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.

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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

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!!

Adventures, History, Science

Museum Free Thursday

(I wrote this at 2 pm but failed to submit it.)

Hello! I am hiding under the blankets again. I got rid of the cat by pretending to sleep.

It’s rather late for our daily nap, but Mr.1 was playing so nicely with the magnet tiles and I didn’t want to tear him away. Honestly, if you are scratching your head about Christmas presents and you don’t already own a set of these, I think you should make the investment. They get used EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

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Except maybe yesterday, but it was a wonderful and strange day.

The first Thursday of every month is Museum Free Thursday in Seattle, where a number of museums let you in for free.

Yesterday we went to the Burke Museum of Natural History which is located on the UW campus. Parking was awful and expensive ($9 for 3 hours) but the Museum was awesome.

It’s a rather small museum; you could run a lap around the top floor in about 35 seconds. I know this because Mr. 1 was all about running away from me.

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Mr. 3 wanted to stay in their “class room” area and do floor puzzles.

The lower level is dedicated to cultural artifacts and the top level is dedicated to dinosaurs and also a volcano.

In fact, they were in the process of cleaning a T-Rex skull that was found recently. You could watch them do it! According to the museum there have only been about 15 complete skulls found for the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

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We had so much fun that Mr. 1 fell asleep in the car and Mr. 3 fell asleep in his barn. (At that point he was Snowflake the horse.)

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The rest of the day seemed like it was spent playing “fire truck rescue” and “ambulance driver”.

The strange part was at dinner. Instead of eating, Mr. 3 insisted on taking a bubble bath. This was his first bath since that time I told you I got in the tub with them… a month ago?

Mr. 1 ate a little bit and then joined his brother. We had to drain the tub once due to the little one pooping in the tub. Yuck!

Books, Daily Lessons, games, Projects

St. Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day. I hope you saw my reminder on Instagram to wash your boots yesterday, because St. Nick was supposed to have visited you yesterday.

This is a holiday that stems from my younger years in Germany. My mother has encouraged me to continue the tradition with my own kids. Mr. 3 was very excited yesterday and ended up cleaning his boots, his brother’s boots, the front of my dishwasher, the front of the oven, the trash can and compost bin, and some paint splatter on the cabinets. “What else can I clean, mommy?!”

This morning, the boys were very happy with what they found. A bucket of farm animals, DinoBlock, Trains, and Machines at Work. The two Byron Barton books came at just the right time because their favorite Trucks book broke in half last night while Mr. 1 was reading it in his crib. It’s only been a few hours but I have already read Trains and Machines at Work nearly 12 times total today. They also both really enjoyed the variety of farm animals and accessories.


 

We also did some large scale painting in the kitchen this morning. (Tempera pain is VERY washable and comes off really easily if the toddler swipes a cabinet or floor by mistake. At one point he started painting his diaper.) Mr. 3 was more interested in playing ambulance and trying to tie a ribbon bandage around anything I would offer him. While Mr. 1 and I were sitting in the bath tub scrubbing off the paint, the ambulance driver brought us towels and pretend lemonade. He also cleaned some of the “blood” (paint) from the kitchen floor. He repeatedly told me “Call 911 if you need me!” and “What else can I help with, mommy?”

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My husband is a much smarter person than I am. He is someone who really knows how to use his brain.

We only have short matches and I wanted to light a candle that was getting too low in the jar in order to cover the smell of the stinky diaper pail. My solution was to stick the match in a blob of play dough to make it longer. Feeling super proud of myself (even though I still almost burned myself) I gloated to my husband, “aren’t you going to ask me how I managed to light the candle?”.

He says, “Did you turn it sideways?”

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Daily Lessons

Only Half Way Through

Hello! We are only about half way through the day. I just woke up from my nap but neither the cat or the three year old has found me… I’m hiding under the blanket!

It’s been an interesting day so far! Mr. 3 has only asked for his Kindle once and was distracted before he could find it. In fact, the first thing he went to do this morning was play with the Big Train.

When the track fell apart and the train crashed I announced it was time for breakfast. Mr. 3 asked for a honey sandwich. We’ve never had that for breakfast before but it sounded good to me!

Then I said I wanted to decorate paper Christmas trees and hang them on the window.

Mr. 3 practiced cutting with scissors the whole time. When Mr. 1 started willfully ignoring my directions to not color on the table, please, I decided they were done.They spent more time with the train. Mr. 1 was pretending to be a crane and loaded and unloaded the cargo repeatedly while making crane noises.Every time I turned my back, the train would wreck or derail!

Mr. 1 learned to say “Gondola” and then later he also said “peanut butter” when it was lunch time.Then we vacuumed and I tried to clean the bathroom. In the middle of cleaning the toilet Mr. 3 announces he has to poop. And out of no where comes a sudden independence and he refuses to let me help him wipe. Of course he doesn’t know how to tell me this and instead he runs away from me and sits down on his poopy butt and smears it all over his feet. 30 minutes of wiping later he is finally clean. He went through a lot of toilet paper and some number of baby wipes. (It was frustrating to just watch!!)He also did not want help putting on his clothes. After that fiasco it was nap time for Mr. 1 and me. Thank goodness!Oh! Mr. 3 just caught me, I better go!

Daily Lessons

Busy All Day Long

Hello! It’s been so busy with the holidays, I haven’t found much time for checking in. I hope things are going well with you.

We got out our large battery powered train today. It was gifted to us last year by my husband’s brother, and this is the first time we took it out. Mr. 3 and Mr.1 were fascinated and occupied for what felt like several hours, but was probably less than 2. 

They both enjoyed using the remote control, but needed some reminders on sharing. 

I try not to force sharing too much but I always point out that soandso is feeling frustrated\sad because they would like a turn and eventually the issue resolves… Either with sharing or someone becoming distracted.

We also went to the Museum of Flight.

 We’ve read lots of interesting books lately, a few of which are by Nicola Davies (White Owl Barn Owl, What Happens Next?, Tiny world of microbes). These books are all beautiful and full of the perfect amount of information to be absorbed by a young child. 

The days are just flying by, and this year is almost over!! 

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!


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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.

 

Daily Lessons

New Leaf

I’m feeling much better! I still have frequent headaches and need to nap every day, but I am feeling mostly better!

I’ve been directing my newfound energy and willpower to my kids, and I am noticing their response.

First, I have started offering open art activities again. We are staying simple, because that is what they like best, and also it is easiest to set up. We have done chalk on construction paper, and watercolors with permanent marker pictures. We also made more flags because Mr. 3 has been interested in racing and racing flags. (He asked for this himself, and that made me SO happy!)

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Mr. 3 has reached a new art milestone. A few months ago he was drawing circles that were… circles. Now he draws circles that are “train tracks” or “rocket ships with windows that are train tracks” or “elephant intestines”. He’s telling stories with his art, which is new and exciting. It means he feels he can express his interests, even if it’s just the same circles!

Mr. 1 makes one type of movement (horizontal line to the right) so I think changing up the materials will help keep him interested.

Second, I’ve been getting on the floor to play with them every once in a while. They are fairly independent players but I want to show them that I am interested in their games and I ask questions about what they are doing. I ask questions when I lay on the couch, too, but it feels so distant.

We’ve been reading as much as ever, which I am happy to do. I’ve included some Halloween books to help get the kids excited about the holiday.

Mr. 3 has been asking a lot of questions that make me feel like he is really trying to learn reading and math. He asks “how many train pieces am I holding?” and “what if I put two down?” and when we walk by stores or signs he asks, “what does that sign say”? This has been a recent change in his questions which usually are more “Why [repeat whatever Mommy just said].”

I hope things are going well for you, too!

 

About, Conversations, Parenting

Conversations with the Kids

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Mr. 3: My poop is flat!

Me: I wonder how that happened?

Mr. 3: Maybe there aren’t enough nutrients?

Me: Maybe… how do we get more nutrients?

Mr. 3: Yogurt? Yeah! I REALLY want some yogurt!


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Me: Twinkle twinkle little start…

Mr. 1: NOOO!

Me: Abcdef…

Mr. 1: NOOOOO!

Me: The stars at night, are big and bright!

Mr. 1: NOOO!

Me: Do you want me to stop singing?

Mr. 1: No!

Me: Do you like saying no?

Mr. 1: No?

Me: Do you like saying yes?

Mr. 1: *nods head emphatically*


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Me: Happy 11 week birthday!

Fetus: …

Me: We are supposed to start feeling better now!

Fetus: …

Me: Alright! Let’s have a good day! Go Team!

Fetus: …