Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We're Still Adventuring!

Hi everyone!  Thanks for your patience during my break from the bloggy world.  You probably know that I've been really busy.  There was shower planning, shower executing, a fabulous bachelorette party in NYC for my sister, a wonderful wedding for my brother and sister-in-law, and all of the busy fun that just generally goes along with any of those activities.  We still have a couple of weeks until my sister's wedding up in Rochester.  So until then, you can find us enjoying all that summer has to offer.  Another list: we've been swimming, playing in the sprinkler and water table and the fountain, smelling flowers, going to the playground.  Those are my excuses for my absence.  Pretty good ones if you ask me!

I'm going to try to keep up with maybe one or two posts a week this summer.  We still do have a lot going on, and besides the outside events, we are really just going to be doing the general afformentioned...just enjoying the outside while we can.  Happy Summer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Win a Molly Maid Gift Card, AKA My Wildest Dream

Seriously trying to win this from Sarah Reviews Stuff:

So I am posting here to get another entry and to share it with you too! 

In my wildess fantasies, someone would come do a deep clean of my house.  Ahhhh, let's just dream for a moment...  ;)

Good luck!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

"Fluffy Stuff"

There really is no better name for what we made this morning than "Fluffy Stuff!"  I found the idea on Time for Play.  Anything with shaving cream is a messy good time, so how could this be anything different?  Haha, on the LB Scale of Messy Activities, I have to say, this one ranked up at an 11!  But it was really cool...

All you need is shaving cream and cornstarch.  I mixed equal parts into our sensory bin and squished it all together.  The more it is mixed, the "less messy" it becomes (sort of, depending on your definition of "messy").  When the cornstarch is mixed throughout, it does keep the shaving cream from covering your hands...but we still were pretty covered after playing for a few minutes.   LB enjoyed making a "snowman" and dropping balls of the fluffy stuff, but she did not love when it came out of the box onto her toes. 

And, when your Little Bear decides she is done, be fast, mommy.  Scoop her up before she goes running through the kitchen, into the dining room, and up the stairs to take a bath.  Because she's covered in the stuff, and she will cover your house with it too. 

As for clean-up, I found it helpful to put a large sheet underneath the sensory bin and just roll it up and throw it in the washer afterwards. I covered the bin, thinking maybe we'll use it again tomorrow, outside this time!  We cleaned LB up in the bath tub, and, as for the fluffy stuff that she spread throughout the house, well, it swept up quite easily with a broom. 

My Guest-Posting: Tyson's Corner Disney Store

Last weekend, Mike, Chloe, and I checked out the brand new Disney Store at Tyson's Corner Center.  It was the opening day, so, as you may imagine, it was a mad-house of Mickey fans.  But really fun, nonetheless, to check out all of the store's new interactive features.  Take a peek at the store by reading my guest post on  A big special thanks to Micaela for helping set up the visit! 

Brand new store

Checking out "all the friends"

Magic princess mirror---so cool!

Loving, loving, loving the Mouse.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kitchen Circus

Next up on our "rainy days" agenda---a kitchen circus of sorts!

First, we "hopped on spots..."  These are the little foam circles that were in the play mat.  We just spread them out along the floor and hopped, and crawled and rolled...

We also set up a tight rope for our animal friends.  I got the idea from Learn With Play @ Home, who used the string between two chairs for hanging pipe cleaners!  We tried that too, but it was much more fun for the animals to walk the tight rope, or to bounce the pipe cleaners off of the string as a challenge. 

And the essential for any rainy circus morning indoors:

A good cuppa coffee

Playdough Monsters

We've had a few rainy days this week, so we've had to stick to some indoor stuff.  It's kind of been a bummer, what with all of these beeeeeeautiful days we've been having, but there have been some fun activities keeping us busy! 

First up:  Playdough Monsters!

Once again, I used this wonderful playdough recipe, originally from "How Does She?".  This time, I made some monster-y colors...purple and green, of course, and set out some monster materials (AKA googlie eyes, feathers, beans, popsicle sticks and foam shapes).

Monster!  Roar!

Giving him some popsicle spikes

We also used the playdough to hide and find googlie eyes

And to make adorable faces.

And a clip...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rolling Easter Eggs (Or Not)!

Before our trip to Rochester last week, LB, Mike, and I were very honored to attend the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll.  While we didn't actually roll any eggs, we really enjoyed ourselves---and (OMG) we even got to meet ELMO. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Giveaway Winners

Congrats to Jenn F. for winning the craft kit, and dede2002 for winning the gift card! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blog-a-versary Giveaway #2: Fairfax County Park Authority Gift Card

Boom!  Another giveaway, this time for my Northern VA readers!  Sponsored by my awesome friend at , it's a $20 gift card for Fairfax County Park Authority!!!

  • Gift cards may be used to purchase:

  • Gift cards may also be used to purchase classes and passes from the Fairfax County Park Authority web site, as well as admissions, goods and services at all nature centers, historic sites, RECenters and golf courses

  • To enter, please leave a comment right on the blog below.  The giveaway will close on Saturday, April 14th at 11 pm.  I will mail the randomly selected winner the card during the following week. 

    Blog-a-versary Giveaway #1: At-Home Adventures

    Yay, my very first giveaway!!! 

    This one is for all of my readers out there, near and far.  I am giving away a kit for some "at-home adventures," including Water Beads, the materials to make snowman or cloud paint (since it's not winter anymore), and some water color paints! 

    The loot!
    You can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment under this post, right on the blog.  The giveaway will be open until Saturday, April 14th at 11 pm.  I will send the randomly selected winner the package the following week!  Good luck!

    Happy Blog-a-versary!

    Crack open the virtual bubbly, everyone, "Adventures With Little Bear" turns 1 today!  Wow, that was a fast year.  What started out as a little corner of the internet just for me to write about what I do as a stay-at-home mom has turned into an amazing way to connect with others.  I have found many new friends, both online and in person.  I have networked with some fantastic people and learned so many things to do with Little Bear at home (such a lifesaver).  I've met bloggers in the area; we've had playdates, gone to's so much fun!  I've also grown as a mom.  It may sound a little corn-a-riffic, but it's given me a kick in the behind most days to be creative, get out there (or stay home) and make our days more fun, interesting, silly, and a little more educational.  I had no idea that blogging would be such an important part of my life.  Thanks Blogger! 
    As PART of our celebration, (I will also be doing a couple of giveaways, stay tuned) I wanted to highlight my own "Top Ten Adventures with LB" as a fun way to look back on the memories we've created this year.  So, in no particular order: 

    10.) Whispering, Shouting, and Adventuring at the Nation Building Museum:  A prime example of a blog-enabled friendship!  Dawn, the blogger behind Whispers and Shouts, met Chloe and me in DC for a fun day at the Building Museum.  The kids (and moms) had a blast.  And I never would have met Dawn if it weren't for the blogging world.  Can't wait to hang out again!

    9.) Sprayground:  This post is one of my favorites for a few reasons.  First, as a special education teacher, I love that it's an "everyone accessible" water park.  Also, this is EXACTLY the kind of place I would have loved as a kid.  The thought of going back this summer makes the idea of impending heat much more bearable!

    8.) Welcome to the Wonderful World of Waterbeads: The only explanation needed is: super-cool. 

    7.) Holiday Happiness: Because our families are mostly in Western NY, we take many trips up to Rochester.  This post just reminds me of all of the fun memories we made at Christmas this past year. 

    6.) Beach Practice: Our very first sensory bin!  I credit polenta for Chloe's love of the shore.  Hah. 

    5.) Baby Nature: Just a fun example of how you don't need to go anywhere in particular or need fancy toys or craft materials to have a good time.  And, it was right after Chloe started really walking. 

    4.) Sticky Fingers (The Baby-Safe Version): The start of Chloe's love-affair with paint!

    3.) National Harbor: This was a fun day, but I'm adding it to the list because it's an example of how blogging created interesting opportunities...the folks at the National Children's Museum read my blog and contacted me about keeping in touch for future events.  Woohoo!

    2.) Snowman Day:  This is one of my favorite memories/posts ever.  It's the perfect way to illustrate how a normal afternoon can turn into something fun with a theme, a little shaving cream, and some bananas! 

    1.) Boating Baby: One of our favorite "whole family" activities.

    There you have it!  I want to sincerely thank everyone who has read our little story this year, and those of you who have given me the inspiration to be the best mommy I can be to Little Bear.  I n return, I hope I have given you an idea, a recipe, a craft, or event that's helped you create your own "adventure."   Cheers!

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Easter Box

    Last week, I purchased a plastic tub for our "sensory" activities.  Why, I ask myself, did I not do this a year ago?  Until this week, I was emptying out other bins and leaving the junk on the family room floor to make room for sensory tub activities.  What the heck is wrong with me? need to answer that. 

    Well, anyways, this week, with our shiny new tub, we enjoyed another round of water beads (this time green and yellow), as well as an awesome Easter sensory bin.  Thank you for the idea, Kirsten and Sydney...Chloe loved it!

    She's a beauty!  Easter grass, Easter eggs, flowers, carrot shaped containers, paper shapes, cotton-tails (err, cotton balls), some ribbon, and a tiny fuzzy bunny hidden somewhere in there

    Getting a first look; I put a bucket next to the bin for filling and dumping.  Because we like, "1,2,3, DUMP IT!"

    Filling the bucket

    Putting Easter grass inside the carrot.  Also, please enjoy the mismatched pjs, courtesy of Daddy.  The strawberry bottoms were with the top in the drawer.  Oh well.  :)

    Loved it again later in the day!

    Happy Easter to you!
    Yay for our new sensory bin!  More fun to come!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Easter Handprints

    Chloe had fun last week painting her hands and making some Easter handprint cards (courtesy Itsy Belle) and bunnies (courtesy Meet the Dubiens).   

    In the process of making some handprint cards

    The finished product!

    Our materials ready for the handprint bunny whiskers, first we glued, then we used hands for whiskers

    "Easha Bunny!" He's pretty cute!

    Then we had some fun painting white on black paper and putting pink handprints over it. 

    Sticky Window-The Easter Version

    LB really enjoys experimenting with contact paper (see here and also here).  My mom-in-law (the 1st grade teacher) sent these adorable little dye-cut bunny and flower shapes, and I thought they would be nice to stick to some contact paper.  It's amazing, no matter how many times we do it, it's always fun with new objects and shapes!

    And here, Chloe tells you about the pink bunnies:

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    The Duality of Chloe

    Can't take credit for this...posted to Mike's FB, but it's just too funny.


    That's my girl!

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Flower Sun-catchers

    Spring has sprung, for sure.  Although it's a bit cooler than last week, we had fun enjoying the sun today and picked some flowers.  Not only are flowers a pop of color for us to enjoy outside, but they are a GREAT opportunity for lots of learning: colors, smells, how they feel, fine motor practice when pulling them out of the ground! 

    We gathered our flowers in our trusty bucket and after naptime, we made suncatchers (inspired by The Artful Parent).  I cut out a flower shape for the border and stuck it to some contact paper, and let LB stick the flowers to the paper.  She loves this sticky paper activity...I think it has inspired me to try some more "sticky paper" activities.  Here's some pics!

    My favorite weeds flowers---we have patches of these all over the neighborhood now.  We also gathered the forsythia flowers that are starting to fall off of the bush in the front and a few other "pick-able" flowers from our yard.

    Collecting flowers in our bucket

    Sticking them onto the contact paper


    Added another piece of contact paper to seal it and hung it up!
    This came out so pretty---I'm thinking mother's day cards?  What other activities do you have for contact paper?

    Roly-Poly Easter Eggs

    A while back, I bought LB some plastic colored Easter Eggs to fill her egg carton in her play kitchen.  She has enjoyed playing with them---cooking, feeding them to Mousey and Kitty, rolling them around the floor, and filling them with dried pasta and shaking them.  Now that it's actually Easter time, I thought we would use them for some painting fun.

    I actually had this idea while I was falling asleep one night (when my best ideas happen; they also seem to come after a glass of wine, hah).  You may remember in the post about the Launch Zone, we dipped marbles in paint and rolled them around to make a painting.  I thought we could try the same technique with the plastic eggs and Easter egg cut-outs.  (Later, I saw a similar activity at Creative Connections for Kids, in addition to a bunch of other awesome activities)

    It was fun, although, I need to make note that our crafty activities are lasting very short amounts of time, as LB notices all of the fun things around her that she needs to do/see.  We were also outside on the deck, where I hope to do more of our projects as the weather continues to warm, so you know, there were bubbles, tiny porch chairs, trees, birds, etc.  But the whole things was super fast to do, and the eggs are really cute, check them out! 

    Dipped the eggs in paint and let them roll around the box with the paper egg taped inside

    Love the colors!  So spring-y!

    Taking a break in her new seat

    Two of the finished eggs

    Just another cool thing to mention: this great, no-spill, 3 wand bubble container was at WalMart for only $5!  Perfect for your indpendent bubble blower!!!!