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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pint-Sized Irish Welcome Spring

 Spring has sprung and we are so thankful for the warmer weather! We are hitting up parks again and spending lots more time outdoors. Riley has taken to shooting baskets with Dad and Maggie loves going for rides on her scooter and bike.
 For Lent, the kids and I created a Prayer Chain. We listed the names of 40+ family members and friends and take one name off each day to pray for. It has been really sweet to hear Riley's prayers first thing in the morning. Most of the time he asks God that the person "do good things and be a good listener and have a good day."  I like it because it's a great way to start our day thinking of others.

 For St. Patrick's Day, we had fun with an assortment of activities. My two little pint-sized Irish helpers made a Fruit Rainbow complete with marshmallow clouds and then made short work of devouring it!
 I made some Leprechaun "Rocks" out of a water and baking soda mixture colored with green food dye and hid a coin inside each rock. Then when we poured vinegar over the top, the kids loved watching the fizzing reveal their "surprise".  To add a little more science into our day, Riley helped me make a Liquid Rainbow (see the jar on the window sill below) that explores density and how some liquids rise to the top of a surface while others are heavier (such as honey and dish detergent).
We also mixed up a batch of Lucky Charms marshmallow treats. I have to admit that they weren't quite as tasty as Rice Krispie treats, but the kids didn't seem to care. :)

 We watched a video about the meaning of the holiday and learned about the real Saint Patrick who lived long ago. And the highlight was probably going on a Scavenger Hunt after nap time using clues that were hidden around the house.  The clues led to a "pot of gold" which were Hershey chocolates in shiny wrappers. 
 I'm one LUCKY mom to have been blessed with these little angels in my life! I love being able to make holidays special for them and am so thankful that I have this time at home to spend time of these extra activities. 

 Who said you aren't supposed to "play with your food"? Between making "meatball eyes" (as Riley likes to do using round food objects like meatballs or grapes and the tongs of his fork) and olive fingernails (I think Maggie started this one), these two kiddos keep us entertained at dinner time!

 So Maggie has been expressing a lot of interest in going potty lately and by accident one night, I let her play around with the Froggy Potty while I was cooking dinner. I showed her how to sit on it and prompted her several times and read her a book to get her to stay on it a little longer. However, somehow between stirring the pasta pot and plating our food, I missed her actually going pee-pee in the potty! We did a happy dance and she earned a jellybean. About a week later, after Nan and Pap's visit, I decided to try the full-on potty training day like I did with Riley. I loaded her up with juice and snacks, bought her Minnie Mouse underwear, let her run around without any clothes on for the first half of the day, showed her several potty videos and songs, etc. She had a lot of accidents that day and when I'd catch her peeing on the floor, I'd rush her over to the potty. My analysis by the end of the day though is that while she is interested and wants to try it out on occasion...she's still a little young to know what to do.  So we'll wait and try again this summer.

Speaking of Nan and Pap...we had a great visit with them last week. The arrived Monday afternoon (Riley was so excited, he couldn't sleep for his afternoon nap) and were able to stay until Friday. Chris took off school on Tuesday and we went as a family to Discovery Place in Charlotte. The kids had an awesome time playing with all the interactive experiment stations, seeing the fish in the aquarium, riding an air compression chair up and down, and getting soaking wet at the water tables in the children's area. After changing clothes, we headed over to Rock Bottom for a nice lunch. On Wednesday, Nan and Pap entertained the kids while I taught my music lesson at Kids R Kids and went grocery shopping and later to tutor. Thursday we all went out to eat one last time at Charanda's Mexican restaurant so that Chris could introduce his mom to the fish tacos that he absolutely loves to eat there. The kids were really sad to see the go and really loved the extra attention! Luckily, they only have to wait until May to see them again at their joint birthday parties.
To wrap up, I have compiled a few more memorable moments:

  • Maggie's language and learning skills continue to impress me. She likes to count as she slides down each stair from the top of the landing to the den. The other day she counted to five without any help and then skipped a few numbers and said seven, eight, nine. I've heard her count up to 12 (give or take a few missing numbers in the middle) and then she gets excited about the number 20 because that's the number we count to when we play hide and seek. 
  • Her empathy skills are precious. Now when she hears someone coughing or is hurt, she asks "Okay?" as in "Are you okay?" It's so sweet. 
  • Riley is still up to his some old tricks as well. He now likes to take off his socks and hide them under the couch. We checked one day and there were 3 different pairs of dirty socks just hanging out under there. He also likes to shed his socks and shoes in the car and the other day when I asked him why he does this, he responded with "It helps me relax!"  He'll then ask for the window to be rolled down when we get in our neighborhood and proceed to stick his foot out. 
  • At supper time, the kids have a pattern of eating a few bites and then turning around in their seat. Maggie usually says it first..."Back". This means that she wants to have someone pat her on the back while she lets the vibrations change the sound of her voice. Then Riley will follow and ask for the same thing. 

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