North Cabarrus Park

We started our week off with a visit to North Cabarrus Park. It amazes me how many parks are in our area. I keep discovering new parks to take Virginia too. Virginia woke up and was ready to get outside. So I packed our things and headed out the door. Our first stop was at the bread store. I heard that there were ducks at the park that we could feed. (note: I have now learned that it is bad to feed ducks bread.) 

I have great memories of going with my grandparents to feed the ducks. I knew that Virginia would get a kick out of feeding the ducks as well. Once we made it to the park, Virginia was ready to get out and play. I loved the fact that both playgrounds we saw were covered. With the heat of the summer, that has been our biggest problem is finding shade. One play ground was covered by a huge yellow tent. The second playground just had a perfect location by the woods that kept it in the shade. Another plus was some locations near the playground had metal large swings that the adults could sit on and relax while the kids played. On the smaller playground I was able to sit on the swing and still see Virginia from all spots on the playground. Which is a first for me, usually I am having to follow her around the whole playground.

After playing for a bit, we decided to go feed the ducks some bread. There were ducks and geese around the pond that was right beside the playground. I was amazed at how close the geese would come to us. Virginia loved tossing the bread to the geese. I kept a close eye on her in case I needed to scoop her up and run. I know geese can be mean at times. We walked further down to the bridge and saw tons of turtles and fish in the pond. There had to be like ten or more turtles just sun bathing on the shore. I did learn later that bread is not a healthy diet for ducks. I guess lesson learned and I did find healthy food to feed the birds when we return to the park. 

Virginia was thrilled and pooped for the rest of the day. I call that one successful Monday. North Cabarrus Park is making a spot on our favorite parks list. 

Weekend Rewind

This weekend was all about family. Friday my sister Lisa came down to visit. She stopped in and we all went out to lunch at Mi Pueblo. The food was delicious. We visit Mi Pueblo a lot, it is our go to Mexican restaurant. The staff and owner are always so kind to us. This visit was no different, Virginia was wanting one of the adult beverages pictured on the table. The owner came by to check to see how our lunch was and noticed Virginia begging for the drink. Next thing we know the owner comes by and gives Virginia a virgin strawberry daiquiri with whip cream on top. Virginia was so excited and the drink was awesome. 

After lunch we did a little shopping at Virginia's favorite store Target. I always enjoy going to Target and seeing what is in their dollar section. We scored a dry erase board with writing lines on it and dry erase markers for only two dollars. We also discovered that Aunt Lisa has a little shoe love affair. Lisa only gave me a minor heart attack as we were heading to the car. With Virginia in the cart and Lisa driving, you would have thought they were on the Concord Speedway. Virginia was loving every minute of it. 

Once home Lisa only had a few minutes before she had to leave. We squeezed in some painting time and then said our good byes. Virginia was not ready to say good bye. All day she was asking when Aunt Lisa was coming back to play. I am so thankful that Virginia has two amazing Aunts that I know will play a huge roll in her life. 

Saturday was just a relaxing day at home. Sunday we were on the road again. This time we were visiting MiMi and Papa up in Statesville. Once there Virginia was showering everyone with love including her favorite four legged friends. Virginia's favorite thing to do at MiMi's and Papa's is go swing. So we all walked out to the swing and Papa pushed Virginia to her hearts desire. 

After the swing Virginia and I took a walk down to the barn in hopes of seeing the cows. On the way Virginia got to pick some tomatoes from Uncle Carey's garden with MiMi. The cows were to busy staying cool under the trees to come visit with us. But Virginia still enjoyed walking and carrying her prize tomato. 

We ended the day with a delicious meal that MiMi cooked for us. Tossed the tennis ball awhile with the newest four legged addition Zena. Then it was time to hit the road and get home. This weekend was such a delight. We managed to spend good quality family time with both families. I love the fact that we live so close to both families that Virginia will be able to grow up knowing both families. 

Bouncy Ball

Virginia's favorite toy in the world is probably balls. When we are in any store she makes a bee line to those big bouncy ball stacks. Those quarter machines with the balls in them at the grocery stores also makes a little girl scream with delight. So I knew when I came across this super ball recipe that Virginia would be thrilled to try this with me.

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbls. Elmers Glue and your choice of food coloring.

Mix well or in the end you will end up with a marble effect which is clue.

In another bowl mix together 1/2 tsp. Borax, 1 Tbls. cornstarch, and 4 Tbls. warm water.

Next pour the water mixture into the glue mixture. Mix these together and you will have a gooey blub. Dump out the liquid and start rolling the gooey blub into a ball. If it feels super wet roll the ball onto a paper towel. 

In the end you will have your very own homemade bouncy ball. Now it doesn't bounce super high, but it is still lots of fun for the little ones. The mixture reminds me a little more of silly putty with a bounce. The ball will lose its shape after sitting around. No worries just roll it back up into a ball and your good to go. I would store the ball in a plastic egg over night to help keep the shape. 

Balloons Away

Lately Virginia has really been enjoying painting and stamping. Each morning she wakes up and watches cartoons. Then next thing I know she is running for her paints. To keep things interesting, we have been trying different methods of painting. We started with the simple paint brush and finger painting. We have explored lids, yarn, and now balloons.

First take a balloon and blow it up. I kept our balloon small since little hands were playing. Next place paint on your lid and let your little one press the balloon into the paint. We did purple, blue, and pink.
Note: I only said a few curse words under my breath as I was trying to tie that devil balloon.

Next press the balloon to the paper and lift. It is that simple. Virginia had a blast with the balloon. I even enjoyed the painting with the balloon. It is endless the amount of things you can paint with. Just a few ideas we want to test is leaves, rocks, and bubble wrap. 

I found a quote on a blog that just rung true to me this week, " It is not about the end product but the process." I am learning to just let Virginia go for it and do what she wants. Letting her explore her creativity with no limits.

Spin Art

Lately I have been in a super crafty mood. Virginia and I keep coming across great craft blogs that have fantastic art projects. I came across Putti PraPancha from PinInterest and her spin art project. I loved how simple the project was and how my daughter would enjoy it since she doesn't have to get her hands dirty.

First choose your paper of choice. I love the Ikea art paper roll. I think it was like maybe five bucks for a huge roll. I rolled it out the length of our coffee table and taped it down. Second find one eager child that wants to paint.

Next get a plate and put a small dot of each paint on the plate. I used crayola finger paint, super cheap at Walmart. Also grab a cup of water to keep your brushes clean.

Next grab a round object. You could use paper plate, cd, baby food jar, or butter lid. Really any round surface is perfect. Put a dot of paint all around the lid. 

Next flip over butter lid and let the child press their hand in the middle. Making sure the paint is touching the paper. Then spin the lid a couple of times. Then lift the lid and be amazed at your beautiful art work!

A fun little extra art technique we discovered is taking a piece of yarn and dipping it in paint. Keep one end clean so the child can hold it without getting their fingers wet. Then just drape the yarn across the paper any way you desire. This makes some great unique art. In the near future I want to do a painting with Virginia using baked spaghetti.