Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daddy-Daughter Date Night

Over the next several days, Billy and I will be taking turns going out with each one of our children by themselves.  We're hoping it will benefit all of us to spend some quality time with each other one on one and will help us be more positive and patient as we count down these last several days before summer break. 
 Mikea and Daddy got to go first!
They went to the pet store to look at fish, turtles, snakes, kittens, and more.  As they were leaving the store Mikea noticed a puddle and said,"I wanna live in water like a fish."  Then they devoured ice cream sundaes.
And I mean "devoured".  From what I hear, that ice cream didn't last more than a few seconds after this picture was taken.
You can tell by the look on her face how much Mikea enjoyed her special evening with her Daddy.  Tonight it's my turn to go out with the Danimal!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

500 Babies Go to a Softball Tournament

This past Saturday the 500 Babies went to their first sporting event!  Daddy was playing in a softball tournament and the kids were thrilled to get to go watch.  In my mind, it was going to go like this:  We go to the first game at 11:00, sit on a blanket, each a picnic lunch, watch the game, go home and take naps.  I figured the team would have another game or so and Billy would be home by the time the kids woke up. 

What I didn't figure on and what happened instead: the kids slept in the car on the way home from the first game and didn't want to nap at home and Billy's team kept winning and winning.  The winning part turned out to be a good thing, of course.  After a few hours at home I knew I had to get out of the house with the kids.  So we packed up again, grabbed some fast food, and headed back out to the field.
It's probably only the second time in our kids' lives they've had an actual Kid's Meal with a toy and everything.
And they were thrilled to drink milk from a straw.
But food lasts only so long, and the natives began to get restless.  So I suggested they try to push down a tree.
When they got tired of that we traipsed over to the playground for a little while.
After that, I let them mill around an empty field.
Keep in mind there's one more little one you haven't seen much, but he was there, too.
Needless to say, I didn't get to watch very much of the games.  But we all still had a great time.  And the icing on the cake?
The Masters Elementary Team won the Championship! Way to go guys!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Actually a Chrysalis

Ever since we received a copy of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar for Christmas, I knew we absolutely had to do caterpillar and butterfly crafts ASAP.  Of course around here ASAP somtimes means 5 months... 

I do just love listening to the kids saying "cocoon" - it's the cutest thing ever.  They go like this, "Koo-KOON!" I make them say it over and over:  Koo-KOON!  Koo-KOON! (Yes, I know that technically butterflies form a chrysalis and moths form cocoons, but the book says cocoon so that's what we're going with for now.  And if you want to know like I did why the book uses incorrect vocabularization click here.)(And if at least one person finds the humor in the fact that I used a made-up word for a word that means um, words, then I can sleep in peace tonight.  Can you tell it's late?  Can you tell that the father of my children has been excessively busy lately, meaning I've been parenting solo waaaayy too much this week???)  <crickets chirping>  Sigh.

Back to the point....So on a dark, rainy morning we made caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies.  The caterpillars are simply pom-poms glued onto cardboard, the cocoons are bent pipe cleaners wrapped in yarn, and the butterflies are coffee filters colored with markers and then painted over with water to make the colors run together. The kids did great with everything except the yarn-wrapping which is appparently beyond their skill level.  No one told me this so I found out the hard way.  Nevertheless we had a great time as long as I kept repeating, "It's the process that counts, it's the process that counts" while Daniel globbed exorbitant amounts of glue on top of the pom-poms after he'd already glued them to the cardboard and Mikea tried to color her coffee filter again after it was soaking wet.
So there you have it.  All in all they were pretty simple projects and now I have something to replace the shamrock decorations that have been hanging up since March.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Project 52: Club Aranda

Project 52: Date Nights logo
When I found out that my husband decided on this idea for our date literally 5 minutes before it happened, I was shocked.  Not that he waited so long to plan it (I've been there, too) but because it all came together so perfectly and was hands-down our most fun date yet.  We had had a minor disagreement earlier in the evening (about something ridiculous, as it always seems to be, in retrospect) so Billy decided we needed to just cut loose and have some FUN.  So my ever-creative husband transformed our living room into a night club!

He turned off all the lights, created a Dance/Club Music station on Pandora and played strobe light videos from YouTube. We ate grilled weiners on sticks (with 4 different dipping sauces because he knows I'm a fool for dipping sauces! oh yeah) and drank ice cold beverages. 

We grooved to a couple of songs and then I remembered we had some unused glow sticks from our trip to the coast a few weeks back.  I'm telling you, the glow sticks took the night to the next level.  See for yourself:
Even Brad, our pug, joined in the fun with his glow stick collar:
The night was just what we needed:  fun, silly, and out-of-the-box.  It proved you don't have to leave your house to have a night of dancing and I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, May 7, 2010

(Insert Your Own Clever Post Title Here b/c My Brain Cells Are Currently Napping. Thanks.)

Last Friday was Christmas morning all over again for our kiddos.  Aunt Deb and Uncle Lanny stopped by with some furniture for us, and they also surprised the kids with loads and loads of toys!
These toys used to belong to Cousin Jordan and are still in excellent shape. They're classic toys that have stood the test of time like wooden blocks, Tyco building blocks, Little Tykes vehicles, and even an electric train set that Joe is going to LOVE! (Sshh....we haven't told them about it yet!)
Anyone who knows Daniel will understand that he natually gravitated to the work bench.  He's dangerous a man on a mission when he gets a hammer in his hand.
The kids were loving the toys so much that the next morning they didn't even ask to watch TV! Now that's what I'm talking about!
Even the little guy gets in on the fun.
And I have to admit that I've been enjoying spending more time on the floor playing with the kids now that we have these fun new toys.  So it's a win-win for everyone!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I briefly had a moment of confusion trying to figure out the correct terminology: do you shuck corn or do you husk it?  Anyone else have that problem?  Just me?  Oh.  Anyway, thanks to Google, I learned that's it's both.  Now that that's cleared up, my children would like to demonstrate the task of shucking/husking corn:

Begin by peeling back the outer layers of the husk.  Wearing a sailor hat upside down will help you concentrate.

Keep pulling off layer after layer.  You may think it's all for fun, but you're saving your mom some work.  Plus, I'm sure there's got to be some fine motor skill development in there somewhere.

Keep going.  Don't freak out if you find a worm.  Your mom will freak out plenty for everyone.  (Thankfully, no worms were found during this shucking.)

Don't give up if you can't figure it out. 

Once you get the husk peeled off, start pulling off the tassels. (Or is it silk?  Or both?  Why is corn so confusing???)
You did it!  Now all that remains is to snap off the end and throw the corn into a pot of boiling water.  (Yes, your mom needs to do that part.)
And if you still can't husk your corn, just give it a nice hug.
Any questions?