Adventures, art, pregnancy

17 days..no wait, it’s 18.

Mr. 2 enjoys matching games. He always seeks these out in the sticker activity book we sometimes use. It’s easy to make your own, though! Draw simple shapes or pictures and encourage your child to draw a line from one to the match on the other side.

Afterwards he saw some glue (Mr. 4 had been gluing stacks of paper together to make a “birthday cake”.) and wanted to put glue on top of his paper. I had to remind him several times to put things on the glue, but I think he mostly just liked the act of squeezing the bottle. We are now out of glue.


The doctor has scheduled us for a May 4th C-section. May the 4th be with you. My husband is very pleased. He said to me that all of our birthdays are easy to remember and May 3rd is just not an easy to remember date. Also, he likes Star Wars.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind having the baby 5 minutes ago, but I suppose I need to be patient. We could still go into labor before that day. It’s a possibility. I am trying (and failing) not to obsess over it.


It’s been really rainy here, but every once in a while the rain will stop.

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We are just trying to have fun and keep busy. Wednesday night, my husband will take me to the Astros at Mariners baseball game. And, last weekend we took the boys to Great Wolf Lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge is an interesting place, and I haven’t heard anyone say anything negative about it. I’ll be the first, because my kids just aren’t ready to really enjoy it yet. Mr. 2 was fine, he liked sticking his hands and feet in all the water spraying, and he even tried the tiny kid slid. He also enjoyed the wave pool. Mr. 4 was overwhelmed by all the people and noise and didn’t really like the water, either. (They have only gone swimming once in the last year, and that was last month.)

Mr. 4 also had a hard time falling asleep in the hotel room. Most of the traveling we do involves us flying to Texas and sleeping at Oma’s house, so he doesn’t get a lot of hotel and sleeping in strange places experience. Mr. 2 just seems more naturally adaptable and slightly more adventurous. Also, the food wasn’t great.

Still, I can see why most people have a wonderful time there. When the kids get older and more confident I believe we will try again.

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art, Conversations, Daily Lessons, Language, Parenting

Art and Playdate: Everyday Learning

Mr. Almost 4 has been drawing “house plans” inspired by the show Bob the Builder that he found on his kindle a few weeks ago. This mostly consisted of drawing lots of circle windows near each other for the last two weeks. Today he drew a large circle and added two little circles inside of it and I said, “it looks a little like a face!” He agreed but pointed out that the face was missing a nose and mouth. To my surprise, he decided to add them in.

He has now officially drawn his first face! The large green one was Daddy, the bottom right green was his brother and then the top right green became the baby. The yellow picture was of the dog. My guidance consisted of saying that our dog has a really large nose and two large ears.

I’m no expert, but I feel like this is a pretty important milestone in his artistic development. This is the first time he’s actually drawn something that is recognizable, and I am super proud of him.

Another proud parenting moment:

We went to the playground this evening at Daddy’s suggestion and Mr. 2 said, “This purple slide. Watch me go down.” He spoke so carefully and perfectly I almost cried. And after dinner he tried so very hard to say “May I be excused?” when we asked him if he was all done.

This morning we had a play date with a neighborhood friend. They have 3 girls, one of which is in the process of being adopted into the family. When we had our snack this afternoon I had to answer many questions such as the following:

  • Why don’t they have any boys?
  • Will they make boys?
  • Why did they adopt the baby?
  • Why couldn’t the baby’s mommy or daddy take care of her?
  • Why did the mommy do drugs?
  • Why weren’t they being careful and accidentally have a baby?
  • Why do Crystal and King not have any children? They are lonely. (Dinosaur Train characters.)

I actually had a very long attempt at explaining that people who don’t have children aren’t necessarily lonely, but he took a lot of convincing. Apparently he thinks children are an important and necessary part of life… I wonder why? (:

About

Congratulations on your promotion

Mr. 1 was promoted to Mr. 2, today March 8, 2018. Birthday’s are a difficult concept for young children to understand. Just a few weeks ago, my almost 4-year-old and I were talking about how much he’s growing and he said, “I’m not growing, it’s not my birthday!” In fact, Mr. 2 has absolutely no idea why he’s getting a cake and presents.

Bad mommy alert: I did not take a single picture of my children today! I didn’t photograph the presents, the cake, the playdate, the puzzling, the playing, the fighting, the napping, the cuddling, or anything. Rest assured, we had a pretty great day despite the truck fiasco described below.

Oh boy, the presents. I bought them another little set of construction vehicles. It probably cost $10 on amazon for 6 trucks, and resulted in a morning of tumult. The boys both really wanted to play with them and kept fighting over who had which trucks. In the end the dump truck was broken.

The floor puzzle was a hit, and has been completed several times. The boys keep trying to dance on it, though, so I have to watch them like a hawk and clean it up as soon as they lose interest.

My mom sent them a large farm duplo set that they opened a few days ago and have played with every day. Mr. 4 says, “I love these legos and I want this set, and this set, and this one” (pointing to the advertisements on the instructions.)

My husbands mom sent a bunch of gardening supplies. lots of flower seeds, a bird feeder, kid gardening gloves, and garden decorations. The weather is supposed to be marvelous this weekend so hopefully we get to use it all. She also sent lots of sticker and workbooks so I’ll be encouraging the boys to use those. (I also bought some books about birds and trees online today… shame on me… but it will go well with this nature theme. If birds come to the bird feeder I want the boys to be able to identify them!)

If the books turn out to be any good, I will share them with you here!

The CDC has a list of milestones that a 2 year old should be able to do… and Mr. 2 can do them all! He’s worked hard for this promotion, and I can’t wait to see what he will learn next. He’s been talking up a storm and is really working on vocalizing complete thoughts. He’ll be speaking in full sentences really soon, I have no doubt!

I am very grateful to have such happy and healthy children.

 

 

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.

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?

 

 

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”

Projects

Valentines Collage

This is a gentle reminder that Valentines day is February 14th!

First, a Valentines craft:

Today, the kids and I made some valentines day cards. Really, this was just a collage.

You need construction paper, glue, scissors. You can add any theme related tidbits you have. We had some jeweled hearts that the boys really liked gluing to their papers.

Mr. 3 decided to take the project in a completely different direction after he finished his decorating, and wanted to build 2 rocket ships.

Mr. 1 really enjoyed this project. We did the glue together (I helped squeeze and he told me where to put it) and then he put the decorations on top of the glue blobs.

I cut out different shapes for them to use: hearts, diamonds, moons, stars, flowers.

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I’m quite pleased with our results!

Second, some gift ideas:

For my husband, I am making Heavenly Scotch Ham and leaving him the rest of a fancy bottle of scotch.

For me, I asked for flowers and part of the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn series.

For my dinosaur obsessed kids I got them the Dinosaur Train A to Z book, which I thought would just be pictures and lyrics to the song but actually includes information for each of the dinosaurs they list in the alphabet song! Also, they are getting a Dinosaur sticker and activity book made by Roger Priddy who I think has best sticker/activity books for preschoolers.

Do you have any valentines plans?

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.

 

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!