Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rainy Day

We spent our rainy Tuesday morning at the Discovery Center. The kids:

made happy carrot bookmarks,

did the Hokey Pokey (no, I don't know how Theo's leg is bending that way!),

blew bubbles,

sang "America" and the Bakugan theme song on stage,

and went shopping.

Now, here's where I had fun: seeing what everyone would buy if left on their own to go grocery shopping.

Dora's cart (crackers, ice cream, cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, Froot Loops.)

Theo's cart (lots of cookies, Cheez-Its, Rice Krispies, Froot Loops ... and hey, produce! Three of the five plants he will actually eat, and bananas are not always a guarantee.)

Clark, filling up on the fiber - apples and oatmeal.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Teacher Gifts

Almost too cute to give away. I'm so happy with how these turned out. Anyone who has seen my fruit bag ... this is what it's supposed to look like. The first time I used this pattern, I skipped using interfacing (because I'd never used it before and new things are scary) and accidentally made it vertical instead of horizontal. I still love my little misfit bag, but bag 2.0 kicks ass. I'll fish out the directions and eventually include a link to this pattern.

Update: Instructions here from Mama's Pocketbook

And I'm in luuuurve with this fabric. Saw it and had to get it. It reminds me of my jelly bracelet collection from 8th grade. And the pink reminds me of a sweatshirt I made (complete with iron-on decal) from a Camp Beverly Hills pattern the same year. Yeah ... I was cool.

(OMG, here it is!)

So, summer bag is the obvious choice, but this fabric seems to be calling out for something more special. Any ideas? Maybe I'll just make faux Jams and bring my 80's pre-teen flashback to a satisfying finish.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Police Chase

So, the kids invented a card game. It's been in the works for a few weeks, but it wasn't until today that I learned that it is an actual game with actual rules. Which they made up together. Played with cards that they drew together. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I realized all of this. The deck is made out of old business cards (an excellent use for the squajillion leftover cards with my old address) and Sharpies. 

The game is called Police Chase. I got to play it today. I have to tell you ... it's not bad. It moves quickly, has simple rules, appeals to boys and girls. And, it never ends. Which apparently, is the best feature according to Dora, because "there's no winners or losers!"

So, like any loving parent, now I wonder ... how can we make money off of this?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baku Pops

It was brawl week at our house. Dora invited her friends on Monday and Theo's friends were over on Friday. At Jeff's suggestion, I made Bakerella Cake Pops tinted to look like Bakugan. (Subterra, Pyrus, and Ventus, to be exact.) Dora grumbled because her guests were only served watermelon and pretzels.

Real Bakugan

Baku Pops

I know what you are all thinking. If I were a better mother, I would have piped the planet symbols on each pop. Actually ... I tried, but it didn't quite work. I don't think our little guests minded at all.

FYI - I made one dozen of each color. The red were all gone first!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Theo the Collector

When Theo was just a tiny toddler, he used to carry armfuls of stuff around the house. He eventually got a little tin pail that we nicknamed the "treasure bucket" that he could load up and carry all his things around in. Five years later, not much has changed. When we go visiting, he fills up a backpack with items deemed essential for travel.

At breakfast the other morning, he told me there was string in his shorts. Assuming he meant a small, unravelled thread, I told him to come see me and I would snip it with scissors. He kept mumbling about the string and pulling at his shorts until he finally said "See?!" and held up a baseball-sized wad of string that he had pulled out of his shorts.

Things Theo has collected or attempted to collect (and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head):

rubber bands*
used stickers
candy wrappers*
apple seeds*
fuzzy things that fly in the air*
hockey pucks
bouncy balls
rubber animals
paint samples
plastic rings
coins (sorted by color)
plastic toothpicks*
twist ties*

* thwarted by mom before it could turn into a full-fledged collection.

But ... the most famous of all is the toilet-paper tube collection. The entire bottom drawer of his nightstand is filled with toilet-paper tubes. He rarely does anything with them, just enjoys collecting them. Last week, while discussing the latest obsession (Bakugan) and, he came up with the idea of making a house for them out of his toilet-paper tubes. There was also a lengthy discussion (there is no other kind when Theo is involved) about adding some kind of pneumatic system in which the Bakugan could be shot from their tubes when it was time to brawl (hence the air pump in the picture), but it did not work out quite as planned. He says that he wants to be an inventor or a builder when he grows up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Repurposed Art Cards

If you've got kids, you've got lots of little art projects around, and I'm always looking for ideas to turn them into something usable. Here is an idea for repurposing art projects into handy greeting cards.

• Print template on any color paper or card stock. (I used craft paper because that's what I had nearby... any solid color will work well.)

• Cut on trim lines and fold in half.

• Cut out the shape with an Xacto knife, slightly outside the guide line. (Note: on the birthday card, cut only the flame and the candle, not the wick.)

• Use the window to decide what section of the art to display. Use the cutout shape to trim the artwork into a rectangle. Trim with decorative scissors for extra cuteness.

• Flip the card over and run a gluestick around the outside of the cutout window and around the right side edges of the art piece. Paste the art behind the cutout window and smooth.

• Ta-da! Fun handmade cards for (most) occasions that reuse and showcase your child's artwork.

And here are the templates to download. They'll print on 8.5 x 11 paper and trim to an A6 card (4.5 x 6.25). Enjoy!

Thank You Card Template

Congratulations Card Template

Birthday Card Template
Have you used these templates? Please leave a comment or send a picture, I'd love to see how it turned out!

Friday, June 5, 2009

My New Desktop Picture

I love this photo, it sums up their personalities perfectly. Dora's in charge and Clark is along for the ride. We've gotten in this nice little routine of coming home from school and hanging out on the front porch. Hula hoop and bubbles are close by. I sort through the kids' folders while they play ... and sometimes I even get to hear about their day.

And yesterday, Dora hula hooped 300 times in one turn!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why It's So Hard to Keep a House With Kids

When I had one kid, I quickly learned that the time that once existed for all the things that needed to be done around the house evaporated into almost nothing. There are three kids now, and even though only one is at home during the day, not much has changed, because we are three times the mess we used to be. I am extremely fortunate if I manage to carve out an hour to get something done.

Last week, I was just that lucky and used my hour to clean out the coat closet and the shoe bin. I stashed away all the winter hats, gloves, snow pants and boots. (Because it's like, MAY.) Everything sorted and stored in the basement, and I gave myself a little pat on the back for a job well done. Now ... this is not a fun task. This sucks. And everyone has to do it, it's not like I'm over here doing something extraordinary and unique and special. It's just putting away the winter clothes, but the effort and the time it took to actually get it done was monumental.


I managed to get another bonus hour of time today. This time, I cleaned out the linen closet and started on the kids' rooms. I'm almost done with middle child's room, opened his nightstand drawer to put something away and find - his winter gloves.



I have to take the gloves all the way into the basement, unstack the bins and put them away with all his other winter gear ... in addition to all the other stuff going on today. Oh! Did I forget to mention the mess made by child #3 in order to get any task completed? Yeah, add that bit of fun to the mix.

A hurculean effort to get one stupid chore completed, and then add one more thing on top. Now - multiply this teeny tiny example by one hundred. Because that's what it's like. All. The. Time.