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. :)
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.
Nana and Pop-Pop came to spend Christmas with us and it was their first Christmas away from home! We felt very privileged they choose to spend it with us.
Sadly, my mom actually came down with pneumonia while she was here. So, she ended up spending most of her time on the couch observing. :(
Other than the pneumonia, Christmas was quite perfect.
Plus, we were in bed before midnight, Christmas miracle.
And we were on time for 9:00 am church Christmas Morning!!! Turns out getting to go to church on Christmas makes for a pretty great day.
I feel like this picture sums up the kids perfectly. :)
Miles- in constant motion
Macey- wondering how she got stuck with all these crazies
Ruby- screaming and jumping
Crew- distracted by the small object in his hand
Before we left for church we did stockings and santa presents.
I didn't get many pictures due to the chaos and constant movement of hyped up kids. But trust me, it was magical.
Nothing beats getting a real smile out of this girl. The long wished for Lea doll did it.
Ruby didn't put this baby down or take off her stethoscope. Cutest 2 year old ever.
Crew's favorite present was this pirate chest from Granny and Granddad.
You'll notice I got no pictures of Miles. It is because he was so entertaining opening presents, I only got video. :) #momfail
And it once again snowed on Christmas Eve!!! We are getting spoiled around here.
Magical Christmas snow with some of our favorite neighbors to end an amazing Christmas. Perfection. Day after Christmas
was just as it should be.
eating leftovers, putting legos together, playing with toys, sledding, and staying in pjs all day AGAIN.
And this girl sledding was kind of my favorite.
Pop-Pop got lots of runs in too.
And these 2 never got off this sled and I don't think they ever stopped smiling either.
We did get Nana out of the house to sit and watch us bowl later in the week
This girl allowed no one to help her while bowling. It lead to a few pinched fingers, but Miss Independent was quite the proficient bowler.
It was actually much more fun than I anticipated and Crew kind of made my entire day with his sweet bowling moves and glasses.
And then we left Nana with Ruby while the rest of us went snow shoeing
And then we got in some good sledding at the end.
Pop-Pop ended up getting to sleep in the hideout due to Nana being sick. We are pretty amazing hosts with top of the line accommodations.
It was a bit of a different visit, with my mom being so sick, but we so glad they were able to survive the traveling to be with us and that no one else got sick.
After my parents left Paul and I got to go snow shoeing
up Lambs Canyon.
It was beautiful and we didn't see a single sole on the trail. The only downside was the road was closed, so we had to hike 2 miles up the road to get to the trailhead.
This is me being annoyed about it. :) And yes, I have my sled on my pack. We like to be prepared for all conditions.
Utah is the best sometimes.
We couldn't find a babysitter for New Year's Eve
and it turned out to be the best thing ever.
We texted our neighbors to come over for a kid party from 7:30-8:30. :)
We had no food. But we did have a giant saran wrap ball with goodies, glow sticks, music, and noise makers. It was one of my better parties.
We did a count down, had a little dance party and our kids were fast asleep by 9:30. It was a great start to the New Year.
We ended break with a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese and the Puppy Barn.
Love Christmas Break!
Since we are almost to February, I figure I need to document our December before it is too distant a memory.
December was a happy blur of parties, playing, concerts, christmas prep, basketball games, and endless traditions.
Macey performed 2 songs in the Scera Christmas Concert. She even had a solo. I was too busy actually watching the show to get any pictures, but here's a post performance shot with the boys.
And the best part about taking classes at the local theatre is the $2 kid snack packs. Helped them make it through about half the acts.
She also had her first Elementary choir concert.
Crew also rocked his first Preschool concert.
doesn't get much cuter than a bunch of 4 year olds trying to sing songs together.
We got to cheer on BYU at lots of games.
Ringing the victory bell with Cosmo in his Santa Costume. Dream come true.
We lucked out and got 4 of Paul's bosses courtside seats.
dinner, unlimited snacks, amazing view. These kids are getting spoiled.
Paul took a Friday off and we did a quick snow shoe trip while Crew was at Preschool.
turns out Ruby is a bit too heavy for the carrier, but too small for small shoes.
Then Crew happily got to help Paul put up our lights and blow ups. It will be a sad day when this takes more than an hour. :)
Kids favorite tradition was once again getting their new ornaments for the tree.
Crew: North Pole
Ruby: Sweet treats
My favorite tradition is always torturing them with a trip to see Santa.
Ruby was not pleased and for the first time in her entire life clung to her stroller and did not want to get out. Being the good mom I am, I pried those fingers off and handed her over to the stranger with the big beard.
The boys were super into Santa this year and waited in line for 30 min to talk to him again
at the Riverwoods.
We love visiting the Riverwoods during Christmas.
lots of "baking".
We of course went to the Domo Christmas Party. AKA, the only time we get dressed up all year.
School seemed to go FOREVER this year, the 4th grade teachers were smart and took the kids on a field trip to the dinosaur museum.
I love getting to go on field trips and getting to know their friends better and seeing them in their element.
Paul and I took advantage of our babysitters being out of school by going to a morning showing of Rogue One. Can't beat the heaters on those recliners. and it was the best breakfast I have had in a long time. :)
We of course had our lazy moments too.
and I throughly enjoyed Sodalicious' chocolate cookie with peppermint frosting. Tasted just like Christmas.