Friday, April 30, 2010

Mario room?

We've been talking to the kids(Drew and Faye) for awhile now about separate bedrooms. A year or so ago it resulted in tears every time, but now that they are used to the idea of sleeping in different rooms, they are really starting to get excited about it. As soon as Alex is old enough, which I'm guessing will be very soon, he'll move into the room with Drew, and Faye will get her own bedroom. They are very excited about being able to choose colors and decorations for their own rooms. Faye wants to have a light purple room with lots of girly stuff.

Drew had been talking about wanting his room red, with Lightning McQueen things, but I think he has changed that now to Mario. Anybody surprised? Andy has even shown Drew some photos of other Mario bedrooms, and they are really cool, but really? How are we going to do that? I've even looked for Mario fabric, but apparently there hasn't been any since the early 90's and it is impossible to find. I wonder how long he'll like Mario things. Is it just a phase he'll be over soon? Or will he always like Mario?

Drew compares everything to Mario right now. When we play the board game Sorry, its "mom, there is red, yellow, blue and green, just like in Mario." Or he has been telling me all the ways to add up numbers to 4, such as "mom, 1+1+2=4, just like in Mario." If you are not familiar with the game, in the New Super Mario Bros Wii game, there can be 4 players, with red Mario, green Luigi, yellow Toad, and blue Toad. He is also learning to write all the names. At least this game got him interested in writing and adding and reading!

I saw this and decided it looked like something useful to make. The kids and I headed to the fabric store to see what we could find for fabric on sale. We found some, and Drew also picked out a red and white polka dot fabric that to him 'looked like Mario mushroom fabric that I could make him something with'. I didn't pick any up then, but maybe I'll make him some toy storage baskets for his room later. Mine didn't work out exactly right and I had to make several modifications, so its good I made a practice basket anyways. Since I had no plans for it, I asked the kids what we should do with it, and Faye thought it would make a good place to put our library books.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My little guy

Alex still rarely sleeps through the night, and he'll be 22 months old next week. Those of you considering having children, think about that first. You may never sleep well again... but he is so much fun it is worth a few sleepless years. If he doesn't take a nap during the day he may sleep from 10pm until 6:30am. Maybe... But then again I really really struggle to keep him awake during the day, because he is so tired he falls asleep the second I put him in the van, and he will not wake up! It doesn't matter how much I try to wake him, he is out.

That was the case this morning. We took the kids to preschool and went home and cleaned a little bit. But we were sick of that very quickly, and being that it was the 1st day in forever that my head did not hurt, we decided we should do something. We decided to head over to Prairie Gardens and get some beet seeds. I know... so exciting. Alex of course fell asleep on the way over, and I could not wake him up. I didn't have the stroller, so I brought my reusable bags in and put them in the cart, then laid him down on top. He slept the whole time we were in the store, legs all smushed up and everything.



We still had a little more time before we had to pick up Drew and Faye from school, so I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things. He once again would not wake up, sleeping the whole time we were in the store. That's my little guy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The results are in....

Saturday we got a letter from the Champaign School District... the kids will be attending South Side next year! It was our first choice school, so we were very happy! The stress of not knowing is finally over. It is the smallest school in the district, with only 2 classes at each grade level, and they are OK with the twins being in the same class. Hopefully in a year or two we will get them in separate classes, but for the first year we really want them to stay together. It is also one of the schools with the latest start time, 8:30am, which will still be a struggle for us, but much easier than a 7:30am or 7:50am start. We told the kids last night, and they were like, 'what do you mean? which school?' They were not that excited. We've talked with them several times about Kindergarten, but I think they are still a little confused.

Smocked

The kids spent the weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's house, giving us a much needed rest. I've been fighting off a really nasty sinus infection for a week now - and I think I am finally starting to feel a little better. My head no longer feels as if it will explode, it just feels a little crummy. Hopefully I will get over it soon, as the antibiotic I'm taking also makes me feel crummy, and when I feel crummy I have no patience with the kids. Then I yell and feel guilty about it, so I feel even worse!

The break gave me some time to rest and time to finish some projects. I was able to finish a summer tied quilt I started about a month ago. It is really quite funky, but it is made with 100% cotton, with a cotton/bamboo batting, and it is really soft. It is definitely one of a kind!



I also started a smocked pillow on Saturday (and finished it this morning). I saw a picture for it and really liked it, and figured it would be easy to make. Wow, was I wrong! It is mostly hand sewn, and took a lot of time! I had no idea what I was doing when I started, so after about an hour of work I finally realized what it should look like, and had to go back and redo most of what I had already done. Once I got the hang of it though, it did go much quicker. It is far from perfect, but I really like it. I think I will try to make a few more when I get time (which means never probably).



Here is the side view. Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

my morning project

Since the kids no longer have swim lessons on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we're able to mess around in the mornings now. Its really nice not having to get up and get going every morning, although it is probably better if we do. I have a feeling in a couple weeks I'll be even less ambitious and will probably still be in my pj's at this time, along with the kids.

This morning I decided to make a reusable grocery tote. We've been using reusable bags for a long time now, but just have the cheap Schnucks store bags. One of them I lost, and another has a huge rip in it. I hate the plastic bags, and get really annoyed when I forget my bags and have to use plastic. They will sometimes put one thing in a bag, ONE THING! How annoying is that? I usually re-bag all my stuff right there in front of them when they do that, and I think I end up annoying them. I tell them to stuff the bags full, but they never listen. I usually have at least one kid with me, if not more, and I don't have that many hands to carry all those bags, so the less the better. Plus with the amount of grocery shopping we do for a family of 5, we would likely have about a million bags in a month.

Alex and I picked out a yard of home decor fabric yesterday, since the bag needed to be made from a heavier weight fabric. It was really easy to make and took under 2 hours! I could probably do it in one hour, if the kids were not making messes and fighting and all that good kid stuff kids do when mom is busy with something else and not paying attention to them.

Both boys wanted to model the bag for me today! They are covered in marker - they've been busy too!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coloring Frenzy



The kids are little coloring freaks right now. We have been going online and printing Super Mario coloring pages, as well as Winnie the Pooh and several others here. The kids love being able to pick out what they want to color, and then love running down to our basement to retrieve their pictures. Andy purchased a used laser printer a couple years ago, and this thing is huge, which is why it is in our yucky basement, but it works really great. It really beats the ink jet printers that you have to keep replacing the ink cartridges.

Here is what our table looks like most of the time now... even Alex is jumping in and coloring pictures, then bringing them to me to look at and hang on our refrigerator. They are making books with their pictures, and Drew even titled one of his books 'Mario and Pooh'. He didn't even ask me how to spell their names - either he is just maturing and getting into this whole reading/writing thing, or this whole Mario obsession really is good for him!



We've gone through lots and lots of markers and paper, but they will sit and color for hours at a time, so I am not complaining one bit! This stack is how many pictures they have colored in the past week. Seriously!

Monday, April 19, 2010

More electronics....

Here's our new TV! It is a 50" plasma and it is really nice having a large screen TV in our living room. It is way too big for our house though, so it looks a little ridiculous. You know what we've been up to lately - TV watching and we usually don't watch much TV. I even watched a golf tournament(well - some of it) it was so awesome!



Andy came down the stairs a couple weeks ago, late at night, and asks me, "should I buy a 50 inch TV?" He found a slick deal, once again, and you have to decide right away or they are gone. I told him to go for it, he has been talking about a bigger TV forever! I thought our 32" was just fine, but you know him, he can't keep things the same for long. We ended up getting the 50" TV for just $40 more than we paid for the 32" TV!

If only he can find a Hawaiian vacation on slick deals now... hint hint!

Snacks

The kids love having snacks, and who doesn't really? I love having snacks throughout the day, the kids love them, even our dog likes them. We're a snack-loving family. I've even heard that my brother often asks his girlfriend what snacks are around the apartment. Gotta have our snacks!

The kids have snacks at preschool every day. The parents all take turns signing up and bringing snacks. We usually sign up once a month - and we usually have to run to the store the night before and decide what to take. Of course we can't bring anything homemade. Anything we take has to be in a sealed container. And we try to bring somewhat healthy snacks, the last time we took organic fruity cheerios, but I think we must be about the only parents. Every day when we are eating lunch, the kids and I talk about school. Their favorite part is snack time and gym/park time. They had cookies today... and cookies on Friday, and before that... COOKIES! Usually it is Oreo's, but sometimes Chips Ahoy or other brands. Every other kid brings cookies(or cupcakes or donuts) for their morning snack. It is a morning snack - at approximately 10:30 in the morning! Do you feed your kids cookies for a morning snack? Ever? Am I missing something here? I don't think I have ever fed the kids cookies for a snack. I'm not saying we always eat the best snacks - a lot of times the kids reach for fruit snacks and graham crackers or soy yogurt, but really, cookies? If it is a morning snack here it is cereal or fruit. I just don't understand what has happened. I'm guessing the parents let the kids choose, but do they realize the kids are eating this every day and they are OK with it? I am at the point of frustration where I would say something, but they only have a few weeks left so what is the point now? I have a feeling the teachers would just tell me to pack something else for my kids, rather than try to explain healthy snacks to the parents. And the kids will have enough time in the future they'll be singled out for their 'weirdness', so I don't want to start that already!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Keeping up

It was another beautiful day in Champaign today. This spring has been the best I can remember. 75 degrees and sunny every day, you just can't beat that. And thanks to Alex's lack of sleeping at night or afternoon naps (which really is a drag, I need some time away from him), he will nap in the morning on preschool days. As soon as he gets in his car seat after dropping the kids off, he is out. And I mean really out, so tired he doesn't even stir when I carry him in the house and plop him in the chair. So I actually have been able to get things done! Our house was cleaned, the laundry washed and even hung out to dry, and our garden is ready with a few things planted. A very productive day!



Alex is trying so hard to catch up and keep up with Faye and Drew. Sometimes he can do it, but when he can't he gets really upset and I feel so bad for the little guy. He was slow to start talking, but now he tries to repeat everything they say. His vocabulary has really exploded in the past month. He has started combining words now too, the first he said to me, or the first I understood was "hook up". He wanted me to hook up the USB cable to my camera (these kids know more about electronics than a lot of adults thanks to their father). He also loves to read books, so he will get a book and tell me "reem ook mom".

I did solve one problem for him this morning though. We stopped at the store to pick up a few things, and I saw this swim suit with the built in flotation, so I figured we'd give it a try. I've seen them before and considered getting them when Faye and Drew were little, but well, they just look weird to me. We made it to the pool after lunch, and after a little bit of practice Alex was swimming on his own! I still have to stand right beside him in case he tips himself over, but he loves the freedom.



We're going back to the pool tomorrow with Andy, he has to take a furlough day, so hopefully we can get a video of him swimming.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Overwhelmed

I love spring, especially on days like today when I wake up to find surprises like this... my hibiscus tree blooming again. I managed to keep it alive all winter!



There are so many great things about it, the warm weather, the spring flowers, walks to the park with the kids, spring storms, and of course gardening. But it is the most overwhelming time of year for me too. I can barely keep up with things during the winter, especially with the little people following behind me and undoing everything I've just done. As soon as Spring arrives, it seems as if my work doubles. Not only do I have to take care of things inside the house, now I have to worry about the outside.



I don't really mind the outdoor work - I prefer it over laundry any day. I just need to have a few more hours in each day. Shouldn't moms get a few extra hours? It only seems fair, but I am biased. We've decided our garden needs new compost this year. We have raised beds and well, they just aren't really raised anymore. Rather than pay to have a truckload delivered because it would have been way more than we needed, and way more than we wanted to spend, I bought two 7 gallon buckets of garden compost from the Landscape Recycling Center. Supposedly they come with free refills until the end of the year. I've been back and forth at least once a day for the past week, filling up the buckets with compost. I don't think they really expect anyone to be back for so many refills, but they did say unlimited. I've gotten a lot of looks from the guys working there, showing up in a skirt with 3 kids and a couple of buckets and a shovel. Maybe I should put the kids to work - find some more shovels and buckets?

Today it was time to re-pot some of my tomato plants and separate some of my basil. Last year we just did not have enough basil, but this year I went a little crazy. Need basil anyone? We've planning on having a garage sale in the next few weeks, so I think I'll try to give some away. Alex was very excited to help today, and since it was cold we worked inside. The kitchen looked like a garden when we were finished, but he had a blast and he didn't actually damage any plants.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Celebrate!!



We celebrated Betty Wettstein's (grandma and great-grandma to us) 80th birthday on Saturday! Happy 80th Birthday Betty!!

There are a lot of little ones running around at family functions now. It gets a little wild but I think all the kids enjoy it. I don't think the adults are outnumbered yet. I grew up having a lot of cousins around at my family functions and we got in a lot of trouble but had a lot of fun and have some great memories now too.



We stayed the night and celebrated Easter today with Andy's parents. The kids got some great stuff from the Easter Bunny and had an egg hunt. And they ate way too many jelly beans before breakfast, or was that their breakfast?




After church it was picture time...





Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter egg hunt

Alex had his 1st real Easter egg hunt last night. The YMCA was hosting an egg hunt, so we thought it might be something fun to do with the kids. The kids were out in the van waiting for me for at least 15 minutes before we had to leave. I usually plan on at least 30 minutes to get all the kids ready to leave the house, but when it is something they want to do - it literally takes 5 minutes. I've never seen the kids move so quickly!! I should always bribe them with something wonderful and save myself the hassle!

Finally time to start. They told us there were over 1500 eggs hidden, and only over 20 kids arrived to participate. Huh? I really was expecting a lot more kids or a lot less eggs. The kids were off, but mine, not so much. I think they are still really confused about the whole thing. They stop and open it up, see what is inside, and then mosey on to see if they can find anymore. At one point in time over half-way through, Drew caught up with me and Alex and had only one egg. ONE! Alex even had 5 or 6 eggs. I'm not sure what happened, but he eventually found a few and they were all thrilled. Some kids had garbage bags full of them, but hey I don' t really want to eat all that candy and the kids are definitely not eating it, so all is well.

EA Sports

I'm sure as soon as I blogged about getting a Wii Fit, Andy ordered up EA Sports online. If I'm asking/thinking about something electronic, I think he takes that as a sign that he should solve that problem. If any of you need something, I'll put in a word and I'm sure it will be here within 3 days!

The kids have been loving the exercises, and they can be a workout. Andy and I are doing the 30 day workout and my legs were tired after Day 1.



I'm not really sure the kids 'get it' as exercise, but they are having fun and burning some of their energy when we can't be outside. They especially like the running in place. It really doesn't seem that exciting and it really is not, but even Alex is trying to get into it. Whatever works!! They were in bed asleep within 10 minutes tonight!!