Thursday, April 28, 2016

Preschool and a Shopping Trip

I was so looking forward to having a few kid free hours today when Dakota finally went back to school, but it sure didn't turn out that way. Right before leaving my phone rang and when I picked up it was a mom from the preschool. She told me that her husband and son had been in a car accident and she was supposed to be the working parent and she wasn't going to be able to make it. So, I got off the phone with her, grabbed some snacks for the kids and off Dakota and I went to the school. It was a rainy, crappy day outside but inside it was cheerful and playful and fun! The kids worked on their Mother's Day gifts (ADORABLE) and had lots of time to play in the playroom. It was perfect.

When we got home I'd hoped that she'd take a nap, but she had zero interest in that idea. So, while I got a few things done around the house she kept busy with some "homework". She had to cut out letters and put the Tt's on one side of the paper and all the other letters on the other side. She was able to do all of it by herself and I was super impressed! 

She also did a little coloring at school today, all about the letter Tt. She loves to free draw and has never really colored in a coloring book so I was surprised when she spent as much time as she did coloring this little page. I thought it was cool she used different colors for each circle because she'd normally use one, and she did a pretty good job on the whole thing. 

I could tell Harper was going to be a bit of a mess this afternoon as soon as we got home from the bus. He was cranky and crying about things that normally wouldn't bother him and just miserable in general. I had to run to the store for a couple things and decided to take him with me. He was so mad at me for making him go, but once we got in the van and I let him pick his own show to watch, he settled. I told him he'd feel better after going to the store with me and he'd be happier when we got back home. As we got out of the van to go in the store, he said "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be happier when we get home, mom". I asked him if he thought a hot pretzel and an Icee would help and he said he thought it would! Haha! 

Our little shopping run turned out to be pretty fun. He sat and nibbled on that giant pretzel while I got the things I went for and then we stopped for a few minutes in the video game aisle. He pointed out a few games he thought looked fun and then we looked at the movies and books. He never asked for anything until we got up to check out and he wanted to try a piece of gum. (He's had gum maybe one other time.) So, I bought some gum and he was SOOO excited! He couldn't wait to try it and he ended up loving it! As soon as we got home Dakota flung the door open and said "Mama! Harper!" and he ran up to her and said "Hi, Kota! I just ate gum!" 

His afternoon was pretty good after our shopping trip and it was good to spend a little time listening to my little guy. I wish I could do it more often. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I could write an entire blog on the things my kids say and do, but it would take so many hours of my day that I just can't. It'd be entertaining for sure, but just too time consuming. But, I have two little nuggets I want to share today...

  • Harper was making a map of sorts and asking me to name different states. As I named the states, he was writing the letter it began with, circling it and then drawing a line to the next one, like a dot to dot. He asked which state we drove through first when we went to see my parents in South Carolina. I told him Virginia. As we went along he asked about several different states and then began to tell me about his map. When we got to Virginia I saw that he'd written and "F". I asked him why he'd written and "F" there and he said it was for "Firginia" the first state we drive through to go to Meme and Papa's house. ;) 
  • I was looking through my senior year yearbook when Dakota came into the room. I asked her if she could find me on a page with a few other people. She looked and looked and finally said "I don't see mama but I see Zoe!" and pointed to my picture! Haha! People always say we're identical, but it's so funny hearing it from my other children!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Election Day

It was voting day here in Maryland. I made sure to get out and cast my vote once Tony got home from work since the kids were here with me all day. (I thought about taking them but the lines were so long 4 years ago at the general election that I didn't want to take any chances. I needn't have worried since I was the ONLY person there at first. Only 2 others showed up before I left. Crazy.)

We started our morning later than usual, just after 7 am and held off on breakfast until after 8 am when they finally decided they were hungry. We got to have breakfast out on the deck because the weather was just fabulous this morning. 

Once they'd finished their eggs and jelly toast they wanted to play outside. They thought it was super cool to play outside in their pj's and I loved hearing them go on an little imaginary adventure together. Harper has a huge imagination and he is usually able to captivate Dakota and get her involved. Once they've got something going, they have the best time! I didn't want to spend my entire morning doing the usual so I brought out some markers and a coloring book to work on while they played. 

Eventually we made it back inside to get ourselves ready for the day and then their buddies came over to play for awhile. They played outside most of the time but the last 20 minutes or so they played in the basement...until Harper and Dakota decided to start fighting. Once the screaming began it was time for everyone to go on home and for my two to relax a bit. They'd been going 100 mph since they woke up and it all came crashing down right around lunch time, so we headed to the mall for lunch and a little shopping. They were thrilled when I gave them each a few quarters to hold and told them they could use them on one of the little kid rides in the middle of the mall. 

We got home from the mall just before 2 and I wasn't even a little happy to find Landon still asleep. Teenagers.  

The kids wanted to go back outside so while they played I set up an art activity in the gazebo. I ordered a bunch of new paint and paint brushes from Amazon. Dakota's been dying to get into them, so today was the day. 

Today was a great day and it was fun hanging out with the two little kids. It sure has me ready for those long summer days ahead! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Zoo Field Trip

Last Thursday was Dakota's last preschool field trip. The zoo is always a fun field trip and the only time we'd go to the Baltimore Zoo instead of the National Zoo in DC. I decided to take Harper out of school to go with us and thought about taking Landon but knew he'd hate it. (I asked him to be sure and he said no thanks!) Tony took the day off of work to go since it was her last field trip and I'm not a fan of driving into the city, so it worked out great!

Dakota was way more excited about eating a picnic lunch than seeing any animals. We got to the zoo at 10 am and she was ready to eat right then (she wasn't hungry, she was just excited to have a packed lunch like her brother gets every day for school!). She asked if it was time to eat after seeing each animal, poor kid! When we told her we were going to go find a spot to eat she grabbed her lunch box to carry and led the way! She was so happy!

I wish I'd gotten a better picture of her lugging that lunchbox but I assure you that is one heavy lunch and one determined little 3 year old! She made it part of the way then decided to sit in the stroller and hold it... :) 

It turned out to be a pretty great day at the zoo. It's small enough that you can really see everything in one day and big enough that it doesn't feel like a waste of time to go. The kids love all the interactive aspects and any chance to go through a tunnel, climb, jump or run makes their day. I loved that it wasn't hot (it was actually quite chilly) and not crowded. I don't know if we'll ever go again though because the National Zoo is quite a bit nicer and free to get in!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Wonderful Wednesday

After taking Harper to the bus Dakota asked if "Syndy" could come play. I agreed but told them we only had about an hour because Dakota's new session of Rolly Pollies started today. They pushed the baby stroller home together and then ran to take their jackets and shoes off to play. I went into the kitchen to do something, who know's what and the next thing I hear is screaming and Sydney yelling about an accident. 

I guess both girls were racing to get a balloon and Dakota somehow hit her mouth on the back of Sydney's head. Dakota had a huge fat lip and it was bleeding quite a bit so she was hysterical. Sydney was fine but when I couldn't settle Dakota down I decided I'd better send Syd home. So, I helped her get her shoes and jacket back on and sent her mom a quick text letting her know she was on her way down. I'd no more than pressed send when I saw Sydney fall down the driveway. She'd been running and fell and scraped her hands. So, with Dakota screaming in the house, I ran out and picked up Sydney who was screaming on my driveway. She was upset but didn't have any scratches so I wiped her nose and walked her home. 

Talk about a bang of a morning. Two kids hurt and crying in less than 5 minutes. Luckily it wasn't foretelling of the rest of our day which turned out rather nicely. Dakota did a terrific job at Rolly Pollies and then we had lunch with Mema. A "quick" trip to Target got us a couple new scooters, two bouncy balls and some new bubble wands to replace the broken ones I chucked last week. A good haul for a "quick" trip to Target...

The rest of our afternoon was spent playing with our new toys. Zoe and the two kids she watches came over as well as Sydney and Aeden, our neighbors. It was a busy afternoon watching kids run around the front and back yards but it was very pleasant. There was almost zero arguing and lots of laughing...success.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Cleaning and Butterfly Art

I guess I got bit by a little spring cleaning bug because I spent yesterday morning doing all sorts of cleaning. Dakota and I didn't have anything to do so I thought it'd be a good day to stay home and get things done, luckily Dakota likes to help me do "jobs" and she was all over it!

It was time to clean my yucky ovens so I started them on their clean cycles then jumped on Pinterest to see how to clean the racks. Of course there were lots of pins about it but I just randomly picked one and went with it.

I brought the racks up into my master bathroom tub because it's big enough to hold all four racks at once. I ran some hot water, added half a cup of dish soap and six dryer sheets. Once the water was just above the racks I turned off the water and didn't check on them until about 5 hours had passed.

It's recommended that you leave them longer, overnight even, but I'm not patient enough for that and I needed to use the oven for dinner last night. I pulled each rack out of the water and used the dryer sheets to rub any left over crap off of the bars. I was surprised at how easily most of the crud came off but I won't lie and say they're sparkling clean or anything. Way better than when I put them in, yes. Squeaky clean, no. I wonder if leaving them longer would have made any difference and I may just try it again sometime to see, but I'll wait until they're good and dirty before I worry about that!

While the racks were soaking Dakota and I did all sorts of stuff. We dusted all the bedroom furniture, watered all the houseplants, swept up the kitchen floor, changed all the bed sheets and towels, etc... She was actually very helpful and it's always nice to have an eager helper!

When we'd both had enough cleaning it was time for an art activity. Earlier in the morning I'd found a cute idea for making a big butterfly. I drew some butterfly wings on clear contact paper, then pulled the backing off and hung it up sticky side out. I also cut a simple butterfly body shape, grabbed some googly eyes and a marker and set her up to work. I know she doesn't look excited in the picture but she COULD NOT WAIT to get started!

She started by sticking on the body, then the eyes (she chose one pink, one green) and then drew on a happy face and nose. Once that was done she started sticking on the squares of tissue paper I'd cut for her.

She then felt that the butterfly body was too plain so she used the marker to draw lines down the center of it's body and then added lots more tissue paper to the wings.

Here's the adorable finished product that I forgot to take a picture of until really late at night. She is so proud of it and wanted it in her room so I moved it up there for her to enjoy. 

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....