Homemade Play-Doh and Pebbles

I recently took out some play-doh I received as a party favor to see what Clara would think about it. Sure enough, she ended up putting it in her mouth. It occurred to me, what the heck is in this stuff? Since all of the ingredients are not listed and it was made in China, I sought out an alternative and found some recipes for homemade play-doh with natural food dyes. Foods such as raspberries, blueberries, and turmeric work great!

I started out with blueberries. Isn’t this a pretty color?!

The next step was to see what Clara would do with it. She proceeded to carry it to the table, so she could stand on the chair and squeeze and poke it. I should have known.

There were some decorative glass pebbles in the center of the table that she beckoned for, which added a whole other dimension to this activity.


When she dropped a pebble on the table, it made such a glorious sound that I grabbed a glass jar to add to this sensory experience. Since she also liked the sound of the glass jar against the table, we moved to the carpet to avoid the sound of breaking glass. She loved to drop the pebbles in the glass jar, so I thought we could count the pebbles too.

Of course little crumbles of play-doh dropped on the carpet. It was time to clean up the little pieces. Great for finger dexterity!

I’d like to carry it around now mommy… whoa, this is wobbly!

Back to the table!

How about some squatting/balance practice.

Overall, this activity lasted for well over an hour. She was so focused the entire time and napped for about 3 hours that afternoon. It must have worn her out! She explored a lot in this activity, from decision making to exercise, physics, dexterity, sound, counting, to cleaning up. Phew! That’s a lot of stuff to get out of play-doh and pebbles!


If I Can Grow A Person, I Can Grow A Veggie

The jury is still out on this one, so I probably shouldn’t get ahead of myself. There are no veggies yet, but we started a square foot garden yesterday and planted seeds and a few transplants. Now it’s Water, Watch, and Wait. A Wish probably wouldn’t hurt either.

I hate to admit that I’m somewhat of a control freak, although I’m working on NOT being one. Ironic, I know. Luckily I have an understanding and patient husband. We also communicate very well and openly and love each other despite our individual faults or maybe even because of them. Needless to say, I really hate that I can’t “control” what the seed is going to do or know what will become of it. It’s one thing trying to control life in the moment, but trying to control the future… now that takes Super Powers!

I guess I don’t have super powers…shucks.

So I bought the square foot gardening book that a friend recommended and I’m so glad I did! The author, Mel Bartholomew, makes it all seem so easy. He lays out the process in a clear and entertaining fashion and really sells you on the idea of square foot gardening. It seems to be a fool proof, guaranteed success. Great for a control freak (I hate saying that). Do I have to be a freak? Why not a control goddess or something? Since I want to control the perception of whoever is reading this, I want you to know I’m not THAT much of a control freak. It’s just a small part of me. Really though…I’m just trying to be funny. HaHa! (nervous laugh)

Anyway, my main inspiration for this garden is that I want Clara to grow up eating fresh, homegrown vegetables. I also want it to be an activity and project we share together as a family. Plus, I’m already partly a granola mommy, so I might as well take some more steps in that direction! But don’t worry honey, you can always count on a smooth underarm.

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off…

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin PatchStart all over again. Thanks Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields! I love fun songs with positive messages I can teach my sweet Clara. I like to sing this one while she’s learning to walk. She took 6 steps on her own a couple of weeks ago. It happened by accident when she wasn’t thinking. She was holding on to a doll and my hand. She didn’t realize I let go and kept on walking! Then she fell on the hardwood floor. Boom!  “Uh oh” I said and laughed. I find that this reaction leads to much less drama when she hurts herself. This week she’s been much more cautious, holding onto to my finger while I walk along with her. Then when she falls, she looks back up with a smile and reaches up for my finger. So cute!

Another encouraging song we’ve been singing in music class this week from the World Playground Putumayo CD is Just keep going on by Eric Bibb. “Just keep going on. Take every knock as a boost and every stumbling block as a stepping stone. Lift up your head, hold your own, just keep going on.”

And one of my very favorites of Bob Marley we listened to a lot the first 3 months of her life is Three Little Birds. “Don’t worry, ’bout a thing. Cause every little thing’s gonna be all right”…Pretty meaningful when you’ve got a new life you are responsible for!

The Sweetest Sounds

Clara was needing some extra soothing at bedtime tonight. For whatever reason, she was having a hard time winding down. I was rocking her in the rocking chair, which she rarely lets me do. She’s never been a fan of the sit and rock. She’s more of a stand and bounce baby. But tonight the timing was right and she relaxed in my arms.

Since I had already sung lullabies and patted/ssh’d her, I just sat and rocked in silence so as not to stimulate her further. Then she started to hum. The contour of what she was singing was of one of the lullabies I frequently sing to her, Su La Li. So, I joined in and we hummed together. It was a magical moment. Then I noticed her holding the resting tone of the song as I sang the melody. So I decided to change keys and she changed her resting tone! I was amazed. She kept humming along but in the new key. When I started to sing a new lullaby, she changed yet again with me. For the next 15 minutes or so, I sang 5 or 6 different lullabies in different keys and she continued to sing with me. I was in heaven.