Saturday, June 27, 2015

That's Classy

Tater burped, and Spork responded, "Oh, that's classy!"


When trying to dissuade Spork to drink water from the local splashpad, I calmly explained, "Little kids sometimes pee in the splashpad, then the water goes down the drain and into pipes and shoots back up for you to play in...so you shouldn't drink it."  He soaked in the information, then a grin grew over his face and he replied, "So I can pee in the fountain?!" Not the takeaway message here, Spork!
 (Spork also busted up both knees and keeps letting them heal, then picks the scabs off - ewww!  Sensory seeking behavior, I know, but does anyone have a solution other than buying stock in Neosporin?!)


While at the park, Tater noted a teenage boy and girl wrestling, flirting, and giggling. She said, "Why they doing that? I don't like that." I replied that's how teenagers act sometimes. She puffed out her little chest and declared, "Well, I'm never going to act like THAT."

The Nugget has this new sideways gallop, in which he slaps his his bottom with every step, as if encouraging a horse onward.


I love the springtime opportunity of open windows but I am not so sad that a/c season is upon us, because the Nugget's friendliness has come bursting out of said open car windows lately. "Whazzzuuuup?!" he shouted to some young twenty-something guys in a muscle car, their radio blaring, their car rocking. Horrified, Hubby and I awaited their reaction. They looked stunned for a second, then their tough guy masks crumbled into hysterical laughter and they screamed back, "Whazzzzuuup?!" They traded this nonsensical greeting back and forth all the way down the hill, and the Nugget was sorely disappointed when their car turned.  Another time, we saw a man smoking while jaywalking, and the Nugget rolled down the window to provide a helpful correction. I hushed him quickly, put the child window lock on, and tried to explain how when adults make sad choices, it is not our job to correct them. The Nugget fretted, "But he is making TWO sad choices!"

Cute mispronunciations:
Jamannas - pajamas
Skabetti - spaghetti
Wedge-able - vegetable
Dinanna- banana
Picpic - picnic

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Disney World 2015

Grammy and Grandpa very generously treated the family to a Disney World vacation this month!  I had a few misgivings about taking 3 year olds to the Happiest Place on Earth (They're not tall enough! They won't remember it! It will become a logistical nightmare with naps, strollers, and potty breaks!), but you just can't pass up family time and an opportunity for fun and memories.  I packed for the kids and I while Hubby was out of town on a work trip, he came home for 24 hours and patiently listened while I wailed/worried about airport security, my confusion over Magic Bands and FastPass+, and would we have enough underpants for Tater who had been regressing in her potty skills.




It really worked out better than I could have imagined.  Yes, buckets of tears were shed, about:
1. Who was squirting whom with $18 spray bottles.
2.  Being too small to go on rides with big brothers.
3.  Having to wait for buses (Nugget and Spork)/having to ride buses (Tater).
4.  Not being carried 24/7 despite there being a beautiful double stroller available.
5.  Having to wait in line for rides and meals.
6.  Getting separated at the water parks, because clearly Mommy and Daddy rely too much on cell phones to find each other.
7. Stopping to take photos, because that is the WORST when you're a kid on a mission.



But there were a lot of smiles and giggles too, about:
1.  Special bonding time with cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
2.  Downtime Pooltime in the afternoons and pretending to be a baby octopus.
3.  Amazing rides like Test Track and experiences like the Disney Junior Live show.
4.  Watching Spork get over his fear of costumed characters to enjoy meeting Handy Manny and Jake at a character breakfast.
5.  Ice cream at 10am, unlimited screen time when we were in the hotel, because we were on "vacation rules."
6.  Seeing giraffes roam, zebras gallop, and crowned cranes play peekaboo out our hotel window.
7.  Marveling that because we were all so incredibly hot, we didn't need that many restroom stops/spare undies after all!
8.  Realizing that those Magic Bands allow adults to charge Pina Colavas to the room at the pool.  Cheers!
9.  Discovering that Grandpa had a 20 year old purple, green, and yellow Blizzard Beach shirt that
he happily wore for like 3/5 days!


 


Pretty much by the end of Day 5, we all felt like Spork here, so while it was a magical experience, this Mama is happy to be home.

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Our Disney tips for others, but mainly for ourselves should we be brave enough for House of Mouse Take 2:
1.  The Rapid Refill cups are awesome.
2.  Buy your own darn fan squirters before you go.
3.  Bring your own water bottles, even if you lose one or two, you will save so much money on bottled water.
4.  P.M. pooltime might make you feel like you are missing out on the park experience, but it will also save your sanity if you have children under the age of 7.
5.  Always check your 3yo's wrist for the Magic Band, about every 5 minutes.  Because the one time you don't, you will have ridden 2 buses for 60 minutes with little sister screaming and when you get up to the front of the line and are counting down the seconds to plopping your tired butt in the lazy river, your angelic boy will look up at you with doe eyes and a bare wrist, and proclaim, "My band not here.  I take it off."  Then you will stand in the guest service line sweating out 10% of your body weight and praying that they will let you in and you will not have to turn your wretched family back to the bus line.  They did.  But I think Disney would be wise to make the child-size Magic Bands a bit more like LoJacks.
6.  Bring stain treater.
7.  Get those water-safe cases for your cell phones so you can locate your Sig Oth at the waterparks.

Some Father's Day Doozies

We had a pretty nice Father's Day this year.  We went strawberry picking then out to lunch at B-Dubs.  I asked the children if they could give Daddy nice restaurant behavior as part of their gift to him, and it worked for the most part!  On the way to the farm, Daddy was dancing in the car, which often makes them laugh or sometimes makes them groan. This morning, Tater begged him to stop dancing, and when he finally relented, she seriously quipped, "You should say sorry, Daddy."  Daddy also called something "nifty" and complained about song lyrics these days, so it all felt very scripted.


The Nugget was his usual interesting self, practicing his gargling/talking combo in the car.  Then he was determined to find the weirdest looking berries as well as the reddest ones.  He kept whispering to him, "Red perfection," when he found a really ripe berry. And of course, he had to use the photo opp at lunch. This kid keeps me laughing.



Spork was most delighted when we discovered that there were a few red raspberries to be had. We only had enough for one pint, which he desperately wanted to claim for himself.  He said he was going to eat four strawberries, but I think dozens more went down the hatch.  Most of Spork's time on the farm was spent wondering aloud when the tractor was going to come back for us.


Strawberries are Tater's all-time favorite fruit, so she was in strawberry heaven.  She ate a whole bucket of snap peas too, then starting playing with the bushel baskets, giving them names and taking them "shopping".
















 



Friday, June 5, 2015

Peace out, SY '14-'15

The Nugget's first day of 1st Grade.

 Nugget last day of 1st Grade - not entirely sure he wants a summer vacation.

Spork's first day in the 3's room - "nerv-i-cited" as the Nugget and Pinkie Pie would say.
Spork's last day in the 3's room.  4's room, are you ready
for Spork?!  Be afraid, be very afraid.

Tater's first day of preschool - in which I will try to refrain from pointing out the cuteness.

Tater's last day of preschool - slightly more devious at age 3 than at age 2.5.  Possibly even cuter to compensate for the deviant tendencies.
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See you later, backpacks!  Welcome back, wading pools, popsicles, swimsuits, sandals, lemonade stands, and balloon animals!





Saturday, May 30, 2015

Nonfiction

 Bike to school week 2015

Tidbits from the Nugget:

(out of the blue) "I haven't been on very many simulators."

Me:  We have a new Netflix show that I think you will like.
Nugget: Is it (Bill Nye the Science Guy) non-fiction?
Me:  Yes
N:  Yeessss!! (fist pump)

We went to a college dance exhibition this spring, which inspired and delighted the Nugget.  Their flyer included the catchy phrase, "100% chance of dance," which the Nugget has been throwing around like candy at a parade.  "100% chance of yogurt for breakfast.  100% chance of me watching Magic School Bus today. 100% chance of me not brushing my teeth."

 Tater was originally posing for this shot spread-eagle cheerleader style but since Dora panties are not appropriate blog fodder, I requested that she cross her ankles.  Spork daintily demonstrated.

Spork is doing his change of season meltdown thang.  SPD makes it hard for children to accept minor changes; it makes them uneasy and puts them more apt to go into "flight or fight" response.  I am super thankful to have found a sensory parent support group as my own personal game-changer.  It is so encouraging to hear tips and stories from other parents who have been there, plus best of all, tales from parents who slogged through the toddler/preschool years and came out the other side with healthy, happy older children who can manage and verbalize their own sensory needs. 

In the meantime, the plus side of this seasonal change for Spork is that summer makes OT easy as pie.  Spork helped Daddy move bags of sand to the garage, we spend a lot of time at the playground, and water play is de rigueur in our backyard. Spork is full of silliness, stomping feet, and questions galore.
 
Tater first day of school Sept '14

Tater last day of school May '14

Tater is very musical.  She really wants to sing with the Nugget's choir, but she will have to wait 3 years.  In the meantime, she belts out "Uptown Funk" (possibly the cutest thing ever), has made up her very own song about a garbage truck (her new fear to replace 'panzees), and to my dismay, she loves the song "Somebody" and eagerly shouts out, "Shots, shots, shots!" when it's on the radio. Proud mama moment when the 3yo is yelling for shots, oops!

Tater is super attached, extra-sticky velcro style to me lately.  I love the cuddles, but I can't say that I won't be glad when she trades in this stage for the next thing.  It's hard to be so in demand sometimes ;)

Tater has also discovered the joy of art.  She used to just do run-by scribbles, and art time was really just an excuse to nibble play-doh and chomp on markers.  Now she proudly scrawls in a rainbow of hues and declares who the picture is for.  "This one is going to be beautiful.  I'm going to give it to Daddy."

We've finally figured out how to redirect Tater.  She has a big sense of humor and requires a lot of silliness to pull her out of foul moods.  I have some silly activities for her next airplane trip and will be honing my fake accents so her lovies, seat belt, and tray table can talk to her.  She often commands, "Fork/book/car, talk!" when she wants me to give it a silly voice.  She then proceeds to ask it what it would like to eat and where is it going to poop.  Priorities, man.

And what is this mama doing now that school is out?  My friend/co-teacher L and I will be offering some enrichment babysitting days.  I will be working on curriculum planning and student recruitment for our preschool next year.  I will be lugging our cooler to the playground on sunny days and will be covered in paint, playdoh and Pinterest projects on rainy days.  I will be holding down the fort while Hubby goes to work conferences.  I will be packing tons of suitcases for summer travel.  I will be teaching the Nugget the art of catching fireflies. I will be drinking too many iced coffees.  Here's to a balmy, magical, lazy summer!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Beach Time

Every week since February, Tater has been asking to go to the beach.  Today, her dreams became reality.


These angelic smiles belie the fact that their mama was losing her sanity, trying to pack meals, snacks, beverages, swimwear, water toys, sand toys, and shower supplies, and sun protection for 5, while trying to keep the excited children from playing in traffic and inviting the neighbors to join us.  Someone, tell me that leaving the house with three children gets easier. Lie if you must.


The boys worked together on a sandcastle peacefully for about 10 minutes, which sounds like I'm complaining, but it was an achievement in my book.

 So peaceful


 Matching pineapple swimsuits, and the kids are actually happy about it.  Squee!


Here, Tater channels her inner-baby.  I was not expecting the youngest child to go through a baby-like regression, but here we are!  It is pretty cute most of the time and somehow she is still under 30 pounds, so I can indulge her a bit in those baby cuddles.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What to read to your 3 year old

Gotta make things fair, even if reading board books over and over is perhaps slightly less exciting than introducing a child to the world of chapter books!  Here are some wonderful books that Tater and Spork would like to endorse and are not painful for the adults to read.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear and The Napping House by Don and Audrey Wood.  The illustrations are gorgeous and full of humor.  The Nugget still giggles and appreciates these stories.

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola.  A wordless book, which is wonderful for the imagination.  This was the first book that the Nugget felt comfortable reading out loud to his little sibs.

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg.  My co-teacher introduced me to this gem.  It features all sorts of fun flaps and textures, but best of all, celebrates the creativity in imperfections.  If I had a time machine, I'd go back and read this to my perfectionist 6 year old self to chill her out a bit.

The Toolbox by Anne Rockwell.  Simple yet incredibly fascinating.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Tater demands humor in her reading materials, and this one has it in spades.  A pea who doesn't like to eat candy?!

Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney.  We first bought a Llama Llama book at an independent bookstore before Dewdney hit it big and were enchanted.  I find the shorty board books nothing special, but the big books are pure magic.  Dewdney illustrates in oil paintings; so much love is on each page!

Charlie the Ranch Dog series by Ree Drummond.  I am a big Pioneer Woman fan, and I was kind of worried that I wouldn't love her children's books featuring her basset hound.  I needn't have worried, they are perfect!  Plus, I get to use a Southern drawl for Charlie's voice, so double bonus.

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes.  Perspective for preschoolers.

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. A rollicking rhythm means that Daddy suggests this book often.

Happy reading!