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!

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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: …

 

Parenting

My 3 Year Old stopped napping!

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Mr. 3 has stopped napping. This is a recent development, and the transition has actually been pretty smooth. He lasted 3.5 years and for that I am so grateful! I am grateful, also, for his ability to play mostly independently while I nap.

I’m not giving up MY nap just because Mr. 3 has given up his.

I lay the 18 month old down around 12:30 and I ask Mr. 3 if he needs anything else before I lay down. Usually he just asks for his milk. Then I go lay down and try to sleep.

Sometimes he wakes me up for a good reason, usually because he has to poop.

Sometimes he wakes me up for not such a good reason, “are you awake?,” or  “can you take apart these train pieces”.

For the most part he just plays with his train set and, or his magnet tiles and patiently waits for me to wake up.

How does your family handle nap time? 

 

Adventures

Bowling

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We tried something new with the kids this weekend. Bowling!

We only stayed for one game, which took approximately an hour, which was just as long as the attention span of my 18 month old. Both the 3 and 1.5-year-old had a little trouble taking turns and wanted to roll the ball down the ramp all the time.

When it WAS their turn, they would get super excited. Mr. 3 had no trouble carrying the 5 and sometimes 8 pound balls, but we helped the really little boy carry and guide the ball to the ramp.

We also distracted them with hot chocolate when it wasn’t their turn.

Overall the experience was interesting, and the boys really seemed to enjoy themselves. Bowling is a fun, turn taking game. The boys both really enjoy knocking things over, so this game is right up their alley. (Haha)

You can also practice counting the pins standing or knocked over. You can practice simple take away math if your child is interested. (You knocked over 3 of the 10 pins, how many are left? Your brother gets two tries, how many does he have left?)

Honestly, the most difficult part of it was trying to leave when the 3-year-old noticed the slices of cake at a family’s nearby table.

Have you gone bowling with your children? How do you make the trip a success? 

 

Daily Lessons, Parenting

Being Helpful

My kids love being helpful. I know it can be frustrating when they start sweeping the ceiling, or that vacuuming takes 8 times as long. And yet, it is in our best interest to let them help! They are learning important lessons such as helping and caring for others, taking care of themselves and their belongings, teamwork, problem solving, fine and gross motor coordination, and SO much more.  Continue reading “Being Helpful”