Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy 2017 everyone!  I am sitting here at home, still not sure what day it is, (I just's Monday) and we are sitting in another blizzard.  Yes, you read that correctly.  That is the fourth in one just over one month.  Two days ago, I think, Justin spent an hour outside with his helper children shoveling about three to four feet of snow off our deck and I scooped snow out from between the glass door and the screen.  Then he trudged through waste deep snow to clear off the gas meter since there have been many public service announcements about making sure they are clear because the weight of the snow has been causing gas leaks and now all that work is negated because it looks the same as it did before back there!  Yikes.  It never ends.  This weather is really starting to take its toll on the city. Between the two earlier blizzards, one week after another, and the Christmas fiasco and the already scheduled holiday breaks, the garbage and recycling collection is WAY backed up.  Everyone in town has over flowing dumpsters and garages.  Apparently the landfill has waived it's dumping fee for people who decide to just do it themselves.  Our recycling bin was heaping and there was a mountain of cardboard boxes and plastic containers piled in the garage.  Last night Justin gave in and dumped it himself since, with a new blizzard, who knows when anything will get picked up. 

Here is the backyard drive as of a few hours ago.  We had about six inches of snow overnight and then there was a lull and now it is fully blizzarding. 

Here is Justin toiling in the backyard a few days ago, making sure the meter stays intact.

Ben worked on his own hole. 

Tessa was outside during this little adventure as well.  I am amazed by her tolerance for trudging around in the snow.  Seeing as she whines for me to carry her out of her room wrapped in a blanket every morning...

This morning I went to the Y before lunch during the lull in the storm and this is what our street looked like.  It is now much worse. I love my tank of a vehicle.  It can bust through some major drifts and climb icy hills without a problem.

Justin has been home for several days due to some unused vacation time and mandated days off (like today).  On Saturday he took the older two kids to a basketball game so I could frantically undecorated the house and box up the Christmas decorations and clean up the mountain of needles the fake tree manages to shed (I thought they were supposed to be less of a mess?)   I normally would enjoy keeping the Christmas décor up for a few days in January but it has become almost impossible to take it down when the kids are under foot so I had to just do it when I had the chance and, as usual, getting it done is a huge relief. 

Allan got his final fix of artificial pine needles.  He was pawing at the box of the big tree as I was taping it closed.  His love for fake greenery is so weird. 

It's been a nice Christmas/New Years break.  The kids got many new gifts for Christmas and they have enjoyed playing with them over the last few days.  I have not photographed everything they received but here are a few that I have. 

First of all, the police outfit is Ben's Halloween costume so that is not new.  Tessa's cute little skirt and tiara is though.  The weird thing is that, although she likes all of it, the wand is the item that both kids have been playing with the most.  You can't really see it very well in the picture but it includes a magic want too.  You just can't imagine what kids will really take a liking to. 

They received this toy kitchen set, which I have to say, is so much more sophisticated and stylish than the hunks of plastic we used to have.  My grandma made those little aprons for all kids and, to my surprise, Ben likes wearing his more than Tessa likes hers.  This was our/Justin's New Year's Day activity and it was quite a process to assemble.  They have been entertaining themselves with it, which is all I could dream of from a toy. 

Yesterday they made me coffee! 

Tessa has really been enjoying this massive Shopkins...thing...It's a large store with shelves and a sales cart and a massive gumball machine in the middle.  The gumballs open up and you can put shopkins in them.  It came with two "exlusive" shopkins which were a tiny gumball machine and a gumball, not to scale.  I was trying to explain what this was to my brother-in-law and my cousin's husband and one of them said, "so, it's a tiny gumball machine that you put in a gumball and put in larger gumball machine?"  Well, I guess when you describe it like that it seems a bit confusing...but this sort of weird thing is right up Tessa's alley.

In addition, both older kids have been building Legos nonstop, watching some new movies and fighting over each other's new toys.  On New Year's Eve, we didn't do anything exciting.  I was wiped out from my day of undecorating and Justin had spent all day out and about with Ben and Tessa.  I planned to drink some wine and even chilled it ahead of time but it was an older bottle with an actual cork and when the time came I couldn't find my corkscrew so I gave up.  Yep, exciting night.  I could have just picked a screw top bottle instead but then it wouldn't have been chilled.  Ughh.  At midnight we could see the fireworks the people outside the city limits were shooting from our spot on this hill so that was kind of cool.  A lot of parents defensively say they would never go back to their old life on nights like New Years Eve, and I know being 33 and out at a bar full of 22 year olds wouldn't be as fun as I remember it, but I can't say I don't miss those carefree days sometimes.  Mostly, I just miss seeing my old friends. It could be just at a restaurant or something and it would still be fun to be together with the old crowd again. I do believe as we get older fun nights will be more common again.  Possibly when the children can get up on their own in the morning without getting me involved! 

Well, I'm off to either zone out to bowl games or try to clean or organize something and enjoy the last afternoon before we return to the usual routine of work and school again.  And there BETTER BE SCHOOL tomorrow!  Plow that parking lot! 

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