Category Archives: work

Reason #62 why I love my job

My kids LOVE to play restaurant. Most days, I overhear them in pretend saying, “I am Chef Gusteau! Two pancakes, coming right up!” Any sort of toy, block, piece of paper becomes a slice of pizza to serve. They always ask for a pad of paper to write down orders. So, Ali and I decided to help them open their own restaurant! On Monday, we took a little walk around the neighborhood to check out the restaurants in our area. We got to brainstorming and decided on a pizza restaurant. We made a menu:

Assigned roles:
-Host and hostess
-Food waiter/waitress
-Drink waiter
-Prep chef
-Cooking chef
-Table cleaner-upper
-Floor cleaner-upper
(we had to get creative to give each kid a job!)
My two little chefs helped me with our pizzas, one cheese, one veggie/pepperoni
Unfortunately my camera battery died right after this photo was taken, but I can assure the pizzas were delicious when they came out of the oven.
One of my kids suggested that everyone dress up for the restaurant. As a result, Fred* showed up in a three-piece suit. WITH A TIE. It was possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
We invited another class into our restaurant, Little Miss Sunshine* handled all the orders, and it was a smashing success. We may turn this into a business!
Reason #62A: The other day I turned around and found this on our whiteboard:
“March”! Written by a four-year-old! By himself!
My kids are so smart 🙂

Busy Bee!

It has been a whole WEEK since I’ve posted! Between busy days at school, a work party, and a quick trip to Raleigh, I feel like I haven’t had a second to breathe! But I do have lots of things to update on.

First things first…
Thursday to Friday I went to a conference in Raleigh, NC with my fellow teacher, Kate. The conference was about green and natural play and living within urban environments. It was really interesting and I learned a lot, especially about the importance of making nature and green spaces accessible to everyone. One of the speakers showed us examples of European cities that are trying to reduce their ecological footprint and go entirely “green”. It convinced me that I need to live in Copenhagen – 40% of the population rides their bike to work! 
 Though the conference was fun, I honestly had more fun exploring the children’s museum where the it was held – Marbles!
There was a farming section:
“Under the sea”
AWESOME oversized Legos that my kids would love:
And an adorable book nook where we discovered this little porker doing some light reading:
Hellooo, cuteness! I want my walls to look like this!
It was nice to get out of Boston for a day or so, and I think we brought the sunshine and warm weather back with us…!

Cooking recipes for kids!

We usually cook with our class once a week, and its always a treat to attempt to find a recipe that is easy, fun, and yummy. I have two cute recipes I’ve recently tried out with my kiddies…Stained Glass Window Cookies and Olympic Torch Cupcakes.

Today, we made the Stained Glass Cookies – so easy!
Start with some premade sugar cookie dough
Flatten slightly
Cut out center
 Fill with crushed Life Savers and bake for 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees
Cool for 10 minutes
And, to show our Olympic spirit, last week we made Torch Cupcakes. Cupcake mix poured into ice cream cones…
Topped with orange “fire” icing!
U-S-A! U-S-A!

Reason #61 why I love my job

Valentine’s parties!
On Thursday, we had a little Valentine’s cupcake decorating party. Three pounds of sprinkles and an overload of pink and red later, we had our sugar-high four-year-olds exchange valentines. They were so excited and Ali and I received some of the cutest cards ever:
Look at that handwriting!!! Sooooo cute.
Then we read one of my favorite kids books, Fancy Nancy 
 and concluded the afternoon with a little singing:
“I’m Gonna Mail Myself to You”
I'm gonna wrap myself in paper
I'm gonna dot myself with glue
Stick some stamps on top of my head
I'm gonna mail myself to you

I'm gonna tie me up in a red string
I'm gonna tie a blue ribbon too
Climb up inside my mailbox
I'm gonna mail myself to you

When you find me in your mailbox
Cut the string and let me out
Wash the glue from off my fingers
Stick some bubblegum in my mouth

When you find me in your mailbox
Wash the glue from off my head
Fill me up with ice cream sodas
Tuck me into a nice warm bed.

I'm gonna wrap myself in paper
I'm gonna dot myself with glue
Stick some stamps on top of my head
I'm gonna mail myself to you

PS- Reason #61A: Here is one of the cupcakes a kid brought in for his birthday:
May the force be with you.

Reason #60 why I love my job

Yes, yes, I have already written a blog post about snow days. BUT – for the snow day in December we were already on winter vacation, so it didn’t really count. For this snow day, I spent the whole day crossing my fingers and toes as I watched the “schools closed” list grow to 200+. And finally, finally….
Glorious, wonderful, fantastic. I plan to spend the day catching up on DVR, baking, going to the gym, and hanging out with my teacher roomie Liz!

Score ONE for the teachers!

Today, Ali and I got the kids to EAT THEIR VEGETABLES.
We are so sneaky. 

We made Zucchini Sweet Potato Muffins, adapted from Joy the Baker. We managed to sneak in zucchini, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and cranberries…and guess what? The kids LOVED them! One said, “these taste just like regular muffins!” Check out this tasty, healthy recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar (1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (Or, for less fat: 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup applesauce)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup peeled and grated sweet potato
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first seven ingredients in one bowl. Beat together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a seperate bowl. Mix in zucchini and sweet potato, then stir in dry ingredients. Add cranberries. Bake for 15 minutes (for mini muffins), or 1 hour 20 minutes (for a loaf), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Reason #59 why I love my job

 Little kid love.

Today, Little Miss Sunshine* entered the classroom and announced that she had asked Billy* to be her valentine. “He said yes, because I am going to give him looooots of valentine’s cards next week.” They proceeded to hold hands during circle and story time. Then, one of the other classes knocked on our door, because Small British Child* had something to give to Little Miss Sunshine. Their interaction went something like this…
Small British Child: I have something for you. *hands over ziploc bag with small package inside* Be careful, it MIGHT have an egg in it!
Little Miss Sunshine: Oh, thank you. *opens package, decorated hardboiled egg emerges* Um, what is this?
Small British Child: Will you join me for a play date?
Little Miss Sunshine: Of course!
*class leaves*
Me: LMS, do you and SBC hang out often?
Little Miss Sunshine: No, we’ve never talked before. But I think he likes my yoga poses.

This is the egg. No one can figure out the story behind it. I think its better that way.
There was also a note, that said:
“Please join me for a play date because I am very sweet.”
Ahh, young love.

*name changed

Veggie Tales: Lunches

One of my coworkers recently introduced me to the term “flexitarian”, which totally accurately describes my new semi-vegetarianism. Wikipedia describes flexitarianism as a semi-vegetarian diet focusing on vegetarian food with occasional meat consumption. A self-described flexitarian seeks to decrease meat consumption without eliminating it entirely from his or her diet. This definitely describes my new way of eating, especially because I have the tendency to give in to bacon 🙂
Anyway, I realized I’ve posted a bunch of vegetarian dinner recipes, but I wanted to tell you about what I have for lunch! Usually I have some sort of sandwich, salad, or leftover dinner from the night before. Recently I’ve invented this “Mediterranean Pita”: hummus, feta, cucumber, lettuce. Yum!
I have some sort of fruit (an apple a day…)

And have starting having yogurt (get that calcium!) – I am trying out different brands and flavors to figure out the best kind.

Tried this today…so good! Perfect amount of chocolate without feeling too guilty 🙂
There is something so satisfying about packing and eating lunch…especially with my kiddies! It’s a great time to chat with them and hear about their days. Love my job!

Reason #58 why I love my job

Our class pet, the Sea Monkey family. First things first, what ARE Sea Monkeys? According to wikipedia, they are a variant of brine shrimp or Artemia salina, a species which enters cryptobiosis, a natural state of suspended animation, allowing their cysts (dormant saclike embryos) to be sold as a dry powder. When the powder is poured into water, live shrimp appear within hours, and can grow up to an adult length of 2 centimeters within one year. Thus the novelty of “instant” life. Blah, blah, boring shmoring, but let’s underline the main concept here… Sea Monkeys are born from POWDER. This is something the kids have a little trouble understanding, and probably isn’t the best thing to be teaching them. I can just hear them telling their parents– “Today we learned that animals are made from powder!” I apologize, future biology teachers of these children.
I digress. Three of our Sea Monkeys just so happen to be pregnant. This realization spurred a circle time discussion about Sea Monkey weddings. My class decided that our Sea Monkeys must have gotten married over winter break (hence why we missed the wedding) and yes, they wore dresses. The kids have also started talking to them because we have established that they have ears (questionable).
Please visit youtube for the magical Sea Monkey lover’s dance. Here is my attempt to take a photo:

There are two Sea Monkey mates attached near the top of the photo. Ewwww
Though the Sea Monkeys were originally my idea, I think a new class pet may be more appropriate. Professor Blueberry, Volume 2 anyone?

Reason #57 why I love my job

BIRTHDAYS!! On Friday one of our kids turn the big F-O-U-R. She pranced around the school in a birthday crown, shouted “I’m FOUR” at every opportunity, and told every single person she encountered it was her birthday. I don’t know of many things better than turning 4 years old. Maybe turning 3.

We ended up only having 2 kids for the afternoon, so Ali and I jumped on the chance to take them on a little birthday field trip to BoYo. Mini marshmallows = most exciting thing ever.

We rounded out the day with a dance party to the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feelin'”. Maybe not entirely preschool appropriate, but hysterical nonetheless.

And I call this “work”??