laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Days Like These


our stairs are in there

the only face he's willing to have photographed, his winkin' face

the only way to get a non-wiggling picture

We went to the outdoor zoo a week ago, how come now we have to stay inside THIS zoo?

Welcome to winter... even though spring is 3 weeks away, winter decided to come last night. In the form of snow, rain, ice, sleet, and hail.

I’m tired, it’s cold, and everything is covered in white icy-ness. So a photo blog day it is!  I’ll be staying warm by folding mountains of fresh-outta-the-dryer laundry, staying inside because the idea of spending an hour getting them all dressed and ready to go outside only to come in five minutes later raises my blood pressure,  and I will be cuddling up with littlest trying to convince him to take a nap so he’ll stop unfolding all the laundry.  Hope your day brings you warmth like a cup of hot chocolate, the joy of staying inside, and someone to cuddle up with!

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It Came!


We have a layer of snow on the ground! I’m hoping there’s more in the forecast! There are lots of reasons to not enjoy all the winter we get here… like the fact that it lasts longer than the rest of the seasons combined (we had snow for 8 out of 12 months this last year. From October thru May!), or the fact that it gets so cold you don’t want (and sometimes it’s not even safe) to take your kids outside in it. Or the times you do dress them up to go outside, end five minutes after they get out there, even though you spent close to an hour to get them all ready. See, I get it. I am well versed in the reasons to wish away the white, powdery stuff. But, as I was born in this frozen tundra, I do have some favorites about this weather.

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  • The first snowfall is magical. Especially to children. Being the one to show them the yard full of fresh snow is like being the first one to introduce them to chocolate, or ice cream. It’s priceless.
  • Every fresh snowfall brings excited squeals from my Biggest E. (As I type this, I overheard him say to his sister, I have a surprise for you. -I’m assuming he then pointed towards the big window- and he squeals, jumps up and down, and says, Aren’t you sooo ‘decided’ [excited] to play in the snow?!). Seriously, every time it snows. I can cover his eyes, bring him to a window, and he lights up brighter than a Christmas tree. (or brighter than mine would be if I actually had it set up. Sigh…)
  • I love the look of fresh-fallen snow. I do. I just love it. When I was little we moved from the frozen tundra of Minnesota to the powdery slopes of Colorado, and I can still recall the way I thought the mountain passes, covered in fresh-fallen snow sparkled like diamonds. I love it every snowfall. And we get a lot of those here (back in the frozen tundra). Every. Single. One. The more snow, the better.
  • I love winter sports. Ice skating, skiing, hockey, snowshoeing, snowman building, sledding, snowmobiling…. love it all!!
  • I love the way a snowfall can make the middle of the night look as bright as day. (Ok maybe not that bright, but certainly not as dark as the middle of the night!)
  • I love winter foods- all warm and cozy.
  • I love winter clothes (see reason above^^)
  • I can get away with making my family (or at least my children) be all matchy
  • I looooove boots. And have at least 3 pairs that I deem cute enough that I wish I could wear them year round!
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this is the only time it is acceptable to throw something square in the face of those you love! Long live snowball fights!
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Let’s Start A Petition!


I woke up this morning in a surprisingly good mood (you know, for it being morning and all). I was also surprised by how bright it was outside and the fact that I was all alone in bed- meaning the E’s stayed in their own beds. And so I start thinking, Man, this is going to be a good morning. Maybe I’ll get up, enjoy the quiet with a warm cup of coffee, while reading some blogs… *sssstttttttrrrrrrreeeeeeeetttttttttccccccchhhhh* I get out of bed, throw on my slippers and head up the stairs. I glance out the window as I head to the coffee pot, thinking, Oh the snow looks so pretty…wait, what? Snow? Ah what the @#$% (insert muttered grumbling of your choice- I’m pretty sure mine was more of a growl than an actual word, either way it didn’t sound English).

And it’s STILL snowing! Seriously, the weather we’ve been having is like the April Fool’s joke that never ends! And I know about that! So I vote we all band together in protest and start a petition- no more snow! (Do you hear me God, no more! Please and thank you?)

So in light of the weather and the fact that I have to keep telling my children that even though it was warm enough to go outside this last week, today it is not, I am making a list of things we do when we can’t play outside! Maybe a top ten? Well, we’ll see how it goes!

1. Stick them in a dark room until they fall asleep… no? Ok, fine! I’ll save that one for later (kidding!). Color!! Crayon, marker- whatever you’ll let them do! I make a “tablecloth” of old newspapers and let them have at it! When they’ve sufficiently moved on from this activity I take all their colorings and cut them to size and either a) Make a book out of it (with hole punches and string ties) for them to “fill in” (by them telling me what to say on each page) or b) Cut to size and make cards out of it. These make especially great thank you cards for all the gifts they get from family and friends. And both are great ways to recycle all their beautiful artwork!

2. Food: let them help you cook. Especially something they’ll like to eat. Even if it’s as simple as you filling the measuring cups and letting them do the dumping- that counts.

3. This doesn’t happen on a daily basis but… we talk about how some children do not have toys and they each pick out a toy (during cleanup my biggest E now looks for toys to give to a boy who doesn’t have any!) that as biggest E calls it, “One I maybe like, but don’t actually love. That a boy with no toys would love.” Middle E (who’s 2 1/2) consistently puts in her most prized possessions, because she thinks a girl would be so sad without her own *insert prized possession here.* While I (guiltily!) talk middle E out of giving away her favorite toy (because I know tomorrow she’s going to want it and there’s going to be no explaining away her unhappiness, trust me.), I am so proud that they are getting it- and that they continue thinking about the less fortunate, even after the “exercise” is over.

4. Playdough! + Cookie cutters! = lots of fun! (for my kids at least!) Try giving them shapes or certain objects to make and see what they come up with! (examples: what does a circle look like? what does a heart look like? or Big E’s favorite, what does a hexagon look like? I kid you not, the kid loves hexagons.)

4. The silly show: we make the silliest faces and try to capture them on the camera. (Then watch it as a “slide show” on the computer.)

5. Exercise! My kids think it’s tons of fun to watch me look all silly while doing Wii Active, and they love to do lots of the exercise with me!

6. Give them a job! I have really pretty decanters that I store my pastas in. Easy to get them out, but not so easy to get them in. You almost have to put each individual piece of pasta in separately. Great job for a kid! i find anytime I say, “I am having such a hard time doing this, look…” (show how hard it is for you) “…do you think you could do it?” They’re always willing to show off their skills! (confidence builder and helpful all in one!)

7. Follow the leader!! Our upstairs is basically a giant circle, which is great for games of chase and follow the leader, and anything that wears them out is a good thing in my book!

8. Story time! After you’ve read the book go back through it and pick out something on the pages and have them try and guess (I see something red on this page… or how many clouds are on this page?).

9. Dress up! Big E in Daddy’s shirt/shoes, Middle E in mine… and take lots of photos (watch this in a slide show too!). Especially great if you have them “act” like whoever they’re imitating (videos of this are terrific!).

10. Lastly, (and while the other ones are in no particular order, this one really is the “last resort”) a movie with everyone all snuggled on the couch.

…and now I’m going to go practice what I preach.

Posted as part of the Natural Parenting Blog Party!

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