After Washington and Vegas, the main goal that first week was to get the house ready to list. This meant lots of cleaning and keeping kids outside. I also had a goal to enjoy our spring weather, before the hot temperatures arrived. In other words, we were CRAZY busy.
First on the To-Do list was an Activity Days Recognition Night that Ashley and I were in charge of.
We killed it. And it felt amazing to have that behind me so I could focus on the stuff I really needed to do.
Like take a walk by the river and throw lots of sticks in.
And play at lots of different parks.
And enjoy our favorite Shaved Ice stand, that opened within walking distance to our house!
Everyone was a bit stressed out after a crazy few weeks of house stuff and work stuff and kid stuff. So, I made the executive decision that we needed "A Nature Fix", so we headed to the mountains instead of church. :)
It was just what we needed.
We took our time. Explored the creek.
Climbed trees and logs. Made bridges.
Found secret trails. Had a picnic.
There was lots of "You Shall Not Pass!!"
And Ruby ended our hike in about the same manner she always does, covered in dirt. The true sign of a good time.
I love seeing these kids in their element and watching what their curious minds come up with.
I've been trying to do more adventuring with Ruby before we pick Crew up from kindergarten at noon.
Love this weather and these friends.
Macey finished up her Scera Youth Theatre class with her performance of The Phantom Toolbooth. She was a demon and The Countess of Connotation.
Then they had the SYT Review, where each class performed 2 of their songs. She had a singing solo and a dance solo in this one.
We also made sure to soak up lots of neighborhood time. We will still get to hang out with all our friends here, since we aren't moving very far away. But, it just won't be the same as having them all right out our front door.
Plus, I will miss this tiny backyard too.
Macey and Tajen spend lots of time using the Easy Bake Oven back here.
Everyone is going to miss having Tajen around all the time.
How cute are these 2?!? It will be different living 4 blocks from him when we are all used to having his front door 30 feet from ours.
And these best friends too. You know it's a great Sunday when you get to share your seat with your BFF.
tear. Luckily I have 2 more weeks to soak it all in.
Another highlight of the month was getting box seats at a Real Game. Unlimited good food and good friends. My favorite kind of evening.
Now it's time to pack.
March is normally one of my favorite months in Utah, this year though the weather didn't live up to my expectations! We had lots of sunny days, just cold. After winter though, we had to get outside, even if it was colder than normal.
you can't tell in the pic, but we went to the park on a super windy day. Perfect for kite flying.
Julianne and I took the kids on a scooter ride up the canyon.
We underestimated the amount of snow that would be on the trail. Made for some adventurous scootering, lots of wet shoes and socks, and some crying.
A big storm was suppose to come in, so we were excited to go snowshoeing with Kacie and Blaine. The expected storm didn't come, so it was more of ice walking. Entertaining none the less.
No parents volunteered to go with Miles' class to the zoo. The weather forcast was horrible, one of the 2nd grade teachers even backed out. I did not want to go at all.
We lucked out though, the storm didn't come and we had the whole zoo to ourselves. So glad I let myself be guilted into going, this time.
Ruby and I ventured out a few scooter rides this month.
She is always entertaining company and often has to stop to peek through people's fences.
Plus, she doesn't mind when I sport my fanny pack.
Ruby also finished up her 2nd dance class this month.
They were adorable and it was always the highlight of both our weeks. Ruby got to dance and play outside the rec center. And I got to workout and chat with my friends.
We are missing dance already.
Seriously, 3 year olds in dance are kind of my favorite thing ever.
Another moment when she just looked too big for me to handle.
Just getting ready for bed all by herself.
So much neighborhood kickball this winter.
So glad our favorite place to spend sunny afternoons is right out our front door.
Kids have also been dying to go fishing and have been practicing casting over the fence into Jeff's backyard. :)
Paul had a birthday, it was thrilling.
Macey did knowledge bowl for the first time. These kids are smart, they knew way more than i did!
A big highlight of the month was Crew loosing his first tooth.
Even though he's getting giant, at least he still needs some cuddles from time to time.
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. :)
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. :)
Olympic National Park
To pass the weekdays between Pop-Pop's brithday weekend and Adrienne's wedding, we decided to head down to the Peninsula and check out The Olympic National Park.
We got many looks of "you are crazy" when we told people our plans of camping with 4 kids in a cold/wet rainforest.
We also got many comments and looks from fellow park visitors. Most were along the line of "your kids are so cute", "you've got your hands full", "We saw you guys yesterday...", and my favorite was while passing people hiking we got lots of, "how many of you are there?" :)
We stocked up on rain gear, brought our winter clothes, boots, lots of socks, clothes to layer and invested in a very good tarp.
The preparation worked and even though it rained everyday and night, we all stayed dry and warm. Which resulted in very happy campers.
This trip never would of happened without Paul. I am not much of a camper, but he made sure we were prepared, he stayed calm when things got a bit crazy, and he got up and started breakfast each morning while I mentally prepared to exit our comfy and warm bed into the rain.
Since most Washington schools were still in session, our camp ground at Lake Cresent
was practically empty. Gave the kids plenty of room to roam and explore.
We had a pretty sweet set up.
I had brought cards and coloring books to pass some of our downtime with, but there was so much exploring to do we never pulled anything out.
This is Miles being a gnome one night. It was very entertaining.
We soon realized we were about 2 years early on perfect ages for this trip. Meaning, Paul and I never got to sit down and relax, because Ruby always needed adult supervision and was everywhere.
and she tended to get a little cold at night, because she has a hard time keeping clothes on. :)
All in all though, she was a pretty happy camper.
We did some exploring around Lake Cresent (where we camped) and would of spent some time swimming and hanging out more if it was actually above 60 degrees.
It was absolutely gorgeous though.
And our view out the tent door, is kind of hard to beat.
We visited Hurricane Ridge
, where it was snowing.
it was gorgeous and almost kind of erie up there. Made sense why some people think Vampires could live in the area. :)
We hiked to Marymere Falls
, where it rained on us the entire time.
eating lunch in the car before the hike.
This hike was a blast though. Trees to hide in, bridges made out of tree trunks, and a river...all before we made it to the waterfall. I don't think any of the kids complained, which is a first for us.
Ruby loved touching the moss on the trees.
We spent our last day visiting the Hoh Rainforst.
Where is actually didn't rain, but when we got back to our campsite we learned that it had rained all day there.
We could not get over these trees. They were so tall and completely covered in moss.
Slugs were a huge highlight of this hike. Slugs are not something my kids are familiar with, so we had to stop EVERY TIME one was spotted on the trail.
We learned about Banana Slugs at Northwest Trek, so apparently that meant my kids thought all slugs were named after fruit. We found green apple slugs and blackberry slugs on the trail. :)
This was the trip of balance beam tree walking.
The trees also proved to be nice resting spots too.
The last stop was Ruby Beach.
It was amazing.
There was driftwood everywhere and the Pacific Ocean was just right there on the edge of the forest.
Wish we were prepared to spend all day there.
We had planned to spend a day in the Sol Duc area, but the weather was suppose to be perfect in Bellingham and the kids were really sad we didn't find any crabs at the beach. So, we decided to head home a day early, skip Sol Duc, and find a beach in Bellingham to explore.
It was a good choice. But, I am hoping to make it back there again one day when kids are older.