Wednesday, June 20, 2012

pool time fun!

we have a fabulous pool in our subdivision that we visit almost daily for an hour or two. the girls have turned into little pool rats and always ask to go. after molly's initial fear of the water and plunging in and swimming underwater again and solving sophie's burning eyes from sunscreen. fortunately the stick is working.

 this little floating turtle has been a favorite in the pool this summer and perfect for sophie because she feels like she's swimming. she picks her feet up and starts kicking away. it is also a favorite with other kids at the pool.

here's molly plunging in and swimming underwater. she's doing so well holding her breath and seems to be able to do it longer each day. tonight she figured out how to swim on her back! now if we could just get her brave enough to take swim lessons...she's petrified of the big pool.

jumping in is on of molly's favorite things to do. she pretends to dive by jumping in and then swimming underwater quickly. 
 swimming is so much fun but tiring too. because of molly's gymnastics on mondays we can't swim that day. we tried one week and she was so sluggish and tired. this monday we had a little swimming fun on the deck with our little people and polly pockets. the girls thought this was lots of fun

molly gave her people a lot of swimming lessons and both girls enjoyed dropping the people from way up high saying they were going off the high dive.

of course, there was also the opportunity for the girls to get a little wet!
we also constructed a pool out of our wooden blocks in the basement for the girls to play with complete with a slide and diving board and also lily pads (remembering our paola pool). the girls had a lot of fun letting their dolls go swimming, jump off the diving board and slide down the slide. our giant strawberry shortcake served as the lifeguard for our pool.

we also have a fun strawberry shortcake pool toy that we've played with quite a bit. lots of pool time fun. i think our next pool fun activity will be a playdough pool or ocean or both. i haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

potty training!

potty training, here we go! sophie's taking the lead and wants to use the toilet! hooray! she's going to prove me wrong. on memorial day, i purchased two more boxes of papers diapers (mainly because i got $20 off for buying two but also because i didn't think she'd be potty trained in 3 months). i'm now hoping i can return the second box (for cash, not store credit but that probably won't happen since i don't have a receipt). for the past month, i have let sophie try out the toilet whenever she asked. sometimes a little poop came out, most times, nothing. however, she was excited. then she lost interest, and then it came back so we bought some underwear. how lucky for sophie that walmart sells frog underwear. we've been talking to her a lot about using the toilet and last week she saw her cousin (who is only 9 days older) wearing underwear. this helped spark some interest so we began experimenting with underwear. she's only had a couple accidents. pooping is so much easier than peeing. never has she told me she needed to pee but she'll tell me she has to poop and then goes. this girl spends so much time in the bathroom "trying" because she wants to go and she knows if she does smarties are waiting for her. i think this is one reason we haven't had many accidents...she's in the bathroom all. the. time. it's exhausting sometimes! oh, well, whatever works. she constantly tells me she's done with diapers but i'm not sure i'm ready to venture out of the house in underwear. i mentioned to her she'd have to wear a diaper to story time at the library tomorrow and she got so upset. maybe i should give it a try? i just hate for her to pee all over the library carpet.... she's so proud of herself and is her own best cheerleader saying, "yay, sophie" each time she goes in the toilet. molly is also very into sophie using the toilet and usually has to accompany sophie to the bathroom each time. she takes great pride in letting me know when sophie is ready to wipe and even "taught" sophie to wipe while i was in the shower yesterday. she always wants to know what underwear sophie will pick out to wear. tonight we took a walk and i made sophie sit on a towel, folded multiple times, just in case. she fell asleep and molly continually checked to make sure sophie was still dry. actually, now that i'm thinking about it, molly was probably the most instrumental part of sophie's potty training interest because i'd catch her whispering to sophie when she'd use the bathroom, "do you want to try" and then come running to me letting me know that sophie wanted to try. she invited sophie into the bathroom many times when she was going. aren't big sisters great? so here we 3 tomorrow. molly was trained in a weeks time...i'm wondering if sophie will be just as quick. my guess is no, but we're moving in the right direction! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

ants and picnics

we have finished our unit on ant and picnics except for a few handwriting sheets that molly will continue to work on. the girls are having so much fun with the makes me excited for our next unit! here are our final activities: patterning to make a tablecloth. sophie caught on quick to this and knew exactly what color she needed next. this was not a challenge for molly but she still had fun. she turned it into a race (of course, sophie can't finish before her) so her tablecloth was a little off...

 then, the girls used their finger, or fingers/hand in sophie's case, to make ants crawling on their tablecloth. i think there was an ant on almost every square!

molly practiced writing A's and P's
 sophie colored on a dry erase board for a bit but quickly grew tired of it so we sequenced dinosaurs. she preferred this activity and did great! she's learning so much, so quickly!

 molly and i played a build an ant game. she won every time! sophie played once, but again, her patience level was just not there. finally she was the designated dice roller.

our last activity was a picnic at the park. i had high hopes that we'd be able to picnic in an area without a playground. i wanted the girls to just experience an open field, eating, and playing with a ball or running around. however, we pulled into the park (a new one for us) and there was the playground.

 making silly faces while eating was a fun thing. after we ate we played some duck duck goose around our picnic sheet.
 and then the playground. it was a neat playground with lots of different spinning things. molly loved them all while sophie was a bit scared. the cautious side in sophie is coming out, i think.
 much to their resistance, i made the girls stop playing on the playground and go over to the open grassy area to play with their balls. molly learned to drop kick, kinda and we played catch. i was a bit disappointed in their lack of creativity and enjoyment in the grassy area. they're so creative and imaginative in almost every situation but molly asked me what they were supposed to do. i'm blaming it on the playground....they wanted to go back and play on it. oh well, we will try an area without a playground and maybe bring some kites along.

coming up next in our summer school: caterpillars and butterflies.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

$200 hamburger deliciousness

last weekend we purchased a charcoal grill and we love it! i'm not sure how much we'll use our gas grill this summer after tasting the deliciousness that comes off this grill!  matt and i were inspired after watching primal grilling and bbq university on pbs late one saturday night. we learned a lot of grilling tips and some neat recipe ideas. steven raichlen is teh host and he's fun to watch. crazy hair, down to earth guy who has every kind of grill imaginable. his whole yard has grills everywhere and they're all going at once. you should watch him if you're interested in new grilling techniques. unfortunately, lately he has only been on at 2:00 in the morning so we've not been able to watch. tonight, however, i found him on at 8. good stuff! and, usually, he doesn't make the annoying "mmmm" sound after tasting his food. tonight he did, but it was mild. enough about primal grilling and on to us, specifically matt.

matt loves the winter he could just sit and watch our fire place for hours. grilling is just as much fun for him, poking, monitoring flames and smoke, basking in the aroma of the cooking meat and or smoking hickory chips. here he is lifting the lid to flip what we called our $200 burgers. after all was said and done: grill, charcoal, hickory chips, chimney starter, and food, it was a $200 meal. but soooo worth it. yummo!

we seasoned the burgers with gates original rub. first mixing it in the hamburger and then rubbing it on top to make sure there was enough flavor. gates seasoning is good stuff. we did use the gas grill that night too and grilled some onions brushed in olive oil mixed with garlic powder. i never thought i would enjoy just eating onions. i like them mixed in things but alone, not so much. grilled onions, caramelized were so delicious and made the hamburger that much better!
                                                                            as matt was cooking he kept commenting that they were going to be good and juicy. that they were. it helped that we didn't buy good hamburger...85% lean so there was a fair amount of fat floating around in there. hamburger is so expensive.... i was glad matt went into the store with me so he could see just how much groceries cost and why our weekly bill is so high, so often.
we paired our juicy burger with bush's baked beans and steak fries. i gave it 9/10 stars, it was that good. i wanted a second burger even though i was stuffed....i resisted and had another for dinner the following evening. unfortuntaly, it didn't live up to it's expectaions reheated so next time i may just have to indulge in two!  i should add that after the burgers were finished we still had hot coals and cooked some bone-in chicken breasts, also seasoned with gates original rub, for lunch the next day. oh my goodness, they were good too! the chicken tasted like it had been in a smoker. so moist, and delicious. and, unlike the burger, did not loose any flavor when reheated.