Eggs and Easter! And some candy….

Since we worked it out perfectly to where E week would coincide with Easter, we were able to dye eggs on Friday.

I’ll be honest in that I’m a little sad we didn’t do a small batch by ourselves at home. O loved doing it last year but with already doing it once, I just didn’t see the need. Especially since we don’t hide real eggs. Oh well, there is always next year. And then I won’t have to worry about M possibly drinking the dyed water. He isn’t too much of an oral kid but when he wants water he is quite persistent.

Prior to the egg dying madness the kids sat outside and chatted.

And then it began! Since we were at D’s (mom’s) house we had to be extra careful. We didn’t want to take a chance on things breaking or staining or any of that so it wasn’t quite as fun and crazy as any of us would have liked (last year I let O do all the dying by herself) but it was still good. Next year will be even better.

Yes, that shirt is mostly white. Yes, I know that dye will stain. I wasn’t thinking properly so shush. 

After all of that we made nests for our eggs. We might have made them first but I don’t remember. All I know is that it didn’t work quite as we had hoped. We had to use a crazy amount of glue. I mean, D and I were just pouring it over the sticks hoping something would dry correctly. And it took a good 24+ hours to dry. Seriously. But they are cute!

The weekend was full with two different Easter celebrations. Saturday D held hers with a great egg hunt and BBQ. She was totally awesome and put together mini baskets for all the kids that attended. There were little bug magnifying glasses, stickers, tattoos (for O), some colorful goldfish crackers (for the addicted M) plus other things I can’t remember now.

O had to use her magnifying glass to find the eggs. So funny!

 O checking out her stash. The eggs were filled with stickers, colorful goldfish and the big ones had mini playdoh’s and chalk!
The goldfish was the best part. The kids all considered it candy and loved every piece. 

Then the bubbles were turned on and everyone went nuts.

Definitely an awesome time. Sunday was a yearly tradition with family and friends and the kids got to go on another egg hunt where they collected way too much candy. Luckily, they are still young enough to where I can hide the candy later and they don’t even notice the next day. I have used it as a bribing tool the past couple days but most of it is going to my dad this weekend. I do not need that crap in my house (because I’ll eat it).

Just as a note, I decided to take this week off. The hubby is on Spring Break and we have been out a lot so it didn’t make sense to try to cram in F lessons. Works out best for D too as she is moving this week. So we’ll start back up next week. Until then I’ll probably share a few fun things we have done but otherwise, be back next week with LOTS of great activities.

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Eagles and Elephants

Sorry for such a long lapse in writing, it has been crazy busy. I’ll just start where we left off in E week. But first…

Check out the raccoon that decided to come say hi while O was in her class! He (she?) came right up a few feet away and sniffed around for a few minutes before meandering off. I always forget how big they are. Aren’t these guys supposed to be more nocturnal?? I wish O could have seen him, M didn’t care much.

Wednesday we made hand print eagles and elephant masks. Lots of fun! Although M wasn’t too interested in much of it for some reason.

We painted our paper plates first for the elephant masks. Really, only O wanted to paint. The boys just played outside so we moms painted for them.

While the paint dried we made our eagles. The kids love to trace their hands so this was a hit all around. We were even able to get them all involved in gluing the parts together.

Being silly with the eagle beak.
K showing off his eagle. He chose the giant-sized googly eyes. Very cute, very cartoonish.
O showing off hers. After gluing everything together, M was done and just wanted to play outside.

After lunch we moved onto the elephant masks. O’s came out awesome with lots of character since she didn’t feel the need to paint it all perfectly.

They had a great time. M could not have cared less. He liked the elephants from afar. Would not try his on at all. It wasn’t all that surprising but he didn’t even really want to hold it or anything. Whatever.

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THEE Dino Dig

Dinosaurs. Dirt. Digging. Not to mention drums and dancing?

How much more awesome can one day be with all those things?

Not much more to a kid. It was a totally fun day. The dino dig was THEE best part. D has a big 2 part sand/water table. We emptied out the sand and poured in soil and then hid the dinos. I really wanted to do a puzzle. The kind that make a dinosaur skeleton. But I thought it would be too complicated especially for the boys. And then I found these! Totally perfect!

They were so excited to find them.
They used shovels and rake things.
As we thought, the boys didn’t want to get too dirty but O had no issue.
K found a dino!
More playing

We did this a few times as it didn’t take long to find the 12 dinosaurs. The boys even went back out after lunch to initiate their own dig. It was so much fun!

Later in the day we brought out all the drums and let them go to town. D’s brother lent us his steel drum and sticks which was awesome. I brought my 2 little child-size drums and D brought her bigger one. The kids had a blast making tons of noise. We tried to get them to dance too but O was the only one who wanted to.

Who doesn’t love the sound of a steel drum??
Tried out the little bongos
I think I might have a mini drummer here

The kids did so well with these activities. I love it!

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E is for Busy! Wait… what?

I know, E isn’t for busy but that’s what it seems like. This week started a new schedule. O started a “Preschool in Nature” class this week. I am super DUPER excited about it but it really throws a wrench into our week. She goes 2 days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for just 1.5 hours and it’s early so we are home by noon.

But those were the days we were getting together with D and it’s just a bit late for us to still keep those days. So that means we are getting together Wednesdays and Fridays with D. Which means we are out and busy 4 days a week.

That’s totally awesome but wow.. have you seen gas prices? And that’s kind of exhausting. Especially when the weekends are busy like last weekend was and like this weekend will be.

Speaking of…

EASTER! Which we worked perfectly with our letter weeks. Of course we are going over other things like elephants and eagles and everything else that’s relevant.

Which brings me to our first (and only so far) craft/lesson this week. I like introducing them to the letter first by having them work with the letter. Unfortunately, E doesn’t lend itself to lots of ideas for this. I decided on eggs. I have had some nice cardstock for a couple of years now and I decided it was a great time to use it. It’s shiny and pattern-y and colorful and good for sorting.

It took me a while to get a nice egg shape and cut out a bunch (I don’t have a fancy egg shape cutter) but once I did the kids went to town. I had to make the E’s pretty big so it didn’t work with the little e. More on that in a minute though.

He’s totally got this down now. But he still hates getting the glue on his hands
The final.

So we tried doing it with the little e too. But with making the e into faces with eyes and ears. M did fine. Drew his eyes and ears no problem after I made a reference for him and helped guide his hands. But O…

She is my little perfectionist. She has little patience for things like this but she wants to do them oh so badly. Every time she tried to draw the eyes she got incredibly frustrated and mad. So I sat with her to help and we were good until I used a different color for the tongue (she requested all the features of a face including cheeks… how do you draw cheeks??). Then all hell broke loose and the tantrum was EP.IC.

I seriously heard noises coming out of her I have never heard before.

That was the end of our activity filled day.

Today was much better but neither of them were interested in doing activities after class and lunch. Not even playdoh!

Tomorrow we’ll be getting together with D to make elephant masks, hand print eagles and talking about eyes, ears and elbows. It should be fun and productive.

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A Rambling of Sorts

So sorry for the lapse. It has been a bit busy. Last week I was sick but once I found myself feeling better I realized my home looked awful. And my in-laws were coming to visit on Sunday. Which means I spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning. There was also lots of house hunting. Well, apartment hunting at least. I love house hunting but it’s oh so tiring.

Since all that cleaning was done over the weekend Monday was wide open! However, the poor kids were kept up late both nights so we stayed home to the keep the naps from happening. Yes, you heard that right. I do NOT want my kids to nap. When they do, they are up until 10pm. No nap means they are out by 8pm. Oh, and did I mention the later O goes to sleep, the earlier she wakes up?

Not cool.

So yeah, no naps if I can help it.

Tuesday we went on another color hunt. This time we just went on a nature walk, no playground. I really wasn’t sure what we would find but it was very nice and peaceful. Even though M had me carry him the majority of the time. We found lots of flowers in yellow, purple, blue and orange. Plus lots of green (duh), grey, and brown (duh again). It’s a nature preserve so we couldn’t pick flowers which worked well since there were TONS of bees.

Bees make me nervous. Mainly because I have never been stung (yet) so I obviously don’t know how it feels. Plus M hasn’t been stung and the whole idea of finding out about an allergy the hard way scares the begeezuz out of me. Yes, I carry the Benadryl with me everywhere.

But it was lots of fun.

We found roly pollys
The first time letting one on their hands
Smelling the flowers that DIDN’T have bees anywhere near them
We found a small area to relax at before heading back.
Watching the bugs and sitting on the rocks

We made shape castles. They drew the weather first, with both of them deciding it should be raining at the castle.

Then they glued their shapes down. I drew a basic one to give them some reference on where to put their shapes.

They turned out pretty darn good! They made sure to use every single shape I made for them

Tuesday and Wednesday we just spent playing at our home with lots of book reading.. We counted a lot, we made macaroni C’s (since the macaroni looks like mini c’s), rode bikes, etc. etc.. We also did some drumming and dancing and lots of pretending to be dogs.

Thursday we played at D’s reviewing the letter C. We made crabs. We were supposed to use paper plates but I was out so I just used some thick card stock which worked well. I made it into another shape and size lesson.

We practiced walking like crabs and (nicely) pinching like crabs. O got a kick out of pinching noses.
K and his crab

M was totally against playing with the crabs, he just wanted to be held. And held, and held some more.

**insert eye roll here**

Can’t WAIT to tell you all about today. It was FAB.U.LOUS!

D. Dinosaurs. Dirt. Drums.

yep…

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Wherein I Worry

We are programmed to worry. We moms, that is. The day we find out we are pregnant, it begins and it will never go away.

Currently, my worry is whether what I am doing is getting through.

Are they learning?
Are they having fun?
Are they going to grow up and be evil? Because sometimes it sure seems like it.

In all reality, they are still very young and the nice thing is that most of their learning still comes from playing and they do a hell of a lot of that around here. I may think it sounds like a pair of banshees but when I look up from my cleaning or cooking or cowering, I can see that 85% of the time, they are really just playing and having a blast.

The lessons and activities are going well in terms of attention. They both seem interested and excited when we start. Sometimes they get bored so we stop, sometimes they don’t want to do something so I think of something else that they do want to do.

But when I ask them later what starts with the letter “__” a lot of times they just shout out some random letter. Sometimes they get it right (O easily got D for doughnut correct. surprise surprise) and I feel all happy and prideful and what-not.

But when I asked today (note: the letters with pictures are up on the wall) O said “U!”. Whaaa?? I’m not even sure where she came up with that. So I just told her that’s silly and asked her again giving her some hints. M decided to chime in with the right answer and O started laughing like she was just joking around. She probably was just screwing with me but these are the times that make me worry.

It’s the same thing when I ask her about the sounds. “What sound does the letter “__” make? Or whatever. She’ll call out some random letter and half the time it’s wrong.

So I am left sitting there worrying a bit and wondering if I am doing something wrong. Thankfully, I have been told by a few people (not only other moms but also elementary school teachers) that what I’m doing is just fine and they will get it when they are ready. And I know that M is still a bit young for this and boys typically figure it out later. And O has always been the physical girl, learning language stuff later.

After all this, I have convinced myself that I’m doing fine, as are they, and as long as we keep it up they will do just fine. But…

I’m still going to worry. Because that’s part of my job. And I love my job. Not really the worry part. But the whole momma and teaching part. That part is awesome.

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Our Week So Far

We did nothing very little on Monday. The kids were exhausted and just weren’t going to do well with anything. Tuesday we kicked off D week with a simple activity. I wrote D’s on a piece of construction paper in dots. I asked each of them to follow the dots and write the letters. O did really well and was very happy to do it. M needed a little help obviously but was pretty excited about it too.

Then they were asking to color so I quickly printed off a couple worksheets and let them go at it while we talked about everything.

After I cleaned all that up I asked them if they wanted to make dog ears. They love pretending to be dogs so I knew this would be a hit. They each picked their own colors and drew on the paper then I quickly cut it all out and stapled/taped it together. O loved wearing her around, M not-so-much. He’s pretty picky about when and what he allows on his head.

A little later, as a last-minute decision, we met up with D at a duck park.

K was already going at it when we got there.
O quickly joined in and M was a little indifferent for the most part. Though he loved pointing them out.
K finishing out his throw. I just love the black/white-ness of this picture along with his blond curls.

FYI – Geese poop is horrid. It was EVERYWHERE and it was big and green. There was no getting around it and it got all over their shoes. I have never encountered this at the other duck ponds we have visited so I attribute the nastiness to the geese. We will not be going back there. I’ll still to the one I know. We adults had this vision of one of the kids throwing the food so hard they would go face first onto the nastiness.

—shudder—

So that was our day. Not a terrible start, I should say.

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