Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Baby Bear Hugs Photo Year in Review

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The girls have grown so much since last year.  
Baby Bear seems to be a lot taller and Mini is a walking talking person!

May 2015 only bring more incredible adventures for us!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The incredible intricacies of learning language

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I was fascinated with language before when Baby Bear started to speak, and now even more as I learn about language and reading, I am in awe of my children's abilities.

If adults don't know what a word is, they will usually look it up later or just skip it if reading.  Baby Bear will ask what a word means if she has never heard it before.  I love this curiosity

Baby Bear and Mini get read to in both English and Hebrew and they watch some kids shows and movies in both languages.   Mini gets a lot more English that Baby Bear did at this age.  She seems to have a larger vocabulary than Baby Bear did at this age in English.  They BOTH prefer to listen to music in Hebrew except if it is from Frozen. 

Elsa Bear and Anna Bear
  Since she was born she has always been the silly kid and it is great that it translates to her verbal skills.  The things she says cracks me up!  


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Hanukah

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 cool STEM gifts {you haven't heard about yet}

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With all of the holiday shopping you have going on, your list should include things that all children to learn and discover through science, technology, engineering, art and math {referred to as STEAM}.  These are not the old fashion stereotype that you have of these subjects, but new innovative hands on discovery play. 

These companies are not only innovative, but they are all small independent businesses that will benefit from your purchases. 

Circuit Stickers $24.99- $89.99

Kids {and adults!} get to play with LED lights by using conductive surfaces to create circuits.  Older kids could be challenged to use the circuits to create and invent using their creativity and imagination. 

Use science to do some cooking.
Inspire a budding chemist and 
learn about history.  
Sun Print Kit average $8-15
Sun print kits uses the sun to expose a film sheet that is treated to stop the exposure.  This is a fun activity that can be done with many different ages. 

Use this kit to make a paper house that will glow in the dark using a non toxic reactive substance.  

Build Your Own Electric Guitar Kit $199.99

This kit is a fun way to create any play with something 
that you made with for long
lasting fun and discovery.

Spin Bot Kit $24.99

The Spin bot is a robotic kit that creates a pattern 
making robot. Click on the video to see how it works

Sew Electric Book and Supplies 
This book will use your sewing skills to create projects that will 
light up, glow and more.  

This kit will let you turn 
almost any object into a touchpad!

This kit inspires using windpower as the energy to inspire creative minds.  You can experiment with different types of blades and configurations to create an efficient power source.

*A big thanks to:*
My cousin, Ben Waber, author of People Analytics and President/CEO of Sociometric Solutions, who introduced me to many of these items.
My friend Sherri who is an amazing educator,artist and tech junkie. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hula Skirt Cutting Fun!

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 preschool cutting fun hula skirt.  

I wanted to practice cutting skills with Baby Bear.  I gave her a few options and she wanted to make a hula skirt. This is a really fun activity to practice holding a scissors and cutting in a way that your child can show off their handiwork.  They get to make something that helps to use their imagination and also keep them active by dancing. 

large brown grocery bag
kid friendly scissors ~we opted for metal blades
stapler or velcro for closure

Open the bag at the seam. Cut off the bottom of the bag take off the handles carefully.

  I always start by modeling what I want Baby Bear to do.  Start by showing how to hold the scissors and cut in a straight line.  Next, draw some guidelines for your child to follow leaving 3 inches at the top for the band. 

Once the bag is successfully cut, either staple it on or use the velcro for a reusable closure.  If you want to make it reusable, I suggest reinforcing the top with tape on the inside or by folding it over for structure. 

Find some hula music and DANCE! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Edible Math Fun for Preschoolers

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Baby Bear loves patterns and numbers, so we took some of her M&M snack and played some games during our tea party.  

You don't need anything special for counting with little ones.  Even your food can do! Start with easy things like numbers and counting.

Then move on to color sorting, sequencing from most to least, patterns, and sizes.

Work up to creating patterns, shapes, and anything else you can imagine.

Making a game out of things that will seem harder later on for children helps to build a foundation of good math memories.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

alphabet hopscotch

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We are taking advantage of the last precious warm days outside.  Baby Bear is learning letters in preschool, so I try to find fun ways to reinforce it at home.  

You don't need anything special do this besides chalk. 

I showed baby Bear how to draw a hopscotch board and we filled it in with letters.  Then we just learned to do the hopping on one foot to open on two feet move that you do with using a hopscotch.  

After getting the movements down, we played the game using letters.  It was so much fun that a friend joined us.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Love Letters from Baby Bear

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Thanks to Baby Bear's amazing teachers, she has begun to compose writing pieces.  I always that that authoring meant that one had to be physically writing things down by oneself, but it does not!  Make sure to tell them that they are writing and authoring so they know the vocabulary associated with it.  

When your children cannot write themselves, it is totally OK to write thing that they compose down and keep it to treasure.  These two incredibly imaginative pieces were things that the teacher wrote down from Naomi to Mr. BBH and I.  The more imagination the better and they are incredibly beautiful!  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

~Bedroom Updo~

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Baby Bear is growing so fast and is so tall that her little toddler bed is getting too small for her.  We looked and looked for a solution for her new bed.  I thought about a bunk bed since she shares a room with Mini but I couldn't find anything that I loved enough to make a decision.  We got a metal bed frame and a board for the memory foam mattress.  We decided that the memory foam mattress was worth it for us over the $99 basic box spring for a few bucks more. I am so glad that we did because I have been cuddling in Baby Bears bed and so has Mini. 

Her great aunt got her this cool tent and Sofia the First sheets, so we went with the theme!  Then her Great Grandma got her the comforter to complete the look. 

The Reveal 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apple Quick Bread Recipe {whole grain + sugar free}

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My girls love to help me cook.  Baby Bear wanted to make apple muffins, so I whipped this up with their help!

2 cups Trader Joe's Multigrain Baking & Pancake mix
2/3 cup yogurt, milk, or sour cream
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1Tbl vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup grated apple {I used more} you could substitute anything here like pumpkin, zucchini, carrot

optional: nuts and coconut sugar to sprinkle on the top

Heat oven to 400ºF. Put muffin liners in the tin. 

Grate your apples in your food processor or by hand.  

Mix all of the dry ingredients. Next add all of your ingredients together except the apples.   Once everything is mixed, stir in the apples.  Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.  

Tip: Use a 1/4 cup scoop to get even amounts in all of the muffin cups. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fire Safety for Preschoolers

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This week was Fire Prevention Week.  I took Baby Bear to our local fire station open house.

They had lots of different fun things for kids to do, but I think that the most important thing that they teach kids is fire safety.  Baby Bear and Mini have lit candles for religious reasons and are not afraid of fire and can both do it safely.  It is important that they also know the dangers of what can happen if not used properly.  

The most important thing is to start the discussion. Here are ways to start:

Kids need to know how to call 911 in an emergency.  Show them on a land line and a cell phone. Kids know how to use cell phones from a really early age.  Make sure that they know how to use your cell phone to call for help in case of medical and fire emergency.  This means to have an entry that they know how to use to call and also how to use a home phone to physically dial 9-1-1 for help. 

How kids how to
in a case that their clothes light on fire.

Test your fire detectors monthly and have your kids help with a fun chart from NPW Kids here.  They have more learning activities and videos for kids on their site

Lead by example and have them help you check your home for fire hazards or show them how to exit your home in case of fire and crawl under the smoke to safety.

If you don't know what to do~ call or visit your local fire department and ask them to help! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Things about me you didn't know

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I realize that you might know a lot about Baby Bear and Mini and not so much about me.  I also sometimes lose myself in my children (for the good and bad) and decided to focus on myself for the minute. 

1. I have one less set of ribs
{it must be genetic because my aunt has the same thing!}

2. All of the first born girls on my dad's side are named after my great grandma Esther (Brooke Esther)

3. My parents almost named me Barry. Bonnie and B'nai were also in the running. Can you picture me as a Bonnie?? They came up with Brooke last minute.

4. My brother Ben also has a B name. We call my sister Bissa/Biss (Marissa) so that she can have a B name too!

4. I everything to do with art except for drawing since I don't feel that I am so good at it.

5. Wanted to be a Rabbi when I was in High School and some of University

6. I can't spell and am so glad for spell checker!!

7. I had to take Hebrew pass/fail in college because I was so bad at it! (I took Hebrew and Spanish) I love languages.

8. I have really bad handwriting.  I wish that I had handwriting like my cousin, I think hers is the best and have since I was really little.

9. I don't like beef and lamb of the bone. I was a vegetarian for 6 years and now I just don't really eat it. If I do it would have to be Kosher, but I think the texture is gross! I don't like cheese and I am lactose intolerant too. I have even gone back and forth between being Raw Vegan before I had kids.

10. I love jewelry and gemstones and always have. I used to go door to door when I was really little and sell my beaded things to neighbors. I was like 5 maybe.

11. My cousin and I have a summer camp in my backyard for 3 years. It was called Camp Fun in the Sun. It was all the neighborhood kids my sister's age. I would even walk them home!

12. I had my adenoids taken out when I was little.

13. I played soccer in high school on on the Maccabi Detroit soccer team. I was really bad but we won bronze!

14. I don't understand how to play football no matter how many times it has been explained. I somehow understand when U of Michigan plays. Go Blue!!

15. I dressed up as a Michigan State Cheerleader for Halloween with my cousin Erica and used to want to be a Spartan. Good thing I got over that!!

16. I have coral in my foot.

17. My parents did not meet my husband until after we go married. We got married so that he could get paper to come to the US and have a wedding there. In hind sight I wish that I would have made everyone come to Israel. We only wanted to have a justice of the peace type thing, but you need a minyan. It ended up being around 30 people and we had a party after.

18. I used to have a dog named Max and I still cry when I think about him. I never thought I would love anything more then him and the love for my daughters far surpasses.

19. My husband and I have 2 wedding anniversaries. A Hebrew date when we were legally and religiously married and the English date of the one in the US.

18. I like to sew and even made some quilts and a chuppah for my bestie

I like to return things. Not sure why but my aunt says that I always would buy stuff then return it.

The best falafel in the world is at the Beer Sheva bus station. 

21. I had a parakeet named T.C for Too Cute when I was in elementary school.  My parents came home really late and I was home alone and I was scared and put the bird cage next to me. The went out the next day and got our old dog Taffy the next day.

22. I really miss the home that I grew up in and my parents sold 2 years ago.

23. I wish that I could make everything homemade from scratch for my family.  {I really try}

I originally posted some {screen shot from my Facebook Feed}
 of these I came up with a few years ago and some are new.  I really tried to keep it about me and erased some things that were about my kids and I. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fun things to do for Fall in Michigan

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note: Let me just start by saying that I hate the term "bucket list" since it refers to "kicking the bucket".  I am blogging with the SITS girls fall challenge, so I will change mine to fall fun in Michigan!
image from

1) Watching the leaves change colors & Making a collage
     This is my favorite part of living in the midwest.  Season change is so beautiful and awe inspiring to share with your loved ones. I want to make a fall collage with the girls of different leaf colors.  Mini is really good with her colors.  It wasn't until age 3 that Baby Bear could name the color  no matter how hard I tried.  We will also do some obligatory leaf rubbing pictures too. 

2)Apple Picking and making delish baked apple dishes
We go the first week in October, so pictures to come!

3)Cider Mill & doughnuts
Ok, I admit it... I was at the Franklin Cider mill on the opening weekend, but we only took Baby Bear, so family trip is still on the table.  

4) Running outdoors
I went on my first official outdoor run today.  Shout out to my friend who inspired me to go! I was told that my foot doesn't work enough to run, so I will keep working with my athletic trainer to make sure everything is all right.  

5)Build a Sukkah & Shake a lulav
We like to celebrate Baby Bear's birthday on Sukkot (the Jewish holiday where you make an outdoor booth to live in.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Unicorn Food, Mermaid munchies and all things Princess

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Baby Bear has been really crazy with her eating habits.  One would think that when you get an endless supply of "kid food" at camp that Baby Bear would eat so well.  Not so for this picky eater.  

You might remember this angelic face from last year that would eat about anything! But lately food has been a big issue for us.  I don't want her to grow up with food issues, so I am really sensitive to how I approach this issue.  

Problem 1: If she doesn't eat, she gets really moody and the whole problem gets escarbated. 

Problem 2: She tells us what she wants and then won't eat it

Problem 3: Veggies are mostly always turned down

Solution:  Make believe!
Rules: 1 meal & if you don't like it you can eat fruit, veggies or nuts instead {no exceptions!}

Baby Bear loves Mermaids, Unicorns, Princess and all things girly fantasy.  I got the idea in my head that I would tell her that I got a Mermaid recipe and made it for her dinner.  I called it "Mermaid sweet beans" and it was really just beans and rice. She tried it and was really excited.  She didn't LOVE it, but she actually tried it and took a few bites.  Sometimes she just fights us and won't eat anything, so I'll take it as success.  So far her favorite is the birds nest: soba noodles, with chicken cut up in squares on a broccoli tree.  

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