First of all, I die a thousand deaths every day with how cute Lilly is. Topping the random-things-my-two-year-old-does-that-make-me-die-of-happiness-chart today are the following:
We play the “labels” game with Lilly on a regular basis. If you know us, you know we play it all the time. The game entails calling Lilly different names- silly, smart, minion, munchkin, toddler, goof-ball, chickie-loo, you get the idea. While I recognize the antagonizing nature of this “game”, I love what it tells me about my daughter. Here’s how it sounds.
Mom: “Lilly, you’re a minion!”
Lilly: “EYES NOT A MINION MOM! EYES LILLY!” (foot stomp optional)
Mom: “Lilly, you’re a smart girl.”
Lilly: “Eye is NOT a smart girl, Mom. Eyes Lilly.”
You get the idea.
As funny as that all is, it’s also very telling of her free and wild nature. Her sense of self as a two year old is astounding and fills me with pride. My hope, for her, is that she holds onto that nature for her whole life, staying true to herself and never accepting the labels we all decided at some point to give each other. In her eyes, she is not smart or silly or crazy. She is not a munchkin or a minion or a chickie-loo. She is only Lilly. And that makes all the sense in the world.
And her new favorite question: “Do you?” as in, “Do you like my shoes Mom? Do you? Do you? Do you?” She needs to ask it a minimum of 3 times al la Finding Nemo dialogue she has memorized. It sounds so cute coming out of her tiny little mouth.
Ok, moving on from my mother-ramblings, we spent a fantastic morning at the Coffee Buddha on Sunday. If you live in the Pittsburgh area and enjoy the neighborhood coffee shop experience, you should visit the North Hills and give this place a try. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, kid (and dog!) friendly, and the coffee, tea and treats are all wonderful.
My poison of choice? This delicious mocha latte. Mmmm.
I have this secret love of all things Buddha- not because of the Buddha’s themselves, but because of the memories they evoke. The first of which is dubbed “Buddha belly river”- part of a network of pools in a resort I stayed at in Thailand as a child. This little channel of a pool was lined by Buddha’s, bellies out, water spouting from their mouths. I can remember standing by Buddha belly river, posing for a picture with my brothers, a flower in my hair, and pink jelly sandals on my feet. And then there is Sammy’s baby “Buddha belly” that he wore proudly protruding in his toddler-hood. He was such a skinny little thing that that belly really stuck out.
Gracie’s sweet little toes.
Brandon’s drained, single shot espresso.
I’m into muffins, man. And this one was perfection. (It’s chocolate if you can’t tell…) I managed to sneak a few bites while Lilly wasn’t looking.
The porch at Coffee Buddha is so pleasant. It seems to somehow always have the perfect breeze.
My happy girl.
All kinds of fresh tea brewing.
The obligatory hair shot- straight outta bed, people. That hair is as free as her spirit.
And finally I have a great activity for you and your little ones this summer: Homemade Watercolor Paints.
Here’s what you need.
And here’s the recipe:
4 Tbsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. light corn syrup (Karo Syrup)
2 Tbsp. corn starch
Gel food coloring (I’m sure you could use liquid as well, just add a little bit more corn starch to compensate for the extra liquid)
Container to keep your paints in- I used a mini muffin tin but you could use anything plastic. An ice cube tray, thread box or plastic egg carton would work wonderfully.
(I doubled this recipe and it filled all 12 of my compartments about halfway).
Mix the vinegar and baking soda. This is where the reaction happens so let your kiddo do this step to see the fizzy action. When the fizzing stops, add the rest of the ingredients except the food coloring. Pour white mixture carefully into each well.
You will mix the colors right in the well with a toothpick. Be creative! Mix whatever colors you want. And in hindsight, I should have skipped black altogether because for some reason, kids go for black and the colors end up muddy. Taking it out of the palette solves that problem before it even happens!
Now the hard part- let this set up for about 48 hours. This is pretty hard for a toddler to understand (I mean come on, you just mixed up this super cool paint and you want them to wait two DAYS to use it?!) so if you think this will be an issue try the following things:
Tell them it is “hot” and you have to wait until it cools to use the paints. Then put it out of sight and they’ll forget (hopefully) until it is dry.
Tell them it has to “bake” and set it in the oven for two days (just don’t turn on the oven!).
Or, and this is what I did as the two previous strategies did not work for me, let you kids put their fingers into the wet paint. When it gets on their hands say, “Oh no! Look! It got onto your fingers which means it’s not ready yet. Try one more time, touch it… oh, no! Still wet. Let’s wash your fingers off and wait until it’s dry.”
Then you’ve got a nice set of watercolors, in nice deep wells that won’t mix together easily like they do in those little dinky kid-paint sets we all know so well. I’ll post what our paintings look like in the next few days. I am sensing a masterpiece (or ten) in our future.
Speaking of future posts, remember that you can “subscribe” to this blog feed, or “follow”, to get an email every time a new post is written. And as always, I love seeing your comments here on the blog or on facebook as well. Happy Monday, all. I hope yours was as good as mine!