Welcome to our blog for keeping family and friends up to date on the latest Clemmer-family news, and all the ramblings of a stay-at-home mom trying to stay sane among all the craziness!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daniel's mobile!

I forgot how much they can move just by rolling!

Just for reference, Daniel started out on the play mat...

Adventure in the Outdoors

We went outside again today. I swear, I need a fence around the perimeter of our yard desperately!!! It's all I can do to keep Kara from running down our driveway and into the main drive! I don't know where she thinks she's going, it's not like there's anything interesting in that direction to draw her attention except for more woods... Maybe she just remembers the few times we walked up the hill in the snow to Nana's house? And considering there's a trampoline, Nana's house (which has cable and a slew of new and interesting toys) and of course Nana and Pawpaw, why wouldn't she want to go up the hill? Besides the fact that she doesn't quite get the fact that Nana and Pawpaw have to work and aren't actually there!

But still, we had fun. I'm so glad we got out today before the rain started. It was so funny - the clouds rolled on by and for a bit it looked like we were going to miss the rain. We played out front for a bit, the kids all over the place while I tried to get the leaves out from under the front steps (fighting a losing battle I'm afraid), then when we'd had enough of that, we went in for a juice pouch and then we moved to the back.

Once out back, the kids (read: Seth) found the water guns I'd bought at a yard sale at the end of last summer. I filled them for the kids and let them have at it! Luckily for me, they weren't all about shooting ME with them, but instead worked on spraying the rocks and sand and other things that they could actually SEE the results of their shots. Except for that one moment when I realized Seth was walking behind me shooting my butt...

Kara had a harder time with the water guns than Seth did - her little hands aren't quite big enough to wrap all the way around the handle and squeeze the trigger, so she mostly ended up shooting straight up into the air or dripping water on herself, but she had fun anyway, so I guess that's all that matters!

I felt bad bringing them inside since they're calling for rain for the next few days, especially since it was so pretty out. The clouds from earlier had vanished and it looked like the forecast for rain was wrong. But, we had to have lunch, so we came in and ate, and I played with Daniel for a bit since he'd been left out of the outdoor play.

After lunch, Seth asked to get out his new scissors, so I found a few preschool practice shapes to print out for him and let him have at it! These scissors are pretty neat - they're actually connected at the top, so they're almost like the kids chopsticks that are tied at the top with a rubber band! They're really easy to use since all you have to do is squeeze them together and they pop themselves back open - so you don't have to worry about the hand strength to close/open/close/open.

Poor kiddo - since (thank goodness) it's not a constant trait, I forget sometimes how he can sometimes be a perfectionist. He got so disheartened that he couldn't cut the shapes out *exactly* on the lines. I was really proud of how well he did though, and tried to talk him up really big. I even sent a few cutout shapes to grandparents in the mail to show off his cutting skills!

After a little bit of play for Kara and cutting for Seth, it was naptime. Again I felt bad for "wasting" the pretty day, but by then it was just beginning to get a little cloudy. They hadn't been down for nap for half an hour when I hear the thunder and realized it was finally moving in! Sure enough, the rain is off and on and it's nice and wet outside with occasional thunder. Good thing we got out earlier!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beautiful Spring Weather

We went outside today to enjoy the beautiful weather before the impending rain hits and I'm SO glad we did! Last spring/summer we didn't "do" outside too much because Kara was in an awkward stage and couldn't do too much and I was pregnant - together made for a not-so-fun time outside. And I have to say that this spring I'm really becoming an outdoor kind of person!

Not only did I get some (read a little) yard work done, but Kara got to swing, Seth played in the sand with his bucket and shovel, they both helped me pick up rocks from the yard to "build a wall" on our slowly eroding bank (I'm hoping this will be an ongoing project - probably for the next upmteen years...), we found a lizard and a frog which the kids both thought were super cool, we played "basketball" with a ball and the kiddie pool (talk about a big basket!), and just had fun in general.

Sometimes I wonder if the kids like to go outside in large part to the juice boxes they get to have... About halfway through out time outside we took a snack break and had a pack of peanut butter crackers and the kids had capri-sun juice pouches while sitting in their own personal folding chairs - which Seth informed me that they couldn't have their snack without! I'm a big fan of the juice boxes/pouches while outside because it's not as big a deal if they get squeezed outside!

It's funny how much Kara liked checking out the lizard. Seth named it Crawly, and Kara was super upset when I made her come away and leave it alone! Too cute!

Friday, March 18, 2011

And the video game addiction begins...

Actually, it began a while back, but I've made a point not to "feed" it if at all possible. Since Brian's at work all day and I'm not a big gamer myself, this has been relatively easy. Seth loves playing the Kinect - we got him the Kinnectables game and he loves that, but Kara is terrified of the cubs on screen. She'll cry "they get me!" or "they scare me!" But, Seth is pretty good about controlling them and playing games with them.

He also loves the Kinect Adventure and Sports games. He's not too bad on some of them, although it can be frustrating for me when he wants to play something but can't quite get it and I have to either keep directing him in what to do or explaining why it isn't working over and over and over again...

But, for a belated birthday gift, Seth got a Smart Cycle - if you're unfamiliar with it, basically it's a kids video game that uses a bicycle to control the game instead of a controller, so they're kind of getting some exercise while they play. Of course there's also a joystick and a few buttons on the cycle, but the pedaling is key.

We just got it hooked up last night, and aside from my total lack of knowledge in hooking up a video game console, it went okay. That and the fact that it was already after 10 when we got home from dinner with a friend. And the point that I didn't find the right hook-up until after a while of trying to negotiate the plugs on the TV. Oh, and then when I finally DID get the right hook-ups, I had NO IDEA what plugs to actually plug in WHERE. So, then came the game of random plugging to see what combination worked. Then, what input to set the TV to. This was NOT my idea of fun...

When we finally got it working, the real fun started. Despite Brian's reminder to turn the volume down (due to some weird thing about the video games being one volume level while the TV is at another) I completely forgot, so when the game actually did turn on, it was WAY loud. I don't mean as in "wow, that was kind of loud," but as in "BLAST YOUR EARS OFF YOUR HEAD" loud. As in Kara totally freaked.

I don't think I've ever heard that kind of noise come out of her before. She. Was. Terrified.

I think I got the bad mommy award just for that.

When Kara gets scared by something, she has to keep reassuring herself about it. So even after I got it turned down to a less ear-splitting volume, she kept telling me "That was really loud!" and "it not scare me! It just really loud" and other variations of the same theme. She'll probably be afraid of the TV for a few days now...

The bad news in all of this is that since I got the Smart Cycle used, I don't have the booklet that went with the games that came with it, which means I have no idea how to help Seth learn to play them. So it looks like he's on his own as far as trial and error goes to figure them out. Good thing he doesn't mind. I think he'd spend all day on the thing if I let him...

Oh, and in other "good news," I found a VTech version of a "smart cycle" for Kara at Once Upon a Child the other day - it's a really cute giraffe that has various letter, number and animal games. And even better, it's self contained and doesn't have to be hooked up to the TV. My dream come true!

Our latest achievements

Well, at least Daniel has a recent achievement...

Well, so much for doing a better job of keeping the blog updated! Baby Daniel is here and is already almost 5 months old. The big news of the week for us is that he's now also rolling over, not to mention he's really going places with his wiggling and scooting and new-found rolling ability!

Seth and Kara are doing good in their roles of big brother/big sister, and they love making Daniel smile and laugh. That being said, they also hate it when he cries, and when he starts up in the car, I often have complete chaos in the backseat with Daniel crying and Seth yelling "Daannnieeelll!" as if that will help calm him down. Kara normally joins in with a few yells of her own, just for good measure - in case I don't have enough noise already. You know, I read a magazine article the other day about distracted drivers and it mentioned that parents driving young children and babies in the care were actually just as distracted while driving as say a new driver or a driver on the phone or texting. I totally buy it!