Friday, January 24, 2014

Finding Normal

I don't know what it was about break this year, but I had a really hard time feeling like I could get back into my routine when it was over. Maybe because the break was so long it made going back more of a shock. But, eventually, we started to find normal again. 

A lot of our normal is doing stuff that we enjoyed during break, too-- reading books…

..doing puzzles together…

..and shoveling snow. Edith does a really good job, but both of us were really missing Big. No one has the same love of (or stamina for) shoveling that Big has. 

The back-to-normal of it all is that it's just the two of us doing it together. Edith really misses having other kids around during the day to do things with. It sure is quiet around here.

Part of our normal, of course, is taking trips to the bread store. They know us (and think that Edith is the cutest) so we always score a nice big sample. I think the chocolate cherry bread might just be her new favorite.

I knew we were headed for a long stretch of bad air, so I made sure to get Edith out one afternoon. I thought she would want to go for a tricycle ride but she really wanted to take her new stroller out for a spin. As is typical, once you mention you're going out EVERYONE wants to go, so Edith loaded her stroller up with 4 baby dolls, a puppy dog, a horse, a bunny, and a hedgehog. We don't get to get outside much in the winter around here, what with the frequent bad air, so it was lovely to be out. We walked and walked and walked.

We are trying to add a few new things to our normal, too. I really like this new recipe. The whole family likes it, in fact, which definitely means it will become a new part of our normal.

Rophone has also started having family band practice/jam sessions with the kids. A huge hit. It makes me smile. So big. Edith got so into it that she gave herself a blister on her finger and tore it off. That's some vigorous strumming. I hope we keep it up, because it's awesome.

Christmas break was a lot of fun, but the normal isn't too bad, either. I can't wait for more normal tomorrow!

The Remainder

The remainder of the long Christmas break we spent even more time just hanging out as a family, but with our gifts to enjoy. We were all happy that Aunt Jazz Hands drew Rophone's name for Christmas because she sent him a bunch of fun games that we were happy to play together. So much fun.

Auntie Opera wasn't in town for Christmas, but when she returned she gifted the kids with these great masks she brought from Venice. Cool, aren't they? The kids adore them.

One thing that I really enjoyed this Christmas break is that Rophone was able to do a lot of work from home. It was so nice to have him around a bit more. The two of us were able to escape to the store without the kids one afternoon and it was heavenly. Being all together for break is wonderful, but so is taking a breather. :)

I snagged a few items from the after-Christmas sale at the store and spent a few minutes that evening whipping up this new wreath (that I love):

It's hard to tell the size from the picture, but it's really big and chunky. I took about 1/2 of a swim noodle we had around and duct-taped it into a circle, wrapped it with tinsel garland (attached with hot glue), and added the ribbon from my recycled ribbon box. Eventually I might switch the ribbon to silver, but the gold is nice. I think that what I love most about the wreath is that it cost me less than $5 to make! I'm definitely hitting the sale again next year to see what else I can create.

The last Friday of the break we went up to the big city for some haircuts. We got Bud the trim he needed (from the only man he trusts), Pen got a trim so the results from her new flat iron would be even better, and Edith got her VERY FIRST HAIRCUT EVER. That's the one that really matters. Hers was really just a trim, too. I was tired of trying to comb through the frayed ends of her original hair so we cut off about 3 inches. 

Edith was a little uncertain of what to expect, so we decided to cut it dry to minimize the shock (she hasn't liked getting her hair wet lately). I was really proud of her, though. She handled it in a very mature manner. I laughed at her expression. Or lack of one, I should say. Ha! It was really close to her bedtime and you can see how tired she is.

She ended up kind of hunched over and was clearly unsure if she was allowed to move to straighten herself out. I asked Edith to smile, and this is what I got:

Good smile, Edith. It was adorable to watch her and she was really so brave.

Your hair looks beautiful, Edith! What a great way to end a fabulous Christmas break.