Thursday, February 26, 2015

FYE: FEBRUARY

It's time for a little entertainment this week.  Here's my quick round up from this month.

Jimmy Fallon's post Superbowl lip-sync battle made me laugh so much.  Will Ferrel is pure joy.



Did you ever see this Downton Abbey parody starring George Clooney?  Watch both parts - they are so funny, especially if you're a fan of the show.




And - I may have shared this before - I can't remember.  This is an SNL sketch mocking the Atlanta snowstorm last year that shut down the road ways.  It makes me laugh every time.  It seems fitting to share today since the South has been inundated with snow this week.  We just don't handle it very well.

Ellen really does a great job at finding unique guests.  This little girl who loves the presidents is ADORABLE and so funny.



I really can't explain what makes me laugh at this video.  I don't even like chihuahuas, but this is pretty funny.  I may be punch drunk from all the time indoors and out of routine this week.  We'll blame it on that.



Obviously, Jimmy Fallon is my favorite.  I love how he gets people to do funny stuff.  Here's Christina Aguilera doing impressions, and she is so good at it.  Really.



This last clip is not funny, but it is just so good.  It's Carrie Underwood singing "There Must Be Something in the Water" at last year's CMAs.  She's just so talented, and the song is beautiful.  Also, I want to tell that unborn child how amazing it is to be able to hear that voice all the time.



Hope your February is wrapping up nicely.  Can you believe March is right around the corner?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SNOW DAY SURVIVAL: 7 QUICK TIPS

We are on snow day number five or six in two weeks, depending on how you look at it.  To be fair, I missed the first three while we were in Dallas, and I was a teeny bit disappointed at the time thinking that I might have missed all the snow we would get this winter.  As I sit here watching it snow, again,  that is no longer my concern.

So - what's a gal with young children stuck at home supposed to do?  Well - let me give you a few pointers.  I am becoming an expert in this field.  Here are a few things I can recommend.

1 - Have a group text going with your friends who are also stuck.  Use lots of emoticons and send pictures of what is happening at your house.  This has been really encouraging and entertaining to me, because it reminds me all over again that I am not alone.  You can celebrate the small victories like showering and compare movie schedules and fort construction.  It's really great fun.

2 - Give up all expectations for normalcy or a clean house.  This is what my entry way has looked like for large chunks of this week, and I don't even care.  (scratch that. i do care, but i am actively trying not to.)

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Also, don't worry when your children climb onto the table.  It's apparently just what they do.

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At one point today, the girls took to "cleaning" by running wet wash cloths all over stuff.  As you might imagine, this only makes those things wet and usually messier - like the windows.  Don't sweat it.  No biggie.  I didn't want to see through that window anyway.

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3 - Take your kids out only when the sun has come out and everything is melting.  This was largely successful for us.  (They didn't even really need the hats, but come on!  Look at the cute hats on the cute twins!  How could I resist?  I could not.)

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Like I said, this plan was largely working well for us.  Until it wasn't.

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4 - Let the kids use whatever they want to make a snowman.  Ours is no cookie-cutter snowman.  No sir.  We have a unique snowman, with a unique name: Olaf.

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(He does have some unique aspects, I'll admit.  That gum ball is his pipe according to Lily.)

5 - Don't own a restaurant.  It will only make your life harder.  Just sayin.

6 - Do make this Nutella Pie thing that I found on Facebook.  {Post by Mavi Kocaeli}

It sort of looks snowflakeish, and we had it for lunch today.

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I didn't read anything about the recipe.  I made ours using my mom's pie crust recipe and spreading butter on top of everything and sprinkling it with sugar before baking it at 350 degrees for 25ish minutes.  You could add peanut butter (or in our case, Wowbutter or Almond Butter) and/or cinnamon, and for future reference, I would probably brush with egg yolk to have it crisp up a little more quickly.  It was a tasty lunch.

7 - You should also look on Pinterest for good ideas to entertain your children indoors for days on end.  But - don't become overwhelmed at all the possibilities.  Or think that you have to do them all.  I scoured my "Fun For Little Friends" board on Pinterest one night thinking I would end up with something great.  I discounted most ideas for the sheer mess involved or the fact that the twins would not be able to participate, and then I realized how little I actually set up projects for my children.  It's just not my thing.  Other things are my thing, and I'm okay with that.  I settled on searching through this fantastic link of chapter books for preschoolers.  I am good at reading out loud, so we downloaded Mr. Poppers Penguins on the iPad, and the girls have loved it.

So those are my tips.  If you are snowed in, I hope you are making it.  This morning I asked the Lord to help my heart have a good attitude about today, because I knew I was going to need it.  He has graciously answered that prayer, and it's been a pretty good day.  That said, I have every finger, toe and hair crossed that tomorrow we will be back in routine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

16 ON 23: A DAY IN THE {SNOW} LIFE

Here's how yesterday went down.

6ish:  John leaves the house to try to figure out the situation on the roads so he can determine when to open CFA.  Snow days and restaurants do not mix well.  They require lots of decisions that you make with limited info and impact a lot of people.  No pressure.

9ish:  I got out of bed around 8ish, because they canceled school the night before quite early.  After I got the twins up, I realized who else was sad about everything being canceled - the cats.  I think they prefer the quiet house.

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Also - let me just say that the twins like to rearrange all the things.

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And this is what the girls' room looked like when I got up.  They do occupy themselves quite well.


10:30ish:  I managed to get everyone dressed and out the door.  The roads were perfectly dry, but the radar did not look good.  I was foolishly optimistic about the outing.

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By 11:00ish, we were at Kroger.  They had no "fun carts" at this Kroger, and so my children improvised.  I quickly realized that we would not be doing much shopping and stuck to the essentials.

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11:45ish:  We drove to CFA and realized that these friends were inside.  I really wanted to meet their new foster son (he's precious!) and wanted to eat lunch not at my house, so in we went.

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12:30ish:  We finished lunch about as quickly as we could, but even so, it was bad when we started to leave.

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12:45ish:  After watching people slide all over the road in front of the restaurant, I made the call not to drive home, and so John and I managed to park the mini-van and load all of the kiddos into the 4-Runner that is well equipped with 4 wheel drive.

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The roads were disastrous, truly.  Little Rock is REALLY hilly, and no one is great at driving on icy hills.  Everyone was trying to get home, and we had quite the adventure making it to our house.  Lily kept saying, "This is the most terrible day for cars."  and "Please don't slide.  This looks really dangerous."  She kept up this encouraging commentary all the way home.

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2ish:  I got everyone down for nap and made the girls separate for a bit.  They were doing great with all the togetherness, but I wanted to keep that good thing going.

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3:15ish:  John had gotten all of our team members home from the restaurant that we closed at 1.  He called to say that the sun had come out and cleared the roads and that we should make a break for the van so it wouldn't have to spend the night away from home.  I texted a neighbor who came up so we could go without the kids.  Here's how John and I feel about snow days at this stage in life.

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4:00ish:  I made it home with no trouble in the van on the almost perfectly clear roads.  But, it was continuing to snow, and we got the depressing call that life was canceled for Tuesday.  While I was gone, my neighbor had whipped up homemade hot chocolate for the kiddos.  Amazing.  And, she brought her kindergarten boy over, so everyone was having a grand time.

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5:15ish:  I turned on Disney JR for a little backup and let the kiddos enjoy one Hot Dog Dance after another as I worked on dinner.

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7:30ish:  After dinner and baths, everyone played on the bed before bedtime.

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7:45ish:  I tried not to cry over the milk that William pulled off the counter before I could get the lid screwed onto the cup.

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8:45ish found John and I relaxing in front of the fire.  I drank the leftover hot chocolate from earlier out of my creepy man mug.  Thanks, Patti, it was delicious!  John headed to bed soon after, because he has bronchitis.  That's just how things go sometimes.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

THIS & THAT

The topsy turvy nature of the last couple of weeks has left me spinning a bit.  We are beyond out of routine and in unchartered territory.  I'm asking myself questions like, "If a child is screaming, but the mom is in the shower and can't really hear it, then is that child really screaming?"  Deep thoughts at our house.

Lots of things are rolling around my mind that I would love to write about, but I haven't found the wherewithal and mental energy to get those thoughts out.  It's about all I can do to keep things afloat around here, and I feel like I'm not doing great at that as I glance around my living room that is a bit disastrous.  I have my back turned to the kitchen, so I can sort of pretend its okay, though you and I both know that is not the case.  However, the laundry is all folded - so that feels like a victory.  Let's celebrate the small things, shall we?

Re-entry from trips is always a challenge.  We have gotten better at managing our expectations for the kind of "rest" or "recharge" that we will get when we go away.  This has helped us as we return still a bit tired.  Our life is so full of really wonderful things, truly.  We have nothing to complain about, and hear me say - I am not complaining.  I've come to grips with the fact that we will just be tired at this stage in life.  There are certain demands that we signed up for that make it like this.  As we keep saying to ourselves, "All of our dreams came true.  All at one time."

Since I can't formulate any real meaningful thoughts at this moment, I'm going to share pics of what the kiddos did while we were gone.  They had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, and I'm so thankful that it seemed to be good for everyone!  The were here on actual Valentine's Day bearing Valentines with this photo.  How cute are they?

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Those glasses also look pretty good on the twinsies.

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There was cookie making fun and the first round of ice and playing with ponies and eating mac n' cheese.  All in all, a pretty great time.

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I can't say enough how grateful I am to have parents that will care for our children when we are gone.  It is a huge blessing, and I do not take it for granted.

Today was a wild day, and it's sort of funny, because I decided this morning to document it on the hour, so I'll write that post tomorrow.  But - here are a few pictures with the big camera from the snow day.  It really is beautiful.

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The girls lasted about five minutes at a time outside, since neither parent was willing/available to play with them today.  But, they loved it.  Hope that you are staying warm - wherever you are!