Spring Break 2010: Day 2

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1. Slept in a little bit.
2. Went shopping with my Mom. Got a dress for Erin’s wedding and an Easter/Wedding outfit for Cameron.
3. Went to Chili’s for lunch.
4. Crocheted while Cameron napped.
5. Walked up to the park with Cameron and played on the slides and swings for a while.
6. Watched some Yo Gabba Gabba and then the babe took another nap! (I think it was the wind at the park combined with us walking there.)
7. Ate chips and salsa for dinner.
8. Gave the babe a bath.
9. Watched Biggest Loser and American Idol minus commercials!

Spring Break 2010: Day 1

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1. Slept in.
2. Watched Aladdin with the babe.

3. Went and got my hair done.
4. Ate milk and cookies.
5. Watched Enews.
6. Got Tokyo Joes To-Go.
7. Ate while watching Dancing with the Stars
8. Watched Jungle Book with Cameron until 9:45. (I let him stay up late and watch a movie…it was a blast.)

Not done yet…to be continued!

I Want These

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Aren’t these cute?

I might get them for my 4 year Anniversary. They have flowers on them. The traditional gift for 4 year anniversary is flowers and fruit. Can you think of anything that is not OVER-THE-TOP lame to get your husband that incorporates fruit and flowers? I can’t and he can’t think of anything for me. So, we are going to forgo presents this year and go to a really nice dinner and I am going to eat a fruity dessert or drink a fruity cocktail.

I think next year’s Traditional gift is wood. I can hear the jokes starting already :-)

Sleepy Time Items

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Cameron is so cute.

His new “thing” is to take a new item with him when he goes to bed every night. In the past, it has usually been a stuffed animal. However over the past two weeks or so it has changed to a bunch of different things. Here are a few sleepy time items so far:

  • basketball
  • the farmer from his Fischer Price farm (a small plastic guy)
  • the St. Patrick’s Day card that Elaine sent in the mail to him – cute side story on that one. I gave it to him in the car to open. He proceeded to open it and pulled out the card and yelled, “Oh awesome!” Isn’t that so cute? He then wanted to take it with him when he went to bed that night.
  • Books (see picture evidence from last night below)

Disney on Ice!

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Cameron got to go to Disney on Ice today with daycare! Can you believe that? We even had to pack a little sack lunch for him, which was so cute but made me sad that he is growing up.

Mrs. Dawn said he was enthralled and just loved it. He was cheering and clapping and dancing! He did get a little scared when the big whale from Pinocchio came out because it was loud and shook his chair a little. He was in the front row after all!

I don’t blame you for being scared little guy, I am an adult and that movie kind of scares me a bit as well.

Vaccinations

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I know this is a topic under fire, however Cameron has all of his and got them regularly. Including the Flu shot and H1N1. I work with a bunch of dirty, gross, sick children. Of which, 8 have had H1N1! 8 STUDENTS IN MY CLASS! I am not going down with that yucky sickness, and I am not letting my family go down with it either.

Here is a post my friend BECKY wrote about the topic. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I wrote an open letter to the person that she is referring to in this blog post. Here is a copy of it, (with names changed for protection) for your enjoyment:

Open letter to Amy:
Well, I hope your kid doesn’t get measles and die someday. Or pass it on to a bunch of kids and then it mutates and kills even more people including all of the children

Also Amy, remember when you stabbed your leg because Kevin Arnold dumped you? I do. I bet you were glad you got that tetanus shot because you used a dirty knife to stab your leg.

Regards, Jennifer

Tales from Daycare

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I was a little worried about Cameron this morning because I didn’t think he was feeling well. Here is an email I just got from Mrs. Dawn:

He is just fine. Was smiling about 3 minutes after you left. We are getting ready to play in shaving cream– a little tactile stimulation today—fun, fun!! No fever and seems to be feeling okay. I’ve added Cameron on the 25th and yes you can just add that to your next payment. Have a splendid day!! D

Flying Somewhere?

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If you are going to buy plane tickets anytime soon, buy them on Tuesday afternoon. I have heard this rumor plenty of times, but…it is true.

I am taking 7 kids to Louisville, Kentucky for DECA Nationals this year. Our conference is the week before the Kentucky Derby. Plane tickets are off the charts expensive. I have been looking for about a week and a half trying to get the lowest price for me and my students. They have been ranging anywhere between $350-500 to fly in to Cincinnati (the next closest airport to Louisville. It is about an hour and 15 minute drive). To fly directly into Louisville, it was even more expensive. So yesterday, I planned on buying their flights for about $350 with one stop in Chicago on the way to Cincy. I knew I needed to buy them tomorrow night at the latest. So I decided to wait until 2:30 and recheck the prices. Remember, they were $350 with a stop at about 9:00am yesterday morning.

I login at 2:30 yesterday afternoon. $242 for a NON-STOP FLIGHT TO CINCY! Can you believe that? It is true, they drop the prices on Tuesday afternoons! Also, I rechecked this morning, and the prices went back up.

My recommendation: BUY AIRLINE TICKETS ON TUESDAY AT 2:30PM MOUNTAIN TIME.

Oooh Betty

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Rian and I have recently taken up watching MadMen. It is so so so good. One of the best parts of the show is just seeing what Betty Draper will be wearing.

She has had some good days in fashion:
However, as I was watching Season 2 (Episode 7: The Gold Violin) tonight, I gasped when I saw how gorgeous she looked. The color on TV was a little more “icy” than what is pictured here. Beautiful.

This is a Cute Article

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CHEAP FUN FOR KIDS

It doesn’t take much to thrill a kid. In fact, it’s often the “small stuff” that makes for the most meaningful childhood memories: your mom pulling off the road to let you climb a tree, being allowed to jump on a hotel bed, splashing wildly in mud puddles in the rain… The best part? Many of these kid-charmers are low-cost or even free.

In that spirit, here’s a collection of simple, cheap, memory-making activities that are sure to be a bright spot in your child’s day – and yours!


5 cheap and fun baby activities

Let ‘er rip

Maybe it’s that pleasing shredding sound or maybe it’s the satisfaction of making a permanent change in something, but babies love to tear up paper. So plunder your recycling box for magazines or junk mail – when you see that gappy smile on your baby’s face as she gets to work, you won’t even mind the mess.

Dog days

You could take your baby to the zoo, but don’t be surprised if he falls fast asleep – or favors the water fountain over the orangutans. Instead, try a park where he can see dogs playing. It’s a lot less overwhelming and every bit as exciting, plus it doesn’t cost a penny. Just be sure to practice good doggy-and-child safety habits. You might want to carry your baby in your arms or a baby carrier to make sure he’s safe when watching and petting the pups (with permission, of course).

Flashlight games

Turn off the lights, close the blinds, grab a flashlight, and lie back on the floor for a rockin’ light show with your little one. Dance the light beam along the ceiling and walls as your baby stares in delight. An older baby might like to try holding the flashlight herself (though you shouldn’t be surprised if all she does is gum it). Just don’t let her shine it directly in her eyes – or, for that matter, in yours.

Dining out

For a change of pace, set up your baby’s highchair in the backyard or out on the front stoop and, between bites, let him fling the food wherever he likes. He’ll feel like he’s won the lottery! A bit short in the yard department? No worries – bring a booster chair to the park and set it right on the grass. Throw in some bubbles and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a fun-filled morning.

Go clubbing

In your living room, that is. Turn on your favorite music and dance with your baby in your arms. She’ll be in seventh heaven – after all, she’ll be enjoying three of her favorite things in the world simultaneously: music, bouncing, and closeness to you.


5 cheap and fun toddler activities

Hop a freight

Toddlers love transportation, especially if it’s a departure from the same-old-same-old car seat. Check out your local airport or hospital – many have a free shuttle or tram that you can ride as often as your little one’s heart desires. If you don’t usually travel by bus, check your local bus system and take a spin around town, enjoying things from a thrilling new vantage point.

Play dough

Borrow a tip from kid-friendly restaurants and let your toddler play with a gratifying hunk of pizza dough. Not too sticky and not too runny, it’s the perfect consistency for little fingers. Get some from your local grocery store or pizza parlor or mix up your own. A rolling pin is the icing on the cake for this activity (or, shall we say, the cheese on the pie). If you’re feeling motivated, you can bake a pizza with the rest of the dough while your child plays with his portion. Otherwise, simply freeze or refrigerate the rest for future playtime.

Fancy wrappings

If you’ve ever watched a toddler open a present, you know that she’s likely to ignore what’s inside and focus all her attention on the box, wrapping paper, and ribbon. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Wrap up something small, such as a pretty postcard or a toy you already own. Make sure to use lots of ribbon and paper (Sunday comics work great). Present it to her with a flourish.

It’s a plane!

Check with your local airport to see whether it has an observation tower – or a room with huge windows where your toddler can watch planes take off and land. Bring along some lunch and enjoy the show.

Baker’s man

While your toddler isn’t yet old enough to wield an electric mixer or flour sifter, he may be ready to be put in charge of the cookie-sprinkle department. So bake up a batch of cookies (you can even buy pre-made dough) and let him go nuts with a container of sprinkles. You’ll probably end up with several bare cookies and a few heavily sprinkled ones. Don’t forget to take a picture!


5 cheap and fun preschooler activities

Bathing in the pink

Or the green, or the blue… A few drops of food coloring can go a long way toward making bath time something special. It’s especially fun to mix a couple of primary colors together, such as blue and red to make purple. And no, your child won’t emerge from his bath looking like a grape – a few drops of food coloring diluted in a tub of water won’t dye your child’s skin.

Time travel

You know those old photographs of your own third birthday party or your ninth-grade dance? Dig them out and snuggle with your preschooler for a trip down memory lane. Wedding videos work well too! Of course, she’ll also enjoy seeing pictures and videos of herself when she was “little.” So break out the snacks and make an evening of it.

Ravishing radishes

When it comes to instant gardening gratification, radishes are the way to go – they pop up in a matter of weeks! After winter’s last frost, take your preschooler to the gardening store and let him pick out the package of seeds with the picture he likes best. (It’ll cost just a few dollars.) At home, find a sunny patch of yard and have your child plant the seeds directly in the ground or in a small planter. You can even grow radishes inside in a container set in a sunny south-facing window. Your little gardener will love digging a hole, sprinkling in the seeds, and covering them up. The fun continues as he gets to water the radishes and watch them grow.

Monochrome meal

We grown-ups like a little variety in our meals – but kids, who often love uniformity, get a kick out of having a special dinner in which everything is the same color. So serve up a meal that’s entirely orange (macaroni and cheese, sweet potato, orange juice, carrots), green (pesto pasta, limeade, broccoli), or yellow (lemonade, scrambled eggs, corn, pineapple).

Hunting down nature

Give your child a bag or bucket and go on an old-fashioned nature hunt. Take your time and let him collect whatever he likes – pinecones, leaves, rocks, sticks, burrs. When you get home, break out the glue and cardboard and get him started making a collage or sculpture. He may also enjoy painting a rock or two (it could become his new favorite pet).


5 cheap and fun school-kid activities

Bon appétit!

Let your child be in charge of dinner – with you as her helpful assistant. She gets to decide what to make. Some suggestions: English muffin pizzas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, pudding or gelatin for dessert. She can act as the “head cook” and even draw up some fancy menus. She may especially enjoy doing this activity with a friend.

Rest for the weary

You know those nights when you’re beyond exhausted, and you just wish someone would put you to bed for a change? Here’s your chance! Tell your child that you need a special helper to put you to bed early – and ask if he’d like to do the honors. He can pick out your pajamas, make sure you brush your teeth and wash your face, read you a book, tuck you in, give you a kiss, and turn out the light. It’s a safe bet that you’ll hear some delighted giggles from beyond your closed door! (Of course, this assumes your partner or another responsible adult has agreed to take on the nighttime duties for your child – and you’ll likely find yourself returning the favor sometime soon.)

Camp in

Wait for a dark and dreary day. If your child has a case of the “nothing-to-do” doldrums, all the better! Now suggest that you go camping – in your family room. Make a “tent” with sheets and blankets draped over chairs. If you have sleeping bags, dig them out – or just create some bedrolls with blankets and pillows. Tell stories and sing songs around an imaginary fire. And when the lights go out, make a beautiful galaxy appear on the ceiling of your tent by shining a flashlight through a colander.

Kid’s choice day

Let your child “run” the day. She can make the important decisions such as what to eat, what show to watch, and what activities to do. Give this day a special name so that she can plan it, as in, “On my next ‘Ali Day,’ I want to ride bikes, wash the dog, and eat spaghetti. (Helpful hint: To avoid power struggles with your child’s teacher, don’t do this on a school day!)

Treasure hunt

Send your child on a treasure hunt, right in your own house. It takes a little preparation, but the excitement is worth it! Give him a note that says something like, “Look in the flour canister.” Or make it a bit trickier by writing a clue he has to solve, such as “Look for the white powder that we use for baking.” (If your child’s reading skills are still primitive, simplify your notes, help him read them, or draw pictures instead.) In the flour canister, he’ll find another note telling him where to look next, such as in the refrigerator or under the welcome mat. Let the hunt include a few more hiding places, and put a prize in the very last one (try under his pillow). The prize can be very small – for example, a piece of candy or a pad of paper. As in all true treasure hunts, the real joy is in the search.