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4th of July Craft Guest Writer Lisa Stelter From Thrifty Chicagoland Kids

Guest Writer Lisa Stelter From Thrifty Chicagoland Kids

Make a bright decoration for the 4th of July while exploring the concept of symmetry!

Supplies:

Red and blue food coloring (or liquid watercolors)

Water

Bowls or dishes

Coffee filters

Optional supplies:

Construction paper

Glue stick

Scissors

Contact paper

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Process:

 

1. Lay down newspaper to catch drips of coloring. After gathering materials and laying them out, add 5-10 drops of red and blue food coloring (or liquid watercolors) to two small bowls (one red, one blue). Add approximately 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup of water to each of the bowls and stir to evenly distribute the colors (the more water, the lighter the colors will be).

2. Smooth out one of the coffee filters on your working surface (cheap white ones from the dollar store work the best for this). Fold the filter in half, and sharply crease the edge. Fold again to make 1/4 circle, and then again to make 1/8 circle, sharply creasing the edge each time.

3. Dip a corner in one of the bowls of coloring. The longer it is held in the bowl, the more liquid the coffee filter will soak up, and the more color there will be on the filter. This can be used as a learning experience. Ask the child what they think will happen before they put the filter into the bowl of coloring. This is a good way to introduce the concept of the scientific method- they should formulate a hypothesis, and then test it. Did the coloring behave the way the child expected? What do they think would happen if they tried it a different way?

4. The child can then dip a different side or corner of the folded coffee filter into the other bowl of coloring. Challenge the child to see if they can have some white space remaining on the coffee filter (but allow the child to explore as much as possible without too much direction).

5. This is the magic part! After allowing the excess to drip off (or using a paper towel to dab off the excess), ask the child to carefully open up their coffee filter! Ask the child if they see any patterns in the colors. Show them how the patterns are symmetrical and a reflection across the lines of symmetry (the fold lines). Ask them to show you all of the lines of symmetry they can find.

6. Allow the coffee filter to dry on some newspaper. You can then mount it on a piece of construction paper to put it on the fridge or tape it directly in a window. Light shines through it well, so the beautiful colors will be very visible, like fireworks!

7. Optional: provide scissors, and ask the child to cut shapes out of the coffee filter after it has been folded, but before it has been dipped in the coloring. This will create some beautiful symmetrical patterns as well!

 

8. Optional: You can use contact paper to “laminate” the suncatcher after it has dried to make it more durable. Cut two pieces of contact paper slightly larger than the coffee filter. Place one piece on the table (sticky side facing up) after you have removed the backing. Place the suncatcher on the sticky side of the contact paper and gently press it into place. Remove the backing from the second piece of contact paper, and place it on top of the other piece, sticky side down (so the sticky sides are facing each other with the suncatcher in between). Trim the excess contact paper so there is a small border around the suncatcher (approximately 1/4″). Hang up in your window and enjoy!

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I Will Hold You Forever

Jasmine’s Birth Story 

Being her birthday I decided it would be a good time to write about her birth. Jasmine was born on May 20 at 4:20pm Via Emergency C-section. To bring her into this world wasn’t easy. It was a very long and hard process. Here is her story: 

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It all started on May 18, I was 38 weeks pregnant and felt as big as a house. I had a schedule ultrasound appointment at the hospital to check the size of my baby. The doctors thought she was going to be close to 10 pounds. A few weeks before, My baby was breached so the doctors were concerned all around. 

2D96E99F-33D1-445C-A047-E9B7D65C6526That morning I only had something small to eat. The morning sickness I had in my first trimester started creeping back in. I wasn’t feeling that good and I was exhausted.

As far as I could tell the ultrasound was going great. My baby was no longer breached. Then the ultrasound tech told me that she would be right back which had never happen. I already had mom instinct and knew something wasn’t right. The tech came back into the room and she said I would be staying in the hospital. 

At this point, I had been having contractions for two weeks now. The doctor thought they were Braxton hicks. I was told to just drink more water. I knew deep down they weren’t. It turns out I had been losing fluids and was 3 centimeters dilated. I was told I should have a baby by that evening.

They took me a couple of floors up and to the other side of the hospital to the birth area. The nurses started preparing me for the birth of my daughter. Everyone who came into the room said “Oh you just had a contraction you should do an epidural soon before it’s to late.” The contractions I had the week before were worst then these. I decided to wait for the epidural until my husband and mom came. Once they came I was told I was dilating 6 and how things will start to move faster.  I decided it was time to get the epidural because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. It turned out to be the worst decision ever and I would regret it greatly. 

After the epidural Labor stopped cold. No more contractions and I stopped dilating past 6. What the doctors and nurses don’t tell you is once you get the epidural you can’t really move. You are not allowed to walk around or even go to the bathroom. So there I sat in a room with my husband, his mom, my mom and tons of nurses and doctors coming in and out to check on me. Everyone of course was telling me to rest because it will be time to push soon. 

This was the hardest and most stressful time of my life, how could I rest. I was worried about everything but most of all this little human inside me. All I wanted was to protect her. Keep her safe as long as I could. I was already her mom. 

While we waited for my contractions to start again, I got infection. It had to be treated. I was told my baby would need to be treated once she was born also. She would have to go to the NICU for 7 treatments a total of 6 days. 

I cried after that most of the time. I was in pain all over even through the epidural was supposed to keep the pain away. It wasn’t working. I’ve had 5 different epidural put into place. 

I was completely exhausted. It was now 33 hours later and still no baby. But I was dilated 10 and ready to push. My husband grabbed one leg and the grandmothers watched as I pushed with all my might and everything I had in me. I push for 4 long hard exhausting hours. Then the doctor called it. She said I will need a C-section to keep the baby safe. 

After that doctors drug me up and wheel me off to another room. My husband comes in wearing a suit over his clothes. His face showed how scared he was. It was super scary. The medication that they gave me made me shake. Which made him look even more terrified.

The doctors tell you that you will not feel a thing during a c-section. That is a lie! It felt like they ripped my daughter from my insides. I felt it all. She came out crying and was rushed to the other room. I told my husband to go with her and doctors told him to go back with me. She was perfect and healthy. They just had to prepare her for her treatments because of my infection. 

 

 

I was in and out of it after that for hours.  Then around 8pm they let me see my daughter but I couldn’t hold her. All I wanted was to hold my little girl. Being told I couldn’t hurt me so much.

She was in the NICU and I was in my room. 11 floors were keeping us apart and a team of doctors trying to get me healthy. I had blood in my urine and super dehydrated. I was in the hospital for 48 no water or food. I had so many sad feelings. I wanted to breastfeed 🤱🏻 I knew the longer I was away from my baby the harder it would be to do that. Finally at about 8pm May 21 I got to hold and breastfeed my baby. She was the biggest baby in the NICU.

 

 

5 days later we went home and I haven’t stopped hugging, holding and snuggling her since!

 

 

The birth of my first child was hard and exhausting but it has given me so much love that my heart could burst. 

 

 

Today She is now 9! She is my bug hating, unicorns 🦄, mermaid 🧜🏼‍♀️, slime loving, always keeping me on my toes, beautiful baby girl. 

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AquaMermaid

Who doesn’t want to be a Mermaid!?!

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With AquaMermaid everyone and anyone can become one during this unique swimming class. AquaMermaid is a class that teaches you how to swim like a beautiful mermaid. While expressing yourself in a unique way with a mermaid tail.

My follower on instagram know that every Monday I do #MermaidMonday This wonderful class I give me the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a mermaid. I got to see my little girl swim around like a Mermaid 🧜🏼‍♀️  It was the most magical experience.

I first became aware of AquaMermaid classes through Pearachute. I’m glad because every Sunday my daughter get to be a mermaid 🧜🏼‍♀️

AquaMermaid operates in six locations throughout the US and Canada. One location being my hometown Chicago.

AquaMermaid also has this great mermaid tail which makes a great gift. They come in 3 lovely colors blue, pink and green. The mermaid tails come in kids and adults sizes.
https://aquamermaid.com

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High School Sweethearts

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This blog is from my heart; it’s about how I met my dream guy, my soul mate, my everything. I started dating my husband Jose in high school 20 years ago today. How we got to be might not be romantic to some but to us it’s the most magical story ever. I don’t know if anyone would even read this; I just know this is something I should write about. So this is the story of how we came to be.

 

In 1997, I enter my sophomore year of high school as Jose was entering his freshman year. This year I had decided to change from PE to JROTC mainly because all my friends were in JROTC. Jose had also signed up for JROTC. We by chance ended up in the same 5th period class. Of course I didn’t notice him for some time. We talked occasionally since we were in the same class and hung out with the same people. Let’s face it when you are in high school everything is about looks not personality or charm. He had this hair that I just hated. I couldn’t look past that 😂.

In November of that year after Thanksgiving break Jose came back to school with a haircut. That is all it took, I started to notice him everywhere. We started running into each other between classes and talking more. He started sitting behind me in JROTC. He also started to have lunch with me. This is because from time to time he would end up in-school suspension and they all had lunch my lunch period. He was a bad boy making him even more appealing to me.

At the end of March 1998 JROTC started preparations for the military ball. This included a dance class where in true Jose fashion he had to show off. He knew all these fancy dance moves like the waltz. This made him mysterious and even more attractive to me. Shortly after that he started walking me to classes. We started talking on the phone every night. During this time we got to know each other, we fall madly in love. We became each other’s best friends. The rest is history as they say is history. It hasn’t always been easy but I wouldn’t change any of it. Today it’s 20 years and two kids later; I love him more than ever.

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Then

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Now

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Codeverse Summer Camp

It is super cold in Chicago with the prediction of snow ❄️ every day this week. What other perfect time to start thinking about Summer camps. I found out every other parent was also looking and a lot of the best camp were already filling up fast. In my search I came across this great camp called Codeverse. Codeverse is a fully interactive coding studio for kids ages 6-13. They offer camps and classes.

Coding is not just a job but it’s now a required skill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1 million coding related jobs by 2020.

Whether your child is new to coding or has been grabbing for the family iPad since they could walk. The curriculum is designed to be engaging and easy to digest for children of all experience.

 

Codeverse has crafted their own computer language, named KidScript. The classes, during camp, focus on a new topic each day, culminating in a hands-on project. Topics include coding, 3D printing, robotics, and laser cutting. There will also be field trips to local businesses and time allotted for outdoor recreation.

With kids getting things like Hour of Coding in school and games like Minecraft at home; kids are surrounded by coding. My daughter is so excited to be going to Codeverse this summer, your kids will be too.

Location:
Lincoln Park
819 W. Eastman Street
Chicago IL 60642

Time:
‪Mon-Fri‬ ‪from 9am – 3pm‬
Offering complimentary one hour early drop off 8am and one hour late pick up 4pm
(for busy/working parents)

Camp Cost: 
$800 weekly (mention this blog for $200 OFF!)

Camp includes:
All coding activities, field trips, lunches and snacks

Ages:
Divide in two groups
Grades 1-4
Grades 5-8

https://www.codeverse.com/camps/

https://m.facebook.com/Codeverse-1741310786141107/

https://www.instagram.com/codeverse/

https://mobile.twitter.com/codeverse/

 

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Family Fun with The Wizard of Oz

This past Saturday I got to show my children a magical story I loved as a child. Growing up The Wizard of Oz was my favorite story and now my children love it just as much as I do.

We got to follow a yellow brick road with Dorothy & friends to Emerald City to meet the wonderful powerful OZ! Big Noise theater put on the greatest adaptation of a wonderful classic. The music and dancing will keep the audience of all ages entertain. Great your family together and go see this great show.

Price:
$15 All Ages

Dates:
January 13 – January 28, 2018

Times:
Saturdays at 10am & 12pm
Sundays at 10am
Wednesday, January 24 at 10am

Location:
Prairie Lakes Theater
515 E. Thacker Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016

http://bignoise.org/shows/2017-2018/wizard-oz

https://m.facebook.com/bntheatre/

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Mommycon equals Community

MommyCon is the largest natural parenting consumer show in North America.

To me Mommycon is more of Community, Friendships, parenting partners, non-judgment advice, mom dates, play dates and much more!

Mommycon has grown so much since the first event in 2013. One thing hasn’t changed, It’s still a way to connect with like-minded care givers. Care givers who are just like you & have no idea what they are doing. Care givers who want friends that are going through the same things they are. Who else knows what it feels like to wake multiple times a night to a teething baby. Or how to do matrix moves to avoid being peed on.

So,If you are going to any Mommycon/DaddyCon/gather event turn to your right or left and say hi. You might just meet your new best friends. I know I have!

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/mommyconbff/

https://www.facebook.com/mommyconusa/

https://mommycon.com/events/