T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Zoo Outing...

Yes, another zoo posting. What more can I say about the zoo, right?

Well, the kids love going so we go all the time. This was a quick trip - kind of like a walk in the park except we'd stop to see the animals. This particular trip the kids took their animals with them to show the real-life ones. Oh, and they led the tour. We went to only the exhibits they wanted and they were charged with mapping our path. We did not make it to the entire zoo but only the places they wanted. It was quite entertaining actually. Here are some photos:

The chosen animals from home - Bongo the monkey and Beak the Penguin. By the way, both were thrift store purchases that I've had in the closet for years, literally. One recent day T Rex found my secret stash of such items and "rescued them". I could not be upset that he handled the situation in such a charming manner. However, for future reference my secret stash of toys has been relocated to a more secure location.

The kids agreed the penguins would be the first stop.

T Rex children in dino-sized eggs.

The meerkats, my personal favorite.

I like seeing the kids sitting on the tiger. It's been fun watching them progress and grow while the tiger has remained constant. I remember when T Rex was smaller than his sister and sitting on the small tiger. Oh how quickly time passes.

Every trip we take to the zoo I attempt a photo of both kids sitting, posed, on the komodo dragon statue. This is the first time ever it has turned pretty decent. Hence, I am using it as September's header to this blog.

This outing was from last week. This week we're laying low as Lil Sister has had a bad gastrointestinal virus. Poor dear vomited at least a dozen times in the past 24 hours. Oh, and her preferred method of doing so was over either mom's or dad's back. Let's just say we've done a lot of laundry and airing out of the house today. So far, the rest of us are still healthy. We've been doing our best to exercise universal precautions (i.e. hand washing). Send us good thoughts that tonight is a better one than last night - we could all use the rest. Besides, we need to get back to the zoo or the aquarium again very soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sibling Moments...

I've mentioned previously how much these two kiddos love each other. They really do. Sometimes I think they are a little too attached or interdependent upon each other. For example, Lil Sister was in trouble recently (very minor trouble) and while she was in time out her brother went into the bathroom and sobbed because he was so sad she was in trouble. Now, I wish she would take her punishments as seriously as he takes her punishments but I guess that's her being a diva toddler.

He takes such good care of his sister. He often helps her get ready for the day. I often have to counsel him to allow her to do some things on her own because she needs to learn to be independent. See how he helps her tie her sandles? Seriously, an amazing big brother. I just don't want him always getting her out of tight spots. She does need to learn to do that for her self.

She adores him right back. She loves to play Cars and Super Heroes just like him. Actually, she often wants to be just like him. For a long while she's insisted on wearing glasses to be like him. The optician at T Rex's ophthalmology office suggested just finding any kind of sunglasses or eye frame and pulling the lenses out. This way she could have glasses like her brother. Indeed it works and she has quite the interesting glasses collection.

I am grateful they have each other. I always wished I had a sibling closer to my age. I was pretty much raised as an only child since there is such a large gap between my siblings and myself. Oh, there were perks to being raised as an only child. I think it was nice but I often wonder what it would have been like. Hence, I am glad these two get to enjoy each other and the companionship, fun, and chaos they bring into each others' lives. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Projects - Sewing - Part One

I've been promising to post photos of the projects I completed this summer. There are many both sewn or crocheted. We'll do these in installments to prevent one giant posting. Plus, it makes me feel less overwhelmed and I can post on other topics in between.

Here is the first installment with a couple of stories to go along.

First I'll start with some baby shower gifts. We have a couple ladies at work having babies next month. This week is their shower during lunch time and one of them requested a car seat cover. I had actually already made little outfits but after she asked if I could do a cover, I opted to just gift the covers along with the outfits. The cover was pretty easy. I've never made one of these before so I followed an online tutorial. Then T Rex Dad pulled out our old car seat so I could ensure dimensions were correct. Pretty simple project. Of course, I had to make bags to wrap everything up in and coordinating cards, too.

Story to go along with the car seat covers:

The request for the cover came on Friday at noon and the shower is Monday at noon. We had a dinner on Friday night so after the dinner, I dropped off T Rex Dad at home to do some chores and the kids and I headed to Joann's near the house for some fabric. We arrived around 8:15 pm so pushing the bedtime. We went in, found what we wanted (the kids love to help pick out fabric) and then headed to the cutting table. We were 3rd in line. First in line was someone with 12 different types of fabric and very undecided. 

The kids started to get antsy but we kept waiting. The 2nd in line let us skip ahead and we had our stuff cut. We headed to the check out register and found ourselves behind undecided lady again. That was when we noticed her cart was half full of thread. There was a 50% off safe and she decided she needed over 100 spools of thread. I took a deep breath and we waited. Then we waited some more. The kids started to whine loudly but I actually did not mind because I figured it would rush things along. 100+ spools of thread later, the order is totaled. Now the undecided lady starts pulling out coupons. We watch her go through all her printed coupons before she moved to the ones on her phone. At that point, the kids are falling on the ground asking to go to bed. I apologized to the checker and left my stuff at the counter while carrying the kids to the car. As we drove away I saw undecided lady still scrolling through more coupons. We went back the next morning and had a totally pleasant experience without any of us shedding tears.

Alright, here are the photos:

The car seat covers have different materials on each side. Hence, the two views.

First version:

Second version:

Cards made from left over fabric:

Next, the little girl outfits (obviously, both the babies are girls). 

Lil Sister went with me to pick out the fabric. We had a ladies night fabric shopping. I asked her to pick out some lovely fabric for baby girls. She insisted everything be pink. I found some really lovely floral print in blues or yellows or even greens but she vetoed every one - only pink was allowed. Still it was a fun mother daughter outing and I suspect she's going to be crafting for herself very soon. She loves to get down on the floor and trace patterns or assist me with the cutting. Measuring is her favorite, though. The polka dot one or the second one shown was the favorite fabric and Lil Sister had me make a dress for fall out of it. You'll be seeing it at a later time.

Here are the photos:

We'll stop there. These are the most recently completed projects. I'll move backward from henceforth.  

Stay tuned for more and thanks for sharing in my projects...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Birds, Birds, Birds...

I recently did a search on this blog with the key word bird. There were several hits - literally. With our large windows in back we do tend to have several bird strikes a year. Recently, I posted about an injured hummingbird. Well, this week it was a little finch. 

Our hearts always stop a bit when we hear a bird hit the window hoping it survives. This one did. The kids were so excited to go out and hold it until it felt well enough to fly away. This was Lil Sister's first bird holding experience and she was thrilled by it.

Here are the photos:

 As always, they were extremely gentle and there were lots of smiles all around.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bike Ride and Pool Trip...

Summer is flying past and yet this is the first we've pulled out the bike trailer and headed to our local pool. The weather has just been so odd either too cold or just too hot, or the weather is nice and I am scheduled to work. (Seriously, I work 2 days out of 7 - why those two days would be the only nice ones?)

However, T Rex Dad did recently tuned up my bike and made it road-worthy along with attaching the trailer. The kids are still small enough to both fit and be within weight parameters. Plus, I think soon T Rex is going to want to have a bike of his own and ride it himself (Grandpa N is working on this but our little guy does not know it yet). 

This past week we loaded up, took a long round about way to the neighborhood pool, and had some swimming fun. It was about 98 degrees - kind of hot for a bike ride but perfect for swimming in the unheated pools. (The kids are like me, not interested in swimming in cold water.)

The bike ride wore me out since I'm used to working out on the elliptical and not pulling a bike trailer. Oh, my bike has mountain bike tires so it makes pulling a trailer even harder due to increased road friction and resistance. It really is a good work out, especially in the hilly parts of our neighborhood.

We packed some blow up toys and the kids loves having those. I did bring both their life jackets. When it's just me and the pool has no life guard, as good as T Rex is getting with his swimming, I don't feel comfortable being without the jackets. Yes, Lil Sister is still in the infant size one - she's still only about 24 lbs. I tried putting her in T Rex's with a minimum limit of 30lbs and she capsizes forward. Actually, I was very glad she had on that bulky infant one with the padding in back. At one point she jumped in and did not jump out far enough. She would have bumped her head on the side of the pool but instead ended up hitting the jacket. 

My little guy had such a great time jumping into the kiddie pool. I posted more photos of his impressive jumps on his blog page.

The kids ended up being exhausted from their 2 hours of swimming. After our picnic lunch we headed home and they took heavenly naps during which I managed to complete 3 projects I've been working on for several months. I promise to post those photos. I know, I know...I've been promising to post project photos. I will. Soon. These just don't seem as important as keeping up on the family happenings.

I do hope the rest of you are enjoying your summers and making lots of fun memories with your families. As always, thank you for your interest in our lives and including our happenings into your lives.

P.S. Yes, taking the kids to the pool solo is a labor of love. At least this trip no tears were involved. The most recent trip - we all cried.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ladybugs and Butterflies...

This spring/summer I wanted to raise ladybugs and caterpillars with the kids. I thought it would be a fun biology lesson. Plus, I've also wanted an excuse to do it since it's something that has always fascinated me..

We purchased the supplies and sent away for our bugs.

They arrived with instructions. We opened everything up, set things up, and started our observations:

The company inadvertently sent us another complete set of bugs 2 days later. We ended up with twice as many bugs which maxed out our set-ups.

The ladybugs took about 2 weeks to progress through their three cycles. It was interesting that they start off not even resembling their final state - much like caterpillars although not as dramatic. When they were ready we eagerly released them into the berry bushes. Honestly, they were kind of stinky and grimy. Maybe because there were so many in such a tight dome. 

The caterpillars had much more dramatic obvious changes. They ate and ate and ate and each day grew and grew and grew. On about day 10-12 they started hanging upside down and then a day after that they started forming a chrysalis from the inside out. I always thought they spun the cocoon but it seems more like an excretion process because the caterpillar remains motionless during the process.

They stayed inside the cocoon for a little over a week then quickly emerge from their shells. The emerging process is quite rapid. We had the cocoons in their habitat in our kitchen area and we would literally turn and the turn back again and see a new butterfly.

I did manage to catch one on the camera as it emerged.

The butterflies would drink from the fresh orange slices. We also put fresh cut flowers in for them to drink sugar water droplets from. All 10 of the butterflies survived but one did come out damaged as its cocoon did not completely close. The damage was to one of its wings so we kept it for the remainder of its life - about two more weeks. T Rex dubbed it Nemo and we trained it to drink directly from the sugar water filled pipet.

When all the butterflies had emerged from their cocoons we released all but Nemo. For a couple weeks afterward we would see our painted lady butterflies fly past or land in our flowers. T Rex especially enjoyed holding each of the creatures before they stretched their wings and flew away. When we ended up visiting the butterfly exhibit at the zoo he was quite disappointed he did not get to touch any of them after his amazing butterfly experience at home.

Overall, an excellent learning experience for all of us. T Rex can tell you all about the various stages of caterpillar or ladybug life cycles. Lil Sister enjoyed watching but she was on the young side for this. We'll be doing the caterpillar thing again. I would certainly recommend it for some hands on learning for kids ages about 3 to 4 years or older. I, myself, had a wonderful time and would literally stand for an hour at a time watching them.