Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 degrees

We have had a funky winter in Vermont. Last year, our street and backyard looked like this. This year, it has been rainy and icy with the occasional snowstorm. Most of the time it rains, then freezes over night, and then stays frozen because the temperature drops the next day. Then it starts to warm up and thaw and we have massively huge puddles all over the city. It was crazy to see our playground sitting in 3-4 inches of standing water last week, in the middle of January. So the winter is unusual for Vermont, but the temperatures have been semi-typical (and when I say typical, I mean compared to our one other winter in Vermont!). There is also a few weeks of freezing cold temperatures where the high never gets above 10 degrees all day.

It snowed a couple weeks ago, enough to actually go sledding. So we waited for the temperature to go up from a high of 9 degrees for a few days after the snowstorm, to a high of 28 degrees. Heatwave! Ha ha! We called up our friends with kids that have been wanting to go sledding too and met up with them at the Burlington country club for some golf course hill sleddin. When we got there, the air was cold, but the wind made it FA-REEZING!!!!! It took twice as long to thaw my hands as it took to take these pictures with my mittens off. Tan was not happy about being outside in the cold - he's the lump under the black blanket in the picture.

I went down the hill a couple times, then I took Kenz with me (she didn't even crack a smile - I guess she doesn't understand the exhilaration of flying down a hill on a piece of plastic yet!). We tried to coax Tan to go (he loved sledding in Colorado over Christmas), but he didn't want anything to do with it. Eli wrapped him up in the blanket, covering his face and everything, jumped on the tube, and went down the hill. And Tan tolerated it! When we got back to the car and started warming up, I check the outside temp on Eli's phone: "22 degrees, feels like 5." I'm sorry to our friends who came at my assurance of "oh it's going to be so much warmer than the past few days!" Their girls all seemed to have a blast though, regardless of the cold.

I have learned to just live with the cold and not hunker down in my house. One day I needed to run a bunch of errands so I bundled up to kids in hats, mittens, and big coats and we went from store to store, braving the whopping temperature of 8 degrees. It took a while getting the kids in and out of the car with all the winter gear on, but I was happy because it was an adventure! It made me laugh when I went to get gas and the little door to the gas tank was frozen over. I had to run inside the gas station a few times for boiling water to melt the ice.

And yesterday I went for a run in 20 degrees and it was so refreshing! But next time I'll remember to wear ear warmers and gloves.

Mommy school!

My friend, Erin, and I started doing "mommy school" twice a week. It's so fun! We each take a day to teach our sons. The kids love it and we both love being able to teach and also getting a little bit of time each week during our babies naps and while the boys are at pre-school to get things done. And it's a good teaching outlet for me! I really miss teaching so I'm glad to have something like that, even if it's small.

The first week we talked about following the rules. As part of that day, the boys made cookies without following the recipe and here's what their "dough" looked like:

This week, we talked about snowmen and melting. Jack and Tanner made these cute snowmen on skewers and were so proud of themselves for putting it all together with frosting:
And they practiced coloring inside the lines (Tan wasn't really interested in that requirement!), sequencing, tracing numbers and writing their name

Erin has done lots of fun activities with boys as well! Our mommy version of "preschool" is a big hit with the boys! They LOVE it!

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar???

Kenzie stole the cookies from the cookie jar!!

And she's very proud of it!
(How can you resist gooey chocolate chip cookies??!! Especially when you've never experienced the sheer joy from devouring chocolate!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cabin Fever

Ever seen Muppets Treasure Island? My favorite part is when everyone on the ship breaks out into song and dance to "Cabin Fever." Well, last Sunday I slipped a disk in my back (ouch!) and have been homeridden (and couch/bed ridden) for the week. I couldn't pick up the kids unless it was absolutely necessary, I couldn't bend over, I couldn't really do anything without my back screaming at me. (Eli saved me during the worst day and took care of the kids instead of getting in much needed study time. Thanks lovey! And thanks to my awesome friend, Erin, for coming to my rescue when I was in so much pain I couldn't even stand it and taking the kids to her house for a while. That saved me!!!!!) I'm feeling a lot better today, though it's not completely healed yet. But after a week of being isolated inside our house and not able to do much, we (I guess just Tan and I), have pretty bad Cabin Fever!!!! The Muppets hit it spot on when they sang:

I got cabin fever it's burning in my brain
I've got cabin fever it's driving me insane
We got cabin fever, we're flipping our bandanas
Been stuck at sea so long we have simply gone bananas

This song popped into my head after this happened:

I had just put Kenz down for her morning nap and turned on a movie for Tan. I laid down on the couch to watch it with him and fell asleep. I woke up to Tanner sitting on the kitchen counter (which he knows is off limits!) with his hand in the sugar cannister. He didn't go for the candy that was in plain sight - nope, he went for straight up sugar. I walked over to get him off the counter (who knows how many dips of the hand he made into the sugar?!) and noticed something wet all over the counter. Looking at his underwear was evidence enough that this 3 year old little stinker had peed ALL OVER THE KITCHEN COUNTER. N.A.S.T.Y!!!!!!! And he didn't even care! He just kept dipping away! He is potty trained so I have no idea why he would have done that. It's the cabin fever!!! "Been stuck at sea (or at home!) so long we have simply gone bananas" Don't worry, I cleaned it up VERY well and Tan and I had a little chat about big boy behavior vs. baby behavior. During his time out for it, he ripped up a book, which is something that he has never done before. Needless to say, we got out of the house today and went to an open gym so that he could just play, play, play! And now we are all a little happier (and saner!).

And for your enjoyment, here's "CABIN FEVER!!!!"

I just couldn't make a post and leave Makenzie out, because she is so stinkin' cute these days! Well, when hasn't she been incredibly cute?! Biased, maybe?! She just turned 10 months old and is waving and saying "hi." It's so so darling! And it was her first word!