Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Easter Weekend

We lucked out and the minis had a three day Easter weekend thanks to a teacher's work day the Friday before Easter. They were able to partake in daycare's Easter festivities, which included cake, games, pizza, and watching The Prince of Egypt during nap time. As for the rest of the weekend, I took over programming at the Des Moines Children's Museum that Saturday, celebrated Easter with both sides of the family, and managed to have A LOT of fun with April Fools being on Easter!

Surprisingly, this was the first year ever I screwed up the bunny cake. Funny this is I was going to do a decorate your own cupcake station, but my three threw a fit: "mom! You ALWAYS do the bunny cake! You HAVE to do it!"

I scored a few cheap Easter games at the craft store the previous weekend. They kept the kids entertained.

Whip cream egg decorating at the Children's Museum. Daycare enjoyed it, so we took it to the Museum, where it was also enjoyed by two dozen other kids.

I got a brief rest in between running the egg show for kids and our first Easter celebration. The cat helped me rest too.

I did food prep late Saturday night (while Hubs worked on setting up April Fools jokes). I don't want to brag, but my homemade breakfast potatoes were amazing! I made them the night before and reheated for Sunday brunch.

While the potatoes cooked, the Easter Bunny worked her magic.

Read about our April Fools pranks and fun here. We've never really done April Fools jokes on each other, but we had fun with it this year!

Yes, the middle one is ON the table.

Brunch included coffee, mimosas, homemade pancakes, homemade biscuits and gravy (no sausage), homemade breakfast potatoes, and omelets. Sooo yummy! We only do brunches at home a few times of year and we brought it good this time.

Elizabeth happily wore her new spring clothes around the house, even though it was freezing cold outside.

Her outfit to go to dinner combined three holidays: Valentine's (the shirt), St. Patrick's Day (the socks), and Easter (the bunny ears).

The minis got us back good (also in our April Fools post).

New spring and summer toys have been ordered and delivered! The minis helped me set up this play garden for daycare.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A March Weekend

Yes, I fully realize it's April now, but this weekend happened back in March. The first weekend we were home from vacation actually. It was supposed to be a chill weekend, but of course, as soon as I plugged back into life after vacation, I lined up a string of projects. Luckily, I was able to do two things at the same time. I was able to check out Vegan Fest AND work the Des Moines Children's Museum booth at the same time. It wound up being a long day, but great networking all around (for both writing and the Museum).

The minis were around to "help" and play on and off throughout the day.

Some of my faves from Vegan Fest: acai bowl from Beef Cake Fuel (I also got a Hawaiian wrap later in the day that was amazing), sweets from Vegalicious, spring rolls, plantains, and coffee.  I have a good list of vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurants in the area that are quickly becoming my go-to places thanks to Vegan Fest.

I love watching kids play!

I left one project, only to come home and work on more. Luckily this one involved me writing in my pajamas and margaritas in my coffee mug (I'm classy like that). Clearly my husband was supportive.

The next day we tried out brunch at Granite City for the first (yum! But Americana is still our ultimate brunch spot) and took the kids to see the Easter Bunny.

I had to run to the craft store. The minis played outside (on a rare gorgeous day this spring). This was what I saw in the backup camera. I wasn't amused, but Hubs was pretty proud of himself!

 I know there's probably not going to be many of these pictures left to take (or that they'll allow us to take).

 The minis helped me create an Easter sensory bin for daycare. I love it when they help me out with daycare planning.

I left my phone on the dining room table. This was what was left for me on my screen. I shouldn't be surprised.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Family Game Night

Our plans for Saturday consisted of getting the basement prepped for severe weather season, emptying out the toy storage room(s), and getting ready for our 2018 basement revamp. Our goal is to put an egress window is, build new shelving for toy storage, and create a Big Kid Only area for the school age kids this summer. Surprisingly, the minis happily let us work while they did their own organizing. We told them that if they let us work (and helped us when we asked), we'd take them out to dinner.

Mid-afternoon the minis came to us and said, "let's get take out and do a family game night at home!" OKAY! 

I told them to get the games together that they wanted and we agreed upon Tasty Tacos for dinner. They had one request for us: "grab some cookies from HyVee." So we did. We found at why when we were told to make our way to the daycare room for Sheaffer Family Game Night.

They really got creative with the games we played! It wasn't our typical checkers, chess, or the ever faithful Candyland. Instead they had us start the night with darts (played on the magnetic dart board that was propped against the wall), a cookie walk, and Old Maid. We didn't get further than Old Maid because there was soooo much laughter and jokes that just those three games took a fair amount of time. 

Alexa had issues. We had to stop using her after this round.

Anxiously waiting to hear what number will be called out.

I was so impressed with their planning of game night and their creativity. They thought of everything!

The moment we found out our five year old is a card shark....apparently the boys have taught her how to play A LOT of card games. She won at Old Maid every time. I cracked up at her organizing her cards on the floor "so absolutely no one can see them!"

Before we knew it, it was bedtime. The other games will be saved for another game night. I'm especially looking forward to their version of Musical Chairs. Can't wait to see how that one goes!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mud Kitchen

Ever since we moved into our house last year I had the hopes of creating a mud kitchen area somewhere in the backyard for the kids. I had drawn up plans of what I envisioned, but other house and yard projects came first and other backyard projects changed my original plans. I shelved the mud kitchen idea until this year; and honestly, I was going to shelve it for this year too, but when I inspected our Little Tikes turtle sandbox, I discovered cracks in the lid (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's from the kids standing on the lid. Like I said, just a guess though).

We got rid of the sandbox and in it's place (well, actually across the yard by the deck) went a version of my mud kitchen. My initial thought was to have Hubs build something like these, but we have plenty of other projects to keep him busy. I'm not fond of the outdoor mud kitchens like this (for real, $400-$600 dollars???!!? Nope, nope and nope). Instead, as usual, I went simple with things we already had.

Our old Little Tikes kitchen has been well loved and was getting replaced in the next few months. It fit perfectly in our outdoor mud area for the kitchen portion.

The Little Tikes garden wheelbarrow has also seen it's fair share of play, but it's found a new and useful life in the mud area to hold buckets, pots, pans, scoops, and cups.

The old yellow kids table gives the kids extra playing surface to create their mud pies or hold their bowls of dirt.

The only thing I bought new for the mud area was a standing sand table to be used as a mud table (to hold most of the playing mud).

The mud kitchen area was officially open this week for daycare and it got rave reviews! We did have to change things up a bit and move the table against the house because the kids had a hard time remembering the rule to keep the mud kitchen stuff inside of the bricks. Moving the table seemed to solve that problem.

Hopefully this will be an area to be enjoyed all summer long!