Category: Kids

The clock struck 2…oh wait 3

SpringForward2014

Daylight Savings Time. A phrase that is dreaded by many parents twice a year. Unfortunately, it is inevitable. My first time experiencing daylight savings time was when my son was 8 weeks old. It really didn’t have any effect on him, so of course I thought I was in the clear. It wasn’t until after his first birthday that I really “experienced” daylight savings time!

I had noticed my son was getting sleepy at around 7 the night the clocks “fell behind”. I decided to let him stay awake until his normal bedtime of 8. This way, he would wake up at his normal time. Or so I thought. It was a party at Mrs. Z’s house the next morning at 4:15. Oh joy! I can’t really complain, though. I was able to get a few things done and we had the rest of the day to enjoy our fun activities. And he did resume his regular wake up time a few days later.

So mommies (and daddies too!) of the world: I feel your anxiety about the upcoming night. Perhaps you aren’t feeling any tension towards this time change and your children will sleep peacefully and won’t need any coaching back to a regular sleep pattern. In that case, I applaud you! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth transition. Just in case, here are a few tips on how to get your little munchkin back into their routine.

Here is an interesting article on how daylight savings time can affect you. Or, like I said previously, it might have no profound effect on your life. Whichever way your life turns out, enjoy your day!

How will you handle your little tots sleep transition? Comment below!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Fifty Fantastic Children’s Books (plus one Mrs. Z favorite!)

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I’m going to stick with discussing books with you today. Being a teacher you are surrounded by books constantly. You don’t just read a book as a teacher. You dissect it. I have so many books with post-it notes all over them. Many of these post-its have “important questions to ask”, or “why is this part of the story so important?”, or “How does this particular event affect the outcome of the story”. I can keep going. Even though I have not been in the classroom for awhile, it doesn’t stop. You never read a book the same way again if you are/were a teacher. I guess you can call it a hazard of the job. To me, it is just a way of life.

So, here is a wonderful post that summarizes 50 awesome books parents should read to their children.  I think I own about 40 of these books. Sometimes, I own 2 copies: one to use post-its and highlight; the other is my “good” copy. No one can touch that one!  I am super excited to get to Barnes and Noble and check out the 10 books I never read. To me, finding a new book is such a great adventure.

On the list is The Sweetest Fig by: Chris Van Allsburg. I love this book! To be honest, I love all things Chris Van Allsburg . He gets the imagination going and uses such magical vocabulary.  Another one of his amazing books is “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick”. It is a collection of art pieces that have only two or 3 sentences attached to it. According to his notes, these paintings were left at his door and he has no clue who left them. That is intriguing enough to me. However, the pictures and descriptions get you thinking. I won’t lie: I started writing a story about one of the paintings. I could not resist. Give it a try. I’m telling you, you will be hooked!

Good night Moon and The Giving Tree are also on the list. If your home is anything like ours, these stories are heavy hitters. I can probably recite each one of these after having read them for the millionth time. They are feel good books, though, so I don’t mind.

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I would like to offer up to you my own addition to this list: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce. This book is utterly amazing. It’s a story of a man who lives his life around his books. It reminded me a lot of myself. However, when I picked it up, I thought of about 10 lessons that I could do with a class if I was teaching. See, it never leaves you, no matter how far removed you are from the classroom.

I hope you have fun with this list. It was a great reminder for me to take out these classics. Just one last thought: try reading this story on an actual hardcopy. There is nothing better than holding a book in your hand. I find it very difficult to read off an electronic device. I guess you can say I am old school. I am a true bookworm at heart!

What are some of your favorite childhood books? Comment below!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

This one is for you…

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Today’s post is dedicated to my grandpa.  One year ago today my family lost our patriarch. My grandfather was a man who stood strong in what he believed in but loved each of us with all of his being. My life changed March 4, 2013, as I am sure those who knew him felt the same way. I hope you are enjoying heaven Grandpa!

From as far back as I can remember, I have loved stories and the written word. I can remember reading books as a child and could actually feel myself “getting lost in a book”. Words and descriptions are so powerful to me. My whole life I have been exposed to stories of the past. My grandparents have told some many stories of their childhood and younger years. Sometimes these stories were told so often that many times they went on deaf ears. However, I can probably say many of them verbatim. Now that my grandfather is gone, I long for those days of stories and the constant repetition of his memories. It’s one of the only things I have to hold on to of him and I crave for any stories I can get.  My grandmother is now the holder of those stories. When I hear a memory coming to light in her conversation, I listen intently. She is the last link to my grandfather and to her generation.

You might be asking, “Where is she going with this?”. Don’t worry, I always get to my main point. Don’t forget, I have the gift of storytelling. It is in my genes. Of course, I digress again. Let’s get back on topic. When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to do something to capture that time in my life so that my child could experience it with me when they got older. My foray into journaling began. I wrote an entry once every 2 weeks telling my little one what I was feeling, any fears/excitements I had, any exciting adventures Daddy and I had gone on, etc. I have continued this journal for my son and plan on doing so in the future. I do not write in it as often. However, I do capture all milestones he makes and the fun adventures we go on as a family.

I wanted to do this so that when he gets to be a parent, and even a grandparent ( Mrs. Z, don’t rush your life away!!), he can pass on these memories to his children and grandchildren. Many of the stories my grandfather told I’ve either simply forgotten or I remember bits and pieces. He is not here to fill in the blanks. It hurts my heart sometimes to think about that. Life is funny, though. There are times where I am doing something and, out of nowhere, I remember a bit of a story I had forgotten. Or I say something, and it’s something my grandfather would have said. I look at my son and tell him that his great grandfather use to say that. I know he doesn’t understand what I am saying, but he smiles. And I know one day when I tell  him those stories about his great grandfather, he’s going to love them. I just wish grandpa was here to tell them.

I will take my leave now, but I want to leave you with some words of wisdom. I know I am not at an age of great wisdom yet, but I feel that I have gathered a little bit of wisdom in my years on Earth so far. So, here you go: Listen to the stories. Hold on to them. Record them. Share them. You are the link to the past. Our time here is so short. Make the best of it. And remember to live life to the fullest!

I still miss you a lot grandpa! I love you old man! <3 DJC SR.

A snow day means painting time!

20140122_111114January 22, 2014

We had a huge snow storm today! Where I live we had almost a foot! (I want to give a shout out to my fabulous husband for doing all of the shoveling! You’re the best!)

It is truly too cold to bring my son out to play. Maybe some of you would, however, I despise the cold weather! Anything under 50 degrees is brutal to me.  So, maybe not going outside is a more selfish strategy. Nonetheless, we stayed inside.  We had super fun, though. We fingerpainted!! Well, my son splashed paint all over the place while I daintily used a paint brush. He had such an awesome time! Above is a picture of his masterpiece. My very own Picaso ;).

I actually wound up making my own fingerpaint. Am I being overbearing by doing this? Maybe to some, yes. And I will totally admit I do take the clean part of life a little too drastic. However, I do enjoy it and I feel that regular fingerpaints you buy in the store have lots of chemicals. At my son’s age, he will undoubtedly put his fingers in his mouth. I really don’t want him eating those chemicals. And, at his age, he really isn’t going to know the difference between homemade and store bought fingerpaint, so it’s a win-win.

I found a really simple recipe online from one of those Mommy websites. It really was so easy. You mix 2 tablespoons of white flour with a little bit of water until you get a thin paste. The site did not specify how much water, so I slowly added a little bit at a time until it was a thin paste consistency. I then added food coloring and it was time to paint. I do not use food coloring with added dyes, such as yellow 5, etc. I used the India Tree decorating set. It is slightly expensive, but it lasts a long time and it is made with vegetable colorants. The paint was a little bit thinner than the stuff from the store. I might have used too much water. Otherwise, it was a great time and my son loved it!

Do any of you have interesting paint recipes or stories? Comment below!!!

You can also reach me at themrszfiles@gmail.com

A Sesame Street critique

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January 27, 2014

I am going off of the food topic today. Since becoming a mommy, my morning hours have become consumed with Sesame Street.  I forgot that this show is so amazing. It has even gotten to the point where a few of my mommy friends and I email each other about the different segments. Oh the joys of motherhood!

I particularly love Crumby Pictures and Elmo the Musical. The other parts are cute but are more educationally sound. Not that I do not enjoy educationally sound segments, however, since I can already count to 10 and can say the alphabet (front and backwards might I add! Not as quickly backwards but I can do it.), the entertaining parts are what catch my attention. Crumby Pictures stars Cookie Monster. He usually portrays a character in a famous movie or show and he needs to solve a problem. One such portrayal is “Biscotti Karate”. Yes, you guessed it. This is loosely based on The Karate Kid. There is the Sensei, who is the teacher, and the Karate Squid, who catches Cookie Monster when he makes a mistake. Instead of the “Wax on, wax off” adage, he is taught to say “Biscotti on, Biscotti off” and proceeds to take a box of biscotti cookies on and off a shelf as he repeats it. It is quite comical when you watch it.

Another of my favorite Crumby Pictures is “The Hungry Games”. I’m thinking you can guess what movie this is based on. Cookie Monster must pass challenges in order to become last man standing. He is surrounded by friends, including a piece of pita bread called Pita. One challenge asks them to find a pattern in the shapes they encounter. In order to pass the challenge Cookie Monster must figure out the last shape in the pattern and then eat it. Turns out the last shape is a circle. They need to find something that is circular. The funniest part is when they all look at Pita and he looks at them like they are crazy. In the end, Cookie Monster wins the challenge, without having to eat his friend Pita.

Elmo the Musical is another entertaining segment. Elmo imagines what he could be that day and creates a play surrounding it. I saw one today where he is a chef and needs to find new recipes around the world. His first stop is to Machu Picchu. He meets the queen and she begins to sing a song that goes like this: “I’m the Queen of Machu Picchu and it is so good to meet you!”. “Meet you” sounds more like “Meetchu” but you get the picture.

One last review and then I’ll be off. I just saw a segment called “Homelamb” the other day. It is very loosely based on “Homeland”. All of the agents are lambs and are searching for the Big Bad Wolf. They want Nicholas Baa-rody to come in and help them find the big bad wolf. All of the characters names are the same, except they add a baa into it, such as Caa-rie and Saa-ul. Caa-rie sees right through Nicholas Baa-rody, who is obviously the wolf wearing a robe to look like a sheep. She even says that he is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. You got me at that one Sesame Street! Keep them coming!

It really is the little things in this show that are so fascinating. Kuddos to the writers of this show!

How do you all feel about Sesame Street? Are there any other kid’s shows out there that tickle your funny bone? Comment below!