The Art of Mud Pies

I am not an outdoorsy person. I don't camp, I don't hike, and I generally don't like situations where a shower is not readily available. My toddler, however, shares none of these feelings.

Today we had a break from the dreadful winter weather. We might even hit 70 degrees today. In January. In Kentucky. How crazy can life be?

CeCe could somehow sense it was above freezing outside and before I finished my morning coffee she arrived at my feet wearing her jacket, winter hat, with shoes in her hands. She wasn't asking. She was simply letting me know she had plans to go outside, and I was to follow her.

The ground was still soggy from rain, to my dismay and my daughter's delight. Since we couldn't avoid the mess, I decided to go for broke and let her dive in:

I don't know which cartoon character taught CeCe about mud pies, but she was an expert baker. Here is she is rejoicing over one of her dirt desserts.

Like most inedible and disgusting things, CeCe did try to eat the mud. And the first taste didn't dissuade her. After she satisfied her innate need to get dirty, it was time for my favorite part. Post Mud Pie Bubble Bath:

In true toddler fashion, she also tried to eat the bubbles. This led to several styling of bubble beards, bubble mustaches and bubble mutton chops. 

Despite my aversion to dirt, I know letting CeCe roam outside and get messy is a vital part of her childhood. Being outdoors gets her exercise, exposes her to nature, is a chance for sensory play and so much more. I'm learning to get my hands dirty and have a little fun.

DIY Magnet Board

Is anyone else like me and couldn't even see their refrigerator door from all the drawings, pictures and magnets that dominated every square inch?

I thought it was great that CeCe enjoyed playing with her alphabet magnets. But when she would plop down in front of the fridge for a magnet session and I was trying to retrieve ingredients for dinner, it became a game of "Move" and "Stop It" that neither of us enjoyed very much.

Enter- The Magnet Board. Pinterest has several hundred thousand Pins advising folks to just cover a cheap cookie sheet with fabric and, voila! A cute magnet board that you can put anywhere!

It sounds simple. I, however, could not accept that and had to make my DIY magnet board a process that involved a power drill and using red ribbon with pink fabric. Yuck.

Here is CeCe with her Magnet Board now:

First, Pinterest says to buy a cheap cookie sheet to use. I decided to buy a nice new cookie sheet for myself and use my old grimy one for the project. I hot-glued some scrap fabric around the metal sheet and it looked adorable (on one side at least.)

Now the problem: Command strips wouldn't adhere to the fabric on the back so my original plan to hang the board flat against the wall using the sticky strips was scrapped. Actually, the cookie sheet had ridges on the ends, so it wouldn't have laid flat anyway. I did not plan very well.

Instead I had Matt bring in the drill and he drilled two small holes at the top of the sheet. I then took the only ribbon I had lying around and threaded it through the holes, tying it in the back. I had a hook already on the wall from a previous project, so that was a stroke of luck.

But overall, it works. The magnets stick to the cookie sheet perfectly. When CeCe is done playing with the magnets, we can put them in a little tote bag and hang it from the hook as well. Not bad for a project that costs pennies.


The Parent Olympics

I apologize for the hiatus on my blog writing this month. I've been training extensively for the Parent Olympics.

You see, I love the Summer Olympics. Mostly because it means my daughter can wear her 4th of July outfit more than once. But I am a rabid fan of the Parent Olympics, and this one doesn't wait every four years to come around. It's a daily event.

The Parent Olympics is open to moms and dads of any nationality, any marital status, with children of any age. There are a variety of categories but my favorites include:

  • Speed Cleaning For Unexpected Company
  • Diaper Change Races
  • Hurdling Over Toys To Reach Your Child Before They Swallow Something Questionable They Found Under The Couch
  • The Hallway Dash To Find Your Child When You Realize They Are No Longer In The Living Room
  • And the most competitive event of the games: Who Can Function Best On The Least Amount Of Sleep
You probably didn't even know you were training too. CeCe is a pretty tough trainer. She cuts me very little slack. Even during her nap time I have to practice Speed Cleaning. I know she's proud of me though. She expresses it through cuddles, which is definitely worth more than a gold medal.

Here is CeCe after a long day of intense physical training:

I'm thinking about incorporating the panda hat into our team uniform.