Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Sides of Lincoln

video
Here he is being such a sweet and interested little boy, just looking for army men in his bean bin... 
video
and later I get this Lincoln, such a little ham. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ice Cream Nachos !!

Mommy's dinner.

Once you have some, your life might be changed forever. I've been thinking of making ice cream nachos since last October when a speaker at MOPS mentioned having them as a special treat. They have grain, dairy, fruit, umm.. ok so it's not a completely balanced meal but I finally surprised the boys with them last night for dinner. Shane was out of town so we didn't have to worry about ruining his diet (although I think going to the Seahawks game didn't do his diet any favors) and it was a special day, but we didn't have a main ingredient: ice cream. Since he had the van we decided to walk to Johnny's, a little store in our town, to get ice cream. Unfortunately the quick walk took an hour and 15 minutes because I couldn't push the stroller through the field so Lincoln walked there and back in flip flops. The ice cream was half way melted by the time we got home but we got some exercise, saw a snake and some other cool things along the way, and we were together.

Slice the tortillas.

Fry the tortillas

Put cinnamon and sugar on them (at this point they look like baby elephant ears from the fair)

Layer up. It was a make your own kind of night including berries, cherry syrup, maraschino cherries, hot fudge and carmel, sprinkles, frosted animal crackers, vanilla ice cream and hand made cinnamon sugar chips. 

The boys loved all the choices.

Dylan putting the cherry on top.

Lincoln getting a little sample.

Lincoln diggin' in

"This is the best day ever!" Dylan loves them.

Lincoln starting to feel the burn.

So both boys didn't finish their ice cream nachos but they still thought it was the coolest thing ever, the best dinner ever, I was the best mom ever, etc. You have to bend the rules a little every now and then!

Smokey Daze er... Days

video
Yikes, it has been so smokey here in the Ellensburg valley that yesterday they actually deemed the air quality "hazardous"! So many forest fires were started from a lightening storm but they just haven't been able to contain them all. Luckily we are no where near danger from the fires, just the darn smoke. The elementary school has had indoor recess for about 8 days straight because of poor air quality but it is starting to get ridiculous! I've let the boys play out back a couple of days not really thinking of the consequences but slowly we Dylan complained of a sore throat a couple of times and Shane and I both kept getting head aches I realized how serious this could actually be. Luckily we have air conditioning so we don't have to open the windows (yes it is still getting in the upper 80+ this late into September which is unusual for us) but they boys are getting restless. So what's a mom to do when her boys are just dying of boredom? Why let them build an obstical course indoors! Several times Dylan asked for help because he thought he couldn't do it and several times I reminded him that this was his special project. Imagine his delight when he came up with the whole course himself and even let his brother run it too. Fortunately I did see some blue sky this morning before the smoke started to rise so hopefully we are out of this daze soon. I want to enjoy this warm weather before we are stuck inside again because of the cold temperatures.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Stitch in Time

Tuesday, Sept. 4th at 9:30 I put the baby down for a nap and started a couple of chores while the boys were watching tv on the last morning of summer. Oh how I love PBS kids shows, especially the new show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood which is a cartoon based on my beloved Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I was bringing some clothes into the boys room to hang up when I saw Lincoln sort of trip over a toy and fall down. Unfortunately it was right next to the edge of our slate fireplace hearth. My worst fears coming to reality I heard a little cry and then the silence before a little kid starts bawling. You know that pause in crying where they can't make a sound because they aren't even breathing. So I ran over and scooped him up and saw a 1/4" wide, 1/4" deep, 1/2" long chunk missing right above Lincoln's left eyebrow. It bled but didn't soak more than two toilet paper wads. I wasn't worried about a concussion or brain damage because he didn't hit it that hard, but it wasn't just a scratch, it was deeper than I'm used to dealing with. I called Shane to ask him if he thought I should take him in to the ER. He said to wait until the afternoon and see if it was still bleeding. Of course he hadn't seen it so about 10:45 I make the decision to take him into the emergency room. The nurse or whoever checked us in asked questions about concussions and head injuries and told Shane that he probably wouldn't need stitches. Great I was worried I wasted everyone's time and brought three children to the emergency room for no reason. Then once the doctor finally got in and cleaned out the wound a little he said, "yup, probably two stitches." I wasn't happy that he hurt himself enough to get stitches but I was glad I did bring him in. Shane took the other two boys to the in-laws and I got the pleasure of being part of the most awful thing ever. It didn't take too long but Lincoln cried so hard he threw up after. I felt like the worst mom but he was so brave. He got some cool bandaids and his elephant toy got some too. Luckily after some ibprofen and a good nap he didn't even seem to notice the stitches in. He actually walked around like a pretty cool dude because he had the bandaids on. We got the stitches out a week later which wasn't fun because I knew it was coming but he did pretty good and is healing up great. Plus now he'll have a pretty cool dude scar. 

Side view the morning after

Oh the angst

Healing up!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quality One-On-One

Well almost. I always have the baby with us, but I've been trying to be a little more intentional with how I give each boy attention. Dylan is my sensitive one. He likes the build up of us going out on a date, just the two of us together. Last year we went to a basketball game at the high school and it was pretty fun to hear him talk about it the day before and even during. Lincoln is in the "look at me, watch me," phase so just giving him my attention and time means more to him than taking him anywhere. I realized that after I thought it would be so cute to go to a coffee shop and sit for a little date. He had his chocolate milk and I even found a cool toy and figured I would have at least a few minutes to sit and talk about our day while I tried to feed the baby and take a break from errands. Unfortunately he had other ideas and ended up trying to share a couch with a college student working on his computer, check out all the different table and finally go in the corner and try to poop. Ah this is my life. So I cut it short and we left and I realized that just wasn't his style.

Lincoln sitting still for all of two minutes. 

The next time I took him out on his bike. I dragged him all the way down our long gravel driveway while pushing the stroller and he rode about three feet and then announced "All done" and hopped off the bike, running to grab his tricycle since he hasn't figured out pedaling yet. Dragging the bike back up to the door I got the tricycle and we tried it again. We went up and down the street. We found a praying mantis and watched that for a while. We picked up big rocks and tossed them. We petted the neighbor's cat. We just got to hang out. He loved it. 
Pure bug joy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Keep Them Playing

As I pull out my hair, I am realizing that my boys have not really mastered independent play yet. Sure Lincoln is 2 so he's pretty small, but Dylan still requires my help coming up with ideas to do, or how to spend his time if he's not watching tv (which he did a lot more of this summer than I'd like to admit). Lincoln also requires help to accomplish a lot of tasks and to not let things get out of control (such as half of the water beads ending up smashed rather than just played with) so I'm on call a lot. This can be tricky to figure out between feeding the baby, making dinner, cleaning, organizing MOPS stuff and who knows what else. I stepped down from planning my 10 year high school reunion next summer because I just felt like I was spreading myself too thin to raise my boys well and be a good wife. 
So we play. We are not one of those families that shuttles from one activity to another. One, it can be way expensive to pay for lessons, classes, sports, memberships etc. so sometimes I suggest that as gift ideas. Plus most of us are home bodies. We don't do well being out of the house in the evenings, I always plan my errands in the morning before lunch/nap time. So anyway we find frugal easy things to do to keep us busy. 


video
My boys... sometimes there just aren't words to describe what is going through their heads, much like this video. Belly flops on Mommy's bed. They thought it was hilarious... me, not so much. 
Making "applopus" snacks.
 I have a subscription to the magazine Family Fun which I highly recommend for cheap, creative ideas for kids. There are always fun craft, snack and activity ideas that we borrow, such as the cool apple octopus snack in the photo above. I actually get my subscription free through an offer I found on Moneysavingmom.com. They do the promotion every so often and I love getting free magazines!

I found Lincoln like this the other day, playing with a tractor while hanging upside down out of the washing machine.
Sometimes I let them try something new. I don't like my washing machine manhandled but it also bought me 20 minutes to finish the dishes and wipe down the kitchen. We often have sofa cushion forts  and playdoh on a plastic table cloth on the kitchen floor.  

Playing dress up
 We now have a dress up bin in the playroom so Lincoln often comes out wearing something silly. They only issue is that he wants to wear every outfit/thing and changes every 10 seconds, usually when I am trying to feed the baby. I'm still working on figuring out how to work that one. 

The boys playing with Warner in the exersaucer. 
The boys like to try to keep the baby busy when he is awake, coming up with games like hide and seek out of sight and tickle bugs. Luckily Lincoln tries his best to be gentle. 

Lego mania has hit the Sadler house.
We aren't die hard fans yet, but the boys are starting to really love Legos. Lincoln doesn't put everything in his mouth anymore so we can be a little more relaxed with where we keep them and how often everyone can play. Lincoln made his first tower out of duplos the other day and it was very exciting!

My little hipster

Dylan learning to rollerblade

All three boys outside
We also try to get outside and get some fresh air when we can. This summer has been very windy. We have also had many wildfires (95 have been reported from one lightening storm on Sunday!) so smoke has been an issue too. But when we have a nice day we try to get outside and ride bikes or run around in the grass or hit a baseball. We haven't gotten to the point where I can sit in a lawn chair with my Kindle and just supervise, but those days are in my future. We have a pretty tiny yard, but it is fenced and there are tons of different things for them to do so I'm happy. 

Warner is too cool for school
We try to be goofy. We listen to the toddler radio station on Pandora and dance around. We talk about big poops (yes potty training is so glamorous) and put jokes in lunch boxes. I guess it helps pass the time to have fun rather than drive mommy batty. 


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to School

And another summer comes to an end. We had a great time enjoying a new baby, seeing family, camping, playing outside, making snow cones and vacationing. Dylan said he wasn't ready for school to start as summer ended, but now that he is knee deep back in school he is so excited to be there and glad it is back in session. He loves his new teacher, Mrs. Taylor, and thinks she is the best 2nd grade teacher around. Lincoln also started school last week, but at home with me and he's not quite sure why he doesn't get to go with his big brother on the bus, or sit in a classroom. All in good time my son! 

The first three pictures are from the welcome back night, the day before school actually began. Dylan got to see his classroom, bring his back pack, set up his desk how he wanted it, and meet his teacher. Lincoln also decided that he would bring his back pack and we almost as excited as Dylan was. I'm not sure how to break it to him...
Getting ready to go.

They both wanted to wear nice shirts. 

Dylan with Mrs. Taylor.
 And finally the first day of school. The boys were up early, I mean Dylan was ready to go by 6:45am. Dylan had packed his lunch the night before (and I snuck in a little joke and note because I'm a big sappy) and we had decided what the boys wanted for breakfast the day before too. Toaster waffles and cantaloupe. Shane had to work early that day so I was on my own getting everyone up, fed and there on time. Luckily everything worked out and we got plenty of pictures too. Thankfully Dylan likes to ride the bus and the stop is right in front of our house so it is quite convenient with the other little ones. 
Yay for school! The boys colored their own sheets, notice Linc's is upside down :)

Dylan, 7 years old, 2nd grade

Lincoln, 2 years, Preschool

My goof balls

Dylan at his desk.

Poor Mommy, leaving a kid on the first day is still a little hard. I took a picture of his classroom window from the outside. Luckily I have two other ones at home to keep me busy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Preschool at Home

So I've decided to start Lincoln doing preschool at home. He's not going to be sitting at a desk for hours or filling out work sheets, but we are going to have a little more structure in his day and start working on some preschool type activities, mainly because he wants to. He can count up to eleven, sort of. Most of the time he skips 9. I don't think he knows how to count but he can repeat the sequence up to there, and he likes to say 14 a lot too. He is also starting to show interest in how books work, learning how to use items for their intended purpose (a spatula to flip food, blocks to stack, cars to drive, etc) and doing different stations so I decided that I might as well make learning intentional. He is a completely different personality than Dylan so my teaching ideas will have to be shifted around from what worked with him. Lincoln is a mover. He is high energy and into attention grabbing, hands on lessons. Here are some of the stations and ideas that we've started working on. 

Construction Tub - Fish tank gravel and construction vehicles


Flour Sand Tub - He likes to pour and scoop


Pom pom stuffing in a wipe tub.

Water Beads - These are so cool to play with but unfortunately not as hardy as I thought and Lincoln like to squish them. We'll see how long they hold up. 

He is just so darn cute when he is actually sitting still, which doesn't happen that often. He definitely wears me out (and wears me down when he says No! more than any other word and tries to avoid sleeping at all costs) but he is also so loving and sweet. My little Linkster.

Building his first town with duplos

Coloring a picture (with help from me)

Putting play doh pigs on the houses.
video

Summer Mysteries

Some of these things may or may not ever be explained.

Does lip gloss go better on the lips or all over the face?

How long can this curious george book keep Lincoln entertained on the potty?

If you look closely just below the bowl and to the right a little there is a dirty footprint on my counter. Can you tell who's size 9 that is? 

Why was the sky covered with this weird smoke and the sun was red? A 25,000+ acre fire pretty close to our town. 

How in the world did I get my kids to eat every bite of their veggie lasagna that doesn't even have noodles in it? Grilled eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, even clearance organic ricotta.

I love this look, his playful engaged face.
And the final mystery of the summer, who does this little boy look like? I guess he looks like Warner but it amazes me how his facial expressions can change in just the few seconds between pictures. His little hair line is also starting to come in so he's not quite so bald any more. I think his hair will be more similar to Dylan's than Lincoln's so far. 

His focused on Mommy look.

His watching tv look.

His handsome, almost unbearably adorable look.