Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We had a fun messy playdate at our house this morning.  On a typical Tuesday, Zayit is at preschool, but today was a holiday.  I had completely forgotten that he would be home all day, so at 10pm last night I was texting another preschool mama to see if she wanted to break up the day by coming over to play.  We ended our conversation with "wear play clothes - things could get messy - we might be making Gak."  And that's just what we did!

The kids had a blast (and I think the mamas did too!).  Zayit has a bit of a sensory thing when it comes to touching wet, gooey, squishy things, so he stirred with a spoon, but as soon as the Gak was a bit more firm, he got his hands into it as well!  Fun was had by all.

Our Gak recipe was Borax-free.  I didn't feel comfortable using Borax in something that Ziva might potentially get her hands on (we did this while she was napping, so she wasn't involved in the making it process, but I think I will have her play with it tomorrow because it is just so cool to touch).

What you need (for each child/color):
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Elmer's School Glue
food coloring
1/2 cup liquid starch

Each child got a plastic cup of colored glue, a spoon, a cup of pre-poured liquid starch and a larger container for mixing.  We started by adding a little of the starch at a time and stirring, kneading and squeezing, then adding more starch and repeating.  Eventually all the starch was added and we had big slimy messes.  The mamas then squeezed out the excess starch and handed over an awesome, cold and slimy glob of goo.  The kids went to town!

Since the kitchen was already a mess, after we were done with Gak, out came some paints, paper and Q-tips for creating.

Zayit had such a fun time, he crashed out on the couch after eating lunch.  It was a good day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Surprise

Today was a very long day at work for me.  I was up all night with Ziva and her lovely GI bug that she somehow caught.  (Poor thing - I feel like she is always sick with something.  She's only a year old and she's already had RSV, Roseola and now this lovely GI illness.  She's had more doctor visits than Zayit has in his 3 years, including an ER visit.  I guess that's part of being the second child.)

On a happy note, I came home to a lovely Valentine surprise!  Our nanny is the best.  She took it upon herself to create a very thoughtful Valentine with the kids.  Grammi was there to help too.  Let me start by saying that our nanny is not a baker.  She doesn't cook.  She prefers your standard American/kid diet.  She has been watching us over the last couple of months, learning about and trying all sorts of new foods.  She even admits to liking red peppers now!  But check this out...

Conversation Heart Cakes!  And she MADE THEM FROM SCRATCH!!!  No box mix here.  I was so impressed.  She dug right in to my box of goodies, used food coloring, cookie cutters and all sorts of other fun stuff.  And I love the little popsicle stick plaque in the background with puzzle pieces glued onto a heart.  It says "We love you to pieces."  How stinkin cute!  

Thank you Marissa!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crayon Valentines

Loving Pinterest these days!  We made those crayon hearts that have been floating around the Pinterest boards and they came out so cute!!!  They were so simple to make and definitely worth the time.  Zayit had fun filling up the little heart molds with broken crayons and watching them melt in the oven.  It took a bit longer than his attention span could handle (20 minutes at 200 degrees) but he was super excited to pop them out of the mold after they cooled.  (I popped them out first and then put them back in just to make sure that they wouldn't break when he did it).

After all the hearts were made, I printed up little 4x4 cards on cardstock and hot glued the crayon hearts to the cards.  I'm excited that he has such cute little Valentines to hand out at school this week and there isn't any candy involved!

No More Teeth Marks!

A couple of weeks ago, Ziva took to gnawing on her crib rail.  Ugh!  She only has 2 teeth on the bottom, but those suckers are sharp.  I didn't like the idea of her chewing away on a plastic crib rail protector, so I had to come up with something different.  A couple days later I was shopping at Old Navy and they had tons of fleece scarves on sale for $3.  Perfect!

It took me about 5 minutes to cut slits along the scarf and tie it around the rail.  I couldn't be happier!  Looks adorable and now Ziva is gnawing on fleece instead of wood or plastic.  Crib rail is saved.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ziva's 1st Birthday Bash

Ziva had a birthday!  Exciting times.  I can't believe how fast she has grown!  We had a little celebration to mark the occasion.  I had fun learning to decorate cupcakes and made a separate smashcake for the little lady.  Of course, I had all sorts of ideas for a photo shoot, thanks to Pinterest, but she had other ideas.  Only my kid would not want to stick her hand right into a cake!  Oh well.  We had fun and got a couple of awesome pics.

Some pics from the party...

Thanks to JSPhotography for hanging out with us and capturing the moment!  

Shaving Cream Painting

We have had many days recently when indoor activities have been a must.  The temps here are just way too cold to go outside.  One of our recent "quickies" is a commonly seen activity on Pinterest.  I've found that it is helpful to have some supplies on hand... always.  One of these items is shaving cream.  I never run out.  We will go months without using it, but when it's needed, it's always a hit.

We needed an after school craft to change the mood.  Zayit was getting a little crazy and getting ready to bounce off the walls.  Shaving cream to the rescue!  It took all of 2 minutes to set up, lasted about 15 minutes, another 2 minutes to clean up and all was good.  The energy in the house quickly changed and it was the 'reset' we needed.

If you notice, there is an entire roll of paper towels very close to Zayit.  This is key!  Shaving cream painting is MESSY.  This is the only time I can get him to wear an apron and we go through a ton of paper towels in a short period of time.  Also, make sure you have thick paper - we use either watercolor paper or finger paint paper.  The moisture of shaving cream soaks right through regular paper.