Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Granny Snuggles

Kiddos are still not 100% well but are enjoying Granny snuggles and one more cartoon before we head home.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Day For Cousins

GGirl has been making the connections of family relationships.  She was very excited to spend some time with her cousins this trip.  From creative writing sessions to pet salon construction to conference room air hockey,  there were lots of giggles from this afternoon adventure!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Jr. Broomball

What does a Granddad do when there is an empty hallway of floor space in the new condo?  No windows. Nothing breakable.  Order kiddie broooms and wiffle balls.  They had warm-ups today.  The Cousin Bowl is on for Sunday night.

Lazy Day

Every good vacation week starts with a lazy day!  Trains, coloring, bubble baths and naps all factor in to a great day of rest and relaxation!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Gifts

It's always interesting to see what reactions my children will have to the gifts at Christmas. This year MMan was all about opening presents.  He ripped paper enthusiastically and showed varied interest in the contents. When there was nothing left to open, tears ensued.  GGirl loved her gifts that were themed with the princesses of the day (Anna and Elsa).  Less thrilled with clothes, but a gracious recipient, none the less.
This was the first year she was an independent giver.  She bought gifts at Santa's Village at school and enjoyed giving gifts that she had chosen.  She also added colored pictures and drawings to our stockings.  It was a pleasure  to see her find the joy in giving.
Two of my greatest gifts are wearing the bows below.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sugar Art

Decorating sugar cookies when you're 2 and 5 is like an intricate, multimedia art project.  Different types of frosting, sanding sugar, and sprinkles are just the beginning because it all goes on COOKIES!

These particular pieces of art were gifted by the singers to the homes they visited on the annual youth caroling trip.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snuggles & Stories

Story time with Daddy before bed is a favorite for the kids, and some nights I enjoy watching and sneaking pictures of the snuggle-fest!

Good Morning

This morning was one that had all of us getting ready to leave at the same time-earlier than normal for some.  Usually this type of morning involves frenzy and chaos.  Today, we all got out the door calmly-and even some smiles.  GGirl's mood was appreciably elevated by her new shirt that I surprised her with when I woke her up.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mornings wirh MMan

Play dough, blocks and sometimes even fishing are par for the course if you're spending the morning with MMan.  And snacks.  Lots of snacks!

He is full of energy and gets his point across, even if the passersby wouldn't understand his "words".
 But he's getting there.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Boats & Busses

GGirl usually doesn't take the bus to school, we drop her off.  On Thursday, school was delayed, so she rode the bus in.  MMan wanted nothing more than to play in the 'no.  So for a half hour before the bus came, they played boats in the snow, I held my tea mug for warmth.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Not the Normal Grocery Run

How much food could a Mazda haul, if a Mazda could haul food?  Well, we were riding pretty low with this load after we went to pick up the last grocery order for Christmas food boxes at church!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Remembering Grandma "Sconsin"

So many memories of my Grandma "Sconsin".  Growing up we lived in Oklahoma, and then New Hampshire, and my grandparents lived in Wisconsin - they became Grandma and Grandpa 'Sconisn when we were little.  It stuck.

I can't think of Grandma Jean without thinking of molasses cookies at coffee time and games of cards at the table in the farm house. Care packages at Christmas with homemade jam and lefsa were always a highlight of the holidays when I was little.  Grandma's Peanut Butter Balls and Frying Pan Cookies have made it into my Christmas cookie repertoire, but this year the family recipes will hold even more sweet memories of the amazing lady who shared them with us.

I remember visiting Grandma and Grandpa in May 2009, and they were among the first to know we were expecting our first, and visiting again to introduce Gwendolyn to her Great-Grandparents.

One of my favorite "Grandma" stories is of my mom and her five siblings as children running around the farm looking for my Grandma.  When they finally found her she was hiding in a tree with a book.  As a mom of only two little kids, I can fully sympathize, and know that a bit of my Grandma has been passed down through the DNA chains to this introverted mommy.

Words are inadequate.  We were often separated by many miles but she was my Grandma.  She was loved and will be missed.

Geneva B. Wait ~ September 28, 1925-December 1, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

O Christmas Tree

Today we took a trek after church to find our Christmas tree. GGirl was on a mission to find the perfect tree.  MMan just wanted to try out the saw.  GGirl found the perfect tree and we trundled it home. (Thanks, Baxter's Tree Farm!)

While MMan napped we set it up and started decorating.  I sat on the couch handing ornament after ornament to GGirl, telling her stories that accompanied the memories we were hanging on the tree.  Later as I stepped to the other side of the room, I realized that this is the year of the "front and center" tree.  The year when the kids are big enough to help, and all the ornaments end up front and center on the tree.  :)

We also brought out the Christmas stories and Little People Nativity set.  Both are favorites and GGirl and MMan enjoyed the reunion.

A wonderful way to begin Advent.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Unexpected Reactions

Quite often one of my children will surprise me with a reaction that is unexpected.  Such was the case on Thursday morning.  Snow everywhere! We had watched it snow for most of Wednesday and I was expecting glee and excitement out of GGirl.  Nope.  She looked out the window and responded to the piles of snow with:
"Oh, the poor trees!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Coffee in Close Quarters

The kids like to play in our stand-up shower stall.  Full of toys, fully dressed and no water, for some reason the love this cubby sized space.  This morning what I really wanted was to drink my coffee in peace and quiet as I slowly woke up.  However I was summoned to the shower by MMan and there was no distracting him. 
So in order to drink my coffee without being serenaded by Angry Toddler, I took my coffee to the shower. 
A mom's got to do, what a mom's got to do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving "Feast"

Today was the Thanksgiving Feast day for the kindergarten class, complete with little pilgrims, native Americans and songs, and of course food.  The class announced that the pilgrims had left England looking for religious freedom.   (yay for accurate curriculum!)  They had butter with their feast that the class had made the day before.
I walk past the berry bush on my morning walk.  The bright berries against the browned weeds and grass made me think of hope.  Hope of a meal in the winter for birds. Hope of new plants in the spring.  Hope.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Morning Contrasts

Winter trees, spring temperatures, dark clouds and blue skies.  All the contrasts of the morning walk.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Day With My Princess

The request of a Mommy/GGirl Day got put on our calendar weeks ago.  This Saturday the day finally came.  GGirl had been anxiously awaiting her adventure time with Mommy "and NO boys"!  We ran errands most of the day but fit in a few  special treats.  Goody bags and pictures from a  Frozen promotion at Target, play time at WKids and frozen yogurt as out last stop.

As my GGirl sat on the bright pink bench seat up against a lime green wall, I stopped and just watched.  Taking in her colorful outfit, paper princess crown all askew, the excitement over a pink spoon, enjoyment of her treat I had a 'mommy moment'.  One of those moments that we moms wish we could bottle up and keep forever. The moment we wish we could stop time and keep our little ones little. 

At the end of our treats, GGirl decided that we had been gone long enough and we should go home to see Daddy and MMan, but only if we could put a Mommy/GGirl day on the calendar again soon.  Absolutely!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kamikaze and the Kindergartener

Oye!  Summer flew by and now fall is half way over.  Oh, how time flies when you're working hard and having fun!  We are healthy and well, even with MMan sporting a nice little splint on a broken arm.  It turns out trying to escape one's crib can be a dangerous venture.  GGirl is rockin' the kindergarten world: learning to read, loves "kindergarten math" because its fun.  Of course her favorite part of school is taking her own lunch, gym class and playing outside for recess!
This week also brought making and canning 16 quarts of applesauce for me and a semi-failed gluten free baking project.  The GF Zucchini bread tasted great, but ran over everywhere.  More flour next time I think.  So there's a snippet of our world.  I hope you are all well!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Waiting For Dady

A very sneaky GGirl waited very patiently for Daddy tonight

So she could launch her first squirt gun attack!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Breath of Summer Air

It has been a very long three months.  There's really no use rehashing all that has challenged me, worn me down, tired me out.  The recovery to normalcy has been weeks in the making.  Two days of summer like weather have pushed all the other efforts over the top and brought me dancing out of the winter doldrums, strolling on the path away from cabin fever.  If anything the tasks are more, but they seem more manageable.

At one point, summer seemed daunting.  Tonight, I'm hopeful that it will be full of hours of backyard adventures, wind dried sheets off the clothes line, chalk colored rocks and bedtimes pushed a little later because the sun's out, the air's warm and kids are playing happily.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Little Crazy..

Today, the temps hit 40.  I did a happy dance and then got a little crazy and bucket washed my car.  Because MMan was still sleeping, and GGirl is at school, I soaked up some of that sweet warm sunshine!  And this is when it's 40!  Just wait until it hits 60~ who knows what kind of crazy that will bring!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mmmmmm....Peanut Butter!

Last month MMan was sick.  Really sick.  During the illness and recovery, he lost weight that he didn't have to lose to begin with.  So, as his appetite has slowly returned, I happily let him eat just about anything he picks.  Especially since there's not a lot of junk in the house right now. 

The last few days his choice of what's in the fridge has been peanut butter.  Sometimes fruit makesva good vehicle to get the PB in the mouth, and sometimes,  the spoon works better.   Whatever it takes to keep him above the 5% curve for weight!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Treats

A couple years back I started the tradition of homemade donuts for Valentine's Day treats.  This year the kids and I enjoyed our treats and unfortunately illness hit the house before we could follow through with the tradition of sharing with friends.  Maybe we'll try again after HandyMan gets home.

Sunday's Are For Snuggles

Especially when little ones don't feel good!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Flying Solo: Day 5

When I just counted it out on my fingers, I realized I'm only 1/3 of the way through my Solo Mom stint.   Oh, it seems like so much longer.   I'm so grateful for friends who have stepped in to help so far.  I think it's kind of like playing doubles tennis, without a partner and having other players step in for 30 second intervals. 

At this point, GGirl is sporting one fine, hacking cough that has kept me up too much of the last 2 nights.   MMan is sleeping through it just fine and ready to party. 

I sit down, hoping to catch 8 minutes to suck down my coffee while it's warm (my sweet serum of sleep replacement!).  No sooner do my buns hit my comfy seat in front of the fireplace, than MMan comes running at me with blanket and binkies to snuggle. Only he is followed by a certain aroma that says he needs a different kind of attention.

Coffee is now luke warm.  I can drink it a little faster, which is good because between sips, I see that MMan is on a mission for something on the counter.  First the step stool.  Not high enough.  The he pushes over a chair from the kitchen table.  Still can't reach.  Table chair goes back, and around comes a bar chair.  He is not lacking in the problem solving department.

Coffee is gone.  I think I need a refill.  How long until nap time?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why Not?

Some nights, you just need to eat whipped cream by the spoonful after dinner. 

HandyMan left last Sunday for a 2 week trip.  It's the first trip of this length in our 12 years of marriage.  Because electricity is not reliable in the area he is traveling in, communication has been minimal.  It's been a hard week.

Finally this evening, it feels like I've found my groove.  Now I'm hoping to get caught up on things that got bumped down on the list earlier in the week. 

One day at a time and 11 days to go.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Days & Snaggle-Tooth

It was an eventful day around our corner of the woods.  We got snow today - a lot of it.  I think there's probably 11-14 inches of fresh white stuff out there.  GGirl and HandyMan spend a lot of time outside today shoveling the driveway, the roof and building "mountains" to play on.  MMan got his run outside this morning too.  Waffles and cocoa followed the first round of shoveling.  

More cocoa to fleece jammies to warm up after the second round outside.  While snacking on an apple, watching a movie I hear "MOMMY!" and she came running at me.  "MY TOOTH CAME OUT!"  That's right folks, one week from wiggle to out.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Full Communication, Few Words

MMan is taking his time figuring out how to talk.  While he has very few words that someone outside our family would understand, he had no problem communicating to GramB that he wanted her to come play in the floor with him!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday GGirl

Dear GGirl,
Today was your birthday.  You were very adamant last night that you wanted to help decorate and make your cake, so you helped make the cake with me.  I'm glad you weren't too upset that Mommy and Daddy wanted to surprise you with the decorations or with the cake decorations.

You have watched your friends at school celebrate their birthdays and I know you were very excited to be the Birthday Girl today.  The hat that you received at school this morning has not left your head.  (Except for the brief moment when MMan swiped it and things got a little sketchy for a few minutes!)  MMan, Daddy and I all went to school to share a special snack with your class this afternoon - grapes, pears, strawberries, dip and donuts were you're snack of choice.

After homework, it was fun gifts from family and friends near and far, and your birthday dinner.  A few days ago, you found a recipe in my cookbook for MahiMahi with Mango sauce.  MahiMahi ended up on my shopping list.  For the first time in, well ever, I cooked fish.  You didn't like the sauce.  Daddy won big, being the only one in the house remotely interested in the Mahimahi.  The rest of us feasted on mac and cheese, hot dogs and green beans.  And a pink and purple cake with ice-cream too of course!  We shared that moment with Granny and Granddad on skype, and missed getting pictures - but that's ok.  It's more important to share the moments!

The biggest birthday surprise came part-way through dinner when you announced to us that you had a wiggly tooth!  Nobody was more shocked than me!  My baby's losing her teeth already!

GGirl, you are kind and gracious to your friends.  You are, mostly, loving to your brother.  You love to learn and your independence is fierce.  I love to listen to you sing songs you make up and watch you dance to the music of your mind.  Your creativity and imagination know no bounds.  I love you and can't wait to see what comes in this next year of our life.  I love you GGirl!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bedtime Reading?

GGirl's birthday is coming up and like many families we let her choose for meal for her birthday.  When I discussed her birthday with her, the menu ideas were macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, pears and cataup that wasn't spicy.  Imagine my surprise when this was on the grocery list when I got home on Saturday night.

So I asked her if she knew what mahi-mahi was.  "No" she replied.  No surprise there.

A few minutes later she came running in and says "it's fish with a yummy sauce!"

I think HandyMan and GGirl must have been using the cookbooks for bedtime reading again. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Deep Freeze Day

I have friends across the spectrum of mom-hood, children of all ages and I can usually identify with most of them some of the time.  I see traits I admire and could strive for.  I know that we are all in a different place, no two children are the same, no two households are the same, no judging each other, just laughing (and sometimes crying) together.

Today local schools were cancelled due to extreme wind chills.  Last night as school districts began making cancelation announcements my Facebook mom-friends started weighing in.  One friend looked forward to the day with her kids.  Yesterday was the first day back to school from a 2 week break.  There is truth for me in there adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and I hadn't quite had enough "absence" to be looking forward to a school cancelation.  There are days I look forward to spending with the children.   Today, that was not my plan.  My plan for today included alone time and a nap.  That didn't happen.  I'm sipping Liquid Nap as I write to keep the Tired Mommy Monster at bay.

This morning another friend commented about how her kids were climbing the walls, another how the kids were un-doing all of her organizing and cleaning from the day before.  These were hitting a lot closer to home as GGirl is running laps through the house and the toys that were put away yesterday, have again exploded across the living room. 

I'm reminding myself (constantly), that the Mom-Job comes first and all the other jobs, somewhere lower on the list.  Everything will get done, eventually.   Someday they will love to sleep until noon, and then I can sleep again too.  Until then, time to brew some more Liquid Sleep, take a deep breath and go switch laundry play "race" across the kitchen with a fairy princess and snuggle with a super cuddly MMan.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday with MMan

Happy New Year!  It was back to work for me last Wednesday and I'm finally catching a breather today.  GGirl happily returned to school this morning and MMan is quite the chatterbox now that he has me to himself!  So many noises, so few words.  I'm sure it will come.

With the New Year comes new routines, new boundaries, new experiences, and new opportunities.   I'm excited about about what this year will bring.  And I'm enjoying today!