Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bike riding / planting seeds / Charline

Yesterday was a nice day and I decided it was time the kids learned to ride bikes w/o training wheels. I took them off and took off the pedals on Jack's bike (couldn't get them off T's bike) so they could work on balance before actually riding. That lasted 3 minutes, he was anxious to ride! I put the pedals back on and they got the hang of it in about 5 minutes and rode and rode. Thankfully we have quite a bit of pavement for them to practice since we don't live in a neighborhood that would have sidewalks. They now LOVE riding their bikes and Taylor's excited about riding her bike w/o all the noise the training wheels make!

Monday, we planted seeds in some peat pellets to try and grow seedlings for our attempt at a garden. Today, the broccoli has sprouts! The onions and pumpkins are starting to peek through too! I also am trying to get sweet potatoes to sprout by putting them in a glass of water. So with riding bikes, attempting to grow food, our new duck, chick, our tadpole and our many (wild!) birds at our feeders, we're having a lot of fun this spring!!

Charline loves to try on shoes, it is so funny. Whether they are her shoes, or anyone else's!

Today is different that yesterday, weather-wise. Yesterday was sunny, upper 60's or so. Today, it has rained all day, is windy and cold (45 but feels like 37)! The kids are out riding their bikes, with their winter coats/gloves on, though. Charline LOVES to be outside. She tries every chance she gets, so I put on her lined rain coat (she already has on 2 layers under that), her winter hat and gloves and she's out enjoying the cold/windy weather. Actually enjoying it.
This weather is so crazy. 70's to 40's/snow/ice to upper 60's to 40's/rain/wind. Thankfully the kids enjoy just about any weather, especially Charline.

Charline also LOVES bath time. She loves water. She loves water being splashed on her face. She'll be snorkeling before we know it!

She was truly meant to be a part of this family :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Vegetarian


Sunday night Jack comes in wondering what 'butcher' means. I asked him where he heard it--making sure it wasn't used inappropriately in a Star Wars/Batman show. He heard it from daddy about butchering animals to eat them. We talked about it, how we get out meat from cows (they are butchered) and chickens/turkeys, how they're killed, then plucked of all of their feathers. At this point, Taylor deems herself a vegetarian. She did this a few months ago and lasted a day, so I didn't think much of it.
Monday, we went out for Mexican. Nate and kids usually split chicken/steak fajitas. Not Taylor! She ordered rice and beans, but finished my tostada (w/beans). Tuesday, we ran through Arby's for lunch. Again I forgot, but she refused to eat the sandwich. I always order the turkey/swiss w/o turkey. She ordered the same, but w/no onions and reg. mustard not spicy mustard. Today we made a new crock-pot soup that called for chicken stock, but I used vegetable stock (she protested the chicken stock), but she's learning how to modify foods to fit a vegetarian lifestyle. She seems pretty determined this time to stick it out, so we'll see. I've ordered a couple of books, however, on raising a vegetarian child, to make sure she is getting what she needs.

Yesterday, we went to the Discovery Center. I tried to get there early (9:30am) to beat the Spring Break crowd to no avail. 2 bus loads kids werer there! We still enjoyed it. There is a room for 5 and under, so we went there first. There was a really neat spot with magnetic gears and info. about them. So neat. Of course, that is what Jack loves! So we learned about gear ratios and how it takes some kind of energy (human, electricity, wind, water, etc) to move the gears. When we got home, he got out his bike and figured out the gear ratio.
They also had a demonstration on sound which was neat because we learned about the hear/sound last year! They really enjoyed that and even participated in making some music with different lengths of pipe. We re-learned all about vibrations/sound.
Jack is also into the human body, and they had a real human skeleton and a real human brain on display. He thought that was pretty neat! We stayed over 2 hours, but had to leave at noon b/c we were already passed Charline's nap time, plus it was lunch-time. We missed two big areas, so we're excited to back sooner than later. I got 'season' passes last year, but didn't use them that much, but I think we'll use them more now. Charline did great, so I'm not worried about her either, except that we have to work around nap/meal times.

I also just ordered Season Passes to Silver Dollar City and White Water for this year, so hopefully we'll use those a lot too. I'm slightly nervous about taking all 3 by myself, but I think it will be fine. Charline loves her stroller, but also like to walk, so that is nice.

Charline is 100% walking now. I was always concerned that it would be harder to keep track of her, but actually it has made things easier. She's more independent which she likes, actually. She's not quite as clingy and is free to explore most of the house. We have a gate at the top of the stairs and she just roams and explores. The only room that's not suited for her is the classroom, so I'll have to re-do that soon. We've moved school into the kitchen for now so she can explore the kitchen (tupperware, plastic plates, oven mitts) instead of getting into the classroom stuff while we're doing school. Plus, the kids' desks are low enough for her to grab their papers and bug the kids. It's working for now to have the kids at the kitchen table.

Anyway, gotta go.


Sunday, March 21, 2010


Where to begin??!!

It has been a long time since I've posted and a lot has happened.

Charline has been home 2 months today. She has grown and changed so much in that time, it is still astounding! When she came home she weighed 14lbs, was incredibly weak and could only sit up for about 30 seconds, then she would just fall over. Now, however, she is a normal 15month old, weighs 20lbs, and is full of energy and curiosity! She has been fully walking for about a week now which is beyond fun. She can sign for "more" and "please" which helps and she can say "up" (Uhh) which helps too. She likes to climb and do whatever big bro/sis do!

Taylor is still in her ballet class and taking piano lessons. For ballet, her teacher has asked her to help a younger class with their ballet performance. She is ecstatic. She goes to class 15 min. early now to learn their routine, then attends her class for 1hr 15min. to learn her routine. Her teacher said she would advance to Level 3 next year because she takes it seriously, she works hard and improves every week. We are so proud of her.
She is also excelling at piano. She is truly gifted and likes fast-paced music. So fun to listen to her play! She likes to see how fast she can play something, although I'll hear her teacher correct her often because she's supposed to play at a certain tempo :) She will have a piano recital in June, after her May ballet performance. It's a joy to watch her!!

Jack is still all boy. He loves to wrestle, climb, jump, and just be active. He still enjoys puzzles too! After playing baseball with Uncle Chris the other week, I learned, he's really good! He agreed to sign up for tee ball this spring.

Uncle Chris has been here 2 times since Charline has been home. We sure enjoy having him here. The kids love to play on his iPhone (I just have a boring Blackberry). This last time, he had to get his tire fixed and took both kids with him! They were only gone for 1 hour, but he said they talked him into buying them a candy bar and a pop (I even sent snacks with them!). So funny!

Friday (Mar 19) it was about 70 degrees, sunny and gorgeous. We played outside ALL day. Jack had zoo class from 1-3, so Taylor and Charline and I walked the zoo. It was packed, but still fun. We came home and played outside some more. It was soooo beautiful. It has been so dreary and cloudy that it was nice to enjoy the warmth and sun. Of course, that night it rained and by Sat. afternoon, it turned to sleet and by Sun. morning (today) it accumulated and is rainy/sleety/snowy and windy. Ugh. We are enjoying our time as a family though. Nate and Jack just put together 5 floor puzzles!

Yesterday, Nate took the kids to Orchelins (farm supply store) and bought the kids a duck and a chicken. I rallied for at least 1 chicken to have the potential for raising our own eggs. The kids love their new animals. We've had to set some rules, however, such as they can only get them out when we know about it. The duck is hilarious because it follows Taylor everywhere. She has to stay on the wood floor though (another rule). We don't let them run around the house, they do have a nice, comfy cage with a nice heat lamp, but occassionally, Taylor will let the duck follow her.

Nathan tilled a garden a couple of days ago, so hopefully we will have some type of garden this year. We usually don't have a garden because we are gone so much--at least 4 weeks at a time for vacation, but this year, we're not going anywhere. Wait, I need to clarify....the kids are I are not going anywhere :) Nathan will go photograph Tiger Sharks in April in the Carribean on a live-aboard for a week. Then he'll go to Alaska in July for 2-3 weeks for Salmon Sharks again. Normally, we'd go, but not now. St. Louis Doctor didn't think it was wise to take Charline to Florida in April (to Disney World after Nathan got back) beacause she has been so sick. The doc. didn't want to risk her getting sick and compromising her healing body. Alasksa--who wants to take a 1 year old on a 12 hour trip (that includes 2-3 flights, one of which is 5-6hours)???? Anyhow, we'll stay home for those, but will try and go on a 2-weeker in Sept. somewhere close (when all other kids are in school!!).

Well, my free time is up. Charline is napping, but the fam is hungry. Always busy. I'll try to keep updates more frequently, but it's hard.

I didn't mention school, it's going great. Kids are learning a lot and having fun doing it (most of the time!)