Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Focus: Hercules

Hercules continues to discover new things. Although we haven't been outside in awhile due to the ridiculously hot weather, it's still one of his favorites. He likes running around with the bubble accessories.

He also really likes electronic stuff. Sometimes he gets hold of O'Malley's "laptop". It makes him happy.

The need for sleep hits him at odd times and he just gives in. It's funny to come across him asleep in a corner somewhere. As long as he can find a doll blanket to snuggle up with, he's golden.

He cannot open the refrigerator door yet, but his partner in crime Tigger can. So Hercules will do this funny song and rain dance thing outside the fridge until Tigger comes and opens it. Then they both climb in and do what they can to wreak havoc on my food. They're getting very sneaky about it too- they always wait until Kanga is in the living room feeding or diapering a baby, and I am sitting on the floor surrounded by big kids building block towers or reading books. They're with me one minute, and all of a sudden they flee the playroom to dive into the fridge. By the time I can untangle myself from what I'm doing, they're climbing up the shelves so their heads touch the ceiling. Good times. Yesterday Tigger unwrapped a stick of butter and took a bite, while Hercules busied himself munching on half a cantaloupe. Pickle relish, chocolate sauce, butter paper, and tin foil everywhere, in twenty seconds flat.

Last night I bought a fridge lock. :)

Here's a time when I caught them before the disaster. They have so much fun it's hard to be mad. Exasperated, yes, but the nonstop sensory exploration of this age will continue no matter how I feel about it, so it's much easier to just roll with it.

Besides, sometimes I get this face. Who can be angry at this face?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blue Tube, Bones, and Skin

We bought a puzzle awhile back, thinking that soon the kids would be big enough to work it. It got put away for a few months and just recently returned to the playroom. Tarzan, Aurora, and O'Malley are now LOVING it. They still need a little help with it, so I do it eight or ten times a day while we sit and talk about it and they hand me pieces.

I've never seen this brand before, but now that I'm looking it up, there's a whole set. Very cool. There's even a pregnant lady one. We have the girl layered puzzle. The bottom layer is the skeleton, then organs, muscles, skin, and clothes. It's led to so many interesting discussions and teaching them about body systems. They started out with thinking the skeleton was gross- I guess their only frame of reference for it is Halloween and gory stuff. So we talked about how everybody has bones inside and how they protect your squishy parts. :) Tarzan is excited about his skull to protect his squishy brain and goes around knocking himself on the head and yelling about his hard skull. It's pretty funny.

O'Malley's favorite is the organ layer. It shows all the main organs with the systems in different colors. You can trace each color through and see the functions. I love it. At dinner the other night he choked on his food and then told me how his food went down the blue tube to his lungs, instead of going down the green tube to his belly like it was supposed to.

We haven't talked much about muscles except to poke their biceps and talk about how muscles make you strong.

The skin layer weirded them out a bit at first too. Such the stigma on being nekkid. The puzzles are anatomically correct so we talk about how it's a girl and how everybody has skin to hold all that other stuff inside.

I love finding cool stuff like this. I never would have thought about teaching preschoolers the digestive system, but with this puzzle they really get it, on their level. It's so fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Focus: Mater

This age is just so much fun. Mater is pulling up on everything, and aside from the occasional bump or bruise, he's having a great time. He's starting to get really interested in everything the big kids do- he really wanted to make an animal collage. Real bad. :) We kept having to move the sticker pile to the opposite end of the table, and he just followed it back and forth.

He and Lady are also enjoying some table food. Usually at breakfast we give them something to do while everybody eats. Mater doesn't generally get a whole lot in his mouth, but he's getting better and loves the attempt. Lady is a little more aggressive with it- if we don't put her in a chair first she's a cereal thief. Luckily I have enough rice krispies to go around.

He doesn't really like to be still long enough to finish a bottle. If we try to hold him he squirms to get down, and if we lie him down he just flips it over his head and goes on the prowl. He's at the perfect height to chew on the windowsills and the entertainment center. So confinement is the best option- that way he's forced to stay and eat. :) Like this:

However, on this occasion, he either dropped the bottle or threw it. I'm not sure which. And that angered him. He was a man on a mission- gotta get that snack back!!

It was really fun to sit there and watch him problem solve. He kept giving me this look- aren't you going to HELP ME?!?! But he wasn't upset, and I wanted to see what he would do next. Sure enough, he leaned down far enough to grab it.

And then I helped him. :) He was so happy to have gotten it, and he would giggle when I said, "Mater! You big boy you got it!" but in between he was telling me "don't you see me using my head as a third hand? I am stuck now... please help..." So then he was perfectly happy and finished his food.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Time off For Good Behavior

Tarzan tee-teed on the potty! Woo hoo! :) We use whatever motivation works around here, and what he wanted for a reward was getting to play some Wii with O'Malley. They had a really good time!

He's Got Rhythm

If ever you are having a bad day, I would dare to say this might make you smile. We do, every time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Focus: Tarzan

Tarzan boy! Thankfully he does not swing from chandeliers or anything like that. :) When I think of him as Tarzan, I actually sing the Backyardigans Tarzan song in my head rather than the Disney one- "I'm Tarzan, I'm Tarzan, I'm Tarzan the very strong...." He's been here most of the summer and I haven't done his own post yet- but now it's his turn!

He's an extremely cheerful kiddo most of the time. In fact, even when he's instigating something he ought not to be doing, or taking something from Aurora, he's got the sunniest smile. It's hard to fuss at him because he always looks so genuinely happy- not a malicious bone in his body. Just not so much paying attention sometimes and not sure of his own strength....

I have a "Who's on First" type conversation ongoing with him. He says "me want" most of the time, and I keep trying to tell him that it's "I want". But when I say that, he says "No YOU want. Me want!" And then I say, "no, you say I want instead of me want..." So far the nuances are kind of lost on him. But he speaks way better Spanish than I do, so I guess you can't have it all when you're not even three. :)

He talked about his new monkey every day for quite awhile after our event. It made him happy. That makes me happy too.

"Look! Me on scooter board!"

I also love the way he counts- it always starts 1, 9, 6. I have a feeling there must be some important number that goes that way, maybe a phone number or something, because no matter how many times we discuss that 2 is supposed to come after 1, he never says it until after 9 and 6. Wish I knew what he was thinking when he counts, because I can tell there's a reason. I just can't figure out what it is.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Life stinks here. We are at day 35 of over 100 degrees. And it's not 101. It's more like 108 or 109. When Kanga goes out at the end of the day to start her car, the temp usually reads between 118 and 133. I actually shrieked when I saw that one. We do not live in the Sahara Desert here. This is ridiculous.

Needless to say I can't remember the last time we played outside. I put the quad stroller on the back porch tonight because I can't remember the last time we used that either and I don't see it in our near future.

The playroom used to be our garage. It has its own AC unit back there, but the insulation is not as good as the rest of the house. It's having trouble keeping up. It's fine in the mornings most of the time but by the afternoon we don't want to be in there.

I think there's something to be said for lying on the tile floor and panting like a dog. I can see now why they do it.

I also think there's going to be a water day coming up very soon, even if I have to flood my kitchen and do it inside. The thought of going out right now gives me hives, even if sprinklers are involved.

Did I mention it's hot?