Friday, January 4, 2013

Stuffing 10 Year Olds

Last night was Big K's decade bash....I guess actually still going, since they are all asleep.

I was reading back over old posts and I must say, I'm really glad that (thus far) the tween years have not been as awful so far as it looked like they might be at one point. Big K is turning into a girl I'm quite proud of--finding her own little spot. And thankfully, boys are back again off radar for a while. :)

This year brought a lot of firsts for her. She tried out for and got a reading role at the Christmas Eve mass, she was invited to try the diving team, she started wearing contacts and caring about her appearance more (thank goodness!)

Although school is getting a tiny bit tougher for her (we've always felt she probably has mild dyslexia), she continues to make all A's, at least so far.

Most importantly, she has two tried-and-true best friends. Girls who I would be happy to claim as my own. They keep her grounded, and make all the other little tween bumps more tolerable. As a side bonus, they have parents who I trust implicitly. I truly never worry a stitch about them under the care of these sweet friends...a twist that makes their special friendship even more special for mom.

So, we didn't go the regular party route this year. This year, we took the girlies for mani-pedis at a local place. Then to lunch ( how much do I love MooYah?). Then to dinner later at Patrizio's. although there were plans to deep fried Oreos and watching late going night movies....never got there. For one thing,not a single one of us could finish dinner. Little K made a valiant effort, but their lasagna really should have 'Mt.' In front of it. For the most part they just wanted to hang out.(and spend a little too much time on their gadgets).

Small side note on Patrizio's... I cant say enough on how wonderful they were to us for Big K's day. A table with four children doesn't always get treated fabulously, but they did everything to make her night special. The food, the staff and everyone was truly wonderful.

Hard to believe my baby girl is 10. How did we get HERE? I love you Big K. You make me proud.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Sites for Science Notebooks

Here's a list of sites with GREAT free foldables for science notebooks.

Ove the years, I've used different things for science notebooks, but next year I'm going back to the basic composition book.  There's a lot of reasons for this-- but it's important to pick one that works for you.

The Glencoe site listed here has lots of science stuff available.  Look at their "active folder inserts" for cool activities and notebook insertables.

Here's a few:
Matter / Not Matter
States of Matter
Chemical and Physical Changes

Mary Kay wasn't born cheap... but she got there pretty quickly.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm going to actually make something I pinned on PINTEREST! :-)

Novel idea, right!  It's our Thanksgiving break-- we are lucky enough to get 5 GLORIOUS days off from school.  So it's the perfect morning to try these Belgium waffle maker cinnamon rolls!

The original author of this trick (well, at least where I found it) is here at A Hen's Nest.  They turn out even better than expected.  A couple of things.

Be sure to wipe grease or spray your waffle iron prior to starting.

Place your cinnamon rolls into the waffle maker (be sure to use small ones, or split them up.)

My waffle maker is the kind you flip over.  It also has a floating hinge.  Once they were in, I flipped it over - waited for the regular "Ready light" to come on, and Voila!  Cinnamon rolls!  Much less clean-up than with my oven. :-) 

The tops look a little "burnt" but actually, it was the cinnamon.  Wow.  Maybe I'll actually make some of my other pins!

Mary Kay wasn't born cheap... but she got there pretty quickly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

He Said, She Said

It's happened again. Boy trouble.

This time, it's a boy who's a friend.  I'm pretty sure what happened would be brushed off by any of his boy friends.  Poor Big K isn't used to being "one of the guys" yet.

In a totally boyish way, he was teasing her-- rhyming her name.  Problem being that her name just happens to rhyme with "fat".

Now, if you've ever met Big K, you know--- the girl ain't fat.  Not even close.  In fact, there's not even a chance she thinks she's fat. 
She does, in fact, have quite a little 6-pack going from all the tumbling she's been doing. She has long, skinny but surprizingly muscular legs.  She's actually (if I do say so myself) pretty darn cute.

So, this taunting sort of irked to a point where she couldn't hold back.  In fact she didn't hold back.  Her foot.  She kicked him.

Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for him, she's a pretty bad aim and she ended up hurting her foot while kicking him. (Still not exactly clear on that one...) Later, when asked about limping, she spilled it.  Got in trouble (good), and he did too.

Typical Mom/Daughter late night talk.  The kind that usually happen when you let them stay up too late.  She starts acting snuggly (I love this, but I know it means a bomb is about to dropped on me...).  She hummms.... she hawwwwss... and finally spills the whole thing.    She looks to me for that moment when you know..


Seriously.  I reassure her she is darling, not fat, and that boys tease.  I ask if she could play with someone else.  (This is always met with defeat.  They are friends, their sisters are friends, their moms are friends, and.... her best friend is even his girlfriend.)  Where to go from here?

I grew up with a brother.  So I understood a certain amount of ribbing and "abuse" was normal from boys.  Even boys who were friendly.  Big K doesn't quite get this yet.

If you were expecting great parenting advice here, SORRY-- wrong blog!  I usually feel like I do okay as a Mom.  Tonight there was nothing I had that was going to help.  I miss those days when a kiss on a scraped knee, a bandaid and a popsicle made everything better.....  We're venturing too quickly into a world I feel horribly unprepared for.  A world full of boys, and hurts, and problems Mom can't solve. 

At least, not with a popsicle.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Retiring the Easy Bake Oven...

As a mom, I never particularly cared for the Easy Bake Oven.  There.  I said it.  Outloud in print even!

The problem with the thing was always finding the bulbs.  Sure, they are making a big deal out of it now,- now that legally the bulbs are going away in January.  But honestly, since my children have been old enough for one of these things, the bulbs have been impossible to find.

We've had to go to special stores to find the 100 watt bulb... all so I could wash a zillion pieces and help her make something the size of a small cookie. 

For the same amount of time/energy/cash, why not just let them bake a batch of cookies or a real cake?  Sorry, nostalgia, I won't mourn our Easy Bake. Hasbro says they will "redesign" the oven for the new law.  Something with it's own heating element, or perhaps something that goes in the microwave.

How about you?  Are you sad?

Mary Kay wasn't born cheap... but she got there pretty quickly.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A High Tech Treasure Hunt- Right Around the Corner

I admit it, and it comes to no surprize to anyone who knows me... I'm a geek.  I love all things Math and Science-y... so how the heck have I missed out on this for so long?  There are so many great caches to find in Lewisville/Flower Mound/ Highland Village. 

You don't need a special GPS device to get started, just a GPS enabled phone.  If you have an Android phone, there's a free app available (c:geo) that is perfect! It also helps to have a free basic account at Geocaching .

From within a mile of our house in the 75028 zip code, 22 sites pop up!  The driving directions get you close to your site.  (For our family, the first several were walking distance-- no driving was even necessary.)  Then switch the app to compass.  Follow the arrow on the compass.  (Both times we did this, it took us within 10 feet.)

Now here's some advice: trust your gps.  The first one we did, I couldn't believe something could actually be hidden in a drug store parking lot.  But it was!  Once you get within about 10 feet-- it's time to just start searching.

BIG hint #2: Before hunting, you might want to search on for geocaches to see what some of these unique containers look like.  It also gives you an idea of the truly clever hiding places. 

What to bring:
-long pants (many, though not far from the beaten path-- will be past brush or stickers.)
-a pen / stamp (there will be a log to sign)  These are signed with your "geocaching" name, so think one up in advance.
-something to leave in the cache.  A small toy, a coin, or other small item.  Many have kid gifts hidden in them.  The rule is to leave something of the same value as you take.  Think small!  Some of these are pretty tiny.

The second one we found was found by Big K.  She was so excited!  And inside, was a special "pathtag".  A pathtag can be kept by the finder.  It has a number to enter on the Internet (no personal info needed) to let the person who left ir know a little something about how/where/when it was found.  It is different from a "travel bug".  Bonus!  A first find and something to show her friends.  I'm guessing that second grade journal will be full on Monday...

I had no idea there were so many.  This has all the makings of an activity I can get behind.  It's free. It's nearby.  It's quick. And kids love it.

Really, what more could a geeky mom ask?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Working on Manners....

Today we were working on PHONE MANNERS.  This is part of the experiences for The Manners Try it, but as with many Try Its, it turned into a sounding board and learning opportunity for both Big and Little K's.
The practice sessions involve talking about phone manners, and what to say / do in each of the following situations.
  • An emergency call
  • Someone calls from work and wants to leave a message.
  • Grandma / Grandpa calls and wants to talk.

Now, my girls both did pretty well on the emergency one.  They knew our address.  They answered questions.   (Hooray!)

On the Work message, it turns out a) My children don't know my cell number (although they have the home phone memorized) and b) don't take messages quick enough to be of any use.
I told them to be polite, and ask the person if they can wait until Dad can get to the phone, or spell things for you. 

The one that really surprized me was the grandparent one.  Now my girls talk to their grandparents on the phone pretty regularly.  But they miss some subtleties... like asking questions back, and offering information more than "good", and offering a story.  We worked on this.  (Can't wait for the next real call to see if any of it stuck!)

We'll be putting some paper and a pen by the phone, and our cell numbers.  They are old enough now they should be able to take a simple message- the rest is just practice.  As with most try its, it was a great opportunity to bring up something we needed to talk about.

 Mary Kay wasn't born cheap... but she got there pretty quickly.