Showing posts with label K. Show all posts
Showing posts with label K. Show all posts

Friday, June 25, 2010

things my Two-Year-Old Taught Me: Part XIII

An ongoing lesson I am learning from bug is: a completely new language.  I call it Bugese, and it’s an off-shoot of common American English.  I’d like to share a few of the finer points of this language for you - some of them have been hard lessons to learn, indeed.
First up, vocabulary: (this is not a comprehensive list)

owtah - airplane
pea cock - pea cock
pea cock - big truck
sucky - pacifier
lil-lull - little
beef cake - shepherd’s pie
peas - please
gank goo - thank you
gee gee - blankie (but not just any blankie.  his special dinosaur blankie from Oma.)
mess owf - myself (usually exclaimed - with about three or four exclamation points)
parachute - firework (don’t ask...)
peese car - police car
zeba - zebra
bowzer - bulldozer
blender store - thunder storm (nope, I’m not kidding)
akinaseeno - "what is that?" (NO idea where this came from.  It took us months to figure this one out...)
Second, grammar:
There are many subtleties to Bugese grammar.  I will briefly summarize the most important rules.  

1. The rules are extremely fluid as long as you are the one making them up.  If you are not, they aren’t fluid AT ALL and you better say things EXACTLY right.
2. “You” means “me” except when it is referring to you.  “Me” can refer to either “me” or “you”, depending on context.  “Her” is actually “she” and “him” is usually “me.”  (Ex: “Mommy help you?” “I listen to me.” “Her sad.”)
3. Anything and everything can be pluralized.  Many things can be pluralized in one sentence, OR nothing can be pluralized when it should be, OR things that shouldn’t be pluralized can be.  All of this depends on context and situation. (Ex: “Mommy turns the light offs.”)
Third, and this is the most important, I think, and also the hardest to learn, because it is so very subtle.  You know those languages that rely so heavily on syllabic emphasis and such?  It’s a lot like that:
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - can mean “I am so incredibly mad at you.”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - can also mean “I am really tired but don’t want to go to bed.”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - also means “Wow, I’m happy to see you!”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - similarly means “I’m just so excited right now!”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - or “I’m really hungry, when are you going to feed me?”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - or “She took the car I was playing with and I’d like it back, please.”
(long, drawn out shrieking scream) - or it could also mean simply “long, drawn out shrieking scream.” 
It really just depends.  See what I mean about confusing?
I think I’m slowly getting better at this language.  I was completely unsuccessful at learning Spanish (despite the four years of training), so I think I am making remarkable progress here.  This could also be because, every day, bug is getting better and better at common American English.
I’ve also discovered a curious phenomenon.  In spending time with K, I realized that she also has her own language - which I call K-ish.  Now, while K-ish is, at times, similar to Bugese, it is a totally separate language - like Portuguese and Spanish.  No... more like Laotian and Tongan.  Or something... anyway, the point is, no matter how far along I got with Bugese, I was still stalled with K-ish.  I know this is most likely because I spend more time with bug than K, but it was a little frustrating, for her AND me.  But that’s not the curious phenomenon.  The phenomenon is this:  in those moments of pure and unadulterated confusion - nay irritation - when K and I simply could not communicate, after I had asked her “what???” for about the hundredth time, bug would come to the rescue and act as translator.  “She want a banana,” bug would calmly explain.  Or, “she lost her blankie.”  It seems that bug can speak bugese, K-ish and (at times, and more and more frequently) English.  He’s trilingual!  Either that, or bugese and K-ish are actually much more alike than I thought and exist as homogenous dialects of a thoroughly widespread tongue - Toddlegog (not to be confused with Tagolog, the language spoken in the Philippines).
It may be some time before I am fluent in Bugese - and even longer before I master the intricacies of Toddlegog.  I may never be able to grasp all of the subtleties of this intriguing vernacular.  Fortunately, bug is a bright one and is learning my form of English at an almost alarming rate.
(Alarming?  You wonder.  Yes, alarming.  As in when bug sees something particularly exciting at the park and practically yells, “Oh my gosh!”  Or when we’re squashed into a public restroom stall and bug applauds me excitedly, offering much approbation with “You peed?!?  Good job!  Mommy peeing!”  Or when we’re driving with my mom and pass a specific highway interchange and he explains to her, very seriously, “Mommy mad when they don’t yield.”  If I’m not careful, his vocabulary will quickly expand enough to out all of my secrets.)

Notice, though, the deliberate use of the phrase “my form of English.”  I feel my heart swell with pride when mr is putting bug to bed and I hear him correct from the other room, “no, bug.  Not b-ayyyy-g.  B-ahhhh-g.  Bahg.”  
Yes, bug is becoming more and more adept with American English - Northern Midwest Dialect - to mr’s chagrin.  

Hm... what's this?

oooo, a tunnel!


Phew!  Made it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Watch it!

Here’s my second attempt at a toddler wrist watch, based on this post over at MADE.  (Those originals are sold in an etsy shop called Alice in LaLaLand, if you’re interested.) Before we start with my version, I’ve got a few thoughts.  First, you’ll notice that her watches are absolutely a.dor.a.ble.  Seriously.  I know mine aren’t quite up to that level, but I still think they are kind of cute for toddler play.  I mean, cuter than THIS watch, which came in a happy meal: 

 At least I think so.  Coincidentally, this watch was the first tip-off I had of bug’s watch obsession.  When the kid wanders around the family room, surrounded by cars, dinosaurs, blocks and an array of toy goodness, pleading only for you to find his “snail watch,” it’s not like, it’s love.  Second, you’ll also notice that hers are sewn - machine and hand.  Mine are not.  Kind of because I LOVE my glue gun, and kind of because I was lazy when I made them and MOSTLY because I know my limitations and I’m just not that good at sewing.  Thirdly, notice those little embroidery details.  Yeah, I know.  Too cute.  Fourth, um... well.  There isn’t really a fourth.  I just want to make completely sure that you know that I know that my watches certainly don’t hold a candle to hers.  It’s ok, I’m not going to start selling them or anything, I mean they’re just a little dress-up item for my kids.  If you want the adorable ones, you can go to her shop!  If you want to make my not quite so adorable ones for cheap minus the headache of sewing, then read on.
OK.  First, I picked out a button for the watch face.  It had to be big enough to say “watch” without overpowering the toddler-sized wrist it was to go on (remember what happens when we overpower the wrist?  Eeee (insert a face like THIS 

here) (he’s nothing if  not honest...))
So, choose a button.  For bug’s I went plain with a wooden one, but you’ll see in later pictures it looks good with a fun patterned button, too.  
Now, choose your felt.  You’ll probably want two different colors for contrast, but you could use the same color for both felt pieces if you wanted to as well.  It’s all just a matter of preference.  OK, lay your button on the felt to see how wide you’ll need to make the band and the inner piece.  Measure across and keep this number in mind.  Or, you know, write it down if you’ve got a memory like mine.  
To make the inner piece, you’ll want to cut a shape that looks kind of like this:
Make sure that at its widest point it will be just slightly larger than the button so you can see it with the button on top of it.
Now, cut a long-ish strip of the other color for the band.  You’ll want to make it slightly wider than the widest part of the inner felt piece.  OR, if you actually took measurements, unlike me, you won’t have to eyeball it, you can be much more specific.  So, now’s the time to remember that number.  Got it?  No?  Forgot to write it down?  Luckily it isn’t that hard to do this without measurements, huh?
So, now, find the middle part of the strip and hot glue the inner felt piece to the strip.
Pick out some embroidery floss that compliments or matches the colors you’ve already used.  Or just use black because most watch hands are black.  Or you could be all crazy and use a color that doesn’t match on purpose, just cause you’re like that.  I went the complimentary route.  Not because I’m not all rebelious, but because I just happened to be in that kind of mood.  Cut a length of floss.  Cut it a little longer than you think you will need to because you will be tying several knots, and that can get tricky with short floss.  Unless you’re just better at that kind of thing than I am.  Maybe my fingers just aren’t very nimble.  Anyway, now, take your button.  Thread the floss through the button holes, so it crosses them in the back.  Now tie a double knot in the front.  Take one end of the floss and tie another double knot so that the knot falls at about the outer edge of the button.  This is the long hand.  Now take the other end of the floss and tie a double knot closer to the center of the button.  This is the short hand.  
Fumble around a bit tying these knots because you didn’t make your floss long enough.  Get really frustrated and decide to cut the whole thing off and start over with a longer piece.  Try cutting off the floss, but because you don’t have embroidery scissors, use whatever is closest.  These happen to be your large shears.  Use them anyway, even though you are familiar with the phrase “use tools for their proper job."  While you are trying to slice the floss with the huge scissors, which have now begun to feel a lot like those gargantuan ones that Alice uses in the Disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland, jab at the button and floss again and again, until of course, your shears jerk off the button and lodge - small pointed end - squarely in your thumb.  Now here’s the tricky part, WITHOUT SWEARING - pull the scissors from your thumb and assess the damage.  Just a flesh wound?  Well, you’ll have to staunch the bleeding anyway, so go get yourself a band-aid.  And wash the wound while you’re at it.  You don’t want tetanus.
Actually, I recommend skipping that last step entirely, which is why I made sure to let you know you’ll want to cut the floss long the first time around.  Or just get some nimble fingers.  Either one.  (Maybe I should buy embroidery scissors?)
OK, with the bleeding stopped, we can proceed.  Trim the ends of the floss right after the knots.  You’ll see that the hands actually sit flat against the button - which was a happy discovery for me.  bug likes to move the hands around and tell me that it’s different times... although he doesn’t say “it’s 6 o’clock” or anything normal like that.  Usually it’s “Time to play cars,” “Time to go park,” or “Time for church.”  
Now, grab your trusty sharpie and write the numbers around the button.  If you’re afraid of botching this up - and at the rate I botch very simple things up, I was - actually LOOK at a clock while you do this.  Then the 12 will end up where it is supposed to be and not where the 9 is supposed to be.  No, that didn’t happen, but it probably would have if I hadn’t been looking at a clock face.
Now, glue your button to the middle of the inner felt piece.
Add any embellishments you want - I added two teeny tiny little buttons on either side of the watch face in a complimentary green color.  I took this idea from the original super cute watch idea.
Now, add your velcro.  I recomend using a long rectangle of velcro, because you won’t have to be so precise with placement.  I didn’t have any of that at the time, so I used two little circle velcros, and the watch ended up being just a little big.  Hindsight, right?  So hot glue those babies down, too.  Now, trim the felt band if you need to.

Slip it on a toddler wrist of some sort and I’m pretty sure the toddler will be thrilled.  

Just to make sure it wasn’t some weird obsession with just my toddler, I made one for K too, and she loved it just as much.  She couldn’t stop checking the time.  When Lise came to get her she kept saying, “A watch!” and holding her arm up.  

You’ll notice with K’s that I used the patterned button spoken of earlier.  And it’s just the right amount of pizzazz required for K, I think.

So if you want an easy little project for a cute “dress-up” that is boy appropriate (see mr?  He doesn’t JUST wear bracelets and wings) here you go!  Whip some up and “watch” out!

- Kimberly

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surprise, surprise...

I was all set to show you each and every thing I made for mother’s day this year.  I started off strong with that reading wreathe I made my mom.  Next was going to be the photo project for my mom IL.  Followed by the cute little somethin’ somethin’ I made my sister(s IL).  Unfortunately, as always, things have gone slightly awry.  (which is no surprise)
Basically, I totally ruined the first attempt at the photo project, so needless to say, I have been hurriedly working on attempt two during nap time today.  (There was no way to salvage the first one, it was THAT bad).  The second attempt went MUCH better, but I haven’t sent it to my mom IL yet, so she hasn’t had a chance to check it out in person.  So as not to spoil the surprise, I’ve decided to hold off on posting about it.
And as for my sister(s IL), well, I also have not sent that out to mr’s sister yet, so I’d be spoiling THAT surprise if I posted pictures of that one.  Sooooo...
I’ll just show you this little project K and I did for her mom.  I meant to have it for Lise by Monday, but it wasn’t ready yet, so she’ll be getting it today when she picks K up.
I had K paint a canvas.  Which she loved, by the way.

Then I traced K’s hands on some scrapbook paper, cut them out, lined them with marker to add a little color, and glued them together in the shape of a heart.  Upon further inspection, they didn’t look a ton like a heart, so I cut out a heart from some complimentary paper and glued the hands on.

I set them off center on the painting and mod podged under and over.  I then mod podged the whole painting so it would be glossy.

Then I wrote this quote on the hands: “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a little while, but their hearts forever.” (author unknown)

It’s just a cutesy little craft that K could help with that I thought offered a little variety to the crayon scribbled card (which is also great, don’t get me wrong.)  Plus, Lise is an art teacher, so she eats this stuff up.
Well, if you read yesterday’s post, you know I have some chores to do AND I am full of paint, so I’d like to wash up before the kids wake up.  
PS - I bought myself some purple rubber gloves, so those dirty dishes have met their match.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

what it's REALLY like

I know I called it off with Martha, but I’m still kind of seeing her.  See, there are just a few of her recipes that I’d already picked out to try, and some of them are just too alluring to pass up.  It’s an on again, off again thing.  For the record, I’m officially done with her, although tonight’s food fest did help her regain some footing in my book.
It all started last night, when I decided to - FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE - read the recipe not only before making it, but also before shopping for it.  Pure brilliance, I tell you.  I discovered that I had all of the necessary tools, that I didn’t need any weird obscure ingredients and that I didn’t need to let anything sit in the fridge overnight.  I started out on the right foot.
(Just a note: things quickly went downhill.  I spent a good 15 minutes in front of the pork chops this morning, trying to figure out which cut looked the most like the picture since they obviously didn’t have bone-in pork RIB chops... I went with the loin chops that looked almost identical, but I was already beginning to worry at that point.)
In honor of Mother’s Day, my mom picked the food - Pork Chops with Peppers and Green Beans and Applesauce Cake.  She couldn’t decide on a side so I chose Potato Croquettes.  We also had your standard side salad.  That’s the menu.  Here’s the story.
Around 3:30 I started to get ready, meaning I had finally gotten mini to fall asleep so I could set her down and do some straightening/start the dishwasher so I could then actually begin cooking.  K woke up from her nap right at this point, so I had her help me pick up and then sat her down with some crayons and a coloring book in the living room where I could keep an eye on her.  I finished up with the cleaning part right in time to start the cooking part.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the recipes.  I had taken them to the grocery store with me in lieu of a list and somewhere between the cart, the fussing, the bags and belting the kids in their seats I lost track of them.  I searched the car and the diaper bag.  I searched my pockets.  I searched and searched.  Then I took K downstairs where I hopped on-line and looked up my friend Martha’s website to find them and print them out.
Now, here is the part where I tell you one of the biggest reasons I’ve got a beef with Martha.  You know how she puts “all” of her recipes online so you can “easily” find them?  Well, this is a fib.  No matter how many ways I typed the titles of the recipes, no matter how many search parameters I adjusted, no matter how I narrowed my search, these recipes would not be located.  It was as if they never existed at all.  Except I knew I wasn’t making them up because for once I had read them the night before!  (So if you were wondering why there aren’t any links up there for the recipes like there normally are, now you know.)  
I was pretty frantic when my sister came to pick K up.  She wished me luck and mini woke up crying as she was leaving.  I was still determined to find the recipes, since I had bought all the necessary items.  I was calming mini and searching for the recipes when mr came home.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t pawn our screaming child off on him as the call of the wild (AKA yard work) was too strong.  While he mowed, I scoured and mini moped.  
I should have realized then what the evening had in store.  
I finally searched every pocket of the diaper bag and found them nestled all snug in the tiny outer compartment.  
By this time I was behind.  mini was dealing well enough, so I set her down to entertain herself while I got started.  I began with the dessert, because it would take the longest to make and bake. 
I think this recipe was a little deceptive.  You look at it and think, “MMMMM.  I’m going to make Applesauce Cake!”  But really what you should be thinking is, “Mmmmm, I’m going to make Applesauce AND Cake.”  Because you first need to make one before you can make the other.  (First I realized I had forgotten to buy apples.  In a very short-lived panic, I stared unseeingly around my fridge, wondering if I should try to send mr for apples, when I suddenly saw the bag of apples my mom had left me a week ago.  Hallelujah!)  I am notoriously LOUSY at peeling apples.  I mean, I take things off that shouldn’t be taken off and leave things on that shouldn’t be left on and just generally take way too long to do it.  So about halfway through the third apple (yes, I only needed three, why am I complaining?) I was wishing for Mott’s.  Why couldn’t I use pre-made applesauce?  Because it’s Martha, that’s why.  So I set the apples to simmering and softening and started on the pork chops.
I opened the package and realized that what I originally thought was 4 chops was in actuality 3.  I was way behind at this point, thanks to the billion years it took me to peel the apples, so I didn’t feel I could try to talk mr into running to the store.  Instead, I bravely decided to go without.  They were big chops, maybe I could beg a bite off of someone’s.
The first step was to cook the chops in veggie oil, 4 minutes a side.  This is right about when mini decided she was NOT ok, and must be put to bed THIS SECOND.  So, I rocked her to sleep and made it back to the oven just in time to rescue the chops from a certain death via incineration.  
The apples were beyond done.  I took the chops off, cleaned out the pan like the recipe said and started the veggies cooking, in between taking the apples off heat and adding other cake ingredients.  Now, let me pause a moment to give you my take on meals which include the requirement to wash dishes WITHIN THE RECIPE.  This is really lame.  I don’t like washing dishes after I cook, much less during.  I suppose I could have pulled out a second “large skillet” but, alas, I have only one.
Somewhere amid all of this adding brown sugar, cutting green onions, stirring the green beans, adding eggs, peeling the ginger root, whisking the oil in, I failed to notice the accumulation of smoke on my main floor.  Really, amid all of this I’m just lucky I got the right ingredients into their respective pots and didn’t make some gross applesauce and red pepper cake, so maybe it isn’t so surprising that I didn’t catch the smoky haze wafting ever closer to my smoke detectors.  
The ear-splitting, shrill, incessant beeping of all FOUR smoke detectors in our house going off jerked me out of my cooking frenzy.  I flew into action, turning on the ceiling fan, opening our patio door, and propping our front door open to create a breeze.  Amazingly, they stopped relatively quickly (the last time they went off, I not only beat one of them with a broom handle, but also climbed up on a stool and completely dismantled one of them to make the noise stop.  These suckers are so loud mr and I have to shout to be heard over them.  They are industrial strength, super-sensitive, and when one goes off, they all do because they are wired together.  In a way, it makes you feel all warm and cozy and safe.  But not really.  Because they are just so dang annoying.)  
I held my breath.  I knew my chances of escaping that hubbub without at least one of the kids waking up were pretty much nil.  But not a peep!
So I put the cake in the oven and started the croquettes, while stirring the veggies, adding the roasted red pepper out of a jar, and standing on my head while juggling colorful balls with my feet.  Now, here is the part where I ask you why Martha can use roasted red peppers out of a jar instead of roasting her own but she can’t use pre-made applesauce out of a jar?  Why?
And then above the sound of sizzling food and the melodic tones of Benton Paul on my kitchen CD player, there was the unmistakable roar of the weed-eater.  Which was, of course, followed by the shriek of a very upset baby.  I ran upstairs and got her out of bed, calmed her down and pulled her highchair into the kitchen so she could watch me and perhaps be pacified.  I plunked some toys on the tray and hoped against hope, because I was seriously pressed for time at this point.
I should perhaps mention that the croquettes are akin to the applesauce cake in that you must make something first in order to make what you really want to make, so I had to make mashed potatoes.  And you know what?  I’m not ashamed to admit that I used flakes instead of the real deal, because honestly, you have to draw the line somewhere, right?  (But actually, I am a LITTLE ashamed, I mean, flakes?  It’s just not right...) However, I made them nice and thick and added chives and parsley, so really, it was all good.
By this time green beans were flying around, potatoes were flopping onto the floor, timers for who knows what were going off, the wind was blowing random objects around my house, the cat had escaped out the front door and the jalapenos were making me tear.  mini started fussing and just then, the hero of the hour arrived.  My mom walked through the door.
She calmed the baby while I rolled potatoes into "logs", then took the cake out before it burned and took care of the romaine and tomato side salad while I dunked potatoes in egg and heated oil on the stove.  After kicking around a few green beans and stepping in potato glop, she also wiped up the floor for me, which was awfully nice.
And, then, in a flash, it was all over.  Everything was finished, made, on the plates and the table was set.  mr came in from weed eating and got bug ready for dinner, my dad sat at his usual place, and I actually had time to take a breath.
It’s funny, but even with all the chaos, Monday Food Fest is still one of my favorite traditions.

I’m not really the best judge of my cooking, as I usually can only tell you how I could have made things better, but the rest of the family loved this meal.  The chops were a hit (so I guess loin was ok rather than rib) - they were tender and moist.  The veggies were spicy and still crisp, and everyone liked that.  

The cake was extra moist and yummy - I added walnuts to the top just because it seemed like the right thing to do.  

The REAL stars of the show, though, were the croquettes.  They vanished from the serving plate before I could return to the table from feeding mini.  Mom says they were the best potatoes she ever ate in her life - a bold statement.  

But honestly, if you try nothing else from this menu, you should try them.
I’m not saying Martha and I are back on or anything.  I’m just not burning any bridges yet.

(Click to enlarge)



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The next Einstein...

Here’s just a little peek at a little something I made for the 2’s.  We work on letters, colors and shapes everyday (not ALL of them everyday, I break it up) and we make up fun songs to go along with them.  I had great visions of creating a wipe book with all of our learning activities inside - trace the shapes, practice the letters, match the colors, that kind of thing, with the song lyrics littered here and there and plenty of room for doodling.  It’s kind of an ambitious project, as there are 26 letters, a plethora of colors and numerous shapes to include, and grand total of about 28 or so original songs.  Someday I will make it.  Someday it will be great.  That day is not today.

So, I decided to make this wipe book in the meantime.  

This one is for fun and games - as if you couldn’t tell from the cover.  Inside, you will find lots of fun games to play with someone (like tic-tac-toe and the dot game) or with yourself (like matching pictures to the letter they start with, a memory game using photos of relatives, or original mazes designed by me) as well as funny little drawing pages (create-a-face, design-a-man) and a special place to stick your stickers so you can pull them up and put them down as much as you want!  We all know a 2 year old can’t just stick a sticker.  No way.  They must stick and stick and stick and stick a sticker.  And then stick it again.  
I thought this was a good thing to use to keep them busy at the table while I am doing dishes, or keep them quiet at church while the rest of us are trying to listen, or maybe even in the car when they get a little older.
Want to make your own?  Go ahead!  All you need is: 

a binder, page protectors, and dry erase markers.  I made my own pages using picnik (free online photo editing software) and Pages (macs word processor).  I printed them out on regular printer paper and slid them in the protectors.  If you would like, you can find a TON of printable games and puzzles just by googling “printable toddler games” or something of the sort.  Google.  It’s amazing.  Don’t get me started...

The dry erase markers came in a large multi-colored pack.  I chose this pack because a) there were lots of colors, and I like color.  So does bug. b) they are skinny and small which makes them easier for the 2’s to manage. and c) they came equipped with their own erasers, stuck right in their caps.  LOVED this feature.  And they were only a little over $2 so they didn’t break the bank.  BUT, you could just buy one large dry erase marker minus the eraser and use tissue to wipe the pages and this would be even cheaper (unless you included the cost of all the tissues you’ll go through, not only because you’ll be constantly using them to wipe pages, but because as soon as your two-year-old sees the tissue box he will need a tissue, too.  Then he’ll need another one.  And another.  Then he will proceed to shred them and toss them all over the floor.  So you’ll also have to add the cost of extra vacuum cleaner bags because you will go through plenty of them trying to suck up the tissues.  So maybe they won’t be any cheaper.  You decide.)  
I know there are wipe books out there that I could buy.  Those are out of my price range - at least $12-$20 a piece.  I knew that I could DIY (or rather, DIM).   With the binders being a buck and change, the markers at just over two dollars and the page protectors sitting downstairs by my computer, I think I managed it! 

Here’s a disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for dry erase marker showing up on random items of furniture, even though you think you are watching your two-year-olds like hawks, those sneaky little stinkers...
Now, I am fully aware that a lot of the games I included are too advanced for the 2’s.  I know there are other things I can include instead, and I still may.  But for now, I feel like exposing them to new games and ideas is a good thing, even if it is a little beyond them. At this point they really just want to color all over the pages and erase anyway, so...
Besides, I can totally FEEL them getting smarter just spending time with the books.  I mean, seriously, in this picture bug is definitely working on some kind of algebraic equation - if not calculus - 

while in this picture, K is getting ready to quote me some Shakespeare.  

I can’t wait to give them the “learning” wipe books I’m planning when I finally get them done and see what they come up with.  I am fully expecting K to solve the national deficit and bug to come up with the next big geometric proof. 

ps - yes, bug is wearing a "safari hat." we had just finished playing with "dress-ups" and he refused to take it off.  He looks a little like Crocodile Dundee, not Einstein, but I do have these photos taken at our church's Halloween party to show you that yes, he really IS the next Einstein:

For anyone interested - I got two wordsearches for my books here:
They have tons of printables you can use.

I made the rest of my printables myself.  Here they are if you'd like to use them FOR YOURSELF - not to SELL, (copyright stuff...) - Just click them to enlarge.

Linked to 

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