Photo Friday

Hello everyone! We still have lots of cold and snow and wind outside, but I think an end just might be creeping into sight. The temperatures this week have seemed just a teensy bit higher and we’ve managed to get outside to play a couple of times, and next weeks it looks like things will be warming up just a bit more. I’m sure we still have plenty more cold days and snow storms headed our way, but soon enough spring will arrive with melting snow, mud puddles, and eventually even some flowers poking their way up. In the mean time, Lewis is still loving the snow, except when the wind blows too cold in his face.

Starting things off right with a blurry photo. We brought Daddy to the MiSci museum last weekend to see the butterflies and other exhibits, but I forgot my camera and only took two photos on my phone while we were there.

Starting things off right with a blurry photo. We brought Daddy to the MiSci museum last weekend to see the butterflies and other exhibits, but I forgot my camera and only took two photos on my phone while we were there.

Fun in the snow digging tunnels and making a "castle" with Daddy.

Fun in the snow digging tunnels and making a “castle” with Daddy.

After getting introduced to baking soda and vinegar reactions with Daddy a few weeks ago, Lewis keeps asking to do "that bubbly experiment!", so I finally got the things out for him again earlier this week. We started off very carefully adding vinegar with a pipette.

After getting introduced to baking soda and vinegar reactions with Daddy a few weeks ago, Lewis keeps asking to do “that bubbly experiment!”, so I finally got the things out for him again earlier this week. We started off very carefully adding vinegar with a pipette.

Lewis quickly realized that he got much bigger and bubblier reactions by just dumping in the whole glass of vinegar.

Lewis quickly realized that he got much bigger and bubblier reactions by just dumping in the whole glass of vinegar.

Once the ice cube tray was full to overflowing I told him we wouldn't add any more ingredients, so he started transferring everything to the cookie sheet instead. He started by pouring all the vinegar in, then carefully scooped the "sludge" as he called it and dribbled it into the pan as well. Fun!

Once the ice cube tray was full to overflowing I told him we wouldn’t add any more ingredients, so he started transferring everything to the cookie sheet instead. He started by pouring all the vinegar in, then carefully scooped the “sludge” as he called it and dribbled it into the pan as well. Fun!

Our newest, and messiest ever, sensory bin material: shredded paper. My mess catcher sheet proved absolutely useless and there were bits of paper covering every bit of living room carpet and also spread into every other room of the house. We got to do a fun activity called "vacuuming" once he was done playing.

Our newest, and messiest ever, sensory bin material: shredded paper. My mess catcher sheet proved absolutely useless and there were bits of paper covering every bit of living room carpet and also spread into every other room of the house. We got to do a fun activity called “vacuuming” once he was done playing.

Immediately following clean-up of the paper disaster, Lewis told me he needed a squiggly line path on the carpet going all the way to the other room. We usually use washi tape or masking tape for this, but discovered that yarn actually works very well and can more easily reach long distances through the house. He had fun driving his car, running, and chasing Mommy and Daddy on his zig-zag path.

Immediately following clean-up of the paper disaster, Lewis told me he needed a squiggly line path on the carpet going all the way to the other room. We usually use washi tape or masking tape for this, but discovered that yarn actually works very well and can more easily reach long distances through the house. He had fun driving his car, running, and chasing Mommy and Daddy on his zig-zag path.

Lewis' first sewing project! He saw me use my sewing machine yesterday and this morning was pretending to use a toy barn as his own sewing machine, so I got out some plastic canvas and yarn needles and showed him how he could really do some stitching of his own.

Lewis’ first sewing project! He saw me use my sewing machine yesterday and this morning was pretending to use a toy barn as his own sewing machine, so I got out some plastic canvas and yarn needles and showed him how he could really do some stitching of his own.

Christmas Wreath Toddler Art

Surprise! I’m writing an actual blog post about an actual thing I did with Lewis! I’m actually not sure when the last time is that I did a real blog post. All I’ve been doing is the Photo Friday posts, and I haven’t even kept up with those very well. So, here goes!

Lewis and I always have fun making decorations for various holidays, and earlier this month we decided to make a wreath for our door. Why spend $20 on a wreath when you can make a lovely one yourself?

I scouted for ideas on Pinterest, and decided to go pretty free-form and just give him materials and let him do what he wanted with it.

Most of the Pinterest posts I looked at suggested using a paper plate to make your wreath shape. We didn’t have any paper plates on hand, so instead I took a big piece of green craft foam stuff (is that even what it’s called?) and traced a big circle on it with a smaller circle inside. Then I cut along the circles in a somewhat scalloped/bumpy pattern to make it more wreath-y.

Squirting glue and placing decorations takes great concentration.

Squirting glue and placing decorations takes great concentration.

I set up the table with the wreath, a bottle of glue, a dish of green paint, and a tray of decorations including buttons, pom-poms and cut pieces of sparkly pipe cleaners. Most of it was Christmas themed colors, but I included some more rainbowy colors of pom-poms in case he wanted a bit more variety of color. Then I invited Lewis to join me in creating.

He tried out a few decorations, then decided it needed some paint.

He tried out a few decorations, then decided it needed some paint.

I had also brought a tube of golden glitter to the table, but told him that Mommy would need to help with adding that. After adding a few decorations and a bit of paint he asked for glitter, so I sprinkled it on the wet paint and showed him how it stuck. He added a couple more decorations and a little more paint, but mostly he just wanted help adding more glitter! I got him a second paintbrush and showed him how he could “paint” the glue around the wreath so that more glitter could stick, then we added more together until it was just right.

Lewis and his beautiful wreath.

Lewis and his beautiful wreath.

The next day, once the glue and paint were dry, I added a big ribbon to the wreath to finish it off, then hung it on the door. Lewis was invited to help choose the ribbon, but was more interested in running around the apartment dragging ribbons behind him, so I chose a golden one for him. I first tried stapling it on but I only have a mini stapler which couldn’t punch through the layers, so instead it got stuck on with a piece of Gorilla Tape.

 

Prettiest door in town!

Prettiest door in town!

Lewis has been having a lot of fun with other holiday activities and preparations as well. His favorites so far have included Christmas Play-doh, stealing ornaments from the tree, and helping me make (and eat!) chocolate covered pretzels and peppermint bark.

Yum, chocolate!

Yum, chocolate!

Photo Friday

Another weekend is here! We spent last weekend (Sat-Mon) at my family’s cabin on Lake Champlain. Since I didn’t get around to making a dedicated post about our trip, I’ve included a few photos here. The lake was absolutely gorgeous, though still too cold for swimming. Lewis loved the freedom to go outside at almost any time, and opportunities to dig in dirt and hunt under rocks and logs for bugs! He also was excited to see Grandpa B., two aunts, and one of his uncles, and has continued talking about them since we got home.

Watching a duck on the beautiful lake.

Watching a duck on the beautiful lake.

When can I go back here??

When can I go back here??

Lawnmowers are so cool!

Lawnmowers are so cool!

Sitting on a pebbly bit of shore, coloring on rocks with a piece or charcoal we found.

Sitting on a pebbly bit of shore, coloring on rocks with a piece or charcoal we found.

I crocheted this hat for him last year and it was to big. This summer it is perfect!

I crocheted this hat for him last year and it was to big. This summer it is perfect!

Robot hands! Lewis' innovative use for toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

Robot hands! Lewis’ innovative use for toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

Experimenting with creating a stapled collage. ICAD starts Sunday, are you ready?

Experimenting with creating a stapled collage on a 4×6 index card, using mini staples. ICAD starts this Sunday, are you ready?

 

Lewis' favorite place outside our apartment: Digging in the dirt and checking for bugs under pots.

Lewis’ favorite place outside our apartment: Digging in the dirt and checking for bugs under pots.

 

Homemade Wind Chimes

Lewis loves chimes. Whenever we hear them from the neighbor’s apartments when we play outside he gets excited and tells me “ding!” He also loves the ones hanging on the porch at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Vermont, and this was the first thing he noticed when we pulled into the driveway there last weekend.

Today he was helping me unload the dishwasher and we noticed how the silverware makes a nice ding sound when knocked together. I commented on how it sounded like chimes, then asked if he thought we should make our own chimes. YES!

Of course he then wanted to abandon our dishwasher task and make some chimes NOW. I finished up with the dishes then told him I would go on my computer to look up instructions for making a wind chime.

He started shaking his head “no, no, no!”

“You want me to be creative and make up some chimes myself?”

“Uh-huh!”

Alright, so I put my thinking hat on and started brainstorming what we had and what we could use. We obviously would need something to hang the chimes off of (knitting needles? an embroidery hoop?), something to hang it with (easy – yarn!), something to make the sound (something metal – cookie cutters? crochet hooks!)

(Side note: I am loving his outfit today! He doesn't often give much input on what he wants to wear, but clearly when he does choose it is spectacular. )

(Side note: I am loving his outfit today! He doesn’t often give much input on what he wants to wear, but when he does choose it is spectacular. )

After poking around a bit I came across some popsicle sticks. Perfect, except now Lewis was demanding Booba milk popsicles. Sorry bud, we don’t have any of those.

I got out a few colors of yarn and started connecting two of the sticks basically using the method to make a “God’s Eye”I then simply tied pieces of yarn on the end of each stick with a loop tied into each piece of yarn and then hung a crochet hook off each. (Three size K hooks and one size J although I’m pretty sure there are one or two more size K around here somewhere.) Obviously if you don’t happen to have a surplus of crochet hooks lying around there are plenty of other things that could be hung to make noise, including the silverware we were putting away earlier.

I hung it up higher first but quickly realized it needed to be at Lewie-height or I would be holding him up in the air all day for him to jingle it.

I hung it up higher first but quickly realized it needed to be at Lewie-height or I would be holding him up in the air all day for him to jingle it.

Lewis loved his little chime and spent a lot of the day playing with it. We hung it up for a while but really he preferred carrying it around and especially spinning around while holding it.

The acrylic yarn I used turned out to be a bit slippy so the knots came untied a few times and eventually I added some masking tape to hold everything in place. This was a very quick and easy little toy to make, and I think Lewis will get many more days enjoyment from it!

Photo Friday

We got some new laundry baskets to help keep things better organized. Lewis loved them!

We got some new laundry baskets to help keep things better organized. Lewis loved them!

"Laundry? I thought you said it was a Lewie basket!"

“Laundry? I thought you said it was a Lewie basket!”

I taped down some contact paper sticky-side up to stick cotton balls and paper onto. Lewis discovered that it felt very interesting to walk across and get his feet stuck.

I taped down some contact paper sticky-side up to stick cotton balls and paper onto. Lewis discovered that it felt very interesting to walk across and get his feet stuck.

Always willing to "help" me with a baking project!

Always willing to “help” me with a baking project!

"You really shouldn't let it get so dirty under here."

“You really shouldn’t let it get so dirty under here.”

He likes to take all the socks out of his drawer, pull apart the pairs, and bring them into the living room, so I turned it into a matching game. Too easy Mama!

He likes to take all the socks out of his drawer, pull apart the pairs, and bring them into the living room, so I turned it into a matching game. Too easy Mama!

Helping me try to finish the blanket I started crocheting many many years ago.

Helping me try to finish the blanket I started crocheting many many years ago.

Toddler Apron From A Dishtowel

I have a couple of aprons that I like to wear while baking, washing dishes, etc. I tend to be a bit of a klutz and am prone to messes, so the aprons help keep flour/water/whatever off my clothing. Lewis has always been rather interested in my aprons, but when I wear them and when they are hung on their hook. Since he also is interested in helping me out with my cooking I decided a while ago that I should make him an apron of his own!

Searching around for toddler apron patterns, I came across the brilliant idea to make one from a tea towel or dish towel. All of our dish towels are a bit old and worn, so I picked up a cute snowflake towel when we visited a dollar store a few weeks ago.

IMG_2332I finished his little apron finally, and got him to model it for me.

Full coverage for helping Mommy with messy projects.

Full coverage for helping Mommy with messy projects.

Daddy asked him to do a twirl to show it off! :)

Daddy asked him to do a twirl to show it off! 🙂

This was a very simple project which took me a lot longer to actually finish than it should have! It has been sitting half-done by my sewing machine since before Christmas. I didn’t bother being very careful/precise with this. Lopped off the two curved areas for the arms and hemmed them; folded down the top edge at the neck to make a little tunnel which I then pulled a ribbon through to tie around the neck; folded the towel up to create the pocket and bring the apron to the right length, and stitched two more ribbons on the sides to go around his waist. Done!