Inside Activities

While there have been a lot of nice days lately, we've also come across a few cool rainy ones.  And MiniM.E. is so spent after preschool that we needed some down-time activities.  I'm also trying to test out fun ideas that are simple to set up and might entertain us on a rainy day or that I can sit and supervise without too much intervention, say, if I have to nurse a baby...

So here are a couple things we've done recently.

Milk, Food Coloring & Soap:

This is so easy and tons of fun.  Kept MiniM.E. entertained for about 2 minutes per batch... was hoping for 15, but maybe we'll get there...

Fill bottom of container with whole milk.

Add drops of liquid food coloring.

Swirl toothpick in dish soap and watch everything move!


Rainbow Bubbles:

This took longer to prep than I expected and requires a mixer, which MiniM.E. did not like because of the noise.  But it was worth it for the 30 minutes of play time in our master bath.

Mix 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbs. dish soap and liquid watercolors in a mixer, dump into big container, play where the mess is contained.

Loving Fall

MiniM.E. is doing so much better at preschool.  In fact, today we dropped her off and she didn't shed a single tear.  That's right- NO CRYING!! Which is huge.  And Wednesday she had a great day- did everything the other kids did and was playing happily on the playground when I went to pick her up.

Which is not to say we are out of the woods yet...

Our preschool mornings have been increasingly difficult.  Wednesday it was a solid half hour of crying- at the YMCA where we ate lunch after gymnastics- before school.  Today, it started as soon as we woke up and she asked if it was a school day.  By 11 she was a crying mess and even refused to eat lunch "because if I eat lunch then after I will have to go to school.  I don't WANT to go to school!!"  I guess she takes after me in that respect- anxiety about stressful situations before they happen.  Poor kid.  Fortunately, I will pick her up in an hour and she will have had "medium fun" at preschool and we'll be done until Monday morning...

In other news, we've been LOVING the fall weather.  It's so nice to go out in a sweatshirt, or run around outside (not me- MiniM.E... I'm not running anywhere this pregnant!) without getting sweaty.

We've been spending a lot of time at the playground.  I love taking MiniM.E. to any playground, but I feel like playgrounds are definitely a spring and fall activity- it is way too hot to be pushing a kid in a swing in the middle of a sunny summer day.  Plus all the slides get hot, kids get hot, moms get hot, everyone gets cranky...

In the fall I will happily stand and push a swing for hours.  Or watch MiniM.E. fly down slides.  And encourage as much running around as possible!


School Days...

MiniM.E. is still a wreck about school.  Friday was much better than Wednesday, she actually participated in a few activities and cried less, but after a weekend home with mom and dad, today was a miserable drop off.  She insisted she would cry until snack and then wait for me on the playground until I picked her up (after crying for half an hour at home and begging me not to make her go and to please stay with her and then clinging to anything that might delay me putting her in the car to go).  So we'll see.  Hoping it gets better, because this is really stressful for mom!

We had a good weekend enjoying the fall weather though- it was beautifully cool and I LOVE IT.  I LOVE FALL.  We got out Saturday to Malta Community Day before it started raining and MiniM.E. rode a pony and did the inflatable slide 20 million times.

Sunday we were booked for the afternoon with a Daddy-daughter date and a BBQ.  And in between it all, I'm trying to get my list of "things to do before baby comes" done.


The First Day of School: Take 2

So yesterday was MiniM.E.'s first REAL day of school.  Like the day when I had to bring her there in the car (to the whines of "I don't WANT you to leave!!!"), pull into the parking lot (at which moment MiniM.E. insisted, "I need to take a NAP.  RIGHT NOW!!"), get her out of the car, and get her into the preschool.  After a pep-talk and a "let's stand on this REALLY HIGH ledge by the REALLY NEAT playground and take a REALLY CUTE school picture", MiniM.E. let me lead her to the school if I promised to hold her once we got inside.

I carried her to the classroom door and she let me put her down while we found her cubby for her lunch and the hook for her backpack.  I successfully pinned on her name tag and we checked in together with no problems.  Things seemed to be going smoothly as I suggested we walk in and check out the items in the bin with all the other kids.  She let me lead her there by the hand.  And then I told her I'd be back...

The tears didn't start until round three of me trying to leave and her clinging to me for dear life... 

and once she started crying I was about to cry and I didn't want her to see me upset because then she would have been more upset, so with a quick, "I love you and I'll be back to pick you up after the playground," I quickly left my screaming child and made my escape.  I was a mess on the way to the car and I had to shield my face from the other moms following their excited toddlers into the building (I'm sure they all cried later, right?).  But after a few (10? 15?) minutes of welling up in the car I pulled myself together.  After all, this it what preschool teachers sign up for, right?

Despite my list of "Things To Do While MiniM.E. is at Preschool" I accomplished nothing during the two hours I was home.  (Which also can be attributed to the fact that I definitely broke my toe Tuesday night-- which does not seem like a huge deal, but trust me, when you are chasing a toddler around and climbing the stairs 20+ times a day and squatting down, is a VERY HUGE deal-- and I really couldn't do much moving around.)

I counted the minutes until it was time to get in the car to pick her up.  Then I over estimated the time it took to get there and had to sit in the car in the parking lot for 7.5 minutes so I wouldn't be TOO early.

Good news is she was not crying and screaming when I arrived.  She was calmly (though definitely not happily) sitting on a stool in the playground.

The teacher came over and gave me the run down:  She cried and screamed for an hour.  Then she was so exhausted she fell asleep for an hour.  Reluctantly ate snack and followed them out to the playground.  

Could have been worse, right?

The funny thing is, she wasn't upset once we got home.  We talked about preschool and she told me all about it.  "I cried a lot.  I cried because you took too long to come back.  Then I took a nap in two places.  No one else was crying, just me.  Bella was there but she was wearing different clothes than last time.  I didn't want to eat my snack.  I didn't go potty but they have magic soap there that comes out when you wave your hand under it.  I forgot to use the typewriter.  I didn't have fun at preschool and I don't want to go back there because I don't like the teacher and I don't want anyone else to be there."  

Better luck Friday?

Bowman Orchards

Tuesday we met up with friends for the first apple picking trip of the season.  We went to Bowman Orchards, mostly because they were one of the few places open, but also because we were all south that day and they have a really neat wooden playground.

This will be our third year of Bowman Orchard visits, though last year we only went once because we found Ellm's Farm which has a lot more for a two-year old. 

MiniM.E. remembered everything about it (as usual) and insisted we first find the floppy eared goat.

Flashback, here she is two years ago with the same goat:

We had a great time at the playground.  Since the first time we visited they added these pony tire swings and they are MiniM.E.'s favorite thing- she likes to have horsey fights where the two swings crash into each other.

We had to wait for everyone to arrive before we went apple picking.  We drove into the orchard and MiniM.E. proceeded to pick exactly THREE apples before she insisted she was done.  Fortunately, I convinced her to hang around by suggesting she eat an apple which took her approximately 20 minutes.

I managed to squeeze in a few extra minutes by finding this "hiding" apple and a few mini ones she was excited to pick:

After apple picking it was back to the playground for a picnic lunch and some more playground fun.

The best part of the day?  This:

Our adorable budding photographers.

(MiniM.E. only managed a shot of our stomachs, which is definitely NOT making the blog!)

Thanks for a great day, girls!


A Weekend-Long Sleepover

Last weekend we watched a friends' son for the weekend.  It was the first time we attempted overnight babysitting.  I have to admit, I was a little leery of the situation given that watching my own child all day at 8+ months pregnant has me ready for bed at 6pm.

It was definitely a challenge to make sure two two-year-olds had everything they needed (essentially two of everything) everywhere went.  And an even bigger challenge to mediate play time since anytime one kid touched something, the other immediately wanted it and we only have one of most of our toys... MiniM.E. was really into helping to babysit our visiting toddler, but like most two year olds, he wanted to do everything himself- not have MiniM.E. do it for him.

Overall though, they both seemed to enjoy having a permanent playmate for a couple days.

The Last Week of "Summer"

Before school... before activities... before we are tied to a schedule...

We took the last week of summer and the first week in September to try to enjoy the last of lazy mornings (whenever we feel like it), just playing at home all day and squeezing in one last trip to the beach.

MiniM.E. decided last week that taking a shower was much better than a bath:

 We went out to lunch with friends:

Made some brownies in our PJs:

And visited our friends who were renting a lake house at Schroon Lake for one last beach day: