Chasing Cheerios

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Halloween Silly Putty

O and I made orange silly putty in honor of Halloween! O LOVES silly putty, so she was thrilled with this activity. We made silly putty last month, too. This might be a monthly activity!

I left this putty out for a couple of days, and it doesn't seem as sticky as our last batch.

I'm so excited about Halloween this year, and we're looking forward to doing a specialy Halloween or Fall activity every other day or so :)

Chasing Cheerios Sponsor...Noah and Lilah

Chasing Cheerios has it's first sponsor...Noah and Lilah! Here are a few words from Sherri about her shop:

Noah and Lilah is a shop featuring boutique-quality items for kids and even mom! In my shop you'll find beautiful prints and classic styles. I try to choose fabrics that are beautiful, fun and whimsical, and create items that are great-looking while also functional and rugged (as they should be for active kids!)

I'd like to offer to do a discount of 20% for your readers for the entire month of October. Enter "Chasing Cheerios" at checkout and I'll refund the difference via paypal.

Check the sidebar on the right side for the link to the Noah and Lilah shop. See the Noah and Lilah blog for sales updates, giveaways, and more!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Easy Yarn Apples

O and I made yarn apples on Monday. It was fun, quick, and easy! The idea came from here, and the directions are here.

Here are our finished apples!

We are planning to use this same method to make pumpkins next week!

Where to Find Inspiration Interview

I was interviewd for a Where to Find Inspiration article about a month ago. Here it is if you are interested. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to other Where to Find Inspiration interviews. One of my favorite bloggy mamas is on there...Mom and Kiddo!

Sorting Money

O has been learning to sort and identify the different coins lately. She loves to play with the coins and really enjoys this activity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cricket Magazine for Children

Cricket Magazine is on sale. The magazines are usually 33.95 for a one year subscription, but if you use the code N401 they are 24.95. I've wanted to subscribe to this magazine for O, but was unwilling to pay 33.95 for it (that just seems quite high for 9 issues). However, I am willing to pay 24.95, and O will be getting Ladybug magazine. I know she'll be thrilled!

Fall Nature Collage

O and her grandaddy had a great time taking a nature walk to gather items for making this beautiful nature collage! To make the collage, O and I taped a piece of contact paper (sticky side out) to our glass door. Then she and her grandaddy arranged the items on the paper. They had to use extra tape for some of the heavier pieces.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Homemade Window Paint

O and I recently made window paint, and she has had a great time with it! To make the window paint, I put baby wash into 3 containers (ketchup containers from WM). We then put a couple of tablespoons of powdered tempera paint in each container and shook. Easy enough!

The paint was somewhat translucent, but O didn't mind at all! She had a fantastic time. After she was finished, I just sprayed the window and O with the water hose, and we were good to go :)

I think this will make a fun handmade gift! (I wish I'd bought more of these baskets!) We're also planning to try the paint in the bathtub. I'll let you know how it goes :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I didn't realize...

how easy having 1 child was until I had 2! I am exhausted most of the time since I spend much of the night awake with Ema. Luckily, my mom has been helping us tremendously (I don't know how we would have survived without her!). She gets up in the mornings with O, since the morning is really the only time that I sleep.

You may have noticed that I have been spending very little time on this blog. Many of the recent posts were written before Ema was born, and I know there are many questions in emails and in the comments section that I have not answered. I feel really bad about leaving questions unanswered, so it would really help me if you would ask any questions in the comments section of this post. That way they'll all be in the same place, and I'll be more likely to answer them :) Thanks for your understanding!

The No Cry Sleep Solution

I recently received an email from Elizabeth Pantley, author of the No Cry Sleep Solution, asking me to link to her new website by providing a quote from one of her books (and she would also link to my site). As I perused her website, I realized that her timing couldn't have been more perfect as O had been gradually getting more and more off schedule with her naptimes and bedtimes. She was typically not going to bed until 11pm or later, and our nighttime routine was taking more than an hour. I found these 8 tips from the No Cry Sleep for Toddlers and Preschoolers to be very helpful:

Eight Sleep Tips For Every Child

The following sleep ideas are of value to almost any sleeper, regardless of age. These tips can bring improvement not only in your child’s sleep, but also in her daytime mood and, last, but certainly not least – improvements in your own sleep and outlook as well.

1. Maintain a consistent bedtime and awaking time seven days a week.

Your child’s biological clock has a strong influence on her wakefulness and sleepiness. When you establish a set time for bedtime and wake up time you “wind” your child’s clock so that it functions smoothly.
Aim for an early bedtime. Toddlers and preschoolers respond best with a bedtime between 6:30 and 7:30 P.M, and most children will actually sleep better and longer when they go to bed early.

2. Encourage regular daily naps.

Daily naps are important since an energetic child can find it difficult to go through a long day without a rest break. A nap-less child will often wake up cheerful and become progressively moodier, fussier or hyper-alert as the day goes on, and as he runs out of steam. Moreover, the length and quality of naps affects nighttime sleep – good naps equal better night sleep.

3. Set your child’s biological clock.

Take advantage of your child’s natural biology so that he’s actually tired when bedtime arrives. Darkness causes an increase in the release of melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone, and it is the biological “stop” button. You can help align your child’s sleepiness with his bedtime by dimming the lights in your home during the hour before bedtime. Exposing your child to morning light is like pushing a “go” button in her brain — one that says, “Time to wake up and be active.” So keep your mornings bright!

4. Develop a consistent bedtime routine.

Routines create feelings of security. A consistent, peaceful bedtime routine allows your active child to transition from the motion of the day to the tranquil state required to fall asleep. A specific before-bed routine naturally and easily ends with sleep.
An organized routine helps you coordinate the specifics that must occur before bed: bath, pajamas, tooth-brushing. It helps you to function on auto-pilot at the time of day when you are most tired and least creative.

5. Create a cozy sleep environment.

You may have never given much thought to where your child sleeps, but it can be one of the keys to better sleep. Make certain the mattress is comfortable, the blankets are warm enough, the room temperature is right, pajamas are comfy and the bedroom is welcoming.

6. Provide the right nutrition to improve sleep.

Foods can affect energy level and sleepiness. Carbohydrate-rich foods can have a calming effect on the body, while foods high in protein or sugar generate alertness, particularly when eaten alone. A few ideas for pre-bedtime snacks are: whole wheat toast and cheese, bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal with bananas, or yogurt and low-sugar granola.

Vitamin deficiencies that are due to consistently unhealthy food choices can affect a child’s overall health, including her sleep. Make your best effort to provide your child with a daily assortment of healthy foods.

7. Help your child to be healthy and fit.

Many children don’t get enough daily physical activity. Too much TV watching, coupled with a lack of activity amounts to a sedentary lifestyle – which prevents good sleep. Children who get ample daily physical exercise fall asleep more quickly, sleep better, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Avoid physical activity in the hour before bedtime, though, since exercise is stimulating and has an alerting effect – so they’ll be jumping on the bed instead of sleeping in it!

8. Teach your child how to relax and fall asleep.

Many children get in bed but aren’t sure what to do when they get there! It can be helpful to follow a soothing pre-bed routine that helps create feelings of sleepiness. A common component of the bedtime ritual is story time, and for good reason. A child who is listening to a parent read, or tell a tale, will tend to lie still and focus on the story. This quiet stillness will allow him to become sleepy.

Commit to working with these eight ideas and you’ll likely see improvements in your child’s sleep, and yours too.

While we already did many of these things, there are definitely areas that we need to work on. Her website is full of great ideas, and I'm excited to see that she has downloadable newsletters for parents. This is a great resource that I can use with parents that I work with as well as at home!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An Easy, Healthy, & Fast Breakfast

O and my mom made these fun egg and toasts breakfast combinations a few days ago. O chose the cookie cutters, they cut the shape out of the bread, buttered the bread, put it in the pan, cracked the egg into the toast, and fried the egg. Delicious, healthy, fast, and fun!

We all enjoyed this easy breakfast. I think it will be fun to use different seasonal cookie cutters with each season and holiday :) The idea for this breakfast came from Parents magazine.

Lion Puppet Craft Kit

E is starting to have a few more breaks between nursing, so O and I have had a chance to do a few activities together. On Wednesday we made a lion puppet using a Martha Stewart craft kit. O was SUPER excited about making this puppet :) This was a quick, fun, and easy craft.


Matching States

O has been into geography lately. In this picture she is matching states on her pillow globe to the states on her placemat. She and my mom pretended like they were going on different trips (with one of her small cars), and they talked about each state they would travel through to get to certain destinations.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Build an A

Guh-guh and Grandpa gave O this book for her birthday, and it is quite a hit. O enjoyed making all of the letters, and she especially liked making an O. She thought it was interesting that you only had to remove one piece to turn an E into an F. I wish the book came with lowercase letters, too. I'm planning on making a set using foam core board eventually....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Packing Our Box

My friend Rebecca, who lives in Guatamala, has asked all of her friends to send boxes of things for her to donate to children in need in Guatamala. O, Guh-guh, and I had fun shopping for the children. I told O ahead of time that we were only buying for the children in Guatamala and not for ourselves. I got a little sidetracked by a pair of cute hippo shoes that were super cheap and started looking for O's size. She reminded me "Mama! We're not buying for ourselves!" Oops! Good thing I had her to keep me straight! Guh-guh, O, and I bought lots of goodies for the box, but there is still a little room. We're going to try to fill in all the spaces tomorrow and hopefully ship it tomorrow afternoon :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playscenes at the Let's Explore Shop

O LOVES this playscene! We've left it out on our coffee table, and she spends a lot of time playing and pretending with it. I love to listen to her talk in different voices for the different people in the scene. This is a great toy for open ended, imaginative, pretend play. I also love the fact that the it folds up nicely and takes up very little space :) It will be a great toy to take on road trips and for times when we have to wait (at the dr, etc.). The playscene measures 9 x 12" when it it closed, and it comes with more than 50 reusable stickers (The stickers are similar to the colorforms that I had when I was a child).

Amy has several great playscenes at the Let's Explore Shop. I LOVE the Garden Fairies playscene, and I bought it months ago to give O for Christmas. I also bought the Fairytale Theater Playscene months ago...I think I'm going to save it for her Easter basket :)

Creative Play with Marbles

Guh-guh recently bought a bag of marbles at a thrift store (665 marbles for 4 dollars!) and they have been quite a hit! Guh-guh had everyone in the family guess how many marbles there were before she counted them...we were all way off :) The girls (O and my niece) have had so much fun sorting the marbles, having marble parties, playing with shells along with the marbles, having a marble shop and selling marbles, and making signs telling the cats not to eat the marbles (I didn't tell them that cats can't read!). What fun!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Catching Critters

O was very excited to catch a large grasshopper when we were at G & G's house last week. Luckily, my mom saved my sister's critter box, and it was the perfect temporary home while O observed the grasshopper. She also planned to catch a few rolie polies for the critter box, but she couldn't find any. She was satisfied with filling the box with leaves :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Handprint & Footprint Artwork

O and I painted canvases to make art using her and Ema's handprints and footprints. 1st we painted the canvases.

O pressed her hands onto her canvas to make handprints. Then we pressed Ema's feet onto her canvas to make footprints. I thought that Ema would be a little upset about this especially since we were interrupting her nap, but she didn't seem to mind at all :) Maybe she's already getting used to having painted feet!

Here are our finished canvases. Ema's footprints and handprints are very hard to see, so we may make another one using a darker background color. I'm sure we can find a grandparent to give this canvas a good home :)