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. :)
Some of December
We had grandparents at our house for 17 of the 31
days this month, talk about lucky kids. This also meant Macey, Miles, and Crew shared a room for 17 days this month...this equaled some very tired children as they get a little crazy when there's 3 of them in there.
My parents visit was go, go, go. baptism, dance recital, Macey's winter showcase, ninja class, and so much more. Ruby's Recital
Ruby was tired and a bit sick on the day of her recital. She screamed the entire time we got ready and then for the 30 min before her show started. Luckily her teacher came and grabbed her from me about 10 min to curtain call, Ruby went right to her and then she let Traci put her costume pieces on in their waiting room. It was a Christmas miracle.
And so worth it, because it was about the cutest 3 year old dance recital I have ever seen.
Ruby loved taking dance with 2 of her (and my) best friends and Miss Jenn was worshiped by these 3 little girls. Can't wait for dance to start again next week. And I was so glad my parents actually got to see it, these are the things they usually have to miss. Macey's Winter Showcase
I am so glad we found the Scera musical theatre class. This girl loves to perform and I love how organized and amazing all the staff is.
We of course squeezed in lots of game time, a visit to the children's museum, a walk to see the lights at City Center, Christmas Movies, and a drive through World of Color.
these 4 spent most of their time at the magic shop learning all sorts of magic tricks and secrets. Love it when it's empty.
We also took Nana to Nickel City to celebrate her birthday, since we missed her party.
In between visits we -
Saw Star Wars the day before it opened, Paul always knows the right people.
Went to lots of BYU games.
Domo Christmas Party. Best one yet. Meaning it was the shortest one yet.
Crew got student of the month.
I seriously die over this kids cuteness every day.
Macey is in full blown tween mode.
And yes, that is my choker from the early 2000's and my old ugly sweater t-shirt she is wearing.
Ruby has a new thing where she puts every toy she owns in her bed at night and then somehow finds a place to sleep in there.
Then we got to do Kindergarten and 5th grade Christmas Parties.
I think Macey's class party was one of my best yet, not to brag. :)
And then it was onto more Christmas Breaking and hanging out with Nana and Opa.
More of December
Paul's parents came a few days before the kids got out for school, they got to enjoy all the Christmas Break Craziness with us.
We started out break with decorating sugar cookies.
Opa was just as talented as the kids.
I thought about doing a more involved gingerbread house, but glad I stuck with the preassembled one from costco. Not a single complaint about one house for the whole family to decorate.
And check out Crew's tongue. True concentration mode.
A trip to see Santa.
After church we had to trek up the canyon to find some snow.
Still wasn't very much and not the most ideal sledding conditions, but we had a blast and it got out some of that Christmas Eve energy.
matching bucky shirts!
I did not get a picture of the kids in their pj's before bed Christmas Eve, but there was plenty of time Christmas morning, since Miles woke up the entire house at 5:30 am.
We tried to stay pretty simple with Christmas this year and for the first time I think we actually did it. And the kids did not seem to mind one bit.
I loved watching them open their presents from Santa. Part of me always wishes I could have a 3 and 5 year old at Christmas time.
Video games for Miles, Batman tank for Crew, Princesses for Ruby, and it was all Ravenclaw stuff this year for Macey.
Crew played non-stop with his batman tank and loved shooting everyone with the batwings. So, glad Santa didn't bring him what he asked for. :)
We have had NO snow this season, but Utah was extra kind to us this year and it snowed Christmas Eve.
It wasn't tons, but it was perfect for making Frosty.
Ruby might of made us all hold hands with the snowman and sing "Frosty the Snowman". :)
Then it was off to our favorite Utah Family's house for Christmas Dinner.
We were pretty depressed about the lack of snow, as our snowshoes have been mocking us just hanging in the garage.
We had to get out, so we went for a winter hike to Stewart Falls instead. No snowshoes needed.
Paul packed our ultra light chairs, so we enjoyed some relaxing time sipping some hot cocoa and enjoying the view.
The weather was even nice enough for a family bike ride to the park. Crew was the cutest, and slowest, bike rider around. I think it's time for him to move up bike sizes.
New Years Eve.
We invited the rensinks over for fried food and yummy appetizers.
We even pulled out the disco ball, the sign of a true party around here.
The highlight was Soda Pong. We each bought 3 gross and 3 good sodas. The kids were obsessed and want to play it all parties now. :)
Then at 9:30 we had our count down and kids were asleep by 10:00. It was the best kind of New Year's Eve.
Love these party animals.
Can't believe 2017 is behind us!! But, happy to be onto new adventures and trying to gain some control over my crazy bunch.
Miles is Great and 8.
It happened again. Kids not listening to me and growing.
Fancy pics of just Miles are courtesy of the talented hrob photo
We did a lot of celebrating, as you only turn 8 once. Friend party at Coconut Cove.
it was birthday party perfection.
I pretty much nailed the requested Kirby cake.
I didn't get a lot of pictures of them in the play structure. But, they had a blast and were not stop. The highlight for me, was playing tag and hide and go seek with Miles and his friends. Plus, the slide races. Gotta love a good slide race.
He really has some great friends.
And he surprised me with what a gracious host he was. Hugging and screaming about each new friend that arrived. And sincerely telling them "thank you" for the present, even if I knew it was something he didn't actually like. It's good for me to see that perhaps his social skills aren't as lacking as I think they are. :) Birthday BYU game with Gavin
. Family Presents Birthday Dinner
He requested campbells Bean and Bacon soup. Every once in awhile Miles does try to make my life easier. My favorite birthday dinner yet. Homemade cake #2
, I don't think I have ever made 2 cakes for anyones birthday before. Only for this kid.Pie Face
And then there were the special target trips with Holly and L.E. This is one well loved kid.
The big celebration with turning 8 though, happened a few weeks later when he got baptized.
There was lots of stress and preparation beforehand. Would he actually go in the water? Would he let people put their hands on his head to confirm him? Would he be able to handle all the attention? Would I be able to get his church clothes on him after? Would he wear the weird feeling jumpsuit?
Miles was very excited about getting baptized, so I had faith he would go through with it. I just had to patiently push through the screaming and crying before hand.
All the prep paid off though and the day was perfection (other than pictures, but there was no way I was pushing pictures with this kid).
He did not sit still and spent most of the time bouncing in his chair, under his chair or wandering around the room greeting people. Typical.
It really was perfection and I know Heavenly Father was aware of Miles in this moment and his struggles and that the Holy Ghost was with him and comforting him.
Best primary teachers in the ENTIRE world right here.
Nothing has ever been easy with Miles and every single thing we do is a struggle. It is these moments though that help me realize how far we have come and that the effort is well worth it. Some of my favorite things about Miles at 8:
- How much he loves chapter books and wants so bad to read them.
- That I am catching him more and more being kind and helpful to Crew. I also love that they are bonding over video games and he will put down his remote and actually help Crew sometimes! #miracle
- We have a special kiss we do every night and he does not go to bed without doing it.
- Watching him play at recess with his friends while I wait to pick up Crew and getting to see that true, real smile.
Love this boy.
The theme for November was sick. Macey started on Halloween and it passed through everyone and is still lingering a bit even into December ( I am currently on my 2nd round of antibiotics), luckily though there was no puking involved. It's the little things.
Ruby's Temp got to 104.8, it was a bit stressful for a moment, but some popsicles from Gina helped to ease the worry. And it was kind of nice having a calm Ruby to watch movies with for a few days.
Being sick didn't keep kids from finishing off their Halloween candy in record time though.
We worked on a few things around the house.
I purged the linen closet, again, 3 grocery bags of trash. Always amazes me how much things pile up and how much more I dislike clutter now that I've felt the feeling of living with less.
Paul had to replace the basement tub surround and recaulk our shower. We also decided to repaint our bathroom cabinets while we were at it.
Due to sickness we spent a lot more time around the house than normal.
I probably only got fully ready a handful of times this month. Luckily my personal photographer, Ruby, documented one of the 5 times I was dressed in real clothes with makeup on.
She is always underfoot and constantly requests selfies. :)
and is always requesting we look at her and say "Cheese"
There was lots of games, book reading and I even pulled out the littlest petshops to keep us all entertained.
Miles has been VERY difficult lately, but every once in awhile he gives me a moment like this, so I keep him around a little longer.
Also lots of wrestling, running around, and screaming.
Paul is a much better playmate than I am.
We did get a perfect leave jumping day before all the leaves got cleaned up.
Thank goodness for Ruby's dance class at the Rec Center that got me to the gym twice a week to workout with Ashley and Traci.
Traci captured this amazing pic of me showing off my new found skill...a backbend.
We were so ready for Thanksgiving Break!!
And Crew's teacher brought a turkey to recess. :)
park with The Brown's
Bowling at BYU
It was one of my favorite Thanksgivings EVER.
First, we met our friends at the park while our turkey's cooked.
It was amazing and something I could get used too.
I nailed "The Feast" this year and the kids were excited and actually hung out and chatted and ate lots of food.
I let every kid request one item. Mac & Cheese, deviled eggs, yogurt jello, and ham. Paul's favorites were there too.
We had friends over for Turkey Bingo and pie.
And then enjoyed the leftovers for days.
We started our Christmas festivities with a trip to The Riverwoods
Notice the boys have shorts on?!? Warmest November ever.
Then Black Friday we did our, now tradition, hike.
hiking beats shopping any day.
Other Exciting November Happenings:
-BYU basketball games started.
- Ruby went to Sharing Time for the first time and loved helping with singing time.
- Macey called Brenden "her uncle" in her job application paper for school.
- I am an official Walmart Online Grocery Pickup shopper. I have tried every store by my house that does pickup and Walmart is the winner. Pretty much the only store I ever step foot in now is Target and it's heaven.
- Christmas Decorating began
The kids favorite tradition is still collecting their ornaments.
Macey- Snowman, Miles- Transportation, Crew- North Pole, Ruby- Sweet Treats
Now onto the excitement that is December.