Friday, February 18, 2011

Favorite Things... baby gifts!

I believe the Bible when it says, "Children are a blessing from the Lord." So I love babies & consequently go to a lot of baby showers. Sometimes an adorable outfit or perfectly soft baby blanket is just the gift... but other times I want something a bit different. Something useful and, well, something I would want to receive!

Since I hate "dust collectors", you won't find me buying statues or even many picture frames... I go for practical. Here are my Top 5 favorite baby gifts to give... or receive!

1) Teething Feeder
It's a funny name, but they are great! You put some food inside and baby can enjoy the yummy real food without choking. Sassy makes one with a cover for portability and at just under $5, they're affordable.

2) A perfectly soft, beautifully special Blankie
Soft ones that are silky on one side are favorites at our house. Comfy cotton blankets are snuggly, too. Ben's was turquoise with deer on it, Clara's has a monkey head and is super-soft, the other kiddos had the soft/silky combination ones. Georgia Anne still snuggles her "Bahee" every nap & bedtime. It's nice to have a special snuggle buddy that doesn't wiggle or kick!
3) Great board books or picture books
I like gifts that baby can grow in to. Maybe I'll do a post on good picture books sometime- I purchased Ben's first good book at a homeschool convention 10 years ago and haven't stopped buying them since!

4) Larger size baby clothes
My babies never fit in the newborn size for more than a week or two (if at all). The 0-3 month ones quickly follow suit. Larger sizes are always appreciated!

5) Kiddopotamus Bib
I love this bib! It's wipeable & has a scoop to catch spills. The only drawback is that it snags longer hair, but since most children don't get long hair for a long time, I think it's a safe bet. Love this!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Essential Questions

I am a curious soul. And this really has me perplexed!

We broke a bottle of Eucalyptus Essential Oil recently. The closest thing to salvage the oil was a sandwich bag, so we dumped it in there. I meant to transfer it to glass right away but the day got away from me & so before bed I set the whole bag in a styrofoam cup. I was assuming the EO would melt the bag & figured that putting it in the cup would at least keep the mess off the counter.

In the morning, the EO was still in the plastic bag! It didn't eat through the bag! I was shocked! BUT... it somehow ate a hole in the styrofoam cup!?!?!

How can a contained oil erode something it isn't in contact with?!?

Last night, at 7:20, I tried to duplicate the whole situation. I wanted a "controlled experiment" to 1) ensure there wasn't EO on the outside of the bag that really caused the reaction and 2) because it's just soo cool & I wanted to do it again! LOL!

An hour later, at 8:14, the cup I poured EO directly already has a hole... a large part of it has already "melted" onto the counter. The first time there was no residue remaining. It's a much more dramatic reaction & much faster. Thus, I am certain no EO was on the outside of the bag the first time. The 2nd cup (with EO contained in a bag like the 1st time) seems to have started to become tacky... but it's too early to really tell.
The next morning, this is what the 2nd cup (the one duplicating the original reaction) looked like. The same thing happened. You can see the beginning of the hold here... and the bag is "stuck" to the styrofoam enough to lift the cup, though I can pull it away without causing any damage. The longer I left it, the more it ate away (though with no residue like when EO was directly in contact w/the cup). It eventually did eat a hole through just like the 1st cup. Nutty!

What I want to know is... HOW and WHY did the EO eat through the styrofoam cup but not the bag? Is the plastic bag porus? I'm so curious!?!
I've been advised to try the same thing w/nail polish remover... so I'm working on that as we speak. I'll update the post with the results. Any answers out there?! You'll be my hero!

**2/15 Update**
I did the same "experiment" with nail polish remover replacing the EO... but I used "non acetone" nail polish remover & I think I was supposed to be testing for the effects of acetone. Oops. I'll scrounge up some of the type with acetone and repeat & post. There were NO noticeable effects w/the non-acetone nail polish remover to the bag or cup.

Meal Planning Mondays

Soo... do you ever have one of those weeks where things don't quite go as you've planned? I think that's what Solomon meant when he penned, "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." -Prov 16:9

Last week was one of those. Clara had her first fever and needed Mamma to hold her alllllllll day for a couple of days. Daddy O ordered pizza one night (bless him!) and... I can't even remember what we had the other night. ?? Either way, we have some meals I purchased ingredients for that we never made, so this week is much the same as last week's plans.

M- cheese sandwiches
T- dinner with friends (potato leek soup, salad, french bread, cheese plate)
W- homegroup... Bertolli Soup (italian veggie soup served over bread)
R- Stuffed Shells (for real this time!)
F- Crock BBQ Venison Sandwiches
S- Veggie Crumble and a family photo shoot! YAY!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Favorite Things... Board Books!

Everyone has favorite things. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things on a few Fridays.
My favorite book today is a new one Granny got us when Clara was born. Little Sisters Are... by Beth Norling. It's a quick, sweet book about snuggly, loud, whiney, fun little sisters. It makes me smile and is a board book I actually like. As opposed to books that count random items. I can do that without a book. I like books that either tell a story or have great illustrations or both. This one gets a free pass because I just like it.

Now that I think about it, I have another more favorite board book. Each Peah Pear Plum was a Christmas book and I really like it. It rhymes, is has fun illustrations ("can you find the three bears?") and alludes to nursery rhymes I may otherwise have forgotten! It has a wicked witch in it, which was almost a deal breaker, but since Robin Hood is shooting at her we overlooked Her Naughtiness. That one's by Janet & Allen Ahlberg. More favorite board books include Mr Brown can Moo by Dr Seuss, We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Sandra Boynton's hilarious But Not the Hippopotamus. Oh! Good Night, Gorilla is a great wordless book (find the red balloon in each illustration!). Of course the "touch and feel" books are enjoyed by children of all ages... Lauren, at 9, still loves to touch the sticky pads of the frog in the animal book.

Do you want to make a Mamma really happy next baby shower? Bring a *good quality* board book as a great gift! One with a good story that she won't mind reading to her toddler again and again.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Planning Mondays

This week is an extra special week... My niece, Lilly Anne, was born today!! Some of the meals I have planned are to double so I can bring some food to my sweet sister and her family to lighten their load as we celebrate this little one's birth.

Here's what's on the agenda:

M- Veggie Crumble vegan
T- Mushroom & Walnut Stuffed Shells vegan (yes, these are the same stuffed shells from two weeks ago, I never made them. I used the mushrooms in a delish soup Mrs Suzanne gave me the recipe for. So I bought more shrooms & we're trying again)
W- I'm going to Mom's to await a birth! Chris is on his own.
R- CROCK- Burritos vegan (Well, not entirely vegan... Chris loves sour cream, so we'll add that)
F- Broccoli Soup vegan (Yep- without cream or cheese!)
S- Baked Potatoes
S- Bertolli Soup vegan

This is funny! I didn't realize how many meals we have are dairy-free. Well, there ya have it. This week's menu. Nutritious and delicious. ;)