Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Self Esteem Winners!!!!

Thank you for participating in the discussion on self-esteem. Dove has given me some fun gifts for the winners:

Karrie from Trailer Life and Jen from Memoirs of Mommy have won a "You're Beautiful, pass it on" t-shirt.
Jenny from When No One Else is Watching has won the book "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" by Courtney E. Martin.

Congratulations and thank you ladies for your comments and posts!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Morbid dinner roll creations

We were going to make some fabulous dinner roll creatures... the easy way. We used Rhodes frozen dinner rolls and let them thaw on the counter (in a greased pan) till they were soft. Then we stretched and pulled and mushed until we had made them just the way we wanted. I made a snail, a snowman and a burrito. Fischer made a "party animal", "whale", "ferret", and TWO "killed owlets". Wait... WHAT? Killed owlets? Where in the world did that come from? Hmmm... It turns out it came from the book, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale. We own this book, however we've never read it. BFF has this book and it made her mommy cry. BUT Fischer has heard it numerous times at MamaBarb's house... and he likes it! BFF likes it too, although she is quite bothered by the owlet dying (as she recounted the story for me at IHOP last week). Fischer is... intrigued by it, and he does seem to understand that "killed" means "dead" and "dead" means that the owlet can't fly anymore.
The book is actually a lesson on rumors and telling lies, and is a Caldecott Award winner. It begins with a mosquito telling a lie that sets off a chain of events that affects everyone who lives in the forest.
Next time I think I'll pull out our Rhodes Kid's Ideas Cookbook to give him more positive inspiration! ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don't forget to win a prize.

If you'd like to win a prize, read this post and leave a comment about self-esteem or a link to your post on self-esteem by midnight Friday night. We'll have 2 random winners.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Clean Mud

Who doesn't like to play with some good old fashioned mud in the house??? That's just good clean fun right? Actually, YES - when you make your own Clean Mud!

Fischer was so excited to make this. We ripped up lots of toilet paper, grated soap (if we would have had a plastic cheese grater, I would have let him try his hand at this step - but the metal one is much too sharp), added water and started mushing!

This is supposed to be the best part! My students always loved this part... Fischer was not amused by the squishing, he did not want to do it.Finally I convinced him that there was nothing else to do with the mud if you didn't squish it! Squishing was the entire point of making it... so he reluctantly tried it...

For about a second, then he was ready to wash up!

So much for my super fun ooey gooey idea! Maybe your kids will like it! As for me... I'm just embarrassed that we wasted paper for no "fun" reason!

FYI, there is a recipe online if you want to make lots of this for a group... we put it in our sand/water table at school and let the kids mush away! You can also add food coloring, but I've never tried it. For this particular batch, we used half of a bar of soap, 3/4ths a roll of toilet paper and 2 cups of water.

While shredding the tp we talked about small, medium and large with our torn pieces. Before adding the water we predicted what was going to happen to our huge mountain of tp. Then we talked a little bit about the way that the water, soap and tp all mix together into one.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

You can only paint on paper for so long...

Fischer has been doing a lot of painting around here the past few days. FYI - I hate paint. I wonder why... But, because I am trying to be a good mom and let him experiment with his artistic side... we've been painting. The first few times, he seemed more interested in color mixing and paint stirring than the actual end product... which gave him lots of grayish masterpieces. Today he decided that painting his nose and his hands would help his inner Van Gogh escape... So I embraced it, stripped him down and let him go at it (in the tub of course)!

Little did I know that he'd paint inside his ears and up his nose!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fischy Photos

I can't believe he is three already!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Self Esteem... Pass it On

(Reward at the bottom of the post)

Self esteem. What does that phrase mean to you? For me, I think of all that encompasses me and how I feel about me. There are definitely things about myself that I am proud of or content with, my appearance is not one of them... specifically my weight. I have major issues with my body that do affect my life and my activities.

I've started wondering how these issues and feelings about myself are going to affect my daughter (when she arrives). What will she learn from looking at me and listening to me? Will she learn to nit pick her every imperfection? Will she learn to say mean things to herself? Will she learn that her appearance makes a difference in what she can do and accomplish? Will she learn that her appearance is of the utmost importance over all of her other qualities? Man, I sure hope not. Of course I won't come right out and teach her these things, but will she derive these "lessons" from my actions?

Now is the time for me to raise my own self-esteem and get myself in check. I want to empower my daughter to be and do anything she wants to. I want her to see beauty in all things and all people including herself. I want healthy habits to be a part of life, not just something you do to "fix" a problem.

What if I do a good job with all of that teaching and empowering, and then she goes to school and gets another message from her peers... or from the media... or a relative... or the list goes on. How will I talk to her? Will she believe me when I say she is beautiful? Or will she think that I am just her mom and I have to say those things?

We all know that low self-esteem affects so much more than what you say to yourself in the mirror. It affects schoolwork, it affects the types of friends you choose or put up with, it affects the risks you take (good and bad), it affects your self worth which in turns gives yourself permission to do certain things... things a mother doesn't want to imagine.

What can I do to help my daughter cope with adolescence and the pressures she'll experience everyday?

The Dove campaign for Real Beauty has recently launched a new initiative called "Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, commissioned by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund ".

"Too many girls and young women develop low self-esteem from hang-ups about
looks and consequently fail to reach their full potential in later life. The
Dove Self-Esteem Fund (DSEF) was established as an agent of change to inspire
and educate girls and young women about a wider definition of beauty. The
DSEF is committed to help girls build positive self-esteem and a healthy body
image, with a goal of reaching 5 million girls globally by 2010. It has
already reached 2 million young women."

They are targeting girls ages 8-17 and their mothers to help build/repair/maintain self esteem. The exciting thing is that they provide FREE materials for mothers and daughters to begin talking and working on self -esteem. They have a mother's guide and a mother/daughter activity guide to help you facilitate conversations and about beauty, body, pressures, self-esteem, and self confidence. The guides have questions and activities to help us build an open-relationship with our daughters and to remind us how our own self-esteem and hang-ups affect our girls.

"A mom is one of the most important influences in the life of a daughter. Whether you are a step mom, an auntie, a grandmother, a big sister or just a loving friend, the role of a ‘mother’ is important and necessary in a girl’s development.
Your love and care sets the foundations for your daughter’s life. Who you are will profoundly affect who she is and who she will be. How you feel about yourself, your looks, your body, your beauty, acts like a script from which your daughter will make choices about how she should feel about herself. In order to give your daughter the strength and courage she needs to feel beautiful in a world that may challenge her values, you need to take inventory of your own feelings of beauty."
-Dr. Susie Orbach and Dr. Nancy Etcoff (Dove's Academic Advisors)

(My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother )

I read through the materials and found them to be informative, thought-provoking and interesting. They also provide an entire FREE workshop kit with DVD/CD to teach you how to run a self-esteem workshop in your area. Dove is also on the road providing workshops in many different states, you can check their map and schedule to see if there will be one in your area soon.

Self-esteem is an important issue, and I am very thankful to Dove for their initiative and for providing FREE tools to all of us. Click on any of the green links above to read more about the campaign, the National Report, and the booklets and activity guides (under self-esteem tools). You can also find short videos and other resources for you, your daughter, or your workshop.

We can support Dove and their Real Beauty and Real Girls Real Pressures programs by buying Dove products and by helping them to spread the word. In an effort to do my part. I'm offering up a small challenge and reward. Please post about self-esteem on your blog and reference Dove's FREE Self-Esteem tools, then come back here and leave a link to your post in the comments of this post. If you do not have a blog, then just leave a comment here about your thoughts on the subject of beauty and self-esteem. I will award 2 winners (chosen at random) and will send you a gift from Dove. Leave your comment or post link by midnight March 29th. Thank you in advance for your support.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Post updates...

  • The founder of Drop in and Decorate Inc., Lydia Walshin, saw my post and posted about our event on the Drop in and Decorate site. Which reminds me that Emily and I had a fun idea when we were dropping off the cookies at the shelter, you can read about it on the Drop site. I also noticed that Lydia recently posted a much needed tip about how to make perfectly red icing... all of ours turned out different shades of pink... even using and entire container of Wilton red food coloring.
  • After my massage, I was hoping that all of my neck-shoulder-arm pain and numbness would be gone. AND it was for a few hours, till it came back in the middle of the night with a vengeance. I even woke up with it accompanied by a rip roaring headache and ALL of those fabulous feelings lasted the entire day Thursday. HOWEVER, I haven't had it nearly as bad since, so maybe it DID work.
  • Answers to my cake decorating questions: First, to frost the crumb sides of a cut cake, it worked out nicely to freeze the cake, brush away the crumbs and put a thin layer of frosting (a crumb coat) on and then freeze it again. Then I frosted it with a wide frosting knife and was able to get a "smooth" finish (OK, mine wasn't that smooth, but it wasn't crumby). Second, the mini cupcake papers worked out just fine for removing the mini cupcakes nicely. Third, the Lego candies were chewable, about the consistency of Sweet tarts, and they Do stack for building. Finally, the Lego Fruit Snacks are no longer available in stores nor online.
  • Bedtime is an absolute miracle (knock on wood). The new rules and routine are working great... he falls asleep within minutes of me leaving the room, sometimes within seconds! I'm not kidding! He didn't even get thrown off with daylight savings.
  • Still working on the mealtime problems.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saving the World through Music

"Stand by Me" performed by musicians around the world.

The Playing For Change Foundation is saving the world by connecting the world through music. The Foundation provides resources and builds music schools around the world to help artists share their gifts with their community. You can support them by spreading the word about them, purchasing their CDs, DVDs, merchandise, downloading their songs on Itunes or attending one of their concerts. Poke around on their website to find out a little more about them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Super Fabulous Day for ME

I'm off to bed... early... but not before I tell you a tiny bit about my super fabulous day alone...

First BFF and her amazing Mommy came to pick up Fischer and take him to playgroup and keep him all day long to play. Then I scooted off to have the most wonderful massage. It was an hour of heaven... and I hope that all of that rubbing and lotioning will make it so my arms do not go numb tonight, as they have been for the past few weeks. If that is the case... then I might just be in love with the girl who gave me my massage.
Next I took in another hour of pampering as I received a very fine pedicure with more massaging of my legs and feet. I came away with pretty toes... it had been awhile!
Then I lounged for a while at a favorite little cafe and had my favorite lunch and a very delicious big cookie!
Next... oh yes, there is more... I spent the next two and half hours getting my hair cut and highlighted while chatting with my friend who is a very talented stylist. So of course, I look fabulous! OH, and she waxed and dyed my eyebrows... that was new for me... I can't say that part was particularly fabulous, but the outcome was nice.
And finally I picked up my happy tired little boy from his day o' play and headed home to my loving husband for some tasty pancakes.
I am so very grateful and so very blessed. Seriously... BEST DAY... I never do things like this, it had been a year since I last got my haircut and ten months since my last pedicure and I've NEVER had a massage (except that one weird time but that was a strange and humiliating experience years ago). Sooo, I feel sooo good! Thanks to my Mom and Andy and to BFF's Mommy for making my fabulous day possible! Now, to do it all again in another 31 years...
Thanks for letting me brag... ;) And no, it wasn't even my birthday... it was no special day at all... which made it that much more special!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fischer is THREE!

Well, my little baby is THREE now! He is so BIG! He had a great birthday and two parties! He started off birthday morning by telling me that all he'd like to do is stay home, play toys and jump on the bed. "Nothin' else". No amount of prodding would get him to go to a restaurant or play place... he wanted to spend his day at home! So we did. Then that afternoon when Andy came home, he opened his present from us (the space shuttle and rockets that he wanted and of course a bunch of books on space!). Then we went to Grandma Betsy's (my MIL) house to have a family party with Fischer's other grandparents (my parents) and his great-grandmother (Andy's Grandma) and his Uncle David (Andy's bro). He got lots and lots of great presents there, and Betsy had made him the specific feen (green) cake with a feen _uck on top (green truck - you fill in the other F), he loved it! She let him cut it and do whatever he wanted with it... the rest of us had pie.

That night, after talking to His Granddad (Andy's dad) and his Aunt Jana and Uncle Matt (My SIL nad Bro) on the phone, he fell fast asleep... a very happy boy!

The next morning was the Lego Mania Birthday Party with all of his friends. BFF arrived first and that sounded like this:

Fisch: Hi BFF!


Then, the rest of the guests started to arrive, I think there ended up being 14 kids in all (5 friends were sick at home). They had a great time playing toys, cars, trains, playing in the tents and ball pit, playing in the backyard (the day turned out beautiful)... and NOT ONE kid even touched a Lego! Go figure! Although, I have to say that I was a bit relieved because I wasn't sure how that was all going to go down. Fischer LOVES his Lego's and seems to find them to be quite the personal item... it is the only real thing that he has had a hard time sharing... I mean he bursts into tears if anyone touches them... and he doesn't do that with anything else. However, I'd been prepping him and I'd bought LOTS more Lego Duplos so that we'd have plenty. But I still wasn't sure because he kept wavering back and forth about whether he liked the idea of sharing. In fact our last exchange sounded like this:

Mommy: Do you think it would be OK if all of your friends came over to play and share your Legos with you on your birthday? Then the kids will go home and NO ONE will take any home with them, they will all still be yours to play with by yourself?

Fischer: I think I might freak out.

So, luckily, we never had to go find out! Anyway the rest of the party went well. The pictures were pretty terrible (no offense, Mom), but my Dad took video, so I'll share that when I can get it from him.
The cake turned out OK.... especially if you don't go back and compare mine with Betty's! I also made about 72 mini-cupcakes and put the little Lego candies on top (which, by the way, turned out to be the consistency of Sweet Tarts). Then I gave the rest of the candies to the kids in little goody bags. Oh... and you CAN actually build with the candies! I don't think you could walk around with your creation, but they do stack if you leave it on the table. Here is a picture of the cake and a bad one with the cupcakes in view. We also had a TON of food, but Andy said that we could probably have just dumped out a giant bag of Cheetos and called it good! That was definitely the fave!

The party turned out great thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family! I was exhausted afterward, but Andy did all of the clean-up... so that was totally fabulous! Thanks, Babe!

What does Fischer LOVE right now... now that he is big and three (for the babybook I'll finish someday):
He loves fire men and fire trucks and wants to be a fireman when he grows up. He loves to play games: board games, card games, ANY games... he even has tried some Wii Fit games. He loves vehicles of all types to play with, read about, or talk about. He LOVES Legos... especially the Duplo size and even calls the little ones with four studs on top, his little buddies. He loves to look at books and be read to. He is very interested in letters and letter sounds and likes to play with them, try to write them, and talk about them. He loves his parents and wants to marry us. He thinks his grandparents are all beautiful, but Mommy is not... apparently my toes are "mostly pretty". He loves his friends and BFF is still his forever favorite, even though she is not always the most kind and cooperative of friends. He has been going to the Little Gym since he was 5 months old, and hates it now because it is an independent class (without Mommy). He is very interested in rockets and space. He loves words like "fabulous", "disgusting", "amazing", "terrible", "annoying", actually", and "realize". He loves to be outside playing with sticks, rocks and dirt. He loves to play hockey with his Daddy. He loves numbers and addition and is constantly quizzing me "what's eight plus eight?". He loves fruit, pasta (especially macaroni and cheese), peanut butter and jelly, bread, carrots, grape tomatoes, pickles and treats... not much else. He is my favorite person in the whole world and I love him to bits and pieces! I am so very blessed and grateful to God for my amazing husband and our supremely fabulous son!