Crafty Dad

While we were out to do our Thanksgiving grocery shopping, Chouchou suggested that we get a few more art supplies for Mon Cœur’s (MC) craft stash. On his list: construction paper, googly eyes, and glue sticks. We also splurged on stickers, because they were a buck a book and that’s her current go-to craft item.

Little did I know that while I was prepping the meal, Chouchou had a craftivity up his sleeve that included the whole family! I am not sure who had more fun, him or MC, but I delighted in watching them work on their turkeys together, and we were all way too easily amused by making “turkey conversations” after dinner. Silly talk like, “Did you try the cranberry sauce? It’s delicious!” “No, I’ve been swimming in gravy all day!” “I’m so stuffed from the stuffing!”

Okay, now you know how ridiculous and child-like I can be. But we have to be sometimes, right? I’m learning that the more I take time to laugh and have fun, the happier we all are, and that to me is priceless. Plus, hearing MC’s giggle when she sees me acting this silly just warms my heart.

I am grateful that we had a day together as a family and that Chouchou had such a wonderful idea for a simple craft that brought much amusement to us all.

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Thanksgiving Art

This past weekend, Mon Cœur (MC) and I took some time to do a few Thanksgiving cards for friends. I bought cards to send out to my friends, but MC made some classic handprint turkeys (à la mini masterpiece) to send to her nearest and dearest.

We have friends near and far who we think of often, yet we don’t reach out often enough to them. We wanted to do so for Thanksgiving, as we are grateful for all of our family and friends who are in our village, and who are by our side as we navigate through this life.

After she printed the turkey bodies, I went back with a marker to make the eyes, beak, and waddle. She took markers and added feathers with me.

And voilà the finished cards to be sent out to friends!

Grateful

This weekend Mon Cœur (MC) and I had a chance to catch up from the past week and spend some quality time while Chou chou was out of town.

We went shopping and found some birthday gifts and Christmas gifts and went grocery shopping too. I was looking for 2 or 3T dresses and was surprised to not find anything. The only dresses there were were holiday dresses. MC does have some cute sleeveless dresses, so until I find or make some, we can do some layering.

Sunday we slept in (until 6:45am!) and had coffee and eggs together. Then we read a book that was a blast from my Kindergarten past (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt). Afterwards we got crafty making handprint turkeys.

We sorted and counted piggy’s coins, since I had run out of quarters. Daycare has been on the ball helping MC with potty training, and she was so independent and committed to continuing with it over the weekend. We’ve been working on potty training for a while, so this was a nice change!

I’ve started planning our Thanksgiving celebration and gathering, and am grateful to have such wonderful family and friends close by who will be joining us this year.

Today when I arrived in the classroom, a colleague and friend surprised me with a beautiful Winter’s Star Camellia, so I am grateful to have a new flower to plant in our butterfly garden. If we get home in time today, we will go out in the garden and plant it. MC and I had just walked the garden yesterday and I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t done anything new recently, so I am glad to have this new addition.

This week as we continue in our new routine, I am trying to keep patient, and to take time and to be grateful for the little things in life.

Book Review: Me and You

I am me and you are you.

That’s why we love each other, me and you!

Me and You by Geneviève Côté

One of our favorite recent library reads has been Me and You by Geneviève Côté.

What I love about this book is the exchange between Bunny and Pig as they try to imitate each other. As they try to be each other instead of themselves, they fumble and stumble. In the end, they realize that they like each other best when they are themselves.

The language is playful and simple, with two contrasting fonts to show the exchange in dialogue. The illustrations are cute and whimsical as the animals try to become one another. For example, bunny paints himself pink to be like pig, and pig puts floppy socks on his ears to be like bunny. They continue to change themselves throughout the book until they realize they are better when they are themselves.

It’s a quick read, packing an essential lesson into an amusing story for children. Something that took me a long time to learn – we just feel better and are more comfortable when we’re in our own skin! Celebrate your uniqueness as well as the things that make others in your life individuals and special.

Les petits dessins

As I am finding a new normal in a temporary full-time teaching position, and Mon Cœur (MC) is finding her new normal back in daycare routine, we are both struggling a little.

For three days in a row, last week, she was upset when I left her at daycare. The last two mornings really crushed my heart – as soon as we made the turn into the parking, she started crying, and not fake crying, like real waterworks.

I went around to get her out of the car seat and she said, “Mommy I want go home!” I looked in her eyes, drowning in tears, and I said, “Let’s just go in and say hi, okay?”

So I gave her her pacifier back, we went in, and we sat and read a book together. She took Babar for courage and there were a couple of other friends in the daycare already, so after we read a book together, I asked her to pick another one and read it with her friends to Babar…and then I snuck out.

I was at a loss – I wanted to just call my mom and have her watch MC for the rest of the time I’m subbing, or just to stop subbing, but I know that’s not addressing the issue, it’s just a go around. So I called her at lunch.

And the suggestion she made was perfect. And it came from the parenting book that I’m still reading – How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen. Mom said, “Draw a picture of your days – you draw the best & worst parts of your day, and have her draw the best and worst parts of her day.”

Sometimes you’re so entrenched in a problem that you forget all the simple ways of addressing it.

When I picked her up she was all smiles and absolutely happy. When we got home I told MC that we would draw our days. Two minutes later, I’m still unpacking from both of our days, trying to repack for the next day, and then realize dinner has to be made, and it’s almost dinner time. After dinner it’s bath time and then bed time. Instead of making the time to draw, I flit around the house trying to accomplish many tasks at once. I forget how hectic evenings are when also working a full time job.

We do at least talk about her day –

  • “I play friends”
  • “I read”
  • “I draw”

We try again the next day, and we find a little more time to draw. I ask her what she drew and I label the picture by writing what she tells me. Then yesterday, when we arrived home, MC said, “Draw day?” So we sat down again, and she drew some scribbles for me.

I’m hoping that while we continue in this “new normal” or anytime we hit a bump in the road, that these petits dessins (little pictures) will help us find the positives in our days.