Family Summer Bucket List: Week 3 and 4

I love that I’m able to see exactly what we’ve done this summer and relive those fun moments through these blog posts. So, we crossed off the following bucket list items: Make Gak, Find a New Playground, Have an Adults Only Monster Golf Date and Make Stained Glass with tissue paper.

gak collage

1. I found a bunch of different recipes for Gak (aka goop, slime, silly putty) online; most use Borax but there are also creative versions made without borax too. I decided to go traditional since this is our first time. Surprisingly, even though there are only like 3 ingredients, there’s more than one “right” way to do it – so I had to try 2 different versions (we needed 2 colors anyway). Both recipes are below for you. First we tried making Gak using the recipe from The Magnolia Barn. I used some leftover purple pigment from Glob Natural Paints to color the Gak which also made it smell fruity and amazing . The end result wasn’t as stretchy as I assumed it should be; it tended to break off in nice chunks instead (which was still cool looking), but it took on shapes easily and held them for a while (hand prints or shapes of things left on top of it, for example) and it had a nice feel. O immediately asked for her rolling pin and began making tissue paper-thin sheets of Gak and then started methodically punching out “cookies.”

Next we tried the recipe from Come Together Kids. I was able to get almost 6 half teaspoons into mine (see step 4) but I was trying to get as much Borax as possible to really see the difference in these recipes. We made this batch orange. It looks like the Borax helps make the Gak stretchier. I put a small bit of each Gak version over two outstretched fingers about 12 inches from the top of the table and timed which one would blob down to the table first. The orange recipe (from Come Together Kids) stretched down to the table in about 10 seconds but our purple version (from The Magnolia Barn) was barely starting to feel the pull of gravity. The downside to the orange version though is that shapes formed are quickly gone (hand prints almost immediately flatten out) which might be frustrating to some.

So both recipes are good but each might be better for different ages and/or different personalities. For kids who are tickled by gross things and boogers, for example – I recommend the orange. For kids who like to mold shapes and flatten with rolling pins – the purple might be better.

Gak Comparison colored

2. Our goal to find a new playground was actually fulfilled by accident. I had signed us up to go to an annual ladybug release event sponsored by our local Junior Women’s Club and that meetup just so happened to be right next to a cool new playground. Releasing the ladybugs to help local gardens and doing ladybug-related crafts was fun too though. And yes, I’m playing with photo editing software again (addicted!!).

ladybug collage
ladybug park dance

3. As I mentioned when I made our summer bucket list, we added in a few Adults Only items to ensure that daddy and I made time for our date nights (which always seem to get pushed back for some reason or another). A new Monster Mini Golf place open up near us a while ago and we’d been wanting to go for months – thanks to our bucket list, we finally made it happen. We were hoping we could go back with O, but it was lucky we tried it out alone first – the place was way too scary for a 3-year-old (large animated monsters, loud music, monster paintings on the walls, etc). But it was fun for us (and mommy won by 9 strokes). For the future, clearly we missed the memo and should have worn white shirts.

monster golf collage

4. I’d been waiting to do tissue paper stained glass with my daughter since before she was born – I clearly remember doing it myself when I was little. When the activity came in one of our monthly craft subscription boxes and I didn’t have to do any work to make it happen, I was even more excited. O and I peeled the backing off a piece of contact paper and laid it sticky side up on the table, then we placed the black paper frame over the top to hold the contact paper down (and make it look nice). I cut pieces of colored tissue paper into small squares and O applied them with the concentrated precision of a focused preschooler. It was a quick project but at least our art can stay up in the window for as long as we like.

stained glass collage

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Hello Again!

someecards.com - Sorry I kept you up all night, mommy. On the bright side, we get to do it all over again tomorrow!
Hi again everybody! Sorry it took me so long. While I only took 12 weeks maternity leave from work, it look me quite a bit longer to completely regroup enough to make time for blogging again – having 2 children and working full-time is WAY harder than it was the first time around with 1 baby! Plus I really wanted to devote every free moment for a while to getting to know my new little baby boy and introducing him to my preschooler and the family :)

Here are the highlights from my time away from here:

  • Number 2 (which was his pregnancy nickname – we’re still waiting on something better) is holding steady at about the 50th percentile which (I’d forgotten) is still much bigger than his big sister was. While O was always a little behind the clothing sizes (at 9 months, she’d still be wearing her 6 month onesies), Number 2 at 5 months is comfortably wearing 6-9 month outfits. In comparison, he’s huge!
  • O has taken to being a big sister like a champ – my only real fear is that she’ll accidentally smother him during a hug.  We made her the official diaper disposer, a job she takes very seriously. And O often asks if she can play with the baby, meaning she wants me to put him on the floor next to her in her room while she places all her toys around him one by one (asking approval from me for each toy in case some are too small – adorable).
  • Number 2 goes from fine and happy to head-on-fire screaming in 2 seconds flat. No warning whimpers or warming up. It’s fun times.
  • I’m pretty sure Number 2 has a milk sensitivity so I’ve given up (most) dairy until I stop breastfeeding. I’m not positive that’s what was causing his fussiness, but it didn’t bother me any since I like soy products anyway.
  • O corrected me when I tried to call both my babies my “honey bunnies” so I’ve lately learned my nicknames are no longer interchangeable. “No Mommy, baby’s Sweetie,” she said. So I guess that’s that. Sweetie wasn’t necessarily the nickname of the hundreds I probably use daily that I would have picked to stick, but clearly it’s not my choice. (Luckily it’s still my choice in the blog so Number 2 wins out over Sweetie for now).
  • I swear Number 2 makes this high-pitched coo that is identical to the canned baby sound used for TV shows.
  • It may be just the difference between personalities or it may be because of their gender, but while O would lay happily on her tummy time mat or in her crib and just play to herself for 20 minutes at a time, Number 2 wants to be entertained constantly.
  • In related news, I’ve found I can do tons of stuff one-handed that I never thought possible. For example, when both my children decided they were dying of starvation at exactly the same time, I discovered I have the Olympic ability to nurse my baby while standing up and making lunch for my preschooler.
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