Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snow in the Kitchen and Animals at the Library?

With temps in the mid-60s and a light rain over the past couple of days, I'm willing to put a stake in the ground and say we're not having a white Christmas. It could happen still, but the odds are probably one in ten bazillion. (Math and statistics have always been my strong suite so you can trust my probability prediction. Right mom?)

Since we're not getting snow, I decided to make some snow for the kids to play with. Not nearly as fun as the real stuff, but also not nearly as cold as the real stuff. And, instead of putting on layers of clothes, I stripped my boys down to undershirts.
While I was busy making our snow, the kids stayed busy decorating a box with markers. Yes, that is Annalyse you see with a purple marker in her hand. Since it's nontoxic and washable I wasn't willing to fight her over using a crayon instead since my hands were a powdery mess.

Oh yes, the snow recipe: a bag of flour and a bottle of baby oil. That's it. The flour absorbs the oil and takes the dust away without making the flour clumpy or greasy.
Our pretend snow was a hit! If you're up for a little bit of a mess (that actually makes your room smell baby sweet) and have about three dollars to spare, add flour and baby oil to your shopping list and let your kids have at it. Over an hour of quiet, uninterrupted play. I can't beat that!
The boys buried matchbox cars and used their bulldozers to uncover them. I made snowballs and let Annalyse smash them.

When they were finished playing, they stripped their clothes in the kitchen so the mess didn't spread, and after a two-minute broom job, my kitchen was back to normal.
Once the kids had clean clothes, Annalyse napped while the boys told the Christmas story using Playmobil figures. While Micah galloped his camel with the wisemen, Grady Lee was hung up on the fact that he couldn't get Mary to stay on top of the donkey. "She has to ride a donkey to the stable so that Baby Jesus doesn't fall out of her stomach. He isn't supposed to be born until Christmas day and Mary needs to stay on the donkey!"
And speaking of camels and donkeys, we joined some friends this afternoon to pet some nativity animals at the Billy Graham Library. Our family visited the library a couple of weeks back to enjoy the lights and the horse-drawn carriage ride. Today, though, they had a couple of hours where kids were able to pet and enjoy the animals up close and personal.
Annalyse wanted out of her stroller and let out plenty of high pitched screams to remind me of that. But, because her hands are usually in her mouth (five, five, teeth are working their way in right now) I didn't want her touching sheep and then chewing on her fingers.
It's just not fair: the big kids have all the fun. They ran from animal to animal giving big scratches and offering fistfuls of grass. 
Everyone was excited when this guy walked out! But, since he has been known to kick and bite and spit, he was roped away from little hands.
The gray skies started to lightly drizzle but the kids didn't seem to notice. They were too busy having fun together with the animals! And, "did you know that if you poke your finger into the llama's fur it gets buried because the fur is so deep?" Grady Lee figured that out and was excited to announce it.
When the drizzle turned to an actual rain, it was time to say goodbye. I flipped Annalyse's stroller umbrella down to keep her dry and she immediately flipped it up. Her little buddy, Conor, walked over to flip it back down and she instantly thought it was a fun game of peek-a-boo. They must've done this little routine a dozen times.
And now, I'm here with my coffee catching up on blogs while Annalyse naps and my boys watch a cartoon. The crockpot has dinner in the works. The rain is falling still. A candle is burning. My house feels cozy, smells yummy, and for the moment, is quiet. I'm not moving one more muscle until I have to, which will probably be in about two minutes when the boys erupt into a wrestling match on the couch.

1 comment:

  1. Wish we could have joined you at the BG library today, my kids would have LOVED being up close with the animals! Drew especially loved them when we went on Tuesday night, but we couldn't pet any then. He kept telling me, "Mommy, the animals look so fluffy!"
    And thanks for sharing that snow recipe, totally cool! What size bottle of baby oil & a whole 5 lb bag of flour??