Sunday, February 28, 2010

And I Walked to School Uphill Both Ways

Today, Cameron and I were driving in the car and listening to the radio. (It was really funny -- he thought Garrison Keillor was hysterical but found Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me less entertaining.)

"Hey, mommy?  Rewind that part, okay?" he asked.

"I can't rewind it," I answered.  "It's the radio."

"WHAT?  You can't rewind it?  What, does the radio only play stuff live?" he asked, incredulous.
"Well . . . yeah, pretty much.  You can't rewind it or fast forward it."

"Whoa!" he said.  "Good thing the TV isn't like that.  That'd be awful."

Welcome to my childhood.

Running Out of Ideas

More snow, more cold, more rain.  And I am digging deep for ways to keep these boys occupied!  We made tie-dyed flowers this week, decorated our window with shamrocks, colored, listened to books on CD (Currently in our CD player:  Simon Bloom and the Octopus Effect), and labeled each other.  Matthew was very literal with the labels.  He was dissatisfied with the placement of the "leg" label on Cameron's jeans and tried repeatedly to pull up clothing to place the labels directly on the appropriate part.

I showed the boys how to build a house of cards and Cameron decided that Post-It notes allowed for more flexibility.
And now, thank goodness, it's the weekend and Daddy is home to help entertain!  Here's our version of the three man bobsled. 
Here's hoping that spring gets here soon because I am quickly running out of ideas to interest a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Need to Work of My Frow

Matthew loves football -- LOVES it.  If he had his way, we would stand in the hallway and throw the football back and forth all day long.  Although I'm a college football fan (GO BLUE!), I've never been much for the NFL.  With Matthew's love of the game, however, we HAD to watch the Superbowl.  He cheered and provided commentary and reenacted his favorite plays -- "Den he frowed it like dis!  And den de other guy fell down like dis!  Den, TOUCHDOWN!"

When great grandma and great grandpa sent Matthew money to buy a Superbowl shirt, he was thrilled.  His New Orleans Saints Champion t-shirt arrived in the mail last week and Matthew immediately put it on, repeatedly shrieking, "I can hardly believe it!  I can hardly believe it!"  I can hardly believe that a 2-year-old would be so excited about a football shirt!

He now prefers to wear his Superbowl shirt when we play football in the hallway.  Yesterday, I said to him, "Keep your eye on the ball, Matthew!"  So he did.
When he missed another catch, I said, "Hold your arms out so you can catch it!"
"Mama," he replied indignantly, "I can't catch it if you keep frowing it bad!"

He does make a good point.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No Pants, No Picture

Cameron brought home his school picture day order form yesterday, and it has me a bit concerned.  I mean, "Pants Recommended?" Really?

I went to a school with uniforms so maybe I'm just oblivious to what kids wear (or don't wear, apparently!) to school.  Or perhaps it's that old, "The Times, They Are A-Changin'" thing and I'm out of touch.  I have noticed some changes in "style" since my days in school.  Boys who belt their jeans around their knees, girls who mistake washclothes for tops, but this whole pantlesss trend . . .  I don't want to sound like an old stick in the mud, but I think pants should be required!   


My apologies if you were looking forward to seeing Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White compete last night, only to find that their events had been cancelled.  You see, I was at my writing class and apparently the boys were not being good listeners.  It depends on who you ask, but Cameron either had an uncontrollable urge to cough OR made a rude noise with his mouth when Daddy told him to get his PJs on.  As a result, Matthew tells me sorrowfully, "Daddy cancewed the Owympics."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alert the Media

You know how every once in a while you see a newspaper article about how someone found a Cheeto that looks exactly like George Washington's profile?  Or a blueberry pancake that is unmistakably an image of the Virgin Mary?  Which are so totally obviously messages.  (Interpretation:  George Washington was a total cheesehead.  And the Virgin Mary loves syrup.)

Well, Cameron went to a birthday party this past weekend and made a tie-dye t-shirt.  On Valentine's Day, after the dye had had 24 hours to set, we followed the directions for washing and drying the finished product.  Cameron put it on, proud of his creation. 

And then, I spotted this . . .

Oh. My. Gosh.  What could it mean, people?  I'm buying a big ol' bag of Cheetos in the hopes that it clarifies things.

Don't Forget Haiti

We've all been proudly wearing our "Pa Bliye Ayiti" bracelets.  What does "Pa Bliye Ayiti" mean, you ask?  It means "Don't Forget Haiti" in Haitian Kreyol.  Want a cool bracelet, too?  Click on the link below or the "Bracelets for Haiti" button!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just Telling the Truth

This weekend, Cameron went to the birthday party of a classmate.  I came to pick him up in the midst of the gift opening.  The birthday boy sat at the table in front of a mound of presents.  To one side of him, an anxious classmate ripped opened the gift he had brought and announced, "See!  This is what I got you!"  Another classmate waited patiently for his gift to be opened and then loudly explained, "We already HAD that book so my mom said we'd just give it to YOU."  I breathed a big sigh of relief when Cameron's gift had been opened without incident!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nobel Prize, Here We Come!

I'm a scientist by training and I believe in the scientific method.  So it only made sense that I'd introduce my children to scientific experiments.  Cameron and I set out over a month ago to explore bacterial growth.  And, wow, were the results ever eye opening!  Now perhaps you English major types will read this and think, "But Sharon, these results can't be accurate!"  To you I say, "Pshaw!"  We did experiments.  And we made observations.  You can't argue with that.

Objective: To determine if bacteria growth is affected by use of antibiotic.

Materials:  Petri dish, agar, Scotch tape, wooden spoons, antibiotic ointment, Sharpie pen

Method:  Agar was prepared, plated in the petri dish and cooled.  A black line was drawn with a Sharpie marker across the bottom of the petri dish.  The lid of the dish was labeled Dish A and the bottom of the dish was marked with an A (Antibiotic) and A with a slash through it (No antibiotic).  A piece of tape was applied to the lid of the garbage can.  The tape was then slid gently over the surface of the agar.  Using a wooden spoon, antibiotic ointment was smeared over the side of the dish labeled A.  The dish was covered with the lid and taped shut.  The entire dish was placed in a plastic bag, which was put in a dark, warm cabinet for one month.

Hypothesis:  Less bacteria will grow on the side of the petri dish with antibiotic.
Results:  No growth on either side of the dish.

Conclusions:  The lid of our garbage can is crazy clean!  No need to fear if you come over for dinner and see us touch the garbage can and then your food.  It's totally okay.  There may be bacteria on most garbage cans but, clearly, not on ours.

Objective: To compare bacteria growth from my mouth and from Cameron's mouth.

Materials: Petri dish, agar, Scotch tape, wooden spoons, Sharpie pen
Method: Agar was prepared, plated in the petri dish and cooled. A black line was drawn with a Sharpie marker across the bottom of the petri dish. The lid of the dish was labeled Dish B and the bottom of the dish was marked with an C (Cameron) and M (Mommy). Cameron and I then scraped the inside of our cheeks with a wooden spoon and carefully slid our spoon over the surface of the agar on the side marked with our initial. The dish was covered with the lid and taped shut. The entire dish was placed in a plastic bag, which was put in a dark, warm cabinet for one month.

Hypothesis: Bacteria will grow on both sides of the dish.
Results: No growth on either side of the dish.
Conclusions: Told you I don't have a dirty mouth.  I only say "Dang it" when I'm really, really mad. Cameron clearly is no potty mouth either.
I think for experiment number three I'm going to try out a few bad words and then swab my mouth.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Really, Officer, There's No Problem!

What could be better than hanging out in a snow cave?  Drinking hot cocoa in a snow cave.  I am seriously wishing I fit in the snow cave.
But there's lots more fun to be had out there.  Like making a snow volcano.
Over Cameron's protests, I made the lava orange instead of red.  I was worried that the neighbors might become concerned if they glanced out the window to see our yard spattered in bright red.  I have no desire to try to explain to a squadron of police that, really, there is nothing to investigate -- just your usual snow volcano aftermath!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bring it, snow.

I think we are the only house on the block with a green lawn.  That's because I shoveled half of our front yard into a huge pile of snow to make a snow cave.  It's awesome, according to Matthew.

Refresh my memory

It's our second snow day in a row.  I don't know why, but snow days make me want to do two things:  bake and clean.  Yesterday we made some delicious double chocolate cookies and I cleaned like a mad woman.  (And, of course, we also played in the snow and read books and had tons of fun!)

This morning, when I awoke to a message that school was cancelled again, my first thought was, "Pancakes." 

"Matthew," I said, "I"m going to make pancakes for breakfast!"

To my surprise, Matthew responded, "Noooo!  I don't want pancakes!"

"You don't want pancakes?!?!"

"No pancakes!  No pancakes, mama!  I don't want pancakes!"

Then, he paused.  "Mama?  I forgot.  What's a pancake?"

Once I had shown him a picture of pancakes, he changed his tune.  "Pancakes!  Pancakes!  I wanna pancake!"

For the first time ever, I even made chocolate chip pancakes.  (Finally found some dairy, egg and nut-free chocolate chips that I don't have to special order, so we are having chocolate chip everything in celebration!)

Now, on to the cleaning!  Starting with some little faces . . .

Monday, February 8, 2010

What I Learned From the Superbowl

1.  There is no way the boys would EVER eat bean dip.  However, if instead of saying, "Try this spicy black bean dip or this Great Northern Bean dip," I say, "Yee-hah!  We're having Opposing Sides Dip with Game Day Pita Chips!" they will gobble it up and declare it "awesome."
2. My KitchenAid blender is not indestructible.
3. A hand blender is a poor substitute for a KitchenAid blender when preparing Strawberry Agua Fresca Fumble.
4. Matthew breaks out when he drinks Strawberry Agua Fresca Fumble.
5. Matthew cannot sleep when he is itchy all over from breaking out from drinking Strawberry Agua Fresca Fumble that I had to make with a hand blender because my KitchenAid blender broke maybe because I also used it to make Opposing Sides Dip.
6. Even when Matthew is up late because he cannot sleep when he is itchy all over from breaking out from drinking Strawberry Agua Fresca Fumble that I had to make with a hand blender because my KitchenAid blender broke maybe because I also used it to make Opposing Sides Dip, he will still wake up early.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

9 x 9 is 81

I remember learning my times tables in second grade.  Mrs. Seivert handed out a mimeographed page with 1-10 in a row across the top and an identical column down the side, and what appeared to be random numbers in a chart below.  Then, I memorized the table.  Mission accomplished. 

Yesterday, I volunteered in Cameron's Montessori kindergarten class.  He was anxious to show me how he is learning multiplication and we he did show me, I understood why.  It's fun.  And you actually get to see how multiplication works. 

He was working on his 8 times tables.  For each number, there is a bar of beads -- the brown bars each have eight beads on them.  So to figure out 8 x 9, Cameron would lay out nine brown bars and count the beads.  But here's the amazing part.  After he figured out that 8 x 9 is 72, he would then select 7 of the ten bars and 1 two bar to represent the answer.  Genius!

By the way, the nine times tables were always my favorite because the answer sums to nine.  9 x 2 is 18,  1 + 8 is 9.  9 x 3 is 27, 2 + 7 is 9, and so on.  I thought everyone loved this about the nine times tables, but then David told me he had never known that about them.  So, I figured I'd share the nine times table love for anyone else out there unfortunate enough not to know that trick.

If it has to be cold . . .

My theory is that if it must be cold, it may as well be snowy.  And if it must be snowy, it may as well be sledding snow. 

We spent the morning zooming down a nearby hill, slipping and sliding as we attempted to climb back up.  We returned home to some delicious soy hot chocolate.  There's still plenty of snow left, so I'm thinking a snow man is in our future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Poor Darth Vader

And I thought a dog would be too much work . . .

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love Hate Relationship

This weekend, Cameron went to a birthday party and brought home a mini Playdoh fun factory.  The boys played with it together for a bit and then Cameron moved on to other things. 

Matthew has a continuing fascination with the factory, though.  Over and over, he carefully rolls some playdoh, puts it in the fun factory, presses down and watches the playdoh get pressed into long strings.  And as he does, he whispers, "Ewww.  Dat's disgusting.  Oh man, dis so gross.  I not gonna touch dat."