Snowmageddon. Snowpocalypse. Snowbruary? February was all about snow. Man did it snow. If I had to guess, we had about 18 inches total. Around here, that basically shuts everything down. This area is not equipped to handle snow. With the exception of the first Thursday, almost everything was shut down for two weeks. There was no school. All activities were cancelled. Even some businesses closed. I’m not complaining; I love the snow. And I loved the forced home days.
After the first snow, February 1.
The kiddos playing out front after the first round of snow.
And that first Thursday, my standard Costco day while Saigers was at outdoor school. It was so busy! Busier than I’ve ever seen it, even busier than during the holidays. It was kind of fun to be included in a weather-related shopping spree. A first for me. Everyone was nice and there were no fistfights over bread or anything. It was entertaining to see what others thought was important to have for the impending Snowmageddon. Like the lady with a few gallons of Vodka and nothing else. She has her priorities straight.
Crazy Costco. Baby tossing her hat to Blaise and Laine.
That first Thursday was the only day things happened. Saige had outdoor preschool and Blaise and Laine had their math class in the afternoon. Saige had a great time playing in the cold snow at school… so we went for hot chocolate after Baby and I picked her up. Katherine met us at Village Square Café.
A happy Saigers at school and with a hot chocolate.
Friday the big snowstorm was set to hit around noon. I had my annual physical in West Seattle that morning, and we made it home just in time before the snow started dumping. I say we made it home because going to my annual physical became a family affair. I was going to take only Blaise—he volunteered—so I could use the diamond lane. As he and I were leaving the house, all the other kiddos wanted to go also. Brian rounded up the girls and loaded them in the car, and we all went.
I seriously love our doctor. I say our doctor because we all see him. He’s a general practitioner who delivers babies, so he’s been the only doctor our kiddos have ever seen from day one. Hell, minute one. And because he’s a one-stop-shop, it’s really easy for me to ask a random question about a kid or Brian during my appointment, and I can get answers. Not to mention he’s excellent with email. And what I really love about him, he actually listens and works with me to get to the bottom of whatever is bothering me… I never feel dismissed. He’s happy to send me for any tests or to see specialists to rule things out and get to the bottom of health issues. Like when I’m convinced occasional migraines are a brain tumor and he sends me for an MRI (and even I know it’s just my hypochondriac self). Is it weird that I find MRIs relaxing? Haha.
My appointment went well. I had my list of things to ask about and we checked them all off. And my lab results all came back normal. I’m not going to die. Phew. Although, as I get older, I have this awful obsession with worrying about dying. And the thing is, I’m not scared of death. It actually sounds pretty glorious, an indefinite sleep. I like sleep. It’s that I don’t want to leave the kiddos without a mom while they’re young. I’ve concluded this is why since it all started after I had Laine. And when death time comes, I sure as hell hope I take after my mom’s side of the family. My dad’s side all had cancer. Nan went out right. (My mom’s mom.) At about a month shy of 94, she was watering her lawn on a Friday. Sometime that Friday night, she had a brain aneurysm and died in her bedroom. Easy peasy. And she was still living on her own, in her own home with no need for assistance. I want to be like Nan when I die.
Snow. Ramble. Death. Back to snow.
Snow started dumping pretty soon after we made it home from West Seattle. And man did it dump. There were several pictures of cars stuck on hilly roads within an hour of the snow falling. I’m glad we were all home, safe and sound. And stocked up from Costco the day before, haha. The best part about snow is the quiet. It’s so peaceful outside when it snows.
Brian couldn’t resist the fresh snow Saturday. He drove up to go snowboarding. Turns out it wasn’t as impressive as he hoped but still had a nice time. Sunday he was back up at the snow with the three skiing kiddos, for Saige’s ski lesson. Saige is quite the skier now, with no fear going down. Which is so not Saige. The kid is our most cautious one. It’s a nice change for her.
Brian took the kiddos out front to build a snowman (snow person?!). They also had a snowball fight, and made barriers on each side to protect themselves.
And of course, hot chocolate after playing in the snow.
Sunday skiing. That’s Brian with the three kiddos up there, and on the lift.
While I enjoyed all the snow, I enjoyed it mostly from inside. Except on that Saturday, Melvin and I headed out for our standard walk. Because of all the snow, I wore my rubber boots which gave me blisters… they were hurting as I walked but I was down to suffer so we could get our walk in. Until we passed a lady who said she had a coyote following her for some distance. I looked down the trail and there were no other humans. Normally a coyote wouldn’t stop me. But it did this time. I worried that it was super hungry with all the unusual snow, it wasn’t able to find food. And Melvin might look tasty. We turned around for home, but not before a few snow pictures.
Snoqualmie Valley Trail heading toward Remlinger Farms and a handsome snow pup.
Snow continued to dump Sunday, closing the kiddos’ classes Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Also Thursday. I was cool with this, it made us stay home and chill. Sleeping in was my favorite. Even Brian stayed home until Thursday, his birthday (and Valentine’s Day). That was the only bummer about classes being cancelled… the kiddos missed Valentine’s celebrations. At least they were only postponed. But Brian going to work on his birthday was ideal. The kiddos and I were able to decorate and prepare to celebrate when Brian got home from work.
Our van Monday morning, after the final snow dump that shut everything down. There was barely any snow on the van Sunday evening. Our snowman got a layer of fresh snow all over him also. He looked like he had a toupee on or something.
My home entertainment for the week was following all the school district Facebook posts about school being cancelled. Clearly some parents rely on the free babysitting. I feel sorry for the parents who both work; that has to be tough to find childcare the last minute. But the other parents who worried about all the education their kiddos would miss… because a few days will be such a huge detriment to their kiddos’ brains. It’s like they think kiddos can’t learn outside of a classroom? Maybe they can’t handle being around their kiddos for so long? I’m not sure. We rarely get so much snow. It should be a fun, memorable time for the kiddos to enjoy snow days. I’d bet even if kids were in school during all the snow, in a year all they would remember would be all the snow, not some historical fact they learned in class. I digress. And this is why I need to stay away from Facebook again. All people do is bitch and complain, and then I bitch and complain about Facebook people bitching and complaining. The irony.
Wednesday was our first outing for the week. And it was my first time taking all four kiddos to a movie on my own. They did great! I’ll be doing this again. The big kiddos’ friends were going to the LEGO 2 movie and asked if we wanted to join. Yep, sounded great. The Redmond theater was still closed thanks to all the snow. To Woodinville we went. Which I like better. You can reserve seats there. It was the first time I’ve been to a movie where there was a mishap midway. Something happened with the technology and the movie stalled. The lights came on and it gave us all time to get up and stretch, the kiddos could jump around a little, and a few of the kiddos went for a restroom break. It lasted maybe 15 minutes and then we were back in business watching the rest of the movie. And bonus, because of the mishap, they gave us all free movie passes for another time.
We went to PCC Thursday, Brian’s birthday. We needed to get everything organic for me to make an apple pie. I’m on an only organic kick. That whole I don’t want to die thing. I don’t trust food companies or processed foods these days… their bottom dollar seems to be more important than the health of their customers. I’ll stop before I rant on an on. I have to laugh at the girls. PCC has this thing where kiddos can grab a piece of fruit or a veggie to eat while shopping. Blaise went with your standard apple after realizing he couldn’t eat a coconut while shopping. But the girls, Laine ate a red pepper?! Saige and Baby each grabbed a large carrot. Which isn’t weird; they eat baby carrots all the time. But they only started having an interest in large carrots because Brian had me order some from Amazon Fresh the week before for our snowman’s nose, an organic nose.
Target was next on the list. The big kiddos wanted to get Brian gifts. We made it home around lunchtime, ate, and then started preparing for the celebration. I decorated. It’s the one time a year it’s on me. Brian is the birthday decorator. Then it was pie making time. Brian is a pie guy. As the pie baked, the kiddos and I wrapped Brian’s gifts. They selected a flannel shirt, a hoodie, and some pajama pants. I had ordered binoculars because he mentioned wanting some months ago. That’s the thing with Brian, he mentions things he wants but never buys anything for himself. Everything was wrapped and it was time to make dinner. It was a never-ending afternoon. I’m a doer and can’t sit, but I’m not a fan of having to do specific things in a timeframe. But I did. Because, Brian. Brian had requested spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
It was a nice birthday celebration for the 41-year-old. We ate dinner, he opened gifts, and we ended with pie. Well, not me. I’m not a pie person but I can make a mean one. He was happy with the low-key, family celebration.
Brian was home again Friday, working from home. He wasn’t feeling well. Which worked out to my benefit; I wanted to head out and hit Costco. I took Baby with me. The rest of the crew had a lazy day at home… until that evening. Since all the kiddos’ classes and activities had been cancelled for so long, we decided they needed to get out. DigiPen was having a Parent’s Night Out event from 5:30-10pm. I signed them up. Their friends from the LEGO 2 movie also signed up. We drove them to Redmond and then Brian, Saige, Baby, and I hit Fatburger for dinner. I wanted an Impossible Burger.
The Parent’s Night Out was a success. They want to go to the next one. Although, it was past my bedtime picking them up. Brian was going to but he still wasn’t feeling well so I took one for the team. It gave me a chance to blast my music driving alone.
Saturday was our first day back to normal. Laine had gymnastics in the morning as usual. I took her because Brian wasn’t feeling well, but really I needed a pedicure. I dropped off Laine and went for my dreaded pedicure. I don’t like getting them. It’s boring and takes time away from doing other things I actually enjoy. I’ve been getting them every 2-3 weeks since I was 14 so the novelty has long worn off. But I can’t not have my toes done, so I suffer every few weeks. And my ability to do my own toes is about as great as my ability to cook.
After gymnastics, we came back home for lunch before Laine and I headed out again. She wanted to see a play at SecondStory Repertory, Sparkle Fairy’s School for Formerly Vile Villains. Her friend met us there. It was a cute play. Although, this is where I have to admit that in my 40 years, I have never seen Disney movies. Four of the villains were Captain Hook, the evil stepsisters from Cinderella, and the queen from Snow White. I know the Cinderella story but I have no idea the Captain Hook or Snow White stories. All I know is Snow White has dwarfs. So I didn’t fully understand the kid play, haha. I did know the fifth villain, the Big Bad Wolf from The Three Little Pigs. And I enjoy watching live anything so there’s that. Laine enjoyed the play. What I love about this theatre is the kiddos get to sit on the floor right up next to the stage; the stage is the same level as the floor. I think that makes the experience more enjoyable for the kiddos.
The girls on the floor before the play, and with the cast after. I love how they take the time to meet each kiddo after the play.
Cupcakes and Claire’s was on the hit list following the play. I forget about Claire’s. All that crap I liked as a kid, Laine likes also. I’m just so not a stuff person now that I never think to buy her anything from there. In fairness, she’s not much of a stuff person either. But there was this super cute fuzzy journal she wanted. I was down with that since it encourages writing. She likes to keep journals. I’m not nosy with the kiddos but sometimes when I go to pick up her room or put clothes away, she’ll have her journal open on her dresser. She writes cute things in there like, “Four more days until my mom’s birthday,” or “Today I went over to Ivy’s house after gymnastics.” She’ll happily read them to me also so I don’t feel like I’m being invasive. Cupcake, check. Cute fuzzy animal journal, check. Next, MOD Pizza. The girls didn’t want the outing to end. We ate before calling it an outing. Home we went for pretty much bedtime.
Mmmm, cupcakes. Claire’s has a picture board out front?! Laine was all about this. I guess they know their target clientele.
Monday was a holiday, and yet another home day. We spent more time at home the month of February than we did all 2018. I’m exaggerating but it felt that way. No complaints; it was a nice change. But being home for so long got me moving… literally and figuratively.
Literally. I started painting the downstairs. I always knew it would have to happen; I just figured it would be a few more years. The builder used cheap paint and there are kiddo handprints all over the walls. It drives me nuts. I’ve magic erased more than I should and I could no longer stand looking at the walls. Especially after being home so much.
I thought my painting days were over. David has been our painter since 2014. I haven’t lifted a brush since. But I realized I actually enjoy painting… the process and the finished product, clean walls. It makes me super happy. I started with the kitchen island. It is SO clean. I couldn’t stop so I moved on to the downstairs hallway. My plan is to paint everything downstairs with the exception of the kitchen and the TV wall. I’ll move to the upstairs hallway next before calling it quits. I’ve already asked David to come in late March to do the stairwell and what I don’t paint downstairs. David has already painted all our bedrooms, bathrooms, bonus room, and laundry room so everything will have been painted since we moved in. And it’ll feel so clean! Well, except the ceilings. But they are handprint-free so I can deal. I guess we haven’t painted the closets… I’ll have to add those to the list.
Before and after going toward the garage. Hard to even tell the difference, slightly darker. But your standard earth tone. Moosie was modeling the after… he looks handsome anywhere. After years of not painting, I still have mad taping skills.
Figuratively. So, yeah. I complained about December being crazy busy. And all of last year. I protested busy in January and stayed home as much as possible. It was glorious. And then I said I needed some sort of change… well, I think Snowmageddon filled that need change void, at least temporarily. It was such a nice, welcoming change. But after all those snow days at home following my busy protest, I went at it scheduling getaways and outings. Almost too much (I think). But what’s done is done. Busy is my normal, I can’t help myself.
Nothing fancy, no Hawaii trips or anything. I’m not a huge traveller. I like to be gone one or two nights, three max. Weekdays only. Weekends bring larger crowds… I like to avoid crowds. And I like to be close enough we can drive home if needed. And, money-wise, it’s either one big trip or several small ones. I vote small ones. Except we’re talking about going to Hawaii in 2021, to celebrate 25 years together and entering our forties. We figure it’ll be a nice time to go kiddo age-wise; they’ll be 11, 10, 7, and 6.
We’re skipping California this year. This will be the first year in a while we haven’t gone home. Even though Washington is home now, but California is still home? I’m not sure when home—meaning where you’re born and raised—doesn’t become home anymore?! Who knows though, we may still make a California trip happen. That’s the beauty with homeschooling, we can go whenever we want. Although, to be honest, even if my kiddos were in a traditional school, I’d pull them whenever I wanted. Experiences trump school in my book. Learning can happen anywhere.
The 2019 getaway lineup:
Portland in March to meet my sister and her family. Her kiddo has a meet there so we’ll head down to root her on and play when she isn’t competing.
Camp Orkila, already planned, in May. Brian’s annual tradition with the kiddos. This year Baby and I will join for the first time. And two of the big kiddos’ buddies and their families will join us.
Silverwood in May. I’m probably most looking forward to this one. I love roller coasters and it’ll be the kiddos’ first time at an official amusement park. Legoland doesn’t count as an amusement park in my book. I mean, it is, but I think more of a roller coaster focused place—like Great America growing up—as an amusement park. Never did I think I’d be going to Idaho for a getaway, haha. The only downside of going to Silverwood when we’re going is the water park won’t be open. Because I avoid crowds. Brian and I figure Great Wolf will fill this void.
Astoria in August. At the KOA. We loved our KOA cabin experience at Leavenworth and want to try it out somewhere else. It’s the exact same cabin but a different location. A friend recommended KOAs and we’re fans, so far. The Astoria one is right on the ocean, just past Astoria and not far from Cannon Beach, our usual Oregon Coast destination. I think it’ll be a fabulous time.
Kayak Point in September. Our annual yurt weekend with our old neighbors. It’s so much fun! The kiddos get to run about… there is a tree to climb and a grassy area in the yurt village, and there is a fabulous State Park on the Sound with a playground and dock for the kiddos to explore. I’m glad we are continuing this tradition.
Great Wolf in October, tentatively. This isn’t for sure but I know we’ll go for sure sometime this year. I’m thinking we’ll go for Baby’s birthday instead of having a party. It’ll be cheaper than a party, haha.
Leavenworth again in December. Blaise asked that this become an annual tradition. So we’re making it happen. We had such a great time there, better than we had expected. It’s a fun way to make family memories around the holidays.
I probably would have booked more getaways if the snow hadn’t let up. And if I didn’t already have 2019 basically planned out already. Like I know April we’ll head up to the Tulip Festival and the kiddos will have spring breaks… always two weeks since their classes don’t all share the same week. And I signed up Saige and Baby for swimming lessons late April. June will be everything end of school year, along with dance recitals, and Bob and Tara visiting. And strawberry picking. July will be summer camps, and Laine’s birthday and party. And blueberry picking. Early August I’m on for watching a friend’s kiddo while she has her second, so I kept that open since babies never come as planned. August will be lazy, aside from blackberry picking and I signed up all the kiddos for swimming lessons. And August is when all the 2019-2020 season musical schedules are released, so I know I’ll be booking some of those in the lazy month. September will be everything school starting, along with Blaise and Saige’s birthdays and parties. October is Baby’s birthday and pumpkin patches before Halloween. November will be our home month. We’ll catch a breath from the busyness of the previous months before we head into Thanksgiving, the Gingerbread House Making event, Bob and Tara visiting to get our Christmas tree, and then everything Christmas.
Between getaways, I filled our calendar with some fun outings. Mostly live musicals and plays… I’m consistent.
Brian teases me that the minute there is an open weekend, I fill it up. Which is funny because I’m really a homebody. At least I was, before kiddos. Back then I never planned out weekends. Sometimes we’d have tickets to the symphony or some other show, and I ran a few 5Ks and Brian rode a few centuries. But most weekends we just went with whatever.
January’s busy protest aside, I fill our weekends to the brim. And then I bitch and complain that we’re too busy. It’s a cycle. And thinking about it now, it’s really only been since we moved into this house. I mean, we were busy in our other place but it was mostly during the week. Weekends we’d keep open, and go with things as they happened. I’m not sure why this is?! Are the kiddos just older now and there is so much fun stuff to do on weekends? Do I like to get away from home because I’ll end up deciding to paint the entire downstairs or something just as time consuming? What the hell am I running from on weekends? Maybe I actually like doing all the stuff I plan out… even though I never want to do it when the time comes, yet I’m happy I did after the fact? So many self-reflecting questions. Whatever the answer(s), I lined up some weekend outings through June for the weekends we’ll be home between Laine’s gymnastic meets.
The Little Engine That Could with Saige’s buddies. This was so much fun! It made for a busy Sunday. Saige had a cooking class in the morning before we stopped home for a quick lunch and to grab Baby, before heading to Kirkland for the play. The StoryBook Theatre puts on some really cute kiddo plays. They’re fun and colorful, and the actors are amazing at getting and keeping the kiddos’ attention.
Captain Marvel. Blaise and Laine are super stoked to have this on the books. They have been waiting for it to come out since they saw a preview last year. I’m taking them instead of Brian, who is usually the movie guy. We have tickets at iPic for the second week in March. If I’m going to a movie, it’s going to be at iPic… we get tickets for $15 and it comes with free popcorn. Score.
Salish massage and brunch with Karann. A two-month late birthday celebration for me. We’d probably go anyway. I haven’t had a Salish massage since maybe 2009? I remember trying so hard not to laugh because apparently I had signed up for some holistic rock massage, which was cool. But I didn’t count on the therapist placing rocks on my stomach and then chanting while hitting a metal bowl as the rocks sat on me. This time, I’m on for a standard massage. I think?! Then brunch after, which I go to regularly and always look forward to… it’s delicious.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time musical. Fornia and I bought a Black Friday deal to see the remaining musicals at Village Theatre. I probably should have just bought a season subscription since I will have seen every musical there this season. They put on great shows. Even I Do, I Do was enjoyable. I was hesitant since it was only two actors the entire time, but they pulled it off. But I was coming down from seeing Dear Evan Hansen, which was awful so I’m not sure how much I truly liked I Do, I Do or how much I needed something better then Dear Evan Hansen.
Salish brunch, again. To celebrate two friends’ February birthdays late.
Ms. Pak-Man with Karann. Thanks to the Stranger, I spotted tickets before they sold out. We wanted to go to the last show in December but it was too late, no tickets were available. I’m super excited for this one.
Balloonacy with all four kiddos. This will be our first time attending a play at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. I recently learned as homeschoolers, we can go during the weekday shows when schools go for field trips. And the tickets are cheaper. Score!
Rat City Roller Derby with Blaise and Laine. This is something I’ve been wanting to take the big kiddos to for a while. I finally remembered before the season ends. I went back when I was pregnant with Blaise and it was a fun time. I think it’ll be great for Blaise and Laine to see the Roller Derby women in action.
Beat the Bunny 5K with Blaise and Laine. If you ask the kiddos what I like to do, they’ll answer sleep and clean. Hahahaha. Both are true, but they don’t see me going to musicals or out with friends, running/walking Melvin, or reading at night. They know I do those things but without a visual, I’m not sure they fully get I have interests outside of sleeping and cleaning. So I’ve decided I’m going to take them into my world a little, and we’ll run/walk a 5K. I signed us up before telling them, and once I did they were in. We went and bought running shoes for Blaise and Laine last week, and we’re going to head out on the trail on weekends for them to start running a little. I remember hiking with them back when Blaise was three and Laine two, and we’d go on three mile hikes often. And Blaise has hiked Poo Poo Point with me. I know they can hang with the 5K. I’m not sure how they’ll do running the entire time. Knowing them, they’ll want to run… they already want to beat the bunny. Luckily there are two bunnies, a super fast one and a slower one. I looked at the results last year and maybe 15 people didn’t beat the slow bunny? I think we’ll manage.
Miss Nelson Has Gone Missing play. I’m loving the SecondStory Repertory Theatre in RTC. And bonus, the tickets are only $12. Barely anything is that inexpensive around here. They put on super cute shows, perfect for the kiddos. And I absolutely love how the kiddos get to sit on the floor, up against the stage.
Mamma Mia musical with Laine. Again, except a different production. Laine LOVES the Mamma Mia move and ABBA. We went in 2018 at the 5th Avenue Theatre and she’s been asking to go again. So we’re going again, this time to the Seattle Musical Theatre.
The Princess and the Pea with Saige’s buddies. Another StoryBook Theatre production. And again with Saige’s buddies.
School of Rock with Blaise. The Broadway tour. The 5th Avenue Theatre had a production of School of Rock during February. I briefly thought about going but never made any attempt to get it on the calendar, that whole protest busy thing. And then I was talking with a friend about how Blaise doesn’t like musicals, and how I need to find the right one to suck him in, haha. I thought of School of Rock. But it was too late for the 5th Avenue… turns out the Broadway tour is coming in May. Score. Barely any seats were left for the week that it will be in town. I was able to grab two seats, not in my ideal section but they’ll work, for Blaise and me. He watched the video preview of the musical and said he wants to go. Which was good, because I showed him the video after I purchased tickets. He was going regardless.
The Phantom Tollbooth. Another SecondStory Repertory production. I can’t help myself, I love anything live. I’m sure hoping one or more kiddos will get in on the live love action so we can keep going as they get older.
Big Backyard 5K (BBY5K). I’m counting on Beat the Bunny 5K to go well so we’re going to do the BBY5K also. And I’ll probably sign up Brian, Saige, and Baby as we get closer. Although, at some point spending $140 to run/walk 3.1 miles seems kind of absurd. And that’s the early bird registration.
Wicked, already on the books, with Erin. This was already on the books. I bought a season subscription back when I wanted to book the Hip Hop Nutcracker and tickets were only available to season subscription holders. And with the subscription I bought, I had to pick at least three shows to attend. Wicked was one of them. I better watch whatever it is that Wicked is based on because I don’t know anything about Alice in Wonderland or that other one with the Yellow Brick Road. I’d have to Google here… Wizard of Oz, that’s the one. My parents clearly weren’t movie people between no Disney or those two classic movies.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I can’t help myself, I love musicals.
Million Dollar Quartet. The last production of the Village Theatre’s season, meaning I will have seen all the musicals they had lined up for the 2018-2019 season.
I’m sure I will book more for this year before—and for certain after—the 2019-2020 season lineups are released over the summer.
July will be all about summer camps. Some summer camps are released in December, before the start of the new year. But the summer camps I like for the kiddos aren’t released until February, which I find rather annoying. I can’t help it, I’m a planner. And I like to know how our summer looks so I can book things like getaways during snowstorms. Thankfully, the website said they would release the summer camp lineup on February 19. However, they were searchable online in early February. Score. Registration isn’t open until March 5, which means I’ll be registering at 12:01am March 5. Summer camps go quick up here. It’s pretty crazy. You can always tell the new-to-the-area parents, around May they ask, Can anyone recommend a great summer camp?
Last summer was our first ever summer sending the kiddos to any kind of summer camp. They ask for them and I get it, it’s something fun to break up the home, play outside days. And all the kiddos are doers… I wonder where they get this from?!
Each kiddo gets once camp.
- Laine has selected an art camp.
- Blaise has selected a LEGO camp, shocker!
- Saige has selected a farm camp. She really wanted the math camp she went to last summer again but it isn’t offered this summer.
- Baby gets an outdoor forest camp.
- All kiddos get two weeks of swimming lessons. Swimming technically isn’t a camp but I’m putting it in the summer camp category.
Well that went on and on. It’s helpful to see it all typed out, somewhere other than the wall calendar I put up with everything on. Apparently snowstorms cause me to obsessively plan, even more so than usual. Today is our first day back to normal, after last week where Monday was a holiday and DigiPen was on mid-winter break. It’s nice to be back on track. Although, I noted in my January post how my resting heart rate was elevated in the 70s back in crazy busy December… it was back down to 56 bpm during the forced home days; 61 bpm last week when we were on a partial schedule; and today, I’m back up at 66 bpm. I clearly run on anxiety and stress during our normal weeks.
It’s been a few days since I rambled on about everything there. And after thinking about it these past few days, I’m thinking we may skip summer camps this year. I can already tell my ridiculous snowstorm overscheduling craze may have been a bit much. And the idea of having a super low-key summer sounds majorly appealing right now. The kiddos will be bummed but they’ll deal. We’ll find other fun stuff to occupy ourselves this summer. Maybe I’ll do the drop-in camps at the gymnastics place… that way I don’t have to decide so far in advance. I’m going to keep all that up there in case I change my mind. Rather, to remind myself how not to be obsessive about planning summer camps.
Now that we’re back on a normal schedule and I have nothing more to plan, let’s wrap up February with the rest of the pictures from the month.
Friday, February 1
February kicked off with Lainey Bug not feeling well. We were on to have her friend over for the day, and that morning she was in tears asking me to cancel. I could tell she wasn’t feeling well. Sure enough, her temperature was over 102 degrees. We cancelled. She slept. By the next day, she was back to normal. We skipped gymnastics and took the day off but she was her normal self.
A sleeping Lainey Bug and Baby fitting all her loot—and herself—in Sammy’s dog bed.
Mister Melvin and I walked up to check the mail and return books to the library when it first started snowing, before all the craziness. It was pretty miserable because it was a wet, soggy snow falling in the direction we were walking. Right in our faces. I think this is the one major change since having kiddos, I’m totally cool with discomfort. Like if I’m walking and get a rock in my shoe, I just deal with it. Stuff I never would have put up with before kiddos.
I have to laugh though, our wonderful neighbors left for a six week vacation. They asked if we’d check their mail when we check ours. Of course, not a problem. They’re great neighbors so we’re happy to help with anything. But the thing is, we never check our mail. Like maybe once every four weeks?! I can’t even remember how many times our mail has been sent back to the post office and a note left in our box, telling us to pick it up by a certain date or else it’ll all be returned to senders. All we get is junk; everything important is all set up online to be paperless. But the months of January and February, I checked our mail—and our neighbor’s mail—every-other day. I’ll bet our mail carrier was shocked. She once told Lisa—who picked up our mail in the post office for us—that if we hadn’t picked our mail up by that Friday, she was going to contact the Sheriff to check on us… she was worried we were dead in our house or something. Hahahaha.
Snowy Melvin on the way back from the library.
I Do, I Do
Another month, another musical. Fornia and I went to see I Do, I Do at the Village Theatre in Issaquah. Apparently it’s an old musical, and the musical setting starts in the late 1800s. I was a little concerned since I only saw two actors names in the program, realizing it would be only them the entire time. I don’t look up musicals I’m not familiar with before going. I like to watch without knowing anything. It was all good. I enjoyed the production enough.
Let’s Talk About Moose, Baby
This cat. He is a sex addict. And he’s been neutered since eight weeks. In the past few years—basically since living in this house—he kidnaps stuffed animals from the kiddos’ rooms, drags them to our bedroom or bathroom, and assaults them. I find about four different stuffed animals each day in our bathroom. I put them back in the kiddos’ rooms, and they magically appear again. I couldn’t care less other than I don’t like things out of place and I keep tripping on the suckers when I walk into our bathroom. One morning he left one by the side of my bed and I stepped on it when I got up. Annoying.
Also annoying, he needs attention all night long. He likes to hop in bed and nose-nudge me at different times in the night. Here he’s sleeping on legs, which is rare… he normally sleeps up on my chest with his rear against my chin. It’s awesome. But I wouldn’t change it one bit, I love the 12-year-old guy (he doesn’t look a day over three).
One of his victims in the entry to our bathroom. Snugs is like, “WTF, Moose, again?!” Moosie looking all innocent sleeping on my legs, on my weighted blanket (love!).
On the Monday holiday, we spent the day at home. Laine decided to paint all the kiddos’ faces. She did a great job! She’s definitely the artist in the family.
Baby’s wide-eyed pose, hahahaha.
Also, the Monday holiday, Blaise built one of his Christmas gifts. Ignore his dark eyebrows… he had his face painted like a wolf before taking it off.
Bento Snack Box Class
Last November, I took a few cooking classes at PCC. Turns out they have kiddo classes also. So of course I had to sign up all the kiddos for a class. They are based on age ranges, and Saige attended a Bento Snack Box class for ages 4-6. It was fun! I think I liked it better than the adult cooking classes I took. Saige made some spinach balls and a dressing to coat them in, and then cut up some fruits and veggies to decorate rice rolls with. She had a great time, along with one of her preschool buddies who took the class also.
Baby was all about Saige’s bento box snacks when we got home.
Baby going to town on the bento box snacks Saige made. She’s still in the eats anything phase.
The Little Engine That Could
It was a busy Sunday for Saigers. PCC class in the morning, home for lunch, before heading to Kirkland with Baby to see The Little Engine That Could with two of her preschool friends. The girls had a great time, and we’re looking forward to the next production by StoryBook Theatre, The Princess and the Pea, on the books for May.
Little Engine kiddos.
Saige, After a Packed Sunday
I want to sleep as soundly as Saige does. She always looks as though the bed is sucking her in. And she sleeps so hard. To be a kid again. My parents had an Audi back when I was maybe five… I remember because it was this awful cake batter yellow color. Hello, early ’80s. Sometime in the night, somebody stole the radio from the car in the driveway. They cut the wrong wire and the car went up in flames. The fire engine and police came. People were in and out of our house, talking with my parents. it was chaos in the middle of the night. I happened to be sleeping on the family room floor that night. Why, I have no idea. But I slept through it all. That’s how Saige sleeps.
Saige out cold.
With all the snow days at home, we let the kiddos do more computer time than usual. Sometimes it’s just easy to say, “Sure, go for it,” instead of the constant, “Hey, mom…” questions. They became addicted. Roblox was their drug of choice. Blaise would wake up in the morning, say good morning, and then immediately ask if he could play Roblox. Saige was just as bad, if not worse than Blaise. She’d almost cry when she couldn’t play. Laine could take it or leave it; she’s more of a Netflix binge watcher. And their moods, technology makes them super moody. I decided I had enough. We already had a no weekday computer use rule, which we enforced loosely. Again, it’s easy to let them play on the computer when I need them to do something other than ask me 10,000 questions every hour. Maybe this is why parents were complaining that school was cancelled?! I’d still take the 10,000 questions over sending the kids away for the day though.
So I took the computers away. As in, they are no longer in the front room but hiding in a closet upstairs. Blaise walked down the next morning, noticed they were gone, and didn’t say a thing. Saige didn’t notice they were gone until midmorning when she asked if she could play Roblox. I said, “Sure, go ahead,” and then she realized they were missing. Tears. She pulled it together pretty quickly and then proceeded to ask about the computers one last time. She asked where they went. I told her they needed a vacation since they were being used so much. Seemed fitting at the time. Not a peep since.
It’s been glorious. Glorious! The kiddos are in fabulous moods, and they are being super creative and playing way more now. I took the computers away Sunday night. Monday, the kiddos played for hours after DigiPen. They set up a restaurant, made a fort, dressed up in costumes… and not a single fight. This whole week has been amazing. And nobody has asked about the computers since Monday morning.
The whole idea behind getting the computers was so the kiddos can do learning games, use Word to write stories, and search the internet to research things they’re interested in learning about. Maybe dabble in Photoshop. I still want the computers for these things… they are going to have to know how to use a computer, especially in this technology-driven world. But I think I’ll take Roblox off when the times comes to put the computers back. Probably at the end of June when everything school year ends.
We’ve had past experiences with technology addictions and then stopping cold turkey. Back when we had kiddo iPads—before Brian tossed them in the trash (that’s a whole other story)—the kiddos were YouTube addicts. The problem we have with YouTube is they can switch videos so quickly. It almost guarantees attention issues. We nipped that in the bud pretty quickly, once we realized how often they were switching videos. We took YouTube off the iPads. They lost interest. Easy. Taking the computers and Roblox away, just as easy.
Luckily the kiddos aren’t big on television. We recently put a television and Xbox in the bonus room upstairs, so the kiddos can have a space to play Minecraft or watch a show. I don’t like the television on downstairs. It’s been a nice addition… like when Saige wakes up at 6am some days, she can go watch a show until we are ready to deal with kiddos. And when Laine was sick on February 1, she turned on the television and binge watched a horse show before she fell asleep on the couch. When the kiddos have friends over and want to play Minecraft, “Upstairs!” I say. And there are times in the week or over the weekend we let them watch a few shows. Blaise is into Power Rangers these days, it’s cute. But there’s never a fight when we ask them to turn it off or say they can’t watch anything when they ask.
We went to a friend’s house last week, and they don’t have a television or any technology devices upstairs (where all the bedrooms and main living areas are). Her kiddos play all day, finding things to do inside and outside. While we were chatting in the kitchen, I looked over and saw her two youngest kiddos making origami shapes at the dining room table. I think subconsciously, being there is what set in motion me taking away the computers. I absolutely loved how her kiddos were free from technology distractions, playing calmly and enjoying themselves with something as simple as paper.
So maybe we’ll have a technology-free summer and the computers will stay on vacation. I’m digging the idea of this. It’s good for kiddos to be bored. Maybe set up different art supplies each day, and let the kiddos go to town as they wish? And with the nicer weather, we’ll be able to do more outside stuff. I think I’m selling myself on no summer camps, no technology this summer.
A few random technology-free kiddo pictures.
Now that the big kiddos are finished with Outdoor Explorers, we have standing Tuesday plans to hang out with other homeschooling friends doing either art or our own outdoor exploring. It was in the upper 20s this Tuesday morning so I voted for art. Which is funny, because I would totally send the kiddos outdoors if I didn’t have to go… I pulled the parent card.
We opted to make bird nests from paper scraps. I’m not sure how into it the boys were but Laine and Baby seemed to enjoy the project. Baby mostly because she got to paint glue over the papers.
Bird nest kiddos.
Wednesdays are the only day each week the big kiddos are gone from 8am until 2:45pm. And I’ve been wanting to do more with the little ones. Much like I did when Blaise and Laine were toddlers, and Saige and Baby didn’t exist yet. The kicker is, Wednesdays the big kiddos get picked up at 2:45pm, we come home briefly for snacks and for Laine to change into her gymnastics outfit, before leaving at 3:45pm to drive to Woodinville and drop off Laine for practice. The timing is terrible. What is usually a 25-30 minute drive turns into 45 minutes thanks to buses and school traffic on the roads. And driving back after dropping off Laine takes just as long because people are on their way home from work. It’s annoying. So I asked—rather told, somewhat nicely—Brian to work from home on Wednesdays so he can take Laine, freeing up my mental block of taking the little ones out and about in the morning, and feeling overwhelmed about all the driving Wednesdays. I drive all over, all week long… I want one day where I don’t have to go anywhere if I don’t want to. Brian agreed, which resulted in the need for a stand up desk and ridiculously large monitor… he’s been talking about getting both for years. Because he never buys anything for himself. I’m glad this pushed him to get both.
Brian is all set up with his office. He started working from home on Wednesdays, which has made my life easier. And because I don’t have to drive Laine to gymnastics, I was down to take Saige and Baby to the Woodland Park Zoo Wednesday. I love going to the zoo on cold, weekday winter mornings. Barely anyone is there. That whole crowd thing. Sure enough, we parked right up front, didn’t have to wait to pay, and had front and center viewing spots for all the animals. Baby was all about the lions, monkeys, and wolves; Saige wanted to see anything and everything. Like with Blaise and Laine, the biggest hits at the zoo for Saige and Baby are all the climbing structures and carousel. They seemed to enjoy the outing and I had a nice time. I went stroller-free and it worked out well. The longer I’m a mom, the less gear I take anywhere. Unlike a few moms at the zoo who had a stroller and half of the Target baby aisle with them. To be a first time mom again.
I’m a sucker. They each walked away with a stuffed animal. That Moosie will soon kidnap.
A few pictures of Saige at outdoor preschool.
February, check. It’s March today and we’re ready for a busy schedule… a gymnastics meet tomorrow, Portland soon, and packed weeks until July. Bring it on.