"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Schwindt

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Easter Weekend

Hi Everyone!  I just realized I have not posted in three day!  Our Easter weekend was pretty busy!  Saturday was a gorgeous weather day and we have not had one of those in awhile so my husband and I were both doing our own spring cleaning projects.  Matt was doing some maintenence on the mower so we could mow before we lost a child in the grass of the backyard.  I was cleaning out garbage can and recycle bins using the hose.  Meanwhile Jadon played happily outside.  The boy loves being outside!

Later in the evening we dyed our Easter eggs.  Jadon was very curious about this.  I am sure he was wondering what we were up to. 

Don't the older kids just look thrilled!
Oh look at that tongue out.  Jadon is thinking hmmm....what are we doing here?

Daddy showed Jadon how the egg changed colors and he thought that was pretty cool!

Now Jadon is all about putting more eggs in the cups!  Check out the Righty action!

Go Righty!  Go Righty!  Again the tongue is out.  He is really concentrating.  This is not easy work for Jadon's right hand.

Oh yeah! Now he is into it!
So Pretty!  Fast work when there are five of us!
On Easter morning the kids awoke to find that the Easter bunny had left them some goodies!  Jadon was really excited to see the giant Cookie Monster pillow.  He just loves his Cookie Monster.  His sister really liked it too.  The Easter bunny must have know Jadon loves trains because he got a new Percy for his wooden railway, a book called "Goodnight Train", and a Chuggington DVD! 

Daddy shows him the Oball in his basket.  There was one of these at Shriner's that they used for therapy and he really liked it.  Because of the way it is made he can hold it with Righty and throw it.  That bunny.....always thinking about toys we can use for therapy!  He, he.
Dakota decided that Cookie was pretty comfy too.  Caught him taking his morning nap on Cookie. 

The hit was the new cars Jadon got.  His current loves are cars and trains.  These new cars from the movie Cars saw a lot of playtime Easter morning and are still a favorite days later.  I just love seeing pictures where Righty is playing too!

After Easter dinner Jadon got his Uncle Mark to read to him.  I forgot to warn Mark that when Jadon sits down to read you will be there for awhile.  Jadon will read every book on the shelf if you let him.  I am so happy that he loves books.  Uncle Mark had to read ALOT of books but he was a good sport about it.  They kept reading, and reading, and reading......
and reading.....
We tried to give Uncle Mark a break by saying that Grandpa Brad REALLY wanted to read but after just half a book Jadon jumped off of Grandpa's lap and went in search of Uncle Mark who was doing his best to hide.  LOL!  Poor Grandpa got snubbed!

It was a great weekend!  I love spending time visiting with family!  As usual it just flew by too!


Friday, April 22, 2011

5Q Friday

Wow!  Seems like Friday took forever to get here!  This has been a loonnnggg week!  We have had lots, and lots, and lots of rain here this week!  It really needs to dry out soon so we can mow for the first time!  If we don't do it soon we are going to loose a small child in our backyard!

My menu for next week is a pretty similar to last weeks.  It ended up being a weird eating week.  We ate out more than planned and my MIL brought dinner one night (awesome!).  Some weeks are just like that!  Like I said, this has been a weird week at this house.  Usually so good about sticking to the meal plan!  So instead of sharing the same recipes AGAIN I am going to participate in 5Q Friday over a Living at the Whitehead's Zoo


1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?
 I think Easter egg hunts are my favorite!  They are so fun!  I like to do one for the daycare kids in the yard.  Sadly it has been rainy all week so that never happened.  Hopefully next year!

Of course there is still hope...the bunny has been known to hide a few here are there when he comes to fill the baskets!  

2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person?
 Most days I just jump in the shower.   I just don't want to take the time to take a bath.  So many things.....so little time!  There are always those days/weeks that call for a good soak in a bath with a good book, bottle of wine, and silence. 

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it?
 Ummm.....I can't parallel park.  I probably could it there was no other choice but don't think I have even tried it in years.  Not a city person so have no need to!

4. What is your favorite Easter candy?
Oh this one is easy!  Hands down my favorite Easter candy is the Cadbury Eggs!  Love the caramel ones!

5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?
 We talk about the true reason we celebrate Easter but also have fun with the Easter Bunny part of the holiday too!  However, I don't really care for that "Mall Bunny".  The huge Easter bunny costume with the weird eyes.  It just freaks me out.  We skip on the Easter Bunny + child screaming in terror photo that costs and arm and a leg. 

Before I go I have to show you why I need to make a mental note not to give Jadon a blue sucker while we are shopping.....Had to walk around the store the rest of the time with Mr. Blue Mouth.   This picture does not really do it justice.  He was not cooperating with the camera (I get a lot of that lately) but i think you can see about half of the blue ring of goo.  Got a lot of chuckles. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Toddler Talk Thursday-Raising an Eco Friendly Toddler

Crazy About My Baybah

This Thursday Toddler Talk topic is-How Are You Raising Your Toddler to be eco-friendly.  This had me stumped for awhile.  We do a lot of things in our household that are eco-friendly but our toddler does not really participate in many of them.  We have reusable grocery bags.  We have used them for years.  We used them before they were cool, when the people behind you would roll their eyes and sigh, and the cashier would get all bent out of shape and barely speak to you through the whole process.

We recycle like crazy.  Newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastic, glass, cans.....if it can be recycled we recycle it.   One can a week is the goal at our house.  I know that could probably be improved upon but we have come a long way from what we used to dispose of.

I also keep an eye out for jars and containers that I can use either for art projects or to hold different objects and help organize our household.  Some containers I like to keep are baby food jars, parmesan cheese containers, and peanut butter jars.  These come in handy a lot!!  Jadon does enjoy using paper towel tubes as a spyglass.  What kid does not? 

In the last year I have also changed the way I clean.  I am trying to use natural cleaning products to eliminate potentially toxic chemicals from our environment.  What started with recycling just keeps going.  I am always trying to create a safe environment for my family and the many wild friends that share our woods.  I tackle one thing at a time but I have not really shared this with my toddler......or have I?

I actually think I have without even realizing it.  See when I saw the topic for the week I was thinking....no I don't sit with my toddler and try to explain why we reduce, reuse, and recycle.  What we are doing however is creating a love for all things outdoors.  A love for the flowers, frogs, and fluffy friends.  A love for the adventures that can be found in the outdoors, in nature.

We are so lucky to live in the woods.  We are surrounded by nature.  We are also members of our local zoo's and frequent them a lot.  We love taking hikes in our woods and at our local wildlife parks.  Collecting things like acorns and other nuts in the fall is exciting to Jadon.  Taking in the sweet smell a flower gives off is a simple pleasure he is learning to appreciate.  Finding a frog stuck to of our windows on a hot summer night can fill the house with the sounds of pure joy.  So I guess that is how I am teaching my toddler to be eco-friendly.  I am teaching him to love nature.  To love frogs, birds, flower, acorns, butterflies, and yes even the ones Mommy finds gross like snakes.  I hope that this love of nature will make Jadon want to protect it.

So we smell the flowers.....

We get dirty.  A little dirt never hurt.

We take walks and hunt for acorns and anything else that catches our eye.....

We run, jump, and roll in a new fallen snow....

We admire God's other beautiful creatures at the zoo.

We explore.

And we grow....

I loved this topic!  Thanks to Crazy About My Baybah, Life Of A Sippy Cup Mom, and Family And Life In Las Vegas for the great topic this week!  I would love to know what are some favorite outdoor learning activities that other mom's of toddler's do with their kids.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

I just keep wandering around the house singing "Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun.  Please shine down on me!".  Sing it with me!  Ugh!  If I have to be cooped up in this house with cranky kids and nervous dogs I am going to loooosssseee   it!  The wonderfully cheerful weather lady promised me sun this morning and I have yet to see it!  Boo!

Last night we have some storms come through our area.  Nothing major but there was a lot of thunder, lightening, and heavy rain.  It lasted several hours.  It is not my kids that don't care for storms it is my dogs.  They turn into nervous ninny's the moment we hear thunder in the distance.  Last night they were really loosing it.  Twice they were both laying down and just jumped up and ran across the room for no reason what so ever.  When I say ran I mean they jumped up like someone had just fired a shot at them and their lives were on the line.  Then when they reached the other side of the room they would stop and look around.  They would then turn to each other as if to say  "Huh, guess it was a false alarm" and lay back down and sleep again.  This happened twice.  I would LOVE to know what in the world was going through their minds!  I keep laughing about it.  I feel a little evil but I found it entertaining.  I am so bad!  

By bed time I had this pathetic looking face to deal with.  

That is the face of a dog begging to be allowed to sleep in the bed for the night.  What a big chicken!  Dream on doggie!

Why do I always have dogs with phobias?  We had a boxer that was scared of the washer.  I do laundry everyday.  That meant that everyday at some point the dog was cowering in a corner in fear of the great and mighty washer.  Jeez. 

Really hoping Mr. Sun peaks his head out before dark so that perhaps there will be blue skies tomorrow!  We are banking up a lot of energy in this house.  It needs to be let loose!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Toddler VS. Teen

We seem to have an issue at this house.  The toddler does not take the teenagers very seriously at all.  He looks at them as if to say "Oh please, really?  Why should I listen to you?".  It has been an ongoing issue which I am pretty sure the teens (one in particular) created themselves.

Today we had a perfect example:

The kids are sitting at the table for lunch.  Jadon begins to slam his tippy on the table over and over again.  I am used to this type of thing so I had not even noticed it.  Shelby is sitting right next to him and finds it hard to ignore (understandable) so she says "Jadon stop".

She gets a look of defiance from the toddler then the toddler shouts a very stern "No!" (one of two favorite words).

Shelby tells Jadon that he does not tell her no.

Then I hear Shelby say "Mom, what does this sign Jadon is giving me mean?".

I turn to look and Jadon is giving her the sign for quiet (his version anyway) and is shushing her.  I said "He is telling you to be quiet Shelby".

A reaction of disbelief that he would have the nerve follows but quickly on its tail comes laughter.  She can't help herself.

It is pretty funny.....but that is where the toddler learns not to take the teens too seriously.  He knows her weaknesses.  Immediately after shushing her he starts making silly faces at her.  A game they have recently come up with between the two of them.

Ugh!  We have gotten nowhere in the the battle to get Jadon to listen to his older siblings today!

It is so bad that we were able to reenact the incident just a short while later so that I could show you what Jadon was doing.  I got the camera....

Shelby says "Jadon come here"
Here is Jadon contemplating how he wants to respond.
That face says he is up to no good.

This is Jadon's version of the sign for quiet. 

So this is what we are dealing with.  The teens always tell me that Jadon just won't listen to them but I don't see it changing anytime soon.  Not when the toddler knows he can make them laugh.  Oh boy!

I am linking this up over at Life Of A Sippy Cup Mom's Follow Me Chickadee Blog Hop today!  Click on the button below to visit Life Of A Sippy Cup Mom and the other hosts!

Sippy Cup Mom


Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Happy Monday!  Today is the beginning of a week that will be a break from our usual routine since the teens are home on spring break and I have two extra boys here that normally only come after school.  Today has went pretty well.  Jadon had therapy this morning bright and early.  Daddy took him alone this morning.  He reported back that it went well.  It was nice to have the help of the other two kids today (after they woke up that is). 

Later in the morning we busted out the playdoh.  Something we have not played with in awhile.  I was surprised at how long the younger boys stayed at the table playing with it.  Jadon was really, really into the playdoh today.....hmmm.....I am thinking the bunny needs to bring him some.  ;)  It ended up being a great therapy activity for the day also.  He loved holding the playdoh with Righty and tearing pieces off with Lefty. 

Jadon also (on his own) grabbed some cars to bury in his playdoh.  He loved this!

I found a fun blog hop I thought I would participate in called "Meet Me On Monday".   As a way for all of us bloggers to get to know each other Java from Never Grown Old posts 5 questions for us to answer each Monday.  

Here are today's questions:

1. Caesar Salad or Garden salad?  For me if given the choice I will usually choose the Caesar salad.  Love them!

2. Will you be watching the Royal Wedding on April 29th?  Maybe.....Most likely have it on in the background while I watch kids.  Not even sure what time it is on to be honest.....

3. Last thing you spent lots of money on?  Two full size mattresses for our older kids beds.  LONG overdue, much needed purchase.  Not very much fun though the kids were thrilled.  Yes, thrilled.  You know the old mattresses must have been bad when two teenagers are excited about new ones!  LOL!

4.Window seat or aisle seat?  Definitely window.  Love to watch the cities etc....when coming in for a landing though prefer not to fly at all if I can avoid it.  Driving is more my style even long distances.  Set my own pace.....see the sites....

5.  Do you know your blood type?  Yes.  It is O positive.

Those are the questions for today...Go to THIS post by Never Grow Old to see her answers and find some other bloggers who have linked up also! 


Friday, April 15, 2011

Food-a-licious Friday

Looking forward to trying several new recipes next week. 

Saturday Lunch:
Cuban Sandwiches and Salad

Saturday Dinner:
Hot Taco Soup

Sunday Dinner:
Grilled Orange Chicken Tenders
Steamed Broccoli
Brown Rice

Monday Dinner:
BBQ Chicken
Corn On The Cob
Baked Beans

Tuesday Dinner:
Broiled Steak Bites
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans

Wednesday Dinner:
Hamburger/Corn Casserole

Thursday Dinner:
Ham and Cheese Augratin

Friday Dinner:
Mom's Night Off-Grocery Shopping Night

Thought I would share my recipe for Hamburger/Corn Casserole this week.  It is a favorite in this house.  I have made it for several other family members who now insist that I notify them everytime I make it so they can come over. 

Hamburger Corn Casserole
1 ½ lbs of ground beef
1 sm. Onion (diced)
1 can corn
1 can of cream of mushroom
1 can of cream of chicken
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. wide egg noodles
½ cup of bread crumbs
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
Add salt and pepper  as you desire. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Get water ready to boil noodles.  Brown ground beef and onion.  Drain.  In a bowl mix together the beef  along with the the corn, soups, and sour cream.  When noodles are done combine with the beef mixture.   Pour into a 13x9 inch pan.  Melt butter and mix with bread crumbs and put on top of casserole.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tummy Troubles

Jadon had a rough day.  His tummy has been giving him all sorts of problems for almost a week now.  He got sick in the car several times on our way home from Philadelphia last Saturday but we thought he was car sick.  Both of the older kids got car sick on long trips beginning at about Jadon's age through the age of 5 or so.  Jadon seemed fine for the next three days and then yesterday afternoon he got fussy and clingy.  Next thing I knew he was throwing up.  Ugh!  He was also itching his torso all over.  Very strange.  Within an hour he seemed to have recovered.  He played for awhile and when dinner was ready Jadon wanted to eat.  He ate pretty good and was fine all evening.

This morning he woke up and I could tell right away something was up.  He was cranky and just wanted to lay on my lap.  My hunch was right because right as two of the parents I babysit for pulled in the driveway Jadon got sick again.  So....today was just a Mommy and Jadon day.  We went to see Dr. Knight just to make sure Jadon did not have an ear infection, strep throat or something crazy like that.  Dr. Knight said everything looked good.  He said that he probably had the flu over the weekend and then his tummy is having trouble bouncing back from it.  He put Jadon on the B.R.A.T. diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) and I also picked up some flavored pedialyte to get his mind off of milk.  Dr. suggested limited dairy for a few days.  Not an easy task when this toddler LOVES milk.  Fortunately grape flavored Pedialyte seems to be an ok substitute.

As much as I don't like my babies being sick I do kinda enjoy cuddle days.....and yes he is smiling.  Not looking very sick in this pic.  Took the pic trying to capture Righy up high.  I need to work on taking self portraits.  Not very good at it.

This evening after several tippy's of Pedialyte, two bowls of applesauce, a bowl of rice, and some cherrios Jadon perked up.  Right was holding this "man" as Jadon called it. 
Tongue is out....he is working hard.
Another pick of Jadon and I.  Something you don't see very often.  Righty had just been touching my face but when Jadon saw the camera he went to reach for it with Righty.  Can't get enough of all these new movements!

After tubby time, story time, and stretches he went to bed without any fuss.  Fingers crossed he sleeps well tonight and is ready to play with his friends in the morning. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Talk To The Paw

It has been brought to my attention by the four legged fur babies that live here that the blogs title is Kids, DOGS, and Ticks and that there have not been many posts about the dogs.  So here it is.  Diesel was looking so cute this morning just relaxing on the porch so I snapped a few pics of my super model doggy.   He is so pretty!

"Trying to rest here" 
"Ugh!  Paparrazi is everywhere!"
"Yeah, I know...I am handsome!"