Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

We decided to try a hand at homemade chalk, first of all I'm cheap..... No.... I mean seriously CHEAP! and secondly I like the satisfaction of making something myself. So I set out to make chalk for much less than you can buy from the store.

My daughter had a blast helping to make it and of course to use the chalk when it was done!

Homemade chalk recipe

What you will need:
Plaster of paris
Non-toxic tempura paint
Mixing bowls
Cardboard tube
Plastic wrap or aluminum foil

Mix 1/2 cup plaster of paris with water.... slowly! Keep it on the thick side. Let sit for a couple minutes. Add in tempura paint (he paint creates a chemical reaction that somehow thickens the mixture pretty quick) add a little water if its too dry.
The best consistency we found looked like Greek yogurt but only a tad thicker.
Spoon the mixture into a paper towel roll, toilet paper roll, Christmas wrap roll, or aluminum foil roll (this is what I used its perfect for little toddler hands. I cut the roll into about 4 inch sections). Cover the bottom end of the roll with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. After each spoonful tap the tube down to push out any bubbles. Fill to top and set it upright. (We did our chalk mixtures in small separate batches for each color my daughter chose.)
Let dry for 24 hours. Unwrap the cardboard from the chalk, let dry for another 24 hours.
Voila! Homemade chalk for super cheap with endless options!

It's a bit of a long process. You can get impatient and use it before it dries all the way but it will just crumble and not write very well but I have a 4lb box of plaster that I can make tons of chalk with.
-it's important to keep the mixture on the thicker side and let it set and to get rid of bubbles. We had a few that I rushed and they didn't turn out as well.

The plaster of paris can be found at a home improvement or craft store. My local craft store sold a 4.4 lb bag for 6.99 and the home improvement store sold a 4lb bag for $6.48 I also get a 5% discount there so I went with home improvement store. The tempura paints I already had on hand and we even given to us so no money into that! The cardboard was just a tube that would have been thrown away. Over all my total cost for 6 different colored chalks cost me $6.67 for the plaster of paris after taxes and the discount. I only used about 2 cups of plaster of paris out of the 4 lbs, so we can make chalk for years! Or use it for another craft!
I would say this craft was definitely a success, we made a mess, we had fun, we colored which made another mess, and I kept it cheap!


-------- Note that the orange and the pink chalks were not dry all the way-----------

Monday, May 6, 2013

That awkward moment as a single mom…

…when you see a hot guy at the grocery store and your boob starts to leak.

I've encountered a lot of awkward moments since being a “dating mom” and they all seem to happen at really inopportune times.  For example, today…
I’m at the gas station, pumping some good ol' 87 into my run-down Escape and a truck full of very attractive men pull up, smiling and doing the usual head nod.  When I finish pumping and pull out of the gas station, I get a nice little smile and wave from a cutie with the truck… then it happens- he spots the two car-seats in the back occupied by screaming children. 
Well, there goes that one.

I never noticed how many attractive men there were in the world when I was a “non-single” mama. 
Favorite place to go?? The grocery store, HANDS DOWN!

The grocery store holds all of my favorite things in life.  I like to call it my One Stop Shop.
Food? CHECK! Booze? CHECK!  Weird people? CHECK!  Single men? DOUBLE CHECK!
The booze aisle to me is like the clearance rack at Neiman Marcus for an upper middle class house wife; I walk up and down the aisle checking out all the drinking opportunities and the nice pecks on the man standing by the Guinness.  At least he has good taste, right? 
And here we go again… my right boob decides NOW is the perfect time to let down and I look like an idiot staring at the delicious man with boob juice all over my mom shirt.  As long as he hasn't spotted me yet, I get the perfect opportunity to day dream about our flawless life together… 
~He lets me sleep in till 8am in the mornings while taking care of my children, tells me I'm hot in my yoga pants, and loves the way I wear that sports bra~
Oh crap, I’m drooling and he’s staring at my dripping shirt.

I’m not asking for much in a man, just the basics.
-Shared love of food and booze.  Obviously.
-Same crude sense of humor.
-Slight nerd card. 
-Undying love for the San Diego Chargers. WOOP WOOP!

So until I find that dude… or any sexy piece of man for that matter, I’ll be roaming the grocery store aisles with boob juice on my shirt, drooling at all the cuties that walk by.
Sounds attractive, doesn't it?

Single mama of two pooping machines

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kicking the Habit

Gasp! Have I done the unthinkable??? Have I nursed my baby until she was 2.... No...... 3.... No..... 3.5!!
(Ok now I'm just splitting hairs, 3.5.... Really? Or--- I could be hardcore and pull the month card. Yes I still nurse my 42 month old.....) oh please let's be real about this I know I don't have time to figure out the math on that. Yes my child walks, she talks, she has all her teeth.... she even wipes her own bum!

I have decided to wean my 3.5 year old. I had originally hoped to let her self wean.... but I think she would have been that 19 year old still snuggling for "mommy milk"!!! ; )

For me it just became obvious that it was time to ease it off and let her become an official big girl!

I had struggled through my pregnancy to let her continue to nurse, as breasts become extremely sensitive during pregnancy. I powered through wanting her to nurse until at least age 2.
The first trimester was finally over and things became much easier. ........Then I started producing more milk and let me tell you my daughter loved that! She went from 30 second nursing sessions to 5-10 minutes sessions!

Pregnancy was pretty great while nursing I didn't pack on a ton of extra weight. I only gained 20lbs and I have my daughter to thank for that! Don't worry my son was born a happy and healthy 7 lbs. 1oz.

Then came the tandem nursing, this was a whole new learning experience.

I noticed my son seemed to be suffering from what they call fore milk/hind milk imbalance. I had to balance this by block feeding. This was a struggle for a few months but once my milk regulated and we adjusted to a tandem schedule all was great. My daughter helped me when I was "full" I hardly ever pulled out the pump.

April marked the month she turned 3.5. Although she was days away from officially being 3.5 I felt we were close enough and I found the perfect opportunity to attempt the weaning process.

She and I were sitting and I was enjoying. (tolerating) this morning nursing session. (Lately I had not been enjoying them they made me irritated because she was rough with me no matter how many times I asked her to be nice she wouldn't listen.)

I had a light bulb moment---- I thought ok this one is good, this is a good memory I want it to be captioned in my brain like this.----

I looked down at her and I asked her if she was ready to be a big girl. She nodded sweetly up and down. I then said would it be ok if only baby had mommy milk from now on? She again nodded sweetly. I said ok so this will be your last mommy milk.... Is that ok?.…..........
She looked up at me broke away and said no more mommy milk for me? Just baby?....
I said yes you are such a big girl now I think you are ready to be done with mommy milk ok?
She looked a bit disappointed but she agreed.
That evening before bed she asked for mommy milk and I had to remind her of our talk from earlier. She didn't take it well.
..... Melt down ensued......

I am sure it was easy for her to say ok she agreed with me as she was drinking mommy milk at the time but once reality hit and she was dealing with not having it, it didn't go over so well.

To comfort her I asked her to come snuggle with me and I told her I would still spend special time with her. We rocked and cuddled for awhile, then she was ready for bed. I think she was afraid that just that little moment of time she was guaranteed with me everyday would be lost on baby as well.

She has watched me nurse her brother staring at me with this sad longing face. which about broke my heart, I wanted to offer her some but I knew that if I did we would just go through this all over again.

I make certain that she gets special cuddle time with me where she snuggles up close to my chest and we just hug.

I have to say I love taking this special effort for her. It's so hard to find a good balance between my kids and I know my youngest gets more attention just because of his age he needs more "watching".

I would have to say it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined and she has wowed me with her efforts to be a "BIG girl"!

-We are so proud she has been clean and sober for 2 weeks now!-