Monday, October 24, 2011

Long Weekend in Review

Whew.  What a day today.  Getting back into the weekly routine each Monday is never very fun, but it is particularly gruesome after a five-day weekend.  Allie and Zach both had off of school due to the Minnesota Educators Convention, so Ben decided to follow suit and took a couple vacation days as well.  Although our "vacation" consisted primarily of errand running and catching up on things around the house, we enjoyed the break from our normal daily schedule...a fact that made itself known today when we were abruptly put back on that schedule.  It is not even 7:45 pm and all the kids are in bed.  It was really that kind of day. 

Anyway, last Wednesday marked the beginning of our little mini-stay-at-home vacay.  While Ben was at work for the day, Allie had her friend Rachel over to play.  The girls had a blast together (like they always do) and especially enjoyed making a snow fort out of the leaves in our back yard. 

Thursday was our first official break day all together and it began gloriously with everyone sleeping in until 7:00 am.   After a lazy morning around the house and a morning work out for me (let me tell you, working out at 8:00 am is LOADS more enjoyable than working out at 5:00 am!), we hit up Lowe's to pick up some materials to make a backpack station. 

Since the kids have started school, the backpacks have TAKEN OVER my kitchen.  It has gotten worse with jackets added and I was pulling my hair out imagining how bad it was going to get once boots, coats, and snow pants were added to the mix.  The back door (the door we primarily use) opens right into our modest kitchen and there really isn't room to add anything there.  Since the stairs to the basement are also right by the back door, we decided to take up my mom's idea of relocating the kids' backpack station downstairs. 

We didn't want to take up too much space (in reality, we just don't have a lot of space for a back pack station) and preferred to locate the station on the unfinished side of the basement so as not to add anything else to our downstairs playroom/family room/craft room/exercise room.  Ben decided to get a few shelves and hooks that are normally used for closet organizers and this is what he came up with: 

I couldn't be more thrilled!  So far, this has completely revolutionized our entering and leaving the house.  Now, instead of everyone clogging up by the small space near our back door (which leads to shoving, kicking, pushing...ugh...it is not pretty) to get shoes and jackets on, the kids head downstairs, get completely ready, and come upstairs and right out the door!  Thursday was a good, GOOD day. 

Friday was spent running a few more errands...things like hitting up Kohl's to snag a good deal on some new drinking glasses.  After 8 years of marriage and quite a few broken/chipped/scratched glasses, we were only down to four usable glasses.  It was high time for some replacements! 

The highlight was lunch at Red Robin where Olivia was given her very first helium balloon.  She was thrilled.

What an adorable almost-one-year-old, huh?  Well, this little bundle of adorability is driving her brother and sister (and, maybe possibly her mother) completely nuts now that she is officially crawling and into EVERYTHING!  Nothing is safe anymore...absolutely NOTHING!  She is into drawers and toys and pulling down blankets and finding crayons.....  She is also officially pulling up on EVERYTHING as well (which makes me a little nervous because she is still pretty wobbly on those little legs.)  I have this feeling that she just may be walking pretty soon.  

Saturday was supposed to be spent cleaning house, but when I stepped outside to shake the kitchen rugs, I absolutely could not force myself to spend such a beautiful Fall morning inside cleaning house.  So, I got ready as quickly as possible and hit the pavement for a 3.75 mile run.  I was hoping for a 4-miler, but I chose a new route with some pretty wicked uphills and I didn't pace myself too well (started out way too fast), so I was pretty tired by the end.  It was definitely perfect running weather and I love heading out early on weekend mornings because it is so still and quiet.  Seriously, I think I must be the only one that ever runs before 8 am on a Saturday morning...which is fine by me because I enjoy the peace and quiet.  

Sunday was a pretty awesome day for the boys...but, I'll wait until I secure Ben's pictures to tell you about it.  Here's a hint, for now:

Hope everyone had a great Monday!  Thankfully, despite its rough spots, the day ended on a high note:

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