Friday, February 24, 2017

Revival of the Quick Take

I've had so many blog posts on my mind that it feels overwhelming to try and write them all. Luckily, I just remembered the old "quick take" posts I wrote (mostly in 2014) on Friday nights of the past. Hallejuah for the quick take! I'm about to churn some of these rambling memories and photos out! But be warned, titling this as a "quick take" is misleading. It's basically seven short-ish posts in one. If you read through this all you're a big fan, and I thank you for that. But if you just scroll through for the pictures -- you won't be disappointed.

1. Wizard of Oz
Grandma and Grandpa Szilagyi gave Reid a copy of the original Wizard of Oz for Christmas. I began reading it to the kids a few afternoons each week (our ability to read relied heavily on Mara's naps, Coraline's moods, and the general cleanliness of our house). 

When we were about half way through a friend mentioned her son was practicing for the school musical, Wizard of Oz! I was so excited. I'd actually just told the kids we would watch the movie once we finished the book (it was a bribe to motivate them to get through some of the middle chapters they weren't really digging). I figured going to a real live production of the story would be even more exciting. 

We bought tickets for our whole family and made sure to finish the book on Friday night in anticipation for Saturday's matinee. They were pretty captivated. Reid hardly blinked through the whole show. Nell stayed perched on Ben's knee the entire time, and even Mara and Coraline were excellent throughout the entire first act. I held them both as Mara slept. 

The second act wasn't quiet as smooth for our two youngest viewers. Well, really just the oldest of the two. Coraline loved pretending like the witch and the winkies terrified her. She was really just using it as a chance to get up and run around in the back of the (huge) auditorium (it was only about 1/3 full). In the end, a sweet older woman who sat behind us complemented how beautiful our family was and how well behaved our children were. Ironically, the three people sitting right in front of us made rude comments in the hall during intermission (they were passing between me and two other moms with kids about Reid and Nell's age). You can't please em all! But, we sure did please our little viewers.  Reid and Nell loved making connections about what was the same and what missing (Reid really wanted the chapter with the shooting rocks to come to life on stage, but it is noticeably absent form the screenplay). 

It was such a wonderful outing. When I imagined being a parent I never thought of all the baby stuff; my daydreams skipped right ahead to outings like this one. It was lovely to finally see that come to fruition. To top it all off, Reid was picked up by a friend to go spend the evening at the Gymnastic Center Open Gym. I remember going to bed that cold January night and thinking "this is what I envisioned parenthood and community to feel like." It's a silly thought, but one I wanted documented nonetheless. 

2. Snow Days
Reid had an official snow day (well, freezing rain day if you want to get technical). It was so fun to have him home unexpectedly. He and Nell play so well together and our entire house is lifted by their friendship. During the little girl's nap time the two of them got busy on the fun sticker books Grandma and Grandpa gave them for Christmas. 

On a different snowy day we caught Reid as he got off the bus from school. We all spent a good 40 minutes playing in the snow together. I have sent all three of the big kids out to play this winter (yipee for temperatures above freezing), but on this particular day I was sure to time Mara's nap just right. I really wanted to play with them. The snow was so wet and perfect for snowman building and snowball fighting. As soon as I began rolling a big bottom ball, Reid and Nell created their own balls. Reid's was the middle and Nell's the top. By the time I tried to get a photo of all four of us with our new snow friend, Coraline was screaming. But she was out there for a lot of the fun. I love moments when I get to play with my kids, and I'm a zillion times better at playing with them when we get outside! 
3. Quite Time with Nell
Nell always wants me to play with her during the hour (or two) that both her little sisters are napping. For a while I was pretty good at it, but other times I just turn on the TV and let the girl binge on Netflix. I can only handle so much paper doll pretend play before I want to lose my mind and go mop the kitchen floor.

She has fallen in love with our preschool bins (which may get their own post someday). She's even taken to telling strangers and acquaintances that she does Preschool bins at home. The conversation goes something like this.
Person: Do you go to school?
Nell: Nope, I do home school.
Me: ????
Nell: I have preschool bins that my mom gives me and I have to do them every day.

She also has lots of puzzles. And occasionally we get out some of our board and card games. I really do love those quiet hours we have to spend together. She sure is a cute little Nelly Bell and I'm going to miss her when she heads off to the kind of preschool where you leave the home and interact with other little kids. She's totally ready for it though. This girl is bored! 

4. Front Room Update
We finally said goodbye to our huge sectional couch that just never jived with this house. It was great for all our apartments, but it took up way too much space in our front living room. I was really starting to hate the flow of our main living area. So one night I got on a local facebook buy/sell/trade group and found us some new couches. It was a hard decision to make, and I felt like they were slightly over priced. But when I called Ben (at work, from the seller's house) to see what he thought about the whole thing, he reminded me how much he hated our couch. Ha! So, I gave the nice couple a small down payment and told them Ben and a friend would be back later that night to pick it up. Back in Oshkosh (because I bought this from a couple out in the country) I took photos of our couch and put it up for sale -- $50 from whoever could get it out of my house the fastest. I had over 17 comments on that post and I just kept telling everyone "whoever comes to take it, gets it." The nice gentlemen that gave me his phone number won! He was at my house within an hour. The kids and I spent the rest of the day dancing around our suddenly huge front room. 

We have loved the new (to us) couches. They aren't as easy to keep clean (nothing will ever beat that sectional), but we have so much space to play and run and dance. It is heaven. We also got a new TV for Christmas (from the Szilagyi's) and a nice new bookcase (also second hand and also from the Szilagyi's). It's so nice to have an update in our main living area. It makes things feel new again, and I need that mid-winter. 
The new couches make morning snuggles a little easier too!

 5. Hot Mess Lou
This section doesn't actually require any lengthy explanations. Just photos (and their captions).

I was hiding in my bedroom when she brought me a handful of "pretties" and demanded I put them all in her hair.
Just reading books on laundry day. 
She proudly dressed herself for our trip to the grocery store.
Nibbling on the cauliflower stub while I cook dinner.

 6. Reid's 100th Day of School
Reid was very excited to dress up for his 100th day of school. He was also over the moon about the fun party his class had planned. I don't know what all it entailed, but I do know the Kindergarteners went on a parade around the school. Also, everyone in his class brought 100 snacks of various sorts for a giant party mix. He took teddy grahams. Which wasn't nearly as exciting as the kid who took oreos or the one who took suckers (I won't mention we were going for trail mix here, people).

7. Mara's Noticeable Absence

Photos of this sweet little baby are noticeably absent from these quick takes. Don't worry though. I have nearly 100 pictures I'm sorting through for her own special blog post. I seriously can't believe her infancy is pretty much passed us. I haven't given her tummy time all week, and I think it is a subconscious plot to prevent her from learning how to roll over or accomplish any other baby milestones. I just want her to stay little forever -- more so than all the others. I love you sweet, final baby! Mwah!

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