Friday, February 25, 2011

Maggie-Size Apron

We cook from scratch a lot in India and Maggie and I were both in need of an apron to save us from flour splatters. I also wanted something for Maggie for semi-messy crafts (clearly this apron will not protect from serious paint spills!) I just heard about U-Create's Create With Me, so I was checking for the February challenge to be posted - what do you know, a good excuse to finally make our aprons. Ta dum!
Here's the tutorial. I don't have a sewing machine, and the fabric options are pretty limited here. Also they wouldn't sell me less than 1 meter, so I picked a trim fabric that would match both of our aprons. I cut all the pieces ahead of time, and headed over to Kerri's for a few hours of stealing her sewing machine. The kids didn't mind - they love having new toys to play with!
I cut out my apron pieces first, and it was so many pieces that I decided to simplify it for Maggie. I just eyeballed an apron shape, then cut out the ruffle, ties, and pocket. I think the neckband in the pattern is too wide, even folded in half. I added elastic in the top of the pocket and I just love the girly ruffle. The apron is so darling on her, and she is thrilled to wear it.

And, despite the face, someone else loves it, too. Dalton begged to wear the apron after Maggie. You hear that, teenage boy? You were asking to wear it! I didn't make you! Next time I go to Commercial Street, I'll look for some boy fabric (not hopeful about this) and make another one.
I only got halfway done sewing my apron and haven't made it back to Kerri's, so I'll share it another time. Mine has an elastic pocket as well (slightly crooked, but nevermind).
Update: Here's mine. It does the job.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Preschool Activities Letter W

We did two weeks of Letter W for preschool, with lots and lots of fun activities for Worm, Watermelon and Water.

Maggie painted an apple on a piece of chipboard.
Then we cut it out and put a Worm in it. Next up, a wormy ice cream cone. For a worm snack, Maggie helped me make homemade chocolate pudding. Then I put half a crushed fake Oreo on it for dirt. No gummy worms available, but she was pleased.

Worm Walk: We used cooked spaghetti to paint worm tracks on a sidewalk. I made the sidewalk from a piece of white construction paper. I cut it in half lengthwise, taped it together, and drew sidewalk lines with a pencil.
For the Watermelon sewing activity, I made the watermelon slice and poked holes in it ahead of time. The bite out of the watermelon is made with a hole punch. I gave Maggie one of her plastic needles threaded with embroidery thread. She had a hard time with it at first, so I poked bigger holes. Then she sewed up all the watermelon seeds in no time! We also had a watermelon snack.
For a Water activity, we did a water sensory box. That is, a box with water and various spoons and cups. Since we just visited the beach, we had shells to play with in the water. We also made these colored ice cube shapes the morning of. Maggie helped mix the food coloring into the water, then we poured it into these tiny ice cube trays.
This was her favorite sensory box activity so far and mine, too. With a towel underneath, water was much easier to clean up than anything else. She asked to play it again the next day.
This W coloring sheet was inspired by the W on Meet the Letters. And also the X. I drew the W and cut out the shapes and Maggie glued a beach, some boats, and a coconut tree. Then she added crazy coconuts, an X marks the spot, and some W birds and W waves. What a great way to practice writing Ws!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Morning

Playing in the rice box.
Repairing the purse I bought in Hampi.
Stringing wooden beads onto a piece of spaghetti.
I love being a stay-at-home mom. More here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bangalore: Shiva Temple

On Saturday we visited a large Shiva and Ganesha temple in Bangalore. It was part tourist trap, part worship. Hinduism is really interesting. As part of the visit, we bought "activity passes" that included the 8 different things you can do at the temple. Each one had spiritual significance, and most of them could easily be applied to any religious belief.

The entrance to the temple. You go down these steps, walk under and behind the mall, and there's the temple.
These cardboard signs are usually around a store door, advertising the specials.
Money Changers.
And a dog sleeping in the cupboard. How India.
Putting 108 coins in 108 bowls representing the 108 names of Shiva.
These bracelets are tied around the tree near the Ganesha statue to signify leaving your problems at the foot of God.
There's the statue, and thousands of bracelets.
This ritual is to give up your anger by smashing a coconut on a rock.
This tunnel was very Disneyland. There were animatronic dioramas about each Ling (not sure what a Ling is). Something Shiva found in the Himalayas (pronounced Him-AL-ee-as).
The man behind the curtain.
The Ganges was being painted, but we put our lamps in anyway.
Not only was the pool being painted, Shiva was also having some work done. Notice the Toon Town-esque mountains.
John burning his stick and ghee. Notice the globe. Inside, you walk around the planets holding a lamp, recognizing the Creations.
The booth where we got our lamps was lamp-shaped.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Preschool Activities Letters T-V

T was the letter that never ended. We did a paper plate Turtle. I cut a slit in the paper plate to the center, and taped it over itself to make the shell stand up a bit more. The we made a head, tail and feet from construction paper and taped them on.
We also made a Telephone. I cut out 10 squares and Maggie wrote a number on each (1-10, not 0-9). One of the squares went missing and reappeared after being replaced, so on the back is a square with an elephant.
Maggie insisted on making a Tiger. I found this folding tiger craft idea, and just drew my own tiger since we don't have a printer. Here he is eating lunch.
Then, she burst into tears because we hadn't made a Tree. I drew a T shape and gave her a brown crayon to color it in. She drew branches along the bottom of the T then glued her leaves there. I asked why she hadn't put any on the top, then she moved some, and burst into tears again because she needed more leaves for the bottom. So we made more leaves. I feel bad, like I squashed her creativity. I'm trying to give less direction and help in some of the art activities we do.

Letter U is for Umbrella. I made this umbrella from a paper plate. I used half to cut the curved handle. I cut the rainbow arcs ahead of time and had Maggie put them in rainbow order. She wanted her tinfoil rain coming down on the umbrella. If you think about it, that makes sense.

Letter V is for Valentine. We did a lot of Valentine's Day crafts but this V is for Valentine was specifically for preschool. It was one of the best activities we did so far.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dalton on TV

Inspired by this video of Maggie at 18 months. Dalton got a little excited when I asked him to say "milk" and got stuck on that.

Maggie on TV

Maggie sings her new favorite song, "The Ox Cart."
And, for Uncle Nathan, cute Maggie talking. I love how she says "Girl", and you can see that I coached her ahead of time to say it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Indian Countryside

I took these pictures out the window on the drive between Pondicherry and Bangalore, taking advantage of when the car was slowed for potholes.
Hundreds of trees painted in racing stripe.
Many of the houses have thatched palm roofs and panels of braided palm leaves.

Pondicherry: Paradise Beach

Yep, that's really what it was called. Just south of Pondicherry (not exactly a beach along the promenade, with those giant rocks) in Chunnambar, we took a boat ride ($3 total) out to a private resort beach (complete with flag boundaries and two policeman swinging bamboo sticks and blowing their whistles if you tried to do any actual swimming).
Here we are in the Bay of Bengal!
Dalton LOVED the beach. He giggled like crazy every time a wave went out. The tide was strong (thus No Swimming).
Building sand castles. Maggie and I also collected a big piles of shells.
I guess women swimming in saris is no stranger than men jumping in fully dressed. And a sari will dry faster than jeans.
Bungalows for rent.
Under the palm trees on Paradise Beach.