Ice Castles and frosty toes

For someone who is without a doubt, an introvert, I get stir-crazy very easily.  It is for that reason I tend to drag my family out of the house – Phoebe comes more than willingly, but sometimes I have to convince Josh and Enzo to come too. Something about the phrase “Ice Castle” had Enzo even more excited than Phoebe.

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We decided to go opening weekend since it was the first weekend where the temps were at least in the 20’s.  In hindsight, we should have probably waited until it was a tad warmer out. Enzo doesn’t mind getting bundled up, but Phoebe is really not a fan of layers and gets very unhappy when it’s time to put her big coat on.  I don’t blame her; I really am not a big fan of bulky layers either – I get claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

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Anyhoo, it was cold, but the kids thought it was neat for about the first 5-10 minutes.  One big draw was an ice slide, which Enzo obviously wanted to do, but Phoebe was cold and just wanted to be held, so Enzo and I rode down the slide together. While my hips are padded, they sure could have used extra on the way down. Totally worth it to hear Enzo’s excitement on the way up and then down.  Alas, due to a faulty battery and Josh’s phone dying, we didn’t get a lot of pictures and none of us coming out of the slide. Thank goodness for smart phones!  We walked around a bit, but the kids got cold fast and wanted to head out, so to dinner and home we went!

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Day in the Life – Your Average Sunday

Maybe one of these days I’ll do a DITL post of a week day, but for now it just makes more sense to capture moments with the kids before they no longer want me to. This particular Sunday started out fairly well considering the kids let us sleep in.

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I also decided it was a good day to have french toast, and gave the kiddos a little pre-breakfast so they wouldn’t starve while they waited.

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A very good day to stay inside.

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Prepare… winter is coming.

I can feel winter’s icy hand on the back of my neck and it’s time to prepare.  We need to get the house in order and come up with some fun ideas for when it’s too cold to go out or we have zero desire to bundle up because we are not cold weather people. I know… it’s a mystery why we live in Minnesota when none of us really enjoy snow or frigid temperatures.

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I think I need to do some Pinterest scouring to find good winter crafts, although apparently even a paper plate can be fun.  Who knew that switching one simple artistic medium could do so much?  I left out paper plates for about a week and both kids would climb up on the barstools whenever they were hit with artistic genius and color away.

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I already know we’ll do plenty of baking, but I want to spend more time this winter crafting and making things and being creative with the kids.  We should also actually take them sledding since they’d both enjoy it this year, but there’s that whole cold and wet factor.  We’ll see. Maybe we can just watch a movie where there is sledding?  I kid. Sort of.

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One of my goals is to do some sewing – specifically a quilt.  I’m going to start small and go from there, but first we need to do some major winter cleaning.  I see many trips to Goodwill in our future.  I need to go through old baby clothes as well.  I wanted to try and sell them, but it’s getting to a point where the payout doesn’t seem worth the effort and I’m tempted to just donate the lot.  Sure, some extra spending money is nice, but I could save myself some time and headache by just packing it all up in garbage bags and giving it away.  I can already see the empty bins we’d be left with. I feel lighter already!

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We also need to do some deep cleaning and prep our basement windows for their glorious annual plastic wrapping.  While the wood floor looks nice downstairs, it’s not the best choice for Minnesota winters. Plus hot air rises and we have 9 foot ceilings which also does not help.  Basically our basement is no-man’s land in the winter unless we wear warmer layers and remember to turn on the electric fireplace and space heaters an hour in advance.

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First, though, I need to get my body used to the lack of daylight. This year especially it seems to have caught me off guard and the late sunrise and early sunset is taking its toll. By the time we get the kids to bed its already dark and the couch beckons me to curl up in its warm embrace. Sigh. Soon, motivation, soon.

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I’m sure I’m not the only one who hopes the predictions of a slightly warmer winter are true.  We got a weather warning for the first frost of the year, and I’m really not ready for it.  Granted, I enjoy cuddling up with something hot to drink just as much as anyone, but I’m not looking forward to the below freezing winds howling outside our windows and the cold seeping in everywhere.  Phoebe especially is not too keen about winter.  She wouldn’t even go out into the garage this morning when she realized it was much colder than it has been and immediately stepped back in the house and wanted me to carry her.

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Right there with ya, Phoebe.  I am, however, grateful that our office changed to a casual dress code this year, so I’ll at least be more cozy at work and can wear actual winter boots instead of worthless dress boots that do nothing to keep the cold out. Always look on the bright side, right?  Not always the easy thing to do, especially when life gets stressful and throws you curve-balls, but I have to remind myself that it could always be worse and we always get through it.  I just also have to remind myself that it usually takes until the last moment when freaking out seems to be the only option that everything rights itself and you’re allowed a heavy sigh of relief.

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Ha ha ^ This is how I feel.  I think I need a super productive weekend, but also to get out and get some very brisk fresh air with our two munchkins.  Maybe a nice drive before all the fall colors disappear… they’ve been so beautiful.

Happy Friday!

 

A frigid Monday following a long weekend

I love a good long weekend, but it’s always that much harder to get going on Monday morning, and this Monday morning was especially difficult once we realized how cold it was.  Oh well, at least the days leading up today were pretty good, even if we didn’t venture out all that much.  We stuffed ourselves and hung out with family on Thursday, but once Friday hit we were on lock down.

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Ignore the fact that these pictures are from when it was actually warm enough to wear shorts and pretend that I’m not super behind on transferring photos from my camera to my computer and sorting them. Anyhoo, we decided that Enzo was ready for the next big step – potty training.  He had recently been showing all the signs and has been obsessed with potty books and apps/games on the Kindle, and when we asked if he wanted to wear undies, he was game.

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It actually didn’t go all that bad.  On Day 1 we had an accident pretty quickly, but then he also realized pretty quickly that underwear is very different than diapers.  During nap time we definitely had an accident and we talked about whether or not to use pullups.  Overall, a much easier day than I expected – he excitedly went potty frequently, flushed the toilet/emptied his potty seat, and washed his hands – all by himself.

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Gradually, it became a little more difficult, though.  We decided to do pull-ups, which I’ve been told will probably hold us back, so we may rethink this, but the big issue came with the other P word.  Pooping.  We had a couple of long days, but by Sunday evening everyone was pretty happy.  He really likes underwear and we like the idea of having only one kid in diapers.  Granted, we’re preparing ourselves for accidents and other issues, but we’re hoping we won’t have any major setbacks.  The biggest step will be taking the pull-ups off at night and just accepting that we’ll have to deal with a few accidents in the beginning.  It’s just hard with both of the kids not being the best sleepers right now.

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I’m kind of hoping that Phoebe’s sleep issue is just due to a growth spurt or is simply related to her age and will stop soon, but I’m still unsure as to what to do with our toddler. We’re giving him an earlier bedtime and are attempting everything to get him to sleep at a reasonable hour and keep him from waking up in the middle of the night and insisting on a parent to sleep with him, but are at our wit’s end.  I guess we’ll work on potty training for now and then figure out the sleep training later.