Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preschool At Home: July 2013

Hey there!! I wanted to do this post as a sort of month in review of all the things we've been doing for Pre-school At home.  I've stopped calling it tot school because the boys are getting older and not so much tots.  I suppose when CJ gets a tad bit older we will do more tot school.  You can still check out 
1 +1+1=1 for great home school freebies!  Lord knows I love a freebie!!  Anyway, I digress.. This was supposed to be a month in review, but I didn't take as many pics as I thought, of everything we've been doing.  Plus July was pretty busy with cook outs and family visitors and what not.  Any who, with out further adieu, here is our July Month in Review.

One of the things I've realized is that I focus a lot on ABC's and not so much on 123's.  So I have been making an effort to do more math at home with the boys.  My boys are only into cars and other things that go.  Seriously! No Jake and those pirates, no Super Why, and not even Octonauts.  So all those cute preschool packs out there hardly grab my guys attention.  Whenever I give them, what I think is a cute themed preschool pack, they complete them while requesting more Cars things.  For this reason, I try and do a lot of things that go activities with them and use the toy cars (or trains, or planes) we already have.

In this activity we brought out our 22,313,987 Hot Wheels Cars.  Who am I kidding, I didn't have to bring them out. They are EVERYWHERE!

I have these number cards and thought it'd be fun to not only match the numbers and dots, but also an equal number of cars.  Ace loved this, Bear got bored after we got to 4 (of course he's only 2 so that's okay).

I wanted to line the cars up this way, so the boys could visually see the lines getting longer.

Ace preferred to put them in groups this way, and out of order of course.  In the end I allowed him to do it his way as long as we completed all the numbers.

When we were done, we practiced counting backward and blasting off over the cars.  They both loved this part, I can still hear their giggles as they counted and blasted.

 We have also been using journals for quite a while.  Not everyday, but here and there I bring them out and we do some pre-writing practice.  I teach the boys how to turn the pages and go in order.  As a classroom teacher, It was a huge pet peeve of mine when kids would go back and forth all over their notebooks (yes, there is a bit of type A in there).  Anyway, typically I give them stickers or they draw a picture and then they "write" a story about them.  I transcibe their story for them.  Ace loves to "read" his stories to me when we are done.

On this day I gave them letter stickers.  First we found the letter we had been learning that week, and then I helped Bear spell his name with them.  Ace did this part on his own.  He also did a lot of practicing writing his name, which is why I haven't added a pic of his.

In my Friday Five I discussed our squash art.  The boys really enjoyed this, as they do anything that squishes between their fingers and makes a mess.

This is our School/Art area.  I like to hang their art and work up through out the week.  The Pocket chart cards are from the Zoomin' Movin' ABC's from the Royal Baloo.  It's like this woman read my mind and created a custom curriculum meant just for my boys, A-Ma-Zing!  Stop over there and let her know I sent-cha.

Thanks for Reading!! Leave A Comment, I'd love to hear from you.

I'll leave you with Cj getting in a little Baby School on the iPad2.  I love those chubba legs!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bet You Thought This Would be More Mom Talk

I hate to disappoint, but this is not another Mom Talk post.  I've got my mind on something else and just couldn't get my thoughts together enough to write a full post!  What is my mind racing about you ask?? Read on!!

I've got some big plans for August.  Huge, and I want you to join me.  Let's do this together!! I suppose you'll want to know what you're committing to first, huh?  The Kitchen... A huge overhaul of the kitchen.  This will not be a total kitchen remodel. It is, a total reorganization and spruce up.

This overhaul has been on the radar for a while.  I've given myself an entire month for this project because of my 3 little guys, and the sheer size of my kitchen.  I don't like projects to interfere too much with my daily duties, so this project will be broken up into small easy to manage tasks.

Of course I've already gone and done my research (please read, drooled over super organized Pinterest kitchens). I've also done some rough sketches and notes outlining where I want things to go and how I want various areas to function.

My goals

Re-caulk the back splash and sink 
Purge (it's always a good idea to get rid of stuff)
Clean and shine cabinets (inside and out)
Add liners to drawers.
Add dividers and drawer organizers.
Rearrange drawers and cabinets to make them more functional.
Spruce up my Command Center
Add some organizational items to the fridge and pantry
Lastly, I want to add a bit more decorative items in the kitchen.

My Timeline

August 1 - 3, I'll be tackling the caulking.  I've been putting it off long enough and it needs to get done ASAP!!

August 4 - 17, I'll be tackling the cabinets and drawers in the main part of my kitchen.

August 18 - 24 will be my Command Center Spruce up.

August 25 - 31, I will finish things up in this kitchen overhaul with my fridge and pantry.

So who's with me? Anyone? Need to organize a cabinet? Need to clean out some shelves? How about getting rid of some things you haven't used in a while.  Even if you only have time to do one junk drawer... do it!! We can do this together!! No need to feel over whelmed, we'll tackle a little each day... We've got the whole month!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Five: Summer Squash

Hey!! It's Friday, and the Friday Five is back.  This weeks Friday Five is all about summer squash.  Yes, those sunny, gloriously yellow veggies that are kin to zucchini.

Months ago, as part of a lesson for Earth Day, we reused some old beach buckets as planters.  It was a simple project.  Drill holes in the buckets, fill with gravel first (for better drainage), then soil, and add some store bought seeds.  This project, which was really just supposed to get Ace's interest in reusing something old.  I thought maybe he'd get a little confidence boost by growing something himself.  It has become so much more than that.   He is so proud of himself, now that we are eating food that he actually grew.  Our little bucket plant has produced some awesome produce.. lol!! We've got squash coming out of our you know whats!!  So now what, what do we do with all this squash?  Kind of reminds me of a story I used to read my class in October... Too Many Pumpkins.  Anyway, at first I was just cutting our yellow squash and adding it to out tomato sauce... But that got old.  So I've done a bit of research and tried a few things and I have come up with Five Things To Do With Summer Squash.

1.  Add It To Tomato Sauce.  As I said before, when I first began harvesting our squash (kind of giggling that I'm harvesting anything), I just chopped it up and added it to our tomato sauce.  More veggies never hurt anyone.  My favorite has been to make a really chunky veggie and turkey tomato sauce,   and top some cheesy pasta with it.  Yes, just pasta with melted sharp cheddar cheese.  Comfort to the max!!

2. Squash, Onions, and Brown Sugar.  This was delish!!  I added a bit of fresh nutmeg as well to give it more of a nutty flavor.  It was everything you want in a veggie dish: buttery, sweet, and gooey.  At least that’s how I like my veggies.  Even Ace braved eating it.  He claimed to have liked it, although he didn’t ask for seconds. 

3. Baby Food.  For me this was obvious,  since I make a lot of homemade baby food.  Why should we (us teeth having folks) enjoy all the squashy deliciousness?  For little CJ I made a few different baby food concoctions.  Yes, I'm like a mad scientist with the baby food maker.  His favorite had to be the sautéed squash with pear. Now, there is a fine line that differentiates his yells that say, "Give me more, faster woman!!” and his yells that say "put another spoon full of that slop in my mouth and your laundry will pay!”  But, I am very confident he loved it.  I used about a cup of the Sautéed Squash recipe and 1 peeled and steamed pear.  Blended and voila... Happy baby.

This was actually squash, carrot, and tomoto puree
4.  Yellow Zucchini Banana Walnut Muffins.  I actually made these this morning and had the absolute pleasure of drinking a cup of tea and nibbling, okay... devouring these warm cinnamonny, dare I say, Healthy muffins.  I will admit I tweaked this recipe a bit.  In the past I have attempted to sneak super healthy muffins on a plate for the guys in this house and I ended up eating a dozen no butter, no sugar muffins by myself.  So I added 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and used 1 cup of brown sugar instead of the 1/2 cup Truvia, 1/2 cup brown sugar.  I also used pecans instead of walnuts.  They turned out incredible.  I think I will do a separate post and give them their own spotlight.  They are that good.

5.  Squash Stamps.  I know you were ready to read one last foodie thing right?  Nope.  This is a good ol' art project for the kiddos.  This too will have it's own post.  It's just so fun, and the boys loved doing it... who am I kidding, they love anything with paint.  Quick overview: Slice the squash into about 2 to 3 inch pieces.  Place each piece on a separate plate with different colored paint and let the kiddos go to town stamping some really funky circles.

Hope you've enjoyed!!  Please feel free to share any other things to do with Summer Squash!  I'll leave you with this beauty, a Summer Squash Flower of course.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mom Talk: The Myth of the Super Mom

Hello all!! Welcome to my first Mom Talk Monday.  Mom talk will be exactly what it sounds like, posts about things moms talk about.  My hope is to give my take or opinion on various concerns that moms have.  I find that amongst all my mommy friends and family the conversation is typically the same.  We all have the same basic needs, concerns, and joys.

For my first installment I want to tackle the myth of the Super Mom.  We've all heard of her.   She always looks fantastic. Her home is elegantly decorated and spotless.  She successfully completes all her pins from Pinterest (apparently, you're supposed to use it as inspiration to actually do projects... not just dream about them... whatever!!).  Her kids rooms' are always perfectly cleaned and organized. And speaking of kids, they are always well behaved and neatly dressed (there is never dried Mac n cheese on their chins).  They are potty trained before 2, and eat what they are given.  Which, of course is only fresh fruit or veggies (that she grew in her own garden) with organic meats.  Oh, and she and her husband have the perfect marriage.   I could continue, but I'm sure I don't need to.  A lot of us moms have this idea of what we should be then feel guilty for not living up to this fantasy.  Or we strive to do EVERYTHING to become her and we are resentful... at least I was.

Clearly I'm a Super Mom, Check Out my tumbler!!

The truth, that I believe we all discover in our own time is that she doesn't exist, she's a myth.  a complete fabrication of our minds.  Sure, there are times when my house is spotless, and my kids are neat and tidy.  However, usually my home looks lived in and if you popped in unexpectedly you might find the boys and I in our pj's well past 11am.  Of course I offer my children various healthy meals and snacks, but there are days when I can't toast a pop tart fast enough, and yes I have the number to Dominos stored in my cell phone.  The love my husband and I share is immense... one for the story books, and even so, there are times when we get on each others last nerve!

A very good friend of mine, said to me "Wow, you're such a Super Mom".  While I gladly accept any compliment I get, I was really thinking, You're the Super Mom, Ms. Full time working mother of twin girls... two-year-old twin girls!  Of course I told her so.  We all do our best in whatever situation we have.  Last summer I had lots of mom guilt (thats a whole other topic) because I didn't do anything with my boys.  I was pregnant and hot and quite frankly I just didn't feel like it. We sat in our air conditioned home, they watched more TV than I care to admit, we did hardly any tot-school,  and that's okay.  It's okay if there is dust on the base boards, or a sticky spot on the kitchen floor.  Sometimes the kids will be off the hook, and sometimes their rooms' will appear to have had some type of toy grenade explode in it.

It's time for us to give ourselves a break.  Be the best mom we can be with out completely loosing our  shit minds.  Stop assuming the grass is always greener or uh, cleaner?  Enjoy and be proud of your own life, home..whatever, because in our own respect we all have a little super mom in us.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Hand Me Down Situation

Hello friends!! So I finally did it... I found a way to organize the kiddos Hand me down clothes.  Wanna see how?... read on!!

Seriously with three boys the clothes were out of control.  When Ace was born we got loads of stuff... LOADS!! Lol, two showers and everyone's coworkers' kids' clothes hand me downs (did you get all that?).  Now, I am not one to turn things down (at least I wasn't... More on that later), so I had to find a place for all the clothes. One cute little baby boy... No problem!! His baby clothes load was stored neatly in the closet separated by homemade size dividers.  Clothes that my baby boy grew out of we're just tossed in an old diaper box.  Problem... He just kept growing out of them!! Duh!! The boxes began to get overwhelming!  Enter... Bear, right on time.  All Ace's clothes went into Bear's drawers and all was well again.  Until the seasons changed, and of course Bear grew out of his clothes.  Needless to say everything just got out of control again.  Now, I did take control back and pack a few diaper boxes for donation, and I had some make shift system of transferring clothing from one room to the next, but... It. Was. Not. Working!! Then I got preggers again and really lost control.  On top of all that, with clothes in boxes I had no idea what kind of inventory I had.  Okay, obviously I had some idea but, to really know what I needed for the next season meant emptying boxes which was a pretty daunting process.  After unpacking all the baby clothes, and receiving a new haul for Ace from my cuz (we like to keep it in the family!!), things got really out of hand!  I knew I needed to do something.  I needed a system that would work for me and my needs.  So this is what I did:

My Process

Of course I had helpers getting into EVERYTHING, which of course adds to the mess!!

First, I go crazy on Pinterest and Google Images.  There is tons of inspiration out there and it really
gets my creative juices flowing.

Next, I like to think about what I've seen and imagine it in my own home.  I saw some awesome stuff, one was a completely organized shelving system, sitting pretty in matching labeled bins.  I mean, it was like a personal second hand store in the basement!  Awesome organizing, but it wouldn't work for me because I hate running to the basement.  Yes, I'm lazy like that.

Then, I really hunker down and decide what I want my finished project to look like and how I want it to function.  I make a plan as part of this step and make a list of things I need as well as a timeline.

Finally, I start.  After all the steps.. I'm seriously excited.  It's like Christmas, because I know soon I will have this awesomely organized gift of a space.

So, yeah... I started with this.  These were only clothes that were is CJ's room.  In-San-Ni-Tee!  Keep in mind, things always get messier before they get better (at least in my case).

I ended with this.

 Lol... are you as excited as I am?  The top left are things going to goodwill.  The top right is organized and going to my another one of my cousins, expecting her first boy!! The clear bin is going in our basement for "just in case".  The blue bin will stay in CJ's closet for easy access.  I repeated this project in each of the boys' rooms over the course of about a week.  So they each have their own bin.

I separated clothing by season and  size, summer/spring and winter/fall and used a post-it to write what is specifically in each package (which are jumbo sized Ziplock Bags).  Now when it's time to shop for a new season I can lift a package and see what I have without taking everything out.  Laaaaaaaaaaaa!! That was my super sing song voice by the way.

Some of you may be thinking... How did you fit all those clothes in that one bin?  Answer: I didn't!! I had to pare down... A lot.  Part of my goal was to make sure I only kept what could fit in these bins.  The clothes that didn't make the cut went to in a donation box. When all was said and done I had bought 3 blue bins with lids from Walmart and 1 package of jumbo Ziplock Bags.

I am truly excited about this new system and I really think its going to work for us.
My next task (at some point) will be finding a way of wrangling all the little shoes, and big shoes for that matter.

So, how have you handled your hand me down situation? Any ideas for shoes?

Thanks for reading,


A Bowl Full of Lemons

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself

Allow me to re-introduce myself, my name is... well, I guess I'm channelling a little Jay-Z there.  Okay seriously, My name is Leiah.  I am the mother of 3 wonderful little boys and married to my best friend.  My hubby, Mr. Roseyglasses (trust me he hates that name) is my great love.  I knew it from the start (okay the middle) of our first date, but that is another story for another time.  My oldest son, Ace (formerly Munchkin) is 4, going on 40.  He's such an insightful, inquisitive little man.  My number two is Bear.  I've decided to drop the Little since he's just getting so big.  Bear will be 3 in September, seems like just yesterday I was writing my first post while he slept quietly in his crib... Or was he on my lap?  CJ is my newest arrival, and my third little man.  He's 7 months old now and partially the reason this blog has been so inactive.  He is my sweet baby and I am currently experiencing the bitter sweetness of watching my tiny wrinkled infant disappear and transform in to a fat legged crawler on his way to toddler hood.

This blog is my open diary.  I write about all kinds of things, but I suppose you can check out my About Me page to read about all that.  Moving forward, I'd love for you to join me as I experience (and share) my life as a stay at home mom.  My ups and downs, my progress and procrastination.  My mini obsessions (like Pinterest... I know I'm not the only one), and my continued learning.

Welcome Back to Rosey Glasses.


P.S.  Like our new look?  Head on over to Latoya Monique Designs.  She is Awesome!!