Monday, February 28, 2011

Random Kindness

All. Month. Long. I may or may not track it all here, but every day I will be more than polite. I will be more than courteous and I will make Grandmama proud.

What about you? Feeling like a March of Kindness? Need some inspiration?

"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

And I leave you with cuteness:

Steve finger paints with Baz....a random act of kindness...?

Friday, February 25, 2011

So THAT'S What Cream of Tartar is for!

Play dough.

I fully copied Meg at Sew Liberated and used this recipe. It was ridiculously easy. I also decided not to reinvent the wheel and got myself to the Container Store and picked up the easiest-to-seal food storage container ever:

And then we had some play dough fun times:

He had nap hair, which makes me swoon.
And for funsies:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Restoring my faith in nature

So Monday was a holiday and Steve was working from home. All well and good and then we hear a bang and he says "what was that? Did a bird just fly into a window?" And I say "no. Maybe an orange hit the car."

I had one eye on the pictures I was hanging in the hallway (they've been on the floor for two years. I figured it was time) and one eye on Sebastian who has discovered the fun of looking out the window in his room and therefore could not be bothered to investigate.

Steve did. He reported that a bird had, in fact, flown into the window and now appeared to by dying under the back orange tree. This made me very sad. I looked, and confirmed that what we were looking at were likely death throes.

I tore us away from the window with assurances that once he was truly at peace we would bury him in one of the newly dug holes in the backyard.

Steve immediately started instant messaging with my sister. I sent her a picture on my phone (first of the bird and then of the amount of blood.) I chased off the hooligans.

Particularly this one (Helo)

Then I noticed something: the bird (a male woodpecker) was picking up his head. Then he started looking around. I let out a little whoop and informed my sister who gave me instructions on nursing an injured bird back to health. I grabbed a shoebox and some rags and gloves and when I came out again he was sitting up in roughly this position:

Poor little guy probably had a migraine in his entire body. We brought him inside and showed Baz, who thought it was the Best.Thing.EVER. Then we put the box in a spot we were certain could not be reached by the cats and ate lunch - checking on him every few minutes.

There was nothing more to be done at that point. He was either going to recover or he was going to slip away. As long as we kept him safe and warm and away from the cats until he looked well enough to eat we were doing our best.

Luckily, after lunch when we peeked we were greeted with a very confused bird.

Who promptly started to fly:

I donned yet another pair of gloves and carried him outside where he was more than happy to fly as high as possible into the juniper tree at the back of our property.

I haven't seen him since, but I have seen his girlfriend. She was eating seeds out of the few remaining pomegranates on the tree outside the window.

I've set up a feeder for them. Hopefully they'll stick around and become helpful birds who sing and tie ribbons in my hair. That happens, right?

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am a contest entering fool

Have you seen oohmoon?

You haven't? I have been slowly amassing her AMAZING illustrations for use in Baz's bathroom and now she's giving away a family portrait.

The bathroom that is now home to this:

go here, check her out:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Celebrating the Scribble

Last week I ordered this book from Hicklebees that is all about encouraging writing development.  (Bonus: the author is an occupational therapist so she knows of what she speaks.)

I've only just started it, but we know that Baz already has a love of crayons, so now I make a point of having coloring time every day. Some days I color with him and some days I fold laundry or pick up.

Most helpful tip so far: when coloring with your child, keep your art on the same developmental level as theirs so they don't get discouraged. In hindsight this rings true. If only I had known as a teenage babysitter!

 The next quandary: what to do with all of this art? Blogs and publications galore talk about the myriad ways you can save and show off and honor your child's efforts. 

I went with two robe hooks from target, some grosgrain and the animal pegs:

He loves it: 
 (I've seen this before, but I can't for the life of me remember where. When I figure it out, I will credit the genius who inspired this.)

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, February 11, 2011

These Aren't the Chickens You're Looking For

 So after we cleaned up from coloring, and Baz was down for his nap I decided it was time to take advantage of him sleeping and me being caught up with the laundry and (mostly) caught up with the dishes and take my new toy out to capture the beginnings of spring in our back yard.

Little did I know when I rounded the corner what I would find. Namely:

 That's right. Chickens. The neighbors have a LOT of chickens and every now and again the more adventurous ones escape. Four is a record, though. And these guys were unafraid.

This is what I went out to shoot:  Cherry Blossoms.

 With lots of birds hanging out in them, scolding the chickens for eating their spilled birdseed.

This dark gal was on to me from the start. Had I not been wielding my new toy, I would have chased her down like Rocky and tossed her over the fence.

 Instead, I took pictures of the apricot buds:

 And this little guy, holding out long after his friends have flown to uninfested feeders, giving those chickens what-for.

The chickens were unconcerned. Apparently, this spot held the motherload of tasty business. The light was gone by the time their rightful owner did manage to chase them down and heave them over the fence, so it will be this weekend that I shoot the aftermath.

Baby, glad for some action in her day. She preened the whole time I was out there.

And when Baz woke up from his nap I walked him out to show him the silliest thing in our backyard. His little eyebrows lifted at the first clucking, and when we finally saw them he looked from the chickens to me and back and all he said was "huh" before smiling and insisting he be put down so he could crawl after them. Although mostly, he just hung out and watched them run around like chickens with their heads...not cut off.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A little play time

Today I pulled out some fancy clothespins (originally purchased from a local boutique with the intention of using them to hang art) and a couple of empty milk jars and gave them all to Baz. 

And then the mailman startled him and the moment was gone.
But he has discovered where the mail can be found...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The office...prepared

The office is (closer to) finished! Behold the best two parts:

This is the ubiquitous IKEA Expedit bookshelf. It is awesome. We moved everything electric/with flashy lights got moved to the top - printer up there on the left and next to it the router, magazines (note the alone hat), my Employee of the Year trophy from Cooper (brag, brag) and the network something or other.

Second shelf (l to r): scanner, Montessori albums and yarn, sewing books, cookbooks.
Third Shelf: printer paper, stationary/card supplies, ditto, cookbooks
Fourth: Legal pads, file folders, stamp stuff/card stuff, yarn etc, cookbooks (and blocks)
Bottom: pull toys, silks, wire maze, duplo blocks.

The silks are actually more Waldorf than Montessori, but I like the different shapes and sizes and textures for sensory exploration - and Baz likes them, too.

The handle-hole is the best part, in his opinion.

Turn 90 degree to the right and there's the desk with the lone computer (yay for downsizing!) and the music corner. 88 key synth, violin, and there on the left: Baz's instruments. There's also some books and some toys for him to pull out and play with when he wants.

That blue bag has the remaining VOLTRON pieces that are waiting to make their way to Steve's office.

Not pictured-  my desk/sewing table. Because it's a train wreck back there.
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