So we thought Soren could be trusted with scissors. Once when he was around 2, he cut a bit of Sloane’s hair in the back. We put the scissors up high and only had supervised use. We thought he knew to only cut paper….. we thought wrong.
In April, I gave the back of Soren’s hair a trim. He had this patch of super long hair coming off the crown of his head. I think this gave him an idea.
About a month later, Adam left the kids at Sloane’s desk watching an animated book while he pulled together lunch. He came back to this.
The funny thing is that it actually looks pretty good. The curls hid any uneven spots. And I think he was just tired of the bangs hanging in his eyes. But the scissors went back up on top of the fridge for a bit.
On Thursday, our 8 year old cat, Murdoc died. It was very sudden and really hard for us all. He was a stinker, but a lover. Adam and I got him from Bennett’s pre school whose cat had kittens. We brought him home on Memorial day weekend 2013, the same weekend we got engaged. We named him Murdoc because it was one of Adam’s top names and I didn’t want to name a human that. We called him Mur-mur and kitten-bear.
He really challenged me (because he liked to pee not in his litter box), but I loved him. Murdoc would always curl up with me when I was sitting in comfy furniture. This started when I was pregnant with Sloane continuing through nursing both kids in the recliner. He also kept my legs warm when I would watch tv or do chart notes after the kids went to bed. His favorite spot at our house was on a pillow under Sloane’s bed near the heat vent. It is covered in fur and Sloane doesn’t want us to clean it up so she can remember him.
We buried him in our backyard with roses from our garden. Sloane showed her sadness with tears and wanting to talk about things we loved about him. She said she loved that he would let her pick him up. Soren was dealing with it by saying he didn’t like Murdoc because he bit him. Soren really did love Murdoc but couldn’t express his sadness in other ways. We are going to paint rocks to put over the spot and Sloane plans to paint a grey cat with the letter M and hearts. There is definitely a hole in our hearts now, missing our one leg warm, mustachioed little grey cat.
Once G and Pa had their second vaccine appointment, we started planning their visit. We saw G in February 2020 and Pa in September 2019. It had been too long. I spent a few weeks telling the kids we didn’t know when G and Pa would come but they would as soon as they could. Sloane told me she wished they would come in 6 days. We decided to surprise the kids and have G and P ring the door bell. Both kids were super excited. It was actually pretty close to the 6 day mark of Sloane’s wish and she was over the moon.
Unfortunately, Sloane got a cold at the beginning of the visit. This resulted in a quick trip to the pediatrician for a COVID-19 test and some oral steroids to treat her croup. After a couple days, we got the results back as negative- hurray! She was a sad lump for a day but recovered quickly as seen in the video below. She is also asking not to have anything up her nose again, please. But then Soren and I caught the cold. After being healthy for over a year, it was rough. We managed to keep G, Pa, and Adam healthy though.
The kids immediately attached themselves to G and Pa- wanted them to read stories, show them pictures, and go on walks. But we did have to put them to work a bit. Pa painted our front door after spiffing it up a bit. He also installed our new kitchen drawer pulls and knobs. This is the second time I have given him a job involving our cabinets and it finally broke him down. He is planning to build us new doors and drawer fronts over the summer!
G and I did some garden shop retail therapy. We spread more mulch and put in some perennials. She and I also relaxed and did our crossword puzzles a bit. Sloane told us she wanted a crossword puzzle to do as well, so Adam found graph paper for us to make them for her. This might be Sloane’s spelling and writing work for the summer.
Pa started a drawing game with Sloane and then Soren joined in as well. They would each draw one part of the picture and then hand it to the next person to draw another part. The creations are below. Pa also taught them about newspaper hats, which Sloane informed him could NOT be made of old comic pages. G, Pa, Sloane, and Soren also formed a club that involved finding missing items and regular meetings.
There was a big heat wave the week they were visiting. The kids spent time in the little pool and sprinklers. We spent an afternoon over at Nini and Papa 2’s house. Having four grandparents around is pretty special.
It was sad to say goodbye to them. I was hoping they would get Sloane’s runny nose and would need to delay their flight home. It turned out to be a good thing that they left when they did because my dad ended up needing some medical care. He is doing well and we can’t wait to see both G and Pa again soon.
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.