Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Humpday Nuggets

Ahh Wednesday. It used to be one of my favorite days (remember nuggets a time ago?).  Now it's the day Ainsley gets out of school an hour early, the halfway point in a long busy week.  It's still good, just different.

For starters I now have NO alone time in the mornings, for the first time in years.  I'm re-learning how to do things with a tiny rambunctious toddler underfoot. It feels so long ago that I had one of those in the house, probably because Louise really wasn't a rambunctious toddler, so since Ainsley it's been about 4 years!

After getting some errands done Monday and Tuesday Felix and I used our time this morning indoors.  I did laundry, we baked muffins and roasted nuts, we danced.  He mimicked me while I did a few exercises.  We sang along to a new kids CD we were given at Oak Park's Halloween parade this past weekend.  It was a good morning.  It's been a good week.  Really all of fall has been great.  I kind of feel like I'm waiting for the ball to drop (or whatever that phrase is, you know what I mean!)

Halloween has gotten me in holiday mode.  Our house is all decorated, my mind is already spinning with plans for the holidays to come.  I feel excited but relaxed.  I wish I had all this knowledge and zen a few years ago with the kids!

We carved pumpkin this weekend, in our backyard!  I do like my cool fall days but those three sunny warm ones this weekend were wonderful.  We definitely took advantage.  I got wise and sprayed the pumpkins with some homemade bug spray this year and so far the squirrels haven't had one nibble!

I stayed up a bit late last night to finish this for Felix.

Just in time too!  His adorable purple Patagonia fleece is just this side of too small.  This knit was super simple but the basket weave border makes it look a bit more finished.  I love it.  He's so dang cute in it. (And it's real wool, it's WARM).

This past week I helped a neighbor friend make Elsa and Anna costume for her daughters and it's help to ignite my sewing a bit again.  I found some fun upholstery fabric while out last week and made two simple pillows and the one below, to cover the ones the kids have all put ruined.  The one below is pieced together with remnants of corduroy and a cashmere sweater I found at a thrift shop.  It's SO comfortable and snuggly.

I'm finally making that delicious squash soup for dinner tonight.  It's simmering on the stove as we speak and the house smells amazing.
I hate having to wake Felix up from his nap on Wednesdays to get Ainsley.  Poor third child.
Today we play with friends after school and I'm taking the girls to a Halloween story time at Ainsley's school tonight.  Tomorrow is Louise's Halloween party at school and gymnastics.  Friday is Ainsley's Halloween party and well, Halloween!
We hardly have any plans for the weekend and I'm glad.  Ian doesn't know this yet, but I'm secretly hoping to talk him into a run to IKEA this weekend to get a new bookcase for the girls' room (and probably at least 10 other things, lets be serious).  Or maybe we'll paint our bedroom?
I'm in a spruce up mode in our home right now and once the bug hits I try to go with it!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week!  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Food This Week (10/27)

Last week was a good eating week.  I made this apple strudel cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce extravaganza on Friday (because you know, we were looking for something to do so why not) and it's one of the best desserts I've ever made.  We still have some in the fridge.  Yum.
We ate too much yesterday and got take out last night so this week I'm mostly just using things up from the freezer, plus we have our awesome Halloween block party on Friday after trick or treating with chili and desserts so that's pretty much the only cooking I plan on doing.

Maple glazed pork tenderloin with potatoes and green beans

Two kinds of veggie burgers and sweet potato fries

leftover bolognese and salad and rolls

sloppy joes with corn and baked beans

spinach and bacon quiche

Pumpkin Black Bean chili, homemade mac and cheese, and oatmeal bars (for the block party)

I am very thankful for a stocked freezer this week, though I still managed to spend $90 on groceries.  It's amazing the amount of fresh produce, dairy, snacks etc. we go through in a week these days.
What's on your menu?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gold and Magic

Lately, the world has had a gold tint.  The bright sun reflects the astonishing colors of leaves, the wind blows them down, the blue sky floats solidly above.  You can feel the magic.

I love fall.  I've said it before.  I can't help it.  It's so special because it's so fleeting.  It's THIS moment right now before the trees are bare, before the cold sets in for good, when the sun is still hot and the breezes cool, when the anticipation of all the celebrating in the months ahead is peaking each moment.  
It is this fall moment that is the best.

Hoping your falls are all golden and magical.

Monday, October 20, 2014

THIS Moment (10/14)

Can it truly be possible that the last this moment I did was back when Felix was 9 months old?  I'm so sad!  So much has changed for all three of my little people these past 9 months.  Lots to catch up on.

Louise Adele (4 years old!)

Louise! You turned four at the end of August.  Four feels so wonderfully you.  I had to fill out some questions for your preschool and one asked what do you like most about your child? I was afraid I was going to run out of ink with my responses.
You are still our sweet easy going girl.  Even when you are sad or mad or frustrated or disappointed you can get your feet back under you pretty quickly.
You take such incredible care of us all.  You are the first to run and help Felix when he's found himself in a pickle, you happily fetch and grab whatever I need you to and are turning into quite the little household helper.
I see lost of skills emerging in you which is so fun.  You can be incredibly organized.  You love to fold meticulously and line up your clothes and shoes.  Reading quietly is still your favorite.  You love to play games and have such patience when you need to wait.  You love to cook and help me in the kitchen.  I think you're ready to start making some things all on your own.  It's exciting!
Now that Ainsley is in school all day you and Felix get lots of together time.  You two are quite the pair.  You play so well with him and he loves you so much.  When are are sad he sidles right up to you, pats your back vigorously and gives you kisses until you are better.  It's so dang cute.
Your art is amazing.  You have started drawing very detailed pictures and I love the happy smiley painted people you bring home from preschool just about every day.
You have now mastered writing your own name and are starting to sound out big words to write.  You are your sister are quite the pair drawing and writing away the afternoons.  I love watching you figure it out and develop a love of learning.
You are incredible Louise. I love you to bits.

Ainsley May (5.5 years old)

My big kindergartner girl.  We made it!  You leave the house happy every morning and come bounding out the door with excitement each afternoon.  You favorites at school are recess (of course) all of your special classes (Spanish - in particular, library, music, art, PE), and reading time.  Nearly every day I see you talking to a new friend or holding someone else's hand to cross the street.  You are thriving in this great social environment and while it's still hard for me to let you go, to not be with you every waking moment of the day, I'm so happy for you.
We are getting into a new groove with your big kid work.  On top of school you have a homework pack each week, which really is not too much, but enough that we need to set aside time for it each evening.  You are mostly very excited to do your work and I'm finding ways to build on some things you are working on with fun games.
You still love to read to me from your Dick and Jane book and work on some workbooks I found a while back, but math games are your favorites right now.  It's been so fun to see you and Louise work together to count and write numbers.  I love learning with my big girls.
We are still trying to find our afternoon groove with you.  you come home so happy and excited and then tend to deflate a bit as the evening wears on.  You say you hate to be alone in your room but I know you need alone time to decompress a bit so we're figuring that out.  Once daddy comes home I like some one of one time with you.  It does us both well, and our weekends are great.  Perhaps it will always feel bizarre to have you gone during the day but we're figuring it out.
I love so much big girl and am so proud of you!

Felix Daniel (17 months old)

I've gotten lots of comments lately about how big you look and act.  It's true.  You're full on in toddler mode and it's crazy to me.  You now refuse to sit in the backpack carrier for preschool drop offs so you toddles around going any which way you pleases.  You are INCREDIBLY difficult to take anywhere because you are so busy.  Just yesterday we went to get Ainsley's eyes checked for kindergarten and it was pretty much a nightmare.  My back hurts constantly for stooping down to coral you or to hold you on my hip to contain you, but goodness you're cute.
You are starting to notice the world around you more and more. You've observed that your sisters get their hair done in the morning and you very much like having your hair done too.  You know that getting on shoes and jackets means we're going "out!" and that's just about your favorite thing in the world.  You know to say bye bye and HI! You are signing lots and we communicate pretty well.  You little voice is just the sweetest.
You love parks, slides and climbing are your favorites.  You love to push around your wheelbarrow outside and ride in the wagon.  When we are inside your favorites are playing in the sink, dancing, reading books and the train set.
I love our mornings together little guy.  If you're up too early you still sleep sometimes, but most days we play together.  You are so sweet and fun and relatively easy going (as long as you can move!).
You aren't a big eater but eat big when you like something.  Eggs, any fruit, pirates booty and hot dogs are you favorites, though tonight you really put away those polenta and lentils so you never know.
Gosh, I love you little boy.  You are the best!

Here's to not waiting 9 months to post about my kiddos again.  They're growing up way too fast.