Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Miss Independent

Lately, Scout has been having a difficult time with separation.  Our independent little girl who has slept alone in her room her entire 3 years and who happily shouted, "See ya, Mom!" when she started preschool in the fall, has been clingy and needy lately.  Every night at bedtime, we go through the same routine.  "Mommy, I need you.  Mommy, don't leave me all alone.  I'm afraid of the dark.  My room is spooky.  I'm afraid in here by myself." 

School drop-off has been no better.   The separation anxiety that has improved for most of the kids, has gotten progressively worse for Scout.  She was happy and excited when school started.  Lately, I can't get out the door.  She refuses to go in the classroom without me.  She refuses to hang up her jacket and backpack. She needs another hug.  She doesn't want to go sit on the rug.  "Mommy, don't leave me.  Mommy, when are you coming back?  Mommy, I need you."  I'm always the last parent out the door in the mornings. 

We've talked about this a lot.  I figured if I knew what the problem was, we could deal with it.  But, there doesn't seem to be any real issue.  Once she lets me leave, she's fine.  When I pick her up, she's all smiles, excitedly chattering about how "fun school was."  I have been feeling frustrated, wondering what caused this change in her and if it's "just a phase."

We've been working on bed time routine and have seen major improvement, and today, we may have had a break through at school.  This morning, Scout insisted on choosing her own clothes.  Of course, she wanted a spaghetti strap sundress.  I expressed my concerns about her being chilly.  Her response?  "I'm wearing something under it."  "Ok," I said.  Here's her outfit of choice.

I always hesitate when she wants to wear her own thing, but as long as it's clean, it's safe (no slick dress shoes at the park), and it's weather-appropriate (no swimsuit and flip flops in winter), who am I to squelch her unique sense of fashion?  She studied herself in the mirror this morning and proclaimed, "I look AMAZING!"  So, we headed to school.

While we waited in the hall, I prepared myself for another round of "Mommy, don't leave me."  Instead, when the teacher opened the door, Scout turned to me, took her coat and backpack, and said, "I don't need you here."  She headed into her classroom and started her morning.  I stood with my mouth open.  The other moms grinned at me, and I left the school beaming.  My little Miss Independent was back!  Apparently, the right outfit does make all the difference in the world.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake

Recently, Scout has become very interested in Strawberry Shortcake.  We have a few little figurines: Strawberry Shortcake, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Muffin, Raspberry Torte and Orange Blossom.  I'm pretty sure we gathered these from kids' meals and they've been in her toy bins for way over a year.  She never really played with them, until now.  Of course, she has her little house for her little princesses, a wooden castle for her Playmobil people, but nowhere for the Strawberry Shortcakes to live.  Well, we changed that.  We grabbed some Similac baby formula containers (I knew there was a good reason we saved those for 3 years!), Daddy cut some windows and doors, and we added some paint.  Easy-peasy.  Berry houses.  We're keeping them outside in the playhouse (our tiny house is overflowing with toys), and Scout has had a blast setting them up around the back yard and putting the little Strawberry Shortcakes inside.

Berry Houses

Scout playing with her berry houses

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family Winter Adventure

Lately, we've been trying to do something fun as a family (just the 3 of us) each weekend.  Today, Daddy was itching to get outside in the fresh air, but it was chilly this morning.  I honestly had no desire to go outside today, so I tried to put him off until tomorrow (it's supposed to be close to 50 degrees tomorrow).  When we asked Scout if she wanted to get bundled up and go for a walk or hike, she adamantly refused.  Daddy said, "Well, if we stay home, we're not gonna just watch TV all day."  To which Scout responded, "Why not?"

Uh oh.  Maybe Daddy was right.  Better get her outside before she turns into a couch potato.  So, out came the long johns, mittens, and hats.  We got bundled up and drove to a local state park for a "Family Winter Adventure." 

Mommy and Scout starting out

The deer tracks we found near the lake

The fossil Scout found while exploring

A happy girl. 

And the result?  The whole family got some exercise and fresh air.  Delilah (our wild and crazy dog) ran off a ton of energy.  Scout had a blast and kept saying, "Thank you for taking me on this venture."  And the best part?  Everyone took a nap this afternoon....a pretty good way to spend a Saturday.  Daddy was right....this one time.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Projects

Now that our Mardi Gras festivities are over, Scout and I have started on some St. Patrick's Day craft projects.  Here's what we've been working on.

Handprint Shamrocks

We have a few inexpensive, white frames that we use to display Scout's artwork.  After looking at the same crayon masterpieces for a while, we decided we needed something new. 

We originally saw this idea on Pinterest.  You can check out the blog this project was originally posted on here.  These were super easy to make, and of course Scout loves anything involving paint and getting messy.  I painted green paint on her hand and she just pressed it on the paper. We kept turning the paper and after four handprints, we had a perfect four-leaf clover.  Scout added the stems with her paintbrush and they were finished.  Quick, easy, and cute for St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day T-shirt

For Valentine's Day, we found the cutest t-shirt idea in the February 2012 issue of Family Fun magazine.  Family Fun Adoily-able T-shirt.  The paper doily as a stencil was a terrific idea and we thought we could definitely use this idea for other holidays.

We found the green t-shirt on the clearance rack at our local Michael's store.  We simply took four small heart-shaped paper doilies and arranged them in a four-leaf clover shape.  We used double-sided tape to hold the hearts in place while we used a foam brush to stencil the white fabric paint on.  Pull the hearts off, paint a stem for the shamrock, and you're finished.  Wish I could've gotten a picture of the shirt on Scout, but she wasn't in the mood to model this morning. 

I'm not sure what other ways we'll find to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Last year we made a "Leprechaun Trap."  We may try that again.  While the leprechaun escaped from our "trap," he did leave Scout a pile of gold (chocolate) coins.  How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fat Tuesday!

If you know us, you know we love celebrating holidays.  ALL holidays.  Today was no exception.  Tuesdays are always our busy day of the week, but between preschool, work, ballet, and acrobats, we still managed to find some ways to celebrate Mardi Gras.

We had paczki for breakfast.  (I know, mother of the year, right?  I basically gave my child a super fatty, sugary, filled pastry and sent her off to school.)  We made jambalaya in the slow cooker for dinner, insisted that even Daddy join us in wearing purple and green Mardi Gras beads, and watched Disney's Princess and the Frog to end our day.  Not the wild party you think of for a Mardi Gras celebration, but with a three year old, we don't get too crazy.

Now, the next question is what to give up for Lent?  Do I dare try giving up my delicious Coca-Cola again?  I'm addicted to the caffeine, and while I've reduced the amount I drink, I just can't seem to quit completely.  Anyone else have plans to give up something for Lent?