Thursday, 28 August 2014

Play Dough

Okay, so this one was really only an experiment for me, but I'm still counting it.  

My Mom used to make edible playdough for us when we were kids (not that we ate it, it tasted pretty much like salt).  I asked her for the recipe last year, and decided to try it this morning.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup iodized salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
food colouring is desired

Cook until it forms a ball.

These were the instructions she gave me.  Cook until it forms a ball?  Alrighty.  Here we go.

I mixed up four "batches" so that I was ready to go with the cooking portion one right after the other.  I had blue, red, yellow and green food colouring in the cupboard, so, you can probably guess which colours we ended up with... ;)

RED!  Just thought I'd point that out.  Anyways, I had four of these bowls of mess sitting on my counter when I started.

Obviously, had not reached "ball" status yet.  I have a gas stove, so I cooked mine over medium heat.  Be aware that you kind of have to pay attention to this, but you don't have to constantly stir it.  I tried adding different extracts to each batch, but they really just smell like salt, so unless you want to add a LOT of extract, I would jut skip this step.

When it finally formed a ball, I put it on the counter, scraped the pot, then started on the next.

As you can see, there was flour on the counter so that it wouldn't stick, then when it cooled enough, I just shook off as much flour as I could, then kneaded what was still stuck on, and let it finish cooling on the counter.

TADA!!!  I know, not that impressive.  But WAY easier than I thought it was going to be, and I like the feel of this play dough much better than the store bought kind.  This is way cheaper, and at least I know when Little Dude wants to eat his "pretend" food, it isn't going to have any long term effects.

Happy cooking!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Man Dough

This one might be a little strangely titled, but since it involves men's shaving foam, it seriously made me think of their Daddy the whole time!!!

I was surfing pinterest one day, and saw that people were mixing corn starch with shaving foam to make kind of a light and airy version of play dough.  So, outside we went.

Just a note on corn starch, it gets EVERYWHERE!!!  This stuff is so light and sticky, I am tremendously happy that we didn't attempt it inside.

Anyways, I digress.  I had measured out equal parts of corn starch and shaving foam, and let the kids have at mixing them.

I let them play with the corn starch to start off with, thinking that they might find it neat that even though it was really hot outside, the corn startch managed to feel cool the whole time.

Then we added a little food colouring to the shaving foam, and we were off to the races!

I had given them each a spatula, a plastic spoon and a bunch of different cookie cutters from their play dough bin to try out.  The mixing took way longer than I had originally planned for, mostly because it was more fun to wear it than it was to actually mix it!!

I'm not sure if I did something wrong, or if my shaving foam was thicker, but we ended up with more of a 2:1 ratio of shaving foam to corn starch, so be prepared to have extra on hand to get the right consistency of dough.

We also found an abandoned wasp nest while we were outside.  We had set up under the deck, just to not be in the direct sun for an hour, only to find something else had once liked that spot too.  Thankfully, no insects were actually inside, so after a quick discussion aout wasps, it was back to mayhem and destruction!

And voila, we have dough!!!

We are going to try the conditioner and corn starch dough next, so stay tuned and we'll let you know how it turns out!!!

Mini Fizzers

So, for our next experiment, I decided to see if I could freeze coloured vinegar.  It kinda worked.  It freezes, but just barely.  And the colour in it was REALLY vivid, even though I only added a couple drops of food colouring to each.

Then I set the frozen vinegar, a container of baking soda and a paint brush on a tray for each "kid", although it seems I could have put one out for the biggest kid...hmmmmm.

Daddy got in one this one too!

It turns out that this experiment is great for all ages!!!  

They had lots of fun making it bubble, then got distracted finding out what happened when they started mixing both colours together. 

All in all, they may have spent about 30 minutes before everything melted and fizzed itself out.  Then it was back to the trampoline.

By the way, how many of you could spent all day jumping on a trampoline and then have energy left to terrorize a sibling at the end of the day??? Seriously, 10 minutes is my max, then a good nap is needed!!!

Frozen Jello

So, since the container of "friends" was rather large, I decided I might as well freeze some more.   This time, I was a little more creative and froze them in Jello.

This was pretty easy to do, I just followed the instructions on the side of the box, except instead of chilling in the fridge, I stuck them in the freezer.  I chose lime jello as my "sea water".

Then I got even more creative and added sprinkles.  I even learned something with this one.  Both containers on the table that are green are made with lime jello, but the tree sprinkles that I added to Little Dude's jello made his go darker.  The plain old cake sprinkles that went into Sweetie's didn't alter the colour at all.  :)

For this experiment, we simply took the Jello out of the freezer, gave them each a plastic spoon and fork, and let them go at it.  The weird thing about Jello is that once it is gelatinous, it never really goes back.  And it makes for a really strange consistency once it starts to thaw, FYI.  They played with it on and off for a couple hours before it just wasn't fun anymore.  

And the call of the sprinkler was just too much to resist...

And next we....

Science Experiments!!!

It has been quite the hot summer here for us, and since science experiments are almost always messy, we have decided to take advantage of this beautiful weather and make messes outside!!!

Our first science experiment was pretty simple, just ice and salt.  I had found a huge container of plastic beads of all different sorts at walmart for $6, so I simply froze different beads in different shaped containers so the kids could "rescue" their friends.

I had some packaging tubs left over from other purchases, so I used those to freeze the beads in.  Then I gave Sweetie and Little Dude small containers of salt, and a paint brush.

Little Dude had way more fun eating his salt, but, well, what else is a 2 year old suposed to do???  Lol.

And do you know how hard it is to get both kids smiling at the camera, with eyes open, at the same time???  As you can see, I didn't manage it!!!

Anyways, it took them about 45 minutes, much more salt than I had originally given them, and lots of patience, but eventually, all new friends were rescued.  Then they found the trampoline and that was pretty much the end of it.

As a starter science experiment, this one was pretty awesome.  It even appealed to all their senses, all all parts of the experiment were child "safe".  I say this because I was there to make sure no little friends were ingested.  

Stay tuned to see what happens next...  ;)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Passed the Danger Mark!

Wow, has my writing been sporadic this year?!?  While it makes me feel like I have been so lazy, this spring was a time of healing and discovery.  I have spent so many amazing moments with God, and with my family.  I have certainly learned over the last year that nothing can be taken for granted.

I have been busy exploring with Sweetie and Little Dude.  We have been bird watching, puddle playing and planting in our garden.  The kids even planted "Russian Blue" potatoes in their own little part of the garden this year.  We have been outside every day that hasn't been pouring rain, and visiting as much family as we can.

And I have some exciting news!!!  I am officially 15 weeks pregnant!  We had an early ultrasound just to check and make sure that everything is as it should be, and so I could have peace of mind that God's plan was indeed that I get to at least see this baby.  I have been sick since the beginning of May, but it is finally beginning to taper off.  I was beginning to forget what a clean(ish) house looked like.  Or at least as clean as mine ever gets with two very busy children.

We have been experimenting the last week or so with some pretty easy to put together "science" experiments, so stay tuned, as I will be putting those posts together over the next week or so.

As always, I would love to hear from you.  And if you have any prayer requests, I would be honored to lift your requests up in my daily prayers.  And please, if you are travelling through miscarriage and need support of any kind, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I may not have the answers, but I do have a willing shoulder.

I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.  Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Science Bottles Part 4 - Magnetic

So, on day 4 of the science bottles series, I will show you my take on the magnetic bottles. 

Sweetie helped me out today!

The first bottle was cotton balls and large paper clips.

Here are the paper clips at the top.

The second bottle it black buttons and left over jewelry pieces.  I make bracelets and bookmarks and have lots of spare pieces.

This is what the button bottle looks like.  You can see the metal at the top stuck to the magnetic wand.

The third bottle is made of plastic pony beads and coloured thumbtacks.

You can see the pink thumbtack at the top.

The 4th bottle is sand and a nail.

These are just the items that I had around the house to use.  These bottles do not need to cost any money, just find something magnetic (could be bolts, screws, nails, etc.) and something else (marbles, cotton balls, plastic items, etc.). 
ALL bottles have been glued shut using hot glue.  This is a VERY important step since inquiring little minds will want to know what is inside, and probably want to know what it tastes like.  If you choose to make these, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure they are adequately sealed.  Magnets can be especially dangerous if swallowed, so never leave a child unattended while playing with these toys.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Science Bottles Part 3

So, I found this really cool idea:
Now, I have this habit of seeing something, thinking it looks cool, then I go about trying to make it.
I hardly ever check to make sure I have the appropriate supplies before beginning.  As a result, my version looks a little different.  This was right after I made it, so maybe it will still separate.  If not, it still looks pretty neat.  And shows density too!
And here is what I used:
Light Corn Syrup
Palmolive Dish Detergent
Blue Coloured Water
Vegetable Oil
Baby Oil
Body Lotion
What ideas have you tried?  Any ones you want me to try with common household items?  I will post any others that I do in Part 4.

ALL bottles have been glued shut using hot glue.  This is a VERY important step since inquiring little minds will want to know what is inside, and probably want to know what it tastes like.  If you choose to make these, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure they are adequately sealed.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

My Miscarriage Journey

So, most of you have probably noticed that it has been FOREVER since I last posted.  And I have some amazing reasons why.  The first reason is truly a blessing.  We found out that we were expecting our third child at the end of November. 

I was shocked.  I have mentioned before that I am a planner, and while we knew this was certainly a possibility, after 7 months of trying, I had kind of made peace with only having two children.  I had started cleaning out baby stuff.  I had even given away my maternity clothes.

God laughs at our plans, right?

So, I took December off to enjoy my couch and prepare as best as I was able to for Christmas.  Morning sickness is a term I am a little over familiar with.  And mine sticks around pretty much all waking hours.  I managed to lose 10 lbs before New Years.

And on January 3, we went for an ultrasound to get a birthday for our new addition. 

And this is where it all went horribly wrong.

You see, we went in expecting to see what every parent expects to see during that ultrasound.  A baby.  Only we never got to see our little miracle.  The ultrasound tech said that she couldn't find a baby.  She said it matter of factly, like it was ok.  But it wasn't.  I was sick.  I was tired all the time.  I was pregnant dammit.  Where was my baby?

She consulted with the radiologist, leaving us alone in the room.  She came back and did an internal ultrasound.  Then she left again.  And when she came back, she said that there was no baby.  There never was a baby.  These things happen.  You are free to go home and follow up with your family Dr. on Monday.

Pardon me?

We went home, shocked that this had happened.  We didn't know what to think, or how to feel.  We didn't know what comes next.  We just knew that our little miracle...wasn't.

I spent the evening telling our friends and family that we were no longer expecting, hugging my babies (thank God I already had two kids to go home to hug, I can't imagine going home with empty arms), and looking on Google to find out what had just happened.

It's called a blighted ovum, which basically means that when sperm met egg, a placenta, etc., was formed, but something went wrong with the chromosomes, so a baby never actually formed.  My body was still receiving signals from the placenta that I was pregnant, so it was trucking along just as misinformed as I was.  They think that this is actually the most common type of miscarriage.  They say as many as 1 in 4 pregnancies are miscarriages.  Most happen within the first 5 weeks of pregnancy, often before a pregnancy is even suspected.

This left us with 3 options.  I could wait until my body clued in, and I miscarried "naturally".   Since that can take anywhere up to 3 weeks or more, I really didn't want to let nature take its course and torture me in the process.  My hubby agreed, stating that I was going to be heartbroken no matter what, and waiting would just be torture and delay the healing process.

I could take some pills that would cause the "natural" process happen faster, but this would be painful, messy and just seemed like so much more than I could bear. 

Or, I could have a surgery where they would knock me out, remove everything from my uterus, and after 3-7 days, my body would be back to normal.  I think my heart is going to take a LOT longer.

The process was really quite simple, and was the right choice for me.  I do not judge anyone who has made a different decision, as it is a very personal decision.  Only you can decide which option will help you start the grieving process.  I went in to the hospital, they did one final round of blood work, then I waited for an OR to open up.  I was in the operating room for about 30 minutes, although awake for only about 5 of those.  Then I woke up in recovery, waited until I was stable and awake enough to get dressed, then I got to go home.

I went home, hugged my babies, ate a full dinner (for the first time in 6 weeks!), and cuddled with my hubby.  I was in no real physical pain at all. 

The specialist who did my surgery said that she always sends the tissue away just to be sure.  Since I have already had two healthy babies, she is quite certain that there is nothing wrong with either one of us and doesn't really expect any results from the tests.  But she sends it away because the more research they do, the more answers they will have so that maybe they can do something in the future.  It helps to think that maybe I can help someone else not have to go through this.

If you are reading this trying to figure out what is happening to you, know that you will get through it.  5 minutes at a time, one foot in front of the other.