Parenting

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.

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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?

 

 

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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”

Science

Clouds

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!

 

 

Conversations, Gardening, Parenting, Science

Baby/Homeschool/Gardening update

Some baby news:

A funhouse mirror is a great way to show how I am feeling after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

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Short and fat, that sums it up pretty well! Thank you convex mirrors for accurately portraying my discomfort. Mr. 3 enjoyed dancing in front of these mirrors at the Pacific Science Center last weekend.

Did you know… that parents lose 450-700 hours of sleep the first year after a baby is born? 

Continue reading “Baby/Homeschool/Gardening update”

Projects

Valentines Collage

This is a gentle reminder that Valentines day is February 14th!

First, a Valentines craft:

Today, the kids and I made some valentines day cards. Really, this was just a collage.

You need construction paper, glue, scissors. You can add any theme related tidbits you have. We had some jeweled hearts that the boys really liked gluing to their papers.

Mr. 3 decided to take the project in a completely different direction after he finished his decorating, and wanted to build 2 rocket ships.

Mr. 1 really enjoyed this project. We did the glue together (I helped squeeze and he told me where to put it) and then he put the decorations on top of the glue blobs.

I cut out different shapes for them to use: hearts, diamonds, moons, stars, flowers.

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I’m quite pleased with our results!

Second, some gift ideas:

For my husband, I am making Heavenly Scotch Ham and leaving him the rest of a fancy bottle of scotch.

For me, I asked for flowers and part of the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn series.

For my dinosaur obsessed kids I got them the Dinosaur Train A to Z book, which I thought would just be pictures and lyrics to the song but actually includes information for each of the dinosaurs they list in the alphabet song! Also, they are getting a Dinosaur sticker and activity book made by Roger Priddy who I think has best sticker/activity books for preschoolers.

Do you have any valentines plans?

Adventures, Daily Lessons, Gardening, History, Science

3 months to go!

Did you know… that today’s birds are actually theropod dinosaurs? (According to Dr. Scott the Paleontologist on Dinosaur Train.) 

With this impending baby, time seems to be moving simultaneously at warp speed and super slow. We have 3 months until we meet the little one, which seems forever away and yet each day flies by so fast I can hardly keep up.

My car battery has been giving me a bit of trouble. It doesn’t seem to hold its charge if I don’t use it.

Continue reading “3 months to go!”

Gardening, Language

Spelling Match Game

Hello friends!

Mr. 3 wanted to go to the Science Center today, but it is cold and rainy and I just did not feel like going anywhere. Usually it is him that doesn’t want to go anywhere, but today it’s my fault that we are stuck at home. I think all the cold and rain is getting to me. It doesn’t help that I can’t zip my rain jacket around my big belly anymore, or that it hurts to put on shoes either from bending or lifting my legs.

3 mores months to go! Then we will be more comfortable and have some sunshine… and a baby!

I thought I would try a new game with the boys. My friend whose middle child is in kindergarten this year was trying to explain the concept of “sight words” and how its difficult for some of the kids in the class. I think, basically, the kids are exposed to common words “has” and “is” several times, and they memorize the form the words go in.

Personally, I don’t think that helps them read a whole lot since it is just memorizing. But I thought I’d do something similar to help the kids understand a more basic concept: that letters form words. I wanted to do words that we see a lot, and that the kids are excited about.

When I asked Mr. 3 what to spell, he said “cryolophosaurus” and “time tunnel approaching”.

Mr. 1 asked for me to repeatedly draw pictures of a cow.

We never got to the game part of it, but I also cut index cards in half and wrote 1 letter on each card. On the back I included a little dot-to-dot if the kids wanted to trace the letters. (They did do this a few times.) Then I made some other cards or papers with pictures and words on them.

The game would basically be finding the correct letters to copy the word written on the picture, or I could give them the correct letters and they are supposed to put them in order. I know there are some Melissa & Doug puzzles that are similar to this idea.


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We’ve got some seedlings that have popped up. It has been about 8 days since we planted them. Mr. 3’s carton has 4 sprouts, and mine has 3 sprouts. Mr. 1 has 0 and I am starting to worry I forgot to put seeds in his. He also has the most soil, so it could just take longer to pop up. Mine was a few days behind Mr. 3 because I have more soil than him. My sprouts also appear a little stronger than his.

It’s fun to look at everyday and see what has changed.

 

About, Conversations, Daily Lessons, Parenting

Do you want to go to school?

2018-01-17_17-52-21_972As part of our recent dinosaur obsession, we rented and watched Land Before Time. We is relative because I was cooking dinner, and Mr. 1 and Mr. Dad fell asleep almost immediately. (Some naps had been missed that day.)

That night, I had an interesting conversation with Mr. 3 that went a little something like this:

Mr. 3 : When Littlefoot is 2 years old, will he still be a baby?

Me: I don’t think so. At 2 years old he will be pretty large. Your brother is almost 2 and I would not describe him as a baby, he is a toddler now.

Mr. 3: A toddler?

Me: Yes, and you are what’s called “pre-schooler”. That means “before school” since you don’t go to school yet.

Mr. 3: When do I go to school?

Me: Well, you could go now if you wanted. I didn’t sign you up for school because I thought you’d enjoy being home with mommy and your brother more. Do you want to go to school?

Mr. 3: No. I want to stay home with you and I don’t want to see a school bus.

Me: I thought you liked school buses?

Mr. 3: I like them from far away. I don’t want to go on one.

Me: Okay, you don’t have to go on a school bus, and you don’t have to go to school if you don’t want to. We are learning at home. That’s called “home school”, We are learning about dinosaurs, counting, and practicing addition and subtraction. We are making art, and reading lots of books. Plus, we have time to go to great places like the science center and flight museum. I don’t think you are missing out on anything.

Daily Lessons

Dinosaur Train

Today we discovered that they have some of the Dinosaur Train music on spotify. Mr. 3 has been singing these songs everyday since he has started watching the show, and he was super excited when I was able to play the music in the car.

Dinosaur Train is Mr. 3’s favorite television show and his latest obsession. Even Mr. 1 runs around the house yelling “Dinosaur Train!!!”, but he’s not quite as obsessed as Mr. 3.

Dinosaur Train is a cartoon created by PBS and teaches the little ones a little bit about dinosaurs and other creatures that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. Starting season 2, there is a little talk with a paleontologist after each 15 minute episode. Seasons 1, 2, and 7 are available on Prime, so that is all we have watched.

Mr. 3 likes to pretend the Pteranodon family follows us around all day. Mr. 3 himself is usually the “Mr. Conductor” character who drives the train. There’s also a Gigantosaurus who spends a lot of time in our living room… I mean Dinosaur train.

We’ve also been reading some books about dinosaurs and have the National Geographic Dinosaur sticker and activity book. We’ve learned quite a bit about several different dinosaurs lately.

  • Pteranodons are large flying creatures that had no teeth. They dive into the water to catch fish. They are much larger than a Pterodactyl who was actually quite small.
  • Triceratops, Stegasaurus, Brachiasaurus, Parasauralophus, and T-rex are all identified easily by Mr. 3 and even Mr. 1 can point to and almost say “stegasaurus” “pteranodon” and “t-rex”

What shows are your kids watching these days? 

 

Gardening

New Year, New Garden

Last year, my garden was a little bland. We had zucchini, beans, and carrots. My strawberry plant was more productive than the year before, which was really nice.

Unfortunately the blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, watermelon, and herbs did not produce. 😦

The berries may have been planted too late, but everything else failed at the seedling stage.

This year, I have invested $21 in grow lights!! I hope this will produce strong, vigorous seedlings which I did not have this year.

According to the farmers almanac emails I get, it’s time to start onion seedlings (9-12 weeks before the last frost date) in the north west.

I cut an egg carton (18 eggs) into thirds so that my assistants could each have a section. I put our names on them just in case they wanted to keep track of their own growth.

Then I gathered garden soil (potting soil is good, too) in a bucket and told them to fill up their carton holes.

Next, poke their little fingers in each egg area to make a little seed hole.

Then, drop “a few” seeds in each hole. (I said 1-2 but Mr. 3 put a whole bunch.)

Then, lightly cover the holes with the soil.

Our soil was moist because I got it from outside, but you may need to spray or sprinkle water on.

Finally, rearrange your whole kitchen so that you can put the seedlings and lights in an area where the kids can look but not touch. Somewhere where the clutter will not annoy your significant other or get in your way with cooking/cleaning.

I also planted a mystery seed and some cilantro in my carton because I think we will have enough onions from the kids, and I was wondering if the herbs would grow well inside with the lights. Also, I’d like to figure out what that mystery bag of seeds was.

I hope you readers have a wonderful garden year, if you are into that sort of thing!