Thursday, May 22, 2014

March in Pictures

The first weekend in March was quiet - our usual, sleeping in, visit to the gym, running errands. I hosted a Matilda Jane party at my house on Sunday and by then there were whispers of snow from my favorite new "Weather Man" Jay's Wintry Mix.  By Sunday evening those whispers became a full fledged storm that got us two more snow days! I don't think I can say it enough and I'm sure those of you who read this and don't get snow days are sick of it but... BEST. WINTER. EVER. I spend my days with 5-7 children ranging in age from not even one to 6 years old - I earned those days.

So we slept in Monday and by request from the little man I made more chocolate chip banana bread. This is him trying to give me a thumbs up for the bread. We enjoyed a lazy day at home with me cleaning and organizing and the kiddos playing. We did get to the gym in there too.

That afternoon they called off school for Tuesday as well so we immediately made plans to head back to Ski Liberty. This time around I sat out, supervised the kiddos while TG took his first snowboarding lesson, drank lots of coffee, read on my kindle, and hung with Camden while TG took Riley on the chair lift for the first time.

All geared up and ready to go.  Riley's face in this picture is the best - she was ready to go and tired of waiting in the rental shop while the rest of us who don't own their own boards and boots got their stuff.  Cam on the other hand had been busy hopping around licking door handles and other equally disgusting things, but he was mildly ready to shred.

When we finally got out there we found perfect powdery snow and the place was empty.

Cam and Riley went up and down the bunny slope by way of the magic carpet again and again. He always looks backwards when he goes which is frustrating if it's crowded, but we've since discovered that he is left handed so we might have to revisit his stance next year.

Hubs picked up a few useful tips in his lesson but mostly just frustrated the heck out of all the other newbies with his insane ability to pick up a new sport right away.  By the end of his lesson he was ready to head out on his own and he took Riley with him to give the bigger bunny slope a try.

We stayed until late in the afternoon and on our way out I stopped to take a picture with Riley and I got photo bombed by TG and Cam. Yes, this picture is perfectly us.

School was back in session on Wednesday just in time for Dr. Seuss day! I bought this little red and white stripe dress on zulily at least 3, maybe 4 years ago and it has served us well for many a cat in the hat dress up! She didn't get to have green eggs at lunch because now that I'm typing it out I think we had a delay that day because of the remaining snow and ice so I made her green eggs and "ham" (bacon) for lunch instead. She was a trooper and tried it but definitely did not finish it all.   I just love her  -at family words hat with her little dress and black turtleneck.  

After a week that started with two snow days we got a weekend that was beautiful and just warm enough for an open moon roof and no hoodie after the gym.  I had some errands to run Saturday so we left TG at the gym to run basketball for a bit.  The older they get the more fun we have just hanging out together, even if it's doing random things.

That afternoon after TG and I did the kid hand off I went with a friend to IKEA!  We both ended up buying king size memory foam mattresses because the deal was just too good to pass up.  I went for candles and cutlery and ended up with an entire "bed situation".  It was hysterical to see how full my huge truck was at the end of the night.

That week was our usual flurry of work, gym, and family time.  Riley had her six year old check up and came through with flying colors and no shots this year!  She had to don a paper gown for the first time and she was a little less than enthused by it's lack of fancy factor.

Ahh, that's more like it.  A little MJ, her cowgirl boots, and a sunny day.

That Friday was one of our monthly date nights!  We kept it low key with dinner at our favorite Japanese Steakhouse.  I love this man so.

That weekend we were up to our usual routine - sleep, gym, errands.  We were in search of the perfect new memory foam for our king size mattress.  We are HUGE memory foam fans in this house.  The thicker the foam, the happier we are.  We actually went to three stores in search of a 3 inch king size foam like we had on our old queen bed, but eventually we had to settle for 2 inches.  That extra inch makes the difference I swear, but I've decided to trade the benefit of all the extra space for my foam.

Of course when we take the kids on errands we let them play a bit.

And usually lunch is involved.  Sometimes with a four way milkshake share as dessert.

We went to Target too, but that's not an errand because my kids think Target is the best ever.  They are both wearing green mardi gras necklaces with a gold coin attached.   Riley wanted a medal earlier in the day so I fashioned one out of scraps and of course little man had to have one too. r

That Sunday after church we took Cam to get a fresh cut.

After the round of snow days at the beginning of the month we thought for sure we were done, but Mother Nature had other plans.  The snow started to come down on Sunday afternoon.  The kids were stir crazy so we let them jump on the trampoline in the snow for a bit.  We earned major cool points with them for that.

So we got our 14th snow day on St. Patricks Day which if I can't be drinking green beer is the ideal way to spend the day.  Hubs took Riley for one last visit to the ski resort and I opted to stay home with the little man.  Their first and last ski lift selfie of the winter of 13-14.

While they were snowboarding Camden and I had a Mommy and Son date.  We saw Peabody and Sherman which along with Frozen was the only kid movie I didn't sleep through this year. After lunch we went to PetSmart because earlier that week we discovered that Camden had put something inside his fish tank which lead to the demise of his long time pal Dorothy the First.  He is now on to Dorothy the Second.

By Tuesday the snow was gone, the last of the best winter ever.  That night I had a dinner and drinks date with my friends.  Some of my favorite nights have been spent eating junk, drinking wine, crafting and laughing like crazy with these ladies.

It was hard to believe Monday had been a snow day because the rest of the week was sunny, warm and beautiful.  We played outside a lot to enjoy the fresh air.

My sister found these awesome Steelers sweatshirts on Teespring which is a kickstarter site for clothing.  Somebody designed this and they had to get 20 orders before they were produced.  Luckily 17 people agreed with us and these babies got made.  This girl definitely LOVES the Steelers.

This little guy is not a Steelers fan, but this girl LOVES him fiercely anyway.  He's not really sleeping in this picture, he's become slightly obsessed with asking me to take his photo while he snuggles with his monkey and closes his eyes.

After a lovely weekend outdoors the next week was bitter, bitter cold again.  No snow, just below freezing temperatures and bone chilling winds.  We stayed inside most of the week, but on Thursday we braved the cold and traffic to go the Natural History Museum in DC.  In April they closed the dinosaur exhibit for renovations and it's not scheduled to open again for five years.  We wanted to visit one last time before that happened.  It was the most crowded I've ever seen it, but we had a good time checking out the dinos and bugs.

This was right before the horned caterpillar wiggled and she screamed and dropped him on the floor. :/

Somehow, even after a trip to DC with five children, I still had enough energy to take Riley and Cam swimming at the gym that night.  I always shower them and put them in their pjs before we head home for dinner courtesy of TG.  They always run down the sidewalk to the car ahead of me and this is what was waiting when I got there.

Friday night after work we met up with some friends for an impromptu family date night.  We had a delicious dinner at Pei Wei, let the kids play on the playground nearby, and then got desserts at Wegmans while the kiddos caught the end of the family movie playing in the food court.  It was so much fun.

Saturday and Sunday were spent in our regular fashion - gym, shopping, snuggling, church, relaxing, cleaning, playing - it all happened in there at one point or another because it poured rain most of the weekend.  Sometimes I'm happy that it rains like that so we have an excuse to hunker down indoors, drink warm coffee, watch movies and just hang out.

Camden and Riley love, love, love jumping in muddy puddles.  There was so much rain the day before that the little creeks in the park near our home were full.  I put them in their rain boots and let them splash around.  Riley took it upon herself to help clean up trash that had been washed into the water.  A lady walking by with her son with bread to feed ducks was nice enough to give Riley her Harris Teeter bag to collect trash in.

That afternoon on our way into the gym I realized that TG and Riley looked like twins, right down to their stride.  So we ended March the same way it started - a trip to the gym - though minus the snow.

Monday, May 19, 2014

February in Pictures

Riley lost her second top middle tooth on the first day of February. She had some help apparently bumping it on a toy drum at the gym daycare. She cried but worse than that, was a little girl in there that took the opportunity to tell her the tooth fairy and Santa Claus weren't real. She was more upset about the information than her tooth coming out by force, but thankfully accepted my reassurance that the little girl was wrong. (And a brat.)  Then on the 24th of February her sixth baby tooth came out to create her sweet jack o lantern smile.

Only five days into February and we had yet another day off of school due to ice this time. I have to admit starting so many working days curled up on my couch at the respectable hour of 9:30 am with my coffee spoiled me rotten this year. Also, my house was super clean and organized for most of the winter. And a lot of this happened.

A LOT of this.

And plenty of this too.
That Friday we went out for dinner and hair cuts. Camden's hair grows in so thick and wild and honestly needs cut every two weeks or he looks like a feral child. We decided to trim it way back to a faux-hawk, earlier than usual this year.

When it wasn't snowing or icing outside it was still plenty cold. One morning my little cutie looked like this as she headed off to school. Steelers fans for life.

Old Navy's kid section in our mall now has a permanent coloring table that Riley and Camden love. The weekend before Valentine's day they filled it with cards and stickers. Camden immediately said, "I making dis balentimes for you Mama". Riley played it sneaky and said it was for a kid in her class before she surprised me with it later.

We made it 7 "regular" days before the next storm blew in. Then the flakes fell fast and they were the big, pretty flakes that float down and make me swoon. Our whole family headed outside to the the little hill next to our house for some sledding.

Valentine's Day was a snow day so I got the treat of breakfast in bed and plenty of love from my three Valentines. Then, sort of on a whim, though we had discussed it occasionally, we decided to spend the day at a local ski resort. Let's just say that I failed miserably at skiing and ended up actually crying a bit as I tried to gather myself after I hurt my arm (and my pride) falling. But my husband and kids did really well snowboarding! We signed the kids up for a beginners class and then spent the next hour or so letting them show off their new skills on the bunny slope.

Tiny snowboarders are so cute.

They were WORN out after a very long day of snowboarding, but we've gotten hooked! We went 2 more times before the winter was over and we're hoping for a cold, snowy winter next year too.

Speaking of hooked, we got her a used board, bindings, and boots the very next weekend.

The Monday after Valentine's Day was a holiday, not a snow day, but yet another work free day to enjoy!  Hubs took the kids to see the Lego Movie.  I went to the gym while they were there and when I came back to pick them up this was the reaction I got. Riley is yelling "MOMMY!"   I love that they love me so much they were this excited to see me after a 2 hour movie.

School was back on for Tuesday and cutie girl had her Valentine's Day party at school.  She loves a chance to wear a themed outfit.  You can see some of the Valentine's Day decor in the background and little man who is always the last at the table.

The rest of the week was without incident, no more snow, just cold February days and our usual routine.  We had a bowling date night with our friends on Friday that was so much fun, even though as documented, I'm a horrible bowler.  Clearly we were having a good time.

On Sunday after church we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch.  I always loved eating out after church growing up.  Sometimes we would go to brunch at the Officer's Club which I think may be why my sister and I love brunch so much.  Sadly my non military children won't ever experience an O'Club brunch, but Mexican food is a close second.

Our weekly swimming dates continued. We almost always had the entire kids section to ourselves and I started letting them choose a few toys to bring. She was pretty excited that her my little pony could have her first swimming date.   That long torso though, she get it from her Mama.

We had so many snow days this year that the 100th day of school was much later than usual - the last day of February instead of before Valentine's Day.  Riley's class had to make a t-shirt showing 100 things.  She had LOTS of ideas - most of them get turned down because of the supply cost or work involved (like 100 my little ponies) but then she decided to draw 100 bees because they are the bumblebee class.  A few sharpies and a couple of hours later she was finished.  Her finished shirt was adorable (some of the bees became girls with bows) and she was so excited to wear it to school.