So my Pinterest addiction has inspired me to be much more crafty lately. I love it for giving me ideas of craft projects or even reminders of things I had seen but never made. Back before Christmas I saw an idea to make an initial/letter out of crayons. I think the originaly pinner was making them as teacher gifts, but I thought it would be a great decoration in my son's room. I have a certain love for the Crayola crayon and the alphabet. I have a slight obession with the alphabet, and it helps that my son is at that age where he knows his letters and is just starting to write them. We are also in the planning stages of redoing his bedroom, so I wanted to make him his initial in crayons. It was supposed to be a Christmas present. Then it was going to be a Valentine's gift. Well, now I just finally did it, so it isn't a gift, but was well received, nevertheless.
To make, I bought a new box of 24 Crayola Crayons, a box style square frame from Ikea, and made a template of the letter A on my computer and printed it large! I used plain white glue and a piece of cardstock. I used the letter template as a means to measure and cut the crayons into appropriate sizes, scoring the crayon with scissors and then snapping it. It was a bit more difficult to get the crayons in the right sizes than I anticipated, but certainly this was not a challenging project.
Once the glue was dried, I added a written line and framed it in the box frame. I love how it turned out and my son was excited to see his 'A" in crayons. I may make some as gifts now!
Last week I incorporated fish, salmon, into my menu plan as a last minute change. I realized that I had gotten out of the habit of trying to have fish once a week and I had the chance to visit Whole Foods, where I prefer to buy my fish. I picked up some sockeyed salmon and marinated it in an orange sauce, served it with sauted peapods and carrots with sesame seeds and a bit of sesame oil, along with some Isralie couscous made with chicken soup base instead of just water. The kiddo refused to even try the fish, but did eat the couscous and a side of steamed broccoli. He is still fish-resistant! This week I'm going to make fish tacos, one of my favorites!
Over the weekend we ended up eating at home due to a child meltdown, a dreadful sinus headache for me, and it just got too late to go out to eat dinner at a restuarant on a Saturday night with the kid. He begged me to take him to a restaurant Saturday night, but I just couldn't do it. With absolutely no idea of what to make for dinner I decided to make breakfast for dinner. Thankfully I had just picked up buttermilk that afternoon so I made our favorite buttermilk pancakes filled with juicy blueberries, frozen from last summer's orchard visit. I had exactly five pieces of bacon in the fridge, so it worked out perfectly. The kiddo gave up his plea to go out when I asked him to help me make pancakes. He is a great sous chef and was a big help. I'm training him to someday make me breakfast in bed!
We had taken a break from our local library. Partly due to the growing stack of unread books I have here that needs to be tackled, partly due to the kiddo deciding he doesn't like going because he doesn't want to be quiet while there (!) and partly due to our library being closed due to heating issues. I had found a few books at Target a few weeks ago and resisted the urge to buy them all up! I actually remembered the name of one when I got home so I looked it up in the library system and put a request in for it. I finally got an email this past week that my book was in, so today we took a trip over to once again enjoy the library, which has reopened!
There are so many great things to discover at the library. The kiddo decided he wanted to go with me today so he could play Reader Rabbit on the computer in the children's department. Our library has redone the children's department in the past three years and it is just beautiful. Besides having so many great books to borrow, the main children's librarian is a man who really gets kids and how they think. He cracks my son up with his antics in the library and at storytime. Mr. Jim invited me to bring my son to storytime for babies when my son was only four months old. He couldn't even sit up yet, but I faithfully brought him because not only was it exposing him to books, but it was a way to get out of the house! Today we found not only some great picture books to borrow, but also season 2 of the Muppets on DVD. We also discovered that they added a play kitchen to the children's department. My son had fun there and I love that he enjoys reading so much. At bedtime tonight we read three of our library books and he really enjoyed them.
I did get the book I had requested, Moloka'i, which I'm excited to read. It is historical fiction about the leprosy colonies on the Hawaiian Island of Moloka'i. We also checked out a Dr. Suess book about money, and Easter themed book about a dinosaur who steps in for the bunny, a book about a nervous cement mixer, and a book I wanted to read, the Man in the Moon. It has beautiful illustrations as well as an inspirational story. It is a bit advanced for my four year old, but I'm hoping it piques his interest with the mentions of astronomy and the illustraions. I also found a book with knitting patterns for wild animals!
Read Across America is on March 2, the end of this week. While generally we read books every night at bedtime, my goal for this week is to incorporate reading into playtime every day this week too. I have a few new books put away, so I will bring one out this week, and I also would like to purchase the Lorax, as it wasn't on the library shelves. My son wants to see the movie, but I would prefer that he read the book first. As with so many books that become movies, I always find that the book is better than the movie. I want my son to have a frame of reference for the movie and to read it before seeing it! Target was sold out, so a trip to the bookstore will be on our schedule this week.
I'm linking this post to the bloghop happening over at Just Precious, where Julie will be posting all reading-related entries all week in celebration of Read Across America day. Check out all of the posts there!
This week started with a school holiday, so I missed going to the Y on Monday. I did make up for missing Friday by going on Saturday last weekend. I had intentions of making it to exercise classes this week, but they started before I had a chance to get from school to the Y, so I just did cardio, mainly the eliptical, both visits this week. I really had planned to try out a step class today, but got snagged in the school parking lot chatting with another mom, so I was too late to start a new class.
My son found my pedometer this morning and asked if he could play with it. I had forgotten about it completely, but stuck it in my pocket so I could keep track of my steps today. I surprised myself that just before I started dinner I checked it to find I hit over 9000 steps today! That was about an hour at the Y on the eliptical and treadmill, plus a trip to Target, and walking the mall with the kiddo after school. I think I read somewhere a while back that a good target to hit daily was about 10000 steps, so I came close today!
We've been incredibly lucky this winter with being spared the brutal cold temperatures. This past week, except for today, was just beautiful. We went to a playground to run around and play on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, taking advantage of the little taste of spring. We visited a different playground each day, and despite one small injury on Sunday on a slide, I managed to get the kiddo to use the slide at the other playgrounds to get over his trauma. (Of course school photo day was today, so he had a great yellowish bruise on the center of his forehead as a result of his slide injury!) It was fun visiting the playground that I used to play at as a child, as it was next to my elementary school. Of course 35 plus years later all the equipment is completely different, you know, more safe! But it was fun to check it out again, even if the neighborhood has changed a bit!
My son is interested in exercise and knows that both of his parents go to the Y to exercise. He talks about and mimics what he would look like if he were running on a treadmill. We talk about why we exercise and how it helps us feel healthy. We also talk a lot about healthy foods. We picked up a new book this week on a visit to the Please Touch Museum called the Bearenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food. My son does not each as much junk food as the book shows, but I thought it would be a good reminder for why we don't eat unhealthy food all day. His idea of a snack lately is candy or cookies, and I'm working on getting him to eat fruit instead.
We don't have any Mardi Gras traditions here, except for buying doughnuts. I really wanted a bakery one, but a certain four year old really wanted a DD one, since they were heart shaped. Guess who won?!
Last week I made a chicken in the crockpot that lasted at least three days for many meals! It was great and a lazy way to make some healthy meals. From chicken noodle soup to salad topped with chicken mixed with hot sauce, we ate well. It helps that sticky chicken is so easy to make, as I feel like I'm in a cooking slump. I just am not inspired at the moment to be creative. This week I'm working on planning some easy meals, including some frozen lasagna that I made a couple of weeks ago and halved for the freezer.
My friend Sherry, over at Superexhausted, has started blogging on Fridays about fitness along with a link up, so it inspired me to write about my latest attempt at fitness. Since the kiddo returned to school this year, after the long holiday break and lots of illness, I committed myself to go to the Y's gym every time he was in school. For the most part, I've been successful. I have no excuse to not go, really. The Y is directly across the street from the kiddo's school, the school day is only 2.5 hours long from drop off to pick up, not leaving that much time to get much done.
I began this year with the intention to focus on getting back into a cardio workout schedule. I slacked off big time in December, between illness and trying to get ready for the holidays. I started in January walking on the treadmill each time, eventually working my way into adding the eliptical machine. I actually really like the eliptical better than just walking, but after a while I found my feet would go numb. I purchased new sneakers and have found they really help.
About two weeks ago a friend and fellow mom from the kiddo's class encouraged me to try a strength training class at the Y with her, so now we've gone to body pump twice with a goal of going at least once per week. The first class left me aching for two days, but after the second class I was just tired and not achy! I need to increase the weight I lift in the class each week, since I started on the lightest weights. I really like the class! Not only do I feel stronger, but I feel like I can actually keep up with it.
The people at the Y are really nice and encouraging. It is so not like the sterotypical gyms I think of when it comes to working out. Since I tend to go there in the mornings, it is usually filled with other moms and lots of retired folks! Another thing that has been very helpful to me is my Ipad. I use to to either catch up on blog reading or to read a book on the Kindle app while on the treadmill or eliptical, or I just use one of the high energy genious mixes to get moving. Once I get into reading I lose track of time and am not bored!
This week's challenge was that I missed two days of working out. On Wednesday I helped out at the kiddo's school and today (and Monday) the school is closed for President's day/weekend (since when did that become a weekend event??) The kiddo will not stay in the kid-care at the Y, so I'm going to try to get to the Y this weekend to make up for at least one of those missed sessions. I just do not have the energy to go at night to work out!
Check out all of the linked fitness posts over on Superexhausted! Thanks Sherry for the inspiration to post on this topic!
Our book list tonight included Good Night Philadelphia in preparation for our trip into the city tomorrow to "surprise" visit daddy at his office. Due to the building's security it won't be an actual surprise, but the kiddo will think it is. He is very concerned that we do not have ID badges, but I'm hoping we get visitor passes that will satisfy him. He loves to pretend that he works in the Philadelphia building, like his daddy. Goodnight Philadelphia is a sweet story that shows different city landmarks.
A Year in a Castle is a fun and detailed book about what goes on in a castle, including an invasion. The kiddo loves it!