Wednesday, February 18, 2015

18 February 2015

For Valentine's Day, the kids heart-attacked my bedroom door.  It was wonderful.  Rose Pink also heart-attacked her brothers' bedroom door, although I'm not sure that they were as appreciative as I was.  She loves holidays and loves celebrating them.  This year we got a calendar from Oriental Trading Co., another entity that loves holidays, that was full of holidays - National Dress Up Your Pet Day, for example- and she was perfectly thrilled.  We discovered that National Chocolate Eclair Day is June 22 (we are planning the celebration already), and also that National Left Handed Day is the same day as Nut Brown's birthday - awesome because he is left-handed!

Anyway, the kids made their own valentines this year without any actual help from me, which was kind of novel.  Older kids are the best. :)  Mr. Brown gave me tulips and chocolates, which is our own tradition.  He's given me tulips every year since we started dating.

We also celebrated Hedgehog Day, which is 3 February.  This is a holiday unique to the Brown family, and we mark it by creating tiny hedgehogs out of donut holes with sprinkles.  This year Rose Pink made cakepops with a pan that she got for Christmas.  She chose a blue cake mix, so we ate blue hedgehogs.

Finally, we also made paczkis for Mardi Gras this year.  Paczkis are a Polish pastry that are made on Mardi Gras in order to get ready for Lent - it's an enriched dough so it uses up eggs and milk.  Then it's fried, and basically it turns into a filled donut.  Our entertainment budget ran out before we got to Paczki Day so we made our own (because of course that makes it 'grocery', not 'entertainment', right?) and they were exceedingly tasty and turned out far better than a first attempt has any right to.  Because of how the day went, we ended up frying them at 8:30pm.  Rose Pink was in the kitchen with us but the boys were already in bed.  Mr. Brown said, we should probably get them up... so Nut Brown got up (Bobo was already asleep) and we had a paczki party late at night.  Yum.

Nut Brown and Bobo have a cold, the slow kind, that never gets super bad but hangs around forever.  They're on the other side of it, but Mr. Brown is coming down with it now. 

Last night Mr. Brown went to a packing assignment at the Bishop's Storehouse, so I took all three kids to Nut Brown's gymnastics class with me.  Rose Pink wanted to bring her stuffed unicorn ('Unic') and drag it around on a leash.  We warned her about how dirty it would get, so she brought a box also, and dragged it around inside the box.  A lot of people were curious about the combination.  She and Bobo did a lot of running around together, and we also played Hot & Cold with her sandal.  Then we started on a collage, cutting out photos from National Geographic and Smithsonian.

Nut Brown's teacher had them play on the bouncy castle and also do the 'American Ninja' routine where they jump from cushion to cushion and finish by diving into a forward roll.  Nut Brown *loves* this stuff, and he looked pretty good.  Mr. Brown and I were trying to think about a way forward for him in gymnastics.  He's been invited three times to join the gymnastics team associated with the gym at which he takes lessons, but practices are two evenings a week for two hours each, and we don't have that many free evenings.  We are thinking about maybe switching to a martial art instead?  Or last night Mr. Brown suggested that maybe we could sign him up for private lessons during the day in addition to his evening class.  Either way, I hope we can find something that will continue to challenge him that also fits in our schedule.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3 February 2015

We got a foot or so of snow on Sunday.  It started snowing just after midnight and basically snowed until just after midnight again.  We shoveled twice on Sunday and there was still at least six inches on the ground Monday morning to clear off.  Fortunately Monday was a beautiful day- sunny and clear, and not too cold and not too windy.  The kids spent a good chunk of the day outside playing (once we'd convinced Bobo to go outside - he's very resistant to putting on his snow gear) and went sledding down the four foot heaps of snow piled up beside the driveway.  Nut Brown burrowed out a snow cave, and later Rose Pink and some friends turned it into a tunnel.  Although Bobo hadn't wanted to go outside at first, once he got out he didn't want to come back in!

Mr. Brown and I shoveled a tremendous amount of snow off our driveway, and then we spent the day pushing our neighbors' cars out of the snow as they came out to try and go various places.  The Mustang across the street had to go in to work, although he'd tried to call in; the Saab next door had to go to the store to get more Gatorade because they were all sick with the flu - we pushed him to the corner and then when he came back we pushed him back from the corner; the Focus across the street struggled to get back in his driveway after work; and the Jetta on the other side of us had trouble moving away from the curb to get off the street for plowing.  Lots of pushing.  Lots of good neighbor karma.  The city plows came by about 10 pm, so we went out and shoved out our driveway (and the sidewalk again since it threw the snow way up there), and we shoveled out the flu neighbors' driveway as well.  The Focus neighbor came across and helped me with it.

Last night Mr. Brown drove us safely over the to a friend's house for dissection night: this time we were dissecting sheep brains.  We didn't get stuck once, because he's really good at driving in the snow.  Also because he had built up all the karma from earlier in the day, I'm sure!  Mr. Brown pushed more people out of the snow there as everyone was leaving, because the plows hadn't gotten to their neighborhood yet either.

We had a lovely day - all that sunshine and a lot of hard work and helping!