Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Holding her pencil

On Monday, as one of Kylie's teachers walked her to our car, she told me that she was concerned with the way that Kylie was holding her pencil. She recommended that we place a cotton ball under Kylie's ringer finger and pinky as she does her writing and coloring as a reminder to keep those fingers down and to not grip her pencil with them. I thanked her for noticing and for giving me the cotton ball idea.

And then I looked at Kylie who had settled into her carseat and had huge tears rolling down her face.

And I thought, "Ah...there is my darling, perfectionist, only child. She is freaking out about this."

It is so hard for little ones to express how they are feeling. But my guess is that Kylie was embarrassed that a teacher had made a comment (that wasn't a compliment) about her. She might have even thought she was "bad" because of it. Kylie wants to do everything perfectly. As a perfectionist only child myself, I could relate.

I gave her teacher another thank you and then swooped a big hug and kiss on Kylie with a very gentle whisper to her, "It's going to be ok. Really."

As we drove away (other cars waiting behind us), I gently asked Kylie, "Can you tell me why you are crying?" ""she gasped in big sobs. I reminded Kylie of a silly story. I wanted to get her laughing asap. "Kylie," I said. "Did you know that when you were little you sang the alphabet like this: "J,K, Elmo, Elmo, P?"

She grinned a little. So I sang the alphabet song again with the "elmo, elmo, P". Her smile widened. I sang it a third time and she sang it with me loudly, "Elmo, Elmo, P."

And I said, "And when you got to school you learned the correct way to sing it. Singing it the "elmo" way wasn't bad. In fact, it was funny. But it wasn't correct. So your teachers taught you to sing it the correct way."

I continued, "So when a teacher reminds you to hold your pencil a certain way...when that teacher tells Mommy about it doesn't make you bad or wrong. It just means that a correction needs to be made."

She seemed to settle even more. "Tell me more stories about funny stuff I've done" she asked. And I did so for the rest of the drive home.

After dinner, Karen and Kylie went to Kylie's desk and practiced holding the pencil the correct way with a cotton ball under her fingers. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner. The matter-of-fact yet extremely gentle way that Karen coached Kylie touched me. In fact, it brought tears to my eyes. And I thought, "Our little girl is going to be just fine". But before I went back to my dishes, I had to snap a quick picture.

It is a simple picture but I have to say that I love how the light hits Karen's relaxed and beautiful hands. Just a simple picture to help me remember this day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Project Life Week 8

I had a different approach to Project Life this week. For the past 7 weeks my approach has been to sit down on Sunday and review the pictures I've taken during the week. I would team up the best pictures with the most interesting or unusual stories and create some Project Life pages.

But I noticed that I was missing out on some day-to-day details that I thought might be interesting to document. Little things like what we had for dinner, what shows we watched on tv, how many books we read to Kylie and so forth. So this week I jotted down some notes each day in a journal before going to sleep.

I only grabbed my Nikon on the day Kylie and I went to the park. For the rest of the week, I used my iPhone for pictures.

I cruised some other Project Life Scrapbook bloggers and found some awesome inspiration. I was particularly awed by the detailed and layered cards by findingnana, niebuhrchicks and cherishtheeveryday. I thought to myself, "I want to play with making a more detailed photo card similar to theirs. Let's just try it and see what we get." I've also noticed some scrapbooking buzz about washi tape and wanted to play with a digital version.

Fortunately I started scrapping on Saturday instead of Sunday and thought, "Yeesh! I've got a lot of journaling here. I'm going to have some very wordy pages."

Making the detailed cards took more time than I thought they would. I'm pleased with how they came out but I'm not sure that the additional time to make them was worth the result. I did have lots of fun doing it all which I suppose is precisely the point.

So here are my Week 8 pages. You can click on the photo for the credits.
Project Life, Week 8 page 1

A closer look at the photo cards.
Project Life, Week 8 page 1 closer look- game and restaurant

Project Life, Week 8 page 1 closer look- playtime and fat tuesday

Page 2
Project Life, Week 8 page 2 and picture insert front

Another closer look at the picture cards.
Project Life, Week 8 page 2 closer look- carwash and cats

Project Life, Week 8 page 2 closer look- artwork

I added an insert for a few more pictures. This was my favorite quote from the week:
Project Life SPF card

This was the back of the insert and some schoolwork of Kylie's.
Project Life, Week 8 insert back and artwork insert front

Overall I'm pleased with the rainbow colors and all the documentation. But I don't think I'll repeat this approach for a while.

If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I am Puss in Boots

These 2 post-its were on our bedroom door when we woke up. This cracks me up! Allow me to interpret--
I am Puss in Boots
I got the head phones so you Mommy can sleep and so can (Momma- written on back).

Here is some of Kylie's artwork from the week--all found courtesy of Pinterest.

Handprint crab

Hand and footprint lobster

Taped name poster




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meals at home

I hope everyone had a great Fat Tuesday. Kylie made this fun Mardi Gras mask and her teachers handed out beads for the children to wear.

Last year, I gave up Diet Coke for Lent. It was tough because I drank 2-4 Diet Cokes a day. The first 2 weeks were the worst. The funny thing was that I tried to drink it after Easter and found it tasted horrible. So I've not had any in a year. You could have knocked me over with a feather because I was seriously addicted to the stuff and thought I would go back to drinking it by the cartloads.

This year, I'm giving up eating at restaurants for Lent. No Chik Fil A, no Friday night pizza, no Subway salads for lunch, no Chili's burgers. Nothing. No restaurants and no carry out food. We had a "last" meal on Sunday at California Pizza Kitchen. I was wacky enough to ask the waitress to take a picture of the momentous moment.

I thought it was interesting when I saw my favorite blogger Ali Edwards had posted today a free weekly dinner menu planner just as I was gathering my menu planning guides.

I use the Eat Sheet from They used to sell these in packs but now I see they make them available as a free download. And some of you long-term readers might remember that I blogged how I write my grocery lists in quadrants. I still do that for short post-it note lists but I also sat down one day and created a grocery list in Excel. It seemed extremely anal at the time but let me tell you, it has saved me lots of time! I keep a stack of them printed out by my coffee maker and I just start checking things off when I notice I need them and again when I plan the menu for the week.

I found through my pinterest board and have made several of the recipes found there. If anyone has another website for healthy entrees, please leave me a note in the comments.

I can use all the help I can get. Wish us luck on our Lenten Adventure!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

iPhone/iPad games and books


Although, Where's My Water still reins as Kylie's favorite iPhone/iPad game, Egg Punch is on its way to the top of her list. It's amazing how interactive and clever these games are. Don't worry, we limit the time she can play with them.

Some other newer games and books she enjoys:
Monster at the End of This Book Read to you by Grover

Toontastic - Children can create their own animated stories. Love to hear the different funny voices Kylie uses for her different characters.

Puss in Boots Fruit Ninja- you slice fruit with your finger motions.

Don't Let the Pigeon- you get to add your own voice over to certain parts of the story. Kylie has added hers as "Don't let the pigeon...rule the world" and "kiss the cat" and "play hopscotch".

Feel free to add your own family favorites. Enjoy!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Project Life Week 7

I really enjoy scrapping my Project Life pages on Sunday afternoons. Click on the picture to view the credits.

Project Life Week 7, page 1

Project Life Week 7, page 2

If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Egg carton crafts

You've got to love how an egg carton can become traffic cones and a volcano with a little one's imagination.




I wanted to make these googly eyes but kiddo wasn't having it. Another time perhaps.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bath stuff

Kylie and I are both enjoying this new body wash/shampoo. She likes the wonderful strawberry smell. I like that it is made with all natural, organic nutrients with no synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives or any other toxins. She loves the bubble bath and kid lotion too. I've also started using their anti-aging skincare line.

Sending a hug

I saw this idea on Pinterest.

You trace your kiddo's upper body onto paper and then let them color it in.

And send someone you love a hug!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Project Life Week 6

Most of these pictures and stories have been shared on the blog, so I'll keep this short and sweet. You can click on the picture to view the credits.

Top right picture shows Kylie in her fort made of chairs and a sheet. On the 2nd row, there are some pictures Karen snapped of me riding my bike set up on our indoor trainer. I'm out of practice on the bike and the temps (even here in Florida) have been nippy so I'm building my base on my indoor trainer. The phrase, "It just takes time" is something I tell myself over and over when I feel like I should be stronger/faster/better during a workout. It reminds me to just stay with it and to try to be patient.

The 2nd card shows a picture of a Backyardigans episode. I wanted to explain the "Flower Power Hurray" picture that Kylie drew (located 3rd row, left picture).

This week I included a picture of one of Kylie's dirty shirts sitting on my washing machine. I have to scrub out her stains with a toothbrush dipped in bleach. Just something to remember about the joys of uniforms.

I journaled a bit about Kylie saying grace at our meals and saying "Bon Appetit". And finally I included the front of a bi-fold card that the staff from our favorite Starbucks gave to us for a free coffee.


On the second page, I included pictures of Kylie that I took at the park along with some journaling about her learning to slide down the fireman's pole. I inserted a picture and journaling about her washing the glass in our home.

I used a brown journaling tag on which to write about her Trash or Treasure picture (the artwork displayed in the lower right corner) where she glued bits of trash she found at our playground, and finally a picture of the eagle that came with an aviary group to Kylie's school.

On the right side, I added an insert with a recipe from March's Highlights Magazine that Kylie and I made on Sunday. And on the back, I included this bit of schoolwork.


Kylie drew this roller coaster picture at school. Kylie had a very long story that went with the picture. She told the story to her teacher who helped her summarize it. The teacher wrote the words with a highlighter and Kylie traced over them with her pencil. She said she "felt like a kindergardener" on this bit of work. We were very proud of her.

And that's it for another week of Project Life!
If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fireman's pole

Kylie learned to slide down the fireman's pole. Wheeee!






The other day when I picked Kylie up from school, I saw some of her school mates cleaning some windows.

I got very excited.

"Kylie", I exclaimed. "Do you get to clean the windows and glass doors at school?"

"Yes", she replied. "It's fun. We get a spray bottle, a squeegee and a sponge."

Fun? Windows?

May I say that I RAN to Target and got her the supplies.

May I also say that I didn't think this through.


Kylie was very conscientious about her work. I was tickled with the energy she brought to it all. But her finished glass was FULL of lines and smears.

Oh my.

We have a LOT OF WINDOWS. Kylie had so much fun cleaning them ALL.

Oh my.

I was pretty busy after she went to bed.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Trash or treasure?


The parks we frequent are quite clean. But if there is any bit of anything, leave it to Kylie to find it and treasure it. She is all the time tucking bits of this and that into her pockets or handing them to me. Then these little bits end up in Kylie's room.

Recently, I had the idea to ask Kylie to make some artwork (right away) with whatever she brought home.

In this picture, there are some "special" rocks, a broken silly bandz, a plastic clip-on earring, a brown plastic cap, a toy car tire (which she made into a car on her picture), and a broken watch battery which looked like an owl's nest in a tree.

On the next day, she brought home the yellow barrette, soccer ball sticker, red string and leaves, and some sort of plastic twist top, all from the park. Once home she added the toilet paper rolls, cotton, fruit sticker, broken bit of plastic hanger, and silver string all found from our trash cans at home along with the silver bells from her craft stash.

I'll let you decide-- is it trash or art?

I just know that I'm happy these bits are glued and taped down on paper rather than floating around our home.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Project Life Week 5

Let me just say that I'm loving Project Life. I think I'm really finding my groove with it. This week, there was a fair amount that made it to the scrapbook that I didn't share on the blog so I've included some journaling. Remember, you can click on the the picture for credits.


Row 2, 1st card
Our kitchen sink developed a leak around the faucet. The water was dripping under the sink. Karen and I bought a new sink and faucet at Lowes. On Monday, our handyman Joe came to install it. Of course, nothing is as easy as one wants it to be. He spent 4 hours on it on Monday then had to come back Tuesday to spend 2 more hours to finish installing the sink. Then another leak developed around one of the valves under the sink. This time we called a plumber who fixed the leaky valve on Friday. He replaced the valves and some of the piping. But now we have a small leak around the new pipe. I’m afraid the sink saga will continue into next week.

Row 2, 2nd card
Kylie had a playdate on Tuesday with last-year’s best friend, Clara. Kylie hasn’t seen Clara in 8 months. When she learned she was going to see her Kylie said, “My love was missing and now she has returned”. The playdate at Sunshine Park went well except that Kylie cried buckets when Clara had to leave. We are going to get the girls together ASAP. Kylie loves Clara so much.

Row 2, 3rd card
This is a punch card for my strength training gym.

Row 2, 4th card
Kylie proudly told us that she completed the Montessori Hundred Boardthis week at school. The teachers drew all the students attention to Kylie’s completed work and the children whispered “Wow!” Kylie was thrilled and we are so proud of her.

Birdfeeder picture:
This month is National Bird Feeding Month. Coincidentally, we bought a bird feeder for our backyard. The cardinals have found it and have delighted us by eating from it regularly. Usually we see them when we sit down for dinner together. Kylie still doesn’t believe that the male cardinals are the bright ones. She doesn’t believe that the female cardinals would want to be so drab when they could be fancy.

Artwork picture:
Thursday 2/2 was Groundhog Day and Phil saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. Kylie made the paperbag Groundhog puppet in aftercare along with the jellyfish for her “J” week.

Page 2 was all about Kylie’s school Family Farm Day at Hidden Fields Farm. Here is the journaling on the 3 cards: This was the 2nd time we have been to Hidden Fields. I knew just how dusty the farm was and that the best footware for Kylie would be her rain galoshes, which I quickly renamed “cowgirl boots”. Kylie coordinated the rest of her outfit including her pink cowgirl hat and pink, silly bandz bracelets.

Kylie enjoyed jumping in the bounce house and climbing around the tree house. She was excited about the prospect of making her first s’more. But when the wind turned and smoke blew in her face, she wasn’t so excited anymore. Still she took two healthy bites of the s’more before declaring she was ready to ride the horses. Afterwards she played on the see-saw and tire swing with her friends.

When she noticed her friends had their faces painted, she decided she wanted her face painted too. She desperately wanted her favorite character “Puss in Boots” but was happy to get a close replica with this orange cat with green eyes. Kylie got a bit teary when it was time to go but overall it was a lovely trip.

There were a few more pictures that I wanted to print and keep so I tucked them in using a photo insert.
Project Life Week 5, picture insert back and blog story insert

I printed the story about mean girls that I blogged on 1/31.

And finally I tucked in two cards that Kylie made for her friends Clara and Margo. She made me a copy of the cards she'd made. Very sweet. I secured the cards with self-seal laminating sheets. I did a horrible job with these laminating sheets. Oh well, live and learn. Once sealed, I used a 6x12 page protector to hold the cards.
Project Life Week 5, blog story insert back and Kylie's cards

Project Life Week 5, Kylie's cards- back
Here's the back of her cards. I love how she wrote her friends' names and her TO and FROM. Priceless.

And that's it for another week of Project Life!
If you want to see other Project Life Projects, see
Ali Edwards blog
Big Picture Classes Gallery
The Mom Creative