Monday, January 16, 2017

Living La Vida Sno-ca

Last week the weather (folks) were talking about snow, snow snow. Possibly to the tune of 6-9 inches. Well boundaries and sleet lines were all over the place and we ended up with ice and snow but we were snowed in from Saturday to Tuesday... I didn't hear a final snow total but I would guess to the tune of 2ish inches on top of ice. 


A was the last to get dressed and he almost seemed to know he was getting left out of the fun!

Hurry up mama!

The ice has switched to snow when we ventured out after lunch on Saturday (the snow eventually covered up the grass)

Trying to recreate a pic from ages ago with a phone camera

A was super impressed!

First sled ride! He thought it was great!

M was not as impressed and her fingers were FREEZING because someone forgot there were only 2 pairs of waterproof ski gloves (that has since been remedied) 

I found 2 pairs of snow boots at a consignment shop at the end of last season and they were an excellent buy and the girls had warm, dry feet!

Obligatory friend pic... I promise they are friends : ) 

R had a big time and wasn't a huge sledding fan

I had on three layers plus a baby bump and I was still FREEZING! 

We rode together down the hill on a sled I got for Christmas ages ago!

Lee wasn't going to make snow cream but who knows if we'll see snow again this year!

It was a little on the icy side but still a hit

Then there's all the behind the scenes work of snow days that you don't experience as a kid...

everything has to be taken from the icy, cold pile in the garage and warmed and dried and made ready for the next day of play

I wo-manned the laundry and Lee manned the kitchen. He cooked a pot of chili on Saturday and a bunch of spaghetti sauce the next. 

Me and M on day #2

See they are friends!

The hill from Saturday was already patchy from the sun so the sledding crowd changed locations

M was content with just lounging in the snow and ice

Papa also made oatmeal and oatmeal raisin cookies for everyone to go with hot chocolate... which was awesome! 

There was a third day of snowness but the sledding was far from good and I was on day 3 of undiagnosed strep throat so my level of wanting to be outside was pretty low. 

We only suited up the kids once each day. If you are out you are out, if you are in you are in. No potty breaks, snack breaks or anything. If you are cold go inside. The first day I made 3 trips back and forth from the neighbors taking cold little girls home (E snuck into the neighbors house so she lasted way longer than the others on the first day). A didn't go out day 2 or 3. M stayed out way longer than I would have expected on day 2 and appreciated the 2nd pair of cotton gloves I had for her on day three. 

Overall, A+ snow experience. Next time I could go for more snow but only if it is 75 degrees 5 days later - like it was this time!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

7QTs - Strep Throat, Cozy Coupes, Hills Climbed

Linking up with Kelly  because I have been meaning to blog all week!

---1---

Umbrellas inside? 


More like outfit accessorizing... but seriously M's attachment to her umbrella reminds me so much of E's need to bring hers everywhere when she was 3. R likes having her's too but M freaks if she sees a droplet of rain and doesn't have it. 

---2---

A scored a bunch of toys with wheels for Christmas... 


I mean we probably didn't NEED another Cozy Coup but I'll catch E riding around in the one she got for her birthday so many years ago I figured A might like to have first dibs on his own. We are keeping it inside until the spring then it will live outside but for now and enjoys his set of indoor wheels. 

---3---

After Christmas break someone had a seriously battitude EVERY SINGLE MORNING. Whining. Being slow. Generally unhappy with the world. So one morning, everyone else was ready to go and someone was still packing their bag and complaining about her book bag being too small so I said see you later and pulled out of the driveway. Then when she emerged from the garage, I closed the door and slowly headed to our stop sign (no terribly out of the ordinary... I have done this a few times in the afternoon if we are running on the later side for swimming - usually she catches me at the mailbox). Well on this day she was going snails pace. So I got to the stop sign and still walking... Not running or making an effort so I started (not as slowly) up the hill


That's when I finally got a running reaction and I think it set in with her I could leave and she would be left without Papa at home or another option to school. So I slowed down and she started walking again. 

Two can play the game girl. 

So I sped up and she started running and there may have been some frantic tears and she caught up about halfway up the hill. 

Lesson learned. DON'T MESS WITH MAMA. 

Although I think there were some other attitude/schedule adjustments going on that week, she's been in the van (last) for an on time since. 


---4---

Speaking of on time departures... 




This is what you get the next morning when you go to Theophany Vesperal Liturgy at 6 pm on a school night at your church one hour away. After the Great Blessing of Water, I think it was nearing 8:45. A was a miserable WRECK for the greater part of church. I was so so so done. Then it was time to eat dinner? Yes. Lee didn't want to get the salad out that he made so I did and then there ended up being none left - #trustthewife. There were homemade chocolate cupcakes that made everything just a little more manageable. 


I don't think we rolled in the house until about 10:30 that night so I knew the next morning was going to be kind of a joke. We were only 15 minutes late dropping E off - and then I picked her up right after I collected the preschool peeps because A. she was tired, B. there was a funk going around a few kids in the class, C. it was going to snow later, D. I didn't want to the snowed in with kids who had the funk. I was actually kind of proud of myself for doing that because I NEVER EVER do early pick up just for the heck of it but maybe I'm softening up a little bit. 

---5---

Speaking of the freaking funk.... 


These two went to the doctor a week before Christmas. Got on a prescription and then about a week after Christmas have had constant runny (I made the mistake of using snotty in from of M and now she goes around announcing - I have a snotty nose! Still trying to correct that!) noses for 2 weeks. So after our snow - more on that later, I took them to the first doctor appointment the pediatrician had in 1.5 days. They opened at noon and we were there sans appointment at 12:02. 

We are the first seen and as I guessed there is nothing wrong; treat with Claritin and move on. I have one burning non-peds question for their pediatrician.... 

"My throat hurts. I don't have a primary care doctor. I don't trust the urgent care people. I cannot go to the walk-in clinic (that the trustworthy practice in the area runs) because I'm pregnant. What is your recommendation?" 

One rapid strep test and eleven minutes later and... I have a strep throat diagnosis. Seriously? I mean hats off to the doctor because he didn't have to do that. He did me a HUGE HUGE HUGE favor - that I will not forget. But it totally explained why it hurt to eat for the past day or so. After a not so quick call to my OB and explained I had a positive strep test and I needed an Rx ASAP because I was DYING... I got one. 

This is how bad I felt though. I went to Cook out to get a milkshake because I seriously couldn't eat. The line was a mile long. Head to Chik Fil A... the haven of pregnant women... I didn't even want any food and I hadn't eaten all day. Not even Chik Fil A sauce. Needless to say one dose of penicillin later and I felt like I didn't have 20 horns growing out of my head. Strep is going down as on the same level as bad as the sinus infection from a few years ago. Although, I didn't think I was actually going to die with strep. 

---6---

This guy is 15 months old now...


He's still super clingy to me. He'll take a few steps on his own but is generally not interested in walking. He is a picky eater but loves bananas, blueberries and pumpkin muffins. He says Mama occasionally but doesn't really know what he is saying. He loves pointing to the Christmas tree. He likes watching the ardillas and birds at the back porch. 

---7---

The bookworm...


after swim practice on the 5 minute ride to Jibbe's.. The car reading lights now have come along way for sure. She sure loves her Rainbow Fairy books. 



I have a mountain of things going on right now. Work trips - yes potentially multiple if I can get my act together. E's schools biggest fundraiser - if you need another 2016 tax write off let me know... I know a small Catholic school : ). Also, I had this brilliant idea for a class auction time for the school dinner dance but it was an idea without a vision. Yesterday I was kind of freaking out about it so I called in my best reinforcement and I'm feeling so much better (thank you, you know who you are if you read this!) Now, to actually get it done. And if it does get done then I might tell you about it but for now there is still a bunch of work to be done!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thoughts on our Fall Activities

I meant to write this post a million days ago but you know... life, kids, bebe #5...

Ready. Set. Run!

Three kids. Three different fall activities. Here's how we got there:

August rolled around and it was time to pick fall activities. R wanted to do swimming - a carry over from the summer. Well unfortunately for her she still was not at the point of swimming the length of the pool by herself which meant it would be swim lessons for her instead of swim team. Definitely on the more expensive side (not as much as dance) so I pulled a veto on that (though she and M are/will do swim lessons this winter). R wanted nothing to do with soccer : ( (for me) so tee ball it was.

Since R didn't want to do soccer, I asked M if she wanted to and got a resounding YES. Even though she wasn't quite 3 they bend the rules a little if you volunteer to coach! Three yr old soccer is super easy compared to the older ages because games and practices are on the same night and practice is pretty much limited to 20-25 minutes courtesy of a 3 yr olds attention span!

Well E took over where R left off with swimming. E was torn between soccer and swimming and ultimately wanted to do swimming - which Lee and I wouldn't commit to without some serious thought. There was much more at stake for us because it would require a lot more money each month and with that we believe going to practice only once a week was crazy so she really needed to go at least twice (if not 3 times) a week to get our monies worth. Plus it was a 9 month long commitment versus a 2.5-3 month long commitment.

Thank you windows for creating impossible picture taking... (I spy a KibbeMobile) 

Are we crazy for letting our kids go in a three million different directions?

Maybe. But we really found a great rhythm for our family during the fall months that required us parents to be more disciplined about family dinners and being prepared for them and it required some give and take on the kids part - which is a good lifeskill to learn.


E has dinner at one of R's tee ball games (after her swim practice)... I have no idea the circumstances past that but let's be flexible people!

The littles were troopers with swim season... This was at a Friday night fun meet and they waited for Papa to get home from work to take them home for pizza and bed. E and I have had some excellent conversations about sacrificing our time and not whining about it. 

How did the scheduled shake out?

Batter up!

Monday
5:00 - Eat dinner
6:00 - M's soccer practice/games
6:35 - Papa leaves soccer to lead his Bible Study
6:50 - Me and kids roll in and girls let me get A down and then the regular bedtime stuff with a story or two

Tuesday
4:00 - Get E and Papa's dinner ready
4:30 - E swim practice
5:00 - Me and R and M and A eat dinner
5:45 - E and Papa eat dinner after swim
6:00 - R tee ball game - with the little peeps - this was the most dicey for me but doable
6:30 - American Heritage Girls - this was a nice convenient set up and was the only night we didn't have family dinner

Wednesday
4:30 - E swim practice - sometimes everyone would go and we'd trek to the playground for 45 min
5:55 - Roll in and eat dinner promptly
6:30 - R tee ball practice

Thursday
NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday
4:30 - E swim practice - IF SHE WANTED TO. We'd hit the playground if everyone went

Saturday
NO GAMES - THIS WAS AWESOME
E has a swim meet about every month - which are completely optional. We went to the ones locally and Lee took her to a few that were about 1.5 hours away just because she wanted to and we are still feeling out what swimming is all about.

Silly girl!

Thoughts/Comments?

R reflecting my inner thoughts some nights!

Swimming - I love the practice time for swimming and the flexibility of being able to go to practice whenever we can make it. There is practice at 4:30 every day so we go when we can but we always know it is available. Also, I've been able to go swimming when Lee says home with the others - this is great because the high school teams have taken over the pool in the morning - not really but who wants to share a lane? : ) The biggest downside of swimming is that it is so far away - okay only about 12 minutes but traipsing in and out with a small pack of children requires extra time and parking and actually walking in. Swimming requires us to leave at least 20 minutes before practice - which doesn't always happen. Also I like 4:30 because it gets us home to eat dinner by 6 HOWEVER it gives E less than an hour once she is home from school to decompress and eat snack and do homework. Some afternoons she'd rather stay home and play outside and I really try and respect that and realize she is 6 and she needs to play. She likes going to the meets and isn't afraid to do some over the harder races - she loves 100 IM but the poor child gets DQed every time BUT she likes it so whatever.


Tee ball - Somehow I got voted into helping coach at a practice I didn't go to?!?!?! I guess that's what you get when you know the head coach : ) Actually that didn't require too much so it wasn't bad. R seemed to enjoy tee ball even though she had never played before. She's a lefty but I might be a little convinced she should hit righty so that was confusing. I did find the store's only pink lefty glove the day before practice so that was a win. She wasn't terribly interested in practicing throwing and hitting at home - which is pretty typical for her. I think R learned a lot and played with a lot of dirt and enjoyed herself so I think it will be tee ball again in the spring. Tee ball worked well for us because it was 4 minutes from the house (just like soccer) so getting to practice was very very doable. I think tee ball is tough for 3-6 yr olds because there isn't always a lot of action that involved everyone at the same time. The one ball is being hit by the one batter and the ball goes near one - maybe two kids. That's the nature of the game so that's not changing. I stood in the outfield many innings talking to the kids about the ball that was about to be hit and the dirt and paint on the ground and the color of the bat the batter was using. It was fun/ny. In terms of logistics with the kids and the games it was doable somehow... There was one game that A hung out with me for an inning or two and M was usually a good sport about sitting on the bench or with other parent.



Soccer - 3 yr old soccer is just funny to watch. Half the time the kids are not into it; there is usually at least one kid crying either on the field or on the side line - that's just the nature of it. Soccer was easy. M seemed to catch on pretty quick. There was the usual not wanting to share and not wanting to participate but that is pretty normal for all the kids at some point. She did score a goal - or two actually. She got the biggest cheer when she did. It was awesome and she managed to accomplish something that eluded E for 3 seasons and continues to elude R. She was definitely the smallest one out there so she's got time. She keeps on asking if its 'soccer time' so she's ready for the spring. In terms of coaching and handling the other kids, it wasn't terrible. It required water for everyone which I learned after the first or second week AND telling them where it was. The playground wasn't too far away but I wasn't crazy about E and R going there by themselves - mostly for R's sake. Papa was stuck with A and A is a crazy so... it was rough for him. But it's 3 yr old soccer so if you have a baby attached to your hip there's nothing too out of the ordinary.




We will see what the spring holds for our crazy crew!

That's a wrap... Until the next time!

Monday, January 2, 2017

7QTs - Collapsed Gingerbread Houses, Unwrapped Hugs, and Third Row Seating Dilemmas

Linking up with Kelly for the first time in forever! I'll try and catch up a bit on what the last few weeks of Advent looked like...


---1---

A very brave and gracious friend invited us over for gingerbread house decorating... 


M's was the only one out of our girls that did not collapse... 


E's earthquaked house still needed decorating


As much frosting/glue as I put on R's you'd think her's wouldn't have caved but it did. 

A got some good floor scraps and learned all about taking off ornaments from the tree from M's classmate. It was funny and good that he hasn't tried that here (yet) 

---2---

E had a swim meet... 

Racing Rudolph, anyone?


A was perched in the stroller for most of the two days... Thank goodness for that bib because I could slip some food in there and let him eat at his own (non-stop) pace

---3---

One of my not-really-but-kinda Advent activities is getting the kids to help with teacher gift making... 


45 minutes and 6 bags of Hugs later... and none were eaten because teeth had been brushed and I'm just a super meany mama like that

I started doing these way too late in the morning (as in 5:20) and it was just crazy. I thought I was going to faint standing over the warm pans (thanks bebe #5), then I had to flash freeze them so I could get them off the tray and in the frig because it was a Thursday and I was going to be gone all day and I didn't want them frostbiten because I think about stuff like that! 

Next year, start earlier or do it in the evening when I'm not pregnant and have some energy and maybe even E can help with the pretzel/Hug set up?


Say it with me.... O C D. 

Again... O C D. 


Last time... O C D. Its okay... I know it. 
---4---

On the same day as the pretzel making morning I was driving for a field trip... 


Three boosters across the 3rd row... I had 4 different brands too! No dice. So that's when I decided to convince Lee we needed a conversion van. He was onboard. Then I got to looking and was excited and then I started freaking out about the gas mileage. 11 in the city and 14 on the highway? Down from high teens in the city and low 20s on the highway??? Plus the minivan is worth more to us then what we could sell it for sooooooo.... I am torn. A diesel would be great but there are ZERO to be found used. More space would be great but could we eeek it out for another child in the mini. 

Now I'm leaning toward the Clek Fllo seats across the back for the girls (because Diono and I aren't friends) and spending $1000 on carseats - that I can return if I hate, because new carseats are cheaper than a van. I'm thinking that's the more responsible thing to try and we can always put up cardboard blinders if people need personal space?

Convince me people!

---5---

Let's see... One Saturday M was under the weather and I figured a trip to the doctor was in order...



I thought she might have pink eye or something but low and behold a throat infection (thank the Lord it was not strep!) which explained her gross smelling breathe for the 2 previous days - seriously it was terrible. 


She was thrilled to get a popsicle and was not too much worse for the wear. We stopped at McDs (mostly gag but for a milkshake and Egg McMuffin - #judgeme) after we got the Rxs. 


Poor A was stuck with a tongue depressor and an ear infection sooooo.... we were batting 2 for 2 on doctor visits

---6---

The week before Christmas M and R has their Christmas program


The 2s are always cute


It's now old hat for R who was still a bit nervous


The next day R's class went to the nursing home across the street and sung Christmas songs and the fire department stopped traffic for us. 


E and M and A trekked along as kind of an Advent thing...


They did a great job!

---7---

And now for a bit of randomness...


They are so cute together


Lee gave the green light to an art kit E came home with and promptly shut that down when the paint made it all the way to the ceiling... I told him he should have know better!



Wild hair anyone?


I think she's ready to start Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons... I need to find a plush Rey doll but I'm having about zero luck. I think she'd enjoy having Rey read with us so maybe we'll start without her and once I find it she can join us 


We finished out our Advent activity with exchanging names and picking out presents... E had R (again!), R had M, M picked A and A had E. They drew the names - I didn't plan that. Anyhow, it was cute watching them pick stuff out for their siblings and trying to picking something that fell within their budget. R isn't the best secret keeper but I think M was surprised by her Lego set.