Archive | PreSchoolers

I’ll Give You a Cookie If You’ll Just Finish Your Cheetos!

By Kay on Tue, Aug 12, 2008


CheetosYes. You read that title right.  And yes.  That’s an actual statement that’s been used in my house recently.  sigh.

I’m constantly amazed at our children and the things that they choose NOT to eat.  Like finishing their cheetos so that they can be done with lunch and get dessert.  It’s not like I’m asking them to eat asparagus or brussel sprouts or even broccoli (they LIKE brocolli).  But when they choose to wage war at the dinner table, somehow they always wind up the victors.  Because either way it goes, the parentals wind up frustrated and losing their cool.  And then it’s just amazing that a 3 year old can have more persistence than a 35 year old.  So many questions I have for God…

So, if you’ve ever made the mistake of engaging in this war, too, then you’ll LOVE this recent post from one of my favorite bloggers, dooce.  This post made me laugh so hard that I was crying.  And when Kate came in to ask for Fritos an hour before dinner time, it just made me laugh even more.  So enjoy.  And be sure to tell me your favorite part, cuz I’m still laughing at the comment about the iPhone and other first world conversations…

Story Time at The Rienzi

By Kay on Wed, Jun 25, 2008


The Rienzi, MFAHWhen I was skimming through all the indoor Houston activites for kiddos on NinaLoca, I ran across some information that just really excited me. There is a mansion in the River Oaks area that has been donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, complete with all of the artwork and collectibles that the Masterson family had acquired over the years. It houses other collections from time to time and you can regularly tour it. But, during the summer time, they offer Rienzi Storytime Tours, every Wednesday in June and July at 10am, for kids ages 4-8, as well as other family activities.

Rienzi Storytime Tours

I emailed a friend of mine and we decided to take our kiddos today to check it out. We loved it! They gave us a tour of some of the larger rooms in the home and would stop in each one and have all the kiddos sit down on the floor. The docent then gave a brief piece of information about the room or something specific in the room and then read a children’s book that somehow fit. In the Dining Room, she read “Bear Wants More” about a bear that wakes up from hibernation and wants to eat more and more. In the Drawing Room, the docent read a book about 3 mice who painted (Get it? We were in the Drawing Room?! hee hee 🙂 ). In the Ball Room, she pointed out some of the Masterson’s collection of Chinese porcelain from the 1700’s and then read a book called “The Empty Pot” about a little boy who was trying to become the new emporer of China.

They have several different docents that rotate each week, and they each have different books that they like to bring and read to the kids. My 5yo absolutely loved getting to hear stories in such a new and exciting place. My 3yo actually paid attention and enjoyed kicking off his flip flops to listen. While my 21mo didn’t exactly listen to the stories, she absolutely loved pointing at all the paintings and statues throughout the house. Obviously the age range of 4-8 is best suited to the tour, but they don’t limit it to that age group.

After the tour was over and all the kiddos hugged our docent, “Ms. Mary”, we went out into the back yard to see the beautiful pool and grounds. We wound up playing hide-n-seek in the shrubs of the side yard until we were too hot and sticky to stay any longer.

All in all, a wonderful experience, and one that Kate is anxious to repeat! 🙂

Potty Trained!!!

By Kay on Mon, Jun 16, 2008


We finally did it!  The boy is potty trained!!!!!!

(Yes, I meant to put all those exclamation points after that sentence.  That’s how EXCITED I am that he’s finally wearing ‘big boy underwear’.  If you’ve ever potty trained a boy, you understand my elation. 🙂 )

After months of fighting, pleading, bribing, arguing, and disappointment, I finally found the right combination of things for Ethan to want to potty train.

We had tried bribing him with candy corn (the treat HE picked out at the store for just this purpose) and that wasn’t really working.  We tried putting him in pull-ups and telling him to let us know when he needed to go – yeah, right.  Then, one day, I got so tired of it, I just put ‘big boy underwear’ on him and set the timer.  Every 15-30 minutes the timer would go off and I would say, “Time to go sit on the potty!”  The first few times he fought me on it and didn’t want to do it.  It took a few times, too, before anything happened when we were ON the potty.  When it did, there was HUGE celebration, much clapping and cheering, and candy-giving.  

The few times that he had an ‘accident’, we went immediately in the bathroom and sat on the potty just to see if there was any pee left.  A friend of mine said that sometimes when they have an accident, they stop themselves before they’re completely empty.  This way you have a chance to praise them for going potty in the toilet, even in the midst of an ‘accident’.  (Thanks for that idea, Shannon!)

Time to Pee

We also checked out a book from the library called “Time to Pee”.  It’s a great little book about potty training that starts off “If you ever get that funny feeling… don’t PANIC!”  Cracks me up!  I’m not sure if it was the book, the underwear, some cosmic alignment of the planets, or the combination of things, but suddenly it clicked with him!  And now, I don’t even know most of the time when he’s going pee, because he just gets up from where he’s playing, goes into the bathroom, and goes potty!  Yippee!!!  🙂

Now, to work on wiping his own bottom.  That’s the part that no one talks about!  😛

How about you?  What were your tricks that helped get your little on to finally potty train?   


By Kay on Thu, Jun 5, 2008


If you’re a mom or dad living in the Houston area and you haven’t heard of NinaLoca.com yet, BOY are you going to L-O-V-E me for telling you about it!  🙂

NinaLoca is a great site full of ideas for summer fun for kiddos.  She’s got everything from jumping places, to local parks, to museums, to kids-eat-free restaurants.  I’ve already found 2-3 places that we just HAVE to go check out this summer because of her great information.  Most of the places she’s listed she has a brief description and her own experiences (if she’s been there), too, which is MOST helpful!

Here’s her description of her own site…

Welcome to Nina Loca! Summer Fun Listings for Houston, Cypress, & surrounding areas. We list everything from kids eat free, play places, VBS, camps, volunteering for kids and teens, stuff for Moms and Dads, pet resources and more! We are Houston locals and we know the best places to visit with family and kids. Texas is cool!

So go check it out and then tell me where YOU just HAVE to go this summer because of this list!! 🙂

Earth Day: Kid-Friendly Ideas, Follow-Up

By Kay on Mon, Jun 2, 2008

1 Comment

I was just writing an article on using fresh herbs and realized that I had forgotten to give you all a follow-up on our herb-planting Earth-Day fun.  And we took a LOT of pics, too!!  Shawn was great and kept the camera handy as we planted herbs and then made our Rice Krispy Treat Globes.

Cans for Fresh Herbs

I started getting everything set up during nap time so that we would be ready to go when the kiddos got up.  Kate helped me choose some cans from our recycling bin, take off the labels, and wash them out. Then I smoothed out the tops to make sure there were no ragged edges to catch little fingers on and poked holes for drainage in the bottoms by tapping a screwdriver into the can using a hammer.  Then I painted a generous coat of gesso on each of the cans to give them a white background to start with that the acrylic paints would stick to.  I even painted a little on the inside of the top of each can since the dirt probably wouldn’t reach all the way to the top rim.  We also made labels on popsicle sticks for each of the herbs.  Kate enjoyed using her new writing skills to make these… 🙂Prepped Cans

Kate and Ethan painting cans

By then, the little ones had woken up and were ready to paint.  I gave each kiddo a ‘palette’ of all the different colors on the inside of a cut up recycled cereal box.  Kate was very particular and deliberate about painting pretty flowers and such.  Ethan immediately started swirling all of the colors on his palette together to make a lovely brown color… eww.  He then commenced to spreading the brown color over as much of the can as possible in very specific horizontal strokes.  Talk about contrasting Kate ‘the artist’ with Ethan ‘the engineer’.  You could almost hear his internal conversation where he was determining the quickest and most efficient way to cover the can with color so he could move on to the next step…  😛  Karis was just happy to dip her fingers paint brush in every color of the rainbow and splash it on the can.

Karis planting herbs

Planted HerbsNext, it was time for the herbs.  First we put some rocks at the bottom of each of the cans to help with drainage, and then put in about an inch or two of potting soil.  I had six different plants (2 basil, mint, oregano, rosemary, and parsley), so we each then took a plant to put into a can and then fill in around it with more potting soil.  (Did I mention that this was a very ‘dirt’y craft???  hee hee)  Notice the dirt on Karis’ face which blended in quite nicely with the purple paint she had been trying to taste earlier.  Geesh…  But, didn’t our project turn out pretty??  And the kids had a blast making them, too.  (Oh, and I sprayed the cans and labels with a matte finish acrylic sealer later that night after they went bed to make sure it would all stay perty.)

Rice Krispy Treat GlobesThen, it was dinner-time, so we made our Rice Krispy Treat Globes.  Yeah.  I’m weird like that.  The hardest part was mixing in the food coloring evenly.  By the time you’re done stirring one in, the other half of the hot mixture is cooling which makes it even more difficult to stir.  But, somehow we wound up with half blue and half green and then had the kiddos smear some butter on their hands, grab a little handful of each color and smush them together into a ball.  Great sticky and sweet fun.

Earth Day Creations

We had a great evening playing together as a family and talking about the Earth.  The kids still love to water their herbs that sit on our windowsill and especially enjoyed the Rice Krispy Treat Globes, too.

Holy cow!! Great use of visuals to help explain the proposed budget cuts and their actual impact on the overall budget.

You’ll never fold tshirts the same way again!

If you ever wanted to hear someone put a mommy’s day into a song, try this one! (I guarantee you’ll laugh your butt off.)

A little on the political side, but interesting nonetheless…

Children’s Books We’ve Read