Monday, April 26, 2010

Bugs and Butterflies

Today in Preschool we did Bugs and Butterflies.

We read some books about what makes something an insect. I reccomend looking in the Non-ficiton section for books about butterflies and bugs, I'm all about the pictures rather than illustrations. The girls loved the book "Are you a Butterfly?" by Judy Allen.

We made books about the lifecycle of a butterfly. Actually, I made the books, they colored and glued in the parts: A lima bean for an egg, twisted pipe cleaner for caterpillar, torn leaves for eating, tissue paper chrysalis, and dollar store butterfly clip. Click for close up of the book. Comment or email me if you want a copy of the publisher book file.

We played with butterfly connectagons , made ladybugs out of strawberries, grapes and mini chocolate chips, and made a spider web with yarn.

Then they pretended to be bugs and try to jump all around the web and not get caught. Eventually they decided getting tangled up was fun, and so they tangled all up together. This was definately the funnest part of the day. If I did this theme for preschool again, I would string the web around household objects, or with stakes in the grass, and let them climb over and around.

And here's some bug songs I reccomend:
and of course Flight of the Bumblebee by Beethoven
And for bug songs set to popular songs, consult this list of bug songs. We sang "Head, Thorax, Abdomen" set to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. And "Baby Bumblebee." And "Bug Song" - a variation of "Oh I wish I were a little racy car..." a camp classic.
On wednesday I'm teaching the sounds Ph and gh that make the F sound- and then I'm done! No more preschool for me year, maybe?
Oh! and I'm B minus 2 weeks now. Maybe I should buy some diapers, or something, in case little man decides to arrive early?

Let's go outSIIIIIIIIDE!

Ok. Ok. Here's what we've been doing outside lately.

We recently took a field trip to Trader's Point Creamery, an all organic, grass fed swiss dairy cow farm in nearby Zionsville.

These cows are responsible for some good tasting yogurt and chocolate milk.

We toured the grounds, ran around with some chickens, watched them bottle the yogurt and milk, and posed in front of a flowering tree. Good times.

A couple weekends ago we went to a local park with bike trails.
We found out a kite must have a tail to fly (ours didn' it didn't fly).
We met a squirrel who was way too accustomed to humans. Squirrels scare me.
And we listened to parents encourage their kids to crash a birthday party and steal things. It turns out it wasn't a birthday party, but a public event for kids of the county. But the parents next to us on the park bench didn't know that, they were encouraging their kids to steal.

And last weekend this little chubba cheeks came to visit, while John and Mike put new brakes on the vans. J was so amazed by the bubbles the kids were blowing.

The girls had a fun time playing with their cousins all day long. So excited to have them visit, and so sad to see them go home. "Why can't we just play for days and days like before we moved here, Mom?" Sophia would just like to move in with her cousins. And who can blame her, really?
Hooray for cousins!

New Valances and Playroom Art

My house looks different. One of my friends asked "Did you paint?" Nope. Just new valances.

The pinks are from the girl's room, the green is in the living room and kitchen.
I basically made a humungous long pillow, with pretty fabric in the front and plain cheap in the back, then stuck the 4 inch rectangular curtain rod through it.
Most people staple gun their valances to foam board or wood board, but I'm a sewing type of girl. Staple guns are a little too dangerous when you're as clumsy as I am.
Next up: ABC playroom poster
This poster is made possible by my cricut, a dcwv cardstock stack, and Make the Cut software.
Make the Cut allows you to take almost any image, find the outline, and mess with it, then cut it out with the cricut. Plus any true type font. Invaluable. So yes, I did the following:
  1. Made a list of simple images for each letter.
  2. Sort by color.
  3. Find clipart and convert it to cutting for each one, or find a suitable cricut cartridge image.
  4. Size it on Make the cut, cut it with the cricut
  5. Glue it on, add eyes and some layers for stripes.
The Abc poster took forever, like a week's worth of afternoons. It was over 50 different images, plus letters and color layouts. Plus, I was basically learning how to use the software. But the 123 poster took me an afternoon. No kidding. Especially since I discovered spray adhesive. So much easier than glue dots and glue sticks.

Now the really hard part...figure out which wall to hang it on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

B minus 30 days...

Can you find the pregnant lady who wasn't warned she was sideways to the camera??

That's right, Birth minus 30 days.

I'm at the point in my pregnancy when....

People no longer say "How far along are you?" They say " How much longer do you have???" And then they say..."really? that long?"

I have started fantasizing about hardcore exercise and punishing my body for 8 months of desserts. Who fantasizes about exercise? I mean, really?? I'll tell you who. Women who get winded walking up a flight of stairs. Who need help getting off the couch. That's who.

My kids are tired of sticking stuffed animals in their shirts and pretending to be pregnant. It's old news.

I knock over small children with my belly. Or even worse, step on toddlers because I can't see them.

Based on my last ultrasound two weeks ago, I can calculate how big my newborn will probably be. 85th percentile weight= no newborn clothes needed.

The shirts I've worn all through my pregnancy, are letting the breeze into the underside of my belly.

Complete strangers say "Wow you're about to pop, aren'ts ya?" in the elevator. No, lady. Actually, people don't pop. I am not popcorn. There's no popping involved. Popping would actually be an emergency. I'm not allowed to go into labor, in case I pop.

(Random tidbit- My ASL teacher in college would making the popping sound when he made the birth sign. It was hilarious, but kind of disturbing)

I no longer have grandiose plans for what projects will be finished before the baby arrives. I'm hoping I'll get through the three I've started.

My c-section date and time is scheduled. I'm that far along.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Everywhere you Go Car Tote

Have a kid obsessed with Planes? Trains? Automobiles? Well I have got a craft for you!

I saw this post for a car bag over at Seven Thirty Three, whose automated linkups somehow catch some of my crafts.

First it's a tote bag.....

That unfolds....

Into a playmat! Amazing, right?!

Ok so let's start with measurements.
My finished tote bag is approximately 11" by 10."
You need three body fabrics.
  1. Outer fabric/Car Pattern: 33" by 11"
  2. Grass fabric for putting roads on: 33 by 11"
  3. Lining fabric: 22.5" by 11"
For notions, you need:
2 qty 16 inch grosgrain or heavy ribbon for bag handle.
8-10 inches of velcro, both the soft side and hook side
3 inches of cord elastic
You need some other random fabric scraps, felt or otherwise, for the roads:
  • Black fabric
  • House
  • Tree fabric
  • Stop Sign
  • River

Ok. Let's get started!

Your body of fabric should look a little like this.

Step 1- Sew the lining. Fold in half and sew around the bottom and side, leaving an opening at the top. Set aside. You're going to leave it like this, inside out.

Cut out all your trees, houses, stop signs, etc.
Lay it out on your green mat, how you want it to look. If you have iron on interfacing, you could use that under all the pieces to make it really secure. Cut that out now, and iron on.
Give the scraps to your kids so they can do it and leave you alone while you sew. :)
Pin the soft velcro approximately 1 inch from the right side, centered vertically. Sew all the way around. Even if it's the adhesive velcro.

You're not seeing double vision, I made a few of these at once.
Sew all pieces on. This requires patience and a radio or tv show, because it seems to take forever. But maybe I made multiple ones. And if you look closely, I used a blanket stitch to make it pretty and secure. If you used interfacing, I wouldn't worry about a blanket stitch, just use a single one, your trees and roads will stay in place. and won't fray very easily.
So here's my sewn on roads/house/trees/river.

Underneath is my outer car fabric. It's got the hook velcro attached. Hey, where did that come from?
Well. I took the two fabrics, put the roads fabric on top of the car fabric, just like it will be when all sewn. Then folded up the car fabric over, in thirds, so I can see where the velcro will go.

It looked like this as I folded it up:

Then I pinned the velcro to the lineup spot. And sewed on.
So now when it's folded partways, it looks like this:

Now take the two fabrics, car and roads, right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom seam. Leave the top one open. Turn right side out.
Take the lining, and put it in the far right side, openings lined up with openings. Like the picture below.

Now fold the lining by about .75" out, and the car/road fabrics .75 inch in, and pin the ribbon handles in between. So it should look like this, with no raw edges sticking out.
Fold the rest of the car and roads fabric in across the top of the rest of the bag, pin together right up until the tote bag opening.

Now sew. I started with the non tote bag side. Sew all the way down, about 3/8 of an inch from the top. When you get to the tote bag part, stop. Open the tote bag and sew across the one side, then around the circle to the other side. It's sounds complicated, but it's not. You just have to be careful not to sew the whole thing closed.
And as always, at this point I forgot to take a picture of what it will look like after you sew. Sorry.

Now you're almost done. You just need a button and elastic to keep the whole thing together as you run around town.
Ok, so here's where your button and elastic are going to go:
Sew on the button, so it's centered in between the tote bag handles. Mine isn't. And it bugs me. Let that be a lesson to ya. Sew it centered. Then fold up the bag and velcro it. And then mark where the elastic will go on the other side of the tote bag. It should be about where it is in the picture above.
Take your 3 inches of elastic, fold in half.
Sew on the inside of the bag, or the outside with a patch like this, so it's secure and not showing raw seams.
It will hook over the bag onto the button, like this. Now it's not flying open. Huzzah!
The last step is to go find a birthday boy or little man, and some trains or cars, and show them your magic trick.
First a bag...
Then a road! Like magic!
Now go make one for your little man!

Lately in the Craft Dept...

Here's what we've been up to lately in the craft dept.

First, I made some of these bunny rolls, and forgot to take a picture. But they're delicious.

Second, we did a pizza fundraiser for Girl's Camp. One of our ward members owns a Papa Johns, and she graciously let us buy pizzas for half price to sell. And then let us invade her shop and make them ourselves. Here's the Pizza thank you card I made for her:

The pizza is attached to 15 blank cards. I took it apart, each of the girls wrote a thank you note on one, then attached it back together, and stuck it in the box to give to her.

I made the pizza box with the BoxesBags Tags and More cricut cartridge (fit to page, about 5 3/4 inch size) , used Cursive 101 for the lettering, and made the pizza out of circles, and cut the cheese out with old fashioned scissors. I did find some pizza svg files for cricut cutting, but I hadn't set up the software yet to use my computer to cut out designs. So I just cut away little triangles to make it look cheesy.

The other thing we did before Easter was make little egg baskets out of cut up cardboard egg cartons and paint some more salt dough beads, this time in bunny shapes. Here's the action shots of egg carton painting with qtips for detail.

I'd show you some finished products...but we never finished. It seems everything I start these days, if it takes longer than a day....ends up being put away for the next big thing happening, then I forget about it...until the holiday is over. I have about 5 unfinished projects waiting for my return. It's official- I am becoming my mother, at least in the craft pacing dept.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grandma's House: Part 1

Welcome to the land of sugar and adventure...Grandma and Grandpa Daley's House!

We do crazy things here, like dye eggs here as everyone else does...but then we hardly eat them and eat strawberry shortcake after every meal instead...

We feed whole wheat bread to the squirrels out the back door...then get really scared when they start acting like our pets and scratching at the door to come inside...

This weekend we jump on the trampoline. A lot. And I took a crazy picture from under the trampoline.

And we wait for the lake effect rain to stop...then enjoy some blue skies.

And.....this is one of the only pregnant shots you'll see. I just don't believe in real ones. Sorry!

Grandma's House: Part 2

Some more photos of our adventures in Elkhart...

Everytime you visit. You feed the geese. It's the main attraction, really. For the preschool set.

Here we are feeding them at Sunset...

And on Easter Sunday, you hide 50 eggs for two kids. Because you're nuts. And then there's more candy "to share" with me.

Sometimes you pout, about something ridiculous like your sister taking one of the eggs you were about to grab. You know, because there's only 50, so it's heartbreaking....

Also, at Grandma's house, you can visit the zoo. And see the Lion. And act like one.

This lion was so perplexed by a zoo cart that parked in front of his cage. He sat and stared like this for about 5 minutes, saying "What the...." in his little lion brain.

And then there was this flamingo who'd been fed popcorn too many times, so he wasn't scared of anybody. And he let you know. Flamingos are kind of spastic the way they turn their heads. Tourettes candidates.

We rode the zoo train too. Kind of lame-o, (two bucks to see the outside of the zoo but not any new animals?) but the kids like it.

Here's the girls with Grandma.

Also at the Daleys, there's the swings. They are an attraction in and of themselves.

Because if your back swing is this high...

Your front swing is amazing. One year the trampoline was the launch pad for acrobats jumping off the swing. This year, Natalie had the audacity to ask for a higher underdog. Well, she got it.

We finally drove home Monday night and came back to reality. Until next time, wonderous Grandma and Grandpa land...
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