Adventures, Health, Science

Imagination and Curiosity

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Imagination and curiosity are two traits I admire and value. I love to see my children grow more confident and detailed in their games. I also love when my children ask questions about things that they are interested in.

My 3-year-old has recently developed a really goofy giggle and he will ask me a question such as, “Do baby dogs come from the MAMA dog or the DADA dog? Heeeheheh”

Curiosity

There are two books from the library that have really inspired the 3-year-old. Especially when he is trying to delay nap time, he will ask me questions upon questions, upon questions. 2017-07-12_14-10-16_959

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss. I borrowed this book because it is not always easy getting my children to brush their teeth. This book has some examples of why we need teeth and what we shouldn’t do with our teeth. It’s not terribly educational, but is rhyming and fun.

This book has inspired such questions such as, “why do beavers chew on trees?” and, “Do they really chew the trees down?” And after discussing beavers and their dental issues, “Do our teeth keep growing and growing? Do we need to go to the dentist to cut our teeth shorter?”

It’s NOT the Stork by Robie H. Harris. We’ve been trying for baby #3 and my 3 year old has had a lot of questions about babies and where they come from. This book is geared toward children 4 years and older, but I thought we would try it out. It’s a very straightforward but detailed book about “Girls, Boys, Babies, Families, and Friends”. I felt a little shy reading this to my 3-year-old, but he kept wanting to read more and more.

Now he asks me questions such as, “Does M- have a penis or a vagina?” “Where do baby giraffes come from?” “Does the daddy giraffe put sperm inside the mommy giraffe’s eggs?” “Why are dogs not people?” “Where do baby dogs come from?”

I had to try really hard not to laugh when he asked me if I went to the toilet and dropped him into it when he was born. I explained that generally people go to a clean hospital, and that I had to have a cesarean to have him and his brother. I explained the process and showed him my scar. Then he asked about his brother. Then he asked me if giraffes go to the giraffe hospital to give birth.

The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington recently announced the birth of  baby giraffe there. We haven’t seen it, but I’m starting to suspect that he’s interested.

Imagination

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I think a lot of us are familiar with the long list of benefits of children growing up with pets.

1. Having a friend.

2. Building a child’s confidence

3. Teaching them empathy and responsibility

4. Exposing them to allergens and dust early can reduce the numbers and intensity of allergies that the children may develop.

Parent magazine has a great article about this. Yet, there is a benefit that isn’t mentioned in the article, and this is fueling the child’s imagination. My children spend a significant amount of time playing at being dogs. They like to climb into the crate, run around barking at delivery people, rolling on the floor, and just generally do what little puppies do (except sleep all day long, unfortunately).

2017-07-09_10-39-10_320Sometimes this imaginative play takes place in public areas. The dog park was especially fun for the 16 month old. You can see him rolling around on the rocky floor when I pointed out that our dog was getting tired and was laying down.

I took him to Magnusson Dog Park north of Seattle because this is the biggest and coolest dog park for the northern suburbs. It is enormous, has a beach, shaded areas, open field, little dog area, walking trail, wooden bridges. Also there is a playground next to the parking lot, which is where daddy and Mr. 3 spent their time.

Mr. 1 loved walking over the wooden bridges, and throwing rocks, and most of all 2017-07-09_10-47-29_473meeting all the variety of dogs. Big ones, small ones, brown, white, black, spotted, golden, shy, loving, playful, quiet, and loud dogs.

If you haven’t taken your child to a dog park, I would put it on your to do list. There is so much to see and talk about. You may need to give them a bath later, but it is well worth the mess.

What inspires the kids in your life to use their imaginations in play? 

Daily Lessons, Health, Parenting, Science

Questions Questions

Some questions my 3 year old asked me in the last twenty minutes:

How do you take down the curtain?

How do you take down the blinds?

How do you take down the window?

How do you take down the screen?

Why are feet stinky?

Why don’t dogs and cats have stinky feet? (Listen to Stinky Feet by Jim Cosgrove… it’s a funny song.)

Why do we live with dogs and cats? (He was distracted by his brother before I could get into a long explanation about symbiotic relationships, or even to say that they are cute.)

Why do dogs and cats have hair?

Why do we have hair?

Why is your hair black or something?

Why is/what do you mean my hair is like daddy’s?


An hour ago my husband and I had an interesting discussion about the moon and how it orbits around the planet so you never see the other side. This was brought on by questions from Mr. 3 about why he can see the moon and the sun at the same time.


I love questions like these. I wish all of his questions were interesting. I think probably all his questions are interesting to him, but it can get very frustrating when the conversation goes like this:

Me: Gosh, it sure is nice out today.

Mr. 3: Why is it nice out?

Me: Because the sun is shining, and its warm!

Mr. 3: why is the sun shining and its warm out?

Me: It is warm out because the sun is shining.

Mr. 3: Why is it warm out because the sun is shining?

Me: …

Maybe the problem is that he doesn’t know how to ask what he really wants to know about, but depending on my patience level I usually just end up saying, “What do you think?” 


What is the most interesting question your children have asked you recently?

Health, Science

Why I drink Tea…

Why do I drink tea? I drink tea because I like it! I do not like the smell of coffee and I cannot stand the taste. Soda makes me gassy both ways. I better just stick to tea.

I look forward to my tea breaks throughout the day. I drink tea in the morning after breakfast, I drink tea in the afternoon for a boost, and I drink tea in the evenings just because I feel like it. Caffeine free in the evenings, otherwise my trouble sleeping gets worse. Drinking tea makes me feel more relaxed, it helps me gather myself back if the kids are making me feel frazzled. It gives me a few minutes to myself. I can close my eyes and hold the warm cup, enjoying the scent and warmth. Even if my kids are pulling on my legs trying to get my attention I still take a moment to enjoy myself.

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It turns out that tea has a number of health benefits, too.

Numerous medical studies have found that tea contains compounds that exhibit anti-cancer properties. (Source)

The article goes on to explain that tea can also help lower your cholesterol, help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent diabetes, and more.

Hold on, I need to make another cup.

Continue reading “Why I drink Tea…”

Health, Science

Getting out of the House… Yes, please!

I think most mom’s have so much going on that they really and truly wish they could stay home. I have the opposite problem, a pre-schooler that does not want to leave the house.

It’s probably a combination of many factors such as the weather, hormones, not doing many fun things outside of the house and who knows what else, but I have been feeling rather blue lately. 

I like the idea of respectful parenting and treating my kids as people, but they don’t always respect me. So I tried explaining that mommy needed to get out of the house and get some exercise and sunshine, and received only “but I want to stay HOME and play with TRAINS!” no matter that I said please, and explained that we need to consider other people’s thoughts and feelings as well. 

 At any rate, in my slightly depressed state, I was left with two choices:

1. Open a bottle of wine and drown my sorrows, possibly endangering my children, or

2. Let my 3 year old throw a brief tantrum, and then strap him in the stroller and be on my way.

I chose option two, and the one year old was happy to accompany me. The dog was so excited that she nearly knocked us all down the stairs. 

We walked to the library (about a mile and a half) and by then I could tell I was feeling much better. We found some really great books and got some good exercise.

 There was another little boy that was trying to teach Mr. 3 how to use the library computer, and it was so interesting to just hang back and watch them interact. I was really disappointed when his mom got off her phone and told him to leave Mr.3 alone. I tried to explain that it was good for them, but English was not something we had in common.

The closest I got to “thank you for making me leave the house, you are so beautiful and smart, mommy” was him repeatedly saying ” I really LOVE this book! ”

I was feeling better, but I was not excited about staying home today. When I woke up,the sun was shining and it was already getting warm. It was NOT an indoor kind of day. I tried the same approach of reasoning but met with the same resistance. So I became boss instead of mom and I told that boy to get his butt downstairs and put on shoes!


We had such an amazing time at the zoo! Both boys were in and out of the stroller. We played on the jungle gym (little one dug in the mulch) saw a beautiful peacock splay his feathers. This frightened the three year old, but the one year old had no fear. Tigers, owls, bears, and the funny and graceful river otters!

We practiced our signs for the animals, and Mr. 1 learned a new sign for “swim”. We talked about the animals enjoying the weather. We saw a baby (joey) wallaby drinking milk from his mommy, and a pregnant giraffe. There was a zebra rolling in the grass near some sleeping hippos. We pet the goats and sheep in the farm petting zoo. 

After all is done, I can feel the sunshine in my heart. There was so much smiling and running and laughing (and learning) today, how could I not feel better?

And the bonus? Two tired kiddos! 

Daily Lessons, Health

Sunny Day… chasing the frowns away

Seattle feels very behind on the sunny spring time table. It is our 3rd year here but this winter has been the longest/coldest/wettest one yet.

Yesterday afternoon was the first time that the sun was shining, the wind was taking a break, and the temperature was agreeable. 

We walked the dog to the nearby elementary school and tied her too the fence while the kiddos ran around. 

I’m SO glad we went, because both of the boys had a wonderful time. Mr. 3 was fascinated with the older children who showed up later and made me worry I might get in trouble for bringing the dog. He watched them climb and run around, and he followed them around the playground a bit. They were nice and said hello to him.

The 1 year old is not walking yet, but he can take a few steps while holding my hands. We went over and around the playground 3 times like that, went down the big slide together and followed his brother around. He was laughing the whole time. I think he really gained some confidence in the walkin and standing department!


It started to get a little crowded, and I wasn’t sure about being allowed to have the dog so we went home when she started barking at skateboarders.

The boys wanted to stay outside a little longer so we played in the backyard.


Jumping and rolling on the trampoline, Shocking each other and me with the static electricity.

Then 3 wanted to play the “crazy running around game” which I think he must have invented on the spot.

“How do you play?”

“You run around like THIS and then you fall down and then get back up and run around” ( he explains while running and falling down).

I loved loved loved seeing how the good weather made these boys so adventurous and cheerful and I really hope we get more weather like it soon.

Health, Projects

Make your own glasses

If your children fear that they failed their vision test, and would really feel more comfortable with a cool pair of glasses… you can make them together!

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I found that pipe cleaners allowed for a good hold while still being flexible enough to bend to size. Hot glue worked best for decorating the pipe cleaners.

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Decorations can include, rhinestones, glitter, puff balls, paper, or anything else you can think of!

Honestly, this might be a better project for a little bit older than 3, since he showed more interest in the colorful balls. But he did take the time to tell me that my glasses needed more decorations.

The good news is that kids will learn more from the process than the result, and it was fun for me, too!

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Health, Projects

Home Vision Test

Mr. 3 told me he couldn’t “see very well” . This was probably because he was upside down, but it gave me the idea to test his vision. 

I wrote letters on a piece of paper indifferent colors and sizes. If you have an older child they can help you do this part or make their own chart. If your child is not comfortable with letters, you could try shapes of different colors and sizes.

Next, we hung it on the wall. Then we placed a chair a few feet away. I gauged the distance by when my own poor vision made reading the chart challenging.


Finally, I asked him to cover one eye and pointed to some letters for him to read. Switch eyes and repeat. 

He did great. Dr. Mom feels confident in his ability to see. 

If you try this at home, let me know how it goes!