Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Out Loud Tonight!

Hi all! Just a quick post to remind you all that Blog Out Loud is tonight. This is a first for me. I'm so excited to be a part of this event and reading alongside some great Ottawa-area bloggers.

Check out the fantastic write-up on Cartoon-Coloured Glasses. Sheer comedy gold, it says! I'm so flattered. Can I put that on a resume?

If you're looking to say hello, I'll be the one with the blue-stained hands. Probably shouldn't have done an activity with food colouring yesterday.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Art Process

I have a sneaking suspicion that my older son may not currently be the biggest fan of doing art.

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In addition to these (surprisingly tactful, for a three-year-old) responses, I was once invited to finish a project for him. "You can do the rest, Mama." Can I? Great. I was hoping you'd get out of the way and let me have at that googly-eyed toilet paper roll bunny.

I learned long ago that he doesn't like "messy" stuff like apparently all toddlers do. No problem; I don't want our kitchen to smell like shaving cream anyways. But it seems these days that art in general isn't his thing.

It's fine. He doesn't have to like art. He's a smart, curious kid, but just not about that right now.

I would, however, like to stop making a lot of work for myself for no reason. (I touched on this in my Pintimidating post last year).

See what I mean in this visual of the art process, in terms of time and effort:

It's all those fabulous preschooler blogs I subscribe to! I get all inspired to channel my teacher self and let my kids create and develop skills through exploring new materials (and maybe try them out myself).

I used to teach Kindergarten. Shouldn't I be good at this?

I know!... it's the peer pressure. A kid will do an activity if others are also doing the same thing. Kind of like why your toddler will merrily eat peppers at daycare.

I could showcase an album of my "Pinterest Preschooler Art Activity Fails", only they'd mostly look like unused materials and white paper with a crayon line on it. And maybe a kid in the background dancing around pretending the two halves of a plastic Easter egg are his eyes.

So a friend and I came up with the idea of alternating hosting playdates with her three-year-old and preparing an art or sensory activity. Her hit-and-miss experiences are similar to mine, so we figure we can make half the effort and hopefully at least one of the boys will enjoy the activity, so it won't be a total loss.

This week I prepared templates for an activity I found online; Wet Chalk Tape Resist Easter Eggs. Looks great for a preschooler, and what nice results they got!

Aaaaand it bombed, and royally. Both of our kids had a sing-songy "Alll done!" after about two chalk lines.
It's probably for the best because the tape I used (the only kind I had) tore the paper, even though it came off fine on my test egg. I might've felt bad if they'd spent more than 15 seconds on the activity.

(I never claimed to be good at art. Drawing, yes, art, no. Even my art teacher in high school said my style was all the same and too "cartoony").

So anyway, I think we've concluded our kids are more into science-based activities these days. Good. Next nice day, Mentos and Diet Coke geysers out in the driveway. No prep!


P.S.: If you're in the Ottawa area, come see me and some fantastic fellow bloggers read at the Blog Out Loud event, which is part of the Ottawa International Writers' Festival. Blog Out Loud is being held at 6:30pm on April 29 at 120 Lisgar St. It's free and promises to be a great time. (I might even wear "no pants " for the occasion!) Hope to see you there.

P.P.S.: You can now follow CCG on Twitter!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Few Minutes to Myself?

It must be that the boys aren't used to seeing their mother lying down.

Somehow, though, the sight of me trying to relax is interpreted as an invitation to bombard me with kid attention.

Maybe I look all lonely with my magazine and look like I could use some company in the form of having my eye poked or a head-cracking cuddle. Maybe I look bored, like I'm wishing someone would come along and arrange an extensive collection of blocks on me. Maybe I look too serene, like I need an energy boost via being rolled on and bounced on like a horsey.

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What I don't get is how Hubs sitting at the table, drinking coffee and reading hockey blogs on the laptop counts as "busy" but what I'm doing isn't. I think he got to them somehow. Sitting there, looking all contented and smug...

My mom tells me all that attention is due to the fact that they love their mom so much. That must be it. I'll keep that in mind the next time my attempt at a ten-minute stretch on the couch is interrupted by a loving toddler butt in the face.