Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkins, Paint, Primary, Pillows and Push-ups

(a super long post because I kept thinking of more and more things that started with P)

Due to the fact that we haven't hit Thanksgiving yet, I feel justified in posting the Halloween pumpkin patch pictures. I had an image in my head of sitting my kids down in the pumpkin patch and taking the cute festive pictures that everyone seems to have, but in my estimation, my kids were not exactly picture perfect. We went on the day before Halloween so it was a madhouse and it was really hot and I was alone with all the kids and they were all really tired. I tried to get good pics but was either holding a baby, weaving a double stroller around pumpkins in hay or just trying to get them all to look at me. Unsuccessfully. These were the best I could do.

Nobody looking at me...
Didn't get a single one of him looking anywhere near me...I like this one of Marissa. As usual she is completing the circuit which she does a lot, but especially when she is tired. I could not get her to take her thumb out of her mouth to say cheese.And let me tell you, if you think it's easy trying to carry two good sized pumpkins while pushing a double stroller full of tired kids by myself to the outer edges of the overflow parking (remember, madhouse?), it can only mean that you've never tried to do it.

We did carve those pumpkins, on Halloween no less. Why do I feel like things are going to be fun and then they just end up more stressful than I imagine? Why do I feel like such a grinch sometimes? Side note. This time things ended up okay, mostly because the younger kids were asleep. The Jack-o-lanterns turned out just how the kids wanted them.

Erin drew hers out and added some permanent marker for color.
Hers also featured a spider web (courtesy of me) on the back and I think that's a witch riding her broom on the side as well.
This face was the inspiration for Alex's (Jared helped him).
In case you are wondering what happens when you leave a jack-o-lantern outside in Florida when it's 80 degrees for four days, here it is. Even though the thought of all that mold was disgusting, it did look pretty sweet like he was growing hair.And this is what it looked like one day later. Old man hairy face bit the dust.

Face paint that is. On Saturday we went to a free fair thing where the kids got their faces beautifully painted. When Erin said she wanted a butterfly we imagined one on her cheek, not this. Whatever.
Of course they were very excited about their balloons as well. So easy to please.Primary
Sunday was our ward Primary program and all the kids did great. I was especially impressed by how well behaved our whole primary was. We thought we were going to have some problems with kids sitting still to practice for two hours three weeks in a row and there were (almost) no problems. We really are lucky to have such a great primary. Oh, not sure if I ever mentioned it on the blog or not, but I am the Primary secretary now... as of 5 months ago. It's a great calling if you have a baby and can't go to class anyway. I still feel somewhat useful and I don't have to do sharing time.

This was Alex's first primary program. He didn't stand up for a single song and he was sitting on the second row so we couldn't see him at all except for a few times when he slowly popped his head up. Kind of funny. But he surprised us by doing a great job on his part though. I wasn't sure if he would be too scared to talk or not, but he not only said his part, but he said it really loudly into the microphone (and it was memorized). It went something like, "My faith in Jesus Christ is strengthened when I O-BEY!"

Erin did a great job too. She had kind of a long part with some tricky words (like established, ancient and apostasy) but she read it perfectly. She also sang a duet and in another smaller group of girls and did really well. I think she likes to sing. I also think it is so funny that I worried so much about her when she was three and she cried all the way through her pre-school graduation and didn't sing a single song. I never imagined that she would be doing what she did on Sunday without being scared at all. It makes me realize that most things work themselves out or pass and that I really shouldn't worry so much about my kids. Like when Erin was 4 and I was so frustrated because she just wasn't getting the teen numbers or her twenties. I made these stupid flash cards and practiced with her. Hello? Poor first child. She does great at math now. She was only four! This is why I don't care if Marissa is potty trained or not. We're all happy with her in diapers and I have complete confidence that she will be potty trained by kindergarten.

I found this fabric at Walmart for $1.50 a yard so I bought a yard and made new covers for some pillows I already had. I love them! It's such a small thing but it brightens up my life when I see them. I've spent so much money on so many things that I want to make or do and sometimes the things I spend the least money on are the things I love the most. Ironic.They are also very comfy. Erin fell asleep on one the first day I made them. Push-ups (just because it starts with P)
Connor has really been moving a lot lately, usually backwards. He's starting to get up on his hands and knees now or his hands and toes and then flop down so it looks like he is doing push-ups. And yes, he's in my favorite outfit again.This picture reminds me of a while back when the kids were all looking at Connor and saying, "Whatcha lookin' at?" and Marissa said it, "Whatcha wookin' at?". After I said it that way she realized she was saying her L's wrong and fixed it on the spot. I still say it like that sometimes though just for fun."Whatcha wookin' at?"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Another Random Post

Lately I've been trying out some new things. The first one came while I was watching the Food Nanny (on BYU TV). The basic thought was that even though I thoroughly can't stand cooking, I need to just buck up and do a better job with dinners. Seriously, what's so great about just standing there and stirring and cutting and did I mention just standing there? What kind of bad attitude is this? What kind of mom am I anyway? I have quite a few kids and quite a few years to feed them. I just can't keep hating to cook.

I've always considered dinner time important. That's how I grew up and I knew I wanted it that way in our family. No TV or reading or sitting on the couch. We always sit around the table and eat. It's just the making food part that I loathe. I've also tried many times to make menus and let me tell you, it always makes life like 300 times better. My strategy this time? Oh, it's the same. Plan out meals, make a shopping list and oh yeah, stick to it! That's got to be the hardest part. The first day of November I planned out all my meals until December (ha, we'll be gone for 10 days of that). So far, life is at least 300 times better.

The other thing I started is trying to eat better. This is such a no-brainer, I know, but when I eat lousy I feel lousy. You know that mid-afternoon stretch that is so hard to get through without say some chocolate or a couple of brownies? Well I know it. But the thing is that eating candy or cookies just gives you a temporary fix and then makes you feel even more tired and yucky (but they are so good and so tempting!). So being crabby and feeling yucky was one reason for trying to eat better, but let's face it, I've got plenty of unwanted baby weight that's still hanging on. You can only use that excuse for so long before you are just permanently 15 pounds more than you want to be. Also, and tell me if this means I'm getting old, but lately things are actually tasting too sugary to me. Like cereals that I never considered to be sugar cereals because they don't turn your milk red (i.e. Rice Krispies, Life, Raisin Bran Crunch, Honey Bunches of Oats)--they are all of a sudden too sweet for me. What's that about? Turns out they do have just as much sugar as the so called "sugar cereals".

So my friend and I were talking about eating better and exercising more and decided to be accountable to each other. Like with a scale and everything (gulp!). We write down everything we eat, how much water we drink and how much we exercise and then weigh in at the end of the week. And of course we try to eat better foods more often. No starving ourselves or any crazy diet schemes, just good old fashioned "eat right and exercise". Go figure. I have never done anything like this before, probably because my favorite food is cookies, but I've also never felt like I needed to lose 10+ pounds before either. Writing everything down really makes me think twice before I eat something and get this: I haven't had any Halloween candy for over a week, and not because there aren't three buckets of it staring at me from on top of the fridge and not because the kids aren't eating it constantly. It's more a matter of not wanting to write down "8 snickers bars" on my list. Amazingly, but not really surprisingly, I feel a lot better! I am not quite as crabby with the kids and can get through the afternoon better too. Then with dinner planned, life is better.

What else... I've been thinking about life with three kids at home during the day. This really is the first time I've had three kids at home (because Erin always had pre-school). Definite pros and cons to this situation. The best thing about having three is that the older two always have someone to play with. I have no idea what I would do with just one. Of course, the bad part is that you have all these kids with you all... the... time. Trying to go places like the store is hard, so I try to avoid it at all costs unless a) there's a severe need or b) I'm not in my right mind when make that kind of ridiculous decision. Even taking a walk or run with the kids is terribly impractical. Usually Alex holds Connor in the back of the double stroller and Marissa sits in the front, but I can't expect that configuration to last more than 10 minutes. It's a challenge to keep up with anything or even have time for myself. They are great kids so I guess I am lucky, but sometimes the demands just get to me (usually in the last 30 minutes before Jared saves me). I always complain about the same thing, but that's because that's basically my whole life right now.

Okay, random picture of my four couch potatoes. I sat Connor there while I was doing dishes and they were watching a movie. Looks like he's getting an early start on the TV watching. Notice how none of them are looking at me and how they are all on 1 1/2 cushions? They always sit right next to each other. I love it!Connor is almost 5 months which means... there's only one more month till I can bring him to the kid's club at the gym. I don't know why this is so exciting, but it is. I've been going in the morning before Jared goes to work without kids and it is glorious, but on the days that that time doesn't work out I would have the freedom to exercise at the gym with them there. Although, I just realized that Connor is becoming a little bit harder to leave places. We got a babysitter a couple of weeks ago while we were singing in the adult session of stake conference and Jared had to leave half way through to go get our screaming, no bottle taking baby. He used to be great, but recently--not so great. I'm also wondering when he will start sleeping for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time. He's definitely in the between stage where he doesn't sleep all day but he's not on a normal nap schedule yet. And our great sleeper who has slept through the night since he was 8 weeks now wakes up every night to eat and usually ends up in bed with us. Growth spurt? I also started feeding him rice cereal and have to say, he is the messiest eater ever. He sucks his thumb between every bite then rubs his hands all over his clothes, head, feet, high chair, etc. Usually I have to give him a bath after his meals. This picture doesn't show his legs, but I assure you that a bath was necessary.He sure is cute though. (FYI Krisanne, this is one of my favorite outfits for Connor. He's starting to out grow of it now.) I was trying to get him to smile while taking the picture, which explains the cut off head. More artistic, right?All right, I'll end this random, rambling post. But update on the weigh-in today: I lost 2.8 pounds! I didn't think eating better and exercising for one week would do that much but it has. Yay!