Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Long Summer Days

I've had so many blog posts running through my head this summer. I've already mentally composed a piece about the sensory story times I'm doing at the local libraries, a post about the professional books I'm reading, my reaction to Inside Out, a string of ideas and plans for next year, and general thoughts and observation about the teaching profession. It's all running through my head and every day a new post forms. I find myself thinking, I'll write that during nap time, or at bedtime, or I'll wake up before the kids do and write.


By nap time I am exhausted and in need of a nap myself. It's like summer camp all over again- the whole house shuts down for rest hour. It's beautiful. Not productive, but beautiful.

After bedtime I'm lucky to be churning out a few full sentences to my husband, and those few coherent phrases mostly involve trying to recap the day's events without making him leave the house and never come back.
"Refused diaper change... poop everywhere... drank bubble solution... massive fight over who got to use the washed out yogurt cup in outdoor water play... but you should have seen them play together for five minutes this afternoon. It was so cute! Best day honey, how was yours?"

Is it a giant mess? No, it's a beach. Obviously. Just not sure when we get to clean the beach up.
So I go to bed every night thinking I'll get up at 5 am and blog, return emails, or do the general grown-up chores one enjoys when not chasing a three year old and a one year old. You can imagine what happens when the alarm goes off at 5. It goes OFF. As in off, silence, not even a snooze button. Because at 5:45 the one year old will be up and ready to go and I feel like I need every ounce of energy to make it once she's awake.

So, little has been written, responded to, or completed. But despite the lack of complete thoughts, adult interactions, and productive workdays, summer has been good to us. In a slightly abusive-relationship good-to-us, but we'll take what we can get.
30 seconds. I turned my back for 30 seconds. And she's mad I didn't let her finish the beard.

I never want summer to end. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

No Sympathy for Cinderella

Yesterday my three year old gave a loud sigh as she was cleaning up. "Mommy," she groaned with the weight of the world, "if I don't go to the party soon, it will be all over." Please note this was an imaginary party. Before she went to the playroom to have this party I had requested (quite reasonably) that she clean up the play restaurant she'd created on the living room couch. Obviously cleaning up faster wasn't a part of her solution to the 'party will be over soon' play scheme. The only solution was for me to release her of her heavy burden so she and her imaginary party-friends could get out all of the dress up clothes before they decided they were late to something else.

The evil mother shrugged her shoulders and responded, "Oh no! Well, you'd better clean up faster then!" 

The groan that followed made even the one year old stop emptying out the contents of my purse to see what was wrong.

In that moment I suddenly felt for Cinderella's step mother. Who really knows what happened there. How many times had she asked Cinderella to do those chores? Maybe she set out a clear list of reasonable chores that needed to be accomplished before Cinderella could go and it was Cindi's responsibility to manager her time and follow through on her tasks. But she got side tracked playing with the birds and singing songs and suddenly she had to live with her logical consequence. Maybe her step sisters had done their chores on time and hadn't run around the room singing, totally ignoring their mother. Maybe Cinderella had made the massive mess than she was asked to clean up, and maybe she copped an attitude when she was told she had to clean it up before going to the party.

Or maybe I've been home on summer break for a bit too long...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Make your own play scarves

This summer I am doing a variety of sensory story times at local libraries (more on this later). One of the sensory objects I've been using is a set of activity/ movement scarves. I don't own a set myself so I've been borrowing from each library I visit. One librarian mentioned that she had heard you could make them yourself by cutting up bath poofs. I had to try.

At the dollar store I found a set of four poofs for a dollar. (I love that place!) 

My four year old and I untied them, cut/ripped them in half, and then made various sizes.
The mesh is fairly easy to rip once you make a good initial cut. I think we both really enjoyed the ripping process.

Then we took a tissue box wrapped in paper (sturdy brown paper, also from the dollar store), and pushed the scarves into it.

It kept my one year old busy for a very long time.

Scarves everywhere!!

Two sets of four poofs + wrapping paper = three dollars for lots of fun. The scarves themselves are $25 from Amazon.