Friday, February 27, 2015

Family slumber party

We kicked off February break with a family slumber party with our best buds. No one got much sleep, but it was worth it because we all had so much fun. Maybe too much, since Nate said he wanted to live at Jason's house after we left. Hmmm... 

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures. So a picture of the tired boys will have to serve to commemorate the good times.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow bunnies

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I took Nate bowling for the first time last week. We went with friends and he loved it so much we brought Dave and Caroline back with us a few days later. Bumpers and ramps make it very fun even for younger children...and old moms who have completely forgotten how to bowl.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cloud dough

Speaking of easy things to make from items you already have in the kitchen...

We made "cloud dough" with 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of canola oil. We added peppermint essential oil, which I know is not a normal thing to have, but we have it because I bought it to use in my homemade anti-spider spray. I do not like spiders and the spray helps to keep those little bastards out of the corners of our rooms without worrying about chemicals. Back to the dough... it was very fun to play with and Nate said it smelled like a candy cane. It's crumbly, yet solid at the same time. Sort of the way magic mud has both liquid and solid properties. We'll definitely make this again. Good times!

Monday, February 23, 2015


(Let's ignore the fact that the baby is watching tv.)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Exploding rainbow milk science experiment

As far as science experiments go, I prefer the ones that are easy and use items we already have in the kitchen. Sorry world. I am not ambitious when it comes to science. So when I saw this experiment somewhere online that required only milk, hand soap, q-tips and food coloring, I was all about forcing Nate to do it with me during his February break. After 3 days of bugging him, he finally agreed to do it (in between episodes of Ninjago). To start, you just pour some milk in a container and squeeze out some dots of food coloring. Then you dunk your q-tips (I prefer unused, but I encourage others to follow their hearts here) into the soap and dip them into the dots of color. And then BOOM!! Massive explosion! Just kidding. No loud explosions, but the colors do softly expand and swirl into really cool patterns. We thought ours looked like dragon milk. I should note that although we did not discuss chemicals reacting or anything, but I'm still totally counting it as a science experiment anyway.

Caroline's first Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beautiful December day

We had a surprisingly gorgeous day after Christmas so we went to Hoyt Farm. Caroline got her first ride in a swing and Nate got to run around like a maniac. I cannot wait for spring!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Out for lunch

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Letter to Nate at 5 years

Dear Nate,

It's been a while since I've written you a letter. I start them in my head all of the time, but haven't managed to sit down and commit them to, computer. I have so much to say to you that it seems overwhelming. So I'll just see how much I can write while your sister naps and you hang out with dad. So much has changed for you over this past year. You're five! You're in kindergarten! You're in a new house and you're a big brother. Hey Buddy, you know what? I am incredibly proud of you and am so happy that you have adjusted well to all of the changes. 

You have a lot of energy and we had to get through a lot of weeks where I could not give you the attention you needed. I was tired because I was pregnant. I was tired because I just had your sister and having a itty bitty baby is exhausting. Or I was tired because I was working too much. And so we had some long days where neither of us were at our best. But those days are behind us now and all of a sudden you seem so much older.
I think part of that is because you have a lot of new found independence in this house. When we were in our last home, it was so small that I knew where you were and what you were doing at all times. Now you have space to go off and do your own thing, which I think is great. I love finding you reading in your book nook in your room or playing legos on your own.

One of the many things I think is great about you is that you think for yourself. I'd describe you as a rule follower, but you don't automatically believe everything you're told. You think about whether it really makes sense and you question things. Another thing I love about you is that you wonder about big things. You ask me about god and science and death and your opinions are always insightful. I usually tell you what I think and what "other" people think, so that I don't brain wash you into believing everything I do. And when I ask you what you think, sometimes you say you don't know and other times you give me amazing answers. I try to write these things down, but of course they usually end up on scraps of paper that get buried under other things. I do remember one conversation though about how the earth was formed and you told me you thought that god created the particles that made the earth, which combined a couple of the ideas we had been talking about. Your ideas really impressed me.

We lost our dog Ava this past fall. She had gotten old and very sick and while her passing didn't seem to affect you much at the time, you continue to bring her up every once and awhile. One day you said something like, "Sometimes, for a second, I think that Ava is still here and then I remember that she's not and it's kind of weird." I told you that I understood exactly what you meant because I still do that with Gammy. You told me you didn't do that with Gammy because she had died a long time ago, but understood it was different for me because "she was your mom." 

You're doing well in school and seem to like it for the most part. You've met some good friends and I think it's kind of amazing that they could be life long friends, since we plan to stay here for quite a while. I had such a different childhood, changing schools so often, and I think it's interesting that you'll likely have such a different experience. 

One day in the fall everything suddenly clicked and you were reading. Really well. Like you just pick up books and read them now. You especially love reference books. Like father, like son. It makes my heart happy. You're kind, funny, silly, thoughtful and very bright. You are a wonderful big brother and I have a strong suspicion (and of course hope) that you and Caroline will remain good friends as you grow.

I love you more than tongue can tell.

Love, Mom

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Letter to Caroline at 9 months

Hello sweet girl,

You are almost 9 months old and you've become a very active little bug. Your army crawl is VERY fast and you are always sure to flash your charming smile at me as you make a beeline to the heater/wires/wherever you are not supposed to be. Something tells me that you will be a very active toddler and I will be a very tired mama.

I've been using baby sign language with you, just like I did with Nate. You keep practicing and gesturing and I know you are trying your best to communicate with me. You sign  fan, light, more and milk but I'm not sure if many other people would recognize what you're doing yet. I love how intently you watch my hands when I sign as I speak and I'm curious to see what sign you'll pick up next.

You've been babbling up a storm. You say "mama mama" all of the time, but I don't think you really connect it with me yet. However, you have said "dada" a couple of times while looking right at Daddy, so he is totally counting that as your first word. You've also started saying "baba baba" and I like to think you save that for when you're looking at your brother.

 Speaking of Nate, he is very fond of you. He tells me all of the time how great it is to have a sister and how adorable you are. He loves to make you laugh and goes to extremes to do it. I told him to stop hitting himself the other day, but he wouldn't because it made YOU laugh. You two are such weirdos. Wonderful, beautiful weirdos. Unfortunately, I can't for the life of me get a decent picture of you two playing. One or both of you are always a blur.

Let's see. What else have you been up to? We've been trapped in the house for what seems like months due to all the snow, ice and freezing temps. So you spend most of your time in the house. Good thing we have exciting things like CLAPPING to keep us busy. You can't get enough of clapping. And who can blame you? Very entertaining stuff. You've also started working on your high fives since you're such a pro clapper. Baths are also a big hit. You get really mad at me when I end the bath. That's okay though, because (as most parents know), it's super easy to wrangle a wet, wiggly angry baby out of the bath.

You pretty much eat anything I put in front of you. You love finger food and your pincer grip is most impressive. You can pick up and eat smalls square of slipper avocado or tiny bits of fuzz off the rug with no problem. You can also lift the flaps and turn the pages in your vast collection of peekaboo themed books. I've never met a baby so opinionated about their reading material. In addition to peekaboo books, you like books that have things to touch - holes, furry patches (holding back joke now), things that squeak. And you prefer real pictures of animals over cartoon ones. If I try to read you a "regular" board book you usually pick it up and throw it. The only exception is Goodnight Moon, which has been grandfathered in because I have been reading you that book every night since you were two months old - back when you didn't have opinions on books yet.

You've sat up on your own a couple of times in your sleep, but haven't remembered to do it in your waking hours, which is fine by me. I know the next step after that is pulling yourself up in your crib and I can wait on that as long as possible since that will only make sleep more challenging.

You're a good sleeper. You can fall TO sleep and BACK to sleep by yourself, but you have been waking more than I'd like due to first a sickness, then teething, then tummy troubles plus teething. At least you've been napping really well lately. (knock on wood) Over the past month or so you've started to get really cuddly and often hug me or lay your head on my shoulder, especially when you're sleepy. It is absolutely one of the best sensations on earth to have your sleepy little head rest against me.

I love you more than tongue can tell, my little princess.

Love, Mama

UPDATE: Sure enough, you figured out how to get into a sitting position on your own the very next day. And, as expected, you immediately figured out how to pull yourself to standing. You are quite proud of yourself when you pull up in a new location!

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