October 31, 2012
Hope you have a happy Halloween! It’ll be our chilliest trick-or-treating experience ever, but we’re glad for the good fortune of even getting out tonight. Much like Irene of last year, Sandy didn’t reach inland NC. So be of calm heart my California friends that sent concerned texts and phone calls! Our thoughts go out those recovering from devastation and loss and also to all aid and rescue workers.
And this little Olivia…a very cute, albeit unlikely companion to my two ninjas don’t you think? As my kids have always been of the headstrong sort, I figured this would be the one year to foist my Halloween vision of a costume onto Mara. The oppression! I commissioned the talented Miranda to make an infant version of her popular Olivia the Pig costume. If you’re already thinking ahead to 2013, Miranda booked up pretty quickly around September and October FYI.
October 9, 2012
This cardboard bed I made for Dax has got to be one of my most favorite projects ever! All pieces interlock without tape or glue. I usually dislike sewing since I’m so slow and clumsy at it (being self-taught and using an aging beast of a machine has a lot to do with that) but the project that was supposed to be just a quilt ended up including a pillow. Then a cloud pillow. Then another pillow! Watch out, I may start making clothes for my kids…I wish!
Plans to make your own cardboard bed and more photos can be found at my post for Hellobee.
Pillow fabrics are IKEA and the quilt is made from a pouch that packaged Mara’s Virginia Johnson baby blanket.
September 19, 2012
The boys and I worked on this DIY marble ramp as an easy after-school-project. It may not be the prettiest project we’ve come up with, but the boys (mostly my almost 7-year-old) were engrossed and I didn’t hear “I’m bored, mom!” once today. To make your own, all you need are cardboard tubes from paper towel or toilet paper rolls, a hole punch, pegboard, metal brads (the kind that holds papers together), a paper cup, and acrylic paints. And of course, marbles!
We painted the rolls earlier this week so they’d be nice and dry before assembly. The layer of paint helps stiffen the cardboard a bit, making it sturdier. After splitting some of the tubes down the middle (you may want to keep a few intact to make ‘tunnels’), we hole punched along the edge, spacing the holes so they align with the pegboard. Kai figured out that punching as he was assembling was easiest for him. Thread metal brads through the tubes and pegboard to attach. Our board leaned up against the wall so the boys could reach around the back to fold out the brads.
You may need to squeeze the tubes to make them nice and concave, especially if they keep getting flattened by a baby. Madness. Catch the marble in a paper cup attached at the very bottom of the ramp.
The neat thing about using metal brads is that you can disassemble the ramp to come up with new configurations. Also makes it easy to fix any mistakes and extreme angles that send your marble flying off course.
I can see us experimenting by adding obstacles, trap doors, and bells that the marbles can bump into. My kids love Japanese Rube Goldberg Machines so our simple ramp is a great segue to more sophisticated designs!
September 2, 2012
Crawling was so yesterday. Literally! While Mara had taken her very first baby steps a couple weeks ago, she decided today that bipedalism is fun and where it’s at. This afternoon, we lured her across the room with a random globe on the ground. Baby girl never ceases to amaze me.
And in other happy news, school started for the boys! Summer was fun and lazy but we’re all excited about the new school year, especially this child. And you bet there was some crude conversation between the boys leading up to this moment.
August 26, 2012
I tried a ponytail on Mara the other day and just about died from cuteness sensory overload. The five minutes of cajoling and chasing and trying to clip her hair just-so was totally worth it. My fun girl also turned 9 mos recently AND took her first steps. For the most part, she is a very happy crawler and is taking her time with walking. GREAT. It’s the climbing that’s nerve-wracking for me.
When I’m not chasing Mara down or recovering from my efforts (baby = exhaustion), I still try to work on projects with the boys. The latest is this very cool bow and arrow DIY. Do you like the quiver DIY by my kids? Step 1: Slide arrow down the back of your shirt.
We took our “archery gear” to the park on Saturday, and I’m not kidding you, kids flocked to us like we were the Pied Piper but without lute music and deaths. As non-threatening as we were, it felt like we were babysitting stranger’s kids while they enjoyed their bbq because where were the parents?! The kids were very sweet and polite, but preschool young…and without parents! And it was a big playground. At one point (the point when I started to smell bbq seafood) I half-jokingly asked one of the kids to grab me a plate of food. No dice, because he told me to get my own food, ha.