Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ahoy Matey's ...some pirate fun

Pirates landed in the Whitehead's living room, oh my.
My boys had quite the imaginations as they bounced around and played.  My couch was turned into their pirate ship and secret hide away.  Pool noodles became swords.  Then I heard Mom we need hats.  I had to think on that one.  Did you know you can make an easy pirate hat out of newspapers?  Paper towel rolls became pirate spy glasses. 

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Toddler Talk Thursday

This Week’s Topic: Emergency Kit for your babysitter. Do you have one? What is in yours?
I'm afraid I do not have much to add on this one.  I rarely leave C, and when I do my Mom and Dad are the ones he stays with.  So, I really do not need an Emergency Kit .  At least I hope not. They live not a block down the road, & they know his routines, where everything is etc. We  also live less than a mile from the hospital if an emergency came up it wouldn't take but a minute or two to get some help.  My older kids already have the emergency numbers memorized, plus they have them all programmed into their cell phones.  I will be interested in reading what you guys keep in your kits and what you do with them.
NEW Topic Suggestion:  How do you keep your home organized and running smoothly with a toddler running around?
Link Up Suggestions:
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2. Please grab the Toddler Talk Button and display it in your post or on your blog.
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This link up is for families that have toddlers. Raising a toddler can be fun, crazy, exciting, and exhausting. Sharing what works for you could give other families another way to do things.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday with Linky

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Recycled Robot

Fixer the Robot
Fixer the robot actually comes from a first grade home project my son K had.  He is now going into the eighth grade .  Yet, Fixer remains.  For the longest time he lived in the top of K's closet.  After he and his Dad worked on making it for school we couldn't just throw it out with the trash.    Recently K decided he no longer had room for Fixer and headed to the trash with him.  Now he is on my shelf waiting for the perfect place to live out his recycled robot life. What about you do you have any school projects you just can't throw out with the trash?

I can't remember all of the requirements of this project but here were a few

To make a robot out of materials in your home
To name your Robot
For your robot to have a job or purpose
Present your Robot to the class

Materials we used:
large juice can
stew can
5 vegetable cans
2 cat food trays
pipe clamp for the belt
2 tomato paste cans
2 olive cans
funnel for hat
door chain for mouth
various nuts, bolts and screws

His eyes have since fallen off and his belt is loose , but I'd say Fixer has held up well over the years. Dad and K put him together and then Dad attached all of the pieces with screws.
Fixer the robots job was to fix things.   K really loved the mouth , because he said he could put the chain on it when Fixer was suppose to be quite.  Oh, to be in first grade. 
It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow
I Can Teach My Child

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 A Day Challenge

5 a day booksOur 5 A Day Picks

Lionni's signature watercolors span the rainbow in this story of a chameleon who, while searching for his identity, finds a friend with whom he can share his changeable nature." —Publishers Weekly

Gilbert the Goose loves to play with all of the other geese until he has a horrible accident.  Then
he finds himself different from all of the other geese... and all of the geese
pick on poor Gilbert.   enter my giveaway for this charming book (2 winners)
I love the beautiful pictures and so does C.

Mama loves this book!  It teaches the days of the week with food.  I am imagining some fun things with this one. 

C... C what do you see?  I made this last year after a zoo trip for C.  I thought it would be perfect since we have
spent the last two weeks reading all of the Eric Carle What did you see books.  Each page pictures of C and an animal that we
saw at the zoo that day.   You can get great deals on photo books every now and then if you watch for them.  I love making C books.  We also made an alphabet book with something from his life for each letter.

Short, funny and inexpensive we have a few Little Critter Books.
C seems to love him, as all of my kids have at some point.
Little Critter is resisting dads efforts to go to bed.  In the end Dad wins and Little Critter is sound asleep.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recycled CD TREE Frog Craft

We recycled an old CD into a RED Eyed Tree Frog

It began as a paper plate craft , only to find out the older kids had used all of my paper plates.  SMILE mom.  At least they were trying to save me dishes right.  So, we turned it into a CD frog.

Here is what we used
1 used scratched CD
1 circle of green felt
red wiggle eyes
paper to cut out legs and feet
green paint

First I glued the felt onto the CD and we added the eyes, and legs to the frog.
Then C painted the frog with green paint.

Look at these other animals you can recycle your Cd's into. I pinned these at familycrafts  Of course their frog is cuter than ours but hey.  We have a goldfish I'll share later this week which is really cute ,so stay on the look out.  I'm really loving the new wiggle eyes with the eye lashes on them have you seen them?  I got them at Walmart.  We used them on our gold fish. 

It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

Enter these AWESOME Giveaways!!

Don't forget to Stop in and Enter  Our Giveaways ~

Living at the Whitehead's Zoo 2 Winners will win their own copy of Flightless Goose Children's Book.
I'm telling you guys this is a super nice book, hard cover, great little story and wonderful pictures! 
To Enter  Go HERE Flightless Goose Giveaway.

Thanks y'all!  I also, thought I'd share with you some giveaways from Your Golden Ticket Blog. Click on any of them and it will take you to the giveaway. 

Your Golden Ticket Blog has some great giveaways going on right now also! 

Ending 6/27 Digital Coloring Book for Kids (low entry and 3 winners )

Ending 6/30 Brenda's Goodies a $20 Gift Certificate to Brenda's Goodies Etsy Shop

Let me just give you some info about Brenda's shop.  Brenda's Goodies has all kinds of wonderful goodies.  I personally love the washcloth lollipops I think they are super cute.  She also has wonderful soy hand poured shots, you use them like a tart in your tart warmer.  I was sent 2 to review and they smell wonderful!! 

washcloth lollipops found at Brenda's Goodies

Soy Shots also found at Brenda's Goodies

Ending 7/5 Buddy Fruits Squeezable Pouches

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Window Paint

We made window paint for something new .  Anything that involves water as I have said many times is always a plus here in Florida.  Totally got this from  Hands On as We Grow.  One of my very favorite blogs of all time.  You can find so many wonderful and fun ideas for your little ones here.

Back to our painting  experience.

Here is the recipe we used: 

1 cup hand soap (can use dish soap)
I had picked up this huge thing of hand soap at BJS so this came in handy

1/2 cup cornstarch

food coloring


Here is our Paint: 

I loved the colors we came up with!

He did not use up all of the paint so I put his whole little box of goodies in the bath tub for later.  Fantastic bath paint. C really loved it more so in the bath tub. 
I Can Teach My Child

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flightless Goose Children's Book GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank You to everyone who stopped by to ENTER!

Congratulations to comments #22 and #25
Daviabaum and Tammi V

Flightless Goose a children's book by
BY : Eric D. Goodman

We had a chance to chat with Eric yesterday on the Flightless Goose Virtual Book Tour.  If you missed the post I hope you will check it out and leave a comment.  You can also read my review of Flightless Goose and some questions and answers with Author Eric D. Goodman there.

We are going to make this giveaway EASY

Two of my wonderful readers will win their very own copy of Flightless Goose!

Mandatory Entry : Like Flightless Goose Facebook page, leave a comment on their wall that Living at the Whitehead's Zoo sent you.  Then leave me a comment that you did this.

Mandatory Entry must be completed first or others will not count!  Leave your email in each comment so I can notify you if you win please.  Be sure to leave one comment for each entry.

Bonus Entries:
Follow Living at the Whitehead's Zoo on GFC publicly(1 entry)
Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
Like Living at the Whitehead's Zoo on Facebook (1 entry)
Leave a comment of who you would like to win this book for (1 entry)

5 possible entries
Giveaway will Close on July 7 at 11:59 PM Est.
Please remember to leave your twitter id, fb name or gfc name with your comments.

Thank You for Entering and Good Luck!
Thank You Writer's Lair Books and Eric Goodman for our wonderful giveaway prizes. 

Who Am I

#1  I am….   
#2  Share a favorite recipe.
#3 Your worse vacation.
#4 I embrace my culture because….   

I am a mom, a wife , a daughter, a friend.  But who am I?  Sometimes, as a mom , a daughter, a friend, a wife we lose ourselves.  Do you ever feel that way?  Somewhere along the way you have lost the person you use to be and have yet to find the person you are going to be?  I'm not complaining do not get me wrong.  I am happy as all of them things.  They are fulfilling, worthy and wonderful.  Do I sometimes want even more?  Most definitely.  Do I know at this moment what more is.  Nope.

  I think I am one of them people who will never really know what she wants to be when she grows up.     I have these dreams that are out there, and are way bigger than my check book.  Ever have that king of dream?  I suppose I should add I am a dreamer.   IS that what makes up I though? 

So, I return to the question who am I?  I am the person other people come to when they need something.  I am the one who will always change her plans to fit your needs.  I am the one who tries to mend the rift in the family, or try to get you to move on when it just can not be repaired.  I am the referee.  I am the maid, the lover,  the bouncer, the shopper, the mean one, the daughter, granddaughter, friend, confident, cook, baker, hug giver  so many things could make up that word I.  I am the one this family comes to when they need something.   Most of all the greatest part of me is  I am Mom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Toddler Talk Thursday

Crazy About My Baybah

Vacationing with your toddler!

This can be such an adventure for some.  We love to travel and do so whenever possible with all three of our kids.  All three who have very different personalities and travel differently.  Here are some tips we have learned with our three.

*BE flexible
*If it is a long trip leave during the night so you can drive while they sleep
*REDBOX we love it because they can pick and choose movies along the way . Redboxes have popped up everywhere so it is easy to find them on your way.
*A busy box filled with magna doodles, crayons, paper, books , cars (and a few new surprises will go a long way)
*Make Everyone get out and stretch, run around a few minutes and go to the bathroom each time you stop
*Pillows and blankets for the ride so they can snuggle and nap
*Snacks and juice boxes

*and here is a funny side note Do not let your toddler carry anything out on to the balcony .  Last summer we vacationed in Myrtle Beach , South Carolina for a week with our baseball team.  GREAT fun!  C still had his Bink last summer , and every time we stepped out he would throw it over (and was super fast).  I am super embarrassed to say that security came by to tell us NO throwing things off of the balcony.  Umm my baby already had security called (oops) . On that note our little Mister did not enjoy the view from the balcony again. 

Topic Suggestion:  What are your toddlers favorite games?

Most of all just be patient and have an AWESOME time its vacation!

Link Up Suggestions:
1. We ask that you follow all three hosts Family and Life in Las Vegas, Crazy about my Baybah, and My Life as a Sippy Cup Mom. That way you can keep up to date on future Toddler Talks.
2. Please grab the Toddler Talk Button and display it in your post or on your blog.
3. Stop in to other blogs that are linking up. Leave a meaningful comment if you visit, and follow if you would like.
4. If you want to post the link up on your blog – please do! Maybe we can draw in more people to participate and share tips!!
get the InLinkz code

** If you want to follow this on twitter – or plan on tweeting your post – please use hashtag: #letstalktoddler **

Flightless Goose Virtual Book Tour ~ June 23 stop~

Here we are today with Eric D. Goodman.  Eric is author of the children's book Flightless Goose.  Today you can drop by and ask Eric a question or two.  I was lucky enough to have a few answered , and can not wait to share them with you.
Question & Answer with Eric D. Goodman

How did you get interested in writing a children's book? 

I've been writing since I was in grade school, so I've been interested in writing stories and books for as long as I can remember.  Most of the time, I write grown up fiction.  And at one point I thought Flightless Goose might be a chapter book for young children.  But it seemed to lend itself to the picture-book format. 

How long did it take you from start to finish?

It was a long process.  The original story only took a month or so to finish.  But then, when the illustrations were being done, I tinkered with the story and rewrote it over and over.  So it took a few years to go from idea to finished manuscript. And another five years after that to find a publisher and see the book in libraries and bookstores!

What is the best thing about being an author?

The best thing about being an author is being able to share stories with readers -- coming up with an idea or feeling and making it possible for others to experience it through your story. Being able to create new worlds and situations and characters, and to be the master of that universe is kind of cool, too.
Are you working on any new material?

I've always got an iron or two in the fire.  My new novel in stories, Tracks, is coming out on June 30.  It's a collection of linked stories that connect to form a novel.  It takes place on a train and each story is that of a passenger on the train -- but the characters show up in each others' stories, so the strangers on the train get to know one another and touch one another in meaningful ways.  You can learn more about Tracks at, where I have radio readings, excerpts, and a schedule of upcoming events.
I'm also working on another childrens' book, and a possible Flightless Goose sequel.

Do  you have a favorite children's book  author or book?

I've always loved the books of Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Shel Silverstein, and Maurice Sendak.  Green Eggs & Ham, Yertle the Turtle, The Giving Tree, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar are classics.

What is one question you wanted to be asked in this interview?

What would you like children to take away from Flightless Goose?

First and foremost, Flightless Goose is a story, so I'd like the children to enjoy it and have fun with the story.  But there are a lot of lessons packed into the book that I hope seep in.  Everyone is different; children should accept those who are different, should be kind and compassionate to one another, and should never tease or bully others for any reason.  And if you are teased, or are faced with a challenge, look at the positive and move forward.  Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. No matter what your situation, you matter

Thanks for answering my questions Eric, and thank you for this great children's book.  We really enjoy the beautiful story and illustrations here at the Whitehead's Zoo.  I look forward to checking out your new novel Tracks.

I recently had the opportunity to review Flightless Goose by Eric D Goodman and Illustrated by Nataliya Goodman.

The thing that I noticed first when the book arrived was the great illustrations.  I really liked each page, and so did C. 

We also, received the audio CD and C really enjoyed listening to the story and flipping through the pages. 

The story is about a goose named Gilbert who one day is injured and can  no longer fly .  All of the other geese tease and pick on Gilbert because he is different.  When they fly South for the winter Gilbert must stay behind, because he can not fly.  He uses this time to make himself faster and stronger.  He runs and runs.  Then one day the geese return to the pond, and find themselves in trouble.  Gilbert ends up saving the day .

 This book has many lessons for little ones to learn.  Tolerance, Self Worth and Friendship to name a few.  Very important lessons to learn today in a society where bullying is such an issue.  I think this book would be an excellent addition to any classroom or home library.  I see the potential for so many open ended discussions and so much learning. 

What I  LIKED about the book:

The illustrations
That it is based on a real goose
That it teaches tolerance
Teaches Friendship
Teaches Self Worth
Teaches Determination

You can find out more about the Flightless Goose  at  .  The new Flightless Goose website where you can find activities, Gilbert's story and questions about the story.  You are also able to purchase the book here. 

Stop by and visit the Flightless Goose Facebook page  to find information about bullying, Gilbert's pen pal program, school visits photos and more.

I am super excited to tell you TWO  of my wonderful readers will get WIN their very own copy of Flightless Goose.  So, be on the look out I will post the giveaway soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 6/22 with linky

This was a picture for my Dad for Father's Day.

Be sure to visit us tomorrow 6/23 ~

Children’s book author, Eric D. Goodman,
will be stopping by on the Flightless Goose Virtual Book Tour
Living at the Whitehead's Zoo is so excited to be a part of it.  We will also be posting a book giveaway.  Drop in and
ask Eric your questions, or leave a comment about the book.

I love to hop around and look at your pictures each week, so be sure and leave me your link below.  Thanks guys.  Have a happy Wordless Wednesday!

Flightless Goose Tour

I have a treat for you guys   We are a stop on the Flightless Goose
Virtual Book Tour . 

Children’s book author, Eric D. Goodman, will be touring around the virtual world with his children’s book, Flightless Goose stopping at great blogs around the blogosphere!
Beginning Wednesday, June 22, 2011 and ending August 2, 2011

Eric will be stopping here at Living at the Whitehead's Zoo, and answering a few questions on June 23, 2011.  Be sure and check in. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Brown Bear Activities

We have been reading Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See.  Here are some of the activities we have done to go along with the book.

We painted brown bears with chocolate pudding.  This was fun, and far less messy than what I imagined.  It was almost like C wanted to save his pudding to eat instead of mess.   After we painted brown bears we did a matching game with m & ms.

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Classified: Mom

It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow

Shibley Smiles

I Can Teach My Child

5 A Day picks

5 a day booksOur picks for the week of June 20~
The first 3 are Eric Carle books , and they were on our shelf last week too.  We had Brown Bear Brown Bear last week and it kind of took on a life of its own with all of the fun crafts and activities.  C reallly enjoyed it, but I don't feel like he gave these a fair shake or = time.  So, we are keeping them around another week to enjoy and do even more fun activities.

simple counting with Carle's unusual illustrations of animals

I hope to make an animal train with C this week.  It is on the list we will see what happens with our summer schedule.

Panda Bear features a string of fine feathered (and furry and scaly) friends watching over each other. In this book, however, all the animals are endangered, from a swinging spider monkey to a strutting macaroni penguin (kids will get a kick out of that name!) to a splashing sea lion.

We read this a couple of times last week. I love the animals in it and can't wait to have some crafty fun and further explore this one with C.

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?" asks the title character and, more importantly, the young reader/listener what they see as they turn through the pages of this wonderful book. Like "Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?," this book is filled with brilliant, big and colorful pictures from Eric Carle. Bill Martin, Jr. focuses this story on North American animals, making it a bit more interesting for the kids and their parents here in the good ol' U.S. of A

 Honestly, I flipped this book and it flipped back.  I would fix it for you but it is very late/early and I'm just to tired. 

Tractor by Craig Brown :  this tractor is depicted in warm earth tones and fuzzy lines as it goes about its work on a small farm in the Midwest. The straightforward, minimal text describes how the farmer uses the tractor and its attachments to prepare the soil, plant seeds, harvest corn, and haul it to market.
 A cutesy, rhymed text in the child's voice tells toddlers how Henry receives his very own potty "to use when I am ready." Then the narrator goes on to relate how he/she sits on it, has success, and is rewarded with new underwear, not to mention the praise and applause of Mommy and Daddy.

C picked this up once already and didn't seem overly impressed we will see what happens.

Some of our Brown Bear activities from last week:

We painted a brown bear with chocolate pudding (will post pictures this week)
Brown Bear File Folder Game (love it we worked on matching, and colors)
Brown bear busy bag (sizing bears from largest to smallest, also use as puppets post pictures this week)
Brown bear m&m sorting activity (this works perfectly with m &m's) I'll post this week also

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fun ideas for Fourth of July

I  love the Fourth of July.   It is my sweet husband's favorite holiday.  I can see why.  It is a holiday the guys take charge of or in my family that is true.  I'm certainly not one to go buy fireworks or BBQ.  I let J take care of that.  But for me I enjoy the day with the family.  I love the colors and decorations red, white and blue . I love the patriotism, good old apple pie and everything the 4th represents to us.  Plus now the 4th of July also marks C's half Birthday.  He will be 2 and 1/2  on the 4th.  So, mommy always likes to do a little something special for him. 

Here are some ideas I have pinned on Pinterest and now that our Father's day crafts are behind us I can't wait to start making some of these !  Do you have a great Fourth of July Craft?  I'd love to hear all about it or see it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


 "One need not be a chamber to be haunted, One need not be a house. The brain has corridors surpassing material place". -Emily Dickinson What haunts you?

I hold on to things in my mind and replay them over and over.  I don't know why I do this I could seriously drive myself crazy.  The things that haunt me are the the things that I can not change .  The losses that have forever changed who I am.   These are the things that I hold close to my heart, and the things that have been the worse and most heartbreaking days of my life.  I actually, have several of these events in my life.  As I am sure many of you do.  Life happens and with it death, illness, tragedy, mistakes. 

Death , when you lose someone that was as much a part of you as the very breath you take.  The unimaginable hole that is left in your heart , in your life.  The sadness that is in your soul and your families.  This haunts me.

When you see someone you love suffer and struggle as they die.  When your heartbreaks every painful breath they take.  When the rest of the family completely falls a part after the loss . This  haunts me. 

Fear...most definitely haunts me.  What kind of fear?  The fear of being sick, the fear of fighting, the fear of not being here when they need me, the fear of something happening to one of them, the fear of not being that person they need to be.  These  things haunt me. 

Haunted I may be, but these are also the things that made me me.  That taught me empathy, sympathy, humility, and unquestionable love.  These are the things that have made me a  better person.   With every breath I take I remember that life is short.  Love the ones you love and let them know every day you love them. 

Expo Washable Marker Party

One week ago today we hosted our Expo washable markers party.  I was so excited to be picked by House Party.  If you have never had a house party you should stop by their site and check them out.  They are really a lot of fun .  You ask well what is it?  House Party works with great sponsors to help you to host a party.  For instance I hosted the Expo Washable Marker Party and received a wonderful Expo Marker Party Pack to share with my guest. 

We could not wait to kick off summer break with our marker party and some great friends. 

Each party pack contained the following:
16 expo marker erasers
16 packs of fine tip washable markers
16 packs of broad tip washable markers
16 white boards

host one magnetic easel board (LOVE this)

How AWESOME WAS that Party Pack. 

For the party we invited 21 and had 18. Not bad at all.  I totally envisioned making some really cute cup cakes, but things happen and we totally went with good old Walmart cupcakes.  The kids certainly did not care. 

I covered the kid table with freezer paper so they can draw and filled up our marker bucket with some expos and crayons.
The kids love to sit and draw at the table.  I do a table or wall at all of our parties.  Kids can be so creative.

Something I love about having a House Party. I get  to use some of the cute party themes that we aren't going to do at a Birthday party.  For this party I picked up Mickey Mouse goody bags.  C loves Mickey Mouse. 
Here are our fun little goody bags.  Filled with our wonderful expo goodies, attached to a white board .  Then I added a pack of bubbles and a small kid sized play dough just for fun.  Not that it was needed.  Aren't these fun to take home. 

We played several games at our EXPO Washable Marker Party.
My favorite is Pict draw and the kids favorite too I think.  It was so fun. Here is what we did.
I put the face parts on the magnetic easel and set up for everyone could see.  Then they each had a white board and markers and drew their faces .

Here is a face waiting to be drawn.

Here is a face some one drew!  Fun right!

We also kept score of a game of bean bag toss girls vs boys.

A game of Hangman too.  Hang man was really to hard for the little kids though.

Add a couple of pizzas, boxes of Capri suns and cupcakes and you have one FUN party.

Thank You House Party & Expo Washable Markers!

Stop in and Show Expo some love on facebook