Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Break Part 1

For some reason I can not figure out my sons school has split his spring break up into one week break, two weeks of school, then another one week break. This isn't really a problem this year, so I am just going with it.

This week, we started out sunny and are ending it with rain. Saturday and Sunday and Monday were BEAUTIFUL.

We celebrated the start of spring break on Friday by grating sidewalk chalk to make chalk paint and made a mess in the driveway. Our neighbors came over to help too! Then we moved our little party into the back yard. We played in the yard and I moved some branches from the cherry plum tree that were cut when we got it trimmed and made a little barrier in a circle shape to designate a "garden" where the kiddos can dig holes and make a mess. I got out the kid sized garden tools and let them go nuts.

Saturday we made a mess in the yard digging a hole, Sunday we made a bigger mess making the hole even deeper and then Monday we took the mess to the river.

We live only a few miles from the Sandy River. There is a little sandy beach you can get to through Glen Otto Park, but I decided that we needed to go play with rocks this Monday.

We headed up the road to a state park and paid the credit/debit card ONLY machine 5 dollars to park the car. I get that its awesome to have parks that are cared for and all, but 5 dollars to park for less than 2 hours in an EMPTY parking lot. Yeesh! Either way, we paid and put rain boots on the kids and headed down to the river bank. I put Dan on Evie Watch, and I was on Liam Watch. Liam and I explored a little rocky beach and then crossed some rocks onto a little island of rocks. We tossed rocks into the water and I found some quartz rocks and something I think is jasper and a small piece of agate. Once I showed Dan what river agate looked like he pretty much blinked and then pulled up a HUGE piece from the rocks right where we had been playing. Yea, I was jealous. We spent the rest of the time alternating between keeping Evie out of the water, keeping Liam out of the water, making sure no one got mud inside their boots and looking for rocks.

The agate Dan found

I love rock hunting. Just so you know.

We ended up being DONE when both kids fell down within 2 minutes of each other and got water inside their boots. Once they were cold and wet it was time to go. I had packed some PB&J sammiches and after we peeled wet and muddy clothes from the kids and buckled them in we headed home. Evie got a small nap in the car too! SCORE! I turned them loose in the yard when I got home and let them play in the garden. We packed it up and did baths around 4 and then goofed around inside for a while. Pillow fights and coloring and a movie ended the night.

Tuesday it was raining and I had ended up tweaking my back somehow at the river, so we had a lazy day. I looked up new places that I could take the kids for some rock hunting, I found a few good ones too! Super excited for it to dry out so I can go play with them outside and find pretty rocks.

Wednesday we spent the day baking and making a mess. I made a cake for my husband and the kids were stir crazy so the day was filled with tantrums and fights and crying and time outs. I find myself hoping for them to grow up JUST enough for me to be able to say "I don't care if it is raining, GO OUTSIDE!" and not have to worry about them getting too cold and not knowing how to tell me. But those days are a ways off.

I thought about finding an Easter craft for them to make, but it is hard to find things for them to do that are Evie safe. She is one of those babies who eats crayons and paper and puts everything in her mouth. Scissors and anything with a point is out, even pencils.... and glue... I don't even want to THINK about that with her! Maybe I will just cut out some egg shapes and give them crayons.

Thursday we had a lazy movie day. We colored a bit and had some snuggles and tickles.

But today, Friday, was the best! We went to the Vancouver library and played with our cousins and read books. Then went to their house for lunch. Now Evie is napping and Liam is watching a tv show and I get to relax for a bit with Katchoo in my lap as I type this and get ready to grab the pictures to post with it.

Evie's cousin Grace read her some books, and I am in love with the tables they have in this play area of the library. I want to duplicate that at home!!!!

Even with the rain we had a good spring break! Another weekend, and then back to school. I will be glad for my 4 hours of Just Evie time in the morning, and then my running crash hugs from Liam when I pick him up!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Catching Up After The Sick

We all got knocked out with a cold that took up two weeks to get over. Pretty sure that one of my children brought it home from a place filled with other little walking, talking, coughing, sneezing germ factories. The joys of having children. We have not been able to stay well for loonger than 6 weeks since Liam started school.

During the sick we fell behind on housework, school was missed, snot was left all over the house in little slime trails thanks to the baby wiping her nose on EVERYTHING. It has taken me days to wipe everything off, clean up and catch up on the housework.

I also put knitting aside while we were sick, so I didn't get much done. I DID manage to finish a pair of socks for each of the kiddos and a couple of Hexipuffs.

These little puffs are my current project that I can pick up any time I have even 5 minutes to knit. I love how fast they are, and the feeling of finishing something off so quickly. I am getting to the point where I want to start doing some color work in them, once I can afford to buy more yarn to do so with.

Our local children's resale event is happening soon as well, Super Kids. I am consigning for the second time, and I need to print my tags and attach them. I have a pile of clothes to sell. I like that I can sell them to get the money to buy the kids the clothes they will need for the next 6 months. I usually spend about 100-150 dollars and get enough stuff to last for half a year. My need to buy extra anything is very small. Thankfully, Evie is slowing down on the outgrowing everything in a week phase, so I can plan ahead for her without much thought. Summer is coming and I am looking forward to sun dresses and play clothes that can get muddy that won't send me into a panic attack at the thought of getting stains out.

My husband also had the idea of getting one of those solar camping showers for days we play outside all day. I can just rinse off the kids in the yard so we are not tracking messy piles of "More Work for Mommy" upstairs on our way to the bath.

I honestly can not wait for some warmth. I am a bit weary of being cold. Every summer I tell myself that I will not complain about winter, since I am tired of being too hot. And every winter I tell myself I will not complain about summer because I am tired of being too cold. But I complain anyways.

A friend moved away, a friend we made at Liam's school but some potential new friends moved in down the street with two girls who are the EXACT same age as my children. Their birthdays are in the same months, within two weeks of each other.

I am excited for the incoming Spring. For the photos I get to take, for the afternoon sunshine, for BBQ's in the yard and trips to the Farmer's Market, for kiddie pools and sprinklers.. can you tell I am kinda over winter?

Friday, March 7, 2014

The First Day of Spring

Yea. Ok. So the first day isn't until the 20th, but today FELT like the first day. It was rainy this morning, miserable and dreary. Drizzly and cold. Then, right about 11:30 the clouds broke up and the sun came in like a raging inferno. The sidewalks dried up, it was WARM outside, and the afternoon sunshine was gorgeous.

A friend from knitting had invited me to the park, if it wasn't raining, so of course we went out into this gorgeous afternoon.

Now, I have to explain something here. I love it when my kids get messy, but I HATE it all at the same time. I love the idea of them having fun and being kids and exploring the world but I hate the clean up. Wiping muddy boots, stain treating muddy pants, that dingy grey stain on the bottom of socks that never goes away once they have gotten mudded. I hate those problems. I hate peeling wet muddy clothes off the kids before putting them in the car because by God I WILL NOT CLEAN MUD FROM A CARSEAT!

So of course, because it was sunny but still damp on the grass and downright marshy in some places and there was a lake under the swingset... (no really, a lake. Not a puddle in the groove from where feet slide to stop the swing, it was a full out lake. I totally expected to see ducks out there paddling along under the swings.) ... I knew I was in for a muddy day. I embraced it. I even welcomed it, because with mud comes fun, with fun comes tired kids, with tired kids comes a mommy who can have a relaxing evening. So bring on the mud!

And we did. Liam was muddy kneed before 5 minutes went by and Evie started off slow with just her hands being dirty from some playing in the pathway pebbles. Soon though she took off to try stomping in a puddle and got her boot stuck in the mud and pulled her foot out and landed on her butt. In the mud.

Yup. It was that bad.

   But we got in some quality duck watching time before that!

And in the end, the kids were not at all put off by a little mud. We played, we romped, we got a corndog from the corner market. Liam crashed out in the car on the way home, Evie lasted until 4:45 and managed to stay awake through a bath before demanding her "baba" and falling asleep.

Today I made memories. I made a friend, which is a big deal for me. I made it through the whole day without once panicking about the muddy clothes I was going to have to deal with.

And now that I have written this while eating my homemade chicken burrito, I am off to go scrub some boots. I really need to buy these kids real rainboots.