Monday, February 27, 2012

Mommy Moment: Is Carter Team Edward?

Today was a strange day.

And I'm not quite sure what to make of my feelings at the moment.  I'm a bit sad, disappointed, confused and betrayed.  All by my little, 30% in Height and Weight, barely 2 year old son.

Carter may be a vampire.  Or worse, maybe even a bully.  I don't know yet.

I do know this.  He bit another child. (breathe, breathe, breathe.)

As a teacher, you are trained what to do in this specific situation.  It is, after all, a very crucial moment.
1. You separate the children.
2. Tend to the hurt child.
3. Talk with the biter.
4. Have the two "talk."  Encourage the biter to LOOK at their hurt friend (who is usually crying.)  Explain that their friend is hurting because of the bite, teeth are not for biting and it is not okay.

The next steps in a school setting are even worse.

5. You have to call each set of parents explaining the situation BUT leaving anonymity of the other student.  Eeeek!!!  Not fun!
6. Then of course, fill out paper work.
7. And some schools, depending on their age, have rules from the Big Whigs like: 3 strikes your kicked out, kind of thing!  Seriously BIG deal.

Well, Carter bit.  And the Three Year Old boy cried.  It was sad.  And embarrassing, but mostly disappointing.

And even though I KNOW what to do, I was kind of like a deer in headlights.  I went through the motions.  But it was much more painful with Carter, than another student.

I KNOW the blah blah like: this is natural, happens commonly at this age, they use it in frustration when they have the lack of words or power.  And because I know and really believe this, I never judge another parent or their child when it is them in the situation.

But because it's Carter and me, I can't let it go.

I have to keep bringing it up at inappropriate when he's seeming too happy or having too much fun, I have to say something like "Hey remember what happened at exercise today?  Three Year Old Boy was so sad.  Why did he cry?"  Or  "Is that a good cookie?  I like how you're using your teeth for food.  Is it nice to use our teeth to bite friends?"  When he looks glassy eyed again, I feel justice is being served and we continue on.  Appropriate?  I doubt it.  But I keep doing it.

Through the continuation of my workout class (where the incident took place) I couldn't keep my eyes off Carter.  He was now timid, sheepish and scared.  And I wanted it to stay that way.  If he got too close to another child, I didn't know what he would do next.  I was scared of my own child!!  And felt like I didn't even know him!?

It's now nap time and I'm looking up books like:

and wondering if this is really my son:

And what if he becomes the bully?  OH GOD NO!

Actually typing that last sentence out just made me start tearing up again.  

Yes, I teared up at workout class too, after I apologized for the 500th time.

Come back my silly boy!

I only want moments like this...for the rest of my life.

Ahhh, one can wish.  Right?

Side note: I almost typed out this question:
"Has your child ever done anything that has shocked you with sadness and or disappointment?"

But am scared that my parents would contribute!!  I know that answer!  

And now, I'm sorry.  I'm sure I was sorry then, but now I'm really sorry Mom and Dad.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Last Minute Valentine's Ideas

Well, here it is, February 13th!  One day before Valentine’s Day!

Now every year of my married life I start thinking about Valentine’s Day  in mid-January.  That’s all I do, think about it.  Seriously, every year I found myself in a panic the night before Valentine’s Day planning for the following morning.   If you find yourself in this predicament here are 10 quick tips that made this a special day for our family.

  1. Decorate your table for breakfast. Make confetti with shredded red and white paper.  Add a little shredded aluminum foil for some sparkle.  Toss this all over the table.
  2. Cut red, or pink hearts for placements or just toss them randomly on the table.
  3. If you have white paper napkins, just make polka dots or small red hearts on the napkins with a red marker. 
  4. Pink milk is as must!   Just add a drop or two of red food coloring in the milk and either serve it as a drink or use it on their cereal.
  5. If you are making pancakes, waffles, toast or lunch sandwiches cut them in to heart shapes.  Red strawberry jam was a hit around our house.
  6. Add a couple of construction paper hearts to their lunch boxes and you may even have a couple of red Hershey kisses left from Christmas to add.   Make sure to add s special “love note”.
  7. Make spaghetti and meatballs (red sauce) and salad for dinner. A cake with pink icing was the dessert.   I always seemed to have the dessert the ingredients for that in the pantry
  8. Scrounge around the house for red or white balloons.  Just tie them together and let them hang from a light fixture.  No need for fancy helium ones.  If you can only find white ones, decorate with a red marker. 
  9. No time to buy a valentine?  Make your own special valentine for your children and hubby.   You can use ANYTHING!!!!  I used to make oversized ones with poster board and construction paper hearts and markers.  The kids LOVED them.  It got to be a tradition that we continued through high school and into college days.
  10. Most important, is to remember that family love is the best love.  So, start looking around your house, gather any red scarves, jewelry, candles, construction paper, etc.   Have fun and spread the love!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yummies Lately

I've been on a Cooking Spree lately.  Which isn't much for me...meaning that the cooking I do on my Cooking Spree isn't much cooking at all.  But I've created food for my family.  And they've been filled with goodness, so there!

1. Sweet and Salty Chickpeas

Carter calls these "Nuts."  He likes nuts.  And in a way, they remind me of nuts.  Crunchy, sweet, salty and addicting.

Thankfully, they are super easy to make.  We've been going through a batch in two days.

We call these "Cookie Dough" because I never actually have gotten to make them into the little cute balls you see above. It sits in the bowl and we pick and form chunks as we snack.  Lovely, huh?  But hey, it's egg free and got some goodness.  So eat your cookie dough without the guilt!!

Oooo.....just had a thought.  I need to try little chunks in vanilla frozen yogurt.  

Okay, now this is totally not my normal style of cooking.  Really just because it uses more than 5 ingredients and there are more than 3 steps.  (I'm not completely joking.)

So if I can make these and say, "They are EASY!"  
Eeek!  These made me so proud and excited!

Also, I should warn you, this may look like toddler food but really it's Hubby and I that can't stop snacking on them!  Yes, they were made for Carter's dinner one night, not just a snack.  They are sooo good.  As Hubby said:  "Man, these things are addicting!"  SCORE!

P.S.  KidEats is not only a fabulous new family friendly cooking blog but they also have great appropriate activities to do with your children. 

P.S.S. KidEats is having a giveaway for an adorable toy storage bag.

Enter now!  They are NEW blog, so odds are great for now.  Hurry, hurry!

If you try any of these recipes let me know what you think!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

One-to-One Correspondence (continued)

You guys must be some One-to-One Correspondence Loving Fools, because that seems to be a top post each week.

Which is GREAT!  It's such a great Math Readiness Skill!

If you would like some background on this topic check out the original post:

Two new games we've added to our Play Space are simple (and similar) ways to practice counting and the meaning behind those numbers you are chanting.

So this first one isn't really all: 
We made it before Christmas.  The opposite side is painted green and has sparkles on it.   Yes, it was meant to be a Christmas Egg Carton Tree craft.  However, cutesy crafts just never go as planned in our home.

BUT if you just flip over the egg cartons, voila, a perfect way to organize and partition off little objects!  Which is the best way to enforce one-to-one correspondence in it's most basic form!

 This is the second:
I was planning on making it a train.  Right now they are cars that he drives all over the mat.  So they will probably stay that way.

I'm thinking this time we will paint the side you see!

To Make:
You will need egg cartons, staples (or glue if you are patient) and some objects to count.  
Cut egg cartons and assemble into a shape of your choice.

Rules of the Games:
1. Every ball needs a home.  
2. Every home only needs one ball.
3. Count the balls as they are placed in their "home."

I'm starting to hear some more number words recently!  His favorite seems to be 9, which is strange.  Every time we're counting his voice gets really loud on 9, like most people do for 10.  He cracks me up!

(and Carter, 2 years old)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letter Recognition

Letter recognition seems to be a favorite of Carter's at the moment.  He only knows a select few, but he seems to spot these letters everywhere!

He'll shout:

"C"for Carter
"D"for Daddy
"M" (or "N" or "W") for Mommy
"L" for Lucy, our dog
and a few other select letters.

This all began with reading.  Then more specifically, ABC specific books like:

So recently, I decided to take it a step further.  A little experiment, if you will! :)

Up went a Word Wall in his space downstairs.  This is a "tool" that we were required to use while teaching in Texas.  However, I adapted it a bit for his age.

We are starting with words that he is very familiar with.  Like his family!  A picture is attached to the word to add meaning to the crazy letters on the wall!  :)

One color word.  A color that he never misses!  

Next will be yellow...his new favorite.

Finally, a word that is a Big Deal at the moment!  Two!  As he just turned two years old!

I added the two pom poms as counting objects.  

Adding labels to your house can also happen in a much more natural way than a Word Wall. 
  • Just write an object word on an index card.  (Chair, table, bed, bath, potty, etc.)
  • And tape it on the object while your child is watching.  
  • Explain what the word says.

 Teacher tip:
Talk about the labels around your house or on your Word Wall.
Talk about the letters.
Make connections like "Look at all of the M's in Mommy!  Let's count them!"


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