Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Digest, April 24, 2016

There was some nice weather this week so Maxine took the girls to the park.  Daisy LOVES the swings.
 Daisy has a new thing where she tilts her head to the side to get us to praise her cuteness.  It works.
 Maxine experimented with a new fancy style of crust.  The resulting pie was gorgeous.  These were triple berry pies that contained fresh strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  So amazing!
Tonight Isaac and Sammy came up with this little illusion.  I could hear them plotting from the other room and then they waited patiently for Maxine to come down the stairs and see.
Otherwise it was a pretty normal week.  We finally finished putting all the baseboards back on yesterday and we feel a lot closer to having a normal house back.   

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Update, April 17, 2016

Our life the past two weeks has been consumed with flooring.  The new laminate had to sit in our house for at least three days, which turned into a week and three days when the installers couldn't come any sooner.  So we lived for a week with access to the front door and hallway blocked because of the boxes of laminate, and told visitors through the window to enter through the garage.  It was less than ideal but amusing all the same. Collin spent 3 days ripping up all the old flooring and baseboards, and after many hot showers and much Bengay, he's none the worse for the wear.
And now the fun part - new floors!!  We love them!  They're a bit darker than we expected and there have been a few slips and falls getting used to having all hard flooring, but I'm still happy with the switch.  Now to get all that trim back up...

The boys were on spring break the first week of April.  Collin took that week off so we could either go on a spontaneous trip or get stuff done around the house.  The delayed flooring installation decided for us that we'd be staying put.  We did manage to take the kids on some fun outings, though.  Collin took Isaac to the nickel arcade where they played to their hearts' content, and I took Sammy to see "Zootopia" at the theater.  We played his first game of air hockey while we waited for the theater room to be cleaned and he loved it.  And then there was a chance for a random photo op, so there's that.  Ellie chose Farm Country as usual for her outing.
Spring has sprung!  I just love this tree on the side of our house.  When we first moved in I had plans to remove the tree because it was so close to the house and wasn't anything special besides being a good shade provider.  Every year I look forward to it blossoming.  And every year shortly after it blossoms there's a fiercely windy storm that blows most of the flowers off and then I am sad. 

I saw rhubarb at Harmon's last week and had to buy some for pie. I had some strawberries at home already, so strawberry rhubarb pie was born!

And the following week Smith's had a sale on berries, so strawberry-balsamic pie was born.  This one was extra juicy and made me very glad that I'd lined the pan with foil.  The pie turned out perfect, though!

The kids have been working really hard to get along better lately.  And by "the kids" I mean "Sammy and Ellie," and by "get along" I mean "not kill each other."  They've been making some progress.  Here's proof: A month ago Sammy wouldn't have been able to coexist on the same couch as Ellie.  Thank goodness for Isaac!

We had a few nice days this month between all the spring showers (more like tempests here!), and the kids took advantage.  Here they are lined up for a bike race:
Daisy's a crawling champ now!  She's a little too good at it sometimes - look away for a second and she's halfway across the room!  She moves a bit like a bulldog, and it's pretty cute.  She's about the brightest baby I know, by which I mean she's so full of light and love and happiness.  If you call to her from across the room, she'll look at you and a huge smile will fill every inch of her face.  In fact, that smile extends to her whole body, which will start convulsing with joy.  I think it's the most validated I have ever felt in my life.  Because of that, here are a million pictures of her! 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Update, April 3, 2016

It's official - we have a crawler!  I repeat, Daisy is crawling and looking for all the random bits of food and Legos in the carpet!  She's still a little wobbly, but she gets the job done. Fun fact: she still can't roll over from front to back, silly girl. 
This week Daisy also started eating her first finger foods, which she loves. A lot.
We took the kids to D.I. on Saturday for their first thrift shopping experience.  They were each allowed to pick out a toy, and we grabbed a bunch of classic games like Operation, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Mousetrap, and Curses!  These have been thoroughly entertaining the kids for the past day.  Then we did this after dinner one night, because we know how to have a good time:

And because videos are the theme of this week, here's one of Ellie dancing, because she is simply too vibrant to contain in a still image.

I had a frilly pink smash cake order this week, so I made cupcakes with the extra batter and decorated them the same way.
It rained briefly on Thursday.  The rainbow that followed was rather stunning.  Boy, do I love our view! 
 Happy April!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Update, March 27, 2016

I guess we can't really call it a weekly update anymore. :) But here's what we've been up to this month:

Isaac recently got retested for allergies and is still allergic to everything - trees, weeds, grass, dogs, cats, tree nuts, peanuts.  He tests positive for almonds and hazelnuts, but he's always been able to eat them with no problems.  Weird. 
Per our pediatrician's recommendation, we also got Daisy tested for some allergies, namely dogs/cats, and nuts.  She's not allergic to pets, but she definitely has an allergy to peanuts and almonds.  Sigh...
My birthday was last Saturday.  Collin and the kids did a great job making me feel special that day.  I woke up to presents: Isaac made me some paper flowers in a paper vase with an original poem, and Sammy made me a paper fan and a 3D card.  For dinner we all went to a sushi restaurant called "Tsunami." 

Our awesome neighbor Amy offered to take the kids for the afternoon, so we went to Home Depot... and ordered new flooring!!  We got a killer deal on installation for laminate, and the one we chose just happened to be super discounted, so we decided to go for it.  We will be removing all the existing flooring ourselves - all the baseboards, carpets, linoleum, and underlayment beneath the linoleum.

We recently had a nice sunny day so we took the family for a picnic at the park.  We all had a wonderful time and Daisy loved the swing. :)
The boys are still obsessed with Legos.  Sammy has really been wanting a Lego set called the "Earth Driller" - it's a vehicle with a drill on the front and internal gears that turn the drill as the vehicle moves.  I told him he could just make one himself with the parts we have so we went online and showed him the instructions for the official Earth Driller set and he adapted the instructions for the parts he had on hand and made this amazing pseudo-Earth Driller all by himself.
Sammy came home from school on Friday proudly brandishing a plastic sandwich bag with an earthworm in it.  His teacher had apparently done some science project with the kids involving worms and then let the kids take them home.  He insisted on filling a mason jar with some dirt and keeping his new pet ("Wormy" was its name) inside.  So all weekend we've had a small jar full of dirt sitting on our dinner table.  Boy, I love this kid!
Daisy's getting really close to crawling.  She can get up on all fours but so far can only crawl backward.  So she does this bizarre butt-shuffle to get around instead.  It's not obvious how she moves by watching her but somehow she just sits there, moves her legs a little, and suddenly she's several feet away.  Yet she still has trouble rolling over from her stomach onto her back, especially in the middle of the night. Sheesh.
The kids are having lots of fun playing with Daisy now.  At one point today I saw them all gathered around her for probably around 20 minutes hooting and hollering and having a wonderful time.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture.  But here's one of Sammy playing hide-n-seek with her.
Last week Isaac wanted to make cookies all by himself.  He did everything including reading out of the cookbook, measuring, mixing et cetera.  And the cookies were great!  (although for the first batch in the oven he put 1/2 cup oatmeal instead of 1 1/2 cups.)  But they still tasted great and he brought them to his cousins' house and the kids all ate his cookies.  He was so proud.  :)
Note the gap in the bottom row of his teeth: He finally lost his first tooth a couple weeks ago!!  He's the last kid in his class to lose a tooth, and there wasn't room for the adult tooth to come in so it's hanging out a little farther back than usual. 

Speaking of teeth, Daisy just cut her first two bottom teeth!  I don't have a picture yet, but it happened two days ago and she's very pleased with herself. 
On Friday the kids decorated Easter eggs.  Ellie LOVED it.  The boys did too, but Ellie sure had a wonderful time. She kept dying the same egg over and over in different colors, which really impressed the boys. Then a few hours later the eggs were mixed up to make egg salad sandwiches at their request.  (They were a little disappointed that the eggs weren't colored on the inside.)
We had our annual street-wide Easter egg hunt yesterday morning.  It had snowed a bit overnight and there was a bitter cold breeze, so everyone was a little glad when it was finished.  We had a great discussion with the kids about Jesus' Atonement and resurrection today.  And tonight we went to the Menkes' for Easter dinner.

Recently at a DI trip we found the game "Forbidden Island" for $2.  So good!  We played it today and Sammy and Isaac really got into it.  The idea is to get all the treasures before the island gets flooded.  It plays a lot like "Pandemic" in that it's team-based and you're racing against the clock with ever-increasing disasters thrown at you periodically and unexpectedly.  At times it gets pretty suspenseful and the boys were eating it up.  :)