Friday, May 30, 2008

Candy Land

Well, here I am trying to catch up again. I have tried to institute Friday night as "family night" at our house: a night that we spend doing something fun together, rather than just working on all the things that need to be done. . . this is what we did last Friday. Gave the boys a bath, put them in their p.j.'s and headed out to Starbucks with Candy Land tucked under our arm. We ordered coffee for Joel and I, kids' steamers for Caedmon and Ansel and set up our game. It was a fun and out of the ordinary thing for us to do. I think the other customers got a kick out of our kids too. . . well, at least I hope so. We did get a bit noisy in our quest for the gingerbread house. Sorry if you were actually working on that laptop and not just surfing. . . 

And our plans for this evening (it's already Friday!)? Working in the garden together. We still haven't actually planted anything! Maybe you think that sounds like work, but my boys don't enjoy anything quite as much as playing in the dirt!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pom Poms

A recent trip to the dollar store yielded these pom poms, something I have never purchased for my kids before (what kind of mother am I?). So, this morning, I had the boys sort by color into bags that I had labeled. Then, I let them at it with paper, markers, glue, etc. Ansel is enjoying himself in this photo, his pom pom picture abandoned after discovering the stickers I was using to seal envelopes with nearby. I thought I would include his work here, as his last project was neglected in the animal shapes post (thank you for pointing that out, Hannah). Of course, I now realize that I am neglecting posting Caedmon's work from today, which involved deer and trees, by the way. A popular theme in our lives. 

* On that note, another of the dollar store finds was a little bird to add to the deer skull in our hallway. I will have to photograph and share. That poor deer had no idea that a crazy girl would end up hanging beads and such from his big, manly antlers. 

Adios Bowl

Well, another one bites the dust. Another bowl that is. I will refrain from naming the little boy that dropped said bowl, but it was, of course, an accident. The problem is, we have had quite a few of those and the set of 12 is sorely dwindling. So, lunch was served on plates, not in bowls. By the way, this little lunch trick works nicely for my boys: Mixing peanut butter with soy sauce and using it on our frozen stir-fry. I enjoy it too:) 

As long as I'm sharing the lunch photo, let me say that those chopsticks in Ansel's hands are genius. I got a set on Amazon - Party People by Fred I believe. Talk about fine motor skills. And slowing down during lunch. Good lesson all the way around. And fun too. Who needs a bowl anyway? 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tulips 'n' Dandelions

Even though it has been on the chilly side lately, I have to say that the flowers (yes, dandelions, which I love and would never dream of ridding my lawn of) perk me up. I love pink tulips and apparently Ansel does also. Although, we have a few on our table in a vase and he put his face right up to them and growled this afternoon. Then he belly laughed, so I have to believe it was affectionate growling. The dandelion chain lasted about 10 seconds before being broken. I intended to make crowns for my little princes, but they would have none of it. Oh well, I at least walked around the yard well adorned. 

Animal Shapes

Here is a recent morning project: We checked Oodles of Animals by Lois Ehlert out from the library several weeks ago. The animals are all created from various cut paper shapes. We thought that we would make our own version. (Caution: Mama Bragging Ahead.) 

Here is Caedmon's deer + tree + man, which I think is stunning. He actually put this together by himself! And we had returned the book more than a week ago, so it is not as if he were copying.  Ansel, on hearing his big brother's proclamation that he would make a "deer" took no time declaring that he would make an "elk"! He layered many glue and shapes, until finally he just took the entire leftover pile of paper and piled it on his creation. This simple project could be done in my ways, for many age groups. For Ansel it turned into an opportunity to identify the colors he was using and of course just the process of squeezing glue and placing paper. Caedmon used multiple steps to get from idea to product. An extension, in keeping with the book, would be to write poems to go with the art. I think that would make my mama heart simply flutter with ecstasy. (You may think that is a bit dramatic, but believe me, it would flutter.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Puppies & Chicks

We got a chance to go visit the puppies and chicks at Joel's parents house the other day. The puppies are about 5 weeks old and delightful; the chicks so fluffy and cute. I have really really wanted to get our own chickens (= fresh eggs) for quite a while now. Just a few and we could name them and make them part of the family. Unfortunately, our plate is a bit full for Joel to build one more thing ( a coop) and since the price of the oh so lovely eglu (green is my favorite) is pretty steep ($500!), the reality of our chicken raising is that it must be lived vicariously. And perhaps we'll get a few fresh eggs now and then anyway? 

Gone Fishin'

These days it's been hard to post, with all the time being spent out of doors - yippee!!!
A couple of nights ago we took Caedmon (correction: Joel took Caedmon and I tagged along) fishing. Not much was biting but he sure had a good time. 

I have about a million pictures of things we've been up to and perhaps I will get a chance to share some fun stuff very soon. Until then, enjoy the sunshine and flowers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Very Random

Well, it has been a whole week since I posted, and I will be out of town this week, so I wanted to add a little something from the "archives" (ie my iphoto library). Here are some photos that I dug up and the corresponding explanations. 

Since Ansel loves pouring, I filled a cup with lentils and let him pour into another cup (ideally over the provided tray) and continue back and forth. Of course the floor ended up covered with lentils. . . but it was fun and very Montessori-ish, which always makes me feel happy. 

Another of Ansel's favorites is play dough, with the addition of a knife (plastic of course, which he refers to a "sishers" - scissors). Sometimes he hits the jackpot and we roll endless worms for him to slice and dice. 

One of our Christmas purchases was this plastic  Bilibo - can't remember if that's the correct spelling, but I got it from Magic Cabin, and have seen it many other places. It's appeal was its open-endedness (I'm making up all kinds of words today) - use if for a tunnel, in the bath tub (hypothetically - we haven't actually done this), a helmet. . .  the favorite seems to be a sit and spin sort of thing, which Caedmon is doing here. It has sat unused for weeks on end and I was beginning to think it was a waste of money, but it has recently made a comeback - whoohoo! 

Well, must go. Presently the washer and dryer are both beeping (I desperately need to hang a clothesline), the dishwasher needs to be emptied, bags need to be packed. . . you know the stuff that makes up a day (not to mention the dentist appointment I have this afternoon - arrgh). But, I keep typing, why? Because Ansel lies contentedly on my lap, nursing, hopefully to sleep. And (don't laugh if you know me), today and tonight are his last precious nursing experiences. Because I am going out of town for three days and the plan is for the milk to dry up and both of us to move on. Am I sad? You betcha. But it is time. Sorry for the ramble, but he has dozed off and I am now going to drink my tea before putting him down and tending to those darn beeping machines.