Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cures for Cabin Fever

K & R stayed home sick today, he with an ear infection and she with an upset tummy. This marks day four of no structured activities and no break for Mommy. Fortunately, I have discovered several new preschool crowd pleasers I wanted to share for those of you also in the Winter Boredom Doldrums.

Last night we made cracker chicken for dinner. I am not a very good cook, but this was easy and very good. The children helped prepare it (smashing the crackers and shaking the chicken inside the ziploc), therefore they were also willing to eat it. A win/win. In true form, R had to make the recipe his own. He insisted I leave his chicken breast plain. He placed one Ritz cracker on top and had me bake it that way. "Dis is my way to make cwacker chicken!"

This morning, K & R painted my bathroom with shaving cream (thanks to whoever left that idea in the comments a few days ago) AND cleaned it up (with a little help from Mommy). It was all part of the game.

The two little sickies also enjoyed a new website a friend told me about: http://www.starfall.com/.

I have only recently let them start playing on the computer, but I really like this site. It is very user friendly, engaging and educational. The preschool games are all about phonics--and kept the children entertained long enough for me to make all the beds, get dressed and fold/put away two loads of laundry. Another win/win.

We made a late morning trip to the pediatrician to confirm R's ear infection and get a prescription. The only plus side to the hour plus we spent waiting was a terrific article I read on why mommies blog. The author, Catherine, speaks words straight from my own heart when she says, "Writing gives me a way to step back from my life and really see it. To watch my kids and feel the gratitude flood through my veins. To connect the dots so I can tell the story the way I feel it..." So true!

Meanwhile, P had a wonderful day at school as an only child. "One of his best yet" according to his teacher. One of the elementary schools we are looking at only has two classes per grade, so I am already paying a lot of attention to who should be on their own versus which two will be OK together. P really seems to thrive when he is not under the shadow of the other two.

Finally, I borrowed an idea from Perri. It was a fun exercise with the children this afternoon. They loved watching me type their responses. I hope to remember to do it each January.

Warning: Some of these answers are so sweet, while others are completely RANDOM. Just like a 3 1/2 year old! I did not edit them at all.

R's Answers:
What are you good at doing? Putting away instruments.
If you had ten dollars, how would you spend it? Get my own lotion.
What are you afraid of? If a monster comes to scare me.
Who are your friends? Jesse & P & K
What is important to you? When K plays with me.
What is your favorite book? If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
What is your favorite food? Ooh, how 'bout pizza!
What is your favorite thing about school? Eat Oreos
What is your favorite thing to do? Go to Santa's house
How do you show your family you love them? If you give them a candy.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Baseball player
Why? Because I like to play baseball.
What are you thankful for? For swimming in the pool when it is Summer
Tell me something about God. If it is time to go to heaven.

K's Answers
What are you good at doing? Running fast
If you had ten dollars, how would you spend it? Get my own picture frame that I can't break.
What are you afraid of? If, if, if I'm, if I'm hurt.
Who are your friends? R & P
What is important to you? Joke, when I take care of him.
What is your favorite book? Old McDonald Had a Farm (R interjected, "but P tore it up!" which reduced K to tears.)
What is your favorite food? Pork
What is your favorite thing about school? Playin' with toys
What is your favorite thing to do? Read books
How do you show your family you love them? Um, hmm, I love them so much.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A draw-er and a cheerleader dat cheers for R
Why? Because
What are you thankful for? Thanksgiving
Tell me something about God. Kind of like, loving Him.

P's Answers:
What are you good at doing? I am good at doin' swimmin'
If you had ten dollars, how would you spend it? I would put it in my piggy bank.
What are you afraid of? Monsters
Who are your friends? Marcus & Jesse & Olivia & Thomas
What is important to you? Swimmin' and colorin'
What is your favorite book? Um, a book with a lot of stories.
What is your favorite food? Umm, fishsticks and tater tots and what's a food tha starts with P? Pizza!
What is your favorite thing about school? Make friends and color with white on purple paper
What is your favorite thing to do? Swim
How do you show your family you love them? Make friends
What do you want to be when you grow up? A clown and I wanna grow up to be a Daddy and a fireman and what grow up thing starts with P? A peece officer.
Why? Because that's jus' what I want to grow up to be.
What are you thankful for? For my dog
Tell me something about God. I love him.


TNS said...

Love those answers. I bet they were so cute thinking and saying their sweet little words. These made me laugh R- putting away instruments, K- pork, P- 'P' for peece officer (what a smart boy).

This is a good idea - especially to see how they change through the years.

HW said...

I think it's interesting that R and K named their siblings as their friends and P did not. Seems to me he would be fine in a classroom without the other two.

I like seeing little ones on the computer. Our children have had "keyboarding" class in school since kindergarten. It is becoming more and more a regular part of curriculum in most schools. My 8th grade daughter now types 110 words per minute - and I credit that partly to having access to the computer at home from the time she was little.
Hope your little ones feel better soon.

Perri said...

All of my kids have loved the Starfall site. Between it and me, they became quite good readers.

Love the answers to their questions. I wish I had started it years ago. I'm sure it would have been great to look back on 5 years ago.

Amy said...

So sorry they are sick. My son just got over a stomach bug - it's so sad when they don't feel well. And, thanks for the new website. My four year old LOVES playing on the computer.

Also, I was going to comment on your previous post about this but it's still relevant on this post. I love your reasoning for keeping the blog and mine is similar. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the day to day drudgery of being a mom to two preschoolers and I really dislike that feeling. My blog helps me focus on the positive and amazing blessings of being a mom and I know I will treasure the memories in the future. Thanks for always being an inspiration no matter what you write about!

Renee said...

I love all the tips. We're always needing some extras over here too. I forget about starfall even though our speech therapist highly recommends it for #2. This is just a fun website which is exactly what is says, a Lite Brite. http://www.sfpg.com/animation/liteBrite.html# Much more high tech than the ones we grew up with.

Tashie said...

Jen - Thanks SO MUCH!! I did the questionnaire with my kids and they loved it...I sent it out by email to all the family. It was so cute! Thanks for sharing.
I bet you could do this every 6 months right now and still get really funny answers to look back on for years to come.

Cheers, Tashie

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Finally delurking to say hello. :)

I've been reading for MONTHS now -- I've read through every single post you have.

Oh man, I sound scary.

I promise I'm not though! I found you through Boomama, I think. Anyway, even though I'm just 23 and have no kids, I love reading about how you parent yours. I can only hope I'll be like you one day.

I just started my own blog; would love to have you visit sometime (not that you have time to, but you never know). From reading your posts, I know you're into ministry... I'm the director of a ministry for young girls. Finally started a blog to record the hilarious stuff that happens to us... someone needed to be writing it down.

Nice to "meet" you!

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Umm... forgot to list the name of my blog. Ooops.

I'm at www.ministrysofabulous.com

fullheartandhands mama said...

I love the question idea. I'm interested in what my three year old will say. Daddy will love reading her answers when he checks in from work. Mind if I link to you when I do this?

Room for Grace said...

I am totally going to interview my kids, thanks for the idea!
Their answers were so cute!

Deidre said...

Oh, I love that last idea (asking questions and recording their responses). I have to do that. We've spent the last 2 days working on our ABC scrapbooks. I made a scrapbook putting a letter on each page. My girls had to search magazines to find pictures of things starting with that letter, cut and paste. It was time-consuming, but that's okay when you're cooped up.

I love the article on blogging too.

MaryBeth said...

Thanks for the great ideas! We are starfall fans around here too- big time!! I hope you don't mind if I link to you and do the questions each year with Ella as well?!?

TK said...

Hi, I'm coming out of my lurker status to comment. I've been readiing your blog for several months and I love it. I'm a pastors wife with two small children and I can often relate with your writing. Thanks for encouraging me. I'm copying the questions you asked your kids for my most recent post and going to ask my four year old. Great idea. I'll link to your blog if you don't mind.

Mandy said...

Their answers are so precious! I absolutely loved P's answers... he is so wise beyond his years. I agree that he may be the one who would be fine on his own in school.

Of course, it's really up to you :)

Nat said...

Those answers are so cute, I love that K wants to be a cheerleader to cheer R on, that's a beautiful bond that they must have. What a sweet sister!

The Dukes Family said...

Love the answers your kiddos gave. Your blog is so fun to read and very inspiring. Your little ones are such a blessing.

Sun said...

So, so, so precious! Sunshine

Erickson 5 said...

Great Post! Also, thanks for the Cracker Chicken Recipe. I am going to try that out in the next few days.

Ann said...

Love the questions! I'm going to ask my 4 year old these and see what kind of answers I get. I'll try to post it in a couple of days. Should be fun!

Kim said...

We love starfall and use it every day. Evie makes a calendar every day and we practice reading,too! It is a great site!