February 16, 2014
My son celebrated his 4th birthday with his friends today. I may have gone a little overboard with the party favors, but it was fun.
We took our kids to Medieval Times. Our older son instantly fell in love with everything knighthood. Even though his birthday was still two months away, he told me that he wanted a knight party with everything that knights had. I tried my best to make it happen. I searched the internet for ideas, created a Pinterest board, and got to work.
Felt tunics, stick horses, and shiny armor… I made everything a knight has. When my son saw it all, he was very excited, but he wanted to know where the “real medal armor” and “live horses” were.
Some people… you just can’t please them. ;)
February 12, 2014
One night I was searching Pinterest for cute Valentine ideas for preschoolers. There are only four kids in my son’s class, so I figured I could do something really cute for them. Then, it dawned on me… If I do a super-cute crafty valentine this year for four, what happens when he is in elementary school with 20?
No, I thought… I am not going to be in charge of making his valentines. I decided to use it as a teaching moment. I would teach him the importance of giving a gift to the people who are special in his life.
So, I told him we were going to go on an adventure, looking for gifts for anyone he thought he wanted to give a Valentine to. Fortunately,when I asked him who he wanted to give to, all the kids in his class and his teacher were named among others. Phew.
As soon as he heard the word adventure, he went into his playroom and grabbed a hat. You can’t go on an adventure without a hat. He emptied a suitcase and told me he’d fill it with the gifts he finds.
We set out on our search. He decided his gift of choice for everyone was going to be rocks. He carefully inspected stones along the way, picking through them and discarding any he deemed unworthy. Each rock he chose was selected for a specific recipient.
It only took a matter of about two minutes before he found a stick, suddenly, our world morphed. We were no longer looking for gifts. We were searching for treasure. We turned into the woods and he told me about the “bad guy” who was after the same treasure. The treasure was a special rock for his teacher. It was a “singing golden rock” and there were two of them. He fought off bad guys as we walked through the woods and we barely made it home in one piece.
As he painted his rocks for his friends, he asked me to write down his adventure. I would start a sentence and he would finish it.
This is his story.
Bad Guys and Good Guys
The great explorer, Louis, set forth to find a pair of singing golden rocks. But, lurking in the distance was the evil Lord Cannonball! He too had his eye set on the magical stones.
Louis’s watch navigated the way. He journeyed through the dark forest, collecting stones as he went. With Lord Cannonball on his trail, Louis used his mighty stick to protect his treasures.
Barely escaping the evil Lord Cannonball, Louis discovered the location of the Singing Golden Rocks. To his surprise, Lord Cannonball followed him! In a daring battle, the courageous Louis fought off Lord Cannonball’s army.
He returned home, safely, and the people honored him as a hero.
January 10, 2014
After months of back and hip pain, following the birth of my second son, my OBGYN recommended I see a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation and postpartum recovery. The therapist noticed I had a 2.5 finger-wide separation in my abdominal muscles (a.k.a. Diastasis Recti). She created this magical brace made of Lukeotape, pulling my muscles back together, from left to right and then right to left. It was instant pain relief. I could easily carry my children around and had no more back pain.
I was so amazed by this change that I went on Facebook and told everyone I know.
“For the past 8 months, I have had considerable back and hip pain. In short, I felt like an arthritic 90-year-old woman. I have been to several doctors and have been seeing a physical therapist for 6 months. Earlier this week I went to another physical therapist who specializes in postpartum recovery. She discovered I had a split in my abdominal muscles and she created a corset across my belly, made of therapeutic tape. It has only been two days (*knock on wood*) and I see a HUGE difference. I feel like my “old” self again. I can move with ease and even carry the 20+lbs baby around without back pain. If you are having pain post-partum, don’t wait to see if it will go away. It may be a “simple” fix.”
That first week with the tape was great. The therapist warned me that some people’s skin have a bad reaction to this tape. Mine seemed fine leaving it on for 48 hours at a time.
The second week, I was still seeing benefits from the tape. Every time I took the tape off, my back pain would return. Near the end of the week, though, it became harder and harder to remove the tape, as if it were sticking to me harder than before.
The third week, it was quite painful to remove the tape, but I saw such a great benefit from it that I grinned and bared it.
The fourth week, as soon as I put the tape on it hurt. So I didn’t leave it on very long. It had left a huge rash across my belly, that lasted the entire week.
I went back to the therapist yesterday, 5 weeks later, and my 2.5 finger gap is now down to “no more than one finger”. So the pain was not for nothing. There was improvement! Not only has the gap become narrower, but it has also decreased in length.
The therapist told me that I could also use an ace bandage, so I tried it out today. It is working great.
I was going to just post an update on my Facebook to my friends, but I decided this is good information to put out there on the interwebs. If you are having back/hip pain months after giving birth, find a good physical therapist in your area who specializes in postpartum recovery. You won’t be sorry.
Please do not put this tape directly on your skin. There is a white “cover-roll” that goes beneath it to protect your skin. I used the cover-roll and still had irritation. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist for full instructions!
June 23, 2012
A while back I gave my son an old camera of ours to play with. Then, for his 2nd birthday, he was given a camera from his aunt and uncle. Recently, I decided to go through his cameras and see what was on them. It gave me a glimpse into the world through a toddler’s eyes.
We visited the tulips fields in Mt. Vernon, Washington earlier this Spring. As you can see, below, I am taking a picture of my son taking a picture. I was quite pleased with the way my photo turned out, but I think I may like his better.
Most of his pictures are of me with the camera, because that is when he wants to use his camera, too.
I am particularly fond of this photo of an “angry” Daddy.
I’m sure he wasn’t really angry. We were at the zoo that day.
And there you have it, the world, as seen by a toddler. I think we may have a budding photographer on our hands.
June 21, 2012
Kelsey Creek Farm, located in Kelsey Creek Park, is a wonderful place to take young children in the Seattle area. And, it’s FREE! Complete with cows, goats, pigs, chickens, bunnies, and horses, visitors are free to wander about independently. They offer all types of classes (at a cost) for children, including horsemanship training.
Since I have a 2-year-old, the choices of classes are quite limited, though they do offer a “Little Farmers” class that is a parent/child class. I plan on checking that out.
During our visit, I had an opportunity to capture some images of the animals and thought I’d share them here.
I’m not going to lie, the cows smell. That should come as no surprise, they are cows after all.
The farm is home to four little piglets, born in January 2012. They were all asleep while we were there.
The horses seemed friendly. As I said, Kelsey Creek Farm offers horsemanship courses, starting at age 4.
The surrounding park is a wonderland for children to explore the good-ol’ outdoors. They loved climbing on the old trees.
This is one bird I am glad was behind bars. I don’t like the look I was getting from this one.
Kelsey Creek Farm offers the “Little Farmers” class (for ages 2-3) next month. It advertises that children will actively participate in animal care and feeding, barn chores, cooking, gardening, and arts and crafts. I’m on a mission to find out more information on it. I think this may be a good one to explore.
See my Flickr page for additional photos.
June 13, 2012
I try to expose my son to a variety of interests, even if I don’t particularily like it. Like bugs. You see, it is my belief (as sexist as it may be) that all men should protect the women in their lives from bugs and rodents. It is their duty. So, in raising a little man, I think it is important to expose him to those things so there will be no fear. As long as I am raising a boy, chivilery will not die!
When I saw the opportunity to sign up for a toddler workshop called “Knee-High Naturalists” I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to expose my son to something I naturally wouldn’t want to do myself. The program advertised walking along the water and discovering all sorts of nature; birds, rocks, plants, and yes, bugs.
The morning of our adventure, as I was getting ready, I attempted to create excitement. In my peppiest voice (which, I must admit isn’t all that peppy and sounds rather unnatural on me) I said, “We’re going to do something really fun today! We are going to go walk along the water and find birds and plants and bugs!”
Then I remembered that my son doesn’t like bugs the way most boys do (surprise, surprise). When he sees them outside he normally says “Go home bug!” and proceeds to tell me he doesn’t “really like that bug.” So, I quickly tried rewording our morning outing and said, “Doesn’t that sound fun?! Do you want to see some birds!?”
To my surprise he responded, “And bugs!” with excitement.
“Yeah! And bugs! How fun!” I said, trying to keep the excitement going. He reached his hand out toward me and said, “I’m going to touch them!”
That surprised me. “You are?” I asked.
Then he took his hands and pretended to hold a baseball bat. He started to swing it. “And hit them with my bat!” he proudly exclaimed.
And there we have it. He wants to torture the bugs, not explore them. I think it’s a step in the right direction. At least he’s not running away from them.
If you live in the Seattle area, the Cedar River Education Center at Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend offers the Knee-High Naturalists program once a month, throughout the summer. We ended up having a blast. We learned about weather as our guide helped point out different aspects of it on our nature walk. The program is designed for children three and under and is only $5 per adult. The Education Center has a whole slew of things to explore. It is a mini, hands-on science center. That, by itself, is worth the trip.
I’m so glad I found this, because we will be returning. Next month’s topic? Bugs. Time to put my big-girl pants on.To register for the program you may email CRWProgram@seattle.gov or call 206-733-9421. Rattlesnakek Lake is located off of I90, exit 32.
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