Sunday, May 8, 2011

St. Patricks's Day Make Up

Anyone remember last St. Patrick's Day when I took the boys to story time at the library... with not a stitch of green on them?

Yeah, me either!

Well, I totally made up for it this year!

First I made some green cupcakes. I found the idea here. There is spinach hidden inside that makes them green! And the boys LOVE them. "More green cupcake!" I've made them several times since St. Patrick's Day. I started making them in the mini cupcake liners so they are the perfect size. And I love they they don't have icing... no mess! I made some personalized gift boxes, and we shared them with our neighbors.

Next, I made this counting game with magnets, milk jug lids, and a metal stove top burner cover.

And the most fun St. Patrick's Day activity... a scavenger hunt. Complete with a pot of gold at the end! Those are yellow mini M&Ms!

I made up these clues with prepositions, pictures and color words instead of the classic riddle clues. We aren't quite there yet!

I stayed up way too late setting this up, but I knew the boys would have fun!

When the boys woke up, I showed them the clue taped to their bedroom door. I read it to them and they knew exactly what to do. So into the kitchen we ran!

And then to the bathroom...

and the playroom...

the living room...

entry way...

and back to the playroom for their pots of gold! That little red vacuum really threw them for a loop a couple of clues earlier! My mistake!

Then I showed them the counting games.

And they got to open presents.

They got a Melissa and Doug tool puzzle and also a number maze.

I had gotten an email from the zoo promoting their "green" day on St. Patrick's Day. There was going to be a special conservation talk at the tiger exhibit at 10am. Kyle loves the tigers! They are the first and last animals we visit each trip. I tried my hardest to get us dressed and through the front gates before 10:00, but someone had other plans!

The boys were dressed, ready to go, and watching TV on the couch while I walked into the garage to load the stroller into the back of my car. I went to walk back inside to grab the boys and go, but the door was locked. I quickly learned that Kase can turn the dead bolt.

I tried to coax him, through the door, to turn the lock again in the other direction, but there was no getting through to him. And I was on time! Even early! It was going to be a miracle!

Kase started to freak out on the other side of the door because he could hear me, but not get to me. I walked around to the playroom window because it has a window seat and the boys are always standing up there, playing with the window locks. They were locked, along with every other window and door in our house. I knocked on the playroom window until Kyle came running in there. He was very excited about the game we were playing and even listened to my instructions to climb up on the window seat and unlock the window. Flip! First lock open. He pried the other one about half way, but lost interest after about 5 minutes.

Finally, I walked across the street with my tail between my legs, and asked our neighbor, Amy, if I could borrow her phone to free my children from our house. While Jason drove home from work, Amy tried to help me bribe Kyle with candy to unlock the window. Kyle was not interested. The candy did come in handy though... after Jason got home and let us in, we found a very distraught Kase. The candy was the only thing able to calm him down. I decided that he deserved the entire box after that ordeal.

I could have (should have) taken all of that as a sign that we should not have gone to the zoo and stayed home instead, but I didn't! And we even made it in time for the tail (pun intended) end of the tiger talk.

I think the tiger gods rewarded me for all my hard work that morning. I have never seen the tigers so active. The zoo keepers must have put something special in their breakfast!

The zoo was packed with tons of school groups, so we didn't stay all that long, but the boys had a great time.

This St. Patrick's Day was super fun. I love getting to do fun stuff like this. And I know the boys will probably not even remember the hard work I put into it, but maybe one day they will read this and know how lucky I am to have them!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Little Change of Scenery

We have been blessed with such nice weather lately, and the boys have spent lots of time outside. We have a great, fenced in, back yard so the boys can play outside by themselves. There are several windows along the back of the house so I am able to keep a close eye on them and still get some things done inside.

For some reason (to make my life difficult), the boys would rather play in the front yard. It is not a big deal because we live on a cul-de-sac, with very little traffic, and there are side walks. But when they are playing in the front yard and I'm home alone with them, I can't run inside and leave them alone with the street just a few steps away. It just makes me too nervous. At some point they will be old enough, but not now.

So, I'm always trying to get them in the back yard, and they are always trying to roam free in the front yard. One Tuesday night, when Jason was out with friends and they boys were being super cranky, I announced that we were going to eat our dinner in the front yard. Cheers all around! So I pulled the picnic table around and brought out their plates and cups and they ate their dinner in the front yard. Except when I pulled out a camp chair to sit on while I watched them eat, they decided they needed their camp chairs as well. I obliged... wasn't worth an argument!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Our Spring Break Staycation

The first couple of weeks of March were Spring Break for the schools around Waco. That means the zoo, children's museum, bounce place, library, parks, and any other place I would want to take the boys were super crowded with kids out of school. So we didn't leave the house much. Luckily, the weather was pretty nice outside and I was able to throw together some new activities for us to do inside.

I found some random magnetic strips that I had saved in the office and stuck them to the top of these lids that I had collected. The boys had fun moving them from one cookie sheet to another. And we also talked about what color each lid was, which ones were smaller, and which ones were bigger.

I also pulled out a package of pom poms that I picked up at the Target One Spot. I gave the boys two clothes pins and an empty egg carton. They picked up the pom poms with the clothes pins and placed them in the egg carton as we practices counting them. The clothes pins were a little difficult for them to use and kept falling apart (they were the cheap ones). I'm going to look for either some really big plastic tweezers or some small tongs for them to use.

And my last idea... I made several cards out of some scrapbook paper, pulled out some extra envelopes, and gave the boys some of those return address labels that you get in the mail. The boys put together some letters and then sent them out in their mailbox.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Potty Time

I just have to document this! On March 9, 2011 Kase Coats used the potty!

I have not started potty training yet, but every once in a while Kase takes off his diaper and wants to sit on the potty. I left him sitting in the living room and went into the kitchen to work on dinner. When I checked on him a few minutes later, there was pee in the potty. I made a huge deal about it, but Kase didn't think it was all that cool.