Monday, February 29, 2016

Literary Character Day at School

In honor of today being Dr. Seuss' birthday, the kids at school were allowed to dress up as a literary character (from any book, not limited to a Dr. Seuss book).

In an effort to come up with fairly last-minute costume ideas for the kids, we opted to go with Little Red Riding Hood and Charlie Brown.

Fortunately, Eric's mom knit a Red Riding Hood cape for Annika last year, and that was what was the inspiration for the costume today. I threw together the little red a-line dress (so glad I have a serger!), put her in a pair of red tights and voila!

Yesterday, Conor and I popped in to Joann Fabrics to pick up a yellow t-shirt and some black fabric paint. I had freezer paper at home, so quickly cut a strip of it into a zig-zag pattern, ironed it onto the shirt, and got to painting. I'm just grateful the paint dried in time!

I have to say, I think the kids looked mighty cute when I dropped them off at school this morning. Hoping they had a fun day!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Catching up on my 365 project

When I started out on this 365 photo project with Mamas with Cameras, my goal was to create a weekly blog post for each week of photos. Well, here we are almost at the end of February and I have yet to post any photos from this month. The best laid plans, eh?? So, here is a photo avalanche showing my February-thus-far. I hope you enjoy!

His "I don't like homework" face

Proud of their Irish heritage

Parent Appreciation Day flowers

Moms' night out

Buca - our fur baby

Conor scaling the zoo's rope web

Fun at swim lessons


When he dresses himself a wee bit too quickly

Where's the pot of gold??

Story time with big sister

Doesn't everyone do a spa day when they have kids battling ear infections??

Future electrical engineer

Our artist


Apparently if I leave our garden alone, some things do grow

Menchies - good to the last drop

Bedtime snuggles

More raindrops (it's been a wet month!)

Macro practice


Annika heard there was a crow on the roof and wanted to see ... shoes be damned!

Spring has sprung

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sick Kids

Our kids have had colds for the past week or so. They took turns waking me up during the night to remind me that they were sick and miserable ... they're so kind to keep me in the loop like that! The symptom that typically brought them to our bedside was ear pain, so I warmed garlic oil, filled the achy ear, plugged with a cotton ball, gave them some children's ibuprophen,  warmed a sock filled with rice as a heat compress, and sent them back to bed.

On Saturday morning, Annika woke up sobbing because her ear hurt so much. (Poor little thing! It broke my heart to see her so uncomfortable.) We tried all of the home remedy tricks I knew, but nothing seemed to help. So, I rounded up the troops and we headed up to our go-to urgent care (our pediatrician's office couldn't squeeze her in).

Waiting for the doctor at the urgent care clinic

The doctor took a look at Annika's ears and throat, and then listened to her lungs. He diagnosed her with a double ear infection and a sinus infection. Ick!! I asked him to peek in Conor's ears as a "while we're here" kind of favor. He obliged and quickly diagnosed Conor with an ear infection, to. My poor babies!!! He put both kids on antibiotics and sent us on our merry way. The rest of Saturday was still pretty miserable for Annika, but the promise that the medicine would take effect by the next day was a good carrot for her to power on to the best of her ability. (That and a couple of naps didn't hurt!)

Fortunately, the meds did their thing and the kids were noticeably improved the next day. Woo hoo!!! They were still sick, but definitely on the mend. What do you do with sick kids who aren't ready for the world but aren't in bed all day either? Well.... let me tell you!!

You do a little spa day!

You read stories together!

You paint faces!
After turning herself into a cat, she turned me into a canvas of birds, whales, fish, and a sailboat

Harry Potter!

And you practice hanging spoons on your noses!

I'm thrilled to report that the kids are done with their antibiotics and are feeling MUCH better. They're back to playing, annoying each other, and filling our house with giggles. What more can a mama ask for? (OK, I'd be ok without the "annoying each other" part, but I can't be too picky!) :D

Friday, February 12, 2016

Conor and Mama's Zoo Date

Our weekends have been a bit hectic over the past few weeks, partially because Eric has been working most Saturdays in preparation of his company adopting a new phone system. This past Saturday, Annika was invited to hit Snoqualmie with two of her classmates to have some snow play time... the kid couldn't have been more excited!!

With Eric and Annika's Saturday filled, I told Conor that he and I could do an activity of his choosing: movie, swimming, aquarium, zoo, Lego cafe, beach, etc. He pondered the possibilities for a few minutes and then decided he wanted to go to the zoo. Because he was the only kiddo going, he was in charge of picking which animals we visited and how long we stayed at each exhibit. We were going to visit the zoo with Tour Guide Conor! Before we left home, printed up a map of the zoo and then Conor took a crayon and circled every animal that he wanted to see. He wound up circling about 3/4 of the zoo's occupants... I had no question I'd be getting plenty of exercise that day!

Conor and I really lucked out in terms of the weather. It was cloudy, but not rainy... cool, but not cold. AND the recent rains left plenty of puddles for splashing and mud for squishing. (Good thing I thought ahead and made sure we wore our rain boots!)

Our zoo excursion started out like all others, with the penguins. These birds never fail to make me smile. There's something about the way they move that I find somewhat comical. I'm not a huge bird person, but I sure do enjoy the penguins.

Immediately after the penguins, we were off to the flamingos. Conor was really impressed that I was able to explain why the flamingos are coral colored (hint: the shrimp that they eat). I was impressed with the flamingos' flexibility!!

We spent A LOT of time at one of the in-zoo play areas; Conor was much more interested in climbing over, in, and through the various habitat-inspired play structures. He especially liked the sub-terrain  area and the rope spider web.

After much playing and a little encouragement about seeing animals while we were at the zoo, we left the Discovery Loop and made our way to see some animals. A few of the animals we'd hoped to see (most of the primates, the tapirs, etc.) weren't visible because they were either inside or because their habitats were under construction. Even with that in mind, we saw a lot of fun critters: komodo dragon, bats, meerkats, tigers, sloath bears, zebras, hippos, and giraffes... just to name a few.

Our kids love, love, love the various animal statues that are around the zoo. We simply cannot pass the statues without the kids climbing all over them. Ever since Annika was old enough to climb, an Olson child has made it a zoo tradition to conquer the statues and this trip was no different.

Because it was  a "Conor is in charge" outing, he decided that we'd have lunch at Red Robin (instead of the zoo ... I wasn't going to complain about that! Have you seen the zoo food prices?? Wow!) So, we called Eric, found out he was just about done with work and hadn't eaten lunch yet, and turned our Conor/Mama date into a Conor/Mama/Daddy lunch date.

Thanks to my sweet little boy for a fun day together; you were a marvelous zoo buddy, Conor!