Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Firework Milk!

Just in time for the fourth! This is mainly for older kids, but younger kids love to watch it. For the fourth of July why not make milk explode with color? Not only is this a fun craft, but it can double as a science experiment when kids get older. So, what on earth am I talking about? Let’s gather our supplies and find out!

You need:

Plate that has a lip (so the milk doesn’t over run it)

Food coloring

Dish soap


Paper (optional)

First pour the milk into the plate so it covers the bottom. Next, have the kid put a few dots of food coloring well spaced in the milk. Caution, don’t use too much or the result won’t be as explosive! Next have the kid put a dot of dish detergent on the end of a Q-Tip. Have the kid put the Q-tip behind the dot and watch the color explode across the milk! Add more detergent as needed to the Q-tip! You may want to try to press a piece of paper lightly on top to capture the fireworks. I haven’t tried this but, it would seem that if lightly laid on top the color would get picked up on the paper and once dried a fun firework picture created.

For those using this as a science project this happens does to the natural fats in nature being oil based. So, when a dish detergent that aims to break apart oils comes in contact with the fats it causes a reaction. Without the food coloring the reaction wouldn’t be visible to the eye. So, have the kid research dish how dish soap breaks oil up, the types of fats in milk, or how some chemical reactions aren’t visible without some sort of dye or coloration added.

Write down all the reactions, realizations, and exclamations in your kids’ journal! Ask them what happened? Which color was their favorite? What happens without soap? What happens with less soap? What happens with more soap? What does it look like to them? If they are using the science experiment side of this have they tell you what they have found out! Write everything down! To end, a child learning is the most exciting experiment of all! The wonder in a new discover or idea with the excitement of something new should be cherished and encouraged by us to grow because you never know when the next great discovery will be made or by who!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Pizza Pizza

Sometimes we have so much fun during the day we lose track of time. We look up from the crafts, books, messes we have worked hard to make and realize it is time for lunch! What to do?! In order to get everything clean I needed the kids to have something to do, but I also needed lunch to be made; this is a dilemma! Then I realized that kids love to help and be independent! So, I put them to work! They all became Pizza chefs and made themselves lunch!

I did this without major shopping or ingredients and it was a good way to get the kids focused while I cleaned up and lunch was done at the same time. To start gather the ingredients, have the kids be responsible for carrying them or getting them out!
You need:

Hamburger buns, bagels, or slices of bread
Pepperoni or sliced up ham (lunch meat)
Spaghetti sauce, tomato paste with oregano mixed in (about half a teaspoon per cup), or Alfredo
Sliced up cheese or shredded cheese (mozzarella is better in my opinion)
Whatever other toppings you find lying around!

Start by putting the toppings in separate bowls. Put the bread of choice in a stack depending on how much you want the kids to make. Add a spoon to the bowl of sauce. Put toppings in the middle of the table within reach of the kids and a cookie sheet to the side for the finished pizza’s. Demonstrate using a silly voice of a pizza maker how to put the bread down first, a scoop of sauce next, swirl the sauce around on the bread, add toppings, and last comes the cheese to hold the toppings on like glue! Then the finished pizza goes on the cookie sheet! Once done, put the pizza’s in the oven. If you cook, you clean so have the kids clear their supplies, wipe the table, and help in whatever way they can.

Once everything is clean hands are washed and tables set the pizzas should be done! Have everyone taste their creation and enjoy having lunch made for you for once! Ask the kids why they picked the toppings they did? What was their favorite part? How does it taste? Are they good cooks? Who has the funniest chef’s voice? Did they like to cook? Write everything down in the kid’s journal as you will look back at these memories and laugh at the fun you had! In closing, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or waste a lot of time to have a good meal, a laugh, and growth of a young mind!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yoga Squat or Malasana

This weeks’ yoga pose is Yogi Squat or Malasana. When doing yoga squat with kids remember to never push them past their abilities and be very careful with this pose as it’s easy to get hurt by over stretching or losing one’s balance! Each week, 2-3 days, we do a 15 minute yoga work out in my home daycare. Kids from 1 1/2 to 4 do this and while each does as much as they are able and in a way they are capable of they all get a nice stretch, a scheduled work out time, and some fun new body movements.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time Outs!

Time Outs!

This seems to be something that many people disagree on how to do and everyone thinks their own way is best. I am included in this group as I have found that in running the daycare this works to keep the group under control and having fun without unrestricted insanity. Now, with kids you may have moments that seem chaotic, but they should be what I call controlled chaos. This means that even though a kids is crying another is wanting help with something and a diaper needs to be changed, all things should be able to get done without the diaper remaining unchanged for five minutes, the crying kid lashing out at another kid/themselves/an object/ or you, and the one needing help is able to wait patiently or follow instructions while the diaper is changed and the crying kid is consoled. In order to have the kids to a place where this is possible I use time outs. Kids can understand more than people give them credit for and crying/screaming while sitting in one spot doesn’t count as time out.

I start time outs around one for the reasons that kids are walking, starting to talk, are probably feeding themselves so they have cause and affect understood to a level, and as many have realized they are able to understand how to get your attention. I start by picking a time out spot, when something major-hitting, kicking, biting, throwing inside; repeatedly misbehaving I implement a time out. The child must sit in the spot and be quiet. This is hard at first because they will scream, try to get up, but once they are quiet wait a moment or two to make sure they aren’t just catching their breath and then go let them up. When I let them up at this age I use two words like No hitting, followed by a hug to let them know I still care even if they are in trouble. The first few times of this are the hardest because the kid doesn’t fully realize what is going on and will get up and have monster scream fests. Stick with it because as time goes on they will quiet sooner and you’ll be able to lengthen the time they sit quietly. This will also help down the road when kids are older because they will understand how to sit quietly for you when they are older.

My daughter is now 1½ and there are times she will try to get up or cry, but they are shorter and fewer. She gets one minute of non-screaming and I now use longer phrases like “Do Not Stand on the Couch”, than she gets a hug. Does this mean she is cured of trying to miss-behave? No, but she is easier to guide to good behavior, she understands life has consequences, and she understands that time out means calm down and listen to mom’s words.

I have taken care of kids who get let up while screaming and often these kids seem to think that if they scream and have a fit they can get out of time out or avoid getting in trouble because it’s too hard for the caregiver to get them to sit or listen to them screaming and crying. This encourages bad behavior. It’s basically saying, you can misbehave and if you get punished just threw a tantrum and I’ll give up. Kids often don’t realize how much time has passed when they are throwing a fit. They react and create behavior patterns at this age. Then, when away from home or an environment where their fits work in their favor (like school or daycare) they often resort to worst behavior like hitting and kicking or biting or even self-harming (biting self, pulling out own hair, etc) because it is stressful for them to adapt when the norm for them is to get what they want as long as they have a tantrum. It also creates a reaction of rejection from their peers because no kid wants to play with another kid who is always throwing tantrums, taking toys, or hitting. It also puts a strain on the caregiver who now must talk with the parent about being firmer or more structured on their discipline, must spend the time constantly guarding other kids against the one acting out, and constantly having to structuring discipline a child instead of spending time with crafts or learning tools for the kids who behave.

The rule is one minute of time out per age and it’s a good rule, but the minute needs to start when they are sitting quietly or else you’re just teaching them how to be the kid that everyone dislikes because they act out, hurt others, and think the world revolves around them when they are older. If you don’t structurally discipline your child than expect to be kicked out of daycare, have parents refuse to let their kids come to your house or visa versa, for school parent meetings to be more frequent, possible learning issues because of their disruptive nature, and a whole other mess of issues down the road. Take the time to teach discipline now and save yourself the embarrassment and trouble later, because the later you start, the more the kid understands, and the harder it will be since the kid will know that if they hold out they can do whatever they want later. In closing, think of who you want your kids to be down the road, do you want them to be kind to others, share, and have the ability to sit and learn? If so, than do what you have to early to install the behavior as they grow and you’ll find your child will not only be a better person, but they will respect that you loved them enough to guide them well. Guidance comes as early as you are willing to provide it and lasts as long as you are willing to give it!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm new at blogging so for me its exciting if I get listed as an article to read or as I recently posted get a Versatile Blogger award. I now have two blog posts listed as Latest News at the mom and baby site (found here: The blogs listed are the Middle Splits Yoga Pose for Kids and the No Time to Work Out blog! It is very motivating to know that you out there enjoy the crafts, recipes, yoga suggestions, and my opinions! Thanks so much and keep on reading!


Also, here is a picture of a final flower from the Beautiful Garden of Make-Believe post since I can only put 5 up and wanted to put the steps pictures up for people to reference. Sorry about the angle I was having a kid hold it up for me and they were very excited about their latest creation so it was moving around a lot!

Beautiful garden of make-believe!

Today, I went back to my childhood for something fun to do with the kids! They were pretending all morning to own stores, so I thought why not make a fun prop that they can pretend to sell? Since it is summertime we decided they could have a flower shop and make some flowers! They were very excited since the older ones could do this craft mostly on their own with some assistance here or there to get started. Best part, if they got ruined it didn’t matter since they are so cheap and easy to make!

You need:

Six sheets of tissue paper
One pipe cleaner

Start by having the kids each pick out six sheets of tissue paper and stack them on top of each other. Next, accordion folds the tissue paper. This part can be hard for little hands so they may need some help. Make sure each fold is crisp so have them run their hands along the fold while slightly pressing down to make sure that it’s crisp.

Once, the entire sheet is folded you can either fold it in half or just find the middle of the now folded up paper. Take the pipe cleaner and fold it in half. Place the paper in the middle of the two ends of the pipe cleaner. Make sure the pipe cleaner is in the middle where the paper is folded in half or just the middle of the paper. Twist the pip cleaner securely, but not so tight that it rips the paper. Twist the pipe cleaner all the way down to its ends for the stem of the flower.

This next step is optional. If you would like you can cut the tissue paper ends so they are wavy, rounded, or pointed, whichever you want for your flower. You can also choose not to cut the ends of the flower and it will still look great. If you do cut the ends you can use the pieces cut off to make leaves on the stem by taping them to the pipe cleaner. If you’re pretending to have a flower shop you can use the scraps as fake money by cutting them into circles and rectangles and writing numbers on them.

On each side of the divided tissue paper, pull apart the tissue paper separating each sheet. When you are doing this pull the top sheet upward continuing to do so with the sheet below it until you’re at the last sheet. Tape the ends of the bottom sheet of tissue paper together to keep the flower formed! Admire your beautiful flower!

Make as many as you want for your store or garden. Cut the tops off of some empty milk containers for buckets or vases for the flowers, have the kids paint or glue things on the containers for additional fun. If you want you can reference an earlier post of mine and make butterflies to go on the flowers and tape them on for added garden fun! Use them to decorate a stroller or wagon for a special walk; maybe even let them decorate a crib or the headboard of a bed. Be creative and enjoy watching your children’s garden grow with creativity! To close, children are like flowers, they have seasons where they grow and we aren’t able to see it and seasons where their blooms display their growth. The important thing to remember is that even if we don’t see it they are always growing and we should admire them even when the “blooms” aren’t seen.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Versatile Blogger Awards are Listed Here!!!

The Versatile Blogger Awards:

First on Friday I was listed on the website under their Latest News listing for my "No Time To Work Out Blog"! On Saturday June 18, 2011 I was given the Versatile Blogger Award by Cookie’s Chronicles!

Since I have just started blogging, being noted on a website and recieving an award from a fellow blogger this is very awesome. To receive the acknowledgement of someone who has been blogging longer than me is very exciting and motivating! I decided to pass on the awards to some bloggers that I follow and enjoy reading and suggest you check them out too!

According to tradition, having received the Versatile Blogger Award, I must share 7 things about myself with all of you and then award 10 fabulous new (to me) bloggers the Versatile Blogger Award.

Here are 7 things you may not know about me:

1. I have great ideas. I am extremely good at starting new things. I not only blog, but I run a home daycare, an online store through Etsy, raise two babies under the age of two, raise three rescue dogs, keep a fairly clean house, develop new toys for the kids to play with, and I love to recycle things to use around the house.

2. My favorite color is blue.

3. I am teaching myself to sew.

4. I have a large collection of leather coats even though I live in Arizona and don’t have many occasions to wear them.

5. I don’t wear jewelry often other than my wedding ring.

6. I love music, but rarely know whose singing or playing. Often, I’m the person in the car singing and jamming out that everyone makes fun of at red lights.

7. If I have a motto it is this: The liberated woman got lost along the way, the most liberating thing a woman can say is No, and I’m worth waiting for because there isn’t anything I can’t accomplish. I realize this may have many up in arms, but as you go through life you learn lessons and come to conclusions that others won’t always agree on.

And now to pass on the Versatile Blogger Award to 10 fabulous and versatile bloggers who I have come to know and admire.

I choose these bloggers because I enjoy what they have to say. Some offer great tips, some offer things that are relatable, some offer thought provoking idea’s or opinions and even if I don’t agree always they got me thinking, and some are just brave for putting themselves out there for others to judge.

1) Lily of She has chronicled her weight loss which is brave. At the same time she also offers tips and great work out ideas!

2 and 3) Sue of both and She awarded me this Versatile Award and I’m sending one back as I love her book reviews and author interviews. She not only gives good reviews on both adult and kids books but she also documents her experiences as a mom!

4) Judy of She offers great coupons when she finds them, her personal thoughts or opinions on events in life, and sometimes questions that even if they are simple like a favorite veggie you realize you haven’t thought about and they get you thinking!

5) Krista and Michael of They has documented their journal through having a preemie, to becoming foodie’s, and now experiences in adoption/foster parenting!

6) Jesse of She shares her opinions and family events including the ear piercing dilemma, what to do on a rainy day, and her love of being a mom!

7) The Mayfield’s’ of They document their lives as missionaries overseas in India. Religion aside, this blog is enjoyable because it outlines living abroad with two babies and traveling with them. Her mommy moments crack me up, you know you will laugh when she starts a line with, “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” and relate to how she feels.

8) Alyssa of From moments with her family, to business experiences, to good food, she shares herself with us all. I love the things she finds interesting and my mouth waters at times when she talks food!

9) Amanda of She's into interior design and loves crafts which I can relate too! She just started this blog and has posted a great father’s day gift idea that can be used for any holiday!

10) Monique of She was going to have this be a craft sight, but as she is pregnant she has recently posted of her obsession with the new baby! Her humor had me laughing out loud and remembering pregnancy moments of my own!

Congratulations Bloggers!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rock on!

Some days there isn't much time for major projects, but that doesn't mean you can't still do some artsy fun! If the day is nice and you need to spend some time outside to get yard work done, than look around to see what you can make into art!

Today was a busy and hot day. The kids really wanted to be outside, but after a few minutes and doing our yoga outside, they were too hot to play hard. Not yet hot enough for us to go inside since the afternoons are too hot for play, but just hot enough for the kids to want something to do outside. I looked around and thought what do we have that we can make a craft out of? We had the chalk out and the kids do very well decorating the sidewalk on their own, so with the sidewalk covered I needed something else for the kids to draw on. The answer was under my nose!

Rocks, we have a lot of rocks and they are normally off limits to the kids. I had them sit in the shade near the rocks and each kid got some chalk and rocks in the milk jugs (see previous posting). They sat down and went to work covering each rock with chalk, making for some colorful additions to my backyard and an endless supply of fun! In addition to the colorful project the kids got to be little archeologists by noting how the rocks felt, how heavy the rocks were, if the rocks were big or small, and the color of the rocks before they colored.

To close, no matter how big or small the project is there is always a project around waiting for you to find it! So, never be afraid to look at where you’re standing and get a little messy because the unplanned projects can carry the most learning, participation, and fun! Rock on with your Chalk on people!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Middle Split Yoga Pose or Prasarita Padottanasana

This weeks’ yoga pose is middle split. When doing middle split with kids remember to never push them past their abilities and be very careful with this pose as it’s easy to get hurt! Each week, 2-3 days, we do a 15 minute yoga work out in my home daycare. Kids from 1 1/2 to 4 do this and while each does as much as they are able and in a way they are capable of they all get a nice stretch, a scheduled work out time, and some fun new body movements. We do the sun salutations and then add a few jumps, hops, new yoga pose, and teacher assisted summersaults at the end.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Time to Work Out!!!

No Time to Work Out

We all have used the excuse that we simply do not have the time to work out. Life is busy and sometimes we only classify working out if we are on a piece of equipment or in a gym or at a class. I found myself putting on lbs or two and realized my excuse is that I just don’t have time. I do a few minutes of yoga with the kids 2-3 times a week, but my work outs have definitely fallen by the wayside other because I’m busy, or so I say. Yesterday, I started to try to find time to work out by noting my day in my mind. I came to the conclusion that I am busy, but that if I can set up my home I can use the minutes of down time that I find (and I literally mean minutes) to get little spurts of work outs here or there. I figure at the end I should be able to work up to at least 30 min of work out by doing this each day.

To motivate myself further, because I’m often tired and usually use those minutes to just take a seat I’m forcing myself to stand through them or to wipe something off that may or may not need it, but whatever I do I can’t sit unless eating, reading during story, or constructed play, I need to stand unless I have to sit for the reasons listed above. Yep, I’m standing at my counter typing this as we speak and not loving it, but loving the burn in my thighs as I get some squats in while I type! Now, I could make the excuse that I always need to be down to play this or that, but if I get the kids set up they will often play nicely or together needing guidance that I can offer either from a standing position or by squatting during those moments and standing back up. This way they still get from me what they need, but are also free to explore semi-independently as I’m not over their shoulder constantly guiding. After a few struggles kids can many times figure things out without the hand over hand I’ve been giving. Of course they still need me for something’s and I still need to be right there to guide play so they do not just go wild like little animals. So, I’m standing and realizing that my legs are killing me from all the standing. It’s not a bad work out to stand and I’m seeing that the minutes can add up. Now, if I can only figure out a way to strategically place free weights and pulley’s for me to use at random places during those minutes I’d be in model shape! Running after kids, dancing with them, crawling with them, doing yoga with them, move-move-move, and then add the standing to it where I find myself wiping things down more than my usually obsessive wiping and I think I’ve increased my calorie burn considerable.

Unfortunately, this means that my excuse that I don’t have time no longer holds water since by just standing I can feel my body using the muscles more. This means that we all can take care of ourselves and the house and the kids without the gym or class or hundred dollar machines. I know, I’m sort of disappointed too! I would love a Pilate’s station or fold up tread mill and those are still great if you do have chunks of time at your disposal! If you don’t they will probably just sit and grow dust since if we aren’t using them we probably aren’t going to be up dusting them off either. Classes and going to the gym are a much better option to me than minute spurts and standing, so if you’re able to do that don’t stop because that is your time for you to be good to your body. The rest of us however, must face that we don’t have an excuse for not playing just as hard as the kids, cleaning the house, than using the random free minutes to do squats, just stand, do heel raises, use a kid as a free weight for arm presses, or do a few standing stretches giving our bodies the work outs they need to keep us caring for the families we love so much. In closing, just when you think you’re as busy as you can get really pay attention to your day and you’ll find a minute here and there where you could be busier. So, be thankful for the minutes you have and use them wisely. Lastly, be truly honest with yourself about your day and why you’re not working out and accept the choices you make regarding that because your body and you have to live with the results.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Marriage Forgotten

School, tutors, work, traffic, small business owner work, daycare hours, two kids, three dogs, blog, workouts, and sleep fill our days. As parents you all have a similar list of time consuming daily activities. After the kids are taken care of and the house is as settled as it can be for the day we often lumber off to bed. I have read stories and seen this cause for a discord in marriages. For some it can be months for others years before they have a minute and really look at their spouses to find they have no idea who they are with or how much the partner is changing. This leads to the issues of having a family and a marriage forgotten.

It is amazingly important to do all you can for your kids. One of those things is to work on your marriage. One of the smartest people I know has said that feelings can be and flow, while love is there its strength can be strong at times and at other times it can be weak, this is the nature of humans. It doesn't mean the love is gone, just that during times of stress (pregnancy, intense time demands, death in families, or whatever else that brings time demands and stress) feelings can be less intense due to the other emotions being felt. For this reason, it is important to make time to work on the marriage. Let the laundry wait a day and watch a movie together, or play one of the video games in the house, or go hit a bucket of balls, go go-karting together, or if you can have a hard time finding a sitter than after the kids are asleep play a board game or just eat separately than the kids that night and talk over candle light. Do something to keep a connection with your significant other. Even if it’s as simple as going to bed early, giving your partner a massage without expectation of one in return, and telling them one reason they are special to you; by doing something with your partner each week you can avoid the forgotten marriage syndrome.

Does this mean your marriage will be perfect? No, disagreements will still occur, things will still get forgotten and mistakes made, and life will still happen. It does mean that you won't be dealing with these things with someone who you do not know or feel connected. Instead you will at least have the ability to communicate better, respect the other person during the hard times or mistakes made, and you will still know your spouse.

In addition to doing something once a week together, make a point to celebrate the small victories in each others' life by doing something special. Maybe it’s that a new goal is able to be set for a work out, or a class finished with a good grade, or a large house project like painting a room or finishing floors is done; whatever the victory make that time after the kids are down just about them and making them happy, maybe take on more of the kids than you normally do while the kids are awake for an additional "You're awesome!" Celebrating each other's victories keeps you involved in each other’s life and your connection strong! To close, never be afraid to love each other or think that any loving act is too small because even the small acts add up to a lot of love which is always worth the effort! So, love each other this week, today, and never forget that for how hard you are working there is someone else working just as hard who also needs recognition for all they do to allow you to get your day done!

Thank you honey for all you give and have given to me! Congrats on your most recent A!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Milk Jug Moments!

It’s summer time and that means outside play, but what do you do with all the cool things you find outside? How do you carry them around when you’re little and have more to find? Make milk jug scoops that you can put all your rocks, leaves, gardening tools, and other smaller exploration finds! This is a fun, but very messy craft you can do with the kids and the best part is it doesn’t cost much and you will find yourself with a repeat craft when the ones in use get too beat up or you have a lot of milk jugs lying around. Again, this is a very messy craft, so skip it if you're not good with messy. My philosophy is that sometimes life is messy so if you learn to clean it up when it gets messy while you're young it won't be as big of a deal! That and some of the cutest pictures are of a kid with a big smile of pride in something they created and a big mess to show of all the hard work!

You’ll need:

Foam brushes
Milk jugs (gallons are best)
Construction paper, old magazine cut outs, or news paper cut outs (whatever you have in the house)
Tupperware or something to hold the decoupage for the kids

First, clean out the milk jugs and let them dry. Once dry with scissors or a knife, carefully, cut the top off of the milk jug leaving the handle. The opening can be as big or small as you want it as long as the handle is still attached. Next, disinfect it as milk can coat the inside and spoil. Running it through the dishwasher or using bleach/water is a great way to disinfect. Allow the milk jug to dry.

Have the kids put on paint clothes or a smock of some sort, I use old shirts. Have the kids cut out the shapes or clippings from the newspaper/magazine. Next, show them how too lightly coat the cut out press it on the milk jug then coat the outside of the cut out on the milk jug. Allow them to decorate as they see fit, but have them leave the inside uncovered since these will be outside toys and whatever goes inside will just get torn up from use. Once, they are done allow the decoupage to dry following the instructions on the bottle, give it one or two more coats for extra coverage.

Have the kids wipe off the table, put the unused scraps in a bag for future use with other crafts, and wash their hands. Sometimes, clean up is the most important part of a project. Once the decoupage is dry your outside portables are ready to go! If you want to add to the project, have the kids decorate with cut out pictures of themselves or paint over the now dry shapes and magazine cut outs, be creative, maybe what is needed is some glue on jewels or string! Have fun and watch the little minds work as they construct these jugs!

This assignment is a great recycling project opening conversations for creation from already made items to colors. Don’t forget to write down anything said in the Kids Journal!!! Don’t be afraid to do this project again and again, maybe even use it inside to hold some smaller toys that don’t have containers, a pink one with lace would be a great Barbie accessory holder or a red one covered with tires that have broken off toys could be a good hot wheels holder! In closing, to quote the cartoon movie Robots, “See a need, fill a need!” When you yourself needing something in your house before you hop online or in the car to buy something, look around and see if you can find a way to fill the need yourself! You will be surprised how much you can solve yourself just by looking around or in the recycle pile or junk drawer. The best part about solving your own needs is getting to create the solution along the way!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Flying away with Bubbles!

This morning was a perfect morning for outside play! It gets so hot in Arizona that sometimes we are not able to go outside at all or our outside time is cut down to minutes because we are all sweating. This morning everyone ate breakfast without issues and used their manners to be excused. Each kid did their assigned “chore” to help clean up and everyone got shoes on well, so outside we went! The pop up tent and tunnel were gathered, babies put in strollers, everyone lathered in sun block, bubbles in the bottom of the stroller, along with the chalk, and everyone lined up at the door including the dogs.

The first few moments outside are always a rush of dogs sprinting around, kids running using outside voices to the play house or the ball or just to the grass, and me bringing the strollers out tent and tunnel balancing on top or under arms. Once out and the initial burst is done, the dogs lay down in the shade and the kids remember the toys: bubbles please, chalk please, ball please fill the air and everything gets divided up. The big bubbles are for me to blow because of messes, so those stay put as I unfold the tunnel and tent. A sudden eruption of squeals again as kids run in and out of the tent, to the mini-house, to the tunnel, and back to the tent. Once, all is settled the sidewalk is drawn on and “big” bubbles are requested. Little ones run after the bubbles trying to catch them while bigger kids talk about them and try to pop them.

Today, one of the kids noticed that bubbles have colors in them. Hmmm, learning moment anyone? I asked what they saw, blue, green, orange, and yellow. I asked if the bubbles changed colors. YES, YES, YES, as the kids realized the bubbles did in fact change colors. I ask if the kids knew how to tell when the bubbles are ready to pop? Sometimes the kids will make a connection between the questions, today wasn’t that day instead I got the most obvious answer, bubbles are ready to pop when I put my finger in it! Re-approaching the subject what about the ones that pop by themselves I asked. The kids watched for a moment, then seeing some bubbles pop without the assistance of fingers, naturally wanted to know how to tell the bubbles would pop. Watch the colors, like a leaf that starts out green, when a bubble is green or bluish it’s new, as the soap stretches and the water evaporates the bubble like the leaf turns yellow and orange until POP! Another moment of watching bubbles and I was provided the lesson approval of “Cool!” You always know it’s a good lesson when the bigger kids spend a few minutes trying to re-teach it to the younger kids.

Take a moment out of your day today for a bubble lesson! Do it outside, inside, or even in the bath, but make sure to point out that there are colors everywhere and sometimes you have to look hard to see them! Make your own bubbles with non-lotion soap and water. Make them last longer by adding Glycerin found at the drug store (sometimes this makes it so you can actually catch the bubble and hold it in your hand or on your finger) or corn syrup (very sticky so outside only) or sugar (again sticky so outside only) by adding 4tbsps of any of these choices for each 5 cups of soapy water and allowing it to sit over night to dissolve an alcohol (often found as a disinfectant in soaps). Experiment with what makes for good bubble blowers (anything with holes in it is a great tool to experiment with from the holey drain spoon to a bent hanger! You can add food coloring for colored bubbles, but this can stain as its food coloring so I don’t recommend it, maybe try a dab (about a teaspoon or less) of washable paint for colored bubbles (again this may stain once mixed with your bubble mix so outside only and in clothes you don’t care about as I haven’t tried this due to the potential mess and having a daycare). Whatever your bubble fun, learn from it and you have once again made learning enjoyable for your child! As always make sure to write down any cool discoveries or pearls of kid wisdom shared into your "Kids say the Darnest things Journal" and take lots of pictures! To close, like the colors in bubbles sometimes the most interesting things in life are there but not seen unless you really look hard, once you find them they are always worth it!


Here are a few Glycerine Bubble pictures we took inside!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What is your kid staring at?

What is your kid staring at?

Sometimes during the day I’ll notice a kid staring at something. Not just checking it out for a minute or trying to devise a way to attempt to take it apart, but staring at it. They are truly studying it and it can be anything from a fan, to a lamp, to a pillow, you name it and it’s been a victim of the stare. So, what does this mean? It could be a type of seizure that causes zoning out, but in my case I think it’s just that the child has found an object they have seen and never really observed. I have started exploring these objects when I notice this occurring. When I see a little one staring I go over, kneel down and try to figure out what is being stared at. Once I find the object I talk about it, spell its name, turn it on or off, touch it and talk about it being hard or soft, talk about the color, talk about what it does, ask questions if the children are old enough about how they think it works or what it does to see what they come up with, and then I say its name a lot for vocab. The kids love exploring the world around them and it’s on their schedule and pace.

My daughter has lately been obsessed with the floor fan and I normally keep it unplugged and in a corner to escape little hands and fingers. Today, I pulled it out and we all touched it, I took the guard off and showed how the blades spin making sure to talk about how much it can hurt a finger and be dangerous, we talked about how it was white (probably from paint was added by one kid, smart kid), talked about how electricity made it work and how it cools a room when on, we briefly turned it on and each got to feel the breeze before it had to be put away again. It wasn’t something I planned or in my schedule for the day, but I’m glad I noticed the interest and took the time to explore it with her and the other kids. They all loved to be little investigators solving a mystery!

Next time you see your kid really studying something, stop whatever your doing and go check it out with them. You may find yourself discovering things around you that you take for granted or facts that you had forgotten. You also are teaching your child that they can come to you with questions or when they are interested in something and making the world around them something to be continually explored! So, to close don’t be afraid to take the moments that kids offer and cherish every second because whatever you have to do can be finished later, a child’s mind is developing now!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blooming Butterflies!

Caterpillar stages

Bugs, bugs, bugs! Bugs are always interesting to little ones. They follow them, try to catch them, fear them, and just can’t get enough of them. For many areas butterflies have been all a flutter and museums and gardens have had their butterfly exhibits going. I thought it was a great time to talk about caterpillars and butterflies with the kids. Books, toys, and outside exploration are great ways to teach and discover caterpillars for kids. To get kids even more interested and add to their memory the facts about caterpillars have them create their own learning tool to hang in their room or another part of the house.

For this craft you need:

One large Poster board or white piece of paper

5 Coffee filters


Small containers



A small stick

2 Pipe cleaners

Tape or glue

A small seed or other small round object

First, fold the coffee filters into triangles or squares. Then, have the kids color 5 coffee filters by watering down some paint and dipping the edges of the filter in the different colors remembering to unfold and dip unpainted edges as you go. Set filters aside to dry. While painting the filters talk about how the color spreads when you dip the edges, ask questions about why they are choosing the colors they are, and ask what colors of butterflies they have seen!

Go outside and have the kids find leaves, a small stick, and the small round object. Enjoy exploring your yard and use any opportunity to explore nature knowledge as you get the items needed. Write down any observations and cool exclamations in your Kids Journal. You can pretend to be on a hunt for the objects you’re looking for or once the objects are found if there are clouds around talk about the bugs you see in the clouds! Pretend they are raining down and get inside quick once you’re done!

Now on the white paper divide it into four sections. Either write yourself or have the child write Stage One in the first section. Have the child tape or glue a few leaves and the small round object inside the first stage. See if the child feels the egg needs a few more leaves for when it wakes up hungry. Talk about how in this stage the caterpillar is an egg, have the child or write yourself egg.
In the next section on your paper have the child write or write yourself Stage Two. Take one of the dried coffee filters and roll it into a straight line. Next, accordion fold the rolled coffee filter and tape a leaf on each end and you have a caterpillar. Now, tape or glue the leaves and folded coffee filter on to the next section of the white paper. Have the child write or write yourself Larva as the caterpillar is in the Larva stage. If you want you can talk to the child about how during this stage the caterpillars eat and eat and eat and have them tape more leaves into the second section of the paper.

In the next section of your white paper have the child write or write yourself Stage Three. Taking two dried coffee filters roll one and fold it in half. Fold the other filter around the outside of the rolled one so that you end up with a rectangle taping it so it stays closed. Attach with glue or tape to the stick and you have your cocoon ready to hang. Glue or tape the cocoon to the third section. Have the child write or write yourself Pupa. Talk about how the caterpillar is resting and changing during this stage. Maybe explore the changes your little one has gone through since they were a baby and how they grow like the caterpillar!

During the last stage the cocoon will become a butterfly! Have the child write or write yourself Stage Four in the final section on the white paper. Now, take the last two coffee filters and using the pipe cleaners divide the coffee filters down the middle twisting the two ends of the pipe cleaners together to create two butterflies. Roll down slightly the ends of the pipe cleaners to make the antennae less sharp. Glue or tape your butterflies to stage four! Have the child write or write yourself Butterfly!

Review the stages throughout the day, week, and month having the child point to and say what happens in each stage! Remember to always write down the gems they offer in your Kids Journal because as they get older both you and them will enjoy seeing how far they have come and laughing at the conclusions or observations they have made. Feel free to make as many butterflies as you like, hang them in trees or around the house or place one against a black piece of paper inside a frame. Kids are always willing and wanting to learn and as parents we are their best source of information! In closing, remember the times your child was a little egg and how much they have changed and developed into their own little butterflies; never be afraid to help them fly higher than you’ve flown, but always be ready to be their flower to come back to after they have reached a new height.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making Muffins!

Some mornings the kids are antsy and need help to play. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that breakfast can't get made or that a kitchen fairy magically appears to make breakfast so I can structure the play. In these cases, compromise is required, and mine is muffins! That’s right, something that each age can help with in some way and they tend watch each other with excitement. If you just have one kid you can make the muffins from scratch, but since I have the daycare muffins in a bag is a cheap and fun way to get breakfast done while teaching the kids about taking turns, measuring, numbers, patience, and oven safety (which at the ages I have is strictly do not touch!). Each kid gets a job or two depending on their age and ability, with my job being the checker and oven handler. All kids get to be testers once the muffins are done and cooled. Jobs that can be done are:

Item collector (get muffin tin out, measuring cup or the food items needed for the muffins)

Tin sprayer or paper placer for the muffin tin


Scooper (scooping the ingredients out to put into the bowl or scooping the mix into the tin)


Muffin giver

Some of these jobs can be divided up further if more kids are present. My 1 1/2 year old really loved to watch, help get out the tin, then hand out the muffins. All the kids loved to eat them!

If you want to make the muffins extra special you can melt chocolate (or buy it melted) and have the kids drizzle on top of the muffins once cooled. Kids are great drizzlers. You can add an extra ingredient like vanilla, cinnamon, or brown sugar. This will give an extra special feel to the muffins and a nice present for the taste buds.

In my kitchen clean up is part of cooking and everyone also has a job when cleaning up, plus it’s a great way to pass the time while the muffins cook. Once the kitchen is clean and hands washed (faces too, because sometimes we test early when we are little) sit down and ask the kids what their favorite part was, ask what they think the muffins will taste like, ask what they learned, ask them if they can smell the muffins or how the batter or ingredients felt for sensory exploration, ask them when the buzzer goes off if the muffins are done yet! Write down in your kids’ journal what they say and don't forget to remind them that by cleaning and talking about what happened they got to practice patience and good manners! Always have fun! To end, the kitchen may get a little messy and things may not always go into the pot as planned, but the memories and lessons created will always be in your heart and mind after the counters are wiped and the mess if forgotten.


Monday, June 6, 2011

A Slight Nudge

From time to time on here I talk about my husband and how great he is and this posting is going to be one of those times. I have this amazing husband who when I have appointments and he is able to he covers for me with the daycare. Sometimes, he telecommutes and then not only is he trying to do his job, but he is also fielding random kid questions and helping with poopy diapers. Friday was a day he did both as I needed to go to the dentist. Now, taking on 6-7 kids while doing anything else is a day of insanity and even if it’s just a half a day it is still stressful and crazy. I was particularly thankful that I was able to go to the dentist sans children on Friday because of the odd and terrifying event that occurred on my way home.

After seeing the dentist to find out that I need this that and the other (due to back to back pregnancies taking a lot of calcium from my body) and its going to cost a pretty penny, I was naturally not feeling like this day was the most amazing day in the world. That said I did not anticipate having my life “touched” by a six cop car pursuit. As I slowed down to a line of cars at a red light I heard sirens, naturally I looked around for where they were coming and while I didn’t see anything at first; I did notice a red/maroon PT Cruiser coming up slightly faster than it should have behind me in the other lane. I didn’t think much of this because in my area it’s not uncommon to see someone come up to a light fast and have to really put on the brakes, plus they were in the other lane which didn’t have any cars. After not seeing anything behind me I finally saw two cop cars coming on the opposite side of the road in front of me when suddenly they put on their brakes causing the noses of their cars to dip down. Next thing I knew my car was pushed/nudged from behind as the PT Cruiser apparently thought the cops where going to do something where they would come into the Cruisers lane (perhaps slam into it to take the cruiser out)and swerved oh-so-slightly into my lane nudging my car. As the cop cars, slower than I would have expected, flipped the biggest U-turn I’ve seen the PT Cruiser, who didn’t stop and only slowed slightly from nudging me, turned to cross the opposite lanes to go into the parking lot on the other side of the street and out the other exit of the parking lot onto a different street. The two cop cars that flipped the U-turn were passed by two motorcycle cops and two other cop cars that followed the PT Cruiser on its crazy course. The two cop cars that flipped the U followed their comrades’ after the little red cruiser, no one pausing to check out the car the Cruiser just hit. After a second a few by-standers including the car in front of me were at my door asking if I was alright, a few commenting how they couldn’t believe it just happened. I said I was alright, but was quickly gaining anger at whatever had been done to my SUV. A bystander said there was glass near the back of my car, walked back there, then came to my door with a puzzled look saying no damage. I felt dazed, shaken, but otherwise OK got out and walked to the back of my SUV. Behold, no sign of the impact that I took other than glass on the ground which seemed to be from the cruisers headlight. I told the few around I was ok and thanked them so much for stopping and we all dispersed. I pulled into the nearest parking lot to think of how to tell my husband I was delayed because a cop car chase hit me, but everything was OK? Seriously, you see those chases on TV and how the people being chased hit other cars, but you never think to yourself as you leave the dentist, “Today, I’ll be one of those people whose life is interrupted by some moron getting chased by the cops”. The SUV (which is a Ford) is completely fine and a tank it would seem. I’m fine, had some slight muscle tightness the following day and had some nerves to deal with for a few hours after, but nothing other than a who-would-have-imagined story to tell from the event.

In closing, never assume what you see on TV won’t happen to you because it has to happen to someone. So, be as prepared as you can for everything and then smile or laugh through the parts that you can because when your old and gray it will make for a funny story to tell the grandkids or if your me, the people who follow your blog.


No Days Off

This past week I have not posted on the blog because I been ill with a sinus infection. Since, I run a home daycare there are more germs coming in my home and despite my obsessive lysoling, disinfectant wiping, and purrelling illnesses will happen. As a mom however, being sick or feeling run down doesn’t grant me a day off. When we are without children we have the leisure to stay home from work, sleep extra hours, take long baths, veg-out on the couch, take Nyquil without concern that we will miss a cry, or just succumb to the illness so it runs its course. When you choose to be a parent you no longer have the time and ability to do these things. Instead it’s a priority to clean even more, get on an anti-biotic, and make sure you do whatever it takes to keep the kids from being ill without interrupting their day. Long gone are the times where you can just wake up, decide you are too sick to remove yourself from bed, call in, and go back to sleep. Instead there are little lives counting on you. Partners need you to make sure your half of things is still done so they don’t get over loaded, babies need you for everything, and kids need you for guidance and safety. So, while a friend or spouse may take up some slack or create the ability for an extra hour or two of rest, you do not get a day off as a parent.

Strap on the masks, attach the purrell and Lysol to your hip, where a water backpack to keep hydrated, keep the peppermint mints in your mouth, whatever you have to do to keep your family safe and yourself going, and plow into the day! The body will eventually heal and the illness will go away, but being a parent is something that will always stay with you. If you cut out the things that you don’t have to do during your day you can create times for rest or maybe even a nap to help yourself heal, but being a parent has made me realize how spoiled I was before I had the responsibilities to my kids to never have a day off. This is what I signed on for, not getting days off is part of the parenting package and while I may complain about feeling bad when I’m sick I wouldn’t ever give up being a parent for anything! In closing to this tid-bit of a posting: We all have choices we make in life, but when you choose to be a parent you are choosing to put your kids above yourself. I promised my children by becoming their parent to strive to create an environment and opportunities for my children to stand on my shoulders reaching and achieving more than I have in life; being sick is not an excuse or reason for me to slack on that promise.


Can't get enough Mommy Moments?

Need more Mommy Moments? Check out my wedding blog! That's right, Mommy Moments is getting married! Twice!

Shopping Job