Sunday, May 31, 2009

Things you don't expect to say, vol. 2

"Don't stab Dad in the neck with a knife." It's a plastic pirate dagger (are you noticing a theme with knives and swords?)

"I don't kiss bottoms." (he had an owie on his bottom and was trying his hardest to pull his pants down and get me to kiss it.)

Why isn't my name there

So, at bedtime last night we were reading a Bible story as we always do. This time it was about Jesus choosing his 12 friends. It went through and listed them all. Superman was so excited because his name was there. Then Batman got all upset because his name wasn't there.

You can't win them all.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Austin Zoo

So, last week one part of our super busy week was going to the Austin Zoo. The kids had a blast! It's not my favorite zoo, but it was fun to go to.

Superman petting the goat

Batman trying to pet the rooster. It didn't work so well.

Princess and Batman looking at snakes.

Funny story on the peacock. They were wandering all over the zoo, and my kids were having fun trying to catch them. At one point they had gotten one cornered by the bear cage. The next thing I knew the peacock had jumped up onto the top of the fence and into the bear cage. Then it proceeds to march over to the bear and is in within about 15 feet of it. All of the adults are thinking, do we need to distract the kids from the soon to be bloody happenings, but no, the bird just wandered around for a while enjoying the kid free area.

So, all in all, we had a blast at the zoo. It's not your traditional zoo where you'll see all the exotic animals. This is a rescue zoo, so you'll see lots of big cats and monkeys because people keep thinking they make good pets. Then it grows up and they realize it's a wild animal..... The sad part is the cages are hard to see the animals through. But, my kids were happy they found a "baby jaguar."

Things You Don't Expect to Say to your kids

I'm sure you've all had that moment. Your kid is doing something really weird/bad/unusual/unexpected, and you say something you never expected to say to your child.

Here's my past ones:

Don't stab your brother with the knife. (It was a butter knife)
Don't cut your tongue with the scissors.
Don't put the scissors in your mouth. (In both cases it was the playdough scissors, but still)

Oh, and safety scissors will cut t-shirts when used by an experimenting young boy.

But, here's the one from today, said to my little princess.....

"Don't hit your brothers with your hands, use the sword."

Splash Park

I don't know if you have a local splash park, but you really should look for one. I think there's a couple in Austin, but this one is just down the street from us. It's officially called the "Lake Brushy Creek Park," but everyone just calls it the splash park.


There's a pole on the edge that you push and it starts the water. My kids had a blast running through the sprinklers. Except Princess who doesn't like water on her face, unless she pours it there.

Batman running for all he's worth.

Truthfully, this was one of those days I should have cancelled the playdate, but we'd been trying to arrange it for a couple months. So, I took my very tired kids out to play. So, after a while they didn't want to play in the water anymore so we went to the playground, and Princess was happy because she got to swing.

Don't be too surprised if you get to see lots of pictures at this park come summertime. It's a blast!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Zebras, giraffes, leopards, and a whole bunch more

This started out as just giraffes and zebras. Remember how last time I said to get a piece of cardboard or foam board, just something stiff and cover it in glue or foam sitckers? Well, here's what we did:

Grab some animal pictures. We started with zebras. Peel all the paper off your crayons.

Place your picture over the texture board and rub the side of the crayon over the board, and it makes really neat textures.


As you can see, it turned out really cool, but it's a bit over my kids skill level. They didn't enjoy it as much as I thought they would. They just wanted to color their pictures and have me write the name of each animal on their pictures. So, recognizing that I needed to change my plans we did. So, I let them have a blast coloring with markers and crayons, and when they were done we put it in their sticker books in alphabetical order. They loved doing that.

Oh well, not all ideas can work like you want them to. Okay, this is my last post for the day, I wasn't really planning to write all of these today, but I wanted to get these linked up to the other places.....

So, for more great "we Made it" activities, go to Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

The poor poor pepper


I was so excited I went outside to water our plants, and we actually had something edible growing (okay, the herbs are edible, but I mean a vegetable). I ran inside to show the kids the pepper.


They all came out so excited. Then they wanted to touch it. Of course he stumbled and pulled the poor thing off. Well, now instead of being a nature lesson it became a science lesson.


We took it inside and passed it around as we felt it, then I cut it in half and let them look inside and see the seeds. This was fascinating for all of 30 seconds. But, they had lots of fun looking inside the peper and figuring out what it felt like and what the inside was like.

Oh, and all of the rocks lining the garden were pulled from the garden in the process of getting it ready. I think there's one rock not from it.

Summer Picnic

picnic button

It's funny. I really want to participate in this picnic post, but I am just struggling coming up with something interesting to say. But, I'll tell you a little about my family.


These are my "angels." This is probably somewhat close to their personalities

Superman is on the left (thank you Mom for pointing out I had it backwards). He's most likely to notice if something isn't fair or done right. He's my perfectionist. He is currently obsessed with Diego, a fad I'm not thrilled with, but I admit most of my dislike of Diego has more to do with my pet pieves than any real reason.

Princess is in the middle. That's how she likes it. If she had her way she'd be in the middle of everything. She does not understand she is younger. In her mind she is 4 also, and can do anything her brothers do. She is also incredibly stubborn, and any time I try to get her to pose for a picture she sticks her tongue out. Every dress she's modeled for me has a picture of her tongue sticking out....

Batman is on the left, and he's the ring leader. While Princess is the chief instigator of trouble, he's most likely to be leading everyone in. He tells everyone what to do, and doesn't understand that he's not Mom or Dad. It can be very entertaining.


Me, I'm Ticia. The Pucktricks name you see on all my comments comes from the play Midsummer Night's Dream, one of the main characters is a fairy named Puck. He's a troublemaker, and I have a bit of a repuation for that. I used to teach elementary school and am now a much happier and healthier stay at home Mom. I have more hobbies than I have time in the day. That's why all the pictures you see on the blog are close-ups, that way you don't see the clutter so much. I love to sew, scrapbook, draw, write, embroider...... Ummm..... Pretty much every craft I've tried I've enjoyed, I just try not to do it all because then our poor house would be even messier.


My husband is Jeff. He's a computer programmer, and anyone who knows about computers laughs at my attempts to explain his job, so I'll leave it at that. He shares many of my interests. He loves to read, in particular sci-fi and fantasy books. We play World of Warcraft together on the computer, it's a great way to keep in touch with friends out of town. We play together online and talk while we play. From time to time he even goes swing dancing with me!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I just had to brag on this

A couple of weeks ago I go this doll to make.

So, first I made some for my kids. I figured if I'm going to mess it up, do so for my kids. I made Dora, Diego, and Batman. Batman was the hardest.


Here's the finished product. I've got the dolls all made for the orphanage, now I'm just making clothes for them.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Traveling with Tots

This is piggybacking on my post about Surviving a College Graduation with Preschoolers., but I wanted to expand on what I said for traveling.

Last year we took our then 3 year old boys and 18 month old daughter across the country to Columbia, South Carolina. Keep in mind we're in Austin, TX, so that's a long drive. It was about 3-4 days of driving for at least 4-6 hours a day.

Here's the things I did to prepare:

1. For the months ahead of time I scoured the toy clearance sections, Goodwill, dollar stores, and the Target dollar aisle. As I had money and as I saw a great deal I would buy little toys. I found Thomas trains clearanced for a dollar. I found lots of stickers. I got coloring books, special Batman markers. A box of dolls from around the world for $3.

Shop the after holiday sales. Most every major holiday has special toys for them. So you find the Easter Kelly doll a week after Easter for $2. She's cute and orginal. The box of cool Valentine sticker cards for 25 cents. I collected all of this into a giant box.

2. Haunt Half Price Books and garage sales and other places to get cheap books. My kids love books. This is a great way to distract them. If you have a supply of new books they will have the fun of discovering the new books. I love getting the clearance 50 cent books.

3. Have a special backpack appropriate to the size of your child. I found some great toddler backpacks that my kids can carry even when stuffed full of every toy they can think of. Make sure they know they're carrying it (if you have more than one kid, it just doesn't work to carry their backpack).

4. Get a large supply of snacks. I grabbed every single coupon I could find for individual sized snack bags (the 100 calorie bags are more expensive but the perfect size for little ones). and bought them all

Now, here's what to do while you're on the trip.

1. Know that you will be stopping often. So, work that into your schedule. Don't think that little bladders can go for 4 hours between stops. Recognize and work it in.

2. Stop at the Welcome Centers as you cross state lines. This is a great cheap way to get entertainment. My Mom did this with us, and we loved to gather brochures for all the places we wanted to go. Your kids will love the chance to stretch their legs, and some of the better ones will have drinks to get (Thank you Mississippi!). You can also usually get a free map of the state, which can be very helpful.

3. Have a cooler full of juice boxes. I froze a bunch of juice boxes and water bottles ahead of time so that when we left I didn't have to get ice as well. It keeps stuff cold longer, and forces you to not drink it all the first day.

That's my tips for traveling, this Works for me! See more ideas here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How to Survive a college graduation with preschoolers

1. This better be someone really important to you, because otherwise why go?

2. Have at least one other adult. I was lucky enough to get my good friend Tami to go with me.

3. Create a well stocked bag of surprises and goodies as well as a few familiar toys. I put in about 10 sheets of stickers, some blank sticker books, a coloring book with sitckers (from the Target dollar aisle), crayons and a doll for each of them. I also put in several snacks.

4. Choose to sit up in the cheap seats, so to speak. I put a row between us and anyone else. This became rather pointless when someone sat right in front of us, it was a rather large group of grandparents and couples my age. Everynow and then they would glance back at us and glare. My thoughts were, you chose to site next to us.

But, overall they did GREAT! I can't emphasize that enough. We had to walk about half a mile in the hot Texas sun, and I do mean very hot through downtown traffic. Then we were there for almost 2 hours and they were very quiet, and they only were loud when they cheered for the random people because other people were cheering.

So, here's what they did for that time.
Princess putting stickers on herself and her book.

Superman coloring in his book, at this point he's carefully gone through all his stickers and placed them all on top of each other.

Batman discovered that the back of his Batman stickers had a color of Batman to picture. This must be colored.

"Miss Tami, you don't have any stickers on you. This needs to change." Apparently Princess got very mad at Tami when she tried to take the stickers off.

This is Aunt Tara graduating. Can't you tell the blur at the bottom of the stage is her? That's the problem with Iphone cameras, they just don't react well to moving.

And here's the cake from the graduation party. This is her character from World of Warcraft (a computer game).


Okay, I'm going to finish reading through my blogs and comics this morning, and I think I'll actually play with my kids. What a funny concept.

Crazy crazy week, and I will post more hopefully soon

Just so you don't think I've disappeared, here's been our week:

Monday: zoo
Tuesday: birthday party for a friend
Wednesday: I don't even remember what we did on Wednesday, that's so sad
Thursday: lunch with Mimi and oil change and something else
Friday: Aunt Tara's graduation and graduation party
Saturday: travel to Dallas for niece's baptism on Sunday
Sunday: baptism, birthday party, travel back to Austin
Monday: swimming, and bought a new car since I totaled the last one two weeks ago

But, so it's not a completely pictureless post, and to get you wondering what else we did:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great quick kid birthday present

Yesterday we went to a birthday party, and as I was getting ready for it I saw the coolest idea for a present on Cool Mom Picks (where I love to go and see the cool ideas and enter contests). A Mom on Etsy had come up with the idea of playground Scavenger hunt cards.
She sold them for $16, but I figured out how to make a local version on my own. And let me tell you, from what I saw of her product I don't really think she was overcharging, but the party was that afternoon.

Here's my 15 items I came up with:
1. squirrel
2. bird
3. smooth rock
4. sharp rock
5. a bug
6. an acorn
7. dirt or sand
8. twig
9. a feather
10. a pretty weed (so they don't pick a flower)
11. a dry leaf
12. seeds
13. a clover
14. an oak leaf
15. a lost toy

First I went to Google images and looked for pictures of my items and copied them into a word file and printed it off on normal paper.

Next I got index cards and let the kids glue one picture on each card.

Then I wrote what you were supposed to find next to each picture. If your kids can write they can do this step too. The kids then colored the other side, because they wanted to.

While they did that I made a really quick and easy bag to gather items in (obviously you're not gathering the bugs or animals....).

Then we took them to a local teacher supply store, laminated them, cut them out again, and tied them up with a pretty ribbon. Once she understood what it was the birthday girl was excited, and her brother and sister were very excited.

I'm thinking of making some for each of the parks we go to all the time as an extra activity while we're there. I'm also thinking of making mini-scavenger hunts for our house of items we need to clean up all the time. This is what I did last night instead of falling asleep, I thought of all the fun ways I could rework this activity.

For More great tips go to We are THAT Family.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New dinner time rule

Let me start off first with we created a rule for interrupting. The kid who wants to talk says, "I want to say something," and then has to wait until we tell them it's their turn. Usually this meant the first kid would do it, and then everyone else would want to talk also.

Here's how the conversation would go:

adult conversation, kids looking bored.
Superman: I want to tell something.
Batman and Princess: I want to tell something too.
Me: Okay, Superman, what do you have to say?
Superman: Diego
Me: what did Diego do?
Superman: he rescued animals! (very excited about this)
Me: OKay, Batman.
Batman: Batman fought bad guys.
Princess: Alicia and Diego rescue cheetah!

So after a month or two of this we made a new rule: At dineer you can't talk about Batman, Diego, Dora, or anyone else pretend. We can only talk aobut friends, family, and Jesus or God. Here's how the new conversation goes.

Princess: I want to say something!
Me: Okay
Princess: Die- I mean Mommy!
Me: WHat'd Mommy do?
Princess: rescue cheetahs! (I apparently rescue a lot of cheetahs, because I will get told this about five times a meal, and that's the only animal I ever rescue).
Batman: Bat- Jesus!
Me: What did Jesus do?
Batman: Jesus fought bad guys and killed them! (He is entirely too happy and excited about this)

I am happy to say our conversations have gotten better. I still rescuse lots of animals according to Princess, but the boys now tell us things Jesus really did, like walking and talking with his friends. And they tell us things they did with their friends and other things like that.

It's getting better........ Honest

Oh, and apparently kid scissors can cut the webbing on the bunk beds. I don't know how.

Tot School: Zoo week 2

Tot School

Princess and I continued on talking about zoo animals. How they move, where they live what makes them different, oh and counting them.

We read a book from ReadingA-Z Animals Can Move and did the worksheets with it. She did not like this one, even though she knows how different animals moved she didn't like having to glue them in certain columns.

She sorted seeds again, which is still popular, and also played with the zoo animals. I think these have so much appeal because she can only play with these animals when she's doing school. Otherwise I keep it put away.

She found animals in the rice. I put animal stickers on cardstock and laminated them. I put the same stickers on an index card, so she would know when she'd found them all. This is very messy because the rice gets out and everywhere. I haven't figured out how to solve that problem. Other than that it was very popular.

Here she is matching the stickers to the index card stickers. Everyone loved this activity.

We counted monkeys. This is from Carisa's 5 Little Monkeys Tot Book. I'm actually using a couple of different parts from lots of her lap books these next few weeks.

And we made elephants, for more details click here.

We played the Brown Bear, Panda Bear game (I highly recommend it, lots of fun).

And for some Tot School in REAL life we went to the grocery store and looked at the lobsters and crabs.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby presents, or how to get ready for a baby shower really quickly

I have a friend who is pregnant right now and her shower is today. She needed a small present because she would be flying back to Australia and all of her presents have to fit in TWO suitcases. So, my usual present of lots of helpful items you don't register for was rather out.

Here's what I made instead.


Pictures: receiving blanket, burp cloths, teddy bear

The receiving blanket is just a square of flannel 40" x 40" hemmed. Perfect for summer time frame and light winters.

The burp cloths are cloth diapers with a 5 inch trim of flannel sewn to the bottom. I loved these when my kids were babies because my burp cloths were distinctive and everyone knew it was mine.

The teddy bear is a new addition for me, and I think will be added into my usual presents. I found the pattern off this blog. Which then directed me to the pattern (scroll all the way to the bottom to find it).

I love this pattern, it makes up in less than an hour, and Batman happily helped me stuff it. I am so addicted to it now and have ideas for making several others. Here's my thoughts on how to change it.

1. Make pointed ears for a cat.
2. Pointed ears and yarn in the seam to make a lion or ric rac would be cute too
3. Bigger ears for a mouse
4. Longer ears for a dog
5. I think with some experimentation you could make an elephant.

For more We Made It!'s go to Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Elephants or as Batman says "Funtes"

Or at least that's the nearest approximation I can spell of it.

I had originally planned to make lots and lots of animals this week, but then it seemed like I had every meeting and scheduled thing in the world going on, so we made elephants.

So, again I went to the Jan Brett mural site. There I printed off the elephants.

1. Let your kids color the elephants.

2. Have them tear up gray and black and white paper into little pieces. After I had this done I figured out to tear the paper in to smaller strips to begin with. Oh well, live and learn. Otherwise they lose patience and interest in tearing up the paper.

3. Next take your box of scraps and let your kids glue them onto the elephants. This makes the elephant look all wrinkled like they do in real life. Or, that's the theory.

4. Save any you have left over, because I think these would work wonderfully to make the penguins as well, that or monkeys. I think black and white monkeys would be fun. Also tearing practice is a great fine motor skill.

As a preview of an object to get ready for other animals, make a texture board. Here's what I did:

1. Get a piece of cardboard or foam core board or maybe the side of a cereal box. Cut them out to about half the size of a sheet of paper.

2. Find a bunch of foam stickers, something that is slightly raised. I used lots and lots of circles and a few numbers. This is to make the texture of the giraffe.

3. For the second one take a bottle of glue and make squiggly lines all up and down the board in the same direction. This will produce the stripes on the zebra.

You can also purchase texture boards, but I wanted to try these. Now rub the side of a crayon on a piece of paper while on top of the board, and it'll look really cool.

For more great Kid Friendly Activities go here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Fun and other such stuff

I have no pictures of this, but Princess, my Mom, and I had a blast going out for tea on Saturday. We spent the morning sitting there eating, and Princess spent the morning rolling around and spilling stuff. It was great fun!

I figured out a few things: she can split a pot of tea with me just fine, and she's much happier eating food off my plate than getting her own food.

Oh, and does anyone know, if food sits in your mouth for over an hour has it started to go bad? I ask this because we went to breakfast about 8:00, and we went to tea at 10:00 and Princess still had a mouthfull of bacon that I made her spit out in the dirt. It was really rather gross.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rescue Pack

As I've said before two of my kids are obsessed with Diego and somewhat with Dora (though she's never seen Dora, how does she know all the character names?). They've been bugging me to make them rescue packs like Diego and Dora has. So, I finally found all the stuff I needed and started working on them.

How is this a Works for Me Wednesday post you ask? Here's how this works for me, what's in the backpacks.

1. Small plastic box with bandaids and hand sanitizer
2. A small water spray bottle for rinsing dirt off hands.
3. kid binoculars
4. a small snack
5. various other stuff they claim they need.

The rules I have for the backpacks are:

1. You have to carry the backpack, so don't put too much in it.
2. It stays in the car, it does not go in the house to get lost. They have other backpacks that can serve that purpose.

Which leads to the other part of my post. It's very useful to have a small backpack you can tell your child to pack with toys and carry with them. We ended up in the car repair shop for 2 hours and it was much more manageable because they each packed their own backpacks with some toys and a book.

For more Works for me Wednesday posts go here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I can't even think of a title

Did you know that a roll of toilet paper and lots and lots of cut up ribbons do not flush?

I am entirely too familiar with how to use a plunger.

Preschool: Zoo and Children's Museum

I actually did some different activities with the boys than with the girl this week.

So, here's what all we did:

Well, we went to the Children's Museum. I love that place.

We also got lucky enough to do a whole bunch of fun crafts at the library, I posted lots about that yesterday. I did learn that I need to get some sort of lacing beads or soemthing for my kids. I have an idea brewing in my head for that.

So far it's all the same, but here's where it gets different. I'm working on reading and sight words with the boys. So we played some games. When had its freebie day I downloaded anything remotely related to zoo animals and its corresponding worksheets and scanned the lesson plans for it. So, I noticed on "What has these feet?" they talked about playing sight word games, and I realized my boys would love that.

So on index cards I wrote has, these, and what. I made two copies so they could play memory and later "Go Fish." But for this week we just went through those cards and it was wildly popular. We also matched up pictures of feet to animals. I don't have pictures of any of this because I didn't think of it at the time.

We made lions, which was another very popular activity. I'm tyring to think how to shrink the activity and make it into a lapbook, but we'll see.....

All in all, not that exciting of a week for activities, but I'm working through my ideas and trying to organize it better.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tot School: Zoo and Children's Museum

We had a blast this week, not a lot of sitting down school time, but some of the best school times aren't.......

We learned about zoo animals. Two out of my three kids love Diego, and my third likes animals, so this is a popular theme.

We sorted plastic zoo animals and played with them. I found a couple of different cheap sets for a dollar or two and combined them into a fairly good sized set.

I made them tin can stilts. It took all of 30 seconds for them to decide it was a drum, but it was fun to watch.

We went to the Children's Museum, which was a blast. See the full post herePhotobucket

I get to eat more plastic food there. They really love to cook at the "World Cafe."

I have no clue what she's doing, but isn't that a cute photo?

Going back to the zoo theme we made lions. This was really popular and we're going to do a lot more animals next week, where I'm theoretically home more. They want to do an animal a day, that probably won't happen, but it'll be fun to try and do.
For Princess' crafts I try to get a little of the cutting done ahead of time.

We went to the library for what I thought was going to be an ordinary storytime, only to find out they were having a special craft day. SCORE!

So, we made a spider web. We'll have to do this craft again, at which point I'll do a how to.

Made the neccessary coffe filter butterfly. Very popular.

And tried making a necklace for the first time ever!

And I started them on forced labor. I made them make lunch. Notice how it's not plastic food.

Then afterwards I made them mop the floor after they swept. I am such a mean mom....

Then they spilled lemonade on their freshly mopped floors and had to mop again. let me tell you how sad they weren't.

So, we had a blast at Tot School this week. For more great Tot School ideas go to Carissa at 1+1+1=1
Related Posts with Thumbnails