Monday, February 22, 2010

Representative art!

Nate has been going through one of those big jumps kids do.  Usually it's hard for me to define exactly what the change is, but this time it's easy.  Art with meaning!  He's drawing things:  himself, a bird, me.  He's got a specific idea for what he's doing, even if it's not at all apparent to anyone else.

He's drawn other things that are more easily decipherable, but this one is my favorite so far:

Now this may look like a heart surrounded by circles, but not according to Nate.  He had me help him draw the heart.  Then, starting in the lower left hand corner and working generally counterclockwise, this is what he drew:

My hair (it goes all the way around my head)
My bottom
My legs (the two lines above my head)
My shoes
His hair
His shoes
    and then across the top of the heart
His nose
My nose
Owen's nose
Gramma's nose
Munner's nose

His comment on seeing this hung up later:  "I dwew a wot of noses!"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Juice lid art

We go through bucketfuls of juice around here--I can polish off a container of orange juice in a day, and the boys are nearly as bad with their grape juice.  I've been saving the lids from the juice canisters for a while now, trying to think of some way to recycle them.  I had some vague ideas of using them to make a game, or maybe a mobile, but today I just pulled out the permanent markers and let them have at it.

A loop of tape on the back, and they stuck beautifully to the latest art gallery, the front door.

That's Nate's flower in the lower left corner.  He kept having me help him draw things, then coloring them in so that the lid was completely covered.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A lovely life

It's been a lovely few days.  First of all, no one is sick!  It was four days from when Nate got sick to when I did, and then another four days later it was Noah. Yesterday was another four days, and I was really holding my breath, but Mark and Owen seem to have escaped it.

So, we've had fun with the neighbor boys. 

And bubbles.

And cuddles.

We've discussed how cheese is made, and ketchup too.  (Did you know people make homemade ketchup?  Crazy!)

We've enjoyed lollipops

and taking pictures of crazy Daddy.

Noah took this one!

We saw friends at the rec center, and then again at the mall.

We grew salt crystals

and investigated the resemblance between Grover's nose and a certain part of Mommy's anatomy.

A conversation:  "Mommy, how do people in Arizona get rid of their trash?"  "Well, mostly the garbage trucks pick it up, just like here."  "But Mommy," in his best I know you're just being silly voice, "how do they get over all those bumpy bumpy cactuses?"

Today we hit the library (it's been over a week, so of course we need a fresh stack). 

Then off to the park.

Time for a nap.

Then bead necklaces

to match the oh-so-cool candy braclets from Target.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

How do you mend a broken heart?

This week for stART we read One Zillion Valentines by Frank Modell.  It was a spontaneous library pick, cute but not especially memorable.  I liked it mostly for the page with lots of hearts in various sizes patterned in various ways.

We decided to make several different types of Valentines for our friends.  First up were typical collage heart Valentines.  I showed Noah how to cut out a heart from a folded sheet of paper. Then came the fun part:  glue sticks!  I don't know why they like glue sticks so much.

We also made some play clay hearts, using this cornstarch clay recipe from 5 Orange Potatoes

The idea was to string them up and give them as necklaces, but between sickness and snow I never had a chance to get any ribbon.  So theyl'll just hold a lollipop and that's it, once we finally see friends to give these to them.

And, finally, we also tried to make some heart-shaped crayons to give to friends, using the crayon-making kit Santa brought Noah for Christmas.  (Santa couldn't find the actual Crayola Crayon-Making Kit that Noah requested.  Santa also thought said kit was seriously overpriced.  So Santa hit the thrift store instead.)

The crayons turned out beautiful. 

But.  Getting them out of the mold proved impossible to do without chipping the hearts.  One of them broke into three different pieces.  Not the message we were trying to send!  So I tried warming them in the toaster oven--I was hoping to get them just soft enough to be fixable.  But I left them in too long, and ended up with a big puddle of crayon wax.

So it was back to the drawing board.  I reasoned that, since spraying the heck out of the mold with Pam (aka my usual solution for every sticky situation) had not worked, maybe filling the molds with water would keep the wax from sticking. 

Well, the crayons did come out of the mold okay.  And the tops looked lovely.  But flip them over, and:


So tell me, if anyone is still reading this and actually knows, how DO you mend a broken (crayon) heart?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Roller coaster life

The official snow total for Thursday was 12.5 inches--the all-time single-day record for Dallas.  It was more like 6 or 7 inches for us, but still an insane amount of snow, and incredibly beautiful.  Enough even for a real Texas snowman.  So that was the plan for Friday:  build a snowman or two, drink hot chocolate, gaze out the window.

The reality for Friday:  Noah woke up throwing up.  He spent the day laying on the sofa and watching TV.  (At least we didn't lose power.)  Nate was still too intimidated to venture out alone, and I couldn't leave Noah.  And so.  They both missed what will probably be THE snow of their whole childhood. 

Oh well.  They did get to play on Thursday.  And there was enough snow left today for Mark to take Nate out and help him make this:
It's snow-Beaker!

And Noah is mostly feeling better, and Owen is cute as always.

So I guess we're on our way back up.  But I'm dreading this coming Tuesday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow day!

We work up this morning to magic.

An inch of unexpected snow already on the ground!  There was nothing for it but to head on out before breakfast.

and then, of course, again later

Nate was not completely thrilled--the neighbor's dogs came out early, and I think he got spooked--so we headed out to go to the rec center and bounce in the bounce house.  Then, donuts!  And watching the birds mob our pinecone birdfeeders.

A bit of a rest

and then time for more snow

and Valentines

and still more snow.

Today's been the most snow of any day of the 15 years I've lived in Dallas.  It's been absolutely gorgeous, and so much fun to get to enjoy it with my boys.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A much better day

After feeling wretched on Monday and just plain tired yesterday, I was ready to go again with the boys today.  So, off to the museum!

Even in the middle of the science museum, it's important to take a reading break.

We've been to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science three times now just this year, and they're still begging to go again soon.

Then this afternoon there was time to get ready for Valentine's Day

 and to enjoy silly hats ($1 each at the grocery store!  Go Mark!)

and hilarious big brothers, too.