Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still Here

We’re over the stomach bug that we all passed around (except Elias, thank God). We had a lovely Christmas which I will blog about soon. Found out yesterday that Gideon has Chicken Pox.

Yes, really.

So I’ve been busy with extra cuddling and hand washing and medicine giving and more cuddling and avoiding Elias. Rob took today off because we were all going to go see a movie among other things but instead I stayed home with the older three and Rob ran out with Elias to take care of things that need to happen for his ailing great uncle.

So basically I came on to say I’m exhausted (Elias is NOT sleeping well lately, waking frequently and being fussy when he wakes) and very busy and I hope to be back very soon with some lovely posts about Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

This Week

Has been not what we expected or planned. There are no pictures. You can thank me later.

What shall we call it?

Pukefest 2010?

Merry Pukemas and a Hurly New Year?

FIVE buckets of PUKE! Sing it with me.

You get the idea. Saturday night I wrote my post about my fantastic day with Harry Potter. In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday Rob wakes me to tell me he’s been bowing down to the ivory throne – and also been on the throne (but let’s not get too graphic). I gently suggest he go back to bed in the guest room and after he does I get to work with the Lysol wipes (‘cause, Good Lord, I can feel his breath on the back of my neck while he’s telling me. Gee thanks, Hon). Yep. In my nightgown still while everyone sleeps Lysoling everything I can think of. Once morning hits I also rewash all of the handwashing he’d done the night before and reload the dishwasher with any dish I think he took out of the washer and every piece of silverware from the drawer (most of the time I love that my hubby helps in the kitchen. This was not one of those times).

Oh yeah, and our septic decided to go on the fritz so actually MOST of that work happened after the plumber came and went because I couldn’t use the clothes washer, dish washer or toilets before then. Yeah. The puke laundry and contaminated dishes were piling up and let’s not even talk about the toilet issue.

Gideon started puking right before the plumber showed up. Poor guy. He puked again while the plumber was here. I have a new appreciation for my leather loveseat. SO much easier to clean than cloth.

On Monday Rob and Gideon were on the mend. No one else was puking. I was very nearly allowing myself to relax and think that all my cleaning, washing and sanitizing had worked! Yeah right.

Tuesday about 3AM I realized that my tummy was feeling a bit rumbly. By 5AM I’d spent a great deal of time on the potty with a bucket at my feet. I actually had Rob bring me a bowl of mints and a book. I wasn’t about to leave my little camp too soon and I hate being bored.

I get to spend Tuesday in bed. Rob gets to spend it with the kids. What a great guy to stay home “sick” for me. And he took them to Costco. Anyway, I digress. I cannot recall the last time I actually got to be in bed sick when I was sick. If I hadn’t been so sick it would have been a nice break. As it was I kept my bucket close and my mints closer. I wonder if it was my constant sucking of mints that actually kept me from needing my bucket the whole time. As it was, everything that left my body exited the usual way (though definitely NOT the usual consistency – OK that’s as graphic as I’m getting).

I did get to read a few more pages of my book while in bed, watch disc 1 of The Fellowship of the Ring (I was really bummed I didn’t get to watch more) and play a game on my laptop (which Rob brought to bed for me) in between passing out and taking long naps throughout the day. Sometimes with extra blankets and sometimes with less.

Wednesday I continued to recover and Rob worked from home to help me with the kids. Thursday morning in the wee hours, yep THIS morning, you guessed it, Gabe. Hurling. Pooing. Rob got the first round. I got the second a couple of hours later.

After Rob headed to work I got up to check on Gabe and found Zion on the potty. Let me tell you what a trooper my girl is! I found her striped neked, sitting as far back as possible on the potty so she could throw up between her legs while she was still going #2. I was filled with pride and empathy all at once. I said “Good girl, Zion!” and she looked up and cheerfully said “I’m throwing up in the toilet like you said!” (I had the foresight to keep reminding the kids over the past few days of what to do if they felt like they were going to barf.)

She was so pale and drawn and yet she never gave up her chipper attitude. Gabe on the other hand was a regular ol’ Eeyore. Nearly always on the verge of tears and pathetically uttering statements like “I’m dying of starvation up here!” Sorry but I’m not giving you an all you can eat buffet. As it was I ended up cleaning up more of his vomit after he went to bed. Change of sheets, blanket, pillow, pajamas… *sigh* I knew he was trying to much too soon.

I AM going to have to get them to eat more once they are able though. Both Gabe and Zion looked like victims of starvation the minute they got sick. Skin and bones, people! Skin. And. Bones. It was instantaneous. I know those two have precious little to spare but this really brought it home. Must fatten those two up a little!

So now, here we are at the end of day FIVE of being stuck at home with the pukes. This is so not how I wanted Christmas break to go. I was so excited, SO excited, for our families first “real” Christmas break ever. Now that Gabe is in full-time school it really was going to be our first real Christmas break. When he got off the school bus on Friday he was bawling, broken-hearted that he didn’t get to go to school for two whole weeks! I got down at his level and put my hands on his shoulders and told him how much FUN we were going to have! So many things to go do and so many friends to have over to play. He was going to have a blast! We all were!

So things haven’t worked out like I dreamed. The awesomeness may have fizzled but we’re still going to do our best to eke out some real Christmas fun. We have tomorrow. Tomorrow to read all our favorites stories, watch all our favorite movies, eat all our favorite foods.

Wait. Maybe not that.

Nibble on our favorite crackers to be safe.

Tomorrow! And then on Christmas we get to go to my sister’s for Christmas.

That is, if Elias doesn’t come down with it next. Praying that he doesn’t.


So hard.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Accio, Harry!

(This post is going to make oh so much more sense if you are a fan of all things Harry Potter.)

Oh if it were only that easy! I didn’t get to see Harry (or Daniel Radcliffe as it were) but I did get to go to Harry Potter: The Exhibition yesterday. It was fantastic. Awesome. Wonderful. Wondrous. Amazing.

First, we enter the hall and have an opportunity to get sorted. (I like to think I’m a Gryffindor but I believe if I were really, truly to be sorted I might end up in Hufflepuff instead.) Once we are released we are free to walk about the exhibition at our own pace, we have paid extra for the audio tour which gives us this little device to carry. Many of the vignettes have numbers that we can punch into the device and it gives us additional information, typically a set or costume designer talking about the piece you are looking at.

Then we move on through a hall of moving paintings and get to see the fat lady break the glass just with her voice. Most of what we see are actual set pieces and costumes from the movies themselves. There are also video displays showing clips from the movies as well as a few displays that are interactive. I got to throw a Quaffle and pull up mandrakes from Madam Sprout’s planters.

We get to see Harry and Ron’s beds from the movies including some really cool curtains (the ones Dumbledore said he caught on fire – by accident of course) which were close enough to touch. It was so hard to obey the No Touching sign! School clothes and casual clothes for most of the main characters AND their wands! The Marauder’s Map, the acceptance letter that was sent to Harry in the cupboard under the stairs, text books, set pieces from the teacher’s classrooms and offices. They had almost the entire gaudy pink office of that horrible Delores Umbridge including the awful kitten plates and the pen that Harry used to write “I will not tell lies”.

I got to walk through Hagrid’s hut and sit in his chair. I felt like Lilly Tomlin as Edith Ann. Hagrid’s hut was one of my favorite parts. It was nearly complete and also had a costume for Hagrid which was ENORMOUS! I’d love to learn more about how they made shot him and the other giants in the movie.

There were many life-sized models of characters like Dobby, Kreacher and Buckbeak (every feather on Buckbeak was hand-dyed and placed by hand). They were especially fascinating.

We got to walk just a little in the Forbidden Forest and The Great Hall complete with “floating” candles. One of my other favorite parts was at the end in The Great Hall where they had a number of set pieces from The Yule Ball AND the main characters’ costumes. Hermione’s dress was simply beautiful and Ron’s dress robes were absolutely horrifying. It was practically torture, however, to be so close to so many of the hand knitted items in the movies without being able to touch them. I would LOVE to make Professor Trelawney’s knitted cardigan (the purple-ish one, it’s way cooler in real life). I wanted to pick it up, turn it around, examine it so I could see how to make one for myself.

I also had to keep pushing down that feeling of regret over not having a camera. Not that it would have done any good, pictures weren’t allowed, but oh how I wanted to! To wrap up our adventure we perused the gift shop and indulged in a small purchase or two (everything was WAY overpriced) and the neatest thing was seeing our receipt say “Thank you for shopping at Diagon Alley!” at the bottom. How cool is that?!

ETA: Crystal, and anyone else wondering, the exhibition is currently at the Seattle Center.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mango Pie

That’s what I get when I ask Zion what she wants for lunch. She says “Mango pie.”

Um. OK. Hm. I don’t think we have any of that … but, we do have dried mango. All I need is a pie “crust”.

Wait, someone gave us some sugar cookies yesterday.

Now I just need something to make the mango stick.

Marshmallows are sticky. Well, they are when they’re warmed anyway.

Take one sugar cookie, layer on mini marshmallows, microwave for about 10 seconds then layer on the mango and VOILA! Mango Pie.

If you’re going to go for it you might as well go for it.DSC_4812

For the record, she ended up eating most of it but each element at a time, not all together. Not sure what that means for my Zion inspired concoction.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Just Love ‘em

I suppose I could just about title every post like that. Sometimes it’s about all I can manage to think at times. I just love them. I just love YOU when I’m looking at them. When I’m holding them I think “I just love them, God, thank you for giving them to me.”

I sense that I’m about to go down a rabbit trail so I’m going to rein myself in, not that you’ll notice, and tell the story I meant to tell today.

This afternoon I was just flat out pooped. I was up very late last night getting the house ready to host my women’s Bible study Christmas party. I didn’t know I was going to host until yesterday afternoon so the house just was not ready. Rob, being my ever willing helper when it comes to readying the house for events (I’m blessed) was working on vacuuming when he asks me “What’s the water in the hallway from?” Well this is not the story I was going to tell tonight either so let’s just leave it at Rob working all night to suck tremendous amounts of water (thanks stupid washer and drain system) out of our carpet, linoleum and from under the baseboards and me trying then to do everything else.

Then there was the party all morning but not before getting us up, breakfasted, dressed, Gabe off to school, the last of the cleaning and baking cinnamon rolls (that turned out REALLY good by the way but also not the story I meant to tell tonight). Then after the party I put Gideon and Elias down for naps, Zion asked to stay up as she always does. (This is the story I want to tell.) I was brave or crazy, not sure which, and told her if she could color quietly she could stay up while I lay down on the couch and napped. While I was drifting off I felt her at my feet and opened an eye, she was giving me her Marie. The very same Marie that caused much ado at her birthday party. Her current, treasured lovie (elephant still holds a place in her heart but she’s a fickle creature these days). I am reminded of the time that I was sick and Gideon brought me all his lovies and covered me with his own precious blanky. My kids, I just love them. They are so sweet and caring.

I gushed appropriately at her gift and put my head back down. Later as I became aware that I had actually fallen good and asleep (and needed to check the time to see if I need to get up for Gabe to come home) I looked over my shoulder, Zion was not at her place coloring. Uh oh. A scan of the room revealed her curled up on our other loveseat, under her blanky, Eva by her side, both of them fast asleep. I smile, I guess staying up through nap isn’t nearly as exciting as she thought it was going to be. Either that or the party wiped her out too. Like mother like daughter I guess. AND I get to roll over and go back to sleep, it’s not quite time for Gabe to come home from school and Elias and Gideon are still sleeping too. I just love ‘em.

ETA: No, Emily, you are definitely NOT the only one to mix up your kids' names LOL (I fixed it). I'm not nearly as bad as I was to begin with but when Elias was born I called him Gideon about 90% of the time, speaking and writing, for probably the first two months. And whenever I'm going to list more than one child I nearly always start with Gabe even when he's not one of the children involved. Too bad my brain doesn't have an instant "find and replace" feature like my computer does. ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

37 Years Ago

I was born. Elias wanted to celebrate early. I was up with him at 3AM and at 5AM. Hmph. Would have been really great to get some sleep on my birthday so that I could enjoy my birthday without being tired and funny headed. Eva wanted to celebrate early. She stepped on Zion’s radio and turned it on FULL BLAST scaring the crud out of the poor girl causing her to scream in terror. That happened at 7AM.

I wonder if this attributed to Zion’s heightened emotional state throughout the morning. This included a serious meltdown over having a waffle versus an english muffin for breakfast.

Gabe celebrated by forgetting his backpack at home and not remembering until we had pulled up at the bus stop and were getting out. Normally I would just let him deal with the consequences of forgetting his bag but today did not feel like that slight guilty feeling that you get when you know you’re doing the right thing with a consequence but it still doesn’t feel good. And I thought we could make it back in time (which we did). Sad to say I peeled out a bit in the soft gravel trying to turn the van around in a hurry and the other parent already at the bus stop got to hear me scream “I KNOW!!” at the top of my lungs in a not very pretty voice to Gabe who felt it necessary to shout in a panic that the side door was still open.

Happy birthday to me.

There were some additional lows but some mediums too (birthday highs happened on other days, keep reading). I got to visit a friend’s house with the kids and actually got to knit half a row of an 8x8 square I’m knitting for a project I don’t think I’ll ever be able to talk about. That’s a long story. My hostess was sweet though as usual and there weren’t too many issues over toys (Gideon seems to think his life will end if another child so much as looks at a toy he is playing with).

Rob made me peppermint brownies with peppermint ice cream instead of cake and ice cream and THAT was super yummy. The kids are now in bed and I should pick up my knitting again while I can.

IMG_0254Oh, but first I should add the best parts of celebrating my birthday. Rob took me to The Melting Pot for a birthday dinner. A couple from our Bible study volunteered to watch the kids so we got to be out AND not pay a babysitter (killer!). That was last Saturday. This Saturday Rob is taking me to see the traveling Harry Potter exhibit which is visiting Seattle. I’m really looking forward to that. The kids are getting to go play with my sister while we are there so I know they will be having a blast too. Also last Saturday we had our family pictures updated. I used that as an excuse to not do my own hair. I washed it and went to a salon and had it styled and loosely curled and I got to hear people tell me that my hair looked so pretty all day (hard to see in this picture). It was totally worth the money for the compliments and to not have to do it myself. It took the pro 45 minutes to dry and curl my hair. And she had professional grade tools. And my kids weren’t there. This would have been impossible at home for so many reasons.

IMG_0253We ordered the Disaronno Meltdown for dessert (white chocolate and Disaronno). Oh. My. Word. I could have drank that from a cup if they would have let me, no dipping necessary. But hey, as long as they were there I might as well dip. The dipped Rice Krispy Treats ended up being my favorite. But the whole thing was SO good. A fantastic way to end the day. Well, technically we then went to Toys R Us to drop off the toys we bought for Toys For Tots and that was good too.

OK, NOW I’m off to do a little knitting. Ta ta!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

I know, I know, I’m a bit late.  Thanksgiving was, like, so last month.  Still, I have the pictures so you’re getting’ ‘em.  Especially after wondering the whole week if we would even make it out of our house for Thanksgiving.  That was the week we got all the snow.


Each child go to pack their own bag of things to keep busy, Gideon chose trains and tracks.  Too bad Tantie Jamie won’t fit in the bag for taking back home.

DSC_4735Rob’s Great Uncle Duane didn’t have plans this year, he usually goes to a friend’s house, so he got to join us.  He is the only relative from Rob’s side of the family that lives out here.  I can’t recall exactly how long he has been out here but it’s decades now.  He was a mail carrier for years and it shows.  Every time we receive a letter that has been meticulously addressed, stamped and taped and taped and taped (goodness, what does he think is going to happen to it anyway) and taped, I think he must have taken his job very seriously.


What would Thanksgiving be without an overabundance of electronics.  Hmph.  It’s nice to think about anyway.


Every baby needs Tantie time.


Jamae and Joey, all tuckered out after Joey tried to catch his own Thanksgiving bird.


Not a turkey, Joey!  Not a turkey!!!  This poor guy (a variegated thrush I found out later) was “invited” to Thanksgiving by Joey.  By invited I mean batted multiple times to drop him from a thick bush, carried at top speed across the yard and then wrenched from Joey’s mouth by Carol, Jamie’s friend.  I didn’t hold out hope for this fellow, one leg seemed odd but there was no blood and his feathers were a mess which made it hard to tell if there were breaks so I put him in a box in a dark, quiet room for a while.  Carol and Zion went to check on him and we heard what seemed like feathers and little birdie nails scratching on the cardboard.  I think it was Carol who screamed a little and then Zion came walking out and breathlessly stated “I think he woked up.” 

He did seem more alert and upright so we put the box out in the front where Joey couldn’t get him and opened the flaps checking on him periodically.  Finally on one trip out the box was empty.  Fly away little bird (and stay out of THIS yard from now on). 

Just a little excitement to make this Thanksgiving memorable.

Deck The Halls

We finally got a tree and it even though it sat in the garage for days it is now up and decorated. And even though it took another day the rest of the house is decorated too. The kids were thrilled that I let them have some of the things I wasn’t going to use for the house this year for their rooms.

I don’t particularly enjoy decorating for Christmas (and don’t even ask me about taking all that stuff down and putting it away again). I think I can get into it sometimes but this year our calendar was just packed and the decorating was squeezed in instead of savored. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at how much the kids helped. I was so surprised I was confused. I mean, it’s only been a year since did this last and Gabe and Zion at least should have been helpers last year too but I don’t remember any of that. Then it dawned on me. I think Rob and I did the majority of our decorating last year while the kids napped. NEVER again. They are much to useful now. They just took over and I mostly just got to direct and take care of Elias who was not quite as useful as the others.

Zion needed some encouragement to find places for knick knacks besides the floor and lowest window DSC_4758sills. Gideon would go to hang an ornament on the tree and place the ball where he wanted it but didn’t quite understand the whole hook process so then I’d hear “Hewp, Mama.”Right hee-o” (Help, Mama. Right here.) I would come to the rescue, hang the ball and he’d dash off to get another so we could repeat these steps over and over again.


I had to stop decorating entirely to do a few things (you know, diapers, bottles, make dining…little things) and the kids finished all on their own. The tree might be a titch uneven having more ornaments on the bottom than on the top but it looks great! I’m so glad that I find their imperfections perfect. I had nothing but praise for them, didn’t move a single ornament and they are so proud of themselves. That’s their tree. It warms my heart.


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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Twelve Days of Julie

If I could choose 78 items for my true love to give to me this is what I’d choose:

Twelve fish a swimming, (easy since I already have that)

Eleven chickens clucking, (and laying)

Ten acres for living, (at least)

Nine days per week, (since I’m bothering to dream here I may as well dream big)

Eight hours of sleep, (yep, dreaming BIG)

Seven stalls so cozy, (one extra ‘cause you just never know what will follow you home)

Six horses for riding, (one for each of us)

FIVE SKEINS OF YARN! (worth far more than gold in my opinion)

Four meowing cats, (halfway there)

Three guard dogs, (which could have also been “two friends for Towzer”)

Two hungry goats, (AKA “weed-eaters”)

and a personal assistant to ME.


Hey, I had a fun time writing my Twelve Days of Julie, maybe you’ll have fun writing your own Twelve Days of … And because if you do write one and I’d like to read it I’m going to go all fancy and see if I can get a Mr. Linky to work. So if you write one and blog about it come back and link here. It will be fun, promise. Smile

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Sixth Love Language

So, a few weeks ago Gabe whispers to me while we’re having a chat (about what I don’t remember) “I love Daddy just a smidge (fingers held slightly apart) more than I love you.”

I immediately started to laugh but then realization set in and I admit I was a little hurt. But it was still funny.

Today when I Gabe got home from school I told him that there was a Phineas and Ferb Christmas special on (Phineas and Ferb is a TV show that he loves but doesn’t get to watch but rarely) and that I was recording it for him (it started at 3, long before he gets home from school).

And do you know what he told me? He said “That brings you up even with how much I love Daddy.”

I said “It’s the little things isn’t it?” mostly joking.

He said “Every time you do something for me it fills up a heart.” (Can you tell this kid plays video games? For those not in the know, many video game characters have “hearts” and when they get wounded it takes away part of a heart.)

I said “I make lunch for you every day and…”

He cut me off, “That’s a quarter of a heart.”

Wow. Tough crowd.

He continues “I’ve had 58 days of school so far this year, how much is that.”

Oh Lord, doesn’t he know that I married his daddy so I wouldn’t have to do math anymore. Where is that guy when I needed him?

“Um, I think it’s 14 1/2.”

As I was washing dishes later I was thinking how he links his idea of feeling loved to what he’s experienced in video games and thought “Wow, a sixth love language.” I was cracking myself up with my cleverness. Then I realized. Wait – Acts of Service is an ACTUAL love language. Duh! First I was so funny now I’m back to being a dork. Yes, sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake. I never knew this about Gabe before, I’d always pegged him as a “Quality Time” kind of kid. So hey, it’s been a good day. I learned Gabe’s love language so it will be easier for me to make him feel loved AND I pulled even with Rob.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What To Say

I finally got to have the parent teacher conference with Gabe’s teacher (who I adore). He is doing really well in class. I had hoped to hear that. I had no doubts about his academic ability but I have been wondering about his emotional stability in school this year. His emotions can run very high and when he gets frustrated or disappointed he gets tearful. I get concerned, sometimes, that being in a class with older children (since he’s one of seven first graders in a second grade class) will not only make that come out more but that it will be more obvious to his classmates and that they’ll label him or pick on him for it. Lord knows I know how he feels. He got a double whammy of emotions between Rob and my self (at least he has a daddy who understands).

However, his teacher said she has seen great improvement in the last month and he hasn’t had any issues with being emotional lately. Yay!

I asked if he had any friends in class and if they could stick together, since she moves the seating arrangements around a lot. I hope that if she is able to do that it will help him. I know it would have helped me immensely when I was his age but I was shy and withdrawn as well as emotional and he is outgoing so perhaps it’s not as important for him. Gabe said there is one boy in his class, the only child in his class that he knew from school last year, that he said he would chose to be with if he could. Friends are good!

I was oddly disappointed in his test scores. Not because he didn’t do well but because he DID do well, just not as good as I know he can do. I should be super happy, and I am, I just wish that he had tested better for two reasons. 1) His test scores reflected a trait/quirk that I see in him at home. This whole “I know this material so I can fly through it and only half pay attention making super silly mistakes along the way”. 2) I want Gabe to receive materials that are at his level and challenge him. He already flies through his math homework, even second grade math is no challenge for him.

For instance, Gabe has been counting up to 200 and past since he was about 4-5ish. He’s always been great with numbers and naturally picks up math concepts. So when his scores showed that he counted up to 120 I did an internal eye roll. For his age 120 is just fine. For HIM it’s appalling. The other math test scores were similarly shy of what he is truly capable of doing with ease. I shared that with his teacher though and she really seemed to listen and not think that I’m the crazy mom who says her kid is so great when he’s really just average. Her main concern was that the second grade math homework was too hard and I was able to assure her it is not.

He tested closer to his abilities in reading hitting a grade 3 first month level and read 138 words per minute. Apparently your average first grader is expected to read 20 words per minute. So I guess no problems there.

Otherwise he is catching on quickly to new concepts that most of his classmates had exposure to last year when they were in first grade and he was in Kindergarten and that is a good thing to hear. I don’t want him to be struggling or frustrated simply because we think he can do these things. It’s nice to see that he really can AND is having a good time in his classroom.

The school still does not know what will happen with these first graders next year since this blended class is a first for them. Right now they are for the most part getting all of the second grade lessons. If they are simply moved on into second grade next year they’ll essentially be repeating a grade. Wait and see and hope for the best.

Have A Ball

(I figured out the photo size issue and now I’m going to play with the font. Why? Because I can. Ha! And you all get to be my unwitting Guinea Pigs. Except now that I told you I’m not sure if you’re technically unwitting anymore. Darn. Moving on.)

The post in which I make a lot of unnecessary explanations.

When Gideon turned one we (and by “we” I mean me because Rob was deployed at the time) got him a ball pit for his birthday. Well, at first we just had the balls and I’d put them in a laundry basket for him to play in but I eventually found a pop-up ball pit that suited our (and by “our” I mean me again, only really I mean my because me doesn’t fit in this sentence) needs.

One of the reasons why I love this toy is that the kids love it so. Really, really love it. Another, more important reason is that it can pretty much disappear completely when we’re not using it (and by “we’re” I mean they’re, ‘cause I don’t use it personally).

Ah, so anyway, I got it out for the kids the other day. I thought that it would be so sweet if Elias could play too and then realized that would kind of be really stupid because they get a little (and by “a little” I mean a LOT) nutty in the ball pit and I wouldn’t want him to get hurt.

So I made him his own ball pit.


And he really liked it. This was a couple of weeks ago and I think he’d like it even more now because in just that short span of time he is already SO much better at sitting up and at getting things up to his mouth which of course is how babies of this age learn about their world. And who doesn't want to learn about ball pits?


And of course the other kids got to go crazy without me (and by “me” I mean me) spouting “Be careful of your brother!” every 30 seconds (or more).


Apparently the ball pit is not only fun to play in but also to take a pretend nap in. I’m all for pretend naps. They’re just like the real thing only they aren’t actually sleeping. If the kids are quiet and in one place and not making a mess or being naughty I don’t really care if there is sleeping involved or not.


‘nigh night. Winking smile

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Snow Days!

(First, with the new "tricks" I learned the photos are smaller than normal, I'm looking into how to fix this. I like the bigger pictures. Still, if you want to see them bigger, just click on them and then hit your "back" button to get back to the thread again.)

OK, here’s the first post in a VERY long time that actually contains as many pictures as I would like for it to have. I hope you have a good connection ‘cause if not you could be here for a while.

This takes us back to the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Sunday is when it all started. I didn’t suspect a thing really and usually I’m on top of this kind of weather activity. It was a pleasant surprise to wake up one morning and find snow.

Zion and Gabe were in awe.


Gideon was in awe. We got one dusting of snow last year and nothing else. When we got a ton of snow the year before he would have been too young to remember. When he came down the stairs and saw it for the first time the other day I said “Look, Gideon, what is it?” and he said “It’s Christmas!”


Eva was in awe. This is her first snow ever.


I can’t say that our plants were likely enjoying it much. Most of them still had blooms which is more Spring clothes for a flower than winter clothes. Poor things.



Our bird house looks like a cozy place to room for the winter. Except we can’t actually attract any birds.


Because of her…


Death thy name is Maisy.

If you’re a bird anyway.

Elias seemed in awe of the snow but he’s in awe of everything. Stick anything in front of his face and his eyes get big as saucers and he grins like it’s the coolest thing he’s ever seen. Snow was no different. He was content to stay in and play while his siblings went out and half froze and I was content to stay in with him (at least at first). He was just getting to experience his walker for the first time and was thoroughly enjoying it.


At last there was an opportunity to play outside. Even though Zion absolutely did NOT want to wear a coat of any sort and I could almost not get pants on her. She definitely does not get that from me. I hate being cold. I did realize later that one of the reason that she doesn’t like to wear a coat is because when she puts it on it forces the sleeves of her shirt up in a bunch. That she does get from me. I taught her how to hold the end of the sleeve so it doesn’t ride up and now my chances of getting a coat on her with less than three objections has gone up considerably.DSC_4641

Afterward Gideon knows how to warm up. A comfy pair of jammies and all the lovies the couch can hold; blanky, woof, Elmo, paci, and even Elias’ Pillow Pet that someone gave him at a baby shower.DSC_4640

After a couple of days where it snowed non-stop to some degree or another our water table was half buried.DSC_4651

And our patio swing wasn’t going to be welcoming anyone anytime soon.


Zion let me wrangle her into her heavy winter coat, honest to goodness jeans and real snow boots (which now she loves and wants to wear everywhere – and she’s not playing peek-a-boo she just inherited by intolerably sensitive eyes and can’t look anywhere close to the same direction of the sun ).


Of course one must temper outdoor activities by including lots of warm indoor activities so she also played with our new Nativity set a lot during these days. She seems to be adding to the story though. Can you find the double bed? Naturally Mary would have found this a much more comfortable place to recover from childbirth than a pile of straw, right? Or what about “Blueberry Muffin” one of Strawberry Shortcake’s good friends? Or how about the individual who I can only assume is the Holy Family’s tax account? Naturally they were seeking tax advice regarding all those expensive gifts.


When I suggested a craft Gabe got very excited and took over showing Zion how to make a turkey out of a fall leaf - all his idea (well, he came up with what to show her, I suspect a teacher somewhere showed him the craft originally). My first born sure is super sweet, he even cut out the teeny pieces to make the head and beak for her and patiently showed her how to place them.


While they did their craft I was free to put together a snack. I called it “S’mores In A Bowl”. It consisted of graham cracker pieces, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows all mixed together in a bowl. In this picture you can see Zion stacking hers together. All of yum of S’mores but none of the mess.


And later back outside for some more fun.


Who is this BIG boy? Certainly not my little Gideon. Alas, it is true. He’s growing so fast. But if I had a dollar for every time I’ve made that statement on this blog I think I’d be rich, they are ALL growing so fast and though some people may experience otherwise I absolutely LOVE my kids when they are two. It is such a magical time of discovery for them, everything is amazing and new and they are able to interact with their world in all new ways. I LOVE it!

I let Gabe borrow a loaf pan in order to make bricks for a snow fort. He didn’t get very far as he wasn’t packing the snow tight enough but I think if we get more snow like this he’ll be an expert in no time.DSC_4684

And still a puppy even though he’s on the verge of elderly in dog years. Towzer had a blast in the snow. Especially after I tossed him a Beggin Strip which he got to “lose” and find repeatedly.


I read (I think) a while ago that when you use bubbles outside in freezing temperatures that they crystalize so I got out some bubbles. By that time though it was late enough in the day that it wasn’t cold enough to freeze them but the kids still loved it and I was surprised that the bubbles seemed to last a lot longer in the cold air than they do when it's summer.



Gideon quickly had his hat (which didn’t last long on his head) and his mittens encased in snow. It didn’t slow him down though, not that he really needed much protection to participate in his favorite activity of eating snow.



Once again Elias found himself wiling away his time indoors, safe and warm and having a blast on his play mat.


We were a bit worried that the snow would keep us from getting to family on Thanksgiving but we dared to make the drive the hour North to get to my sister’s house and by the time we left there it was way to warm for more snow or for the roads to freeze.

We had such a blast that week. I’d forgotten how neat it was to have a snow day when I was growing up. The only drawback was that it was conference week so Gabe’s parent-teacher conference was canceled when school was canceled. By this time it’s been made up but that is for another post (in the very near future I think now that I’m back to being happy with my ability to actually post and upload pictures).