Friday, October 2, 2015

7QT: PSA and a lot of whatever.

one. A Little PSA Announcement.

I live on a fairly busy street. It's one of the major roads in town, 4 lanes with a speed that is generally 35 mph. (25 in the school zones, some of them 24/7 school zones.) There is a hospital 1.2 miles away and a fire station .6 miles from my house.Because of this, I see a lot of emergency vehicles in my day to day life. Going and coming. Sirens on and sirens off. But let's talk about when the sirens are on and you're also driving on the road.

You are supposed to pull over and stop.

So let's recap then. A fire truck has it's sirens on and is coming down the road towards you. You should:

A. Keep driving because they're on the other side of the yellow line.
B. Pull into the right lane ASAP and come to a complete stop.
C. Pull into the right lane and slow down so that you're rolling slowly.

The answer my friends is B. But you wouldn't believe how many people choose A or C. I'm serious, you wouldn't believe. Yesterday someone who chose option B was honked at for stopping. For a fire truck. Don't be that person.

two. We have a zoo field trip for school on Tuesday. My guy is pretty excited about it. He loves animals. Our zoo isn't cool like the zoos we vacation to, but it will be a good field trip.

three. We have a fun weekend planned. We haven't told the kids yet in case something falls through, but it involves some fall family fun. Not to be confused with Fall Family Fun Weekend which is schedule out for next weekend.

four. It's officially fall and it's October. I should probably take that trip to Old Navy to get a few more warm clothes season items for the kids who keep on growing.

five. This girl. 

She constantly surprises me by what she observes and then just does. Like when she was let out of the stroller and just started playing soccer. Or yesterday after watching some of school, she started flying the example kite craft right along with them. Also, she grabbed a crayon and started coloring with us this morning. And she holds a crayon better than C! She just amazes me. 

six. My guy and his "penguin zoo." He has taken to building zoo exhibits around the house. All the walrus in one spot. All the penguins in another. Etc. 

He asked me to take a picture of the penguin zoo. I did a fake picture with my hands and he said "No. On the phone please?" What could I say? I took the picture. 

seven. We are quickly approaching the "judge all the stores" for their holiday behavior. (Staying open on Thanksgiving, closing on Thanksgiving, Christmas stuff out too soon, Christmas stuff gone too soon *ahem Hobby Lobby* , etc.) Staples is already patting themselves on the back for closing on Thanksgiving.

I have an opinion on the matter and it's all right here.  I will add to this that, especially now, with Husband having to work on Friday that shopping Thanksgiving night makes the most sense should I shop. Someone is home with the kids, no one is missing work and I'm not a morning person. I still won't shop that day. But I am not against it. 

Okay. Happy Friday. Enjoy your weekend and link up with Kelly. Because apparently there's prizes. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

All The Things That Need Said

Howdy. So today was my second K teaching day.

We had a very good day. It all started with putting Fruit Loops on spaghetti noodles stuck in play-dough. We read Katy No Pockets. We made kites using construction paper/tissue paper on contact paper taped to the window. They turned out very cute. We flew our kites to the "Let's Go Fly A Kite" song from Mary Poppins as well as other music time favorites. We had Kix cereal and some cheese for snack. We put on aprons with pockets and began kangaroos. We hopped between two tables color sorting counting cubes. Then we did an I spy the letter K in a poem. Of course we ended with playtime.

In other news...

I know that some people are all aghast that Christmas decorations are already out, but I am a fan. I am trying so hard to have all of my Christmas prep done by November and I am right on track for that. I wanted to buy stockings this year. In 2010 for our first married Christmas we bought stockings. Then the next year when C was in utero we bought a not-really-matching-but-coordinates-okay stocking for C. And last year, Husband and I shared a stocking because we couldn't find anything quite right for M but we wanted her to have one.

So it was time for new stockings. And I spent a lot of time looking at a lot of different company's stockings. There were some that I liked, but the catch was the personalization was capped at 9 or 10 letters. I was so happy to pick a classic name, it never occurred to me that I couldn't put it on things. But sure enough, it's very hard to find places that let you personalize 11 letters.

But not at Merry Stockings! (Not a sponsored post, just a big fan now!) They have many many different stockings to choose from but they are all very cute. And while some styles do have a 10 character cap, other styles don't!! We got the Cable Knit Stockings, the girls have white stockings with red names and the boys have red stockings with white names. Another major plus, is the cost of the embroidery is included in the price of the stocking. NOT the case at most other stockings I saw. Some wanted $8 extra per stocking for the names to be embroidered! Not charging extra makes the stockings at Merry Stockings even more reasonable.
This is the image of what we got from their site. 

Our stockings came today and I just love them. They are very generously sized and a great thick material so they'll stay nice for a long time. I am so happy to have found them and I just thought I'd let you all know in case you yourself are in need of new Christmas stockings this year. 

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Since I Know You Were Wondering (probably not.)

Pins and needles. I know that you've all been anxiously awaiting the post about how I taught the letter K yesterday. Well, my friends, wait no longer! 

The theme of the day was primarily koalas with a little kaleidoscope fun. We started with cube puzzles. Fill in the K and various other shapes with counting cubes. It's supposedly a pre-algebra skill but spatial reasoning doesn't seem to make sense as algebra to me. Whatever, I am sure it will help mold their little minds. 

We read a Nat Geo Reader about Koalas and practiced our K sounds and K writing. 

We glued our branches in a K shape then made a hand print with our thumb wiggled around to be a Koala clinging to the K tree for our craft. 

We played pin the Koala on the K tree to practice taking turns and playing a game. 

Music time was everyone's favorite, shaking our sillies out with our egg shakers and also practiced our k-kicks to Kung-Fu Fighting. With some Head and Shoulders fun and determine whether we were happy and knew it. 

A Koala coloring sheet kept everyone occupied during bathroom time. Everyone was in big boy/big girl underwear and everyone stayed dry on my watch! 

For snack we indulged with a fun size Kit-Kat and a Special K bar. (K is a hard snack letter!) 

To add some science to our curriculum we talked about kaleidoscopes and then did the kaleidoscope milk experiment. Perhaps you've seen it? You take milk, add a drop of all 4 food coloring colors to the milk then add a drop of dawn dish soap. The colors will dance and move as the Dawn changes the viscosity of the milk. They recommend whole milk brought to room temp in a shallow plate with only one drop of food coloring and original blue Dawn. So I did all that and I was very very underwhelmed. It did not look like the YouTube videos at all. But the kids liked it and we accomplished some science so whatever. 

We practiced identifying numbers 1-15 by playing a game. I had written numbers on leaves and they took turns flipping leaves over and identifying the number, if they knew it they could feed it to the koala. (A cereal box with a koala picture taped on and a hole cut out.) This was eye opening since all three kids are at very different places. C has 1-10 down cold but is hit and miss with his teen numbers. ('Three-teen" and "Two-teen" trip him up.) One of the girls never got one wrong and the other got most of her's wrong. So... we will be doing some more number games for sure. 

During play time I turned on the Koala Balloon episode of Wild Kratz. The kids half watched and half played with Magna-Tiles or continued to feed the koala. 

Tomorrow we are working on kangaroos and kites and then I don't teach again until November. We are taking a 2 week break at the end of October which I am very excited for. I love our scheduled days but breaks are swell too. Plus it works out to be right during M's birthday and Halloween so there will be a lot of fun going on then too!

Monday, September 28, 2015


It's been a long couple of days over here. My girl has been not quite herself since Wednesday evening when a small fever crept in. It never got very high but it came and went until Saturday night! She had a major decrease in appetite, which is very odd for my girl who likes to eat. Lots of milk and lots of purees and not much else.

She was feeling okayish on Saturday which meant that our plan for a family outing was a go. We headed out to the Hot Air Balloon Festival and we had a great time. It was a little bit precarious there as the launch was supposed to start at 5:00 but the wind was too strong so they delayed.

Except when you got there when the gates opened at 4:00 for a good parking spot and a good viewing spot... and you have a 3 year old and 11 month old. We were really crossing our fingers. C loved last year's festival so much, he had multiple copies of the program and calls them his "balloon map." He still looks at them and in fact when we finally told him it was the day of the balloon festival, he got out his balloon map because he thought he needed to bring it with.

So he had better see a balloon was what I was saying.

Luckily they did launch 8 balloons. The weather was beautiful. (The wind that was just too windy for balloons was just a nice breeze, really. It was gusting at 10 mph.) And my boy thought it was even better than last year. Plus he got more balloon maps with this year's balloons. The excitement abounds.

Yesterday M was totally fever free and even got her appetite back in time for dinner. That smile was a welcome sight after a few days of grump. 

Now today is going to involve soccer and a lot of cleaning because school is at our house this week. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

11 Months Old.

Yesterday, M just ignored my direction that she cease get any older and turned 11 months old. What the heck? I am having a hard time believing that I am planning a birthday party for next month. How can that be?!

New this month:
  • Is such a climber. She moves toys so she can climb up on the coffee table, climbs the baby gate like a ladder, can get herself onto a lot of things. She is part mountain goat.
  • Consequently, she can mimic saying "Get Down" so well you'd think she was able to talk already. She even points down just like I do. 
  • Started walking backwards
  • Speed walking. She wants to run so so badly but usually winds up on her face if she tries. 
  • Can apparently kick a soccer ball. 
  • Had a little growth spurt and is now in all 12 month clothes. 
  • Likes to steal books and rip pages out. She is really rough on the books. But she likes to read them too so that's good. 
  • Is such a good eater. She loves to eat. Probably to get more energy to climb all over everything. 
This little girl is keeping me on my toes. And we love her for it. 

She was blaming it on the bossa nova, ala Ainsley Hayes from The West Wing. Which is just the very best moment on the show, or at least right up there. Note, the pink cup instead of a pink squirrel. Keeping it kid friendly you know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Second Annual Zoo Vacation!

We went on a vacation! Okay, so it was only 3 days/2 nights but it was still a vacation! On Friday, we left right after lunch time and drove to Omaha to see their zoo. You may remember last year, on our trip to the Indianapolis zoo we drove through a monsoon. This year's trip did not disappoint on the rain front. It wasn't nearly as monsoony as last year but it still rained pretty much the entire drive. The upside to this is the car looked great and because it was dark both kids took great naps. (Plus the rain was a real sound machine! Fancy!)

Saturday was zoo day. We got there right as they opened and headed straight for the Scott Aquarium to see the penguins because that is what C was the most excited about. They did not disappoint. In case you have a child who loves penguins and can name most of the 17 breeds of penguins by sight, the Omaha Zoo has Gentoo, King, Rockhopper and a Macaroni Penguin in the Aquarium and then African Penguins out by their barn area.

They have a wall of penguins, where you can see how big you are compared to all the different breeds. C thought this was a snazzy wall. The breeds the zoo has were 3D, the others were just pictures. C definitely impressed this lady as he walked down the wall naming all the types. by sight. Heck, he's my kid and I am impressed by this too.

C is the same size as a King Penguin.
They also have a bubble where you can get inside the exhibit a little and they can swim right to you, and he loved loved this.

After the aquarium, which was really cool, we headed out for the polar bear which was C's other top choice to see. Our intention was to get our must sees checked off the list right away when the crowds weren't huge. Which was the best possible plan. I had read a lot about how to best do the zoo and read a tip that going through the gorilla building was the fastest way to the back of the zoo.

I am so thankful for that tip, because we hit the gorilla building while the gorillas were active and excited. Plus there was barely anyone there. We basically had the entire building to ourselves so we got up close and personal with the gorillas.

A little bit further into the building, there were more bubbles to go into the exhibit through this tunnel. We were all in one together and then M and I went to the next one over to wave to the boys. Then I looked up and there was a gorilla. Because the building was so empty and quiet, (in this section were were completely alone) we could talk to each other from the two bubbles and we watched the gorilla as a family. It was so peaceful and so cool. We didn't take any pictures and I am honestly so glad because it was such a great moment to just be present in. 

We headed off to the polar bear and M had a bottle while C spent about 20 minutes with the polar bear. It was so great. The weather was crisp and beautiful, there were peahens walking around and we saw a grand total of 5 other people the whole time we were there. The polar bear was especially active in the cool morning as well, walking and pacing, then he settled down on this rock. 

After that, we conquered the zoo. For having two young kids I am pretty impressed by how much we did. And we had pretty impeccable timing throughout the day. We had a really peaceful lunch overlooking the monkeys in the jungle and just as we were leaving the line to get in was CRAZY. 

The African Penguins were also a lot of fun. 

The Garden of the Senses was really pretty and quite calming for our kids. Which was good because the day was so stimulating. M settled in for her nap in this garden and C was able to regroup and find his happy face on the baby elephant statue.

The Desert Dome was very interesting. And it took a really cool picture. But the actual animals in the desert weren't super interesting to me. But in the basement, they had Kingdoms of the Night. Which was pretty cool. Except for the giant giant giant room full of bats flying around. I could have done without that for sure. Still giving me the creeps just thinking about it.

The very last thing in the building were crocodiles. While looking at them, they turned the lights on in the exhibit, to feed them or something. Most of the crocs swam away, but one came right up to the glass up to C's face and they were nose to nose. There were a lot of people watching C and his reaction, because hello, crocodile. C, ever the animal lover was all "So cute! Look at the crocodile, look at his big eyes. Look at his nice teeth." So not scared.

I feel like when I was three I wouldn't have been so excited about the same experience. We saw a lot of kids scared of a lot of animals throughout the day but not our mini zookeeper. In fact, when it was time to leave the building, this was the end of our day, and it was one of C's only moments of tears. Someone walked in just then and said "It's okay little boy, there's a lot of glass there, they aren't going to hurt you." Which was a nice sentiment but not exactly the problem. 

My kids by gorilla statues. Proof M was there, since we didn't take a lot of pictures. 

We had a really great time at the zoo. We walked in at 9:00 and stayed all day, not leaving until just before 5:00. While the buildings stayed open until 6 and we never made it inside the jungle or a few other things, we packed a lot in and it was time to go. It was so good to have a fun family mini-vacation. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Kick! Kick! Kick!

Soccer went well again today. C was a pretty good listener until the end when he was kind of done. But that is to be expected at some point with 2 and 3 year olds. The uniforms on the group are just darling. I can't handle it. I really hope we can get a group picture before this is all over but I don't want to be the one to ask. 

There were a lot of dads there this week. I think some of the moms went home an explained how their kids did last week, and the "my kid is going to like sports" dads rallied and showed up. It didn't make a huge difference for some of the kids though, in fact one dad was just getting all riled up and then his kid got all riled up and it just wasn't good. 

So M did a good job watching from the stroller. We would talk about what was going on and she seemed to like watching a lot. So at the end, after the kids had dispersed to the playground I let her out and handed her C's ball. She immediately put in on the ground and took off, kicking the ball. She might just be a soccer savant because she kicked it across the field and all the way into the goal. It was kind of amazing. 

I might have to get some good camping chairs and a soccer ball fleece tie blanket, maybe start practicing slicing oranges, because it looks as though I might yet turn out to be a soccer mom.