Monday, February 29, 2016

Tot Rock

Dakota had her ENT appointment this morning. After a quick look the doctor determined that while her ears are full of fluid, they aren't infected. So, he wants to wait a month to see if they'll end up draining on their own. If they drain and her hearing returns to normal, we'll do nothing. If they don't drain they'll insert tubes to get that gunk out of there as well as clear up her hearing issues. He said the procedure for inserting the tubes was a quick out patient process. She'll have to go to sleep for about 10 minutes and then it'll be done. I'm nervous about the whole thing of course, but I feel better about her hearing after speaking with the doctor today. Now we just wait and see what happens. Our next appointment is March 28th.

After her appointment this morning I took her to Tot Rock at the skating rink. They allow kids 6 and under to bring in their skates/bikes/scooters whatever to ride around the skating rink. We've been before but it's been a long time so I thought she'd like to do something new. Some friends from school were there as well, so that made it more fun!


I couldn't believe how well Dakota did skating! She was a little nervous at first but I came up with a game where she would skate to a big inflated ball and hit it and that was all it took for her to really enjoy herself.



I love that they have these PVC pipe walkers for the kids to use...it's sure better than her hanging onto to me the whole time! I think we'll be back next week because she sure had a lot of fun! I'm hoping her friend Ava will come next week, I know she'd just love that!

Once Harper got home from school we made sure to play outside and enjoy this lovely weather we're having. I don't want to waste these beautiful days inside!


I decided it was time for Harper to start practicing riding his bike again and he was none too thrilled with that idea. I promised him we'd only ride a little ways and come right back so he reluctantly got on his bike. (It's amazing how different he and Dakota are!) At first he screamed every time I let go but after a few minutes he relaxed and realized he wouldn't fall just because I let go. He barely moved the pedals and it took every ounce of patience I had to not push him ahead. I kept my cool though and he ended up doing well. I gave him the sole goal of keeping his bike in the middle of the sidewalk and that was enough to keep his mind from wandering into the terrifying abyss of scraped knees and bloody elbows.


But, he didn't like it at all. Poor guy. Guess we'll have to try again tomorrow.

Carrol's Creek Cafe

Yesterday didn't quite go as I'd hoped it would. Tony and I both woke up rather late which was awesome but when Tony went down the hallway to Harper's room he found a very sick little guy. At some point Harper had gotten up in the middle of the night, possibly just very early morning and was sick to his stomach. He'd tried to make it to the bathroom, but hadn't quite made it...so, it was a bit messy. But, instead of coming to wake us up, he just went back to bed. When I asked him why he didn't come wake us up he said "I just wanted to let you and dad sleep as long as possible."

What a doll.

The poor kid ended up spending most of his day on the couch with a belly ache. Zoe came over to watch the kids while Tony and I went out to lunch but instead of walking around downtown for a bit we just went back home. I didn't feel right leaving my poor sick boy for too long.

Tony and I went to Carrol's Creek Cafe for lunch because it was Annapolis Restaurant Week, and why the heck not? (We'll use any excuse to get out!) The weather was beautiful and the restaurant sits right on the water so there was a nice view of docked sailboats with a few sailing by here and there. There was a special restaurant week menu and you could get 2 courses for $15.99 or 3 courses for $19.99. I went with a two course meal, Carrol's Creek Salad and the Tuscan Chicken Flat Bread. I could NOT resist trying the cream of crab soup though and I ordered that as well. (The soup was by far the best thing I ate yesterday. They brought it out first thing though and after eating that and my salad I only had a few bites of my flat bread and ended up bringing the rest home!) Tony also ordered two courses. He chose the same salad but had a Cuban sandwich. He must have liked his just fine because his plate was clean when he finished!

I didn't get any picture while we were out as I wasn't feeling very well. I've been sick for several days but it all seemed to get worse during the weekend. I had taken medicine early Sunday but should have brought some with me while we were out. Oh well. Zoe did take a few pictures of us before we left though...



As you can see, Dakota wasn't too happy that Tony and I were going out without her. It didn't matter that Zoe, her most favorite person was there to watch and play with her. She just cried and cried until we left and then Zoe said she was fine.

Harper wanted to take a picture of me too, so here's that one:


When we got home, I felt awful. I went up to take a nap and when I came back down an hour or so later, Zoe and Brandon were gone. I felt terrible that I didn't get to hang out with them, but hopefully they'll be back another afternoon when we aren't all feeling so crappy.

Later that afternoon I decided to take the kids outside in the backyard to swing. Harper seemed to be feeling a bit better and the weather was just right, so out we went.


Tony and Dakota spent some time jumping on the trampoline and hearing her giggle with him was awesome!


Harper spent a good bit of time digging in the the dirt under the deck. At one point I asked him why he didn't dig in the sand box and he said he didn't want to get it dirty? At first I had no idea what the heck that meant and then realized his shovel was a bit muddy from the dirt under the deck and he didn't want to mix it with the sand in the sand box. I got a good laugh out of that though!


Luckily, Harper was better after playing outside for awhile and he was able to eat dinner without any further tummy trouble. He went to bed feeling good and I was thankful for that!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Family Movie Night: The Good Dinosaur

After taking care of sick kids and managing to stay healthy for many weeks, they finally got me. I've been battling a nasty cold all week but today it really hit me. I barely slept last night and felt crappy most of today. But, after taking medicine and moving around I was well enough to get Landon to Sky Zone to hang out with his friends. While he jumped and played dodge ball, Tony the little kids and I headed to Columbia Mall. We just walked around a bit and I picked up a few new things for myself as well as the kids. Nothing special really, but I got some really good deals, and that's always fun! (4 tops and a pair of pants for $40 for myself! Woohoo!)

We picked Landon up after two hours and we all went to lunch at Noodles & Company because Harper and Dakota have been asking to go there for weeks now. It's one of Landon's favorites too so we were able to feed everyone with zero complaints. You have no idea how rare that is.

Tony knew that the movie The Good Dinosaur  was out on DVD this week so we picked it up and thought it'd be fun to have a family movie/dinner night in the basement.



We just did a simple picnic style dinner; subs, fruit, chips, cookies and popcorn while watching what turned out to be an adorable movie. I loved that Harper understood most of it and it was great hearing him laugh so much. Dakota was super tired because she didn't have a nap so she was kind of crazy during the whole thing, but for the most part she did alright. I was also glad that Landon hung out with us despite it being a little kid movie. He didn't hate it either...

Tomorrow is supposed to be a gorgeous weather day with temps in the upper 60's! Tony and I have a lunch date tomorrow afternoon and Zoe's offered to watch the two little kiddo's for me...should be a fun day!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Preschool Conference

As I mentioned in my last post, I met with Dakota's preschool teacher to talk about her progress thus far. I wasn't surprised by anything she told me as I'm at the school often and know Dakota's strength's and weaknesses. Obviously Dakota isn't "proficient" when it comes to getting out of the can and going into school, but other than that she does quite well. Mrs. Cartee also said that Dakota doesn't always ask her for help when she needs it. She says she stays quiet about things which surprises me a little because she certainly lets us all know when she needs something! I hope she'll find her voice and feel comfortable asking people for help when she needs it. The only other thing that wasn't marked as proficient was regarding her speech and whether or not she spoke clearly enough for adults to understand her. She's definitely working on that one with her speech therapist and progressing nicely.



After we went over the above lists (I agreed with everything she'd marked) she showed me the next two papers:



I was rather impressed with how much of that stuff she knew. Especially the lower case letters! She's a smart little cookie! I don't drill her on any of this stuff, she just picks it up during regular conversations we have. They do work on some of this at school but I think most of what she knows comes from being an active involved member of our family.

So, it was nice to get to sit and hear what her teacher had to say, but it wasn't really life altering or anything. We know we've got a smart, independent little sassy pants girl and we love her to bits.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish...

Tuesday was supposed to be our big back to the regularly schedule day, but life sure knows how throw a curve ball in my plans. I was scheduled to be one of the working parents at Dakota's preschool so after getting Harper on the bus we headed out to her school. It was also my turn to have a parent teacher conference with her teacher so it was going to be a productive morning. (I'll write about the conference separately.)

Dakota was SUPER clingy the entire time we were at school. She not only wanted me by her side, she wanted to be touching me in some way. Either holding onto my sweater or my hand, just something. It was hard to do much of anything but as time went on she eased up a bit...but, she always had an eye on me no matter what. It's Dr. Suess week at school and the book they read and did activities on was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. First, they used goldfish crackers to count and place the correct number into their fish bowls.


Then, using the goldfish they already had, they graphed them by color:


And finally, they used corn syrup mixed with liquid watercolor to paint their very own fishbowls:


While the kids were painting their fishbowls I got a phone call from Ridgeway, Harper's elementary school. I stepped into the hallway to take the call (cue Dakota crying "mama, mama, mama") and it was Harper's teacher telling me that he'd been to the nurse complaining of ear pain. The nurse took his temp and said he didn't have a fever and sent him back to class. The teacher decided she'd call me anyways because once he was back in the classroom he sat down holding his ear and seemed to be crying a little bit. I talked to him on the phone and he confirmed that his ear was really hurting so I told him I'd be there as soon as I could. I felt terrible leaving during the middle of preschool when I was the working parent, but the teacher assured me they'd be fine.

Dakota and I were at Harper's school about 15 minutes after we the phone call. We were waiting for him in the lobby of the school and it was the cutest thing seeing him being escorted by two classmates for dismissal! They all walked very slowly down the hall holding his hands and while Harper looked miserable, his two friends looked sympathetic and so darn sweet! When we got home Harper went to lie down on the couch and that's when I knew his little ear was really hurting him. He was so upset and crying a bit so I gave him some Motrin and called his doctor. The doctor confirmed an ear infection in his left ear and sent us on our way with a slip for some amoxicillan.

So much for things getting back to normal.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sunny Monday

It was back to the doctor today with little Kota. She's just not been the same in what seems like an eternity now. I had originally scheduled a check up for her at 2 pm today but when she started running a fever again this weekend I knew I'd want to get her in asap today instead. So, I called as soon as they opened and we were able to see a doctor at 10 am instead. The doctor confirmed that she had yet another ear infection (her third consecutive). I almost cried. The doctor told me that I'd need to take Dakota to see an ENT once she'd finished this round of meds to see what our next steps would be. Maybe tubes, maybe something else...I just don't know. The more I talk to people about it the more options there seem to be. Long term meds, specific meds, chiropractors...the list goes on. This time she's on Zithromax and I'm hoping it'll finally knock it out.

Dakota took this picture of Harper and I while we waited for the doctor.



And this one of herself...


After going to the doctor we drove over to see Zoe and the kitties for a little bit. Harper's been asking to go back to play with the cats and since there was no school today, it was a good opportunity. One time when we went to Zoe's (just Kota and I) Zoe had some left over donuts and she let Dakota have one. Now, every time we go, Dakota asks if she has donuts. So today before we got there Zoe stopped at Dunkin Donuts and picked up a couple donuts for the kids. So sweet! And, better yet, she grabbed me a hot chocolate too! I thought that was just the sweetest thing and it really brightened an otherwise dreary morning.

The kids and I grabbed some lunch at Chick Fil A (their fave) and then we finally headed home. It was about 12:30 when we got home and I had just enough time to get Dakota down for a nap before I had to meet Harper's teacher for a conference. Thankfully Mema came over to stay with the kids because with Dakota being sick I knew she'd really need a nap to make it through the day. The conference went well and I learn a lot every time I go see his teacher. This time I learned that
1) Harper is a chatterbox 2) he is progressing slowly but surely in reading 3) he likes to "argue" with his good friend Abigail (they sit at the same table) 4) he and his friend Ahmed talk and play too much and while they sit at the same table, they won't be much longer 5) he needs a little work on impulse control as he likes to touch/bump/nudge people 6) he's got a lot of friends in class and gets along well with all of the kids. So, he has some things to work on, but don't we all?



This afternoon the sun was shining and I was out of ideas about what to do in the house so I grabbed boots and jackets and the kids and I went out into the back yard for awhile. It was nice to get outside for a bit and both of their little faces seemed to perk up. There was a lot of smiling and laughing and running and playing and swinging...it was a nice half hour.



While we were out Harper spotted a bug on the side of the shed. He asked me if he could hold it and I told him to go for it. He was feeling pretty brave with his mittens on I guess. He held that bug the entire time we were outside. He climbed up the rock wall with it, he went down the slide with it, and he even blasted away a few bad guys while keeping that little bug safe and sound in his hand. When we went inside he made sure to find it a safe place to stay on our deck. I love his big heart. 




Sunday, February 21, 2016

Short Sunday Update

This is going to be a short post because I'm wiped out, but I don't want to go too many days with nothing on the blog. It just gets too easy to let time pass and then I'm mad that I didn't get our little daily details down...

Dakota and Harper have been running low fevers again this weekend. I am beyond knowing what to do at this point. We had to cancel dinner plans with friends and that sucked, but I don't want my kiddo's getting anyone else sick. 

Today though, both kids woke up feeling good so we did run some (too many) errands. Harper has officially graduated to a size 6 (slim) in pants as all his old jeans were looking pretty silly they were so short. I got some great deals at Kohl's on jeans and ended up getting him and myself two pairs. I also grabbed 4 new tops off the clearance racks and picked up some size 4 leggings for Dakota. All the 3's I bought her at the beginning of fall are looking shorter and shorter...my babies are growing!

We also had to run to Sams club (grocery time!), Lowes (needed some under cabinet organization), and the grocery store. It was a long day but it was absolutely necessary. Dakota was running a bit of a temperature when we got home so we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. She seems to be okay right now but we'll be going back to the doctor tomorrow to see if her ears are clear or not. The kids don't have school tomorrow because of parent teacher conferences so I'll be chatting with Harper's teacher tomorrow. (I didn't schedule an appt with any of Landon's teachers, I just email them if/when I have an issue.)

Other than that, nothing super duper interesting is going on here. I did find a few pictures that Dakota had taken with my phone, so I'll leave you with those...



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Back to School, Back to Rolly Pollies

After having a (planned) long weekend because of Presidents day plus an inclement weather day, the kids finally had school. No one was too excited to go back but if they want any kind of summer break, they've gotta go.

Dakota and I ran a few errands this morning and were at her Rolly Pollies class by 10. She was pretty excited to go which was a nice change. Most of the time she acts like she'd rather not, but today she was feeling positive I guess.

She was a little stand offish at first and refused to do the introductory song, but once we got out on the main floor, she was more willing to try things. The teacher had them do a few things like crab walk and then walk like a bear (on all fours) at first and then they had to do a few different maneuvers with a small ball. Once they'd done that (Dakota barely participated) we headed over to the obstacle course the teacher had set up.

They had to grab hold of a bar and pull themselves up on their tummies and then flip over the top, and Dakota loved it! She did it several times (with help) and got better at it each time. Then they had to walk up metal bars using hands and feet and make it all the way to the end where they had to kick a bell. She loved doing that part as well.



I thought it'd be cool to get some pictures from underneath as she made her way across the bars...

 


She thought it was cool too...


She enjoyed running/jumping down the tumble track today too and did a great job on her forward roll. She does them all the time but gets a little stage fright when the teacher is watching. :)


The last part of the obstacle course was walking on the balance beams while holding a foam cube. She did really good with this too and hardly needed any help. 




She had a great time today and I hope as we keep going she'll become more and more confident in her skills. I think she really enjoys this kind of activity and wonder what she'd do if I enrolled her in a gymnastics class somewhere. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day Dinner 2016



Tony made reservations at Roy's of Baltimore for this years Valentine's day dinner. We went the night before Valentine's Day to avoid the throngs of people on Sunday night. The city was busy but the restaurant wasn't too crowded when we got there. Our reservation was for 5:15 pm since we are used to eating early and we needed to be back in time to get the kids in bed. Roy's is considered "Hawaiian fusion" and while I don't really know exactly what that means, the food was very good!

There were several choices for each of the four courses and Tony and I had no trouble picking what we wanted. After consulting with our waiter about the best appetizers, I went with something I'd never tried before, Swarnadwipa Hawaiian Tuna. The description read "saffron tomato broth - candied beets". What the hell that means, I don't know, but it was pretty good. I'm always a little scared by anything that looks under cooked and the tuna looked fresh from the sea, but I ate it and didn't die...and I think I even liked it a little. I'll admit though that I was a bit turned off by the texture and the fact that it didn't really cut nicely...it just kind of tore apart roughly like raw meat would.
So yeah. Tony, on the other hand ordered Tequila Marinated Chilled Shrimp. Shrimp is one of my favorites but I was ordering shrimp as my main course so I didn't want to over do it. The description for the shrimp appetizer was "wasabi lime cocktail sauce - avocado- tostones". What the hell is a tostone? Gotta look that up. He liked his appetizer though so I guess it was good!

We were able to choose either a soup or salad for our next course. After looking over our four choices we both decided on a bowl of lobster bisque. It wasn't what I would think of when I think of lobster bisque, but it was really good! There were some GIGANTIC pieces of lobster in there and that was awesome! There was coconut milk, red curry, and Thai aromatics mixed in with that yummy lobster and it tasted great!

Our main course selections were Crispy Honey Walnut Tiger Shrimp (mine) and Jumbo Lump Crab Crusted Filet Mignon (his). I don't know what the heck was in my food, even after reading the description, (lobster red lentil saute, lup cheong sausage, sweet mustard emulsion) but it was good! Tony's was a little easier to understand: asparagus, butter whipped potatoes and lobster cognac essence...and his was really good, he even let me have a bite! :) There were a few things on our plate that we weren't sure about, like we had no idea what the hell we were eating, but we figured it was food because it was on our plate, so we ate it. There was some nibbling and frowning and "taste this and tell me what it is" moments, but we lived and for the most part enjoyed all of it.

Desert was my favorite part because it involved chocolate. All the options for dessert sounded pretty good, but I just can't pass up a good molten cake...and this one was perfection! Tony chose the same thing which surprised me because one of the other choices was White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse, and he LOVES him some cheesecake. I mean, I almost went for that instead of the chocolate but then the waiter said he thought the chocolate cake was better and I was sold. I'm easy like that.

Since we were out and all we both decided we should have an adult beverage. I never drink but after weeks of hanging with a sick kid, I was ready to have something. I had a glass of Moscato (and an awful headache afterwards) while Tony had some sort of peach sangria drink which I thought was really good. I liked the wine too, just didn't love the headache afterwards.

It was a nice place and the food was good but I'm not sure it's somewhere I'd want to go again. I felt like it was a little over priced, but that could have been because of the special Valentine's menu. I was also surprised with how many kids were there with their parents with prices as high as they were and the crazy menu, but maybe those kids are used to eating dinner at $80 a plate, who knows. It was really nice to get out of the house for a bit sans kids. Tony and I don't get much time together these days and I feel like we are two ships passing in the night half the time. We really need to make more time for each other.






Valentine's Day Super Heroes

Harper's kindergarten class celebrated Valentine's day on Friday. I like to make something every year instead of giving out the little cards you can buy at the store, but this year I nearly waited too long to choose something. At the last minute I decided to make each kid in his class a super hero mask. (Not my idea, Pinterest, of course.) I went out and picked up several colors of foam paper and a few lengths of elastic; I had everything else at home. I cut out all 31 masks (I decided to make the same thing for Dakota's preschool friends) added the elastic and then printed out the words "Valentine, You're Super" with my printer. I then traced a heart shape around the hearts and cut them out to be used as the tags.


Since my kids are still pretty young, I figured they didn't need to write each friends name out, they could just hand them out randomly. I did have Harper write his name on the cards, Dakota's I wrote for her.


I had to add tiny beads to the ends of the elastic to keep it from slipping through the holes, but I have tiny beads in abundance so I didn't mind. I used some washi tape to attach the heart card to the mask, and we were done! I bought little bags of chocolates for the teachers, and included a mask and heart card that read "Mrs. MacCredie/Cartee, You're My Hero".


I thought they turned out really well considering I waited until the night before to finish them. I just love procrastinating! I only procrastinated on Harper's though because Dakota isn't celebrating Valentine's Day with her class until tomorrow! (Not looking like she'll have school tomorrow though because it snowed today and now we are getting freezing rain. Poo.)

*When I posted about Harper's 100th day, I forgot to post the hat he was wearing when he got off the bus. It's too cute not to share! You can't see the paint dots on each of the paper strips, but each strip had 10 dots with a grand total of 100! Cute hat, cuter kid! :)


Sunday, February 14, 2016

100th Day of School


Harper's 100th day of school actually passed by a week or so ago but because of school delay's and other circumstances, they just celebrated it this past Thursday. He was SO excited to have his 100th day party, and when I asked him what they were going to do he said "count things to 100"! I guess counting that high is exciting!? I was a little surprised when I got a letter home from the school requesting that we make a 100 day t-shirt for him to wear. I mean, when Landon was in school he had to bring in a bag of 100 something (he brought bouncy balls) and I was totally prepared for that, but make a t-shirt?

I fretted over making a shirt for more than a week before I finally came up with an idea I thought I could handle. Using felt, puffy paint and hot glue, I got to work making him a train with 100 cars. The shirt says "100th Day" in the puffs of smoke and the first few cars say "Chugging through Kindergarten". Then, I hot glued 100 cars all over the front and back of his shirt. I ran out of room and had to make the last 7 cars smaller than the rest and ended up gluing them to the sleeves.



I learned a lot making this shirt. 1) felt is heavier than it seems 2) think small in terms of 100 items fitting on a kids shirt 3) a youth small shirt is still pretty big on a 5 year old 4) hot glue works well but I can't even tell you how many times I burned the crap out of my fingers.



I was a little worried about what Harper would think of the shirt, but I shouldn't have because he loved it! He couldn't wait to wear it to school to show his teacher and friends. Phew. I did it!


Snow Soup & Twirly Paint

When Harper got off the bus on Monday he came running up to me and said he wanted to go straight out to the backyard and make snow soup. I don't know if someone talked about it at school or what but he was determined!

The minute we walked in the front door he ran to the back door and headed out to make his soup. He filled a little bowl with sand, snow and a rock or two and then brought it up to show me.


He sure was proud of his little creation but after he showed me he said he was ready to come back in because his hands were freezing.

Dakota was having a fever free moment and she asked to paint. We did some regular painting on paper and then I decided to pull out the twirl o paint, a toy that was originally Zoe's and still works perfectly!

Dakota made painting after painting and just loved showing me how each one turned out.




Update on Dakota


The last time I posted was nearly a week ago. Oy. Last week was really tough though because Dakota was really sick and I spent every waking hour tending to her needs. She was suffering from an ear infection but also had a nasty virus on top of it. She ran a fever from last Sunday until yesterday. She went to bed Friday night without a fever and woke up Saturday morning without one so I think we are finally in the clear. (I'm nervous about her coming off the antibiotic though because I'm afraid this will all start again.)

She and I did all sorts of things together but most of it involved sitting on the couch. We read lots of books, played some games on the iPad, watched lots of cartoons and colored. When she was feeling decent we played with her kitchen set and with the Calico critters. It was a long week of holding her and rocking her and just keeping her comfortable.

I got a few pictures of her when her medicine seemed to be working and she could play:



I'm really hoping all this sickness is gone for good this time. It's been the better part of January and now February that one or both of the little kids has been sick and that's just enough!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dakota's Sick (again) and a New Cooktop

Yesterday, before the big Vranbowl, Tony and the two boys went to get haircuts. Dakota stayed home with me and before I could even ask her what she wanted to do, she came down the hallway dragging her blankie. I thought she must be tired from waking up early, but I should have known it was more than that. My kids do not willingly nap unless they're sick. And sick she was.

She woke up from her nap running a temperature and man did she feel lousy. I gave her some Tylenol and let her rest on the couch until she felt a little better. She ended up feeling well enough to play games with us yesterday, but by bed time she wasn't feeling well again. I'd already made her an appointment for today last week because I wanted the doctor to check on her ears so at least I already had an appointment lined up.

Her appointment wasn't until 12:20 pm so we spent the morning watching her favorite tv shows (PJ Masks, Paw Patrol and Goldie & Bear) and playing kitchen set when she felt good enough. Around 10:!5 she said she was cold so I put her in a warm bath. She soaked while I cleaned the rest of the bathroom and she was as happy as can be...until I got her out. She was shivering and shaking so hard I could hardly get her dressed! I bundled her up and blow dried her hair and then we headed out to the doctor.

I had asked her if either of her ears or throat hurt and she told me no so I wasn't sure what could be wrong and was a little surprised when the doctor said she had another raging ear infection! Ugh. He said that we should dry a different medicine than the amoxicillan this time so we are using Cefdinir. I sure hope this one works because my poor girl is miserable and I hate that she feels so awful.

In other news, Tony was able to go pick up our new cooktop this afternoon. I had a bad feeling that it wouldn't be simple to install, and I was right. Cooktop's just sit down in a hole cut into the counter top and our old one was just a tad smaller than our new one is; and by tad I mean an 1/8th of an inch. Instead of screaming like I wanted to, I talked Tony into cutting the countertop to make the new one fit. He worked up his nerve and got his tools and started cutting.



He's got it most of the way in but there are two screws on the sides that he needs to trim a little space for and then I think it'll be in. After that he'll just have to figure out all the electrical crap. Hopefully we'll have a functioning stove by the end of the week and a healthy preschooler by tomorrow!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

VranBowl 2016

Today we held our annual Vranbowl. We started this three years ago because we aren't big football fans and don't watch the Super Bowl. So, we make food, play silly minute to win it games and hang out together...it's nice!


Our menu this year wasn't like what you'd find at most Super Bowl parties, but it was good nonetheless. We had warm bean dip (tasty but it made a TON), crackers and cheese (Dakota really wanted that), deviled eggs (I made these for Zoe), veggie platter (gotta eat something healthy-ish) velveeta/salsa dip with chips (yum!) and the main dish was chicken and wild rice soup (good but the veggies weren't all the way done). Everyone ate to their hearts content and for dessert we had simple brownie sundaes.

I tried to choose games that everyone could play but despite my efforts, Harper just wasn't very interested. He played a couple games with us and then played with some paper airplanes that Brandon made him. Oh well.

Our first game was called Heart Stack. Using conversation hearts and only one hand, stack them as high as you can in one minute. The person with the tallest stack, wins. Landon was the big winner of this game!


The next game was one where you put a paper plate on your head and then draw a specific thing. We did a snowman and then we drew a house. Harper was a sport and gave this a try. Dakota had me hold the plate on her head and draw for her...her's was probably the best, haha! 


Here's the house I drew on top of my head:


Next up was the Marshmallow Toss. Harper and Dakota both really enjoyed this one! As a matter of fact, we all had fun with this!


Bean on a Straw was a lot harder than I thought it'd be. Using only a straw, move beans from one bowl into another. Whoever has the most in one minute's time, wins.  Next time I'll use a smaller bean, I think some of these were just too heavy! Tony was the big winner on this game with 21 beans!


At one point while Zoe and Landon were racing Zoe said "can't we just use our hands"? I thought that was such a silly question not understanding that she just meant to steady the straw, so you can hear me making fun of her in the video below. And, as you can see, Landon crushed her! 


This picture is just too good not to share! So funny!


It made Zoe and I giggle when we noticed Dakota mimicking the guys playing this game!


Our last game for the evening was the bundt pan toss. Using a bundt pan, try to toss ping pong balls in for a point. (Extra point for getting a ball to land in the tube circle of the bundt pan!) Whoever has the most in one minute, wins. I won this one with 8 balls! Go me!



Spending time with this family of mine sure is fun! We had a great time together and I hope this will be a tradition that lasts.

Before the night was over Harper and Dakota convinced everyone to do the Tootie Ta dance...it was...interesting. :) I have THE best family. Really.


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Harper loves making books. He's made several books in the past couple of years and just lately made one all about Mario's enemies (t...