Word Games

mikey-cox

Mikey came up with a game that we just can’t get enough of around here.  We play in the car as we’re traveling around and at home.  Joshy tries to play and is starting to say a few letter sounds as a result.

Mikey: Let’s play a game.  We say words that start with the /s/ /s/ /s/ s sound.  /s/ /s/ stop.

Me: /s/ /s/ Santa

Mikey: ooh that’s a good one, Mommy.  /s//s/ snake

We play for a while and then Mikey will see or read something and want to change the letter.  It’s a fun little game that can go on for a long or short time. Here’s some of my favorites that Mikey has said:

/b/ /b/ Box Tops for Education

/n/ /n/ Nevada

/m/ /m/ mommy

/k/ /k/ Caillou (correct sound, just not starting with the letter k)

/l/ /l/ Leap and Lilly (Leapfrog characters)

This kid amazes me more and more each and every day.  Not sure what we’ll do come kindergarten time, but we still have a while.

Christmas at Town Square

Today we went to free story time at Town Square where we danced around with Frosty the Snowman while playing with bubbles and eating sugar cookies and candy canes.  Frosty’s assistant even made balloon animals to give to the kids.  I was really impressed.  We even waited in line to sit on Santa’s lap.  That didn’t go too bad, but Mikey froze and completely was speechless when it came time to tell Santa what he wanted.  Poor Santa had to guess a bunch of times while Mikey nodded and shook his head in attempts to get Santa to say “Geo Trax”.  We’ll hopefully make another stop before Christmas to visit the jolly man and get our wish list vocalized.

Later at home Mikey made quite the profound statement about his observations today.

Mikey: I think Frosty lives in the bathroom.

Me: What?  Why do you think that?

Mikey: Because Frosty went into the bathroom after story time so I think that’s his home.

Me: Maybe Frosty needed to go potty.

Mikey: No, Frosty didn’t have any private parts.  I don’t think snowmen have any private parts, mom!

Me: (trying to hold laughter in) Oh, okay!

Mikey’s Taylor Swift/ Word Girl Connection

Word Up it's Word Girl

Word Up it's Word Girl

I think this is a cute little text to world connection.  We were driving around today in the truck and the ever-so-catchy Taylor Swift “You Belong to Me” song was playing. 

Mikey:  I like this song.  It says that word that they say on Word Girl all the time.

Me : What word is that?

Mikey: something I couldn’t figure out that sounds like: butchert

Me: Blood shirt?

Mikey: No, butchert

Later at home Mikey tells me it’s not a word they say, but a person.  So we go to the PBS kids website, search for Word Girl, scroll through the villians, and he identifies the butcher from the pictures shown. 

Mikey: on the song it goes when you wake up and find the butchert

Me: Let’s go listen to the song, because I’m still confused (goes and pulls up Taylor Swift lyrics website and listens to song with Mikey)

Here’s the real lyrics of the chorus:

But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts
She’s Cheer Captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time

Apparently the part about “wake and find that what you’re looking for” sounds like “wake and a find the butcher” to little Mikey.   Thought it was pretty funny and I’ll probably sing along in the truck to Taylor Swift while thinking about Word Girl from now on.  Oh that song is so catchy.  Sorry if you now have Taylor Swift stuck in your head.

Pencil Bouquets

colored-pencils

So I’m coloring little family member finger puppets for my nursery class lesson and Mikey decides we should sharpen all the colored pencils.  Great idea, except I don’t think Joshy is quite ready for pencil sharpening.  Loading the washer and dryer, yes.  Pushing pencils in the electric sharpener, no!  Mikey on his own came up with the plan to let Josh watch the sharpening take place on a chair, then hand Josh a handful of pencils to go take to Mommy.  Joshy happily brings the little handful bouquets to me and grins while toddling back to get more. 

It totally took me back to classroom teaching days.  Every kid wanted a classroom job, especially class leader.  There were those students who were the best little cleaners and pencil sharpeners.  And I loved when the responsible kids were the ones who were the leaders, because they would remember those important duties like taking the lunch count and attendance folder to the right place all on their own, no reminders needed. 

So here’s to learning and growing and teaching each other one little lesson at time.  May my kids learn important skills to help them cooperate and interact appropriately at home and school and play.

Oh Croup, No Soup!

So my kids have croup.  Think really bad colds with coughs that sound like barking seals and so congested that you can hear their little selves weazing with every in and out breath they take.  The amazing thing is that 2 days ago these boys slept the whole day.  Talk about giving a mother anxiety.  What the heck was I suppposed to do all day with my kids sound a sleep in their room? 

Well last night I thought tomato soup with rice would be just the right thing for these guys.  Mikey walked up stairs before dinner was even started and went to bed for the night.  Josh, used his spoon to fling food everywhere and didn’t even have a bite.  Mike was working late, got about 4 min from home, and then got called back to work.  So I enjoyed soup by myself.  Rice in soup- not too bad!  I really liked it.

Not sure if these guys are getting any better and I’m sure I’ll be pulling the weight in nursery this Sunday since someone will have to stay home with sick kids, and I doubt it will be me.  Oh well, a break from sick kids is always welcomed.

On the bright side, these boys have proven that you’re never too old for Mommy hugs and have requested more hugs and to be held in the past 3 days then I can remember.  They’re so sweet and I love that they find me irresistable and are comfortable enough to wipe their noses on my shirt.  Well, I could do without the snotty nose stains, but I know it comes with the territory.  And I get to sit in my favorite piece of furniture, the glider recliner, and rock rock away with the thought of doing chores pushed off for another day.  Sick isn’t so bad really.

Here’s to hoping this counts as our winter sickness and that we can make it through the New Year with no more illness.  And thank goodness it isn’t H1N1!

June Events

Solar Oven Cooking- So Mike is getting pretty savvy with cooking in his solar oven.  I finally took pictures of the whole process to show how easy it is to use.  Basically you set it outside on a flat surface (or desert landscaping as in our case) facing the sun and set up the silver reflector thingies.  Those flaps are similar to flaps on a cardboard box so if you can open a box, you can set up a solar oven.  Wait a while and then go and check the temp on the thermostat that’s inside the solar oven.  When it’s hot (and it doesn’t take long) then use oven mitts to open the glass top lid and put your pot of food on the little swing inside the oven.  Go and check like every 1/2 hour to poke food and see if it’s done and also to rotate your oven since the sun moves and your box may be in the shade. 

We’ve done things backwards in that we’ve only cooked meats in our oven.  It’s sooooo juicy and delicious.  Even something as common as  a hotdog takes on a whole new flavor when cooked in the sun oven.  We think meat is much better tasting after cooking in our solar oven.  Most people start with bread or water to try out the oven.  Here’s some great recipesfor cooking with a solar oven.  Maybe we should have a BBQ without the grill and make hot dogs in our solar oven.

Joshy Milestones- We’re growing by leaps and bounds and walking!  Josh took his first steps at 15 months while Mike and Mikey were in St. George visiting Grandma. What was interesting is that he didn’t take 2 steps and fall down.  He walked across the family room from the tv to the couch and then preceded to walk from 1 piece of furniture to the next.  My sis-in-law the kid expert (or so we all believe) said that kids who hit milestones “later” tend to do better at them.  In this case, taking lots of steps before falling down and having hardly any time between learning to walk and then taking off and running.  Another biggy is that he is weaned. Freedom!!  Not too bad when all was said and done, but getting to that point sure seemed like forever.  He’s still pretty small (3rd percentile) and hasn’t hit the magic 20 lb mark yet so we’ll wait until his 18 month appt. to turn his carseat forward facing.  He doesn’t seem to mind facing backward since he can see and play with Mikey pretty well while we’re driving.

Staycation- One of the vendors Mike’s company uses had a customer appreciation event way in the middle of no where, seriously!  We packed up the car and headed north to Apex then west past Coyote Springs.  Discount Dumpsters is a family owned and operated business which has a ranch, landfill, man made lake, airplane runway, and animals all out there for family and friends to enjoy.  They had a BBQ, landfill tours, and lots of excitement in such an unusual setting.  We had a blast and would love to get to know these people better.

Being the house hunters we are, we couldn’t help ourselves being that close to Coyote Springs to go exploring. There’s just a golf course so far.

May in Review

Well May was a busy month.  So let’s get to the pictures to show off our events.  Well, my pics are scrambled and doing wierd things, so bear with me while I attempt to resolve the issue over the next few days… (Dear Husband, if you’re reading my blog please fix the pics).

Mother’s Day- we used our free Shark Reef tickets (mailed our taxes on April 15th at Mandalay Bay and received free tickets for doing so) and strolled around the exhibits.  Honestly, I’m glad we didn’t pay.  It lasted like a whole 15 minutes.  We had a blast just finally spending some quality family time together and the boys seemed to enjoy themselves.  We then went to try out a new restaurant using our restaurant.com gift certificate and had some pizza and pasta and fun finger foods.  And we finally got going with assembling more square foot garden boxes for the backyard.  Mikey calls them Olive Garden boxes.

CSN Graduation- Mike (hubs), Brian (brother), Valerie (friend from the old neighbor) + Dan (Val’s hubs) all graduated together.  So all the families and extended families sat next to eachother at the Thomas and Mack and squinted and strained to see each one.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  I have little kids who didn’t do so well sitting in the nosebleed section so we played by the concession stands with the stroller and conveniently watched the ceremonies on the tvs all around.  Afterwards we had a little party at the Institute bldg for all the grads.  Yay for college degrees.  I don’t think any of the grads feel much smarter though.  

It's Vegas Formal

It's Vegas Formal Gramps and Grams

The Future Mrs. – My little bro is finally getting married!  Oh my mother is rejoicing after 26 long years! We invited Heather’s parents over to our house to meet the family.  My grandpa from Washington was down for all the hoopla and our cousin Derrick made a surprise visit before his deployment to see Grandpa.  So we had a full house to share homemade Cafe Rio burritos and homemade ice cream.  We are a pet-free family and the pooches in the back were driving my dear husband crazy.  We had a great time visiting and the dogs didn’t scratch up or bust through the back windows so everything was okay!
The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

 

Grandpa's Only Grandsons

Grandpa's Only Grandsons

 

Lola and Stitch

Lola and Stitch

 

Great Grandpa- spent 2 weeks with our family and really enjoyed seeing his only great grandsons.  He brought a toy tow truck that has officially been named Mater and he helped us a ton with projects in and around the house.  My grandpa is very handy and just always wants to be working on something.  He helped us run water lines through the garden boxes, make a shelf for Mike’s office, organized my garage, create a pantry in my coat closet, trimmed and tied our tree branches, and bought us patio chairs since ours blew over the wall and we never got them back.  This doesn’t even include the week we spent at my mom’s house and helping her with all her unfinished projects I get to inherit some day!  Thanks for all the help Grandpa.
Stocking the Coat Closet Pantry

Stocking the Coat Closet Pantry

 

 Resting During Garage Organization

Resting During Garage Organization

 

Go Fish Gwampa"

"Go Fish Gwampa"

 

The Gardener's Apprentice

The Gardener's Apprentice

"Yay for Gwampa"

"Yay for Gwampa"

Memorial Day- This is my favorite holiday for some crazy reason.  I remember going to a bunch of cemetaries with my grandma and she’d recite who was related to who and tell me a story about each one of the people and how they died.  Well now that she’s passed on it’s only my mom and I who go to the cemetaries.  Make that the cemetary.  We have our ritual of stopping to buy flowers and flags at the Richfield local WalMart and then heading to my grandpa and grandma’s grave.  We didn’t pay very close attention all those years to know who else was burried where.  I guess that’s a great reason to get started with geneology and figure out the other routes on my Memorial Day trek to decorate graves. 
 We then spend a week at my parents house and attempt to finish some sewing projects, take the boys to see the great outdoors, and help my mom with any projects she has going on for church or the city.  My grandpa V came up this time we helped my mom clean out her garage do some much needed yard work, and fix a few things.  All in all, a very enjoyable time with family.  Oh, and my dad took me for a ride on his new Harley- loved it!!!
Flags and Flowers

Flags and Flowers

 

My 1st Harley Ride with Dad

My 1st Harley Ride And the Dismount

 

I Prefer to Sit

I Prefer to Sit

Weeeeeee

Weeeeeee

Swing Time

Swing Time

Cutting the Green with Grandma

Cutting the Green with Grandma

Sharing Our Toys is Fun to Do

Sharing Our Toys is Fun to Do

Brotherly Love- I can’t believe how sweet and how mean these 2 boys can be to one another.  Luckily at Grandma and Grandpa N’s house this trip they were really good to each other.  I’m glad I caught these on camera, because some days I need the nice reminder that they can and do love eachother.  I am way too young to start getting gray hair, but these boys have brought it out in me, aughhh!
I Love My Brother

I Love My Brother

Tight Squeeze

Tight Squeeze

Cheese

Cheese

Mikey’s Oatmeal Coupon

Mikey just brought me a creation made with legos.  What a happy moment- he told me it was a spinning coupon machine and that I should pull the $1 off coupon from it.  “It’s a $1.00 off oatmeal coupon to use to help Daddy’s shingles go away!” he proudly exclaimed.

“And here comes a $1.00 off yogurt coupon.  And here’s an automatic tickle machine coupon coming too!”

What a proud mom I am.  My kiddo pretends to shop with coupons and won’t buy if it’s expensive or he doesn’t have a coupon.  And when his imagination and legos combine he creates me my own coupon generator for products I like.  Sounds like a keeper to me, the kiddo and the coupon machine =o)

Mikey Says:

Mikey: If I don’t clean up my toys before you vacuum will Heavenly Father come and take them away?

Me: (thinking long and hard) No. But Daddy might!

~~~~

Mikey (while in the bathtub): the black stuff isn’t scrubbing off my feet.

Me: Here’s some soap for your wash rag so you can scrub your feet.

Mikey: It’s not working.  I think your black hair is just stuck in my feets and it won’t come off until tomorrow.

Me: I don’t have black hair. I have brown hair.

Mikey: No, the top of your hair looks black to me and then it gets brown.

~~~

Mikey: Look at me, mom!

Me: Stop jumping off the couch please.  That’s a bad choice.

Mikey: Why?

Me: Because I said so and Joshy will try to do it and get hurt.

Mikey: Oh, I will never ever make bad choices again.  And I will never stop eating lasagna either!

{later that day}

Me: Stop please.  That’s a naughty choice.

Mikey: But sometimes I want to make good choices and sometimes I want to make naughty choices in the day.  I just want to do what I want, OKAY!  Is that okay?

lucky for me I can keep my cool through these episodes!

Dear Big Brother Mikey,

 

I just wanted to let you know that while you’re away at Grandma’s house I am holding my own back here at the house.  I’ve been playing with your Power Wheels Jeep in the garage and I even rode your bike a little bit.  I think Daddy will be able to realign the handle bars, but don’t worry, I didn’t get a scratch on it, anywhere!  I promise!

The Geo Trax are all doing well too!  I’ve watched you plenty of times load up the passengers and cargo and then move the handle on the remotes to make the trains move, so I gave it a try and did really well!  They are so much fun.  And I even put them back when I was done playing… well, most of them.

The puzzles I’m not too good with, yet!  I got a bit frustrated and just threw the pieces in a pile with all the Cox box of blocks that are all over the family room.  When you get home you can clean those up!

And I was having a difficult morning, so Mommy let me use your sippy bowl!  I love that thing!  I ate some cereal and then I even was able to sip up some cereal milk from the bowl.  I think I’ll want this bowl every morning now.  And I really wanted to use your place mat at lunch time too!  Did I mention we ate your favorite, mac n cheese, for lunch today?  You’re really missing out big brother. 

I wasn’t really in the mood for a nap, so guess what?  Mommy let me stay up.  That never happens when you’re here!

This evening we’re ordering pizza!  I’m so excited!  And Uncle Brian and Heather are coming over and we’re going to paint in Mommy’s room.  Maybe Unkee Brian will let me fly your kite tonight as well!  I think I can keep the kite strings untangled and off of the neighbor’s roof!?

So I am having a really great time with just Mommy and she’s paying a whole lot more attention to me with out you around, but I miss you Big Brother.  I hope you’re having fun at Grandma’s, but next time can you take me too?  I think Mommy deserves a much needed break from all her boys, even if it’s only for a weekend.  I am sleeping through the night, so I think Grandma would be okay if I came up too!  I kind of miss having you around to play with and chase and make funny sounds with.  Mommy just doesn’t do it right! 

Well give all my cousins slobbery kisses and tell them I will be up soon,

Little Brother Joshy