Friday, January 29, 2016

Bowling, Cupcakes and Chuck E Cheese

We've been busy little bee's these past few days! Yesterday morning the two little kids and I got up and out of the house early to meet our friends for bowling. The kids had a good time but Dakota was a bit ornery (imagine that) as we got close to the end of the second game and I knew it meant she was in need of a nap. So, we had a quick lunch and then she took a good long nap. Harper and I played for awhile during her nap and right after Dakota woke up Harper told me his neck hurt. I was able to determine that by "neck" he meant throat and I immediately called and made him an appointment with his doctor. (After the whole debacle with Dakota I wasn't about to take any chances.)

Harper's appointment was quick and easy and the rapid strep came back negative. The doc said his throat was quite red though and she'd give us a call if anything changed over night. (It didn't.) After his appointment we came home and took it easy for the rest of the evening.

Today, since Harper was fine all through the night and into this morning, I took the kids to Annapolis Mall for a Grand Opening of a new cupcake shop, Cup + Cake Blvd. Lisa and her boys, Colin and Wyatt met us there for free cupcakes and then some playtime in the kid play area.

After running around at the mall we all packed up and headed over to Chuck E. Cheese. The kids were so excited to get to go! It's been quite awhile since the last time we were there.

We got home around 12:30, just in time for me to wake Landon up (!!!) and put Dakota down for a nap. She is SO tired in the afternoons and is just a mess if I don't make her rest.

Here's a little video of my bum of a teenager riding his "hover" board. I know you guys miss seeing this cute kids face. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Rolly Pollies and Hanging out with the Best Sister Ever

Harper and Dakota were both in bed by 7:15 tonight. They were so exhausted from our day that they couldn't handle another minute of it, so off to bed they went.

Our day began early (6am) with them in my bed watching Dora the Explorer  (this show gets my vote for most OBNOXIOUS) while I showered. After breakfast and getting them dressed they went downstairs in the basement to play. (There goes all that cleaning I did yesterday.) I didn't worry about it though and they played with each other down there for a solid hour. It was heavenly.

At 10:30 we piled in the van and headed to Rolly Pollies. They were very excited to go since it's been quite a long time since the last time we went. They were SO ready to play!

After Rolly Pollies we met Zoe and Mema at Newks for lunch and man was that place packed! I guess cabin fever was probably setting in for most people because every where we went seemed extra busy. Lunch was nice and then we headed home for a bit. Zoe came over for a little while so taht she could draw with Dakota and beat up bad guys with Harper. AFter about an hour we all decided it'd be fun to go to her house to play with Nero and Zephy. (Landon refused all offers to hang out today. He chose to sleep late and then had a friend over to play Black Op's while we were gone. Teenager's are sucky like that sometimes.)

Nero is still sporting the cone of shame while an infected scratch on his head heals. He doesn't care for the cone or for having his picture taken, but I forced him into just this one. Gotta have pics of the grand kitties after all.

Both kids really enjoyed playing with the cats and it was fun to hang out with Zoe a little too. When we left Harper said "I wish Zoe lived with us. Why did she move to her own house?" We talked about how that's what kids do when they get older and he said "Well, I wish she still lived with us." (So sweet!) Dakota chimed in and said "I love Zoe. Her's my fabrit (favorite) sister". When I replied that Zoe was the best sister ever, they both nodded and agreed. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Another Snow Day

I just found out a little bit ago that the kids will be off at least through Thursday. I no more than got that message and I was on the phone setting them up things to do (Rolly Pollies tomorrow and bowling on Thursday)! I can honestly say that I don't have cabin fever yet but I'm pretty sure the kids need to get out of the house for a little bit other than sledding because they are pretty much at each other's throats. I'm perfectly fine being in the house, it's weird.

Dakota woke up with a fever again but after some Tylenol, Amoxicillin and a breathing treatment, she had a great day!We spent a good part of our morning in the basement. Harper had me set up the mattress for some sliding/jumping (don't judge) and Dakota played with a little of this and that as she wasn't quite feeling up to being as crazy as Harps.

As the kids were playing I started cleaning up the basement. It was long overdue and something I'd had on my mental list of things to do for awhile. I didn't just clean it though, I did a huge sort and purge of every basket, bin and box, so it took several hours. I'd say we went downstairs around 8 am and I finished around 1 pm. It looks so nice down there now that I don't ever want anyone to play down there again. Kind of defeats the purpose of a play room, but it was a lot of work!

A little bit after I'd finished the basement job, we all headed outside to shovel some more and let the kids sled down the hill that is in the center of our cul-de-sac. That mountain of snow is going to be there for a good while so we might as well enjoy it!

We attempted to clear a nice path to our mailbox but that snow is HEAVY. Tony, Landon and I barely made a dent and our sidewalk is a lost cause. Maybe I'll call Lowe's tomorrow to see if they have any snow blowers in stock...

Monday, January 25, 2016

My Sick Little Kota

After several days at home Tony, Dakota and I made our way out of the neighborhood for her doctor appointment. I decided a couple days ago that as soon as we were able to go we would and today was finally the day. I wasn't able to take her to her regular doctor because their offices were still closed due to the storm so we had to go to Righttime Medical. I had a feeling we'd be in for a long wait and I was absolutely correct on that assumption. Our appointment time was 1:30 pm and we were called into a room an hour later. Tony and I weren't too happy, but it was a mad house there for those working and they only had one doctor there when we arrived. (Two more doctors showed up while we were waiting so things started moving a little quicker, or that's what they told us anyhow.) 

The nurse came in and took Dakota's vitals and she was running a 101 fever at the time. The nurse figured she'd go ahead and do a flu test and a strep test just to see if any of that came back positive. I had no idea what a flu test entailed but she said she had to get that up the nose...I thought just a little swab up the nose but yikes, it went way up my poor girls nose. Poor Dakota cried and said it had hurt and I felt so awful. I had no idea it was going to be like that. It wasn't so bad getting the strep swab on the back of her throat although she wasn't happy about that either

The doctor came in and did her routine checks and confirmed that she had an ear infection in her left ear. She said she also had a perforation on her right ear drum and the strep test was positive. No flu though, thank goodness. So, my poor little baby has strep and an ear infection and lots of days of medicine ahead of her. She's got a yucky cough too and the doctor told me to use the nebulizer as needed. She wrote me a script for an inhaler also just in case we are out and she needs a treatment. 

It wasn't long after she'd had some Motrin and her first dose of amoxicillin that she started to return to her old self. She suddenly looked better and had tons of energy and was annoying the crap out of Harper. :) It was great to see that she was feeling better! 

While Tony and I went with Dakota to the doctor, Zoe and Landon stayed here with Harper. Zoe offered to keep him here and let him play in the snow while we were gone. It was so nice for Harper that he didn't have to go, he would have been bored out of his mind with the rest of us. Big sisters are so AWESOME! When we got home she and Landon were busy digging out an igloo and Harper was sledding and having the best time! Dakota wanted in on the fun so she ran in and got her stuff on and came outside to help Zoe build a snowman. It's teeny tiny, but very cute! 

Zoe wanted me to take a picture of her with her siblings but the only one who cooperated was Kota (who absolutely adores her big sister). The picture turned out so cute!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

29 Inches!

Now that blizzard Jonas has finally passed we are all a bit relieved. We'd been texted/called and emailed numerous times letting us know the dangers of the storm and what precautions we needed to take and I was a bit tired of hearing about it. This storm was major and is now the biggest one ever recorded in our area at 29.2 inches. That's a hell of a lot of snow. It's all of this winter and the next few winters rolled into one whopping storm. 30 inches of snow is no joke.

Tony did the majority of the shoveling and for that I am absolutely thankful. I did shovel off a portion of the deck so that the dog could get out and a little bit of our front walk and that snow was HEAVY! Tony heard somewhere that it was about 20 pounds per shovel full, so when you do it about 10 times, it's quite a workout. Tony and Landon did hours worth of shoveling so they won't need to exercise any time soon.

Dakota is still sick, running a fever and mostly feeling terrible, but she did have about an hour where she felt good enough and wanted to go outside. She didn't last but about 15 minutes out there but she loved it while it lasted. The first thing she did when she got outside was throw herself down on her back to make a snow angel. She's been talking about doing that for what seems like forever now.

Harper enjoyed the snow much more today since it wasn't blowing in his face. Yesterday was terribly windy and I was surprised he went out at all, but he wasn't out long before he was annoyed with the wind and snow in his eyes.

He found a sheet of ice and he just had to get a taste.

After playing in the snow Dakota came in, took off her snow gear and climbed on the couch. She wasn't feeling good again and immediately started to fall asleep. I took her upstairs and gave her some medicine and she was out in only a matter of minutes, poor thing. After having some lunch, Harper and I walked down to the neighborhood playground to try to sled. I was surprised that there weren't kids down there already but there was a little bit of a snow path so he gave it a try. It really wasn't much of a hill at all but he enjoyed himself nonetheless. We were only down there a few minutes when a couple of friends of his showed up to sled with him and then it was much more fun!

I really hope Dakota is feeling a little better tomorrow so that I can take her to do some sledding. I know she'd just love it. (We'll probably be making our way to the doctor with her tomorrow though so long as we can get out of the neighborhood.)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

First Snow of 2016

Thursday morning we woke up to a little bit of snow. It began to fall mid afternoon on Wednesday and there were massive problems for people commuting around the DC area that evening despite only getting about an inch. I heard it took some people more than 5 hours to get home! Needless to say, I wasn't surprised when we got a 5am phone call letting us know that school was going to be delayed. Tony ended up going in to work later than usual that morning. He left a little after 7 am and didn't make it to work until just after 9 am which is about an hour an 15 minutes longer than usual. He said there were cars abandoned all along the side of the highway and he saw a guy ahead of him lose control and run off the road! Craziness!

After the little kids and I drove Landon to the bus, we came home to play a bit before Harper had to go to school. (Preschool for Dakota had been cancelled since she only has a couple hours in the morning anyhow.)

It was absolutely frigid outside (16 degrees) and the kids only lasted about 10 minutes but they enjoyed every one of those minutes!

By the time Harper got home from school it was hard to tell it had ever snowed. But, since we knew we were expecting a blizzard on Friday we weren't too sad.

Friday morning started off normal enough except Tony decided to work from home instead of taking his chances driving into the city. Good call because the storm we'd been hearing about all week rolled in just after one o'clock in the afternoon. Luckily the kids were able to get the school day over with before it hit. (They got home 2 hours earlier than normal because of high school testing. It's something our county does each year.) It was while I was waiting at the bus stop for Harper that we started to see the first flakes...

I'll post about the big snow tomorrow...I'm too tired tonight! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Harper's Work

Posting about Dakota's drawing's yesterday reminded me of some of the work Harper's brought home recently. There's been some good stuff coming home and I'm amazed by his progress. 

So the first one is a paper in which he had to read the color word and then color in the picture by it's corresponding number. There isn't anything particularly hard about this but if you had any idea how much he hated to color you'd see the significance of this paper. He loathes coloring and until recently would just scribble all over the place whether he was given direction or not, but as you can see, he did a pretty good job here. The colors are in the correct places and it isn't a big scribbled mess. He's making progress!

I love the next one even though he left out some key family members. (Landon gave him all kinds of crap for leaving him out and both Harper and Dakota immediately sat at the table to draw pictures that included him. Zoe doesn't know or I'm sure she'd let him have it too!) Dakota asked why she was the smallest and he said it was because she was the shortest person in our family. She informed him that she was certainly NOT the shortest and it evolved into a full fledged fight. I guess if she refuses to be the shortest then in her mind she isn't. I had to tell Harper to just let her think what she wanted even if he was right and he walked off mumbling about how she was the shortest and she should just be quiet. 

This, of course, is sweet, but I love how he dotted the i's and used an exclamation point! 

One of Harper's homework assignments last week was to choose and animal that is active in the winter, research it and write down two facts about that animal. I wrote "This homework is inappropriate for Kindergartners" and sent it back to school. I mean seriously, whose homework is this anyways? His or mine? If they are testing my winter animal knowledge then too bad, I'm not doing it. Tony did ask Harper to name an active winter animal  (he was able to name several) and then give two facts about it (which he was able to do) but I think that asking him to "research" it was a bit much. They did a research project at school on arctic animals though, and his penguin drawing is just adorbs! 

And finally, here are Harper's latest dinosaur drawings. First one is an ankylosaurus:

Second one is a stegosaurus:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Her Pictures, Her Stories

Dakota was in the mood to draw this afternoon and boy do I love seeing what she comes up with. This first picture is of her and Harper. When I asked who/what it was a picture of she grabbed the picture away from me and said "oh, I forgot the hair" and then it was much more obvious to me who/what the picture was! :) If you look in the bottom right hand corner you can kind of see me in the picture...

Here's a better view: 

For some reason I was upside down and I wasn't smiling like she and Harper were. I asked her about it and she said I was "nervous because she and Harper hadn't cleaned up their toys". Mommy is probably having a nervous breakdown because of all the toys but whatever, it's her picture. She never did explain why I was bald and upside down though.

Nervous is her new descriptive word for everything. "Mommy, I'm nervous because I'm not ready to take a bath", "Mommy, I'm nervous because I want the markers and not crayons", "Mommy, I'm nervous because we played blocks", that sort of thing. I love that choice of word, it makes so many funny sentences!

Here is the complete picture:

As you can see there is a big blue puddle of ice next to me (could explain why I'm upside down? maybe I fell?) and Harper is holding a balloon with a hat on.

Love it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nerf Games and Heart Banners

My morning started off with a bang when I heard Dakota running to the bathroom sick. She was in bed with me and I was just waiting for it to be at least 7 am before we got up when she started coughing. She hasn't had a fever all day and has been fine except for the two instances that she was sick this morning. I'm pretty sure it's flat out congestion that's making her sick because she's been absolutely fine otherwise. I'm hoping that she'll get a good nights sleep tonight and feel great tomorrow.

The kids were off today so we kept busy around the house. (I didn't want to take chances with Dakota even though she seemed fine.) We played with a bunch of toys this morning and I made up a little target game with the Nerf guns. The kids wanted something to shoot at so I cut out circles, numbered them 1-6 and then they had to find the numbers in order then shoot them. That kept them both busy for quite awhile and they had a great time hiding them for me to find as well. 

Harper wasn't taking any chances when it came to hitting his target:

We have a red and a blue Nerf gun so I cut circles to match so that there would be no fighting. It didn't work but I tried! 

After running around the house we sat down to do a craft. I cut out a bunch of hearts from scrap paper and we decorated them using different materials. I had some plastic snowflakes, stickers, glitter and markers available. 

Once the hearts were dry (they loved using the glitter and glue of course!) I strung them up with yarn to hang in their rooms. 

The rest of the day we spent playing and hanging out with Zoe when she came over. They were so excited to see their sister! Zoe painted Dakota's nails and I'm pretty sure that was the highlight of Dakota's day! Harper was able to sit and read his books with Zoe while she was here too and he just loves that. Landon wasn't here for most of the day because he went to the mall for a friends birthday. They went to see a movie, Ride Along 2 and then walked around the mall a bit. 

It was a good day and it was nice having all the kids home for a bit. Back to school tomorrow but the kids get out 2 hours early all week and then have a four day weekend. I keep hearing about snow in our immediate future too, so lots of stuff to look forward to here! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sitting Around on a Sunday

When we got home from Lea's birthday party last night Dakota was all out of sorts. She kept complaining that her ear hurt and was crying and unhappy but for the most part I figured she was just over tired. The kids had been talking/yelling to each other through a cardboard tube earlier in the evening so I thought that must be what the ear pain was all about and pretty much dismissed the whole thing until she couldn't fall asleep and stay asleep last night. She would fall asleep for a few minutes then wake up crying for me, and after running up the stairs a few times I decided I'd better give her some Tylenol for the ear pain. After I gave her the medicine she fell asleep and stayed asleep for much of the night, only waking once for more medicine. When she woke up in the middle of the night, she got Tony up and he noticed she felt warm. He took her temp and sure enough she was running a fever. Again. (Both the little kids were sick on Christmas day and running fevers for about the next 4 days.) 

So my poor little Kota spent most of her day feeling yucky. When I asked her about her ear she said it didn't hurt anymore. She had a fever off and on throughout the day and even vomited twice. I made her take a nap and she slept for nearly two hours. When she got up she was groggy and not exactly herself but she sure started acting better. By this evening she wasn't running any fever and was able to eat, and she was dancing and playing in the living room. Things are looking up...but, when I got her out of the bath she told me her ear hurt. What the heck?! I may take her in to the doctor tomorrow to make sure her little ear is okay, I'll see how tonight and tomorrow morning go.  

It snowed today just a little too. Nothing that stuck anywhere but just enough to get the kids excited before melting away. I keep hearing about a possible winter storm later this week so I'll be keeping my ears open for that. If we get something I hope it waits till Friday so that Landon can get his exams over with! They have 4 half days this week with tomorrow off for Martin Luther King day. Then, after the 4 exam days they have the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday off. So, if we could just get through exams that'd be great!

Since we were all holed up indoors with the little sick one, we played lots of video games! Tony and I started Yoshi's Woolly World and Harper and Dakota just love watching us play. Harper gives us all kinds of advice and loves to point out when we're making mistakes. It's pretty funny listening to him while we play, he just knows he could do it better! 

I'm not sure what we're going to do tomorrow but I was hoping to do something fun with the kids since there's no school. Now I'll just have to wait and see how Dakota's feeling before deciding but my fingers are crossed that she'll be back to normal in the morning. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lea's Sixth

Tonight we celebrated Lea's sixth birthday. They had a little family only thing at their house and it was nice and relaxed. We got over there around 4 pm and the kids were off and playing before we even had our shoes off. They were all very happy to see one another and for the most part they played nicely. It was nice that Travis and Lauren were able to be there too since we don't get to see them very often and it gave Landon someone to talk too. (Zoe and Brandon are off at a bed and breakfast somewhere in VA celebrating their 4 year anniversary.) 

Lea wanted an ice cream cake for her special day so her mom made one. I've never even thought about trying to make an ice cream cake before...she said it wasn't too hard to do so I may have to give it a try sometime. It was really good and I thought it tasted way better than the ones from the store. 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Cruisin' Around the Couch (scrapbook page)

I started this page while at the crop this past weekend but I'd run out of creativity and wasn't able to finish it before heading home. I began by deciding my title and went with the car/gear theme from there. I wanted to try something different that my usual straight lines so I created tags for the pictures then used my Cricut to make a tag for the journaling. I love the look on Harper's face; it's like he knows he's on to something as he's slowly making his way up and down that couch. It wasn't long after this that he was walking...

Making Messes

This has certainly been a busy week. I was just positive that once the holiday's were over I'd be bored with nothing to do, but that certainly hasn't been the case. It seems that every day brings it's challenges where time management is concerned and juggling everything is a quite a task. But, here I am tonight, making a little time to write, so that's good. I think.

After such a fun weekend cropping, it was back to business as usual. Kids had school Monday and I had the unfortunate task of shopping for groceries at Costco. Dakota was such a champ though and we were able to get in and out of there in no time. She's really a great little helper when she's in the mood to be. She likes running ahead of me and grabbing things to put in the cart. Most of the time it's what I've asked her to get but on occasion she'll grab something that catches her eye and toss it in. I just wait a minute or two until she's moved on and put it back; so far she's never asked about anything she's put in there. She does make me laugh a little though because girlfriend cannot resist a pretty dress. Whenever they've got the girls fancy dresses out, she's on it. She wants one of every color and she wants to put them on right there in the aisle. They've got some really cute dresses out for spring and I ended up getting two that she'll be able to wear this summer on the cruise. I got her size 5's because the 4's seemed snug...hard to believe she's getting so big.

Tuesday and Thursday Dakota had preschool and I was absolutely THRILLED when she didn't cry getting out of the van! I had already prepared myself for tears and pleading but as luck would have it, I didn't have to worry. She got out and walked in and had terrific days.

I got a new little hand held vacuum for Christmas and man I love that thing. I hate to even admit that, but seriously, when you have little kids in the house and there are crumbs/pieces of paper/bits from outside all over the floor 24/7, it's a handy little tool. Seems that I'm not the only one who loves it though because my little Kota uses it all the time too.

Part of me is happy to have a little helper but another part of me hopes she realizes that a clean house isn't really all that important. As I've gotten older I've certainly become more concerned with keeping things picked up and am known to get pretty cranky when the house is a mess, but trust me, my house is no museum. I don't even want it to look like one. I want the kids to remember having fun here and playing and making messes...not using the mini vac to clean them up! The problem isn't really that Dakota wants to use the vac either, it's that she's so concerned with keeping things picked up all the time now. She's always cleaning her room and is so proud of the job she does. I don't want to brush her off but I don't want her thinking that her job in life is keep things spotless and/or to clean up after other people. I want her ambitions to be higher than housewife/mother/maid...

I'm probably reading way into this considering she's only three but maybe I'll try to place less importance on cleaning and get back to making more's definitely more fun.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Seven Pages

As promised, here are the seven pages I finished during my scrapbooking weekend:


Football Injury

My Heroes

Discovering Bubbles

Breakfast With Meme



I know seven pages doesn't sound like a lot, and I guess for three days it isn't, but I sure had fun making them! I also finished the last couple pages of this years December Daily album and I was so happy that got done as well. Maybe I'll put some pictures of that up another day, but for now, it's time to work on a page I started and didn't finish. Good night! 

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....