Friday, June 24, 2011

this moment

joining amanda from soulemama...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

seashell memory game

Do you have an overabundant amount of seashells from vigilant little collectors?  Here is a little game we cooked up to put (some) of the shells to good use.    

  • Gather an even amount of clamshells and then corresponding pairs of small shells that will fit inside the clamshell.   

  • Some shell ideas:  slipper shells, orange and yellow toenail shells, snail shells, mussels, green/clear/ brown seaglass, small rocks in similar colors (we happened to find two purple rocks - made Abby's day.)  The possibilities are endless!  

  • Give the shells a good wash to remove sand.

  •   Glue the shells to the inside of the clamshell.  I started with hot glue (because every normal person brings their hot glue gun on vacation, right?)  but found that did not adhere with all the shells, especially the heavier ones.  Gorilla Glue was on hand so that was my next go to - I followed the directions, but used way too much, hence the tan ring around some of the objects like the purple shells.  Gorilla Glue seems to be holding the shells though.  Just use less than what you think you need.  Super Glue would always work.   


  • Mix up the pairs of shells and set up like a typical memory game.  You know your child best - so limit the number of pairs based on his or her development.  Perhaps start out with four to six shells.  Memory games such as this are great because they not only help build a child's attending skills, but turn taking skills as well.  

Abby found her purple rocks right away.

My turn - no match!  Mama struggles with memory games, so Abby always beats me... fair and square.

  • If you do not want to glue actual shells under the clamshells, you could use ocean themed stickers.  If you do not have access to a beach or seashells, I believe local craft stores have big containers of shells for sale.  

  • Here is another memory game that uses fabric and felt and strays away from the typical paper/picture game.  

Monday, June 20, 2011


while watching abby climb on these rocks, i couldn't help but think this is a visual image of my journey as a mother - feelings of fear and joy at the exact same time.  how does that work?!?  i talk a good game - posting stuff like letting my kid play with knives, but at the end of the day, i am constantly questioning. constantly judging and always wanting to do more.  

it was thrilling that abby wanted to climb by herself.  i remember climbing these same rocks as a little girl.  wearing out the back of my bathing suit so fast.  the fact that abby wanted to try this by herself was oddly surprising.  slowly and deliberately.  calculated.  she made her way up and down.  up and down.  

and yet despite her cautiousness, my heart was in my throat.  you can do it little girl.  go. do an arabesque  at the top to celebrate your victory.  and in the same breath - be careful.  slow down.  please don't fall.  it will hurt.  your knees and my heart.

and so the dance of mothering continues.  joy and fear.  frustration and patience.  freedom and boundaries.  confidence and doubt.

never has a job required so much of my love, so much of my energy, so much sacrifice, so much creativity.  and when my girl makes it to the top of the rock and JUMPS into the water unafraid and filled with excitement,  for a moment i let go.  of the fear.  of the doubt.  and i am unafraid and filled with  that same excitement.

i am learning and growing right alongside this brave little girl.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

splat painting (fly swatter painting)

Materials Needed:
  • fly swatter
  • paper (we used cardboard because we had it on hand)
  • tempera paint

This is a perfect activity to do outside - obviously the paint is going to fly!  Abby chose her colors of paint and strategically squeezed blobs onto the cardboard.

Swat away.

This is considered a type of action painting.  Great for those kinesthetic learners.  Great for the active child that is not usually into painting.
Here are some more ideas for action painting.  Splat painting idea was found here.

Even Eleanor had her turn.

And just for fun, my dinner tonight.

With this view.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

salvador's ice cream...

walking/scooting to get ice cream.  

the same dogs that use to cause me to pee my pants (not lying) were still scaring me (secretly - i kept it together for the kids) on this trip.  

abby was scared to walk through the woods.  the foxes might get her.  we are such city folk.  

my big three year old waiting for her ice cream.

only mint ice cream for her.

 this little ice cream place has been around since 1936.

so eleanor is eating a hamburger.  isn't that ridiculous?  she loves it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

rainy beach days

so cold rainy beach days could be a bust, but here is a taste of some delicious things to make the day just as enjoyable as making sandcastles, playing on the rocks, and splashing in the chilly water.

1.) visit the local library and take out every book you can concerning butterflies, ballet, and clifford.

 2.)  visit an aquarium.  this one was actually perfect for a three year old.  it had perhaps ten tanks located in the reception hall of what appeared to be an old bank.

 science on a sphere

a discovery room with sand in an old trunk (great idea), water table, great books, ocean puzzles

knot tying station

a touching station.  can you believe abby held a sea star???  

great art station to make sea creatures from items that could be thrown away - toilet paper rolls, egg cartons...

abby's octopus

3. ) make brownies.  when you have gourmet cooks around they use this brownie mix and this caramel sauce.  eat some brownies before eating grown up grilled cheese and campbell's tomato soup for dinner.  

 4.) make fire to enjoy while reading old Martha Stewart, County Living, Traditional Home magazines from the library.  this is of course after the babes go to bed.  and your swirling head can somewhat think again.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

more beach days

 these girls are two months apart.  i have a feeling many a secret could be shared between the two of them.

brenna brenna girl loved the water.  so much so that she needed to drink it.

tiny, let's build a castle this big.

a dragon