Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Few Pictures from This Week

This is the first week of the new year without any sick kids in the house.  We still have some runny noses and lingering coughs, but no fevers or nasty germs.  This meant that Collin was able to go to piano and Reagan returned to Irish step.

Kate had a play date with her friend Harper on Thursday.  Harper is two months older than Kate and they played well together.  It is fun to watch them interact.  This is their second play date, and they seemed to enjoy each other.  They mostly played next to each other, passed toys back and forth, and said "Hi" a lot!  Very cute.

Auntie Karen and Uncle Mark gave Kate an Alex Jr. Tots Art Start kit for Christmas and Kate is enjoying creating masterpieces with stickers, tissue paper, and card stock.

Collin made me this snowman for me in art class.  I LOVE it.  He was so sweet when he gave it to me.

The snowman is paper mache with other materials used for details.

Tom took the three big kids out for dinner and to a PC hockey game last night.  They met up with Paul, Isabel, Olivia, Mike, Nora, and Audrey, so it was three dads, two boys, and five girls!  It was family night or kids night at the hockey game, and after the game the kids got to go on the ice, eat pizza, and everyone got a tee shirt.  From what I hear, everyone had a great time!

Today, we all went to the new Sky Zone in East Providence.

We had no idea what to expect so I only purchased thirty minutes of time.  Since they tend to sell out on the weekends, I purchased tickets online earlier this week and we were not able to add any time.  By the time we checked in, got shoes (you have to wear their shoes), and figured out where to go, we were already ten minutes into our time.  Tom, Tyler, Collin, and Reagan jumped on the main court while Kate and I went to the toddler court.  At first Kate would not go on the trampolines and just clung to me, but after a few minutes of watching the  two other toddlers on the court, she tried it out and really enjoyed herself.  It was so funny watching her.  Next time we go, I have to get video and pictures.  Everyone liked it, but Reagan was disappointed (putting it mildly) that we couldn't stay longer.  Now we know what to expect, and next time we will arrive earlier and purchase at least sixty minutes of time!

Goodbye Food Dye

This is what I removed from my cabinets in an effort to rid our kitchen of artificial food dyes.  I did keep liquid food coloring, a few boxes of Jello, and packets of Kool Aid but those will be used for art projects not for consumption!

This was hard for me.  I like to make fun food for the kids and for years these nasty things have helped, BUT I know that I can still make fun food without any of this and my kids will be much better off.

I do want to note that I have no intention of denying my kids treats at birthday parties or school functions.  I am trying to get it out of our house to minimize the amount they consume, but I will allow them to enjoy an OCCASIONAL treat when they are out somewhere.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Day in the Life

I decided to write a "Day in the Life" post to capture a little of what I do all day.  I can't say that this is always what it is like around here, every day is different.

It is really hard to take pictures during the hustle and bustle of a day; I kept forgetting or just didn't have my phone or the camera nearby.  Also, I am sure I left things out; I tried to be as accurate as I could be without driving myself crazy!

I hope to look back on this one day and laugh, cry, reminisce, or whatever!

Sometime between 5:30 and 6, I hear Kate talking in her crib.

Tom gets up.  I get up and make the bed, then go brush my teeth while Tom gets Kate out of the crib. Tom plays with Kate for a few minutes before getting ready for work.

I wake Tyler up and change Kate.

Reagan wakes up and goes downstairs to the couch for a bit.

Get Kate breakfast - today it's Cheerios.  While she eats, I make a green smoothie.  I give some to Kate and Reagan; they don't seem to like this one (spinach, coconut water, banana, mango, pineapple) and only drink a little, they both prefer strawberry,banana,blueberry,spinach smoothies.

Tom comes downstairs for breakfast.

Kate spills her smoothie.  I clean it up.

I take the dog out and get her breakfast.  Then I empty the dishwasher.

Tom leaves with Tyler (on Fridays they get breakfast sandwiches before school, the rest of the week Tyler takes the bus to school at 6:45).

I pack lunches and toast an English muffin for Reagan while she empties the silverware.

Collin wakes up at 7:30 and eats cereal.

I wash a few dishes while Kate is pulling on my robe.

Kate and I head upstairs to get her dressed and wash her always dirty face.

Collin and Reagan are playing downstairs and I get in the shower.  Most days I do not shower until Kate's nap or even later.  Kate plays in the bathroom while I shower.

Collin and Reagan get ready for school.

Tom calls to see how the morning is going.

I wash more dishes while Reagan sings karaoke, Collin plays with Legos, and Kate makes messes!

I remember that I have to order bathing suits for swimming lessons, so I do that and then start a load of laundry.

8:45 we leave for school

I run errands - bank, return library books in book return and head home.  Kate falls asleep on the way home (ugh, I hope that 10 minute nap does not prevent her regular nap).

9:20  I wake her up and bring her in the house for a snack.

While she eats yogurt, I take a few minutes to type this far into this post!

After taking the dog out, I have a bowl of cereal,

clean and change Kate, and put the laundry in the dryer.

Kate and I strip the boys' beds and start another load of laundry before heading downstairs to play.

10:45 I attempt to put Kate down for a nap.

While she is in the crib, I make Collin's bed, put laundry away, balance the checkbook, make a pitcher of fresh brewed iced tea, and eat lunch (beans and rice over a polenta crust).

11:40 I still hear Kate so I try to rock her for a few minutes and put her back in the crib.

12:05 Kate is still calling for me.  I give up on the nap idea!

I change Kate, vacuum the downstairs while holding her, and then make her lunch (one egg scrambled, toast, and a clementine).

I clean Kate, change her diaper, wash more dishes, and we put some laundry away together.

1:00 Tom comes home for lunch.  Kate creates masterpieces while he eats.

Tom goes back to work.  I clean Kate up and clean up the mess in the kitchen (it's amazing how much time I spend cleaning the kitchen).

2:00 we leave to pick Tyler up from school and bring him to the Cable Access studio where he is training right now.  Of course Kate falls asleep.

2:30 we are home.  I let Kate sleep in the carseat for another ten minutes.  Then she has a temper tantrum for a bit.

I make cookies.  Kate thinks they are delicious; I agree.

We read books.

3:20 the bus arrives.  Reagan tries one of my cookies and declares it delicious; Collin won't even try it.  He says they look gross.
I love their static filled hair from just taking off their hats!  AND, you have to love Collin's face in reference to my cookies!

All three kids play together for a little while and then Collin plays on the ipad while Reagan plays on

Most days they would start homework, but today is a Friday.  Typically, Reagan goes to dance on Friday nights, but Tom is taking the three big kids to a PC hockey game.

I make dinner.

4:30 Kate, Reagan, and I eat.  Collin is banking on eating at the game.

Tom arrives home followed shortly after by Tyler and they all head out to the game.

5:00 Kate has a bath.

We play until 5:40ish when we head upstairs for the bedtime routine (sleep sack, books, I hold her in my arms while the ocean soother music plays, sing "Sweet Dreams and Jelly Beans" to her when the soother stops, put her down, cover her with her owl blanket, and turn on the seahorse soother).  I'm worried that her sleep may be off, but fortunately she goes right to sleep.

6:00 and the house is quiet for now...until everyone gets home!  I'm ending this post here, but sometime soon I hope to write a post about what happens after Kate goes to bed on a normal night!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Few Things

I made cookies for the track team.  Tyler requested chocolate chip and white chocolate macadamia nut.  I think I over-mixed the batter for the chocolate chip cookies because they came out weird.  The white chocolate macadamia nut cookies were REALLY good.

I almost always have m&m candies in the house, but I have replaced them with these Unreal candy coated chocolates.  They don't have any artificial ingredients, corn syrup, GMOs, etc.  I found them at Target; Reagan and I both think they taste better than m&m candies!  I am making an effort to cut out artificial dyes in our food.  It is derived from petroleum; that is gross.  I actually have a plan to go through my cabinets and throw out everything that has artificial colors in it - sprinkles, Jello, and whatever else I find.  I don't think we have too much.  I plan on taking a picture and posting it.

Kate has three teeth coming in at the same time in addition to a nose that won't stop running.  She had some trouble sleeping, but is doing better.  The constant stream of green mucous is kind of gross.

I am now working on the color orange with Kate.  I filled a bin with orange things for her to enjoy.

She made her first collage yesterday!  I taped a piece of contact paper, sticky side out, to the sliding glass door and gave her little pieces of orange crepe paper streamers, orange pom poms, and orange foam stickers to stick on the contact paper.  She did this for the longest time.

Collin missed four days of school last week with this awful virus.  He still has a cough, but should be able to go back to school on Tuesday.  I'm happy it's a long weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

K Cups

Kate likes to take the K cups out and stand them all up.  For some reason, I didn't get a good picture of her arranging them, but she will do this for quite a while.  Remind me again why we have toys.

I picked up all of the K Cups yesterday and put them away.  This made her angry; she shook her head, waved her arm, and dumped them back out.

Then she proceeded to put them in the basket herself.  I guess she just wanted them put away on her terms!

Sick House

One virus leaves and another one comes barging in the door.  Collin came home from school with a fever on Tuesday.  Poor kid, unlike his sister, he will sit and suffer all day rather than going out of his comfort zone and asking to see the nurse.  Reagan went back to school on Monday, but she still has a nasty cough and is staying home again today for more rest (there is a ninety minute delay due to snow today, so I figured it was a good day to just stay home and get better).  Kate is still full of mucous and it seems to be a little worse today.  Tyler is also congested with a runny nose.  I'm hoping this all passes quickly and we can resume life in a normal fashion!  I am also hoping to take the kids to the new Sky Zone that opened in Providence, but everyone has to be healthy first!

Collin and Reagan have both enjoyed playing Rush Hour Junior during these bouts of illness.

Reagan tried the game first and quickly got bored with it upon the first try, but Collin LOVED it immediately (I knew he would, it's perfect for him the puzzle/maze lover) and once Reagan saw how much Collin enjoyed it she gave it another chance and ended up enjoying it too!

That's all for now, I have to get back to disinfecting every surface in the house!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sixteen Months

Kate has the virus that is making the rounds in our house.  Last week, Collin had it, Reagan left school on Wednesday with it, and now Kate is slimy with mucous from her nose to put it nicely.  It may even be the same virus that Tyler had on Christmas.

At sixteen months, Kate is walking all the time.  I can't remember the last time I saw her crawl!  She is trying to talk more and more.  Unfortunately, as the youngest of four, she is already a fan of potty humor and laughs when people pass gas; she says, "root toot" and "butt" thanks to her siblings - I guess it could be worse.

Kate is great at following commands.  Reagan is particularly fond of giving her tasks to complete.  "Take this Lego to Collin," is one I have heard several times this week.

She still LOVES books and often brings one to me throughout the day for story time.

Kate gets very excited when Grandma Susan visits because this means she can play in her pocketbook.  I have to remember to take a picture next time.

Earlier this week, Kate started taking normal naps!!!!!!!  I put her in her crib around 10:40 AM and she has been napping between ninety minutes and two hours!  This is fantastic because before this she would only nap in the stroller or car seat and the naps were more like twenty minutes.

Kate knows most body parts and a lot of animal sounds.  It amazes me how early character recognition appears.  The mat in our bathtub, diapers, and a book we have all feature Elmo, and Kate points to him and says his name whenever she sees him.  She doesn't watch television, so she has not seen him on Sesame Street.

I am currently working on colors with Kate.  This week we worked on the color red.

 I made her a bin of red items that we play with upon her request each day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pictures From this Week

 Collin, Reagan, and I made these snow globes - a gift from Auntie Karen and Uncle Mark.

 Kate loves playing with her farm.  It's so cute to watch her play.  She likes to put the animals on top of the barn and knock them down -- can't imagine who gave her that idea, maybe DADDY!

 She pushes her babies in this stroller around the circle of our house over and over and over again!

Special after school snack today - pretzel rods dipped in chocolate with mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, and blue candy melts drizzle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Santa Pictures Through the Years

It's January, so I shouldn't really be posting Santa pictures now, but I found some pictures of me as a kid and thought it would be fun to post them with pictures of my children with Santa through the years.

Weird looking Santa, no?  There is no date on this photo, but I'm assuming it was 1975.  If that is correct, I was a few months shy of my third birthday.  I think I look like Katelyn a little bit.  My mother told me that Kate looks like me when she cries and that appears to be true.

1980 - I was seven and my sister was three.  She appears to be giving someone a rather nasty look - LOVE it!

1997 - Tyler's first Christmas.  After this year, I could not get Tyler anywhere near Santa without him screaming.  My next picture of Tyler with Santa is in 2004 and the only reason he agreed to it was to sit with his baby brother!

2004 - Tyler was 7 and Collin was 4 months old.  Poor Collin vomited (more than just spit up) ALL THE TIME as a baby.  You can see the wet spot right under his chin.  It wasn't until Reagan was born and I eliminated dairy while nursing that I realized I probably could have stopped the vomiting he suffered with just by cutting out dairy.  LOVE his face in this picture!

I don't think we took pictures with Santa in 2005; I can't seem to find one.  I was very pregnant with Reagan, so maybe we just skipped it that year.


Buttonwood Park Zoo - 2007 - Tyler was 10, Collin was 3, and Reagan was 21 months

2008 - Milk and Cookies with Santa at the Buttonwood Park Zoo



            2011 - Buttonwood Park Zoo

I love looking back at these pictures.  They are so precious and I am happy to have them all in one place.  

On a side note, we have some CRAZY looking Santas in these pictures!!!!!!!