Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lodz, Poland playgrounds

Trips with kids are much different once you have kids. I can now give tours of the best playgrounds within walking distance of every place we visit.

Both kids are climbing the net to get up on the playground. There are no stairs up like the playgrounds at home.

This is a typical neighborhood playground and they are all over. My kids love the merry-go-rounds which we don't have near us at home.

Sweet Daughter convinced N to try the seesaw.

Yes, this is a different playground. At home we have animals that bob back and forth. Here they had a 2 person motorcycle. Our kids were all over that. Literally.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Piano when traveling

For kids that love music the idea of two weeks with no piano practice was troubling. They were thrilled to find a keyboard they could practice on in Lodz.

Sweet Son playing every song he has memorized.

Sweet Daughter trying to play songs she doesn't remember.

They both loved getting to play for family and it was a special treat for family members who live on another continent to get to hear a short recital by our kids.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lodz, Poland inside fun

After a long trip to another continent, it is great to be welcomed. Our family in Lodz, Poland always makes us feel right at home. Here are some of the things they had set up or arranged for us to do while in their home.

This was the first time our kids had ever played x-box and they loved it.

One box of toys which our kids quickly sorted into two piles so they wouldn't have to share.

When the kids were tired late at night, N was kind enough to let them onto her bed while her dad, J, tickles Sweet Son.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Heathrow Airport with kids

Heathrow airport is a hub so having a layover there is fairly common. We were thrilled to find out about their kids area. It's hidden, but if you ask and follow the signs down back hallways, you will eventually get there. When you enter, you check in letting the person working know your outbound flight. She (the person working when we were there was female) will make sure to let you know in plenty of time so you won't miss your flight.

Our kids immediately went to explore the playground. I couldn't take photos of anyone other than our kids so I can't show you everything. There was a medium sized playground that our kids were playing on. There was also a small crawling area for smaller babies and toddlers. Around these play areas were chairs, wall outlets, and wifi.

There was also a dark sleeping room for kids, no adults allowed. After a 9 hour overnight flight our kids needed to run and climb more than sleep.

There was another back room for teens. It had bean bag chairs, video games, pool tables, etc. It wasn't crowded when we were there. I would say 5-6 in the teen area, 4 kids playing in the play areas, 3-5 adults watching the kids, and 1 kid sleeping. This was a great find and I wish all airports had something this family friendly for travelers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Indoor Fun

It gets hot in the Summer where we live. It's not uncommon for it to be over 90F (32C) around the clock, often getting to over 100F (38C) during the afternoons. This means we spend a lot of time inside.

At the point the kids are turning the furniture into a playground, we know we have to do something.

A short drive brought us to this great indoor playground. If you look at the top you can see me with both kids.

Here Wonderful Husband is on the yellow bridge with both kids.

Do you have indoor playgrounds where you live? What other activities do your kids enjoy when it's too hot to be outside?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Silly String

We were given 4 cans of silly string, each a different color. The kids had no idea what silly string was and it was awesome.

Hey! Who covered Sweet Son in silly string?

Oh yeah, it was me. :) 

As the kids pull the string out of their hair, we get ready to clean up. Wonderful Husband also played with us, but we didn't get a good photo that included him, sorry!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wrapping Packages

The curriculum I have been using with the kids suggested letting the kids wrap a package. We pulled out some old Christmas wrapping paper, some tape, and some empty boxes and just let them try. They were given no advice or instructions, but had observed us (mostly Wonderful Husband) wrapping presents before.

They both had a good start. It's those pesky ends that will complicate things.

Clearly they are using different methods. They both ended up with a box that was wrapped. They both had a great time. They also got to open each other's box. It was fun and they certainly used fine motor skills and problem solving in ways I had never considered before.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Family Rides at Six Flags

I featured the rides the kids did by themselves on Tuesday and today I'm going to show some of the rides we did as a family.

Balloon ferris wheel

Bouncing/dropping ride


A serious driver

An enthusiastic driver

Another spinning ride, this time just for the girls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Six Flags

The kids are big enough to go on some rides by themselves. They are growing up too fast. Someone slow this down!

Spinning ride (they are in the purple one)

Rockets (she is in front and he is in back)

Boot Scooting - he's hiding behind her in all the photos

A playground

Thursday I will have more photos of rides we rode as a family. (Wordless Wednesday will also feature a Six Flags photo tomorrow.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Six Flags Characters

Have you heard of the Six Flags Read to Succeed program? If students read enough during the Winter they can earn free tickets to Six Flags. Most of the Six Flags across the country participate though a few locations don't. This was our first year participating and it was awesome! Here are some of our character pictures.

Greeting Daffy the Duck before we even entered the park.

The Flash

Daughter Bunny

Daughter Duck

Son Duck

Sun Bunny

I will have another character photo for Wordless Wednesday this week. I will have other photos of rides and things around the park later this week.

Friday, June 12, 2015

More Swimming

This is a continuation of yesterday's post about the need for learning swimming in more than one pool.

 Sweet Son

Sweet Daughter

Another week means another chance to jump into the pool. There was no diving board here. As always, Sweet Daughter jumps in without a second thought. Sweet Son has always been more than a little hesitant. This time was no exception.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More Swim Lessons

Some kids easily adapt to new situations. Others don't. One of my kids is one who doesn't adapt. This is one of the reasons we needed to have swim lessons in more than one pool. The skills learned in one pool weren't transferring like they would for most children. Here are some videos from the new pool.

Sweet Son doing "ice cream scoops"

Sweet Son doing "pizza pulls"

Sweet Daughter doing a combination of both strokes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chocolate Giveaway AGAIN!

Everyone knows I love chocolate. When Color Earth wanted me to try their chocolates and do a review I was thrilled. These aren't just any chocolates. These are dark chocolate multivitamins. Yes, you read that right. These are multivitamins hidden inside a dark chocolate.

I tried them and honestly, they taste like dark chocolate. I passed them around work and everyone who likes dark chocolate loves them. Everyone who doesn't like dark chocolate hates them. That makes it easy to predict if you will like these.

I will mention one negative things about these. You don't want to let your kids sneak too many of these because it can cause a laxative effect. The recommended dosage for a child is one per day and for an adult they recommend between 1-4 per day. That's one way to make sure you limit your intake.

The best part is that Color Earth is doing a giveaway of a year's supply worth of chocolates to 20 winners! You can go to their web page to enter. Click here to visit Color Earth

Monday, June 8, 2015

Learning to Transpose Music

Both kids started a group music/piano class when they were 3. At age 4 Sweet Son moved to private lessons while Sweet Daughter continued to thrive in the group class. The group class had a recital that included the group singing and dancing, playing pianos as a group, and playing individual solos. I have included the group piano playing because it's the only video you can't see any other kids in (they are sitting at pianos facing the other direction).

The most impressive part of this isn't just how well they are playing at 4 years old, though that is impressive. They all learned to transpose between C, G, and F. Yes, these are easy songs - they are preschoolers after all. The concept of even understanding what transposing means is difficult for many older musicians. Actually being able to apply that knowledge is amazing.

It's a long video because they play so many songs, feel free to just watch a short part.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ice Skating Videos

This is a continuation of yesterday's post. Here is the video proof that the kids are getting better at ice skating.

Using the skating help to build confidence.

Slow but steady, really slow and mostly steady anyway

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Learning to Ice Skate

The previous way of teaching the kids to skate was for Wonderful Husband to hold their hands which was getting hard on his back. This time the rink had these great pvc poles to help.

The kids would push it in front of them and then skate to it.

She was the first to get brave and go it on her own.

He wasn't far behind. (It looks like he's dancing here.)

Those are the smiles of 3 accomplished skaters.

Come back tomorrow for video of their skating!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Tale of Two Beds - Part 23

Once again, here are the links to the previous tales. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Frustration, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part22.

For a change this time I will only be featuring Sweet Daughter. It's been over a month since I have had one of these posts. You might think my kids were starting to sleep more... traditionally. I think the bar has just been raised for new and unusual at this point.

On one hand she is in the bed. On the other hand, her pillow is on top of her and her blanket is propping up her feet. That's new and different.

She lined up all of her small stuffed animals and made them lay face down. Then she joined them and fell asleep. She explained in the morning that they were on the floor because they wouldn't all fit on the bed in a line. Perfectly logical.