Saturday, April 26, 2014

Slimer, Take 2

It was about this time last year that we tried making homemade slime, and it was MEMORABLY bad. I still had an entire bottle of Sta-Flo starch though, which I will NEVER use to actually starch a shirt, so I figured we'd give it another go. It went SO SMOOTHLY this time! We tried dumping the glue first and THEN adding starch, which worked much better - the original consistency was rope-y like pumpkin guts but as the kids played it got really stretchy and gooey and PERFECT. They grabbed toys PRIOR to getting down to the business of play, so there was much less yelling on my part.
Oh, yeah - Caroline pretty much only wears a swimsuit these days. Don't be surprised in future posts.
You can practically HEAR the sound effects!
 Caroline explaining how long her slime-snake is

Eli's version of "cheese!"
Patrick's work of art - a slime-encased velociraptor.
The goo has been holding up well kept in a Tupperware, the kids have played with it 3 straight days, so definitely worth the effort! In case I ever want to do it again, and for anyone interested, the recipe is:

 2 bottles of CLEAR glue (roughly 1-1/2 cups, or 10 ounces) and 1-1/2 cups liquid starch.

I'd say easy peasy, but never underestimate the power of a CraftFail ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter 2014

Happy Easter! Also known as, "We Survived!" Easter itself wasn't the problem, though it contributed to it... here was our day:
Sundays are already tough, with Joe working Saturday night and sleeping all Sunday while I tackle the kids into their church clothes and into submission during Sacrament meeting, so Easter Sunday, with high expectations, was especially challenging. I had high hopes, though! I started the night before by hiding the kids' Easter baskets - a HUGE "Thank You!" to both sets of grandparents, who provided Easter basket goodies for everyone. It was such a relief to not have to shop for that myself, I mostly just give myself a pat on the back if I successfully meal plan and shop for basic groceries, forget dragging the kids along and sneaking in Easter treats! So I did the bare minimum by putting the grandparent-purchased goodies into baskets and then hiding them, but my bare minimum was plenty for my kids - they were so excited to find them! Eli was especially excited, he went and found EVERYONES and then just showed them. Caroline was appreciative, she's not good at finding things but VERY good at getting emotional when the item (in front of her face, typically) remains elusive.
Ethan's fuzzy hair has finally grown back! I love it! I also love baby bellies, they're so squishy!
Patrick being a goof with his Skip-It
Caroline looked like a bomb went off in her hair....
...Let's move in for a closer look! GAH!
After Easter baskets (again, THANK YOU grandparents for minimal candy! We enjoy sweets, which everyone got, but nobody went into sugar coma on your watch) we made bunny pancakes. Just for fun, because they're easy.
After pancakes, before getting dressed, we dyed eggs - quickly! I'd boiled them the night before and mixed up the dye alone, in secret, and then encouraged as little decoration as possible. We're going for "done is best!" After eggs we got dressed for church, which had to be extra-fast because I had to be to church EARLY to practice for ward choir, which was performing during sacrament. It's tough for me to get out the door on time with 4 monkeys, but EARLY? Now you're just being cruel! Kari saved my rear and took Ethan and Caroline, I just had the two older boys who behaved themselves while the choir practiced. Unfortunately, the kids didn't feel the need to behave while the choir PERFORMED - Ethan escaped the bounds of the pew and tried to run up on the stand, got intercepted by a sweet teenager with quick hands, and proceeded to scream through the song. When I wasn't at the piano, I was in the pew wrestling Ethan - I seriously had to pull some squeeze holds on him while snapping at the boys to SHHHHHHFORCRAP'SSAKE for the thousandth time and drag Caroline to the potty amid the ruckus. It was the most difficult Sunday I've had since early last year when Ethan was small and nursing, my other kids were small and restless (and couldn't be left alone in the pew while I went and nursed), I was still single on Sundays, and each Sacrament talk was dedicated to parents being better about having their kids be reverent in church. THAT Sunday I cried in the hallway; THIS Sunday I was just frustrated. Improvement! Caroline unfortunately had a 2-hour meltdown during Sunbeams, the 3-year-old class, but I couldn't help her or take her home because I was teaching sharing time in Primary, which occupies me BOTH hours of the last 2 hours of church, so by the end of 3-1/2 LONG hours of Easter service we were READY to go home, relax, and have a fun afternoon.
Finally! fun! Hunting for Easter eggs
Tricky spot!
Eli's offering his help (which she eventually accepted, she was sure a spider was in there and going to bite her)
Their hauls - 4 eggs each. Again, keeping it quick and simple! Even easier, Ethan was asleep during the hunts.
They all peeled one egg to eat - Caroline didn't like it, but Eli loved it! Maybe I'll pack him hard-boiled eggs in his lunches when he goes off to school.
Patrick enjoyed the yolk. Post-picture, though, he went inside and spit it out on the carpet.
That's why pictures are nice - it only captures the MOMENT, not the time around the moment. Looking through some old pictures, when Caroline was a baby, often my house was DESTROYED - toys! books! shoes! cups! house projects! And I think "Holy cow, I did NOT have it together then, did I?" Then I watched some old home videos, kids running around and pulling out toys! books! shoes! cups! and I realized I just had 3 very small kids who excelled at destruction while I was recovering from the trauma of sleep deprivation. The pictures were fun to look at and easy to judge, but the movies made it all come to life and sometimes life is tough. Like my actually Easter versus the pictures of my Easter post. But all in all, Happy Easter! We survived!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Harness the power of the bunny

A few years ago when we lived in Thornton and I worked at Bed, Bath and Beyond I came across a "small dog harness" and thought perhaps it would be small enough that it would fit our large bunny and we could take him on walks. I bought it, but it didn't fit, so I planned to take in some of the seams and it would work like a charm. Cut to YEARS later, to today, and I had the sewing machine out and had recently gone through my craft bin and re-discovered my good intentions of walking our bunny, so I made some magic happen! Took in every seam there was and then headed to the bunny cage - sure enough, it fit like a glove! We took Easter on some "walks" around the backyard just to get him used to the harness - mostly Easter sat and munched grass and I made sure each kid got a fair turn holding the leash while he went nowhere. Worked great! Hopefully as he gets used to it he'll be more into exploring and would actually be fun to take on a walk, but for today taking pictures was fun enough!


Thursday, April 17, 2014


While tucking Caroline in tonight we were snuggling and having a nice quiet moment. She gently said, "Mom?"
I said, "Yeah, sweetheart?"
"Your face smells like hotdogs."
Thank you, Caroline. I love you, too.
( We HAD eaten hotdogs and bratwurst for dinner).