Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow Princesses

Other folks in the state have had real snow this winter, but our "snow" has really been mostly ice pellets.  We've been envious of Mops and Pops, who had snow for something like days, and Phoebe had been talking for weeks about, "building a snow princess the next time we get snow."  I didn't want to break her heart by telling her that snow around these parts is pretty rare... but I assured her that we would, in fact, build a snow princess the next time we got snow.

Well, I was delighted to discover a few weeks ago that snow had arrived!  Unfortunately, that was after one of Ruthie's worst nights on record (at the onset of miserable cold #3), and I felt like I needed to take her in to the pediatrician to rule out an ear infection.  I was sleep deprived and really not feeling like being a fun mommy... so honestly, we didn't even go out to play. 

But when Daddy came home for lunch, he made good on his promise to help build his girl a snow princess...

...and we were all delighted with the result!  Our snow princess hung around for another day or so, and we eventually moved her to the front porch so we could observe her melting.  And then, we did what everyone does with a melting snowman.

Batting practice.

I really can't say who had more fun.  Michael obviously loved the chance to smash snowballs into zillions of pieces, but the big girls were really quite delighted to play "football" with Daddy.  And Ruthie thought it was great fun to have snowballs smash into the glass while she watched. 

And honestly, I thought it was great that I got to be the casual observer and not get all wet and cold!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking Up

We've been hit by round two (round three, if you're Ruthie) of a nasty cold bug, so my motivation to do anything beyond the essentials has been pretty much nonexistent.  Because really, when six dirty diapers (before naptime), crusty noses, and seven loads of laundry a week are the essentials... who has time for much else?

Fortunately, we all appear to be -- for the time being -- on the mend.  I've hijacked the humidifier for myself, and the girls all seem to just have stuffy heads without much misery or moaning. I was lamenting the arrival of this second bout, until the warmer temperatures appeared (seemingly overnight!) and the delight of even the promise of spring has outweighed the frustration of illness.  Spring is coming!  We will not be cooped up forever!

The promise of Spring has been so encouraging to me this past week.  I cannot tell you how it has lifted my spirit to be able to take my troop outside without having to zip and bundle multiple little bodies.  Our strolls have been more consistent, and the hard exercise has been excellent for this weary mama.  I feel so much better on days when we have walked, and an added bonus is that I usually have a significant energy spike for the next several hours.  That energy is essential for chasing the crew, and especially our sweet Mouse, who is now...everywhere.

And although there has been little time for the extras, I have been purposing to choose to spend a little time most days on creative pursuits.  A sweet friend is teaching me to sew, and her lessons and encouragement have been just what I've needed to crank out some small, satisfying projects.  It is a delight to be able to see fruit from my hard work that is not easily undone! I am currently working on a doll quilt for Phoebe (she special-requested one for her birthday, which is in just a few short weeks!) that is so cute I can hardly stand it.  I secretly want a giant one for myself...

And now, if I don't go wake up my beautiful babies from their lengthy slumber, I will be paying for it come bedtime tonight.  So off we go!  I believe a trip-trap through the neighborhood to hunt for "blooms" is in order!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Busted Stuff

Someone thought it would be fun to play with her blog before she'd finished her first cup of coffee.  Apologies for the giant blog header...but it's now time to close up shop and take care of some real responsibilities.  Will fix ASAP!

Edited to add:  Coffee always helps! Y'all are sweet!

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Getting Away

 Last weekend, we loaded up the van with two adults, three kids, one dog, three boat-and-tote bags, a suitcase, a sack of veggie straws, and a few other miscellaneous items.  Michael took a rare Friday off work, and we met my folks at a cabin a few hours north to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  It was freezing cold, but we managed to go on a few “expetitions”, and we were thrilled to enjoy one another’s company away from home.  

We dressed up like Eskimos


Rubbed our noses together to keep warm

Scaled towering mounts

Wore no makeup

Got muddy

Enjoyed a little technology

Made sure to keep our teeth clean

Called Gina to check in

 Ate chocolate gravy...on anything we could (Thanks, Sally!)

And had a most delightful time getting away.  It was such a treat to just do something new, to spend time together apart from the distractions of to-do lists and errands.  Although it was hard work to get us all gone, it was so absolutely worth it.  I think I’ve lately underestimated the value in getting away for a while.

On the way home, the kids all slept and Michael and I were able to talk through a few things that had been weighing on our hearts.  While we were away, I realized how badly I needed some time off.  Just a little time here and there, really... but there were things that had been left undone (it’s been almost a year since my last haircut) that were really a source of frustration for me.  We talked things out, and Michael immediately got on the phone with his folks and got me on the calendar for an every-other-week “Mommy’s Morning Out”.  I’m thrilled
.  I enjoyed my first morning off a few days later, and it was absolutely wonderful for my tired heart.  Talks are also in the works with a sweet friend of mine to trade mid-week babysitting for our kids, which would work out to three mornings off a month.  Yes, getting away is good indeed. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ruthie is Eleven Months Old

Ruthie played peek-a-boo with me the other day, while she was wiggling on the changing table.  Hiding her little blue-green eyes behind Mousie, she had a blast with the whole exchange.  She seemed so big, initiating that little game!  And then I was reminded... she’s almost one!  

Ruthie seems to be doing quite a lot at “almost one”.  She is...
  • sleeping well when she’s feeling well (although she hasn’t really felt well for much of the last month).  Her morning nap consistently ends after about an hour and a half; I no longer need to wake her up.  Her afternoon nap is generally between an hour and a half to two and a half hours, depending on how well she napped that morning (and she’ll especially nap longer if we’ve been on the go.)
  • still toothless.  Seriously.
  • seeming to get her appetite back after nearly a month of a bad cold (which lasted about two weeks) and then a week of a tummy bug.  She still takes the four bottles, and she still enjoys eating just about everything we eat.  Ruthie has discovered veggie straws this month (actually, we all have...and we love them!) and eats them sort of maniacally if she sees them.  She also really loves bananas, cheese, noodles, frozen peas, limas, broccoli, and large chunks of just about anything.  Roo also enjoys drinking water from a sippy cup.
  • learning all kinds of new tricks:  she blows kisses, waves bye-bye, plays peek-a-boo, will (unsuccessfully) attempt to step while standing, cruising speedily along the furniture, and generally getting into all sorts of mischief while Mommy is otherwise distracted.
  • still a major fan of the bath, but she does NOT like to be left alone in there.  Sisters are always a plus.
  • loving to play with baby dolls, books, anything illicit, and loves to cruise around with something in her mouth (like a puppy).  
  • talking?  Maybe?  I’m always so hesitant to say.  I think she’s saying more, mama, and Michael and our community group babysitter both claim they’ve heard “thank you”.  She may also be saying banana.  She definitely is trying to communicate with us.  She regularly signs “more”, “all done”, and “milk” (which also means water or eat).  
  • liking to be rocked, which is something neither of the other girls really enjoyed.  Mommy likes this too.
  • not so crazy about actually reading books, but will sit without squirming for about 1 ½ board books.  Bonus points for books that have textures or pictures of real babies.  Mousie and nay-nay are generally a must.
  • always on the move. 
Our little mouse is happy happy happy... and I can’t believe she’s almost one!  What a delight she is, to all of us.  The big girls adore her, we can’t get enough of her, and we’re oh-so-thrilled that we have a little Roo to call our own.