Jack the Engineer

On Wednesday, Jack decided that he was going to get some work done!  I took a wee bit of an afternoon nap and when I next saw Jack, he was dressed liked this…

He came over to me with a piece of construction paper and showed me his plans.  It was very impressive.  He drew some parts and added arrows to show how they went together.  Then he had numbers to indicate how many of each part was needed.  I think he might be an engineer some day. (I tried to scan it but the purple construction paper is not coming through well.  I wonder if he thought purple looked more like a real blueprint.)

Later on, he added more to his design, including a compass rose.  Then he started explaining the details to me but I’m still not sure I understand.  He’s building a castle and I believe the castle is for a mouse.  But he’s worried about ants getting into the castle so he’s created some kind of hole into which the ants will fall.  He also wants the roof to be strong so he said, “I’m probably going to use some stainless steel on the roof Mommy.  Then it will be strong enough.”

He’s a little upset that he doesn’t have a toy saw and is adding that to list of things he’d like to get.  He also  wanted to know if he could get a toy ladder, like the step ladder we have in the garage.  I told him that the toy manufacturers probably think that’s a little dangerous for kids.  He then decided to make one.  He had a couple of dowels and wanted to know what he could use for steps.  I pointed him towards the popsicle sticks.

Then a lot of thought and effort went into what would be the best way to construct the ladder.  He really thought he was going to be able to stand on it when he was done.  Initially he thought tape was the way to go.  But he couldn’t find the tape.  He also thought about nails but I think he realized that was beyond his abilities.  He finally settled on some Tacky glue.  It’s still a work in progress but the top and bottom rungs are glued on and he’d like to add something to make it stand on it’s own like a real step ladder.

He called it a day early but it was certainly a good day’s work.

Great Wolf Lodge Part 3

I didn’t realize that there was going to be a part 3 to this story, but Jack and Casey weren’t quite ready to let go of the fun. Jack keeps saying he wants to go there “next time” which I think means next week. First we watched the 4 little videos that I shot (grand total of about 1 min of viewing) over and over again. Jack wanted to watch himself playing in all the different areas, of which I have no video. I wish I had more, but I was always trying to keep my eye on one of them and that usually required me being in the water and I wasn’t carrying my camera around in there.

We’ve been doing a little reorganizing around the house this weekend. Pat did an awesome job of cleaning out the garage and providing some useful storage in the entry from the garage. I reorganized a bunch of toys and discreetly put a bunch in “Mommy’s” closet. The kids think it’s just my boring crafting things but it’s also where I hide presents (for now) and where some of our toys go to die. Basically I take toys that I think they won’t miss and put them in the closet in a bin. If Jack doesn’t ask for them after a while, then I will donate them or save them for Jack & Casey’s cousins.
As part of my organizing plan, I bought a bigger bin for the dressup clothes and I was thinking of using the older one for Legos. Jack had other plans. After watching our waterpark videos and then a bunch of videos on YouTube, he decided the plastic bin was going to be a really good innertube for sliding. I think he spent hours today sitting in that box, pretending that he was going down a waterslide. This is the same child who only went down one slide by himself and needed serious convincing to go down one with the family. It was apparently a lot more fun in our living room in a plastic box. But I love his imagination. And should probably be thankful that he didn’t decide to pretend the stairs were the waterslide and try to come down them while sitting in a plastic box.
More with the organizing…In the guest room/playroom I’m trying to create a better crafting area for myself where I can scrapbook and sew. (Do I sew? Not for a really long time, but I have some projects I want to work on.) A couple weeks ago, I bought some cubes at Michael’s to store scrapbook supplies. They come in a nice compact box, about 15 inches square and 4 or 5 inches thick. I put one together last weekend. The box said it would take 15 minutes…an hour later I finally had it together. It wasn’t hard, just time consuming…and maybe I had to take short breaks to watch various Olympic events.
Since then the other two boxes have been sitting on the floor in the living room. Pat offered to put them together for me tonight…he just got smart and brought in the automatic screwdriver. Unfortunately, I’m afraid Casey is going to be really upset about it in the morning. She has spent more time playing with these boxes last week than any toy she has. She loves to jump off them, either onto the floor or to launch herself onto a chair. Pat pushed them into a corner today because we were having company, but after dinner Casey was crying because she couldn’t get them out to play. Hopefully if they’re out of sight in the morning she will forget about them.
So, it’s been a good weekend of playing, pretending and organizing…and it finally felt like spring. As a bonus, I also got my weekly grocery shopping done today. It has honestly been very hard to push the car cart around the grocery store once it is full of groceries and kids. This morning I went to a weight lifting class at the gym and my arms are really sore…I really don’t think I could push it around tomorrow with both kids!
Here’s the last group of pictures from Great Wolf Lodge. I originally tried to get Jack to put his arm around Casey. He didn’t want to, so Casey put her arms around him…he turned around to not be in the picture…she still held him…
He looked up, she looked down…
He looked down, she looked right…
He looked up again, she looked at me…
And that’s as good as I got. Kind of like an awkward prom picture.