February was a drastic improvement upon January, thank goodness!!!
We got snow!
Probably my favorite Saturday morning of the year thus far:
No one else was on the trail. The snow makes everything beautiful and muffles all sound. Heaven.
And even some sunshine.
Afternoons are always better when they want to play outside after school.
I was forced to go on the 2nd grade field trip to The Museum of Natural Curiosity, as no other parents had signed up to go.
Always a thrilling time.
Sometimes I make dinners I want, knowing that no one else will eat them. This minestrone soup being one of them. This is Paul's crazy busy season, so he isn't ever home for dinner, so I was prepared to face 4 whining kids just so I could eat this yummy soup.
Instead it was lots of laughs as everyone did their required "Thank you bite". Luckily, some of neighbor moms came and scooped some out, so I didn't have an entire crockpot full of soup leftover.
Miles and Crew were home "sick" on the same day. It actually worked out great. They played mario kart and mine craft most of the day together. At dinner that night they actually wanted to sit by each other (Miles will usually only sit by an adult or Macey) and then even made up their own "best brother secret handshake". Glad they got some bonding time in.
The kids favorite outing this month was a trip to the mall to ride the animals.
There were a few crazy drivers, but luckily the mall shoppers were light on their feet and no one got ran over.
Other things I want to remember:
- Ruby wanted to match me with our "kitty vests" for church.
- Crew is always wanting to do science experiments.
baking soda, food coloring and vinegar...always seems to do the trick.
- After hours of hard work Macey finished her 750 piece cat puzzle.
We have never owned a puzzle with more than 45 pieces, so this was quite the undertaking and was so proud of herself when she was done!
- Cub Scouts. Don't know how I feel about it yet, but when Miles wants to go we go. When he doesn't want to we don't. :)
- Macey took Tajen and Carmen to a BYU game.
puzzles, puppets and Crew painting a portrait of Ruby. :) Sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do when we loose Crew to all day school next year.
Not that I will be bored or anything with this one to entertain me.
- Mario Kart with TJ
Way better than January!
She is 11
Macey turned 11 this month.
I still cannot believe we have a tween. I can believe it because she acts like one all the time, but I just cannot accept that we have gotten this old.
Macey has always been my best sidekick and fellow adventurer.
Glad this hasn't changed much.
And I hope it never changes, especially as we are creeping towards the unknown and scary territory of teenage years.
Macey's birthday fell on Super Bowl Sunday this year, which was fun, because she was actually born on Super Bowl Sunday. We got to the hospital right as the Super Bowl was starting and she was born right when it was over. It was fun to reminisce with her about the day she was born.
Started with donuts.
and dinner was her favorites of homemade Mac & Cheese, homemade fries and wings.
Trina and TJ came over to help us celebrate, Trina captured this perfect picture of Macey with her Oreo Cheesecake for me. I for sure wasn't this cute when I was 11.
Since we did a big party last year, we kept it simple this year.
We did a last min. pizza and movie get together. $5 luxury seats to see The Greatest Showman.
funny, but scary, story. Macey was being super silly and entertaining her friends. Macey can be so quiet and reserved, that I highly encourage her crazy silly to come out. So, she was sucking helium out of balloons to show her friends how your voice changes. Kids were dying laughing and she was loving it. Then she sucked in too much helium and passed out! Luckily she was not freaked out and thought it was funny, so then all her friends thought it was funny and life lesson learned. You need oxygen.
Kids loved the luxury seats and I spent most of the movie glancing over at Macey to make sure she was still conscious. :)
Macey loves all things Harry Potter and Ravenclaw.
Favorite color is still white. Wants to be a robotics engineer or the CFO of a company (they just went to Jr. Achievement City in SLC and she was the CFO of a University and LOVED it)
. Loves school, loves her friends, loves to listen to music on her touch, loves to sing and dance, and loves to read.
While I still miss this girl:
I am finding I am enjoying tween life too.
(Watching Anne of Green Gables together while doing an insane cat puzzle)
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.