Thursday, March 20, 2008

Saint Cassandra

It's CC's nameday! And this is what my sweet baby looks like today. Smiley and happy and lovely as ever.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sabrina's Mobile


Inspired by pipe cleaners that she said were "bits that fell off a rainbow in the sky" and some nature treasure we collected some weeks ago, Sabrina designed this completely unique mobile. She used some techniques she learned in preschool where they've been making multi-media pieces, wrapping wire around objects and making coils.

From start to finish this vision was all Sabrina, and the execution was nearly all hers too. My one contribution was securing the pipe cleaners to the tops of the pine cones exactly as Sabrina instructed me to. It was fascinating to witness her creative process unfold and watch her carry to completion such a complicated idea.

This is another reminder to me to say yes more often, to follow my children's lead, to trust... The plan for this afternoon was to go to the library, but Sabrina did not want to and specifically said she wanted to work on art. We did for over an hour and then I really wanted to clean up and get dinner ready. But Sabrina insisted she wanted to make more art. When she pulled all the pipe cleaners out of the bag I started to lose patience, and when she found and dumped a bunch of dried up old pine cones (aka nature treasure) out I was about to put a stop to it all. But the look of focus and inspiration on her little face made me pause, and once she got started I just had to be thankful that I was not quick to stop her and had the opportunity to be the parent I want to be and to witness this wonderful piece of true inspiration come about.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Little Signs of Spring

Tender buds brought into the house.

Easter egg painted by Sabrina.

Drawing outside with chalk.

A box of rice and beans to play with in the sun.

The Spanish bluebells I planted 10 years ago are preparing for their appearance.

Sabrina's drawing of what the bluebells will look like.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day


A few weeks ago Sabrina planted two little pots of clover, one for herself and one for CC.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Little Miss CC




At 10.5 months you...
smile and laugh all the time
need your own babyproof dollhouse
adore your big sister
look like your Daddy, dimples and all
dance to music
love to stand
love your cherrios, chicken, beef, lima beans, pasta wheels. love to eat!
say mama baba dada na sha cc and put together sentences we pretend to understand
drag yourself inchworm or commando style everywhere
give me funny look when I call you Cassandra
wave bye-bye
blow kisses
have the most beautiful eyes and lips
sign for food and milk and change
enjoy your bedtime stories
are proof that a heart can double in size

Saying Yes


I will say yes to my children more often than no.

Because when I asked Sabrina what she wanted to do and she said make chocolate cupcakes my first thoughts were what a pain, we don't have the ingredients, you don't need the sugar, the kitchen is all clean.

But I said okay, and in return got a happy lovely girl and great cupcakes too. And I was right, we didn't have the ingredients to make the frosting, but I melted some chocolate chips to spread on top.

I got the recipe from Baking with Kids--it was much quicker and easier than the Martha Stewart recipe I have used in the past that requires beating the butter forever and adding ingredients one at a time. This recipe is perfect for kids--hand mixing, ingredient dumping, it's all simplified and truly the taste does not suffer much.

Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons super soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
Instructions
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees
  • Mix dry ingredients together
  • Add butter
  • Whip eggs in separate bowl and add to first bowl
  • Add milk
  • Mix all together with spoon until smooth
  • Spoon into pan
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Let cool
  • Frost with your favorite frosting or melt some chocolate chips and spread on. Add sprinkles. The chocolate will harden if you put it in the fridge for 5 minutes, or will stay soft if left on counter.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

lmnop



I love lmnop, an Australian online magazine for parents and children. The perfect amount of beautiful inspiration to be enjoyed with my morning coffee. The current issue has lots of cool Easter ideas just in time to help me avoid getting too pastel-ly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make a Bunny


I'm adding making bunnies like these to my Easter and Spring list. I've been dreaming about making some softies but felt intimated since I haven't sewn in years. This tutorial makes it seem so easy to bring a child's drawing to life.

Found via Craft:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Easter and Spring, Spring and Easter.


Despite the strange weather, cold, then warm, then really cold again, we're slowly getting ready for Spring and Easter. I feel a bit guilty that the build up for Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving seemed more intense than that for Easter, which is actually my favorite holiday in many ways.

So here are our plans, some already on their way:

1. Plant little pots of clover and wheat grass
2. Set out our collection of Polish painted eggs that my mom has been adding to for years
3. Paint our own wooden eggs inspired by the collection
4. Discover old and new Easter and Spring picture books, (see what we're reading at BabyCenter)
5. Make these baked donuts for Easter brunch
6. Do some Spring cleaning and weeding inside and outside the house
7. Set bunches of bright tulips all over the house
8. Visit the Easter Bunny here or here
9. Make these stained glass egg decorations
10. Fill the sandbox with sand and new toys, buy fresh sidewalk chalk, a bag of balls and a parachute, and move playdates outside.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Clay Play


We've been experimenting with different commercially available sculpting materials--Play-doh, Model Magic, Sculpey and traditional clay. Each has its pluses and minuses, but they are all great fun to use and are very nice to work with side by side and as a family. There's also something so satisfying about squeezing the stuff, a pleasure I have not felt in a few decades at least. The smell of Play-doh brings back memories!

Most of the pieces in the picture are collaborations between Sabrina and myself. But she's getting more confident on her own and made a ladybug, a pizza pie, a couple of snowmen and a giant carrot for the bunny all by herself.

I love how the animals all seem to be wearing shades!

At Sabrina's school the teachers make huge batches of dough for the children to play with, and I really want to get my hands on their recipe to make at home. How fun would it be to make different colors and have an unlimited supply of dough? I'm thinking it would also be less expensive and safer that the store-bought stuff.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Abstract Scrap Collages



We recently started saving up all the scraps from collages and projects with construction paper. Sabrina found a beautiful way to use some of them. Truly, the idea and execution were all hers. She even knew that the best way to glue the scraps onto the white paper was to water down the glue and paint it on the white paper. I LOVE these pieces. I love abstract art and I know I would be drawn to these pieces were they in a gallery or museum.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Plans


We're slowly slowly starting to think about expanding our living space to accommodate our growing girls and changing needs. It's very exciting and very intimidating at the same time, but it's been fun to see how much Sabrina is on board with the new project. After seeing some preliminary plans from the architect, she drew her own plans. I love seeing how she plays with the new perspective of looking at the house from above. There's a closet, a mantel with candles, flowers out front. A sofa and a bed. What more could we need in a cozy home? Makes me think maybe the bigger kitchen, master suite, new bathrooms and family room are not really necessary!