Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

Tonight I was supposed to go to a wedding reception, and I was looking forward to it.  But instead I am home, with one child who has the stomach flu and four children who do not.  Poor buddy feels pretty lousy and has spent a lot of the day just laying quietly or sleeping.  I miss him when he disappears like this. I like my Zion commentary on the day.  Fortunately, this is the only child who is going to get sick - the rest are not on the schedule to vomit for this month, so there's that to be happy about!

So Tim is gone and the rest of us are home - the boys are playing video games on the Nintendo 64, which they joyfully unearthed the other day.  Layla,age 3 1/2,  has been camped out in the room we call the office, which also houses our warm, cozy pellet stove, and has been chattering almost non-stop for over an hour.  I can't hear her very well while I am working in the kitchen, and keep saying, "What, Layla?  Come into the kitchen if you want to talk to me, because I can't hear you!", to which she says "Mom! Mom!" and then continues her monologue.  Ok.

I really like how she doesn't pronounce her "l's" right now.  So she is telling me about things she "yikes" or talks about "yaffing".   Or she needs help turning on a yight. :D  She likes to tell me about made-up events that involve her "fwiends" - either her girlfwiends or her boyfwiends.  (She only means boys that are friends.)  She definitely has a good imagination - she and Zion will play together for HOURS happily and a lot of what they do is pretend and imagine.

Look at this pair.  Can you SEE the industriousness just seeping out of them??!  (Her room is currently a disaster area as a result of this playing and I really need to get in there and sort it out.  Roll of eyes.)

"Mom, I wish we had an awesome car...with lots of colors on it...and I wish it had a dragon on it." She cocks her head and stares at the top of my head.  "Mom, you need to wash - Mom, your hair yooks - i think you need to make your hair yook gooder."

I keep occasionally saying, "Mmmmhmmm..."  She also continues to talk a constant stream while I talk on the phone.

Baby is wandering around with a pair of Layla's fuzzy pink pants draped around her neck, ever so self-consciously pleased with herself.  Tim said today that she is his winter antidepressant, because she is such a mood-lifter. :)

I baked some inexpensive, pre-made dough Valentine's cookies to celebrate the holiday and they are sitting ever so crispily on the table.  I always overbake bought cookie dough!! I can never "read" it right when it's cooking.

It's very cold tonight.  It's supposed to feel like it's -20 tonight with wind chill.

Oldest Daughter is still going strong over here.  Almost two hours of nonstop talking.  "One day Caroline tried to take herself apart.  And Kitzi tried to take herself apart.  And brothers and dad were so mad.  And me and you and Caroline were so happy."  ????  Tuning back out now.


Last night we made homemade pizza.  Actually, it was most Tim, to give credit where credit is due.  He also got a little help from Israel.

Israel loves projects like these.  He shows a lot of initiative in things.  Yesterday he wanted to get the baby dressed, and did his best - but this is a hard project indeed.

Then this morning he wanted Layla to come outside with him to play laser tag, so he went and found her shoes and a coat and helped her put them on.  :)  Just makes me smile.

The pizza was DELICIOUS and we felt very proud of ourselves.  Routinely making homemade pizza has been "on my list"...the infamous list of things I aspire to "someday".  Someday...when the babies sleep better and I'm not so tired and I have more of the energy to do more of the things.  Things like a successful garden are on this list.  Or landscaping.  Or canning beans.  Or making bread.  Or granola.  Or establishing a successful chore routine for the kids. Or selling extra items and make money.  Today I made my own chicken broth and I feel like a virtual Helen Housewife.  Which I am.  A virtual. Helen. housewife.  (quiet cough)

But it's seriously exciting to get anything on my list accomplished.

Now it's snowing, which is about the best Valentine's Day present I could get.  Aside from help cleaning the house, which I also got.  So I'm set, ya'll. Happy Valentine's Day!!! :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015


It is a beautiful day outside (currently 60 degrees) and the boys are outside playing with a friend they brought home from church.  He is a very polite friend who plays very well with the boys and who compliments my food, and so I have decided that he is permanently welcome. ;) Caroline is taking a nap and Layla is busily opening junk mail with great enthusiasm.  She declared at length over the AARP materials that came in a nice big envelope for my aging ten year old son, Gabe, and showed me the beautiful full page pictures of attractive and flourishing seniors that she wants to "keep".

I am enjoying a day of spring in the middle of my winter, myself, and am whipping up a tasty batch of chocolate chip cookies, the third in 4 days.  (One batch was for something else, though.  But still. We're like cookie-hogs. Oink.)

The boys have been playing laser tag, pogo sticks, rip-stiks, and tree climbing.  All quite proper energetic boy activities.  They also went down to the tennis courts for a while.  Tim took Zion and Layla down too, and the colors of Layla's outfit demanded that I take her picture.

Her coolest ever Chinese jacket is from a neighbor who works at a consignment store.  She saw the jacket and thought of Layla and it looks like the real deal from the tags inside of it.

Layla has recently taken to wearing tights, which she used to be "violently allergic" to the concept of.  We've had quite the clothes battles this winter, as she is currently "violently allergic" to anything "squeezy", including pull-ups, leggings, fitted or cuffed sleeves, and fitted or cuffed pants. Shoes are also an issue.  I had to go get her a separate wardrobe of loose, almost sweatshirt style shirts and loose legged soft pants.  She will also wear most dresses.  But somehow tights seem recently to have bypassed the dreaded "squeezy" label and graduated to nifty-cool.  That's great because I love them.  :)  

Here's the little pink-dressed bare legged sweeter after she woke up from her nap.

She's so ridiculously precious that it's just...ridiculous.  :)  We just have a "hard time" with how adorable she is.  So. stinkin'. cute.  I have recently begun to wonder if everyone in the world should have a one year old in the house at all times because there is so much heart warming reward...but the implications of such a plan are...just more than I PERSONALLY am ready to commit to at this point.  Ahem.  !!!  Lately, as babies do, those ol' babies, she's been changing up the means to get to sleep at night and from nursing to requests to be marched around industriously in the Ergo to gently bounce her way to sleep or be held to sleep by her Daddy.  She's still cutting teeth, and life is always screwy during that process, so I'm ok with these (probably temporary) changes.

Last week we camped out in front of the computer to stream the Superbowl since we don't have cable and can't pick up NBC with our antenna.  Actually, they watched while I cleaned around them, which was my activity of choice.  We also ate Hot Chicken pizza from Pizza King which is approximately one of the best pizzas in the world and made the evening feel very festive and warm.

Thursday was the Fine Arts program at school.  Israel made a birdhouse and Gabe played and sang "How Great Is Our God".  He did pretty good for one week and one day of piano lessons and probably about....3 practices.  I thought that maybe if it were me I might want to practice a little more, but some things are learned from experience.  Honestly, he did way better than I would have done with three practices.  He definitely has an affinity for music.

Friday Gabe had a dentist appointment.  He had no cavities and got three Skylander stickers for coming in.  Good job, Gabe!!  I divide up the kid's dentist's appointments because it becomes a fun time to spend time with them.  We "celebrated" with a Dunkin Donuts breakfast afterwards. :)

I suppose it's time to start funneling tribes of children to bed.