Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

Homemade Play Dough! September 28, 2011

Making homemade play dough is one of the most simple and most fun activities to do with your children!

It costs very little, and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your house!

This is the recipe I use:

Kool-Aid Play Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 pkg unsweetened kool-aid
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

*Side note – my son thinks that kool aid packages are for the purpose of making play dough because we don’t drink that stuff!

Directions: Mix dry ingredients while water is heating up. Add oil and boiling water. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until dough like consistency. Store in airtight container!

It is really neat to make because when you mix the dry ingredients you don’t really see the color granules from the kool aid – and then as you slowly pour in the boiling water make sure your child is watching, because like magic the mixture turns into the color of the kool-aid!

Bizz adding the green kool aid to one mixture (we made two batches)!

I let Bizz help me add all the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then I added the boiling water and mixed with a fork for a few minutes until it was cool enough to touch. Then we took turns kneading it!

Both bowls after the hot water was added - Blue & Green!

Here is the dough after being mixed before being kneaded.

 

Bizz showing off the finished product!

Have fun and go make some play dough!!!

~Jesse

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Sweet Repeats – make some money and clean your house! September 13, 2011

Filed under: Parenting — bizzandbooboo @ 8:11 am
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This past Spring I heard about something called Sweet Repeats. I honestly can’t remember where I first saw it – but I thought it was a new cupcake shop or something at first!

Then I learned more about it…. and it is so much better 🙂

Sweet Repeats Chico is a local consignment sale for maternity clothes and kids clothes, toys, equipment, etc! It happens twice a year and if you haven’t been involved yet – you have plenty of time to get ready for the next sale!

In a nutshell this is how it works – you go to the Sweet Repeats Chico website and sign up to be a consignor (if you mention that I referred you I get a referral credit of $5 to shop at the sale – and you can get the same by referring people!!)

Pull together all the piles of stuff you don’t want anymore awesome clothes, old strollers, books and more that you want to sell. Then YOU tag it all at home – enter it on the computer through the Sweet Repeats System –  set your own price – print out barcoded tags and attach to items – then sign up for a drop off shift before the sale begins and off you go!

From the Spring Sale - photo from the Sweet Repeats Website

Consignors who tag their own items make between 65% and 75% of their items sold! There is also a Sell It For Me option in which you can drop off all your items and have someone else tag and price them – and you still make 40% of all items sold!

Here is a press release about the upcoming Sweet Repeats sale:

Sweet Repeats Kid’s Consignment Sale – Helping Local Families Stretch Their Budget

After being laid off from her job over a year ago, local mom, Monica Itamura, had a lightbulb moment.  She was preparing to travel 3 hours away to sell her son’s outgrown clothing, toys and gear at a seasonal kid’s consignment sale over 100 miles away and realized sale she was attending was the perfect concept for  Chico and families in the north state.  Sweet Repeats Kid’s Consignment Sale was born!

This seasonal sales event is held twice a year (each fall and spring), and enables families to recycle their gently used kid’s items to others in the local community.  The last sale, held in May 2011, featured tens of thousands of quality baby and kid’s items for sale at a fraction of the retail cost. Hundreds of shoppers snapped up incredible bargains on brand name clothing, gear and toys. At the same time, consignors (local families) cleared out their clutter and made money on items they no longer needed.

Sweet Repeats sales also showcase many local artisans selling locally made children’s items (bedding, clothing, bibs, splat mats, baby slings, tutus and more). 

Local charities in need also benefit from Sweet Repeat Kid’s Consignment Sales. Consignors may opt to donate some or all of their unsold items. Thousands of baby and kids items were donated from the spring 2011 sale to Youth & Family Programs of Butte County and the Butte County ILP Store.  Donations from the fall 2011 sale will also benefit Youth & Family Programs of Butte County. 

The next Sweet Repeats Kid’s Consignment Sale is Oct 8-9 at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Families, moms, dads, grandparents, friends and relatives are invited to shop and find great deals, make some money, and feel good about reducing their carbon footprint by reusing resources. Sweet Repeats makes it easy to save GREEN, make GREEN & be GREEN. For information on becoming a consignor or shopping at the sale, please visit www.sweetrepeatschico.com.

How awesome is that???

If you are in Chico or surrounding areas get signed up now or put it on your calendar to go shop – you won’t regret it. Check it out on their facebook page!

Toys and Equipment at the Spring Sale - photo from Sweet Repeats Website!

When I participated in the spring I tagged and brought in about 2 big boxes of clothes along with a few baby items (bouncy seat, johnny jump up, etc) and I ended up making $175 – I was so pleased! I also spent about $15 shopping and ended up with 4 nice sweaters and 3 dresses for BooBoo plus a bunch of shirts for Bizz and a couple new books! It is a win-win!!

Have a great day!

~Jesse

 

Keep your kids from driving you insane – and have Fun! September 1, 2011

Filed under: Parenting,Things to do/Places to Go — bizzandbooboo @ 7:00 am
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As any parent knows, children are amazing and loving beings who fulfill our lives…..

and can drive us crazy on occasion or fifty!

So… what are simple, frugal ways to have fun with your kids without sitting in front of the TV all day, spending a lot of money, or having your kids tell you they are bored a hundred times??

Here are some ideas:

Visit the local farmer’s market (even if you aren’t going to buy anything)

BooBoo enjoying a breadstick from Tin Roof Bakery at the Wednesday Market 8/31/11!

  • Visit on a consistent basis and have your kids get to know the vendors and farmers. It is beautiful for your child to learn where the food they eat comes from and who is growing it!
  • If your child is older create a scavenger hunt (find 5 heirloom fruits or vegetables, find out what time a farmer has to wake up in the morning, learn what free-range means from a chicken farmer, etc!)
  • For your younger children it is a great environment filled with colors to learn and things to count and people to say Hi to! I have yet to meet an unfriendly person at the market!
  • Try samples of the various artisanal products and fruits and veggies!

Go to the Park! It sounds so simple, but I am always amazed at how few kids there are at many of the parks we visit each week! 

Bizz guiding BooBoo up the play structure!

  • Enjoy the swingsets, slides, monkey bars and other assorted playground equipment
  • Always bring a few simple tools (plastic shovel, bucket) so if there is sand or dirt to play in they can dig and build. I just keep a small bucket with a few toys in the trunk of the car ready to go!
  • Find out what time the sprinklers are on and bring your towels – let them run through the sprinklers if it is a hot day (just make sure to respect the park and not damage fragile ecosystems)
  • Let your kids make friends with strangers – it will build their confidence and independence, and as long as you are right there it is safe and a good thing.
  • Take a walk and let them explore whatever they want!

 

Bizz & BooBoo relaxing on the swings at Hooker Oak Park!

Just let them play… and don’t interfere (as long as nobody is about to lose an eye!)

  • Kids have truly AMAZING imaginations – and I feel that it is our job as parents to foster that imagination – by not always planning something.
  • Have basic toys and supplies available for them to access (paper, writing utensils, blocks, play tools, etc) and just let them do what they want! If that means coloring a piece of paper with a black marker until the marker runs out – then so be it!
  • Give them freedom to be themselves and learn how to figure things out and fix problems – do not always help (I know, that sounds crazy – and it truly is hard when your 4 year old gives you those big brown puppy dog eyes and says Mommy, I love you, can you please rebuild my tower that sissy jut knocked over again…)
  • Let them get dirty – Dirt don’t hurt and they are washable!

 

BooBoo getting dirty while Bizz rakes away in the garden!

The list goes on…. and will be continued with some actual ideas for specific activities on those rainy days – and those days when just letting them play is resulting in boredom and mommy insanity 🙂

But I truly believe that it is of the utmost importance to allow our children to experience a “childhood” of simplicity in nature, in play and in life. Because as we know….. adulthood comes all too fast!!

~Jesse

PS. And be silly a lot…

 

 

Camping with kids… August 1, 2011

Filed under: Camping,Parenting,Things to do/Places to Go — bizzandbooboo @ 1:01 pm
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The difference between camping before kids and after kids is….. well I am not sure the two can be compared…

My husband and I love to camp – I wouldn’t call us avid campers, but I hope to be an avid camper someday!

I still pack way too much and worry I won’t have something essential that I need (especially when going with the kids).

Before kids:

  • We would set out with a general idea of where we wanted to camp and find the place that was perfect
  • We would enjoy the sounds of rushing water in nearby creeks or rivers
  • I would stay warm by the fire
  • We’d splurge on smores and beer after dinner and sleep cozily in our large tent!

After Kids:

  • We go to places that we have been and are familiar with to know how kid safe it is
  • We enjoy the sounds of BooBoo not crying and Bizz not yelling about something
  • I worry about the kids staying warm throughout the night and constantly wake up and check their blankets
  • We make sure the kids stay away from the fire so no one trips into it – therefore usually I am sitting far enough back that I can’t feel the warmth of it
  • and I splurge on leftover cheerios that didn’t fall on the ground and maybe a drink of warm leftover apple juice 😉

Truthfully – I LOVE camping with my children, I love the experience I am giving them at such an early age and that we are lucky enough to be able to do these things as a family!

And it amazes me how many people are always surprised and almost congratalatory to us for camping with our children. Every single time we have gone camping as a family I have been approached by an older person who has asked something along the lines of How can I convince my son/daughter to take their young children camping? It is such a great expereience – look you are doing it! I never really know how to respond except to say it is a lot of work, but for me it is worth it and the fun overrides the work!

There are some things you have to be prepared for though:

I don’t mind my kids getting dirty – Dirt don’t hurt! And they WILL get dirty  filthy when camping! Just bring lots of washclothes or baby wipes – and don’t worry about cleaning their feet – just put socks on at bedtime 🙂

Bedtime, as you know it, isn’t going to happen. Just let them stay up on your laps next to the fire for as long as they want! It is quality time like nothing else! If they fall asleep in your arms even better! Bring some comfort items from home (fave book, blanky, sleepybear) to help if needed, and be sure to have a nightlight of some sort if they need it in the tent!

I LOVE the joy on Bizz’s face as he gets to explore and find new bugs or branches, and especially this year as he gets to be Daddy’s helper in collecting firewood and setting up camp!

And – You will have to have smores after dinner, and possibly after breakfast and lunch as well if you keep the fire going – and I am all for that 🙂

What is your best or worst camping story, tip or experience?

~Jesse

 

Things I love to hear my child say… July 27, 2011

Filed under: Parenting — bizzandbooboo @ 7:30 am
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Raising a child today is hard.

I don’t know if it is harder than it was in the past, and I am sure that our parents thought that raising us was hard.

But…

It is also the most amazing, wonderful and rewarding experience I have had in my life!

I am far from perfect (who decides what perfect is anyway?? I don’t think I would ever want to be anywhere near society’s ideological viewpoint of what the proper way to raise a child is…)

But, there are a lot of things I do that make me feel like an accomplished parent. I don’t usually realize these things until I sit back and listen to my son, or have others tell me about comments he has made.

Here are some of my favorites quotes from my 4 year old son that make me realize that I am raising my kids in a way that is leading them towards a path of healthy, sustainable, eco-friendly and most importantly happy life.

  • Is the Kombucha ready yet?
  • How are Kaylin’s worms from our compost doing?
  • YaYa needs to get her milk from a cow on the farm, not in a carton.
  • Is that fence electric? (We visit a lot of the local farms to see where we get our produce and meat and dairy from)
  • Why aren’t we going to the farmer’s market Wednesday and Saturday this week?

  • Can I plant some more seeds so I can plant more plants in the garden?

And the fact that my son knows the names of all of the people that we regularly visit at the Farmer’s Markets and local farms!

Have a beautiful day –

Remember – If you are a parent or take care of special little ones in your life – be sure to give yourself props –  you are doing amazing!

And don’t forget to give all those parents you know in life some words of encouragement as often as you can, it helps get through the days when no one naps, and the diaper leaks, and the cat pukes all over, and lunch gets burned…. and…. and….

 

Bizz and BooBoo? July 21, 2011

Filed under: Parenting — bizzandbooboo @ 6:30 am
Tags: , ,

What the heck does that mean?

You spend all this time deciding on a name for your baby to come….. girl names, boy names. Should we go with a family name, a common name, an unknown name?

You decide on the winning name!  Then within weeks you find yourself (or others) calling your new bundles by something else.

For us it was Bizz and BooBoo –

Our son was Bizz (sometimes Bizzle) and our daughter is BooBoo. These aren’t the only nicknames we call them, and not even the most common. But for me, they are the ones that stick with me the most and bring a warm fuzzy feeling as I picture their sweet face or little hands :)

Do you have a nickname, or do your kids? Nicknames are so fun, and often have great stories behind them!!

~Jesse