Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 50

In memory of Norman Bridwell, author who created Clifford the Big Red Dog, who passed away this morning at age 86. My kids have all loved Clifford.

Day 341 - Sunday - December 7

Foam Number Tiles
Picked up these foam number tiles for free.
I plan to use them for flooring in the playhouse.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 49

Day 334 - Sunday - November 30

Headed out to see the chickens.
And they're gathering up to see him, hoping for treats!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Giftmas Ideas for Kids

Welcome to the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have suggested go-to gifts and gifting experiences for the holiday season for all your loved ones.

While experiential gifts and memberships are the go-to gift suggestion for all people green, sometimes a grandparent (or friend, etc) wants to give a child an actual item that they can enjoy right that minute. I have some ideas for you... Music. Sounds simple, right? This past year, Spencer has become a huge fan of Patty Shukla. It started with searching for some of his favorite action songs (Itsy Bitsy Spider, anyone?). It has actually grown from there.

Patty teaches a Mommy & Me Music Class, so she has plenty of classic songs that include finger puppets or other actions. There are songs with which you grew up, too. You know the ones! She also has some original songs that get you (your whole family) moving!

Its impossible to narrow it down to a single favorite, but here is one of our top pics:

Spencer has the Wiggle It! DVD which also includes Choo Choo Train, She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain, 5 Little Penguins, Looby Loo, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Bingo, Shapes, ABC (Upper Case), Farmer in the Dell, Mary Had a Little Lamb, I Like Fruit, Textures, and ABC (Lower Case).

Here's another crazy-active favorite song around here:

We also have the Musical PE for You & ME! DVD (Volume 1). It includes videos for 13 of Patty's most popular songs from 2 CDs (Play with me, Sing Along! and Roar Like a Lion!) These songs get all of us moving, roaring and laughing together every time.

Patty Shukla has a lovely family (often featured in her videos) and offers videos that teach kids Left / Right as well as Sign Language. I think her CD and DVD prices are very reasonable, making them a great gift idea and/or stocking stuffer! She also has free apps, by the way! And now offers a workbook, too. If you just really need to put something on the screen for the kids so you can have some time to get something done - why not make it something that's going to keep them moving instead of melt them into the couch?

We love Patty and can (and do) listen to her songs over and over again!

Lest you think we're only about Patty, I'd also like to share another artist behind kids' music with you. This song is a favorite for singing along, but is a nice calming song and is even on my bedtime playlist for the kids:

Tom Knight has several CDs out, too. We're only familiar with this one song, but would love to hear more. I'm definitely going to research more songs from him to add to our playlists!

I've got one more I'd like to mention. We found Monty Harper at our own local city/county library Summer Reading Program about a decade ago! He writes Children's songs, but also teaches workshops for kids on how to write their own songs! His music matched the themes for the SRPs that were used at most libraries across the country each year for a while. We enjoyed his silly, fun songs so much I did some work with him, trying to get the word out to more libraries. Here is a silly song from Monty:

Monty is trying to raise funds to record a new science CD. He is selling signed CDs and Holiday / Birthday Gift Packs to help fund this project. I highly recommend The Great Green Squishy Mean Concert CD. I haven't even heard Songs From the Science Frontier, but apparently it has remained his best selling title by far since its release in 2010!

Long story short here, if you buy items from Monty, everyone wins! You can support future projects as well as enjoying some inspiring, educational music!

I generally love to support these kinds of artists. They have kids (at least I know Patty and Monty do) themselves and write fun music. Do you have any favorites like this in your household? I'd love to hear them so we can broaden our own play lists!

Disclosure: I received free DVDs from Patty Shukla for review purposes.
None of these links are affiliate links. They only support the artists.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find relevant and useful.
If I don't like a product, I won't recommend it.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Natural parent's baby shower registry — Since she had everything already for baby #3, Lauren at Hobo Mama is amusing herself by building a list of essentials and a few fun fripperies for a natural-parenting nursery.
  • Gifts of love — Charlie at PeelingClementines recalls her favourite Christmas gift of all time and thinks about how to add this magic to her little one's first Christmas.
  • The Gift of Letting Go — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has discovered that when you're a perfectionist, sometimes the best gift is simply releasing yourself from self-imposed expectations.
  • Montessori Inspired Gifts for Babies and Toddlers — Rachel at Bread and Roses shares gift ideas that were a hit with her son last year and what's on her wishlist for this year.
  • Giftmas Ideas for KidsMomma Jorje offers an original gift idea that hasn't been overdone and is good for the kids!
  • Favorite CDs for Babies and Toddlers {Gift Guide} — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family's favorite CDs for babies and toddlers, some of which were favorites of her children and are now favorites of her granddaughter.
  • The Birthday Turned Christmas Wish ListThat Mama Gretchen forgot to share her birthday wish list this fall, but she's still wishin' and hopin' a present or two will arrive for Christmas!
  • 8 Thoughtful Non-Toy Gifts for Baby — Is your family asking for hints for presents to give baby? Moorea, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, offers this list of ideas that won't overwhelm your little one with toys.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag!

Every year, Hobo Mama posts about her family's St Nicholas Day celebations after the fact. I kept suggesting it would be better if she could remind us all beforehand so we could join in! Last year she did it, just for me!! We didn't get much notice, but we got a little. This year, I'm republishing her post (with permission) as a guest post and with more notice!

So: Let this be your reminder! Put your boots out December 5th and Saint Nicholas might just stop by to tuck some shiny little goodies inside!

(Unless you've been naughty, of course. Then all bets are off.)

Since we speak some German at home, we like to learn about the culture as well. That's why we celebrate Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, each year.

Because the feast day of Saint Nicholas is December 6, empty boots (Nikolausstiefel) generally go outside the door the night of December 5, the eve of Nikolaustag (Nikolausabend).

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

Nikolaus is sometimes accompanied by a servant named Knecht Ruprecht, who hauls the bag and does some of the work of sussing out whether children deserve gifts or chastising. In some regions, children are literally quizzed or asked to perform some religious feat. Since we skip the whole naughty-or-nice bit with Santa, too, we just assume boots are going to be filled.

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

And they always are!

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

When I lived in Berlin in junior high, I always spent the night before Nikolaustag with a German friend and her family. Her mom did Nikolaustag up right! Just as we do here, they lived in a unit in a larger building so our boots (or shoes) just went in the hallway instead of outside — but Nikolaus always found us, anyway.

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

Usual gifts are fruit, cookies, nuts, candies, and little trinkets — much like a stocking. Kids are theoretically supposed to shine their boots first, but fire boots don't shine very well. You can also leave a carrot for Nikolaus' horse, but how would a horse get up our stairs?

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

When we can't locate boots, we go with shoes. Nikolaus is cool with that.

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

I love looking back at Alrik's baldie-mullet phase. I bet even at 2 years old, he will be thrilled to receive toothbrushes, an orange, and string cheese. Easy-peasy.

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama
Photo by Richard Huber

Here's what a traditional Nikolaus looks like — a bishop, you see, same as the original Nikolaos. He's tall and thin with a white beard. This fourth-century Greek saint is the basis for various St. Nicholas celebrations around the world as well as the branching out into Good Ol' St. Nick:

He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos." {Wikipedia}

I think St. Nicholas Day is a nice time to remind kids to be secret Santas themselves — looking for little ways they can give at this season and the rest of the year, too. Maybe they could leave a little gift for a sibling or do someone else's chore without being asked. You could choose a giving tree or other charity in your town to brighten up someone's Christmas. You could prettily bag some clementines for friends to leave at their door, ring the bell, and run. You could choose a far-off loved one to receive a surprise care package. I was thinking a nice Nikolaus twist for us would be to make and leave goodies and an explanatory note at our neighbors' doors — even if they forgot to put their boots out!

For some extra fun, you could incorporate some other activities into your celebration:

Put your boots out: It's Nikolaustag! == Hobo Mama

Nikolaustag is fun and cultural. Give it a try with your kids this year!

Lauren blogs at Hobo Mama about naturalHobo Mama and attachment parenting and is the co-founder of Natural Parents Network. She lives and writes near the beach with her husband, Sam, and their sons: seven-year-old Mikko, three-year-old Alrik, and newborn Karsten. Lauren happily shares her knowledge of German customs and language with all three.

This post originally appeared on Hobo Mama.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 46

This post catches me up! Next week will hopefully be right on schedule.

Day 313 - Sunday - November 9

Found our dinosaurs using the bathroom sink as their personal wading pool.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 45

I'm still a week behind, but I'm working on it!

Day 306 - Sunday - November 2

He rolled / climbed down off the couch in his sleep... to sleep on the floor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 44

Seriously behind, but I'm trying to catch back up!

Day 299 - Sunday - October 26

Our friend came to take 2 Oklahoma Brown Tarantulas away to breed.
He brought his own Kritter Keepers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cabin Fever Plan of Attack

Welcome to the November 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Indoor Play This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared ideas and inspiration to keep families happy and healthy while cooped up indoors.

On cold but sunny afternoons, I think some outdoor play is still awesome! We need some sunshine when / if we can snag it. Sometimes, though, you really are stuck inside. It doesn't take too long for that to get old real quick, especially in smaller shared spaces. I have a couple of plans of attack up my sleeve for days when we're getting sick of each other.

First, toy and game rotation. I keep some toys back. I generally rotate bins close to the first of each month, but sometimes I'll whip out something "new" when we're driving each other crazy. Sometimes I inspire the kids to play with an old toy in a new way. Or we check out the games closet. We don't get stuff out of there nearly often enough!

The second big thing we do is allow a bit of craziness indoors. This isn't limited to being stuck inside, but I think it helps during those times. I let my kids do somersaults on the couch or climb all the way up the back of it and drop back down. They run across our small living room and crash into the couch. They might even be allowed to jump on my bed! <gasp> Being able to use up some of their energy in a rambunctious way just seems like a logical fix.

Every once in a while, we also just sit and search for images of whatever Sasha wants to see. Its usually different types of animals. I'll search and then we'll scroll through several pages of images before moving on to a new one.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Congestion Be Gone Shower Vapor Discs — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares a fun way to beat the indoor blues while creating something useful at the same time! Come learn how Jennifer and her daughter created congestion relief discs so you too can get creative in the kitchen. It makes a fun science experiment too!
  • Indoor Fun: Dads and Moms Who Listen Prevent Cabin Fever — Laurie Hollman Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence reminds us that even with all the best planning for indoor fun, it's helpful to have creative tips that forestall daytime upsets and build parent-child bonds.
  • Outside? What's that?: 13 Boredom Busters for 13 Weeks of Winter — Joining us from rural Ontario, where she is no stranger to massive amounts of snow and frigid temperatures, Leslie at Eat Your Peas shares 13 Boredom Busters to get you through the 13 weeks of winter.
  • Where to get the wiggles out in bad weather — Lauren at Hobo Mama offers indoor places to escape to when kids need to run and shout away from the rain and snow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Chicken Coop Project - Part III

If you have no idea where this started, check out the first post, Chicken Coop Project - Part I. This week (Day 3, just 1 week after our last work day) will complete the actual building of the coop! See, there became a little bit of a rush because my egg / chicken lady friend was suddenly needing to re-home some of the members of her over-sized flock. I was itching to do the roof, but...

Brent was already building fence panels when I got outside. He had these 1½ inch square posts he was saving to use on his porch, but they had just been sitting in a rotting pile of wood. We also used a 2 x 6 (from my fence panels), split down the middle, to make the top and bottom. I had picked up several 10' sections of wire fencing (for free!) from a guy outside of town when he had to downsize from his 200+ flock. Elmo had also found a random roll of new fencing in the woods while geocaching! (The roll turned out to be over 20' long!)

Based on the length of the used sections, we made the fence panels 2 inches shy of 10 feet. One post was used at an angle to brace the panels so they would stay square. We made 4 panels and stapled the fencing onto them. These will be mobile, so we'll have the option to change the chicken run around a bit.

We had some random sized sections, too. Brent stapled fencing onto the front of the coop and under the nest. We only closed off 2 sides. I picked up 2 pieces of cheap sheet metal to use for the roof, total cost $20 from a local building supply (that has used and new materials). He used 2 boards from our scrap pile, nailed inside the coop, to support and attach the roof.

We set one panel right behind the nesting box. It connected (in an L) to another fence panel, which we wired to the fence post already in place. The placement was perfect for strong support, despite the old fence being in major disrepair. There's my li'l chickadee, testing out the half-done chicken run.

I didn't get pictures of the roosting bars yet, but we wound up using those same 1½ inch posts from Brent's pile. We used scraps of them to make a U shape on the wall. The roost bars (one high across the back, one low from front to back) slide down into the U support shapes. This makes the bars easy to remove for cleaning or in case I need to get into the coop. I had planned to use branches, but didn't have one the right length to go across the back.

We wired a fence panel to the existing chain link fence. The girls we're getting have been free ranging in a yard with a similar chain link fence. The other panel connects to the coop and overlaps for a handy gate into the run. To make it stay put better, we simply screwed another post scrap next to the panel on the coop. This was very helpful since this panel gets swung in and out so often.

We also installed a new security hasp to lock the coop door closed. I wish I could have found a used one, to match the hinges we used. The hasp cost $3 at the same place as the sheet metal. Brent threw together a temporary cover for the chickens' door (using fence planks) that I'll use a rock to hold down overnight. The nest cover is made with scrap sheet metal from the roof. It isn't completed with hinges yet, we're watching for the right scrap to support it. I just hold it down with rocks for now and its tucked under the fence planks so its still safe from rain.

After this last five hours of work (and less than $60 in supplies), the coop and run are usable! I talked to my connection and... hens would be delivered the next morning!! She also planned to bring enough pine shavings for our coop plus a little feed and scratch. I'm sure I'll write another post about welcoming our girls!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 42

Day 285 - Sunday - October 12

Final work day on the chicken coop.
Lovely fire burning some of the extra scraps.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chicken Coop Project - Part II

If you have no idea where this started, check out last week's post, Chicken Coop Project - Part I.

We hosted a couple of birthday parties and were generally busy, so we didn't have Day 2 on the coop until almost a month later (October 5th). During that time, I also gathered some more free supplies:

My neighbor/helper, Brent, gave me the idea. Fence panels are much easier to dismantle than pallets! My little brother brought over a truckload and dumped it between our houses.

I actually enjoyed pulling these apart!

There was enough wood to do the chicken coop, a small project for the neighbor, a play house and maybe even a small fence for us! Let's not get off point, though... chicken coop...

I purchased a pre-cut piece of vinyl flooring for about $25-30 at Lowe's. We just cut a chunk off the end of the roll, laid it down on the floor, and tucked under or folded up where appropriate. Since we decided to put walls on the inside, we weren't worried about gluing the floor down. The flooring will make for much easier clean up of the coop.

I actually got to do some of the construction on Day 2!

Its coming along! The nesting box was covered in tar paper left over from another job (to keep the touching wood from rotting). Fence panel pieces all over the inside and outside of the coop, except the inside of the nesting box.

Brent built a cute matching door (with more fence panel pieces) and framed in the entry (with scrap from a job). I stapled the flooring around underneath. We made the ramp out of an old waterbed sideboard that was in the yard when we moved in and chunks of branches trimmed around the yard. The branches are just stapled onto the board, which is screwed into the doorway. (It was later moved down a bit to make it easier for the chickens to use.)

I got it covered for upcoming rain using those same trusty fence planks. Once again, we put about five hours of work into the coop. Isn't that door the cutest?!

Stay tuned for Part III! Its nearly finished!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 41

Day 278 - Sunday - October 5

After almost a month, we had another work day on the chicken coop!
This pic is just a sneak preview. Come back Friday to see!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chicken Coop Project - Part I

So I got interested in keeping chickens. I did a LOT of reading. I studied and then I drew up my very own plans for what I wanted! I also collected some pallets. Every time I read a site where someone used re-purposed materials, they had something from a spouse's job or some other personal connection. My coop is no different, but I hope what you take from this is that there are materials in your area that can be gathered and re-purposed for minimal (if any) expense. As I gathered my materials, my husband worried what a hunk of junk I was going to erect in our back yard. I promised him it wouldn't be junky...

Without further ado, Day 1 (September 7th):

My neighbor is a contractor. He had this long pallet (for holding siding) laying around. He also had scraps of 4x4 long enough for what I wanted: elevate coop 3' off the ground.

We wanted to keep the coop small enough that we could roof it as easily as we did the floor in it. So he cut it down to about 7½' long. My friendly neighbor also bought the floor piece of OSB, which cost about $8 (but was free to me).

Floor is attached, hole in floor cut for door. Sasha provides our first chicken test... she likes it!

Walls going up with a slope for the roof. Its starting to look like something!

Brent built out a nesting box on one end. I had not even dared to dream of a nesting box because I felt too clueless to figure out how to build one!

This is what our coop looked like at the end of the day; five hours of work.
Sasha was very excited with the progress and can't wait to share it with chickens!

That lovely neighbor? He recognized that with no experience and no tools... I was going to be at it for a very long time! He is a good guy, so he volunteered to help me with the project. I think I'd be lost on this thing without him! He actually did all the work on Day 1. I got to hold some boards steady, that's it.

Stay tuned for Part II!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Updated Review: Making Mama’s Milk Lactation Cookies - GF!

Back in May 2012, I wrote a review of Making Mama's Milk and More lactation Cookies for a joint giveaway with Natural Parents Network. At that time, I was having to give Spencer donor milk because I couldn't keep up with his demand. Oatmeal had been enough to help with Sasha and before that I had never had a problem. Nothing was working with Spencer... until this. Following the instructions and drinking water with my cookie(s), I immediately saw improvement! I never supplemented Spencer's breastmilk again. I have since recommended them to any and all that have had a supply issue.

Then Spencer was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I realized that I'd have to stop eating my amazing cookies. It may be noteworthy to mention, too, that I had the hardest time only eating 1-2 cookies per day. They're good, people! Anyway, I had to stop eating them. I started donating my sleeves of cookies to local struggling mothers. Then I mentioned the gluten thing (Celiac Disease) to the mom behind MMM&M. She informed me she had added GF cookies! I was shocked! Elated! Why hadn't I thought to ask?! Please send me some of those!

She just got new labels, so this is low tech right here.

As I mentioned, I've always enjoyed these cookies. They're good quality and they taste good! However, I have been gluten free for over 6 months and I know the reality - Gluten Free is just never quite as good. Imagine my surprise when my Gluten Free cookies arrived and... they were somehow even better than the original cookies! I could hardly believe it!

I feel a little bad for local moms that will no longer receive my sleeves of cookies, but I'm very happy to have my cookies back, too! I believe in and use this product! I believe in the company, too. Before giving up, please try these cookies. They are so worth your time! Please check out her site for more information. Like the Facebook page to catch her giveaways!

Disclosure: I did not receive any free samples for review purposes.
I already have a subscription for monthly cookie delivery.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find relevant and useful
to your life as a natural parent. If I don't like a product, I won't be
recommending it to you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 39

Day 264 - Sunday - September 21

These 2 love to roughhouse these days.
I both love it and hate it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

You are Your Child's Advocate

This post was originally published as a guest post on Hybrid Rasta Mama in February 2014.

You know your child better than anyone else. Don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise, including doctors!

The first time a doctor told me I needed to night-wean my child (Sasha, then 2½ years old), I held off a bit and talked to several natural parenting friends that I trust. Night weaning turned out to be exactly what we needed to do for her.

The second time our Pediatrician (same doctor) told me I needed to night-wean my child (Spencer, then 1½ years old), I just knew better. Spencer wasn't ready. He's still not ready. I know its not the solution to Spencer's sleep troubles. We're going on 6 months trying to find the right solution for Spencer and have seen several different specialists along the way. I've had to stick to my guns on this. No one else will choose when we wean (from any part of our nursing schedule).

Sasha and Pediatrician
We still like our Pediatrician.

I have talked to so many moms that have had to stick to their guns, stand up for their children (or didn't and regretted it). You are your child's advocate!

  • My teenage daughter has pretty strong Dental Anxiety. While in the chair (with me holding her hand the entire time - I will not leave her side), she told the Dental Assistant that something hurt. The DA argued that it didn't "hurt," it just felt unfamiliar and strange. We switched dentists. It is hard to find a dentist that listens to the patient, no matter their age. If a child says it hurts, then that is their reality; it hurts! Dismissing their feelings helps nothing.
  • Erica's daughter, Bella, had a rare disease. I don't think anyone researches with as much passion as a parent. She was definitely the expert. Erica chose not to give her daughter an enteral formula but to make a blenderized diet for her tube feedings. The medical personnel did not agree with her decision, but it was definitely the best thing for Bella.
  • At 3-4 months old, Kymberlee's son, Andrew, was nursing a lot, but was not gaining weight. He was barely within the normal range on the growth charts. The Pediatrician told her to quit nursing him and put him on formula. Somehow, her Momma Instinct told her that wasn't necessary. She knew breastmilk was the best thing for her son. She did buy formula to have "just in case." She could look at her son and see he had perfect color in his skin, his eyes were bright and he was happy. He was having plenty of wet and dirty diapers. There was nothing to cause any doubts about his health, other than the growth chart.

    Kymberlee began Baby Lead Weaning Andrew at 6 months, as planned. He still didn't gain weight well, but she could still see that he was happy and healthy. Long story short, she continued to nurse her son until he was 31 months old. He is at the top of the growth charts now and has always been healthy. Kymberlee is glad she trusted her instincts and kept nursing.
  • Kelly (of Becoming Crunchy) was advised that her child likely had autism and that she should spend $1,000 on screening, as if this expense was no big deal. Kellie really didn't feel that her daughter's issue was autism. Despite her husband's support of the screening, Kelly took her daughter for a second opinion. The second Pediatrician not only agreed with Kelly (that the problem was not likely autism), but also gave her a referral to a Developmental Pediatrician (which would not cost them $1,000)!

A medical degree does not make a person a god. Just because a person has a degree, doesn't mean that they should be trusted outright. Trust your gut, trust what you know of your child. No one knows your children as well as you know your children. Your children do not mean as much to anyone else as they do to you. It can be hard to stand up to someone, especially someone with more education than you. But you are your child's advocate!

When have you had to stand up to medical personnel?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mamatography 2014 - Week 38

Day 257 - Sunday - September 14

While out geocaching, the girls also pretended they were riding horses.

Friday, September 19, 2014

DIY Tire Sandbox - for Free

Tires are great for upcycling! I've gathered some for a couple of projects and was ready to re-repurpose one just in time for Sasha's birthday party. I got this particular idea from Suzy Homeschooler.

In case you didn't notice or see it in the photo, there is cardboard under the tire. (This idea comes from my garden.) The corners stick out a little bit. The cardboard helps keep the grass out (for a while, at least) and still drains water out of the dirt. I added some dough shaping toys and a sand shovel (which I knew couldn't handle the dirt I used - it broke).

Spencer was the first to play in the "sandbox." I actually used my garden dirt mix, which includes some top soil and hummus, too. I mix it myself and it was what I had on-hand. I used the very last of it, but I've had it for over a year! I'd think you could literally dig up some dirt from your yard, if you have an area with extra. You could, of course, use sandbox sand.

One of the dads at Sasha's party even spent quite a bit of time rolling this perfect dirt ball. Or three. Don't be afraid to get dirty!

This is what the dirt box looked like the next day. There were plenty of people playing with it. I had to dig our some extra kitchen spoons for digging. Toys became buried treasure... more seats were gathered. I love milk crates!

I was so excited to have completed this backyard play feature in time for the party. And for free! Do you have a favorite backyard upcycle idea?
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