Projects

Holiday Window Decorations

It turns out the “decorate your own Christmas tree” was a good idea. It was the execution that I had wrong!

 

Mr. 3: Mommy, I want to decorate Christmas trees. First you have to cut them out, THEN hang them on the window, and THEN we decorate them. That’s (plays with fingers) 3 things we have to do! Cut, Hang, Decorate! 

Well now I know.

Both boys really enjoyed putting the stickers on the trees and spent about 45 minutes decorating all the trees I cut out. Mr. 1 started decorating his arm instead, near the end.

You will need:

-Paper

-Scissors

-Stickers

-Tape ( I ran out of scotch tape so I used colorful Washi tape. You can also use these to decorate your trees or whatever holiday shape you choose.)

 

 

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Adventures, History, Science

Museum Free Thursday

(I wrote this at 2 pm but failed to submit it.)

Hello! I am hiding under the blankets again. I got rid of the cat by pretending to sleep.

It’s rather late for our daily nap, but Mr.1 was playing so nicely with the magnet tiles and I didn’t want to tear him away. Honestly, if you are scratching your head about Christmas presents and you don’t already own a set of these, I think you should make the investment. They get used EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

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Except maybe yesterday, but it was a wonderful and strange day.

The first Thursday of every month is Museum Free Thursday in Seattle, where a number of museums let you in for free.

Yesterday we went to the Burke Museum of Natural History which is located on the UW campus. Parking was awful and expensive ($9 for 3 hours) but the Museum was awesome.

It’s a rather small museum; you could run a lap around the top floor in about 35 seconds. I know this because Mr. 1 was all about running away from me.

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Mr. 3 wanted to stay in their “class room” area and do floor puzzles.

The lower level is dedicated to cultural artifacts and the top level is dedicated to dinosaurs and also a volcano.

In fact, they were in the process of cleaning a T-Rex skull that was found recently. You could watch them do it! According to the museum there have only been about 15 complete skulls found for the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

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We had so much fun that Mr. 1 fell asleep in the car and Mr. 3 fell asleep in his barn. (At that point he was Snowflake the horse.)

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The rest of the day seemed like it was spent playing “fire truck rescue” and “ambulance driver”.

The strange part was at dinner. Instead of eating, Mr. 3 insisted on taking a bubble bath. This was his first bath since that time I told you I got in the tub with them… a month ago?

Mr. 1 ate a little bit and then joined his brother. We had to drain the tub once due to the little one pooping in the tub. Yuck!

Books, Daily Lessons, games, Projects

St. Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day. I hope you saw my reminder on Instagram to wash your boots yesterday, because St. Nick was supposed to have visited you yesterday.

This is a holiday that stems from my younger years in Germany. My mother has encouraged me to continue the tradition with my own kids. Mr. 3 was very excited yesterday and ended up cleaning his boots, his brother’s boots, the front of my dishwasher, the front of the oven, the trash can and compost bin, and some paint splatter on the cabinets. “What else can I clean, mommy?!”

This morning, the boys were very happy with what they found. A bucket of farm animals, DinoBlock, Trains, and Machines at Work. The two Byron Barton books came at just the right time because their favorite Trucks book broke in half last night while Mr. 1 was reading it in his crib. It’s only been a few hours but I have already read Trains and Machines at Work nearly 12 times total today. They also both really enjoyed the variety of farm animals and accessories.


 

We also did some large scale painting in the kitchen this morning. (Tempera pain is VERY washable and comes off really easily if the toddler swipes a cabinet or floor by mistake. At one point he started painting his diaper.) Mr. 3 was more interested in playing ambulance and trying to tie a ribbon bandage around anything I would offer him. While Mr. 1 and I were sitting in the bath tub scrubbing off the paint, the ambulance driver brought us towels and pretend lemonade. He also cleaned some of the “blood” (paint) from the kitchen floor. He repeatedly told me “Call 911 if you need me!” and “What else can I help with, mommy?”

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My husband is a much smarter person than I am. He is someone who really knows how to use his brain.

We only have short matches and I wanted to light a candle that was getting too low in the jar in order to cover the smell of the stinky diaper pail. My solution was to stick the match in a blob of play dough to make it longer. Feeling super proud of myself (even though I still almost burned myself) I gloated to my husband, “aren’t you going to ask me how I managed to light the candle?”.

He says, “Did you turn it sideways?”

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Daily Lessons

Only Half Way Through

Hello! We are only about half way through the day. I just woke up from my nap but neither the cat or the three year old has found me… I’m hiding under the blanket!

It’s been an interesting day so far! Mr. 3 has only asked for his Kindle once and was distracted before he could find it. In fact, the first thing he went to do this morning was play with the Big Train.

When the track fell apart and the train crashed I announced it was time for breakfast. Mr. 3 asked for a honey sandwich. We’ve never had that for breakfast before but it sounded good to me!

Then I said I wanted to decorate paper Christmas trees and hang them on the window.

Mr. 3 practiced cutting with scissors the whole time. When Mr. 1 started willfully ignoring my directions to not color on the table, please, I decided they were done.They spent more time with the train. Mr. 1 was pretending to be a crane and loaded and unloaded the cargo repeatedly while making crane noises.Every time I turned my back, the train would wreck or derail!

Mr. 1 learned to say “Gondola” and then later he also said “peanut butter” when it was lunch time.Then we vacuumed and I tried to clean the bathroom. In the middle of cleaning the toilet Mr. 3 announces he has to poop. And out of no where comes a sudden independence and he refuses to let me help him wipe. Of course he doesn’t know how to tell me this and instead he runs away from me and sits down on his poopy butt and smears it all over his feet. 30 minutes of wiping later he is finally clean. He went through a lot of toilet paper and some number of baby wipes. (It was frustrating to just watch!!)He also did not want help putting on his clothes. After that fiasco it was nap time for Mr. 1 and me. Thank goodness!Oh! Mr. 3 just caught me, I better go!

Daily Lessons

Busy All Day Long

Hello! It’s been so busy with the holidays, I haven’t found much time for checking in. I hope things are going well with you.

We got out our large battery powered train today. It was gifted to us last year by my husband’s brother, and this is the first time we took it out. Mr. 3 and Mr.1 were fascinated and occupied for what felt like several hours, but was probably less than 2. 

They both enjoyed using the remote control, but needed some reminders on sharing. 

I try not to force sharing too much but I always point out that soandso is feeling frustrated\sad because they would like a turn and eventually the issue resolves… Either with sharing or someone becoming distracted.

We also went to the Museum of Flight.

 We’ve read lots of interesting books lately, a few of which are by Nicola Davies (White Owl Barn Owl, What Happens Next?, Tiny world of microbes). These books are all beautiful and full of the perfect amount of information to be absorbed by a young child. 

The days are just flying by, and this year is almost over!! 

Daily Lessons, Language, Math, Parenting

21 Months and his own little person

As Mr. 1 grows into his own personality, it is becoming more and more obvious how different these children are from each other. The differences always surprise me because until recently, Mr. 1 could have been a visual clone of Mr. 3. He is slowly starting to look different from when his brother was this small.

Mr. 1 is obsessed with colors, and continually makes a game of bringing me a toy and telling me what color it is. And if he doesn’t know the color he just says “ah” and thrusts the toy at me repeatedly until I tell him what it is.

He already knows and says, “Gween” (green), “Wa-hite” (white), “Purplepurplepurple” (purple), “Blooo!” (blue), “Orang” (Orange). He still has a little trouble with Red, Yellow, and Black, but I have no doubt he will learn them soon.

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What I remember most about this stage for Mr. 3 was an intense love of puzzles, and playing with Mega Blocks for hours. On the contrary, Mr. 1 likes (not loves) puzzles, and spends most of his time with construction trucks or cars. Mr. 1 can also catch a ball tossed softly to his chest. (Some of his recent words include “Beach Ball” and “Football”).

Mr. 3 still hasn’t quite got the hang of the catching skill, but boy can he throw.

Mr. 1 has a 70% success rate with jumping, and can dribble a soccer ball about as well as his big brother. I think he just might be an athlete.

At this age both boys love(d) reading, and Mr. 3 still loves reading at 3 so I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Mr. 3 is currently in another puzzle phase, and is also interested in shapes and numbers. At lunch the other day he arranged all of his apple slices around his plate and told me he had made an Octagon. I counted nine slices so I told him that is a nonagon. Then we talked about different polygons and their names for a while. He liked asking our friend Alexa (Amazon Echo) for definitions of the different polygons.

We’ve also been keeping busy with different art projects. We did some chalk coloring on a broken cardboard box. I also bought a large bag of Christmas stickers at Hobby Lobby for $3, and we worked on making some holiday cards.

 

And finally, an update on the mystery guest in my belly:

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At 16 weeks I have felt movement a few times, but nothing consistent. I am excited about this stage of the pregnancy, because it is finally starting to feel like a little person in there.

 

 

Books

Library Book Sale

Last weekend our local library was having a book sale. I gave my husband 10 coins with the directive of entertaining the kids with the coin gravity well spinner thing they have in the hall, and I ran inside to browse through the sale as quickly as possible.

Continue reading “Library Book Sale”

Parenting

Time for a bath!

My 3 year old hasn’t had a bath in about a month, and the 1 year old hasn’t had a bath in at least two months. I honestly can’t remember the last time they bathed. 

My 3 year old’s reason is sheer obstinancy, but the little guy is just plain scared. The last few times he had been in the tub, he slipped and slid around a bit. We have a bumpy bath mat, but it doesn’t seem to help him much. In fact, last time I cleaned the tub, the mat itself slid from under his feet.

Today we finished dinner early. We had bratwurst, corn, and peas. Miracle of miracles, both boys cleared their plates and ate an additional mini blueberry bagel. 

We read some books on the couch, and Mr. 3 started breathing funny. I asked him what was wrong, and he said he was sleepy but wanted to read 2 more books. It was only 6:45! I read the stories and decided it was now or never to take a bath.

I have never taken a bath with the boys before but I decided it was worth a try. I filled the tub with a few inches of water and put on a bathing suit. I got into the tub and realized I hadn’t taken the little one’s clothes off. 

It’s a good thing my husband is there to pick up my slack.

The three year old starts tearing off his clothes and shouts, “I want to take a bath, too!”

 We then spend the next 30 minutes drawing with bath crayons. Mr.1 sat on my lap the whole time with barely his butt and feet in the water. He was starting to get more comfortable near the end as he would stretch out to put the crayons on the soap dish. 

I even managed to rub Mr. 1 with a soapy washcloth. Mr. 3 insisted on washing himself. 

My husband came when I called and dried Mr.1 and put him in fresh pajamas. Mr. 3 wanted to keep playing a little while.

This worked out well. Unfortunately, it was very uncomfortable for my knees. See you in two months, bathtub! 

Conversations, Parenting

Conversation with the Kids #2

2017-10-30_11-56-38_119Mr. 1 brings me a blue block and says, “BOO!” (Blue)

I jump up and down in excitement and clap my hands because I had NO idea he could identify colors so well.

He goes back and forth with the blue block and tells me its blue several times.

Then he grabs a red block and brings it to me. He says, “ELMO!!”

Slighly less excited, I reply, “Yes, it’s RED like Elmo.”

Mr. 1 responds: “ELMO ELMO”


Me: I need a cup of tea, I am so tired! And, I have to blow my nose.

Mr. 3: You can’t drink tea if you have nipples(?).

Me: I’m pretty sure you can drink tea if you have nipples. Everyone has nipples.

Mr. 3: Not nipples, nipples! *points to nose*

Me: OHHH, Sniffles!!! I think a nice hot drink like tea is especially good when you are sick, it helps relax the sore throat and clear the sinuses. So yes, you CAN drink tea when you have sniffles. Thank you for pointing to your nose to help me understand what you meant!


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Daddy: Do you want to watch on the TV or the Kindle?

Mr. 3: I want to watch on the Kindle.

Daddy: Okay. Go get it.

Mr. 3: I can’t find it.

Daddy: Where did you look?

Mr. 3: I didn’t look.

 

Science

Introducing Science to Mr. 1 & 3

I hardly use facebook, except to ask questions of the homeschool group. I asked them the other day what they use to explore science with their little people. I received a lot of recommendations but I was specifically looking for books. These are my thoughts on the recommendations I received.

101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments by Miller, Homer, and Harrington

This book is tied for first place in my mind. It has everything I want! It has scientific explanations, exciting experiments, and beautiful pictures to guide the way.

Product Details

The Everything Kids EASY Science Experiments Book – by Mills

This was not actually recommended but I found it while I was looking for the others at the library. I am so glad I found it because I love the way it is organized to answer your little kids questions about the world and themselves. It is split into 5 sections: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Body, Planet Earth. It is also written like a workbook, that the children can make their notes in and also includes a few puzzles and games like an activity book.

It doesn’t have the colorful pictures of the first book, but it does have more detailed explanations.

Product Details

The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book – Robinson

This one had multiple endorsements from the mama’s in the group, but it feels more suited to slightly older children. It is split into the same 5 categories as the EASY book and written in the same workbook/activity book manner. Instead of lots of colorful pictures there are excellent scientific explanations. This looks like a great book and I will probably buy it as soon as we master the “EASY” experiments first.

Product Details

Curious Kids Science Book by Citra

This one has interesting experiments and seem to answer a lot of detailed questions: Do seeds grow best when its warm or cold, how deep do seeds need to be planted to grow best, how much water, how much light, can a plant go through a maze to reach the light, etc.

The book also has beautiful pictures of all of the experiments.

The biggest drawback for me is the lack of scientific explanations. I don’t trust myself to be able to explain these things to my kids, and I want a back up resource.

What do you use to expand your curious kids knowledge about science?