Saturday, May 19, 2012

A really amazing blog

No, not mine, a real one.  Well, if your interested in kids too.

This especially is amazing, and I wish, wish, wish to do this with Jeanne very soon!

Push lights = solar system!

I can see this being done in a variety of ways.  Spell their name, flowers, great for kids afraid of the dark, favorite characters in a book, place them just high enough they have to jump to turn them on.

Very cool idea!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Falafel and found photos

We have been re-focusing our food intake lately.  Hubbers and I are pretty adamant about hight nutrient/taste to calorie intake and we recently found a new food love.  Baked falafel.  No more egg, thus cutting out the cholesterol completely and very little oil, but I am going to make these again with no added oil to see if I can cut out even more fat.  Did you know that a single TEAspoon of olive oil has 5 (FIVE) grams of fat???  I didn't.  I read every label of food I buy and bring into this home, but only TODAY did I read the olive oil label.  Crazy.  Ridiculous.  Yuck.  Here is the recipe I found, because you KNOW I didn't come up with it!

Baked Falafel (it says it makes 21, but I was only able to make 15 and I used a tablespoon to put the mixture on the cookie sheet).

Makes about 21 balls
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten. Place onto an oiled baking pan.
Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it’s baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

The nutritional content is as follows: for ONE patty
Calories: 35
Fat: 0.84 grams of fat
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 1.7 grams
sodium: 96 milligrmas

This took me approximately 40 minutes.  That was without a food processor and with my kids refusing to nap.  The big one coming out every 5 minutes and the little one crying the whole time.  This must be a super fast recipe if you don't have that going on in your life!

Both of these photos were taken about a month ago, I don't know how they weren't uploaded earlier, but here they are.

Water bin fun.  Loki really is happy here, he was talking up a storm.  Jeanne loved to watch the splashes.  They both ended up sitting in the bin and giggling.

Corn on the cob for the first time.  What a treat!  See, this was her kale meal. 
 Kale and corn, what a lunch!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

water beads, floating and sinking, walk in the woods and a new haircut

Water beads and my stupid, crazy, cheap, homemade light box
 (string of star night lights under a tupperware top).

Light shining through the water beads.

 Scent containers.  

This one is an old spice container and cotton balls with peppermint essential oil on them.

The other two have fake flowers with lemon EO, and the little one has whole cloves.

We keep them in her kitchen, and both kids love to 'cook' with them. 
 Lots of soups have been created lately.

She liked it.

"You smell mommy."


We've been trying to find opportunities to talk about science in our everyday as often as possible.  Recently we've had lots of balloons in our house, some sank and some floated.
We talked about gases, helium, oxygen, broke out out periodic table.  We observed the floating balloon over a couple of days and discussed why it started to sink after having it only1 day.  We talked about the size of gases and how they move.  We 'moved' like gas (fast and bumped into each other a lots, which she thought that was tons of fun).

Then I had her search through the house for things she thought would sink or float in water.  Here is what she brought me.  Her hypothesis was that the things in holes in the would float. 
 I thought it was a fantastic hypothesis for a pre-3 year old.

Oddly enough, she really didn't like the sinking things.  She seemed worried about losing her items and wanted me to take them out as soon as she saw them sink.  So we only played with the floating items.  Still, she had a blast playing in my sink, and that's really the point.
(I got to fold the laundry)

(I got to put away the dishes)
"I can't look at the camera mommy, I'm busy".  Yes, she really said that.

(I got to get lunch all ready for the kids)
Washing her giraffe balloon.

 Hanging out with Daddy.
Sitting together playing one of Jeanne's video games, which she apparently already outgrew. 

I was having a horrible day.  I felt horrible, tired, grouchy, short and just plain blah.  I needed to de-stress so we went for a walk through the woods.  I brought an empty egg crate for Jeanne so she could collect things to observe later. 

As soon as we got on the trail, she grabbed a big stick to walk with.

When I took Loki off my back for lunch on the trail, 
he decided he wanted to go for searching for a stick too.

I deliberately didn't take too many pictures.  I needed to breathe.

Hubbers has been asking me to get Loki's haircut for a while now.  I resisted knowing he would be a screaming mess.  But, after a very stressful month of lots and lots of working, I surprised hubbers with a short haired boy.  And yes, he was a screaming mess.



What do you think hubbers said when he saw Loki?  
"Oh, I think I miss the long locks"!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Dress-up, finger paint, and I spy

We have really re-arranged the rooms here.  I've tried to make new things more accesible to them, like clothes to play dress up.  At the same time, I've packed away most of their toys and books so they can focus on less and "miss" the ones I've packed away.

Here, Loki has found one of his Daddy's old favorite shirts to play in.  

He felt the need to sleep in it too.

While the kids played nicely together in their room, I set up a finger painting activity outside.  Loki's never done this before, so I was excited to see if he liked it or not.  I couldn't find black paper, so I just used some paper from a coloring book.

Made some 'art' shirts so they could be as messy as they like too.

Jeanne carefully uses one color to begin painting the suns rays, and his face.

She dares to add a second color, but before she would do this, she asked for a napkin to wash her hand off.  Oh so careful, oh so clean.

She pauses, then considers the third color.  
She pains a single ray, then realizes it would be quicker if she used all her fingers. 

 Then her whole hand.  Then she smiles and makes a mess.  She stands and begins to sing to herself, bouncing and happy as could be.

VIDEO:  Jeanne painting

Loki on the other hand, dipped his whole hand, made his mark and walked away.  Couldn't care less really.

He so dislikes when I tell him not to eat everything though.

He was happy enough just to play with the napkins.

We've had a few cloudy days here.
So I tried to find ways to bring a little color into their day.

 Some experimenting we did earlier with different objets and what sound they make.

Then, I made them an I Spy bottle.  I added the objects and glues their doubles to a piece of cardboard.  I was worried it would be too difficult for Jeanne.  I was wrong.  She found most of them very quickly.  I'll have to add more rice next time.  More objects too.  Ideally, I'd like to make a monochrome bottle to really make it difficult for her, but I don't have enough 'stuff' right now, but eventually.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sensory bins are a big hit here

In just the last 48 hours, Jeanne has requested the 'rainbow rice' 20 times.  I'm so glad I am now able to sleep and organize these things for her, she loves them.  She was actively engaged for over an hour with a single box of rice, some spoons and a couple of bowls.  Go figure, Loki digs them too.  Although, for my sanity, i made larger sized objects for him.  Rice just worried me too much.  Here's a photo shot of the last 48 hours.  It's been a blast for all of us.

Loki and Jeanne pour and dump blue rice

Realizing the baby spoon feeder can become a rattle

"Look what I did"!

Never to be left out, she wanted to take pictures too.

She perfects her aiming.

Showing Loki how to play the 'right way'.

A very unhappy Loki.  He didn't like being told "Not in the mouth" about the rice.

I see this as "but mommy, please"?  Alas, no.  No food coloring for you little dude.

Seriously, this went on for over an HOUR.

Later that day, we played with ballons filled with unknown substances.  I thought this would be really cool, and it was.  But it took Jeanne approximately 30 seconds to guess correctly one was filled with water.  O.K.  I'll need to do better than that I guess.
You see, she squeezed the ballon so tightly, you could see the water.

She wanted to play with them again as soon as she woke up. 
She asked to cut them open to see what was inside.

One had yellow rice in it.  Here Loki has also just woken up, he's still trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes, but won't stop playing.  

Ohh, the yellow rice and the water make yellow water.  What fun!

I, however, didn't "love" picking up the thousand pieces of blue rice all day, so made some colored larger pieces of pasta.  When it would get dumped, and I knew it would, it would only be a hundren pieces or so, not the thousands of teeny rice.

So far, Loki's favorite place in all these activities in right in the middle.  Literally.

In an attempt to "let go" and allow the children to explore a little more, I have stopped correcting Jeanne about playing with her food.  Now, she just isn't allowed to throw it or touch the walls with dirty hands.

Here, she made a "house" out of her cheese and sliced carrots.  She was quite proud.  
She asked me to take a picture.

I let Jeanne play with the rice while Loki napped.  She at least helps me clean up the rice.  Loki will, in a flash, dump the entire bin.  I also let her mix all the colors together.  She about flipped her gourd when I gave her all the colors.  So simple, so much fun.  Bowls, spoons, some 'things' and she is occupied for a long time.  Although, I am with her.  She is much more interested if I am by her than if I leave her.  She also sings to herself the whole time.  She sings what she is doing in the moment.  It's really kinda cool.

The next day, she wanted to play with her HEX bugs and the 'grass' aka rice.  It didn't work as she thought, but I suggested we glue down some pinwheels  and make a path for them.  I told her to clobm her chair and I would get the glue.  Once there, she told me her chair was dirty, and wanted to clean it first. 

 OK, no problem.

Then she saw that Loki's chair was dirty and wanted to clean it.  Yep, sure can sweetie.
Then she saw some spinach on the wall from last nights dinner ans asked for a wet towel to clean it. 
Oh, yes my dear, let me get that for you.

On Wednesday's we pick up our CSA at the farmers market.  On our return, she asked for only one of the items from this box of goodies for lunch.  Can you guess what it was?

Our CSA box included the following: (left to right):
Butter lettuce, radishes, spring onions (the beets were purchased at a separate vendor for $3), bunch of Kale, 2 quarts of strawberries, and a pint of sugar snap peas.  We left the famers market dishing out a total of $3.  I pre-paid for the CSA, but this box is $20 worth.  Not a bad spread if you ask me.  
Now, can you guess which item she asked for lunch, and it was the only thing she ate for lunch too....


It was the KALE.  And she ate it, raw.  That bowl is vegetarian shepard's pie made with yukon gold potatoes, spinach, spring onions, peas, corn and portabella mushrooms.  It is AMAZINGLY good.  She didn't touch it today.  Yesterday yes, today, not one bit.  The kale though, she ate that.  
She was the one who jumped for joy when she saw the kale at the market too, 
and she picked out most of it, 
"All by my seff".

Yeah, that does feel good.