Daily Lessons, About, Parenting, art, Baby

Supermom Goals / Sleeping arrangements

Here is my supermom plan for the week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Activity Grocery & Library Music Class Dollar Store & Playground Playdate Boy’s choice
School/Art Mazes or Tracing Sticker Book Chalk Water mat Sensory bin with ice
House Vacuum Laundry Sweep Laundry Bathroom
Dinner Spaghetti Grilled Porkchops Chicken with roasted garlic sauce (slow cooker 2-3 hr) Tortellini Soup Wieners

I’m not one to make detailed plans because they will inevitably lead to frustration when my children don’t want to follow the schedule. Still, it may be a good idea to have some goals and ideas of things I want to accomplish this week.

If none of the stuff I have planned happens, that is okay too as long as all my (3) children are still alive and well at the end of the week.


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This boy is less than 3 weeks old but it already feels like he’s always been a part of this family. At his two week appointment last Tuesday he was 10lbs 1 oz (89%) and 21.75 in (95%).


 

All of the boys have not been sleeping well. Mr. 0 doesn’t sleep well because he is a baby. He still needs to learn the difference between night and day. He also gets the hiccups quite frequently and thinks the morning starts at 6:30.

Mr. 2 and Mr. 4 were staying up way too late because they kept playing and talking to each other instead of sleeping. Then they would wake up super early and be a bit cranky throughout the day. Some of this may be caused by their adjusting to the baby, and Mr. 2 taking advantage of not being in a crib.

Our solution was to let Mr. 4 sleep with the dog (he does not want to be alone) and Mr. 2 would sleep in the nursery in a crib again. The baby would be in our room. Surprisingly, neither of the big boys complained about the change and I am happy to say that they are falling asleep close to bed time (8 – 8:30) and sleeping until at least 7.

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Adventures, Daily Lessons

Life Lessons at the Zoo

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We dropped my mom off at the airport today, so I am now alone with 3 little people while my husband is at work.

So my first order of business was to seek reinforcements by visiting with a friend at the zoo. We hadn’t seen our friend since before the baby was born, and the boys were very excited to both be at the zoo and see their friend.

These orangutans (boys) were LOUD. They yelled off and on nearly the whole time. Finally one of the zoo keepers explained to them that their yelling can disturb the animals (and people) around them. I’d been telling them that for the last hour, but it’s so much more effective (scary) when it comes from a stranger.

This is good, though. I want my boys to be able to tell people if they are made uncomfortable by something; and other people have the right to tell them if we are making them uncomfortable. I WANT the boys to be aware that the people and creatures around us are affected by our actions.

Their fun was not spoiled by this interaction as they were ready to sit down and eat a snack anyways. And, they were blessedly quiet for a little while.

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, Daily Lessons, Language, Science

9 Weeks

9 more weeks of…

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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…

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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

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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.

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“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.

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!”

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? 

 

Daily Lessons

A regular day

Yesterday was January 3 and it was just a regular day. The weather was forecast as partly sunny with a high of 48, but it didn’t quite live up to expectations.

8:05 am – I stop ignoring the kids and get out of bed. We eat waffles and cereal.

8:20 Oil Pastel coloring and finishing breakfast.

8:45 This actually lasted quite a while. They asked me to draw different things and Mr. 1 actually tried to color inside of things rather than drawing crazy lines all over the place. (New skill!!) Although he did a bit of that, too. He’s also getting really good at pronouncing different things he wants. “Dump Truck” and something that at least resembles “excavator”.

9:30 Mr. 1 decided it was time to go “play” and immediately went to the large floor puzzle box. Mr. 3 agreed this was a good idea and helped/did most of the puzzle.

Mommy got distracted by the wooden Keva blocks and decided to build something. Half-pipe!

10:15 After the puzzle was complete and my structures got destroyed, I decided to do some cleaning up. Mr. 3 announced we were the Pteranodons from Dinosaur Train, his new favorite show.

Mr. 3 asked questions such as “do pteranodons play with magnets? Do they walk on two feet?” and Mr. 1 helped with emptying the dishwasher.

10:45 I finished the dishes, made the bed, and finally remembered to take the doggy out. The kids spent some time playing by themselves.

11:30 The dinosaur train was on its way under the misty sea and I found myself hungry. I said we should have a picnic at the big lake and proceeded to make quesadillas from last nights chicken.

12:00 Ate lunch – dinosaur picnic. Mr. 1 got distracted by the test tubes and spent about 30 minutes putting them in and out of the holder.

12:30 We then decorated some of the window cut outs with price stickers.

1:00 Stories and Nap time!! Mr. 3 played by himself with his magnets and trucks and only woke me up to go poop.

3:00 Mr. 1 slept until a little after 3 and I made tea and snacks.

3:30 Daddy got home and he told us about his day while we colored on the mat. The boys both wanted to do a little bit of dot-to-dot but the game ended when we had to wait for the mat to dry.

4:00 I walked the dog. I don’t know what the others did.

5:00 I made pizza dough while Mr. 3 whined about how he wanted to go to Red Lobster instead. Daddy took a nap.

5:20 We built with Keva blocks. We played a game where we tried to copy each other. Then Mr. 3 wanted to build a train from the blocks but the wheels were too complicated and he was getting frustrated. We hopped back on the dinosaur train for distraction.

Mr. 1 kept bringing train tracks to us so I helped him build a train track.

6:00 I made the pizza while the kids actually watched Dinosaur Train (I can’t believe we made it this long without Kindle/TV!) Daddy woke up.

6:30 Dinner. Mr. 3 was still sad about not going to Red Lobster and he almost didn’t eat. He finally saw reason and devoured the pizza and cherry tomatoes.

7:00 Clean-up. Mommy did more dishes and the boys helped Daddy pick up toys.

7:15 A little bit more TV and getting ready for bed.

7:30 Potty, Brush Teeth, Stories, Bed. We had to negotiate for a while because Mr. 3 decided he was very sad about going to sleep even though he admitted he was tired. (Do you want the light on? Door open? Do you want a truck? Etc)

8:00 Mommy and Daddy time!! We made it! Yahoo!! *snore*

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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