Monday, July 28, 2008


Here's an idea I just got from the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious"... If your kids are hungry before dinner, offer them some raw vegetables to munch on. If they're really hungry, they'll eat them. If they stuff themselves with vegetables before dinner and "ruin" their appetites, at least they got a good healthy dinner of veggies.

I just tried it with Eliana - offered her carrots instead of the traditional late afternoon popsicle snack. You know what? She took the two baby carrots and has been happily munching on them and not bugging me for a popsicle. It's a good idea for adults to remember too when you feel like snacking during the dinner preparation process!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sacajawea Park

Back in June we went on a little overnight roadtrip to Yellowstone. On the way home we stopped in Livingston for some ice cream and stumbled upon Sacajawea Park. Now, I'm sure everyone else already knows about this place, but we did not. In fact, even after we found it, we thought it was just a nice little park with a gazebo, some picnic tables, and a couple merry-go-rounds. Then we walked a little further and saw some swings and a wading pool. After spending a little time on the swings I looked across a field where people were playing horseshoes and saw this:

"Hmm.... I wonder what that is?" I thought. So we trekked over to check it out. WOW! Seriously. Check. It. Out...

Only one entrance/exit. No escaping kiddos! Easy to keep tabs on them if they can't run off as soon as you turn your back!

Big kids play area. Castles. Slides. Scary places too high for toddlers, but great for big kids.

And a whole section (again with only one entrance/exit) JUST. FOR. TODDLERS/PRESCHOOLERS! Nothing they can fall off of and hurt themselves. Just places to climb and play and slide and jump on. Perfect for imaginary play with a barn (complete with Trex animal decorations!) and a tractor and other fun things!

Ellie's grandparents and I took her there again yesterday. She loved it. Just ran and played and had a blast. We brought a picnic lunch and made a morning of it. The whole playground is shaded, which is nice. I didn't have to fight with her about wearing a hat that falls off when she plays. Of course, she wouldn't keep her shoes on, but there is nice, soft bark everywhere. Not the big pokey stuff, but the shredded nice bark. There's much more to the playground than I showed in my pictures. It's huge. It's worth the drive to Livingston. It's a GREAT park.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I made these for 4th of July...

... but I will have to remember them in a couple years if Ellie has a princess birthday party! They're perfect little wands and Ellie has been having a grand time toting one around with her all morning. Just adding it to my arsenal of ideas for birthday parties... =D

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"Sand" Art....

I think sand art is a fun idea for a kids project. Unfortunately, it also sounds kind of messy (in the sand-stuck-to-your-foot-all-the-time way, not in the goopy way) and with all the glue and designs and whatnot, probably not the best project for a 2 year old. But then I found this solution from Lazy Mama Designs. She suggests letting kids doodle sand designs on the sticky side of contact paper (if you use clear you can hang it in the window as a sun catcher) and I think that's a BRILLIANT idea! I also think it's a little more toddler friendly as a project. I think I'll vary it, though, for Ellie, because she will undoubtedly eat some of the sand. So... I'm thinking I'll use a little food coloring to color some sugar and let her use that for her sand project. If she eats it, she'll be hyper, but no harm done. And if I'm lucky I'll remember to do this project outside so I can just sweep the deck and be done with cleanup. =D

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Need a quick, easy, cheap outdoor activity?

I'm not sure why I didn't think this up on my own, but I saw this idea on It's brilliant! When you want an activity for your kiddo outside on a hot day, give him a cup of water and a paintbrush and let him "paint" the house, the driveway, the deck... whatever he fancies! It's cheap, easy, doesn't require any cleanup, and keeps him cool all at the same time!

If you wanted to do something similar inside, this would be a great idea for a chalkboard. I'm in the process of turning Ellie's new easel into a chalkboard and am thinking this is a great activity until she's actually old enough to paint responsibly. Water I can clean up off the floor. Paint, not so easily.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mom and Me Hike - Sourdough Trail

For this week's Mom and Me hike, we headed to the Sourdough Trail. I can't believe I had never been there before!! The trail is AMAZING and there are just miles and miles of interconnected trails to explore. The trails wind through the meadow, down into the woods, and along the Sourdough creek. The trails are level, and wide enough (in most places) for two strollers side by side, though you have to keep a lookout for runners and bikers if you go stroll side by side. It was absolutely beautiful, and even on a hot day it was nice because so much of the trail is in the shade. We could have hiked more in the shade, too, if we had chosen different paths to explore. After our hike we found a bench off the trail by the creek and ate lunch there. Beth was with me, so we sat on the bench while Caedmon and Ellie played. They watched the creek and tried swinging from a tree branch. It was great!

I definitely recommend wearing bug spray if you plan to spend much time down by the creek, but I don't know that it would be a problem every year. This year has been so wet here that our mosquitoes are out much heavier than they usually are! We even had bug troubles up at the M, and I don't ever remember mosquitoes being up there.

We will DEFINITELY do this hike again. And it's my official new fall-back hike if I can't think of a good place to go some week. I really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I came across this website a while back and told Leif about it. He uses it with Ellie. As I don't really use the computer with her, I had sort of forgotten all about it. But I had a bit of renewed interest today and went poking around a bit and discovered that you can print out worksheets for the activities as well! Ellie is VERY interested in letters and coloring right now, so this might be a good way to combine the two, and without a lot of expense!

Perhaps I'll print off a few and keep them in the little school desk I just got at a garage sale. She seems to think sitting at the desk is fun and she keeps asking to color while she's there, so that might be a good way to work on her letters while she colors.