Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Uses for Old Things #8: Rubber Band

I can't recall where I read this recently, but I decided to try it in my classroom the other day! The kids in my class, and my own, have a habit of using way too much soap.  All you need is a rubber band. Simply wrap it around the neck of the soap pump and voila!  The rubber band acts as a stopper, allowing for only perfect, child size portions of soap.  I used two in this pic because it is a large container.  Happy hand washing :)  TTFN!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blessing in Disguise

As I have mentioned in past posts, my husband is great about going to the grocery store. Sometimes he doesn't get exactly what I want or the most nutritious snack items, but I am willing to overlook these minor details in order to avoind doing the task myself. So yesterday I wrote 'XL Ziploc storage bag' on the list because it's time to go through the kids drawers and put away things that no longer fit. This is also the time to assess what they will need for the upcoming cooler months. I love using Ziploc storage bags. They take up less space than bulky storage bins and I can see exactly what is inside. When I unpacked the grocery bags I was surprised to see a Ziploc Tote. Hm, this was not what I requested. However, pleasantly to my surprise it's perfection. I think I will run out and grab some more. I'm so glad I shut my big fat mouth And decided to check it out before blurting 'I'll meed the receipt because you got the wrong Ziploc thing.'. Oh, I can be such a pill. Thanks hubby for getting the wrong list item, it worked out so well for me :). TTFN!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Driving to work this morning listening to my music blasting, I was reminded of Fridays long ago. Fridays usually went either of two ways.  1.  Happy Hour then early bedtime (because we all know when you are young and single Happy Hour turns into much, much more) or 2.  Nap after work then either off to the bar or my husband, then boyfriend,  and I ALWAYS had people over to hang out and get our drink on.
Fridays nowadays don't really go that way. I am lucky if I can keep my head off the pillow after the kids go to bed, and if there is a glass of wine involved forget about it.
So driving to work made me think about the days of hanging out, listening to music and dancing.  Once I became acquainted with iTunes dance parties were usually on the evening's agenda.  Certain friends even had solo dance parties if no one else was interested ;), you know who you are, NYE, ehem!   I love my more grown up life now, but this morning made me long for those days......There are 5 current songs that make me want to get up and dance my ass off. I mean really get my Jersey Turnpike on, here they are:

1.  Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger
2.  Pitbull Give Me Everything  
3.  LMFAO Party Rock Anthem
4.  Katy Perry Last Friday Night  (obviously!)
5.  Cobra Starship You Make Me Feel Good
Britney Spears I Wanna Go (can't leave Brit Brit out!)

Also a little side note, since we are talking about music.  I have recently seen the movie Country Strong and despite the reviews, I really, really enjoyed it.  I liked the story and the music, particularly, a song called A Little Bit Stronger sung by Leighton Meester, for all of you Gossip Girl fans.  It doesn't make me want to dance, but it is 'turn it up and belt it out' in the car worthy :)  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I am totally ordering myself this shirt.....TTFN and TGIF!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Parents of Preschoolers

Or, parents of any children that come into contact with markers, paint, glue, dirt and the like.  It makes my heart sad when children tell me, "My mom said I can't get my clothes dirty", or today I heard, "My mom said I can't walk in the grass because I have new shoes.' Now before I go into my spiel I will have you know that I am ANAL to the max.  I mean dog hair, paw prints, dust bunnies, stains on the carpet, crumbs on the counter = send me into a tizzy of unfathomable imagination.  BUT, when it comes to my kids clothes, I have learned a lot in the 4.5 years since I first gave birth.
Please, don't tell your child not to get dirty at school (and certainly don't blame the teacher), because they will.  Don't get mad when they come home with something on their shirt (i.e. ketchup or paint) or dirty shoes.  They are children and they are going to get into things.  Accidents happen.  If you don't want clothes to get ruined, send them in clothes you don't care as much about.  Don't crush their spirit or their self-esteem, build it up. Here's a tip, when your child comes home from school with paint somewhere on them, ask, "Did you go to the paint center today?"  That will make them feel a heck of a lot better than, 'Ugh, you got paint on your shirt!?"  I like for my kids to look as put together as the next mom, but school is not a fashion show and we shouldn't put emphasis on how they look to go there.  Got me? or to quote my son, "Are you with me?"  TTFN!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kind Words

As I was cleaning out my desk this afternoon, I found a letter from a young man who subbed a day for one of my Instructional Assistants.  I don't remember when or for who, but I do remember when he left it on my desk.  Stumbling upon it, made me feel really good!  It reads:

Dear Ms. Barr, 
      Thanks a lot for letting me come to work with you guys today. I had a lot of fun. I was impressed by how mush the kids respected you. In past assignments I've been around kids that would refuse to obey and a kid who though (sp) a fit!  Good Work!  I really want to teach English language overseas but my college advisor has told me that my management skills need to be improved on.  If you ever have a few minutes, I would be glad to receive any short feedback on things I need to work on to become a better teacher.  Thanks again.  
Blah Blah
Blah Blah@ Blah.edu

There are so many things I could comment on from this letter but first and foremost I never responded!  Wow, I think I am going to email him and see how his teaching is going.  I am so beyond flattered that anyone would even want my advice, although I do feel that my management skills are my strength.  A huge part of my teaching philosophy revolves around children being able to follow classroom rules and routines as well as demonstrate self-control before any other learning can even happen.  Enough about my teaching philosophy!  The bottom line is, finding this letter meant a lot to me and I hope Blah Blah made it overseas despite my lack of response to his letter!  It also makes me realize, once again, that what I do makes a difference, not only to children but to the parents and colleagues I come into contact with (or at least I hope this wasn't a one time occurrence!) TTFN!    

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tye Dye Photo Tour

My sister and her family love to tye dye, so we did a little while we were visiting in August.  Here are the before and after pictures.

t-shirt for O

pillowcase for O

cami for E

cami for E

bandana for O

oops! how did this Firefly and Lemonade get here!? :)
 End Results I am pretty proud of:


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Skip Hop Update

My new FREE bag is fabulous and versatile!  How versatile you ask?   Here I am with my son showing him how to pet the cow and then milking a cow............with the bag :)................ TTFN!

I love the new color!

I really never thought I would see this day!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Memory of an Elephant (again we are back to the Apple Tree)

I don't know if I have ever mentioned this but I have a fantastic memory.  I remember the most ridiculous things from my childhood, adolescent, and early teen years.  Late teens and on are a bit hazy for reasons I am not permitted to say.  Anyway, I must have passed this gene on to my son, who remembers everything!  Tonight's anecdote just needed to be shared.  As I am bathing him I used my daughter soap to wash his shoulders and face.  Now, mind you while I was pregnant with him, this article surfaced and he has never been touched with a lavender or tea tree product.   Anyway, last year when my friend had a son, she asked me if I wanted all of her leftover Johnson's Bedtime Bath that she hadn't  used with her daughter.  I asked her, "Why, don't you want B@$*% to have boobs?"  She laughed, and yes she had heard the same thing.  Anyway, now a year later, while I am bathing my own son and used the J&J Bath by accident, I exclaimed, 'Oh! I used your sister's babywash on you!'  He replied, "Mom! Now I am going to have boobies!"   I think there are 2 reasons for this, 1. He overheard my friend and I talking about it last year, and 2. His father probably tells him he can't wash him with it b/c he will grow breasts.  So that's my little anecdote, I hope you enjoyed it!  I haven't done any recent research about the boy boob theory, but feel free to do so and follow up with a comment!  TTFN!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Skip Hop

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my mom gave me this diaper bag in Chocolate from Skip Hop. I absolutely love it for 2 reasons.  It looks like a bag, not a diaper bag, like a regular person bag :).  And it has great diaper bag essentials!  I was very sad when the seams on the sides began to rip (as displayed below).  

Now, this happened not long after I had the bag, I probably used it for only 6 months or so.  Then I put it away and sulked every time I looked at it!  A friend offered the suggestion that I call the company which I did (1 year later mind you!).  Skip Hop has incredible customer service and are sending me a FREE replacement!  Score for me! Thanks friend :).They gave me clear, concise directions in order to submit the request/complaint.   I also requested the bag in Champagne to change things up a bit and they so graciously obliged!  I have been searching for a new fall bag, but I do still have a 20 month old and need diaper bag capabilities, so this is the ultimate choice!  I can't wait for it to arrive!  I highly recommend using Skip Hop diaper bags for this very reason!  The Versa bag  is super cute as well.  TTFN!!