Friday, July 30, 2010

Savvy Tot school Revisited

Remember when Baby DIVA was knee deep in Savvy Tot school and I would share with you all her "learning"? Ya well she was not so interested so we kind of put it on hold. Now a few months later Baby DIVA is beginning to show an interest again in this whole Tot learning stuff, so I am back on the wagon, cutting with unsharp toddler scissors, gluing things on paper in no particular order and eating play dough. It is fabulous!

We still have a structure but I would have to say it is a loose learning style. I built a huge arsenal for any moment that the learning mood might strike. There is a "fun" basket at Baby DIVA's reach that I have placed numerous homemade learning games and activities. Whenever she feels the need she sprints right on over and brings me a Ziploc full of the game she wants to play. She has her choice of various activities such as playing with clocks to building foam houses. Its pretty cool if I do say so myself.

Honestly she doesn't play exactly how the items should be utilized as of yet, but it is coming. For example, she really enjoys taking the color crayon matching game in and out of the Ziploc instead of laying them out and matching the colors. Oh well I say. We improvise and instead just talk about the colors as she takes them in and out and in and out and in and out over and over until Oops the baggie goes "night night". You know what I am talking about. I know you do. Don't tell me that Brown Bear, Brown Bear book hasn't taken a 3 day slumber on occasion.

Does your tot like to play these games? What stuff do you have going on to teach and play your tots?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Koolaid Head

You know I got pink hair. There is NO denying it, hiding it or anything along those lines. So what to do when the tots in your life inquire about coloring their own heads a variety of colors?!? I can't exactly say "No! mature people don't do that", because ummm HELLO I did it and I am supposed to be the mature adult in their life. Hmmm, so what to do?

How about a Koolaid party? Koolaid doesn't do damage to their hair, and will wash out before schools starts! Hot diggity Dog! And by using Koolaid we can still keep this fun loving wild hair dying color experience kid friendly and they can still understand it is fun and should be done responsibly. LOL Off we went to the store to pick out our new hair dye!



We started by mixing up 2 packages of unsweetened koolaid (per color) with a bit of hair conditioner and water. Not too much as we want to make a paste, not a drink. You might need to wear rubber gloves to apply this to the kids hair, you don't want rainbow fingers, or perhaps you do. Rainbow fingers could be cool. However if you have to go out in the real world at some point you might really want to consider the gloves. Also take some Vaseline and wipe the kids faces around the hairline and ears, I know from experience ( I will not reveal if it is from my own pink hair experience or perhaps I might have forgot to Vaseline the kids, nope I wont tell you how I know this to be true) that these places absorb color! I know the kids might be monsters, but in all reality we don't want our precious monsters walking around with stained blue faces now do we? Okay Okay I know it can rustle up a giggle in our imaginary minds thinking of this, but PEOPLE we are responsible parents now. Mature parents at that!


So we have lathered the kids in Vaseline, are sporting some stylish rubber gloves, have mixed up the koolaid concoction and are ready to rock and roll. Decide where you want to place the color. I suggest to do either the whole head or perhaps some thick strips around the face, makes the application process pretty easy. We opted for Blue thick strips around Sassy Gals face and a rainbow of color on one side of Video Dudes head. Baby DIVA napped...she is not a "Kool" mature kid yet. Stayed tuned next summer.

Apply the color evenly and carefully, it is sticky so beware. Once you have applied the color wrap the area up in saran wrap and wait...and wait...and wait...for many hours. We waited about 5 hours. I also know for older kids this can be done before bed and they can sleep in the saran wrap, I opted to do this project at breakfast and remove color after lunch, just me though. So after waiting the 5 hours we rinsed and washed the hair. And you might want to mention this waiting process to the kids before you apply the koolaid, just saying.



Sassy Gal is sporting a fabulous shade of blue that took beautifully to her lightened by the summer sun blond hair. Video Dude has a shade darker of blond and therefore is remaining mysterious with just a hint of rainbow color revealed in a subtle hue as he stalks about the house. Both came out fabulous and the kids LOVE it!

Watch out!! Momma on the loose

It has happened. I have finally crossed over. The once thin (hahahahah long ago), perky boob, hang out the top of a convertible with a chocolate martini in hand has traded in the keys for some fluff, large floppy boobs, and BRACE YOURSELF...


Yep. I am now the proud owner and driver of a Chrysler Town and Country Mom ride. It is wonderfully spacious (fat ass approved), the kids (the rentals that is, i didn't pop out another yet, just Baby DIVA is blessed with my blood, for now anyway) don't have touch in the car. No imaginary brick walls have to be drawn. I am able to retain my full voice, no more yelling "stay on your side of the line" at the backseat. I can load up every toy we have, just in case that is the ONE the DIVA needs to silence the screams in the line of wherever we are at the moment. I love it. Mom ride is fantabulous!


Oh and moms night out, in the VAN, is in the works. Valet the mom ride. Hot fluffy chicks in tow for a martini night. Katy bars Watch out! MOMS IN VANS on the loose!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Nothing says summer like chalk on a sidewalk...

And painting ones leg with chalk
Peace! My work here is done!

Beans Beans Beans the more you eat...

The more you toot! hahahaha

Just kidding. Beans are a fabulous source of protein, and in many cases are super dooper CHEAP. I have been experimenting lately with all forms of bean recipes in order to expand of food consumption options and continue to shrink our food purchasing expenses. This week we worked with red beans and have a lovely little recipe to share!

I will call it Cheap Bean Noodle thingy! HA!

You need:
2 cans red beans, drained but save juice
Bread crumbs
1 egg
spices: i didn't measure them i went by taste
Fresh minced garlic
2 packages of Ramen Noodles
Shredded Mozzarella
Some red sauce (tomato based that you enjoy)

What to do:


Smoosh the beans all up in the blender, (you may need to add bean juice during this process a little at a time), add the egg and smoosh some more. Then dump bean mixture into a bowl and slowly add in breadcrumbs 1/4 cup at a time until a paste forms. Once a nice paste consistency has formed goo up your hands with some lube (butter, pam whatever) and form the paste into patties. Then sprinkle the patties with breadcrumbs and basil. Hopefully you will have already been heating the oil in a frying pan so you can get started, but if you are like me and didn't then i suggest getting that done now. So once oil is ready place patty in pan and cook until browned. While these puppies are cooking you may go ahead and boil water for the Ramen noodles. If you versed in Ramen Noodles you know they cook really quick, like 3 minutes, so this wont take long. :)


Once you have fried all the Bean Patties to a brownish color and not burned down the house, you can then drain the noodles and begin to "plate" your cheap ass dinner. Place noodles in a bowl. Place a patty on top with shredded Mozzarella and Red sauce. Give a bowl and a fork to each member of your family and VOILA Cheap Bean Noodle Thingy!

It did taste pretty yummy!


Friday, July 23, 2010

A month food challenge

H4L has agreed to take on a month long challenge with me. A month long challenge? Sound scary? Depends on the challenge huh?

We are going to take on the challenge to not eat out a single paid for meal during the month of August. That is right! All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, midnight hunts for ice cream, all of it, will only be ingested if I have purchased it during one of our regular grocery store runs. No quick trips for a pint of yummy ice cream, no slips on the diet for a taco run at jack in the crack. Nope! Nada! Zilch!

H4L will be packing not only his lunch but also his breakfast when he travels off to work. We will be only eating food at home for every meal for 31 days. I'm very excited about this. I have just about mastered coupon shopping, meal planning, and OAMC. Now I am taking it to the next level and trying to come up with unique tasty delights that will keep myself and my family eager for more healthy home cooking without fast food or restaurant dining.

Have you ever done this? Do you live this way? Do you have any tasty meal ideas to share?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mosquito...I mean Nature walk

The temperature is rising, Oh wait it has risen!! We hit a blistering heat by 8am here in Texas. And if the misery of bare legs baked into the leather seats of cars is not enough, the mosquitoes are breading like love crazed teenagers and biting the crap out of us like they are members of the twilight crew. It is just flat out miserable outside. So what do I do? Load up the kids and take them on a nature hike through the Houston Arboretum. Go me! Smart thinking right?


We arrived at the Houston Arboretum and were greeted with a bucket of bug spray and a map showing us the "way" through the urban nature trails to visit the swamp, the meadow and the lovely summer flowering plants. "Watch out for those beasts!", we were so simply advised by a volunteer. The beasts being the killer mosquitoes!! And if you know me and my crew then you know we did not follow the rules or the "way", we struck out on our own. DUMB!


A couple of steps from the educational building that started our journey we happened upon a fabulous little playground, full of dirt and trees to climb. No Kidding! The playground was so "GREEN" and fabulous. Tree stumps were carefully placed in order to provide all sorts of climbing apparatus for the children ( and perhaps one Pink Haired Momma) and sand brought in provided a great clothes destroyer for Baby DIVA. Video Dude quickly zoned in on a game of how to walk the tight rope and inched his was to success. Sassy Gal found that she enjoyed the dirt with Baby DIVA. AWESOME play area!!



MOMMA!! I can do the tight rope too!

We got attacked by mosquitoes despite our shower of bug spray. Luckily Pink Haired Momma's magic bag held another bottle of spray, and this spray was brought out and drenched all over us. Moving on.

We headed down the path not really knowing where the heck we were headed, only hoping to happen upon a swamp. Now I ask you this, Why the heck would a momma want to take her kids on a hike through "nature" and heat and a veil of mosquitoes to a SWAMP??? Well forgive me I was dropped on my head as a child. I did it. I took them to the swamp. And you know what? It was gorgeous. Heat scorched plants and all, the swamp area was fascinating. A Bridge led you though a maze of lily pads and swampy waters allowing the kids to look, see, and understand why I continue to express our need to not have standing water near the house: mosquito party zone. But the brilliance of the natural vegetation and thriving insect colonies was very intriguing to the captivated minds and eyes of my crew of kids.


After spending about 2 hours hiking through mosquitoes, mosquitoes, puddles of sweat, and some fabulous trees and things, our nature hike ended with a fantastic play session in the educational building. I was pleasantly surprised to find a multitude of teaching tools hidden in the obscure area blasting with cold air conditioning. We were able to learn about all kinds of bugs, animals, animal tracks, work puzzles, do leaf rubbings, look at all kinds of goodies under a microscope and chit chat about what we saw that day. Extraordinary I tell you. Before we knew it another couple of hours had passed! Seriously! Nearly a 4 hour adventure of hiking and learning snuck past without any of us realizing the time!

We definitely will be heading back to the arboretum, only we might wait until it cools off a tad, or perhaps until the mosquitoes actually back away when you have a pound of bug spray permeating from your body! But you know the best part of this adventure, besides keeping the kids engaged in an activity of learning for 4 hours? Well this entire adventure cost not a single dime! Hot diggity dog!! FREE LEARNING!!! And we had an incredible time together!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grow Baby Grow

I am beginning to struggle in the garden. I managed to construct a garden and plant a slew of seeds this year. Seedlings began to show and grow into full grown mature plants. A few vegetables have even graced our garden and ended up on our plates. Pure luck, I suppose. I now am moving into a new territory and it is scary!

I mastered the plant and grow "something" task. Now I need to figure out how to master the plentiful growing of lots of fruits for my labor skill. And I kind of suck. I don't really know what to do. I love planting and watching things grow, but how do I get these planted things to produce loads of delicious produce? Luckily I have my fantabulous Average Person Gardening seed of the month club that not only delivers new seed babies to me in the mail each month, reminding me to continue on and that I CAN DO THIS. But also provide insightful tid bits and information pertaining to a variety of questions I didn't even know to ask via FACEBOOK and their website. The seeds arrive with great punctuality each month and provide me with the continued reminder to put those babies in the dirt and let things grow...practice makes perfect. Ask and learn what you don't know, and continue on!

So thank you my fantabulous Average Person Gardening seed of the month club . Without you I promise I might continue to suck at this gardening thing or worse I might quit. But with you by my side and reminding me to get out there I will succeed!! Check out the fabulous sproutage I have going on from last months seeds!!!

I have 4 new packets of fabulous little seeds just crying out to be placed in some soil and watered and loved and nurtured! I love that just when I begin to feel frustrated my fantastic Average Person Gardening seed of the month club delivers new hope right into my mailbox! So here we go...planting sprouts, digging in dirt and laying out new seeds for new growth! YAY for my brand new seeds of Radish, Broccoli, Cayenne peppers and Parsnip! GROW BABY GROW!!

Princess Party

Baby DIVA had a wonderful thing happen this last weekend. Her bestie turned 2 YEARS OLD!! And her bestie had a PRINCESS PARTY! It was totally awesome. the girls dressed up in cutesy princess attire and danced about squealing in delight and stuffing sugar in their mouths. The Birthday gal had a sensational bday and Baby DIVA was honored to be a part of it! So one more time Happy 2nd Birthday Lil Miss DIVA in training!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Children's Hilltop Theatre Festival

This morning Baby DIVA, Sassy Gal, Video Dude and my dear friend Love and I, met up at the Miller Outdoor Theatre for a fabulous FREE Children's festival of theatrical entertainment. This week from today Tuesday July 20 through Friday July 23 at 11am, the Express Children's Theatre is putting on various plays to captivate young audiences. And let me tell you it is calling a great crowd. I also ran into TWO really fabulous friends in my life that I haven't seen in ages whom were both toting their kids out in the heat for this fabulous FREE event.



Today the show was Three Billy Goats Gruff, a fabulous little tale about 3 goats wanting to cross the Grumpy troll's bridge to get the "greener" grass on the other side. The story line was adorable. The actors really engaged the kids and brought them into the story by having the kids act out the story line from their seats. Adorable! Simply adorable. The kids were entertained with a cute rendition of this tale and also were treated to a moral meaning throughout the story. Nicely done. There were no fancy stage decorations, lights, or anything of this nature. Just simply people using their imagination with minimal costumes and backdrops to entice young children to use their own imaginations. I was incredibly impressed and happy we attended.



Tomorrow at 11am the Hilltop Festival will feature The True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Thursday at 11am one can find the story of the Three Little Pigs gracing the stage.
And on Friday at 11am the Express Children's Theatre will present Jack and the Beanstalk.

After the play we wandered about Hermann Park , sweating our behinds off (wish i could have sweated a whole left cheek, but that's another story). We happened upon a lovely little spike head duck family and were lucky enough the receive some bread from a departing stranger to feed the Spikey Duck family. The kids had a ball. Baby DIVA however was a bit fussy at this point and decided it to be more fun to SCREECH at the ducks. Lovely. Yes I AM that parent!

In an attempt to cool us all off and to have a look at what other activities the fabulous Hermann Park has to offer, I loaded the kids and Love on to the park train and we went cruising. This was awesome. We cruised right through the park and I located our next adventure. A FANTABULOUS HUGE play area and splash pad and COVERED picnic area. I am all over it!


We plan to hit at least one more of the Hilltop Children's Festival performances and then suit up and hit the splash pad and playground for an afternoon and pure summer bliss. You too can enjoy these festivities! And the best part? Pack a lunch and the play, the picnic tables, playground and splash pad all provide you with an afternoon of pure summer bliss for not a dime! Enjoy! See you out there!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

La Finca Restaurant

The Pink Haired Momma clan tested out a local restaurant this weekend. A Mexican food restaurant. I have heard some rave reviews from friends and online and so we thought we would check it out. This place also has a playground for the tots, so I imagined H4L and I sipping on some authentic margaritas swirled about in someone else blender, while watching Baby DIVA romp around the playground and slide down the slide (her fav activity these days).

Ya, well that imaginary vision did not play out exactly like that. Its turned into a rather interesting evening, but no margs, no playground and well here let us chat...

Let me see where to start. Let us start with the good. The food was eatable. It was not the greatest, was not the worst, but was incredibly expensive for what it was. I mean I had cheese enchilada's, and they were good, but tasted similar to that which I could throw in the microwave and serve myself. So not my favorite food, but not spit it out and hide it under your napkin gross either. The place was clean and the service was excellent. Too excellent I might add. The waiter was a nice young gentleman who was friendly and did not mess up our order at all. The rest of the staff was very eager to help us at all times. They were very insistent on my H4L having his diet refilled before he was 1/4 of the way through it. Seriously, he was asked about 15 times, no exaggeration, if he wanted a refill. He kept saying in a little bit, not now. The staff stood by and watched us like hawks each time he took a sip, finally just coming a taking his glass away and refilling it when he was about 1/2 way through it. And then out of no where they brought me another full glass of soda, despite my original glass still being full. Guess they though we were really thirsty or something. It was quite humorous.

Now the bad. The staff being so eager to assist us kind of bordered on annoying. I did like that they were so attentive, however coming up and wiping the table, while we are still eating, each time Baby DIVA dribbled a little hot sauce or cheese worked my nerves. Not only because the invasion of our space, but Hello that dirty cleaning towel is now wiping the table and Baby DIVA is eating snack here, and you just used it ti wipe that table over there. GROSS invasion of the germs! Wait till we are done people! At least then I don't see you wiping germs on my table :)! And besides, I always clean the floor and wipe down the table before we leave the restaurant. Back off! Kindly annoying, to say the least. Then the playground was off limits while we were there. A private party had reserved the entire outdoor patio and playground area. Not a biggie, but annoying again to say the least.

Having nothing to do with the restaurant, we got some fun entertainment by eavesdropping on the patrons sitting in the booth behind us and got quite a tickle. Making the whole experience worth doing again. These patrons came to a Mexican restaurant, tex mex yummy delicious, fat engorged dining facility, and were all but throwing themselves on the floor demanding their foods be prepared without any grease WHAT-SO-EVER. Umm? Really? So we thought maybe they we order a taco salad. Then we hear, "And no vegetable please, and no Charo beans because they are cooked in bacon fat". REALLY?? no veggies, no bacon fat and no grease? Why the heck did you come to a Mexican food restaurant. WEIRD. But hysterical and still has us giggling several days later.

The atmosphere was fun and warm. It does have a great feel for families and a fun night of entertainment. Live music can also be found on the weekends in this friendly environment. The staff is incredibly attentive and the food was okay. I would like to test out the margaritas and playground in the future. I don't know if I will dine here again, but some chips, dips, and alcoholic beverages consumed while watching my TOT have a blast could be a great evening.

looking to test this place out? Click HERE for directions.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Corpse Flower

You heard about this corpse flower thing? I mean if you live in Houston, Texas like me, and you watch or listen to any form of news then FOR SURE you must have heard about this "BIG" news here in town.

We have a Corpse Flower hanging out over in the Museum of Natural Science. And this flower is breaking headlines. Set to bloom at any moment, all the news channels have LIVE FEED on the Corpse Flower, so that not a soul will have to miss this fabulous flower in bloom. Oh and we now affectionately refer to Corpse Flower as "Lois".

So what makes this Corpse Flower so special? Well the Corpse Flower is incredibly rare. Only 28 have ever bloomed in the United States, Lois will make the 29th bloom. This specific flower also tickles the senses by stunning the eye with its beauty and slapping the nose with a horrible stench. And when I say horrible stench and incredible beauty I am not kidding!

The flower is currently about 5 feet tall and growing by the minute. Any moment Lois will open and reveal her beauty and her stench. The Corpse flower gained its name because when in bloom the smell (I have heard) is horrendous. Smells similar to that of rotting flesh. YUCK!! I have been told the noxious smell will tickle the nose for only about 12 hours post bloom, however the bloom shall stay open and beautiful for a tad longer, ranging up to 2 days.

I will admit I have been jumping online and checking the live feed throughout the day. I would love to see this flower in the flesh so to speak. But it is just not gonna happen; time, money, toddler, you know how it goes. You can take a spin over to the Museum of Natural Science and check it out yourself. The museum is staying open 24 hours a day until Lois makes her debut!

Wordless Wednesday

Baby DIVA cracks me up every single day. She learns so quickly about the world, and how to put mom and dad in their place. She is quickly learning the art of expressions to gain what she wants!

Working the "Pout" to get what she wants
Mom won by the way!

Expressing how much she enjoyed sharing FLAN with Daddy

Suckering Daddy into playing in the PINK playhouse!
Watch out! She's got her own wheels now. World beware!! She will be rolling by your pad any day now!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Playground etiquette

The last couple of weeks here in Texas have brought a much needed, yet over abundance of rain. We have had a ton of tropical moisture creeping up and flooding our streets and disrupting our play dates at local parks. The kids are starting to go nutty, so other plans must be made.

Last week, during one of these flood gates opened days, I met Lovetoshopmom and her Tot at the local mall so our TOTS could play in the TOT area and work off some energy. I know we were receiving a ton of rain. I know it is summer and that all the kids are out of school and bored. That is fine. However there is absolutely NO REASON what-so-ever for a 8-10 year old large child to be zipping about the tot spot at the mall, running like a mad man, jumping off the tot climbers, squishing tots and just being a brat.

Baby DIVA got squashed twice by this child. I approached him and told him to please mind the little kids, he replied with a "you are not my mother" comment. BOY i tell you what I wanted to reach over and let this kid know a thing or two. But I didn't. Nope I looked around for his mother and when she was no where to be found, poor Baby DIVA was forced to leave the play area. We went and rode the carousel instead. Talk about a big bummer! Half an hour later upon return to the play area, that same child had climbed up on top of one of the large climbers (in fact an area the kids are not allowed to climb on) and was jumping off and running like a mad man, still. So we left the mall completely.

I felt so bad for Baby DIVA. I was also so angry at this misbehaving boys parents. Where they heck are they? Why are the letting this obviously too old child, to run around like a crazed lunatic in a toddler play zone. It is unacceptable! I have taken the Big Kids, Sassy Gal and Video Dude to this play area in the past, and they always follow my rules and do not play on the equipment when there are little kids around. I simply tell them NO! And oh my goodness, They mind me!

I think parents need to remember that the mall playground does not babysit your children. You still must be an active parent and watch out after your child. If not for the safety of your own, at least for the safety of other children.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mac n cheese Taco Bake!

Ever get too tired to cook? Ever been at your wits end because that silly toddler is being a stinker and not eating anything nutritious or otherwise? Despite planning and plotting and OAMC, this can still occur. In Fact, this happened to me last week. I was so tired. Baby DIVA was being her Royal Picky Highness, I was not really feeling all the kitchen creative juices that I usually feel and was a tad stumped for dinner. I thawed out some ground turkey meat, and then I pondered. Here is what I came up with:

Boil some water for a package of Mac and cheese.
Heat oven to 350.
Saute a bit of yellow onion and bell pepper, garlic, salt a pepper.
Dump hamburger meat ( I used ground turkey meat) in and brown, then drain and set aside.

Your mac and cheese should be just soft enough now and you can follow the instructions on the box to finalize the mac and cheese.

Dump about 1/2 mac and cheese into a casserole dish. Layer the meat mixture on top, then layer on crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese (you pick what kind, we used cheddar and Monterrey jack). Repeat this process until all ingredients used making sure to end up with the last layer being tortilla chips and cheese.

Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

Remove and serve with black olives and sour cream, if you please. Without is just as yummy.
Yum Yum!

Not so healthy, but super easy, toddler and husband friendly!
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