One of the blogs that I love, It’s not all Mary Poppins, is having a Book Binge that sounds like fun for the month of April. You can join in! Just click here and follow the directions! Then we can all read about other good books to partake in!
Archive for March, 2009
C is for Clara, of course. But today, C is mostly for car! Fun, fun car painting! I got this idea from OMSI’s Science Playground, which we go to at least three times a month (we’re members), but I’ve only seen this once there. Once was not enough. Its easy and fun. No brushes required, and Clara loves it.
All you need is some paint (I used washable tempera), a couple of little cars (matchbox or others; these were from Dollar Tree), a plate to put the paint on, and some paper. Roll the cars through the paint, then roll the cars on the paper; repeat. They make tracks, the paint colors mix, everyone has a joyful painting experience.
That is until your little toddler decides that the paint tastes good and starts dipping her fingers in it and sucking them off. How she can eat that stuff, I’ll never know. Bubble solution, paint, markers, they all taste great to her. I’ve tried them and they really do not. Of course, she loves to take her vitamins, too and they taste like blood. So, its a win/lose situation. But, that was the end of Clara’s car painting.
Well, I have somewhat given up the workout idea. I know. It didn’t last long. Clara and I are going on awesome walks about once a day, so I’m not completely sedentary and I have been gardening (weeding and digging up my plots) which must be exercise because its zapping a lot of my energy.
I am, however, limiting my food intake to make up for the lack of exercising that I’m doing. I’m trying to eat 1,200 calories or less and I’m really trying to be honest and not cheat. Nap time is hard for me. I really like to sit around and eat bonbons during that time and the kitchen just keeps calling my name. But, I’m persisting in trying and I’m doing pretty well. As I mentioned last week, I’m tracking my caloric intake, exercise, and weight loss on fitday.com. I highly recommend it. It blows my mind how many calories some things (uhhhm… chocolate chips, anyone) have in them. That’s why they’re so yummy, though.
Once a week, I have two little girls at my house for the morning as part of an awesome babysitting swap which we are hoping to make into three time a week preschool sometime in the next few months. I’ve decided that during those times, we are going to explore a letter of the week (and sing songs, read stories, play outside, have snacks, etc.). Last week was the letter A. They now know the letter, but my idea of pasting pom poms in the shape of the letter A was a flop. They had fun trying, though, so that’s what really matters. There are no pictures of cute little products, though.
This week, we did the letter B. After singing the alphabet and reviewing the letter A, we discussed the letter B, what sound it makes, what it looks like, what words start with B. Then we covered some letter B’s with bubbles!! I cut some bubble wrap that was left over from Christmas into small squares, got out some giant ink pads, and they went to town. They loved it! They stamped the paper, the table, their faces, but it mostly went well and was a lot less messy than paint (not that I shy away from that). And now they know the letter B (well, mostly). I’ll try to post the letter of the week and our activity when they turn out well, and sometimes when they don’t. If you try any of these activities, let me know how they turn out for you!
For the past three or four years, I have harbored a secret (okay, maybe not so secret) desire to have my own flock of chickens. They could eat my dreaded slugs and bugs. I could feed them scraps from the kitchen. They could lay me eggs which I would bake into all kinds of yummy breads and cookies. They could wander the yard while I garden and cluck pleasantly. Oh, I know that it is somewhat ironic that I would have chickens in my backyard whilst not eating eggs myself. But Adam eats eggs and I cook with eggs, so its not totally weird.
I am fully considering taking the plunge this spring. But of course I have to decide soon so I can get myself some little chicks! But what kind? How much would they cost to maintain? What kind of care and cleaning am I taking about? I’ve been trying to research such things and I’m learning a lot. But is it worth it? Will I really enjoy it? Can I build a coop? Where would I put it? Will they like Clara? What would I do with them on vacations? How much work are they really??!!
What do you guys think of this cock-a-maime idea? Should I do it?
Well, apparently I’ve rubbed off on Michelle Obama. I mean, it was only a matter of time before she realized just how cool I am. She saw my blog about what I am going to plant in my garden and thought, “I can do that.” On Friday she breaks ground on a new vegetable garden. Of course, I am trying to imagine her busting sod, and I can’t. She’ll also be doing it with twenty ten-year-old helpers, so she better be ready to actually get her hands dirty. This is her first garden and I don’t think that the landscapers at the white house will allow it to fail. Slugs will not be eating her peas (unlike mine… as soon as one peeks out of the ground a slimy little bugger slithers over and chomps it no matter how much slug death I put down).
I do think that this is a pretty brilliant gardening P.R. move. There are a lot of people in on this… it was not just her idea. There are school garden advocates, locally grown food advocates, organic food/gardening advocates, etc. all over her to get her to do this. If it makes people think about growing their own food, getting their hands dirty, and bringing back the lost art of gardening, then I think its okay. If she’s going to give in to any of the hundreds of things people want her to do, then I think this is a good one. Unless it opens the door to other things….
Of course, this has been done before, to great aplomb by Eleanor Roosevelt with her victory garden. Things weren’t quite so bleak back then, though. Eleanor got 40% of produce grown from home gardens, but I can’t help but wonder what percentage was grown at home before her garden. I can’t seem to find any stats right now, but just looking around me I would guess that about 1% of produce in the US today is grown at home. People back then weren’t scared of dirt, sweat, and blood. They knew where food came from. So, is Michelle an Eleanor? Can she get people to bust their own sod? We’ll see. I don’t think it will be nearly as successful, though, not to mention that while we are in a “recession” of our own making, that just doesn’t measure up to the pressure that a world war wrought upon the US in the Roosevelt’s time. No matter how in debt they are, people are still putting out money for cell phones, cars, and video game players that they can’t afford. Why would they suddenly decide that they needed to save money on food? Not to mention the work involved in such a thing. No, we won’t be reaching that 40% mark. I can guarantee it.
But this guy has got to be thrilled!
Okay. I admit it. I am just not as committed to this exercise thing as I should be. I’ll try harder. This week I jogged once (last Friday) and walked twice (about 2.5 miles) Wednesday and Thursday. It was raining cats and dogs, but that is not an excuse as I could have done a workout video via Roku. Honestly, I just didn’t feel like using my precious, relaxing nap time to work out. I should, but I don’t.
But, I did refresh my eating log at fitday.com. I heard a story on NPR about how those who use a food diary lose 20% more weight. Since I have not been paying nearly as much attention to what I have been eating as I should have, I started again. The cool thing about this food log is that it not only counts calories, but also nutrients, types of food, etc. So, after a week or a month, you can see what your diet needs more of and make sure it is more balanced. We’ll see if I can keep this up slightly better than I have kept up with my exercise. And I will try harder this week.