Friday, September 26, 2008

Peek-a-Boo-Boo! (making First-Aid "fun" for a toddler)

Today Biscuit and I found a "hidden" park we didn't know existed - we both had a great time playing on the fun, new equipment, but after Biscuit played peek-a-boo on a swinging bridge with a new buddy he met there, we had to go home and play "peek-a-boo-boo." He'd managed to trip and fall and earned his "big boy badge" while he was at it -- he'd skinned his soft, smooth little baby knees for the first time!

I know today's incident is only the beginning of many more scrapes, splinters and sappy sagas yet to come, so I wanted his 1st "first aid" experience to be as positive as possible. Here's how it went down...

First, Biscuit got to play with the Boo-Boo Box full of gauze, sterile strips and other surprises...
Then he doctored up the Boo-boo Bear - we put some antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid "sticker" on his fuzzy blue knee to see what it'd be like.Biscuit's turn! Let's wash that dirty knee, then put on some cream, and add the Band-Aid...Where's the boo-boo?? PEEK-a-boo-boo!! ("Who needs a Band-Aid, Mom? I'm a big boy!")"Ha, ha, nice try, Mom, but I'm gonna peek-a-boo-boo this one too when you're not looking!""So, hey, Mom...this was swell fun and all, but can we go back to the park now!?"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fire House Fun!

So after reading The Little Fire Engine Biscuit and I decided it might be fun to visit a real fire house! We stopped by a fire-and-rescue headquarters near our neighborhood to schedule a tour and the nice staff called in Fireman Mike right then - he showed us around on the spot! We got to see cool firefighter gear like these fire suits and hats....
Sit on the fire truck bumper...DRIVE the firetruck, wee-oo, wee-oo!! Steer the wheel, Biscuit!!
Check out the huge fire truck wheels - on the biggest engine in the county!!
Explore the fire truck...from hoses, to ladders, to survival tools like the Jaws of Life...Look inside the locked doors and compartments on the firetruck...what's in there, Fireman Mike?!
Awesome! Tool boxes and safety equipment!That was fun!! Let's do it again sometime :D

Monday, September 22, 2008

Animal Week Grand Finale: Purina Farms!

Animal Week ended Saturday with a big hoopla at our new all-time favorite, 100% FREE, tot-friendly animal activity center, Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO. We took about a half day trip out there and had a fur-real great time, especially in their barn play area for kids!! As you can imagine, it was hard to keep Biscuit contained...what is it, what do you see?? Oh, ANIMALS!!
Besides seeing ducks, goats, donkeys, fish, cats and parrots, plus barn-swinging, ramp-running, playing with toy tractors on toddler-sized tables full of dried corn and crawling through mazes of barn tunnels, here are a few of the other animals and activities we got to watch or take part in...

Dairy cows dozing...
...and later, being milked (but we won't show that out of respect for her privacy!!)
Sheep feedingChicken chasing!!Pig petting, and feeling a floppy-eared bunnyStall staring
Dogs showingPets performing...
for instance: Frenzy frantically catching frisbees...
Fish, and water falls
Dog-food making
Puppy love!?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Silly Mommy Had Some Shoes! (The Rhymes Gym: Parent/Toddler Total Body Workout)

Well, lately, as a mom who wants to get rid of some leftover baby weight, I've wanted to either join a gym with childcare (but I don't want to shell out the cash) or join some kind of stroller fitness group (but Biscuit doesn't really like sitting still for long so that was out too.) So, I suppose because necessity is the mother of invention, here's the little workout (aka "playout!") we came up with and have been doing together. We thought we'd share for other like-minded mommies (daddies, and other friends!) out there :D

(c) by Pudgy Pencils

Here’s how it works. First, learn this adaptation of a familiar children’s rhyme:

Silly Mommy had some shoes, E-I-E-I-O.
And on an airplane she wore those shoes, E-I-E-I-O.
With a "zoom zoom" here and a "zoom zoom" there.
Here a "zoom," there a "zoom."
Everywhere a "zoom zoom!"
Silly Mommy had some shoes, E-I-E-I-O!*

Then, on the quick reference page, check out the A-Z words to plug in to the rhyme for maximum workout fun! Learn the exercise that goes with each letter as well. (The example above is for the letter “A.”)

To get started, you have some options. You can either pick just a few letters to play with your child at random times throughout the day to keep your metabolism up. Or, for a general fitness workout, complete the entire alphabet at once. For the full workout, walk in place throughout the routine—slowly for the warm-up, picking up intensity for the high-impact section in bold and slowing down for the cool-down. Add the exercises indicated on the reference sheet for each letter. You’ll be getting a good workout and having a blast with your toddler all at the same time!

*The word in red (airplane) is the rhyme object; the word in blue (zoom) is the rhyme action/sound. The object and action/sound change for each exercise. See the quick reference sheet below. And “Daddy,” “Grandma,” your child’s name, etc., can also be substituted for “Mommy.”

Silly Mommy Had Some Shoes!
Quick Reference Sheet (A- Z rhyme objects with actions/sounds + exercises)

A: On an airplane (zoom): walk quickly around the room w/ arms extended like a plane; let toddler copy you.

B: On a bike (pedal): lay back; sit toddler on lap; pedal your legs like an air bike; pedal his legs w/ your hands.

C: At a concert (clap): have toddler face you and hold your shirt; step to the L, tap foot and clap; repeat to R.

D: In the desert (walk): alternate knee lifts with exaggerated effort as if walking in sand; let toddler copy you.

E: On an elevator (up, down): squat up and down facing toddler and holding hands.

F: On a fire truck (wee-oo): walk forward four, then back four, w/ toddler in front helping you “steer.”

G: In the garden (dig): lunge forward alternating knees + hold toddler/tickle his armpits (keep back straight).

H: In Hawaii (hula): wave your arms in the air and slide to the left and right; let toddler copy you.

I: On some ice (slip, slide): sidestep holding your child, alternating two steps to the left, two to the right.

J: In the jungle (swing): bend down; clasp hands under back of toddler’s knees; swing him side to side.

K: In karate (kick): hop on one leg in small circles + kick other leg; switch legs (hold toddler’s hand).

L: Up a ladder (step): lay toddler on floor; pretend to use his tummy as a step as you reach for air “rails”

M: Up a mountain (climb): with hands and feet flat on floor, climb in place, switching feet; toddler copies.

N: And near and far (run): jog in place, then in a big circle holding toddler’s hands.

O: In outer space (blast off): lay on back; lift toddler high, superman-style; use knees/legs to support him.

P: Through a puddle (splish, splash): jump up and down in place holding toddler (or just holding hands)

Q: In a quake (shake): holding toddler, jump L, R, forward, then back.

R: In a raft (row): sit; face toddler; hold hands; lean back + pull him forward; you sit up; lean him back.

S: On a shooting star (swoosh): hold toddler tummy-down on your arms; swoop him around the room.

T: On a train (choo-choo): toddler walks behind you/holds your shirt; pump arms in circular motion at sides.

U: Underwater (gurgle, bubble): stand; lay toddler b/w your feet; stretch to floor; blow bubbles on his tummy.

V: In volleyball (spike): stretch R calf back/up + hold foot w/ R hand; L hand high-fives toddler; switch hands/legs.

W: In a wagon (bump): toddler walks behind you holding onto your hands as you skip gently.

X: At a xylophone (ding): sit facing toddler; feet together; w/ L hand stretch to tap his L toe/hold; then R to R.

Y: While she yo-yoed (whoosh high/whoosh low): alternate stretching low and high; let toddler copy you.

Z: Catching ZZZ’s (cuddle): grab toddler; collapse gently on floor w/ him; give kisses; fall “asleep.”

SAFETY NOTES: Please talk to your doctor before starting any workout routine, even this one that's just for fun. I am not responsible for any injuries to yourself or your child during this activity; I am simply posting it for the fun and enjoyment of others who choose to participate. Your safety is up to you. Here are some other helpful guidelines to keep in mind from a group fitness instructor (many thanks to my awesome sis-in-law, Candy, for these great suggestions!!)

"Make sure that core (abdominal muscles) are pulled in and good posture is maintained throughout the exercises. Keep shoulders rolled down and back, tuck chin in, pull in core, knees soft. For the squat down and up specifically, ensure that mommies keep their knees in line with toes, chest open and tall and core tightened to protect the lower back. You want their butt to sink back like they are sitting in a chair (or about 90 degree angle from the floor). Most people don't have the flexibility to do a squat safely and correctly and end up feeling it in their knees quite a bit or toppling over. Likewise for a lunge movement. Front leg forms a 90 degree angle toward the floor and the back leg forms a 90 degree angle toward the floor. Front knee never comes over the toe and the movement is straight up and down like an elevator--not back and forth like most people end up doing. Think about pushing off the front heel since a lunge is mostly about making changes to the front leg (i.e. glutes, hamstrings). Since most mommies have weak abdominal muscles and weak backs due to labor and child rearing I would say the core awareness would be beneficial for injury prevention and overall well-being."

PS - if I can get this routine on video, I'll try to post it eventually for the visual learners out there. Not sure if that'll happen anytime soon though...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

That's Not My Sheep! (Animal Week, Day 5)

Some of Biscuit's favorite board books are from the Usborne touchy-feely series. So for Sheep Day, we went on a touchy-feely-inspired wild, woolly adventure! As you can see, we had a bla-a-a-ast...!

That's not my sheep. Her mouth is too chalky.

That's not my sheep. His wool is too hard.

That's not my sheep. His teeth are too shiny.

That's not my sheep. Her back is too bumpy.

THAT'S my sheep! His nose is SO cuddly!
The End :)

(Note: We had to break up Sheep Day into two days because yesterday was Biscuit's 15-month checkup and we had to alter our schedule a little. He checked in off the charts for height - 34.5 inches - but had dropped a little in weight due to his meal-skipping the past few weeks from being sick and teething - he's at 90% now. The only way we can convince him to eat now is to pretend like his food is our food and he'll usually come ask for some. At the dr. he had his DPT shot and he still has blisters in his throat from the virus but hopefully they will clear up soon. The doc also said he's getting in all 4 first-year molars; plus he's almost done with his two canines on top. Whew. I sure hope he gets some relief soon!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Animal Week, Day 4: Canine Competitions!

Well, Dog Day has finally arrived! To celebrate it (along with Biscuit's 15-month birthday), he and I played a few "woof-woof" games around the house and then loaded up in the car and visited a local puppy breeder for some hands-on interaction. What follows are the doggy-style championship events we took part in today!

FLYBALL* (Run down to the "flyball box," retrieve the ball and run back to the starting line as fast as possible after seeing mommy demonstrate!)

* (Maneuver through an obstacle course with strict attention to your handler - although I wasn't quite sure who was the handler in this event!)

(Tell the good dog to sit, and watch how well he obeys!)

FRISBEE * (See how many times you can catch the disc in your mouth ... or, if you prefer, see how many times you can throw it down the stairs!)
HERDING* (Guide little woollies to their fold and guard them well!)

TRACKING * (See if you can track down the breeds of pups for sale using this poster.)

DOCK DIVING* (On the count of three, everyone jump into the water bowl!)

THERAPY* (Look at this cute face and just TRY to not to feel better!