Saturday, January 14, 2012

This Week with Tyler

Last weekend we were at the beach. Now we are bundled up and splitting our time between outdoor play and indoor activities. It is about 25 degrees and windy in the morning now! If you've been thinking that Florida is always warm, think again.

This week we rescued a butterfly. A Monarch who forgot to migrate to Mexico. He was found laying on his side in my mom's yard. Tyler actually got to hold him/ he held onto Tyler's finger, so of course I don't have a picture of that.

We tried to get the butterfly to sip some sugar water. He was not interested. Tyler did get a look at the long curled up tongue butterflies have. And this picture. I think that is a worried look, but I can't be sure.

So, after the sugar water was rejected, we decided to try to find some remaining flowers in the yard. Butterflies love flowers. We still see the yellow sulfur butterflies out there, so maybe he'd like the company?

Here he is on the last camellia blossom. Its all that is left in our yard in January for flowers. I suspect that the Monarch blew away, rather than flew away, so please don't tell Tyler. He'd be real sad. There is a reason he didn't migrate, and I suspect it is old age. C'est la vie.

On Monday Tyler announced that we needed to make cupcakes. Here we are making mini cupcakes with a melon ball for the scoop. Chocolate with cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm. We used leftover Halloween papers and Halloween sprinkles. He thought it was awesome and only really ate the cream cheese frosting. Tyler loves to be "the cooker."

Counting the cupcake papers as we add them to the tins is educational, right? And scooping batter into the papers is eye-hand coordination and learning a sort of measuring by look is also educational. We'll call this cooking school for toddlers.

Do you have a Train Table for your kids? There are more uses than you might have guessed. Last year it was an elevated play area and platform for looking out the window. This year it is an arts and crafts table, dinosaur habitat, and lately, Tyler invented another use for it: Dinosaur Soccer. See the hand holes on either side? Those are the goals. We play a little soccer out in the yard, but this kid has never seen a real match (or a foosball table for that matter) but he is brilliant enough to have invented this game!

He usually wants to be the Long Neck Dinosaur team and I am the T-Rex team and we fight over and attempt to score with ping pong balls. It is really fun, and a little rough on the knuckles at times. This kid is going to be a Foosball enthusiast.And I just saw a small table-top version at Ross for $15. Birthday gift? Yes.

We were lucky to get his table from a yard sale, so the cost was not a factor, but even if you pay full price, you and your kids are SO going to get your money's worth out of it. It is a stage when Tyler wants to sing and dance. It is where the building block towers are crashed down with monster trucks, and where he builds puzzles and play dough sculptures. The height is just perfect for him, and it is sturdy enough to hold his weight through years of use.

Here you see our dino-rama. Ha ha. I had to say it. We have dinosaur flash cards and looked up every single one in his dinosaur box. "Dino Dan" on Nick Jr is a show he likes to watch and for not quite 3 years old, he can tell you a lot of dinosaur names and what they eat and look like. I guess while he's in college on sports scholarships he can major in Paleontology and minor in Culinary Arts?

T-Rex is ready to defend his goalpost from the Long Neck player (me.) I think Tyler is making it extra hard for me to score with his body block, don't you?

Another indoor sport he invented is Hallway Hockey. The plastic golf club is the stick. Ping pong balls again. Slippers are required for better agility. And by the way, the golf club is also: a sword, a pony, a reach under furniture ball retriever, a light switch arm extension, and a pointer.

Would you like to be goalie and hold still for one after another on-goal shots? Me neither. I leave that up to Papa. He's a tough guy, he can take it.

Shopping tip: Target's $1 section has foam swords. Joann's also has foam swords, but they are not $1. However, Target does not have the coordinating black pirate hat, hook hand, and eye patch that you will find at Joann's. So there you go. Things to shop for this week for you Neverland Pirate fan.   If you have a pirate theme birthday in your future, you can score on those.

And lastly, because you may start feeling like you are sitting through a relative's vacation slide show, we made our first bedroom fort out of sheets and clothespins, etc. Please note the heavy duty cardboard tube being used for yet another project. This is one of the tubes we use for Hot Wheels racing. He thought the fort was awesome. For about 5 minutes. Now if I could have invented a pirate ship instead of a fort, I would be forever his hero.

Fun Stuff Fridays

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hello from sunny Pensacola!

Hello all! Happy New Year! I hope you are off to a great start and keeping those resolutions! Greetings from Pensacola Beach!

It is January and we spent the weekend at the beach! Saturday was gorgeous, but I forgot the camera, of course. The temp is in the low 70s, the water is clear and cool and emerald green. The Gulf of Mexico was as flat as can be on Saturday. Green flag flying. Things can change so quickly, because today it was a yellow flag and a purple flag and cloudy. Still, we had fun.

This boy is all sports, all the time. When we played football today, he said he was Tebow and I was Polamalu. Too funny! When we play baseball, he is Benny and the other person (whoever that may be at the time) is Smalls, as in 2 characters from the Sandlot.

Neither of us can wait for the water to warm up for swimming.

Tyler and I played baseball, soccer and football, made sand castles, chased seagulls, looked through the pay-to-view telescope, had lunch, waded up to our calves in and out of the surf, collected shells and just had a blast both days. Just the two of us. It was awesome.

We had such a good time that we decided to go back again today, even with a 30% chance of rain. It doesn't sound like much of a chance, but I've seen it absolutely downpour all day when they called for a 10% chance. (You can't put a lot of stock in what our weather people say.)  Just like Saturday, there were sunbathers and swimmers filling up the beach by noon.

Do you see that purplish color on the horizon line? Yeah, the jellies are coming. What we really need are a lot more sea turtles, who eat the jellyfish, because there doesn't seem to be any time of year when we DON'T have some kind of jellyfish attack.

This one is about 9 inches across.  Ick. Does anyone have a cure for jellyfish invasions?