Preschool. OMG Preschool!

Guess who’s starting preschool next week? Weeeeeee!

Starting Preschool

Nickname: Huns Buns. Buns. Hunny Bunny. Bunny. Pumpkin. Pumpky. Loves. Els. Bells. (Ok, so it seems … the shorter and rhyme-ier the better).

Favorite Color: Pink. Pink + Purple. Then just pink.
Favorite Sport: “Swimming.”
Favorite Food: Rice. Pizza. More rice.
Favorite Pastime: Arts n’ Crafts!
Favorite Game: Big Sister, Little sister. (She made it up). I’m always the little sister.
Favorite Dessert: i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m.
Favorite Memory: Canada.
Favorite Place: Nordstrom’s kids shoe section (*Free balloons).
Second favorite place: Kidspace.
Favorite Word: Seriously. Like – “I’m hungry. Seriously.”
Favorite Reply: Of course. “Can you pass me that garbage?” “Of course.” “Now remember, no grabbing.” “Of course.” “Can I have a bite of your popsicle?” “Of course.” “Did you remember to pack your doll?” “Of course, mom” =)
Favorite Book: Any of those really LONG Thomas the Train books that I constantly have to filter from the scariness of it all.
Favorite Character: Henry. (Thomas the Train) Although sometimes it’s Gordon. But never ever is it, Diesel 10.
Favorite day: Sunday Funday with dad. Also mom’s favorite day. Mom’s rest day. Ha.
Favorite fruit:  Cantaloupe.
Favorite veggie: Carrots.
Favorite toy: Magformers + Puppy.

And, my favorite quote from this year:

ME: Now that you’re three, you get to start preschool.
ELS: … I think I’ll just stay 2 and a half.

Happy Back to School everybody! Let’s see how much changes next year…

 

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10 Simple Tips to get your Child to Eat Veggies

Do you offer your child 5 fruits and vegetables daily?  UM… Check. [?]

Key word: Offer.

Since my 3-year-old’s toddler days, she’s come a long way with veggies. She went from a very strong and adamant: not going to have anything to do with greens. To: ok, I think I like these greens after all. Which is nice. But not without effort. And today, I am going to share some of my little tidbits on how I got my 3 year old to meet her 5 a day and eat some freaking veggies already. *Disclaimer: You’re not about to read some ingenious rocket science stuff – which at one point I thought it just might be. But it’s quite the opposite actually. It’s always the simple things…

PS. This also isn’t a sneaky smoothie post if that’s what you’re thinking. This is an actual, getting them to hold, look at and eat some real freaking veggies post. Fruits too. But fruits are easy.

1. Have your child watch other kids eating veggies. Els has a friend a few years older than herself, who she completely loves and admires. This friend just so happens to LOVE broccoli. So I’m sure you can guess who now also loves broccoli.

2. When packing snacks for short outings, only pack fruits or vegetables. No alternatives. I used to pack all kinds of things – crackers, cheese, popcorn… Guess what never got eaten? The veggies. Sometimes limiting the choices makes it easier for them to eat what’s there.

3. Add spinach or kale into all your soups. I add spinach or kale into almost all my daughter’s soups. I just cut it up with my fingers into small pieces. For example, with a classic miso soup, I always add some spinach or kale. It kind of just mixes in with the seaweed, and you can’t even taste it. But you’re still not hiding it.

4. Just put it on display. Meaning, cut up some fruits or veggies and put it out on the table or wherever they are playing. Eventually, they dabble with a bite or two. Like I said, fruits are easy. But once they eat that cauliflower, you’re laughing.

5. Add some peanut or almond butter and raisins. Nothing beats good ol’ fashioned ants on a log. But don’t limit it with just celery. It works with apples, carrots, almost anything if you want them to.

6. Alternatively, add hummus. Hummus works wonders.

7. Make veggies into baked chips. Kale chips are amazing. But so are parsnip chips, carrot chips and beet chips. All it takes is a little olive oil and pinch of salt.

8. Change things up. For example, when steaming veggies, try adding a little bit of salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. It gives a great nutty flavor. Sometimes all it takes is a change from the everyday.

9. Experiment with unusual concoctions that work. Putting edamame beans inside raspberries. Scooping cantaloupe with a teaspoon and placing it on top of sliced cucumbers. Wrapping carrot sticks with seaweed. Sounds kind of weird, but it’s not. As a kid, I loved eating apples with salt and vinegar chips. People thought it was so weird, but I loved it. Still do! I’m actually still a huge fan of unusual conglomerating. Like kimchi and pasta. Grapes and almonds. Mac and cheese with fish and radish. Brown rice with cheese and pickles. I could go on and on…

10. And last but not least, just cut it up differently. Dice, chop, long strips, thin strips, shapes (if you can), it makes a difference. Kids get excited with the simplest things… Seriously, I once gave Els a whole carrot and she went nuts. It was like the greatest thing ever for her.

*Carrots are choking hazards. Always supervise small children and chop into smaller pieces. As are grapes.*

Also don’t forget to check out your local farmer’s market. Buying seasonal and local fruits are so tasty. And there’s so much to sample… I love samples. As does Els.

Goooooooooood luck!!!

10 Simple Tips to get your Child to Eat Veggies

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My Very First Lemonade Stand

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Activity for Kids during the Summer.

We’ve been talking about it all summer and we finally did it! We had our first lemonade stand. Yes I said we. I wanted to have one equally as much as my daughter did. We were pouring, serving cookies, luring in customers… “Lemonade!!!!”

Lemonade Stand. Summer Activity for Kids.

I was looking for a way to build a stand myself without spending too much money, and/or being stuck with a bulky lemonade stand with nowhere to store it. With a simple google search, (love google) I ran into a blog where they used simple wooden crates. They went above and beyond and painted the crates a pretty yellow and added hinges to secure them together. But I thought I’d keep ours much more simple.

I used two wooden crates from Michael’s. (Don’t forget to use the 40% off coupon online).
And 2 long sticks that I also bought from Michael’s for 59 cents each.

I didn’t bother securing the crates together. I just placed them side by side, so that Els can reuse the crates after. (At the moment she loves using them as her baby doll’s bed.) The sticks, my husband glued on to each side.

I then went to work on the pom pom garland. Because yes, I still can’t get enough of pom poms.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

I used LionBrand Bon Bon Yarn. They were the perfect mix of lemonade-y colors.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

To find out how I made these pom poms, click here.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

I then just strung them one by one with a plastic needle on a piece of yarn that measured from one side of the crate to the other.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

See?

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

I also made Els a pom pom necklace while I was at it.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

I then cut out some circles on scrap paper. (Els helped me stencil all the circles.) Then pasted some letters on each I quickly made from construction paper. (Els helped me glue them as well).

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

I originally was going to use clothespins to secure them on the string. But I didn’t have enough. Ugh. So we used yarn and beads instead. That didn’t really work out too well in the wind…

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

Put out some cookies. Some lemons. Straws. Lemonade in a pitcher and cups. Ready to go. Here’s Els eating up all the profits.

DIY Lemonade Stand. Fun Summer Activity for Kids.

So much fun all around. We had people doing U-turns and stopping traffic. How can you not buy a lemonade looking at this. Right?

Afterwards we told her she can use the money for anything she wants. So she bought a balloon.

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Beating the Heat Wave

Here in LA, it’s been a LONG heat wave kind of summer. And what did we do to beat the heat wave?! All kinds of things…

Beating the Heat Wave

Played with water balloons, water balloons and water balloons!

Beating the Heat Wave

Buried our hands in colorful, cool rice.

Beating the Heat Wave

Hugged trees like a Koala.

(Did you know Koala’s hug trees to cool themselves down?)

Beating the Heat Wave

Ate watermelons shaped like hearts on sticks.

Beating the Heat Wave

Played fun in the sun INDOORS.

Beating the Heat Wave

Dug for dinosaurs in the snow. Brushed off excess snow. Made dinosaur snow footprints.

(Yep, it’s just salt.)

Cheerio Birdfeeder

Shared our cereal with the birds.

Beating the Heat Wave

Decorated our windows.

Beating the Heat Wave

Used up all of daddy’s shaving cream. (Yep, he found out morning of, right when about to shave).

Beating the Heat Wave

Went nowhere other than the SWIMMING POOL!

Beating the Heat Wave

And the BEACH!

Beating the Heat Wave

Cut jeans into jean shorts. Made bead necklaces indoors.

Beating the Heat Wave

Took early evening strolls.

Beating the Heat Wave

Stayed under a parasol.

Beating the Heat Wave

Lay in shady hammocks.

Beating the Heat Wave

And last but not least, had a very own cool and refreshing lemonade stand.

What have you been doing to beat the heat this summer?!

Do tell.

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Marking Milestones: Year Three

I wish I had thought of marking milestones on year one and year two, because three is a winner. I’m sure the first and second year would have been even better.

This year, I can’t help but share and brag. Because if I can’t showcase these monumental moments, then what of me? What will become of my memories, but a fleeting existence of what once was… Let’s face it, I’ll probably be doing it all over again, (this whole motherhood thing) no fault of mine, (because where do those first year memories go anyhow?) but this time, I will document it.

Year Three:

Milestone 1.
After a dozen close calls, maybe’s and what if’s… It has finally been done. Our first permanent ink stain on our once pristine, immaculate beige couch. You’re not really asking who did it, are you? 

Milestone 2.
364 days later, hubby and I, had an official date night out. It happened to be the Oscar’s, so I didn’t complain. It just so happens, 364 days prior, it was also the Oscar’s, so I couldn’t, by the ‘be grateful Gods’ complain again. Let’s see what happens 364 days from now…

Milestone 3.
My husband has finally given up on the idea of having a clean car.

Milestone 4.
I finally looked in the mirror long enough to realize, I’ve lost all sense of what’s in and what’s out. *Perhaps this is more a regression than a milestone.

Milestone 5.
My 3-year-old has learned how to meticulously time her flatulence to when her rear is close to my face.

Milestone 6.
She’s finally overcome her fear of pooping in the toilet, to becoming a never-ending pooping machine.

Milestone 7.
She had her first lollipop. And now, has foolishly sacrificed her 3 year’s worth of vocabulary for the word, lollipop. 

Milestone 8.
Speaking of overcoming fears, she also overcame her fear of hairdressers. Only for us to rejoice and then very quickly realize we have to pay for them. And they’re the same price as mine.

Milestone 9.
S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G out words is not as effective as it used to be, since she precocious-ly deduced that I-C-E -C-R-E-A-M is well, ice cream. Same goes for C-O-N-E… P-I-N-K-B-E-R – … You get the picture.

Milestone 10.
She can open the fridge. Pour her own water. Put on her own clothes. Decide which shoe is for which foot. Press for real answers, not make-believe. And I just want to hold her. (In my lap as she stays still for long forever cuddles which I know is just a pipe-dream but still…)

Because it’s going too fast. Man.

To milestones…

Marking Milestones: Year Three

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to share and brag below!

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