Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Newport Aquarium

We took advantage of the "buy one adult admission, get two kids free" deal at Newport Aquarium today. I invited Jennifer and Shelby to join our little outing and am grateful they came along. Having another adult was crucial to navigating potty breaks, crowds and traffic jams. It was a great day.

some of us were fearless.....

buttons were pushed

slimy creatures were touched

I learned a lot and enjoyed it as much as the kids.

new discoveries were made

sharks were touched!

And in the end, we were wiped out. Miss Devyn slept for most of the three hours it took us to get home.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The beginning of the week

Monday came on strong, looking for a fight but we conquered it.
 Don't let Greg fool you, he's not taking this for long.
 Someone always loses their foam sword to Dad. Run Kate! Run!

 The look of victory!
Over the course of the last two days, I have discovered why board games don't get much attention around here during the summer. We invest so many of our winter hours with them.

And to be frank, we're tired of them. Desperate times equal desperate measures. Corn meal, rocks and barley created a great construction tray. This was a messy success.

After reviewing these shots I have drawn two conclusions about my house. First, there is a very good reason we go through so much disinfectant. Second, I believe chairs must be obsolete given the amount of time spent sitting on tables and counters; creating the need for said disinfectant. 

 See what I mean? Who needs chairs?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Change, Change, Change

Several nights of this....

Lead to Kate begging for this.....

Which ultimately lead to this.

Which meant this would no longer work.

And that lead to this...
Eventually the daughter who refuses to have her photo taken will have to fill these frames. Lauren is the only child with her own room so she will be giving up her bed for guests. She thinks she made a great deal. And the good news? My parents are coming to check it out next weekend!

I am not going to lie. This was tough on me. Once I wrapped my head around the logistics of the room change itself, bringing myself to paint over Ty's nursery walls was an emotional experience. But in the end, a beautiful room was created for Lauren and she is pleased with the results. Whereas the wall color in Kate and Ty's space isn't what I would have chosen for them, it will work for awhile with the primary color accents.

Ty has stepped into a big boy role in his new room; able to reach his clothes in the smaller dresser and even making his own bed for the first time. He and Kate giggled for an hour and a half the first night in the bunk beds. I enjoyed it as much as they did. Sweet memories are being made and their bond is stronger. I am certain we are only days away from the meltdown called "too much time together" but they will learn to work through it just like their siblings before them did.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Smile. It's Tuesday.

These little cuties spent the day with me so I accomplished little more than a few meals and lots of playtime. And that's okay. Ty invited me to play doll house with him. I was at one point allowed to read a book to his people but was otherwise not permitted to speak while we played. I silently observed his imagination at work and noted little boys and little girls take slightly different approaches to the art of playing doll house. I will just say that Ty's most adored piece is the toilet. It was well used and the figures using the potty were very descriptive about their activities upon said toilet. He is all boy despite the fact he was playing with the doll house.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It will not end. Ever. And other positive thoughts.

I have been so anxious to see the end of winter, I eliminated an entire week of February from my life. Unfortunately the rest of the world seems to think it needs to exist. I literally made arrangements for my final week in a regular commitment only to discover it wasn't my final week. I unintentionally created some commotion and am sorry but it would be nice to usher in March and therefore, spring. Can we just agree to see the end of February already?

On day nine of Kate's antibiotic, she woke up covered from head to toe in a rash. We were perplexed. Another dose and it was clear she was having an allergic reaction. As far as we remember, this is the first time she's been on any antibiotics and apparently it will be the last for Penicillin. She's a tough cookie and has tolerated the itchy rash well. It looks terrible and irritating.

Ty ended up with one of his big cold sore outbreaks this week. It covers about 20% of his face and is pretty uncomfortable. Thank the Lord for Acyclovir during the larger outbreaks but his little tummy has paid the price for it on top of the second round of antibiotics. My windows will be open this week as I am determined to air out the germs. Enough already.

I have been in the throws of some room changes. I will post more on that later but it was a fun focal point for me when Anne and I slipped out Saturday afternoon. We perused the stores that make our children cry and our husbands gnash their teeth. Oh how we love Homegoods, Pier One, World Market and Hobby Lobby. Oh how they all loathe them all. We wandered somewhat aimlessly, enjoying conversation and ultimately incredible food because we never escape without consuming a meal we didn't have to prepare. We're fancy like that.

Greg and I ordered a new mattress today. We are pretty excited. Our 14 year old mattress was a very generous gift from my parents when Greg broke his back in 2000. Lauren is now sleeping in Ty's old twin bed which was a gift from a neighbor when Erin left her crib 17 and a half years ago. It was a decade old at that point and has served as each of our children's first big kid bed. It has an obvious dip and has been well used. It is time to replace it. Lauren is inheriting our old bed when our new memory foam mattress arrives at the end of this week. Lauren will therefore be offering her bed up to guests in exchange for being the only one with her own room. I will have a post on that once the dust settles. Shoot, I may even use the camera and have a few photos too. ;)

Speaking of dust, Justin ignored my plea to let the original Dusty turn up and bought Ty a new one. Two days later, Dusty #1 showed up in the blinds behind Ty's bed. Ty decided he likes Dusty #2 better because it was a special gift from Justin. And speaking of Justin, he showed up here tonight with flu symptoms because Erin thought her mom should evaluate him. Whereas I appreciate her vote of confidence, I sent him home to bed and pray he didn't just expose us all to the flu. Seriously. It needs to end. Now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mid week tidbits

For Christmas next year, he wants a pogo stick so he can keep up with all the people. Not the ones in cars, just the ones on bikes. Oh and a reindeer. It is February. I told him reindeer aren't in pet stores for a reason. They were not created to be pets. He loved the movie Frozen and his light saber turns everything into ice. It explains this winter, I think.

Makenna joined Kate on antibiotics this weekend. And on Tuesday, Ty re-joined them. Awesome. As it turns out, he was supposed to be on them for 10 days, not 7 and therefore was more susceptible to another round of strep. Again, awesome. Ty doesn't follow me around to whine and moan but does so loudly enough that he may as well. The mommy in this house needs a time out.

Dusty, the model airplane is missing. When Ty was feeling really poor on Tuesday, he cried for Dusty when he wasn't sleeping while holding his painful head. Frantic and thorough searches throughout the house unearthed nothing more than the fact our house needs a serious spring cleaning. Maybe I should go on strike until spring actually arrives. As if. 

The sign was meant to alert everyone to keep an eye out for Dusty because Ty is know for his creative hiding places. We have searched the freezer, cupboards, bathrooms, vases, baskets, etc...I can guarantee it will turn up someplace unusual. Justin was concerned and wanted to fix this. He was on his way to the toy store when I stopped him. We will find it and Ty will recall immediately putting it somewhere special. By the way, we all really like Justin. He's a good guy.

Lauren ran out of gas on the way to school today. It is the second time she has been stranded on the side of the road in the two months she's been driving. Sigh. At some point, she will understand that funds and gas have limits. Life lessons on budgeting and time management are taking place. And a few on patience for the parents too.

On Monday I had my annual eye exam. This time last year, my optometrist, whom I really like despite what he said, told me I was at an age where my eye health was standing on the edge of a cliff. I had started the descend and the changes would be rapid. My eyes were pretty bad but would be much worse within  months. He said to contact him if I couldn't tolerate going without lenses for the entire year or he'd just see me in 12 months. I walked into that appointment prepared for progressive lenses and walked out with perfect vision. Dr. Amstutz was amazed. He checked and re-checked a few things shaking his head in disbelief. He finally sat back and said, "I don't know what you're doing but your eyes are more than ten years younger than you. You are ahead of the curve". I left relieved to have saved a few hundred dollars on glasses. Forty five minutes later I was checking out at the grocery store behind a woman with a cart full of nothing but junk food and it occurred to me that the only thing I have changed in the last year is my diet. I always eaten fairly well but making vegetables my primary food source last July has helped me feel stronger than I have ever felt. I have started running for the first time in my life, I exercise daily and no longer snack at all. I have found balance and feel better than I have ever felt in my life. Grains were not my friend. In no way shape or form would I have expected my food choices to impact my eye health.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter days

Arms were crossed across his chest. A scowl firmly set upon his face. He did not want to go out yesterday. It was cold. He is tired of winter and wants to play outside without a coat.

How many hours does the average mother spend locating specific legos?

Erin was stranded in a friend's driveway this week. I picked her up at the end of the lane and Greg took her back the following morning with the truck and tow straps. Over an hour later, her car was free. She too is finished with winter.
Earlier this week, desperate for projects to distract busy kids we pulled out the paints. Legos, card games and admittedly the wii have been over used.

Lauren took a hammer out to deal with the ice on her van. Under normal circumstances this would be alarming. However, nothing is normal right now.

 All the signs were there. She was glassy eyed, droopy and didn't eat breakfast. We had to grocery shop yesterday because we were out of everything. Literally everything. Her legs were weights she barely lifted and her chills wouldn't stop despite the absence of fever. Kate was miserable but we wrapped up at Meijer successfully. My tolerance for illness is approximately 24 hours under normal circumstances but as I have already stated, nothing is normal right now. We need fresh air. We need routine. We need the older kids in school every day and on full schedules. I can't remember our last normal week. I also need a timeout because when Kate is ill, she moans. She whines. She follows me around the house to do these things. I swear she has far more energy than required to heal within 24 hours but she wastes it following me! I am not an easy person to keep up with as I rarely sit down, yet she perseveres. Lord help me. I love her but I have all but lost my mind today.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ice Storm

Ice covered our area overnight. It was beautiful and the kids excitedly exclaimed it was like a scene in the movie Frozen. I had an appointment this afternoon and needed to venture out so I grabbed my camera and played a few songs from the movie's soundtrack. What I wanted to capture was sunlight filtering through ice crystals but the sun was hiding today. However, the local little creek never disappointments. And the icing on the cake? Lauren was horrified when I insisted on taking this photo while she was with me. Bonus points were scored for harassing a teen. It is just too easy sometimes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Slumber Party

The latest ice storm created unsafe roads tonight so we got to keep Devyn for a sleep over. The kids enjoyed hosting.

Stacks of books were read, games were played, snacks were eaten and at 7 pm, the littlest party animal passed out. She's welcome anytime.