Monday, March 28, 2011

Raising An Easter Chick-Our New Pet Trial Run

My three jewels have been begging me for a new pet lately!  Our dog, Bailey, is getting older and a little less interactive with the kids.  I figured a trial run was necessary before we committed to bringing home any new creature.  We decided to adopt and raise a Easter chick for a week {sorta}  I'm not new at this parenting thing!!  I knew that if we brought home a new, soft, cuddly creature, I'd have better chances of winning the "Mrs Universe" competition then I would have trying to get rid of a new pet.   So we adopted the battery operated kind.  Yep, I'm that kinda MOM!  

We brought our baby Easter chick home and gave him a chance to warm up to his new environment.
We did this by building him a nest in our backyard.  Friends, this is serious business!  The battery operated chick had to have his own nest in our backyard!!!!  It's times like these, I wish I was 7 again.

I was pleasantly surprised by how serious Sapphire took her new parenting role!

So would you be prepared if you had to raise your own Easter Chick?  You can read all the books you want, search the web, participate in online forums and ask your friends for advice, but are you ever truly ready for what it takes to be a parent?  Parenting a pet is more then just providing food, water and a soft place to land.  It's about love, attentiveness and education.  It truly is a responsibilty!  Much like raising a child! 

Feeding a pet is the number one priority!  Easter chicks require special food, don't ya know!!  Our baby chick prefers fresh worms from our garden box.

A backyard biology lesson may be necessary.  I won't say it~of course I will, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?"  I had to inform my 3 jewels as to where chicks come from.

Playing with your new pet was the best part!  We put together a bird seed sensory box for our baby chick to peck around in.  

This was Pearl's favorite part of raising our chick.  I couldn't pull her away from the sensory box!

*Note*  The calendar might indicate that Spring has arrived but we're still wearing our hats and snowsuits around here!  Yep, we're crazy Canucks and that's how we role!  A lil cold weather aint gonna stop us from having a good time.

Nap time got a little bit tricky!  We couldn't decide where our baby chick should sleep!
That's when I challenged them to put together their very own bird nest creation!
Take a look at Sapphire's nest...

Now check out Opal's nest...

It was quite obvious to my 5 year old, that Easter chicks sleep in a tub filled with jelly-beans.  I had no argument!  I'd sleep in a tub filled with jelly-beans too if I could!

We also chose a suitable book to read to our new pet!  I highly recommend this book if you are thinking of adopting a a baby chick! 

As you can see, raising a baby chick isn't all what it's cracked up to be!! {pardon the pun}
In the end, my 3 jewels did extremely well!  Now it's just a matter of deciding which pet is suitable for our active family.  Any suggestions? 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's A Royal Affair Blog Hop! Come Join The Fun!

Welcome to the weekend everyone!  What well laid plans do you have this weekend?  Me, I'm working tommorow, so today I'm gonna "party like it's 1999"!  In other words, I'm very excited to be hosting my very first blog hop! {"D.J.~Let's get this party started" Cue the loud music}

Thanks to this awesome tutorial, I finally figured out how to make my own blog button with a grab box.  Check it out!  I'm not much of a graphic designer but I think this button looks cute!  What do ya think?

3 Jewels In My Crown

This blog party is about letting loose after a stressful week and building online friendships! We want it to be an amazing party and you can make this happen!  Please copy the button above and place it somewhere on your site so that others can join in on the fun!
Everyone ready?  Be sure to leave me a comment that you're following me and I promise to follow you back!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sun Jar Night Light

Hello everyone,
Sorry I haven't posted much this week but I promise I have a really good excuse!  I've been working extremely hard behind the scenes of 3 Jewels In My Crown.  I'll explain more next week but for my fellow bloggers, here's a hint~Wordpress and GoDaddy!  

I wanted to share one final project with you before we head into the weekend.  Have you heard of sun jars yet?  I came across this cute idea awhile back and have been waiting for an excuse to make one.  In keeping with this week's challenge, to cut back on our household's energy consumption, I decided I would make a sun jar nightlight.   


All you'll need is the top section of a solar powered garden stake, a decorative glass jar and some ribbon.  I also added some bright yellow glitter for added charm.  You can glue the top to the jar or leave it unattached.  Can you think of anything better then a environmentally friendly night light!
This would be a great "get better soon" gift or Mother's Day gift!
I think I might make another for our bathroom.  There's nothin' worse then walking into the wall when your trying to go piddle in the middle of the night!  I hope you enjoyed today's craft project!
Have a great weekend everyone! 

Project details
Cost:  $5
Difficulty level:  Easy
Linking up here and here

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scratching The Surface-Getting Your Child Tested For Allergies

Allergies, it's something we as parents begin to think about, the moment we find out we're expecting.  We've heard and read about all the warnings..."Honey can harbor poisonous botulism spores", "do not feed egg whites to your baby before the age of one", "don't eat peanut butter while your pregnant", "owning a pet will decrease your child's chances of developing animal allergies"....the list is ongoing and the "rules" can often become very confusing. 
It's impossible to cover all the information surrounding allergies and allergy testing in a single blog post, so today I'll basically "scratch the surface" in regards to allergy testing.  Specifically, the skin scratch method.

In this previous post, I discussed the fact that Opal suffers horribly from a slew of environmental allergies.  Last summer, I found him in the kitchen, scratching his tongue with a fork!  Yikes!  I knew then, it was time to request a formal allergy panel test.  After researching which allergist I would like Opal to see, I approached our family doctor for a referral.  Researching your specialist may seem foreign to some but I feel it is a necessary part of making an informed health care decision.  Here in Canada we have this little website called Rate My MD,  I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I think it's interesting to see how others view specific physicians.  In our province, it's nearly impossible to request which family physician you want.  In fact, most consider themselves lucky if they have a family physician.  However, you can request  a referral to any specialist! Keep in mind this may affect your wait time.  Anyway, after listening to personal stories, talking to other health professionals and doing a little homework, we decided to drive 1 1/2 hour north to see a highly regarded allergist by the name of Dr. Hummel. 

So Crystal, explain what allergy testing is!
Well guys, there are two methods to test for an allergy~the skin prick test or a blood test.  Opal had a skin prick aka skin scratch testing.  The best part about this method ~ NO NEEDLES were involved!
Here's how it all went down in the office...

  • We briefly discussed Opal's allergy history and types of reactions
  • The doctor wipes his back with a alcohol swab
  • The allergy panel is a metal plate with several rounded prongs.  The doctor applies the protein, of the allergens in question, to several of the prongs and then gently presses it against his back.  He sections off the back into categories (food, animals, shellfish, trees, household allergens..) by marking his back with a pen.  
  • He then slightly scratches the surface of the skin with a "little pricker" (not sure what the technical term for it is)  Anyway, not once did Opal jump, squirm, or squeal.  In fact, at one point he said, "that tickles"
  • Next, Opal gets to draw a picture for 15 minutes while we wait for the results.
What is the allergist looking for in a "positive" result? (*Note-There is a high rate of false positive results when performing the skin prick test.  People with eczema or sensitive skin should be especially cautious as both can cause positive test results when there is no allergy. Skin prick results should be considered along with history of reaction and possibly blood testing)  If there is little or no skin reaction then the result is deemed negative.  The allergist observes the area for hives and welts.  He documents the size of the welt for future referencing.  In some instances, the skin prick test can cause a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, but this is highly unlikely with this method of testing.   
Within seconds, Opal's back became EXTREMELY itchy and as suspected welts began to form.  I wish I had taken a picture with my cell phone but I figured the doctor would have instantly pegged me as a "neurotic mother".  When the testing was finished he applied a thin layer of cream (darn I didn't ask what it was but I'm assuming it was possibly a topical antihistamine)

So what is Opal allergic to?  A better question would be, what isn't Opal allergic to?
Homework, early bedtimes, green vegetables and his siblings!!!  Oh wait, that's what he told his teacher he was allergic to the day after the test was done!  
What did the test actually reveal?  Well friends, my poor sensitive little baby boy has severe allergies to trees, grass, horses, cats, dogs, dust mites, shell fish and quite possibly some fresh fruit!    

Why would I want to share this personal experience on my blog?  Well, we've kinda gotten close over the past 11 months and I'm pretty much an open book at this point!  Actually,  it's my hope that, by sharing our personal experience with allergy testing, you'll be better informed and less anxious if your child has to be tested for allergies.     
Do you have any questions in regards to allergies or allergy testing?  Again, I'm a practicing Registered Nurse but most importantly a MOM of 3 Precious Jewels,  no question is ever too silly to ask!  So fire away!  

***Important Medical Disclaimer***
The contents and information on this blog is  for your informational use only.  My blog posts provide general health and parenting information.  This information is not to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.  Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.       

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Earth Hour 2011Crafts

Watts Up Everyone?
Did you notice the Earth Hour button in my sidebar? -------------------------------------------------->
Anyone up for a challenge?  Alright then, save this date
~Saturday March 26, 2011 between 8:30pm-9:30pm~
Has anyone heard of the saying, "The lights are on but no one's home"?  No, I'm not talking about my intelligence!!  I hate to admit it, but our family is brutal at leaving unnecessary lights on!  
In honor of Earth Hour 2011, our family will be focusing on energy conservation this week.  One of the easiest ways to conserve energy is to turn off the lights.  As soon as a switch is turned off, energy stops flowing immediately.  Since our house is in a renovation stage, I thought it would be nice to focus on our light switch covers. Sapphire and Opal gladly helped me decorate a light switch cover for Pearl's new room.  Raise your hand if you've modge podged a light cover before?  I used spray adhesive to adhere the scrapbook paper to the light cover.  Then I applied a few thin coats of modge podge to protect it.  I like this striped paper because it was super easy to align the paper on the light cover.    

I'm kinda hoping to take Earth Hour one step further by powering off completely.
I'll be honest, shutting down my computer for 60 minutes gives me mild anxiety!!!  Gahhhhh!
I'd actually have to pry myself away from sites like, Pinterest.  I totally loose myself on that site!
Way too many pretties to gawk at!

Here's a bright idea!!!  Why not make some light bulbs out of yellow balloons and play doh containers covered with construction paper.  It's a simple project but it gets kids engaged in the idea of turning out the lights.

I also picked up a bunch of these to encourage my kids to turn out the lights...

OK, so here's the real debate.  Do you think Earth Hour is a noble cause or just a colossal waste of time and energy?  Should we look beyond the hype and is it really that useful in tackling climate change!
Here's my take on it...If Pocoyo can pause to observe Earth Hour then so can I and so should you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Diamonds In The Rough

As a blogger, I'm constantly gathering clever ideas, inspirational thoughts and project plans to attack.
I often find myself saying, "I wish I had thought of that".
I feel it's important to celebrate each other and promote the ideas of others that inspire us.
I'm going to be adding a new tag titled "Diamonds In The Rough"

I'll be sharing things I stumble across and ideas that tweak my interest!
Here is a sample of the things I'm loving this week...

  1. Paper Cake Treat Boxes by  Kami of No Biggie
  2. Magnetic Makeup Board by Laura of Laura Thoughts
  3. Grassy Spring Wreath by Kimba of A Soft Place To Land
  4. Egg Shell Carrots by Martha Stewart
  5. Cake Pushups by Melissa of My Cake School
  6. Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars by Amanda of Crafts by Amanda
  7. Simply Stunning Bedroom by Maria of Dreamy Whites
  8. Plantable Seeded Paper Flowers by Missy of How Does She?
  9. Sky High Pie by Flour Me With Love 

Wanna know what else I'm loving?
    Take a look at some of the things I purchased for Pearl's new "Big Girl Room"
    {It's a bittersweet transititon so bear with me as I cry like a rainstorm and howl like the wind}


    Hope your week is off to a great start!

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    How To Dress Up Your Carrot Walnut Loaf

    Has this ever happened to you?

    Yes that's a Carrot Walnut Loaf with a great big chunk missing in the middle!  I had just finished baking this lovely loaf to take to a friend's house when all of the sudden I noticed a huge piece missing from the top.
    It happens to me ALL the time.  I turn my back for a second and my curious lil monkeys get into my baked goods.  Of course Sapphire blamed it on Pearl (the baby) and Opal blamed it on the sneaky leprechaun who escaped our trap.

    I didn't have time at this point to make anything else, so I forced to improvise!  Somehow I had to disguise the obvious crater in the cake!  The good thing was, I knew our friends would be totally forgiving of my mischievous kids.  They're parents as well, so they get it.  In fact, this is what I gave them for Christmas.  I'm very thankful for their sense of humour.

    So, how did I improvise?  Well, I grabbed some green twine and a paper bag

    Much Better!  I used a glossy gift bag, some twine and a wine charm to resemble carrots!
    I think it looks cute!  What do you think?

    O.K., I know what you are thinking?  Why didn't you just slap some icing on top and call it a day?
    To be honest, I thought of that, but I needed something to blog about.  I figured this would be much more entertaining! BTW-Have you tried these disposable loaf pans yet?  I found mine at Loblaws grocery store.  You'll never have to hunt down your pans again!

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    How To Survive March Break With Kids

    You decided to stay home this year.  You waited until the last minute to book your kids into a day camp and now they're full.  A full week with the kids at home and you have nothing planned!!!
    Don't panic, everything will be fine, repeat after me, "An activity a day, keeps boredom away".
    The key to surviving March Break is to keep your kids engaged and entertained.
    It's a full time job keeping little ones busy during March Break, but with a little preparation and a list of possible activities, you will survive!

    Here is what we have planned...

    Day 1 Visit the local library
    Libraries are excellent sources of entertainment during the March Break.  They usually run activities throughout the entire week.  Some of these activities you have to register for ahead of time, while others you can drop in on.  On Monday we played audience to a magician at our local library.

    Day 2 Living Room Laser Tag and Sleepover

    Let your child invite a friend over and set up tent in the living room.  Trust me, you'll need some kind of incentive to ensure good behaviour through out the week.  There's no better bribe then a sleepover with friends.  We found some finger lasers at the dollar store but flashlights would work as well.

    Day 3-Painting and Craft Day
    This is what we made on Wednesday~we called it Pirate Ship Marble Run

    All you'll need is a shoe box, stickers, marbles, and scissors or a knife.  Cut 3 doorways out and place numbers above each door.  Roll the marble into the doorway to accumulate points.  First person to reach 100 wins.

    Don't have enough marbles?  Why not use craft pebbles!  They slide perfectly along hard surfaces.

    Stuck for more craft ideas?  Visit/revisit my sidebar for inspiration. 

    Day 4 Theme Day
    Choose a theme and play it out all day!  I personally like pajama day paired with bad hair day!
    By day 4 you're gonna need a pajama day!

    Day 5 Animal Adventure
    Kids are easily entertained by animals.  Why not arrange to visit a local farm.  Your kids will get a kick out  learning how chickens lays their eggs.
    Try bird watching at your local park or feed some ducks.
    Visit an animal shelter or pet shop
    Offer to take your neighbor's pet for a walk 

    Sorry but your on your own for the weekends! I had full intentions of publishing this post at the beginning of the week but the week somehow slipped away from me!  The good news is, only four more days and life should be back to normal.  BTW-Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!  


    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Bird's Nest Ice Cream Dessert

    Yesterday we had the opportunity to see a magic show at our local library!  What a great experience for the kids and I absolutely love that it was free entertainment for the afternoon.  The magician/comedian was so funny I had tears running down my leg (I gave birth to 3 kids, need I say more).
    After that, I decided I would give the kids a shot at making supper and dessert!
    When my three jewels are in the kitchen, I always try to use the motto, "don't stress, expect a mess".  On the menu last night, homemade pizza and bird's nest ice cream dessert!   

    No big deal if the pizza ends up looking like this...

    ....Just add some more cheese and your good to go!

    Next came the bird's nest

    We used waffle bowls for the nest, added our ice cream, then topped it with nuts, pretzels and cadbury easter eggs.

    I wish I had of added some caramel or chocolate syrup! Yummm!  I bought some and forgot it in the fridge! Darn!