Friday, March 30, 2012

Yesterday was an exciting day!

First, the kids and I went to our gym to watch them tear down part of the building. They've been working on this remodel project for a couple weeks now and when they sent out an email letting us know when we could show up to watch it I naturally had to take the kids. It started later then they estimated, so we spent the time taking pictures of ourselves in the van.

Max's handiwork:

Rory's handiwork:

Then the action started!

And after 45 minutes, they were this far and I was done sitting in the car with two distracted kids, so we packed up and headed home. They did enjoy themselves though, it just got to be too long for them. Pretty cool!

Later that evening, Dusty and I met up with Katie for a cooking class, Mexican One Pot Meals.

We split up into groups and everyone made one meal and then at the end we all dug in. We made Vera Cruz Seafood Soup with Shrimp, Crab, and Sea Bass. Dusty was assigned the duty of cracking the crab claws!

Our dessert was Colonia CuauhtĂ©moc Mexican Chocolate Rice Pudding. Doesn't it look delicious?!

Oh wait, we couldn't wait long enough to take a me, it was good.

It was a really fun evening, and the food was amazing. If we ever go back I'll be sure to eat a small snack first since we didn't actually sit down to eat until 8:15 and I was starving after smelling all the good food in there!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Story hour!

I cannot tell you how much I love Pinterest, especially for their recipes, my dinner inspirations have all come from their lately, whether an actual recipe or just getting ideas. One thing I'm really in love with is the Toddler Muffins from Seriously, go make them for yourself, they are so good and healthy too! (Just make sure to add some dried fruit or chocolate chips to help sweeten them up a bit!)

As you saw from the photo a couple days ago, Rory has an absolute love of dirt. While this isn't exactly something that bothers me, I wouldn't say that I'm thrilled with constantly having to clean the dirt off of her. The one issue I do have is that Rory is now putting rocks in her mouth and then chewing and sucking on them. She'll usually claim to have a piece of candy or some other sweat item so we'll know to tell her to spit it out but that cannot be good for her teeth. (Not to mention the choke hazard!)

Max has developed a new apathy to preschool. Outside of his usual complaints of not wanting to go, he now doesn't want to participate in anything. He refused to bring a show and tell item to preschool today and will never go sit with his classmates when I drop him off but will instead go stand over on the side. His teacher keeps telling me he is doing well so apparently most of this is done only for my benefit. I wish there was an answer on how to get him past this but since the school year is wrapping up I'm just hopeful that next year will be different for him.

Speaking of next year, our district has Jr. Kindergarten, where the kids ride the bus to the elementary school four days a week for a half day. Tomorrow Max will go to his screening at the district to make sure he appears ready. I'm not really nervous, they send you home with a questionnaire that you fill out and he does almost everything they asked of him. There were only two areas that we didn't have affirmative answers, drawing people and coloring within the lines. Neither of these things worry me, one because I haven't tried to work with him on this, and two because he did everything else they asked. I'm actually pretty excited!

And one more Pinterest  recipe, just because it's made my life a heck of a lot easier and saves us quite a bit of money. I've been cooking whole chickens in the crock pot! I've been able to pick up a whole chicken for around $5.00. The chicken is super tender and all leftovers are used another night for something else delicious. So that's at least two dinners out of the chicken plus it's a real time saver!

OK, I hoped you enjoyed story hour, it's time for me to get back to motherhood.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Especially when we eat the cone first and then the ice cream drops out!

(We totally warned her...)

Don't worry, Daddy quickly remedied the issue by putting the spilt ice cream in his empty Blizzard cup. Max man, he surprised us by eating his whole ice cream cone and only have a little dripping occur!

Now you want Dairy Queen, don't you?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Yesterday Dusty and I braved the cold and took the kids fishing in the boat. It was a pretty uneventful but memorable time!

To start, we pulled out onto the lake and had just got the kid's lines in the water when a DNR boat approached us. In all my years of owning a fishing license I have never been stopped by the DNR. So while it was a pretty routine stop, of course we had enough life jackets and our licenses, it was still pretty exciting to finally have that experience.

After about an hour and a half Dusty decided we had been cold enough and wanted to head back home. We hadn't even had one bite let alone seen any fish. Max was not happy and insisted we try one more spot. As soon as we moved over Dusty saw a big fish jump. Moments later he had a bite!

The problem? Dusty only had a 2 lb. line and it was running out quick! So I had to figure out how to start and drive the boat so we could chase that fish around and land it. (Yes, I've never driven our boat, it's just not my thing.) Dusty's calling out commands (Forward, slow down, backward, STOP!, forward, forward, point the boat towards the wind...) it's a good thing we know how to communicate in a crisis or that could have been ugly!

When the boat finally got close we were able to see that Dusty had snagged a Carp in it's tail. What are the odds?

After a few attempts we finally got the fish in the boat for a photo. The kids had fun touching the fish, I kept my mittens on because those fish are really slimy, and after our photo op we threw him back into the lake for someone else to snag.

As to the kids and my faces, well lets just say I won't be taking any pictures later today to prevent incriminating evidence. That wind and sun sure did more damage then I was prepared for!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday the kids were lucky enough to visit with some horses!

Daddy needed to get some supplies to make a new fishing pole for Max and their business just happens to be at their home where they have 5 horses. The kids had lots of fun playing with them. Although Rory did run half way across the yard when one of the horses we were petting made a little noise at her. I was such a good mom, I keeled over laughing hysterically.

Later that afternoon we got home and decided we were going to try planting a few veggies early this year since this warm weather doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Plus, we had some free seeds that were given to us as a Christmas present, so why not try them out? Check out my husbands cute behind as he carefully plants his even rows.

Max was busy finding worms in hopes that we'll be able to go fishing today. (It needs to warm up, and fast, if we're going out on the boat today.)

Rory was Rory, and tasting all the dirt. No, I have no idea why she continues to do this although I'm starting to think she really enjoys spitting and this allows her to do that.

After all our yard work, our neighbor Chris stopped over and he, Dusty, and Rory and I all drove around the yards on lawn tractors while Max sped between all of us on his four-wheeler. Seriously? I wish I were making that story up. I was not into the whole idea but Rory was absolutely adamant that I drive her so I joined in on the country fun. When did I let my life turn out this way? When, I ask you!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Max has taken an interest in riding his big boy bike this spring. (Of course, it helps that he can actually reach the pedals now.) One problem we've run into is that he has outgrown his bike helmet. Don't worry though, his four wheeler helmet works just fine for now!

Oh, and yes, he is totally kicking it in his rain boots. You know, because it rained that morning and it could still be wet.

And don't you worry about Rory, while she does love riding her tricycle, Mom's back can't handle pushing her along for that far of a walk, so she's gotten real comfy with our wagon!

I do love this early spring!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The kids and I made a trek out to the falls today with Maya. I had no intention of taking any photos but then Max stopped us and said, "Hey Mom, take a picture of our shadows!" Naturally I had to. That's my boy!

Dusty's been on my case to let the kids get a sandbox. I really don't want one. Outside of the mess that it would entail, (he wants to put it around the WHOLE play set) we also have a lot of cats that walk through our backyard. So then I have to worry about all the cat poop that would appear in it. While on our walk this happens, and I start to think of ways we could compromise.

To change the subject a bit, I have another funny story from this afternoon. Rory went potty for the first time by herself. This means that she did not need someone to just tell her it was time and take her to the potty. I should be excited, but I'm not.

Yup, that's her very first potty; sitting uphill, on a muddy ground. You guys, it took two wipes to clean up the damage and her underwear and pants both got wet from everything flowing downhill. It is a very funny story but not a very successful first potty.

I hope you all have a nice weekend. We're planning lots of outside time!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

OK, I know I've been having an off week but I just now realized that yesterday I wrote, "Hello Tuesday" when it wasn't even Tuesday! How come no one is calling me on the crazy over here?!

Yesterday, Wednesday, I decided to try out potato stamps with the kids. We've been doing a craft a day this week as the rain has left us stranded indoors and potato stamps sounded like fun. I figured, we'd decorate some Spring banners and find a place to hang them.

You guys? It took me 30 minutes to carve out 4 stamps. And I'm not an artist, nor a perfectionist when it comes to art. I know my limitations. It just took that long! Carving potatoes? Not as easy as it seems.

Worse yet? The kids stamped their signs for about 3 minutes. And during those 3 minutes I was completely hands on helping as the paint did not want to stick to the wet potatoes. So we're at a ratio of 10 minutes of work to 1 minutes of fun. Fun that entitled me to still work!

Then what did the kids decide they wanted to do? Oh yeah, finger paint. Why did I waste my time writing out "Happy Spring" on their banners if they were going to be completely painted over?!

I tell you, trying to encourage creativity and go with the flow thing is really difficult when all your hard work goes right out the door!

Today is a movie day. We'll still think of a craft but I'm not putting that much time into it today. Mama's a bit crafted out. Happy Feet, here we come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This morning I woke up to what sounded like an elephant stampede going on above my head. How in the world my kids can wake up and start running up and down the hallway is mind boggling to me. I knew I was in for trouble when they didn't come down to get me, and trouble is what I found when peeking into Max's room.

That would be Rory and Max on the top bunk with the following items:
Syrup, marshmallows (all over the bed), spaghetti noodles, rigatoni noodles, olive oil, saltine crackers, toppers crackers, dried fruit (all over the bed), cereal, ravioli noodles, oatmeal, chips, croutons, and granola bars.

Yes, half my pantry was brought into that bed with them. For the record, we had started letting Max sleep on the top bunk about a week ago. I had planned to write about that but had yet to get any pictures. While I'm not exactly thrilled about it, Max knew how to scale the side of his bunk and was sneaking up there anyway. So putting the ladder up was a much safer option then having him climb up the side of his bed every night.

Hello Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

This weekend we had Katie, Andrew, Lyla, Nora and Bella stay over. New Richmond had a hockey tournament that Andrew played in and they also put on a big parade for St. Patrick's Day so we figured they would just stay here for the weekend while we packed in lots of fun activities!

Friday they arrived and Lyla hopped onto the back of Max's four wheeler and took a ride.

The three older kids all slept together downstairs. In order to guarantee everyone went to sleep when they were supposed to we had to move Rory into my room for her to fall asleep there while Lyla and Max went to sleep. We'd eventually move sleeping Rory back onto the couch with Lyla so they were all able to wake up together. (Rory has never been able to fall asleep with others around.)

Saturday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some green eggs and ham. I know, such a cute idea. Too bad the kids really didn't eat much of that and instead enjoyed the green donuts that Katie and Andrew bought.

After breakfast we headed to the state park for a hike down to the waterfalls. We took a nice long trail, about 4 miles total, and we made sure to take pit stops and enjoy ourselves along the way.

The waterfall was beautiful. All that warm weather melting the last of the snow and ice really made for a huge cascade. Makes it easy to impress the company!

Once we made it down to the waterfall the kids took off their shoes (and cowboy boots) and socks and dipped their toes into the icy cold water.

I found a nice couple to come and take a group shot for us, I think it turned out really nicely even if our group is backlit to the waterfalls.

As we headed back and away from the waterfall the temperatures really started to heat up. Andrew decided to try out some man capris. And yes, this is a shot of his behind, I'm sure Katie won't mind you checking him out too.

We stopped on our way back to get Nora a bottle and Dusty decided to help the kids find shapes in the clouds.

After all that fun Nora took a crash nap for the last part of the walk. Don't you just envy a baby's sleep?

Of course, Katie and I both forgot our cameras while getting the kids all changed into warmer clothes for the hockey arena that day. So I can't show you but the kids sure had fun watching Uncle Andrew play hockey, even if his team did lose. We also decided to skip the parade. Too many people were expected to turn out and nobody really wanted to manage 4 kids under four in all that.

Sunday we bummed around enjoying the beautiful weather. Auntie Katie was teaching the kids about sharks.

And Nora was hamming it up for the camera.

A couple funny stories from the weekend:

Dusty had the attic ladder down in the garage as he was cleaning things up, moving winter and summer things around. When he came back into the house, Lyla came running in screaming that Max and Rory were "Up high!" It took Dusty a second to figure out what she meant and then he and Andrew went running. When they got into the garage and discovered both Max and Rory up in the attic Max screamed down at Lyla, "Lyla! I told you not to tell my dad!" A very scary moment made a little better with comedy.

At the hockey game on Saturday the kids were standing up next to the glass. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Rory walking along the glass funny. When I took another look I realized she had her tongue against the glass and was walking along licking it the whole way. She got about 15 feet before I realized what was going on and was able to stop her. Yuck!

While on our walk Lyla had to go to the bathroom. Andrew helped her learn how to squat in the woods. When Katie and Andrew got home on Sunday Lyla decided she needed to go to the bathroom and dropped her pants in the middle of the driveway. Andrew quickly hid her in some bushes and Lyla was very proud to show off she could still pee outside!

It was a very fun weekend, the kids did really great together and all the adults had a lot of fun catching up. I know it's been said a bit too much but this warm, 80 degree weekend, was completely awesome. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend!

Friday, March 16, 2012

This week Max had spring break from preschool. Auntie Rosie also had spring break from school and she really didn't want to go to the farm to help with the greenhouses. So we decided she could watch the kids and I would help out at the greenhouses this week. You guys? That was the best thing ever! I was exhausted every afternoon, crabby and short with my children and completely overwhelmed with everything that still needed to be done once I got home.

Why was that the best thing ever? Isn't it obvious, it helped me put into perspective just how lucky I am to be home with my children. I knew that my life was easier without a job to worry about but having that reality hit me smack in the face while I was actually living it again? (And only for a week mind you.) It was amazing and so needed. A nice reminder that while my life certainly isn't easy I'm also not that frazzled crazy mom and wife that I had been. Just awesome!

Don't worry, I did get the kids out to the farm with me today. They were getting pretty mad that I was going with out them, and they insisted that Rosie was mean to them. (Hee hee hee, mean Rosie.) They worked really hard at getting the pots together.

And after many, many requests, Uncle Jeff finally obliged the kids with a tractor/trailer ride to feed the calves. 

Of course, they didn't have any fun watching Uncle Ed pour out the feed for the little cows, or playing in it.

I also conned the kids in going for a walk with me by telling them I saw a mouse over by some hay bales. (A complete lie.) 

We get further along on our walk and we're checking out an auger and wouldn't you know it? A mouse jumped out at me. 

Worse yet? The kids didn't even see it, they were looking the other way and only looked after I yelled. Figures! 

So I'm happy today. Really tired and sore. But really happy. It's been a great week!