Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates Christmas! I don't but I think my rabbit does so I gave him a whole head of broccoli yesterday morning as his Christmas present. He was very very happy!
Actually, I love decorating for Christmas and I still am decorating even though we do our gift exchange on St. Nicholas Day. Yesterday I finally set up the needle felted Nativity scene which I made years ago, and put up the sterling silver star and set the Wise Men on their path to the stable. I also put Christmas books in Zac's room (yesterday he chose The Last Straw and Cat in the Manger; today it was The Trees of the Dancing Goats) and I set out the Christmas teddy bear which I got thirty years ago as a child.
Yesterday was a quiet day for us. Zac and I took a walk around the block in the afternoon. In the morning I painted his foot green and stamped it on a piece of fabric for the center block on the tree skirt I'm making (inspired by Pinterest, of course).
Two parts Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint to one part Delta Ceramcoat textile medium, mixed in a baby food jar with a popsicle stick.
I used Bright Red and Hunter Green. I think I bought Christmas Red and Christmas Green last year but I can't find them anywhere, so I just went with what was on hand.
A few things I learned from this experience:
- First, don't do a practice footprint on a piece of paper first to show your toddler what to expect. It just makes for one more painting/ stamping experience and ends up wearing the child right out.
Second, don't paint both feet and then pick up your child and try to have him stand with his two feet close together. It doesn't work like that. When you put a child down on fabric it's confusing, and Zac kept picking up his feet and then putting them back down because he thought he wasn't supposed to be standing there. VERY smudgy!
Third, even if you have baby wipes handy, cover the floor with a lot more newspaper than you think and don't wear your nice pajamas. I now have permanent green marks on my jammies from little fingers exploring wet painty toes. Oh well... one more memory!
Fourth, your best bet is to keep your child on his bottom the whole time, tell him calmly that you're painting his foot, paint it swiftly, and then hold his little leg in your hand and move the foot over to the fabric (a smooth part, not a wrinkled place) and plant it in the spot you wish and hold it firmly to make a good print, while talking soothingly to your child the whole time. Then let him wipe his foot off himself with a baby wipe and then scoop him up and take him right to a warm bath, telling him that he did a fabulous job.
Warm bath... then nap... then put your clothes in the washing machine. And double check that there's no paint on the floor.
Today was another warm and beautiful day. I actually turned the heat off last night! When I went to take out the compost it was a warm and misty night, so I turned off the heat. And today it was 66 when I woke up and the birds were singing their little hearts out.
After breakfast and my quick household to-do (making laundry detergent), we headed to Riverside Park over by the Big Muddy River and Zac had a fabulous time picking up gumballs, sticks, acorns, acorn caps, moss, a tree root (that didn't really work out the way he expected), and dirt (which he rubbed on his sweater -- not sure why), and watching the ducks paddle and quack. Duck is one of the words Zac knows, so he was very excited and kept running around saying "Duck, duck." He was very sad when they flew away but I promised him they had just gone to have their breakfast and that we would come back another time and see them.
Laundry detergent, by the way, is easy to make. I got this recipe (one bar Dr. Bronner's castile soap, 5 oz, grated on a cheese grater, plus 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1/4 cup oxiclean) from my friend Shawna and it works great! I keep it in a cookie tin and use one or two tablespoons per load of laundry. We use it for everything except our Thirsties DuoWrap diaper covers (size 2). We use soap nuts for those because they're gentler and don't undo the waterproofness. You want a diaper cover to be waterproof!!!
Here are the MLB page pictures I wanted to share today. This is Becca's MLB for the Grade 6 String, Straight-Edge & Shadow block (the link is to my webpage with all of my teaching notes for this block). It was her first block of the year, and her first time EVER doing Waldorf, so I didn't worry about her illustration style or anything else that would make her feel judged or uncomfortable. I know that usually people only photograph and post the very best pictures... the museum-worthy MLB pages... but I think it would be more helpful if we all shared what we are doing with our children, including the less-than-perfect efforts, so that new families don't give up on Waldorf education because it's too intimidating. And I know that even in Waldorf schools, they take children who haven't been in Waldorf schools their whole lives, and so every kid is just coming in where they're at. Aren't we all?!?
Anyway, hope this is helpful!!! Click on any picture to enlarge it and scroll through the pages with ease.
I also photographed her sister's MLB pages for this block (previous post).