Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Fling at Hidden Pond

We love Hidden Pond Nature Center.  Especially on a 70-degree February day when we are itching for spring!  We grabbed a friend from Tess' church class, Patricia Pixton, and headed over for a spur-of-the-moment nature outing.  Patricia recently got a hair cut and it's kind of hard to tell the two girls apart!  They look a lot alike!

Hidden Pond is such a beautiful place, but it's small and so kid-friendly.   
I just let them have at it and they entertained themselves for hours.

Of course, Tess couldn't pass up the opportunity to get some coloring in.  After our hike, we had a picnic and the girls played on the playground for another hour and a half.  I'm glad we have another whole year before school starts full-time.  I love these kind of days!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What Do Squirrels Like to Eat?

Today during "homework" time, Tess and I noticed some squirrels in our backyard.  We devised an experiment to find out what squirrels like to eat.  I recently read this post on teaching kids about the scientific method, so we drew up our own data sheet.  (We don't, however, have lab coats and safety goggles.  We may need to get some of those.)

Tess informed me:  "If you want to say hypothesis in a funny way, you can call it a hippopotamus."  She  deduced the conclusions on her own and drew her own pictures for the conclusions section.  I love the picture of the squirrel running away with her behind the sliding glass door.  I also like the squirrel NOT liking the cheese. 

I later noticed that Tess, the consummate perfectionist, put a check mark next to the "correct" hypothesis.          

Tess and Drew both got a kick out of this experiment, so we may have more experimenting to do in the future (if I can find infant and toddler-sized safety googles).  I might also add that I was truly surprised how those quickly the squirrels devoured the nuts and that those scavengers actually left the cheese untouched.  They must have a good stash of acorns in the trees behind us.  

You learn something new every day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 2012 Tidbits

Tess was telling Ryan about a snail sticker she'd received, and he wasn't quite understanding her. (Can you blame him--a snail sticker?).  Her clarifying description:  "You know, the guy that carries his home on his back." (MMH)

So Tess has been telling us about this favorite game on the playground at preschool. It's called "Dragon." In a nutshell: "Someone be's the Dragon and says 'ROAR' and chases the kids." My only concern is that according to Tess' account, she is always the dragon. I'm not sure if the other kids are aware they are in the game. Sounds a lot like kids running away from her while she screams at them. Hmm. (MMH)

Tess drew a picture of a pig this morning and asked me how to spell "oink." Admiring her finished drawing, I noticed two bubbles coming from the pig's mouth: one that said "oink" and one that said "o." Tess' explanation: "He's saying 'oink' and then he got piggy hiccups!" (MMH)

I read with Tess a book about a young llama who struggles to overcome his anxiety on the first day of school (Llama Llama Misses Mama).  One page showed the llama, sitting at the lunch table, with tears rolling down his cheeks.  I asked Tess, "What do you think is going to happen?"  To my surprise, she replied, "Maybe he dies."  I gave her a puzzled look and said, "I don't think so."  She responded, "I just kidding, Daddy.  I've read this book before.  I know what happens."  (RKH)

Tess was playing a cooking game on the iPod and explained one of the steps in the recipe: "Now I am shivering the salt." Ry and I snickered and discussed her curious usage when she defended herself: "Shiver and shake mean the same thing." Someone please pass the salt shiverer. (MMH)

I treated myself to a new pair of pajamas--pink with white polka dots. Tess complimented me this morning: "Oooo! I like your 'jamas, Mom! It look like you have a pink body with white chicken pox!" (MMH)

While we were driving home, Tess asked me to open her plastic-wrapped prize from the doctor. I told her I would at home, but it wasn't safe while I was driving. A few moments later she said, "I think we need to go to Cade's house." When I asked why, she said: "Cuz Cade is really good at opening things for me." (MMH)

Tess brought Tess doll to her doctor's appointment today. She explained, "My baby has a stupped-up nose. I've been giving her baby nose-profen at home, but it not working." (MMH)

I was paying some bills online when Tess came over and said excitedly, "Why you looking at the Outer Banks on the 'puter, Mom?!" Thinking there must have been a beach ad on a prior page, I asked, "Where did you see something about the Outer Banks?" She pointed to the screen heading: "Online Banking." What a difference a few letters make. (MMH)

Tonight Tess set up a bed of pillows in the family room and asked me for a 'sage (massage). I rubbed her foot for a few moments when she suddenly jumped up and announced, "Something's missing!" She climbed up on the couch and grabbed a bottle of lotion from the counter and handed it to me. Like mother, like daughter. Even Drew joined in, patting Tess' left foot, smiling at her, and checking her reaction. (RKH)

I told Tess that I would miss her when she grew up and moved out of the house.  She replied, "We can skype!"  (RKH)

Totally random Tess comment at breakfast today: "Know what part I like best about eating cake? Blowing out the candles!" (MMH)

Tess informed me that when she gets a little bigger, we really need to get her a white shirt and white pants. "Cuz I need them to get bat-ized. They have to be really, really neat. All white with NO pictures on the shirt. Or on the pants. We can look for those at the grocery store." (MMH)

Tess: "My baby is sick and needs some babyprofin." (RKH)

Today in the car, Tess told me: "Mom, you know I really love to watch dogs walk on the sidewalk. I just lay back, relax and watch them. It's like watching a dog fashion show." (MMH)

It was warm enough today to go to the park, so I took the kids and chased Tess around for a while. When we were done, she said, "Mom, you did very good exercising. I'm giving you a gold star!" (MMH)

Tess is a very maternal little girl. She helps me set up for Nursery and helps with the little kids when they first come in. She told me, "Mom, if you ever have in Nursery a tiny, little, new, new, newborn baby that is very small and not too heavy, I can carry it for you. I'm very good at little babies." (MMH)

Tess likes to reminisce about Drew as a "little-born" baby. "Awwww! 'Member he so cute, Mom? 'Member he had little brown hair and little brown eyes? Awwwww! He so cute! And he had a little wrinkled forehead? Awwwww! 'Member he had a binkie in his mouth and I said, 'He look like he playing a trumpet!'"(MMH)

Tess is showing great interest in the upcoming Presidential election, but mainly because she keeps hearing the words "primary" and "party" on the radio. (MMH)

Tonight on the phone, Dipsy told Tess that she would get to share a room with Lauren this summer in Idaho. She was thrilled! After the phone, Tess asked me if it was going to be a long time or a short time until we go to Idaho. When I told her it was kind of a long time, she broke down into tears. Not throw-a-tantrum kind of tears, but really-honestly-truly-sad kind of tears. "I just can't stop crying, I'm just so sad. I want it to be soon!" I tried to explain why we go in the summer: "You wouldn't want to go to Idaho right now. It gets SO COLD in the winter--the coldest you've ever been!" That was the WRONG thing to say, because then she broke down into throw-a-tantrum kind of crying: "I want to go to Idaho and play in the SNOW!!! I LOVE SNOW!" Dipsy, don't mention this to Tess: "I don't want Dipsy to know I did crying!" (MMH)

For a while now, Tess has been telling me about their class hamster, "Stinkydoodle." I thought it kind of a mildly crass name for a preschool pet. That is untiI we were recently in the grocery store and Tess pointed to a box of cookies and exclaimed, "Look, it's my hamster's name!" Ah, Snickerdoodle. That makes more sense. (MMH)

While driving tonight, Tess and I spotted some Canada geese wandering on the grass near a church. We laughed at the two geese slowing crossing the street and Tess said that the geese were going to church. I told Tess that you can call someone who is silly "a silly goose." She replied, "If someone is really silly, you can call him a silly cat!" (RKH)

Tess was a bit upset after she finished playing with a younger boy today. She said that he wouldn't let her play with the toys she wanted to play with. Translation: he wasn't interested in playing with the toys that she wanted to play with. I talked with Tess about the fact that the boy was still young and that she needed to be a little patient with him because he was still learning and growing up. When I asked her if she could do that, she replied, "I can. It take a long time to grow up!" (RKH)

Tess told me she's made a new friend at school, a boy named Jackson. This is how it went down: "He said, 'You want to be part of playing?' I didn't have a friend and then I found one!" (MMH)

I was getting Tess ready to play at Cade's house and she was a little nervous because of Cade's dog. She said, "You know, Drew is like our dog." When I asked how Drew is like a dog, she replied: "Drew like a dog cuz he crawls around and tries to bite my toes." (MMH)

I was outside playing ball with Tess. She kicked it lightly so that it never even came close to me and ordered: "Go get it, Mom." I responded, "What do you think I am, a dog or something?" I kicked the ball back far so she'd have to run after it. Her comment: "What do you think I am, a cat or something?" (MMH)

Bit of wisdom from Tess: "Everything is made in China."  (MMH)

There was something wrong with the seat in the shopping cart we had at the store today. I told Tess we needed to pick out a new cart because that one was going to pitch her forward the whole time. "Yes," she agreed, "I don't want it to pinch my four." (MMH)

Tess has a future in magic. Taking a washcloth, she promised to make it disappear: "Abracadabra," she said, and then told me to "not look where I am putting this. You look somewhere else." (RKH)

When I asked Tess to identify a small bottle of lotion, she said, "It look like ivyprofen [ibuprofen]." (RKH)

Hearing a dog from next door bark loudly, Tess said to me, "Mom doesn't like dogs. Barking gives her a headache. She likes meowing." (RKH)

"Mom, DON'T go to Japan! They have a sumo wrestler. He a mad guy that will stomp you in his underwear." (MMH)

"Mom, if you ever, ever, ever, ever need muscles, I can open the door for you." (MMH)
Ryan was reading to Tess from the blog some of the funny things she said in the past. Her favorite was from Christmas last year:
On Christmas Eve, Nana gave Tess a small sugar angel from our Buche de Noel dessert. Instead of eating it, Tess has been playing with it like a toy doll.

Today we were playing dollhouse and Tess brought the angel out for a "visit." My doll said to Tess' angel: "Oh hi, welcome to our house! Where are you from?" Tess' angel replied: "I'm from God."
Tess thought this was hysterical and asked Ry to read the "God one" over and over again. She explained the humor to us: "It can’t come from God ‘cuz it came from a cake!" (MMH)

To keep from triggering her anxiety, I haven't pressed the fact that Tess has preschool again today. This morning Tess asked me how to spell "school." Then she went to her calendar and wrote "SCHLOO" on the box for today. A very good sign! (MMH)

Ry's nickname for Tess is "Shnug" and his nickname for Drew is "Cooz." Tess is very quick to correct Ryan if he gets these names mixed up. (MMH)

Tess wanted to be brave, so we went to the gym this morning. We haven't been in the morning since the fall, because it's more crowded and she doesn't like the teacher who "talks interesting." She was NOT happy about it: "I want to go at 4 o'clock!!!!" But she was a very brave girl and did a great job! (MMH)

I was bouncing-off-the-walls happy about Tess' bravery breakthrough until I returned after my exercise session. I could hear hysterical crying coming from the kids' room, and it was Drew! Apparently he did fine until all of a sudden he realized I wasn't there and then had a meltdown. Even after I was holding him, he kept looking at the babysitters and giving them the evil eye. I have separation-anxiety anxiety. (MMH)

Tess is very excited about some new prizes for her "brave basket." She told me she needed "lots of things to do to be brave" so she can get brave faces for her chart. She has lots of opportunities coming her way! (MMH)

Tess did a GREAT job going to her new class at church on Sunday. She was so brave and had no tears--such a refreshing change! She's really grown up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for preschool, which starts on Wednesday. (MMH)

This morning Tess told me: "Nana going to take me to Disneyland. Without you. You can look at pictures of me on the iPod if you miss me." (MMH)