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Yet Again, Sea Monkeys And My Camera

Gettin' big!!! They squirm and zoom away when they bump into each other now. Some of them are distinctly faster swimmers. I'd say they're just over 2 mm in length (some are still smaller).

Alyssa started a list of names for the ones in her tank. I'm not sure how she can tell them apart, but who am I to argue...

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The Joys Of The Flu

I was awoken this morning at about 4:30 by my son.

"Mama look what's on my pillow!"

He's prone to nightmares, night terrors, sleep walking (to the toilet and then back to bed, thank goodness ;) and any and all assortments of sleep disruptions imaginable. He has even had night terrors about things on his pillow (poor lil' dude).

So when he referred to said pillow, I was reluctant to get out from under the warm covers. Been there done that. I called out to him in a voice that was hopefully loud enough for him to hear down the hall but not loud enough to wake my husband sleeping next to me.

Ya right.


Ok, ok, ok, I'm up. (sigh)

There was indeed something on his pillow - vomit! Awww... poor little guy. (And EW BLECH). I changed his sheets, changed his jammies, gave him some hugs, and tucked him back in again. Ahhh!! Back to my warm cozy bed.

Not for long - round two happened about ten minutes later. So far that's been all, but now I'm faced with that scenario where the younger child is too sick to accompany the older child to school. Of course big sister is at the age where a) she LOVES school and will be mad to miss it, and b) is too young to walk the three blocks herself (some parents might allow this, but um, not this parent).

As I'm typing this, my "get the kids up" timer is ringing. What to do??

a) I could just let them both sleep, and tell her the truth when she eventually wakes up.

PROS: it's the truth.
CONS: ooh-eee she be MAAAD at me, and her brother ("But Mommy I WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!!")

b) I could go into her room and take her temperature, and tell her she has a fever.

PROS: She'd roll back over and go to sleep.
CONS: It's lying (which I'm not keen on, except for fun stuff like Santa & the Tooth Fairy)

Hmmm. But then again, she might really, actually and truly have a fever (ohhh, wouldn't that be handy ;)

Parenting is weird sometimes.

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'Nuther Sea Monkeys Pic

Awwww, they have... three eyes?? (Oh my!) I was going to say "how cute" but I'm not sure we're there yet. (Fyi - still under 2mm in length).

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More Sneaking Nutrients Into Kids' Food

Here's a quick and easy way to get some wheat germ and flax into little tummies if they want toast, instead of a cereal type of breakfast (such as porridge).

I make cinnamon toast, which they find irresistible. I toast whole grain bread, then add butter. I sprinkle each slice with about 1/2 tsp of brown sugar (you don't need much, surprisingly), and before I add the wonderful, flavourful and fragrant cinnamon, I also sprinkle a bit of wheat germ and ground flax. I use a knife to spread it all together, cut into pieces and serve.

Mmmm... yummy!
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Clean Up Time!!

How are such little people capable of making such big messes??? Yikes. I find it quite interesting, actually, how their little brains seem to just tune out the craziness. Or do they really? Maybe the mess is their secret revenge for all the times we say "no"!! Hmmm. Brats ;-)

Gina at Kids And Kiddos wrote a great post about getting her kids to clean up their toys. She has some tried and true strategies for motivating them to make order out of chaos. At the end of her post she asks readers to share what works for them, and her question is what inspired this post for me.

What I do is simple. I require that my kids clean up the activity that they're finished with before they can move on to the next.

This works in two ways:

1) The desire to move on to a new activity is their inspiration to clean up.
2) This strategy keeps the overall mess down to a "dull roar" - at the end of the day when everyone is tired, there are only a few things to pick up.

They're not always happy about it though: "Aw, Mommy!! Do I have to do ALL of this?"

(uh... yup. You dumped the puzzle pieces on the floor ALL by yourself, so you can put them back in the box too!)

Here's another strategy that a friend of mine uses with success:

1) Any toys that her kids leave out, get packed up and stored in the basement for awhile. Her kids know that if they want to play with the toys tomorrow, instead of in a month, they need to tidy up and put them away.

There's no perfect solution, and what works for some kids might not work for others. At least there's a variety of different things to try!
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Sea Monkeys - A Slightly Better Pic

Hey!!! You can kinda see something now. They're about 1.5 mm in length, and some of them have long stringy tails. They also appear to have three eyes (three black dots on the front of their heads) although you can't see that in this pic.

They swim like mad, and they're still quite small, which makes them difficult to photograph, but I'll keep trying...

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Sea Monkey Mystery

For the uninitiated, when you get a Sea Monkeys kit, you first purify the water for 24 hours before adding the eggs. Packet 1 is water purifier, Packet 2 is eggs, and Packet 3 is food.

Both kids got a kit for Christmas, and I dutifully followed the instructions and purified the water. Then I put the two little tanks up out of harm's reach, or so I thought.

Lil' J: "Mommy look!'
Me: "What is it, bud?"
Lil' J: "Mommy I washed my nut!" (he meant the kind that you crack open and then eat, before any of you start to wonder).
Me: "Where?"
Lil' J: "In dat. In da monkey tank"

He had washed his hazelnut in his still-being-purified Sea Monkey water, but thankfully hadn't spilled too much on the counter.

Now here's the mystery (hence the post title): I put his eggs in his water maybe an hour before Alyssa's, and yet today, almost two weeks later, his are double the size of hers. His are monster monkeys!!! Hers are wee little girlie things, still barely visible, but his are big enough that you can see their tails wiggling behind them as they swim.

Hmmm. Hazelnut shells for Sea Monkey food? Or little boy finger grime? We may never know ;-)

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Kindergarten Readiness

Ok, Lil' J - you're up next!

Hmm. Is my giggly, silly, march to the beat of his own drummer son really ready for The Big K this fall? His father was expressing doubt last night, which started me thinking about the whole thing.

It's difficult for me to really tell, because at the age that he is now (4 1/2), his sister was reading and writing simple (4-6 word) sentences. I know that's a little ahead of the curve as far as early language skills (btw, to compensate she was behind socially - she had much anxiety and shyness, which thankfully she's outgrown). It leaves me with the inability to judge J's preparedness, because he's not quite as advanced as his sister, so acck! He must not be ready, right?

Wrong!! (yippee).

Here are a couple of handy checklists I found, to which I was able to answer "yes, yes, yes," repeatedly for J. I guess he won't have to repeat preschool after all ;-)

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Kindergarten Registration

(Reminder to me: pick up French Immersion application from school today for Lil' J.)

Kindergarten registration is in mid February, and the deadline for submitting our F.E. applications is about a week earlier. I know it's only January 5th today, but I have notes all over the house reminding myself to get the little man signed up.

Ah, laugh at me if you will, but check this out: I heard this story of this family with four kids... well known in their school and community, actively involved in their F.E. program at school. The first three kids were in the program, so of course #4 would be as well. Until... they forgot to register him!! Too funny. They took their inclusion so for granted that they forgot about the formality of the application and registration.

I never did hear the outcome, but I'm assuming the Principal squeezed him in, seeing as how he would have been "priority #1" (in catchment with siblings already attending).

Too funny. (or not). I am neurotic enough to worry about forgetting my second child, so.... notes everywhere!!!

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Back To School!!!

Alyssa said to me last night: "Mommy tomorrow I'm going to get up super early and get dressed right away!!!"

I think she might be excited ;-)

Lil J doesn't seem to care one way or the other, but I know once we get to his preschool he'll be happy. My biggest challenge today is getting them there in this, um, weather.

Speaking of which, my timer is ringing - time to wake them up.

Have a great day, everyone!
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A Picture Of Sea Monkeys

Disclaimer: at less than two weeks old, they're barely big enough to be seen by my nasty pocket point & shoot wanna be a camera when it grows up one day.

Anyhoo, here's a corner of J's tank (his are bigger than A's - not sure why). They're about 1 mm long, and swim like mad!!! You can see them from 3 or 4 feet away now - you don't have to press your nose up against the plastic tank and hold your breath anymore ;-)

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Unique (Sounds Better Than Nuts)

Lil' J is about to climb on the Smart Cycle (have I mentioned how much I love that thing?)

"Mommy, why are dere handles and a seat dere?"

(really??? you're 4 1/2)

Me: "Um, well, the handles are for your hands and the seat is where you sit."
Lil J: "Oh. What are the pedals for?"
Me (biting the inside of my cheek): "That's where your feet go."
Lil J: "Oh. Fanks!!!"

Climbs aboard, starts pedalling.

Now, I'm pretty sure he was either a) asking me something else altogether that he doesn't yet have the means to express, b) asking just to see what I'd say, or c) playing around.

I may never know, but in the meantime being around to hear the nuggets that come out of his mouth is one of the biggest perks of being a stay at home Mom :-)
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Still Nuts

Lucky for him he's cute (my son, for those who haven't read the previous post). He just came and asked for a cookie, to which I replied "after dinner, maybe".

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: "So Bud, waddya want for dinner?"
Lil' J: "A cookie!!"
Me: "Uh, nope. Pick something healthy."
Lil' J, grinning deviously: "A nut!"

And yes, he cracked himself one, ate it, and came back asking for the cookie.
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