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.
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. :)
Because of Emily's beautiful sister law, pictured here on the left, Macey and I got to go to Disneyland again!!
Macey made us stop at The World's Tallest Thermometer, since apparently it's a tradition now.
I got to spend 11 hours in a car with this girl. We listened to our roadtrip playlists, Matilda, and got lots of talking in. Made up for the crazy LA traffic in the rain.
We thought last year was pretty perfect. Turns out this year was actual perfection.
And the matching fanny packs and shirts were an amazing edition.
but seriously, the fanny pack. Life changing.
There were no lines. Like, no lines. I guess that is what happens when it's suppose to rain, but actually doesn't.
We rode the Gadget Coaster 6 times in a row, without getting off.
Pure joy on these girls faces.
And we got soaked on Splash Mountain, even with our ponchos.
The girls only wanted to do the big rides this year and multiple times at that. Macey's favorite Disneyland ride was Thunder Mountain (I think we rode it 4x's) and her favorite Californian adventure ride was Screamin' (4x's on this one too).
We were pretty much constantly running from ride to ride, which means Emily and I might have each inhaled a corndog in a matter of 3 minutes.
This was Macey's 4th trip to Disneyland and the first time we have ever seen her favorite princess. Perfection I tell you.
Next day was spent bumming around and getting to play with Emily's girls that I don't get to see as often as I would like.
Even though it was raining we still went to the beach.
And then Macey and I headed back to reality and the snow.
Emily is one of those people that always leaves you feeling better about yourself than you did before you were in her presence. I forgot how much I love that about her.
Spending time with my bff at the happiest place on earth was good for my soul.
We survived January!!
I actually think January's have gotten easier for me to handle or I just have more realistic expectations. :)
We got to enjoy lots of snow this month.
snow fort building
And Paul stepped in to help Macey build and after a few nights work him and Macey had the coolest igloo on the block.
and we course had many outings to get us out of the house and some more space to run around. Getting out in the winter is how I survive.
Moana (again)! And this goes on record as the first movie Ruby has made it through. It was a small miracle.
I checked the kids out early and went to the Children's Museum. It was empty and wonderful.
Too many trips to the toys at the mall ( we are desperate for free places to run around). And Ruby, loves to kiss all the frogs there. :)
At Menchies Miles showed off his fact family and story map skills.
And the best date night of the month was an outing with the Lake Jackson Crew to Chom Burger and a deserted nickel arcade.
The biggest hit this month was a box that our new chair for the living came in.
We kept it for a week at least and it was constantly in use.
Crew and Ruby call each other best friends and it makes my mama heart about burst. They love to take turns pushing each other in the shopping cart. Ruby pushes one way, then she says to Crew, "your turn!" And Crew hops out of the cart to let Ruby climb in and they repeat over and over again.
Most things that come out of Ruby's mouth are very entertaining these days. She's full of advice too. From telling me not to poop while in the shower, to telling me not to lick the floor before she cleans it, and constantly telling us we are sick and need to visit "Dr. Ruby's room".
She also knows all the lyrics to the Frozen soundtrack.
And this kid is about as cute as they come (still).
I got a new wallet and Crew quickly took possession of my old one and didn't put it down for at least a week.
Killing it at his Karate Show Case.
We are in full swing with OT. It has been much more difficult than I anticipated. A few of my favorite quotes from his therapist: "You must be tired", "I can't wait to hear what his psychologist thinks", "how do you do homework with him?", and "You are in this for long haul". :)
Now you might be thinking about now, "Wow, Kelsey is really killing it. She rocked January. How does she manage these crazy kids and still look so good?"
I will tell you the secret to my success this month...I hired a nanny for a few days each week.
It's the beautiful blonde in this pic.
It allowed me to do so many things I've been putting off, without taking advantage of my friends to watch my kids and ease my guilt.
I went to the dentist
for the first time in 6 years and then got my cavities
filled, all with no stress of how my kids were behaving or that it was taking much longer than I anticipated. I got a facial
! I went to parent teacher conferences
kid free. Got to go to Miles' OT appointments
without the stress of juggling the other kids. Went to the eye doctor
and got my first pair of glasses since 2010. I did TONS of PTA
stuff. Got to go to lunch
kid free a few times.
And with Katie's help kids have gotten bathed in a timely manner, Miles' homework has gotten done, house has been kept clean, and I got dinner on the table most days this month! We will miss Katie when she leaves on her mission next week.
Don't worry, it's still chaotic around here.
I've just been able to handle it a little better.
We started off the year with a snow shoeing expedition.
The first 5 minuets weren't too bad, but then the melt downs ensued. I don't think Miles stopped crying the ENTIRE time.
We had some 2nd thoughts about starting 2016 this way. The crying, whining, falling.
Luckily the scenery was gorgeous and we all survived.
And this kid was actually a dream boat, a slow, but happy hiker.
And how Ruby ends every winter adventure.
To end our 2 week break with Paul home we took the kids to Nickel City. It was loud, crazy, and busy, but the kids were in heaven.
and it made me remember how much I love Nickel City too, so we got the Rensinks to go back with us, no kids this time.
And yes, Paul won me a jackpot. True Love right there.
And yes, that guy there at the register, he's wearing the same toupee as he was when Emily and I used to rock the ticket games back in 2000.
We decided to give snow shoeing with the kids one last shot before we gave up on taking them anywhere in public again.
Since their bff's were there, they stepped up their game and there was very little whining involved.
Gosh, I love these mountains.
We then did a little sledding while Ruby and Julianne hung out in the protection of the car.
Perfect winter morning.
While most of January was spent indoors, we did spend a few more moments outdoors, when it wasn't completely freezing.
And there was even a day when the snow melted and the kids actually got to try their christmas presents outside.
Since we have experienced an actual winter this year, there have been many, many, many crazy hours stuck inside the house.
there's lots of star wars, fighting, wrestling, card games, and running around like wild animals.
And Ruby is still constantly getting into everything, climbing on everything, tackling everyone, and constantly has a nice bruise on her forehead.
We also all got croup, which sucked. But, it made for some pretty quiet afternoons, so I couldn't complain too much.
Being the good mom I am, I fell asleep while reading with Miles on one of our sick days and he snapped this sweet pic of me. If you know me, this means I was feeling pretty crappy, because I hate naps. Other January happenings:
Crew started Sunbeams.
Macey made her first Science Fair Project for the (not so simple) 3rd grade Simple Machine Fair.
M&M rocked their parent teacher conferences. Macey's teacher said she has a kind heart and is inclusive to everyone she meets.
and Miles is finally settling into kindergarten like a pro.
I might of shed a tear when I was expressing to his teacher how much I appreciated her kindness, patience, and gentle pushing she has given this kid. He is capable and she knows it, and I know my prayers have been answered as she has been able to navigate the difficult waters that are Miles.
We also got the privilege of attending the Provo City Center Temple
While we were far from the most reverent group there. I am grateful for the kind temple workers and the beauty and spirit my kids got to experience. Even if Miles was wearing one of Ruby's shoe covers as a hat the entire time. :)
And because some days are long, hard, and Paul works through bedtime a few days each week, sometimes a run to Sodalicious right before bedtime gives me the renewed energy I need to get through the last hours of the day without completely loosing it.
So, yay to surviving another January!