A Peek Into Our Week (post holiday)

posted by Andrea | 01/8/2018
Print pageEmail page

Greetings from the North Pole!

Seriously, the past 2-3 weeks have been SO cold around here (literally freezing!) We have so much snow and ice our mail truck can hardly make it to our box… and the sub-zero windchill and crazy blowing snow have made it almost impossible to get the kids outside to play.

And… wait for it… our furnace went out, in the middle of the night, the day Dave had to go back to school, AND my van was in the shop getting a repair, so we couldn’t even leave our frigid house!

It was 49ΒΊF in our house by the time the repair man fixed the furnace around 9:00am. I can’t even imagine how cold it would have gotten if he couldn’t come right away!

Thankfully, we have a few really great space heaters, so our bedrooms were all cozy warm, and since the kids bedrooms are so large, we were able to spend all morning in the boys bedroom (a balmy 73ΒΊ with our space heater) until the rest of our house warmed up.

NOTE: If you’re on the look out for a REALLY great space heater, I would suggest the fairly pricey, but extremely reliable, Riccar Summer Breezes Zone Heater (I share more about it in this post.)

I checked the weather forecast last night and it looks like we’re in for a nice “warm-up” this week. Temperatures should be above freezing every day — maybe some of our huge snow mountains will melt a bit!

In the meantime, we’re staying cozy inside and enjoying the kid’s newest “treat”… Hot Chocolate!

Dave and Nora went back to school the middle of last week while I tried to get our home and life back to “normal” after our very different holiday schedule!

Throughout Dave’s Christmas break, I enjoyed getting out of the house much more than I normally do. I frequently left Clara home with Dave (he caught up on all the Star Wars movies) while I took the older 3 to the library, the thrift store, or on other various adventures around town. I even had a few outings all on my own — it was glorious!

Interestingly enough, Clara kept waking up once or twice every night during break, even though she had previously been sleeping 10-12 hours straight for over a month before. I joked with Dave that she was just making up for lost time with me during the day… butΒ  now I think that actually might have been true.

She started sleeping through the night again the day Dave went back to school (and I was with her all day that day)! Since then, she has slept through the night every night again — I guess she just loves her mama πŸ™‚

Nora also has a different schedule now that she will be going to school 4 days a week instead of 3.

This is the first year our school offered a ‘transitional’ option for Kindergarten, and although I was originally nervous about sending her 4 days after Christmas break, I definitley feel like she’s ready for it. Plus, I have a feeling it will make the transition to first grade (5 full days a week) go more smoothly.

She loves reading, playing Uno (when she wins), and doing the many new craft projects she got for Christmas. She also declared that she is finally “old enough” to hold Clara while standing up (a big accomplishment for her!)

Simon and James enjoy having the house to themselves now that big sister is gone during the week again.

They set up car ramps, get every single ball out every single day, and play games Nora doesn’t usually like playing (too babyish for her now!)

Simon is SO excited to start preschool next year and asks me, “how much longer until I go to school” at least 5 times every single day!

He loves picking out his own clothes and getting himself dressed… which means we often have some interesting combinations and lots of backwards shirts πŸ™‚

James is still one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. He smiles all the time, laughs at everything, and makes everyone around him happy.

He loves helping me in the kitchen — especially when I let him sample the goodies!

Miss Clara is getting some rolls… in fact, she might be my chubbiest baby yet.

However, the biggest “milestone” for her is that she no longer screams every time we put her in her carseat! Yay! I successfully took her and the boys on 3 errands last week and she never made a peep. She even fell asleep in the carseat twice!

Also, she’s laughing now! It’s so cute!

.

I’ve been slowly picking away at various home organizing projects — 1 drawer here, 2 shelves there — and I’ve brought 2 loads away to the thrift center. It feels good to PURGE again (I’m sharing more about this in tomorrow’s post)!

In my last Peek Into Our Week post, I mentioned the new coat I ordered from Eddie Bauer — I’m still loving that coat and have gotten many compliments on it. I also decided on a pair of new winter boots that I really like.

I found them at the Clark store in our mall (yes, I went to the mall!) and got them for 1/2 off plus an additional 20% off, so they were a great deal. If I wear them for another 13 years (like I wore my last pair of winter boots) I will definitley get my money out of them!

 

What I’ve Been Watching and Reading:

Dave and I are almost finished with the current season of The Crown, and I caught a few episodes of Fuller House as well!

I finally started reading again after a 3 month hiatus post Clara’s birth. Last week, I read From Sand and AshΒ by Amy Harmond — SO good! It took me a while to get into it (I actually re-read the first 3 chapters because I was so confused at the beginning) but then I was hooked. I read the rest of the almost 400 page book in just a few days.

I would highly recommend it (set in Italy during WWII).

.

Our Weekly Menu:

MONDAY:Β 

TUESDAY:Β 

WEDNESDAY

  • Leftovers for Dave and me
  • Mac and Cheese + Hot dogs for the kids
  • Fresh fruit
  • 4 Layer Fudge

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

.

That’s all for now — we’re hoping to get outside a bit this week (if the weather forecasts are correct and it’s a little warmer). If not, I’ll have to get creative and come up with more indoor ideas to entertain the kiddos!

What are your favorite indoor winter activities for young kids?

Filed under: LifeDaily Life

 
 

Leave a comment

41 comments

  1. Eileen

    01/08/2018

    my kids love bathing their toys in the baby bathtub. They have a plastic-bodied baby doll they love to give baths too and wrap it up in a baby bath towel when they are done..they will play this for forever and it only requires a little bit of water and a towel.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I just put all the kids IN the tub with their toys the other day. I put the color changing tabs in the water and turned a heater on in the bathroom — they thought it was awesome!

    [Reply]

  2. Jess

    01/08/2018

    Coffee Filter Snowflakes!

    We like to create them, paint them, decorate with them, make placemats out of them and even make giant snowflakes out of newspaper! All of the details are given here in this link. (I like all of the family-friendly activities on this site too.)

    http://www.mykidsadventures.com/coffee-filter-snowflakes/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, the snowflakes are fun. We’ve already done them (twice!)

    [Reply]

  3. Kim

    01/08/2018

    When the kids want to play in the snow but the weather is too cold I would fill under bed storage boxes with snow and let them play on the kitchen floor (put plastic and towels down first). I’d pull out odds and ends utensils and dishes and they’d go to town. Bonus, no bundling kids and I could cook/do dishes!

    [Reply]

  4. Jamie

    01/08/2018

    I just love seeing pictures of your kids. They are so cute! Here is South Florida we are opposite of you and I am always looking for inside activities for the HOT summer. We enjoy crafts, reading, legos, and making movies. They make movies with their plush characters and my 12 year old has begun making stop motion movies with his legos. I love seeing their creativity. We also usually do movie day at least once a week. We make popcorn/candy and choose a movie either from Netflix or Redbox.

    [Reply]

  5. JJ

    01/08/2018

    We like to play Silent Ball. You have a ball that is soft and throw it to someone(we play it sitting down). Once you catch it you name an animal. ONLY the person with the ball can talk. Hence, Silent Ball. Haha! They beg for it! It is a nice settle down game when they are crawling the walls from being couped up!

    We also like Hide It. You pick a stuffed animal or object to hide. The others find it. The winner hides it the next round.

    My 5 and almost 4 year old can handle it, but my 2 year old has proven to be a Picasso on the walls. You can let your kids draw on a designated window with dry erase markers. I use an old but cleaned sock of my husband’s as the eraser. We call it the Handy Dandy Daddy sock, and they think it is hilarious. But they each have their own, so there is no fighting. You could put painters tape to show them a border of where to draw.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good ideas — we play “animal hide” ALLLLLLL the time, and we actually have a huge whiteboard on our wall that they can draw on. We might have to implement the silent ball idea sometime though πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  6. Barbara Kelly

    01/08/2018

    The Canadian prairie freezes “bigly” in winter; so we’re good at creating fun indoor activities.
    Winter picnic (spread a tarp or plastic cover on the floor) with camp songs, sandwiches/hot dogs, etc.
    Backwards super (serve dessert first; come to the table with clothing back to front as much as possible
    “Puppet” Show , with mitten-based puppets (add-ons to mittens make puppet characters) , or use kids’ stuffed toys as puppets, to act out a favorite story or a newly-created one.
    “Sardines” or other indoor hide and go seek game,
    Paper-plate based face masks (fun craft) and costumes. Take pictures
    Scavenger hunt (like Easter Egg Hunt) with items hidden around the house for kids to find
    Bowling game, with pins set up in a hallway, backstop for the pins, and balls to roll at the pins (my grandchildren loved that one) .
    Other games usually played outdoors can be adapted for indoor play. I’m going to try adapting popular country fair games (ring toss, “shooting gallery” with bean bag “shooters”, etc. for indoors

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We do the picnic thing regularly and I actually JUST go the kids a full-size puppet theater from our thrift store for $3! It’s SOOOO cute! We also have a bowling set that we use regularly – I might have to set up a scavenger hunt for them soon though πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  7. Rachel

    01/08/2018

    One of our favorites was a rectangular, shallow tub we filled with Pinto beans (rice seemed too messy for us).

    We would hide things to find, dig, and sometimes my kids even just sat in it for fun πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, we do this with cheerios and that “connect sand” — i forget what it’s called but it’s not as messy as regular sand πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Bonnie'sMama Reply:

    It’s “kinetic sand,” which my kids also love. Sadly, bit by bit it disappears, dragged in bits down the hall, rubbed into the carpet, swept up in the kitchen. We need a big new batch of it. It’s like playing with brown sugar without the stickiness.

    My four-year-old daughter loves to clean and isn’t all that interested in toys. For her birthday we bought her a little handheld Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner. She loves it! She charges around sweeping under the table, sweeping the couch, and wherever she sees dirt. And now my 19-month-old likes to use it too. It is a good outlet for some of their energy, gets a little cleaning done for me, and keeps them occupied for another ten minutes.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, the sand is fun but it does “travel” through our house if I’m not REALLY careful about watching them when they play!

    [Reply]

  8. Michelle

    01/08/2018

    Clara is getting so cute! They all are.

    I love your wet burritos. Here in the Southwest we call them smothered burritos or burritos with red chile. Pretty much a staple food around here.

    [Reply]

  9. Pamela

    01/08/2018

    I love reading your peek into our week posts! It reminds me of when our kids were little. I wish there would have been blogging back then. It would have been fun to have written about our lives. I’m 56 and we still have 2 at home (we had 8 kids!). They are almost 12 and 16. When the older kids were little seems like a lifetime ago. Our oldest is 36. It’s fun to read about your family! Such cute kids! πŸ™‚ ~~Pam

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — you have a good spread of ages. We have older friends who also have 8 kids and they say their younger kids “keep them young”!

    [Reply]

  10. Katie

    01/08/2018

    Hi Andrea – what is the game Simon and James are playing in the picture of the two of them… the game with the sticks? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    It’s called Ker Plunk (http://amzn.to/2EnRfZ3). I got it right before Christmas for $1 at the thrift store!! It’s a pain to put all the little sticks in the tiny holes, but they LOVE that game!

    [Reply]

  11. Gina

    01/08/2018

    A few facebook friends have posted pictures of a water table in their kitchen with towels around it to entertain their little ones.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — that’s too much for me! Even with towels or a tarp πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  12. Anne

    01/08/2018

    Andrea, I want to make your pizza stuffed shells but my kiddos absolutely hate cottage cheese can I use the italian cheese in its place.

    The kiddos are growing up so fast. We have been battling the very cold temps with some snow but I know east of us has had way more then our area of Indiana especially heading your way.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, use whatever your family likes — none of my recipes are super exact! It will be fine!

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    If you use your electric mixer to “puree” the cottage cheese, and mix in some Parmesan and mozzarella (I’m not sure what “Italian cheese” is) plus garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, oregano, they will probably not reject it. They don’t need to know everything! Cottage cheese is So healthy, it’s worth it to get some into them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I was actually going to suggest the same thing. My kids “think” they don’t like cottage cheese but they eat a bunch of it every single day. I put it in eggs, mix it into casseroles, etc. etc. !

    [Reply]

  13. Pamela

    01/08/2018

    My brother lives in west MI too and has waaaay more snow than we do here in Chicagoland. I hope you got that plowing service for your driveway this year!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, it’s all that “lake effect” snow that we’ve been blasted with! thankfully, we still have plowing service — yahoo!

    [Reply]

  14. Carrie

    01/08/2018

    As a Mom with 3 active boys, I was constantly searching for indoor activities. The favorite was very simple and cheap…. balloons. So many possibilities for games from just keeping it in the air to batting it back and forth. I used masking tape to create boundaries and had different goals such as you can only use you feet or you have to stay on your knees. One year the boys made a net out of duct tape. Such fun memories!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    we have issues with balloons (they fight over them like crazy!) so that might not be an option — but the bubbles are genius! I might have to bring them in from the garage to let them defrost a bit first πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Wilma Reply:

    Oh my goodness the fighting over balloons–it is nuts. If, however, you blow up tons of balloons, and can deal with them being around for a number of days, that can definitely help!

    Also, LEGO. Or duplo.

    As for the frigid weather, you guys are really getting hit this year! I grew up outside Toronto (Ontario, Canada), so it was cold. But when I moved to the prairies a few years ago, I learned that it can get way, way colder. We regularly have -20 to -30 here (that’s -4 to -22 Fahrenheit), and that’s before windchill. I have to say, even when it’s that cold (but not when it gets down to -40), getting the kids out for just a little while helps so much–even a 1/2 hour or an hour does so much for them! It’s all about the clothing. It’s a pain, especially since it takes just as long to dress them as they play outside, but it definitely helps. Good luck!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we usually get them outside for at least 20 minutes every day… but it takes the same amount of time to get them dressed and undressed!

    [Reply]

    Carrie Reply:

    Oddly weird but we didn’t have a lot of fights over balloons…I used a separate color balloon for each child. When playing an individual game , like keep your balloon in the air, if u touched your brothers balloon, you sat in time out box.

    [Reply]

  15. Kim

    01/08/2018

    I bought a cardboard house and a cardboard rocket on clearance when my kids were younger. They colored them (washable markers) and played with them for DAYS over winter break.

    [Reply]

  16. Cara

    01/08/2018

    I love reading about your week! Where did you get the magnet board that is in the picture of Simon on the horse? I really like it! Here’s to a full week of school/work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Cara — I made the magnet board. I talk more about it in this post — i just use old frames I find at the thrift store and get metal cut to fit.

    [Reply]

  17. Summer

    01/08/2018

    I love the boots! Was it a winter sale, or coupons, or???

    Also, my Michigan neighbor, next time it’s back to the freezing, try making some ice luminaries. It’s dark so early you could still light them before the kiddos go to bed. We did some bubbles this week too. They crystalized right before our eyes! It was very cool and quick, so we weren’t out super long.

    Happy Monday!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Honestly, it was just a random sale. I’ve never even been to the Clark store or website before but I had to return something to the mall and happened to walk by. I was already in the market for winter boots and saw the huge 50% off + 20% off signs and thoughts I’d stop in and look.

    I didn’t’ like any of their boots and was ready to leave when I saw the ones I ended up purchasing! They are SUUUUUPER comfy, super warm, waterproof, and really easy to get on and off. So far, they are big hit and definitely worth the price!

    [Reply]

    Summer Reply:

    I just looked online as I have never heard of the Clark store. I rarely go in the malls, but looked online and the sale is on their website through today! Free shipping and free returns! I am trying them in black! Thanks Andrea!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — sweet! I really like them so far. I have high arches so I can’t get my foot into “slip on” boots — I need the tie boots!

    [Reply]

  18. Paulette

    01/08/2018

    LOVE the pics of the children…especially Simon in the goggles! What an adorable boy. I also appreciate you listing your meals. Andrea, your recipes are always so good. I bake the pumpkin pie delight dessert every Thanksgiving and it’s always a hit.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Simon is a hoot — that’s for sure! And yes, the pumpkin dessert is always a hit whenever I make it. I told Dave I wanted to make it now because I never ended up making it throughout the entire holiday season — better late than never right πŸ™‚

    [Reply]