Turning Two…

Wow. This little guy is turning TWO this week. I guess it’s not so hard to believe, but at the same time, well, yes, it is…
Z and the dollhouse2 …Time is such a funny thing as a parent. All of a sudden SLEEP is such a precious commodity. And watching your toddler entertain himself for 10 or 15 minutes, happily and creatively, can feel like time suspended…

Z and the dollhouseZ usually wakes up before his sister. My husband usually lets me sleep, never complaining. Such a champ! But on this morning, for whatever reason, I got up early with Z and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee while watching him play, with time standing still, until, of course, alarms went off and the craziness of the morning rush began. 

Happy Birthday to my silly, wild, happy-go-lucky, curious, brave little guy. (It may sound corny, but being your Mom is a real honor!)

And because Birthdays make me sentimental, here are a few pics from his first few days…

Newborn Z - BlogZ first few days Love!

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DebbieNovember 7, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Happy Birthday, Zeke!! We love and miss you! Jane, fantastic photos and stories as always! Love you!

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Busy Hands…Happy Kids

Most of our days are filled with these kinds of shenanigans…

Sibling Make-Believe(Pics from iPhone…check out that stray piece of macaroni on the kitchen floor, haha!)… The kids love to run around and yell “Poof!” with their magic wands (or paper towel rolls), often getting pretty wild in the process. It’s so fun. My heart is so happy watching them play together, and pretend-play together, more and more each day. But, as you would imagine, we have our share of melt-downs and my-turns around here too. So, I’ve really been enjoying crafts that involve keeping their little hands busy…

Fine Motor Skills1This was a basic playdough recipe with no food coloring added. I let the kids mix in glitter with their hands, which was great because they had to work hard to get it all nice and mixed in. Then we put out some rocks, dry spaghetti noodles and cheerios as “mix-ins” for them to experiment with. The kids did this on their own and I thought it was pretty cool (and admittedly what I was hoping for when putting out pasta and cheerios ;-))…

Fine Motor Skills4 And I had a few truly happy minutes to just step back and watch them exploring something new together…

Fine Motor Skills2 I hope they’ll always be such good friends.:-)Fine Motor Skills3 I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful, safe Halloween! XX

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DebbieNovember 7, 2014 - 4:18 pm

So fun!

Painting and Pottery | Crafting with Kids

This Edible Sidewalk Paint was awesome. It was a sure hit with Mr. Z. It was easy to whip up (a plus for me!) and a hoot for him to experiment with. We will be making this again!

Sidewalk Paint

homemade sidewalk paint - 1

And, seeing as how it was non-toxic, I didn’t feel so bad when he decided to dip his head in it…homemade sidewalk paint - 2

I don’t have anything to add to the original recipe – This was so straight-forward, easy to make, & easy to clean-up. Win Win!

Later the same day, one of O’s Best Buds (I think it’s so cute seeing them play together!) and her family came over for a pottery-painting play-date. Here are the two of them looking so intent on their masterpieces…potters-web-WMpotters2-web-WMPainting-webNote: In these photos we were painting pottery that we’d created a few weeks prior. O made some tiny coiled bowls. We rolled out the clay into coils with her and made the base and walls from one long coil. She seemed to enjoy this and I think she’ll be able to do it with less assistance next time. She flattened out a piece of clay for a lid, which I love!Pottery Painting Party 2

What Pottery-Painting Party is complete with out Tacos and Mexican Beer?…

Pottery Painting Party

O (age 3.5) and Z (age 1.5) also love “hand-building” pictures. I’m not sure if that’s the right phrase for it, but they do things like this…They are too wonky to fire in the kiln, but they are really fun to make and I like to think that this kind of project builds dexterity and fine motor skills too… 

Handbuilding Painting and Pottery…so fun with kids, and friends!

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easayontimeMarch 7, 2016 - 11:52 am

These are some beautiful pictures that you have shared with us. Hey kid seems engrossed in his work. He is so cute and chubby. He seems to enjoy doing this work as he is quite crafty. Also that these young girls also look determine to finish their pottery paint.

Our “Rainbow Week”

I looove O’s Preschool…it’s fantastic how the teachers introduce a new theme each week and that theme is carried out in all aspects of the child’s school day; in the decorations, the circle time book & discussion, the puzzles, the dress up clothes, the sensory table, the playdough manipulatives, the art projects and even the cooking projects. I didn’t really realize how much I appreciated all of this until her first school year was drawing to an end.

Soon after, I thought it would be fun to pick a theme of our own and spend a week or so exploring it through a few different mediums. Here are some of the ideas we played with (many of them were discovered on Pinterest and can be seen here. There were so many wonderful ideas that we certainly didn’t get to (I personally love the idea of all-natural rainbow pancakes, for instance), but it was nice not to force things…just to do the activities that the kids had interest in and to keep an eye out for rainbows (we did see one!)…

I ordered these books on Amazon and truly love all three. They are great additions to our growing “science/experiment” library as I like to call it (basically, books that sort of lead easily into science discussions or simple experiments in the kitchen, in Nature, or at the craft table)…

Rainbow books

Eating the Alphabet” is beautiful and fun to read. I just made a point to grab some of the fruits and veggies we had in the fridge to show O & Z as we read along. I think it would be fun to have the kids do a cooking project related to this book as well.

End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad” is so clever! I love this idea…It is basically an illustrated recipe book with colorful pages and large numbers, making it easy for early counters to follow along. We haven’t made the fruit salad yet, but will have to give that a try sometime soon. (Note: They also have a Veggie Soup book!)

My favorite by far was the book, “Planting a Rainbow“, by Lois Ehlert. Both kids (ages 3.5 and 1.5) sat attentively for this book, mesmerized by the beautiful, cheerful illustrations and the cut-away pages towards the end that really help a child to visualize the order of the rainbow colors. This book led to this activity, age-appropriate for BOTH kids (something Moms everywhere can appreciate, I’m sure)…

tissue paper gardensMaterials for this project are simply a roll of contact paper, painter’s tape, and some recycled tissue paper in a variety of colors. We started out making flowers, but it eventually ended in a celebratory confetti party, with two squealing, happy kiddoes…

O tissue paper

By the way, my camera BROKE for the first time in 4 years this week, so many of these pictures were taken on my iPad or iPhone…As O would say, “That’s okay!”. 


I drew a simple rainbow on a large piece of paper and left it on the table with some other pieces of paper and a box of markers, sort of as an open invitation to create. I was so excited when O used markers to copy the rainbow. At 3.5 years old, she does not yet draw many intentional objects – they are usually much more abstract. I hung her drawing on the wall so that we could easily talk about the order of the colors in the rainbow, etc. 

Later, we took my drawing and others outside with finger paints and she painted over my rainbow which I thought was cool. Meanwhile, 1.5 year-old Z had a blast finger-painting his body…messy!
rainbow artwork

For a very short but cool activity (this was awesome while I was trying to prep some food in the kitchen, for instance)… I put out a few balls of playdough and some colored pipe cleaners and did a little demo of how they could make rainbows, before stepping away. I think Mr. Z loves working with play dough and salt dough the most (future potter, perhaps??)…

rainbow crafts

And, this is where I was kind of disappointed about my camera being out of commission…We made this rainbow glitter salt-dough and it was SO pretty! I mean, I feel a tad silly saying it, but I kind of wanted to photograph it even before we built with it…it was just so vibrant and glittery. 

I do have one thing to add…The author of the recipe for this dough does say that you should be careful not to add too much water. I definitely added just the teeniest bit too much water to a few of these colors and they were noticeably stickier and not as fun to work with. So, I’d say, for what it’s worth, start with her original measurements or even start with a little less water than is called for and see how that goes before adding more. I think, when it comes to salt dough, that crumbly is the lesser of two “evils”, so when in doubt, use less water.

salt dough magnetsZs Star

At 3.5 years, Miss O had a great time rolling out the colors and helping me form them into rainbows. At 1.5 years, Mr. Z liked mashing up the colors and then letting me roll it out so that he could use cookie cutters on the dough. I like his star, above…it kind of reminds me of a star-fish…though mostly he just played and enjoyed the experience. He had very few useable pieces at the end.

Lastly, my Mom used to sing a song to us about rainbows that I still love and remember to this day. I was so excited to see that you can actually find it on Amazon (along with a lot of other very cool science-themed and nature-themed childrens’ songs). Here are the words from the refrain:

“By refraction and reflection
And dispersion of the light,
Little rain-drops make a rainbow
And it makes a lovely sight…”

So, that’s a summary of “Rainbow Week” at our house…It was fun having some pre-planned activities for the kiddoes. But, it sure gave me further appreciation for O’s Preschool…I don’t think I can be so organized on a regular basis! 😉  What kinds of activities are your kids getting up to this Summer? Hope you are having a great week!

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DebbieNovember 7, 2014 - 4:28 pm

Oh my gosh, what fun! You are a great mom!!

dellMarch 16, 2016 - 12:20 am


Joe E.March 16, 2016 - 5:54 am

In summer season after the rain the beautiful rainbow appear on sky and that is quite wonderful view to feel the nature. The flowers and the plant blooms are grow in spring season which are enhance the patio greenery.

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I already bookmarked your site and I really find out it helpful all the time. The concept and the creativity of you guys are so amazing and I‘m sure married women love to make these type of easy things with their kids.

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best memories

How Pinteresting – Rainbow Pasta Necklaces

Well, it’s about time to do something with all of these kid-crafts I’ve been madly pinning on Pinterest. I intend to try at least one out a week, since Summer Break is in full-swing!

Last week we had a bit of a “Rainbow Theme” here at the house. 


I followed this PIN to make colored pasta and we enjoyed making our Rainbow Pasta Necklaces!

pasta necklace1

I don’t know about you, but I often look at kid-crafty activities online and then wonder how it will work for my children, at their specific ages. So, for your reference, this was a great craft for O (who is 3.5 years old), but for Mr. Z (who is 1.5 years old), it was more about spilling the pasta out and then scooping it back onto the tray (okay, he did way more spilling than he did scooping). So, we ended up making our necklaces in earnest once Z was down for his nap.

Lookin’ kinda sassy…


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rush essay comApril 2, 2016 - 10:39 am

This rainbow theme idea is good and she looks quite cute wearing that rainbow pasta necklace. To make that jewelry piece is quite a task for a three and a half year old child. But all in all these types of activities are good for children as it stimulates their imagination.