Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things about my 3 Today

Alarik makes known what he likes and doesn't like.  I've witnessed some toy-taking, pushing, and screeching when someone does something that irritates him.  He's also become a bit of a stinker at the dinner table.  No veggies, please.  Grrrrrr...
On the cute side, he's high-fiving and punching it (thanks Auntie Stephie) and is still as smiley as ever.  He LOVES to be outside and cuddle up for story time.

Scott is learning to tie his shoes.  He did awesome the first night we worked on it but now gets frustrated quickly when it doesn't turn out right the first time.  Scott starts Kindergarten in a couple weeks but you wouldn't know it because he neither complains nor talks excitedly about it.  He was the same way about preschool.  When it's time to go, he'll go, and there won't be much hoopla over it.  It would be nice if he'd get excited about it but I guess it could be worse. 
Many of my inquiries as to whether or not Scott has done something he's expected to do are met with an incredulous "Why wouldn't I???"  For example:
Me:  Scott, did you brush your teeth?
Scott:  Why wouldn't I??? (said with impatience and irritation)
Me:  Oh, I don't know...maybe because I typically have to ask you fourteen times before you do anything?
But the boy makes up for all that orneriness by occasionally coming crashing in for the unprompted hug and kiss, complete with a "love you mom!" that can just make my day!

 Bekah.  What can I say about Bekah today?  She fancies herself the enforcer at daycare and constantly tries to tell all the younger kids (and sometimes Steph) what to do!  She's dying to have a small tv/vcr set in her room that Great Grandma Helen sent home with us about a month ago.  Jesse and I are against tv's in bedrooms but we told her if she proved responsible, we'd consider it.  She practiced piano for two days without being asked and then that fell by the wayside.  The tv is still sitting in the corner of the living room.
 Bekah is forever planning elaborate "projects" such as the hot air balloon earlier this week.  Tonight it was a miniature log cabin and log dog house with a pipe cleaner man and dog.  No small task - and I wonder why my laundry never gets folded and put away!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Fail (x3)

Bekah had grand plans to make a mini hot air balloon this evening.  Not sure what made her think up this idea, but we ran with it.

Take one:

plastic grocery bag, popsicle stick "basket", fishing line, tealight 

Is it getting hot under there?

Nope.  After I explain how a hot air balloon works, the kids figure our version has too big of a bag for the small tealight candle and that the candle is too far from the opening of the bag.  Bekah jumps up to retrieve a smaller bag she knows she has in her room.

While we wait, Scott entertains me by "jumpin' up while cwossin' my legs".

And who wouldn't be entertained by that?  He got some pretty good air, actually.

Bekah is back with a smaller plastic bag.

Take Two:

This time we set the bag right on top of the candle after fluffing it open as far as it will go. 
Come on, come on!!!

Oh no!  BAG ON FIRE!!!

Time for some research.  We google "what are hot air balloons made out of" and are disappointed to find we don't have any of the best materials on hand which include rip-stop nylon, dacron and the fire resistant Nomex.  Next we google "how to make a mini hot air balloon and are pointed to these instructions on Wikihow:
Take Three:

plastic bag, pipe cleaners twisted into a circle (substituted for straws), fishing line (substituted for string), cardboard square, birthday candles

Dad helps this time.  He lights it up and...
...burns the fishing line.  The birthday candles burn upside down and we suffer our third failure of the night.

I think it was good for the kids to keep trying and having it not work out.  It was fun to hear them come up with ideas that might make it work better.  And since we never did succeed, we can continue the fun and experimentation another night!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Perfect Lazy Sunday

I had no agenda today and was it ever nice to just wander about the house and yard doing nothing in particular!

Jesse's been sick with pneumonia all week so he was just laying low.  The kids and I went to church and then played outside in the absolutely gorgeous weather.  I put together a new sandbox digger for the kids and Scott was in heaven.

We lounged on the yard swing together and pushed Alarik in his baby swing.  Bekah took a few spins on the big swing.

And then she cuddled up with her new found reading interest, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I pulled a few weeds from the garden, mowed the lawn, swept the floor, read magazines, perused pinterest, bathed all three kids, read them stories, put them to bed, and then had this weird, nesting-type, desire come over me to clean my spice cupboard.  So I did.

If all Sundays could be like this one, life would be grand indeed! (except for Jesse having pneumonia, of course)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Goodest

This morning Scott was wishing that all the pieces of his Magic Stars cereal could be marshmallow pieces "instead of the blonde ones too".  I explained to him that the marshmallow part wasn't very healthy.  He sighed and lamented, "Why is the unhealthiest stuff always the goodest???"
The world may never know, son.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Accidental Day at the Park

I made a spur of the moment decision last Saturday morning to take the kids and run to Grand Rapids to hit up the farmer's market.  I envisioned a leisurely amble through the market with Alarik in the stroller and Bekah and Scott helping me choose delicious and healthy produce for the next week.  Then we arrived in the big city and discovered that the Tall Timber Days festival was going on.  I nearly turned right around and went home.  But then I took a deep breath and decided to embrace the madness.  We parked several blocks from the normal location of the farmer's market.  When we first made our way over there, it looked like it had been completely taken over by a giant tent with a music stage and tables under it.  But we eventually found the market tucked into half the area it normally covers.  Since we'd parked so far from the truck, we were only able to buy what we could fit in the bottom of the stroller but we managed to fit corn, carrots, potatoes, green beans and cukes in there!  On the way back to the truck, Bekah and Scott spied the inflatable kids games (how can you NOT notice those giant colorful wallet-drainers?) and I agreed to let them play for awhile.

That was all the crowd I could handle so we grabbed sandwiches at Subway and headed to one of the city parks to enjoy them.  The place was all but deserted so that was nice. 

The kids played some more on the playground there and we discovered that Alarik LOVES slides!

Then again, what doesn't this kid love?
Sandwiches?  Yep!

Stairs?  Yep!

Tunnels?  Yep!

 His brother and sister?  Yep!

A solo trip down a big double-slide when Bekah and Scott mis-communicate???

Apparently, YEP!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Growing Moths (or Butterflies)

Bekah and Scott have been interested in bugs all summer.  So when they found oodles of caterpillars gobbed on my willow tree in the backyard, they were all excited to shut a few up in jars and watch them turn into butterflies. Boy, did the little buggers EAT!  We had to put several fresh greens in the jars every day.  And then we had to shake out all the poop too!

It took just over a week for them to stop eating and form their cocoons, or chrysalis, or whatever it's called (can you tell I didn't do much research on this before we tried it?)  Then, of all the rotten luck, they came out while Bekah and Scott were gone for several days staying with Great-Grandma Helen!  So I took lots of pictures for them as I let them go.

Bekah was hoping for beautiful butterflies but it looks like a moth to me.  What say you?

Aren't those funky-looking?  The kids liked discovering how they got out (through the bottom) but left the shell of it intact.

I really could have done more with this as far as making it an educational experience for the kids, and myself as apparently I know nothing.  What can I say?  I'm only one woman.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Giant Freezing Cold Water Play Pad

Saw this idea on pinterest and had to give it a try:

Rolling out the giant plastic sheeting:

Duct-taping the three open sides after folding it:

Waiting for it to fill up:

And more waiting:

 The filling it up part took a lot longer than I anticipated but the kids had just as much fun checking it out while it was filling as they did when it was finally done and ready to play on.  Alarik especially liked helping the blue food coloring mix with the water as it filled.  Definitely need more food coloring next time.  Two bottles was not enough for that many gallons of water!

They got excited when it was full enough to make them "float".
The first trouble spot we had was where I taped it shut after pulling the hose out.  Must not have sealed as well because it was wet I guess.

But it didn't gush out, only trickled so the kids still had plenty of play time.

I think letting the kids play on it before it was full caused another problem, spots that got stretched from their little heels running over it.  One such spot started to wear thin and eventually broke open (by the help of investigative little fingers).  It happened to be almost right in the middle of the top so we just stuck the running hose in there to give us a little more life.

But the hole proved too tempting:

And pretty soon they were "fishing" in it!

All told we got over 4 hours of entertainment from this little project and we stayed cool enjoying the great outdoors so we marked it a success.  The plastic sheeting came two rolls to a pack so we'll have to try it again with a different taping technique and see if we can achieve better results.