Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Foaming Kool-Aid Paint and Rotten Eggs!

There are lots and lots of ideas on the internet for activities to do with children. I came across a recipe for foaming finger paint and thought I would give it a try. This one I thought would be fun with a group of older kids so I tried it with a couple of junior high girls. The recipe called for tempera paint mixed with kool-aid. We tried six different colors/flavors of kool-aid to see what happened. 

The result was a really strange foaming (and sometimes stinky) concoction. The first one we mixed up was yellow paint with yellow lemonade kool-aid. Let's just say we almost had to vacate the room it smelled so bad. The recipe said to use only tempera paint because of the egg whites in the paint cause the foaming reaction. Ok, so what do rotten eggs smell like? Yeah, gross sulfur smelling gas is what this reaction produced! :-) The lemonade kool-aid was not enough to cover the gas released by this strange concoction. The paint we created was interesting and not all of it smelled terrible however I would not recommend this activity for little ones. The final product was not safe for accidental consumption (which is guaranteed with kids) and it stained like crazy. That was due in part to the tempera paint and the fact that kool-aid is mostly food coloring! Fun for the 20 minutes it lasted but probably not on the list to do again with crazy toddlers!    

Finished products! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saying Goodbye For Now

What does it mean to lose a loved one? This is a question that has been answered a number of times in my life and I question that everyone will answer at some point in life.  In the last 72 hours I have learned a lot about what it means to lose a loved. I have caught a glimpse of what that entails from the perspective of a surviving spouse, child, grandchild and great grandchild. With each of those roles comes a specific set of loses and a specific type of grief even in the midst of sharing the same loss.
Watching a loved one slowly die is a process of letting go and crossing items off a list. This may sound crass or strange but as I was preparing to get a few groceries for A's Grandma I realized how the simple task of making a shopping list with was one step in saying goodbye to her husband. Just a day or two before she was preparing a list that included simple things like body wash and food items for her husband. On Friday she realized that he was done eating and washing so those items were no longer needed. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch as she methodically thought through her new reality. It is this simple interaction that reminded me that my days are filled with caring for those I love and yet at any moment that could change and I would be left with just memories. Death of a spouse is a deep loss that is extremely complex. For Grandma it means losing her identity of homemaking wife.
Saying goodbye takes a set of emotions when you are a child, grandchild or great grand child. Seeing death through the eyes of a two year old has been eye opening. J was able to sit next to Grandpa and chat with him about what was important like the brown bear on his shirt and the broken dump truck toy. We don't know what Grandpa understood but I do know that he appreciated his company as the pictures below show. For a few brief moments Grandpa and his great grandson were able to enjoy one of life's most awesome treasures: physical touch!
The journey of grief is not over for those around me. For many including Grandma, this journey has only begun and will become more difficult in the days and weeks to come. I wonder if Grandpa would agree if I said that one of the greatest gifts for a dying person is the presence of family and loved ones. Grandpa was surrounded by his family as he breathed his last and I pray that when it is my time to say, "Goodbye for now" that I will be surrounded by those who I have loved deeply and by those who will grieve in ways too numerous to count.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

He Slept Through the Night!

I know this little guy looks cute and all but don't let him fool you. Up until this week he had not given his mother more than 6 hours of sleep at a time. Whew! Trying to keep up with two boys and a crazy fur child (aka our dog) without a solid night of sleep can be super draining. 

So, despite teething and running a fever this little guy has given two nights in a row of at least 8 hours of sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last night he slept 10 hours straight! Yeah!!!!!

I am hoping that this is not due to his sickness but to the fact that he is now sleeping in a crib instead of a bassinet. I began to wonder if he was waking up because he was uncomfortable in the bassinet. I will have to come back to this topic in a few days and document how this sleeping through the night thing is going! For right now I am one happy Mama! 

Have Patience!

Every parent loves when illness hits their families! Ok, or not! J was down from Thursday to Sunday and M got the same thing Tuesday and it is Wednesday. Along with being trapped in your house comes cranky kids and mothers. J has been especially grumpy today. He has multiple punishments even though we are doing fun activities like watching Mighty Machines (his all time favorite show) and playing with bubbles in the front yard (oh, he did spill almost a whole new container).

The main struggle I am having is that he wants everything his way. Or he wants what I have. This morning he wanted the plate that I had my toast on. He didn't want another plate just like it, he wanted my plate. Oh, then he wanted a piece of my toast. He wants my chair, toast, lunch, bubble wand. Anything that is mine he wants. ARG!!!!! I am guessing this normal behavior for a two year old but boy oh boy is about to drive me nuts! This afternoon he went to naptime without any lunch because he was just all over the place. He would request one thing and then another and then another and eventually he just got up from the table to play which in our house means you are done. So the next step in our day is naptime and so I helped him into his bed.

Do anyone else's kids exhibit this type of behavior or is mine the only one? Any parenting insights would be greatly appreciated! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Week of Firsts for J and M

This week marked a number of firsts for M. His first tooth broke through on the bottom right side. Let's just say that he is much more high maintenance then his brother. It would be super nice if he would just get all of his teeth at once so we can get the runny nose and fussiness over with but I am guessing I won't get my wish. Another first is he pulled himself from sitting to standing position. M is one determined little dude! He desperately wants to go and do whatever his brother does. I would not be surprised if M is crawling in the next couple of weeks and walking by eight or nine months.  

I put M in J's crib and they had a great time talking to George and Charlie! 

J was actually thrilled to share his bed! He thought this was fun!

We bought a watermelon at Costco and I needed to cut it up. I decided to J help me since he seems to enjoy helping me in the kitchen. I gave him a table knife and he went to town. I put a container for him to fill and one for me. He didn't get the concept of cutting the melon and saving it for later. He nicely cut his piece and ate the whole thing. I ended up filling up both containers with only half of the huge watermelon. We ended up giving the other half to our neighbor. This ended up with a shower for J and lots of laughter!

This is turning into a super long post but I could not leave these photos out. I had this brilliant but not so brilliant idea to make a pan of jello for J to play in. This was extremely messy and red was probably not the best color choice but J was extremely thrilled and M had a great time eating and watching him. The funniest part is that J never knew he could eat the Jello so he played almost an hour without once taking a bite. Overall it was a fun activity with a super cheap box of jello. 

Rules for Mommy and Daddy!

The last couple of weeks have been rather busy. It seems to be a pattern that is developing in our lives. M is changing and J is becoming more and more verbal. Tonight we sat down for supper and Aaron and I were both up and down between making hot tea to drink, finishing the cookies I was baking, and getting the few last items for dinner. All of a sudden J said something about waiting until everyone is done. He kept making comments about to Mommy and Daddy about waiting until everyone is done. Aaron and I realized that J was turning our house rules on us. It is a meal rule (for right now) that J sits at the table everyone is all done eating. We want to foster dinner time as a time to sit and touch base as a family and recently J has had very little interest in sitting with us. We came up with this little guideline to help set some boundaries. Aaron and I realized that J was taking that rule and applying it to his parents who were up from the table numerous times before everyone was done. Thanks J for reminding us that our dinner time is important family time and not the best time to finish up projects. :-) 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The last couple of weeks!

J has really been into finding tools and working hard at "fixing." We have been digging up our front flower garden so J has been helping there. He has spent most of his time playing in the large dirt piles created by this project. We realized that encouraging him to play in the flower bed was probably not the best idea as that will not be allowed once it is planted but it also saved us from investing in a sandbox for this year. :-) 

Train engineer work with Grandpa Great's hat! 

This is J's favorite way to spend his time. Hanging with Daddy fixing things!
J found a putty knife which he was using to "fix" the cabinet door. I didn't have heart to tell him that it didn't need fixing! 

I found these this morning on our piano bench. I think he found my stash of stamps. Thankfully there were only 3 left. 

Guess who has decided to now flip both directions, walk along the couch and try and crawl all in the last couple of weeks? Yeah! M is on the move so watch out J. He is coming for your favorite toy!