Friday, June 29, 2012

Baby's First Movie

Edited 7/7/12 to add details and photos. 

Peeper and I went to lunch with Frappa today,


and then on a whim (after a phone call to Shrike for permission), we all went to see Brave. At the the theater and everything.

At first I was worried about "how she'd do in the theater," and then I remembered that she's quite the little pro at attending ballets and live theater, so yeah, she should be fine.

The movie was, as I'd suspected, a bit "old" for Peeper, with more violence that I like for her to see (much of it played for humor, but certainly not all) and some parts that were definitely but not too much so for her, but she enjoyed it and I really enjoyed it.

(I would have really, really, really enjoyed it if I weren't watching it with her and cringing at the scary and violent parts.)

Mostly, I was thrilled to see a princess who was doing anything other than waiting for her prince to come!

Then we went to Starbucks at the target in the mall with the theater, for buy one - get one frappacinos.

As Peeper was sucking down mine, I asked Frappa, "Did I say 'decaf?'"

"Nope."

"Peeper, that's not decaf."

"Oh well!"



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lunch at Auntie Kay's

Edited 7/7/12 to add details and photos.

We had some delicious chicken and dumplings at LadyKay's house today. Peeper even asked for seconds. She never has seconds at home. Photos, and her 44 month letter to come.)

Peeper very much enjoying the chicken and dumplings (or "soup" as she called it).


 Peeper very much enjoying the cat toys.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chillin at Grandmas

Edited 7/7/12 to add details and photos

Today was mostly about getting settled in and hanging out, although Peeper and I did make a run to Target for some necessities and gifts (for later in the week), and then we returned our rental car.

After driving in circles for a while, chasing Anonymama around the parking lot, so that I could avoid lugging Peeper and a giant bag of stuff from Target any farther than absolutely necessary in the 101 degree heat, we went back to the house and chilled.

Peeper did much of her chilling on the iPad.



Monday, June 25, 2012

Headed to Texas!

Edited 7/7/12 to add details and photos. 


After a two-hour fight delay, Peeper and I are finally on our way!



Luckily, they already knew about the delay when I checked in, so Shrike hung around for a while and we had lunch together before we went through security.


And a little liquid refreshment for me.


In flight entertainment.


This is the fashion statement she wanted to make upon our arrival in Houston, but I thought better of it.


Finally at Grandma's house, and ready for bed!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gone Missing, Again

Where's Peeper?


Almost had her!


There she is?


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Busy Saturday

This morning, Peeper and Shrike hung out and went to the library while I worked at a MOMS Club car show and chicken barbecue fundraiser for a local toddler who is fighting a genetic disease. I spent most of the time scooping baked beans and putting rolls in to-go boxes for the chicken dinners. 


Somehow, I didn't manage to get any photos of the event at all!

As things were wrapping up, Shrike dropped Peeper off to me, so she could go to work, and when we were all done with getting things put away and money counted (we don't have the chicken money yet, so we are not announcing any amounts until we know they actual total, but we did great!), Peeper and I went to the Democratic Party's summer picnic.

I did manage to take some photos there. At least a few of Peeper.

On our way in.


I do not know what this name tag silliness was about.




Downward donkey.


Hey, look who was there!

Well, sort of.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tie Dye Party

We went over to A and Little H's house this morning for a MOMS Club tie dye party. After we did the shirts, we turned on the sprinkler and filled the kiddie pool, and just let 'em go.

Peeper and H playing with with the sprinkler. 


Peeper was eyeing this fish hat the whole time, and finally got possession of it for a few minutes. 


"C'mon, follow me!"


Rub-a-dub-dub, four kids in a tub.


Bosom buddies. 


The shirts are still all wrapped up, waiting for the dye to set, but I'll try to remember to get photos of them tomorrow.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lazy Sunday

A couple of weeks ago, Shrike and I established Sunday as Mama's Sleep-In Day, since I usually get up with Peeper and let her sleep because she has to go to work and be alert (not so much for working as for the drive home!) past midnight.


Mornings usually involve Peeper waking up and calling for me, and I take her to potty, then back to her bed, where we nurse for a while and maybe one or both of us goes back to sleep, until she's finally ready to get up for real, or it's time to get ready to go somewhere. 

This morning, a bit before eight, Peeper walked into our bedroom and said, "Mommy. Help me find my Rapunzel doll." 

What the hell? 

Off they went to play with Rapunzel, and it was probably an hour or so before she brought her back in to nurse. She went back out to play some more, and then back to nurse again around 10:30. 

At that point, Peeper and I got  up and let Shrike sleep for a while.

While I was Googling for a healthy blueberry muffin recipe, Peeper came in wearing a hat and singing Yankee Doodle. I said, "You put a feather in your hat and called it macaroni? 

"Yep, see!" 




Later, she was rat-a-tat-tatting on the "drum set" that she'd assembled in the hall. I didn't think much of it until I heard the bedroom door open, and Peeper shouted, triumphantly, "It worked! Mommy woke up!"

Oops. Sorry, honey. 

The muffins started with this AllRecipes.com recipe for oatmeal blueberry muffins, and I made a few modifications, as usual, based on some mentioned by the first commenter:
  • Replaced 1 cup white flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • Replaced  1/3 cup white sugar with a scant 2 Tbs stevia and heaping 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • Replaced 1 cup milk with 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • Replaced 1/4 cup oil with 1 banana, mashed
They turned out pretty damn yummy, if I do say so myself. 



We pretty much just hung out the rest of the day, and I even took a little nap on the couch.

Peeper, of course, found plenty of ways to keep herself entertained.

This is a much more elaborate version of the drum kit that woke Mommy up.


This whole "dancing elephant" thing comes from an episode of Micky Mouse Clubhouse.

Then it became a tower.


"Get out, and stay out!"

She thought this was the funniest thing ever.


It was Peeper's idea to build Lego stairs, but Shrike helped with the actual construction (they kept falling apart and really frustrating Peeper) and I'm not sure whose idea it was to install them in the castle.


And one more concert before bed. Xylophone, this time.




She was saying, "Do you want to hear some notes? Okay!" so I asked, "Who are you talking to?"

I figured it would be Baby Bear or Mickey Mouse or Rapunzel, or one of the many characters that she interacts with on a regular basis, but she just said, "Myself!"

Oh, okay then. Sorry to interrupt.




Tot School: Birds

Tot School
~ Peeper is 43.5 months old ~

A Note To My Regular Readers: I may be repeating some photos or stories that I've already published, but I want to put all our learning activities in the one post that's part of the Tot School link-up.

Tot Schoolers: Welcome! If you enjoy this post, please feel free to stay for a while, and have a look around. I'll give you a fair warning that much of my blog is PG-13, but my Tot School link-up posts will always be G-Rated.



Our third unit study was about birds. I guess we've been a bit distracted (or tired, or lazy) lately, because we didn't put as much time into this one as we have the past couple. We did do several quicky activities, and most of the printed activities in her notebook, but we didn't read very many of the books, and there were several days that we didn't touch it at all.

Here are the books that I checked out. Those marked with an asterisk are the ones that we actually read:
As with the first two units, I put together a "Bird Notebook" containing a variety of printed activities.


I had several cards and pages of photos of different kids of birds, but Peeper wasn't especially into that. However, when I showed her the kookaburra, and started singing the song, she immediately began to act it out.

This is what she does. As soon as she hears a new song, reads a new story or learns a new fact, she acts it out. It's really kind of amazing to watch.

I didn't get any photos of her working on the materials in the book, but we started by coloring a robin, and then identifying the various parts of a bird. That page had several drawings with different parts highlighted in red. Right off the bat, she was able to identify all but two: the nostrils and the remiges.

"What are remiges?" you ask? So did I!

So, I whipped out my phone and googled it and Peeper and I both learned that a long wing feather is called a remex and the plural of that word is remiges. (Rim-uh-zhees)

I also used several pages from Homeschool Creation's Bird Printables, including worksheets on Patterning (which she still totally does not get), More Less or Equal which she actually did pretty well with, when I helped her to count the objects in each set, Follow the Directions and Find the Right Picture ("circle the bird that is next to the tree"), which we did without writing - again, one of her toys "helped" by "showing" me the answer, and Say and Clap, which is about identifying syllables by clapping as you say each one.

She totally rocked the Say and Clap. I only had to do a few examples, and she had it. She can pretty solidly "clap out" one, two and three syllable words, and can sometimes do four, but it starts to falling apart at that point.

I also had some materials in her notebooks from Homeschool Creations Bird Preschool Pack, including Beginning Letters, How Many Leaves, and Rhyming Words, but I don't think we ever got to any of those.

Our first project was to make a toilet paper roll robin, using a printable from DLTK's Growing Together. It turns out they also have a hummingbird printable. I should have done that one, too.


We refilled our bird feeder.


And made another one, out of a milk jug. Obviously, I did most of the work, but Peeper helped to decorate it.





Can I blame the misspelling of "Bon Appetit" on Peeper?


Later, we read about hummingbirds and filled up our feeder. This is the only photo I got. Thrilling, huh?


We haven't seen anybody but ants at the hummingbird feeder yet, but I know I've seen a few in past years, eating from the hibiscus (which won't bloom for a few weeks), so I've got high hopes that if we can keep the feeder clean and filled, we'll get some eventually.

I was planning to make a peanut butter and birdseed feeder, but hadn't gotten around to it, when we went to the farmer's market last week and guess what the kid's craft was? Hooray!


This guy was very interested in the regular feeder. I'm guessing that he's an adolescent cardinal, just starting to turn red. Does anyone know?


Peeper was playing with a chip clip one day, and was very proud about getting it clipped onto a piece of paper, so I gave her a couple of clothes pins to play with, and she was able to repeat that trick using them.

My plan was for her to use the clothes pin in the role of a bird's beak, to pick up "worms," "bugs," and "berries" and feed them to her baby bird.

She was struggling with the clothespin, though, and decided that she wanted me to do the actual picking up of the "bird food." So much for that fine motor strengthening exercise.

Here are the worms, bugs and berries . . .


. . . and here's the baby bird.


He's of a rare species that eats through the top of its head.


He ate lots and lots of berries . . .


. . . and then he pooped them all out!


Mama Bear wanted some berry porridge, too.



Some of our non-bird-related activities included:

"Reading" these flashcards with Mommy


Strawberry picking


Children's museum


Experiments in fluid dynamics


Sorting bears (I walked in the room to find her doing this.)


Picking blueberries and cherries



This is a fruit from an iris flower. We saw it by the mailbox and decided to check it out.



How's our sunflower house doing? I need to get out there and take a current photo, but these are from just a few days after we planted it.







What's up with the bean seeds?





The one in the jar got a lot bigger than that, but I didn't get any more photos before it shriveled up and died. It was definitely the best grower of the bunch, though. Peeper's hypothesis was right.

Next on our agenda: Bugs!