Playing in water – the best laid plans…

Nope, no baby yet.  Although I scared the pants off of Nerddad last night with a rousing game of “is it a tummy bug or is it labor”… *grin*. (Spoiler alert – tummy bug.  Blech.)  Keeping things interesting around here, that’s my major function.

So it’s FINALLY warm enough here to get outside and play for real.  I mean, really Nature?  SNOW in MAY? South of the Mason-Dixon?  Vom. It.

But this week was gor-GEOUS, so after helping our AWESOME babysitter construct baby furniture:

So SERIOUS. And So SCARY with a real screwdriver.  Who's idea was that, anyway?

So SERIOUS. And so SCARY with a real screwdriver. Who’s idea was that, anyway?

The Little Scientist and I raided the $5 and under toy aisle for water toys.  Bags of toys later, we set up shop at home…. And proceeded to play with our favorite rocks.  For an hour.  Quite happily.  So I’ll stash the bags away for another sunny day 🙂

water1 water2 water3

Although I do have to admit, we pulled the Nemo water cannon out for a little while, and the peals of laughter over the bubbles (aka Nemo toot-toots) were quite funny.  Ah, potty humor.  NOW we’re in my wheelhouse, little man.

Not to be deterred, after nap (and yes, that’s a THIRD outfit for the day.  Don’t judge.) I was determined to try to make these sponge balls.  I got as far as cutting up my sponges, and, well…

water4 water5

So this week’s lesson, following the last one about slowing down to toddler speed, is about child-led activities.  Because sometimes a rock is the BEST toy, and sometimes the craft project gets derailed in the middle for a building project – and that’s ok too.


Gratuitous shot of nerddad and LS – because *d’awwwww*!!

The #iPPP gals – they’re awesome. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. Go. Read. Now.


We survived “roughing it”

On Saturday I talked about how me and the Little Scientist were doing a stint as live-in nannies for a friend while she was induced for kiddo #4.

We survived.  Wa-hoo.

Her kids were EXCEPTIONALLY well-behaved.  But I learned that adopting a 7, 5 and 1-year old is NOT in the cards for nerdfamilymathfun.  Oof.  There may have been a TAD much screen-time over the course of the three days.

iPad ftw - ironically in a pile watching the EXACT same thing they could be viewing on the big tv just out of frame.

iPad ftw – ironically in a pile watching the EXACT same thing they could be viewing on the big tv just out of frame.

The “roughing it” part?  NO MICROWAVE.  Seriously.  I never noticed that I use ours fifty bazillion times a day until I kept catching myself wandering aimlessly around the kitchen with a cold cup of coffee or plate of lukewarm food.

Related – dear Dominos.  I could smooch you on the mouth for delivering a house full of pizza via iPad app.  *MWAH*  (Not the least because the warm-up meals I brought for the LS and I were, um…. microwave meals.  Dammit.)

She uneventfully delivered an almost 7-pound healthy baby girl – whole family home and comfy.  Win.

And pass the Tylenol.

(Funny part – the night we headed up to help I got a call from my only other remaining pregnant friend, wondering if we could watch her 18-month old, because she seemed to be in labor.  She got it covered – and ended up 2 doors down from the microwave-free mama! Babies for all!)

Squeaking in under the wire to link up with the #iPPP gals this week – check ’em out!


Big and little and one MELL of a hess.

You think I’d learn.  I already talked about the lentils and their ridiculousness.  Here.

But we’ve been working on big and little.  Daddy has big shoes (no really – size 14/15, dude), LS has little shoes.  Big steps, little steps.  Big bellies, little bellies. (I’ll let you guess who gets to serve as the example of big for THAT one *sigh*. I get no regard, no regard atall.)

I made a matching game that I (surprise, surprise) tape to things.  I printed it on cardstock – he gets the little shapes, and has to find the big partners taped around the house.  No pics – but the pdf is big & little.

A natural extension in my addled brain was measuring cups.  Big and little and pouring and WIN!!

The mistake?  I filled the bowl with a lentil-oats mix for the pouring.  Kid was in LURVE and the concentration was E-P-I-C.

pouring1 pouring2
pouring3 pouring4

I’ll be sweeping lentils from the kitchen floor for the rest of eternity.  Especially because now he asks for his “bowl” at least once a day.

To our darling and patient weekly babysitter – I’m so very, very sorry.

(I’ve heard rumored – thanks mom – that little pastas with a few big pastas mixed in are just as scoopable, and much easier to clean…)

The gals over at #iPPP – they rock. YOU should go check them out. For reals.


Aaaaand sometimes the experiments DON’T work.

Background:  The pin on Pinterest said “mix equal parts clear glue and liquid starch to make goop”.  And who can turn down 2-ingredient GOOP?!?! So the first time we tried this, we used store-bought liquid starch, and it worked like a charm.  Equal parts slimy and goopy and cool.  Held together in a big slimy ball, stretched into slimy clear sheets – Awesome McAwesomeness.

EXCEPT.  I couldn’t find unscented liquid starch, and bought fresh linen scent instead.  3.4 minutes into the goopification, my nose was running and head pounding.  ABORT MISSION!!

So I read somewhere else that cornstarch mixed in water makes perfect, unscented liquid starch.  So what you are about to witness is the second attempt at making goop.

The ingredients. A nicely staged picture before this turned into the experiment from hell.

Mixing the cornstarch and water. Shirtless. SO PREPARED.


Explaining the theory of all the things.

It would appear gloopification has commenced…

…so we powdered the table. Not crazy about this part, and all the mess. But dealing.

Ummm… Mom? This isn’t GLOOP? It’s GLOP! AND ITS ON MY ARM!!!


You’re really going to make me play in this, aren’t you. *sigh*

So our learnings from this:

  • liquid starch and cornstarch + water are not equal.  Not even close.
  • the Little Scientist still hates having messy hands.
  • messy hands covered in cornstarch and glue take 15 minutes of sink time to clean.
  • a table / high chair / floor covered in cornstarch and glue takes 20 minutes to make bearable.  It’s still not clean.
  • math time: 20 minute activity, 35 minutes of clean-up.  Ew.


I linked up this week to the #iPPP group – you should check them out!


Fourth of July painting with toddlers (oy. vey.)

MOM. Stop reading right here. You’re getting one of these in the mail.

You’re still reading aren’t you. You never did listen… *grin*

So I have to admit that I actually enjoy finger painting with the Little Scientist. Maybe because (mom outed me on this one) I was and am the MESSIEST human being in the history of the world. No, seriously. My fifth period class used to worry that I hadn’t eaten if they didn’t see lunch stains down the front of my shirt. When I was preggo all the stains migrated from my lap to my belly, because that’s what caught the food on the way down. Etc, etc, etc.

All of which to say, the messiness historically bothers the LS waaaay more than me – he’s not a big fan of “squishy hands”. For this project, we decided to try some little sponge painters with handles – LOOOOOOVE. I had originally only set up 3 cards, but we ended up making 5 plus some extra “pounce painting” on spare paper. (Aside: if you sing “pounce, pounce, pounce your paint / gently down the stream”, your 20-month-old will mock you incessantly. For hours. Much to your husband’s amusement. Gah.)

To briefly outline: the idea is to loosely tape a shape to the front of a card, and paint over it. When the paint is dry, we remove the shape and have the picture in relief on the front, and little paper “appliques” to go on the inside of the card. We count the points on the stars and work on left-hand right-hand (one for each color) while we paint. Because, you know, I’m pathologically incapable of leaving math OUT of anything. Also, because he eats those Gerber Graduates meals a few lunches a week, I reuse the trays for painting… deeper and a little more paint-containing than my old standby, butter-tub lids.

Disclaimer: I gave up on trying to shirt / bib the kid while painting, eating, coloring, breathing quite some time ago… Easier just to hose him off a few times a day.

raw materials

aaaand some over heeeeere….

Concentrating on this keeping the colors SEPARATE thing…

Blue here. And here. And ON THE TABLE TOO!!

An artist, contemplating his materials.

just checking… nope. Still not crazy about how paint feels.

front, post star-removal

inside card (stars glued down)