Posts Tagged ‘preschooler’

Funny Things My Kid Says

Funny Things My Kid Says

The vocabulary blender that is my daughter.

Every kid has their own way of speaking as they acquire language. Proper grammar and pronunciation is a learning process. J is your typical four year old and has difficulty pronouncing the “y” sound so “yellow” is “lellow”. She also has a hard time with the “th” sound so she says “teef” (teeth) and “froat” (throat). But she has also put some words in her vocabulary blender, and here is the result. I am hesitant to correct her because some of them are super funny and I know as she gets older she will figure it out.

What she says What she means
Cantaloupe Antelope
Head Brain Forehead
The day after this day Tomorrow
Splinter Blister
Bones and Arrow Bows and Arrows
Eenie eenie eyenie oh,
catch a tiger in your toe
Eenie meenie minie mo,
catch a tiger by the toe
Bounce back to me Ricochet
Racoon Cocoon
Golf course Obstacle course

And my all time favorite “Lightning the Queen”, which would be Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. After all, he is a race car, so drag…racing isn’t that far fetched. :D :D :D

What are some funny things your kid says?

 

My 15 Minute Rule for Arriving on Time

J running in the driveway

J running circles in the driveway, completely oblivious to the fact that we’re supposed to be in the car.

I hate being late.When I first moved to San Diego from Portland, I noticed that everyone was at least 10 minutes late, but it bothered no one! This was a looooong time ago and I have become more relaxed about my punctuality when it comes to informal engagements but there is still something in me that dislikes tardiness. If you’re supposed to be somewhere at 10am, how hard is it to get there?

Enter exhibit A, a small child age 3.75 years old and you will understand why I am more or less perpetually late.

I figured when J was first born I had a free pass for being late. A last minute explosive poo or feeding pretty much always happened before leaving the house and no one blinked twice when I showed up late. My inner Timex was always agitated but the newly birthed “mom” in me fought that demon down. I also told myself that things would get better once J’s bowels matured and she was more reliant on solid foods instead of the boob.

Wrong. AGAIN. As a parent I am reminded daily that I have done, am doing, or will do something wrong. Now that J can articulate herself very well, we go through a laundry list of “things” before we are ready to leave the house.

J in car seat

This blurry picture totally captures the mood. J was totally cranky and NEEDED her Ariel earrings and princess crown before we could go anywhere.

To compensate, I plan to leave 15 minutes ahead of when I actually need to leave. Most of the time this works and I end up starting the car at the actual departure time. Then there are times when no matter how far ahead I try to leave, there is a force of nature keeping me anchored to the house or I will be compelled to make a u-turn at the end of the street for a forgotten snack/water cup/toy/jacket/etc.

Here are just a few of the things that take up the extra 15 minutes:

  • J needs socks for the “owie” shoes. If I get the “wrong” socks then I must go upstairs to get another pair.
  • J needs a toy or a different toy than requested 5 seconds ago.
  • J needs to put the toy in a purse.
  • J needs to get the paper in the driveway.
  • J needs to see if there are any new rollie pollies in the front yard.
  • J needs to climb into her car seat via the driver’s seat and examine every speck on the way from the front to the back.
  • J needs to buckle her toy into the seat next to hers.
  • J needs the Frozen CD liner notes so she can obsessively follow along with each song.
  • J asks if I brought the Pirate Booty/Princess Fish/Cheesy Crackers in the snack bag and if I’ve guessed incorrectly, I go back into the house to get said snack.
  • J needs to examine the sticker from Trader Joe’s that she dropped on the car floor five days ago and cannot get in the car seat before doing so.
  • J has to pee. But she doesn’t tell me until we’re 10 minutes into our drive. If we left on time, we’ll now be late because we pulled over for a pit stop.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not placing all of the blame on my child, as I know her sense of time is in its infancy of development. She still sweetly calls tomorrow “the day after this day.” There have been a few (or more) times when it’s entirely my fault we’re late. Most notable is the time I forgot my shoes and the time I forgot J’s swim suit. These were two separate events, but both involved getting to her swim lesson on time. If anyone has paid for their child to learn how to swim, you know how expensive lessons are and that you don’t want to be late! I walked in that door barefoot (and totally skeeved out). I bought her a reuseable swim diaper on the day she didn’t have a suit. That was about a year ago and wouldn’t fly today as she would be too embarrassed to swim “nudie.”

I now carry an extra pair of flip flops in my car in case I am ever caught shoe-less again.

Rainbow Spaghetti & Art Class Sugar Cookies Inspired by Jackson Pollock

Art Class - Sugar Cookies and Rainbow SpaghettiJ has been taking an art class at a friend’s house since the end of October. Sadly, we only have one class remaining. She gets to paint and glue plastic jewels (which she LOVES) and I get to see friends. The class is an hour and half and includes a snack/lunch break for the kids.

At the start of classes, we signed up to take turns as “snack mom”. Each week of art has a theme and it turns out that snacks were also themed accordingly. I signed up for Jackson Pollock week and crossed my fingers that I could come up with something creative for a meal — after all, this is (kids) art class!

Painters Palette Sugar Cookie

The painter’s palettes look a little like brown pac-mans.

I knew I would make decorated sugar cookies for dessert. After some internet searching, I decided to make an artist’s palette and splatter design à la Mr. Pollock. Deciding what to serve for lunch proved to be a little more challenging as I wanted one stand-out item on the plate. I found a rainbow pasta recipe which looked easy, portable and kid-friendly.

I made the cookies first since I let them dry over night and needed two nights to work on them. Actually, it was three nights total. The first night I baked and cooled the cookies. The second and the third were spent decorating. Here is the sugar cookie recipe. I made 4″ round cookies for the painter’s palette and 2″ squares for the splatter design. Surprisingly, I don’t have a painter’s palette shaped cookie cutter in my arsenal of 100+ cutters.

I made chocolate royal icing for the palettes since they had to be brown. I added a bit of brown food color to make them a deeper brown. I didn’t want my palette to look like balsa wood.

Jackson Pollock inspired Splatter Design Sugar Cookie

I put one painter’s palette cookie and two of these little “paintings” in each bag that I gave to the kids.

For the white royal icing, I used some that I had frozen from Halloween. Yes, it really does freeze well!! I had it stored in two zip top bags and let it thaw on the kitchen counter. It may have taken 30 minutes to soften, which was really quick.

After piping and flooding the round and square cookies I let them dry overnight. The next night was the fun part! I took the remaining white icing and divided it into five bowls. I made red, yellow, green, blue and purple for the “paint”. It was flood consistency as I wanted it thin enough to splatter across the white cookies.

By now you are probably wondering where all the photos are of the cookie decorating process. Well, I was too tired to stop and take photos. And at night the light is very bad for picture taking.  So sorry!

I used a toothpick to drip the colors onto the painter’s palettes. For the splatter, I lined up all of my cookies next to each other in a giant square. Then I dipped a spoon into the icing and let it drip onto the cookies. It was a lot of fun to do and super quick.

Art Class - Painting in the style of Jackson Pollock

J is using a toy elephant to apply green paint on her canvas.

During J’s art class, the kids each made a splatter paint picture…or at least as close as three and four-year olds can come to replicating Pollock’s style.

Oops, almost forgot to talk about the spaghetti. So here’s the dichotomy of my rainbow spaghetti. I used organic spaghetti noodles and then soaked them in artificial food dye. Am I the only one that finds this humorous?! I do have natural food coloring that I will use if I ever make them again.

Rainbow Spaghetti noodles

I cannot think of anything less appetizing than blue noodles. However, the kids loved it!

Is it a surprise that I made a couple changes from the original recipe? Here is my version:

Rainbow Spaghetti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American, Kid
Serves: Varies
Ingredients
  • 1lb Spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • Food color (four or five colors)
  • Water
Directions
  1. Boil noodles according to package directions
  2. While noodles are cooking, mix food color with ½ cup of water in a color-safe bowl. (One that won't soak up the dye -- not a wooden bowl.)
  3. The amount of food color needed will vary depending on the intensity of color desired and if it's gel or liquid food color. I used ⅛ of a teaspoon of gel per bowl.
  4. Drain and rinse with cool water (that step was painful for me...I never rinse my pasta!)
  5. Divide pasta evenly among bowls and make sure the water covers most of the noodles.
  6. Let sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even color distribution.
  7. Gently rinse noodles to remove excess food color.
  8. If serving immediately, mix noodles together and toss with butter or olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. If saving for later, stir in a few drops of olive oil to each color of noodle to ensure they don't stick together. Keep colors separate until you're ready to serve so the color doesn't run. Store in bowls or baggies in the refrigerator.
  10. Note: One pound of noodles was about a half pound too much for 10 preschoolers.

 

 

My Preschooler Cannot Sleep without Me

Sleeping

If only J would sleep like this for 10 hours straight!

Like every parent, I think my child can (mostly) do no wrong. She’s smart, funny, well-mannered and good looking just like her mom and dad. <grin> But I have to admit, she has one major flaw. J is a horrible sleeper.

I think it is partially a product of her environment, well, me mostly…and how I didn’t “sleep train” her when she was a baby. Oh, and I refuse to sleep train her now. However, sometimes Curt tells me that he was awake part of the night and I know I wake up too, so I also blame genetics. The difference is since we’re adults, we can usually put ourselves back to sleep without disturbing anyone else.

Sleeping Baby

J is less than a week old and sleeping in a bouncer while I eat dinner.

Ever since J was born, she’s slept on or near me every night, save for the two glorious nights I escaped last month and went to Vegas. If you’re counting that would be one thousand three hundred and seventy three nights of me sleeping next to my child.

For the first six weeks of her life, we both slept in a giant comfy brown chair with an ottoman. When I put her in the cradle next to our bed she would immediately wake up and cry. I wanted to minimize the disrupttion to Curt’s sleep since he was going to work everyday and needed to be a functional human outside of the house. Besides, J loved to be held all of the time (even when asleep), and truth be told, I didn’t want to put her down. Even though her cord was cut, she was still tethered to me.

We bought a Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper and that was a miracle – cue the angels singing falsetto and the sun shining through the clouds. I was finally able to sleep in my bed again and my baby was right next to me! I breastfeed her for almost three and a half years (yes, years) and the co-sleeper helped to facilitate night-time feedings when she was an infant.

Baby in Crib

Before I tried to get J to sleep in the crib, I used to let her lay it in. Yeah, that didn’t work.

As she got older we moved her crib into the bedroom but she wouldn’t sleep there for more than a few hours at a time. She would wake up, I would nurse her and one of two things happened: We both fell asleep in the brown comfy chair until it was time for her to wake up and want to nurse again; or I would manage to stay awake through her feeding, put her back in the crib and then she would wake up, cry and we would start all over again a couple hours later.

Before J was born, Curt and I agreed that we would not co-sleep. How hard can it be? Lay the baby down and she falls asleep. Oh the naivete! Once she was born I wanted to do it and he still didn’t. What’s that about never saying never?

By this time J had outgrown the cosleeper so the next solution was to side car the crib to the bed. Since she was older and more mobile, she would end up snuggled next to me (in our bed) most of the time. So basically, I had extra room to stretch out my legs on her crib but she wasn’t really sleeping in it. I was a magnet and J was (and still is) my iron.

Toddler sleeping on mom

This is how J loves to sleep…on me.

After many months of sleeping this way, we decided J was old enough to move into her own room. She was a few months past her second birthday when this occurred. Her awesome crib (by Romina Furniture) converts to a full size frame so we bought an organic mattress and set everything up. One small problem is that our master bedroom is on the first floor and all of the other bedrooms are on the second floor. Did we want our two year old to tumble down the stairs in the middle of the night while she was looking for us? Of course not!

The first couple nights sucked. Oh, have I mentioned that I also nursed her to sleep? Whoops, wouldn’t want to let that little factoid slip by. So back to sucking, literally. I would lay in the bed, nurse her to sleep, get up and go about my night. She would usually wake up 30 minutes later and I would start all over. If she managed to stay asleep by the time I was tired, then I would crawl into my own bed with the baby monitor on full-blast, paranoid that I wouldn’t hear her call out for me. I envisioned her falling down the stairs even though we had a very secure baby gate in place.

After a few nights of this routine, I basically gave in and slept in her bed. That was a pretty sly way for Curt to get the Cal King size bed all to himself!

Co-sleeping with a foot in my chin

This really happened last year and it wasn’t comfortable.

Fast forward a year and J has stopped nursing. She came to the end naturally and I am very proud of this. I also placed a lot of hope in the fact that once she stopped nursing she’d sleep independently. What, me wrong, again?! Instead of nursing to sleep, now she cuddles to sleep. While this is super adorable and makes me feel needed, I cannot continue to spoon her until she goes to college. I want out of her bed and back into my own.

I was still looking for a solution to the problem until last week, when J asked for the singing Elsa doll. I don’t know what inspired me to bargain with her, but I said she could have it if she cuddled Elsa to sleep instead of me. AND, she had to sleep all night by herself.

Smart little thing that she is, of course she said yes!

Lo and behold, it actually worked…the first night. It took her forever to fall asleep, but she did it on her own and stayed in bed until 6:30am the next morning. Time to uncork the champagne and celebrate!

Well, not so fast. The second night she also fell asleep on her own. Make no mistake, it was not without effort. She either got out of bed every five minutes or I went into her room every five minutes because she called for me. Then the little bugger woke up every few hours. But I persevered and only went in her room to tell her to cuddle Elsa and then I left. No slacking off and crawling into bed with my cuddle bug! It worked, but was a lot more tiring then just sleeping in her bed. The third night I sat at the end of her bed while she fell asleep and then I was in and out of her room all night again.

Then she caught a cold and all bets were off. I’m now again sleeping in her room all night so she doesn’t wake up and freak out. She’s just starting to get over the hacking cough so I’m going to see if she’ll sleep on her own. Wish me luck.

How to Remove Silly Putty from Clothes…and Ruin Them

Silly Putty

Silly Putty – Friend or Foe?

I now have a love hate relationship with silly putty. Until a couple weeks ago I thought it was a miracle toy. I keep an “egg” of it in my purse and occasionally I give it to J when we’re at a restaurant. It costs $1 at Target and it keeps her occupied the WHOLE ENTIRE MEAL. I do not lie. Amazing, right?

I even gave it to her when we went to Italy and she was just over three years old. We’ve never had an issue with it getting stuck in her hair, the stroller, toys or other really important things such as, um, clothes. Well, bad luck would have it, not only did the silly putty stick to her clothes, it stuck to the butt of my pants – my black pants. I discovered this pink blob on my ass when I got home from dinner. At least I didn’t walk around all day with it stuck to me.

Use WD-40 and rubbing alcohol to remove silly puttyInstructions from Crayola and other sources on the internet suggest scraping off the excess, then spray with WD-40 to miraculously rub off the remaining silly putty. Then use rubbing alcohol if any is left.

I tried this on J’s pants first since they were $5 at Target. Two big blobs on the back of her pants. This was my trial run so I didn’t take any pictures except the before and after. As you can see, no silly putty remains, just two giant oily looking stains. I sprayed the WD-40 directly onto the silly putty and then watched in horror as the oily substance spread to a size twice as big as the silly putty. Dammit.

Silly Putty Stained Pants

Before and After using WD-40 to remove Silly Putty. Luckily these are J’s pants that cost $5 at Target. Yes, she will wear them again. Yes, I am the parent who dresses their child in stained clothes. No, I have no qualms about it.

Silly Putty Spot Black Pants

I don’t have anything stuck to me, do I?

Well, that’s not good. But, my pants are black and now I know NOT to spray the WD-40 directly onto the silly putty. So here’s attempt number two of operation “don’t ruin your pants more than they are already ruined.”

First, I scraped off the excess silly putty with my fingernail. I didn’t want to use a knife because I think that stretches the fabric even more than my nail. And I could be more precise in my removal. Be careful not to squish the scraped bits of silly putty into the clothes again!

Silly Putty - Black Pants - Scraped

On the left is the original blob of silly putty. On the right is how it looked after I scraped it with my nail.

IMPORTANT! Before using the WD-40, I put a towel in the leg of my pants underneath the silly putty. You don’t want WD-40 to seep into the front of your clothes! Then I sprayed WD-40 into my bathroom sink. I dipped my finger into it and gently dabbed it onto the silly putty. I was very careful not to use too much. It’s oily and it spreads quickly. I let it sit for about a minute, then I scraped it with my fingernail. I got quite a bit of silly putty off using this method. It’s difficult to tell from the photo.

Removing Silly Putty from clothes with WD-40

The left blob has WD-40 on it. The right photo was taken after I scraped it with my fingernail.

Getting better but still needs work. I repeated the above step (WD-40, sit for a minute, scrape). Still not good enough. I turned my pants inside out and saw that the silly putty was visible all the way through the material. Again, dab WD-40, let it sit, scrape if off (on the inside of the pants). I turned the pants right-side-out again and it looked even better. As a last step I decided to use rubbing alcohol. I poured it on and scraped away the last bits of silly putty. Here are the results.

Removing Silly Putty After WD-40 and scraping

You can barely see the silly putty stain. You can really see where I’ve stretched, scraped and abused my pants. Hopefully washing will help.

My pants are rayon, nylon and spandex. I tossed them into the wash. Unfortunately, they are “lay flat to dry”, so I had to wait overnight to see if my pants were salvaged or if I really bought a $44 dollar egg of silly putty.

The verdict?

Silly Putty - After WashingBoo!! There is a stain from the WD-40 and a shadow of silly putty is visible. Pants are now in the donation pile. I will now be very careful when I give J silly putty. I definitely won’t do it when she is sitting in a booth next to me, where silly putty can roll under my tush.

 

 

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