Sunday, February 28, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes--February

2/1--Whitney has two original songs that are destined to become hits.  One is called, "Leap frog jumpin' on my old blue chair."  It is sung with a sweet Southern drawl.  The other is called "Coyotes howlin' on the moonlit hill."  Is that a poetic title or what?  When Brandon was this age, he had a couple of memorable tunes as well:  "Arizona, Yes I Did,"  "Funky Monkey,"  and "Oh, Yea."

 The music is just screaming to come out

2/7--At church, one of Brandon's teachers was talking to them about the life of Christ.  They were reading scriptures from the Book of Luke.  She asked, "Where do we find Luke?"  expecting to hear "In the New Testament."  Or "After Matthew."  Instead, Brandon piped up, "In Star Wars!" 

2/7--Andrew and I were looking through a photo album that included pics of Whit when she was 2.  Andrew said, "Whitney, you were so cute in these pictures!"  Without skipping a beat, she replied, "I still am cute!"

We're not arguing that with you.

2/8--Our kids pack lunches to school most days, but eat at the cafeteria once a week.  Today was Whit's day.  She ordered plain milk instead of chocolate.  It got this rave review, "My milk tasted like hand sanitizer."  yikes.

2/9--When I got Caroline out of her crib after her nap, I asked her what she dreamed about.  A smile stole across her face and she said, "Collin."

 Already dreaming about boys.

2/11--When Whit saw the downed tree in the backyard, she commented, "It's messier out here than under my bed!"

 Just barely

2/14--For the most part, we are a "No TV on Sundays" family.  (The Super Bowl and Survivor Finales are exceptions to this rule.)  On the drive home from church today, B asked, "Can we watch the Olympics tonight as a family?"  When I told him no, he argued, "Why not?  They're peaceful....except for hockey."  

2/14--It was Whit's turn to choose what to do for Big Girl Time tonight.  She picked the game, "Apples to Apples Jr," one of her favorites.  During her turn as judge she said, "Scientists aren't crunchy!"  It struck me as SO funny.

2/19--On our way to Myrtle Beach, we stopped for lunch at Wendy's.  While we were out in the parking lot, Brandon got so excited, "Mom!  There's a Reddy Ice Truck!  A Reddy Ice Truck!  Do you know how hard it is to make ice?"  Apparently I hadn't thought about it enough.

2/20--We've been watching A LOT of Disney Channel at the hotel.  Whitney just said, "I think I look like Selena Gomez."

 What do you think?
A little closer than B and his bro, Julius Peppers

2/20--B's really fascinated with ice this month.  Our hotel room has a freezer, but no ice dispenser.  Instead it had trays for ice.  Brandon had never seen ice made that way.  Crazy.  He thought it was pretty cool.  "It's homemade ice!"

Also likes snow

2/22--I love B's sense of humor.  His class is working on elapsed time in math.  They had a worksheet with clocks and a riddle at the bottom.   It said, "What has a face and hands, but no legs?"  The answer was meant to be a clock, but Brandon wrote, "Mermaid/clock."  He said, "It's true!  Mermaids have a face and hands, but no legs."  He's got a point.

Random date night pic
Every time I look at this picture, it cracks me up.
I'm trying to look all cute and Andrew's just being silly.

Random bumper sticker pic
This is the 2nd time I've seen a sticker like this.  Love it.

Bonus Caroline pics

I thought this pic was so sweet. 
Brandon and Whit were reading a book together and
Care Bear wanted in on the action.
Love that arm around B's neck.

I'm pretty sure Caroline is to blame for this.
Though I don't know how she pulled it off.
When I asked her about it, she blamed her friend, Grant.

Her favorite word of the month:  Mine!  

 She also learned her name this month.  She says it, "Care-line."  

 She also says a few sentences now.  Such a big girl!  We heard one of our favorites when Andrew was getting her into her footy pajamas and she told him, "I can zip."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Talking teeth

Did you know that February is National Children's Dental Health Month?  It is.  And in honor of this special month, I have the pleasure of putting on my scrubs and talking teeth with kids.  I LOVE it.

You know, I enjoy staying home with my kids so much that I don't often think about returning to work.  But once you get me talking about sugar consumption, the bacterial species in plaque, and what to expect at a dental check up, I get this natural high and find myself longing to get my hands in people's mouths again.  (OK, that just sounded wrong.  But it's true!)

This year, I had the chance to teach five preschool classes, Whitney's kindergarten class, and Brandon's third grade. 

Me and my friend, Timmy the Tooth

Removing sugar bugs

I've been presenting to preschoolers every year since 2006, so I'm comfortable with my little presentation and the kids enjoy it.  But I didn't do 2nd grade last year and so this was a big jump to do 3rd graders.  I had to raise my game.  And it involved sacrifice.

I decided to do a science experiment with them to show the effect that acid has on our teeth.  We talked about plaque (aka dental biofilm) and how there are more than 200 species of bacteria that live in our mouths.  Nice.  Then we discussed how Streptococcus mutans--the bacteria responsible for tooth decay--consumes the sugar that we eat and leaves acid as a waste product.  Finally, we measured the pH of several liquids and placed chicken bones (to represent teeth) in the liquids to test the effect.  

Now, the obvious question here is where did an anti-chicken-bone girl get a bunch of bones?  I lucked out.  Last week was my monthly Girls' Night Out.  We ate at Lucky 32 (love that place!).  Our server mentioned that they have pulled chicken in some of their dishes.  That gave me an idea... "Do you think I could have some of those bones?"  She looked at me like I was crazy, but asked the chef and he said yes.  Thank you! I pictured these perfectly clean bones that had been stripped of all meat, but that wasn't the case.

They just pull off the good stuff for their dishes.  So guess who had to do the rest of the dirty work?  Me!  Agh!  It took all of my will power to remove the rest of the chicken remains.  Only in the name of science.

Our bones are currently soaking in everything from lemon juice to milk.  Fun stuff.  We get to follow-up next week for the results.  

I love teeth.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Myrtle Beach

Before we had all our snow, this was supposed to be a four day weekend for our kids.  We made plans to meet some friends in Phiilly.  We've never been there and were all excited.  Then our friends had to cancel.  And Philly got several feet of snow.  And due to our snow days, school was back on.

But I already the taste of vacation in my mouth.  And I wasn't ready to let it go.

On top of that, Andrew has traveled every week this month.  We SOOOO needed some family time.  And when we think February getaway, we think...Myrtle Beach?  Sure, why not?  A friend had told me about a resort she visited with an indoor water park.  Hook us up!  The off-season prices for rooms are reasonable (under $100/night) and the place was fabulous.  It's called Dunes Village for anyone who wants to try it out.  We HIGHLY recommend it!

We had a room with a view

and a kitchen!

We immediately headed down to the water park.

We floated,




and snuggled to our hearts' content.

And we even got enough sunshine to venture out to the beach on
Saturday.  Too cold for the water, but we had fun in the sand.

Ahhhhh....the beach.

Flying our kite

Fun family shadow shot

 Jumpin' for joy

to be at the beach.

When we first walked down to the beach, I thought I 
saw something in the water.  Something big.
Andrew confirmed it.  Dolphins!

Thanks to Andrew for that great clip.

The first ones we saw were only about 10 ft from the shore.
Amazing!  After that we saw several groups, most were further out.
This was a highlight of the trip for me.

We got the quality family time we so desperately needed.
And now I think we're ready for Andrew's next business trip.
Hopefully his last for a while.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our romantic Valentine's day

My valentine's card to Andrew this year reflected on our version of romance.  While I do enjoy an occasional bouquet of flowers (including Gerbera daisies, please), for the most part, we find pleasure in things that many others would not--dates at Chuck E. Cheese, for example.

Our Valentine's Date falls into this category.  We thought about going to the movies, but there was nothing in the theaters we were dying to see.  We talked about going out to eat, but Andrew's been traveling A LOT.  While he's enjoying fancy business dinners, I've been taking the kids out to eat more, too.  I wanted to just eat at home.  So, the winning idea?  The batting cages.  Woo hoo!  We had a blast.  We were by far the oldest people actually hitting.  Mostly high school kids with their parents. 

Andrew got comfortable in the fastest baseball cage:  70-75 mph
He was ripping the ball.
He did NOT look like Old Man Sweat in there.
I was having flashbacks to his over-the-fence home runs
during intramurals at BYU.
We both miss playing!

My first two rounds in the fast pitch softball cage were pretty lousy.
Then some mystery coach started giving me pointers
and I found my groove.
I love softball.

Does it get any more romantic than that?
Just wait.
We stopped for shakes, coneys, and onion rings at Sonic
before picking up our kids from our wonderful friends' home.

Truly, I am thankful Andrew and I have similar ideas when it comes to having fun together.  What a blessing in our marriage.

We also enjoyed yummy (somewhat) homemade calzones for dinner on Sunday night and decorated sugar cookies with the kids.  Andrew's back was killing him by then.  Poor guy.  It had to catch up with him sometime.  All the time on planes and hotel beds hasn't helped, either.

Care Bear is a sprinkle-picker and frosting-licker.
She hardly touched the cookie.

More sprinkles!

Happy Heart Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tree vs. fence

There was a fierce battle in our backyard yesterday.  There must've been a lot of smack talk going on.

Tree:  Fences are wimpy.

Fence:  Trees are so lame.

With the help of some 50 mph wind gusts, the tree showed that fence who was boss.

Tree 1, Fence 0

We're just grateful that the deck and hot tub stayed out of the fight.

And that the shed held her tongue.

What the tree didn't realize, was that the fence has connections.
He is very close with Mr. Chainsaw.
Tree 1, Fence 1

Looks like both teams are in pretty bad shape tonight.
But my money is on the fence to make the best recovery.

[Sidenotes:  Brandon and I WATCHED this tree come crashing down yesterday evening.  It was frightening.  I screamed like a little girl.  B had been out in the backyard about 5 minutes before it happened.  SOOOO grateful that he decided it was too cold and came in.  The tree was located on the common property behind our neighbor's house...two doors down!  So the neighborhood association is taking care of tree removal and fence repair.  Phew.]

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Everything I need to know I learned....

at Chuck E. Cheese???

My kids went to school for five hours last week.  Total.  That's it.  Five hours of quality education.

By Tuesday, though, the roads were passable, and we were ready to get out of the house.  So, we headed to our favorite family fun center--Chuck E. Cheese!  While helping Caroline feed coins into the toddler rides, I pondered on what my children were learning from our visit.  (Yes, I can ponder at CEC. It was a quiet morning.  All the other North Carolinians were still hibernating.)  And the list of lessons was impressive. Age-appropriate topics abounded.

Community helpers--fire fighters


Telling time

Physics, gravity, PE

Hunter's safety


Equine studies

History of Ancient Greece

Driver's ed

Fine motor skills

Math galore!
Division of tickets into three
Subtraction for each prize chosen

Who needs school?  I'm taking my kids to Chuck E's every day!