Soren has a couple new construction books. In one, the construction worker had a tool belt. One day when he was with Adam, he started to put things into the waist band of his pants and called it his tool belt. Sloane enjoys it, but Soren takes it to the next level.
Soren was quiet in the living room for a while and then came around the corner with his ‘tool belt’ packed, his binoculars, and his magnifying glass- ready for anything!
Then he leveled up again by putting his mini magna-doodle in his tool belt- with a block held up as a don’t picture me block!
Sloane’s school celebrates the 100th day of kindergarten by dressing up like they are 100 years old. This fell during the snow event in February and ended up being celebrated on the 105th day of school. Sloane was so excited. I told her she could wear one of my scarves a shawl. She then decided she also wanted to wear one in her hair like Rosie the Riveter. We have been reading Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters and the illustrations have the ladies where the classic red bandana tied on top. We used eye shadow to make wrinkles in her forehead and around her eyes, plus some sparkly and green eye shadow for her eyelids.Sloane would be wearing her mask at school, but I let her put on some lipstick to take pictures. It went on a little crazy, which I think adds to the 100 year old look. Even though only one other classmate, plus her teacher were dressed up, she loved it and asked to be dressed up like she was 100 for the rest of the day.
On President’s day weekend, we had thought we would try to rent a house in a snowy area to escape and play. We were too late to the game finding a house and planned a weekend at home. Luckily the snow came to us! We got about 10 inches from Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon. Sloane and Soren were beside themselves with excitement.
We walked down to our neighborhood park twice on Friday and Saturday. For living in a place with little to no snow, we were quite outfitted! Plus one purple sled from Target and we were set. The park has some hills which made it perfect to find out own little spot to play in. The kids made snow angels, threw snow balls, and went sliding. Sloane has made up a character who fits into the Princess in Black series called the Princess in Sneaking. So she did some sneaking in the trees.
Adam had picked up a pair of children’s skis at a garage sale a few years ago. We haven’t had a chance to get Sloane on them yet but we decided this snow and our front yard would be a good introduction. Sloane approaches new things with caution and a touch of fear; but then usually loves them. This is the first run, followed by her 5th.
That weekend, the newest chapter from my parents’ arrived and ti was about sledding. My dad included a drawing he did in 1962 of a sledding scene. Sloane thought it was amazing, especially the photo of my dad on the back.
We have way more photos of Sloane from the weekend (and recently) because Soren’s newest thing is to put his hands up and say ‘no picture me’ We have to get sneaky with our close ups of his cute, stubborn face. Sloane’s cheeks though- so rosy during and red, red after.
We lucked out in that the snow stuck around for a few days making it really pretty. And we did not get the ice storm that hit south of Portland. And we did not lose power the whole time! On Monday, the snow started to melt and get really packed. We were able to build snowpeople in our backyard. Then on Wednesday, I let the kids go out and make little snowpeople to keep in the freezer because they were so sad the snow was melting. They want to live somewhere that gets snow all winter.
The kids have been asking about snow since we read books at Christmas with snow pictures in them. We made plans to borrow Nini’s Pilot one day and drove up the a snow park called Old Man’s Pass. It was actually snowing that day and totally beautiful. The steep part of the hill was patchy with snow but the lower area had a bunch of snow. The trees were covered with snow and it was pretty magical. We found a previously built snowman and the kids dressed it up with branches and moss. We also did some adventuring through the trees.
We packed a picnic lunch and ate on the tailgate of the Pilot. There were some birds very interested in our food. Adam stepped a bit away to feed them out of his hand. The kids were interested in went with him. I was taking photos on my phone when one bird shifted course and headed for my still hand thinking my phone was food. From my perspective, I was looking at my screen and got the image of a bird flying directly at my face. Needless to say I screamed! And the birds scattered. The kids mostly laughed at me.
Going into the her birthday, I was concerned she would be disappointed- not having a party, not having a day at school with her classmates, and not seeing friends. And with the whirlwind that is Thanksgiving into Christmas prep, I hadn’t planned much. But somehow it all fell into to place and she was so happy.
We started with a walk to see Christmas lights with the Lembos on the Saturday prior to her birthday. They have a new pupper (named Archer, but Sloane calls Archered!) and Sloane get so excited about going on walks with them. Our neighborhood has some houses that are decked out!
On her birthday, she woke up to find a scavenger hunt to find where her presents were hidden. She is very clever and figured them all out. We let her open her presents before breakfast. Then a breakfast of her favorite cottage cheese pancakes and zoom PE class. It was fun to watch her through all these things- she was happy and smiling, but after a while she would get so excited to recall what happened and be so animated and excited.
We had video chats, walks, and visits from friends for distanced/masked birthday wishes. With a Burgerville dinner and another walk with friends to see Christmas lights, she was elated. We had a little flub with cupcakes made with 6 eggs instead of 6 eggs whites, but the kids still ate them up. Soren does prefer to just eat the frosting like me.
Sloane is doing so well with her writing and reading. She got a set of BOB reading books from Nini and Papa2 and she is tearing through them. I strongly remember my dread of phonics but Sloane is doing so well sounding out the words. She also writes her calendar dates out. We were missing a month from her teacher and Sloane went ahead to draw her own.
Sloane continues to love stories- writing them, reading them, and now illustrating them. My parents have been writing one page chapters once a week for the kids since April. Now Sloane has dictated 3 chapters to me and illustrated them to send to my parents. My dad says his favorite drawing is Sloane’s double decker bus. My favorite is her drawing of one of her dolls, Diva.
Sloane continues to be very compassionate, even though 90% of her time is spent with her family. Even with yelling and battles at times, she loves her brother. He asks her to sit close to him whenever they watch a show. She likes to pick him up and will read him stories. She loves singing and making up songs. It feels at time like she is narrating the musical of my life. She is also quick with her humor. We’ve talked about kitty eyes, something Ellie, Max, and Zander mastered. Instead of batting her eyes and looking up, she narrowed her eyes looking through her knitted eye brows. When I showed her the right way, she said those were Murdoc kitty eyes (our nice cat) and she was making Mia kitty eyes (our not so nice cat).
And again- with the pandemic restrictions in WA state, we celebrated Christmas at our house with the four of us. It was suppose to be the year we went to NH to celebrate but it was yet another canceled trip in the pandemic. Fingers crossed for Christmas in July or August instead.
On Christmas Eve, we did a video chat with the NH crew. As our NH tradition, Pa read Twas the Night Before Christmas to us all. We said goodnight and wished everyone a happy day. The kids had a sleep over in Soren’s room and we were crossing our fingers that they would sleep until at least 6 am!
Christmas morning (after 6 am!) we all went out to see the presents under the tree and find the stockings. Santa fills the stockings and we luckily got to borrow the ones from G and Pa to use at our house. We have been at our own place once for Christmas morning since we had kids and that was when Sloane was 8 days old! We did my family’s old tradition of opening the stockings on the parent’s bed. Sloane and Soren got Honeysuckle Hallow animal families- dalmatians for Soren and bears for Sloane.
Then we spend most of the day in our jammies; opening presents, eating yummy food (Adam made homemade bagels for lox), and playing. Plus, as chiropractors we had family adjusting time!
Soren got race cars from Nini and Papa. Both kids got bathrobes made by G. Sloane got some new clothes for her American Girl dolls. Adam got a Powered by Gluten shirt because he has made all our bread since March. And we got some Christmas mugs from Jesse, Cam, and Lida. We also gave Adam a frame that included a self portrait of Sloane.
We wanted to be as festive as possible this year, getting the Christmas decorations down the weekend after Thanksgiving. Then we got our Christmas tree early and decorating it together.
We made looks of cookies- gingerbread, peanut butter krinkles, and triple ginger. Sloane and Soren both helpful in cutting out the gingerbread cookies. I was amazed at their concentration with decorating.
We used our cookie cutters for the first time in years. One set was woodland creatures. I kept calling this one a whale though! Turns out whales don’t live in the forest and it was a snail.
My usually tradition of tying wreaths with Rach at her parent’s house couldn’t happen, again WA restrictions. So Sloaney was my helper and we set up a station in the driveway with our sawhorses (thanks, Dad!). We had a great time listening to Christmas music and saying hi to neighbors walking by. Plus Rach stopped by and dropped off some of the pretty trimmings from her mom’s garden for me to jazz up my wreaths. I was pretty happy with them.
We went to the Portland International Raceway for the Festival of Lights. They did a great job making it COVID-19 friendly. We pre bought our tickets online, plus then we just drove around in our car with the four of us! Adam made pizza for us and we brought it in the car to eat while we were waiting to get in. We let the kids sit in our laps for the slow drive around the track. Both Sloane and Soren wanted to drive around again, but sadly that is no allowed.
This fall we would occasionally pick up the lunches provided at the school. They had a turkey coloring page for Thanksgiving that you could bring in for a prize. Sloane and Soren were excited about the prizes and colored the turkeys. The prizes were candies (of course), of which they both got banana flavored Laffy Taffy. I am sorry to say that they both liked them.
With the governor’s restrictions on social gatherings, we had Thanksgiving with just the 4 of us at our house. This included a turkey smoked on the grill, homemade rolls, stuffing with sausage and apples, and 3 pies! The kids were very excited about using Adam’s great aunt Amelia’s china and fancy blue glasses. Plus 3 types of pie for dessert!
We went for a brisk walk with Nini and Papa2 in the afternoon. We missed spending the day with them cooking and eating. But we are thankful for everyone’s health!
Our neighbors started putting up their Christmas lights right after Thanksgiving and the kids enjoyed the show. Plus they are darn cute together sometimes.
It was really nice to have a long weekend at home together. With our current schedules, Adam and I have Sundays off together on a regular week. So Wednesday afternoon to Sunday evening was so nice! Soren and I got some cuddles in. And Sloane and Soren got to run around and Soren kept his leaf blower backpack on for it!
We asked Sloane and Soren to pick out their Halloween costumes in early October. Luckily they both wanted to dress up using things we mostly had around the house.
But this wasn’t Sloane’s-
Or these for both kids
Or this tiger for Soren
These were the final costumes- a pink princess cat and a monkey. Though Soren insisted on being called Peter Panda because we had just read Berenstain Bears and the New Neighbors.
We went on a little parade around the block that a neighbor set up. It was fun to be in costumes early in the day, though masks meant no face paint this year.
Adam had brought the kids to the pumpkin patch in mid October and it was actually a pretty slow day. They were able to ride the tractor and climb the hay bale pyramid. They picked out our pumpkins.
I have decided Halloween should always be on a Saturday. We had a the whole day off together and it was relaxing. We carved our pumpkins during the day. When we were carving, I told Sloane to draw a face with triangles, squares, and circles and I would transfer onto her pumpkin. The result was a pretty amazing mouth. We have a set of tools for carving pumpkins and Soren was obsessed with the serrated knife. Soren told us he wanted a dog carved into his pumpkin. Adam and I attempted a few sketches on paper and Soren declared they were all not dogs. I finally convinced him that a spider was a good idea.
Our next door neighbors gave the kids little treat bags that included veggies chips. Sloane was a fan!
One neighbor told us that they would be handing out candy off a table so we decided to do one trick or treat stop. The full moon was so incredible that being out was an adventure! We stopped at one other house that was wearing masks and gloves to give out candy. Adam made some chocolate chip cookies for us to have at home. It made the kids super happy and mostly forget about candy.