Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wipe- Down Wednesday

Inspired by a friend of mine who recently told me that every Friday in her house is "Clean-Floor Friday", I decided to turn today's Snow Day into an Event. That's right. With a capital E. Welcome "Wipe-Down Wednesday!" After breakfast this morning we divided up the cleaning supplies into three caddies-- mine, Alex's (containing a sponge, Mrs. Meyer's spray and a feather duster) and Justin's (containing a sponge) and got to work. Normally we tackle smaller projects throughout the week, so this was a big deal to do the WHOLE HOUSE in a day. Exciting stuff ;-)

And now my house is sparkling clean and my little workers are sleeping soundly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Snow and Homemade Hot Cocoa

We've been aching for some fresh snow to play in, so when King Winter started blessing us with huge fluffy flakes this afternoon, we were all overjoyed! Alex headed straight out (Justin can't WAIT until next year, when he'll be allowed to go out with Sister whenever he wants). Until then, though, he entertained himself by building huge towers with his favorite 'under supervision only' toy-- the beautiful antique wooden blocks that Miss Megan gave, technically Alex...for her 2nd birthday. He was delighted by the fact that they end up towering over him! Then he and I fixed some warm "homemade hot cocoa" (It's 'homemade' because I didn't use an instant packet and water-- it's milk, melted chocolate and a pinch of the wonderfully aromatic cinnamon that Auntie Rorie brought back from her travels abroad...) to surprise Alex when she tired of dancing with the Snow Children outside.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Zeus".. or "Why Alex Wants Another Cat"

Dave was out on a business trip in Las Vegas, and I was feeling a bit lonely, so was only too happy to offer to babysit Zeus, our neighbor's black lab, for the weekend. Most of you know that I have been yearning for a dog of my own for a long while now, but *agree* with my husband that it will be better when the kids are older.Did I mention I agree with him that it will be better to wait? Zeus was an overall lovely houseguest, but he's definitely not a cat. He's more like a baby water buffalo. Gentle, large and loving, but mostly Large. His head basically reached the top of our kitchen table, and when he rested on the living room floor he left no room to walk around! The kids got a kick out of taking care of him, though. Justin was a bit intimidated by his size, but he is a dog who has 'raised' 4 kids, so he was nothing but polite. Alex liked walking him "but the part I don't like is having to carry the bag full of poop, so I think I'll just get another cat". I wanted it to be an authentic experience for her. I didn't make her scoop it up, for heaven's sake!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Best Buddies

We don't have school this week (conferences), so our rhythm is a little off. Instead of cleaning today we cleaned yesterday, so we decided to visit Como Zoo this morning. Thursdays seem to be our 'Adventure Day'. More than anything, it's a chance for us to get out of the house and enjoy exploring as a family. Justin gets stronger and more adept at walking every day, and today he was able to tackle uneven cobblestones in the tropical rainforest exhibit (please excuse the 'steamy' was quite cold outside and quite humid inside). After 'doing the zoo', we attended a short play/storytime. I was so surprised that Justin sat right next to Sister through the entire thing! I am so grateful that they are blossoming into such good friends.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Playdate: Waldorf Style

We had the most fun this morning! Because Alex is off of school (and Dave is out of town), we decided to host a get-together for Alex's classmates and their siblings. Despite the fact that there were more kids at my house than I've ever dreamed of hosting at once (4 classmates, 3 siblings, plus my 2!), it was a flawless morning. The children all played beautifully and creatively. They spent time in the playroom, backyard and Alex's room. We made some gorgeous mini-pizzas (everyone brought one topping)- the kids all rolled out their own dough and topped to their heart's delight. There was absolutely no fighting. Any disagreements were handled by themselves (a testament to Miss Brenda and Miss Kerry as teachers). The best part? All of our toys and playthings were treated with respect-- when we did a quick 'walk through' to see if anyone left anything, we discovered that the children and parents had tidied up after themselves! ! What a lovely morning!

Rolling out our pizza dough. Even the 'babies' got in on the dough-rolling action!

Our Sous Chef.... he took his cheese-grating job VERY seriously.

Enjoying our friends and the fruits of our labor.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Holy Grail


Auntie Carrie came over to help out today (one more osteopathic manipulation visit for me re:my skiing whiplash), and Justin got the treat of his LIFE! We are having some of Alex's school friends over tomorrow, so she was organizing the deck box when he caught a glimpse of his own personal Holy Grail....a giant ball! His Auntie and sister humored his obsession for a long while. At least until he started to attempt to throw it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ze Baby is Ze Arteest!

Justin got a really nice set of Clementine Art Paints from Auntie Carrie & Sam for his birthday, and today was the day that we were all ready (developmentally and parentally) to try them out. Although fingers were the easiest way to get the paint to the paper, they were deemed 'too messy', and he refused to continue without a paintbrush. Huxley tried his hardest to help in the process, but remained paint-less through it all. Justin's finished piece- entitled "Kitty at my Feet"Sister swooped in to try her hand with the new materials after Ze Baby lost interest. The colors are really nice, and as far as pre-mixed paints go, the consistency is perfect!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"How I Like to Hike" Justin

In the Ergo
On the shoulders
We brought Brad out to Carpenter Nature Center for a hike this beautiful sunny Saturday morning! Fresh air, sunshine and fun. Justin was content to be sherpa-ed in one of two ways. He loved being down on his own two legs as well, but that would have turned our morning excursion into an all day (or two) adventure!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hansel and Gretel

A la 'Hansel and Gretel' (a much-requested story in our home...hmmm...maybe our Story Table for next month?), we took a walk to 'the forest' complete with a bag of bread crumbs. (Although Alex was quick to point out that we didn't need the crumbs to find our way home, because we would be walking on a path). I think I have Spring Fever already-- we cleaned, dusted and aired out the main floor today. I am seriously contemplating completely redecorating the main floor half-bathroom and have the BIGGEST itch to make some yellow and blue spring-type pillowcases for my throw pillows. I even have the 'extra' tablecloths to repurpose for the project!

Anyhoo.... our walk. Enjoy the photos of our beautiful 40 degree day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Story Table: The Story of the Snow Children

I am really annoyed at how yellow these shots are. I'm not quite sure what I have set wrong on my camera, so I'll work on it for you. In the meantime, put on a pair of blue-tinted glasses and enjoy!

Alex picked one of her favorite winter-themed books- The Story of the Snow Children by Sybille Von Olfers for our story table this month. I love seeing how she takes more and more creative control as we get into this monthly rhythm. This time she constructed an entire 'snow palace' for the Snow Queen and Snow Princess to live in! She came up with all the ideas and excecuted mostly by herself (Dave helped her affix the rascally pieces of cotton that had a hard time following the directions). My favorite piece that we construced was our 'Swirly Wind' character. We decided that tulle would be the best material to represent our wind. We formed a head and two hands-- simple is best, right? I think this character has gotten the most play out of any of our story table props!

In my favorite part of the book, Poppy (the main character) rides on a silver sled drawn by a team of polar bears. Alex found a lovely feather on our nature table that made a perfect sled!(I have to admit that I totally get 'into' doing these story tables. Such fun!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Alex got to bring her very special friend, "Annabelle", to school for a Valentine's Day Tea Party! She was so excited to discover some Mama-made matching aprons for the two of them to wear! I was excited to discover that my pattern-reading abilities aren't too bad after all (as long as I don't bite off more than I can chew). After school, Auntie Carrie and Alex worked on making some lovely Valentines for the special people in our lives while I made my first batch of homemade mozzerella (which went into some very special heart-shaped pizzas for our Valentine's dinner). Working on the pizza dough, using some leftover whey in place of water. Best dough EVER!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tripp Trapp

At my doctor's appointment (for my whiplash, which is healing nicely, thanks!) Dave saw a book about pediatric osteopathy. It highly recommended children ages 6 months and older be sitting in a chair that allows for good posture (both feet should be resting flat). We had a 20+ year old Tripp Trapp chair for Alex that we inherited from my mom. It never crossed our minds that our highchair was not allowing for good posture (and perhaps even was a hindrance to J's ability to walk... he wasn't really aware of his feet in the way that feeling weight on them will make you). Luckily the fates aligned and we found a second used Tripp Trapp listed on Craigslist. Long story short, Justin is out of the highchair and in his 'big boy chair'. He couldn't be prouder to sit right next to Sister!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Family Day

We haven't spent a day as a foursome in a long time! While we absolutely love having friends and family around, it was really nice to just relax and take a day completely for ourselves. We unpacked, did laundry and then decided to take Daddy to the zoo. It was only about 5 degrees outside, so we got all bundled up, ignored the strange looks from the other zoo-goers, and took a beautiful walk on the outside trails. Having the right gear paid off. We got to see one of the new animal that they were just introducing to the Siberian Tiger exhibit. She ('Twirl') was gorgeous (and tail-less, due to an accident when she was a cub)! Signing 'kitty' while pointing to the Asian Small-Clawed Otters. Engaged in watching the penguins play.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snowbird: Home Sweet Home

Auntie Carrie managed to get the same flight home as us, so we enjoyed the extra pair of hands at the airport. The kids both had good trips back to Minnesota-- Justin ADORES watching the airplanes and trucks on the tarmac. During the flight he played with stickers and then napped. Alex ate a bunch of sugary fruit snack and plugged in to "her" iPod. I can't say that I feel too guilt about the screen time.... it sure helps the time pass on an airplane! (Plus, she only has had and only will have the same two shows to choose from, so she'll get tired of them fairly quickly).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snowbird: Meeting 'Ridge'

I think that (at least for Alex, Carrie and me) apres-ski today was an absolute highlight of our holiday. After a great morning on the slopes we got to meet 'Ridge' (aka 'Ridgeline') and Mr. Todd, from the Snowbird Ski Patrol. Our friend and World Wide Trekking guide, Dean Cardinale, arranged a very special meeting this afternoon. We got to meet with this amazing Avalanche Dog and learn all about his training and work. Alex even got to 'help' put him through a few paces (see video below).

so excited!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Snowbird: Blueberry Birthday Pie

"Pa Pa Ba" is Justin's version of "Papa Bob". It's pretty darn cute, especially because he whispers it with a big grin on his face. We were so happy to be able to celebrate Papa Bob's birthday! Alex and I brought a few jars of our homemade blueberry pie filling. Combined with a ready-to-bake pie crust, it made a mighty tasty Birthday Treat for a very special Grandpa! The crew went out to Shallow Shaft (traditional birthday meal for us here in UT) one night early last night. Justin and I stayed home and relaxed. He was too tired to make it through a meal out, but reportedly Alex had a fantastic time.