Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back to school shopping....

I am almost finished with back to school shopping!!!! June 26 and almost finished!

Caleb is going into intermediate school in August, and with having Autism and being quite different, I know he is probably going to get picked on a bit. Not to mention the fact that he is shorter and skinnier and hasn't really had a growth spurt. There will be many things that he could be picked on about, but I am determined it won't be that he won't be in style. 

I know that as I child, I was picked on for being chubby, having braces, glasses, etc...but my mom made sure that I always dressed nice. Not that I always had to have 15 different pairs of designer jeans, but I was matched, pressed, clean, and did have some nice clothes. 

Am I going to pay $80 for a pair of jeans for my boys? Um no. Thank goodness that nerdiness is in style right now so glasses and braces aren't a big deal if they have to have them. But what are the brands that are popular right now? American Eagle, Aeropostale, Hurley, Fox, DC, Under Armor, Nike, etc. 

So little by little I have been shopping, buying a couple of shirts or shorts at a time. I shop at Ross, The Children's Place, and PS by Aeropostale. Did you even know about PS??? I had no idea! And it has all the right kids' sizes. I shopped online there and used a coupon code and got 13 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts for both boys for around $150! Plus, I got free shipping. :)
Caleb's clothes include shirts from Aero, Nike, Adidas, Tony Hawk, jeans from The Children's Place, and Fila tennis shoes

Jansen's clothes include Aero, Nike, DC, and Ross shirts, shorts from Aero, and a space for a few more shorts and a pair of tennis shoes to come.

Caleb likes to wear only jeans to school and all of his jeans are too short. The Children's Place had a sale on jeans...$12 a piece, and they are the brand that fit Caleb the best. Jansen loves to wear shorts to school so I got several pair from Aero for less than $10 a pair. 

Caleb is finished, and Jansen only needs 2 more pairs of shorts and a new pair of shoes. Yay!

I love being able to get things on sale! A couple of the shirts were bought by my mother but the majority of these I just got little at a time. Almost finished!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hat organization...

Baby steps. 

While at the mall today with the kids seeing a movie and walking around, we visited Lids to check out some summer hats. 

While there, I saw the thing I have been wanting for months....the door hat organizer. YAY!

So, it's a start. I am not saying that Jansen's room is organized. As a matter of fact, it is far from it. Priorities people!!! But at least the hats aren't squished under the bed, thrown in the closet, left on the bathroom floor etc. Hopefully, the kid will remember to use it, and I won't hear, "I can't find my Texans hat!" anymore :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pool noodle light sabers...

Holy cannoli, as Summer cruises on I am constantly trying to find ways to keep the kiddos busy, active, and most importantly...alive. After church today, I came home to get dinner ready and the kids were just out of sorts. It was a rough day for Caleb, and he was really taking his frustration out on Jansen, who was fighting back. 

So I grabbed a pool noodle and some duck tape and made them some Star Wars light sabers and shooed them into the living room to fight the force within each other. 

It totally worked. They can't kill each other with a pool noodle. And they tried their best Jedi tricks on each other. It was even better for Jansen because he was spinning, jumping, trying tricks, and burning some calories as well as  "brother frustration". 

So this is how it works:

Take a pool noodle (you can get them at your local dollar store for $1) and cut it in half...

Use some duck tape and wrap it around the end. I did three rows of tape.

Don't forget to tape up the base...

Then I used electrical tape to tape 4 lines overlapping to the base. 

I cut three more strips and taped them around the noodle horizontally. 


Let the kids go crazy! 

We are going to take them outside tomorrow, add some sprinkler time, and let the kids go nuts. Fun times!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

School supply readiness

Now I am fully aware that school just ended a mere 15 days ago (Can I get an AMEN?!) but I am always looking ahead. In this case, my oldest is beginning intermediate school in the Fall and my baby will be in 3rd grade. 

Sniff, sniff, my babies are growing up. 

Anyway, it is time to go ahead and start buying school supplies and school clothes. I know, that may seem ridiculous since the first day of school isn't until August 26th, but I have to think ahead. We have so many other things we are paying for this summer including a weekend trip with some friends, tutoring for Caleb, summer meds for Caleb (long story), and my summer school tuition, that I buy as much as I can as early as I can. 

This year, let me just say...what the heck?

Our district went to a universal supply list. All elementary schools in the district ask for the same things, all intermediate schools as for the same things, and both high schools ask for the same things. I must say, it is really helpful to have the supply list so early, but the difference in elementary school and intermediate school really opened my eyes!!!

First of all, I am finished with both kids' school supplies. Go me! Second, look at the difference:

Here is the intermediate group...

And here is the elementary group...

Jansen needed another lunch kit, so we bought that but it just wasn't included in the picture above. Both boys have backpacks that have held up beautifully and by the way, Caleb can't even have his backpack in class. Evidently they can only put their backpacks in their lockers and must only bring books and supplies to each class. Who knew?

It was actually refreshing to not have two elementary lists for the first time this year!!! This may never happen again, but my kids are prepared with supplies for the Fall!!! Thank goodness :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Houston Texans Painted Cooler

Ok, so this took forever, and to be perfectly is still going to take another couple of days. 

The hubs and I were just talking last week about buying a new cooler. Ours was beat up, faded, ugly, and gross. Was it time to just get a new one, or should I just revamp what we already had. 

If you read the blog, you know that we are HUGE Houston Texans fans. The answer was yes...revamp it. And if it sucks, we can buy a new one. I wanted to try it. 

I told Josh to bear with me. Give me a week, and let me try to turn it into something much nicer. And he did. 

If you want to paint your own cooler, be prepared for it to take several days. Between sanding, prepping, painting, drawing, repainting, modge podging, and take a while. 

So here is the process:

First, I cleaned this crappy cooler with household cleaner and water. 

I gave the whole cooler a quick sand just to rough up the plastic a bit. You could use joint compound to fill in all the branding, but then you have to wait for it to dry and then sand the whole thing down to make it all flush. I wanted to keep the texture and branding on the cooler because I like it. Honestly, no. I was just lazy and impatient and was ready to get this show on the road. 

Then I used a primer paint for plastic and gave the whole cooler a light coat. I spray painted the whole top white. 

I new I wanted to personalize the top with our name, so I free handed our last name in pencil first and then painted it twice with red paint. 

Then I painted the rest of the top with a couple of coats of red as well.

Time for the body of the cooler. Blue. I painted the whole thing blue and it took 3 coats. I let each coat dry for several hours before painting the next coat. 

Then I freehanded the Houston Texans logo and the slogan, "Bulls on Parade" on the side with pencil. I painted those both in, but it took 4 coats for this. Tedious and time consuming but I love how it turned out. 

The handles were also painted red...and I am loving the red, white, and blue look for sure. 

And here is where it sits. Jansen thinks I should paint a large football on the other side, and I still might. But that will have to be tomorrow. And I am not going to paint anything on the ends because of the hardware. .It would just be covering up all my hard work, and that is no good for me. 

The final steps include giving the entire cooler a nice coat of Modge Podge to seal it, and then covering it in a couple coats of glossy polyurethane to make it shiny. 

I am happy with how it turned out. Not too fancy, simple but personalized. I will post the absolute final photo once I have slept and figured out if I am going to paint the other side and seal it. 

Linked to:

Pink Hippo Party

 Keeping It Simple

Go Karts and Sea creatures and water balloons...oh my!

Keeping the kids engaged and entertained this summer is something that is proving to be a bit challenging. Let's be honest. I would love to be able to just give the kids their video games and veg out in the air conditioning while watching a movie on On Demand....but that does no one any good. 

Caleb always needs extra engaging activities due to his Autism and Jansen needs extra activities due to his laziness (he actually is quite lazy and requires a lot of motivation, and even then he is always BORED). 

Today my husband was switching to graveyards from days which means that he could sleep later than 4:15am and doesn't have to go to work until 5pm this evening. That gave us some time to go have some family fun time. 

There is a test track about 20 minutes north of our town that has go karts. 

What kid doesn't like go karts? Jansen. That is who. Jansen can find something to complain about in any we are actively trying to nip that in the bud and teach him to try things before he forms an opinion. Caleb was all for it. 

They were fitted for helmets...looking like ninjas first and bobbleheads second :)

Then they got the safety run down in the karts...

And then they were off! Each kid got 15 minutes around the track, but Jansen was finished after 6 laps.

I praised him for making the effort, he loved it, and challenged himself to go 10 laps next time. 

Caleb said he felt like Mario in Mario Kart. 

Then we headed back home to visit our Sea Center quickly. It only takes about 10 minutes to go through it, but we took the time to challenge the kids on a scavenger hunt. Each tank has a list of creatures next to it with information and a photo of the creature. We challenged the boys to find each creature. They had fun!

We ended up at Sonic for some chicken strip kid's meals and then home to rest a bit. The boys played some video games to unwind while I prepped for the next outdoor activity. 

I had Caleb help me fill water balloons...which was an activity in itself. Each child got a bucket full of balloons and we headed outside for...

Water Balloon Bull's Eye!

Chalk and water balloons. Easy peasy. Each child was responsible for keeping their own score (yay for math skills) and they both had a really good time.

 Although the game quickly turned into a straight up water balloon fight. I should have incorporated this game into a water day with other water activities, but oh well. This was fine by me. It got Jansen moving, which is on his list of goals...some kind of exercise every day. Caleb and I had him running all over the front yard trying to get away from the water balloons. He had fun!

As a prize for both of them, I had left over gift bags from Jansen's party that had tattoos, mini footballs, beads, bubbles, noisemakers, and foam finger suckers in them. I knew I should save them! They were probably more excited about the gift bags than the water balloons!!

Now it is only 3:30 and we are settling in for a cartoon hour. Josh will be headed to work in a bit, and we are going to have a camp out night in the living room tonight. Low calorie popcorn, sugar free Hawaiian Punch, and a movie while hanging out in our tent. I could camp like this every day!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Frozen Summer treats

We have started to create a few frozen treats for the summer. This weekend, we made enough for the next week, and then have several more types of treats to make the following week. 

First, we made "ring pops". These are not candy, they are frozen, but I wanted to make "sugary" so Jansen would still feel like he is getting a sweet treat, but it is healthier. 

 These are made out of Crystal Light and Splenda. He like things extra sweet and I am just not willing to use a lot of sugar. It's just not healthy for him right now. 

Then we made crayola pops using sugar free Hawaiian Punch. The kids loved these and I love that they are only 5 calories per pop instead of the 150 calories in the prepackaged ones from the store. 

And finally, we made a "treat" to use with Sprite. I try to limit our soda intake to about twice a week. Jansen made up some really concentrated ice cubes using sugar free Hawaiian punch, green, blue, and purple. We added them to a glass of Sprite and it turned out great.

I have to find a good balance of healthier options mixed in with a few splurges so Jansen doesn't feel deprived and go overboard. That is my problem. I deprive myself and then I feel like I need to eat an entire bag of chips. No good!

Next week, smoothies, frozen yogurt pops, and sprite with gummy bear treats!