Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here I Sit

    Andy is in surgery right now and I'm sitting in the waiting room going on two hours. I have made lists of things I have left to do for Christmas, grocery shopping, things to clean, activities to do over Christmas break, and finally, a list of healthy snacks I can grab on the go (I can never think of anything when I'm in a rush). 

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you would know that Andy tore his Achilles' tendon while playing football on Thanksgiving. I mentioned he had hurt it in my last post. We finally had it checked out. It's one of the worst the doctor has seen. It took up part of his bone with it, yuck. He can't do anything for about 6 weeks (including no work, yikes) and then total recovery time is 9 months. Double yuck. Just another thing to add to my plate. No problem, I got this thing. Just upset about no Christmas lights on my house, remember? Ha :)

    At least school is officially officially over. I get my grades next week. I already mentioned that I have two A's and I'm hopeful for a B in my other class. It's weird how obsessed I am with finding out. I never used to care about my grades, funnily enough. Is funnily a word? 

    Anyway, I have lots left to do for Christmas but I have been a lot less stressed about it all this year. I usually give myself dates and deadlines and this year I'm just enjoying the season. You know, playing it by ear. If it gets done, great. If not, oh well. The kids and I have had fun doing some secret service. We've had some terrific FHE lessons. We had so much fun putting up Christmas decor. I adore my kids. They are so much fun right now. They're so helpful and understanding and selfless. I adore them. Thankfully with school out (for me, Andy and the kids have another week) we can just enjoy the rest of our season. 

And what a beautiful season it is. Especially when I get this guys company 24/7 for the next 6 weeks :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like.... Busy

This past week has seriously kicked my bum. First of all, hello first week of December! Because Thanksgiving was so darn late this year I felt the need to get Christmas decor up ASAP even though I really didn't have time. 

It also happens to be finals week. Oh, finals week, you suck. I procrastinated a bit in my online classes (surprise surprise), so I've been busy every night doing online quizzes, last minute assignments, attending final reviews, and stuff like that. I finished two of my three classes last night, phew! Relief. According to my percentages I should have an A in both of those. So relieved they're over. I have my last tutor session this morning and my last final is tomorrow morning. Eek! It's the one I'm most terrified about, biology. I think I have a B in that class, which I am dang proud of. Dang proud.

Also, there's the never ending Kid Stuff. Bear was Star Student this week so I had to make a poster for him one day, make sure he had his favorite book another day, and another day he had to bring his favorite stuffed animal. It doesn't seem like much to remember, but add it to everything else I have to do and all of the sudden those tasks seems monumental. Jonah had a ski field trip this week. I had to pickup his snow skis Monday and drop them off Tuesday during that blizzard that hit on Tuesday. He had also grown out of his snow clothes so I was at Walmart at midnight searching for new snow bibs. And after all that, he didn't even get to go because their bus got stuck on the way up the mountain. Poor kid was so disappointed. They try again in January. Daphne was sick (again!) and I just don't know what to do with that girl. She's always sick. Magnus continues to be his troublesome-get-into-everything-self. I was awakened by his piano pounding this morning (6 AM folks. 6 AM) and Laylah yelling at him to stoooooooopppp!!! I went to yank him off the piano bench and found his moth full of candy from the advent. Awesome.

Lastly, Andy hurt his ankle playing football on Thanksgiving and I'm pretty sure it's more than just a sprain. It is not getting better and it has been super swollen for over a week. Mostly I'm upset that he cant put Christmas lights up on the house, haha :) Just one more thing. Oh yeah, and I've had a terrible cold for two weeks.

So there's our last week of life in a nutshell. Tiring, lovely, long, and tiring. 

And I love it, remember? I think ;)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Or weeks... Maybe even months?! 

I went non-stop from one thing to the next today and around 2:45 PM (on the way home to drop off a few kids so I could get right back in the car to go pick up some other kids) I kind of lost it and i just started sobbing. A song came on the radio that Daphne danced to last year in her Nutcracker performance and right then it hit me that it has almost been a year since the Sandy Hook Shooting. For some reason that particular tragedy hit me far harder than most worldly tragedies have, perhaps because I had a 6-year-old first-grader at the time and I could put myself right in those parents shoes who lost children on that horrific day.

I was overwhelmed with "kid" stuff today. Magnus needs speech therapy so he had to have his hearing checked (as a matter of protocol) and his left ear didn't pass. So now I need to see an ENT so they can determine where we go from here. I recently found out Jonah needs speech therapy as well. He also has a tongue thrust which will take years of therapy. All of the kids had food assignments for Thanksgiving Feast parties at school tomorrow. Library movies were due back tonight. Daphne was sick and threw-up today so I had to pick her up from school early, at the most inconvenient time possible. Laylah wanted to make an Indian Headdress to wear to school tomorrow. I tried my best to do a spiritual FHE with a crying Magnus in the other room who had been sent to bed for refusing to eat dinner (again). Baron always seems to get lost in the shuffle because he's so quiet and unassuming.

It was an overwhelming day, yes. But I am so so so very grateful that it's mine and that I have it. I am so grateful for my family. On this week of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, I could not be more grateful for the people in my life. For my sweet and kind and understanding husband, and all my little children that I have to hold near and dear. 

I am so thankful.

Monday, November 18, 2013

This Time of Year

I absolutely love this time of year. I adore the chill in the air, the sights, the colors, the smells. All of it is my favorite. I also love that winter is coming. I love winter time. I love the holidays. It all just makes me so very happy.

I went on a field trip with Baron today. We were outside for part of it and while I have been loving this beautiful Indian Summer, I have been longing for snow. I have mentioned this before, but I am a staunch believer in giving Thanksgiving it's due. It is one of my absolute favorite holidays (I say that about every holiday ;) However, I am so ready for snow and Christmas music and glittering, colorful lights. I can't wait! I am so happy that Thanksgiving is in a week and a half.

Do you know what else I am happy about? The end of the semester. It is so close! I only have a handful of assignments left in each of my classes and then finals week. The only final I am really concerned about is my Biology class. I have to get a good grade on that so I can pull off a B in the class. I had a goal to get straight A's in every class, but this class truly gave me a run for my money. With the help of a private tutor 2 hours a week, online study help, a 2-4 hour/week study group, personal study of about 10 hours a week, and lots and lots of prayers, I just might pull off my B. I am just not a science person. It is really hard for me. It's funny because science is all I'll be doing from here on out for my degree. But after doing this class, I'm pretty sure I can do anything. That can be my mantra :) Anyway, the other two classes had a lot of busywork, but they were pretty dang easy and I have an A right now in both of them. If I do well on my finals, I'll be set.

Another reason I love this time of year is the quiet. My kids activities die down and we don't have nearly as much going on. When I go through and read old blog posts from September, it makes me anxious all over again to see all that we had going on. I am so grateful to be through with another beginning of the school year, at least until next year anyway! I love the new start, but I much prefer a routine.

I have already registered for my classes next semester and I'm hoping for an easier class load. I think I overdid it this semester and stretched myself too thin. I am only taking two classes and they're both online. I get a FIVE week break. Yes, five. I am ecstatic. I have so many plans for December and the beginning of January. I'm getting more excited just writing about it!

One of those plans is to get back into a healthy routine. My healthy habits have greatly suffered since starting my new job. I mean, I have kept it up where I can, but I have gotten back into kind of eating what I want, when I want. I was about 2 pounds away from my goal weight and now I am back to 4 pounds away. I have not had time to exercise, which I really NEED to do. I need to use my break to get back to my good habits. I am excited for that as well.

So yes, I am feeling happy. Happy about this time of year, happy about the end of the semester, happy about the holidays and school breaks for my kids, and family time, and not as much going on. I am just happy.

What is making you happy these days?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Happy Happy #3!

My baby is now three years old and I should probably stop calling him my baby. But I probably won't.

We celebrated a day of Magnus on the 1st of November. He was a little clueless as to what was going on, but he was happy and cute and funny, so it was a great day. 

We started out with his birthday breakfast of his choice: hard-boiled eggs, toast with jam, pears, and milk. Not what I would choose if my mom was offering me anything at all, but yeah.... the kid likes his eggs.
 I also let him open one super boring present (new clothes and shoes) and he wasn't impressed. I then had to go to school for a couple hours. Luckily, as I mentioned above, he was kind of clueless about the whole birthday thing, so he didn't seem to mind :)

My parents came over early because they couldn't make it to his birthday party. They brought him a gift (new trucks) and gave him birthday hugs and kisses.

I had to go to work for a little bit too. I left Andy and the kids in charge of making sure he had a super fun day since I couldn't be there. They took him to the neighbors house for a few hours because they had rented a huge bounce-house for one of their kid's birthdays. Magnus apparently had a blast.

I got home around 5, just in time to see what Andy had made for Magnus' choice of birthday dinner. Hot dogs, cheetos, fruit salad, and jello. I was so impressed with Magnus' choice of culinary cuisine. 

We only had Andy's parents and Grandma Marge able to come to M's party. He was so excited to open his presents (probably thinking that there had to be something better than his earlier gift...) and he got some really fun things.

 Magnus is quite the little artist and loves to paint, color, draw, what-have-you. He got a giant paint set from the kids. He also got a Sesame Street movie. He adores Sesame Street. All of my kids have. I love it because it was my absolute favorite show when I was a kid. I hope it's on TV forever.

 He got an Imaginext fighting arena. Imaginext toys are always a hit.

He got a fun book and new play-doh from Gma and Gpa Collette. We had just thrown the last of ours away a couple weeks before due to the yuckiness and staleness factor. He should be set for while with 10 new cans to play with!

Andy and I also got him a parking garage. He is my only boy who has enjoyed toy cars. He plays with a toy similar to this at the gym daycare every day. Now he has his own!

He just couldn't wait to bust out that new play-doh!

Great Grandma Marge is reading him his new book. He got money from both great grandmas and also from aunts and uncles. 

We had a rainbow-themed party because I found these darling rainbow candles and darling rainbow striped party hats. That's what made my decision. I bought rainbow colored balloons, and every color of crepe paper. Unfortunately, I got off work late and didn't even have time to hang crepe paper.  And then I realized (after the party) that I forgot to even get the party hats out of the bag. Luckily, he is only 3 and won't remember. Next year will be better M, I promise!

 He loved his awesome rainbow cake that I stayed up until 1 o'clock in the morning making the night before. Score 1 for me.
 He didn't want to eat any cake or ice cream that night (too much Halloween candy the day before perhaps?!) but the next morning I found him in the kitchen eating it right off the cake plate with his hands.

Instead of eating, he played with his awesome new play-doh some more.

And watched his dad set up his new toy.

And told us thanks for his awesome birthday party.

And here are those cute party hats that started the whole rainbow-themed idea..... still unused in the bag. Fail.
 And a pretty cool picture of his cake making process. It looks like giant, weird colored eggs or something.

And now we have.... M at age 3:
Magnus is such a joy to everyone in our family. While he can be slightly spoiled and scream when things don't go his way (we're working on that), he is so fun and cute and we all cannot seem to get enough.

Magnus is a really quiet little boy. He plays quietly and will entertain himself with toys and books and he loves to watch movies. He loves all things art and will sit at the table painting or coloring for long periods. However, he can also be too quiet. I've posted quite a bit about the trouble he can get into. He thinks he is as big as his siblings and can make himself a sandwich or a bowl of cereal and all he really does is make a mess. He is really mischievous and curious and gets into anything he can reach. He is actually getting much better and hasn't made a big mess in awhile (knock on wood!) so we'll see if this continues to be a part of his personality. 

M doesn't speak very well and at his 3 year pediatrician check-up the doctor told me that M needs speech therapy. We have some appointments set-up to get his hearing checked and his speech evaluated over the next couple weeks. He didn't pass his hearing test after he got tubes put in his ears when he was a year old and I was supposed to follow-up with that, but then we moved and I never did. So I have my fingers crossed that everything is fine and he just needs some help talking. 
Because of this, he gets frustrated when people don't know what he is saying. I usually can, but sometimes I have no idea. The kids are really good at interpreting what he wants. 

Magnus is so funny. Sometimes I laugh and laugh at the things he says and does. He has such a funny little personality and we all just love and adore him. He is still really big for his age, but he is actually on the growth chart for once in his life! He is in the 95th percentile for height and weight. I think he weighed 38 pounds and was 39 inches tall. 

Magnus loves to be sung to and he loves books. He will ask to be read to all day long. I think he gets a little bored at home sometimes, and he is always super excited when it's time to go pick-up Bear from kindergarten. They are good little buddies even though they fight a lot. M loves to play outside. He loves the trampoline and will jump outside by himself. He also loves his tricycle and scooter. He is my most coordinated child at this age. He has been able to pedal his tricycle by himself since last spring. He is very adventurous and will be half-way down the street before I realize he has left the yard.

Magnus loves to eat. He has gotten more picky and doesn't love to eat dinner, but that is a pretty typical pattern I have seen with all of my kids at this age. He loves fruit but his favorite is bananas. He loves milk and drinks a gallon every few days. He loves yogurt and cheese. He is my dairy boy. He also loves cereal, sandwiches, eggs, oatmeal, pizza, carrots, artichokes, pancakes, and that's about it. His pickiness has been the worst of my kids, I think. Hopefully he grows out of it soon or else how will he grow to be 6'7'' like the doctor predicted?!

M adores his siblings. He wants one of them to be playing with him at all times. He loves everything the boys love and is growing up to be an electronic lover like his brothers. He loves Skylanders and Pokemon. He loves cars and Imaginext guys. He can make a game out of anything and I have seen him playing with sticks on several occasions. He loves nursery at church and he loves learning about Jesus. He is a really creative little guy and at times I'm shocked at all that he understands.

We love our baby Magnus so much. I can't imagine my life without my little caboose. He brings me so much joy and sometimes I just sit and stare at him in awe. I love him so much.

Happy 3rd Birthday Magnus!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'll Go Ahead And Admit It, I'm a Terrible Driver

(mostly because I take pictures of myself when I should be paying attention to the road...?! That's a joke by the way.)

So yes, it's true and I am finally ready to admit my lack of stellar driving skills.  I have a problem with hitting things. Mostly stationary things. Sad, but true.

This all came to light a couple weeks ago. I was having a bit of a stressful day (as per my usual) and running late (as per my usual) and I had to take Laylah to dance and Jonah to football practice. I wasn't paying close enough attention (as per my usual) and backed right into our neighbor's parked car. It was parked on the street in front of their house and with our Giant Beast of a car's bumper hitting it, it didn't stand a chance. The side of their car crumpled like paper. Of course, there was no damage to our car.

Now, this wouldn't have been as big of a deal (that's what insurance is for after all), if I hadn't done the exact same thing only six months before!!!

It's true. Six months before, I had hit their car that was parked in front of their house on the street by backing into it because I was in a hurry and not paying attention. At least it wasn't the exact same car. It was their other one. Believe you me, they sure don't park in the street anymore. They use their driveway now. As they should with me around.

After Andy cleared up my mess with the insurance company for a second time, we started joking about all of the stationary things I had hit in our marriage and even previous to our marriage (that my dad had to take care of.... thanks dad! You're the best!)

The first time I ever hit a parked care was a mere month after receiving my license. It was in Smith's parking lot. I was driving my parent's enormous van that was full of my girlfriends because we had gone to get snow cones. I was distracted and turned a corner too close and side-swiped a parked car. I cried. It was terrible. My dad was so understanding and kind. I will always remember that when (when, not if) my kids get into their first fender bender.

Another time I was backing out of my parents driveway about a year later and hit my sister's boyfriend's friend's (you got that?) car. It was actually his parent's and (funny side story) they are in our current ward. Luckily they don't even remember, but I do. I totally could have gotten away with it, but I chose to be honest. My dad wasn't as understanding this time, haha!

Another time I was having a hard day (it's always when I'm having a hard day! Always.) and I backed our car (the Expedition aka Beast that we still own. Man, that car has held up well! They sure don't make 'em like they used to) into our apartment complex parking garage. It did leave a mark that is still there because we never got it fixed.

Once I was backing out of my neighbor's driveway. I had dropped something off to her. I backed into her neighbor's car that was parked in the street. It was old piece of crap car and we offered them $100 to just forget about it. They agreed.

Another time I was borrowing my mom's car when we were visiting from Virginia. I went to the grocery store and I was in a hurry because Magnus was hungry and crying (I was breastfeeding at the time) so I hurried and backed out of the parking stall. I wasn't paying attention (of course) and hit a cement pole that was blocking the grocery cart stalls. That one definitely left a mark. My dad was a little frustrated that time around too (but still kind! I have to mention that, because I can hardly believe the patience that man possesses. For real! He's the best :)

And so it goes, on and on. I have a half dozen more stories just like these ones. I promise I am trying to be better. It's an ongoing process apparently. So, if you see me driving down the road, I would actually just turn around and drive as fast away from me as you can ;)

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Little Bit Of Life

I always seem to get an itch to blog when it is the absolute last thing I should be doing. I guess it is my new way to vent. I have three big papers due this week (one is due tonight and it is maybe only a third of the way finished... whoopsie), I need to make dinner, and I also need to plan Family Home Evening so we can have it right after dinner because Daphne has a new soccer schedule for winter training and her practices are Monday nights now. It is really annoying, but I guess you do what you gotta do. Also, I have a biology review tonight for my test on Saturday. Why? Why is this my life? I ask myself this question quite often.

I also found out today that the absolute earliest I can get into the nursing program will be fall semester of 2015. That is almost two years away. I will finish with my prerequisites at the end of next summer, but the way the application process works is that I apply almost a full year before I actually start. So I will finish my prereq's, apply a few months later, and (if I get in) I will start the next fall. I didn't realize it worked that way and I am pretty frustrated about it to say the least. C'est la vie, I guess.

Ahhh, well least I have this guy to laugh with while I get to waste time until I start the nursing program:

P.S. Do not see Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It is nothing like the book (which I loved) and I fell asleep during it which tells you how exciting it is. Also, the actor for Jace is not attractive at all. Why do movie producers ruin my favorite books?! It's a shame I tell you, a crying shame.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All Hallow's Eve

 Alrighty, Halloween! I love Halloween. It is chalk full of random fun... like carving pumpkins. Where in the world did this tradition come from?! I don't care, I love it. Plus, candles burning inside a pumpkin smell so good. And by the way, this post is all over the place with pictures out of order, so for journal keeping sake, I will include around the time all of the Halloween activity goodness went down.

A few days before Halloween I realized that we hadn't even had time to go on our annual pumpkin patch trip to pick out pumpkins! For shame. So we headed to the grocery store down the street. It was just as fun, I promise (I had to convince some of the kid's of that, and when convincing didn't work, I just told them it was that or nothing, so.... you can see below what choice they made.) Anyway, it was fun. Andy was busy with homework all night so unfortunately I was hanging solo for the carving fun.

 We had a blast, cleaned and carved some lovely pumpkins, topped off the evening with hot chocolate and donuts, and called it a night. Good, good times.

The night before Halloween, these little lovelies were left on our doorstep. So cute! And delicious.

Halloween morning was a little crazy. We were up at 6:30 AM to make sure everyone was looking their Halloween best with full makeup and ready for the school parade. Loved it.
 The kid's choir also sang some fun Halloween songs.

And this creepy 10-foot-tall Frankenstein walked around terrifying all of the preschoolers who were sitting with the parents, ha!

I had a fun time helping with Jonah's class Halloween party (I was in charge of spooky musical chairs) and after school we headed on a few errands and picked up some freebies along the way. I found a list someone had posted on facebook of all the places giving away free stuff for Halloween to people who were dressed in costumes. A few of the places were right by some of the stores I needed to go to (last minute stuff for Magnus' birthday party) so some of the kids that wanted to tag along came and got loaded up on even more sugar. We got a free cupcake from the Sweet Tooth Fairy as well as a free Jamba Juice. Yum yum!

After our traditional pizza dinner, we touched up the makeup, grabbed some sacks, snapped a couple pics, and we were off!
 We met up with some friends and swapped a few kids. The girl's headed off to a girls only group while I wrangled all of the boys.

 Magnus had never been trick-or-treating before. We didn't take him the last 2 years, so this was finally his year. And okay, I am not usually one to gush about the cuteness that is my kids, but I cannot even tell you how stinkin' adorable he was. He was so excited that everyone was just handing him candy, and he was so thankful! He told every single person, "twick-o-tweat!" and as soon as that candy plopped into his bucket, he looked up with a big grin and said, "Tank you!" And every time, without fail as he was walking down the porch, he would turn around and say, "Happy Halloween!" It was darling. I couldn't get over his cuteness in that little dragon costume (that he finally agreed to wear when I told him he would get candy)

Andy met up with us after class and came around with us the rest of the time. So much fun.

The kid's were out of school the next day, so we came home and ate candy and popped popcorn. We turned on a scary movie (Roald Dahl's "Witches") and got ready to have the pants scared off of us. I feel asleep after approximately 2 minutes and was shaken awake by Jonah telling me that this movie was way too scary. Baron was almost in tears. I didn't remember it being so scary, but I guess it was? So off it went and on came a Curious George Halloween. Haha, much better. After that, it was time for brushing teeth (not really, we skipped that) and bed.

The next morning (which also happened to be Magnus' birthday, more on that later!) I came down to kids eating/sorting candy.

Some weirdo gave away taco sauce...

I get tired of all the junk kids eat, and since they have gotten bigger, they bring home more and more Halloween candy every year because they have the stamina to trick-or-treat much longer. I usually just let them eat it, but this year I thought I'd offer them money to let me buy it. They all thought that was an awesome idea. I let them pick out their favorites and then we weighed it. I gave them a dollar a pound. They each got $3. Happy mom, happy kids. They still had some candy, they earned some money, and I didn't have to worry about a ton of wrappers and rotten teeth.

I just have to worry about 12 pounds of candy that is sitting in my closet. What should I do with it?
 And that was our Happy Halloween!

I also had to add these few photos from my mom's fun Halloween party that she throws every year. It was a few weeks before Halloween. We always eat yummy food, play fun games, and watch scary movies. It is so much fun. My mom and dad don't do anything half-way, which always makes it even better.

 I made homemade donuts for dessert. We had powdered, cinnamon sugar, maple glazed and chocolate glazed. Yum yum.

Thanks grandma and papa!

And last but certainly not least, I give to you.... The Mario Brothers:
Andy and I went to an adult Halloween party with friends at our neighbors the weekend before Halloween. It is always so much fun with delicious food, fun games, and great company. Also, hilarious costumes. Can't beat a night like that!

Happy Halloween! I hope yours was fun, safe, and happy!