31 articles Articles posted in Kids

Amazing Art Made With Milk

I did an art/science project with my 2 year old today and I just had to share. You probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen right now to do it yourself. We were completely mesmerized by this – I heard lots of “wows” from my son. I love it when art and science collide.

Here is all you need: Vitamin D milk, food coloring and dish soap.

What to do: Pour in a little milk into the bottom of a shallow dish

With food coloring, put in drops of different colors in the milk

Then take dish soap and put a small drop in the middle of the food coloring.

You should immediately see the milk react and begin to disperse the food coloring in a colorful display. It’s like a tiny living ocean of color.

Originally I came across the idea via Household Hacker. Here is their explanation of how it works:

Food coloring is less dense than the milk itself – so it remains suspended within the fat molecules of the milk the soap breaks up the fat and lets it spread across the surface of the milk. As they break and expand, they create movement in the milk, and pull the coloring along for the ride.

I don’t know who had more fun, me or my toddler!

So beautiful and intriguing how it all works. I hope you go try it for yourself!

My Baby Is One

My baby boy is one today. It’s simultaneously a year that feels as if it’s dragged on forever and flashed by in an instant. It was – and I don’t say this lightly – the hardest year of my life. We got much more than we bargained for with this little one. Much more crying, much more sleepless nights… much more love.

The birth was thrilling, but also one I’m not eager to do again anytime soon. I think exhaustion has been the hardest thing to deal with this year, that and trying to do everything else too. But, oh what joy. I just melt inside thinking of the joy he brings in my life. So it’s been hard, and character building. And this post is dedicated to him.

Journaled at 7 Weeks
You are the embodiment of everything beautiful in my life. You are sweet and peaceful, thoughtful and content. You began smiling at me about a week ago, and though you don’t smile ALL the time like Eli did, you seem to have a distinct look of intention and focus behind your smile, and it’s so endearing. The first week you were born you would lock eyes with me and your gaze was so intense. You seem to have such depth and personality already at your young age. Your eyes are deep blue and your toes are always flexed when you are awake, almost like you can’t relax.

You are very strong. Sometimes we will find you turned a 180 from where we set you down – you can maneuver around quite well for an infant! You can also hold your head up by yourself if I’m holding you upright. It’s very impressive! One time you even nose-dived off my pillow to try and retrieve your pacifier…and you succeeded.

Journaled at 4 Months
You still eat 4-5 times a night, and every 2-3 hours in the day – which wears me out, but I really don’t mind too much. Your joy is expressed with your entire body, it starts in your eyes, then creeps down to your mouth, and then your arms and legs join in. Sometimes you look at me so happy and your eyes water…which inevitably makes me tear up too. In the rare occasion that we get to nap at the same time, you like to touch my face all over and then fall asleep. You have developed the cutest dimple in your left cheek despite the baby fat that’s been stored there. It shows every time you smile. I hope it stays. Eli has been interacting with you more and you love it. You seem to have already idolized him as your big brother. You love to watch and be involved with whatever he is doing. He is great at helping with your diaper and always says, “whoooaaa” just like I do. Haha!

Journaled at 9 Months
All within the last two weeks you’ve started crawling, saying mama and pulling up to a stand. In public, EVERYONE comments on your gorgeous blue eyes, and I’ve been told more than once that they just sparkle.

Journaled at 10 Months
The other morning I woke up with your cute little baby foot about an inch or two from my face. It was awesome. Your feet are so cute. You’ve been sick with an ear infection for several days. So if I thought we were joined at the hip before, this week has pretty much soldered us together. All you want to do is cuddle cuddle cuddle. I don’t mind, I love holding you. Your brother minds though. I don’t think he likes the extra attention you are getting. Changing your diaper sometimes takes two people, one to wrestle you down one to slap the diaper on your bum. Yes, now I can mark the one off the list “let a 10 month old get the best of me.”

Unfortunately you still aren’t a good sleeper. Waking up 2-3 sometimes 4 times a night still. And you started this new thing where you just roll and thrash your body around until you or I finally succumb to what you want (nursing or pacifier). I get a good laugh out of playing chase and hide and seek with you around our couches. This is the most fun. I get a little jump out of you every time I come around the corner you aren’t expecting. And giggles. Lots of giggles. It’s funny feeding you. I’ll set something yummy in front of you and you grab it by the fist full and shove it all in your mouth. Sometimes you use two fists. And then, if I bring something else that you think is yummier, you throw down or spit out whatever you are eating to make way for the new, more yummy stuff. When you don’t get what you want, it’s like the world is ending. You throw your head back and raise your arms and cry BIG tears then throw your self back or forward without caring about the consequences. Sometimes you even bang your head against the floor repeatedly. Aren’t you too young to be doing this? I think so, but you’ve seen your big brother do it plenty of times, so I guess you had a good teacher.

I feel like 75% of the time I’m watching you, you have something in your mouth, or you are about to put something in you shouldn’t, or I’m fishing multiple things out. You are so fearless. You do things that make me so nervous, and I really can’t keep you out of my sight for too long. That and your brother pesters you alot. You like to be right in the middle of things, in the thick of the action. You don’t like being on the sidelines. So that bothers your brother alot, but he will get used to it. You still cry ALOT. Anytime I put you down in your crib, you cry. Anytime I put you down at all, for any reason (and walk away), there is a good chance you will cry. You just still like being right by me or being held by me. It’s exhausting, but you know, I love you so much I would never ever wish it away. I’m just glad I have the time margin to be able to baby you while you are still a baby.

—-

Abe, you are so loved. Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

Baby Shower No. 8

I think that’s how many baby showers I’ve helped plan in the last 5 years. I love baby showers! There are a few ideas I wanted to share from the most recent one I threw for a friend.

Watercolor BABY sign. It’s easy. Just print out this template I created, cut out the letters, trace them onto watercolor paper. Paint your traced letters with watercolors. Doesn’t have to expensive paint, I just used my 2-year olds! Cut them in circles and hang onto ribbon. It’s pretty for the shower, but it’s also a great keepsake for the mom to take home!

Paint Splat backdrop. This was fun just for some added color and festivity. I took a roll of white kraft paper, hung it up and just went crazy splattering it with my cheapo watercolor paints outside.

This would be a fun activity with the littles too.

Invitation. I’m offering this as a free download if you’d like to use it! Just free for personal use, no selling please. :)

Happy Birthday Superhero

Eli, you are two today! I can’t believe it. It’s seems like you’ve been with us longer than two years. Maybe because each and every day is so FULL with you in it. In a good way! I love you so much. You are the sweetest kid. So curious and so smart. You still love opening doors. By now, I’m wondering if the mechanics of a door will ever get old hat to you. After two weeks in bible study, your teachers said, “We think he’s going to be an engineer!” You have such a great mind for learning things and discovering how things work.

You are talking too. Non-stop. Most of the words I can’t comprehend, but I know they mean something to you. Sometimes you will walk up to me, put your hand on my shoulder and get up close to my face and with all the seriousness your little self can muster, spout off something and then walk away. I don’t know what it means, but I know it’s important! You can say a lot of words. Here are some: car, baby, church, house, eat, cool, see, sock, shoe, eye, choo choo, drink, pizza, outside, help, please, thank you, sorry, bottle (pronounced bopple), blankey is shi shi, cheerios is chee choo. Sometimes daddy needs me to interpret for you since you sort of have a language all your own.

You love your brother. You have a sweet look that you give only to him. The other day at bath time, you started splashing and got a giggle out of Abe. That was all the encouragement you needed. A splash and giggle fest ensued.

You are a wonderful helper and so responsible. If you make a mess, you say “clean up!” and grab a rag and wipe it up. You love to help me put dishes away, load and soap the laundry, and make dinner. When you see me prepping a meal you scoot a chair over to stand on, grab your monkey spatula out of the drawer and I let you do little tasks like open things or spread cheese or something like that. You get very upset if I don’t let you help me. You also love to help daddy put on his shoes. One time, you were closing a door and got your fingers pinched pretty hard. You started to cry but you saw daddy putting his shoes on without you. You ran over, through the tears and pain, and helped daddy put this shoes on. Oh my. I think my heart grew larger in my chest in that moment.

You love singing. You don’t know the words to most of the songs I sing, but you do your best and join in. Sometimes I hear you in the back seat of the car singing and I turn to look and you are closing your eyes like mommy does when she sings. I’m blessed that you are still napping every day. At least an hour. Then you sleep for about 11 hours at night. Daddy took the side off your crib a week ago. We decided we should since you recently demonstrated that you could climb on top of it. You didn’t like it at first and would get out of bed and cry at the door. I think you liked the security of your crib. It took a couple nights of singing to you and stroking your hair and helping you fall asleep, but you finally got used to it. It’s fun watching your personality emerge and discover who you are and the gifts God’s blessed you with. Two should be a great year. Not without challenges, I’m sure, but still a great year. I love you little man!

Absent

Sorry for the absence lately. I’ve been spending time with this guy.

And this one.

Who is 4 months old and rolling and scooting all over the place.

My boys are my highest priority in life right now after God and my husband. Life with two babies is full, difficult and wonderful and requires pretty much all my energy and focus. I know you moms can relate! So until my load lightens a bit, this blog will be neglected and might gather some dust.

Welcome Baby!

Hello all! Just a quick post to let you know that our little Abe Alexander entered the world on June 6th. He’s such a great baby, very cuddly, a great sleeper and eater, with a head of dark hair and as cute as can be.

I’d love to write another post with the full birth story soon, but I’m pleased to report that my VBAC was successful and experiencing the miracle of birth was nothing short of amazing. Thank you to everyone who supported, prayed for, and encouraged me!

We are all doing fine and recovering nicely (despite a case of jaundice after coming home from the hospital) and adjusting to life with a fourth member of the family. Love to you all!

My Eli at 18 Months

Dear Eli,
I can’t believe you are a year and a half already! You are growing and learning so much these days.

Some things you love:
Playing chase and hide and seek // Roughhousing with daddy // Opening and shutting doors. Over and over and over… // Getting a bath and playing in the water // Going outside to play and explore // Yelling at people in public like they can understand you // Pushing the cart at the store // Sitting in my lap while we read books

I love when you:
Cross your ankles when you sit in your high chair or are laying down // Run and give your daddy hugs and kisses // Are very sweet to your little friends, share toys and are empathetic when they are sad // Give me about 20 minutes of cuddle time in bed in the morning before we play or do anything else. This is my favorite! // Run little errands for me, pick things up from the floor, put appropriate things in the trash, etc. // Giggle and scrunch up your nose // Get excited about seeing your favorite blankey

Some fun things you’ve learned:
How to make elephant, cow, and doggie sounds // How to buckle your seatbelts // How to say “cool” and “muah” when you kiss someone

I love you more than words can say!

Cute Lil’ Knit Baby Booties

OK, this project made me want to have a baby girl SO very badly. Maybe our third kid will pop out female? I sure hope so! Anyway, I knit up some cute little booties for a friend of mine that is having a sweet baby girl this summer. Lionbrand Yarn has the free downloadable pattern, you just have to sign up for an account to get it.

Aren’t they cute? After knitting up the pattern, I used some vintage lace to create some bows and sewed them on the front. Then I hot glued a little rhinestone center in the middle. Now they just need some pudgy baby feet to go in them!

Are you expecting or know someone who is? I have 4 weeks to go in my pregnancy. Things are going great, I just wish I could speed it along a little!

Happy Friday folks!

Backyard Picnics, Exploring & Strawberries

I’m loving reading all your comments on your favorite things about Spring. Thank you to everyone who is sharing!

Today my son and I enjoyed the beautiful sun and a picnic lunch in our backyard. We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh strawberries and raspberries, and soaked in the warmth of the sun.

For me, it’s so much easier to be creative in my time with Eli when it’s warm. There’s park outings, strolls around the neighborhood, sidewalk chalk, chasing bugs, and exploring all the life that the season brings. Much better than being cooped up in a house on a cold day!

So if the weather is nice and sunny where you are, go out and have a backyard picnic or find some other way to enjoy the season. It won’t last forever!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wife, Mom, Artist

Seventeen months have passed since I became a mother. A big, shiny new title that’s been added to my name. I have to say that as a full-time mom it is the most challenging job I have ever had. What makes it more difficult is that I feel an equal need to still be a great wife, and not give up my passion for art and creating. So how do these roles mix? Are they even supposed to mix?

I used to compartmentalize these roles and segment them in a way that felt like structure to me. I work hard to have structure in my life, and would say to myself when the baby wakes up, “OK, now I’m a mom, do your thing” and then when the baby is asleep and it’s just me, “now I’m an artist and this is my time to work or create” or when I’m with my husband, “now I’m a wife.”

After a while, I grew tired of this way of thinking and acting because they can’t (and shouldn’t) be completely segmented.  With this way of thinking, my need to create as an artist would end up getting frustrated and in turn I would wish away the time spent with my son, awaiting his next nap so I could tackle my next project.

I realized that each major role I have overlap and mesh together to form who I am right now. Now that I’ve had this enlightenment, it makes life a whole lot easier. I choose now to use my creativity to come up with meaningful, creative and fun ways to spend time together. We color, we play with play doh, we read books, we explore outside, we play music on the piano and sing (no TV!). I can say now that I am content when I’m with my son and I don’t wish I was doing anything else.

I look forward to when he gets older so we can do all kinds of projects together. I love how my friend Mandy will take drawings of creatures her kids have created and sew stuffed toys that resemble the drawings.

I love how this artist has immersed his kids in creativity and art with amazing handmade toys and art projects.

So now I no longer watch the clock and live for his next nap time. I’ve blurred the lines of artistry and motherhood just by loving my time with him and focusing on where my role as a mom and as an artist intersect. Sometimes I can start a project when he’s awake and then finish it when he’s asleep. Ultimately, his nap time becomes my focused work time. I always have a mental list of things I need to do when he sleeps and I do what I can in that time.

Creativity and motherhood are not separate entities. One does not detract from the other and there is no weighting one by shorting the other. It is not about stealing time for creativity from being a mother and vice versa. Creativity infuses motherhood, and your motherhood colors everything about your creativity.

Remember, creativity is a holistic approach to life. It is not just about that painting, sewing, writing or whatever it may be, it is about the way you look at things. It is about being open to the adventure. It is about looking for new uses for old things. It is about coming up with solutions to problems that do not seem solvable. It is about seeing beauty and meaning in the mundane. Creativity is about learning to speak what is in your heart. It is about looking for and nurturing possibility. It is about feeding your soul with what nourishes and about sharing with those around you, in effect, feeding them too. And all that? That’s what it means to raise children, too.