Growing Out On A Limb

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Stained Glass Craft

I saw this idea for a kids’ craft on a mommy blog a while ago, then again on pinterest, and finally remembered to pick up some contact paper so we could give it a try.

It was a big hit with them and me, for a few reasons:

  • Both boys could easily take part.  Often I have to distract Emery while Oliver gets his craft on but he was able to do his own craft this time, which I’m sure made him feel involved and all grown up (or at least as grown up as Oliver).
  • Both boys were focused on it for at least 20 minutes, which is a big deal for both of them but especially for Emery (1 year old).  He actually stuck it out longer than Oliver did.
  • It was really quick and easy (and cheap) for me to set up.
  • It can be adapted a thousand different ways – use glitter or print out pictures of objects (trucks, houses, etc) so they can create a scene or print out the alphabet and try letter recognition or gather leaves/grass/flowers/etc from outside for them to stick on.
  • It will grow with them – I can totally see Oliver soon using the paper bits to make a truck or a person soon.
  • They were in total control… free play!
  • The finished product was so pretty!

You know how you hate to throw out the tissue paper that people put in gift bags, even though it’s all wrinkly and won’t look as nice in another gift?  Get that out and cut it up into little squares or triangles … it just needs to be little scraps, nothing fancy.  Any paper would do, actually.

Then cut a big square of contact paper off the roll (I found mine by the shelf liner at wal-mart).  Duct tape it to the table so the sticky side is up.  You can get contact paper that isn’t clear, which would also be fun, but it won’t have the stained glass effect.

Put the pile of tissue paper scraps in front of them and let them go to it!

Emery would stick his paper on and then pull it off.  It ripped but I think that was part of the fun for him.

Oliver would call out the colors as he stuck them on.  “I think a blue one goes here…”.

In the end, when Oliver was starting to lose interest, we let it “rain” paper to cover the rest of the contact paper.

Don’t taste the paper though… it’s gross!

And when they were all done, I took the duct tape off the corners and hung it in the bedroom windows.  See?  Stained glass!  Pretty!

Oliver is so proud to see his artwork hung up and I love having it all over the house.


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A glimpse of summer

This past week we had a few days of unseasonably warm weather.  30 degrees in March… seriously?!?  The warmth was nice but fleeting – this is eastern Canada after all – and brought little more than a lot of complaints about the seasonal temperatures that followed.  That and devastating floods in our area.

Nevertheless, we took full advantage of the sun shining down and opened the boys’ sandbox.  The boys loved that they were able to walk from the supper table and straight onto the deck.

Yes, Oliver’s tongue always seems to be out!

Several times Emery goes to the door and puts his boots on.  I didn’t think it was possible, but it seems Emery likes being outside even more than Oliver.

Bubbles.  Gotta love bubbles.

And climbing.

We enjoyed the weather while it lasted but are alarmed by its aftermath.  It seems unfair that what is so enjoyable in one moment can be so tragic in the next.  Our thoughts are with those in a nearby town who have been under several feet of water for a couple of days now and will be recovering for many many more.

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Last weekend we decided to try a spring-y craft, something pretty and bright that we could hang up to remind us that warmer weather is on the way!

We flattened out coffee filters and started making them pretty.  First we used watercolors but Oliver was using too much water, which didn’t mix well with the thin paper of the filter.  Then we tried some stamper things that marked paint kind of like a bingo dauber.

When Oliver didn’t seem very taken by either of those things, I broke out the glue and glitter… er, “sprinkles”.

Once the filter was decorated, I cinched the middle together and twisted a pipe cleaner around it to make a butterfly.  This is the pose I got when I told him to hold one up:

Some of the glitter got on the filters, but Oliver quickly became more interested in moving the glitter around.

Of course little brother needed to be involved too but he’s too.

He’s too little for glitter and paints and glue but as long as he’s up to the table doing something, he feels involved and happy.

Love craft time with my boys!

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Oliver’s first haircut (without fight or flailing!)

Yes, my boy is three.

Yes, I am posting haircut pictures.

No, this isn’t his first haircut.  But yes, this is the first haircut he sat for without complaint.


It took preparation:  “Oliver, we’re going to cut your hair after supper tonight!”.

It took setup:  His kitchen chair pulled up close to the TV.

It took distraction:  A video.  One he hasn’t seen before.  And it had a car in it.  That helped.

It took bribery:  Chocolate.  A tiny box of Smarties that, to a toddler, seems like a big ole pot of gold.


But he sat and I cut and, for once, I could take my time and do it all.  And, perhaps most importantly, I didn’t have to maneouver my scissors around flailing limbs and a bobbing head!

If your kid has always sat for a haircut, good for them.  But if you’re the mom of a spirited toddler and you get what I’m saying, take comfort in the fact that it will turn around!

Maybe we’ll try him with an actual hairdresser soon?  Cause I get the job done but I really don’t know what I’m doing!

This is terribly blurry but I love his strike-a-pose look…

And, of course, we need a ‘Smile!’ picture…

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A day home with the boys

I stayed home with the kids on Monday and what a great day we had. 

We spent a couple of hours at the gym with Nancy and Vicky.  Oliver was so excited for this because he remembered all of the toys there.  Have I mentioned that my local gym has a “Mom’s Club” on weekdays from 9-11 am?  They will watch your children while you work out and it’s all included in your membership.  I love that.  It kind of saved me on my first mat leave when I was working through post partum depression. 

We had a fun lunch with our friend Colleen.  The boys have missed her!  I’ve missed her too and she is so kind to my children. 

It was such a beautiful day that we spent a couple of hours outside in the afternoon.  Emery is in the sled in one of the pictures below but I was impressed with how much he walked.  If he got off the trail to deeper snow he was in trouble but he really did well on the trail.  He brought the walk to a slower pace but Oliver and I didn’t mind – we stopped often to build “mountains” and “tunnels”. 

Snowy mitts! 

I like this shot of big brother pulling little brother. 

Speaking of brothers, these shots are of them playing together on the couch late in the afternoon.  Oliver is involving Emery much more in his play, now that Emery is old enough to play more like him and not just grab his toys, and I love watching them laugh and carry on together.  Some of the pictures are blurry but they show them as they are – constantly in motion – and you still get a sense of brothers playing together. 

Emery tries everything big brother does. 

Go, go, go…

All smiles… even if it’s with a fingernail scratch on his chin. 


Go, go, go some more…

Emery took a Wiggles break … “Quack!  Quack!  Quack!  Quack!  Cock-a-doodle-doo!”

I had a great day at home with my boys.  A day like that makes me think extra hard about making it a fulltime gig!