April Twenty Seventeen

September 12, 2017. Not only our fifteenth wedding anniversary, also the day our new bedspread will ship. It’s backordered. I waited too long to order after I realized it was the one. It only took three other orders during April—two from Amazon and one from Bed Bath & Beyond—to realize this. Now I wait. When I ordered my curtains back in January, they were backordered until the end of February. Which felt like a while. And then it was the end of February and the curtains arrived. The bedspread will be here in no time. Bedspread arrival aside, I’m anxious for September. It means fall. I’m already over sunshine and warmth… after the whole three days we’ve had, haha.

I ordered the bedspread on April 30. That was my exciting end to the month. The rest of April was an average, good month around here. Nothing special happened. Nothing bad happened. No complaints. April, in pictures:

Lazy mornings. Science Saige likes to do experiments, which is basically playing with water and food coloring using the science kit. Baby likes to color, whether it be on paper or on her body.

Tulip festival. Except there were barely any tulips. More like the daffodil festival. The kiddos and I went last year and it was beautiful. We happened to have a free Monday so I packed up the kiddos and we headed north. I’m a stickler for routine so we went to the same place we went to last year, Roozengaarde. Tulips are my favorite flower and seeing field after field makes me happy… not as happy this year. I mean, daffodils are pretty, but they’re not tulips. It was still a fun outing on a beautiful day. I even managed to pack lunches and snacks… I was on it. The kiddos didn’t really care about the flowers; the mud puddles were way more exciting. Much like last year.

A weird thing though… as I was rounding up the kiddos to take their picture on the bench in front of the Roozengaarde sign, some random guy walked over and stood right behind the sign so he’d be in my picture. He just stood there. For no reason. I politely asked him to move so I could grab a picture of the kiddos without him in the back. He moved, after a little attitude. It’s not like this was some teenager or 20-something, which I would excuse because, youth. This was a middle-aged, pot-bellied man. It was just a weird experience.

Trail walk. Another standard trail walk, this time to get the big kiddos at Tolt MacDonald Park. They were there for their Wilderness Awareness class. I love how the little ones are holding hands in the stroller. They were all about each other this day.

Science fair. The kiddos’ Monday/Wednesday school had an optional science fair. Being Blaise and Laine—the yes to anything kiddos—they wanted to participate. It was up to them to decide what project they wanted to do, and up to them to come up with what exactly their experiments would entail. They had a great time with the projects… we made them do the bulk of the work. At the science fair, they had to stand by their project boards and explain what they did and their conclusions. Blaise nailed it because the kid will talk to anyone about anything; Laine was shy and did her best, and we knew she understood what all she did. It was a successful first science fair. One of many I presume.

At the science fair.

Easter arting. I’ve been slacker mom this year. Last year we were always making art for holidays or for no reason at all. This year, I nap if there is free time between all the taxiing around. We had a full-day of nothing planned so I busted out the Easter art stuff and we went to town. I remember why I should do that more often… and yet, I haven’t done much since. Summer goal.

Homemade lava lamps. Also in the slacking arena, homeschool science club or whatever we casually call it. We started the year with an every-other week plan, which turned into about once-a-month, and now is a what day do you have available three months from now schedule? This time we made lava lamps using oil, water, food coloring, and Alka Seltzer compliments of another mom. Saige was in on the action. Of course she was. She’s sure she’s five.

Swingers. I love this photo. The big brothers pushing their little sisters. Saige and the other little gal will be in outdoor preschool together in the fall. Blaise and her big brother (and Laine) were in outdoor preschool together last year.

Egg hunt. A neighbor had the brilliant idea to host an egg hunt at our neighborhood park… way better idea than attending a larger egg hunt. We went to one last year when Saige was 1.5 and her interest in collecting eggs wasn’t really there. By the time she wanted to, she managed to get two. Some of the eggs could be claimed for a local restaurant gift card so some parents were competitive. As in Saige was clearly going for an egg and a parent reached down and grabbed the sucker out from under her. Eh, it was a turn-off to me. So when our neighbor suggested an egg hunt for only the kiddos in our neighborhood, I was all about that. Each family brought 20 eggs per kiddo; some families brought way more than that. I think there were over 800 eggs for about 20 kids. It was a really great, successful egg hunt. And Vaile at 1.5 took it seriously. She was focused and collected eggs for a long time. She would have been toast at a larger hunt.

Easter. First off, the loot. Easter was kind of a big deal in my family growing up. And ironically, I never even knew what Easter was all about until I was older. We weren’t (aren’t) a religious family. To me, it was a second Christmas on a smaller scale, with eggs (and still is). My parents would go all out. We’d color eggs the day before, then the Easter Bunny would come and hide them all over the house, along with our Easter baskets. Some years, the Easter Bunny would leave a note that led to a scavenger-type hunt for our Easter baskets or large joint gift. One year my parents turned the downstairs bedroom into a playroom and that was the final reveal. Maybe that was Christmas. Either way, it was always something I looked forward to. Easter dinner was with both sets of grandparents, and my sister and I had to wear fancy dresses.

We’re not as fancy as my parents were. We barely remember to color eggs. I still have a kit from 2014. The eggs we hide are plastic and filled with jelly beans. And we don’t do the Easter Bunny. But we do loot. The kiddos each get baskets filled with your standard Easter candy, bubbles, chalk, and small outdoor play supplies, along with one big gift. Blaise is easy, LEGOs. Laine wanted a balance beam. Saige is all about the play kitchen and cutting real food, so play food that velcros together that can be cut with a play knife was an easy pick. Vaile loves baths and water, so a water table was in order.

Saturday night Brian and I prepared the baskets; hid the plastic eggs and baskets; and prepared for early rising kiddos. They were up at 6am. We made them wait at the top of the stairs until they were all up and ready. Down they went to find their loot. Vaile found two eggs and realized they were filled with jelly beans… she was on hold until all jelly beans were eaten. Thankfully she dropped a few under the couch. Blaise and Laine were all about finding their loot. Saige was still half-asleep (we had to wake her up before going down) and not sure what was going on but knew she should be excited. It was a successful morning. We spent the rest of the day hanging at home before having a nice family dinner. It was a nice mix of my growing up traditions and our family traditions. There are times I wish we lived near family. Easter is one of those times.

Walking and more walking. Mondays and Wednesdays the little ones and I usually walk the big kiddos up to school, and then we continue on for a long walk. We have a routine: they stay in the stroller until the frisbee park, then they both get to walk until the bridge, Vaile goes back in the stroller (with the bribe of a lollipop), Saige throws rocks from the bridge into the river, and then she’s bribed into the stroller. We continue on to the playground at Tolt MacDonald where they get to play for 30 minutes or so, and then we pack back up in the stroller and head for home. We get home, have lunch, and then usually drive to pick up the big kiddos. If we walk again, Vaile usually passes out and I need her to wait until we’re back home. But there are days we walk to get them, below being one of them. I had Blaise walk her to keep her from falling asleep. Big brothers are pretty awesome.

Rock Island. After Outdoor Explorers on Thursdays, we try to hang around a bit after to get our play on. I have it all figured out. If Brian drops the big kiddos off, then he works late. Those days I forgo naps. The little ones get to play until 2-3pm which means an early bedtime. And with Brian working late those days, it makes my life easy. This day we were at Kathryn Taylor Equestrian Park. A few other friends also stayed after and they ended up making a rock island. I think there is a more official name they made up but I forget. Vaile ended up going home in Blaise’s sweater. She fell into the murky, muddy water. Face first. Poor kid. Saige managed to get pretty wet also.

Blaise date. Blaise was overdue for a date. There is a LEGO store in Monroe… not an official LEGO store but a mom-and-pop one, and he had been wanting to check it out. He also asked me to come up with a surprise activity. It was kind of last minute. We went to the LEGO store and then to paint pottery. It’s always fun spending one-on-one time with each kiddo.

Yogurt. I’m not one for sharing food on the face photos (first birthday cake smash photos aside). That said, here are food on the face photos. The girls had granola and yogurt for breakfast, and Vaile ate as well as a 1.5-year-old does. She was pretty impressed with herself. Not shown is Saige emptying the granola package all over the counter and floor, causing a huge mess. Good times.

Hershey. Laine’s main man on Sundays.

Pink! I suggested Laine color the ends of her hair pink back in November. She wasn’t sold on the idea. No biggie, it’s her hair. She talked about it off-and-on, and early April she decided she wanted pink ends. She had seen it on some kid on YouTube whom she likes. She was sold. The many faces of Laine. She wants blue next ends…

Park napper. The little ones and I were on our standard Wednesday morning walk. At the playground, Vaile lost her footing and fell down. I figured she’d get back up (I made sure she was okay)… nope, she decided to take a cat nap. Ha!

Super heroes! Laine loves dressing up. She’ll go to the grocery store with a cape and mask on. She also loves dressing Saige up. They were super heroes for the afternoon. I felt safe. 

Random April Pictures:

Trampoline hair. 

And a video. I love how she goes to grab the ball but it moved.

Whiteboard wall. We have a whiteboard wall now.

Popcorn. Brian’s mom brought popcorn over. We gave a bowl to each kiddo. Blaise, Laine, and Saige eventually lost interest after a few bites. Vaile was opportunistic. She ate and ate and ate popcorn. Slow and steady.

Robot Laine. Lainey Bug made a robot costume with the Amazon Fresh bags.

Laine! At Outdoor Explorer pickup. She painted her face as a cat before she left for school. I absolutely love how she is her own person. Cat face for school, sure!

Future horse riders. I had to take all the kiddos to a make-up lesson. The little ones wanted to see horses. This horse wanted to see the little ones.

Oh no! Saige started yelling, “Oh no! Mommy! Oh no! It’s broken!” Thinking I was in for a mess, I went to her and asked what was broken. Turns out it was only the Grand Canyon.

Brian, in true Brian form. Brian is the bath guy. He bathed all the kiddos… it was a bubble bath night. As they were getting dressed, Brian walked in to talk with them as if nothing was unusual.

Saige in a tree. At school pickup. She actually looks her age here with the baby face still.

Saige ate an apple. She put it back.

Homework. Not officially homework but homeschool work. So, yeah homework I suppose. Vaile was in on the math action.

That way. My semi-frustrated attempt to get Vaile to say, “That way!” after she said it about 100 times. Of course the moment I try to record she stops. I do appreciate her saying, “Cheese!” when I first started recording. Kid says cheese any time a phone is put in front of her.

I’d normally end with an, “And on to May,” or something. Except it’s almost June. I did start this draft right after April, so there’s that. The intention was there.

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