Tag Archives: kids

While house sitting, my daughter found 3 Elf on the Shelf dolls…

Elf on the Shelf kind of creeps me out.  But now I see the appeal….  and I worry about how creative my kid is.  lol

I can’t wait to see what our friends and their kids think when they get home.

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This kid went into Detail.  There is an entire book called “An Elf took a Dump in my cup.”

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And then we found out that they aren’t actual Elf on the Shelf dolls.

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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 Rainbow Loom Craze

Well, Santa and grandparents both brought my girls various kinds of looms for Christmas. I was amazed at how inept I am at following basic instructions, but once we got it, my girls haven’t stopped.

My tips are to watch YouTube tutorials and my mom had the brilliant but simple hack of sorting colors in muffin tins.

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Filed under Children, Crafts and Gifts, talents, Uncategorized

DIY Water Blob via Pinterest attempt

Over a week of 100+ degrees and our swampcooler and sprinklers broke.  Our grass was dying and our already tired of being together girls were about ready to kill each other. It was time to pull out the big guns.  Mom’s best resource… my Pin board.

You might have seen this on Pinterest.  The concept is appealingly simple.  EVERYONE makes this seem so easy.

1 roll of thick, clear plastic sheeting

Duct tape

Garden hose

Voila!  A lovely way to cool off that looks oh, so easy to put together. Right?  Ugh.  Wrong.

First off, Duct taping this baby alone is already really freaking tricky.  With excited little girls bouncing around, it is nearly impossible.  ADVICE:  Find two other grownups and don’t have the kids around.

Second, if there is event he slightest incline in your yard, don’t do it.  As it fills with water, it looks like a waterbed mattress… a King size.  It is heavy.  I tried this the first time and couldn’t even take a pictures as we have an almost unnoticeable incline in our front yard and as soon as it got enough water that I couldn’t move it, it began rolling, so sneakily, toward the street.

Third, If you do this where the neighborhood will see it, you will get hoards of happy children jumping on it, even if it isn’t done yet. It seems so awesome to them that they can’t help it. As it was rolling down toward the street, I was trying desperately to hold this giant water bladder up so little feet and legs weren’t trapped as it rolled forward.  But oh, were those kids happy.

Fourth.  LEAKS.  No matter how much we taped it, there were leaks.  DO NOT USE THE CUTESY DUCT TAPE.  It isn’t water resistant.  I recommend Gorilla Tape… a lot of it.

After the front yard fiasco, we drained it, and let it dry for another day to use in the back yard.  I decided I would be really smart and turn it inside out, taping it AGAINfrom the other side.  It was DOUBLE TAPED on the inside and out.

It still leaked.

Lastly, none of the post I saw talked about the last corner where the hose was filling it up.  After much debate, we decided to burp the blob of as much air as we could at about half way full and tape the hose IN TO the blob, since it was leaking anyway.

Even in our seemingly FLAT back yard, it still rolled to the point that we made a barricade. This worked and the kids had a blast that I’m still not sure was worth the headache.  But it made for good, clean fun in 103 degrees and looks great in a scrapbook.

It also makes a delightful addition to a water fun obstacle course.

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Filed under Children, DIY, Family, Home and Lawn, Motherhood, Pinterest Attempts

10 things you need to know about school Bullying

1. It doesn’t just happen to the “weird” kids.  All it takes is someone with a chip on their shoulder finding someone else to take their issues out on. It isn’t just being different.  Sometimes it can merely be a power trip.  How they justify that is varied.

2. There is no singular advice that “fixes” bullying and no perfect way to go about it.  Bullies are different shapes and sizes and personality types with very different backgrounds.  What works with one might not with another. as a parent, you need to go with instinct and what you think will help your child feel safest.

3. There are options, but you have to be ready for the consequences of non-action vs. action vs. reaction.  Give your child comfort and understanding.  You know your child, help them know they are safe with you and that you want to help them be safe at school.

4. Teachers and faculty have to jump through a lot of hoops to resolve a situation and no one wants to label a child a “Bully.”

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English: the picture consist of articles on bullying, I obtained it from public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5.  Labels are big no-nos now for both the bullied and the bully.  You’ll have better luck not using words like “Picked on” or “Bullied” or “Tormented.”  Instead when discussing the problem with both children and faculty, just explain the situation and ask questions.  Calmly explain how you feel and listen to what they say, even if you don’t like it.

6. DOCUMENT.  Bullying is hard to prove.  Every scratch, scrape,  and bruise you know is coming from a bully, document.  Schools need “proof” now.  Once you know there is a problem, record the time, place and situation, every time your child comes home crying or upset at name calling or being excluded, etc.  Write down names of witnesses or if things happen at a certain time or place.

7. Communicate about what you want to do to help, and how it will happen with the victim. Give them options. Ask them if they want you to do that.  You need their cooperation to get help.  i.e. if you talk to school administration and want action and they see your child playing with the bully at recess like there isn’t a problem.  Or they interview your child and your child says it wasn’t a big deal and they just want to go.  It’s hard to work with.

8. Policies and legislation are different everywhere.  So are the definitions of bullying.  Do your homework and make sure your particular issue goes along with those guidelines the school has and DOCUMENT to support your claims. USE THE RIGHT CHAIN OF COMMAND.

9. While trying to make sense of the situation, a lot of victims start rationalizing how they deserve this treatment.  Listen to your child.  Make sure you don’t imply that they have a reason to be bullied, but ask if they think there is.  Those thoughts can be dangerous.  It will help your child in the long run, to know where their mind is.  Remind them that everyone has worth and a right to be safe and free of harm and ridicule.

10. Get advice.  There is a horrible issue today about keeping quiet about these things.  You don’t want your child to fight the battle alone, and there’s no reason for you to do so either.  So many people have dealt with this that can give you expert advice and even those who offer extreme suggestions can be learned from.

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