Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bird Nest Snacks

So, this is our bird theme week.  We have what seems to me to be a very large amount of them in our yard, and Cadence is interested in them.  We've been reading a wonderful non-fiction bird book that my parents gave her for her second birthday.  It's About Birds by Cathryn and John Sill.  It can be very difficult to find non-fiction that is appropriate for young preschoolers, but this one totally is.  Realistic wildlife pictures show a variety of birds doing a variety of bird things, with simple one sentence text for each page. 

Anyway, we've been learning about birds' nests from that book, and I saw a great idea (here) for bird nest snacks and had to do it.  I didn't have marshmallows so I winged the recipe a little - threw in some peanut butter instead, but it's the classic chinese noodle butterscotch haystack recipe.  And we could have put peeps in the nests for the birds, but they freak me out a little bit, so we just did jelly bean eggs.

 Cadence is becoming quite the helper in the kitchen.  She poured rice krispies and stirred the butterscotch chips and placed the "eggs", then helped clean up while we waited for them to cool and harden. 

She totally liked the cookies (me too!).  Our other bird activities include reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems and dancing to the song Birds by Hap Palmer.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rainbow Activities

We're starting to get a bit more theme-y around here with my "projects" for Cadence. As my friend Susie pointed out last weekend, I'm doing preschool with her - meaning, since I'm home with her as her primary teacher, I'm preschool. I miss planning my themed storytimes anyway, so this is good for her and for me.

Storytime at the public library here was about rainbows this week, and since we talk about colors so much these days, rainbows were a nice theme for this week. We read A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman.
We did a little rainbow scavenger hunt in the playroom - I asked her to find something for each of the colors of the rainbow and she lined them up. Because she's two, she had to include pink in the rainbow colors too.

This face is hilarious, right?

I saw this paint sample rainbow mosaic project at I Can Teach My Child, and we changed it a little, but she loved it and did really well with the glue and matching the colors.

We're still not quite done; we left it out on the table and she keeps coming back to it and will probably finish it this weekend.

Next week: birds!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Deals of the Week - Clothing the Kid Edition

We don't spend very much money on clothing Cadie mainly because we are blessed to have a lot of people in our lives who want to buy her things.  Also, there's a sweet family at my parents' church that has been passing down tons of cute and sometimes very fancy (Strasburg Children and Lilly Pulitzer, anyone?) clothing from their daughter who is a few years older than Cadie.  Anyway, I only pick up things for her when she particularly needs something, or when I get really great deals, like these!

The jacket was only $2 on clearance at Target.  The socks were free!  These socks are only $1 at Target anyway (we have 3 other pairs in other colors), and there's currently a printable coupon on the Target website (scroll to the bottom of the website homepage and under the Target Stores heading there's a link to coupons) for $1 off any Circo apparel or accessory items (on the coupons page, find it under the apparel and accessories category).  The cashier had to manually put it through for me because the computer didn't figure out the coupon applied to these.  There were no restrictions about price printed on the coupon though, so if you need baby or toddler socks, print this one and head to Target.

The little fleece lined clogs were in the clearance cart at CVS for $1!  They are too big now, but they will be great for next fall and winter.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Green Sensory Tub

I've been wanting to try sensory tubs for awhile after reading about them over at No Time for Flash Cards.  I picked up some green split peas at Walmart and thought we could try it out for St. Patrick's Day, which is not a holiday that 2 year olds understand.  She found the green necklace in the tub and exclaimed "It's a patrick!"

Anyway, this was a hit. It's split peas and some rice in a little tub. I put in some green blocks, a duck with a green head, some green and white pom-poms, a green necklace, and two shamrocks I twisted out of chenille sticks (or to anyone my age and older - pipe cleaners).


She played with this for about half an hour and only stopped because it was time to go to dinner.

We're off today to south atlanta to visit my friend Susie and go to the zoo while Matt is busy in the dorm.  Fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cadence is 2.5!

Yesterday was Cadence's half birthday.  Thankfully my mom mentioned this a couple weeks ago or I totally wouldn't have remembered.  It's very hard for me to believe that in 6 months she will be 3!  (And that there will be a newborn here, but that's another story.)
I took these pictures yesterday while we were having dance/music time in her room.  We were jamming to one of my favorite kids' albums You are my little bird by Elizabeth Mitchell.  She wanted to wear the tutu and crown. Both of which are made by me.  You may remember the tutu from Halloween when she was a ballerina.  It's a little worse for the wear since it's been through the wash.  But the crown is probably one of the best things I've made - I made it for her first birthday and still fits great, and gets a good amount of play.
I kind of miss writing in her baby book.  We had a great one with prompts for things to fill in every month so we could record new things she was doing and her current favorites.  Since she's outgrown the book, I'll share them here.

Favorite foods - peanut butter crackers, yogurt (the "flower" yogurt, as she calls it, or Dannon Natural Low fat Vanilla) or ice cream, and banana "cake" (it's really bread, but that's what she calls it)
Favorite TV show - Dora the Explorer.  She's usually limited to 2 shows a day - it's not a rule we talk about, just what I do.  We watch on Netflix so we are spared commercials.  Dora kind of annoys me, and I'd rather she watch Backyardigans (way better music) or Blue's Clues (I think more educational and age appropriate).  That said, she uses spanish words sometimes that I wouldn't have taught her or practiced with her otherwise.  For example, she's counting to 5 in spanish.
New trick - besides counting to 5 in spanish, she's doing really good with one-to-one counting in general - she consistently gets to 8 with no problem, sometimes 9 or 10.
Favorite book - I don't think she could choose!  We brought home Tanka Tanka Skunk by Steve Webb from the library this week, which we are both loving.  I enjoy introducing her to my old storytime favorites. She also loves this nursery rhyme/song book my Aunt Pami gave her a long time ago - she gets it out during naptime and sings the songs.  All her books are overflowing the shelf in her bedroom, so I'll be pleased to move some of the board books into the baby's room.
Favorite toys - she has several stuffed animals that sleep in her room (in very specific locations) and usually travel around the house with her.  For example, they sit at the table for breakfast.  They are: Kitten, Piglet, CoCo Bear, and Mommy Bear (or as she used to be called, Dotty Bear).
Favorite music - everytime we get in the car she wants to listen to her Baby Einstein Cd: Playtime Music Box.  It also drives me a little crazy.  She often asks to sing "A Tisket, A Tasket", which she knows from that rhyme/song book.

We're just really proud of how sweet and fun she is.  After the move, she has had to overcome her fears and shyness - she acted like a different kid for awhile, as least when we were out of the house.  I wish she would eat better (or more, maybe - it's just so foreign to me to have a kid who isn't very excited about food), but she is certainly getting taller all the time and is destined to be built like her daddy - tall and thin!

Every night before we leave her room at bedtime, she says "Dulces Suenos - I love you!"  We love you too, sweetie girl.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rainy Day Granola Bar Experimenting

Thanks to my friend Kelley, who tweaked my granola recipe to make bars, I HAD to try it today too. 

Unfortunately, they didn't turn out into bars, so something went to do more granola bar research...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Deals of the Week(s)

February was so busy that I didn't do so great with the deals, but the past couple weeks, I have gotten a lot of free stuff! Most of this was obtained earlier this week.
All the items in this picture were free. I got the 12 pack of Coke Zero through the My Coke Rewards program. We don't drink that much coke, but my parents give me their codes and Matt got a whole cup full of lids with codes from the grill on campus. The contact lens solution was "free" at CVS because I got the full price back in ECBs.  I've gotten good at actually remembering to spend these.  And the Egg Beaters and Chef Boyardee were free sample coupons that I signed up for from Walmart.

These items were better than free - or moneymakers, as the serious couponers call them.  The best deal was the Colgate toothpaste.  It was another "free" item at CVS where you got back the purchase price in ECBs.  I also had a $1.50 off coupon so I "made" a $1.50 there.  The powder was also a CVS deal - $12.99, and I had a $7 off coupon and got $7 in ECBs, so I made about $1 on that one.  The Aquafresh was $.97 at Walmart, and I had a coupon for $1 off. 

I don't see us having to pay for toothpaste anytime soon.

If you are curious about getting CVS deals like these, check out the CVS 101 info at Money Saving Mom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Yesterday's educational activity

Cadence has known her colors for awhile now, except for some occasional confusion about grey, black, and brown. I thought it would be fun for us to explore color mixing this week. On Sunday, we read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, which was always a favorite of mine for color storytimes and Cadence enjoyed it too. Since we read about the mice mixing colors we mixed red and white paint to make pink.

After I put some the two paint colors in a zipped plastic baggie we worked together to squish them together. Then Cadie painted pink in the middle of her paper and added red on one side and white on the other. She worked hard on adding what she considered the right amount of paint and enjoyed switching brushes as she switched colors. When Matt got home yesterday, she was able to tell him that red and white make pink. An exciting discovery for her.