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”

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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*

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.

 

 

Science

Nature’s favorite building blocks are…

Quarks!

When I think of “Quark” I think of the creamy sauce my mother makes using (I only guess here) sour cream, dill, chives, garlic, and parsley. She used to serve it with boiled potatoes. I would consider doing the same myself, as I remember it being delicious, but my husband has put his foot down about serving potatoes too many times a week, and therefore I don’t have enough of an excuse to dress them up. He wouldn’t eat it anyways. *grumbles about picky eaters*

If you were thinking the answer to the question “What is nature’s basic building block?” was ATOMS, you, my friend, are sadly outdated. Apparently, nature now builds with Quarks which stick together to form Atoms. Actually, I think nature has always built with Quarks, but we just didn’t have the knowledge or a cute little name to call them. Now we know!

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This book, Baby Loves Quarks!, has explained the concept to me in a way I can understand. It has super cute and colorful pictures and simple sentences that even I can understand the concept. It also expands outward and explains protons, neutrons, atoms, and elements. I highly recommend this as a fun read for both parents and baby geniuses. (My normal children seemed to enjoy it too.)

My FAVORITE science joke EVER is:

Two atoms are sitting in a bar. The first turns to the second and says, “I think I lost an electron!”

The second atom asks, “are you sure?”

The first atom replies, “I’m positive!!”

Teeheheeehahahahaha. I love that.

I was trying to write my own joke for this post, but the best I could come up with is:

What are ducks made out of? Quarks! (….because it sounds like Quack. I’ll show myself out now.)

About

August

The month is almost over! It seems to me that the older we get the faster time seems to go by. You also get a speed boost for each child you have. When I had only 1 child it felt like I had a handle on the passage of time, but with two children I sometimes wake up and realize the month is over already.

The 3-Year-Old

He hasn’t worn a diaper since the beginning of the month, and I am trying to learn to trust him and not nag him so much about “Do you need to pee? Do you need to poo?” I know it is frustrating to him to be asked these questions constantly, but he does still forget to take care of himself sometimes. Still, I am so relieved he has finally made the leap and is mostly accident free, even at night.

He is obsessed with Blippi the TV show. In fact he spent nearly 2 hours watching Blippi on the Kindle today.

I did not let him watch TV until he was nearly two years old, but his brother (who is 1) will follow him around and watch the show with him for as long as it is playing. I’m torn between enforcing limits for the two and letting him learn his limits on his own.

I try to think back to when I was young and single and lived in my own apartment. I watched a lot more TV but I usually only watched it while “studying” or doing homework. I also played a lot of video games. Yes, he is 3, but part of me thinks he should still get to play the games he wants to play.

I had him pause the video and told him how watching too much television wasn’t good for his brain or his body. That he needed to play games and run around so his brain can form new connections, so that he can learn new things, and so that his muscles and bones will stay strong and healthy. Then I took his brother for a nap.

20 minutes later he came into the room and laid down with me. It turns out the Kindle ran out of battery. I told him that made me happy and I reminded him why watching too much television wasn’t good for us. Then he asked me to read 9 books (always 1 more!) and fell asleep pretty quickly after the read-a-thon.

The 1-Year-Old

Mr. 1 has started doing board puzzles.

My favorite is Melissa and Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle, and his favorite is Melissa & Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle.

He still has a little trouble turning some of the bigger pieces when they have the little peg, because he insists on using the peg, but he has shown great improvement over the last week.

He is also becoming more independent and wants to do everything himself. Unfortunately, he is also easily frustrated and spends a lot of the time shrieking when something goes wrong. He is trying, and he knows how to ask for help, so I try to be patient and let him learn.

<35> Week Old

It is still early. In fact, I was supposed to get my period today. Instead I have:

  • Nausea and gas
  • Fatigue
  • Fuller, more sensitive breasts
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Constant thirst and increased hunger

I don’t know if it’s related, but sometimes my spit turns to glue in my mouth. It’s pretty weird.

Mr. 3 keeps asking if I’ve been to the hospital yet, and I have to explain that it will take a while for the baby to be fully grown. Mr. 1 has no idea what’s happening.

I hope you all had a satisfying month!

games

Game: What am I making?

This is a game that works well with play dough. Both my children enjoyed this and took turns guessing. The concept is simple and the game can last as long as there is interest.

Make your play dough into different forms and have them guess what you are making. You don’t need a special talent. If they are having trouble you can use noises and motion to help them guess. I don’t have pictures but some other things we made included:

  • horse
  • people
  • kite
  • rocket ship
  • airplane

My 17 month old even plopped a lump on the table and made the rocket ship motion and noise. I think he was trying to make his own rocket ship! My three year old did not make any shapes but seemed to enjoy guessing.

If you have older children you can play that the first person to guess correctly gets to make the next item.

What is the coolest thing that you or kids have made with play dough?

 

Adventures

Pike Place Farmer’s Market

Last week we went to the Pike Place Farmer’s Market.

In Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling he says to be wary of going on field trips for field trips sake. He emphasizes that your children will learn more and better if it’s something they or you are interested in, or if it’s necessary to go.

(I’m still working my way through the book, but it is not quite as inspiring as I found Learning All the Time to be. This is because some of the anecdotes are the same and Teach Your Own is less John Holt and more just letters from parents to his Growing Without Schooling magazine. )


Well we had to go to the Farmer’s market at Pike Place for two reasons:

1. That is where Bavarian Meats, the only German store and deli that I am aware of in this area is located.

2. We needed to buy some local honey.

Also as a bonus reason, we were out of fruit at home.

The boys both enjoyed the trip.

We parked at the Target because it is free if you spend at least $20 at Target, and we needed towels and underwear for Daddy.

Then we walked one block and found ourselves at the market. First stop was the honey, which was quick and easy.

Next, we threaded our way through the crowds (even on a weekday morning) to the other end of the market to find the German store. We stocked up on wieners, Knackwurst, and Bratwurst, and pretzel bread. I also got some Grießbrei pudding mix.

The ladies at the store are super sweet and they gave each of my boys a wiener, and then I received a smoked sausage as well.

Then we walked by the Beechers cheese shop where you can watch them making cheese in large tubs. Mr 3. was fascinated with this and we watched for quite a while.


Then we pushed our way back to one of the fruit markets and purchased some beautiful blueberries, raspberries, and a bunch of bananas. The boys were still hungry after the sausage so we went to the waterfront viewing area to eat some of the bananas.  The viewing area was really just 4 windows that looked past highway 99 to the water. The boys enjoyed watching the cars and trucks on the highway.


We finished up our trip by going back to Target. At this point Mr. 1 fell asleep in the stroller and Mr. 3 got really grumpy. When I was paying he refused to walk forward and wandered away toward the cereal. He then caused a scene when I insisted he listen and get in the stroller, resulting in my losing my place in line and forcing him into the stroller. 5 minutes later he was asleep in the car.

I let them sleep in the car, and when they woke up I made quesadillas and let them enjoy the berries. A colorful market lunch.


Overall it was a fun time, and we will go again in a few months for more German food.

Daily Lessons

Traveling with Young Children

My kids are no strangers to airplanes. They don’t do too well in the car for long periods of time, but they are great at flying. Here are some tricks we’ve learned along the way!

Young babies are very simple. You hold them on your lap and encourage them to sleep. If they are awake on take off or landing, you want to be sure to feed them to help with the air pressure change. Hold them and bounce them in your arms while standing in the aisles if they get restless.

Once your child is 2 years old you will be required to purchase them a seat on the airplane. I strongly recommend you bring their airplane approved car seat. It should have a sticker somewhere on it that says it is FAA approved.

The car seat will keep your toddler from escaping and even provide a more comfortable place to sleep. Most toddlers are used to falling asleep in the car, so the airplane should not be much different.

Next, be sure to bring some distracting and satisfying games and snacks.

Activities
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  1. Play Dough – I use Rachelle’s recipe at TinkerLab and just put a small amount in a baggie. My 3 year old loves playing with his diggers and the play dough and this keeps him very buys at home. Play dough is sticky though, so be sure to bring parchment paper to protect whichever surface you are playing on.
  2. Crayons and coloring/activity book. Great for all ages.
  3. Stickers/Tape – This can keep both my 1 year old and 3 year old busy for a long period of time. You can stick them on the back of some coloring sheets.
  4. Small but well loved books that you do not mind re-reading several times.

For this trip we are bringing Peek-A-Who which is an all time favorite with my 1 year old. We are also bringing Calling All Cars a lego story about a bank robbery. My toddler has been enjoying this series for the last few weeks. Most of the books are hard to read for me because the text can be a little annoying, but this one was pretty good.

Snacks

The best snacks are ones that aren’t devoured in five seconds. You want this to take a while…

Did you know you can bring food through security? You are not allowed liquids but solid food is allowed! 

I like to bring:

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  1. Small or cut up pieces of fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, pear, apple. You don’t want to choose things that can get too mushy and sticky such as banana and some peaches. (Not pictured because I want them to be as fresh as possible; I promise I will offer my kids fruit! )
  2. Chex mix. I use Chex cereal and pour in planters mixed nuts – low sodium. Sometimes I add broken pretzel sticks if we have them at home.
  3. Cheerios (plain) for young babies or young toddlers.
  4. Raisins are sticky but my kids love them.
  5. Other easy non perishable snacks such as yogurt melts, fruit chews, granola bars.

Just Remember:

You know your children best, and these are just suggestions to get you thinking. You can even ask them to help pack and choose a few of their favorite small toys (that they might not be broken up about if they get lost)… my kids love doing this.

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I hope you have a great trip!

 

About

Mother’s Day 2017

I’m having a wonderful day today, and I hope that you are too! My day has been full of happy surprises.I got to sleep in all the way to 8 am, and when I came out of the bedroom there was breakfast on the table and a hot cup of tea. Then, my husband took Mr. 3 to the grocery store while the baby was napping and I had a whole hour to myself to read and play with my new Kindle 8HD. But that’s not all, folks! They came home with beautiful flowers. Later the baby took his first few independent steps while playing basketball!  I’m so happy I could burst! Thank you!