Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Contact Paper Art

I got another cute idea on Pinterest the other day and the little’s and I just had to give it a try. All you need is some clear contact paper, some masking tape and a few things that will stick to the contact paper.

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We used little puff balls because they were easy to stick to the contact paper and the kids like playing with them anyways. They played with this long enough for me to make their lunch (about 10 minutes, or forever in toddler/preschool time) and since I made them each their own area, there was no fighting.

Dakota couldn’t figure out why the puff balls wouldn’t stick to the glass. She kept trying, but it just wouldn't stay put!

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Once we were finished I just took down the contact paper and threw it away. The puff balls weren’t ruined in any way so I kept them for another project another day. Next time I do this I’m going to draw shapes on the back of the paper before I hang it and give them matching shapes to stick on the front, sort of like a puzzle. For Harper I can do letters or something a little more difficult since he knows his shapes…I see many possibilities with this!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Sports Camp: Football

Today the kids learned a little bit about football. We aren’t a big football family, and it is probably my least favorite sport, so Harper doesn’t really know much about it.

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The very first thing they learned was how to hold the ball correctly while running. They told them to put their hand on the end of the ball and then showed them how to cradle it against their chest while running to protect it. After the kids had that down, they had them run a little course they’d set up with cones.

The next lesson was how to throw a football. They showed each child how to hold the ball correctly and then how to throw it. They practiced throwing it at the wall at first, then moved on to throwing through a hoop. Harper kept telling the coach “I don’t think I can throw this through a hoop!” but the coach kept reassuring him that he’d do fine. While Harper never did actually get his ball through the hoop, he did keep on trying! I can’t ask for more than that.

They tried catching for a few minutes but that was a bit out of their readiness zone, so that played a few rounds of sharks and minnows. Harper got a chance to be a shark this week:

I love how he kind of sneak tags the kid at the end! Haha! Smart little shark I’ve got!

The kids’ favorite part of the whole class had to be when the coach decided to be the minnow and let all the kids be sharks out to get him.

They chased the coach twice and loved it both times. They probably could have done that the entire class and been happy! That was how they ended class this week, and then they all went and sat on the floor for their stamps. After they each choose their stamp, they do a little cheer that they make up. This weeks cheer was “Football, Pizza, Macaroni!” Harper thought it was just the best cheer ever and he kept saying it all the way home!

Next week is the last week for camp and I’m pretty sure the lesson will be tennis. Should be fun!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

West Side Story

Tony and I went to see West Side Story at the Hippodrome this afternoon. He knows how much I love musicals so he bought the tickets for me as a Christmas gift and I’ve been anxiously awaiting this day since!

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We went to the matinee at 2pm because Mema watched the kids while we were gone and it’s just easiest that way.

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I knew the gist of the story because I’d read the book and seen the movie back in high school. I couldn’t remember a lot of it but I knew it was about two rival gangs and that there was a love story involved. It was a good story and show but I ‘have to admit that it wasn’t my favorite. I think part of it was that some of the singing was hard to understand. Many of the songs were duets and sometimes it was had to distinguish who was saying what and if it was in English or Spanish! It kind of takes away from the show if you don’t know what’s being said/sang!  It’s the first show that we’ve seen that there were more male performers than female, but that had nothing to do with the like/dislike factor either, just an observation. I guess the bottom line is: I enjoyed the show but probably wouldn’t see it again. (I could tell from Tony’s body language that it was definitely not his favorite either! He admitted that the acting was good but it wasn’t his favorite.)

I have to say though, that while I really enjoyed going to the show, the best part was having some time alone with Tony. We don’t get much of that these days, so I really appreciate the time we do get. (Special thank you to Mema for watching the kids for us! You are a rock star!)

Side note: When I came downstairs right before we were going to leave, Harper looked up at me and said “Oh, Mom! You look beautiful!” As long as my sweet baby thinks I look beautiful, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. That little boy made my day and I couldn’t love him more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday

  • I was telling Harper about a time when he was still in my tummy (I can’t remember why now) and he had the most confused look on his face. I tried to explain to him that he hadn’t been born yet and that was where all babies started was in their momma’s tummy. He said “Well, if I was in your tummy, where were you?” See what I mean. He was completely and utterly confused, but man did I get a good laugh out of that one!
  • Today, for the first time in quite awhile, the two kids and I didn’t have any plans for the day. Usually we are just running all the time but today we were able to take it easy and do whatever. We played with toys that hadn’t been pulled out in awhile, we did puzzles, we spent unhurried time outside in the sandbox/trampoline and we just hung out. It was awesome. There was nearly zero fighting and 100% contentedness. It was a perfect morning.

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  • The kids and I did an activity with contact paper on a window (another blog post on that soon) and it led to me needing to take down a curtain to do said activity. Well, I noticed how dusty the curtain was and decided since that one was down I may as well take the others down and wash them all. Then, since I knew that was going to be a very small load of wash, I decided to take more curtains down…of course, once the curtains were down I didn’t have any reason not to go ahead and clean the windows. So, my little project for the kids turned into a huge project for myself. Guess I better choose their project more carefully from now on! The upside to all of this is I’ve got nice clean windows and curtains and my house smells awesome!
  • Dakota put together a couple three word “sentences” today. This morning she said “Momma, Ginger treat?” and this afternoon when Tony came home from work she said “Momma, HarHar, book” because I was reading him a story. She’s getting there with the speech thing…she’s just taking her time!
  • For Christmas Tony bought me tickets to go see West Side Story. We finally get to go tomorrow and I’m so excited!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bedtime Routine

Both little’s go to bed at the same time these days. They’ve been doing that for awhile now and it sure is nice. For the longest time, when Dakota was really little, I’d bathe Dakota and put her to bed and Tony would take care of Harper. But, as Dakota got older, I thought it would be nice for Tony and I to switch off with the kids so we’d spend time with each one individually. That lasted for awhile but lately things have changed and I’ve been putting Harper to bed while Tony takes care of Dakota.

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Some nights Harper would request that I put him to bed instead of Dada and sometimes we’d just do it that way to avoid a tantrum and other times Tony would just take him anyways and Harper would get over it. A week or so ago, Dakota was getting out of the bath and started to cry because she wanted Dada to get her out. So, we switched kids and it’s pretty much stuck like that since then. I think she gets enough Momma time in her life and enjoys the individual attention she gets from Dada at night. Harper is at the age where he wants me to read to him, and I know it won’t last forever and soon enough he’ll be wanting his dad’s attention.

Dakota isn’t as interested in books as Harper is. She’d much rather play “knock knock” with her dollhouse. All the people have to “knock knock” on the door and she lets them in. At least that’s how the game started awhile back, but it has since evolved. She likes to put the people in the house, everyone sitting in chairs usually. Sometimes someone is sleeping and more often than not one of the people is on the potty (which she makes noises to get her point across!). Once she’s done with that she goes on to play with Minnie Mouse, then gets a book or two read to her then it’s lights out…usually accompanied by some loud protesting…but it only lasts about a minute and then all is quiet.

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Harper, on the other hand, loves to have books read to him. It is still one of his very favorite things. After reading a couple of his picture books last night I got the idea to try reading him an old Junie B. Jones book. I don’t think he’s getting most of what I’m reading him, and it’s probably a good thing! I guess when we read these books all those years ago to Zoe I didn’t realize how bad some of it was. Junie B. “hates” a lot of things, talks about how she could beat someone up, and can be quite bratty, all in the first couple chapters of the first book! I spend a lot of my day trying to teach my kids to be nice to each other (not say they “hate” each other or other people & never to hit) and to be respectful to others and adults and I kind of feel like Junie B. is saying it’s okay to be bratty. I wonder if he’s getting mixed signals when I’m reading this to him but then telling him otherwise on a daily (hourly!?) basis? I think I’ll try to find another series to read to him after we finish this book and wait for Junie B. when he’s a bit older.

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*For the past three or four weeks Harper has been going to bed pull up free! He’s completely finished with those things, thank goodness! Since going underwear only, he’s only wet the bed once. Fingers crossed he keeps up the good work!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Two Short Stories

The first one is several weeks old but I don’t believe I ever wrote it here, and the other one is from today.

  1. My mom has agreed to refinish Zoe’s old bed so that Dakota can use it. It’s in great shape and why buy a new one when we have this awesome old one we can make look new? Anyways, before they left the last time they were here, we all went down to the basement to grab the pieces to load up in their truck.Harper and I were the last ones downstairs once all the pieces were brought up and we headed up and turned off the lights. When we got upstairs I asked everyone where Dakota was and my dad said he’d carried her down with him the last time he went down. I told them that I’d checked to make sure no one was down there before I came up and when I called her name she hadn’t answered. I immediately got a huge lump in my throat worrying about where she could possibly be, so I ran back downstairs and called her name again. When she heard me she came running from behind the curtain hanging in front of the patio door and very enthusiastically said “Hide! Hide, momma!” That baby is a crazy little thing! 
  2. I pulled out some stamps for the kids to play with while dinner was being made. Harper used to love to sit and stamp and Dakota’s never really had the opportunity so I figured it’d be a good way to keep them busy for 5 seconds.These self inking stamps were from when Zoe was little, I think I ordered them for her when she was maybe 4 or 5 years old, so they’ve been around awhile. On the top of each stamp is a little ceramic figure of what the stamp is. Harper noticed that the head of one of the toppers was broken off and was a little worried that it wasn’t going to work at all. I told him it should be fine and he was completely amazed when he stamped the paper and saw that even the head came out perfectly fine! He thought that since the ceramic piece was broken that the head part wouldn’t come out on the stamp either! I just love the way these young brains work!

Sports Camp: Lacrosse

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So today’s sport was lacrosse. This is one sport that I know very little about, but I do know that it sure looks tough to play. The coach seemed very optimistic about it though, so I figured it couldn’t be all that bad. The class started out with the coach showing the kids how to hold the stick. He told them where to put their hands and showed them that they were supposed to keep it in an upright position close to their face, but no matter how many times it was demonstrated or they were reminded, that stick inevitable fell to their sides. I guess it was probably just awkward for them to hold it up the way it’s supposed to. Next they were each given a ball and told to walk around with it without dropping it. Then came running the court with it without dropping it.

Once they were able to maneuver around the court without dropping it too much, they played a round of red light, green light, which they really enjoyed.

They were then taught how to hold the stick and throw the ball out of the basket. Harper really liked doing that part as did the rest of the kids.

The last part of the class was the toughest and it was about picking up the ball without using their hands, a lacrosse rule. They were shown how to use the side of their foot as a stopper to scoop the ball or how to pop the ball up with their stick to scoop it up. It was really tough for all of them and I’m not sure any of them were able to do it. Harper tried a few times and then came to me for help. I showed him how to do it and assisted him the best I could, but ultimately he couldn’t do it and became frustrated. He was pretty much done with the whole thing at that point and wouldn’t join the rest of the group to try taking shots on goal, but it was only about the last five minutes of class and he wasn’t crying, just refused to try anymore, so I let it go.

I guess it’s safe to say that lacrosse wasn’t his favorite but he did his best and I can’t really ask for more than that. Two weeks left…

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Morning 2014

Hard to believe it’s already Easter, and even more so that it’s over. We woke up bright and early with the little’s just like every morning, but Harper knew that the bunny was coming by last night so he was anxious to get downstairs and see what was in his basket. On the way down the steps he said “I can’t wait to see if the bunny got me Pop the Pig!” and the minute he spotted it, he squealed with happiness! (That is one of the best part of parenting my friends. Making your kids so happy they actually squeal!)

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There were lots of bubbles and bubble blowers, water guns, one book for each kid, a few eggs with candy, and they each got a new bathing suit, a tradition that started with Zoe eons ago. Harper and Dakota both got a new pair of sunglasses and Dakota got a new bath time baby doll. Landon got some iTunes and the second Thor movie. We also got the little’s one movie each, Frozen and The Jungle Book.

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We played a few rounds of Pop the Pig and even gave Dakota’s new baby a good wash, but then it was time to go outside and blow some bubbles!

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Harper attempting to eat the bubbles. Smile

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Landon got up sometime around 830 or so and he came down and asked if he had a basket to look for. We told him of course he did, but first he needed to take his allergy meds and feed the dog. (We hid the basket in the closet with the dog food.) Of course he easily found his basket and was happy to see his gifts.

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I got Zoe a bathing suit and some candy too, but didn’t take pictures because I gave it to her much later in the day. I just wanted to get her a little something so she’d know she wasn’t forgotten…

Spring Gardening and Egg Hunt at Mema’s House

After our egg hunt at Rolly Pollies yesterday we went to Lowes to pick up a few new plants for the yard, then home to get to work putting them in the ground. I chose a knock-out rose bush, a couple daffodils and a bright pink/red peony and Tony picked up three hosta’s. I also picked up two climbing plants for the lattice I put out front, but I can’t remember what they’re called at the moment! (I’ve done sweet potato vine there for several years but thought I’d try something new this year, and they’re perennials so hopefully they’ll do well there and come back year after year.)

Knock-Out Rose

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Daffodils

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Peony’s (these are the one’s from last year, they’ve really grown since just last week!)

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First tulip to open up!

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Tony decided to start digging out and leveling the back yard for our future path and patio. It’s exciting to see it start to come together a little even though I know it’s going to be a long process. Landon went out to help with the yard work for awhile and he said he was exhausted when he came in!

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Yesterday afternoon we had dinner at Mema’s house. We got there around 4pm and the kids immediately went into the backyard for an Easter egg hunt.

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A few of the eggs were tough to find, but we did end up finding them all and they each earned some change in the process!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rolly Pollies Egg Hunt

We started our morning with an Easter egg hunt at Rolly Pollies. It started at nine and since it was so early I gave Landon the choice as to whether he wanted to go or stay home to sleep. He chose to go with us and it was nice that he was there even though the hunt was for three and under. He’s pretty helpful to have around and (most of the time) the two little’s like having their big brothers attention.

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As soon as they opened the gate it was a mad rush to grab eggs. There wasn’t anything inside the eggs but you’d never have guessed it by the mayhem that ensued!

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Once the eggs were found there was a little time to play. It was like my kids had never been there before! They were just thrilled to run around and be crazy!

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I asked Dakota if she wanted to go see the bunny and surprisingly she said yes. So, we walked over and I asked her if I could get a picture with her and the bunny and she surprised me again and did it! Unfortunately, my camera was on video and I didn’t know it so the ‘pictures” I got are actually crappy videos. Booo! But, the bright side is that when Harper came over to get in the photo, I realized my mistake and got an okay shot with the both of them.

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Dakota wouldn’t look at the camera no matter what, and although she looks miserable, she wasn’t. She never cried or anything but she wasn’t about to smile either! Harper was silly as usual and gave me that funny little look when I took the picture. I just never know what I’m going to get with these kids, but I’ll take it! Smile

Dying Our Eggs

Yesterday afternoon we broke out the egg dyes and got to work coloring our Easter eggs. To say the least, it was messy. I don’t know who made the most messes, Mema or the kids, but there were messes and there were lots of them. Good thing I had lots of paper towels on hand…

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Harper thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. He loved choosing his egg and gently lowering it into the dye then slowly mixing it around to watch it change color. He loved to show us each and every beautiful egg he created and was happy for the longest time. He got a little crazy at the end and had three eggs in one container, but you know, you gotta experiment to see what works!

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Dakota enjoyed dying her eggs as well. Her method was more of a grab the closest egg, plunk it into the nearest dye cup, stir with the force of a tornado then attempt to dump the entire cup out onto the table to inspect. Her method was a bit messier, as you can imagine, but she got results! She wasn’t feeling very good either, which is why her cheeks are so pink. She ran a fever later on but woke up feeling good this morning, thank goodness.

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Landon was happy to help with the eggs as well. He got to do several and enjoyed dipping them this way and that to get pretty multicolor eggs. I’m so happy that he still enjoys doing these kinds of things with us! Zoe always did too and I was disappointed that she missed it this year.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday

  • Landon and I went to his dermatologist again yesterday to check in. After some talk about whether or not we thought the treatments were helping (we do) he recommended Landon do 11 more, which will bring his total to 22. He also prescribed a topical ointment to help the itching he has behind his knees and on his hands. The doctor believes that once we get to the 22nd UVB treatment Landon’s skin could be completely clear. I’m skeptical, but hopeful. We shall see. Before we left they showed us some photo’s they’d taken of Landon the last time we were there and then took a few new pictures for comparison. We could tell a major difference in the way he looked, so we’re hoping this could be just what he’s needed.
  • Dakota isn’t feeling so good today. She’s had a bit of a runny nose for a couple days now and a slight cough in the morning as well, but she’s been pretty happy and playing otherwise, until today anyways. This morning she woke up like the other days so I thought we’d go look for some new shoes for the kids at the mall. We did our thing at the mall but when we got home she was miserable. She couldn’t/wouldn’t nap and cried and cried and cried. I took her on a long walk around the neighborhood in her stroller and she didn’t make a peep the entire time we were out there. I kept thinking/hoping she was asleep but she wasn’t. She was just content to be pushed along. Poor girl. I sure hope she feels better in the morning because I paid for her and Harper to go to an Easter egg hunt.
  • The bleeding hearts that we planted last year are blooming like crazy right now. They are so gorgeous!

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  • Harper has been a serious little booger the past couple of days. He’s had more time outs than usual and he’s been a little wilder that usual. I don’t know what’s going on but sure hope he gets over it soon because he’s making me a little crazy. One thing he did today was steal some of Landon’s candy, rip it open and eat a piece before anyone knew what was going on. It made me laugh a little and I told Landon that he’d better learn to put his stuff away. Landon was pretty upset about the whole thing, but Harper was pretty proud of himself! I just had to laugh about that one!
  • We dyed Easter eggs tonight and while it was fun, it was MESSY! I’ll be sure to post the pictures later…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Visit With An Old Neighbor

We’ve been as busy as ever these past few days. Yesterday we went to an old friends house to visit. She was actually my neighbor for several years in our old neighborhood and she’d invited us over to hang out and to let the two little’s meet her dogs. We got over there around 10am and the kids were super excited to meet the dogs, Ace and Luke. Ace and Luke were equally excited to meet them though and were jumping up on H and D so they were a little afraid of them at first. Once the newness wore off though, the kids and dogs enjoyed each other’s company.

Amy, my old neighbor, had gone out the day before and picked up some Easter eggs and little toys to go inside and when we got there she had her daughter and Landon go outside to hide them for the younger two. Once they were done, we took the kids outside to find the eggs and they had a wonderful time!

She’d also baked some cupcakes and left them unfrosted so that the two kids could frost and decorate their own. I thought it was really nice of her to have thought out these things for the kids to do, and the kids really liked hanging out over there. We’ll have to go back over sometime when it’s warm out because she has a great big back yard that I know my two would love to check out.

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As we left, both kids gave Ms. Amy hugs and kisses. They really liked her and being over at her house for a visit. She packed up the kids’ loot from the egg hunt and we headed home. When we got home I unpacked the bag she’d sent only to find a little bag with two wrapped gifts inside. I gave Harps and Koko each one thing to unwrap and they found a couple cute little gifts inside.

Harper got a ball game and a toy shovel filled with candy.

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Dakota got a package of bracelets/rings and a toy rake filled with candy.

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At dinner last night Harper asked me if visiting Ms. Amy was just a “one day thing”. I told him I thought we’d go back once the weather was nice and he said he thought that’d be a great idea!

Thanks for a nice morning, Ms. Amy, Emily, CJ, Luke and Ace!

Elf Antics

I've made it to day 9 without forgetting to move Peppermint and I have to admit that even I'm surprised. Here's what our elf has...