Just Be Happy

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sand Paint

Awhile back I made some sidewalk chalk, this is pretty much the same thing, except I added a little bit more water so the spray bottles won't clog too easy.

 What you will need:

- Spray bottles (I got mine at the dollar store)
- 1/4 cup corn starch (for each bottle)
- 1/3 cup water (for each bottle)
- 6 drops of food coloring

Shake well and spray away!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Toilet Paper Tube Cars

Well, once again Pinterest delivered. Yep, I go there and look for a kid inspired project and boom! 

The project of choice was toilet paper tube cars, I have no idea what the original post said, it was in a foreign language and I was too lazy to get it translated, so I just winged it.  

I decided to paint the tubes with acrylic paint instead of covering it with paper, the paint was already out, so why not? Then I cut a rectangle with an exacto knife and folded it to make a "seat".

 Then I cut the circles out of construction paper and glue little squares with numbers on the sides. That's pretty much it.

It was cute that the little man told me that the silver car was my husband's (he drives a silver truck) and he said the orange was my car (I drive a red SUV). So cute!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coach Appreciation Gift

My son goes to swimming lessons, itty bitty sports (every week they teach a different sport) and gymnastic and we are blessed with nice coaches that are always so patient with my fire ball son.

There are lots of them though (3 in sports, 3 in gymnastics and 1 swimming instructor) so we just couldn't afford to give each of them anything big, but I still wanted to let them know that they are really appreciated. 

I searched on Pinterest for ideas and found not only this fun idea, but the free printable card, too! So, if you want to show your coach some appreciation, pop over here and download the card that says "I 'skor'ed Big getting you for a coach" and buy some Hershey's skor candy bars, wrap with cellophane, add a bow and you are set!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Read al fresco!

We live in Western Washington, it rains very often here and one thing I can tell is that my family and I don't take nice days for granted, specially me being from Brazil.

I try to be outside with my kids as often as possible, sometimes we can't go to the park or the beach because of the baby's nap or the little man's schedule (swimming, sports, etc), so what do we do? Well, we go to our backyard, even when the grass is all overgrown like right now. LOL (Come on husband! *wink*)

When I proposed to the little man to read al fresco he got so excited, he wanted to help gather the things and go. I grabbed one blanket and gave him the other one, he chose 12 books for me to read and I made us some popcorn. We had a delightful time, even our dog sat with us.

So enjoy the Summer and bring an inside activity out and read al fresco!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Button Caterpillars

I am back to my normal routine after the surgery I had to take my appendix out. Today (Monday 07/23) is the first day I am home alone again with the kids, so I am trying not to overdo things, because that's how I usually am. 

Little man and I did a button caterpillar this morning, easy craft, no mess and he really liked it. The idea came from Parents.com, you can see their original post with all the info by clicking here.

All you need is pipe cleaners, buttons and goggly eyes if you have them, if you don't, you can certainly draw them just like you do for the smile.

I was so impressed by how fast my son could string the buttons, his hand-eye coordination is sure sharp!

It was an awesome project to get rid of some of the odd buttons I had... LOL

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tinker Sketch

Awhile ago I joined TinkerLab's fun idea of using different mediums on a sketch book, so of course, I bought a sketch book for the little man and here are some of the things he has done:

Watercolor pencils:

Collages using magazine pieces:

 Coloring with markers:

 Coloring with flowers (we picked some flowers and rubbed the petals on the paper):



If you want to join this project or get some neat ideas, stop by TinkerLab and let her know I sent ya!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beach Scavenger Hunt

I made up a beach scavenger hunt with our Pacific Northwest beaches in mind and when my husband suggested we went for a walk, I quickly printed it out and off we went. We were hunting for: crab, a stick, jelly fish, shell, star fish, sea weed, rocks and sand.

Little man was too busy finding things, playing around to actually mark the items off of the list, but he was telling me to mark them off for him, it was kinda cute.

 And here are a couple of pictures I took of Owen's Beach for you to see:

If you want to go on a beach scavenger hunt, download this picture and have fun!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 My son is now 3 and a half years old and I felt like he was finally ready for me to teach him how to use scissors. He has great hand-eye coordination, motor skills and the strength to open and close the scissors.

This is an activity that requires your full attention, you can't just give your kid a pair of scissors and paper and walk away, you have to be there to supervise, so you don't end up with a kid with bangs or something worse than that.

I read several articles about how to teach kids to use scissors and I took a little bit of the information from each place to teach my kid. One thing I learned from my own experience: don't buy those cute animal scissors, they are too heavy! Well, if you buy them, put them away until your kid has the skills to use them. Buy a pair of kid size scissors with a blunt tip. 

I drew different shape lines in regular white paper with colorful markers, showed him how to hold the scissors and kept telling him to open and close. Reminded him to never point the scissors at his face and to keep his fingers away, too. The only thing you want to cut is paper! ;)

He had fun, he was ready to try, he had asked me to use scissors before, so I guess that is a good indicator that your kid is ready. 

*Some of my favorite articles were this one, this one and last but not least this one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tie Dye Socks

Does your kid have white socks that no matter how much you wash or even bleach they never look sparkling white? Well, mine certainly does! 

I have a solution: tie dye those suckers, I meant socks. LOL

You will need:

- white cotton socks
- yarn & scissors OR rubberbands
- squeeze bottles
- acrylic paint

Tie your socks firmly in a few spots. Mix one part of acrylic paint, one part of water in a squeeze bottle and paint your little heart out!

This was a spontaneous craft, so we just made it work with what we had, no tie dye kit, nothing brand new to dye.

It was raining outside, so we did our painting indoors using a big cardboard box, so there was no mess to clean up other the wash the squeeze bottles.

Wait until your socks are dry, cut the yarn, wash them by hand and don't mix them with other clothing until you're sure the colors won't bleed anymore.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bug Catching Fun

I was at Michael's the other day I saw this little bug explorer kit for $2.99 and didn't think twice to get it for my boy, he loves bugs!

We went to the backyard on a hunt for bugs, potato bugs, ladybugs, etc and put them inside of the bug house, that's what the little man called.

Then we grabbed the tools that came with the kit to look at the bugs closely.

I am sorry for the blurry picture, but the little man was too excited looking at the potato bug with the magnifying glass to give me a chance to photograph.

This was really a wonderful way to keep my son playing outside, first looking for bugs, then examining  them, so if you come across one of these kits, make sure to get it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Out of the blue

Life sometimes has a way to let you know you are not in control of everything. Doesn't it? One day you're feeling like a million bucks, but then all of sudden things change completely.

Why am I saying all of that? Well, because last Monday, at 10 pm when I was going to bed, I mentioned to my husband that my stomach was hurting and I said, I better fall asleep and I'm sure my pain will be gone when I wake up. At midnight, I got up, soaked in the warm tub for awhile, then moved to the couch because I was constantly getting up, drinking water, going to the bathroom, doing a lot of tossing and turning. Just before 5 am (Tuesday, July 17) I woke my husband up and said I couldn't take the pain anymore and I had to go see a doctor, I was trying to wait for the doctor's office to open, but the abdominal pain I was having was too intense.

I had to drive myself to the hospital (about 5 and a half miles away) because my husband had to stay at home with our kids that were asleep until he could get a hold of anyone to come over to watch them. I drove so fast, I was above the speed limit and I admit it and at that moment, I didn't care if I got a ticket, the streets were deserted and I pretty much hit all green lights, thankfully.

Once I got to the emergency room, the got my vitals and told me to sit down in the waiting room until they got me a room - the hospital was busy. In less than half hour I got an ER bed, a nurse came to talk to me, made me sign papers, got a blood sample, urine sample and told me to wait for the doctor.

One hour from the time I got there a doctor came to see me, at least that is what I think, I was in so much pain that it was hard to keep track or even think much. They got an IV going, gave me some nausea medicine and morphine, after awhile I was feeling great, that morphine sure made the pain go away.

My husband got there at about 7:30 am, he caught me on the hallway where I was being taken to get a CT scan, it was great to have him with me, hold my hand and assure me that everything would be OK.
Thirty minutes later a surgeon came by with the CT scan results: my appendix was inflamed and I was going to need to get it removed.

I had never had a surgery before, so I got a little anxious, but the thought of having that pain again made the anxiety almost go away... LOL. At 10:30 am I was in the surgery part of the hospital, wearing one of those flattering gowns and boom! 

We were back home at about 2:30-3:00 pm, I was so tired and sore that I hugged and kissed my kids and went to bed. I slept a lot of Wednesday, not as much on Thursday or Friday, but still a lot compared to what I sleep usually. LOL

Today is Saturday (July 21st) and I am feeling much better, still a little sore, but I am walking around, I am feeling more motivated, I started painting peg dolls and crocheting, I have been holding my baby girl and doing some light activities with my little man and I have been looking at my husband and thinking that I am really lucky to have him.

I had lots posts scheduled, that is why my blog was active while I was away.

Picture taken last month by my friend Kamieo Fox. I think this surgery was a way to remind me that I should count my blessings everyday. 

Do you have any questions for me? Is there something you are curious about? Leave all your questions here and I will do a Q&A posts soon. My friend Carolyn did a Questions & Answers posts and I thought it was pretty cool, so don't be shy, ask away!

Seattle Great Wheel

We are not going on a big Summer vacation this year, so I have been looking for local fun things for us to do. One of the things in my Summer bucket list was to go to the Seattle Great Wheel, that recently opened.

I am so glad I purchased the tickets online and printed them out, the line to buy tickets was insanely long, but the line to ride the wheel wasn't bad at all.

If you live around here, you should definitely go ride it, if you are not, come visit! There are lots of things to do around here.

This is the view of Seattle from the top of the wheel. The gondolas were heated, it was pretty cool, my son LOVED it, we could not get a picture of him looking at the camera, he was too busy looking around and when we were on our way home he was already asking if we could go ride the ferris wheel again another day. ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cooking with Kids: No-Cook Raspberry Jam

It's berry season - yay!
The Just Be Happy family went to a local U-Pick berry farm to pick raspberries and strawberries, some for us to eat, some for us to make jam.

My 3 year old had so much fun picking fruit, he kept saying how fun it was and saying "thank you" every time we put more berries in the box - cute!

I chose to make a no-cook jam because that way my son could help, he loves being part of the party. LOL
I searched online for a million recipes and decided to try making jam using Splenda, since my husband and I already use it in our coffee and we are used to its taste. I had to guesstimate the amount of pectin because every recipe I looked for called for a box or the liquid type. So here is what you need: 

- 2 cups of fresh raspberries all mashed up
- 1 and a half cups of Splenda or granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons of Instant Pectin (I bought Ball brand)
- Mason jars

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (This is a good task for the little ones!), then add the crushed raspberries and mix it all together. Pour the jam into the Mason jars and let it sit for half hour, then freeze (what you will not use for a long time, it'll be good for 1 year in the freezer!) or refrigerate.

So easy, so yummy and so fun!

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