Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hallie Lou is Two!

Hallie is growing up to be such a cute little girl. I love this age when you can start to see their personality more and more. Some exciting changes for her include giving up her bottle and moving bedrooms. The bottle was a bit of a tough one. I knew I wanted her to stop drinking them around age two and it just so happened that we kept losing them. I suppose we could have searched the house and car (or gone back to Toys R Us for one), but it left us with a good excuse to not give them to her. She wasn't too happy at first and kept asking for her "uh baa" but now she doesn't so much anymore. Yay! Now she just asks for "uh foo" (which means food).
The other change was moving her crib from Marissa's room into Erin's. Erin thought this was very unjust, seeing as she was the oldest and was entitled to her own room. Marissa had a hard time sleeping in her room with Hallie crying and waking her up, so we thought it was time to let Marissa have her own room. Erin is really good with Hallie. She's good at ignoring Hallie constantly yelling "Yahyin! Yahyin!" to try to get her attention and get her out of her crib. Eventually they both go to sleep. It's not ideal for either girl to have a baby in their room, but it is better than putting Erin and Marissa together.
Recent accomplishments:  
-Growing enough hair to put it in little pigtails (so cute)
-Turning her car seat around
-When you ask her who's cute, she will always point to her tummy and say "Hi-yee", which is how she says her name.
-When she wants to tell you to be quiet, like when her babies are asleep, she puts her finger on her nose and says "ssss"
-Saying a lot more words. My favorite saying of hers lately happened when I asked if she was happy. She responded "happy buhday" (happy birthday) and the way she says it is so cute. She calls her monkey "ah ah" and can say all of her siblings' and all the neighbor kids' names. She used to always say no for everything, even if it meant yes. Now she says "yeah" a lot. She says now after a lot of things, "doh now" (go now), "foo now" (food now), "pop now" (meaning pop it in the toaster). She also says "sis'un" meaning this one. She knows very well about going to the bathroom, but doesn't do it quite yet. She says "poop and peep" whenever someone needs to go. She says "ya ya peas" for water please. And then she just talks and talks without anyone understanding her. I'm sure she will have a lot to say when she learns how to say more.
Things she hates:
-She hates it when the sun gets in her eyes in the car. She will start screaming in the car whenever it happens. I've never had a kid do that before. We got her some sunglasses, but she refuses to wear them. Funny child.
-She is still taking one long nap during the day. If it's too late then she will stay up really late. She doesn't love going to bed. Sundays are the worst because church is during her nap time, but she can't make it till bedtime without a nap. This means a super late nap with her waking up at like 8:00 pm and not sleeping again till midnight. Someday we'll have a normal church time again.
Things she loves:
-She loves her baby dolls and has one in her hand almost constantly. She always sleeps with one or many dolls. I haven't had a child that loves them as much as her.
-She loves it when you trace her hand and asks for you to do it over and over again.
-She loves eating cereal with milk. I think she is being kept alive by it right now.
-She loves playing with my hair and gets mad when someone else wants to.
-She loves playing with the other kids. They all just love her.
-She has grown a lot lately, mostly in height. She is still skinny, but she definitely looks like a normal sized child now.
-Right before her 2nd birthday we took her to the doctor and she weighed 24 lbs (20%) and was 34.25 inches tall (59%). Six months ago she was only 14% in height so she's grown a lot! Besides that she looked perfectly healthy.
 Her birthday was kind of a busy day. I was teaching preschool so she got to participate in that. She was pretty cranky during it and wouldn't let me do anything with the other kids, so I put her to bed at 11:30, which is way early for her nap. That night was the pine wood derby which we all had fun at. Afterwards, we came back home for her family party. My sister Emily came and our neighbors. We had a gumball machine cake (because I can do what I want when they are this age--hey, it turned out pretty cute) and opened her presents. I was going through a little dilemma about what to get a two year old who already has a million things to play with and like 12 hand me down baby dolls already. She loves babies so much that I let her pick one out at the store. She loves it! I also got her a doll couch that folds out into a bed, some new pajamas, sunglasses and new underwear (that she probably won't use for 6 months--but she was going to need them at some point, right?) It was pretty simple and a good day for our sweet, happy Hallie! I just love this girl so much!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday, Monday

It sounds like a couple kids are up this morning, no fighting though, so Marissa's probably still asleep. Ouch, my neck hurts. It always does when I sleep on the couch. I wonder how Hallie slept? Is she still on the floor beside the couch? Oh, there she is. Guess she slept okay. Wait, that sounds like... no not on the carpet! Here, throw up on my blanket instead. Stop pushing it away. Seriously, I like this rug.

All right, I guess I'm awake now. I should probably get the girls up. Where is Marissa anyway? The hall? The boys' room? Our floor? Nope, she's in the living room. Why do we have all these beds anyway if no one wants to sleep on them? Does that mean I can turn their room into a craft room? Maybe that would clear off some of that clutter from the dining room table. I should probably clear that off today, right? I mean, we're going to probably want to eat dinner on it at some point. Ugh. Does this mean I need to make dinner tonight? Again? What is there to make anyway? What even sounds good? Ever since I got pregnant things don't sound so appetizing anymore. Too bad we don't have any tortilla chips. That sounds like a good dinner to me. I wonder how much chips cost at the gas station. I wonder if you have to be dressed to go to the gas station.

Okay, these kids need to get to school. Where is Marissa's homework? It's due today. Why can't they make all the homework due on the same day? Oh, here it is. Now how many minutes did she read this week? How can I make this add up to 100 minutes? Why can't she fill this out herself? I'm pretty sure she read some stuff at the beginning of the week. And scriptures count, right? Let's see, Thurday... nope, didn't read scriptures that night. That was the night the I lost my voice yelling at Marissa and Connor for fighting instead of coming down for scriptures. That wasn't my best moment. But I had been up till 4:15 the night before, taught Joy School that morning, ran to the school for a performance, took kids to piano, then soccer, then straight to a planning meeting that I was in charge of, and Jared was at racquetball so I had to put them to bed myself. It wasn't the time for kids to be fighting. They should've known that.

I should really clean this place up. I'm pretty sure all the bowls the kids are eating out of are only rinsed, not washed. Too bad the dishes didn't get done last night. It probably won't kill them. Unless that's why Hallie threw up. Could have been me trying to make her drink sour milk. Ew, I should've opened that bottle sooner. No wonder she kept asking for more milk. She needs to stop drinking bottles, when she turns two, in three weeks. Cold turkey. Poking my eyes out sounds easier than taking her bottle away.

Oh by the way, you kids should probably change your shirts before you go to school, I mean since you slept in them and all. Oh, and picture day is this Thursday. Do you think you can get that front tooth out by then? You know, so it's not all crooked and scraggly. Can I please wiggle it? I just want to see how close it is. Ok, stop screaming. I'm not going to pull it out. Woah, look at those nails! I've been meaning to cut those for, well a long time. Today's the day. I don't want a note sent home from school that my child's nails are too long. That wouldn't happen, right? Where are those nail clippers anyway? It's not like we only have one pair. There should be some in the downstairs drawer (nope), the kids' bathroom (nope), my bathroom... yes. Here we go. Now where is that child?

Yes, I will fix the zipper on your lunchbox. Sure, I will cut strawberries for you. What else are you having in your lunch? I know you never eat sandwiches when they're in your lunch, but it just seems weird not to have one. Fine, you can just have pretzels, granola bar and strawberries. And no, you can't dump out a perfectly good water bottle to put apple cider in it. I don't know why your older sister did that because now all of you want to. And by the way, you need shoes on.

Come here so I can do your hair. Wait, you say your stomach is hurting too? What exactly does that mean? Are you going to throw up? Did you not eat enough breakfast? Was it the dirty bowl? Just tell me if you need to stay home. If you're really sick then stay home. Are you sure you want to go? All right, fine. Everyone quiet, I can't hear what Alex is saying. I hope it wasn't important. Erin's getting really good at the piano. I'm glad she likes it. Maybe I shouldn't have taught her the Black Forest Polka because she plays it 400 times a day.

I still can't believe that Alex's teacher corrected his homework and sent it home for him to re-do. Doesn't it seem a little extreme for third grade? Does he really have to be perfect at his homework? This only means that I have to do more work making sure it's all right before he sends it in. What the heck? At least he's really smart and doesn't have a problem doing it. I can't imagine trying to do the same thing with someone that struggled in school.

Whose turn is it to say the prayer? That's good enough, right? Makes up for not reading scriptures. Love you guys! Have a good day at school. I probably should've made them brush their teeth. Tomorrow. The dishes are almost done. Although that pan in the sink with 5 day old mac-n-cheese mixed with water and probably sour milk looks a little too much like barf. I kind of feel like barfing. And here's another knife with nutella all over the handle. I'm not buying that stuff again. That's all these kids eat.

I should probably put all that salsa that I canned in the basement. Too bad we don't have those chips. Still not sure if two full days of work was worth it. I can't believe I quadrupled the salt the first time, then had to wait for our garden to produce 22 more cups of tomatoes to fix the recipe. It's no wonder I hate cooking. Too bad tomatoes sound disgusting when I'm pregnant, along with anything in the garden really. And next time, I'm wearing gloves when I cut the jalapenos. I thought my hands would never stop burning! I must've tried 20 different things to get them to stop burning. I was already playing out my amputation because of it.

"Moooomm! Can you wipe mine bum?" Sure. Three minutes later a naked baby comes down, "Uh, bum." Okay, I'll wipe your bum too. I sure hope she leaves her diaper on today. I wonder where the duct tape is? Did the floor ever get mopped after she peed on it twice on Friday? I think so, but the four year old did it so it probably doesn't count. Yep, still sticky spots from apple cider. Maybe I'll mop the floor today.

But first, I should go put that throw up quilt in the wash. I hope I can get into the laundry room. I had no time for laundry this week. Maybe if I did, we wouldn't have spent 20 minutes looking for a soccer shirt last Saturday. I shouldn't be responsible for that though, I wasn't the one that took it off and left it on the bathroom floor. I hope I can figure out which clothes are clean and which are dirty. That's kind of a pet peeve. Oh, why did I just smell that pair of underwear! I need to sit down. If there's a question, just wash it again. Why don't I learn? Hey, at least the dryer is fixed so I don't have to hang everything in my closet again. Jared sure is handy. I was already planning to buy a new dryer when he came up and took that thing apart. I guess it's good that I know the inner workings of the dryer now. And it only cost us 11 bucks for a new belt. I'd probably be in an institution without him, or at least out the cost of a new dryer.

After the laundry I need to finish up the basement plan that I was working on. Just a few tweaks so it shouldn't take too long. That was pretty awesome when we hooked the laptop to their TV and showed them three options in a 3-D model. They were impressed. They told me to keep track of my hours, but that's pretty much impossible. Let's just stay that it took over the last half of my week. I still don't know how much to charge them. Sometimes I think I should take more jobs like that. Sometimes I wonder if I can handle anything else besides my kids.

That reminds me, Connor never did his 5th day of online preschool last week because I was on the computer all day. It wouldn't be a big deal except the state is paying for it and we're required to do 5 days a week. They wouldn't kick us out over one day would they?

Here comes a naked baby again. I should put a new diaper on her... and she just peed on my purse. Last time it was a library book. Oooh, I hope I can find those three missing library books before next week. Maybe they're under the pile of laundry. Maybe the fort in the living room? Could be in the house the kids made in the basement. Anywhere really. Too bad I get so tired every day from being pregnant. Is 10:30 too early to take my daily nap?

I guess I should call the four people that said they were coming to the committee meeting and didn't. I'm dreading it. I don't know why I still have this calling. I'm not good at it. I hate announcing the activities. I wish I could just slide through this life without anyone noticing me. I bet there are people out there that would love it. You know, people that like attention. I just have to get through this next activity. I thought we would have two Sundays to announce it and get people to sign up for which crafts they want to do, but realized during church that next week is stake conference. Now how are we going to get people to sign up? Stupid crafts. Crafts that took me 3/4 of the day to make on Saturday so we'd have examples to show on Sunday. I stress myself out too much over this calling. After November, I'm done. Do you hear? It's been almost three years, I can ask for that, right?

Okay, fine. I'll go play Blokus with you, even though you really don't know how to play. And you, stop hitting your brother on the head with blocks!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Shenanigans

This summer was a good one. I feel like time always gets away from me before I can document anything. We didn't do a whole lot as far as trips and such, but we had a fun and relaxing summer. The first week was our family reunion and the last weekend was a little camping trip. Other than that, we were home the whole time. The kids loved not having a schedule and just being able to play almost all day (after they did their jobs of course). Here are some of the things we did that I actually got on camera.

We dressed like cows and stood in a long line to get our meal, but it's always worth it and fun. Saved us over $30. My nephew was with us that day so when my brother picked him up I made him come too, complete with a cow marked garbage bag.
The same day happened to be 7-11 day. Free Slurpee's. Still a line, but definitely not as bad. I love how Hallie is trying to use the straw.
Then, of course, there was Lehi Foam Day which was fun. It's always a bit crazy and there's always tons of kids crying, including our younger ones, but it was great to see Erin and Alex really get into it this year. You can't tell from the pictures because Alex had soap in his eye at that moment, but he really did have fun.

We went to Thanksgiving Point for a jell-o fight. Let's just say that next year Jared and I may go alone or just take one kid. The only kid that had fun was Alex, all the other kids hated it. Like REALLY hated it. And when Erin gets mad about something, it's not fun. Just to describe the event, you basically have 5 or 6 kiddie pools where they dump several 5 gallon buckets of jell-o and then about 350 rowdy people, mostly teenagers, charge the jell-o and smear it all over whoever happens to be next to them. This is fun if you don't care about getting sticky and jell-o-y and if you can get to the pool and do it back to someone. Erin never got to the pool and kept getting attacked with jell-o. Same with Marissa. Alex could see the fun in it. Once that jell-o dries, it's super sticky so you have to get hosed off or rinse really well in the sprinklers when they turn those on. Jared and I loved it.

(I'm holding my hands like that because of how sticky they were, FYI) I love Connor's face. Not. Fun. At. All.
We got invited to a party at the Lindon Aquatics center one night and they had this cool surfing place. Erin went on her belly and did really well. Alex was barely tall enough to go but didn't quite weigh enough so he just flipped right over the top, twice. Jared did the belly twice and then tried surfing a couple of times. It was not a surprise that he caught on to surfing really easily, even though it was his first time. He did awesome. The video I took was the second time so I missed him wiping out.
We had a fun block party one night in the cul-de-sac. It included good food, pickle ball, a bike parade and a bike wash, face painting, cotton candy, popcorn and an outdoor movie. I love our neighborhood! For some reason, I volunteered to do face painting even though I'd never actually painted a face before. I guess I just figured that it couldn't be that hard. And because we had 4 of us doing it, it didn't take all night to do the whole neighborhood. These are the ones I did on my kids. Marissa wouldn't be photographed, but I didn't do her's anyway.

We went to the Ogden Temple open house. It was really pretty. Hallie was such a cute kid the whole time. She had her little booties on over her shoes and walked almost the whole way, and then she waved to every single worker that she saw. She is such a friendly, social little girl. It's so cute to see her personality come out as she gets older.

There was lots of dress up going on this summer. Actually, I'm pretty sure Connor wore his Spider-man outfit every day at some point.

 Here are some shots of the kids at the new Children's museum at Thanksgiving Point. It's pretty fun.

 The zip line is awesome.
Like I said before, we finished off our summer by going camping. We have all this great camping stuff and hardly ever use it. And I actually like camping a lot. So I reserved a campground up American Fork canyon because it was so close. Once we got up there it was like we were in a different world and it just felt so good to be up there. I even kind of like cooking while camping. Maybe it's because Jared does most of the cooking. I just have to give him the ingredients. We made some delicious tin foil dinners one night, had yummy omelets, pancakes that Jared did a great job not burning (aren't they always burnt when you camp?) and chili pie one night. Delish. The first night was a bit of an adventure because it starting raining a bit during dinner, then stopped. We left everything out while we walked to the bathroom. While we were gone it rained a lot and got all our stuff wet. Then it stopped again so we could do some smore's, then in started again only really hard this time. It was almost 9:00 so we all just went to bed. Hallie had had a long nap that day so she was the only one that didn't want to go to sleep. She was kind of keeping everyone awake until she finally crashed. We survived that rainy night. I was impressed by our tent keeping us so dry, especially since a pole had blown through our tent the last time we used it and that part was patched.

I think this outfit on Hallie was picked out specially by her. She has her own ideas and you can't change them.
 The next day was beautiful, so we decided to go on a little hike. And here's what I mean by "little". We were given a small pamphlet with a bunch of hikes mapped out. There was a key telling you distances so we measured out a hike that looked about right for us, about 2 miles or so. Well, what the map didn't show was that the hike we chose was super steep with lots of switchbacks making the hike way longer than we thought. To make matters worse, since it had rained the night before, there were some really muddy parts. We kept expecting to make it to a certain sign so we could complete the loop and it just never showed up. Finally, after we had literally climbed to the top of the mountain (remember how steep it was?), we rested while Jared went ahead until he found the sign. Luckily it wasn't that far because with Jared's persistence, he wouldn't have stopped till he'd found it even if it had taken hours. We were so happy to find that sign and to begin our descent down the mountain. The worst attitude of the day went to Marissa. She would not stop complaining! She kept hanging on our legs and bending her whole body over because of how horrible the whole thing was. Hallie was on Jared's back and I was holding hands with Connor the whole time. He was such a good sport and pretty much talked the whole time. Funny child. It ended up being over 4 miles and took us 4 hours. A big feat for our family. It was definitely an adventure. There was a small period of time where I imagined all of us dying up there, but we made it. 

These pictures were take right before the hike.
This hike brought back some memories of growing up in my family where we would set out to do a 3 mile hike that would turn into a 6 mile hike, or a 6 mile hike that would turn into a 12 mile hike, getting lost, running out of trail mix and water 8 miles in. I don't know how, but our hikes always seemed to double. This tradition was fondly known as our Annual Fourth of July Deathmarch. I'm not sure why we kept hiking knowing what usually happened, but we did. There was one year that I remember very clearly. I know we were lost and I'm pretty sure we came out in a different canyon than we started off in--and not intentionally. I literally thought I would die up there. Well, I guess we are just carrying on the family tradition.

Goodbye summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Erin's Birthday

Erin turned 10 on June 18th. Her dream was to get breakfast in bed on her birthday. She was so happy to get it. And how is it possible that she looks this good when she first wakes up? She is so photogenic. She had some pretty specific things she wanted to do for her birthday, and she'd been planning them for about a year. One thing she really wanted to do was make a glass flower at the Thanksgiving Point art center. It was awesome to see how they do it. The glass was 2000 degrees! We also got to walk around to see all the workers making stained glass for different temples around the world. It was so cool!
 This is what her glass flower looked like once it had cooled. It's so pretty.
She had planned a pool party on her birthday, but the weather was looking cold so we postponed it till Friday. It was kind of good because after the glass flower, we had a get together in the park for what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. Erin was born on her 90th birthday. It would have been way too busy on that day. She also wanted to get her ears pierced that night. She has wanted her ears pierced for so long. I never set an age that she had to be, but just asked her when she thought a good age would be. She always said on her 10th birthday. She was so happy about it. She picked the pink butterfly earrings. Erin loves butterflies. I'm glad she's old enough to be able to take care of them by herself.
The next day Alex got braces on. He has quite the metal mouth now. Not only does he have braces on the top and bottom, but he has an expander on the top and another space holder on the bottom. He hated getting them on, but he is a brave child to do it, especially since he is only 7. I think it makes him look so much older.
 My kids are all growing up so fast!
Back to Erin's birthday. On Friday she had her party. Only one girl couldn't come but she had a great time with everyone else. They are all from activity days. I was actually surprised that she wanted to have a party with so many girls. Usually she only likes one or two friends at a time. I think she is branching out a lot with friendships lately, which is good to see. Her best friend, Emma, has been gone almost all summer, so Erin has been playing with other girls a lot. And since she is older, she is able to go farther to their houses by herself.
She loved all the presents she got. They know her so well. She got lots of art supplies, necklace making kits and candy. Happy girl!
Eating cake. Since it was during the day, I was doing the pool party on my own. Luckily, Connor had a birthday party at the same time so I only had 4 of my own kids to watch, plus the other 8 girls at the party. Luckily they are old enough to swim. It sure is nice to have a pool in our neighborhood.
Erin decorated her own cake again. She is so artistic and thought up this whole design herself. I think she really wanted like 5 tiers, but this is what she got. It turned out cute.

Erin is really growing up. This summer we've been able to leave Erin home for short periods, like during Hallie's nap, and she can watch the kids. It is so liberating to have a child that old! She is very responsible and is great with the little kids. When Erin is happy, she is such a joy to be around. She is so creative. She still loves art, writing books, reading and acting. She loves wearing make-up and dressing up. She is definitely a girly-girl. Once she can change her earrings I'm sure she will love wearing new ones. She has gotten good at doing hair, her own and others, and is pretty creative with what she ends up with. We love Erin!