In an effort to do more arts and crafts with the two-year-old and less watching of the tv - her new fave - we painted. In a Ziploc bag. Which, I have to say, was the best. Because there was no mess and no cleanup, save for throwing the bag in the garbage.
I wish I could say that the whole painting in a bag was my brilliant idea, but sadly, it was not. I first saw it on KiwiCrate's Two Ingredient Tuesday idea page, a page I love to visit.
We were looking out the window this morning, debating whether it was too chilly for a
walk, when my two year old noticed the leaves everywhere and commented about what a mess it was outside. What can I say, she likes a neat sidewalk. But she did like the leaves and all the colors, so a leaf project it was!
I gathered together some white construction paper, a black sharpie, a few resealable plastic bags and four paint colors of the little one's choice: red, pink, orange and green.
I drew a number of different shaped leaves on the paper and cut them out.
We then placed one or two leaves at a time inside the gallon sized plastic bag,
squirted a very little bit of paint inside the bag, sealed the bag and smooshed.
The little one really enjoyed moving the paint around with first one hand, then
both hands and then just the tips of her fingers.
One note: be careful with the amount of paint you add to the bag. Too much and the leaf paper will rip. That happened to us a couple of times. In retrospect, I would have used white cardstock or any thicker paper but we didn't have any around.
After each leaf was covered with paint, I removed it from the bag and added a new one. That part was a little messy, but I don't mind getting messy.
Allow the leaves to dry and then hang them up. We hung them on the front windows, but I could see these being pretty hanging from a mantle or on the molding around a doorway or even on a glass front door.
Sometimes it's very hard to get back to real life after a holiday. But today marks the start of the first real full week of school that we've had in weeks and so I kind of feel like this calls for some reflection.
This morning I spend three solid hours putting my house back together after the crazy month that is Rosh Hashana-Yom Kippur-Succot, with what feels like about forty shabbatot thrown in. Anyone else feel like they have cooked 700 meals in the last month?
So the house absolutely needs a good scrubbing and some good organizing. I also kind of feel like I am still putting my house back together from the summer, a task which never quite got finished as school started so soon after we got back from vacation.
I wonder if anyone ever really feels like they are done putting their house together? Is it ever organized enough, clean enough, cheery enough? I'm gonna go with no, because it cannot be that I am the only one that seems to be drowing in housekeeping lately. Am I?
I think sometimes I forget that homes are supposed to look lived in, like homes and not just houses. And then I remember and I stop yelling about dirty socks everywhere and then we all fingerpaint something and everyone feels better. I like that.
Anyway, today's lesson of the day has nothing to do with keeping an organized house. It's about pumpkins. And knowing which ones to get, which is apparently a handy piece of knowledge to have.
We took the kids pumpkin picking last week, something we've done a few times before and an outing that is always fun. This time we went back to Kelder's Farm in upstate NY. Josh and I like this farm because even though the fields are huge and far apart, you can drive from field to field. The kids really like this farm because we don't make them buckle up as we drive from field to field. And, and they get to stand up in the van while we drive at one mile an hour to get to the next field. This is pure excitement for the under eight set.
As we drove down the road that seperates the fields, we noticed that there were two pumpkin patches. Well, at least I did. Josh really had no idea what I was talking about.
There was the sugar pumpkin patch and the carving pumpkin patch. And being me, these are the calculations that went through my head, while deciding which patch to visit:
The sugar pumpkins seem smaller that the carving ones.
The sugar pumpkins are probably cheaper.
The kids each want to bring a pumpkin back to school for their teachers, how will they carry a big carving pumpkin?
Sugar pumpkins it is.
In the back of my mind, I kind of thought, hmm, I feel like sugar pumpkins are for baking and I think they go bad pretty quickly. But, never mind, those big ones cost a fortune and we're here for the experience, not the size of the pumpkin and blah blah blah.
Well, shockingly, I was right on pretty much every account.
The sugar ones are smaller and cheaper. And they do go bad much quicker.
Sadly, those pumpkins did not last the week and so they did not make it back to the teachers.
Also sadly, I did not notice that they were going bad and so I didn't bake anything with them.
But at least we had the experience, right?
(I really wanna say blah blah blah here too, but I won't).
Happy Pumpkin Season!
I'm not sure where the whole last week went, but I do know we went to see
The Muppets this past Thursday and I have to say, it was fantastic. Josh and I
were laughing out loud and I even got all teary-eyed at the end. The kids, not
so much. See, here's the thing. If you're in your thirties, then chances are,
you grew up with Kermit and Piggy and Fozzy and Beaker and feel close to them,
almost like old childhood friends. If you're not in your thirties, then you don't
really know the muppets as well as you should. But this movie assumes you have a
working knowledge of the muppets, so if you are just introducing yourself,
definitely start with The Muppet Movie, move on to The Great Muppet Caper and finish
the trilogy with The Muppets Take Manhattan. Then go see this movie.
My oldest kid loved it, he laughed and laughed and pretty much memorized
the movie from seeing it once. My five year old liked the musical parts but was
bored silly the rest of the time and spend that time working his way through a
soda, a bag of twizzlers, some m&ms, a huge thing of popcorn and then a
stomachache. My three year old saw the previews for the upcoming Alvin
and the Chipmunks movie, laughed her head off and thought the movie was over and
it was time to leave. She was not happy to hear that the real movie hadn't even
started yet. She spent her time crunching the popcorn on the floor with her
shoes and hogging the m&ms, much to the consternation of her five year old
brother who kept asking where the m&ms were.
So what were we grateful for this Thanksgiving? Mostly that the
theater was pretty empty so that it didn't matter if we made a lot of noise. One
goal to add to our New Year's Resolutions - teach the kids to whisper.
Anyway, if you have been following along, you will know that the whole
Cookie Tuesday thing seems to have fallen by the wayside. I've
been thinking about what happened and I think there were two reasons. One, it
was the summer and just so hot in my air-conditionerless kitchen, so the less
the oven was on, the better for everyone. And secondly, I have been trying to
cut back on the treats sitting around on my counter. My kids are chocolate chip
cookie lovers, so I make those for lunchbox snacks. But the other cookies were
mostly just sitting and talking to me. Instead of just walking away, I was
talking back to them, engaging them in conversation and then eating them so they
wouldn't feel bad, and that was not working out well for my dieting ambitions.
So instead of Cookie Tuesday, I am introducing Soup of the Week. I'd like to say
it would be Soupy Sunday or something like that but committing to a certain day
is way too much pressure right now. So Soup of the Week it is.
And this debut soup is an oldy but a goody. Weight Watchers Zero Point
Soup. I used to eat this all the time and I am pretty sure I was skinny when I
used to eat this, so I'm going with this one. The original recipe can be found
on the Weight Watchers website. Here is my version. I played around with it and
added a few more zero point vegetables to make the soup thicker, but it's still
Jen's Zero Point Soup
1 onion, sliced thinly
10 baby carrots, cut in thirds
1 container of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bag of cole slaw
1/2 of a 20 oz bag of frozen green beans
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of pareve soup mix 6 cups water
2 zucchinis, washed and diced, but not peeled.
Spray a large pot with cooking spray and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms
and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to get soft and the
mushroom shrink in size. Add the cole slaw mix, the green beans, the soup mix,
the tomato paste and the water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to
simmer for 20 minutes, then add the zucchini and simmer for another 10 minutes
or until the carrots are cooked through.
The soup is yummy, fills me up, and best of all, no one else in my house
likes it, so it's all for me!
Can you believe that in exactly one week from today, the new Muppet movie,
The Muppets, will be in theaters? That's only seven days away!!! And my kids are
so excited. Well, they're kind of excited, 'cause for them, it's more about the
idea of someone buying them soda and popcorn and licorice, than about the actual
muppets. And why is that? It's because this movie is not really for the kids,
it's for every thirty-something adult who is insanely, if quietly, excited to
revisit (parts of) their childhood and is just taking along the kiddies because
it's weird to go to a rated G movie without small people.
My whole family is going - parents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins - this
is our family Thanksgiving tradition, a movie and maybe some pizza. We did it
for years, until my kids were born. It's somewhat frowned upon to bring a crying
newborn to the movies (although now that I am a seasoned mom, I know that the
insanely loud movie would have made the kid stop crying), but now that the kids
are a drop older, Muppets, here we come!
It's been so long since Josh or I have been to a movie that I was quite
shocked to learn that most everybody - except all those moms, who like me, haven't left the house in years - buy their tickets online. It's like buying an airline ticket, also something I have not done in years.
Anyway, in celebration of this momentous occasion, we will be making Kermit
Cupcakes to eat at our happily-turkey-free-Thanksgiving-feast. Yup, you
heard me right! Cupcakes that look (hopefully) like Kermit. So get ready,
because that's the plan for this Sunday. Check back to see the fun!
Oh, and just as an aside, have you seen the trailer? Fu-nnny. Apparently Fozzy has shoes that fart (sorry, Aunt Cathy, I mean, pass gas). A word to the wise - make sure your kids go to the bathroom before the movie starts. I don't want to have to run back to the van for the emergency underwear when they start laughing so hard they can't hold it in. Good tip, Uncle Josh.
Don't be shy! If you like what you see, leave a comment!
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)