Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dino Surprise

A while ago I was chatting with my friend Jess about C&G's new interest in dinosaurs. Well, especially Colin's extreme interest. Jessica has her own boy/girl twins. I think they are in first grade now and have moved a bit beyond the dino obsession, so she offered to send us a few goodies from their stash!

One day, just before quiet time, the mail carrier delivered a big box! Oh, the excitement!

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Crayons, coloring book, puzzles, and dino wheels, HOORAY! Such a nice treat!

Where Have We Been??? Nowhere fun.

Oh, hi, yes it's the end of January. It's not been the most fun of months around here. Although more fun than January 2009...when no one was sleeping and no one was blogging. But anyway....

Two weeks ago we went to a play. The Children's Theater version of Going On a Bear Hunt, to be exact. It was very fun. Although, I think I liked it more than the kids!
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Two days before the play? Colin was throwing up. The morning AFTER the play? Gillian was throwing up. FUN TIMES. It was our first gastro disease with kids. (I know we are so darn lucky to have made it four years) Daddy and I were terrified that we would catch it too, but thanks to excessive hand washing and lysol using, we managed to escape.

The next weekend we drove north for 24 hours for Matt and Rachel's annual Burns' Dinner. And returned home to a dying refrigerator, a leaking bathroom sink, and a Mama with a sore throat. So, that's where we've been. Nowhere fun.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Igloo: We Have One.

This winter, unlike last, we've received a fair amount of snow. We've gone sledding at some nice big hills in the park... which has pretty much eliminated any desire to sled in our yard, we've built a snowman, and the kids have made snow angels. It's been lots of fun.

Well, I was out shoveling the driveway one day and decided to see if the snow packed well enough to make blocks for an igloo. The snow in the yard wasn't deep or dense enough to make good blocks, but it packed quite well. So, I grabbed the wading pool out of the garage and started filling it with snow and packing it down. I then cut blocks out of the pool and placed them into a very poor circle. This was a mistake - because in the kids minds I was now committed to making an igloo.

You see, Colin LOVES igloos. His love of igloos stems from our visits to the Carnegie Museum. While its pretty well known for its awesome collection of Dinosaurs, they also have a pretty cool exhibit about the polar region. In the polar exhibit they have a life-size replica of an igloo. They also have a wonderful educational film (shown in a little alcove) demonstrating how the Inuit build igloos.

Once I started to build an igloo, Colin had to have one. He explained to me that we had to make the blocks spiral up as they went around (he remembered that from the film). That first day, I managed to escape without having completing it (but not without much wailing and gnashing of teeth). The main problem is that when can just cut the blocks out of snow on the ground, it takes a long time just to get snow blocks ready to use. You've got to shovel snow out of the yard into the pool, pack it down, and then cut blocks out of the pool. To make it even more fun, because I didn't want to ruin any real tools, I was cutting the blocks with a thin piece of wood - not highly effective.

Anyway, after more than a week of having snow on the ground, and a thaw on the way, I decided to go finish the thing. Colin was very happy that we were going to finish it. He always amazes me with the things he remembers. As I was getting near the end of the project, he asks "Why aren't you building this from the inside?" He asked this because in the film at the museum, it talks about how the Inuit build the igloo from the inside (using blocks that they've cut from the snow within the walls of the igloo). I explained that we didn't have enough snow to build it that way. He was satisfied with the answer, but (I believe) dissatisfied with the lack of authenticity.

Finally, after a total of something more than 3 hours (over a few days), we had a finished igloo.

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We cut a door into the igloo (from the outside... again, disappointing lack of authenticity), and Colin ventured in. Here's the valiant explorer poking his head out the door.

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I didn't go around and fill in all of the gaps with snow, so it's pretty bright inside.

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And here's Colin next to the finished product...

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How long is it going to last? I don't know. Lea tells me that it's supposed warm up this week, so I'm guessing not long. But, it will be fun while it lasts.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Own K'wazii Kitten

YEEEEOOOOOOOW!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back to School! Hooray!

After a long, fun, magical holiday season....it was about darn time to get back in routine! I think ALL of us were happy to see school start again on January 3rd! I decided to mark the occasion with some pictures before school. The goofiness abounds.

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I don't even know where this came from...
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Sweet girlie.
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Gillian really wanted to kiss Colin...really out of the blue.
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I don't think he was amused.
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They had a great first day back! So did this mama!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Annual New Years Day Photo 2013

Every year on New Years Day we try to take a family picture. It started out as an accident, but now it's a nice way to document a new year and growing kids. And, well, this year, a shrinking Daddy. You may notice that he's much skinnier than last year...that's what taking up running will do for you, I guess!

So, New Years Picture 2013!!
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This link to the 2012 picture will take you to all the other years as well!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snow! FINALLY.

After a warm and non-snowy winter last year, Colin and Gillian were BEGGING for snow. We got perhaps a half inch before the holiday and they were DESPERATE to play in it. But, finally, FINALLY Old Man Winter helped the kids out and brought us 4" on Boxing Day and then 6" more a few days later. They were so happy about it!

I was happy because Daddy was still home from work on vacation and HE could go out in the cold to play! (I have since invested in a new pair of snow pants so I'm more likely to make it out in the snow.)

There was lots of shoveling (with C&G's new kid sized snow shovels), running, yelling, snowball attempting, and small scale sledding in the yard. Oh, and a third of an igloo.

And FINALLY the snow was right for this guy:
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His name his Frosty.

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We even had some cocoa.
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The cocoa is the best part, in my mind. Well, those giggles while C&G race down the big hills in the park are pretty great too!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas 2012, Part 2

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HE CAME! Santa came!! Sneaky guy! I woke up at 7:30 and Gillian was still asleep on the floor next to our bed. And of course, Daddy was sleeping. So, I tiptoed out of the bedroom and upstairs because I was SURE Colin would be up. And lo and behold...he was still ASLEEP. A Christmas miracle. So, I started the tea kettle, checked a bit of news, and then I heard C's little voice. And almost immediately after that, I heard G and Daddy coming upstairs.

Then the fun began! (And I have some serious bedhead in these pictures. Oh well.)
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Milo, the helper dog.
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Santa found a GUP! No small feat, Santa. Good work.
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AND horses for Gillian! She so wanted those!
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Dino transformer and Cinderella dress! Minions, Mo Willems, and princess books! That Santa did work this year.
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So very helpful.
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We needed some nourishment after all that present opening.
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We were then off to Grammy and Papa Frank's for some yummy roast beef and more gift opening (of course).
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And some dancing. G loves to make her Uncles dance her.
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Hey look! Mommy and Daddy were there too!
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More presents.
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Clothes? How disappointing....
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Doll house families? That's better.
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After a fun afternoon with Grammy, Papa Frank, Uncle D, and Aunt Cedes, we were off to see Dickiedoo and Noonie at Uncle Stevie's house. Since Noonie had shoulder surgery a few weeks ago, Uncle Stevie and Aunt Emily volunteered to have us at their house. It was great to see all the work they've put into their "new" house! Looks fantastic! And they cooked up a yummy ham dinner too!

G helped Dickiedoo disperse the presents.
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Handsomest boy in the world...
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Sparkle hat!
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Most annoying robot ever...
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Fancy lady. She loves this tutu Noonie found for her!
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And she was off.
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Even Daddy got in on the dancing. (Dickiedoo too, but he was soon dizzy!)
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By this point we had to crazy, wild, overly tired kids. And parents! So back to GraGra's for some sleep. And present reorganizing. We debated about staying one more day due to some nasty predicted weather, but in the end we decided to start early the next morning and head home. The weather was YUCK for half the trip, but Daddy got us home safely.

Another wonderful, magical Christmas. And we are so lucky to have so many loved ones to share it with!