Jan 25, 2017

Evie Writes

I get a kick out of some of the papers that come home in Evie's school folder, as well as things she jots down at home that I find stashed on the counters and table tops. Here are some of my favorites:

 Recently I came across this endearing note Evie wrote to notify her teacher (pictured below) that she wouldn't be in school on her birthday...in the summer.
The girls are still eking out every last bit of the Christmas season...
But for this post-Christmas letter to Santa I would never have known Evie had such an interest in space:
One day back in December she took it upon herself to make a list of things we should (not) do at mass. I'm contemplating bringing this with us on Sundays as a reminder. ;)
When this came home in her folder at Thanksgiving it was a good day:
And when Heidi slipped and fell down the stairs recently, Evie went right for some paper to put her get better wishes into writing.

I'm sure it made Heidi feel beder. :)

Jan 15, 2017

7 Quick Favorites

Linking up with Kelly to share seven favorites of late. In no particular order plus completely unrelated photos...

A couple of years ago I was looking for a new natural deodorant to try and I figured this one had decent merit since it had high reviews on Amazon and wasn't super expensive. I knew it was a bit of a gamble, as toiletry products don't always work the same for everyone. Well, two years later I'd still give it five stars!

 post-naptime shadow selfie
I've been using Clinique's tinted moisturizer for many years but found it was discontinued when I went to purchase a bottle a few months ago. Not wanting to spring for the $30 CC cream that was recommended in its place, I searched around the internet for a similar product at a cheaper price point and have been happily using this ever since.

For my girls' hair I've found these large snap hair clips and any alligator clips with the teeth have the best staying-in power. The latter are more difficult to find, ergo I was so happy to come across this Etsy shop with inexpensive alligator teeth bows, offered in multiple colors and sizes!
Christmas came early this year with this Thanksgiving day purchase. Over the last several months mold has grown on several surfaces and objects in our basement. :-/ As mold remediation was out of the question financially, I felt like we were trapped with this awful problem and regularly had nightmares about the mold. After much Googling to try and figure out some solution I started diffusing thieves oil downstairs, and we decided to purchase a dehumidifier. I know there are still some steps we need to take with the mold issue, but emptying several buckets of water pulled from the basement air has given me much more peace of mind!

I'm sure we have one too many alphabet books but when I saw these time period ones (Victorian! Roaring Twenties!) I promptly fell in love.

Paper snowflakes have never been my strong suit, so I was glad to come across this inexpensive snowflake stencil book for Evie. She's been having fun with it during quiet time, as well as REALLY enjoying this Mo Willems activity book. She has literally spent hours engrossed in the pages, and it has been so fun to witness her creativity with it!

Spring is obviously still a season away but is it ever to early to look for cute warm weather shirts?

When a Venerable becomes canonized- #Catholicproblems

That's all for now. Happy Sunday!

Jan 10, 2017

Finally Four

I once told myself I'd bring an equal amount of celebratory effort to the table for each child's birthday, but do I do it for my right-after-Christmas baby? NO. Have I ever? Never! (Well, maybe once.) And my sweet, sweet girl never makes a fuss about it. She just gleefully enjoys the tiniest measures I take to decorate or make her day not like every other routine day.

She didn't even bat an eyelash that we didn't have dessert on her actual birthday, or that her celebration with my family got postponed a week, OR that she shared a cake + family celebration with myself and my parents when we finally did have a "party". (Note to self- be more like her!) So, by golly, I am going to at least write her birthday post.

Audrey is my helper girl. She is always asking if she can help make lunch/dinner and eagerly pipes up if she suspects I'm about to start baking something. She loves wearing skirts and dresses and is very much her own stylist. Exhibit A:
Tim and I aren't sure what to make of the black socks- maybe a nod to his days as a monk?
She loves to play pretend and answers for her "kids", and if I say she's being too loud she's quick to tell me that it wasn't her, it was one of her girls.

Her reactions and responses often give Tim and I pause (in the best way).
The other day she was telling Evie about someone her age who (she felt) whined a lot. I cut in and said, "Let's not talk about people who aren't here; Jesus doesn't like us to be uncharitable." Without missing a beat Audrey replied (with a knowing tilt of her head), "Well, I'm sure Jesus doesn't like whining."

At the conference with her teacher, her teacher related to me a time when Audrey was telling her about some situation and at the end of her tale Audrey clasped her hands and declared, "and it was dreadful!".

The Friday after New Year's we went to the dinner at the K of C club room. It was all older couples who were there that night and as we were leaving, saying our general good-byes to the room, Audrey threw up her arms in the air and proclaimed, "AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY!".
She loves her sisters and has no qualms about introducing them to people. Today Evie had no school so I had all four girls with me when taking Audrey in to her classroom. I'll admit I was a little embarrassed to parade a crowd of kids through the halls during drop-off and was in no mood for fielding "hands full" remarks, but Audrey just blazed a trail to her classroom and proudly told anyone near her that Cora was her baby and Evie was her big sister.

I truly need to be more like her!

Happiest 4th year to our sweet girl!

Jan 4, 2017

Christmas Vacay

I have to begin this with an embarrassing story. Last year at Christmastime we gave our mailman (postman? mail carrier?) a box of Trader Joe's chocolate covered Joe Joes and a homemade card pulled straight out of the dregs of all homemade cards. I was kind of embarrassed when we received a thank you note in return from him, because that meant he knew we were the ones with the pathetic thank you offering! (I mean, I'm sure he has hundreds of houses on his route, but there's something about being acknowledged instead of simply blending in to all the other households, you know?). Anyways, he signed his name at the bottom and for the rest of the year whenever I passed him or saw him in his little mail truck I'd think to myself, "There goes Kevin!". 
Well, this year I knew all those Amazon Prime boxes arriving on our doorstep warranted a little more thanks, so we gave him a proper card with a little gift card tucked inside, and after hemming and hawing over how to address it on the front I simply wrote "For: Kevin" and placed it inside the mailbox...and last week when we I opened his thank you note my eye caught something right at the bottom of the card which made me holler, "Oh NO. Oh no! Oh no!" while tossing the note into Tim's lap (who afterwards said he thought, by my reaction, we'd lapsed our mortgage or something). Because it was signed:  
"From your mail carrier, Keith".
Now I'd just like a hole to hide in with no mailing address, thanks.
Name gaffes aside, we've had such a nice Christmas season. Both Evie and Audrey had Christmas programs at their schools (I forgot the camera for one and forgot to put the SD card back for the other- boo!). Evie's was on my birthday which rounded out the day nicely- I was able to get out for a few hours with my sister and we had pizza for dinner, so all in all it was grand. :) When my sister and I were texting plans for the day I decided all I wanted to do was get a sit-down coffee somewhere (something I miss doing so much- is that weird?) and then go shopping, specifically go try on clothes in a store- something I haven't done in ages! I ended up finding a dress for Christmas at a new J. Crew Mercantile (be still my heart).
Mid-December we were all planning to go to a Bethlehem Walk at a nearby parish but the frigid temps kept us at home with Heidi and Cora while my parents took Evie, Audrey, and one of their cousins. I was disappointed to miss it but there's always next year (hopefully)!

I think Heidi's favorite pastime was un-trimming the tree
Have you ever been in a situation where you make a poor decision and then every decision that follows (to try a right the wrong one) turns out to be a bad one? Welcome to my Christmas Eve morning.
Evie and Audrey both really needed trims and I decided I didn't want to wait until after Christmas, so at the recommendation of a friend, we headed out to a new-to-us hair place. Long story short- I went to the wrong shopping center twice (Google was to blame for one of those), tried two other random places that had no openings, and waited inside another (because this time!) for almost 30 minutes without any hope that one of the four stylists would be finished with their clients soon. Since it was lunch time I said enough was enough and we headed to Chick-fil-A. I decided to drown my sorrows in a frosted coffee- BUT! I was denied as that particular Chick-fil-A is in agreement with the Starbucks next door not to sell them at that location (eye-roll). If Starbucks wasn't already dead to me, they would be now. The girls were SO good and patient all morning and I felt lousy for taking them along on a wild goose chase. I just wish I didn't try and force things to work out. I ended up trimming their hair that afternoon and it turned out better than my previous attempts on Evie. :)

We spent Christmas Eve evening at my parent's house with family, gorging on hors d'oeuvres and taking it easy.
^^^After peeking out on her father and uncles who were smoking pipes and cigars on the porch, Evie told me, "I'm finishing my pipe". Those men-folk and their good examples...
Our neighborhood has a tradition of putting out Farolitos on Christmas Eve- the past two years rain canceled the plans, so this was our first year seeing the whole neighborhood lit up and it was so neat, especially in the dark!
On Christmas morning we opened some gifts before mass, went to my parent's house for brunch, back home for naps, then back to my parent's again for dinner.
Audrey left Santa a post-it picture of her and him. :)
Heidi was SO sweet with her gifts- she happily played with her hand kite all during the present opening and was perfectly content. Then later she gathered a bunch of the wrapping bows to play with- this is when I love age two!

I don't know how the image got all distorted, but I had to include this picture of how Audrey spelled out her name. :) Shoes on the wrong feet and backwards spelling are my favorite.
On the 27th we made a quick visit to the Basilica in D.C. and then went across the street to the St. John Paul II Shrine to see the St. Thomas More exhibit. It was worth it, even with the meltdowns and missed naps. ;) The rest of the week everyone but myself was battling a respiratory virus, so we had mostly lazy mornings and no schedules and that part was wonderful!
Happy 2017 :)
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