Archives for April 2013

Our Trip To the Zoo

One of the great things about living where we do is that there are a lot of places to visit. One of my personal favorites is the zoo. If I wasn’t doing something with children, I would definitely have a career with animals. The girls have been to the zoo twice before but they’re now at the age where they are starting to really be able to make the connection between an animal in a book and an animal in real life and start to grasp different concepts relating to animals and where and how they live, so I knew this trip would be more fun and a bigger learning experience for them than their visits in the past. 
To start preparing for our zoo trip, I took the girls to the library and we picked out a few books about animals and a few about zoos. We read them each day and I pointed out the different animals they would be seeing at the zoo. 
Finally, it was time for our trip! We met up with another friend of mine who is also a nanny. She nannies an awesome little girl, L, who’s 2 and a half. E fell asleep in the car during the 20 or so minute drive, while M was much too busy reading her book to sleep. Once we got to the zoo, I put M in the stroller and transferred a sleeping E into my Ergo carrier. We snapped a few pictures while waiting in line for the “train” (it’s really just a tram that takes you back to where all the animals are, but M was more than happy to ride it and made “choo-choo” sounds most of the way, so we called it a train). E slept all the way through the train ride and woke up just in time to get an up close look at an owl and tortoise. 
Once we got into the main part of the zoo with all the exhibits, it turned into field trip mania (read: disaster), and some chaperons weren’t monitoring the children in their care that well. Our strollers were being pushed and kids were standing in front of them, blocking the girls’ views – even though they were just about pressed to the glass, kids were squeezing in and pushing the strollers back, some children were running around pushing and knocking each other to the ground, etc.  We decided just to slowly walk the exhibits, letting all the field trip kids go ahead of us instead of trying to share the space with them. This ended up turning a 2 hour trip into a 5 hour one, but hey – whatever works right?!?
The girls had so much fun, as did my friend and I. M had the best surprised look on her face when she saw the elephants. I tried to capture it in a picture but by the time I got my phone out, the wide eyed open mouthed shocked expression had turned more into just a smile. E is still able to recall some of the animals she saw and what they were doing. Enough blabbing, here’s some pictures of our day!
Switched M into the Ergo at the elephant enclosure. Found out she loves being carried on my back.
The 2 year old “baby” giraffe, Kesi
Another giraffe peeking over the wall at zoo visitors – the girls thought this was hilarious!
Again, peeking over the wall.
Sleeping rhinos
We also saw an adorable two week old baby lemur. I wish my phone had been able to capture a clear picture, but unfortunately all I got was a blurry blob no matter what I did. 


Tipsy Tuesday x2

Because I failed to do a Tipsy Tuesday post last Tuesday, you get two tips in today’s! April is a crazy month for me. 3 immediate family birthdays {One is today – Happy Birthday Dad!!}, lots of babysitting jobs, and I also joined a local firehouse so I’ve been helping to run a concession stand 5 days a week on top of all that. But enough excuses, and onto today’s tips!
The first tip is to not phrase something like it’s an option if it’s really not. For example don’t say “Do you want to go change your diaper?” when you need to change it. Instead say “We’re going to change your diaper.” Better yet, warn them ahead of time that it’s going to happen. I forget sometimes and say things like “Can I wipe your nose?” or “Do you want to put your shoes on?” The answer I typically get back – “No.” However if I phrase it “I need to wipe your nose” or “Let’s put your shoes on,” there’s typically no refusal. If I do forget to phrase it the proper way and I get the “No” response, I respect that and respond with “Okay, well then we’re going to change it in two minutes.” It’s simply not fair and is disrespectful (yes, you can disrespect a child!) to ask them a question where they have a choice and then essentially disregard what they say if they don’t respond the way you want. 
The second tip is to remember that sometimes, all they need is you. Sometimes you can get wrapped up in everything you need to get done, or maybe your child is sick, or grumpy. Remember that they don’t understand that the laundry needs to be done. Or why they don’t feel well. Or that they had to be woken up early for a doctors appointment so they didn’t get enough sleep. If there’s things you just have to get done, this is a great opportunity to wear your child {I absolutely LOVE my Ergo carrier}. Best of both worlds – you get what you need to get done and your child gets the closeness they want. Otherwise, put the laundry off another day and snuggle with your child. I happen to think times like these are pretty special. Out of all the toys, games, and books they have, they choose you.


Tipsy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for another installment of Tipsy Tuesday. 
Today’s tip is to give your child warnings when transitions are about to happen. The way I think about it is that you wouldn’t want to be working really hard on something and then have someone rip you away from it without giving you a chance to wrap it up. That’s pretty much exactly what you’re doing each time your child is playing and you swoop in and pick them up to feed them lunch, change their diaper, leave the house, etc. 
Give your child a warning when it’s almost time to transition to another activity. I prefer to give specific transition warnings at 5 minutes, 2 minutes, and sometimes, if I remember, 1 minute. When I say specific I mean say what you’re going to be doing – “In 5 minutes, it’s going to be time to clean up so we can eat lunch.” or “In 1 minute we need to put our coats on to go to the store.” No, your child won’t understand how long 5 minutes is, how long 2 minutes is, or how long 1 minute is right away, but they will eventually. I usually start giving transition warnings between 9 months and a year old. As they get older, you’ll see them start to speed up whatever they’re doing once you give them a warning so they can finish up. They might eventually even try to bargain with you – “1 more minute, please!”