please oh please be our final snow day

This Wednesday, just like a great big chunk of the Mid Atlantic and New England region had ourselves a bit of a snow day. Our largest snowfall of the year if I am remembering properly. It snowed for over 12 hours straight.... which I can't remember happening in a very long time. It was just very rude for the second day of spring to involve buckets and buckets of snow... the cardinals and robins were all quite confused by it as well. But if you can't go anywhere you might as well make the most of it yes? I held the kids off until about 9:30 (you're welcome neighbors) and sent them off to the great frigid unknown with more layers than I can count... All while standing with the door wide open so I could cool myself off. Someday they will all dress themselves and I'll miss this right?

Probably not this part of it. Ha! We decided to try out the hill behind our fence and well well! It worked out just great! We spent the better part of the morning out there going down our own little hill over and over again. I cannot believe it's been four years and we have yet to try it but... there you have it.
After lunch and a dryer run we headed out front for the first of three dig outs. Matt got the snowblower and did our property plus a few neighbors while Letty shoveled and Dom brushed and David argued with the two of them that he wanted both of their tools simultaneously. The snow just kept coming at this point and we decided to do a bit more sledding before tubby time. Mom was numb and I can only handle so much of this. As gorgeous as it was!
After a long hot bath the kids got out their water colors and went to town on their own little tupperware of snow painting.

What a fun and exhausting and long day! It kind of felt like at least three days in one. But please oh please let this be the last! I can't possibly be having the kids in school past Father's Day! It wouldn't be fair!


an afternoon dying eggs.

We went full on kid egg dye time this year. Each one (minus the babies of course) got to dye three hard boiled eggs and one blown (thanks Aunt Beth and Nonna!). They were just so excited to get started that they beat us to it, with me rushing around getting the dye ready whilst threatening my boys to not touch. I'm sure you can imagine how quickly this went for all the kids. Well, minus Lena because she just really likes to soak up the moment. God bless that girl. Nonna reminded us all that we only dye eggs just this once a year so we should enjoy it... And I've heard that a time or 35 and well, she's right. The kids let the eggs dry and went off to play while the moms each dyed just one egg of their own. We didn't have any crazy Pinterest ideas this year... just dye. Some paint. 

Nonna had gotten this wax melting egg kit, easy for kids!, it claimed. Well. Nope. Maybe the hard boiled. Maybe. And if the kid has multiple arms. Aunt Ashley and I tried multiple ways to keep the rogue egg from blowing away... which it in fact did and yet somehow did not break but did get wax all over my white shirt. Who wears white to an egg dye event? Glad Letty was there for documenting purposes... We tried though. And Letty is quite happy with her results. The kids drew on a few of their eggs with markers once they dried and we deemed it good. 
And the wax came out of the shirt.

Past year egg dying tales hereherehere and here!


a deck update and a poll!

Alright so I need your help. Please please pretty please. But first, a little background...

Our deck is not very large. It gets full sun, morning to night. It gets hot. It gets crowded. We like to entertain and I have a very large family. So you can imagine what the deck situation was like when we had 15 people at once attempting a pool day. Matt and I also like to lay in the sun (don't tell our dermatologists) (who am I kidding they take one look the two of us and go, yup, sun worshipers). We had a pergola up for years that covered approximately 80% of the deck, but the poles were sort of always in the way, again with the crowding situation. I took these pictures on Sunday after Matt took down the pergola and removed the kid gates because well, we don't need them anymore (wah!). And yes, she needs a power wash and stain. Desperately. Here is what the deck looked like at the start of last summer, just as a reference. I'm also thinking this iron bench may be moved just to clear up more space? But it is nice to have some extra seating... we will have to see! Not all of our chairs are out either, four of them are still in basement storage...
We looked into building a roof over the deck. We looked into a retractable awning. And then we discovered, sun sails. Affordable! Any size! Lots of colors! We will be able to cover the entire deck which is perfect and if we want to lay out we can just undo one corner and sort of flip it up, exposing part of the deck for our sun bathing needs.
So the first question is, what color? I tend to want to play it safe and stay neutral with the beige... but Matt would like to do something with a pop. He is feeling the turquoise or the blue (we are going with a sturdier fabric for windier locations which is why the color selection isn't huge). So what do we think? I believe this would be a marital impasse...
Sidebar, Matt has been planning on making a new table. It'll be much larger, rectangular, wood, with two hidden ice box containers in the center for wine/beer/assorted beverages. We currently only have chairs for six and they are quite bulky so with the addition of the new table and the affordability of the sun sail I thought well... new chairs! We love the ones we got for our dining room and they are also meant for outdoor use and so hey! Let's do that. But again, what color? Me with the neutral I was tending towards the grey. I thought it would tie in really nicely with the galvanized ice bucket secret compartment... But if we do the turquoise sail then maybe the aqua chairs might be fun? It is a pool deck after all. But what if we decide no the blue sail is too much after one summer and go more neutral next year and then I'm stuck with aqua chairs??? I normally am very impulsive when it comes to such home decisions but you can see my dilemma... And as a second sidebar, yes the big giant black wires are hideous and with no pergola to disguise them we are going to remedy that as well.
So please. Let me know your thoughts... What color sail? What color chairs? Should we admit ourselves to some kind of diy anonymous group? Please help me decide! And then in my head I go instantly to what type of flowers I'm going to have in my pots out back! Everything hinges on these decisions people!


a day in the life

Morning morning! I know I did one of these back in January but my Wednesday's are pretty bananas so I thought hey! Let us add to the madness! 

6:45 a.m.: I have decided recently that well, getting up a second before I have to is silly so. I set my alarm for the exact same time as the big kids need to get up. I wake them up, handing them their iPads with timers set for a few minutes later. The soft wakening. I get their toothbrushes ready and then strip the beds. I set up the pack and play for my nephew as this is a babysitting day for me. Then I head downstairs to help Matt get the kids dressed and out the door by 7:20. During which time I have my coffee. I ran around the house and dusted quick because BB8 will get a lot of work done today.
7:45 a.m.: My sister comes over and drops off Harrison and Lena before heading off to work. I have some cruise excursion info to finish up so he sits with my in the office while I send that stuff off to various people. Lena and Dom play in the playroom. I fold the laundry from the night before and put that away, getting out the kid's outfits for tomorrow and their pjs for tonight. Then Harrison goes down for his morning nap.
8:45 a.m.: While he naps the twins and I head into the basement. They play in the play area making just a mell of a hess while I get my run in. Lots of running. I've been watching Grace and Frankie lately when I run but with the language I settled on Beauty and the Beast in case Lena decided to watch what I was watching.
9:45 a.m.: Matt and I have recently changed when we work out together back to the evenings again. There was just something about a light cardio at the end of the day once the kids were in bed that we enjoy. But since today is Wednesday that means that we have church tonight so I won't be able to do that. But since the kids are playing so well I figure might as well right! So I get that work out in too. I'm reading Diana Gabaldon's Seven Stones to Stand or Fall. I wrap up here shortly and head upstairs to get the kids a snack and put a movie on so I can hopefully hop in the shower that I so desperately need. The kids choose Boss Baby.
10:45 a.m.: Harrison woke right as I headed up for my shower but that's okay I brought up some toys for him in the pack and play while I showered. My sheets are dry so I also made my bed. And my hair really needed a trim so I did that as well. He's a fan. That little handsome man. Then I head down to give him his lunch.
11:45 a.m.: Once baby's lunch is done then it's time for the rest of us to have some. Lena takes forever and a day to eat her's but that's okay because her brother is entertained by it all and I don't mind chatting with her. I make the rest of the beds upstairs and then release BB8 to do his job up there. 
12:45 p.m.: The kids want to finish up Boss Baby which they did. I thought Harrison might like to watch Little Einsteins, which he did. But that brought all the kids back to the yard and so I got some couch cuddles. The best! Dom was really showing a lot more interest in his baby cousin than he normally does and it just made me have far too many feelings! He would be such a good big brother! I need another baby! Those types of healthy thoughts...
1:45 p.m.: Lena and Harrison both go upstairs for their respective naps/quiet time and then it's coffee time for me! Dom's busy going between dinosaur shows on Netflix and the play room... And I'm just sort of zoning out at this point. In between trips upstairs to give Harrison his pacifier or to check on Lena of course. The kids get off the bus at 2:20 and that's when the real fun begins!
2:45 p.m: The kids finish what is left of their lunches while I pack the lunches once more for tomorrow. I empty out their folders and figure out what homework needs to be done or what needs my signature, etc. Letty takes full advantage of this time for some Netflix viewing. Which I eventually put the kabosh on and make everyone do their homework. Always a pleasant experience for my eldest and I... Harrison wakes up at some point during this whole mess and I just carry him around while I get stuff done.
3:45 p.m.: My sister needs to get the kids early so she can get to a soccer thing for Lena so I have them all packed up and ready to go. Letty goes full mothering on Harrison, shushing and rocking away... Those poor big kids being at school all day don't get to hang out with their cousins! How rude, Letty would say.
4:45 p.m.: Matt takes the boys upstairs to give them their baths (oh thank you Matt!) as it is new bed night and Letty asks me to color with her. Which, I usually never do but I'm not sure why I haven't! It was a very calming activity for us both and hey, no fighting about power words! We spent the better part of an hour coloring away and talking about whatever all while listening to the Greatest Showman soundtrack. Which we can't wait to go see.
5:45 p.m.: Because tonight is a church night we eat a  bit earlier than usual. Matt makes a sausage/spinach/sweet potato thing for us adults and the kids eat chicken nuggets and tater tots. Super healthy right? Ah well. We try. Sometimes. I get the kid's clothes down for the next day and basically do our whole get the kitchen ready for the morning routine... Then it is off to church!
6:45 p.m.: David is missed by his leaders and his friends but ya know what? If you can't handle getting ready in the  morning without whining then to church that night you do not go. So he stays and is in bed at his normal time of seven. Sorry friends! This song that the kids have been learning during the worship portion of the evening has been in my head for weeks and I am just so thankful that my kids haven't been able to find it on YouTube! It's there. But I'm not telling them that. Then we head off to the gym after this where they basically run around for twenty minutes straight while I try and count all 17 first graders over and over again.
7:45 p.m.: Next up is story time! Letty crawls up on my lap and listens to the parting of the Red Sea story... asking me zero questions. I feel like I would have had a lot of questions? I just try and count her freckles and enjoy the fact that she's hanging out with me. Which is why I volunteer at all. After this part the kids get snacks and then their parents come and get them. I drive our neighborhood girls home after all the kids are picked up.
8:45 p.m.: Letty is showered and in bed even if she is amped and I'm finally putting my feet up to watch Seinfeld with Matt. We've been really loving watching that show all over again! It just never gets old. 
9:45 p.m.: The heat automatically goes down after a certain point and so of course the natural reaction is to turn on the fireplace. We go to bed shortly after this point, having exhausted our DVR for the night and well because we too are exhausted.
Past day in the life posts here.