Friday, December 16, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

This morning I caught Matias channeling his inner Angela Lansbury at the piano.  He said that I could share it.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift-Wrap Sensory Bin

This month we made a gift wrapping sensory bin.  The kids are having a lot of fun with it...and it didn't cost a cent to make!  
It contains:

wrapping paper
tin foil squares
cotton balls
small gift boxes
various ribbons
small gift bags
trinkets to wrap: jingle bells, ornaments, a little glass heart jar
a spool of ribbon with the ribbon end taped on for winding and unwinding
pipe cleaners

The tinfoil and pipe cleaners wrap around the items so that you don't need scissors or tape, and the kids can make "presents" independently.  They have been wrapping up presents for each other and me all day.  Great fine motor practice and a nice way to play together.  An added bonus is that it has been giving us lots of practice at graciously receiving gifts and saying "thank you" that should serve us well in the coming weeks.

Playdough Snowmen

Today we came up with a fun activity to do.  Inspired by the book All You Need for a Snowman, we made playdough snowmen.  I used my favorite playdough recipe:

1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Salt
1 tablespoon Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 cup Water

Then I put out a bowl of snowman accessories...buttons, sticks, tiny polar fleece scraps to use as scarves, and the best part- tiny carrot noses.  Our mini-carrots came from our garden (our carrots didn't get very big), but you could make them out of paper or use baby carrots from the store. The kids had a blast making some Picasso-like snowmen.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Name That Baby!

Beatrice or Violet?  Can you name that baby?  


For the record, Violet got 2/3 correct.  Matias got all 3 correct.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Violet has been enjoying our wooden train set a lot recently.  She knows all the trains by name, and they have many adventures together.  Her favorite game is to knock one train off the track, and then have the breakdown train come to rescue it.  Here is a bit of video of her playing with the trains...Thomas, Billy, Metra, Breakdown Train...and yes, her voice really is that cute in real life!

Friday, November 18, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Map Party FOUR Matias

Matias is FOUR!  My little boy is so much fun and has such a personality of his own.  One of my favorite things about him is how he takes interest in things that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a little guy.  Most recently, he has been obsessed with maps, and when I asked what kind of birthday party he would like, he said "A MAP party!"

How do you throw a map party, you ask?  Well, after a search of the Internet, I came to the conclusion that map parties have been few and far between.  So in case another child ever requests a map party, I offer here the ideas that I couldn't find...
(and check out the cake here at

Step 1: The Decor
Maps, of course, and a globe!

We taped map puzzle pieces to the walls

Step 2: The Cake

I found a Wilton USA Map cake pan on eBay.  I made one USA cake, and two thin cakes on cookie sheets (line with foil so you can turn them out!)

Place the two cookie sheet cakes next to each other and put the map cake on the top.  I frosted them and sprinkled them with colored sugar (sugar with food coloring stirred in).  I made a little paper template for the great lakes that I covered the cake with while I added the green sugar, and then spooned blue sugar into the lakes.

I added a Google Maps- style marker where we live with a 4 for the birthday boy's age.  I used a white tablecloth with a map as a table runner.  

Step 3: The Party!



Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Happy November!  October has been a trying month for us, but it has not been without its joyful moments.  As it is now the month of Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to look back at the month with a view of gratitude (rather than rehash the drama, and oh have we had drama!)

Feeling oh so thankful for..

:: Lots and lots of baby snuggles
:: Halloween fun
:: A baby growing big and strong, despite my desire to keep her tiny forever
:: Last harvest from the dancing boots
:: A tired trick or dancing boots
:: Matching mama-made dresses...and dancing boots
:: Little activities to pass a rainy day away
:: A little girl who is never too sleepy for fashion
:: Giggles
:: Family trips to the beach
:: Yummy new bread recipe and delicious derivations
:: And most importantly, a healthy family

(and if we could maybe get away with a FEW less trips to the hospital this next month I would be VERY thankful for that as well!!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

{this moment}

4 generations of curly girls
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sharing Stories

Today Matias asked if he could read to Beatrice.  Bless his heart, he sat there and read to her for almost half an hour!  He loves to snuggle with her, and when you add in a book or two, he is in heaven.  Little sister seemed pretty happy as well.  Having three kids is proving to be quite the strategy game so far, but when I see them enjoying each other, it makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Noogler

Matt headed back to work today (well, actually to NY for a big meeting), so we had to take a few Googly pictures of Beatrice for him.  I have to give kudos and a great big thank you to Google for being such an awesome, family-friendly company to work for.  Matt gets seven weeks of paternity leave (to take over the next year), as well as other little gifts and money to spend on cloth diapers!  Best of all, his boss has been scolding him for checking in with work, telling him to just enjoy his leave and stop worrying.  If every company in America offered parents such generous benefits and leave, it would really change the landscape (we'd all think we were in Scandinavia!).  Having been on the other end of the scale in the past, we are so appreciative of the time we've gotten to spend as a family without having to worry.  

Friday, October 14, 2011


Leaf jumping

Harvesting the last of our garden goodies

Fall playdough leaf prints

Pumpkin farm


Walk at the Nature Center

We've spent a lot of time hanging around home, admiring new baby sister here lately, but we have gotten out now and then to enjoy the beautiful Fall.  If you are on Pinterest (And if you're not, you SHOULD be!  So much fun!) here are some ideas that we've done, plan to do, or just think are really neat:
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