Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week of Outside

So we spent a lot of this week outside as well as having visitors. Grandma Monkey came to visit for Mama Monkey's birthday. The boys love having her around. While she was here we spent a lot of time playing in the backyard. One day we loaded up and took the boys to a local regional park with a lake and let them run around the grass and throw little pebbles and shells into the lake. My boys' favorite activity is running around with sticks and watching ducks, so this couldn't have been more perfect. In fact, at soccer this week Big Monkey informed me that he didn't want to play soccer. Ok, so I had him at least sit and watch in hopes that he'd change his mind. He looked at me at one point and said, "Mommy, I just want a stick and want to go to the duck pond." So that is what we did once everyone else was done playing soccer. Sigh, it's going to be a long month of watching soccer one day a week. Thank goodness it's only for 30 minutes. It's just not his thing.

We started preparing the backyard for our spring garden as well. Since we just hardscaped the entire backyard this past year, we need to landscape, but we are also going to have a vegetable garden as well as fruit trees. Big Monkey and I are excited. Baby Monkey is just getting the hang out pulling out weeds, moving rocks around, and getting muddy. He seems thrilled with the idea.

Anyway, while moving large rocks around the yard, we stumbled across what we thought was a snake under a rock. We left Mr. Snake under the rock for several weeks until Daddy Monkey could help us find him. Well, after finding him and making him move, we realized that he had legs and was in fact a very very large and ugly lizard. I'm not sure I've ever seen a lizard that large.

Big Monkey and I started our first round of seedlings for planting soon.

Baby Monkey spent his time pretending to be a fireman. He is too cute in this Melissa and Doug Fire coat that is too big for him. He'll bring it to me and want me to put it on him. It's hard to imagine that he is just barely 15.5 months old. He seems so much older, especially when he's outside swinging on his belly on the swings alongside his big brother. It is so true that the second really does so many things faster.

Big Monkey also tried his hand at candyland. He did pretty good with the game. About halfway through he just wanted to move the pieces around to all the different "places" on the board. I was fine with that as candyland is sort of a slow game for this Mama. I think I like chutes and ladders better - I think we need to get that. Either way, he had a good lesson on things like moving his man to the second blue square in the direction he was going.

At the regional park the boys got a lot of nature lessons. They found a lot of sticks and rocks of course, but we also found other treasures. They collected seashells and we talked about how animals lived in them. Big Monkey happened to find one closed shell that actually had a muscle in it! I pried it open a little (I know, probably not so good for the animal, but we've all done it) and let him take a look and a whiff of the smell. He wasn't so sure about it, but then again he's not sure of anything that is an "animal" no matter how little it moves.

They also found a HUGE pinecone, which Baby Monkey decided to place in the bottom of the stroller to take home. As soon as he put the pinecone in the basket, he began to push the stroller to the car! A big task for a little man through some very rough grass.

Sorry, not sure why blogspot is rotating that last picture. It is not vertical like that on my computer...

They also took apart some seed pods that were stuck to tree branches on the ground. It was all fuzzy inside and it all blew away giving us a chance to talk about how trees can spread their seeds. We had a fantastic day - much more fun and enjoyable for both the boys and myself than a park (we still hit the park from time to time, but not as much as these things).

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