Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mixed Feelings

1. Pretty beach house - 2. Happy bananas - 3. Free wi-fi - 4. Bry Bry

This last week has been an emotional one for sure.  I started out excited about finding out I was pregnant, but then found out I wasn't after all.  Boo.  (But, while we're on the subject, thank you so much for all of your sweet, thoughtful, helpful comments.  I read every one and each time I was so touched by your love and care.  Thank you.)

Then, Bryan and I were going to go on a trip to check out a place where we might want to live after Bryan's done with school.  We've been talking about it (the place and the trip) for months now and I was so excited about it.  We'd be leaving Olivia in the care of Bryan's mom and having a few days to ourselves.  At the beach.  Without a two year old.  So you can relate, I'm sure, to my frustration when Olivia got sick and was throwing up the morning of the day we were supposed to leave on our little escapade.

Luckily she got better fast and we were able to leave the next day, but not after I let out some frustration about this unexpected change in plans.  Sometimes I feel like my entire life is an unexpected change in plans. Sometimes I'm pretty good at taking it all in stride.  And sometimes I just want to throw a tantrum.  Uhh... I might have not been taking it all in stride very well these last few days.

1. Stacking shells - 2. Me in the mirror - 3. Driving - 4. Looking at neighborhoods

But we had a nice drive down to the town we wanted to check out and things seemed to be on the mend.  "This is going to be a nice trip after all," I thought.  And it was.  Right up until the time when we pulled into our motel.

We had already made reservations online or else I would have said, "No way," as soon as we pulled up to the place.  Not the worst place I can imagine, but definitely on my list of "I don't ever want to stay here" kind of places.  We went inside and got our keys, but when we went back out, the sketchy guys that had been outside when we went in started totally fighting.  Luckily the fighting was verbal and only sort of physical, but I swear I saw one of them (the more angry of the two) packing a gun and I had no desire to stay there any longer.  Oh, and, by the way, they were putting on this whole scene right in front of our room.

I told Bryan we should go and come back later, so we left and headed down to the beach.  Where I bawled.  The whole day (which started out with me finding out I wasn't pregnant after all) had already been such an emotional roller coaster and now there were really scary guys fighting in front of our room.  I thought about having to sleep there (or, rather, how I knew I wouldn't get any sleep there) and I just felt miserable.  Bring on the pity party.

Finally, I calmed down and called the guy at the front desk of the motel.  I explained everything and said I just didn't feel comfortable staying there now.  He talked to the manager and they refunded us the payment for our room.  We went and booked a room at another motel (not nearly so sketchy) and then went out for some pizza and visited the beach again.  "Okay, this is going to be a good trip after all," I told myself again.

On our way home that night we drove past the first motel.  There were two police cars out front.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blighted

As it turns out, we didn't need a contingency plan for whether or not we would tell anybody right away.  Because, for what feels like the umpteenth month in a row, I'm not pregnant after all.  It may seem odd, I guess, that I'm perfectly willing to write about not being pregnant when I basically just said that we weren't going to make some big announcement if I was, but it's two different things.  

If I were pregnant, it would be a matter of joy.  And joy is like trying to keep a secret that you just want to tell everybody.  But joy and pain work differently.  Pain is not a happy secret; it's a pile that you just keep having to shovel away at, little by little, until it's not making a mess on your front porch anymore.  And when you can count on something adding to that pile each and every month like clockwork, well, at some point you've got to start digging.

To be fair, I've thought I was pregnant almost every single month since I miscarried.  But this month I had a legitimate reason for thinking so.  When I was out on a walk with a good friend of mine about a month ago, she suggested tracking my basal body temperature.  I had heard about it before and knew it was legit and not just some old wives tale, but I didn't really know anything about it.  She had used this method herself in trying to get pregnant (and succeeded), so she explained it very simply.

"Each morning just as you wake up, but before you really get up and get out of bed, you take your temperature.  It'll spike when you're ovulating* and if you're pregnant, your temperature will stay high.  If you're not, your temperature will go back down to normal."

*Since that conversation my friend showed me this article which explains that you're actually ovulating just before the spike.  Just FYI, I guess.

It sounded simple enough, so I bought a thermometer (we had one, but it was weird) and started tracking my temperature the day after the end of my last period.  To make a long-and-lots-of-numbers-story short, my temperature was low at first, spiked high, and then stayed high.  So all signs pointed to me finally being pregnant.  I tried not to get my hopes up too high, of course, but how can you help it?  I finally had evidence to back the feeling I've had (every month so far) that I am indeed pregnant and we were finally going to get to have our turn to have another baby and get to move on to the next phase in life.

But no.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So... I got an iPod

Sadly, I'm still learning how to use it, so I have no idea how this post is going to look. Haha. Well, here goes the test run! Hello modern technology!

Also, uhh, I have a confession to make: we're traveling again. So much for being back for reals, I guess. But maybe this time we'll be able to keep in touch better. I heard Instagram is cool, so I got on that last night. If you want to follow me my username is "theredkitchenkatie".

Anyway, the exciting part of this trip is supposed to start later today, but Olivia woke up this morning with a fever and possibly the stomach flu, so we'll see where things go from here.

Hope you're all having a great day. I'll check in again later.

Edited to add: So, the text came in on top and the pictures are all out of order. How do I fix this? Technology is hard.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back (for reals!) and a someday maybe iPod

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind.  Two weeks ago Olivia and I flew out to Oregon for a fun week with my parents.  Bryan was supposed to start work that week, but didn't.  We thought the little things that would need to be taken care of for him to start work would be taken care of, but they weren't.  So then this last Monday we made a last-minute decision to go to Virginia for a few days to visit Bryan's family.  We waited for messages from Bryan's work telling us to come back so he could start, but the only messages we got were still, "We'll be ready for the next step in a few days," so we ended up staying in Virginia for the whole week, hanging out with Bryan's family and having a blast.

While we were in Virginia we celebrated two birthdays.  Mine was on Wednesday and Bryan's youngest brother's birthday was on Friday.  Lucky us, we got treated to double the amount of birthday outings and treats.  (Although my insides would have preferred, I think, if we had all celebrated with vegetables instead of cake and ice cream and cheesecake and frozen yogurt and cookies and candy.)  Having grown up as the perpetual little sister to so many older siblings, it's especially fun to get to spend time with Bryan's younger siblings.  They're not little anymore, of course, but it's fun to be older than somebody.  Well, mostly it's just fun to hang out with with them.  They're really nice, fun, funny people.  And even though Bryan's younger brother who's out making millions in California was probably calling to wish his little brother a happy birthday, I was still honored and delighted to get my own rendition of "Happy Birthday" over the phone.

Anyway, the point is, the last two weeks have been really fun and jam-packed with fun people and fun things, but they have also been busy weeks where I was away from the big workhorse computer that makes it ten billion times easier to download and edit pictures.  My little baby laptop is nice (and, thankfully, makes it possible for me to continue to send out Undies Patterns and Flashcards while I'm away), but it's a downright pain to write up full blog posts with all the pictures and edits that you've probably come to expect.  Hence my quiet on the blog front lately.

But all this quiet has left me with a million little things bumping around in my mind, waiting for a turn to get out in print.  For a brain that's used to a regular release in that way, it's hard to be away from this space I love.  And, as much as it's fun to leave people in suspense sometimes, it's not really fun as a reader to wonder where a blogging friend disappeared to for weeks in a row when you're used to a friendly visit every day.  Sorry for that if you've missed me.  I've missed you too.  And, were it not for the baby laptop's inability to function when faced with large picture files (and my little brother-in-law showing us his favorite episodes of Top Gear almost every night), I wouldn't have been so quiet.

So, here I am, back again, and with no plans to jet out again first thing Monday morning.  I hope and expect that I'll have the time and energy this time around to play some catch up on my week in Oregon and my week in Virginia, but who knows.  Sometimes I have fun playing catch up and sometimes my attention span is too short to focus on things that aren't present in my mind anymore.  Not that I'll forget all the fun times I had these past two weeks with people I love a lot, but there may or may not ever be a great cataloging of them here.

image via

And this has nothing to do with any of that, really, but I've been thinking about getting an iPod (this one, to be exact).  Actually, I've been thinking about it for years, but I haven't yet been able to justify the purchase to myself.  I think about buying an iPod on every return trip we make from Virginia, actually.  Not because everyone in the house has one, but because we eat so much every time we go that I come home in a food coma and new resolve to only eat vegetables for the rest of my life.  (And I'm not saying that because of my vegan mother-in-law this time.  I'm just saying that because I still feel full even though we got home hours ago.)  Anyway, what that all has to do with an iPod is that I'd really like to be able to use MyFitnessPal on an iPod.  I've used that site in the past and really felt like it was worthwhile, but I hate having to march down to the computer to enter everything in.

The problem is, that's really the main reason I want an iPod.  Likely I won't be uploading lots of music to it (though I just realized I could probably listen to my Pandora station on it, which is actually really appealing to me).  I don't really need it as a day planner, though I guess maybe I'd love it if I had it.  And I'm sure I'd use it to take pictures, but that's not even a major selling point to me either.  Oh, and in case you're wondering why I'm not pining for an iPhone, it's because I just plain can't stomach having to pay more than $20 every 3 months for a cell phone.  (We use Tracfone for cell phones and Ooma at home which is so cheap that it will make you feel guilty about your phone budget.  My apologies for that.)

And that's kind of the end of the conversation I have with myself ever time I think about forking over the money for an iPod.  Anticlimactic, I know.  Hence the reason I still haven't bothered saving up for one.  I'm just afraid it's one of those things that seems like it'll be a great idea, but really it'll just sit on a shelf most of the time and I'll feel guilty that I spent money on it.  Or maybe I'm the only one who feels that way about under-used stuff.

Anyway, truth be told, I really would like to be talked into buying one.  So, even though I don't have the moolah saved up for one yet, I'd appreciate any reasons why you think I should make the plunge.  I'm sure there are millions of things I could do with it that I just don't know about, but, well, I don't know about those things.  So please, enlighten me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The big two six

Me at the Tillamook Cheese Factory last week

Today, my friends, I am 26.  I woke up to Olivia saying, "Happy birfday, Mommy!", Bryan changing Olivia's diaper (although I really was getting up to do it) and a hearty chorus of "Happy Birthday" from Bryan and my in-laws.  So, ya know, it's already been a pretty fabulous day.

Made more fabulous by getting to clip my nails.  I hate having long nails (always have, always will) and I hadn't gotten a chance to sit and clip them in the last couple of weeks, so they were due for a good trimming.  As I sat alone in the shade of the grass in my my in-laws' back yard, I couldn't help but feel that clipping my nails, sending the trimmings into the grass, was like spreading the magic of my birthday.  Earth fertilized with magic.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Home


Olivia and I spent the past week in Oregon at my parents' house, where I grew up.  We thought Bryan would be starting his new job (he still hasn't yet, thanks to some lovelies in the HR department that haven't been able to finish up his preliminary paperwork yet), so it was just Bolivia and me in Oregon while Bryan was stuck on his own at home.  I thought it would be nice to be able to spend time with family and friends without Bryan having to endure another series of "remember that one time...", but actually it was pretty lame not having him there.  Boo to being on opposite ends of the country for an entire week.  Some people are good at that.  Bryan and I never want to be.



Still, in spite of the separation anxiety, Olivia and I had a good time.  Olivia got more dirty than she probably ever has previously in her life and for more days in a row than ever before, but she loved every minute of it.  Picking strawberries in the garden with Grandma, helping Grandpa shovel dirt, playing in the sand and the water at the beach--this girl was in heaven.  I kind of didn't know what to do with myself half the time because she was so enthralled with what Grandma and Grandpa were doing that it kind of put me out of a job.  Not that it's such a bad thing to have the week off.

Monday, June 11, 2012

On Saturday


We got all packed up.



I brought some treats.



Olivia pulled her little suitcase.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Round 1 has begun!


Eeek!  Just moments ago I sent out the first slew of e-mails to my wonderful project testers with the first 11 projects for the book to be tested.  Round 1 of the project testing has officially begun!

This also means, of course, that I successfully typed up 11 of the projects into a (hopefully) coherent form.  Huzzah to me.  It may sound like a little thing--one small step among many--but to me it's a huge accomplishment.

Now all I have to do is wait for all of the feedback to pour in over the next few weeks!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

$23 For The Worst Picture Of My Life

This is not that picture.
So, this month it'll be a year since we moved.  And guess when I finally got around to getting a drivers licence for the state we live in?  Yeah.  Today.  Bryan got his last week, by the way, and I would have gotten mine then too, but there was a hiccup when we went in (i.e. I brought all of my required documents except for my current out-of-state drivers licence*), so we had to go back to the far away DMV today so I could take the test.  Thank goodness I passed.  Not that I was really worried about it, but I just don't like to think about how shameful it would have been to hold a valid drivers licence in one state and fail the dumb test in another.  Anyway.  Then we drove back to the close DMV where I could actually pick up my licence and have the worst picture of my life taken.

Okay, so in all honesty, I wasn't planning on picking up my actual licence today.  We thought we'd get back too late and I'd have to go in and pick it up tomorrow, but we got back just in time, so in to pick up my licence I went.  My point is, I hadn't picked out the cutest shirt in my wardrobe or put on mascara or brushed my hair two seconds before I went in for this picture, but I didn't look that bad.  I looked normal.  Not that you'd ever believe me if you saw the picture.

The tallest girl I have ever seen in life was in line in front of me.  I'm not kidding when I say that she was probably at least 7' tall.  I just stood there thinking about how tall she was.  I was kind of mesmerized by it.  But even in the midst of my fascination I couldn't help thinking how tired she must be of people staring at her and thinking about how tall she is and asking her if she plays professional basketball.  (I didn't ask, but I wanted to.  Wouldn't you?)  She kind of reminded me of Madam Maxime (from Harry Potter), but only in terms of her height.  She wasn't the least bit swarthy; she was thin and pretty and dressed so well.  So I was kind of in awe of how beautiful and normal she was despite the fact that she was taller than everyone else in the room.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let's Read! (Free printable reading charts)


I don't know if you've noticed yet, but Olivia and I kind of thrive on charts.  We love marking things off, having visible accomplishments, working toward little goals.  Or maybe she's just in it for the stickers.  But whatever it is, little charts where we can check things off totally work for us.

Enter: another chart!  And just in time for summer reading!  Hooray!

We've started doing a little daily reading lesson with Olivia and, despite a rough patch there in the beginning, it is going really well and she and I are both really enjoying it.  We do it every day (seven days a week) and we haven't missed a day yet since we started.  Bring on the gold stickers for being an awesome mom.

Well, except for one thing.  I have to confess that I am actually really terrible about sitting down to do casual, cuddly-time reading with Olivia.  It's something that she loves and simply can't get enough of, but I'm so bad about doing it with her.  It's one of those things that I perpetually say I'll do "in just a minute!" and then never actually get around to.  Isn't that terrible?  Boo to me and my bad priorities.

Bryan's really great about reading book after book after book with her, but--Hello!  I'm the one that's home with her all day long!-- so I it's something I want to be better about.  Hence, this new little chart.  :)  My goal is to read at least five books with her every day.  Five books is actually a really wimpy goal considering that the books she's into only take like three minutes to get through, but I'd rather start low and keep going than start high and quit right off the bat.  I am all about making goals that I know I can successfully meet.  (It's so much more encouraging and satisfying that way!)  So five a day it is.

My plan is to let her color on or put a sticker on a star each time I read a book to her.  Once all of the stars are full we'll go get a doughnuts together.  (We live right next to a doughnut shop and she asks for doughnuts literally every single day, so this should be a good motivation.)  If we stick to our (my) plan of reading five books a day, we should finish one row each day, one full chart each week (Mon-Fri).  But these simple little charts could also be used a lot of other ways.

Use these charts to:

  • Mark off a certain amount of time spent reading
  • Mark off each book you read
  • Mark off each chapter you read in a book
  • Mark off the pages you read in a book
  • Have the kids in your classroom mark off the days they read at home with a parent for homework

To make the charts even more effective, decide on a reward ahead of time so you have something special to look forward to.  Everybody loves a good prize for a well-earned accomplishment.

Get the free printable after the jump!

Your Company Is Nicer


Blogs are all about connecting and sharing.  And as much as we love to talk about how people who write blogs only want to show the best part of themselves and their homes and their lives, blogs are ultimately about real people.  We love sharing real ideas--however big or small they may be--while we make real connections with real people.  The great divide between the writer and the audience is so thin.  We have the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions and support on virtually everything we see in the blogging world.  And that is special.  

After all, when I see something great in a magazine I can't instantly thank the author or photographer for sharing their work and time and talents with me.  Nor can I ask them questions I may have or talk about why I connected instantly with their work.  So to be able to write in a comment form and say, "Hey, I like your stuff," is special to me.

When I think about blogging I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It has done so much for my own personal growth.   As I've blogged for the past several years I've grown as a photographer, creator, and as a writer.  Over time I've made several wonderful connections and built long-distance friendships with other bloggers out there.  Sometimes it seems like there's so much to compete with in the blogging world.  But, the truth is, there isn't nearly so much competition as there is support.  To be able to bask in the friendship of others who share the same passions I have is such a gift.

And so it is out of loneliness and not ego or complaint that I share with you some of what I've been feeling lately.


As a blogger--but more importantly, as a human being--I thrive on your feedback.  I look forward to it with happy anticipation.  I love your comments.  I love the funny things you say.  I love the helpful and inspiring ideas you share.  Even the short little, "I like this!" and "So fun!" comments brighten my day.  The comments you share make my e-mail inbox a treasure trove of happiness.  Thank you so much for that.  I know it takes time and some thought and a bit of your heart and attention to leave every single comment.  I'm honored by each and every one.

And so, it is with a sad heart that I talk about about the way comments are trending.  People are leaving less of them.  And that makes me sad not only for myself but for everyone--bloggers and readers alike.  In our effort to pin and mark and organize and get in as much as we can get and capitalize on the little time we have to spend, we are trending toward pinning more and commenting less.  Beckie talked about this on Infarrantly Creative and she put it all so well.  As bloggers, we want you to pin the things we share.  We're so flattered by it!  But seeing projects pop up over and over again on Pinterest and watching the corresponding blog stats skyrocket doesn't do the same thing for my soul as your personal words do.

Climbing blog stats are nice.
Your company is nicer.


I hope you won't feel guilted by what I'm sharing here.  This is not a guilt trip.  It's just something I've been thinking a lot about lately.  I know we can't possibly comment on every post we read.  I know I can't.  And I can also relate to the fact that sometimes I read something, enjoy it completely, am inspired by it... and then don't feel like I really have anything to say in reply.  That's natural and I think that's okay.  

But I think more than being sad about the trend of declining comments in the blog world, I'm sad about the opportunity for connection that's lost.

I've been noticing the significant drop in comments on my blog lately and, I'll be honest, it hurts.  It feels lonely to spend time writing up a thought or a project only to be met by... nothingness.  I think a lack of feedback is harder even than negative feedback.  

Anyway, I thought maybe you all just weren't as interested in what I had to say.  There have even been several times lately when I've thought of writing about things and I talked myself out of sitting down to write up the posts because nobody seemed to be all that interested in what I had to share anyway.  But a few days ago when I read Disney's post on this subject on Ruffles & Stuff and Ashley's post on Lil Blue Boo that's similarly related and then today when I read Beckie's post I began to realize that it probably has less to do with me personally and more to do with the way things are trending.  Which is a bummer.  Boo to this trend, I say.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Luxury of Solitude (in the bathroom)

In case you were wondering, this picture was not taken in the bathroom.  I was at the zoo, outside, and fully clothed.
When we were little my brother used to think it was really funny to get the primary children's song book for church and read the titles out loud and then add "in the bathroom" to the end of each title.  I especially remember hearing, "The Prophet Said To Plant A Garden... in the bathroom."  


Confession: it still makes me giggle.

Last week when Olivia and I went to play in the toddler area at the museum with our friends, I asked my friend if she'd mind watching Olivia for a minute while I went to the bathroom.  She said yes, so I went off by myself to use the restroom and when I came back about three minutes later and thanked my friend, I mentioned what a luxury it is to be able to go to the bathroom by myself.

Ever since Olivia was a baby I've had an audience when I go to the bathroom.  When you have a kid that's just what you do.  It's definitely one of those things that nobody ever warned me about* before Olivia was born, but, well, there it is.  Hello child, goodbye privacy.


*I read that back when she actually posted it in 2009 and I have thought about it and laughed about it so many times since then.  Especially the 5th paragraph.


Anyway, the point is, going to the bathroom by yourself is a luxury.  And here's why:

When you go to the bathroom by yourself you...
...don't have anyone sitting there staring at you while you do your business
...don't have to answer awkward questions like, "You go pee pees, Mommy?"
...don't have to answer the even more awkward question of, "Oh, you going poo poos?"
...have at least three minutes to tune out everything else going on
...have a few minutes to read a magazine
...have a few minutes to pretend you can't hear your child on the other side of the door
...don't have to go in the extra-big handicapped stalls because you don't need the extra room for maneuvering with a child
...don't have to whisper desperate commands like, "Don't touch that lock!" and "Stop looking under there!"
...can wash your hands in peace afterward
...can feel like a normal human being for a short little while

On the flip side, there is also luxury in the solitude of when Olivia goes to the bathroom... with Daddy.  Then it's at least five whole minutes of peace and quiet and reading a magazine and eating bonbons and checking e-mails and doing whatever I want to do without my own personal commentator following me around updating me on everything I'm doing and asking if she can do it too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy about my sweet, funny girl, but every now and then I am in serious need of a little break.  A moment of calm.  A quiet interlude.  A moment of personal me time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

PTFS


So for the last little while I've been writing down all of the projects for my book by hand in a little composition notebook.  It's been good for me to be able to scratch it all down by hand because I can draw (really terrible, but helpful-to-me) pictures next to things and sketch out ideas and all that jazz.  Also, it keeps me focused on the project at hand and away from the ever-distracting computer.  Not to mention it keeps all of my projects in one place so I won't keep losing the instructions I painstakingly wrote down.  (Umm, not that I lost five or six projects that way already...)  So it's been a good win-win situation for me.

But now that several of the projects are past the prototype phase and are ready for me to subject my family and a few friends to lots of testing, it's time for me to type up all those hand-written projects.  Which, by the way, has been strangely terrifying to me.

I think part of the stress comes from the pressure I feel to write things down "for real" now.  When I was scribbling it all down in my little notebook I didn't worry too much about my wording because I knew I'd be doing a major polish when I sat down to type things up.  But now I'm here in the "major polish" zone and it's kind of been stressing me out.  Hence the goal I wrote down yesterday to type up five projects for the book this week.  I just needed to get over myself and jump in.

For the record, as of last night I have at least double that amount typed up.  (Although some of them were already typed up and just needed a little reformatting to make them uniform with the rest of the project instructions.)  Anyway, obviously typing things up isn't hard (Hello, I type all the time!), but it was stressing me out.  But I think now I'm over the hump of just sitting down and doing it and it's not freaking me out so much anymore.

But back to being stressed out about it.  Because I have more to say on the subject.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Goals This Week (free printable!)


Several little things lately have contributed to my making this little printable.  But mostly I made this because when we went on a walk today I told Bryan that I wanted to start making some simple weekly goals to focus on and these little cards can help me do just that.

For my own weekly goals, I decided to focus on the three areas of my life where I most need to make conscious goals on a weekly basis.  For me those areas are spiritual, physical, and personal.  I originally thought of calling the last category "creative," but I think "personal" will apply more universally.



And in case you're not into those categories, there are also a set of goal cards without any categories written down.  So you can create your own categories or just write down your goals willy-nilly.  They're your goals, after all, so do what you like!  These cards are just here to help you do whatever it is you want to do as you strive to become whoever it is you want to become.

Each set prints in 3 pages (size 8 1/2" x 11") with 4 different colored cards on each page, 12 colors* total in each set.

*Confession: the pink cards and the red cards look remarkably similar.  But whatevs.

Below are a few screen shots of what each page in the printable looks like.

Terms of use: These printables are for personal use only.  They are provided free because, ya know, I'm cool like that.  So don't go trying to sell them or pass them off as your own.  Feel free to print off as many as you like for your own personal and non-profit classroom use.  Oh, and if you'd like to link to this free printable (Thanks!) please link to this post and not to the direct links to the files.  Thanks for your respect!


My Goals This Week (Spiritual, Physical, Personal)
page 1

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pattern Practice (free printables!)


During the past school year Olivia and I have had a lot of fun doing at-home preschool a few times a week with her friends.  But now that summer is here, she's been b-o-r-e-d.  We definitely spend as much time as possible outside playing, but this kid of mine needs a little something more each day.  Since preschool ended a couple weeks ago she's been asking for it every single day.  So I've been supplementing with some fun educational activities that she and I can do together.

Every day I try to do some reading and math with her.  For math so far we've done a lot of counting, a lot of sorting, and today on a whim we started doing some patterns.  Hence today's free printable!  Don't you love it when Olivia and I do random stuff here at home and it ends in cool free printables for you?

Anyway, there are several variations on a theme here.  Let's have a look-see.


page 1

First up, page 1 of the printable is just a set of basic patterns.

Ideas for use:

  • Put stickers in corresponding colors on each circle
  • Put small objects in corresponding colors on each circle
  • Use crayons or markers to color on the existing colors in each circle 


page 2

Page 2 features the same basic patterns, but without the second color in each pattern.

Ideas for use:

  • Use stickers to fill in the blank circles
  • Use small objects to fill in the blank circles
  • Use crayons or markers to color on the blank circles


Note: Kids could of course use this page to continue practicing simple A-B pattern schemes, or they could use this as a jumping off point for trying out more complicated patterns.



page 3

Page 3 features the same basic patterns, but only the beginning of each pattern is shown

Ideas for use:

  • Use stickers to fill in the blank circles and continue the pattern
  • Use small objects to fill in the blank circles and continue the pattern
  • Use crayons or markers to color on the blank circles and continue the pattern

page 4


Page 4 just has blank circles so kids can create whatever kind of patterns they want!

Ideas for use:

  • Use stickers to fill in the blank circles and create patterns
  • Use small objects to fill in the blank circles and create patterns
  • Use crayons or markers to color on the blank circles and create patterns
  • Parents or teachers could color in new patterns for a child and then have them match the pattern with stickers, small objects, or coloring supplies


page 5

Page 5 features a new set of more complicated patterns

Ideas for use:

  • Put stickers in corresponding colors on each circle
  • Put small objects in corresponding colors on each circle
  • Use crayons or markers to color on the existing colors in each circle

Ready to print and use your own?