Monthly Archives: May 2012

Strawberry picking… Yum!

LO and I went out to the strawberry patch today. So much fun!
We went with a mommy friend of mine and her one year old too. It’s a hydroponic strawberry farm so no soil. Much less mess that way too. When we got there, one of the employees told us that the season was pretty much over so they weren’t charging for strawberries and whatever we could find, we could have. So now we were bound and determined.
We wound up picking about 20 good looking strawberries. LO snuck a few out of the bucket while we were walking around so it was good they weren’t charging us. When we got back to the main picnic area, i took the leaves off of the strawberries and left the stems long. LO loved them. Even though we only got twenty or do strawberries, it was perfect. LO ate about seven and then had enough. When we finished, we washed their hands in the fountain.
The place also gave us free strawberry shortcake. Yum!
I think we had enough of strawberries for the day though. I can’t wait until next season to bring her back. Hopefully when it’s a little cooler and more bearable out though.

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House repair ends in re-repair

DH and I have been doing some renovations on our house lately. We’ve redone the bathrooms and the bedrooms and recently the laundry area. All was said and done. After putting away all of the items from our former laundry area, I went into our room. LO was hanging out in her crib and DH was working in the attic. All of a sudden, I hear his voice from the ceiling. While I’m in the master bedroom. That can’t be right.
“Can you come into the guest bathroom?”
“Sure. Why?”
“Because I think I just stepped through the ceiling.”
Well, you can guess how fast I made it there.
DH had been cleaning the house and working in the attic all day. He was exhausted and his foot slipped off the beam. He is always super careful with this type of stuff. So this really annoyed him.
The damage wasn’t as bad as I thought. It’s about a foot long break in the ceiling, mens size 10 to be exact.

The important thing is DH is okay. The ceiling can always be fixed. And it’s important to be able to account for little slip ups. Even literal ones. Accidents do happen, especially when there are renovations going on.

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Building prior knowledge…

Building prior knowledge. Yet another teacher buzz word (buzz phrase?)
Prior knowledge is so important in children’s development and learning. Children should have plenty of opportunities to build prior knowledge so they can make connections (another buzz word) to their reading.

Babies are constantly building their prior knowledge. So much is new to them that they have to do it all of the time. Sometimes it’s just the chance to learn that sparks their interest.

For example, last week for her birthday someone gave LO a drum set. It’s quite cool. We tried to show her what to do with the drum sticks but she didn’t get it. Fast forward two days. I gave her the drum sticks while she was sitting in her high chair. There have been other times when she has banged toys on the high chair tray. So when I gave her the sticks in the high chair, she realized that this was similar to another time we had something like these on the high chair tray. So SHE USED HER PRIOR KNOWLEDGE! So now that she has had this prior knowledge, she understands how to use the drum sticks with the drum toy now.

Spend some time with your kids today. Try giving them the chance to build their own prior knowledge. Every time you play with your children, talk to them in the grocery store, discuss what you are doing and why, etc. you are helping them learn and develop their own prior knowledge.

First birthday madness…

Planning a baby’s first birthday party can be exciting, fun, and whoa… can get out of hand very quickly. In some ways, it’s like planning a wedding. For most people, like DH and me, it’s the first time you are having a big family gathering that you are completely in charge of. You get to pick the food, the music, the cake… and usually someone ends up with cake all over themselves. Sometimes several people…

Let’s start at the beginning…

A few weeks ago, DH and I were talking about the party. We have to invite my side of the family, his side of the family, and all of our friends. We started making a list… 40 or so for family, 20 or so friends, 20 people including all of those from daycare and their parents… Wait a second. Does LO actually know this many people? Suddenly, the vision of a quiet little party in our backyard came to a screeching halt. No way could we fit that many people in our house… So we reserved a pavilion at the park.

Now that we had the park reserved, we could invite more people… DH and I had been to a baby party before. People just talked and followed their children around making sure they didn’t eat anything they shouldn’t. DH was adamant about us having activities for both adults and kids. I knew we were going to have a range of kids there, from 5 years old to 6 months old.

Finding appropriate activities for everyone wasn’t too difficult. The babies played for a little while and then got bored… the older kids had longer attention spans and entertained themselves for a while too. We kept the activities around one hour apart to give everyone a chance to eat and talk in between.
Oh and there was a fruit basket frog. DH decided to really go all out. He carved out a watermelon and made a fruit basket frog.

Here’s a breakdown of what we did:

2:00 – Party starting (DH was amazing and prepped the food before the party so we would be ready to grill as soon as we got there.)

2:30 – Bubble Machine goes on. This one wasn’t as interesting to the babies as I had thought, though some of them liked it for a few minutes. This

was a BIG hit with the older kids. I also got them each a jumbo bubble wand to play with during the day. That worked great while the wind was blowing strong. We decided to get this one instead of a stand up one because the bubbles would blow outward and the kids could chase them. The other one would have been a reason for the kids to stand over the bubble machine and all of the bubbles would have gone straight up in the air.

3:30 – Edible Finger painting. BEST. IDEA. EVER. I used this one I found on Pinterest. The author wrote some tips and information. All her information was right on. My sister in law drew duck pictures (since the theme of the party was rubber ducks) and every kid got to finger paint. For the bigger kids, I bought paintbrushes. Some of the adults even joined in.

I made enough finger paint to fill ten 1/2 cup jars. The amount that the recipe makes is enough to make that and more. I still had about a cup and a half left after that.
4:00 – My FIL organized a touch football game. Most of the adults played. At this point, we brought out the sensory balls I bought for the kids. They chased them around the field (away from the football game, of course)
4:30 – Cake time!
Before…
After… so can you tell it was a cake?
We also had a story time planned but it didn’t happen. Most of the people left after the cake so rather than try to force the storytelling activity, we called it a day. But what a day!
LO came home and passed out from 5:15 – 7:30… She was exhausted!

Lefties?

I met up with a very good friend today – my first official “mommy friend”, my first friend who became a mommy after I met her. Her LO is a great kid, with a big vocabulary. As a two year old, he actually used the word redundant in a sentence. Yeah, you read that right… redundant. And it was used correctly.

Now he is four years old and knows how to read. But how does a right handed mommy teach a kid to write when they are left handed? I have noticed that my LO uses her left hand more often right now. It’s too early to tell, but you never know. Handedness is usually very apparent around 5 years old, but some kids can show their preference earlier.

So for my fabulous mommy friend and for anyone else who might need this information, here are some tricks for teaching your kids to write:

Remember, you can’t just put a pencil in their hand. They need to be taught to write.

The most important things in learning to write left handed are: positioning the paper correctly, correct positioning of your hand and wrist, and the grip on the pen or pencil.

Repetition, repetition, repetition! The more they practice, the more automatic it will get. Just don’t force it!

 

Here are some links to help with this:

http://handedness.org/action/leftwrite.html

http://www.zaner-bloser.com/news/left-handed-child-right-handed-world <-This link has some information on how to figure out which is the most dominant hand.

Yuck-o

LO likes to put things in her mouth. Lots of things. Things that usually don’t belong there, like crayons, day-old Cheerios, the dog’s chew bone (apparently rawhide feels good for a teething baby – ewww)…

We have a word for these items in our house – yuck-o. Yuck-o means the item you are currently holding needs to be given to mommy. We only say it for things she shouldn’t eat.

LO understands the word pretty well now. To teach her what the word meant, every time I said “yuck-o”, I would hold out my hand and take the item away, always following up with something extra, praise or a distraction. Now whenever I say it, she’ll hand whatever it is over. It’s pretty great to see her learning, and even a silly word like that can be useful.

When field trips go wrong…

How many of us remember field trips? When we were in school field trips were wonderful chances for us to get out of school and do something fun for a change.
Forget Reading and Math, Science or Social Studies… We could go to the zoo, the aquarium, sometimes even theme parks.
Those poor teachers.

Today was our big field trip. The kids talked about it for weeks. Every other sentence was related to the trip.
“What’s 3 x 3?” “9, do you think we’ll be able to go to the gift shop?”

I have decided that field trips aren’t as much fun as I remember. Though I’m sure the kids had a great time.

I think I’ll go there again with LO. One on one it’s probably great fun.