Saturday, January 30, 2010

Setting Sail on The Good Ship Olliepop

O Boy celebrated his 4th birthday with a birthday party of his own creation: an Olliepop birthday! It all started when he told his Papa over Christmas that he is going to have a boat and give candy to fishermen when he grows up. Papa came home and drew the following picture of the Good Ship Olliepop: (click on it to see all the amazing details!)

We then turned it into the cake pictured below. It was a candy bonanza!

Here are pictures of the little sailors who came along for the birthday cruise. The project we did was making sailor hats. My amazing friend Erin hand cut out little sea creatures for the kids to paste on their hats. Thanks, Erin!
In the background you can see 2 of the boats O Boy, Mr. T and I painted on the windows as part of the party decoration.

The game we played was, of course, Pin the Lollipop on the Olliepop!
Here's Grandma Alice reluctantly taking her turn...
Here are the kids laughing delightedly at Grandma Alice's lollipop hanging up in the air!

The Smallest Sailor

Two Cindy Lou Whos

Here is my cousin Jenny's little girl, Natalie and the Little Sweetie sporting almost identical hair styles. Can you tell they are the first (and only) girls in their families and their moms are having fun playing with their hair? I found out I was pregnant with the Little Sweetie on the day Natalie was born and we were so happy to find out later that she was a girl and would have another girl cousin so close in age (even though we live so far apart!).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Animal masks

Here's another fantastic book we discovered at the library last week:
In it are some really fun masks to make out of paper. Each mask also has a corresponding short animal tale that goes along with it. The skunk mask that O Boy chose to have us make was incredibly easy - the boys did almost all the work themselves with me just handing them tape and helping them put it down. Just make sure you have a LARGE roll of tape available if you do this project with little boys. They loved using lots of tape.

We started the project the day before, painting the black construction paper so that our skunks were actually very colorful skunks!
This is Mr. T lifting his skunk tail to spray someone. They waited excitedly for Dad to come home at the end of the day so that they could greet him in their masks and "spray" him.

Mr. T had also asked to make a giraffe mask so we googled it and found this easy one online. O Boy cut his out all by himself while Mr. T and I made his skunk mask. This was O Boy's first time doing so much cutting and he did a great job!

Bread baking

Since I've been making our own bread lately, I was very interested when I saw this book at the library last week. It is beautifully photographed and written all in rhyme, which makes it very fun to read. The whole process of bread making, from planting to eating, is very simply described. Best of all, at the back it has a simple bread recipe "that even 4 year olds can make." So my almost 4 year old and 5 year old did! Here are the results:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

11 months old

It is incredibly hard to believe that our Little Sweetie will be ONE in just a few weeks!
Here are her 11 month old pictures...

Here I told her, "Pick up the bear and give him a hug!" And she did!
These beautifully knit winter things were made for me long ago by my Swiss "grandma" Margaret Messmer. We have a picture of me at almost the same age wearing them.
I like this picture. It's as if she's saying, "I know I live in Alaska, but I am a bit overdressed, don't you think?

Snowmen snacks

We've made snowmen snacks a few times before in the winter so of course my boys started asking when we'd do it again about as soon as the first flurries hit around here. So we finally hauled out the marshmallows again yesterday to make some very fine (and delicious) snowmen with friends. Each time we discover how to make this snack better - I started with cut bananas and peanut butter (to hold the banana slices together). Then we switched to marshmallows which admittedly look more snowman-like. Yesterday we abandoned the peanut butter for the much stickier marshmallow cream. If you're already downing a bunch of sugar, why not add to it? The other modification we made was abandoning the standing up snowman position. They simply just keep falling over. So we had the kids make their snowmen laying down (this of course allows for snowmen taller than 3 marshmallows, which Mr. T discovered right away).
Here's our friend Mary with her snowman and snow baby:
O Boy's got pretty detailed, with shoes and arms and some clothing.
This is one of the versions of Mr. T's snowman. He built the basic body and then kept adding (and then eating), and then adding (and then eating) various details. So the Cheerios are his second set of eyeballs (he ate the first version).
This expression on Martha says, "I came here to eat the snowman, not make him for a picture!" :-)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sailing the high seas

Here's O Boy and his best friend turning our slide into a pirate ship. The bunk bed ladder I attached to the side of it made it much easier and safer for them to climb up and down off the top - the crow's nest, of course. Thanks to Sheri and Wyatt for providing all these fun pirate accessories at Wyatt's pirate birthday. We use the pirate toys all the time!

I guess the spyglass is more effective when you look through it backwards...
O Boy is holding up his "map." This is a page that fell out of a book on hurricanes that we have and it's a picture of a hurricane tracking program on a computer. So it has all these "maplike" markings. He loves to trace around it and say things like, "I'm going norf (north)." It appears in all his pretend sequences like hikes and pirate sailings as a reliable map so I haven't taped it back into the book. It's getting much better use this way!

Pajama party

The boys each had a pajama party their last day of preschool before Christmas break. I completely forgot to bring my camera to Mr. T's pajama party day, but these are the pictures (which O Boy consented to and arranged!) of O Boy's pajama party day.
Everyone is "asleep"

A new stage

The Little Sweetie is solidly in the "emptying containers" stage. This is sort of cute and fun to watch as a developmental milestone. It's also amazingly frustrating to turn around and find all the freshly folded and put away laundry or clean silverware tossed to the far corners of the room.

Caught red-handed in the middle of serious emptying job
I'll put them all back, Mom. I promise!
The Little Sweetie strikes again.

Foot painting

A long time ago we did some foot painting. It was very messy and a bit fun. Probably more fun for them than me. It's definitely one of those activities that takes way longer to clean up after than it does to enjoy. So I decided to try it again a few weeks before Christmas. I had grand plans of making a Christmas tree we could hang ornaments on or take off to count down to Christmas. That part never quite materialized. But we did stomp out a mighty fine Christmas tree. Little note to self and any other brave souls who might attempt this activity: TAPE THE PAPER YOU ARE PAINTING ON DOWN. Halfway into the painting "fun" I remembered that this was something I also discovered halfway through last time. Why don't I write these things down or something?

Little Sweetie was fascinated by the bucket which was standing by for boys to rinse off in. She tried to submerge most of her body in the bucket while the boys covered themselves in green paint. I definitely do not have enough arms at times like that.

Rinsing off and being silly

My first hairbow

It's funny to me that babies think this expression is a smile...