Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Celebrating 34 (Early)

We had a very fun weekend celebrating my 34th birthday a bit early (it's next week if you keep track). At this point I'm simply counting down the days until our spring break adventure, so I'm trying to keep our weekends interesting. Saturday we enjoyed goodies at a local coffee shop and spent a few afternoon hours at the Des Moines Children's Museum. Sunday was our Sunday Family Fun Day. We had my beach themed birthday party with family and then went to the Art Center to see the newest exhibit Wanderlust. Having a beach themed birthday and the Wanderlust exhibit are both highly recommended.

Friday night shenanigans included playing board games and wrapping Elizabeth up like a baby. We're weirdly funny.

Reading. She's actually reading books and writing stories. You would think after three kids I would be used to this kindergarten transformation, but I'm still in awe of how much their little minds learn.

Saturday morning snowfall. The weather here has been so weird lately (but I guess normal for Iowa). We were literally watching a weather report online that said their would be no snowfall accumulations, when we looked out our front windows and saw the snow pile up rather quickly. As quick as it fell, it melted even quicker. By the time we left the house the snow was gone, the sun was out, and temps were decent. I'm so over winter weather.

And, of course, as we were walking out the door, I looked down and realized I had a black marker spot on my shirt from a mini. I went through a short disappointed stage, followed by a 'a should change my shirt quickly' thought, then an overall "screw it," and walked out the door. Spot and all. No one said a thing, so in my mind, no one saw it.

Our treats from Grounds For Celebration included black coffees, a mocha smoothie, berry smoothies, cinnamon rolls, and a mini champagne cake (for the kid that's always partying...that the middle mini for those who don't know).

Like father, like son.

Playing at the Children's Museum.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by family, pina coladas, homemade vegetarian lasagna, and ice cream sundaes. The minis REALLY enjoyed the ice cream sundae bar.

 My husband thought he was hilarious for doing this in our pictures. As a result, I have no decent pictures.

After the beach party, we made a quick visit to the Des Moines Art Center. The minis were excited because the last art exhibit we went to was interactive. Wanderlust is not interactive, but they still enjoyed it. There was only one issue of running, followed by a round of tears, but then everything was just fine.

Apparently my kids know all about Dadaism and imparted their art knowledge on everyone who was within ear shot.

 Well, she did it herself.

Ending the weekend with taped nose because, you know, we're funny like that.

Only TWO more weekends until sunny Florida. We are all so ready for it!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Love Week

We had quite the busy week at daycare last week! There was arts and crafts, sensory activities, stories, and so much sugar. The real highlight of the week was when a few of the Bigs were here Thursday and Friday! The Littles were so, so, so happy to have the Bigs here that they kept asking "can I watch you (color/read/play/walk/go potty/etc.)?" Luckily, the Big are awesome and incredibly patient with the Littles (although, we drew the line at watching in the bathroom!) and made sure to play games with them, helped them make paper airplanes, and helped them build Lego towns and waffle block cities.

Our theme for Valentine's week was (of course) Love and chocolate:

Chocolate noodles in the sensory and pretend corners. The kids definitely ate some, while A LOT stuck on their feet, hair, and clothes.

Colorful hearts. I put the glue and the kids put the pieces of paper on the heart. 

Daycare's King Cake. I told them why we were eating this cake (actually a sweet bread) numerous times, but all they cared about was that I let them eat cake for morning snack!

 A week full of all of her Valentine's outfits because, yes, she had numerous.

Working on Valentine's for their classmates.

Heart shaped quesadillas, broccoli slaw, peppers, banana.

These chocolate covered strawberries made an excellent morning activity and a tasty afternoon snack! When the minis got home, they made some as well.

I had planned on a no gifts Valentine's Day, but I couldn't pass up new vacation clothes for everyone.

Shaving cream hearts. Shaving cream with food coloring dripped on top. I had the kids gently press down their hearts into the shaving cream. These always turn out cool (we've done them for a few years now), but take forever to dry.

Perfect heart shaped sugar cookies that the kiddos got to help make, decorate, and then eat their's for morning snack on Valentine's Day.

Heart shaped ham and cheese sandwich, spinach with broccoli slaw, and banana. 

Our typical Valentine's dinner: heart shaped pizzas, salads, and chocolate covered strawberries. Hubs and I had a bit of a mix up with the pizza arrangements and we both ended up grabbing pizzas for dinner. Four pizzas was more than enough to feed us (and daycare) for a couple of days!

 It takes them a few tries to get a picture.

After Valentine's Day dinner fun.

We did our daycare Valentine's party the day after on the 15th. The day included donuts, brownie cookie cake, decorating Valentine's bags, passing out Valentines and treats, and then a couple of games.

They decorated their bags while watching the Olympics. We're thoroughly enjoying the Winter Olympics around here.

 I honestly haven't had this many kiddos at once since last summer. The coat area was overflowing! The days were fun and tiring all at the same time. The kids all spent a lot of time talking about this upcoming summer, what they'd like to do, and activities they'd like to repeat.

 Playing the floor is lava.

The cats really enjoyed my Valentine's flowers on the table (insert eye roll here).

One of our games was heart darts. I drew heart shaped dartboards on the window (with window marker) and the kids used Nerf guns to shoot at them. It kept the preschoolers and school agers busy for quite a while!

Their most favorite game ever: the Find It game. This time they found heart shapes they helped decorate beforehand.

Chocolate play dough with heart cookie cutters.

Friday was a free day. Their free day included waffle block building, board games, and card games.

 My favorite moment of the week was courtesy of these three boys (plus one more not pictured). They asked to watch a cartoon and I told them all it needed to be toddler appropriate. Everyone agreed on Guess How Much I Love You (based on the book). Of course, all of the toddlers wandered off to play, which left the big kids. I asked them if they wanted the TV off or if they wanted to watch something else. All three shouted, "no! The song's getting ready to come on!" As the theme song played, all three boys sang along and swayed (and watched the next episode). There's so many moments throughout the days that I'm reminded of how big they've gotten. Moments like the one mentioned makes me realize how little they still are.

Since I spent two full days talking about summer activities, I'm growing anxious to begin our spring activities at daycare and spend some quality time outdoors!