Archive for fuss

Tuesdays with Mooch & Fuss: Fuss Turns 3

Fuss turned three December 31st, and with her being obsessed with trash trucks and all, that had to be the theme of her party on the fifth of January. The pics are in the gallery below, and here is the list of activities, decor, and food.


Trash can toss — balled up newspaper 10 feet away

All that’s needed is a box, balled up newspaper, and an adult to monitor the game.

Trash Sort/ Recycling Game (with grabbers) — Younger kids were allowed to work on hand eye coordination (working the grabbing mechanism and picking up trash). Older kids were called off the “Dirty Mattress” (trampoline) to play three at a time. They were each given a type of trash to pick up (plastic, metal, paper, etc.) and place into a specific color bin. The first to finish was the winner. They had a lot of fun.

I stuck 4 boxes together, cut an opening on each, and painted a styrofoam box insert for each (1blue, 1 yellow, 1 green, and 1 red) to create the recycling game.


I converted Fuss’ small square ikea table into a mini city, and let the kids play with cars on it. This is one of her favorite activities, and the boys sure appreciated it as well.

Everything (except the cars) was hot glued to cardboard, which was stuck on the table with heavy duty masking tape (because I intend to continue using the table for her breakfast and snack).


Trash collage
Color Garbage Truck and Write a Message to Ella
Marble paintings

Pizza boxes work, but I used a box that a printing company had used to deliver a project to me. We place a sheet of paper in, put a paint coated marble in a couple of colors in, closed the box, and let the kid shake it up to create the art. The pictures hung a clothesline to dry.


“Dirty Mattress” – Trampoline (We already owned this)
“Trashy Photos” – A newspaper trimmed box and empty metal trashcan provided a space for 1-3 kids to take photos at a time.


Inside of a plastic trash truck Fuss already had, I placed small black trashbags (square pieces cut from a larger black trash bag) filled with dollar store toys (a top, a dinosaur, a ring) and two Hershey’s kisses. Each person grabbed one on their way out.


1. cupcake tower made of plastic muffin container and cardboard paper towel roll
2. milk crate on display
3. 3. Newspaper lanterns/pom poms
4. Balloons (around trampoline), Some sprinkled inside the trampoline, some on the ground, 2 bunches near focal table
5. Trash wreath on gate and Front door made of sale papers and other wrappers.
6. Labels for food, trampoline, car table, photo booth, trash truck, and lemonade

7. Giant Trash Truck made from two Gaylord Boxes, a hand saw, and lots of spray paint.


• Litterbug lemonade
• Hubcaps and Cheese (Rotelle with vegan cheese in a béchamel sauce using Earth Balance and flour)
• trash can cupcakes or trash truck cake (whichever is cheaper)
• Sanitation Subs (Turkey and Tuna Subway sandwiches)
• Old Newspaper (Salad)
• Vegan chocolate cake with a trash truck on it


Trash Truck T-Shirt for Fuss (Designed by me)

Leave a Comment

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Big Update

Warning: This is gonna be one of those loaded with photos and information kinda blog posts. Ya’ll know how I get in the fall/winter.

Fuss got one of her natal teeth pulled last week (she was born with two teeth), and she did well! We totally forgot to do the tooth fairy two nights in a row, though. Shame on us. Mooch and I tricked her the following morning. I called her into my room, and Mooch snuck the dollar under her pillow. Then I asked her, “Did you check and see if the tooth fairy came?” She was ecstatic — mostly about the money — not the fairy.

Anyway, I pulled her out of the half time (9am-12pm) pre-k program she was in for these two weeks before I leave. I wanted to spend quality time, and really homeschool her before I leave next week. She’ll go full time while Hannibal is at work, and that’s very new for her. We’re having a lot of fun. Here are a couple of pics, but there are loads more at my other blog: Homeschooling Fuss.

I’m redoing my transportation unit with her (from a year ago). She was very excited to see the new activities on the shelves, and she did six activities in a row during work time yesterday. That is unlike her. She normally makes it through about three. I videotaped circle time, so she can watch it while I’m gone, because we aren’t allowed to Skype on the ship. It sucks up too much bandwidth and the ship may sink or get lost or something.


Mooch had a slumber party with her sisters from her rights of passage group. They had a lot of fun, because this is the first time they’ve all been together this year. I had planned for things to happen organically, but Mooch, unbeknownst to me, drafted up a schedule. Here is a copy of it:

The girls were hell bent on sticking to it, too. They built a fort, played with American Girl Dolls, and executed the whole plan. Apparently, there were some lewd conversations and other interesting things that happened after lights out, but I can neither confirm nor deny these reports. Here they are playing with their dolls:

This is a pic of the girls’ beds before the sleepover:

Here they are building their fort:

We finished assembling and pre-decorating our travel journals. I also finished and printed (Yay! My ink came!) both the guide for us to take and the one I’m leaving with Hannibal. Here are pics of those:

Lastly, I made Kwanzaa decorations to take with us on the ship, so Mooch can feel like she’s doing something. Here are those:

Leave a Comment

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Old Costumes

Here are some pics of the girls Halloween costumes over the years. We’re in heavy prep mode around here, and there isn’t much time for blogging. I have a parade at one girl’s school Wednesday morning, and then I have to schlep to the other’s by 1:30pm. Things will be interesting, but they will definitely be fun.

Our costume method has always been they pick what they want to be, and then I design it.

Leave a Comment

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Weddings, Birthdays, and Laundry

I’ve been promising to capture a picture of Fuss doing her laundry without being asked. Yesterday I was cooking my birthday feast, and she came dragging her hamper in. Since I was preparing a new dish, I had my camera near by, so I snapped a couple of photos without distracting her. She’s been so amazing and helpful these last few weeks. She and the other flower girl, Kaia, did a fantastic job in the wedding this weekend. For more on homeschooling Fuss, please visit, Teaching Fuss.

Mooch shot a few pick up shots and recorded some voiceover for Candyland, which should be out in December. She wasn’t in the wedding, but I included a picture of what she wore. I wasn’t able to walk down the aisle with a giant Canon camera, so you’ll have to wait on the professional pictures for shots at the actual venue. This one is in my living room.

Mooch has been working on the science behind building at school. She and a partner are designing a castle from the future, and I can’t wait to see it. They’re also preparing for a 1920’s performance, where she’ll get to perform “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” She met with a coach last night for her November 11th celebrity gala, where she’ll perform a scene from Macbeth with Keith David.

It was also my birthday on Monday, October 15th, so you’ll see a couple of pictures from our tiny family celebration.

Leave a Comment

Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: When Life Gives You Lemons, Turn it Into Good Behavior

Toddlers are so easily influenced. Sometimes that works in a parent’s favor, and sometimes it’s ends up like a scene from Nightmare on Elm Street. This past week, Fuss skipped her normal 9-12 preschool, and stayed home with me. My parenting-style and home instruction was able to completely transform her behavior in just three days. I’m sure, however, that this week, she’ll bring home some funky behaviors, and I’ll need to detox her, again.

Her aunt was visiting yesterday

It’s comforting to know that nothing is set in stone yet, though. Kids sort of have a built in mistake-proof programming for the first five years, so that parents can learn as they go without causing too much damage (outside of abuse and neglect, of course). Despite attempts to the contrary, there really is no one-size-fits-all parenting manual. Each parent must learn their kid. Sometimes it can feel like I’m raising a member of Al-Quaeda, but once I adjust my own behavior and remember to tune in, Fuss is one of the most helpful, curious, and respectful kids I’ve ever met. She’s super sweet. The ebb and flow of good behavior, based on balancing external influences and a mix of parenting styles within the house, keeps us all on our toes. For more on homeschooling Fuss, visit: Teaching Fuss.

The most important 3 family rules in our house. Also, Mooch wanted you to see the Halloween decorations

Mooch is down to two extra-curricular activities per week now as she saves money for our trip in December. She does Shakespeare on Mondays and Vocal Training with my brother on Thursdays. She’ll resume ballet in January. I didn’t think she would miss it, but she’s been twirling in the living room for the past two weeks. I think going three times per week was really increasing her passion for it, because she’s never really been a fan. She likes African and Hip-Hop and Tap — you know, the loud dance styles, but she hasn’t done any of those in the last two and a half years!

Mooch holding her sign. More pics below

This past weekend, she did a lemonade fundraiser, and she made $141 in three hours. Her profit was $129, but it’ll be more next time, because we found someone who wants to donate the lemons, and we won’t have to make a new sign, buy containers, or cups next time (we have leftovers). We’ll probably sell outside of Faithful Central two Sundays from now. She’s fundraising for her trip to Central and South America this December.  If you missed the lemonade stand, but would like to donate a few bucks, here is her GoFundMe page.  Here are some pictures from the experience.

Leave a Comment