Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'm really trying to come up with fun indoor activities given our recent weather. Problem is, a lot of the fun activities are messy, and I'm not so overjoyed by messy things.

So I tried to get past my fear of smeared paint on furniture ("washable" doesn't always mean that, Crayola), put down a drop cloth, stripped down the twins, and let them paint with Claire. They loved it, and got just as messy as you would imagine. Here are some photos of the fun ...

... incidentally, Claire has been taking an art class at 4pm every Friday (it runs for just four weeks, so we only have one class left), and she loves it. The twins and I walk around the community center for an hour, or attend the open gym time, while Claire does art. It's been a fun thing to do on Friday.

A Taste Of Summer

I'll do anything to pretend the weather is warmer. So in the absence of sun for about a month now, I resorted to food to help me feel like warmer weather was near. I made a fresh raspberry and blackberry cobbler and it genuinely tasted like a burst of summer. Yum.

I've also made a lot of great winter food lately too, with this beef and white bean roast being terrific ....

... problem is, my waistline is noticing all this terrific food. I normally never complain about weight - I can't stand listening to women talk about their weight - but with all my inactivity and all the great food, it stands to reason that my pants are fitting a bit tighter!

Lily's First Snowman

Kyle took Lily out to make her first snowman. She had a great time, though she's determined to believe that snowmen are part of Christmas versus a regular winter snow thing. Here's Lily proudly showing off her work (and Kyle's and Claire's work too) ...

... and Lily just walked by as I was posting these photos and said, "ho ho ho dee dee", which is "ho ho ho Merry Christmas" in the twins' lingo, so the snowman remains a fixture of Christmas for now.

Post Script: Kyle, not me, took Lily out for these photos and dressed her without a coat ... at least during the making of the snowman he had her in full snow gear. So please don't yell at me about the poor, freezing child in these photos. Talk to her dad.

Seventeen Days

Seventeen days since my last post ... and likely seventeen different reasons I took this (first) blogging break. The weather has been dreadful, we've all got a bad case of cabin fever, I'm tremendously busy with work and often working well into the evenings after the kids go to bed, and I just needed a technology break. I think that about sums up the month of January. Bad winter blahs.

We really haven't gotten out of the house much since my holiday break in December due to snow, frigid cold, ice, and fog - we've had all sorts of nastiness here - so I've got limited updates and only a few photos to share. But share I will.

Claire and I finally made it to Kaleidoscope last Saturday, which is a free art place for kids thanks to the donations of recycled Hallmark materials. I thought the place was great fun, and plan to take the twins and Claire sometime soon. We also visited Union Station to see the Harvester's display of "can art" - familiar objects made entirely of canned food. Check out the photos ... it's pretty amazing what these teams came up with ... particularly Andy Warhol's Marilyn ...

... Marilyn won the Harvester's competition. It's worth a look if you're over in that part of Kansas City.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And More Snow

The snow has returned. With a vengeance. There are some winter scenes I get tired of seeing (slushy, dirty snow everywhere), and some that still fascinate, like this enormous icicle hanging from our house ...

... and here's our poor Christmas tree, just put out to pasture today ...

School was cancelled today, but the nanny was here because the snow didn't really start until lunchtime. I didn't leave the office until about 2:30pm when I realized the roads were beginning to get bad. I slid home, with a new humidifier in tow (the eczema problems in this household are spiraling), and tried to get more work done with Kyle meandering around too, but I wasn't overly successful. The house was just louder than usual, even though Claire went to play at neighbor Ashley's house.

So Kyle will soon be called out to snow plow, and I'll get no kid or house breaks for a while again. Friday looks to be one of the worst days yet with a low of -13F and a high of zero degrees. Frostbite can occur quickly in those conditions, which likely means the kids won't see the outdoors for a few more days. Obviously school is cancelled again for tomorrow, so I'll have a WFH day with all three stir crazy kids the whole day.

We've had better winters before.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

All Good Things ...

... must come to an end. And as my 18-day break from work draws to a close, I am trying hard to find the motivation to get up and go to work tomorrow.

I am hugely disappointed, however, by the weather we endured over this holiday break. This caused far more cabin fever than expected this year. We stayed cooped up inside, either due to snow or sub-freezing temps, pretty much the entire break. I had plans to take the girls several places and none of those plans were realized. Instead, I got a lot of cooking done, and laundry, and cleaning ... oh, wait, now that doesn't sound like a break.

And speaking of no break, today we got more snow, so Kyle left the house for more plowing before anyone else was awake and has not yet returned home. In this single parenting day, I got five meals cooked (OK, it was a double batch of spaghetti sauce, with two nights worth frozen and the other was turned into a beautiful lasagna that will be eaten two more times this week), three loads of laundry done, many toy messes cleaned up, kids cared for all day and put to bed tonight, four meals cooked, served, and cleaned up, and all the Christmas decorations taken down (I left the lights on the Christmas tree and the tree itself for Kyle to finish).

I did not get around to showering or getting dressed, nor did I ever dress the twins today. Some things have to be put aside to obtain a certain level of productivity. I was blessed (yes, I am using the word 'blessed') to have three kids who played together quite nicely all day in order to support my productivity goals. If they had been super cranky or fighting all day I would not have accomplished everything I set out to do.

And speaking of the girls playing, their new favorite game is to turn all the lights off in the basement, grab a lantern apiece, and climb into the "fort" and talk about monsters and whatever else makes them squeal and giggle. Kyle caught this photo of the girls playing in the fort yesterday ...

... with Molly particularly showing off her new "posing for the camera" look. She smiles really big and either squints her eyes or closes them entirely for all the photos we take now.

And now, at nearly 9pm, it's time for me to finally take that shower and get a few more things done around the house before I can truly relax ... not that I find going back to work a 'relaxing' thought at the moment. On the upside, I guess it guarantees a break from the house and kids tomorrow - something that was in too short supply over this holiday break.

p.s. for a little excitement today, I watched Lily fall backwards in one of the plastic kid chairs and bite nearly through her lip. I know faces bleed a lot, but the blood explosion was a bit sickening to watch. I debated a trip to the clinic but decided her lip will heal, but she looks downright horrible now. I've finally figured out why Lily is the accident-prone kid. She is quite impulsive and doesn't think before she acts, which is why she's constantly getting bumps and bruises. Molly, who is still far less physically adept, gets hurt less because she carefully weighs and calculates her risks before doing most anything. So we've got the impulsive one and the analyzer. I can guarantee those character traits will hold true 50 years from now.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's to all! I'm excited about 2010 ... so many changes ahead this year ... Kindergarten for Claire, preschool for the twins, and so on. It should be a very interesting year.

Today the girls and I ran some errands, had a nice lunch together, and then played in the basement the remainder of the day. It's just frigid outside with a low of 1 degree coming in just a few hours, so no need to keep running around town.

Our dinner was the highlight of the evening. We had beef braised in milk ...

... and then I made the girls the ultimate kiddie dessert: instant vanilla pudding with sprinkles of chocolate teddy grahams on top. They thought it was great. I also took some photos of the girls enjoying their holiday dessert ...

... then baths for all after the pudding, and the kids were asleep on time. I think I'll turn in early as Molly keeps waking me each night over some minor coughing fits, so I'm tired (when am I not?). I tend to think New Year's Eve is a very anti-climactic holiday anyways, so I'm no stickler for staying up until midnight. Here's to hoping 2010 brings us all much happiness, health, and security - for my family, and yours.

Post Script: Molly woke me up around 1am, manipulated her way into my bed again, and kept me awake for over three hours last night while she tossed and turned and generally kicked me in the back and head all night. *Sigh*.