Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Rhymes with Frustrated?

A transcript of a conversation at bedtime....I tried to get it about word for word.

Me: (saying a prayer)
Baby m: Is that a rhyme?
Me: No, not really.
Baby m: What's a rhyme?
Me: Well, like 'star' and 'far.' I think you know how to rhyme...what rhymes with 'red'?
Baby m: Strawberry!
Me: A strawberry IS red, but it doesn't rhyme with red. 'Bed' rhymes with 'red.'
Baby m: What rhymes with 'motorcycle?'
Me: Some people say 'Michael motorcycle.' That rhymes.
Baby m: What starts with 'tree?'
Me: You mean what letter does it start with?
Baby m: No. What does it rhyme with?
Me: Hmm...'tree' rhymes with 'me.'
Baby m: 'Tree' rhymes with you?
Me: No, it rhymes with 'me.' Say, "Tree rhymes with me."
Baby m: "Tree rhymes with me."
Me: So what does 'tree' rhyme with?
Baby m: It rhymes with Mom.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unplugged Project - Borax Snowflakes

We've been away from the Unplugged Project for a while, probably because we've been away from our blog! But we checked back in for the "Soap" theme, and made these pretty Borax crystal snowflakes.

There are many different sets of directions out there, with varying amounts of Borax added to hot (or boiling) water, but it seems that the gist is that you have to get the water super-saturated. Hang your pipe cleaner slow flake in the solution overnight, and in the morning you have lots crystals! In fact, they started to form in just about an hour. The kids liked the measuring and stirring, and checked on the progress quite a few times during the day...

Yes, it would have been more appropriate project at Christmas time, but we have had sleet and ice here in Michigan at least three times this month! Maybe we can hang these in the window to appease Jack Frost. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earth Hour Adventure

When a friend reminded me of "Earth Hour" on Facebook yesterday, I was so so so glad that I hadn't missed it AGAIN! I've heard about this event for a few years, and have yet to plan well enough to actually do it...turn off all the lights for one hour (8:30pm - 9:30pm) as a symbolic gesture about energy savings. Here, our electricity is powered almost exclusively by coal, so if everyone in Okemos took part (they didn't), we might actually save a pile of carbon entering the atmosphere. Besides the lights, we also took it as an opportunity to go low=tech, turning off the electronics as well. Here's how our night went:

  • 8:20 - At the end of Scooby-Doo and the Crocodile something or other, I turned off the TV, put away my computer, and all the lights I could find. It was not quite dark yet, but the kids were totally into it. Mike lit some candles, the fireplace already had a lovely little fire going.
  • 8:30 - I asked Mike about the timers on the outdoor lights (just out of curiosity, really), and he went out and shut all of those off too. :)
  • 8:32 - We looked out the windows to see if anybody else in the neighborhood was participating, and found that each house looked doubly bright now that all of our lights were off. I joked to M that we could start calling people to inform them that they should be turning off their lights, and E thought I was serious. She brought me the phone.
  • 8:33 - I called cousin S, whom I knew was also already sitting in the dark, and Grandma P, who said she would be very glad to turn off her lights and go to bed right away. E was pleased.
  • 8:35 - We found a flashlight for each person, and E immediately suggested that we play hide-and-seek in the dark. Then, just as abruptly, she said she might just be too scared to do that.
  • 8:45 - Deep into a game of hide-and-seek, the kids were now comfortable enough to creep around with their flashlights looking for M and much so that I felt okay jumping out from behind the furniture to scare them when I heard them coming.
  • 8:50 - Together, we took a tour of the house in the dark. We found that even without flashlights, there was enough light coming through the windows that we could see well enough to avoid the furniture. Downstairs, though, you couldn't even see your hand in front of your face. A few bumps and dings, and one little anxiety attack (E), but it was pretty fun, really.
  • 9:00 - We gathered in front of the fireplace with one flashlight and read two chapters of Mary Kate and Ashley, The Case of the Haunted Camp. In an unfortunate turn of events, the "ghost" turned out to be girl named Emma. Whoops. We changed her name to Grace.
  • 9:20 - Bedtime for the kids...E was pretty freaked, but we did try to get her to relax without all of the nightlights we usually use. Baby m had no problem..."I'm very brave, right?"

I would say this was a really nice way to end the day, and this morning E has already asked when we can do it again. She did have one nightmare last night, but it had to do with robots, not sleep-away camp. Though in recounting the dream (at 3am) she did use the phrase, "Never to be seen again..." - a direct quote from Ashley Olson. :)

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr