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Monday, March 31, 2008

O........Is for Oobleck!

Ooooooowhat? Oobleck! YES....Oobleck. The ever awesome Carolyn reminded me the other day of this super fun substance. Thanks girl! I had not only been searching for the perfect post for the Letter O (yes, I am horribly behind in my ALPHABET SERIES), but I had also been in serious need of a fresh idea for Sugar Bear. You see.....last week was Spring Break for us. I was off work.....Sugar Bear wasn't attending Day Care or preschool.....and we got a bit stir crazy. I am used to adult interaction, and she is TOTALLY used to playing with her friends four days a week. The fact that we were home sick for the two weeks prior to Spring Break only added to the feeling of complete and total cabin fever.

Anyhow, I had become familiar with this fabulous substance back in my college days while doing my practicum for my Early Childhood Education major. Somehow, over the years(oh my has it really been 12 years?) I had forgotten. Like I have said before....I have forgotten way more than I'll ever remember. tee hee

The other day, Sugar Bear and I set out to making some Oobleck. All we needed was 2 parts corn starch, and one part water. We added a few drops of food coloring for interest. Sugar Bear chose of her favorite colors.

Surprisingly, Sugar Bear showed some reluctance to get her hands into the gooey mess. As you may know, I have worked hard to encourage Sugar's appreciation of all things. I am constantly giving her opportunities to try new things, and build her confidence. She rarely shys away from anything. I was really caught off guard by her recent dislike of getting things on her hands.

After stirring in the blue dye, she wanted to be done. She hadn't even experienced the MAGIC of Oobleck yet, so I put the camera down for awhile, and jumped in. I played and played while she observed. I worked hard to describe my play, and pique her interest. Within 5 minutes she was hooked, and couldn't resist getting in on the game.

After a quick rinse of my hands, I was able to photograph her process of discovery. The great thing about Oobleck is the fact that when you push hard and quickly on the surface of it, it will be a firm substance, but as soon as your hand stops moving it quickly turns to a liquid. It is really, really fascinating. It is emparative to not that Oobleck must be kept in a container while playing with it. It is not in anyway like play doh.

In the end, Sugar's favorite activity was grabbing a bunch of it, then letting it ooze all over her other hand.....or better hand. It has a cool temperature and feels funny on the back of your hand.

Her only complaint was the smell. I am not sure if my corn starch happened to be stale, or if large quantities just has a strong odor, but it smelled awful. I kept wondering if the consistency would be altered if I added some peppermint extract. I may have to try it next time.

All in all, it was a great little project. I have kept it in a Tupperware bowl, and we have just added a bit of water a few times to re-play with it again. I have a hard time wasting so much cornstarch on a one time activity. Yes....I am cheap like that.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Does Disney Have Against Mothers Anyhow?

Last November I purchase the Disney movie, Bambi, for Sugar Bear. I had reservations about whether she would like it, but being that one of my favorite quotes comes from that movie, I was eager to add it to our collection. I was fairly certain that the more difficult pieces of subject matter in the film would go over her least for the first few viewings. Even though my Hubby is a hunter, I have not yet figured out the best waY to explain that process to my animal lover of a Sugar Bear.

I was correct, in my thinking, and despite the rather depressing plot, Sugar Bear fell in love with the movie. She would have chose to watch it 24/7 if I had let her. I proceeded to busy myself during the parts that invariably make me cry. Sometimes, Sugar Bear would wonder where Bambi's mama went, and I would just simply echo what his father toLD him, "She can't be with you anymore.", and it seemed to satisfy her.

When Christmas arrived, and my sister-in-law gave Sugar Bear a lovely Bambi story book. This present was in deed a hit. In fact, I became subjected to reading it EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT before bed. While reading, and holding my child so close, I could not hide from the emotion of the story. EACH.AND.EVERY.TIME I had to say the words, "your Mother can't be with you anymore..." my heart broke, my throat closed up, my eyes filled with tears, and I was barely able to squeak out the words. EACH.AND.EVERY.TIME my dear little Sugar Bear would look up at me, and say, "Are you okay mama?", and I would pull her into my body a little tighter, and mumble something to assure her that I was going to be fine.

Sometime during my 13th night in a row of emotional torture, I began to wonder.....WHAT ON EARTH DOES DISNEY HAVE AGAIN MOTHERS ANYHOW? Later that night, I lay awake mentally clicking off Disney movie after Disney movie that in some way harmed a mother, or completely disregarded her presence. Now I know many of these stories were written before Disney decided to make them into movies, but SERIOUSLY....there is a disturbing pattern here.

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs- Snow's mother dies...and her step mother is so jealous of her, she sets about having her killed.

Cinderella- Cinder's mother dies, and her father marries a horrible woman who defines the term "evil step mom."

Dumbo- The mother gets jailed for trying to protect her little one.

The Jungle Book- Mowgli appears to have been abandoned by his mother.

The Fox and the Hound- The mother fox is killed by a hunter in the first 5 minutes of the movie.

The Little Mermaid- Where is Ariel's mother, anyhow?

Beauty and The Beast- mother.

Aladdin- Ummmmm.....does Jasmine have a mother?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame- The mother is killed.

Tarzan- Both Parents are killed by a leopard.

Lilo and Stitch- parents.

Brother Bear- OH don't get me started on Brother Bear.....that dang movie rips my heart out throws it on the floor and stomps on it with big steel toed boots. the beginning, the baby bears mother is killed.

Chicken Little- Mom is AWAL.

Finding Nemo- Movie opens....mother is killed. NICE!

Monster's Inc.- Is it just me....or shouldn't Boo's mom be worried?

Ratatouille- AGAIN....the mouse has a dad.....but where is the mother?

The list goes really has to make you wonder. What is the message Disney is trying to send here. Do they devalue motherhood so much, that they figure their main characters have no need for a mom? Are they still so old fashioned that they still focus on the father being the head of the household, so when cutting characters to save time and money, they get rid of the mother? WHAT.IS.THE.DEAL.HERE!!!

I have a theory....I really do. Wanna hear it? Are you sure? twisted my arm. This is how I see it. Disney really places the highest value on the symbol of motherhood, and the strong maternal bond. They know that the relationship between mother and child is something most people can relate to. By taking the main character's mother away, they are secretly forcing us to relate strongly to them, and feel more connected to the character. We can all imagine how horrible it is to be without a mother, so when a main character is without mother....we feel sorry for them, and become emotionally connected to them. We root for them, and want the best for them. I mean....who doesn't feel sorry for the underdog....and what is more sad, then a motherless child?

Am I on to something here, or is it all coincidence that like 90% of all Disney movies are without mother? No matter the reason, I find it terribly sad. Children viewing these films are not getting the opportunity to see strong maternal bonding. Several times while watching these films, Sugar Bear has said to me, "Where is Ariel's mama?" or "what happened to fox's mama?" It is confusing so for her.

Now don't get me wrong. I am ALL about diversity. I am certainly NOT saying that all movies should feature an intact Nuclear family, but why is it ALWAYS the mom? I sit here trying to think of at least one animated Disney flick where the father has died, and the mom is raising the child? I'm stumped.....Can you think of one? See what I mean? Shouldn't it be equal opportunity? Shouldn't children see single mother households as well? Shouldn't they?

I'm just sayin'.....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photo Hunters~ High

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These photos were taken with my old Point and Shoot, back in 2006 while visiting a wonderful waterfall. I have actually been back there since then, but with a toddler, I have a hard time taking photos and keeping her safe at the same time. In fact, the last time we went there, we hiked to the top of those falls. It was impossible to take any photos, as I had a death grip on my Sugar Bear's hand. It was so HIGH, and although I have no real fear of heights,I had overwhelming fears of her falling.

I have been intrigued with waterfalls for as long as I can remember, and especially love the ones that are so big, and have a nice long fall. So beautiful.

Thank you for coming by my blog this week. I really appreciate it. I am looking forward to visiting as many blogs as time allows to seeing your HIGH photos. Happy Weekend to all!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hopeless....or Hopeful?

You tell me?

I have over 12 great post ideas swimming around in my head, and because I have Momnesia, I have each of them started in draft form. Even though I have a great idea one minute....I am certainly able to lose it the next. Forgetful I am. There is no question about that.

If you know me in real life, you may giggle at my next might actually fall off your chair laughing your hiney off, but stick with me, I'll try to explain. I AM A PERFECTIONIST! Yes I know....calm isn't THAT funny....really. STOP! I am .....I really am a perfectionist. You see, in nearly all areas of my life, I have great desire to excel. I have grand ideas of how things should be done. I have certain methods I feel need to be followed to get these things done. I want all things to be perfect. HOWEVER, I don't have time to actually do these things in the way I want them done, so..........they never get done.

Yes! You read it right.....they never get done. I sit in piles of clutter, next to books never started, craft projects waiting to be tackled, and apparently blog posts just dying to be written. These things sit there....and I do nothing. Why......why don't these things get done....because I don't have the time to do them "right", so they don't get done at all. UGH....this is driving me nuts. Unless I have the proper time to devote to something....I just don't do it at all.

I know I am not alone in this affliction. It can be infuriating. I have wanted to remodel areas of my house, but I have yet to do a single thing, as the task overwhelms me with what needs to be done. I can't just do it by bits and pieces because that wouldn't be "right". So not one room has been 11 years. sigh......what is wrong with me?

I drive my friends CRAZY with my scrap booking perfectionism. I MUST do it in an organized fashion that will ensure that nothing gets out of order or forgotten. To be completely and totally prepared to scrapbook, it takes hours of organization of photos, supplies, searching for sayings and quotes, and so on. Because of THIS....I rarely am prepared to actually scrapbook with my friends, because I haven't had the time to do the prep work. So....nothing gets done.

I could bore you will all the PROOF of my illness, but I am still sick with a sinus infection....and my mind is in a fog. I had high hopes of getting some of my pending blog posts written this week, since I am off work, but this sinus infection makes me feel like my head is swimming. I have trouble gathering my thoughts. These posts, I have planned, are extremely important posts. They are some pretty intense topics that are near and dear to my will sit there, until I have the time to really devote to them. Sometimes looking at the ever increasing list of post ideas makes me feel so hopeful.....and other tonight....I feel hopeless. Will I ever get to these important posts, or will my crazy need to make them perfect hold me back from ever writing them at all? They aren't helping anyone sitting in my draft box, now are they? Even if I posted something half as perfect as I imagined, it might bless someones heart, spark some interest, or move them to action.

Sigh......hopeful or hopeless? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday~To Dye For

For more Wordless Wednesday go HERE and HERE!

*** oh and don't forget I'm on Top Momma! CLICK HERE!!!!! I know.....I are sick of clicking it, but you love me right? At least a little bit? it....once or twice, k?***

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When In A Pinch......

At thirty-eight months, Sugar Bear is to be considered quite a bit on the LATE side of potty training. The truth of the matter is.....we've been working on this since last summer. At the time, she was showing most, if not all, of the classic signs of being ready. We had some success, but nothing too encouraging. I am a firm believer in not pushing a child towards potty training, but at the time, I felt I was on a time constraint. Sugar Bear was supposed to be potty trained to begin at her new daycare/pre-school, when I had to return to work in late August. She just wasn't progressing, and it felt as if I was stressing her out about it. After a bit of discussion with her new care provider, Sugar was off to school in her pull-ups. I had hoped to skip pull-ups all together, but.....I had to do what was easiest for us all.

So here we were 6 months later, and Sugar Bear had ZERO interest in potty training. She would flatly REFUSE to even try to sit on the potty. Believe me.....we had all the tools:
potty chair
toilet ring
4 different potty books (which she loved to read)
Lots of fun underwear (which she picked out)
2 videos (she loves Potty time Elmo)
the Potty Time Elmo Doll

and we used all sorts of techniques. We casually talked about pottying in the toilet every day. I let her "help" me use the potty. She studied her friends at daycare using the potty. We made a chart.....and on it went. She just flatly refused to even sit on the potty. We'd let weeks go by with NO mention of the potty, then we'd just start asking her if she wanted to try the potty. NOPE! sigh....

I got all sorts of advice about bribing her with toys and treats. First off, Sugar Bear has to be one of the least materialistic kids I know. Seriously, you could buy her a fancy new toy and set it aside for her until she earned it....and she'd just shrug at it and walk away. Secondly, I just wasn't that worried about her being potty trained enough to resort to using candy just yet. Honestly I figured she'd potty train when she was ready. The only reason I was even concerned, was she was the ONLY child not potty trained at her school. I was starting to feel guilty, however, I knew that only in her time would it happen.

About three weeks ago, we stumbled onto the perfect motivation for Miss Sugar. We were at a pet store picking up some goldfish for our outdoor trough, when a different type of aquarium caught our eye. Within minutes Sugar Bear was infatuated with HERMIT CRABS. Out of all the pets in that store, these were the ones that she BEGGED for. I told her that I needed to do some reading about them, before I could decide if we could provide them a good home. Not only did I know NOTHING about Hermit Crabs, I was pretty sure she'd forget about them once we left. NOT SO.....this little honey began to earnestly ask me when we could get a Hermit Crab. So I did some research, and decided that THIS might be it.

I explained to Sugar Bear, that Hermit Crabs are a BIG responsibility (not really), and that she needed to show me what a big girl she could be before we got some. Together we made a potty chart that simply asked her to PRACTICE sitting on the potty 10 times, and if she got a BONUS (actually poop or pee in the toilet) we'd get TWO hermit crabs. She was excited and eager. We proudly taped her chart right by the potty, and set to work. It took some convincing that first morning, but she finally sat on the potty. Once she realized that she need only sit there long enough to sing "twinkle twinkle", and it didn't matter whether she produced a product or not, she was more than willing to "practice" 3 times a day.

Within 4 days, she finally peed in the potty. This was huge. She had not peed in the potty since late July. It was thrilling. On the chart, I had actually put "poop in the potty" as the bonus because sometimes, all though rarely, she would sit on the potty when she was already in the process of pooping, so I thought we'd be more likely to get a poop, than a pee. As you can see....she got FOUR pees in the potty, so we headed out and picked up our two newest members of the family.

I am not thrilled with the photos, as Hubby was mortified that I was taking pictures in the pet store, so they are all quick snaps. sigh......what a fuddy duddy. Sugar is VERY proud of her Hermit Crabs, and all is well. I only have photos of the red heart one, as little mister football has buried himself, and needs some quiet time to adjust.

The BIG news....Sugar Bear is 100% pee potty trained. The whole poop thing...well, we are working on it. She is pulling the classic "holding it" maneuver, and with the help of prunes....we may conquer that as well soon. We are so please....her caregiver is pleased, and most importantly, Sugar is so so sooooooooooooooo very proud.

So when in a pinch.......try the Hermit Crab potty training technique. It works. Thumbs up!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Easter Bunny Isn't As Dumb As He Looks!

The Easter Bunny's feet
Go hop, hop, hop,
While his big pink ears
Go flop, flop, flop.
He is rushing on his way
To bring our eggs on Easter Day,
With a hop, flop, hop, flop, hop.
~Author Unknown

As a tradition, each year we recycle Sugar's Easter basket. In fact, her basket was MY basket I had as a child. Saturday night, we climbed up in the attic, and dug out the basket, plastic grass, and plastic eggs. Together we set them out on our hearth for the Easter Bunny to find and fill up. It was especially fun this year, as Sugar is finally able to understand a little bit, and get excited. She was plenty eager to go to sleep so the Easter Bunny could come.

Sugar Bear was very please to awake, and find many things in her basket this morning. There was a tense moment then none of the plastic eggs wanted to open up and share, but finally a few literally exploded open to spill jelly beans and fruit snacks all over the floor. We had a little discussion about what is and isn't okay to eat after it has been on the floor. It seems this concept is difficult to comprehend. Jelly Bean....YES! Yogurt....NO!

The big bubble wand was a hit....until she realized it isn't any easier to blow bubbles with and creates even a bigger soapy mess on the floor. I guess SIZE really doesn't matter, huh?

It certainly seems the Easter Bunny knew a little something about the weather forecast this year. He is finally catching on....that silly rabbit. He left Sugar Bear a VERY special, and completely appropriate gift this UMBRELLA! High fives for that clever little bunny.

There is nothing like Easter egg hunting in the rain.....we should know. This is the third rainy Easter in a row.....but this was different. How can you be sad about the rain, when it just gives you the perfect opportunity to try out your new adorable umbrella????

I am a bit of a less is more sort of person, I am certain I spent less than $10 on her entire Easter stash this year. The book, I got at Good Will for .99 cents. SCORE! The rest were also about a dollar each, except for the Umbrella, that was $5. It blesses my heart that Sugar found such joy in this simple little tradition. One of my favorite things about being a parent, is the opportunity to re-experience the thrill of good old holiday fun.

I do hope you all had a fabulous Easter Weekend. Sugar Bear and I are still on the mend. It is my hope that this week, through rest and relaxation (it is Spring Break), we will kick this sickness to the curb once and for all. Cross your fingers for us. We are REALLY trying to look on the bright side.

*** oh and don't forget I'm on Top Momma! CLICK HERE!!!!! I know.....I are sick of clicking it, but you love me right? At least a little bit? it....once or twice, k?***

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Photo Hunters~ Metal

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METAL is such a great theme. I am excited to see all the different varieties that bloggers choose to share this week.

I was eager to snap a few pics tonight of some rusted metal. From a distance it sure can be a sight for sore eyes, but up close, I think it is beautiful. I love the texture and color of it. It was a joy playing with my macro lens, and this fabulously oxidizing metal. Rust is a red or brown oxide coating on iron or steel caused by the action of oxygen and moisture.

Thanks for stopping by my blog this week. :) I hope you enjoyed my take on METAL.
Have a great weekend, and a fabulous Easter.

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For a list of books I read from 9/14/09 until 9/14/10 go HERE!

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