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Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Day

The Snow in the suburbs is still around on Christmas Day...and Layla finally has snow boots! So she put them on, along with her "baby suit" (her word for snowsuit) and stepped out into the fresh, untouched snow. Uncle Jonathan was a trooper and ventured into the serenity of the backyard to pull Layla on her first sleigh ride, push her in the snowy swing, and make snowballs. She loved it until she face-planted into the cold. She didn't want to wear her mittens - she is such a little snow bunny!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Spectacle

On one of the whitest, snowiest days the Philly has ever seen, we ventured out into the "city." Yes, we took our stroller - flipped the handle bar around so that the "big wheels" were in front - and trudged through the December snow to see the Christmas spectacles. Layla loved the cold: wearing her "hat" and "gloves" and taking the "choo choo train" (subway train) into the "city." We watched the traditional light show at Macys. We walked through Dicken's Village. We watched the fabulous 3-D Comcast LCD wall. Layla loved wearing the 3-D glasses and listening to the sounds of the season. It was an immersive Christmas experience. It was a beautiful day as a family and we were all humming carols on our way home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We were putting up our Christmas Tree lights and Layla was pointing to the bulbs, trying to name the colors. Then she touched them.

"Hot. Hot."

the blowing sound

"I cool down."

more sounds.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hungry Puppy

When I walked in the living room this evening here is what I found:


I suppose the puppy was hungry and Layla shared some food with him...

We vacuumed them up so when she wakes up in the morning she will probably think the dog actually ate them - oh to be young again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pancakes?

I guess she's trying to tell me she would like some pancakes for breakfast today...


-she got the pancake "mix" out (I usually make pancakes from scratch...)

-she got the syrup out (which she only gets on rare occasions...we usually experiment with dips)

and brought them out to me in the living room.

I know many of you are wondering...

We sure did have Pancakes that morning :) And they were "Yummy in tummy" Layla said.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Painting

Layla has been cooped up in the house for the past two weeks because she has been sick. Yuck! Recently I had the feeling she just needed something new to do. Something novel. Something we don't do very often. It was all ready night time but I just knew it had to be done. I dragged out the paints - red and green for Christmas. I unrolled the easel paper on the floor and taped them down. We all put on "painting clothes" - in Layla's case: a diaper. And she Experimented with paint. She had SO much fun. A couple times she wanted to get "cleaned off" but then she went right back to painting again. She had a good scrub in the tub that night....

but when she woke the next morning "I paint. I paint?" said she.
So I knew it was a success.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

*NEW PRODUCT*


Yayyyy....I love making new things for Layla - and as a result I always come up with new ideas for my shop. In fact, I have a long list of ideas that never seems to end. When I finally get around to making one, I add another (and another...) to the bottom. But this is one that actually came to fruition. She LOVES it and I thought other little ones would too. So, I introduce to you:

My Little Nurture Box


So simple a concept, but so many ways to pretend, play, and foster fine motor coordination. I made a Little Nurture Box for my little one (22 months old) and she loves it so much I thought I should share it. A little bit like a puzzle, a little bit like threading – a great step into pretending. There are seven different sized holes in the “flower box” to create a dexterity challenge: “How to put these flowers in?” Some are easy, some are a little tricky, but all are definitely great fun for your little Florist. Arrange, and rearrange ‘til your heart’s content. Flowers come in a rainbow so you can teach early color concepts; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, and Red/Violet. There are seven in all (provides a great counting tool as well!).

This Little Nurture Box also comes with a heavy-duty-glass vase so the flowers can be sorted, arranged, or classified separately. Simply put, it adds a creative canvas for your little one. This simple glass container allows you to teach and reinforce handling things with CARE.

Allow your child to use pretend water in a watering can or cut one from paper and laminate. Let your little one tend to his or her own little garden box or set up “shop” at a pretend flower stand. This toy truly is a step into a whole pretend world of open-ended play possibilities.

This little box will Nurture your little ones Fine Motor Skills, Cognitive Development, Communication / Verbal Skills, Build Vocabulary, Encourage Empathy, and Develop an Early Appreciation for Nature.

This Little Nurture Box is sent as a well-tended package
and shipped in a Priority Flat Rate box.

*Although I have taken great caution to make My Little Nurture Box safe (as I have created and use it with my own child), little ones should ALWAYS be supervised while at play.*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fruit Looping

A great little project to encourage fine motor coordination - Fruit Loop "Garland". I chose Fruit Loops because they have larger holes than Cheerios. It proved to be a good choice, because of the varied color choice. It made a great conversation piece for color investigation as we threaded our bright loops onto string. There are so many ways this simple activity is good for your little one. It provides endless conversation pieces - teachable concepts.

Taste
Texture
Sound
Fill
Spill
Threading
Colors
Counting
Sharing

I covered the end of the ribbon with tape to give it some stability
- guidance for young fingers.
I also tied an O to the end of the string
in order to keep them from slipping off the end.

If your little one has difficulty, hold the thread and let him or her place the Fruit Loops onto the ribbon. Guide his or her fingers to bring the O down to the end of the string.

video

Monday, December 7, 2009

In a Box

I came upstairs the other day because Layla was calling "MaaMaa" from the top where she had been playing in her room.
Here's what I found:Yep, that's a screwdriver
and a ball.
McGuiver moves, maybe?
I don't know if she called me up to show me...
or because she wanted my help.
Either way, it made me smile - and ultimately,
she got out of the box herself.
All those toys, and she finds the empty box in the hallway...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fluffies!!!


A so simple experiment with Fluffies (aka pom poms). Great for color sorting, counting, fine motor skills (picking them up here with a spoon, a cup, a pair of tongs) and bringing them over there. This little divider tray came as disposable packaging for some thanksgiving ingredient but I re-purposed it as a divider for the Fluffies - you can categorize them, sort them, make a pattern and then try to duplicate it with size or color...a great many ways to play with these little Fluffy critters. Just a big bag of Pom Poms and let the good times unfold...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bravo!!!

When we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house last week, Layla got a new puzzle. She put the pieces in lickety-split as if she had played with the puzzle for ages. She was so happy with herself. She would clap and say "Bravo! Bravo!" Really, where does she pick this stuff up? It's not like I walk around the house yelling "Bravo! Bravo!" - although, maybe I should start...

video

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Number Dozen

The Numbers have arrived!!! I finished these number Wall Art cards just in time for my first craft show and they were a HUGE hit so I decided to take some pictures of them and post them in my shop.

As seen in Layla's Room
can be found at www.MamaMayiShop.com
$19.50 for a set of 12

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Goody Goody Gumdrops! Support Handmade

I recently had the great fortune to be featured in Touched Creatively magazine by Jodi Ulschmid. She strives to "encourage creativity and promote the handmade community". I have had the opportunity to look through this season's kid inspired issue and have fallen in love with many of the handmade pieces and artists' stories. I encourage everyone to check out this great initiative at www.touchedcreatively.com. Feel free to purchase a copy for something sweet to peruse. Get inspired by these handmade goodies for the little goobers and gumdrops in your life this holiday season.

Front
Back
From Now until January 1st the printed version is on sale for only $4.89
The downloadable version is available for only $1.89

http://magcloud.com/browse/Issue/45508

Friday, November 27, 2009

Free Shipping Black Friday

I'm having a sale in my shop today : Free Shipping Black Friday!! So stay warm and cozy while getting your shopping done for the little ones....shipping on me! :) Enjoy!

www.MamaMayiShop.com



Oh, yeah...and check out the cute new holiday banner. No leaves, because it's winter...but Ornaments on the Tree ! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Icky Goo!

We made some icky goo - totally simple - totally messy - totally fun.

Supplies:
Cake Pan, 1 Cup Cornstarch, 1/2 Cup Water, Spoons, Cups, Tools for Experimenting

video

Experiment:
Add More Water
Add More Cornstarch
Add Red, Yellow, or Blue Food Coloring - what happens?
now add a different color - what happens?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little Diaper

Found on the Couch 11-18-2009
I Guess the Little People Needed a Diaper Change...

Friday, November 13, 2009

The One and Only Cheerio...


Oh, oh, oh.......Cheerios!

I love these little Cheerio books. (The Cheerio Play Book). They are so portable and I always have some Cheerios around. Great for the car, a restaurant, or at home to practice fine motor skills and yummy nutrition. When Layla was little I would put the Cheerios in their proper places and she would have to "find" and pick them up to eat them. Now that she is a little older I give her a bowl of Cheerios to place properly. It is great for building problem solving and fine motor skills / coordination.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chalk Board Madness


Layla really seems to enjoy the chalk board door in her new room. Every time we go in there to play she wants to scribble something on the wall. "I draw. I draw." she exclaims. More often than not she wants one of us to draw with her too-so it's a great interactive tool. I make pictures or lines or letters or shapes or scribbles and we talk about what's on the board.

She has tried, on a few different occasions, to write on other surfaces in her room i.e. the carpet, the flannel board, her bed, the pictures hanging on her wall - thankfully all have been pretty forgiving so far.

I am excited because she is all ready enjoying these little stations so much - as she grows she will continue to find more and more uses for them all - and I don't think she will "outgrow" them - I tried to design things that would grow WITH her. Maybe this chalkboard will become a scientific design planner someday. Or a classroom aid. Or a designer's canvas. Or a veterinarian's x-ray chart...there are so many possibilities.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Potty Pooper

Every Potty Has a Pooper, That's Why We Invited You - Potty, Pooper! Potty, Pooper!....

Little Triumphs: Pooping in the "Big" Potty at IKEA - Yayy!! (and a little train as a reward for being such a big girl.)
My little stinker has been pooping on the potty since she has been about 15 months old. It all started when she would "tell" us she was going potty. She knows the sign for "poop". Because she was aware of the goings on I decided it was time to introduce her to "The Potty". Whenever I saw her going potty or signing potty we would sit on our little Baby Bjorn and read while she went merrily along. It's a funny thing, really - poop.

It doesn't always come with pee. I guess they are used to going in their diapers so they don't ever need to "hold it" like adults do. So when they do go on the potty it could just be "poop".

I have been trying to "teach" her what "tinkle" or "pee" is - but it is a difficult concept, I think.

"You wet in your diaper.
There is tinkle in your diaper.
See, you're going tinkle.
You went pee on floor - see that! Pee! - Pee goes in the potty too, just like poop!"

Needless to say we are well on our way to being "potty-trained". I don't push the issue, though, because I think it's a lot for 20-month old. We just started because she showed an interest. Now I have to try to teach her the pee-concept. Wish it were still Summer - it would be much easier to "catch" her and it would make going around the house diaper-less much more appealing :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

"I Share"

We were at my parents house this week where there is a cat Layla will NOT leave alone. Needless to say she followed (more like chased) him everywhere. Here, she offers a peace offering - friendship - her beloved ducks. She picked them up and set them on the chair next to the cat.

"I share. I share. CAT."

then she tried to snuggle her way onto the chair next to the cat as if a bunch of fake, plastic toys would convince him to play with her. He stayed for a minute while she climbed up onto the chair and began to "Rock Cat", back and forth, back and forth. I guess he gets motion sickness because he would have none of the companion rocking.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Number All

Before


The room is starting to really take shape now, and the I am able to work on the fun part: finishing touches. About the Magnet Wall was a large portion of white, blank space. I knew I had to do SOMETHING with it, but wasn't quite sure what it should become. I looked around and it dawned on me that we had the alphabet but no Numbers!! I decided numbers would be a good fit, but didn't find any cute designs I really like that coordinated well with the room. So, like most things in the room, I decided to design and make my own. I was compelled to make the numbers little pieces of artwork - kind of abstract - but they also needed to be legible, even to beginner mathematicians.

I decided 12 would be a good fit (and a perfect fit for the length of that wall) so 12 became the number. I wanted them to be simple but beautiful and I wanted the backs to be used as learning tools, teaching aids, counting helpers. The fronts are simple enough, the numeral and the written word. The backs have large circles as counting place-holders, the numeral, and the word as well. I wanted to be able to take them down off the wall and use them as "flashcards" so they are stuck with Velcro (much like everything else in the room). Once I find out a good way to print these they will be available in my shop at MamaMayiShop.com so keep your eyes out for their arrival! :)

After


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween


Layla is going trick-or-treating for the first time. She's so cute as a little flapper - I love that she actually kept her feather headband on! And I love that I can reuse the costume for her dress-up bin :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Nap in New Room


Layla's First Nap in her new room - in her new bed!

We have been co-sleeping since she's been born. When she was about 16 months old she went into her own bed, but it is also in our room so when she wakes up in the morning to nurse we are in close proximity and we can both fall back to sleep together.

She absolutely loves her new room. It's the first place she wants to go when she wakes up in the morning and when she wakes up from a nap. So I thought it might be a good way to transition her into her own space - at least for nap time. I tried to put her to sleep in there today but she did not fall asleep: even though she said "I tired. nap." She laid down and we cuddled but she couldn't fall asleep - I think there is just too much excitement still. So we went to our bedroom and she fell asleep and I ever so gingerly made the transfer from there to her room - so when she wakes she will be able to play and explore. Eebee is there to keep her company.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

One of my very favorite things about the Fall is definitely the smells - the autumn leaves, pumpkin bread, apple pies, cinnamon, nutmeg....mmmm. There is something about these treats that warm my spirit - they are cozy, delicious, and soothing. Today, Layla and I decided to bake together. She loves helping me measure, pour and, of course, taste. And I love that she's learning about volume, gravity, and mixtures through our simple kitchen experiments.

I've never made Pumpkin Bread before but got a recipe from WholeFoods and decided to give it a try. It was a treat and Layla really liked her "Pumpkin Cake!"

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=1461
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We doubled this recipe so we would have enough to share! (We did not add nuts, and we didn't have any oat bran - so I put some oatmeal in the food processor and used that.) A sweet harvest treat.

Ingredients
Canola oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat bran or wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons cane sugar
1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. In a second large bowl, combine sugar, oil, honey, milk, pumpkin, egg and vanilla then add to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and set aside to let cool completely.


video

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy 50th Halloween!

We just celebrated my Father-in-law's 50th birthday. It was so nice getting everyone together for this delightful event and milestone. As an added bonus - it was a Halloween dress up occasion. Food, Fun, Dancing, and People in Costume - what could make for a better Saturday Night?

I don't usually dress up - but for this special day I conceded. Layla and I dressed as Flappers. I was going to make our costumes but found them to be much less expensive just to buy them (The Fringe is a crazy expense!) Even though she didn't wear her headband with the feather, she was still the star of the night. She and I won best-dress prizes! (And it wasn't rigged, I swear!)

She was a little hesitant at first of all the faces - and new faces - white, red, witched, hat-ted, glassed - but by the end of the night all she wanted to do was boogie on the dance floor. She has the cutest moves! She kept going to get Da-Da - grabbing his hand and dragging him to the disco. She definitely made me think about dance classes soon....

Recycled Blocks!


It's amazing what you can do with just a couple old boxes and some duct tape. Believe it or not, it was less expensive to buy these Fiber One bars in 2 pack-boxes than in larger quantity so that's what I did. As I started breaking them down for the recycle bin I thought it was such a waste and just knew there had to be SOMETHING fun I could do with them. So I gathered up a bunch of noise-making objects - or experimental objects - pasta, rice, Q-tips, cotton balls, silver bells, paper pieces, fabric fibers, beans, straws, bottle caps.....etc....placed them inside the boxes and covered the outside of the boxes with colorful Duct tape (I love this stuff). Sure enough I turned a bunch of recyclables into play things: Building blocks. Layle likes finding the ones that have sounds and shaking them and the Duct tape actually creates a little traction so it makes stacking easier. Great Fun!