Skiing, Valentine-ing, and Birthday Prep

I promise I’m not going to make this another post about how sick we have all been. Everyone is really feeling better now.


But, I would like to update in order to amend Friday’s post. The one in which I said we were most definitely going on our ski trip because no one had been puking all day and nothing was stopping us. I think I said, “We’re. going.” Note the extra period in there for emphasis.

Well. Ha. Ha. I remember as I typed that thinking, “I’m totally jinxing myself.” And then thinking, “No. No way. How could anything else possibly prevent us from going??”

So, when my husband got home from work on Friday, everything was packed. We were ready to go. He was about to start loading stuff into the car, but then he looked at Miss, who was lying on the floor, uncharacteristically sluggish, wrapped in a blanket. She had taken a nap that day, which was unusual for her, and woke up still saying, “I’m so tired.” She had come downstairs after her nap and barely moved from her spot on the floor.

Hubby said, “Did you take her temperature?” I said, “No” as I was walking over to put my hand on her forehead. The moment I did, I knew. She had a fever. I knew it, but I went to get the thermometer anyway. 101.7. I turned to my husband and silently mouthed some choice words before tending to her and then sending a text to Super Friend (who was already on her way to the skiing place with her family) that we weren’t coming.

But, amazingly and happily, Miss started to perk up almost right away. So much so that when I called to cancel our reservation, I only cancelled Friday night. By the time she went to bed, her temp was already below 100. I texted Super again, “There’s hope!” Saturday morning Miss woke with no fever, no other symptoms, happy as can be. I said, “Quick throw everything in the car and let’s go before something else happens to stop us!”

Okay, I didn’t really say that, but we did get on the road first thing Saturday and made it to our little condo in time for lunch and afternoon skiing and hot chocolate with Super Kids.

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The girls went to Wee Ski school in the afternoon. My husband wanted to teach them himself, but knew he couldn’t take both of them at the same time, so we thought that would be the best option. I was able to watch them from Super Friend’s condo, which was right across the street from the area where they were having their lessons. They were so darn cute all bundled up and wobbly on skis. I wanted to give them a few minutes to get comfortable before going over and watching and taking some photos. But they were only out for a very short time before going back inside to play in the little daycare area. So much for skiing.

They did say that they had fun, and they loved going tubing that night. The dads took the four older kids tubing while Super and I took the three little ones and went into town to get pizza and ice cream and beer. We had the best pizza ever, delicious treats for after the kids went to bed (we did let them have some ice cream too), and wonderful company. So, even though the trip was short and the skiing was minimal, we had a great time.

And yesterday we had our little Valentine’s Day make up. Red heart-shaped pancakes, flower arranging, tea party, and more. It was lovely.

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DSC_0652 DSC_0658 DSC_0654Today we have a birthday. Our big girl is five today. Five!

Miss and Belle

I’m having a little bit of a hard time with five. Five is so grow up. Five is school-age! Even though I won’t be sending her off to kindergarten in a few months, still, I could be! I just got a bunch of paperwork from the elementary school she would be attending if she went to public school, so I called them to say she won’t be attending. It felt so strange to do that. Five is so big.

Anyway, I have been party planning for this Merida party we’ve got happening tonight. A little preview:

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The party will be here at our house, so the guest list is small, small. But Miss is so excited and I can’t wait for her to enjoy her day. Details to follow.

Winter Needs to Go

Okay. First there was Flumaggedon, which consisted of respiratory flu for two of the girls and my husband (his turned into pneumonia) and some type of stomach bug or possibly pool-water-induced vomiting for Miss. That ugliness caused us to cancel our scheduled ski trip in early January. After we got through it and had about a week of everyone being fairly illness-free or at least on the mend, Sis got a fever and a horrible cough while we were in Florida, and then Lass got a slight fever too. The day after we got home, I went down with a nasty cough which caused laryngitis, which I still haven’t quite recovered from. Then last Friday I woke up with pink eye. Saturday it was in my other eye. Tuesday Miss had it. Wednesday Sis had it.

And if all that wasn’t enough (it WAS!!!!), last night at about 10, just as I was about to crawl into my warm, comfy bed, I heard Lass crying. I went in to check on her and what do you suppose I found? Macaroni and cheese she had vomited all over herself and her bed. For real. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

It was in her hair and just everywhere, so I started a bath, got the gross stuff to the laundry room, grabbed a bucket, and rolled up my sleeves. The poor girl was miserable for over an hour, and then she finally passed out. I crawled into bed only to hear Sis wake up crying about an hour later. Again, mac’n’cheese all over the bed and her. Round two. You get the idea. Fortunately, she wasn’t as sick as her sister. I finally went to bed at about 1:30am.

So. This winter and all of its indoor-germ-breeding just needs to be done. In the words of Super Friend, “This winter needs to die.” I’m soooo done with sick. Oh wait, except that I’m not because I still have a cold that just keeps hanging around, and I might be getting an ear infection (because why not?).

At least the girls were better when they woke up this morning.

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I was nervous, so we kept vomit-catching containers on hand and just sipped water for the first hour and a half or so after they woke up. A movie distracted them from the fact that they were starving, and kept them from going anywhere but on that blanket. We tentatively tried breakfast of bananas and toast. Not the red velvet Valentine’s Day pancakes I had planned. They kept that down too, happily watching movies while I watched for any signs of returning pukes.


^^ Bland bananas and toast, and Miss said, “I love this, Mom. What a special Valentine’s Day breakfast!”


Amazingly, it seems we’ve gotten through it now. I was sure we were going to have to cancel our second scheduled ski trip for this weekend. We were planning to leave after my husband gets home from work tonight and meet Super Friend and her family at the skiing place. Last night as I was rinsing puke from sheets to put them in the laundry, I was cursing the thought that we’d have to miss this trip too. But we’re going. No puking since about midnight last night. We’re. going.

I’m so glad we will get to salvage out trip, but unfortunately, pretty much all of my Valentine’s Day plans got foiled. We were going to have red velvet pancakes for breakfast, make flower arrangements for our table, have a fancy tea party (with fancy flower centerpieces), and other Valentine-y, crafty stuff.

We did do a bit more Valentine’s crafting once I was sure the vomiting was over.


And the girls exchanged the Valentines they had made for each other.


^^ The Valentine Miss made for Lass. She cut that heart out herself!

All is not lost though. We will be having a fancy belated Valentine’s Day/President’s Day breakfast and tea party on Monday. If we don’t get hit with the chicken pox or something in the meantime…


What is Valentine’s Day?

When I was much, much younger, I thought Valentine’s Day was a sweet, romantic day for flowers and gifts and professions of undying love.  Then I grew up a little bit, and I decided that Valentine’s Day was kind of a silly, overly-commercialized “holiday” that was nothing more than a way for card companies and jewelers to make lots of money, and that one should really try to show love every day, not just on Valentine’s.  Then I grew up a little bit more, and I revised my opinion of this holiday a bit.  I now think of Valentine’s Day as a nice enough day.  There’s nothing wrong with a day that encourages people to show their love for one another.  I don’t think it’s necessary to show that love through expensive gifts, but showing love?  That’s cool.  I still think it’s much more important to show how much the special people in your life mean to you every day.  An “I love you” and a kiss before leaving for work, or the store, or the basement.  A kiss before bed every night.  “I love you” and holding hands or giving a kiss for no reason at all but to remind someone they are essential to your world.  That’s the good stuff.
Now that I have kids, Valentines Day has become something even more.  It has become yet another way to have some fun with my girls.

I like home made gifts for days like Valentine’s Day.  I make stuff with my girls for this holiday.  To me it’s a great way to have fun together and it helps to neutralize the messages out there that your man must buy you big diamonds or a trip to Aruba to show that he really loves you on Valentine’s Day.  Not that my girls see or hear these messages now, but someday I’m sure they will. So we’re starting early to make a point of showing love through special gestures and thoughtful, simple gifts, rather than flashy stuff.

We made little heart-shaped crayons for Miss to give to her friends at school, like the ones shown on my friend’s blog here, but smaller.  They were inexpensive and pretty easy to do.  The hardest part was getting the paper off the crayons (even soaking them in warm water didn’t work for many of them).  The girls loved breaking the crayons up and putting them into the molds.  Miss specially chose which crayon each of her friends would receive and she was very excited to go to school yesterday and give these special gifts to the other kids.  Mission accomplished.

Miss had a great time at her school party, as did I.

She made another craft at her party, a potpourri ball.  She also gave me another school-made gift that is made with paper hearts, her thumb prints, glitter, and her attempt to write her name, all laminated into one big beautiful work of art that currently hangs in a place of honor on our sliding glass door.  She was so proud and excited to give these gifts to me that she had made.

When we got home, she and Lass had fun going through her box of Valentines from the other kids in her class.

Then we made special Valentines to give to Daddy, which they excitedly ran to give him when he got home from work last night.  And as we do every day, we gave lots of hugs and kisses and “I love yous” and “You’re my wonderful girls,” etc.  Just because that’s what we do.  I always want my girls to know that, on Valentine’s or any other day, showing your love for someone, and thus the genuineness of their expressions of love for you, is always about what you do, day to day, not how much you spend or how grand your gestures on one day of the year.  A happy life is made up of lots of small moments, not just the few big ones that tend to get lots of attention.

And speaking of showing your love through the things you do, last night I attempted to make paleo-friendly brownies for Miss to take to school today.  Since her birthday is on Saturday and she won’t be back to school before then, I wanted to send her with a special birthday treat to share with her friends at school today.  She requested brownies.  I wanted to make them myself and make them relatively healthy, though still a “treat.”  I had the best of intentions.  Unfortunately, last night I had a bit of a mom failure, because the brownies just didn’t taste that good.  They turned out how I think they’re supposed to.  They’re edible, and not horrible.  But they don’t taste like brownies.  And if I’m going to send my child to school with a treat to share with her friends for her birthday, I’m going to make sure it’s yummy, for pete’s sake.  So, I made a run to the grocery store last night, when I otherwise would have been composing this Valentine’s Day blog post, and grabbed some grocery-store-bakery-made mini cupcakes.  They’re good, and I think they were a hit with the kids.  So even though I totally flopped in my Mother-of-the-Year-all-natural-gluten-free-super-delicious-brownie attempt, the late night trip to the grocery store saved the day.  I feel like a dolt and it sucked to make a run to the grocery store at 9pm, but that’s okay.  And that’s why my Valentine’s Day post is a day late.  Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day.  We did.

Weekend Fun

This weekend has been quiet.  It’s very cold here, and my husband had to work this weekend, so the girls and I mostly just stayed home and did lots of fun stay-home stuff.  We had more tea parties, this time with little sister joining in.


We played with baby dolls and did some gymnastics in the basement.  We made a little gift to give the other kids at Miss’s school for Valentine’s Day.  Miss and I even completed her first homework assignment from school this afternoon when she didn’t take a nap.  She was given a poster board heart at school and instructed to decorate it with the things she loves for Valentine’s Day.  So today we talked about what she loves.  We taped photos of Lass, Daddy, Mom (I’m now “Mom,” not Mama or Mommy), an ultrasound picture of Sis, and our dog Jonah to the heart.  Then she added photos of herself reading, doing gymnastics, eating ice cream at the pool, and picking a worm out of a carton while fishing with her Daddy.  She added a ballerina sticker, a picture of watermelon, which she said is her favorite food, and interestingly, a picture of her Papa’s tractor.  She was quite decisive about what she wanted and didn’t want, though I had to prompt her a bit by showing pictures and asking her if she wanted certain things.  I loved hearing the things she wanted to add, and was surprised by some things she didn’t care to include, like a picture of her Oopsie Bear Care Bear.  It makes me smile when she surprises me with things like that.

Also this weekend we did some work getting things ready for baby Sis.  I did some crafting during nap time, which I’ll post about when I have some finished projects to show.  Miss helped me fold clothes for Sis, which we transferred from the back of Miss’s closet into Sis’s.

She was so excited to help, and kept singing a little made-up song about the clothes and how her baby sister was going to love them.  She said, “Baby Sissy will be so happy that I helped fold her laundry.  She will love me so much and will give me a big hug.”  I can’t wait to see how wonderful these girls are going to be when their new sister arrives.  Miss was great with Lass, but she’s so much older now, it will be fun to watch how much more she can understand and help with her newest sister.  And I’m happy for Lass to have to chance to make the transition from Baby Sister to Big Sister.

And seriously, there is just something about the relationship these girls have that makes me smile every time I see them playing together and anticipate so happily the addition of another sister.  I love to watch them.  I’ll turn around and randomly see them snuggling together or playing a sweet little private game.

Lass’s language is really exploding, so they can talk to each other much more now, and I love to hear their little conversations.  Miss has a sweet little special voice that she uses for Lass when Lass is upset and Miss is trying to console her.

Usually, though certainly not always, they share pretty well too.  I bought a two-sided easel (which hasn’t been put together yet) so they could both use it at the same time more easily than the easel on their Learning Tower.

But when I witness moments like this one, I wonder why.

This weekend the sisters, as always, played lots of dress up.

Miss wanted to try to take a picture of her sister with my camera, and she did a pretty good job!

Miss also got her fingernails and toenails polished.  She has been very excited about this, and wanted to paint her Daddy’s fingernails when he got home from work today.  He was going to let her do it, until I told him that the only polish remover we have is the super non-toxic stuff that doesn’t really work very well.  He decided to go for a pedicure instead.  Both girls got a chance to paint his toenails.

Miss tried to finish up after Lass polished almost every part of his toes but his nails.

The finished product on the foot that Miss did by herself.

I’m sure this is the first of many nail polishings for this Daddy.  I love that he’s such a good sport about it.

This weekend wasn’t terribly productive.  I only crossed one thing off my extensive to-do list.  The stuff above about getting Sis’s clothes folded and moved into her room is misleading.  I started the project, but since I don’t have her dresser in her room yet or enough hangers for her clothes, I actually got very little done.  I hung some jammies, folded a few swaddle blankets, and moved two boxes, one with newborn cloth diapers and the other with newborn and size 3-month clothes, into Sis’s room.  I got a little bit done on some growth charts I’m making for Lass’s and Sis’s rooms, like the one I made for Miss a while ago.  And that’s about it.  Really though, I don’t care that I didn’t get much done.  When my husband is working the weekend and we are pretty much house-bound, I just do my best to have as much fun as possible and avoid meltdowns, either from my girls or myself.  This weekend, we did a pretty good job.

Celebrating Love

In the past few weeks, we’ve been Valentine-ing a lot. It’s amazing how much I could get into the Valentine-Love because of having a (very-nearly) two-year-old to do it with. We have been crafting.
We made these heart-shaped sun catchers. I got this idea from Mama V at Six and Still Sane. We used wax paper heart cutouts, put crayon shavings between, and ironed to melt the layers together. I should have read Mama V’s directions more carefully though, because the way she described setting up the craft involves having the crayons already grated and ready to go. I had the hearts already cut, but some insane part of my mind thought that maybe it would be fun for Miss to watch me grate the crayons. Probably the same part that thought grating crayons would be just like grating cheese. This is the dumb part of my brain. Of course crayons are much harder than cheese, thus much harder to grate, especially when trying to do it quickly. NOTE: A two-year-old does not have the attention span to wait for something exciting to happen while Mommy struggles to get the wrappers off some crayons (seriously, this was the longest part, they were really stuck), then bites her lip to keep from cursing while grinding crayons and knuckles against a cheese grater. But, the sun catchers did turn out sort of pretty and Miss thought it was fun to see what happened when I ironed them.

We made a couple of Valentine’s Day cards. Here’s the one she did for Daddy.

We made a few batches of cookies. With red frosting of course.

We did lots and lots of snuggling. But we do that all the time anyway.

Today I made Miss french toast for lunch, with a heart-shaped cutout. It turned out not very nicely heart-shaped. This was my first-ever attempt at making french toast, and it was kind of ugly actually. But it tasted good! Though Miss preferred the strawberries.
Lass was snuggly. She’s always snuggly.
Miss loved her Valentine’s Day dress and shoes.

Really loved them!

Lass loved on her Daddy (and her monkey).

My hubby sent some beautiful flowers to me and the girls, and Miss and Lass both had a great time looking at, smelling, and feeling them. We celebrate love every day in our family, but we had a lot of fun with Valentine’s Day this year too.

A Little Cabin Fever

Other than to go take Miss to gymnastics yesterday afternoon, we haven’t left the house since Monday. You might say we’ve got a bit of cabin fever, but not in a bad way. Being cooped up in the house has forced us to keep busy with crafts and projects. And it also prompts me to bring out my camera. When we are stuck in the house all day, I take photos. A lot. Taking pictures makes me happy.
Yesterday we brought out the finger paints again. Miss had been pointing to her paintings on the fridge from the last time we painted, proudly saying, “I made that.” I wanted to let her try painting with a paintbrush, but I couldn’t find the brushes so we just used hands again. Boy, did she ever.

I love the painting on the right. Not only does it have the first handprints I have of hers since she was born, but it looks like a Valentine’s Day painting with the big red heart. I helped her do the handprints, but I didn’t help her to make the heart-like shape. I actually didn’t even recognize it as a heart-like shape until my husband mentioned it when he came home from work. Love.
She was quite proud of her messiness this time.
And she enjoyed showing off for her sister.

I think she may have been trying to decide if she could get away with painting Lass.
She stuck with the paper.
Well, sort of.

After getting cleaned up we got ready to go to gymnastics. I let her pick out her shirt, and what did she pick but my fave Wonder Woman T shirt. She pointed to the picture of Wonder Woman and said, “Mama.” Weeellll, okay! Then she caught on when I told her who it really was and she kept saying, “Wun Nuh Man!”
In the photos below she is putting the hearts from the other day’s post into her shirt. This is seemingly much more fun to do over and over than to put them on the window. Every time I go to change her diaper one or two of these things falls out of her onesie.

I just love this pic of her talking to our old dog Chica, whose health seems to be declining of late. She’s a good old dog.
Lass is really moving herself around with her rolling, though she’s not terribly precise in where she gets herself to.

Miss went grocery shopping in her refrigerator.
She loves her shopping cart. This is a rare photo of her pushing it herself though. Usually she orders, “Mama push!” “Mama do it!” “Mama run.” The girl loves to be moving and loves for me or her daddy to push her shopping cart or baby stroller and chase her while doing it.
Just cute.

I love seeing how the girls interact more and more as Lass gets bigger.
This one looks like they’re already sharing a little secret.

Bad timing on my part, but this was one of many kisses from big sister today.
And one final note, at dinner tonight Miss said, “Razzle Dazzle!!” It took me a few times to catch on to what she was saying, and each time I asked her to repeat it she got this sheepish little grin on her face, which erupted into a huge radiant smile and laugh when I finally got it and said, “Did you just say ‘Razzle Dazzle’?” Then of course we had to say it several times each and laugh every time. She is just a funny, fun little girl.
P.S. “Razzle Dazzle” is the favorite saying of my hubby and I from the show Yo Gabba Gabba. It’s a Muno signature exclamation, in case you’re wondering.

Snow Day

I’m not sure if we’re going to be hit by this big snowstorm heading in this general direction. We might be just far enough north that we don’t get much snow from it. We got a couple of inches last night, but the weather forecast looks like we’ll have mostly flurries for the next few days. Nevertheless, it’s very cold and we have plenty of snow.

So, I declared today to be a snow day at our house. We won’t be going anywhere and are all settled in to stay nice and warm and have lots of fun. Right now it’s nap time for both girls, which is always fun. This morning we had plenty of good times too. What better way to spend a cozy winter day inside than by baking with my favorite almost-two-year-old?

We had some very ripe bananas, or as Miss calls then, “beenahs” that were past the point of eating by themselves. Naturally, they needed to be transformed into Beenah Bread! Miss did a great job mashing the bananas
and maybe eating a little bit too, while Lass supervised.
She helped me measure in the rest of the ingredients and take the batter-filled loaf pan to the oven. I forgot to grease the pan, so the finished product didn’t come out of the pan very nicely. In fact, the bottom of the loaf stayed firmly stuck in the pan while the top half flopped out. I am seriously not cut out for this baking thing! I managed to get the bottom portion out in one piece and stick it onto the top piece so it at least looks like a nice loaf. From a distance. Until you cut it. It tastes good!
Then we moved on to some Valentine’s Day decorating. I’ve not really been much of a Valentine’s Day celebrater (is that a word?) in the past decade or so. I typically think of the holiday as not much more than a way for greeting card, jewelry, candy, and flower companies to make money. Though I usually get my hubby a card and sometimes we go out to dinner or I cook a special dinner at home, we don’t do much else for the day. But now that Miss is at such a fun age, I can’t let this cheesy holiday go by without plenty of fitting activities.
Today, Valentine’s window stickies. Miss loved these by the way. The last thing she asked for when I was putting her down for her nap was, “Play more hearts??” She kept peeling them off and sticking them back on, and has assigned a particular heart to each member of our family (the swirly one in the photo below is Daddy’s).

I don’t know what our next Valentine’s project will be. I did buy more cookie dough, so we’ll be baking and decorating Valentine’s Day cookies in the near future. And probably doing some other crafts. Maybe we’ll make some cards to send. Who knows? It definitely brings more meaning to this holiday though when I can make it into a fun time for my girl. I feel great about celebrating an overly-commercialized holiday when we do it with homemade gifts and treats and make it into just another reason to give extra love and hugs around our home.
If you are getting hit by the coming blizzard, I hope you’ll stay safe and warm!