The boys are into collage big time lately. Lots of images cut from old books I've found while thrifting have been pasted on paper, boxes, you name it. I love seeing what they gravitate toward. Felix likes all the strange unknown creatures (is it a mouse with a reeeealllly long tail or is it some kind of super small flying squirrel?) and Roman is keen on butterflies and bugs.
I stumbled across some good parenting advice recently. Good for me anyway. Thought I'd share.
"Be the last to know. Refrain from making judgments and foregone conclusions about your children. Watch their lives unfold, and be surprised. The show is marvelous, and yours is the best seat in the house."
-Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood
Romy is definitely a toddler now. And boy does he enjoy a good sensory activity -- the unstructured version is probably better known as "making a mess". After a giant mess was made with a bag of oats he snuck out of the refrigerator the other day, I concluded that I had better fetch the long tub stored down in the basement and fill it with something. And quick! Today I chose a bag of puffballs (starting out slow and easy) and he was pleased as punch. So fun to see him beginning to find activities that hold his attention for longer than a few minutes. Fun for him and very fun for me. Phew.
First of all, if you are a family member or a close friend of mine and you happen to have a small child, please STOP READING NOW. Yes, I'm yelling at you. STOP.
The rest of you are fine to continue reading. Sorry about the yelling. ;-)
When it came to gift ideas this year I found myself fairly stumped. Especially for the youngest people in my life. Giving books came to mind as an option or maybe giving a game of some kind, but those ideas didn't excite me very much. Then my sweet husband sat down with me one afternoon when the boys were napping, and without skipping a beat, he suggested I come up with a crafty kit based on a successful project I have done with Felix. His idea was brillant and I knew then and there that a little embroidery kit suited for 3 to 5 year olds was the solution. Woot!
So...I gathered the following items and my kits came together very quickly
A small wooden box (I decorated each box top with paper I had on hand) A small embroidery hoop Two kid-safe embroidery "needles" A large piece of burlap (great for first-time stitchers) Four skeins of embroidery floss A printed instruction sheet with words as well as simple illustrations
I'm super happy with how this project turned out. Can't wait to hear how these embroidery kits go over with my favorite soon-to-be four year olds.
How's the gift making/buying/giving going for you this year? I'm almost done. Almost.
I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in pinning tons of projects (and recipes) on Pinterest without ever following through and doing any of them. This is a thing people do, right? Well, I'm trying to be better and actually complete a few projects I have taken the time to pin. Not that it takes much time, but you know. Recently I've began digging through my pins, particularly all the nifty craft projects perfect for doing with kids, and have made it a goal to do one or two projects a week. It's a goal. We'll see...
Felix and I completed some sweet handmade magnets last week. It was easy and fun and involved taking a pair of scissors out to the backyard to snip flowers and plants, which was clearly Felix's favorite part. He also very much enjoyed pressing the bits of nature into the clay with his hands and/or the rolling pin. Whatever works, right?
We had loads of fun with this project, and now we have several handmade and handpainted magnets for our fridge and our friend's fridges. Take that, Pinterest!
below are some recent moments captured with my iphone. damn, that thing is handy. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- we've been eating a fair amount of waffles lately. I've started making waffle batter up ahead of time and storing it in the refrigerator. we're trying not to eat them more than a couple of times a week, but they are sooo good and it helps that I've become a pro at getting just the right amount in the waffle iron so clean up is minimal. hate cleaning up a waffle iron with batter running down the sides. not fun.
felix is obessessed with tools -- he has been for a while now. the other day I took him out and let him hammer little nails into a stump I had found and brought home a while back. he was thrilled and luckily no thumbs were injured in the process. must remember to get him going with a little building project soon.
romy must be teething. nothing else can explain the river of drool flowing from that kid's mouth. I had to make a few bibs backed with a thick towel to keep his shirt from getting soaked several times a day!
lots of playing going on around here. we play happy birthday with a playdough cake and toothpick candles daily. and when not celebrating pretend birthdays, we are either building various tracks and towers using a nice set of blocks my mom gifted felix or we're exploring with a magnifying glass (often while wearing a cape).
As much as I wanted to try dyeing eggs with natural dyes we kept it very simple this year. Perhaps we can experiment with using beets and cabbage and blueberry juice as dyes once Felix is a little older? This year was all about the jeweltone colors produced when brown eggs are dropped into jars of water, food coloring and a little white vinegar. Easy in every way...except for the waiting part. Waiting is a big challenge around here these days.
Phew! This space has been such a downer this week and I'm so ready to let it all go and get back to a much more positive, upbeat mood around here. After thinking things over, I have come to the conclusion that I have bigger fish to fry, so I'm deciding to stop being annoyed and get back to doing what I do here (with a few tweaks here and there, of course).
The fact is, this blog has been around for nearly 8 years (in April. crazy, I know!) and during that time it has brought an amazing amount of positivity, friendship and sweetness into my life. And that is what I want to focus on. Obviously, I'm not happy my photo was used without my permission, but it has since been removed from where it was originally posted (at least I think it was the original page??) by the tumblr people, so good riddance.
Before getting back to regular programming, I do want to say that I chose not to publish the comments I received on my last post. But the outpouring of concern and support, and again, friendship, was amazing -- it reminded me of all the good things about writing and sharing in this space. Thanks so much.
What to do when you're feeling a little crabby? Make a mess! Make art!
This week has been all about sensory activities. We've played with a big bowl of rice, and lots of sudsy water, and yesterday, we made fingerpaint!
Following the simple recipe found here, we made up a batch and had ourselves some messy fun. It was the highlight of Felix's day yesterday, and I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good art activity as well as an activity that allows a little one to help create the medium. Messy? Somewhat. Worth it? Absolutely.