30 days of Pinterest: day 5

        We're about 10 days into our activities now-I just somehow don't seem to find the time to blog it all right away. (Ok, let's be honest-usually if I could find the time, I take a nap instead. We're still in The Fog, here, people.) Usually, I pick out activities to do the night before, or a few days in advance; but this day,  I didn't have anything planned-so after breakfast, I grabbed our ipad and let Pax help me pick out an activity.(He knows all about Pinterest- he likes to look at the birthday cakes :) He saw this pin and jumped on it..mainly because it involved freezing things and then trying to get them back out again. He chose four of his cars, we filled up some tupperware with water, and he dropped them in. The hardest part about this activity was getting him to keep the freezer closed long enough for the water to freeze! After his rest time, while the littler two were still asleep, we popped 'em out of their molds and I let him have at it. First, I gave him a squirt gun-that lasted all of 3 minutes, maybe, before he came in for a knife...it was taking too long. The knife didn't last much longer. Still taking too long. So he resorted to throwing the block of ice down on the concrete-which was highly effective. And fast.
....enjoying the ice. Hey, it was 100 degrees out-we'll take ice wherever we can get it! 



I was snuggling Pax in bed tonight as Adam snuggled Blythe (they share a room). All of a sudden, Adam sniffed. "oh, honey, did you poop?" B:"no" Adam:"are you sure?" B:"yes, I did. Could you change me?" (climbing out of bed) "I'll get a diaper," I just started to laugh...I'm pretty sure if you can talk that well,you should be pooping on the potty. And then my biggest son and I had a conversation about how Jesus "squumped" hell (his word, not mine) and crashed it to an alien planet. Did you know there are dragons there with stinky breath? Yeah, me neither. I love bedtime.


30 days of Pinterest: day 4

PLAYDOUGH!! My kids are totally into the stuff right now; more so than they have ever been that I can remember. It helped that when Grammy was here, she bought some new stuff...so they've been going to town with it. And mixing it up until it's all pretty much brown, and getting dried out. Anyone notice how not very long the stuff from the store lasts? Or am I just inept at playdough-storage? Either way, it was time for some newer stuff. I've made playdough before, of course; I worked in a preschool for 3 years, and I have a degree in Elementary Ed. Pretty sure it was on my finals...Playdough-Making 101(although apparently not storage). But I'd found a new recipe via my sis-in-law on Pinterest I wanted to try out; so-we did. It's one you actually have to cook, but it's still super easy to make. 

                        Cooked Playdough:
1 C. white flour
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp cream of tarter
2 Tbsp. oil (I used olive because that's what I have)
1 C. warm water
1 3 oz pack of Jello OR food coloring. I used a few drops of food coloring, not having Jello, and it worked beautifully...although I imaging Jello would make it smell fantastic! I let Pax pick the color-blue. Go figure! Although really it ended up being green.
directions: mix all ingredients together in a skillet or pot. Turn burner on med/low and continue to stir until playdough forms a soft ball; 10-15 minutes. Remove to tin foil and let cool; then knead a few times and let the littles have at it!
While the first batch of playdough was cooling, we mixed up another batch that required no cooking...I got the recipe out of this book, which my mom gave me when I had Pax. She had it when she had a playgroup/ daycare in our home when I was small, and it has lots of fun ideas in it! Books...the "old" Pinterest :)

 This dough recipe was almost identical, except instead of cream of tarter it used a cup of salt. The kids both helped with this one, thus the lack of photos-we had to knead it with our hands. Fun, but messy! Especially when they kept shaking off the sticky dough onto the floor...but then they had a blast with their "new" playdough! Pax likes to make all kinds of tracks in his dough, or dinosaur fossils, or hidden treasures...Blythe kept saying she was "makin' a snowman!". I love, love, love watching their imaginations come out in different ways.

 Then Pax gave up on the second kind of dough-it's much harder to mold than regular playdough. Not the favorite, although they're still using it. The first batch, however, is fantastic-soft and easily managed-more so than the store-bought stuff- and they both loved it. The next morning before breakfast, they ran to get it out and started cutting out shapes with cookies cutters, making snakes and "food", and doing lots more things than they'd done with either kind of dough before. Totally fun! They liked it so much we made a second batch the next day-B choose purple this time (no surprise there). So far, it lasts well in a plastic ziploc. I keep it in our "toy cupboard" on a shelf where they can reach it-I like that they can get it out whenever the mood strikes and start creating. Even if I do have to sweep every.time. they play with it. They're pretty good about cleaning up their messes when they're done, usually...and this is just a picture of what Pax chose to do while we waited for the "good" playdough to cool. His quiz cards...kinda like brainquest, only different.


30 days of Pinterest: day 3

Another day, another activity! Pintivity? Hmmm...We actually did this one Mother's Day afternoon...sometimes I save the activity for after naps, so they have something to do (besides bugging each other) during that witching hour while I make dinner, feed baby, etc...not that I made dinner this night. I mean, my children got fed, I just didn't cook. Hey, it was Mother's Day!
 One of the things I'm lovin' about this is how easy it can be-lots of the things I've pinned use ingredients I always have on hand. Like this one-vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. Check. (except Adam had to get the food coloring)
Mad scientists...they sucked the color up into a couple of medicine syringes I had on hand (I'd like to find some small bulb syringes for next time-Pax could control his easily, but B's shot out and exploded each time...spectacular!) We did talk a little bit about why the baking soda and vinegar fizzed like that, too..fun! And they experimented with mixing the colors together in beautiful eruptions on their baking-soda plates. Educational! Colorful! Success!! (Sorry. The teacher in me can't help it, sometimes-gotta sneak a little educational value in there!)

I tend to show them the basic way to do an activity, and then let them go. Although B needed help with this one-she didn't quite have the coordination to suck the solution up into the syringe (another reason for the bulb syringes next time!). After a while I (or Adam and I, this time) back off and just see what happens...which means watching Pax experiment with the experiment, if it's something like this. I'm ok with messiness, as long as it's not thrown at the walls or something, and I think it's good for his little brain to see what else he can come up with. Which, this time, meant pouring alllll the cups of vinegar solution onto the plate of baking soda and watching it fizz...like the tar pits :) Of course, the biggest judge of an activities' success is the kiddos. Pax asked if we could do it again...and we will!
***side note** all you wonderful friends who've told me you love this idea and want to do it, too...c'mon!! And keep a camera handy and blog it, so I can see what you're doing with kids. And, you know, steal your ideas for more fun times :)


30 days of Pinterest: day 2

The kids LOVED the moon sand, needless to say. Pax asked the next day if we could make it again...which we couldn't because I didn't have any more baby oil. BUT I told him I had another fun activity to do and that we would make the "sand" again another day. He was good with that.  So, after Blaise's doctor's appointment (he was 8lbs. 10 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long...growing fast!! My biggest baby yet, seeing as the other two were in maybe the 5th percentile and he's in the 25th...and just had another growth spurt the past 2 days. Seriously, he looks so huge to me now. Can't imagine giving birth to a baby that big!), we headed to the #2 park (which used to be the #1 park because it's closer, but is now the #2 park because he likes the other one better. Logic, folks.) and started the hunt. This is what I did early that morning, after breakfast and a little quite time...see, there are advantages to 5am feedings! Pax was all over it and ran around like crazy collecting our "treasures"; B ran after him for a couple of minutes, then went to play. I would've done the hunt with them (original plan), but the little dude wanted to eat. I'm good, but I'm not that good. That's also why this is the only picture of the hunt I got...it's Pax dragging a giant tree branch over. He found it for his "Furry" item.
We're still working on that...but the good news is, we'll have lots of time to practice because this is an easy one to switch up and re-use! He loved it, and I think B will too if I do it with them next time. I'd also planned to collect the things, bring them home, and paste them onto some paper or something...maybe next time. I'm really loving this-it's a simple way to give my kids a fun activity each day that is-to them at least-new and exciting. And I LOVE watching their explorations and joy! And I made a new Pinterest board just for the things we do for this (I'm sure it'll grow beyond that, eventually) so I know which ones we've done and liked, as well as letting the kiddos pick out a few they think look like fun for later-which Pax did this morning. Love that I can organize my organization....online, at least :)


30 days of Pinterest.

Who doesn't know about Pinterest at this point? hands? if you don't, go check it out...it's the solution to the never-ending ohh-I-really-liked-that-idea-now-where-did-I-see-it?? that is my creative but not always so organized brain. I love it. I don't even remember who or when or why I found it; I just know it started about the same time as our move to the Valley and I've been pinning ever since. I've actually tried/made a lot of the things I've pinned, with varied degrees of success-but as I looked at my "kiddos" board today, I realized 2 things: a) I have close to 200 fun, easy-ish, or educational things pinned on that board alone and b) if we did  one of those things every day this summer I would be Super Fun Mom, for sure. And guess what? I'm gonna do it. Maybe not every day, but at least 3 or so days a week. And I'm gonna blog about it, so in 5 years from now I remember the fun-ness I had with my big kids our first long, hot summer in Phoenix while my brain was still in the newborn fog. I'm going for 30 days of Pinterest activities to start...don't think it'll be too hard. Most of the stuff I've pinned requires minimal investment, although there are some biggies in there, too.
We started off with a (super easy) bang:
Moon Sand!!
I'd post to the original pin, but the original pin didn't go anywhere...it just gave the recipe:
8 cups flour
1 cup baby oil

 mixin' it up...this is when everyone was still happy, before I ran upstairs to look for more oil and Pax tried to play with it (I'd told him to wait) and Blythe told him not to and hit him with a cup (she's pretty sure she's his boss) and Pax, well, didn't like that (he's the big brother, after all) and bit her instead. Yeah, this picture was before all that. Once we took it outside to play, however, they were loving each other again. And the Moon Sand.
 they really, really loved the Moon Sand. It's soft and sticks together kinda like regular sand when wet-the more they played, the more it stuck together. And it's cleaner than the mud they usually play with, although Adam recommends not using water to clean it up. Keeping that in mind for next time...because there will be a next time. Pinterest WIN!

....and I didn't see my son inside for at least an hour, which is always good on a beautiful day! I just ignored it when the pool got filled up and the clothes got stripped off and the Moon Sand got turned to Moon Mud. Gotta pick your battles, people.


Daddy brain

We went to the park tonight..after we fed our kids ice cream for dinner. ( good parents,eh? I promise we had a good reason) It was a beautiful evening, at least 85 at 5pm. I hearded the 2 big kids over to the park to finish their cones and play, hauling the big giant mama-bag and counting on my husband to bring along our smallest child. Adam was busy fiddling around by Blythe's carseat for a few minutes (probably cleaning up ice cream...), and then headed towar us. As he came down the hill, I noticed he was...missing something. Me:"missing something??" He nods emphatically, turns abrubtly, and heads back to the car..... And grabs the keys off the roof. He shakes them at me as he starts back down the hill. Me:"uh..." (the husband shakes the keys at me again in a "yup I got 'em! We're good!" kinda way) Me:".....the BABY?!?" Adam:"Ah!! That was SO not on my radar." Oh, the perils of being the 3rd child... Also, I think my husband needs more sleep.

Cinco de Mayo: one month.