Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Night.



We got off on a bad foot.

Everyone was cranky. It was raining. We were running late, due to late naps. Our 2 1/2 year old wanted to eat all the Snickers, we got for the few Trick-or-Treaters that came by. We almost scrapped the drive into Old Town. Did I mention everyone was cranky?

 Parking was a pain. Papa Bear and I bickered most of the 7 minutes it took to drive to Lee Street. And then we bickered some more for the 10 minutes it took to park.

But, somehow...we ended up having a great time.

The rain stopped.

Nye kept her Costume on and didn't demand Milky.

The Baby was content, despite it literally being her "Witching Hour." She sleepily took in all the sights.




And, boy were there some sights.


 
 
 
 
 


Lee Street is one of the oldest streets in Old Town. Barricades are put up, so hundreds of folks can walk down the street with their Super-Heroes and Bumblebees.

Most of the houses are crazy decked out with Halloween Spirit. Plus, if you are nosey like me...it's a chance to peek into other people's houses. You know the multi-million dollar ones built in the 1700's. Everybody is out and everybody is smiling.

This year there were even drummers!


 
Here is a photo of Papa Bear and Nye-Nye sadly looking out into the rain, hoping some Trick-or-Treaters would stop by (they did...but only about 5 or 6 groups).


 
 
 
A cranky Black Widow Spider sporting what every Spider needs...a Puppy pacifier.
 



 
Giving Daddy her candy trash. Thankfully, because we were only there between 8-9 pm, many houses had already run out of candy. Her stash is very, very small...so I won't have to listen to weeks of whining for candy.

 



Chocolate. It beings me to my knees. She is my daughter. Need I say more?

 


 

Hope you had a Magical Halloween!

On The Move.


 
 
She's cautious. She's timid. She's not going far.
 
But, our Bright Eyes has begun to crawl. Things have gotten just a little bit more interesting here.
 

Halloween Costume Failures



I shared some details about my 2 1/2 year old's Fly Costume, right here.

Now, I want to share a super-easy and fast Halloween Costume to go with that theme (and maybe you can learn from my mistakes).

Originally, I thought I would be a Fly-Swatter.

But, you know what? Making a giant Fly-swatter is REALLY HARD. Below is my first attempt, which I gave up after my roll of duck tape was done. I had already spent 2 hours working on it. But, I just had to LET IT GO.




Cutting duck tape is so time consuming, so I figured I just paint it.

WRONG again.

After 1/2 hour of painting all those lines, I had only finished 1/4 of ONE SIDE. That's when I realized it was time to shift gears and change my Costume idea.

I already had a foam core board that I had begun to paint. I still wanted to use it.

I wanted something simple, something that made sense with one kid being a Fly.

We had been having an issue with Fruit Flies in our house, so those little buggers have been on my mind recently. That's when it hit me...an Apple Peel.





Not much to paint. Not hard to cut out with a utility knife. A simple ribbon with knots on the back to hold it in place. And three seeds drawn with a sharpie.

Bam.

It took 1/2 hour to make.

It's interesting, until you really LOOK and have to make something, you often don't realize the details of something.

At first, I kind of went a little crazy drawing the Apple Peel Seeds. They were fun to draw. See...





It looked a little off to me. That's when I realized there were way too many seeds. Nothing a little bit of white paint couldn't fix.

Speaking of not noticing details (until you have to make something) I had never understood how Spider webs were constructed.

This was my go-with-flow first attempt of making Papa Bear's "Spider Web Costume."





It looked more like a net than a web. That didn't bother me. The baby pulling and chewing on it bothered me.

That prompted me to draw a Spider web on both arms and the back of a white sweatshirt. And that's when I learned more about how Spiders built their webs.


 


In the end, I ended up spending way more time than I would have liked on the adult Costumes for our family. But, I learned a few things about fly-swatters, webs and apple peels...so I can't complain.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Last Minute Halloween Costume"




This is the first year (since having kids) that I had the motivation to make any Halloween Costumes.

My requirements were simple.

#1  Cheap
 
#2  Re-use what we have
 
#3  No sewing
 
#4 Minimal time
 
#5 Easy for 2 1/2 year to wear
 




I had already decided that the baby would be a Spider and Papa Bear would be her Web. What works with that theme?

A Fly.

We already had some Fairy Wings (see requirement # 2) and she had plenty of black clothes. She needed some new sneakers anyway, so I just bought some black ones that would go with her "Fly Costume."








I didn't want to spend oodles of time working on a Halloween Costume that my Contrary One would then refused to wear. It took about 1/2 hour to make her "Fruit Fly Hat" (see requirement #4).

I spent about 20 minutes fussing with the wings, trying to make them less Fairy and more Fly-like with some paint and gold glitter. But that wasn't really necessary.




I bought a $5 fleece hat from the Boys section in Target (see requirement #1).

I purchased a large Styrofoam ball, some red glitter and a tiny feather boa from Michael's (around $9 total...see requirement #1 and #3). 




How to Make a "Common House Fly Costume" or "Fruit Fly Costume"
 
 
1. Cut Styrofoam ball in half.
 
2. Paint red.
 
3. While the paint is still wet, cover with red glitter.
 
4. Let dry (this takes the longest amount of time and isn't included in the 1/2 hour time frame)
 
5. Cut mini-feather boa to fit the hat and glue with Tacky Glue.
 
6. Glue on eyes to hat.
 
 
So easy, right? It was easy enough that I didn't freak out when she kept taking off her hat. I hadn't spent that much time on her Halloween Costume, so I didn't care.
 
I think this makes a great last minute Halloween Costume, don't you?
 
Hopefully, I can get some better photos of my little Fly in action tomorrow!
 
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Art

 
 
Art Makin' has been on the back burner, recently.

The kiddo has been immersed in constant Imaginary Play and lots of Block Building. So, it's been well over a month since I busted out some Art Materials.

I realized that we should send a few Halloween cards to an Auntie who greatly appreciates them. So that's what we did this Morning, while our Bright Eyes slept.

Lots of painting with black, white and orange. I had a stash of black envelopes that I just kept handing Nye. She would paint for 30 seconds or so and say, "all done" and then I would hand her the next one.

She's sponged painted a pumpkin and worked on several watercolor paintings (wax resist...so fun with kids).

It was a nice way to spend 45 minutes or so together.

I love the white and black combo, if I have the energy, maybe we'll do some charcoal together tomorrow.

Hope you'll having fun getting ready for Halloween!


 
 

 
 
 
 



Monday, October 28, 2013

Del Ray Halloween Parade. 2013.

 

My kid's favorite part of yesterday's Halloween Parade?
 
Playing in the dirt.
 
She spent about 20 minutes total wearing both her Fruit Fly wings and her hat...so I consider it a success.
 
After a few Costume fails, everything came together without too much hassle.
 
The Sun was shining, my Sissy was visiting, there was little whining and no Giant Tantrums (even though it was Nap Time) and we got to spend a little time with friends. All-in-all a terrific time!
 
More on  our Costume fails and the particulars of our Costumes later. I just wanted to share a few (not spectacular) photos of our little Halloween Adventure.
 
Hope you had a Wonderful Weekend as well!
 
 
 



 



 



Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Forget to Order Your Elderberries!

It's that time of year again (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere)... Flu and Cold Season has arrived.

In 2010, Medical News Today, reported how German scientists had found that extracts of "Sambucus nigra" had been shown to inhibit "the growth of influenza A and B viruses and bacteria associated with upper respiratory tract infections."

If taken before being infected with the flu virus, Elderberries can help prevent infection. If taken, AFTER being infected, Elderberries can help reduce the length and severity of your infection.

Once my Eldest reached the age of 1 (and could safely take honey), I began to give her 1 teaspoon of Elderberry Syrup daily during the months of October-March.

If we have been exposed to friends and family who are obviously sick, I amp up the dosage.

If I start feeling that familiar tickle in the back of my throat, I also amp up both her dosage and my dosage. I figure, she's not at the age of being able to recognize and articulate to me when she starts feeling those first signs of a Cold and if I've been exposed, she has too.

I make about two cups of Syrup at a time and add about 3 teaspoons of Elderberry Tincture to help prevent it from spoiling. I also make sure to refrigerate it.

I made the mistake of waiting too long to order my dried Elderberries, last year. Once they are sold out for the season they are GONE. So make sure to order ASAP.

Last year, we went through 7 lbs. I just used the last of the berries a few weeks ago.

I preferred to buy from Mountain Rose Herbs but have also been happy with Frontier's products.

Or better, yet, visit your local Herbalist. The shipping costs from Mountain Rose can be very high per pound, unless you order A LOT. So, it may be cheaper just to buy from your local Herbalist.

If you live in Baltimore, check out "Zensations by Jen" in Hampden. She's amazing!

I am sure you've seen commercial Elderberry Syrup at Health Food Stores (where it can easy cost $10 for 4 ounces). I haven't calculated out how much money you can save by making your own, but 1 lb can cost anywhere between $15- $26 with shipping costs. It takes about 1/2 lb of the berries to make a little less than 2 cups (16 ounces). Pretty hefty savings!

Here is my post on how to make Elderberry Syrup. It's crazy easy and fun to do with children (even Toddlers) and is so very tasty!

Here is another post on successfully using Elderberry Syrup.

Best Wishes on staying healthy this Flu Season!



***Obligatory reminder...please remember to check with your M.D. first before taking Elderberry. Thanks!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sneak Peak: Halloween Costumes

 
 
 
 
 
Still in the throes of making our Halloween Costumes. Can you figure out what each of us is going to be this year? Can't wait until they are FINALLY finished.


 
 

 
 



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Movement. Stillness.

 

The author of one of my all-time favorite books (Momma Zen) was in D.C. this past Weekend. She gave two different workshops at the fantastic Yoga Studio, Lil Omm (a space I had been meaning to check out for quite awhile).

Karen Maezen Miller is a Zen Priest, Mama and Wife. She writes in a warm, engaging style and is just as lovely in person. Her books are always on my bedside table and I have quoted them several times here on my Blog. They have brought me much peace as I stumble along each day.

I went to her workshop on Saturday, where she led everyone through a wonderfully, restorative Yoga class. The class was about the Stillness in Movement. Sunday's class was about Movement in Stillness (at least that is what Lil Omm's write-up said, unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to Sunday's Meditation and Dharma Talk).

I had not know that she had spent many years teaching Yoga (she had never mentioned it in any of her books). I went because I just wanted to have the chance to hear her talk. I didn't expect to be inspired to restart my Yoga practice.

I hate driving in D.C. and got lost (as usual). I ended up being stressed out about making it to the class on time, but my stress soon dissipated within minutes of walking through the door. It was lovely to devote a few hours to myself. Thanks to my Mother, I knew my girls were in good hands and I was able to truly be present during the class.

Karen's reminder, of the importance of breath and especially the exhale, has stayed with my the last few days. I have tried to really remember to take all those helpful deep belly breaths throughout the day.

Even though I had missed my usual hour of napping with the girls, it was amazing how refreshed I felt after the class!

Feeling much Gratitude.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our Wedding Ceremony: Marriage Address

 
 
Continuing on with sharing our Wedding Ceremony with you, here is one of my favorite parts of The Song of Solomon.
 
Our Officiant (my Mother) read this before delivering her Marriage Address.



Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is cruel as the grave.
It flashes are flashes of fire,
a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
 
(Song 8:6-7 RSV)

Who Doesn't Love a See-Saw?

 
 
We had a Grand Ole Time on Sunday at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. Nye-Nye's favorite part? The See-Saw.
 
Yet, more practice for me on Letting Her Go.
 
Other photos coming soon from our Adventures on Sunday.
 
 
 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dancer Mobile

 

 

Here is the "Montessori Dancer Mobile" I made for Bright Eyes. I figured I might as well post photos before I take it down.

This ended up being a super-easy DIY project. I spent less than $10 on it and it took about an hour to make. The hardest part was trying to balance the mobile and have it hang properly.

I love the way it moves in the breeze and the shininess factor. It wasn't a huge hit with the baby, but that was because she didn't like spending time in her bassinet...she just wanted to be part of the action from the get go. I'm still glad I made this Mobile and can't wait to pass it on to my friends.


Materials:

  • Inner Circle from a Quilting hoop
  • Fishing line wire
  • Scrapbook Pad (shiny paper)
  • Embroidery Thread


 
 

Directions

  1. Paint hoop.
  2. Cut out dancing figures. Each figure has three parts. Head. Arms. Legs. Once you have cut out one set, then flip the shapes over, trace and cut those. Each Dancer should have six parts (this was the fun part deciding if what each Dancer should be doing...leaping, arms in the air, arms down, etc...).
  3. Cut four pieces of Fishing wire, each one a different length.
  4. Lay figure shiny part down. Cover unshiny part with glue. Lay down Fishing line wire. Make a sandwich by adding the reverse body part on top. Kind of hard to explain, but if you look at a photo, you should be able to tell.
  5. Tie each Dancer to the hoop.
  6. Tie Embroidery Thread to hoop (this is the hardest part...trying to balance it properly).
  7. Tape to the ceiling (it's light enough that you don't have to worry about having to drip a hole..unless you want to )


 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Wedding Ceremony: Gathering Words

 
 

I recently stumbled across a program from our "Bollywood Farm Wedding." And, I realized that I had never actually written about how I created our Wedding Ceremony, which is a shame because it was what I put most of my energy into.

Let me tell you, it's hard to find an "Inter-faith Jain Wedding Ceremony" floating around the Internet. Or even an "Indian Inter-Faith Wedding Ceremony." I looked and looked and looked.

I wanted to use some Jain Prayers and pay homage to my Husband's Indian heritage without being sacrilegious. He didn't want to be married by a Priest and have a traditional Jain Ceremony.

If we weren't going to be married by a Jain Priest, I thought it would be poignant to be married by our Mothers. But, his is very shy, so my Mama was the sole Officiant. My parents were married by a relative and my Grand-parents were married by my Great-great-grandfather. So, it seemed right.

Our Ceremony began when my Husband processed out with 20 or so of his friends and cousins in an "Informal Baraat".

Then, his Brother and Father welcomed everyone. His Mother and an Auntie said the Navakar Mantra. And, then there was the Bridal Procession (more on that later).

My Mother then spoke these Gathering Words.

I love this quote...


"Each of us was brought into the world without any decision of his own. Each of us was stamped with the condition of mortality from the moment of conception. And so, of the three most significant events in our lives, birth, marriage, and death, it is only marriage that we have the full power of personal decision."

                                     -Robert Senghas

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rain. Yogurt. A Rat. And The Last Gasp.

 
 
It's amazing how some Sunlight can lift your Spirits. Last week, there wasn't much Sun around these parts and I was struggling through each day. It took a lot of effort to drag myself (and my two girlies) outside for some daily fresh air (in the rain). Once outside, I felt better.
 
Today I felt even better. With the beautiful Morning light coming through the window, I was inspired to bake with Nye-Nye. This was our 5th Yogurt Cake together. Twelve hours later, it's almost gone...it was that good.
 
This Afternoon, it got so hot that I dragged the pool to the front yard and Nye-Nye got to do one of her favorite things...splash around in the water. I threw in some acrylic mirrors and glass stones, along with some pipe-cleaners she had played with all Morning and it was PARTY TIME.
 
I am so very grateful for every ray of Sun that hit my face today. Glorious.
 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 


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