Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Childcare Guide WINNER!

Congratulations to Kathleen for winning a free May childcare guide from Little Acorn Learning! Kathleen's comment was selected randomly. Thank you so much for visiting and participating!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making Guacamole

Today the children and I worked together to make our own little version of guacamole... which basically means whatever I could find in the fridge ;)
We talked about the names and colors of each ingredient we used. I was very impressed with how many of the children knew what an avocado was :)
Scott said that when we cut it in half it looked like a turtle's shell! So funny because in my May Guide we have a recipe for turtle week using a half of an avocado. This type of thing happens all of the time... during Rose week, my first rose in my garden often blooms... during rain week, it rains... Scott may be ahead a few weeks but still on target ;)
The children were all eager to try their homemade guacamole. I've noticed that if we include our children in the process of preparing food, they are less likely to think it is 'yucky' and they become very excited about trying new things.

Cooking is one of the activities my nursery school children enjoy the most... and, of course, EATING too!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Green Smoothie Kids

My husband saw this glass pitcher of GREEN sitting in the fridge this morning and made fun of another one of my recipes and wanted to know what on earth that "horrible" stuff was!

Well now, haven't you heard about the Green Smoothie Challenge?
Actually... when I was first invited to join this particular challenge, I thought that it must be pretty *yuck* to drink something that looks like that once per day too. But, when I read more I realized the contents were purely water, raw fresh fruits and a raw green leaf veggie or two of your choice. Then the entire concept seemed a little bit easier to swallow :)
Green smoothies provide all of the fruits and vegetable intake you need for optimal health each day - in its purest, raw form. It's a wonderful way to detox, supplement or just overall improve your health and well-being.
Well today's smoothie was made with parsley, mint, mango, strawberries and banana...
The daycare kids saw mine and decided that they'd like to try one too for snack time..
And guess what?
It was GREEN...
and really GOOD!
Here's to your health!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carnival of Parenthood

The girls noticed a carnival in town the other day while driving with grammy... so when they came home that was ALL they could talk about doing.

Carnivals are so much fun - but they can also be overstimulating for very young children so its a good thing that they only come around town once in awhile. I know some families that avoid them all together and I understand that. For us, we make it a special occasion thing and we then try to remember to keep the rest of the week pretty low-key afterward.

Our girls are getting older now and it was different this time. It was nice to be able to split up and do more things together for a change. It was less stressful than I remember. I guess parenthood has changed a little for us now.

It's funny - when you have very small children and babies... the idea of them one day being old enough to do more things on their own seems like something so far away in the distance.

I did my best to remind myself about that when I had babies but it was hard. Those days were so hard sometimes. I would often have to almost shake myself up and regroup to keep focus and try to remind myself that one day it would be easier.... without taking away from the joy of the moment of having a sweet baby to care for - without wishing it away...

But it's not always so easy. I tried my best to find my blessings through colic and sleepless nights. But being grateful in the easy times - the times of laughter, of joy and of happiness - well, that's cake.

It's the tough times... the times when you are pulled beyond your capability - stretched to your last bit ... the times when you feel like you can't catch your breath, that you need to run - somewhere - anywhere - alone... but you can't and you would NEVER...

THOSE are the times it is so easy to want to speed up time - those are the times it is very hard to be grateful - to be in the moment. But I tried... I reminded myself of my blessings. I took another breath - I sat back and regrouped. Most of the time.

And now, here I am. This is that time... that time I thought about - the time that seemed SO far away. It was a flash. A blink.

It's here.

And, I love it... I do. But, I am also trying to come to terms with the fact that my baby days are over. I know I do not want to go back there. That I'm sure of. But the snuggles, the baby smell...

...even the midnight feedings - those quiet, dark nights-so tired but so blessed to be alone, in peace with my tiny baby, looking into her eyes... those days are behind me now.

Many more beautiful experiences await us. And, I'm glad I didn't wish ALL of the hard ones away.

So for all of you moms out there with little ones - when the times get tough, just remember - it really does go by in the blink of an eye. Don't rush through or wish it all away.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Great Outdoor Challenge - Up and At 'Em

This morning we got up and got dressed and headed out early.

Two of my girls are in track & field this year and this weekend they have their first 'meet' so they wanted to practice running.

We headed over to their school to practice the distances they chose to compete in.

Then, of course, we had to spend some time on the playground...

A silly song my Nanny used to sing me when we went to the playground:

See Saw
Knock on my door
Who's there?
Papa (my grandpa)
What does he want?
A glass of beer (lol)
Where's his money?
In my pocket
Where's your pocket?
In my pants
Where's your pants?
My girls know that one by heart. Nanny would be proud.

Then back in the car to bring Dee and her girlfriends on an adventure. I've been in the car all week with these teens!

Each spring break they do a bunch of silly things. Today's idea was to get completely dressed up and pack along silverware, a tablecloth, a battery operated candle and flowers - go to a fast food restaurant - order with class - make up a beautiful table and enjoy -
They got so many crazy looks. Fun times!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Outdoor Challenge - Earthplace and Nature Hike

Today we took a ride up to this wonderful little space called Earthplace.

Inside they had so many wonderful opportunities to teach children about the natural world.

Some fun games, puzzles and toys.

Here Keira is counting the rings on these tree stumps.

A spring animal and nature display.

Outside in the playground Brianna found monkey bars just her size.

Then we went on a hike. This trail we started off on is a wheel accessible area so handicapped adults and children can still enjoy a nature hike.

We went a bit deeper in..

The girls were hiking along as if they knew their destination.

Especially Maia... she was always so far ahead of us, calling us to "come on" and "this way".. or "look at this guys!"...

When we returned we hit another outdoor play area to burn some more energy...

Then had a little snack and drink before the long drive home.
Tomorrow is Earth Day - any fun plans??

Earth Day Giveaway - FREE May Childcare Guide!!!

To celebrate Earth Day tomorrow - I'm offering a free giveaway of one of our May 5 Day Childcare Guides to a random winner.
The winner will be chosen on or before Wednesday, April 28th - here's how to play:
  • Post a link to this challenge on your blog or website
  • Come back here and post a comment sharing the link
  • Be sure to check back on this post to see results!
Happy Earth Day!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One Small Change Wrap-Up

Ok so I've been absolutely horrible about posting my changes for this challenge but that doesn't mean we haven't been doing them!

Among many, our changes have included:
- reducing paper waste by using only cloth napkins at breakfast, lunch and dinner times
- turning our lights off and unplugging/switching off appliances when possible
- keeping our heat down a bit lower than usual
- trying our hand (once again) at veggie gardening - and now.... COMPOSTING!

I purchased this garden compost for our backyard. We are really excited about using it... in order to make it a bit easier on ourselves, we also got this mini kitchen compost bucket to keep under our sink. Each time we cut, peel or scrape we add the biodegradable produce to our bucket to later move out to our garden compost.

This little gadget was only $20 and comes with a filter as well.
It's amazing the amount of waste you can reduce by doing simple things like this. And, it goes to show you what types of things can easily turn back into earth and are biodegradable. It really makes you think twice about plastic wraps, aluminum foil, disposable plates and other items that we just toss without a second thought.

They will be sitting in landfills forever....

So thank you, Suzy for this wonderful challenge leading up to Earth Day! I hope the progress doesn't stop with these small changes we've done in blogland.