Our Summer 2013 Bucket List: The Seattle Great Wheel

Image

I am happy to say that we knocked off our first big item on our family summer bucket list!  We made a trip to Seattle and took a ride on The Seattle Great Wheel ( http://seattlegreatwheel.com ).  Our son was a little unsure about being up so high and said he was afraid but once we were standing in line he was excited that we were going to be riding the ferris wheel!  I went ahead and bought our tickets online, had them printed, and once we arrived all we needed was our free pass for the baby.  Everything worked perfectly, we didn’t have to wait in line at the ticket booth and our wait to get in a gondola was also short.  It was a very fun experience and I am glad that my son enjoyed being up so high.  We had a beautiful view of the water front and Puget Sound even though it was overcast – as usual!

Image

I took the first picture while waiting in line.  Then I had to start dancing to keep our baby girl happy since I had her in the Ergo and she was fussy.  Thankfully, there was music playing through speakers while we waited to board a gondola!  Below was our view of the harbor – beautiful!

Image

After the ride we had lunch and decided to visit the Fremont Troll under the bridge in Fremont ( http://fremont.com ).  Even though this is not on our bucket list, we figured we would take advantage since we were already close to Fremont.  It took a few minutes for our son to warm up to the giant Troll under the bridge but once he did he was ready to climb!  This is a fun spot to stop with kids!

Image

Our Summer of Fun: Science Week

So, this summer I decided that I can really do all of the fun projects that I have been wanting to do with my son.  He is no longer a little kid – he’s a FOUR-YEAR-OLD.  Okay?  This means, we can do science experiments, make messes, build stuff, grow stuff, climb stuff, and who knows what else!  And really, really enjoy doing all of this together!  It is still fun to do things with your toddlers, but as your kids grow, it just becomes more exciting!  Here is what we have done so far.  Some of these ideas were borrowed from Pinterest (links included), some from his book of “101 Great Science Experiments” by Neil Ardley, and some of the ideas were mine.  All of the pictures are ours!  Enjoy!

Science Week:

For our Science Week, we learned about water tension, the reaction between baking soda and vinegar, spent a morning at the Children’s Hands on Museum in Olympia, WA ( http://www.hocm.org ), mixed various liquids, and experimented with balance using an egg, toilet paper roll, pie tin, and cup of water.  I grabbed one of my husband’s white button down shirts and a pair of goggles we happened to have and an old notebook that hadn’t been used.  This became a lab coat, protective eyewear – not that we did anything dangerous – and our lab notebook.  It’s just fun to look the part while you play!  Here we go!

Baking soda and vinegar; water, pepper, soap.

What you need:  Baking soda, vinegar, water, pepper, soap, and jars.

Above:  We started small.  First, we sprinkled pepper on water in multiple jars and then dropped a little bit of soap into the peppered water.  It may not seem like much but for a little guy it’s amazing watching the soap make the pepper “run away” to the edges of the bottle or fall to the bottom.  We did this multiple times and every time was a hit.  Since he’s a little bigger and learning to write, we brought out the “Science Notebook” and wrote down words that we used for the experiment and little descriptions.

For the baking soda and vinegar, we started with multiple small jars that had baking soda in them and added the vinegar.  Each one bubbled up – which was “awesome”!  We did the big jars a few times too.  After we had fun just making a mess of things we decided to fill more jars with baking soda and vinegar.  Only the last few times we also included descriptions in the science book about what was going on.  It “bubbled” and was “white” and also made a “fizz” sound as the baking soda and vinegar reacted.

What you need:  Nothing!  Get out of the house and have fun checking out the museum! (Above: air funnels and water pressure tubes.)

Above:  Fun at the Children’s Museum ( http://www.hocm.org ).  It’s always fun to go just to play and explore.  But THIS week we took our time and really read everything that we needed to do at various stations so that we could get the most out of our fun and learning.  It was especially fun watching the water build up pressure and then shoot the plastic balls out of the spout at the top.  We also experimented a little with the wind tunnels by first leaving the cones to see if they would float (they didn’t) and then adding slits and folding the paper back to expand the surface.  Learning can be so much fun!  Especially when you get to see it in action!

What you need:  RAW egg (I know!), toilet paper tube, pie tin, cup of water, and lots of faith.

Above:  Okay, so this one I found on Pinterest and HAD to try.  I’ll admit, I was a little nervous that I would end up with raw egg on the walkway but we tested it and had a lot of fun with it!  Here is the link provided by Pinterest: http://www.ordinarylifemagic.com/2010/01/newtons-first-with-raw-eggs.html

You need a raw egg, toilet paper roll, pie tin, and a cup of water.  Place the pie tin on top of the cup of water, stand the toilet paper roll in the pie tin, and then set the egg at the top of the toilet paper roll.  Check to make sure they are aligned with the cup of water and then SMACK AWAY!  Hit the pie tin to the side and the egg will fall straight down into the water!  Definitely fun, my kiddo set this up again and again!

What you need:  Water, oil, syrup, food coloring, rocks, sticks, leaves, and lots of jars!

Above:  “See How Liquids Float and Sink” and “Find Out if Liquids Mix” – both experiments out of the “101 Great Science Experiements” book by Neil Ardley.  Boy, what a lot of fun!  If you don’t have this book or one similar to it, you should!  We filled jars with water, then added oil, and added syrup.  It was fun to see where they all landed and how they worked with each other.  We filled a jar with water first and then oil, then we added drops of food coloring.  The pictures above show the food coloring staying as a little ball in the oil but then breaking into the water.  Very fun to watch!  We also added sticks and small rocks to our syrup, water, oil jars to see where everything stopped in the mix.  A very interesting lesson in water density for small people!

There you have it!  Just a first in a series of fun and learning that will be going on in this place!  Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated!  Almost everything here can truly be found around the house and will entertain little ones – for the bigger kids, just add a notebook and it can become a mad scientist’s experiment notes!

What’s In A Sitter?

I recently had a sitter over for what I like to consider a trial run.  I found her using a web site that I have used in the past with good results and her application and profile looked pretty good!  Our first hiccup, I should have known, was when I called her phone and was told it was a wrong number.  All I did was hit re-dial since I had previously spoken with her.  I still decided to have her over for a second chance and boy was I disappointed to find that I should have left it at “wrong number.”  I have decided to share reasons I did not hire her just to give a, my, parental opinion.

Dress Appropriately:

Although you will probably be spending the evening at my house and this is a fairly relaxed job, you should still take the time to dress appropriately!  Friday evening I discovered that the sitter was wearing a tiny shirt under a half-unbuttoned larger shirt and I was able to see her belly ring.  I understand everyone has their own personality and fashion sense but you are here to take care of young children.  Dress comfortably but keep the midriff covered!  The way you dress can change my mind on whether I will hire you or not.  I want someone who presents themselves well, not someone who looks set to go to a party after sitting for my kids.

Be Involved:

If you claim in your application or in a first interview that you are comfortable watching infants and toddlers, and that you have watched infants and toddlers in the past, I expect you to be confident with infants and toddlers.  I like to have a sitter show up and spend an evening with us at home so that I can have full confidence in her and know that my son will also enjoy being around her.  I also want to know that you are ready to step in, if the baby is crying and you are right next to her pick her up.  Grab a toy to entertain her.  But DO NOT sit there and stare as the baby gets louder.  I realize that I am at home with you for the trial, but I need to know that you are comfortable handling an infant.  If you are uncomfortable with a specific age group, say so.  When I go to hand you a 4 month-old you should not recoil nervously.  Jump in with enthusiasm.

Ask Questions … Please:

This is a two way street.  I dislike when I am the only one asking the questions.  You should be interested to know what my toddler likes to do, how many ounces does the baby take and when does she eat, what is our nighttime schedule like, will the kids be fed by the time you arrive, etc.  If you are not sure of appropriate questions, ask your friends, parents, friends who are parents, or take to google.  Yep, google.  But please, ask questions so that I know you are in some way truly interested in my kids and in working with our family!

Personal Information:

I know that teenagers sometimes have difficulty getting started as sitters.  So, when we are talking, please do not tell me that you sneak around behind your parents backs.  It makes me question how much trust I can put in you and will have me constantly wondering if you are completing tasks or caring for my children the way I would like you to.  Also, if I ever have to question whether you are using drugs, you have probably shared something that should have been kept to yourself.  You should, however, share if you are involved in sports or extracurricular activities at school, discuss what you plan on majoring in if you are going to college soon, or explain why you chose to work as a baby sitter instead of at another part time job.  As a parent, I want someone who is genuinely interested in kids.

Phone and Timeliness:

And of course, the two big ones, having your phone readily available and being on time.  You should always have your phone ready so that you can contact emergency services if an accident occurs, so you can call if you are running late, or so I can get a hold of you if I need to.  The last thing I want is to call for a check in and not be able to reach you, or know that if an emergency were to occur you would not be able to contact emergency services.  And always strive to be on time!

These are my personal opinions and some of the things I consider when looking for a potential sitter.  Remember, I am asking you to be in our home and am trusting you with the people who matter most in my life!

I Suggest You Read This Book, Then Feel Free to Give Me A Summary

I have always enjoyed reading but, like every other parent cleaning in pajamas while waiting for the call to jump up and make that next peanut butter and jelly, I have learned that my time is limited.  Very limited.  Between working full time and coming home to my two kiddos and two pups, I am noticing my reading time has been chucked out the window.  Or rather, it has been dumped down the diaper pail.  My current challenge:  Make it to page 10 of “My Grandfather’s Blessings” by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. by the end of the month.  You read that right – page 10, end of month.  Also notice I said “challenge” and not “goal”.  My goal is to complete the book someday.  The challenge is actually making it to page 10.  Then 20.  And so on.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love my children and am absolutely enamored with my life.  But let’s get real.  When we chose to have kids I am pretty sure we all imagined we would be masters of order.  Completely in-control baby and toddler whisperers who would sit back for an hour of uninterrupted reading and relaxation time since the kids are on the same nap schedule and they actually nap.  At least, that is how it was going to work in my head.  The “ha-ha, joke is on you” set in a little later as my beloved book time became filled with important parenthood lessons like how-to-cook-with-one-arm, learn-about-every-super-hero-possibly-known-to-man, and always-have-the-clean-diaper-ready-to-go.  What did I do before these kiddos existed?  And did I really dedicate that much time to reading?  I have no idea.  Parenthood seems to have erased all memories of the time before kids for me.  I now use that extra space to worry and wonder.  Did I pack extra diapers?  Where are the snacks?  Should we pay the $45 to ship Tunnah-Punnah the teddybear home from the hotel now or pay for therapy later on?  And, do we still have books not related to fairy tales or dinosaurs going to school in this house?  The answer: YES!  And I have rediscovered them.  Now, I just need to rediscover what it is like to sit and read more than a few paragraphs at a time.

In the little time I have had to flip through and read a few pages of this book, I have gathered the grandfather was a very wise and loving man.  I am not asking to replace any of my kid’s time with reading.  I realize it is good to have my own time now and then, and when I get it I will fill it with the goodness of books.  If you happen to read this book before I do, please feel free to give me a summary.  It may be a while before I get to the end.  I just want to get to page 10 first.

(I am in no way affiliated with the book or author other than the book is sitting on my table waiting to be read.)

The Title of My Blog: Yes, I Love You Too

  It was taking a while for me to think of what I would title this blog.  I have to admit, I am still unsure exactly what I plan to blog about but realized creating the blog in the first place would probably be the hardest part.  So, here I sat. Pondering what phrase would be most catchy, creative, and unused.  Everything I came up with produced a little red “X” that screamed “everyone else has already thought of that!  It’s taken!”  Really?  How many people could have possibly thought of “Have a Cup of Coffee” for a blog title?  Apparently many.  Silly me for momentarily forgetting that coffee is probably a large part of almost every American’s morning routine.  And that more than one person considered the title would be an inviting one.  Yes.  Come have a hot cup of coffee while you read my blog.  Isn’t this nice?  I sat frustrated, contemplating other ways to involve “coffee” in my title.  

  Just as I was preparing to settle on a long, complicated title for this little adventure of mine, my son ran up to the dining table and told me he loves me.  It did not register since I was still trying to figure out what catchy word might rhyme with coffee.  Toffee.  Cough-ee.  Maybe a blog about caffeine, sweets, and cold remedies?  I must have given a grunt or nod of acknowledgement because he quickly decided I was a lost cause.  Just before running off, my sweet guy graciously answered for me.  “Oh.  You love me too.”  I smiled.  No matter how caught up I get in the world I know he will always love me and I will always love him.  He is the silliest and sweetest little guy I know.  I still have much to learn and he is constantly teaching me.  Everyone deserves to hear it every day they are alive on this earth.  Yes, I love you too.

 

I plan to blog whatever comes to mind, my new discoveries in my every day, and about interests I am certain others will enjoy.  There will also be plenty of silliness throughout by my four year-old co-blogger.  I am a mom.  Every day is an adventure!  Comments and suggestions are appreciated!