Monday, December 31, 2012

New Look!!!

You might have noticed with the new year my blog got a new look! The way it all came about was nothing short of amazing.  I had been thinking about a blog button for sometime but hadn't looked into it much.  Finally I said something to my husband about it. No sooner had I mentioned it then I saw a contest of the lovely blog Two Red Birthstones; the prize, a logo or blog button! I entered immediately and to my astonishment, won! Danielle was very patient with my indecisiveness and came up with a beautiful logo AND button for me!  She was super helpful about how to use everything she sent! If you need anything done I would definitely contact her and see if she can help you (I bet she could)! She also has an Etsy shop Two Red Birthstones if you would like to see some more!

Thank You Danielle!!!!

Here is my super cute blog button if you want to grab it!

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2013!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012

This blog hasn't been running for a full year, but January first is a good time to start anew. So, here is a quick look at our most popular posts this past year broken down by category.  Did your favorite post make the list?


Glass Sculptures- Cute little sculptures inspired by the Dale Chihuly piece in the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Baby Oil and Oil Pastels- Mixing oil pastels with baby oil.

Painting with Watercolors and Salt- A great affect for watercolors....salt!


Melted Crayon Pumpkins- Dripping crayons results in lovely pumpkins.

Melted Crayon Art- Our original venture into melted crayons.

My Body Map- Science and art combine to make life size body maps.


Fairy Potion- A super sparkly volcano results with the addition of just a couple ingredients.

Melting Ice with Salt- Again, the magic ingredient is salt. Lots of holes and tunnels and jut fun ice play.

It's Raining , It's Pouring- A little look into weather with this group of experiments.

Sensory Play

Moon Sand Gone Wrong=Sandy Oobleck- Mistakes can end up fun too! See what happens when your moon sand is more like a big gloppy mess.

Ivory Soap Cloud- Microwave Ivory soap for a fun, soapy cloud.

Squishy Fun- Those super absorbent disposable diapers find a new use in sensory play.

Learning Fun

Squishing Sight Words- Find the word and squash it!

Our Place in the World- This series of boxes demonstrates how a location is in a larger location and a larger one and still a larger one.

Alphabet Walk- Practice finding beginning word sounds in the neighborhood.


S'm'Oreos- S'mores with Oreos, need I say more.

Nutter Butter Snowmen- Adorable little snowmen from Nutter Butters!

Turkey Cookies- Cute turkeys combine Nutter Butters, Oreos, and Peanut Butter Cups!

Looks like we've been busy! Have you had a chance to try any of these? I hope you will if you haven't! Can't wait to see what we come up with in 2013!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cariboo Re-Do for Blending Words

When the girls were younger they really enjoyed the game Cariboo.

If you have never seen it, it is a cute game to practice colors, shapes, numbers, and letters while finding balls to unlock treasure.  They loved it when they were 2 and 3 but have since outgrown it.  Not only had they outgrown it, Bria had eaten corners off a few of the pieces making it unusable.  It has set around here for a while waiting, and I finally got around to repairing it. I didn't repair it in the same way though.  Instead I increased the difficulty to a level they are at.  I wanted to use the originally alphabet cards, so I decided the easiest way to repair it would be to make new cards with common word endings.  Just some card stock and a marker, and we have a new game!

Then they could draw a card, select an ending, and blend them into a word. Didn't matter if it was a real word or not as long as they were able to blend it into a word.  Basically I just want them to work on sounding out words.  It worked! They had a great time making all sorts of silly words!

You could do the so much with it.  Cards for addition or subtraction, matching sight words, matching words to pictures, and probably many more!  I may end up making more versions too!

5 things I've learnt about Christmas with baby

1. Flexibility. The lack of. For us, this concept appears to be little understood by the youngest member of our family. Apparently, breakfast should always be at 7, lunch at 12 and tea at 5. It does not matter if the turkey cannot keep to this schedule.

Plying bubba with snacks in the hope of achieving a later lunchtime pretty much failed. That or the Christmas dinner lovingly prepared by Granny wasn't as tempting as the satsuma that bubba was eyeing up over in the fruit bowl. Then, as many mummies am sure found over Christmas, nap time (only achieved here by feeding or walking with sling) put pay to pudding.

2. Drink. Again, the lack of. Gosh, remember when Christmas cracker jokes were funny? Or your dad did a little Christmas dance in the garden while you fell about laughing inside (perhaps that's just us for the last one?!). I'm pretty sure alcohol and the excessive consumption of has made for many a jolly Christmas.

I hadn't expected that I would be feeding bubba for a 2nd Christmas, so my one glass of something fizzy had to be dragged out til it was warm and a bit flat. Yum. But what with the mid-lunch walk and the chasing about after lunch there seemed little chance to have a drink. Whilst there was less giggling on the part of adults, this was happily made up for by bubbas excitement at his new finger puppet hungry caterpillar book.

I guess the lack of wine was probably for the best as I would've fallen asleep on the sofa. Though maybe this would've spared me mummy duties for a little while: Will remember this plan for next year. That or just fall asleep anyway.

3. Slobbing. I think I missed this more than drink or a change to our routine. I missed watching rubbish Christmas telly after lunch, with granny just 'resting her eyes'. I can't say I missed the Queen's speech but I did miss all manner of silly Christmas capers.

As all mummies and daddies will know its all hands on deck at Christmas, even if bubba is a little young to really get what's going on. However this did not stop up trying to lounge about - with continual 'its your turn' ... 'but I did the mid-lunch nap' ... 'yes but I did the post lunch nappy' trade off. Luckily the benefit of a family Christmas is usually someone will volunteer to take the baby to look at the door handle for the 15th time since lunch.

4. Presents. Somehow you don't really care that all you got was slippers. You want to swap what you have so the baby can have more. Maybe that's just me. This even applied to sale shopping, all I wanted to know was could I just about afford Frugi clothes for bubba if they were 50% off?

We (I) did try not to go overboard with presents, I don't want to encourage excess tat consumption so early on, especially given my track record of hoarding useless unnecessary items (according to Hubby at least). We were lucky to find a nice 2nd hand elephant rocker and smart trike on our local sale boards. The 35p bubbles in the stocking were the clear hit of the morning, also proving a great nappy change distraction technique. That and a glitter ball from his Aunty, which I think the adults enjoyed throwing around just as much as bubba.
5. Travel. Is not quite as bad as it seemed at 3am the night before we set off. Ditching the car due to bubbas hatred for it, we decided on adventure by train. Two two-hour train rides with a gap in the middle for a cross-London hop. We used several distraction techniques - mainly involving food. And discovered whilst bubba loves a good ball - the bumpy train does not make for easy ball-finding. Especially as bubbas latest game is 'drop it over the side and see what happens'.

Luckily the good folk on the train showed festive cheer, helping us collect errant toys, books etc. Assume they were as keen as we were to prevent any baby meltdowns or unnecessary whining.

Travelling light, with bubba in the sling, was a challenge but happily Granny had enjoyed baby clothes shopping and we were well-stocked when we arrived. Though without his lovely fluffy nappies all the trousers seemed rather large. It does mean we can't take our presents home - but it will be like Christmas all over again when Granny & Grandad come to visit in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Icy Water Bead Cubes

Recently, while wandering past the water beads, I found water cubes! They are bigger then the normal water beads, and they are cubes. Obvious yes, but I thought the different shape was interesting.

With it being winter, the logical thing to me was to freeze some of them into ice cubes (Thanks to Growing a Jeweled Rose).  Not to drink though!

So here is what they look like out of the package.

And halfway hydrated.

And fully hydrated.

Then i set a few of them on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet and froze them.  My hope was for them no to become a huge glob of ice cubes!

I placed the frozen cubes in one side on my bin and the non-frozen ones on the other side.  I went looking for penguins or polar bears to add, but all I came up with was one penguin.  Didn't really matter as the girls were more entertained by the difference between the frozen and non-frozen cubes. I kept Eli out of this one because the cubes were a good choking hazard size, and he has been putting everything in his mouth lately!

Bria thought the the non-frozen ones looked like jewels.

They spread the frozen cubes out to make them look like icebergs.

Then we waited and observed them as they thawed too.  I guess I didn't really think about what would happen to a frozen water bead. Surprisingly, it turned to mush. I guess freezing disrupts the molecules enough that they no longer hold their shape. 

Eventually they thawed completely and were clear again.  Somehow my camera missed that!  It was pretty interesting to have the mush along with the whole cubes though. So as long as you don't want beads (or cubes) anymore try freezing them for a new sensory experience!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary left us all feeling helpless and heartbroken, the Connecticut PTSA requested people send snowflakes to cover the new school. I am grateful to be able to do something, even something so minor, to help those remaining recover.  Hopefully when they return in January they will be welcomed by beautiful snowflakes along with heartfelt prayers from across the country!  We made ours last week and are sending them today! There is still time to get yours in; they need to be there by January 12.  Here is the address to send them too, and if you can, they are accepting donations as well.

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT  06514

We made two types of snowflakes.  First we made simple coffee filter snowflakes.  The girls had a good time with this because they could do it completely on their own.  Just fold and cut.

We laminated ours, so they would hold up a little better (thanks to I Can Teach My Child), but I am sure they would be fine just as they are!

The second snowflakes we made were with craft sticks.  I hot glued 4 craft sticks together in the shape of a snowflake and spray painted them white.  Then I gave the girls watered down Elmer's glue and had them apply glitter.

The girls even wanted some pink and green snowflakes!

I hot glued some ribbons to hang them.

Since the girls are little and had not heard what happened I kept telling them very simple.  I just told them several kids were hurt at a Connecticut school, and we were making these snowflakes to cheer them up. They were happy with this explanation. Bria even wanted me to write down the words to "Jesus Loves the Little Children" as she sang it to send to them.

I hope you all get a chance to make and send some snowflakes too!