A Bunch of Berries

A Bunch of Berries

Friday, September 30, 2011

Big Brother.....Little Brother!

One recent morning Caedmon was playing with his USA puzzle. He loves puzzles. He especially likes taking out all of the states and putting them back in.
 Jensen decided to get involved in his own way.
"I wonder what my brother is doing over there. It looks interesting enough to check out."
"Here I go to disrupt something."
And he is off!!!!!!
Caedmon was not happy when Jensen came and messed with the states in his puzzle. I helped Caedmon out by moving Jensen. Next thing I see is what Caedmon called his trap to keep Jensen out. Very creative I must say! Caedmon said Jensen will want to play with his toys instead of his puzzle.
He made it even more structured. He was very proud of his trap by this point and forgot about playing with the puzzle.
You give up Jensen? Caedmon's plan worked for a few minutes until Jensen realized he could crawl around the table on the other side. Caedmon became a little discouraged but decided to build a trap with pillows from the couch. Jensen eventually crawled right through both traps and we put the puzzle up.
Caedmon, little brothers may be annoying at times but who else will get in a laundry basket with you? HaHa!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ken's Corn Maze!

I am loving (maybe slightly addicted) to coupons and finding great ways to save money. I am not in any way like Extreme Couponers on that TLC show. They are CRAZY!!! The only problem is.....I am not as organized as I should be to keep up with it. I have too much sanguine in my personality to stay on top of all of it. In saying all this, I had purchased discounted tickets to a corn maze in the area on Groupon a month ago. I assumed we would go in October or when it got cooler. Thank goodness, one of my friends blogged about her experience at that same corn maze. It reminded me of my Groupon. This was Friday the 23rd. I looked up our certificate and it expired on Sunday the 25th. So, I was about to throw away an already paid pass into the corn maze. Thanks Maridith for your post about the maze.....if you are out there! Glad I read your blog girl :) I have lost way too many deals because of my lack of organization!
Glad I was able to get all that off my chest....LOL! Admitting you have a problem is the first step right?
Going to a corn maze is the perfect thing for Caedmon to do. He loves to do mazes, word searches, and hidden pictures in coloring books. He has a very logical, analytical mind like his Daddy. He is extremely gifted in this area for an almost five year old. I told him about the maze earlier in the day Sunday, but we were not scheduled to go until after Jensen got up from his afternoon nap. Caedmon asked me about the maze so many times. It was one of those moments in parenting where you learn from your mistakes and realize that keeping secrets from your kids can be nice :) Reminds me of 12 hours of driving to Disney a few years ago and the sheer amount of questions......AHH Flashbacks!!!! I do not think Caedmon really knew what to expect. When we got there, they had a huge tower you could climb up to look at the maze. All you could really see were these flags moving through the maze. Caedmon was surprised when I told him that that was the maze we were going to attempt to tackle. I think it was 2.5 miles long and took the average group 1.5 hours to complete.
We let the kids do a few fun things before we left. We went to the bathroom.......necessity...... and the kids measured how tall they were.

Liesel really enjoyed milking a cow. HMMM......I guess we should live on a farm. I would love that, I think!
Caedmon found a jail........well the end of a tractor :)
Now I think we are ready to go tackle the maze. Craig and Jensen are ready to go:
We let Caedmon lead the way in the beginning because he was more excited than probably any kid that has ever gone in that maze. I wish I had recorded the first time we came to a fork in the maze and we had to decide which path to take. He was in his element and I am not exaggerating! If you spend any time with Caedmon, I am sure you can imagine how serious this was to him. There were three colored sections to the maze and we had to find stations with letters to punch on our card. There were four letters per section for a total of 12 which spelled Ken's Corn Maze. Before we went in the maze, they went over the rules.....We had to "Stay Together" and "No running" were the rules that Caedmon remembered the most. Caedmon wants so badly to follow rules. He is very concerned about rocking the boat, if you know what I mean! One time we knew there was one section that connected back again, Craig and I could see it. So we told the kids we would split up so we could both look for a letter. Caedmon was concerned about breaking a rule. The other thing is he went so quickly through his section that he missed the first station, so from then on we had to double check sections he had covered. One time he began to run. He stopped right away, pointed to the punch card that had the rules and said: "Uh-oh, I unbeyed the rules." Yes unbeyed instead of disobeyed....so cute!
Here we are after we found the first letter: K
Isn't Craig just the best....carrying Jensen and the flag? Liesel loved punching the cards. She did her card and Caedmon's card at every station. Each station had a different shape for the hole punch. She was so careful to line up the hole punch on the picture each time. There are moments in parenting (well a lot for me) where you look back and realize you need to relax! After 3 or four stations, I rushed her along because I was worried we would be in the maze for 4 hours. I love Liesel's attention to detail. I just need to appreciate it a lot more.
This corn maze was not easy at all and there came a point where I think we all were tired and ready to be done. Liesel at one point sat on the ground and said "I am just going to wait right here. You can come get me when you find all the letters." Ha! I wish that would work! We could not find the letters, we sure would not be able to find our daughter! We finally found letter Z.....only one more to go....E.  High Five People!!!!!!
We found our second wind and worked so quickly to find the last station. Here was my fun idea of acting tired. The kids are great actors, I just look, well, weird......is a nice way to say it. Ha!
We made it out of the maze officially with a time of 1.5 hours to be exact. I did not want to have an average time. I have not told Craig this, but I actually would like to go back just me and him without the kids and try to do it in an hour or maybe less. I am so competitive and love a challenge. Maybe I could just go by myself. Where is Heidi? Oh she is just at the maze running around aimlessly. LOL!!! Seriously......I might do it!
Here are my boys in the bus. Going on a trip? I love how Jensen is waving.
The kids conquered the hay maze much quicker.
Who are these funny looking animals?
They had a huge area full of corn. Liesel said it was way more fun than the maze.
Corn angels anyone????
The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. I can personally understand. The next day Liesel said she wanted to go back there again the next weekend. I was surprised because she did not seem to enjoy the maze much at all like Caedmon did. She said because she wants to play in the corn again :) Maybe I can just build a big pit of corn at my house. Or just put it on my honey-do list. LOL! Caedmon told me the next day that the maze was the hardest maze he has even done. For sure! He also said something so funny and I forgot to go write it down. That is how I remember what to write in my blogs. This time I forgot. Oh well! He says enough witty and funny things in the day that I really should keep a journal in my pocket for Caedmonisms! I just made up a new word. :)
I love blogging because it will be great for my mommy brain to remember these precious moments of their childhood. When I can't tell them what happened, they can read this blog. Hopefully!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ball Popper Chaos

Jensen is 11 months and Marbles Museum

As I have mentioned before, Liesel has really shown much more of an interest in playing with dolls lately. In fact, I had packed up a lot of baby doll toys in a box in the attic to eventually sell when we were "for sure" done having kids and no more girls. We are done....LOL.....but Liesel wanted to get the stuff out. OH MY!!! One Saturday Liesel was playing away with all these dolls. Next thing I see, Liesel had put our Baby Bjorn on Caedmon with a doll in it and told him this was his doll to take care of. Now most brothers would probably not go along with this. Maybe since Caedmon is younger than Liesel he is more willing, but he played right along and had fun. Liesel had four dolls, a baby swing, bouncy seat and carrier she was carrying her dolls around with. At one point Caedmon says to her in typical Caedmon way: "Wow, I am glad I only have one doll to carry around and this thing on my stomach to help me so I can still do stuff. You have so many babies and so much to take with you when you go somewhere." Isn't is so typical of us women to have too much stuff and not simplify? HA! Here is a picture I got of Caedmon and he was not happy I got the shot.
By the way, on another note, I do not let my son go out in public with that shirt and shorts on. He picks out his own clothes now. He can justify how things match. Caedmon: "Stripes and Stripes match right?" Mommy: "Not most of the time Caedmon, they clash!" It is funny to watch. He also thinks he has to match the color of his underwear with his clothes. I do not know why he started that idea. LOL! Maybe one day I will be able to let him go out dressed like that and not worry what people think :)
The other day I got out some of Caedmon and Liesel's old toys for Jensen to play with now that he is getting older. Caedmon was so excited, he played with them more than Jensen did. Here is Caedmon playing intensely with the new toys.
One of the toys we got out was that ball popper. Jensen loves playing with balls. When the balls came popping out fast the first time, he was so upset that he could not grab them. It was so funny to watch. He is now more comfortable with the new toy. I will add the video to another blog post.

Jensen turned 11 months September 4th. To do something fun that day, we took the kids to Marbles Museum in downtown Raleigh. I am sure Jensen did not even know what was going on most of the time but he enjoyed himself. Later on after dinner, the fact that he missed his afternoon nap because of the museum was very evident. I will just leave it at that! We have not been to Marbles Museum in forever. I think Liesel was four years old and Caedmon has never been. It is a children's museum with so many fun things to do that I am sure we will be going back again soon. I will talk about that later in the post.
Jensen is now crawling everywhere much faster than he was. He has a second tooth that just came in. He is clapping and he likes to pass stuff to people. So if you are sitting next to him he will pass/share his toys with you. Last night we were sitting on the floor playing when he grabbed my water bottle. He passed it to me and I said thank you. He then wanted it back. We ended up passing the bottle back and forth to each other about 20 times and he laughed and smiled so much. Can someone tell me why we bother buying toys? HaHa!!! Water bottles are so much cheaper. LOL!  It has been fun to watch how much more interactive he is with Caedmon and Liesel. When they are coming towards him, he gets so excited. He babbles to them to get their attention. They make a sound and he repeats it. Soon he is going to be running around chasing them through the house wanting to play with his big brother and sister.
Marbles Museum was very fun. It is a great place for kids to creatively play which is what Liesel and Caedmon really love to do.I have included some pictures of the fun day.
Liesel's three favorite things to do there was shopping, cooking and being a patient on crutches. Shopping and cooking is understandable because she is a girl :) However, Liesel has shown an interest for a while in crutches. I guess she thinks they are cool. A few years ago she actually asked for crutches and a wheelchair for her "my twin" doll. She finds things around the house to be "pretend" crutches. She even suggests to her friends when they are playing that she should be on crutches and also have braces. Wow! I was on crutches for a sprained ankle in college.  I also had braces late in life, actually when I was pregnant with Liesel and beyond. Neither one of them are fun. LOL! When Liesel found those crutches at the museum, she was so excited and walked around on them until she realized it was actually kind of painful. :)

On the pirate ship, Liesel wanted to be the pirate and, no surprise, Caedmon found a game to play!!!

In the block area we found buildings that people had built before us. Caedmon asked to get in one of them. Once we put him in, we started to walk away and leave him there. We laughed....he did not! We only added to this building. I can't imagine how long it took someone else.

Caedmon and Liesel enjoyed sorting the money. If Liesel only knew she was practicing school work!
Craig and Jensen are taking a break. Wow, Jensen has a ball in his hand??? What a surprise!!! Sense the sarcasm? HaHa! He is going to play some sport when he grows up as much as he loves playing with balls. Future Tarheel? Sorry Craig! ;)

At the pizza parlor, Caedmon made me a yummy pizza. I wish I actually liked those toppings! :) It was funny watching them pretend to be pizza bike delivery people. Does that make sense? Ha! What would you call them?

 Who are these kids with the big hat?
My kids are worth more than 100 dollars. They definitely cost more than that!

Can I get a cage like this at home? LOL!!! It could come in handy sometimes!
They had a little hockey rink the kids could play on in their socks. They loved it! Me and Craig enjoyed watching them as well.....fall that is!!!. Laughter is great medicine :)
Check out Liesel's crossover move and her dance skills became evident. Wrong sport sweetie! Hockey is not that graceful! LOL!

I loved all the quotes around the rink. "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." "Caedmon, the opening to the goal is on the other side."
A good quote from Mia Hamm: "True Champions aren't always the ones that win but those with the most guts." What else can you expect from a former Tarheel!
That looks like it hurts Caedmon!
Way to practice your slap shot with 2 pucks Little Guy!!!!
After hockey we found this fun surfing simulator. It shook back and forth. It was actually a little hard. I tried it!

Jensen got in on the fun and loved riding on his brother's back.

Caedmon had so much fun on the big train set.
Yes, Caedmon is driving the ambulance with that on his head! :)
As you can see, we had a great time and hope to go back soon!