Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Natural History Museum

Nicole and Dan digging for fossils

Nicole in an excavation site

Amara and Nicole building a structure and then causing an earthquake to knock it down.

This was Dano's favorite part. Their were these phones inside all of these fake trees and they told you history when you picked them up. Dano had to try all the phones in all the trees and wanted to stay there forever listening to some guy tell history. Funny kid.
The week of Spring Break, I invited myself along on my brother, Jake's, trip to the Natural History Museum. Jake and Jill have been really good in letting me hang with them more often as of late. Nicole gets along so well with their girl, Keira, and Dan plays pretty well with his cousin, Sorin. It has been so nice just spending more time with them. And, now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I can do this kind of stuff during the day.

Jill and Nicoley testing city earth quake.

My Nephews, Jacob and Sorin, and my brother Jake

This section had a glass floor with dinosaur fossils under it. Sorin was very apprehensive about walking on the clear floor.
Amara, who is 9, spent the whole time with Nicole, walking her around to all the things that Nicole wanted to look at. My sweet little niece made the whole visit so easy for me! I didn't have to worry about Nicole at all and she didn't have a single meltdown. It was like a miracle!

All I had to worry about was keeping up with Dano who was all over the place and into everything. But it wasn't so bad keeping up with just him and I had Jake and Jill as an extra set of eyes as well.

The new Natural History Museum in Salt Lake is huge. Like five floors huge. The kids loved it and didn't get bored in the two hours that we were there. It was a lot of fun, but it is super expensive. It was 11 dollars for me and 8 dollars per kid. Well, it would have been that much, but I didn't have to pay for Dan or Nicole because my brother has extra passes they were able to use.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Easter 2013

Easter was kind of over done for us on the week of Easter. It was my week to teach preschool, and my topic was Easter, so one of the days, I did an egg hunt with the kids. Then, on Friday, we went to my sister-in-law, Anne's house for passover dinner and she had an egg hunt for the kids. Then, on Saturday, Momma Kimball had an Easter basket hunt for the kids. Then, finally, on Sunday, actual Easter, we did our very own egg hunt from the "Easter Bunny."

Since the kids had already gotten so much candy from their many other egg hunts, we didn't do candy in the eggs this year. I put money in the eggs and the kids loved it. They loved cracking open the eggs to find the money inside and then putting them in their piggy banks.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Do You Know This Child?

At the end of Nicole's Birthday Party, a weird thing happened. We heard Marie's car alarm go off. Marie went outside to check it out and she found a little 2 year old girl wandering around my front yard. We went outside to see who the girl belonged to, but there was no adult in site to claim this little girl. I didn't recognize her, but that is not saying much since our house is the only house on our side of the street in my ward. All the other houses are in a different ward, so I wouldn't know her if she lived on my street. The girl didn't seem to be afraid or sad, she was just contentedly wandering. I have no idea how long she was wandering before she got to my house, but I decided I better not let her go any farther.

So, since we couldn't find her mom, and she couldn't tell us her name or where she lives, we called the police. 30 minutes later, a police officer shows up. Now here is the weird thing, I knew the officer, he was the boy that I dated in high school. Obviously, not a boy any more as he is now a man and police and all, but it was super weird. What was even more weird was that he pretended not to know me. Granted, I look different from high school (like 50 pounds different) and we did not split on good terms, but still, dude. I called him by his first name and he pretended he didn't know me. Whatever.

So anyway, back to the little girl. The officer first asked us a bunch of questions and tried to get the little girl to tell him her name or her parents name or anything about her, but it just wasn't working. Mostly, because she is two and not only had two year old speech but probably didn't know how to answer the questions he was asking. He checked missing persons and checked to see if anyone had called about missing a child, but no one had. But, I said that someone must be missing her because if it were my child, I would be in a panic if I couldn't find my two year old. The obviously jaded officer said that I would be surprised how many bad parents there are. But, I knew that somebody loved this little girl because they had done her hair in cute pony tails. Which I know sounds weird, but if you have a little girl, you know that it is no easy feat to do their hair. You really have to care about them to do your child's hair. The officer did not have children of his own and wasn't exactly connecting with the little girl. When she tried to answer his questions in little girl speak, he looked at me and said, "What did she just say? I don't speak little girl."

Nicole at two could have told him her name, my and Matt's names, and her phone number; but Nicole was exceptional at speaking at two. And lets face it, if Nicole had gotten lost at two, she wouldn't have stopped crying long enough to be able to answer any questions even if she did know the answers because Nicole is a cryer. Dano on the other hand is almost two and he can repeat his name to me but cannot answer the question, "What is your name?" If I point to his chest and ask, "Who is this?" he responds with "Dano!" But, knowing a child's first name only does not really help to find their home.

So, the officer then called in a bunch of other officers to come and I entertained the little girl as best I could on my front lawn while my children cried inside and the party was not getting cleaned up. So, I brought the kids outside to play with me and the little girl while we waited. We played a lot of ring around the rosie.

The officer asked if he could leave the girl with us while he started knocking on doors, but we were actually supposed to be leaving for a Easter party at Momma Kimball's house. And, I hadn't even cleaned up the party yet. But, I said I would stay with her if they needed me too. But, then he got a little huffy and said, "Nevermind" and took the little girl with him to knock on doors. Which was super weird. But, Matt and I stuck around anyway until another officer arrived. I just didn't feel good about leaving her until someone else was there too. Then, I left the officer with a sippy and a snack bag for her in case she got hungry or thirsty because who knows how long she had been wandering and we went to Momma Kimball's.

About an hour later, we got a call from the officer telling us that they had found her mother. She lived like four blocks west of us and the little girl was supposed to have been watched by her 14 year old older sister. But, this sister was playing on her facebook and neglected to check on her two year old sister for over two hours. She did not discover that the little girl was missing until the mother got home and couldn't find her child. She then called the police and then they were able to return the girl home. It turns out that the reason that she couldn't tell us her name was because her name was Jennevecia. Who gives a child a name that long and doesn't give her a nickname?

Well, I was relieved that she got home safe because I was super anxious about it all even after we left. I just kept thinking that if it were my child, I would be in a state of fear and I would hope that someone would find them and do just what I did; call the police, and take care of my child until they were returned to me.

Now, as for the baby sitting sister that neglected the child, holy cow! If that were my Nicole neglecting her younger sibling, she would be in a world of trouble! But of course, I'm sure that the 14 year old was probably so afraid when she realized that her sister was gone that she probably won't ever do that again. But, I have made a mental note to myself to ban all computer while someone is babysitting my children.  I am glad it all worked out and I am also glad that Marie's car alarm went off so that we could find her.

But, I didn't get to clean up any of the decorations or food or presents from the party until the next day because we went straight to another party and got home late. That was a bummer. I like a clean house. And, I didn't get Matt's help with the clean up because he was at work that night and sleeping the next day. Bummer. But, it could have been worse, at least I didn't lose my child.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Tea Party for Nicoley

I promised myself and Matt that I would only throw the children a birthday party every other year, because this is how I grew up. We would have a family party and then a friend party the next year, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw Nicoley a little tea party with the little girl friends that she has made in preschool. I came up with the theme and became totally attached to it and had to convince Nicoley that it was the right choice for her party.

I easily could have spent hundreds of dollars on decorations, food, and dress ups for the party, but seeing as how we are not a wealthy family, I had to create most of the decorations and food and went with a simple spring dress for Cole's outfit. I had a lot of fun buying and creating all the stuff for the party. I really wanted it to be a bit magical for Nicole.

I researched tea party and little girl party decorations before hand, and I wish that it looked like those pictures that I saw on pinterest, but I'm just not a professional party planner. But, even so, I was pleased with how it turned out. Granted, I would have rather had pink tulle all over every thing rather than streamers, but lets face it, she is four, she doesn't care, only I care.

cream cheese and jam sandwiches, fancy little debbie cakes, and frosted sugar cookies

I had one two year old at the party, so she had her own plastic cup to avoid the possible breakage of my good china

party favors

The banner I created by sewing paper together

strawberry, funfetti cupcakes

My rose china that I inherited from my great grandma. The "tea" was actually pink lemonade as it went with the "pink" theme

All the girls had crazy straws in their party favor bags so that they could drink their "tea" with them.
 Decorating took forever because I was trying to manage kids and decorate at the same time and I only had a small window to do it since I had to wait until after the kids ate lunch to do the table, but I was pleased with the result. I'm a little bit proud of myself because I've never thrown a party this pretty before.
Nicole in her brand new spring dress that went perfectly with the shoes she got for christmas

Nicole looked beautiful and even let me braid her hair, for which I was very pleased.
Nicole was very excited for the party when she saw the decorations going up, but she got sick of waiting for her friends to get there and started in on the snacks before her friends arrived. I really thought that the "tea" part of the party would last a long time, but it turns out that four year olds get bored really fast and after 20 minutes of tea time, they were done.

All the girls got sunglasses in their favor bags, so I made sure that Nicole got a new pair of glasses too. This child goes through sunglasses as quickly as I do.

Girls from her preschool group

cousins Lucy and Olivia

Marie is not a little girl, but she did come and help me run the party. I was so glad that she and my sister in law, Jill, were there as it is hard to manage 8 four year olds all alone.
Girl from preschool

Dano had a good time at the party too. He just ran around while I fed him cookies on the side.

Nicole had a hard time blowing out the candles, so I ended up helping her out.
After the "tea" part of the party and singing happy birthday, it had only been 30 minutes and the girls were ready to move on. I planned an activity for the party, but I only had one as I'm lame like that and assumed that the girls would want to play tea party for the majority of the party.

I had the girls make "candy" necklaces out of fruit loops, gummy rings, and life savers. Unfortunately, I over estimated the dexterity that a four year old has and a lot of the girls needed a lot of help stringing their necklaces. Which made me grateful for my helper sisters.

I don't know why I felt so nervous about entertaining the girls for the measly hour and half that I had them, but I guess it is because I have never held a child's birthday party where parents just drop off their  kids and then I am in charge of them. Every party my children have had up until this point, I have invited my siblings and in-laws and they come with their whole families so there has always been a whole bunch of adults. Retrospectively, I know it turned out fine, but I had a lot of fear at the time.
Snagging some cake for myself

Nicole was dying to eat the cupcakes and that is why we sang happy birthday so early in the party. I wouldn't let anyone have cupcakes until we sang and of course all the girls wanted a cupcake. 
Necklace making food

Cousin Keira sampling her necklace

Cousin Lucy showing off the necklace

The necklace activity was a really cute idea, but I didn't really get to enjoy Nicole doing it because I was so busy helping the other girls. Necklaces also didn't take as long as I thought they would and we still had like 35 minutes left of the party and I knew that presents would not take that long. So, I sent the girls downstairs to play with toys for a while. Nicole had a hard time with this. At first, she didn't want to play with the other girls and she sat on the couch and watched them play. I think she was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of people playing with her toys and the amount of people there. But, after 5 minutes or so, she got up and started playing and did great.

Then we opened presents and she got a lot of neat toys from her friends. The hardest part with the presents was keeping the children from getting on top of Nicole. They all wanted to see everything that she got.

We still had more time after gifts, so I sent the girls downstairs to play some more while I attempted to clean up... which didn't actually happen until the next day and I will tell you why in another post.

Dan liked opening presents too

The last ten minutes of the party, the girls played with toys while the parents picked up their kids. Which was a lot of work too. Who knew how much the girls could scatter their belongings. I had to find shoes, jackets, party favor bags, candy necklaces and the girls themselves to get them out the door.

I think the party was a big success and Nicole only had a couple of crying fits over things that I can't remember. But, it wouldn't be a party unless Nicole cried at least once, as is her way. Matt was even able to wake up in time to see Cole open her gifts.