Archive for June, 2012

Not a Volcano…

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 by by

…but I’m not sure what to call it, either! I found another idea for a cool experiment, for lack of a better word, and decided on a super-hot afternoon to try it out. Unfortunately, this one did not catch Danny’s attention near as much as I thought it would – but Eric thought it was awesome. (And Andrew slept in his crib for 40 minutes to allow it to happen!!)

It takes a few of your basic volcano ingredients: baking soda and vinegar. Jazz it up with a little food coloring and you’re good to go! (Well – you’ll also need a loaf pan, a small bowl or four, and a medicine dropper.)

Prep is fairly easy. Dump a box of baking soda into a loaf pan and smooth it out a bit – all I really did was shake the pan so it was kind of even. At first, the thrifty part of me balked at the idea of using a whole box of baking soda, but then I realized that those cost all of 50 cents. I can handle that for some inside fun that isn’t a video game or movie! Pour a little bit of vinegar into a bowl (or you could use a muffin tin!), and mix in a few drops of food coloring. (more…)


Test Kitchen Tuesday: From Ground to Table

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 by by

This year, I decided to hold no expectations from our little garden. Last year’s garden did not go well at all. So while I tried to learn from that experience and carry over the knowledge obtained to this year’s garden, I maintained that I was going to put the plants in the dirt, water them, weed them, keep them free of pests, and whatever happens will happen. This year, we kept it small, both out of necessity and practicality. We no longer live on the three acres that we had use of last year. Our yard is very small, and many people would not think of growing vegetables! I think this has been to our advantage, because it is not as overwhelming, and I am able to care for the garden much better. We also are using a raised garden bed and other containers, giving us more control over the soil. And finally, we did not plant seeds this year, but bought young plants already started to transplant into our garden. Again, this served to keep me from getting overwhelmed, and it allows me to get more familiar with the plants I am growing before trying to get them to grow from seeds. The end result to these changes from last year – sweet (small but mighty) victory. It might not look like much, but compared to our yield from last year, it is bountiful. Okay, that might be stretching it a bit – so far we have three varieties of lettuce that we are enjoying, and this week- broccoli! (more…)

Camping with Toddlers- Tips & Tricks

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by by

Contributing Writer: Virginia Davidson

We went twice to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan – one night at a time. They were mini – training nights for both kids and parents. Here are a few things I learned while camping with my little ones. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but some things I will be sure to do again. (The pics are from both trips, so don’t be confused.)

This is actually Muskegon Lake that connects to Lake Michigan. This was right across the drive from our site.

Coffee – don’t forget the coffee. We forgot it the first time. Never again. End of story. Next time we had the Jetboil Coffee Press.Amazing.

2 tents – 1 for play and 1 for sleep. We threw a bucket of easily washable toys with a few board books in the tent. It kept them from sitting in the dirt and playing. They think it’s so cool they get their own spot. It was really nice when preparing meals. I knew where they were, and they weren’t getting into trouble. The sleeping tent was only for changing and sleeping. I can’t tell you how much I like sleeping without sand at my face. (more…)

Monday: Baby on the Go: 3 Ways to Slim Down Your Diaper Bag

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by by

Today’s post is dedicated to moms (and dads) with kids in diapers. There are special considerations necessary for when you are on the go with your kids that are, let’s face it, expensive, bulky, and ABSOLUTELY necessary.

So, to help alleviate some of the annoyance associated with getting everything together to take your little tike out, here are a few ideas to help you get out on the go – without weighing you down too much. It’d be nice to know this when packing your first diaper bag with your first kid or even when going on vacation and packing a diaper bag for the airport.

1. Stinky Diapers

It’s gonna happen. ‘Nough said. However, you sometimes may not be garbage-can adjacent when this occurs. Easy solution? Have a handful of plastic grocery sacks on hand to contain the unpleasant odor. Great way to haul them around?

*Cut an clean, empty plastic bottle in half around the middle

*Stuff the bottom bottom half with empty plastic bags (more…)


The life of a military child

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by by

I grew up as a military brat.  My dad was in the Air Force, and during Desert Storm he was gone quite a bit.  After that, he frequently TDY’d for long periods of time.  He was in the EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal), you know – the guys who get rid of bombs.  I was used to him being in and out of our house and knowing there were two types of normal – one when my dad was home, and one when he was gone.

When my husband enlisted, I was originally opposed to it.  I didn’t want to have to kiss him goodbye, and I didn’t want my kids to grow up while he came in and out of our lives.  We both knew this was the best road for our family, though.  We wanted a large family, we were young, we were already pregnant with Anthony, and we needed stability.  The military doesn’t provide home stability, but it does provide job security, a community, and benefits that make it easier to breathe at times. So he enlisted.  He left when Anthony was 3 months, and we reunited when Anthony was 8 months old.  He deployed off and on, or TDY’d off and on for the next year or so, but it was okay.  I had one child, I had a great group of friends, I was young and in shape, and I was determined to be a strong military wife.  After our daughter was born, he left for 6 out of her first 8 months.  I had severe PPD, I had a falling out with a friend, and my daughter was very high needs. Still, I conquered those deployments, and when my husband came home he transferred to the school house so he could further his career and stay home with us.  It was supposed to be a 2 year assignment, but it turned into 4 years.

During that time, we had 3 more kids, my health began to fade as my EDS became more painful and apparent, and my friends PCSed or separated from the military.  I was no longer a young nor new military spouse, and I found it harder to find people who were in the same stage of life as I was.

Now Chris is deployed again.  The longest deployment we’ve had yet – 6 months.  This isn’t like the other deployments, for me or my kids.   (more…)

Signing Saturday: Walk This Way, Sign This Way

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 by by

A couple days ago, I posted about how I am taking part in a fitness challenge with some friends of mine, and so I have started taking the kids on long walks to get some cardio in. As we were walking recently and counting all the lizards we saw, my daughter asked me, “Mommy, what’s the sign for lizard?” It occurred to me that our walks can also double as some sign language time! I immediately started thinking of all the things we see on our walk that I could potentially teach my children the signs for. Here are some examples of things you may see when taking your littles on a walk (head over to’s ASL Dictionary to look up the ASL signs):

  • birds
  • lizards
  • dogs
  • cats
  • squirrels
  • snakes
  • spiders
  • butterflies
  • bees
  • ladybugs
  • flowers
  • trees
  • river/stream
  • (more…)

Make Your Own Bouncy Balls

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 by by

I don’t know about your house, but mine is filled with those small rubber bouncy balls. The Older collects them, and it seems like anytime we go to a restaurant with vending machine games, he gets a pocketful of them. I can’t stand him spending money on these things, so I’ve told him no more. He loves them though, so I decided he could have them if we made them ourselves. Setup was pretty easy, and I had all of the supplies here at home.

  • 2 plastic cups (I labeled mine “Borax” and “Ball” so I wouldn’t get confused)
  • Warm water
  • Borax
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • White/school glue
  • Cornstarch
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Zipper baggie



Keeping It Cool

Friday, June 22nd, 2012 by by


I had to get up bright and early to drop the three oldest kids off in three of the furthest corners of our universe and at 7:45 a.m. it was already 82 degrees out.  That *almost* made me grateful that I was stuck in the car.  By 9:00 a.m. I’d already logged 25 miles but the good news is that everyone arrived to their appointed spots on time.  Did you catch that?  ON. TIME.  Never happens.  Never.  Excuse me while I take a bow…

After the older kids were deposited, I had a couple of hours alone with these clowns.  They hit the ground running in the morning.  Me?  I take at least until noon, and even then I’m iffy.
First stop, breakfast!  Remember my recent post where I mentioned (more…)

Kid Friendly Grown Up Space

Thursday, June 21st, 2012 by by

Our living room was getting a little out of hand with a mess of toys.  Mr. BBH and I needed a solution to reign in the clutter and figure it out before the new baby comes. (Granted, we have some time, but we wanted to reclaim the space).

baby bear with clutter

Cluttered kids toys (more…)


Thursday, June 21st, 2012 by by

“Can I have a chocolate, Mom?”

“No, Bob. You’ve already had a treat today.”

“This day just got sort of bad.”


“Hey, Mom? Why did the chicken cross the road?”


“To get to Bob’s bad day.”