Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some Friendly Advice

I am exhausted. There is not enough time in the day. I feel like I am never going to catch-up even though I feel like all I do is try to do exactly that!

I was thinking about this today as I was leaving the gym with my 4 kids in tow at 6:45 PM. I still had to go home and make dinner, Andy would be gone to Young Men's (yes, we've been here a month and we already have callings :), and then I had to do baths and finish up some homework with both Laylah and Jonah. Whew!! The 8 PM bedtime that we have always stuck to religiously has slowly crept to a later and later time just because there is always so much to do and I can't ever seem to do it all. So, the kids are finally in bed.... at 9:15. Boo.

Here comes my advice to you. The majority of the people who I know read my blog have much younger children than me. Some of you only have 1. You lucky ducks :) I'm not saying that because I don't love my children dearly, I'm just a bit jealous of where you are in life. I remember having 1 child. It was so EASY!! And I thought it was so HARD!! Well, not hard exactly, but much harder than anything I'd ever done before. And people always told me to enjoy my kids when they were little because they'd never be little again. I truly feel like I have done that. I feel like I played with, adventured with, cuddled with, indulged with, etc. each one of my kids as they were little and as they continued to grow. And I delighted in it. I enjoyed myself. I loved my time with each and every one of them. I still do of course, but it is changing.

I have 2 kids in school. They have homework, activities, general busy-ness and just STUFF that is always there, taking more and more time. I never thought I would say it, and I always thought life would be so much better and easier once I had a couple kids in school, but I can honestly say I miss those days when none of my kids were in school. I had a crazy house, and changed a LOT of bums, but I loved it. And now I miss it. And it's sad. I miss our free time. I miss the days where we could do whatever we wanted and didn't have to live by a schedule, a bus pick-up time, a project deadline (yes, both of my kids have already had projects. Weird? Yes), a strict bed-time, and I miss the days where we just played, all day.

SO, my real advice to anyone who cares to read it is: Enjoy the no school. Don't wish them to be in school. Don't wish for them to grow up. Enjoy them. Enjoy the time that they love you and don't get mad at you and forgive and forget so easily.

I always did. It was wonderful. And I sure do wish it hadn't gone by so fast :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Mr. Webster...

We have a few additions here at the Collette househould that we would like you to consider adding to your book of words. They are regulars around here and we would like them recognized as actual words in the English language. Thank you.
yoge: n, shortcut for the word yogurt, as no one in our entire house actually has enought ime to say yogurt. It must be yoge.
Sentance: Can you buy more yoge at the store mom?
twozum: adj, the words two + of + them all smooshed together. Saves loads of time, I'm sure you can imagine.
Sentance: Look mom, I have twozum! One for each hand!
whap: v, smack, hit hard, punch, bump. Used to describe anything mean someone else has done.
Sentance: Mom! Jonah just whapped me! (crying to follow)
grav: v, to get something (basically "grab" but with a v instead of a b)
Sentance: Hold on mom, let me go grav my backpack.
These words are used daily around here. It drives Andy crazy and he is always correcting the kids. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with a very articulate father who insists on the proper use of english like his dad did. I myself think it's kind of cute. And funny. Especially when they use these words around other people who don't know what the heck we're talking about :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Brings

Some wonderful things! (and some not so wonderful things....)Aren't you jealous of my "forest" backyard? Okay, okay, I know it's not much to look at right now, but when those trees are covered in beautiful leaves and blossoms, you will be :)

Here's the not so wonderful part of spring.... spring cleaning! I absolutely hate going through all of Laylah and Jonah's old clothes to find the sizes that Daphne and Baron are in. And then I have to go clean out their dressers and closets, bag all of their old clothes up, and ship them off to my 2 sister-in-laws who can use them. It's such a pain.... and I have to do it twice a year. Bleeeeeh.The "usable" clothes.... sometimes after going through these bins I think "What was I thinking when I kept this? It has stains on it and looks like it's 10 years old!" But then the fun part comes.... shopping!! for new clothes for Laylah and Jonah and the extra few things Daph and Bear are lacking from their new/old wardrobe. I just bought 46 items from gap/old navy using my 30% off friends and family discount. I think I saved somewhere around $175.... nice :)

Here's the "froggy" jammies Bear was so excited to find in his "new" pile of clothes. Jonah grabbed them away from him and said "Look mom! My frog jammies! I can't wait to wear these!" Until I explained that they didn't fit him and they were now Bear's. Then he cried. Oh, so sad....
P.S. Just to give you an idea of how large my son Baron is, Jonah wore these pajammas from ages 3-5.... and Bear is still 1. For another month anyway.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Story About the Post Office

Kind of. It's not really about the post office, but somewhere in this long, rambling, pointless vent, it makes an appearance. Get ready for a silly story about moving to a new place, not knowing where anything is, and being frustrated.



So, I have been trying to get back on track, finishing unpacking, and getting organized. I had a list of things to do today:

-go eat a cheeseburger for lunch (I have been wanting a cheesburger really bad for some reason.... so I thought I'd try Five Guys because I hadn't tried it yet)

-go to Michael's and get a couple of cute decorations I've been needing for some empty spots in my new (bigger-that's why there's empty spots :) house.

-go to the post office (which is supposed to be right next to the mall-says google maps) to mail a few things

-go into the mall to pick up Easter outfits for the kids (and maybe a few new things for me :)

We left about noon, stopped at the grocery store really fast to get a couple of last minute items that I needed to put into the packages I was mailing. While we were there, I of course spied the Easter candy (my FAVE holiday candy of the year) and I grabbed a box of Peeps because I love them and also because Bear was yelling "Cheeps! Cheeps!"

He held the box all the way to Five Guys. We went in and ate a yummy lunch (but I really missed my fry sauce-why doesn't any other state have it? It's a mystery to me) After we got back in the car Bear grabbed his box of Peeps.

We drove over to Michaels where I found a couple things I wanted and then went to pay. I asked the lady if she could let me use one of their coupons (the Michaels by my house always had a stack of their weekly ad with the coupon in it right by the register) She told me I had to bring a coupon in. I told her we had just moved here and that I don't recieve the paper. She stared at me and said "Sorry". Boo. The frustration begins. I left my most expensive item and said "Well, I guess I'll just have to come back for this then" hoping she'd just give me the 40% off. Nope. She took it and put it under the register. Lame.

Back to the car. Bear grabbed the Peeps and insisted I open them. So I did, and me, him, and Daph all had one. Then he said "Mo peas!" and of course I had to oblige. I start driving around the parking lot looking for the post office. I'm thinking "Okay, Google maps said it was right by the mall, so it should be here somewhere." After driving around for 5 minutes and not seeing it, I tried calling Andy to have him look it up for me. No answer. I keep driving and call back 10 minutes later. No answer. I stop and ask someone in the parking lot. The lady barely speaks English. I tell her nevermind and try calling Andy again. No answer. Grrrr....

I finally call my sister and we chat for a few minutes until she can look up what I need. She tells me where to go, I drive there. No Post Office. She gives me the number. I call them. No answer. Seriously?

Right then Daph startes laughing hysterically and squeals "Look at Baron!" I turn around and look at him, only to see a marshmellow covered mess. Uggghhhh. Peep everywhere. On his hands, carseat, clothes, car door.... you name it. He laughs and then yells "Off!" and starts flinging the mess. I tell him we'll go clean him up in a few minutes and to stop touching everything. So of course, he cries-well, screams actually. I try calling the post office again. They finally answer and I ask where the heck they are. He tells me "We're located inside the mall." Of course you are.

I drive around to the back of the mall and park a zillion miles away in the closest parking spot. I turn around and see that Bear has fallen asleep. Great. I also just happen to notice the time. 3:10. My other 2 kids will be home in 35 minutes and it takes me 20 to get home. Plus, I realize I have no stroller to carry my thousand pound kid plus the 3 large packages that need mailing. My mom calls me right then. I vent my frustration to her, including telling her that there is no freakin' stroller in my car, but that it is in my garage at home. Lame. She asks me what I'm going to do. I just get mad and say what a waste of a day this has been. Then I turn my car back on and start driving home.

On the way I hear Daphne talking on her pretend cell phone. She yells "I don't have a freakin' stroller in this car!"


Monday, March 15, 2010

A-Ha Moment

I realized something today.

I am boring!

I have been in a kind-of slump.

A rut, if you will.

And I don't like it. One bit.

This move has kind of kicked my butt. I'm ready to get back on track with a lot of different things. Changes to come. Soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A "Proud Mommy Moment"

A couple days ago the kids had parent teacher conferences. Even though the kids had only been in school a couple weeks, I wanted to talk to their teachers to see how they were adjusting and to see if they were keeping up. I had heard from numerous people about how great the schools were out here and that they move really quickly and the kids here a really advanced. Now, I think my kid's are smart, but one of my biggest concerns was that they would be way behind, especially Jo after learning about all day kindergarten instead of half day.

So, I went to Jonah's teacher first. She started out saying how well he has adjusted and everyone loves him and the class has just really embraced him. Then she started asking me questions about schools in Utah and the curriculum. I told her what I knew and then she said "I was just curious because Jonah is one of the top of the class. He is in the highest reading group and is ahead on many things." I was very surprised.... and so relieved. She went on about how great he's doing and how sweet and funny he is. Whew. One down, one to go :)

On to Laylah's teacher. She started out by saying how sweet Laylah is and how she can't wait to see what she is wearing every day becasue she always looks so cute. Then she went on to say that she had done a quick evaluation on Laylah when she first came and she had put her in the top reading group and top spelling group and she is doing terrific. She said that she has made friends, and has had no troubles with schoolwork. The only thing he needs to practice is her math (hmmm, like mother like daughter :) but even there she is doing fine. She said that she isn't worried about her in the slightest. Another huge relief. I was so happy to hear all this good news.

This move has gone so smoothly for us. Everyone has transitioned quickly and easily. I am so grateful and also happy. I love my life. It is good and full of joy...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Momentous Occasions

Several momentous occasions have come to pass since we moved. We've been having some exciting going on's over here on the east coast (I know you are just dying of anticipation!)...

Momentous Occasion #1: We bought a new couch

Now, this may not be a big deal to most of you, but it was big time for me. Andy and I have been married for over 7 1/2 years, and we have NEVER bought a new couch. My parents gave us some money for our wedding which we used to buy some used couches which have been covered by various slipcovers over the years. Those couches have been great for us, and they are SO comfy, but it was time to move one.... and I love our new one. But, it is huge and our family room is small. We didn't even think about measuring it when we bought it, and when they came to deliver it, we were really worried it wasn't going to fit. But, we finally maneuvered it in front of the firepalce, and now it works. I don't mind that though because the fireplace doesn't work, and besides, summer is coming, so even if it did.... you get my point :) SO, even though it and our TV stand are the only things that will fit in the room, I'm happy about it :)

Momentous Occasion #2: I FINALLY unpacked my china

Yes, it's true. The china is unpacked and actually in my cupboard! For some reason, when I got married, I felt it necessary to register for china. My mother had china after all, and her mother had china, so of course, I needed china. (The thing I failed to notice was that they rarely, if ever, actually USED it...) SO much to Andy's protests, we registered for china and goblets. We received about 4 or 5 sets for our wedding and then we went back and bought the remainder so we had six complete sets, and a couple extra pieces (in case something broke of course :) I didn't want to open the china when we lived in our first place, because their was not enough cupboard space. Same story in our second place. And our third. And our fourth. Fifth. Sixth. We have moved 9 times in our marriage, and there those boxes of china sat. In storage. Much to Andy's irritation (remember, he never wanted it in the first place, and he hated moving it, storing it, etc. He even suggested selling it once, but I just couldn't part with it. haha)
Well, while we were unpacking this house, we came across the many boxes of brand spanking new china/goblet boxes. My mom suggested we get them out. I said "Oh, I think I'll just leave them" And then I thought "I am never going to use these, I guess I should sell them" And then I decided to open one, because I had actually forgotten what they looked like. So I did. And that was that. I unpacked them all and decided I would have to have a very nice dinner party sans kids with Andy, myself, and 2 other couples. Anyone wanna come? :)

Momentous Occasion #3: I am now a minority
I went to the grocery store the other day and saw this sign (and parked there, I might add-yes, the stall was empty)-

WHAT?! There are parking spots designated for parents with CHILDREN??? Right next to the handicap stall no less. In a way, I guess a mom with kids IS handicapped... I think I'm gonna like this place :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Day of School.... Again

The 2 kids started their first day of school here in Virginia the Monday after we got here. We went in to register them and the paperwork took me an hour and a half.


So after that, we had a tour with the counselor and everyone was so nice. The kids were so excited. We got to meet their teachers and I really like both of them. I then asked about morning/afternoon kindergarten and the counselor said "Oh, didn't you know? Kindergarten is all day here." I was a little stunned. My Jonah gone ALL DAY? But, what do you do?

Anyway, the school is amazing. They have a main teacher and then specialty teachers for things like art, music, P.E., Spanish, etc. They have just loved school thus far and have already made a lot of new friends. Jonah loves getting to eat lunch at school. They love getting to ride the bus now (as we live about 3 miles away from the school-everything is so far away here) and it is just weird to have them out the door by 8:15 and they don't get home until almost 4. Still, they are loving it. And I'm sure once I get into a routine, I will too :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Our Last Hurrah(s)!

We had such a fun last couple of weeks in Utah before we moved. We got together with every possible person we could, kids and adults included. Here it is, in a nutshell...

I got to get my hair done one last time by my favorite hair stylist ever. She's going to kill me for posting a picture of her, but I forgot to take a picture of us when we were together, so I stole this off her facebook page. Not only is she an amazing stylist, she is an amazing friend. We always had so much fun talking about.... stuff. She's the best-I'll miss you Tara (and I will be calling you whenever I visit for the magic touch of Tara.... that sounded weird, I promise it's not ;)

I already mentioned my fun bday date with Cris, but that I forgot to take a picture.... so here's one from a getogether at Christmas-love ya lady! I will miss our nail/hair nights.... and I will miss having beautiful toes and hands because of you. And of course, I will miss you because you're..... well, you :)

Karrie, Kaya, Corrine, Lisa, Rebecca
Melina, Moi, Mindy, Sam

Joie, Doreen, Dianne, Tiffany, Tamara
Then I got to go to lunch with all the ladies in my ward (a few couldn't make it.... we missed you!) We had such a great time. I love all of these women so much and I already miss seeing all of them at church and throughout the week :(

Stef, >oi, Amber, Jasmyn, Bree

Most of our kids (I think only my younger 3 are missing)
My sis-in-law's Bree and Stef, and cousin-in-laws, Amber and Jasmyn and I all got together for dinner at Bree's house, along with (most) all of the kids. We had fun chatting and laughing. I love these women. I didn't know Andy's cousin's very well, and then they moved to Utah. We became great friends. I'll miss you all!

Me, Andy, Dave, and Tara

Shad, Lance, Jo, Daph (Laylah was busy being "mom" to the new baby girl Talya and Baron was asleep on the couch :)

Dave and Tara had us over for dinner one last time before the move and we had a great time like always. Our kids adore each other, and even though we haven't been able to see as much of each other over the last couple years (because of where we live, more kids, schedules, etc) we will always be great friends.

Jo and Colby. They got to play a lot the week before we moved thanks to Colby's amazing mom Mindy. She was such a great help to me. These two boys are so cute together and I know they'll be friends forever.

Here's Jo and his girlfriend Bella. They were in the same kindergarten class and primary class and he adores her. She's a cutie!

Madi, Daph, and Mckenzie-The 3 Musketeers! These are Becca's girls and the 3 of them are inseperable. Daphne has already asked when we can go back to visit her "best friends"

Jonah, Aiden, Aysia, Laylah. The 2 girls went to preschool together and the 2 boys went to preschool together. Their mom was Lay and Jo's teacher and the preschool was in the basement. They became great friends and they would play together often. They will miss their "preschool friends"

Matt, Blair, JennyJo, Andy, me, Cheryl, Paul, and Liz. These 4 guys were best buddies through highschool and we get together with them a couple times a year. We had a fun night going to Leatherby's and bowling. I'm so lucky that all these guys married wonderful women whom I can be great friends with.

Remember about a year ago when I beat Andy's highscore of bowling with a 153 and then he beat me a week later with a 156? And then I said that I would beat it someday? Well, that day came.... I kicked everyone's trash and scored a 173. That's right, I'm awesome :)

The Ladies

Our Men

Mine and Becca's last get together for breakfast. I'm especially sad about moving away from Becca because they are also moving away this summer to Wisconsin. Her hubby got into dental school (yay Brian!) but they won't be there when we go back to visit. SO sad :( I guess we'll have to make a trip to Wisconsin.... maybe this September when Becca has her 3rd baby :)

My cute Grandma Darlene took my entire family out to dinner (minus Rach and her little family who live in Vegas) We had such a fun time. I LOVE my family and I love being with them. I already can't wait to visit. Love you guys :)

The day before we left my grandma Marge came over to see ua one last time also. Like I said- I love my family :)

We went over for dinner on the Sunday before we left to Andy's parents and got to see everyone there (minus his sister Jenny and her family who live in St. George) and we had so much fun. I'm so glad Andy's brother Ryan is getting married in May so we get to come back and see everyone we love and miss.
As you can see, we did have a GREAT week. We miss everyone already even though we've only been gone a few weeks. We're adjusting to life here, although we've definately had some "culture shock". It's just so different-not bad, but different. And like I said a few posts ago, we have plenty of room and we are happy to have visitors anytime :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Valentine's Love

This is what Valentine's Day is all about.... stuffing yourself with delicious bakes goods, candies, chocolates, and other fine treats... Oh, and of course LOOOOVVVVE
Our Valentine's Day lasted the whole weekend because of Valentine's being on a Sunday this year. The kid's all got to have Valentine's Day parties, exchange cards and treats with friends, make adorable crafts, and other fun stuff. It also happened to be all of my kids' last day of school in Utah. Everyone was so sweet to all of my kids and expressing how much they would miss them and how sad they would be when they were gone.

Daphne's preschool party

Hope to see you later!

Cupid came on Sunday and the kids were so excited when they answered the door and saw each of their cute baggies full of goodies. Daphne is in her pajammas because she was sick YET AGAIN!!! What is with this girl and holidays??? She has thrown up on the last 3 out of 4 major holidays-all of the ones that involve candy and treats. WEIRD. SO I have to spend all day being the bad guy and telling her she can't eat anything yummy. It also happened to be our last day attending our ward, and it was fun for all of the kids to get to see their teachers one last time, and it was quite appropriate that it was Valentine's, becasue I don't know if I've ever hugged so many people in one day! It was hard to say goodbye, but I was glad to feel the love :)
Andy and I actually celebrated in mid-January becasue we knew we'd be swamped with moving stuff, and I am SO glad we did. We were so busy that last week in Utah and there is no way we could have ever squeezed another thing in. Anyway, he surprised me by taking me to a bed and breakfast (the same one we stayed in on our wedding night-Castle Creek Inn-I highly recommend it, it is my fave) after he had been out of town for 2 weeks and we had so much fun. Andy's sister Stef, as part of our Christmas present, had invited all 4 kids to come have a sleepover, so they stayed with her. It was a fun early Valentine's celebration and I'm glad we got to do it.
Happy Valentine's Day! We sure loved it!