Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bubble Painting

Confession time:  I am just now mailing our Christmas thank you's.

Mike and I helped the boys write them several weeks ago, but never finished the artwork to go on the front.

Having a day off from school, Presidents' Day was a good time to finish them up.  I wanted the boys to help give the cards some character, so we did some bubble painting.  This is an easy art project that I learned while teaching and I've seen it around blogland as well.

Here's my take on bubble painting.

You will need:

liquid dish soap
paint (tempera paint, or acrylic work well, food coloring will be fainter, but works also)
paper or plastic cups
white or pale colored paper
something to cover your table with (it can get messy)

Take each color of paint you want to use and put a good squeeze in a paper or plastic cup.  Dilute with water to thin it.  Add a squeeze of dish soap.  Use straw to stir the mixture.  Then, use the straw to blow bubbles in the mixture until they over fill up the cup. 

Quickly place paper on top of the bubbles to make your bubble print.  Repeat until the paper is covered in bubble prints.

When I first mixed my water, paint and soap, I had too much water and the bubble prints were too faint.  I then added more paint until the prints were bolder.  I used plain white copy paper for our prints and it curled and warped a bit.  This was fine for our project, because I cut up the sheets into small hearts after they were dry.  Use cardstock if you want to avoid the warping.

There were lots of giggles during this project.  I think my kids enjoyed blowing bubbles in their cups without getting into trouble.  Unlike when they do this at the dinner table with their milk or juice...

Now our cards are ready to mail.  Better late than never!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Presidents' Day

Hope your Presidents' Day is a fun one!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box

Thanks to Uncle Seth for the big boxes to play with. 

They have been a large source of entertainment in our home.  The sound of little hands and feet on cardboard, interspersed with giggles and shrieks are common this week.

They have become beds, hiding spots, a "ninja city" and more.  Adding flashlights into the mix makes them even more fun. 

It's amazing to me how simple a cardboard box is, yet how many play possibilities it opens up with a little creative thinking.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines 2011

Our Valentine's Day was simple and sweet.

I filled lunch boxes and plates with heart pb and j's.  I snuck a little love note into Mr. One's lunchbox, so he knew his parents were thinking of him on heart day.

 Pictorial evidence that 10 month old boys make large messes with pb and j sandwiches.  Funny, in real life it was a lot messier than this picture would have you believe...

I took a cue from Carissa at 1+1+1=1 and let Mr. Two do some beading on heart picks from the Dollar Tree.  He loved this, and wanted to keep the beads on the sticks, so I put a rubber band on the end of the stick to keep the beads in place.  Now we have a magic wand/sword to play with.

My sister came over for dinner (no one wants to be alone on Valentine's Day, and we loved having her).  We made our own heart shaped pizzas for dinner (well, we tried our best to make them heart shaped...), with cheese for the boys and bbq chicken for the adults.  We added a salad and sliced strawberries that sort of look like hearts, too.  Our night ended with a trip to Sonic for a sweet treat together.

Simple and sweet!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Prep Weekend

Saturday was spent prepping for Valentine's Day.

Mr. One was busy at work making his school Valentines.  I printed Dana's heartbreaker valentines, and helped him assemble them, using hot glue instead of staples to put the hearts together.

Mr. Two had fun making (felt) pizza and playing with the Legos.  Mr. One had lots of Lego playing time after Valentines were done, too.

Mr. Three kept himself entertained with the paper scraps, a spice jar with beans inside (great noise maker), and the tupperware cabinet.

Handsome Husband installed my Valentine gift:  a lighted ceiling fan in our front room.  I love that man and his fix-it skills!  We're looking forward to a cooler room and lower electric bills come the hot months.

I managed to sneak in some time to make oreo truffles for our Sunday dinner after the kiddos went to bed.  Yum!

We're looking forward to some Valentine fun today.  Hope you all are feeling loved!

Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreo cookies, crushed into fine crumbs (I used my food processor)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
almond bark or melting chocolate

Mix Oreo crumbs into softened cream cheese and roll into balls (I used approximately 1/2 tablespoon for each ball).  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until hardened.  Dip in heated melting chocolate, or almond bark and put back in refrigerator to set.  Drizzle with extra chocolate or sprinkles.  Makes about 60 truffles. (I halved the recipe to make 30)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Who Needs a Double Stroller?

Now, when I see the other mommies with their double wide strollers or their sit and stands at the mall or at the zoo, I get a little jealous.  It would be nice to be able to strap two little active kiddos into one device.  Well, who needs a double stroller when you can improvise with what you have?

We saw lions and tigers and (koala) bears.  Oh my!  By the end of our zoo trip, poor Mr. Two was tired out, and Mr. Three was totally asleep.  What's a girl to do?  (Thanks Becca for inviting us for a fun day at the zoo!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Family Fun at AMY

We have a local museum that is designed for children here called AMY (Arizona Museum for Youth).  It is a true gem in our Valley.  They have traveling exhibits and change the theme of the museum every season.  We visited on one of their family days at the tail end of their exhibit on NASA and space exploration.  My boys loved it.

We saw many different paintings from famous artists such as Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.  There were videos and sculptures.  The best thing about AMY is the interactive exhibits throughout the museum.  Here's some of our highlights of the day:

 puppet shows with aliens and astronauts

 making rocket ships

 launching our rockets

 astronaut art

I love how meticulous Mr. One was with his collage square placement.  His astronaut turned out color coordinated and neat.  Mr. Two loves a messier, more spontaneous collage project.  He colored, cut, glued to his heart's content. 

a few more giggles with the alien puppet and Mr. Three

There was also starlight storytelling (reading space books with a flashlight), a black light room with stars on the walls so you could dance in space, lots of books, and rocket models to zoom through the sky.  It was lovely to spend time together as a family and play.  Mike and I sat back and watched our boys playing and laughing and discovering.  Then, we joined in on the fun and had the chance to recapture our childhood again, if only just for a moment.  Life is beautiful.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nerdy Activities

Mr. One and Mr. Two love Nerds.  In fact, I discovered that Nerds are Mr. Two's currency.  I used them to encourage him to use the potty (one small handful of Nerds for using the toilet) and it worked like a charm.

Here's another fun way to use Nerds with your tot.

Nerd Sorting.

I put a small amount of Rainbow Nerds onto a plastic plate and gave Mr. Two an ice cube tray.  We then placed one Nerd of each color in a compartment of the ice cube tray.  Then I let him sort away.

This activity is great sorting practice, color recognition and an exercise in patience.  It takes longer to sort them one at a time.  Because of their small size, this is also a perfect activity to strengthen those fine motor muscles in the hands and fingers.

After sorting, I asked him to compare each compartment and tell me which color had the most and least.

The best part?  Eating them when finished!

After eating his Nerds, he asked for more.  I initially said no.  Mr. Two thought for a minute, then said, "I need to go potty."  He quickly went into the bathroom, "took care of business", then asked for his Nerds for using the toilet.  Smart kid!

*Want to make this an activity bag?  Just throw a box of rainbow Nerds, plastic ice cube tray and small plastic bowl or cup into a gallon ziploc, and you have another ready-to-go activity.

linking here:

ABC and 123 Show and Tell
Delicious Ambiguity Tot Tuesdays

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Soup and Croup

Bad News:  It is really cold here.  Like the high was supposed to be in the 40's yesterday, and still cold today.  And my boys don't actually own a "real" coat.  Did I mention that we live in Arizona, so this is really cold for us?  (Yes I can hear my Cleveland family snickering at this comment...)

Good News:  We know how to layer, and stay indoors. 

Really Good News:  Mike's parents are here visiting.

Bad News:  Mr. Three has the croup.  Poor, wheezy, sad baby.  Nothing hurts a mother's heart like that painful, sad, barking cough.

Good News:  Mr. Three is on the mend, and I have lots of great soup recipes to fill sad little tummies on these cold days.  This one was on the menu last night.  So yummy!  Ramen on the menu for lunch today.  Warm wishes to all (especially the above-mentioned Cleveland fam)!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Piano Bag

Mr. Three is taking piano lessons from my mom this year.  I have been wanting to applique his piano bag for some time now.  During naptime this week, I finally got it finished.  I followed the same procedure as our library tote.  Now he can go to lessons in style.  Here it is:

I love a simple project.

*Um, while Mr. Three is a talented baby in his own right, it is actually Mr. One who is taking piano lessons!  My bad. *