Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let It Snow

I know my title is thematically Christmas, but there really aren't any songs descriptive of snow without the Christmas tone attached. So we'll just pretend it's a month ago and pull out all those snowy Christmas favorites like Frosty the Snowman and White Christmas.

We got our first NC snow this weekend! We woke up to a perfectly white landscape that covered the trees, fences and roads.

And since our backyard looked like this ...

We were going to have to do a lot of inside activities with the kids this weekend. We decided to try and let them help with baking cookies. And yes, I admit that I bought the Break and Bake variety because I just didn't want to take out the mixer and let the kids dust the entire kitchen with flour ... sue me. They seemed to have just as much fun with the bricks of pre-made cookie dough. Plus, it made the whole process go more quickly, which is just what their short little attention spans ordered.

As evidenced by the previous picture, we discovered Peyton was licking the bottom of every cookie before she put it down on the sheet. By this point we were almost done so we just let it go and hoped the germs would "bake off" in the oven. A perfectly plausible likelihood if you ask me. We all share the same germs in this house anyway.

We decided to save the first foray into the snow until Sunday when the weather was supposed to clear. I didn't want to truck all four kids out into the half foot of snow while it was sleeting and 21 degrees. Not my idea of a good first experience in the white stuff. Sunday was supposed to be sunny and the temperature was projected to shoot up to a balmy 37 degrees (can you sense the sarcasm?). So, for the first day, the boots sat unused in the hallway.

Yes, you seasoned snow-goers out there, I know that these are, in fact, rain boots and not snow boots. I figured it would be a waste to buy all our kids snow boots for the couple days a year we have snow. I figured rain boots would substitute nicely (and it does rain here a lot so they can get used then as well). Plus, they're all I could find at Target the day before the snow hit when I was running around the store with every other mom in the city looking for anything waterproof to cover my childrens' feet. I'm just glad we didn't have to resort to garbage bag booties.

Sunday we woke to a much sunnier and warmer day in comparison to the day before. We headed outside and had a great time walking, sledding, and playing with the snow.

Although the sledding, "stirring" our snow with icicles, and stomping in the snow was fun, the highlight of the day definitely had to be Matt's invention of snow ball "ice cream cones." We spent a good part of our time outside eating ice cream (snow) molded onto cones (icicles). Yum! Hope we avoided the yellow snow ...

All in all, a great first time in the snow! We have tomorrow off from school, so maybe we'll go out again and have some more adventures!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reynolda Gardens

In our new house, we live right next to Reynolda Gardens, which was previously part of the estate of R.J. Reynolds at the beginning of the twentieth century. The gardens and over 100 acres of land have been preserved and are used frequently by everyone in the community. Because we have an impending snow storm hovering over us in the next couple of days, I decided to take the kids out to the gardens to play while it was still 60 degrees outside.

What a great find! The gardens don't have many flowers now in the winter, but you can tell it will be beautiful in the spring. Everyone had such a great time running around and exploring the grounds.

Of course, I tried to use the opportunity of the nice setting to take a family photo. The first attempt was no good since I positioned them all facing into the sun ... oops!

The second attempt was better.

Of course we tried getting into things we weren't supposed to be getting into.

But by the end of the trip, we were tired and needed a rest (which is the point, right?).

I'm so glad we found this place and we will be sure to go all the time now. I'm thinking picnics in the spring and lots of fun times on Saturday afternoons. It was a great place to explore and we just scratched the surface.

We are supposed to get a "winter storm" this weekend, so I'm a bit worried. I don't really know what constitutes a "winter storm" in North Carolina. In Florida, it meant that it was rainy and below 60 degrees. I have the feeling that it means something different here. On the positive side, the kids will likely see their first snow. I'll definitely have pictures to post if that happens!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Sam was misbehaving this week, so we put the boy to work!

Kidding, of course. I swear I am not forcing this boy to clean. He LIKES it. I have never seen a boy more in love with dust busters, vacuums, and brooms. I hope it lasts ...

Luke has started pulling up, so watch out! The triplets were preemies, so they were not crawling and pulling up at 8 months old. He has really caught me off guard with how fast he is progressing and I'm going to have to re-baby proof sooner than I thought!

This is the look of a crazed baby who has suddenly realized he is mobile and now has access to anything he can get ... like my camera.

Peyton has discovered my iPhone. If not for the locking mechanism on the phone, I think she would have downloaded several thousand dollars worth of apps by now.

 Sam was in desperate need of a haircut earlier this week. I think he was trying to make the baby mullet a new fashion trend. I think the hair above his ears actually completely covered his ear if you didn't brush it behind them. Luckily, he has had a haircut since I took this photo as evidence of his wanna-be punk rocker days.

It's been raining a lot this week. Nothing like a lot of freezing rain to make you want to put on your shades, right?

We've been having fun exploring our new, smaller town. More on that later. For now, I need to spend some time devising some more inside activities for us to do to wait out the rain. Did I mention I'm taking suggestions?

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Getting Hot Up Here ...

Well, not really. But it IS 55 degrees here today, which feels like beach weather compared to the frigid temperatures we've been getting. I'm glad to see that NC isn't the arctic tundra is was masquerading as over these past couple weeks. We headed outside to take advantage of the weather ...

Hope it's warming up wherever you are too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Are Oreos really milk's favorite cookie? They're definitely our favorite right now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Second Christmas

As if the kids hadn't gotten enough presents lately with the triplets' birthday and Christmas, we had "Second Christmas" this past weekend with the Clifford side of the family at our new house in Winston Salem. We had fun seeing everyone and Peyton, Sam, Adah, and Luke enjoyed opening even more presents. Here are a few pictures of the unwrapping extravaganza.

And even though the house is still a mess and cluttered, I thought I would share a few photos. Only a couple rooms are even close to presentable (meaning that you can discern furniture from the piles of stuff). Here's some of the kitchen/dining room.

Playroom. Sadly (due to necessity), this room is the furthest along in terms of being organized.

Finally, here's a picture of the outside. Please excuse the large trucks, they're putting in our fence as I type. Also, you will notice that we have a lovely yard of mud and hay. They had to do a lot of work on the foundation before we moved in and thus had to rip up the yard. They'll hopefully be able to put in grass soon once it warms up enough that the ground isn't frozen!

We're supposed to get into the 50's by the end of this week, so keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Have Arrived

After a short blog hiatus, we are back in action. Things are still in boxes and I still cannot find my toothbrush (don't worry, I got a replacement), but we are now officially residents of North Carolina. The past couple weeks have been filled with lots of memories, both good and bad. It was hard to leave Florida and all our friends and family there, but it was also exciting to move somewhere new that holds an abundance of opportunities for our family. Here are some good and bad highlights of the past week or so.

Good: Having the moving company do all of our packing!
Bad: Like I said ... still can't find my toothbrush.

Good: Matt leaving a few days before us to get a head start on the unpacking.
Bad: He got to drive the 8 hours with Wilson (our dog), I got to drive it with 3 toddlers and a baby.

Good: Finding a Chick-fil-a (with a  play area, I might add) to stop at for lunch on the drive to NC.
Bad: Having to change 4 diapers in the tiny restaurant bathroom while the line of onlookers gave commentary.

Good: Having a DVD player in the van.
Bad: Having a DVD player in the van. The kids now think it's something that should be on ALL the time, not just for trips.

Good: Moving into our great new Winston-Salem house!
Bad: Leaving everyone behind.

Here are some recent pictures of the kids too. Some of these are while we were still in Florida, but a few are from our new home. I promise to take pictures once everything is a little more settled and boxes are out of the way. I do not promise that this will be anytime soon!

Luke playing in a laundry basket (no, we aren't cruel, this is just an inventive way to help him keep all his toys from rolling away while he is playing with them).

Sam did a little light raking in preparation for his move to a state where the leaves actually fall from the trees.

A rare picture of all four together. Luke looks disproportionately large for some reason (though he is a big boy). Also, I am not sure if Peyton is laughing or crying from the weight of her brother on her lap. We'll say laughing in order to give this picture a happy vibe.

Peyton and Grandad listening to some talk radio after the Gator game.

Adah getting her first taste of the cold in NC. She wore these earmuffs all day and couldn't hear a word we said to her. She seemed to like it.

This is our life right now.

Peyton helping me out since we've been so busy lately. Hmmm ... if she can feed the baby, maybe she could tackle ironing as well??

Sam showcasing my not-too-hot job of wiping Oreos off of his face.

Modeling the new monkey "backpacks" (i.e. toddler leashes). If you have a problem with this, I'm sorry, but having a baby and three 2 year olds necessitates monkey backpacks/leashes sometimes! If it makes you feel any better, the kids love them!

That's about all from Winston! I'll hopefully have some pictures of the house up soon. Things may not be decorated, but they'll hopefully be devoid of boxes. Hope everyone had a great New Year!