Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Naptime Sewing Creations

I love: felt, sewing, and naptime!

A crayon pouch, complete with crayons 
A felt sheep pouch and a felt pig pouch
Some snack bags and another pouch. I love the funky leopard print snack bag!

These are all ready to be sewn tomorrow at naptime :)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Baking No-Expectation Cookies with Toddlers

Last year we hosted a cookie party and also made some holiday cookies to give to various people in our lives.  We involved Aias, of course, but this was stressful in a way because while we didn't need the cookies to be perfect, we needed them to be sanitary and look at least halfway decent.

This year I decided we were going to make no-expectation cookies with the kids.  This meant having no plans for the cookies; no list of people to give them to, no standard to hold them up to.  It would be a stress-free cookie free for all.

I put a plastic tablecloth on the table, set out bowls and rolling pins for both kids, and set to work.

Each child was able to dump in their own ingredients, mix them themselves, roll them into a ball themselves, flatten them themselves, choose their own cookie cutters, and put them on their own pan.  This made the process take twice as long, but it was quite fun for them and because I had ZERO expectations, it didn't matter.

Both kids had exactly the same ingredients, but at one point I noticed Aias was eating the sugar out of the bowl (prior to mixing) and the little girl I watch was eating the flour.  When they mixed the dough, they clearly had two completely different dough textures and tastes, it was pretty funny.

In the end, the cookies were cooked and edible.  The kids were proud that they had made them.  Everyone was too tired to bother decorating because apparently just the act of making the cookies was enough hard work.  Pretty funny stuff, and ZERO stress.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Iron Kids Review and Giveaway

This post has been a long time coming!

I've blogged quite a bit about how Aias is incredibly picky about what foods he eats.  For a long time he was happily taking a liquid vitamin, which gave me some comfort.  At some point in early summer, he decided he wasn't going to take the vitamin anymore.  "Forcing" him to take the liquid vitamins or tricking him into taking them wasn't very effective; it's nearly impossible to force a kid to eat something and it isn't a pleasant experience overall, which I know would have just made him hate the vitamins even more.  Tricking him by mixing the vitamins into something would have been unreliable because it would have been impossible to know how much of the vitamins he actually consumed.

It became obvious I needed to find an alternative vitamin; one that Aias actually wanted to consume.  Chewable vitamins weren't going to cut it; he didn't want to eat them, even though they looked like candies. I contacted Iron Kids in hopes that I could sample and review the vitamins, and I was very pleased that they agreed!

We received the following gift pack in the mail:

What an awesome package to receive, don't you think! Keep reading, and you can win the same! Included in the package were:

- Adult Essentials Gummies Enhanced Multi-Vitamin with Omega-3 DHA & EPA
- Adult Essentials Gummies Smart Omega-3 DHA & EPA
- Iron Kids Gummies Vitamin D
- Iron Kids Gummies Omega-3's
- Iron Kids Gummies Multi-Vitamins

What struck me as hilarious was that Aias was really interested in this package, and when I was positioning the vitamins he was begging for them, even though he had absolutely no idea what they were.

Before I get to my review, I want to share a little more information about these vitamins with you.  Here are some facts for you to consider as you choose whether or not to use Iron Kids Gummies:

- IronKids use only Natural flavours and colours. These vitamins contain nothing artificial, no sugar coating.
- IronKids Gummies are Gluten Free and Nut Free.
- IronKids Omega is the first gummy to use 100% fish oil with no fishy after taste (seriously!)
- IronKids Omega Gummy won Canadian Living Best New Product in 2010- voted on by Canadians.
- IronKids was the first on the market with a Vitamin D gummy for kids (no need for those inconvenient drops!).
- IronKids is only entire brand line approved by Health Canada (this is a pretty huge deal if you ask me).
- IronKids Multi, Omega, Calcium and Vitamin D all won Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) awards in 2011- voted on by Parents in Canada and US!!

Then you have the Adult Essentials Vitamins:

- Adult Essentials Gummies  - Multi, Omega, B-Complex, B12, Vitamin D & Fibre
are pectin based Gummy vitamins – vegetable sourced (no animal sourced gelatin except in Omega’s).
- Adult Essentials use only Natural flavours and colours. Nothing artificial, no sugar coating. 
- Adult Essentials Gummies are Gluten Free and Nut Free.
- Adult Essentials Multi is the first Multi to use 100% fish oil with the Multi with no fishy after taste.
- Adult Essentials Omega Gummy uses 100% triple distilled fish oil, no contaminants!
- Adult Essentials is only entire brand line approved by Health Canada.
- Adult Essentials Multi, Omega, B-Complex, B12 and Vitamin D all won Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) awards in 2011- voted on by Parents in Canada and US

Aias demanded I open these boxes and show him what was inside immediately, so I did.  He then insisted that I open them up and give him some! Since he was only 2, I decided I felt best giving him just one of each.  The regular vitamins were shaped like little Iron Kids symbols, the Omega-3 vitamins were shaped like little fish, and the Vitamin  D pills were shaped like little suns. Aias got a huge kick out of the shapes.  He held them in his little fist, an action I'm familiar with; he often holds things like this in his fist for 30 minutes or so until he loses them.  I urged him to taste one, he licked it, then he chewed... and swallowed it! He then did it with the other two, and asked for more! Of course, with vitamins you can't really offer more.  I put them high up in a spot where they wouldn't be accessible to him, and told him he could have more tomorrow.

For the next few weeks Aias took his vitamins, totally loyally, every single day without fail.

Then of course, there is the matter of the adult vitamins... when Morgan came home from work and saw the vitamins, he was more than a little excited. You see, we don't ever have junk food in the house (because if we do, we will eat it).  We always joked that it was funny how when we bought regular vitamins they'd last twice as long as they should last, and when we have gummy vitamins they seem to last half as long... it was no different with these ones.  The fact is, the Iron Kids Gummies and the Adult Essentials gummies taste REALLY good!!! Too good, almost!  In fact, Morgan kept taking 5,6,7 of them a day!!!  I kept giving him trouble about it, but he just kept doing it!

One evening when he got home from work and was particularly hungry, he ate a handful of the multivitamins. I was so mad! We looked at the ingredients and looked up the toxic levels of some of them, then we Googled "ate too many gummy vitamins" and were cracking up laughing at how many people had done the same thing and were concerned. Fortunately, we didn't have anything to worry about.  The levels of vitamins in these gummies weren't super high; enough to sustain you but not enough to really overdose.  I suspect if you ate an entire bottle, you'd have an awful stomach ache, but the poison control center assured us you wouldn't die (seriously, we called!).

I would 100% recommend these vitamins if you have kids that are hard to get vitamins into.  There are other brands on the market that have higher levels of the individual vitamins and minerals, but that's not any good to you or your kid if your child won't eat them.  We talked to our pediatrician and he told us Aias could have 2-3 of these a day (talk to your doctor if you decide to give your kids these vitamins and they can tell you how many vitamins they think your kid should have).

As for the adult vitamins, I 100% recommend them, but only if you think you can control yourself around something so delicious!!!

If you'd like to see for yourself, please enter below to win a gift pack identical to the one I received!

***Please Note: This Giveaway is ONLY Open to Canada (or at least, this prize can only be shipped to Canadian addresses)***
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

How NOT to Use a Shower Curtain...

Apparently three year olds like to explore the world around them in very dangerous ways.  Aias was taking a bath tonight when he realized he could blow on the shower curtain to make steam.  This evolved into this:

Proof he survived :)
Hilarious and horrifying.  This, my friends, is why you can't leave a three year old alone... EVER!  Especially not in the bathtub. Although let's be clear here, he wasn't alone, Morgan was actually watching him spin and spin and spin himself around to accomplish this.  Then of course, we simply had to take pictures :)

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Beautiful Fabric!

Learning how to use the sewing machine is quickly making me obsessed with beautiful fabric.  I'm particularly drawn to the Michael Miller fabrics they have at Dressew.  It seems that every fabric I love is Michael Miller and $14.99 a metre *eyeroll*.  I can see this new hobby has the potential to be very expensive...

Michael Miller DC5720_Multi
Not sure what this one is called...

Not sure what this one is called either...

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Decided to Learn How to Use a Sewing Machine!

I haven't touched a sewing machine since I was 12 and taking home ect, but I figured it would be fun to try learning it. I decided last night to try. It has only been a few hours but I'm getting the hang of it. Here are some little pouches I made out of felt (simple fabric) to practice. It is fun!

Felt pouch with owl ribbon
A bunch of tiny felt pouches
A felt dinosaur zipper pouch
A change purse made from the back pocket of my old jeans!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Duplo Suspension Bridge

Morgan has become obsessed with making a suspension bridge out of Duplo. He's been using yarn but we found some black climbing rope in the storage unit so he's going to rebuild this when he gets a chance.  I think black rope will look a lot nicer.  He's very committed to this project...

Believe it or not, the Duplo engine can actually haul cargo over this!

P.S. Here's the train station they made as well:

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Awesome Time Riding the Polar Express

Today we went to the most awesome event ever: The Polar Express at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, BC.

Aias is 100% obsessed with trains as you probably all know, so when we heard about this a few months ago while visiting the Roundhouse in Yaletown, I knew I had to keep my eye out for when tickets became available.  When you buy the tickets you have a choice of:

  • First Class - $39.00 + HST (all ages)
  • Coach - $24.00 + HST (all ages)
  • Polar Express Caboose - $50.00 + HST (all ages)

We were a little unsure which to choose, but when Morgan saw that caboose was an option he said we had to take the plunge and sink the money into buying caboose tickets.  I figured for $50 it was probably going to be a heck of a lot fancier and more fun than coach, right?

Sort of...

Put it this way, Aias is train obsessed.  Up until the point where I bought the tickets, he hadn't even seen the Polar Express movie, partially because I had forgotten about it and partially because I actually think it's a pretty boring movie. Once we decided to attend this event for sure, I acquired the movie and of course Aias enjoyed it, but mostly because it was trains trains trains + Christmas (his favourite things!).

The general idea of this Polar Express event is that kids and their families wear their PJs, take a ride on a real steam engine, and get to hang out at "the North Pole" and meet Santa.  Evidently in coach and first class, the kids are served hot cocoa and cookies and everyone sings Christmas songs.  This doesn't happen on the caboose, but I'll get to that eventually.

When we went to book our tickets for the caboose, it said it wouldn't book tickets for more than 2 people. I assumed this meant the caboose was full. I called the box office and explained that we would pay for a ticket for Aias, but that he could sit on our laps and so she put the tickets through.

When we arrived at the event, we discovered that we were the ONLY family in the caboose at the time... a private ride for us all!  The "downside" was that while we would be having hot cocoa and cookies, we would not be listening to the music or singing the Christmas songs.  I think if we had brought older children, this would have been a problem... however, Aias was TICKLED to be in a caboose.  I don't think he would have really liked being around other children (loud, etc) and he didn't really care about the Christmas songs. I mean, he loves Christmas songs, but when on a train he's just so engrossed in the glorious train-ery that songs of any kind take the back burner.

If you have a kid (or adult!) that is really obsessed with the technical workings of a train, the caboose is 100% for you.  If you have a kid who just really likes the Polar Express movie, you'll probably be just fine with coach or first class.  Next year we will probably do first class just so we can have the experience of seeing what its like.

Our private caboose!
We each got a souvenir mug; these were included with our ticket
Checking out the sights
The entrance to the park; we will definitely be returning in the summer
In the parking lot, excited!
Sitting on daddy's lap in the caboose
Family picture with Santa and Mrs. Clause at "The North Pole"
Sitting in mommy's lap on the opposite side of the caboose
The outside of our caboose!
The special bell Aias received from Santa and Mrs. Clause

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