Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

K’s Girl Jeans

I love clearance racks. I have a serious obsession with finding good deals. It works out well living in Texas because we probably only need non-Summer clothes about 2-3 months of the year. (We do a lot of layering in those months.)

The only problem I have discovered with clearance rack shopping for the kids is that all the boy and girl clothes tend to be all mixed in together…

You’d like to think it would be idiot proof (pink, sparkles, and bows equal girl; blue, super heroes, and bugs equal boy), but it isn’t. Jeans all look alike to me. I see $2 pairs of jeans and will gleefully scoop them up in E and K’s current sizes.

I swear I saw regular jeans but, in my quest for cheap play clothes, I somehow made it home with K sized girls’ skinny jeans/leggings… Mom fail.

Luckily, K does not realize they are meant for girls. They have been dubbed comfy pants. Comfy pants are usually cotton pants that are only worn around the house or to sleep in. They make great craft pants because I really don’t care if they end up paint splattered.

K and his pumpkin in his girl pants and ghost footprint shirt:

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Painting his “electric punkin”:

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I’d like to pretend that this has never happened before, but alas, I have photo evidence to the contrary. Somehow he ended up in girl jeans for pictures at three months old. I didn’t even realize the little pockets had a frill on them until later.

K in all his chubby, cute, girl jean clad glory:

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Oh well. Hopefully I learn to correctly identify jeans before he hits elementary school.

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E’s Education Plan

When E was napping today, I banished K to play in his room and caught up on laundry. (Well, I tried to catch up on laundry.) I cranked up the radio to drown out the sounds of K making a huge mess in his room and folded piles of long neglected clean clothes. There were a few small piles of clothes that had to be sniff tested to make sure they weren’t dirty things that ended up next to the clean clothes basket.

Is it sad that this felt like a getaway? Just zoning out, doing something easy, and listening to music that makes no mention of the words “yummy”, “potty”, or “icky”.

We decided to go check the mail after E woke up and K had thoroughly destroyed his room. I was surprised to read this letter:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Miller,

We have been following a strange string of activities and decided to reach out to you on these matters. We believe your daughter, E, may have certain gifts of which you may not be aware. Society calls these gifted young people mutants.

A young mutant will often only reveal their abilities to one member of their family. We believe your son, K, has witnessed her powers. As early as her turning 1 month old he has been reporting strange behavior. She has reportedly broken his arm, flipped him over, bit him, throw all the toys around the living room, and made him believe he was turned into various things (a princess, a pumpkin, a baby, Minnie Mouse, etc.) all without ever touching anything or the ability to speak.

This could be a sign of great telekinetic powers cultivating in her. We want you to be aware of these concerns and ask you to consider our School For Gifted Youngsters as a possibility when she starts kindergarten. We will be tracking her progress and will send you more information soon.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Charles Xavier

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Even More Fall Fun: E the Winner

E won a costume contest today!

We went to Kids’ Night Out at a local grocery store. They had games throughout the store, a cupcake walk, face painting, and a costume contest.

K had a blast. He ran up and touched a cupcake before he started the cake walk. He actually won that round, so it worked out ok and he took the one he touched. I was certainly relieved.

They paraded all the costumes in front of the employees and judged by claps. There was a pretty cute dragon/knight brother team that had me worried, but E won! We were excited. She got a coin purse and all the kids got a treat bag.

We also went to the Farmers’ Market for some pictures and produce. They had a couple inflatables. K went down the slide about 50 times. E can rock a bounce house like nobody’s business. 13 months old and she keeps up with the big kids.

K wanted another pumpkin to paint. He picked it up and dropped it. He chased after his rolling pumpkin, “Come back little fella! You’re a silly punkin!”

Our sweet Minnie Mouse:

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Her great uncle from Florida sent her the dress as a gift. She has a legit Disney World Minnie Dress.

In the cart at the store:

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They love these carts.

A couple Farmers’ Market pics:

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Glow Stick Bath and Fall Fun

It is finally starting to feel like Fall in the Lone Star State. We’ve actually needed light jackets the past few days! We almost turned the heater on tonight but decided to settle for warm jammies and blankets.

Somehow the “cold” weather is having varied effects on our family. All I want to do is snuggle up and sleep, but the kids have been popping up before dawn. I had both kids clinging to me and demanding things before six this morning. I have a rule now that I don’t make breakfast before the sun comes up.

I’m grateful for my husband’s job, but his early shift on Sundays is getting old. I get so frazzled trying to get the kids and I ready for church by myself. I try to trap E in the living room so I can take a shower but K knocks down the gate for her. They do their best brother/sister collaboration when they storm the bathroom to find mommy.

A cup of coffee with my mom, wonderful worship music, and helping my dad with Children’s Church all soothed my mom soul. Andy met us and we ate lunch with a sweet lady from church who opened her home to several of the young families. We are blessed.

Tonight we attended our church’s Fall Festival. This year was a western theme. They had games, candy, a hay ride, a bounce house, hot dogs, ponies, and even two boa constrictors to pet. (Having a former museum curator as an elder can have its perks!)

Here is our little Minnie Mouse:

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Construction Worker K:

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My father-in-law found a real carpenter kit for $10 and I found the vest at Dollar Tree for $1. He was super cute and now has all the gear to help with remodeling the Old House.

Our dear friends came and here is Thor J with Construction Worker K:

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My friend Nicole has a great blog about raising J. He is an amazingly smart kiddo and a sweetie but has seizures and other special needs.

E decided she was just going to sit for a minute:

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Andy shaved his beard into a mustache and dressed up as his dad. I wore one of my homemade bows.

Here we are at my dad’s booth:

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We got home and K asked if he could use all the glow sticks he got in the bath. Of course I said yes! Glow sticks are a great sensory bath activity. You can just throw them in the bath or put them inside water balloons to make glowing orbs. We wash them really quickly with the lights on and then turn them off and let them play.

It is hard to capture a glow stick bath on camera…

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Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’m beat. I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow being Monday!

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Monsters from The Blue Slime Lagoon: Making Homemade Slime

We love sensory play in our house. I try to do a couple activities a week. I have been coveting a sensory bin table recently. I hope we can build one when we move to the “Old House” in a few months. For now we have a big red bin that we use as our sensory bin.

E gets to participate in most activities, but I try to do a few each month especially for K when sister is napping. Even at 13 months old, E still takes a lot of my attention. I think it is good for K to get some special mommy time when possible.

In honor of Halloween we decided to make slime. K decided it had to be blue slime. Everything has to be blue right now.

I set up our red bin on an old blanket*. I added one tub with corn starch. I also added a bowl of water with some little scoops. (Save formula scoops if you have them! They make great sensory scoops.)

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He added a big heaping amount of blue food coloring to his corn starch.

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He added water and mixed it by hand.

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Mommy’s hands ended up blue too.

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“My hand is slimy!!”

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He poured it out into the bin and played with cars, a rocket ship, and his dinosaurs.

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The neat thing about corn starch slime is that corn starch sediment will settle on the bottom. It is hard when you pick it up but turns back into slime in your hands. He played for about an hour.

It was messy. If you do it over carpet, make sure you have a thick blanket or towels underneath. We threw the dirty blanket and clothing in the wash. I poured most of our slime down the bathtub drain and threw the toys in with the bath water.

When I started running the bath water to clean up, E woke up from her nap. She wasn’t sure she wanted to trust mommy’s blue hands but finally came to me and joined K in the bath. They played for about 30 minutes in their murky blue bath.

Our hands only have a little blue on our fingertips and nail beds. Just enough blue to suggest the onset of frostbite, but we are not so blue as to give the impression that we should live in a toadstool and battle a guy named Gargamel.

*The blanket we throw down for a lot of things is about to be ten years old. I won a car wash kit at Senior Celebration after my senior prom. I traded it to a guy for a quilt bed set he won. I used it all through college and now it is well worn and thread bare but loved.

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Parenting Truths: Part 1

A few observations from this week and life in general.

1. The preteen girl section at Target looks like bedazzled pole dancer wear. I’m scared of E growing out of the little girl section.

2. Little girl clothes are amazing because when the dresses get too short they become shirts. Pants turn into capris too. When boy clothes get too short, they look like ragamuffins and make you feel like the worst mom ever.

3. Kids in footie pjs are the cutest thing ever. I especially love E in them with her cockatoo hair after taking her bow out.

4. Seeing a baby in footie pjs with a big visible load in their pants is surprisingly more hilarious than gross.

5. My kids are unable to poop quietly… unless we are about to go somewhere. If we are about to leave I won’t know until just before trying to load the car. If we are in public everyone in a 5 mile radius will know.

6. People telling me to cherish every moment makes me angry. I know they mean well, but better (and more realistic) advice for a mom is to cherish your children each day. Relish each stage of development and appreciate your little people. If you choose not to cherish being bone tired, covered in poop, and and one tantrum away from a personal meltdown, you are not a bad mom- you’re human.

7. My daughter turns into a crazy mix of super sweet and super rough when she is sleepy. Kisses abound but I often get my glasses yanked off.

8. Little girls cultivate a love of shoes early. E is our little shoe thief and gets mad if a pair isn’t for her.

9. You have to have a sense of humor to be a parent. I can’t imagine making it day to day without being able to laugh at kid antics, gross happenings, and my own failures.

10. There really is a huge attitude shift from the first to the second child. I am so much more laid back about things with E than I was with K as a baby. Poor first kids will always be the experimental kid.

The sleepy cockatoo:

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Visiting the “Library”

In my experience with having a dad, older brothers, a husband, a son, a nephew, and younger male cousins I have learned a few things about male restroom habits…

1. Farts are always amusing to men- no age restrictions apply.
2. Part of bonding with nature is peeing outside.
3. Men take infinitely longer to achieve their bathroom goals than women.
4. They do not notice empty toilet paper rolls.
5. If they are required to sit for any amount of time to do their business, they want some form of entertainment.

If you, dear male readers, do not fit these general rules, consider yourself an exception and secretly think of all the exhaustive lists you could make on strange female behavior.

Today we focus on #5…

I have distinct childhood memories of my dad telling me he had to go to the “library” and disappearing into the restroom with a book. My husband also keeps a weird facts book on reserve on the bathroom shelf.

When potty training K he refused to go poop in the potty. Bribing with M&Ms worked for pee, but he got bored and refused to sit long enough for pooping. We finally got our first big break when we started singing and reading books while he sat. He had a favorite book at the time- Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. (About a baby bird looking for its mother.)

Pretty soon we had a potty trained 2 year old that let you know he had to go by yelling, “Mom, I have to poop! Go get my bird book!” It didn’t matter where we were at the time.

*sigh*

Kids are often loud. It is also a well known fact that mom’s are rarely afforded the luxury of peeing alone.

Today I was in the restroom and a book fell off the shelf. K busted in and saw me picking it up.

“Mommy, that is Daddy’s book! We don’t read books when we go pee, Mom. We only read books In the bathroom when we’re poopin’! Are you poopin’ Mom?”

“… Please just go to the living room.”

“I’ll sing to you! Da da da Afro Circus I like to move it move it polka polka dot polka dot move it!”

“…”

“Bye Mom! Remember to flush, dress, and wash.”

My husband called on his lunch break. I relayed the story and he told me it was too funny not to blog. I hope everyone got a good chuckle from my embarrassment.

K reading his potty book:

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Bonding with nature when we visited Texas Hill Country:

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The original of this picture will be saved to show his future wife upon his engagement. The fiancé gets to see all the really awesomely embarrassing pictures. (My mom-in-law busted out the baby albums that Andy had banned after we got engaged. I must carry on the proud tradition.)

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Spooktacular Bows

How about some more fun Halloween craft ideas?

Every loyal reader, friend, and family member knows my love of felt bows and bow ties. I decided to try something new for the season…

Spooktacular Bows

You’ll need:
•Felt (orange, black, white, brown, and green for the ones I made)
•Tulle (purple)
•Thread
•Alligator clips
•Scissors
•Hot Glue
•Laurie Berkner DVD to distract children (optional but reccomended)

Step 1: Cut two strips or felt. About these relative sizes to your clip. (Me measure things? Ha!)

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Step two: Cut a small triangle out of each end of your bottom layer piece.

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Step 3: Put a line of hot glue in the middle of the longer piece/top layer and fold the sides to the middle.

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Step 4: Pinch the middle in and put it on your bottom layer. There should be enough hot glue leaking out of the seam to make it stay.

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Step 5: cut out a small triangle on the top and bottom of the bottom layer as shown.

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Step 6: Use a felt strip or ribbon for the middle and glue alligator clip on the back.

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These are pretty cute as is…

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For tulle bottom layer: Wrap a few layers of tulle around your fingers, tie it with thread in the middle, and cut through the loops. Do the top layer the same.

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I embellished my finished bows with a felt pumpkin and ghost. I just cut out the shapes- orange pumpkin, brown stem, green leaf, and white ghost. For the ghost face I used a sharpie.

How cute are these?

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Ghost Footprint Shirts

My friend at motherhoodisanart reminded me of a Halloween project we did last year with her super cute Ghost Feet Project.

Ghost Footprint Shirt/Onesie

You will need:
•White t-shirt paint
•Black t-shirt paint
•Glitter t-shirt paint
•Black (or dark colored) shirt or material
•Paint brushes
•Paper Plates
•Black cloth, orange thread, and needle/sewing machine (optional)

Baby E was only a month old last Halloween. My friend and I had decided to let the kids paint pumpkins and make shirts. We easily found black toddler t-shirts for our two year olds but I couldn’t find a plain black onesie anywhere!

I ended up using a white onesie for E’s and painting a black heart for my ghost background. For the toddler shirts we used scrap black cloth and sewed our finished ghosts onto the shirts. We didn’t trust ourselves to get squirmy toddler footprints on the shirts the first time.

We dipped each child’s foot in white paint on a paper plate and made our print on the fabric. We immediately set them on the counter and rinsed their foot in the sink. We then gave the little darlings some acrylic paint on a plate, paint brushes, and some little pumpkins. (Ok, E got some mommy nursing time… She was only a month old!)

When their footprints were mostly dry, we used black fabric paint to add the face and the “Boo”. Glitter paint was added to E’s and my niece’s.

K’s fabric was sewn onto a t-shirt by my wonderful mother-in-law. My niece’s was fabric glued onto a little dress. E’s was paired with a crazy awesome homemade Halloween bow.

Our drying ghosts:

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K in his finished shirt:

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E was not amused with her giant bow and being cute:

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K can still fit in his shirt this year. E has grown a little too much to squeeze into her onesie though. It is amazing how much her little foot has grown!!

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Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies

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These three ingredient cookies are amazing. They are also super easy and versatile. They are a slightly lighter option because they contain no oil or eggs!

Pumpkin Spice Cake Cookies
1 box of spice cake mix (dry without any of the usual ingredients)
1 standard can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons of applesauce

Optional: cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350•. Mix dry cake mix, pumpkin, and applesauce. Use a cookie scoop or drop rounded tablespoon onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. (The will not spread much at all.) Bake for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned.

They will be moist and slightly doughy. They are amazing plain or frosted. We’ve frosted them with dark chocolate icing, but went with cream cheese frosting today. I used a small cupcake corer to take a bit from the middle of each cookie.

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I used a freezer bag instead of messing with a piping bag.

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I saved the cores for toddler snacks! They are the perfect size for little fingers.

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Here is E chowing down on a couple of her pumpkin treats…

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The picture shows them plain, cut in half and filled, cored and filled, and just frosted.

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The batter can be eaten raw because there are no eggs. The batter is great with graham crackers. Can’t you picture a hollowed out pumpkin filled with tasty dip?

I also want to try adding pecans and dipping them in white chocolate make cake balls.

I love pumpkins!

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