sick days {part three}

One more post about how we spend our sick days! I've loved hearing all of the ways that you make the most of the times when your little ones aren't so well.

You can go peek over at the other posts here if you like.

Generally speaking if we are too ill for school or church, that doesn't mean we are too sick for fun.  In fact, I can only recall a time or two when the boys wanted to do NOTHING but lie there in their misery.  For those times we pull out favorite movies and watch them on repeat all day long.  What are your favorite sick day movies?  Our favorites are Despicable Me, Cars and all of the Toy Story movies.  Also on days like this I am super thankful for kids channels on TV...I mean what a lifesaver. 

If the boys are a little better than "misery" we will throw some books in there to help relieve some of my mom guilt about them watching TV all day, even if they ARE sick.  

If they are a step or three above miserable I like to pull out the craft activities that we don't always do but don't require a lot of energy to enjoy.  My boys LOVE watercolors.  They will sit and sit and sit for hours if I let them.  I've learned that if I draw them something in black marker they will sit and paint it in with colors for hours if we let them.  It also helps if we give them subject paint a dog or your brother or a picture to mail to grandma.  Giving them a bit of purpose goes a long way to holding their attention.

I also like to keep my eyes open for small craft projects in the $1 bins at Target or Micheal's.  There always seems to be something simple and seasonal that my boys would like to make. 

If all else fails I have one word for you: Pinterest.  You can type in something simple like "preschool activities" and up pops hundreds of ideas for you to put to use.  You will find more ideas for crafts than you could do in a thousand sick days, many that will use items that you already have on hand.  And if you are worried you might not have the "right" items on hand, I suggest putting together a little sick day kit that you keep stashed in the closet.

Some items you may want to include in your "sick day kit":
construction paper
new crayons
glue sticks
foam stickers
small craft projects from the $1 bins
maybe even a small toy or two

The important thing is to keep it away from your kids.  The element of "new" is a big part of it's magic.

Hopefully these tricks and a little Children's Mucinex can help you salvage an otherwise slump of a day.

The next time your little one comes down with the inevitable cold, give Children’s Mucinex a try! And go here to print a $2 off coupon!

Check out my other sick days posts HERE and HERE

Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold 
When your child has a bad cold, you both can feel miserable. Children's Mucinex is the #1 children's brand for relieving congestion* and provides fast acting relief from your child's worst cold symptoms. Try Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold if your child needs relief from stuffy nose and chest congestion. Always use Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold as directed. (*Based on IRI unit share data for the 52 weeks ending November 2012) 

What activity makes your child smile when they are under the weather? Leave me a comment for a chance to win a $100 CVS gift card!

No duplicate comments.
You may receive 1 total entry by leaving a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/6/2013 – 3/31/2013

Be sure to visit the Children's Mucinex Multi-Symptom Cold page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Lord have mercy.

Man.  Sorry for the lapse of posting but dang, these last couple of weeks have been kicking my booty.  I'll start by saying that my life is very good.  I'm thankful for no real issues.  Everything I am dealing with at the moment is a tiny blip on the map of my life.  I just seem to be dealing with a lot of blips at the moment and the weight of all of them combined is just exhausting me.  I'm not complaining or yelling about unfairness.  I'm saying I am exhausted and tired and in dire need of a win.    

Now I'm about to talk about a taboo topic here.  I've been researching and discussing it and dealing with it for some time and before I dared talk about it here I wanted to be firm in my position on it so I could take whatever blows or criticisms I received about it.  I have found that this topic makes people very opinionated.  Usually people who have babies (or no children!!!) and are still in the "know it all" phase of raising children where the reality of knowing nothing has yet to settle in. 

I'm talking about bedwetting.  And we are combating it in this house.  We always said that we would deal with it when it started to bother the child that was it was concerning and that time has come.

So far we have tried lifting (taking him to bed at certain times of night), I've read a couple of books, tons of articles, talked to our pediatrician, restricted liquids before bed, and tried various different natural remedies.  All of which didn't do a speck of good for any of us except raise hopes to only drop them on the ground lower than before.  Time to get crazy.  I bought an alarm.  A $100 alarm.  We are four nights in and I am as tired as I was when I had newborns.

Lacking sleep is not the best version of Crystal to come across.  I literally have to pray before I fall asleep at night to be nice to my son when he comes to wake me for help with the alarm.

I want you to know that if you are dealing with this, it is NOT YOUR FAULT.  Or your kids fault.  It's just luck of the draw.  Especially if you have boys and/or a family history of bedwetting.  1% of 18 year old, male army recruits still wet the bed.  It's just a reality of raising kids that some of us have to deal with, just like night terrors or allergies.  

I am dealing with a couple of weeks of exhaustion here.  Again, I realize this is small potatoes and I know we will get to the other side.  I'll happily review all of the products and books we used to help anyone else out there that I can.

So add to that...I am having some sort of allergic reaction to something in my environment causing a full blown rash covering my arms and legs.  So when I DO get to sleep, I don't get to sleep, I itch.  I've tried everything I can think of to get rid of it, ointments, medications, changing shampoos, etc.  Nothing.

Add to that a series of things that would never even cause a peak on the scale if these other two things weren't present...lots of snow days, paypal shipping not working, paying a huge tax bill, etc.  Everything is magnified by a rash and bedwetting.  

Remember when I said I was praying for patience in 2013?  Yeah, I'm on the verge of screaming "UNCLE!!!???". 

Prayers are appreciated.

In the mean time...any ideas for tutorials here? 
I'd love to hear what you would like to see?

Additionally some reminders:
And check out my post about saving for college with T Rowe Price! 
Chime in about sick days to win $100 CVS giftcard!

february lately.

1) Allow me to introduce Newspaper Balloon to you.  She is amazing and darling and her work is just as lovely.  This is one of FOUR family portraits I have gotten from her so far.  I have decided that every friend of mine who has a birthday this year will be getting one of their own.  So far we have a superhero, hobby, beach and starwars version.  Love them all. 
2) This kid casually mentions winning an award at school as student of the week for perseverance.  We asked him about it and he says "I'm very excited about it" with about as much enthusiasm as Napoleon Dynamite.  
3) I had to, right?
4) I've finished another quilt! Yay!  Photos to come.
5) Bunny hohos for Easter anyone?  You can follow me on Instagram (littlebitfunky) to snag one.
6) Re-growing green onions.  You can get away with this a couple times. 
7) Any day that is warm enough for this is used to it's full advantage.  Cape and all.
8) Another quilt started.
9) If homeschool equaled Kumon books I would be awesome at it.
10) Cute kid.
11)  Naughty kid.  Shoved that little ball as far in his ear as he could.  Thankfully the doctor got it out in one try. 
12) Love cookies.
13) Moses illustrating my point. " If you don't play nicely no one will want to play with you."
14) I have not been behind in laundry since September.  The magic trick is one complete load a day. 
15) My first spoonflower order.
16) Doug's grandparents celebrated 71 years of marriage on the 14th of February.  Amazing, right?
 17) Batman and the Joker by Moses.
18) Treats for all the teachers. The bus driver.  The coworkers.  The mail man and anyone else who gets in my way. 

How has YOUR February been?

Movie Night (Free movie tickets!)

Over Christmas break we treated the boys to a movie...for Aaron it was his first time ever and honestly I wasn't sure how it would go but thanks to MyBlogSpark and General Mills  we were able to go for only a few bucks.  A win win for all of us.  We ended up having a great time!  The boys were amazingly well behaved and we loved the movie (Wreck it Ralph). 

My Blog Spark sent me $24 of Emovie cash and a box of General Mills Cheerios to keep AND some of the same for one of you!  We were able to use our emovie cash AS cash and since movie tickets in our town are $8 we were all able to go to the movies for $8 total. :) Not a bad deal.   

You want to go to the movies too?  Leave me a comment on this page telling me the last movie you went to see and whether you liked it or not. :) I'll choose a winner next week and get some tickets to you! :)

Happy 4th Birthday Aaron!

Today is my Aaron's 4th birthday.  He's my wild child, my curious little monkey, my climber, my crazy, my bundle of energy, my never ending source of patience building.  He's also very sweet and kind and loves a good snuggle.  He's in love with babies and animals.  He's HUGE and already showing signs of being great at sports.  He loves Dalmatians (all named Koufax).  His favorite food is blueberries.  He hates hot dogs.  He goes to school two days a week and loves it.  He loves Sunday school and adopts all of our friends as aunts and uncles.  He's wonderfully funny and has great joke delivery.  He is rambunctious.  He is all boy.  He is wonderful and awesome.  He fills a sweet space in our family and we are so thankful for him.  There isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't teach us something new.  Our family is complete with him in it. 

Happy birthday to the original hoho!  We are so happy for each and every day of the last four years!

Won't you consider making a $10 donation in this Hoho's honor to "Hohos for Jesus"?  There's still time to win this months HUGE hoho!  Go here to donate! Thanks for considering! :)

give a rainbow {free st.patricks day printable}

Can I tell you something?  I have never ever done anything to celebrate St. Patricks Day.  It's a non-holiday to me really, in the same category as presidents day or arbor day.  It holds no special meaning to me even if there is a trace of Irish running through my blood.   

I do however, love a good excuse to do something fun for my kids.  That makes it a special day to me.  I thought Aaron would enjoy a little something to take to his friends on St. Pattys.  And I'm sharing this craft and printable with you now so you have time to order the cello bags you need to complete it.  I'm also working on an Easter craft or two using the same bags...just so you know. :)   
You want to make some of these cute treats for some special people in your life?
You will need:
skittles (one big bag will make 8-10 of these)(or any rainbow candy really)
some Hersheys Pot of Gold chocolates (or any gold wrapped candy will do)
some 2 by 12in cello bags ( I bought them HERE but they are available elsewhere on the web)
My free St. Patty printable you can download from HERE.
All you need to do is print out as many of the printable as you need (leave white space for folding over).  I print mine on cardstock.
Stack the candies in gold first then opposite rainbow order.  Fold the bag over and staple the printable on top. 
I found that the candy stacked easier if I kept the bags laying down while feeding them in.  I also only did eight of each color skittle.  You could obviously do more or less. 
You could easily turn this into a learning craft too...counting groups of candy, colors, ROYGBIV, etc. 
Hope you enjoy bringing a little rainbow goodness to the people in your lives!

Please feel free to pin and share this post! :)


20 Minute Crafter {How to Make a Little Boy Tie} + {Simple, Easy & Quick Tie Free Pattern}!

Do you have little boys who love ties the way mine do?  My boys LOVE to wear ties and to them, they aren't just for button down shirts.  No, sir.  They go great with t-shirts and superhero costumes, too.  Mondays are great tie days as are Sundays.  Every day is a good day to spiff up your outfit with a tie, according to them.  And you know what?  I kind of love it. 

Do you know what else?  They are SUPER easy to make.  I even made a super duper easy pattern for you.  Once you make one, you will be able to crank them out in a matter of 15 minutes a piece.  I promise.

You want to make some for your boys {or girls too I guess}? 
Here is what you need:
about a fat quarters worth of cotton fabric
some lightweight iron on interfacing
some 1/2in  elastic (amount depends on neck size--measure your boy for comfort and ease of on/off)
velcro (optional)
my free easy pattern that you can download for free HERE.  Be sure to get both parts!

Step one is to iron your fabric (after you have guesstimated how much you will need to suit the pattern), then iron the interfacing to the back following the direction on the package.
Step two is to cut out your pattern pieces. 
Step three:  Grab this piece and fold the lower corner up to to the upper right corner... so.  Crease with your nail or iron it there.
Stitch along the edge shown using about 1/4in seam.
Step four: trim threads and nip the corner for ease of folding then turn that triangle right side out.
Step five:  Fold tie in half length wise (but try not to crease it) and sew along the shown edge using a 1/4in seam. 
Step six:  Turn right side out and iron flat.  I placed my ruler inside the tie to iron without getting a line down the middle from the crease behind it. 
Step seven:  Grab this piece...fold in half length wise and... along the edge shown.  Turn right side out. 
Step eight: Use the pattern template to cut your tube at the right angle.
Step nine: With the seam facing you fold the left side up like so...then fold the right side up in the same way to match up.  Flip over so that a triangle faces up to you...
Step ten: Match up the folded edges with the raw top edge of the body of the tie and sew as in the photo above.  Using a 1/4in seam allowance.
This is what you will have at this point.  Trim the loose threads. 
Step 11: Thread the tie body through the triangle and pull most of the way through.
Grab your elastic...and thread through the tie knot...
And sew together the ends like so OR you can attach Velcro to the ends if you prefer that.
Either way you end up with a super cute tie!  And with a project this easy you can make one for every day of the week...or every holiday...or every "just because" day!

I'll try to answer questions in the comments!

Have fun!


puppy party! {the twins are four!}

No, I don't technically have twins but my nephew and my Aaron were born exactly two weeks apart so ever since then we often refer to them as the twins, especially come birthday time.  Sadly, last year we were unable to celebrate together but this year we were back at it!  Since both boys LOVE dogs it was decided that a puppy party would be just perfect for them! :)
It wasn't at all complicated and certainly not elaborate, just a few little details to make the birthday boys happy!
We served dog bone pb & j, puppy chow and some scooby snacks.

We had an adopt a puppy station (pups from the dollar tree). 
 My sweet friend made this just for the party and Aaron was super thrilled!
The fire hydrant was from Oriental Trading and I made each boy his own "dog food" cake using Reeses cereal (blech!) covering a chocolate frosted cake.  The boys LOVED them. :)
I made dog bone cookies, of course. 
And some cupcakes. 

 We also had a "dress like a puppy" station.  Also a huge hit!  (Dog noses from Oriental trading and I made the ears from felt and headbands).
 (I even used a real dog bowl).
 Cute puppy!
 And then the best part...
We let the birthday pups eat their cakes on the dogs. :) You see why I made extra cupcakes?

A super fun and a super easy party! :)
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