Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Celebrating holidays is so fun with children.

I hadn't planned anything specific for St. Patrick's Day, but when I saw a friend's idea for rainbow and pot 'o gold treats, I thought it would be a simple and fun activity.

I'd originally planned to have them done for the kids when they woke up, but then knew that Kate especially, would love to make it herself. So we stopped our mid-morning jobs to make them. It was fun, easy, and marked the holiday.

Wes and Kate dressed up in their Halloween costumes from 2007 and 2008 because they were green. How did they fit in them, you ask? Originally they were a Tinkerbell dress for Kate and Peter Pan smock for Wes. But thanks to homemade costumes made too big, and stretchy fleece, they were pulled from the dress-up box and re-purposed for St. Patrick's Day:).
(Here they are in 2008, one month before they turned 3!)

We also made vanilla cupcakes, because cupcakes go with any holiday:).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quick get-away

This week Matt had a conference in Arlington, VA. A few days before he said it would be fun if the family could come over and share his hotel room and see the cherry blossoms in D.C.

The idea was awesome, however logistically we weren't sure if we could do it because of some commitments we had. By the time the week of the conference had come I had just decided it would be too hard to pull off. So we said goodbye to him on Wednesday without any plans of joining him later.

He called home Wednesday night to tell us he'd arrived safely. The first thing he said was that his hotel room turned out being a suite, so two rooms, two TVs, a table, mini fridge, etc.

By the end of the conversation I decided that maybe we could pull it off. So I stayed up late Wednesday night and took care of a bunch of stuff and planned to make some phone calls in the morning so we'd be good to go. I decided not to tell Wes and Kate in the event we still wouldn't be able to go. But things got done and we (Sophie, Joshua and I) picked them up after school and drove to Arlington. Oh, they were so excited. What is it about kids and hotels? I remember being the same way.

So we had a lovely time lazing around, watching some tv ... PBS for them, HGTV for me:). Our kids waited for Matt to come back from dinner so they could go swimming (I didn't think I could handle all four at once). But meanwhile he and some colleagues were walking across the Mall and in to Georgetown for some good Vietnamese food (so jealous ... and for some perspective, that's quite the walk from the L'Enfant Plaza to GT).

He didn't end up getting back to the hotel until just before 9 p.m. By that time the kids were in their pajamas, but not too disappointed because I promised them I'd take them swimming in the morning as long as Wes and Kate promised to stay in the shallow end.

We had a nice breakfast the next morning, said goodbye to Matt again and suited up for the pool. After a while we went back to the room, showered, and watched some more TV (had to get my fill before coming back to rabbit ears;)). We checked out at noon which was the same time Matt's conference ended. We loaded up in the van and took off for Tidal Basin by the Jefferson Memorial.
It was an awesome afternoon. We spent the time walking around the Basin, taking in the beauty of the trees (100 Year anniversary), lack of crowds, and mild temperatures. Matt took the kids on a paddle boat ride. I wish I had the camera then because it was a hoot, but Matt had it.

Matt's such a big guy that his legs couldn't comfortably peddle for long distances, so he would pedal for a while and then stop and stretch. They ended up floating for much of the time. The boat was so off balanced that Kate was convinced they were going to sink. But they had a good time. Joshua and I hung out on a bench.

We were able to see the newly finished MLK Jr. monument and the FDR monument, two we hadn't seen before.

It was an awesome get-away. Here's to spur of the moment trips:).

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Negotiator

(in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)

I think children are born with the desire to negotiate. But Sophie is a master. She's always pushing for more of whatever ... here's an example I witness nearly every night:

Matt puts the kids to bed with teeth brushing and story, but then he comes and delivers his nightly message to me of 'they want you to lie down with them'.

When it's Sophie's turn she says, "Mom you'll stay for 5 minutes, 'k?"

It's important to note that her concept of time is not fully developed, although she seems to understand that two is more than one, three is more than two. So when she says 5, I'll say, 'how about one'. Then it begins ....

"No, you'll stay two."

I'm easily swayed at this point and will say, 'okay, two'. Then she sees what a push over I am and she'll say, 'no, you'll stay three'.

Then I'll hold ground and say, 'no, two'. She'll look at me and say, 'okay Mom, you'll stay three', and then she'll promptly close her eyes as if to say, we're done here and I'm closing my eyes so that you'll know the conversation is over.

The other thing she'll do is if I have my eyes open while beside her she'll say, "sleep Mom", and she's not satisfied until I close my eyes and keep them closed. Problem with this is I've been known to quickly fall to sleep myself.

One last Sophie thing for tonight... she came up with this the other day and it struck me funny.

'Rock a bye baby,
in the treetop,
when the wind blows
the cradle will rock;
when the bow breaks
the cradle will fall,
and Daddy will catch you
Ala-cazam!