Sunday, September 19, 2010

M-I-C....K-E-Why Is This Song Stuck In My Head?

Friday 9/17/10 - Went to Kids Book Club with my MOMS. Miss Laura read "The Monster At The End Of
This Book" which is about Grover being scared because of the title, and not wanting us to read any further, so we won't find the monster. He tries to 'tie' and 'nail' the pages closed, even builds a brick wall to keep us from turning the pages! She read it so well! She did the emotions fantastically, and let each child have a chance to turn the page (and then changed the words to have Grover talking about how they weren't supposed to turn the page!) What a fun book!
Then the plan was for the kids to color pictures of Grover, and/or watch "Follow That Bird" while the mommies socialized. But the Netflix instant queue version of the movie kept skipping and getting digital flaws, as did the back-up Clifford movie. So they watched Tinkerbell. And ate about 5 bags of microwave popcorn! It was hilarious watching Nicole carrying the new bags of popcorn into the TV room where the bowl still was, followed by a gaggle of toddlers and preschoolers! A Popcorn Parade!

Little Z was doing great with the other kids, and playing in the playroom after the movie, but there was a misunderstanding at the end, and it was lunch and nap time, so she opted to leave, rather than stay for nuggets with some of the other kids. She asked for hot dogs on the drive home, so that's what we had! But not just any hot dogs! Special hot dogs!
I just got a shipment of bento-making supplies imported from Japan in the mail Thursday, and have been itching to use them! I got some boiled egg/rice/jell-o molds, some mini cutters (soooooooper tiny!) and some hot dog shapers. Squeeeee!

The 4 packs in the upper right are a full alphabet and numbers set. The orange and silver bit cut out along the top of the pic is my full-size scissors, to give you an idea of scale! Reeeally small letters!

I had a penguin and crab cutter mold, and I know how to make an octopus hot dog, and asked Z what she'd prefer. She chose the penguin. So I microwaved the hot dog for 30 seconds [even though they're pre-cooked, they can still have listeria] and cut it to fit the penguin mold.

It made a weird sound. A weak little squelch sound, which kinda grossed me out. I wasn't too impressed with the results. Maybe it's better if you do it before cooking, so the features color differently or spread as they plump or something. I decided to use the shorter bit of dog in the crab mold, even though she had said no to the crab previously. One of the 'legs' tore and stayed in the mold. Ewwww.

She loved them though. And asked for another. I was hoping to try out an octopus, but no. Penguin and crab again. I did better removing the crab this time, as I pinched the legs together as I pulled it out. It hadn't occurred to me until I was typing this post that pressing the features in before cooking might be the key to success! And easier on my poor little burnt fingers! All the instructions are in Chinese or Japanese!

After lunch, we unsuccessfully attempted a nap, then I decided to do more Preschool-in-a-box, and she was gung-ho to try more crafts! Day 12's lesson was about Johnny Appleseed, so after introducing ourselves, I read her the story. She got bored with it quickly. I should have cut apart the story picture cards to make it more interesting, but I didn't know I was supposed to until I'd already started the story. I asked her the comprehension questions recommended in the lesson plan, and she did okay. For a 2-year-old.
"What did he wear on his head?" [A cooking pot.] "A HAT!"
"What did Johnny Appleseed plant for everyone to enjoy?" [Apple trees] "Ummmm... APPLES!" etc.

Then I hastily cut out the features for her to glue together a Johnny Appleseed head. Creepy. I let her assemble it as I cut out each piece, then we did the glue. Her first face had much better feature placement. Oh well. She loved using the glue stick!

When she was done, she asked for another craft, so I flipped back to Day 3 or 4 and had her decorate a paper gingerbread man. I read her the Gingerbread Boy story during her craft, rather than sitting down and showing her the picture cards. I can do that again another time! It was a fun story, but the ending felt a little silly. It made sense, and was a good lesson for the kids, but as an adult, I felt the moral of the story hit like a Mack truck. (Lady wants a kid. Makes gingerbread cookie boy. He comes alive. Dances and taunts "Run, run as I dance for joy! You can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Boy!" The wife, and farmer chase him. Then the horse joins in. And the cow. And the dog, etc etc, until the boy reaches a stream and a fox. The fox offers to carry him across, but the Gingerbread Boy decides not to go with a stranger and returns to his family. BAM! I dun been run over by a life lesson!)

I let her have free reign with the squeezable Elmer's glue tube, and snipped the yarn into smaller pieces for the arms and legs. There were stickers for the buttons, which she ignored, and we never got around to drawing a face. She glued all the yarn on willy-nilly, then asked for more stuff to glue on, so I got some confetti from a Day 2 craft we haven't done yet and gave her a bit (saved enough we should still be able to decorate the paper cupcake or whatever.)

Unka Seesee made chicken stir-fry for dinner (yes, we still have chicken breasts left over!) I decided to try my egg molds out on the rice! But by the time I got to it, there wasn't much rice left, and as I was packing it into the Mickey mold, my husband told me he had already served up her plate, so I didn't want to overdose her on rice, and skipped the star mold, which was her other choice.

First I packed the warm rice in to the mold. I just used a spoon to scoop it in and compact it gently to the top. Then I popped the lid on, which pressed it down a little more. Then I snapped down the side snaps and carried it downstairs with MY dinner to give it a little time to firm up.

Once downstairs, I flipped it back open, and it easily fell out of the mold, and stayed intact! I had to keep shooing her mouth away so I could take pictures before she ate it! So it was a hit! And I'm excited that my first un-trained attempt at something new and possibly tricky actually worked!
I won't try to start boiling eggs without some expert advice though!


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