Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Star Art

     Since the babies are learning about shapes and the 4th of July is around the corner, I decided to have the babies do some star art using this free star shape I found online.  My brother, the babies' uncle, gave them nice easels which we have put to good use.  First, we used Crayola Tadoodles washable paints which are easy for them to grasp.   Then they tried sponge painting with tempera paint which was a little more challenging.  When they tried the sponges, they did a combination of pressing the sponge as is typical with sponge painting and sliding the sponge all around which had different effect. 

I cut up a kitchen sponge and placed one piece in the red paint

and another piece in the blue paint. 

Capri started her star with the red Tadoodle

and then she switched to blue.

Ryder enjoyed painting his star.

Grayson tasted the red paint before painting with blue.

Xayden admired his finished star while he held on to the sponge.

     This was a fun and easy art project for the babies.  They loved painting and also enjoyed washing their hands with strawberry soap when their stars were finished.  I loved seeing the joy on their faces as they painted their stars.  Have your families done art projects lately?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Multiples Monday

multiples monday with capri +3

    Welcome to Multiples Monday on Capri + 3, where each Monday blogs about multiples add a new link to a recent or beloved blog post.  It is so much fun to see all the families who come together each week to share their stories.  Please give them a warm Capri + 3 welcome and visit their blogs, see their cute pictures and smile at their stories.  If you get a moment, they'd love to read a blog post comment.

     If you have a blog about multiples, please add a link to one of your posts (rather than a contest or your blog's homepage).  Sit back, relax and enjoy all of the great posts.  Starting on Wednesday, July 11th, there will be another linky party on Capri + 3 called Artsy Play Wednesday.  Each week, family blogs can add a post about a children's arts, crafts or play activity.  Parents and teachers can stop by each week to find fun ideas of things to do with their children.  I wish everyone a Happy Monday and a wonderful week.  As always, comments are welcome.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Make Cute T-Shirts for your kids...An Appliqué Tutorial

      I enjoy making appliqué t-shirts for the babies because they are cute, fast and easy.  I can knock them out while the babies are napping.  Since the 4th of July is approaching, I wanted to make the babies matching outfits.  I will make them shorts, which take a little longer, and matching appliqué t-shirts.

What you will need:
Fusible Web for Appliqué (I use Steam-A-Seam)
Template of Design you wish to Appliqué (i.e. star, cowboy boot, heart)
a piece of cardstock paper
Sewing Machine with contrasting or matching thread (or you may sew by hand)
iron and ironing board

Capri agreed to model an appliqué shirt for this tutorial...

     Trace a design onto cardstock and cut it out.  I used this one for the star.  Then, trace it onto the webbed side of the fusible web for applique fabric.  For dark fabrics, use a light colored pen, otherwise, I found out, you need to trace it again onto the paper backing. 

The Star design on fusible web, ready for tracing

Iron the design, still on the fusible web, web side down,  onto the wrong side of the fabric.

    Make sure you have the web side down or you will have a gooey mess on your iron.  I know this from experience.  Iron the design onto the fabric for about 10 seconds, or longer if using a press cloth.  Once it is ironed on and cool enough to handle, cut out your design.  Then, remove the paper backing and place your design onto your t-shirt (fabric right side up) where you would like it and iron it on for at least 15 seconds (or longer with a damp press cloth).  I like to use damp Viva paper towels as press cloths.  After you have ironed it on, you are ready to sew.  If you are hand sewing, sew the design of your choice (such as blanket stitch) around the cut-out shape. 

Sewing around the star using the sewing machine

     If you are machine sewing, pick a stitch, such as zigzag or star on your machine and sew around your shape.    I used the star design on my sewing machine since my shape was a star.  I would suggest using an easier design such as the blanket stitch or zigzag if this is the first time you are trying appliqué.  It is useful to pause in the needle down position to turn your fabric as you sew around your design. Take your time sewing and turning the fabric and make sure that the back side of the t-shirt is not in the way, or else you will sew the shirt together.  When you are done sewing, trim the loose threads from both sides and you are finished.

This is how the star looks on the inside of the shirt.

This is the finished star on the outside of the shirt.

The finished t-shirt

I Heart Daddy was also done using appliqué.  Letters are a little harder than shapes.

I made the babies cowboy boot onesies using appliqué.

     Appliqué is really easy and fun.  The end results look professional and would cost a bundle if sold at a boutique.  There are so many free printable shapes on the web that help to make this an inexpensive project.  If you try this out, let me know how it goes.  Post pictures on the Capri + 3 Facebook page.  I'd love to see your projects.  As always, comments are welcome. 
Linked to:  From House to Home on I Choose Joy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Announcement: Artsy Play Wednesday Starts on Wednesday, July 11th!

Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3
     Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3 starts on July 11th.  Mark your calendars.  Tell your friends.  Each week, Capri + 3 will host a linky party on Wednesdays where blogs that have posts about arts and crafts projects or play activities for toddlers and children can add a link.  This will be a way for parents looking for ideas of fun stuff to do with their kids to have a place to do one stop shopping for great ideas. 

     If you have a blog and would like to participate, please email me at amultiplesmom (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like weekly reminders.   If you are already participating in Multiples Monday and would like reminders about Wednesdays too, please leave a comment telling me so.  If you are a parent or teacher who is looking for wonderful ideas, please come by each week starting on July 11th and check out the links.  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Multiples Monday

multiples monday with capri +3

     Welcome to Multiples Monday, a weekly linky party where blogs about multiples add links to recent or beloved blog posts.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day weekend.  Dads of multiples are especially busy.  I hope they were treated to some fun activities as well as rest and leisure. 

     I enjoyed seeing all of the great photos and reading the stories last week.   There are too many to list them all, but I will mention two.  Leah from a Toddler and Twins told us an inspirational story about her son Ben's amazing recovery from a heart defect complete with videos.  Bret and Heather from the Cox Quads shared a hilarious photo story about four two year olds and a fly.

      I can't wait to see all the pictures and read the stories this week.  If you have a blog about multiples, please add a link to one of your posts (rather than a contest or your blog's homepage). It would be great if you use the html code from the Multiples Monday button above on your linked post in order to link back (or add a text link) so that everyone can enjoy the party.

      Last week, it was wonderful to see that many people who added links stopped by and left comments on the posts of other families who added links.  That is a great way to form a community.  Please give a Multiples Monday welcome by stopping by and leaving comments when you visit the blogs that link up today (whether you have posted a link or not).  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day...Zoo and Remembrance

     My husband Greg lost his Dad suddenly in February, seven months after he lost his Mom to cancer.  As Father's Day approached, Greg felt a mixture of the happiness of being a father along with the sadness of losing his Dad.  We wanted to honor the memories of his parents on Father's Day.  We took the babies and met Greg's sister, her husband and our niece Emma at the cemetery.  We were amazed by how many people visit the cemetery on Father's Day.  We were saddened to see that there were some funerals happening too.

We brought flowers for Greg's parents

and the babies sat near their Nana and Papa's graves.

     Afterwards, we went to the zoo.  I remember talking to my father-in-law after he purchased the grave sites for himself and my mother-in-law.  It was after we knew she was dying.  He did not expect to join her there for many years as his father is still around at 102 years old.  He told us how much he loved that spot which had a view of a mural he visited with his school class right after it was painted.  He said he hoped that some day we would visit them there and then go to the Zoo.  So, we followed his wishes and took the babies to the Zoo afterwards.

At the zoo, the babies enjoyed the peaceful swans

and the Peninsular Pronghorn.

It was fun to show them animals from their storybooks.  They liked the zebra

and the elephant.

I made Capri an outfit which expressed her love for Daddy.

The babies had fun pushing the stroller out on the lawn.

The boys wore Spiderman shirts for their hero, Daddy.

     This Father's Day was a mix of remembrance and celebration.  Greg's Dad, the babies' Papa, will always be in our hearts.  The babies will get to know him through stories and pictures.  Greg is an amazing father to the babies, in part because he had an amazing father himself.  I hope you had a nice Father's Day with your families.  I would love to hear your stories.  As always, comments are welcome. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


     "I'm staying home from work tomorrow.  You have the day off," my husband Greg announced.   It took me a minute to comprehend what he was telling me.  We had planned to go out that night for our anniversary after he got home from work.  He told me that he planned to take care of the babies for the entire day.

     The next morning, I awoke to the fragrance breakfast cooking on the stove.  My husband made my childhood favorite, eggs in a basket.  Eggs in a basket are made by cutting out the center of buttered sourdough bread and cooking the egg inside the hole in the bread which makes the 'basket.'  The egg in a basket is then flipped over so that the bread is crispy on both sides.  My Mom used to make it for me when I was little and still makes it for us when we come to visit.  The babies loved their eggs in a basket too.

     After breakfast, my husband dressed all the babies and packed them into the car.  He drove me to the spa where he had booked a massage, manicure and pedicure.  What a luxury!  I thoroughly enjoyed the spa experience.  Afterwards, Greg and the babies reappeared.  It was a gorgeous day.  He took us out to a nice lunch, where we sat on the patio with the babies in highchairs.  Then we headed home and got ready for our dinner date. 

The Beach in Tahiti

     Greg surprised me by taking me to a restaurant at the beach overlooking the ocean.  Our table was next to a fire pit and we loved the heat combined with the cool touch of ocean breezes.   We watched the waves while we savored a delicious meal.  It brought me back to our honeymoon in Tahiti where we spent many hours enjoying the ocean.  We pondered how the ocean absorbs any stress and creates a sense of blissful relaxation.  Greg earned many 'husband points' on this anniversary.  It was amazing to be pampered for the day while he changed all the diapers and took care of the babies.  We know we need to nurture our marriage and our children.  We want them to grow up feeling loved by us and seeing our love for each other. 

     What do you do to nurture your relationship?  Have you had some fun date nights or family outings recently?  I would love to hear your stories.  As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Multiples Monday

multiples monday with capri +3

     Welcome to Multiples Monday on Capri + 3, a weekly linky party where blogs about multiples add a link to a recent or beloved blog post.  If you have a blog about multiples, please join in and add a link directly to one of your posts (rather than a contest or your blog's home page). It would be great if you would grab the html code from the Multiples Monday button above and place it on your linked post or add a text link so that everyone can enjoy the party. 

       Grab a cup of tea (or your favorite beverage), sit back and enjoy the fun stories, photos and adventures of families with multiples.  Each week, I look forward to catching up on what is happening with all the families and seeing their wonderful photographs.  As always, comments are welcome.  And...since it is Multiples Monday, it would be great if you could add some comments on the blog posts you enjoy from today's link up. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Day with Our Niece

     We were excited to spend the day with our four year-old niece, Emma.  We took advantage of the opportunity by going to see some animals at a local learning center and then finished the day at a family farm.  The babies loved to spend time with their cousin.  It was fun for them to see how a 'big girl' plays.  Capri paid especially close attention to her older cousin and watched her with curiosity.

At the start of our day, we were greeted "Hello" by a friendly Macaw.

The Tawny Owl did not talk, but still wowed us with his beauty.

Grayson had fun impersonating the Lynx

while Emma enjoyed playing a Porcupine.

Capri the happy Lynx

Ryder the curious Lynx

and Xayden the mirthful Lynx

The babies and Emma enjoyed seeing the Sulcata Tortoise

and the playful prairie dog.

At the farm, we were greeted by a goat high above the walkway.

Emma and Capri were matching cousins for the day.

Emma bonded with a sleepy goat

and made a sheep smile.

She was great at picking boysenberries

and yellow squash.

     It was a fun day.   We hope that Emma and the babies will not only be cousins, but close friends as they grow up.  What have your families been doing lately?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homemade Stovetop Play Dough


     Many years ago, before I met my husband, I used to run play groups for toddlers on Saturdays.  I made a fresh pot of coffee for the parents with toasted bagels.  It was one of the few groups that had just as many Dads as Moms.   Then, I made a fresh batch of play dough right before the group began, so that the toddlers could play with it when it was still warm.

     It took me back to that time in my life when I made the babies a fresh batch of play dough and had them experience it when it was still nice and warm.  It has a different feel than the store bought play dough.  I enjoy kneading it when I take it off the stove.  In the play groups, many of the parents had just as much fun as the kids playing with the dough.  I can see why.  It is fun and relaxing to work with the fresh warm dough.

Stovetop Play Dough Recipe:
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Cup of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Cream of Tartar
2 Cups of Water
2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
Several Drops of Food Coloring

     Put the dry ingredients into a large sauce pan.  Add food coloring in the desired color to the water.  Add the colored water and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.  Take it off of the heat and remove it from the pan as soon as it is cool enough to handle.  Knead the dough for one to two minutes.  Then, as soon as it is cool enough for your children to handle, but still warm to the touch, it is time to play.  You can play with it when it is completely cool of course, but it is more fun to play with it the first time when it is still warm.  Rolling pins and cookie cutters are a fun addition to the play time.  You can also show your kids how to roll the dough into 'worms' with their hands.  You can save it for a week by placing it into a sealed bag or container in your refrigerator. 

Capri loved to play with the cookie cutters

and Grayson enjoyed them too.

Xayden thought the dough tasted all right.

So, Ryder gave it a try

and found it to be disgusting.

Luckily, he was able to enjoy it once again when it was no longer in his mouth.

     It was fun making stovetop play dough for the babies.  They enjoyed cutting out shapes and squishing the dough with their hands.  Have you made stovetop play dough with your children?  What activities has your family recently enjoyed?  I would love to hear your stories and ideas.  As always, comments are welcome.  
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