Monday, March 31, 2014

A Spring-Like Weekend

We got a good dose of spring this weekend and there are 3 minis who couldn't be happier about it:
Relaxing on Saturday morning. Friday after school was rougher than rough for this oldest mini, but a 6 p.m. bedtime and sleeping 13 hours left him in a much better mood! Saturday was a "Mommy and kids day" hanging out at home with cartoons and playing outside.

Saturday evening after dinner, we made our way to the Southside Sculpture Park. It was very interesting and a quick walk thru but the kids enjoyed the unique pieces.
Harrison knocking to see if anyone was in the "outside potty." Like I said, interesting pieces!

After the Southside Sculpture Park we took a walk through downtown to see the damage left by the Younkers building fire. Max was very worried "about the skywalk" when he heard about the fire downtown, so we wanted to show him that it wasn't ALL of downtown like he thought. Downtown was a sad sight and reeked of smoke. There were still several trucks spraying water at hot spots.
We walked around several blocks so we could get looks from different angles.

The EMC building across the street from the Younkers building. The windows and parts of the building were melted and peeling away in the wind.

A couple of videos from our Saturday:

Sunday morning started with sleeping in, a breakfast egg roll and cinnamon rolls. Neither were worthy of a picture but they sure tasted delicious! We then headed to Walker Johnson Park to enjoy the 70 degree day!

The kids LOVED the playground and it had plenty of slides. The biggest downfall is that from this angle you couldn't see the other side of the playground. I spent a good portion of my time giving Elizabeth a BIG push and then dashing to the side to keep an eye on Harrison and then running back to Elizabeth. All in all though, a very fun park!

These are the slides my kids can't wait for! Even Elizabeth was disappointed they weren't open yet.
This is a good size park that didn't feel overly crowded despite LOTS of kids playing. Harrison and Elizabeth happily discovered these little playhouses.

Elizabeth set herself up with her lunch inside one of the houses.

Little climbing boy--he got stuck a bit (he got himself unstuck and then rolled down the rest of the rope!), but he did everything he couldn't do just a few months ago when we went in October.
Playing at the park just wasn't enough outside time for these minis. Naps were refused and they spent the entire day outside. They kept refreshed and energy levels up with lots of strawberries....thank goodness I buy them in bulk!

Elizabeth just has to keep up with her brother's.....
Grilled pork chops, asperagus, and cous cous with peas for a summery picnic dinner.
Elizabeth insisted on peeling her own banana for bedtime snack. The kids ran hard and fast all day long with no naps.
I completed my goal for the weekend: finding a secure location for the sidewalk to make sure that the lid is on so more chalk isn't ruined by rain.
We're already making progress on our Spring/Summer To Do List! So far we've gone to Walker Johnson Park, the boys went to the circus, Southside Sculpture Park, mud painting, walk around Gray's Lake, and our flowers are planted (some are even beginning to sprout! See last week's Week In Review for details).

Next weekend will bring baby showers and if the weather cooperates, maybe a trip to the zoo.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week In Review: March 24 - March 28

It was back at it after a week off for spring break. I was pleased and rather surprised at how easily almost all of the kids fell back into the routine and regular schedule. As much fun as we had last week, my kids missed having all of the daycare kids around. Here's a look at some of our activities from the week:

We put the hatching/grow alligator egg in water first thing Monday morning.  The alligator only took one day to hatch but we left it in water all week so we could watch it grow.
We started in on a few of our Easter activities.
The kids planted flower seeds in Styrofoam cups. I let the kids choose between marigolds or morning glories and helped them plant and water it for the first time. We then set all of the cups in the sunniest window. We're hoping for some good results.
All week long we've been reading books about spring, Easter, and gardens. Every afternoon after naps, I get the cups down for the kids and they take turns watering the flowers for the day. I pulled a play tea pot from the play kitchen to use as a watering can.

The kids did new canvas drawings. This time I had them use oil pastels (last time it was paint). 
Dinosaur painting.

We had some messy activities this week. 

Rocket cut outs from Dollar Tree. Because of the gloss on the paper, markers weren't the best to use on these. The next day the kids used oil pastels on them and they turned out much better.
Homemade dinosaur pancakes.
Mud painting. The kids LOVED this and it wasn't nearly as messy as I predicted. I used food coloring and it gave it a bit of color to spruce up their paintings. I was all ready to go dig in our muddy backyard, but my husband pointed out that I had a bag of open potting soil (from planting the kid's flowers) sitting on the table. I tried to make each color a different consistency--some were more watery, thick, and thicker.

I did have to brush off the paintings after they dried (which only took 7-10 hours depending on how much mud was caked on). Some of the paintings had clumps of mud on them, but everything brushed off easily and the end product was neat. I will definitely be doing this again this summer.
Yogurt was the snack of choice this week for the kids. We went through twenty containers from Tuesday to Friday.
Elizabeth had a hard time losing her brother's to school. She went into their room and snuggled with their blankets. When she came out, I found her wearing Max's underwear.
Bunny masks--Max is Super Bunny!
Why yes. Yes we do have a potty chair sitting on our patio. And yes, the kids did take turns using it outside.
The kids were soooo happy Wednesday was a nice afternoon. As soon as naps were taken and a quick snack eaten, the kids ran around the backyard for almost 2 hours.
Elizabeth felt 57 degrees was a totally acceptable temperature to go bare foot. She also doesn't want to come inside when she's out in the backyard.
Elizabeth is a HUGE help while Daddy put together the new cubby system/shoe organizer.
A little more organization in my life! I use to put all of the kid's papers/art work/crafts/etc. in piles onto of our t.v. stand, but the clutter was driving me crazy. Thanks to Target, I found this while browsing the store. It's just what I was looking for and it organizes my kid's shoes too. 
Thursday we had a 4 month old for a day. My baby crazy daughter had to try out the baby equipment of course. She also tried to pee in the Bumbo because she thought it was a potty, despite me telling her numerous times that it wasn't a potty.
Kool Aid painting. I did Kool Aid painting with the kids last summer using my own recipe (see Kool Aid Painting post from July). This round, I decided to use actual paints since I didn't have any kids that would have issues trying to eat it. We got a surprise when we mixed the Kool Aid and paints together and the paints started fizzing. The kids got really excited about the "fizzy paint!!" 

The paint was a bit thicker than usual, but painted as usual on the papers.
The kids painted paper egg cut outs (found at Michael's for $1.99 for a 12 pk.).

The also painted these bags (found at Dollar Tree, 3 pk. for $1).
The Kool Aid paint on the bags looked really neat when they were dry--almost like a tie dye effect. The best part is everything that the kids painted with the Kool Aid paint smelled wonderful even after it had dried.
I made the kids Peep S'mores for an after lunch treat. They were delicious but the kids were not fond of their messiness.
The five of us painted a family hand print canvas. 
A yummy and healthy morning snack for the kiddos: banana bites, Cheerios, yogurt, and a few chocolate chips on top.
The kids used Dot markers to decorated their paper eggs.
They also used markers and Pom Poms to decorate more paper eggs.

Another box of chalk was ruined by the rain this week. I bought some new chalk, but Friday's weather was less than ideal for going outside to color on the patio. Instead I had the kids color with the chalk on poster board. We considered it a little pre-breaking in before we break it in outside.

It was good to get back on schedule this week and get back to the regular routine. Next week it looks like we'll get to spend some time outdoors, taking walks, and doing a few more of our Easter projects.