Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lunch Lady Success

I say lunch lady because all the ladies loved this dish.  All the boys pushed it around their plates or threw it on the floor.  But at least it was a partial success!  I have a hard time getting Violet to eat lately and she loved it so that made me happy.  Cinderella and Maid Marian chowed it down too.  It's nice to find healthy things that at least some of them enjoy.

It's Tuscan Chicken Skillet and it's just a random one I found on pinterest awhile back.  I do take issue with the fact that it says it takes one dish, because it keeps telling you to take things out of the skillet and then put them back in, so I did get about four bowls dirty.  :)  But if that's the biggest problem with the food, I think we're good.

I left the sundried tomatoes out because I didn't have any, and I just put regular diced tomatoes instead of fire roasted.  Using up what's in the pantry!  I"m sure it's even more delicious if you make it like it says to.

Enjoy!!  Recipe is here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Yearly Inspection

It's over for another year, which is good.  It seems like I run around trying to get everything in order for a month or so before they arrive, and STILL always forget something.

We got a new licensing rep this year- the last one was around for five or six years and they like to move them around to different areas every now and then.  The last gentleman would offer me pointed advice like, "you know, my clients who are organized do things *this* way...."  I will say in my defense that I've gotten much better with the paperwork over the years, and that they never have to get on to me for health or safety or ratio issues.  The paperwork system does elude me from time to time though...

I told the new lady that he used to tell me that, and she said, "Oh, so what you're saying is that I should go back to the office and tell him you didn't listen to a thing he said?"  Smiling, but still.  Oh well.  It's hard for me to not get flustered when you're not sure what they're going to ask for and every new person inspects in just a little different way.

In any case, we made it through.  There were a couple things they talked to us about- she doesn't like the food-grade disinfectant we use to clean the toys and diaper changing station.  (This is one of those things that I'm not sure if it's due to having a new rep, or if the codes have changed, but in twelve years everyone else has been okay with what I use.)  She wants me to use bleach water.  Honestly I'm not comfortable doing that.  You have to mix a new bottle every 24 hours because it breaks down and becomes worthless, and it's toxic.  If I ever mixed it too strongly it could cause more of a health issue than not disinfecting at all.  I want to be more natural and healthy here than just spraying bleach on things.  I'm going to look into some other options.  I definitely want to follow the rules AND also disinfect the way that is best for the kids.

O'Malley had a playdate that day and she wanted to see the paperwork for the friend.  I can totally see why- I am a licensed business and am supposed to have records for every child in residence.  However, as a mom, it's a little awkward to ask for shot records before my kid can have somebody over to play for an hour after school.  I always make sure that we're not full and that playdates don't mess with our ratios, but my kids have to give up so much by having this daycare in their home.  I hate to deny them the occasional social time bc of paperwork.  Anyway, she didn't write me up for that, which made me happy.  He's not somebody who's here regularly, and if he was, then I would get all his papers in order.  :)

Anna and I worked really hard to make sure that we got all our training hours accounted for and were ready with our paperwork for that.  However, I totally forgot that there's an online training course that we are supposed to retake every year.  She did say she was going to mark that as a violation, although I haven't seen it pop up in our file yet.  If she does, it will likely say that we haven't had SIDS and shaken baby training.  That doesn't look so good for the file, but I've taken it eleven times and just forgot to do it this year.  Hopefully that makes it a little better- it's an oversight in renewal, not that we don't have knowledge on the topic.

Anyway, I just like to be honest and upfront with the things going on around here, so there you have it.  Much better to explain everything than have people surprised by it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Sometimes when I haven't written in a long time, it feels overwhelming because there is a lot to catch up on, so I just put it off until there is SO MUCH that I feel like I can never write again because it just isn't fair to skip over so many things.  Argh.  I will just do what I can, when I can, right?

Updating the sidebar- Miss Olivia F. has moved on, since she was just our summer girl.  (she wears her flip flops.  When she lets her hair down, the party never stops!  I get that country song in my head every time I say summer girl.)  In addition, sweet Vanellope has moved out of state with her family.  We will miss her lots!  She got to spend the night with me while they were getting ready to go and we went to a cub scout cookout in the park with O'Malley's den, so I have some fun jammies and marshmallow pictures that I don't usually get during daycare hours.

Dancing outside with Flynn, and working inside with Big Red Barn flashcards.  They're getting really good at all the animal sounds!  Flynn's donkey noise is my favorite.

And we've gotten FOUR new babies that I don't have names for yet.  Some of them have been with us for several months and aren't really new anymore, but nonetheless, I can't discuss them properly without names.  One boy, three girls, all fabulous.

And later we're getting twins!  I just got word they were born on Friday, so they'll be hanging out with momma and growing fat for a few months, and then start with us in the winter along with another little boy who is scheduled to be born at the end of the month.  Lots of fun stuff.

Okay!  Names.  Our boy is seven months old, deliciously chubby and super laid back.  He's very mobile and pulls up on everything, then just lets go and falls back like a tree.  It surprises him every time he hits the floor.  He's drooly and smiley and fun.  I think I'm going to call him Russell after the little cub scout in UP!.  It just seems to fit.

I'm having a terrible time coming up with a name for this cutie.  Her family calls her Little Bitty, which I think is adorable.  She takes really good naps here, even more when she was new and super tiny, so I think maybe that's why it's been hard to think of a name- we just didn't have as much time to hang out with her while she was awake.  Now that she's a little older, she's with us in the playroom more and giving us lots of smiles.  Hopefully inspiration will strike soon.

Then I have a cutie pie whose family doesn't want pictures posted, but she's super cute.  Blonde and blue-eyed.  I'm going to call her Cinderella.  She's still getting used to us so we haven't discovered all her likes and dislikes yet, but she's fitting in nicely and giving us smiles. 

Last but not least, our other four month old girl is going to be Bubbles.  She's got these pretty big blue eyes that she opens wide all the time to look at things.  It makes her look excited and a little surprised a whole lot of the time.  And sister loves to dance- you put on the music and she gets going just like this little fish.  I'll find some cute pictures to post of her next time if I have approval.  :)

So that's our fall roster.  Oh!  Also there is Bolt.  I started out calling her Jasmine, thinking of the section where she says "I am not a prize to be won!"  She's one of the more opinionated princesses, and I figured that's where our girl would fall.  However.... she's barely six months and she's crawling like lightning and trying to pull up on things and never cries when someone bothers her and is already trying to sit on people bigger than she is.  Jasmine just wasn't going to cut it.  She needs a name that's a little more fierce and fast.  So now she's Bolt.  :)  I think he was a boy dog but she could run circles around him so I don't care.  

Hanging out with Little Bitty.  I really do like that name- maybe I'll just keep that one even though it isn't Disney.

Bolt, Russell, and LB all heading for the camera.

Deciding how best to pounce.

She's going to eat Flynn's snack, or perhaps climb up in his lap and try to sit on his head from there.  Going places in a hurry, this one.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Focus: Violet

It's Violet! Her mama decided pictures were okay after all, so you get to meet her officially.  She's not so sure about the idea, but I like this picture.  Shows off her gorgeous eyes.

She cracks me up- I'm convinced there are actually two Violets.  There is the one that her mama knows, and then there is the one who comes to daycare.  Both are fabulous, but they act so differently that it's comical.  Every time I say something about what she's doing, how she acts in different situations, the things she likes to eat, the way she sleeps, ANYTHING, it's almost always the exact opposite of what she does while she's at home.  I'm always so surprised to hear about her evenings and weekends, because I never get to see most of the things that she does there.

Here she's very deliberate and kind of serious.  She gives out big smiles, but I think I've only heard her laugh once or twice, and she's cautious and careful.  She gets her feelings hurt pretty quickly and will be upset by people coming too closely, even if they don't touch her or knock her down.  Rather a large personal bubble.  :)  And at home, she sounds really giggly and carefree.  Of course, Mufasa is never at her house trying to crowd her, so there's that.

I've never had anybody do this before and I think it's the cutest thing!  I bet her mama will be the kind who puts cute notes in the lunchbox every day.  I always think I'm going to do that at the beginning of the school year and I never actually do it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Focus: Maid Marian

Maid Marian has turned one recently and is ready to attack the world with both hands. She's such a sunny little kid a majority of the time.  Lots of fun to hang around! 

She's pretty much always willing to do the cheesy poses.  I can't remember if she put this hat on herself or if we staged it, but she loves having the camera in her face either way.

See!  I will come closer now and show you my cuteness!  Also can I have a bite of whatever you're eating please?

Again with the hats.  I didn't realize we have multiple pictures of her in headgear but apparently that's how we've amused ourselves this summer.

She's not been wildly enthusiastic about making the transition from hand-fed by us to doing it herself.  I could never get her to eat a banana, until I remembered a little guy I took care of years ago who refused to eat cut-up food.  Sure enough, she's the same way.  I mean really, who wants to eat broken food?  It needs to be large so she can drag it home to her den and gnaw it to death.  Clearly.

Uh, no thanks.  Little pieces are for babies.  I'm all grown up and I am far too cool for this stuff.  But check out my snazzy accessories!

She loves being able to pull up and just come stand next to us if we're on the couch.  She does that a lot while I feed one of the babies.  Sometimes she wants to try to sneak a sip of the bottle she's no longer getting, and gives the most pathetic and dramatic lower lip when we tell her no.  Anna says she's a graduate of a bad actress school for babies.  It's so true.  Or maybe soap operas in her future?  Such overblown gestures and melodrama.  I can't help but laugh at her every time.

She's also getting into the stage where suddenly things are scary that never were before.  Highly suspicious of park swings, this one.

She's just full of life and love.  So happy.  I read an article somewhere on facebook (and of course now I can't find it anywhere) that talked about the shifting of balance in the way we talk to baby girls.  There's been that whole thing where you're not supposed to start off by telling them they're pretty because then they think that defines them, and how we should focus on what they DO and who they ARE, not what they look like.  All true.  However, this particular article focused on a study that was done with dads and their daughters.  It found that girls who had dads who regularly told them that they're beautiful ended up more confident in themselves and tended to believe it more.  Even if they roll their eyes and say, "Oh come on dad, you're the only one who thinks so", there's a sub-conscious connection there that does super good things for their brains and the way their self-image is shaped.

Maid Marian's daddy, every single morning without fail when he drops off, tells her "daddy loves so you much baby girl, you're so beautiful.  So beautiful."  She smiles like the sun every time she hears it and it makes me all gushy inside.  You can tell she's hearing it in her brain, not just her ears.  Daddy thinks she's beautiful, and so she is.  I love it so much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


This week the AC is out in the playroom.  I'm really REALLY hoping that tomorrow when the service tech comes, he will say it is an easy fix and that it won't take six weeks like last year.  That unit had to be replaced, and this is now just a year old, so fingers crossed on that.  Luckily this summer has been a bit cooler than last, and it's actually more comfortable to take the kids out in the mornings instead of trying to herd them in the living room all day.

My kids have friends here this week, so even though we're officially full numbers-wise, it's two eleven year olds, a seven year old, and a six year old along with the regular roster of infants and toddlers.  That makes life infinitely easier for walks!  The big kids are super helpful.  Anna stayed home with the three youngest while they napped, and the rest of us headed out.

I'm sure we look like quite the spectacle marching down the street.  At least today nobody stopped to ask me if all nine of them are mine.

We have to cross a wooden bridge over a little creek to get there, and we saw a mama duck with four ducklings.  I think listening to all the kids quack at the ducks was my favorite moment of the day.

The swings were largely a success.  There's just one baby swing at our park, but it's pretty wide and has leg holes in both sides, so I set two of them in there back to back and it worked nicely.

Vanellope cackled like a hyena the whole time.  I love when the wind gets in her hair.

Mr. Flynn enjoyed himself immensely too.

 Miss Olivia, somehow managing to still look shy even while laughing.

Mufasa! King of all he surveys.

And then.  Then there was Maid Marian.  I know that child loves her some swings.  I've seen facebook posts that her mama puts up with all kinds of smiles and swing loving.  That was not the case today.  She freaked out and acted like it was the worst and scariest thing that ever happened.  I even tried to sit on the big swing and hold her and go very slowly and she still was having none of it.

So we decided at that point it was time to head out.  On the way home it was hot and my kids ran Olivia and Vanellope through our neighbor's sprinkler.  They laughed so hard!  It was really fun to see.

Then we came home and Anna said we smelled like sunshine, which is her way of saying we've been outside and smell like stinky puppy dogs, but still, it's the nicest way I've heard to describe that particular smell.  Lots of fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Focus: Miss Olivia Flaversham

I've been having a little trouble coming up with a good blog name for our summer sweetie.  I finally hit on Olivia from the Great Mouse Detective.  Then I wasn't sure if I should use it since the style doesn't really match- doesn't sound like a Disney name, and it's such a popular name right now that we might have an actual Olivia at some point.  But madness lies down the road of second guessing everything, and that little mouse girl is SO cute and I think her personality really matches so there you have it.  Olivia she is.

Olivia is extremely shy if she thinks you're looking at her performance or might be about to comment on it.  If you look right at her and say hi, she usually drops to the floor and hides her face, peeking out from between her fingers every now and then.  It took her over a week to get used to circle time, but now that she's got the routine down, she's right up in my lap with everybody else singing on our story glove.  It's pretty cute.

She's fairly petite, but eats like a truck driver who's been on the road three days straight.  It's comical.  I don't know where she puts it all.  I do know that I would dearly love to have her metabolism.

She's a great snuggler and spends lots of time in our laps.

And she has no problem giving us the serious face if she doesn't approve of our silliness.

Sad we only get her for the summer, but it's been so nice to have her!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summary Snippets

  • Friday Focus has gotten away from me once again.  I have the best of intentions but life gets in the way.
  • Miss Merida is gone.  They did a two week trial at her new school, just to make sure she was old enough to run with the big kids and the new schedule.  I knew she'd have no problem, and I didn't really WANT her to have problems, but I was still really hoping she'd come back at the end of the trial.  But of course she's gone for good.  Makes me happy she's doing well but I'm still sad.
  • Merryweather is even more sad.  She's the only one up some mornings now and she kind of wanders around looking for a playmate.  We're working on trying to do some more big kid stuff for her but so far she's not super interested to do it by herself.
  • We have some sweet new friends!  I need names for them still, but we have a new teeny one and a one year old who's dropped in before but is now full time.  They are settling in nicely.

  • Bernard's last day is today.  He's off to join his big brother at that school now that he's turned one.  I can't believe how fast the time with him went by!
  • The parents of the new little one use an app called Baby Connect to keep track of what's going on with her and they added us to the account.  Instead of writing on the whiteboard, I log her activity on the ipad and they can check it from work and see how her day is going.  I wasn't sure if I would like it, but it turns out that I really love it.  It's fun to already know how she slept, and see when mom pumps so I can work on getting her to eat near the same schedule.  Mom and Dad like being able to see how her day is going in real time.  It's got places to add as much or as little as you want- you can track moods and activities and food and poop and sleep.  I am surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. 
  • We've got two more new ones waiting to join us- one in August and one in January.  We got to meet our August arrival this week.  She's just a couple weeks old right now and is so snuggly and cute!
  • Anna and I are seriously thinking about celebrating half Christmas next Wednesday, just for something fun and different to do.  If you come in and the decorations are up and the music is playing, just roll with it.  :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Focus: Mufasa

Ah, Mr. Mufasa... such a character.  This kid is going places in a hurry.  He's amazingly strong and has a crazy tight grip.  He loves to try to help me do dishes and when I attempt to scoot him back, he can lift the entire bottom rack and pull it onto the floor with him.  I don't think I've ever had anyone pull the whole thing off before.  Legendary persistence, this one.  It's terrible when it comes to pinching though- he leaves marks that stay on the back of my arm for days.  Must channel strength into productive avenues!

But seriously, when he's this cheerful, how can you be annoyed about a little pinch?  Usually it's only me or Anna who gets it- not the other kids.  He just motors around being happy.

He, Bernard, and Flynn are pretty much like the three musketeers these days.  It's fun to watch them discover new skills and be alternately annoyed and delighted with each other.  They take turns leading the mischief and like to travel in a pack.

As hard as he plays, that follows into his sleep.  He's happy to crash out anywhere, and doesn't mind if you transfer him from a car seat into your arms and into bed.  I'm super jealous of that ability, as neither of my kids would do it. 

He couldn't make it home from school- we went and had lunch with O'Malley the other day, where the attendance secretary fell completely in love with him.  She's always sad when I don't bring him with me.  Oh, where's my smily boy?  she says.  :)

All that charm is hard work.  He almost always sleeps all the way home. 

Merida is learning to say his name and I love the way she does it.  He has a three syllable name and she takes the middle.  Using Mufasa, it would be like she calls him fa-fa.  So cute.  I call him that half the time now too.

This just happened now: yesterday I sent him home with no pants on, just a onesie.  By the end of the day neither his dad, Anna, or I could remember what pants he'd been wearing or where they had gone.  About thirty minutes ago O'Malley came home from school and I noticed he was wearing them.  As shorts.  He's so skinny they fit and he just thought I must have bought him new shorts and stuck them in his room.  You know, because I always throw his new clothes on the floor... crazy man.  He's SO mortified.  18 month pants.  All day at school.  He rocked them.  Guess I'll be washing those and returning them!  Mystery solved.  :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Caterpillar on the Wall

We've started The Very Hungry Caterpillar again. This is one of my very favorite units to do, and I don't think we've ever done it with a group who's overall as young as this one. (Here's an old post with some of the things we do with older kids.) There's definitely a lot of modification and repetition, but they're enjoying it.

Sometimes I read them the actual book, but most of them are still at the super grabby stage.  Since the book has so many holes cut in it, I'm afraid it will get ripped during a group reading session.  More often, we use the pointer and the class set of pictures that I have on the wall.  (or off the wall, since my sticky stuff is dying and the stapler won't work on that kind of wall.)  Merida and Merryweather go running over there as soon as I pick up my pointer, and they can show me the moon and the egg.  Every time I say "he was STILL!  HUNGRY!" we make silly faces and they laugh.  It's fun.

So far the only things I've sent home are the little paintings, but we have done a couple other crafty items.  Here's the class caterpillar, who currently resides on our wall:

Each kiddo colored a body section and then we attached legs. They had a good time coloring!

Merryweather, taking the job very seriously.

Mufasa and Flynn were both a little shocked that I actually let them touch the crayons, I think.  Look how proud Flynn looks.  I had to sit right there and make sure they didn't taste them, of course, and their finished product doesn't have a lot of real coloring on it, but they really enjoyed the process!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Focus: Flynn

Sometimes a last minute phone call just works out so great.  This cutie pie interviewed on a Friday afternoon and started Monday.  His family is friends with some of my extended family and they called when he was born, but it was before Anna started with me and I didn't have space. Since things have changed, it worked out for him to come play with us now.

Just lounging under the table, you know, like people do...

I really can't remember ever having a smoother transition with a one year old.  He's amazingly, delightfully cheerful just about all the time.  With the exception of trying to cut about six teeth at the same time, he just doesn't get sad much.  He's really fun to hang out with.

All you have to do is nod your head or open your eyes wide and he busts out laughing.  I mean, I get that I'm funny lookin', but he takes it to the next level.  :)

Not a great eater yet, but he doesn't seem to be in danger of starvation.  Live on those cheeks a bit if needed! 

Pensive.  That's about as upset as he's looked in the past month.  Aren't those eyes to die for?

Recently he got a big boy haircut.  I can totally see why momma was putting it off.  It does change the look of his face so much and really takes away a lot of the "that's my tiny baby" vibe.  However, I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  Such a handsome tiny man now.

Vanellope's mom (pre-haircut) and Bernard's mom (post-haircut) have both thought that he was theirs from the back.  I love having a group of kiddos that are so close in age and who play so well together that it's hard to tell them apart from across the room.

Here are my three musketeers boys.  They play like brothers- really well most of the time with the occasional fight to the death moment.  :)  Flynn is a fabulous addition to our day and we're so happy to have him!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Life is good, you know?  It just is.  Some days have crazy chaotic patches, but don't they all?  I'm really, REALLY enjoying my job right now.  We're working on getting full and the days are busy and loud but it's so much fun. 

Merida was getting picked up the other day and we were talking about her graduation.  I said she was fabulous and wonderful and I'd keep her longer if I could because every day with her is so great.  Her dad kinda gave me the eyebrow and was like "really?  I mean, she's not THAT awesome.  She's got her moments."  Well, okay, yeah.  Of course she does.  Sometimes she throws herself down on the floor and cries because I'm fussing at one of her friends.  She's so tender that it hurts her feelings too.  Sometimes she gets her finger bitten because she will NOT keep it out of other people's faces and they retaliate.  There are other moments that aren't awesome, with her and with all my little people.  But it's still such a privilege to get to spend the day with them. 

I had a morning a couple weeks ago that was absolutely insane.  It was the kind of thing that I could have written one of those hilarous/pathetic posts about if I'd just put up a list of everything that happened.  It made this gig look like the worst job in the world.  It was so loud.  Nobody was happy.  It felt like playing whack-a-mole where you fix one small problem and four more pop up at once.  I realized about an hour after dropoff that it was so crazy that one of the dads blew kisses at ME instead of his kid like he usually does, and I BLEW THEM BACK AT HIM without a second thought.  I'm usually not in the habit of blowing kisses at other people's husbands, I swear.  And neither of us even noticed- the noise level just threw normal out the window. 

But you know what?  I remember that morning just because of how funny it felt later, and I can't recall any of the individual bad/annoying things that happened.  We lived through it, and the day ended up on a great note.  It is easy to have a good day at this job.  The key is ME.  There is not a baby on the earth that cries just because they want to frustrate the grownups in their lives.  People always tell me I must have the patience of a saint, but I don't feel like I have any more than anyone else.  It's just all in the mindset.  At work, your job is to figure out what people need, and get it done.  I think that applies no matter what your career field is.  In this job, I am good at figuring out what babies need and it makes me happy to make them happy.  Even if it looks to me like there is NO reason they're screaming, they have what they consider to be a very good reason.  I figure it out, I fix it, and it's all good.  On a basic level, it's very satisfying.  Whether they're hungry, need a diaper change, tired, fell down, or just mad that they have to wait while I fix other people's problems, they're not trying to vex me.  They're trying to communicate.  My job is to help let them know how to do that effectively, and to give them what they need.

That, and a drop of Joy essential oil on my feet every morning, is the key to being content.  Dancing to the Beatles helps.  Tickling babies helps too.  Life is just really great.  Take advantage. 

And keep people who smile constantly around you at all times.  That's the most fun.  :)  Love me some Flynn!  Gotta get him to work on his smolder next....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Focus: Vanellope

Vanellope turned one last month and her birthday theme was "Vanellope in One-derland".  Of course she had to wear an Alice dress.  This wasn't during daycare but it's so darn cute that I had to show her off.  I loved this one especially because it looks like the chair is too big and she just drank the "drink me" potion to become too small or something.  So fun!

Back at school, she finds all kinds of fun things to keep herself busy.  The Viking hats continue to be popular items.  Best $2.99 I ever spent, I think!  I love how pleased with herself she is here.  (I also really like the contrast between these pictures- it's just like the movie, with uncomfortable Princess Vanellope in fancy clothes vs. the sassy racer who's comfy in her hat and jammies.)

Here she is with Bernard.  She was trying to put the hat on his head too but all the pictures I tried to take of that came out really blurry.  It was super cute though.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

And here's her new "twin", Flynn.  He started a few weeks ago and they look really alike, especially from the back.  They're only about six weeks apart in age and they play really well together!

Spaghetti and blueberries for lunch was a big hit.  She's getting better about eating more things.  Still pretty hit or miss, but when it's a hit, she'll eat more than you ever thought possible for somebody as little as she is.

She's getting pretty close to taking steps here.  Haven't seen her do it yet, but her mama says it's happened a few times at home.  She'll stand up in the middle of the room and just look around wildly with a big smile.  Sometimes it kind of reminds me of a meerkat scouting out danger.  :)  Right now she still thinks crawling is a lot faster though, so if she decides she needs to be somewhere quick, she drops and is off like a shot. 

Vanellope is Anna's girl in a BIG way.  She tolerates me enough to be happy to come to me in the mornings, which is definitely a good thing.  Once Anna gets here though, I am chopped liver.  It's only occasionally that she decides my lap is better than the cold hard floor.  If she can't have Anna, I'm usually not an acceptable substitute unless I have food that looks good.  It makes me laugh how often the kids will pick one of us to LOVE.  A lot of them do it, and sometimes they switch.  I suppose most kids do that with their parents too though, so it's reasonable.  Spending a lot of time with two people, it makes sense that you feel closer to one than the other at different stages.

Oh, and she still hates painting.  We're starting the Very Hungry Caterpillar unit again, and I had to hold her hand around the brush while she yelled and slapped it on the paper.  Not to paint the leaf, you understand, but in violent protest of the entire process.  The end result was paint on paper though, so I'm counting it as progress!  :)