Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zoo Field Trip at Last

Garrett's field trip to the zoo that was cancelled a few weeks ago because of the swine flu was rescheduled for today. I went with him and his classmates and we had a great time. We rode in a big bus and saw lots of cool animals. Here are some highlights.

We got to feed parakeets with bird seed on a stick.

And there were some barnyard animals to pet.
This is how Garrett psychs out a goat:
Garrett: "Look over there!"
Goat: "Where?"
Garrett: "Ha Ha!! Made you look."
Goat: "That's not fuh-uh-uh-uh-uh-ny."
Sometimes, it was hard to tell who was observing whom. This flamingo stared at us almost as long as we stared at him.

Then there was the non-animal fun, like riding on the carousel.

And getting water sprayed on him from a water tank.

And this is one of my favorite Garrett pictures ever. I took it outside the orangutan exhibit. It looks like a fake background, but it's not. There is no glass divider between Garrett and the exhibit. The lighting just makes it look surreal.

I am so glad we got to have our field trip to the zoo. It isn't often that Garrett and I get to do something by ourselves. It was a great Mommy/Son bonding experience.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

She had a Field Day

Erin's school had field day last week. It was a lot of fun watching the kids run around and be physically active, something they don't get enough of these days. Here are some pictures from the games.

A good time was had by all!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

She's Leaving Home, Bye-Bye

Erin got very angry with me Sunday. I was enjoying a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon when Erin insisted that I take her to the store to spend her birthday money. I was in no mood to change my relaxed Sunday afternoon into an afternoon of shopping, so I told her "No." She through a huge fit, so I sent her to her room. Two minutes into her six minute time out, she comes downstairs with her sleeping bag in its duffel bag and announces that she is moving out of the house. I reminded her that her time out wasn't done and she couldn't move out until she completed her time out. She reluctantly went back upstairs. When the timer went off, I went upstairs to talk things over, only to find her struggling to tie her clothes into a bundle using a large cloth. I helped her tie her bundle, and even tied the bundle onto a toy broom, making a hobo stick. During her time out, she had also taken her sleeping bag out of the duffel bag and packed other things she would need to move out. As Erin was walking downstairs, I told her I wanted one last picture of her before she moved out. Her smile magically appeared when I got the camera out.

When she got downstairs, the conversation went something like this:

Mom: "Where are you moving to."

Erin: "Shannon's house." (her best friend) "Can you drive me there?"

Mom: "No. If you're moving out, you have to get there yourself."

Erin: "Daddy and Garrett are moving with me. Daddy, let's go to Shannon's."

Dad: "Where am I going to sleep at Shannon's?

Erin: "We can take the couch."

Mom: "The couch won't fit in the car."

Dad: "Besides, we won't be able to read your Junie B. Jones book at Shannon's."

Erin: "Okay, I'll stay home until we finish the Junie B. Jones book, then I'll move out."

The next day, I opened Erin's duffel bag to see what she packed to "move out." This is what she had:

She was going to take a bunch of books, stuffed animals, and the music box she got for her birthday, the same one that she cried about from this post.
P.S. Sorry I haven't been posting much. The neighborhood pool just opened and the weather has been nice, so we've been spending a lot of time outside and at the pool.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Homemade Mother's Day Gift

Homemade Mother's Day gifts are the best kind. Anything made by little hands is always treasured. This is what Erin made for me for Mother's Day at school. It's a flat rock painted to look like a ladybug.

She even made her own wrapping paper.

She was supposed to wait until tomorrow to give this to me, but she was so excited about her gift that she couldn't wait, so she gave it to me today. Together we decided on the perfect place to put the ladybug, under the tree in the front yard. It looks fabulous!

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Swine Flu Blown Way Out of Proportion

Allow me to vent my frustration over the exacerbating hysteria over swine flu. Don't get me wrong, at the beginning I was all in favor of the CDC's recommendations to close schools and cancel activities to prevent a larger outbreak. Read this post I wrote last week about Garrett's field trip being cancelled. I was totally cool with it. And I was also supportive of the CDC's new recommendation to not cancel school since swine flu does not appear to be any more dangerous than the seasonal flu.

But I found out the hard way today that there is a new policy in place at Garrett's school (and district), because of the swine flu hysteria, that requires any child that has been sick for any reason to have a doctor's note to come back to school. Garrett spiked a fever yesterday of 102. He had been having diarrhea for the past 24 hours but that is now over. So this morning, I called the school and reported Garrett sick. No problem, right? I just have to wait until he is fever free for 24 hours (and diarrhea free, which he seems to be now), and he'd be back at school. But nooooooo!! The school nurse called me this morning and informed me that Garrett needs a doctor's note to come back. The doctor has to certify that he doesn't have swine flu. Last time I checked, swine flu included respiratory symptoms, which Garrett does not have. In fact, I called the nurse at Garrett's pediatrician yesterday just to make sure his symptoms did not sound like swine flu. She assured me that just a fever does not swine flu make.

Now, I had no intention of taking Garrett to the doctor for just a fever and a slight case of diarrhea. A little Tylenol and a bland diet and he should be good as new in a couple days. But common sense has completely taken a back seat to hysteria, and now I have to drag a sick kid half way across town and possibly expose him to swine flu at the doctor's office, just to prove that he doesn't have swine flu. It makes no sense at all.

This picture is a good metaphor for what I think of the swine flu hysteria now.

Swine flu is a real entity that is so full of hot air that is has been blown completely out of proportion.

I'll let you know how the doctor's appointment goes tomorrow.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bubble Art

We really enjoy making bubble paintings at our house. It's a very simple and fun craft to make as long as the kids are old enough to understand that you blow OUT with the straw, not suck IN. You'll see what I mean in a minute. All you need is water based paint, dish soap, straws, small bowls and paper (card stock works well too). Pour some paint into a small bowl, add some water and some dish soap. You can add more or less water depending on how bright you want the paint. Just make sure there's enough water and soap to make bubbles. Stir paint/water/soap mixture well, then insert straw and start blowing bubbles until you have a big mound of bubbles coming out the top, something like this.

Make sure you have newspaper or something to protect the table so you don't have a mess.

Once you get a big mound of bubbles, lay the paper on the bubbles. The bubble pattern will transfer onto the paper. Some of the smaller bubbles will stick to the paper, and that's okay. They will pop and leave a slightly darker color spot. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire paper. You can use several different colors on one paper. The end product will look something like this.

The colors didn't turn out very bright in this picture, but it looks better in real life. Once these creations dry, you can cut out shapes and glue them onto construction paper, or use them in all kinds of paper crafts (scrapbooking, card making, etc.). They're a lot of fun to make, especially the blowing bubbles part.

Here is my expert bubble artist at work.

Notice the newspaper protecting the table top.

Let me stress again the importance of blowing OUT, not sucking IN. I did this craft at church with a group of 3-5 year olds. One little boy didn't listen to the instructions. When he got his paint/water/soap mixture, he promptly took a big drink and got a big mouthful of soapy water. The poor kid probably cried for ten minutes and refused to complete his project.