wasn’t sure how it would look bobby pinned on, but it turned out well!

I also added, from our button bin, a Card Fan tie clip and Cuff links.

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The costumes wear really well.

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So, I spent about 4-5 hours, and somewhere between $25-$30 total for four costumes… not too shabby!

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Filed under Budget, Children, Cosplay, Costumes, DIY, Family, parenting, Pinterest Attempts

The Vaccine Controversy

We are coming up on cold and flu season and a time when people begin to speak up more heatedly about vaccination. From seasonal vaccines to childhood vaccines- people begin to defend their point of view on the validity and necessity of such a practice. I am a nurse and have written posts defending my point of view on this topic more than once. I have collected studies and data to compile for collegiate papers while obtaining my degree, and did so again after obtaining a position as a full time RN for the benefit of staff and patient education. I have seen the devastating, and sometimes non-reversible, effects of  preventable illness on young children and their families. I have provided care and treatment for these families in their times of crisis, and have as a result found myself firmly rooted in a position for vaccination. However, today instead of once again writing my own article and simply leaving a trail of links for studies at the end I thought I would let the articles and research of physicians/scientists do the talking. Please find below just 2 links abounding with research and MORE links for your review. Wishing you all a happy and healthy day!

From: Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism: Healthcare Triage 12

“Humans try to make sense of the world by seeing patterns. When they see a disease or condition that tends to appear around the time a child is a year or so old, as autism does, and that is also the age that kids get particular shots, they want to put those things together. Parents watch kids more carefully after they get shots. Sometimes they pick up on symptoms then. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other. This is why we need careful scientific studies.”

 

From Violent Metaphors : Dr. Jennifer Raff

http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

Dear parents, you are being lied to.

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50 shades of–where did decent writing go?

After the debut of the 50 Shades of Grey preview, my social media has exploded with pros and cons, excitement and condemnation, and all around judgment of any of those opinions.  As with anything that is so largely talked about, one tends to get an opinion rather quickly.  If one blogs, one itches to share that opinion, hoping for a new outlook to entertain, amuse or otherwise invoke in the reader an emotional response in hopes of gaining more said readers… You still following?  I highly doubt this is anything original, but for years, I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on the 50 shades phenomenon and this is it.

Here’s the thing with me:  I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, or any of its trilogy.  Honestly, it isn’t my bag.  I tend to lean toward fantastic and epic adventures (more stereotypically read by the band geeks that ate lunch playing Magic in High School) than what is becoming widely known as “Mommy Porn.” What I have is an issue with the current lack of storytelling  and how that affects the next generation. This series seems a perfect example.

However, my curiosity was piqued as I do tend to want to see what the hub-bub is about when EVERY WOMAN ON EARTH, or so it seems, refers to or simply gushes over anything in a mass pop culture vomiting of social media over it.  So, a few years back when it hit my radar the first time, I asked my husband if he had heard of these books.  –Now, I’m female, and I totally read into every last twitch of an expression my other half makes without thinking, but I swear—He seemed to go through a look of concern like “Why, are you going to read them?” and then sheer amusement as he told me about this Stephen Hawking voice online that reads a horribly written sex scene from 50 Shades involving a female sanitary item.  He said it was exceptionally badly written even aside from the abhorrent content, and then warily asked if I had considered reading the books.

To my recollection, I laughed at the idea—honestly assuming that it was a spoof-ish thing, not having any clue what these books were about.  Yet, going back to my news feeds, it was there gain, staring me in the face.  The internet post version of drooling over a male character, the likes of which I hadn’t seen since Mr Darcy (other than Edward Cullen, whom I’m still convinced is a practical joke played on the literary world/female population that backfired and shouldn’t count.)  I then turned to my go to Wikipedia and other such sites.  I also looked up and read snippets from the books.  My thoughts went something like this:

Fan Fiction from Twilight?  No thanks.  Stephanie Meyer won’t associate with it?  Dang, that speaks volumes.  Story about a gorgeous but tragically-unaware-that-she’s-gorgeous chick who needs to get some and finds an emotional baggage laden S&M fan to get some with? –What?– The plotline, if it can be called that, is simply a tug of war between her wanting him to be a normal partner and his wanting to harm her physically to get off?  No thank you *backs away slowly, imagining already kind of creepy Edward running around pulling tampons out of people* 

I lost a bit of my faith in Humanity the day I finally listened to the Stephen Hawking reading and found it so uncomfortably funny (because of the voice reading it) and so revolting at the same time.  It wasn’t even well written!  I tried to make justifications that weren’t “mommy porn” such as a lack of modern literature that entices the populace—but I hated that because if badly written S&M and dominated females is what the populace wants, please oh please, don’t mass produce THAT!   I have four book worm daughters that I want to be confident and intelligent women who respect men–but they’d darn well better be respected back!   That goes for authors and relationships, by the way.

Now that the trailer is out, I have to agree with Matt Walsh that a boycott is in order.  Why?  Because we have to draw the line somewhere.  You know what my favorite movie this summer has been?  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  It isn’t because I love science fiction or fantasy—which I do.  It is because there was more story and depth in that film than most of the last few years movies put together.

What we see, what we put in to our minds through our senses and through our interactions with each other, effect who we are.  You ever hear “You are what you eat?”  That goes for your mind as well.  I’m tired of being spoonfed garbage in the book store and the box office.  We need to demand more.

Writers! If you want to entertain me–enlighten me, enthrall me, thrill me—but entreat my mind to feel that.  Not just my shock value and adrenaline and/or hormones.  Just like “mommy porn” shouldn’t be a basis for a book or film, neither should “disaster porn”.  Writers need to unlock the stories that grab the stuff they are stitched together with and they need to bleed it on to the page.  That is what I want. It can be funny, dramatic–anything really as long as it is a part of you that needs to be told.  You can even add city destruction if you really must or giant robots, because they can be awesome, but for the love of humanity WRITE.  CREATE.  Don’t pander to me.  I’m in my own head if I was solely entertained there, I wouldn’t outsource.  Make me feel and think new ideas.  Break molds that aren’t an insult to my intelligence or integrity.  It is a tall order, but if you want my money, my devotion and for me to purchase your next work and suggest it to my friends, it is the very least you can do.  You aren’t a money machine, you are an artist.  Make a work of art.

Women, for the sake of our daughters, don’t show them that real literature is lack of character development, decent dialogue, and plot.  Let their imaginations thrive on how great they can be someday, where they can go, and what adventures life can lead to.  Help them see that life can have ups and down like a story, but life isn’t the bedroom.  “Life” is the meat of the plot that drives the book to be fascinating.  Your characters grow and explore and are whimsical, or dramatic and deep.  Again, the bedroom isn’t the main course of life, it is the dessert. Let our girls know that desserts should be sweet and enjoyable.  Let them see that the sky is the limit and all good things are possible.  But teach them that the “nice guy” who would treat them like royalty is the one they want instead of romanticizing rich and exclusive emotional baggage turned abusive as an ideal beau.

I can't find the picture credit for this, so if you have it, let me know.

I can’t find the picture credit for this, so if you have it, let me know.

Women teach your sons to have taste in actual storytelling, and please let them at least think that you do too.  But more over, teach them something that is consistent when it comes to our gender.  It is downright confusing to teach them to be gentlemen, and then ogle the opposite.  Please teach them that a gentleman isn’t a suit and full wallet; it is an ideal of how to interact with other people.  Nurture that chivalrous ability they have that is so charming and to have strength of character.  To stand for what they believe in, to use their common sense and way they look at the world to compliment their potential mate.

I return, I’ll raise my daughters to understand that sexy isn’t cold, bland men with issues in the bedroom, but someone you can enjoy time with and go on adventures together, even if they aren’t romantic world travel getaways and look more like Malcom in the Middle episodes.  But you can bet that when my kids grow up and life gives them the days that there isn’t much to talk about but books, movies and such, they’ll have more on their mind to talk about than garbage novels and their movie counterparts.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Children, Family, Fiction, Motherhood

Pioneer Day Treat/Craft

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Pretzels sticks, peanut/almond butter, Bananas and Blueberries make a covered wagon.

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Filed under Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Holidays

The Vaccine Controversy & Jenny McCarthy

Standing in the line at the Super Market I find myself regularly perusing the magazines that line the checkout counter. I know they are mostly fluff (all arts and leisure with a hearty splashing of Hollywood blah blah) but I can’t help myself…it’s there and so readily available. I only read the covers on the Hollywood blah blah magazines (I admittedly sift through articles from the home improvement and food mags), you know so I can keep up with the headlines of pop-culture LOL. Most days it’s a quick look with little to catch my attention for any longer than it takes to ring up my basket of groceries, but every once in a while I spot something that makes me look a bit more close, last night happened to be one of those nights. There staring back at me was a smiling Jenny McCarthy holding her son, whom she has claimed for many years, has autism as a result of infant vaccines. Head lining the picture “Vaccines” and “Autism” could be seen from 3 checkout counters over so I was moving on pretty quickly…before I realized what the full headline really was. According to the article Jenny McCarthy had stated in a TimeMagazine interview that her son may NOT have had Autism after all. Well, a day later that article is being picked a part and Jenny McCarthy is saying it isn’t true…but there is was before the public once again…the question of a link between Autism and Vaccines.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/jenny-mccarthy-report-of-new-stance-on-autism-vaccines-irresponsible-and-inaccurate-1.1617795

Here’s the truth. I took a double take at that article because I am a nurse…in fact I am a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and Pediatric nurse and I take childrens health very seriously. I have nieces and nephews and hundreds of patients whom I care very deeply about and seeing their wellfare placed in jeopardy over and over again without evidence drives me bonkers! I am all about questioning what we do in medicine because I know that questioning things is how we find great advancements. I know that when we break down what we are doing and why we are doing it- we learn. We learn that some things we have done for years (such as using alcohol swabs to dry umbilical cords)may no longer be necessary….we also learn that some things (such as oral suctioning to prevent pneumonia) continue to be prevelant and very necessary for the well being of those we care for.  It is absolutely vital that we question our practices…BUT it is more important that we research and perform studies to answer our questions. We don’t simply question something, find a few similar cases and decide we have a grand factual finding. We have to break down hundreds if not thousands of cases; we have to look at the science and the written reports before we can come to a definitive conclusion.

As far as Vaccines go I have yet to see reports or studies or papers in medical journals which have clearly and scientifically linked Vaccines to Autism or any other illness similar….and I look regularly. As I said I have a large number of people who are counting on me to have their best interest in mind, and that includes looking to see what the latest research says before I walk into a room to ask a parent if they want me to vaccinate their infant or child.

Naturally after such an article was published and placed on stands in a wide variety of super markets there have been an outpouring of posts on facebook, twitter and personal blogs about childhood vaccines (both pro and con). In the interest of full disclosure I must admit I am pro-vaccine because I have found research to show its benefits and have not yet found any which can solidly refute it. In fact, the only one that came close was quashed quickly. Here’s the link to an article looking at the original publication which brought up Autism and Vaccines together. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136032/

This is a website I was told about by a parent of one of my patients. http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/growing-up-unvaccinated/  It is a parent run website/movement and I must admit I am very impressed with how professional it looks, the stories and honesty of those on it, as well as the fact that they clear all of their info with physicians and scientists before they report. It is very pro-vaccine…no hiding or pretending here.   http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/growing-up-unvaccinated/

Finally…Information on vaccines from 2 organizations who dedicate their existance to finding the best practice for our worlds communities. Perhaps it is because I have friends who have worked for both of these organizations over the years (and who I know have spent countless hours in small reasearch tents in third world countries trying to find links and traits and cures)…but I trust them. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) http://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/ and the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

Bottom Line – I’m not saying everyone needs to agree with me and run out and vaccinate your children…BUT I do think WE ALL need to make sure we stay well educated so we can make the most informed decisions possible.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Day!

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Halloween Party on a Budget

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This year has been very busy.  I have an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old that have birthdays just about a month apart.  Like children do, they reminded me well after both birthdays had passed, that I had promised them each a party the year before and we had only done family celebrations.

I could have told them to deal, but we’ve never really had a reason to have an October party before.  Fun!  So, I decided to plan a party, that would entertain loads of giggling 7-12 year old girls.

The 11-year-old told me she didn’t want cake or cupcakes…  She wanted Fondue.  So, on the invite, we gave simple food assignments for a Bewitching Fondue Soiree.  I tweaked this gorgeous invite you can find here:

http://serendipitycreative.blogspot.com/2011/10/freebie-you-are-cordially-invited-to.html

One pot of cheese Fondue, and one of chocolate.

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Every child invited was assigned Fruit, veggies, or bread to share.

Later, for the “birthday cake” we dipped angel food cake into the chocolate.

Time for games.  I went to a party store and got a roll of carnival tickets for $2.  For each game, I doled out tickets.  the same amount for each participant and extra for the “winner”.  Then, at the end of the party, they got prizes Chuck E. Cheese style.

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Some of Our Party Games:

Witchy Races.  Two girls, one broom, no hands.  They had to “fly” from start to finish.

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Ghost-Busting: It is a carnival game.  You get three shots to knock down the TP ghosts.  We went through a few rounds.

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courtesy of girlsvsblog

courtesy of girlsvsblog

The Making of the Mummy:  This one I was too busy helping with to take a pic.  With the TP from Ghost busting, you have a mummy wrapping contest.

Balloon-pop Charades:  Place charade ideas inside of balloons (i.e. Ghost, Ghoul, bat, vampire, etc.) and the kids take turns sitting on the balloon until it pops, and then playing charades normally.

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Paranoia Party Hats:  We had a hat making contest, using foil and scotch tape.  Let the kids be creative and do their own thing.  We gave awards to each kid.

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The Vampire Count Game: We found this at a kiosk in a mall in Denver over a decade ago.  The kids love it.  You can find the game here:

http://www.amazon.com/Daves-25-Anytime-Family-Games/dp/B000FEW3QA

It is like hide and seek and murder in the dark combined.  The kids each take a card and secretly look at it.  one of them will have the Vampire count and the rest a gravestone with a funny name on it.  Everyone, including the vampire goes and hides in the dark.  After a few seconds, the vampire gets up, starts shuffling around as silly as possible, trying to make everyone laugh so he can find them.  No one runs, they have to stay put.  once touched by the vampire count, they become one too until everyone is shuffling around acting silly. Then the lights go on.

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Filed under Budget, Children, DIY, Family, Food and Drink, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, Party Planning

Halloween – 5 Fun Facts

Fun facts about  HALLOWEEN!

1. Did you know Halloween was started in Ireland by the celts roughly 2000 years ago, and didn’t become popular in America until the beginning of the 1900’s. Originally Halloween was called Samhain (last days of summer) and was actually the end of the pagan calendar. People lit bonfires and celebrated in costume to greet the coming new year.

2. Black cats were considered bad luck for many decades because of a belief in the Dark Ages that cats were demonic familiars. They were thought to be found at the houses of witches. Now, black cats are considered good luck in Ireland especially if they cross your path!

3. The tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns also found its origins in Ireland. Celtic folklore tells the story of the Drunken Farmer Jack who tricked the devil into promising never to take his soul. Unfortunately Jack lived a sinful life and couldn’t get into heaven either. Lost in the darkness Jack asked how he would find his way…the devil then jokingly tossed him an ember from hell that would never go out…jack placed the ember in a carved turnip (later would become a pumpkin) and used the lantern to light his way as he wondered the earth for eternity looking for a place to rest. Later people carved the lanterns and set them on their stoops to help light the way for lost souls/ghosts and carved scary faces to ward of unsavory devils looking to take advantage.

4. Witches – originated from the Pagan Goddess “Earth Mother” or “The Crone.” She was meant to symbolize wisdom and the changing of the seasons. She was considered good and was worshiped (respected)…she later morphed into the symbol of evil and dark magic as cultures and religions changed in the region.

5. Dressing up as Ghouls and Goblins on Halloween…Celts believed that by dressing up on Samhain (when the veil between the world of the living and the dead was thinnest – and spirits could walk the earth) as a ghouls or goblin would trick the evil spirits walking the earth into thinking you were one of them; there by preventing them from capturing you and stealing your soul.

 

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Filed under Family, Halloween, Holidays

Porcupines and a Memory

At least once a week, my girls and I visit my husband’s grandma who has reached that point where she can’t leave her house and gets rather depressed.  her mind is fine, but her body is failing.  I want my girls to be able to understand that caring for someone is more than cleaning or just sitting.  It is realizing what they need.  When we talked about it, we decided Grandma misses being in charge of anything.  People take care of her and visit, but she is losing the ability to make decisions and plan out what to do in situations.  One of her favorite things to do was cook, but it is hard to lift or handle hot things.  So we found one of her old recipes that she could handle and had her help the girls make it.  I haven’t seen her this happy in a while.

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Porcupines– Think Rice Crispy Treat wrapped around the marshmallow instead of mixed with it.

I have her recipe card which has her handwriting on it and the woman she got the recipe from.  I love that she has the box still with all of that delicious history and labors of love.  A grandmother’s recipe box is a treasure chest of memories and tastes of childhood and culture.

Porcupines

Add everything but the Mallows and Crispies:

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Melt in microwave and stir well.

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Use a fork to roll a marshmallow in caramel.

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Roll in Rice Crispies and place on waxed paper to cool.

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It made for a fun memory for the kids and Great-Grandma.  She perked up and was able to go through a recipe guiding the girls.  No oven needed, no stress and the mess was easily handled.

Oh, and they are fantastic… and addictive.

 

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Filed under Children, Family, Food and Drink, Motherhood, Recipes