Mini Yogurt Parfaits (using Baby Food Jars and Yulu Yogurt)

Mini Yogurt Parfaits with Baby Food Jars and Yulu Yogurt

 

Having a baby in the house means that we have a boatload of baby food jars (especially being the third child, I have totally failed at my homemade-baby-food-making plans).  Rather than throwing them in the recycling bin, we decided to repurpose them to make a kid-sized family favorite:  mini yogurt parfaits using Yulu yogurt!

 

Yulu is a brand-new Aussie-style yogurt that we have fallen in love with.  It has all the benefits of Greek yogurt (hello protein!) without the sour taste that I dislike so much.  Australian yogurt is smoothed twice, so it is so much creamier than its Greek counterpart!

 

Yulu offers a total of five flavors:  Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, and Honey.  We have tried both the strawberry and vanilla flavors and they are both sensational (Little Brother and I prefer vanilla while Big Brother and Daddy are of the strawberry persuasion).  Either way, you can’t go wrong!

 

You should be able to find Yulu in most grocery and superstores.  It was located in the organic section of our local grocery store, but I have seen it with the regular yogurt elsewhere.

 

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Here’s what you’ll need to make your parfaits:  baby food jars, Yulu yogurt, granola, and craisins (or any other topping).  Fresh fruit would also be delicious!  

 

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 Layer the jar with yogurt and granola.  Repeat.

 

 

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 Top with craisins.  Place the lid on the top and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

 

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You can even add a seasonal sticker to the front of the parfait…or just a symbol to let your kiddos know how much you love them!

 

 

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 Little Brother asked, “Can I have this every morning for breakfast?”  He is a big fan of our Yulu yogurt parfaits!

 

 

 How does your family enjoy eating yogurt?  

 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yulu. The opinions and text are all mine.

How do Arctic Animals Stay Warm in Icy Water?

How Do Arctic Animals Stay Warm in Icy Water

 
 

Winter is always a fun time to talk about arctic animals.  I absolutely loved this idea from Discover and Learn Preschool for exploring how arctic animals stay warm in icy water!  Animals like walruses, seals, and polar bears all have a thick layer of fat, called blubber, that keeps them warm in the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.  And polar bears have black skin underneath two layers of fur that help trap the heat when they are on land.

Here is a fun fact:  Although you often see Polar Bears and penguins together in books and movies, they actually live at opposite ends of the earth.  Polar Bears only live in the arctic (North Pole) and penguins live in the Antarctic (and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere).

Want to see if a layer of blubber can really help you stay warm in icy water?  Try this fun experiment!

Go here to find all of the directions.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  a bowl of icy water, Crisco (or vegetable shortening), latex or vinyl gloves, and plastic wrap.  

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 IMG_6375First of all, encourage your child to put his/her hand into the ice water.

 

 IMG_6378Obviously, Little Brother was not a fan of freezing his hands! :

 

 IMG_6381Next, put a surgical glove on your child.  This will allow your child to participate in the experiment without having to spend hours trying to wash crisco off his/her hands. :)

 

 IMG_6384Then have him/her scoop out the shortening and make a fist.

 

 

IMG_6391 Put on a glove yourself and then add gobs of shortening to the outside of his/her hand as well.  Wrap the ball of shortening with a piece of plastic wrap (we forgot this step and it was kind of a mess!!!).

 

 

IMG_6398 Then have him/her plop their hands back into the ice water.  Little Brother was a bit hesitant at first, but noticed a big difference in how much warmer his hand stayed with the layer of “blubber”!

 

 

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arctic animals in icy water square

 

Check out more fun science experiments here. 

 

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Thinking You are Failing as a Mom Might Be the Best Thing To Ever Happen To You

Thinking you are failing as a mom might be the best thing to ever happen to you

 

Early in our marriage, my husband frequently claimed that one of the reasons he married me was because he knew I would be a wonderful mother.  I would just laugh and lovingly punch him in the shoulder…but deep down inside (even though I would never admit it to him or anyone else), I agreed.  I was so confident that I would be a wonderful mother when God blessed us with children.  How could I not be?  It was going to come so naturally to someone like me who loved being around children (and taught them for a living).

 

Ten years and three precious kids later, I can’t go a day without feeling like I am completely failing as a mom.  I lose my patience with our boys, talk in too harsh of a tone, whine about having to get up with the baby, and frequently get exasperated that nothing ever seems to go as planned.

 

I thought I would be better at mothering than I am, or at least feel better at it.  This was supposed to be my time to shine.  From the time that I was a little girl, I have always wanted, more than anything, to be a mother.

 

Instead, most days I feel completely inadequate and unprepared for the greatest ‘job’ of my life.

 

Perhaps I had too high of expectations for myself…I was blessed to be raised by an extraordinary mother (of five children, mind you) and I rarely remember her being stressed or exasperated with us.  My mom is an amazing example of selfless love.

 

I came across a quote recently that completely captivated the inward struggle that has characterized the last seven years of my life as a mom:

 

“‎I thought parenting was going to portray my strengths, never realizing that God had ordained it to reveal my weaknesses.” -Dave Harvey

 

Becoming a mother has forced me to look into a very clear mirror…and see an honest reflection of the state of my heart.  And what I’ve seen hasn’t been pretty…by any stretch of the imagination.

 

I see selfishness.

 

Being responsible for the lives of three precious babies has made me see how selfish I can be…with my time, my energy, and my Dr. Pepper!  In addition to meeting the needs and desires of my husband and children, I also genuinely want to be thoughtful of others.  An entire day might pass before I get over myself and think of what I can do to show love to someone else, including those in my own household!

 

I see self-centeredness.

 

Did you notice above how I thought motherhood would be my time to shine?  Yes, God has been teaching me a thing or two about self-centeredness.   As it turns out, the world really doesn’t revolve around me.  Perhaps I should have taken that Astronomy class in college, after all!

 

I see pride.  

 

I realize now how extremely prideful I have been in the past.  This is probably the single greatest work that God has done on my heart since becoming a mother, although He certainly isn’t finished with me yet.  God has used my feelings of inadequacy to humble me and make me realize how dependent I am on Him to meet my every need.

 

If motherhood has taught me anything, it has taught me that I can’t do it on my own.   I am too weak.  I am too selfish.  I am too prideful.   But I think God is using those feelings of inadequacy to draw me back to Him.  I love this quote from the book Give Them Grace:

 

“It is a kindness when (God) strips us of self-reliance, because it is there, in our emptiness and brokenness, that we experience the privilege of his sustaining grace.  It is only when we arrive at the dreaded place of weakness that we discover the surpassing power of Christ.” (p. 152)

 

Yes, I might feel like the biggest failure of all.  But then again, that might just be the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Because it is in my weakness that I can cling to the One is never weak.  It is in my frustrations that I can cling to the One who is slow to anger and abounding in love.  It is in my selfishness that I can cling to the One who willingly gave His own life for me.

 

I might not be perfect, but in my imperfections I can point my kids to the One who is.

 

 

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Walmart.com Baby Registry

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Having a baby is the most momentous moment of your life.  In the blink of an eye, you suddenly desire to put the needs of another person ahead of your own.  Forget sleeping or eating at a reasonable time, a newborn turns your world upside down with a blissful sense of selflessness that you wouldn’t trade for the world.

Along with your amazing new life, having a baby comes an enormous amount of STUFF.  Having had three children, I have realized how much stuff you DON’T need when you have a baby.  But there are definitely some necessities, like:

1.  Diapers.

2.  Wipes.

3.  A Crib.

4.  Warm clothing (including sleep sacks).

5.  A Carseat and Stroller.

Honestly?  The rest of the stuff is just optional and not really that important to the health and well-being of your baby (and believe me, we have had most of it at one point or another).

For all of the necessities (and the fun not-as-necessary items too), Walmart.com offers a baby registry that is easy to use with tons of options!  Walmart’s registry checklist makes it SUPER easy to pick and choose those items that are essential to you and your family and skip over the rest!

You can see that on my baby registry, diapers take up the majority of our registry!  The Pampers Swaddlers Super Pack makes for a great deal on diapers!  Pampers® Swaddlers are our favorite brand of diapers and I absolutely love that they feel like a soft blanket.  Little Sister has sensitive skin and Pampers® Swaddlers are the only disposable diapers that seem to prevent leaks while not causing a reaction.  

In addition to creating a registry, Walmart.com offers a portal of information for new parents right at your fingertips!  It’s called the Pampers Baby Basics for Any Mom on Walmart.com’s Parent & Baby Center.  Whether you are looking for nutritional guides for pregnancy or your medicine cabinet must-haves, you can find all of that right here.  

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Fizz & Add Math Game for Kids

Fizz and Add Math Game for Kids

 

This activity might just be even more fun than our Fizzy Reading activity from a few days ago!  It is a similar idea, but includes a super fun math game for kids.  It is adaptable to all ages:  use one dice for preschoolers and have them “fizz” the corresponding number.  Use two dice for older kids and have them add the two numbers together!  All ages will have a blast!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  number ice mold, two dice, a squeeze bottle, baking soda, a shallow baking dish or plastic tray, water, vinegar, and food coloring.  Our colorful dice were borrowed from our ThinkFun Math Dice Jr. game.

number mold

1.  Mix a baking soda and water paste (and food coloring, if you choose) so that it is thin enough to pour into the number mold.  Freeze for at least a few hours.  (If you want to include 11 and 12, you can make and freeze a second set).

 


IMG_6270 2.  Remove the frozen numbers from the mold and place them in a baking dish.  Pour some vinegar into a squeeze bottle (along with some food coloring, if you choose).

 

 

IMG_6275 3.  Have your child roll the dice and mentally add the two numbers (our kids just rolled again if the sum equaled an 11 or 12).   

 

Find and Fizz Number Recognition

For preschoolers:  Have them just roll one dice and identify the number by fizzing and then let their partner have a turn.

 

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4.  Squirt the sum with the vinegar and then let the other child have a turn.

 


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5.  Continue letting each child swap back and forth and “fizz” the numbers with the vinegar.

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The first person to dissolve all the numbers wins!  And if you don’t have enough vinegar, the first person to completely dissolve one of the numbers wins.  :)

 

 

Fizz and Add Math Game Square

 

 

Check out more fun addition activities here.