Cecelia's Star Student Week

Last week, Cecelia was the 'star student' of her class.

Nate and I had just returned home from Chicago, where we were enjoying a couples getaway with some friends, and I remembered to check inside Cecelia's backpack on Sunday afternoon when we returned. I found the poster we had to fill out by Monday (the very next day), and a sticky note told me that Cecelia could have a 'special reader' come to the class any day from Monday through Wednesday.

We worked on her poster together right away and she was so proud to finish her stick figure family drawing.
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I had assumed I could ask Tony or Lois to be the special reader, but Cecelia immediately said, 'Oh, good, that means my mommy gets to come and read to my class. Mommies always do this for star students.' So that was that. I scrambled to shuffle patients around for Monday morning and we selected two books that I could read, if we had time to do both.

(note the manicure, artistically done by my four year old daughter).
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Monday morning, I sent the poster in with our girl, went to see a patient, then arrived to school for my reading debut. Cecelia was in a different classroom when I got there, but when she entered the room she came right over and started beaming at me with the sweetest grin, giving me a quick hug. The teacher announced that Cecelia had a special reader here today, and sister knew the drill after that.

She came and stood by my side and said, 'Friends, this is my mom.' All of her friends said, 'Hi, Mom!' in unison. Then Cecelia said, 'Mom, these are my friends,' and I told them 'hello' because what else are you going to do with adorable four year olds staring at you from the floor?

I got to sit in an adult-sized chair in front of the class, and Cecelia sat next to me in a tiny chair. I read both books---the girls LOVED the Frozen book, and had many extra stories to add with each page. During Albert's Toothache, an older book that Memaw gave to Cecelia, my girl was chuckling along with the funny parts and all of the kids listened really well. One little boy even told me that his favorite part was when they wrapped his toe, so I know he was sort of paying attention!

The whole time I was reading to the class, I kept glancing at Cecelia and the look on her face is something I won't soon forget. Pure pride, innocence, and love beamed from this little girl. She was so happy to have me in her classroom.
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I remember having my own mom help in my school when I was young. I know these are the types of memories that last---both for the kid and the parent. And I'm incredibly thankful for my flexible job, for my amazing father-in-law who was watching Porter, and for Cecelia. She is simply the best.

We had parent teacher conferences for both kids last week, and both of them got nothing but praises from their teachers. To think that we weren't sure if Cecelia would like school, or excel at school quite like Truman.....what a joke! She was described by her teacher as 'such a sweet girl', a good listener and empathetic. If a friend doesn't have anyone else sitting by them, the teacher will ask if someone would move next to that lonely friend. Cecelia is always the first to hop up and go right over. She isn't afraid to speak up if she needs something, like if one of the tables is missing markers or a part of their projects. She's including others, learning so much, is respectful, and happy.

What else could a mom ask for with this child? I mean, besides less emotional meltdowns at home? ;)

I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts about reading to the class, because I never want to forget how proud she was to have me there. 

Halloween Party Activities

I am one of three room moms for Cecelia's 4K classroom this year, and each of us is in charge of two parties out of the six planned. Yes, that is a lot of parties in a school year, especially since their day is only 2.5 hours long in class. But four year olds are too much fun and when presented with an excuse to celebrate? Ridiculously cute. And exhausting. Did I mention that there are twenty-eight little four year olds in Cecelia's class this year? Yep. Craziness.

My first assigned party was the Halloween party with the costume parade. I wanted to blog about it in case I get roped into being a room mom again, and because I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and other blogs hunting for perfect activities. Perhaps this is helpful when planning a classroom party, or just a friend party, or a family activity at home.

Because there are so many children in this class, we divided the kids into six different groups, each having four or five in the group. Then we rotated through six total stations, trying to stick to ten minutes per station. This was challenging but doable with my trusty stopwatch app and constant herding of cattle children from station to station. I had other adult helpers assigned to each station, plus the two teachers floated around helping as needed, and I jumped in if someone needed guidance or additional supplies....or to break up an aggressive hug between kids. You know, the norm.

The first three stations were in the cafeteria, the last three in the kids' classroom. The kids all wore their costumes and did a quick parade through the big kids' rooms before our party started. I walked along with the parade for a bit then maniacally started prepping more of the stations before the party began. I knew better than to drink a ton of coffee before this party, but I was still shaky with excitement and nerves and a million lists and things running through my head last minute.

Station one: Pumpkin seed sorting and counting
One of the other room moms was in charge of this station, and she brought two medium-sized pumpkins, cupcake tins, and a big strainer. She had cut off the tops of the pumpkins and pulled out most of the strings, so just the seeds remained. The kids had a blast pulling out seeds, sorting them into the cupcake tins, counting, and seeing how many they could find. A few of the kids were OBSESSED with this messy one and they didn't want to leave, and others could certainly leave it before the ten minute mark. I also saw this pin on Pinterest that intrigued me, but it seemed a little too involved---the cupcake tins worked just fine! I brought an old iPhone loaded with a Spotify playlist for kids, full of Halloween party songs. Then I brought our little portable speaker and had some music playing in the cafeteria for these three stations. I thought maybe the kids would want to break into a dance party but they were all very well behaved and excited about the stations, so the music was just in the background.

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Station two: Movement Dice Game
This station was inspired by this pin, modified slightly when I discovered these free printables online. I wish I had a laminator now, might need to ask Santa for one with future room mom tasks looming! But I bought two foam dice from the dollar store and then printed out the cards at home. I glued the cards to black or orange construction paper, and then drew the numbers and dots for the dice on top. I cut them apart and had two rows of cards: one in black for one dice, one in orange for the other dice, both situated across the room from each other. The kids took turns rolling the dice, then the helper had the kids match the number on the dice to the card. The card told them what to do next, and I had them use a lot of the cafeteria for these movements: wiggle like a skeleton, crawl like a black cat, walk like Frankenstein, etc. After they made their lap around the room acting out the cards, they rolled the other dice and did it again.

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I wish I had a video of this, but putting other kids on the internet is pretty taboo so maybe it's for the best. Also--lots of blurry faces in this post, just to be sure! This station didn't take a full ten minutes with the groups of four or five kids, so I had a bunch of Halloween coloring sheets and markers set out to keep this group busy. I love free online printables!

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Station three: Candy Corn Relay
I knew I wanted a second 'movement' station since we reserved the cafeteria as extra space for this party (and because we are big into movement in this family, being Physical Therapists and all);) I found this pin and followed it directly. We have orange cones for soccer, so I wrapped four of them in white and yellow construction paper to make the candy corn authentic. One of the parents brought a five pound bag of candy corn, and I brought three plastic spoons with a big bowl. We had the candy in the bowl, then asked the kids to line up and they took turns weaving through the cones holding candy corn in their spoons. After going through once, they could do it again by side-stepping, walking backwards, running, etc. The goal is to keep the candy in the spoon and not drop any, and you better believe that a lot of this candy corn was mysteriously missing at the end of the party. I figured they could eat whatever they wanted but I'm pretty sure the helpers at this station had to monitor the sugar intake carefully. My daughter tells me this was her favorite station because 'I LOVE candy corn.' Disgusting!

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Station four: I Love My Mummy Craft
Another Pinterest win! I found a free printable here, and then prepped the rest of the craft at home. Orange construction paper was the base, then I had Cecelia draw circles using a plate and white crayon on a black piece of construction paper (twenty-eight times!). I cut out strips of white paper and drew a heart in front, so the children could write their names and glue it on. I printed the free printable for 'I love my mummy' and cut them out. Then I gathered a TON of googly eyes both from other moms and from Amazon, used lots of popsicle sticks from Cecelia's teacher, and had glue bottles, scissors and a marker on this table.

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The kids cut out their own black circle from the stencil Cecelia made, glued it on, glued on the 'Mummy' strip of paper, their name, and then eyes. After that they went to town with popsicle sticks. Some kids only had time for one stick, others used hundreds;) These were super wet at the end of the party, so we had brown paper grocery bags lined up in the hall with the kids' names written on them. We placed the wet crafts on top of the bags and let them dry over the weekend. This craft was a hit and my personal fave---who doesn't love playing to the heart of a mom? It was tough to get this completed in ten minutes for some children, and the glue bottles were crazy-messy. I guess they don't really use actual glue in 4K, but glue sticks are heavily used. Too bad they really did need the bottles for the popsicle sticks, and it all turned out just fine in the end!

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Station five: Toilet Paper Roll Spiders
I put out a request for families to donate any empty toilet paper, or paper towel rolls before the party. I had to clarify that I only wanted the empty ROLLS and not the entire thing of toilet paper---almost got dozens of the full version from a parent! Pinterest told me this would be a super cute and fairly easy craft, but it did include a decent amount of prep work from me.

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Gathering the empty rolls was easy, apparently people save these like crazy! Then I went ahead and cut them down to size and added legs but simply cutting up the sides. I had twenty-eight spiders ready to be used as stamps, with the potential to turn them into painted/googly-eyed spiders that could be taken home a that end, too. I went ahead and glued printer paper on top of construction paper to make it a little more hearty. Then I had paint, paper plates for the paint, the cardboard spiders, a ton of google-eyes, glue, and a marker for names all sitting on the table.

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The kids would dip a cardboard spider into the paint and then stamp it onto the paper. They glued eyes to their spiders, wrote their names, and set the paper aside. Some of the kids painted the cardboard spiders, glued eyes onto them, and put them on the brown paper bags for drying, too. I expected all of the kids to make a spider to take home but not everyone wanted to do that, so I still have a lot of cardboard spiders left over! Everyone did love stamping the paint and I enjoyed seeing how DIFFERENT they all were. Individuality, gotta embrace it and resist making the craft 'pretty', I suppose! Some were smeared all around, some were meticulously stamped----it was awesome.

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Station six: Cookie Decorating Station
Another mom signed up to make sugar cookies and sent in frosting and sprinkles for the kids to use. We had ziplock bags with their names written on them, in case the kids didn't want to eat the cookie right away and brought it home instead. The helpers just needed a few plastic knives and the kids did a great job decorating their cookies! I got a nibble of Cecelia's and it was delicious. You have to have one sugar station in a class party, right? Well this plus the candy corn station, but who is counting?

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After we rotated the six groups through the stations for roughly ten minutes each stop, we gathered everyone together and had a grandma read the kids a Halloween book. The adult helpers all set out the 'healthy' snack that a parent contributed, plus plates and napkins and juice boxes. After the book the kids enjoyed their snack at tables and they all looked satisfied but spent. I hear you, children, I felt the same way!

I wouldn't change a lot about this party, the stations all worked out really well. The hardest part was keeping the groups together, remembering names, and helping the kids move between stations without getting distracted. One idea for next time is taking the list of kids in each small group, and passing it around to each station when they switch. That way the helpers know who is supposed to be sitting in front of them, who is lost in the bathroom, who wandered off, etc. I did have little sticky notes with the small groups listed separately but those notes got lost in the shuffle, literally. I also wanted each station to have a tall stand with a number on top, so the kids would understand 'go to table three next'. They didn't know the names of all of the adult helpers and it got a little congested at times when we switched stations, so a tall wedding table-style number stand is on my list of 'must finds' before the next party.

Thoughts: It's awesome being a part of a class with so many eager parents, ready to help and contribute items ahead of time, even if they can't come to the actual party. I won't be attending every party either, but I'm glad this one went so smoothly. It was a lot of prep work but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm sort of in my element with crafts and organizing and planning.

Have fun tackling one or two (or six) of these activities at home or in your school. I have many other un-used Pinterest ideas on this board if you are searching for something at the last minute. And with that, I'm going to shift my focus to trick-or-treating and assembling adult costumes for a neighborhood party this weekend. Can't wait for the candy battles to begin!

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These Are the Days of Our Lives | Fall 2016

Have fun reading along!

1. Non Sequitur Chica | Illinois
part one:

Part two:

2. Bring 'Er To England | England

3. The Buggy List | New Jersey

4. Old Lady and No Baby | Oregon

5. Grey & Fynn | Pennsylvania

6. Live Inside My Bubble | Minnesota

7. 3 Vs | Missouri

8. Cozy Cape Cottage | Wisconsin

9. A Gurley Gurl | Texas

10. Better Juntos | Minnesota

11. Life As I Know It | Minnesota

12. Introduced You To It | Chengdu, China

13. Ellie and Addie | Missouri

14. Dinos and Bunnies | Minnesota

15. Perks of Being a JAP | New York

16. Elefantitas Alegres | Texas

17. Gettin' Fritzke | Minnesota

18. Just Jillian | Tennessee

19. Piece of Our Life | Georgia

20. Lisa Lisa Bo Bisa | Minnesota

21. Empty Arms, Broken Heart | Pennsylvania

A Day in the Life | Fall 2016

Nate and Julia are 35 years old, Truman is 6 1/2, Cecelia is 4, Porter is 2, and Henry dog will be 11 in a few weeks!

{Entire photo album found here, only 103 for the day, world record for the least amount of photos in a DiTL. I'm so evolved.}

Friday | October 7, 2016

6:15 am | Alarm goes off. Snooze that SOB.

6:30 am | Roll out of bed. Nate kisses me goodbye for the day and asks if Henry peed all over the floor last night. Brief moment of panic, as I don't remember this and might be losing my mind?! But then we agree that it must have been in Nate's dream when he saw me huddled on the floor with 'tons of towels' wiping up dog urine. Instead, I only recall having Cecelia come into our room at 4 am last night, needing a hug after a bad dream. Bonus points that I didn't even get out of bed to comfort her and she went back to bed on her own.

Get up, go downstairs. Say goodbye to Nate again, and he asks me to take out the garbage carts this morning. Do that and take Henry out as Nate pulls away. Pour a cup of coffee and get going on the weekday morning routine. Toast frozen waffles for the kids, pour milks. Make Truman's lunch, which is the same nearly every day: PBJ, Gogurt, Applesauce, pretzels, Kids Clif Bar, whole milk, and a candy snack with a note. 

6:40 am | I hear Porter yell 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!!!!' He now has the Tot Clock in his room and we set it to this time, hoping to get to 7am eventually, since that is when the two big kids come out of their rooms each day. But for now, we are just happy he's making it until 6:40. Get the big guy and praise him for staying asleep this long. Bring him down and he's a bit whiny but pulls through with some waffles. I drink some of the green smoothie Nate left for me and keep getting things ready for the day (i.e. Cecelia's snack, making sure Truman's homework sheets are in his backpack, etc). 

7:00 am | Truman comes down stairs in an excellent mood. Still talking about soccer practice last night. Cecelia remains upstairs and is pouting about T leaving her up there (?), so I go and retrieve her. She pouts for a solid 10 minutes with the lower lip pooch, but then snaps out of it with Porter being a class clown, making pig noises. The trio eats breakfast and giggles, I sit with them and drink my coffee.

7:30 am | Truman is done first, gets dressed and brushes teeth. Cecelia is also finished so I help her get dressed. Super smooth morning so far, thank goodness.

7:40 am | Since they are ready so early, they get a little TV time. Truman picks out a strange show called 'Auggie and the Three Cockroaches' or something. All three of my cockroaches sit and watch the show, Cecelia brushes teeth and I change P's diaper and get him dressed. I put on work out clothes since I plan to run on the treadmill today at some point. Get backpacks ready to go, shoes on the kids.

8:00 am | TV goes off and we head out to school after jackets are placed, it's supposed to get colder as the day goes on but is beautiful right now. We hope to see the wild turkey that we spotted yesterday, but no dice. We did, however, see garbage trucks so Porter was quite pleased. Beautiful time of year in Wisconsin, and I take my first picture of the day! Hang at the playground with mom friends and kid friends. Give a birthday gift to my friend, Ali, since it's her big day this weekend. Cecelia and crew collect leaves that they will bring into class, probably illegally. Truman plays football with his buddies. Porter eyes the very wet slides but does NOT go down them, somehow.

Ready to take on the world!
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Obsessed with the changing leaves.
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8:15 am | Bell rings! Kids line up, I give kisses and hugs and Porter even gets in on that action. The moms talk a bit longer then we walk home. Ali and I decide to do the zoo after JK pick up. Once back home I text a few other girls with the plan. This is when I decide to do DiTL. I turn on Porter's Thomas movie and decide to type this up really quickly, since I haven't taken any notes yet. Mentally pumping myself up for this to be a heavily documented day. Oh yeah, must take a selfie since I'm lacking on pictures so far! (I didn't even post it here, it was a pretty mediocre photo and I'm trying my hardest to keep the pictures and text minimal this time--so hard!).

8:45 am | There is a tree trimming truck outside of our house, Porter is in heaven. I decide to do my treadmill time, intervals today, since I did run 4.5 miles yesterday on this bad boy, too. I change the laundry because I started a load this morning, when I realized Porter's loveys smelled like death. Run for 15 minutes total, sprinting at 10.0 mph for 40sec, hop off for 20 seconds, repeat. Sweating profusely as this sprinting stuff is not my jam, but I'm trying to mix it up. This burst of speed stuff really does get me amped up and doesn't take nearly as long as a 4-5 mile run! 

9:10 am | Done. Sweaty selfies, seriously so sweaty it's unreal. Porter is still watching his movie. Start packing lunch for the zoo (PBJ, apples, pretzels) and need to eat a real breakfast, the smoothie is not cutting it. 

Disgusting but satisfying sweatiness.
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Oh, hey, guys---glad you didn't notice I almost keeled over in the basement.
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9:30 am | I eat an egg sandwich and sausage with my guy. He annihilates it! Requests another when we are finished. Ah, the continuous debate on whether Porter is actually hungry or just asking for more food for 'fun'. Get a video of him saying "you're my best mommy, I love you so much." Day is made. 

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My Porter.
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9:40 am | I make the kid another egg sandwich. Listen to my favorite current song by Lord Huron, who we saw in concert a few weeks ago and LOVED. Feeling the caffeine and intense work out, energy is high. 

9:45 am | I decide to shower now, too sweaty to postpone it until nap time  P is eating and playing trains now and since we have entered an amazing time in life with just one child during school, I can shower in peace while he plays. The beauty of this fact is not lost on me, trust. 

After my shower I have to decide how put together I want to be today. The ultimate would be jeans hair down and make up, but I decide to split the difference and wear leggings, wet hair up in a bun and make up. There's no need to go through all the trouble of actually styling my hair just for a day in the life, right?!? I help Porter with his 'broken' egg sandwich and he's back at his tracks again, says he doesn't want to come up to the bathroom with me to get ready. Okay!

Ta-Da, super dressy, just for you. Also, wonderful quality picture, I know.
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10:10 am | Selfies with Porter. Gosh, I love him.
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OOTD includes a tee shirt of Nate's from 1988 and amazing jeans (hand-me-downs as well).
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He pooped but is talking about some game he plays with Cecelia, hoping I won't notice the stench. It's very windy out so we watch the trees blow for a bit. "I love when it rains on my face, my head, my nose." Change diaper and load up various bags, a stroller, water bottles into the van. Holy man, the temp is dropping as we speak!

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10:45 am | I get Porter in the van and he is frustrated because he apparently has leaves in his shoes. It's always funny when we pick Cecelia up from school in the van, whenever we have to go somewhere right away. We literally park across the street from our house which is an interesting site for anyone paying attention, I guess.

10:55 am | Cecelia comes outside with her class and she actually got out earlier than this, first time I've seen all 29 kids ready to leave school early. She's excited to go to the zoo with us even though she didn't know we were going to do this ahead of time. Cece and her friend Natalie exchange leaves and they give a group hug to another little girl in the class before leaving. Sissy is starving so I give her some pretzels and Porter gets raisins on the way to the zoo. Get filled in on Cecelia's day a little bit as we drive-- she said she missed centers because she was too busy eating her snack. Kid is always starving after school, too!
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11:10 am | Hi, zoo!! Meet our friends Ali and Kerry with their kids. Get to see a lot of different things today like chickens and lions and a red panda that we didn't know existed. Let the kids do the little foot massager chairs which they love, see an elephant leaning over the edge of the moat which was amazing, and do the coin drop at the very end. Highs and lows throughout the trip include CC grabbing random bird feathers from the ground and I told her she could get the bird flu if she touched any more. Biggest high was getting peanut butter cups at the end from Ali, definitely tipped the scales towards 'awesome' for this particular zoo trip. Even though it's really freaking cold all of a sudden, like less than 60 degrees and some of the children were shivering. STILL. We had a good time.

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Every DiTL needs a public bathroom selfie, yes?
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Brittany the elephant was out of control this day!
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Zoo this time of year, love.
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Foot massager delights.
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12: 50 pm | Pack up and head home. Cecelia says, 'I just love when Porter takes a nap because I get gum. I want to see a tree that's not at all green, only red.' Me, too, sis!

1:00 pm | We are home. CC has me check her school folder. I run down to get the clean laundry for loveys that no longer smell like spoiled milk. 

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1:05 pm | I lay Porter down and he's not happy about it, Cecelia is trying to help him calm down by giving him trains but it's only making things worse. I know this nap will be cut short by Truman's school pick up, so I'm a little stressed already. 
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Give Cecelia her gum because it's Friday, the one day a week we allow T and C to have gum because they are OBSESSIVE. Talk to sis and unload dishes, then she starts to help me with the dishes. Next we fold laundry and discuss why 75% of our laundry is always inside out. CC helps me make it right side in and is in charge of all undies and socks. Next we go outside and pull our garbage carts inside. Poop patrol for Henry dog. A few porch pictures. I'm starved so I make my lunch (PB cups weren't enough). Grilled ham and cheese, half eaten kid apple, Pringles, and Cordyceps tea. This is a new thing Nate ordered from Amazon that gives you a little kick in the pants without actual caffeine, something about mushrooms as superfoods----it's actually VERY tasty with a little bit of coconut oil in my hot tea, and takes less time to make than a French press of coffee. 

Does Daddy's shirt fit me, Mom? Go Billikens!
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Posed like this without me asking, I was really just trying to get the house.
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New thing, kind of dig it.
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1:40 pm | It's screen time for the girls! Eat, check email--read the weekly update from C's teacher, watch their letter video, start this post. Instagram a picture from this morning, I don't think I've posted anything in two days so it's high time. Help Cecelia with the Kindle, Disney Junior app is acting weird. 

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2:50 pm | Sigh. Okay, we need to get moving. CC and I get off of the couch finally, and it's already time to wake P for school pick up. Note: this is the THIRD TIME in one day that we will be walking to school, and by Friday it's getting extremely old. Dreading this part of waking Porter so much. CC is also not listening the best when it comes to getting her shoes and socks on for our walk. Wake Porter and initially he is happy and all, 'Hi, Mommy.' But then his exhaustion shows when I bring him downstairs. Everything is upsetting to him and he will NOT wear his hoodie. Not even pretzel rods stop the tears. Poor third baby.

Oh, babe.
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3:00 pm | We walk to school, CC riding her bike, Porter needs to be carried and cuddled while I push the single BOB (empty). He's shivering but won't wear his hoodie. Poor guy just needed his preferred three hour nap, not a measly two hour one!

3:20 pm | We are at school for a few minutes, then the bell rings. Truman's class comes out a few minutes later and it looks like they had a sub---sure enough, Truman tells me right away that his teacher had a doctor appointment and so they had a sub for half of the day. I immediately assume Truman's teacher is pregnant, she is young and has a one year old baby, so....that's my guess!  Porter is super clingy. Truman gives me a kiss then runs off to play kick ball, soccer, and football with friends. We hit up the small and big playgrounds with our friends. Cecelia and her buddies are doing a pretty good job of getting along, they play duck-duck-goose for a bit. Porter loves to walk all along the rail road ties and I manage to chat with my mom friends for a bit. I even meet a new mom from Cecelia's class! There are so many new faces this year, and I'm just starting to remember names and kids. It's turning out to be a gorgeous afternoon with the sun shining and brisk, but not too chilly anymore. Porter eventually does put on his hoodie, btw. 

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5:00 pm | We finally leave school! That was probably the longest we've stayed after the bell but the kids were just having a blast. Cecelia announces, "It's like winter, it's so cold" on our way home. Truman pushes Porter for me and Nate is already home---nice and early! On the playground I texted asking him to start the pizza since he got home so early. When we get inside he has the pizzas baking already, thank goodness. 

Let kids decompress with TV while we make dinner for the next 20 minutes. We have a spinach salad, with beets, feta and apples and then our pizza. The kids get apples and pizza. We check Truman's school folder which is packed full of worksheets. Talk to Nate about our days, sounds like his was a good one, too. He teaches a lab on Friday afternoons and it was an easy one, hence getting done early. But sad trombone, he also has to work his first hockey game of the season tonight, so I will be doing bedtime solo and will only get to see my husband for....oh, an hour and fifteen minutes tonight. No bueno. But hey, it's Friday night! 

5:30 pm | Our gourmet dinner is served. C and P are melting down in unison and Nate says, 'Here we go!' He was home for dinner last night, too, which is a RARITY to have two nights of family dinners in a row! But last night he noticed that weekday dinners are basically a giant crap shoot and really not that fun, even with two parents (and especially with just one, as is our norm most days). We go around and say what our favorite part of the day was. Truman says it was the hula hoop game he played in gym, then describes it for us. Cecelia says it was singing a song about blind mice, then sings it for us with a forceful emphasis on 'cut off their tails with a carving knife.' Yikes. Little murderer. Nate says his is when he came home tonight and I say it was when we played for so long on the playground today. Porter informs us that he lost a tooth when he woke up one day and he '
cried and cried and cried' about it. This kid says the most amazing things. I wish I had a video reel of his entire day for this post, he's just a riot. Truman then shows us every single piece of paper from his school folder. This guy is learning so much again! 

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5:50 pm | At this point all of the kids are up from the table, and Cecelia is downstairs with Porter playing trains. I swear our kids cannot sit at the table for more than 15 minutes no matter how hungry they are. Truman and Nate are trying to fix Truman's headphones and I clean up dinner. Then my six year old gifts me with arm farts and a heavy discussion about his Cub Scout popcorn selling prizes. Family selfies, of which many are such Christmas card contenders, it's hard to pick just one. Nate leaves for the game. The kids and I have an intense game of tag around our lower level and I'm literally panting for breath, they are all giggling and screaming. It's the best. 

Christmas Card contender. I want my iPhone 7 for the camera capabilities, thank you very much.
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Bye, Daddy!
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6:30 pm | Fun is over! We head upstairs for a 1:3 bedtime ratio, and although I am outnumbered I am not a stranger to this scenario.  Jammies on, brush teeth, and Truman tries to read Porter and Cecelia a Pokemon book. This doesn't go over well, but I do manage to get an amazing picture of those three before all hell breaks loose. I decide to read them Curious George and pray for the best---they actually do listen, fairly captivated, during a longish book about a naughty monkey. 

Love, love, love.
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7:00 pm | Goodnight, Porter P! He doesn't even put up a fight, my sweet boy. I read the Pok√©mon book to Truman and Cecelia on their floor, and yet again decide that Pokemon is freaking weird. Kisses. Made up bedtime stories. Lights off. Promises of waffles tomorrow morning. 
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7:15 pm | I come downstairs and immediately pour myself a glass of wine and get a bowl of dry CTC.  What's that, you ask? Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The bomb, actually. I turn on the TV and am disappointed that Shark Tank is no longer on Friday nights, settle on some random show and bounce around between Hells Kitchen and Dateline. Breathe. Check IG. Work on this post. 

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I take several breaks to zone out on Dateline, as it's a really intriguing one tonight. Take Henry out, consider watching a Weeds episode (my new favorite show to watch without Nate present, mostly on the treadmill) but decline. First time in the history of DiTL---but I get fully caught up with both the text and pictures in this post. What the heck is happening to me lately?!? Absurd.

9:50 pm | That's enough of that. Head up to get ready for bed, teeth, pajamas, wash face. I hear Nate come home so I go back down and we chat for a bit. He is nowhere near ready for bed yet, it takes him awhile to wind down after a hockey game, but I'm well on my way to being asleep! Read a bit of my book (Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen, anyone ever read him? So weird but funny!) and go to bed by 10:25pm.

The next morning I wake at 6am to Porter's incessant coughing. My alarm goes off at 6:15 and I lay there for a bit, hoping P is okay and just getting a cold (or recovering from a week long one, take your pick). Then I get out of bed and go for a 4.5 mile run before the rest of the family wakes, and I don't realize that it's a whopping 38 degrees outside until I'm well into my run. I could see my breath, my hands were numb, and I noticed every other runner wore a ski cap and gloves. Not me! But it was still a beautiful run, I came home to the kids and Nate around a fire in our fireplace, looking through my Chatbooks. And then we made pancakes and bought a new Thomas movie, so all was very right in our Saturday morning world.

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And thus ends this day in the life. I have about a million others that I've recorded over the years, if you are really dying to read more you can start with this link. Hope you'll play along and record one for yourself, they are fun---promise ;)

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