Monday, September 24, 2012

Dumb, Yet Great

My favorite five minutes of today happened late this afternoon.  I had just finished reading The Big Red Barn and was lying on the playroom floor.  Alice came and sat on top of my back and so I was playing horsie with her around the room.  Tigger then went and sat on Kanga the same way and suddenly I turned around and we were right in front of each other.  She laughed and said it felt like playing chicken in the pool.  Alice and Tigger were both laughing hysterically and I started yelling lines from Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome.  "Two man enter, one man leave!  Who runs Barter Town?"

It was so silly.  And yet we all had such a good time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Friday Focus: Girl Friday

I don't think I've ever done a post on our Girl Friday.  I have a tag for that name and it was actually talking about another little girl we took care of a few years back, in the exact same situation.  My home church does MDO and preschool four days a week, off on Fridays.  So every now and then we'll have somebody who wants to come only Friday because school is closed.  Our current Girl Friday started at the beginning of the year and then was off for the summer, so she's just started back with us a couple weeks ago.

She is quite fetching.  Even wet from Songkran.

I don't actually have very many pictures of her that are any kind of recent, so I borrowed this one off her momma's facebook page.  Isn't she a doll baby?

She's lots of fun.  If you ask her what her favorite thing is to do at my house, she'll tell you the broom.  "I love to sweep!"  And it's true, she does.  It's funny to me, but she does love it.  We have a little housekeeping bucket with whisk brooms and dustpans and irons and all that.  She'll make a beeline for the brooms and dustpans.  The yellow one is her particular favorite, but she'll make do with the red and blue if need be.  Intent on keeping us clean and safe.

She's also EXTREMELY articulate.  She just turned two in July and she's been speaking in complete sentences for months.  She knows her ABCs, all 50 states, and has a huge repertoire of songs.  The other day she was singing "someone's in the kitchen with Dinah"... I went in to get her up from her nap because I could hear a rousing chorus with many verses.  I think it surprised her that I know that song too.

She likes my cooking too.  I dig that.  I'm all about food = love and it makes me happy when the kids like what I make.  So many of them go through crazy picky stages that it's nice to have someone compliment the chef.  She's usually good for three helpings of most anything.  "Oh!  Brown rice!  I love this food!  More green beans please?"  Such a polite girlie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yes, Please!!

I know I've said before that I want to be Mary P when I grow up.  I just love her daycare blog.  She's so practical and does SO. MANY. good things with her kiddos.  I'm all for this- it's a huge pet peeve of mine as well!  I can't count how many times Kanga and I have cheerfully said, "Oh, you're thirsty?  I'm Kanga. Nice to meet you!"  Polite people ask for things they need, rather than simply stating their issues and standing there repeating them in a whiny voice until someone fixes the problem without even being asked.  It's a lesson that's so much easier to learn when you're two or three than in school or your first job.

So, go read this!  So good!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Bunny

Two posts in one day, it's miraculous!

I am posting this baby bunny video for Alice's mom, who is likely to going to wonder this evening why Alice will NOT stop talking about bunny!  hops!  bunny!  hops!!


No matter who we've got, the kids always love to make headbands.  It's one of my favorite days of any curriculum when we get to break out the stapler and the long strips of paper and color some hats.  They're so much fun to watch.

Today we did piggy headbands.  "In the big red barn, by the great green field, there was a PINK PIG!  who was learning to squeal..."  they know oink for the pig, and now they know squeal too, which is really cute.  Most of them will always oink when you ask what the piggy says, but if you quote the book and leave a blank, they'll all squeeeeeeal.  Love it.

Remy did more of his own work today, which means it's not very colored and is ripped in four places.  His first grade sisters busted me on doing his woolly lamb for him the other day.  :)

This was the ten seconds he wore the hat.  I had to hold his hand while Kanga took the picture to get him to keep it on for even that long.

Then it was a necklace for awhile until he ripped it off the rest of the way.

Hercules and Tigger were very excited about coloring and stapling and wearing it properly.  There was re-stapling when it wasn't "just so".  When they were finished wearing it, they had a discussion about where it should be put.  "I done wearing piggy hat.  I take it off.  I keep it safe."

Yes, I still need to have another garage sale.  Ignore the background junk.  Hopefully it will be gone soon.  He's talking to Kanga here- "Mama!  I piggy!"

 I love the satisfied look here.  I have a feeling he'll still make this face as an adult, after successfully brokering some big money deal.  See me?  I rock.

And of course Mr. Hercules, always excited to have his picture taken.

Alice and Perdita were more excited about sitting at the table and coloring than they were about the actual finished product.  Alice was happy to wear her hat for awhile though.  Perdita was the Amazing Dancing Piggy, big surprise, and kept pushing it up on top of her head and messing with it so it was hard to get a shot.

This is the only good one we got, and it's because she thought we were still taking pictures of Remy.  When we were calling her name to get her to look, she laughed and ran and jumped and yanked the piggy off her head.

 I am taking my job as piggy hat wearer very seriously.  This is a job which must be done right and requires my thought and attention.

However, I will bet money that she'll wear it at the dinner table tonight.

Mater liked this activity much more, as we have established that he is not a fan of glue.  He was pretty laid back through the whole thing, wore his hat for awhile, and then pitched it away.  We had trouble getting a picture because he kept wanting to get behind the camera and see the picture before it was even taken.  verycloseupshots there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Focus: Perdita

Just because Perdita is the youngest kiddo we have right now- don't you dare make the mistake of thinking she's a baby. She might look vaguely like one in this picture, but she is a force to be reckoned with.

In just a month or so, she grew tons of hair.  It's much longer than it was even just at her birthday.  She very much enjoys her food- besides rubbing it IN her hair, she sticks it to her forehead.  I believe that's ground beef there.  It's definitely a fabulous plaything, even if sometimes she doesn't use it for nutritional value.

Sister is a mountain goat of the first degree.  It is very difficult to get her to keep her feet on the floor lately.  You turn your back for one second and she's leaping through the air like a gazelle.  The worst thing is that when she's standing on the couch, she DIVES as soon as she realizes you're looking at her.  One of these days I'm worried she's gonna misjudge the edge of the cushions and hit the floor hard.  So far though, she's golden.  She's also a big dancer.  I always ask her if she'd like fries with her shake.  She's got some hip moves working.  She also knows all the motions to the Wheels on the Bus song and comes running when she hears it.

She and my girl Duchess still have an ongoing love affair.  Pretty sure Duchess would be totally fine if Perdita's parents never came back to pick her up.  Perdita feels the same way- she and I can be flirting and playing and she's happy in my arms, and the second Duchess walks in I am dogmeat.  She can't get away from me fast enough as she flings herself toward my daughter.  It's funny. 

She and Alice have also become very good friends.  Both of them seem to think that the other is the only person in the playroom worth playing with.  They cook and clean and dance and sing.  It's very cute.  I hear that Alice does quite a bit of talking about Perdita at home on the weekends as well, and Perdita said Alice's name yesterday.  I think she's about to hit a vocabulary explosion herself.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Important Sensory Work

Most of the time, at the age we have, the process is way more important than the product.  Kids are learning how to color, how to glue, use scissors, figure out how things are put together, and what they like.  Now that school is back in session and we're doing curriculum again, we try to do crafts at least a few times a week.  There are days when a paper looks like the idea I had in my head, but honestly those are few and far between.  SO many times I send home a paper that looks like the kid did nothing, but there's almost always a back story.  Today I caught it on video.  Mater's woolly sheep is not so woolly, but there's a reason, and he learned a lot about the concept of "sticky" today!

See, here are the finished products.  You can see that Tigger took this activity to heart.  (top right.)  He glued, he pulled cotton, he stuck with wild abandon.  There's enough wool for a whole flock of sheep on that paper.  (And now I'm wondering about the collective noun for sheep because flock seems wrong.  Herd?  Hmmm.... Kindle?  Murder?  Oh hey!  Look what google says!)

The collective noun is a flock of sheep.

His father has a large flock of sheep.

Other collective nouns for sheep are a drift, a down, a drove, a fold, a folk, a trip, a mob, a hurtle, or a herd.

A group of sheep is called a flock. A larger group can be called a band or mob.

And you know, this is how our days go on a regular basis.  We start out to do one thing, and all of a sudden we're googling answers to their questions and watching you tube videos of sheep getting shorn.  Anyway.  Back to the art!
So Mater's is on the bottom left, and looks like he was napping through the whole craft time.  Not the case!  There is a lot of dried glue on there, since he had a good time working with the glue stick.  Then he tried the cotton balls, and madness ensued.

Oh PLEASE upload, Mr. Video!

It's the best minute and twenty of my morning.  He goes to grab the cotton, but his fingers are so gluey that he can't wipe it off onto the paper and there's a lot of flailing and grunting in the attempt to remove wool from fingers.  Then he tries to wipe it on Lady's paper with no success, and then tries to eat the glue stick, and then throws the glue stick and gets angry.  At that point I stopped filming to help him wash.  :)  

So that's why I send home papers for the littles even when it looks like they didn't do anything.  Learning is always happening.

We're doing Big Red Barn for the next few weeks or till they're tired of it.  We've used this curriculum before, back when Hercules and Tigger were our littlest ones.  I think they were seven and ten months old and none of our other kids were born or here yet.  It's fun to go back and do it again with a different bunch of kids.  They're all loving it just as much.