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. :)
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.
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. :)
Miles is 7
I cannot believe it, but this kid turned 7.
He is wild, opinionated, loving, full of animal facts, in constant movement, and loves school.
Miles' favorite things to do are to play with Macey, go pokemon hunting with Ellie, and play with all his neighborhood friends.
Ellie crocheted him this pokeball hat for his birthday, since they go pokemon hunting together almost every Sunday.
Miles' best friends are Peter, Penelope, Jakey, Cope, Macey, Sammy, and Gavin
Miles loves math and doing the monkey bars at recess.
I was trying to get away with no birthday party (again), but Miles wore me down. So, I sent out a last minute text to the neighborhood moms, took a trip to the party store, and we were in business. Easiest Party to plan EVER!
And seriously look at these cupcakes, the kids could not of been happier and Macey even decorated them for me.
I love a good "pinterest party", but it was evident that it so not worth taking the time and money to go all out. Although I am grateful for the people on pinterest that did all the work of making the printables I used for the activities!!!!
The favorite game was Pokemon hunting. I hid pokemon around the house and each kid had a pokedex where they marked off the ones they found. Quietest and longest party game I've ever done. It was amazing. And then when the big kids had found all the pokemon, they helped the younger kids.
Birthday requests were simple.
Krispy Kreme for breakfast.
Pokemon cards and any bad guys for presents.
No good guys for this kid, bad guys only. Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Storm Troopers, Venom...he wants nothing to do with super heros. :)
favorite present this year was Darth Vader from Grandma B. It even went to show and tell at school.
And then McDonalds and BYU basketball game with Peter.
I love this kid, and while he makes my life a bit crazy and unpredictable, he kind of is the best.
After going through all the pictures I took in October I now know why I am so completely exhausted...holy crap we did a lot.
October in Utah is one of my favorite months though (it almost rivals June).
We took the kids to hike The Y.
I was the only one who had done it before and I had forgotten how incredibly steep it is.
1,000 feet of elevation gain in 1 mile. that's a lot for little legs and
even longer ones too.
The kids did amazing and M&M ran most of the way up (after complaining and crying the entire drive to the trailhead).
As always, Paul and Ruby were best hiking buddies.
We are soaking up the sunshine until the cold weather hits.
Lots of playing on the deck for these 2 while I try to get a few things done in the house.
It's crazy how much I miss this tiny space when the snow comes.
And who can resist getting to play in the rain?! And yes, he has pants on, he's just rolled them up. :)
This is Ruby bossing the big kids around and telling them not to touch her toys.
Every once in awhile Crewby gets lucky and I take them somewhere fun, instead of just running errands while the big kid are at school
Checking out the new toys at the mall
and swimming at the rec center.
And when I'm feeling very generous I pull out the paints and playdough.
And then I am reminded why I prefer to do things outside of our house.
M&M obviously get a little upset when we do things that are too
fun while they are at school, so we make sure to include them from time to time.
Thanksgiving Point usually does the trick.
Especially when it's with The Brown's.
We have about a million pictures with this dinosaur, that can no longer be seen since we have so many kids now and they are all so big.
We picked the perfect Saturday to go to The Museum of Natural Curiosity.
Ruby parked herself in the Vet Clinic and had it all to herself for probably 30 min. And we didn't even loose anyone in the Jungle. New record.
Pretty sure everyone else was busy at Cornbelly's.
Ruby and I have still been running with Traci a few times a week. Her and Hailey like to ride together to pass the time and we rotate pushing that beast of a double stroller.
Macey has been working on her cooking skills this month. And it is starting to become very helpful.
First, she made us cookies and then when I was at the boys karate class, she preheated the oven and put dinner in for me. Sometimes it's not so bad that these kids grow up.
Sharing her cookies with the neighbors.
We had a girls night with some of our favorites.
Dinner at Corner Bakery, a 1 hour play, and we wore our matching leopard print booties. Perfection.
One of the more exciting things that happened this month was Miles graduating from Speech!
This kid has been rocking first grade and is working so hard (that does not mean there still isn't lots of screaming and tears) .
I cried at his IEP when they told me he tested out. Mostly I was crying because Miles has had a team of people at his side since he was 6 months old! It is a very strange feeling to be out on our own and I just have this deep gratitude for all these amazing programs and people who have helped to get us to this point.
In case you were wondering if Ruby has calmed down, she has not. In fact, things have only gotten crazier when it comes to her.
yes, she's cute. And it's fun to see her start to use more imaginative play. She always makes sure I never go hungry and is constantly "cookin" me things in her kitchen.
But, don't let this fool you.
The moment my back is turned she's flushing things down the toilet, climbing on things, dumping things, hitting kids, breaking child locks, and drawing on any surface that should not be drawn on.
The hardest thing this month has been the fact that she forced our hand and we had to move her out of the crib.
This means no more naps, early rising, terrorizing of the boys at night, and emptying everything in their room every single night.
I am barely holding on by the end of most days. I am still not used to not getting a break from her to eat my lunch in piece or shower or just stare at the walls in silence. I miss nap time.
Luckily, she has fallen asleep a few times this month, so I have been able to eat a snack without her trying to steal it from me.
Her current favorite book is Alice the Fairy. I think there's a lot of resemblance between Alice and Ruby. and luckily, it's one of the books I don't mind reading every single day.
Low point of the month was when Macey asked me, "if it wasn't for Ruby would you be so grouchy?" :)
I did have one glorious afternoon this month where I got my hair cut & colored. I even had time to read some of my book club book.
And yes, my amazing hairstylist made cat ears on me while my color set. It's the little things.
phew. That's our October in a nutshell.