Saturday, December 19, 2015

7 Quick Takes - Ticking the Tocks to Christmas

Dear Life - I love you. But you are absolutely crazy... 

--- 1 ---

Just a small reminder that reasoning with a 2 yr old is basically impossible... 

I couldn't even tell you why she was mad

Parenting 2 yr olds can be super challenging... 

This concludes the PSA reminder

--- 2 ---

Our 5th week of Advent activity... 

They unwrapped 6 bags of Hugs

Which is a HUGE help

Furthers proves my point that I'm OCD about some things? Anyhow, they were way good and we gave them out as teacher gifts and will be giving them out to neighbors/friends this week coming up. 

--- 3 ---

I also made pound cake sans kids because they are a bit of a distraction... 

I definitely underestimated the amount of flour we had but was able to get 2 batches done with no problem. The biggest limiting factor in all this is the time it take to bake. With the double oven and eight mini loaf pans I get one batch done in about an hour. And I don't just happen to have 5+ hours to allot to baking all the necessary cakes so... I divided it up. 

Cutout paper to fit bottom of pan, spray Pam to make it stick = the only way to do it

This year I was so bound and determined to not have an experience like I did last year which makes me look super crazy but I blogged about it anyway so everyone can have a good laugh. 

Then this was the scene at 5:30 in the AM. I woke up at 4 and knew I had a shot at getting 3 batches in before school so I was game. 

BUT I forgot to check the pantry and realized I only have enough sugar for one flipping batch. So at 4:45 with one batch in the oven I scurry off to Harris Teeter for some sugar and sour cream and chips (for E's class party the next day). The store is quite quiet at that time of day : ) 

Now I remembered to take off the paper from the cake this time but I didn't do it on my previous two batches and I was super bummed because I really wanted everything to be perfect. And then I got to thinking, how not cutout I am for this line of business - especially after my brilliance from last year. But I am slowly figuring all this stuff out. Similar to the way I think about this whole motherhood journey. I make mistakes daily but by the grace of God we are still here and, while not perfect, it's a heck of a ride. 

Enough of the philosophical stuff. Lots of flour...

18 eggs

That could have made a lot of some really good whip cream.

40 mini loaf pound cakes ready to vacant my freezer

--- 4 ---

This was the funniest part of my week for sure.. 

I let the girls decorate and address their teacher cards. That meant writing a list out for E but R needs a bit more direction. Well I was feeding A and in order to avoid a 3-yr-old screamfest Lee was roped into helping. It was the first time (I think) that he's hands on helped a kid with writing. Somehow both E and R ended up left-handed and he and I are both righties. When he first got ready to help R start I seriously looked at him and asked how in the world he was going to help her and see what he was writing. 

For whatever reason it was the funniest thing to me and there was belly laughing and tears by the time he was done helping her with the eight cards. 

The writing wasn't fantastic but as he would say - your handwriting isn't anything to jump up and down about Chicky! 

--- 5 ---

As if that wasn't enough excitement. This was the week of both Christmas programs on the same day. 

After a play-by-play plan of attack was sent out, Grammy and Grandpa Joe came to our house and helped us get out the door. This was a time that E legit couldn't find her shoe and we were late and there was crying and yelling and then it was under the couch. That's how the night got kicked off. Then Lee and Grandpa Joe stayed with R at her program - and it was reported she did awesome!

Grammy and M and A and I shot over to E's school to save seats and we were there 20 minutes earlier than the 45 minutes early the kids had to be at the school and we were still fifth in line for seats (in the little church basement). We ended up in the perfect spot - though it helped I knew where to sit because A and I stuck around for the dress rehearsal that morning because I wasn't sure how he'd do and I didn't want to miss it. E did an awesome job on her speaking part and I think I grew a grey hair or two being nervous for her - because I'm a worrier like that. 

--- 6 ---

So we survived the double header programs like champs so everyone celebrated with class parties later in the week. 

Somehow I didn't end up with a pic of E dressed for her party but indulge me for a moment and then you might know why... 

Friday should have been textbook easy. R and M didn't have school and were staying home. I had to help with E's party and the ONLY thing I had to bring was chips and dip. I got the sour cream the day before and I was set. Friday was the only day I could figure out how to fit in the van oil change (because I was 2000 miles overdue : ( ) So I'm rushing to get everything in the van and ribbon on the pound cakes and stroller in the van because that carseat is KILLING my back and Lee says do you have everything you need? Yep I got it all chip, bowls, sour cream and mix. Drop E off at school, race over to the dealer, think it would be wise to get gas because the van is reading about 15 miles left but I'm late for work so I'll just get it later, drop off the van, take the shuttle to work and realize as I'm getting out of the shuttle that I left the chips and bowls on the counter in the laundry room!!!!!!!!! 

What the what. 

The shuttle driver calls the dealer to see if they can move up my appointment time so I have time to race home to get the party supplies - oh and Lee is in Raleigh getting our Christmas tree and stuff so it's not like he can rescue me. 

After checking out at the dealer, I get in the van and I see there's only 6 miles left until empty (and that's only a suggested empty amount right?). There is no gas station on my way home and I don't have time for a detour. I make it into the neighborhood and I'm on 2 miles. I start thinking to myself - okay who can I call if I run out of gas on the way to the gas station. I come up with a decent list, get the chips and bowls and shoot off. Only to be realize I've hit: 

Before I leave my neighborhood and the gas station is a good 4-5 miles away. 

Take a deep breathe and start praying..

Fortunately the story doesn't get any more dramatic than that. I make to the gas station and to the party on time. And for whatever reason I managed to not get a pic of E : ( 

--- 7 ---

Not to just totally nix A from the blog...

Thanks a lot kid

Our boy!

The load of boy clothes I never would have imagined I'd have to wash. 

Last night Lee and I went to a kid-free Christmas party. E and R were at Grammy's and M was with Jibbe. A tagged along because he's not on the bottle using train quite yet - he was fine though. This morning I woke up and there was light coming through the shades and I thought something was wrong. Then I remembered 75% of the kids weren't in the house and the baby was sleeping. Getting out of bed at 7:45 has never been so peaceful 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

7QTs - Catching up

I've needed to post this for a few days and I finally have 2.5 seconds to write it... 

--- 1 ---

This is what my life has come to:

I finally got tired of E not having show and tell on Fridays because I forgot to reminder the night before. Yes, I need an alarm to remind me to look at the calendar. Sad I know but it works, so I do what I have to do, and you can think I'm insane because I knew that awhile ago.

--- 2 ---

I think the last time I blogged I wrote about E flipping out over losing her tooth

Well wouldn't you know the tooth fairy showed up and gave E a gold dollar - which is so desperately wants to take for show and tell (but last Friday she was sick and this Friday they have a party... so hello 2016!). At first she couldn't find anything under her pillow and FREAKED out because she tooth was gone but we located the coin and all was well.

Sidenote - what am I to do with all my kids teeth???? 

--- 3 ---

Last week involved a number of things but this was the highlight: 

E's class got to ride the train. I chaperoned (man that makes me sound way old) so let's stick with I drove some kids in her class from the Mount down to Wilson so they could ride the train. All went really well except the train was (shockingly) late - thanks a bunch Amtrak. So there were 40-50 kids chatting it up in the train station, which turned to singing, which turned into take them across the street to an empty parking lot so they can get some wiggles out. 

Finally the train did show up and my child, my child, my child - bawling getting on the train. Nervous? Yep. Out-Of-Her-Control/Comfort Zone? Yep. Definitely wouldn't have stayed at the platform had I know that she would have been that upset : ( Seriously she could not look at me when she was was getting on the train BUT she reportedly settled down and enjoyed the ride. She was most interested in the fact there were NO SEATBELTS on the train.

--- 4 ---

Now last week was wacky because of the field trip but it was extra wacky because of this:

Sunday - M throws up in the middle of the night. Lee and I are prepping for all the troops to fall. The girls and I stayed home from church. We missed Uncle Kev's birthday (homemade lasagna and cake - no biggie) and I try to keep M out of everything because I'm so afraid of her getting other people sick. Surprisingly she is acting totally normal and no one else in the house gets sick.

Monday - Get a call to come pick up R because she is acting weird and has a low grade fever. Perfecto. We get home and I cannot get her temp to register over 98.4. Regardless she's acting funny so we are chalking it up to nerves about her school play

Tuesday - R cannot go to school because of the 24-hour fever rule

Wednesday - E's field trip

Thursday - E stays home with a fever but it's definitely in the 100+ category plus she's obviously feeling bad. She peps right back up and fever is gone with fever reducer so I thought we'd be good for Friday but...

Friday - E still has a fever and I desperately need her to go to school so I can work because I haven't had a normal work day this week BUT that's not possible so...

We pack up and she goes to work with me. Thank goodness I have a super understanding boss who doesn't mind me and E and A camping out in the conference room to work. You think taking one kid to work is hard? Try two. I wouldn't recommend it .

I packed books, Legos, MagnaTiles, coloring books, snack... and of course the 3.5 hours couldn't go by fast enough. 

Fortunately, we have been back to our regularly scheduled program this week!

--- 5 ---

We have been loving the 70+ degree weather... 

--- 6 ---

This boy... 

--- 7 ---

What else have we been up to?

Besides stopping M from consuming large amounts of black crayon? 

Oh the normal, taking Christmas card pictures (then wishing I had shelled out the $$$ to have someone else do it), getting through two school Christmas programs on the same night, needing to desperately blog about St. Nicholas and our other Advent activity. Another day, another blog, another time because the pattering of feet is about to begin and I still need to figure out if I need to make four or five batches of pound cake in the next 48 hours!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Theme Thursday - Rule Breaker

Here's to participating but not following the rules...

Everyday during Advent is there is a #holylens prompt/theme/something you can take a pic of - which is being taken over by Theme Thursday for these final days until Christmas. I'm just going to fit my pics into the prompts for each day even though I didn't actually take them on the day because that's how I roll


Part of our Advent activity for week 4 (orthodox/ eastern Catholic Advent is 40 days - not 4 weeks), we went to say prayers at a couple graves of our departed family and friends. 

E's finished crafty homework project for the month complete with two kinds of pom-poms and Elsa and Anna stamps (aka ornaments). Thank goodness for the hot glue gun because we could have not formed the star or gotten the lights to hang on the tree without it. She's actually not too afraid of the glue gun anyone so she just tells me where she needs a dap and I make it happen. I'm not ready to completely wash my hands of the crafting yet because I think she'd go through a pack of glue sticks per art project if the glue gun were in her hands. 

The lighting in this picture is so weird. I think of Tiny Tim when I look at M. Fortunately she's just relaxing and resting : ) 

E's costume arrived for her school play. I got it from Amazon warehouse - which means that it had been opened and returned - so I got a discount on it. Outside of the small stain on the front - which came out with a wipe - and the halo needing a few daps of hot glue - it was worth saving the few extra dollars. Also, I got the 3-4 size and it fits perfect. Same brand as her All Saints Day Dress (which was enormous and needed way too may safety pins) and I imagine we'll be hitting them up for future costume needs. 

Just enjoying the pretty fall colors on our walk this afternoon : ) 

There's way more to our story from the week and maybe I might get around to telling about it in tomorrow's quick takes. I make no promises. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

7QTs - The ToothFairy and St. Nicholas

More stuff... 

--- 1 ---

On my morning off/called into work and decided it was too cold for pools, I had a minute to organize stuff for St. Nicholas Day (which is good for you otherwise I wouldn't have time for this post - lucky you!) 

Which is actually Sunday so technically we shouldn't see a visit from St. Nicholas until Sunday morning but we leave for church insanely early plus we are celebrating Uncle Kev's birthday in the afternoon so we made the executive decision to have an all-day vigil celebration for St. Nicholas.

--- 2 ---

The girls had to make some decision as to what toys St. Nicholas going to get

Which was our Advent activity for the week. Collect toys for St. Nicholas to give to other kids. Where'd we come up with this? I really have no idea but we are going to roll with it. 

--- 3 ---

Also on Thursday... 

A and I stopped by and had lunch with Nani. She and I discussed all things, St. Nicholas, Santa, and the ToothFairy and more! Which is interesting because at the girls preschool Santa is not talked about by the teachers, which is fine. Well at E's school now Santa is talked about, which is also fine. 

We have always told the kids that Santa does not come to our house on Christmas. St. Nicholas comes on his feast day. There really hasn't been any further questions - though I'd be happy to answer them. E wants to bring some reindeer food to Grammys for Christmas to put in the yard in case the reindeer get hungry- which is fine with me. Though I reminded her that just because food was getting put out didn't mean Santa would come. 

I wonder what she thinks about Santa? We've never done pictures at the mall or mailing a Christmas list to Santa or anything like that so everything she thinks about him is all from things she's heard from others. Oh to be inside her head!

--- 4 ---

Speaking of heads...

E lost a tooth tonight. It is her first and I pulled it out and I almost cried. It was actually quite funny because she was FREAKING out about it - like screaming and crying and dancing around the bathroom because she was 'SO SCARED' but could articulate what was scary other than the tooth hanging on by a thread. Finally I let her alone in the bathroom because screaming E and screaming A aren't a good mix. Then she came out semi-composed and told me she was ready. Then I just pulled it out and all the screaming was over - even though she looked like a vampire will all the blood coming from her mouth!

It was so cute to watch her stand in the mirror and check out her mouth and then proudly show off her tooth to everyone. 

Also, after dinner R went up to M and said - Oh, you still have all your teeth. 

Thanks for checking there R.

Ask me how the ToothFairy comes to my house, Santa does not and St. Nicholas does? Yeah, that's exactly what Nani and I were in deep discuss over and seriously, this whole parenting thing is a series of trial and error and hope you don't do anything to mess up your kids!

--- 5 ---

M finally has enough hair to do a semi-good pony

And she loves it and won't let me take it out! And she's also semi-interested in actually going to the potty so maybe we'll be back to a one diapering baby house? I'm not holding my breathe. 

--- 6 ---

This boy... 

I think I like him a whole lot. Even though he won't take a bottle and he makes such boyish burps and other sounds and smells. 

--- 7 ---

It's the first of the month so that means...

Craft time for school. M kept on saying - 'I do homework' - no homework assignment for Mother Morning Out. Though I am quite sure M would be very content in the 3 yr old. 

I cannot believe I actually let R paint - but I didn't regret it. E LOVES painting so it is necessary to get the paint out for her projects. 

I needed these projects to dry fast so hopefully nothing too toxic was released because there was a funny smell about the paint as I was blow-drying it. 

She insisted on doing the glitter glue by herself but didn't figure out the squeezing and moving at the same time

E is much more of a crafter than R. She HAD to have felt for the stump and lights of course. Fortunately our neighbor was headed to the Hobbiest of Lobbiest earlier in the afternoon so we got the lights strung on the tree the same day. You think stringing lights on a tree is hard? Trying stringing them on a flat tree with hot glue!

Everything about R's stocking was totally normal until the next morning and I realized she had snuck a chicken on it! That pretty much sums up R right now. She just does what she wants because she likes it, even if it does not make an ounce of sense. 

E kept on telling R that R's stocking was not going to be out of pink felt - like her's was. I reassured E that R was going to do this however she wanted! I must say stamps are all the rave around here - right under paint!

The finished product. 

Also it is worth noting that for her Christmas program practice, she was trembling on stage - which makes me totally understand why she just stood there and looking behind her during the performance last Christmas : ) Everyone has high hopes that she'll come to grips with her fears because she has quite the singing voice! 

I am trembling over the thought of the Christmas programs also because they happen to be on the same night - Praise the Lord they are an hour apart. BUT, can we say crazy night??? It was the one thing I had been wondering about since school started would the dates collide. At first they didn't so I thought I was in the clear but then things were rescheduled to really make things interesting. I'll dish on that once/if/when we survive it!