Just between you and me, it’s actually Saturday morning here. But it’s still Friday for most of my readers, so that counts right? It’ll be our little secret.
Last week, Elias begged and begged to go outside early in the morning. Usually I tell him no, but I decided to take him this time. Nathan was already out prepping his airplane for a day of flying, so we sat nearby watching the early morning happenings.
This picture is one of the first I took, so my camera hadn’t fully adjusted to the humidity yet, thus the haze. But, how adorable is my boy watching the helicopter fly by?
Sometimes I step back and think how completely different Elias’ childhood will be from my own. Sometimes it makes me sad. He won’t have Little League or Fourth of July carnivals. He won’t make snowmen in the wintertime. He won’t know the crisp smell of Autumn. But then I remind myself that he will see and experience things that many Americans never see or experience in a lifetime. He will remember greeting his daddy at the airplane everyday and playing with the controls in the cockpit. He will learn to swim in the ocean and spend the summer playing on the beach. He will know the smell of thick humid air and tropical breezes. He will be a third culture kid through and though. And that has a beauty all of its own.
You may remember that Elias’ room looked like this:
Well, now it looks like this!:
We started by painting all the walls white. Maybe it’s hard to tell, but they used to be a really pale teal. I wanted clean white walls.
Then…I had to do some, gulp, math. My former math teachers would cringe. Seriously, I’ve lost all my math ability. But somehow I managed to figure this puppy out.
I measured out the portion of the wall that I wanted to cover in dinos. (part of the wall will be covered up by the wardrobe that MAF is building). I found then center point and went from there laying out my dinosaurs. They are 24 inches apart, each dino is approximately 5 inches wide and three inches tall. Even though I used three different kinds of dinosaurs, I wanted them to be as close to the same size as possible. The numbers 1,2,3 indicate which dinosaur would go where.
Then I overlaid my little example on a picture of the wall to see if I liked how it looked. The gray area on the left of the photo is where the wardrobe will go.
Happy with how it looked, I used my trusty Silhouette machine to cut all of the dinos out of green vinyl.
Then we measured, leveled and marked where each dino should be placed. It was a little tedious, but once we had a rhythm going, it went pretty quick.
It took us two days to get them all on the wall, mostly because Elias wanted our attention. But, I’m super happy with how it turned out! Elias loves all the dinosaurs!
If we ever change our mind, the vinyl is super easy to peal off.
We’ve come a long way from what the room looked like a few years ago:
I was up at 1 a.m. a few nights ago, as one is with a 1-year-old who is having trouble sleeping, when we heard a HUGE crack outside. I threw myself over Elias just incase something was going to come crashing through our ceiling. Thankfully, nothing did. I looked out the window to discover that a giant branch had cracked and fallen from the enormous mango tree just outside our house. The “branch” was a big as some trees.
That play structure is probably about 20 feet tall…just for reference as to how big this tree is…HUGENORMOUS. I can’t capture the whole thing in a picture.
The next morning, Elias and I, along with our trusty sidekick, Daisy, decided to be fallen tree branch explorers!
I can’t believe I’m going to use this word, but… Selfie!
They are buds. Until Daisy starts play biting. They then aren’t buds anymore.
His Dad really is awesome.
We played in the tree branch jungle for a good 30 minutes. So much to explore! Bugs. Leaves. Dirt. Bark. Mangos. Boy Paradise.
Hello handsome! Love this boy.
Every desert needs a hero camel!
Glutinous Rice Ball anyone? With peanut filling!
My mom used to make homemade play dough for me and my brothers when we were growing up. I couldn’t tell you what was in it…but it sure tasted salty!
Anyway, I’d been searching for an easy play dough recipe for Elias…you know, one where all the ingredients are easily available here, when I came across this one: two ingredient play dough. Perfect! The two ingredients? Hair conditioner and cornstarch.
Obviously, this isn’t edible play dough. But I figured that one little taste wouldn’t hurt him and then he’d stay away from it. I can’t imagine that conditioner and cornstarch taste good.
This was the softest play dough I’ve ever had! Plus, I bought coconut scented conditioner, so it smelled good too.
Yep, he tasted it. More than once. But this kid is the kid that puts rocks and dirt in his mouth, so I wouldn’t trust his palette.
His creation, that only his mother will look at and say “He’s brilliant! What an artist!”
This kept him busy for a good 45 minutes! I’d say it was a hit. I stored it in a sealed plastic container for later. Even if it dries out a little, I figure I can add a little more conditioner and it’ll be good to go again.
Two Ingredient Play Dough
I cup conditioner (the cheaper, the better)
2 cups cornstarch
(I think I ended up adding extra cornstarch to get the consistency I wanted. You could also add food coloring, but Elias was happy with the white dough.)
Nathan’s Flight Helmet: Protecting his noggin since 2009.
Back in the day (Like 6 years ago! How is that possible??), when we were raising support, a fantastic group of kiddos raised enough money to buy Nathan’s flight helmet! Those kiddos are no longer kiddos…some of them might even be going into college! Woah, I’m getting old. Anywho, we think of them often (Hi Heights kids who are now young adults!) especially when Nathan wears his helmet. Which is just about everyday.
Nathan has been asking me to make some fun stickers to decorate his helmet with my fancy Silhouette machine. So far I’ve just made one:
Because Elias likes rocks…
Anyone have any other brilliant helmet sticker ideas?
The smell of baking bread wafts outside as I pull up to the local bakery. Mmmmm…so delicious. The smell lures me inside (that and my need to buy some bread). It always tempts me to buy a yummy treat. Here are some of the fine baked goodies available:
Cheese Sugar rolls.
Rolls topped with cut up hot dogs, processed cheese and mystery black bits.
Rolls filled with chocolate and sweet potato, topped with chocolate cereal.
Somehow I am able to resist the urge to buy any of the sweet/savory treats, and exit the store with only the loaves of plain white bread that I came in for.
I’ve had this large blank canvas laying around my house for years. Years! I was scared to actually throw paint on it because then there’s no going back, it’ll never be a clean, white canvas again, full of possibilities.
But that’s silly. What are canvases for other than to be painted? So, last week, over several days worth of nap times, I started working on it.
The longest part of this whole process was putting the tape on it (you’ll see what I mean in a moment). I didn’t take any pictures during the process, but basically it was a white canvas, I put some masking tape on it, threw some paint on and then pulled the masking tape off. It looked pretty crazy in the midst of all of that. I mean, I really just slapped paint on it haphazardly. I’m no artist. But once I pulled the tape off, it was a whole different thing and I love it!
Yay! I’m totally in love with it and stare at it whenever I’m in that room. Now to conquer the other blank canvases laying around my house.
This is another one of Nathan’s new airstrips, Kegata!
Man…isn’t my hubby awesome?
PK-MAX and Nathan, hanging out in Mbugalo, waiting for the fog to clear.