"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." (Aldo Leopold) Apparently, I cannot.


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 5/24/13

It’s been a little dreary here in CT the past few days, and I have to admit that our cranky meter has been off the charts this week. So going through all of these pictures while putting this post together was just the thing I needed to un-crankify myself. (Thank you spell check, I know that’s not a real word.) Hopefully this post brings a smile or two to your lips as well.

Some things that made me happy:

Some light gardening (aka, rolling mulch from spot to spot)

Some light gardening (aka, rolling mulch from spot to spot)

Oh these eyes and eyelashes!

Oh these eyes and eyelashes!

Baby hoodie

Baby hoodie

Playing dinosaurs in Barbie's house!

Playing dinosaurs in Barbie’s house!

Snuggle time

Snuggle time

Crossed baby feet!

Crossed baby feet!

Had the kids' room at the library all to ourselves

Had the kids’ room at the library all to ourselves

And some things that made you happy:

Kelley from OK: Her boys sweeping up water after the storms, being goofy, and wearing their Paw's tshirts as jammies. Cuties!

Kelley from OK: Her boys sweeping up water after the storms, being goofy, and wearing their Paw’s tshirts as jammies. Cuties!

Julianne from MD: My son had such an exceptional day today, I made the executive decision to have ice cream and french fries for dinner. I love having an awesome son!

Julianne from MD: My son had such an exceptional day today, I made the executive decision to have ice cream and french fries for dinner. I love having an awesome son!

Beverly: Helping me clean. (Don't worry, I didn't let him lick it!)

Beverly from NE: Helping me clean. (Don’t worry, I didn’t let him lick it!)

As always, thanks to everyone who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!

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Too Tired to Try Tuesday: Peanut Butter Play Dough

Play dough that’s easy to make (no cooking required), fun to use, and yummy (you know, in case your little one has a penchant for eating play dough like mine does), you ask? Yup, that’s what I have for you this week. A craft and a recipe all in one.

PB play dough

Big thanks to Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons for sharing this great idea!

What you’ll need:

  • Creamy peanut butter 
  • Non-fat powdered milk OR powdered sugar
  • Honey

And because there is no heating or cooking required, the kiddos can even help you make this. Then, the possibilities are endless for what they can create. Add some craft or pretzel sticks and marshmallows and you have some pretty awesome marshmallow creatures just waiting to be made! And then, if your kids don’t eat it all up, you can save it in the refrigerator for another time.

To see Megan’s complete post, click here. And while you’re there, check out all of her other awesome stuff.

Oh, and if your kid has a nut allergy, perhaps you can try Megan’s recipe for Red Hot Play Dough!

As always, if you try it, let us know how it turns out. And send some pics!

I’m no cooking or crafting guru, so I started these Too Tired to Try Tuesday posts to share craft and recipe ideas that I’ve come across and would really like to try but am just too damned tired (that sounds better than lazy, right?) to get around to. In addition to ideas that I find, I am open to submissions from you–either something tried and true or something you want to try but haven’t had the time to. Just send me an email at raisingwildthingsblog@gmail.com with your ideas, and I may share them here. (And by “may” I mean “will definitely”! I just confessed how lazy tired I am, so if you take the time to send me something to share, I’m going to share it!)


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The Orange Rhino Challenge: Update #2

Today I should be on Day 41 of no yelling, after my Orange Rhino Challenge re-start back in April. But I’m not. I’m back at Day 1. Again. Like, for the umpteenth time. (Yeah, I know. Just writing the work “umpteenth” made me feel old, too.)

We’ve been going through some rough patches with the 3 yo, and now we’re all beginning to stress with our big move from CT to VA, which is only 4 weeks away. But I’m not going to make excuses. When faced with the choice–because it is a choice–to yell at my kids when I’m angry or frustrated, I’ve been choosing to yell more than not. I openly admit it. And that, of course, is all on me.

I can happily report, though, that I have been a lot better about choosing my words–I’m not saying anything I’d be ashamed for anyone to overhear me saying. (Which I can’t say was always true before.) Sometimes, however, I just get loud. Extremely loud. And that needs to stop, too.

So, I’m rebooting yet again. But this time I’m arming myself with more support and tools.

First, I am going to plaster this sign up all over the house. And maybe in the car, too.

Photo courtesy of http://theorangerhino.com

Photo courtesy of http://theorangerhino.com

Then I’m going to work on my alternatives to yelling. Thankfully, The Orange Rhino has compiled a huge list of alternatives to try: She has come up with serious alternatives, fun alternatives, I’ll-look-like-a-fool alternatives, I’ll-be-considered-a-bad-parent alternatives, you’ll-think-I’m cheesy alternatives, and preventative alternatives. Seriously, there’s everything from taking a deep breath and walking away, to doing push ups, to sticking your head in the freezer, to surrounding yourself with the color orange. (To see the complete list of yelling alternatives, click here.)

For me, I think I’m going to start by replacing my yelling with talking in a robot voice. In addition to completely interrupting whatever it is that’s going on that’s making me want to yell, it has the added bonus of being incredibly fun and silly. And who knows, maybe I’ll throw a little robot dancing in there, too. 🙂

I’m also going to revise my goal for this challenge. When I first took the challenge, I decided to try for 365 of no yelling. I’d still like to keep that as my long-term goal, but I’m also adding some short-term goals in as well. First up? Making it a day without yelling. Once I do that, I’m going to aim for a week. And then take things one week at a time. And if I get a enough weeks, I’ll go for a month. And slowly build up from there.

Even though I’ve restarted this challenge many times, I’m not giving up. I can do this! I will do this! I just need to get myself to a place where I’m choosing the not yelling over the yelling. Every single time.

Until the next update . . .

To keep up with my journey, please feel free to check out my Orange Rhino Challenge page. For more information on the challenge, please visit: http://theorangerhino.com. And if you’re on the challenge, too, let me know. We can support each other and hold each other accountable. Go Orange!


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Lazy Sunday: Week in Review 5/19/13

In case you missed anything this week . . .

My Blog Posts

I’ve been a slacker. Well, with my blog writing, not with life. With life, things have been super busy around here as we start preparing for our big move in 4 (eeeeek) weeks.

For my Too Tired to Try Tuesday post I suggested the fun and practical craft of trying handpainted sneakers. I think I’m actually going to do this one after we move. And I was so pleased to get so many submissions for this week’s Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday post. From one reader’s trip to visit family to another’s little sweatpea still in the womb, there was a whole lotta happy going on. I smiled a lot. And that made my heart happy.

But two other exciting things happened in terms of writing! (1) An older post of mine in which I dissect the apparent language barrier between me and my children was republished over on I Just Want to Pee Alone on Monday. (2) I shared a post on what I’ve learned about the true meaning of “things” over at my friend Michelle’s page, Miss Banana Pants, as she prepares to move with her family to Nicaragua.

My Favorite Kid

This week my favorites said:

  • Sunday: Today my favorites said absolutely nothing to me before 9:30 am when I finally woke up. 🙂
  • Monday: “Do you want me to go back to bed for a little longer?” asked my favorite today. (Yes, love. The answer to this question is always yes!)
  • Tuesday: “Look at my pirate booty,” said my favorite today (as he was rocking a pair of big boy underwear with pirates all over).
  • Wednesday: “I want to make [the baby] feel better. Can I please hold him and sing him a lullaby?” asked my favorite today? (And she sang him right to sleep! *heart completely melted*)
  • Thursday: “Spank Mamma on her bottom,” said my favorite today . . . to my husband . . . who looked at me and then waggled (yes, I just said “waggled”) his eyebrows. (Gotta love when kids say something that means something completely different to adults!) *waggle, waggle*
  • Friday: “Abracadabra, you will stop crying,” said my favorite today. (For the record, it was to the baby. Not me.)
  • Saturday: “Can I take out my table and give away some of my toys to kids that need them?” asked my favorite today (while we were setting up for our yard sale).

My Top 5 Facebook Posts

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There you have it. Just another week with the wild things.


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Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 5/17/13

“It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday . . .” (Can you name the singer? Also, sorry for getting that stuck in your head!) Hope you all had a great week!

Some things that made me happy:

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Mother’s Day brunch at my daughter’s school

Ran out of paint. No problem . . . just use water!

Ran out of paint. No problem . . . just use water!

Me and the wild things on Mother's Day

Me and the wild things on Mother’s Day

A fun morning with friends at the park

A fun morning with friends at the park

Baby buddies!

Baby buddies!

My boys! (And I swear the baby was smiling right before I actually snapped this pic.)

My boys! (And I swear the baby was smiling right before I actually snapped this pic.)

Cuddle bugs

Cuddle bugs

He wasn't feeling well and she sang him to sleep!!

He wasn’t feeling well and she sang him to sleep!!

And some things that made you happy:

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Krissie from IL: This is me, with my five week old Georgia Mae. It was nap time (for me), but she wasn’t in a sleeping mood. Picture time then!

Jenn from Mommy Needs a Martini (https://www.facebook.com/MommyNeedsAMartini): These are my girls having a dance party to show off their new shirts. And also, THIGHS!

Jenn from Mommy Needs a Martini (https://www.facebook.com/MommyNeedsAMartini): These are my girls having a dance party to show off their new shirts. And also, THIGHS!

Jharmain: This is my 2-year-old son Joel showing off his cheesy smiles & messy face :)

Jharmain: This is my 2-year-old son Joel showing off his cheesy smiles & messy face 🙂

Amanda from AL: Our son Arlie, who turned 2 in Feb, just loved visiting with his family in Texas last month. He didn't want to get out of Papa's pool. He followed his 8 year old cousin around and got to meet his new baby cousin. We took him to the Forth Worth Zoo and several parks in the area. It was a great family trip!

Amanda from AL: Our son Arlie, who turned 2 in Feb, just loved visiting with his family in Texas last month. He didn’t want to get out of Papa’s pool. He followed his 8-year-old cousin around and got to meet his new baby cousin. We took him to the Forth Worth Zoo and several parks in the area. It was a great family trip!

Melissa from MD: There’s nothing like running through a sprinkler; pond inspectors; not quite sure about these s'mores things.

Melissa from MD: There’s nothing like running through a sprinkler; pond inspectors; not quite sure about these s’mores things.

Julianne from MD: My little Diva, in my parents' garden, using a tiny gazing ball as a microphone.

Julianne from MD: My little Diva, in my parents’ garden, using a tiny gazing ball as a microphone.

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Missy from PA: Here’s a pic of my baby girl. She is just over 27 weeks’ gestation & she already had sweet chubby cheeks!

The Princess from The Precious Princess's guide to Bananaland (https://www.facebook.com/ThePreciousPrincesssGuideToBananaland): The girls actually smiling!

The Princess from The Precious Princess’s guide to Bananaland (https://www.facebook.com/ThePreciousPrincesssGuideToBananaland): The girls actually smiling!

As always, thanks to everyone who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Too Tired to Try Tuesday: Handpainted Sneakers

So a few weeks ago, the kids and I actually found some time to do a fun craft. We made personalized umbrellas, and I shared our experience over at Kids Crafts Fun and Games.

I will be the first to admit that I actually had a good time doing that with them. It wasn’t extremely messy, we ended up with something functional that they’ll be able to use for a while (or until it gets broken when it’s being used as a boat or something), and the kids were super proud of their creations. And that made my heart happy.

So I’ve been looking for something else to do with them that sort of fits the same bill. And yesterday, I found it: handpainted sneakers. I’m not sure why I didn’t think to do something like this on my own, as I was a huge decorate-your-own-clothes-with-puffy-paint kinda girl in middle school. Oh yes, that girl walking around with neon-colored handprints on her ass. Yup, that was me. (Hey, don’t judge, it was the early 90s.)

Anyhoo, I came across the idea from Jen at Jen Loves Kev and decided to add it to my I’m-actually-going-to-have-to-find-time-to-do-that list. (Wow, two longly–yes, that’s a word–hyphenated modifiers already. I promise I’m done.)

I mean, c’mon, look at these cute little things . . .

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Photo courtesy of Jen at Jen Loves Kev (http://jenloveskev.com)

What you’ll need:

  • White canvas sneakers
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Containers to hold the paint
  • Smock
  • Water (optional if you want to thin out the paint some)
  • Permanent marker (optional)

Then, let your kid unleash his or her inner arteest and go to town! (To see Jen’s full post, complete with instructions, and some more adorable photos, click here.)

Looks fun, no? I bet it’d also be fun to add other embellishments like, say, puffy paint!! The one problem I can see encountering with this is the necessary drying time. I have a feeling my kids won’t want to wait to wear their pedi-art. Looking forward to giving this one a go, though.

As always, if you try it, let us know how it turns out. And send some pics!

I’m no cooking or crafting guru, so I started these Too Tired to Try Tuesday posts to share craft and recipe ideas that I’ve come across and would really like to try but am just too damned tired (that sounds better than lazy, right?) to get around to. In addition to ideas that I find, I am open to submissions from you–either something tried and true or something you want to try but haven’t had the time to. Just send me an email at raisingwildthingsblog@gmail.com with your ideas, and I may share them here. (And by “may” I mean “will definitely”! I just confessed how lazy tired I am, so if you take the time to send me something to share, I’m going to share it!)


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Lazy Sunday: Week in Review 5/12/13

Happy Mother’s Day again! Also, I’d like to welcome all the new faces who have joined us over the past few days! Glad to have you here.

Now, in case you missed anything this week . . .

My Blog Posts

I began the week with a letter to my children about their copious amounts of artwork and admitted a secret to them that I’ve been holding in for a while. We’re going to start some method for displaying their art, but we haven’t decided yet on just how we’ll do this. We’re debating between the old refrigerator display method or a few different ideas we found on Pinterest.

For this week’s Too Tired to Try Tuesday post, I shared Around My Family Table’s amazing 1-minute Dixie cup cakes. This may be the easiest cake you’ll ever make. And if you have older kids, they can make it for you!!

Later in the week I wrote about a condition I think all of us parents suffer from: Post-Kid Stress Disorder. But it hasn’t been talked about in the medical literature, so I tried my hand at defining it and created a quiz for you to see if you suffer from it, too.

I wrapped up the week, as usual, with our Shiny, Happy, Feel-Good Friday post. It includes pictures of some snacking dinosaurs, a baby butt sticker, and some puddle jumping, among others. A friendly face from my childhood also makes an appearance.

And I don’t usually post on Sundays, nor did I think I’d have anything to add to the already amazing writing surrounding Mother’s Day, but a post sort of snuck up on me the other day while I was at a Mommy Brunch at my daughter’s preschool. In it you’ll see what 16 singing preschoolers taught me about being a mom.

My Favorite Kid

This week my favorites said:

  • Sunday: “You should go take a bath, Mommy,” said my favorite today. (Even though she said it because my feet were horrendously dirty from my flip flops, not because she thought I could use the quiet relaxation.)
  • Monday: “Mommy, you sit down and I’ll make you dinner,” said my favorite today. (True story. Although my dinner was plastic food.)
  • Tuesday: “Mamma, do you want me to wub your back?” asked my favorite today. (I did, and it was nice. For the whole 2.7 seconds he did it.)
  • Wednesday: “That’s just the way I was made,” said my favorite today (when telling her brother why she doesn’t like vegetables).
  • Thursday: For the double win . . . “I can’t wait for our Mother’s Day frunch at school tomorrow,” and “I’m cleaning for Mother’s Day,” said my favorite today. (For the record, I can’t wait for frunch, either. Also, I hope no one is tallying these favorites quotes because someone just may be pulling ahead.)
  • Friday: “You smell gooooooood, Mamma. It’s because you took a shower,” said my favorite today.
  • Saturday: Me: Please put that pretzel down and come help us clean up. 3 yo: I am cleaning. I’m cleaning up the food. (Touché) And that, my friends, is what my favorite said today.

My Top 5 Facebook Posts

Well, I’ve got 6, because two tied for fifth place. Plus two photos that you all seemed to really like!

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And here are the photos!

baby brows small

z in pillow

There you have it. Just another week with the wild things.