Saturday, April 26, 2014

A great spring day

Today, I got up, made my oatmeal (awesome recipe, takes a long time so I do a batch of 9), changed the oil in my car, and got kids fed. Katie has school this morning, so I walked her across the creek and down the greenway. We got there right on time, then I came back with Christian in the stroller... 

First we stopped to watch construction of a bridge on Kelly Rd, then we went to the playground where Christian and I went down the big tube slide, swung on the tire swing (getting quite dizzy, I might add), and played in the sand. Then we walked down the greenway back to the house.

Christian wanted to get out under the toll road and he looked under rocks for whatever he might find... then we walked on and he took a keen interest in Beaver Creek where the greenway crosses over it. We looked at the creek from both sides of the bridge, then he peered at it through one of the slits between boards on the wooden bridge deck.

We made it back to the house area, crossed over the fallen tree bridge, and Christian again schooled me on playing. He went right to playing creek-side while I crossed the bridge again to get the stroller. When I go Back, he showed me a little brownish red rock and insisted it was a hermit crab. Then he piled sand in my hands so I could dump it in the creek.

And on to the trampoline after that... where we sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" a few times and just had a blast.

Then we went inside where Christian watched Chuggington and I took a short nap.  Chuggington has become all there is on the TV for Christian now that he's discovered it through a Tag book. 

This is how he slept for nap on Friday, but he was not sleeping for this picture on Saturday before lunch.

I snarfed down lunch and headed out to pick up the other child from school.  Katie had a hard time recognizing me because I had changed shirts and have a day-old haircut (#2 buzz for the summer).  We walked back to the park (same as where I swung with Christian earlier), and I swung again, this time with Katie.  She was not impressed at the motion that I was able to achieve while on the swing with her, but she squealed with amusement when another school friend got on and I managed to tug the thing to wild heights and rotation.  And they carried on for a good long time.

We headed out to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center for LEGO-Palooza, mostly an exhibition of things local people have built.  We'd arranged to meet some friends there and were glad when that worked out. 
video

I expected Katie to look at all the things and say, "I'm bored.  Let's go."  Then we would take her downstairs to look at the Apollo exhibits, and head out.  Boy, was I surprised!  Katie got wrapped up in a game played on a large 3-D game board built by one of the LEGO enthusiasts, and she played for nearly an hour at it, during which I went with the other three in our party to the basement to inspect the exhibits downstairs which are no longer Apollo artifacts but are about the solar system, time, and other such things.  

Afterward, the friends offered to take Katie to the park near their house while I went to the UNC Library to see what I could do for online research (this was a gem of quiet time to do exactly what I had a mind to do).  The librarians explained that the card one can buy from there does not include online research tools, so I didn't buy it, but they quickly suggested NC Live.  I'll have to investigate that when I'm looking the next thing up.

Then on to the park where Elizabeth came to meet us.  She went for a run on the greenway nearby while the other children slid down the blue rubberized play surfaces beside some slides.  Christian had a great time playing in the sand, and even went over to a little picnic table and made a birthday cake of sand for me complete with a candle I was to blow out (a thin scrap of wooden mulch).  Katie, meanwhile, cooperated with some other kids to dig what seemed at first like a hole to China but what turned out to be more of a moat-like thing.  It was great fun.  Katie even made it back home with her shoes, albeit full of sand.

Christian had a first-class tantrum when we got home, and Elizabeth showed exactly how to put it down.  There should have been a parenting instruction video in the making at the time.  Then we had a wonderful rest of the evening playing trains and reading bedtime stories.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dinotrain!

Christian is thrilled - thrilled! - with the book "All Aboard the Dinotrain" by Deb Lund.  I usually read two books at bedtime, and he has several times asked me to read this same book twice.  Even with fifty or so books to choose from, he picked this book nearly every day we had it out from the library.  We requested it via Paperback Swap, and it came today.  I was inspired by Christian's enthusiasm for the book to write this:


All the land was white with snow,
But the postman did not slow.
A book he brought to entertain,
None other than the Dinotrain!
This book will thrill the two-year-old.
To him, this title's dinogold!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fred's Bed

Our elf is named "Fred."  Today, he turned up in the doll bed, under a cookie sheet with the gingerbread man.  There's a joke on the card:

Q: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
A: A cookie sheet!

And another little note, a couple of days ago, this little snippet happened in our kitchen:

Me: Where did the Statue of Liberty come from?
K: I think the soldiers planted her in the ground before peace, but she means "freedom."

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bedtime ramblings

Christian is at the age that he likes to make observations - and these observations are not exactly what an adult expects, but they're usually pretty good.  And now he has the language to express it.

This evening, Christian woke up hungry and it fell to me to rock him (back to sleep?) for a couple of songs.  Here's some of what he said - and the emphasis he delivers very obviously.

"That's clock!  [Pointing to the analog clock with a second hand over his bed.]  Clock spins very slowly."

"Mommy's red!  [Mom flashed in and out of view passing in her red shirt by Christian's door.]  Mommy's big.  Mommy's strong.  Christian's small."

"Christian's pumpkin."  [Huh?  So finally, I came to understand that the orange ball attached to his crib mirror plaything he is calling a pumpkin.]

And we played peekaboo with his belly button behind the blanket and pajamas.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mother/Daughter Outing

I have been trying to come up with ways that Katie and I can have more one-on-one time together.  I finally came up with what I hope is a great solution.  Tomorrow morning Katie will wake up to this note:




We are going to see Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells at a local theater.  Considering how much fun she had learning "Trick or Treat! Smell my feet!  Give me something good to eat!" this Halloween, the play should be a blast.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Magic Pumpkin

Katie makes flossing into a game where I play dental hygienist and she plays patient. A very important part of this game for her is the prize at the end of the procedure. She likes to remind me of this before the flossing, and if I should manage to forget by the end, she will remind me again. Often,  I grab some tchotchke from the room and hand it to her,  but occasionally I will give her an imaginary prize. Once, I gave her a winning lottery ticket. This evening,  I gave her a magic jack-o'-lantern that will change all the candy she puts in it into vegetables.

This did not meet her prize requirements. "Daddy, you have to give me something real!," she insisted.

"I have given you imaginary gifts in the past." At this point I'm laughing pretty well. And she certainly is not.

"Daddy,  it's not funny!" 

"Oh,  but it is! When you get older, you will want one for your kids."

Elizabeth offered that it might make the vegetables taste like candy. Yum!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cooking and...cleaning up (sort of)

Cooking was a family affair last Thursday when I decided to make brownies (because we needed some baked chocolate in the house and Katie asked for them) AND zucchini bread (because I had three zucchini from the local CSA and they weren't getting any fresher).   This was a lot for an afternoon, especially since we were supposed to be going to swim team practice and I had a book club meeting that night.  We were only able to do it because Katie and I decided together that we were going to play hooky from swim team.  After the meet on Tuesday was rained out after the freestyle, we had to go back on Wednesday and finish the rest of the meet.  Two days of swim meets with toddler in tow had me whupped, I was ready for a swim team break.  So, on to cooking!

Katie wanted to stir the brownies but had difficulty getting the spoon around in the thick batter.  She needed me to hold the bowl so she could use two hands to hold the spoon and even that didn't last too long before her poor arms gave out.  She did use her professional egg cracking skills to make sure that the eggs were properly cracked into the mixing bowl.  She was especially thrilled that I needed 6 whole eggs for the zucchini bread since I was making a double batch.  Christian got in on the action with the zucchini bread.  I cut the zucchini up and he and Katie put it into the food processor.  In hindsight, I should have had Katie slice up the zucchini and hand it to Christian to put in the food processor.  That would have been a great opportunity for Katie to work on her knife skills and a better division of labor so that they wouldn't fight over who got to put the zucchini in.  They both helped blend the zucchini and they loved pressing the buttons. :)  Sadly, I wasn't able to get any pictures of the zucchini bread helping but it was pretty neat to have both kids on different height stools next to me helping.  I did get some good pics of the brownie clean up though.

 This was Christian's first experience with getting to lick the spoon and oh, did he loooooove that part of cooking!




Mmm.  Yep, that's how I feel about chocolate too. :) 

Is there any more on here?

 You're the BEST Mom! 




The best part of the night was that I left immediately after putting the zucchini bread in the oven for my book club meeting.  When I got home, my amazing hubby had put the children to bed AND started the clean up.  He knows how to get me to make more scrumptious treats!