Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Return of the Sensory Bin

Our sensory bin has been sitting with St. Patrick's Day stuff inside, just wasting space behind the chair.  Every now and then Kal'El wants to play with it, but he hasn't been very good about keeping the items inside it lately, so I haven't been too keen.  But with my renewed interest in doing kid crafts, I decided to fill it up with something new.

A few months back, when I'd been hoping to do monthly, or at least seasonal, bins, I purchased two packets of water beads (or water gems, or aqua gems.)

The time seemed ripe, so while Kal'El was napping, I had Zaxxon help me remove the old items and hydrate the water beads.

He's not the most obedient child these days, but he did a very good job of following directions on this project, and he refrained from splashing or spilling the water.

These things are strangely mesmerizing, and very pretty, even when still tiny

He had to wait a long time--the beads took 4-6 hours to hydrate, and by the time he might have played with them, we were off at his final t-ball practice of the summer, so he had to wait until the next day before he could play with what he had created.

It took about 30 seconds of having the bin on the table before I realized that the boys were not going to follow the "don't knock the beads out of the bin" rule.  Kal'El proved my point by sticking his hand all the way in and rapidly waving it back and forth, sending them all over the table and floor.

At that point I put the lid back on, made them pick up the scattered beads, and then moved the whole operation to the bathtub.

Since they were inside another enclosed space, they went nuts dumping the beads all over.  (I love the way they iridesce by the flash when spread out thin in the tub.)

They also stood inside the bin, and laughed at the way the beads felt on their toes.

They absolutely loved this!

Another day of play.

Unfortunately, these didn't last too long.  They're already slimy-feeling on the outside, and I will probably only pull them out once more before tossing them (after our trash service resumes, we switched companies and foolishly gave ourselves a couple-week break in service, oops.)
I can't say I'm too keen on using water beads again as a sensory bin filler.  They're a ton of fun, but I wasn't prepared for this level of breakage.  There were scraps and fragments of beads everywhere when it was time to clean up--helped along, I'm sure, by their standing in the bin.  I didn't want to just wash the stuff down the tub drain since the package said they can clog drains, so I had to scoop most of it out and toss in the trash.  Also, the round, wet, slippery, squishy nature of the beads means it's really easy to send them shooting across the room, and they're hard to pick up.  Lastly, they go a bit nuts with them, quickly forgetting rules about where they're supposed to stay, so it's not a safe bin to turn my back on for even a short time.  So while they're fun (and strangely mesmerizing, I could run my hands through them for hours) I probably won't get them very often.  But despite that, we all enjoyed this short-lived bin!

Tot School

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Resume - The Movie!

I know this blog's audience is pretty small these days, but regardless I wanted to share my husband's resume--because it's done as a movie trailer!  Please watch this action-packed clip, like it on you tube, and most importantly, share it, because you never know if you know someone who could use his services.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Counting down to preschool

I have felt a resurgence in crafting and kid projects in the last few weeks.  Not only have I done a few projects to get Zaxxon ready for preschool, and just some fun stuff to do in general, but I've found myself making plans for Kal'El once Zaxxon is out of the house for a few hours every morning.  I've already done some prep work for the first few crafts I'll do with Kal'El alone, and I'm looking forward to it.  Zaxxon was right around Kal'El's age when I started crafting with him, and Kal'El always wants to join in when Zaxxon initiates a project, so he's definitely ready.  I'm excited!

But first, we have to follow along with Zaxxon for a bit longer.

Zaxxon is off to pre-K this year, which will be five mornings a week.  He only barely misses the cutoff to start kindergarten (by three weeks) but I think the extra year of preschool will work wonders for his social skills.

Just like last summer, I helped prepare Zaxxon for the start of preschool by making a visual calendar.

We drew a school bus, which Zaxxon decorated and cut out.

Then we made a paper chain, with one link for every day remaining before the start of preschool.  This time around, Zaxxon didn't need any help with the scissors.

He did ask for help with the stapler, and I think he was losing interest by that point.

But we had to finish the chain, because only once it was done could we tear off a link for the first day!

He is now tearing off a link every morning, so he can watch the chain get shorter and know when preschool is coming!

Tot School
Soon to be tot school with my little tot!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Red, White, and Blue

In early July, I decided that Zaxxon and I ought to do a craft.  I didn't have anything specific in mind, I just intended to go down to the office, grab whatever supplies struck our fancy, and do something free-form.  Zaxxon came down to help me gather stuff, and when I went to cut off a piece of paper from the roll, he wanted it longer.  And longer. When he finally said it was okay, its shape reminded me of a flag.  It being only a few days until Independence Day, I decided that a flag was a fantastic idea.

So I grabbed everything I could find that was red, white, or blue, and up we went with glue, a small flag to use as a model, and all sorts of odds and ends.

I drew up the basic outline and indicated which color items should go in which area.  Then Zaxxon took off, filling in the spaces.

He started to get a little bored after a while, particularly with the long pieces of string, so I participated a lot, too.  I also added all the stars.  There are exactly fifty, like there should be.

After this project, Zaxxon was inspired.  He asked for more papers (smaller this time, but still the right shape) and he drew a good dozen flags all on his own.

This is one of my favorites

Even Kal'El joined in a little.  We made him a flag full of red and blue handprints.

Zaxxon made so many flags, he papered his bed with them.  Our house was quite patriotic for the 4th!

Tot School

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kids crafting

I've fallen desolately behind on kid craft posts.  However, I haven't done all that much with the boys lately, so there isn't too much that I missed.  Here are some highlights of kiddie crafts, as I try to catch up on my photos in general.

Making birthday cards for Grammy (which was in March--you can see how far behind I am)



I even let Kal'El paint now and then, these days

This wasn't a craft, but a "life school" moment.  We discovered a really awesome sledding hill near us when there was still barely enough snow to use it. In this pic, Zaxxon is the farthest away orange spot.  He had no hesitation to sled down this very steep and long hill by himself.  And see the closer orange spot?  That's a somewhat bigger girl who ran right over him at the bottom.

I hate it when things like that happen, because Zaxxon will be gung-ho about trying something new and fun, then he'll get hurt, and he'll clam up and not want to do it again.  The same happened here, but after much coaxing, discussing of safety and paying attention to the people around you, and a few rides with Mama or Dada, we convinced him to go by himself again.


Kal'El sledded too, but only with one of us, because he's still too little to steer.

There's a cake recipe at the back of this book, and Zaxxon requested that we bake it.

Me and two kids baking at the same time was quite chaotic.  This is the first time I've done so, and I will have more advance prep work done next time.  They had fun though, and that's what matters.

Zaxxon made cards for his preschool teachers at the end of May


Kal'El, playing around with a really BIG piece of paper

I had the boys decorate baseball caps for their Dada for Father's Day.

They had a blast (albeit a messy one) doing it

The finished products


And making cards, also for Dada


Ah, two-year-olds and paint!

Dada wore both at once for a while on Father's Day

Okay, so we're basically caught up until about a month ago.  Hoping to be more consistent again in the near future!