Thursday, April 28, 2011

Imperfectly Perfect by Tomato Mama

        I love 3 year old art. 3 year olds don't care about "perfect." They don't care about "getting it right." They are enjoying the experience. They are experimenting. They are learning about color, texture, materials, and creativity. Pickle loves to paint. He has been on a big painting kick lately. We have painted little dog and cat statues, Lightning McQueen everything, and paper. Most of the time he starts out strong painting the object in front of him, then gets distracted by seeing what happens to the colors in the water jar when you mix them and swirl them. He becomes obsessed with that and the original object is forgotten.
       Everything usually ends up black or gray. No matter what colors we start out with, it is so much fun to mix and swirl that we get a dark end result. Do I mind? No! I would rather have these messy, unfinished, black blobs than some perfect piece of work that is not really his. I'm not a mom that feels like my kid needs to "color inside the lines." There is plenty of time for that later in life. 
      When I look back at the pictures and objects that I keep from this age, I want to see what he was interested in and loved to do.. He will never be this age again. Pickle at 3 is adorable, creative, willful, energetic and beginning to be independent. He is sweet, funny and silly! When I look at these items, that is what I will see. Time letting little ones learn about creativity is always time well spent!

Friday, April 22, 2011

An "Egg"cellent Tradition by Duck Momma

Easter is only a couple days away, that means tomorrow night is egg dying night! It will be a first for little Goose but a very long standing tradition in my family. But making the eggs look beautiful is only the beginning. My grandmother was Greek and she taught us all the traditional egg cracking. Everyone has their special egg, and finds a partner. You take turns tapping egg ends (pointier end to pointier end and fat end to fat end). The person with the least cracked egg wins! We have spread this madness to many families through the years, and maybe now  to yours? It is so much fun and if you have a perfect (no cracks)egg at the end, you can save it indefinitely. The insides just dry and turn into a rattle almost. My Grandma always kept mine year after year. . . Come to think of it maybe she let me win just so she could have my egg. . . (I miss her)

Grandma also taught us another important tradition. Its how we always greet each other every Easter. I am going to attempt to spell it, I apologize sincerely for my terrible Greek spelling and punctuation. (Verbally we have it mastered, writing it. . . not so much)
First Person: "Christos A'Nesti"
Second Person:"A'Li thos A'Nesti"
Which means (if spelled correctly ;-) )"Christ is Risen" "He is Risen indeed"

May your Easter be blessed and full of your own family traditions! Now I have to go fulfil my role as Easter Bunny intern and make sure we have everything for Goose's Easter Basket!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peep Family Portrait by Tomato Mama

    Pickle and I were doing some Easter crafting yesterday and I decided to whip up some felt peeps! I had some very peep looking colors in my felt stash and I got a little carried away. ( Expect to see more in a future post. Some of them are gifts and I don't want to spoil the secret yet!)  Behold our family, peep style. I was excited to use the very Lucille Ball polka dot felt that I had been saving for "my" peep. I am a huge I Love Lucy fan so it's very appropriate. I tried to use peep colors for Tomato Papa and Pickle too.
      I had some peeps in the house for "research purposes" so I sort of free handed a shape similar to a peep on paper as my pattern. Then I used the blanked stitch to sew them up. See up close picture of process here
Felt Conversation Hearts.

    I dotted on some eyes and nose with fabric paint for a finishing touch!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teachable Moments Tuesday: Spring is Sprouting

       I love gardening. Growing tomatoes in particular, but we grow all sorts of things around here in the summer. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, basil, cilantro, peppers, strawberries, zucchini, and marigolds this year so far. We get most of our vegetables from my cousin's greenhouse, but I like to start some of our plants from seeds so that Pickle can be in on the process from the beginning and see how plants work. 

       Starting plants from seeds is so exciting for a little one to see. I got Pickle involved with choosing the seeds at the store,  scooping the dirt into the peat pots and planting the seeds. He is in charge of watering them everyday and we run to see the seedlings first thing every morning to see how they are doing. It's so much fun to see the surprise and pride in his eyes to see how much they grow from day to day. He makes sure to show off his seeds to Tomato Papa when he gets home from work too. He's a great little farmer!
       Now I know that some of you out there in blogland already have plants in the ground, but we are in a cold area and we got a rude reminder why we can't plant this early. We had SNOW yesterday! Blech. No more snow in the forcast, thankfully. Here is an updated shot of our "crop." Can't wait to get them into the ground and into containers! 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teachable Moments Tuesday: Shopping List

      I've mentioned before that I've got a super-shopper for a son. I'm so lucky that he's so patient and helpful. I'm a lucky mama. Tomato-Mama that is. 
      For this week's shopping trip, I gave Pickle a job. I cut out pictures of the things we were going to buy from the sale's ad and glued them to a piece of paper. I did the cutting and Pickle did the gluing. Then we wrote the number of each item that we were planning to buy on or next to each item. 
      We took the list with us to the store and Pickle was in charge of checking items on the list. He felt so important and it gave us a chance to talk about lots of things, practice counting, read the names of the items together, read the prices, and match items to the pictures. All important skills for a preschooler! 
       Here is a closer picture of the list with some of his "marking" on it. We are going to make this a weekly activity. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Puddle Walk by Tomato Mama

     What a weekend! We had what I can only describe as a little bit of summer this weekend. It was heavenly. We played mini-golf, grilled, played in the yard, tried out the new water gun and wore shorts. In April!!! In Indiana!!! It all led up to an amazing thunderstorm last night that resulted in a 3 year old in our bed most of the night, and lots of puddles on the ground! 

     Pickle and I put on our beloved rain boots and went for a walk. We talked about the buds on the trees that will become leaves, admired the daffodils, tulips and crocuses, and counted spring robins. We found a few puddles to splash in too. It is so much fun to walk hand in hand with my little guy and talk about what we saw. Never let a good puddle go to waste!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Week in Pictures and Poetry (Saturday) by Duck Momma

Pictures worth more than a thousand words :

A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang: I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living my baby you'll be. 
-Robert Munsch

If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
-Vincent van Gogh

The  moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Week in Pictures and Poetry (Friday ) by Duck Momma

An Old Irish Blessing

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat.
Go raibh cóir na gaoithe i gcónaí leat.
Go dtaitní an ghrian go bog bláth ar do chlár éadain,
go dtite an bháisteach go bog mín ar do ghoirt.
Agus go gcasfar le chéile sinn arís, go gcoinní Dia i mbois a láimhe thú.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Week in Pictures and Poetry (Thursday ) by Duck Momma

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Week in Pictures and Poetry (Tuesday ) by Duck Momma

See that angel scuffing down the street. With high heeled shoes on tiny feet. Could anybody be so sweet, as pigtails on parade.

She is wearing grandma's wedding gown, with old lace curtains draped around little pigtails on parade.

Her eyes are bright as starlight. Her cheeks like a rose. She thinks she's quite a lady with the powder on her nose.

I bet she's going calling on the neighbors next door. And winds up with a penny for the corner candy store.

I know that soon will come a day, when love will beckon her away. But to me she'll always stay little pigtails on parade.

So play your games this afternoon, for May so quickly turns to June. But darling don't grow up too soon, little pigtails on parade.

- a lullaby sung by my grandpa to my mom, by mom to me, and now by me to my baby.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

A Week in Pictures and Duck Momma


23rd on 12th
Twilight on a quiet street, a mile of color soaked doors salute in the fading sunlight. The setting sun tries its best to compete with the defiant doors. Their battle is true beauty.
But should shaded eyes look closer there is even more. For in the corners stand the shadows of each and every door. And while the colors are at war, the shadows gather all the more.
And what is in these silent sentinels? They are always there to absorb the action of the day, though they hide from the bright sun rays. They quickly grab hold, a passerby, to ride from one post to another. In the early hours they lurk and in dusk they grow, but the night, the night is theirs.
When the doors no more strive to catch one’s eye, the shadows take their hold. They sweep and grasp and cover, the night is theirs to behold. Drinking in, with enthusiasm wild, the world around them, dark and cold.
No longer guarded at restricted posts, they fill the air with their being. Darkened souls and broken angels’ wings, reveling. They know your secrets, and mine as well. The words are no longer ours, but theirs to tell.
But one should not be lost to fret for holding secrets gives them power. They will keep them hidden, ace in sleeve. They can see right through you, hear most inner thoughts.
So should you find yourself on the quiet steps of this gate, marveling at pride and risks taken, be sure there is a shadow near you, waiting to be fed. And should it need a ride from one frame to the next, where I you, I wouldn’t falter, but aid as you are able.
Twilight at 23rd on 12th.

by J.E. Wertenberger 1-22-2009

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Mother In Law Rocks! by Tomato Mama


   Look what came in the mail yesterday! It was really a combo package for all of us. Some St. Patty's day goodies for Pickle, birthday stuff for Tomato Papa, and coupons for me!!! My Mother in Law is such a sweetie and always saves her extra coupons for me. She lives in a different part of the state so she gets some that are different from the ones in our paper and also always includes clippings of the coupons column that runs in their local paper by Jill Cataldo that is always fun to read.

     She sent me some as my Valentine's day present too. She really knows how to win my heart!