Monday, February 21, 2011

Dental Disaster?

Well...not exactly. Both girls got the "thumbs up" for no cavities! But, aside from that, it wasn't what I would call an ideal dental visit by any stretch!
From these pictures, you might think that Elizabeth was a wee bit nervous (well...she was!) and that Ashley is ready for anything (she wasn't!) LOL

They both got their teeth cleaned, and Elizabeth was the model patient, albeit with her little worried brow furrowed and fists clenched to her sides. But really...who doesn't clench their fists while at the dentist?!?! ;-)

When it was her turn, however, Ashley, decided she wasn't having any of that sitting in the dental chair nonsense. (I mean, it was fun when she thought it was a slide...but no way was she gonna lie down while the thing reclined!) So she sat on my lap facing me while we laid her head back in the dentist's lap. Yeah, it sounds just about as pleasant as it was in reality...which is to say NOT AT ALL! Poor thing pretty much screamed through most of the cleaning (in between pleading whines of "all done!") and I politely but firmly declined the fluoride treatment and flossing on her behalf. ;-) After all...she did pretty well for someone who isn't even two yet! (Especially considering that I didn't take Elizabeth in for her first cleaning until she was 3 and a half!) Mean mommy! :-( It was kind of traumatic for BOTH of us!

Ah well! For our next attempt, we plan to check out a fun little place in Reston called the Dental Safari! :-) I'll let you know if they are WILD about it!

What IS it?

Well, you probably already know that I am a part-time freelance writer for Lakeshore Learning Materials. (My primary responsibility for them is to write the content for the Teacher's Corner on their website each month.) What you might not know is that I have now been working for Lakeshore for TEN YEARS! WOW!

And, right now, the most exciting part of this is that Elizabeth is now old enough to be the guinea pig on whom I can "test" my ideas (sometimes before they are published, and sometimes after)! But it's a lot of fun for me to see firsthand these ideas put into practice!

Today, E helped me celebrate President's Day by doing the President's Day Puppet & Poem activity on the Teacher's Corner! She colored the picture and I cut out the George Washington figure and she glued him onto a popsicle stick. Take a look:

After she finally remembered what it was we were doing, we read the poem together! LOL (I would read a line and she would repeat it after me.) She seemed to have a good time with it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

While I Have the Camera Out...

I figure, why not show you a few pictures and a video of the rest of the morning's activities? ;-)

After the Valentines were cleaned up and packed away, it was time for some Play-Doh Fun!

So I threw some wax paper onto the coffee table and E grabbed the Play-Doh bin from her closet, and they got BUSY! E was making a pigpen for monkeys (wha?!?!...yeah, I don't know either!)...and A was busy pressing out star shapes, which E later decided were starfruit for the monkeys! They seemed to agree on this idea, so I went with it! ;-)

Here...I'll let E tell you. She seems to explain it better. LOL

(Note the gasp from me early on in this clip when, for a brief second, I felt certain Ashley was about to smash the play-doh monkey with the rolling pin! Big Sister would NOT have been happy!)

My Little Valentines!

Elizabeth's preschool class is having a Valentine's Day party on Tuesday (2/15)...and the kids are encouraged to bring Valentines to share with their classmates! So, without even thinking about the preparation this would require on my part, I blurt out: "Hey you want to MAKE your OWN Valentines?!?!" (Silly Mommy! About 2.2 seconds after it came out of my mouth, I reminded myself that she is four. And that she has a baby sister who wants to do EVERYTHING that she I would need to be sure this make-your-own project is very kid friendly!)

We had planned to go to Target yesterday afternoon after naps, but, naturally, Ashley decided that this would be the day she took a 3.5 hour afternoon nap!!! Seriously.

So, by the time she woke up, it was getting closer to dinner time, and E helpfully suggested: "Mommy...maybe you could just go while I'm sleeping and get all the stuff and surprise me in the morning!" Ha!
Hmmmm...actually...not a bad idea!

So I did just that, and returned home with the following:
• A pad of 6" x 9" construction paper (which I made sure included plenty of sheets of red and white paper that I immediately removed for use with our project!)
• A pack of 15 paper doilies (b/c you can't make proper homemade Valentines without "LACE"!)
• Two sheet of stickers...monkeys holding hearts! (See previous posts for the monkey explanation!)
• A large gift bag (covered in hearts in red/white/pink of varying sizes...I cut out the hearts and spread them out on the table so that E could choose which ones she wanted to use and glue them onto the cards)
• A package of glue sticks
• A box of pre-packaged Highlights "Hidden Picture" Valentines (initially I bought these as a "back up"...just in case our handmade Valentine idea didn't work out. But E LOVES hidden pictures from her Highlights magazines, so we found a way to incorporate them into the handmade version!)

When I returned home and dumped all the supplies out onto the kitchen table, Peter shook his head and laughed at me ("What have you gotten yourself into?")...but, to his credit, when he saw me sitting down with a pair of scissors and going to work on cutting out the hearts from the gift bag, he grabbed a spare pair and joined me! Now THAT's what I call a supportive husband and SUPERDAD!!!! :-)

I tore out the red and white sheets of construction paper and folded them in half to make cards. And then discovered that the "Hidden Picture" Valentines would be a perfect fit to glue onto the inside of the cards! Hooray!

I made a "sample" card to show E the basic idea and left all the supplies on the table for her to view in the morning.

When she came down for breakfast, she was SO EXCITED that she wanted to get started on it all right away! But I did manage to convince her to eat breakfast first!

We moved the materials to the coffee table so that it would be easier for the girls to reach, and then we began! (I made sure we had enough cards for Ashley to get in on the action too! And boy did she! That girl LOVES her some glue stick!)

The process went a little bit like this:
Monkey sticker FIRST! (Of course!) And then once the monkey sticker was placed on the cover, E would embellish the rest with paper lace, heart cut-outs, and heart stickers....collage-style! The beauty of the collage layout, of course, is that there is no "wrong" way to do it!...and I could tell that my little perfectionist appreciated that creative freedom!
Next, we would open the card and glue a hidden picture card to the inside! (This was A's specialty--particularly b/c she could slather the glue stick ALL over the card and she loved that!) And then E would turn it over and pound it onto the card to make it stick!

We made 15 cards in all--one for each student in her class...and another two for the teachers!

Fun morning!