Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring Catchup

Spring is here!  It's a typical Northern spring, complete with snow on the ground (rapidly melting right now at least) and a rain/snow/sleet weekend sh!tstorm brewing...again.  I was trying to think of something to post about but every day is like groundhog day lately. So here is a quick list of fun happening around here.  It's kind of like the social news of a small town newspaper where you can see who's kid was home visiting from college with their dorm roommate, who hosted bridge and who returned from Arizona that week.

So, earlier this month we were Baptism sponsor's for my cousin's son who was born a month before Calvin.  We travelled to Northern MN for the service and had a nice family get together complete with a four generation photo.

This is when you notice that my 86 year old grandmother is wearing the cutest outfit of all of us.  Look at her, with her non-grey hair...

We got a reasonably nice family picture, if you don't look at the kids' faces.

Two weekends ago I managed to get to the hair salon for the first time since November and I chopped off the stringy situation on my head.

I was pleased as could be when I left the salon.  Of course, after washing it I never could replicate this look again and it is back to it's fuzzy self again but that's OK.  

Calvin turned three months old a few days...oh's already been a week...ago.  He's really starting to enter the "established baby" phase where he smiles and coos and will even lay on his play mat for longer than a few minutes batting at toys.  

He makes funny faces and has some great expressions.

Over the weekend I bought a pack of cheap toothbrushes (for myself) and Milo ripped it open and was carrying them around the house. Ben picked one up one morning and was brushing Calvin's head with it.  I started to make him stop but then I realized Calving was really enjoying it.

He was talking and smiling and seemed very calm.  Who would have thought?

He's so cute these days.  I notice his little stages more than ever because he is the last baby.  

St. Patrick's Day zoomed by with no acknowledgement at our house.  I wore a green plaid shirt and that's about it.  A friend hosted a themed playdate on Friday so we got a fix there and she even made a rainbow out of fruit and that was enough for me.  Tessa said a girl in her class had her house majorly messed up by leprechauns. They had a trap for them at her school and she has had lots of questions about where they live, what they look like, etc. and this myth is so full of plot holes I don't even know how to lie about it.  I'm all for fantasy and childhood magic but the leprechaun thing is one legend I just want to tell the truth about right now.  I don't need to be trashing my own house.  I usually skip right to Easter decorating but all of it is in the storage unit so we've got nothing.  I will overcompensate next year!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy 6th Birthday Ben!

Ben turned six...last Wednesday.  It's already been a week.  The day, March 7th, was a Wednesday and so was the day he was born.  What a strange thing to think back on.  I'll never forget leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. to head to the induction in a light snow shower and I was really sad to say goodbye to Allan for some reason.  I had NO IDEA what I was embarking on.  And here we are.  He's a happy and functional Kindergartner.  He didn't get much of a celebration this year.  Justin was gone for work and I just couldn't do much.  I bought a cake at a grocery store and he opened presents which I didn't even wrap.  Justin's mom did.  I did manage to find a happy birthday banner from last year (lego themed) and I hung it outside his room with some balloons so he would see it right away in the morning.  His teacher gives the kids a nice gift bag of the little trinkets they all love and he got a football puzzle eraser, a pen, a car and a little figurine thing with sticky hands and feet that you can fling around and it sticks in funny positions.  They encourage non-food celebrations (buzzkill but its the new normal) and he chose extra computer time. He seemed satisfied with the day. This is the first year since he was a newborn that we haven't been skiing in Montana on or around his birthday and it feels weird.

Here is the cake I chose.  Of course, those plastic balloons caused a fight.  Three kids, two bunches of balloons and a mini meltdown from a two year old.  Fortunately, they were almost instantly forgotten about.

Ben got some good presents including several lego sets, a soccer ball, a book, a trivia flashcard game and a quilt made by my grandma.  He was so excited to start building his legos that he never even ate any cake.

Here is his new quilt.

Allan got into it soon after.  

And now...a flashback because it's fun. 

 And one extra of the awesome Allan cake I made a few days after his 1st birthday.  I'm still very proud of it!  He didn't eat either of his cakes.  He didn't much care for food and still doesn't care about cake that much.

And finally...not his original birthday but his going home day on that beautiful 70 degree March 10th.  This year was completely different and we would never have been outside dressed like this if he was born this year.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Our First Wrestler and Other Things

I'm coming to you from ND, where March is definitely in like a lion where we are in the worst snow storm event of the winter.  The news stations have been talking this storm up since last week and pretty much ever district in the state except BPS (even neighbor city Mandan) cancelled school today. Based on the comments on their FB page you would think they asked kids to face certain death by not cancelling.  It's even more dramatic than the wildfire smoke/outdoor recess controversy of September 2017.  It hasn't been directly stated but I believe they know they will have to cancel tomorrow so having school today was a way of avoiding having an extra day at the end of the year but who knows.  I drove him and Tessa to school this morning and it wasn't bad at all besides snow falling but when I picked Tessa up and there were only four kids left in the room.  Only seven started the day out of more than twenty and three picked up their kids early.  Maybe I'm not taking this seriously enough.  It was pretty bad driving home because my wipers were caking with heavy snow and it was hard to see through my windshield.  Ben is riding the bus home and I'm not worried.  As a bus kid myself I know that buses pretty much plow through anything and not much can go wrong driving 20 mph on neighborhood streets.  I'm glad I don't have to go out again.  I'm also glad I got the kids out of the house for the morning because I had to tackle an unpleasant task-defrosting and cleaning the fridge.

The fridge has been acting up for a few weeks.  First the freezer was not cooling and we put a thermometer in there at it was barely below freezing.  So Justin did a major defrost of just the freezer and even removed the panel in the back and melted ice with a hair dryer. Then after a few days I noticed the fridge was not keeping things cold and the thermometer revealed it was only cooling to 48-50 degrees when it should apparently be between 35 and 40.  We remained in denial about it for awhile but last night I knew it couldn't be ignored and I decided to defrost the whole thing before resorting to calling a repair man (I am home alone this week and we really don't want to spend money on it since we are moving soon).  So last night I emptied the whole thing and put most of the food on the deck.  I filled two large coolers and then left everything that wouldn't be hurt by getting wet in boxes.  And wet it did get with rain, sleet and then snow.  The kitchen was completely trashed with expired condiments, embarrassingly disgusting shelves and drawers that haven't been cleaned for...well...I'm not going to tell you...and lots of beer and pop cans and juice boxes all over the floor.  If you saw it you probably would hesitate to eat anything I prepared every again.

The good news is I woke up to a puddle of water all over the floor even though I used towels in the fridge and freezer and had a bowl of water to catch the melting water (I guess it drains in a different way) and now the fridge is properly cold again. I hope it lasts.

The bad news is I now have a backlog of sopping wet, snow drenched towels, soggy cardboard boxes and water streaked floors to deal with.

I am a bit behind on posting.  One fun thing I have meant to post about is Ben's wrestling.  About a month ago he brought home a flier from school about a two week wrestling program that would be taking place after school at each elementary school.  It cost $10 and only entailed two weeks of practice and two meets so, even though we don't come from wrestling backgrounds, there was no reason to say no.  I just can't say no to cheap and accessible activities that involve physical exertion.  The more the better. Ben enjoyed it quite a bit and it was kind of fun to watch.

These first pictures with the grey shirt are from the first meet two weekends ago.  The referee there is someone we know so that was a fun coincidence.  He said Ben did good and had a good grab or something.  I don't remember the wording but he said it was good for his age group.

Yes, that is a girl.  It was a big uncomfortable to watch but at this age they are physically equal so why not I guess?

There were no awards or scores kept at these tournaments.  Every kid got a ribbon.

These pictures with Ben in a black shirt are from Friday night a few days ago.  

He ended up being poked in the eye but he took a short break and finished the match.  The second kid he wrestled was a real face clawer. 

Way to go. 

Tessa's school had a week of theme days to observe Dr. Suess's birthday and to my delight, the dreaded "dress as your favorite Dr. Suess character" day was not on the list.  Monday was "wear crazy colors" day, Wednesday was Wacky Day and Friday was Crazy Socks day . 

She said she won for wearing the most rainbow things because she had a rainbow shirt, necklace, skirt and pants.  There was no prize.  Apparently they just counted as a class.

This was on Wacky Wednesday also known as Tessa's every day style day. I didn't get a picture of her socks outfit.  She wore a pair of my Christmas socks with snowmen on them as thigh highs.  

This is a bit off topic but I thought I should post about it sooner than later-my Valentine's Day flowers are growing.  How weird is this?

That snapdragon stem is still green!  I am waiting to see if the new buds open up.  Now it is even leaning toward the window to find sunlight.  I looked to see if it had roots sprouting but it doesn't.

Monday, February 26, 2018

More Olympic Observations

So now the Olympics are over...sigh...I'm proud of my consumption this year.  I watched so much cross country skiing I know that track by heart.  What a torturous activity in appears to be...especially the uphill parts.  I got kind of bored with the coverage of all of it at the was like "Lindsay Vonn, Lindsay Vonn, commercials about amputees, Lindsay Vonn..."  There were some exciting highlights though.  Such as...Kikkan Randal and Jessie Diggins winning gold in a cross country relay.  Apparently, there wasn't enough activity going on so NBC was able to replay the race about ten times but I watched it every time because I'm a sucker like that.  

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It was awesome...they beat a Scandinavian (Sweden in this finish) in a cross country skiing event!  Jessie was the final leg and the one to cross the finish line and she was so full of joy it made everyone in America smile I think.  The big talk was about how Kikkan Randall was the only mother representing team USA although I swear I saw somewhere else there were four.  But either way, if you read any commentary on social media posts about her everyone was like "Blaaaah no one makes a big deal about male Olympians being fathers!  Equality!"  Yes, true, but in the context of being an elite athlete being a mother does kind of matter...Men don't lose at least a year of being in their physical prime to have a child and women inevitably do.  Even the best can't perform the same while pregnant and they almost have to lose the time training during pregnancy.  Nice work, Kikkan, I can't imagine!  

Speaking of Olympian parents, skier David Wise has two little kids.  David Wise won gold in the ski halfpipe event (such a weird event full of almost outlandish falls.  Almost every competitor ended up splayed at the bottom of the pipe at some point with equipment strewn all over the place).  The cameras loved showing his wife and two kids celebrating with him.  

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So sweet...but I can't be the only one thinking this...two preschool age appears to be a toddler...probably who still wears fun...bringing two little kids on a three week international South Korea...on a completely opposite day/night schedule as the US...OK.  Let's acknowledge how terrible this must have been for his wife. It's a once in a lifetime thing to watch one of your parents in the Olympics but that younger child won't even remember. I'm sure some other family members were present and maybe a nanny but probably not a nanny.  Most Olympians aren't rich unless they get to be in commercials.  Definitely not rich enough to fly an extra person to South Korea to babysit their kids.

Speaking of commercials, I almost enjoy Olympics commercials more that Super Bowl commercials.  The previously mentioned theme of amputees and inspirational para-Olympians can bring a tear to anyone's eye.  My favorites include the one about the various people being told they CAN'T and at the end the lady with the new prosthetic leg uses some VR goggles to take her first steps while virtually walking on a beach (I love the Killers song playing in the background), the one where the nurse picks up a baby born with missing limbs and we see her progress to a gold medal winning skier and the old but awesome one where the war Veteran who's lost his leg and has a prosthetic adopts the misfit dog who's also "been through a lot".  I even like the more upbeat and endlessly played commercial where Michaela Shiffrin zooms around charging a bunch of stuff on her credit card.

Another thing that stood out this year...the OAR aka the Olympic Athletes from Russia.  O.A.R. is a band I like so I constantly had their music in my head during this Olympics.  "Love and Memories" anyone?  And even with being banned from representing their own flag because no one can stop using performance enhancing drugs, two athletes STILL got caught using them at the Olympics.  I have to wonder how much drugs those athletes have been using all these years.  At least the OAR figure skaters still dominated while being clean.  I read an article that pointed out that at this Olympics there haven't been world records shattered constantly like in previous years and we may have reached the peak of human performance so I can understand (kind of but not really) how an athlete might turn to drugs to overcome their plateaus even if their plateaus are actually a peak.

A few more of my favorite moments:

When Germany and Canada tied for the gold medal in two man bobsled. It was a real display of unity.  These four were having a real love fest in their interview on TV together and it was cute.  What are the odds of a tie anyway?  They go down to the hundredth of a second!

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The USA Women winning gold in hockey.  

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You would think having a big love pile would be dangerous in hockey...all those blades!

I watched when Ukranian Oleksandr Abramenko won the first gold medal for Ukraine in aerial skiing.  Some Americans lost to him but I was still really happy for him.  He was delirious with glee and disbelief.

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The replay footage this year was really good for all the events.  The skiing and snowboarding especially.  Camera technology has really come a long way.

I tried to watch the Closing Ceremony last night but it just got too weird as usual.  Once the athletes had paraded in I lost interest in the strange performances and music. Happens every Olympics.  After the giant dancing parrots from Rio two years ago nothing can really hold my attention. Watching the athletes letting loose is the best part.  I have to wonder if they get to enjoy a few beverages if they choose beforehand.  I would be all over that although not enough to dull my memory of the experience.  I suppose afterwards they go crazy if they want to.

Now I have to wait two more years for the summer Olympics in Japan.  Oh well, it will be here before we know it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Valentine's Day 2018

Here I sit, surrounded by the wreckage of Valentine's Day.  With two kids in school to have Valentine's Day parties the influx of tiny cards, candy wrappers and little trinkets is bigger than ever this year.  They love it though, so what can I say?  It was a fun day.

Tessa had to make a box for her class party.  Ben's class made bags at school (yessssss) so he only had to bring his cards and candy.  Tessa wanted a Frozen box which was awesome because we have a lovely tube of Frozen wrapping paper in the basement.  It is technically Christmas paper but nothing on it was exclusively Christmas-y so it was perfect.  I tried to cut a few snowflakes with hearts in the patterns but they didn't turn out very good so she got juts plain snowflakes.  She plastered a few stickers at random places on the box and it was done.

She returned from school with lots of fun treats.  She herself chose Disney princess cards and heart shaped Jolly Rancher lollipops which are really delicious.  We practically had to give Milo an intervention because he was so obsessed with them. 

Tessa actually wore that baby headband to school. 

One lovely classmate had a whole bag of fun including sunglasses and a necklace.  

Here is Ben's bag.  I'm not 100% sure what it's supposed to be. 

He chose paper airplane cards.  He came home with lots of cards and candy treats.  He even got a Valentine from a 5th grade girl from the school bus.  So cute.  It was funny seeing the older kids (the older classes made boxes) hiking to school with their various creative ideas.  My favorite I saw was a giant cardboard box decorated like a rubik's cube.  Ben's Lego from the last two years of preschool is still intact in his closet.  Will it see another Valentine's Day? 

Here are my V-day flowers.  

I bought a bunch of Valentine candy the day after at Walmart. There were a lot of those heart shaped boxes left!  Maybe Russel Stover should consider removing those lethal fruit cream chocolate bites!  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Olympics 2018 Part 1

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  The traditional post of kids' Valentine boxes is coming but I will wait until they get home from school to see their haul and post about it later this week...or next week...or whenever...The Olympics are on after all so I've got some stuff going on. By stuff I mean I have to watch TV while following athletes and news channels on social media.  I am currently watching the luge where two people ride at once and remembering back in 2006 when the disgraced Matt Lauer and Al Roker went down the luge track together and screamed like little children and then people made a bunch of jokes about the movie Brokeback Mountain.  Hehehe I was in law school then and in peak Internet immersion mode and that was a fun time full of mirth and hilarity.

Anyway, the Olympics have not been going for a week yet but I already have some items to discuss.  Might as well do it before I forget.  First up-

I love seeing my first name anytime it appears because it is quite rare in the USA. It is popular in Norway so it's not really a surprise to see an athlete with the name.  Such as this champion ski jumper.  I love to ski and have covered some extreme terrain in the Rockies but ski jumping just makes me light headed.  Can you imagine doing that?  I have been at the top a Norwegian ski jump as a tourist in the summer and it is high.  It is very very high.  I'm glad to watch other crazy people do this.  Women were only allowed to compete in ski jump at the Olympics starting in 2010.  Way to go, ladies.  

Figure skating is always a favorite event.  A new development this year is the skaters can skate to music with lyrics.  I felt like the routines were a bit more modern when I first started watching but I couldn't really place why.  When I heard the news about the music I knew that was it.  I like the change.  You can only hear music from "Swan Lake" and other ballets so many times.  My favorite performance I have seen is the ice dancing routine by the Shibutani siblings of the USA.  

Image result for shibutani

I usually get kind of bored with ice dancing because it lacks the thrilling jumps and spins but these two danced to "Paradise" by Coldplay and the medley they used also had excerpts from "Fix You" also by Coldplay and it was quite moving.  I had to go plug my phone into my computer and put some Coldplay songs back on it to listen to when I am driving.  

The Shibutanis are 26 and 23 and have been skating and dancing together since Maia, the younger of the two, was a toddler.  Meanwhile, my little brother/sister pair fight over who gets to sit by the faucet in the bathtub and who gets to use the freebie cup we got at Zorbaz this summer at meals.  

The big story so far, or at least the story NBC wants to be big, is the snowboarder Chloe Kim.  She is 17 and won a gold medal in the half pipe a few days ago/yesterday/I have no idea what day it is in South Korea.  She is very likeable and awesome at the half pipe, has immigrant parents, and you can't help but be happy for her.   

Image result for chloe kim

What annoyed me is during the finals there were apparently twelve women competing and NBC only showed five or six-the three Americans and a few other fillers who were getting top scores.  Which is fine if there are time constraints but they spent ALOT of time showing footage of Chloe just walking around and talking about stuff she wrote on Twitter.  Come on SHOW THE SPORTS!  

I would like to see more attention on this lady-Kelly Clark. She won the Bronze medal in the half pipe at the ancient for the Olympics age of 34.  Same age as me.  I tried to find a picture of her but every picture I searched for with her name and Olympics 2018 also had Chloe Kim in it.  Seriously.  I feel you girl-once you turn thirty it's a different world.  Have a kid and it's over.  This year I am realizing that the next time I see the Winter Olympics I will be older than all the athletes.  Ugh.  

Image result for kelly clark bronze medal

This is an old picture of her from Sochi because that's all I could find.  What the hell?  I really wish the media would focus on a wider variety of athletes.  On the Today show there was about ten athletes from various disciplines hanging out at the set and Hoda and Savannah had to ask who they all were.  They were like "Uhh...I think we have a hockey player here?"  Kind of embarrassing.  

The other huge story-the wind and cold.  Apparently, after several winter Olympics where it was fifty degrees and cross country skiers were wearing sleeveless shirts (Sochi) and where the cherry and apple blossoms were blooming (Vancouver) actual winter is too much to bear for everyone.  I guess when you train in the mountains of California like most of the skiers and snowboarders it is hard to adjust to real winter.  I haven't even seen any real skiing besides moguls because they keep cancelling it because of the wind and cold.  

Image result for pyeongchang olympics wind

I am not impressed because I see a scene like this about 50 percent of the time I walk Ben to the bus stop in the morning.  Be tough, athletes!  Show your strength!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

100 Days

I've noticed a silly trend as my friends have become older and the babies that were announced with joy on Facebook are now in elementary school.  It is now a "thing" to have a party at school to celebrate the 100th day of class.  I don't remember such a countdown when I was in school but Ben has known exactly what day of school they are on since day one.  The only time we counted the days of school was when I was a senior and one of my classmates made a paper chain like the ones kids make to countdown to Christmas to countdown our days left in high school.  Where did we keep such a silly thing?  It was in our senior lounge, which was located in an obsolete creepy basement locker room from the 1930's that I mentioned a few weeks ago in my school building post.  We kept our books on shelves in the old shower room and we had some very musty old furniture and a TV which only tuned in a few channels.  One was NBC, because we were able to view the soap opera Days of our Lives and I also remember watching the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia during lunch and after school which ended at 2:30 for most seniors.  The chain was draped all around the room.  There were many places to string it because the ceiling was mostly made up of exposed water pipes.

As day 100 drew near, I kept waiting for the directive from school for what sort of costume or theme day I should be preparing for but it never came.  The common themes I've seen are attaching 100 items (stickers, pins, etc.) to a tshirt and dressing like a centenarian aka an elderly person.  Or, what is the stereotype of an elderly person.  Something about that makes me cringe but I have seen it on the kids of friends from all different states and types of schools.  But, lucky me, for Ben's 100th day they made hats at school and did some fun activities and that was that.  Yayyyyy.

I want to dismiss celebrating the 100th day as kind of dumb and unnecessary but I guess public schools have removed many of the things I thought were awesome as a kid (Fall Festival instead of Halloween anyone?) so I can't argue with putting some politically correct and impossible to offend anyone fun back into the year.  Everyone believes in numbers, right?

Just for fun, here is a picture of the classic two year old doing what they do best-collapsing on the floor (this time it was the cold and dirty garage floor) because he didn't get his way.  So charming.  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A January Catch Up

Well, that was a fast month.  Usually January, in all it's horrible, wintery, cold glory, drags on and on.  This one is over like that!  How to get through January-have a newborn.  I have posted only a few times this month so here are some updates for all of you waiting anxiously, refreshing this page every chance you get!

Ben toured one of the fire stations in town with his cub scout troop.  Tessa came with.  It's a small group and an adult has to be present with each kid so siblings are often there. They had fun and one of the tour guides was a guy we went to college with so that was cool!

Fire station garages are the cleanest garages I have ever seen.  You could eat off the floor in this place.

Calvin is too young for the drop in daycare at the Y (they have to be eight weeks old) but we have still been going there quite a bit.  We watch Tessa's swimming lessons once a week and two days a week, which are conveniently her days off from preschool, they have bouncy houses and free play in one of the gyms.  There is also a climbing wall in this gym.  It has become Milo's favorite activity and he doesn't even want to be in the drop in anymore.  He says "play bounce!  Play bounce!" and throws a fit if he has to stay in there.  This is my signal to quietly exit and go drink my coffee by the pool windows.

There are always other kids there.  It looks like we have the place ourselves here but it's pretty busy actually.  

Here is Tessa coming down the slide and building up some static so she can electrocute me.  

Last Friday Ben's school had a family fun night with the standard school carnival games, hot dogs and balloon artists.  Milo and Tessa loved the fishing game.  

Now, thanks to the fishing game, we have five (yes, five) of these hand clapper things!  Yayyyy.  Fortunately, the event was free but they gave each kid a bag with tickets so they could only accumulate so much crap.  

This one was also a hit.  They kids chose a sucker and if the end of the stick was colored in red marker they got an additional prize which was a tiny novelty eraser.  Tessa looooooves crap like that so now we have a new collection of erasers too.  Milo just looooves suckers.  

We waited in line for the balloon artists.  They had a simple line and a complicated line and we went in the simple line.  Milo and Ben both got swords and Tessa got a dog.

Imagine a few hundred elementary school aged boys loose with balloon swords.  It was intense. 

One of the kids got disguise glasses as a prize.  Haha.  They've been on the living room floor ever since.

Here is a funny picture of Tessa pretending to by like Allan.

It seems he's fatter than her although he is much smaller.  

Here is Ben playing with the kids' favorite toy-a plastic hook from a package of socks or something similar tied on a string.  Yes, it seems simple but this is the kind of thing they go to war over.  I never throw those hooks away anymore.  

He was fishing for a catfish.  Notice Ben's knees-he has been destroying jeans regularly.  He will leave the house in the morning with intact knees and come home with ripped knees.  It's crazy.  Little boy knee pads should be a thing.

Milo has been the most two year old-y two year old you ever met.  He whines, throws fits, acts cute and babyish and says things like "I want to snuggle" while dragging around a blanket and then two minutes later hit your leg because you don't immediately jump up to do his will and get his drink or snack or whatever he wants.  He loves to walk around in his soaked diaper instead of getting  changed or...novel idea...learning to use the toilet.

He likes to be like a baby which is very annoying but this chair is broken anyway so...

These are his favorite toys right now.  Only the blue car hauler is new from Christmas.  The red pickup is from a rummage sale two years ago and the two monster trucks were my brother's from the 90's  The yellow one  is a tow truck and also has a string with a hook on the front which Ben was also obsessed with when he was younger.  Milo calls it the "hook" and he drags "hook" everywhere with him and recently started bringing it in the bath tub.  

In this picture he was saying them in order "truck, red pickup, hook, truck!"

Calvin is being a normal baby.  He likes to wake up at 4 am and stay up for an hour which would be fine if I didn't usually get up at 6:15-6:30.  

He's good at making faces that show great concern.  

I love how he furrows his eyebrows.  

Ben always wants to hold him as soon as he walks in the door after school.  

After holding Calvin and watching "Wild Kratts" on PBS he gets to work on his puzzles.  Puzzles are his latest "thing". 

He can do the smaller sized ones (they are 100 pieces) himself.  He got a twelve pack of nature puzzles for Christmas and they are a mix of 300, 500 and 100 pieces.  They are pretty addicting.  I have enjoyed doing puzzles throughout my youth and I remember why once I start.  It's so...satisfying!

Next up-February!  Another traditionally blizzardy, cold, crappy month.  We shall see what lies ahead.  Tessa is already excited about making her Valentine box for preschool.  I'm not sure if Ben's class will do them.  I hope they do the easy and fair alternative and all decorate the same style of bag at school or something.