Monday, April 30, 2012

Clara's cooking demo

Wow.. Has it really been almost a month since I've posted on this blog? In my mind I post here all the time. Almost every day I think of some funny thing Clara did or some new thing Luke said that I should just hop on and share. But apparently I never do!

So, just to get something new up here, here's a video I shot of Clara yesterday. She was helping me make lunch - broccoli soup. Her absolute FAVORITE. This girl can put away an adult-sized helping or two of my broccoli soup like it's nothing.

Anyway, I don't let her "help" as often as I should. It's not easy with two kids because I can't do it with both at the same time. But with Luke strapped into his high chair, I pulled Clara up a chair (nothing fancy or too safe) and she loved using the measuring cups and spoons with some water that I let her have (it's all about the water). Before I knew it, she was going on and on and on, talking away, as if she was instructing someone. I swear it sounded like she was giving a cooking demonstration!

So here it is... the video that we can only hope will jump-start Clara's new career as a celebrity chef...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not so bad after all

Today was a big day - I decided I would let my kids paint for the first time. That's a big deal because I paint and painting will always be a part of their lives. They have watched me do it (though not often enough these days) and I have caught Clara painting away with a (paint-less) brush on one of my canvases. 

It's also a big deal because - unlike most moms, I'm sure - I don't do crafts with my kids. I don't like messes and, despite being an artist myself, I just don't have the patience or desire to teach others (that probably doesn't bode well for homeschooling!).

But something came over me this week and I decided to go for it. Today was the day. But, being cheap and lazy, I didn't opt for buying kid-friendly paint, whatever that even is. Instead, I just whipped out my acrylics and brushes. 

I bought cheap wooden crosses from the craft store and painted them white while they napped. When they woke up, it was on.

We just dove in head first, which is kind of how we roll. Planning? What's planning? Although I did have a paper towel at the ready. 

Yes, that's paint on Luke's mouth. The brush entered his mouth twice that I know of. Thank goodness it was non-toxic acrylic and that I don't freak out about much. 

And that stylish paint shirt that Clara is wearing? Why, that's an old nursing tank of mine, of course.

Don't let these photos fool you - it was much more chaotic than it appears. Well, Clara was a pro. She is definitely at the age where she knows to be at least somewhat neat and careful. I absolutely love that. Luke, on the other hand...

I mistakenly thought I could hold him back while Clara painted first. Ya, not happening. He was a man possessed. He needed a brush and he needed it in the paint. He was not going to let anything - least of all me - stand in his way.

As I watched him grab dirty brushes and lunge at the paint, panic began to set in and What was I thinking? What was I thinking? was on repeat in my head.

But, amazingly, once I gave in and actually set him up with his own brush and cross, he calmed right down. 

And somehow I even managed to get all of these pictures (when your hands are holding the camera they are not free to make sure paint doesn't get on furniture!) and there were no messes at all. The dirty water cup didn't spill, my couch and chairs remained paint-free, and I never once chased a kid holding a wet paintbrush.

And the kids loved it. Loved it. Clara was so into it, it was adorable. And Luke too. They both dipped brushes in the paint and then onto their cross, over and over and over.

And the end result was pretty cute. I meant to give Clara only colors that matched her room, like pinks and greens (yes, I'm all about controlling creativity), but in the craziness of the afternoon that didn't happen. It's okay, those colors would've just ended up brown too.

Clara loves crosses, so I knew she'd love painting them. I talked about Jesus and Good Friday, but they were much more concerned about that slippery colored stuff that I was letting them play with. 

A bath immediately followed these photos, in which I removed the acrylic paint the only way I know how - by scraping it off with my finger nails. Another reason to use kid-friendly supplies, I suppose.

In the end, it went surprisingly well. I don't know if we'll get the paints out again any time soon, although I have a sneaking suspicion Clara will be asking for them. It's just that the pessimist in me worries it can't possibly go this smoothly every time. I think I used up all my good crafting luck in one afternoon.

Maybe we'll do it again while Luke's napping. Painting is in his blood, but he's got to be a little less nutso before we attempt to cultivate any talent.

Clara, though, showed me today that she has turned a corner and can really get into something like this. I guess my craft-less days are over. I guess I better start stocking up on pipe cleaners and paper plates. Elmer's Glue, here we come!