Archive for March, 2009
Zane was going up the stairs yesterday.
Bree said, “No Zane. No Zane. Go Mommy!”
Zane turned around and came to me.
Last week, my friend was on her last week of trackout. She wanted to go to one of the local museums. Though it cost $5 a person (for me too!), I thought it would be a nice treat for the Wondertwins and R. So, off we went.
The kids had a blast trying on hats, working in the kitchen, and exploring. It was a fun day for them! I was a little haggard, as there were many school groups running around too. The kids did awesome staying near me and listening to directions. Teaching them those skills early is KEY when you have multiples!
I also learned, the time to go is right around lunch time. At that point, everyone cleared out for lunch… and school groups headed back. I will remember that NEXT time!
On the 20th the Wondertwins turned 2! In honor of their LOVE for Yo Gabba Gabba we chose that for the theme. The weather was chilly, but sunny and dry. The kids had a blast having a dance party, chasing bubbles, and eating bagels, fruit, and cake. The parents enjoyed a nice cup o’joe.
I made their “Brobee Cake”. It was really simple. Here are the basic directions.
2 containers of room temperature, frosting (we chose cream cheese)
1 box of cake mix (we went with carrot cake)
1 bag of coconut flakes
1 black licorice strip
1 fruit strip (we did Fruit-a-bu organic)
Green, yellow, and green food coloring
3 strawberries of similar size
Follow the directions to make a 9×13 cake. Make sure your pan is thoroughly greased (I use natural unsalted butter instead of shortening). Let it cool for an hour. Then, place a cutting board flush against the pan so you can flip it over accurately, leaving the pan behind.
Cut the cake in half using a bread knife (this helps reduce the crumbling. Place one half (sideways) on a foil lined cookie sheet. Cut the other into 4 long strips. Leave the end strip, in case you make a mistake and need it as a replacement piece.
Cut an angle on the end of two strips so you create the long arms. Cut the 4th strip in half to make two short legs. Use icing between the pieces to assemble the body shape on the cookie sheet.
Cover the body pieces in frosting. You will get pieces of the cake crumbles in the frosting. That is OK at this step. Just make sure ALL of the cake is covered, especially the cut sides.
Put the cake in the fridge for 1/2 hour. This will allow the frosting to harden.
While the cake is in the fridge, put a cup of coconut flakes in a ziploc baggie. Add 2 drops of green food coloring and 5 of yellow. Shut the bag and use your hands to move the flakes around, coating them to the desired color. You may have to add more food coloring.
Use a 2nd bag to place 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Just use green in this one. I think I used about 5-6 drops of green to get a DARK green color.
In a 3rd bag, put about 1 TBS of the 2nd container of icing in it. Add red food coloring until you get a bright red color. Try to keep the colored icing in the one corner.
Cut a U shape (Brobee’s mouth) out of a fruit strip. Cut the corner off the red colored icing bag and use that to outline the smile (or frown… whichever way you choose to put his mouth).
Now the cake should be hardened. Take it out of the fridge and use the rest of the icing to put a 2nd layer on the cake. This should cover the parts with crumbs in it. After icing, immediately cover the iced cake with the green/yellow flakes.
When that has been completed, use a torn piece of paper to cover most of the cake and leave exposed the areas you wish to have the dark green strips. Put the dark green coconut in those areas. This makes the stripes distinct… and helps to keep the coconut from getting on the other parts of the cake.
Put white icing in the empty corner of the icing bag (or use a new one). Cut off the corner. Use this to create the oval eyes on the cake.
Put the fruit strip/icing mouth on. Cut an end off the black licorice and cut about a 3 inch piece, to create the uni-brow. Cut two more little piece to make the center of the eyes.
Put the 3 strawberries at the top… and TA-DA!!!! You have a Brobee cake!!!!!
I also used FREE online printables and t-shirts to create iron-on image shirts for all the kiddie guests. In addition, I printed off pictures and cut them out to make a Yo Gabba poster.
Our party was a hit… and fairly inexpensive!
My son currently has the stomach bug… there is nothing like waking at 1AM to hear that gagging sound from a toddler. Anyway, I found this post on another blog and thought I should share. Here is his post. Click on it to link to his site. If you find the article helpful, please let him know. THANKS!!!
I decided to write this article because my daughter came down with the stomach flu the other day. Two days later my son started showing signs of the stomach flu and two days after he recovered my wife started showing signs.
Here are some things that you as a parent should know about the stomach flu.
Stomach Flu is not the Flu
First the Stomach flu, medically known as Gastroenteritis is not the same thing as the Flu known medically as influenza. This means that even if you had your flu shots which help to prevent you from getting the influenza virus you are not protected from getting the Stomach Flu.
What causes the stomach flu?
The stomach flu that hits in the winter time is caused by the Norwalk virus. This is one of many viruses that causes Gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is a general term that refers to vomiting and diarrhea. The thing that makes the stomach flu (Norwalk virus) different from other forms of Gastroenteritis is that its mostly vomiting and without diarrhea, and that it hits primarily in the winter.
How contagious is it?
The next important fact about the Norwalk virus is that it is extremely contagious. If one family member has it then chances are very high that other family members will get it.
The virus is transmitted person to person. This means that if you have it you could easily pass it to your child either by kissing them or holding their hands and then by them touching their hands to their mouths.
According to the Merck manual, it could take anywhere between 4 hours to 72 hours until the symptoms appear.
For how long is someone contagious?
Once you have the symptoms you become contagious for up to 72 hours. The minimum amount of time that you are contagious after you stop having symptoms, i.e. vomiting, is 24 hours. That means that if you vomited at night but feel great the next day you are still contagious and you can easily pass on the virus to others.
This part is really important for parents. If your child got the virus and finished her vomiting episodes at 11pm, she is still contagious for the next 24 hours. That means that even if she feels fine you should not send her to school the next morning. She should stay at home and go to school the following day.
How do I know when my child’s symptoms have stopped?
In my experiences, there are anywhere between two to five episodes of vomiting with about an hour in between each episode. If you child has already vomited three times over the course of three hours and several hours have passed since the last episode then chances are your child’s has stopped vomiting and the worst is over.
Are there any other concerns or health issues that I should be aware of?
Dehydration is the most serious complication that results from the stomach flu because of the loss of so much fluids. Because children are at much higher risk of suffering from dehydration than adults, parents need to make sure that their child has constant fluid intake.
What should my child drink?
The best thing for your child would be a drink that contains the right balance of salt and sugar to replace the loss of essential elements needed for the body to function properly. Electrolyte beverages such as Pedialyte, Gatorade, or Powerade will provide these elements. There is actually a difference of opinion between the Merck manual and the Mayo Clinic. The Merck Manual says to avoid sport drinks whereas the Mayo Clinic actually recommends them. I have heard from a couple of doctors that sports drinks are good for children to drink.
Believe it or not, Kool-Aid is a good alternative if you don’t have any of those beverages readily available. This is because unlike water Kool-Aid contains both sugar and salt ingredients. Just make sure to dilute it a bit so that its not at its usual level of sweetness. Water, on the other hand, is not the best drink of choice because it lacks essential elements. Of course its better than giving your child nothing. If you do give your child water have him/her drink small sips at a time instead of large gulps. Consuming large amounts of water at a time can lead to more nausea.
Some drinks to avoid:
What can my child eat?
Once your child has overcome the vomiting you can start feeding him/her foods that are easier for their stomach to tolerate. Follow this mnemonic to help you remember what they can eat:
B – bananas
R – rice
A – applesauce
T – toast
How to avoid spreading the virus
Whenever you come in contact with someone infected with the Norwalk virus you should wash you hands with anti-bacterial soap creating a nice lather for fifteen seconds. Another option would be to have Purell or similar product in the house so that you can just squirt on your hands and rub until it dries.
It is Saturday night… it is 10 and the kids are just NOW getting quiet! We put them in bed at 7:30. We have put them to bed at 7:30 since they were about 6 months old. We get ready for bed, we read books, we brush teeth, we tuck them in. We keep a very good routine. Their room is dark. There is a white noise machine. Yet, it does no good. They talk, they jump, they play… they do NOT sleep.
Friday night was the same…. Wednesday was the same. On Wednesday they were up ALMOST until 11! They woke the next morning about 7, only having had 8 hours of sleep, as apposed to the 11-12 they normally get. THEN, B didn’t take a nap. She talked and played with her blankie and baby for 1 1/2 hours… very happily, I might add. Luckily, at nap time, they are separated (B naps in our room), and Z got to sleep. So, that night we put her to bed at 6:30. She went right to sleep. At 7:45, Z was put to bed and went right to sleep.
Twin moms, what is your advice? Do I put them to bed at separate times? Is this just a phase? I can’t have separate rooms for them… as we don’t have an extra room. I’m not sure what to do. Please, share your thoughts.
The kids slept until 7:30… which was GREAT, since I had stayed up past midnight reading Twilight. We got up and going. Then headed to the mall. We got there around 10, just as Starbucks opened. I got my favorite Americano, and we headed to the play area.
We got to the mall play area almost every Sunday morning. The mall doesn’t “officially” open until noon. So, there are usually only a few
parents who have discovered my secret others there. The kids can run walk through the mall without bothering anyone. I highly recommend it for a sanity keeper way for the kids to get energy out.
We played with a friend. Then headed to the food court for a lunch of chicken and apples. We came home for the kids to nap.
They woke. We played. We watched a Yo Gabba Gabba. Then, we packed up and headed to Harris Teeter.
There I got a $1 movie from Redbox. The kids got balloons, cheese samples, and a cookie (all FREE). Then we went out to the covered walks. They ran from one end of the strip to the other. We did this for about 30 min. I’m sure I got SOME exercise out of it too!
We came home. As we got out of the van, B stepped in a puddle. It cracked her up. So she and Z proceeded to jump and play in the puddles for about 5 minutes (Of course I had to video tape some! lol). We came in, I stripped them down, and they immediately went into the tub.
After bath they ate, we skyped with hubby, and did our bed routine.
Our day was pretty uneventful, but the kids had a blast. They smiled a lot… and I smiled a lot. There was a lot of happiness today. And that is all that matters.
B LOVES to sing! Her current favorite songs include “Row Row your boat”, “Where is thumbkin”, “Twinkle Twinkle”, and “Ring around the Roses”. All of those have signs that go with them. She loves to sing all day… unless I ask her to perform for someone else. lol Oh well.
Anyway, I just had to post this one. It is just sooo cute!
B’s favorite show is Yo Gabba Gabba. Here is a little clip of her singing the “naptime” song.
The kids were getting antsy. So, I searched through the cupboards and found a bag of popcorn kernels and a bag of pinto beans. I dumped them into a large plastic container, added a few measuring cups/spoons… BAMMMM! Instant toy, exploratory/learning experience, and something to keep them busy. They played for over an hour! I highly recommend it! Plus, it was fairly inexpensive. I covered it up… now we will have it for another day.
No, it is not a slinky … although that is a fun toy! A slinky is probably a bit too advanced for an almost 2-year old. The Rody Horse is my current “awesome toy!” Not only is this a fun toy, but it is essentially a stability ball for toddlers, working their core muscles and developing coordination while they play!
We had a version of this when I grew up … one of those large balls that you could bounce on. It looked like the current exercise ball I currently use, but smaller with a handle. This is a version of that, but much COOLER!
The Rody is a bean-shaped horse. It is the perfect size for a toddler. It is recommended for ages 2-4, but will hold larger weights (I know because I spent some time bouncing on it yesterday ;)). It is the same material as an exercise or stability ball you would see in a gym. The kids sit on it, then bounce, rock, etc.
I watched the Wondertwins play on it yesterday. They bounced up and down. They rocked side to side. They rocked forward and back. I was amazed to see them basically doing the same workout I have been doing on my exercise ball!!!!! They are getting exercise, indoors, without running around or making a mess. I LOVE IT!!!!!