Sunday, March 18, 2018

By divine design

Jill taught Relief Society today (and brought some of the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever eaten in my life... holy cow they were AMAZING) on the talk “by divine design.” So many people shared their experiences of things in their life that could be considered coincidences, but were actually very clearly seeing the Lord’s hand guide their lives. I didn’t share any comments because other people were so willing to share theirs and I love hearing from other people, but of the many experiences that came to my mind, one was the clear winner of my thoughts.

I kept thinking about when I was a freshman at BYU. I was rooming with a very nice girl who had very nice friends and I’d enjoyed hanging out with them those few days before school started, but I could tell that they just weren’t my type. They reminded me of my private school friends, spending a lot of money and focused on having nice things, and I knew I would never fully feel comfortable being myself around them. On the first day of class, I was walking up that path from Helaman halls to campus but wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction and was feeling hesitant that I would be able to find my way to class (American heritage) since it was on the opposite side of campus. I saw a girl walking confidently in front of me and felt prompted that I should ask her for directions/help. Amazingly, she was going to my exact same class and knew the way (I forget how though!) and so we walked together. Class ended up being in a giant auditorium with at least 300 people. Amazingly too, she was also in my science class that I had right after. We walked and talked and she was so nice. Most amazing of all? She was in my ward! She lived in my building on the floor above me! And she had a great group of friends. She was very down to earth which was a huge blessing to me. Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she would come to my dorm room and pick out my clothes (I wore a uniform in high school and had a lot of trouble adjusting to picking out what I should wear each day to class), and we would walked to American heritage together. The next year, we roomed together in Liberty square (a very fun and down to earth apartment complex... not at all the super nice and high end apartment complex the other group of friends lived in and tried to get me to live in with them). Well, that was where I met Chris, which changed my BYU experience (and entire eternity) even more. My roommates were all friends with his roommates and we had SO much fun that semester. Really, the rest is history, but it’s amazing to think back to that first morning walking the path up to campus and acting on a prompting to ask for directions. Because Sarah was put in my path and I know it was not a coincidence. I would have never in a million years guessed how that one tiny little experience could have changed my entire life so dramatically for the better.
And bonus: sarah is just a really great friend to have.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Andrew is 9 months!

andrew is 9 months old!

Abigail actually woke up and came to me this morning to get started on getting ready for school. this is a MIRACLE and happens once in a blue moon and it just was such an amazing surprise and set an awesome tone for the day.  I helped her get ready and she was able to walk to school with the neighbor kids.

Brady is really into money and having money and earning money and spending money and learning about money.  I need to compile a list of things that he can do to earn money but the tricky part is that I want it to actually be helpful to me.  not just a busy job that creates more work for me.  the only job I currently have for him to help with (besides laundry, which he does not get paid for) is unloading the dishwasher.  his job is to put away everything he can reach... the rest of the things, he has to stack and group for me to put away in the up high places.  I love this because it's such a time saver for me and mostly because I don't have to do any bending over (my back has been so annoying lately) to get stuff out of the dishwasher OR to put it away in low places.  we only run our dishwasher every couple of days and Brady is so excited when he can unload it.  he gets 25 cents for a job well done.

a little after nine, I dropped Elizabeth and Brady off for a playdate with this older lady in the ward.  she watches her granddaughter turning the week until 4pm and has started inviting the kids over for playdates so her granddaughter can have more friends.  it's a win win for everyone involved.  hopefully we can return the favor and have Lillien over sometime.

in the elevator heading up for Andrew's 9 month well check, I looked at my watch and saw that we were perfectly a few minutes early for our appointment and it made me feel so accomplished.  someday, I hope to be so punctual that being on time no longer feels like such a huge success.  until then, I'm just going to love my successes whenever I can get them!

we had a great appointment.  we met with a PA that we'd never seen before.  our doctor that we've had since moving here recently relocated to Indiana and I don't love our new doctor.  she was a little too concerned about Andrew's weight at his 6 month appointment and honestly, it got me stressed enough that I thought I would have to quit nursing. so even though the doctor was not at fault, I wasn't super intent on seeing her for this appointment... I just chose the time slot that was most convenient for me.  I liked the PA that we saw.  she was polite and friendly and asked all the important questions about how Andrew is doing and said that Andrew was growing on his own curve and looks to be just fine.  he did a great job and was so content and cooperative.

my guess is that Andrew's weight would have been closer to 13lbs 13ozs if he hadn't refused to eat before the appointment.  he ate at 4:30am but then wouldn't eat after he was awake for the day.  he actually wouldn't eat until after the appointment when we were in the room waiting for the nurse to come with his shots.  the paper doesn't get that specific, but I think I heard the doctor say that he was .03% when we were reviewing his chart.  he's just a real skinny little guy.

also, I was amazed that he got four shots and stopped crying the second I picked him up.  I think that's a record for the fastest time for any of my kids to stop crying after getting shots. and he actually cuddled with me.  it was amazing.

so then we stopped by the library to get a bunch of books on hold (Abigail is doing a little project at school on Helen Keller) and then to Safeway to get milk (but they had a limit of 2 on the sale price... who does that?!) and somehow also walked out with four packages of various kinds of Oreos (it's a bad idea to go shopping when you're hungry) and I'm super excited about all of them.  I got mint, coconut thins, golden, and regular.  I opened mint in the car and they were delightful.

we went straight to get Elizabeth and Brady who were loving life with Gayle and Lillien because they were playing play dough, had balloons, had done a variety of st. Patricks days crafts (including making a necklace of fruit loops) and also got sent home with a pack of skittles aka rainbow seeds.

we went straight to school for Brady's parent teacher conference and it went great.  the teacher actually apologized that she didn't really have anything to tell me.  "he's doing really great and it's not like we had any concerns before or anything..."  ha.  but it's really great that she said he's come a long way in the classroom, socially.  he's much more outgoing with friends and able to resolve conflict whereas before he would have just conceded and walked away.  her one suggestion is that he work on becoming more of a creative open thinker because he's so literal and so by the books.  but I already knew all of that.  ; )

we had lunch, quiet time, Abigail walked home from school, we all watched a 30 minute movie on Helen Keller, and I got ready to go to the temple with friends from relief society.  didn't make it to the gym but it was a successful and fulfilling day.

Monday, January 29, 2018

catching up a bit

sorry for the lack of blogging... Andrew has been such a crappy sleeper for the past several months (especially in Georgia where he was waking up every two (or less!) hours during the night... and every closet and drawer in my house is in complete disarray and my kids are just really time consuming and I've let myself take some time off from blogging.  as much as I absolutely love writing and posting pictures, it can be pretty time consuming.  thank goodness for the journal my dad gave me for Christmas... it's an every day journal and I can just write a few sentences each day and not feel guilty for not writing more.  I honestly don't know what I would do without it now... it has been such a blessing to me since I'm someone that feels stress at not keeping record of things and events.

anyway, life is good.

over the past week, Abigail has been doing better and our relationship has been going a bit better.  today was big in that I emailed her teacher that she'll be walking home from school each day with our neighbors and I talked to a number of medical professionals on the phone this morning and afternoon (our appointment was cancelled last minute by the doctor not being in the office today) about Abigail's medication and we'll be doubling the dose and hoping to see some positive results.  Abigail walked home from school today for the second time and it is honestly the best thing ever to not load the kids in the car to go pick her up.  and I feel like she's in a better mood when she gets here.

Brady, over the past week or two, has gone down hill, as has our relationship.  apparently these things are inversely related?  he's turned pretty moody and angry and sometimes belligerent.  he says it's because he isn't getting enough sleep and hasn't been napping as much as he needs to so we've been trying to make his naps more of a priority but I don't know that it's helping THAT much.  he's still wonderfully independent and all of his regular good qualities... he's just always angry at me.  I asked him about this and he says he always expects me to say no to his requests so he's just already upset even before he starts asking me a question.  it's not horrendous but it does make me pretty sad right now because I feel like I've lost a friend.

Elizabeth is opinionated and headstrong and holy cow, as hilarious as ever.  everything is her FAVORITE.  I don't think she understands that word very well and probably thinks it just means that she likes something.  literally every song she hears, she declares to be her favorite.  on Sunday, our closing song was "come along, come along" and I can't recall ever hearing that song before and, judging by the singing, or lack thereof, I think the rest of the congregation could have said the same thing.  but don't worry, just upon hearing the intro, Elizabeth is enthusiastically proclaiming that "I LIKE THIS SONG!!! IT'S MY FAVORITE SONG!!!"  also, we decided to all go as a family to Abigail's "it's great to be eight" meeting on Sunday night and Elizabeth had a lot of loud gas.  after each loud toot she's all, "I tooted!" and then proceeded to do it again.  she has an excellent sense of humor and is also developing a lot of opinions about books that she likes to read and favorite clothing/pj's/boots that she likes to wear.  right before Christmas, Elizabeth flipped a switch and went from being terrified and hating (like SCREAMING bloody murder through the whole experience) baths and showers, to being obsessed with showers and begging multiple times a day to take a shower.  Chris was cracking up the other day when he came home from work and saw us all and then was all "you've got the shower on while you just sit in bed?!" and I had to tell him that actually Elizabeth was showering.  she's also started requesting again to use the potty.  I had told her before that she for sure had to wait until after the holidays but I'm still going to try holding her off on that til she's closer to three or potty trains herself.  I can hope, right?

Andrew is great.  he's been sick with the worst congestion though... like soooo horrific.  I try to nose suck him as best I can but he still nurses and sounds like he's drowning and gasping for air.  he'll take three sucks and then turn his head to the side and breath like he's catching his breath for a bit and then he'll latch on and suck three times and do it again.  like he's swimming or something.  he's still mostly happy though, thank goodness, and has actually started sleeping longer just in the last three nights.  since he was previously waking around 11:30, 2:30, 4:30, and 7:30, this is a huge improvement to have him wake just once around 4:30 or 5.  we'll see if he's maturing and really starting to sleep longer stretches or if he's just doing this because this sickness is really taking it out of him.  also, I finally broke down and bought a baby scale.  his weight percentile is less than 0.1% and he only gained 5 or 6 ounces between his 4 and 6 month appointments.  I had some huge days of stress about it and was freaking out about my milk supply and was trying to supplement with milk from my freezer (but he either wasn't hungry or didn't want milk from a bottle) and it was just not great... all of that was happening the week before Christmas.  so I took fenugreek to boost my supply and I started nursing him allllll the time.  like at least every hour or two hours throughout the day and night.  I couldn't even tell you how many feedings he was getting in a 24 hour period because I felt like I was just nursing him constantly around the clock.  but I guess it worked because my supply met his needs and I quit taking the fenugreek and he's sleeping longer at night.  I asked his doctors office if I could bring him in for just a weight check to see if my efforts were effective or not and they said there was a copay for that.  I thought that seemed stupid but we have kaiser insurance so a lot of things about it are stupid.  instead of paying the $50 copay, I bought a scale for less than 40.  I'm happy to report that he's broken 13lbs which means that he'd gained over a pound in that month since his 6 month well check... woohoo!  also, I've realized how inaccurate and varying the scale measurements can be with a wiggly baby and I'm wondering how accurate that weight was that was taken at his 6 month appointment.  anyway, he's still less than .1% but he's growing and I know he's eating a lot and peeing a lot so that gives me comfort.  also, he's super vocal and social and happy and is hitting all of his milestones and sitting up and rolling over like a rockstar.  once he gets over this cold, I'm gonna have to get him weaned from the swaddle because he keeps rolling over and getting stuck on his belly.  Abigail did that too at this age but she was a happy beached whale... Andrew is not the happiest when he gets beached.  other random things to note... Andrews cheeks are almost always flushed and he is biting on everything. I'm still in mourning that we lost our Sophie giraffe a week and a half ago when we went to the library one evening.  I've checked their lost and found twice though (they keep a log of everything) and it was never turned in... which makes me worry that maybe it fell out of the car when I made a huge goodwill run on our way to the library but also gives me hope that maybe it's just hiding somewhere in our car even though our car is clean and there's really not anywhere for it to be. ugh.  so I was resorting to Andrew's next favorite toy and that went missing at the gym last week.  we never lose baby toys and now we've lost our favorite two within just a few days of each other!  major fail.  mostly still sad about Sophie though.  for sentimental reasons but also because of that $25 price tag.  let's all pray for a late Christmas miracle that she shows up somewhere.  I have a reward out for her though and told Brady that he'll get the biggest treat ever if he finds that stinking giraffe.  Andrew's gummy little gums neeeeeed it.

man, those quick summaries get longer with each kid.  this is why blogging is so time consuming... I'm too long winded to ever be quick.


honey has been doing well... normal work and traveling and more work and travel.  he stays busy but I try for us to at least feel like we get some hang out time every few days.  tonight I felt like we kind of hung out for a good 20 minutes or so while the kids skated in the basement and I made dinner... so that was nice.  it sounds pathetic when I write it out but honestly, we're just kind of at a busy stage of life right now and it is what it is.

I'm hanging in there!  despite the constant mess and disorganization of my house and life in general, my days are happy.  my days are mostly getting Abigail off to school, taking the other three with me to the gym for a bit, doing lunch, quiet time, Abigail's after school stuff (unpacking backpack, homework, etc.), dinner, and bedtime.  it's a good routine we have down.  we've also been trying to make more of an effort to do fun things as a family and this past Saturday was great with going to the wildlife experience, costa vida, the lone tree library, and then watching beauty and the beast as a family.  we all have a good day if we can make a plan and stay focused on our priorities.  also, because that made me think of it... I am sooooo excited about the come follow me curriculum in relief society this year and counsel meetings and whatever other changes they've made that I don't even know the names of.  but for real, so pumped about come follow me and studying conference talks and having more of a discussion during lessons.  it's been so amazing already.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

“Mom, today I was throwing up red throw up and green throw up and is that because it’s getting close to Christmas? Is that why?” -Brady

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Brady's 5th Birthday!!!

Brady is FIVE!  holy cow!  part of me feels like he's been five forever (since he's only been talking about it since his fourth birthday) and part of me literally feels like he was just born this morning because that memory is so clear and fresh feeling.  time is so crazy.

Brady's birthday is somewhat cursed.  there seems to just always be something that gets in the way of just a regular birthday celebration at home with our family.  I mean, on his first birthday, we left him with a babysitter.  his second birthday, we may have done the same thing?  or I scheduled dentist appointments that night or something? I'd have to go back and check.  we had a great birthday at my parents' with baseball cupcakes and baseball themed everything at the table.  I loved that but I was still kind of sad that it was born out of necessity because we were traveling and out of town on his birthday.  well, this year was our year.  we were in town, we kept the night totally free (Chris had asked me a week or two ago if he should keep the hockey tickets for tonight and take Brady to the avs/penguins game, but I told him that I thought it would be better to all be home as a family), and we had awesome birthday gifts we were soooo excited to give him.

so of course he came down sick on his birthday eve.  was totally fine until he sat down at dinner and just mentioned that he didn't want to eat.  and then kept true to that. within an hour or two, he was a crying mess because having even the most minor sickness means that he is just a few short breaths away from death.  but I gave him drugs that eventually kicked in (which was great because we barely finished that last reading lesson since he was an emotional disaster, but the Motrin made him feel great and giggly again) and he went to bed happy.

so today I had kind of low expectations because Brady was sick (same as me... sore throat, congestion, achey head/neck) and Andrew was still throwing up but the day was actually pretty great all things considered!

so sick and sad.

he watched a lot of shows.  frosty the snowman was the favorite... that got a few viewings.  especially while ms. stacey worked with Elizabeth and I was in the shower, it was good to have some Christmas shows on.

I asked Elizabeth to grab me a diaper and pjs for Andrew and she actually did! and quickly!

came out to find this.  I know it looks like he's watching tv... he's not.  sometimes when he's really tired, he just like to find a patch of sunlight and lay down to rest.  I think if I had left him, he would have fallen asleep even though it was only 11am.

I'd promised him forever ago that he could have a big treat (like a trip to get ice cream or something) when he finished his entire reading lesson book.  it worked out well that he finished last night and he chose a chick fil a milkshake as his treat.  so I waited until after 11 to load us in the car and we went through the drive through (at first he was sad when I told him we wouldn't go inside to play but I told him that he and Elizabeth could stay in their pjs for the car and he was good with it).  we got two chocolate milkshakes (Elizabeth and I could share) and two chicken sandwiches (thanks again for the calendar cards, mother! and poor Christopher that he let me borrow it one month and I've never given it back.  whoops.  it's just been so nice to have two because I always have at least one kid with me) and then picked up our Walmart order on our way home.  I asked Brady if he was sleepy (it was obvious) and he said no.  two minutes later... this.

and I gazed longingly at the chick fil a.  so then I decided to wake him up so we could all go inside to eat.  totally worth it.

Brady said he wanted a hockey cake.  a cake that looked like a hockey rink.  this image was VERY helpful for me to reference.

eventually I got to this point.  it was more time consuming than I wanted it to be (the whole process of baking and making a cake) because it took all of my time that Elizabeth was napping, but it was fun.  Brady helped me with the cake baking and with frosting the whole thing white (tip: heat the frosting and then pour it over... it spreads evenly like a glaze and it doesn't even matter that the top half of your cake was ripped in shreds (because it was really the bottom that didn't come out of the pan evenly)... not that that happened to me.  anyway... it all came together better than anticipated and I let it be when I got to this point.

when honey came home, I had him place the players in a way that made sense to the play of the game.  because one of the goalies was broken, we used that one... the one that wasn't broken still had the long piece attached to his back so the player can move him around... I told honey I only wanted to use the broken one (since he didn't have a stick coming out of his back) and he'd need to craft a situation in which the yellow team pulled their goalie to get an extra player on the ice.  he did a great job.

that puck is a raisin.

honey wrapped all of Brady's gifts and then stuck them on the entertainment center. his family tradition is on the fireplace but ours is full of Christmas stuff right now.  and mostly because we were SO excited for Brady to open his gifts and didn't want to take any chances about the surprise being ruined.

 got some pjs from the Kelsey grandparents.

starting with elbow pads, Brady unwrapped an entire hockey outfit (minus hockey socks though... he'll tell you he got everything except hockey socks) and I may be even more excited than he is because he's been wearing Chris's elbow pads on his arms and his legs (Chris has two sets... two different sizes) and it is the biggest pain ever to try to get those just right.  now Brady has everything for the size he is.

he was soooo happy.  and during presents and throughout the rest of the night, he would just stop and tell me or Chris "thanks for getting me my own hockey stuff" or some variation of that.  my heart was warm at how truly grateful he was.  maybe my favorite moment was when he opened one of his first gifts that wasn't identified (Christopher didn't label anything... he would just tell Brady when he gave it to him) and he was all "dad, who gave this to me?"  it was precious.

he kept putting it on piece by piece... here he's still wearing his little basketball shorts and one set of Chris's elbow pads on his knees.  this was also the point in the night where Elizabeth decided to strip down and denounce clothing for the rest of the night.

we all played hockey together in the basement multiple times before bed.

it was basically just a dress rehearsal for Christmas next week.  and oh my goodness I love my honey so much.  he completely cleaned up this entire room and all the kitchen and dishes and started the dishwasher and put our three kids to bed while I helped Andrew and really, this is my love language.  and then we watched a hallmark Christmas movie together.  well, the end of one and beginning of another... we can't seem to sit through a whole one in one night.

but for real.  I made this cake.  from a box, but whatever.  I didn't even eat any because I don't like cake.  unless it's an amazing cake.  funfetti doesn't count.  also, I was able to surprise Brady with the cake because he didn't see it after I did the initial blue lines.  I think it was better than he thought it would be.

with his gifts.  this was definitely a hockey heavy birthday but he did get nuggets tickets for Wednesday night (Chris and I are going to take him and his best friend, Zack) and a soccer ball toy from brian and Kelsey.  and then dinosaur pjs from the Kelsey's.  mom and dad sent him this cute baseball card (the envelope even had a little circle baseball stamp!) but they cancelled it out by face timing him and giving him roller hockey lessons.  I'll sign him up at the rec center and I can't wait until it starts in march.

hi there, barfy.  strategically placed next to the hardwood, easy to clean, floor, should that projectile vomit come when I'm not holding you.

happy birthday to you!

the avs scored a goal and he was so excited.  and they had an awesome game and WON.

happy birthday Brady!  from all of your favorite people and this little girl wearing a stuffed dog's coat.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

what makes a best friend?

thinking of my friends, I've realized they all have characteristics from the same small list.

they're funny.  I sure do love being friends with funny people.  it's like every interaction is just a real treat.  the other day, I caught myself reading through months of text message conversation that I'd had with weed.  it just reads better than a good book.  everything was making me smile and laugh out loud all over again.  we've been friends since birth (mine, since I'm younger) and she's still the funniest person I know.

they're candid.  I love a little tmi.  when I can sit down with someone and have a conversation where almost nothing is off limits, I naturally feel so comfortable.  we can talk about our less than glittery feelings, how rarely we actually do those less desirable chores, and any bodily function or weirdness that comes up without having to redirect the conversation.  my friend Sarah that's in my ward... this is 100% her.

they're loyal.  I have another friend from birth (hi Diana!) that I'm horribly crappy at keeping in touch with.  despite that, we are friends.  I feel confident that even if we talked for five minutes a year, for the next 20+ years, I would still consider her family and be totally fine asking for a huge last minute favor or crashing at her house if I was passing through her neck of the woods.

just these three characteristics hit most every person I consider to be a close friend.  still, there's just one more category that was hard for me to pin down.  and, as weird as it sounds, it's the people that I'm not truly good friends with... people that may not even consider me a friend.  one person in particular comes to mind... we were visiting teaching companions a few years ago and she's still in my ward.  I'm sure she thinks I'm fine and nice and just another person at church, but I have such huge respect for her as a person.  she is so kind and so hardworking and never feels sorry for herself and she's so satisfied with her life and her situation in a way that I just didn't even know was possible.  I look up to her so much and I know she has no idea.  despite this... I would be willing to make huge sacrifices for her.  so... not sure exactly how to sum up the last category.

they're just good people.  if I can watch them from near or far and see their overwhelming goodness, I can't help but love them and consider them a true friend, regardless of if they even have me on their radar.

so that's it.  this was my thought process a few weeks ago while I was driving home from the gym and thinking about why some people stand the test of time or why someone can go from stranger to best friend basically overnight.  I'll have to edit this is something changes, but basically this is it.  these four things are the best indicators of who I'll consider a friend... and if they've got multiple or all of the characteristics from the list, they're likely on the very top of my best friends list.

I'm so thankful for my friends and all of the great relationships I have in my life right now.

two kinds of sick

when it comes to kids, I feel like there's really just two kinds of sick. the kind of sick that makes them easier, and the kind of sick that makes them more difficult.

I mean, most people are familiar with how kids are crankier or up at night or crying a lot when they don't feel well, but we don't as often get to experience some of those most prime experiences of parenting when the sick kid is just calm and humble and sleepy and cuddly.  that's how Abigail was earlier this year when I had to take her to the ER for what we thought was appendicitis.  it also makes me think of one time when Abigail was little (she's never been cuddly) and she climbed in my lap and fell asleep on me while I was watching general conference or something.  both times were so obvious.

last night though, I chalked it up to Andrew just being really tired and worn out from being awake for the whole ward Christmas party.  he fell asleep with no problem without a binky (normally he falls asleep with a binky for daytime naps but not during any night wakings) and just seemed soooo extra calm.  during the night, he slept for extra long and I even heard him cry a bit up settle himself back to sleep which isn't terribly common.  I thought maybe something might be up but he's typically just an easy going baby so it wasn't a dramatic difference from his norm.  but make no mistake, he's got his first stomach bug.  he threw up once during the night and then first thing in the morning before I got him up.  then he threw up when I was about to put him down for nap (standing on exact spot of crunchy carpet that is left from when Elizabeth threw up there on Wednesday) and it luckily was all contained on the two of us and my bathroom sink (since I sprinted there).  then I got him all changed and cleaned up and reswaddled and was standing in Chris's office about to put him down for nap and it happened AGAIN and luckily I made it to my bathroom sink again and so neither of us got messy at all.  so third time was the charm... I finally put Andrew down and he instantly fell asleep without a binky and without a peep.

so we'll see how the next 24 hours play out.  I'm hoping it can all get out of his system today since tomorrow is Brady's birthday.  cross your fingers for that one!  in the mean time, my biggest goals and accomplishments revolve around keeping vomit out of our carpet* and preferably in a sink.

*on Tuesday night/wednesday morning, Elizabeth was throwing up in her crib.  upon waking for the day, I knew she was still sick, even though she was acting mostly normal.  but that's a hard combo... to have a mobile playing kid that could throw up at any moment.  it's not like she was laying on the sofa for hours on end where I could just surround her with towels and blankets.  I left her in the kitchen while I went to chris's office (we have Andrew's little travel bed in there for the time being) to put Andrew down for a nap and Elizabeth came in fussing and crying and I couldn't understand what she was saying until she started burping and looking like she was about to throw up.  but at that point, what could I do with a nursing baby in my arms?!  so, we have a big patch of crusty carpet still. and that's exactly where I was standing (about to put Andrew down for a nap) when he started burping and I sprinted to the hardwood and then again to my bathroom sink.  and then SOMEHOW it happened the next time I went to put him down again... standing on that very spot and hearing the burping start.  so I'm starting to wonder if that spot is cursed.  seriously... what're the odds?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

the Saturday of Christmas festivities

holy cow... I thought I was doing so great only selecting just a portion of my pictures from the day but there's still a lot.  whoops.

so, we started out the day with me taking Brady to make a bunch of returns at Walmart that I'd been procrastinating for two-ish months.  I never go inside Walmart anymore (still loving Walmart grocery to go) and thought it would be crazy only ten days before Christmas.  well, I'm gonna go ahead and say that amazon must be rocking it this Christmas season because Walmart was not at all busy.  we parked on the second row and didn't have to wait long in line.  and the only thing I had to purchase was a new set of headphones for Abigail for at school.  I finally got smart and bought three pairs instead of my usual one pair.  she bites through the cord every couple of months so it just makes sense that I should probably keep spares on hand.  so hopefully this will get us through the rest of second grade.  ; )  the greatest part though was that these headphones were on a special rack that was locked (you had to have an employee come and get them off for you) and they were carried by the employee to the register that's in the electronics section so that you could purchase them there instead of the front of the store.  I thought this was all comical since I buy the cheapest headphones that only cost $4.88 each but it was awesome because that was my only purchase so, after that, Brady and I just walked right on out of the store.  woohoo!

and then we were on to more important things... like the dollar store.  two years ago, I'd taken Abigail to the dollar store to pick out Christmas gifts for everyone in our family.  it's great because it's a kid friendly environment and you can just say "you get to look at the entire store and pick the ONE BEST item for each person in our family."  it's great to see a kid get into the spirit of giving.  

so I took Brady to do that after Walmart.  it wasn't as awesome as I'd hoped.  mainly because he was soooo hung up on stuff he wanted and he became instantly obsessed with this sword.  but he was able to find some things for his siblings (and Chris) and... when he got home he told Abigail all about his shopping trip and how he really wanted a sword but that I wouldn't let him get it.  well guess who's turn it was to go to the dollar store next? later, Abigail was all "I'm so glad Brady told me that he wanted that sword so that I could get it for him! I hope I got him the right one!"  so cute.

Brady has been DYING to go ice skating ever since Chris took him skating at the Pepsi center a few weeks ago.  he wanted to show me and Abigail how well he can skate without holding on to anything.  it's true... he's picked it up quickly.  we all had a good time.  Abigail liked skating with assistance, Elizabeth enjoyed cuddling with me, being held by Christopher while he skated (until they told him he wasn't allowed to do that), and then "skating" in her shoes with the big plastic thing.

eventually I took the girls and Andrew in the library to warm up for a bit.  the library is my happy place.  there are just so many inviting books!

I think this is a little above my children's level right now but this would be amazing in future years.

Abigail ran out to keep skating so I just had the little two.  Elizabeth wanted to walk up and down these stairs.  well, when you're the oldest kid present, sure, go ahead.  so I hung out with Andrew while Elizabeth walked upstairs, explored a bit, and then came back down.  she was so pleased.

when we came out, Chris and the kids were finishing up.  they were hungry and didn't want to wait for the zamboni.  Chris took them to Texas Roadhouse.  I wasn't in the mood to eat out so I took Elizabeth and Andrew home with me.  we had scrambled eggs on toast.  it was delicious.  I also asked several neighbors if they would go caroling tomorrow at the house up the street... their little boy just got home from the hospital.  he is almost four and has leukemia and one of my friends from church is organizing the caroling.

when Christopher and the kids got back, Elizabeth took a nap and we helped the kids wrap presents.  it was so great.

Fiona came over to play for a bit... honey warmed up ham and turkey for our ward dinner.  he took Abigail and Brady to the church to help set up and decorate and I brought the littles and the meats when I came.  the Christmas party was a sit down dinner with no formal program... just musical performances as [mostly] background music.  it was perfection... I liked it way more than years past and it was a lot of fun.

every day recently I've just been so surprised at how much I'm enjoying myself this Christmas season.  last year when I was pregnant, I just hated Christmas.  everything about it seemed like such a pain and I was just anxious for it to be over and the whole time was just wishing that it didn't even exist.  this year? I'm totally digging my heels in because I'm so sad that we only have one week left until the magic takes off for another year.