Lobsters – A Life Lesson For My 4 Year Old

lobster_lessonsI am learning that four year olds are inquisitive, and you can never quite predict what is going to come out of their mouths and when.  My 4 year old is in the normal phase of asking question after question on how things work, where things come from, and why things are they way they are. He is just trying to understand how his world works. To me, it gives me a fascinating insight to how his little brain works and to see the world from his eyes.

This week I was reminded of all that when I took the kids on routine trip to the grocery store. Without fail, when we walk near the fish counter, Joey must pay a visit to the big lobster tank to say hi to all the lobsters. He just loves to stare that them and watch them crawl around each other. Some days it is hard to pull him away, and this day was no exception. But soon I was able to drag him away so we could complete our shopping. Then he starts asking me questions about the lobsters’ eyes, and where their mouths are and what they eat. Since I am not really an expert on lobster anatomy and such, so I usually tell him my best guess and recommend that we look it up when we get home.

Then Joey asks, “Mommy, what do people DO with the lobsters?”

“Well honey, they take them home and cook and eat them,” hoping that would be the end of it.

“Cook and eat them? Why do they do that?” he asks.

“Because lobster is delicious,” I answer him, part of me wondering what the heck he thought they were for… decorations?

“Well how do people cook them, put them on a fire?” he then asks.

GULP… Oh boy. Now I know how lobsters are cooked, and really I never gave the way they meet their demise before they make it to my plate much of a thought. But how does throwing something into a super hot pot of water to boil alive sound to a 4 year old?  In my mind, I’m trying to find a way to gently tell him about the (torturous?) way lobsters come to their end and decide that the truth is probably the best way.

“They way lobsters are cooked is that they get put in a super hot pot of boiling water for a few minutes and when they turn bright red, they are done cooking and ready to eat.”

“Well mommy, when people try to eat them, won’t their claws pinch their mouths?”

“Um… no honey, after you cook a lobster, they are no longer alive so their claws no longer work,” I told him.

I look at him waiting for the next question… “Oh, okay,” he says. Then seemingly drops the conversation. That was enough for his 4 year old brain at that moment.

Oh boy. Lessons on life and death and where the things we eat really come from. All that can come up in one little conversation about lobsters.

The whole thing made me laugh a little an I knew that he would probably bring it back up again (he did). When I thought more about it, it made sense that usually the food we take home and eat (specifically meat or most seafood) is not alive and walking (or swimming) around. It has already been taken care of and packaged for us to take home to cook. So when he brought up the cooking of lobsters again later, we made comparisons to the chicken or beef that we eat that were once walking around on a farm before it made it to our store and to our table. And really for a 4 year old, we don’t need to go into much more detail on the in between for HOW they got there. It’s interesting to see his wheels turning while he processes how it all works.

So will he actually try lobster? Are you kidding me? This is my picky eater we are talking about. Though we told him how yummy we think lobster  is (not that we go on eating lobster all the time), he is not so convinced.

Next life lesson that has come up in the last 24 hours… How is the baby is going to come out of mommy’s belly? Since I did not quite know the appropriate 4 year old answer at the moment, I told him that we would talk about it later.  So I better figure it out before he asks again (and he will very soon).

Project In Progress – Solar System Mobile

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Solar System project in progressAt the moment, I am in the middle of doing our DIY Solar System mobile for Nathan’s new big boy room that I talked of in a previous post.  So far is is partially painted but still have a ways to go. So I need to finish the painting the planets, get them ready to hang, then work out my plan for what they ultimately will be hanging from.

this_into_saturnRight now my dilemma is figuring out how to turn this styrofoam ball (left) into Saturn by adding rings. I have an idea or two, one involving cutting in half and sandwiching some material that would be the rings between the halves. But I’m open to other ideas. So what say you?  How would you make Saturn out of this styrofoam ball? (comment below)

I am hoping to knock this project out by next week so I can move on to other room items and then some more household DIY I want to do before baby comes. Once I have this mobile complete, I plan on posting a full tutorial in how I did it with lots of pictures. I promise. So stay tuned!

My Garden And Its Nemesis

groundhog tomatoesWe are in the 4th year of tending to a vegetable garden in our back yard. I’m still a gardening novice, but I’m always learning to do better and over the years I’ve been able to get some good crops of the various easy to grow varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits. In years past, I’ve had some awesome tomatoes, endless zucchini, numerous varieties of peppers, some squashes and then my herbs are always flourishing.

I have my routine down of  regular garden watering and harvesting, pulling weeds, and picking my various ripe zucchinis and peppers. In recent weeks, I’ve been lamented my “fallen soldiers”, otherwise known as my broccoli plants and all my lettuce that something had quite obviously got to and eaten them down to the nub. Then I took inventory of almost a dozen green tomatoes just about ready to ripen and turn red and my thoughts turned to my homemade  salsa, fresh caprese  salads, and hopes of homemade tomato sauces to put in my freezer. There is nothing more tasty and flavorful than tomatoes from your own garden. It is one of my favorite things to have in the summer.

Imagine my surprise when I go down to water one morning, finding all those tomatoes that should have been ripe and ready to pick, completely gone, with a few remnants on the ground of fallen tomatoes that someone had made a meal out of. I still had a few more green ones on the vine so I was ok with the temporary set back. Until yesterday, when I caught the culprit red handed and found almost a dozen more tomatoes gone (many of them were still green). Now I’m pissed.

No, not cute. They're pests.

No, not cute. They’re pests.

Who is it, you ask?  Oh I know exactly who it is, as I’ve had to chase him out of my garden more than a few times. He is a groundhog (at least I think it’s a “he”), and he has got to go. Not only has he taken all my tomatoes (except for a few grape tomatoes), he is the same one that has feasted on all my broccoli plants, and all my lettuce, spinach, and peas. He has got to go.

So now I need to find ways to either repel the groundhog or humane ways to get rid of him.  I’m not into personally handling wild animals, so the trap and release many miles away thing is out. I guess the next most logical things is to put up little fencing round my garden boxes that are Groundhog proof. What a pain.

I would love to know what other gardeners do to get rid of groundhogs or other wild animal pests. Wish there was some sort of plant or material that would just naturally repel them. I’ve dealt with squash bugs, hornworm, and other pests and know keep them under wraps. But to keep this wild pest out of my yard, it might take putting up a new solid fence around our yard, which is not exactly in the budget right now. 🙁

sad tomato

My one sad tomato

Oh well. I have one sad little tomato that I have managed to salvage so far. As you can see (pictured left) it is really ugly and sad looking. Just keeping my fingers crossed that I can save a few more and make the homemade salsa I have been intensely craving. I might have to settle for some store-bought ones, and it is just not the same.

 

Nearing the End of Pregnancy Already? Eeek!

32-Weeks-babe3It’s a little hard to believe that I am 32 weeks pregnant already and will have this new baby in my arms in less than 2 months. Since this is most certainly going to be my last pregnancy ever, so I am trying to savor and remember those little baby kicks from the inside, the endless little hiccups, and the jabs at the bladder. It’s lovely, it’s tender, but I’m glad we are almost over. In fact, I think I was “over it” starting a few weeks ago (though not ready for this baby to be here quite yet).

Last time I talked here about pregnancy, I was whining about what seemed like the never ending woes of first trimester. I was not feeling the “pregnancy is awesome” thing like I did with my first son (my 2nd was not as pleasant, but better than this 3rd time around by comparison). It sucked. I whined about it here (and at home). Then I got to the 2nd trimester turning point and was feeling much better. I started getting back into that “pregnancy is awesome” groove and I was feeling pretty great. Though I never did get that energy back that you are supposed to get since I’ve pretty much remained exhausted much of the time (despite son #2 FINALLY starting to sleep through the whole night). But other than that, feeling good, and baby has been doing great.

It was only a few weeks ago when someone was asking me how I was doing/feeling, and I replied that I was “Feeling great! I don’t seem to have all those aches and pains and woes that I remember from the last time…” Then maybe a week later, boom. The typical third trimester woes started kicking in. Sciatica and back pain? Check. Hip pain? Check. Impossible to get comfortable in bed and so the inevitable insomnia? Check. Choking on my stomach acid in the middle of the night? Check. Impossibly hot all the time? Check. Yay pregnancy! Yay me! Are we done yet? I’m sure the couple heat waves we have had back to back this summer haven’t helped.

So that is where I am at. I am very fortunate in that baby has been looking healthy, looking great. Despite the Gestational Diabetes and my super intense cravings for sweets and all things sugary (to which I occasionally give in), baby is measuring on track and does not appear to be giant sized (yet). Now the important thing we need to do is decide on a name. The conversation comes up occasionally with an “oh yeah, we better decide on a name…” and then we don’t get much farther than that. Don’t worry, this poor baby will not be nameless. We eventually will come up with one we both agree on. (Yes we know the gender. No I’m not sharing it here. But ask me privately and I’ll tell you)

For now, just counting down the weeks and days until I am no longer pregnant. Looking forward to September.


P.S. Did you know that Mama In the Deep has a Facebook page and Twitter too? Click on the links and connect with me over there too!

Guest Room to Kids Room Makeover – Nathan’s Space Themed “Big Boy” Room

Nathan'sRoom16 month old Nathan is firmly in his toddlerhood, growing by leaps and bounds, and will soon be outgrowing the crib. Well, the reality is, soon he will be kicked out of the crib because baby#3 will be  needing a place to sleep within a few months from now (once the baby is no longer in OUR room). Since my nesting instinct is starting to kick in big time, I am itching to get Nathan’s new room ready. So we are changing what is now the guest room into Nathan’s new “big boy” room.

(And before my far away family starts freaking out saying, “What? No more guest room?”… don’t fret!  We will still have room for you and beds to sleep in when you come and visit. Just a little bit of shifting around and nifty beds with some hidden compartments that will make space for visitors. So don’t you worry. AND you will get to enjoy the fruit of our latest decor efforts.)

For Nathan’s new room we are going with a Space theme, with planets, rockets, stars, and other spacey type things. I’ve started gathering together some ideas on a Pinterest board. I have a few DIY projects in mind, plus a few etsy purchases and Target runs on the agenda. Paint started going up over the weekend and I am fine tuning my shopping list. Here is the collection of things I have in mind to complete this guest room to kids room makeover.

First, here are the paint colors for the walls:  Nathan_paint_colorsThe “accent wall” color is aptly named “Planetarium” by Behr. I wanted a bold blue color for at least one wall to have some contrast and give that space feel. I’m always afraid to paint a whole room such a dark color, so I stick with an accent wall. I love having a bold color accent wall… though husband is not exactly a fan because of the mere fact that it’s more work having to paint a wall a different color than the rest… but he loves me and that is why he does it when I ask. He’s such a great guy. 🙂

Furniture_bedding

We have chosen some furniture pieces (above) that hail from Ikea and we’ll be getting those very soon. I’m especially pleased with the daybed as we need the extra storage from the drawers below (AND the bottom pulls out to set another mattress beside it and boom, we have extra sleeping space for guests). Target had some cute space/rocket themed quilt and bedding that I picked up, so we are well on our way. (Target Circo Blast Off Quilt set and Sheet Set)

decor_and_wall_art

I have numerous ideas in mind for various decor items and art for decorating the rest of the room. It is just a matter of deciding exactly what I want, what I can find (anyone know where I can find the rocket lamp in the above picture?), and how much of it I want to DIY. I am in the midst of deciding between a couple of those custom wall decals to put on the bold blue wall (bottom row of above photo from Etsy Here and Here). I’m also trying to decide on various art options for the other walls (Middle row – Rocket Canvas, Planet Prints, To the Moon… Print). Glad there is so much good stuff to choose from.

As for the DIY, one project I am starting work on is a solar system mobile. I am modeling it based on the one in the photo above from PBK.  I am feeling slightly ambitious (and maybe a little crazy), so I decided we were going to do our own DIY version. I am aiming to make it a family project and a little bit of a science lesson for my oldest son, to learn about the planets, what they look like, where they are located, etc. I’m trying to make it simple and it obviously won’t be exactly to scale, but scientist husband might have other ideas. It will be a grand family craft project/science project/experiment. A new blog post will follow showing our progress with photos and even a tutorial (if it is a success). Wish us luck!

So that is what’s on tap for Nathan’s new room. I’ll be posting some photos of our progress and a “grand reveal” when we are all done. Stay tuned!

All About the J-Man – 4 Years, 2 Months

IMG_0405It’s hard to believe that what was once a tiny little peanut, is now this huge (in comparison to his little bro) 4 year old, that is loaded with energy, has a fearless spirit, is always moving (always!) and is ready to make mischief and nearly every turn. He has a generous heart, friendly to just about everyone he meets, and is always aiming to make people laugh. So here is all about Joey at this age and stage.

He is 4 years old now, but it took him awhile to warm up to it. In weeks leading up to his birthday, he didn’t want to be 4 and insisted that he wanted to stay 3 forever. We kept trying to convince him how much better 4 is and how much more fun he will get to have because he’s bigger. Some days he embraces being older especially when he thinks it suits him… “I’m big enough to go on that giant scary ride for grown-ups Mommy, I’m 4 now!” And some days he likes to convince us he is still a baby, like when we ask him to clean up his toys or other little kid “chores” we ask him to do. But he is my little Peter Pan. Most the time, he doesn’t want to grow up.

IMG_0350

His tastes in toys and play things has changed from being obsessed with trains (Thomas) to loving a mix of Cars (from Disney), Jake & The Neverland Pirates/Peter Pan, the Avengers and all things comic book super heroes. Our days of play usually start with playing with cars on the train table, and evolves into sword fighting like Captain Hook and Peter Pan, then playing Captain America and Iron Man fighting the bad guys. Mix in a bit of wrestling with the little bro (who usually is the one who instigates it) and a few games on mommy’s iPhone and a bit of play outside with our pirate ship water table and that is our day. He likes to play constantly and play hard.

Joey is ever the jokester. He is always trying to make you laugh, whether it be from made up knock-knock jokes (of which he is obsessed), to purposely picking the wrong answer to a question because he thinks it is funny. Always trying to be silly. For some reason, I foresee him someday being the class clown, as I imagine  he does the same at school as he does at home. In a way is joker side is endearing, but I’m also afraid it will get him in trouble especially in school.

He is always wanting to be a good helper. He loves to help Daddy “fix things”, in fact, I think he is in need of his own tool belt. He wants to follow daddy to the garage or the basement or anywhere that Daddy has to go work on or fix things.  He loves to help mommy in the kitchen. He wants to learn to be a “good cooker” like mommy he tells us, while he stands on a chair in his apron helping with simple tasks like mixing and spreading. I think I am going to like this more and more as he gets older and more helpful.  Too bad he doesn’t like being such a good helper when it comes time to picking up his toys.

More Quick Joey Facts:

  • Likes: Imaginative play, pirates, cars, trains, sword fighting, super heroes, Disney Jr., swimming, playing in or with water, fixing things, books, sweets, cooking/baking, saying his prayers with Mommy at bedtime
  • Dislikes: Naps, sitting still, getting his picture taken, seeing others hurt, upset or crying, cleaning up toys, most any vegetables but broccoli, trying anything new to eat, going to his room when in trouble
  • Fears: Pretty fearless except for bugs and certain sounds like vacuums, hair dryers and hand dryers
  • Reads: Not quite yet, but he is great at sounding out letters and just starting to put the sounds together. Loves books but still prefers us to read to him than working on learning to read himself.
  • Words to describe him: Caring, loving, helpful, friendly, outgoing, spirited, stubborn, hyper, talkative

Happy 4th of July!

Happy4thWishing you an safe and happy July 4th! Whether it be frolicking on the beach in the sun, BBQing with friends and family, or kicking back at home, enjoy the day!

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered… deeply, …finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” – George Washington

Flag Themed Felt Wreath: Made by me last year, inspired by THIS PIN that links to the tutorial on Pinterest.

This is Where I Whine About 1st Trimester

somebody call the whaambulance

Sad baby J

Somebody call the Whaaaaambulance! I am nearing the end of the first trimester (thank god) and let’s just say that the last several weeks have been a big suck-fest. Hopefully the next couple weeks fly by and then I’ll done with this crap be back to myself… right?

So let’s tally it up. Exhaustion? Check. That constant hung over feeling? Check. Feeling sick when you eat? Check. Feeling sick when you DON’T eat? Check.

Outside the queasiness, the worst part has been just the sheer exhaustion. It doesn’t help when I have a 1 year old that is teething and keeping me up most nights. My energy has been a 2 on a scale of 10. And the prospect of a nap is rare.

Of all 3 pregnancies, this one has been the worst. With my first, I didn’t have a lick of morning sickness. If I didn’t see the positive pregnancy test, I would hardly know I was pregnant back then. With my 2nd, I thought I would be lucky enough to be in the clear, but that was not the case, and the nausea hit me like a ton of bricks.  The 3rd time is not a charm either and I feel more useless than the first two times. Too bad I have 2 kids to chase after this time. Oh well. This part is temporary and almost over.

It is all supposed to be a sign of a healthy pregnancy and I know it is a blessing to be pregnant at all. Sorry that I am not rejoicing in my condition at the moment. This too shall pass and I will soon be over this and feeling better. That is what I am repeating to myself over and over.

He’s One Year Old!

The year passed by in the blink of an eye. Seems like his birth was just yesterday. Now he is one year old and amazing us with his abilities every day.

My baby is now officially a toddler.

 n-1-birthday

Happy Birthday Little Man! We love you so much!

So, This is Happening…

babe#3_8wks

Surprise!  There’s a baby in there!

As the above picture shows, a pleasant surprise and new blessing is on the way in our household. In late September, will are expecting our third (and last) baby. This ultrasound was from last week, where we saw our tiny little bean with the heart beating away. So things are looking good so far.

We told our families on valentines (go on below to see the video), and of course we told the boys. Well, Nathan is obviously not old enough to understand, so we told Joey. Joey’s reaction at first was a little upset, and he asked “Well, what about Natey?!?” As if we were going to replace him. Once we reassured him that Nathan was not going anywhere, he started taking to the idea. So Joey is excited about his new little brother or little sister on the way. I ask him which he prefers, and it changes daily. Sometimes sister, sometimes another brother.

So yep. This is happening. Baby #3 is on its way.