Thursday, March 05, 2015

Dreams and goals

Ready for "Wacky clothes" day at preschool!
M3 had fun picking out her outfit for wacky clothes day at preschool. (A part of the celebration of Dr Suess's birthday.) As I was getting myself ready for work I heard her singing.

I never have gotten to wear tights to school, but today I can.
I didn't know that I could be a singer, but I am singing now.
I wasn't sure if I could be a librarian, but I got a librarian kit for Christmas!


I had several things to blog about and planned to write this Monday night and now everything else has been lost, including the scratch paper I jotted those ideas down on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I've been feeling a little guilty that my two week days at home a week are usually spent doing laundry, maybe cleaning, but definitely trying to get stuff done. I miss the years I spent home with the older two where I organized my day around them instead of expecting the younger two to occupy themselves as much as possible. We do have a lot more that needs to get done now to keep the family running smoothly.
 I'm trying to kick it old school today. I filled the CD changer with some of our favorites from years ago and am just doing odds and ends around playtime. I have no major projects or plans for the day. I think part of the problem is that they do very well playing together for long stretches, so I get into something and have trouble putting it down to read a book, set up an art project, or help play. (They are reading in a fort, so that is why the blog is getting some attention.)

I always want to make a homemade gift for each child for Christmas, but have realized in the last couple years that I just can't fit that into the fall. But during our travels over the holidays and some down time in January and February I did get a chance to knit them each something. Knitting is nice because I can pick it up for a minute or two and set it down again without the set-up of sewing. (And my sewing machine is in need of some repair or some sort.) Leg warmers for dance for the girls, sleeping socks for M2, and a hat for M4. M2 picked out the green yarn and M4 wanted to match him. All 4 gifts are a little big, so not very good for dance class where M3 had a leg warmer go flying once or twice! But, the kids were happy to receive them.

And fort reading is done!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Two traps

Saturday morning we discovered a mouse in the house. Well, Grandma M discovered it as it ran across the living room floor! We've never seen a mouse inside and we don't have any signs that it has been living here long. I think it ran inside a few days ago when M3 didn't pull the door to the garage tight.

Papa bought a couple live traps and we crossed our fingers.

On Sunday morning the boys were reading on the couch when M2 shouted that the mouse ran out from under the couch and under the desk. After a bit of a chase the mouse ran downstairs and hid. Last night we set the trap up in the living room, along a wall between the stairs and couch.

This morning it was in the trap and Papa took it out of the house!

I share this story because I wanted to remember our diner conversation last night. M3 wondered how many mice were in the house and we said we were pretty sure just one.

M2 asked what would happen if it were a girl and a boy mouse ran into her.

"Lots of mice!" we said.

M.G. than said, "And if two girl mice run into each other they'd probably start a book club."

 M.G. was really working hard to wiggle a loose molar last night. After tucking her in, Papa said that he was thinking she might be testing the tooth fairy tonight by pulling the tooth out after bed and putting it out without telling us.

When the tooth fairy went looking for the previous lost tooth a few weeks ago it was tucked under a stuffed animal instead of where Papa helped her put it at bedtime. (M.G. has a little plastic tooth case to put the teeth in.)

Thinking we were going to do something magical, Papa went in with a flashlight before we went to bed and looked for the plastic tooth case. It was on the shelf by her bed, empty.

In the morning, M.G. came out to show off her tooth, which she had placed in a little cup on the shelf before she fell asleep and which had been neglected by the tooth fairy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Not really much of a post

Well, what happened to November? Yikes! Perhaps I'll go back and comment later... I just wanted to jot down a couple December memories before they get lost in the haze.

We picked a number to see who'd put the star on the top of the tree. Everyone except for the chosen one felt bad, so I started in the hall and we had a procession, Olympic torch style, with each person walking a little closer to the tree and handing the star to the person waiting. The kids were going with it. The star got to M4 who shouted, "I STAR!" and started running all over the room swinging the star like it were an axe. The older three thought he was hilarious, which egged him on completely.

Every morning after preschool I put M3's school papers and craft projects on one of the middle row chairs in the van so that they aren't in the way when she needs to pull her snowpants out of her bag at daycare in the afternoon.

After daycare we slowly make our way to the van with their bags and sometimes their afternoon snacks and sometimes we are all very tired and distracted. I open the doors when we get outside so that M3 can jump in while M4 and I take our time getting there. It was so windy one afternoon last week. I opened the doors and M3's page from school, a gingerbread boy, flew out and started swirling around the parking lot. It was deserted and no cars were coming, so I ran around trying to stomp on the paper with my foot. Every time I got close the wind would pick up and swirl it away. M3 was shouting, "It's just like a real gingerbread boy! It's just like a real gingerbread boy!" Eventually I did rescue the gingerbread boy and we made it home!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No monkey left behind

Overheard at lunch just now:

"Matthew, we each ate a quarter of a pear. Soon we will each get one eighth more so we will have had a quarter and an eighth. Mama just got a quarter, but 3 quarters and 2 eighths is a whole pear!"

When M.G. was figuring out fractions and other math ideas she wanted to talk about it a lot at lunch and supper. M2 was old enough to be listening to her and wanting to know more and down the row it goes. Now M3 comes out with these ideas that I know we've never specifically tried to teach her.

M.G. loved counting and organizing things -she'd spend time grouping toys, counting the objects in each group, dividing the groups up, etc. Just her personality. But it is fun to see that the things that were so interesting to her have just become regular vocab for the crowd.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snow is here!

The weather has turned very cold and we have had a few dustings of snow that stuck around. The kids had no school today due to Veterans' day and it had kind of a snow day vibe.

Today M4 and I were watching the bigger kids playing outside in the cold and snow. When M.G. came in she asked if he was watching "The Yard." We decided it was a sneak preview of the upcoming season!

One of his favorites these days is this matching game. He likes to have help matching up the pairs and talking about the animals. We discovered this purple walrus matches the walrus tiles and he likes to match it. If you try to match it to a different animal he says, in a deep voice, "No! Walrus!"

M4 really likes ketchup and other sauces. One of the kids caught him dipping a finger in the ketchup when we were at Burger King a few months ago and shouted that he was using his reusable french fry to eat ketchup. Now we catch him using his reusable french fry quite often.

He has been saying "excuse me" a lot. "Scuse me book," if there is a book in his way. "Scuse me Mama." and so on.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

October 2014

October this year had a lot of activities and family fun. At the start of the month I finally got antibiotics for the horrible gunk that had plagued me for more than half of September. That was wonderful.

The older two and Papa had a couple weeks of soccer at the beginning of the month. The kids had a good experience there and are excited for the spring season. The weekends were pretty busy. We celebrated M4's birthday the first weekend, traveled to Iowa for a funeral during the second. The next weekend was the University homecoming parade, M.G. singing in the church choir, and her piano recital. Then, Halloween weekend, of course! This month M.G.'s orchestra started group rehearsal twice a week and she started a weekly enrichment class for students who have been evaluated as meeting the requirements. And we had a short visit from Grandma B who sewed M3's beautiful Elsa dress!

M4 had so much fun with the leaves this year and is still young enough that they'd rake a pile just for him to jump in.

He spends so much time with the toy kitchen actually pretending to cook. Makes it much easier for me to cook too!

The weather for the homecoming parade was beautiful. A little chilly, but not bad at all. This is our town's biggest parade with the most bands. (And lots of candy.) M.G. was so impressed to see the 5th grade orchestra there. The cellos and basses were riding on a trailer, but the violins and violas marched behind! That was a first for us to see.

We carved pumpkins on a nice, warm afternoon. M4 wasn't interested in pumpkin guts! M.G. and M2 did quite a bit of their own carving this year. (With those safe pumpkin saws.)

I couldn't get all 4 kids looking and smiling for my annual sitting in front of the house with pumpkins photo. It helps mark another year in our house. (5 years already!)

We had a homegrown pumpkin mold on us (we had 2 homegrown and 2 store bought ready to go.) M.G. was excited to be given a pumpkin at religious ed the Wednesday before Halloween. As soon as I saw her she said it should be his. Instead of carving it we used these Mr. Pumpkin Head parts we had been given a few years ago. The kids tried to help him pick his favorite parts, but then we realized he was just handing them all the parts!

M.G.'s school had a very fun Fall carnival on the Tuesday night before Halloween. The kids wore their costumes, played a huge number of games, and went through a haunted art room. There was even a dj and dance floor! They had a blast and, with the weather turning really cold, it was a good chance to wear their costumes without layers.  M3 had walk over and say hello to every other little Elsa we saw - and there were quite a few!

M3 was able to wear her costume to the party at preschool. The teachers assigned a saint to each kids' costume and talked about All Saints day as well. Then she changed into jammies for the daycare party that afternoon. M.G. and M4 got to wear jammies to school and daycare. M2's class dressed up as scarecrows for their party.

The temperature was right around 30 to 35 degrees at trick-or-treat time Friday night. The kids didn't care and bundled up before heading out. This year we had a sorceress, a magician, Elsa from the movie Frozen, and a calf.

The spoils, minus the unsafe nut candy.