Saturday, May 11, 2013

Inspired by Richard Scarry...

Happy Saturday! Just wanted to leave you with a silly picture I made of my son inspired by Richard Scarry's illustrations in I am a Bunny. This was one of my favorite books when I was a wee one, and fortunately my son loves it too! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pomegranate and Tangerine Play Dough

I don't remember where I saw the recipe for this, but I decided to make cornstarch and soap play dough.

What you'll need:

a bowl
soap (we used Dial brand Pomegranate & Tangerine 7.5 oz bottle)
a tray and toys of choice (this is how we choose to play)

After my son got tired of pumping the soap I took the top off so he could just pour it in the bowl.

We added about equal amount of cornstarch to soap. Maybe a little more cornstarch than soap as my son wanted to add the cornstarch himself.

At this point I took over mixing for my son. The mixture turned into a frosting like consistency, then my son added more cornstarch. It then turned into a dough. It was totally different than play dough. It felt silky like soft toffee without the stickiness. It smelled lovely.

We played for over an hour.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Exploring Seeds

Today we explored seeds...

Sunflower, Pumpkin, Avocado and various Beans

We used a lovely book by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long as reference...

A Seed Is Sleepy

We love this book, it is beautifully illustrated.

Things We Learned....

Seeds can be all different shapes and sizes.

Other Things We Experienced...

My son trying his first sunflower seed. (He loved it!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Books...The Other Medicine

I am home today... My son has been very sick. It started last Friday night. My son was at my Mom and Dad's house (she picks him up from school on Friday's so he can play with his cousins who are currently staying at my parents house). We had planned for a date night, and he was going to stay the night. My sister calls me about six o'clock in the evening and says I should probably come and get him because he had just woke up from a nap and was crying uncontrollably. She could not get him to calm down. So I grab my purse, jumped in the truck, and am there in about seven minutes.

On the way there I called my son's dad. He was on his way home from work. So instead of coming home, he headed to my parents house and beat me there by two minutes. He had calmed down once he saw his dad. My sister said he felt like he was running a fever and sure enough, I felt his forehead and he was burning up.

So we took him home. I checked his temperature once we got home, it was 101.5. Great, so home we stayed all weekend. I could never get his fever to break. At one point on Sunday, it was 103.5. So yesterday I called and made an appointment with the doctor. I went to work and his dad went on ahead and took him to see the doctor. Diagnosis....strep throat.

So I took today off so he can rest and I can administer his medicine. (His fever finally broke last night.)

Luckily I have a stack of new reads from the library on hand. Trust me, reading stories aloud is a great way to keep your sick child entertained. It's a great alternative to television, especially when resting is top priority! So we have been reading stories, and lots of them!

My son's most requested book has been Sally Sutton's Demolition. It's a book featuring machines and their role in building demolition, recycling materials and the building of a park. At the end of the story is a page listing facts about the machines that were featured in the story. My son now wants a mobile crusher. (Just thought you would like to know!) We have read it so much that my son can point to the machines throughout the book and give me a general synopsis of what each one does. Have you read this one?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Taking the Time for Fun and Messy Play

I know a mother who does not like for her son to get dirty. She doesn't like for her son to play outside because he might get dirty. She doesn't let her son paint at home because he might (or will) make a mess. She says that is what daycare is for.

I feel sad for her, though I respect her point of view. I just don't feel the same way she does.

I can't imagine not painting with my son, or playing in a big tub of shaving cream. I can't imagine not watching my son splash in the water and play in the mud. I'm the mom who has four boxes of cornstarch and two boxes of food coloring in her pantry waiting for the next play inspiration.

I did hours and hours of "research" when I found out I was expecting. After reading many wonderful articles and many wonderful blogs, there were two things that really stood out for me. One was reading aloud to my son and the other was the importance of play.

Life does get in the way. I work full time and sometimes I don't feel like coming home and making a mess.

Though I must remember that my son will be little for only a short time. These are the most important years. The years he may not remember, but I will.

I want to remember his little fingers swirling around in vibrant colors of paint.

I want to remember the delight on his face when he shows me his finished masterpiece.

I want to remember the squeals of laughter when jumping through puddles.

I want to remember cleaning tiny but dirty hand prints off the white walls in our living room.

I will never forget because I promise to provide my son with fun and messy play whenever possible.....

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snowman in May....

Hello! I know that it's been awhile... Loads and loads of stress from work, personnel changes and such (still doing three jobs)... All I feel like doing when I get home is relaxing with my family. I'm also behind on my blog reading and commenting. So everyone that has stopped by to read and comment on my ramblings....I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I promise I will catch up.

My little guy is sick again... Which means we have spent this whole weekend inside. We relaxed on the couch all day yesterday. I think we watched more television yesterday than we had the whole month of April. At about 7:30 last night I hear a little voice ask, "Mama, I want to make a snowman."

My first reaction is to say no. It's May, it's ninety degrees outside... It's Arizona... Winter is over.... Who makes a snowman in May? I can think of a million excuses...Then I thought about it... My poor little guy was running a high fever all day, and he actually felt like doing something. He was really excited about this. So, I said okay.

"Mama, I want to make my snowman with buttons." So after cutting the body and finding the perfect paper for the background I pull the jar full of buttons out of the cabinet. This delights my son immensely, he loves my collection of buttons. I pour some in a glass bowl then hunt down the pipe cleaners for the arms.

"Mama, I want a blue hat and blue eyes." So, I cut a hat out of blue construction paper, and he picks his blue eyes from our collection of googly eyes. Now we are ready to assemble the snowman.

This is his project and his idea, not mine. He takes the bottom of the snowman, tips the glue to get it flowing.... after the glue starts to pool I say, "I think that is enough glue."

"No Mama, I need lots of glue." After that statement, I bit my lip and didn't say anything else. I just let him create. I helped him with the snowman's body placement, only because he asked. Otherwise, he did everything else. He even methodically put a dot of glue for each button placement down the snowman's body.

He was so proud of the finished product. He couldn't wait to show his dad who was at the grocery store when all this art making commenced. I'd like to think that it was more than an art project, it was an idea we made happen. It was a process, his process, and it was amazing to watch his idea transform into something concrete.

I love that childhood is magic, where a snowman can be made in May in Arizona in ninety degree weather. It was perfect.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day! Unfortunately we have no lovely paintings of the earth to show you, or us running barefoot in the grass.... My son came home from school with a stomach bug so we spent our evening watching Reading Rainbow re-runs camped out on the couch. I hope you had a wonderful day enjoying our beautiful earth (not camped out on the couch with a sick child). Have a great day!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charlotte Zolotow's In My Garden

 Since tomorrow is Earth Day, I wanted to share a book about nature. To me nature is the earth. Last night we had a picnic at a local park, then we did some star gazing. It was a beautiful spring night in the desert. I am trying to learn how to take pictures of the night sky with my camera, unfortunately, I need a whole lot more practice so no pictures here. Anyway, on to the book....


In My Garden by Charlotte Zolotow is a beautiful book that is illustrated by one of my favorites, Roger Duvoisin. The story is about a little girl and what she loves best during each season in the garden.

"In the spring what I love best in my garden are the birds building nests. Of course there are other things I love in my garden-red tulips like a patch of fire under the pear tree, violets and hyacinths and daffodils."

The story is simplicity, and the illustrations are divine. This book reminds me of a time when all children played outside. They experience seasons in the out of doors, the picking of wildflowers, the discovery of worms and bugs, the collecting of rock, and the climbing of trees.

So for Earth Day, lets take our children outside, plant a tree, plant a garden, find worms or bugs, or hunt for rocks or shells. Or just take your shoes off and run barefoot in the grass with your child. Experience nature, and hopefully our children will have an appreciation of our earth and take better care of it than we have.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Finally Read Knuffle Bunny

Confession....we just read Mo Willems Knuffle Bunny for the first time last week. I know... We have quite a large collection of vintage books and I seem to forget that there are a ton of wonderful new books waiting for our discovery.

My son is absolutely crazy for this book. He has asked for it to be read to him about a dozen times now. In case you haven't read it yet, it is about a little girl named Trixie who runs an errand with her father. During that errand something tragic happens to Trixie, she loses her Knuffle Bunny. Poor Trixie, she tries very hard to convey to her father that she has lost her Knuffle Bunny. In a way that only babies know how, but to her dismay, her father doesn't understand her. Fortunately upon reaching home, Mom notices that Knuffle Bunny is missing, so ensues a mad rush to go and find her. It is a wonderful story, and I love that real pictures are used for a backdrop against the characters. I can't believe that it has taken us so long to read it.

When I was a little girl I had a pink and white crocheted cat named Boo Boo Kitty. I got her in my Easter basket when I was about six. Her and I were inseparable for years. I still have her.

My son is not attached to any particular stuffed animal or blanket. I constantly carried him in my Moby Wrap when he was a baby and he mostly sleeps with us, so I think this is the reason why he has not formed any of those kind of attachments. He has been very attached to me, though as time goes by, he is showing more and more independence.

My sister and mother both warned me about carrying him all the time, but for us anyway, I think giving him the love and attention he needed as a baby has helped him to become the independent three year old he is today. He still loves to snuggle and cuddle, but now it seems that it is I who needs the cuddling, not him. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nature Walk at Goldwater Lake

On Saturday we took an hour and a half drive north to the town of Prescott located in northern Arizona. Earlier that morning we packed up our red cooler with delicious drinks and food for a picnic lunch in the mountains. We left at about ten thirty in the morning and arrived at about noon. We visited some good friends of ours for about an hour then headed our car up Senator Highway. We decided to stop and eat at Goldwater Lake. The winds had picked up as the afternoon progressed, so after a quick lunch of sandwiches and corn chips with bean dip, we headed for a hike around the lake.

It was a beautiful day. I dipped my toes in the lake, and of course it was freezing. Some of the trees were starting to bud, and others were still bare. My son loved throwing rocks into the lake. We only hiked about halfway around the lake as my son was getting tired.

We used to hike a lot before our son was born and now that he is getting older we want to start taking him out more. I love to find books about nature to read aloud to my son and Steve Metzger's We're Going On A Nature Hunt is one of my son's favorites. It is a book about three children going on a nature hunt. Along the way they find flowers, a frog on a lily pad, worms and a few other things that will delight your child. Have you read any good nature books lately?