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”

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”

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.

About, Adventures, games, Parenting

Hooray for Holidays

Good Evening!

I don’t know about you, but I have literally gained 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I told my doctor she didn’t have to worry about my previous unsatisfactory weight gain; I knew the holidays would get me on track.

The problem with gaining the weight so quickly is it adds to my physical discomfort.

I didn’t think I was being extra unhealthy, but after a 7-day cruise and 2 Christmas dinners…man, oh man.

Continue reading “Hooray for Holidays”

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.

 

 

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!


Mr. 3: I want to watch something!!2017-11-04_17-34-55_965

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.

 

Parenting

Mr. 1’s adventures in the night

Halloween is a spooky time of year, but it doesn’t take much to scare a child. He was probably just dreaming that mommy was too lazy to go to the grocery store again and that we were STILL out of milk and bananas. Horrifying, but possible.

(Thank goodness to wonderful husbands who can stop at the store on their way home from work!)

Whatever he was dreaming about, Mr. 1 woke up shortly after 10 pm crying. It was not an intermittent “Gee, I’m having a little trouble going back to sleep.” cry. It was a loud and continuous “I’m scared and alone!!” cry.

This is the first “nightmare” that Mr. 1 has had. Mr. 3 used to get them every once in a while at this age too.

I went into the room and picked him up. I patted him on the back and talked to him in a quiet soothing voice, hoping that we wouldn’t wake up his brother in the process. Mr. 1 hiccupped and kept saying “da da da” but gave no indication of the meaning of these noises. When he saw the cat slink by he started whispering “meow” and seemed to feel better. So I sang him twinkle twinkle and he leaned toward his crib. He laid down quietly and I left and shut the door.

Wonderful!

Except less than 2 minutes later he started crying again! I sent Daddy in there to try his hand at calming the poor child, but he started crying again as soon as Daddy closed the door.

What should we do? Should we let him cry it out and settle himself to sleep? What if he wakes his brother? We waited 2 minutes to see what would happen, but although the crying would slow it would not stop.

I decided my poor little baby needed something else. I brought him some water, which he didn’t want. I picked him up and took him out of the room. I fed him a leftover piece of the granola bar I had been eating, and offered him the water again. He seemed calm and relaxed now so I offered to take him back to bed. He pointed at mommy and daddy’s bed.

I threatened him, “Okay… you can sleep with us BUT you have to stay put. No wiggling and trying to escape. IF you leave the bed you go back to your crib.” (This was the first time he will have tried to sleep in an open bed, and also the first time to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.)

He seemed to agree and I put him down on the bed. He immediately clambered up onto my pillow and took up 97% of it, and he only left me about a foot and a half of bed to sleep on. But he was laying still and trying to sleep.

He managed to stay in bed for about 4 hours when I heard a groan and found him crawling over Daddy’s head and trying to escape.

I brought him to his crib and he didn’t complain, and slept the rest of the night normally. Mr. 3 never woke up enough to complain.