Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentines/Birthday/Snow Weekend in Review!

Arg, I meant to post this Tuesday but for some reason it never made it up.  Sorry!  

We have had a busy few days around these parts!  First and foremost, last week I got an email back regarding my application for one the jobs I wanted most, and today I actually had a quick phone interview that led to getting a real interview set up for next week!  Woohoo!  One step closer to a job!

Last Thursday Jacob was involved in something called the Orff Festival, a music festival put on by some of the elementary schools in town.  Jacob's class and another first grade class were the only two classes from his school involved, and they did a great job.  Not only did they do a performance, but they also "entertained" the crowd in between acts with a sing-along.  Here's a shot of Jacob in the full cast opening act, he's in the middle of the front row with his hands up by his face...

Here he is before their performance, where he played the glockenspiel!

Here's video of the performance...though unfortunately our view of Jacob was blocked by a teacher who was helping out...

It was an hour long and it was a great show.  The kids were awesome and it was obvious they worked really hard.  Carter was enthralled for most of it, too!  He danced on my lap, and at one point when a teacher was on the stage with a big drum, he started drumming on my legs with his hands!  Perhaps a future musician?

Friday was nearly a "cold day" at school because the wind chill was so cold.  Craig had to head out to Buffalo that night for the Knighthawks game the next day.  I kept myself occupied that day with baking cupcakes for Carter's birthday and getting the batter ready to do Valentine's Day morning cinnamon rolls.  I packed for our weekend trip to my parents' house, too, and in the evening we crammed in two errands--one to get Jacob's hair cut (see pictures above for the urgency), and to BJ's to buy a new toaster over (the toasting function of our old one stopped working and after much shopping I decided on a new one.  My BJ's membership was through work and expires at the end of the month).  I also needed gas and got a discount with my $50 purchase, so I wanted to get everything done and out of the way before the next round of snow.

Saturday morning we woke up to another few inches of snow and I was wondering how wise it was to head down the Thruway to Buffalo.  I really wanted to go and after double checking traffic cameras and the radar I decided it was doable.  First, though, we had to eat our cinnamon buns (Jacob hugged me when I told him what we were having for breakfast!) and open some presents!

Jacob got some Skittles, a giant Reeese's peanut butter heart, a bag of chocolate coins, and a little baggie of Legos.  Of course, he was not excited with the Legos because they were "girl" Legos.  I know, I know...but what I got him was a little vendor cart that sells fruit smoothies.  Why, you ask?  Well, he and Craig are constantly trying to build up a Lego stadium, and I figured it would be a fun addition to the stadium.  He wasn't convinced, but it was worth a shot.  I think he'll appreciate it later. 

Carter got Skittles and a pack of Fisher-Price Little Wheelies (basically Little People permanently embedded in little cars).  They were cool because they can hook together like a train or be used separately.

Once we did presents and I did my last weather checks, we packed up and headed out.  I think in the end it took us two hours to get there instead of a little less than an hour and a half, but it really wasn't bad.  It was a little iffy in town as we headed out, but the highway had good tracks to follow and the wind wasn't bad.  The Thruway was actually fine most of the way there (we traveled slower but it wasn't slippery), and then what's usually the last 20 minutes of the drive took a bit longer because there was more snow on the road.  Parts of the end got a little dicey, but my anti-lock brakes only had to kick in once so it couldn't have been that bad. 

Once we got there and the kids were able to eat some lunch and settle in, we ran out to the giant snow piles in the yard.  My dad (yes, the guy who had major heart surgery a few months ago!) was eager to get the kids out in the snow, which is in epically high piles around Western New York.  Seriously, the flower bed in my front yard is completely undetectable, the piles at the end of the driveway are as tall as me, and the park bench in our backyard is merely an unidentifiable lump.  My parents' house had the same sort of craziness going on.  You can see in this pile just how high the piles are next to their front walkway atop foot-high bushes.  My mom is 5'4" and those piles are at least to her chest.  Here she's helping Jacob up to the top. 

Carter wasn't as much of a fan of the snow as he had been at home.  Not sure if the piles are just too big, or if what we were doing was making him fearful of something, but he was not happy.

It took a lot trial and error in frigid weather, but finally we got this to work:

That noise you hear is Carter wailing because he was upset.  I think he was afraid Jacob might get swallowed up by the snow.  He was not very happy when I took a couple turns on the hill, either!

Sunday was Carter's birthday!  We had church first thing in the morning and the boys were a bit of a challenge, but we got through.  The high temperature for the day hovered around zero, so it wasn't exactly an outside kind of day.  Once we were home, we got Craig on Facetime.  He was in Connecticut for that night's Knighthawks game.  We let Carter open a few of his presents while Craig watched.
He got a small Duplo set with a dump truck!

He also got a couple books, including this one where the wheels on each vehicle get progressively smaller on each page. 

Loving his Duplos!
After an afternoon nap, we had some dinner and finished it off with "Happy Birthday" and cupcakes!

Craig got back to Buffalo (where Saturday's game was) early Monday, and he came to my parents' house at 6am.  The temperature was about -10 when we woke up for the day.  My mom and I headed out to a newly opened gym owned by a good friend of mine.  We dated back when I was in college but remained good friends afterward.  My mom got to know him better in recent years because he managed the gym she belongs to.  Things didn't work out there so he went for his dream and has now opened his own gym.  I'm super proud of him, though I worry because he's now got a wife, a daughter, and a son on the way, so it's definitely put a lot on the line.  But the place is beautiful and I wish him nothing but the best.  He worked us out good, and we headed back to make sure the kids hadn't driven my dad nuts.

After lunch, some playtime, and me checking some photo albums of myself when I was the kids' ages, we headed back home.  After dinner we did another round of  "Happy Birthday", this time with Craig around.

Then it was time for a couple more presents...

First Carter got an alphabet puzzle...
Full disclosure: I actually got this for Jacob when he was three, but I honestly never wanted to deal with 30 pieces all over the floor, and then I figured he might not like it, and then I just sort of forgot about it.  I'm not sure Carter is ready for it, but no time like the present, right?
His big present was additional track for the Duplo train he got at Christmas.  It got a little old with just a circle of track, so I figured more track would make it more fun.  We got to make a nice big track with switches and everything, and I hope he'll enjoy that for years to come.

So...the birthday festivities are done until Sunday when we have Carter's family party.  I have a lot of stuff to do this week--clean the house, figure out the menu, finalize my plan with the cake--and I need to time it out as well as I can, particularly considering Jacob is home this week on break.  Carter is still at daycare today and Thursday.  Tonight we're going back to Buffalo for Craig's mom's annual fundraiser (Mardi Gras!) that we almost never get to go to because it's a late night for all of us.  Should be fun (and tasty)!  Beyond that, I'm simply looking forward to Carter's party to give our little guy the celebration he deserves! 

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