Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Motherhood Lesson #3,025: Label your bag of valentine cards!

The lessons just keep coming!  Why do you label the brown paper sack full of valentine cards that all the children so dutifully and diligently filled out?  The answer is that on trash day, your husband may assume you left a bag of trash on the kitchen counter and lovingly take it out to the curb with all the trash.  Then you may not notice it is missing from the kitchen counter (because maybe it is cluttered, okay!) until the afternoon when the trash man came and took your valentines and your children's hearts with him.  I may have been more upset than the kids were.

However, I would have been in a full-fledged fit if they had been the homemade ones that Genna and I spent a week making.  Luckily, they were not finished yet and so were not in the bag yet.

These were majorly labor intensive pencil toppers!  I got the idea from The Idea Room.

I know my limitations sometimes and I knew that I couldn't do 4 sets of homemade valentines, so I bought premade ones (twice in the end since the first batch was thrown away) and chose Genna, my most patient crafter and Olaf's biggest fan, to make these cute valentines with me.  She was able to trace the patterns, do the tags, and draw (with marker) the rest of him.  I had to cut out 30 bodies, eyes, and arms, 15 noses, teeth, and cheek pieces.  Then I had to hot glue them together even though Genna really wanted to use that gun.  They were tiny pieces, and I knew burned fingers didn't make good valentine hander-outers so I did that part too.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Buzz Buzz

I gave the three boys their buzz cuts again, plus one neighbor boy.  I cut Judah's hair first with a number 1 because he still has a bald spot from sleeping on his back and the rest of his hair had grown out again.  Then I picked up the razor thinking I had changed the blade attachment and started cutting Isaac's hair.  Oops!  I liked it just fine, but I was a tiny bit worried that Brian wouldn't.  He thought it was fine and wouldn't have noticed that it was shorter than normal.  

Drewy had a hard time with his haircut this time.  He has never caused a fuss, but he has been in a scared phase right now and he kept saying it was going to Drew language, of course, which is "It going owie, Mom."  He made it through, but caused so much trouble I was a mean mom and wouldn't give him his lolly afterwards.  I've heard that some moms actually give rewards just for participating.  :)  No really I kind of regretting ever telling him that he had to stop ducking his head away from me or he wouldn't get a lollipop.  You moms out there know what I am talking about.  A threat you think will actually work slips out of your mouth, then it doesn't work and you have to do what you said to show that you really will do what you say in all situations.  I especially regretted it when the above mentioned neighbor child screamed and ducked during his haircut and his mom totally gave him a participation lollipop.  To be fair though, he is younger than Drew by a year and it was his first haircut.

I love baldy boys!  Truth be told, I wish my husband would shave his head nearly bald too.  :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Father Daughter Dance Time Again

 My guilty pleasure of this whole ordeal is doing the girls' hair up fancy.  Of course, it is no pleasure of Hannah's, but if I can ignore her comments and her facial expressions then I still can squeeze some joy out of it.  Genna has only one request and that is that some of her hair be down.  That is an easy one to manage, but Hannah's one request would be that I don't do anything to it.  Even her dad agreed that she needed a fancy hairdo for this.

Genna got a heart bun in honor of Valentine's Day.

Her hair is getting really long!

I braided Hannah's starting from one side all the way around and finished it in a bun with a flower in the middle.

Can you tell she is scowling from this pic?  She got over it pretty quickly and had a great time.  I didn't spoil all her fun after all! 

Hannah donned the same dress as last year and Genna got to wear her favorite dress that her Mimi gave her.  It has thin straps so we added a shrug to cover those shoulders.

This picture reminds me of the other day when Genna told me that when she tells someone that she loves them it makes her all giddy.  What a cutie!  As long as it is just to her friends and family and not to boys!

Enter handsome stud.

Genna told daddy how handsome he looked, and Drew asked, "You have that?" with a head tilt.  I guess he doesn't remember seeing his daddy in his uniform.

I hope Genna forgives me for this, but I couldn't resist.  She has a good sense of humor so I am thinking it will be okay.  As they are about to leave she comes out of the bathroom and says she is ready to go.

We all had a good laugh since this is just soooooo Genna to get all fancy and make sure her necklace and earrings are matching, but then walk out with her dress tucked in her pantyhose.  Love it!
Brian and the girls met another family for dinner before the dance.  They must have had a good time because this was the only real photo he took of the dancing.  Maybe he was too busy dancing his heart out.  :)

I sent Nutella Pretzel Brownies that were gone before Hannah got one.  So I guess they were good.  I'll have to make those again sometime.  

Friday, February 14, 2014


 We got 18 inches or more of snow this past week.  That is more than we have seen in a long time.  Getting everyone suited up is a process to say the least.  Sneak peak at the snow prep chaos...

The first steps into the snow

Drew was saying, "Daddy, I not walk in this snow."

Hannah was cooling herself off and burying herself in the snow.  Apparently, 30 degrees is not cold enough for my kids to wear a coat and snow bibs, but I made them anyway.

Packing down some snow and making a spot to get the sled going at the top of the hill.
 They went to our neighbor's house to sled.  Their front yard is one big hill that goes into the street.  I had a panicky response to that, but then Brian reminded me that no cars could even drive on the roads in our neighborhood since no plow made it through until well into the afternoon.

Walking up with the sleds

My van!

Brian built this snow bar and bench.   The neighborhood congregated here for the whole afternoon. 

This was what we woke up to Thursday morning, and Friday it was still pretty treacherous, so Brian got two days off work and our co-op was cancelled.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just Real

So I was working with Genna on her long division on the floor when a realize that Drew is laying across my back reading his own book which is lying on the floor in front of him.  I asked Hannah to take a picture of it and this is what she took...

I think she missed the point since Drew is barely visible in this picture at all.  Can you see him on my back in the top right corner?  I wish she'd captured the full picture of this real moment in our homeschooling life.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Daddy!

For my birthday, Brian surprised me with a babysitter and a dinner and movie.  For Brian's birthday we went out on Sunday evening to one of his favorite brew pubs for dinner.  We waited until Sunday because they have free kid's meals on Sundays there and they have a limit of TWO per entree instead of the typical one per entree.  This is just about the only place we can go and get all four of the (eating) kids a kid's meal for free despite the many places that advertise free kid's meals.  They always have fine print where we only end up with two kid's meals free.

I digress.  The girls waited until the very last possible moment to start their gifts for Brian this year and they needed help with the duct tape projects.  Hannah made a plastic bag dispenser for him, and Genna made a wallet for him (shown here.)  It was her idea to decorate it with a gun.  I had to cut the gun out of black duct tape with my rotary cutter.  In fact, I had to do a good portion of the projects since they aren't quite old enough or experienced enough to understand the directions.  Even I had to read the directions a good five times to understand exactly which way to turn things, etc.  I made a new rule that birthday gifts must be made two weeks in advance from now on.

I forgot to mention that I received a Rainbow Loom necklace from Hannah and a duct tape tote bag from Genna.  However, the tote bag couldn't be more crooked and lopsided if she had actually tried to make it crooked and lopsided.  Guess daddy didn't help her follow the directions and measure the tape. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Big Changes Are Coming

I think he is finally getting the hang of the sleeping at night and he's having more good nap days than bad in the last week and a half.  He is still waking at 5:30am about half the time, but I am working on getting him back to sleep with me until 6:30am.  Last week and this week he has been able to do 3 naps most days.  If he wakes early from a nap, I wait about ten minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep.  If he doesn't then I try the swing to extend his nap a little but it doesn't always work.  I think that he is getting close to that time when things start to be more regular and scheduled.  Yay for schedules!

Physically, he seemed to make leaps and bounds overnight one day.  He is REALLY close to rolling from back to tummy which I always look forward to because then I stop swaddling and he can sleep on his tummy.  He just needs the tiniest nudge to get all the way over, so we are practicing.  :)

Plus, now he found his feet.  He can't seem to quite reach them while flat on his back, but he can sometimes get his socks then.  He has a big belly!  On our scale he is almost 19 lbs.

He definitely has some really fussy days when he seems to only want me for evenings and sometimes other parts of the day, but when he is not in one of those moods he lets his siblings hold and entertain him.  Isaac is the best entertainer since he is the least busy (and the most left out, unfortunately,) of all the kids.

Judah had one truly rock-star day last week on Friday that must go down in my blog history.  He woke up at 6:30am which is my goal, he took two long naps (between 1.5 and 2 hours) and his evening cat nap, and then at the restaurant for dinner he stayed in the car seat happily playing with a toy or his feet the whole dinner.  Since he is not always the easiest baby, I need to record this super duper rock-star day where he went beyond all of my expectations.  Someone was praying for this guy last Friday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We need a bigger dinner table!

Brian is supposed to make us an old farmhouse dinner table one of these days.  I am hoping for sooner rather than later, but as long as it is before Judah is out of a high chair I guess we'll survive.

Monday, February 3, 2014

More Super Twos

Drew seriously wore his bibs backwards for two weeks.  He would just turn it around for mealtime.  I would trade it out for a clean one when it got too dirty. He even slept in it.  He likes to play Superman game with Isaac where they jump off a stool and run through the house pretending to fly.  (Running in the house is against the rules, technically, but it's so cute I can't bring myself to stop them.)  Don't worry, we have had countless talks about how he can't really fly and it is only pretend.  I am a little concerned he might actually try to fly, so I remind him a lot.

I have been humoring this little guy for long enough.  Since Judah was born he has started wanting me to do everything.  The girls had been helping with him a lot, but he suddenly didn't want them to do anything for him.  Well, I was always forcing him to let them buckle him in the car seat, but otherwise have been humoring him out of some kind of mommy guilt or something and because I miss his being my baby.  The honeymoon is over though.  Judah's 5 months and this has to stop.  I can't do all things for him and Judah all the time.  I was contemplating how I would make this transition since he was outright refusing to allow them to help him before.  Then I had a revelation after talking this out with a friend of mine.  I was forcing him to let them buckle him in, so I can force him to let them bathe him, dress him, take him potty, get him a drink, etc.  He is my controlling little guy and likes to feel like he is making all the decisions, so I give him two choices.  "Drew, let Genna brush your teeth or I am putting you to bed without your story."  Voila!  He does it immediately.  I call on Genna to do more of the help at home because Hannah is burnt out being the big helper sometimes.  However, Hannah is his designated buddy when we are out of the house because she has more control over him physically and she is good at manipulating him into doing what she says.  Genna is my helper with Judah most of the time out of the house, but Isaac also helps and takes his turns with him.  Everyone helps with him at home.