Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

What a busy day.  The girls got up at 6:30, which is early for them.  They were all excited about their Easter baskets.

They got Hello Kitty stickers, a Barbie DVD, a Winx Club doll (Kayley) and a Winx Club accessories pack (Olivia), a tee shirt, Lego Friends (wouldn't fit so I stuck them underneath the baskets which worked out fine once I wrapped them in celophane) and miscellaneous candy.
I made waffles for breakfast, then it was off to church.  After church we headed up to my brother and sister-in-law's for Easter dinner but had to stop at a store first because I had forgotten the candied walnuts for my salad and we needed sunscreen for the girls.  I wasn't able to find candied walnuts so we had to do without.

After fighting some heavy traffic we finally made it to my brother's, had dinner and then the girls and their 2nd cousins had an egg hunt.

The girls with 2nd cousin, Taylor.  We forgot their baskets so they had to use shopping bags to put their eggs in.
Olivia, Taylor, Kayley and Skyler

After dessert we headed over to Ashley Gardens, the care facility where my mom is, to visit her briefly, and had to stop for gas on the way as well as dinner for the girls because they barely ate any lunch and were starving.  After a brief visit with mom, we headed home, fought more traffic and had to make a potty stop along the way for Olivia (usually they are always for me).

When we got home, the girls played with their new legos for awhile while we unloaded the car and then I gave Olivia a bath (Kayley will take one in the morning) and put them to bed.  Long day.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Date Ideas

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner again today for Show Us Your Life - Date Ideas.

I love date nights.  Unfortunatley, we rarely have them now that we have small children because we just can't afford to go out and pay a babysitter on top of it.  On the rare occasion that we do go out, it's because we were able to get grandma and grandpa or some friends to babysit.  But tomorrow night we are going out to celebrate Paul's birthday and for the first time ever since the girls were born we have hired a babysitter.  That's right, in the 5 years since the girls were born we have NEVER hired a babysitter.  We've only had grandparents or friends watch them on occasion.  I'm so excited!  We are hoping to start going out more, whether we hire a babysitter or just trade off with friends or whatever, now that we have refinanced our house and will no longer be paying for preschool here in a few more months.  So here are some of the ideas I have for future dates.

Dinner somewhere with live music.  There is a great place we went on one of our rare date nights but there are several more in our area I would like to try.

Dinner and beer at the brewery near our house.  Paul has been there before with a friend but I've never been.

Ride the new Great Wheel on the Seattle waterfront.

Local Art/Jazz/Blues Walk.

Other favorite date activities are browsing bookstores (great for when there is time to kill between dinner and a movie), coffee shops, wine bars, and bike rides or hikes (neither of which we've done since before the girls were born).

Since we can't afford to go out much, we sometimes try to have a date night at home after the girls are in bed.  We'll open a bottle of wine or make martinis and sit in front of the fireplace or outside, depending on the time of year and the weather.  I know I've seen other good date night ideas on Pintrest that I can't remember.  I'll have to go look them up.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Joy of Playing

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today for the topic "The Joy of Playing with Our Kids".  I've always considered myself to be a big kid at heart.  I've always loved to play with toys, and I remember thinking how I couldn't wait to have children so I'd have an excuse to play.  I've always loved to color, play with play-doh and do puzzles, and even long before I was married and had children I would sometimes keep that stuff on hand "for when my friends with kids came over".  Truth is, sometimes I would break out the crayons or play-doh with nary a child in sight.

When the girls were born, I couldn't wait for them to be old enough to play with toys, then I couldn't wait for them to be old enough to color and play with Play-doh, then I couldn't wait for them to be 3 so they could play with all those 3+ toys like Barbies, Polly Pockets, etc.

I love playing with them with their toys, or playing games, doing puzzles, coloring, doing crafts, or playing with Play-doh.  Unfortunately, I don't really do it as often as I'd like.  I always intend to play with them way more than I actually do.  There is just always so much to do that I just don't have time.
Of course, I could let all the housework slide and just play with them instead, knowing that they're only small once and the house will be there forever, but if I get too behind on housework I just get way too stressed out, besides, we NEED clean clothes and clean dishes, and the litter box can only go ignored for so long.  I need to have a nice balance, and for the most part, I do, but there are still lots of times that the girls will ask me to play with them and I'll tell them I want to but I have to do X first and I always feel so bad.  They are pretty good about playing together, or sometimes separately, but they still want me to play with them a lot.

Another obstacle to me playing with them as much as I'd like is that almost every day one or more friends will come over to play, so they end up playing with their friends instead of with me.  But obviously it's good for them to have several friends to play and build relationships with.  I do sometime play with them and their friends, but usually I just take advantage of them being occupied to get something done! :)

Paul is really good about playing with them, too.  He plays with them in the evenings while I'm cooking dinner and again while I'm cleaning up.  Their favorite thing to play is vet.  Paul is the vet, Olivia is the field nurse, and Kayley is the pet owner and brings all her animals in.

When I play with them, it's usually Polly Pockets, Barbies or My Little Pony.  So fun.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jungle Playland

Today we had our 6th birthday party in 5 weekends.  This one was for their 2nd cousin Taylor and it was at Jungle Playland in Mount Vernon.  The girls had SO much fun.  It a big play place with climbing structures/tunnels/slides, a ball pit, and some video games and ride-on toys (the kind you put a quarter (or token) in) all decorated in a jungle theme.

Olivia and the birthday girl fighting for position

Kayley on a lion

Cupcakes in the party room

While we were up there we stopped and visited my mom, who was recently moved into an Alzheimer's care place, and then we visitied one of my best childhood friends that I hadn't seen in about a year.  She lives right across the street from the elementary school we both attended, so we took the girls over there to play on the playground.  It was so good to see her again and catch up.

Combing Hair

Almost every time I comb the girls' hair, they SCREAM and cry in pain.  I feel SO bad, but there is nothing I can do.  I try to be as gentle as I can, but they still scream and cry.  I've tried detangling spray and it doesn't help AT ALL.  I get SO sick of listening to them scream every time, but what am I going to do?  I can't just leave their hair all tangled.  I suppose I could cut it super short, but I can't stand the look, and they don't want it that way either.  ONE DAY, one GLORIOUS day that seems eons and eons from now, they will FINALLY be able to comb their own hair and/or it won't hurt so gosh darn much.  They kind of can now, but they can't get out all the tangles.  I'm so frustrated and fed up.  It is literal torture for all of us.

Friday, March 22, 2013

5 Year Well Visit

The girls had their 5 year well check a week ago and I just remembered this morning that I never posted their stats and I don't really have them recorded anywhere else so I better do it before I forget.

Olivia was 41 1/4" (25%) and 33.4 pounds (25%).
Kayley was 42" (50%) and 39 pounds (25%).

They didn't need any shots (yay!) and won't, other than flu, until they are 11.  They did have their vision checked this time and Kayley was 20/30 and Olivia was 20/40.  The doctor said that's acceptable but I wonder if she'll need glasses in the near future?  I guess if it gets worse, but maybe it won't.  Who knows.

They also had their hearing checked, and they had to pee in a cup.  I thought it was going to be really hard to get their samples but it wasn't.  They just sat down and I positioned the cup and they started to pee and per instructions I let some go into the toilet first and then collected some.  It was easy.

Now they don't go back for 2 years.  I didn't know that, I thought they went every year forever but they'll just go at 7, 9 and 11 and then start going once a year again after that.

Spring Snow

Well, we didn't get hardly any snow all winter, and now that spring is officially here, a blizzard rolls in.  OK, totally NOT a blizzard, but still more snow than we got all winter.  When we got up this morning there was just a dusting, then while we were getting ready for school it really started coming down and sticking.  I kept checking the school district's website and school was still on (their preschool follows the SD calendar).  I debated whether or not to even bother, considering the last time it did this I got them to school ok but could not get home because the road back home was closed and when I tried to go another route it was blocked by a stalled bus and when I tried yet a different route I realized that by the time I got home I would just have to leave again so I ended up hanging out at the outlet mall until it was time to go pick them up.  I decided to just go to the main road and see how it went, if it'd been plowed and what-not, but after turning onto that road and continuing for a bit I realized that the same road coming back the other way was closed, so I wouldn't be able to get home again.  So I turned onto a side street and turned around, but it was already too late, I couldn't get back onto the main road going back to our house.  So I had to park at a gas station and we walked home.  As we were walking home I saw them plowing the road and I'm sure it opened shortly after, but I didn't want to wait around.  The girls did pretty good, and when we got home we made a snowman and then I made hot chocolate from scratch on the stove.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 19

On the first of the month, I started a 20-day challenge to do 10 minutes of fitness per day.  I did really well up until last week sometime and then I got consumed with the consignment sale plus the girls had TWO birthday parties in a row last weekend (#s 4 and 5 in 4 weekends with #6 this weekend) and had several days where I didn't get my 10 minutes in, but up until then I had several days where I did way more than 10 so I figure it all evened out.  Today is day 19 and I haven't done anything yet, but yesterday I did 40 minutes on the treadmill at the gym (I was shooting for 45 but I had to pee!) and tomorrow I plan to go to the gym again.  Meanwhile, I'll try to get some Wii in tonight and/or maybe some abs.

I was down 4 pounds as of last Friday (not because of 10 min per day, obviously, but mostly just by watching what I ate) but have since succombed to my weakness for anything Cadbury, so I'm sure I've gained some or all of it back.  Sigh.

A Typical Preschool Day

Every now and then I like to do a "day in the life" post so I can look back and remember what our days were like at certain ages and stages. I've been meaning to do one ever since the girls started preschool last fall but just haven't got around to it yet.  Yesterday was a typical preschool day so I'll go with that, and sometime soon I'll do a non-preschool day.

My alarm went off at 7:30, but I hit snooze and lounged in bed with the cats.  At 7:45ish Olivia came and got in bed with me.  We snuggled for a bit and then got up.  I was planning to go to the gym later so I didn't bother with a shower, but I did put on real clothes and a tiny bit of makeup.  Meanwhile, Kayley got up.

At 8:00 we went downstairs for breakfast.  After serving them and cleaning up, they got dressed and we left for school without them brushing teeth or combing their hair because we ran out of time.  Oops.

After dropping them off at 9:30, I went to the bank and then the grocery store (I grocery shop for the week almost every Monday).  By the time I got home and put the groceries away I had about a half hour to check email, facebook, etc. and then it was time to go pick them up (school is out at noon).

When came home, I had lunch and they had a snack (they eat lunch at school) then Kayley played on the computer for awhile and Olivia watched a little TV.  I vacuumed the downstairs, did a load of laundry, and sent a few emails.  Then they played while I prepped dinner.

A little after 3:00 the neighbor girls showed up and invited them down to play at their house, so the girls left with them while I finished getting dinner ready (I was assembling enchiladas to be ready to go in the oven when I got home from the gym).  About 15-20 minutes later they all came back to play at our house.

Paul got home around 3:40 and I left about 10 minutes later to go to the gym.  When I got back at about 5:20, another neighbor girl was over to play (the original two had left).  I put the enchiladas in the oven and took a shower.  After my shower I finished dinner while one of the girls walked their friend home (Paul watched from the porch).

After dinner Paul and the girls went outside to ride scooters while I cleaned up, then we played for awhile.  Around 8:00 we started getting ready for bed, and they were in bed by 8:30.

Paul and I watched part of a movie that we started on Saturday but still didn't finish it because he had to go to bed at 10:00 and we still have 45 minutes left.  That reminds me of a post I wrote a long time ago about how long it takes us to watch a movie.

After Paul went to bed, I watched a little TV and went to bed at 10:30.  Usually I'm up until at least 11:00 if not 11:30 but I was tired.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lazy Sunday and More Parties

We have had, like, the laziest Sunday ever since they were born, I think.  We skipped church to catch up on stuff (and to sleep in due to DST).  I've done some cleaning and organizing but mostly we've just played and I even got some reading and a short nap in while the girls watched the latest Barbie movie on TV.  It's 4:30 in the afternoon and Olivia is still in her pajamas, which I think is a first.  There have been many times where they've still been in the pajamas until noon-ish, but never this late.  Whatever.  We're not going anywhere.

We had another birthday party last night.  Just to recap:  The girls' party was two weeks ago.  They went to a party last weekend for a preschool friend, then last night was a party for their 2nd cousin.  Next weekend we have TWO parties, one Saturday and one Sunday, both for preschool friends.  We're going broke.  It's a good thing there are only 5 other kids (not counting them) in their class!  Of course, we don't have to go to them all, either, but I think we can handle 5 (or fewer).

And speaking of classmates parties, of all the kids in their class, their birthday was first (their's and another girl's because she has the same birthday as them).  Since no one before them had a birthday, I wasn't sure what to expect as far as if most of them would invite the girls (or the entire class) or not.  I would have liked to invite everyone, since there are only 5 (not counting the girls), but by the time we invited all their neighborhood friends and our friends' kids, and their parents and siblings, we just weren't going to have room to invite all the preschool kids.  Then the mom of the girl who shares a birthday with them asked me when we were going to have their party, because she wanted to be sure to have her daughter's on a different day so the girls could come, and I knew the girls wanted her to come to theirs, too, so I had to invite her, which means I at least had to invite the other girl in the class but then I felt bad about not inviting the 3 boys in the class but I just didn't know what else to do, so I didn't (in hindsight, I could have invited all of them because of course not everyone invited did/would have showed up, but I just wasn't sure.  What if they all would have shown with both parents in tow?).  Now, here we are being invited to all the other preschool kids' birthdays.  Oh well.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kindergarten Registration

Today I registered the girls for kindergarten!  I can't believe they are this old already.  We will go back on May 31st for orientation, where they will meet their teacher and see their classroom, and then we go in August for transportaion orientation where they will learn their bus schedule and get to sit in  (and maybe ride?  Not sure) a school bus.  Exciting!  I'm not all sad and sentimental yet, but I think I will be on their first day.  Right now I'm just excited to have FOUR hours to myself FIVE days a week, vs. only a little over two hours three days a week.

As for my 20 day challenge, I did about 14 minutes of yoga on Sunday and yesterday I rode scooters with Kayley (Olivia was at a friend's house) for at least 30 minutes plus I walked/jogged to the park and back (they rode scooters) and jumped up and down a lot while there to stay warm.  I haven't been able to go to the gym so far this week because Paul is working in a different location than usual and it's further away and he gets off later, so he's getting home too late (I could go after dinner but I just much prefer going earlier).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rainbows and Unicorns...and Fish

Today was the 2nd of 4 birthday parties in a row.  The girls' best friend from preschool was born on the same day as them and her party was today at the Issaquah Fish Hatchery.  It was really fun.  The girls got to feed some fish and paint a fish (they literally put paint on a dead fish then covered it with paper to make the image of a fish).

The girls with the birthday girl

Getting ready to feed the fish

fish painting

Unicorn cake

M & Ms in all the colors of the rainbow
This is from google images, but they had a similar rainbow fruit platter with Strawberries, Canteloupe, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and purple grapes, with bowls of yogurt covered pretzels at the ends. 

And today is day 2 of my 20 day challenge.  I did 18 minutes of various Wii Fit stuff this morning, and I'm going to try and do some yoga later.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March and a 20 Day Challenge

I always love the first day of March because it means that it's almost spring (or, around here, only 4 more months 'til summer) and it's always a good time to renew my commitment to any New Year's resolutions that have fallen by the wayside now that Valentine's Day (chocolate) and the girls' birthday (cake, meals out) are over and done with.  I didn't even bother with a New Year's resolution post this year but I still made my annual resolution to lose weight and just like the previous few years I have been doing horribly so far.  I recommited to diet and exercise the week before the girls' birthday and was doing great, but ever since their party I've been doing horribly again.  Now that we're finally done with all the various celebrations and all the leftover cake is gone, I was all geared up for a fresh start today when, lo and behold, I saw a 20 Day Challenge from Sparkpeople in my facebook newsfeed.  So I decided to give it a go.  The challenge is to do 10 minutes of activity every day for 20 days.  I usually work out 2-3 days a week anyway for 45 minutes to an hour, so 10 minutes seems like nothing except that it has to be every day for 20 days.  So we'll see how it goes.

Today I couldn't make it to the gym so I've just done little bits of cardio throughout the day, like marching in place while washing dishes and some jumping jacks and squats here and there for a total of 6 minutes so far so I have 4 minutes to go.  I'm probably going to do some abs and a little Wii Fit.

I hope this challenge will motivate me to get back on track and stay there for more than 4 or 5 days for once.