Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Weekend Whirl

These days, our weekends are PRECIOUS.  It is family together time as we continue to learn about our new family member, and friend time as we try to put our focus on people, not things, and lots of routine trial and error as we continue to work on more efficient ways of accomplishing the necessary daily tasks.  I've been working hard to make sure errands are completed and laundry is done (not folded, but clean...baby steps) during the week, so that our weekend time can be dedicated to quality family fun time.  And at the same time, I'm learning to let go of the my long list of expectations I used to make for our family weekend time.  There won't be any big DIY projects around here any time soon.  We are just going to chip away at the small things one at a time, maybe one per weekend even.  Slow and steady is where we are at right now, and it's exactly where we need to be.  (Notice how this weekend post is coming on a Tuesday even?:))

This past weekend was a perfect example of our new norm, as long as you don't count the crazy venture trip to the Mall of America that I planned for me and my three kiddos on Friday since school was out...that is not part of the norm, but we all enjoyed it greatly, and I'm glad we ventured out for a little excitement!

I felt so much pride leaving the mall that day...mostly for Lucky and Charm, because they are such great kids and good listeners that I was able to venture out with all three and not worry too much that I would lose one in such a big place:).  And there was a bit of self pride too, because even though I was a little nervous, I made sure we all had a fun time!  Our highlights included one ride each at Nickelodeon Universe and visits to the Disney Store and the American Girl Store, along with lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe.  Lowlights included Lucky needing a bathroom break five minutes after entering the mall, visiting the Nordstrom Women's lounge for a Clover diaper change and seeing strangers' boobs galore (Charm called it 'Baby City', not 'Boobville', so hopefully his focus was on the babies) and finally, standing breastfeeding in the Old Navy bathroom (albeit clean and well maintained) after a Lucky jean try-on-athon with a less than happy Clover.  If you don't count bathroom visits, it was a perfect day topped off by homemade pizza and movie night.  We splurged for Spring Break and bought Frozen through Amazon Prime and we all loved it!  I can't tell you the last time I watched a kids movie at home and could stay focused on the movie...this one captured us all!  The story, the characters and the music were all fantastic!

Saturday morning started with swimming lessons for Lucky and Charm.  I stayed back with Clover and worked on some Pharmacy CE while he napped.  When Bill and the kiddos came home, we had an impromptu cook-athon.  Bill has been wanting to make Alton Brown's homemade cottage cheese from this recipe.  I wanted to try out some Gluten Free Banana Bread from this recipe.  And then we made these sandwiches (-ham + turkey) for lunch.  The cottage cheese and sandwiches were fantastic!  The bread was okay.  

Moving along in the day, we met friends and tried out a new local church that is starting a series focusing on marriage, which we found really interesting.  I have to say that Bill and I are in a really good place in terms of our relationship and have a strong, loving marriage, but like most couples we've gone through our bumps along the way.  I always find classes on marriage or parenting useful and interesting, because they help me to grow and strengthen my relationship skills.  The service was fun, and our kids had a blast at the child focused program they participated in and came home reciting bible verse: It is better to give than to receive.  You have to love that!  After church, Bill headed out for a long overdue guy's night while the kids and I enjoyed dinner and play time before heading to bed.  

Sunday morning involved play time inside:
Dining table tent and campfire:)

and playtime outside:
The warm temperatures inspired the kids to attempt to clear off our driveway in their pajamas and rain boots:)!  After two warm days, it's almost completely cleared now...aside from a few icy patches.

And Bill also finished a tiny little project we've been working on:

We've been dealing with this double towel rod in our kids bath for four years now.  I don't get the idea behind double towel rods.  Do the towels ever really get dry when they are touching one another?  And really, how practical is a double rod in a kids bath?  It's tricky/annoying for even an adult to use.  (In preparing for Clover's arrival, one of our goals was to seek out places in the house that we could make changes to enable Lucky and Charm to be more independent.  This goal was fueled by the idea that the more Lucky and Charm can do for themselves, the less Bill and I have to do for them.  The added bonus is that kids seem to thrive on independence, so by helping ourselves, we are also helping them.)  One area we identified as needing improvements was this towel rod.  Now it looks like this:

We actually stained the piece of wood we used last fall, and we finally got to attaching the hooks (purchased for $3.50 each on sale at Hobby Lobby) and hanging it this weekend.  I love the look and the ease of hanging towels now!  We've made a few other updates in this room as well that I'll share once the whole room is complete.  Slow and steady.

And our weekend ended with a birthday party at a friend's house where they served the best ever homemade pizza (like they should get it marketed and go into the pizza business...it's that good) and ice cream made using liquid nitrogen.  The party ended with fireworks, and then we enjoyed a nice family conversation on the way home before we started bedtime routine, capping the end of another precious, fun-filled, family and friend focused weekend that went by in a whirl!

Here's hoping you had a lovely weekend too, and are enjoying a warmer spring week!

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