Monthly Archives: March 2012

Easter Adventures This Weekend

There is a lot going on in Delaware this weekend.  Saturday looks to be a wash so I would check the event before going so you don’t get stuck with it being canceled with you there!

White Clay Creek State Park has a Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 31st starting at 10Am for Toddlers through 9 years old.  The rain date is April 2nd at 2pm.

Sunset Stable at Lums Pond will be having events tomorrow and Sunday with the Easter bunny at 12pm and 2pm.  There is a cost for the activities.

The Velveteen Rabbit Puppet Show is being put on at the Wilmington Riverfront.  Saturday’s showing is at 11AM, Sunday is at 2pm. Tickets cost $12 per adult, $5 children 7-14 years, children under 7 are free.  Call 302-887-9300 for tickets.

The Wilmington and Western Railroad has 1 1/2 Hour Easter Bunny Trains running on Saturday, Sunday, then next weekend April 6 and 7.  Check their website for times and cost.

Milburn Orchards has Easter Egg hunts starting every 30 minutes March 31, April 1, 5, 6, and 7 from 11AM to 3PM.

There is plenty going on.  I hope that you find some fun adventures this weekend, even with the rain.  LittleM and I will be visiting one of these and then will have to work on creating a decorated Easter Bonnet for her daycare Easter Party on Monday.  We’re also going to be working on a special Easter Craft for the grandparents and Aunt/Uncle that I can’t give away yet, but it involves lots of messy fun to create it!

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The Grass is Growing!

LittleM and I have done, what I felt, was the impossible in our house.  We were able to grow plants without killing them!

It’s so pretty!  We’ve enjoyed everyday checking on the grass in the morning and night while watering it, or just checking to see if it grew or if it needs water.

For how long it actually is, I took this picture in LittleM’s Elmo Easter Basket.

It still has a week and a half to grow, but it is nice and full so that if it doesn’t grow any higher, it will still work out great this Easter.  I can’t wait to continue this tradition for many Easters to come. 

Here is my original post about LittleM and I creating the grass dish on March 12 and the link to How Does She? where I got the original idea.

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Barrels on the Brandywine

My husband and I are very lucky in that we have both sets of grandparents living within 20 minutes of our house. That way they have an opportunity to be in LittleM’s life growing up and, well I’ll just say it, we get free babysitting!

Saturday we decided to ask for some free babysitting so the husband and I could have some time just the the two of us.  Normally when my husband is home, it’s Mommy and Daddy time with LittleM since he has a long commute and in warmer weather is working a lot of weekends too.  Sometimes we need to enjoy our time together just being the individuals that decided to get married.

LittleM made out like a bandit with my in-laws, enjoying Delaware Children’s Museum during the Grandparents Week there, eating a Joe’s Crab Shack, and getting to watch Happy Feet 2 at their house.

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to win (Yes, I actually won something!) a passport to the Barrels on the Brandywine Wine Trail through Delaware Tourism.  My husband ended purchasing one for $30 at the first winery because if you go to three wineries, it is already paid for.  It’s a card that allows you tastings at eight wineries along/near the Brandywine River in Pennsylvania.  You get the standard tasting and a Barrels on the Brandywine Wine Glass for your house. 

Everything was open by 12pm on Saturday so we visited three (we were driving so we didn’t want to push our luck more than that) and then had lunch in Newark by 2pm.  It didn’t take long but we had a fantastic time together and tried some really nice wines.  Here are the three wineries that we visited:

You can see from the map how close they are and it doesn’t take very long to get there from Delaware.  In the warmer months, Kreutz Creek and Paradocx seem to be very family friendly  (Kreutz even lets you bring your dogs) and offers free and ticketed music concerts where you can bring your own chairs and picnic to enjoy.  They, of course, will have a variety of wines to purchase, including a new slushy-type wine drink.  I will need some convincing on that one.

After stopping at the third winery, we decided it was time for us to eat so we drove into Newark to eat at the Deer Park Tavern, which we have not eaten at in quite a while.  We weren’t too hungry (from the three glasses of wine we had just had from all the tastings that each winery gives you!) so we decided on 2 appetizers instead of entrees.  And one beer a piece.  Once you start, why bother stopping?! They had an amazing crab and artichoke dip with buttery baguette bread that I really need to figure out how to make at home!  Delicious does not even begin to cover how good this dish was.  My mouth is watering just writing this right now.  I think I may have some time to stop by and pick some up to-go tonight.  Do they offer to-go?  They should!

Now that I have made you hungry as well, I wanted to remind you, as I need to remind myself, that it is ok to take time with your spouse and not be “on” as mommy and daddy all the time.  Your kids will be much happier if you are happy and content with life.  So, plan a date night (or day as we did) where you and your significant other can enjoy some time together, without the kids, and solidify the bond that you may have let loosen a bit trying to be the best parent that you can be.  (I’m trying to convince the husband that it’s time for us to go back to the Melting Pot!  Melted Cheese and chocolate, how can you say no?) You, your significant other, and your kids will be better for it.

Happy Adventures.

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I Got Played

It’s amazing to me what kids can do to manipulate us.  Especially that they learn so early the many tools that they have.

For quite a while now LittleM has been telling me every morning that her tummy hurts.  She normally tells me just once, then never mentions it again.  I figured that she was either trying to be like Mommy (I had an acid reflux problem affecting my voice that I had to explain to her as my stomach was hurting so I had to take medicine), trying to get some more snuggles, or just trying to stay in bed longer in the morning.  I didn’t really worry about it because she only says something once and never anything at home or daycare the rest of the day.

Starting on Monday she was mentioning it again and I didn’t really think about it too much because it was the norm.  But, she didn’t eat a lot of dinner.  Then when I picked her up from daycare on Tuesday, her teacher said she hadn’t really eaten too much that day and had spent most of the day complaining that her stomach hurt.  And there was a stomach bug floating around.  Awesome.

Once LittleM heard her teacher tell me about her stomach complaints, the sweaty from playing, smiling child running toward me changed into an Eeyore looking, downtrodden face, still complaining that her stomach hurt.  She continued to complain all the way home and for the rest of the night.  So, being that my husband works 2 hours away, I decided to stay at home with LittleM Wednesday, just in case something was going on.  When I told LittleM that I had to call her school and mine to let them know we were staying home tomorrow, a big grin lit up that little face, along with some clapping.  Boy did I get played.  How do they know what buttons to push and become master manipulaters at 3?!

At 6:30 AM Wednesday morning, I was awoken by LittleM, brighteyed and bushy tailed, vaulting onto my bed asking me, “What are we going to do today, Mommy?”.  Ugh!  Me: “We still need to sleep sweetie. That will help your tummy feel better.”  Her: “My tummy feels better now, Mommy.”  Of course it does.

So my day was spent trying corral a healthy, happy child, while explaining to her that we are not going to run and jump and romp and play because we stayed home for her sick tummy.  That was not well received.  After several wardrobe changes, LittleM satified herself with a sleeveless, poofy Flowergirl dress she wore in August for a wedding and her pink snow boots with faux fur on top.  Obviously choosing what any other fashion forward young lady would wear.

*Warning – If you are not a parent, or do not want to hear something that most parents do not mind talking about (as LittleM calls them- potty words), please stop reading here and save yourself.*

What I did recognize through the day, and would like to see if it’s something we can work on, is LittleM has a gas problem.  She is what one would technically call a Rooty-Tooter, suffering from an acute case of Rootus-Tootitus.  I’m thinking that this may be the problem that she is having making her stomach hurt in the morning because it’s not a pooping problem.  Trust me….there is no constipation problem here.  I did some research and think that we definitely need to add more water to her diet.  Chocolate milk and Apple juice are our go-to beverages right now.  Hopefully more water will help move things along.

We have gotten much better with our food choices at the house.  My husband and I have made a decision to get healthier and so we have changed our eating habits (more like what we have always tried to feed LittleM).  Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat/whole grain everything, etc.  And exercising.  Whenever I tell LittleM I’m heading down to the basement to exercise or she hears the words exercise or workout, no matter where she is or what she is doing she will yell, “I Work Out!”, from the LMFAO song.  It’s hysterical.  Makes me laugh every time. 

If you made it this far, sorry, but I had to go there!  I don’t know if anyone else has had to deal with something like this, but we’ll see how it goes!

By the way- the Grass for LittleM’s Easter Basket is on it’s way!  I didn’t kill it!  Yes!!!!!!

Happy Adventuring.

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I Thought we Skipped that Phase!

I have a great kid.  She’s amazing.  Very polite, smart, curious.  She’s now 3 1/2 so I was pretty excited to make it through the “Terrible Twos” and say, “I really don’t know what people are talking about.  This is great!”.  Well, it seems like LittleM decided to hold that phase until now.  Recently we have been having a lot of trouble with changing activities and asking her to complete tasks for us.  “No” is becoming the dominate word in her vocabulary, along with screaming/crying.  It’s not a happy time when this starts.

Here’s an example: Yesterday we were having a fantastic time outside.  It’s March and yet it was almost 80 degrees out.  LittleM had on a sleeveless dress, no shoes, and was playing in water and eating a popsicle with a friend from across the street.  It was getting later, her friend had to go home, I told LittleM it was time to go inside to get dinner ready and you would have thought I was killing the child.  Screams of “NO” and crying could be heard throughout the land.  It got to the point that I had to carry her into the house because she wouldn’t walk.  This lasted for about 30 minutes with her then focusing and screaming about wanting a ball that she was playing with earlier.

I feel such a sense of helplessness at these times.  What am I doing wrong?  How did my beautiful little Sweat Pea get to this point that I can’t even talk with her because she’s not hearing me?

To deal with the change in activity freakouts, I have started giving LittleM warnings when it’s time to start changing things.  I’ll start with “Ok kiddo, you have 5 minutes left before we need to do ….(whatever the next thing is).” “We have 2 minutes left before…” etc.  This does seem to help most of time but not all of the time.  I just need to remember to use it all the time (I don’t think that I did last night).

For the “No” issue, I think that I need to start giving her 2 options of things that need to get done.  Instead of saying “Can you please go get your shoes?” ask, “Would you like to get your shoes or your coat first?”  I’m hoping that might help with some of the No’s, but not all.

If anyone has any other ideas or experience with this, I would love to hear it.  I know this too shall pass, but I want to make sure that I am doing the best that I can to keep things moving forward and not making things more stressful for the both of us.

Yay Parenting!

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Camping at Assateague

Well, we made it.  LittleM’s first camping adventure ended with her asking “When can we camp again?” so we must have done something right.

This weekend our adventure took us a little over 2 hours away to Assateague Island National Park in Maryland.  We had been worried all week because the weather kept changing from Thunderstorms, to rain, to partly cloudy, and back again.  We made the decision to go, and while there was no rain, the weathermen really let us down with the temperature.  It was far colder than predicted, and while we were prepared with most things, it really put a damper on things.  Overall it was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, and my husband has already asked to go back this summer.

We chose the Bay side to camp on (which I would recommend) because it had more cover than the ocean side.  This was our first campsite….Yes, first.  It was beautiful but became a wind tunnel later in the day, making us freeze even more.  We moved on site over and it was much nicer.

Almost immediately we were greeted by ponies.  It was amazing. And then scary. See how the pony get closer in each photograph?  Yeah, I have no more pictures after this because we were sitting at the picnic table eating lunch and I had to move to the other side.  Then I had to take all the food and put it in the car to make the pony lose interest because he was reaching over the table to try to get our lunch out of our hands and off our plates.  Maybe he hadn’t had his yearly requirement of PB&Js and Dorito chips?

It really was amazing to be so close to this wild ponies and be on their turf though.  Within arms reach was a little close for me though.  The Park has signs and pictures warning you to stay 10 feet away from the ponies, not to make any fast movements around them, and what can happen to humans when they scare or get too close the ponies.  It was quite an experience though and a good story for us to tell!

Assateague has a few short trails to walk to enjoy the many different sides of the park.  Here’s LittleM being the “Line Leader” on our hike.  Always has to be in front.  Wonder where that came from?  Also a beautiful view from the trail walk.


The rest of the night was spent making dinner, enjoying s’mores (Yay S’Mores!), and trying to fit the 3 of us on the air mattress in the tent together.  It was fantastic.

We decided to skip making breakfast at the campsite because it was pretty chilly out, damp, and foggy.  We got everything packed up and hit the road by 8:30.  McDonald’s was lovely.  LittleM made the people next to us laugh by yelling loudly that she had to poop after she was finished her hotcakes. Then we decided to stop in Dover on our way home to go to the Dover Air Mobility Command Museum.  It was nice to finally stop there to let LittleM check it out, a little disappointing though because they didn’t have all the airplanes open outside to go inside.  LittleM got to pretend to fly and walk into 2 cargo planes to see how large these things are that move our troops and supplies around.  I got my history geek fix too.

When we finally got home after picking up our dog from my brother’s house, we unpacked the car.  We made lunch, I did the dishes and then promptly fell asleep on the couch.  It was a great weekend.  I hope you had an adventure this weekend too!

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Weekend Adventures

This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day.  I remember the days of partying at the bar until last call.  Getting anything and everything green that I could find, including necklaces, earrings, shirts, and makeup.  Now I have trouble staying up past 10pm most nights.  I’m old.

This year I was able to convince my husband (who had a much harder time giving up St. Patrick’s Day partytime) to give it up altogether and take LittleM camping for the first time!  We have spent the week checking all of our gear, purchasing some new things, getting LittleM her first sleeping bag (in pink of course), etc.

Because of that, I did not have a lot of time to pull together a lot of things to do this weekend.  But, here are a few things.

Barnes and Noble at the Christiana Mall is having a St. Patrick’s Day Storytime with Green Eggs and Ham at 11AM on Saturday.

$1 admission to Hagley Museum on Saturday.  Fantastic place to visit with kids.  LOTS of hands-on activities.  There is also a picnic area onsite to bring a packed lunch.  Enjoy the weather tomorrow at a beautiful, fun place!

Delaware Museum of Natural History has their newConservation Quest for kids to explore energy. Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for children.

I hope you have a great weekend and I can’t wait to share our camping adventure with you!

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Cracking the Whip

I am sad to report that the grass has not started to grow yet.  I’m a little worried.  I may need to buy a little piece of sod and cut it to the size of the plastic container so LittleM can wake up one morning to miracle grass.  Surprise!  We have been able to grow something though in another pot.  There are about 6 daisy sprouts that we planted last week peaking out in another pot.  I may have to figure out how to transfer them though because they may end up killing each other in the one small pot. Or they may just realize that I’m the one trying to take care of them and give up on their own.  Black thumb reestablished.

The husband and I have decided to start LittleM on a chore chart.  If you Google “Chore Chart for Kids,” you come up with 322,000 results in 0.25 seconds.  In all that, I couldn’t find one that exactly fit what I wanted.  Me being my difficult self.  So, I hoped on Word and created a chart for myself for Saturday through Friday including 4 chores.  Since LittleM is almost 4, I have heard that it’s good to give 1 chore per year old.  I think she can handle it.  I have attached my chore chart that I created, including pictures to represent everything since LittleM can’t read yet.  Click for chore chart.  The four chores I have are: feed the dog, take your dishes to the sink, clean up your toys before bed, and put dirty clothes into the laundry basket.

Once I created the document I started thinking how I really didn’t want to constantly print copies of this every week and buy tons of stickers to use on it.  You know what that means!  Craft Project and a trip to Joann Fabrics!

In the end, this is only going to cost me $4.60 because I had everything I need at my house in my craft hoard except for the things to use as the stickers.  Here is everything that I need. ( I will post pictures next time of the completed project because of a snafu that I had with one of the supplies.)

Supplies: The printed chart, laminating sheets, magnet tape, scissors to cut the tape, felt buttons, glue gun with glue sticks.

I laminated the sheet so I can put one on the refrigerator and keep reusing it.  I have a roll of magnet tape but apparently I haven’t used it in so long that the glue backing is no longer sticky.  Whoops.  That’s where the extra time and glue gun comes in. It’s going to take me a while to glue all the magnets onto the felt buttons.  At Joann Fabrics I found adorable Favorite Findings Pretty Posies buttons for $2.29 per pack, and I had to buy 2 packs.

How cute and girlie are these?!  LittleM is going to love them!

So the idea is, whenever LittleM completes her chores, she’ll put one of the flowers on the chart to show that she is working with us and doing her part.

The biggest issue that the husband and I have right now is what do you give as an incentive for her to comply with these things that we are asking her to do? Do we start an allowance with her already (say 5 or 10 cents for every flower/sticker she gets) or do we say she gets a treat with the family over the weekend is she gets all 28 stars (7 days in the week x 4 chores a day)?  If anyone has any input or experience, we would love to hear it!

We’re also planning to take LittleM on her first camping trip this weekend.  This is going to be quite an adventure and I can’t wait to tell you about it next week!  Tomorrow I’ll post some of the great events happening in Delaware this weekend, but we’re hitting the road!  Hope your adventure is fantastic!




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Crafty Sunday

We had a fantastic weekend.  I hope you all did too. We’re planning on taking LittleM on her first camping adventure next weekend so most of our time was going through everything that we have and figuring out what still needs to be purchased. Sunday afternoon was spent crafting together with ideas found on other blogs.  I will give our pictures and then the link to where I found the ideas which have much more professional pictures that mine!

Planning ahead for Easter, I found a fantastic idea to grow actual grass in a container to put in the Easter Basket instead of using the plastic grass.  I love it!  It also gives us an opportunity to watch nature at work in the comfort of our own home!  So, I’m going to be strong, fight the black thumb that I have, and grow some grass with LittleM!

Here’s everything that you need.  Your Easter Basket, a plastic insert that fits your basket (I purchased at Lowes for 57cents), potting soil (also purchased at Lowes for $3.97), grass seed (we already had this in the basement), a measuring cup, and a spray bottle (I forgot to take a picture of that!).

Have your little one measure out the dirt to fill the container 3/4 full.

Completely cover the top of the dirt with grass seed and the push into the dirt about 1/2 an inch.

Lightly mist the grass seed just to get it wet then place in a window to watch it grow! I’ll keep you updated with our grass growth as we approach Easter.  The point is to have the grass grow to the top of the basket, so let it grow as tall as you can, then trim it to fit the basket.

This idea was found at the blog How Does She? and there seem to be some fantastic ideas for crafts, cooking, fashion, etc there.

We tried to do the thumb print shamrocks next but that was a disaster so we’re just going to skip it and pretend it never happened.  We did make St. Patrick’s Day cards for the grandparents with some holiday stamps that I have.  LittleM decided to decorate both the front and back of the card with the stamps.  Inside we put a greeting of “Irish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day”.  I hope they get a kick out of them.

The last craft that we worked on, and weren’t able to finish yet because the paint didn’t dry, was making a shamrock from a toilet paper roll. What you need is one toilet paper roll, green paint, a container for the paint (I save yogurt and jello containers for this purpose because they are small and I can just throw them away when we’re through), a paintbrush, scissors, and glue. (You don’t see the white paper under the scissors and paintbrush.  That is the disastrous thumbprints that never happened.)

Start by cutting one paper roll into 6 equal strips.

And I can count, I know that there are five in the picture.  The 6th piece I cut in half for the stem.

Now it’s time to let the kiddos go crazy painting the inside and outside green of each piece.  I don’t really have any pictures of the painting because I was trying to keep LittleM from painting herself more than the cardboard. When it everything is completely dry (which ours is not yet), you’re going to push the tops down to the bottoms to create a heart shape and glue the pieces together.  Please use your imagination to make this into a shamrock.

The 5th cardboard round is going to be glued to the back to create a stand so that you can put this on the counter or table.

I found this great idea at the Family Corner. This has 10 different crafts to do with the kids for St. Patty’s Day, including the thumbprint art.  Maybe your kid will be happier to try it.  Let us never speak of this again.

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend too and can take some of these ideas for your own crafty afternoon.


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Ideas for the Weekend

Here are just a few of the fun things happening this weekend in northern Delaware.

Saturday, March 10

1. Wilmington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade at12 p.m.The parade begins at Fourth and King streets and runs north on King to St. Patrick’s Church on 15th St.

2. Brandywine Zoo is having a free Spring Event from 10am-3:30pm.  This is going to include live entertainment, games, and crafts.

3. Or you can head to the Philadelphia Zoo to meet the Lorax between 10am and 2 pm on the hour.  There will also be readings of the story, but you do have to pay regular admission unless you are a member.

4. Kirkwood Library has a program at 2:30pm titled “Under the Skirt: Tour of the Civil War” to celebrate Women’s History Month and the labors women had to go through just to get dressed during this time period.  The New Castle County Libraries have amazing programs going on all the time.  Make sure to check the Happenings Guide to see what’s coming up and when.  Some programs require registration so double check the information before going.  I know the Hockessin Library has a Sid the Kid program on March 23rd (a Friday) at 10:15 that they are registering for now.  Sadly, LittleM and I can’t go because I have work.  But it sure sounds cool.

5. Tshirt Tote Bage Make-it Take-it at Michaels craft store by the Christiana Mall (ages 3 and up). From 1pm-3pm.  You must purchase a Tshirt at the store for the craft.

Sunday, March 11

I couldn’t really find a lot going on Sunday but we’re going to be crafting for St. Patrick’s Day decorations in the house.  You can use one of the toilet paper tubes for one of the crafts, and then we’ll be making thumb print shamrocks (so get out your green ink pad).  I’ll post pictures and directions on Sunday after we complete the crafts.

I hope you have an adventurous weekend!

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