Category Archives: Child #1: Micah

Paper Snowman and Other Preschool Ideas

Micah has been needing a lot of attention and stimulation lately. My sister-in-law sent me this PDF Calendar of one year Preschool Ideas. I’ve been trying to do one or two things with Micah everyday. We made a paper snowmen and snow flakes this week. Before we made the snowman, we read this book called Snow by P.D. Eastman that we got from the library. I really like to read P.D. Eastman books to Micah. Another one of our favorite by Eastman is The Best Nest. Even though Micah is just 26 months old, I feel like he has a really good reading comprehension. I’ve been needing to read him stories with more complicated story lines. He is also starting to read memorize words in books. I’ve really been trying to read more to him everyday and we try to go to the library once a week for story time.

Like I said in our new years goals, this year I’m going to focus on teaching Micah how to read and do simple math. Micah already knows the whole alphabet and count to 20. He has an incredible attention span for another numerical or problem solving. He sat down for an hour with me to do three different – 24 piece wooden Thomas the Tank Engine puzzles. Micah repeats everything I say so I really have to be careful. It’s funny hearing use all my euphemisms like “Oh my goodness!!!” “So funny!” “You’re silly!” “Go to your room!” Micah put me in time out yesterday in my room. I don’t even know what I did wrong. Two year olds are so funny.

In the January 2014 New Era there’s an article titled Preparing Gifts for Your Future FamilyThe article counsels the kids to start this year to learn talents that they could use in their future such as writing, math, music and art. Lastly, it talks about the gift of repentance and getting our lives in harmony with the God.  It’s a good article! I guess these talents can be developed at a very early age.

What kinds of talents do you want your kids to develop?

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Micah Featured on Kingston’s World

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This is Kingston. He is a 2 year old boy from Chicago who has a blog called Kingston’s World. My son Micah, who is also 2, “wrote” a letter to Kingston and it was featured on his blog today. See the post here!

Family Pictures: Emigration Canyon, Utah

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I had a vision of having our family pictures taken on the top of a snowy mountain so we drove up Emigration Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah to take these pictures. I think they turned out OK for being impromptu! 🙂

Why is it called Emigration Canyon? Wikipedia says:

Emigration Canyon was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. It is significant in Utah history as the original route used by pioneers entering Utah. It was part of the Hastings Cutoff route used by the Donner Party in 1846, and where the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. As Brigham Young looked over the canyon, he declared, “This is the right place. Drive on.” These words have become famous in Utah history. The event is commemorated with This Is The Place Heritage Park at the mouth of the canyon. Throughout Emigration Canyon, there are several historic markers designating camps, trail markers and milestone where the Mormon Pioneers passed while on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. One example of these milestones is called Lost Creek Camp.

We used my brother’s Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras.

Wide angle lens are great for landscape shots.

We took these with a tripod so that’s why my kids don’t always look at the camera. I’m going to create a device one day that will capture my kids attention while my camera is self timer on a tripod… lol!

Enjoy!

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Taking a Break During Finals Week

I graduated almost 1 year ago. Why in the world am I writing about finals week? Probably because I still feel so busy during finals week even though I no longer have school. I feel like haven’t had time to sit down this whole week. Winter semester always seems the most busiest because finals week ends up around the holidays. My husband is in graduate school and my brother is also college so “school” is still on my mind all the time. Dallin and I stayed up all night yesterday trying to get his paper done. I’m exhausted today… all I can get myself to do today is sit at the computer during my kid’s naps. I’ve also been making Christmas treats all week and today I just want to take a break!

Most of the time, sitting at the computer is relaxing for me. I love going through my computer and organizing my pictures. I have taken so many pictures since the baby! I am way behind sorting my pictures but all I do is take more pictures. During the Christmas devotional last week, President Monson said, “Christmas is a glorious season of the year. It is also a busy time for most of us. It is my hope and prayer that we may not become so caught up in the pressures of the season that we place our emphasis on the wrong things and miss the simple joys of commemorating the birth of the Holy One of Bethlehem.”

So I’m going to take it easy today and let myself sit down at the computer to do something relaxing for me. I recently discovered totally awesome natural lighting in my apartment… it’s almost like studio lighting. We have east facing windows and white curtains. During the morning when the sun is out, the white curtains provides almost perfect diffused lighting for indoor picture taking.

Thank you God for providing free lighting in my apartment shining strait onto our kitchen table! I was able to get a few pictures edited today but now my kids are awake.

What kind of things do you do when you take a break?

Micah is growing up!

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This little kid always has a dirty face! I’m proud to be his mom. He loves to sing songs and dance. He is 27 months old (2 years and 3 months). He is starting to speak in sentences. He says things like “I want fire truck”. “Mommy, where did you go?” “Bye bye mommy, nap time”. “I want pancake!” “Pee pee in potty? Ok.”

As difficult as 2 years old are… I love it all at the same time!

Inspired DIY Toddler Strider Balance Bike

For Micah’s two year old birthday, we wanted to get him the perfect toddler present. Micah loves cars, motorcycles,  and anything with wheels. In our neighborhood, Strider balance bikes were getting really popular for toddlers. We would see our neighbor’s kids ridding them to and from church all the time. Some of these kids would only be 1 years old and they were flying on these bikes! Every time Micah would see a kid with a bike he would say “Bike!” So we knew the perfect present for our toddler would be a balance bike. After doing some research on toddler balance bikes, I realized that these bikes were really expensive!! Strider bikes range from $89 to $109 online. That is the price of a cheap adult bike! My husband, who is super into biking and mountain biking, thought that was ridiculous. I kept on researching and found a cheaper balance bike called WeeRide balance bike for $37 on Amazon. I liked everything about it. The price was reasonable and the colors were pretty; but, as I read the reviews, people said that the bike was a little bit too big for their tall two year old. So I realized that the WeeRide bike would probably be better for kids ages 3 to 5.

As I was about to give in, I had a dream that my husband, Dallin was a bike inventor. On the same day, I was studying out of the Doctrines of the Gospel Manual for scripture study. I was on Chapter 1, page 3 when I read this quote, “Our Father, the great God, is the author of the sciences, he is the great mechanic, he is the systematizer of all things, he plans and devises all things, and every particle of knowledge which man has in his possession is the gift of God.” I realize that God could help us make Micah’s bike. After that inspiration, Dallin and I decided to make the bike. We decided that the learning process to create and quality family time spent making the bike would be more valuable than just buying a bike. And guess what?! It turned out a lot easier than we thought!

Here’s a movie I made on how Micah progressed with riding the bike:

First, I researched online if anyone has made a balance bike before. These are the sites/videos I found:

Then, we went to the DI, Deseret Industries, a local thrift shop to find a 12 inch bike that would work for our project. We also looked on KSL. This is what we found at the DI for $10!

After we got the bike, we took off the pedals and chain. With a balance bike, you don’t need pedals because the toddler sits on the seat and balance by walking the bike.  There are a lot of tutorials online that teaches you how to take the pedals off the bike.

The we took of the wheels, seat, seat post, and seat post clamp off the bike so we could saw through it.

We needed to go to the hardware store to buy a hack saw that would cut through the metal tubes of the bike. We needed to saw through the bike because 12 inch bikes are too big for a two year old. The bike frame is too tall to be a balance bike and the seat is too high for the toddler to sit on. We got this hack saw for less than 5 bucks at Lowes.

After we got the tools, we drew out a plan. We decided that we wanted to cut the who top of the bike off. Here is the bike ready to be sawed apart. The arrows are where we wanted to cut through the bike.

There were also extra pieces on the bike that we didn’t want and needed to saw off:

So here we are sawing the bike. It really was easy and it only took like 15 minutes to saw the whole thing.

We also didn’t like the handle bars on the current bike so we took it off and swapped with one of the bars we sawed off. We took of the rubber grips on the old handle bars and put it on the new handle bars.

Positioning the bike seat was the hardest part. We actually had to keep on cutting down the bike post AND seat post to make it shorter because it was still too tall after 2 tries. We were afraid to cut it too short so we only cut off little bits at a time to test the height with our kid. After we got the right height we had to cute a notch in the back for the seat post clamp.

Alright there you go. Total price of the bike was $15. We’ve used this bike for 2 months now and Micah is blazing on the bike! He loves his bike. He takes it everywhere and insist on parking it in his room at night. It works just like a normal balance bike. Micah goes so fast that I have to run to keep up with him! He even wants to go off-roading mountain biking and jump curbs… Yikes! I think it will help him eventually learn how to ride a real bike. I think it’s so cool that a 2 year old can ride a bike. We are so grateful that it worked out and that we could make him a balance bike for his birthday!

If you don’t want to put the work into a bike, I’ve recently seen cheaper smaller balance bikes or this one on Amazon but I don’t think you’ll have as much fun as we did building our bike!

Extra Tips:

  • When you out trying to find a used bike, you could find one with removable or low handle bars so you can change it up.
  • We made sure to sand down or pound down with a hammer the metal tubes so it didn’t leave any sharp edges.
  • Be safe when you cut through the pipe! Wear safety goggles and keep the kids away!
  • Always wear a helmet!
  • It just takes practice… it was hard at first but after a few weeks Micah learned to love his bike.
  • This is not really a tutorial but an idea. You’ll have to figure out some of the parts on your own or by Google. Every bike is different so there are going to be different things you’ll have to adjust on each bike. But you can message us if you have any questions!
  • We got our helmet at the thrift store DI for 2 bucks!

Disclaimer:

Use at your own risk! We are not responsible for any injury, deaths or damage during the process of making or using this bike. We did not get paid for write this post. This is just our idea that we wanted to share with you.

Toddler Balance Bikes on Amazon: I researched some more balance bikes for you if you want to just buy one. Make sure to read the reviews!

Super Mario Family Costume

For Halloween our family dressed up as Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Princess Peach costumes. I found this tutorial on how to make a Mario hat and my awesome neighbor, Heather at Feather Flights helped me make the hats for me. They turned out super cute! I got to wear my old high school homecoming dress that was peach colored. We just found bright colored long sleeve shirts at the DI. We loved Halloween this year because Micah enjoyed trick-or-treating but of course… I think my husband and I enjoyed it more than him. The first few doors Micah just threw a fit because all he wanted was to eat the candy but after about 5 doors he caught on to what was going on. Micah would say “Ding Dong Trick Treat” every time we went to a door. It was also good practice for good manners because we made him say “Thank You” after he got the candy.

Micah hated wearing the Luigi hat and he got his overalls wet so we ended up putting him in a lion costume. Yet, he still didn’t want the hood on…. haha.

Quentin was as cute as can be in his big fluffy yellow Wario hat!

Ok I couldn’t help but to Photoshop this Facebook banner for funsies. Happy Halloween (yesterday)!

mario