Leap Day Fun  

Friday, February 29, 2008

Earlier this week, in the teacher's resource room, I saw a photocopy sitting on the table that caught my eye. It was a copy of a science experiment called, "Leap Frog? No...Leap Ball." I scanned it and it looked interesting, so I made a copy for myself, and we gave it a shot today. It wasn't something my kids could do themselves, but we adults had a fun time doing it and showing the kids.

The experiment is from the book Super Science Fun but tonight I also found it on the Family Fun website.

You need:

* two 8 oz wide-mouthed plastic cups
* a ping pong ball
* a smooth surface

What to do:

Place the ping-pong ball in one of the cups, and then place both cups next to each other. You need to brainstorm a way to move the ball from one cup to the next without using your hands or any other props. Any ideas?

Basically you need to blow into the cup containing the ball with short, hard puffs. After a few puffs, the ball will jump out of one cup and into the other.

As a disclaimer, I will say that I had a hard time getting the ball to go directly into the other cup. It did in fact jump right out of my cup, but did not always go where I wanted it to. However, I had so much fun with this trick that I did it several times today, (occasionally making myself a little lightheaded, LOL)for anyone who wandered into my classroom. I also brought the ball and the cups home to try it out with Michelle, Roland, and Paige. Paige got a big kick out of the jumping ball. We then played with bouncing the ball on the table and trying to get it in the cup, or having someone hold a cup and someone else bounce it and have the person holding the cup try and catch the ball. It was fun.

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The Thursday List Debut  

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thursday nights are pizza nights. Well, they used to be anyway. Tonight Roland made chicken kiev, but that's really beside the point.

See, many moons ago, before I even met Roland, (geez, I think it has been eleven or twelve years now!) Michelle and I lived in a different apartment, and we would have my college roommate, Kelly, over every Thursday and have "Pizza Night," which would of course mean eating pizza, but it would also be so we could watch which is still my favorite show. After Roland and I got together, we still continued the tradition of pizza night. In fact, Roland even proposed on pizza night, but that's a future post. :)

A couple of years ago, my friend Kelly moved with her husband to Florida, and I miss her a bunch. In fact, last Monday she had her first child, a little girl. I'm so happy for her, but I really wish I could go see her and her little one. We aren't as regular with pizza night anymore, but often we do opt for pizza on Thursday nights, and we especially have a pizza night whenever Kelly comes to visit.

I recently found the blogs: Tip Junkie and Today's Creative Blog, both of whom are right up my alley, because they show lots of pictures and fun things to highlight things they've found around the bloggy world. Then last weekend I was looking at Amy's Notebook where she lists weekly all the cool things that she finds in various blogs that she wants to remember for another time, and I thought, "hey, I could do something similar. (Hey, Jenn, I just noticed you are listed in her most recent post!) Maybe that's the way I can keep track of all of the cool things I see online, and maybe I can post it too, just in case anyone else wants to check stuff out. So then I was wondering about when and how often I should post my list, I thought, maybe I'll give it a go on Thursdays, since having something fun on Thursday nights always made a great precursor to the weekend. So here is the first installment of my Thursday List.

Maybe someday I'll come up with a snappier name. In the meantime it is fitting, as before I was a teacher, I worked for a health insurance company and my job was basically to make lists. No kidding. (Believe me, I wish I was.) So, I should be able to list with the best of them.

So, in no particular order, some stuff on a list:

Keeping juice boxes from squirting.

I tend to have Seasonal Depression, and I'm thinking about ordering this candle Sunscreen Candle

I came across this tonight and I think it is so pretty: Ribbon Mobile

I saw this awhile ago and want to remember it for next year: Peppermint Whipped Cream

This looks good too: Taco Soup

I love the idea of a Recipe Club I just wished that a) I cooked, and b)I had some friends who would do this with me. Maybe I could start an online club?

I'm thinking about trying this for Easter: Coffee Cake Bread

I've been wanting to try to make these, I just need to give myself permission to "mess around." Decorated Letters

Ok, I'm sure there's more stuff I want to keep track of, but I'm going to post this and see how it turns out. There's a lot of links in there for this new little Blogger. The rest will have to wait until next Thursday. :)

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G is for Great, Right?  

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm not sure if it is a good thing or not, but I've just found out that my blog is:

I must give credit - I found this fun thing from this post at The Adventures of Curt and Katie Mulder.

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Showering To Make Our Noses Feel Better  

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yesterday I woke up with a stuffy nose and was sneezing. My head felt stuffy for most of the day. Last night after Paige had been in bed for a little bit, I decided to take a shower to see if the steam would help clear my sinuses. I snuck into our room (our place is small and Paige shares a room with us) to get a clean pair of underwear for after my shower, and it turned out she wasn't asleep. She rolled over and said, "Is it time to get up?"

Momma: "No, it's not time to get up - I'm going to take a shower."

Paige: "Can I take a shower too?"

Momma, "No, it's too late. I'm getting some clean underwear so I can take a shower to make my nose feel better."

At this point I was leaning over her bed. She sat up and put both of her hands on either side of my face and looked at my nose. Then she told me, "Momma, when my nose is achoooo (little pretend sneeze here) I will get a Pull-Up and take a shower to make my nose feel better." She then allowed me to put her back to bed.

Fast forward to this morning, when she woke up at 5:30. I was taking her into the bathroom to use the potty and she asked to take a shower to make her nose feel better. So I told her ok. Then she wanted me to join her. So I did. Then she wanted us both to sit in the tub under the shower spray. So we did. I splashed her a little, and she splashed me.

"Momma," she said, "This is so much fun."

These are the moments that make a crazy Momma smile.

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An Overly Dramatic Post About Journaling  

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I realized recently that I don't think I know how to keep a journal.

This is funny if you were to know that I have kept an online journal in one way, shape or form for about eight years now. I started one on a wedding board, where the journal was about planning my wedding. I met several friends through that board, and when the board closed the journal section, we bounced around the web together, and have been chatting since.

The problem is that I know that I like to read other people's journals - and now their blogs - better than I like to write in my own. The reason is that I usually think that other people's lives are more interesting than mine. I often feel that when I am "journaling" I have to "entertain." I often will post in other people's journals but won't update mine, because I don't have an entertaining post. I suppose that isn't really the point of journaling.

Seeing as I am great at analyzing a subject to death, I did a little research this morning about "how to keep a journal." The articles I read suggested, mainly just writing or typing about whatever. It seems so simple and like a "Duh" kind of thing, so why is it so hard for me? Why do I think all of my posts have to be Pulitzer Prize winning material?

I spoke to Roland about this dilemma last night, and he said that a blog is meant to entertain. So then I got worried and figured I wasn't doing it "right," and that I wasn't being entertaining. I told him I was upset because I wasn't getting very many comments, so I must be doing something wrong. His response? "Why do you care?"

Why do I care? I don't know. It must be rooted to the need I've had my entire life to have people like me. I don't care who they are, or if I like them or not, but for some reason I want everyone I've ever met to like me. "Oh Michelle? She's so nice, isn't she? She's such a sweetheart..." etc, etc. I know that this possibly makes me sound quite vain, but it really is something that I've struggled with my whole life. I hold myself to impossibly high standards - standards I would never hold anyone else to, and then I get mad at myself when I can't reach them.

I am going to try and loosen up on myself, and blog just for myself. Although I do hope to make some bloggy friends and hope that you all enjoy what I write...I am going to try to learn to write for me as well. Wish me luck.

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Meaning To Do It  

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I think I've said before that I'm a very visual person. I also have ADD. That said, this blogging thing can be a little addicting and overwhelming to me. I find I click on this link and then that one, and then someone's blog links me to someone else's, and I see all these wonderful ideas, and I just can't get enough crafty clever ideas. But of course, clicking here there and everywhere, I can never remember where I saw what I liked. And half the time, I'll never try anything...I'll just "mean to do it."

I pull articles out of magazines all the time, of things I like, things I think I'll try. I do the same with recipes. I have a TON of recipes, but Roland does the cooking. I do like to bake, but half the time I just show him recipes - "doesn't that sound good?" "I bet I could make that." Then I file it away somewhere, but I don't do anything with it. In that way, I am such a collector. I collect ideas for activities I could do with Paige, or with my kids at school, but we rarely do these things. I spend most of my time online or in books looking for more. Looking for bigger, better. I tend to obsess over looking for the "right" thing to do. And when I do want to bake something? I will obsess over looking for the "right" thing to make, and will go looking for something new, even though I have all of these recipes saved.

I often find myself asking for permission. I ask Roland, "if I make a recipe, and it doesn't turn out very good, is that ok?" But then I still don't try it. I'm not sure if I'm afraid of not being perfect, or what exactly stops me. I am sometimes afraid of wasting time or money, but I don't think that's it exactly. I have said many times that I should put all my things I collect together in a binder or something, but then I ask Roland or Michelle, "does that make me a dork?" I'm so worried about things like that...and I really wish I wasn't.

So when I started with my 2008 goal of imperfection, I started putting some of my magazine pullings into a binder. Of course I didn't get too far with that - I've got to get myself back on track there, so there aren't just magazine clippings all over the house. :) I am determined to not care if this makes me a dork. I am determined to not care if just looking at recipes and not making them makes me a dork - as long as I can be happy with the fact that I just like to look at them, and not be afraid to make them.

Anyway, I started out with this long, rambling post, wondering how all of you organize the millions of ideas that you must see on all of these wonderful blogs. How do you decide what you'd like to try? How do you organize things for later? I know bookmarking doesn't work for me - then I end up with a million little bookmarks and I can never remember what they are for or why I bookmarked the page. (More joys of ADD.) I am also looking for any ideas of how to push yourself to try something, and how to pick something. I am an all or nothing gal - if I can't decide what to do, I won't do anything, and that doesn't make me happy either.

Any ideas would be appreciated, and if you read all of this, thanks. I am trying to push myself to blog for myself, about what I need to blog about, and not worry so much about making "perfect" posts and getting tons of comments, because that isn't the point of trying to be imperfect, now is it? :)

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A Tale of Rice and Beans  

Monday, February 18, 2008

I was just loading Paige into her car seat, telling her to be nice to Daddy because he was feeling sick. She told me that Daddy, Momma, Aunt Michelle, and Paige were all sick. And she's right. We have some sort of nasty stomach thing going on here at our house, and it has made every one of us miserable. I'm very happy to be on school vacation this week, and that Grandma has recovered enough from her bout of whatever it is to take Paige today so I can read blogs rest.

The hard part with Paige not feeling well is that she is normally a VERY high energy child, and it is hard keeping her still to get some rest. On Saturday I finally got around to doing something I've been "meaning to do" forever - I got out a box of instant rice and let her play with it. Paige loves to dig and shovel, and the rice was a huge hit - and also kept her from digging in the bucket of ice melt, which was her original idea. Of course, I do have rice all over the place, but for the child who can't seem to sit still for more than 5 minutes at a time, the rice kept her busy most of the day. She even took a nap, woke up, and her first words were, "Momma, can I play with the rice?"

I know there are other fun foods to play with, beans being one of them. I mentioned to my friend Michelle that maybe I'd get some beans for her, but I'd need a place to put them. She said, "you can put them in with the rice." I said, "Well, I could, but then the beans would be mixed in with the rice." She told me yes...it is about feeling different textures. I agreed with her, but said, "yes, different textures...rice with rice, and beans with beans." She asked me if this was the same problem as with the Floam. She told me that it was another perfectionist thing, not to mix my rice and beans. Can't a person just enjoy rice and beans separately without being a perfectionist?


Here I thought I was doing so good - finally doing one of my "meaning to do" things, and I get labeled as a perfectionist again. Oh well, at least Paige was happy. :)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ok, I'm going to see if this will work:

Click here to create your own painting.

I just found how to make a painting of my personality. I found the link to this little boredom buster in this post at Play More, Live More, Laugh More. It was a fun thing to do when I should be going to bed. I'm just as bad as a kid...I don't wanna go to bed. I wanna play in Blogland all night. Sigh.

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At Least I Amuse Myself  

I am a severe special education elementary school teacher. I work with very involved students. I am also a big dork (so sayeth my husband) and I LOVE working in an elementary school. One of the best parts of my job is being able to do so much fun elementary school stuff - book fairs, school concerts, school plays...I love all of this stuff!

On Valentine's Day, I took two of my students to their general education class (they spend most of the day with me, but do some time with the general education students) for what is normally read aloud. Turns out the teacher was letting the kids have some Valentine's Day fun, and they were playing a game called Four Corners. Basically, one person is "it" and while that person closes her eyes and counts to a designated number, the rest of the class runs and "hides" in one of the four corners of the room. Each corner has a designated number. When "it" is done counting, she calls out a number. Everyone in that numbered corner is out and has to sit down. This goes on until there is one person left, who becomes the next caller. At Halloween the teacher had used a paper pumpkin to write the number to label each of the corners, and we called it Four Pumpkins. Now for Valentine's Day, it was Four Hearts.

Now here's where I get really dorky. I love to play games like this with the kids. So now picture me, running around to different corners of the room with a bunch of third graders, and having just as much fun as them - maybe more. Then, the most fun thing happens - I won a round! I was so excited! Then I got to be the caller! I've been having a stressful couple of weeks at school, and this really made my day. I proudly came home and told Roland (my husband), "I won at Four Corners today!" He's used to me saying such random things, and sometimes doesn't even bat an eye at these weird declarations. Usually he listens to me ramble and then says, "No offense, but you're a dork." Ah yes, but I am a happy dork, so there. And I think what makes me extra dorky is that I actually googled "Four Corners" and looked at more than one definition so that I could post a link to a "good one." (Ok, maybe that's dorkiness and perfectionism? Am I a perfectionist dork? or a dorky perfectionist?) I also find it amusing that I was able to provide this professional looking link to Wikipedia of all things. So as it turns out, you can find just about anything online, and I usually do.

Hope you all had fun on Valentine's Day. :)

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My Major Award  

Monday, February 11, 2008

I got an award! For what, I'm not sure. Why, I have no idea. What it means? Not a clue. And yet, I am proudly displaying it over yonder in that right hand column. Thanks to Jenn for giving this clueless new blogger this award. Now you need to come back and explain it all to me. LOL

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Save Me From Myself  

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hello all.

I have been playing around with the look of my blog, as you can probably tell. I don't know much about writing any kind of code, but I do know how to cut and paste, and that, as it turns out, is enough to use a template. :)

The problem is, although I like the new look (I didn't like having a boring generic template) I've already received one comment that the white on black is too hard to read, and therefore that reader may not come around as often. Now I have spent the last fifteen minutes or so trying to figure out how to change fonts and text colors and all of that sort of stuff so that the page isn't annoying, and I am beginning to wonder if I was succumbing to my own perfectionism problem, trying to get the look "perfect," or if I was actually trying to make the blog easier to read.

Anyway, I figured at this point I better quit while I'm ahead, or I could be up all night obsessing about this. I'll probably be thinking about it all night anyway!

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A Hit and a Miss  

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I am a very visual person. I love blogs like Jenn's - that show you pictures of the crafts she makes, and often even step by step pictures. I have not yet mastered this, and so I hesitate to share the activities I do because I don't have pictures to go with them. I am trying to learn that these posts might still be interesting without all the bells and whistles. But I like bells and whistles, so this is hard for me. But here goes nothing.

Thursday was the first day of Chinese New Year. I read "My First Chinese New Year" by Karen Katz to my students and we looked up a little bit of info online. I have run across how to make Chinese lanterns out of construction paper several times online, but have never tried it. So I gave the pattern to one of the nurses, and before I knew it, we had a ton. We preceeded to hang them from the ceiling, and my classroom looks quite festive. I then decided that I really should try and make one myself, instead of just having her do them. So I made one too - I was so proud of myself. I thought Paige might like to make one, since she is always looking for something she can cut with her safety scissors. So last night Paige and I made a couple of them. It was hard for her to only cut where I told her to, but we managed. She seemed to enjoy them. Here's the directions if you want to try too.

Then this morning, inspired by this post by Chrissy at ToddleBits, I decided to try having Paige paint in the tub. I was excited because I believe I have the exact paints mentioned in her post. You know how people always say, "you can make this with things you have around the house?" Well, I never have those things around the house. But this time I actually did! So, I asked Paige if she wanted to paint, and she was very excited...until I took her into the bathroom. First of all, I discovered that I should have dried out the tub before I decided to do this. For whatever reason it was a little damp in there, so the paper got wet, and Paige couldn't seem to figure out why she was sitting in a Pull-Up in a puddle. Ok, then, she wanted to know where her brushes were to paint with, and I told her to use her fingers. Hmm...she did seem to think I was a bit crazy. I don't think we've done much fingerpainting around here, now that I think of it. So I tried to show her how to do it, and she poked one finger around in the paint for a few minutes. Then she decided to stand up and step in the paint for a minute. She was slightly amused by making "footsteps" with red paint on the tub, but that only lasted a minute. She then wanted to get out of the tub and go paint someplace else. How to explain to the 3 year old that the point of the fun (and the way to contain the mess) was to have her paint in the tub?? So, since she really likes taking a bath, she decided she was done painting and just wanted to take her bath. So I turned on the water, forgetting to change the little thing on the faucet that changes it from being a shower to a bath, and cold water rained down on her, freezing her and scaring the crap out of her. Now she's screaming and grabbing my shirt for dear life, covering me in red paint. I pulled her out of the tub, settled her down, and then got her back in the tub for the actual bath. When she was all settled, I showed her the painting she'd made, and she decided she wanted it in the tub. So I figured what the heck, and I gave it to her, even though I told her it'd get all wet. She was amused for a minute when she saw that she could put her hand in the wet, red paint, and then when she put her hand in the bubbles, they kind of looked red too. But once she saw that the bath water was red, she wanted out! She kept telling me how her bath was ruined. So much for that. Guess I can't win them all - and maybe I should invest in a few paint brushes.

Told you I was a crazy mom.

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Princess Perfection  

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Being a new blogger, I've been lurking for a little bit every Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer for Shannon's weekly Works For Me Wednesday. I've been thinking it'd be fun to join in, but I can't seem to think of anything that, well, works for me.

This past Friday night I was not feeling well - I spent the whole weekend dealing with some sort of flu thing, with a fever that haunted me every six hours when my Motrin would wear off. So I was humoring myself going through the Works For Me Wednesday Archives. I happened across one week where the theme was birthdays. I was excited, not only because I love birthdays, but also because Paige was turning 3 on Sunday, and maybe I'd find some fun tid-bit to make her birthday, well, perfect. Ha ha.

Anyway, I was in luck! One of the first posts was this one from Once Upon A Trip. In this post, they talk about Disney's Enchanted Phone Calls. At this web site, you can arrange to have a Disney character call your kids! They can call for birthdays, to congratulate your child, to say good-night, you name it, and they only cost $2.49 per call! There are a few different characters to choose from, and I was excited to find that Ariel was one of them. So, wonderful Mom that I am, I scheduled a call from Ariel for the night of Paige's birthday. Right at 5:30, the phone rang, and I gathered Paige up in my lap and told her that the call was for her. I pressed 1 to connect to Ariel, and put the phone next to her ear. We then sat and watched her priceless expression. When the call was done, I asked her, who called? and she just whispered, "Ariel."

It was so much fun and...well, it was just perfect. Is it always wrong to enjoy a bit of perfectionism? I hope not. :)

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Perfectionism Posting  

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

If you have ever wondered if perfectionism can affect your blogging, I'm here to tell you that yes it can!

The problem begins when you decide you'd like to blog, but you want a great blog that a lot of people read, and you immediately want a lot of comments and to create a huge following of die-hard readers. Then of course, you've built the whole idea up in your head so much, that you can't figure out what to write about. You can't figure out what is "right" or what all of these die-hard readers want to read. So you take something that was supposed to be therapeutic, and it almost becomes a little stressful. Leave it to me to try and create the perfect blog, when a couple of months ago I barely knew what a blog was!

I wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm still out here, although sometimes I am better at lurking in other blogs than posting in my own. I'm becoming a bit concerned about the fact that I often "write" blog posts in my head...but then they never seem to make it here. I am always thinking about my blog, but not posting. Now that I think about it, I have this problem in a lot of areas in my life. I spend more time thinking about something then actually doing it. I collect ideas for scrapbooking projects, or recipes I might want to try, or even simple kid's craft projects, and I'll look at them over, and over, and over, but I won't actually try any of them. I can never seem to find the time or to be able to pick out what I want to do. I spend a lot more time looking at life than participating, it seems. And I know I think too much about things. I need to figure out how to stop thinking about it, and dare I say this...just do it.

In any event, I'm finally pushing myself to come back and let you all know that I'm alive. Maybe I need to just put my butt in the seat in front of the computer every day or two and just make myself write about something, and try not to worry about what it is or how good the post is, or if anyone will care about any of it at all. Now that might be therapeutic!

And hopefully, my head won't explode.

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