We started the month with this girl's birthday.
Weird to have a teenager and I might of shed a few tears that night when I went to bed.
This year was a much more mellow birthday than last year (Crew's arm) and we were happy we were actually all there to have cake this year.
Macey is everyone's favorite. And most
days I don't know how I got so lucky to get her.
She is a lover of Harry Potter and Survivor and can't wait to apply for Survivor when she turns 18. She loves school and her friends and I still haven't heard her say anything mean about anyone ever. She's our favorite babysitter and cookie maker.
She even planned to pay for her own birthday party at The Space Center. But, she ended up letting us pay instead. :)
She has made some amazing friends this year and I hope she stays close to them through the craziness that is Jr. High.
And The Space Center was just amazing. Paul and I dropped them off and came back 2 1/2 hours later to pick them up. Heaven.
Their mission was Invasion. and it was hilarious watching them on the video cameras getting attacked by aliens and trying to save another planet. Lots of screaming and laughing. They all have big plans to pool their money and do the 6 hour mission this summer.
Macey and Miles are still the best of friends and get super wild together. And we still call her The Miles Whisperer.
The boys finished their basketball seasons and Crew scored his first basket!! I didn't get a picture of course, but it was adorable.
There is still constant basketball being played out front.
Always makes my mom heart happy to see Miles and Crew find something that they actually both like!
We took the kids to their last BYU game of the season, since there was no way we were risking this sort of attitude at the Gonzaga game.
Then we ended our BYU basketball season in the best way possible, by beating Gonzaga.
Best home game since the Jimmer Era. Can't wait for next season.
- Lots of Valentines Day Excitement.
- We enjoyed lots of time with the sun streaming in through the windows, but it was still too cold to go outside to play for too long.
And then it hit 50 degrees and the kids thought it was summer and requesting we turn the sprinkler on.
- The snow of course came back and since Paul works insane hours in February, it was up to Ruby and I to shovel our massive driveway.
- Luckily, I also got to do my favorite winter activity to help me stay sane. Hiking.
and julianne and I even had to pull out our snowshoes for the first time this season. It took us a very long time to get them on without our husbands help, but we did it!!
- House updates
And sunglass storage art. Love things that are useful and make me happy.
- the kids had a random day off of school, so we went to Costco together, just like old times. Made me almost
miss the days when my cart was full of little kids and i couldn't order my own hotdog because I was too busy trying to corral kids. Now it's only slight chaos.
- I feel like February was constant kids and it made me very excited for warmer weather so all social gatherings can take place outside.
- Fang update. Everyone is still obsessed.
Biggest excitement of the month: Classic Skate Night.
I never go. Paul's been so busy working, it was cold out, the kids convinced me we should go. It was a moment of weakness.
Ruby had the time of her life with her gang of kindergartner friends. Crew had a pretty great time. Miles got dog pilled on in the bounce house area 5 min after we got there.
He came running to me saying he thought he broke his arm. In my classic Kelsey response I said, "looks good. Go get some ice and then go back to play when it feels better". 10 min later he was back jumping with his friends. Then he came back, we iced it for a few more minutes, I had all my friends look at it who agreed with me and I sent him to the roller rink. This went on for about an hour until he finally said it hurt too much.
So, I rounded up the kids in the complete chaos of school skate night (I had no Paul or Macey to help me) and got them loaded in the car to go home after lots of tears, a kindergartner peeing her pants, and a kid that couldn't walk because their arm hurt too much.
Broken. I couldn't even believe it. I then had to text all my friends I was with the night before to tell them I was wrong, once again, and it really was broken.
Miles in a cast went about as good as you probably think it did, which means horrible.
Life did get better when the hard cast got on though. He could at least run wild and didn't have to wear the sling anymore.
It doesn't look like it, but really having Miles in a cast has been a challenge. He wakes up already reaching his sensory limit and then just yells and stomps around for most of the day. Thank goodness for some sunshine days.
I thought February was a tough month for me, little did I know what March had in store.
November was one of our more mellow months this year, it was much needed and appreciated.
- We spent a few sunny afternoons at a new park
with our friends.
- We all passed many hours enjoying Disney+
- So much BYU Basketball
. We have really enjoyed having 6 season tickets this year.
- Crew got glasses
- Holly went to Grandparent's Lunch
at school with the boys. They've never cared about not having grandparents to join them all the other years, but this year, they cared. Holly to the rescue.
- Working with the youth at church
always keeps me busy. We did a movie night and I couldn't resist doing a soda bar for it.
We also had YW's in Excellence. All the cute girls in our congregation.
- We took our last trip to the aquarium
before our pass expired.
We really will miss coming here a few times a month.
- I of course went hiking
every friday with my people.
- Chewbacca Crew
made a lot of appearances this month.
is still the most popular member of our family and likes to be in on all the action.
- We had our last cub scout pack meeting
!!! They did a cub-a-polis.
Miles got 2nd place.
- Miles also had a surprisingly adorable and not too unpolitically correct Thanksgiving performance
- Miles turned 10
!!! Pretty crazy that he's already 10.
He had an awesome birthday party at Nickelcity. I told him he could invite 10 friends. He wanted to invite 14. So, he decided if we didn't get him a present, he could invite 14 kids to his party. Done.
Love all these kids.
His actual birthday was pretty mellow, just the way I like it.
He nailed his 10 year photo shoot.
Miles is my most social child. He is always planning play dates with his friends and searching the neighborhood for kids to hang out with.
He is sweet, a hardworker, cuddly, funny, and just one of my favorite kids in the whole world.
Miles loves all things basketball. Favorite teams are BYU and The Rockets. Favorite players are TJ Hawes and James Harden.
He also loves Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, riding his bike, and playing the switch.
He's a keeper.
there were a few tears before Thanksgiving, because Trina and TJ couldn't come because of the crazy weather. Luckily, we were able to pull out of our sad rut and ended up having a really good and lazy Thanksgiving.
The snow helped out a lot.
We went for a walk before we ate. The kids built their first snowman of the season.
Had to have a soda bar with Thanksgiving Lunch.
We ended the day with seeing Frozen 2, which ended up being way better than any of us expected.
- Normally for Black Friday
we make our kids go on a hike. Lucky for them, the snow meant we went sledding instead of hiking. #optoutside
It was a pretty great sledding trip...which means there was very little whining and mostly lots of laughing.
- We ended Thanksgiving Break by decorating for Christmas
and going to Christmas in Color.
the new sunroof was a huge hit.
It was a good month!
MIles is 9
Miles turned 9!!
He killed his birthday photo shoot and needed no direction from me. :)
This has probably been one of the hardest years for Miles with all the changes he's been through. But, I have been so impressed with how hard he's willing to work (even if it's after days of yelling and screaming) and how well he's been doing at making new friends. He's killing it, even if he doesn't think he is.
Plus, we've actually been getting some real diagnoses this year. I feel like we have a soild IEP in place and I feel like we have a really good team of professionals behind us to help guide us through it all.
Miles requested Chick fil a for breakfast. done.
All he wanted this year was money to buy a game for the switch.
So, he was thrilled when the cash kept rolling in.
there was of course Pokemon stuff in there too.
We got him an aquarium pass, since he doesn't actually play with toys and is obsessed with all things animal related.
After school we picked up Paul from work and spent the rest of his birthday checking out the aquarium. Turned out to be a perfect present for him.
We had the Rensinks and Everetts over for Cake and Icecream.
Plugging his ears while we sing him "Happy Birthday", but still loving it.
A highlight for him was Adi was home for the break and we didn't tell him. He was so excited when she came in with the rest of her family and he made sure he saved her a seat right next to him. :)
Miles loves The Switch, dinosaurs, Pokemon, Dog Man Books, BYU, all things ocean related and soup & salad.
He loves riding his bike around the neighborhood and setting up play dates with his friends.
His current favorite sport is Basketball and he is excited to start playing in January.
Words cannot express how I feel about this kid. I am fiercely protective of him and am always willing to go to battle for him in whatever form that might be. No kid has taught me more than him.
He is fiercely loyal, loving, funny, cuddly, and just one of my favorite kids ever.
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.