Friday, December 2, 2011

How Do You Have Fun With Your Kids in the Car?

Mica and I read off street, road, avenue and circle signs, while in the car. I figure it's a good way for the boys and I to learn our area.

I've never been too good with directions. That's probably why I talk about directions to Mica and Isaak all the time. I find myself saying, "We're going west." a lot. When I was little, I thought every downtown was south. South on the map always points down; which is the reason why I thought it was "downtown." Hey my brain in much on the right side and a little on the left.

My Kind of Map! Do you see the McDonalds sign? What about the street going down the painting? The credit goes to painter Mary Todd Beam. Found in the book Celebrate You Creative Self. An excellent book for creativity and painting techniques.
When I created Mica's room, I put my own street, road, avenue and circle signs. All the signs are family names. He has a street room.

 What do you do in the car to pass time away?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Terrible Three's

I had to balance out my Happy post of the day with this Grumpy one! If you want something to read that is more uplifting, skip this post.

Who's the grumpy one? Why Sir Isaak! Ever since we cut off his hair, he's turned into more of a punk! HA I know that's not why. It's just a coincidence.

Isaak's a major bear when it's time to wake up from a nap and in the morning time.

When Mica went through this at Isaak's age I just yanked his clothes off and dressed him as quick as possible, while he screamed in my ears. I also put him to bed at 7. So early, but hey he woke up GRUMPY! When none of the above worked out I put Mica in bed with us for 15 minutes for cuddle time and he was much better about getting up. Daddy didn't like it, but it seemed to work with Mica not being in a FUNK. I'm not sure if I'll do this with Isaak or not. I have mixed feelings about it. Sure it made him less grumpy, but it also allowed him to think it was ok to come in our room to cuddle every morning.

Advice? Please don't say, "Beat your child to control him!" That's the advice I got from my co-worker, and I wanted to beat his face in. Not really, I just shrugged it off; thinking I won't do that. To make his advice worse, he mentioned, "That's the only way to control children. Isaak needs to know who's boss!" Oh and his kids never acted that way because he spanked them to control them. Two parenting polar opposites! Ya we kind of clashed.

To us, kids and parents need to respect each other. I'm not going to spank my child for not wanting to get out of bed. I don't even want to get out of bed. There has to be another reasonable answer to fix Isaak's grumpy stage, or at least get through it. Mica went through it, he got over it. Isaak will to. It's just a matter of how to deal with this stage, while it's present.

I even remember my sister, Aunt Terra going through this stage. She's 5 years younger than me. I used to have to get her up on days that my mom was at work once or twice a week. Terra would not get out of bed! This is crazy, but worked: I pretended that we were trapped in an episode of She Ra. You know, "The princess of power." I was belittled to that! HA Hey like I said, it worked! Princess Terra otherwise known as She Ra got up to get ready to save the castle.

Sometimes I puppy bark to get Isaak to smile when he wakes up. Silly again, but he likes puppies. Reverse psychology works on him to. Daddy says, "Isaak don't smile!" Generally he does.

It's not just about getting out of bed. Isaak's determined to let his punk side show through at other times to. Thanksgiving weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Apel's: Grandma Apel offered them many different things to drink all weekend. At home it's water or milk. For breakfast it's juice and on the weekends it's homemade juice. They aren't allowed to have juice at any other time of the day. He thought he could have Limeade for breakfast. Daddy bent a bit by pouring in 1/4 limeade and 1/4 water. NOPE! Isaak had a melt down! He cried in the back room with Daddy for 1/2 an hour over the deal. Sure we could have let him have his way. We wouldn't. He doesn't get his way all the time. Melt down it was. Daddy stayed with him, so he wouldn't feel abandon. We were at someone else's house other than our own. I was wondering what Grandma and Grandpa Apel were thinking? Were they thinking like my co-worker? A different generation, a different outlook. I'm not sure. It doesn't really matter. We didn't let him have his way, but we weren't spanking him either. He got a giant Super Nanny time out until he cooled down enough to have breakfast.

Other Punk Experiences:
  • Yesterday Isaak wanted to wear his new short sleeve t-shirt without a long sleeve shirt under it. 
  • That evening he refused to let me button up his jammies at night. He had to do it. It took twice as long, but he has to learn sometime.
  • Today was a day where he didn't want to get up out of bed. 
  • Grandpa Spiehs took cousin Elijah and Isaak for a walk. Elijah refused to wear his gloves and hat, so Isaak did to; just because Elijah wouldn't. They were freezing, but wouldn't wear their extra gear.

It's a Terrible Three stage! I can't wait to get past it.

It's a stage where they want to figure things out on their own. They don't have the coordination to do everything just yet. They are unreasonable and strong headed. Isaak's gone through this stage once already; it left and now it's back again with a vengeance.


HEXBUG Prize Pack

My Wee View is giving away a HEXBUG prize pack worth $200! We have an Orange Ant that's fun to watch zip around! They find their way out of all kinds of places. it would be fun to have a track for them to zoom around on.


Are We Happy?

In Men's Health Magazine, they rated the happiest and unhappiest places to live. They judged this by unemployment, suicide and households on anxiety meds. 

The tops place to live was Honolulu, Hawaii. My boys love this place! We've never been there. They have a Melissa and Doug puzzle that says the state and capitol. "Hawaii, Honolulu" gets taken out and put in the most; just so they can giggle over the word, "Honolulu." :) To them it's a funny word. I'm not sure why it's so happy there? Could it be the sun? Maybe because it's so stinking beautiful!

Other happy places include:
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Fargo, North Dakota
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
Where I live: Omaha, Nebraska ranks number 4. We have no mountains and no beaches. We're smack dab in the middle of the United States.

Counting Crows wrote a song about Omaha and the band never came here prior to writing it. This song was written in 2003, but I like it!




Most people I went to college and grad school with would say, "Omaha, Nebraska? Do you live with cows? What is there to do there?" While it is true that much of Nebraska is filled with corn fields, Omaha is a city. We had a Staycation here this summer and we had more things to do here than we had time for. You can read and view pictures about our Staycation here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Told you there's stuff to do here! We didn't even go to some of our main attractions: Henry Doorly Zoo, Western Heritage Museum, Omaha's Children Museum, Gene Leahy Mall (which is more like a beautiful park with giant metal slides), Old Market, Village Point, CoCo Key Water Park, CenturyLink Center, Rose Theater, Orpheum Theater, Omaha Play House and more.

Maybe we don't need beaches and mountains to make us happy. *Although it would be nice! :)  From Omaha, Kansas City is only 2 and a half hours away. They have a variety of more stuff to do there! We have 4 seasons here. When I get blue from the cold and dark of winter, the sunshine and warm weather is around the corner.

Are we happy? There's a lot that has been going on in our small family unit that has made Daddy and I sort of blue this year. I'd say in general, I'm pretty happy!

The places in the United States that got an F for happiness are:
  • Detroit Michigan
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • St. Petersburg, Florida (ranked the worst for happiness!)

Crazy that the warm, pretty places like St. Petersburg, Florida ranked high in unhappy individuals! Except for Honolulu, Hawaii, it was at the top for happiness!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Split Pea Soup or Witch's Skin?

I packed in Mica's lunch yesterday a homemade blueberry muffin, grapes, split pea soup and almond milk.


I came home from work and Mica says, "Mom I got no bad checks and I did not kiss any girls." I praised him.

Daddy: "Tell Mommy about lunch Mica!"

Mica: "Oh it's about the Split Pea Soup. The people around me said it was 'Throw up!' I had to lie Mom! I told them it was melted witches skin!"

Mommy and Daddy: It's ok to lie as long as it's being silly and standing up for yourself! LOL

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WW - Christmas Postcard {Linky}

I have finally sent off my Christmas postcard to be printed.

Here's the front:


Here's the wording on the back:

Christmas Train

Isaak hops on a grocery cart, pretending it's a Christmas train.
Mica joins in and Mom says, "You are driving me insane!"

The fun is just about to fizzle.
Isaak blows a two-finger whistle.

He learned this trick from the Cat in the Hat.
What in the world do you think about that?

Daddy says, "I can't take it any more!"
We check out our groceries and exit the store.

We go home to finish our day.
Mica completes homework; Isaak's eager to play.

The night ends on the right track.
All sleeping soundly, no looking back.

Here's the process of the front:



I merged the two images together and added all kinds of candy and Santa to the train.

To see last years card click here. To see the year before click here.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Tea

Go Graham Go! is sponsoring a great giveaway! This one is for Tea. A $100 GC! If you haven't checked them out, do so! They have really great clothes for women and kiddos. Right now they are having a 25% off sale and donating to the Global Fund for Children with every purchase.

I like pretty much everything on their site. This is unusual for me to say! I'm picky! Their clothes just seem artsy. The hoodie on the left is what I could see on Mica and the sweater hoodie on the right is what I could see on Isaak. I have to mention that their models are so stinking cute!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving

We drove 6 hours to stay with Grandma and Grandpa Apel. We also saw Aunt Laura and Cousin Payton.

The boys were pretty good in the car to and from. We did get the question, "Are we there yet?" and "When will we get there?" over and over again on the way Grandma and Grandpa Apel's. We drove both times at night. The only thing I hate about driving in the dark is that CD books are pretty much out. On the way back both boys slept, which was great!

If I was at home I would have kept the boys on the BRAT diet {banana, rice, apple sauce and toast} for a few days. They were sick with the tummy flu before they left. It was Mica that got sick first and Isaak followed. They acted just fine prior to leaving town. In fact they were hungry. I really thought they were on their upswing. The second night while out of town, Mica threw up all over their bedding and Isaak had a major poop explosion in the morning. It's been a long time since Isaak's had a poop explosion. He really hasn't had too many. Both of those situations were embarrassing and hard to clean up! 3 baths and 3 loads of laundry! YUCK! Isaak required 2 baths. We thought they were over their tummy issues. I honestly think that the combo of too much to eat, the type of food they ate after being sick (McDonalds on the way out of town really didn't help!) and lack of sleep didn't help either. The day after I fed them toast, applesauce and bananas.


They both showed some signs of being allergic to their cute kitten and cat. Unfortunately they get that from me! I'm the queen of allergies. I've taken many back prick tests that were off the charts. Mica acted allergic right away, while Isaak was more at the end of our visit. I do have to say that that kitten was CUTE!


Not all was sickness and wiping noses. The kids had a blast playing with their one and only cousin on that side. Payton is in the second grade.

Grandma Apel told Mica and Payton some great stories. Mica's still talking about them.

Daddy, Isaak, Mica, Payton and I went for a walk down to some train tracks. We also went for a drive to see Daddy's first house, school and second house, which no longer exists. The cabin he built with his Dad is still there.



Mica went back to Grandma and Grandpa's and drew this for Grandma Apel.

Mica, Payton, Grandma Apel, Daddy and I played ball outside. Isaak was napping.




We watched TV with Grandpa Apel. Grandpa Apel had knee replacement surgery. He gets his other knee replaced in a month. The surgeries sound and look painful!

The boys performed for us. They made sure we were sitting down. Mica did skits and magic tricks. Isaak followed up with singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and ABC's over and over again. Now he's singing Bah, Bah Black Sheep and 1, 2 Buckle My Shoe over and over again. He skips 5, 6 Pick up Sticks just about every time. Mica lets him know too. :)

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