Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Puff balls, spit and rice!

Yesterday we tried doing a couple of creative play times. I always see these great ideas on mommy blogs and think it would be great to try them. Yesterday I actually put one into action. The idea is to use painters tape on the floor to make a target. 

You then give the kids a straw to try and blow puff balls from the outside into the center of the target. The person who gets to the middle first wins kind of deal. 

It seemed like a great idea since both of our boys love blowing in straws, especially when they are in cups of water. Well, let's just say we may or may not every revisit this activity. J seemed to get the concept but just blew is spit all over the carpet. His attention span which can actually be rather long lasted about two minutes and then he was playing baseball with the straws and puff balls. M just wasn't quite sure about the whole thing 

They both played for a few minutes and then decided to chew on the straws or send them flying across the room. And thus ended what I was hoping to be a nice quiet morning of creative play! :-)  The tape is still on my living room floor as I felt bad wasting that much tape for just a few minutes of play. I guess I will have to come up with some other type of activity to make sure of the tape squares. Any suggestions would be welcome!

 The rice tub has been one of J's favorite activities how since little M came along it has only been pulled out during M's nap time. J was asking to play in it yesterday afternoon so I decided to get smart and lay down a queen sized bed sheet to catch all the rice.

This actually turned out to be one of the most productive side by side play times for the boys. J played for an hour and half and M lasted about 45 minutes. The fun ended when I caught M throwing rice across the room. He quickly lost his rice tub privileges which I think made my point very clear.  

Just let me figure it out!

We bought a small set of hand weights that came with a simple plastic holder. It was put together and sitting on the table one morning last week when J got up. After looking at a couple of the single weights J asked if he could take the whole thing apart and put it back in the box. For some reason I didn't think that was a great idea at the time so I said no and left the room. 

A few minutes later I returned to the kitchen only to find that J had found the styrofoam from the box. He had then taken all the weights off the rack and placed them in the correct hole. When I walked in he was trying to figure out how to put the rack back in the packaging. I should have known better that he was just wanting to see how all the pieces fit together in the packaging. He had a great time figuring it out and was really proud of himself. Despite the fact that I had asked him not to play with the weights I did have to smile to myself and remember that this is the kid who is going to look for ways to challenge himself. Oh boy do I have a lot to learn about raising him! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Amazon purchases tell all!

So this evening A and I were talking and he asked if I bought a book on his Amazon account. I had purchased a book about different quiet time activities and as we were talking about it I realized that my Amazon purchases can explain how my day went. Obviously J's nap time/quiet time went smoothly and was extremely beneficial. Ok, or NOT! All someone has to do is look at my Amazon order history and they would have a direct insight into my day. Ha! This kind of made me laugh and want to cry at the same time. I do love being a Mom but some days are just not easy. Next time you see me feel free to ask for my Amazon purchase history instead of asking about my day! :-)

"Hey, look what I can do!"

This morning the boys actually played without fighting for almost an hour. I was truly amazed and thankful. (I won't mention the battle wounds from the afternoon. At least the morning was good.) While the house was relatively calm I tried to get a bit of computer work done. I was sitting at the kitchen table and looked over and saw this...

 M had pushed a chair from the table to the sink and was asking to wash his hands. I know he has seen J do this but it seemed rather random. I guess maybe he was done with playing quietly and was ready to cause some trouble! :-)

I turned on the water and let him "wash" his hands. The whole time J kept insisting that he needed soap so we even used soap. I was once again reminded how quickly these boys are growing up. M is rapidly moving from an infant to a toddler. Now if he would only start talking a bit more. At this age, J was speaking fairly clearly. I do not mean to compare kids but I think I didn't realize what a gift it was to have such early communication. M throws a lot more tantrums and I think it is just due to the fact that he cannot ye t articulate his thoughts and emotions. I am not sure how much J, his talkative brother, will appreciate hearing M's two sense on everything but I think it will make my life a bit easier. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We win the best parent award!

We had a fun weekend with Uncle K. One of his favorite things to do is going to get sushi. So at about 12:45 pm we headed out of town. After waiting a bit to be seated and waiting for our food we heard a thump.

We looked over and saw that M had fallen asleep in his high chair. I think we had worn him out with too much playing and a late lunch. 

I didn't know a side effect of eating sushi was drowsiness but that seems to be the case for M! Both A and I spent a portion of our meal holding a very sound sleeping child. 

Harvest Time!

This year we tried planting a small garden around the house. We used okra in the front flower bed because it has a beautiful purple and white flower. The zucchini, cucumbers, chives, cilantro, basil (which never grew even after two plantings), and mint are in the rock flower beds in the back of the house. There was also a small section in the back of the yard that was just mulch. That is where the bok choy, beets, leeks, green beans, yellow peppers, and six tomatoes plants reside. 

None of our garden patches had fences so much of the produce has become a veggie haven for the small critters in our neighborhood. I am sure they are thankful for all of our efforts. Arg! 

Our tomato plants are probably eight to nine feet high. They are in a mostly shaded area which I am guessing is the reason for their extreme size. We have been enjoying super sweet golden cherry tomatoes and today we picked our first red and yellow tomato. 

J picked out a red tomato plant that has bumpy flesh. The tag on the plant put eyes and a beak on the tomato to make it look like a bird. A and I have been watching J's plant as the first tomato slowly turned from green to red. Today we went to pick his first prized tomato. Thanks to false advertising he was very disappointed that the tomato didn't grow a beak or eyes.  Poor guy! I kind of felt bad for him but I think he will be ok. :-)

I am curious to see if he will actually eat this tomato but I'm going to serve it up for dinner and see what happens. Next year I think we are going to have to put up a few fences if we want to enjoy any beans, bok choy, beets, or basil. On the other side we have a very healthy bunny population if anyone is need of nice meaty local bunnies to store in their freezers for the winter! :-)  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Birthday J!

Our first born son turned three this week. We had a celebration with Indiana family last week and then spent some family time together on his actual birthday. J wanted us to recreate the exact train themed party we had done for M a couple of months before. I am not really sure where that came from but his biggest request was a train cake.

Grammie spent one whole evening making delicious homemade lemon pounds cakes for the train. She even sliced her fingers trying to bake a section of the cake in a tin can so we could have an engine that looked like an engine instead of a truck. (M's birthday train looked like a truck attached to train cars!)

Thanks to Grammie and Nana the train turned out great! J was thrilled when he saw it. He remembered that M was given the whole engine to eat so that was his request. 

If you can't tell he was super excited about the idea of getting the whole engine. I was not too thrilled about his eating an entire pound cake covered in frosting so we made sure to limit his intake. I think he ended up eating a bit of candy off the top and maybe one or two bites of the actual cake. 

We had a wonderful time celebrating with both sides of the family. His birthday meal was tator tots, dinosaur chicken nuggets (he ate eight of them), chips, pretzels, fruit, and salad. Nothing like processed food overload! We are so blessed to have a family that loves and cares for each other and enjoys spending time together. What a gift for us and our children!