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”

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!

 

 

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”

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!”

Gardening, Language

Spelling Match Game

Hello friends!

Mr. 3 wanted to go to the Science Center today, but it is cold and rainy and I just did not feel like going anywhere. Usually it is him that doesn’t want to go anywhere, but today it’s my fault that we are stuck at home. I think all the cold and rain is getting to me. It doesn’t help that I can’t zip my rain jacket around my big belly anymore, or that it hurts to put on shoes either from bending or lifting my legs.

3 mores months to go! Then we will be more comfortable and have some sunshine… and a baby!

I thought I would try a new game with the boys. My friend whose middle child is in kindergarten this year was trying to explain the concept of “sight words” and how its difficult for some of the kids in the class. I think, basically, the kids are exposed to common words “has” and “is” several times, and they memorize the form the words go in.

Personally, I don’t think that helps them read a whole lot since it is just memorizing. But I thought I’d do something similar to help the kids understand a more basic concept: that letters form words. I wanted to do words that we see a lot, and that the kids are excited about.

When I asked Mr. 3 what to spell, he said “cryolophosaurus” and “time tunnel approaching”.

Mr. 1 asked for me to repeatedly draw pictures of a cow.

We never got to the game part of it, but I also cut index cards in half and wrote 1 letter on each card. On the back I included a little dot-to-dot if the kids wanted to trace the letters. (They did do this a few times.) Then I made some other cards or papers with pictures and words on them.

The game would basically be finding the correct letters to copy the word written on the picture, or I could give them the correct letters and they are supposed to put them in order. I know there are some Melissa & Doug puzzles that are similar to this idea.


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We’ve got some seedlings that have popped up. It has been about 8 days since we planted them. Mr. 3’s carton has 4 sprouts, and mine has 3 sprouts. Mr. 1 has 0 and I am starting to worry I forgot to put seeds in his. He also has the most soil, so it could just take longer to pop up. Mine was a few days behind Mr. 3 because I have more soil than him. My sprouts also appear a little stronger than his.

It’s fun to look at everyday and see what has changed.

 

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.

Gardening

New Year, New Garden

Last year, my garden was a little bland. We had zucchini, beans, and carrots. My strawberry plant was more productive than the year before, which was really nice.

Unfortunately the blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, watermelon, and herbs did not produce. 😦

The berries may have been planted too late, but everything else failed at the seedling stage.

This year, I have invested $21 in grow lights!! I hope this will produce strong, vigorous seedlings which I did not have this year.

According to the farmers almanac emails I get, it’s time to start onion seedlings (9-12 weeks before the last frost date) in the north west.

I cut an egg carton (18 eggs) into thirds so that my assistants could each have a section. I put our names on them just in case they wanted to keep track of their own growth.

Then I gathered garden soil (potting soil is good, too) in a bucket and told them to fill up their carton holes.

Next, poke their little fingers in each egg area to make a little seed hole.

Then, drop “a few” seeds in each hole. (I said 1-2 but Mr. 3 put a whole bunch.)

Then, lightly cover the holes with the soil.

Our soil was moist because I got it from outside, but you may need to spray or sprinkle water on.

Finally, rearrange your whole kitchen so that you can put the seedlings and lights in an area where the kids can look but not touch. Somewhere where the clutter will not annoy your significant other or get in your way with cooking/cleaning.

I also planted a mystery seed and some cilantro in my carton because I think we will have enough onions from the kids, and I was wondering if the herbs would grow well inside with the lights. Also, I’d like to figure out what that mystery bag of seeds was.

I hope you readers have a wonderful garden year, if you are into that sort of thing!

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

Holiday Update

Hello and Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful holiday season, but we are all glad to be back to our old routine now!

The kids got a bunch of new toys, so thank you to all the aunts and uncles and grandparents. Mommy and Daddy were kind of lazy and cheap this year because of the big Christmas trip and we only bought them a few books and 1 toy each.

I think it’s safe to say that the best toy they received  was a large Melissa and Doug Construction Site Floor Puzzle. They do this puzzle several times a day, and even Mr. 1 likes to help out and can put a few of the pieces together with some guidance (See the red stripes? Put them next to the other red stripes!)

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They also got a few Lego Duplo sets that they can mix and match… all of them were some sort of truck so they have been having lots of fun with those.

The toy I bought for Mr. 1 was a mat that you draw on with water pens. He likes it a lot and comes back to it several times a day, but I am a little disappointed with the quality. The water pens drip a lot so all the pictures smudge and the mat doesn’t dry very well. Even hours later there are still water marks on it. 😦

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Being away from home for a while, the boy missed all of their old toys and they definitely missed doing art. They have both been very into coloring, decorating with stickers, and have even asked to paint.

I’m glad that they are so happy to play inside, because it is still very cold outside. Thankfully it hasn’t been raining very much, but it takes a while for the days temperature to reach 40.

We did go outside yesterday at Daddy’s insistence, but it only lasted 30 minutes before everyone decided they were too cold.

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I hope that you and your family had a nice holiday season, and we wish you a very merry Happy New Year!!