Sunday, February 13, 2011

Arts & crafts

Ben and I did a few arts and crafts today. There are so many cute ideas on the web but Ben's attention span and tolerance for limits has been pretty short this weekend, so I picked a couple of really simple things. The easiest Valentine's Day craft that I could think of was the construction paper heart person we probably did for 5 years running as a kid. I cut out all of the shapes and Ben was excited to use the tape to stick them together. He probably would've been even more excited had we just let him pull out the whole spool of tape and play with it by itself. He also found the scrap of paper from which I'd cut the hands, and decided it needed to be taped on as extra decoration. I drew on the eyes & mouth but he picked the colors. It's hanging on his door now, just high enough so he couldn't pull it down!

I was also excited to try this neat idea for coloring sugar cookies seen at the wonderful Artful Parent blog.  She cut the cookie dough into heart shapes before painting, but a) I didn't feel like messing up measuring cups and bowls to make homemade dough and b) Ben would not have tolerated having to hear the dough being mixed, then get to help roll it out and cut shapes, then freeze it for a little while (helps make it firm enough to paint), then paint & bake. So we took a shortcut and sliced store-bought refrigerated cookie dough. I diluted gel food coloring (liquid would probably work too) and we painted the cookies with Q-Tips. Ben liked poking the Q-Tip through the cookie dough and making holes. He also decided he liked painting the cookies, then squishing or pulling them apart.

I was too busy running interference while painting to get pictures, but here is him saying "cheese" as he squishes the dough:

I used some melamine-ish bowls for the "paint" and a cutting board for Ben to keep the cookies on.

Our finished cookies were a little overdone, but still good. We each had an initial cookie & I managed to squeeze Ben's name onto one! We also used a mini heart cookie cutter to make hearts in the middle of others.

The cookies got Ben's stamp of approval!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A sign of the times

A scene indicative of Ben's current very-two-year-old mindset:

Dave: Ben, are you being contrary?
Ben: NO!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day scenes

I stayed home from work today and Dave worked from home in expectation of the big snowstorm (I love this fake forecast map!). My offices closed around noon anyway. By this afternoon, the snow was really blowing & cars were having a lot of trouble navigating the north-south crossroad next to our house. One poor little Prius had to be pushed! This evening MODOT closed I-70 between St. Louis & Kansas City because of dangerous driving conditions. The central part of the state was really supposed to get hammered.

Ben had a pretty good day and played with his toys this morning so I could get some paperwork done too. For a special treat, I thought I would get out the Trader Joe's giant gingerbread man that my godparents sent us for Christmas (thank you, Jeanne & Dennis! All the great TJ's stuff just made us more excited for the 2 TJs that are finally opening here this year!). Ben immediately wanted to chomp down on the cookie but was wary of the icing & M&Ms I was trying to get him to put on the cookie. He actually wiped off the icing and M&M until I told him they were okay, it was a special candy treat. Then he decided the M&Ms were pretty darn good! He still didn't want anything to do with the frosting but did allow me to help him put a little yogurt on for eyes. Then he just wanted to chow down!

(Note:  This video was too big to host on Blogger, the way we usually do it, so we hosted it on YouTube & linked that. That's the reason you'll see thumbnails for other unrelated videos afterward - YouTube just searches for other videos with the same generic numerical name and suggests those.)

We also did a lot of singing (Aunt Jen, you got "Happy Birthday" sung to you about 10x! Opa & Great-Grandma also did, but it's not their real birthday!) and playing with the new wooden school bus that Mr. D. made for Ben. He loves rolling it on the floor & singing "The Wheels on the Bus."

We will see how tomorrow's commute looks. My family back in Michigan is expecting snow tonight & tomorrow too. Hope everyone is staying warm!