Thursday, November 28, 2013

What Four Year Olds are Thankful for...

Okay, this gave me quite the giggle... anyway...

For those of you that do not know, I work with kids Monday- Friday as a Pre-K Assistant and watching kids after school hours. On our special Thanksgiving lunch day, we asked the 4 year olds what they were thankful for and we got some interesting answers. Here is where I share them with you!

"What are you thankful for?"
Now imagine a group of four year olds seated on a carpet, hands raised excited to us tell their answers.

I am thankful for...

"Can we classify that under you being thankful for food?"
"I guess so."

"My mommy, my daddy and my sister."

"I'm thankful for the whooooole world." As he motioned a circle with his hands.
Three other kids also decided they were thankful for the same.

"The toys in here and my toys!"

"My family!"

This one was shouted out pretty loud.

"My school and the teachers."

"My baby sister."

"My big brother!"

"The TV and the movies!"

These are all that I remember off the top of my head at the moment.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
...If you're a black friday shopper, Good luck with the madness.

Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Things to Not Ask a Pregnant Woman

Thanks, Ryan Gosling.

Okay, so at 30 weeks pregnant...
I'm really over those questions that people who don't know you well ask you about your pregnancy.

It's a reminder that many people have no filter when it comes to their curiosities.

Anyway, I've been thinking about all the things that you shouldn't ask a pregnant woman who isn't your friend/or any close relation to you and compiled my list thus far. Here goes nothing...

1. "Was the baby planned?"
That's clearly not something polite to say but for some reason, I've been awkwardly asked this question numerous times by people who aren't close to me.
A Simple, "Congratulations on your pregnancy!" will suit you better.

2. "How much weight have you gained?" and along with that, "Do your clothes actually fit you still?"
Is that really your business? If you're not a doctor, don't be concerned with someone else's weight.

3. "Have you been vomiting?"
Why on earth would anyone want to know if I have been tossing my cookies?
That's not a conversation I just want to start out of the blue, thanks.

4. "How much have you spent on ___________, ______________, and ___________ ?"
It's incredibly tacky to ask someone how much they've spent on baby stuff so far, especially considering many moms already have an idea on what everything costs.

5. "How far along are you? Oh, when I was was that far along my stomach wasn't showing."
Women are really great at body shaming other women when it comes to pregnancy, every woman has a different body type and many start showing at different parts of their pregnancy.
My stomach popped at 7 months, before then my co-workers didn't believe I was pregnant.

Stating side comments like "Oh, you're ___ many weeks, you must feel like a cow." is not a self-esteem booster by any means.

6. "Are you going to have a natural birth?" and "Do you have your birth plan already?"
While these questions may seem harmless, it's always followed by over-shared opinions.

7. "So what are you going to name the baby?"
If it's not being advertised, you'll have to wait to find out like everyone else. Respect privacy.
If for some reason a pregnant woman tells you the name don't disrespect her by telling her how much you hate the name she has chosen.

8. "What types of food are you craving?"
This question can be cute and start nice harmless conversations but asking this over and over again is obnoxious.
For your own reference, I'm craving spicy things, Mexican Food, and Fizzy Drinks.

9. "Are you suppose to be eating that?"
If you're not a doctor, or specifically her doctor then please don't be concerned with her diet.

10. "When are you having the next baby?"
Uh... really?

It's crazy how many women over share when it comes to talking about Pregnancy in general.

I felt extremely awkward when a woman I had never met before (that was cutting my hair) told me about all her nausea when she was pregnant and about how her body changed so much. The details were graphic, I'll spare you.

I felt uncomfortable when a woman told me about a previous still born birth but then claimed it wouldn't happen to me.

My advice is if you're curious about a woman's pregnancy, trend softly if you don't know her that well.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tutorial: An educational Hanukkah craft! Dreidel Garland

For those of you that do not know, besides teaching Pre-K during the week...
I also teach 2nd Grade Sunday School in a Synagogue this school year.

Many of my educational crafts I come up with on my own to cater to my lesson plans.
This craft is not only for decorative purposes but to educate kids on how to play Dreidel!

I call it... Dreidel Garland!

Materials needed:
Construction Paper
Pencil or Markers

*Optional: I had the hebrew letters pre-drawn on construction paper for my students to cut out.
This eliminated any "I can't do it" comments from my students.

1. Start by having students identify each letter and what the letter stands for.

In the rules of the game, if the dreidel falls on:
Nun: Nothing is taken from the pot.
Gimmel: You can take the whole pot.
Hay: You can take “half” or the pot.
Shin: You must put one back in the pot.

Remind the students that the letters stand for Nes gadol haya sham, “a great miracle happened there.“

2. Draw a dreidel shape on the board for the class to see.
My students are really empowered to draw things on their own.

I had them draw a square, a triangle on the bottom and a small hat (or rectangle) on the top.
Tell the students to cut out their first dreidel and trace it for the next three dreidels so that they are all roughly the same size.

3. Have students cut out their letters. Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin.
If they need help, have your scissors ready.

4. Have students write down the rules for each letter on a slip of paper.
This slips of paper will be attached to the back.

Have the students match one letter with it's slip of paper to each dreidel.

5. Once students have finished their dreidels, cutting out their letters and rule slips. Pass out the glue.
Make sure students are gluing things where they need to be.

6. Attach Dreidels with tape to a piece of yarn.
Remember we read Hebrew right to left.
The letters should read in the following Order: Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin.
If for some reason they are not aligned in that order, chalk it up to kids rationalizing it with dreidel playing. ;)

Some student examples:

They're now ready to play Dreidel!

Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday Collages

The past few days I've been resting up in bed but I got a little restless yesterday and got onto this wonderful creative spree...

I was incredibly inspired and I made ten artist trading cards.

Here are three of my favorites:

Geometric City, Collage on Bristol, 3.5" x 2.5" inches. Traded.

Time Machine, Collage on Watercolor Paper, 2.5" x 3.5" inches. For keeps.

Dream Machine, Collage on Watercolor Paper, 3.5" x 2.5" inches. Traded.

Interested in trading an ATC with me?
I trade on AtcsforAll dot com as MyNameisJenn ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Seven Days of Thanks

Fall Inchies, 1 inch by 1 inch, marker on bristol. 2013.

You know that somewhat obnoxious facebook trend going on right now?
The one where everyone magically decides to brag, I mean describe all the things they're thankful for... with one thing for each day of the month.

The majority of things listed on my feed are ridiculous and materialistic.
I've seen people "thankful" for money. MONEY! Money... you get my drift.

Although, not all of the things listed in the seven days of November have been terrible.
Some of my girlfriends have wrote really wonderfully heartfelt messages to their families, children and husbands.

I've had another friend write that she was thankful for Bacon, Olive Garden Breadsticks and Thin Mint cookies. I'll admit that hers is my favorite list so far. I can only imagine what next food item makes the cut.

It's not that I'm jealous or bitter, but so far the month of November has been very trying for me physically and mentally.

So here are my thoughts on "Thankfulness" for the first seven days of November.

My number one, I am thankful for my husband.

Part of me feels like many people would assume that this goes without saying but Jason is always there for me when I need him without me even having to ask. On Sunday, I got into a car accident and I was very upset. I put the key into the lock of our front door only to have him to swing open the door and hug me. That hug was just what I needed, no words just happy that I was okay.

I usually find it super cliche when people say their partner is their best friend but he really is, there is no one else I'd rather spend all my time with. I'm incredibly thankful for all the moments I share with him.

Number two, I am thankful for our little boy.

This is the first time that I've announced I'm pregnant on my blog and I'm almost 29 weeks. We're having a little boy and we're incredibly excited. I'm thankful as of right now that he is healthy and growing as he should. I can't wait to meet him.

Number three, I am thankful for a space to create.

It's a small space (and this photo is from april) but I'm incredibly lucky to have a place where I can sit down and make things. Now, if I could only have the energy to clean it and make some art very soon.

Number four, I am thankful for my family.
This easily ties with number one. ;)

I am lucky to have a family who not only supports me and loves me but are super great to be around.

Number five, I am thankful for good food.

I'm happy that my husband enjoys my cooking and that we have food to eat.
I'm thankful for the comfort food can bring mentally as well.

Number six, I am thankful for my dogs.

Max and Mason are protective, funny and good companions. I cherish them even when Max is in one of his crazy moods.

Red Balloon, ATC, traded.

Number seven, I am thankful for human kindness.

I love those small moments where someone waves or smiles to a stranger to tell them to have a nice day.
I appreciate the people who open a door for me when my pregnant self is struggling.
I enjoy seeing people help the elderly put their groceries into their cars, just because.
I adore seeing good deeds and people paying it forward.

Are you participating in this Facebook trend?
What are you thankful for friends?