Friday, March 29, 2013

March Randomness

This is just a collection of randomness that didn't fit with anything else this month. Randomness sums up most of our days around here. haha

 Wonderful husband let me sleep in and when I came out this is what I found. They used balloons, paper towel rolls, pipe cleaners, and markers to make... stuff. 

Making egg salad

Here you see the kids wearing headphones. We started planning a big trip to take the kids to meet the rest of their family in Poland. We also planned side trips to Italy and Germany. We got these for the flights. They fit the kids properly, they can't be turned up too loudly (thus preventing hearing damage), and they like the cute animals. This was just a picture of them trying them on for the first time. Then we put them away and they were so excited to see them when it was finally time for the trip.

The Christmas spirit is still going, even in March.

Playing with an air pump and a ping pong ball.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter at home

Everyone loves and Easter egg hunt, so we have many of them at home.

This photo gives me a peek into her future.
 He's annoyed that I interrupted the fun by wanting to take his photo.
 Once again, she is always posed and ready for her photo to be taken.
 Here we are getting ready to dye eggs. We started by covering the kids in garbage bags and pulling sweet daughter's hair out of the way.
 They dropped the eggs into the dye. I did have to help take the eggs out, but everything else they did themselves.
Here are the finished products. The longer you leave them in the dye, the darker the color. With two year olds, they all end up pastel. The kids were so proud and this was way less messy than last year.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Egg Hunts

Our town hosts a giant Easter egg hunt on multiple soccer fields. There is one field per group. They are divided by special needs, 0-2 years, 3-4 years, 5-6 years, 7-12 years. In the center fields, they set up booths and activities. It's great to meet the people who teach classes at the rec center, try out fun games, and jump in bounce houses. In case that's not enough there are also fire trucks, ambulances, and free photos with the Easter Bunny. Almost every time we have gone we have had local politicians working the crowd as well.

 The kids are lined up waiting to start on the 0-2 field. While the other fields have eggs on them, this one is kept simpler with packages of food just spread out. 

 I like that they make a point of having age appropriate food on this field. My kids love Cheerios and animal crackers while running past the sugar eggs.

Full baskets means we are done! As you can see, there's still candy spread around the field when most people are done. No one takes more than they can carry and if someone has an almost empty basket, strangers will point out where they can find more. This is a great community event and is handled really well for something so huge. I'm already looking forward to next year. On the other fields there are eggs hidden with credits you can use at the rec center for free classes, swimming, etc.

 Here is our official photo with the Eater bunnies. They sent us the digital photo for free. This is sponsored by a local real estate office. It was really hot outside and my kids just wanted to go home, so I'm lucky we even got this.

After an egg hunt at school, the kids were sent home with unopened plastic eggs. Sweet Son opened one and exclaimed, "There's no egg yolk or egg white in here!" I guess he really does pay attention when he's helping me cook. Too bad I have the only kids who would have preferred an actual egg to candy. haha I will say the majority of the eggs from the kids school didn't have candy. We got a lot of stickers, tattoos, chalk, rings, bubbles, and a few other random items.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bluebonnets - the bad

Yesterday, I posted the best photos from our bluebonnet field. Today, you see the more realistic shots. We start with an easy instruction - everyone look at the camera and smile.

The camera. Look at the camera. See, I'm behind the camera jumping up and down to get your attention.

Ok, we'll make this fast. Please look at the camera.

I see your arms are folded and you are both giving me that look. Can you try to smile? Just once? 
Looks like we are done here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bluebonnet Photos

Last year I explained the basics behind why we do bluebonnet photos. These are the best shots from this year.

We start with family photos, because the more people involved the more difficult the shot. I like the angle on this one because it looks like we are in the middle of nowhere, but the shadows covering us aren't perfect.

Another family photo. All of us trying not to squint because of the sun.

The best photo of both kids together. Ignore the people in the background. Wonderful husband promised he can edit them out... it's been a year since this was taken and if you hold your thumb over them it looks perfect. haha

Sweet daughter by herself. She loves to pose for the camera. If you tell her you are going to take a photo, she automatically looks up and smiles. She's a photographer's dream.

Sweet son likes to make things difficult. He gets distracted easily and doesn't feel the need to smile unless you do something really impressive. Luckily, this tree made the perfect place to pose. 

I also love this one. What is it about Dads and kids together that gets to me every time?

Tomorrow you should check back for some of the not so great photos from the bluebonnet field.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Conversations with Kids

Playing on their laptops. (They don't work, but that doesn't seem to matter.)

 In the car, the kids are chatting back and forth until the unthinkable happens...

Son: Tuba Sister
Daughter: Mama, Brother said Tuba to me.
Me: Um... ok. There's nothing wrong with that.
Son: Tuba Sister
Daughter: No Brother, no Tuba (crying and getting hysterical)
Me: Daughter say Tuba back to him.
Daughter: Tuba Brother
Son: Dada, Sister said Tuba!
Husband: What's wrong with that?
Son: No, Tuba Sister
Daughter crying and hysterical again
Me: Daughter just look at Son and say flute
Daughter: Flute Sister
Son: Flute? Tuba Sister
Daughter getting upset again
Me: Daughter try telling Son clarinet.
Daughter: Clarinet Brother
Son: Mama, Sister said Clarinet Brother.

This story keeps going and going, but you get the point. I have no idea how tuba became such a bad word, but they both act like it's just awful.

Do you think they miss him when he's at work?

The other day I hear Sweet Daughter and Wonderful Husband talking.
Daughter: Dada, I'm sad.
Husband: Why are you sad?
Daughter: I'm sad because I'm crying.
Husband: Why are you crying?
Daughter: I'm crying because I'm sad.
Husband: That's called circular reasoning. Can you say circular reasoning, Daughter?
Daughter: Cirlar reasonin?
Husband: Yes, circular reasoning.
Then she walked off because she was clearly no longer sad.

Walking to the "market" (Bountiful Baskets Co-op) with Grandma.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pencil Grip

One of the goals of all the fine motor activities we do is to make writing easier. Many kids get to kindergarten or first grade and don't want to do writing assignments because it hurts their hand. I realized with all the fine motor we work do, I haven't focused on correct pencil (crayon, marker, pen) grip.

One trick I used when teaching was to have kids hold a cotton ball in their palm with their ring and pinky fingers. This makes them use the other three for holding the pencil and typically leads to better pencil grip. Toward the end of my teaching (I left to stay at home with these two), I learned of a product that I wanted to try out. Pencil Grip The Classics Writing Claw

They come in small, medium, and large and since my kids are tiny two year olds, I order the small. It has a hole in the middle for a pencil (or crayon) and three tips. After inserting the pencil, just find the one with the T and put the child's thumb in that one. Then the other two fingers simply slip in the other two tips. The kids loved using them, though since I only bought two, they couldn't easily switch colors.

You can see here how it forces them to use proper grip. We only used these a few times before they were doing it naturally and I put them away. Part of that is because they already had the strength in their hands and the other part is because if you learn the proper way early enough, it is easier and becomes the "default" way of doing it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Visiting a Farm

My kids' Spring Break is the same as the immediate school district, but a week off from most of the other neighboring school districts. This means with a short drive, we can find great activities that aren't crowded. I love Spring visits to a farm and this seemed like a perfect time.


We started by feeding the goats. This was very exciting and resulted in lots of smiles, laughs, and "maaaaa"s. 

My kids tried walking to a different part of the pen to feed other goats... this goat was not ok with that. haha

Big goats, little goats, many different colors of goats. Nothing could be better than feeding goats, except...

Feeding an outdoor guinea pig?

A tractor ride. Notice the way they look right into the camera ignoring the tractor to make the perfect photo. Yeah, right.


A maze? This is a great place to run!

I'm pretty sure this is the way out...

Maybe it's this way instead.

Then we went to see the farm animals you can't feed. Apparently this is a boy donkey. haha

Since the farm only had a three families visiting and no school groups, they let my kids each have another cup of feed and sent them back to the goats. It's like winning the lottery for two year olds.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sand and Water

It's getting warm outside and we love playing outside. The kids have been begging to play in the sand and water.

It starts of simply enough. Sweet daughter digging in the sand, sweet son pouring water everywhere. 

Then they trade places. (Clearly this was a school day for Sweet Son and a Mommy Day for Sweet Daughter, based on their clothes.)

They were playing so nicely and ask politely if I would open up the big sand box. (Former baby pool)

Within 3 minutes, this is what sweet son looked like. You can't see the sand in his hair, but I assure you it is covered as well.

They never sat in the sand box or laid down in it, yet somehow they end up fully covered in sand.

It's more difficult to see on Sweet Daughter, but she is also covered. We ended up taking their clothes off outside, leaving the clothes to dry, and going straight for a shower. I remember why we don't do this more often.