Posts Tagged 'year 5'

baffled by the book

dear world,

i will do a proper holiday celebration post here pretty soon. today, i simply have to vent about one of the most ridiculous children’s books to enter our home. i did not buy it. it was received by my oldest daughter as a gift.

allow me to introduce you to hernando fandango, the great dancing dog! by rachel swirles.

at fist glance, it’s really no worse than some of the other randomly published children’s books we have encountered. but then, i read on. here’s my beef:

it’s like reading a book with no basis in reality. what on earth is a pajama-case dog? doesn’t this need some minor explanation in order to feature so prominently in the plot line? seriously, i’m pretty well read and i’ve never head of a pajama-case dog.

the rhymes are really reaching: “chances” rhymes with “dancers” twice. once, i could forgive, but twice? and she also rhymed “paw” with “floor”. again, forgivable on it’s own, but combined with the rest, it’s just terrible.

but, you  know what? i read it with gusto. i read it with excitement and a tone of “this is the way it should be” because ultimately my girls both enjoy the story. at the end of the day, if a story speaks to my girls, i will continue to read it over and over and over again. whether i like it or not.

feeling fairly unimpressed,

cm

feeling like a good mom

dear world,

today i stayed home with V. yesterday when i picked her up from school, she was literally laying on the floor. the after-school care program teacher said she thought V was really tired. we took her temperature when we got home and it was over 101. 

today, she mostly watched tv. and to be fair, while we don’t usually let her watch much on the television, all i want to do when i’m sick is watch tv. i thought to myself, oh! i’ll get so much done, but she could barely hold her head up. i ended up sitting next to her most of the day. she finally started to perk up around 3pm.

at long last, the tv went on break. no more programs for at least an hour. she couldn’t decide what to do. painting? all the paints are on the sunporch and they’re frozen. play dough? frozen. something else? frozen. then she asked, well can’t we just make play dough? 

actually, yes.

fortunately, we had everything we needed to make play dough. specifically, purple play dough. we used the recipe found here and while ours didn’t look quite as awesome as hers, it certainly worked.

i substituted arrowroot for cream of tartar and i didn’t read all of the directions beforehand so rather than add water a little at a time, i dumped the whole cup in at once. this is not advisable. i had to add flour to thicken it up so it would stop sticking to my hands like glue. once we reached the proper flour ratio, i set her up with some cookie cutters and she went to town.

i feel like i totally nailed being a mom today. i managed to soothe my sick child and create play dough out of thin air (and flour and water and salt, etc). 

and both kids were asleep by 8:05pm. 

living the dream,

cm

PSA: wax paper is not the same as parchment paper

dear world,

in our effort to eat more whole foods and less processed stuff, i’ve started making homemade cereal bars. i’ve tried a couple of different recipes, but this one from weelicious.com tasted great and requires no use of the stove so the girls can help from start to finish. apparently, the bars are supposed to look like this when finished:

 

photo credit: weelicious.com

however, the first time i made them, i used aluminum foil to line the pan so the foil stuck a little to the bottom and i let them cool for a bit too long before trying to cut them. they certainly weren’t pretty, but they were absolutely edible.

this time, i thought, i’ll use wax paper to line the pan. the box says it’s oven safe. i mean, i did check the box and since we don’t have any parchment paper, i took the plunge.

my cereal bars turned out like this:

cereal bar crumble

cereal bar crumble

apparently, wax paper, when baked in the oven for any amount of time melts into whatever you happen to be making. my cereal bars had a fine layer of wax melted into them which i then had to peel off.

it was messy business.

in brighter news, my cereal bar crumble tastes just as good as a properly formed bar. one simply needs a spoon or many many napkins available to eat it.

crunching away,

cm

ps- does anyone have any good no-heat recipes that kids can help with?

the sick day

dear world,

V has a virus. i sent her to school tuesday with a little cough and the nurse called around 1pm. she had a pretty good cough. i didn’t let the nurse take her temperature in case it was a fluke and we could send her the next day, but she actually had a low-grade fever. and her fever held between 100.2 and 100.6 for the past two days.

today, i fully intended to take her to school except her fever was still there this morning. so, instead, i kept her home. we watched tv, i did some work, we went grocery shopping and she watched more tv.

i made ketchup (from scratch) and started making vanilla extract for our holiday gifts. i did laundry. what else is a girl to do?

then, late afternoon, her fever went up. instead of hovering around 100, it’s’ now hovering around 101. i took her to the doctor on thursday who said this fever lasts 3-5 days. she said to go back if the fever spiked or lasted until monday. but now i’m nervous. going up after 3 1/2 days versus going down is not so good.

i hate this. i want her to feel better and sometimes it seems like she is. but then, she walked over this afternoon and just put her head in my lap. she actually asked to go to bed this evening. that may have never happened before.

i’m a little concerned. i have a call into the after hours line at the doctor’s office. i hope they say it’s fine. i hope her fever breaks tonight.

here’s hoping,

cm

school lunches – it’s a marathon, not a sprint

dear world,

as this is the first year we’ve been responsible for providing lunch for V, i thought i’d look to the internet for help. i want V to eat well. i want V to have healthy choices. mostly, i just want her to eat what i pack. where to start?

well, the internet suggests about a million things and i kid you not, all these moms are making food that looks like owls for their kids school lunchboxes and i’m all like, oh shoot, i have to figure out what to pack for tomorrow and it’s 10pm.

last night, when this very thing happened, i wandered into the kitchen, stared deep into the fridge and decided on making her a quesadilla with peas on the side and threw in some leftover popcorn and a whole apple. then i almost burnt the quesadilla and totally exploded the peas all over the microwave. but, i think she’ll like it. it wasn’t pretty, but i covered my bases.

here’s what i learned:

  1. land’s end makes a lunch box that wipes clean and fits enough food for lunch.
  2. goodbyn makes a 3 section lunch holder and the stuff doesn’t leak into the other sections or the lunchbox (unless your child forgets to shut it when she’s done).
  3. it’s hard to think of a variety of choices so you don’t end up with pb&j 3 out of 5 days
  4. it’s kind of fun to use pretty toothpicks to hold a sandwich together

i went to a playdate/lunchbox party with some friends and got some good ideas. i bought a cookbook that is *fairly* optimistic in packing suggestions. for example, V thinks lettuce is only for grown-ups- kind of like coffee and wine, and this cookbook suggests things like skewers with tomato, fresh mozzarella, bread pieces and fresh basil.

and then, today, i read a post about the pinterest bitches who stay up to 4am making totally over-the-top stuff for back-to-school time. i’m thinking i can settle down. V is fed. she’s excited about what’s in her lunch and she loves her “coffee cup” which will keep milk cold for 7 hours.

happy eating,

cm

ps – the second week of school, V very specifically asked for lunch money so she could buy her lunch at school including strawberry milk. oh well.

 

kindergarten is hard

dear world,

this afternoon, i received an email from V’s kindergarten teacher informing me that V had simply decided to wander out of class and explore the school because it was too loud during a lesson. another teacher found her and returned her to her class.

1. seriously? my daughter is in big trouble!

2. seriously? my daughter could escape unnoticed from your class and another teacher had to bring her back?!

i rearranged my schedule and met first with the teacher and then with V and the teacher together to reinforce the unavoidable fact that she is required to stay with her class. we had a good meeting and i understand the challenge of managing 22 5 -6 year olds, but i’m still kind of struggling with not being totally frustrated by the situation.

1. how is it my kid that decides to just leave class?

2. how did you not know that 5 year olds will test your limits?

ultimately, i think no one told V that making the choice to leave class without permission is unacceptable. now she knows and i feel pretty confident that she won’t make that choice again. but goodness, what’s next? what thing am i forgetting as an adult that isn’t obvious to a young person?

and why does her teacher’s perkiness drive me (just a little) nuts?

she’s very perky. in the midst of a serious discussion about why i felt scared when i didn’t know where she was, V commented something and the teacher literally turned her head so V wouldn’t see her laughing at her response. and i’m using literally in the actual sense, not the new webster’s dictionary sense.

teaching is hard. teachers deserve better pay, more resources and a voice in how to educate young people. i will support this however i can in terms of reinforcing rules, suggesting appropriate choices and so on. but, i , too, could use a little back up, here.

candidly,

cm

i know it’s a phase, but that doesn’t make it better

dear world,

with both kids in new schools, our routines have shifted utterly and completely. N cried every morning for a week when we dropped her off at school and now she’s fine. i get a wave and maybe a hug and off she goes playing with her friends.

V is doing so great in kindergarten, but still struggling with choosing to do something she doesn’t want to do. i read somewhere that kids only have so many minutes of good behavior per day and in all honesty, i’m glad she spends them at school, but it can make for some messy home times.

we had a terrible settle down last night. she yelled, she kicked, she screamed at the top of her lungs. mostly because it was time to go potty and brush teeth before reading books and bed. but she just couldn’t. her little body and mind were so overtired that she fell to pieces. finally, after she eventually calmed down, i told her how much i like spending time with her and how much i would prefer to spend time with her when she felt happy and acted nicely  instead of yelling and kicking and screaming. i’m sure some of this is a desire for attention, but the presentation is really awful.

and then, to top it all off, i thought i’d pick her up from school today instead of having her go to the aftercare and spend some one on one time together. and after she fell out, she finally told me that she’d rather go to y-club and play for a while.

it’s a deal.

i know it’s a phase. i know it will pass. i feel utterly resigned to waiting her out each night for the next however many nights until she works through this. i hope it passes quickly. this sounds terribly morose and in fairness to V, i should also mention how amazing it is to watch her play school with N every evening after dinner. they have centers and take field trips and do art. it’s fantastic to see her parrot her teacher like this. and then it shifts out of pretend and real life is a bummer sometimes. i mean really, who wants to quit playing and go to sleep?

waiting it out,

cm


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