Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm moving! Facebook!

I haven't been very good about keeping up with the blog recently.  :(  I find that it just takes up too much of my time.  I have lots of things that I still want to share, but I want to do it in an easier format that can potentially reach more interested mamas & papas.  I've decided to move over to Facebook.  I've created a page there that I will post to.  It will be similar to the blog, but there will probably be more pictures (it takes FOREVER to upload pictures to Blogger).  I also feel like I'll be able to post more often.  So, we'll try it out and see how it goes - hopefully it will be a success!  I'm not going to delete this blog so it will still be here for reference.  :)

See you over on Facebook, friends!  (Just "Like" the page if you want to follow my posts.)

Olive Juice Mama on Facebook

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Classy Bath Time

I'm back after a long stretch of no posts!  I've been so busy lately.  I started teaching a small toddler "preschool" class from my house twice a week (posts to come soon!) and Olive's 2nd birthday is around the corner, so I've had a lot of things on my plate.  A few nights ago, we decided to relax a little from our busy schedule and have a "classy bath time".   First things first:
  1. I apologize for the grimy look of my tub grout.  It is a very, very old tub, but it's not as dirty as it looks!  :)
  2. I do not condone children drinking alcohol.  We were not pretending this was champagne or alcohol in any way.  We were just having a drink in a fancy glass.  
I set up an battery candle in the corner, for ambiance of course  We also don't normally do bubble bath, but fancy bath time isn't fancy bath time without bubbles!  It also isn't fancy bath time without watered down orange juice in a plastic champagne glass!

Grandma and Olive are doing "cheers".  Everyday after this bath, Olive has been "cheersing" everything in the house.  She and I both had a barrette in our hair today.  She bumped her head up against mine so our barrettes were touching and said, "Cheers!".  

Olive got such a kick out of this.  It was a great way to have some unconventional fun after a few busy, stressful days.  And surprisingly enough, none of the juice made it into the bath water (although the plastic champagne glass turned into a toy after the juice was gone!).  

What are some of the ways that you make bath time fun and/or special for your little ones?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Year of Dates: April

Each month, my husband and I are going on one date together, without our little one.   I mean, we love her, but we need some husband/wife time, you know?  :)  I planned all these dates in advance and gave it to him as a Christmas present.  For the month of April, I planned for us to go hiking at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades.   Will Rogers State Park is a beautiful placed tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.  Since it's a state park, you have to pay to get in (I think it was $12), but it's worth it.  Besides the numerous and varied hiking trails, the historic site has a beautiful grass area to lounge and picnic on (which, of course, I forgot to take a picture!).  We packed a picnic, laced up our hiking shoes, and headed out in the morning for a fun day in nature!

Date Cost: $12 for parking + $15 for picnic food = $27
Time Spent: 3 hours
When to go: Daytime, weekdays are better because they'll be less crowded

The view from the top of the hike - looking down on Los Angeles.  It was a little hazy (smoggy?) today, but it was still a lovely view.

Looking back at our trail....If felt like 10 miles, but it was probably more like 3.  :)

See that little dirt trail?  Oh yeah, we were on that! 

I give this date two thumbs up!  I probably should have thought to put both my thumbs up for the picture.  Oh well!

Hubby had a nice time, too!

Sweaty but accomplished!

We both really enjoyed this date.  The hike was a nice way to enjoy nature, exercise and enjoy each other's company all at the same time.  After we made it back down, we relaxed on the grass as we shared a picnic lunch.

What are some of your favorite hiking areas where you live?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Learning with Google Images

While I took a shower the other day, I left my daughter out in the living room with my step dad.  When I got out, I found them sitting on the couch browsing Google Images on the computer.  Olive loves cats, so my step dad had gone onto Google and typed in "cats", then clicked on images.  I stood behind the couch and watched her have fun looking at all the pictures of cats when it occurred to me:  This could easily be turned into a learning experience.  

For example, here is a screen shot of images that come up when you search for "cats" in Google.  You could pull this up and talk to your toddler, asking them questions like:

Where are the cats sitting in cups?  How many cups are there?
Can you find a cat that's smiling?  Is he happy or sad?
Let's count the cats in this picture.  How many cats are there in that picture?
Ooh, I see a cat that's angry!  Can you find it? 
Source: Google Images Search "cats"

Here's another screen shot:
How many cats have their eyes closed?
What color is this cat's hat?
Can you find two cats that look the same?

Source: Google Images Search "cats"

You get the point.  There are lots of things to discuss and lots of questions to ask.  You can search for whatever your little one is interested in - dogs, trucks, vegetables, trains, ladybugs, etc..  The possibilities are endless!  I'm not saying stick your 2 year old in front of the computer daily and let them loose.  But I think a few minutes here and there, a few times a week would be a fun activity for a little learning toddler.  A word of advice, though...Make sure you do the search prior to showing your child.  Even though you think what you're typing in is completely innocent, you never know what disturbing photo could pop up.

Have fun Googling and ogling all the fun pictures you find!