Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weekend Full of Fun

We had a great weekend breaking in our new house with friends! One night we had friends over, we relaxed, played games, saw Beauty and the Beast, spent way too much money at Build A Bear, cooked, baked, did a few house projects (I still can't say the word "caulk" without giggling), and ended the weekend with my monthly book club gathering (at our new house). 

A few thoughts on the weekend: We are "that house" on our street. The rest of the neighbors are probably alive? We're not sure, but our house is kicking and ready to go. I wish we would have some warm sunny days again to get some yard work done. The minis are loving their new house and "having all these rooms to play in!" We had to go over many times how the dining room, office, and our bedroom are NOT considered playrooms. Will we ever get everything perfectly organized??? Props to those who can/are/do because we still can't find half of our stuff and can hardly move through our garage let alone park a vehicle in it. For a person that likes stuff done now, this has been the hardest of all for me.

And now, for a few pictures from the weekend:

Minis napped on Saturday afternoon and I.....dressed the cat up. The cat went along with it surprisingly. He was just happy I sat still long enough for a cuddle.

We (okay, so all Hubs) took out the wood burning oven and scrubbed the ash stained tile. We now have a fantastic sensory corner to do all of our messy play in!

Saturday evening we watched Nine Lives. The minis then felt the need to cuddle the cats and ask them if they were really human. The poor cats haven't been left alone a moment since the minis saw this movie.

Checkers, chess, and Uno. Oh my!

Sunday morning we finally made it to Build A Bear to use up some gift cards from Christmas. The middle mini had the hardest time making up his mind, but eventually he chose a My Little Pony (although he calls it a unicorn, that he chose because they bring magic), the oldest chose Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon (now called Maxine "but a boy Maxine, not a girl Maxine"), and the youngest chose Buttercup from Power Puff Girls. We did not get any sounds or smells to go in their animals, but each child picked out an accessory (that I said we weren't going to get).

One of my favorite moments of the day was looking over my shoulder to see Hubs dressing Elizabeth's Power Puff Girl.

Very fun hour at Build A Bear!

The house is coming together. I even managed to do one of the first big toy rotations over the weekend. Since we haven't been able to enjoy the backyard yet (1. It needs cleaned up and 2. it's not fenced in...yet!) I brought the little slide in for an energy burner. In the living room we got our art work on the walls and sheers hung up. That room suddenly feels much homier than it did last week!

I've been eagerly awaiting to try out the leaf in our new dining room table. My Book Club gathering gave me the perfect opportunity.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Spring Loves

1.) Rainbow Play systems. A new house requires new stuff, including a new play system for the kids. We shopped around one weekend in January, gathering prices and examining quality. Out of all of our options, Rainbow had the best quality, but most importantly amazing customer service! Our new system is set to arrive in a matter of days and I couldn't be more excited for this Easter surprise.

2.) Shoe rack. I decided to go with a wire shoe rack because it can also double as a painting drying rack. For me, it was a two for one deal.

3.) Wooden puzzle travel map. I bought something similar to this several months ago and colored in all of the state I (and we as a family) have visited. I was excited to color in Oklahoma and Texas, but of course, we bought the house instead (and moved the weekend we were scheduled to travel, hence no trip). I like this visual for all of us to see and it usual starts conversations of "remember when, on that trip to..."

4.) I'm finally getting around to writing thank you notes to everyone who has helped and treated us the last three weeks. I loved these Thank You notes from Target!

5.) Samsung S7. Hubs and I scored awesome deals on Black Friday, two new Samsung S7's being among them. We've been really happy with the phones, the camera is amazing, the fast charging feature is appreciated, and the battery life is stellar. Big bonus for me: it's waterproof.

6.) Rubbermaid smoothie bottle. I mostly use mine for water, but it's now one of the only water bottles I use. I'm looking forward to some amazing berry smoothies on the deck this spring and summer.

7.) Whirlpool Refrigerator. I am in love with our refrigerator!

8.) Space heater. I have always been soooo against these (safety reasons) however, the back room of our new house, aka the daycare room, doesn't have the best circulation system. For the time being, we bought this great little heater fan and it works marvelously!

9.) Lightweight cardigan. This has been my go to clothing item all winter long.

10.) Pledge. With a lot of wooden pieces of furniture, we use pledge quite often anyway, however, we were told to use Pledge on our new stainless steel appliances because it creates a film and is more resistant to finger prints (a big struggle with a house full of kids!). Let me tell you, this trick actually works! I've been recommending this to everyone I know who has been using a stainless steel cleaner that Pledge works just as well, if not better!

11.) Helleborus plant. A neighbor brought one over as a house warming gift and it is gorgeous! I look forward to planting it in the next couple of weeks!

12.) Bird feeder. Ok, so I actually don't like birds much, however we have a ton of birds (and other wildlife) at our new house. I put a couple of bird feeders around our yard. The kids have loved watching the birds and squirrels "eat all of our food" and we've even taken to doing some bird identifying with our bird book.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Our First Free(ish) Weekend

We finally had a commitment free weekend! No packing, no house projects (if we didn't want to do them, but we did, so we did one), no place we had to be. It was spectacular! We didn't completely get away without adulting, but there was some fun stuff too!

We officially said goodbye to our home of (nearly) six and a half years. We got out the last few loads of junk, cleaned it up, and handed over the keys. As we closed the doors for the final times, I caught a glimpse of this wall in the sunlight after we had taken everything off. You can faintly see our: [life is simple] eat. sleep. play. repeat. That was completely the motto while we lived there. That house saw so much happiness, laughter, growth, and change. I can only hope it's loved as much as we loved it.

We made it out to the Flower, Lawn, and Garden Show to see a sculpture by local artist Randy Schnebbe that featured some of the oldest mini's artwork. While that was our main purpose for visiting, we saw a lot of other neat things. The minis favorite was the train systems. Apparently we now have plans to do the tour of trains in June, where you go to various backyards in Central Iowa to see what they have created.

His drawing (that was turned into part of the sculpture) was the mountains "because we love mountains."

We were asked to get this T-Rex for our garden so they could play Jurassic Park. I then broke the news to them that the garden is off limits to playing. Suddenly they didn't want to the T-Rex.

Yep, a trip (or two) to the hardware store. Good news: we spent less than $1,000. Cool news: we've got all of the materials for upcoming house projects. Bad news: there goes our free time.

We rewarded good behavior at Menard's with a trip to Colby Park before going to the grocery store, heading home for dinner, a walk around the neighborhood, and bedtime.

One of our adventure days wouldn't be complete without one screaming kid who has to be carried to the car...

She recovered from the tantrum quickly so she could ride Henry the Horse at HyVee. #priorities 

Sunday included cleaning up the deck (somewhat), building a closet system for the boy's closet, doing a bit of yard clean up, doing laundry, and playing hard (for the youngest two minis).

I've got big plans for this corner of the backyard (pictured above). Stay tuned to see how this will become a fun and messy play area!

Lunch on the deck on a gorgeous day!

 It was in the sixties, so obviously that means you march inside, grab your swimming suit, put it on, and go play in the sandbox, all without saying a word to your parents about it, who were right there watching the confidence pouring out of her.

The glass doors were removed, the wall cleaned up, and the closet system built (wooden shelves both up and down and a bar to hang the clothes). This little project took all day, but it turned out great!

For dinner we grilled brats and hot dogs and ate fresh veggies. Chips were for "dessert." I told each mini to take a handful and pass the bag.....I failed to mention how many handfuls. For the record, no one else had issues understanding one handful except the middle mini.

This upcoming weekend we're planning on doing some more playing and maybe a project around the house....we'll have to see what we come up with!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break

Out of our last three spring breaks, this one was the most laid back...daycare-wise at least. Having just moved into our new house the weekend before spring break started, I was fairly limited on what we could and couldn't do (plus, energy wise, I didn't have much to give!). Outside time was out since it's not yet all the way fenced in (a home project coming up soon) plus it needs cleaned up, so we were indoors all week. The kids didn't seem to mind though because everything was new to them and they had a blast going through each cubby, bin, and shelf to discover long hidden toys, crafts, games, etc.

Here's a quick peak at our SB 2017:

It wouldn't be spring break without a theme day or two! The first day of SB we had Fairy Day. Read more about that here.

The first day of the full week of SB, we had a building day with the waffle blocks and soft building blocks. The kids got very creative and built vet clinic, cars, motorcycles, and more.

A tea party (with water).

The over the door basketball hoop got A LOT of use! There were bball games and shooting competitions galore.

I found my rock collection and it instantly became the "it toy" of the week! I'll be adding a magnifying glass for closer observation because the kids have loved examining (and rubbing) each smooth rock.

We officially closed on the house and had a house closing/belated birthaversary celebration at Bubba's.....right after we spent time at Lowes (our new home away from home). 

When you have your house decorated how you like, with plenty of kid areas, yet still find Lego something-or-others having battles on your buffet.....this is what defines #momlife.

We had a birthday celebration! This child loves Airheads (you may remember last year's Airhead cake), but I ran out of time to do the Airhead cake, so I simplified it to just her name.

The minis helped tear down the first layer of wallpaper. That layer came down within fifteen minutes, the next layer is going to take some work (unfortunately).

We did some St. Patty's Day art work: a finger print rainbow and Dot Marker shamrocks.

Homemade green play dough kept everyone busy for an entire afternoon. I love using salt dough as play dough (even though it dries out easily) because it cleans up so easily! I let the kids play with this on our new carpet and it easily vacuumed up afterwards.

We ended our week with our St. Patrick's celebration, which included a much anticipated return visit from our magical leprechauns Sammy and Michael. Read more about our day here.

Now that it's officially spring and things are getting a bit more organized after moving, we'll be starting some of our spring activities this week!