Camp Mom week whatever it is: Play Dough Edition!

Yesterday afternoon The Kid needed a distraction. I needed to do something to calm my nerves. It had been a tense afternoon previously…Mega temper tantrum at the Mall! Eep! And although she napped and since then was quite deliriously happy, that tantrum clung to me like a cloak of cranky crankiness. I know these things happen and kids forget immediately so I tried really hard to think of something to help me get over it and give her something fun to do.

The result?
From my list of Pinterest things to do: Make your Own Play Dough!

I pinned this recipe and it claims to be the softest play dough ever. It also is cooked on the stove, which I’d never done before. Years and years ago back when I worked at a Day Care/Nursery School, we’d make our own play dough, but we did it in the microwave. So cooking it on the stovetop was a new experience for me.

It was really easy to do, and The Kid enjoyed standing on a chair next to me helping to stir. She got pissed at me when I took it off the fire to knead it, but hey, she’s a crab lately, what can you do?! It also turns out I was really too excited to use it and I’d taken it off too soon. If it looks remotely sticky, its not ready yet. It really needs to look pretty much like a ball of play dough before you remove it from the heat. That being said, I put it back on and proceeded to overcook it a smidge. Whoops!

Either way, it was hardly a mess at all, and the kid liked it once she got over the shock of it not being exactly like REAL play dough. She sat down, all excited to play with play dough, and when I gave her the giant clump of purple dough we’d just made, poor kid looked at me sadly and cried! Then pointed at the little yellow jars. Damn you and your marketing ploys Play-Doh(TM)!! After showing her all the cool stuff she could do with it, she enjoyed it for a few minutes, then spent the remainder of her time lining up all the rolling pins and other tools in a very neat line. Um, well, it kind of made her happy?

Tomorrow I want to try something else, but I’m not sure what! Suggestions??


Terrible 20 months?!

So okay, my darling daughter is now 20 months old. She’s pretty awesome most of the time but uh, lately? Well…Let’s say I am afraid the Terrible Two’s are arriving early.
She’s usually very happy, easy going, good at sharing, blahdy blah blah blah. But the past two weeks she has started throwing INSANE temper tantrums. Like holy crap get out the holy water and exorcise this child temper tantrums! Over weird things too!


Example of my life recently:

Me: Okay! Let’s put our shoes on and go outside!


Me: Okay, sit down and let’s put on our shoes so we can go play. Come sit on my lap…


So basically She’s flipping out like crazy over bizarre things. Also over normal kid things, but the tantrums last a LONG time. She used to get mad, yell for thirty seconds and be over it, now its like a good 5 or 10 minutes which is awful. She won’t let me help her either when she flips, I just kind of have to wait and then distract her when she starts to calm down.

On top of this, she’s started resisting bedtime like insanely. Oh man its so bad! For the past two weeks you basically mention its time to go up and she cries. Then you get her up there, do the routine and she’s fine! Tuck her in and either she stands up and screams immediately, or gives you a false sense of hope and waits til you get downstairs and THEN screams! You go in, give her hugs and she’s all, OH LOOK LETS PLAY WITH THE CRAP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM! LOOK AT THE DOOR! I LOVE YOU! HA! So then you tuck her in, leave, and she repeats til you realize she is playing you for a fool, you tell her she is super fine and a big girl and she can totally go to sleep and you will see her in the morning and she screams another 5-10 mins and goes to sleep. So awful!


So anyway, I’ve been stressed about this and also not able to do too much as I’ve been busy working at camp and by the time she’s up from her nap, we have only a few hours before bed. So today was our first day off together and I tried really hard to think like a Toddler. What would frustrate me? What would super make me mad? I also tried to think with more patience…what things are really not a big deal if it goes her way? Which things do I totally need her to comply with? I chose my battles wisely and we had a fabulous day! She only threw one small fit which was quick and no big deal in the end.

At bedtime I employed a new tactic my dear friend Ann’s kid does without them realizing it’s a tactic: I let her pick one special toy from the living room to take up to bed with her. She was so excited! And uh, then she chose an empty fabric box that held her toys. And because this was day one of my plan and I really wanted to see if it would work, I kind of let her do it. I figured we have a monitor that lets you see whats going on so it would be safe enough.

Result? She couldn’t wait to get into her crib. She spent about 20 minutes putting crap in the box, sitting in it and then taking everything out and repeating. Eventually she got tired, climbed out of the box and went to sleep with minimal fuss!

So I’m hoping my new-found resolve to be patient and outsmart her will pay off and her Toddleritis will pass quickly. Or tomorrow she’ll totally flip on everything and cry at bedtime again. Who knows!?

I don’t have a Title for this one…

I’ve been kind of quiet on this blog lately, due to many reasons, some of which I’d rather not write about as I’m trying to keep this a happy upbeat kinda place. But mainly, I’ve been super busy with actual camp, not camp mom. I’ve been working mornings at my district’s art camp, which is always an adventure though this year seemed to entail a whole lot more running around after camp each day than usual! Next year I am hoping things will be a bit calmer, and that I can enjoy my afternoons instead of running around with the poor kid trying to replace the terrible paper mache sent to me that didn’t remotely work…oy!

At any rate, as my darling little kid is snoozing on the couch next to me, I am relaxing and trying to come up with some fun stuff for next week when camp is over! I can’t wait to get us to the beach and pool nice and early and get home before its too hot and just in time for naps and lunch. I also think we are going to try to make our own playdough either on Friday or some time next week. If we succeed, or even if we don’t, I’ll definitely post about it!

Lately the kid is all about a few things:

1) Building towers and stuff out of anything she can find. Blocks, mega blocs, cups, her dinner dishes. I think its so awesome. She sticks her tongue out in concentration and builds things pretty high!

2) Trying to really talk! SO exciting! She now has some new words to add to her repertoire including Choo Choo, NO (She used to say DA and I’m sad she stopped to be honest!), cracker, and other parrot-like responses that she says once but then not again for awhile. I’m wondering if real talking is on it’s way?!

3) Coloring. Omg, I set up a little bin at the kitchen table, which we always cover with butcher paper as its super nice and we are trying to preserve it through the kid years (HA!), and lately she crawls up on a chair and will sit for a really long time picking out different markers, crayons and chalk and just coloring every inch of the paper on the table! I love it! I’d love it more if I felt that I could trust her to sit and color while I did something exciting like, Oh, make dinner or empty the dishwasher, but for now I’m happy to sit and watch her and maybe enjoy a mostly quiet cup of coffee while we sit!

So that’s about it for now! Oh! I forgot all about our recent trip to the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in CT! I’ll have to post about that later. So much fun! In the meantime, I can’t believe this kid is still asleep. I’m going to lay around and watch cooking instead of doing anything at all cuz long naps are pretty rare in this house and I consider them a gift!!


s’mores indoors!

Sometimes you just want to have a gooey and delicious snack and you don’t want to go to the trouble of lighting up a fire pit. In these times, toaster oven s’mores are perfect and cozy.
How do you do such a thing?! You ask? Simple!

1. lay out the graham and slice the marshmallows in half and lay flat on a toaster sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up of course)

2. Cook on the BROIL setting for about 2-5 mins. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not walk away! If you are not staring the mallows down watching them melt they will almost definitely go too far and next thing you know there is a small fire in your kitchen. So watch them!

3. Just before they look super done, throw on the chocolate and let that melt a smidge as well.

4. Smoosh together, and enjoy!