picky eater tested spinach muffins

I wanted to share a picky eater muffin recipe that was shared with me!  The only change I made is that I added chocolate chips. These muffins have an entire 6 oz box of spinach and NO added sugars (you use honey!).  My kids devour them!

Recipe is from Super Healthy Kids and you can find it here! They don’t last long in my house.

and first grade was done

S came off the bus the last day of school and gave me a silly look that said “you had better not spray me with that silly string!” A few of us moms had cans ready to spray the kids when they got off the bus. I had warned them my daughter, who doesn’t do well with surprises, may not like it, so we knew to skip her.

But then she ran right past me and into the house. I chatted with a couple of the other kids, gave some last day of school hugs, and then followed her in. I found her sobbing in her room.

“I’m sorry you’re sad honey. Are you sad because you’re going to miss all your class friends? I know it won’t be the same but we can set up playdates!”

She told me, “a little, but I’m really going to miss my teacher and I really love Ms. W.”

And I got it. I cried after school every year until about 6th grade. I had all the feels she did. Big feelings.  I told her about the time I kissed the wall of my school because I was going to miss it so much. So I let her cry, let her talk about Ms. W, and then we talked about all the fun stuff we would do this summer.

Before long she was excited to empty out her backpack and show me all the notebooks and binders she brought home.

And just like that first grade is done.  I feel like it was just a few months ago that she was born. But here she is, turning seven in August.  Time to make that summer bucket list.

wear the necklace, mama

S. saw me getting dressed for a casual, impromptu BBQ at our neighbor’s house.  I had thrown on a jersey dress and was just looking for a simple necklace when she said, “wear this one, mama!” I turned around and it was a chunky, beaded one she had made me from one of her kid jewelry sets over a year ago.

“No, I don’t think today is a good day for that one,” I said. “I don’t think the colors match.” But what I was really thinking was “I only pretend to wear that when I’m home all day, I’ve actually never worn it OUT.”

“But look, this bead is the same color as your dress,” she said. And before she could say anything else, my brain suddenly came to the realization that I was being silly. And selfish. Why WOULDN’T I wear something my then 4 year old had made, and proudly? Her little hands had put that together. And given it to ME instead of breaking it back apart or putting it back in her room. And I was being an idiot giving up the opportunity to wear it for my own joy AND hers.

So I wore it. And I rocked it. And, to be honest – it looked great with my simple dress (not that it mattered). If it had been a necklace of cheerios, I would have worn it.

So wear the necklace or bracelet or hat, mama. And wear it proudly. I did, and the smile it brought to my daughter’s face and the little glances she threw my way that evening when she would look at it were nothing short of amazing.

to prevent or not prevent the summer learning slide

My daughter is in between kindergarten and first grade this summer. I’ve heard a LOT about the backward “slide” that takes place in the summer with kids – and was told if I can keep up on things like reading and math these few months, she would have an easier time come September.

I didn’t want to put my daughter in camps where they would focus on academics. I mean she’s still FIVE (turns 6 at the end of August) and I know from personal experience her school years are only going to get more demanding, her pressures will only mount more, as she gets older. So we put her in a fun summer camp 2 days a week (9-3.30) where they do field trips and art projects and play outside. And the rest of the time she is home, going to our local barns, parks and just playing in the backyard.

But, I do have her do a few worksheets a day. Like 3. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes, sometimes 20, which I don’t think is unreasonable. But she still thinks it’s mean. 🙂

That’s okay honey. I know it may seem mean…but I think you won’t know how grateful you’ll be come the fall!

summer cousins

We took our annual trip to the west side of the state last week with some extended family. And although traveling with young kids isn’t a piece of cake, I was AMAZED at how it gets a tiny, tiny bit easier each year.

For one, the girls (both turning 6 later this year) got along much better. There were less statements of “I don’t want to be her cousin anymore” and more imaginative play than I’ve ever seen. I mean even moments where we didn’t know where they were in our rental because they were off in some corner pretending to by spies.

And the little one – although C refused to sleep in the pack ‘n play and we ended up co-sleeping with him for naps and bedtime, did great. It did mean I had to lay with him each time and then sneak out of the room, but it worked!

So it was an amazing week. Filled with what I hope will be great memories for the kids – sprinklers and beaches and water balloons and ice cream and walks to the park, all with cousins. I have such fond memories of growing up with my cousins, I’m trying to give my children the same opportunity to create meaningful bonds with their extended family as well.

A successful trip!

15 minutes with my little

It’s amazing what a little 1:1 time can do when you have two kids.

I picked S up from summer camp yesterday afternoon and we decided to stop by Starbucks. Me for my usual iced latte, and she got her usual kids hot cocoa.

But we got to sit there… together…and talk about our day. She told me all about the animal visitors at camp that day, who she played with, when she got sad, and the happiest part of her time there. If we had gone straight home, out little 2 1/2 year old often monopolizes mom and dad’s time.

Reminder to me to spend more time with my kids separately every once in a while!

kindergarten progress

I am amazed at how much my daughter has learned and grown in Kindergarten. Her last day was Thursday, and she came off the bus a combination of smiles and a little sadness behind her eyes that I’m pretty sure only I could see.

“Are you happy you’re all done with school?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “But I didn’t want to leave the classroom. Or the school. Or the bus. Or my friends.” I knew what she felt; I distinctly remember kissing the wall of my kindergarten classroom when nobody was looking because I was really, really going to miss it, and even at 5, I knew it.

But I assured her that the summer would be just as fun. And so would her Wednesdays and Fridays at summer camp. And then First Grade! She would be a first grader come fall.

Her teacher sent home all the binders and workbooks they had been using throughout the year.  I had seen some of them because I was a frequent helper in the classroom. But there was one that especially caught my eye – it was a monthly writing sample.  I could not believe how she went from barely legible scribbles to complete sentences with detail in pictures. And how a teacher of 24 wiggly little 5 and 6 year olds can successfully teach so much to all these kids.

I’m so grateful for all S has learned….it brought tears to my eyes looking through her little “science notebook” and leadership binder.  In a way so much is expected of our kindergarteners now – but I think she did okay!