We began Wednesday reading a Dr. Seuss’ book and added in our letter of the week “P”:
You can imagine all the fun things that I thought about doing. Here is what we had time and resources to easily do.
Have you ever made flavored Popcorn? Ever tried Strawberry Shortcake popcorn? Doesn’t that sound like something the cat in the hat would do? I gave the boys measuring cups and spoons so they could put the ingredients in a pan. You take 1c butter, 3/4c sugar, 1Tbsp corn syrup, 3Tbsp water and one packet of frosting flavoring. After they mixed it all up I put it on the stove and brought it to a boil, then poured it over 1 bag of plain popcorn. The boys mixed it all up with their spoons. I popped it into a 350 oven for 5min then we let it cool. It might sound crazy, but it tasted really good and was a great red color too. I also bent the rule of only eating in the kitchen and let them share the bowl on the couch.
Next we worked on wacky weaving. I got this idea from Teach Preschool and adapted it to our house. I took some string that was in my crafting box and gave it to the boys. I flipped a kitchen table chair over so the legs were sticking up in the air. I showed the boys how to walk around the chair with the string and it was their own idea to loop it around and across so that it was a bit like weaving. Lance got a bit frustrated but James loved running around the chair. When we were done I stood the chair back up and put it under the table thinking that later I’d cut the string off. The boys decided it would be just as much fun to unravel the string and then play with it. So they had a good time getting it undone.
Lastly we used a wacky new material to Paint with. We tried bubble wrap painting and it worked great. I taped a white sheet down to the table for each boy, put out hot pink, yellow and turquoise washable Crayola paint, very Dr Seuss looking colors, on saucers and gave each boy a small piece of bubble wrap. At first they just dabbed on the paint, then they covered the whole piece and pressed it down, then came the smearing with the wrap followed by finger smearing and lastly the whole plate technique. I didn’t have to do a thing. They traded plates, laughed and had a good time for about 20min. Getting that kind of break for this mom is really wacky and much appreciated.
I know we could have done far wackier things and I bet as the boys get older we will come up with some very wacky ideas, but this was just right for my two boys this year to celebrate Dr Seuss’ upcoming birthday. As I look for those mercies that I’ve been given each day, the ability to be silly and enjoy those silly moments is one of the best mercies that I’ve been given as a mom. If you have a great silly memory with your little ones, please share it with me.
Yesterday’s craft was a hit. My boys love pizza and our craft centered around pizza. I handed the boys a toy phone and had them pretend to call in an order for alphabet pizza. We went over to the kitchen table and made the pizzas. I gave them each a white paper plate for the crust. They used a red crayon to add some tomato sauce.
I had cut out earlier some circles and wrote the alphabet on them. I also cut out some yellow paper for pineapples and green for peppers. As each boy called out a letter, I put some glue on it and let them pat it down on their pizza. Towards the end, I let the boys have a try at putting glue on the backs of their pepperoni.
Then it was time to slip them in the oven of our play kitchen. Kinda funny that the play kitchen is upstairs so we hauled our pizzas upstairs to cook them. When the boys deemed them nice and toasty, we took them downstairs and said the alphabet again as we put them on the refrigerator door.
The boys went off to play while mom put a real pizza in the oven to cook. Then we sat down and had ourselves a yummy pizza. It was a great time of pretend play. I’m so grateful that God has given all of us the ability to imagine and my boys are really starting to use them.
We started our “P” letter of the week. We will be exploring different types of painting throughout this week. Yesterday we tried our hands at bubble painting. I squirted a bit of dish washing soap, 1/2c water and food coloring into three different bowls. I got the green, James got the orange and Lance got the blue. I poked a hole near the top of three straws and we went to town making bubbles.
When the bubbles were high enough to tower over the top of the bowls, we placed a white sheet of paper over the top so the bubbles could pop and leave a pretty print behind. That was a failure. The bubbles didn’t leave much color. I’ve seen other pics of beautiful bubble paintings, but ours didn’t work. So instead of sulking off in defeat, we just had ourselves a good time blowing bubbles, sticking straws in the bubbles when they didn’t pop and seeing just how big we could get our bubble domes.
It turned out to be a lot of fun, especially when the bubbles popped on the table it left a color pool that Lance enjoyed splashing in. Now his hands are a sickly gray color that won’t wash off. It makes me laugh looking at them.
Yesterday was a good reminder that when things don’t work out as planned, learning and fun can still happen if I choose to go with the flow. We learned about soap, bubbles, air, rainbow colors from the light and surface tension(although I think this last one was over their heads.) If you’ve successfully made a bubble painting, give me your tips. Otherwise we’ll just save our soap for fun bubble blowing.
These are two great quotes to start off my 30 day challenge. Hope they inspire you too. May this beginning be my finest hour as a mom.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy (or gal) who’ll decide where to go.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Quote from the movie Apollo 13:
NASA Director: “This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever faced.”
Gene Kranz: “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.”
I started on my 365 day no yelling challenge the day after Valentines. So far I’ve managed to not yell on only 5 out of the 10 days. Sigh!!! The good news is that I’ve met my goal 50% of the days and on the days that I did yell, it was only one short yelling episode. That in itself should make me feel better, but I don’t like to fail so I don’t feel better, yet. Tomorrow I’m joining up with the official Orange Rhino 30 day challenge. I’m so excited. This is a mom who has been and still is working on being yell free. She will be emailing daily tips on how to manage anger and yelling. I can’t wait to see all the tips, read other’s stories so I’m reminded that I’m not alone in this and to better understand myself.
In preparation for this coming month I’ve done two things so far. I’ve been thinking about what triggers my anger and yelling. You can’t fix what you don’t understand or know. I know I’ll discover other triggers, but for now I know that not getting enough sleep is the number one trigger. Before my children came along I could sleep in and catch up on my sleep. Now that isn’t an option. I need a lot of sleep. More than the average person. I need to be asleep by 9:30PM. No fudging reading just one more chapter of a good book or another few questions in my bible study. There needs to be no excuses on this one. I can’t look at my kids and say mommy was irresponsible and stayed up too late so please ignore my bad mood and yelling. I’m an adult so I need to practice more self-control at night. Another trigger is whining. Oh my, does constant whining get to me. I don’t know how to manage this one yet, but I’m searching for solutions. My other big trigger is disrespect. Basically I’m a very prideful person. I didn’t realize just how much until my boys turned 8mo old and discipline started when they started exerting their own wills. Nothing gets me riled up like one of my children blatantly disregarding my commands and smiling or telling me the no command while they disobey. It raises my blood pressure just thinking about it to write this down. This will be a two-phase problem; one, working on my reaction and pride and two, working on the boys’ obedience.
While looking on the Orange Rhino site, I came across a great little gimmick to remind me to control my emotions. I’ve painted my finger nails orange. Orange is not my favorite color. It clashes with most of my wardrobe. But my orange nails go everywhere with me, I use my hands all the time and it will be a great reminder to hold my tongue, take a few deep breaths and to control my anger. It’s a goofy little thing, but what a constant reminder. So when you see me friends, don’t laugh too hard at my ugly polish because this strange color represents my love for my children, by reminding me not to yell.
A big birthday is coming! I mean big! It’s Dr Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd. So we are having some wacky Seussical fun ourselves to celebrate. This morning the boys crawled up in my lap to read
When we finished reading the book, we hoped into the kitchen for a fish craft that I found out on the internet. I had cut out earlier a fish bowl from regular white copy paper. I poured out some corn syrup and added two drops of blue food coloring. I handed each boy a paint brush and set the syrup in between them. It was sticky, pretty and tasty. My boys sure liked it. They painted their fish bowls. I took a spoon and helped pour some of the syrup onto the bowls so it wound’nt take all day.
When the bowls were covered sufficiently, we placed small construction paper fish, that I had cut out, onto the bowls. The syrup acts like glue.
We set them aside to dry and cleaned ourselves up. Even when the syrup dries, it has a wet glassy look like real water. I thought this was a fun and different way to paint and helped make the story come to life just a wee bit more.
This is O letter week and the first day has been an adventure in outer space. I love space and I think my boys like it too since they got to discover it with several different senses. We started our morning making starry night counting pages. I quickly quartered two black construction paper sheets and drew a moon with a white crayon on each. I also wrote a number, going from 1 to 8, in the lower right corner. I pulled out the cheap star sticker set and I let each boy put the corresponding number of stars on each sheet. They did great counting the stars, but they still have trouble relating saying the number with the amount of things they have so I had to help a lot. When we were done I hung them up on our fridge and the boys still wanted to play with them. They looked at the stars, felt the stars, tried to peel a few stars off, moved them around in a different order and played with the magnets.
While they were busy playing with starry night pages mommy made some special moon sand. I took regular table salt, added three shakes of green glitter and two drops of green food coloring. I put it on a small plate that had a good lip to it and I would have liked to set it out on the table and let them do their own thing, but on their own they would just throw it and eat it. So we took our pointer finger and made shapes, wrote their name and made swirly patterns in the sand, alternating who I helped. Even a few cars got in on the action and we had our own little moon rover adventure.
By this time the boys needed something a bit less structured. I pulled out our Mr Potato Head bin and I asked the boys to make an alien spud. What creative little minds. They had me laughing.
We walked outside and looked up in the sky to see if we could spot the moon. Some days you can barely see the moon but it’s there. Today was so cloudy that we couldn’t see the moon. We came in for lunch and then we looked at the phases of the moon. This normally wouldn’t be on my radar for 2.5 year olds, but I saw a cute way to show this. I googled the moon phases and found a silly faced moon phase page. Then I bit off the top of Oreo cookies to match the moon phases. See why this works. As I said the phase, I shot the Oreo over to one of the boys for eating. Of-corse there was milk and spilling involved too. There wasn’t any serious learning going on since the boys were focused on the cookies and the smiling faces. But this was a highlight of the morning. I just can’t resist seeing the smiles and all the mess as they enjoyed their cookies.
After some backyard play to burn off that sugar energy, the boys climbed up in my lap as I read Goodnight Moon. Off to bed they went and that was our fun morning exploring outer space.