When I was a kid, I always went to the Kittanning Folk Festival with my grandma. It was special something we did together. Even after my parents and I moved hours away, I made the trip back to my hometown each summer to visit the festival with her. Today, I got to go with my girls, their cousins and, of course, my grandma.

Princesses

Poof!

My Magical Lucy

It was magical.

Time Well Spent

by Leslie

Some people go to the beach or a lake, on a cruise or to an amusement park for a vacation. I’ve been spending my time with the newest members of my family.

Little Miss Kelsey

Little Baby Bob

What could be more refreshing?

The good news is my placenta previa has corrected itself. There are no words to describe the relief I feel.

The bad news is I have beautiful ultrasound images to share with you, but I have to wait until I return from a short trip to Pennsylvania to visit my family. We headed here straight from my appointment, so I haven’t had the chance to scan them, yet. (P.S. Don’t tell my doctor where I am. I’m not supposed to travel this far in my third trimester, so sshhhhh! It’s a secret!)

Also, I’m making too much amniotic fluid. This explains why I’m looking and measuring so big. Phoebe’s size is perfect. She’s just got a big pool to swim in while she waits to make her entrance. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Julia, so I’m not worried, which is really a lie because worrying is what I do. I’m a little worried. But less worried about the amniotic fluid than I was about the placenta previa. I traded up on worries today. That’s not so bad.

My six year-old is a cotton candy fanatic. It’s her favorite thing in the whole world. Getting cotton candy is such a special event that she’s begun collecting her cotton candy containers, which are often little plastic buckets. She displays them like trophies…or mementos of my poorer parenting decisions. And so, I’ve been on a mission to use them up! Get them out! That’s how we came to create our own cotton candy bucket stilts. Also, ice cream bucket stilts. I know. I know. Cotton candy and ice cream! At least using the stilts will help them burn off all that sugar, right?

You can make stilts, too. Here’s what you’ll need.

Bucket Stilts Supplies

Supplies:

  • 2 containers (approximately 64 oz. cans or plastic buckets)
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Rope
  • Craft Supplies (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using the hammer and nail, punch a hole in either side of each container.
  2. Bucket Stilts 1

  3. If you’re feeling fancy, you can use some craft supplies to decorate the containers. Make them look like elephant feet! We had some gold spray paint left over from another project, so we used that and added some stickers.
  4. Bucket Stilts 2

  5. Cut two pieces of rope, one for each container. Make sure the rope is long enough to thread through the holes in your container and reach your child’s hands.
  6. Bucket Stilts 3

  7. Thread the rope through the holes in the containers and tie the ends. You will have a loop of rope going through each container that your child can use as a handle.
  8. Bucket Stilts 4

  9. Let your kiddo jump on and take them for a spin!
  10. Bucket Stilts 5

A few tips:

  • Be sure to test the strength of the container you use. The larger ice cream buckets we used actually held less weight than the smaller cotton candy buckets.
  • Using the stilts really does take some coordination. Be prepared for some stumbles. I recommend trying them on the grass as it’s a little softer if someone tumbles.

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

Making A Cake

by Leslie

“That’s all we’re getting?” Julia asks, nodding toward the pack of butter in my otherwise empty grocery cart.

“Uh huh.”

“Cause that’s all the money we have?” She looks concerned.

I take stock of the faces turning our way, smile and say, “That’s all we need.”

But that’s not true. We have eighty-one cents in our account and three more days until payday. I had syphoned gas from the lawn tractor to put in the van to get us to the store. Money is tight. But it happens sometimes. Times have been tougher for us, if you can believe it. That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that this is the first time Julia noticed it.

I pay for our butter, load the girls back up in the van and head home. The gas light blinks on and I increase the volume on the radio. The girls are too busy singing, “…somethin’ tells me I’m into something good” to hear the we-need-gas-ding.

We get home and immediately begin working on a cake, from scratch of course. It’s Grandma and Grandpa’s 35 year anniversary, so we decide to use the heart-shaped pans. The girls are so excited. They stand at the counter, watching the cakes cool. What they really want is the icing. Is it time yet?

I make up a batch of my buttercream. Julia suggests we make it a color and remembers that red and blue make purple, so that’s what we do. I sit at the table to ice the cake. The girls sit underneath it at my feet without realizing I can hear their plans to nab some icing.

“Spoons!” Lucy suggests.

Julia is more cautious and says they’ll use their fingers to get a lick when I get up. I clear my throat and shuffle my feet. She gets the hint. “Maybe if we’re patient,” she says a little too loudly, “Mom will let us lick the bowl.” And I do.

When I put the food coloring away, I discover some blue sprinkles in the back of the cabinet and let the girls add them to the cake. They ask me to call Grandma to find out when she’ll get here. The waiting is torture.

We make spaghetti – with meatballs, as it is a special day – and serve what Lucy calls “the love cake” for dessert.

Cake for my parent's anniversary

Julia declares it “the best meal ever.” And at bedtime, as I lay in bed beside her with my arms about her, she tells me, “We have the perfect family,” before she falls asleep.

But I am still thinking about the butter.


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