Friday, January 31, 2014

balls of energy

Hi! I live in a house with two non-stop moving jumping balls of energy. The Polar Vortex part three (or four - who's counting) was challenging. Two more days of no-school. So far Cy has missed 5 days of school due to cold weather. Since he only attends school 4 days a week, that's more than a week of school! So we have had lots of indoor play...

 Our friend Molly suggested we all meet at the Rainbow Play Systems showroom for a playdate. They sell all these amazing backyard swing/climb sets and you can pay a small amount to play in their showroom. It was a huge hit. The place is awesome.

 Patrick and I at the 80's party. Patrick won the award for best costume. He spent four hours rolling around the party in roller blades.
 Uncle Mike and I x-country skied the lakes!
 The whole town came out to play one sunny Sunday. This is the ice rink from a distance.
 We went to the aquarium at the Mall of America
 Hit some rides.
 played outside when we could
 Spent a frigid sunny Saturday painting.
 Finally had a brief chance to go outside

 Started getting desperate for ideas. Played "throw the ball down the long hallway"
 And finally, I decided on Monday when school was closed that we would have school at home. We had reading, writing, gym, and art class. I made a lesson plan. The boys loved it and our day inside went by quickly without tv! They had to call me "Teacher" all day and they behaved perfectly.
 spelling class
 On the same "homeschool" day I brought a cooler of snow inside and a tarp and let them have at it.
 We made a snow-woman inside and then put her outside! She has a strawberry hat.
 Arts and crafts
And, finally, we went back to the aquarium again with our friends Adrienne and baby Hazel.

We've actually have been having a lot of fun... but we look out the window longingly at the deep snow and bright sun and just wish the temp could be at least over zero!

So I want to give a little update:

Cy: he continues to be a key helper. He loves to play with Arlo and is happy to watch/play with him when I have to run to change a load of laundry or make lunch. And he is diplomatic about it. This morning Arlo was crying because Cy beat him in Candyland. Cy consoled Arlo  by saying "well Arlo you were the only one who got the special cards! That's exciting!" He is a sweet and caring older brother.
Cy has become obsessed with sports. He is getting quite good at skiing and can ski down any hill at Hyland. Almost every night we play football in the basement. And it's not just catch. There are rules: downs, special kicks, extra points, tackles and receivers, and the rules are usually in Cy's favor. He is not just obsessed with playing sports - he is obsessed with watching them too. He is counting down the days until the Superbowl.  He will wake up and immediately ask Patrick who won the game the night before. Could be football, basketball, hockey, etc. He remembers every game, every score.
Which leads me to his numbers skills. I was so shocked the other day in the car that I had to call my mom. Cy and I were driving home from skiing and he started counting out loud by 5's, 3's, 2's, 10's, whatever I asked him. And he goes on and on all the way up to one hundred! He is certainly a numbers kid.

Arlo: sweet little Arlo continues to be a true charmer, melting hearts with his big beautiful eyes. He has been very proud of his toilet skills lately. He has been using his potty more and more each day. I figured out we are spending about $50 a month in diapers so that will be a real treat to get him off those! He has a maddening obsession about wearing certain articles of clothing. Usually a football jersey or a fishing shirt (that my parents got him a year ago in Canada.)
 He is also very creative. Yesterday he built a gigantic ramp that spanned 15 feet and used every single wood block we have in the house.
His language skills are mind blowing. People comment all the time about how well he speaks. He doesn't just say a sentence. He links multiple sentences together to form large abstract ideas. He tells jokes that he creates on his own. He can express his feelings and emotions as well as any adult. He is also likes to take care of his stuffed animals and babies. He likes to make sure they are "warm and cozy." He usually has some sort of toy stuffed into his sock.
 He also is very very physical. His teacher sent us a video of the kids in the gym at school and dear Arlo was doing laps and taking shots into a basket with a football, yelling "score" with his arms up everytime he made one.
He loves to climb as high and wherever his brother goes. At Little Gym class he can walk across a high balance beam and do all sorts of forward, backward, sideways rolls. At class his favorite are the balls though. He immediately starts taking shots. He can catch pretty well and he makes a surprisingly good amount of shots into the hoop.

Jackson has completely lost his marbles. He pants He needs help getting up the stairs and will relentlessly bark until someone comes to help him. He is so focused on food. He whines and whines until he is let into the kitchen when the boys are eating in hopes of finding some morsel on the ground. His breath and bottom stink horribly. BUT he is soooo loyal. He loves the boys. He is always in the same room as them. He sleeps in Arlo's room when everyone is gone. And last week when the sun was out and the temps were warm I took him to a park to run in the new, very deep snow and he was bounding all over the frozen lake like a little puppy. Can't wait until the temp warms so we can go again!

Well that's my little family update. Patrick and I are doing well too but I feel like you hear about us all the time. :) So stay warm friends and if you live somewhere other than here, be grateful for your weather!! :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Slowing down a bit

As much as we all loved the holidays and all the excitement that went with it, it sure is awfully nice to slow down a bit! We have been enjoying family time, time with special friends and family and getting outside as much as the Polar Vortex will allow! The boys were blessed with an extra two days of winter vacation thanks to the Vortex. Having school off for low temps is virtually unheard of in Minnesota, which as you know, means we had a real zinger of a cold spell! Honestly though, once you get to below zero I can't really tell the difference between 10 below and 40 below. Whatever! They both mean RUN to the car, RUN to the house, RUN into school, etc.
 We skied with some friends one day & they shot this pic of Cy & I. I love it.

 Cy and his friend Maren.
 Here's an accidental "selfie" I took while getting my camera ready to take some pics in the woods. I have been walking in the woods a lot lately. The camera caught me in a pose I seem to be in frequently - bent down & messing with a camera! I think the sky looks so pretty here I thought I'd share.
 Narrow path in the woods. One of our favorites! It was so cold the snow squeaked under our boots.

 friends over for Polar Vortex day. The girls pulled Cy down the whole hall like this. They were a big mass of giggles and hugs.
 It was bitter cold but beautiful out!

 Skier Cy
 One big thing is that Uncle Mike moved here a week ago! I was supposed to be in NYC for a girls weekend that day but it got cancelled at the last minute (devastating!) Both girls were really really sick. So anyways, I helped Mike move in while Nana watched the boys. He lives in a 1 bedroom apartment right near Lake Calhoun. It's brand new and super hipster cool. Right on the greenway which I love. I came back Saturday, used his place as a homebase & went for a nice run around the lake. I think I might move in. Anyways he was sick of living in a tiny town & only spending time on work... because there was nothing else to do... So he kept his big accounts out in Montana/North Dakota and he will fly out there to see them once and a while and make new accounts in MN in the meantime. We are excited he is here. Pretty much every morning Arlo asks if we can go in his pool! Mike spent 4 or 5 days with us until all the paperwork went through and it was great. I actually got to shower and workout every day! So welcome to Minny, Mike!
 This is his building - it looks a lot like the loft Patrick, Cy and I lived in.
 Since I wasn't in NYC, we went for a xc ski because the weather was awesome last weekend!

 I think this might be my fave shot of Arlo ever. He was sliding down the ice & I somehow managed to catch him right at the bottom!
 The boys were all comfy with snacks and blankies while we skied

 So, we also have a close friend in the hospital. He has cancer and just had major surgery. He is at a hospital that is like 2-3 blocks from my house. So Uncle Tim came over to babysit tonight while I went to visit him. Patrick went a couple of nights ago. He's at the Timberwolves game tonight. We have been trying to support him the best we can!
The boys just love it when Uncle Tim babysits. They talk about it all day in anticipation. He is a total ham. They all are one big pile of hugs and tickles and tackles and giggles when he is here. Thanks Tim!

So yeah, I think we are all enjoying being back in our routine and having some down time again. I have stopped going on Facebook for some reason! I stopped over break and since then I haven't had any desire to go back. Well, not I didn't completely stop because I still read my emails on it...  I am sure I will check in whenever I feel like it but I don't read it every night/naptime like I was before. It is so refreshing right now not to have such a major time suck. Instead I sit by a fire and read a book or obsessively work on editing my pictures. I have no idea why I am so obsessed with photography lately but I am. I think it is such a nice hobby - I love being outside, walking through the woods & taking pics! Maybe I am obsessed because it has been so pretty out lately!
Speaking of pics, I should have some good ones next week: the kids are going to their grandparents' house on Sat night and Patrick and I are going to an 80's party! I totally want to make him wear those blue pants from our xmas card but I know he will fight me tooth and nail because they're too "snug" (They're skinny jeans, hee hee.) I am going to try to dig out my acid wash jeans - I hope I can find them!
so see ya later alligator! see ya soon ya buffoon.