Monday, July 28, 2014

Any Excuse For Me To Eat More Cookies

Liam has a special dinosaur he named Rocky Hocky. He got him two Christmases ago. 

Rocky Hocky gets to sleep with Liam and is usually around when L Child is playing.

L Child has been very concerned about Rocky Hocky lately. The T-Rex has been wearing clothes and included in all kinds of make-believe. We were gone all day on Sunday, and Liam would comment throughout the day, "I sure hope Rocky Hocky is doing okay." 

So it wasn't surprising when Liam told me this morning that today was Rocky Hocky's 11th Birthday. We needed to have a party.

I told them we would start late afternoon. The boys planned the party events all day. 

First, we needed to make birthday signs. I made the Happy Birthday sign with a stegosaurus (Liam's said it's Rocky's favorite dinosaur). Casen drew Rocky Hocky (the brown T-Rex), and Liam drew a bull and a zombie. L Child said Rocky Hocky likes zombies. Not sure why he drew a bull though.
Next, karate on the trampoline. Liam said Rocky Hocky doesn't really like karate on the trampoline so he just watched.
Rocky Hocky doesn't like ice cream, but thank goodness we had cookies.
Yes, thank goodness.
White chocolate macadamia nut cookies to be exact.

Then it was gift time. The boys had prepared Rocky's gifts far in advance. 

 One of Casen's gifts was a back scratcher. Pretty fitting for a tiny-armed dinosaur.
One of Liam's gifts was an OSU hat for Rocky Hocky. Of course. Even our dinosaurs are Poke fans.

Haddie woke up in time for some of the last festivities. 

She loves her Liam. Can you tell?

Poor Rocky Hocky is just watching L Child run through the sprinkler. 

Casen and Liam got into an argument earlier in the party.
Me: Bring Rocky Hocky to the table for the cookies.
L: No, he can't come to the table.
C: Yeah, he can walk over here.
L: No, he can't walk yet.
C: Uh yeah he can. I've seen him walk to Haddie.
(Arguments about Make-Believe crack me up.)

Not to worry though: L Child will run you through the sprinklers, Rocky Hocky!

It was a great birthday party!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Science

I got less science fun packed into the summer than I had planned, but I also didn't get my gallery wall started. The summer was busier than expected. That said, the boys and I did do a few experiments.

We had fun with learning about the different rock types thanks to Pinterest. It was much better than our Pinterest Fail in the spring.

Tad excited about science. Warms my heart.
Our ingredients. You're supposed to use Starburst candies. I used Starburst and Laffy Taffy candies because that's what I had in my cabinet (thanks to Easter. Okay, let's be honest, some of those might be from Halloween. No judgement.)

First we made sedimentary rocks. Pressure had to be applied to our rock layers.

A toy box didn't work.
Hmmm, what could cause enough pressure to smash our layers together? 
Sitting on the candy didn't work either.
Sitting on a chair on top of the candy worked!

Next, they made metamorphic rocks so they needed heat and pressure.

They smashed their rock layers with siting in a chair on top of the rocks, and then the rocks got heated in the oven.
The candy is supposed to be wrapped in wax paper then foil. I had no wax paper so this happened. Oh well. The boys got the point.
Finally, the boys made igneous rocks - heat only.
Those aren't H's, they are I's. For Igneous. M for metamorphic. S for sedimentary.
We also looked at pictures of the different rocks in one of my earth science textbooks along with talking about the connection to volcanoes. Fun times.

I took the boys up to the Earth Science lab at school so we could make volcanoes. This is by far their favorite activity.

Bear and Yellow Friend came along as well.
The boys were super excited. Can you tell?

Ah, the old baking soda and vinegar trick.
The boys also experimented with whether or not the thickness of their lava will make a difference in the explosion.
Their findings suggest that the thickness of the lava does not affect the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda.
The last thing the boys did was make ocean water. 

They made ocean foam by shaking up salt water. Then they made fish out of clay and put them into the oceans.
I have more things posted on Pinterest so maybe we'll get something else done before school starts!


Gram sent Button one of her pearl necklaces for her first birthday.

Button knew just what to do with it.

I put the pearls up for when Button is a little older. 
She'll hear some great stories about Gram and the stories that Gram has passed down to us.
Keepsakes are special. They keep our memories alive.

Marble System

We started the marble system a couple of months ago. The boys earn marbles for doing chores…

…and they lose marbles for not doing what they should.

They keep the marbles in their very own painted jars.
At the end of the month, their allowance is based on how many marbles they have in the jar.
It's been working quite well.
For all of us.
It's easier to keep your cool when all you have to say is, "Take a marble out."
And I have volunteers to do chores almost any time.

What Happened To My Baby?

This morning I turned around to see this in Adub's backyard:

How is my baby climbing a ladder already? She even made it to the top!

This is how I usually think of my Button:
about 5 months
It's like she woke up this morning and decided that she wasn't a baby anymore.
She didn't want her bottle. I offered it three times before I realized that this might be a good thing.
Weaning the boys off the bottle was ROUGH. I know it's about time to do the same with Button, but...she's my baby!

While I took the boys to VBS tonight, she took a bottle from Josh at bedtime. So folks, we are down to one bottle a day for this little girl.

As hard as some days are raising three little ones, some days it seems to go by too fast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

History Lesson From L Child

In honor of finding out five years ago I was going to have my second baby boy, a little history lesson from L Child.

Liam: Did you know that Abraham Lincoln died from being shot?
Me: Yes. What happened?
Liam: He got shot in the head at Sea World and died.
Me: Right except he got shot at a theater.
Casen: Yeah, but it wasn't like a theater we go to watch movies. It was one where the people are doing real things (insert hand movements of "people doing real things").

We had a mini history lesson this afternoon about Abraham Lincoln to make sure the boys knew what he did and not just about his assassination.
And to clear up about that Sea World thing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Observations From Vacationing With 3 Kids

Having a traveling mantra is a good idea. Ours began two years ago before Button was born: "Vacation begins when you get in the car." We reminded ourselves out loud when Casen was yelling at Liam for chewing on their toy dragons. We kept reminding ourselves when Liam used his punch toy on his brother or sister. We kept muttering it under our breaths when we were doctoring chigger bites on the boys' ankles and a nasty, diaper-leaked-on car seat. Reminded us that road trips are part of the vacation memories.

I miss good Mexican food I grew up eating. I had some while I was down south. I wish I could have it flown to me.
The best breakfast taco you'll ever have.
I also miss DQ. I had incredibly too much ice cream on my vacation, but it was totally worth it.

If someone could possibly get hurt, it'll happen. It's inevitable. The guys got severe chigger bites on the first bathroom stop. C fell at the second stop and skinned up his legs and forehead (nothing like applying alcohol on a wound of a high-strung kid in a rest stop bathroom). Thankfully, the hurts eased up as the trip went along.
Notice how jam-packed the car is. It's the first day.
Don't label your kid (ignore my prior observation). They don't always fit them! That's something that Josh and I have tried since the kids were born. It's actually proven to be quite difficult, but their personalities, likes, and dislikes are changing and developing. We just forget that sometimes. This trip reminded me that my kids aren't always cautious, hyper, or ______ (fill in the blank). Neither boys have loved swimming yet. With limited access to swimming pools and a minimum number of swim lessons, they aren't what I would call little fishes. But I was surprised this trip. C became a little fish. He loved going way out into the ocean and playing in the big waves and body boarding to shore. He didn't even freak out when he would go under a big wave. He would just pop back up, take a breath, and get his bearings. He swam hours with his cousin on our last day in south Texas. L surprised me too. He didn't like going out far from shore but he would dump water on his head (he called it being "brave") and play in the smaller waves by the shoreline.

The little fishes: Jaida and Casen
Flexibility is key and know your (and the kids') limits. We didn't know how H would travel. She did pretty well, but she had her limits. We had to stop every couple hours usually for her to get out and stretch and crawl/walk. She never slept more than an hour and a half at at time in the car. The boys never slept (except L did for about 15 minutes) which is how they always are on road trips. Therefore, we all needed a lot of car breaks. We also worked in an extra day so there was one full day between all our driving days.

We carry gloves and ball now at all times.
We found this great spot in some small town in Texas at the high school.
Another great spot in small town Texas: a Catholic church yard.

This is what happened if Button needed a morning nap, but we were still trying to get out of the hotel room.
It's totally worth it to budget in a car detail after your return. Drinks were spilled. Baby had a blow out that somehow ended up on her seat AND the car seat. Crackers were crumbled. Wet towels and swim suits left in the car. Beach sand everywhere. Needless to say, the car was RANK when we pulled into our house. Now it's so clean after the detailing, no one is ever allowed to ride in it again.

It's also totally worth it to revisit places you did as a kid and see it through your kids' eyes this time around. I might be sappy, but I teared up throughout the week seeing the joy on my kids' faces. It reminded me of the joy I felt as a child and made me thankful that we were able to take a vacation. I'll never forget sitting on the beach with L Child and Button on my lap singing songs about the ocean. It was a heart-warming moment.
Sea lions and seals!
Spent their money on eels of course!
I call this the "Happy-Elevator-I'm-Going-Swimming" dance.
Do you remember being this happy about swimming in a hotel pool?

The boys helped to dig up Ghost Shrimps.
Button loved the carousel!