Call it a Comeback

I apologize for my absence, it really hits you how boring life is when you have two kids in school. OR how AWESOME it is. I kid, I kid, sort of….

Averi finally picked up the whole potty situation, with a few here and there oopsies. She is in school four days a week and loves it. We had her first field trip to the Children’s museum and she had a blast.

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The amazing thing about Averi is she is very independent. She made her way through the museum doing her thing and didn’t worry about anyone but herself.

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I want to be like her when i grow up. Free and not giving a shit!

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Kaili has been doing great in first grade and she loves going to school each and every day.

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Her interest in cooking is emerging and I love it.

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These two keep me on my toes every single day. They are smart, funny and just plain awful sometimes….It’s not funny if it’s not real, right.

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Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

This was my go to recipe for years when I was teaching. Each year I would make a couple batches, let the kids choose their cookie cutter shapes, decorate them and then send them home for a little Christmas gift for mom and dad. My classroom smelled good the entire month of December.

Now that Kaili is old enough, she can pretty much make these on her own. She enjoyed the glitter the best, they always do…the messier the better.

If you are going to make these in your classroom and don’t have access to an oven, they will air dry, it will just take a few days. (Hint-make them on a Friday)

Also, if you don’t want to make ornaments you can turn them into magnets by hot glueing a small magnet on the back once they are dry.

1 cup applesauce

1 cup cinnamon

cookie cutters

glue or paint

glitter or glitter glue

skewer, straw or chopstick- something to make a hole for ribbon or string.

Mix the applesauce and cinnamon together until a dough is formed.

Sprinkle cinnamon on workspace and then roll out the dough.

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Cut dough into desired shapes.

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Cook in preheated oven at 200 degrees for 2 hours (or let air dry for a couple of days)

Once cool, decorate your little hearts out. Once dry, add a ribbon or string and voila, a lovely smelling ornament.

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{Preschool} Letter C and Circle Activities

For my last week of September we worked on the letter C, I threw in the circle since… well it starts with C.

If you really start thinking about all the things that start with the letter C it will blow your mind, so I advise against it.  Here are some tray, table and art activities for your preschooler.

A tray full of C goodies to look at and manipulate.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom magnet activity. I cut out the tree and taped it onto a magnet board. After reading the book at circle, I invited the children to read the book themselves, putt the letters on the coconut tree as they followed along in the book.

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Carrot tray tasking . Show the children how to use the tongs to transfer the carrots into the dirt. Left to right motion.

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Circle collage on a circle

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Circle Printing– Provide different circles for the children to print with. I really wish I had incorporated a few wine corks for this activity. Cork, circle, double C’s….damn it! I’ll have to do it with Kaili.

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D is for Dinosaur and Dentist

The past few weeks I have been working on Dinosaurs with the kids. We used our  imaginations to take us back in time and explored a world very different from the one we live in today. I branched out a bit with the older kids and they were  surprised to find that “prehistoric animals” didn’t just mean dinosaurs.

Bristle block printing on a Dino cut-out

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Cut, color and glue the T-Rex together

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Dinosaur sensory play in sand

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Dinosaur Tracks

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In other not so fascinating news, Kaili had her first dentist appointment. I was referred to a pediatric dentist through Shane and my dentist, I am not convinced there is really a difference. Well besides the waiting room…

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Our dentist doesn’t have video games in his waiting room. Is there a rule that we have to take kids to a pediatric dentist or do all dentist see all ages?

The good news is that her teeth are fine but he told me I wasn’t supposed to be using fluoride on her yet. But but but our pediatrician said fluoride toothpaste was fine after 2 years old. Why is this so confusing?

He did mention that she has underbite and said she should see an orthodontist at age 5 or 6.  She did just fine. Sat for him, opened her mouth when asked, closed it when asked, just like the perfect little angel she is.

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She has a follow up appointment at 3 years with a cleaning and x-rays, the whole she-bang. I hope she can get through childhood without any fears of the dentist, clowns are bad enough.

Foam Dough

What do you get when you mix equal parts cornstarch and shaving cream? We shall call it super messy but fun Foam Dough. I saw this on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try. I mean it can’t get much easier then mixing two ingredients together…right?

Well what the pin did not tell me was that it takes a lot of mixing until you reach the desired texture. I was elbows deep in the stuff and my classroom looked like…well a classroom but the sh*t was everywhere. So after all the kids took turns “mixing” it, it started to become firmer, less gooey and crumbly and I could see the light.

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I added a little liquid water color

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Before I left for the day I bagged the stuff up, I am curious to see how it keeps. I have this feeling it will be rock hard tomorrow but who knows?

I would definitely make this again BUT I would either A. put all the ingredients in a sensory table outside and let the kids do their own thing with it.  Or B. pre make it in a big bowl near a sink and then give the kids the dough to manipulate. I think A. is the better choice. Then you can add in plastic knives, or play dough scissors. ,measuring cups, spoons, ect.

Kaili and the Classroom {beach/ocean theme}

Aren’t my blog titles catchy?

So this happened….Preschool initiation some would call it.

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The bite didn’t break the skin but it came close. They told me she didn’t even cry. Funny because this is what I get when I don’t give her a cookie at 4:00 p.m.

Meanwhile in my classroom….last weeks theme was beach/ocean. After reading Rainbow Fish and Swimmy I put out paint for the kids to paint pre-cut fish.

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They made an Octopus craft with cheerios. There wasn’t much crafting going on but they enjoyed glueing one cheerio and then eating one cheerio, so on and so forth.    ( <–did you catch that?  Pun intended. )

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You can make Sea turtles with paper bowls or paper plates cut in half.

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I took the fishing poles out of the magnetic fishing set , I wrote the letters of the alphabet on index cards and then taped paper clips to the back. After scattering them on the floor I directed the kids to “fish” for a letter. Fishing for the alphabet.

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Using the same fishing poles, we tied on a paint brush and had them use motor skills to dip the paint brush into the paint and then paint their whales. Fishing pole painting.

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Sea salt painting was my favorite. The way these dried left a salty ocean effect, the kids got into it.

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Flip flop art. I traced a kiddos shoes and then let them water paint and decorate the sandal part however they chose.

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This is my last month working, unless….well unless they just can’t live without me. We’ll see.

What Did I Get Myself Into?

The last I left off on the preschool hunt for Kaili was that I found a place I really liked but I hadn’t ruled out my old school. Well I got an offer I couldn’t refuse… I am going to go back to teaching for a little bit. A teacher friend of mine wants some time off so I have decided to take her class part time. Kaili will be joining the 2 year old class while I teach the older kids, right next door…sigh. I am excited, anxious and will admit a tad nervous,  for all of us involved.

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I am happy to be getting back in the classroom, ready to get out out of the house and talk to anyone other than Kaili, her conversations skills just aren’t cutting it for me. She really needs this, socially, emotionally and cognitively, so I know it will be great for her. Her speech teacher is also recommending one-on-one speech therapy throughout the summer. Being alone with me is making it too easy for her not to use the language that I know she has. Now she will be forced to communicate.

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I am nervous, nervous about having her see me throughout the day but not be able to be with me. It’s me and her 98% of the time, all day everyday. This is sure to be hard on both of us. I am also really anxious about nap time. She is still in her crib and showing no signs of trying to crawl out so I am in no hurry to transition her to a toddler bed. At school she will be napping on a cot, god help those teachers. She doesn’t and hasn’t slept anywhere but her crib or her pack n play. I planned it like that and my strict routine has made for easy breezy naps and bed times. Here is where the hard part will come in and I  have laid awake thinking about this.

I have watched other mothers go through this for years so it isn’t new stuff to me. But  other peoples children don’t pull at your heartstrings, so in a way, it is all new to me. I’ve got a month to sort myself out before we jump in with both feet.

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