Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Getting Ready for Halloween

I know I am going to be super busy the next couple of days with Halloween happenings so I am posting JoJo in his costume early. Viola.....
I'm still debating whether its awesome or sad that I have his costumes picked out in my head for the next 5 years, LOL!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wild Angel Quote of the Week

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.

2 Minute Craft

Its funny how I sometimes forget the most simplest of things from my childhood. thankfully someone mentioned "tissue ghosts" and I quickly threw together a couple for JoJo. Surely you've made tissue ghosts. These kept him busy long enough for me to make it through the grocery store!

I put two cotton balls in the center of a tissue, folded the tissue over the cotton balls, tied with some  ribbon and drew a face. Viola.....tissue ghosts!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rainy day craft

Maybe you've saved some of the left over bubble blowing wands from summer....if not you now have a reason to do so. Today in art class we learned a cool new trick. You will need....

-a couple of bubble wands
-food coloring
-dish soap diluted with a tiny bit of water
-food coloring
-a couple of small bowls or dishes
-sheets of paper

Fill each dish a small amount of dish soap/water mixture, add a couple of drops of food coloring to each for desired shade. Lay out your paper, dip the wands into the dishes and let the kids have a ball blowing the colored bubbles onto the paper to make cool designs and art.
It sounds simple but the kids loved it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Stew

I call this Autumn Stew because......well I make it every Autumn and into winter, also known as the "croc pot season"!
Anyhow, I just throw these ingredients together so for the recipe I did my best to put the ingredients into specific measurments, LOL. No really it will turn out great in your Slow Cooker.

-1 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast
-1 Table Spoon of Cooking Oil
-3-4 medium sweet potatos
-1 large yellow onion
-1/3 cup dried apples
-4 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
-2 teaspoons dried/crushed sage
-1 tablespoon of quick cooking tapioca
-1/4 teaspoon cardamom
-1 teaspoon pepper
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-2 cups chicken broth
1 cup of apple cider or apple juice

 -Cut pork into 1-2 inch pieces, trimming fat
-In large skillet heat cooking oil, brown meat and drain grease
-slice carrots, celery and onions. ( I like the onions fairly large in the stew)
-cut sweet potato into 2 inch cubes
-put vegetables in slow cooker
-top with meat
-sprinkle dried sage, tapioca, cardamom, pepper, and brown sugar
-pour chicken broth and apple cider over all
-Cook on high 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Cuddle Buddy

With all the warnings and information overload about keeping our kids active and spending enough time outside I have become a bit neurotic about keeping busy. I have a pretty tight schedule during the week of library storytime, gymnastics, art class, music class and a fun free day (thats usually the park or playdate). When Joey or I are sick we still go for nature walks and on rainy days I feel like I will quickly get cabin fever and opt for a museum or aquarium. This is quite the turn around from my pre-baby years, I could stay indoors and sleep for days but with the fear of my child's brain melting infront of the television we are always on the go.

Today however I woke up, made a big pot of my Autumn Stew and nestled down to watch the long awaited "How to Train your Dragon". I lit candles, grabbed a big cozy blanket and my best cuddle buddy. I thought he'd get bored but I was pleasantly surprised at how content he was just to sit with his mama and cuddle.
Oh boy did it feel nice!

It brought m back to my childhood and how relaxing HOME is. Nothing was better then mom's bed, the smell of home was so comforting and it was pretty cool lounging in pajamas all day. I tell myself to appreciate the simple things all the time and today I am glad I took my own advice!

"How To Train Your Dragon" is going to be a favorite in our house, I can tell!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Find Your Nearest Halloween Fun!

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
October 18 – 30, 2010
10:30 am – 3:00 pm daily
Regular Admission of $12 includes:
• Scarecrow Building Contest
• Visits with Danny the Dragon & Safari Sam
...• Face Painting
• Los Kunos Family Circus on October 28th & 30th

Purchase a special pass for $3 to receive a pumpkin and participate in jack-o-lantern carving – leave the mess with us!

Everyone is encouraged to bring in used clothing to build a scarecrow to compete in Happy Hollow’s scarecrow building contest. Contest ends October 30. All clothing will be donated to Family Supportive Housing.
For more information, please call 794-6400 or visit
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo is located at 1300 Senter Road San Jose, CA 95112

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fun Pumpkin Ideas

Its almost that time.....time to carve pumpkins. I love carving pumpkins so much I am seriously considering carving pumpkins this week, waiting for them to rot and then doing more right before Halloween. Nobody has told me it is a crazy idea so i still just might!
JoJo is Go Diego Go crazy right now (although he says "Go Dego" so as I was searching for a Diego stencil and came across some great Nickelodeon stencils you can print out online.
I never buy ones at the store when there is so many to print free right of the good old WWW.
Nick Jr. -Click Here

Twilight fans, Check This shame!

Twilight Stencils

For more classic stencils I found some great ones at Better Home and Gardens, there is great selection!
Better Homes Link

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Favorite Fall Recipe

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

-1/2 canola oil
-1 cup pastry flour
-1/3 cup cocoa powder ( I like the kind from Trader Joe's)
-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (also from Trader Joe's)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon of salt
-1 cup of sugar
-2 eggs
- 1 (15 ounce0 can of pumpkin puree
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350, line muffin pan with festive muffin cups or grease pan. Set Aside

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly whisk flour mixture until well combined then transfer to prepared pan.

bake approximately 13-17 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside, let cool before frosting.

-1/2 cup butter, softened
-4 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
-2 cups of sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

I've heard of some people putting chocolate chips in it or baking it into a cake or even a bread loaf and sprinkling powdered sugar on top instead of the frosting. let me know how yours turn out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wild Angel Quote of the Week

The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.
-Pablo Casals 

Pumpkins, Corn mazes, and Fun!

If you don't care much for autumn then I must apologize because I am in a fall frenzy and am loving every minute of it! By the time winter hits my poor husband is so tired of pumpkin pie, harvest festivals and nutmeg that he even welcomes the winter blues, LOL!
So naturally we spent this weekend at our local organic farm enjoying the festivities.....its still early enough in the season that my husband participates......I think JoJo makes it fun for just about everyone anyhow! We brought JoJo's cousin, Mia along and it was funny how many people thought they were twins. Mia is 3 months older then JoJo and is his best friend.              

                                                                    Corn Maze Babies!


They had a fantastic time playing in the corn maze, checking out pumpkins, they had their face painted, colored, and played in the corn bin!

The best part was the making of corn husk dolls (which is easier then i thought) and the pumpkin races. The husband did such a awesome job at the pumpkin race we went home with a whole car6t of pumpkins for Halloween, he made us very proud, LOL!
Daddy and JoJo making their corn husk "action figure"....boys don't play with dolls, LOL

It now sits on out table at home.....with some of our trophy pumpkins!

The kids and husband with our prize pumpkins...........

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Trip Down Potty Road

I've had a couple of people ask me how I have gotten JoJo to potty train so easy so I thought I'd share my story. I figured today was a better day then any since it is the first time he went #2 in his potty.
He is 20 months, has been peeing in the potty for two months and isn't all teh way trained yet. i think I fear taking the big plunge and I think he is still too young.
On the other hand I am also scared I may be hindering him....if he is ready I should go with the pun intended, LOL.

At 18 months I got his potty out with no intention other then keeping mum about it and letting him discover and get comfortable with it on his own. I thought it would take a month or two for him to even show interest in it. I was wrong, Mr. nosey was very curious and pee'd in it the first day. I immediately gave him a lollipop. That was key I think. Don't even take the potty out unless you have candy.

After that I quickly switched to regular M&M's, the kid can't get a lollipop everytime. So for the past two months I have asked him upon waking every morning and nap if he has to go potty. When I can give him a 100% of my attention I put his big boy undies on and ask him if he has to go every 30 minutes....if not more.

I keep a full supply of M&M's on hand and he gets on everytime. I braved a trip to Target last week, sans diaper and had him potty right before we left the house and as soon as we got in the store, even before I put him in a cart.

When I am in the bathroom doing my make-up I encourage him to try to sit on his potty and I praise him when he does. Sitting bare bottomed on a potty can be strange to a child, it cold, its unfamiliar.

As for #2, you have to catch them in the act or right before they are going to go. JoJo goes and hides behind a chair. Today i saw that look on his face as he made a beeline for his regular poo spot. I asked him if he had to go poo-poo. He said "no" so I told him he would get candy if he went. His dad was home and chimed in "I'll buy you a toy, lets go" and he swooped JoJo up and ran to the bathroom.
He plopped him down and he seemed nervous. He got up and we both told him "it ok, go it on your potty". We didnt hover and tried to act nonchalant. AND....Ta-da, he went.

We both were in shock but we did a happy dance and thankfully I had some mini snickers. I thought his first #2 deserved something special. We praised him like crazy and hopefully we are on the right track!

I know a lot of kids benefit from potty books and videos. I think my biggest suggestion would be to never get upset if they have a accident, miss or don't make it to the potty. Just say point blank "pee pee goes in the potty. This can be a stressful and scary new thing for them, its our job to make it a happy and rewarding experience.
Good Luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy Fall Craft

I like this craft because it is something even toddlers can help out with and it also gets the kids out of the house.
You will need

-wax paper
-yarn or ribbon
-hole punch
-a bag of fall leaves
-2 paper bags

-Grab a bag and take a nice walk outside. Have the child collect all sorts of leaves and flowers to put in the bag.
When you get home sort them out have your child pick their favorites.
 -warm up your iron and lay down a paper bag
-Cut two large pieces of wax paper of the approximate same size. Wax side up, let the child arrange the leaves however they like
-Lay the second piece of paper atop the first, wax side down
-iron the whole peice of paper, flip over and iron that side
 At this point you can decide if you want it to be a place-mat, or like us you can cut it it out, punch a hole in it and hang it in the window as a decoration for fall.

 Another fun thing to go is to use crayon shavings in between the wax paper, they melt and make a cool looking decoration.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disney Live Pre-Sale Coupon

Click Here for Tickets 
Use code RMDL2 HURRY! This Pre-sale Ends Sun. OCT. 17!
*See below for list of cities included in this exclusive pre-sale.

Abracadabra! It's Disney Live! presents Mickey's Magic Show!

Mickey, Minnie and a host of Disney friends come together with
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Join Donald and Goofy, Alice and the Mad Hatter, and many more for a
one-of-a-kind stage show you'll never forget. Mickey's Magic Show is a
whole new way to experience Disney Magic with your family!

Only performances in the following cities
are included in this SPECIAL PRE-SALE OFFER:

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Falling in Love with Fall!

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

First Day of Autumn: Wednesday Sept. 22

MMMM, this my most favorite time of year....and it has nothing to do with it being football season. I am more festive and at peace in the fall then any other season. Today I did my autumn ritual of buying fall scented candles, fall scented lip gloss, got the last of the Halloween costume accessories, Halloween candy, and decorated for fall. I got JoJo his Thanksgiving outfit and some fall ensembles. I just LOVE the smell of fall, inside and outside. We had our first fire in the fireplace last week and soon Starbucks will be selling their fantastic Gingerbread latte, LOL. I do hope JoJo loves fall as much as I. My husband has learned to love fall because to him that equals baking season, for some reason I bake a lot of goodies in the fall!
Anyhow not to leave the kiddies out here are some of my favorite fun activities to do with the wee-ones…..

-Plant some flowers or veggies
-have a picnic
-star gaze
-visit your local orchard to pick what is in season
-stuff a scarecrow

The coolest thing on our latest bug walk was releasing ladybugs into the garden. I didn’t know you can buy ladybugs at most garden stores like Osh/Home depot or your local nursery. They are great for any garden and the best time to release them is at night, early morning and right after you have watered!
The kids had such a fun time with the ladybugs!

The pumpkin patches opened last weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wild Angel Quote of the Week

A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions.
-- Richard L. Evans

Everyday is a Fresh Start

Ever see a kid offering up “please “ and thank you” more willingly then your child and wonder how he got to be so polite?  How about the cool kid who struts onto the playground to have all the other kids gravitate towards him while your shy flower plays in the corner?
We all want our kids to be successful, loved and talented and it really makes me wonder how much is learned behavior and how much is inherent. I don’t have the answer to that but I do have some observations. Ever hear the phrase “kids do as you do, not as you say”, well its true. My niece and nephew are the most social, fun loving, talented and outgoing (not to mention gorgeous) kids I know and you don’t have to look far to see why. Their mother is a social butterfly who always has a friendly smile or helping hand and they have grown up watching her in action. Its no big surprise they are the same way. Now I guess we should also factor in attachment parenting, ie co-sleeping and baby wearing as infants which has been said to help prove confidence. But the point is that kids DO as you do, not as you say. So as your entering a grandma’s house, pushing your child ahead of you, urging her to go give grandma a big hug and kiss don’t be surprised if she runs and hides behind your back. I have never been the adventurous type, I am actually quite the scaredy cat but the last thing I want to do is instill that in my son as my mother did to me. You wont catch me riding a skateboard down a hill or going off the high dive (that’s another thing I can ask his auntie to handle, LOL) but I can try to show a willingness to overcome fears.
    So the good thing about children is that they are moldable and we can still change some bad habits if you havnt already. Ask yourself what kind of person you want them to be and YOU be that person. None of us are perfect parents or human beings and I think that is a very important lesson to teach our children also. I sincerely hope that I can show my children how to move on from mistakes in a humble manner and know when is my time to apologize. I think humility is just as important as confidence and its never to early or to late to learn either!

Friday, October 1, 2010

JoJo's New Favorite Books.

This past week as we were killing time at our local library, waiting for storytime to start JoJo fell in love with a series of books. They will surely be the start of a great book collection for him. They are a series of the most fantastic and amazing pop-up books I have ever seen. After looking up the author, Robert Sabuda. I found that his book are primarily treasured by adults but my strong desire to instill a love of books into my son is enough for me to start collecting them.
One of the things I liked best was that his books are traditional stories like Alice and Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe but he brings them to life in a magical way.
Robert Sabuda's Website
The pictures do not do the books justice whatsoever.
I am so thankful that he likes books at such a early age and I hope to cultivate that interest into a foundation of learning and a way to bond with my son. I love to get lost in a good book and I hope to pass that on to him.
Whatever it is you like to do I hope that you share it with your child.