I felt a bit guilty about how happy I felt as all the kids went back to school after break. I got over the guilt pretty fast though. :)
One of the biggest, and most dramatic, things that started in January was Basketball with Miles.
This kid loves basketball and was dying to play. I dropped him off at practice and prayed for the best. 10 min later I got a phone call that Miles was in the corner crying and wouldn't respond to anyone. so, I ran back over to the school. The next 3 practices went much the same.
Luckily, he loved the games, and through many conversations and worst case scenarios, we made it through the season. The last game he even attempted a few baskets, got some rebounds, passed the ball, and did some defense.
While it turned out to be one of the more stressful parts of my January/February, I am glad we powered through and it turned out to be a positive experience for him in the end. And he can't wait to play next season.
The kids have not played in the snow here like they did at the Town Houses. I think it's because there isn't always a constant flow of children coming and going to help you build your forts.
So, we invited the Johnson's over and the kids actually played in the snow for hours.
Still lots of trampoline jumping. Snow or sunshine.
A highlight was going to the Jazz game with The Everett's. Good friends, good food and no kids. Pretty perfect evening.
Completed my first real french braid. Macey was pleased with my effort.
We have yet to have to use our snow shoes this winter, but our spikes have proved very useful.
Battle Creek has become one of my favorites!
Hiking in the snow really is the best and helps me to appreciate and enjoy the snow and cold more.
Gets me through things like shoveling our massive driveway in the morning.
We read The Magic Art of Tidying Up a few years ago. But, the netflix show finally convinced me to fold my socks in the Kondo Method. :)
I don't know why it took me 3 years.
And I'm finally teaching Ruby the Mario Kondo Method (I taught the other 3 when Ruby was a baby).
She's getting pretty good.
Other Ruby Happenings:
Non stop dressing up and Barbie playing.
If she sees you sit down or talk to another child, she comes running over demanding to be cuddled.
She's been teaching Crew the fine art of finger sucking.
She is a social butterfly and is always requesting to play with her friends.
we got lucky this month and got to hang out with Roman and Izella a few times.
And she got to go to Hailey's Unicorn themed birthday party.
I don't even know what I'm going to do when she starts kindergarten next school year.
Other January Happenings:
We completed Macey's most complicated puzzle yet! There was a few days where I didn't know if we were going to be able to do it, but we pushed through, and it was well worth the effort.
Miles requests soup every day for dinner and eats bowlful after bowlful when I do make it. Sometimes he even licks the pot.
and we of course have been taking advantage of our aquarium pass.
Phew, another January behind us.
December Part 2
Christmas Break was amazing and relaxing and very lazy.
Our first Christmas Miracle happened when all kids wore the clothes I picked out for them and then smiled for this picture.
2nd Christmas Miracle was that all kids loved their Christmas Jammies. My kids are very picky with PJ's and we often have at least one kid pouting about the PJ's I picked out.
Not this year. And The kids maybe changed out of their Onesie PJ's 3 times total all of break. That is Christmas Break perfection right there.
Christmas Eve was another late night, but well worth the effort.
Patiently waiting for us to say "go" at 6:30 am Christmas morning.
Santa brought Pop-A-Shot
We all had sore arms from playing so much.
Ruby asked Santa for makeup and jewelry. She was quite pleased with her haul.
Miles is hard to please, but totally worth it when you actually figure out what this kids wants.
The rest of the morning was spent playing with toys, shooting baskets, and playing video games.
The Rensinks came over for dinner Christmas Day. It might of been the most relaxing Christmas ever.
The only pics I got was playing Holiday Soda Pong.
To recover from the festivities we went on a hike the next morning.
Tajen came over for a late night. And shocker, Macey wanted to play soda pong.
More proof my kids pretty much lived in their onesies, unless I was washing then.
Paul and I did our annual New Year's Eve hike.
It was beautiful.
We had the O'Neal's over for New Years Eve.
and surprise...We played Soda Pong!
Everyone loved it.
and it's not New Years Eve without a crazy dance party.
Then we had a few more lazy days until school started again!!
March is normally one of my favorite months in Utah, this year though the weather didn't live up to my expectations! We had lots of sunny days, just cold. After winter though, we had to get outside, even if it was colder than normal.
you can't tell in the pic, but we went to the park on a super windy day. Perfect for kite flying.
Julianne and I took the kids on a scooter ride up the canyon.
We underestimated the amount of snow that would be on the trail. Made for some adventurous scootering, lots of wet shoes and socks, and some crying.
A big storm was suppose to come in, so we were excited to go snowshoeing with Kacie and Blaine. The expected storm didn't come, so it was more of ice walking. Entertaining none the less.
No parents volunteered to go with Miles' class to the zoo. The weather forcast was horrible, one of the 2nd grade teachers even backed out. I did not want to go at all.
We lucked out though, the storm didn't come and we had the whole zoo to ourselves. So glad I let myself be guilted into going, this time.
Ruby and I ventured out a few scooter rides this month.
She is always entertaining company and often has to stop to peek through people's fences.
Plus, she doesn't mind when I sport my fanny pack.
Ruby also finished up her 2nd dance class this month.
They were adorable and it was always the highlight of both our weeks. Ruby got to dance and play outside the rec center. And I got to workout and chat with my friends.
We are missing dance already.
Seriously, 3 year olds in dance are kind of my favorite thing ever.
Another moment when she just looked too big for me to handle.
Just getting ready for bed all by herself.
So much neighborhood kickball this winter.
So glad our favorite place to spend sunny afternoons is right out our front door.
Kids have also been dying to go fishing and have been practicing casting over the fence into Jeff's backyard. :)
Paul had a birthday, it was thrilling.
Macey did knowledge bowl for the first time. These kids are smart, they knew way more than i did!
A big highlight of the month was Crew loosing his first tooth.
Even though he's getting giant, at least he still needs some cuddles from time to time.
January always seems to have at least 58 days in it. I used to think this was due to the snow and freezing temps. But, nope. It's just January.
January is always
rough for me and this was one seemed a little worse than my norm. One of my main ways to cope with the looming depression, anxiety, and paul's work schedule is to keep busy and get outside as much as possible.
This means we've had lots of friends over (mine and theirs).
There's been lots of park days with friends. Scooter riding, bike riding, sidewalk chalk drawing, hiking, and walks to Target.
We hiked up Grove Creek with the Rensink's.
Not bad for a Saturday in January.
The kids favorite part was the frozen water on the branches in the creek. Every kid had to have one and no one fell in the creek. Big hiking success.
The kids have even started going barefoot in January and I don't even mind. We have had a few days in the 50's, afterall.
Luckily we got one good snowstorm and we got to introduce The Johnson's to our favorite sledding hill.
The girls had to enlist the dad's help to get the snowman put together, they were so heavy!
So happy we got to use our new sled one more time.
Ruby cleared all the snow off the tops of the tables in the backyard for me one day after dance. When it snowed again a few days later she was so annoyed and said "Mom, I need my mittens. The tables have snow again!"
I've been trying to not do TOO much electronic time during the day when M&M are at school.
dot painting was much messier than I planned and much more stressful. Thus, they spent the rest of the afternoon on The Switch.
We took our friends to the Children's Museum. Ruby is getting too giant, it is still weird to me that I am out of the baby phase.
We tend to avoid the library, because I cannot afford to pay for all the books we ruin. Luckily this day, no one complained when we left without checking out a book.
Ruby and Izella both took turns sitting in the rocking chair and reading books aloud for us. It was the cutest thing ever.
One thing I look forward to everyday is picking up Crew from school. Everyday he runs toward the car with the biggest grin on his face and I can't even stand it.
I also look forward to reading with him before M&M come home from school.
This day he thought it was hilarious that the author thought this pteranodon was a dinosaur. After he read "This is a dinosaur" under a picture of the Pteranodon he said, "This author is so silly. This is not a dinosaur. It is a flying reptile". He is correct. We only raise geniuses around here.
January-March is Paul's extra
busy time, so we have been taking advantage of having him home Saturdays.
We did a BYU day
to see the Titanoboa exhibit, it was actually really cool. The Bean Museum has stepped up their game. Museum of Natural Art
to see the MC Escher exhibit.
And Lunch at the Cougareat.
We finally made it up the Harry Potter exhibit at South Towne
. Everyone loved it and I am glad we waited for the Christmas crowds to clear out.
Ruby started Sunbeams
I almost forgot she was even starting Sunbeams that day because Miles was in a state of freak out. All due to the fact that he would now be going to his class first instead of sharing time. Luckily, I remembered 10 min before we were suppose to leave for church, so I actually combed her hair and snapped the above picture.
She also gave the prayer in sharing time like a champ a few weeks later and looks like a complete giant next to her fellow sunbeams.
An exciting neighborhood happening was Ashley having her baby
I got to stay at her house while she was having him and Roman was not too pleased to wake up and find me there. Luckily he still cuddled with me for a little bit and watched The Crown.
We had the all the O'neal kids over for a pizza and movie party. Kids were in heaven.
And Ashley even let Macey and I borrow Killian one evening to snuggle while she got the rest of her kids to bed. Other Bright Lights in my dark January were: The Kids trip to the Dentist-
1. Ruby cooperated for the first time. She got her xrays, laid in the chair and got her teeth cleaned without any screaming or being held down. Miracle and out of no where.
2. Miles. The dentist (haircut, dr..) with this child can end up being an all out war. I usually have to stand next to him, hold his hand and whisper encouraging words in his ear. They always give him the best hygienist and even then he's difficult and screaming and crying, and rolling around.
This time, he didn't need me at all, I was actually able to check on all the kids. And for the first time ever I wasn't dripping sweat when we were done.
Also notice, he isn't even wearing sweat pants!!!! Guys, those are real pants made out of material that is not jersey. Which makes the fact that he cooperated even more of a miracle. Normally on a day when he is out of sweats we have to dig through the dirty clothes and find the least dirty pair. But, for some reason this morning he just put on real pants. #miracle
Bonus: NO CAVITIES FOR ALL FOUR
I seriously felt like we needed a standing ovation as I walked out of the office with my head held high.
Also, found this game changer for me. "an accommodation is something that helps your child function as close to the level as possible of other children..."
Helped to ease that mom guilt that I am spoiling or giving into Miles, I am just helping him be able to engage better in this amazing world we live in. Somedays I need the reassurance that I am doing what is best for him. Sisters
Ruby is the biggest copy cat around. Normally she is copying the boys, which is not ideal. But, sometimes Macey pays extra attention to her and Ruby starts copying Macey and then my evenings are much calmer. This evening Ruby was wearing her headphones just like Macey and they were having a dance party. Makes a mama heart happy. Family Home Evening
We've been consistently having family time after dinner on Sunday and it has been going shockingly well. This is huge for us. Nice People
As I am sure you can imagine church is rough with this group. Sacrament meeting is usually the worst 1 hour and 15 min of my entire week. After a normal Sunday of trying to keep them entertained and contained while still being nice and feeling like I ran a marathon when it was all over, I found this on my porch. Along with adorable coloring books that my kids have actually liked.
It was a good reminder that we are surrounded by incredible people that are not judging us, but encouraging us. They don't care that Miles often wears old navy flip flops to church or that Ruby is stealing every thing from everyone and then throwing things at them at random intervals during sacrament meeting. Or the fact that we usually get to church with at least 1 child's hair uncombed and 1 child with a dirty face. Love nice people. Glad I get to interact with them and hope I can be one.
Also found this gem of a book Paul made me before we were married.
Love finding things like this.
It's always fun to look back on the month, especially one where I felt like I was drowning, and realize there were so many good things that happened. And those are the moments I hope my kids can remember. Not the crazy in between parts where I was loosing my mind. :)
February...aka winter is almost over
We got a taste of spring in February and let me tell you, it was just what I needed to keep going.
anytime it is above 45 out we have been trying to walk everywhere. We've walked to Menchies, the library, parks, pet store, pokemon hunting, target (of course) and Corner Bakery.
Only in utah. :)
and Macey and I finally found her fence post!
Since the park was pretty empty, due to the snow on the ground, Paul and I actually got to try out some of the cooler features.
I feel like I have finally made it to the good park ages! Emily reminded me of how I used to hate the park, between Miles' ages of 1-5, and pretty much could not do the park without an extra adult (holly) with me.
It was a good reminder that Miles has
gotten easier, although he still tends to be the most challenging of the 4. Crewby combined is much easier than having a toddler Miles. And oh my goodness, I am glad I have forgotten how hard life was for me 3 years ago. :)
Speaking of Miles, we bit the bullet and buzzed his head. Something I said i would never do as a parent!!
I was brought to this very hard decision due to his inability to get a haircut without wrestling, screaming, crying, and flinging himself on the ground. So, we did it in the privacy of our own home instead.
Still sucked, but it was nice to not have other moms looking at me wondering what is wrong with my child and having the other 3 running free in a hair salon.
At least we are good to go for awhile.
Ruby also enjoys keeping me on my toes and likes to remind me that I am never in control, even if Miles is at school. :)
This would be her room most days post-naptime. Luckily, she is good at cleaning too.
She is obsessed with makeup and can sense when I leave my bathroom door unlocked.
Here she used my eyeshadow to fill her brows in.
But, then she's just as cute as can be, so I keep her around.
Love these best little friends.
On the days crew does not have preschool Crew announces to Ruby, "Ruby, I don't have school today! Aren't you so happy I get to stay home with you?"
to which Ruby replies, "Crew-Crew, you my best friend"
The kids have been playing with the neighbors any chance they get and Ruby was so happy to be back on her scooter. One sunny day I counted 25 kids playing out front! It's kid heaven around here.
And when the snow is melted, the backyard once again becomes my favorite room of the house.
February is always the month when I finally have a slight motivation to exercise more, eat more veggies, and pretty much start being less of a lazy bum. Sunshine is good for the soul.
Can't forget Valentine's Day!
Paul and I put Ruby to bed, put a movie on for the other 3 and walked over to The Chocolate for some candle lit dessert. Love having a fairly competent built in babysitter for quick trips out of the house.
As always, I got to plan Macey's class party. I don't quite know what to do with the older kids. So, I made this minute-to-win-it game board and it was luckily a hit with the 4th graders.
To get a real glimpse into my life, I needed to share this blurry picture.
This would be me trying to get ready for the day while being attacked by some crazed super hero gone bad. There's a reason I skip eyeliner and mascara most days. There was also a zombie out of the shot, yelling "brains! brains!" and also attacking me. side note:
favorite thing about Crew right now, every night he comes upstairs for extra kisses and then after I have given him about the 20th one, he looks at me and says, "ok, that's enough kisses for the night. You can have more tomorrow." and then he heads back to bed. I about die every time.
Other everyday happenings: Playdough.
I shared this pic on instagram because I feel like it represents their personalities perfectly. Ruby screaming and throwing playdough, Miles growling and destroying his creations and Crew playing nicely making me a playdough pizza to eat.
Jumping on mom and dad's bed.
And a non everyday happening that needs to be documented.
I was bathing Crewby, Macey was studying for knowledge bowl, so Miles was left to entertain himself (something he hates). I would not allow electronics either. I came upstairs to find this! He had found this in my art cupboard and put it together all by himself. Seriously, a miracle.
and that about sums up the surface of February. It much crazier and much more fun than it comes across on my blog. :)