Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowmaaaaaan?

Yesterday it was warm (for a snow day) and the snow was finally manageable enough to make a snowman.

These kids got their snow clothes on faster than I had ever seen to go outside.  Olaf has inspired them.
 Okay, so the taller guy was also pretty ready to play in the snow.

 Finley doesn't like snow (or pants), bless her heart.  But she does like opening doors that are cracked open.   She didn't even try to touch the snow!
 Working on their snowman.  If only Reese was an ice queen and it happened quickly.
(I'm just going to let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves and avoid the color commentary.  Cause Shark Tank is on.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Snowpocalypse: Part Un

After last week's snow, I really thought the weather man had lost his mind when he said that there was more coming.

Yeah, not so much.
 It started on Tuesday night - crazy snow flurries quickly turned into inches of powder.  We woke up to about 7 inches.  And these crazy children asked to go outside at 6:30 in the morning.  Again.

We finally made it out around 10.  Brian helped our neighbor shovel her driveway.  And then they shoveled ours.
 While they took care of the driveways, the kids got down to work making snow...stuff.
At Kathleen's they played.  When they moved over to my driveway I put them to work clearing off my trash can lids.  They need to earn their keep after all.   Who knew they would think it was fun? (Okay.  I had an inkling they would).
Reese found a big chunk of snow (not on a trash can lid, just to clarify), and started eating it.  Such a weirdo. 

{I say it with love, obviously.  But I still think it's weird. She's a cutie though.  Was that too Mother Gothel?}
After all their hard work playing outside, they came in and asked to help make snow ice cream.  And then they gobbled it down.

We spent the rest of the day making {and cleaning up} messes, working on homework {evil mom over here, y'all}, and watching Christmas shows.  Yes, Christmas was a month ago, but when you don't get actual snow at Christmas, it's nice to watch them again with snow on the ground. 

And if I'm being honest, Brian and I also spent some time binge-watching Revolution.  But that's just me being honest.

In a true shocker, we actually got the phone call at 3PM yesterday that school's were closed today.  We live in a district that literally waits until 5AM to make that call most of the time, so getting that call 14 hours early was unprecedented. And they did it again for tomorrow. Which means I get another snow day home with the kids.  Time to scour Pinterest for some snow day ideas....

Snow Day Randoms

Basketball, dance class, ice hockey, and art lessons, oh my.

January is an "inside month" (except for our 65 degree day once a week), but we still have a lot going on. 

Wyatt is taking ice skating lessons, and he's also playing basketball at the Y again this year (more about his basketball seasons here and here).

He has a lot of fun playing, and even though he never watches basketball on TV, he dribbles and points to his teammates to tell them where to go for him to pass them the ball.  He cracks me up.
And when he's on the bench, he still won't sit down.  He's very into the game.
The pictures are a bit blurry, there's NO natural light in the gym at the Y!
Reese is taking her usual dance class at school on Tuesdays, but she's also started the art lessons that my mom and dad gave gave her for Christmas.  She absolutely loves them.  She looks forward to Mondays so much!

Some of her masterpieces from class.  The first was made using pastels and was inspired by cave drawings, and the second was a lesson on dots (I made that "super crafty" key holder in November).
This one was inspired by an African mask.  I love that she comes home and tells me about her art and what she learned in class.  She is really interested in it, which is great because they're teaching her things that I never could!  She's just obsessed with creating.  She's been working on her Valentines for weeks!
And in case you're wondering what Hudson is up to, it's this.  People talk all the time about kids and technology, and while my kids definitely watch TV and have their little video game systems (Hudson uses Wyatt's old Mobigo and the big kids have Leap Pads), they definitely spend lots of time playing and using their imaginations (like, a lot).  Hudson currently spends most of his time at the kitchen table splitting his time between his Imaginext toys (we love, love, love them), and a combination of football/baseball/soccer/hockey guys (more toys that we love).  Seriously, hours are spent at this table playing "good guy and bad guys" and having pretend games with all those Kaskey guys!

And while I'm talking about Leap Pads, if you have one, I totally recommend Super Animal Genius.  Wyatt's been obsessed with animals since, well, birth, and he loves that game.  And he learns so much about animals and where they live, how they protect themselves, etc.  I swear he's going to grow up and become an animal rescuer.  Or a paleontologist.  And if you listen to him, a baseball player and a hockey player, too.

Brian and I have been purging things lately.  I cleaned out the kitchen drawers and cabinets last weekend, and we worked together to clean up his side of the closet (I'm usually pretty good about cleaning out my closet and dresser - I don't like having extra clothes!).  After his closet clean-out we ended up with a big basket of things to sell, four HUGE garbage of things that I took to donate, and few items of trash.  It's amazing how much cleaner our closet feels.  It's insane.  I'm hoping to get his dresser cleaned out this week!

We are off to spend the afternoon playing in our seven-ish inches of snow.  So much snow!  It's insanity!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Odds & Ends

Ah, January.  The month that can be summed up in about 6 words.  Home. Preschool.  School.  YMCA.  Target.  Ice skating rink.

It's just too cold to do anything else! So keep that in mind while you view the following photos....

She was begging me for meatballs.  And yelling.  And giving me mean looks when I was mean enough to take longer than 10 seconds to get one to her.
Hudson decided to rock Daddy's style on Saturday when we all went to the YMCA. 
The day after the massive snow storm last week, a woman from the local dairy came door to door in our neighborhood "selling" their milk.  Brian and I drink skim, and once I tasted theirs I was sold.  It was delicious, and really, it's about the same price as the milk we buy for the kids.  It is a little more expensive than the cheap stuff we buy for ourselves, but it's so, so good.  It will actually be good for my calcium intake because I rarely drink milk.
The kids wanted to make themselves into "a stack."

Definitely a cute stack, but my wiggle worms required adult supervision (and spotters).

And finally, Wyatt is taking skating lessons again this year, thanks to a Christmas present from my parents.  It was so rough to watch him learn and fall and fall and fall last year.  Really hard.  He started in the same figure skating prep class that he took last year (this kid does not like "swizzles"), and after a lesson and half they moved him to the hockey skating class.  The instructor is so good with him, and Wyatt is just excited that he's one step closer to getting a stick!  Ha!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Day!

Last weekend the local weather guys and gals started yapping about snow.  I don't usually mention it to the kids (because I don't want them to get excited and then let down.  Because we never get "good" snow), but I did want to prepare for it (because who wants to be stuck in the house with no bread or milk or frozen pizza?)

We left the Y after Wyatt's basketball practice on Tuesday night to find snow falling from the sky.  The kids immediately started trying to catch it, and then started making plans to play the next morning.

At 6AM we got our first request to go outside and play in the snow. The answer was no.

We finally caved around 9AM.  And then it took 45 minutes to get these three ready to play.
(Check out Wyatt's boots.  He outgrew his and had to wear mine.  Snazzy blue with lime green hearts. Ha!)
 Make that 45 minutes to get these four ready to play.
 They made snow angels.

 And snow balls.
 And this guy decided to take a snowy ride down the slide.  Because it was oh so much fun last year.

 While they played I got Finley and I dressed to outside (thank goodness for hand me downs from her big sister!).  She LOVES her biggest brother.  Just adores him.  It's so sweet how much he loves her, too!
 Unfortunately, after the picture with Wyatt, she fell.  And something earth shattering happened.  She felt the snow.  And it was cold.  Commence screaming.  

Sooo getting a picture with all four kids didn't work out too well for me.
 My teensiest one and I went back inside while everyone else played in the snow.
 And threw snow balls at my camera?

While it was fun, it did shut  the schools down for two days.  And my house was a mess.  But they made memories and had lots of fun playing outside together (although I don't think Wyatt's poor chapped cheeks have made a complete recovery).  And the bad good news is that we're forecasted to get more tomorrow.  Possibly seven to ten inches.  Yay.(!)(?)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hudson and the Stitches...

Or as I like to call it, "(Not so) Happy New Year!"

*I should warn the queasy and faint of heart that there ARE actually pictures of the cut and blood.*

On with the story. On New Year's Day, we had Steph, Dave, and Natalie over for lunch and presents.  The kids were playing, the grown ups were talking, and we were all having a great time.  

Wyatt, Reese and Natalie were upstairs playing with the Rainbow Loom in the room over the garage, and Hudson and Finley were downstairs with us.  I think the words, "Where is Hudson?," had just come out of my mouth when I heard the screaming.

Loud, loud, LOUD screaming.  I ran up the stairs (through the open kitchen gate that we always shut) and found him at the bottom of the staircase in the room over the garage (it's about 5 steps) with blood coming from his forehead.  I knew immediately that it was going to need stitches. We were able to apply pressure and get an ice pack on it for a little bit (the house was stacked with two former lifeguards and two lifeguard trainers.  Appropriate first aid execution was not a problem.)  Steph and Dave were so great to stay with the other kids while my sister and Stevie made their way over to take over child watching duties.

Allow me to say that I took this way worse than he did.  I was panicked.  Obviously, most of this is "mom instinct."  You see your kid is sick or hurt (vomit, blood, etc.), and you worry.  But you also jump into the "what can I do right now to make my baby better?" mode.  Fortunately, I was able to hold back the tears until later in the day, and we were able to get him where he needed to be.

Hudson did so, so well.  The entire time.  He barely cried, and he sat pretty quietly and nicely the entire time we were in the ER.  
His hair basically covered up the entire area.  We still don't know exactly what happened.  He was laying at the bottom of the stairs when I got there, so I think he tripped and hit his head on the wooden banister.  Reese's description of the incident is, "I told him he was going to kill himself playing on the stairs, and then he fell."

Thanks, kiddo.
(Netflix is a lifesaver.)
We were at the ER for about two hours and forty five minutes.  He did so well when they stitched him up.  He was restrained, but he only cried when they numbed it (and there was a little whimpering thrown in there).  He was such a good sport.  We were so proud of him!
He kept the stitches in for 6 days.  I just can't say enough about how wonderful this guy was.  I was sitting there feeling awful for him, but was also kind of in awe of his bravery and trust.  He's an amazing little boy!
He was not a fan of getting them taken out, but we made it through.
So we've survived our first experience with stitches, and we're hoping for no more!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wyatt's Christmas Party

Wyatt's class Christmas party was right after Reese's.  This was my first experience being a room mom, and no lie, I had heartburn the night before this party.  I was so worried that he wasn't going to love it, his friends weren't going to have fun, and his teacher would think, "WHAT is she doing?!?"

A few other moms and I actually met with his teacher a month before this shin dig to plan it out.  The food, activities, etc.  And then we sent emails out to get volunteers for everything.  I've heard great things about Volunteer Spot, so I might try that next year (If I decide to be room mom again.  Wyatt's teacher actually likes to do a lot of the work, so it's not that difficult for me. But I'm sure there are other moms who are more Pinterest-y than me to handle this stuff!).

They were outside for recess right before the party, so we loaded their plates with pizza, grapes, and carrots while they played.  They were able to sit right down and eat (there was hand washing.  We put the hand sanitizer on the tables.).

After they ate, another mom read them a Christmas story- this was a great way to distract the kids while we cleaned up their food mess and set up for their first "craft."
Their first craft was to decorate sugar cookies.  They loved it.  Wyatt didn't take full advantage of the sprinkles we provided (thank goodness)!  Some icing and M&M's were all he needed.
They painted salt dough ornaments to bring home to mom and dad.
I also picked up this Christmas photo booth set at Target one day.  The kids loved it - and wanted to take the props home.  We uploaded the pictures to the computer in the classroom and played a slideshow after they painted their ornaments.  It really helped settle them a bit and they laughed hysterically at their pictures.
All 20 ornaments drying :).
We also filled some time with Bingo  Wyatt is just a little competitive, so he wasn't a fan of losing.  But he still had fun!

And just as a little, "How Wyatt's first grade year is going" update, here is the Accelerated Reading board in his class.  They all have an individual goal of books to read and quizzes to take by the end of the semester (I  am actually in his class every Monday helping with the tests).  His teacher has a bulletin board set up with a baseball field.  He made it to "third base" (or seventy-five percent of his goal) right before Christmas.
He was supposed to take his final three tests to get to a home run this week, but he forgot to sign up on Tuesday (boys!), and we've had snow days yesterday and today. He can take them tomorrow on the make up day to meet his goal.  He'll start all over next week - and then he gets his second report card!  Crazy!