Thursday, July 20, 2017

Finding Ariel for Sarah

My friend Sarah knows that I frequent yard sales so she asked if I could look for a few things along the way.  She handed me a rather long intimidating list (sorry, Sarah!) of things to pick up if I find them for a good price.  Among the list were a few little people sets which I find tons of!  They seems to be something everyone picks up for their kids and the kid either hates it, leaving it in great condition, or loves it and its mangled to bits.  Clearly, you want to find the best one for the cheapest price.

I have found her a couple of things off the list like little people farm animals and specific books, but she was also looking for Disney Princess Little People stuff which is hard to find.  The small play sets have been discontinued making them very hard to find. The ones I have found are extremely "well loved."  

Much to my surprise at a random yard sale I went to I found not 1 but 2, Ariel's Castle (or whatever it is called) for sale.  Yes, I grabbed both for $4 each.  How could I not?  My kids seem to like little people toys so they likely will enjoy this play set.  If not I could resell it and recoup my money without any issue.  

The condition of these looked they were never played with.  The stickers were even attached and all pieces functioning as they should.  Something I expect when to be a bit wonky when buying used toys.  There were little scuff marks here and there were to be expected as it likely was in a box or bin with other toys.

Since both were in equal condition I literally flipped a coin and sent the winner off with my friend.  Hopefully, Eve will enjoy this play set when she gets a bit older.  For now it was boxed up with her rest of her room.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hair Clips for Eve

I was looking for hair clips for Eve and I hadn't found any that would stay in her baby fine hair.  Hubby is the best at finding things when I tell him what I am looking for or what the problem is.  I asked hubby to look for some clips when he ran out to Walmart. 

He knocked it out of the park with these rubber coated clips.  They stay in her hair which is the main concern.  She is has some long hair "bangs" that bother her when they get in her eyes.  I do not leave them in her hair when she is unattended.  They aren't meant for kids so little and really she doesn't need them all the time.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Free, Come Pick It Up

Being in a house that is not very "kid-friendly" means we are trying to spend more time outdoors or in the screened in porch.  Bear was starting to get bored with just exploring the property or swimming.  He needed something more to do.  While looking the for sale pages someone posted a small outdoor play set.  All we had to do was come pick it up.  Easy enough.  Hubs and Grandpa (my dad) jumped in the truck to go get it.

It needed to be taken apart and really scrubbed!  There was an ant colony living in the cracks that were cleared out.  However, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.  I thought there would be at least some holes or major sun fading.  The only wear on the play set you can see are shown in the pictures below.  There is light sun fading and some ground in dirt that I might have been able to take off with a old bristle brush.  Thought the very eager little boy wouldn't allow for me to really do that.

Bear is a bit big for it and Eve is a just a bit small for it.  However, that doesn't seem to have stopped either from enjoying it.  My skinny little boy fits through the holes so he can crawl all over it without much limitations.  The slide is a bit short for a kid his size.  He hasn't let that stop him.

The plan is to pass it along to someone else since we really can't take it with us.   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Reading with Bear

Sometimes I feel like I don't get enough one on one time with Bear.  The day gets busy and time just slips through my hands.  At night I can spend a few minutes by sitting down and reading to him.  We had a bunch of new books so I let him just pick whatever he wanted.  He was so excited to see new books it just warmed my heart!

This was a longer book so I didn't expect it to keep his attention for the whole thing.  Bear surprised me though.  He wanted every word on every page read to him.  I love his love for books!  I also love spending time reading to him.  Hopefully there are many many more years of this in the future!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Favorites on a Friday

It's a new month so here is a new Friday Favorites.

Evening Swims - The late night swims with the kids mean no sunscreen and tired kids that are ready for bed.  We don't have too many issues with bugs in the evening which is great.  The time I spend lathering up the kids and getting ready to go out into the pool is cut in half.  The kids seem to like it better too.  We added some glow sticks to the water for some added fun.  And did I mention the no sunscreen thing?  

Game Night - Apparently Game night has become a thing here.  Mexican Train has been a staple, but we have tried various card games and even Monopoly.  I enjoy the game night, but not how late they have been going.  The kids have us up pretty early in the morning so we just need to shift the time we normally play so we finish before midnight.

Makeup Case - I found this one in Target a few years ago and I love it!  It gives organization without being too bulky.  Sometimes when they attempt to organize you lose space to put products.  As someone who like variety, I don't like wasted space.  This case also has brush holder in it.  When I am trying to save space this is such a convenience!  It allows me to keep my brush roll behind. 

Go Pod from Kidco - The Go Pod was something I received for Bear at my baby shower.  It was t very useful for him.  He was so tiny that his feet could barely touched the floor and so light that he couldn't see over the top.  Despite my modifications to it, he just hates it.  Eve on the other hand love it.  Not as much as her exersaucer that she can do 360 degree spins in, but enough that she is comfortable playing in it.  She can touch the ground, see over the top, and even comfortable enough to get cozy in it for a nap.  I huge win in my book!

Seltzer - Several years ago I gave up soda.  I hardly ever want one except when there isn't anything else to drink.  I still won't reach for one, but I do miss carbonated drinks every now and then.  Instead of a soda I reach for a seltzer or a flavored seltzer.  I get the carbonation I'm looking for without the mass amounts of sugar from a soda.  

What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A dime a dozen

One of the most prevalent items I find at yard sales are books.  Cookbooks, Fiction, Mysteries, and Children's books seem to be set out in boxes to pick through all the time!  I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to a yard sale where there weren't any books.  Many people buy them new, toss them on a shelf after reading them and forget about them.  You know until you need space and they are easiest things get weed through.  Then someone like me comes along and picks them up for practically nothing.  

When I was teaching, this is how I would fill my classroom library with personal books without breaking the bank.  Now I just fill the library in my own home.  Books are always something I will invest in for my kids.  

Thankfully, Bear loves to "read" and be read to.  He is learning to sit and listen to longer stories when I read them, but right now he loves the easy readers when on his own.  I love that he will seek out books on his own so I have no problem having shelves of books he can pick through.  When we run out or hes looking for something we don't have, that's what the library is for.  

Kids aren't little for long and I really like reading aloud to my kid even as they get older.  So I have no problem picking up some books meant for older kids.  If they don't like them then we resell them and no harm done.  If they are in good condition I sometimes try to donate them to local schools.  I am shocked more schools don't have programs that allow for book donations as I have had schools/Teachers tell me they don't do donations.

I try to keep a variety of books for the kids and allow them to move up if they treat them well.  I believe kids need to treat books well.  They aren't for chewing, coloring, ripping, standing on, etc or any of the other things the average kid will do to books.  They need to be respected.  Thankfully, this is easily done with some reminders from us.  They be super cheap yard sale finds but they still need to be treated well so everyone can enjoy them.  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Eve's Birthday Gift List

Eve's First Birthday is coming up and just like with Bear, family will ask for a gift list.  We are still limited in space however 12 mo+ toys tend to be bulkier.  I tried to limit the number and size of those toys to as few as possible and the ones I think you would enjoy the most.  

Vtech Baby Babble and Rattle Microphone, Pink - Bear's list had a microphone and so Eve needed on too.  

My first Crayola Palm Grip Crayons - She seems interested when Bear spends time coloring so getting her easy to hold crayons was the first thing on my list when thinking of her birthday.

Oball 3 Piece Go Grippers Vehicles, Pink-3pack - We have some oball cars from when Bear was a baby that she enjoys playing with.  Since she gets all of her brothers hand-me-downs why not get her ones of her own.

Skip hop explore and more musical Egg Shaker trio, Multi - Its a fox, hedgehog, and owl.  They are something Eve would like since she enjoys playing with her cousins egg shaped shakers.  

Hape Elephant wooden push and pull toy - She is crawling and trying to walk all over the place.  The old fashioned push pull toy might encourage her to keep doing what she is doing!

Melissa and Doug Wooden Grasping Toy (Giraffe) - Eve loves to try to figure out how things move and twist on her big brothers toys.  To stop me from pulling toys away that she shouldn't have lets give her something that she can have.  I am hoping his fill need.

Manhatten Toy Wee Baby Stella Doll - This doll is simply based on her reactions to a small baby Stella doll that was in a toy lot I picked up.  I sold that one but not without letting you try it out first.  You seemed to enjoy it.  I don't care about the specific model, I would just like for it to have a bottle and paci.  The magnetic linking seemed to help you when playing.  

Vtech Care for Me Learning Carrier, Pink -  We picked up a few beanie baby puppies to keep at grandmas house.  Again I gave you the option of playing with them first and you seemed to like to pet the puppy, feed the puppy, etc and obviously all with help but again you smiled and clapped a lot.  The musical encouragement may push you along in the imaginative play area.

Mega Bloks First Builders Waterfall Garden (30 pieces) - We picked up a big princess set for her and this is just an extension of this set. She likes mega bloks as much as any other one year old at this point.

Fisher Price Dance and Move BeatBelle (pink one) - Eve loves music and dancing around to whatever is on the radio. Clearly a toy she would love.

VTech Learn and Discover Pretty Party Playset - This is a bit of a stretch developmentally for her.  She may mimic what I do with it or just figure out that it play songs / sounds like a cause and effect toys. However I like that she can grow into it.

Once again I left books off the list because we picked up more than she needs for now.  I think there is a decent variety of toys for her on here.  Ones she can grow into and ones she can play with right away.  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday Bear!

My Baby Bear is turning 4 today.  
It has been a crazy four years with this kid, 
but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  
He is such a sweet, goofy kid, 
who takes after me in more ways than I ever imagined. 
If you like you can read all about his dramatic early entrance into the world
(Part 1 and Part 2)
or you can just see some pics of Bear growing up. 


Happy 4th Birthday to my not-so little boy!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Non Pretty Meals

Not every meal looks pretty.  Comfort food for us means I frankly don't put much time into how it looks.  I'm focused on taste.  We have had a bunch of delicious meals, but you won't see them in a food magazine any time soon!

Lemon Chicken, Stuffing, Mixed Veg, and gravy

My plate from lemon chicken meal

Chili for dinner.  There is rice on the bottom.

Beef and Broccoli, yes comfort food to us.

Not the most appealing looking meals, but they were spot on delicious!