Friday, September 30, 2011

little things

Our baby is growing ever closer to age two. And with his independent, determined, busy-body spirit comes a faster paced world for us to keep up with. I'm trying to savor the little things, those simple moments of discovery and joy. But wow is the cliche true: oh how time flies.

Pipe cleaners + plastic jar = fun!

"Well, if I can't ride my trike yet I'll just sit on it in the rain."

Mushrooms are weird but irresistible to touch!
(Yes, we wash our hands. No, we're not freaks about letting him touch them.)

This makes my heart pitter patter.
Is it wrong for me to hope he'll be an artist like mama and dada?

The orange paint is a natural cornstarch paint that we tried.

That's it, E. It's more fun when you get messy!

This is a favorite pastime: - s-l-o-w-l-y rolling cars and trucks on the table and watching with steely concentration.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

flannel board! car table! spider art!

It was a creative day today. I finally completed E's flannel board along with lots of felt pieces to move around. My favorite is the tree.

My first attempt to transform the back of these book shelves into a flannel board was...lackluster.
I ripped everything off and started again.

Here's the finished flannel board!

The wavy green part along the bottom is actually a pocket.

I made a deeper pocket on the lower right side to store our recycled alphabet cards.
The "car table" is more accurately an inverted box we do puzzles on. I glued some white paper down (to draw on) and then glued down some recycled cardboard coffee cup sleeves. E loves it! Eventually I'll make a more elaborate one on a bigger box. I've also got an idea to make a bunch of chutes and tunnels with paper towel tubes...I'll keep you posted.

E has a random collection of cars. I buy the wooden ones, but he has inherited plastic ones from family. He loves them all the same. And he was diggin' his new "street"!

This spider art came about because I'm trying to figure out what to do for E's birthday party. This was a proto-type I made with E today. He gave it the seal of toddler approval! Shh...don't tell his guests!

E's very own spider art!
Here's what you do:
Step 1:
Paint your canvas a solid color (I used acrylic craft paint on an 8x10 inch pre-primed canvas). Let dry.
Step 2: Draw, paint, or stamp your spider body. Remember - they have two body parts! Fangs and spinneret optional!
Step 3: Poke holes for legs by making 4 holes on each side of the head. I used a tapestry needle and wiggled it around to make sure the holes were large enough.
Step 4: Pre-cut leaf shapes out of tissue paper. Recycle unwanted gift tissue paper if possible. (Toddler could practice snipping and cutting shapes to use in background.)
Step 5: Help your toddler use a glue stick and spread glue on the background. Tap tissue paper leaves and shapes onto the glue. These leaves will help your spider camouflage.
Step 6: Pull each of 4 chenille stems (pipe cleaners) through the holes on either side of the spider to make the legs.

There you have it! Other suggestions might include: Glue sequins or buttons to the body for spots. Or try gluing silver thread from the spinneret to make the spider silk. Or use Elmer's glue and make a trail of spider silk by covering it with glitter. I'm not a big fan of google eyes, but you could add those as well.

This project is easily adaptable for ages 2-8. Please email me your pics if you try it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

meet the barber

Is it just me, or does this kid need a hair cut?

I don't need no stinkin' hair cut!

Try to catch me, mom!

The "turkey tail" fungus was too cool to pass by.

But seriously. Time to meet the barber.
E: Are you guys sure about this?

Well, I guess this isn't so bad...

Why are mom and dad torturing me? This guy has scissors!
You'll be happy to know that the hair cut did, eventually, come to an end. I can't say it was a good hair cut, but it's definitely shorter now! Poor little guy! And by the way, since when is a toddler's hair cut $16?!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

happy trails

When the weather hovers between summer and fall and the sun starts to cast that undeniably autumn amber glow, I know it's only a matter of time before the leaves wrinkle and the blooms fade. Before summer gets away from me again, I plan to go hiking and photograph some of summer's last flowers.

This weekend we hiked on the NCR trail. Besides our favorite mud puddle (E likes to stomp in it with his Gram), there were tons of flowers to photograph along the way.

Jewelweed - a yellow variety I hadn't seen before. Usually it's orange.
I think this is upland boneset? Frothy white flowers attract a lot of insects!
Gorgeous Christmas fern peeking out of rocky crevaces.
Posion ivy. People never seem to remember what it looks like, and it's a tricky plant because it can be a vine or growing low with other herbaceous plant material. Sometimes it looks bright, almost lime green and other times it's a dull evergreen color like this. Sometimes there's a sheen on the leaf (the icky oil!) but not always. The little "lobe" on the lower part of the leaf helps me distinguish it. And yes, there are three leaves.
Phlox spp.?
Beautiful goldenrod in all its glory.
Hibiscus moscheutos (rose mallow spp.) looks ultra violet at sundown. The ants just love it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

don't rain on my parade

I try to stay peppy despite the weather, but all this rain is brutal! I usually love to be in the garden during mild September temps and I feel like the time is slipping away from me. Let's see, an earthquake, hurricane, and flash flooding in two weeks...yep. That'll put a damper on things.

Add to the fact that E is miserable when he can't play outside and you've got, well, the perfect storm.

"At! At!"
"Okay, we'll go out. But first you need your boots!"
Seriously, you want me to wear these outside?

Boots? I think not, mama.
My toes like the rain just as well as my cheeks.

Luckily I have a stocked pantry for baking to keep me occupied. I've been testing recipes from my beloved cookbook, inherited from my Grandma. Last week I made homemade cinnamon rolls (they required two attempts to get it right). Today, it's my first attempt at croissants. And since everything tastes better with chocolate, I'll be putting my own spin on the recipe. As you can see, I have a little helper in the kitchen as I cook.

The water outside was fun. Now I'd like to play with the water inside.

Yes, I realize it's not super safe. But he's learning to balance and so far, so good!
I'm always right beside him just in case...

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.