Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Snowy Weekend Continues!

Good Tuesday morning!

I probably don't need to announce that we were snowed in all weekend -- and yesterday and today.  Schools and federal building were closed yesterday, and again today -- the roads are getting cleared and the temperature is actually above freezing, but we got A LOT of snow.

The pictures will pretty much tell the story themselves, but I'll throw in a few more tidbits of information:

1. The snow first started Wednesday evening, around 6 p.m., just as Chet was on his way home from work (the Pentagon is only three exits from our house, so it's a short commute).  His travel time wasn't affected, but you may have seen on the news that there were a ton of accidents that piled up in the D.C. area (nothing horribly life-threatening to my knowledge, just an inordinate amount, which made traffic extremely heavy).  It took many people 6-7 hours to get home Wednesday evening (commutes that would normally take an hour or less during rush hour).

I was unaware of all of the accidents, and needed to get out of the house as soon as Chet walked through the door that evening (it had been one of those days).  So I drove over to HomeGoods and shopped for storage baskets for Baby while the snow continued to fall.  It took me a little less than a half hour to get there and the same mount of time to get back (which isn't too much longer than it normally would have been at that time).  I didn't encounter any accidents; people (including me) were driving slowly and carefully.

2. School was cancelled for Sydney and Lorelei Thursday (understandably; the roads were probably icy after the snow the night before), but gymnastics was open, so we were able to get out of the house for the girls' 3 p.m. class.  By Thursday afternoon most of the snow had melted.  Chet was home early from work, before 5 p.m.

3. School was cancelled again Friday for Sydney (Lorelei doesn't attend school anyway on Fridays).  The roads were perfectly clear Friday morning; nearly all of the snow had melted.  But the "real" snow started falling just after noon on Friday, and it didn't stop until late Saturday night.  Federal buildings closed at noon, so Chet was home by 1 p.m.  We had all of the groceries and supplies we needed for a snowbound weekend, but Sydney and I went to Target in Chet's truck as soon as he got home before things got too bad.  As I posted on Facebook: "Sydney and I had to make a last minute trip to Target for some snowstorm necessities: craft paint, Valentine candy, and a decorative bin."

So, truly, the Target run was completely unnecessary, but it was interesting to get out of the house nonetheless.  Target was quite crowded; the store had shifted into holiday shopping mode by blocking access to the checkout lines, forcing everyone to form a single line and then directing each person to an open register.  The line was super long and snaked around the store, but truth be told I think we got through the line faster that way than had we been in line on a regular busy Saturday or Sunday.

We haven't been out of the house since then.  Outside, yes, but not anywhere via vehicle.  We've heard that the major roads are plowed, but our neighborhood streets are completely invisible under about 18" of snow.  I thought I heard plows in the middle of the night last night, but apparently not.

Picture time!

Thursday morning we went outside to play in the 1-inch deep snow -- it was quickly melting, but still fun for a while.
Not so sure about all those layers

Saturday morning:

Saturday night I pulled Sydney's top right front tooth.  It's been quite loose for days, and we finally got it out.  I love kids with no front teeth; there's nothing cuter.

Sunday morning:
View of our backyard from the kitchen window
Our driveway (Chet had already started to dig his truck out, but the van was completely covered)
Backyard again, later in the day
The girls and Ford had different reactions to the waist-deep (for them) snow:
Not Happy
Lorelei has enjoyed playing in the snow this year (she's sometimes freaked out by things like this), but is always happy to warm up inside afterward.  She found one of Ford's baby towels in the linen closet and donned it as a robe.

One of our neighbors graciously gave us their old crib.  Chet put it together this weekend to make sure we had all the hardware, and it made a fantastic drying rack for snow gear.

Sunday afternoon Chet and Sydney were outside for hours, being social with the rest of the neighborhood (Lorelei, Ford, and I remained anti-social inside the house -- we had fun though!).  Our street was not even close to being visible under all the snow.

Hopefully school starts tomorrow (Sydney's birthday)...as nice as it's been to be home together, it's time for some routine!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Recent Belly Pictures!

I can't believe I haven't posted any belly pictures in 9 weeks!  (I also can't believe I let another 20 days pass without blogging, but let's just gloss over that.)

As of last Thursday I am 34 weeks along.  It's getting real, people, especially considering I had the other three kiddos at 39 weeks.  I'm also in full blown nesting mode (although I think Chet would tell you that I'm constantly nesting; he just changes the word to "scurrying" when I'm not pregnant).

Anyway, click here to see my post with 22-, 24-, and 25-week belly pictures, if you want.

It wasn't until just now that I realized I was negligent in taking a picture at 26, 27, and 28 weeks, as well as 30 and 31 weeks.  I knew I had missed a couple, but dang.  Let's just all agree to blame Thanksgiving and Christmas on this little oversight.
25 Weeks (same picture from last belly picture post)
29 Weeks
32 Weeks
33 Weeks
34 Weeks
I feel like there are a few things I need to point out about these pictures, some of which I may have mentioned before:

1. I am almost always wearing my pajamas, because we take these pictures on Thursday nights after the kids are in bed.  I don't know about you, but I literally cannot wait to put on my pajamas once the kids are down -- it's entirely too much effort to trek downstairs to take a picture, then back upstairs to change before settling in for an episode of "The Good Wife."

2. I only have about 3 pair of pajamas that fit me right now.

3. There is no good place to take belly pictures in our house -- especially since it's always dark when they're taken (we get tons of lovely, natural light in our home throughout the day, but at night it's like a dungeon).

4.  We usually clear away the jackets, backpacks, and shoes before taking the picture each week, but this past Thursday I told Chet just to leave all of it.  Because it's evidence of real life, and proof that we're dealing with a whole bunch of snow around here (those are snow boots drying on a piece of cardboard and an old beach towel to help sop up all of the extra water in the bottom righthand part of the picture).

Let me say, in case I haven't said it before, that I love our little northern Virginia house.  It's small, but it has fit us well, and it's surprisingly functional in a lot of ways (I can also think of some un-functional things, like almost no kitchen counter space and no bathroom on the main level).  However...we are quickly outgrowing it.  It's a good thing we're moving not long after Baby arrives, because we're thisclose to this little house not working for us at all anymore.  (I realize this is a "first world problem.")  I'm not exactly sure what this has to do with belly pictures; maybe I'm reminded of it because of the "belongings bomb" pictured above that seems to constantly exist in our non-entryway (seriously, we have NO entryway -- you walk into our front door and practically trip over our couch).  Or maybe because I've spent the entire weekend thinking up creative ways to fit Baby into our bedroom, without making it a complete tripping/fire hazard.  Either way, Chet and I are looking forward to having a bit more living space in Texas.  We also plan on acquiring a bigger dining room table and a king-sized bed once there -- it's high time for both.

I hope you've had a lovely weekend so far!  Church is cancelled for us this morning (I think the main reason is because it would have been impossible to clear the parking lots of snow in time), but it stopped snowing last night, so hopefully the plows will have a chance to swing through our neighborhood before work/school tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Merry New Birthday!

The odd title of this post is my way of foreshadowing that this is going to be the fastest synopsis ever of what we've been up to since November 28th (how embarrassing that that's the last time I blogged).

I'm sure I'll leave things out.

I plan on going back and elaborating on certain topics, and including pictures.

Here we go.

December 5, 7 - 9: I attended rehearsals for our church's Living Christmas Tree.

December 10 - 13: Living Christmas Tree performances (seven in all).  (It wasn't until the evening of the 13th that I realized I hadn't been home to help put the kids to bed since the night of December 6th!  Good thing Chet is so capable...)

December 12 - 17: Didi and Papa Dave came to visit, and celebrate an early Christmas (they, and Chet and the girls saw the last performance of the Living Christmas Tree on Sunday evening).

December 14: Chet and I both were able to volunteer at Sydney's Christmas (I mean, Holiday) party at school (thanks to Didi and Papa Dave for holding down the fort at home).  Syd was thrilled to have us both there.

December 17: Didi and I attended both Sydney's and Lorelei's Holiday/Christmas performances at their respective schools.

December 17/18: Lorelei's and Sydney's last day of school for winter break.

December 19: Chet and I went on a date, thanks to our church's monthly babysitting program.  Ford also received his first "bad" haircut.

December 21 - 23: Nonstop rain, and the kids and I barely survived without a schedule at home, waiting for Christmas.  (This included a fun trip to the dentist for Sydney with everyone in tow on December 23rd.)  I grocery shopped with all of the amateurs/other procrastinators on the night of December 23rd.

December 24: Chet thankfully only had to work the morning, so we had family time at home (inside the house, because it was still raining) on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day: Happy birthday, Jesus!

December 27: We left early in the morning, headed for North Carolina (the Charlotte area) to spend time with Chet's family the week after Christmas.  (It was a 6-hour drive; we made it in 9.)

December 29: Morning Christmas celebration with Chet's family.

December 30: Early birthday celebration for Ford with Chet's family.

December 31: I actually stayed awake until midnight.

January 1: Happy 2016!  We departed North Carolina and made it home in 8 hours.  We discovered Ford was running a fever, which always makes things more interesting.

January 2: Unpack, unpack, unpack.  Also, I cut Chet's hair for the first time.  (The day after Ford's bad haircut we bought clippers from Amazon so that I could give him bad haircuts for free.)

January 3: Church, unpack, cut Chet's hair a little more, go to the store for milk and other bare necessities after going on a trip.  (Target was all out of bread.  How is that possible?)

January 4: Girls go back to school, I go to the dentist at 9:30 for a routine cleaning, and Chet's coworker complements him on his superb haircut.

Here's what's coming up:

Tomorrow, January 5: Our baby boy turns 2!  (I should really blog about his birth...)

January 6: 32-week OB appointment (it's getting close!).

January 7: Ford's 2-year doctor appointment (no more doctor visits this week, please!).

January 12: Chet's birthday!

January 27: Sydney's 6th birthday!

January 31: Yours truly's birthday!

Whew.  I'll share just enough pictures to keep you reading this blog, and then I have to help Chet wrestle the kids into bed.

Our birthday cake for Jesus.  Sydney was really adamant about putting His "age" on the cake, so we had to improvise (look closely and you'll see we had to use a "5" for the last "s" in His name):

Ready to hit the road on December 27th:

More cake.  Syd did about half of those decorative dots herself:

The boy's not shy.  He'd have us sing "Happy Birthday" all day, every day to him if any of us had the stamina:

What I lovingly refer to as the post-trip bomb.  It only got worse after this (it's slightly better now):

The girls playing happily Saturday morning with their new Calico Critter treehouse school (thank  you, Aunt Carol!), while Chet and I dealt with the downstairs mess: