Ten rediscovered truths

Kids don’t need expensive toys to entertain themselves.  Take for example the collection of milk caps at our house. Why are they fun? Because you can put them inside each other, there are several different colors, there are lots of them and you can spread them around the house.
Caps are fun even if they’re free!
I have a hard time leaving things unfinished. Case in point, I had to finish the puzzle at my mom’s house last week. Why? Because it was there and I can’t stand to see it half finished. I wonder why this doesn’t apply to laundry… Ugh, that’s hard to see, makes me want to go finish the laundry.

In a perfect world laundry would finish itself.

 

 

Young Owl and Little Monkey are total hams. They may not always want to have their pictures taken but when it’s their idea they totally ham it up for the camera. Here Young Owl is showing me his super hero pose. Little Monkey is a super hero too (as you can so clearly tell by his cape) who is on vacation.

Boys hamming it up for the camera.

I still have a weakness for pretty shoes. A walk past the shoe department in a fancy department store always makes me long to be working in a professional (out of the house job) just so I have an excuse to buy fancy-pants shoes.

Pretty shoes...

It’s okay to cook veggies even if I’m the only person in the house eating them. Yummy squash and zucchini (not to mention the fresh green beans I made tonight). The poor boys just don’t understand what they’re missing.  At least I won’t have to share my tomatoes when they finally ripen.

Veggies are good.

Even though Young Owl is wise for his age, there are still things he can’t grasp yet. On our weekend adventure with my mom, we visited a gorge that has recently been made much deeper thanks to the floods of 2008. While Young Owl enjoyed looking for fossils, the talk of how much water was here just a month ago and how long it’s been since anyone has seen these fossils seemed just beyond his grasp.
Young Owl exploring this weekend.

There is nothing that pulls at my heart more than watching Little Monkey sleep. No matter how much of a terror he is during the day, nothing is sweeter than seeing Little Monkey in deep sleep. It helps remind me that these last few days of toddler-hood are fleeting and before I know it they’ll be gone. Added bonus, he stays in one place when he sleeps! 

Sleeping Little Monkey makes my heart sing.

I’m a crayon snob. They have to be sharp, they have to be Crayola, and Mama Zookeeper doesn’t like to share her crayons with the rest of the zoo. I admit it, now I feel better.

 

Crayons must be just right.

 

 

Farmer’s Markets can be events, not just markets. We ventured out for the first time to the near by city’s weekend Farmer’s Market. It was so overwhelming. Young Owl immediately commented that it was like being at the state fair. I felt lost looking at all the choices, most of which were the same produce just different venders, in the five or so block area. I did come home with some of the best peaches I’ve ever tasted! (Yes, they were from out of state but still very fresh.)

 

 

More to Farmer's Markets than food.

 

Sometimes at night I want to play a mindless game. By the end of the day I feel so beat. Chasing after visiting Baby Cheetah and Little Monkey, finding things to engage Young Owl, making dinner and keeping house somewhat under control take the fire right out of me. At the end of the night sometimes I would rather play 20 minutes of mind numbing solitaire instead of blogging.
 
 
 

 

Solitaire numbs the mind.

Now even though this post isn’t showing just the way I wan t it to, I am going to bed.

 

 

 

 

And we’re back…

Gee more than a week away.  I feel like I’m so far behind.

Nothing super-exciting-out-of-the-ordinary going on, just life and being tired at night.  Since we’ve been gone we have enjoyed a visit from Mama Zookeeper’s Mama, a trip to a near by city park, Muffin Tin Monday, time in the back yard pool, general two & five year old mischief, a weekend full of Mama Zookeeper working away from home, three trips to the library and another Muffin Tin Monday.  Here is a gallery of some of our activities.

Little Monkey surveys the view from the top of the slide.

Little Monkey surveys the view from the top of the slide.

Young Owl prefecting his balancing skills.

Young Owl prefecting his balancing skills.

Boys so excited about Muffin Tin Monday that they can't wait for the picture.

Boys so excited about Muffin Tin Monday that they can't wait for the picture.

Boys playing in the wadding pool in the backyard, hours of fun!

Boys playing in the wadding pool in the backyard, hours of fun!

Young Owl and Little Monkey try to hide from the camera.

Young Owl and Little Monkey try to hide from the camera.

Today's Muffin Tin Monday, breakfast foods for lunch.

Today's Muffin Tin Monday, breakfast foods for lunch.

What’s on tap for the remainder of the week? VBS for Young Owl, lots of being a two year-old for Little Monkey, at least one more trip to the library, lots of hot humid weather and some painting art projects with the boys.

Zoo on tour

The past few days have been busy!  Yesterday, Little Monkey and Young Owl went on an outing to a near by zoo with Mama Zookeeper and our very helpful Aunt and Cousins. The weather was beautiful and we all held up pretty well for all the walking.

Little Monkey loved the playful otters on exhibit. The side of their enclosure was glass and the otters playfully swimming by the glass while Little Monkey looked on and squealed with delight. I wish I could have recorded his reaction, it was priceless. He also really liked studying the jellyfish exhibit. I have to admit they are very peaceful and calming. I think Little Monkey would have stayed there and studied the jellyfish for another 10 minutes if we would have let him. 

Little Monkey studying the jellyfish

Little Monkey studying the jellyfish

Young Owl enjoyed the zoo too. This was the third time he has been to this zoo, but unlike last time we visited he did not feel the need to go through the zoo as quickly as possible. He enjoyed most all the animals too but by the end of the afternoon was quite tired.  One of the highlights for him was the train ride we took around the park when we were done exploring by foot.

Young Owl ready for the train ride

Young Owl ready for the train ride

Today we enjoyed the local 4th of July festivities. We kicked off the day by watching Young Owl and Papa Penguin rocking out on a float in the parade. Little Monkey and I watched the parade with family and caught candy, a beach ball and a hat to share with Young Owl. Then we enjoyed a family potluck (except for Little Monkey who decided none of the food was something he dared eat) and time chatting and relaxing.

This evening we walked out to watch the local fireworks. This year was Little Monkey’s first year to see fireworks and he love them! He was clapping, laughing and squealing almost the entire time. We had a great view and it was not too crowded. Young Owl enjoyed them too although he was much more subdued in reactions as he was growing tired from his very busy day. He was very content to quitely watch the fireworks while laying down on the blanket next to Papa Penguin and Mama Zookeeper.

All and all it was a wonderful time. Next up farmer’s market (if I can get up tomorrow morning) and time with Mama Zookeeper’s Mama.

Nature color seek and woodland creatures

In the quest to give Young Owl more one-on-one time with Mama Zookeeper, yesterday he and I created a nature color find.  I have seen this lately on the web but I can’t for the life of me find where at the moment. Here is our take:

During Little Monkey (& visiting Baby Cheetah) nap time, Young Owl and I painted an egg carton with every color of paint we had and then some.

Young Owl painting our project

Later we went on a walk and tried to find nature items which can fit into the egg carton. Our walk was short, we were all hot and a bit cranky, but we have a good start on finding our colors.

Young Owls Nature finds

During the little animals nap time today we were still on our nature kick. Young Owl and I created a woodland diorama using a recycled box, construction paper, craft form, playdoh and small plastic animals. It was a great way for the two of us to work together and for Young Owl to have Mama Zookeeper time just to himself. Young Owl below with his work.

Proud Young Owl next to our work

(Yes, he did wear the biking gloves the whole time. It seems that he digs those silly biking gloves out of the dress-up box at least twice a week and then wears them for hours at a time.)

Here are some close ups of his project:

 Young Owl\'s finished work

Here’s a close up of the bear’s cave. Per the Young Owl, the squirrel is hiding in the bear’s cave because of the bear fight going on outside.

Bear\'s cave in Young Owl\'s project

All this extra Mama Zookeeper time seems to have helped with some of Young Owl’s moodiness. Somehow I have managed to squeeze in this time with out going insane or pulling my hair out. He has seemed less needy the rest of the time which still has allowed me to have a little bit of down time in the day.

Little Monkey meanwhile has been busy trying to jump off and on and on top of the couch. Today Papa Penguin caught him on the couch with both chairs from his Little Tyke table. Prepared to apparently sit on them, or more likely getting ready to climb on top of the chairs on top of the couch and jump off. That’s my monkey, crazy and daring with no fear. Makes me wonder what watching the summer Olympics will bring. Will Little Monkey try to imitate the gymnastics or high jumping? I guess will just have to see.

Today to just add another element of “fun” to the zoo, I decided to drop my old laptop on my toe. Yeah, ouch!!

Everyone have a wonderful and safe holiday~

Muffin Tin Monday & Small Town Living

Today was our first go at a really neat idea featured on Sycamore Stirrings, Muffin Tin Monday!  The concept behind the ingenious idea is to entice toddlers to eat a greater variety of foods. I thought it would be a great way to try to get Little Monkey and Young Owl to try something new and fun.

Of course I immediately had to locate a muffin tin. They tend to just hid around the zoo’s kitchen gathering dust during the summer months. Not being able to find the regular six-cup muffin tin I know I have, I opted to use the fun star shaped one.  Here is our spread.

Muffin Tin spread

Clockwise from top left: golden raisins & dried cherries, veggie burger (the actual vegetable type), balogna (Owl’s choice), berry farm fresh strawberries, snack mix (again Owl’s choice), and Annie’s bunny pasta.

Was it a success? Yes and no. Young Owl tried some of everything. He decided he didn’t like the “confetti” veggie burger and the dried cherries but was into almost everything else. Little Monkey, on the other hand, only ate the golden raisins and a pretzel out of the snack mix. Ah, Little Monkey will you ever eat like a normal monkey? Probably not.

Since half the fun of Muffin Tin Monday would be eating out of a muffin tin, I decided while I was running errands in the city tonight I would look for a new six-cup muffin tin so the boys could each have their own. Wouldn’t you know that I couldn’t find any plain (read: cheap, not heavy duty or extremely large or small) ones at either place I went. One of the stores was sold out of that type, makes me wonder if Muffin Tin Monday is sweeping the nation.

While shopping tonight I was also very disappointed to find out that I can buy this organic cereal in the city for less than I can buy this, this or this cereal at our local store. So I guess we are trading healthy affordable food for cheaper housing and safer streets. Ugh, why can’t the zoo have it all?!?