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Author: Tricia

I'm the only girl in my home, sharing activities, experiments and other fun ways for moms to connect with their kids

Gentle, Gentle!

The first weekday of spring break with Daddy home! It was so nice to have him around our home today, even if he was doing chores like letting the snow blower run out of gas to store it and changing the oil in the lawn mower. I was so surprised these activities didn’t attract more attention from the boys than they did, and am thankful because I know activities like this aren’t my hubby’s most favorite things in the world and are made more unpleasant by little hands that want to help, but belong to boys who aren’t big enough to!

We have had several opportunities lately to practice being gentle. Since the weather has been so nice out we are seeing our neighbors more often and are finding more worms! One dear neighbor is a mostly-retired lady who has 2 adorable dogs who all obviously love our boys. Cutie Pie is getting quite a throwing arm on him as Sammy-boy will continually bring a ball to be thrown, and this was actually how Cutie Pie started playing with a ball way back when! He’s usually pretty gentle petting the dogs as we’ve been working with him for a while on this. Sweet Pea, well, he’s learning and often you can hear him whispering ‘genly, genly, genly’ as he tries so hard not to hit little Cathy, but pet her instead. Luckily she loves little tots!
On Sunday I posted a pic of Sweet Pea gently smelling a flower. Today this turned into ‘genly, genly’ as he swatted the flowers as hard as he could. He’s also quite adept at finding worms in our sandbox. Poor worms! Usually he’ll pick them up and give them to Cutie Pie, of course squishing them in the process. Today, however, he managed to put one in Cutie Pie’s hand alive! Cutie Pie and I reminded Sweet Pea to be gentle. He immediately started trying to pet it while saying ‘genly, genly’ then grabbed it and squished it, looking up at me with the biggest grin on his face, again saying ‘genly, genly’! It was adorable in it’s own way, but my heart goes out to those little worms he will find in the future. Wiggle away now, poor little worms – quickly as fast as you can!

Sunday

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday. We’ve been to church, had some play time and are now enjoying quiet time. This is just a photo I took of Sweet Pea on Friday that captures the beauty outside my dining room window. Thought I would share. It sure looks like he’s been so sweet and gentle, doesn’t it? Right after this he tried to pull it all apart! So we’ve been working on being gentle with him. I know from experience this could take a while!

Sunday

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday. We’ve been to church, had some play time and are now enjoying quiet time. This is just a photo I took of Sweet Pea on Friday that captures the beauty outside my dining room window. Thought I would share. It sure looks like he’s been so sweet and gentle, doesn’t it? Right after this he tried to pull it all apart! So we’ve been working on being gentle with him. I know from experience this could take a while!

Easy-going Saturday

We spent Saturday morning as a family running errands, but the evening having lots of fun at a local children’s museum, which is hardly a museum at all! We have a family membership and visit quite frequently on weekend evenings which is much less crowded than days during the week. This is a hands-on museum with lots of activities engaging children in learning without them realizing, which I love, plus it is just so much fun, for parents, too! It’s really a neat place as they try to incorporate activities for a variety of age groups in each area.
Here are pics from two of our favorite places within the museum:
The Fish Tank greets the kids upon entering. My boys will stand and stare for long periods of time, almost forgetting the rest of the fun is there! Cutie Pie is starting to notice all the

starfish throughout and points out how the fish differ from each other in size or color as well as how they move differently from each other. Sweet Pea seems fascinated with their movement and often follows one fish with his finger for as long as he can. Cutie Pie seems so stricken with this aquarium that we are thinking to going to the larger aquarium a few hours drive away from here to expose him to other creatures he hasn’t seen before!

I’m not sure what this kind of xylophone is called, but it is in the Berenstain Bears area. Not being very familiar with the more recent Berenstain Bears material, I’m not sure if this is something in their stories or not. At any rate, the kids pick up the wooden balls and place them into the holes, then turn the nob to make the belt move, when each ball falls it hits the xylophone. The idea is to get kids to think about where to put the balls to make a song, but most kids just roll the balls letting them fall where they may and turn the nob creating a song all their own. My kids love this and will go back repeatedly, and get really excited just hearing their creation. Of course, we often find ourselves keeping an eye on the kiddos, but plunking the balls down on our own trying to play the nursery rhymes we know!
Anticipating more day trips this week and lots more fun!

Easy-going Saturday

We spent Saturday morning as a family running errands, but the evening having lots of fun at a local children’s museum, which is hardly a museum at all! We have a family membership and visit quite frequently on weekend evenings which is much less crowded than days during the week. This is a hands-on museum with lots of activities engaging children in learning without them realizing, which I love, plus it is just so much fun, for parents, too! It’s really a neat place as they try to incorporate activities for a variety of age groups in each area.

Here are pics from two of our favorite places within the museum:

The Fish Tank greets the kids upon entering. My boys will stand and stare for long periods of time, almost forgetting the rest of the fun is there! Cutie Pie is starting to notice all the

starfish throughout and points out how the fish differ from each other in size or color as well as how they move differently from each other. Sweet Pea seems fascinated with their movement and often follows one fish with his finger for as long as he can. Cutie Pie seems so stricken with this aquarium that we are thinking to going to the larger aquarium a few hours drive away from here to expose him to other creatures he hasn’t seen before!


I’m not sure what this kind of xylophone is called, but it is in the Berenstain Bears area. Not being very familiar with the more recent Berenstain Bears material, I’m not sure if this is something in their stories or not. At any rate, the kids pick up the wooden balls and place them into the holes, then turn the nob to make the belt move, when each ball falls it hits the xylophone. The idea is to get kids to think about where to put the balls to make a song, but most kids just roll the balls letting them fall where they may and turn the nob creating a song all their own. My kids love this and will go back repeatedly, and get really excited just hearing their creation. Of course, we often find ourselves keeping an eye on the kiddos, but plunking the balls down on our own trying to play the nursery rhymes we know!

Anticipating more day trips this week and lots more fun!

Is it really Friday?

Well, today didn’t feel like a Friday, although I know it was because we did all the typical Friday things. It was just one of those days where you just feel numb and go through the motions. I call it Mommy tired.

We went to Open Gym at the community center and since it was so gorgeous out barely anyone was there which is a good thing because at times there were so many children there my kiddos couldn’t play much with anything before another child assumed they could start playing with whatever it was my kiddos had. Then we went to the grocery store just before noon (big mistake!), wearing my sunglasses because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Of course, Cutie Pie helped getting everything into the cart for me, all except the breakable food items. He’s become such a great help at that when he’s not trying to pull everything off the shelves! His little brother was a little less agreeable, but made it through the store without standing up in the cart-seat, maybe because I bribed him with a cookie, or the snack samples set up throughout the store, I’m not sure…When we got to the checkout I realized how violently Cutie Pie had been putting the food into the cart, though, and had to apologize for the items that had been broken open, which I’ve never had to do before and was very embarrassed. Luckily the clerk understood. When we walked out of the store I realized I had to run. It was pouring!
Ever had one of these days? I know it could have been much worse, and I’m thankful it wasn’t. It did get better, but not so much better to be anything exciting to write about. Since my hubby is a teacher and next week is spring break here I’m sure I’ll have some day trips to write about next week for more interesting reading…

Is it really Friday?

Well, today didn’t feel like a Friday, although I know it was because we did all the typical Friday things. It was just one of those days where you just feel numb and go through the motions. I call it Mommy tired.

We went to Open Gym at the community center and since it was so gorgeous out barely anyone was there which is a good thing because at times there were so many children there my kiddos couldn’t play much with anything before another child assumed they could start playing with whatever it was my kiddos had. Then we went to the grocery store just before noon (big mistake!), wearing my sunglasses because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Of course, Cutie Pie helped getting everything into the cart for me, all except the breakable food items. He’s become such a great help at that when he’s not trying to pull everything off the shelves! His little brother was a little less agreeable, but made it through the store without standing up in the cart-seat, maybe because I bribed him with a cookie, or the snack samples set up throughout the store, I’m not sure…When we got to the checkout I realized how violently Cutie Pie had been putting the food into the cart, though, and had to apologize for the items that had been broken open, which I’ve never had to do before and was very embarrassed. Luckily the clerk understood. When we walked out of the store I realized I had to run. It was pouring!
Ever had one of these days? I know it could have been much worse, and I’m thankful it wasn’t. It did get better, but not so much better to be anything exciting to write about. Since my hubby is a teacher and next week is spring break here I’m sure I’ll have some day trips to write about next week for more interesting reading…

Dancing Raisins

Cutie Pie was excited by the last experiment in the kitchen so I thought I’d try some more. I thought since the last experiment we did was seeing what floated we’d stick with that theme and since it was a dreary morning it was the perfect time to try one!
Cutie Pie happened to be eating raisins and I remembered seeing on-line somewhere a while ago an experiment with floating raisins. We filled a medium size mason jar about 2/3 with water, added about 1/3 cup of vinegar and then, one tablespoon at a time added about 3 tbs of baking soda. Then we plopped in a little-boy-size handful of raisins. Then the hard part came after an exciting fizz…we waited for about 1 or 2 minutes. The raisins started ‘dancing’ up and down and danced really well for an hour, and kept dancing off and on for longer than that! Both boys loved watching them while we had our morning snack! The part they seemed to find the most interesting was the bubbling when the baking soda was added.
Cutie Pie wanted to know why they danced and I gave him the simple explanation, because at 3 he couldn’t really handle more. I explained that when the vinegar and baking soda mixed it made lots of bubbles, called carbon dioxide, which attached themselves to the raisins and they lifted the raisins up to the surface. At the surface the bubbles popped and the raisins fell to the bottom where more bubbles attached to the raisins and they floated up again. Of course, I could have said that vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, but I think that might have been too much information for him at that point!

Dancing Raisins

Cutie Pie was excited by the last experiment in the kitchen so I thought I’d try some more. I thought since the last experiment we did was seeing what floated we’d stick with that theme and since it was a dreary morning it was the perfect time to try one!
Cutie Pie happened to be eating raisins and I remembered seeing on-line somewhere a while ago an experiment with floating raisins. We filled a medium size mason jar about 2/3 with water, added about 1/3 cup of vinegar and then, one tablespoon at a time added about 3 tbs of baking soda. Then we plopped in a little-boy-size handful of raisins. Then the hard part came after an exciting fizz…we waited for about 1 or 2 minutes. The raisins started ‘dancing’ up and down and danced really well for an hour, and kept dancing off and on for longer than that! Both boys loved watching them while we had our morning snack! The part they seemed to find the most interesting was the bubbling when the baking soda was added.
Cutie Pie wanted to know why they danced and I gave him the simple explanation, because at 3 he couldn’t really handle more. I explained that when the vinegar and baking soda mixed it made lots of bubbles, called carbon dioxide, which attached themselves to the raisins and they lifted the raisins up to the surface. At the surface the bubbles popped and the raisins fell to the bottom where more bubbles attached to the raisins and they floated up again. Of course, I could have said that vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, but I think that might have been too much information for him at that point!

Rice Box: Blessing or Curse? Blessing, for sure!

Have you ever had the need to get some things done and need something to distract the kiddos? I had that need today. I pulled out the trusty ‘rice box’, a plastic storage bucket filled with 20 pounds of uncooked rice, to keep the boys out of trouble while I tackled some much-needed housework (as in the bathroom hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned for weeks – I do hope I’m not the only mom dealing with this!)
The rice box in my home is a blessing. Just the hint that it might be pulled out draws the boys out of their fits of ‘that’s mines’, ‘Mommy, I need you!’ and a little one pushing at my knees to be picked up into two charming blondes playing nicely together and even (yes you are reading right) sharing! Rice is poured, spooned up, measured, put through a funnel, dug up by little front loaders and emptied by dump trucks. Rice is the perfect occupier.
The rice box in my home is also a curse. With a large tablecloth under the rice box in the kitchen, hoping to catch all the rice that accidentally makes it out of the box (notice Sweet Pea sitting IN the box!), somehow rice is strewn all over – from the kitchen to the living room to the upstairs bedrooms to the downstairs bathroom. Sticking to everyone’s socks, even peeking out from under the cushions on our couches. I have got to remember to not let the boys go in the box with their pants rolled up! That’s the culprit!
Ultimately, however, the rice box is a blessing. My bathroom is shiny clean. The laundry is clean (although it is still in piles waiting to be put away). The living room and family room are dusted, vacuumed and tidy. Two boys are happily worn out from playing in the rice using their imaginations for more than 2 hours spent in it throughout the day (as well as playing ‘construction’ outdoors for more hours than that!) Definitely, the rice box is a blessing. This Mommy feels in control of my (downstairs) surroundings at the moment. At least…until tomorrow!

Rice Box: Blessing or Curse? Blessing, for sure!

Have you ever had the need to get some things done and need something to distract the kiddos? I had that need today. I pulled out the trusty ‘rice box’, a plastic storage bucket filled with 20 pounds of uncooked rice, to keep the boys out of trouble while I tackled some much-needed housework (as in the bathroom hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned for weeks – I do hope I’m not the only mom dealing with this!)
The rice box in my home is a blessing. Just the hint that it might be pulled out draws the boys out of their fits of ‘that’s mines’, ‘Mommy, I need you!’ and a little one pushing at my knees to be picked up into two charming blondes playing nicely together and even (yes you are reading right) sharing! Rice is poured, spooned up, measured, put through a funnel, dug up by little front loaders and emptied by dump trucks. Rice is the perfect occupier.
The rice box in my home is also a curse. With a large tablecloth under the rice box in the kitchen, hoping to catch all the rice that accidentally makes it out of the box (notice Sweet Pea sitting IN the box!), somehow rice is strewn all over – from the kitchen to the living room to the upstairs bedrooms to the downstairs bathroom. Sticking to everyone’s socks, even peeking out from under the cushions on our couches. I have got to remember to not let the boys go in the box with their pants rolled up! That’s the culprit!
Ultimately, however, the rice box is a blessing. My bathroom is shiny clean. The laundry is clean (although it is still in piles waiting to be put away). The living room and family room are dusted, vacuumed and tidy. Two boys are happily worn out from playing in the rice using their imaginations for more than 2 hours spent in it throughout the day (as well as playing ‘construction’ outdoors for more hours than that!) Definitely, the rice box is a blessing. This Mommy feels in control of my (downstairs) surroundings at the moment. At least…until tomorrow!

Breakfast for dinner Sunday

I love Sundays! Not only because we get to go to church and worship The Lord, but also because we usually have breakfast for dinner on Sundays! Yum! I’m a breakfast person! Tonight it was pancakes! Love it!

I’ve been having fun hopping around all the blogs listed at 5 Minutes for Mom‘s blog party, meeting new bloggers and finding lots of blogs I never would have found otherwise and am encouraged by how many Christian blogging Moms I’ve met or seen out there!

I have one note for today, which is actually about something that happened with Cutie Pie yesterday. For a while now we’ve been using Time Outs for punishment with him. Remember he’s only just over 3. He loves to be around others, so for him Time Outs are major. Just threatening one makes him behave. One thing he has been going into Time Out for is hitting his brother. When helping put his toys away last night I ‘bopped’ him gently on the head with a stuffed animal and made a cute noise. He immediately turned around and told me to ‘go to Time Out for hitting me!’ I was astonished! I immediately realized how seriously he was taking his punishment and the crime, even though he would repeatedly hit his brother after being in Time Out.

I obeyed and went, he came in and talked with me: “Mommy, why are you in Time Out?” “For hitting you, Cutie Pie.” “And Mommy, will you hit again?” “No. I’m sorry.” “I love you Mommy, you can get out of Time Out now.” It was so hard not to laugh, but so rewarding, in a funny way, to know that he understands what Time Out is!

Don’t forget to visit 5 Minutes for Mom and join the party if you haven’t already!

Field Trip!

We had to get out of the house today. We decided since it was icky out we’d go to the pet store, a place Cutie Pie loves to visit, but doesn’t get to very often.

Today the hamsters were very active, so were the birds. We talked about what they were eating, where they might have thought they were going while running on the wheel and flying in and out of their nests. Cutie Pie had some great answers and reasons why! I asked Sweet Pea what the hamsters were eating and he said “Rocks”. Cutie Pie saw that they were eating corn kernels and we observed how they were eating them with their little pink toes, which were really pretty cute!
We also looked at the hermit crabs, which fascinated Cutie Pie as one of the videos we borrowed from the local library talked about crabs and their shells. Cutie Pie did a great job ‘educating’ me about how hermit crabs change shells as they grow, just like he learned in the video. He is such a retainer of information!

Wacky Weather Wednesday

To say our weather has been beautiful lately is very much accurate. To say it’s been temperamental lately is also very much accurate! I’ve been told this is very typical for this area this time of year. This morning it was rainy, gave way to beautiful sunshine and 70+ weather until just before lunch, then it became very windy and dropped 10 degrees with thundershowers within an hour!
We did get outside after doing our chores this morning – to hang laundry and to play! Sweet Pea thoroughly enjoyed the sheets hanging on the laundry line. This is only the second time this year I’ve been able to hang out our laundry, the other being just yesterday with only short items hanging up. He quickly became enthralled with the blowing sheets and tried to catch them. It was so entertaining watching him figure out they wouldn’t always be in the same place every moment! The squeals of delight when he caught them were too precious!

Another surprising moment was when Cutie Pie almost happily said goodbye to a neighbor boy who he had been playing with in our ‘gravel pit’, grabbed his wagon and started touring the yard ‘helping’ by picking up every stick he saw, all without being asked! Do you like the way he’s wearing his hard hat? Safety first!

 

The other day he had been overjoyed to help me weed and all throughout the winter he was always so happy to help with his toy shovel. Lately, he’s also been very responsive when getting into mischief when we distract him by asking him to help with something. I am very much enjoying this personality trait (even though I know it is probably really a phase he is going through) and just don’t want it to end! I wonder what he will take upon himself to help me with tomorrow? At any rate, I heap on the praise and encouragement and love seeing the joy reflected on his face!

Marble Art

I set out the runny paint in cups. I set out the marbles. I set out the cake pans lined with paper. The kids came with their curiosity even though we’d done this several times before. I love it when something ‘old’ still captures their attention!
Today we attempted marble art again. Very simple preparation. Very simple art with neat results! Even Sweet Pea got in on the action lifting his plastic-ware container and rolling his marbles around in it after I rolled them in the runny paint and dropped them in his pan for him. (His coordination is excellent for a 16 month old, at least in my opinion!) Unfortunately, after about 3 minutes the marbles made it into his mouth and the activity was over for him as distraction with finger paints just didn’t do the trick, which I sort of thought would happen. His artwork was pretty neat, though!
Cutie Pie, on the other hand, didn’t want anything to do with the marbles today. He had seen the activity, got excited and then came to the table with his toy dinosaurs! (He’s so into dinosaurs lately I was sure this would happen sooner or later with something I tried!) Instead of trying to turn Cutie Pie back to the way I wanted the activity to go, I let him paint his dinosaurs and we talked about the colors dinosaurs might have been, whether they were bright colors or dull grays and greens and why it was possible. He had some great ideas! A bonus for him – he got to give his dinos a bath when he was done! (I tend to do messy activities like this while they are still in their PJs!)

Does it Float?

We went to the library last week and found this neat book of experiments called Big Book of Play and Find Out Science Projects Easy Activities for Young Children by Janice VanCleave. I was browsing through it when we got home and saw an experiment called ‘Why do Boats Float?’ in the Forces section and thought Cutie Pie seemed to be in a good mood, so why not try an experiment with him?! The funny thing is, we tried this experiment last week as described below and in the pics and since then have seen something similar on No Time for Flashcards as an idea.
It was rainy and on our way in from the library the boys splashed in THE PUDDLE that always seems to form between the car and the house. When I glanced through the Big Book this idea caught my eye simply because we had talked about how we sink whenever we splash in that puddle. I waited until after lunchtime, and then got out the bowls, playdough (we didn’t have modeling clay) and gathered some items to see if they could float. This, of course, caught the boys’ attention.

After talking about why the ball of playdough sank and the boat shape we made out of the same ball of playdough floated, Cutie Pie helped plunge items into the water to see if they would float. I figured a cotton ball would float, but would get water-logged and end up sinking and quickly looked around to see what we could place it in to keep it dry. I saw the plastic Easter eggs and decided to put tape over the holes and place the cotton ball in one. This was great because it reinforced the idea of the boat floating. After seeing that it floated, Cutie Pie directly took the cotton ball out and plunked it in the water and helped it sink! Then we decided to test some slightly heavier objects to see if they would float in the egg, but sink on their own.

As a final step we took two bowls of the same amount of water. To one we added about 8 tbs of salt, the other was left alone. We took an egg and placed it in the first and it sunk (in the pic above he has 2 eggs – he had to have one of his own!) We placed it in the saltwater and it floated. We then talked about how the salt helped the egg float. I think this was a bit over Cutie Pie’s head, but he was right there trying it with me and I think he was trying to follow it all! He definitely had a good time, and both he and Sweet Pea ended up with wet sleeves, but it was worth it!
I discovered Cutie Pie does like hands-on learning, but more from an experimental aspect than just doing. Maybe I will try to revisit some hands-on things we’ve tried in the past and concentrate more on talking about what we’re discovering rather than the process of discovering it.

Y’s are missing!

We enjoyed a nice weekend visiting family in central New York State, where Cutie Pie hunted for fossils in the stone fence assembled near a swimming pool and Sweet Pea thoroughly enjoyed his first encounter with a cat. We also had the fortune of gathering with Nana, Papa, Aunt, Uncle and cousins on Easter to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection! It’s always fun seeing the cousins together as they are relatively close in age.

This morning was grocery day here since we were away for the weekend. Cutie Pie picked the letter Y to search for on our trip. He was very excited for some reason to look for the letter Y and kept mentioning it until we got there. Unfortunately, I forgot to remind him to look for it until we were halfway through the store. Fortunately, it’s a very big store! Cutie Pie did a great job finding Y’s, however, there just weren’t that many on signs or printed largely in our store and I had to help more than I have had to with other letters. I admit I was very disappointed! But he had a great time anyway, and was a big helper retrieving only the items I asked him to put in the cart, which is a big improvement over past grocery store visits! Sweet Pea also did a great job finding everything I asked him to find and point to….apples…bananas…eggs…milk…yogurt… he got very excited each time he saw the item, and even more-so when big brother put it in our cart! (Maybe he was hungry!)

I continue to look for activities to do with the boys, but find it harder to set aside the time to actually do them with the weather as beautiful as it is. I should get my act together and get organized because Cutie Pie actually asked if we were going to do an activity today! That was a first! Usually, I have been successful getting the activity ready without mentioning it and thus gaining their interest, but have never had one requested and never thought he’d be interested having just had such a non-routine weekend! Next time I will be more prepared!

Fun in the sun Thursday!

Today the weather was absolutely gorgeous here so we went to a park with a neighbor and her 2 grandsons, the younger is the same age as Cutie Pie. It was fun being outside playing and watching Sweet Pea climb all over everything as this is the first time we’ve been to a park since winter set in, so the first time he could test his abilities on something other than our furniture! He was amazing! It was interesting watching Cutie Pie. He is just beginning to actually play with kids rather than next to them. At times he seemed so much older than 3!

We also colored our Easter eggs and talked about the meaning of Easter in relation to dying an egg, as well as the colors mixing to form interesting combinations! Cutie Pie seems to grasp some of the concepts of Jesus coming to earth to save us and being resurrected, much more than I thought he would at this age. I wonder sometimes what goes on in his little mind when we talk about Jesus dying for our sins and being raised the 3rd day since he hasn’t experienced death of a loved one yet. The last few days leading up to this weekend have really made me think about how to relate this wonderful story to him and I do hope he understands at least a little of it.

Wednesday

This morning Cutie Pie REALLY wanted to go outside to play but it hadn’t warmed up enough for his still-under-the-weather Mommy, so I tried to distract him and stay inside for a bit. I mentioned previously he has been spotted practicing his cutting skills and he was at it again today, but this time with Playdough, at his own request! We have this one toy that makes “tubes” as he calls them and he loves to cut the dough into Tootsie Roll size pieces. He did this for quite some time before picking up a mushed giant piece and cutting that into pieces. I consider this quite a milestone for him as until today he would leave whatever he was cutting on the table and put his scissors under it to cut! And of course Sweet Pea was right there, ignoring my pleas to keep everything out of his mouth!
Cutie Pie also requested his pom poms be brought out after lunch (and a healthy dose of playing in the gravel with his construction toys outside!) He loves to use the tweezers (which are actually more like scissors with a flat head) to transfer the pom pom from a bowl to either the cupcake tin or, more often than not, a dump truck. He calls them his excavator. He doesn’t seem interested in sorting by size or color, but I’m still pleased as punch as until a few days ago this feat required him using 2 hands and now he is successful at moving a pom-pom with only one hand on the tweezer. For a little boy who doesn’t like to “do” crafts or other fine motor activities he’s making his mommy happy with this new skill! Sweet Pea was trying his best to thread pieces of a straw and O cereal onto a pipe cleaner, without much luck!
To make you smile: Cutie Pie had a couple of jelly beans after lunch today as a treat and when finished requested “more juicy lima beans!” If only lima beans were that delicious!

Alphabet

Tonight while dinner was being prepared little fingers of a 16 month old pushed the musical note on our Fridge Phonics Magnet Alphabet set by Leap Frog and we heard his little voice singing along for the first 15 letters or so! It wasn’t perfectly clear, but was music to our ears! It seems every day he is saying at least one new word, or phrase, and today was a major moment! Now, I doubt he will repeat this today, tomorrow, or even next week, but it was amazing nonetheless and witnessed not only by me, but his Daddy as well! I’d call this a Terrific Tuesday!

Maniacal Monday

What a strange Monday! Cutie Pie must be feeling better from his cold as he seemed to want to do everything and anything this morning without a moment’s rest! Sweet Pea was, of course, right there with him!

Where to start? I had initially wanted to finish the frozen paper art we started last week (I totally do not remember where I found this idea), but CP didn’t want anything to do with it and quickly became engrossed in something on his own. I decided to cut out egg shapes for Easter cards from the paper the boys scribbled on with colorful crayons and colored pencils last week and once the paper was on the table both were immediately there wanting to be involved.
We ended up making car track paintings on the reverse of the before mentioned artwork after saving some to make the cards later. We had done this car activity before and it is something CP loves to return to. (I found the idea at www.firstpalette.com weeks ago!) From there we cleaned the cars off in the sink (a VERY wet activity here), changed clothes and CP set to work “cutting pieces of salad”, which is his phrase for practicing cutting construction paper of any color. Then, with cars still on the mind, we ended up racing the cars that propel themselves to figure out which was the fastest. All the while CP and I were talking about what the differences were, how to tell which one won, and even how the track marks were different when painted on the paper. Throughout all of this SP was trying to eat everything he could get his hands on and even got his belly all paint by trying the table crawl while CP was painting. Way too much activity in one morning for a mom recovering from this nasty cold! It’s always interesting to see where our mornings take us!
BTW, I did take photos at some point today and will have to post them if I ever figure out how!

My First Post

I’ve been wanting to start a post for a while, but things always seemed to keep me from it. I have been recording first words, phrases and all the really neat things little ones do for the first time since my 3 year old was born. Cutie Pie has given us so many laughs and sweet moments, then Sweet Pea came along 16 months ago and has given us even more joy. I can’t justify simply writing things down in a notebook any more. I am hoping this blog allows me to write down simple Mom moments and memories and record photos that will be meaningful for me, but also give ideas and insight to others for daily life and fun with 2 adorable blonde boys and a wonderful best friend/hubby and Dad.

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Flowers for Great-Grandmother

Great-Grandmother visits once a year from California. We love it when she comes because we love family! This year the boys were old enough that we could actually make something for her that was nice and especially, made by them, not me from them!

I looked around a bit on the internet for ideas and saw several ideas for making flowers from egg cartons. Although I gleaned from these ideas, the end product isn’t necessarily like what I saw on any of the pages I just linked to (yes, there are 3 different ideas, so check them all out). We had two cardboard egg cartons to work with and no pompoms available. I sort of wanted to try using food coloring for the color, I’m not sure why, but it didn’t work very well.

First, after explaining to the boys the process of how we were going to create flowers, I cut out the bowl portions of the egg carton and poked a small hole in the bottom of each. Cutie Pie counted how many ‘flowers’ we had and counted out the same number of pipe cleaners to use as stems.

Then, I rounded the corners and tried to make each ‘flower’ a little different from the next. I thought about cutting each into petals, but working with a little 2-year-old made me hurry along and not do it, but next time I might try it.
Next, Cutie Pie and I placed each flower bottom into a puddle of watered down food coloring (placed in a cup of cupcake tin). While each soaked in its own color, we used eye droppers to drip different colors onto the petals. Unfortunately, the color didn’t soak in very quickly so the colors were pretty muted. This was a great science lesson reinforcing how colors combine to make new colors, though! Sweet Pea was really into this part of it and by the end, all of our flowers were a tint of brown. It was also a great fine-motor exercise for both boys!
Finally, after the flowers were dried on paper towels, Cutie Pie and Sweet Pea poked pipe cleaners through the holes (more fine-motor), bent them into funny shapes to hold them in the flower and stuck them all into a vase.
Here’s the end result, although, like I said the colors turned out muted, so they show up even less in the photo.

 

Next time I think I will try using straight food coloring or a bold paint. I also think making the stems green would make it look nicer, and might also play around with making actual petals. But, for working with a 2-year-old with a short attention span and wanting this to be a project made (almost) completely by the kiddos, I think this turned out great! Great-Grandmother loved them!