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Vacation

We went on vacation to New Orleans in April.  Jasha had a work conference there, so the boys and I accompanied to take advantage of the opportunity to see a new place.

Most of the pictures I took are on my “real” camera, and of course won’t be downloaded for several months.  Here are a few  pics from my cell phone!

Shopping at the New Orleans Children's Museum Winn Dixie store
Shopping at the New Orleans Children’s Museum Winn Dixie store
Atlas loved this chicken coop at the New Orleans Children's Museum!  He loved the stuffed chickens and the toy eggs.
Atlas loved this chicken coop at the New Orleans Children’s Museum! He loved the stuffed chickens and the toy eggs.
Atlas ready for another sunny day!
Atlas ready for another sunny day!
Unfortunately, it was rainy and cloudy most days.  This was the fountain outside of our hotel that we played at several times.
Unfortunately, it was rainy and cloudy most days. This was the fountain outside of our hotel that we played at several times.
Taking a ride on the streetcar.
Taking a ride on the streetcar.
Enjoying the pool.  We didn't actually get to go swimming due to the weather, but we did splash in the water a bit.
Enjoying the pool. We didn’t actually get to go swimming due to the weather, but we did splash in the water a bit.
Speaking of weather...
Speaking of weather…
This is at the butterfly garden at the Audobon Insectarium.  We enjoyed all the Audobon attractions in the area (aquarium, zoo, and IMAX theater).
This is at the butterfly garden at the Audubon Insectarium. We enjoyed all the Audubon attractions in the area (aquarium, zoo, and IMAX theater).
Atlas showing off his new hoodie.  Ender got one from the aquarium that looks the same except it's navy blue and has a shark on it.
Atlas showing off his new hoodie. Ender got one from the aquarium that looks the same except it’s navy blue and has a shark on it.
Ender and his "wokotakies".  He pointed out this painting every time we entered the hotel lobby.  In, fact, the wokotakies have actually followed us home and live outside our house now (sometimes he lets them inside as well).
Ender and his “wokotakies”. He pointed out this painting every time we entered the hotel lobby. In, fact, the wokotakies have actually followed us home and live outside our house now (sometimes he lets them inside as well).

Winter Afternoons – Kid’s Museum

We have a great little kid’s museum near our house.  It’s the kind with kid-sized stores, hospitals, banks, etc.

One great thing about the community we live in is that each month, a local business will sponsor a “free” day at this kid’s museum.  So last week, we took advantage of one of these free days and spent the chilly afternoon at the museum!

Ender had actually been sick at school but perked up in order to enjoy the museum.

I think the boys’ favorite part of the museum was the little grocery store.  It had the packaging from real food items.  It also had little tiny grocery carts, little mini conveyor belts, and working cash registers that provided real receipts!

One of the hits of the day was the grocery store.  Here are the boys enjoying a shopping trip together.
One of the hits of the day was the grocery store. Here are the boys enjoying a shopping trip together.

 

Atlas thinks we need some onions.
Atlas thinks we need some onions.
Ender didn't know what several of the food items were (for example, frozen pot pies).  When asked what an item was, he'd happily say "I don't know!".  That certainly didn't stop him from adding the items to his cart!
Ender didn’t know what several of the food items were (for example, frozen pot pies). When asked what an item was, he’d happily say “I don’t know!”. That certainly didn’t stop him from adding the items to his cart!
Cashing out with the very realistic cash register.  It even had a scanner to scan the barcodes on each item.
Cashing out with the very realistic cash register. It even had a scanner to scan the bar codes on each item.
When Atlas took the money out of the cash register, Ender said "that's daddy's!".  Because apparently only daddy holds money.  haha
When Atlas took the money out of the cash register, Ender said “that’s daddy’s!”. Because apparently only daddy holds money. haha

The first time we visited this museum, the hospital (complete with ambulance) was the runaway hit for the boys.  This time, they weren’t quite as into it.  Ender was giving the doll a shot in her eye, which sounds pretty horrifying.

We have no idea what this stuff is!
We have no idea what this stuff is!

Another big hit is the water table.  The water table has pegs into which you can slide these plastic rectangles in order to direct the flow of water.  This is useful for creating areas for Atlas where his toys won’t float away.  Ender really loves the fishing toys (magnetic poles and fish).

Ender trying to get his brother to fish with him.
Ender trying to get his brother to fish with him.

The museum has quite a few agricultural displays.  For example, they have a gardening plot, a display about farm animals, this really neat grain conveyor belt, and several pieces of farm equipment you can climb into.  Ender just wanted to try to lock Atlas in the barn.

Waiting for his change to lock Atlas in the barn.
Waiting for his change to lock Atlas in the barn.

This was a really great to spend the chilly afternoon and I hope we can do it again next month!

Plans for Ender’s New Room

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to set up Ender’s bedroom in our new house.  Thus far, we’ve painted, but that’s about it.  With his birthday coming up, I thought it’d be a fun surprise to fix it up a bit.

Here are some of the idea’s I’d like to incorporate into his room.

Bed

The most important part of any bedroom is the bed, right?  We’ve purchased the Ikea KURA bed.

Image from www.ikea.com
Image from http://www.ikea.com
Image from www.ikea.com
Image from http://www.ikea.com

This bed is unique in that you can flip it upside down so that it can be at either ground level or at bunk level.  We think that Ender will like the bunked option, but if we have problems with that, it will be simple to flip it so that it’s at ground level.

Admittedly, this bed is exactly Montessori style, however, I believe it does follow some Montessori principles as Ender will be able to climb into the bed independently regardless of how it’s positioned.

Clothing

Space in the bedroom is valuable.  For the past year or more, I’ve used a small dresser that fits into a closet to store  Ender’s clothing.  So far, so good.  He doesn’t own enough clothes at this point to warrant buying a larger dresser.  The dresser I bought has four drawers.  It’s simple for him to find his own clothes, which helps him to dress himself.

Books

As I’ve mentioned before, books are big with this kid!  There are so many neat ideas floating around the internet for book storage.  Here are some of my favorites.  I’m not sure which one we’ll go with yet.

I love this Ikea BEKVÄM spice rack turned into bookshelves.  Simple.  Easy.  Effective.  Just my style.  Plus, the birch wood matches the birch used on the Ikea KURA bed above.

Image found on Pinterest but originally found here:  http://mysparkle.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/ollies-room-sneak-peek.html
Image found on Pinterest but originally found here: http://mysparkle.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/ollies-room-sneak-peek.html

These books slings are a little more work than the easy to install spice racks, however, they’d be a great way to incorporate a fun fabric and some color into the room.

Image found on Pinterest but originally found here:    http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2014/03/how-to-make-book-slings/
Image found on Pinterest but originally found here: http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2014/03/how-to-make-book-slings/

In the past, we’ve stored a few books in small decorative baskets.  This is nice because I can take the basket out to our larger bookshelves in the living room and rotate the bedroom selection periodically.  I like to keep seasonal bedtime books in the basket, and this allows me to easily change what’s accessible.  The baskets I’m currently using are these ones.

Image from www.target.com
Image from http://www.target.com

Activities

Although most of our play happens in the living room, I like having some activities available in the bedroom for when Ender wants to play without his little brother interfering.

We currently own this table.  It was incredibly cheap and is the perfect size for toddlers.  Overall, I would definitely purchase this table again.

Image from www.ikea.com
Image from http://www.ikea.com

We also own this easel, which was a gift and is also the perfect size for toddlers.

Image from www.ikea.com
Image from http://www.ikea.com

Somehow, I would love to get a climbing rope into the bedroom.  Seriously.  Check out this picture.  This would be amazing.  Ender is too young for it just yet, but it’s certainly something he could grow into and it’d be great for his balance, coordination, confidence…

Image found on Pinterest - link to original image would not work.  If this is your image, please let me know how I can credit you!
Image found on Pinterest – link to original image would not work. If this is your image, please let me know how I can credit you!

Artwork

There is some seriously amazing artwork I’m finding Etsy that I’d love to have in my boy’s room.

I’m seriously obsessed with this wooden artwork from RightGrain on Etsy.

Fantastic artwork from RightGrain on Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/156090932/full-moon-original-painting-astronomy?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_query=wood+moon&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_view_type=gallery
Fantastic artwork from RightGrain on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/156090932/full-moon-original-painting-astronomy?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_query=wood+moon&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_view_type=gallery

I also have a Marushka fabric canvas that was anniversary present from my mom to my dad decades ago.  Somehow, I ended up with it and I think it will be perfect in Ender’s bedroom.  I love the color and modern style.

Vintage parent's anniversary gift
Vintage parent’s anniversary gift

I’d also like to incorporate some canvases that the boys paint themselves, as well as some family photos?  We also put a lot of his own artwork on the walls.  Does anyone have any great DIY decor ideas to do with toddlers?  I’d love suggestions!

So – there are some of my ideas!   Check back in a few weeks for a reveal of his room after it’s complete.