Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Freezing!

There's definitely something goofy with our weather. It's snraining (TM) out and for some reason I'm thinking, "Ugh, I thought we were done with that." I live in Buffalo! We're supposed to have snow in February!

I don't care what the calendar says, we're starting spring next month around here. Before we do, I have one last wintertime science play project.

To finish up our little segment on melting and freezing, we made some ice cubes.

And because no science project is complete without food dye, we made colored ice.

We made ice from hot water and cold water. Not much difference, huh?

But when you see it with the dye, there was a huge difference:

The ice cube on the left was made with cold water; the right hot water.

All of them made a mess when melting.

After we made our ice cubes, we did one last experiment: an ice cube race!

We put two ice cubes on a dry cloth and some ice cubes in a bowl of cool water. We set the timer to see how long the ice would take to melt and which ice cubes melted first.

Answer? The ice cubes in water melted in six minutes, while the dry ice cubes made it for more than 20 minutes. Then we ate them. In the name of science.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Indoor Hopscotch

How long can winter possibly be?? I'm ready to run around outside and so is Maddie. So we're filling in the days with this indoor hopscotch game.

Because we're in an apartment, we opted for something that couldn't possibly damage our floors-- construction paper and scotch tape.

Maddie wrote in the numbers with real sidewalk chalk.

And then up and down the hallway we go! I'm a little out of practice for that one footed turn at the end-- phew! Time to train for the summer.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You've Got Mail

Mail call!

In my family, Valentine's Day breakfast was always a little thrill. We would get up, get dressed and come downstairs to a special treat.

This year, I wanted to capture some of that magic for Maddie. I started by making her a mail bag. We actually each have one for the back of our chairs.

(Surprise, surprise, made out of felt.) As we get valentines they go right into the mailbox.

And speaking of Valentines, here they are! Maddie worked very hard on these "works of heart."

Sometimes I get a crafty project and get frustrated if Maddie wants to do it her own way. Rather than Pinterest and find some craft project, I went the easy route. I gave Maddie a bunch of white construction paper hearts and let her go to town.

Some she colored.

Some she painted.

But she really put her whole heart into it.

Then we glued each one onto a background of pink or red hearts.

This is my favorite-- personally addressed to "MOM".

Well, maybe this one, too, which I was told was a picture of a black cat, purple cat, yellow cat and red cat (please note the green eyes).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Paper Princesses

When we last left off, Maddie had told me that she needed some valentines in her room and implied that they must be princessy.

So I made her this:

A little Princess valentine garland. I may have made it a little too big because it really does stretch across one whole wall.

Each princess is just a card stock paper doll with a felt dress. They're strung together with thread and felt hearts in between. If anyone needs a pattern just leave me a comment and I'll be happy to share.

Speaking of princesses, Maddie's aunt sent us these awesome headbands yesterday:

How cute is that!

Maddie made me take a picture of us with each one:

I'm not really sure why she looks so unhappy in this one -- it was her idea!

So there you have it, a princessy Valentine's day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cuddled Up


Our monthly family photo: us cuddled up on the couch, making valentines and watching Duck Dynasty. Just a regular evening in.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tunnel of Love

Two more valentine's decorations have graced our halls.

To decorate our super long hallway, Maddie and I made a little beaded curtain-style decoration.

Using construction paper hearts, we made strings of various sizes and hung them all the way down the hall.

A close up so you can see what we did. We used clear fishing line and just sewed a few big stitches.

Our other craft was a bit of science and a bit of my childhood. Melting crayons onto wax paper. Did you guys do this when you were kids?

Martha Stewart gives a pretty good step by step here.

Basically you cut two hearts out of wax paper. Sprinkle one heart with crayon shavings and then top it with another wax paper heart. Sandwich it between brown craft paper and iron the craft paper on low heat.

Then reveal! I really did this as part of my science experiment to show Maddie things that melt. It was a big hit!

Apparently, I will have more valentine decorations for you shortly because Maddie has informed me that her room is not decorated. She also asked me if I had enough yellow material to make Belle. That sounds like a craft challenge to me!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grand Jetes

During the winter months, we tend to be a little less active around here. I've noticed lately that Maddie is a bit over exuberant by the time evening roles around. So the answer seems to be more activity!

And thus, I've decided to teach her grand jetes.

I had a wonderful ballet teacher, Madame Ginger Burke, one of the last Ballachine babies and owner of the Royal Academy here in Buffalo. She taught us grand jetes in this simple way.

Pile up tissue boxes and jump over them. As you get good, pile them higher. And she also taught us to jump (and land) as quietly as a mouse.

We have a very long hallway, so it seemed a perfect runway for our leaping. I demonstrated and led the way.

I'm not exactly educated in child development so I quickly learned I was jumping the gun on this physical development. Maddie ran down the hall, stopped at the box, took some prancing steps in place, jumped over once and...

Got out her markers to color the boxes. Ah well, we'll continue.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Global Warming

This February, I'm trying to teach Maddie a little bit more about hot/cold and freeze/melt. We started out really simply: making hot cocoa!

I gave Maddie a glass of chocolate milk and a mug of hot cocoa and then we discussed hot versus cold. While she already knows this concept, we don't always talk about it. Do marshmallows melt in chocolate milk? What is the steam above hot cocoa? Which one smells stronger?

Today we talked a little about frozen stuff and the Arctic Ocean.

I had frozen some plastic polar bears and animals (found at a party store) into a plastic container. Which apparently scared the heck out of my husband when he went into the freezer (clearly for M&Ms since thats the only thing he would possibly want in the freezer!) since he took this picture and posted it to Instagram with a Dexter hash tag.

I put the iceburg of animals into a big baking dish.

Then we played a bit. Could we get the animals out with just our hands? What if we banged it with a spoon?

Then we poured in warm water. I used luke warm water and showed what happened if we pour the water in one spot. We felt the warm water in the picture and then the water after it had been poured over the ice.

Then we tried to get the animals out again by hand and by spoon. Again the water worked wonders.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Getting Dressed for Dinner

Super Bowl in New Orleans means only one thing: Roast Beef PoBoys and Kale Artichoke dip.

Crockpot Roast Beef PoBoys

I was inspired for this recipe by a recipe here, but decided I could simplify this a bit. And anything is better crockpotted.

3 lb Chuck Roast
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Beef Broth
Tony Chachere's Seasoning (to taste. I used about 5 tablespoons)

Throw all of that in a crockpot on low for 8 hours and try not to spend the whole day lifting the lid to get a whiff.

Serve over french bread. In our house, we dress PoBoys on the simple side: Rob tops his with only mayo and more Tony's. I used Boirsin Cheese. Lots of people dress PoBoys with lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.

Kale Artichoke Dip

1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, finely chopped and about a quarter of the marinade
1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/2 c cream cheese (use full fat-- that other stuff doesn't melt!)
1 cup mozzarella

Mix together, cover with a handful of mozzarella and parmaggiano. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Countdown to Valentines

Maddie is pretty excited about Valentine's Day. Of course, she's pretty excited about any holiday. Starting yesterday, she has been wishing us "Happy Valentine's Day!" at least five times a day.

So decorations are definitely necessary. I started out with a simple sewing project for her.

Felt hearts, made of two sizes of felt hearts and some buttons. Easy, right? No patterns, no instructions needed.

Easy for a little one to sew.

My little valentine helped tape these under our wall of love.

And yes, that's my simple sewing project that Maddie is standing on. I had an abundance of red felt this year (left over from a miscalculation on a Christmas project!) So I made a heart version of the pillow I talked about at Halloween here.

We also had some leftover space that seemed a little bare after our Christmas de-decorating. So we valentines-ed it up. Maddie used a bingo dabber on some paper hearts to help liven the place up.

It is still a good two weeks from Valentine's day, so I'm sure we'll be working on some more heart-themed stuff around here!