Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WITL 2016: Wednesday

I just irrationally love this photo.  It is very M right now.  Off we go on the wild ride that is Wednesday!
Wednesdays are complicated.  Or maybe they are just a really efficient use of time/scheduling as we all try to do things at the same time.  Mornings are less complicated so let's start there.
From left above:
  • All morning departures for all family members must include hugs.  So today we developed the hug selfie.  The bonus is I got extra long hugs today :)
  • Before the hugging there was some video time - this may only occur when the child is completely ready and typically wins me 5ish minutes to put on makeup and make coffee... E almost never is ready more than 10 min early. 
  • All the kids eating breakfast together.  Hooray!
  • E has such good pick-up pictures I have to use them.  Here he is walking along the wall he walks every day and abandoned his random poses for a moment. Love it.
  • My mom lobbied the legislature today and then brought my sister and I surprise lunch, which was a great break in the work day.  Usually I have a big meeting on Wednesdays just after this, but my boss is on vacation so smaller meetings today.
  • After school, E and I went to CVC to pick up Fluoride (because randomly the water here is not fluorinated and kids teeth need fluoride... coming from someone whose water did not have it as a kid).  While he was perusing the toy cars and I was searching out kid allergy medicine we were separated and briefly couldn't find each other.  That adrenaline rush resulted in him convincing me to buy all the kids lollipops just like the ones people used to sell when I was in elementary school. 

 At home, we had the daily kid debrief and lollipops.  Then:

  • B did his Spanish homework last minute before his lessons. (Which happen while M is at dance).   During the lessons, Brent cleans and hangs out with E. 
  • M and I got ready for phase 2 of the day. She had ballet/jazz class for 1.5 hours. I ran for an hour (around 4 miles.. slow, but I ran and that is big at the moment).  
  • While we were gone, Brent made dinner as he typically does on Wednesdays.  Today, was Shrimp with Peruvian Chili Lime seasoning, whole wheat noodles, and avocado.
  • The boys ate it all up and got to make and enjoy chocolate pudding.
  • M ate almost nothing so she took a bath and read with me instead (not sure how the reading photo is missing - we read Aqualicious, Bread and Jam for Frances and the Tea for Queen Bee book).
  • Brent returned to work for dorm night (all the teachers go once a week to help tutor their subjects during study hour).  He left after E's bath so no Harry Potter tonight.  Instead, B read E the Ninjago rise of the Serpentine book..... Brent and I are both pretty sick of reading Ninjago books at the moment so this was nice and allowed me to listen to M read for longer.
  • Kids went to bed and I did watched some gymnastics, showered, and blogged before Brent came home with a hillarious gift from one of his students.  Just so random. And now time for bed.

Wednesdays go pretty well at this point, but there is a lot going on.  Not pictured - M's Ocean Day celebration in Kindergarten, more stuff coming home from school.  Any of Brent or my work day.  B & E playing in the front yard, chores, dorm night, etc...This will be our last Wednesday like this before schedules shift, but glad to capture the fun. 

Gratitude - For busy full lives and our kids getting to try out and enjoy things like dance and Spanish early on.  I'm also thankful for how well Brent and I work together to make the logistics work for all of us.  

Overheard - We had ice cream with swedish fish today, which I brought.  It was delicious. And we had hot dog octopuses, star fish sandwiches, goldfish, and capri sun.  It was a picnic!  We made cool ocean crafts in the morning. I want to have an Ocean birthday party at the pool.  I know just what to do - M (In fairness, M has millions of birthday ideas and changes her mind frequently, but Ocean Day sounds like fun).

Observation - I've been giving the kids harder chores this week than usual and am not getting much complaining.  Such a bonus.  M is whining a lot bout things like eating her food or doing basic stuff like putting on her shoes. One tough thing about Wednesdays is not getting to see Brent very much, but it is definitely downhill to the weekend from here!

Notes - I am not sure why this project is so daunting, but it really is.  A week seems like a long time for all of this, but each day is really different and really different that it was a year or two ago so I'll keep going.  I haven't done as well with the journaling pages today, so I'm doing that next!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WITL 2016: Tuesday

 Tuesday- Already missing my DSLR... In any case, a lot of photos still and a little trouble convincing myself to organize them this evening.  The above title page is E outside his school at pickup.  He hops on these rocks as we depart almost daily.
 Tuesday morning - The picture of M not being a morning person didn't make the cut as there are so many of my visit to B's school today. I may make a collage of random morning pictures later or scrapbook it separately? The stories here are:

  • I finally made it to lunch with B.  We used to do this monthly, but it has taken up to the last week of school this time.  WE had fun and I went to recess with him too.  SO chilly!
  • B plays video games in very designated blocks.  This was in the morning cycle after he was completely ready for school.
  • B eating breakfast.  He falls somewhere between M & E on morning attitude.  Probably the most chill as he volunteers to wake up before he has to (see video game time).  Also randomly often puts on his daytime pants without his daytime shirt of late.  Also eats breakfast more than once before leaving.  Starts with cereal, but eventually has something else like yogurt, crackers, dried cranberries, cheese, etc...
  • E, once awake, is his full silly self.  He doesn't wake up early and sometimes need some help moving along, but is probably the most energetic of our crew in the morning. Above he is surfing/getting dressed. I should specify that his energy is rarely directed toward the actual getting ready tasks...
  • M checking out the lunch menu - a near daily task- here in the final week she seems to be moving back to bringing her lunch box.  
  • B sitting in line with R waiting to return to class after recess.  We shot hoops, played four-square, and a few other random games B came up with before R joined for catch.  Came to the sad realization that B often spends recess alone, but he seems fine with that and has a routine? I'm sure I'm overthinking this..
  • The day I finally made it to lunch happened to feature frito chili pie & cinnamon rolls.  The cinnamon rolls did not meet the standard of my elementary school, but were still good:)

Part 2 - full of random and missing bits.  In the course of the week I have to assume we'll hit the basics, maybe just not all in one day.

from top left:

  • E being cute while he is supposed to be cleaning his room.
  • M&E made a bunch of pillow/blanket beds, nests, etc... after dinner.  This is one of their creations.  They have great imaginations and play so well together right now.
  • Me working in fingerless gloves.  There are many attempts at this selfie as I was trying to show my new GW gloves and not look crazy. I mostly decided I am looking more middle-aged and settled for this one. This whole headset, gloves, makeup/on camera look is now standard as video calls arrive at random. I most likely am wearing jeans with it any given day.  Also played with a variation on the chignon today.  Added bobby pins as I found them around the house.  So random, but I'm keeping myself in the story!
  • Before dinner (after room cleaning) M & E played with minecraft figures while B was actually playing minecraft downstairs. I joined them intermittently between making dinner.  It was a fun game.
  • Brent reading Harry Potter while E "reads" Ninjago.  Book 7 of Harry Potter is pretty intense, just as I'm sure you recall.
  • B looking at a summer camp brochure.  We finally found a camp we both agree on - Brixology- Engineers Shape the World -- which actually manages to not conflict with swim team or our other obligations and is nearby.  And engineering intro + LEGO sounds great.
  • Bathtime with E.  Brent is usually in charge of baths, but was playing a game with B so I joined in and discovered M has pretty much dumped a HUGE amount of soap into baths over a couple weeks that should have lasted maybe 4 months...grrrr.
Not pictured - after bedtime reading and yoga for me and Brent & Gavin gaming.  Also things like dinner, going through all B's returning school supplies and M"s returning projects, the kids playing piranas, lots of chores, Brent working, etc...

Gratitude - I am thankful for getting to spend one-on-one time with each of our kids.  Sometimes it is tricky; always it is awesome.

Overheard: B: I am a canibal so I eat you (eating sounds); M: I don't want to be eaten; E: I want to be eaten! and be a canibal and a piranah.  E really wants B's attention.  B loves driving M crazy (as brother's do).  This ended in a stalemate, but was revealing of their normal reactions.

Observations: M&E have amazing imaginations and daily create new fascinating scenarios, games, activities, and missions to play through together.  I love to watch them play. 

Note. I am still toying with format.  Leaning towards 6x8 with a title 6x8 photo, 2 collages with a center 3x8 with the times and general journaling.  The back page with be a a different feature of the day - so maybe day 1 - food; day 2 - morning approach, etc... We'll see. In concept the bonus journaling for the day would be 3x8 with two 3x4 pictures next to it.  

Monday, May 16, 2016

WITL 2016: Monday

Week in the Life (WITL) is an annual memory keeping project lead by Ali Edwards.  The idea is to take a really deep dive into everyday life for one week a year.  I've been participating since 2008, with the caveat that most of those years on only on the blog and not in albums.  I've been pondering how to make sure they get into albums this year and am trying to treat it more like December Daily by actually gathering the photos I plan to use and do the writing daily.... still not sure it will work, but it will be on the blog in any case.

Interestingly, the 2015 WITL (only on the blog) took place the first week of school this year.  It seemed interesting to have the 2016 WITL be the last week of the school year/first two days of vacation.  Most of the rest of Ali's WITL crew did this project last week, but I was in DC and preferred to document a week when we're all together. (I have documented time in DC before in Day in the Life and other projects, not to worry).

On to Monday....
This will be the first image and facing it will be some text.  I've written down the timing of the day, gratitude, observation, and overheard notes to be added, but will likely also add some text explaining the individual collages as with the below.  For now, planning on 8x6, but might upsize to 8.5x11 as I have some albums that size on hand. The above photo is as we were putting away groceries this afternoon. 
Collage 1 - Morning through returning home from the grocery store.  I will likely time stamp these once printed. The basic stories are: (from top left)

  • Morning coffee
  • buckling in for school
  • Kids at the bus stop
  • A look at my work day - planner 2 iphones, 2 screens, pencil, and a beautiful view
  • A trip to the grocery store with E
  • Holdie handsie with E walking to the car from pick up -- my favorite photo of the day. 

 Collage 2 - from returning home through the evening -- on instagram, I made three collages for morning, afternoon, and evening, but ended up with two instead for the album.  Possibly that lower right photo should be turned hmmm..

Stories from top left:

  • afternoon chores
  • Jumping on the pile of throw pillows and looking at scrapbooks after dinner
  • Brent brushing E's teeth
  • Me reading Goodnight Moon to E
  • Brent playing games online with friends in the evening
  • B's Oklahoma box --- which is full of Oklahoma projects from the last few weeks.
Overheard- at about 8:20 B mentions something he did in Enrichment today.  I'm shocked to discover that after probably a month or two of waiting he finally got to go to Enrichment and failed to mention this for 4.3 hours!  We even spent some one on one time today prepping dinner just the two of us.  Clearly I am more excited about Enrichment than he is.

Observation - I love, loved watching M go through maybe 4 different big scrapbooks tonight. I had opened one to show her her dance pictures form when she was 3 and that lead to many more books.  I love all these albums and am glad she does too.  I should resume scrapbooking soon.

Gratitude - I am thankful for the verdant green of this moment of spring in Oklahoma.  It makes me so happy. I'm thankful for an awesome job and time with my kids. 

Notes: Skipped some pictures of food today, including the picture of popcorn that somehow always makes it in.  Perhaps there will be a food page at the end? Keep reminding myself that there are six more days and many of these things happen daily so no need to try and use all the pictures on day 1.  Also, my big camera is broken so all iphone this year.  So far, so good.

Read more about WITL from Ali and others here.

And just for nostalgia sake:

Monday of WITL 2015 here.
Monday of WITL2014 here.
Monday of WITL 2013 here.
Monday of WITL 2012 here.
Monday of WITL 2011 here.
Monday of WITL 2010 here.
Monday of WITL 2009 here.

Wow - that is a lot of years and my journaling is usually a lot more detailed than this time...hmmm... we shall see. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ten on Thursday

1. I don't have nearly as many exciting things to report this week, but I am in DC and having a great time with my colleagues doing my lawyer gig.  DC is so beautiful in the spring. I will always love it more than NYC.  It is just more my city and more my style.  NYC definitely has DC beat on things to do in the evenings though. Couldn't find a dance or theatre performance I wanted to see this week ending my streak.

2.  While in DC, I try to run at least on Wednesday, if not more.  Last night, I made sure to run past George as E requested a photo.  It was a beautiful cool evening for a run. I was surprised to find less people out than usual, but they may have been deterred by rain earlier in the day.

3.  Have I mentioned how much I love regalia? In wandering around campus today everyone was wearing fancy new navy GW regalia with the logo on the sleeves. I miss the traditional black a little, but they did look very sharp.  It is luck I'm married to a PhD who does have to wear his regalia few times a year :)

4. I had dinner with a law school friend this evening.  She is from Nebraska so we share a love of college sports.  She got to see Hamilton very early on so we talked about that as well as the presidential election, DC, and our jobs.  It was lovely.

5. My mom is sick :( (Hi mom! hope you feel better soon!) This is sad in its own right and her particular ailment I happen to know is really painful, but she has meds now and is recovering.  Brent, Audra, and Bill have formulated a plan to cover all the kid logistics tomorrow in her absence, but I suspect she'll miss the long anticipated land run.

6. I, sadly, will also miss the land run, but I did get to see B off to his day in the one room school house. I think he had a good time, but was mostly focused on his lunch.  They apparently worked on penmanship and the teacher pretended to take someone outside for swats?  B's family will have a conestoga wagon they made for the land run tomorrow, operate a little bakery set up with cookies each kid is bringing, and then after the land run and claim staking, have lunch in pie plates and play fun period games.  Should be great!

7. We went to the farm a bit this weekend, and made a group hike out to this old house my ancestors staked in the land run of 1893 and told the kids all about it. It is amazing it is still here and may not be much longer given the creek erosion, but it was a neat visit. (Much more my speed than the snake hunting......which also happened).

8.  The kids brought a variety of mother's day things home from school.  E, apparently, wrote his very own name on his for the first time, which was awesome.  B made this entire long amazing book full of poems, drawings, and other memories. It twas incredibly sweet, well-writen, and with such beautiful hand writting.  I will keep it forever.

9. Our strawberry crop is amazing.  We get a couple dozen small berries every few days almost.  The ants are certainly getting some too.  One day E and I came home and had to run off a squirrel from our strawberry patch as he clearly wanted some as well.  It is great fun to pick them and eat 1/2 of them in the front yard in the afternoon.  I so adore this new house and the strawberry bed is such a random fun bonus.  It makes me happy.

10. The Wainrights are some of our very closest friends and we love getting to do things together. In a miraculous turn of events we got to go on a double date with them to the Pentatonix concert in Tulsa last Saturday.  (This is amazing as between us we have six kids).  My sister took our kids to the farm for a slumber party with Grandma and the Korenaks while Chrissie's sister watched their kids. It was amazing.  Brent and I spent almost 22 hours together sans kids which may be our longest kid free vacation in awhile.  We started it with a nap, as one does.  The concert was good - very high production value and great singing from the main group (the first act was... not so good?).  Dinner was quite delicious and we loved getting to spend some kid-free time with some of our favorite people.

Tomorrow I fly home and it is back to the flurry of the last week of school.  I'm amazed it has gone so quickly.  This week, Ali did week in the life, but I want to do it when I'm home. The last week in the life was the first week of school so it seems somewhat fitting to do the last week.  We shall see how that goes as my big camera is broken, but my iphone should do the trick. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fifteen on Thursday?

1.  Yesterday, I went to the Mother's Day Tea at E's school.  I was 100% anticipating maybe doughnuts and a handmade gift.  Turns out, it was a full musical performance!  Below are two of the possibly six or so songs they sang.  I have more videos uploading if there is interest!

2.  Tuesday was "Alphabet Parade" day for the Kindergarten.  M chose to go as Anna of Arendelle --- we wrote a story of "a" words - like carrying avocados, apples, and apricots.  The hair was a challenge, but worked out in the end.  I quickly visited the school to listen to them sing one song in the cafeteria and headed back home. 
3.  I came back from wandering through NYC to these more mundane, but awesome Sunday adventures - 1) E playing with his new castle book from the Met; 2) B trying to do the mummy mazes from the Met --- they may be too hard for us?  3) M&E finding a new hidden hideout in the bushes. 
4 Grandma bought all the kids NY tshirts - they love them and are very cute. There are obviously epic amounts I could write about this trip and I'll try to keep throwing in little stories, but here are a few of the highlights briefly. 

5.  In NYC, I happened to discover that Simone Biles, 3x world AA Gymnastics champion was doing an outside demonstration on our first morning there.  It involved a fair bit of standing in the cold, but it was amazing to be so close to arguably the best gymnast ever. 

6.  One of the last things I did was ride the seaglass carousel in Battery Park. We just happened on to it, but it was great fun and the video of my ride was the kid's favorite of my photos/videos.
7.  We also went the the Metropolitan Museum of Art - honestly I could just live in the museums of NY for a week (with occasional Hamilton breaks).  Here are some of our favorites and a few views of GW :)
8, The biggest and best part --- actually the reason for the trip --- was getting to see Hamilton in NY with the original cast.  My mom and I are obsessed with Hamilton and to my great amazement the production exceeded my very high expectations.  I have almost no words.  Just completely phenomenal in every component.  Daveed Diggs is my favorite actor in Hamilton and we happened on to him on the street and got to say hi as we were exiting NYC.  Just a huge bucket list once in a lifetime moment to have this experience.  Thanks so much to my mom for the tickets and sharing this amazing experience with me. 
9.  In less huge, but quite delicious news, we also stopped at Levain for huge cookies and, I think, managed to have cookies of some kind every day. I happen to love black and white cookies which basically don't exist in OK so I brought some of those home for the kids (and me).
10 - Random picture of my mom and Frozen Characters in Times Square before we saw Hamilton (it really all comes back to Hamilton -- I'm sparing you pictures of his grave and our visit to his house.... and some paintings elsewhere... obsessed).
11.  My mom and I hopped off the tour bus to check out some more gardens.  We both loved all the lilacs--- right around here my big camera broke :(
12.  We went to see a triple bill at the NY City Ballet.  It was a huge, extremely talented company and everything was wonderful.  It was 180 degrees different than Hamilton and just a huge contrast in experience. 

13.  Me, fittingly with GW.

Yesterday B's "family" for the upcomging land run built their wagon.  It went way faster than expected which was perfect given our crazy schedule yesterday.

15. We got to video some of M's dance practice yesterday.  She is front and center for most of both of her classses' performances so we're going to need to practice a bit more.  Enjoy!

Ps - let me know if any of those videos work. I'm always a little dubious. 


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