Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weird Science

So, this guy turned four almost two months ago.
How did this happen?!  
It wasn't that long ago that Big Sis would stiff-arm him every time he tried to walk on his own.
Of course, we celebrated the day of in style:
 fancy dinner at Jet's Pizza, cupcakes by Kroger, the whole 9 yards.

But, since I NEVER get invitations out before the Christmas break and an early January birthday party is kind of a tricky thing to plan, we went with the actual party late in January.

And, like it's done every year since the big man was born, it snowed the day of the party.
Fortunately, the weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of my wee host(s).  
(Sarah is an accomplished hostess and has lots of experience in party going, so of course she was on hand to provide the leadership and delegating skills sorely lacking in the party-planning committee.)

I thought I would have to sedate them to make it to our 2:00 start time, they were so pumped.

Let me just give you a little background on our Will-Bill:
He likes to break stuff investigate stuff.
It's partly a boy thing, but it's mostly a HIM thing. 
He's constantly assessing and predicting the cause and effect of every toy, gadget, tool, or action.  
The words we hear most often out of his mouth (second only to, "Let me tell you something.") 
are, "Daddy, where's the Super Glue?"

Since he's an up-for-anything kind of guy, and you can't plan for outdoor activities for a January party in Nashville, I thought a little Mad Science themed party would be right up his alley. 

Let's start with the gear/favors, shall we?

Eye wear is a big deal in the scientific community, whether you're trying to protect your peepers or read up on the latest advances in artificial intelligence.
 Party City came through with 10 cent glasses in fun colors.

Being Southerners, I don't think of bow ties as necessarily nerdy, but PC also had these in a rainbow of colors to accessorize our academic look.
 Plus, my little scientist looooooves himself a bow tie.
His go-to?  Black sequins.

My mom had the idea for our "lab coats," suggesting I make them out of adult t-shirts and do a little trompe l'oeil treatment for the pockets and lapels.

 These were my absolute favorite things about the party.
And don't they look scholarly?
 Unfortunately, 4-year-olds tend not to give a durn about what ensemble matches a theme and makes a good photo op, so we didn't have many takers on the lab coats.

Sarah WORKED that look, though.

Alright, so let's get to the good stuff.


First up, we made snow from Dollar Tree kits. 
Everybody got to mix their own and squish it all up. 
Nobody even tried a taste.

Next up was a Mentos-and-Diet-Coke rocket performed by Mike.

Then, we put the littles to work making glitter slime.
It's a pretty rare and exciting occurrence when an adult gives you 
free reign to squeeze every ounce of glue from the bottle.

Then we made our own personal volcanoes, even getting to choose what color lava we wanted.
I realize this looks like something other than a volcano.
The scientists took a brain break from all of this experimenting 
to feed those neurons with some pizza.
And then it was time for cake.
But, in an effort to stay true to the experimental spirit, the kids each got a plain cupcake to decorate with Pop Rocks, sprinkles, goo, icing, and googly eyes.
After bellies were filled, we tested the effects of sugar-highs 
on the bounce-ability of pre-schoolers on a trampoline.

I know my little scientist had fun, and I hope the rest of the munchkins did too!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Seuss-tastic Roundup

I knew I had a thing for Dr. Seuss, but I didn't realize just how deep and wide it ran
 until I started looking back at Seuss-related posts on the blog.  

My craft stick puppets have been getting some hits from Pinterest because Read Me Week is nigh upon us, but I think that Pin is a dead end.  So, I've rounded up all of the posts 
in one handy place for my own convenience and that of others.

So, go ahead and peruse such classics as Thing 1 and Thing 2 puppets,

 and the luscious Technicolor multisensory rainbow rice.

Perhaps Barbaloots and Truffula trees are more your speed?  I've got you covered 
with some yummy-for-the-tummy-and-eyes craftivities celebrating the Lorax.

Also, check out the edited craft stick puppets 

With a few new additions:

and even a Sneetch and the Lorax:
The hands-down favorite for my kids was (and still is) the fun-in-a-box 
 which combines all the fun of Seuss characters into one big, messy, hands-on experience.

Whether Read Me Week is a thing in your world, or you're just trying to survive 
this interminable winter with your sanity intact, 
maybe some of these can help you along in your quest, whatever it may be!

Monday, February 3, 2014

New Year, New Baby Resolutions

Ok, so I didn't do any real New Year's resolutions for 2014. 

Aaaaaaannd the ones I have formulated are a month late.  

I'm pleading the 3rd (as in "3rd Time Mom) and going ahead and setting the bar really low for this year as far as goals and accomplishments, frankly because newborns scare me.  

It's like having some tiny, malevolent dictator living with us for awhile, depriving me of sleep and demanding something from me every hour in a foreign language.  
Hence, my reasons for setting the bar about 2 inches off the ground.  

"Keeping the little people alive" could be the umbrella resolution, but I thought I'd get more specific.  You know, so I'll have some things to check off the list and a reason to give a "Yay, me!" every once in awhile. 

So, here goes, in no particular order:

1.  Don't let the baby pee in my face.

2.  Don't let him pee in his own hair. (It happens.  I may or may not have laughed.)

3.  Figure out how to put on one of these baby carrier contraptions.

4.  Actually USE said contraption.

5.  Cross parking lots with 3 kids without thinning the herd.

6.  Never go grocery shopping with all 3 kids. (Can I get an Amen, Mike Brown?)

7.  Let the big kids help.

8.  No ugly cries in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

9.  Keep it classy and sob at Target instead.

10.  Let it go.  Whatever it may be, follow the sage Tony Horton's advice and "Do your best, and forget the rest," knowing for a fact that sometimes getting the kids out of pajamas going through the Drive-thru only twice a day constitutes my "best".  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gestating and Ice Skating

If you're trying to picture what that might look like, just think of a water buffalo on stilts. 

That being said, we all went back for round 2 of ice skating this weekend 
and it was a grand success! 
 *Success = more time on foot than on rear ends and nobody crying in the penalty box.  

This time Mike joined us,
 and the little guys were ecstatic to be able to show him the ropes. 

All this week, Mike has been talking up his mad skills on the rink, but I was more than a little skeptical of my beach boy's prowess on frozen water.  As it turns out, he wasn't making it up.  

Whereas, every time I step on the ice it's like Bambi first learning to walk, 
Mike glides on in as if he's right back to the couples' skate, circa 1992. 
Ugh. So frustrating being married to somebody who's good at everything.  

Except spelling.  I can still out-spell him.

Anyway, kids took turns with the skate scooter thing while we worked with whomever was not scooting around trying to kneecap the other unsuspecting skaters.  

 Sarah's got skills, but she just doesn't know it yet.  
I think we need to teach the little perfectionist how to fall and get back up.

My human wrecking ball proved quite the daredevil, 
and ended up eschewing all assistance from parent, wall, or scooter.

He is sooooo proud of himself.  Almost as proud as his parents.

By the way, when did I get so old?  First off, I was ready to check each and every one of the little hockey show-offs who showed up for the last 45 minutes of public skate.  I mean, they did clip me and/or the kids about 12 times.  Several of them felt the wrath of my teacher look,
 which I think might be morphing into something even scarier, judging by the reaction I'm getting these days.  Seriously, though, I'm incubating one child and mama bear to 2 more cubs.  
You so much as look at one of us wrong, and I'm coming after you.

Even though I didn't stick a foot out to trip one of the little speed skaters up,
 I've got a bum knee.  It's cool because I make the kids or Mike 
pick stuff up off the ground for me these days anyway. 
But, sheesh, it would be nice if a few of my joints were working properly.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and early bedtimes were well-earned.  
 I'd say that counts for time well spent.