Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Belated Pancake Day

On Tuesday Rick called me at work and said he had heard on the radio that it was National Pancake Day. We decided to have pancakes, bacon and eggs for dinner. Who doesn't like that, right? Later, we decided to turn it into a little celebration. The kids drew pancake pictures for decorations, we read the book by Eric Carle, Pancakes, Pancakes! and we found two good Pancake poems. It was a lot of fun.

The Pancake Collector

by Jack Prelutsky

Come visit my pancake collection
It’s unique in the civilized world
I have pancakes in every description,
Pancakes flaky and fluffy and curled

I have pancakes of various sizes
Pancakes regular, heavy and light
Underdone pancakes and overdone pancakes
And pancakes so perfectly right

I have pancakes locked up in the closets
have pancakes on hangers and hooks
There are bags in boxes and bureaus
And pressed in the pages of books

There are pretty ones sewn to the cushions
And tastefully pinned to the drapes.
The ceilings are coated with pancakes
And pressed in the pages with crepes.

I have pancakes in most of my pockets
And concealed in the lining of suites
There are tiny ones stuffed in my mittens
And large one packed in my boots

I have extra of most of my pancakes,
I maintain them in rows on these shelves
And if you say nice things about them
You may take a few home for yourself

I see that you’ve got to be going
Won’t you let yourselves out by the door?
It is time that I pour out the batter
And bake up a few hundred more

Pancake Poem

Shel Silverstein

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."

Another great book about pancakes is Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Skateboarding Class

Shayne has always liked the idea of skateboarding. Last summer we got him a skateboard and he has been practicing on it. The city of Chandler, which is south of Mesa, and where I work, offers a lot of fun, interesting, fairly inexpensive activities for people of all ages through their parks and recreation program. Anyway, they have an Introduction to Skateboarding class for 7-12 year olds that takes place once a week at a skate park in Chandler. Shayne was really excited to sign up for it, so we did. He has been going for 6 weeks now and has gotten a lot better. One of the things I really like about it is that the instructor, who is young enough that I could almost be his mother, covers skills and safety about equally. Rick has been taking him down there to practice a few times a week lately too, which he loves. Anyway, here are some photos:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Better Late Than Never-February: The Month of Stellar Parenting

I want to get this posted before the month is over! Last month, health and nutrition month, went fairly well. I think I dropped a few pounds, am in slightly better shape, feeling more energy most days and am eating healthier, especially at lunch. I have been trying to continue all that I started in January. In February I have been focusing on doing things for Shayne and Maya. I definitely feel happier when they are happy. Here are a few things I have been doing or plan to do:
  • Play something with each of them at least once a day, separately or together (kick the ball around, light saber fight, play cards, etc.)
  • Make a calendar for Maya each week so she can see what is coming up. Let her decide one fun thing to do on the weekend
  • Use picture magnets for Maya to learn new words
  • Read at least one good parenting or autism book each month
  • Wake up with plenty of time to get to school in the mornings peacefully and have everything laid out the night before (we have been doing well with this and it really helps)
  • Get bedtime routine started early enough that we have plenty of time for both kids to read to me and to get read to without having to rush
  • Use the "snack bowl" for healthy snacks after school and other times (the snack bowl is just a bowl in the refrigerator with healthy snacks ready to eat in it) Both kids seem to really like this
Of course, being a teacher, I have some specific, measurable academic goals, but I won't bore you with those :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Fall!

Here in the Valley of the Sun, we have what is traditionally considered to be "fall", the falling of the leaves from deciduous trees, in January. The leaves usually fall for about a week and a half to two weeks during the beginning part of January, then, amazingly, the trees blossom by the end of the of the month. So the whole process, from the first leaves falling to the blossoms making their first appearance happens in about three weeks. The first photo was taken during the first few days of January and the second one was taken a few days ago. Considering the new leaves, this post could be more appropriately named "Happy Spring".

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Barber Shop

I was sitting at the computer one night a few weeks ago enjoying some much needed quiet time. "What's wrong with that?" you're wondering. "You work hard. You deserve it." You're totally right. I do work hard. I do deserve it. Something was wrong was quiet...too quiet. You know the feeling, you're sitting there, kind of spaced out, enjoying the quiet when you suddenly realize that it has been too quiet for too long. So when I came out of my daze, I decided to investigate. I walked into the bathroom and literally shrieked as I saw Maya standing, looking in the mirror, the sharp scissors in her hand, a pile of her hair on the floor. She really thought she had done a good job, and it was pretty good, considering it was a first attempt. I tried not to totally freak out so she wouldn't get upset, but I did explain that we don't cut our own hair. The next day, I took her to a hair cutting place down the street and asked the lady to do what she could to minimize the damage. It is pretty short, but not boy-short and she didn't even really have to cut the bangs. She said Maya had cut them quite evenly herself. So here are some pictures of Maya's new haircut, which is actually growing on me:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rick's First Week on Days

Rick and I have worked opposite schedules since before Shayne was born. The biggest reason for this was so one of us could be home with the kids all the time, which has thankfully happened for the past 8 years. In the summer Maya started all-day kindergarten, so no one really needs to be home all day anymore.

Last Monday Rick switched to working days instead of nights and we are all happy to be living with a more "normal" family schedule in which everyone is at home at night. Although we had time to do things each week as a family before, it is nice to have a lot more time now. In order to make this work, Rick has to get up at 3:45am most days to be out the door by about 4:00. That way I get the kids off to school in the morning and he picks them up. We are all home by 4:00pm or shortly after. So this week we enjoyed having dinner together every night and having Rick with us at Shayne's Running Club race and skateboarding class (more on that later...) So we are all very grateful to have had the flexibility in work schedules to be able to be with our kids a lot during their baby and pre-school years and we are very happy now to be seeing more of each other now.