Kids summer Do list & activity stations

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Here's my surefire list of boredom busters for kids at home during the summer!

Take down all the snacks from top shelf of pantry (chips). Find the expiration date on the package, and do a taste test. If it tastes stale, you both need to agree that it is, and then you can throw it out. If it’s edible, seal it back up and put away (and snack on it!)

5 minute instrument practice: pick an instrument (piano, guitar) and practice for 5 minutes. Then switch!

Foreign Language, in our case, Polish word battle. Round 1: Take turns each saying one Polish word that you know, until you run out of words. First person that can’t think of another one is out. Round 2: Look at your old Polish school stuff, and the books we have to review the words you learned. Then try the battle again, (words from Round 1 are ok to use again.)

-Reading: Stand in front of the bookcase in your room and close your eyes. Pick 5 random books. Then open your eyes and pick 2 of them to read to yourself for 10 minutes.

-Chopped time! Get 4 random ingredients and make a snack. Use 1 from pantry, 1 from fridge, 1 from counter, and 1 extra.

-Get the “I’m Bored” jar. Cut 4 new pieces of paper that are the same size as the cards. Together, think of 4 new activity suggestions to add to the jar.

-LEGO challenge. Set timer for 15 minutes. Using loose pieces, build something. At the end of the 15 minutes you have to give a presentation to each other where you explain what you built and how it’s used. It can be any invention or thing!

-Giant painting. Wear old clothes & shorts. Go in the backyard with one of those giant poster papers I brought from UT. (or one each). Bring finger paint from the white plastic drawers in playroom (“Painting” drawer). Fill up a bucket with water (for rinsing hands in between colors) and have the hose ready too. Now use your feet and hands, and any brushes or foam shapes, etc to make a giant painting! Hang it on the fence to dry off, or out in the grass. Hose off the concrete if paint gets on it.

-Backyard playing: set up croquet & play. Set up badminton net & get rackets & birdies & play badminton. Set up volleyball net and play volleyball.

-Front yard playing: chalk sidewalk, hopscotch, races

-Stairs car destruction ramp. At the bottom of the stairs, set up blocks in small stacks to represent a city (also stuffed animals & dinosaurs can be in the “city”). Next, use something long and flat from the top of the stairs all the way to the bottom of the stairs as a downhill road. Race cars of various sizes down the ramp, to destroy the city below, and scatter the animals and ‘buildings’. Rebuild the city and repeat. Cars that cause the most destruction are the winners.

-Yoga card deck. Get the two yoga mats and spread them out. Take turns picking a yoga card and following the instructions on it. !!!!!Roll up the mats when done or the cats will scratch them and mommy will be mad!!!!!!!

-Make a list of Top 10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

-Wii. Close your eyes in front of the Wii games shelf. Pick a game at random. You have to play it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes is up you can quit, or continue playing, or close your eyes and randomly pick another game. Make sure to put each game back in its case & on the shelf at the end.

-Go through your room drawer by drawer by shelf by bin, etc. Get two boxes. One is “Give to Cousins” and another is “Sell at Garage Sale”. We can have a toy-only garage sale before we leave on vacation to make extra vacation spending money.

-Pull weeds. Pile with most weeds gets 50cents from mama.

-Play Go-Go-10-10. You do 10 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups, 10 push ups, 10 times up and down the stairs, 10 stretch up & touch your toes, 10 hops on one leg, 10 hops on the other leg, 10 jump rope jumps, 10 arm windmills, and high kicks. Don’t forget to stretch before & after!

-Make mystery potions. Using shot glasses, mix different juices together (teaspoon of each) to see if a good combo can be made.

-Make fairy and wizard gardens: paint rocks to look like doors and windows, use twigs & mud to build a little hut and grass, leaves & flowers to decorate it - set up the little house against a tree or on the side of the garden (away from lawnmower path). Invite tiny toys into the house to decorate it/visit.

-Outside - set up the slip & slide in the backyard with the hose on low.

-using costumes, script, and phone camera, make a movie. Or put on a puppet show and film it as a short movie.

-Take a plain pillowcase and use fabric markers and/or stencils to decorate both sides.

-Write a card or letter to a family member or friend that lives far away.

-Make a goal to play every single board game we have at least once. If you don’t know how to play, read the instructions, or make up your own rules. Put every game back together before moving on to the next game.

My blog as poetry author

11:56 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Just a quick note to let you all know, that I have another blog that is based on my published poetry book; The Watcher: Poems (Cedar Leaf Press, 2010):

Way too much on my plate

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I have been stressed more than usual lately. I developed an eye twitch that finally went away in the serotonin release of having completed a kick ass dinner that I was making a giant batch of for my own family and the family down the street that had a baby recently. We delivered it welcome wagon style, with the food literally wrapped in a blanket next to Raiden in the red flyer wagon and we all went down there and dropped it off.

My involvements include:
1- the kids !!!!!! !!! !!!! you know how many exclamation points a 2 and 5 year old deserve. Raiden is so full of mischief! Spilling, falling, breaking, hitting, poopin, running off

2 - the house. dishes and general putting away of things and daydreaming about cleaning the bathrooms though never actually getting to that

3- Christmas: the shipping to my parents/sis/grandma, the buying for the in laws, kids, and husband, the driving to all the stores and places, finding/researching/remembering the coupons

4- my poetry book coming out. needing to design my website. needing to post a blog. needing to order printed swag from Vista prints (they have free biz cards, posters, etc), needing to call the giant list of book store contacts to set up a book tour in january (only have one scheduled so far), needing to set up a blog tour (a tour of other bloggers where I'm a guest interviewee on their blog)

5- web design work for 5 different websites. some ongoing, some incoming, some long overdue and not started yet

6- keeping up with the Huge Wonder baby tshirt biz; the driving to stores, the inventory, the web orders coming in, shipping them, delivering them, picking up checks and depositing them, printing tags, tagging and organizing a hundred onesies and tees, Tweeting and other social media-ing about the holiday promotions, prepping a selection for neighbor's kid's school's holiday fair booth.

7 - finances, moving money between accounts (biz & personal, making sure there's enough room for purchasing and paying bills

8- groceries, food, feeding the family, and fulfilling the two "new baby" families I signed up for bringing food to (my giving back for the season)

9- working at the preschool, all the parties this week, putting together gifts for my fellow teachers, for the secret santa recipient, and for my class kids, the lesson plans, the lunches for my kids & self, the meeting

are you crying yet? cuz I sure almost am

10- paving a path in my office/guest room so that the table and shipping/wrapping supplies are accessible

11- keeping in active touch with in-laws in regards to mother in laws recent cancer scare, surgery, recovery, and Benign on all counts diagnosis (whew!) This raised an incredible amount of stress in me Thursday and today, when the surgery & results all happened. My mom is a cancer survivor and being thrust in to that world again had a sudden explosive stress effect.

I think that's it. Please tell me I win. Or something. I must now tackle the kitchen because I used every single pot, pan, utensil and dish to make this dinner earlier and now I have to pay for it. But then I get to watch tv. sweet, sweet, tv and maybe more sugar, and then finally sleep. that is, until the 2 year old needs to nurse again.


9:36 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Fine, all right, I'll do some grats. Because I'm feeling ungrateful about my nursing grizzly bear who takes 1.5 hrs to fall asleep, and because I completed the epic journey from my house in TX to my parents' house in WI today and just need to focus on the good, little things, instead of all the things that made today hard.

1. watching my 20 month old take off running when we finally got out of the car, into the still wet from rain, still lightly drizzling early evening light of the acreage of my parents' luscious back yard.

2. this honey vodka from my parents' liquor cabinet tastes divine

3. my 4 yr old fell asleep before her brother

4. 20 month old was pleased as punch to pee like a big boy in the gas station potty (well as much a big boy as you can be when mommy is holding you business-side tilted over the toilet) It was like pouring water from a watering can!

5. the little joys of cheap wrapped presents doled out to children over the course of a long flight and equally long car ride

6. leaving a love note for dh (who is not on vacation with us) on top of the coffee machine where he'll find it tonight

7. getting 3 weeks to relax and explore

Au Cafe des Amateurs, Paris 1997

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Vendredi, le 10 Octobre, 1997
C’est l’apres midi. Il fasait mal ce matin. Maintenent il fait du soleil, mais je suis dans l’ombre. Je reste dans la meme café, je pense, laquelle Hemingway a frequente il y a pleusieurs ans; Café des Amateurs. Je viens voir un musicien dans la rue Mouffetard jouer du guitarre. Il etait merveilleux, calme, et melodique, ca m’a rappelee Nick Drake. Il est americain, mais je n’ai pas parle a lui – je n’ai que lui donne deux francs. Alors, je m’inquiete parce qu’il me manque six francs payer ce café pour le the. J’espere que le serveur ne deviendra pas tres fache avec moi.

Je ne parle pas assez de francais ici, en France, a Paris. je suis stupide. Je veux arreter sortir avec les americains, sauf de temps en temps. Vraiment, je suis ici pour ne pas etre americanine, et ce que j’ai fait du moment d’arriver etait exactement ca. je veux bien parler et sortir avec Marisa – elle est vachement interessante, mais elle n’est jamais chez elle. J’ai laisse un message avec la proprietrice de son foyer, donc je souhaite qu’elle arrivera me rappeler.

J’ai recu un deuxieme letter de Dave. Il me donne toujours l’inspiration… pour etre vivante and pour ne pas suiver la foule. C’est interessante, la semantique: folle/ foule / folie. Etre avec beaucoup de gens, ce’st la folie. J’arrive a aimer la langue francaise, meme si je ne le parle pas beaucoup. Je veux rencontrer des personnes qui volent dans l’immaginaire pour que la mienne devient renouvelee.

La vie post-scolaire, je la goute maintenant. Les etudes n’ont pas encore commence. Mais la difference maintenant est que tout est deja paye et je n’ai pas besoin de gagner l’argent pour cette annee. C’est une reve. C’est parfait. C’est la liberte d’etre. Malheureusement ce n’est point la realite.

L’ecriture c’est un art, on doit travailler pour le faire. Est-ce qu’il n’y a rien qui soit pure? Si on est genius, c’est tout naturel, mais si on ne l’est pas on doit travailler pour le rendre parfait, n’est-ce pas? Mais pour moi de temps en temps (je parle de l’anglais bien sur) l’ecriture est le plus pure expression de mon ame, il me semble que c’est parfait pour expliquer quelquechose specifiquement, sans avoir travallier, sans avoir besoin de corriger, parfait comme il est dans le moment. Des pensees pures.

J’ai remarque que je devienne impatiente plus vitement qu’avant. je ne peux pas supporter rester dans un endroit pour longtemps. je pense que ca c’est le signe que c’est l’heure de partir maintenant.

L’esprit de quelqu’un qui vient de s’asseoir derriere de moi est entre dans le monde autour de moi. Ca toujours arrive a moi. Aussi il y a quelqu’un quie me semble fou devant de moi, devant la fontaine au milieu de la place. Au pieds-nues, il parle rapidement a soi-meme en mangeant une pomme. Un homme en jupe me passe et je lui donne un petit esprit-mot, “je te supporte,” avec un sourire ephemeral.

Il ne reste que de l’eau sucre, citron, et l’histoire que je dois raconter en ce qui concerne mon manque de l’argent. Merde. je l’offrirai de faire la vaisselle.

Pourquoi j’air peur des gens? Toujours, toujours, encore.

A tour of parenting through today's Target purchases

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1. Deodorant.
Having a baby and nursing causes lots of new hormones to circulate, which leads your body to emit odors differently. Whereas before my pits were quite satisfied with the Crystal Stick, Tom's, or other natural slather, having a baby caused me to immediately smell like a goat. A very dirty, sleep deprived goat. So despite my suspicion that zinc aluminum plutonium based major brand deodorants are the cause of breast cancer, I absolutely have to have one of those on the occasion when I want to smell fresh. Even now, 18 months into this nursing thing, and especially in Austin's 100 degree summers, I need the heavy duty protection. So I revert to my old high school standard, Secret. I'm a sucker for their scents. The past few months I've been into Vanilla Chai, so I can smell drinkable. Now I've switched to something coconutty to remind me of summer sun.

2. Diapers.
I cloth diaper. This set of fuzzi bunz has lasted 2 children! They are amazingly long lasting, considering they've been washed about every other day on hot for 3-4 years now. However, it takes an incredible amount of stuffing to make one of those suitable for night. With my 24/7 milk cafe this means one diaper needs to last through the night. I finally conceded to the use of one disposable diaper a day for nighttime use. It's nice to have them as backup in case I run out during a wash cycle, too.

3. Shredded Cheese & String Cheese
Two favorite kids snacks. Dh is a big fan of string cheese. I need to use the shredded cheddar for my potato leek quiche that I'll be baking sometime soon.

4. Toothpaste
Just the adult one this time. We got these suction cup things to hold our toothpastes away from little reaching hands, since there's enough industrial byproduct waste (aka fluoride) in there to kill a child. It's true! Read the fine print! We have a low fluoride version for the 4.5 yo who knows how to spit, and the training fluoride-free one for the 18 month old who likes to spit equally as much as getting the cap off of his and downright sucking on it.

5. Sparkly stickers and pepperidge farm goldfish
Cuz you can't get through a store like Target without the kids getting a "present". The ingenious (for Target) dollar section at the front of the store ensures instant good behavior bribery for the whole trip. Whining? We'll take that toy away! Coveting? Ah, but you already got a present! Bored? Play with your new present! and etc...

6. Soap
Dh has been whingeing about the lack of normal soap in the house so much that the 4.5 yo started emulating him; this soap is too goopy mama. I must admit, the heat and constant kid use has rendered my usually yummy natural handmade soaps into squishy goo lumps. Some with exfoliating coffee grounds, oats, or patchouli, all of which are unacceptable to dh. The local grocery store sells no such thing as scent-free regular white soap and so I hadn't expanded my search yet. Target delivered with a jumbo pack of Dial White. My man does not want to smell spring fresh or jocky or sporty or brawny, mountainy, or irish. "White" it is.

Godchild & Give Peas a Chance back on Etsy!

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