Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mini eruptions

Coming up with simple projects can be hard. There are tons of bloggers out there with great ideas, but they often use things I don't have on hand. One day, when I couldn't figure out anything else to do, we decided to pour some baking soda on a baking sheet, dye some vinegar and then use a medicine dispenser to shoot the vinegar onto the baking soda and watch the reaction.

Joshua loved it. He did it until all the baking soda was wet with vinegar and there were no more eruptions to be had.

Sometimes it's the simplest things that are the most fun.

Mermaids and Pirates

Back in August, our friend Lucia had a mermaids and pirates birthday party. We took that as an opportunity to do an art project. Inspired by Red Ted Art (, we made these:

We painted the clothespins, cut fins and hats from foam, drew on faces, and used yarn for hair.

We affixed some to Lucia's gift and Joshua kept some for himself. He has played with them multiple times since. They came out super cute, IMHO.

To be a better mom

Since we moved to San Jose (more about that in a different post) I've been full time stay at home mom to both boys. Recently, I've found myself getting more upset at smaller things. I've found myself needing mom timeouts.
I love my boys to death, but 24/7 is a lot to take. Joshua has been whiny since turning 4, but even more so since we moved. Evan is mostly happy, but he's still a baby so he has his moments. (I think we all have our moments, actually.)
Anyway, we have found Joshua a preschool where he'll attend two days a week. I'll still have Evan all day every day, but at least he naps so it'll be quiet and I can get some things done around here for a couple hour each day.
Sometimes I feel like a failure for needing a break from my kids. But then I realize I'm human. Being a parent is hard. I'm better at it when I have a bit of time for me, a bit of recuperative time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Birthday party

Joshua had a spooktacular birthday! He was so excited for his Halloween party, it was unbelievable. When I picked him up from school the week before the party, the teachers all told me that he was talking about it. I ran into one of his schoolmate's mom at the grocery store and she told me that Amelia woke up in the morning saying she had dreamed about the party.

The week before the party, we went to the dollar store to look for decorations and to our great surprise, they had a bunch of Halloween stuff out already. So I bought about $40 worth! We put cobwebs all over our bushes and fences, strung ghosts across the patio and taped up Halloween cut outs. We got some awesome table centerpieces and strung some coordinating crepe paper. We supplemented with some homemade egg carton spiders and glued our coffee filter pumpkins and ghosts to our sliding glass door. The place looked festive.

The morning of the party, the jump house was delivered, we set up the tables, put out the food, set up the two different art tables, and sent Brian to pick up the cake and pizzas. And then we waited for the guests to arrive.

We ended up with about a dozen kids and 25 adults.
The food, besides pizza, were fruit skewers in Halloween colors; snack mix consisting of homemade caramel corn, mini oreos, candy corn, and goldfish; homemade marshmallow pumpkins; veggie stick chips; and jello worms.


I think everyone had a good time. When picking up Joshua from school the following week, several parents said that their children were still talking about it.

Having gone overboard this year, I think next year we'll do a small, simple family party. There's no way to live up to this party every year!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

shaving cream art

I had seen all kinds of blog posts about how amazing shaving cream is. Here's just one example (though it does have a ton of ideas!). Joshua had even done some art with it at his school. I decided we should try it at home.

I read that adding glue to the shaving cream makes for a better consistency and it doesn't crack as much when it dries.  So we added some glue. I used neon food coloring and a muffin tin for mixing. We started thinking we would fingerpaint but that was super messy so we decided to use brushes. Joshua really enjoyed it and painted a whole bunch of pictures. (The horse and the flowers in the photos are my beautiful creations.)


The next few posts will be old news; if you're my facebook friend, you've already seen the photos, but I thought I might as well document here too.

We made gak.

Gak is liquid starch and school glue.

The CVS near me didn't have liquid starch; all they had was spray starch, which I guess is liquid if you spray enough of it. We made due with the spray.  It might have turned out better with the real liquid stuff. I hate my CVS.

Anyway, we put some glue in a container and then sprayed it with some starch and stirred. Joshua decided he wanted it to be red, but we got pink instead.  Red never comes out as red. We continued to spray the glue and stir it up till it all stuck together at which point Joshua began his play.

It was actually pretty cool, though it didn't stick together the way I've seen some gaks. Maybe that's the difference between spray and liquid, who knows.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

4th of July

So, this post is waaaaay overdue. But I thought, better late than never,  I guess.

So, for the 4th of July, we did some painting including making a flag of large craft sticks and cookie cutter star stamping.

We had friends over and did some safe and sane fireworks in the backyard, even though it was still light out.

And that's about it. A successful holiday!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A visit from Rebbie

Rebbie (my mom) came to visit on Monday, July 2. She got here in time for us to go to the grocery store for dinner items and then pick up Joshua from school. On Tuesday, we went to the park and later Rebbie and Joshua did an art project for the 4th of July.  Rebbie left Wednesday mid-morning.

It was a pretty low key visit, but I was glad to have her here because Brian was working 16+ hour days last week.

goop and gak

We recently tried out a couple of messy goos.

The first is goop or oobleck.  It's cornstarch and water in equal parts. It's super messy.

Then we tried gak. It's equal parts glue and starch. It's not quite as messy.

I'm thinking about making a slime for Joshua's birthday party.  I'm kind of leaning toward gak just because of the mess factor. Though, either one will require a drop cloth of some kind, so who knows. Any opinions for a group of 3 and 4 year olds?

6 months

Evan had his half birthday on June 30th. He had his 6-month well-baby check up on July 5th.  he weighed 17 lbs, 9 oz and was 26.5 inches long. (To compare, Joshua was 19 lbs, 6 oz and 27 inches long.)

My Evan, who has a full head of hair but no teeth, who likes to stand but hates tummy time, who is so vocal we have a hard time getting a word in, who stares intently at food but who, so far, has not really taken to any of the foods he's tried (which now include rice cereal, sweet potatoes, green beans, and apples).

It's just amazing how quickly things change.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Joshua and I made an eruption (sans volcano) out of baking soda and vinegar.  He was super excited about it!

I had never done this before so I think my proportions were off, but it was still cool.

What we did:
Emptied out a 20 ounce gatorade bottle. Filled it most of the way with hot water. Put in several teaspoons of baking soda. Poured in some vinegar and then watched it erupt.

Then we added more baking soda and more vinegar. And more baking soda and more vinegar. And more baking soda and more vinegar.

I bought two more boxes of baking soda the last time I went to the grocery store so we can do it again. And again. And again.

big helper

Since Evan refused the past few bottles he was offered, and since I'm with him all the time basically, I kind of gave up trying to give him bottles.  Therefore, I've been the only one able to feed him.

Until now.

Check out my big helper!

Joshua absolutely adores Evan and is so excited to be able to help out. I love how much they love each other.