Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fun making personalized shirts and a hat

Sanaa asked for a good week to paint on a white t-shirt. So I finally took her, Layla, and Malakai to the store to pick out plain colored shirts. Sanaa immediately picked a white shirt. Malakai picked blue. Layla decided against a shirt and picked out a hat.

While Malakai napped, the girls designed and decorated their shirt and hat. I had fabric paint leftover from a previous project that they used. I also had flower stencils that they used. They both worked hard! I was a little surprised at how focused both of them stayed while making their items.

Layla's finished hat. She added a sun, sky, and some grass.

Sanaa's garden shirt complete with the sky, sun, and a pink bird flying.

Malakai had no interest in using any stencils. He made a hand print and then just made random dots with the paint brush.

Make up and nail salon

Earlier this summer, Sanaa and Layla took all of their play make up and nail polish outside. They sent up a make up and nail station. I tried to fight it at first, but then stopped. All of it washes off fairly easy, so I figured I'd just let them enjoy themselves. 

Malakai wanted to join in and there was no way I could keep him from playing with his sisters. He spent a lot of time on his nails. And then on his hands... He was very proud of his final product, which was definitely very colorful!


Last week all three kiddos started gymnastics through the rec center. They love it! Malakai's class is on Wednesdays and the girls' class is on Fridays. Malakai was one of two boys in his class. At first he wasn't sure about going in, but for the warm up the teacher played a song from Frozen. That changed everything! He was running around, jumping, and following everything the teacher said then. I can only watch the class through a window, so afterwards I asked him how he liked it. He told me he liked his class a lot and the teacher played the Frozen song.

At this first class, they also introduced the balance beam to the kids. Malakai did pretty well. I wasn't sure how he'd do on the balance beam, but he walked most of it unassisted. He also enjoyed the obstacle course, especially the front roll part. I think he could have done front rolls over and over again if the teacher had let him.

Both Sanaa and Layla are in the same class, which is awesome from a scheduling stand point! I took a picture of them doing a bear walk for one of the warm ups. They did the exact same thing that Malakai did early in the week. They worked on the balance beam and then did an obstacle course. The girls came out of their class very excited. In fact, Layla said she want to stay there forever! It'll be fun to see what all the kids learn over these next few months in class.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Back to school!

All three kids are in school this year! Wow! Sanaa began 2nd grade. Her teacher this year is Maestra Rosado. I've heard from other parents that Maestra Rosado is very good and a more motherly type teacher. I think that will be a nice fit for Sanaa.

Her first day back was September 8th (day after Labor Day). She's had a little bit of a hard time adjusting. She's cried a few times when I drop her off. It hasn't been every day that she's cried, but she does cling a little tight when I hug her and needs multiple hugs before heading into class. Layla, Malakai, and I continue to walk her to her room. I'm glad her school is okay with that. 

When I pick her up at the end of the day, she is full of energy and excited about different things that happened during the day, so I know she enjoyed parts of school.

Layla began kindergarten on September 10th. She only had a half day and was very upset that she was not going to be staying there for lunch. Her teacher Mrs. Muldoon is going to be great! When Layla found out she had Mrs. Muldoon for kindergarten she was very excited and said she had always wished to have her as a teacher.

I think I had a harder time dropping Layla off. She immediately started playing and when her friend Jake showed up.... well, the fact that I was still waiting for my goodbye hug didn't even matter. Layla is VERY excited about school. Last week was her first full week of school and she literally ran into the classroom every morning. I don't even get a hug from her because she's so excited to get into her class. I'll often get a, "Bye mom" over her shoulder as she heads in.

Since school has started, Layla will spend time during the afternoon or evening doing her "homework." She doesn't have any! Yet, she will sit at the art desk, look at the calendar she brought home and practice writing every number. I didn't think to get a picture of her finished "homework" but she wrote the 5 on the paper all by herself!

One of the her first days of school she came home with the picture below. Her friend Jake drew it for her. It's Jake, Layla, and a butterfly under a rainbow. Layla has informed she is going to marry Jake. Haha!

Malakai didn't start school until last week. He began preschool on September 17. On September 15 I took him to his class to meet his teacher. He and the kids in his class had an hour to play, meet the teacher, listen to book, and just get familiar with the room. Malakai already knew his teacher because he has the same preschool teacher as Layla, Mrs. Monnie.

While Malakai wasn't super excited about going to preschool to meet his teacher, he was very excited about his first actual day without me. It was a short day (only 1 1/2 hours) but he loved it. He went into his class and wouldn't give me a hug. He was too excited and ready to play. Meanwhile, all the other moms were getting nice big hugs from their kids. This week, Malakai starts he normal school schedule. He'll be at preschool two times a week for 2 1/2 hours. I can't wait for some me time!!!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Acadia Beach State Park - Oregon

The last Wednesday in August we took one final day trip to the beach. Nate typically has Wednesday's off, so before the busy school season starts up we had one last family fun day for the summer. This time we headed to Acadia Beach State Park. It is just south of Cannon Beach by a few miles. Not far at all from where we stayed with Nate's parents back in June. It was a nice little beach. When we arrived we were alone on the beach at first. But then it began to get a little busier. Sanaa was disappointed there weren't more sand dollars and shells for her to find. But she and Layla had fun creating castles and rivers in the sand. Malakai ran around jumping over what they were working on. We also spent a lot of time in the water and jumping in the waves. 

Some little creature Layla found. I have no idea what it was but she insisted on a picture. Layla is always finding bugs and creatures.

I've looked through my pictures and noticed that it's rare for me to get a picture of just one child. So, while at Acadia Beach State Park I got each of them to stand with the ocean behind them for a quick picture. I plan to put the pictures into a frame they've each decorated with shells.

Sanaa and Layla had a great time playing in the water and sand.

One of the biggest jelly fish we've seen washed up along the beach. We've seen many smaller ones, but this was by far the biggest one yet. In the bottom picture I had Sanaa put her hand next to it just for a size comparison.

Sand dollars galore!

Every time we go to the beach, Sanaa spends time searching for shells. When we went to Cannon beach in June, we found 3 sand dollars fully intact. That is most we've found while living in Oregon. Most of the time the sand dollars are broken or have a hole on top.

While at Twin Harbor State Park, Sanaa found 27 sand dollars! A few either had small holes on the top or a small side piece broken off. But most of them were completely intact! She was so excited. Nate had her stop collecting them only because her bucket was full. She had hit the jack pot! According to Nate, there were even more intact sand dollars, but they just couldn't fit anymore in the bucket without them breaking.

So what in the world do you do with that many sand dollars? I searched online and saw that you can paint them. One morning I pulled out water color paints and eye droppers and let the kids have fun! The more watery the water colors were, the more the paint spread out and mixed on the sand dollars. Once the paint was dry I coated the sand dollars with mod podge so that they weren't as fragile.

Sanaa's finished sand dollars.

Malakai's finished sand dollars.

Layla's finished sand dollars.

The few sand dollars the kids let me paint!

Camping at Twin Harbor State Park in Washington

In the middle of August we took one last family weekend trip. It was a spur of the moment camping trip. We learned really quick that if you want to camp at all in the Oregon area you really need to plan way ahead. Spur of the moment does not work since we found out that all the camping areas near us were booked. We eventually found a place up in Washington. That sounded good to us since we've wanted to explore some of Washington.

Now shortly before our camping trip, the van died and we had to say goodbye. We crossed our fingers and hoped that we'd get everything into Nate's car. As I began packing and watching the piles of stuff grow, I began to have serious doubts. We did have one good thing working for us. Even though we were headed on a camping trip we didn't need our tent. The sight we were headed to only had some small cabins available for rent. 

The pile of stuff next to Malakai that I was going to attempt to pack into our small Ford Fiesta....

After about 15-20 minutes I got everything we'd need packed into the car... including the potty. I did have to unpack a bag of jackets and just cram those into the nooks and crannies but I managed to get it all in there. I briefly thought about leaving the training potty at home but with Malakai in the midst of potty training and me not knowing exactly how close we'd be to the bathrooms I felt more comfortable having the small potty along. And it did come in useful.

Everyone had stuff at their feet. Thankfully the kids aren't very tall so that didn't but them at all.

Once the stuff was in it was time to buckle in the kids. (This is my biggest pet peeve at the moment. With our van the girls could buckle themselves. But in the Fiesta the seats are so close that the girls struggle to get their seats belts buckled. So now I'm back to needing to buckle 3 kids every time we use the car instead of just one kid.)

We headed to Twin Harbor State Park in Washington. We had a wonderful time while there, but most likely won't ever return. The cabin was great! The mosquitoes were awful. And we were quite thankful we weren't in a tent since all the tent sites were really close to each other. It was also a 3 hour drive that ended up taking closer to 5 hours. We got stuck in traffic just outside Chehalis, WA and it lasted until we passed Centralia, WA. It took forever to get through since we were just inching along. I have no idea what the hold up was.

The cabins were spaced a decent distance apart. The tent sites were right across from where our car was parked. Once inside the cabin you really couldn't hear what was going on outside. We had no one in the cabins on either side of us, so that was really nice.

The inside of the cabin had a bunk bed, a futon, and two tables. One was large enough to eat at (but we just ate outside). The second table was a small end table where I put our suit case.

We were there for 2 nights and spent the majority of our time at the beach. It was surprisingly warmer than we expected.

On the path to the beach the kids found a cool tree hideout.

Besides playing at the beach, the thing the kids were most excited about was roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores. Since the weather has been so dry and hot out here this summer, there was a ban on having open fires at the camp ground. We were allow to use our little cooking stove but that was it. The kids didn't seem to mind. They quite enjoyed catching their marshmallows on fire and then blowing them out!

By our last morning, I finally started to get the hang of cooking on our cook stove. We enjoyed some yummy pancakes! Pancakes really seem to taste better when cooked out doors. Most of the food I made ahead of time since I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking.

I was really surprised at how Layla and Malakai both jumped into helping wash our plates and utensils after meals. They LOVED it! At first they fought over who got to do the washing, so we divided things up so it was even. Malakai would even look around for more things to wash. Unfortunately, the excitement over washing dishes did not continue once we got home. Maybe I need to set up a sink outside to encourage them to help with meal time clean up....

Near our campsite were some fun climbing trees that the kids spent time playing on. Luckily, we were also really close to the bathroom! The building just behind the tree was the bathroom! There were 2 showers and 2 bathrooms on our side (and then the same number on the other side). There were more bathrooms spread out among the campsite but I was excited to be so close to one.

Our last morning there, we packed up and then drove in to Westport. It was the nearest town to us. We figured we do a little sightseeing. We also wanted to find a different beach to explore. However, most of the beaches along there were state beaches and one thing we learned about Washington was if you didn't have a Discover pass you couldn't get into a state park. While camping at Twin Harbor we had access to the state parks since that cost was built into the cost of camping there, but our pass expired at 11am. So it was a little frustrating trying to find beach access that wasn't part of a state park. We did manage to find a spot and spent another hour or so at the beach before heading home. Thankfully, our drive home did not take 5 hours and we had very little traffic to deal with.