Maryland Crabs

While we were in Ocean City last week, we went to Hooper’s so the guys could get crabs one night.  Jack was also very excited about getting crabs.  He kept saying, “I love crabs!  I can’t wait to have crabs tonight!”  This is the same child who doesn’t like chicken or hot dogs or bananas or jelly on his pb&j.  But he was thrilled about going to get crabs.

As soon as the waitress brought the mallet and the tray of crabs, Jack was ready to start pounding away.  Unfortunately the art of actually getting the crab out of the legs requires a little more finesse than Jack possesses.  Much to my surprise, he did eat a couple of bits of crab and said that he liked it.  I think it was just taking a little too much time for it to get in front of him.

But when Daddy and Pop Pop were done with their crabs, Jack and Casey did a fine job pounding the bodies to bits with the mallets.  And that made for one of the most fun meals they have probably ever had!

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Easter Party

Since this week is spring break, Jack’s Easter party at school was on Friday and I was the party planning mom.  I was trying to bookmark ideas I have seen on the internet since Thanksgiving but at the last minute, I just went to Disney’s Family Fun website and found everything I needed.  It was really 6 days before the party but it felt like last minute to me.

I had to come up with some snacks and a craft and then we had an Easter egg hunt.  I made these cute little carrot gardens for the snack.  The dirt is pumpkin hummus and I don’t think any of the kids ate it.  A few ate some of the unadorned carrots that I also brought.  To make the carrots, I used a toothpick to put a hole in the top of the carrot and then stuck a sprig of parsley in each one.

This is my favorite part of the snack…the bunny face sandwich.  I used sandwich rounds, fluff for the face, peanut butter for the ears, pretzels for the whiskers, a strawberry marshmallow bit for the nose and chocolate chips for the eyes.  We had some fruit on the side and carrot cake cupcakes for dessert.  The cupcakes were pretty delicious…they were this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog.  

While I was crafting my sandwiches before the party, Jack’s teacher was working on another craft with the kids.  She called it a Harry Potter-esque bunny face.  The kids looked pretty kooky with their big glasses and big bunny teeth.

For some reason we decided to sneak a learning moment into the egg hunt so I labeled the eggs with numbers and each child was supposed to find one of each number.  They were a little too excited to care what numbers they got and started throwing eggs into their basket.  Then the parents ended up going around to each other and asking, “Does anyone have a 10…I have to two 8’s but we need a 10…” and trying to make sure everyone had the same amount of eggs.  Oh, and the craft was the Easter egg basket that they are all holding.  We turned green paper bags into baskets and decorated them with stickers.  

It was a fun little party but my party planning skills are on break until next year…when I will have two classrooms of opportunity to sign up for parties!

How To Be A Preschool Party Planner

Or at least how I plan a preschool party.

I volunteered to plan Jack’s preschool Thanksgiving party.  The instructions for the party planning parents are “Parties begin at 10:30 and run smoothly with a story, finger foods, a craft and a game.”

The original volunteer was unable to plan the party and I had seen the Halloween party and how it flowed, so I decided I could jump in and plan a great Thanksgiving party.

About two and a half weeks before the party, I started to browse the internet for ideas.  I thought I had it figured out pretty well.  I went to Jack’s teacher and told her my plan.  Then I walked away and felt like my plan was only the start of a plan.

I think preschool teachers have a huge cache of ideas just in their heads.  Meanwhile all my ideas came from hours of searching the internet.  She started talking about making a teepee out of pvc pipes and how much the kids would like that.  The “finger foods” turned into more of a lunch.  She said we could go out to the playground for the game or move into a bigger room and that it would be great if it was something physical.  I think she said something about a high ropes endurance course.  Maybe.  Oh, and maybe some Thanksgiving music while you’re at it.  I’m sure the library will have something.

So I did a little more planning.  Added some more food to my menu.  Decided I needed some help making all that food.  Couldn’t decide what to actually ask other parents to bring.  Finally sent a note home asking for some food contributions.  Messed up when I put the notes in the lunchbox and not everyone got the notes.  Didn’t want to ask parents to help at the last minute.  Ended up making all the food myself anyway.

For a week, it felt like I did nothing but prepare for this party.  Pat laughed at me.  I merely pushed by him to get the scissors to make crafty things.  The night before this party, my kitchen looked like this:

Something on every bit of counter space, a frozen pizza for dinner and obviously that was a great time to get some mopping done too.

Finally, it was time for the show.  And I think it went well although I’m happy I don’t have to do another one until Easter.  (Probably should start planning that now.)

Craft:
Turkey headbands – I cut out strips of paper to wrap around their heads, turkey heads, eyes, beaks, and feathers.  Probably should have made a model for the kids to copy but I just told them to do what they wanted to.

Games:
Pin the feather on the turkey – I created a turkey out of posterboard and cut out a feather for everyone

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Roll – I got this idea from a website called One Charming Party…give two kids each a broom and a pumpkin and see who can roll the pumpkin to the other side of the room faster.  The kids loved it and asked to do it over and over.

Feast:
Ritz crackers with cream cheese or pumpkin butter spread with chow mein noodles on top to look like a turkey track
Turkey roll-ups
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Pumpkin Butter Sandwiches
Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

And finally, the part that got the most oohs and aahs, the turkey!
Another fabulous idea from One Charming Party…

Brown paper bags, filled with popcorn, scrunched up a little, placed in a roasting pan to look like a turkey.  I started off snack time by telling the kids that first we were going to carve the turkey.  Jack kept saying, “But I don’t like turkey.  I don’t like turkey!”  I told him I was pretty sure he would like this one.

I think the kids all had fun based on the decibel level in the classroom.  I came home, put Jack in front of the computer playing Sesame Street games and took a nap.  I couldn’t even bear to think of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner or really doing anything except recovering.

 

How hungry are you?

Yesterday afternoon.

Jack: Mommy, I’m starving.
Me: You can have some apple slices. I just cut them up.
Jack: No thanks. I’m think I’m going to be starving in a little bit when the muffins are done. I’m not starving now.
I never cease to be amazed by his eating habits. There are many things he claims he doesn’t like, but I don’t think I believe him any more. It appears to be more of a matter of preference.
For months and months, he’s claimed not to like milk anymore. I offer water or milk with dinner and he picks water. Actually a lot of times he picks juice, but gets water. On Friday night though, he asked for milk and it has been his new favorite drink. He just asked why he couldn’t have some up in his room for bedtime. Go figure.