Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Foil Painting

This is a project idea I got out of a book the art teacher at my school lent me. You will need a piece of aluminum foil, poster paints, and a white wax crayon.

First, I let Piper crumple the foil up into a ball, and then I unrolled it and spread it flat on the surface. I actually used the heavy duty foil, but I imagine that regular would work fine too. The thicker type might hold up better and be less likely to rip however.

Next, my little artist painted the foil with its first layer of paint. Note to self: I really need to get some other colors of paint. All of her artwork is starting to look the same. She did the first layer in green and on the second day, did the second layer in purple. You should have some thickness to the paint layers so the next step is most effective.

Finally, after the paint is completely dry you will use the white wax crayon. Lightly rub it over the paint to emphasize the foil wrinkles. Piper helped me do this last step, but I did have to help her quite a bit. I noticed that if there was only one layer of paint, it flaked off easily.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bedroom

I was able to get a new shelf for Piper's bedroom the other day for absolutely free. One of the furniture places was going out of business and there were several items on the lawn that they were just giving away with a purchase. Mostly it was just junk, but I managed to snag the top component to a hutch that I made into a shelf for her room. I bought a floor rug for under $10 in order to get it. The hutch was pretty big and cumbersome, and was a little difficult to get into the car and back to the apartment. It fits perfectly on her one wall and I moved her other storage unit and table set around to make room. Every available space is now taken up, but there is still a lot of floor area to play.

I guess nothing really matches now, at least not like it did when she was a baby. It's not a big deal since I'm not particularly attached because we live in an apartment still. Maybe once we buy a house it will be different. The "theme" when she was a baby was Eric Carle, and now it still has some components of the red and white colors and decor, but there is also Little Pet Shop bedding and more pink and purple than red. And oh yes, there's still this giant ball pit that takes up half the room. :0 She does play in it, but I wish we had a dedicated playroom for it.
We tried to convert the crib into a daybed last weekend, but it didn't work. She kept falling and crawling out of the bed and sleeping on the floor despite the cushions I strategically placed next to her. So for now, I put the side back on the crib. She did love the bed open though, and had great fun jumping on the mattress. She is getting both feet off the ground at the same time now, at least when jumping on the bed or the couch. I haven't been able to get her to jump for me off the ground yet.
My next project is the closets. Cheryl, if you are reading this, we really need to have a garage sale. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bubble Blower

Erick bought Piper a new bubble blower this weekend. It is pretty neat and blows all different sizes of bubbles, as well as huge bubbles with little bubbles inside them. This is a really bad photo, but it gives you the idea. Now if I can just get her to stop picking it up and carrying it around we'll be set.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Visit from Uncle Brian and Aunt Tabetha

My brother and his wife visited on Saturday. We had not seen them for quite a while, so they were anxious to see Piper all grown up now. Brian even cooked us some yummy pizza too. We had lots of fun playing with Piper. She did play-doh for about an hour and only took a bite of it once. It was pretty funny because she told on herself. She ran out of the room and around the kitchen hallway loop back into the living room. As soon as she came in she yells to us "eat", and indeed she had taken a big bite of the dough. They also played with the bubbles, and colored, read books (sorta, she wouldn't sit still) and I'm not sure what else. I think we exhausted all of the activities and toys.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sidewalk Chalk & Clothing Stains

It has been really warm and nice lately, so we have been outside a lot playing. Last night we used the sidewalk chalk, and she had fun drawing on the cement for a while. Mostly she wanted to just run around and act silly. She was also obsessed with going for a walk in her stroller.


Now if you look closely at her dress you will notice that it is splattered with a pink stain. In this case it was pepto-bismo that she managed to open yesterday while daddy was on the phone with me. All I heard was "Uh oh, I gotta go," and when I got home I found out what happened. Fortunately she didn't drink any, and I did mange to get the stain out. I already plan her outfits based on whether she spends the day the grandma or daddy. Grandma keeps her clean, but daddy does not. I had a meeting last night so Erick watched her for maybe two hours after grandma had dropped her off, and half of that time she was asleep. I simply cannot fathom how she gets so messy with him. At the twins birthday party he fed her cake and ice cream, and after two washes and a soak in oxiclean, I am still trying to figure out how to get the chocolate stain out of her brand new white shirt.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Tell Me I'm Too Little

You'd never know by looking at her, that she's only 19 months old. Everyone always thinks she's older, especially because she is so tall. So it kinda shocked me the other day at the park when she wanted to climb up one of the angled ladders, and this other mom said she was too small and would have to grow a little before she could do it. I just smiled sweetly and told her that she might be surprised at how well she could climb. I knew she could in fact climb it because I had watched her do it at another park. Yes, my little monkey has no concept of fear, and scrambled up the whole way with mommy spotting her. Did I mention that I love proving other people wrong. :)

**This is not the exact angled ladder she climbed up. The one she climbed had another horizontal rung at the very top, which caused a little hiccup in her climbing even though she made it to the ledge eventually.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Short and Sweet

Here are some more quick stories about my little monkey girl.



1. We took her on her first canoe ride last Friday. We went down to the canal, so it was basically safe and without any reason to worry that she could fall out of the boat. She wore her life jacket and looked so cute. She was completely content to sit on her seat and eat her french fries, until we got close to the fountain. It was so "pretty" and "bubbly." She also liked the ducks and all the lights.



2. We played at a new park on Saturday and she loved running around from swing to swing and climbing on everything. I got to practice with the settings on my new camera.



3. We did a free preview class at Gymboree on Saturday. She loved it and had a great time chasing the balls all over the place. She was a little overwhelmed by all the kids though, which just proves to me that I really need to get her some more socialization. She played (or observed) well with them and was not aggressive. She LOVED the bubbles. I must get one of the bubble blowers. It was very cool!



4. Sunday was the twins' birthday and party. She had fun playing with all their new and old toys and eating cake and ice cream. They are getting so big. So many April birthdays.



5. I can't believe this child's memory sometimes. We went to Meijer last night to grab a couple of things. We were walking down one aisle and Piper starts yelling "ABCD" over and over and trying to climb out of the cart. I figured out that she wanted this bear she had played with a couple months ago that sang the ABCs. So, then I got to walk around the store listening to her and the bear "singing".


6. Finally, here are the bunny glasses from Aunt Jeni:



She is infatuated with sunglasses by the way.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter Pictures at 19 Months

Here are Piper's pictures that were taken on her 19th month birthday. She loved the lollipop, but I was mean and hid it after the photo shoot.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to Jaxin!


love my cousin


Happy Birthday Jaxin! Hope you had a wonderful day. We miss you bunches and bunches!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frisbee Golf

or Disc Golf, whatever you want to call it is one of Erick's favorite things to do. It stands to reason that Piper was introduced to this game very early on. It's not my real exciting for me, but I will play once in a great while. Today I just walked around and corralled Piper. She does enjoy throwing the frisbees and putting them in the baskets. She was tired and cranky, and the course was very wet so we only played the front holes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter



We had a good Easter this year. After hunting for eggs and checking out the basket we headed over to Erick's parents' house for lunch. Piper had fun playing with the dogs and with her cousins later on. They are getting so big, and I can't believe the twins are turning one next week.

I went a little overboard on Piper's Easter basket this year. I started shopping early and just kept adding things. It didn't cost a lot of money, and there were quite a few items that I had set back months ago. She didn't get a basket last year cause we thought she was too little, so it was fun to watch her reaction to all the goodies she got. No candy this time around, but she got fruit snacks and money in her eggs. These are the things she received in her basket at home:

~Guess How Much I Love You book and stuffed bunny
~Color Wonders
~sidewalk chalk
~2 wooden puzzles
~Little People minibus
~Squishy ball
~Easter stickers
~3 small board books
~sunglasses
~wind-up chick
~playdoh
~toy necklace for dress up
~pinwheel
~bubbles
~Gund stuffed lamb that plays Jesus Loves Me
~Mrs. Potato Head Easter edition
~Wonder Pet egg with toy inside
~lacing shapes

Grandma also got her an Easter basket with clothes, a stuffed bunny, fruit snacks, a sparkly baton, and a baby doll. She actually liked it this time and carried it around all day.

Hope your day was great too!

And away she goes...


...on her tricycle that is. Piper is finally able to ride her tricycle independently after months of practice. She is the one who drug it out of the closet at 13 months and demanded to ride it. I had planned on waiting until this summer to even introduce it to her. First she learned to go backwards on it, then she figured out how to push herself forward. Finally we worked on pedaling while someone (me) pushed her. Now she can do it all by herself. Yay!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Eggs




We decorated our Easter eggs tonight. I wanted something easy that only took one step. Have you seen the Easter coloring options lately? There's glitter, wax, stickers, plastic wraps, and more. Our kit was a basic dye pack with oil. It gave the eggs a tie-dyed look. All I had to to was dunk the eggs in a couple cups of water and we were done. Oh, and I also had to remove Piper from the top of the table every five seconds, and wipe up the spilled water, and save the eggs from being cracked or dropped, and so on.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Latest Masterpiece

Here is Piper's latest art creation. This was the first time we had attempted to work on the same piece for more than one day. This one took three different days and she used a variety of techniques. I totally copied this idea from the season finale of Jon & Kate Plus 8. In their show they did it all in one day, but I couldn't get the foil technique to work right so we adapted. You were supposed to place foil over sections already done to preserve each technique and layer. However I discovered I must be doing something wrong because everything I put the foil on just smeared and totally messed up the cool thing she had just done. So after the first day we abandoned the foil and just let it dry to keep the layers intact.
Some of the techniques we tried were: fingers, pastry brush, paint brush, sponge wand, hairbrush, crumpled foil, and a plastic scrubber that you wash dishes with usually. She painted with tempera on a cotton canvas. I added some of the paint to the canvas at first, but then she squeezed the rest on by herself and added the final layer with the hairbrush. I did pick the colors: red, green, purple, and black (only on the last layer), but they were the only choices we had actually. Next time maybe I'll let her choose.

She had a lot of fun painting the canvas, but she had more fun painting herself. She was a complete mess by the end of each day and turned the bath water all sorts of fun colors.
BBC you can see the full slideshow by visiting my blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009

General Update: April

Age (in months, or years and months): 18.5 months
Physical abilities: learned to open round doorknobs, climbs in and out of the bathtub for about a month now, walks up and down steps independently w/o holding on, but she will still turn around and crawl down them at times. She climbed up a ladder in the store the other day before daddy saw her, and climbed the ladder like bars on the playground that were very widely spaced. I introduced her to stacking pegs and she has enjoyed manipulating them. Is using a pretty good pencil grip now.
Speech/language: vocabulary, sentence length, etc: has doubled her speaking vocabulary to around 140 words in the last month but pronunciation is still unclear. My favorite new word is “please” for obvious reasons.
Reading/pre-reading: asks for books by name/content now, we are reading a lot of I Spy books and she is really good at identifying most things on the page. This is helping a lot with her vocabulary too although her receptive language is far greater than her oral. She is also really into books about bugs, spiders, and animals
Number stuff: no changes, still counts 123
Other cognitive stuff: puzzles, reasoning, etc: has determined that if she pushes enough buttons, eventually the DVD player will play her favorite one. Also knows how to turn on the cell phone that we used to let her play with. We had been turning it off so she wouldn’t call anyone, but now she can get around that. Excellent at matching games. We’ve started playing a modified version of Memory using only 4-6 cards at a time.
Creativity: Loves her art time as usual, although she is drawing on herself much more and enjoying being messy.
Imagination: Starting to make connections and apply real world knowledge instead of just copying. For example we took the dog for a walk the other day on her leash (we never use it usually) Piper carried the leash around for the next week along with her stuffed doggie. Made her dog toys kiss each other which was really sweet. I have no idea where she got that from
Social: not much interaction lately with other kids
Character/personality: Very loving and sweet lately, giving lots of kisses and hugs. Is requesting to be carried more when usually she doesn’t want to cuddle or be held much.
Anything else/other: I was off work this week for spring break so I would put her in my bed first thing in the morning so I could sleep in a little later. I was woken up several times this week by her poking me in various parts of my body and naming them for me, including trying to pry open my mouth to name my tongue and teeth. She’s known her body parts for months now, but I love that she’s finally able to articulate the words herself now. The language explosion has been great

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fun in the Mud

It was beautiful weather Saturday, but it had rained the day before and it was still wet when we had our cookout. I took all kinds of toys with me for Piper to play with: her sand toy, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, books, a ball, and more. Guess what she wanted to play with...er in? The mud puddles! She had a ton of fun playing with her sand toys in the puddles. I had to go back and get her play shoes so she wouldn't ruin her new ones. Her clothes were just cheapo (but still cute) Garanimal brand, so it wasn't a big deal if she got them messy. They'll wash.
I also have a new camera so it was nice for me to play around with it and I think I got some good shots. I'm still learning about using it in manual mode though, and I really want to take a photography class this summer. The only shot I played with in Photoshop was the last one. The rest are completely unedited. So, I cut her feet off in one of the pics, but oh well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Paint with Water Book

I remember painting these books when I was little, and I finally found a couple for Piper to color in at Target. I bought a Little People book and a Care Bears book. When we got ready to paint tonight, I realized I didn't have any small paintbrushes at home. So I improvised and we used cotton swabs instead. She had lots of fun and it was easy clean up for me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stacking Pegs

I was shopping for my nephew tonight at the teacher store, and I saw these stacking pegs that I knew Piper would enjoy. It's a puzzle and a peg activity in one. We have the added bonus that she now says and recognizes the word star, which was not one of the puzzle shapes she already knew.