Fish Week at Preschool!

This was such a fun theme for us! Last year I did an “Ocean” week, so I already had a lot that I could pull from to do our fish week.

We started out each day with a dance to get all the wiggles out. I found this awesome YouTube channel that I’m hooked on! They have great songs and dances for just about anything!

For our craft time, I busted out the dreaded paint (it doesn’t matter how cautious you are…if you paint with a 2-year-old everything must be washed or hosed down…thus, we painted outside). I cut out some Dollar Store sponges into the shapes of fish for them to use on their paintings. I kind of wish I had used a canvas. It actually turned out kind of cool!

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Our lunches consisted mostly of tuna sandwiches and fish sticks, of course. The girls did help me make a very easy tarter sauce for the fish sticks which consisted of:

  • 1 Cup Mayonaise
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1-2 baby gherkin pickles, chopped (or sweet relish)

They got to mix all the ingredients together, which turned into them eating mayonnaise and very little else for lunch. But hey, what are childhood memories unless they’re sticky, messy, and full of fat?

Everyday we also sang the classic fish-biting song. Why? Because it’s fun to scare children while teaching them to count to 10.

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But what is fish week without getting actual fish? We recently put a small pond in our backyard, and I finally got the pH adjusted enough for some fish to survive. And did you know that goldfish cost a whopping 29 cents? So I splurged and got 4. Super-simple and cheap way to entertain the kiddos!

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But the highlight of the week was getting to visit the Virginia Aquarium! I’m pretty sure I was more excited than the kids! Before we left I made a very simple (very simple) aquarium scavenger hunt for my eldest, and was pleasantly surprised that she ended up doing it all on her own!

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The aquarium certainly did not disappoint! It was full of sharks, turtles, a sting ray petting area, hermit crabs, crocodiles, snakes, crabs, frogs, seals, and river otters. And they had a kids area for the littlest ones to play forest ranger! Between buildings was a beautiful nature trail complete with the most extensive zip course I’ve ever seen!

We ended each day with a book (or 2 or 3) about fish. We’re pretty big Rainbow Fish fans, obviously, though I think my favorite was Whale Shines. Below are 9 book ideas for your own Fish Week:

fish books

I also found this great YouTube channel that helped me to explain a little better what gills are and how fish breath underwater.

For even more fish ideas, visit my Pinterest board:

Do you have any fun fish ideas? Leave them in the comments below!

Have a great week everyone!

 

Rainy Days, Birthday Interviews, and Chickens

Being that I am chronically behind on things, I’m just now getting around to my 4-year-old’s birthday interview. Her birthday was in February. Don’t judge. It’s rude.
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The Toddler’s 2-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: Almond
How old are you? 3! (for the record, she’s 2)
Favorite Color: Mommy
Favorite Toy: Phone
Favorite Fruit: Raaawwwberries (Strawberries)
Favorite TV Show: Mim-Mim (Actually it’s either Daniel Tiger or Dora)
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Snack
Favorite Outfit: Sophia
Favorite Game: Sophia
Favorite Snack: Juit! (fruit)
Favorite Animal: Horsies
Favorite Song: Twinkle Tinkle
Favorite Book: Dance McDuffin Book(Doc McStuffins)
Best Friend: Daniel Tiger
Favorite Cereal: Mommy!
Favorite thing to do outside: Mommy Mommy Mommy
Favorite Drink: Hmmm…Water
Favorite Holiday: Hi
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: I wanna sleep with Mommy
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Cereal
What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna watch Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)
Favorite season of the year: Nothin
Favorite movie: Nothin
(I think by this point the 2 year old was done with questions)
The Preschooler’s 4-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: LaVera
How old are you? 4
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: The Kitchen
Favorite Fruit: Apple
Favorite TV Show: Octonauts
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Macaroni and Cheese
Favorite Outfit: Dresses
Favorite Game: Hide and Seek
Favorite Snack: Goldfish
Favorite Animal: Horses
Favorite Song: Twinkle
Favorite Book: Sophia
Best Friend: Brooklyn
Favorite Cereal: the circle one
Favorite thing to do outside: ball
Favorite Drink: juice
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: a book
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a Princess
Favorite season of the year: Winter
Favorite movie: Brave
Here in Virginia it’s been raining lately. Like…a lot! My poor garden is currently drowning, and I’m harvesting just as fast as I can eat my romaine and spinach before the slugs set it. I think at this point even they are drowning.
A few weeks ago, before the rain set in, I had a few days of crazy nesting energy. Our back yard has a creek in it, that looks much more like a ditch. It always has a flow of water in it, but by and large the water looked like a a black abyss that I certainly didn’t want my children playing in or around. At some point in the history of this almost 80-year-old home, someone decided to dump a large amount of trash around said creek. I have spent months slowly picking up piles and piles, and there’s still much to be cleaned up. But in those few days, I decided to do some digging. So I dug and dug and dug and dug out the ditch in order to help it flow a little better. I tried clearing some of the trash that was obstructing it (some of the trash includes rather large concrete slabs, which apparently pregnant women shouldn’t be trying to lift). A remarkable thing happened almost instantly after digging up part of the stream…the upstream cleaned itself the very next rainfall! I didn’t even have to dig! Just by clearing up some of the obstructions downstream, the rest of the stream flowed faster and easier. Sediment from upstream piled into the deep dark holes that I was previously very cautious about, and suddenly, apart from the remaining trash that still needs to be removed downstream, my ugly ditch turned overnight into a rather beautiful creek! I love mother nature! Giver her a little nurture and she’ll always do her part!
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Speaking of other things mother nature, we recently took a cast iron tub (one of the pieces of trash on our property) and created a pond out of it. I’ve been fiddling with the pH of the water for weeks now, trying to get it right before adding fish. I finally got it right enough to get some goldfish! Here’s the irony…I got them on Thursday, and on Friday I go to check on them and discover this:
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Overnight…the day after I got the fish, hundreds and hundred of tadpoles hatched. It’s ironic since I’m pretty sure the goldfish are currently snacking on them. If not, they’re starving, because they haven’t been to the surface for food since I got them. Regardless of the bad timing, I’m so excited to watch this tiny environment unfold. It’s so cool! And it’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn all about nature.DSC_0700
And in chicken news, we still have 11! I’m rethinking letting them free-range, though. I don’t mind the poop nearly as much as I do them eating my blueberry bushes. I told them that. They weren’t too happy about it. And we all know who rules to the roost in this family.
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Have a great Sunday!

Why we never, ever, ever eat out as a family

It amazes me that people with children eat out. I see it all the time, at restaurants and on Facebook, but it just amazes me. It really does. Because every single time we have ever eaten out with kids, it has usually resulted in a stress-filled emotionally-draining evening.
But today’s the hubby’s birthday, so this weekend we dared it. We chose a very loud restaurant with lots of TVs….anything to distract our children. We arrived at 4:30p so that we were sure to beat the crowd, and for some reason we still had to wait 25 minutes. But it was Saturday night, so I guess that should be expected.
We were finally seated and totally out of snacks (the snacks Grans brought, because I have never been that “on-top-of-it-mommy”). Grans also brought crayons, thank goodness, because I just assumed at this point that ever restaurant would naturally have them. I was wrong. I brought the cell phone with access to Caillou on YouTube, so you know, kudos for me I guess.
Now I was a waitress for an entire month back in my teen years, and let me tell you I was the worst waitress ever! EVER! I actually had a guy ask my manager for his tip back! Yup. That bad. So I have a deep appreciation for people in the service industry. Any type of service industry, but especially waiting tables, since people tend to get boiling mad about food more than anything else. It’s like they turn into caged animals if their food is not delivered in a reasonable time. Or worse….

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But for whatever reason, our very kind waitress was overwhelmed and just couldn’t help us on anything. So after 40 minutes we finally went to get our own drinks, as our children were about to turn into those caged animals mentioned above. The bartender told the manager, and soon a different waitress was bringing us our long-awaited drinks…blueberry lemonades for the girls.
It wasn’t long after that that the kind manager came over to apologize profusely and present us with these wonderful fried cheese things and assured us a nice discount on the meal. Score!
That’s when things really went south. My children chugged the very sugary blueberry-lemonade (a treat from their usual order of water) and then started on those fried cheese things. Then the toddler started to choke. At first it was fine (we’re used to a little choking every now and then), then she let out an Elf-sized burp that had every head in the restaurant turn our way.
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We were dying laughing, until of course the blueberry-lemonade came back up all over the table. And the booth. And the floor. And of course our poor waitress had not brought over a single paper towel.
I scooped her up and ran to the bathroom, which of course was out of paper towels.
Now, remember how I’m not that “on-top-of-it-mommy”? Well, I’m not. I had not a single change of anything. No wipes. No towels. No diaper bag. Nothing. So I did my best to give my toddler a quick bath in the sink and blow dry her as best as possible. She still reeked. But, being that it was the hubby’s birthday and we had now been there an hour and a half, I was willing to sit next to the stinky toddler and try to have some sort of decent birthday celebration. Thank goodness he was done. When we emerged from the restroom (after about a 1/2 dozen women fled from there in sheer terror), he had already asked that they just box up our meal to go. I went straight for the van and waited another 20 minutes for the food to come out. The waitress and manager were super-nice about the whole thing and comped the meal. We then went to Grans’ house where the toddler went straight into the bath. It was then that we opened up our to-go order to realize that my meal was missing, which was fine by that point because I had quite a bit of puke on me still and wasn’t really feeling too hungry.
We managed to eat our dinner and laughed about the whole experience, knowing that we must be the only ones in the world that this happens to. Of course our night wasn’t over yet, because we still had 1 child who had not thrown up yet. But don’t worry, because after cake and ice cream it was her turn to cover the bathroom with regurgitated blueberry-lemonade.
And that, my friends, is how you celebrate your birthday once you become a parent.

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Happy Birthday Hubby!!