Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our First (And Only) Snow!

A couple of weeks ago, we had our first snow of the season! I cannot even describe my children's excitement. Bear had been asking for months when we would be able to go sledding. I had to explain over and over that it just doesn't snow here in Virginia like it does in Utah.

Well, it finally happened. And lucky for them, it just so happened to be a Saturday. We were headed home from one thing or another when this freak blizzard blew in. It was crazy. That morning was a balmy 55*, and by that afternoon, a white-out within 20 minutes.

As soon as we got home, the kids begged and begged for me to dig out the bin of snow clothes. Can I just say, I must really love my kids and want them to be happy because that darn thing was at the very back of the storage room, and I had to pull out 10 other bins before I found it. Ugh. We finally found clothes to fit everyone (it helped tremendously that Jonah wasn't home, but at a birthday party. Poor Jonah, he missed the snow) and they were off.

They used all of that pathetic covering of snow to build a little snowman.

I came outside for a minute to throw a carrot down off the deck for his nose. Whoops, and I forgot my shoes. It's okay, I can handle it.... I'm a Utah girl ;)

Good times in the 2 inches of snow. It's still hilarious to me that people here think that is like, a ton :)

Poor Magnus was stuck inside with the nice cozy fireplace, and cups of hot cocoa with mom and dad.

He really wanted to go out. Sorry dude, maybe next year. *If* it snows, that is!

When the kids came in, they warmed up, drank hot cocoa, and we all had delicious homemade soup and breadsticks for dinner, my favorite chilly day meal.

I thought I missed the snow since moving out of Utah, but I have to admit that it's kind of nice only having it for a day, and then it's gone. My kind of winter!

A Basket, A Ball

Jonah decided he wanted to try basketball this year, so we signed him up! He had 8 boys on his team, and of those boys, only 1 had played organized basketball in a league before. The first few practices were quite interesting and rather hilarious, but he had such an amazing, patient, and kind coach that by the time the first game came around, those boys were ready!They won their first game and went on to win the rest of the season, besides their final game, which I think they tied (I can't even remember.... sad)

I was surprised with Jonah's shooting skills. He was awesome and scored multiple times in nearly every game. I shouldn't have been (surprised, that is)... he comes from a line of awesome ball players. His Uncle David is currently at Utah State on a basketball scholarship, and my unlce Greg played at the Y many years ago.
He had a lot of fun throughout the season. I loved going to his games to cheer him on.

After their last game, they had a little team party at a pizza parlor. They received their awards and trophys. Coach Lance and Jonah

We had a terrific team, and we look forward to playing with them again next year!

Bottom Of The List

Our cute pup Sadie is really a good little dog. But, unfortunately, she's down at the bottom of the list.

With our financial woes this last year, she went without a grooming for about 8 months. It was driving me absolutely crazy. I pride myself on having a good, clean dog that doesn't smell, ever. It got to the point where I would bathe her, and her hair was just so long and shaggy, that the "dog" smell never quite went away. I spritzed her, I sprayed her, I rubbed her down with all sorts of smell good stuff. Nothing worked. She was dropping little hairballs around the house and her hair was so tangled, I couldn't even get my fingers through it. Yuck. We had been playing catch-up even after Andy's new job, so we still held off on grooming her. I'm used to getting her groomed every 2-3 months and finally, a few weeks ago, I had had enough.

I'm happy to report, Sadie can see again! Her hair is gone! it is no longer hanging down past her eyes, and from her tummy down to the floor. I can stand to be near her again! It was a happy day :)
We love you puppy.

Girl Scouts Forever!

Laylah and Daphne each joined a Girl Scout troop last September. Laylah is in a Brownie troop and Daph is in a Daisy troop. They have both just loved it, and I am so glad they joined. It is really big out here in the east and they do so many fun activities, and also service for others. It is really a terrific organization that we are proud to be a part of.

A couple Saturdays ago, they held an event called "World Thinking Day". We were able to go and learn all about different countries, taste different foods, see different cultures and customs, and hear new languages. It was so much fun and the girls had a blast.
We love Girl Scouts!

Just Da Boys

The week of Jonah's and Magnus' surgeries was a fun one for Baron. The first couple of days were rough for Jonah, but after that, Jonah felt great and Bear loved having his best buddy home with him all day, every day. They played and played and I didn't hear "Mom, what can I do?" one time from Bear! It was a miracle.

One of the days, they were in their room for hours. They called me down and wanted me to take a picture of their little "village" that they had created with their toys.
"Check it out, Mom!"

A little later that day, Bear came into the laundry room where I was folding clothes and said, "Mom, I'm Jonah!" I couldn't stop laughing. Those boys are just so cute and clever.

Jonah had scads and scads of homework to complete while he was home for the week. He's modeling his China hat he was assigned to make while he was at home (he missed half of the unit on China that they were studying). Let me tell you... I don't know how homeschooling mothers do it! Or teachers, for that matter! It was awful. We probably spent 3 hours a day on work, and Jonah was such a stink about it. I could never, ever homeschool. Like, ever.

And all the while, this little stinker continued to do what he does best..... trying to keep up with the big boys, make messes, and get into and onto things he's not supposed to. He's had many a spills and bumps and bruises lately.

It was an interesting week. I thought I would get so much done at home while we were pretty much confined to the house for so long, but I didn't. I was really lazy and we watched a lot of movies, played a lot of wii, did a lot of homeowork (like I already mentioned), and took lots of naps. It was kind of a nice break, but I was hating life for a few days after Jonah went back to school and I was super behind on everything. Oh well, "da boys" had a blast and that's all that matters now :)

Friday, February 24, 2012


I don't think I've ever seen Bear touch a doll in his short little life. Except maybe to torture it, or his sisters who might happen to be playing with it.

That is, until this morning. Bear brought Daphne's baby in to me and told me he needed help changing her clothes and diaper (because she had "pooped and made a mess!")Stifling a giggle, I obliged. He left my room and I creeped after him, my camera at the ready. I snapped a few photos and afterwards asked him what he was up to. He told me that Daphne had tasked him with "babysitting" while she was at school.

He takes his job very seriously.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Have I Been Up To?

It's time to get real folks. I don't have a lot of time to blog lately. I feel like I've been saying this for about the past 6-8 months. Anyway, it's true. And it makes me sad. More recently, it's been a little more my choice rather than lack of time. I thoroughly enjoy blogging, but something had to give. Here's the thing... I promised myself that this was my year. I am going to do it. I am getting back to my old, healthy, fit self. I finished breast feeding in November. I'm done having babies. No more excuses, the weight has got to come off.

It makes me a little sick to realize that I've gained 25 pounds since moving to VA. I could blame that on a lot of factors like: being older, having my 5th baby, being stressed through months of unemployment, and so on and so forth. But, I'm not going to do it. It was my choice, even as I continued to see the numbers go up on the scale. I stopped exercising, I got a little depressed. I had to go a size up in jeans. My clothes got tighter. And I had enough!

I went back to the gym, started eating healthier. I re-injured myself mid-January (an old dance injury, ripped hamstring muscle. Ouchie) and became really discouraged. I couldn't go the gym for about 4 weeks. But I still tried to eat healthy, walk when I could, and stay upbeat. I was able to go back to the gym last week, and it felt SO good! My heavier body is unfamiliar with the routines I try to push it through, and it's frustrating to struggle to do things I used to do easily.

Still, I'm not giving up. It takes a lot of time to get to the gym every day. It takes a lot of time to plan out what I'm going to eat every day and at what time of day so that I don't ever become too hungry and binge. I have sacrificed things I enjoy doing (like blogging :) in favor of excercise, and sleep. Also, unfortunately, things I don't enjoy so much like laundry and cleaning. On top of that, I'm really trying to moderate the time I spend on the computer. It's such a time-stealer. And while I enjoy the computer, blogging, and the Internet, etc., I need to have a balance in my life. I feel like I'm finding that balance.

I decided to start posting about my healthy journey on my blog. It will help me to be more accountable. So, help me out, okay? If I haven't mentioned my health goals in awhile, ask me about it! I love my readers, and I'm happy to share my life with you. It's so nice to have the support.

In case you're interested, I've been using My Fitness Pal for help recording my daily food intake, my excercise, my goals, etc. It's a great website, and they also have a free app. It takes awhile to get used to, but it's worth it.

Have a happy, healthy day, and thanks for reading!

(this whole meal was measured, down to the 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Delightful :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Call A Valentine Do-Over

Oh goodness. I am a lover of the Lover's Holiday. I love to plan, prepare, and shower everyone with Cupid's arrows. This year... Didn't work out so well. None of my plans worked out. Everything went wrong. I had an awful, terrible, no good, very bad day. By the end of Valentine's Day, I was in tears.

Here's a sample of just a few of the things that went wrong...

-the baby woke up at 5:45 and proceeded to scream for the next hour about who knows what
-the kids were late for school, so I had to drive them
-I backed into Andy's car on my way out of the garage (about $100 in damage... Could've been worse I guess)
-I forgot the kids "special" love lunches
-my blow dryer broke
-by the time the kids got home from school, I was so frazzled and frustrated that I yelled at them for about 5 minutes during homework time (they were a little hopped up on sugar. I felt awful afterwards)
-Andy and I got into a little disagreement (ahem, huge fight) (and no, it wasn't about the car :)
-we didn't get to do the family activity I had planned (making sugar cookies and leaving them on people's doorsteps)
-I folded laundry for 2 hours that night and then went to bed at 10
Awesome, right?

The only good things that happened that day...

-We had cute heart-shaped donuts for breakfast
-the kids were super excited and just so cute. They loved their parties at school and looking through all of their Valentine's
-they were so excited when Cupid left them goodies on the doorstep that evening
-Andy and I both felt terrible, apologized, and swapped gifts this morning

What a day, right? Here's a few pictures I happened to snap. Nothing past about 4 PM which is when I'd hit my limit and was about ready to freak out on someone. I'm mad at myself now, because I realized I don't even have a picture of Daphne from the day. Oh well... The good thing about holidays is that they come every year, right? I'll look back on this and laugh someday, right? RIGHT?!

Here's to next year....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flying High In The Sky

Come on and let's swing! Go ahead, take wing!
High in the sky! Watch the smiles go by!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Question For You Regarding Baby Blankets

This is Laylah's beloved baby blanket. It was made by her Grandma Collette with love, and has slept with her nearly every night since she was born. It used to be beautiful and bright, but through so many washings, it has since been left faded, old, worn, ragged, and full of holes. That doesn't in any way diminish Laylah's adoration for it, however. It will be 9 years old come May.

Andy has set a rule that it is not to leave her bedroom (and this is not just a rule for Laylah, but all of our children). He and I have differing opinions on this matter, because I myself had a "lovie" as a kid. I would take it around the house, play with it, wrap up in it to watch TV, and so on. I loved my baby blanket.

I don't mind if the kids have them out and are using them, but I don't want them left out, and I expect them to be put away when the kids are finished using them or playing with them. However, we had a little incident a few weeks ago that has me wondering if Andy has been right all along...

It all started while I was cleaning the kitchen one Saturday afternoon. I heard Magnus upstairs coughing and gagging. I ran up there as fast as I could where I saw Laylah patting him on the back. I did a quick finger sweep of his mouth and came up with nothing. He seemed to be fine, so I went back to what I was doing. All throughout the rest of the day, M would randomly start crying and gag or cough and then seem to be okay. It was really strange.

Later that evening, we were eating dinner and M would continue his strange behavior of eating a few bites and then gag a bit, or cough. I kept checking his mouth but I could never find anything. It was starting to unnerve me and I wondered what could possibly be wrong with him. He finished his dinner and went upstairs to play with the girls. I was still in the kitchen when I heard him gag yet again and then Laylah called down the stairs, "Magnus threw-up on the floor!" Andy was up there, so I waited for him to take care of it (tee hee). A little while later, he came down with a towel and showed me what was inside. It was part of Magnus' dinner (completely undigested, like it had looked on his plate) along with a piece of Laylah's baby blanket!!

It has been slowly falling apart for years, and sometimes thin strips of material will just peel off of the blanket and I will find them around the house on the floor. Apparently, Magnus found a piece too. And he ate it. It must have been lodged in his throat for most of the day, blocking food, or anything else for that matter, from going down. And he finally got it out. Yuck. But at the same time, Phew.

After Andy told his mom about it, she volunteered to make Laylah a new blanket. Andy told her that we'd probably throw her old one away, which made her incredibly sad. She is very attached, and like I said, sleeps with it every night. It made me sad too! I have a lot of memories associated with that old thing and I would hate to see it go. It's still up for debate in our house. Which is where you come in...

Should the blanket be allowed to stay? Or should we get rid of it? Any other ideas on what could be done with it?

Do any of your children have blankets or other lovies they are attached to? How do you handle it? (ie. going out in public with it, making them keep them it in their bed, only allowed to have them around the house, etc)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Weekend To Me

I went to a flea market on Saturday with some friends. I had never been to a real flea market. I didn't want to leave. Around every corner there were new treasures, oldies but goodies. I found serving bowls that my grandma used to serve up dinner with, a bobble-head china doll that my mom used to have in her curio cabinet, and dozens and dozens of vintage perfume bottles (I love old perfume bottles). I wanted so many things, but each and every time I'd think, "Where am I going to put this? I don't need this." But I really really wanted it. "It" meaning old stuff. Old, cool stuff. We've lost many things as time goes on. What happened to getting dressed up for dinner? What happened to fancy hats and pearls, beautiful dresses and long coats. It took me back, that flea market. Back to a place I'd never even been, but I certainly could imagine. It seemed like a lovely place, those days of old.

I did happen to find something that I felt I couldn't live without. Plus, it's decorative and functional. It's a serving tray. A cute, refinished, vintage serving tray. I love it. Later that day, Andy took me to my favorite Japanese grill in our little town, Sakura. I had sushi, he had steak. We shared grilled mushrooms and veggies, soup and salad. He had a bite (or 7) of my sushi, I had a nibble of his steak. We went shopping at my favorite Target. Just to be there, because it's my home away from home..... away from home. We went to Kohl's next. I got a new watch that I'd had my eye on for quite some time. We went to a movie and shared a box of Whoppers (lately, they're my new favorite. No offense Jr. Mints). We had a fabulous night, just the 2 of us. I woke up a year older and had myself a birthday. The kids sang to me (You've had a birthday, shout Hoo-Ray!...), showered me with gifts and cards, and were more excited than I was. Ohhhh, but they're cute, those kiddos of mine. My honey scored big with an amazing birthday cake, and I was happy.

I am happy. I am a happy, blessed, lucky woman. I am.

Except for the turning29part (!!!) I'm still not quite sure how I feel about being in my 20's for only one more short year. Maybe I'll become super mature this year and get over that. Buuuut.... proabably not.

Plus, the Giants won the superbowl. Woot woot!

Happy Birthday to me :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Going Under The Knife

About 4 weeks ago, I took Magnus and Jonah to an ENT because I was tired of Jonah getting strep throat so much (7 cases last year) and tired of Magnus having so many ear infections (8 total in his 14 months of life). Their pediatrician recommended Jonah have his tonsils out and Magnus have tubes put in.

After seeing the ENT, I decided to go ahead and do it. He said that Jonah had large tonsils, and he decided to also remove his adenoids as well. He noticed Magnus had a lot of murky fluid in his ear, and told me that it's genetic to have bad drainage. Jonah had tubes put in at a year old, and he only had a handful of ear infections over the next 5 years. I had many many ear infections as a kid, and Andy is actually partially deaf in one of his ears because of so much scar tissue from so many ear infections. The ENT also asked if Magnus was starting to talk at all. I told him that no, he only said about 3 words and had been for several months. He thought that the fluid might be contributing to his lack of speech. He didn't think he could hear very well, and that when Magnus heard people talking, it's like hearing as if underwater.

So, Monday morning, dark and early, we woke the boys at about 4 AM (they had to be bathed before going to the hospital) and got all ready to go. We had the other 3 kids sleeping over at friend's houses, so we didn't have that to worry about. We left by 5 AM and arrived at the hospital where their surgeries would be performed by 6. We got all checked in and were led back to our conjoined (by a bathroom) rooms. I helped Jonah while Andy struggled with wiggly Magnus.

What is it about kids in a hospital gown? They look so dang cute.

We had a few minutes to kill before the nurse came in to do pre-assesments, so Andy dressed M up in these adult size slippers and cap. I know it's a little silly, but I was so happy that Andy had the day off and we could be doing this together. He works a lot of long hours, and I was just glad to be with him :)

Mag wasn't quite sure what to think about all of the triage stuff.

Killin' some time, watchin' a little TV...

M came to watch Jonah get his pre-assesments done.

After we spoke with the doctor and anesthesiologist, the nurses came to take M away. She tried to lay him on the bed to wheel him away, but he wouldn't sit still.

So one of them picked him up (and of course, exclaimed how big and heavy he was), while the other wheeled his bed away.

He was only gone 10-15 minutes when they brought him back to us, sleepy, confused, and CA-RAZY! His surgery had gone just fine, but this kid does not do well with anesthesia. He was so confused and whacky, and was screaming so loud for a good 45 minutes. He kept trying to slither out of our arms, and we just kept passing him back and forth. We would put him on the bed, and he would writhe around and almost fall on the floor until one of us would catch him. It was awful. Andy left for about 10 minutes, and then I did. It was hard to see him that way.

While Andy was dealing with Crazy Boy, I went and stayed with Jonah until they took him away. Here he is showing the nurse which of his teeth are loose.

And there goes Jo. They moved us into a bigger room so the boys could recover together (and probably so we could shut the door and they wouldn't have to hear M scream his head off)

I went and grabbed soemthing to eat, and came back to this:

Mag had finally calmed down enough to watch some cartoons, eat some crackers, and drink some juice.

After about 45 minutes, Jonah was back, and his surgery had gone as planned also. He was so sad and so confused. It broke my heart.

He could hardly talk, but he agreed to eat a popscicle. After that, he was so cold and couldn't stop shivering. He had about 5 blankets on, but his teeth just kept chattering away.

We turned his bed around so he could watch cartoons for a little bit, but he was just so sad! I felt so bad for the poor kid.

After awhile, the nurse came in to check on him and take his IV out.

By this point, we had a Happy Magnus again, and he kept trying to (dizzily) run around the room. Andy kept trying to help him and hold his hand, but M would shrug him off, and immedietly fall over. They don't put those "fall risk" bracelets on patients for nothin'...

It was finally time to go after the boys were deemed fit to leave, and I actually got a smile out of Jonah when I mentioned that he would get to go home and play video games to his heart's desire.

Off we go!

Since we've been home, Magnus has been perfectly fine. In fact, he has even said about 4 new words in the last few days alone, including "love you!" Ohhh, so sweet. He must be amazed at how well he can hear now! Jonah is finally over the hump and the worst is behind us. The first couple days were really rough and he was pretty miserable. He refused to talk because it hurt so much, and refused to eat anything. Instead he had a liquid diet.

I got him anything he asked for, including jell-o, gatorade, slurpies, milkshakes, popscicles, and ice cream. He ate dinner last night for the first time in 3 days, and this morning, he tells me he feels great. Phew! I sure am glad that is behind us.

Here's to fewer doctor visits and sickness in 2012!