Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow Ice Cream

With the new snow that we got on Friday, I decided it was time to make snow ice cream.  Amelia helped gather the top layer of snow from our back porch.  We used my medium sized red mixing bowl full to the brim of snow.  Then we combined all the ingredients in a larger mixing bowl.  Here's how we made it:

1/2 cup sugar dissolved in
1 cup milk (warmed)
2 drops red food coloring
less than 1/8 tsp peppermint extract

snow (approx 8 cups, maybe?)

Here's what Amelia thought of snow ice cream:

Next time I'm going to try using grape Koolaid to flavor the snow ice cream, because Amelia wants to try it purple (of course!).  Last year we tried vanilla and orange extract, and those were both good, too.  Megan refused to try it, even after we told her it was ice cream.  I wonder if maybe she doesn't like peppermint?

Here's Megan modeling Amelia's new kitty boots from Aunt B:

Doesn't she look like a runway model with her funny pose and her bored expression?  Megan loves to try on everyone's shoes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Frosty

It got warm enough this week that the snow melted a little, and so what had been light and fluffy snow turned into perfect snow for snowman building.  Amelia helped me roll the snowman balls, and she put on most of the decorations.  

We used rocks for the smile, eyes and buttons, and I must not have anchored them very well in the snow, because they have all fallen off.  Our neighbor used Easter egg halves, and I thought that was a really clever idea.  Luckily, we found a lone carrot in our garden, because we had eaten all our baby carrots for lunch that day.  You can't have a snowman without a carrot nose, according to Amelia.  Of course, she also thought we needed to find some coal before we make another snowman.   Megan didn't want to help build the snowman, but she does like to look at it.  Every time we come home now, we have to go over and take a quick look at the snowman.  Amelia named him Frosty.

We also went sledding again in our neighbor's backyard.  I have to pull the girls there in our sled, which actually glides very nicely on the snow.  It's much easier on me than carrying Megan.  Amelia loves it; Megan, not so much.  You can actually see the tears rolling down her face in the second picture.  (Is it terrible that instead of taking her right home, I stopped to take a photo of her sad face?)

Amelia really loves sledding by herself, and is pretty adventurous for a three year old.  She likes to go down on her stomach, and she especially likes to go backwards.  She also likes to make a train with all the other neighborhood kids, but inevitably Easton will steer them into a fence, so they don't get very far. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Window Painting

We don't have an easel at our house, so I got creative and hung a sheet of wrapping paper on our sliding glass doors.  Both Amelia and Megan enjoyed painting on the window, and it wasn't too messy -- except for a little bit of blue paint that we got on our new curtains, but it washed right off.  Thanks goodness for washable paint!

Megan didn't last very long painting, because she really doesn't like getting paint on her hand.  Amelia had fun filling up the whole sheet of paper, and enjoyed mixing different colors together.  I tried to give her only two colors at a time, but she still managed to make that sludgy gray color.

Look, she's learning to paint squiggly lines:

And I thought our paint palette turned out pretty interesting:


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amelia's Photography

Amelia is getting better at photography.  Here's an unedited, uncropped photo that she took of me and Megan together.  Isn't that cute?

Of course, most of her photos still look like this:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dinah's Birthday Party

We were stuck at home without a car on Friday, and the weather was terribly cold and snowy.  So I decided that we needed to have a party at home.  We were going to celebrate Megan's half birthday (thanks for the idea, Kim!) but Amelia decided that we should celebrate her stuffed cat Dinah's birthday instead.  If that cat actually aged a year each time we celebrated her birthday, she'd be older than me....

Anyway, we used my new mini muffin pan to make mini funfetti cupcakes.  Of course, we had to have purple frosting for Amelia and use the star sprinkles for Megan.  Amelia had fun helping to frost the cupcakes.  She actually got a fair amount of frosting to stick on the cupcake, but didn't get it spread out as neatly as I did.  When it came time to eat the cupcakes, she always chose one of the pretty ones I frosted, instead of one of the ones she frosted herself, which I thought was interesting.

Here's the birthday girl wearing her party hat:

And here's everyone at the party, just before singing Happy Birthday to Dinah.  Megan refused to wear her party hat.  But we gave her a cupcake anyway.  :)

Of course we served tea at our party.  Megan kept trying to drink out of the creamer pitcher:

But she did finish all the tea in her cup, too, and hardly spilled anything this time!  Megan did not want to eat the cupcake, and I figured out it's because she didn't want to get messy from the frosting.  So, we split our cupcakes.  I got the top with all the frosting, and she got the bottom that had no frosting.  I think I got the better end of that deal!

And eating purple frosting will turn your tongue purple (kind of):

Oh, and just fyi, it works really well to split a box of cake mix in half and just make a half batch at a time.  I measured out how many cups of cake mix were in a box, then I took half and mixed it with half of the wet ingredients.  It made one tray (24) mini cupcakes, which is a perfect amount for us to eat and share before they get too stale.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Underwear Modeling

Megan loves to play with Amelia's clean underwear.  I was trying to fold and sort laundry the other day in the middle of the dining room floor, and Megan came over and grabbed all of Amelia's underwear and tried to put it on.  This time she succeeded in getting it on her legs!


Isn't this a stylish look?  She was so delighted with herself.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Playing in the Snow - FINALLY!

We were so excited to finally have a chance to play in the snow that we went out on Thursday while it was still snowing.  Our friendly neighbors have a nice hill in their backyard that all the kids like to sled down, so as soon as we saw that the kids were home from school and sledding, we went out to join them.  Of course, by the time we had snowpants, boots, coats, mittens and hats on all three of us, most of the other kids had gone inside already.  But we got to sled with two of the kids.  The older kids like the north side of the house because it is steeper, but it has two trees and an electrical box that you have to steer around.  And after I crashed right smack into the tree with Amelia on my slide, I decided that I prefer the south side - a little less fast, but not as much to crash into (only a fence and a little spindly tree.)  Since we always sledded on a sledding hill growing up, I guess I never really learned how to steer a sled.  Amelia LOVED sledding, and would even happily go down by herself.

It was pretty cold and windy, and the snow was blowing in our faces.  Megan didn't enjoy any of it, poor baby.  Ben took her home and had a nice snuggle with her to warm her up.

Amelia's favorite part was eating the snow.

We went outside again today, and Megan kind of liked sledding with me, but Ben took her home almost as soon as he got there because she still didn't want to have anything to do with the snow.  Amelia had a great time again.  We are so lucky that we can sled right by our house!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas ornaments

Amelia and I made a few different kinds of Christmas ornaments this year:

Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Shapes

Amelia's favorite is the red glittery stocking.  If you look closely at the gingerbread man, you will notice that he has purple eyes and a pink smile.  Megan put the decorations on the candy cane, but Amelia made all the rest.  I'm sure we will do this again next year, I just have to remember the following things:  Roll the salt dough a little thinner (this was about 1/4" and the ornaments are pretty heavy).  Bake at the lowest temperature setting of the oven (these were baked at 200F, and they got puffy and uneven).  Do not use Elmer's washable glue (decorations do not stick).  Do not use Tacky Glue (does not dry clear.)  Find a different kind of glue to use.  What?  I don't know.

Snow Globe Hanprint Snowmen 

I got this idea from Mom to Two Posh Lil Divas.  Amelia loved painting her hand and smushing it on the plastic ornament ball, although she needed help with the fingers so they didn't get smudgy.  I did all the snowman hats, faces and buttons, but maybe next year I will let her try that herself.  We filled it with epsom salt (cheap, available) to look like a snowglobe.  Lessons learned:  Crayola washable paint will flake right off the plastic ornaments.  If you try this anyway, you could very carefully brush a layer of Mod Podge over the handprint, trying not to flake any of the paint off.  It will dry a little opaque, but will still look okay, and keep the paint protected.  We also used regular white acrylic paint, and this has been staying on nicely.  Although, you then have to watch to make sure your child doesn't get handprints all over your nice oak door to the bathroom that will dry on and never come off.  Not that I have personal experience with that.


Pretty self-explanatory.  I painted popsicle sticks white and hot glued three of them together to make a snowflake shape.  I would have let Amelia paint them, but she wasn't feeling like painting that day.  Then glue on anything small and decorative that you can find.  We used Tacky Glue, and it mostly works, although some of the sequin stars want to come off.  She didn't get the idea of cramming things close together, so I made one with her, and we had a contest to see who could make the prettiest sparkly star.  She won, of course!

Glitter Pinecones

Megan and I took a walk up the hill bordering the field across the street, the only place where there are grown pine trees near us.  It was a fun little path - I will have to take Amelia in the spring.  Anyway, we found these pinecones and brought some home to decorate for Christmas.  I baked them in the oven at 200F for 30 minutes just to kill any bugs that might be in them.  Then we painted them with Elmer's washable glue and sprinkled them with glitter.  I let Amelia handle the glitter herself, which went okay until she upset an entire tub and we had glitter EVERYWHERE.  Oh well, what's Christmas without a little glitter?

Monday, January 9, 2012

The next Harry Potter?

I don't think Megan will make the Quidditch team riding a broomstick like this!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Smashing the Gingerbread House

A few days ago after dinner, we told Amelia that we could eat the gingerbread house.  Here was her reaction:

Both she and Ben took turns using the meat hammer to try to break it apart.  It was pretty sturdy!  Amelia thought it was going to make a loud noise, so she kept her ears plugged while Ben was smashing it.

 I think our house is structurally unsound now, what do you think?

Today before lunch, the girls and I were playing with playdoh, and Megan wandered away.  I didn't think too much of it, until I noticed that she was eating something:

Clearly, she'd delighted with herself!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grandpa's Cardinals Hat

Megan found Grandpa's Cardinals hat and thought she would show her support for her favorite team.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Record Highs

Yesterday and today have been beautiful days here in Madison!  We've hit 50 degrees for the high temperature both days, and we've even had some sun.  So of course we took advantage of the nice weather to go outside and play.  Thankfully, the sun and warm temps melted the sheet of ice that was covering our driveway, so we didn't have to worry about slipping.  There were still some small snow piles in the morning, and the girls had fun making and throwing snowballs, and then stomping the snowballs flat.  The stomping was their favorite part. 

Today we played with sidewalk chalk, had races up and down the sidewalk, and invented a new game called "Throw rocks into the rain gutters and listed to them clatter to the ground."  Amelia invented that game, but Megan had a good time playing, too.  In case Ben ever reads this, we did make sure to get all the rocks out of the gutter at the end of our game.

 I was trying to get a good picture of Amelia's really high jumps, but Megan kept walking in front of the camera.  I think the above photo is really funny because it looks like Amelia is attacking Megan.

Doesn't Megan have the most beautiful little face?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Amelia's Drawings

Amelia has learned to draw two new things - can you tell what they are?

The bottom one is a cat sitting on a cloud.  She wrote "CAT" above the cat, in case you couldn't tell.  And she decided the cat's name was Sophie Molly Megan.