Kitchen Science

The girls received a subscription to Green Kid Crafts as part of their birthday present this year and the first box arrived yesterday. This morning we sat down after doing our daily calendar time and did the first craft.

Soap Making

Step one was putting in little erasers as a prize inside each soap. Then I microwaved the soap to melt it and poured in the fine glitter. The girls stirred it all in.March 2014 216

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Lissie even let Wyatt help her stir.

Then it was time to pour it into each mold. They mostly did this themselves and did a great job.

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Alyssa

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Kylie

Then we waited for them to cool. After about 1/2 hour we had our finished project!

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I tried to convince them to save the other crafts for another day, but they were just too excited we had to do one more.

Fizzy Bath Balls

For this one we used baking soda, citric acid, one tea bag, coconut oil and an 1/8tsp water.

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The girls with the instructions and supplies.

They helped stir all the ingredients together and then packed the mixture into easter egg halves for the mold.

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Wyatt got to help me pack it down too.

The finished project for this one has to dry and harden overnight so we put them on a plate with a towel. They had a lot of fun and I think the girls will be really excited to use their new crafts the next time they take a bath.

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Published in: on March 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  

The Caridologist

First, let me give you the good news. Despite being woken up early from their nap, everyone was very well behaved at the doctor. Even Wyatt who thought sleeping for only 1/2 hour was a good idea. We went into the first room and they did the EKG. Quick and painless.

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Alyssa went first.

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Kylie and Wyatt watched.

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Kylie went next and managed an almost smile.

Then we went into another room and waited for the doctor. It was actually the same doctor who checked the girls out when I was pregnant, in the NICU and saw Kylie for her two month follow up. She had a PDA that wasn’t closed all the way at birth. Just another thing that wasn’t fully developed a month and a half early… go figure. Anyways, he didn’t remember us but I have liked him every time I have met him, and he was great with the girls.

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Alyssa was a little nervous in this room so Kylie went first.

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When it didn’t hurt Kylie, Alyssa was ready to go.

On  the other wall there actually was a kids movie playing, but I love that my kids were more interested in watching what the doctor was doing.

Now for the great news. Their hearts are perfectly fine. Just an innocent murmur that may come and go as they grow up. Nothing to give a second thought to again. Whew. That feels great.

And look what Alyssa asked how to write when we got home.

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Needless to say I am feeling very thankful today.

Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Trip To The Doctor Times Three

The kids birthdays are only 20 days apart, so this year I opted to schedule their annual checkups all together. The girls usually insist on going with Wyatt in case he is scared and needs his big sisters anyways, so this basically saved me a whole trip. In the past he hasn’t really “needed” them, but when I took him to get his pictures taken he would not even go into the room until his sisters got there, so for now I appreciate their help. Russell took the morning off to help so it was a whole family affair. I scheduled the appointment for as early as possible to help minimize the wait time. My policy is when flying or going to the doctor the earlier the better! Less chance for things to get thrown off.

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The girls got weighed, measured and had their blood pressure taken. I missed all of that because I was with Wyatt trying to get his height and weight. He was not having any part of it and I actually had to step out of the room because he kept jumping off the scale towards me. Even if I was not near him! As soon as he was done he stopped crying and we all went back to the room. The girls each made a trip to go pee and then the doctor was there. Pretty short wait this morning. Wyatt went first since he was the trouble maker and I had to hold him down, while Russell held his head, while the doctor checked him out. He was not interested in helping at all. The doctor said afterwards “any kid that can put up a fight like that must be pretty healthy.”

Kylie went next and demonstrated for the doctor how she could balance on one foot. Other questions he asked were “Can she identify at least four colors?” “Can she stack blocks at least five high?” “Can she draw a circle?” “Can she draw a stick figure with at least three body parts?” The answers were all yes, and actually the questions made me sad. Other than kids with physical or mental disabilities or delays, I really just ache thinking that there are four year olds who can’t name at least four colors.  Anyways, Kylie was not shy and did everything the doctor asked her to do, and talked to him as well. We were curious what the little light he used to look in their ears was called. An otoscope. We were right about what to call the tool they use to bump the knee. A reflex hammer. And we learned about the light he used to look at their eyes (different than the ears) called an ophthalmoscope. Russell and I love using the correct terms for things with the kids any chance we can, so this was great to learn. Alyssa went through the same routine and was really brave and helpful as well. No shots were needed and our doctor, who I really like, was supportive when we told him he were going to homeschool. I asked if we should be concerned about childhood illness that they wouldn’t be exposed to  by not going to school and he very casually said “They will still be around other kids. They will be exposed just fine.” I love not feeling like I ever have to defend our decisions to our doctor. He was also very supportive when we chose not to circumcise Wyatt.

The only other thing that happened was that he heard a heart murmur in both girls. He didn’t seem concerned at all and told us heart murmurs are extremely common in kids and they often there is nothing wrong. He is referring us to a pediatric cardiologist just to have it checked out to be sure. Kylie saw a cardiologist once when she was about two months old because she had a PDA that wasn’t closed when she was born. At that time everything looked great and we haven’t had to go back since. I am not especially concerned, but it will be nice to know everything is 100% with them soon.

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  

The Bed

I told you we were going to try a little gardening this year, and since Las Vegas soil sucks, we decided to go with the “above ground planter box” route.  Russell built the box (thanks to some plans from Sunset magazine) out of redwood last week, and this week we finally selected a spot and filled it with some nice organic soil specifically for growing vegetables.

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Wyatt in the before picture

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The girls helped move the rocks

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It’s important to stay hydrated!

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Sorry for anyone dealing with those extreme winter temperatures. But this is when it is nice to live in Las Vegas! 65 and sunny in January!

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Who else thinks this should be an ad for Carhartts?

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filling the box with soil

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It was very exciting

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We took a minute to learn about compost and the cycle of our food. The parts we couldn’t eat become food and nutrients for our plants, which we will then get to eat.

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Mixing it all up! They had so much fun trying to pick out what foods they saw in the compost.

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The girls showing off the bed in the after picture.

Published in: on January 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

A New Sprout

No, we’re not pregnant again if anyone wondered that. For any new followers, we called Wyatt “Sprout” while I was pregnant with him since we didn’t find out his gender until delivery. The sprout I am talking about is the more traditional sense of the word. We decided we are going to try out our green thumbs and see if we can grow some of the food we eat. I like it because we will be able to control more what goes into the kids’ bodies and Russell likes it because we become less dependent on others to provide for our family. The only trouble is that I stink at keeping things alive, especially in plant form. I think I both under-water, and over-water so not matter what I try I end up killing everything. I just can’t seem to find that middle ground between dehydration and drowning. Nevertheless our journey has begun. Russell is building an above ground planter bed (just one for now but hopefully many more in the future) and we started some seeds inside in egg cartons. We have had a few little guys poke through already. Currently we have one cherry tomato sprout and 3 1/2 cauliflower. I am calling one a half because it may already be on the verge of me killing it. It just isn’t as perky as the others. We also have started seeds for carrots, green beans, peas, lettuce, zucchini, and squash. I’m all about honesty over here so I will definitely try to post about our successes and failures along the way.

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If anyone has experience with this please send some tips my way. I think I’ll need all the help I can get!

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Waiting Is Never Easy

For most people, pets are like kids. In fact, your pets were probably treated like kids until you actually has kids. Then they start getting treated like pets, but even pets are part of the family and when something happens to them you feel the same kind of love and worry as you would for your children. I know because we experienced this yesterday. On Sunday night our 6 1/2 year old dachshund Rusty got hurt and was walking without using his right front leg. We don’t know for sure what exactly happened, so we gave him one night of rest to see if it was better in the morning. It wasn’t, so I got myself up and out of the house to be at the vet as early as possible. I really wanted to avoid having to take 3 small children and one hurt pup to the vet all by myself. Call me crazy. I spoke with the vet and she said they would do an x-ray to be sure but that with the way dachshunds legs are designed (crooked knees) it was most likely a sprain of his ligaments and it would get better on his own. I had to leave him at the vet to get the x-rays since Russell needed to start getting ready for work no later than 8am. So I came home and finished breakfast with the kids and got them all dressed for said dreaded trip to the vet with all of them. We got to see his x-rays but this time the doctor was not as optimistic and said that a part of his bone might actually have separated and poked through the ligament and that the only solution to that would be a surgery where they would put plates in his leg and while he would be able to walk on it without pain, he would lose the ability to bend his leg for the rest of his life. That was not the answer I was hoping for or expecting to get. They were sending his x-rays to a specialist to diagnose and we would hear back sometime later in the day. And this is where the waiting and worrying comes in. And then the moment the phone rang from the veterinarian’s office came and I was so nervous that I didn’t even want to pick up. Thankfully the specialist said that there was no reason to think he had anything more than a soft tissue sprain and that with some anti-inflammatories, lots of rest and some pain medication he would be back to running, jumping, and stomping around in a couple of weeks. Keeping him off it is a little easier said than done since he wanted to follow the kids around often to make sure they are not dropping food anywhere, but I think he is at least on the road to recovery.1815

Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Our Next Step

If you are my friend on Facebook, you may have already figured this out, but we have decided to home school our kids. This is not a forever decision and we may change our minds in the future as circumstances change, but for right now this is what we think is the best thing for our family.

There are many factors in our decision, but the greatest one is that we truly feel like home schooling will give them the most positive experience to nurture their own inquisitive desires. We want them to grow up with a love of learning, rather than the ability to memorize facts for a single test, only to forget it quickly after.

I grew up in the public school system all my life and while I don’t think I ever had a truly negative experience, there wasn’t much I can say was overwhelmingly positive either. I was fortunate enough to be in an Art Academy in high school that let me focus on the more creative side to many things, but I will confess that is wasn’t until I was in college that I really learned some things that I now consider to basic foundations. I did have some really great and passionate teachers along the way, and I am sure I had my moments that I was less than receptive to what they had to teach me, so I am not trying to blame anyone for my situation. I do feel that practicing some principles like unschooling and child-led learning I will be able to encourage and show our kids just how much cool stuff there is out there to learn.

If you are trying to make a decision about what school option is best for your family, I’d like to recommend the book Many Voices, Many Choices: Choosing Your Child’s Education by Yvonna Graham. She discuses the many options out there and the pros and cons of each.

 

Published in: on January 13, 2014 at 1:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reusable Christmas Bags

Two years ago my mother in law sent all of our Christmas presents in reusable bags that she had sewn. I immediately loved the idea! I had never seen it before and thought it was very cool. I didn’t do anything about it last year, but this year I went shopping after Christmas and picked up some fabrics at 70% off. I sewed up a bunch of bags in varying sizes, added some ribbons to tie and called it a day. There are lots of reasons I love this idea.

1- It is less wasteful! According to the EPA, household waste increases by more than 25% between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. Ouch!

2- It saves money! I won’t have to go spend all that money on wrapping paper every year now, I’ll just be able to use my cute fabric bags!

3- They are easier to store! I hate those stupid wrapping paper rolls tumbling around in my closet. I simply put all the other bags into one fabric bag and set it on a shelf. They are easy to fold and store anywhere, really.

They also feel so old fashioned. I love everything about this idea and look forward to building our collection over the years.

I am not going to include a tutorial because I didn’t take any pictures in the process of working on them, but there are tons out there am I sure. Here is a picture of some of the finished products.

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Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Just A Couple Months Late

A couple posts ago (way back in Oct!) I showed you the inspiration behind the kids’ Halloween costumes. Well, I didn’t completely flake out because I did sew the costumes, I just never posted again to show you what they looked like.

As I expected, very few people knew who they were. Except for one man who corrected his partner when he said Kylie was Cinderella. He was the only one who knew Kylie was the Blue Fairy. Quite a few people thought Wyatt was the Mad Hatter, and well, like I thought most people knew Alyssa was Pinocchio. There was one person who asked if Alyssa was Peter Pan and Kylie was Tinkerbell when we were having their pictures taken. Seriously, people? Seriously…

So here they are in all their glory!

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As a bonus we won “Best Family Theme” at our Moms of Multiples Halloween party!

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Here we are about to go trick or treating. Wyatt did not want to take a picture, he was ready to go!

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Setting out (a little fuzzy, but one of the only ones of Alyssa)

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Kylie & Wyatt

Checking out the neighbors decorations

Checking out the neighbors’ decorations

Kylie was thrilled her want actually glowed!

Kylie was thrilled her want actually glowed!

And just to mess with you, here they are trying on each others costumes.

And just to mess with you, here they are trying on each others costumes.

So… Happy Halloween everyone!!! I am seriously going to try to post this in a more timely fashion next time :)

Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Eight Years

Jan. 7, 2006.

Our wedding day.

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It seems like a whole other life ago, and really it was. The end of our individual lives and the beginning of our journey together.

Russell had just graduated college (2 weeks before) and was about the start a new job (right after we got back from our honeymoon) we were moving to a new state and leaving behind all of our family and friends. We were young kids really. But we loved each other and chose to be a family.

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We promised to love each other in the good times and bad, in sickness and heath, for richer or poorer. Thankfully we have not yet been parted by death, but I assure you we have experienced every one of the other times.  I am a firm believer that no marriage is ever perfect. We are flawed, selfish creatures. Choosing to love the other person, sometimes when you don’t even like them at the moment, is not always easy. It is a choice, everyday, to love the other person.

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A little over four years later our family doubled in size when we welcomed our twins. Parenting has brought us closer, and added so much to our marriage. Including stress. We look back now at the first years or our relationship and marriage and laugh about the things we used to argue about. They seem so trivial now.

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Tonight we’ll celebrate all our time together, and the promises we made to each other on that special day.

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I love this last picture. I am trying to give my new husband instructions on how better to hit my dad on the head with a spoon in his mouth. Ask me sometime and I’d love to explain it to you.

Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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