Thursday, October 28, 2010

a timeline of insanity, part I

5:30 - wake up way too early, worried about the freaky finger cookies scaring the dickens out of the little kiddies
6:00 - race out of the bathroom to comfort the screaming baby who's woken up fuzzy eyed eric and the "it's not morning yet!" declaring leif
6:15 - begin carefully covering the freaky black fingernails with a cheerful light blue frosting
6:16 - wonder what possessed me to make freaky black-fingernailed finger cookies for little children
6:30 - cook a relatively healthy breakfast to counter the onslaught of "food" containing obscene amounts of sugar, fat, sugar, and sugar.
6:45 - collect random items for costumes: mismatched gloves, safety pins, masks, helmets, etc.
6:46 - wonder what possessed me to make freaky black-fingernailed finger cookies for little children
6:47 - 7:38 - continue distractedly wandering through the house gathering everything from black olives, plastic spoons, paper plate pumpkins, a real pumpkin, slightly less freaky blue-fingernailed finger cookies, and a fire fighter hat to tiny carrots, heavy duty tape and a black cape.
7:42 - pack one star wars lunchbox with a somewhat healthy lunch to counter the onslaught of "food" containing obscene amounts of sugar, fat, sugar, and sugar.
7:50 - pile three munchkins, including one clone trooper, into the van for a 24 second drive to school in the rain to drop off said clone trooper.
8:02 - return home to dress two remaining munchkins (including one pint-sized anakin skywalker and one spur-of-the-moment fire fighter) and to raid the kids' dress-up drawer for myself (hello, "super kitty").
8:13 - construct a jack-o-lantern made entirely of tiny carrots, ranch dressing and black olives.
8:21 - paint black whiskers and a pink nose on my own face, at the suggestion of mini anakin.
8:35 - pause in bewilderment as mini anakin runs for cover away from super kitty, crying "take them off!" and "i don't want to see you!" and "don't look at me!"
8:42 - skillfully get anakin and firefighter into the van without looking directly at anakin.
8:46 - arrive at school dragging party goods, a dazed fire fighter, and a disturbed anakin through the rain and into the building.

8:48 - 9:00 - set up party snacks and games with another parent and teacher's assistant while 15 already jittery kindergartners await their sugar highs in the gym with their curler-clad teacher.
9:00 - 9:50 - tie on blindfolds, take pictures, adjust masks, chase candy-toting babies, open juices, rearrange pumpkins, laugh, encourage, cheer, hug, wave, clean up, and return tiny anakin (now distracted by candy eyeballs) and mini fire baby to van.

*sigh* and that was just the part before 10:00...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

kitty play

"mommy, if i say 'cheerios', that means i just want plain cheerios, and if i say 'cheerios with milk', that means i want cheerios with milk." and so it begins. plain cheerios are best served to three and one year old boys in a shallow bowl, on the floor, where proper kitties eat their food. if the kitty headbands are available, that is even better. meowing is optional, but extremely cute.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

apples, apples, apples, apples, apples......

apples, anyone? there are more than enough to go around. we've shared, dried, baked, made art with, eaten, thrown, juiced, stored, tasted, and photographed a few apples lately. my favorite are the dried ones. i think joe would go with apple crisp. sam and eric probably prefer them fresh. it drives me nuts that so many still go to waste, but i guess the deer are enjoying them, and we enjoy the deer, so that's good. the rest we'll just call compost and let it go.

Friday, October 22, 2010

doodlebugs 10.21.10, 5 little pumpkins

today we headed in a more crafty direction, attempting some cute apple print pumpkins found here, at lindsey's awesome blog, filth wizardry. she found the idea here, as well. these cute little pumpkins reminded me of the catchy (yes, it's STILL stuck in my head) preschool finger play, "five little pumpkins". so instead of a book, we practiced that and then headed over to make our own pumpkins. knowing that waiting for the pumpkins to dry long enough to draw on them wouldn't work in our setting, i opted for offering glue and black beans for the faces. i also added some sticks and brown paint for making their own little gates for the pumpkins. as always, the kids' modifications were fun to watch. i forgot to bring my camera to group, so here you see from the top: eric's pumpkins near a log, sam's creation, and leif's 2 works, first on a gate, and then with an eric-inspired log. we skipped stems for now, but drawing them or gluing on real plant bits or pipe cleaners would be fun. now, how to get "wooo-ooohh went the wind and out went the lights, five little pumpkins rolled out of sight" out of my head?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

making (a mess) cupcakes

eric's choice from tuesday's internet search was a scrumptious looking cupcake with candy corns (one of his faves) on top. so today we got cookin'. i found this recipe for whole wheat chocolate banana cupcakes, and they turned out so yummy! in the end, eric decided a gummy tarantula was a better decoration and a few licks of frosting was all he really needed. the rest of us had more than our share.

eric and sam were excellent bakers, coming up with some unique recipe ideas of their own. nothing like a dijon, taco seasoning, corn, dry black bean, pepper, egg shell, nutmeg concoction to get your mouth watering, right?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

making halloween

leif is absolutely obsessed with halloween decorations. it's nothing new. last year we had a frenzy of decorating, and there were plenty of times over the course of the year that making more halloween decorations was a requested activity. so needless to say, now that halloween is actually upon us, the requests are mounting. leif was home sick this morning, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to gather around the computer, look for some ideas and start a list. yes, this time we opted for a list because 1) i cannot possibly remember all the jillions of things these two come up with during a brainstorming session, 2) it helps to cross things off as we complete them, offering some evidence that yes, we are completing things even though they're not all getting done RIGHT NOW as some of us would like and 3)leif felt it was important to make little sketches of things we saw so we (i) could remember what they looked like. and so it began.

first up: vanessa's bottle cap spiders (finally a use for all these lids i've been saving)
materials needed: various lids (we used plastic ones and bottle caps), google eyes (or other bits from the "treasure" box), pipe cleaners (you'll have to pardon the fact that we're not sticking to the traditional halloween colors...gotta use what you got!), white glue, and hot glue.

sam enjoyed collecting, stacking, and playing with the lids.

probably shouldn't play with them until all that glue dries...very sad.

next up: coffee filter ghosts
materials needed: coffee filters, cotton balls, string, markers
a google search will result in many variations of the same theme, but we made ours by stuffing a cotton ball "head" into the center of a coffee filter, grasping around the "neck" firmly, and quickly securing with a tight knot of yarn. if you wanted to jazz things up a bit, you could add some black or orange ribbon there, too.

awaiting their fate...

in the afternoon, with eric at school, sam napping, and leif having a little down time, i was able to cut out some cardboard headstones (here we go again with the cemetery!). leif gave them a good first coat of gray paint, and by the time eric got home, we were ready to "engrave" them. stay tuned for the final result.

** edited to add a couple of shots from the front yard "cemetery" **

after a few days of lively ghost and spider play, they were all rounded up and made into orderly little decorations. boo!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

harvest art

today was the last farmers' market for the season, and doodlebugs was there to host a little fall art fun for the kiddies. knowing that the air might be crisp, there would be no convenient access to hand washing, and that we'd have an array of ages, these were the activities i chose --

mini yarn pumpkins (looks like jen found the idea here) and

nature art.

the pumpkins were super cute (although they required more assistance than i usually like to give -- in the interest of creative ownership, of course). the nature art was much more open ended, and the process was exciting to witness.

this little girl used her dried seedpods like a little glitter shaker, releasing all those seeds to dance across her glue.

this young artist wasn't confined by the boundaries of the canvas, letting his elements leap off the edge.

outdoor art with creative souls...what could be better?

doodlebugs 10.15.10, leaf rubbing resists

when gorgeous leaves are this abundant, you just have to do art with them, right? today we did crayon leaf resists with watercolor. i didn't get to the library to find a book, so we really stretched a literature connection with chicka chicka boom boom. letters fall from trees and so do leaves! tada! i told you it was a stretch. anyway, the kids had a good time, and their work, as always, is lovely to behold.

eric, sam, and i experimented a little with different types of paper before group. we finally settled on this construction paper because it was thin enough to get a good crayon rubbing, yet thick enough to handle the watercolor. we cut it into strips (6"x18") just for a little variety and to make it somewhat banner-like.

here, eric's incorporating his leaves onto a tree.

the tree theme continued at group where he drew "chipmunks" frolicking about on his leaves.

here, he said, "see? the chipmunk is rainbow and the acorn is rainbow, too...isn't that funny?" now go get yourself some leaves before they're all icky and make some leafy art of your own to smile about.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


my poor computer is absolutely paralyzed by the burden of our zillions of pictures. to give it some relief, i've been trying to clean it up a bit, freeing memory wherever i can. tonight, just as i sat down to delete, these were the first files i opened.

halloween, 2008

a three year old boy who wanted to be a "green and purple bull, with orange and yellow spots" and an almost two year old pooh.

it goes so fast.