spring

Spring Break

I’ve never needed a spring break like I’ve needed this one, well at least since my teaching years.

We desperately needed the ten days as a sister unit, with a few days off for N as well, bringing us some quality family time that has felt scarce in the time since our move.

I tried to find something fun/memorable for the girls and I to do everyday, and we made up for our pinched time at home by ordering takeout, eating out, or making very simple dinners (Costco rotisserie chicken and salad!)  The weather outdid itself and I am enthralled with spring here (in the past, it always felt as if it never got warm until about May, and there was always so much rain…)

Together we went to the zoo, the movies, a playground, Target to spend some money carefully stashed since Christmas, and had two play dates.  The end of the week brought lots of painting for our house: the kitchen cabinets, a large chalkboard for the dining room, the round table and chairs, and the kitchen open shelves.  Because our last house was project heavy, it feels as if we’ve been doing house projects for the last three years.  My creative mind is SPENT but I’m also eager to make this house feel like ours.  I keep reminding myself that if we press on, we will get to an end point someday, or at least the point where the projects are spread out enough that they are fun again.

We had briefly entertained the idea of going to the beach for a few days (because it is DRIVE-ABLE now!), but were ultimately glad we stayed home, both due to the relaxed time we needed together, the weather at home, and the way the city emptied out for this spring break, allowing us less traffic congestion and less waits at local hotspots.

There’s so much to do and see here, mostly because it is all NEW.  I feel little bit of excited anxiety wanting to consume it all now, but peace, too, knowing it will still be here for me as the girls enter into easier stages.

For now, thankful for rest and time when we have needed it most.  Good food, my family spending time together, a relaxed schedule, and that is as happy as I get.

-smk

Woffrakeleys do Disney

(started this draft a few weeks ago, finished it today :))

Just returned from another dreamy spring break in sunny CA.

The girls and I left a few days early and looks like we narrowly escaped the return of winter back home.  Snow, wind, and below freezing temps always like to make one final appearance in March (sometimes even April :-o) and I’m hopeful that this is IT.

Meanwhile, the weather out there was 70’s and sunny every-single-day.  It lifted my spirits and gave me the energy that the first day of spring always brings.  Mmm…the smell of sunscreen alone is enough to give me a Spring contact high.

We spent our days (pre-Daddy) hanging out with Granny and Grampy.  Thanks to our extended stay last winter, we have a little routine worked out that we seem to ease right into.  We hit up some of our favorite spots and added some new ones with the girls in the morning.  The afternoons were for rest and decompression, the evenings spent chatting around the table and walking the dog.  Baths, reading, and bed to follow.

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The girls made me so proud on the plane ride(s) out there.  Being by myself, I always feel a little vulnerable; but thankfully this wasn’t the first time doing it so I knew what to expect.  Last time we flew in the late afternoon and got in way past bedtime.  This time we flew early, early in the morning and landed at 10:30am, CA time.  The morning travels seemed to go a little more smoothly, in my opinion, and even though the girls didn’t nap (Bea started nodding off at the descent of each flight), they seemed to enjoy the trip as they knew what to expect.  (Jamba juice and silly putty being at the top of the list).  Also, I brought our cracked iPad on a whim and let Bea do her damage on it (the only app she will play is Peek-a-boo pets but she will spend about 20 minutes rearranging apps and pictures before becoming tired of it).  That seemed to help a bit too.

Daddy joined us on Saturday, as did Mary and Joel the day before.

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We had four short days to cram in our favorite restaurants, games, and even a little pool time, before jetting off to Orange County.

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We were up at 3:40am to fly (cheap flights & only an hour versus a 6+ hour drive) and we were in the park doing activities by 9:15am.

I was expecting a huge crowd with long waits due to spring break, but I couldn’t believe how much we were able to do and see in our 48 hours there.  MG wore her new Aurora gown both days and we saw nearly all the princesses and rode all of the kiddie rides.  Day two we did Toon Town (Mickey and Minnie’s houses were extra fun) and California Adventure (Frozen Fun,meeting Elsa & Anna).

We stayed out late each night and the lack of sleep/naps barely slowed us down.  We were running on adrenaline and Dole whips.  The girls really hung in there.  Both cat napped in the stroller and on Granny’s lap the first day.  We went back to the room to nap on the second day but it wasn’t enough time for MG to nap and she fell asleep on the 9:15 bus ride home, waking up only to change out of her dress-up and secure the well-being of her new Rapunzel doll.

Of course no memory making trip is complete without a video, courtesy of yours truly.  Enjoy

Spring Break

As I said on Monday, I had to grieve the loss of our family unit before I could fully embrace what is to come.  I know what is coming is going to be beautiful, but as N eloquently put it, “We have to wreck it only to have it rebuilt into something better.”

Now that I have grieved, I feel as though I am truly ready for what is to come.  Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  I am excited about our family’s future and can’t wait to see how God will recreate what we know and love into something better.

Here is a little video I made of our Spring Break fun:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/64507752%5D

This Winter

We’ve seen a lot of indoor time.

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Usually I like to fill our time with  field trips and play dates, new experiences and old familiar ones.  But both the setting (potty training), weather (yuck), and all of the illness going around (double yuck) has kept us at home and at bay.

I thought I would hate it.

But I don’t.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our relaxed change of pace and I think MG has too.

Some of the ways we’ve filled our time:

rice play: There’s no denying this is a messy one, but worth it (IMO) for an hour of play time.  We scoop, dump, and pour it and take turn hiding things in it (like small animals).  If  you’re a texture person, like myself, it is almost a form of therapy

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water play: MG would happily play at the sink for an hour or more.  I turn the water on a low trickle and load her up with pots, cups, serving spoons, and more.  She loves to  “cook” at the same time I am.

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-imaginary play: cooking, kitchen, dolls, and cleaning.  She has “helped” me cook dinner (adding ingredients, stirring pots, setting the table), and clean.  When I grab my dust rag, she asks for one too and we happily wipe down surfaces together.

DSC_0029(She was really excited because she had just drawn a “snake” on the wood with the wet rag.  Totally picture-commerable-worthy)

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All of this help around the house has led to much more imaginative play with her own kitchen and “children” to care for. I love to see her imitation and her imagination at work.

-art: dot markers, regular markers, stickers, and crayons.  They have all been at request this month and she is starting to show a real interest in drawing pictures!  (last night she drew a “dolphin” for me :))

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turning things that aren’t toys into toys: (and bringing out old ones)

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My crafty cousin gave us these paper blocks-turned-picture puzzle a few years ago.  They have always set out as decoration, but I decided that MG was old enough to gently play with them.  Never mind she was several sets of blocks, because these were new and different, they totally excited her.

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After building several towers, she began sorting them in different containers.

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You can’t say that she doesn’t have somewhat of a perfectionistic gene hiding in there!

Along those lines, I also have some toys on rotation that stay hidden for days like these.   Every time they come out they are always a hit because they are like new!

And finally, we can’t leave out our stand-by friend: Play-doh

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We’ve also had a few nice days in between the February ones so we’ve been able to get out for a few walks and even a few play ground visits here and there.

And the best news of all??  Spring is just around the corner!  Would you all join me in a collective sigh of relief?

Let it be known

That on this day in January, 2012, 
Windows were opened,
Walks and runs were taken {without 1441287 layers}

Spirits were lifted.

And the entire household sighed.

Yard sales however, were not being had.

Closets were not being cleaned out.

Ducks were not being fed.

And that hour of sleep has, most assuredly, not been lost.

So it’s not spring yet.

 

 
But until then, we’ll take it.
  Photobucket