Adventures, Books, History, Science

Beaches and Trains

We’ve been taking advantage of this beautiful Seattle summer and going to the beach! The water is too cold to swim in, but there’s lots of exploring and digging to do.

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Geography, Science

Volcanoes

Hello there! We have been busy lately.  One of the things that has kept us occupied has been learning about Volcanoes.

That new little island near Hawaii is an example of a creative eruption, an eruption that creates new land masses and helps enrich the soil among other things.

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Adventures, History, Science

Northwest Railway Museum

The Northwest Railway Museum is located in Snoqualmie, Washington, just a short distance from Snoqualmie Falls, a beautiful hike involving a large waterfall. We went for the first time to the train museum a few weeks ago, and it was an interesting experience. It is a small, non-profit, volunteer based museum. When we visited on a Friday morning, there were only 3 or 4 other people looking around. You cannot go onto any of the trains, but you can run around the train yard as much as you want. Also, on the weekends they offer train rides that take about 2 hours to complete.

Even though we didn’t get to go on a train or train ride, the boys (2 & 4) still had a lot of fun running around.

See Inside Trains

See Inside Trains by Usborne – I bought this at the train museum’s book store and I am very glad that I did. It has a ton of information about different types of trains and how they were developed and how they work. Also, the flaps. My how the boys love the flaps. It keeps them interested in the book for ridiculously long periods of time (as long as I keep reading, that is).

About, Daily Lessons, Health, Language, Projects, Science

New Skills

Hello!

There are so many things I want to write about, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. Today, I want to make my excuses for not updating.

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I/We have been busy learning 5 new skills:

  1. Being a mom to 3 boys
  2. Learning Spanish (the kids like to press the buttons on the Rosetta Stone app).
  3. Experimenting with Essential Oils – so far I’m trying a diffuser and a homemade all-purpose cleaner. We are even doing a science experiment to test the effectiveness of the essential oil cleaner versus 409. I hope to post something about that at the conclusion of the experiment. So far I have learned that my kitchen and bathroom counter are disgusting. What do you use essential oils for? 
  4. Incorporating exercise into my week. I can’t say I want a daily routine, because that’s just not realistic, but breastfeeding alone isn’t helping me get into my old jeans. Especially when I’m craving sweets.
  5. Trying to cook with an Instapot. So far I have only made steamed broccoli and it was okay. The whole mechanism seems intimidating to me, but I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable with it when I use it more. Feel free to share your favorite recipes in the comments! 

 

Baby, Books, Science

What we are reading:

Is there a new baby in your home or about to join you? Read this with your kids!

Dinosaur

Frequently requested by my 4-year-old. We recently had our third child and this is my favorite “big brother” book I’ve read yet. It is cute, funny, and accurately depicts what life will be like with a new baby. Enjoyed by the kids and by me.

Do your kids love garbage trucks?

Trashy Town

This book is repetitive and thus is a book your kids can easily “Read to themselves” once you’ve gone through it a few times. Also has repeated “Sight” words that the kids can easily recognize. As a mom, I don’t mind reading it once or twice a day, but definitely not over and over. 

Looking for something educational and cute?

animals

This book has beautiful pictures of all of our favorite animals, a moderate (not overwhelming) amount of useful information, and amusing commentary from Pooh and his friends. The donkey (Eeyore?) is especially amusing. I wish my children were as curious about it as I am. 

Adventures, Science

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Last weekend we drove 45 minutes south of Seattle to go visit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. 

This was our first time visiting the zoo, and although we had a rough start to the day we had a beautiful time at the zoo and got to visit a restaurant chain we like but that was closed down near our house. It was a really good day.

The worst part was when we realized we forgot Mr. (a)4’s jacket after 10 minutes of driving and had to turn around and drive back home to get it. The best part was:

The scenic view of the Sound, the amazing animals, the engaging children’s area, the beautiful weather, and the POLAR BEAR!!!!!

Honestly, we only saw about 1/3 of the park. We didn’t even make it to any of the aquariums and I had to hurry through the Asian forest (tigers, elephants, etc!) but I would highly recommend this park to any family. We are already planning to go back after the baby is born, because my mom would love it.

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.

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.

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!