Monday at Home

We seem to spend most Mondays at home. I didn’t get much sleep last night for too many nights in a row so I found myself wishing I could get away a lot. Dang big bird that wants to swoop in windows and fly away with E in the night. Certainly has put a damper on getting in rest when it is dark! ;)

C got the urge to sew today (not unusual) and he looked through his sewing book and decided to make A Little Friend. He worked on and off for 1-2 hours on this creature and got happily frustrated along the way. When he was finally done, he was so deeply proud of his work!

Being so distracted by Little Friend, even when he wanted to take a break, he didn’t concentrate much on other work. Writing lower case m is hard for him.

He ended up being silly a lot.   

E however, was pretty focused on the tool table. Why am I mildly surprised how absorbed he gets in this area, and in the electronic and snap circuits?

E also wrote today. The one in the notebook was a grocery list I heard him narrating while he wrote. 

Thursday at Louisville Zoo

The kids and I went to the Louisville Zoo with friends then stayed the night nearby before going to scheduled cave trip on Friday. Thursday morning was busy with getting ready, packing food for the day, then loading up everyone. The boys took turns jumping over one another before we left. That kind of prep was VERY important. We stopped for donuts on our way to the zoo because E has been asking for them repeatedly. Then he fell asleep in his carseat on the way, slept in my arms in the donut shop, slept while I transferred him back into the carseat, and then for another hour or so. C however, delighted asked for his “candlvwax donut” as soon as we got back into the van. Icing on donuts apparently resembles candle wax….


At the zoo we saw lots of imprisoned and depressed animals.


E begged to be held but walked much of the hours long trip.   


More sad animals, safe in their prisons but constantly seeking freedom. My friend and I lamented their dismal lives and our participation in their captivity.


The little human animals wandered fairly freely though and frequently camouflaged themselves in their surroundings. It was super tricky finding them….


Also, C finally got to see bamboo, something he’s been asking about lately.


The zoo has a nice splash pad that the kids played at for a while. In this photo you also see an adult human grabbing her juvenile human animal for unknown reasons. Probably to avoid getting plowed down by C…..


C posed for a shot. E adjusted his sunglasses with careful precision.


We learned about wallabies, rushed E to the bathroom, then wandered a bit more before E collapsed in exhaustion and despair over the long day.


Finally we departed shortly before the zoo closed. And got stuck in traffic or an hour. But don’t worry, I kept the kids awake by throwing candy and leftover donuts at them and singing and talking a lot. Also, I didn’t wreck. And I breathed deeply because my maps app got confused by all the road construction and sent us on a detour 3 miles away that u-turned us BACK into another interstate of stopped traffic. It was AWESOME. C shouted out “Hey, I see the city and the river AGAIN!!” when we finally made it back toward our route.


We found a half dead cat at my friend’s mother’s house. See that baby climbing over the deck rail trying to get the sick cat? I was supposed to be watching him while his mom was inside. Fortunately I grabbed him before he tumbled to his death on top of a disturbingly ill cat. We then hiked through a very thorny woods to a creek. A few of the 5 kids cried during this short trip. Thorns bother small kids apparently. The adults managed to keep the atmosphere lively and adventurous though! 


Finally it was dinner, one episode of Curious George, then bedtime in a strange house (for my kids). The thrill of sleeping on an air mattress kept C awake. The terror of a huge bird flying in the window and grabbing and flying off with E kept him awake. Both kids kept me awake. Eventually, after E sobbed and screamed and nothing I did calmed him, we went downstairs where the birds couldn’t get him. C followed us after a while and both boys fell asleep on me. So the friend and the friend’s mother and I sat up talking for a while. It was nice. :) Then I hauled the kids back upstairs and we managed to sleep some before E woke at his normal early hour and the next day began. :)

Wednesday at Home

The day started out normal. There was swinging in the dining room:

And garden harvesting:

After a while though, things went crazy and we found thousands of pumpkins growing around the house! E trapped a moth on the stairs in a jar! The boys made a disaster! (Several of them….) And C made a movie theater with a PIECE OF PAPER!!

Then everything turned into learning! Numbers all over the place! Writing and shapes and thinking and PLAY DOUGH!!!!

Finally there was absolute CHAOS and the children began singing and dancing and PERFORMING!!!!! ON TOP OF TABLES AND DESKS!!!!   


I know, I know. It’s all so thrilling that you are balancing on the edge of your seat.

While I was eating my dinner though, these masked creatures ran by the table (repeatedly) and tried to harass me. Then they climbed tree, which worried the little one.

That was our day. ;)

A Fish

Breakfast on stools at my house:IMG_8028

Morning exercises at my house: IMG_8033

Later, after the crazynormal time ended, we went to my sister’s house. C found a tiny fish tank at a garage sale over the weekend which was timely since he’s been asking for a fish for a while. So we got a few books, he set everything up, we read the books, and visiting my sister for more advice. She has several beautiful tanks and we watched her feed her fish minnows and bloodworms. Pretty freaking cool seeing them gulp minnows down. ;)IMG_8035

So C picked out his betta fish (while being extremely distracted by a billion other small animals), named him Gazoolom, and brought him home. Lots of excitement and waiting and then he dumped the fish in his tank and smiled a lot. IMG_8048

This is how he looks when he’s bursting with joy inside. Silent and delighted, like every molecule in him has just been overwhelmed with glee at his accomplishment. Then he gives me a giant, tight, and quick hug and beams with pride and joy. It’s really one of my favorite parts of being his mom. :) IMG_8041

Later he grabbed his new math book and worked on it for a while. We were mostly going to do hands on things this year but C is very interested in doing “school” so I found a curriculum that seemed pretty grounded in problem solving and “doing” and we just started on it. C wants to do school a lot now!

The Making Day

Today the kids seemed to make and do a lot. In the kitchen. First there was a need to make bread dough and since i already had some rising in the oven, I let them attack that. And they did, with gusto and messiness and aprons. 

E moved on to washing dishes that were already clean.

C mopped the floor that hasn’t been mopped in months.   

Then C packed a lunch cooler, made PBJs, and set up a lunch picnic inside. He helpfully showed E how to use the “table” to prop up his feet while he ate.

We went to the park with friends and it was really hot and humid. Came home for reading, quiet time, show, and more working. Somehow (?) the boys got started on “cleaning” everything again but this time they used spray bottles filled with water. They sprayed, squeegeed (an actual word?), and wiped (or didn’t wipe) every window in the area and all the flat surfaces. And each other. And themselves. And the car windows. 

And then I left. Monday is my night off this week since I’ll be out of town with the boys Thursday and Friday. So I sat and read The Martian very quickly so I could simply finish it and NOT be absorbed in reading it anymore and get back to my real life. And I read a few curriculum books. And planned my life. And then read some more. And went home. :)


The boys ate breakfast with their cash registers (C bought his yesterday with his own money). Later we had to sep up a store to use these more. IMG_7990

We went to a little German cafe to meet someone to buy something. And since we were there, J suggested we buy a couple cookies (he loves this place and goes here often). So I let the kids choose 2 tiny cookies each but the cafe sells them by the 1/2 pound so I thought, hey, lets just buy some extras. And, oops, then we ate all except 3.5 cookies that I swiped away to save for J. Yum! IMG_7992

Down to the mailbox to mail a letter C wrote to his cousin B. Funny story, between me addressing and stamping his envelope he taped on a tiny box with a marble in it and I didn’t notice. Our sweet mail carrier left the letter in our mailbox with a note that we would need to take it to the post office to send it with a package. Hehehe. We walked all the way to the mailbox and I didn’t see C’s letter had become a package! Anyway, we hauled the trash and recycling containers back to the house afterward. I reflected on how E may not want to help with the morning kitchen cleaning (ever) but both boys volunteer to help very often and perhaps someday they will after all grow into hardworking people. ;)IMG_8007

For school we just painted with our new liquid watercolors. IMG_7995

We helped my SIL and BIL move their belongings to our basement to store while they look for a new house. And with all the open doors, Coconut Cat sneaked in. I found him sleeping in my bed a couple hours later. ;)IMG_8006

Thursday is my night off, C calls it “Private Mama Time”. I met a friend for dinner and talked a lot without any interruptions (except for the quiet and polite server). It was relaxing and refreshing!

Wednesday at State Fair

This was the fish cake from yesterday, btw. It seemed to satisfy E’s desires. ;)

So yesterday I had an appointment at 9:00 then we were heading to the state fair. With preparations for a day’s worth of food and supplies, morning cuddles, breakfast, and all we worked hard to get out of the house on time but we made it. Whew!

We met friends at the shuttle area and stood around for nearly an hour in a very long line awaiting the bus. In the end we did not save time and probably should have just parked at the fairgrounds. Oh well! The bus was fun and as soon as we go to the fair we had to find the restrooms and THEN start exploring. C had a fun interaction with a Navy diver in a pool-like water display (set up to lure children into the armed forces of course). He was pretty delighted and talked about it on and off the rest of the day. We looked at the farming in historical times areas, then went on this little fame scavenger hunt type thing (it was very civilized and orderly!). There were pedal tractors to ride and baskets to collect things in, it was a big hit.

Then we went to the FFA building and C thought this cow looked fun. He was surprised when I asked if I could take his picture, apparently joy comes from pretending you are a cow when you can’t really see what you look like as a cow. Oh adulthood. ;)

We played putt putt, which E took pretty seriously. He was awful at it tried very hard and hit with the tip of his club but celebrated every time he hit or pushed (with his hands) the ball into the hole. We lost interest after about 5 holes.

There also was a playground in the FFA building where E was extremely occupied and C delighted in playing with our friends. He pushed them on the tire swing and played tag while E was absorbed in climbing and using diggers.

Then we went past a tractor supply place and ended up staying there for quite a while. The kids simply wandered from tractor to tractor, climbing and pretending on each of them. 

E exclaimed great affection for the smaller ones we found in the back. “I really love dis tractor!” and I found him happily hugging all the equipment. There were even closed eyes hugs.

After eating most of the healthy food I packed, the boys began to scope out their treats. C got a bag of cotton candy that he shared with us while we watched an acrobat show. It was spellbinding for C, I’m pretty sure E was ready to fall asleep lulled by the sitting and not moving. I really enjoyed watching C’s reactions and gasps of amazement here!

Then we went fishing at the DNR pond. E sprawled on the hot concrete and nearly fell asleep while all the 5 year olds and up listened to directions and education on fishing. Finally we made it to the pond area and E needed to go to the bathroom. So I left C with his fishing pole and our DNR volunteer and dashed off with E. When we got back, we found C had caught 3 fish, the last being pretty big! So here’s a placeholder C With Fish photo that I took later.

It was dinner now so we found some dinner (grilled cheese!) and bought E his root b-beer (he shared it with C), rode the tractor bus around the fairgrounds back to our shuttle bus. Rode the bus back to our parking lot. Rode our van back to the house. Boys were exhausted. C wanted to stay awake but they both fell asleep in the van pretty quickly.   

I’d planned on getting back to our house at 2:00 and instead were home at 7:30. So yeah, it was a fun day. ;)

Park and Fish Cake

So we went to meet a new homeschool group to hang out with. And my kids ended up doing this: E got hurt (even bit?) multiple times and C wanted to go get a park map so we ended up wandering off a bit early. We are much more suited for exploring the woods I suppose. ;)

When we last hiked here (2 weeks ago?) this creek bed was flooded. Now it’s dry!

So wer were abel to wander around a lot more and wade. Also, we saw several pieces of litter and decided we really need to bring a trash bag with us at all times to help clean up. Reminds me of how we have to keep dollar bills in our vehicle to hand to people asking for money on the side of the road.   

C found lots of tiny, greenish mussels. Still need to officially ID them.

Climbing up tree roots to get up the creek bank.   

Back at home we had snacks, reading, and quiet time. I never know what the kids will be dressed like when they come out of their room. Also, this is C showing me their (wrongly set) clock to make sure I know quiet time is over.

Kefir chalk art. We used our milk kefir thrice yesterday! In smoothies, art, and E’s fish cake. 

Here is the making of the Fish Cake. E has been asking to make this (whatever it really is) for almost 2 weeks. A peach cobbler would not suffice, nor did cookies. It had to be  “valilla fish cake” but he didn’t want it (thankfully) made of fish. The boys give thumbs up while tasting the batter, C gave his “little kid” thumbs up. Then E decided to eat a zucchini like and apple.

And finally dinner on the screened in porch. Fish cake for dessert. ;)  

Quiet Monday

Last month E turned 32 months and I just got around to taking his bi-monthly photo. Only 3 weeks late. Meh. He told us (mostly) what he wanted to write on his wall. ;)DSC06150

And since we’re 3 weeks late with one, may as well be 2 weeks early with the other kid. We were on a roll! C is getting a little self conscious about these pictures, he KNOWS in a very aware way now that they are part of Historical Record while it’s still a game for E. DSC06177

Of course he’s a crazy kid after. ;)


C had to don protective gear to capture an adult cicada. Gloves and headphones were very necessary. E simply sat and observed, while continuing to be a doggie. You can see his leash, the one I had to take off after he was sleeping (never before) and had to get first thing in the morning when his second sentence “Mama, I want you to hold me” was “Mama, where’s my leash?!?!?”.

DSC06193 DSC06198

Later we did school. This kid was clingy since he hadn’t eaten all his lunch but he did enjoy piano time.


This kid enjoyed working with numbers. DSC06199

He made this name badge last week when he found an extendable card thingie (?) and loves to wear it.


Later there was the discovery that we had cornstarch so we MUST mix it with water. I was grateful for the warm weather so it could be taken outside.

Like a work of art from above. ;)

Then the outdoor tent HAD to be set up inside. 

Bedtime’s hot milk was sipped from from tiny cups but poured very messily.

The babies were parked by the tent and the boys went to bed.   

Caves and Waterfalls

We went to a cave at McCormick’s Creek State Park on Friday but before we left we had to do an experiment. Since it involves a boiled egg, I was able to multitask and boil some to bring for us to eat that day. So in the end it was not only fun, educational, and bonding, it was also nutritious!  

We went with a group that arranged the trip. It was a fairly large and “interesting” crowd. ;) It was an hour hike to get to the cave. Then of course, an hour hike to get back. Something my 2 year old does not excel at: walking long distances. Sigh. Glad I brought the baby carrier this time! C was pretty occupied and delighted the whole trek though.

We sat at the mouth of the small cave listening to the guide before walking farther in. This is where E changed from “Cavescavescaves! I love caves!!!” to “Wtf, there’s no way you’ll EVER make me go in that dark hole.” With a little negotiation (here, hold the flashlight) and discussion (look, going through there is the ONLY way to the exit) we managed to get through. I’m pretty sure C was only thrilled and eager about everything here. I was fairly distracted by E but I recall telling C a couple times “We need to wait until the guide starts to go into the cave, we can’t go in without him”. It’s surprisingly hard for my 4 year old to sit at the mouth of dark abyss and NOT immediately dash into it…. 

Here’s what it looked like inside. This was the tiniest cave we’ve ever visited and the only light was from our flashlights. It was a tight squeeze at times and C, in front of E and me, could only shuffle along due to the size of our group and E reluctantly moved forward when I urged him to.  I busily relayed messages from the front of the group to the back while cajoling E to walk some more, holding the flashlight so my kids could see where to step, and attempting to look at things myself. Needless to say, I’d like to go through this cave again without the swell of 30 people behind and 5 in front.

We came out that tiny bright hole on the ground. It wasn’t terrible but it was pretty tight and also in a puddle.

There was lots of fun climbing to do on the outside while we waited for everyone to emerge.

Still climbing.   

After the caving and climbing we walked back to the nature center where the group met, collapsed with food and water (well I did but the giant toddler who Couldn’t Walk Far seemed pretty chipper still). Since I had planned on us staying the day and driving home at bedtime, we went exploring with some friends at the waterfall. E DID walk the whole time were were there, thankfully. ;) Also, all this climbing really made C’s heart soar. And after his Normal Acclimation Time, E was also enthralled with the place. 

The falls. The water was pretty shallow, even with all the rain we’ve been having, and the kids walked through much of this creek. 

E somehow walked onto this rock and then went back and forth on it several times before declaring, with a bit of panic, that he was stuck and !!couldn’t get down!! I showed him how to sit and slide off the edge…. Crisis averted.    

We walked through the water for a while, then made our way to the falls, and finally E managed to walk close enough to touch. C had taken off the minute we arrived and made it here long before us.  

C mostly walked around in blissful busyness, completely absorbed in exploring every inch. E did a lot of worrying then squealing and chanting and singing. Under the falls he cried “I did it Mama! I’m in the waterfall!!”.   

Also, E made some pretty funny faces while he narrated his thoughts for me. Of course due to the sound of the falls I couldn’t understand most of what he said. ;)

Happy C. He just loves places like this. It’s wonderful to see your kid immersed in something that thrills and satisfies him to his core.   

THEN. Then he started climbing the falls. This is the not so fun part: when the thing your kid loves could give him a brain injury. I practiced self control and calmly told him, and E, as little as I could “make sure you feel safe. If it doesn’t feel safe just come down.” And marvelously, this is a theme they really do understand so it is second nature to them. I told J later, with all the exploring they did in such a slippery place, it was amazing neither of them were hurt. At least to me, their protective mama. But they really are very aware of their limits and the situations and know when something is safe to proceed with. That and we are incredibly lucky. 

E did lots of climbing and sliding while C pushed his rock climbing limits. 

Happy kid. He kept telling me things here but I couldn’t hear what he was saying at all. ;)  

C was quite determined to make it to the top but this is where he stopped. Preeetty far up. I smile a lot when I look at this picture because the happiness! THE HAPPINESS!    

All I ever wanted was a kid who would work 9-5 in a safe and boring office, ride a safe bus for transportation, and live long and prosper. This kid? Not so much. His joy comes from exploring. 

The place cleared out around 5:00 but we stuck around and went down stream with the friends, back upstream alone, then downstream again. C was walking on a ledge on the cliffside, missed a step, and slid all the way down on his bottom. He popped up smiling and promptly dashed to the creek to wash off the soil. I told him no more cliff walking, didn’t he know he lived in my heart and if he got hurt my heart would hurt too?!?! Yes, yes, I know he responded and rushed off. So dang, the mother guilt NEVER works on this kid. 

E sat on this rock and splashed with his stick. Then yelled for me to stop taking his picture. And fell backwards into the water. Don’t worry, I caught him, he’s still alive.

Finally we left the falls (E and I were doggies the whole trek up which made him forget he was climbing a steep hill and stay happy). The boys cleaned up, changed to pajamas, ate in their carseats, we found a restroom, said good bye to the friends, and drove home.


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