After dinner tonight, the kids and I were talking about how cold and snowy it has been and how we are looking forward to summer and swimming, so I suggested that we have an indoor beach party. M donned her bathing suit and we had lots of laughs while pretending to make sand castles on the kitchen floor, put on our swimmies, drink lemonade and eat watermelon. (Next time I will have some lemonade on hand so that we can actually drink the real thing!) We pretended to throw water balloons at each other, put on sunblock, and watch the boats go by, all while naming sea creatures and listening to the Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett on the iPad.
I am definitely making a concerted effort these days to be more creative and spontaneous with our activities to foster fun and imagination -- and help us endure this unusually cold and snowy winter with smiles and laughs.
We are lucky to have several ice skating rinks in our city, two of which are outside during the winter, so yesterday Daddy took M to meet some of M's friends at the rink. After 2 hours of skating and lots of fun, he was finally able to drag her off the ice!
This morning we decided to bring some of the freshly fallen snow inside! I filled bowl after bowl with fluffy snow and the kids had a blast mixing and scooping in the kitchen sink. When I introduced red food coloring, it added a whole new level of excitement to this great winter activity!
Check out the Magical Childhood blog for great ideas of fun things to do with your kids!
With temperatures today hitting a balmy 25 degrees, compared to sub-zero temperatures lately, we spent almost 2 hours outside over the course of the morning and afternoon. It was so great to be out in the fresh air and snow and both the kids and I were much happier for it. We did just enough sledding and snow-painting and stomping in our building's backyard to get the indoor itches out. With more snow forecast overnight, I look forward to another fun outdoors day tomorrow!
With weekly snowstorms, arctic temperatures and a newborn, we have been enountering frequent indoor days which is why it's not surprising that M is as eagerly looking forward to spring as I am. In fact, over the past several days she has been consumed by all-things-Easter, prompting me to break out last year's plastic eggs so she could paint them and then apply stickers. Hey, whatever works to keep us happy while inside and to help keep our sanity until April truly does arrive...
I think one of the keys to surviving a long and snowy New England winter is to try to inject some off-the-wall activities into our day. Inspired by some of the great "boredom buster" ideas shared by a homeschool mom who blogs at Magic and Mayhem, tonight I suggested that we all have an indoor picnic and eat dinner on the kitchen floor! It was so much fun, the kids and I loved it, and it will definitely become a routine activity for us to add some spice to the day!
A special shout-out to my friend, fellow homeschooling mom, and professional photographer, Hope Mabry, who took some lovely newborn photographs of A! www.hopemabryphotography.com
Our homebirthing experience definitely took homeschooling to a whole new level. Beyond how amazing the experience was in and of itself and how empowering and calm it was to have a baby at home without the routine policies and interventions found in hospital births, it was also a wonderful learning experience for M.
She enjoyed my prenatal midwife appointments where the midwife actively involved her in listening to the baby's heartbeat and allowed her to play with her "tools." We read wonderful books on homebirthing, my favorite being "Welcome With Love," by Jenni Overend which helped M to process and prepare for the sights and sounds of a natural birth. While she didn't witness the birth, she was very calm playing with Daddy in her room while my labor intensified and when she heard me make stronger noises simply said, "oh that just means mama's getting ready to wiggle the baby out!" After A's arrival, M cut the cord and we all snuggled into bed and welcomed family members who took great care of all of us. Overall, it was an incredible experience for the whole family!
Here is the link to my full homebirth story.
We discovered today that another fabulous time to visit local museums is the Monday after school vacation week! Not many people, no school groups, and lots of fun while Daddy is still on vacation as we await baby #3's arrival!
Yesterday after breakfast at a local diner, Dad and M went to the MIT Museum, a wonderful museum that up until now has been a bit too mature for M. While still quite sophisticated for a preschooler, the museum has lots of great robots to see and interactive exhibits-- and like many area museums is free on Sunday mornings which is great for little ones with short attention spans!