Monday, January 30, 2017

My House

My house is full of yes's
and no's when you need to hear it
My house is full of fun
My house lets any question be asked
and questions be answered,
for curious kids become knowledgeable adults
My house is full of messes,
as they are very welcomed
My house has rules that seem silly
My house sees more love, laughter, and tears
than you can imagine
My house hears as much noise
as one can bear
My house is used to slamming doors
and stomping feet
My house walls constantly shake
If you're looking for quiet
My house isn't for you
My house is not for the weak

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Warm January Weekend

I'm loving this January weather! Although it's been very foggy for over a week, the temps have been warm, which means the minis got to spend plenty of time outdoors last weekend! Things have been crazy in our world since we decided to place on offer on a house (more details on that in another post to come), so we tried to keep things low key while also going through some of our stuff (read: crap) we've accumulated the last six years.

Friday night we took the minis out to our fave Mexican restaurant so this momma could have a drink. Of course, the minis asked some interesting questions, such as why some adults don't boys to have friends that are girls and vice versa. So I attempted to explain it to me. Clearly they didn't appreciate my answers or our in-depth conversation (picture below).

Hubs had to work Saturday morning, so the minis were treated to donuts from our favorite donut place Donut Hut. Then we ran errands and took a hike later in the afternoon at Brown's Woods Preserve.

Brushing her teeth while dancing on the toilet.

A stop for gelato at Stam after picking up some new jackets at Gap Kids.

There's never a dull moment on our hikes! This hike included shenanigans such as playing Power Rangers (the minis, not mom and dad), several stops for boot tying, dancing, butt shaking (that's different than her dancing butt shake apparently), and balance beams (actually benches but whatever). To see videos from our hike (and the rest of our weekend) click here.

Sometimes we still like each other.

I love being woken at 3:30 a.m. by the cat, sitting and mowing on my hip so I could get him some wet cat food. He's lucky he's such a good snuggler most nights!

Sunday morning started early (because of the cat). We made homemade waffles for breakfast, played card games, and then went appliance shopping. Please note that appliance shopping is not easily done with three minis in tow and is not for the easily anxious parent. Needless to say, they weren't that big of a help but we think we found what we were looking for.

We successfully shot out the loose tooth with a Nerf Gun! 

We played Old Maid A LOT! All weekend long.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Look At Life (From Last Weekend)

I love to that we have a (fairly) well documented thanks to the blog (bonus that it keeps you all entertained as well). While pictures are great, sometimes videos paint the best picture of life. Here's a few videos I took throughout our weekend:

Hiking with Lil Miss E is NEVER dull!

The minis were playing Power Rangers as we walked along the trail. The pretty much ran our entire 2.5 mile hike.

Pulling out the tooth with a Nerf Gun WORKED....well, kinda. The tooth is gone and that's all that matters. Apologies for ending the video with an "oh shit," as we temporarily lost the tooth. Luckily there was no freak out from the mini about it (just from me).

The minis played Old Maid half of the day on Sunday! Mom and dad even got in on a couple of rounds (not seen in the video).

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week In Review: January 9 - 13 & January 16 - 20

Life has been extra crazy lately (our own doing) and daycare has been no exception! We've been working a lot on sharing, table manners (also quite crazy with one and two year olds at the tables), and reminding kids that we "don't spank our friends." We haven't had any snow here in Iowa this year and I'm a tad lost. Typically this time of year we're doing our snow activities: making snow ice cream, snow painting, playing in and with the snow, melting experiments, etc. I've had to come up with some new activities to do instead of our winter favorites.

 I haven't been great about taking pictures, but here's what I have from the past two weeks:

The kids painted polar bears. I drew the bear outline and helped them keep their fingerprints inside the white lines (an unheard of concept with toddlers). They turned out really cute! I even had the 15 month olds do one.

The water table filled with water beads. During the second week, we froze some of the water beads and then put them in with the others to play with them as they melted. The kids especially loved that activity, minus their hands being cold!

Simple pasta and play tools makes for a fun sensory activity! First, I filled the bin halfway with uncooked noodles and buried the tools in the noodles. The kids had to find the tools then they got to crack the noodles with the tools. Slightly messy but easy clean up.

The kids made monsters (a two day project due to drying paint and glue). I found the giant monster eyes at Michael's and instantly thought of making these. First the kids painted white paper plates. Once dried, we glued on the monster eyes and taped on "arms." 

The preschoolers are working on cutting skills. I laughed when I discovered a huge pile of papers cut in half. Luckily I've been able to use them for the kid's daily schedules.

The kids did some car racing with paper towel tubes and Hot Wheels. The two year old crowd LOVED this!

Best moment of the week was when a one year old grabbed the stuffed eagle and announced "oh, eagle has poopy diaper. Lot of poop. Yucky poopy," and proceeded to "change eagle diaper." All of the kids that were awake (it was the tail end of nap times) fully supported this and crowded around "the eagle with the poopy diaper." They all clapped when the changing was completed. I died.

We had an ice storm at the beginning of the second week. I already had that day off, but it gave me the idea for ice themed activities for the week.

We froze toys in muffin tins and used warm water to melt the ice away. We've done this activity a few times before and it never gets old.

The "snow" bin. We used our flour sand recipe (4 cups of flour, 1 cup of vegetable oil) and added glitter. Then we put it in the refrigerator for a half hour so it was cold before playing.

One of the daycare moms was on the news talking about CMV. We watched because their daycare friend (her daughter) was born with CMV. You may remember that the kids chose to donate their lemonade stand money to the National CMV Foundation last summer. For more info on CMV, click here.

Snow hats painted with glitter paint. Also a two day project due to all of the drying of the paint and glue (to put on the cotton balls).

We did a few games with the Sphere. We left it sitting on the floor during lunch time and came back in the room to find the cat stuck in it.

Icy play dough was a hit! We tried a new play dough recipe (soapy salt dough) and then put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to make it cold. Honestly, this recipe felt no different than our usual salt dough recipe (other than it smelled pretty good because of the dish soap) and made it unsafe if little mouths decided to do a taste test. Although it did work well for this activity since we refrigerated the dough before playing.

* Tip if you plan on trying this activity: you'll need to add a few drops of water to the dough before playing. It dries out quite a bit when sitting in the refrigerator.

All of the kids love spaghetti night in our house because I start cooking before daycare ends and all of the kids get uncooked spaghetti noodles to bite on. I think it's disgusting but they love them!

I had my minis try out Icy Heart painting first to see if it's something to try for daycare. We had success! Daycare will be doing this next week. Read how to do Icy Heart Painting here.

Friday turned out nothing like I had planned (that happens often around here though). I had some fun activities laid out for the day: paint your own toast for morning snack, baking soda play and experiments, reading our Valentine's Day books, and a game of Find It (toddler and preschooler addition). When I attempted our first activity, I got "leave us alone! We're playing. We don't want to do that!" So they played and they played well together, minus a mishap with the Aquaphor ointment I didn't know the youngest mini had on her. The only thing we got around to that day was reading books.....and they wanted to read "the snow books only."

We'll be doing our Valentine's Day activities for the next few weeks and we're hoping for a bit of snow so we can at least do a couple of my favorite snow activities.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Icy Heart Painting

I've been on the hunt for a new art project for the kids to try. After breaking out our Valentine's Day stuff and planning out our Valentine activities for the season, I couldn't decide what to do with the heart cookie pan (a giant heart shaped cookie isn't on the agenda this year sadly) so I came up with a project to use it for: icy heart painting.

It's quite simple and makes a great busy project for the kids. I tested it out with my three first and they most definitely approved of it!

First, we put water in the pan and froze it. Then I let the kids paint it (with regular Crayola washable paints), we re-froze it, broke it into pieces (with a child hammer), and painted with the ice pieces as they melted (it looked like water colors in the end).

Painting as the ice melted got tricky, but it also ensured that the paint went all the way through (which is also why we re-froze it).

The minis LOVED taking turns with the "oh so little hammer!"

When we do this again, I plan to use thicker paper (we used regular paper and I would use poster board thick paper) and/or have the kids use the icy heart paint on heart shapes instead of regular paper. When completely dried, the icy heart paint looked exactly like water colors (only a tad darker). I enjoyed the activity because it was busy "work" for the minis instead of watching TV or destroying my house!