Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mia's June Quotes

As usual, Mia has said some silly, clever, and just plain odd things this past month. I never know what is going to come out of her mouth. Four is a pretty fun age for parenting.

June 5, 2011
While braiding her hair:

Mia: "It's taking too long."

Me: "Well, what do you want me to do?"

Mia: "Um... You can just go faster!"

June 8, 2011
I poured her a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast (no milk!) as she requested.

Mia: "I usually call these astronauts."

Me: "Why do you call them that?"

Mia: "Because they are tasty things."

Don't ask; I have no idea.

June 10, 2011
While watching me clean the bathroom:

Mia: "You're a good cleaner!" A bit later she added, "Wow! The sink smells awesome!"

June 26, 2011
She has been picking up on homophones lately. She recently explained to me that there are two kinds of bats- the kind that flies and the kind you hit a ball with, but this one caught me off guard by how funny it is.

Mia: "There's two kinds of nuts. There are acorn nuts and nuts-ohs."

Me: "What are nuts-ohs?"

Mia: "That's when you say, 'Oh, nuts!' because you forgot something."

June 27, 2011
While watching Blue's Clues:

Mia: "Why doesn't our mail come in our window to our chair?"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4th of July Mini Flag Craft

It had been at least two weeks since I had done any crafts with the kids *gasp* so it wasn't too surprising when Mia told me yesterday that she wanted to make a craft. I had been anticipating this and had been willing my brain to come up with something patriotic in time for the 4th of July. Fortunately, when she asked for a craft, those creative juices kicked in and I immediately thought of this super quick and easy flag craft. I promise that very young and even beginning crafters can kick this one out in under 5 minutes.

  • white construction paper
  • scissors
  • blue and red Bingo markers
  • drinking straw
  • tape
  1. Cut a rectangle out of white construction paper. (I folded the paper in sixths and cut out 1/6.)
  2. Make a flag design by dotting on Bingo markers and allow the ink to dry. I used blue to make the corner of the flag and red to make stripes. My stripes aren't perfect, but I am pretending it's waving, so it's okay. Mia created her own design altogether. Note: I found our Bingo markers at Dollar Tree.
  3. Use two pieces of tape to attach a drinking straw to the back of the paper.
  4. Your flag is now ready to wave. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!
Other Ideas:
  • If you don't have drinking straws, you can substitute pipe cleaners or tightly rolled newspaper that has been taped together to make the flag pole.
  • You could also make mini American flags for Memorial Day, Flag Day, or Veteran's Day.
  • Instead of American flags, consider making flags from other countries or even state flags to go along with geography studies.
  • Invent your own flag like Mia did. You could create flags for different holidays or events: Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, and birthdays come to mind.
  • If you prefer, you could make triangular pennants in place of rectangular flags. 
  • Skip the flag poles and make several flags or pennants and string them together to make a banner.
  • Make several flags and put them in jars, aluminum cans, flower pots, or vases and use them as table decorations.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    The Snot is Always Greener...

    I love my children more than anything else in the world, but it is so frustrating when my plans to get together with other grown-up people are spoiled by one of them getting sick! I was really, really looking forward to seeing my college friend, Kelli, tonight and meeting her adorable little guy for the first time, too. Also, since becoming a stay at home mom, I've found that I am more inclined to want to go to different events because I need the time out more than I did when I was teaching. But our family outing didn't happen because Logan has pink eye. He is actually acting much better than he was yesterday when he woke up from his nap, but I knew we still couldn't go to the barbecue (not even if it was just me and Mia, because I would only want to share love, not nasty germs).

    It was a lousy end to a very busy, but fun, week. We made it home from our trip to Minnesota on Monday evening, and then jumped right into VBS on Tuesday morning. We were exhausted each day after that so we never went anywhere else, which is why I am assuming he picked it up from the church nursery. (I was working in the craft room while Mia was in the preschool group.) It seemed odd to me that he was perfectly fine yesterday morning, but then he only took a short nap after we got home, and he woke up positively screaming in an inconsolable way that he hasn't done in a very long time! That's when I noticed his runny nose and the green goop coming out of his left eye. Up until this point, we've been lucky enough to not have pink eye in our family, but I took one look and knew that our luck had run out.

    It was after 1:00 in the afternoon, so I called the pediatrician right away and was able to get him in at 2:30, which is fortunate because if it had been any later I am sure we would have had to go to Urgent Care. Logan screamed while I was on the phone, while I got him ready, and while I strapped him into his car seat. He continued to scream while I went to wake Mia up (She doesn't typically nap anymore, but like I said, we were exhausted from the week), and then he screamed all the way to the doctor's office (about a half hour drive). He screamed so much he made himself throw up at least twice. We were all pretty miserable during that car trip.

    The good news is that the diagnosis was quick. Pink eye, of course, plus a double ear infection! Our pediatrician recommended giving him a shot of antibiotics since he had been throwing up and she wanted to make sure he kept the first dose down. I wasn't thrilled about it, but I knew it was the best thing to do. After some ibuprofen and a bit more screaming he calmed down and finally slept. The nurse said he would be like a different child that evening, and she was right. I was worried about how he would be after waking up since the previous wake-up had led to about three hours of incessant screaming.

    I am so thankful for antibiotics. Okay, to be honest, I am not enjoying having to give eye drops to a squirmy toddler every four hours (especially when the pharmacist told me that we have to wake him up to give him the drops during the night!), but it's worth it to not have green goop coming out of his eye (and of course, to not have the inconsolable screaming that went along with it!). Fortunately, the oral antibiotic for his ear infection is easier to give since they added flavoring at the pharmacy. And, Logan has become more accepting of getting the drops once he realized that he gets a popsicle or sucker afterward.

    Things are looking up. I am cautiously optimistic that Brett and I will get to go to the U2 concert tomorrow night. We've had this on the calendar for months. Even though I am bummed about not getting to see a friend who lives far, far away, I have realized that: 1) I am a good mom for trusting my instincts and taking him to the doctor. 2) Plans get changed often; it comes with the job description of being a mom. 3) There is always something positive to be found in crumby situations if you know how to find them. As odd as it sounds, I am thankful for the green eye goop, because if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have taken Logan to the doctor and it would have been a few more days before I would have found out about the ear infection! (And you just know that there would have been more misery involved before we arrived at that diagnosis.) I wouldn't trade this crazy life for one without my children because even though there would be less green goop and I could probably see friends whenever I felt like it, I wouldn't be as strong of a person as I am now. Having kids has made me realize that I can handle just about anything that life dishes out!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    On to Plan B...

    On our way to Minnesota for my brother's wedding, we decided to stop in Chicago. Our plan was to visit Shedd Aquarium to let the kids blow off some steam. We quickly discovered that it was their free entrance day which meant that the wait to get into the aquarium was an hour and a half! Obviously, we weren't going to stand outside in the sun in the heat of the day for that long, although many, many other parents of young children seemed willing to do this! So we went to the Field Museum instead. (In retrospect, we probably should have just gone to the nearby outdoor children's garden to let the kids play since it was free, and the Field Museum, well, wasn't.)

    We ended up tooling tearing around the Field Museum for about the same amount of time we would have spent in line for Shedd. Seriously, the kids didn't stand still long enough to really take in any of the exhibits, but they used up some energy, which was our main goal. It was good that we didn't go to Shedd, because there is no way there would have been space for them to go crazy expend some energy. I was a little bummed that nobody would pose with me in front of Sue, the T-Rex, but I did get one photo of Logan and Mia. Honestly, I am lucky to have gotten the one picture. We were moving that fast.
    {Apparently, if you look through these holes you can find out what it's like to be a barnacle. Not sure why you would want to, but they found it amusing.}
    Before leaving the Field Museum, we headed to the bathrooms (obviously), where I encountered something I have never seen before: a Nanny Caddy. It's a vending machine that dispenses baby and toddler items that parents may have forgotten or run out of while out and about. I don't know if they just have these in big cities or if it's something totally new, but I couldn't help but wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" Someone is getting rich off of frazzled parents who have run out of diapers or band-aids or who simply can't find that last pacifier!

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Father's Day Silhouette Craft

    {Mia, age 4 and Logan, age 21 months}
    • black paper
    • white crayon (or chalk)
    • clear tape
    • scissors
    • decorative paper
    • glue stick (or scrapbooking adhesive)
    • paper trimmer (optional)
    • picture frame (optional)
    1. Have child stand with his or her side against (or close to) the wall in a dimly lit room. 
    2. Tape a piece of black paper (I used 8 1/2" x 11" card stock) to the wall so that the child's face fits in profile. (My paper wasn't quite large enough to fit all of Mia's hair so I fudged it a bit, but I don't think it's very noticeable.)
    3. Quickly trace around the shadow of the child's face, hair and neck using a white crayon or piece of chalk. It doesn't need to be perfect, but you will want to do the nose, mouth and chin first before the child gets squirmy since these parts are tricky.
    4. Cut out the child's silhouette.
    5. Adhere to a piece of decorative paper. (I used 8 1/2" x 11" scrapbooking paper.) You can put the glue on the side you trace on if you are concerned about the white showing. If using chalk, it may be possible to wipe it off, too. Trim paper as needed and place your child's silhouette in a frame if desired. (I found two black 8" x 10" photo frames at Big Lots.) This makes a thoughtful and inexpensive gift for Dad's desk at work. (You could also make silhouettes as Mother's Day gifts, but I am assuming that if you're reading this, you're a mom.)
    6. Repeat steps 1-5 with other children as desired. You could even create a gallery of silhouettes as your children grow.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    A Kitchen-Themed Bridal Shower

    My brother, Nick, is getting married very soon, which means I am soon going to have a new sister-in-law! I decided to throw Kristin a kitchen-themed shower after ordering a fabulous custom made apron for her gift. This was my first time hosting a bridal shower, or any shower for that matter, so I really wanted to make it count. My mom and I hosted this party together, but she told me to go ahead and come up with whatever theme I wanted. I love having parties with a theme, and this one that I "cooked up" was a lot of fun! The color scheme originated from the colors in Nick and Kristin's kitchen.


    {I made these fun apron shaped invitations.}

    {I also made this nifty Kitchen Towel Cake.}

    {Wooden spoons in a canning jar make a charming "bouquet." Add a bow and voila you have a simple and affordable table decoration! Tip: You can buy wooden spoons in packs of four at Dollar Tree and Walmart.}

    {More canning jar decor: I filled these with dry split peas and lima beans, added candles and bows, and hot glued some paper flowers on a couple of the ribbons. Easy, inexpensive, and super cute; I loved them so much, I kept them in my windowsill!}
    {My mom sets a pretty table! She took care of the food, too.}


    Chef's Apron Game
    {Like it? Get your own at so sarah designs!}
    I used this apron for a gift and as part of a game by pinning on several kitchen utensils/items including: 
    1) wooden spoon, 2) toothpick, 3) cookie cutter, 4) silicone spatula, 5) offset spatula, 6) wire whisk, 7) tongs, 8) measuring spoon, 9) vegetable peeler, 10) scrubber/sponge. Some of these I had purchased to include with the gift since I wasn't sure how many items I would need to make the kitchen towel cake. The rest I borrowed from my own kitchen drawers. Here is how you play: Have the bride-to-be walk around in front of the guests wearing an apron covered with kitchen items. Don't tell her why and definitely don't say anything to the guests! After about 2-3 minutes, remove the apron and tell the guests that they need to write down as many items as they remember. The winner at our shower remembered 8, which I thought was impressive. My mom had some small gift items for the winners to choose from.

    What's Cooking? Challenge
    For this game, I wrote down 10 of my favorite recipes that I wanted to share with Kristin. Then, I read the ingredients to the party guests one by one. The first person to guess the name of the recipe received 1 point. The person with the most points at the end is the winner, although we had a three-way tie. All of the recipes were added to a small photo album that I decorated to be used as a recipe book for Kristin.

    Name the Ingredient
    Gather some white powder cooking or baking ingredients from your pantry. Put a small amount of each into clear containers such as Glad lidded containers (what I used) or baby food jars. I used 1) baking soda, 2) sugar, 3) flour, 4) powdered sugar, 5) baking powder, and 6) salt, but you could also use cream of tartar, vanilla pudding, evaporated milk, etc. Label each container with a number only, but make sure to keep a list for yourself. To play the game, simply pass around the containers after telling the party guests that they contain common everyday ingredients from your kitchen. Their job is to identify them by sight only. People wanted to know if they could open them up, but I didn't want a mess, plus I figured that if they started smelling or tasting, it would be too easy! Again, the winner is the person with the most correct answers. It is trickier than you think!

    A Recipe for a Happy Marriage
    I forgot to save myself a copy of the recipe for a happy marriage that I wrote for Kristin and Nick, but this was a fun activity for everyone to do during the bridal shower. You can write your own as an example or just use this one that is quite popular. You can use index cards or store-bought recipe cards for this. I used the recipe cards that I designed myself with Microsoft Word. Once the guests were done with their recipes for a happy marriage, I then tucked them into the "advice" section I created for this recipe book:

    {An inexpensive black photo album makes a nice little recipe book for the bride-to-be. I found this one, which holds 100 4"x6" photos, at Walmart.}

    {I created several categories for recipes plus space for photos and advice. Each guest was asked to include a favorite recipe along with their gift. These were tucked into the recipe book as Kristin opened her cards and gifts.}
    More Fun:
    Party Favors
    My mom bought some Michigan shaped cookies. (Actually, they were the lower peninsula only, but I guess that's close enough.) We tied an inexpensive cookie cutter onto each individually bagged cookie to make party favors for each guest. I found them in packages of 6 at Dollar Tree, which was an amazingly good deal! We also considered including a recipe for sugar cookies, but I have yet to find one that is just right. (If you have the perfect recipe for cut-out sugar cookies and are willing to share, please send it my way!)

    Practice Bouquet
    . Then we tied and taped them onto a paper plate so that Kristin will have a practice bouquet for the wedding rehearsal. We used one of the ribbons to make a looped handle so she will have something to hold onto. The curling ribbons trailed off the edge, resembling cascading flowers.

    The Cake
    {What's a party without some cake? My mom ordered this one from Continental Pastries.}

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Kitchen Towel Cake

    I had so much fun making this for my future sister-in-law's kitchen-themed bridal shower! It served as both a decoration and a gift (along with her gorgeous apron made by Sarah of so sarah designs.) Beautiful and practical. (You could say that describes me and this towel cake, right?!) I found basic directions for making a kitchen towel cake on this website, however, there was no photo of what a finished towel cake looks like. Then, I found a nice picture here, which helped me some. It still took a little bit of trial and error, but I think the results were well worth some mild frustration. I would also like to thank my hubby for his assistance since he was the one who pointed out that I needed more stuff to fill out the bottom layer! I hope that my directions are helpful to you if you are trying to make your own kitchen towel cake.

    Materials Needed for Kitchen Towel Cake:
    • 6 kitchen towels (They don't have to be the same color but they should all be the same size.)
    • 4+ dish cloths (I used 9 total)
    • safety pins
    • assorted ribbon
    • hot glue gun
    • kitchen utensils (I used wooden spoons, scrub brushes, sponges, spatula, dish soap, and a silicone basting brush.)
    • extra items for adding bulk (I used empty cardboard ribbon spools, but oven mitts or pot holders would be a logical choice, too.)
    Directions for Making Kitchen Towel Cake:

    {Details of the two layers}
    1. To make the bottom layer of the towel cake, take 6 kitchen towels and fold them hot dog style. Make sure all of the towels are folded the same way. I folded my towels so that one side covered about 2/3 of the other side (not in half, although you could do this for a layer that is not as tall.)
    2. Next, lay them end to end and then use 2 safety pins to attach each towel to the next one.
    3. For my towel layer, I added bulk by taking 5 dishcloths, folding them in half, laying them end to end, pinning them, and tightly rolling them as tightly as possible. Then I laid the dishcloths on top of one edge of the towels and then rolled the towels as tightly as possible. Rolling tightly helps it look neat and uniform. If using an oven mitt or pot holders, place these near one edge and then tightly roll the towels. I also tucked in a few empty cardboard ribbon spools to help the towels keep their form. For a finishing touch, I tied a piece of wide brown ribbon around the towels. Tip: To make the notch on the end of ribbon, fold the end in half (about 1-2 inches) and then cut on an angle until you meet the fold with your scissors.
    4. To make the top tier of my cake I folded 4 dishcloths in half. Next, I laid them end to end, pinned them together, and placed a small bottle of dish detergent on one side before rolling as tightly as possible. (I think this looks a bit like a small third tier or cake topper and makes it look more finished.) I also added the same brown ribbon I used on the towel layer but instead of tying it, I hot glued it to itself. Then, I added another decorative ribbon on top and attached it with hot glue.
    5. Set the dishcloth layer on top of the towel layer. (This is why the neat rolling is helpful. If they are lumpy, it won't stand up nicely.) I think I also tucked one or two empty cardboard ribbon spools in the bottom to help it stand up.
    6. Decorate the towel cake. I tucked two wooden spoons and a turquoise spatula in among the dishcloths. Next, I tucked a turquoise dish scrubber into the left side of the towel layer and a vegetable peeler/scrubber and silicone basting brush into the right side of the towel layer. There was another sponge that I tied on using decorative ribbon with turquoise dots. I had two soft scrubbies that had loops on them so I put on over the handle of a utensil on either side of the cake. I added more dotted ribbon to finish the cake by tying it onto some of the utensils including the wooden spoons. The finishing touch was to make a bow out of green wired ribbon and tying it onto the spatula on top of the cake. Tip: Wired ribbon is perfect for this because you can bend and form the ribbon into visually-pleasing cascades.
    7. Display your towel cake. Tip: To make a base for the towel cake, I used a 12" x 12" piece of cardstock. I traced around a stock pot to make a large circle. Then I cut out the circle using scalloped scissors. You could also use a pretty plate, cardboard that has been painted or covered with decorative paper, a doily, or a purchased cake round. 

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Make Your Own Apron Invitations

    After purchasing a beautiful apron from so sarah designs, I decided to make apron shaped invitations for my future sister-in-law Kristin's kitchen-themed bridal shower. I think these invitations are pretty cute and versatile, too. Not only were they nice for a kitchen-themed bridal shower, but I had previously made something similar for a neighborhood cookie swap that we hosted in December. I know that you can purchase apron invitations and even kits to make them, but it isn't too tricky to make your own. It just takes a little bit of time. Personally, I think the extra effort is worth it because hand-made cards are special. But of course, I'm biased. Anyway, I have three general rules of thumb that I have found helpful when mass producing cards:
    1. Don't worry if all of the cards do not look identical. While this might be nice in an ideal world, it's not necessary because the recipients will not see the invitations that the other guests receive.
    2. Use a word processing program for at least one or two elements of your design. This will significantly cut down on the amount of stamping or hand-writing you will have to do, which is essential if you are making more than a handful of cards.
    3. Once you have your card design determined, make and assemble all of the card elements and finished product in assembly line fashion. This is the most efficient way, which preserves your sanity while saving you time!
    Materials Needed for Apron Invitations:
    • cardstock (1 sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" = 2 invitations)
    • paper trimmer
    • scissors 
    • pencil (for tracing template)
    • word processing program (I use Microsoft Word)
    • adhesives
    • embellishments (brads, buttons, paper flowers, etc.)
    • ribbon
    • hole punch
    • decorative scissors (optional)
    • clear tape (optional)

    Directions for Making Apron Invitations:
    {Poem for the front of the card}
    1. Decide what size you want your finished card to be. This may be determined by the size of the envelopes you are using. My finished card size was approximately 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" and they were mailed in store-bought envelopes measuring 4 3/4" x 6 1/2". Tip: Before starting my actual cards, I made a mock-up on scratch paper.
    2. Determine your color scheme and select your cardstock. (I chose turquoise and brown to coordinate with Kristin's kitchen colors and those of the dishes, towels, and other kitchen items that she had registered for. I also added some green which was included in the apron from so sarah designs.) 
    3. Using a paper trimmer, cut an 8 1/2" x 11" inch piece of cardstock into two pieces, each measuring 8 1/2" x 4 1/4".
    4. Using scissors, cut away two arcs or semi-circles to give the paper the apron shape. Tip: If you want it to be symmetrical, fold your mock-up in half and then cut one arc. Then, use your mock-up as a template for your actual invitations. 
    5. Fold paper up so that it forms a "pocket" for the apron. Mine were approximately 3" tall. If desired you can trim the edge with decorative scissors or affix separate pieces of trim. (I cut 3/4" x 4 1/4" strips of chocolate brown cardstock edged with scalloped scissors to make the trim that I adhered to the turquoise cardstock. Layered on top of that is a narrower strip of decorative brown paper.)
    6. Using a hole punch or similar tool, make four holes, one on either side at the top edge of the cut-away arc and one on either side of the bottom edge of the cut-away arc. (See photo.)
    7. Use a word processing program to type up the party details and the poem for the front of the card. For the party details, I named my mom and myself as the hostesses and informed the guests that we invited them to "Stir up some fun!" at a kitchen-themed bridal shower. I revised a poem found here to use on the front of the apron. (See photo.) I was able to fit 4 party detail inserts and 6 poems per page. For graphics I used some black and white clipart of kitchen gadgets that I scaled down and arranged in a row. I printed my poems on white cardstock and the party details on green cardstock. Tip: Print off a trial page on scratch paper to make sure that the size is correct before printing the rest on cardstock.
    8. Use a paper trimmer to cut apart your party detail inserts and poems. I also used small scalloped scissors to add detail to the poems.
    9. Trim cardstock in a coordinating color (I chose green) slightly larger than poems. Adhere poem to cardstock. Adhere the layered piece to outside of apron pocket.
    10. Insert party details into the pocket or affix to the inside paper using adhesives. (The latter is how I chose to do it.)
    11. Cut three lengths of ribbon, one 4 inches long and two that are 3 inches long. Thread the 4 inch long piece of ribbon through the top holes and tie off the ends. Secure with clear tape so that the ribbon lays flat, if desired. Thread the second ribbon through one of the side holes and secure as before. Repeat with the third ribbon in the final hole. Tip: If you are not trying to save on cost and don't care how the back of the card looks, you can use one long piece of ribbon and thread it through all of the holes starting on the left and working your way up and over. It will need to be about 12 inches long. Tip: If you are wanting to save money on ribbon, consider using curling ribbon.
    12. Add embellishments as desired. I used clear gem-type brads to attach paper flowers to the top center part of the apron design.
    13. Purchase or make your own recipe cards to include along with the invitation to extend the kitchen bridal shower theme. 
    {I couldn't find a recipe card I liked, so I made this one in Microsoft Word.}
    If you need more help making apron shaped cards, you may want to try this template.

      Thursday, June 2, 2011

      A Shout Out: so sarah designs

      I am so happy to finally be able to share this with the world (or at least the tiny portion of it that reads my blog)! Over Memorial Day weekend, I hosted a super-fun kitchen-themed bridal shower for my future sister-in-law, Kristin. I decided on the kitchen theme after asking my friend Sarah, owner of so sarah designs, to make a shower gift, a custom designed absolutely fabulous ruffle hostess apron in colors to coordinate with Kristin's kitchen. I was so thrilled with how it turned out and I was sure that Kristin would be, too. Sarah is wonderful to work with! She listened to all of my ideas about colors and patterns and then showed me some fabric swatches to choose from, even going the extra step by sending me photos of some possible pairings of fabrics. Sarah has a great eye so any one of these would have worked, but she was dear enough to let me partner with her to create the perfect design. Once I made the final decision for the fabrics (which was fairly simple since we were totally on the same wave length), she impressed me with her speedy sewing! I was so excited by that point that is was a huge relief that the apron was delivered almost immediately. The final product did not disappoint. I think you will have to agree that this is possibly the cutest apron you have ever seen! If you are looking for a lovely apron, either for yourself or for someone extra special, you will definitely want to check out so sarah designs.

      But I'm Not That Old!

      Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.        ~Mark Twain

      On Mother's Day, our pastor's sermon included a description of "Millennial Moms" as an illustration of how moms make a difference in the marketplace today. (At least that's what I got out of it, and am recalling at this point in time, 3 and a half weeks later.) Anyway, I got more and more excited as he described these "Millennial Moms" because they sounded just like me. Millennial Moms are the ones who brought about mini vans, he said, because station wagons just weren't cutting it anymore. Hey, I thought, I drive a mini van! "Millennial Moms" are eco-conscious, he went on, and more and more often they are using cloth diapers. Again, this struck a chord with me. I am nothing but passionate about Logan's FuzziBunz! Lastly, "Millennial Moms" are blogging. Um, duh. That's totally me! Right?

      But then our pastor's description of these awesome new moms took a turn downhill. He mentioned that they were between the ages of 18-29. Just when I had been looking at Brett and thinking happily that I was a part of some cool new group of totally with-it hip moms, he whispered to me, "You're too old." Okay, that is true, I thought but can't I just eke by? This was only a few days before my 32nd birthday, which isn't all that much more than 29. I mean, what's 3 little years difference? And what happened to Brett saying that once I got to 29 I could just continue to be 29? Ouch!

      I had gotten over this, because, well, secretly I decided that I met all of the other criteria for "Millennial Mom" and so decided that I must be one. And then my future sister-in-law came to town along with her mom and sister, and they were interested in going wine tasting. Not being much of a drinker, I checked into this and found a couple of places that weren't too far away. We had a good time at the first. I even found a wine I liked, which has never happened before, ever. My mom was ecstatic that she had to show her id; the server simply asked everyone for it before we got started. I later decided that this was an excellent idea and that they should card everyone no matter where you go. It's just plain diplomatic. 

      At the second winery, I went to use the bathroom first thing. When I returned, I asked if he had carded everyone. "Not yet," was the response from the server (who I later found out is the owner of the winery and really needs to brush up on his people skills!), but I only need to see theirs anyway," he said referring to Kristin (my future SIL) and her sister. I was crushed. And just a bit annoyed. And I have been stewing about it since Saturday. I keep trying to figure out how old I must have looked to him to not warrant checking my id. I had touched up my makeup and fixed my hair before we left, and I thought that I was stylishly dressed in an early-thirties kind of way (not trying to look younger, mind you, but still with the current decade...) The best explanation I have come up with is that I am a mom and I look like I am a mom, therefore, I look old enough to drink... and then some, apparently. I feel a bit sad about this, but I'll get over it. (I hope.)

      It's sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.  ~Brigitte Bardot

      Wednesday, June 1, 2011

      Fruit and Veggie Prints

      This idea came to me from a book called The Little Hands Art Book: Exploring Arts & Crafts with 2-to-6-Year-Olds, which was given to me by a friend. Mia and I made these fruit and veggie prints yesterday and it is really quite fun! Plus, the resulting prints are pretty cool to look at. I think they are nice enough to frame and hang in the kitchen or dining room. I was also thinking they would look nice if done with fabric paint on aprons or kitchen towels, perhaps.

      {I stuck with realistic colors for Cucumber, Carrot, Tomato, Celery.}
      {Apple/Cucumber/Celery/Carrot by Mia, Age 4}
      • fresh fruits/vegetables 
      • knife and cutting board (adult use)
      • paint (any color)
      • paper (any color)
      • something to hold paint 
      • foam paint brush (optional)
      • newspaper (to protect work surface)
      • paper towels, wipes, etc. (for clean-up)
      {I got more inventive here.}
      1. Cut fresh fruits or vegetables in half. Most any would work. We used apple, banana, strawberry, celery, tomato, cucumber, and carrot because that's what I had on hand. I also think mushrooms, broccoli, and raspberries would be cool to try.
      2. Protect your work surface with newspaper. (You may also wish to protect your clothing. Mia wears an old tee-shirt of mine as a paint smock.)
      3. Pour some paint onto a paper plate or similar. (We used acrylic paint, which stains clothing, so take care if using acrylics.)
      4. Either dip your fruits and vegetables into the paint or spread it on with a foam paintbrush.
      5. Stamp the fruit or vegetable onto the paper to leave a print. (Experiment with various amounts of paint by printing repeatedly if desired. I found that the less paint on the fruit/vegetable made for a "cleaner" and more distinct print.)
      6. Allow paint to dry and display your artwork.