Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Rainy Day Recipe June 22, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 11:51 am
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Rainy Day Recipe:

Antsy Kiddo

Vintage Buttons

Thrifted Tins

Kitchen Spoon

Camera (to entertain antsy adult)


rainy button sort

Rainy Day Sort

Yellow Duckie Button

Me, messing around with some ‘colorways’.

Rainy Spoon

And now, for the final ingredient in the recipe:



Feeling Right Proud of the Kid… May 12, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 7:33 am

Dressed himself for school this morning.

dressed himself and everything!


The Force is Strong With This One… April 29, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:20 pm

So this is not the Star Wars post I’ve been writing in my head for months but I wanted to document so I can remember.


Tonight I took a deep breath, reached for the Star Wars sticker book and asked, “Hey, you want to do some Star Wars stickers together?”  My son looked a little surprised and very pleased.  We snuggled up on the sofa with the sticker book and then he said, “I’m touched you asked me to do this with you Mom.”   It was a moment filled with bliss and love and victory and it was also a reminder.  A reminder for me to make the effort to understand and connect through his interests, it is a finite amount of time this open book stage.


“I am touched you asked me to do this with you…”  A powerful reminder that he does notice all those times I am not only unable to pick a favorite droid, debate the moral compass of the storm troopers, or choose which light saber I think is the most powerful but that sometimes I am unable to hide my annoyance.  I will savor this moment and hope to remember to make more of them.


Never a Dull Moment April 15, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 12:44 pm

My soon to be 3 year old asked for a “Mohawk” the other night while I was reading a story to him at bedtime.  I non-Mohawk related story, for the record.  I spiked up his hair using his big brother’s hair gel. “BIG BIG BIG Spikes” was the direction he gave.


He tried to sleep sitting up so it wouldn’t flatten his hair.

Where does this come from? This is a kid whose mother (i.e., ME) does not wear make-up and is lucky to brush her own hair.

So this morning he insists upon wearing these shoes from dress up to his class.


After making his way to the car with these thrifted babies, each on the wrong foot,  he decided to go with the back up shoes I packed.  A more sensible flat.

Then is his class he tied my arm to a chair.  Don’t worry, he was able to articulate all the sounds in the words, KNOT & TIGHT.  Woot!


Just wanted to share little snippets from our day, and we’re only just past noon.


Passover Seder April 14, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 2:10 pm

Phew, it’s been an intense couple of weeks.  Lots of deadlines and responsibilities with an overnight in the hospital for my little one thrown in (my little love is a-ok).   I’ve almost shaken off all the stress and am ready to embrace spring (should it ever arrive).

One of the projects I worked on was preparing a seder for 14 at our place.  It involved bringing a table up from the basement and taking a door off it’s hinges, I was not involved except to offer our friend who helped an ice cold beer after the job only to realize we had no such thing.  Nice.  But I was involved in the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the making of the new family Haggadah, did I mention the cleaning?  Luckily I am married to a man who is actively involved in the life of our family.  He stayed up until 2 braising 15 pounds of brisket.  Yum.

I did not take very many photos but here are a few of the set up, a couple of my lovely friends who came even though not everyone was 100%, and of the aftermath.


You can’t see them  very well but I have 2 of these beautiful lotus centerpieces that house 3 candles and have a built in frog for creating low floral arrangements.  I got 1 from ebay the first year ebay was up and running.  It’s silver and I think I paid under 5 dollars for it.  I LOVE it.  I found one that isn’t silver but is an exact copy at the thrift store for around the same price and was thrilled to have both on our seder table. floral-arrangement1

These 2 are the shots I took as I was preparing the table.


My eldest made the 2 ceramic creations in this shot at school and we used them for ceremonially washing our hands during the seder.  The orange on the seder plate in a relatively new addition.  The story goes someone asked a Jewish scholar/rabbi when women would be able to become rabbis and he replied, “A woman will become a rabbi when there is an orange on the seder plate.”  And so now many people add an orange to both represent women and there struggle for equal rights but also to represent the possibility for change.  Hope.vessel-to-wash-hands

There’s the nice guy who helped my nice guy lug up the dinning table.  Thanks G, we owe you.


I love these of my nephew who read the 4 questions for the first time!  The 4 ?’s are read by the youngest at the table and he really did a wonderful job reading them, it was nice to have a child’s voice among all the adults.  He was very proud and rightly so!

quinn-the-4-questions quinn-feeling-proud

I’m not a braggart, but don’t I have beautiful friends?  Here they are entertaining/terrifying the children the 10 plagues finger puppets.


And this is me “reclining” on the sofa after everyone was gone and my husband and I had done the initial clean up.  Actually he was still in the kitchen and I decided I could not possibly move another muscle, until I got the urge to document that is and then I shot up (well, more like crawled) and got my camera.  Here is the credenza where we put out the yummy food.  Brisket, roasted beets with caramelized red onions, carrot sald (with lots of garlic and parsley), green beans with shallots and garlic, a yummy green salad, my SIL’s kickin’ matzah ball soup, my FIL’s special cucumber dish, and the roasted potatoes that I saw here.  The irony is not lost on me.


I was too tired to even kick the pillow out of the shot.  It was a good kind of tired, kinda.


We don’t have a dining room, per say.  We use the extra room for a playroom so we set up the table in the middle of the living room.  Where it will now stay, did I mention the door off the hinges thing?


My favorite spot above the computer with a rotating collection of my collections.


The children’s wooden Passover set.  That’s the best Manishevitz wine you’ll ever taste, fyi!


So you’re probably thinking, if you’re still reading, that actually I did take ENOUGH Passover photos!

I’ll stop because my writing is all fawn learning to walk today,


Crazy Week Behind Me April 6, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 4:45 pm

and an equally crazy week ahead of me.  Not much posting going to happen but wanted to share this poster I saw on my friend’s blog.

gender_bigPoster put out by these interesting folks.

I read this poster to my 6 year old and asked him what he thought it was about.  He glanced up and said, “Stereotypes.” and went back to reading his Star Wars book.   What are you doing this week?


Miss Tilly O’Toole and The Wonderful School March 5, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 2:13 pm

the-wonderful-schoolThis was my favorite book as a child.

So in addition to having a Masters in Early Childhood Education (ahem ahem), this book instilled in me high standards.  And I have to say that I love the school my eldest attends.  Thrilled every time I walk into the place, and more importantly, so is my son.

This is national library month and today was ‘come dressed as your favorite literary character’ day.  There was an All School Meeting and kids from each class (K-8) could go to the front of the gym and say who they were dressed as and show the book.  And this is the part that takes it from a special school to a magical place for me, if you didn’t want to dress up then you could just come up and give a recommendation.  How powerful is that for kids of all ages to be recommending books to each other?!

The ASMeetings are definitely “controlled” but the leaders are not controlling.  Today the school’s  fabulous librarians opened up the meeting with a hilarious skit.  They use a sign to get the kids’ attention and the kids flash the sign back, nothing is passive but rather the children have a part in creating the space for people to share during meeting.  I do not doubt that the kids feel like participants in every meeting as opposed to an “audience”.  I just get teary with pride and thankfulness at every Meeting that my kid attends such a marvelous school.

My big guy went dressed as the “Red Knight”, a character from this book:


And my youngest a pirate based on this book:


For some strange reason I have no photos.  Which is too bad because his kick a@@ teachers had totally cool costumes on as well.  I’ll bring my camera at pick up but I’m guessing the costumes will be long gone by then!

What good book recommendations do your kiddos have for mine?  Or if you are without kids, what books do you remember loving when you were a kid?  (costumes optional)


Flush March 3, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 11:33 am

This did not work.


Nor did this.


Plan C,






Fingers crossed!

What potty training tips & tricks do you have for me?

Edit:  I am appreciating all the support and advice!  Even though this is my second child, it’s new territory for me.  My eldest flashed me the sign for potty at 16 months and then proceeded to basically potty train himself.  So true to form, I assumed it was my special technique based on attachment parenting called, “Co-Crapping” ( I was going to write a book and everything).  I kid – but my first born was (is) the clingy sort and so we did make the joke.

Update:  We have reached 5 duckie stickers on the chart and are getting a rubber duck today.

To summarize from your comments:

-naked time works

-stick potty in front of tv

-potty on the go, it’s a good thing

-potty training = staying home (no problem there)

-rewards are not so bad, lollipops etc!

-something about telling the kid to send the dukes back to its family (did I get that right, Cindy?)


Sweetness February 28, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 8:52 am

Last night at the bookstore, my youngest (2) came over and handed me a book, “for mommy shop“.


Of course we got it.

I guess he has accompanied me to a few thrift stores and seen me pick out many vintage books and maybe just maybe he has heard me say once we got home, “Don’t touch that.  It’s for mommy’s shop.” I won’t be saying that again.  He seems to have developed an eye for vintage (okay, this is a reprint but pretty sweet for a 2 year old) and in the future we will look through the books together if wants. I want him to appreciate vintage.  I don’t want to be one of those people who has a living room that ain’t for sittin’!


It’s okay to cry Dan.  Even cowboys get the blues!


I am glad someone is thinking of my shop.  I have ignored it terribly in favor of the Vintage Valentine’s Shop.  Next week I will head back and revamp with new stuff, maybe with the help of my wee one.


We are on our way out the door to the ICA for their “family playdate”.  The last Saturday of every month is free for families with children under 12.  They have special projects set up for kiddos all over the museum.  We’ve gone once before and had a great time.  I am particularly interested in seeing the work of Shep Fairy.  My first mother’s day present was my favorite Andre print of his. It hangs in the living room, right by the computer.

Will report back, hopefully with photos!


It Should Have Been Called the Mollifier. February 26, 2009

Filed under: Family & Friends — twlowenstein @ 9:29 am


Who doesn’t love the pixelator?

This is my youngest with his patented double pacifier move.  I’ve seen him juggle more, happy as a clam.  We’ve told him that when he turns 3 and has his big “Duckie Party”, it will be time to say goodbye to his pacifiers.  We told him that we will attach them to his birthday balloons and say goodbye.  He and I both dread the day.  Rather, I dread the night after his symbolic pacifier floats up up and away.

It was much easier with his older brother.  Sometime around 2 all his pacifiers were dirty at the same time and then he never asked about them again.  I chalked it up to something right I must have said or done.  My second child is my humbling child (and for that I really do thank the little scamp).  We’ve tried the dirty trick, both on purpose and by happenstance, but no dice.  He practically chained himself to the kitchen gate until we figured out a way to sterilize, STAT!

So do your kids use pacifiers or do they all gnaw on organic Birch wood stumps lovingly hand-carved by your partners at night as you both don’t watch television?  I am not defensive about these little plastic orbs I swore my children would not use, nope, not at all!

If you are like me, and you succumbed, when did your kiddos stop?  How did you help them with the process both before and after?  And what did you use to pacify yourselves?