That’s what Carver asks me almost immediately after telling me he doesn’t want to do school. What he doesn’t realize is those papers are school.
Social Butterflies (www.socialbutterfliesnc.com) sends me a monthly email newsletter on family events in and around Raleigh. Yes, that is about three hours from our town, but it gives me ideas and options for when we are able to go the distance. The latest newsletter brought news of the NC Science Festival, with events for kids held all around the state from April 13 to 29. In addition to the events calendar and info, www.ncsciencefestival.org also provides activities for educators (or parents) to use in the classroom (or at home). The activities are super simple to set up, with well laid-out instructions on blue pages.
So far, we have made gross goo…which, funnily enough calls for Borax, something I think most families these days wouldn’t have on hand, but something I always have on hand since I use it to make my laundry detergent. (I really probably shouldn’t have just admitted that. I will still never forget the look on one of my oldest friend’s face when I first told her that.) If you are local and need to find it, Harris Teeter definitely carries it. We have made homemade bubbles, which we decided were way bigger and better than the store-bought kind. We played a bat echolocation game. Carver already knew this term from Wild Kratts (our new favorite cartoon and one of the most educational I have ever seen) and Emma, my three-year-old, got scared. Blindfolds, you know. We also made what the activity called elephant toothpaste, but is actually something like a volcano.
The downloadable materials for elementary educators includes 12 different activities. If you are looking for a fun science activity or just something fun and different on a weekend, I highly recommend these. So go pick you up some Borax and food coloring or some Dawn and pipe cleaners and get to it! And if you figure out how to make a square bubble, please let me know!
Carver, Emma and I set out on a hike last Friday on the Cedar Point Trail, about a five-minute drive from our house. Armed with our painted egg carton tote, an idea we got from Family Fun magazine (www.familyfun.go.com), we filled our carton with colorful items we found in nature. The kids spent at least an hour searching for tiny crabs and playing in the marsh water. In fact, we had such a good time that I called up my husband and said, “Let’s camp out at Cedar Point tonight!” (Cedar Point Campground, www.recreation.gov) To my surprise, he was game for some spontaneity and even headed off to Wal-Mart to buy some new camping supplies.
For $17 (we aren’t going to count the new camping gear) we had ourselves a little get-away not too far away. We ended up running home a few times for forgotten medicine, etc. and my husband could even go to work for a few hours the next morning. Perfect.
My grandparents and I used to go camping all the time when I was young. No, not in the woods. In a campground and in a tent and together, with no technology, yes. It was nice for my kids to have the same sort of get-away. We were so close to home yet so far away from our typical days.
My kids are at home outside anyway. They really are. We have stopped buying them so many toys because they all go un-played with. When it’s warm (and I can’t wait until we live somewhere where it always is!) they would rather be outside, all hours of the day.
Emma went for her first kayak ride on our mini trip. And yes, that is me at 6 1/2 months pregnant rowing her. Hey, gotta stay active. I will admit, however, I was exhausted afterwards and loved sliding into my comfy, comfy bed with three pillows that night!
Our verdict is in, and Chapel Hill is AMAZING…and not just because they gave us good news!
On Tuesday we met with a genetics counselor and a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the UNC Women’s Hospital, and also had another ultrasound done. Each person we spoke to was extremely thorough, taking time and care with us like we aren’t used to, and giving us more information than we have had thus far. The baby’s heart, brain and development are perfect and exactly on target! The chances of there being any other problems with the baby are in the single digits. In addition, the MFM is 80% sure that we are dealing only with an isolated cleft lip, instead of the lip and palate, which we originally thought. Yay! We even got to see the baby’s face in 3D (or is it 4D? I dunno!), which we weren’t expecting at all.
This all means that the chances of the baby having speech problems, breathing problems, feeding problems, etc. because of the cleft palate go way, way down. !!
On Sunday I had gotten quite upset after I made the mistake of googling and had a video tell me that nursing my baby was impossible. To me, that’s like saying I can’t hold my baby. Ever. Nursing is vitally important to us. If we are going to bring a child into the world we plan to give it the best. The best nutrients for the healthiest growth and immune system, optimum brain development, and secure attachment to mom…me! And although my husband fully supports nursing for all of those reasons, he will never fully understand the bond that is formed between a mom and her child during that time. Being told that’s impossible is just…crazy! Heartbreaking!
But being told that, most likely, we won’t have to worry about that and I can still share that with our new one is…bliss!
Thank you all so much for the kind words, thoughts and prayers. Each one means the world to our family and hasn’t gone unnoticed.