Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Picture this

During sacrament meeting on Sunday the girls drew and coloured pictures for me and Andrew.

Here's the front of Miriam's picture:


Tomorrow's forecast has been a little iffy. It keeps switching between plain ordinary rain and heavy snow, depending on which side of freezing things are supposed to be. Right now it's just rain, but even that hardly matters because it's supposed to drop below freezing overnight, so I'm guessing Friday morning will at least be bring us a delayed-start to our day.

I was supposed to have a doctor's appointment on Friday morning and I really didn't want to end up missing it so I called this morning to see if I could switch to Thursday morning and they had one opening so I grabbed it. So let that three-hour delay come! I might not have eggs or bread or milk but at least I'll have a doctor's appointment under my belt.

Today though? Today was beautiful and to celebrate we went outside without sweaters on.

"Out a sweaty?" Benjamin asked quizzically when I announced we were ready to go this morning after we put on shoes.

"Without a sweater," I told him. "It's nice outside. Try it."

He pushed open the door and stepped outside, immediately spreading his arms and lifting his face into the sunshine.

"That's nice!" he agreed. But he insisted on getting a sweater anyway.

Oh, spring. You're such a tease! Can you just be here already?

Apparently Rachel's teacher admonished her class to keep their jackets on because, and I quote, "just because it's warm outside doesn't mean that spring is here, so keep your jackets on!"

"But I didn't listen to her," Rachel said. "It was so hot running around I had to take my sweater off!"

I told her that was fine because it doesn't really matter what season it is—if it's hot outside you can take your jacket off and if it's cold outside you can put a jacket on. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, whatever. Dress for the weather, not the season.

Benjamin and I wore shorts and t-shirts today. Miriam wore a dress without pants underneath, which she was excited about.

Our first stop of the day was the library for Dr. Seuss's birthday party. We listened to some stories, sang some songs, watched an enactment of Green Eggs and Ham, made Cat in the Hat hats, played Pin the Star on the Sneech, made Cat in the Hat snacks with slices of banana and strawberry, and took some pictures at the photo booths. We skipped the face painting because face paints are terrifying according to my children. We had quite a bit of fun!

Snack Time!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Changing dynamics

We took the kids to the store today and it was such a momentous occasion that Rachel actually prayed to thank Heavenly Father that "we were able to go to the store and buy things." Apparently we haven't taken them shopping since before Christmas. Because shopping is the worst.

But Target sent me a coupon for a $20 gift card if I'd make a baby registry with them. So I made the registry just to get the gift card. Their ploy worked, I guess, because we ended up spending more than $20, of course.

We picked out a couple of outfits for Zoë and found some Easter-y things for next month (so we don't have to go shopping for that later), including matching dresses for the girls that were super on sale (seriously—sometimes Target has amazing sales, but only sometimes; other times I'm like, "Uh, twenty cents off isn't a sale price...but thanks for putting it on the clearance rack anyway.").

It was pretty late by the time we were heading home and even later after we'd gotten all ready for bed. When we pulled into the driveway Andrew said, "Remember what we're doing as soon as we get into the house? Pyjamas, teeth, bed."

"And stories!" Benjamin said. "Me can't go bed 'out stories!"

"And a story," Andrew added.

"And a gink!" Benjamin said. "Me need a gink!"

"And a drink. You're going to go through every little detail of your bedtime routine now, aren't you?"

"Hehehe! Yup!" Benjamin giggled.

Because it was so late Rachel didn't fully participate in story time; instead she perched on the arm of the couch while reading her own book...and listening. I completely sympathized with her. It's so hard to choose between personal reading time and story time with Mom. I hated growing out of the story time phase. Fortunately for me, my little sister is nine years younger than me so I was able to passively listen in for a long time.

Both Miriam and Benjamin were smooshing their little faces against my shoulders and it was breaking my heart to think about our family dynamics changing again.

Have I mentioned yet that I've been uber emotional this pregnancy?

Shopping was exciting. Everyone was looking at tiny little outfits and saying which ones they liked best. We found a book in the dollar section called Zoe's First Book of Seasons it. (Zoë will love that she shares a name with a character on Sesame Street for at least the first few years of her life, I'm sure).

Story time was sad for me, though, when it ordinarily isn't. I guess because first there was one and it was so uncomplicated. She'd climb onto my lap and we'd read stories. And then there were two, and that was fine because one could sit on my lap and the other beside me. And then there were three, and it was still fine because I'd have one on my lap and one on either side of me.

This picture is from July 30, 2012, but it's basically how story time has gone for nearly three years now:

Benjamin on my lap, and a girl on either side of me.

Monday, March 02, 2015

End of cheer and kindergarten registration

This past Saturday Miriam had what I think was her last day of cheer...maybe. I'm not sure what's happening with snow make-up days and such. She had a good run and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Plus she got a trophy so she's definitely feeling like a champ.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Family Game Night

Looking at the forecast last night we knew our schedule would probably be thrown off, but when our alarm went off at 6:30 there was still no news so Andrew went ahead and took a shower. I was a little surprised when he climbed back in bed after his shower instead of waking me up.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

Sometimes he does weird things in the morning when he first wakes up.

"Going back to bed," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Church has been postponed until 2:00. Freezing rain or something."

So we slept in until 9:30 because our kids are exhausted from staying up super late the last few weeks. Seriously. They're out of control. I was telling little girls to stop whispering to each other at 10:45 one night. Sheesh!

Sleeping in was wonderful. Then the kids spent the morning playing LEGO, we Skyped with Andrew's parents, we ate breakfast and lunch, and then we went to church for an hour—that's all.

We gave someone from our ward—a born and raised southerner—home and he found our ice scraper on the floor of our van.

"What's this?" he asked, picking it up. "Looks like it probably comes in pretty handy. Is it for cleaning your car somehow?"

He rubbed it on the carpet.

"It's for scraping ice and snow off the windshield," I explained.

Those were my outside words. My inside words were, "No wonder snow shuts this place down."

When we arrived home Andrew immediately started on dinner (because it's fast Sunday but he's the only one fasting because I don't fast when I'm pregnant and the kids haven't even attempted such a feat yet) while I rallied the troops to clean the living room.

Rachel wanted to play the Harry Potter LEGO game she got for Christmas, which we hadn't even opened until today because it involved building the board and that just looked too intimidating of a project with three excited children bouncing around. Today, though, there must have been an abundance of patience in the atmosphere because we put it together (which easily took longer than it did to play the actual game) and played through one round before Benjamin had a complete meltdown.

Finished Dress

I finished the dress (for real) last night, including weaving in all the ends, which is the most tedious part of any project. We went to Miriam's last cheer event for a basketball game, so I sat for an hour and worked the shell border around the bottom of the dress (pausing to watch Miriam perform at halftime).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bootie Booty

I've been doing quite a bit of crocheting lately, so much that Andrew remarked, "It's like you're nesting...but without standing up."

He might be onto something.

I've made multiple pairs of booties and I even broke out the blanket I started just before Benjamin was born (thinking I still had two months to complete it—ha!) but never finished (I will finish it before Zoë is born). My most recent project has been a dress for Zoë. In theory it was going to be her coming home outfit but once I started working it up it became rather clear that it's not going to fit a newborn. Zoë will have to grow into it.

I found a free pattern on this knitting/crocheting website. It's literally just a scan of an article from an Australian newspaper dated 1888. It was quaint—they called it a petticoat—and used easy enough stitches that it gave me enough confidence to break away from the usual hats/booties/blankets that I make.

In order to work the pattern, though, I had to translate it from British to American terms (why can't we just agree on which stitch is which) and rework a few more things that simply didn't make sense to my brain. Oh, and I used remnant yarn that Andrew's aunt gave to me back when Miriam was toddling around so I had to throw some stripes in. I thought that the yellow I grabbed would easily work up into an infant dress...but when it ended up looking so big I knew I needed to make some adjustments.

Anyway, I finished it tonight!

Snow Day #9

Last night my friend Laura braved the ice and snow and gave me a ride to book club.

I never volunteer to host book club because my living room sits about five people (even family scripture study feels squishy sometimes) and the bedrooms are right off the living room, which means my kids would sit awake all night listening to everyone talking. Not that we'd say anything terrible, just that they should be sleeping.

Attendance was so sparse last night, however, that I really could have hosted it. There were seven women there. I didn't even read the book (but I finished a book I've been working on since January sometime, so); it was still fun.

On the way home, Laura and I talked about ukulele practice. The roads were still rather icy so I knew Andrew would want to take the van in the morning (there's no way his scooter, trusty though it is, could navigate all the ice ruts), which would leave me without a vehicle. But we're supposed to play at Relief Society night this Thursday so we had to get together to practice.

The best—the only—solution was to have me host ukulele practice.

"That'll work," I said. "I'll just need to clean my house."

"Oh, you don't have to do that," she said.

"Oh, I really do though," I said.

Our entire house was covered with soggy snow stuff and muddy footprints—just part of the joy of snow days!

When I opened the front door, though, I caught Andrew in the act of cleaning the house.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day #8

As promised, there will be no complaining about today's snow day being unwarranted because we actually got snow this time! And, boy, was it ever exciting snow!

Andrew had stayed up late working so we went to bed rather late. Benjamin came in while I was clearing some clothes off the bed (by putting them on hangers like a responsible adult) and grabbed my leg and I might have freaked out a bit, but we got over that and soon Benjamin was settled in his little nest on our floor and we were ready for bed, too.

I finished brushing my teeth, turned off the lights, and hopped into bed. As I was getting comfy I saw lights flashing around the room.

"Did you see that?" I asked Andrew.

"See what?" he asked.

"I don't even know," I said. "I think it was lightning...or something."

"It's not lightning," Andrew said. "It couldn't have been lightning. It's probably just some animal outside setting off the light outside our window."

"But it's flashing," I said. "Not steady."

"Well, the light on the side of the house has been flickering lately..."

"There! Did you see that?!" I asked when I saw a brilliant flash again.

"No. What?" Andrew asked.

"It happened again!" I said. "How are you not seeing this?!"

"My eyes are closed," he said. "I'm tired."

"Well, open them!" I said. "This is crazy!"

We heard a boom and saw a green and orange flash and the power went out.

"Is it the transformer?" Andrew asked.

Somewhere behind our house is a transformer, we think, because that's where we hear the noise whenever the power has gone out before.

"I don't know," I said as the power came back on.

There was another boom and a flash and then silence. This time the power did not come back on (and wouldn't for over twelve hours).

"Guess it was just the transformer," I said. "But that was a really big flash! It lit up the whole sky!"

We got out of bed and fumbled around in the dark to find flashlights and extra blankets. In theory, I have a flashlight that I keep on my nightstand for emergencies such as this. In reality, that flashlight is often commandeered by the children for shadow puppets and ghost story telling and other official childhood business. In other words, it was not where it was supposed to be.

Fortunately, cellphones will do in a pinch and I was able to find one of our camping flashlights (that we keep on a shelf in our closet because with the number of thunder storms we get out here it's just smart to keep them handy) and then I went to check on the girls. They were having a "sleepover" in Rachel's bunk, along with a billion stuffed animals, so they were pretty roasty-toasty but I threw an extra quilt on them, anyway. When I did Rachel woke up and I explained to her that the power was out, but that she should go back to sleep. She made sure she knew where her little battery-operated reading lamp was that she got for Christmas, first.

Next I put some extra blankets on Benjamin—who we've been putting to bed in double layers of pyjamas anyway since he's incapable of staying under a blanket—and spread one on our bed as well.

We checked the carbon monoxide detector and researched things like how long food can stay good in a fridge without power and a million other things I was so worried about that I couldn't sleep and then we went to bed.

I kept seeing flashes.

"Did you see that?" I asked. "That's not the transformer. The transformer is kaput. I'm pretty sure it's lightning."

"I didn't see anything," Andrew said.

"Were your eyes closed again?"

"It's two o'clock in the morning," he pointed out.

"Well, this is really cool. Will you just get out of bed and open the blinds a little so I can see out the window, because I'm not sleeping, but I'm also not getting out of this bed. I feel as graceful as a walrus; I'm not rolling over."

He did, because he's awesome. And then we just watched the lightning for a while, since we determined that that's what it was. Lightning during a snow storm is rather amazing. It lights up the sky and reflects on the ground and you can't even hear the thunder because everything is so insulated. But it's also rather freaky...because lightning during a snow storm? Who thought of that?

Anyway, we were eventually able to fall asleep and we woke up to seven inches of glorious white stuff. I'm only able to call it glorious because we've been waiting for it for so stinking long (did you see our picnic in the sunshine yesterday?). Ordinarily I feel rather meh about snow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Day #7

We've officially used up all our snow days, so today is our first snow day that wasn't built into the calendar. How we'll make that up (and the next couple that are surely coming down the pike) is yet to be determined.

At least we had a beautiful day (47°F!) to play with instead of being cooped up or out in the cold!

The kids spent most of the day playing outside after they managed to get dressed appropriately. Miriam had a tough time getting ready to go outside. She put on one pretty dress after another and I kept telling her to go back and change into something that could get muddy.

Finally she emerged from her room wearing a super old play dress that we grabbed for Rachel at a trading tables event years ago (so has been through at least three children, though I would guess more) and a pair of leggings (that came into our possession through similar means) that already had a small hole in the knee.

"Mom, these are old enough that they, like, have holes in them," Miriam said, coming out into the living room and twirling so I could see what she was wearing.

"Perfect!" I said. "Go outside!"

And that's where they stayed for hours.

We even had a picnic on the back deck. It was just that beautiful. The only reason Benjamin is wearing a hat is because he has been waiting for his turn for days but one of the girls is usually wearing it (because, as you can see, it's a little too big for him so he gets stuck with a smaller hat and one of the girls wears this bigger one).