Monday, November 28, 2011

One-Man Band, One-Girl Dance Squad

On the first and third Mondays of the month during the school year, there are children's shows at Fairfax City's Old Town Hall.  We had been  to a couple of these before but hadn't had any luck (ie, no parking, too crowded, etc.) but we found a great performance when we went last week!  We saw Peter McCory perform his one-man band act, and it was so much fun!  LB was right in with all of the kids, dancing and moving to the beat. 

I think they key to our successful concert-watching experience this time was getting there early (they do have on-site parking but it is EXTREMELY limited, otherwise you can park in one of the free lots nearby) and snagging a front-row seat, so LB could see what was happening in the show! 

And of course....a cute little dancing clips waits for you above!

Pumpkin Pies and Indian Corn

...Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without some of these in decoration form, right? 

LB LOOOOOOOVES to paint so first up, Thanksgiving "Pumpkin" Pies!  This is a little messy, so I tried to make her wear a smock...I've wised up, and I think for our next painting endeavor, we'll use an old t-shirt!  Anyways, here you go:

We finger painted with orange paint on some paper plates---the "pumpkin" filling!

I let LB shake some pumpkin pie spice onto the wet paint...yummy!

Not for the faint of heart...but she did pretty well and only spiced the "pie!"  They smelled delicious!

Next up, stained glass "Indian Corn."  We employed the same method used in this post, only I cut out the outline of a corn cob and leaf and stuck it to the contact paper beforehand.  Daddy thought it was a pineapple, but he was holding it upside down.  Duh, Daddy (hehe).

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

It's a little late this year (again, stinkin' computer malfunctions), but maybe next year you might remember this fun little idea for some Thanksgiving centerpieces!  LB and I made these for my mom and Aunt Louise.  We brought them when we visited my aunt and uncle's house in PA and met Grammy and Nonno there...Chloe was quite proud to show off her craftsmanship! 

We used:

Brown paper lunch bags
Zip loc baggies
Popcorn kernals
Grocery bags

Here's what we did:

LB colored the bags and decorated them with some felt stickers I got super cheap at Michael's.  Then, she "helped" me fill a couple of ziploc baggies with popcorn kernals (to weigh down the bottom of the bags).  We then stuffed plastic grocery bags into the brown paper bags (this was a fun time) and tied the bags shut!  Voila!

Colored and stickered paper bags (keep the decor closer to the bottom of the bag)

Weighted bag of popcorn kernals

Filling the bags with bags (how many times can we say "bags?")

Tied 'em shut!  Happy Harvest!

Inspector LB

Just a disclaimer:  I found a few of the ideas in the following posts at a few wonderful blogs that I had saved on my old computer, which, let me eloquently say, "bit it" right after Halloween.  I'll be darned if I can find the sites again, so if these are your ideas, THANK YOU THANK YOU!  Let me know so I can give you credit!

Something LB loves to do is inspect.  She's always been an inspector, from the time she was very little.  As soon as she could grab things, she'd examine them closely and see what they could do!  So I thought this "Muffin Tin Surprise" idea would be right up her alley...with a little challenge involved too! 

Here's what I did:

Filled a muffin tin with various objects: rattle, play food, raisins, hairbow, block, paperclips, ribbon, pom-poms, yogurt melts, tissue paper, cork, feathers

Covered each tin with tape or covers from storage containers or cups

Let her get to work checking things out!

Because I used a mix of food items and little parts of things, I kept an eye on her the whole time and cleaned up everything right away.  I'd definitely recommend this if you have a little inspector too!

Punkin' Chunkin'

Little did you know, oh Fairfaxian (?), that the best time to visit Cox Farms for their Fall Festival is not during October in the lead-up to Halloween.  Well, not if you fancy watching old jack-o-lanterns being hurled through the air at high speeds or dropped from tall cherry pickers. 

Those two little dots mid-air are pumpkins, indeed!
Chloe and I headed to the festival this year for their Pumpkin Madness weekend (aka, the first weekend in November)!  We went with our friend Taylor and her mommy, Grandma, and Grandpa and were able to enjoy Cox Farm's Fall Fest without the crowds.  We even had a coupon so it wasn't as expensive as I thought it might be...HINT:  create an account on their members page and you get a few discounts once in a while!  We rode on the hayride (fun until the scary and startling train whistle) and slid down the big slides.  And of course, we watched some rotten pumpkins meet their demise.  Who wouldn't love that?  It was a great time!  And although it's closed for this year, you might remember this event for next year!


Brave girls and their mommies on the big kid slide!

Sharing nicely

LB's favorite slide

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back on the Block

...the internet on something besides my phone block!  We got a new computer, finally.  I'm telling you, you wouldn't even believe it if I told you the number of things in this house that had broken/people who had been sick since August.  We caught a *very mild* bad luck bug and are thankful that things are as good as they are but also hopeful that the little things will be looking up for a while!

That said, you might imagine that I am EXTREMELY behind on posting.  I'm going to try to catch up this week and then we'll get onto the Christmas favorite! 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and that you remembered to be thankful for the little and big things you have!

The biggest little thing that I'm thankful for, of course!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Coloring Queen

LB is OBSESSED with coloring.  And I'm not using the term lightly.  Let me tell you, the other day, I could hear her in her carseat saying, "Ew? Ew?"  This usually means she has some sort of scrape/scar that she thinks is gross or is hurting her.  When I checked her out, I noticed that she had a blister on the tip of her index finger.  I could not figure out how this might have happened, until Mike and I observed her participating in her new favorite activity...yup, she has a blister from holding her crayons!!!!  Hasn't stopped her though, as her almost brand-new Sesame Street coloring book from Grammy and Nonno is almost filled up with beautiful scribbles! 

So, I've tried to take advantage of this new favorite obsession past-time.  We used crayons to color on the pumpkin last week and we've made cards and pictures for grandparents and Daddy, as well as Halloween treat bags for friends.  Besides said coloring book, though, I think this was her favorite coloring event:

This was actually just the thick tissue paper that my new candles from Michaels were wrapped in.  I taped it to the floor and we had some fun making a mural!  We need to get a roll of butcher paper or something...anyone know where to find it?  You can see some of my sweet artwork under there too.  Gotta get creative!

Blue (and green and pink and yellow) Plate Special

Thanks to Pinterest (aka Mom's best internet friend), we found a fun way to make breakfast this morning!  We made Rainbow Toast!  Although the idea was "pinned" to many boards, it originally came from here (this blogger has TONS of fun ideas).

Here's what you need:

Food Coloring
Pastry brush (we used a silicone one, but I think you could use regular little paint brushes as well)

Mix a little bit of milk and food coloring in a few bowls.  Use this to "paint" your bread.  Toast and enjoy!

I'm amazed that the "paint" when on the bread, and that LB didn't eat the bread before it was toasted.  I showed her what to do and she got down to business! 

The breakfast art-teest


It's also fun to stir the colored milk!
 The original blogger's toasts came out much more bold and festive than ours, but this was still really fun!  We recommend the Rainbow Toast to be served with a strawberry banana smoothie.  I can't wait to try frosting Christmas cookies!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ghost Train

On Sunday, our Halloween fun, it's a month long fun celebration!  We went with our friends Cate and Ike (and their mommies, daddies, and a Bubby (sp.?) too) over to Burke Lake Park to ride their famous "Ghost Train."  It was quite an event!  There were penguins, chickens, sharks, and other costumed folks dancing to party music, a bounce house, cotton candy, and of course the ever-popular carousel and Halloween jazzed-up train.  The train ride was very cute---volunteers were along the route dressed in costumes and acting out scenes: monkey vs. bat football, Mother Goose, Little Red Riding Hood, etc., and some sleeping pumpkins that woke up and handed out candy!  The little ones (okay, and the adults too) were quite entertained!  It was perfect for LB and her friends' age group!  I think it'll be worth a trip back next year!

Riding the carousel with Daddy

All the friends!  Ike had the warmest costume so he was a monkey today. 

LB and Daddy on the Ghost Train!

Pumpkins on the ghost train route!
Dancing to Thriller with Mommy and some penguins

And here are a few photos from Halloween night too: 

Trick-or-treating with Daddy

Halloween dinner: eyeballs, brains, and a mummy---AKA: grapes, brussels sprouts, and a hot dog wrapped in a crescent roll!  Yum!

Stained Glass

A few folks have asked about a particular picture I posted on facebook showing LB making "stained glass."  First of all, I have to thank my friend Kirsten and her little girl, Sydney for the idea!  There are so many friends, near and far, (and those on blogs whom I don't even know!!) that make many of our activities possible...and I wish we lived closer to many of you out there (Amy, Kirsten, Michelle, etc...we'd have a blast)!  The internet is an awesome thing for stay-at-home moms!  We've gotta network, too!

Right, the stained glass.  So, here's what I did to prep for this---

Cut a piece of contact paper, and cut a piece of construction paper to make a "frame."  I taped it all of the table (sticky side up) and let Chloe put little pieces of colored tissue paper onto the sticky contact paper.  She loved covering all of the sticky spots!  After she was finished, I covered the masterpiece with another piece of contact paper and trimmed the edges.  We hung it in our window and LB has enjoyed touching the different colors and watching the sun shine through her artwork! 

The finished product!

Thanks to our friends, near and far, for all of the great ideas!  This is a keeper, especially since we have so much contact paper.  I'm thinking Thanksgiving placemat?  Christmas tree?  Snowman?  Stay tuned!

Pumpkin Fun

It's past Halloween now, and it was a great one, so I wanted to catch up on everything we did!

We finally got our big pumpkin last Friday at Heather Hills.  I decided to take LB back here, because she had such a good time last time we visited.  There were even a few different activities this time, such as a penny in the hay search and pumpkin checkers.  But without a doubt, LB's favorite activity was feeding the goats!  (See video on my FB page)

After spending some time in the activity area, we headed out to pick our pumpkin.  Whoa, did we pick a pumpkin indeed.  They only had HUGE ones here's what we ended up with:

On Saturday, the weather turned really chilly, and (in spite of the forecaster's warnings), we were completely surprised to see the first SNOW of the season!  Needless to say, we stayed inside all day (this was also the day we played dress-up).  I decided to let LB have some fun with her big pumpkin before carving it:

Playdough-ing the pumpkin---worked very well until she decided that she'd like to taste the playdough!

Sticker-ing the pumpkin!  We actually just left the pumpkin and stickers out overnight and anytime she wanted, she could go over and add/remove stickers.  It was fun!
And of course, we had a great time actually carving the pumpkin during half-time of the Bills v. Redskins game on Sunday (I feel for you, Skins fans, but what a great day it was to be a Buffalonian)!  Chloe and Daddy really got into the pumpkin junk!  We let her play in it for quite a while and she enjoyed transferring the goo from one container to the next, and playing with the seeds as well!  I'd recommend doing this with your little one too, even if Halloween has passed.  It was a great activity!

It's so fun doing all of these things with Chloe this year.  It's amazing how in just a few short months, she has gone from "baby" to "toddler," and while I'll always miss those tiny baby days, I love watching her learn and participate in so many fun things!