Monday, March 30, 2015

What's New...

Hmmm...what's new?

Well about three weeks ago, we got rid of the convertible car seat we used for Ollie. We bought one more booster seat for him (he then had the new one and Rhett's old one) and two backless booster seats for Rhett. This has been semi-thrilling. Why? We no longer have to trade cars (we no longer have a "kid car"). What this means for Chuck and me is that we don't have to continually adjust the seats and mirrors as we shuffle between cars. It's amazing.

What else...the boys got sick this weekend for the first time all winter. Awesome that we made it this far with no sickness; not awesome that we had sickness. Ollie puked twice Friday morning but then seemed to fully recover. He acted fine, ate fine. But late, late Saturday night, he puked...A LOT. I think Rhett was feeling jealous of the attention we gave Ollie, so he "pretended" to be sick. Sigh. Although, in his defense, Rhett didn't eat much Sunday. (Update: he puked Monday morning, so maybe not the big faker I thought.)

My parents are coming in a couple of weeks! It's been nearly four years since they've been here, so we're excited to spent time with them. We're definitely headed to Udvar-Hazy and the Library of Congress, but not sure on the rest.

We went to a friend's son's baptism on Saturday. I was extra observant, knowing we face the same thing next year. So if anyone wants to come for Rhett's baptism, put it on your calendar now! His birthday is nicely situated around spring break (near Easter), so I'm sure it'll be convenient. We'd love to have you.

I have a very bad feeling that D.C. is going to go straight from winter to summer and skip spring entirely. Sautrday the boys rode their bikes while Chuck and I walked and it started SNOWING. Flurries, yes, but still. Snow. March 28th. Ugh. I just want to go for a run with no gloves and hat. Is that too much?! (And really, that's not all I want. I also want a spring that lasts until July 31. And then fall can begin on August 1. That's all--I promise.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Like My Family Again

Please excuse Monday's outburst. Is it just me, or does your family go through ups and downs? Yeah, I thought it was just me. So in my house, we go through our up times, and then we go through our down times. Right now just seems to be a down time interspersed with some good days. Why so down?

Ollie: This child is going through his "How-far-can-I-push-my-Mom-and-Dad" stage, and it's hard. He doesn't want to listen to anything and wants to obey even less. He's fully given up naps (except at the babysitter's house), and just cannot stay in his room for quiet time. He's out of control at bedtime, making it hard for Rhett to enjoy reading. He loves destroying everything that Rhett builds, which doesn't end well for anyone. On the upside, the kid is just adorable. His super red cheeks and big smile get me every time.

Rhett: This child is going through his "I'm-smarter-than-both-of-my-parents-who-have-never-taught-me-anything" stage. And he's super disrespectful to people and objects alike. He back talks incessantly. Also, the poor child still has no inclination to learn how to calm down and the littlest things can reduce him to tears. He and Ollie haven't been getting along very well lately and so that's been hard because usually they play pretty well together. On the upside, he's seven! He's interesting and thoughtful and is turning into a great reader.

I've been at this mom thing for enough years (again, SEVEN!, so I'm totally a pro) to know that although this is a hard time, there are still moments of good. I'm certain that soon we'll be back in an easy time, with moments of bad. It's just the process, no?

P.S. I just did a google search on "time series graphs" to see if there was one that showed how my life is graphically, and wow! There are so many cool graphs out there, folks.

P.P.S. Happy happy birthday, emily!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rhett's Birthday

I can't commit to having birthday parties for my boys every year. Just can't do it. And because I consider my sister an expert on all-things-parenting, I'm going to copy what she does, which is "friend" parties for the years when the boys turn a multiple of four (so 4, 8, 12, 16). This doesn't mean, however, that we're not willing to do something fun on the off years. So like last year, we let him pick a friend and an activity. This year it was our neighbor friend and going to the Air and Space Museum at Dulles (the Udvar Hazy one). It's hard to not have a great time here.

Paper airplanes demo.

And then on Sunday we finally got around to making his cake. Theme cakes have never been done before in our house. But last year I made the mistake of giving him this book for Christmas and he was immediately enamored with a castle cake in there. So Chuck stepped up and did it. And also like last year, we hosted family for dinner. The End.

P.S. More about that cool museum: In August, one of the helicopters that my dad flew when he was a Marine will be flying in and landing there. We're so going. We're so sitting in the cockpit and getting pictures.

Monday, March 23, 2015


So yes, we celebrated a certain child's birthday this weekend. And I know I'm supposed to post pictures about it and say how great it was and how great my kids are and how perfect the cake and presents were and all that junk. But right now, I'm just not feeling it. So forgive me. Let's wait until Wednesday when my feelings aren't so raw, so then I'll be ready to pretend everything (and everyone) was perfect, okay? Okay.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Of Course

It's the first day of spring. Of course it's snowing. Why wouldn't it be?

P.S. Anyone else bummed to miss the solar eclipse? I heard this guy talk about it on the radio last night. He made it sound sooooo cool.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Hard Life

Remember when Chuck and I got a heated mattress pad for our anniversary? It's nearly perfect. It's warm; it's dual-controlled (so Chuck can make his side of the bed into a sweat lodge and I can not melt); it makes getting into bed in our 58-degree bedroom not a terrible experience. But there exists one design flaw: it doesn't turn itself on. I mean, c'mon: Does it really expect us to remember to turn it on 15 minutes before we want to go to bed? I think that's asking a LOT of us. Instead, it should just have a timer so that we can set it to always turn on at 9:45 p.m. Because then my life would be easy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Pi Day of the Century = 3.14.15

Three years ago I realized that this year's Pi Day would be monumental. It's been on the news, in the papers, and all over the blogs. Even non-math people have recognized the bigness of it. And as prophesied, Chuck and I threw a big party for it. We did nearly everything I said, only omitting the time factor (who can party at 9:26?!) and the throwing of hot dogs (we threw fat popsicle sticks instead). We invited lots of friends and lots of them came. It was fun and crazy. I just wish I had started planning three years ago. Oh well.

Now I document all that we did. We tried to have lots of things for the kids to do. I'm not sure how many did them, but that's okay. At this station was a calculate pi activity using M&Ms.

Over here we made bracelets or necklaces. The digits of pi corresponded to a color of bead and the kids were supposed to string them according to pi. But you know I didn't care if some kids went home with all-pink bracelets, right?

And here we had a pi maze, pi word search, and pi ku.

We played "Pin the cherry on the pi" on the window. Chuck cleverly thought to use the big pi as window decoration. I liked it.

Oh, and notice that tiny green pi on the great big pi? That was for a scavenger hunt. The boys stuck pis (that looks so wrong!) all over the house, six of which had stickers. Then the kids had to go around finding those special ones. Not only did Ollie find all of them, he took them off the wall and brought them to me. It meant a delayed start for that activity.

We did a "Hundred Pi Dash" in the street, but sadly no pictures. There was a kids heat followed by a mens heat. Both were pretty intense. Also unpictured was the pi recitation contest. One friend sat and memorized all 27 digits in the banner (see above) and was able to recite them all. He was the first and only contestant. Brady for the win! Also unpictured was throwing popsicle sticks on the ground to estimate pi. We got 3.7, not bad.

And we wanted to have a pie eating contest, but how could I make it work without being so overly gluttonous? Use oatmeal cream pies, of course! The kids just ate them and the first with an empty mouth won. But for the adults, we made them kneel at the table with their hands behind their backs. Chuck easily won (he has so few talents, but eating quickly is one). But it really was as gross as it sounds.

Then, of course, the pie table. People brought so many wonderful pies, even though you can't see them because this only shows what I made. The winner was this gorgeous chocolate silk. We should have had more categories than just "best sweet" and "best savory" (my savory hand pies were the only entry in that category). Maybe "Best Pi Themed" and...something else.)

Oh, and I made medals for the winners of certain events. They were the worst! Total failures. Some day I'll get that figured out.

And this was breakfast on Sunday morning. People were terrible and LEFT THEIR PIES for us to eat. Which means, for me to eat. Terrible, terrible people.

In all, it was a fun, crazy party. Maybe next time I won't do such a long run in the morning and wear myself out before it even begins.

Friday, March 13, 2015

These Party Preparations are Making Me TIRED

Consider this your friendly reminder that Pi Day is tomorrow!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stuff I Made

It just hit me that I never posted about the Christmas gifts I made, or the few things I've made this year. So here's me catching up.

Bowl covers for a sister-in-law for Christmas. I love using the binding for finishing. Plus, I lined them with PUL so they're easily cleaned. Tutorial here.

Cute little purses for two nieces. I love these. I want one in my size. Tutorial here.

Tokyo subway cross-stitch pillow cover. This was for my parents for Christmas. Remember they served a mission in Tokyo?

Ah, Slither, our new door snake. Necessary because Ollie broke the old. I love that it's a snake. Tutorial here.

As much as I like Ollie's old backpack, it was clear that this was the superior tutorial. So right before we went to Arizona, I whipped this up. It's made with heavier material and is a bit bigger. I am in love with that Ed Emberley and his fabric.

A friend had a baby last year and I never made her anything (probably because it wasn't her first baby...or her second. I get lazy on those subsequent children). Terrible. But then I remembered this cute tutorial and remedied my bad manners. And yes, I took these pictures on snow. It's much better than my dirty carpet.

Another friend had another non-first child and I remedied that. While I've used lots of tutorials from Dana at Made, I've never bought one of her patterns...until now. I'm thinking Ollie needs a reversible vest. Hmmmm.....

Friday, March 6, 2015

And On the Seventh Snow Day...

Today marks our seventh snow day of the year (due to yesterday's near 9" of snow). This makes three more days than planned, so who knows what that does to the end of the year. We'll probably be in school until the 4th of July. On the plus side, I'm getting really good at filling snow days. It helps when Chuck is home (like yesterday). It doesn't help when Chuck only has a delay (like today).

His first air catch! Notice Ollie just standing there watching him from the sidelines. He was NOT a happy snow boy yesterday.

But it's March. Let's be done with this, shall we? I want to wear flip flops.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eggs of Wisdom

On Sunday Rhett asked me, "Mom, do you expect any surprises in your bed tonight?" My response: "Well I do now." I forgot until I found a plastic Easter egg in my pillow (Rhett's been playing with them recently). Cute. But when Chuck found his, he actually thought to open it. Surprise! Inside was a fun little note that read, "I like it when you give me sips of your soda." Of course I eagerly opened mine and found this gem, "I like it when you tell Dad to put away his phone." Awwwww. Sweet buddy.

So Monday night I was excited to find another egg in my bed. Imagine my disappointment to find this message: "Don't Steal." Words to live by, Rhett. Words to live by.

P.S. We're getting ready for tomorrow's likely snow day number 6. Toilet paper? Check. Milk? Check. Supplies for pancake tacos? Check.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy To Be Home? I Think Not.

You know how it's always crappy to return from a lovely vacation? I'm about to tell you how in five easy steps you can make it even worse.

1. Fly into a snowstorm. You know, one so bad the plane circles the airport for 35 minutes just waiting for the ground crew to clear the runway. But don't attempt to land just once. Oh no, ask the pilot to do a practice land but don't tell anyone on the plane he/she is doing it. Make sure to ask the pilot to get really close to the ground in your descent and then abruptly start climbing as if you were taking off. It's fun to scare passengers! Especially moms with little kids on the plane!

2. Upon landing, wait for your luggage for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Watch as planes that just landed get their luggage delivered within 20 minutes, but yours? Oh no. It's sitting on the runway somewhere. Getting soaked with snow.

3. It's not exciting to have your car start right-away (even after snowstorms and record-breaking cold temperatures), so try to do better than we did. BUT when you exit the long-term parking, try to get the most unreasonable employee to check you out. You know, the one that admits his company made a mistake (ahem, I'm looking at you ill-printed ticket), the one that won't be reasonable and let your car full of small children go. Sure, we tried to pay, but we were forced to sit for 20 minutes and argue with the man about the exact time we entered the lot. Fun!

4. Drive home on I-95 without it being snowplowed or treated, with lots of other cars, and a lot of snow! It's fun! Will the cars in front of you stop whilst driving up a hill?! Who knows! It's part of the fun. Make sure to make your normally-45-minute drive take twice as long.

5. When you get home, have fun shoveling in the dark the 10" of newly-fallen snow that fell on the couple of inches that fell earlier in the week while you were gone. Because that's what you want to do after waking up to 50-degree temperatures that same morning: dig out snow gear.

BONUS TIP! Wake up in the morning already forgetting what 77 degrees feels like, get church cancelled, and enjoy the snow!