mylifeamongstdinosaurs.com

Bye Bye Pain

By October 25, 2017 What I love this week!
Pain ease and at times removal!

When you suffer a daily pain, any relief is welcome. When the relief makes it almost disappear, you do a happy dance!!

You know you’re old when you get out of bed, and you hurt. You greet your spouse with, ” I slept ok,  just hurt like crazy.” I have woke up so many mornings saying that sentence. By no means do I believe I am old. I feel like a teenager most days. First thing in the morning, I am in pain. I have plantar fasciitis.  It causes foot pain. Getting out of bed is like watching an eighty year old run a race. It’s so awful. Once I get moving and put on my shoes with my oh so young inserts for support on, I feel better.

I have been dealing with this for over a year. It is awful that I can’t chase my T-Rex like I want to. However, the other day I was at a craft fair. I was there as a vendor, selling my art work at craft fairs, and two stalls down from me was the cutest little girl. She made the whole weekend worth every moment. I made my way down to the booth her mother ran, and made introductions. She was just as sweet as her daughter. I began to inquire about what it was she did, and I am so glad I did!!

A nurse by trade she had decided to start a new venture when she had her daughter. She had this amazing line of health and beauty products she made in her home. Now, I love natural things.  Her while line was natural products. She had things for anti-aging, muscle rub, facial treatment, lips treatment, etc. I loved it. It all smelled amazing. I decided since I had issues with my feet and migraines, I would try her muscle rub.

I am in love with it! It is helping the pain in my feet tremendously. I rub a bit on in the morning and a bit in the evening. It has allowed me to pop up out of bed, and to run around barefoot for a while during the day. I was so giddy and have used it faithfully. The best part, it is so affordable! You feel great, with amazing health benefits, and for an amazing price. I love to pamper myself. You can see that from my reviews of Posh products here.

I hope you give her a try. She has so many amazing products. I truly hope you will check out her store on Etsy.

 

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My Child Needs Me, So Does Yours

By September 21, 2017 Family Life

With school starting back up, your child needs you to be their rock. They need us to be their protector and their advocate. 

Usually I am happy to write blog posts on my child doing something ridiculous. He is notorious for doing so. However, I have run into a similar conversation over the last couple weeks that has really struck a cord in me. I may sound like I am ranting, but honestly, I am trying to champion.

We wait nine months for this amazing little bundle of awesome to arrive. Fawning and swearing that we will do anything for this child, we take them to the doctor, and do check ups. However, somewhere in there some us become selfish. We may notice something seems amiss with our baby. Maybe their breathing is causing issues, maybe they are delayed in milestone achievements. I have trouble here. People I have talked to become more concerned with how they feel about the situation.

Instead of becoming an advocate for their child, they enter denial. Brushing off comments, and concerns of friends and family as unfounded. My darling dino following, please read this next sentence twice if you need to. Your child’s health is more important than your ego. You did not choose to give your child whatever they may have. My son has a growth hormone deficiency. I didn’t plot for it to happen. It happened. I refused to bury my head. I stepped up and made the calls, hounded doctors, and tried to move heaven and earth to get the testing done and the meds started. He is now growing and healthy and I couldn’t be happier.

No one wants to hear that their child is being diagnosed with something. Its scary, and it is much easier to want to ignore its happening. When you hear the diagnosis, your world feels like it may stop for a minute, but it doesn’t stop. Your child is still the wonderful bundle of awesome you brought into this world. The only difference to your world now is that you have to step up in ways you maybe didn’t think of before.

I feel like I am ranting, but truly, having your child diagnosed with a condition does not discredit your ability to be a parent, it also doesn’t mean your child will never reach the potential you hoped. People who have disabilities break barriers all the time. The first thing they usually say is that it was the support of their family and their never ending cheerleading that got them there. Overall, I just want to reassure you, there are many very helpful doctors, nurses, therapists and techs who can open so many doors for you and a child who may have a disability. Please, take those opportunities.

 

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Hot Dogs with a Sweet Side

By August 16, 2017 Let's Feed the Beasts

Hot dogs are always a crowd favorite, but when the T-Rex went through the picky phase, we had to kick these up a notch! 

Hot dogs are such a standard for most kids. All you parents are nodding your heads and thinking, ” and fires, and chicken nuggets, and pizza.” It gets to the point when you think you may want to just lie and say they no longer make them any longer. The stores have run out, or that McDonalds burned to the ground. Yes, I have said the last one. It saved me some time in the play area filled with screaming kiddos while I had a migraine!

I had to make my son believe he could eat hot dogs again. I didn’t want his minimal food list to shrink any more. Since I am a sweet toothed kinda gal, I decided to raid the baking shelf. Brown sugar jumped out at me. Now, judge if you will, but I didn’t use a ton, just enough to make it amazing. I believe I used about a quarter cup for like a family of 5 servings. After I have the dogs cooking for a bit, I sprinkle the brown sugar over it and let it melt around them. A warm delicious syrup develops and you turn the hot dogs over and over and coat them evenly. The results, the kid devoured them!

Now, hot dogs are lovely, in moderation. We decided after trying hot dogs this way a few times, we were going to be sneaky. We made brats. I was giddy when T-Rex ate every last bite. Pushing our luck, and crossing our fingers, I made polish sausage. Again, he ate every bite. It was like a dream come true!! I was giddy on two levels, I could eat something more than hot dogs, and our mighty man was eating! Toddler feedings are a rough thing right! Now he also loves getting to have his breakfast sausage made with a bit of brown sugar.

We decided to even expand our boundaries and have tried this on chicken strips, and we had some success! Sometimes, just thinking a wee bit out of the box is just the way to get those little people eating again. Do you have a secret to get your kids eating again? I would love to hear from you on what you try to get them to gobble up dinner again! I am always on the hunt for little tips and tricks. They change their minds so fast it helps to have a pocket full of go to’s!

 

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Sugar For My Love

By August 7, 2017 Family Life

This little sugar bowl has sat on my counter for four years. Its the sweetest reason why. 

My husband loves sugar in his coffee. The fact that he drinks coffee is comical , because four years ago he didn’t. However, four years ago, we wed. I then corrupted him and got him drinking coffee with sugar in it. Over the last couple years, I have tried to upgrade this little jar, but he just will not have it.

You see, my husband, he hates change. On top of that he is sentimental. A quality I love about him. We met in first grade, and I think somehow I am a memento from childhood. When he decides that something has value, he won’t come right out and say it. I found this out the hard way with our sugar jar.

This little jar came from the very first ever gift basket he got as a married man from his boss. It contained huckleberry jelly. Now as we know, I love huckleberry, so he beaming gave me this from his basket. Being a grateful and dutiful wife, I devoured that jelly. Also being a crazy hording crafter, I cleaned the jar and held on to it just in case.

Soon, I corrupted him into getting up and having a cozy cup of coffee with a wee bit of sweetener for him. He had to be difficult ( insert a wicked grin here.) and have a particular kind of sweetener. So of course I had to have somewhere to put it. Enter adorable jelly jar. I fill this little sugar jar up every few days, and I have for several years. I sell Tupperware, and when I have tried to swap out old jelly jar to new Tupperware, I get grumbles and complaints about the convenience of the jar vs the new whatever.

It took me a while, but then it dawned on me. He had assigned this amazing sweet memory to this little jar. We were newly married, we had little money, and I kept this little jar full for him so we could enjoy a cup of coffee together each morning. It was simple, it was a time when it was just us.

I decided that the jar will not be replaced. I will refill the sugar every few days, and I will get up each morning and make his coffee for him so we can have a cup amongst the craziness of our day. Its a small thing, but its such a sweet one.

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A Shark Holiday for the month

By August 7, 2017 Crafty Us!, Family Life

July , oh the beauty of July. Its hot, and sunny, and its time once again for the week I wait all year for. Shark Week!!  

I absolutely love the ocean as you may have read in an earlier post. I love everything about it, the smell, the sight, the creatures within. As terrifying as they are portrayed, I adore sharks. They are fascinating to me. They are so sleek and mysterious. That’s why Discovery Channel was kind enough to create a holiday that is a week long just for me. At least that’s what I tell myself about Shark Week.

The problem with Shark Week, is its only a week long. My sister and I decided all of July should be a celebration of the salty deep and we plan a month of crazy that revolves around the ocean and sharks. We decorate the house, line up crafts, and come up with crazy treats.

One of my favorite ideas for us to make this year is the Shark I-spy bottle. My little T-Rex is in a program called Parents as Teachers. It is an amazing program that allows kids to get a leg up and be prepared for kindergarten by focusing on emotional, social, and educational development. A couple weeks ago, we made I-spy bottles with bugs. I decided this would be cool for shark week as well.

When you are making a I-spy bottle, make sure you choose a good bottle. I personally love Gatorade bottles. They are strong, and have a nice wide mouth so you can slide fun items in. Plus they are big enough that little hands are able to grasp them while shaking and moving it to find the treasures within.

When you are filling up an I-spy bottle you need to consider the actual filling material. I prefer to use rice. I shifts easy and the objects move easily through it. It can be done with beans, lentils, popcorn kernels, its really up to you. I used rice, and in this case, I am dying the rice blue with food coloring. To do this, decide what it is that you want to put in the bottles. I am doing a little sea creature variety pack that I bought from the local party store. I am also using little pony beads, gems, and a few other small little fun things to find. Since my items vary from bg to small, I use the rice,

To dye the rice, I put a few cupfuls in a gallon Ziplock bag and then I add a few drops of blue. Zip up the bag ans shake like your life depends on it. The kids love this part. I sing songs and we dance all while shaking the bag. A few favorites of mine, Mack the knife, Jaws theme, Slippery Fish, and well, Twist and shout ( I love the Beatles.) Once you have the shade of blue you desire, open the bag and let it dry for just a bit. You don;t want your octopus having blue smears on his face.

When you are ready to start the bottle, I always put in a good handful of rice for the base. Then layer a variety of things, add a few beads and a shark, then rice, a gem and a diver, then rice, etc. Do not fill the bottle the entire way, You want room to move and shake and see what the little one can bring to the surface, I’d leave half the bottle to at least 2 inches from the top. T-Rex likes half the bottle because he has success shaking and seeing things come to he surface much faster.

I love this activity, it helps shark week carry on from just our official last week in July. If you want to catch the fever, you can head over to Discovery Channel and check out a preview for shark week, and the other cool sneak peeks. If it doesn’t get you excited for my favorite shark holiday, I don’t know what will!

 

 

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A Sign Everywhere.

By July 24, 2017 Crafty Us!, Family Life
My light switch sign

As a former teacher, literacy is super important to me. That’s why my house is covered in signs labeling everything.

It sometimes looks like you’ve walked into a classroom. Who labels their door with a sign that says door unless they are right? I do! I have a bunch of label all over my house. At first, my poor hubby was less than thrilled over the labels. Our home began to look lovely to me, lavender cards appearing all over. When people would ask me why they were out, I stated simply my poor hubby had no idea what things were in the house.

Honestly, the signs are for the T-Rex ( and when the hubby gets lost in the house.) When children are young they learn through so many senses. They shove everything in their mouth to see the texture, temperature, shape, etc. To show them that you are the person named mommy or daddy, you point to yourself. Its a visual cue. Hence, where the signs come in. If I wanted little T to see that I was talking about the door, not only did I point to the door, but the word. and I would say it several times. Repetition is the key!

So, now my house is getting covered slowly by more and more signs. Every time I think, ” Oh! He should know what that looks like!”, a new label goes up. Each door, appliance and piece of furniture almost, has its proper sign. Its so easy to do. Run to the dollar and grab some sharpies, and a package of index cards. You can pick up so double sided tape, or use like I do the painters tape and after you write up your sign stick on there!!

In case you were                     unaware…Stairs. —>

Now, it is not just awesome to have the signs up and available for seeing when having normal conversations, but we play games with ours, too. I sit in the middle of the floor and say, ” Can you find me the word for wall?” then he runs around trying to figure out the word for wall. Now he realizes that the words are on purple cards. Hence he is going to find one of those, but he then remembers I said wall, so he looks for signs there. It is a fun way to engage him and also make him learn! I love listening to him giggle and say, ” I found it mommy, I found wall.” It’s just all around fun to do, and just so simple to help them increase their learning and understanding of the world around them!

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My top 5 things to do in Newport Oregon

By July 13, 2017 Family Life

I love Newport Oregon. It is my favorite spot to vacation by far. I thought I’d share my favorite places to go with you in case you make the trek to see this gorgeous little town. 

This weekend my cousin is getting married. She is exchanging vows on the beautiful coast of Oregon. While she is closer to the California border, I love a different part of Oregon. I love Newport! I saw the ocean for the first time there, and where I honey mooned. Oh my soul is tethered to the ocean there.

Newport is a great town nestled against the coast. It has an amazing historic boardwalk which houses some of my favorite things to do. I thought I’d share my top 5 things I love to do in Newport with you.

  1. The Sea Lion Pier– When walking through the historic boardwalk, you will hear this lovely bellowing sound. It gets louder the closer to to this wonderful restaurant that allows you to sit out and actually watch these crazy sea lions as they bask below. You can also walk down to the pier and watch them as they swim and argue and bask at any point during the day. I love it, my nephew loved it. I am hoping when I finally get to take my son, he will love it!
  2. The Newport Candy Company- This tiny little candy shop is amazing. I will swear that they have the best salt water taffy in Newport. I happen to be a Salt Water taffy junkie, but I love them above all others.. They have sea foam candy and chocolates too, and a host of other fun things, but the bins and bins of taffy. Oh my sugar levels are rising thinking of it!
  3. Yaquina Head Lighthouse-This is awesome. Nestled on the coast line, you actually leave Newport and venture through Depot Bay. You can buy a sweet day pass and it gets you 3 days of fun here. Now, I am easily entertained. They have tide pools, and wildlife viewing. My favorite is going up to the top of the lighthouse. It is a gorgeous view and a great workout, given you aren’t afraid of heights. Its  one of the tallest lighthouses on the coast.
  4.  The Newport Aquarium- I don’t care how many times I have been here, I love it. The sea life you get to encounter, the passages of the deep tunnel, I absolutely love it. They have changing exhibits and exhibits that are permanently there. It is not the most giant of aquariums, but I have never spent under 3 hours there. I get lost in watching otters frolic, or caressing a sea anemone in the tide pools, I adore this place.

      5. Sea Lion Caves- Ok, this one is not actually in Newport, but it is about 40 miles away, the drive is                                   AWESOME! You go through Waldport , Yachats , and a pretty mountain road. It is amazing. I love not only the             drive there, but the caves themselves are amazing. You have the opportunity to view the sea lions out on the                   shores below and playing in the water, and if you are keen eyed you can spot whales playing out in the waves.               You make your way to the elevator and go down 240 ft. An immense sea cave is filled with sea lions and                            information galore. You walk up the stair case inside and get a breath taking view of the Heceta Head                              Lighthouse. Highly recommend!  You can check out their webcam here.

I adore the coast, and I am so jealous of my cousin, but I will make it there soon enough. The waves are beckoning!! Do you have a place you just love and calls to you?

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Coffee oh sweet sweet coffee

By June 26, 2017 What I love this week!
Can't be blue when coffee is this good!

It seems no matter where you look today there is someone with this sweet nectar of life waiting to be sold. I’m from Idaho, so one of my major favorites happens to be Dutch Bros. I love their Nutty Irishman coffee and my darling little coffee addict in training loves their not so hot cocoa for kids with a shot of blue raspberry. Now before you cringe at that, it is delicious I stole a sip and I love it too.
I love my drive through coffee, however, I can’t always stop. Maybe its not budgeted, maybe it’s not time allotted, on days like that, that’s when I love my coffee I brew at home. Now we do brew just plain ol’ coffee some days, sadly most days, but when the Apatosaurus is away well Heather gets to play! I have a wonderful coffee from Long Valley Coffee,LLC. My favorite is Huckleberry. I am a huge fan of huckleberry anything really. I love the jellies, jams, tea, pies, syrups. Ok I got off on a tangent there, but I love this flavor.
I actually live really close to the company, they are in a beautiful section of the Idaho mountains. The owners are very down to earth and fun. I met them at a kid’s expo. My son, and my 4 niece and nephews were  in tow. Woman on the edge had to have been the look I was sporting. He smiled and offered me coffee. Now he also was funny and had a great personality to be a salesman of coffee, but the important thing here was he offered me coffee. Ha! Seriously , though, he was a wealthy of info on the ways to prep the coffee for different flavors. My favorite way to make my coffee is with a bit of cocoa, it makes the berry flavor burst in each sip. I’ve also added in Vanilla syrup from DaVinci as well and its a tasty treat.
I love the huckleberry , but it is not the only flavor, nor the only type of coffee they have. While the huckleberry is a dark roast, they have seven varieties of coffees. I stood at that man’s booth and gave each a fair shake, I did mention I had 5 kids with me right? They are all delicious. You are welcome to give them a try if you go to their website www.longvalleycoffee.com
The other thing I love about this company, is it is all family owned and operated. When I stopped at their table, it was the family there all together answering questions, laughing, and interacting with the people stopping by. It never felt like you were being sold to, just stopping by and seeing what the family was up to, and getting to try it out too. Seeing as it was a kid’s expo, I can tell you the parents were all excited for a booth that was not a spinning wheel of crap to bring home and step on. It was for us! A wonderful cup of dark steamy love. Wow, that last line may have come across very Danielle Steele, but in the moment it was very much a love affair.

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Summer Time Snack-a-holics

By June 20, 2017 Let's Feed the Beasts

I love summertime. I worked in education for 18 years and I can remember that at times, I LIVED for summer. There is something exciting when summer arrives. You’ve watched the snow melt away, the leaves and flowers bud out, and now you are enjoying this fresh green world around you. Now, where you live you may not experience that, but I live in Idaho. We not only have 4 seasons, but we have whiplash weather that changes so frequently it is not unusual to see people walking around with a jacket and shorts year round.

As much as I love summer, and I love the kids being out of school, the down side is the kids are out of school and they become bottomless pits of feeding insanity. They have lost their way with no hard structure, and to fill the boredom they search out and destroy any sort of food in the house. At times I swear I need to hide any leather shoes we may have, they may think its jerky!

So how do you cope with the swarm of hungry invading your kitchen for 3 months. Well, you can pray you have a super bountiful garden and can send them out to forage, or you can try a few of these ideas.

SNACKS 

1. Make your own trail mix. You know best what your kiddos love. Hit up the bulk section at the grocery store and have them help pick out the perfect blend of healthy and maybe a bit of a fun surprise. ( I am a die hard for M&Ms in my trail mix. )

2. Homemade Popsicles. I absolutely love these. We got our Popsicle makers from Walmart here and we have had such fun creating great flavors and adding in fun things. You can mix up lemonade and drop in fresh strawberries or raspberries and get a cool treat with a tasty snack.

3. Football Ice Cream.   Not only are your kids hungry , but maybe the ” I’m bored!” comments have started flying. I love this because it gets them moving and playing and they have created their own reward at the end. The folks at Food.com have a great recipe you can give a try to at this site .

4. Frozen Grapes. Oh these are tasty and perfect on those really hot days. Wash your grapes, roll them in some sugar and toss them in the freezer for just a bit. The cool and sweet treat is sure to please, and even though you use sugar, it still fairly healthy. You can also try using other fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or even maybe blueberries. I’ve never tried it with blueberries, but I bet it’s tasty.

These are just a small sampling of quick and easy ideas that the kids can even help you make with minimal fuss and muss. Then once they are ready, they can enjoy them and be ready for the next round of who knows what!! We personally like to build forts and play chase.

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Can A T-Rex Tinkle in the Potty?

By June 19, 2017 Family Life

I was seriously beginning to question my ability as a mother. I had bought all the treasures, candy, the celebration decor. We talked about it daily, and I mean DAILY. My darling little T-Rex just refused to go on the big boy potty. He would want to try, but then he would hold it until he got a new diaper on. I was beginning to think I would be sending diapers with him to school. That was until this weekend.

We were home and enjoying a rare lazy day. We curled up and watched movies. We ate together, we had “coffee” together. His was cocoa. It was a spur of the moment thing I decided to strip him down and said, ” OK,  if you have to go potty, you go on your car potty OK.” He just grinned and said no he wanted his diaper. I stood my ground. I was compassionate and said ” No way! You are going naked and you are gonna try today.” I am so kind some days.

As I got up to make lunch, I hear the sweetest giggle drift to me followed by , ” Mommy, I went potty!” I won’t lie, my first feeling was not joy. My T-Rex has refused to potty train for months now. He has peed on the floor in protest. I knew he had done it again. I carefully made my way to the den and peeked in. His little head was bent over the potty chair examining the contents inside. I seriously though he put goldfish crackers in there, but I asked if he had truly gone.

I have rarely seen my son peacock, but in this moment he did. He stood up as straight as could be, put his hands on his hips and said, I did mommy.”  I’ll be darned if he hadn’t. I squealed and jumped up and down, clapping and signing, and telling him how big he was, and then the topper to it all. He got a cup of M&Ms. We were both grinning like a couple of fools, but for different reasons at that moment. He had been eyeing that container of candy for a while now, and I was thrilled to not be scrubbing the floor.

To my sheer delight and joy, he went 3 more times that night. Each time being rewarded with candy and praise and singing. He thinks it is the greatest thing on the planet when I make up silly songs for him. I am hoping that my bullheaded little angel on’t have this be a single day thing. However, as a fore mentioned, he is a bull headed little twerp if I ever met one. He gets it from his fath…. me , he totally gets it from me. I am just as strong willed as he is. God help us when he gets to be a teen.  Its taken months to persuade him to potty train, lord knows how it will go with me asking for him to clean his room, or put clothes in the hamper.  Actually, he really is a polite boy, I can’t complain. He is bull headed though.

Do your kids , or spouse, or fur babies eve just have that ornery streak? I love it and I have trouble with it! How do you deal?

 

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