How We Do Spring

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones then you know the words of House Stark: Winter is Coming. Well this year in Michigan Winter came. And kept coming. And felt like it was never going to leave. Feet upon feet of snow fell. Everything was covered in a thick crust of salty ice. The Cold had a tendency to creep right into your bones and take root, never really leaving, no amount of blankets or layers or pair of socks could break its hold.

And through this mind-numbing, bone-chilling, soul-sucking Winter, we were house hunting.

It’s almost ridiculous to think about now. Michael and I (and occasionally the girls too), trudging about on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon. Walking precariously over unsalted walks in search of our Forever Home. Thinking about it now, we’re a bit crazy, aren’t we?

Slowly. Very slowly, the days began to lengthen. The sun began to melt the glaciers of ice on every curb and street corner. And suddenly it was 50 degrees and it felt like the Sun was a brand new thing. Something we had forgotten, that we had been missing for too long.

As soon as that first thaw took hold we broke out of our frozen ice palace and headed out to do all the things we couldn’t during the Winter That Almost Never Ended. It didn’t bother us if there was snow on the ground as long as we could wear cool hats, warm coats and the sun was shining.

Here’s some of the things we did to say goodbye to Winter and welcome to Spring..

1. Just got out and walked. Usually to visit Dad at Spartan Spirits.

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2. Even if it was still cold we joked around on Sandy the Pony at Meijer. Sometimes 2 or 3 rides at a time if there wasn’t anyone waiting.

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3. Birthday Parties (like this one for our friend Claire)!! Especially if there were crafts involved. A few hours at a birthday party made us forget that it wasn’t summer yet.

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4. Bike Riding on the Deck. At the old house we didn’t have a yard and with a pretty busy sidewalk and street out front, so we rode around on the deck a lot. Don’t forget your helmets folks! Can’t be too safe!

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5. We went to the Potter Park Zoo with our friend Kierce. And you know what? Apparently the lions were sick of Winter too and were super vocal in their complaints about it.

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6. We hung out at the library music and story time with our friends Nia, Mia and Imani.

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7. When in doubt and super bored. Go visit Dad at Spartan Spirits, build a beer case Castle and play!

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8. We got out to walk and play on the swings as soon as possible. Someone can never get enough of the swings!

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9. We visited the farm when all the baby lambs were born and got to feed them.

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10. One day the magnolia tree next door was blossoming and the next day the snow was falling. Didn’t matter. We played outside anyways.

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11. And when the weather cleared again, we blew bubbles and played for hours on TeTe’s stoop in Hamtramck.

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12. For weeks Izzie carried her Doc McStuffins bag around with her to give mobile checkups to all those in need.

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13. Take in a baseball game! Just don’t forget your blankets, it’s Michigan after all. My MIL Becky invited us to a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game. So BIL André and his lovely girlfriend Merissa came into town and joined us for a night out. So. Fun.

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14. Take the kids to see Sesame Street Live. Cause Elmo and Big Bird can pretty much make every day look like a sunny day and sweep all the clouds away. It was Izzie’s first show. She wasn’t nearly as enraptured as Ella and Anna though.

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15. Field Trips!! In the midst of all the packing, closing, cleaning and schlepping boxes to our new house Preschool helped keep Cedella busy and engaged. I couldn’t pass up a chance to go to the MSU Horse Farm. She absolutely loved it there. Even if the stalls were a bit stinky for her taste.

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Despite all the excitement we managed to sort, purge, bag, box, donate, transport, sell or move all of our worldly possessions to our new home.

And somewhere along the way Winter stayed gone. Now it’s nothing but blue skies, hot days and mosquitoes. But we’ll talk about those little buggers another day.

How’s your spring been going? Any big plans for summer? Family vacations around the corner? Tell me all about them in the comments!!

 

It’s Been A While…

Hey there! And happy new year! It’s been a long long long time since I’ve posted.

But as I sit here in our home, with all the Christmas decorations finally down, having missed the Downton Abbey premiere because of two children that just didn’t want to go to bed, finally getting around to writing a post I am almost totally unable to think of one thing to write. Because I have a million things I want to write.

In no particular order here are a few things I have on my mind:

Christmas is finally over. The boxes have all been packed and a snug away in the garage until next year. Can’t say that I’ve ever been happy to have it over with either. We started celebrating the day before Christmas Eve and went for six days straight. By the end of it we were all exhausted, crabby, sleep deprived and ill. After six Christmas parties and a birthday party that week I have over 1000 pictures (that’s including our Thanksgiving road trip which I still haven’t posted). I need to edit them and put together a recap post, but it’s a daunting task. And honestly, I don’t even know if I want to see them all again so soon either. Maybe I will conquer that by the end of the week. Maybe I’ll just throw together a few collages. What do you think? Still interested in seeing pictures of Christmas, or ready to forget all about it?

Cedella is turning 3 a week from Monday. 3!!!! WHAT?! So not only do I have a bday party on Saturday to prepare for but I have a letter to write to her and a whole “This is Cedella at 3” blog post to write. There’s so much to say about her. So much that’s new. So much that’s old. And I want to capture it all, all of her, but I can barely get her to stand still, let alone look at the camera so it will have to be very wordy. There are so many crazy silly and unique things about her. Things that I want her to be able to be reminded of when she grows up. Things I want to remember that if I don’t write then down will slip into the ever increasing cracks in my Mom Brain. And then there will have to be a birthday party recap and more pictures to edit.

Isora is growing by leaps and bounds. She started pulling herself up around Thanksgiving, started scooting around the furniture shortly thereafter and now she’s standing alone and is just moments from walking. She says sweet little words like ‘duck’ and her favorite thing to say ‘dada’. She has changed so much in the past month alone that I feel utterly neglectful for not having recorded more about her each month. It really is going by so incredibly fast. But I vow to do a proper update on the 18th. I’m scheduling it now. If you get an empty email that morning you’ll know I’ve forgotten all about it…

Now that it’s really a new year and I’ve gotten motivated to start reorganizing and cleaning it has occurred to me that we have had no schedule or preschool since Thanksgiving. The girls are staying up way past ten at this point and waking up by 8am. In short, they aren’t getting enough sleep. Time to get back into a normal schedule. Dinner before 7. Bath and bed by 8. School on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Housekeeping on Tuesday and Thursday.

Of course, throw in a week like this one, that included a day spent entirely in a hospital waiting room, and two drives to Detroit and back, and how could anyone keep a schedule?

Well at least, we kept one of our scheduled events this week. Because we’ve found a class that Cedella actually loves. Gymnastics!! She’s a natural :)

And yes by all means, it’s the beginning of the year and therefore it’s Resolution Season. But I learned from last year’s resolutions that it is lovely to have goals, but having two small children pretty much means that goals should be simple. Like “I resolve to shower more often”. Or “I resolve to not yell at my kids until after I’ve had coffee”. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t set goals that may not be accomplished this year, or ever for that matter.

So for that reason I’m joining up with Alicia at Clever Compass for a new kind of resolution. A Life List. All week long myself and other bloggers are sharing a list of things we want to do during our lifetimes. Travel. Learn. Try. Do. All of it.

And while I can’t wait to read all the other lists out there I really can’t wait to share mine, if only because it is so incredibly liberating and exciting to think about and write about all the things I want to do with my life. So stayed tuned…

And just because I couldn’t let you go without a pic or two. Here’s my future Olympian and her BFF Anna in full training mode…

And just getting a hang of things…

 

 

 

 

Week in My Life: Monday

Hello there! Welcome to Babies & Bacon and the Week in My Life meme. I’m linking up every single day this week with Melissa at Adventuroo for a snapshot into my life and family.

I really enjoyed participating last year and reading through my posts yesterday made me all at once nostalgic, happy and proud. You can read about it HERE.

I’m excited to see how this week plays out…

Today is a special day for Babies & Bacon as I launched my new blog design courtesy of Erika Zane at EZ Creative. She has worked tirelessly on the design and though we had a brief moment of panic frustration anxiety as my blog went down earlier, it all worked out and here it is! What do you think?

So this morning started out as many mornings in our house do. Panicked.

Izzie has been sick for the past five days after suffering an extreme reaction to a vaccine. For three days straight she had a fever over 101 that Tylenol couldn’t even put a dent in. She hadn’t slept for more than 45 minute stretches for three days. An exhausted baby = an exhausted family.

So when we finally got a chance to sleep for hours on end this morning? We took it. Cause who wants to get out of bed when this is your view?

After rushing to get myself and both girls dressed and ready, pack the diaper bag and shove food and coffee into our pie holes we were finally on our way to our monthly Lansing Babywearers meeting.

At 10am.

The meeting starts at 10am.

And that folks, is why I will be 10 minutes late to my own funeral.

I love going to the Babywearers meeting. Essentially it’s like a really fun playgroup with women that don’t look at me funny if I whip out a boob to feed my baby or spend a chunk of change on a very large (albeit beautiful and handmade) scarf to wrap my baby in.

Isora has finally got back into her personality after being sick for so long and played with other babies.

Cedella had a chance to play with her little friend, who she has been talking about for weeks. I think we need to plan a playdate asap.

After the meeting we headed home for lunch and naps.

Lunch was hot dogs, avocado, pears and fried rice.

Though it may seem trivial and inconsequential I love these times. Me and my girls just sitting, laughing, eating, enjoying each others company. Watching the girls interact with each other. Watching Izzie try new things. Seeing Ella becoming a little person and choosing what she wants.

After lunch I got the girls upstairs for nap time. After about 26 seconds of Mama Milk, Isora was out like a light. Poor baby needed a good nap.

I read three LONG books to Cedella and she wasn’t remotely tired. Someone has been taking naps very sporadically lately. I’m just hoping this isn’t the end of her naps. Cause Mama needs those two hours in the afternoon without a toddler speaking. Cause seriously, this girl never. Stops. Talking.

Instead of napping I insisted on quiet time. We went downstairs and she read books, played and talked to her imaginary friends while I checked email, read blogs, Facebooked and tried (in vain) to figure out something for the theme installation of the new design on here.

By the time 2pm hit we rushed around, once again, to get to the chiropractor before going to meet Michael to head for our family pumpkin picking outing.

We have this tradition. Well, had.

We usually go to the cider mill on my birthday. But Uncle John’s where we usually go was kinda lame the last time, not to mention the donuts weren’t fresh, so I complained that I didn’t want to go there and so we didn’t.

But we also didn’t go anywhere else. And I really missed the tradition and family-time of it all…

So today was an unseasonably warm October day (70 in Michigan in late October? Crazy.) so we decided to go to the Peacock Road Tree Farm for some pumpkins. And it was fantastic.

Besides pumpkins there’s a fantastic Animal Park full of barnyard animals to look at.

Cedella was in complete awe to see bunnies and llamas and goats up close. Though she immediately said that the place was ‘stinky’ and put her finger under her nose. I had to bust out the line ‘everybody poops’.

Despite the smell she persevered and actually made friends with a couple of kids.

Isora even got in on the act as she tried to claw her way out of the wrap to get at the goats.

And got honked at by some geese. Man does she love playing around with her Daddy.

Picking pumpkins is like picking Christmas trees. Just when you think you found a perfect one there’s another one that looks slightly better. Though in this case, so late in the season, everything was pretty rotten.

Thankfully Izzie was sleeping, cause Ella was being very picky. First she wanted green. Then orange. Then orange and green. In the end she settled on the one we suggested. At least she followed my advice once today.

By the time we got back to the parking lot, with our four pumpkins Isora was awake and smiling. She’s just a little pumpkin herself.

So glad that we actually went through with this idea. Now we have a new fun place to get pumpkins AND Christmas trees :)

We headed home to make a nice fall dinner, Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup. It was delicious!

And while last year Monk was so intent on being in the kitchen with me, this year, she was all about watching episodes of Dora on Netflix. Boo.

Bedtime was a blur since both girls were tired and we wanted to watch the last Presidential debate. Michael is in charge of getting Cedella down and I’m responsible for Isora.

Someone was more than a little sad that I was putting on her pajamas.

But put a nipple in her mouth and all is right with the world.

With both girls asleep it was time for the debate and some grown-up time.

I wouldn’t call it ‘quality time’ as I was on Twitter, Facebook and text throughout the debate, but the Mr and I definitely enjoyed ourselves.

I am once again incredibly thankful that when it comes to politics and raising our kids my husband and I are 100% in agreement. Otherwise things would be pretty damn difficult over here.

And that is how the Mansour family does a Monday in 2012.

How was your Monday? Do you like the new blog design? Can’t wait to see what all of you were up to today…

Thanks to Melissa for another great meme this year!! Click the button below to find other awesome ‘Week in My Life’ posts!

Adventuroo