Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cup Painting

Cup Painting

Did you know you can paint with ANYTHING?  Really.  Rose & I decided to use cups today to make some pretty 


Plastic or paper cups (even better if you have varying sizes)


Washable Tempera Paint

Dish Soap (yes, even though the tempera is washable, add it to the paint)

Paper plate (or any flat plate that you don't mind having paint on.)

Place the paint on the paper plate, adding some dish soap to make it super easy to clean up.

Put the cups on the paint, show your child how to lift the cup and put it on the paper.  

Let your child create!

Friday, March 28, 2014

10 Things A Sleepless Mom Doesn't Want To Hear

Rose is a tough sleeper.  Some nights, if I'm super, super lucky, she gives me a five hour stretch of sleep.  Most nights she wakes every two to three hours.  Some nights she just.won't.sleep.

I've tried soothing baths, feeding late, feeding early, changing her foods, letting her cry, not letting her cry, physical exercise, a soothing routine...and pretty much nothing has worked.  I have been without a good night's sleep for about a year and a half (including the last 3 months of pregnancy, which were pretty uncomfortable for sleep.) 

Keeping in mind that I'm short on sleep, exhausted mentally and physically, and frankly, cranky as hell, there are a few things that are JUST not helpful to hear!  Oh, you can say them if you want my steely glare or perhaps the silent treatment, but otherwise, please, friends and relatives, keep them to yourselves!

Here are my top ten things that a sleepless momma doesn't want to hear:

1.  You look tired.
You know, I know I'm tired, and I'm sure I'm looking harsh, but my self esteem is already suffering (why can't I get this baby to sleep? What am I doing wrong??), so pointing out the baggage I'm carrying under my eyes or the drool on the corner of my mouth certainly doesn't help that.

2.  Oh, Was the baby awake last night?
The baby is awake EVERY NIGHT.  If you know me at all, you know my baby is awake every night (as evidenced by the aforementioned bags and drool.)  Pointing out that you slept right through the night is only going to fuel my feelings of jealousy for all you sleep-through-the-nighters.  

3.  You know she'll sleep better if you...(insert random advice.)
Please know that after 15 months of her not sleeping, I have researched the Internet, talked to the doctor, talked to other moms, and tried it all.  Yes, EVEN THAT (insert random weird internet sleep fad here.)

4.  It's a short span of time in your life, and she'll eventually sleep through the night.  
I'm here to tell you, it's not a short span of time.  It's eons, eternity, and the less I sleep the longer it seems.

Salvador Dali, The Persistence Of Memory

5.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  You get to enjoy that time you have alone together.  👀 ??
I get to have alone time all day long with her if I want.  I'd like to have some alone time with my pillow, tyvm.

6.  I read that breastfed babies sleep less.  What if you switch to formula?  
Yeah, because I've endured 15 months of sleeplessness, mastitis, and niplash because formula is an option for me.  Don't get me wrong--I don't have a problem with mom's using formula---I used it with my first two---but Rose is allergic to dairy (and soy formula is very expensive and smells gross.)

7.  Why don't you want to GO somewhere?! (This is from Punkgirl & Happyboy, who want to get up at the crack of dawn on the weekend and GOOOO somewhere.)

8.  I think she sleeps worse when "we" do THIS.  This is obviously Coffeeguy.  I don't wake Coffeeguy in the middle of the night, because he has to get up and go out to work every morning, and at least my baggy eyes and drool are mostly confined to home, so I take on the task of getting up with Rose. While I appreciate that he's only trying to help, most of the time when I get back into bed he's snoring, so this negates any right of his to tell me when she sleeps worse or better.

10.  Yeah.  I know...I skipped 9.  Didn't I just tell you I'm sleep deprived?  

10.  (Again) Why don't you take a nap during the day?
I.  I just.  Are you..?  She takes a two hour nap at 12.  It's just enough time to get a cup of HOT tea, load the dishwasher, MAYBE take a shower, and upload these pithy writings to my blog.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Climbing The Walls? Paint them!

Okay, so this was an art activity that was not for the faint of heart.  I only do it once in a great while, and the key to doing it successfully is to BE PREPARED.  Have wipes at hand, put a towel down on the floor, and add a GOOD AMOUNT of dish soap to your paint.  I'm talking, of course, about painting on the wall.

We have a small apartment.  The idea of putting an easel, even a small foldaway, in our already overburdened space is just too much for I tape a giant poster-board sized piece of paper (in this case, actual poster board) onto the wall.  I stand my girl up with a paint brush, and let her go to.

Rose likes to paint on the wall.

Here's where the crazy comes in:  she will paint the wall.  That's what the soap and the wipes are for.  The soap makes the paint very water-soluble, and the wipes are so you can wipe away the mark before it dries.  

She will paint herself.  That's also what the wipes are for, so that when she's done painting herself, you can wipe her off before she runs around sitting on the furniture with her blue arms and legs.

Rose likes to paint her arms and legs, too.

Notice that Rose started out in an orange outfit.  I forgot to plan ahead and either put a giant tshirt on her, or remove her clothes altogether!  Oh well, better late than never!

There it is, suck at home one difficult activity of the year!  Enjoy! Or not, I won't judge!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fine Motor Fun

I gave Rose a fine motor activity today that seemed like a wonderful way to re-use and recycle.  I had an old Huggies wipes container and a set of old poker chips that my husband never used.  The chips are very thick, so they weren't too small for Rose's chubby little fingers.  I encouraged her to slip the chips into the hole where the wipes come out...this builds hand-eye coordination as well as fine motor development of the hand.  Added bonus, she can shake the box when it's full, making it a sensory and rhythm experience as well!

It did occur to me afterward that the poker chips gave it a gambling feel, and maybe I was setting her up for a slot machine addiction!  But you can also use old milk jug covers, or if your child puts toys in his/her mouth, use the metal ends that come off of frozen juice concentrate cans!  It's cheap, easy, and it keeps Rose busy for at least 10 minutes!  Just enough time for me to write this post!

Friday, March 14, 2014

St Patty's Day Sticky Paper Art

Rose is officially a toddler, so I've been trying to give her constructive activities to keep her from climbing up the walls.  Today we did one of my all-time favorite activities, sticky paper art.  It is cheap, easy to set up, easy to clean up, and depending on what you use to stick to it, it can keep a toddler occupied for a really long time, and this give Momma a window in which to have a cup of tea, check her email, maybe even go pee!

"Sticky Paper", as I call it, is simply contact paper.  Tape it, sticky side out, to the table, or for real entertainment, to the wall.  Give your little one cut up colored tissue paper, feathers, cut up greeting cards, construction paper, qtips, cotton balls, pretty much any lightweight material you can think of, and show them how to stick them to the paper!

We made a piece of St. Patty's Day themed sticky paper art.

Rose likes to stand up while using sticky paper. 

Sometimes she likes to change her point of view.

Sometimes she likes to pick lint off the rug and use that, too.

If you put an equal sized piece of sticky paper on top (sticky sides together), you have a lovely piece of "stained glass art." If you're feeling super energetic or crafty, you can put the outline of a shape in construction paper, then trim around the shape.  That way, when your little one is done, you have a cute piece of themed art (for instance, if I weren't a suck at home mom, I could have made today's art in the shape of a shamrock.  Since I didn't, I'll mention the benefits of letting your child be creative instead of making them restrict their artistic talent inside a pre-determined shape!)