Saturday, July 30, 2011

My New Toy

I'm in a pretty good mood today. I hosted a play date with a little neighbor from next door, and both kids had a lot of fun. They splashed in the pool, ran through a sprinkler, played in the sand table, and ate Popsicles (which consequently, I have never been able to spell correctly). All in all it was a success. 

And then there is this other thing that I am quite thrilled about. The husband doesn't get it. Neither do my family or friends. So, I am sharing with all of you lovely readers in blog land in hopes that someone will understand my excitement. The other day, I bought this:
Go here to buy this from Amazon
A laminator! Perhaps it is left over from my days as a teacher, but I was tickled to find this little guy at Walmart for about twenty bucks. You know when you have to do laundry, but you don't quite have a full load, so you walk around looking for other things to toss in? I'm doing that with my new inanimate BFF, and just looking for things to laminate.

So is there anyone else out there like me? Or am I the only one who get excited about these type of things? 

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Glowing Water Table

Disclaimer: So here's the deal, my friends. My camera is just so so, and my camera skills are maybe even less. In my dreams I will have a DSLR camera in the near future, but then I wake up and look around and remember things like...... bills, and food, and something something head gasket leaks that need to be repaired. SO maybe my dream is a little farther away then I hope, but I'm still hopeful. Anyway, all this is just to say that I can't accurately capture the awesomeness of this following activity. Without the flash, the picture is too blurry, and with it, the pictures are not so impressive.

In our house, we heart sensory bins, boxes, tables, pools, etc. You name it, we want to recreate it. My little guy loves the hunting, sorting, and pouring.

Yesterday, Logan and I went out shopping. I was looking all over for school calendar that didn't cost a million dollars. I finally found one at a dollar store that I don't usually go to because it is far away. While there we spent a few minutes browsing the shelves, and I came home with lots of goodies. One of Logan's most favorite finds of the day were glow sticks. Glow sticks and Logan go way back to when he was just a little guy, and faster than you could imagine he chomped down on one and broke it. It was our very first call to poison control. Awww...... memories......Since then he's learned not to eat them, and his love for them has only grown. Later that night I closed all the blinds and added a few glow sticks to water tub for him to play with.
With the lights out, it made the water glow, and Logan loved it! He spent a far amount of time just pouring water and collecting stones. The glowing water made everything seem new again!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Painting on Tinfoil, Revisited

While the little guy was on the mend, he asked to paint on tinfoil. We accidentally discovered this activity, but had yet to actually try it again. When he looked at me with his pale little face and asked to do try it, I hustled my little much larger than little booty over to the pantry to whip out some sheets of tinfoil.

Alas, this project still seemed magical to my little guy.

He loves to mix colors when painting,but often when doing so on paper, the colors that are produced are usually a stunning shade of brown. On tinfoil, there is less brown-ness, and much more swirling gorgeous colors.

I wanted to press the paper down gently to hopefully get a print of this swirling goodness, so that is what I tried to do. As soon as I carefully placed the paper down, two little super fast hands rushed to mash and squish the paper down.

I think they still came out quite lovely, squished colors and all.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baking with the Boy: Chocolate Banana Marble Muffins

Bananas is one of those foods that we always buy in mass quantities. Some weeks they will disappear quickly, and other weeks there will be two or three left over. This particular week was one of those where we  left with a couple very ripe bananas. Rather than throw them out, I decided to make muffins out of them. I have tried a million and one different banana muffin recipes. I like to try new recipes when baking, and today was no exception. When I stumbled across the recipe for chocolate banana marble muffins, at The Hazel Bloom, I decided to give it a try. I rounded up my baking assistant, and we set to work. He,of course, did all the hard work. 

His favorite part was mixing. He was desperate to try a bite.

And even more so when we added the chocolate.

Here he is trying his best to be convincing. He may have sneaked a taste, but I can't be certain!

After I popped them into the oven,our final product emerged:

I've never mastered the art of a clean muffin tin, when baking, as you can plainly see, but these were quite yummy! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Play Center: Camping

My little buddy is slowly starting to feel better, and his fever has finally hit the road. He was desperate to go outside today, but the weather is outrageously hot for New England so we were unable to due to poor air quality and unhealthy heat. Since he was feeling so poorly, the whole week has been spent inside our house, except for when we went to doctor's appointments. So, Logan and I were both going a bit stir crazy, to say the least.

Luckily for us, my mom and dad had purchased Logan a two person tent yesterday. My dad set it up in the basement, and Logan spent most of the day playing inside of it.
Here he is pretending to sleep
He had a great time pretending to camp. He brought a bunch of his stuffed friends in, and he laid in his new Cars sleeping bag. Once he grew tired of that, it provided a new cozy place to curl up and read some books with Mom. One day we will set it up outside to play, but for now, we are enjoying it just where it is (and mom is not having to worry about any bugs)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cooling off: Smoothie Style

As I mentioned in my last post, Logan has been sick. He hasn't wanted to eat anything since Monday. He's mainly consisted of drinking milk (upon his request), a couple sips of water, and eating Popsicles. His fever has been pretty high, and I wanted to get some sort of substance into him. I asked him if he wanted a smoothie, and when he agreed, I set to work.

I added in some yogurt, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and a tiny bit of spinach. Once it was blended, I put it in a fun cup for him (thanks Denny's), and luckily he drank almost all of it.
Do you guys make smoothies? (We make them all the time). What's your favorite combo of add ins?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sick Days

My little guy has been under the weather for a couple of days. He hasn't wanted to do much. Our days have consisted of:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 1 & 2 (his favorites),

lots of drinks of water, 


and Mama snuggles. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Are you on Pinterest?

A few months ago, I joined Pinterest. I had been hearing buzz about it from many of my most favorite bloggers. So I decided to see what it was all about and request an invite. I waited for a couple of days, and finally was asked to join. Since then, I have developed a very strong love, (some might say obsession) with the website.

What is Pinterest, you might be wondering? The official Pinterest website describes it as, "a virtual pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests." 

If you would like to follow me, you can find me here

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Bucket List: Visit a new children's museum

On our way home from our Maine trip, we stopped for lunch in Dover, New Hampshire. Logan asked to go to a playground, but we couldn't locate one using our GPS. We found a children's museum instead. I'm so glad we did! This museum was huge! It had two floors and lots of opportunities for children to create, imagine, and play!

Logan love digging for fossils in the dinosaur exhibit.

And playing in the boat and fishing village center. 

Here were lots of things to look at and learn about.

He enjoyed it all, except for the submarine that he wouldn't even go in!

His favorite exhibits were the wooden shapes that played all kinds of  musical instruments and lit up lights;

a board that you pressed and created an imprint on the opposite side;

and finally, the little restaurant. He insisted that my husband and I be the customers. He loved looking at the menus, and I made a mental note to create some for our house. 

We got home much later than intended, and were all sleepy travelers by the end of the day. But we were so happy that we made this spontaneous stop! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Play Center: Animal Doctor

I have been wanting to start creating play centers for my little guy. I've had this particular idea in my mind for a while, but since I am usually a perfectionist, I procrastinated, because I wanted it to be perfect. Today, I wasn't worried about perfection. I set this center up in a matter of minutes. The heat had become unbearable today so we were stuck indoors. This first center was far from perfect. Logan didn't seem to notice. He adored it. He played contentedly with it for a long time.

Here is a picture of Logan with his patients in the waiting room.

He checked his patients' ears, 

their temperatures, 

and blood pressure. 

Like any good doctor, he wrote down his "doctor notes." And just like a doctor, he was the only one who could read his writing!

Soon enough, after a stay in the hospital, many of his patients were issued a clean bill of health. Scout thought it looked like fun, and wanted a turn. He quickly changed his mind on the fun part.

Once everyone was healthy, they were able to pick a prize out of the prize box. Finally, they all had a snack. I think that we will have to play this again soon! Have you ever set up a play center? Want to tell me about it? I'm looking for more ideas!

Monday, July 11, 2011

5 a Day Books: (Week 1 for me)

So I know I'm late to this rodeo, but it's not because I don't wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of the 5 A Day Books challenge. We actually have been doing something like this for a while, but consider me officially in.

Normally, I like to have a theme for the week when we go to the library. I pick out the books that I have written down and then Logan will select ones that he finds interesting. This week the five books we read every day are a mixture of his picks and mine.

The Mixed Up Chameleon, by Eric Carle

Who doesn't LOVE Eric Carle? The Mixed-Up Chameleon, by Eric Carle, is about a little chameleon who wants to be like everyone else. In the end, he realizes that it is best to be himself. Logan adores animals so he had a great time identifying each animal in the story. He thought it was quite silly when the chameleon was mixed up.
Meeow and the Big Box, by Sebastien Braun, was one of Logan's picks. Meeow reuses a big brown box and makes it into his favorite plaything! Logan adored this book. He instantly made a connection to this book about the time we made a mailbox (which is the most recent of our cardboard box adventures).

I remember singing this song as a little girl. Logan LOVED this book. It was probably his favorite of the week, and he was able to recite it pretty accurately by the end of the week. 
Farmer McPeepers and his Missing Milk Cows, by Katy S. Duffield, was also a favorite. Farmer McPeepers notices his cows are missing and he goes off to look for them without his glasses. He searches high and low for them but can't find them until they return home. Logan enjoyed pointing out the cows throughout the book that Farmer McPeepers was missing!

I thought that this book was going to be a little long for Logan, but he listened to the whole thing. A little boy goes out for the day with his mom, and everywhere they go, they get a dinosaur in addition to whatever else they are buying. The pictures are well done and Logan particularly liked when the boy was able to keep all the dinosaurs in the end! 

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites? 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stuff my kid says #11

How many of you are familiar with the Pajama Jeans commercial? Yes? No? Well if not, here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

This commercial happened to be on during a show Logan was watching. In the commercial, it says something about giving you a "smooth butt." He said nothing about it, so I didn't even think he was paying attention. A few days later we were at my mom's house (Logan's Nana). He goes over to my mom, who was cooking in the kitchen and says, "Nana, I like your smooth butt."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Outdoor Play (6/26/11- 7/2/11)

This summer we took off from all our regularly scheduled classes. I wanted to give Logan (and me) some time to just take the days as they come. We have still be remaining active and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.

True to my summer bucket list, we have been seeking out new playgrounds. Summer allows us to go visit school playgrounds to play. Sometimes some of the stuff isn't geared towards him, but it doesn't stop him from trying.

 My husband's parents have an above ground pool, but Logan has been slowly working up the nerve to try it out. He has in the past years, but he doesn't seem to remember. So for now, we stick to our inflatable pool. One of his most favorite things to do in the pool is play with ice cubes. I love this, especially when my ice machine somehow freezes the ice into one giant block!

And finally, it wouldn't be summer if we didn't have weeds popping up everywhere. After seeing me weed a million times, Logan has suddenly become very interested in helping! This is MUCH appreciated, of course!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I've been featured!

Productive Parenting

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a website called Productive Parenting. Imagine how flattered I was when they asked to feature me! I was so excited! They interviewed me about my view on being a mom. As you, my dear readers know, I love talking about that kind of stuff, so this was right up my alley! Please feel free to check out the feature interview! Also, while you are there, you might like to check out their website. When I learned about their site, I spend forever looking through it. They have a huge amount of activities that you can do with you little ones. You can even search by age for appropriate activities! I became a member (because it was free), and I love having another place to visit to get playful ideas! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just a bit of Words Wednesday

Face vs. Sidewalk

My poor baby
Popsicles helped a bit, but my oh my. There is nothing sadder than when your little one gets hurt. He's already forgotten about it and moved on...... Mama is a different story.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Color Sort Activity

I know how important it is to practice mastered skills occasionally. It is a way to make a child feel confident and keep those skills mastered. Logan has a strong grasp of almost all of his colors. He is able to identify them consistently and can recall most of them without any prompting. When I was looking through some of my supplies, I came across a color game that I had never used. Unfortunately, I don't know where I found this fantastic printable. If you have any idea, please let me know so I can link back to the site!

I made a bag for each color it was Logan's job to sort the cards into the correct color bag.

Of course, he had to go through the cards to pick out all the pink ones first!

He had so much fun, that my cat tried to join in on the fun.

Since introducing this game, Logan has taken it out a  number of times to play independently. However, I think while practicing mastered skills it is also a good time to perhaps practice some other activity. We have also used this as a listening activity. Logan will identify the color and then I will give him a direction. For example he may recognize the green butterfly. My direction would then be, "jump over to the green bag" or "pretend to fly over to the green bag."  Really the action is limited only by your imagination, and it also helps the child practice tuning into what other people are saying. 

Have you ever played this game or a variation of it? 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Daisy Science Experiment

Our daisies have finally bloomed! Completely a off topic, but my love of daisies started when I was in high school and saw Drew Barrymore wearing one in her hair. At the time I thought she was so wonderful for doing this. (Apparently, you can buy a framed picture of her doing precisely this). Back then I was easily impressed; not much has changed except for what impresses me. For a while after that, I was all ehhhhh.... about daisies, but once I bought my house, I received FREE ones, and my love for them has returned. My long winded totally unnecessary story about my relationship with daisies aside, I have been waiting to attempt this little science experiment all spring as they kept growing and growing.

Behold the daisies:

I cut a couple off and we took them inside. Logan filled up the cups, and picked out the colors. He asked for pink, but we were out of red food coloring, so these were second best. Then we waited overnight, and.....

when we woke in the morning, the daisies had started to change colors!

Notice that some of the leaves were mysteriously missing? One of my cats thought it would be a good idea to sample some daisies as a midnight snack.

The longer you leave them in the food coloring, the stronger and more vibrant that they will get. It usually takes a few days, but this is a quick little experiment that yields a big result!
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