Sunday, February 14, 2016

What We've Been Up To

As much as the weekly roundups are nice they aren't very realistic for me, but I do enjoy reflecting on what we've been up to, so here is a bit from the last few weeks:

When we have friends over lately we try to involve them in our activity for the day so on this day Iz and her friend A did some watercolor painting together and played dress up amongst other things. It's always a treat when everyone has a happy time. We worked ahead of time on trying to think of ways to make our friends feel welcome and it seemed to help on that particular day.

We did our weekly stories and finger rhymes and Iz seemed to really like it best when I worked props into them, so that is something to keep in mind and to try to do more of in the future. This gal loves a good story and is very into reading and theatrics of sorts, very regularly "reading" us books from memory as we drive along or are hanging out around the house and I think working props in made things even more exciting for her. I sure do miss the days of lounging around with her reading as long as she wished, but we do the best we can and if O falls asleep in the car and there is time I usually unbuckle Iz and let her crawl up front to read the stack of books we keep in the car for her to get a little bit of that special time together in.

I requested a drawing of E working. The reality of being a work at home dad when we go to play in the basement. Iz scrounging for snacks from his desk and O crawling around pulling up on his chair and me sneaking in a kiss and a hug. We're pretty lucky and he's pretty tolerant.

I finally finished a sweater for Iz that I had started back before O was born, purposefully sizing up knowing I would be setting it aside to pick up months down the road. It was nice to finish it up and have it off the needles and she was excited to have new mama-mades.

I was then craving another knitting project so found a pattern for a cowl and cast on with the yarn leftovers from Iz's sweater. Now that is finished and I'm craving another but really need to be working on some other things so have moved on temporarily.

One day we decorated beeswax candles (with beeswax decorating wax). This was fun and something I really enjoyed but was a bit hard on that particular day when my patience was low and Iz was more interested in ripping up all the sheets of beeswax. Still fun but we set it aside to finish another day. Mostly these things are a bit hard to do because O can't yet participate and is at an especially attached age so it's hard to give Iz and the activity the focused attention necessary but it's still worth it and we will always keep trying and making and doing.

We had a snow day and as another perk of E working from home, he and Iz were able to shovel together during his lunch break...and I was able to stay warm inside and get O down for a nap.

Random activity. I put all the letters in a bin of oats with a scoop with the idea of Iz scooping and searching for them and then putting the puzzle together. Was kind of a dud but she enjoys the puzzle and we'll revisit this activity or other ones while using it since she is very interested in letters right now.

For instance, she has been requesting for us write out block letters pretty often so she can color them in. It's one of her favorite things to do lately.

We played with play dough of course and O got in on the action for the first time. Mostly playing with the tools and a little squishing (and trying to eat) the dough. She was so pleased.

In other news we started working on doing a minor makeover in our kitchen in anticipation of putting it on the market. This space needs lots of love and we'll give it what we can. I'm only wishing we would have had the means to do this earlier but will enjoy the cute changes while we are still here.

An especially fun activity this month was watercolor painting lanterns. One day we each made a large painting, then that night I rubbed them down with oil and the next day we made them into lanterns. Super fun and it tied into the story that week which was really fun for Iz.

For our baking day we made oatmeal raisin snackels and this past week we made almond meal chocolate chip cookies and they were both pretty good. I'll definitely be making the almond meal cookies again (probably for O's party as I like to have a sweet gluten free option for those who prefer it but probably sooner too...).

Iz - always happy to help however she can, this time by washing the dishes. I really need to tap into my patience and let her help more often. We do quite often but many times I'm under a time crunch to get a meal on a table while keeping O happy too that it can be a bit overwhelming to add another step - have to try though as these are things I certainly want to continue to nurture.

Random coin sorting. Another that was of little interest but we will revisit another time when she's a bit older.

After finding a small strand of plastic beads on the floor of the thrift store during our Mama/Iz time last weekend she was talking about making a necklace so this past Monday I pulled out some one inch wooden beads and she painted them, we then let them dry while on a walk with our company. Later I wrapped tape around the end of a piece of yarn and had her string them up. She loved doing this and running around with her new necklace on.

Our pipettes finally came through the mail so we hopped right to this next random activity. Simple - a pan with a layer of baking soda and a few bowls of colored vinegar. This kept her entertained for a long time and she spontaneously thanked me for setting it up for her. That tells me it's a hit and we will definitely be doing it again.

Cloud dough play is always a hit too. She really likes the messy activities best.

As much outside time as we can get too, but I could admittedly do better. O has been having a rough few weeks so we have been in a bit of survival mode and with the chilly weather it can be a hassle, but we are always happier when we get a bit of sunshine and fresh air.

We did sneak in a family nature adventure (photos above) too on an unseasonably warm but much appreciated day last weekend and it was just what we needed. And, Iz had fun playing with some of her nature table finds with some of her thrift store finds the following day.

Otherwise, some sewing on my part to help the kitchen makeover along, lots of deep breaths, lots of healthy cooking as we focus in on cleaning up our diets a bit more and lots of remembering what's most important...and of course lots of pre-dinner dance parties.

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