Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Five - The presidential edition

Happy President’s day weekend!  Here’s how we are celebrating this week!

1.  This adorable scout attended her service unit's world thinking day this week.  This is one of the best events scouts has to offer as the girls learn a lot putting it on and attending.  Plus there was lots of yummy food :-)  Oh, and speaking of sugar, she just wrapped up selling cookies, which admittedly was way more successful last year when we had a freakish weekend of 60+ degree temps that helped.  She'll have a wagon of cookies to sell in March though, so look out :-) and a huge thank you to those who ordered already.  This was not a year where I (really Spencer) were super helpful in getting her out so every bit of support is appreciated.  The girls in her troop are so sweet in wanting to help the hospital and people who are sick so I can’t wait to see what they come up with!

2.  John is still a puzzler OBSESSED.  Here he is with the 100 piece puzzle he non-chalantly does and leaves around the house.  It's about the only time he goes quiet for a long period of time around the house wherein I'm not worried about the condition or safety of the rest of our belongings.

Like his resurgent interest in playdough, though this time our belongings escaped his wrath as I was fairly hands on about it all.

And my errand buddy.  Minus his non-stop chatter and my inability to focus on any task at hand, he is kinda fun to take on errands and his running commentary and observations at least entertain everyone around us, even if I am rarely entertained.

2.  We are in the midst of a major house upheaval as we are moving Catherine into my former "office", that was really just a 10x10 pit of paper, photos, art supplies, costumes, holiday decorations unsent cards and packages and glitter.  Sooo. Much. Glitter.  Catherine and Matthew have been sharing a room for a while and we moved John into their room this summer.  3 in a room has had its ups and downs with regards to sleep.  I think we finally found a good routine for evenings where John goes to bed before the big kids, but in the morning it was some weird olympic event to see who could wake up earliest and make the most noise to wake up all the other siblings (often aided by the world's noisiest effing cat).  Surprisingly, it was a game where EVERYONE loses.  So, with the two oldest approaching a need for privacy, Catherine got to move downstairs on her own and she is enjoying every bit of her new room!  

3.  This boy is a gloriously fun and ridiculous hot mess.  He's still recovering from his ear infections of last week, as well as needing to practice planking or crawling 24/7 and starting on some solid foods.

Mmmm . . . cucumber doused in pumpkin.  We are clearly on the path to 4 star chef-ery over here.

Or not!

We are also teething our top two teeth, so hands in the mouth is a pretty common thing anymore.

And who doesn't love kisses from Daddy:

Or hugs from big brother:

The big kids have decided on their own they can pick up Spencer and take him out of his crib or carry him up the stairs.  All of which has caused me a handful of grey hairs, some yelling and then some sweet relief as I realize the joy of having extra helpers . . . most of the time :-)  Since our stairs are still literally hard as rocks, I've nixed that one but I'll take the extra 10 mins in bed as they get Spencer out to play when he wakes up. 

4.  We discovered what Olivia would be like as an urban cat.  If cats had souls, they would be soulmates: 

5.  The great office clean out has caused my genealogy boxes to resurface, and another shot of motivation to organize and share.  It probably won’t last long because that pumpkin covered monster above is only 1/7 of the smallish mammals in the house that could destroy artifacts in .014 seconds, but here’s some fun pics I came across so far in an album of my great grandmother.  Any info emailed or shared from family on IDing the first two photos is as always appreciated :-) 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Another Sunday Five - Shocking!

Well damn, I made it 4 weeks in a row.  I'm as shocked as anyone.  Here's what this week looked like in our zoo.

1. This week was the school's Lip Sync for Literacy.  Our school's staff battles another school's staff with lip sync battles while donation buckets are passed around.  The school with the most money in their buckets are the winners, but the proceeds from the event are split evenly between the schools.  Our school has lost the last 2 years so this year's win was super exciting.

Leading up to the event were school spirit days as well which brought us 80s day

And wacky Wednesday.

Of course John can't be left out:

2. It was also James' birthday this week!  The kids picked out some new Star Wars swag for James and we had cake for breakfast.  We finished celebrating by putting the kids to bed at 6p and watching a movie and picking up take out because we're cheap and old and taking a break from the kids talking is often its own break.

3.  Poor Spencer had the roughest week.  He picked up an annoying cold 2 weeks ago and by Monday we were certain it had manifested into an ear infection.  Sure enough the poor kid not only had a double ear infection but little did we know he was on the front end of an even worse virus that we've been fighting all week.  He’s used his sick days to catch up on reading:

To refine his palate (Seriously, #bitchpleasecat is making us all crazy with her dominance of all spaces near the children):
And do some light modeling:

And hanging with his big brother:

4.  It has felt like more and more of our weekly errands get divided and conquered as James takes the big kids and I hang with the littles, so we all committed to some family fun.  We all made it to the symphony together:

And only as I took this picture did I realize that the two big kids hadn't changed clothes from Friday night.  Oops.  We got home from the fundraiser the night before at 10:30pm and somehow psychologically the kids think that staying out is even a  bigger deal if they get to sleep in their clothes. Even if they are plenty awake to change, they are rarely plenty awake to be rational so we let it slide : ) 

The big kids went to watch some mediocre Big Sky Conference basketball while I stayed at home to watch some terrible ACC basketball.  At least the view was cute.

Today we switched roles and James stayed with the littles while I took the bigs to see The Greatest Showman.  If you haven't gone, go.  It was heartwarming and made us smile and sing along, as well as being charming enough to forget that it was barely historical in its fiction and there were some human-cannon sized plot holes. 

5. And last but not least, we've been reading.  A LOT.  It's been cold and we've been sick so there's been a lot of curling up with good books.  Here's John reading one of his favorite books:

And Matthew has been playing around with logging his books on which has been a fun alteration to his reading logs if you're looking for something for your little ones.   We are always looking for good book suggestions if you have any or if you join!  And tonight I got to enjoy a full lap as we read I Spy.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Five - Superbowl Edition

1.  Matthew finally got most of his scout prizes from popcorn sales. He was pretty jazzed about his new lamp (with USB charging!) camp chair and pillow and can't wait to use them.  He also had earned some scout bucks to spend at the local toy store and picked a wooden crossbow and rubberband gun, meaning that we now have 457 varieties of projectiles that can be flying through our house at any given point.  

Spencer likes the chair to as a change of pace from his other baby seats.

2.  Oh dear sweet John, he is in a phase where he *really* likes to "help" everywhere, but specifically in the kitchen.  It's the worst/best.  He made the salad the other night for us and then insisted on carrying it to the table, dropping it all over the floor.  He was so proud and then so crushed I couldn't break his heart by not serving the salad, so we ate floor salad.  I can only assume it's one of the many ways we utilize the hygiene hypothesis to our advantage. 

He is also clearly a big helper with Spencer, if Spencer needs touched or poked or needs a silly face in his face, John is very much our go to guy.

3.  We are currently watching the Superbowl and I'm attempting to multi-task, which means I'm getting interrupted approximately 3 more times per minute, bringing my average up to about 632 times an hour.  John needs everything he sees confirmed by an outside opinion, i.e. "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, that man was on fire, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, they said time out . . . "  Matthew is our comedy czar and has to make sure we all have heard whatever joke was made and didn't miss it (in case you missed it, a robot said "you have a dumb face.") and Catherine adds color commentary wherever possible and asks a lot of logistics questions.

However, speaking of superbowl we headed to the superbowl of MT robotics yesterday and in our sports worshipping culture (enjoy the irony as I write this watching the superbowl), it was refreshing to be at a competition about ingenuity, science and engineering and see kids excited about competing.  I got weirdly emotional about it, some if it bringing back awesome memories of all my nerd conventions in high school, some of it was I'm sure sleep exhaustion and hormones, but I think a lot of it was hope.  The kids really are alright and on a bright path, even if the adults of the world sometimes aren't.

And Catherine, never to be left out, got her new kiwi crate and went straight to working building an arcade claw this morning.  Thanks to Teta for all these great projects!

She also was my rockstar as she and her good friend offered to help me with Kindergarten STEAM club on Friday.  They were awesome!

4. Oh, and then there's Spencer, who has been cranky the past few days and when he's not cranky he is a happy shrieker.   He's also sooooo close to crawling and I'm not kidding when I say the excitement attracts everyone in the house (the speed on this might be wonky, I apparently recorded it in slow-mo, but it's not really 1.5 mins of excitement:

We can only assume the cats' tails and a satisfying handful of hair will be the ultimate motivator.  I however am not ready for him to crawl AT ALL, and will be over here sobbing in the corner when it happens.  He unintentionally moves around too much already,  I can't have him purposefully moving!

5.  As I shared on the Facebooks, 4 kids is a lot of kids.  Like, hard to buy a new car a lot of kids, like hard to muster the will to take them all anywhere A LOT.  We've been dividing and conquering recently, James takes the older two skiing while I attempt a reasonable nap schedule with the littles on Saturdays etc.   6 ish months is one of my favorite baby phases and it was fun to look back at all 4 in the same outfit.  However, just because it's my favorite doesn't make it one of the most exhausting as we approach the maximum unhappiness with the facts that he's not moving independently and the maximum weight for a phase where mom is still responsible for all baby changes of scenery.  Our neighbor passed on a bumper sticker to the family that says "honk if kids fall out" and I cannot wait for whatever vehicular monstrosity we get to be adorned with it because it feels true, though I'd add "honk if kids (projects, backpacks, lunch boxes, winter gear, pets, skis, sleds, bathing suits or the nice sippy cups or expensive gloves) fall out"

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...