art, Daily Lessons, Math, Science

Counting Rings | Bird is the Word

46 days have never seemed so long! It is 46 days, or 6 and half weeks, until our due date on May 3. (Although my husband is apparently hoping for a May 4th C-Section… I think it’s Star Wars related.)

Today we made a paper chain to help us count down the days. Everybody helped a little. Even my husband got in on the action. The 2-year-old helped by demanding I draw things on the paper, and he also colored some of it himself. The (almost) 4-year-old helped by putting tape on the rings.

I chose blue and pink because we do not know the gender of the baby and I thought it would be a happy coincidence if the color matched the gender on the day of the birth. I also numbered each ring to make it easy to keep track of and so the boys can practice their number recognition. When it was done the almost 4-year-old counted to 46 with only a few mistakes (“eleventeen” instead of seventeen, etc).

What else is new?

Mr. 4 has been asking me everyday to do math. He just asks me questions like “What does 20 and 20 make?” “What does 40 and 40 make?”.

We are also learning a bit about birds. Thank you to Grandma for sending us that bird feeder and motivating us to learn more about the nature right outside our house. With the addition of some figurines and a book, we’ve been able to identify a few different birds. We’ve only seen robins and black-capped chickadee near the feeder, but the figurines have taught us to identify Orioles, Cardinals, Blue Jay’s, Blue Bunting and Yellow Warbler as well. I’m pretty proud that he and I are able to name these birds and I open the book everyday to point something out to the boys and reinforce the learning. It has been fun!

Mr. 2 has been building up quite the vocabulary, and has even been making up his own songs. He sang “The Firetruck goes round and round” at the aquarium today. He’s also naming lots of body parts, although he has a tendency to confuse my breast with my baby belly. In the car the boys always point out the red and green lights and tell me when to stop and go.

It has been an educational and busy week.

art, Conversations, Daily Lessons, Language, Parenting

Art and Playdate: Everyday Learning

Mr. Almost 4 has been drawing “house plans” inspired by the show Bob the Builder that he found on his kindle a few weeks ago. This mostly consisted of drawing lots of circle windows near each other for the last two weeks. Today he drew a large circle and added two little circles inside of it and I said, “it looks a little like a face!” He agreed but pointed out that the face was missing a nose and mouth. To my surprise, he decided to add them in.

He has now officially drawn his first face! The large green one was Daddy, the bottom right green was his brother and then the top right green became the baby. The yellow picture was of the dog. My guidance consisted of saying that our dog has a really large nose and two large ears.

I’m no expert, but I feel like this is a pretty important milestone in his artistic development. This is the first time he’s actually drawn something that is recognizable, and I am super proud of him.

Another proud parenting moment:

We went to the playground this evening at Daddy’s suggestion and Mr. 2 said, “This purple slide. Watch me go down.” He spoke so carefully and perfectly I almost cried. And after dinner he tried so very hard to say “May I be excused?” when we asked him if he was all done.

This morning we had a play date with a neighborhood friend. They have 3 girls, one of which is in the process of being adopted into the family. When we had our snack this afternoon I had to answer many questions such as the following:

  • Why don’t they have any boys?
  • Will they make boys?
  • Why did they adopt the baby?
  • Why couldn’t the baby’s mommy or daddy take care of her?
  • Why did the mommy do drugs?
  • Why weren’t they being careful and accidentally have a baby?
  • Why do Crystal and King not have any children? They are lonely. (Dinosaur Train characters.)

I actually had a very long attempt at explaining that people who don’t have children aren’t necessarily lonely, but he took a lot of convincing. Apparently he thinks children are an important and necessary part of life… I wonder why? (:

About, Parenting

7 Weeks

I don’t know if it is due to the sunshine, the warmer weather, the positive attitude, or the armbands, but I am getting things done! I haven’t accomplished anything on the baby to-do list, except to realize we need a new baby monitor (our battery isn’t holding its charge after 4 years) and a new diaper bag/backpack (just for comfort).

Some things we have accomplished include filing our taxes, picking up the license plates for the big(ger) family car, making cinnamon rolls (I promised them to my husband June 2017), set up the bird feeder that Grandma sent, made some washi tape mazes and collages with the little ones, and a number of household chores.

I did not do very well with my goals of walking and exercising last week, and when I asked my husband for advice he told me to set an alarm to wake up a little earlier. (Since my excuse was that I was usually too hungry to work out in the morning, he said I should wake up before the time I’m used to eating.) I woke up at 7 am today, checked my email, read a blog post, and did a baby friendly workout. Just as I was finishing I heard Mr. 2 calling, “momma! Wake up!!”

Honestly, we had a really great day. Mr. 4 came willingly to music class. The boys played well together while I was working on cinnamon rolls and dinner prep. Mr. 2 took a 3 hour nap. Mr. 4 did not have any accidents, and I didn’t even have to threaten or bribe him to go poop. Finally, I got to enjoy the sunny weather while taking the dog for a walk.


While I was walking I played a game of 7 Weeks. Baby is due 7 weeks from Thursday (tomorrow). Babies never come when they are supposed to so these are all estimates, but in that time I will probably:

  • Make the bed 49 times
  • Do the dishes 49 times
  • Do 35 loads of laundry
  • Cook at least 28 meals (not counting PBJ & Quesadillas)
  • Walk the dog 28 times (my goal is 4x week)
  • Exercise 21 times (my goal is 3x week)
  • Read 7 books, but I’m going to count the one that I’ve spent the last week on.

What are you going to do in the next 7 weeks?

My 4 year old says, “I love you, mommy. I love daddy and M—, but most of all I love myself.”

I said, “that’s great, it’s important to love yourself and take care of yourself!”. I don’t know where he learned or came up with the concept of loving yourself, but it’s the first time I’ve heard him express the sentiment.


Parenting requires Patience and Practice

I read a fiction book when I was a teenager where the main character always made a wish when the numbers on the clock were all the same. (11:11, 4:44, etc.) Ever since then I have been doing the same.

Since I’ve gotten married and had kids my wish is always for a happy and healthy family. Lately I have been getting greedy and asking for a happy and healthy family, and the patience to make it so.

A few weeks or months ago (who can really keep track of time?!) I was talking to my friend about the fact that I always seemed to get mad at my older child so easily, and I wouldn’t get mad at the little one even if they were doing the same thing. She said the same thing happened to her every day and we realized it was because we put higher expectations on the oldest child.

I was joking when I said we should put labels on them to remind us how old they are, but I’ve tried doing it mentally and it seems to help.

A three-year old will have potty accidents. A three year old has big emotions and may push or throw when they get mad. A three year old has big emotions and may cry for 20 minutes over reasons that seem important to them, but may seem like nothing to us all knowing adults. A three year old will push the boundaries and test the limits. A three year old may not listen the first time, or even the first 13 times.

So I have been asking for patience to take the time to realize that my child is just a child.

I have been less angry, but I haven’t been perfect.

Today I found an article on pinterest by Happy You Happy Family, and I think it is the reason I am still awake at 11:36 at night. I can’t seem to stop thinking about parenting, and patience, and being kind and respectful with my children. In this article, the mother suggests a method for breaking the bad habit of angry parenting by using 5 hair ties. When you respond angrily to your child you move one hair band to your other arm, and you have to earn it back by connecting with your child. She recommends 5 connection activities to earn your hairband back. 5 connection activities such as hugging your child, eye contact and smiling, reading a book together, playing together, etc. will not make your child forget that you yelled at them, but it will go someway in repairing and strengthening your relationship.

Anyways, she explains it better than I did. I’m going to give it a try because there’s always room for improvement and learning, and I need a strategy for when my patience runs out. (Especially when there is a third child thrown into the mix! 7 and half more weeks!!!)

Well, I hope I can go to sleep now.



Congratulations on your promotion

Mr. 1 was promoted to Mr. 2, today March 8, 2018. Birthday’s are a difficult concept for young children to understand. Just a few weeks ago, my almost 4-year-old and I were talking about how much he’s growing and he said, “I’m not growing, it’s not my birthday!” In fact, Mr. 2 has absolutely no idea why he’s getting a cake and presents.

Bad mommy alert: I did not take a single picture of my children today! I didn’t photograph the presents, the cake, the playdate, the puzzling, the playing, the fighting, the napping, the cuddling, or anything. Rest assured, we had a pretty great day despite the truck fiasco described below.

Oh boy, the presents. I bought them another little set of construction vehicles. It probably cost $10 on amazon for 6 trucks, and resulted in a morning of tumult. The boys both really wanted to play with them and kept fighting over who had which trucks. In the end the dump truck was broken.

The floor puzzle was a hit, and has been completed several times. The boys keep trying to dance on it, though, so I have to watch them like a hawk and clean it up as soon as they lose interest.

My mom sent them a large farm duplo set that they opened a few days ago and have played with every day. Mr. 4 says, “I love these legos and I want this set, and this set, and this one” (pointing to the advertisements on the instructions.)

My husbands mom sent a bunch of gardening supplies. lots of flower seeds, a bird feeder, kid gardening gloves, and garden decorations. The weather is supposed to be marvelous this weekend so hopefully we get to use it all. She also sent lots of sticker and workbooks so I’ll be encouraging the boys to use those. (I also bought some books about birds and trees online today… shame on me… but it will go well with this nature theme. If birds come to the bird feeder I want the boys to be able to identify them!)

If the books turn out to be any good, I will share them with you here!

The CDC has a list of milestones that a 2 year old should be able to do… and Mr. 2 can do them all! He’s worked hard for this promotion, and I can’t wait to see what he will learn next. He’s been talking up a storm and is really working on vocalizing complete thoughts. He’ll be speaking in full sentences really soon, I have no doubt!

I am very grateful to have such happy and healthy children.



About, Daily Lessons, Language, Science

9 Weeks

9 more weeks of…


Being generally uncomfortable. Back pain, foot pain, head pain, groin pain… you name it and I’ve got it. It feels as if the baby has taken up residence where my diaphragm is supposed to be, just inside the bottom of my rib cage. I get poked there constantly, and I am out of breath doing simple things like reading out loud or singing to the kids.



9 more weeks of…



spending my time and energy with only 2 beautiful and brilliant boys. I’m afraid of how much I will miss when my attention is torn in a third direction. I already feel like there is not always enough of me to go around, and that amazing moments and discoveries are passing me by.



These kids are amazing. They are challenging but they are rewarding. There are moments that I wonder why I wanted three, even two, of these crazy people, and there are moments when I think I want 10 of them.

Mr. (Almost) 4

We had some trouble with poop this last week. He’s been pretty much accident free since Thanksgiving, even to the point of waking up in the night and going to the bathroom by himself. This last week, however, he has pooped in his underwear several time and generally refuses to go potty until the very last minute. My husband and I are resorting to taking away whatever toy he is playing with and not letting him have it until he “listens to his body” and at least tries to go the toilet.

He recently discovered Bob the Builder and that is now is favorite morning time show. He still watches Dinosaur Train at night, even though he won’t watch the paleontologist anymore because he’s afraid of him and that other weird guy that shows up randomly.

He has initiated several conversations about evergreen trees, deciduous trees, and photosynthesis. This winter feels like it is dragging on forever and he’s wondering if some of the trees are dead. It’s great that he’s noticing what’s going on around him a bit.

Mr. (Almost) 2


Next week he will be 2 years old! He’s both helpful and destructive. Nothing in a basket is safe from dumping, and he could jump jump jump around all day. He says “yes” more than he says “no”. He takes chunky or peg puzzles to bed with him. He loves to read and drive the cars around. He has only one volume that I will call ANNOUNCEMENT and is just short of yelling.

He just started stringing words together to form complete ideas, and is experimenting with different words he knows.


“Play outside!!!” (It’s still cold and wet, but we’ve had a few moments to play outside. Although Mr. a-4 has a little cold since he was outside Wednesday.)

“Play Pinecone!!!” (He likes throwing pinecones into the stream.)

“Hold hands!!!”

“Let me out” (playing on the trampoline)

“Reading book” / “Read again” (We love to read!)


Time is passing by. Some moments it’s flying by so fast I can hardly keep track, and some moments it drags along and I fear I will never have this baby. We just need to be patient a little longer.


The Kids’ Pantry

We have been living in this house for nearly 2 years. We moved in just a few days before Mr. (almost) 2 was born.

His birthday is March 8th and so far all I have planned is to make some “applesauce cake”. I need to remind my mother to send me the recipe. It’s a sheet cake with apple sauce in the filling and the boys will love it.

What I was trying to say about the house was that 2 years is actually the longest that my husband and I have lived in a place together. Our next best was 13 months in our first apartment.

This is a nice house. It has a good layout, and it’s well maintained. There is plenty of space for the kids to run around and play, and the cleaning isn’t too bad. The biggest complaint has been that the neighborhood doesn’t have any sidewalks.

A more minor complaint is that we do not have a pantry. We’ve been storing our non-perishable goods in 1 out of 11 cabinets in our kitchen. That sounds like we have a lot of space, but it’s never quite enough, is it? The reason I bring it up today is that I’ve been getting in the bad habit of putting my 2-year-old on the kitchen counter so he can look into the “pantry” and pick out his own snack. Now I worry that I’m going to walk in one day and find him climbing on the counters.


In order to prevent that nightmare scenario that I have unwittingly encouraged, I decided to move all of the “healthier” snacks to the floor cabinet that we keep some of their excess kitchen toys in. (And my duster?! I was looking for that!) The cabinet is usually locked, but Mr. almost 4 already knows how to work the kid locks.

The cabinet is near the fruit bowl, so they get to see all of their favorite snacks at the same time and hopefully make decent decisions. Also, nobody can fall off of the counter and break their head open.

I left all the worse snacks (chips) and the larger boxes of fruit chews and chocolate chip granola bars in the original area. Hopefully this will prove more convenient and safe for all parties involved, but it may result in the kids relentlessly asking for snacks all the time.

Is there a special way you handle snacks in your house?



Language, Parenting

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

I recently discovered that two of my homeschooling neighbors have actually changed their minds are planning or already have enrolled at least one of their kids in public school. The kids seem excited and happy, and really that is all that matters. If my children WANT to go to public school I will not hold them back.

Both of these families have had drastic changes to their family lifestyle that would 100% make you evaluate your families educational need. One was an adoption of a third child, and the other was the death of a significant caregiver and provider. Under the later circumstances I would 100% put my kids in school because I don’t know how else I could provide for them. I don’t think my mother would want to home school my 3 children for me. (And I hope I never find myself in that position.)

As of right now, I do still plan on homeschooling with 3 children. But as always, this should be a family decision that includes the needs and wants of the children. Last I discussed it with my 3-year-old, he was very happy to stay home with me and that was his preferred choice. My husband and I both agree that homeschooling is the best thing for our children and our family. (Especially after that awful and sad thing that happened in Florida the last few days. School shootings are horrific.)

Continue reading “To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool”



I’m learning so much from my kids’ obsession with Dinosaur Train. They’ve been re-watching the 3 seasons that are available on prime. In Season 7 there is an episode that focuses on the different kind of clouds.

I have read a few different books that talk about the different kinds of clouds, but with names like “altostratus” and “nimbostratus” and “cumulonimbus” it makes it hard to figure out what is what.

Dinosaur Train kept it simple and now I finally think I have an understanding of basic clouds: cumulus, stratus, and cirrus

Cumulus – Fluffy ——–Stratus – Large Sheets ———Cirrus – Streaky

Everything else is just a sub category of those.

More importantly, all clouds are made of water droplets.

Personally, I have always wondered what a cloud feels like. I recently learned that fog is a cloud that forms close the ground. If you’ve touched fog, you’ve touched a cloud!

My kids and I can now look at the sky and have a somewhat educated guess about what we see!