Monday, August 31, 2009

Monthly Mod Podge Mania


Since I went a lil Mod Podge crazy on revamping items for my classroom I thought I would post a few of the items I created for Xazmin's monthly Mod Podge Mania. You'll have to go check her blog out, she posted a great tutorial on a really cute and easy to make Halloween decoration.

For my projects:
School Inspirational Signs:
These were signs that I purchased from Hobby Lobby's clearance section for under $2. They were actually part of the gardening items so they originally said "I love Gardening" (or something along those lines). I purchased them not knowing at the time what I would actually do with them but figured I would eventually think of something. =) For this sign, I used some leftover zebra fabric that I had as the background. This was the first time I used fabric and I LOVED it...it was extremely easy to use. I used my regular Mod Podge Gloss although I do know they make one especially for fabric. I printed an inspirational message on a laser printer and then used leftover scrapbook paper for a border and the crown.


For this sign it was basically the same process but I used all paper instead of a little bit of material (unfortunately I ran out of the zebra material).


A few other very SIMPLE projects:
File Folers:
Before:

After:

I just used some wrapping paper that I purchased from Hobby Lobby. I LOVE their wrapping paper because it is heavy duty and it has the cutting lines on it. I found it a little easier to make a pattern first with the wrapping paper and then I saved it and reused it each time so I wasn't having to remeasure each time. After coating each file folder a couple of times with Mod Podge I sprayed it with Clear Acrylic spraypaint.

The black/white polk a dot file folder was used with scrapbook paper.

For that project, the scrapbook paper was a little easier to manage because of the stiffness compared to the wrapping paper. Unfortunatley it was going to be a little more expensive for me because the scrapbook paper wasn't half off the week I was wanting to recover 8 file folers...each one needs 2 (12x12) pieces of paper. Plus Hobby Lobby was completely out of the black/white polk a dot along with zebra so I was going to have to go with other background colors with polk a dots and I wasn't for sure if that would be too much.

Reading Wand Container:

I found this container in our "take what you want" section in the school workroom. It is an old coffee container that had Sharpie marker written all over it. I just used some leftover polk-a-dot fabric and covered up the center section. I think it it looks super cute and just adds one more lil touch of the polk-a-dots to go along with the rest of the decor in my classroom.

Photobucket





Sunday, August 30, 2009

Everything is Better with a Fairy


Ever since a lil slip last year at daycare when Brayden popped his kneecap out of place, he has become quite the lil "drama king" (most of the time). He can really turn his "acting skills" on. For example, if he falls and scuffs his knee it is not a thing for him to INSIST on being carried ALL day because he is ADAMENT that he can not put any weight on his leg. Well this last Monday after we got home from our first day of school, he accidently hurt some part of his body (I don't even remember what is was). Being as exhausted as he was it was A BIG deal and exhausted as I was my tolerance level was a lil low. So I had to think quick. Since I have had pretty good luck in the past with my made up "birthday fairy" and "growing fairy" stories I thought I would try my luck with a "boo boo fairy". It worked well since it was his first night back at our house, I was able to say that she stopped by why he was at grandmas house and left him special boo boo medicine (really just a black feather). Thankfully it worked like a charm! Of course, later in the week...he got hurt again and the first thing he asked for was his new "boo boo" medicine. Well this afternoon he got hurt on his chin (not even enough to leave any kind of mark) and the first thing he asked for was his boo boo medicine. When I went to get his "boo boo" medicine, it wasn't there. I guess with his ceiling fan blowing it must have somehow floated away. Being the problem solver he is, he instantly thought "maybe we can just write her a letter to get some more." I said "sure, we'll do it before we go to bed tonight." Of course, he didn't let me forget it. Immediately after his bath he asked me if we could write the letter now. After saying yes, he ran to get some paper and a pen and asked me if I could please write it for him. So we wrote his letter and then he quickly wanted to get in bed and had me perfectly position it on his belly so she could see it when he was sleeping.



And here is the note she left him:



Photobucket

Popping Toes

Who would have ever thought popping toes would be SO HILARIOUS!!?! Apparently to a 4 yr old, it's a really "silly" feeling. Tonight, Brayden was on one side of the couch playing games on my iPhone while I was on the other hand doing some long over due blog reading when he kept "accidently" kicking my leg which would make my computer screen shake. I found it to be very annoying so as his foot sat next to me, I grabbed one of his toes and "accidently" pulled it. Well, I'll let you see for yourself his reaction:
video

video

The icing on the cake: After the last video, he asks me "Why are there tears coming from eyes?" LOL! I just LOVE this lil guy! Photobucket

Friday, August 28, 2009

Singing Brayden

Last night we went to the dollar store and since the weather was a lil gloomy, Brayden thought for sure we must get a new umbrella. Of course, since it was only $1 I couldn't resist. He was unbelievably excited over this cheap umbrella. Here is a quick video I captured in the car:
video
Then of course once we got home, he was "video inspired" and wanted to do a couple lil recordings with him and his guitar.
Wearing his silly glasses playing his "banjo":
video
The follow up:
video

Photobucket

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to School for Me

Wow! What a crazy last two weeks it has been. I am definitely ready for my schedule to get back to "normal." Last week Brayden spent the week having fun at my parents house while I started back at school. He went fishing a few times, played in the sprinkler, baked cookies, and TONS of other fun activities. While I on the other hand, had a week full of meetings and spent a TON of time preparing/decorating my classroom. Strangely, I have always worked best "under pressure"...to some it may seem like "procrastination" but to me it's just waiting for my creativity to be in it's prime state. Usually I work best this way in all aspects of my life...whether it's cleaning my house right before someone comes to visit, starting a 12 page paper the day it's due, shopping at Target an hour before they close to every August waiting until the week we have to be at school to start preparing my classroom instead of working on it all summer like many others do. Not sure why, but it's what has always worked for me. Although there is one side effect: late nights. Luckily I'm a night owl to the extreme so it doesnt't bother me. It did take me awhile to get off of my "summer schedule" of staying up super late. Each night I stayed up at school until midnight and then once I got home I would work an additional 2 to 3 hours week...so I was working on about 3-4 hours of sleep each night. Here are a few pictures of Brayden having fun at my parents house as I slaved over decorating my classroom:
He didn't like the water getting in his eyes, but didn't have any goggles at grandma's house..so he went for the next best thing: his silly glasses.=)



Well, this week I definitely paid for all my late nights last week. I have just been extremely exhausted as early as 7pm. I think a couple of nights I actually fell asleep before Brayden did. =) You would think going to bed so early, I would miraculously turn into a "morning person." - but NOT at all! Mornings are still rough. On the bright side, my class of 23 (thats right, 23 not 22) students have been WONDERFUL! To be honest, I was a little worried after the first day...they were extremely social for the first day. Luckily by the end of the week we got most of that undercontrol (with the exception of a few transition times), but I know after a few weeks they will get trained just the way I like them to be. =) This week has been extremely busy we had our Parent Information Meeting on Thursday night so it made for a very long day. Seeing the excited little faces of my students each day makes all the "busyness" totally worth it. I also started another master's course on Monday with my first assignment due on Sunday night. I'm looking forward to the next 5 weeks to be over with and then I will get to take a break from taking a course for about a month since I doubled up over the summer. It will be a nice break to not have to worry about doing assignments and midterms/finals. Now for this weekend, I have a busy schedule of trying to get our house "back in order", making several returns to different stores of things I didn't end up needing for my classroom, grocery shopping, reading journal articles and working on my assignment, along with trying to get some rest/relaxation in as well. =)
Photobucket

First Week of Pre-K


Well so far Brayden has concquered his first week of Pre-K. He hasn't been the most "excited" about it each day, but he is at least tollerating it. I think overall as much as he doesn't want to admit it, he is having a great time. (I discovered I can even watch him on my iPhone so everytime I get to peek in on him, he seems to be enjoying himself.) The only major problem we have encountered is evenings are still a lil bit of a transitioning period. It seems as though he is using up all of his "sweetness" during the day and seems to be quite cranky when I pick him up. I'm sure its from pure exhaustion (even though he is the first one to fall asleep at naptime and last to wake up), but I am hoping to find a way to cope with his "crakiness".
**Just a quick side note on his "silly glasses" in his picture above: I know he looks pretty goofy but he thinks he HAS to wear these if he is doing any kind of "reading". I think he gets the idea from my mom always having to grab her glasses anytime she needs to see/read something up close. =)

Monday morning didn't go quite as smoothly as I had anticipated. My mom was so sweet she spent the night with us the night before so that he would be able to sleep in a little bit longer. This way he could go in a lil later rather than me dropping him off at the usual 6:45am. When she went to wake him up about 7:30, he was wondering why he was getting woke up. When she tried to explain it was time to go to school, he insisted that it was too early for school. Then he wondered where I was and she had to break the news to him that I had already left to go to school. Well then he was just beside himself that his mommy left without him and how could she do that. After he got over all that, she was able to get him dressed and take him to school. He even let my mom leave him there without any tears. =) Then in the afternoon, I tried to pick him up fairly early, so I left school about 4:45 to go pick him up. He was in an okay mood...didn't necessarily have anything to exciting to say about it. He was just more concerned as to whether or not gradma would still be at home waiting for us. He was excited to hear that she would be. My mom made a wonderful dinner for us and then she headed back home and we headed off to bed, early. I think we were both totally exhausted!!

Tuesday morning when I went to wake him up he replied "Where are we going?" I excitedly replied "We're going to school." He then replied "School?!? I just went there yesteryear!! (Everything referring to the past is yesteryear instead of last year or yesterday.) Then he tried pleading to me to stay home. He said he would rather go shopping at Wal-Mart than go to school. After I got him dressed kicking and screaming, he finally calmed down on our way. Then once he got there, he was excited to see his best lil girlfriend waiting to eat breakfast with him. Thankfully I was able to leave without him having any tears.

Wednesday when I picked him up, I was greeted with a "What took you so long mommy?" (I took advantage of having a lil extra worktime at school, and unfortunately he was one of the last ones picked up in his group.) On our way out to the car, I asked him if he had fun, he gave a monotoned "yes". So I replied with the obvious "what did you have fun doing?" same monotoned reply "everything." Once we got in the car I tried to get him excited by telling him that we were going to work on his "homework" tonight. He replied "Homework?!? Homework is boring!! I just want you to do it all for me mommy." Excuse me?!? Already a 4 yr old thinking "homework is boring?!!" I thought I would have to wait at least 3 or 4 years before I started hearing that excuse! With the "mood" he was in, I decided to move on. So trying my best to have a conversation with Mr. Cranky I asked him if he learned anything today. One word response, "yes"...Pulling teeth, I asked him what he learned today. He replied "It's a secret." I said "it's a secret?" He then replied, "yes and its inappropriate." I'm thinking "inappropriate?!" He said that it was "inappropriate because it's a secret for you mommy." Hmmm....I guess that is an ok answer for now.

I tried out a few screencaps as I replayed his day and it actually worked. =)



Thursday was supposed to be his first "splash day" so he was actually really excited when he woke up. He even dressed himself in his swimsuit, swimshirt and swimshoes. Unfortunately it was a lil cloudy and a possible chance of rain so I wasn't for sure if he would even get to have it. I checked during my lunchtime, and saw that they weren't able to go. I was afraid that he would be so disappointed so I picked him up early with his favorite Sonic slush "green apple." He was in a MUCH better mood. We were able to go home for a lil over an hour before I had to head back up to school for our First Grade Information Night. I first dropped Brayden off for a playdate and he had a great time. Once we got home we had to work on his first "family homework project". It was an "All About Me" oversized paper doll. Here is our final product:

Friday was super exciting for him because he did get to go to the splashpad, but unfortunately after about 10 minutes or so of playing he fell down. (I think because his water shoes are about 2 sizes to big-purchased already for next summer.) Being the drama king he is, he stayed right by the teachers side the rest of the time and watched the other kids play.

(He is right in the middle of the pic.)
(Still wearing his goggles)
He also got his "Pride Folder" today and I was thankful to see he had been a good boy all week. They made a note that his favorite things of the week were dramatic play and playing with playdough (something we never do at home). Under the section "needs to practice"- he thankfully didn't have anything. It's great to know he behaves well for others. =)



By the end of the week, I can tell that each day has gotten a little easier for him. My only hope that it continues to get easier and easier. I am excited for all the new things he will be learning. A couple of simple little things sort of touched me this week. This week he had a special "helper" job of being the "weatherman" which he just loved. I also thought it was cute that he got his first lil Scholastic Book Order, just before I left my school I laid mine out on my desk to pass out to my students on Monday. Both things (helper jobs and scholastic book orders) are things that I do in my classroom, which just makes the realization of he is "growing up" that much more real for me. I am sure as the year goes along I will find MANY more similarities.
Photobucket

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet the Teacher: Pre-K Style

Well it is so hard to believe my lil guy is officially going to pre-K this year! It seems like just yesterday he was this precious lil guyWhere has the time gone?!? The sad thing, I'm already thinking "Wow, this time next year he'll be starting Kindergarten and we'll be going to the same school!!" CrAzY!!!

This past Friday night was Brayden's first "Meet the Teacher". Luckily he was able to go to his "school" for about a month from mid April to mid May to help him get adjusted. I was hoping it would help get him excited for August but NO not with this stubborn lil guy. Let me just start off by telling you how much he was DREADING going to meet his new teacher and his first day of school for that matter. Over the last couple of weeks I had been trying to "prepare" him since summer was coming to a quick closure. Each time he ADAMANTLY demanded that he would NOT be going to school. I tried to get him excited by telling him that he was giong to "learn" so many new things. Well, that didn't go over so well. That lil stinker is such a fast thinker without hesitation he suggested that I could just have a teacher come to our house so he could learn all day while mommy was at school. So I am thinking, a Pre-K private teacher?!? Then I had to break the news to him, that mommy doesn't quite have the money for that one! So I tried turning it back to all of the positive things his school has to offer but of course he was able to turn my positives into a ton of excuses. He came up with a few good ones: "They make me take naps and I DON'T like naps!" (valid excuse-I'm not a fan of him taking them either because he wont go to bed before 12 or 1am if he does.) "I have to wake up too early and I like sleeping in." (VERY valid-neither of us are morning people) "I don't like the food, so my tummy gets hungry" (Valid for him, but unfortunately he's gotta learn to get over this one. There is more to eat in the world than grilled cheese, popcorn shrimp, rice, muffins and oatmeal-his ONLY foods of choice this summer). I gave up trying to convince him how exciting his school will be, I thought he's just going to have to wait and experience it himself...that is if I can just get him there. =)
Luckily both of my parents were in town and my dad planned on taking him back to their house to spend the night, so I was able to use that as good bribe. "If you want to go with papa you have to first go meet your new teacher." After several minutes of convincing he realized he didn't have a choice in this one. So off we were. Once we got there, and checked in a strange "shyness" overcame him...all of his teachers that were so excited to see him and that he loved before, for some reason he could barely give them a hello. In fact, he stuck to my mom like a magnet, he would not let go of her hand! As we checked in, we were excited to hear the music teacher, Mr. Austin is also going to be his classroom's late afternoon/evening teacher. Brayden loves him and he tries to mimic everything Mr. Austin does with his own guitar. Plus I think it will be great for Brayden to be around a "male figure" on a daily basis. We also learned they have a few new fun features that they didn't have before. He will get to participate in a lil Gymnastics class every Tuesday and Thursday through Sept is splash park day.It was also so exciting for me to see all the lil things he will be learning: they will have calendar helpers, checking the weather, show and tell, cooking projects, list goes on and on. I actually found it a lil touching because I could relate to the things his teacher was mentioning they would be learning...I could see it truly is the basis of kindergarten. Next on our tour was meeting the gymnastics instructors. Unfortunately, his strange "shyness" was still in place so he wouldn't show off any of his own fancy tumbling moves. They were super nice and tried pulling out all the tricks, but Brayden had his mind set up that he wasn't going to do it. I'm sure by next week, he'll want to be the first one in line to participate. One of the best things of the evening, he met a new, sweet lil friend that will be in his class. Guess what his name is!!...Brayden. Believe it or not, it is even spelled the exact same way. How strange is that?!? As soon as we got in the car, the first thing I said was "Well so much for the uniquness on naming him Brayden." My mom laughed, she said that is the EXACT same thing the other Brayden's dad said. What are the odds?!? Brayden did get to play with the "other" Brayden on the playground for a lil bit. He was finally able to break away from my mom for a few minutes. Then of course we couldn't leave before we made a stop in the cafeteria to have some juice and cookies. Thankfully, by the end of our hour and half visit, he decided school wasn't so bad and he might go back on the 24th. =) They have a "social" this Friday, not quite sure what all that entails but hopefully we'll be able to make it. I also have my Meet the Teacher on Friday night so it will be a busy evening.

Here he is grasping on to my mom's hand, a lil hesitant to go inside.


He would never take an eye off one of us even as he played outside. I guess he thought or was afraid we might leave him there. =)


In the cafeteria eating a cookie (no smile of course, cause he's not happy to be there.) If you look closely in the back lefthand corner you can see my dad getting his 2nds or maybe even thirds? =)
Of course, next week I'll let you know how his first day/week goes. With his school, they offer a great program where my family can watch him on the internet all day long to really see how he is doing. We can even review it in the evening to see what happened earlier in the day. It's great because he won't be able to put anything past me. =)
Photobucket

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Few of my Classroom Creations

Well tomorrow is the big day for me to go back to school and sadly the end of our summer break. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I have a week of meetings to help us transition getting back into the swing of a schedule. Many of you already know there is a TON of preparation in getting a classroom ready for the new school year. After reading a lot of cute blogs it sort of got some of my creative juices flowing to enhance my classroom. So the last several weeks of my summer break I have been working on different craft projects for my classroom (or "crap" projects as Brayden innocently and mistakingly calls them). He is so funny, I told him to watch out because he was about to sit on one of my "craft" projects as he started to sit on the couch. Next thing I know, he decides to get up and walk into the kitchen, but slips on another craft project I had on the floor. (We had a lot going on.) His response was, "Mommy! Your crap project almost made me fall!" Of course, originally I thought it was hilarious and what a typical boy response, but then I realized I better quickly teach him the emphasis of the letter t at the end of craft before he embarrasses me out in public. =)


Here are a few of the things I've been working on:


Just to clarify the caption of the photo, when it says "ugly magazine holder" I meant that it used to be ugly, now I think it's pretty cute. =)

Also, my hoops that I showed you on a previous post.

* Most of these projects were made from paper mache products that I found at Hobby Lobby when they were 1/2 off along with some scrapbook paper and lots of mod podge.

I'm not quite done with everything I want to do yet, but hopefully by Friday I will. =) I am so THANKFUL for my wonderful mom coming to visit us the last several days and help me get prepared both at school and home. (I also want to give a BIG thanks to my dad for taking Brayden back to their house Friday night so my mom and I could have the whole day to ourselves to work without sweet lil interuptions. THANKS Dad!) My mom made me some super cute curtains and table skirt that I'll post later when my classroom is completly finished. She offered her advice/opinion (even though sometimes it differed from my own ideas), it was great to be able to bounce ideas back and forth. Thanks to all of her great help, I am hoping this year will be the first year that I won't be spending every single night this week up there until midnight. THANKS Mom!!
Photobucket

Blog Widget by LinkWithin