Sunday, June 27, 2010

Study in B

As a continuation of our previous days' study, we went to the Tyler Arboretum to hunt for all things B. Grammy joined us for a morning full of discovery. We headed out with Binoculars and Bug catchers, the perfect instruments for a day in nature. Tyler has a fairy, gnome and troll exhibit happening now, which went largely unnoticed by the Salad. Instead, we caught a Baby Bumble Bee, pretended to fly like Birds, and ate Berries. We tried to catch a Butterfly, but those Buggers are quick. We looked for things that were Black, Blue or Brown. A and M spent a long, long time Building with Branches. Mostly they leaned thin Branches up against other Branches and tried climbing them. My mom, S and I sat and watched in amazement - 40 minutes moving, lugging, running and laughing.
And not one argument.

It was Beautiful.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mark it with a B

The week the Salad studied the letter B, I called in a favor from Meglet, who happens to be a pastry chef/instructor at the Restaurant School. I'm lucky to have a friend so talented. I'm even luckier that she in willing to have 3 - 3 year olds run around her kitchen. But I'm the luckiest that she cares enough about the Salad and I that she spent her free time Baking a Beautiful loaf of Braided Bread. Brioche, in fact.
We got our own aprons. We made cookies with red sprinkles. We saw mixers as big as we were. We ate homemade vanilla ice cream. We wrote our names with white and dark chocolate. We saw huge refrigerators, stocked with more eggs and milk than a 3 year old could dream off. We toured the kitchens and saw students cooking duck. We ate lunch on the patio and enjoyed the weather. On our way out, we stopped by the cafe and Meglet stocked up a box of goodies for R, which he gladly accepted as his dinner.

It was an amazing opportunity. I am beyond grateful and beyond impressed. We love you, Meglet!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Alanis Morrisette said it best.

On the way out of the store, I accidentally banged A's head with her brand new bike helmet and made her cry.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Farm Living - It's not the life for us.

Our homeschool playgroup dabbled in farm living a few weeks ago. Ms. Amy had us over to read a few books and do some farm related activities. We started out reading 1.5 books about farming (little Lucy took off running midway through Big Red Barn, grabbing the book on her way outta there!) Then we gathered around the "graph" and plotted our favorite farm animal. The cow won, hooves down. Then we moved down to a picnic table for some snacks while we decorated sheep "masks." We used the masks later, during an ingenuous game of Little Bo Peep seeking her lost sheep.

We also played Farmer in the Dell, a lengthy game with 8 preschoolers. When the cheese finally stood alone, Quinn insisted that he was not cheese, but a tractor driver. No sense in arguing with cheese.

Probably the best fun was a competitive egg race. The girls diligently walked up and down the lawn, careful not to drop the goods. The boys soon realized if you did drop them, the egg became a gooey mess, super cool to play in. So they edged in on S's egg. And bashed that thing up. And she was sad. And little mama A took pity on her, and willingly gave S her own egg. And S was happy again.

Off to the creek we went for some frog hunting, fishing, hiking, and rock throwing. It was thrilling for the Salad. Not so thrilling for me, when later I pulled a tick from the crook of M's arm.
Once again, the least favorite part of my day? Swings. This time, 2 swings for 8 kids. It's hard not to take on "mom voice" and tell your kids, "Ok, it's so and so's turn. Get off." You want them to navigate their way through the world on their own. It's your job to give them the tools they need to be kind, yet firm. Teach them compromise, yet not submission. I guess all you need to know you really do learn in kindergarten.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Take a Hike

Wednesday playgroup decided to take a hike. So one very hot morning, I slathered on sunscreen, pulled hair into piggy tails, packed lunch and snacks and bottles of ice cold water. It was a slow walk for 11 little ones, with many stops to pick up worms, chase butterflies, and find the right "walking sticks." We made it a good distance, before the moms decided to turn around. Perhaps we should have done so sooner, because the walk back yielded many a whine and cry to be carried. Once we made it back to the trail entrance, we took a lunch break. The food brought the group back to life and we spent the next 90 minutes playing and negotiating turns on the 4 swings. We kicked balls and played Frisbee. We blew bubbles and used magnifying glasses on unsuspecting bugs. We climbed on a arched structure that seemed climbable, until you got to the top. But once you did, all hell broke loose. Mostly 'cause the kids could reach the top, but didn't understand when we told them to turn themselves around and come down the other side backwards. And we couldn't reach them, 'cause they were stranded like 8 feet in the air. It was intense. See?
In retrospect, I believe this "play" structure was meant as a piece of art, to be viewed from the ground, feet firmly planted on the earth. Hindsight - it might save your life on the playground.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One fine day . . .

I left the house at 9:00 am. I stopped at Starbucks on my way to the hairdressers. Just before I went into the salon, I called home. Here's how the conversation with R went:

Me: "Hi, I'm about to go in. How are things?"

R: "Uh. Fine."

Me: "Hey, is that a dog barking in a background?" (I'm asking because we don't have a dog.)

R: "Yeah. I mean, it's S. What did you call for?"

Me: "Just wanted to see if everything was ok. Well, I guess I'll let you go."

R: "Um, ok . . . EVERYONE! Put the screwdrivers down!"

Me: "R? R?! What screwdrivers?! R?!"

R: Click. Dial tone.

Me: "Huh."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Salad Bowl

Our regular library is on hiatus until June 14th, so our Tuesdays have freed up. Last week, I took the Salad bowling. Let it be said that "bowling" for 3 year olds is not as difficult as it sounds. 6 pound balls, rolled down a small ramp onto a lane with bumpers up, surely should yield scores in the 200s. But alas, our average score was a mere 80.333333.