Chasing Cheerios

Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade Silly Putty

O LOVES playing with putty, so we decided to make some of our own. It was super easy and fast to make.

To make the putty you just need 3 ingredients...white school glue, food coloring, and liquid starch. (Thanks, EB, for buying the ingredients for us!!!)

1st we mixed a 1/2 cup of white glue with a 1/2 cup of liquid starch. (We originally mixed in just 1/4 cup of starch, but added more later to make it more firm and less gooey.)

Then O added in green food coloring and stirred it with a spoon. We let it sit out to dry for several hours.

Then it was time to play! This putty is MUCH more slimy and messy than the therapy putty that O typically plays with. I'm keeping it on the kitchen counter, so that she only has it when she is closely supervised. I spread out a washed, unfolded cereal bag for a play surface so the putty would not stick to the grout and tiles on our kitchen countertops.

O LOVES this putty, and even though it is potentially very messy, I'm sure we'll be making more soon!

Sewing Bear

O and I had fun with her sewing bear this week. She has not been very interested in lacing/sewing activities lately, but this kept her attention for a little while :) The bear comes with lots of different outfits, shoes, and accessories. After you choose what she will wear, you then sew the clothes onto her. I found this at a 2nd hand store, and I hope it will continue to spark O's interest in sewing/lacing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hoping and Praying...

that today is baby day! Little Kicker is due today, and it's Elliott's birthday, so we're hoping today is the day. We had a false alarm last night and spent many hours at the hospital. It was reassuring to hear Little Kicker's heartbeat, and it was nice to have a dry run, so O knows what to expect. O was perfect and cuddled with me on the bed and watched Noggin until we finally left at midnight. So, I'm off to walk, maybe go out for a bumpy boat ride, and bounce on the birthing ball :)

UPDATE...Thanks for all the baby dust and labor vibes. Unfortunately, today wasn't today. Maybe tomorrow :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cutting is Fun!

O LOVES to cut!!! She especially loves to cut magazines, and she is obsessed with babies. This catalog with Halloween costumes for babies was perfect for her! I have a drawer for magazines under her art shelf, so that she always has magazines available for cutting :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

O's Dress-Up Area

O loves to play dress-up, but she was losing interest in it until we set up a dress-up area for her. I took her dresses out of her dress-up suitcase and hung them on accordian style hanger on the wall. We also hung a full length mirror on the bathroom door next to the dresses. She LOVES to sing and dance in front of the mirror!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

O's Playdough Shelf

O had started to lose interest in playdough recently, so I revamped her playdough shelf (it's right next to her art shelf). All of the playdough tools and accessories are in the glass jar. The playdough is stored in magnetic glass containers (from IKEA) that hang on a magnetic strip (also from IKEA). She plays with playdough almost everyday, and she plays with putty multiple times per day.

Edit to add:  Homemade playdough does not store well in these containers.  There is some type of chemical reaction that occurs eating a hole in the metal of the container. 

Sifting Sand Activity

O had a great time learning to sift objects out of sand! To make this activity, I put play sand in a wooden box (the box that her Melissa and Doug Unit Blocks came in). We put shells in the sand and covered them. Then I showed O how to dig around with the sifter to find the shells, shake the sifter to remove all of the sand, and put the shells in the glass bowl next to the box. The sifter has 2 points on one end which made scooping the sand a little difficult. I think we may try a slotted spoon next time.

After she finished the activity, she REALLY enjoyed playing in the sand with funnels, scoops, and measuring cups. She was having so much fun that I couldn't convince her to go down to the beach with me to play!

Then, she and Elliott had a great time pretending that the sandbox was a desert habitat while playing with her small desert animals.

Elliott is REALLY good at pretend play with O (better than me!), and she especially loves it when he plays "baby dolls" with her!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lesson Learned...

Don't let your kiddo "decorate" the box from IKEA until after you open it to make sure you bought the right thing! O had a fantastic time coloring the box and then pretending like it was a stage for dancing. Then, Elliott opened the box to put together the shelf and discovered that my sister had bought the wrong thing for us...I wonder if IKEA will take it back since it is so beautifully decorated. I also wonder when in the world we are going to find the time to go ALL the way to IKEA...maybe Christmas :(

Vacation Books

I've accomplished a lot of tasks while waiting for Little Kicker to arrive (I REALLY thought she'd be here by now). I finally finished these 5 vacation books for O that I started almost a year ago. I'm glad to finally cross this off my list! To make the books I used 8 x 8 cardstock and glued a picture to each page. I wrote captions on the computer, printed them, and glued them to the pages. Then I laminated each sheet, cut the extra lamination off, and bound the books together. This was really easy to do, and I don't know why I've let it sit around for so long.

Daily Calendar Activity

O and I have started doing a daily calendar activity each morning. I bought the calendar set from Michael's (I had a 50% off coupon, so it only cost 7 dollars). Since I don't have anywhere to hang the calendar, I put everything on foam core board. I keep it behind the shelf when we are not using it. I laminated the small pieces, and put velcro on the backs of everything that we will change each day. I am really excited about adding calendar time to our routine each day!

Since I have a little extra room on one side of the board, I want to add a "Today I feel..." component. Hopefully, I'll get to it eventually :) I'm excited that the calendar also has a weather component. O enjoys going to look out the window to check the weather before she decides which pictures to choose.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Turning Workbooks into Reusable Workbooks

O LOVES her wipe-off workbooks! I saw a laminated maze book months ago on a blog and planned to make one for O. I never got around to doing it, and then I saw the idea to use plastic page protectors to turn workbooks into wipe-off workbooks on Muses of Megret.

What a great idea and SO much faster, easier, and cheaper than printing and laminating each page! I found several fun workbooks, including a book of mazes for around 3 dollars each (at Walmart). I put each page into a page protector and put them into a binder. I added in a zipper pouch with washable wipe-off markers and a small felt eraser, and O was ready to work! This saves so much money and paper since O likes to do the same pages over and over again. Also, Little Kicker will be able to use the same books in a few years!

Shannon at Teaching My Little Bookworm also recently posted about turning workbooks into reusable workbooks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fun with Goop!

O and I had fun making goop last weekend! She loves anything messy, and I thought ahead and made the goop down by the lake which made clean-up VERY easy :) To make goop we mixed cornstarch and water. It works better to use equal parts water and cornstarch, but O insisted on adding much too much water. That was still worked, and we had fun. We also added in food coloring. We started with yellow and blue to make green. Then she added in red and green and ended up with brown. Eventually, she took the goop down to the beach and experimented with adding sand to the mixture. We were both excited when Elliott joined in on our fun with goop!

On-the-Go Clothesline

After seeing this clothesline set on Etsy, I knew it was something I wanted to make for O (she needs to practice hanging her baby doll clothes since I'm expecting her to help me hang Little Kicker's diapers once she arrives :).

To make this set, I cut a piece of yarn and tied a wooden bead to each end. Done! I gave it to O with 9 (all that I could find) clothes pins and a bag for storage. I wouldn't recommend using yarn since it's already broken. Also, she is closely supervised when playing with this since the clothesline is a potential strangulation hazard.

O was thrilled to tie the clothesline between her chairs and hang her baby doll clothes on it. She has been playing "baby dolls" contantly these last few weeks, so this was perfect for her :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

we found out we were expecting our 2nd child. We were excited, but also feeling a little disbelief. Everything was going according to our plan, and we were so happy. Elliott even said that things were working out so perfectly that it scared him. He was afraid something bad would happen. Sadly, he was right. We will forever miss our lost baby. Even as we excitedly prepare for Little Kicker's arrival, the baby we lost will always be in our hearts and minds.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Embroidered Dolls

My mom and I have accomplished many projects while waiting for Little Kicker to arrive. I was so happy that she made the dolls that I embroidered months ago into doll pillows for the girls. Thanks, Mom! The patterns for all 3 dolls came from Wee Wonderfuls. The patterns were much smaller than I imagined, but that was fine...I just enlarged them and traced over the enlargements with an iron-on transfer pencil, and we were good to go :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers...

never ceases to amaze me! Mrs. Cuddles emailed me a few weeks ago and said that she would like to gift me with cloth diapers and covers. These diapers and covers arrived a few days ago. Several are new, and ALL of them are adorable! I am stunned and inspired by her generosity and giving spirit. Thank you, Mrs. Cuddles!!!

Transferring Ice Cubes in Water

O REALLY enjoyed this transferring activity! I gave her a slotted spoon to transfer the plastic star ice cubes from the bowl of water to an empty bowl. She transferred the clear stars first, then the blue stars, and then the pink stars. She was very focused and worked carefully. I'm sure we'll do this activity again soon!

The star ice cubes came from the dollar section at Target.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rain Gutter Bookshelves

We recently made rain gutter bookshelves for O's room and Little Kicker's room. O enjoyed helping! I first saw the rain gutter bookshelves in Family Fun magazine years and years ago, and then saw them again on Ohdeedoh. I decided these would be the perfect shelves for Little Kicker's room.

The shelves were easy to make and look great. I love that the books are facing outward, and the shelf takes up very little room which is important since the closet door opens to this wall.

To make the shelves, we bought vinyl rain gutters from Lowes. They are sold in 10 foot sections, and Lowes said they would NOT cut them for us. They wouldn't fit in our car unless they were cut, so my mom, O, and I walked around the store until we found someone who looked nice. I asked very nicely if they could PLEASE cut the gutters so they would fit in our car, and the guy made an exception. Phew! In addition to the rain gutters, we bought right and left caps for each end and 2 brackets for each shelf. Elliott and his dad cut the rain gutters into 2 and a half foot lengths. They put the brackets and end caps onto the gutters and used sheetrock screws to attach the brackets to the wall. Then they were done! Fast and easy! We had two 5 feet sections leftover, so we put one of each on O and Little Kicker's walls.

When I asked O if she wanted a shelf on her wall, she said "" She changed her mind after she saw how good it looked :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3 Years Old...Interview

I decided it would be a good idea to interview O about every 6 months. I think it will be fun to see how her answers change as she grows. I used a lot of the sentence starters from the Mother's Day Interview, and then I just asked her questions as I came up with them. If you can think of anymore questions, I'd love to ask her more. This was really fun, and she enjoyed it too :)

I feel happy when...we love you.

I feel sad mother doesn't play with me. (I play with her ALL the time!)

I like

My daddy is... sweet.

My mama is... sweet.

I love books.

My favorite color

I like to eat...prunes.

I like to

My favorite toy is...choca-loca (an imaginary toy).

It makes me happy hug me.

It makes me sad don't hug me.

I feel frustrated mother doesn't play with me.

I really like it play with me.

The best thing I do is...flip.

I'm excited about...when I go to dance school.

I love me love me.

I like to the boat.

I don't like to...not rock.

What are your favorite things to do? read, dance, build, fix boats, make shoes (she says she makes shoes for her baby dolls)

What was the best thing about your birthday party? sliding

What's your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

What's your favorite school activity? making calendar

What's your favorite art activity? making paper boats

What's the best part about being 3 years old? painting, coloring, God made us

Do you love taking naps? kinda yes

What are you going to name your sister? Pop

How do you think she'll feel about that? not very good

What are you going to do with your sister when she gets here? make sure she's fun, make sure she has fun with her paci

Visual Stimulation/Texture Wall

The idea for this visual stimulation/texture wall for Little Kicker's room has been bouncing around in my head for a while, and I'm glad to finally have it finished and on the wall.
To make the wall, I put fabrics of various prints and textures in embroidery hoops. We covered a stretched canvas with a white sheet and stapled it to the back of the canvas. We attached the embroidery hoops with embroidery thread. I wanted the hoops to be easily removable so that I can take the hoops down for Little Kicker to see and feel. I also plan to change the fabric fairly often.