Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two of the neighbor kids, Logan and Ava, showed up at our house yesterday asking if Max and Rory wanted to go sledding with them. How cute is that?! 

Max needed a little convincing as Daddy was going to call him later in the day to let him walk over to the neighbors. (Daddy was there helping him and Max really wanted to be able to help too.) Shortly after he saw Rory and I putting our stuff on he decided that staying inside by himself didn't sound all that fun. And fun was definitely delivered!

Logan and Ava had a lot of fun trying out Max and Rory's snowboards.

Max, was pretty much a blur the whole time.He would go down the hill, run back and up and jump right back on his sled.

Rory was just plain cute and we had a lot of fun sledding together, that is, when she didn't sit on the sled before I was ready and take off without me.

My kids have neighbor friends that they go outside and play with. When did this happen?!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I was mean today. I made the kids stay outside for an hour even though the snow was more like ice pellets and the wind was strong enough to make sure it stung when it hit your face. Now, before you think me a real bully, we had both garages open and most of the time they were found inside one of them playing with their toys. And I was able to get the van vacuumed out, so we no longer have a gravel pit inside the van.

Their reward? Hot chocolate and homemade rock candy.

I think they are going to be just fine. Sugar highs and all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We finally made it outdoors. Somebody's prayers must have worked (Could you please pray that I win the lottery next?) and we made it almost 45 minutes outside yesterday afternoon!

Max and Rory had to get those snowboards out right away. Max did pretty good. Rory didn't do so well when I wasn't running next to her. They both learned that falling in the snow really isn't a big deal.

Max made a snow angel.

Rory and I went sledding together.

Shortly after that the kids lost interest and started doing their own things. Which is exactly what we all needed, a little alone time to do whatever we wanted to do without another person getting in our way. 

Rory headed for the bushes to sing, then made her way over to the swing set where she remained for the rest of our time outside. Max got his big truck out to plow the snow around, then when that got to be too exhausting he got the shovel and cleared off the patio. 

It was perfect.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This cold weather has me getting a bit stir crazy. Right now? I've got Max plopped down in front of the TV watching Cars 2 while Rory takes her nap. I hate that I feel guilty putting on a long movie and taking a break from my kids but reality is we're all getting on each other's nerves. The fights have been more often, the screaming a lot louder, and the patience levels are pretty much non-existent. So I'm going to try really hard not to feel guilty taking this little break. And you know, attempt to actually breathe.

Can someone please make it less windy on an otherwise beautiful winter day? I'd like to go outside for more then 15 minutes before someone is whining that they are too cold. Thanks in advance!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Max gets distracted and his aim eventually shoots off target, leaving me to clean the bathrooms at least every other day if not numerous times in one day. I used to love cleaning the bathrooms, it was such a relief having it shiny and clean. Since having kids? Cleaning the bathrooms has become my absolute least favorite chore.

They get toothpaste and soap all over the sink within minutes of it being cleaned, and the toilet, bathtub and walls are constantly covered in water spots that I can only assume is urine. (Although I'm sure there is just some splashed water too, but I'm not taking any chances.) Oh and the smell! It isn't like my bathroom reeks but if I can smell urine (which happens WAY too much) I know I have to scrub down the toilet, walls, tub and anywhere else that may have gotten sprayed in order to get rid off the smell.

I know, you never want to come over and use my bathrooms now... 

To be fair? Dusty can't smell the urine smells, it may just be in my brain, either way, it just proves how crazy the bathrooms are making me. Also? My bathrooms are probably some of the cleanest bathrooms around, I mean, they get a scrub down at least every other day thanks to Max. So, be disgusted with me but know you are safe to use my bathrooms!

Now, I know I have told you about Max and his love of stealing foods to eat in his bedroom*. This too is a big annoyance to me as there are constantly crumbs on his bed, under his bed, and anywhere else he chooses to eat in there.

This weekend Max and I had a little chat. And now? If he eats food in his bedroom, he has to clean the toilet. This isn't as horrible as a punishment as it sounds, he actually doesn't mind wiping up the pee spots (as he calls them) and I'm slowly gaining my cool back. Oh, and my bathrooms have currently been cleaned twice a day since we started this rule. (Three times today already.) 

I think I'm getting this parenting thing figured out - Don't get mad, get even!

*My children are well fed. They aren't starving and sneaking off to eat for nourishment. They are being kids and finding all the treats that they are allowed to have at snack times or once and a while and are trying to eat them all the time. My frozen cookie stash just got significantly smaller today, I need to find a stronger lid!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cousin Lyla joined us on Friday for a day of arts and crafts. We colored, we painted, we cut, we created with Play-doh, and then we did it all over again and again and again.

Dusty had some old blue prints that were big enough to trace the kid's bodies. That was one of their most favorite activities. (And the most time consuming for me.)

Oh, and we put up the ball pit. Because I needed to make sure they had a way to make an even bigger mess. You know, because I embrace messes with open arms. *Sarcasm is dripping all over this.

Needless to say, that after our evening movie and popcorn everyone went to bed without a fight and slept soundly. So I succeeded.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Last night, Tara and I were able to go to an open mic night event to watch our cousin Nikii perform. It was really a relaxing evening, and had I not driven an hour and a half to get there, I'd consider doing it more often.

It's tough to get to see my cousins, so whenever we get a chance to I'm always excited. I didn't take any video but believe me, she did an amazing job, and even one guy stopped to let her know just how wonderful she is, so I know I'm not being overly biased.

And yes, Tara did make a sign, because she's good like that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So remember how a week ago the kids and I went on a two hour walk in the woods and it was 54 degrees outside when we started? Yeah, that was marvelous! Today? Our school district had a late start because of how cold it was with the wind chill. Negative 20's people! So Max's preschool was canceled and I had to come up with some ideas fast.

Max and I worked on some snowflake art.

Rory attempted the scraping art, although I did something wrong, and Rory didn't quite get the scraping down so it was a bit of a failure.

Anyone remember how that worked again? I drew a bright picture with markers and then attempted to color over it with a black crayon. The crayon did not fully cover like I remember it doing. Was I supposed to use paint or something else? Maybe I was too impatient and needed to spend more time coloring it in?

Oh well, it had her entertained for five minutes, I really wasn't expecting much more then that.

And before I go. A cute picture of Daddy reading to the kids after baths and before bed.

Just melts my heart!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm not going to blackout my blog. Not because I don't support those that have, but simply because my 50 readers who are family and friends, aren't really going to care.

Instead, I'm going to give you a link to the NY Daily News which describes what the SOPA and PIPA bills are and what they are trying to do.

Educate yourself and make your own decision.

If you too agree with my view, that these bills allow too much government control, consider signing one of the many petitions out there. Here's one link:

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy my political view. I do love me some internet freedoms!

P.S. If you're looking for a good laugh about these bills? Check out

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today for breakfast I decided to mix some frozen blueberries into the oatmeal I was making the kids. The result was a very purple oatmeal. Rory of course got some on her sweatshirt and we had to get a new sweatshirt to start our day.

While Max was at preschool Rory and I headed to the gym where she played in the playroom while I worked out. Just as I was wrapping up my workout one of the ladies from the playroom came up to me and informed me that Rory had thrown up.

So we came home, changed sweatshirts for the second time that day and lounged around on the couch watching movies. Auntie came over and brought chocolate milk and frosted animal crackers as a treat to help Rory feel better. If she really seemed sick? I wouldn't have let her eat that, but it was pretty apparent that she was fine and it was a one time occurrence. In fact, by the second movie Rory had nothing but energy and played more then she sat and watched the movie.

Today I am thankful. My daughter was only sick for a moment but it gave us an excuse to do nothing all day. And even better? No purple vomit for this girl to clean up, although I do think I owe a small gift to the gym daycare ladies now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This weekend we were able to stick around home which is always appreciated. We spent a lot of time with family and friends throughout the weekend but since we were home relaxing I didn't take out my camera. Dusty took a picture of the two kids moving one of the wood pellet bags. Apparently they saw Daddy moving them and decided to move one themselves.

Did you notice Rory's skirt? Her new favorite thing to do in the morning is to take the skirt off of her stuffed bunny and wear it around. And on Sunday evening she started playing in all my sisters and my old dance costumes, which was uber adorable!

It was fun to spend time with Auntie Katie, Uncle Andrew, Lyla and Nora. Max and Lyla got to go fishing with the daddies while the younger two stayed home for their naps. I even got to do a full bag change on Nora which was really exciting for me! (Although I haven't heard if it's held up yet.) Uncle Randy and Auntie Tata also stopped by to spend time with us this weekend, so while we were being lazy and sticking around home, we certainly stayed busy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Max decided that he needed to write a note today to Daddy's friend Jeff. Jeff and Daddy went ice fishing together last week and we bumped into Jeff yesterday while at the grocery store. So Max has decided that he needs to let Jeff know that he can go fishing with him. (And no, not with Daddy.)

Do you think he'll understand that note? Also, how adorable is it that he used little shapes for the letters instead of just scribbling all over?! Sorry it's in pencil and not very dark but I think you can still get the picture.

I apologize for the grainy photo, my phone's camera can't seem to stay clean. If you click it to make it larger, you can better make out his writing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The kids and I enjoyed a lovely walk today at the state park. I think I'll share some of the details from that walk scattered throughout this post along with the photos. You know, because I took 107 photos - all in manual mode - I know you're impressed! And no, not all of them look good.

An example of a really great photo that ended up over exposed:

Using manual on the kids is hard because if I get it wrong the first time the subsequent photos with the right exposure are not going to be with the same pose which can be really frustrating!

The kids and I walked 3.5 miles (give or take a couple tenths) as there is one section of the map that is not marked for mileage.

Rory fell and I tried to distract her so she'd stop crying by asking her where it hurt. Imagine my surprise when she yelled back, "MY BUTT CRACK!"

This took us over 2 hours, and yes, I did have the stroller for Rory otherwise we would have never made it out by nightfall. She loves to doddle.

We sang songs on the last trek of our walk. I was taking requests so when Max asked that I sing the "gurl, look at that body" song, I obliged and sang I'm Sexy and I Know it by LMFAO. We did a lot of wiggling during that song. (For the record, I've trained my kids to scream "Daddy's song" whenever this comes on the radio. I don't think I will ever achieve something this great again.)

Both kids fell into puddles. Rory fell first and she somehow had the smarts to keep her butt in the air resulting in very little damage.

Max fell into a much larger puddle and got drenched. He decided we should continue on to the waterfall but only stay for "6 minutes".

When we started our walk it was 54 degrees; when we returned it was 44. Of course, this is off my car thermometer so I can't promise just how accurate it was but you get the idea.

We saw dozens of swans - we counted 6 separate groupings that flew overhead as we neared the end. They have a unique honk sound that can really scare you if you don't know they're coming!

The reason the swans look pink? The sun was setting just past the tree line and that was the color reflecting off of them. How cool is that?!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just a couple stories today, after all, we've been very photo heavy lately!
  1. My kids have made up their own language, and by that I mean they are mixing up words that we don't use on a regular basis or are hard to say. When we go to the gym for the bounce house there is a blow up obstacle course there. The kids can't say obstacle so they constantly talk about the "Popsicle" at the gym. And if that isn't cute enough, while we were pulling into Como Zoo yesterday Max saw Como Town's roller coaster and asked if he could ride on the "roller skate". Yes, my kids really are that cute.

  2. Something not so cute? Max and Rory have been sneaking out of bed. Max will go and open Rory's door then they move all of the blankets and stuffed animals on Rory's bed into Max's room and from there they do any number of things. There has been fruit thievery, lotions squirted onto the carpeting, pages cut out of books, I tell you it's been bad. So bad we've resorted to locking their rooms until they are asleep. We always give them a chance to stay in their rooms nicely first, but the last three days have led to the last three incidents I've listed. So, it's been a challenge, to say the least.

  3. Speaking of sleeping. Rory has been staying up way too late the last couple weeks. I keep convincing myself that she is just curious because every night at least twice, sometimes three times, she will come out of her room to find us and then after she sees where we are she turns around and goes right back to bed. I can't figure out if she just needs reassurance that we're still here or if there is something else going on, but it sure is creepy to suddenly see a little curl stick out of your moving bedroom door at 9:30 at night! This hasn't been such an issue since she's discovered all the fun she can have with her brother, which we're working on. (Read previous number.)

  4. I met with Max's preschool teacher last week, we were getting concerned because Max seems to dislike his preschool teacher and it's starting to cause problems with getting him to go to school in the morning. His teacher is great, and while I don't know what exactly is leading to this problem I do have confidence in his teacher and trust that she is not doing anything to cause this. I left the meeting feeling not so great. I mean first of all I had to tell her my son doesn't like her and second of all it isn't like we could just have a solution ready to go. She's been working with him a little more one-on-one when she can without trying to give him any special treatment over the other kids (which was a concern of mine) and already it seems to be helping. While he still will insist that he doesn't like her, he's going to school happy. So I'm going to consider that a good sign and just know that I too didn't always like my teachers but still enjoyed school. (Any advice here is always welcome.)

  5. I never did get around to writing a blog post on my 5 days of  Pinterest  recipes. A few weeks ago now I made a new recipe for the whole work week. Three of them were super yummy and worth sharing (the other two, not so much, but hey, I tried something new) so if you're interested; Pork Pot Stickers, Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Twice Baked Potato Casserole, and while this wasn't during my recipe challenge, it was amazing, Beer Cheese Bread good luck not eating the whole loaf yourself! Seriously? It was fun trying a bunch of new things, and gives me a little more appreciation for some of our regular meals too, I think I'll do that again once I get enough new recipes I want to try again.
I think that's everything I've been wanting to share. We've been really enjoying this weather. Not only did we go to the zoo yesterday but Daddy also pulled out the four wheeler for the kids and they had a blast. Today we're planning another walk at the State Park once Rory wakes up. It's supposed to cool off tomorrow and remain that way for a while, so we're not wasting anytime over here, we're heading outside!

Monday, January 9, 2012

We spent the morning at Como Zoo today with Becca, Conan and Grammy. Thanks to our warm winter it was a really awesome visit to the zoo and we had some amazing interactions with the animals! Our first stop was the monkey house where Max made a new best friend.

Grammy got up close to the big gorilla, two minutes prior to this shot he was throwing his hay at the window and giving everyone the glare but once he sat down Grammy went up to say hello.

We made our way over to the Polar Bears and not only did we get to watch this big guy finally jump into the water after a few moments of prepping (he was rocking back and forth on the edge of the water just building up the anticipation for his crowd) but then he continued to swim over to where the kids were and would lift himself up before doing a back flop into the water. It was so cool!

We also got up close and personal with some Koi fish.

See what I mean about some awesome animal interactions? That doesn't happen every day! Here are some more favorite photos from the zoo while visiting other animals and places.

Rory demonstrated her seal bark for us while watching Sparky the Sea Lion.

Conan was being his bashful, handsome self.

I got our mandatory giraffe picture. Someday I'll have to do something with all of the photos I have of them with the giraffes.

Rory was very intently popping bubbles as they trickled over from one of the many fountains.

Conan watching and learning how to be naughty and put your hands in the fountains.

Max, found a puddle. I had to get an action sequence.

Beautifully pregnant Becca escorting Conan and Rory.

Oh my gosh, once again an extremely photo-heavy blog! Needless to say, we had a great time.