Monday, August 31, 2009

what shall we do on a rainy day?

For most of the summer we have had hardly any rain. Lately, every day is a soggy one. Lucky I have a few tricks up my sleeve here at home to keep us busy when we can't go out and burn energy!

1. Paint some shirts--

This summer our Dollar Tree sold tee-shirts. I grabbed a bunch of them and keep them in my craft closet, just in case. I give the kids fabric paint and they love to decorate their shirts. The last time I drew their names out in block letters with a fabric marker and they painted in the letters.

2. Maracas
Materials you will need: an empty jar or plastic container. Beads, uncooked pasta, beans, etc. (anything that makes a cool noise when you shake it). Let the kids fill them up and then shake around and have some fun!! I attached the lid with a glue gun so the kids wouldn't be tempted to open them up and make a enormous mess!
They also decorated their maracas with stickers. I was so proud of Zan for helping his two-year old friend with the stickers.

And this was the funniest part. The kids figured out a new way to use their instruments all on their own!

3. Little Monsters

Before we made these I read the book Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli. They designed their monsters to look like the guys in this book. I got this idea from an preschool-lesson plan book and also got the feet template from it. I think however, that you could draw your own feet to attach.

We first stuffed grocery bags into a foam bag. You could also use a paper bag to stuff or use tissue paper or newspaper to do the stuffing. I then attached the feet to the bag with my handy-dandy glue gun. I also got a ferocious blister using my glue gun so be careful if you try this at home! Then the kids decorated (well Kaya decorated hers, I helped the boys quite a bit) their monsters with googly eyes, fabrics, pipe cleaners, etc.

Hope you can use these ideas for the next rainy day you are stuck inside!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

protecting hearts

I don't want to be THAT MOM. As I told Matt, when I talk to my former-teacher, now stay-at-home friends, they know what THAT MOM means. THAT MOM is the one who interferes in every problem.......THAT MOM is the one who complains about everything that goes on.......THAT MOM protects her child so much that he or her can't make his or her own decisions on how to cope with life.

But I had to shred my stereotypical visions of that woman and become THAT MOM myself.

A few weeks ago I signed my kids up for tee-ball. At first we were only going to sign Zander up for the (4 and under) group but then they told me they would gladly welcome Kaya also who will be 3 in weeks. (And she is doing awesome, by the way, for about 30 minutes.....then she wants to kick dirt or look in the grass).

So we go the first practice. It was so cute. It was actually one of my most favorite nights ever as a parent. BUT I did notice that Zander was the only boy on his team. Which was fine---because like he said, "I love girls. I hope there are more girls on my team." And the coach said, "I hope he doesn't mind we are the Purple Rockets." I said, "That will be awesome. He loves purple and he loves Rockets."

So we were a little curious about how he was the only boy. I had signed him up, for him, to have another activity, to have more boys to hang out with. Truly he doesn't have any boy friends his age. Mostly girls....which he loves. I chalked it up to the tee ball league being run by the Girl's Softball League in our county. Even though sign-ups said "coed" I thought this might be the case.

I'm living in a state of bliss about how cute all the kids are at tee-ball. I even signed on to be the Team Mom ( and by golly, our kids are going to get the best of the best, since I am the Team Mom......I'm just that way).
And then we go to our 2nd practice......
When I walk up I see 2 teams practicing (we always practice with two teams) and notice 4 boys on a team of six. And the other team has 5 boys and one girl on a team. I was thinking, "Oh my gosh......I hope that is a team of five year olds." They could all hit the ball and run the bases, much unlike our team of girls that are so unfocused it is crazy (and pretty humorous, I must add).

Then our team practices with the other team. The other team has 3 boys and 3 girls and all the boys can hit. Sadly, on our team, Zan is the only one that can hit the ball a reasonable distance. I notice this but don't really care. They don't even keep score in the games. I'm sure this will be fun to watch and fun for the kids.

Then practice ends. Our coach says, "Oh I'm sorry he is the only boy on our team. During draft I picked him because I liked the name and thought it was a girl name. I thought it would be cute to have an all-girl team."

I then asked, " Are there only 2 teams in the league?". Then I heard , "Oh no. There are 6 teams. Most of them are entirely boys."

I paused. I was kind. I said, "Oh that is okay. He likes purple and he likes girls." Then her mom says, " If you can find a friend of his to join the team that would be great because we need one more player."

Matt & I drove home trying to think of a boy friend to join us. The problem is I only know one boy, and I don't want to pressure his mom to do this since she has more kids, to do this.

And this fiasco is what I thought about all night and the next day.

Should I care he is the only boy on his team on this league?

Like I said, I don't want to be THAT MOM. I talked to 3 friends today about the situation because it bothered me so much. Zan doesn't seem to care now but I can just envision his first game against a team with a bunch of boys and the humiliation that will go through his mind. I can just see him shaking hands after the game and a little boy saying, "You're on a team with all girls" and my little boy being in tears afterwards.

Zander is a sensitive guy. He is more sensitive at times than Kaya. Things bother him. He doesn't miss a detail. His little heart is just so open to all but also so prone to be broken and shattered.

So I made the call. I called the coach today and explained that the kids loved tee-ball but I didn't think it was fair and my son would probably be heart-broken and mortified when he realized his team was the only one with "all girls". I explained to her that I would appreciate if she found a solution, so I wouldn't have to make this a lot of trouble for everyone. Cross your fingers that happens!
At first I was thinking, "oh he is fine. not a big deal. He can deal with it!" But then I decided, as a mom, sometimes I do have to be that mom and ensure my little hearts of my kids are protected.

I truly don't want to make a mess out of all of this but I just want one other boy on the team so my son won't be ostracized. I did this for him to have fun and make friends. I really didn't want the DRAMA but maybe I've already created it. I'm so aggravated about it now that I'm almost tempted to contact the league supervisor but I also don't want to shake up and disappoint 36 more kids. It is a tough one....

What do you guys think? Am I really THAT MOM? Or did I do the right thing?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a new friend from our nature walk

Going on nature walks with my kids is always fun. Especially when they make friends along the way. Here they are meeting a family of beetles on the sidewalk.

Kaya was particularly fond of one beetle. She describes her as "her new best friend."

Now her new best friend, named Kaya Beetle, lives with us. And yes, she carried and squeezed and loved on Kaya Beetle so much that it isn't even alive anymore. I think it is funny that she has not noticed that yet.

Kaya Beetle stays in a glass that Kaya carries around. Kaya Beetle even sat at the dinner table last night. And Kaya rushed to say "Good Morning!" to her new best friend first thing this morning.

Since she is so affectionate towards a dead beetle I can only imagine what other critters will find a place in our home through the years.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

shaving cream and water

Last year when I got the shaving cream out to play with, write letters with, or create sculptures with my kids needed LOTS of supervision. Now I can squirt some out on the picnic table and let them go to work. They will play contently forever, sometimes I can even manage to unload the dishwasher while I watch from the kitchen window.

For extra fun you can add food coloring. We like to make designs and also mix primary colors together to make secondary colors.

Or sometimes they just like to rub it all over their play set.

This is super messy as you can tell so get out the hose for some quick clean-up!

Yep, I think the "clean-up" may be their favorite part!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

brag book

What good is a blog if you can't use it to brag occasionally?

This will be my online brag book of my new nephew, Brody. There are tons of pictures but just think you could be by me in person pulling out a huge album saying, "Ahhh, isn't he cute?"

We had the great pleasure of precious Brody, his adorable mom, and my wonderful brother (his dad) visiting us last weekend. We all loved getting to spend this time with Brody.

future spelling bee champs?

The kids are so proud of their latest accomplishment.....spelling their names. Zander loves doing it so much that he insisted on saying, "Z A N D E R" over and over this morning at 6:30 when I really just wanted him to watch Dragon Tales and be quiet so I could sleep for 30 more minutes.....that didn't happen, needless to say.

Even without the extra sleep I couldn't resist videoing them spelling. Of course you will hear at the end how I bribed them to cooperate! They will do anything to watch Special Agent Oso.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

build-a-bear fun

As commercialized at it is, I love Build-A-Bear Workshop. It really is fun, magical, and really neat to build your own stuffed animal. I've taken the kids since they were way to young to enjoy it (really). But now we are at the magical age they do enjoy it and know how much fun it is! Thanks, by the way, to the grandmas who gave us the gift cards to allow us to enjoy this very fun day!!!