Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve Eve and Eve Eve and Eve

We have been packing in the fun while Papa Bear has off of work and it has been perfectly wonderfully busy and chaotic and fun.  Chaos can be good when I am not alone to handle it and we have certainly embraced it this year as a team. 

Sunday we went to our third annual Christmas meal with our very close friends.  These are the types of friends that I know we will have forever.  I can already picture Little Man and his best bud Seb double dating for prom in 10 years and Sweet Pea having a crush on Seb or trying to date Cillian.  We went over about 4 in the afternoon and ate and ate and ate and ate.  The kids exchanged gifts and Peanut got a book about Volcanoes, Sweet Pea got a sticker books that we have worked on for two days and Little Man got a lego set.  The company was perfect, the fun and drinks were flowing and the kids wore themselves out.  It is one of my most anticipated events of the season because I just love watching our families mesh and really enjoy one another.

Monday we shipped Little Man off for a playdate with a friend from school. This allowed Papa Bear and I to have a man to man defense on the littles.  It was perfect.  We went out for lunch, went to the grocery store to pick up Christmas Eve dinner, unloaded groceries and generally just had a morning of less chaos.  Then we picked Little Man up and all went to the neighborhood Christmas caroling event.  This is the first year that we have all gone.  The kids ate Christmas treats, sang and walked the neighborhood spreading Christmas cheer for the better part of two hours and then ate pizza with about 30 other kids and their parents.  Like I said, chaos, but it was controlled chaos and Papa Bear and I were a team.

Today we all just relaxed, ate cookies, made reindeer food, watched Christmas movies, tracked Santa on NORAD.  The best part was the Christmas Eve dinner that I prepared for myself and Papa Bear.  The kids ate spinach lasagna (their favorite meal) while Papa Bear and I ate the standing rib roast, asparagus and mashed potatoes that I made. We will have left overs for tomorrow! 

We hope to keep Christmas easy, no cooking, just fun and presents.  Papa Bear prepped the quiches for the morning, we are thawing our last Mommom brisket for lunch to share with Uncle Mark and Meemom and then leftovers for dinner.  Santa is coming to town!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas!


MeeMom Christmas

Last weekend, MeeMom came to visit for the Santa Train and couldn't help herself when it came to spoiling the kids with their Christmas gifts.  The evening was filled with lots of hugs and lots presents. 

Hugs!

Hugs!

Imaginext T-Rex

Hess Trucks

Matching outfits with her Bitty Baby

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Overheard

Little Man had Odyssey of the Mind practice today.  I love going to this with him (I'm the Coach) because these little 1st graders astound me with their creativity.  They also make me laugh with their antics and their notions about life.

Tonight was no exception as I drove 3 of the boys home from practice.  The boys were talking about their bedtimes.  One boy had a strict 8:30 bedtime, another said he didn't know what it was and Little Man said he had to be in his room at 8:00 but he could sometimes get away with playing for a little while.  Then the conversation turned to how much better life would be when they were grown up and they could stay up as late as they wanted and eat donuts.

Here is a snippet of the conversation that had me biting my tongue to keep from laughing:

Little Man: When I am a grown up I am going eat as many donuts as I want, stay up late and get a wife.
S: Yeah, getting a wife is pretty important.
Little Man: Yeah and when I have a wife I am going to go to the movies at night with her and never have any kids.
S: Yeah, kids are WAY too much trouble.
Little Man: Too much trouble and too much work plus if you have kids going to the movies at night and eating donuts would be a lot harder.

The kids crack me up with their unintentional humor. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Train 2013

Papa Bear and I marvel how certain events get easier as the kids get older and the Santa Train is no exception.  This year we took the 10:30 out of Burke Station and found the perfect train car (with a bathroom) and good seating for 6 people.  Meemom joined us on our adventure and she was almost as giddy with excitement as the kids.  We bumped into other friends of ours who were able to get seats near us as well which made it even more special.  Mrs. Claus came into the train car first and Sweet Pea was very excited to have the same dress on.  Then Santa came in with a big HO HO HO and the train car was filled with a buzz of excitement.  Seeing the expressions on their faces as they turned in their seats was precious, especially Sweet Pea and Peanut who were just overcome with joy.  I was excited too and the kids were all happy to hug him and Peanut recited his list and gave him some big strong hugs.  Then the kids took turns climbing on Meemom, coloring in their coloring books and looking out the window.  Afterwards, Meemom treated the family to lunch at Spartan's Family Restaurant were Santa was taking pictures with the kids and giving out small gifts.  Little Man asked Santa if he had just gotten off the train and Santa didn't even skip a beat when he said "I sure did."  We aren't getting the same questions from Little Man this year.  This year he just seems to believe in the magic of Christmas and I am extremely grateful, we need some Christmas magic this year, more than any other years.



I love the candy cane hanging out of his mouth as he seriously colored his picture. 
Peanut leaning to get a better view of something outside of the train
Sweet Pea getting her first look at Santa
Santa at Spartan's Family Restaurant

Sweet Pea getting comfortable with Santa

Hugs.  So sweet.






The Magic of the Holidays

Gingerbread Makers

The Detailed

The Baker

The Trouble Maker


This year I got kits from Trader Joes that were mostly corn free except for a few pieces of candy that we subbed out for corn-free ones for Peanut.  This resulted in more uniform looking houses and made it a little easier - but I think I prefer the more free-form house from last year.  Next year, I think we will go back to those even if they aren't as fancy.  This year, we had less eating and more creating and decorating.  Little Man's house is uniform and perfect, Peanut was concentrated and wielded the pastry bag like a pro and Sweet Pea, well, she was cute and had fun while making a mess.  The kids ate the candy off of the roof a little at a time over the course of a week until the tree and the roof were bare.... and we cut them off due to really old stale candy.

Gingerbread making is definitely a annual event in this house now and one worth the trouble and the mess for sure.





Monday, December 9, 2013

The Kutz Home in Heaven

Mommom went to heaven today.  She was almost 91 and we are all very sad at our loss.  We are sad because even forever wouldn't have been long enough to have Mommom in our lives.  Little Man said it best at bedtime tonight when he simply asked why God couldn't have given us just a little bit more time with Mommom.  35 years with her wasn't nearly enough for me so I understand why 6 years wouldn't feel like enough time for him.  Sweet Pea asked me where Mommom was and when I explained again that she is in heaven, she said "But I want to hug her!".  Peanut has asked when Mommom is coming back from heaven and when we explained that she isn't coming back he seemed to understand and then stated that there must be a Kutz Home in heaven (the nursing home that Mommom was in for the past 3 months).  Little Man understands the most but asks a lot about the logistics and asked where Mommom is right now.  I told him that her body is at the funeral home and he said "But her soul is in heaven, right?"  They all knew how much Mommom loved them.  It was impossible to spend even a few minutes with her without feeling her love and kindness.  I will help keep the memories of my Mommom alive for all of the kids.  I have no words for how much we will miss her.









Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Big Girl Bed Part 2

Remember back in February when we thought Sweet Pea was ready for a big girl bed and she clearly wasn't so we put her back in the crib.  Well if at first you don't succeed, try try again.  Ten months later we decided to skip the toddler bed (due to the fact that Sweet Pea continually cried that her crib was broken during our first attempt) and go straight to the big girl bed.  She asked for a "giant blanket" so I got her a quilt just like her brother's use instead of just her little snuggy blankets she has been using in her crib.  Night 1 and 2 have gone beautifully and she is thrilled with her big girl bed and the reconfiguration of her room.  We have yet to get a successful nap but I am hoping the newness of the room wears off and she goes back to napping so that I can work in the afternoons.  It is hard to let our little baby girl grow up, but I am thankful to not be lifting my 34 pound 3 year old in and out of her crib every day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fancy Holiday Time

The Thanksgiving/Chanukah long weekend was filled with a lot of decorating, the start of Christmas movies and our friend's annual Latke party.  The decorating was so much fun this year because Little Man is old enough to really help and participate in stringing lights and wrapping banisters.  He was incredibly helpful not only setting up but in entertaining the little ones so that we could get things out and in some cases up high enough that Peanut's hulk hogan impression didn't crush them.  We even got lights strung in our sun room windows like I have been wanting to do every year for the last 6 years but never got around to doing. 







 

The kids were very excited for the Latke party this year and of course, Little Man felt it very necessary to be fancy.  He picked out a shirt and tie and then Peanut decided he wanted to have a tie too so he clipped on a tie to his t-shirt.  Sweet Pea couldn't be left out so she went and got a tie and attached it to her dress.  We all walked over the to the party and to be honest, no one even blinked at our families attire.  I guess we are known for being fancy.  Or being silly.  Or maybe a little of both.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Define This.

Today Sweet Pea and I were reading a book about bats while sitting on the couch.  Peanut was laying on the floor looking through a book of his own but he was clearly tuning in to what I was reading.  I got to a part that discussed that a bat uses echolocation to find their food.  Peanut pops up from his spot on the floor like he was a robot that had been suddenly activated and spits out "Echo.  That is when the sound leaves your mouth, bounces off a wall and comes back to your ear."  Then he dances around and lays back down to read his book.  My mouth just dropped open to hear him so succinctly define the word echo.  But this isn't the first time he has stunned me. 

A few weeks ago we were driving in the car and Peanut says "Mama, do you know what ominous means?"  I said, "yes, I do.  Do you?"  He says, "Yup, it is when you walk into a room and you think something might happen and that thing might be scary or dangerous, that's ominous" 

Peanut was on my back and I started shaking him and told him it was an earthquake.  Again, my little robot was activitated and he says "Hundreds of earthquakes happen every day but we just don't feel them.  Earthquakes are when the plates slip and Mama, volcanoes are just a hole in the earth's crust where magma and lava come out."  I was stunned and said "Peanut, what do you know about the earth's crust."  He laughed at me and said "That's the part of the earth we live on.  The other parts are too hot."  I asked him if he know what the other parts were called and he said "Yes, core and mantel."  Then he danced his way out of the room.

Little Man's Odyssey of the Mind group didn't know what the word humorous meant and so they looked it up in a dictionary.  The next day while in the car I asked Little Man if he remembered what it meant and Peanut pipes up "I  know what humorous means.  It means funny or to make someone laugh.  The jokes I tell are humorous." 

And over the summer Peanut defined "exclusive" as when someone wants to join your club but you don't let them in then you are being exclusive.  This occurred while I was trying to explain to Little Man that he had to include all of his friends in the secret club the boys had on the hill.

I love my sweet dictionary Peanut robot.  He shocks me every day with what he has learned and I really can't take the credit for any of it. I have no idea where he picks it up and usually he doesn't either.  I ask every time and he usually shrugs and says, "I don't know Mama.  I'm just super smart."  


Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We had grand plans for Thanksgiving this year and while we hit the highlights we were slightly sidelined by a stomach virus/food poisoning that hit Little Man really hard on Thanksgiving Eve.  Papa Bear and I had little to no sleep but as we heard the littles start stirring in their excitement to see MeeMom and Mommom we felt that stomach flu or not, we had to give it a shot.  So at the very last minute we threw everything into the car including a pale and tired Little Man and made it to Delaware by 9am.  It was the first of many Thanksgiving Miracles that we hit no traffic and didn't forget anything since I had stopped preparing for the trip after Little Man threw up for the 5th time.  We played and enjoyed ourselves at MeeMom's house, Uncle Mark showed up and we ate the first of many Thanksgiving meals on the same plates we used to eat fancy dinners from when we were kids.  Football was on, the kids were playing and occupied and it was perfect (except for the still puking Little Man).  Then I took Sweet Pea and we headed over to my Aunt's house to say hi to as many relatives as possible in 30 minutes.  After that quick stop we went to the Kutz home for the Green Family Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful to see Mommom and see my cousins and aunts and uncles.  Again, it was almost perfect except for the fact that Little Man stayed back with my mom because he just couldn't get off the couch.  After more food, Chanukah celebration and dessert, we went back to my mom's for leftovers and some more playtime.  Then we got on the road and reached our house around 10:00 with all the kids sound asleep.  For the last Thanksgiving miracle, Little Man has stopped throwing up and everyone slept in until after 8am. 

This year I am thankful for a husband who can see how important an event is to me and can throw everything into high gear to make it there, a mom who will give up a family event to stay with my sick child, kids who enjoy a holiday that is all about eating and family, a mommom that brings a family together in a way no one else can and kids who sleep in when it really matters.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Happy Chaunkah!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Heroes in the Neighborhood

We were watching the Eagles game on tv together and saw a firetruck turn down the street adjacent to our house.  The boys quickly put their shoes on and we ran outside just in time to see the truck turn the lights off and turn back around.  The firefighters saw the small crowd that had gathered and stopped the truck to give out fire hats to the kids.  They were doing some planning and there are two houses on a gravel road behind our house and it seems that the closest fire hydrant to those houses are on our street.  The boys got to listen as they made a game plan to get water to the houses in the woods if there ever was a need.  Then a call came in and the firefighters were off and running, sirens going.  Peanut was full of questions and Little Man was in awe. 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tiger Cubs - Raingutter Regatta

video

Little Man has his first Raingutter Rigatta today.  He and Papa Bear worked on the boat together, building it, sanding it, painting it, perfecting it.  Today was the big race.  Little Man didn't win, but pulled himself together despite his disappointment. 


Friday, November 1, 2013

Reading Reading Everywhere

Little Man has really hit his stride in reading and goes through books like water.  I have a hard time figuring out how to deal with it sometimes because there is something inherently wrong with telling him to stop reading.  But if I let him, he would have a book at the breakfast table, while playing a game (because I take too long on my turn), etc.  So the other day I told him that he could read where ever and when ever he wanted and he had a book in his had for the 2 hours before school and another 2 after school.  What can I say, sometimes you just have to let the rules slide for reading especially since I have a book with me at all times and tend to do the same thing if the kids aren't paying attention. 

Reading during breakfast



Reading on our head


Sweet Pea wanted in on the action...I think she is ready for her big girl bed!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

Halloween isn't complete with out a zombie trying to eat a princess....


And a Peanut created super hero called "Lava Man" who shoots lava out of his hands and walks on lava without getting burned, who may or may not be a good guy.


We have officially graduated from the cute and adorable costumes that I can gently lead and are firmly in the gruesome or completely made up.  At least Sweet Pea is going easy on me and wanted to be Snow White which she actually dresses up as on a daily basis.  I mean daily.  

We went on the neighborhood parade and then met up with Uncle Mark who helped the kids walk house to house gathering so much candy that it broke Sweet Pea's little pink princess purse.  They each got to pick their 3 pieces of candy and then were high on sugar and Uncle Mark for the rest of the night.  We packed small ziplocks of favorites (and corn-free) and sent the rest out the door with Uncle Mark.  

It was an excellent and laid back corn-free Halloween. 

Peanut's Tooth Fairy visit

Peanut lost his first tooth today.  It was very wiggly and after a disastrous Halloween parade incident, I was letting Peanut and Sweet Pea watch a quick TV show.  All of a sudden, Peanut exclaimed "Mama, my tooth came out!"  And sure enough, he did.  So it was tucked under his pillow and the tooth fairy came and paid him a visit.  Unfortunately, the tooth fairy didn't account for the fact that Peanut is a bit of a wild sleeper and when he woke up he thought that the tooth fairy had taken his tooth without leaving him any money.  We did a quick search of his room and found that he had knocked the money out from under his pillow and it was on the floor under his bed.  He spent the next hour before school dancing around with his two dollars and coming up with all of the things he can buy with it including a house, a fish and a million toys.  We have to work on the value of money.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Peanut's Halloween Parade

See this little boy clearing excited about the goody bag that he was given during his Halloween parade?


Yeah, that little guy was so excited for his parade and his goody bag and then I had to tell him that he wasn't allowed to have any of the corn-syrup laden candy that had been given out.  I had sent in alternative food for the party so that he had something to eat that was comparable to the rice crispy treats that his friends were eating but I didn't realize that they were going to give candy out as well.  So I didn't have anything to give him and he had to watch all of his friends dig into their goody bags.  His eyes filled with tears and he told me that he didn't like being him and he hated corn.  It was heartbreaking.  I know that in the grand scheme of the 1st world problems he faces, it isn't a big deal.  He isn't really missing anything and I gave him a corn-free lollipop when we got home but he said it just wasn't the same if it didn't come from his bag which I understand.  I just love seeing his smiles because they brighten even the darkest room, but the smiles I saw in these pictures were painful because I knew that I was going to make them disappear.

I'm hoping for better success with trick or treating.  We talked about the fact that there will be some candy he can have and some that he can't and he can trade me candy and he said "Or I can just give it to Little Man or SweetPea or my friends."  Halloween is not my favorite holiday.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Dentist Visits for all 3

I am so proud of all 3 kids.  They bravely went to the dentist, had their teeth cleaned, fluoride treatments and Little Man even had x-rays. They were all beautifully behaved and we were quickly done with all the appointments in just over 30 minutes.  Peanut exclaimed "I had so much fun at the dentist" as he skipped down the hallway.  The dentist was surprised that Peanut was already about to lose a tooth but luckily I could check this blog and see that he got his first baby teeth when he was 4.5 months old which explains him losing his teeth early.  Papa Bear and I were prepared for all possibilities with Peanut having an extra sensitive gag reflex and some sensory issues and Sweet Pea having never been to the dentist.  But it was smooth sailing, we love our new dentist for the kids and I have a lot less anxiety about the next time they go. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pirates and Princess Birthday Party

Sweet Pea wanted to have a princess party but two of her best friends are boys so we settled on a princess and pirate party and it was a brilliant success.  She invited 3 friends because she turned 3 and after all the siblings were counted we had 9 kids.  Papa Bear, ever the creative genius, cut out swords and wands from foam board and we had the kids color/decorate their own swords or wands.  Then they played pin the crown or eye patch on the princess.  After a little playing in the playroom, we sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes.  Once they were sugared up, we got on shoes and coats and all went outside in search of gold treasure that Little Man and his buddy Seb had hid ahead of time and marked with an x on a map of the front yard.  This was the exit strategy because once the treasure had been collected the party wound down and the guests left.  Sweet Pea was spoiled with barbie dolls, Angelina Ballerina books and and Bitty Baby and The Little Mermaid Movie (which everyone except Peanut was a fan of).  Meemom came down for the party and a visit and to see Little Man's soccer game too.  Papa Bear is now napping because princess and pirate parties can take a lot out of you.

Coloring the foam core swords and wands


Lala


Pin the eye patch or crown on the princess




Sugared up and fighting Lala's Dad

Treasure Hunting

Map (made by Little Man)