Monday was an unexpected snow day. After a weekend of rain and temperatures reminiscent of spring, winter came back to rear its very ugly head. So ugly it destroyed our grill with one gigantic piece of ice leaping off the roof onto our deck. (Must have done something to do deserve that kind of karma, Grillmaster JDubbs). But instead of the day dragging since our planned trips to gymnastics and the library were cancelled thanks to being snowed in, it was just an enjoyable day, from beginning to end. A pleasant surprise.
Meals are the hardest part of our day, I will admit that upfront. Breakfast is the least stressful of the three because, as all toddlers do, Jax is on a strictly one-item food strike. If this kid doesn't get Crispix cereal, he's not really into mealtime and he makes everyone suffer. I have been known to let him dip Crispix in hummus, peanut butter, or yogurt, whatever I need to do. Luckily, Crispix is a reasonable request in the morning so he eats it pretty much every day (although whether I can get him to eat it with a spoon is another battle not worth fighting in this house). Em loves anything she can shovel in her mouth hand over fist, so the day was off to a great start.
We continued our morning routine because we were under the erroneous assumption that a) the plow guy would come at a reasonable time and b) he would not get stuck in our driveway for two hours (wrong on both counts--you can see the photo here, just scroll down a few days). Em went down nicely for her morning nap and Jax and I were left staring at each other and wondering what we should do to kill some time. How about get dressed?
Well around here, we're big fans of Diapers Only Power Wheels Derbies. Is that not a nation-wide phenomena? I'm shocked. Consider bringing it to a kitchen near you. Yes, we let the Power Wheels live inside because it is the world's best distraction; he rides it for hours and has only given Em a drive-by clothesline a few times.
Suddenly it really feels like I live in the sticks, doesn't it?
Damn, he's cute, even if he is a bit honky tonk.
Okay, getting dressed wrestling match completed, time for a little reading lesson. A brilliant girlfriend of mine recommended getting Jax some simple flashcards and starting building 3-letter-words with short vowel sounds. We've started with the "at" sound (you know, bat, cat, rat, etc.) and he's loving it.
He literally melts into a puddle of tantrum and misery when we put them away. He holds the letter Z up to his cheek and says, "Letter Z, I'll miss you," in the saddest, most mournful little voice you've ever heard. I have never known a kid to have such a crazy obsession with the alphabet. We have to line the letters up in "the right order" (another Word World phrase that he abuses) over and over again. But he is getting the hang of those "at" words (or maybe he's just memorizing them). Regardless, he's having a phenomenal time and I certainly can't complain!
Em was still asleep after I tore these flashcards from his deathgrip, so we got crafty and built our DIY Dump Truck. Then Em woke up so crafttime was over and bedroom playtime began. I have discovered the need to play in every room of our house now that I have two. There is only so much that can be done in a single space. Plus, I had laundry to put away.
This is Em's favorite game. Being in the crib with Jax is a treat unlike any other. She loves being so close to him in a confined area, where he can't get away and they are forced to interact. Jax loves having his Binkie and Blankie, so he tolerates her presence for the payoff. I had to cut the photo shoot short when he started jumping, which caused her to headbutt the railing. Good thing it was time for lunch and the snowplows were there as a distraction.
Oh yes, multiple snowplows, since our plow guy was stuck and needed to be pulled out. Two snowplows ten feet away can keep a toddler happy for hours, but not much food was consumed. Again, Crispix wasn't on the menu so lunch wasn't high on the priority list. Finally, in a fit of frustration on my part, I did the exhausted ultimatum: if you don't finish your lunch you're going up to bed for nap right now! Jax looked at me and said, "Okay." Okay? Okay! Naptime! Hooray!
Both kids went to sleep eventually. Em is still working on going to sleep on her own, but she got there. I got to eat lunch, clean up, fold and put away more laundry, photograph the snowplows who were still there, and blog about the dump truck. Phew! What a day! And it was only halfway over. Before I knew it, Em was awake again and ready to play. But not with me.
I changed her diaper. I read to her. I pulled out her favorite toys. The girl was fine but not happy. Something was missing and that something was asleep in the room next door. When I ran downstairs to get my last load of laundry, I left her happily playing with her giraffe on her bedroom floor. With my head stuck in the dryer I could hear loud, echoing bangs resounded through the house. It was not an alarming sound as in oh-my-god-I-hope-she's-okay. It was a if-she-wakes-up-her-brother-I'm-going-to-kill-her panic. I ran upstairs to find her cheerfully knocking on Jax's door, asking him to play.
I had to laugh. The damage was done. She was using her giraffe as a battering ram, trying to get to her big brother. I could hear Jax's whiney what the hell? from the other side of the door (I exaggerate, but that's pretty much what he meant in toddler-whine). When she realized she was caught in the act, Em plopped down all sweetness and innocence:
Then she resumed her effort infiltrate Jax's room again. She knew I can't be mad at those thighs.
Hello! Jax! Time to wake up now! Rise and shine!
Needless to say, Jax was less than thrilled about his rude awakening and the only thing I could do to salvage what had been a great day so far was to pile us all in Mommy's bed and make a J and E favorite: bed tent!
This is what Daddy calls Em being a hedgehog. She burrows to the other side of the bed until she nearly falls off. She hardly plays with us in the tent; it's all about the burrowing. Do hedgehogs even like to burrow?
Oh....it's still you, huh?
Crisis averted. Babies happy once again. Time to go downstairs and have dinner.
Jax entertained Em admirably with his Ring Around the Rosie in your Stationary Entertainer game he created while I cooked. Okay, let's be honest. Defrosted.
Then Daddy came home, shoveled, mourned the loss of his grill, and we had a great time hanging out as a family of four (plus Baxter).
Great day. Memorable day. Happy day. But what was the best part? Bathtime. Not because it means we are this close to bedtime (and thus, quiet and wine), but because nobody yet has been able to make Em laugh like this guy:
Actually, with that strange Charlie's Angels imitation, who could blame her?
Beautiful, healthy, happy babies. Content Mama and Daddy. Laundry done. Dishes clean. Crafts, alphabet, books, tents, snowplows, Crispix, naptime all behind us. A lovely day to remember and wonderful family to love. Some kind of lucky.