Thursday, December 28, 2017

A multitude of Christmas Pictures

We spent Christmas this year in Indianapolis celebrating with both of our families.  Amazingly, in the last six years that David has been in residency or fellowship, he has never had to work Christmas.  He has always requested it off and his request has always been granted.  There was that one year though that I had to work Christmas day for my job, and David moonlighted (worked overnight by choice for holiday $$) Christmas since I was working anyway. But still, very impressive that he has managed to escape that dreaded hospital shift.  This year I also had Christmas and Christmas Eve off, so we were able to spend several days visiting.

Pictures from Christmas Eve at my parents house:
Growing up, the only present we as kids were allowed to open on Christmas eve was a book from my mom.  The tradition continues as the kids open their books from Grandma.

Christmas morning, the kids opened their gifts from Santa.  Will was a little disappointed at first because, although he had asked for a Doc McStuffins puppy toy a month before Christmas, a few days before Christmas he had changed his mind and wanted a Hatchimal instead.  I guess Santa's elves can't accommodate all last minute requests... However, he got over it and did enjoy playing with his puppy.

Sad Will

But now he's starting to warm to the toy

Jolly Christmas Baby
After Santa presents, we met up with David's family at St. John's downtown for mass Christmas morning.  I need to snag David's phone and get some of our family pictures from it.  Those are the only ones we have as a whole family!  After mass it was off to the homestead to open presents with the Bonds. The kids got so many toys and really enjoyed themselves!

That time I let Eliana and William excavate dinosaur eggs in the living room, putting tons of dust in the air! Not a great indoor toy...

We spent the night at my parents' house Christmas night, and the kids got to open their last presents from my mom and dad before bed.  Will got a Hatchimal, and Eliana got twin Hatchimals! Santa's elves couldn't do it, but Grandma could. Christmas was complete! (These were really popular last Christmas and impossible to find in the stores. Luckily my kids are a year behind what's popular.) While Laney did not get her own Hatchimal, she was quite enamored with her siblings' toys.  The Hatchimal's eyes glow red when they are mad, and they sing when they are happy.  We were cracking up because whenever Will was playing with his, its eyes were red.  But when Laney would get a hold of his Hatchimal, its eyes would light up blue and it would start singing - a sign that it was happy and well taken care of!  Turns out Laney makes a better parent than Will.

The Hathimal starts out as an egg.  You have to care for the egg to get it to hatch.

Twenty minutes later, you have a little animal to care for that moves, talks, and lights up!

Everyone with a Hatchimal

Ignore us blurry folk in the background. I just love Will's face in this picture.

Laney loves her new "baby."

Will wanted to show his Hatchimal his other presents from Christmas.
This is how Laney feels when her sister takes her Hatchimal back.
We had a wonderful day celebrating with family.  My heart was full.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fun With Cornstarch

I have been pulling out some old favorites activities for the kids to do while the weather is getting colder.  Specifically, we have made several craft recipes from cornstarch that are quick, easy, and fairly simple to clean up.  Although not tasty, cornstarch is edible, which comes in handy when your toddler is playing with it. The first was making oobleck, although this time I just called it slime.  To make, mix 2 cups of cornstarch with one cup of water.  William wasn't so sure about this creation at first, but Laney was really excited.  It was all fun and games until she started putting the bowl on her head.  Then it was off to the bath.

Notice her licking it off of her face. Yuck!
The second recipe with cornstarch is "snow." I couldn't believe how long this kept the older two occupied!  They played quietly together at the kitchen table for over an hour.  I also realized that when they were done, I could just dump the snow in a ziploc baggie and we could play with it again another time.  The recipe is 2 cups cornstarch plus 1/3 to 1/2 cup oil.  Or in our case, the entire container of cornstarch plus just enough oil to get the right consistency.  They wanted a lot of snow!! Then they put some of their toys in the snow to go sledding or make "snow dinosaurs."  Laney missed out on this activity because she was sleeping.
Will was very curious about what would happen if we put this snow in the freezer.  He reasoned that since snow is usually cold, if we put this cornstarch snow in the freezer, it would change.  I explained that real snow is made out of water but that this "snow" was made out of cornstarch and oil, so it wouldn't be the same.  He wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole thing.

Snow on his face!
You might notice in the above picture that William has a bandaid on his chin.  Strangely enough, both he and Eliana fell of the kitchen chairs (totally unrelated to the snow activity) and busted their chins open on the table.  Eliana must have really smacked her chin hard.  I was in the living room at the time, and heard a big crash.  I came running back in the kitchen and found Eliana on the floor.  She looked quite startled, but told me she had fallen on purpose.  That's what she says when an accident happens and she thinks she is going to get in trouble.  She said she was fine, but then went to the bathroom.  A minute later she comes running to tell me her chin is bleeding.  And boy, she wasn't kidding.  She had quite the gash and for a little bit I was afraid I was going to have to take her to urgent care for stitches.  The problem was she wouldn't let me touch her chin to hold pressure to get the bleeding to stop.  After bleeding through a few bandaids, she finally let me put a steri-strip on her chin.  I think she only let me touch it then because I threatened to call her father and have him come home from work to put in stitches himself.  She seemed quite surprised that he could do such a thing, but I assured her that, as a doctor, he most definitely could.  At that point, mom's "special bandage" didn't seem so bad.
Even though she didn't get stitches, I wouldn't be surprised if she had a little scar there on her chin.

Then, less than 24 hours later, Will did the same thing.  I said, "What happened? Did our kitchen chairs turn into ice? Why are you guys falling out of your chairs?!" He was just eating a snack at the table and, bloop, feel right out of his seat, banging his chin on the table.  Eliana was quick to check out his chin and declared that he had a boo-boo just like her.  Luckily, his wasn't quite as deep, so I was able to just put a regular bandaid on it without threats of stitches by daddy.  Both of their chins are on the mend and looking fine.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Gymnastics Class

One of the perks of half day kindergarten is that the kids are still able to do some fun classes together.  This fall William and Eliana have been taking a gymnastics class.  We have graduated from the "Mommy and Me" class to an actual class where I sit in the hall with Laney and watch. 

They start out on mats stretching and learning new skills.

The favorite of both - the forward roll.  You start out in Pencil with hands above the head.  Next is Mountain with hands on the ground.  Then...


Pencil, Mountain...

Roll! (this is a pretty common thing heard at my house lately).

Some of the other things they work on are swinging on or over the bars, handstands, frog jumps (or Dinosaur jumps in William's case), log rolls, and the balance beam.  There is also a lot of jumping on the trampoline.  That's where Will spends a good deal of class time.
Laney just walks around with me outside of class from one window to the next.  It is a great way to spend the morning and burn off some energy!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Will Learns to Ride a Bike

Eliana got a new bike this summer which means that Will was given her old Dora bike (or the Vamanos bike as he called it).  After a bit of practicing, Will really got the hang of pedaling!  At first he had a tendency of steering the bike into whatever direction he was looking.  But that has gotten better.  He also has learned how to use the brake, which is good because while he found running into the van an effective means of stopping, I didn't think that was quite so funny. 
We attempted some family bike rides at the end of the summer in which Eliana and Will would ride their bikes and I would push Laney in the stroller.  We would do pretty well going down the slight hill to the end of the street.  However, when it was time to turn around and head back up the (very slight!) hill to our house, there was usually a lot of me pushing a stroller and a kid on a bike.  I have high hopes for next year though!  We might just make it to the park and back with two kids on bikes!

Look at that big kid! Wearing his Spiderman helmet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Summer posts to brighten your day

Did I tell you about that time I bought a giant pool on clearance at Target in September?

Eliana asked me all summer long when we could get a big pool.  The bigger one we had had an issue with the side collapsing.  So I had my eye on this pool, just waiting for it to go on sale.  Finally, in September, it did!  And wouldn't you know, after I bought it, we had a week in September of 90 degree days.  So I blew up the pool and the kids had a blast!

Eliana diving for rings

This crazy kid climbed on top of the kids' picnic table and laughed at my concern.
And a bonus picture - Laney really loves climbing.  This is a pretty common place to find her - sitting on something she's not supposed to be on.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Despite the cold temperatures, we had a great time trick or treating tonight for Halloween.  Poor Will has been sick nonstop since starting preschool, and currently has a nasty cough.  Then Will has shared all of his preschool germs with his baby sister, so Laney also has been sick nonstop since Will started school.  Laney also has that nasty cough as well as a runny nose and a bad case of the grumps.  She cried all day and didn't want me to put her down.  Somehow the excitement of costumes and friends was able to cure her grumpies though and she rallied strong this evening, making for a fun time for all.
We hosted the Halloween party this year, and Eliana spent all morning putting up decorations.  We made several ghosts, spiders, and pumpkins, which William and Laney both loved.  Adele, Hannah, and Gianna came over plus our neighbors Violet and Xavier.  William was practically beside himself with joy.  He was dressed as Red Claw, the T-Rex from Land Before Time.  He was roaring and showing his teeth to everyone.  David said he ran up to every house, said "Trick-or-Treat" and thank you, and was going strong even to the end (quite different from last year). Eliana was dressed as a leopard witch.  She has been some type of cat for the last couple of years, so I was hoping that she would try out something new this year.  At first she said she wanted to be a witch.  Great, I thought, something different! But then she wanted to be a leopard - which, as she pointed out to me, is definitely not the same as a cat.  Finally she decided on a combination of the two and became a leopard witch.  Laney, lucky girl, got to wear Will's skunk costume from a couple of years ago.  She was quite adorable as a little skunk, even with her runny nose.  She sat with me to hand out candy for a bit and really enjoyed seeing everyone walking by, especially when they were walking with a dog.  We lasted about 30 minutes handing out candy but then had to go inside because it was too cold.  When Eliana brought home her candy bucket, Laney had a blast dumping the bucket out and then putting the candy back in, over and over again. With as cranky as she had been all day, I didn't think she would make it through the evening without a meltdown, but in the end, she had a wonderful time. All the kids in fact had a blast!

Little skunk, waiting for the party to start

I think she's adorable!

Most of the crew. Note Will roaring in this picture.

Family picture

Eliana and Violet

Red Claw!

What is this skunk doing? I caught you!

Skunk stealing my candy! Laney - 13 months
Does that costume look familiar?  Who wore it best?
Will - 4 months - 2014
I love all of my stinky kids!!