Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day: February 2014

Valentine's Day caught us by surprise, at least a little.  We celebrated by wearing our heart turtlenecks from Mama in Tennessee and showing our affection.
Sometimes a bit aggressively..
"I CAN DO IT" is heard a lot around here.  Sometimes they can.  Sometimes Mommy would prefer it done differently, but oh well.  I have a feeling we're going to have Backwards Day a lot around here.
Another Valentine's Day development was that the girls found their panties while dismantling their room as Mommy took a shower.  They put them on and kept them dry for the rest of the afternoon.  This was a fluke, but it's encouraging.  I'm waiting until March on purpose to reopen the issue of potty training.  I can't imagine what I'd do in public with three hairtrigger bladders, and the thought of pottying a child by the side of the road in eleven degree weather two or three times an hour gives me anxiety.  My plan is to spend all day outside in the sunshine with a potty close by when we decide to go cold turkey...
In the meantime, it's nice to think that we're closing in on the home stretch as far as diapers are concerned.
This is Carrie and Melina holding hands on the way to Chick-fil-A.

Melina: I'm scared of cows.
Mommy: Why, sweetie?
Mommy: Cows don't bite little girls...
Melina: Cow don't bite my baby
Mommy: Has a cow ever bitten you before?
Melina: Noooo.....

Carrie and Melina stall at naptime by wanting to read stories to their babies.  Well played, small set.  I'm quite the sucker for anything that demonstrates emerging love of reading. 
Mommy bought holiday cling stickers off the after sale rack, and now in the playroom it actually looks like I am "with it" enough to celebrate holidays. 
They get peeled off and re-stuck several times a day.  I give them two more weeks before they're in shreds.
We've checked off some pretty big items on our to-do list this month.  First of all, our dryer now vents out a natural grate in the crawlspace instead of out the doggy door in the garage.  Last week we replaced the rotted and rusted door and casing, so our garage is now at least warm enough to melt snow on a cold morning.
If you're wondering what Devon is wearing, it's Craig's solution to Devon missing his Thomas jammies that he wore every night in Florida.  He now just wears them over his winter pajamas.  And that's what we call a parenting WIN!  It was Craig's idea.
I finally hung pictures in the kids' rooms.  I've been so unmotivated in their rooms.  Mostly it's because my only downtime is when they're in their rooms sleeping and I'm not going to risk going in there with a hammer and nails.
Also on my list this week was to open and display Christmas cards.  I've been weeding them out of wherever they got shoved before, during, and shortly after the move.  The center console of the car...  the filing cabinet... my purse... a kitchen drawer...  the pile of tax forms...  So right now I'm enjoying all the lovely family pictures for the very first time, and it feels nice to see familiar faces.
 The fridge is no longer in the mudroom!  I had to wait an extra week for it because our icy front steps wouldn't support delivery.  It's so nice to have that done!  Craig and I catch ourselves picking up the milk and starting the walk through the living room.  

We tried Valentine's Day crafts a week late.  I opened brand new crayons, set out the stickers, and we made cards.  All Devon would do was cut paper.  All Melina and Carrie would do was spread glue.  We sent them anyway. 

It's been over fifty degrees for days now, and we're still trying to melt off all the snow.  I'm kind of done with it.  Not done with snow, but the snow that we have.  The kind that's melted and refrozen too many times to be fun.  The kind that the kids still want to walk on even though it is really slick.  March is just around the corner, and some locals say that Noreaster snowstorms bring the heaviest snowfall for this area.  We'll see.....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Live from the Polar Vortex: February 14, 2014

The last member of our family to make it to our new home arrived this week.  Poor Pooh Bear was left in Nashville at Mama and Papa's house.  Parents of the year!!!  Not sure how we missed Devon's comfort animal as we meticulously combed every room for our things before we left.  I've heard of that happening to other people and always thought how careless!

Mama and Papa were kind enough to mail him to his new home, along with Valentine's shirts for the girls and a bag of chocolate that didn't last the day. 
Devon was super excited to find him on the doorstep and open him up!  Pooh bear was greatly missed.  Buddy Boy falls asleep so much more quickly with him home. 
We try "cooking" together.  It's pretty hectic.  Each one of my children has a grabbing radius of, like, eight feet.  Not sure how they do this.  Melina drank a quarter bottle of Coffeemate last week after snaking her skinny little arm way up to grab it when I thought it must be out of reach.

"Yum yum, ice cream!" she said.  Then: "It's all over me!"  The pour spout wasn't exactly made for toddler drinking.
Their favorite sibling activity is to race with toy strollers around the first floor, which has large empty hallways and a nice round flow of traffic.
Here is the crew on our way to dinner at Chick-fil-A.  Tuesday is floor day, and when they're finally done at 4 and the house smells like Pine-Sol I just can't bring myself to serve dinner and dirty them up again.  Tuesday night just might be our night to eat out, and with so few restaurants that we can actually go to....  This was also the recordsetter for the longest time it took to get in the car to go somewhere.  By the time everyone had their car seat companion and had their shoes put on and removed several times, forty-five minutes were gone!
Driving conditions have been pretty interesting with all this weather, but I'm happy to report that we now have brand new all-weather tires.
This was the road on the day we got the new tires.  Ironically, I was sitting at home early on debating whether it was safe enough to go out and considered putting it off.  While we were sitting in the Firestone waiting area playing phone and Leap Pad and generally being loud it started to sleet.  I skated back to the car when they finished and buckled the kids in, thinking it was a very, very bad idea to be out at all.  The new tires did not disappoint;  we went home slowly but they did their job.  No slipping and sliding!
The first part of last week had the snow melting during the day and freezing up at night, forming a hard crust that was not very fun.  The kids tired of walking on it and feeling it crunch, which is the only fun thing you can do with snow at this phase (locals, correct me, please).  Out came the scooters.
Thursday brought winter storm I've-lost-track-of-the-stupid-names-they-give-these-things and dumped a good sixteen inches over the top of the remainder.  We were grateful that Daddy got to stay home from work, and a bit dismayed that we had decided to put off getting a snowblower. 
Our super-long driveway was daunting to clean by shovel this time.  We ended up getting most of the way and then paying two farm boys $20 to finish it off when they came by with a tractor and snowplow attachment.  Whew!
Our house has the best windbreak in the neignborhood, so we see a lot of this on snowy mornings. Awwwwww....
The stormy morning gave us an opportunity to enjoy some pancakes.  Melina must have had an active dream night.  "Chick-fil-A Cow don't bite my baby!" she said over and over as she descended the stairs holding her baby.  She said this over and over all through breakfast.  After breakfast when we did our prayers and thankfulness, what was she thankful for?

"I fankful for the Chickkaway Cow!!!"
Let me tell you what I am thankful for this week.  Uncle Tim sent his Christmas present at just the right time.  We are now a three LeapPad family!  Yes, it seems like such an extravagance, but it may also just SAVE MY LIFE!!!!  In the past week we've been to the mechanic to have the cars inspected, Firestone for new tires, and we have the DMV to cross off our list next week.  It is really important for me to be able to do short errands with the kids, and taking them places without something to occupy them is just plain reckless.  Go ahead and mutter under your breath about screen time for the very young.  Just go ahead.
Devon's LeapPad has been pretty useless for the past month because the girls were so interested in it.  Bringing it out when they were awake would result in a brawl as all three tried to grab it.

It's also fun to see Devon teach the girls how to navigate the icons and find things they want to do.  Craig had his first old-timer technology moment, as he called it, when Carrie brought her LeapPad to him and asked him to find the draw program.  He handed it to Devon, who found it in four taps of the stylus, handing it smugly back to sissy.

That's right.  If you can't do it yourself, ask the three-year-old.
So right now we have new LeapPads for the long moments when it isn't possible to go outside, and the great outdoors covered in a foot of snow when it is.
My aunt from North Dakota said we have more snow than they do right now.  That's sayin' something!
We love the snow!  It IS a lot of work to get everyone dressed, but beach trips with three babies have made us pretty well used to prep work.  That exhale feeling when you finally get everyone outside to burn off some energy is worth it.

Devon LOVES to push around a shovelful of snow.  Maybe we won't need a snowblower when this little guy gets big enough to know what exactly needs to be shoveled.
Here are two more pictures of the snow piles for the sake of memories.  Everyone tells us this is the most snow they've gotten in YEARS here.  I gotta admit, after spending money on snow boots, pants, mittens, etc., I would've been pretty mad if we'd not been able to get good use out of them.

At this point, they were worth every penny.