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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes and Art Session

GG, Mommy, and Jack with our little creation.

I didn't get many pictures today in class but the session went really well. I can tell the Kindergarteners have matured so much even since our last session. Breaking up into 3 groups and having the student teacher there to assist didn't hurt at all either.

(Original prototype)
(Original prototype, overhead shot)

I couldn't find enough pom poms for the class though, so we decided to go with gold colored homemade modeling clay made with glitter. They molded and formed their own gold bars, beads, coins and nuggets ...worms, snakes, nests, and eggs, too!
I hot glued the pieces onto the lid and then I covered the loot with gold micro-glitter at the end.

(in progress)(drying)

We were going to use mini baby food jars for our pot o' gold, but found out there is no glass allowed on the bus, so this would have been a problem. I just happened to find 2 oz containers 10/$1 at the dollar store the same day I got that news! Super lucky. I painted the lids gold and the rims green so the top of the pot would be ready to go. I put the students' names on the lids and inside the pot with a sharpie. We decoupaged these with green tissue paper at one center with 1/3 of the class while we had sculpting at another center and the 3rd center assembled their rainbows. We planned on putting Skittles inside the pot and sending them home for decorating for St. Pat's the next day. Unfortunately, as usual, I underestimated how much those kids love glue! Waaaaay too much of it, so the pots were never going to dry in time for us to flip them over and fill them up. Oh, well. I think the cupcakes more than made up for it! they were gone so dang fast I seriously barely BARELY got a couple of pictures snapped as the last crumbs disappeared past their lips. I had to beg Savannah not to finish hers (the last one) so I could grab a photo. I sure wish I had gotten a better photo of the cupcake insides. They were such a hit. And I took a ton of pictures of the prep and process!

The papers always look different after they're baked, but I was looking for something colorful and they actually turned out to look kinda like arches and rainbows in the end.

Start with a white cake mix and 6 cups with zip lock bags pulled down over the rims. I measured out 1/2 cup of batter into each one until it was all gone and evenly distributed. Go easy on the food color, keep it controlled. I used food color gels which I hadn't done before, but they worked pretty good.

I mixed with skewers because I didn't want to lose too much excess batter on spoons. You can't waste a drop of batter or you won't make it to 24 cupcakes. However, DON'T use skewers. Use popsicle sticks that you can squeeze the excess off through the baggie. I totally punched holes through with the skewers on a couple bags. no bueno.

I'd also recommend trying to get as much contrast between orange and red as you can, go closer to yellow with the orange or as dark as you can with the red. It's hard to tell between the two after it's baked. After you are satisfied with your color mixes, massage the batter really well in the baggie to finish incorporating the food coloring.

so the trick is to put as little as you can and still cover the bottom of the paper. It won't look like much, but you won't have enough for 24 if you put too much. After mixing the color, snip a small hole in the baggie at the corner so you can control how fast the batter goes into the cups.

for subsequent layers, start on the outer edge and then drizzle in until filled in as much as possible. Err on the side of sparing, if you have extra, you can always go back and drizzle over open spots in your batter. Squeeze every bit down and out of the baggie.

bake as directed!
doh! didn't realize I'd gotten cream cheese frosting until I started to put these together. I used a whole can for the blue and about 1/3 of a can for the clouds. (no one complained or even asked about the flavor though!)

I was so worried I wouldn't find the rainbow candy strips and then I just happened to spot them one day in the dollar bins at Target. yay! I don't think I even used 1/2 a package for 24. I cut the strips in thirds, I believe, then bent and pressed them into the clouds.

Savannah was the last one I could catch that had enough of a cupcake left for me to get a picture of how they looked inside! They went that quick!
like I said.... (real quick!)
It was a fun day! Great project, awesome cupcakes. I love Kindergarten : )

Monday, March 2, 2009

And That Was Just the First 10 Minutes

I woke up to your sister nursing and you climbing on the bed this morning, waving a flashlight around. Half awake, I couldn't quite figure out where you had gotten that. Time to get up, I told you we needed to get everyone's diaper changed. You ran off to play while I took GG to the potty. When I came out of the bathroom to find a new diaper for her, I saw your legs dangling off the changing pad. You had climbed up the ottoman in her room and you were laying on the changing table singing to yourself. I was a little shocked to see you there. I changed you and got you back to the floor. On my way to get back to GG I told you to go sit in your chair at the table and I would start oatmeal for breakfast. You said in your whiniest voice, "nooo, I'm going to have cereal". I said to you, "no, I think we're going to be eating oatmeal today." You looked back at me and said, "Goooood luck!"

I really didn't have a follow up to that one. This all happened in the first 10 minutes of being awake. If I hadn't laughed so hard, I probably would have thought I'd just dreamed it up, but no, that was real.

I found the stool from the bathroom in front of the pantry door (where the flashlight usually hangs) and a new box of cereal bars on the counter which you also told me you were having for breakfast. Time to get the child lock knob on the door. What would possess you to go there first when you woke up, I don't know, but I do understand why people shouldn't have guns in their homes with small children. Very scary what you could get in to.

Oh, and if any of you are considering switching your toddler to a toddler bed.... DON'T! If they're not climbing out of the crib yet, leave them there. It's safer and much easier. When they can ask for the car keys, you might reconsider it then! you know I'm just joking. sort of.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little OCD?

I have to admit, Jack, I'm just a tiny bit concerned about you. Lately, we're seeing more and more signs of high level organization with you. Instead of enjoying your m&m's, you put them in a neat little diamond shape with nice straight rows. (your sister had her first m&m's this day and she gobbled hers up before I could turn the camera on)

You are increasingly particular about how your stickers are placed on your reward chart, being very careful this week to have them within the square and also right side up.

You had been working on matching the magnet animal halves, but now you also insist that the letters stay in straight lines. I hope this is a developmental thing. I would think it would be difficult for you to always be this concerned about organizing your environment and still be able to enjoy it.
I love you!

Monday, January 12, 2009


When our Parents As Teachers parent educator, Deanna, was leaving today, you gave her a hug and said goodbye and then you waved and said, "be careful."
It was too cute.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Next Zoolander

You asked me at the end of lunch today to take your picture. This was a bit funny since you've never made this request before. But it wasn't as funny as this expression when I snapped the shot.


You tried to hand me my hoodie, I guess you were thinking I was cold and I told you I was hot enough with the blanket I had. Then you started blowing on the blanket. : )

"not hot, Mommy, all better".


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vocabulary Burst

Wow! we're really on a roll of milestones lately. I've been noticing that the strings of 2-3 words are stretching into 4, 5 and 6 words..... and in Spanish as well.... it's unbelievable. I have to ask Daddy to translate now because you've already surpassed my fluency. (are you smarter than a 2 1/2 year old, Mommy?) It's so hard, and at this hour, to try to remember an exact phrase right now, but I'll add it in later, now that I'll be on the look out for it.
You're also saying really hard words perfectly. "Ornaments"
And I really saw a difference today in how you describe school. It's like we're having a conversation with you, when in the first several weeks, we struggled to pull words out and often coached the direction of the speech. Not now. Today you told us that you had chips and salsa for snack, and you sang the words "rock by baby" and did the motion, indicating you're learning a new song. Then you said "too cold outside... Mrs. Lawrence... play inside".

This is so cool.

There are those moments every now and again (more again and again) that make me so happy that I get to be your mommy. When I don't think it could be any better than the moment we're in, you prove me wrong. Just when I tear up that you're not the tiny little baby in my arms anymore, I get to be so happy and proud of just where you're at and who you are today, even knowing that soon, I'll miss this moment, too.

oh, and this morning when I put you in the carseat for Jenny to take you to school, I said "can I have a kiss" and you obliged sweetly. I said goodbye and you said "hug? hug?" My heart just melted right out of my chest.