Wednesday, June 30, 2010

summer survival

Don't get any ideas about me because I am SO not that mom, but in the name of survival I have come across a few easy, fun activities for your favorite preschooler/kindergartner.

The first is called Count the House. I found the blog that it's from - Let's Explore - somehow through my cousin Kristin*and I liked the author's non-complicated ideas - usually the best bet with little ones. To Count the House, you can download the pdf on the site and then go through the house with your child (or have him do it alone if he's old enough) and count windows, sinks, beds, etc. I did this one afternoon with Dylan while Ella and Mady were napping and it was a big hit. Dylan needed help keeping track of the numbers for some of the items like doors and curtains but he could do a lot of it himself too. I even ended up making him another sheet with different objects on it because he liked it so much. I'm thinking it might be a fun game to send with him to Nana's house next time too.

The second idea we tried is Nature Bingo. I found myself trying to fill another evening while The Hubby is off selling cars, so I Googled away and found some bingo cards on-line (the cards I used are here - the items all seemed pretty appropriate for your average nature experience in West Michigan. I'm sure you can find others or make your own). Dylan and Ella both enjoyed this but Ella needed a little more help. Nature + Free = Fun. The Ladybug Magazine site I used looks like it some good stuff on it too - if you've got a road trip in your future these Car Bingo cards are calling your name!

That's all I have, folks. We will now return to our normal summer activities: watching Curious George, playing with the hose, and roaming around the house complaining that we're hungry for fruit snacks.

*Speaking of fun ideas, my cousin Kristin is working on teaching her kids (ages 6, 3, 2) the Fruits of the Spirit this summer and each week she's posting ideas for a different fruit including Bible verses and crafts among other things. Catch up here: Kindness, Joy. Hope you don't mind me mentioning this here, Kristin! The pressure is on now ;)

bucket list

The other day I overheard Dylan thinking out loud, "Two down, two to go..." I asked him what he meant and he said he had already done two things he had really wanted to do - go to work with Daddy (happened a few weeks ago when Matt had to go in for a few hours on his day off) and go on a run with Daddy (just happened this week - Matt went for a three mile run and Dylan rode his bike next to him for the entire run).

The two things that haven't happened yet? Run in a race with Daddy and play on Daddy's Macker team.

Dream big, little boy!

swimming lessons

Nothing says summer like the smell of chlorine and the sound of screaming children if you ask me. I still remember my own swimming lesson days at Jackson Park Middle School and my brother eagerly pushing my forward (on the slippery pool deck) during role call and my mom on the edge of her seat watching to see if I would actually jump off the diving board or not.

You might remember a couple summers ago that we had a sad, sad experience with Dylan at 3 1/2 that resulted in us being swimming lesson drop outs. We were back at it this year though and I think most of the instructors from the summer of '08 had either graduated or forgotten about us. I thought maybe we would have repeat experience as we were driving to the first day and Dylan wasn't too sure of the whole thing. He told me as we were walking in, "My brain is telling me 'I want to' - 'I don't want to' - 'I want to' - 'I don't want to'". Ha. He is so my child.

In the end, it was all fun and Mady even got to hang out with Baby Ty as he watched big brother Jalen. I thought the 45 minute break each morning from the big two was a bonus and the kids were returned to me clean (kind of...I say chlorine and soap are almost the same thing) and tired.

After the last day of lessons, we took the kids out to the pool at my parents' condo and I thought we'd take Dylan's swimmies off so he could practice swimming with Matt helping him. Instead we took off his swimmies and he swam the length of the pool, no problem, and he continued to swim like that for the next hour and half. One more milestone, checked off the list. Our boy is growing up.

that's a whole lot of cuteness

Mady is doing some pretty cute baby stuff right now - rolling and playing and sitting up. She's at the perfect baby age - fun to interact with and content to play for a few minutes by herself until her siblings come barreling into the room and knock her over with their enthusiasm. 7 1/2 months. It's flying by!

'nastics girl

Ella just finished up her first year of gymnastics at Gymnastiks Unlimited. Not the cheapest hobby she could have picked up (kick the can would have been good or playing with empty boxes or even jump roping) but the sheer joy it has brought her is (almost) priceless.

Friday, June 25, 2010

add 'em to your blogroll!

Quick note to share a cool house-related blog I have been following - Young House Love. At first I wasn't sure if I would like this blog or not because everything looks so perfect, but I think the couple who writes it are those type of people that you just can't help but like. Cute ideas and a well-written blog. As an added bonus, most of their ideas are pretty cheap (although they are much handy-ier than the average couple). I already stole their idea and bought this filing box from Target so I can get rid of my huge, ugly, taking-up-space-in-my-coat-closet filing cabinet.

I am also an instant fan of this new blog they just mentioned in a post called Catalog Living. It's written by comedian Molly Erdman and she basically makes fun of overly-styled rooms in catalogs (see caption below).
I’ve only set out personalized towels for Margaret and Patrick, but I see three people arriving on horseback…if they’re bringing a friend I wish they had told me ahead of time. The embroider is fast but not that fast.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Dylan just finished up his first little season of soccer. He played in a program through the Georgetown Rangers. We missed sign-ups for AYSO and this program was recommended to us because of their emphasis on instruction. All of the coaches were great and Dylan learned a lot. It was a lot of running around (two practices/week + a game on Saturday morning) but Dylan had fun and it gave him a chance to try something new. Soccer's done, now on to swimming lessons!

Good stuff

In no particular order...
  • Bell bike helmets. Their OneStep fit system actually works and the helmets stay on our kids heads. Brilliant.
  • Angie Smith's book, I Will Carry You. Cried and cried. So much sorrow. So much joy.
  • Target formula. Three out of four of Mady's feedings each day are now bottles/formula. My free formula stash ran out...Target formula is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the name brand stuff (even when you factor in coupons). I gave it a try and I really like it - it even mixes up better than Similac or Enfamil. These people like it too (funny blog by the way, for all you Target lover's out there).
  • Cheddar Chex. Beyond delicious.
  • Bumbo baby seats. I know I am really late to the Bumbo party, but we are borrowing one right now and using it a ton. I never bought one myself because I didn't know how much we'd use it...turns out we use it all the time! So far I've been using it a lot while feeding Mady solids. I love how portable it is too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Girl!

Mady is six months old now. It's amazing how fast it goes. It's crazy to think every time we pass through a baby phase that it's the last time for our family. We're trying hard to enjoy every minute and at the same time it will kind of be nice to be done with the 87 pieces of baby equipment we have scattered through out our house.

Mady was 15 pounds, 15 ounces and 26 1/2 inches long at her last check-up. She is (almost) sitting up - can't quite walk away and leave her but she can do it for little bits at a time. She is gobbling up solid foods like it's going out of style and she gets ANGRY when people are eating around her and she's not. This girl likes her food. She's moving into that happy baby stage where she is content to play with toys although she does love to be picked up if she can get away with it (that's what the baby of a family does, right?)

Her hair is getting fuzzier and her thighs are getting chunkier by the minute. She still loves to suck her thumb - when you get her anywhere near her room she pops her thumb in because she knows naptime/bedtime is close! She is a sweet, sweet baby and we all adore her!

The Graduate

On to bigger and better Kindergarten.


Water balloons from the dollar store. Guaranteed fun.

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