Monday, January 19, 2015

(1,2,3.... ) We're Diaper free!!!

What am I going to do with an extra $40 per month? Here are a few ideas off the top of my head: 

2 movie dates (or one with popcorn)
1 DownEast basic dress
1/3 Boden dress
12 cases of Diet Coke
1 dozen Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes
1 mani pedi
3 months of The Economist 
4 paperback books 
1/20 ticket to Paris 

Spoil this little rat.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hello? Guys?? I'm still in here!

 When I was in high school my brothers, dad and I and sometimes other members of our family would race to the lake after work to fit in a water ski before dark.  We were always the last boat on the water getting the last of the perfect summer night glassy water.  But once it was too dark to see it was a race to get the boat out of the water, dried off and covered. We each had our job to do and we worked quickly together but somehow Brother Brig often ended up inside the boat while we were snapping the cover into place.  We would hear a muffled and pleading, "Uh, hello?!? Guys? I'm still in here!"

Dear friends, I've been an absent blogger. Not one single update in the year 2014. There were some hard times.  And some great times.  I had to let some things go. This blog and my weight, to name a couple.

But, guys! I'm still here!

In January, we rang in the new year with best friends then toured the zoo. We built lots of Lego creations and learned to eat with a fork.

 In February we turned 9 and celebrated with visits from beloved grandmothers.  We also celebrated the opening and dedication of the Gilbert Temple.

In March we hunted eggs in the park. Or maybe it was April?

 In May we turned 7. With school's ending we started swim team and lots of TV snuggling.

 In June we dressed in our best.
 July found us in Utah for a month of family, mountains, lakes, cabins, hikes, and lots of ice cream.

 In August we started 6th, 4th and 2nd grade and danced in the rain. And started football.

We also turned 2!
 In September we read books with Dad and waited for the earth to cool. We also played lots of football.
 In October we invited friends to our Halloween party. We also played lots of football.

In November we turned 12. And finally played our final games of football!

 We had a most happy December, celebrating Christmas in our new house. Recitals, parties, friends, family and good food filled us up.

Here's to a new year! I plan on reading some good books, making delicious food, being a better friend and human and ridding our family of diapers forever!

Happy New Year to you dear friends!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pre Christmas life

I remember the years when December seemed like the longest month of the year. Christmas Day was always too far away! Now, there just aren't enough days in the month to get everything done and enjoy the season to my full satisfaction. 

Some of my favorites from this December: 

Watching #2 sing his little heart out at his chorus Christmas concert. 

Attending #1's first bass recital. Her first lesson of the semester ended with #1 in tears of frustration. But after months of hard work, she played her pieces beautifully. 

#3 tried out a cheer class this fall and her parent performance was a lot of fun to watch. Whatever she may lack in coordination or rhythm she makes up for in personality and spirit. I just wanted to squeeze her the whole time! 

The Nutcracker Ballet at Symphony Hall with #3. This used to be my tradition with #1, but I figured it was time to pass the torch. The second picture was taken just after the performance and #3 is still a little sad for Clara who woke up without her prince. 

What would Christmas be without the Mesa Temple Lights? If we had known we were going to end up at the temple that night, perhaps I would have done my hair or forced my kids into better clothes. But maybe that's why it was a great night for everyone.  Sometimes planning is overrated. 

Lastly, #3 is my little spirit of Christmas present. She has decorated our home with nativity scenes she's drawn. She is the one that begs me to read her Christmas stories every night and the one who will come sit with me at the piano and sing along to all the Christmas songs. Christmastime is one of the big payouts of motherhood and #3's Christmas spirit is my big Christmas bonus. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

My sweet #1 turns 11

This is back when she had all her baby teeth.

My #1 turned 11.

I feel like I'm a pretty good mom to young children.  Or that over the years I've learned how to become one. But I don't know anything about mothering maturing young ladies. (I couldn't even bring myself to write a sentence with the word puberty.)

I've been reading about the changes in the brain that start around #1's age and continue for the next decade.  Holy cow! I hope I can keep my hands and arms inside the ride at all times. 

To balance the fear and shock of change, let me tell you some of the bright side of my maturing young lady.

#1 is funny.  She has a quirky, smarty-pants, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor.  It catches me off guard and makes me laugh.  She recently created a 16 page comic book about an Osprey.  It was hilarious!  One scene involved Aunt Turkey leaving Thanksgiving dinner in tears.  The dialogue bubble reading, "My poor husband, waaaaaah!" Spouse and I stayed up late reading and rereading some of the funniest parts; we were genuinely entertained.

No cake for this babe. As requested, we stuck candles in a dutch apple pie.

#1 started playing the bass in her school strings class and takes a lesson at ASU each Saturday. It's amazing how much she's learned in just a few months.  I love the rich, low notes that fill our home every afternoon while she practices.  It's beautiful.

#1 is rocking it in her ALP math class. I'm happy that Spouse's math genes played the dominant role in this child.  I feel smarter just being related to this pretty, little math nerd. (And I mean that with the greatest admiration, I wish I were a math nerd.)

Free babysitting!!! She's responsible, trustworthy and a good leader.  Baby E loves and responds to #1 like she's the second mother.  #1 loves that she can opt out of tagging along to #2's football practice because she can stay at home alone now. 

To summarize: I'm scared about the upcoming years because I don't know if I'm going to be a good enough mother.  But I love seeing #1's personality and identity emerging and I'm honored (and very, very humbled) to be her guide.

No party this year. We celebrated with bowling and lunch with her BFF.  Sadly, #1 got her bowling skills from her mom.  Our scores added together didn't hit 100.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The October that got away

It is no coincidence that just as the outside temperature became livable our family life kicked into high gear. There's something about not sweating 24 hours a day that invigorates you, that makes you want to say, Yes I can!, instead of, No, it's too darn hot.  That makes for a busy month and lots of fun times.

We journeyed to Utah for the kid's Fall break. A week of cousins, Grandmas, no homework and sweatshirts was just what the doctor ordered.

Grandma J hosted a Halloween party where dress ups are a must. Painting pumpkins, tasty treats and looking for the lost bag of prizes made for a happy afternoon.

Nana organized a Fall Scavenger hunt that had my children and their cousins running (actually, they were taxied by willing mothers) around town taking pictures of silly things like, singing a Primary song for someone at the Tabernacle, running a lap at the high school track, and posing on the blue bulls on Main Street.  The final task before heading home for hot chocolate and donuts, was to find four pumpkins hidden among the fallen leaves in Green Canyon.

As my children grow our annual family Halloween party has morphed from a casual cookie-decorating-and-movie evening into a full fledged event that I actually have to plan and invite people.  The trouble is definitely worth it as the party is something the children look forward to and are happy to help plan and prepare for. 

After a ward trunk-r-treat, classroom parties, and pumpkin carving, by the time Halloween night rolled around I was sick of Halloween. But my kids were raring to go.  I accompanied a Viking warrior, a medieval knight and a "pop star dementor" around the neighborhood as they begged for candy. 

I'm in Halloween recovery.  To cope I've eaten approximately 23 Reese Peanut Butter cups in the last 7 days.  I have a problem.