Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let's Go, Flyers!

Elizabeth and I got decked out in our Dayton Flyers gear to cheer on the Flyers as they played the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the NCAA tournament. None of us got to watch the first game (60-59 win over OSU) live, since it was Thursday afternoon, so we were excited to watch their second game.

Ben has outgrown his Flyers shirt but was a more attentive cheerleader than Elizabeth, who watched a little bit, asked me to read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and by about pg. 7 returned to her previous activity of sliding head-first off the furniture. The kids went to bed at halftime but I recorded the game for Ben, although I'm not sure I can stand to watch the nail-biting ending again as the Flyers won 55-53! I'm hoping the Dayton women's team wins by a slightly wider margin today so that the blood pressures of the entire Flyer Nation don't skyrocket for the 3rd time in 4 days!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Visiting Grandma

We took a couple days off recently to visit my grandma in Toledo. She moved into a nursing home in December and this was the first time we were able to visit her there. It is a really nice place (and I say that, having been in a LOT of nursing homes for my job!) and the staff seems very sweet and attentive. We broke the trips there and back into 2 segments each and the kids were pretty good travelers. We turned Elizabeth's car seat around so she got to face forward and watch DVDs with Ben for part of the drive and didn't have the sun glaring in her face through the back window. Between the DVDs, books, stuffed animals, and Magna-Doodles, they kept themselves pretty well occupied.

My parents were already in Toledo and Tony, Jen & Gwen came down on Saturday so we all had lunch together at Grandma's nursing home. The kids also discovered that there was a magical Starbucks machine in the little coffee lounge that dispensed delicious, free hot cocoa. Between that, their great-grandma's candy drawer, and the nurse's supply of animal crackers, they had a pretty treat-filled weekend!

Ben and Gwen chasing each other around Grandma's house

Cousins in their tiaras
Elizabeth & her great-grandma hugging

Grandma & Elizabeth (with her doll Annabelle) cuddling

Grandma & Ben

Grandma telling us stories

Ben & his Grammie, who was brave/foolhardy enough to let Ben play with her phone!

Finally gave in to a nap on the way home, right in the middle of writing in his journal.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sometimes the biggest parenting victory is stifling your laughter

On the way home from dinner tonight, Ben was looking through the solar system page of the Knowledge Encyclopedia we got him last week and telling us facts about the planets. Earlier, he'd been reading the science of colors page and sharing slightly garbled facts about what made different colors. The combination of the two probably brought us the following inevitable conversation:

Ben: Daddy, what color is Mars?
Dave: A lot of people call it The Red Planet because its dirt is red.
Ben: What about Mercury?
Dave: I don't know. Mars is the only planet most people know by color.
Ben, totally seriously: Daddy, what color is Uranus?

On a side note, we stumbled over the Super Nature Encyclopedia at the library last month and Ben loved it so much we bought it and the Knowledge Encyclopedia. The Knowledge Encyclopedia in particular is meant for slightly older kids, so he asks for a lot of explanations, but they are still accessible enough that he'll sit and read them for a half-hour+ at a time. Both have vivid photographs/illustrations and fascinating information. They are definitely books he can read and grow with for quite a few years. Highly recommended for any child's library!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow days

Watching Daddy shovel the snow
According to the National Weather Service, the KC Metro area got 9-11" of snow in the past 2 days.  They advised that Tuesday morning's commute might be ok, but the afternoon/evening commute would be "decidedly unpleasant" and dangerous. My company closed all of its offices other than our inpatient hospice facility, and Dave's company strongly encouraged everyone to work from home. Today my office was open on a 2-hour delay, but I took vacation time as the roads still looked bad and the kids' regular daycare was closed, with the option of going to a neighboring center. Ben sometimes has a rough time going to a different classroom in the morning if we get there before Pre-K has enough kids to open, so a totally different location would not have made for a happy kid.

Yesterday, it took the 3 of us about 45 minutes to get ready and get into our outdoor clothes. We were outside for about 10 minutes before we all decided it was too cold and we wanted back inside. Today we took a short cut and just brought a baby bathtub of snow into the house. I tossed in some bath toys, kitchen spoons and measuring cups. The kids had a ball playing with it and then throwing it into the regular bathtub.

Oh no! Sock Hands!! (She also likes the game Marker Cap Fingers!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Party!

We celebrated Ben's 5th birthday and Elizabeth's 2nd birthday while my parents were visiting in January. Elizabeth was able to state very firmly that she was TWO and say, "Birdday? Birdday?" Ben requested a chocolate football field cake and was concerned about their not being any players on it, so Sunday morning we used my mom's suggestion to find football player images on the internet and attach them to toothpicks. Ben was very focused on coloring each one in the color scheme of the Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers, though none of us was sure why.  For Elizabeth, I made a 6" double layer white cake using this recipe from The Kitchn. Several of the comments, including mine, were in the vein of, "I'm not usually a fan of white cake, but this is really good!"

In her birthday outfit and birthday reading chair from Grammie and Papa

Big smile!

Elizabeth's cake
Blowing out the candles (required help from Grammie and Mommy)
Grammie helping clean up the frosting residue afterward!

Ben removing the players so we could add the candles

Ben & Great-Grandma with his football field cake

Blowing out FIVE candles took the hard work of 3 people!

Grammie & Ben snuggling

Ben & his grandpas watching football

Examining her now-beloved new teddy bear from Grandma & Opa

Getting ready to check out someone's heartbeat (aka "bu-bum") with her new stethoscope

Grandma found a whole slew of cute new headbands and hair accessories for our bow-obsessed little one. She insisted on trying out several over the course of the party. She gets really goofy, intent looks on her faces while she's putting a new band on!

Uncle Jeff showing Elizabeth the features of the Leapfrog touchpad. She later made us have a dance party with the songs on it, over and over and over!

Dave, Papa & Ben working on one of Ben's Lego kits. He loved them all!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

The weather got up to an unseasonably warm 54 degrees here today, so we took advantage of it with a short trip to the zoo. It's going to drop to a high of 19 tomorrow, so we wanted to enjoy it while it lasted! The new penguin exhibit opened earlier this fall but this was the first we'd been out to see it. It was really great. We also saw the polar bear, otters, peacock, bobcat, and a few other random animals. It was also warm enough to enjoy a picnic outdoors before we went home!

We were so close we could've reached over the glass and picked up a Humboldt penguin!

Elizabeth holding her stuffed penguin and watching the Humboldts

Ben talking with the Humbolts

These penguins were really fast swimmers

Ben chatting with a white-tail deer

Elizabeth and Dave taking an after-lunch walk

Brilliant blue poison dart frog

Elizabeth looking through the window at the meerkats all looking out the other window

Climbing on the tree at the Discovery Barn

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fall highlights

Life has been busy lately and the next few weeks will continue to be so. Here are a few things we've been up to lately. I apologize for the disorganization, but I'm tossing up a bunch at once so my dad can show them to my grandma while he's visiting her!

Elizabeth knows how to behave at a fancy restaurant (celebrating Great-Grandma Anne's 90th birthday). She also brought her doll Annabelle, who was mine when I was little.

Dave won this canvas in a contest and we all cheered as Sporting KC won the MLS Cup in a double shootout after an overtime! Ben is excited to have it hung in his room.
Elizabeth hanging an ornament my friend Neilam made me in high school :)

Every day we open a drawer on the Advent calendar and there's a different family activity like listen to Christmas music or read a holiday book.

My godmother Jeanne sent us this gingerbread house kit along with a ton of other Trader Joe's deliciousness. I think it is safe to say this is the most structurally sound gingerbread house I've ever made, probably because I didn't bake the pieces!

We spent Thanksgiving over at Uncle Kenny & Aunt Lynn's house. The kids had fun spending time with their cousins and eating all the delicious food, especially Grandma's rolls. Elizabeth loved them so much that she actually cried when we had them for leftovers and she had finished her portion. She pointed at ours and wept, "Roll! Roll!" and seemed to think we should give her some of ours!

Ben had fun jumping on the trampoline at Uncle Kenny's

Ben & Tristan jumping

Boy cousins at Thanksgiving

Elizabeth kept trying to feed me the ornament.

Please just pretend that my children are smiling!

Nap-striking munchkin cuddling with Uncle Jeff

Playing dreidel while over at Opa & Grandma's for Hannukah. Did not react well to the "ante up" part of dreidel. Liked the part where she got to eat the gelt.
Elizabeth listening to one of the Christmas books from Great-Grandma Meyer, read by Grammie & Papa