Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Felt Boards and fun

I am always on the lookout for fun activities for my boys. A lot of the time they are things I make up myself from ideas I have pick up from many mommy based learning/playing sites and blogs. I will probably post a lot of activities from these sites in the future, for now my find at Michael's craft store.

Felt Boards:

I have been meaning to make "feltboards" for a while now. You know, glue felt to a piece of cardboard, cut out fun shapes and letters and numbers out of other felt and whola, instant fun and satisfaction for the littles both at home and in the car. Well it is still on my to do list. But I did find the above felt boards at Michael's craft store. I went in for Shells for the beach themed photographs I am doing for the cousins but being my thrifty self I always glance at the clearance aisle. There they were, amazing story board felt shapes just screaming my name. I picked up 2, a beach/pirate themed one and a space/astronaut themed one. Both have more pieces then I really like, or that my boys are really ready for but at just $1.25 each, I just could not pass it up. Zander and Drezden both enjoyed them greatly. Although Drezden was more fascinated by putting the felt pieces into a bowl then onto the board.  Zander got into the space one and started asking all sorts of questions about stars and planets and astronauts, I see a weekly theme of space coming soon. 

And just because he is way too cute to leave out, this is what Syler was doing while the boys played with their felt boards

Monday, August 27, 2012

Visit with Uncle Kevin and Cousin photos

Now that my post was eaten and I have to start over, I will try to remember all I wrote up yesterday...
Oh and just a reminder, you can click on the thumbnails of photos and they will come up larger on your screen. :)

Paul's brother Kevin was in town to run "Hood to Coast" and made plans to meet up with the family at Paul's sister Angela's house. It was a great visit with him to hear all about his research he is working on in school and to just catch up. He had not seen Syler yet, so it was nice for him to finally meet his 5th nephew. :) 

This all worked out great for me because I was already planning to be at Angela's to take my nephew Elias' 2 year photographs. He was soooooo adorable and I just have to share a few of his amazing pictures.

 Is he not just the cutest thing ever. And such an easy model to work with :) He followed my directions so well and I LOVE the shots I got of him.... Maybe contest worthy??? There were so many other photo's I could share but I should leave those ones to his mommy.

Anyway since I was there and all the little cousins were gathered, we also did some fun Beach themed photos of all the kids. I will make a cousin collage out of them, but for now here are just a few to enjoy:

My untouched background







The "twins" LOL

 The big kids (the only half way decent picture of all of them.) Photographing 6 children 3 and under is nearly impossible. 

All in all it was a successful day! Great visiting and great memories captured.


 We love peaches!! So of course it is only appropriate this time of year to can some for eating during the chilly winter when delicious fresh peaches are not available.This was the first time the boys were able to help me. Well the first time they tried, they started by assisting in pealing the skin off the peaches:

It was a good start but Drezden ended up poking so many holes in his peach I just let him eat it. They had fun though!!

Next we moved on to freezing some. Sliced and placed on cookie sheet by mommy, sprinkled with sweet sugar by the boys. A few may have ended up with some extra sugar!

 We ended up with 1 bag frozen peaches and 17 jars. I plan on tracking down another 50 ish pounds for another 20 or so jars. Like I said, we LOVE peaches.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Look into the past

Just wanted to let all my readers know that I will be adding older posts dated back as far as before Zander was born. This will be happening on a regular basis until I have added all the major events from the past that used to be included on our website when we had one. So keep an eye out if you are interested in some past posts. It will take some time, but I will slowly be adding them.

Our FIRST broken arm.

It has happened, the first of  MANY broken bones I am sure we will have with 3 rambunctious boys.
The boys LOVE climbing, when I say love, I mean in an obsessive way, it is almost impossible to stop. Yesterday during one of Zander's many climbing adventures on the couch, he took a tumble off the back, flipping backwards and landing on a puzzle. He got a good gash in his forehead from the puzzle but didnt even notice. Instead he was crying and holding his arm. It didnt look broken, was only a little swollen and he could move his fingers freely. I decided to wait and have Paul come home and look at it before taking him into the doctor. Once Paul looked at it we both decided to wait until morning to see how Zander was feeling.

This morning he was not better, and was more guarding of his arm. So we called in for the first available appointment, 10:45. After a visit with the doctor and an xray. It was determined that Zander has a "buckle fracture", a fairly common fracture for his age. Definition: "Torus fractures, or buckle fractures, are extremely common injuries seen in children. Because children have softer bones, one side of the bone may buckle upon itself without disrupting the other side; this is also known as an incomplete fracture." We should be hearing back from the Orthopedic doctor tomorrow to let us know if Zander will need a full cast or if he can just continue in his splint and wrap with a sling. There wasn't a nice small sling for him from the doctor, so I made him one.

Here he is, all smiles, even with a broken arm.

Update 8/24/2012:

After a visit with the orthopedic doctor it was determined that with Zanders age and activity level, a full cast would be needed. Zander picked out green for his cast and sat patiently while they wrapped his arm. He was concerned the whole time, but I assured him that it would make his arm get better faster. Zander gets to wear his awesome green cast for 1 month. He gets it removed on September 21st.

Zander and his awesome cast. :)

New to us Swing set

Every child needs a swing set! We recently were given one from Paul's Aunt Gemma. We have had it sitting in the front yard, set up but not secure for a few weeks now, but finally got it moved to its permanent location in the back side yard. Cemented into the ground and everything. The boys love it and so do the neighbors. :)

The new play area:

Helping daddy bury the cement blocks:

Playing with the neighbors!!

Thanks to Liz for picking this awesome swing set up from Aunt Gemma. It has already gotten a TON of use!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Camping Weekend on the Coast

We love camping! Sadly it had been almost 2 years since we had been camping, we attended 2 family weddings and I photographed a 3rd one last summer. Making our time off for camping non existent for the summer. So we promised ourselves we would make it camping at least once this summer.

We had been planning this camping trip for months and looked forward to our short camping weekend. In preparation for this camping trip I knew I needed to get the boys some sleeping bags. We had don't a lot of research trying to find what kids sleeping bags would work best, but most of them where expensive and un personal. So me and all my creative blood decided to make them each a personalized sleeping bag. We took the boys shopping and they picked out the fabric(fleece) they liked best. Zander picked Lightning McQueen, CARS themed fabric, while Drezden went with monsters. Their sleeping bags are 2 layers of fleece, and snuggly warm.  Of course my creative blood is also procrastinating blood and I was working on these the morning we were planning on leaving. I will add a picture to this post later as I realize I did not take one yet.

The plan was to leave Friday shortly after Paul came home from a half day at work. We had everything ready, Paul just needed to pack it into the car. As life goes with 3 young children it took us much longer to get going then we had planned. We departed the house around 4 pm about 2 hour later then planned. 3 children under 3, two dogs, and two parents. We were ready! We had to make a quick stop at the store for ice for the cooler then we would be headed on our way to the coast.

We decided to stop for ice at a junction about 45 min into our trip, this is when we realized we forgot the keys to unlock the padlocks on the trailer, which held the cooler. We were not about to turn back, so we both agreed just to break into the trailer by using bolt cutters on the padlocks. Paul went into the store and purchased a pair along with a hack saw, hoping one of the two would get it open. Neither worked on the pad lock, so we decided to cut the loops that the pad locks attached too. This worked, we could finally add ice to the cooler and continue on our way. It was now almost 6:30 PM and we had a long drive ahead of us.

Traveling with young children is always challenging, especially for longer trips in the middle of the day when they are usually playing outside. The boys really did an excellent job, we had to make a few stops to feed Syler, but other then that the trip there was a good one.

We pulled into the campsite (#31 at Beachside) at about 9:30 where our camping partners Scott and Justine (Paul's cousins) were waiting for us. Sadly we had the wood for the fire and the tent with us, so they were not able to get a jump start on setting up.

Paul and Scott got going right away on setting up the tent so we could put the boys to bed. Justine helped entertain the boys while I made dinner. ( Yes very late dinner, we had originally planned to arrive at camp at 6:30, perfect time for dinner) Dinner was homemade burgers, and they were delicious over the fire! The perfect first camping meal in 2 years. YUM. The late start to the day and long drive were so worth it.

Saturday was wonderful. We had chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Then packed up some snacks and diapers and headed to the beach. It was pretty windy so we went behind a log for the boys to play in the sand. Drezden did not know what to think of the sand on his feet, but got used to it eventually. While the boys played Scott took Araki and Sh'daya for a run down the beach, they LOVED it!

Then we headed down to explore the ocean, along the way the boys collected lots of beach goodness in their bowls. Rocks, shells, feathers, seaweed, sand and anything else they could find.

The water was freezing, like the Pacific Ocean always is in Oregon , but they really wanted to check it out. So we played for some time running from the waves as they lapped at our feet. The boys enjoyed it so much! The dogs however where unsure of the salt water and the waves.

After all the ocean play we found a nice corner of beach behind some large sand drifts that shielded us from all the wind. We took a moment of rest and play here.
After the sand had filled up Drezden's diaper we returned to camp for lunch, where the boys discovered it was just as much fun to dig in the bark chips as it was the sand. 

This was followed by naps, time around the campfire and great conversations. Then dinner and of course SMORES. Now the last time we camped Zander was not yet 1 year and Smores were not his thing. So this was both Zander and Drezdens first Smore experience. It was definitely one to remember!

Sadly Sunday was the end of our camping trip. I must say the last day is the worst, having to tear everything down, pack up and leave for home, always saddening for me. We tried to make up for it with a trip to the aquarium. It had been years since I had been there and remember it being the most awesome thing ever. Honestly this time around it was a little dissapointing. No whales, no dolphins, reapeats of seals, sea otters, and penguins, which we see at the zoo regularily. But there were some highlights, and the boys enjoyed it immensely!

They have this great "kid" area with lots of hands on things to check out. These were holes you put your hand in and try to guess what is inside, Drezden ended up pulling out one item. OOPS. he juse really wanted to see it. LOL

This was this pretty awesome bridge that was over a big aquarium with all sorts of fish. They loved it

 Japanese Spider Crab = pretty creepy, giant crab. Zander LOVED looking at it though.

I LOVE the jelly fish, they are beautiful to watch.

There are so many fish tanks full of fish, a lot of them go all the way to the ground, which is awesome for the boys they can get right up close and personal.

 They also still have the touch pool, which I remember from when I was there eons ago. But it was really hard for the boys to reach things in it. Definitely geared towards age 5 and up I think.

But by far the best part was having sharks swim over and around us. :) We spent some time in the shark tunnel, the boys loved it. 

Outside there is a great little play area with all sorts of figures for kids to climb on. My boys love climbing so we spent a while here. Might have been the highlight of the aquarium for them.

Thankfully the aquarium helped wear the big boys out, so they were nap ready for the trip home. Syler however slept the whole time at the aquarium and was ready to play and be interacted with for the whole way home. This made for many stops and a long drive home. But it was worth it for the great time we had.

Once we arrived home Araki and Sh'daya were greeted happily by the pack. I am sure they smelt of beach and it made the others jealous.

We sure hope its not another 2 years before we camp again, maybe this November for Paul's birthday.