Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

We love Dr. Seuss books in our house.

I grew up reading Dr. Seuss and loved his books so much that I even wrote him a letter when I was in elementary school.  I’m sure I wrote him several pages about me and my exciting life in Wisconsin.  This is what I received in return:

 

Dr Seuss letter

My framed letter from Dr. Seuss, 1987-ish

 

I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed with the short response.

Today I have a bit more perspective on how fan mail works, so I appreciate it more. The letter is no longer relegated to a plastic storage bin, instead, it sits on my son’s dresser in his bedroom.  He may not appreciate it as much as I do, but someday, maybe he will.

Keep on reading Dr. Seuss! Happy birthday to one creative, remarkable author!

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Fly on the Wall: Smart Kids

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 6 bloggers are inviting you to catch a Fly on the Wall Postglimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Here’s who you’ll be hearing from in my house:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 8
  • Little Brother, age 6

Since I have been writing these blog posts since 2014, I have my own Fly Post Page.  Check it out if you want to hear more craziness from my house.

The first day back to school after the holidays and I ask the kids how their day was.

Big Sister: Good

Little Brother: Annoying!

I could tell Little Brother was grumpy and tired, so I said later, “Well, maybe you should go to bed early. Sometimes after a bad day, a good night’s rest will make you feel better.”

Little Brother replied, “I didn’t say I had a bad day. It was a miserable day.”

Okay then…

Just Between Siblings

I can’t remember the exact context, but I heard the kids talking:

Little Brother: Me thinking only of myself.

Big Sister: If you do that, then you can’t be a Jedi.

Daddy O. has them well-trained on Star Wars.

Two Cute One-liners from Smart Kids

Big Sister’s friend said, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.”

Little Brother declared (as he asked me to read him a story), “A story will make a good snuggle even better.”

Future Blogger?

Little Brother brought home some journal entries from his kindergarten class, and they really are great. It’s adorable to see what stands out in his mind and what he chooses to draw and share. I think he could be a future blogger.

Journal Thing a ma bob

I played with my little blue thing a ma bob this morning.

Journal Kicked my Heel

I accidentally kicked my heel yesterday.

Riveting, right?!

Journal Beer Garden

I went to the beer gardens.

YES, this is true.  We DID take the kids to a beer garden in town.  There IS a playground and slide there, so it IS family-friendly.  No, this isn’t a weekly thing. Of course, he writes about this in kindergarten!!

Grandma’s Got a New Job

My mom recently retired, and her schedule has been quite full. I was telling Daddy O., “Grandma is working the polls.”

And then I realized that it could be interpreted as “poles.” We just cracked up.

Grandma will be working as part of the primary election staff just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The BEST for Last!

Big Sister: Mom is smart.  She is raising two kids.

Amen, sister!

Now go read those other fantastic blogs for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado                  http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Menopausal Mother                     http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Never Ever Give Up Hope            https://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen             http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Spatulas on Parade                   https://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

Best Toy Ever: YEARS of Building Fun

As many parents know, some toys just remain a hit year after year, while others have come and gone.

This one has been a clear favorite since they first arrived in 2013.  (Thanks, Amazon purchase history!) It’s the Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set. 

No, this is not a sponsored post either, just an unsolicited review from a happy mom.

We bought these when my son was two years old.  He looked like this then:

toddler

2 year old big boy

Now he’s six years old, and he is still building and creating with these Magna Tiles.  His cousin and eight-year-old sister were playing with them over the weekend.  Inventing who know’s what and having a blast.

Go Mama O. Magna Tiles Tower

2018 and this toy is still going strong

After building and toppling countless towers, he knows now to add “stabilizers” to the bottom. When he runs out of squares, he puts two triangles together to make a square.  He’s learning and playing all at the same time.  Genius! They’ve routinely made a bowling ally (kind of like a maze with a bouncy ball) and many other creations.  These Magna Tiles have withstood much use and abuse through the years, and I can’t recall ever having to throw one piece away! Just last week, I found a stack of them in my eight-year-old daughter’s closet.

I remember buying these Magna Tiles years ago with Christmas money from Great Grandma, and yes, it was a lot of money to spend on one toy.  We’ve also added a building pack, so the kids could create vehicles, which have been mostly trains in our house! (I’ve written about cardboard trains and the Illinois Railroad Museum)

And yeah, we really loved trains – especially here in April 2014:

Little Brother watching trains

My Little Railroader

As I look back on these pictures and blog posts, it IS nice to see that my kids will still play with toys and, in fact, are still little kids (despite their growing size).  I can’t freeze time, as much as I’d like to, and while I want my kids to stay little, stay sweet, I can be more mindful of times that I catch them “being little” and playing intently with toys. Take a picture (as my son requested this morning even though we were busy getting ready for school), and enjoy the moment.

While my kiddos are much too big for the term “babies don’t keep,” I have experienced that time flies when your kids are in school full-time. There will be a time that these toys aren’t as appealing as sports and activities win out over playing at home.

Until then, we’ll gladly embrace the Magna Tile towers and messes that may come along with them.

 

 

Seeing the Light: China Lights Season Two

I had to share these gorgeous pictures of China Lights, something my family has really enjoyed the past two years.  Here is my post from last year (if you want more pictures)!

Similar to last year, we arrived before sunset with our tickets in hand.  We managed to catch the lights display on the very last day. My first pictures are at twilight, when the sky is a lighter blue.

China Lights Dino, Flower collage Go Mama O.

Dinosaurs, flowers, and hummingbird in the tree

The displays had changed from 2016, and it was still a great variety, though the dinosaurs replacing the beautiful pagoda was a little under-whelming. This was my shote of the pagoda from last year:

china-lights-header

2016 Pagoda – one of the highlights of the exhibit

One of our favorites this year was the panda scene.

China Lights Panda Scene

Huge bamboo forest – so adorable

We also liked walking through the tunnels of the Chinese Zodiac signs.

Chinese zodiac tunnel Go Mama O.

View from the path – walking under Chinese zodiac signs

More beautiful lights: flowers, the regal entry gate, dragon and tunnels.

China Lights Gate collage Go Mama O.

The lights really come alive when it’s really dark! Love the variety.

We liked these little owls too. The colors and detail are so pretty!

Moon, Mama O, Daddy O, Little Bro

Is it a moon or a banana? Big sister took this picture of Daddy & Mama O. and Little Brother.

Though it’s difficult to choose, my favorite animal was the dragon.  It’s one of the largest displays in the entire exhibit, and I love the moon in the picture.

China Lights collage dragon, elephant

Massive dragon, and patterned pachyderm

China Lights is becoming a wonderful family tradition! We hope to enjoy more light displays together through the years. Cheers!