This week we played alot. Which is a good thing, as I tend to not slow down enough. Even as I sit here typing this the sink is full of dishes, I should probably thaw something out for dinner tomorrow and a million other half-finished projects lay scattered about. Even Ava is beginning to notice - "Mommy, you sure do have a lot of projects!" Oh well, they'll get wrapped up soon enough. It's good to spend quality time with people once in awhile.
Monday we started our week at IKEA. Elliott and I popped in the day before to check out the As-Is section to scout material for craft room shelves. I scored a couple of large cabinet doors for $2 each and on Monday went back to hunt for brackets. The girls hadn't been able to play in the play area on Sunday because it was full and I promised them we would go back. So Ava and Lily played for an hour while the other two girls and I picked up a few things which were on my shopping list, including said brackets. Afterwards we headed up to the cafeteria for our usual $.99 Breakfast Plate and free coffee for mommy (yeah!), enjoyed while they watched Mulan. I love IKEA; I am so glad we live close to one.
The rest of Monday was mundane, entailing laundry and carpet guys replacing the carpet pad downstairs from where the water heater had blown. Tuesday morning I enjoyed an hour of floor time with Emma while Lily was at preschool (and the other two watched a TV show). The rest of the day must have gone smoothly, because I can't recall any hiccups. (What a good day when the only thing I can remember is that I played on the floor with my baby.) Wednesday we went to Bible Study in the morning, where I subbed for my sick leader, who ended up coming but letting me lead the group anyway. My leaders are so wise and talented that I was definitely intimidated but I did the best I could and had a good time.
While at Bible Study I started chatting with my friend Nicki, who works in the baby nursery with Emma (and also watched Piper in there last year and watches Piper on Sundays). I haven't had a chance to get to know Nicki very well, but I see her around church twice a week and always chat with her. Anyway, we started talking and it turns out she lives very close by, had an extra set of snow pants I needed for Ava and offered us some other clothes that her daughter had outgrown. What a blessing! That afternoon, after naps for Lily and Piper, we headed over to Nicki's and an intended quick stop-in turned into a nice long visit, with the kids enjoying her stash of Little People. Turns out, Nicki also does in-home babysitting and because of her husband's work schedule, is available on weekends too. She is so sweet and all of the girls love her (her daughter Savannah is in Ava and Lily's church class), so I am excited to have this option available. You never know - maybe Elliott and I will go see a movie soon (Mission Impossible is still calling my name).
Thursday I tackled a long-standing to-do list item: our 72-Hour Kits. I put our kits together over two years ago in Las Vegas and hadn't touched them since. So it was time to reevaluate our needs. I turned to some online resources to help me pull my thoughts together. I decided to dedicate our backpacks to personal care items, things we would most likely need if we had to be in a shelter or someone else's home for a few days. But the backpacks assume we have access to shelter and food. I developed a solid list of what I wanted in each backpack and started to collect the items and noting what I needed to buy. It took all morning and most of the afternoon. Tonight the backpacks are about 85% finished with a few more items to purchase, taking up valuable real estate on the dining room table. I hope to finish this week.
Here's a true Lily-moment from Thursday: trying to round everyone up to take Ava to preschool, I called for the girls to get their coats and shoes on. Lily wandered down the hall to the shoes so I thought we were home free. Next thing I know she's trying to get into the car, with her coat on but no shoes. I sent her back over to the shoe closet where she stood looking in and announced "I can't find my shoes." I told her to look down at the ground, she was practically standing on her shoes. "Oh" was all I got from her. I swear, that girl is exasperating sometimes. Elliott claims she is just like him and that makes me wonder how the heck we got together.
Emma also had her first cereal on Thursday night. The first two bites were tentative but then she picked it right up. And never looked back. I thought I had made too much but she polished off the bowl and kept looking for more. Three nights in now and she is still a champ.
Friday we started our day at Target picking up a few items for our backpacks, then met Lily's preschool friend Elsa at Chik-Fil-A. Elsa's mom, Candi, also has a son in Ava's class and generously offered to bring Ava home from preschool each time, saving me a trip of loading everybody into the van (and usually waking them up from naps). I had wanted to get to know Candi a bit better too, and we had a great time visiting - even if one or more girls at any given time were wandering out of the play area to ask questions or comment on something, which definitely hinders adult chatting. We decided we should get together more and I am looking forward to the next time we do.
After we ate lunch we headed to Salt Lake City to pick up a dresser at Rachel's, with a quick sidetrip to D.I. for a thrifting excursion (snagged an over-the-door organizer and medium-sized Christmas tree for next Christmas decorations). It was such a nice day that after we picked up the dresser, the girls and I drove over to Liberty Park and walked around. They certainly got their excerise and had a great time collecting pine needles and loose branches (even though Piper biffed it running down a hill). Everyone was in such a good mood I pressed my luck and took them to one more D.I. where I scored HUGE! I bought a pair of genuine leather brown riding boots, originally $250 at Nordstroms (the tag is still on the bottom) for $8! I am in love with them.
The downside to the last stop was the girls got a little crazy and I constantly lost one or another. And somewhere I also lost Emma's winter car seat cover, i.e. Bundle Me. Boo! But there are only a few months left of use and I won't need it after that. So I will just make do. (Today I busted out her super cozy baby quilt to keep her covered during trips out into the rain and wind.) We spent so much time shopping and such that "Friday Afternoon Movie" turned into "Friday Night Family Movie". We rented Kung Fu Panda 2 and enjoyed all cuddling together downstairs while watching the movie. Everyone that is except Piper, who got a major sugar high from the gummy bears I gave them for our movie snack and spent the whole movie being crazy. Elliott and I just giggled to watch her entertain herself and not sit still. And then crash. Good times.
Today Elliott and I took the girls to the World Cup Speed Skating event at the Utah Olympic Oval. It was pretty cool to be out of our element and to see some world-class athletics. The girls lasted about an hour and then they were over it. So we ran a few errands and decided to grab a very early dinner with a Groupon certificate at Carino's; the snow was starting to come down pretty hard and we didn't want to go back out once we went home. Topped the day off with some "nakey leg" time for the girls (I just wouldn't let them take all their clothes off, it is winter after all) while I started putting my sewing room overhaul back together. Now I am finishing my night not caring about the dirty dishes and the grocery shopping I need to do, but enjoying sitting on the couch with my honey watching The Middle laughing about the similarities to our life.
Yep, a good week.