Friday, October 10, 2014

O Octopus!

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

Ogden Nash

We moved on pretty quickly from whales once the Chipmunk discovered that sperm whale ate GIANT SQUID!  The last two months have been pretty solidly spent in pursuit of cephalopods!

A cephalopod (head-feet!) is a marine animal.  They have bilateral body symmetry, (mirror halves), a large head, and a set of arms and/or tentacles.  In other words....squid, octopus, nautilus, and cuttlefish!

We always start with a trip to the library, lots of reading, and a look at anatomy.

The Chipmunk made his own version of the squid anatomy.  Our favorite fact we learned was that the squid has a brain shaped like a doughnut.  It's esophagus goes right through the middle!


Here is the Chipmunk's version:


The bagel is the brain, spaghetti is the esophagus, orange candies are smooshed together to make the THREE hearts (one systematic, two branchial), lettuce for the gills, and bread for the stomach.  The tortilla is the funnel and the taco shell is it's beak!

It turns out that this week (Oct 8-12) is International Cephalopod Awareness Week!  It's been an awesome couple of days of videos and beautiful photos.  Here are a couple of our favorites:

We made an emergency trip to the aquarium today to check out the extra cephalopod activities they had planned this week.  We went in with lots of questions and found the answers we wanted when we spoke to some of the biologists.  They brought out a dissected squid for the kids to see and the octopus was really active.  It was so much fun to watch him swim and crawl around!


The best part, though?  One of the educators that we speak with regularly took us back behind the scenes to see the baby cuttlefish and sea horses!  We saw some of the breeding tanks - cuttlefish, rays, some sharks, giant clams, sea horses, and jellyfish.  Absolutely amazing and such a treat!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Little Hands

Little Hands have declared today to be "Maker Monday!"


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Highland Games Sweaters

So far, I've managed to get a new sweater made for the Chipmunk each year for our local Highland Games. I'm just finishing up this year's sweater this weekend, so I thought I'd post a little retrospective. This is his 5th sweater!





It's raining up.

Mom:  Hey!  You've been working hard on that.  Will you tell me about it?

Chipmunk:  Sure.  It's raining up.  See?

M:  Raining up?  What do you mean?

C:  Mom.  (imagine voice of disdain)  Evaporation.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014


"I need to write all my letters today.  On the laminated sheets.  With the dry marker.  COME ON, MAMA!!  WAKE UP!"


Another view from work


Friday, September 5, 2014

Write me an application!

The Chipmunk is in love with the rescue kittens at the vet. He desperately wanted to do something for them, so he asked me to write him an application to go to work and take care of them!

We wrote out his application together, took it in, and they agreed to give him a trial run!  He changes the water, feeds them, and takes them to an exam room to play and get some exercise.


He brought them a box and some toys to play with and they have such a good time! We've been going over there twice a week.  Little man, is right at home in the office and they all treat him like he is part of the staff :)


Monday, September 1, 2014

A Whale of a Time

Little Man has moved on.  No more we're studying whales!
We put up a new chalkboard the other day and The Chipmunk made good use of it.

Sperm Whale  (that's the esophagus, stomach, and intestines inside)

...and the squid it was chasing :)


Round 2 was a Blue Whale.  This one we had to label!


I didn't manage to get photos of the rest of the whale's organs before he erased them, but we added lungs, heart, and ribs. So much fun and I LOVE that it was all his idea!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A little down time

A busy firefighter needs to relax (and practice his scissor skills) after a busy day of fighting volcanoes. Cutting lavender from the yard is just the thing!


Rescue Squad 86 reporting for duty!

"Rescue Squad 86.
 Rescue Squad 86.
 Come in Rescue Squad 86.
 We have reports of active volcanoes all over the neighborhood. We need your help!"


"The lava is THAT WAY!"


Returning from a job well done.  Crisis averted!


Saturday morning 4:23am

"Mom? Why aren't there any volcanoes in our neighborhood? Oh wait, I know. It's because we live in the middle of one of those plate thingies, right? Let's go look for toads. They're nocturnal, you know."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jelly Fever

We spent almost a solid month recently studying jellyfish!

Cannonball Jellies


Lagoon Jellies


We've turned the kitchen wall into a little display space for the Chipmunk's work. This is our "Wall O Jellies"


We learned all about different types of jellyfish, studied the life cycle, traced the gastrovascular system, watched videos, learned all about their anatomy, consulted experts to figure out how jellyfish digest their food, and painted and drew jellyfish!  The strings on the map show in which ocean each type of jellyfish is found.


And we played LOTS of Jellyfish Bingo!!


It was quite an adventure!  It was a wonderful study for us and one that inspired lots of questions, research, and adventure.  When we were just about ready to move on, we tried to put what we learned into a lapbook - it's our first one :)


Friday, August 8, 2014

He walks on water

"MAMA!  I'm a basilisk and I can run on water.  Will you be a predator and I can run from you?!"


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer at the beach

The only thing better than summer at the beach is summer at the beach with your cousin. And an animal ID project!


A juvenile tree frog rescued from a rest stop bathroom in northern Florida.  He was about the size of a quarter!


Learning to body board!



Cane toad (we think)


Fighting the waves



Anoles :)


They found Bahamian curly tailed lizards, live sand dollars, augers, snails, anoles, house geckos, toads, ghost crabs, pelicans, sea gulls, sandpipers, egrets, osprey, and of course, fish!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Finally!  It's been a dry couple of weeks around here.

Of course, we went out to enjoy it :)






Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Doctor is In

The Chipmunk has decided that he's a veterinarian.  I'm all for it, of course, so we set up a clinic upstairs so that he could give check ups as needed.

Checking Sophie's legs and joints.

You're going to need some medication, ma'am.

woah...this medicine is TASTY!


Uh-Oh! It's a free for all!!!



Poor Sophie.

Next patient, please!!