Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Break Week

Spring Break, sadly, has come to an end all too quickly. I've had to remind myself several times this past week that it is only March and NOT Summer Vacation because of all the sun and warm weather!
We had a blast spending as much time as possible outside. In between grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and chicken and teriyaki pork kabobs, we also flew kites, rode bikes, went on walks, played at the park, and ran in endless circles around the backyard.....

We also spent a fair amount of time cleaning up the yard and clearing out our garden beds...which was a good thing because we found that most every single one of our perennials were already peaking out of the ground...

At this rate, Ben and I are both thinking we may have to break out the lawn mower next weekend!  And, if we do get more snow or extreme cold, we are in trouble because we definitely don't have enough covers for all of our plants.
Although hesitant to even step on the grass at first, by the end of this week, it was fun to watch Olivia run around the back yard, desperately trying to keep up with the big kids despite her obvious disadvantage of her much shorter legs.
My favorite outside moment, however, was when Allie took up the baseball bat, assumed position, and tossed Zach the whiffle ball and asked him to pitch.  Zach threw the ball in her direction, hitting her square in the forehead!  At first, Zach just stared at Allie, not quite sure how to respond, but when I began laughing uncontrollably, he quickly joined in as well.  Allie, needless to say, was not amused that she was the object of our belly-aching laughter.  Still, it was hilarious, especially because Zach had no intention of hitting Allie...he just had a lucky shot!
We did have a few days of rain this past week, which was ok because there was still laundry to be done and floors to be vacuumed and a bathroom to be cleaned.  Sometimes it is easy for me, especially when Ben is on vacation as well, to forget that we actually have to do things around the house otherwise we run out of things like clean underwear and ketchup. 
However, since I was able to get the laundry done and go to the grocery store, we decided to head to Mall of America to spend one of those few gloomy mornings.  We visited the must-see stores first (Disney, Lego, and American Girl) before doing a little shopping for summer clothes.   Ben and Zach secured some pretty awesome head wear that they were more than happy to show off. 

Then, it was lunch at the food court where the kids chose (surprise, surprise)....McD's complete with My Little Pony and Transformer toys!
After lunch we decided to give the Sea Life exhibit at MOA a try.  Although it can't really compete with the zoo (even though it cost about the same--good grief), we were still glad we saw it.

The main attraction is a large aquarium that we could walk through and it was pretty cool to see sharks, sea turtles, and all kinds of fish swimming over our heads and all around us.  Plus, it was fun to see Olivia point to all the fish and then later proclaim, "Tuhr-tuh!" (her newest word).

Although we had a great Spring Break, Allie did admit today that she is excited to get back to school.  So, tomorrow, we will be up bright and early (not that much different from Spring Break...apparently our kids don't understand the concept of "sleeping in") getting ready for school.  The forecast for tomorrow:  rain and temps in the forties.  Definitely a good thing...because it would be a lot harder to say goodbye to Spring Break if it still looked like summer outside.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Allie Lost...

She's a little self-conscious of the big hole in her mouth, but I reasurred her that it is stinkin' adorable!
Actually, her tooth has been loose for quite a few weeks and after seeing it dangling in her mouth last night and watching her wiggle and yank to no avail, I just couldn't take it any more.  When she took me up on my offer to pull it, I gave one quick yank.  She started screaming that she wanted me to take my hands off her tooth, but when she looked down and realized I was holding it in my hand, she just started laughing. 
Allie is fully aware that the tooth fairy is pretend, but she still enjoys playing along.  Unfortunately, Ben and I realized at about 9:00 pm that neither one of us had any cash on hand for the tooth fairy to produce in exchange for the tooth.  We decided to leave jelly beans with an IOU note instead, but when Ben went to her room to make the exchange, he found this note that Allie had written especially for the tooth fairy.

After we stopped laughing, I penned a new note in response.

She was THRILLED beyond belief that the Tooth Fairy wrote her a response...and apparently after a conversation with her this evening she is planning on regular correspondance!  Oh...and she also proceeded to make a craft out of the note and circled all of her "sight" words she has learned at kindergarten. 
You never cease to crack me up, Allie-babe!

Our Four-Day Weekend Recap

Thankfully, it looks like all of our nasty sickness is on its way out!  Although we still have some coughs and sniffles, we definitely don't feel as bad as we did a week ago. 

I'm sure Ben will be thrilled to discover I posted a picture of him in the midst of the crud.  Believe me, the smile was only for show.  And yes, Olivia fell asleep on Ben's lap in just that position as she was reaching for a toy she dropped in between the chair cushion and Ben's lap.  We were all pretty pathetic around here. 

After I sufficiently disinfected the entire house, I proceeded to do so again, and then we were free to enjoy the beginning of summer...along with Allie's spring break.  Apparently in Minnesota it is possible to go from wearing coats and snow pants while sledding a mere two weeks ago to throwing on shorts and tank tops to run around the backyard this past week.  Today Allie even asked me if we could go swimming and was confused when I told her that the pools wouldn't open for almost another two months.  It is weird to think we haven't even had our first calendar day of spring yet and we've already enjoyed almost a week's worth of weather we would be happy to have in the middle of July! 

We are coming to the end of a glorious four-day weekend in our household.  Ben took off last Thursday and Friday so we've all been able to enjoy the outdoors together. 

Thursday we spent most of the day cleaning out the garage.  Ben was even brave enough to put the snow blower away, so if we have a huge snowstorm with a foot of snow, you can all blame him. To be fair, though, I am guilty of putting the kids snow pants and boots away, so I should share equally in any blame to come.  Anyway, the kids had a grand time running around the yard for the majority of the day and I had the opportunity to go to Allie's kindergarten parent-teacher conference and catch up on some much needed grocery shopping...because now that everyone is better, our appetites have returned and we were in need of sustinence. 

There is something about summer weather that makes me crave Mexican food:  chips and queso, enchiladas, refried beans, rice, salsa.  It just all tastes soooo much better in the sun.  So, on Friday we went to our favorite local Mexican food restaurant and requested an outside table.  They weren't initially seating people outside, but by the time we left, almost every table on the patio was occupied.  We even made sure to document our patio lunch with Ben's cell phone...because I'm certain there won't be very many almost-80 degree days in March in our lifetime (yes...we are breaking almost 100-year old temperature records here in Minnesota!) where we will be able to enjoy Mexican food OUTSIDE! 

We spent the rest of Friday shopping at the outdoor outlet mall where I was able to snag a few items (like a really, REALLY cute pair of tan wedge sandals that I got to wear TODAY because it is still almost 80-degrees outside) for our upcoming trip to Arizona next month (the trip that the kids are not coming on...squeeeeel....I love our kids, but an adult-only trip that is now a mere month away brings almost too much excitement for me to contain!).  The kids LOVE the outlet mall because in addition to a Burger King that serves Icees, there is also a playground...Ben really likes that too...he's not much of a shopper, so he is happy to play with the kiddoes while I dodge in and out of a few stores. 

Saturday was bike ride and picnic day.  We have an AWESOME bike trail just minutes from our house, so we hopped on it and conquered our first bike ride of the season.  Allie rides on the trail-a-bike behind my bike and Ben pulls Olivia and Zach in the Burley.  We only made it 11 miles, but with all the wind gusts, we were pretty ready to be done after those 11 miles.  On our way to our picnic destination by the river, we found a really cool castle park that we stopped at to let the kids play. 

We spent the rest of the day playing outside at home...well, after Allie and I had our first pedicures of the season and after making a trip to Target to get Ben some more allergy medication.  The only drawback to an early spring is an early beginning to allergy season!

This morning we enjoyed our morning at church...the first time we were all healthy enough to go together in three weeks! guessed it... after church we played outside some more!  The big kids rode their own bikes today to our neighborhood park along with Ben and spent some time flying their kites while I stayed behind with a napping Olivia. 

Then, I felt bad for not taking very many pictures most of the weekend and snapped a few this evening after dinner. 

Zach has had a rough day...I failed to mention that he had a pretty nasty spill on his bike and scraped up his knee and elbow...then proceeded to get a bloody nose.  I'm pretty sure this means that he will never ride his bike again.  Yes...he's exactly like that. 

And now, it is officially bed time...the kids' bed time, that is.  However, I think Ben and I may not be too far behind.  Although Ben has to return to work tomorrow, the kids and I are looking forward to another fun summer-like day tomorrow...with no school and lots of time outside-hooray!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Infirmary

I have discovered this week that the only thing worse than being so sick that you feel like you can't move, is being so sick that you feel like you can't move and realizing you still have to force yourself to move because there are kids that need to go to school, diapers that need to be changed, and tummys that need to be filled.  Oh the joy of responsibilities. 

Although Ben was able to take some time off this week to help me out, he still had his own responsibilities at work that required his attention and presence.  During his absence, the Disney Channel, PBS, and Nikelodeon were my best friends. And, I was actually far too sick to feel much guilt over the kids' watching four hours straight of television. 

This week has been rough...102.8 degree fevers that last for over 48 hours are rough...throats that are on fire and coughing until you feel like your lungs may collapse is rough...sometimes being an adult, with all those responsibilities--it can be rough. 

Thankfully, although I'm not yet 100-percent, I am able to function...which is a vast improvement from how I was feeling on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Just in time, too, because Allie woke up last night with all of my symptoms, complete with a 103-degree fever. 

Zach and Olivia, although fever-free, are coughing as well.  And fever-free Ben is suffering from the same sore throat and nasty cough too.  In fact, this marks the third week in a row that he has had some sort of cold or sinus issue.  We just can't seem to get better around here!

Allie was a tremendous help to me this week.  In addition to helping me out with easy tasks like answering the phone and filling glasses of water, she also presented me with a fair share of get well cards and coloring sheets. 

Before she got sick herself, she was also more than willing to entertain Olivia.  Zach seemed to keep himself pretty busy on his own.

Hopefully we are finally on the up swing.  I'm not sure how much more sickness....or Dora the Explorer....I can tolerate.