Sunday, August 2, 2015

T is for Turtle/Life Cycles of Turtles

So we are gearing up for Kai's preK year of home school preschool.  I don't think he will be attending an actual preschool so I am forcing myself to get more commited to schoolwork and a more "strict" schedule to try to get him ready for kindergarten.  As you know, he is a very spirited honey badger kid that really tries his best to get his own way.  This doesn't bode well with school haha.  So I am hoping to help him adjust to having more structure this year.  And having a lot of fun in the process.

He is really interested in life cycles of animals and I love sea turtles so that is where we are starting.

Field Trips:
 We went to the local farmers market and they had all kinds of awesome life cycle puzzles and figurines and a life cycle game.  It was perfect timing for us to learn about life cycles and have fun.  We also went to the local children's science museum.  They are surrounded by wetlands so we took a walk and looked for turtles.  They also have large turtle exhibit inside that we counted turtles in.

I downloaded these free sea turtle life cycle nomenclature cards from Teachers Pay Teachers.  We are going to use these to learn about the life cycle of the sea turtle.  I also bought a pack of Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Green Sea Turtle for him to use with these cards.  Of course if Owl would quit swiping half of the them this would be a lot easier.  No swiping swiper.

I made a sensory bin to demonstrate sea turtles life cycles and to let Kai get his fill of sensory goodness.  I used blue water beads to be the ocean.  Destructo and Owl got to help the turtles hatch from a sensory bin containing kinetic sand and ping pong balls.  The ping pong balls were the turtle eggs since they are approximately the size of sea turtle eggs.  (They also had a giant T on them for Tennessee Vols since that was all I could get.  But I ran with it since T is for turtle.  haha)  We made a nest in the sand and then I used Easter eggs to put little turtles in so Kai could have them hatch.  He then had to quickly make the sea turtle run to the ocean before a predator (or his brother) got them.  Both boys loved it and played with it for days.

Important side note, you want to rinse the water beads daily though or else they mold really quickly.  I did not know this and had to buy more.

Math:  We used the pack of Turtles to work on basic addition.  Kai would pick a foam number out of a bag and a second number.  Then he would use the turtles as counters to figure out the answer.

 Language:  We read
My Very First Encyclopedia With Winnie the Pooh and Friends: Animals  and The Encyclopedia of Reptiles, Amphibians & Invertebrates.  The pooh bear one is a great book and details the differences in mammals, reptiles, etc.  The other book is not a children's book per say but it has all different species of turtles and lots of other info.  We picked out our favorite turtles.

Internet:  We watched this Sea Turtle Video.  I really like these science videos because they are short and very informative.  They have a ton of different animals.

Craft:  We made sea turtle sun catchers.  I let the boys stick tissue paper onto clear contact paper.  I put a layer over the top of the stuck tissue paper and then used Oliver's Cloud B Tranquil Turtle  as a template for the head and legs.  Easy peasy and super cute.

Fine Motor:  
I had bought Magnetic Color Cubes which are amazing for fine motor (but not for kids who could swallow them for obvious reasons.)  Destructo used them to feed all his turtles that I mentioned above.  He was feeding them a certain amount of pounds.  It was too funny (and mostly all on his own.)

I also did the turtle transfer activity on Nurturing Learning's blog.  I had Destructo pretend he worked in a sea turtle sanctuary and had to help the turtles.

So there you have it.  Turtle week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Day my Phone Went Swimming

Swimming, swimming, swimming in the deep blue sea.  Oh gosh I watch too much Daniel Tiger.  Yesterday was the kind of day where it is a good thing I am not a big drinker.  I would have probably been drunk by noon if that was the case.  Then my boys would have had to lord of the flies it.  That would have been bad given their propensity for destruction of themselves and my house.  Real bad.

I had the boys outside helping me clean up the patio.  I made it seem like it was their idea.  Let's pretend this is a car wash and wash up your car.  Kai ran with it and then said their play house was on fire and he had to put the fire out with the hose.  Whatever kiddo.  Just burn some energy (and clean my patio.)  

I cleaned the water table and filled it for Owl who loves playing in it.  I then took all the small water toys in to bleach them because they had mildew on it from sitting in rain water.  I didn't want to leave a bucket with bleach water in Oliver's reach because he is sneaky and quick.  So I filled it up in the tub leaving Oliver and Kai playing on the patio.  

I turned around and Kai came in ready to get into dry clothes.  I changed him quickly and then opened the door and got Owl in.  I changed his diaper and clothes and went looking for my phone.  I couldn't find it.  Then as I was about to walk back inside, I noticed pink in the water table.  The boys have no pink water toys.  Yeah it was my cell phone.  Under the water.  Swimming.  Thank you Owl.  Thanks so much.

Needless to say this is the point in the story where I have to give mad props to Samsung.  I have a Galaxy S4 active.  The ATT salesperson sold me on it even though it was fifty bucks more to get the active by saying what if Destructo (who was two at the time) threw it in a toilet or something.  It seemed quite plausible.  Needless to say I am oh so glad they did. 

I was a bit skeptical of whether the claims that you could put them 3 ft under water for up to 30 minutes was true.  It was.  As I reached for my phone, I could actually see a new email notification popping up under the water.  The only thing that was messed up was that water had gotten in the charging port because the little cover had broken off and I hadn't replaced it yet.  I blow dried it on low for about twenty minutes and that fixed the problem.  

I am going to be buying the S6 active for sure after this.  It actually made my day because I fully expected to have to immediately run out and get a new phone after I saw it in the bottom of the water table.  It was in there between 5 and ten minutes by the time I got Oliver in, diaper changed, clothes on, hands washed etc.  It is the best phone ever.  And no this isn't a sponsored post and I am not getting paid in anyway to say this.  It is just the straight up truth and I truly am that impressed by Samsungs Galaxy active.  I would take a picture of my awesome phone, but alas I only use my phone for my camera haha.  

The  moral to this story is Owl is sneaky and agile.  I am fairly certain he climbed up on the chair to get to my phone.  Destructo was never agile nor a climber like Owl.  It is funny how different kids can be.

Don't let this face fool you.  He is nothing but trouble.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What I would put in a Gift Package for a New Breastfeeding Mom

I used to post about breastfeeding and tips and tricks to make it a success all the time.  But then Destructo weaned and I started writing about other topics more.  Well it hit me that I never did a post like this.  I just had a childhood friend have a new sweet baby boy and I was thinking about ordering her a book that was a lifesaver to me.  Then this blog post idea popped into my head and I ran with it.

The book I had mentioned would be the first thing I would buy.  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding became by breastfeeding bible.  It walks you through the different ages and stages and has an entire section devoted to all the problems that could arise on your breastfeeding journey.  It also has tables you can rip out and post on your fridge about safe handling of breast milk which was awesome.  It truly is a must read for any new mom.

I would include Booby Tubes.  These were wonderful for sore boobs when I was just starting out with my nursling but also for times when I would get a clogged duct.  I also had vasospasms so I used them for heat.  But you could also put them in the freezer and use them for cold packs if that made you feel better than heat.  Earth Mama Angel Baby is a really amazing company and I use a ton of their products.  In fact, I haven't found one yet that I don't like.

Another product that EMAB makes is Earth Mama Angel Baby Non GMO Natural Nipple Butter.  It is not made from any genetically modified organisms and is natural and better than lanolin for you and baby.  It works amazingly.  I wish I had known about this with Destructo when I really had sore boobs and nipples as he never had a great latch.  Owl was a much better nurser and I only had to use it the first few weeks.  I have also heard you can use it as a lip balm.  Yay for dual purposes.

I would include some sort of boobie pads.  If you wanted to spend more, you could get bamboobies.  These are reusable/washable breast pads and they work really well.  They are super soft and absorb a lot especially the over night ones.  For a disposable/cheaper option, I always preferred Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads.  Other brands made me itchy for whatever reason.  These were also smooth so you didn't get weird lumps under your shirt.

One thing that might seem out of place in this gift basket would be aden by aden + anais Swaddles.  Not to swaddle the baby but to use as a nursing cover.  These were amazing as a nursing cover.  I would tie a knot it two corners and put it around my neck.  It was super light weight, not hot, breathable, easy to fold small enough to fit easily in a diaper bag, and just amazing.

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags would be in the basket.  I had very few leaks with this brand.  They also were easy to pour out into bottles.   I would include bottles of water because nursing makes you thirstier than if you were walking through a desert.  I would include snacks such as granola bars, trail mix packs, or nuts.  You are super hungry at first when you are nursing.  The last idea I have is something to make the new mom feel pretty.  Baby blues are real and I felt so much like nothing but a milk cow those first few dark, sleep deprived, exhausting days.  This would help me to feel less cow like and more woman like,

So there you have it.  My ideas for a breastfeeding new mom gift basket.  What ideas would you guys include?