Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sledding Weekend

This weekend had one of those magical times that will always remain a fond memory. We hadn't seen measurable snow here in Des Moines, Iowa so as soon as I saw we had snow and it was semi-warm out (30 degrees in January is warm around here) we took advantage and went sledding! 

Friday night was family movie night. We got take out from El Michoacano (the vegan flautas were ah-maz-ing) and watched Christopher Robin. Then we waited for the snow.

Harrison had acting class Saturday morning, so Hubs took him and picked up breakfast and coffees from La Mie since I really didn't feel like going out (or leaving my bed). Most of the day was spent lazing at home, until mid-afternoon when we ventured out. We had a few errands to run and we had an early dinner at Teddy Maroons.

Harrison and Elizabeth made the most of our time inside and at home by mixing up their favorite sensory activities. This was baking soda snow colored various colors. I'm now out of baking soda and food coloring.

Since we dragged the minis along to look for dresses and shoes to wear for our upcoming Giggle Gala, we treated them to Scratch Cupcakes. Then the fun began. Even though it was nearing bedtime, we put on our snow gear and walking up to the school yard at the end of our block. The next two hours were spent sledding on the hill, sledding on sidewalks that had yet to be cleared, and running through the empty streets in sleds. 

It was a night I'll always remember! We had so much fun (minus one toy going lost in the snow that the middle mini had stashed in his pocket)!

1.) If you haven't tried the Just Dough! at Scratch Cupcakes, we highly recommend the Monster Cookie variety. 2.) Give a 6 year a little spoon to eat with her Just Dough!, she'll also use it to eat snow.

Sledding while snowing. It only added to our magic.

Yes I ran my children around on the sleds on the hilly roads around our house. Surprisingly I wasn't sore or tired after this.

Sunday morning I slept....and slept and slept some more. I was tired and the energy just wasn't happening for me. The minis had plans to go to our favorite sledding spot in Des Moines (Waveland Golf Course), but I just couldn't work up the energy for it. Instead I stayed home and worked on taxes for daycare, while Hubs took the minis for a 3 hour sledding fest. 

Clearly tax prep didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked, but at least I got to do it from my bed.

The socks said it all: SUNDAY FUNDAY!! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

11 Best Things To Get At Dollar Tree For Teachers

1.) Rubbermaid containers. These are perfect for storing slime and homemade play dough.

2.) Scented conditioners. Not for using on your hair though! The coconut or green apple make excellent smelling play dough (1 box of cornstarch and conditioner--the amount of conditioner depends on the consistency you wish for).

3.) Kitchen tools. It's no surprise that kids are rough with things. Aka they break things. Luckily, DT has plenty of affordable options for replacements. Something like these are used for play dough, sensory bins, and a set even went in our mud kitchen last spring.

4.) Floral accessories. This seems odd, but these have multi-purpose use for daycare. Our birds and flowers make a comeback every spring when we do our Spring themes. The fake flowers have been used in sensory bins, the petals for art projects, as a stand in our "farmers market," for imaginary play in our Flower Shop, and so much more. Five years ago I walked into our local Dollar Tree and spent $50 on fake flowers and birds. I still have nearly every single one of them (a few flowers met their demise to mud when the kids took them outside and "planted a garden" with them). Well worth the money I'd say.

5.) Craft supplies: googly eyes, pom poms, craft sticks, glitter, glitter glue, and pipe cleaners. Unfortunately, these are the things they're out of a lot in store, so when I come across them I stock up.

6.) Plastic bugs, snakes, dinosaurs, etc. The packs of bugs and snakes are my favorite because of the variety of things we've used them for over the years. We've had many, many sensory bins involving bugs and snakes, but we've also done bug identifying activity, played with them in the sandbox, used them for Halloween decorations, and more.

7.) Silly string. To celebrate the end of the school year and beginning of summer at daycare, we have a silly string fight in the backyard. While you can find Silly String at most party store (and Target and Walmart), it's usually $3+ a bottle. When I'm buying 25+ bottles I like to keep things as cheap as possible. Dollar Tree's silly string fits the bill!

8.) Balloons, both helium balloons for special occasions and packages of latex balloons. We like parties, so we go through a lot of balloons! 

9.) First Aid items. Sure I always keeps a stocked first aid kit (and more) handy, but I like to have it extra stocked during our summers, when the kids are outside 10 hours a day and accidents are bound to happen. I keep plenty of Band Aids, gauze pads, wraps, and more on hand. Whenever I'm running low I head to DT to stock back up.

10.) Con-Tact paper. I use this for art projects for the kids and this is the best deal around.

11.) Holiday items. Any and all holiday items. Crafts, decorations, things for gift bags, themed stamps, mini stockings during Christmas, stickers, etc. It's my first stop for any holiday supplies for daycare, but go early! Shop for St. Patrick's Day now, Valentine's will be picked over, and look for 4th of July items in the spring. Things go quick!

Friday, January 18, 2019

A January Weekend Outside

It was appropriate for our family that the first weekend of the new year was warm and gorgeous, so we got to spend the day outside (only our favorite thing). We had a very busy go, go, go weekend. Saturday morning marked the start of Harrison's winter acting class. We started the day with donuts, made our rounds through the East Village (and one of our favorite stores ever, Raygun), ate lunch at Smokey Row, played at Raccoon River Park, walked around the lake (and did a little exploring on the ice), and went to my sister's birthday party. I would like to say that Sunday was more relaxing for us, but instead we finished building the shelving unit in the basement, baked and cooked for our last family Christmas, and attended that Christmas. Luckily, the gorgeous weather kept me motivated and going the entire time!

Donut Hut is our favorite place for donuts. I figured a little sugar for our busy day was needed.

Harrison was elated to begin his creative acting class at the Des Moines Playhouse. Hubs was very involved in theater throughout high school and is anxious to see if Harrison enjoys it just as much. If this isn't his "thing," we'll be trying something else because this kid definitely needs a creative outlet for his big personality!

We spent some time at Raygun to pick out my sister's birthday gift. I love walking around Des Moines' East Village area and popping into the locally owned shops on beautiful, sunny days.

We couldn't decide on what to get for lunch, but I knew I wanted/needed coffee. Smokey Row fit the bill for all of us. We treated the minis to a Shirley Temple and a Roy Rogers (I kept the Snicker Bar Latte to myself). The minis had a Shirley Temple when we were in Tennessee two years ago, but this was their first time trying a Roy Rogers. They enjoyed them both, along with their lunches.
Harrison chose the 'Uh-Oh Spaghetti O's' off the menu. He's had Spaghetti-O's less than a handful of times in his life and was thrilled with his lunch choice. For the rest of the day he stated how his birthday lunch was going to be Spaghetti-O's. 

Coffee and the beach, even though it was too cold to be in the water. It felt wonderful just to soak up the sun while the minis played on the playground.

Our agreed upon time frame was 30 minutes at the playground and then our hike. The trail was busy and muddy. We only made it about halfway around the trail before we had to stop, play on the ice a little bit, and then head back to the car because we had a few must-run errands before the birthday party. I've been happier this winter because the weather has been cooperative to allow us decent outdoor time. I have yet to feel cooped up or the winter blues.

Back of the leg mud splatters. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be much worse.

Christopher's pizza and cake for Aunt Jenny's birthday.

This was my purse as we walked out of my sister's party. Totally normal to have a Bitty Baby, random articles of clothing, and leftovers sticking out of a mom's purse....

Saturday was such a busy day that I'd like to say we used Sunday to rest.....but it's us, so we didn't. We did have a morning at home and the minis relaxed while Hubs and I finished a new shelving system. I also threw together a vegetarian taco chili and a lemon cake. Sunday afternoon was spent at our fifth and final Christmas celebration. It was a very laid back gathering, which was much appreciated. By this point the minis had been home for 17 days and the craze from Christmas had caught up with me.

The lemon cake was totally made with a box mix and the frosting from a can. It was still amazing!