Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Parade of Sharing

I didn't have time to post this last weekend, it was so busy! But here's an update on last weekend's fun. :D I wish I had some photos but I don't because my camera battery was dead when I grabbed it and I have still not found the charger! :(

Last Wednesday marked the start of the local yearly carnival. I love that it's early in the year as compared to most other cities' August and September carnivals because it seems I have a habit of being pregnant and about ready to pop around those end of summer months. ;) Besides, we get PARADES so double yippie-skippy! :D The kiddie parade was on a weekday evening and the kids loved it. Made out like bandits with the candy supply, which I have put up to ration out to them. There was a super sweet little girl who was sharing with my daughter too and that made my day. So many times when you go out to an event with little kids you get bombarded with other people's reasons why they don't want any more kids. By which I mean wild uncontrolable brats making life miserable for the other eventgoers, and tired uncaring parents ignoring them. Which is presumably why, when we arrived at the main parade on the weekend, the young man with a toddler girl whom we sat by immediately looked less than thrilled to have company. Infact, when I smiled at him and sat down, he looked pretty close to hostile. I almost got up and left. But I didn't, we sat right there beside them and God's blessings -innocent children- turned everything around. After a while another family with a little girl came and sat on the other side. And then, while waiting for the parade to start, the shy and sullen little girl with the unfriendly dad started sneaking smiles at Buggie and then talking to him- until her presumed dad moved her to sit between his feet away from us. After the candy throwing started, I encouraged Chicklet that since she'd gotten such a big handfull of candy she should share a piece or two with one of the other little girls. She gave some to the girl with the unfriendly dad. You should have seen the dad's face. Instant 180. I wonder if he'd taken her last year and had to watch some bully child grab up all the candy and make his baby cry. I know the feeling and I too came to the parade with some fear and protectiveness bristling for my babies. When candy is involved it's easy to expect children to behave like animals with no restraint, because if their parents don't teach them and it's been done to them, they will learn it to be an expected behaviour and will repeat it because it's the only way they know of to get the desired candy. So when Chicklet shared a piece of candy with that girl, her dad looked at both me and Chicklet and thanked us with an open and shocked smile. And then when more candy was thrown, the little girl shared a piece with Chicklet and her dad watched with a proud smile instead of moving her away from us again. And then the little girl on the other side shared with Chicklet, and so next time Chicklet shared back with her. And an older girl from a few families down ran up the road closer to the middle, collecting the pieces too far out for the toddlers to safely get to, and then brought them in and gave them to the intended recipients. It was an experience that was heartwarming as a parent. You always wonder what other people's kids are going to do that you will need to do damage control with your babies for later. But I am so happy to say that this was a parade experience that all those little ones, mine included, learned how awesome it feels to share, and what a great chain reaction it starts. :) Everyone walked away loaded down with candy, but more importantly, with smiles and a warm heart.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yummiest Ever Fruit Salad - "Fry-day" recipe!



This is the tastiest fruit salad sauce recipe I have ever tasted! This preggo lady has a serious fruit salad craving now. ;) Feeds a crowd, or a smaller family for a few days. Prepare this the night before it is to be eaten so it has time to marinate! I have no memory of where I got the original but I know I've made some alterations to it over the years to personalize it to our tastes and here's what it has become:

FAVORITE FRUIT SALAD
In a small saucepan combine the following ingredients:
2 T. sugar
2 T. Orange or Lemon juice
2 T. Vinegar or Pineapple juice
2 previously beaten Eggs
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in:
1 T. Butter
pinch of Salt
Set aside or in fridge to cool.
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Place 16oz. Sour Cream in a bowl. Fold cooled egg mixture into Sour Cream. Cover and refrigerate sauce while you prepare fruit.
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Cube various fruit to make 7-8 C. of cubed Fruit. Pour sauce over fruit, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Toss before serving. Keep refrigerated! Do not keep longer than 3 days total. 12-16 servings.

Fruit ideas: Kiwis, Peaches, Nectarines, Apples, Grapes, Plums, Pineapples... whatever suits your taste buds.




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Thursday, June 24, 2010

~Children's Books~ Weekly Question!

Just because your blog isn't as well-known as some million-follower blogs out there doesn't mean you don't have good ideas and good advice! And I want to hear it. It's Weekly Question day! ;) There are 2 ways to participate.
1) Answer in the comments! Just comment on this post with your answer. Simple. Easy.
2) Participate in the Blog Hop! Blog a post that answers this week's question and then click "get the code!" to add the SAME Linky list to the bottom of your blog post. When you're done, add your own link to the Linky list and it will show up on ALL the participating Linky lists. That way if someone enjoys the topic being discussed, they can "hop" from blog to blog using the linky list and might decide to follow some blogs they didn't follow before. Blog hops are a good way to get "discovered" by new readers!
-You may answer or link any time within the week following the question post- for as long as the Linky is still open you may still add posts/answers. If you have an old post/posts that answers the question and you would like to link those up that's fine, but please come back for a future question Thursday with a fresh post, to be fair. ;)

~Question Thursday!~
Topic: Children's Books
What was your childhood favorite? What's your kids' favorite? What lessons does it teach? Do you think it's important to have a moral of the story?  

~~~~~
(*Next Week's Topic: Gardening! Do you? Don't you? Why or why not? If you do, what are some of your tricks and tips?*)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

American Flag Recognition - Free Toddler 'Curriculum'

(Image courtesy of Public-Domain-Image.com)

You will need:
*Toddler(s).
*Wee Sing America

Desired Results:
*Child should be able to recognize and describe the United States flag.

Prerequisite to:
*Recognition of various other types of flags.

Phase 1; build interest and recognition of flags in general. When Chicklet was 3 1/2 years old she started getting excited about flags. Now it's quite easy to get a toddler excited about something, just point it out every time you see one and they will become pretty well obsessed with it. So for phase 1, which I did not even know was phase 1 of anything at the time (lol!), I would just point out flags galore out the window as we drove to and from anywhere and everywhere. As expected, Chicklet began to get all excited every time she saw a flag. Don't rush it. Just enjoy getting excited over flags with your tot. When your tot begins to point out flags before you can even spot them, it's time to move on to phase 2.
Phase 2; introduce the concept of different "kinds" of flags. One day I asked her, "Do you know what kind of flag that was?" She stared back at me with a deer-in-headlights look, of course. She had no idea there were different "kinds" of flags. Flags were just fun colorful flappy things on tall sticks to her. I could see she was about to get frustrated that she didn't know the answer to the question so I cheerfully explained it to her very simply. I told her that the flags with red and white stripes and a blue square with white stars were American flags! She just stared at me, perplexed and uncomprehending. I asked, "Did you see the red stripes?" She said "yeah" hesitantly. I replied that that was wonderful! Let's sing a song to help us know which flags are American flags! I turned on Wee Sing America, song #9 "There Are Many Flags", and began singing along with the CD while making sure my face was toward her. I enunciated the words clearly and made sure she could see my lips as I sang it to help her make out the individual words.

"...Then hurrah for the flag, Our country's flag!
It's stripes and white stars too!
There is no flag in any land,
Like our own Red, White, and Blue!"

So goes the chorus. A good song to help a toddler remember the colors and patterns on the US flag. Then every time this song came around on the CD I would get all excited about it, "Chicklet guess what?! It's the FLAG SONG!" and turn the volume up. Pretty soon she started singing along, getting crazy excited when it came on.
Phase 3; develop knowlege of correct lyrics. We would listen to the Wee Sing America CD every time we were in the car, and at home we would sing it ourselves. Singing it without the CD, just one on one with her, enabled me to correct misunderstood lyrics. I would recite a line a few times over, not singing it, just recite a line she'd had trouble with. Out of the blue. She would listen and start to smile as she realized that what I was reciting were the words to her new favorite song. Then she would burst out singing and I would sing along with her, facing her so she could see my lips, and pronouncing the lyrics clearly and correctly. No need to rush. Don't go overboard with corrections on the lyrics. You don't want to make the tot dislike the song because they are frustrated that they can't seem to get it right. Just recite and sing it correctly and clearly and occasionally if there's a word or phrase they repeatedly have trouble with you can say it to or with them a couple times to help them remember. But not every time unless they seem to be wanting help. Praise them when they get it right, even if they only got one new word in the phrase right and all the other words are still mumbled, jumbled, or wrong, praise the child for getting the one word right. Praise them with a huge smile and a hug. You are so proud of this accomplishment- show it. The child will want nothing more than to learn ALL the words right to get more glowing praise from you. Don't rush it, let the child lead. If the tot is singing the song, cheerfully join in.
Phase 4; apply song to flag recognition. Once the tot gets a key line correct, apply it to the next American flag you pass. When Chicklet got "stripes and white stars too" correct, I pointed out the next American flag by saying, "Look! It's an American flag! It's got stripes and white stars too! Do you see the stripes? Do you see the stars? What color were the stripes?" to which she replied that the stripes were red and white. This let me know that she had visually locked onto the right flag and connected it with the lyrics she had been learning. When she got "...like our own Red, White, and Blue" correct, I then pointed out the next American flag by saying, "Look that flag is red, white, and blue! What kind of flag is it?" and she would visually lock onto the flag and gleefully yell out something about it having "white stars too!" Eventually she would answer my question with, "It's a 'MERICA flag!" When I knew she could recognize the US flag by sight, I stopped giving her the lyric prompts when asking about the flag. I would simply ask, "What kind of flag is that?" and she would reply correctly.
Phase 5; opening the door to the concept of other flags having purposes and meanings too. Eventually I asked her, "What kind of flag is that?" and it was NOT a US flag. She knew it was not a US flag but did not know what she was supposed to describe this flag as. She ummmed for a minute before smirking at me sheepishly and asking what kind of flag it is. :) When your child knows what is and what is not a US flag, then you can begin to point out other kinds of flags. Do not overwhelm them by pointing out every different kind of flag you cross paths with. If they ask, yes tell them, but your plan should be to pick 1 or 2 new kinds of flags to point out. When you point out a new flag, make sure to do it when you have the time to pause and examine this flag. Point out distinguishing features of the flag. What color is it? What symbols and designs are on it that tell you what it's for? If you know what the symbols mean, then explain that to your child. They understand way more than we give them credit for.
This past weekend we had the opportunity to introduce a few new flags to our little American Flag expert. :) We went to a parade on Saturday and there went the US flag marching by side by side with our state flag. So we pointed out the state flag and some of it's prominent features to her every time it was marched past us. Before this, we had been at the carnival and one of the food wagons had pirate flags hanging from the front. I pointed out the pirate flags to Chicklet breifly on our way past and then on our return trip she pointed them out to me, stating that they are pirate flags.

If you can find a kid friendly song that describes key aspects of the flag you wish to teach, you can adapt this concept to any flag from any country, business, fairytale, etc. In fact, you can use music to teach many things more easily. Children learn things so well when music is applied!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Tacos! - Toddler Tales Tuesday

6/18 Friday evening we walked to a children's parade, pulling the tots in the wagon, and then afterward wandered up the street to the carnival to scope out the fair food for the following day's outing. We had had taco pizza for supper on Monday, and Tacos on Wednesday, and leftover Taco meat for lunch on Thursday. Hubby's reading off the signs on the roach-coaches and when he gets to "...tacos..." Chicklet pipes up from the wagon, nearly flying out of her seat in distress, "NO Tacos!!!!!!!"

6/19 We had a nice walk to the carnival, where we ate (not tacos, hehe) some yummy fair food. Every time someone walked past with ice cream (which was every other minute literally) Chicklet would turn to me and ask to please have some ice cream. Oh how vulnerable kids are to the power of suggestion! We told her we would have ice cream another time and went instead to the petting zoo. Now last year Bug was too little to go in the petting zoo. I think I took him in for a minute but Chicklet was afraid of the animals and needed my full attention so I handed baby Bug back over the fence to Dada. Well this year I took them both in while hubby guarded the stroller. And to my delight, neither of my kids was afraid of the animals this year. Both walked right up to the goats with their cups of grain and giggled and petted and talked to the animals. Chicklet wasn't even scared of the calves until one moo-ed. The sound startled her and she jumped and screamed. Then she turned around and I pointed to the calf and told her it was just the baby cow moo-ing and then she was okay. Bug was so not afraid he kept trying to escape me and follow the ever moving herd of goats around, giggling and petting them while mumbling to himself, "Pet pet pet!" At one point, he bolted and ran straight at the rear end of one of the newborn calves with his arms outstretched, saying, "Huuuuuugs!" I snatched him in time, thankfully, and tried to explain to him that we don't hug butts- especially livestock butts. :-/

6/21 Buggie climbs onto the roof of sister's plastic dollhouse to reach the TV buttons. Me, "Hey, don't stand on that, OK Bug-Bug? I don't want you fall of and hurt yourself; it's dangerous!" Bug squats down and asks, "Ouchie-bonk?" Me, "Yes, exactly. Ouchie-bonk." Bug climbs off the dollhouse and goes off to find something else to play with.


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If you have a sweet, cute, or funny Toddler (or baby/kid) story, I'd love it if you'd share it! :)
If you would like to post a Toddler Tales Tuesday on your blog, please leave a link to your post in my Linky below, AND post the code for this blog hop in your Toddler Tales Tuesday post! Commenting on at least one of the other linked posts would delight the writer of said post I'm sure - hint hint! ;) The linky will remain open for 2 weeks following the date of this post in case you want to add a post late.
If you don't have a blog or would prefer it, you may share your baby/toddler/kid tales here in the comments.




Sunday, June 20, 2010

DON'T FORGET!

PLEASE do not forget if you are adding giveaways to my linky, Blog name and end date are needed as well as the name of your giveaway! I gave you plenty of space to do this. It's important to have your BLOG NAME AND GIVEAWAY NAME on there so people aren't wasting their time clicking to go enter your giveaway when they've already entered it from another linky! If you simply don't want to put your blog name on there then the only reason I can think of is that you WANT the extra clicks from wasting people's time, which is not very nice indeed, so I hope that people are just forgetting and this reminder will do the trick.
It is also important to have the END DATE listed in the entry because I am the pregnant mom of 2 toddlers under 4 and unfortunately as such I do not have the time or energy to click each link to find out when it ends so that I can delete it when it is over. I delete the ended giveaways to keep my linky list looking nice and neat for my readers and giveaway seekers as a courtesy- again so they are not wasting their time by clicking or wading through ended giveaways. If I cannot see at a glance which ones have ended to delete them, then I have to, as a matter of time management and pregnancy survival, simply DELETE any entries that don't have an end date without looking at them. I'm not supermom. I can't do it all. I can't go and fix each entry that did not follow the proper format. :(

SO, if you don't want your link deleted as soon as you post it, please please pretty please make sure that in addition to the item you're giving away, you also have your blog name and the end date in the title! Thank you so much for helping me to survive Hyperemisis Gravidarium and the other more typical challenges of pregnancy by doing this! I really do appreciate it so much when I don't have to fix or delete the links! So a huge THANK YOU to everyone who does, and especially to those who always have and don't need this reminder! ♥

June Giveaways!

http://everypreciousjoy.blogspot.com/2010/06/june-giveaways.html 
First, here are some awesome giveaways I have found! Check back frequently as I will be removing the ones that are over and adding new giveaway links as I can! Please click on a date to see a few select giveaways ending on that date.
Giveaways By End Date:
June 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
July 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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Linky Time!
••Other blogs' Linky lists of giveaways:
- (Ongoing) Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest
-(Sunday) Take Time To Smell The Rose and A Giveaway Everyday
-(Tuesday) Two Of A Kind Working On A Full House, Real Heart Prints, Shawn Anne's World, and Cakeblast
-(Wednesday) Wee Finds
-(Thursday) Piece of ME and I Thode You So
_____________________
_____________________
Your turn! :) MckLinky up!
In the space that says Link Title, remember to include 3 things: YourBlogName - Giveaway Title [End date]. Does not have to be in that exact order but I do need all three in some order or another please. Link to the giveaway post specifically, not just to your blog in general.
PLEASE make sure you follow these easy instructions so it is easy for me to maintain and easy for people to view and use. Alot of people have not been doing this and it makes maintaining the list much harder and more time consuming for me. This is not an unreasonable request in the least: most giveaway linkups require this same format. You can use proper format and copy and paste it the same (proper) way to all the linkys you use. If this gets too hard for me to maintain due to people not doing this as I have asked, I will stop fixing them and have to instead delete any that I don't have the time to fix. So you see why it's not only courtesy but is also important to use the BlogName-GiveawayName[EndDate] format. (In any order. You can do End Date - Blog name - Giveaway or Giveaway - End date - Blog name or whatever as long as they are all in there.)
ALSO please note: I will immediately delete any entries that are innapropriate and further links from that blog may be deleted if I don't have time to screen them. A good way to look at it is if you wouldn't want your 13 year old daughter to have one or read the review in your words then DON'T LINK IT HERE. This is supposed to be a family friendly blog and when I've got people posting giveaways for ...um... 'romantic props' or something it is extremely embarrassing and upsetting to find that on my blog where my friends' innocent children could see it.
Your link WILL BE DELETED IF it links to a post that:
**Contains profanity, nudity, or inappropriate inuendo.
**Does not contain a blog giveaway.
**Endorses abortion, divorce, adultery, or things that are anti-God, anti-moral absolutes, anti-ten commandments, etc.
**Endorses a product/company that endorses abortion, divorce, adultery, or things that are anti-God, anti-moral absolutes, anti-Biblical commandments, etc.
**Is not appropriate for an innocent child to view.
This is what I believe in, and to allow links on my blog that go against that is something that I cannot do in good concience.


Entries will stay on the list until they expire (until the giveaway ends).
I will try to delete expired giveaways daily to keep this list fresh and easy to view.
I will create a new list each month. This MckLinky list will run June 1st-30th. Check back July 1st for a new list.