Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jumping Boy!

Levi likes to jump on everything, so he was excited to try out the bungee trampoline!

Here is my jumping boy:

And today I entered to win some boys patterns! Check out the give away here

Monday, September 20, 2010

Levi's First camping trip - And a BEAR!

IMG_0769.jpg camping picture by leighi123

We went on Levi's first camping trip, just an hours drive from our vacation home in Tahoe. We went to a campsite at Fallen Leaf Lake and decided to just stay one night for the experience. It was fun!

The bear story:

I rosted marshmallows for my mom, and she decided not to eat one of them so threw it in the fire. Jokingly I commented on how "a bear was going to come and eat it now"

5 min later, Levi and Nai Nai were getting some lemonade out of the bear-proof storage box, and I was sitting in a low chair on the ground by the picnic table.
All of a sudden I heard a 'crinkle' sound coming from behind me. Sense I could see Levi/my mom, I knew it wasn't one of them. I turn around thinking its a person, and its a BEAR!
There was a bear on the picnic table! It looked up at me, I think it saw me at the same time I did. I jumped up from my seat and said "Get in the car". My mom hadn't seen the bear yet, I said again "there is a bear, get in the car".
I started towards Levi (mommy instinct, even though my mom was already picking him up and slamming shut the bear-box) and we all got in the car.
The bear lumbered around for a while and walked off.
It had ripped open an empty cookie packet that we had JUST set on the table, knocked over the lemonade, stuck its nose in my lemonade, and sniffed the grill.

We asked the park ranger what we should have done, and she said walk diagonally away from the bear, which is exactly what I had done when I headed towards Levi.

It made Levi's first camping trip 'official' and will be a great story to tell!

Some other camping adventures: (We also went to Stanford Camp during the camping trip, also on Fallen Leaf Lake)
DSC04641.jpg kayak picture by leighi123

DSC04636.jpg Pinky and mom picture by leighi123
Paddle boat ride

DSC04649.jpg in the meadow picture by leighi123
Nature Walk (guided tour)

DSC04628.jpg crawdad picture by leighi123
Catching crawdads (and letting them go right after pics)

Some random pics of other activites

DSC04434.jpg Levi doing yoga image by leighi123
Kids Yoga

DSC04437.jpg image by leighi123
Giant Magnifying glass

DSC04439.jpg From Isaac image by leighi123
Writing practice

DSC04450.jpg space man! image by leighi123
Space man

Blowing up balloons in a New way!

This simple experiment was a big hit with Levi who loves balloons. Normal balloons work best, not the skinny kind which is hard to put on the bottle.

Use a funnel to fill the balloon with baking soda. Put a cup or so of vinegar in the bottle (if your kid is allergic to it like mine is, don't let them help with this part!)

Stretch the balloon over the opening of the bottle and make sure its very secure (rubber band it or even hold onto it if necessary)

Now let the kiddo tip the balloon upright, releasing the baking soda into the bottle. Watch what happens!

Check out the link to our experiment:

Paper Mache

Paper mache recipe:

1 part cornstarch
3+ parts water

boil until glue like consistency. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so stir often and add more water as needed.

DSC04423.jpg paper mache picture by leighi123

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lost and Found

"Stuff" being left all over the house has become a problem. I am constantly stepping on little random toys and other junk that Levi has accumulated.

After leaving his shoes at the rec center, Levi collected them from the lost and found box the following week. On the box was a sign stating that items not picked up after a certain time would be donated. This gave me a great idea which we put into use at our house.

DSC04396.jpg lost ad found picture by leighi123

Random stuff I find around, goes into the box. And I explained to Levi that it is his responsibility to check the box frequently and decide what he wants to keep or give away. If he wants to keep it, it needs to go back where it belongs (anywhere else and it goes right back into the box). Items he doesn't want, go into a bag in the garage along with outgrown clothes and other give aways. When it gets full, we donate the bag.

He understands that 'give away' items are given to someone else who needs them, and he will not see them again (there are no 'take backs' from the give away bag!). Often he chooses something to donate (sometimes something no one would want, but I don't tell him that!)

This system has worked surprisingly well - Levi notices right away if something is in there and takes care of it.

Stuffed Animal Beauty Pageant

Levi participated in a stuffed animal beauty pageant! This is an annual thing that has been going on for many years now. It was cute how they had it set up.DSC04380.jpg group photo picture by leighi123

Levi decided to bring his monkey, which he named 'Five' (???). He wanted a dress for it, so I made one using the same fabrics as one of his shirts that I made for him.

He stood up at the podium and answered questions about his monkey. He is way better at public speaking that his mommy is! No fear and no problems answering the questions. (they asked a lot of stuff even to the little ones!)

Each child won a certificate and a 'title' . Levi and Five won 'Best Match' thanks to their custom, mommy made outfits!

Rolling and folding Napkins

I love activities that take only a few seconds to set up, and this is one of them!

Here Levi is rolling napkins (an 'unpaper' towel actually). The trick is to roll it tightly enough so that he can put it in the napkin ring. Not an easy task for a 3yr old!

We have also done napkin folding - initially by drawing 'fold lines' on a napkin with a sharpie (or you can stitch the lines), and showing him step-by-step how to fold one demonstrating with my own napkin. Then I leave the sample for him to look at, and let him try it without help.

Levi also can set the table - folding napkins, counting the correct number of forks/spoons/knives, and putting them on the table. Still working on correct placement, but he manages to put one of each utensil on top of a napkin at each place setting, which is good enough for our family!DSC04273.jpg rolling napkins picture by leighi123


We got a season pass to Aquatica, and Levi really enjoys it. They have a bunch of rides he can go on, as some don't have a height limit, they just have a 'must be able to hold the handles' requirement (which he can hardly do, but he is a strong swimmer, AND they require kids his height to wear a lifejacket anyway!)

While we were there, we learned about commissary dolphins, which are beautiful black and white dolphins. Levi asked the lady working there all sorts of questions about their names, what they eat, why they are black and white, how to tell them apart etc.

DSC04261.jpg picture by leighi123

Learning to Sew

Sense I sew myself, Levi wanted to learn. Lucky for him, my sewing machine has a 'sew verrrrry verrrrry slowwwly' setting.

I set up the machine on his little desk, and he was able to make a little (somewhat wonky) beanbag with very little help from me.

Looking forward to teaching him more projects, maybe eventually he can help me with my sewing projects!

DSC04211.jpg holding it up image by leighi123DSC04210.jpg proud of his beanbag image by leighi123