Friday, May 31, 2013

My new job

I have been a classroom teacher for 11 years. I have taught kindergarten, first, third, and fourth grades. I love teaching, and I love being a teacher. But today is my last day as a classroom teacher. 

Tomorrow I start my new job... stay at home mom! This is not just a summer vacation job, as I will not go back to school in the fall. This is what I plan to do for the next few years. I am excited to become (or stay) a teacher of one... Little Guy. He will only be little like this once, and I feel so blessed that we have the ability for me to do this.

Stay at home mom. I think I like my new job title!
Mommy and Little Guy on our last day of school!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beginning our garden

In between our last two trips, we began our garden.  So far, we have planted a row of pea seeds outside in our garden area, started sunflower seeds to be transplanted outside, and planted a pot of flower seeds. 

We started with the pea seeds.  I spent naptime turning the soil to try to have things ready.  Little Guy came out after his nap and helped to put in the seeds and water them in.

Carefully put in the seeds.

Water is so good for our seeds!

Then we planted some flower seeds.  Little Guy was helpful in filling the pot with soil, sprinkling in some seeds, and then watering.

All done!

The next day we planted our sunflower seeds.  I chose mammoth sunflowers, so these should be fun to watch grow this summer!  These will eventually be transplanted by the fence in our backyard.  I made boxes from newspaper to use to hold the seed starts.  This way, when we are ready to transplant, we can just plant the whole thing.  Little Guy helped to fill each box with soil, push in a seed, and then to water.  He is such a good helper!

Hmmmm, this feels different.
Make room for more soil!
Put one seed in the middle of each box.
Water to help them grow!

Fast forward to after our last trip, about 5 days later.  The flower seeds in our red pot had sprouted!  Little Guy loves to look at them and tries to count them.  When he wants to look at them, he points and says "Grow!"  He really likes to water them, too.  I love watching how excited he gets over these plants!

Wow!  Look at the plants! Grow!

What have you and your toddler planted?

Monday, May 27, 2013

4 Easy Ingredients for Airplane Snack Mix

One way for Little Guy to help us get ready for our first trip was to make "Airplane Snack Mix."  Really, there is nothing overly special about this snack mix, except that we made it just for our trip.  Little Guy loves to help stir things in the kitchen, so this was a fun activity for him.

The ingredients for our snack mix were:
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Goldfish (the colorful ones, to make eating more fun!)
  • pretzel sticks
  • chocolate chips

 I measured poured some of each into a measuring cup for Little Guy to pour into the big bowl and stir. 

 When he was all done stirring, he used the measuring cup to pour some into 3 bags: 1 for Mommy, 1 for Daddy, and 1 for Little Guy.

When we ate our Airplane Snack Mix, Little Guy didn't remember there were chocolate chips in it, as they had all fallen to the bottom.  Once he discovered them, he started to dig through the snack mix to find them!

What snack mixes have you made lately?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

5 Tips for Flying with a Toddler

In the last month, we have gone on 3 trips, for a total of 12 flights!  Its been a busy month, and all this travel makes me feel like (somewhat) an expert on flying with a toddler.  Here are some tips!

Take along diaper change kits. 

Each kit includes:
  • a small cloth bag to hold all these items (I used some leftover 9x9 squares, sewing 2 together and putting a hem at the top.)
  • a diaper (Although we use cloth diapers at home, we use disposables when we travel.)
  • a disposable changing pad
  • a plastic baggie with about 5 wipes
  • a diaper disposal bag

I  took along 5 kits every time we flew.  It made changing Little Guy easier, as I only had to bring one of these little bags with me to the restroom, instead of lugging my backpack and having to dig everything out.  Daddy also liked it, as it made it easy for him to change Little Guy.  Items that we did not use or could reuse were simply put back into the cloth bag.  These were also helpful once we reached our destination, as when we needed to head out we just grabbed a few kits with our other stuff.

Bring baby food pouches for take-off and descent.
Little Guy enjoys sucking on these pouches of food.  I had been told to take lollipops for him to suck, but since we don't do candy with him (yet), he had no idea what to do with the lollipop.  (We tried on our first flight.  We ended up with a pink mess down the front of his shirt, as he wouldn't swallow.  Yuck!)  An added benefit of these is that it helped Little Guy to get some fruits and vegetables on our travel days, as these items were somewhat hard to find airports.

Window clings!  

I found some window clings at the dollar store.  They are easy to take with you as they are flat.  When we were fortunate enough to have a window seat (since Little Guy was under 2 he still flew for free as a lap child), they were a great source of entertainment.

Don't be afraid to ask.
Speaking of a lap child, on a least one flight each way, we were able to get Little Guy a seat next to us by asking the gate agent if there were available seats.  We discovered that most airlines have an agent at the gate about an hour before take-off, so be sure to be ready to ask!  It was nice for the flights when it worked out!

Take a variety of toys, books, etc.

Little Guy was interested in many things.  He enjoyed looking out the window, watching the people get on and off the plane, and fidgeting (he is only 23 months, after all!).  When we were in flight, we had many things for him.  Some things were:
  • Quiet Book
  • window clings
  • books
  • cardboard lacing shapes with shoelaces
  • cloth finger puppets
  • plastic finger puppets that help their shapes
  • zippered pouches
  • crayons, small notebooks, and stickers
  • magazines (even SkyMall turned out to be quite entertaining)
If you have multiple flights, you can put some things in your carry-on suitcase, and change them out at the airport.  That helps to have some new and novel things for each flight.

What tips do you have for flying with a toddler?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Family Vacation...Hawaii!

Have you missed me?  We have been busy traveling the last few weeks.  In fact, we have taken 3 trips over the last month!  I'll try to catch you up on our journeys!

Our most exciting trip was a family vacation. We spent 7 days on the Hawaiian isle of Kauai!  It was a glorious family vacation!  Here are a few photos from this trip.

Mommy and Little Guy, stopping for a picture and ready for the beach!
We spent time everyday at the beach.  Little Guy loved the sand, water, and probably having mommy and daddy close by!

Look at the corral I found!

Digging holes was lots of fun.

Such a hard worker, even on vacation!
He really enjoyed taking his pail to the ocean, filling it with water, and bringing it back to dump in a hole in the sand.

He looks so tiny compared to the ocean!

We took an airplane tour of the island.  Ready for take-off!
Since part of Kauai is inaccessible by car, we took an airplane tour of the island.  It was beautiful!

We also went up the river on a flat-bottomed boat.

Mommy and Little Guy getting water to dump in a hole.

More digging!  The sand was so fun!

Look how cute!

Mommy matches, too!

Waiting for the luau to start, Little Guy practiced spinning these balls.

At the luau
We spent one evening at a luau.  Little Guy was entranced by the show.  He watched everyone so closely, and really enjoyed the fire dance!

More time at the beach!

Our last morning there, we walked to the beach to throw in our lei's.

Aloha, Hawaii!
It seemed the week went by all too quickly.  We had a wonderful time as a family!  Thanks to Little Guy, Daddy and I even spent a lot of time relaxing and reading during nap time and after Little Guy went to bed.