Friday, January 31, 2014

Quick 5

This January has been a January.

1.  I'm not going to complain, because this only happens about once a year, but our beloved Nissan Maxima had to spend a couple days in the shop this week.  I was super nervous about this scenario, because of the whole half-day kindergarten thing, but it actually really worked out.  Lee was able to work from home a morning and a day, so I was able to use the van when I needed to.  We're praying protection over our van, though, because we're not too sure how it would work cramming the three girls into the back of the Maxima.  But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

2.  We went to MOPS on Monday.  MOPS is weird for me this year.  I stepped back from coordinating, because it goes from 9:30 to 11:30, and since I have to pick up Alaina at 11:00, I have to leave the church at 10:30, which gives me just an hour there.  At first I wasn't going to go at all, but I figured an hour of conversation is better than an hour of no conversation.  I'm glad we get to go for the hour.  But I feel a little like a kid who has graduated high school, and then keeps going back to visit.  Like I belong, but not quite, because I'm not there the whole time.  It's still worth it to me, and next year I'll be able to jump back in for the full time, but it's just a little awkward this year.  For me anyway.  The moms are perfectly nice and enjoyable.

3.  Alaina came home from school one day very excited about learning about "number sentences."  You know, 1+1 = 2, 2+2=4 and 3+0 = 3.  She found a piece of paper and wrote them out over and over.  It's fun watching her learn new things.

4.  Alaina and Joya have also begun the "Your My Best Friend" game.  I remember that game with my sisters.  We usually used it as a tool of manipulation, by declaring that one sister would be our "Best Friend" if they did something for us, like one of our chores or whatever.  I'm pretty sure they're using it the same way.  So now I have to decide when to intervene and when to let them figure it out.  I'm trying to hammer in "Be Kind To Each Other" into their heads, but maybe it will take specifically spelling it out for them to get it. 
Best Friends for the moment
5.  Bria has a fun new game.  She crawls to her toy basket, picks a toy, then crawls over to the Super Gate, pulls herself up and chucks the toy over the gate.  And then, if she's feeling particularly disagreeable or melancholy, she'll sob like she's lost her best friend.  But mostly she just has fun.  Especially if one of her sisters is sitting on the other side, throwing the toy back over the gate to her.  I usually laugh at her either way (which doesn't go over so well if she's in one of her moody moods.)

Go Broncos!  Seriously.  We're excited that it's finally Superbowl Weekend.  Now, I'm as big of a Bronco fan as I can be, but I'm looking forward to the game, and the game being over, only so I never have to hear the term "Clingy Thingy" ever again. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quick 5

It's cold, but Denver is a good place to be right now.

1.  Go Broncos!  We're terribly excited about the Broncos going to the Superbowl.  It's been a long 15 years since our last go at it, and Lee mentioned how there has never ever been one of "his" teams in the Superbowl.  I'm so glad he made the jump to become a Broncos fan so he could experience the excitement.  I've been trying in earnest for the past week to win a trip to the Superbowl from the Ellen Degeneres Show.  If you know me at all, you know how much I HATE crowds and how much I LOVE being home, but Ellen typically gets her Superbowl trip winners on the field.  Not in just some random seats in the stands.  And this was a historic season for the Broncos and it's Peyton Manning and if she can get us on the field, then I'd be happy to go.  But alas, I can't seem to get the site to upload my entry.  The next best thing, though, is watching it in the comfort of my own home with my own clean bathroom.  (Note to self: clean the bathrooms before the Superbowl.)

2.  Alaina had Monday off from school, so I took the girls to the mall to play on the indoor play place.  But it was gone.  Vanished.  There was a sign that said it was down for maintenance, but there was no down about it.  It was gone.  I really hope they're going to put one back, because we get good use out of that thing.  And I can't bring myself to drive over to the Cherry Creek Mall to play on theirs.  We don't belong there.

3.  Alaina found a box last week and worked very hard transforming it into something useful.  First she made a TV out of it and did a little show for us.  It was so cute.  Then she decided to make it into a "worker vest."  She colored it and carried around her pink toolbox, pretending to be a worker.  (Translation: a construction worker.)  It is the first time I can remember that she initiated a project like that all on her own.
4.  I did a project of my own: I made a curtain!  I've always been a little afraid to try it, but I finally made one for my bathroom.  We've had a curtain up in there that came with the house.  It was a lovely reminder of the smoking habits and housekeeping skills of the previous owners.  But the window looked too naked without it, so I left it up.  But then I came across some perfect fabric on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby, and so I forced myself to do it.  It took two tries, but I'm quite pleased with the result.

5.  I finally bit the bullet and made Bria switch to a normal person eating schedule.  Which, of course, she adjusted to like she's been doing it her whole life.  But it instantly changed her from a baby to a little girl.  She now feeds herself lunch and dinner, and there is nothing cuter than seeing a tiny human shoving peas in their mouth.  It was inevitable; she is a month shy of turning one.  What's next?  Walking?

I'll leave you with this example of how my girls roll:
Go Broncos!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Quick 5

Well, I guess we're going to have a real winter this year.  No more bragging about mild Colorado winters where our girls can play outside every day in just light coats.

1.  We spent our second Monday in two weeks dealing with a stomach bug.  This time it was Joya.  The beauty of this round, though, was that Joya learned the fine art of making it to the toilet to throw up.  She has never done that before, and I was glad she had a few rounds to practice before the barfing stopped.  It is a good skill to learn, and she has just about mastered it.  Much relief all around.

2.  I'm not the greatest at it, but I'm trying my best to assign chores to the girls as they are able.  Alaina has a few now: folding and putting away kitchen towels/washcloths, sweeping up all the cheerios and baby snacks that Bria tosses on the floor, and making her bed every morning.  However, she's already come up with a way to not have to make her bed.  Each night I tuck her in, then around 10:00 I go in to check on them before I go to sleep.  The past few nights I've found Alaina on top of her covers, rather than under them.  Basically she has made her bed, and then is sleeping under just a couple of other blankets.  She's so proud of herself in the morning when her bed is already made.  Personally I think it's too cold for that at night, but she hasn't complained, so I guess I shouldn't worry that she's not under ALL her blankets. 

3.  Bria's at that phase where I can't remember how or when to move her to a kid-type eating schedule, rather than a baby-eating schedule.  I can't remember when I stopped giving the other girls bottles all the time, or started feeding them at regular meal times rather than baby-adjusted times.  Generally I try not to stress about it and things move on naturally, but I always have a week or two where I think about it constantly.  And I am in that week or two right now.

4.  We had to make a trip to the mall this week so I could get a new battery for my watch.  While we were there, Joya asked if I had any money to throw in the water (the fountain.)  I gave her five pennies and she threw them in one at a time.  Chalk it up to maturity, I guess, but I could not help thinking, "She is literally throwing money away."  I suppose I could think of it as paying five cents for childhood joy.  She told Alaina and Alaina was very sad she wasn't there for it.  Oh to be a child again.

5.  Alaina was excited to dress up for Bronco day at school.  Sadly we have very little Bronco gear around here, so a blue shirt and an orange hair bow were the best she could do.
Go Broncos!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Quick 5

Seriously, people.  Downton Abbey.

1.  I received one of the best compliments someone like me could ever receive this past Sunday.  There is this woman at church that I highly admire and respect.  She's the kind of person who makes everyone feel like a friend, and she's really fun to be around.  She came up to me and said, "Tori, I think you might be a writer!"  I've never told her that I'm a fledgling writer, or that in the past I might have tried to be one or that I might be holding on to that dream for the future.  She simply made the observation off of what she sees on her husband's Facebook page.  There is something about random affirmation out of the blue that just makes you feel a little more secure in who you think you might be. 

2.  We dealt with Bout #2 of a stomach bug on Sunday night.  You know that joyous feeling when you wake up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night because you hear your kid being sick in the bathroom.  Alaina had a rough four hours of it or so, but she got to do her favorite thing and sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed.  And by about 9:00am, she was actually quite perky.  She only wanted toast all day, but the point is, she wanted toast all day.  The beauty was that Monday was the last day of school break, so we didn't have to call in.  I believe we've paid our dues now, and declare that we can go the rest of the winter stomach-bug free.

3.  It's a good thing kids bounce back so easily.  Alaina was more than ready to play in the snow on Tuesday.  As tiresome as it is to get the girls dressed for playing in the snow (and undressed if they have to use the bathroom, even though they promised that they wouldn't) I never get tired of watching them play in the snow.
4.  For some reason, most babies do not like to have their face washed.  I don't know why; I'm always gentle.  But Bria is glad to have her face washed, especially if you let her lick the washcloth while you do it.  And then if you let her grab the washcloth and suck on it for awhile, you will have won her heart.  It may sound gross, but I do get a new washcloth for her face each day.  And it'll keep her happy for about five or ten minutes while I clean up dishes.  So maybe it's a third child thing, but I really don't mind.
5.  And now this is what Bria does every chance she can get:
The girl just wants to stand.  All the time.  For some reason it cracks me up every time when I go into her room to get her up from a nap and find her standing up, staring at me.  Thankfully she's also figured out how to get down.  She has no qualms about dropping down onto her well-padded bottom.

Go Broncos!  Don't choke!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Quick 5

Happy New Year!

1.  Our trip home was much better than our trip out to KC.  The skies were blue, the sun was warm, and my mother-in-law and I did some hard core work to have some better things for the girls to do in the car.  Joya still whined quite a bit, but at least she had a few more things to keep her occupied.  I think the trips will only get better as they get older.  And never underestimate the power of a three-ring notebook, paper, and a whole passel of little stickers.  Also, we took a new route coming back into Colorado.  There is a spot where you can jump off of I-70 onto State Highway 86.  It takes you through Kiowa, Elizabeth and Franktown and spits you out in Castle Rock and it was beautiful.  And it took about the same amount of time as it would if we had taken I-70 around.  If the weather is nice, we'll be taking that way more often.

2.  It's been a delightful week.  Alaina has been off of school, obviously, but the real joy has been that Lee has been able to work from home all week.  It's always better to have him here.  And it's made these past two weeks feel like a real vacation.  It'll be hard to go back to our normal routine next week.

3.  I love New Years.  I know it's all in my head, but it always feels so fresh and promising.  Lee and I have even come up with a theme for this year: A Place for Everything.  Or, to be honest, Putting the Crap in Its Place.  We've lived her for a year and a half, and it's time to get a handle on all our stuff.  We plan to have a garage sale this year, which I'm dreading and completely intimidated by, but we have just a little too much to just cart down to the donation centers.  So I'm committed.  (Anyone love them and want to help?)  And I'm finally not pregnant and not dealing with a newborn and not moving, so it's time to settle in and make decisions and hopefully simplify.  (Side note: Did anyone read this article?  I'm seriously contemplating doing something like this.  Maybe not as extreme.  Or maybe just as extreme.  We'll see.  I'm still pondering.)

4.  The Crown Jewel of our week has been this gem:
Bria is ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Trying to get ready to go on our trip and then trying to unpack from our trip was so difficult.  She's just everywhere.  So we went and got one of these, and we love it.  It's a large space for her to play, and she's safe and contained.  And she seems to enjoy it too, especially if we are in there with her.  We feel like we are witnessing the joys of freedom within boundaries with her.  Plus I can cook dinner now.

5.  This one is dedicated to Mindy.  Lee says thanks for the sweatshirt!

Well, I'm a little late to the game, but thanks to Amazon Prime and my lovely Kindle Fire HD, I've finally discovered Downton Abbey.  I'm almost done with Season 1 (which is no real feat; their seasons are only about 7 episodes long.)  No spoilers if you can help it please.  :)