Tuesday, February 28, 2017

january fun!

Here are some random things that we did in January:
Our baby swing was out one day because I had let a neighbor borrow it.  Everly thought it was great fun, and I thought it wasn't possible that she is that much bigger than last time she was in it.

"Again!" is Everly's favorite word.  Watch out if she ever convinces you to spin her around, swing her, tickle her, flip her, or anything else that she might think is fun.  You will enjoy the sound of her giggles, and the look of pure joy on her face.  However, you will then be haunted by the sound of her insisting "Again!" millions of times whether you give in to her pleadings once or a dozen times, it will never be enough.
We watched the inauguration of President Trump, and later that day when I took the kids to our favorite local bakery to celebrate their day off of school, the boys all picked out these Donald Trump cookies.  Ha ha!
PJs, a book, half a dozen necklaces, a Sofia doll, and a toy tiger.  Sounds like a dream morning to me.
I was lucky to go with Krew on his preschool class field trip to Piggly Wiggly.  Krew is right in front of the pig in this picture.  This pig followed us around the whole field trip and no less than 6 of the kids were completely terrified of him.  Most of the kids learned where fruits and vegetables come from, how cold the huge freezer is, how to make donuts and pizza, and how the cardboard baler works.  The other six kids leaned how to avoid getting attacked by the scary pig for 45 minutes.  Luckily Krew was one of the kids who wasn't scared, but it still made for a very stressful field trip for all of us chaperones.

Also, it was confirmed to me on this hour long field trip that my choice in college to switch my major from Early Childhood Education to Business Management was 100% the right choice.  I gained a lot of respect for preschool teachers that day.  It takes A LOT of patience to do what they do on a daily basis.
Ky and Kade were so excited to get off the bus one day to show me the new trick they learned.  I'm so proud and a bit jealous.  I've tried to solve a Rubik's cube so many times and I've never gotten close.
Go Gators!
Catching snowflakes!

Us girls went shopping at the fabric store to find some Disney fabric to make a dress for Everly to wear to Disney World.  We may have come home with three different prints, even though we only needed one.  It was super fun, and I'm sure it won't be the last time we shop for fabric together!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

we had chicks! aka: don't count your chickens before they hatch

Sometime towards the end of last year, Kade mentioned to his grandpa (Bart's dad), that he would like to learn about egg incubation and hatching chicks.  So, the middle of December, Grandpa Zen gathered an incubator, egg turner, and eggs so that we could watch them hatch and have baby chicks for a few weeks.
After 3 long weeks of incubating them, we had our first "pip!"  Sadly, that's as much as that egg hatched.
But, within a few hours, more eggs started to hatch!  It took some serious patience, because even once an egg pipped, it was hours before the chick hatched.  It was days from the first hatch to the last.  (I'm not sure I have the patience to hatch chicks again!)

It was pretty exciting for all of us to come check in the incubator every hour or two to see what had changed.
I posted the above picture on Instagram because it was so exciting to have our eggs hatching.  Within a few hours of taking this picture, however, it became clear that this little chick was in trouble.  Now, I know they say to NEVER help a chick out of their egg, and I know I'm no chick expert, but the membrane was turning hard and the little chick was going to be glued in the egg if we didn't intervene.  So, Bart performed a very delicate surgery and freed the chick from her egg.  We weren't sure if she was going to make it after all of that, but she ended up being one of our healthiest chicks.  And Everly named her Minnie.

We didn't have a very good hatch rate. With 14 eggs, only 6 hatched.  We had 3 fluffy yellow ones: Minnie, Tallulah, and Julie. We had one brown one, Odell Peckham Junior (ha, ha, get it?), and two black ones, Garret, and Curry (as in Stephen, not chicken curry).

This is the only picture I have of all 6 of them, and you can see the sickly black one. That's Curry.  He only lived a few days.  Julie had a deformed leg, and only lived about a week.  The kids were all sad when they died, but it was probably a good lesson for them.  

 Everly loved the chicks and always wanted to hold them.  She would go downstairs to see them multiple times each day.  It was so fun to watch her.

All of the kids liked watching them, making sure they were fed and had enough water.  We all liked watching how fast they grew up and how much they changed from day to day. 

 Here's what they looked like the day we sent them to live on our friends farm. I think they were almost 3 weeks old.  They look completely different than they did those first few days!  The kids were sad to say goodbye to them, but I'm sure they are much happier on the farm than in this cardboard box.  Maybe we'll have to incubate eggs again sometime.  The baby chicks were definitely easier to take care of than the baby ducks we once had!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

ky and kade turn 11!

What???  How is it possible that these boys turned 11?  That seems quite impossible, yet somehow it happened.  We spent their entire birthday celebrating them.  The festivities included breakfast from McDonald's, swimming as a family, going to see Rogue One (the newest Star Wars movie) with mom, and dinner as a family at Buffalo Wild Wings.

A few months ago we made a deal with the boys that we would pay for them to have a big birthday where we would rent out the indoor sports complex and invite all their friends, but only if we didn't buy them any birthday presents.  They did have a few gifts to open from grandparents, but instead of gifts from us, they got to open heartfelt letters that Bart and I wrote each of them.  I'm not sure they thought the letters were better than gifts, but they did agree that having a big party was a good deal.

Instead of cake, they requested brownies with the most delicious peanut butter frosting.

I'm dying to know what his wish was, because it looks like he was taking the whole thing very seriously!

I sure love celebrating these two great boys of mine.  It's heard to believe that they are already 11, but I'm so happy that we've already had 11 years together.

Here are some pictures of their birthday part at the sports complex.  They played everything from dodge ball to flag football, capture the flag, soccer and probably some other games that I don't remember.  They had about 15 friends there, and everyone had a great time.

We ordered some pizza, had some Gatorade, and the boys all seemed content.  This was the first birthday party I've thrown for them outside our home.  I usually love planning and hosting birthday parties.  I love coming up with themes, and then making invitations, decorations, party favors, games, and food that all match the theme.  I love that.  But last year we had twelve 10 year old boys in my brand new house and it about drove me insane.  It take a bit for me to let go of the idea of matching everything to a theme, and I even let Ky and Kade create and deliver the invitations themselves.
I even purchased the birthday cake from Costco, which is the first time I've ever ordered a cake from a store before. (It was yummy, by the way).  I have to say that although this birthday party was totally different than how I usually throw them, it was way less stressful and the boys had just as much, if not more, fun.  I guess there really is more than one way to do something ;).

One thing that I thought was strange was I just discovered that (at least around here), it's not normal to open the gifts at the party.  When I was growing up, we always watch the birthday child open all the presents, but that's not how things are done anymore.  As weird as I thought that was, it was kinda nice to watch Ky and Kade open all their presents from their friends with just our family.  Plus, there was no pressure for them to act like they loved each present exactly as much as all the other presents. And the other kids didn't have to feel bad if their present wasn't as big or expensive as ones the other kids brought.  Plus, I know those boys enjoyed the extra 20 minutes of playing sports instead of watching Ky and Kade open gifts.  Anyway, probably not a big deal, but again, I'm learning that there can be more than one way to do something!

Happy Birthday Ky and Kade!  We sure love you two, and we're glad you are a part of our family!