Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Leap Year February

Week #1
February opened up with our biggest storm of the season! They cancelled school (for Tuesday, on Monday night) before it even came down! We started our snow day with a trip to the Dentist. We're cavity free over here! On the way home I stopped by the grocery store for a few items and a redbox. It's strange how we spend most our time inside anyway, but on a snow day it just feels necessary to snuggle up with a movie and some popcorn.

Every couple of hours Reid and I would go outside and clear the driveway. He really was such a great help. At one point we spoke in character, as plow driver #1 and plow driver #2.

"Plow driver #2, plow driver #1 needs a bit of assistance over here. Do you copy?"

"Let me finish this one row plow driver #1, then I'll be right on my way."

It was really such a sweet moment.

It was also an incredible work out. The real plow truck came down the road around 4pm and dumped a huge pile at the end of our driveway. It hit me at mid-thigh and was at least two feet wide. I was sweaty and sore by the time we were all done.

This was after plow driver #1 and #2 cleared the driveway, but before I tackled the mound at the end.
The mound.
Mission complete!
That very night Reid sneaked out of bed after the girls had both fallen asleep and I rewarded him by letting him stay up and bake cookies with me. I can't remember why I knew he wasn't tired, maybe I put them all to bed a little early, or he had taken a nap? I can't quite recall, but we sure had fun during this special time. It's so nice to spend meaningful one-on-one time with your children once you have a house full. 
Nell is phasing out of naps, but every now and then I trick her into snoozing on the couch so we can snuggle. I love it!
We made a special trip to Target one day to buy Reid's Valentine's goodies. Nell was pretty upset she wasn't getting anything, so Reid offered to buy her a little Lego set. He also offered to put it all together for her, of course. Either way, it was a kind gesture. They also wanted to pick out Valentine's for daddy and each of their Grandma's. They were so excited to give Daddy his box of chocolates. And lucky for them, he shared. 

Nell made cards for both her Grandmas (and I never sent them, oops) while Reid decorated his school box. We also filled out all his Valentine's. One of the three cards said "Hugs and Kisses Deployed" and I couldn't help but notice he only wanted to give that one to a few special girls. The boys and most the other girls were given the less aggressive love day cards.  

Sunday, the 7th, we celebrated Chinese New Year (which was actually the 8th). We looked up all our different Chinese Zodiac signs, practiced a little Mandarin, and ate a traditional (American) Chinese dish -- sweet and sour chicken, broccoli, and mandarin oranges. The kids thought it was exciting and I gave myself a little pat on the back for exposing them to a different culture. Win, win. 

Week #2
We've had a lot of box love over here this month. Right now two diaper boxes are taped together to create a marvelous rocket ship costume. This above photo is actually Reid in his tutu. He wore it proudly for a week or two. I love all the mileage we get out of boxes!

Coraline suffered some bad cold sores this month. She still has a few on one finger and one in the back of her mouth. She's also had a steady stream of ear infections. But, she's still smiley and jumpy through it all. We sure love her!

Thursday, February 11th we took a trip down to Chicago so Ben and I could attend the sealing ceremony of two friends. We are so grateful Rick and Carol are always willing to watch our kids when we want to go to the temple. They go above and beyond. They even offered to keep Reid and Nell for the whole weekend! That meant Reid would have to miss his school Valentine's Day party, but we gave him the choice and he choose Grandma and Grandpa. Smart kid. I know they had a blast. They love special time with Grandma and Grandpa and they especially love it when they get to play with their cousins. 

This is just a silly picture I took of Reid eating his macaroni salad at Grandma's house. He's always telling me what a good cook she is. It's sweet. 

Week #3
Coraline has decided she is one of the big kids. She's always wanting to sit on the chairs with them, play outside with them, and just be wherever they are. She doesn't walk yet -- but sure baby, you go ahead and sit right on that big kid chair and enjoy your tea party. 

As she gets more and more playful these two get more and more friendly. I can't wait to see their relationship blossom. I don't know much about sisters, but I sure love these two!

I took the kids to the Gymnastic Center's open gym one Friday morning and Reid was in heaven. Nell was a total baby. She use to be my brave child. Winter has changed her. It kind of broke my heart, but hopefully things will warm up again and she can renew her sense of venture. 

Reid actually ended up with some rug burns on his knees after our day at the gym. When they took bathes that night he just about lost it (okay, he did lose it). He finally calmed down enough to ask me to take care of him "because you've had these before and you know how they feel." I was really just telling him I'd had them before so he would know they won't kill him, but it was sweet to hear him catch on to empathy. After we had him all bandaged up he asked if Daddy (who had been less patient, and understandably so -- seriously, mountain out of a molehill) could give him one of those special prayers. I almost wanted to say no, we don't get a Priesthood blessing for rug burns, but he was so anxious and really needed some comfort (plus, the comment softened Daddy's heart). He woke up a new boy and didn't complain about them ever again. 

On the 20th Ben went to the local Gun Show with some friends while the kids and I enjoyed our first day above freezing! Coraline, always wanting to play like the big kids, was thrilled to finally join her big brother and sister in the snow. She's watched them from the window more than a dozen times. There really is no way to describe her joy. I don't think she was as impressed as she thought she'd be, but just being near them was enough for our sweet girl. 

She started to crawl around and immediately lost a mitten. Total game changer. She insisted I hold her the remainder of the time. I even put her in our infant swing and she was not having it. I had to hold her.

This little slush area behind our house (which is actually our neighbor's property) has been their favorite play place lately. It refreezes each night and they love going out there and trying to break apart the ice.

Ben took the kids to the library and grocery store Saturday afternoon, so I could finalize my talk for Church the following day. These pictures he took of Coraline are just too much. Her cuteness can not be measured.

Week #4
We had a playdate with some good friends we haven't seen enough of lately. Nell hit the jackpot when she found her buddy Evie's dress ups. The boys (and an other guest) were busy playing Star Wars. Reid actually got to stay for about an hour without the rest of us around. He was pretty excited about that bit of independence. But then he was a total pain when I showed up to bring him home.

It was one of those moments where I totally failed at parenting. I had to get him to the car, and fast, because I had four little kids waiting on us. So I told him he could buy some Lego Star Wars of his own with the money he had saved up. When he demanded we go to the store ASAP I told him I actually had the Legos in the basement. I have a secret stash of gifts in our office closet, when I see something I know my kids will love at half price I have a hard time walking away (it makes Christmas and Birthday shopping super easy and budget friendly). Reid did pay me the money I'd spent on them (plus a dollar, just for good measure). But seriously, I bribed him to come home and get new toys? Anyway, that doesn't really fit with the rest of this post, other than to say I had at least one really bad parenting moment this month. I'm sure there were others.

This month has been our first real success with the two extra kids I'm watching a couple days each week. In January, we kept getting sick or they were sick or family was in town ... it was pretty hectic for a while. But this month we've had a really consistent schedule and I actually love it. The three big kids go outside each day after Reid gets home from school. They have been so creative with the season and the materials available to them. It's hard to see them, but there are a bunch of ice crystals poking up from their forest floor. I love outdoor play!

A couple things about this picture. First, aren't her cheeks adorable. If all my babies can be given one compliment, it's their head shape. They have perfectly shaped heads and adorable chubby cheeks to go with it. Second, she is in love with those shoes. The first couple days after I bought them she insisted on wearing them everywhere. 

Reid and Nell each started swim lessons this last week. Nell was pretty nervous and only agreed when I told her she wouldn't have to go under water (a lie and another parenting win). She was pretty cute during their first lesson. I knew she had Reid's teacher from a couple years ago, so once I spotted Miss Jamie I walked Nell over to her class. Nell interrupted the whole introduction (Miss Jamie had just taken a knee to start talking to the three other kids in Nell's class). "I don't want to go under water," Nell said as she shook her head at Miss Jamie and placed her hand on her shoulder. Jamie looked right into her eyes and said "Okay, Nell thank you for telling me that." And then Nell leaned in and gave her a big hug. "Oh, you're already giving hugs. How sweet; thank you Nell." See why we love Miss Jamie? Best teacher ever. And I think it is safe to say she loves Nell. I only watched a few minutes at the end of their lesson, but she seemed to be the clear favorite. She was also soaking wet from having gone under the water multiple times. "Momma, I went under water and it was so fun!" What a turn around in just under 45 minutes. 

Reid was also having a blast. He and the two girls in his class were jumping off the edge, seeing who could make the biggest splashes. He won handily. I actually signed him up for back to back classes with the same teacher. On Thursday he has two other girls in his class, Nell's class takes place in the middle of the pool, and a mommy and me class takes place at the other end. It's crowded and crazy, but lots of fun. On Friday, Reid is the only kid in his class and the only class taking place! It's perfect. He'll be introduced to the skills on Thursday, and then on Friday he has one on one time with his teacher to work on mastering the skill. I'm really hoping he'll pass to the next level by the end of this session.  

Bonus Day: Leap Year Photos!
Two local companies teamed up to offer a leap day photo/modeling shoot and I was lucky enough to get my kids in on the deal. Here's the photos the clothing company, LadyBeez Designs, is using in their modeling album.

Aren't they just so adorable! I'm counting my blessings over here. Love my little family. 


Grandpa B said...

Awesome post and awesomer pictures! Love to all of you.

Claudia said...

It's a WONDERFUL life at the Szilagyi household! So enjoyed the happenings and photos! Do you copy Mommy #1? Cute photos!

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