Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Wrap Up

I overloaded myself letting the blog go for so long in December.  Playing catch up burned me out. I haven't wanted to get back in the swing of things, but we did a few fun things the last couple weeks of January and I want to remember them.  Here we go!
Annie had a Primary lesson about the Plan of Salvation that really touched her.  Usually she can't remember much about her lessons, but this one sunk in.  She was so excited about it that she asked if she could teach Family Night the next night with Daddy's help.  Together they colored and cut out the symbols and put them on our felt board.  Annie did a really good job.  We feel blessed that she has great Primary teachers who really prepare and provide learning experiences for her on Sundays.
 Tommy is obsessed with boxes and containers lately.  He stacks them, transfers the contents from one to another, fills them up with random things just to see how much he can put in them. He especially likes getting inside of them to hide or "nap".  I found these pictures on Daddy's phone. Silly boy.
We've been blessed with a ton of snow this year.  It makes the winter more bearable for me.  If it's going to be cold, at least everything is beautiful and white too - rather than gray and brown.  The snow is not great for making snowmen but we tried really hard to build one anyway.  Tommy wanted to name him Frosty.  Annie wanted to name him Olaf. A neighbor's dog came and ate the nose a few minutes after we went inside.  Tommy was so sad about the nose.  We'll have to try again if we get another wet snow.
 Joey is teething.  Nothing has broken through yet but he is drooling and chewing on everything.  His little hands are always so cold because he gets them so wet.  I remember Lily was the same way.  When Tommy was this age, we never left the house without our trusty banana teether.  Now it is Joey's favorite accessory too.  He gets excited to see it and chews and chews on it.  I'm so glad we saved it.  Best baby teether ever.

The girls and I got to have a Girls' Night Out on the 23rd.  The BYU Folk Dance Company came to perform.  The owners of Lily's clogging school were members of the team when they were students years ago and they are still involved with the team now.  One of them choreographed an amazing African routine that was part of the program that night.  Before the show I took the girls out for frozen yogurt.  They loved it.  Annie ate so fast she got a serious ice cream head ache.  She tried fixing it by blowing on her hands and then rubbing her hands on the top of her head.  It didn't work, but it made us laugh.
 the girls took their own "selfie"
 Annie trying to fix her ice cream head ache
 The entrance to the frozen yogurt shop had a little garden with lighted bushes.  The girls said it looked magical and wanted a picture.  Unfortunately the camera lens on my brand new phone shattered so I can only take selfies.  I wanted a picture of the shop with the garden and lights, oh well.  We're hoping we can get the camera fixed soon.  Until then, lots of selfies.
 Trying to get all of us in one shot was a bit tricky.  A few nice people offered to take our picture but since the camera was broken we had to decline.
After the performance the girls found their favorite dancer, a red head, and we took a picture with her.  This is what the pictures look like through the shattered lens.  Lily and Annie loved the performance.  I thought they would get tired of bored and want to leave at intermission.  No way.  It was an exciting program and was so beautifully done.  Lily's favorites were an Indian (Eastern) style dance, a flamenco routine, and a Latvian dance with lots of jumping and spinning.  Annie liked anything with pretty dresses.  Her favorites were an Irish set with beautiful blue dresses and a mix of ballet and Irish step dancing and a Mexican dance with huge flowing white dresses.  There was a meet and greet with the dancers after the show.  Lily asked to stay so she could see the dancers.  It is so wonderful to have BYU performers for her to look up to.  Their language was clean and happy and they were so enthusiastic.  They really made Lily feel special that night.  She told me she wants to keep clogging so she can be on this team someday - atta girl!

 Not only is Joey teething, he's also got a terrible cold.  It started in his nose and quickly moved to his chest.  He was not sleeping well or eating well most of this past week.  But on Friday he started to improve and got his appetite back.  Poor little dude.  The lack of sleep was starting to wear me down so Jeremy has been helping with the early morning feedings.  It has been great to share the burden a little.  I don't know how single parents can function when they have to deal with things like this.
On Friday night the girls wanted a family movie night in a fort.  We haven't done that for a while.  After finishing baths, the girls helped us construct the fort and make popcorn.  Then we snuggled down for the movie.  Mommy and Daddy ended up on the floor with all the pillows and blankets.  By 8:30 we were ready for bed but the kids still wanted to stay up.  It was a fun way to stay warm together on a winter night.

 Uncle Norm and Auntie Sue Thulin gave Lily a loom for Christmas.  We finally had some time to pull it down and figure out how to use it.  Lily is doing pretty well with it.  She got this far in just two days.  She is really excited to finish her first scarf.  I think we'll be seeing a lot of scarves in our future.
 Annie got her dance recital outfit this week.  She was so excited for me to take a picture of it.  She is such a doll.  Can't wait for her first performance in a few weeks.
Tommy got a little jealous of all the attention Annie was getting, so he joined in the fun.  We sure love our little man.

Jeremy and I are still going strong with our health and fitness challenge. I am down almost 8 pounds and Jeremy has lost 5.  We're both making an effort to exercise more and make better food choices.  We've got to be ready for Hawaii in 10 weeks!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Silly Kids

Mommy got her first iPad for Christmas. We have had fun learning to use it. Sometimes the kids get a chance to play and explore with it too. Their favorite feature is the camera. When I sat down to write a different post, I found hundreds, seriously, 541 pictures - like these. I just had to put the best ones all in one place for a good laugh. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

It was hard for the kids to say goodbye to their grandparents and go back home to our normal routine.  Everyone was tired and cranky for a couple of days.  Thank heaven for a couple more days of vacation before school and work started up again!
 The girls spent a few days playing with friends which left just the boys at home.  Tommy played with his candy LEGOs from Brady and Madison and really enjoyed his trains.  We didn't do anything special for New Years - but Mommy and Daddy did get a chance to sneak away to see Star Wars.  It was super fun to watch.
 Joey spent a lot of time in his new exersaucer toy.  He loves being upright and off the ground.  The kids like it too.  Now they can play with him at their level.  It has been great for all of us.
 Joey started rice cereal!  The first night he slept from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m.  Mommy was so happy.  But unfortunately that was a one time deal.  He is sleeping better but he's still waking at least once a night, usually around 1:00 a.m.
 Mommy was excited to get back to her exercise routine.  Lily came with me for a Saturday morning Zumba class.  She was awesome.  She used to get tired and need to sit out for most of class but she made it the whole hour right by my side.  She loved it.
 As a one last hurrah before school and work started again, we took the kids to Wendys for frosties and fries.  We got two extra frosties free of charge because the staff mixed up our order.  The kids weren't complaining.  They each got to try a vanilla and a chocolate one.  Yummy.
 Jeremy grew quite a beard during our family time.  He said he felt like an L.L. Bean or Eddie Bauer model.  We were all a little sad to see the scruff go away so Mommy snapped a quick picture before Daddy shaved it off.
 Lily has been saving her nickels and dimes, and Tooth Fairy money since this summer.  She finally saved up $8, which was enough to buy the game Minecraft for the Kindle.  A lot of kids love this game.  After doing some research on it, Mommy and Daddy decided we would let her buy it and play it. She is only allowed to play it after school and after she has done her homework and chores.  So far, she has been really responsible about playing.  She is so proud of herself for buying something with all of her own money.
With the girls back in school and activities, the boys have more time with Mommy again.  Every day Tommy and I create a new track for his trains.  He likes to build one or two track loops that he can sit inside while he drives the trains around him.  We are thrilled that his language is improving each week.  We're trying to get him to use words to ask for and explain everything - even if we already know what he wants - just so he has to practice more.  He is also very interested in books and wants Mommy to read to him all the time.  
 Just when life was getting back to normal, the three youngest kids got sick!  Tommy and Joey had a bad cold with lots of coughing and congestion.  But Annie spiked a high fever that would barely respond to medicine.  After a day of watching her refuse to eat, fall asleep every few minutes, and complain of feeling achy and dizzy every time she got up to go to the bathroom, I knew we had to take her to the doctor.  She tested positive for strep throat! She didn't have a sore throat but the swab came back positive and she had all the other symptoms.  After a scary two days of trying to tame her fever and keep her hydrated while she threw up and refused to eat or drink much, Daddy's priesthood blessings and the antibiotics finally worked their magic and she started to improve.  The illness really had an effect on her.  She still had to take it easy for over a week to fully recover.  We are so thankful for the power of the priesthood, modern medicine, and modern conveniences that help our children!
 Tommy is still a picky eater.  This month he decided he wants to live on bread and jam.  He eats a thick slice of bread with raspberry jam at least once a day.  It is his favorite thing right now.  At least it's better than Cheetos!
 The girls found big icicles hanging off our back door before bed one night.  They ate them like popsicles.
 Tommy fell down the stairs at a friend's house.  It's never fun when your child comes home crying and bloody.  He had a pea sized bump on his eyebrow and the skin split a little.  After getting cleaned up and having a popsicle, he felt much better.  The first injury of many to come.
Joey rolled over the for first time on Wednesday January 13 while Annie and Tommy were in gymnastics class.  He completely surprised me.  One minute he was on his back, the next, he was on his tummy.  He is growing and changing daily it seems.
 After missing preschool for a week, Annie was itching to get back!  Her class was learning about space, planets, and astronauts.  She absorbed everything like a little sponge. She could remember all the planet names and their order in distance from the sun.  She wanted to see and read everything we could find about our solar system.
 One night she even got Tommy and Lily to paint pictures of space with her.  The kids had a great time together imagining what it's like to be in space.
 Due to their illness, the kids missed a gymnastics class.  When they miss a class, they can come to an open gym time for free play as their make up. Tommy ran and played so hard.  He was completely worn out.
Annie still wasn't quite herself that day so she stayed with me and we gave Joey some lessons in rolling over. We set him on a wedge mat with a gentle incline and helped him roll.  He seemed to enjoy it.
 I took the boys out to run errand with me.  They were both so good.  Tommy wanted to ride the Poo Bear airplane in the arcade at Walmart.  I didn't even have to put the money in.  He just wanted to sit in it and pretend.  Such a cutie.
JoJo is doing just great.  He likes to take baths on his own - without big brother splashing him.  He lays in the water and kicks and laughs.  It is adorable.
 On Saturday night Joey got to sit at the table with us in the high chair.  It was the first time we have sat together as a family of six for dinner.  My heart was so full as I saw each chair occupied with someone I love.  Tommy very bravely gave up his seat for Joey.  Tommy doesn't like change and we were all surprised he was willing to share the high chair with Joey.  It was a sweet moment for me. Never thought I'd have a family of four kids.
 Sunday after church we played on our snow pile in the front yard. The neighbor dogs decided to join in. Everyone stayed out for over an hour. The snow was so much fun on Sunday that we decided to give it another try on Monday since the kids were out of school and Daddy had the day off for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
 Monday was not as fun due to the conditions.  It was blowing wind and snow.  The snow was icy and hurt our faces when it hit.  But we went to a new sledding place and the kids were excited to try it out.  Tommy and Lily kept riding together and Annie rode solo on the saucer. Every once in a while they would let Mommy and Daddy have a turn too.
 After an hour and a half we were wet, cold, and tired.  Tommy and Joey were grumpy and ready to leave about a half hour before the girls were.  But on her last run, Lily bonked her lip and was finally ready to call it a day.  The kids said they had a lot of fun.  Our gear was so soaked we had to hang everything up all around the front room.
Mommy and Daddy signed up for a competition with friends to establish healthy habits and hopefully lose weight.  After the first week, Mommy lost three pounds and Daddy lost two. Seven more weeks to go! It has been good for us so far.
Here's to a fabulous 2016!