T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Photo courtesy of EcoFriendly Blog

In case you cannot see the caption - the total for 2 1/2 years worth of diapers averaging 6 per day for one child.

As I've said previously, this was not the reason we switched to cloth. Cost was our reasoning. I'm a grad student and funds are tight. However, I'm beginning to see more of the environmental impact aspect, too.

So, we can get disposable diapers at Costco for about $0.22/diaper. That's pretty cheap. Multiply that by 5600 and the cost is $1232. Go with a little nicer yet cheap diaper at $0.25/diaper, the cost is $1400. What about wipes? Wipes used to cost around $225/year. Now we use cloth wipes. I've spent nearly $500 on my diaper/wipes and other accessories stash. I know that sounds like a lot but compared to nearly $2000 that could be spent, that is a huge savings. And we have some nice diapers. Plus, I was fortunate enough to get some wonderful folks that passed along their hand-me-downs (talk about really eco-friendly - reusing reusable diapers).

Of course, there are other things we love about cloth but right now we're talking strictly cost and environmental impact.

What do you think?

Liz Has a Life has been kind enough to bestow an award on T Rex Mom and Dad Tales.

She currently has a giveaway going for a really nice organic cloth diaper. Check it out. In the mean time, I am to tell seven things about myself and pass this award along. So, I am going to break the seven things into separate blog postings and then after the seventh, I'll pass the award along. For my first item - in case you could not tell, I'm passionate about cloth diapering.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making Our Own Playdough

One of our recent Mommy/son projects. Recipe from our Highlights magazines G&G got T Rex for Christmas - awesome gift if your looking for gift ideas for a young child.

Here are some photos of our project with the accompanying recipe:

1. Put 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a pot. Stir.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir.

3. Cook the dough on medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture looks like mashed potatoes. Remove the dough from the pot.

Since T Rex could not help with the cooking part, he went off and played with Baby Sister and proceeded to make a really big mess in the living room - impressive, huh? T Rex Princess seems to be enamored with her brother's activities. I think she's taking mental note so she can make such messes sometime very soon!

4. When the dough is cool, knead it until smooth. Play!

Store in sealed plastic bag. It keeps quite nicely and has a wonderful smell.

Overall, a very easy, simple and fun project. A little messy but nothing that doesn't vacuum up. And I did not worry if he ate any of it since it's all food items.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recent Projects...

As promised, the variety of projects I've completed the past couple weeks.

"Big, Giant M&M" - T Rex has been obsessed with the M&M kiosks at the grocery store. He wants to stop and see them or "pat" them every time we walk past. So, with some left over fleece and stuffing, this was the result.

As you can see, it was a big hit. And, this photo gives you a perspective of just how big it is.

Then there was the ring sling I've been wearing the past week. Here's the finished product unworn. You can look here and here if you'd like to see it in use.

We had a birthday party a couple weeks ago. I made a Dora the Explorer outfit (shorts and shirt) but forgot to take a photo. However, I did manage to snap a photo of the bag I made to put them in.

A little bib I knitted for Baby Sister...

We're soon to be embarking on a road trip. T Rex needed a few things to keep him occupied in the car. I saw this in a magazine and gave it a try. It's a bottle with rice and little objects buried within. The intent is for him to maneuver the bottle so he can find the objects. In this case, I put several letters in since he loves letters. And a little "T Rex" necklace as a surprise, too!

Lastly, something I've always wanted to do with my kids, when I had more than one child, was to make them matching outfits. Here are the matching pants and dress I made for the kids. They are going to wear these to a family function but will also be perfect for Independence Day.

There you have it - lots of little projects. My very favorite kind!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Family Bath Time...

We love our family baths...

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Infant Potty Training...

Here is our sweet little girl sitting on the potty. Yes, you read correctly, she's sitting on the potty. We are trying the early infant potty learning. At this point, we are getting a decent #1 about once a day but sometimes more or sometimes less.

I haven't pushed things too much. If her diaper is dry when I check it, then I sit her on the potty. Or if I think she needs to go, then we'll go sit. She actually really enjoys it. And T Rex thinks it's hysterical.

My goal is two-fold. One, to incorporate it into our daily living so when it comes time for her to really be potty training, there won't be any struggles or fear issues sitting on the toilet. Secondly, with T Rex being done potty training at 18 months, I would LOVE to be able to do the same for T Rex Princess.

Although, she is so darn cute in those cloth diapers that I might not want her to be done with them! Even T Rex loves them. We received a free one-size diaper in the mail when I ordered a new wet bag and I thought I would see if it was true to it's advertisement - fits 5 to 35 lbs. It fits T Rex Princess perfectly (13 lbs). Then I adjusted it to fit T Rex (32 lbs) and yes, indeed, it fits perfectly. In fact, he did not want to take it off.

I did order him some Antsy Pants or cloth pull-up diapers for night time. They are actually pretty cool! He likes those but I think he prefers his baby sister's. He'll be dry for 3-5 nights and be back to nightly wetting. He's still pretty young so I'm not too worried.

Everything I've read about the infant potty training indicates that we're on the right track. I have read, though, that once they start getting more mobile they are less interested in sitting on the potty so it might wane then. Some friends of ours have been doing this with their 6 month old and he only uses one diaper a day - impressive, huh? I am curious, though, if they will experience the waning effect when he gets to moving around. It is nice having them to inspire and motivate.

Regardless, it's a great time for all of us. As long as everyone is still smiling and having a good time, we'll keep on pottying away...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where to start???

We've been busy around here. Nothing too spectacular but just keeping busy with every day things. We are getting ready for a brief summer vacation so I've been trying to get caught up with school and some of the projects I want for our trip.

I guess I'll start with Father's Day and work backward from there. Here are some highlights from Father's Day Eve. We went out with T Rex Dad's family for brunch and then sneaked away to the park. All T Rex Dad wanted for Father's Day was an outing to the park with the kids and lots of naps.

A couple of photos from our brunch:

Auntie P demonstrated her T Rex wrangling/whispering with some play-dough thus earning her T Rex's affection. If you've ever tried to get a toddler to sit through an almost two hour meal, you'd know what kind of feat that is!

T Rex Princess took a little snooze with Aunt T.

Then off to the park. You can visit T Rex's blog for more photos of him on the jungle gym.

Daddy snuggles.

Playing chase.


T Rex Princess and T Rex Mom on the swing.

T Rex Dad did get some nap time in during which I worked on projects for the kids. I'll get those photos posted soon as well as a little project T Rex and I did together. In the mean time, I hope you had a great day celebrating the fathers in your life.

Happy Father's Day T Rex Dad. I always knew you would be a wonderful father but these days I am constantly reminded when I see how tender you are with the kids and how very much they love you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day!!!

Enjoying some family time downtown wearing our red, white, and blue colors.

A very real photo - T Rex is not a fan of posed photos.

This is me using my new "water ring sling" - it's mesh netting material double thick. The intent is that it's cool for summer wearing and able to get wet. And I did make it. A one hour project and only $10! It took longer to get the special ring in the mail than anything else.

Good to see the aliens have returned my sweet little guy - he is back to his normal sweet self. He was so happy to get out and run and enjoy the nice day.

Did you remember to fly your flag today?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rainbow at the End of the Storm...

We've had what I call the T Rex trifecta week.

You've seen the postings - peanut allergy, eye patch, and yesterday a confirmed sinus infection. Poor sweet little guy. It's really been tough. He's been so grumpy and tantruming at nearly nothing.

I know how horrible I feel when I have a sinus infection and I've also experienced an anaphylactic reaction like he had - really not fun. I've also noticed the two hours of daily eye patching makes his weak eye tired and he complains of headaches.

The sinus infection has been triggering asthma symptoms which means we have to use his rescue medication (albuterol). It definitely helps him breathe better and stop wheezing. The only problem is it makes him hyper. Grumpy and hyper - nice combo. I can only begin imagine what he is feeling. Hence I've been quite lenient with correcting his outbursts. I'm still feeling skiddish after his last visit to time out.

Something that has been most traumatic for all of us is administering eye drops and nasal spray. I try to avoid antibiotics when possible but this sinus infection was triggering asthma so it required antibiotic intervention. We are trying a topical antibiotic - Bactriban. It's an antibiotic nasal spray. It has to be compounded at the pharmacy but at least it's topical rather than systemic. Hence, no diarrhea which T Rex always seems to get when taking antibiotics. It's a good compromise. I didn't want my little guy to suffer the embarrassment of having a potty accident due to diarrhea - he gets really upset. Such a sensitive child. But administering the nasal drops has not been fun. He does not mind getting his nose suctioned out but he does draw the line there.

All this has also meant no outings - at least none unless they involve seeing a health care provider. So sad when the fish tank at the allergy office, the quacking duck at the eye clinic, and the toy bus at the pediatrician's office are the highlights of a child's week.

However, he has been introduced to the world of Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the gang of Toy Story. So I'm thinking when all this is behind us we'll be taking him to his very first movie at the theater. (Today I picked him up some army men at the antique store - he was SO excited. I'm looking for a Mr. Potato Head to add to the mix!)

As tough as the past couple weeks have been, I am still thankful. Why? Thankful that I get to go through these trials with such an amazing young person. And also to experience some of my finest moments as a mother as well as some of my worst, too. Thankful for a husband that is always by my side. And thankful for having the sweetest, happiest baby girl. I don't know where she gets her patience from but I am learning from her!

Indeed, there are certainly rainbows to be seen at the end of every storm - you just have to look for them.

(Photo is of a double rainbow we saw this past week after a sudden, rather violent unexpected spring storm. Very fitting, don't you think?)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Follow Up...

Today T Rex had his comprehensive eye exam follow up with the pediatric ophthalmologist. Having a two and a half year old sit still, have dilating drops put in his eyes, and then being examined makes for a very long two hour appointment.

However, he was so good and T Rex Princess was a total angel. We were feeling very blessed albeit exhausted after we left the office.

When they performed the acuity portion of his exam it was evident that the one eye is just not being utilized. This means we need to start patching the dominant eye so the other eye gets accustomed to being used and the brain does not begin shutting down the non-dominant eye. Fortunately, because he is still so young and his brain is still very "plastic" as the doctor put it, he only needs to wear the patch 1-2 hours per day.

Next thing you're probably asking - does he keep it on? Well, see for yourself...

He wore this particular patch for 3 hours today. He is wearing the sticky bandage style here but I made a fleece patch to go over his glasses. I did not realize patches are so expensive. Even the reusable fleece ones are $10-$20. I made this one out of scraps - I sewed velcro strips into it to keep it over the lenses and also to wrap around the side to prevent even the slightest amount of peeking. Plus, it does not leave any red marks like the adhesive from the bandage style left.

We have another follow up in three months but it will not be a lengthy visit like this one. Here's hoping patching gets things on track so we can completely avoid surgery down the road.

I am so grateful T Rex Dad (my husband of nine years as of tomorrow) really advocated to our pediatrician that something was not normal with our son's eyes. The longer these kids wait to get the strabismus corrected, the less chance of restoring them to normal aligned vision. If you suspect something is off with your child's eyes, get it checked right away.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Culprit Discovered...

T Rex had his allergy appointment yesterday. We wanted to see if we could determine what caused his severe allergic reaction last week. Working with his wonderful allergy specialist we uncovered the culprit to be...


Yes, the bread he threw at me was my peanut butter sandwich and he must have tasted enough to cause such a response. I guess he knew it was not good for him hence the food throwing. Now I can justify his food flinging!

So, nothing with peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil - nothing. It's a fairly common allergy so here's hoping no more scary reactions. In the past it was thought that once you had a peanut allergy you always had it but recent research shows there is about a 25% chance of kids who are diagnosed before age 6 will out grow it. So, down the road we might retest to see if this is the case. In the mean time, we are ready with epi-pen, antihistamine, and inhaler if need be.

He was such a great kid while they were doing the exam and skin testing. I've had it done before, it's not horrible but certainly not a pleasant thing, especially for a two year old. He was more interested in the Nemo and Dorie fishes in the waiting area. And all the nurses and other staff were wonderful. They skillfully administered the skin test and entertained him so as to prevent any crying and minimize discomfort which ensures an accurate exam and test. Love nurses!

Here's hoping his eye exam on Monday goes as well. They are going to dilate his eyes and re-evaluate his prescription. He'll also probably get a patch since he does not seem to be wanting to use his weak eye all that much. I am very emotional and sad that he is going through all these things. It's tough on him and tough on us as parents. I firmly believe we are given that which we are able to handle. Thankfully, it's allergies and strabismus and not anything more serious.

But, as you can see from the photo - he is still the best big brother ever! And for all these things T Rex Dad and I are most grateful.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bird Strike II

Remember last year - the blue bird who flew into the window? Well, it's been happening again, and again and again this year. We've had two causalities which always make me extremely bummed. But we've also had two beautiful birds that did not suffer any ill effects.

Here is the feathered friend I found this weekend:

It took about an hour before she was able to stand again.

This was where she hit on the window.

And this is what the birds are up against.

Poor, dears, hardly seems fair.

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