Pumpkin Pie Sensory Doughs

Pumpkin Pie Sensory Dough

Let your little ones make their own Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with these easy sensory dough recipes! These two separate doughs come together to make a yummy-smelling combination that is fun to play with and looks a lot like the real deal. Essentially this activity is part pumpkin-pie scented play dough and part vanilla cloud dough. One acts as the pie filling and one is the crust. Because we’re making two doughs and putting them together, once you’ve made a pie, you can’t really go back. But even after the two mixtures combine, they’re still a great tactile experience. Consider this a short-term activity with a different kind of sensory play to follow.

Pumpkin Pie Dough Ingredients

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Link Roundup – November 14, 2017

6 weeks until Christmas! I’ve purchased the kids’ stocking stuffers and we have our tree up (Christmas celebrations start on September 1 in the Philippines!). I just need to get 1 big gift for each kid. I’m hoping to get new bikes for them, but decent ones are impossible to get on this island so if I can’t get them I’ll have to figure something out! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?


Here are some interesting parenting links from around the web this past week!

H E A L T H 

Induction Does Not Increase C-Section Risk via Fit Pregnancy

New Study Says Moms Only Have to Breastfeed for This Amount of Time to Dramatically Decrease Their Baby’s SIDS Risk via Pure Wow

Did Acupuncture Help Me Get Pregnant? via Fit Pregnancy

Breastfeeding Killed My Sex Drive via The Cut

Nurse Midwives Are Trained, Lifesaving Professionals. Why Are We Holding Them Back? via Slate

Women Who Use IUDs May Have A Lower Risk Of Cervical Cancer via Huffington Post

The ‘Horrifying’ Consequence of Lead Poisoning via The Atlantic

Toddler is 1st reported flu-related death in Orange County, health agency says via ABC7


Jeff Bezos teaches his kids math with a strategy that’s made Chinese and Singaporean students the best in the world — but it’s unusual in the US via Business Insider

Why Are Parents Afraid of Later School Start Times? via The Atlantic

Do we need to teach children joined-up (cursive) handwriting? via BBC

Monks For A Month: College Kids Give Up Talking — And Technology via NPR

My Second-Grade Daughter Was Harassed — and No One Is Doing Anything About It via Popsugar

Billionaires and royals are rushing to teach their kids Mandarin via Business Insider

An MIT psychologist explains why so many tech moguls send their kids to anti-tech schools via Business Insider


Are You Taking The Leash Off And Letting Your Child Be Free To Play? via Lifehack

Can My Children Be Friends With White People? via New York Times

It’s science: whining really is the most annoying sound (for a very important reason) via Motherly

The Secrets of Resilience: What does it take to conquer life’s adversities? Lessons from successful adults who overcame difficult childhoods via Wall Street Journal

Where do kids learn to undervalue women? From their parents. via Washington Post

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Upcoming sale at Gap and Old Navy

There are a handful of clothing stores that I often buy from for the girls. I recently received a postcard for upcoming sales of 50% off for card members of Gap and Old Navy, which are two stores I gravitate toward for the girls. The sale for card members runs from November 16-19 for Old Navy and November 16-20 for Gap (and don’t forget about ebates!). Even if you aren’t a card member, you may still want to check out what you like since Black Friday sales will be here before you know it.

Here are some of my favorite finds for the girls from each of the stores.


Faux- Fur Vest

Red Plaid Shirt Dress

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A not-so-easy transition to a big boy bed

I hoped Max would be one of those kids who would sleep in his crib for as long as possible. He was sleeping great and seemed so safe in there. I wanted him to take after Mr. Ice Cream, since Mr. Ice Cream’s dad jokingly said he tried so hard to get baby Mr. Ice Cream to climb out of his crib that he actually got inside the crib to show Mr. Ice Cream how. Mr. Ice Cream never did. Me on the other hand, climbed out of everything.

Max had been an excellent sleeper for a while (other than waking up incredibly early every day). He was easy to put down and would stay asleep the entire night. He didn’t seem to have any interest in climbing out of his crib. Then one afternoon, when Mr. Ice Cream’s parents were in town, Max climbed right out during nap time. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr. Ice Cream’s dad gave Max some pointers. We watched the Nest Cam footage in disbelief as he hoisted his little body up the siding and plopped over onto the other side. It wasn’t the most graceful thing we’d ever witnessed but he did it and he was out. It was both startling and slightly hilarious. A few days later, Mr. Ice Cream lowered the siding to convert the crib into a toddler bed. Big mistake. Here are a few of the places Max has slept:

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The Gumdrops are Tiny House Dreaming

I don’t want to get too excited yet, but we are a little bit giddy over here about tiny living. Someone asked me last week if we feel like we are living an idealized life in Thailand that we’ll abandon when we go back to the US or Canada. I do feel like we have an amazing set up and it’s easy to thrive here, but in many ways I feel like this is practice for whatever our next phase of life holds. Rather than abandon everything we’ve learned, I feel like we’ll finally get a chance to put it into practice. Right now we live in two studio bungalows joined together by a center deck and a tiny kitchen. When we first moved in this past spring, we wanted to see what we could handle and it definitely felt too small – the use of space felt so poorly planned as well. We thought we made a big mistake – it felt too close to nature with fly and ant and mayfly seasons, too close to the elements with rain thrashing our living space, and too close to each other with not enough private space. We’re still not a fan of the layout but after 6 months of adjusting, we’re comfortable and we’re thinking we could definitely go smaller if it was well designed!


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Favorite 0-3 Newborn Items

I had saved several of my favorite things from Toddler Pencil’s newborn years, but of course there are always more things to buy. I found a few of these new items to be really useful for Baby Pencil!

Favorite Baby Gear 0-3 Months

1) Luclear Baby Washcloths – I love these super soft, fluffy wash cloths for wiping bottoms, washing the face, and throwing over the shoulder as a burp cloth. I actually have dozens of burp cloths but Baby Pencil spits up a lot so these thick cloths are the best things!

2) Aden and Anais Dream Blanket – I love this blanket so much, I want one for myself! The material of the blanket is so versatile and you can use it for both hot and cold days. The interesting thing about this blanket is that it’s kind of heavy even though the blanket itself feels weightless, so sometimes I fold it and use it almost like a weight blanket over Baby Pencil’s bottom half. I feel that it keeps her calm to have the weight of the blanket over her since weighted blanket in general help keep people calm.

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Childcare in Canada

I recently logged onto my ServiceCanada account, knowing that my parental leave benefits are due to expire basically any day now. I went on leave right before A was born because my scheduled C-section was bumped up earlier than I’d expected, so I had a rough idea that my payments would stop roughly around his first birthday. Turns out my parental leave is officially up December 2… and after that, we’re on our own. I’m not going back to work though up until August or so, and I’d planned to do exactly that. It all started with a lack of childcare.

I knew there was essentially zero chance that we’d come off the municipal daycare waitlist before I was due back at work. In an area that is all about supply and demand, there is a lot of demand for childcare spaces for kids under age two, and a minuscule amount of supply. I put M on the list when she was six months old and a space came up for her just before she turned two!

This time around, though, I couldn’t even find a home daycare spot. I was reluctant to go that route in the first place, because we had an unreliable and frankly sketchy experience sending M to an unlicensed home daycare (our only option at the time), but I felt like my hands were tied with no other choices.

First I found a woman who said she’d likely have room, and to contact her in January to double check. When I contacted her in January she said she had no recollection of me, and that she’d check her calendar — and I never heard from her again. Then another woman advertised that she’d have a space open, and when I got in touch with her she asked when I’d need care, and my child’s age… and I never heard from her again.

By the time summer came around the anxiety was eating away at me. I told Mac Daddy I’d have to take A to work with me. I am sure my boss would’ve allowed it, and I would’ve probably managed, but the more I thought of it the more it sounded like torture. I had to haul M around work a lot with me in that first year before we had municipal daycare, and it was exhausting on all fronts: mom, employee, person. The concept of having A with me full time in the office? It made me feel sick. There was no way I could do a good job of working, or parenting.

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