Thursday 13~ Things I Love About a Snow Day!

After nearly two feet of snow dumping on us over the last two days, they canceled school today!  We found out the good news last night before bed and we filled our day with fun.
1.  Sleeping in!  Hank didn't wake up until 6:15 and Karlie slept until 7:30!
2.  Eating a big breakfast of eggs and toast at 9am instead of shoveling cold cereal in at 6 am.
3.  Playing games with the girls.  Twister, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Jenga were the picks today.

4. Watching the kids have a total blast in the snow.
5. Making snow horses.  No snowmen in this house. :)
6. Lots of hot coco and marshmallows.
7. Tea and cookies.
8. Hot soup.
9. Staying in our PJs until 1pm!
10.  Daddy coming home a little early to help shovel.  We have a four car garage and after attempting to shovel it all by hand, my arms are screaming snow blower!

11.  Watching Hank experience snow on his own.  He took a face plant shortly after this picture and was none to happy.  But the city snow plow came by to do the streets and he was happy as could be and started clapping as he plowed near our house.
12.  Karlie creating a new extreme sport : Ice scootering!  She is insane!  Each time she crashed she let out the biggest belly laugh.
13. My mud/wash room.

Sir Hankselot Turns 18 months

Hank loves his rocking horse and on this rainy day decided to be a knight with lance.As I was getting ready for Hank's 18 month check-up, I started to think about the questions our pediatrician usually asks to track development. At 15 months we were a little concerned with his speech since he only had a handful of words and with Kaitlin's history I think we were more alert. I decided to start writing down words as he said them so I could tell her how many words he had. I was feeling like a bad mom as I recorded his words throughout the day:

Fruit Loops
Excuse you
Press Play
Then I started to feel a little better with:
Hawee (Hailey)
KTs (Katilin)
Dar-Dar (Karlie)
Then I felt better when at dinner he said, "Amen." At least I got one good one on the list.
As I kept writing words down we got to 30. His doctor said that was great, if not ahead. That is a change. I don't think any of the girls have ever been ahead in speech as toddlers.
He is almost 25 pounds (50%) and 33 inches (75%). Long and skinny like his daddy.
The pediatrician said it was the happiest 18 month check-up she can remember.  He was more than happy to give her five and had no complaints until the shots.  She said by this age they usually remember the shots and have stranger anxiety.  I guess he grew out out of his wild, hungry, teething, not breathing, tired genius stage.  His asthma is under better control and we are down to one nebulizer a day but might go back to two for the cold and flu season.  We are slowly figuring out how to feed this little guy and changing our menus so that they are Hank friendly.  Spaghetti use to be our cheap dinner, but not anymore with $4/pound of organic pasta.  I still find myself doing things without considering his allergies like ordering pizza when we are all out of food and not realizing until it arrives that I have nothing to feed Hank.  But we are slowly getting the hang of it.
He is a very loving little guy and melts my heart. He is also on a mission to kill himself before he sees his two year old birthday. I have never seen a child climb the way he does. Forgive me for saying it, but I am not sure he is the sharpest tool in the shed. He will climb up something and fall and hurt himself only to turn around and do it again. For example this weekend he was attempting to climb up on the table while my back was turned and fell and hit his lip. He actually bit through his lip. Blood was everywhere and I was a mess. After Max inspected it and we applied cool rags he started to calm down. As soon as I let him out of my arms he was starting to pull the chair out to climb up again. His forehead is riddled with bruises and bumps. Max and I were thinking Hockey will be an excellent sport for him.
We love the different dynamic a little dude brings to the house. If the girls are playing on the floor, he runs and tackles them. He is always wanting a kiss or to hold your hand and has yet to turn down open arms. This fella is a charmer or maybe just a Mommas boy. :)

Easy Peeps Halloween Cake

We have quite a few birthdays this time of year so I wanted to do a fun but easy cake in the middle of the week.  With a little help from my Peeps, I made this cute cake.  Kid taste approved and grown-up taste tolerated. :)

Spooktacular Seven Sleepover

Our close friends went to see the Broadway musical Wicked and stayed the night downtown.  They have three kids the same age as Hailey, Karlie, and Kaitlin.  We tried to convince them to go for round four but they were happy to not keep up with the Jones' on that one.   While they were at Wicked, we had a wicked fun time of our own with a Spooktacular Seven Sleepover!  I must admit seven kids under eight was a bit spooky.

The first thing we did was made Halloween necklaces with beads, witches, pumpkins, bats, and ghosts.
Kaitlin and Addison are twins separated at birth.  They are only three weeks apart and are the best buddies.  I have never seen them fight.  They just adore each other.
Then we played pumpkin bocce ball.
It was great fun until Jack decided to see if his pumpkin would bounce on the patio!  Boys.  Then it became a game of smash pumpkin.
We then headed up to the park.  I think this was Hank's favorite activity.  He loves the swing.  We got many funny looks as people tried to decide if all the kids were ours.  It was like three sets of twins and a singleton.  I don't know how Octo-mom does it.
For dinner we had pizza and broccoli.  It was pretty scary how much food those goblins consumed and I wouldn't want to frighten you with the mess that was left the next day.
Before bed we made Halloween magnets that they got to paint.  Right now target has plastic table cloths in the dollar bin.  Stock-up!  These are the best craft protecting item.  Just throw it down before they start and throw it all away.  It really makes crafting so much more fun when you don't have to worry about paint or glitter going everywhere.
We rounded the sleepover off with a trip to the pumpkin patch in the morning.  Unfortunately that freeze that flooded our basement also froze the pumpkins.  We felt so bad for the farmer who had lost a sizable portion of his crop.  We thought the basement repair was pricey, I can't imagine what it cost him.The kids were so bummed when they would find just the right one only to realize the underside was all mushy.  It was so ironic that all the pumpkins had froze when it was 82 degrees out on the day we went to the pumpkin patch.
Definitely the cutest pumpkins out there.

Hailey cried when we left empty handed and had to head to King Soopers to buy our pumpkins.
After our spooktacular seven sleepover, I am grateful I only have four ghouls to watch over.

Happy Birthday Kerrie!

Happy Birthday! I am enjoying raising kids together and love you so much.  I know this won't go down as the most memorable B-day, but I hope it was a special day.  See ya Saturday!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom.  I am so lucky to have a mom I call friend.  You are such an important part of our family and we love you very much.  I hope this is your best year yet!


Birthdays, Baby Showers, and Basements...

Last weekend was a BIG weekend, with a capital B!  Max took the three girls to California for Auntie Anna's 30th birthday.  They all had such a special time.  The girls were thrilled to get to take a special trip with daddy and I think daddy was pretty excited too.  He called me when they landed and said the trip was going perfectly except for the time when Hailey reached back to grab his hand to hold and knocked his soda in his lap.  Besides feeling like he had peed his pants for an hour, Max was happy as could be.  Throughout the weekend he kept commenting on how easy just three are.  :0)  I was saying how easy just Hank is.  Being outnumbered 2:1 is rough.
Kaitlin napped, Karlie drew and Hailey read her book.  Max said at one point he had nothing to do.  GASP!
Once the gang landed it was nonstop fun.
There were treasure hunts, feasts, and presents.
And lots of snuggles.
Hailey looking for her treasure.
Karlie getting snagged up on her hunt.
Kaitlin scoring a find!
We thought getting Anna an ipod touch was pretty cool, but nothing is quite as cool as a Mini.  GrammaNette and Anna now each have one and a certain someone is telling me that is what he wants for his commuter car.  Apparently these little guys are fast!

It was such a special weekend for everyone.  The girls were on cloud nine when they got home.  I am sad I missed out on the party weekend, but I had a little partying of my own to do and lets face it, traveling with an 18 month old is no ones idea of a good time.  So Hank and I enjoyed a special weekend of snuggles and undivided attention together.
On Saturday I hosted my sister Mel's Baby shower that Chrystyi and Kitty threw.  I have to say it was the most beautiful baby shower I have ever been to.  Every detail was planned for and executed.  Her colors were pink, orange, brown and lime green.  They had gerbera daisies in baby food jars with coordinating jelly beans, bowls and balloons that matched, Izzies that matched, and a beautiful diaper cake.  They did such a great job I think they could start their own business: Baby Showers By Kitty and Chrysti!
I thought these were the cutest lil pumpkins.
The food was outrageous.  A chocolate fountain with strawberries, bananas, cake, marshmallows, chips and dips of all varieties, cupcakes and Mimosa's.  There were 30 plus women clucking and laughing, but mostly eating.  You had to elbow your way into the island to get at the food. 

The clothesline idea is the perfect way to display all the adorable gifts.  Another great idea they had was a Onesie making station with puff paint.  Now Mel has 30 different fun Onesies for baby Corrin.  I will forever remember this as Hank yanked them off the table and they landed puffy paint side down on the carpet leaving a nice little stain.  Ah, see what you have to look forward to Mel! :0)
As for the games we played most of the tired and true: candy bar matching, guess how many candies in the bottle, don't say baby, and how big is Mel's belly.  But we played one game I have never played and really would be ok never playing again.  It was so disgusting, but I don't think I have seen so much laughter in any other game.

Chrysti melted various chocolate candy bars and put them in numbered diapers.  We passed the diapers and tired to figure out from sight, smell, and the brave ones tasted.
I am a veteran diaper changer but this game still managed to turn my stomach and I could not bring myself to taste any of the samples.  At least I managed to eat before the game.

It was such a busy day, I didn't realize just how cold it was.  It broke the 1905 record for cold and dipped to a mere 17 degrees.  We had our first snow of the year.  It was so quite and serene with just buddy and me as the soft snow blanked everything.
That is until the next morning when I went to put something away in the basement and heard running water.  That seemed strange since I wasn't running the washer or doing laundry.  I called Max and he quickly instructed me to run outside and check the sprinkler valve.  I had covered it with a blanket and could not see the water spraying out of it.  It had thawed and blown and flooded the basement.  The carpet made a "squish" as you walked by the window where it had poured down to.

With Hank's help I tore up the carpet, the carpet pad and mopped up two buckets of water.  Scott came to my rescue with the shop vacuum that I filled two more times.  We then put fans on it and let it dry out for few days.  Yesterday the carpet guys came and all is just like it never happened.
What a BIG weekend!

The Big 30!

Happy Birthday Anna! I am sending the best present I could think of. They should arrive today! I hope you like them. :) I love you and wish thing 4 and I were there too.

Ms. Perfect

Do you ever build someone up in your mind? I managed to build this mom I know up to be the perfect mom. She is the one that comes to school in the morning with her hair perfectly done as opposed to my freshly slept on bedhead. She is always in style with the latest styles and looks like she walked out of Vogue without over doing it; where I tend to be a strictly jeans and solid T-shirt kind of mom. How does she make it look so easy to walk in heals? I only wear heals on special dates, weddings or funerals, much less on an ordinary day to pick up the kids. But once again Ms. Perfect manages to pull it off.

Then there are her kids. They are always cute as a button and so well behaved. She never seems frazzled or tired of their whining or a little bit happy to see them leaving for the day to school. Many times I feel wound so tight I could spin like a top after trying to get all of them dressed, fed, lunches made, packed, coat and mittened, buckled then unbuckled and into school. Each day I feel like I am Nascar driver zipping down the street hoping to get the checkered flag. We have yet to make the first bell but have also not been late either. I bet Ms. Perfect is never late. She is always waiting, perfectly on time, perfectly dressed, with every hair perfectly in place.

I imagined Ms. Perfect's house to be spotless and professionally decorated. If she looks like she just walked out of a magazine, I was sure her house had been featured in various design magazine. I was sure her kids never forgot to pick up their toys or that she got tired of constantly cleaning and once and a while just allowed the dishes to overwhelm the sink and the crumbs to stay on the floor. No, I pictured her happily tending to messes in her high heels and perfect hair. Never raising her voice or asking her children in a befuddled voice, "What is wrong with you?" I knew she never let four loads of laundry stack up just to do it and let it get all wrinkled as it sat for days waiting to be folded. No, I had Ms. Perfect right up there with June Cleaver.

Then one day I went to her house to drop Hailey off for a play date. I was dreading how inferior I would feel as I walked through her sparkling house as she smiled her perfect smile at me with her perfect hair and cute pumps. Of course her house looked perfect on the outside. Tons of curb appeal with great big oak trees framing her house, a nice wreath on the door, and a tasteful paint job. Just another notch for Ms. Perfect. I took a look at myself before getting out of the car and tried to scrape the dried baby food off my sleeve, quickly picked the little speck of pepper out of my teeth and attempted to straighten my shirt that had sat clean in the laundry basket for a few days before I pulled it on.

We rang the door and Ms. Perfect greeted us in sweats! Gasp! Her hair was in a pony tail and she didn't have any make-up on. What was wrong I wondered. Was she ill? She smiled her perfect smile and welcomed us in. I tried to keep up with our pleasantries as I internally let my jaw drop. The vacuum set out, still plugged into the wall waiting to start its job. The kitchen was an 80s model with dishes everywhere. Where were the sprawling granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances I just knew Ms. Perfect kept perfectly clean? Dishes! Lots of dishes and crumbs on the floor! Could this be? Maybe she was really sick.

She appeared happy and chipper and did not offer one apology or excuse for the state of the house. As I scanned the living room I noticed the mounds of laundry sitting on the sofa. I wasn't sure if it was waiting to be folded or waiting to be washed. I even noticed dog slobber and kid hand prints all over the slider! She is not perfect! Something about seeing dirt on the baseboards made me like her even more. She was real. She wasn't this perfect mom who had everything together. She is just a mom, just like any of us. Some just appear to make it look easy. I just adore this mom. I love it that she was not ashamed one bit to let me see her house in utter chaos. I have since been to her house a few more times and every time it is the same. Just like mine. There is something comforting knowing we are all imperfect.