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Saturday, October 24, 2009

egg carton is to pumpkin as clothes pin is to bat

Hopefully, I didn't make anyone cringe at the memory of those awful standardized tests we had to take in school---

The kids and I have been lucky enough, to have a regular, "date" on Wednesdays for the past month, with some good friends.  The mommy's hang out and the daughters hang out--and Jaxen hangs on everyone :).

When the weather was  nice, we let the kids play outside on the swingset, while the mommies chatted and baked.  (We both enjoy baking/cooking)  But, since it has gotten cooler outside, we have been planning indoor activities for the kids.  A couple of weeks ago, it didn't seem like we had enough planned for them--because they lost interest quickly.  So, this past week we decided to overload them on activities.  What we didn't realize was that really, we were only overloading ourselves.

We thought it would be fun, to make Halloween-themed sugar cookies- because when isn't it a good idea to make sugar cookies??  While the dough was chilling, we started the kids on 2 other activities-

The first activity was to trace, and cut shapes for bats.  The bats only had 2 body parts--thankfully!!  The bat wings and bodies were free-handed and then traced by the children, and cut out of black construction paper. Then a mommy got the job of gluing the bats to black clothes pins, so the bats could clip onto different things around the house.  These turned out very cute--and are super simple to do!

Now, we should have just stuck to this, "craft," and then did cookies--but, this Mom is a little too "krafty" --(those of you, who know me before I was married, will get this joke ;)).
So, instead we went to the next project-- pumpkins made from egg cartons.  Well, for this the other mom, Jamie, had to cut the cups of the egg carton out so that we could glue them together.  Regular glue did not work, so we got out a couple of hot glue guns and made them work :).  Luckily, they dried fast this way--and the kids could get right to painting, to make them look like pumpkins!!

We covered the kids in smocks, sat them down with these tiny paintbrushes, and let them begin to paint these very porous egg carton pieces.  We knew right away, that bigger paintbrushes would have been smarter-- oh well-- The kids would paint the pumpkin MOSTLY, and then Jamie and I would quickly try to paint the rest of it ;).  Then they were off to dry, while we started to roll out the cookie dough- *are you getting tired yet?

(The faces were drawn on later by a mom with permanent marker, and pipe cleaners were used for the stems)

Well you all should know how to make sugar cookies--so I will spare you the details.  The sugar cookie dough turned out perfect, and the rolling out and cutting went smoothly-- (we sent the kids to play).  They baked and cooled while the moms made 3 different colors of frosting for our pumpkins, bats, ghosts and cats.  Jaxen was very antsy during this part--wanting to get his fingers in the dough and the frosting, whenever we weren't or were looking!  2 mothers and 1 2 year old boy-- We were no match for his sneaky ways!!

The mothers were getting tired, and decided it would be better if we frosted the top layer and then let them decorate with the MANY candy decorations that were available to them.  That was probably the best idea, we moms, had all day!  But, needless to say the candy did get a little out of control!  The first cookie Jamie's daughter made had a piece of chocolate candy on every centimeter I think!  Then, my favorite cookie topping, the "crunchy balls," spilled all over the floor.  (This is not the technical name, at least I don't think so--but, they are the tiny round ball decorations that crunch when you eat them).  The container was nearly full, and then.........not so much.....and, if you have ever tried cleaning those little suckers up off the floor--you would swear you would never buy them again!  We actually had to take the shop vac out, and Jamie swept them towards me, who was holding the shop vac hose.  This seriously took about 10 minutes or so...and while the moms were preoccupied, the kids took the opportunity to frantically eat from their candy buffet!

We should have taken a picture of the moms at the end of our playdate-- we were covered in paint, flour, frosting...with crunchy balls stuck to our feet.  We had used all of our energy, patience, wit and management skills for the day--and we never even got to have any "mom-talk."  But, we have learned our lesson--and learned it well.  There will ever only be 1 craft and 1 food activity--or maybe we will mix them together, because we may enjoy crafting, cooking and baking--but doing those things with 3 toddlers and a baby--is just plain CRAZY!!

However, we do have some mighty cute decorations for Halloween--but as a warning to my readers--DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!!!


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