Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Happenings

We've had a busy month, as December usually is. Quinten had his six month check-up at the beginning of the month. Fifteen pounds even, which may seem small to all of you, but we think it's great! When you start out under six pounds and your parents are Andrew and I, we think he's doing well. :) And, considering Callie and Leah were both under twenty pounds at a year, he's huge! I took him in to the night clinic on Saturday- he's gained another pound this month (16.3 now) and he's got an ear infection. The kid hates his medicine- it took me 20 minutes to get it in him this morning and I think half of it was spit out on me or himself... headstrong little thing. I guess he fits into our house well. Quinten is such a great baby. He's happy almost always, he smiles at everyone, and his sisters still adore him. He is really loud, but it's not the same as the girls. The girls all starting making sounds and talking so early. Quinten just grunts and squeals. It's funny to listen to, but I'm sure will be a huge adjustment for me when I expect him to tell me what he wants for breakfast and he still can't do it. The difference between boys and girls, I guess. We're still trying to figure it all out.
We managed to decorate our Gingerbread house this year. The girls love doing it... Andrew and I- not so much. I forgot how long the thing is supposed to sit for the walls to harden before you put the candy on. We started it way too late and didn't leave it nearly as long as it should have been left. It was a long night, bedtime kept getting pushed back, but they had a great time.
Callie loves to pose for pictures. It's almost impossible to get a picture of her just smiling normal. I actually have to ask for it and then it still only happens sometimes.
The finished product.
One evening the girls asked to decorate sugar cookies. It was too late to start a batch of dough (well, too late for my tired self to start a batch) so I decided we'd make cupcakes instead and decorate them- quicker, cleaner, just as fun. You'll see by the pictures below what kind of fun they had...
Leah's were so caked with sprinkles that you couldn't see the frosting at all. Yep, she actually ate this one after she was done. Actually, all she ate was the frosting and the sprinkles... gross. You can see by her mouth that she was taste testing along the way. But, she loved it and kept saying, "Oh, it's beautiful!" I'm glad she thought so.
Callie's- not as bad as Leah's, but still had its fair share of sprinkles. She also ate the top of her cupcake and left the rest.
This is my conservative child. Even if Alexa wasn't years older than the other two, I could almost guarantee her cupcake would look just like this. That's just Alexa. She's very conscious of what she is doing, careful to do it right, and hates making mistakes. I love her, but I wonder sometimes what this careful attitude will do to her in years to come. She is way too hard on herself.
We've since decorated sugar cookies (in case anyone was wondering), but as usual, I failed to take pictures. However, given the pictures above, I'm sure you have a fairly good vision.
This is the kids in their Christmas clothes after church on Sunday. Quinten spends the majority of his day with his tongue hanging out. It's quite cute. And of course, there's Callie- not smiling but trying her hand at something else- literally, in this case.
This may be the last year Alexa will allow all of them to match. I think she thinks she is too old for it. I've pushed it the last couple years,but I may have to change my tune next year. Who knows? Maybe I can get away with one more year after this... it's just so cute. :) I even wore a black skirt and red shirt to church too... It's not normally something I try to do, but once a year isn't so bad. I tried to convince Andrew to wear his matching tie... no dice. He's not into that sort of thing, even on holidays. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Salt Lake

The kids and I went up North last weekend to visit my sister, Siri, and her family. We had a great time, even if we weren't used to the frigid Northern Utah temperatures. Siri's baby is due in January and we had all her baby clothes, so we packed up everything she gave us, plus whatever we'd accumulated for Quinten that he had outgrown and took it all to her. It was more stuff than I had realized and it felt so great to get rid of it. We also took her our swing and rocking/bouncer seat. So, it's official- I have NO clothes in my house that are for a newborn baby. Crazy, huh??
We drove up on Saturday, went to church with them on Sunday, rode Trax downtown to see the lights at Temple Square, ate lunch at Ikea on Monday with Siri and Jack, and then left for home. It was good to get away and I always love seeing my sister; I wish she was closer than four hours- it's just a too little long to be easy. The above picture is of all the kids. We originally wanted a picture of Jack and Quinten's matching PJ's, but Jack would only be in the picture if Callie was too (he loves Callie), so we made it a group shot.
Siri and the kids on Trax. Jack loves trains, so this was great for him. He was hilarious- he kept yelling, "All aboard!" as loud as he could. You'll notice the girls hats and scarves: thank goodness Aunt Siri could outfit everyone... we brought coats, but I never thought to grab hats and such.
Leah spent the majority of the ride downtown this way.
Quinten slept almost the whole time we were there. He was by far the warmest of all of us. Alexa kept saying she couldn't smile because she was too cold. Siri made the comment that the last time she went to see the lights was with me and our friend, Elizabeth, when I was in college. it was the last time I was there, as well. It's amazing that we take for granted the things that are so close to us.

Callie took this picture. Not too bad.

This picture is really our of order, but has a funny story behind it. Quinten was screaming and didn't want to sit for a picture. Jack hates listening to crying- Siri says it really upsets him. I thought this picture was funny because of the look on Jack's face. He looks concerned and disgusted all at the same time.

We had such a good time. I always feel like I'm going home when I go up North. I get to about Spanish Fork and I breathe a sigh of relief and tell myself that I'm home. I suppose I lived there long enough to make it home and because my real home is completely unattainable most of the time, it is a good substitute. It also helps to have Siri there. This time of year is always bittersweet for me- I love the holidays and everything that goes with it, but it is also a reminder that I can't be with my family. When you come from a family of ten kids and you are one of only two that don't live near home, it twists your heart just a little when you know they are all together celebrating without you. I am blessed to have great in-laws nearby. It softens the blow, but doesn't always ease all the pain. Time is a funny thing, isn't it? You think the hard moments will never pass when you are going through them, but they always do. And in no time at all, you are looking back and wondering why you ever thought you couldn't manage. My mom told me just last week something she heard from a friend that made me bawl, but oddly made me feel better too: the Lord can move mountains and part seas for us if He chooses to; but, sometimes he merely shows us the path and makes us go over the mountains or shows us how to build the boat to cross the seas. It's not supposed to be easy, right??

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween and Updates

So, Alexa decided she wanted to be a witch this year for Halloween. Sounded good to me, so I made an executive decision that everyone would be a witch this year... really, they were happy with it- I wasn't being mean. It meant no princess costumes, no curly hair, no makeup, no shoes they can't walk in. I'm so sick of all that stuff. This was the easiest Halloween ever and I loved it. Everyone knows I'm much more of a Fall/Harvest person than a Halloween person. I'm always glad to see Halloween pass. Yes, you may call me the Scrooge of Halloween and I'm completely fine with accepting the title. So, here are my three little witches and my little Penguin. This may be the only time the little penguin was awake in his costume. I must have bad timing because everytime the costume went on, his eyes closed. Silly kid. The girls trick or treated in our neighborhood with some of their cousins. It was perfect outside. I had on flip flops and a short sleeved shirt and was fine till we went inside. It's one of the things I love best about St George- I love being able to enjoy the fall colors by actually being in them- not just looking at them through my window. Anyway, the girls had a great time.
My cute little guy. He's so much fun to have around.
Alexa insisted that her had be crooked for the picture... still not sure why. Leah's hair had been in two braids all day, which is why it looks so funky. I figured it was appropriate for a witch to have out of control hair.
Quinten is constantly sticking his tongue out.

Quinten is just over 5 months old now. I can hardly believe it has been that long! A month ago he weighed in at 13 lb. We're happy with it because it's over twice his birth weight. He is finally starting to feel a little like a boy. He grunts a lot more than the girls did and he feels thicker- not so dainty. We started him on solid foods a few weeks ago. He's still not sold on the idea, but we're getting there. He's been rolling around for awhile too. He hates his stomach, so when he rolls to it, he cries. It's quite funny. He is FINALLY sleeping better. I'm only up once or maybe twice during the night now. It was awful for awhile- he hated his bed and loved mine, and since I refuse to have kids sleep in my bed, we were awake sometimes two or three times an hour a few times every night. I think I was so tired everyday that we literally ran on autopilot at our house. My poor kids watched a lot of movies. Quinten has had his haircut again and again. Is this what I have to look forward to with a boy?? I'm already tired of his ever growing hair. And, everyone still comments on his full head. He's like a little ChiaBoy. It has gotten lighter with every haircut. And, the jury is still out on his eye color. I go back and forth from blue to brown. It's still just a muddy mess of color most days. Aside from being a lousy sleeper, he really is the best baby. He's happy and so smiley to anyone who will look his way. We just think he's the best!
This is Leah dressing herself for the day... we stayed home on this particular day. Leah drives me crazy. I love her to death and she can be so incredibly sweet, but she still drives me absolutely crazy. The child spends more time out on our back porch than she does inside our house...OK, it may be a slight exaggeration. (Her timeouts are outside because she screams so loud, hits me, wakes up Quinten, etc... you get the idea.) Am I a mean mom? Probably. Do I feel bad about that? Not so much. I try to remind myself that it's a phase. Isn't it?? She does manage to make me laugh on a daily basis. She was drawing a few days ago and said, "Look, I drew a vampire." I had to think really hard as to where she would have heard about vampires. It took me a couple days, but it was from the Max and Ruby Halloween special. No, I don't read the Twilight books to my kids... which I know went through ALL of your heads when you read the vampire thing. What kind of Mom do you think I am??? We were in the car yesterday listening to the radio and the new Hannah Montana song came on (you know the one- Party in the USA, yada, yada... I don't really know the rest of the words yet.) Anyway, Leah says to me, "Is this Hannah Montana?" How did she know?? I am guessing she actually pays attention to her older sisters even when I don't think she does.
This is Callie during her preschool Halloween program. She loves school so much. I've helped in her class a couple times since the beginning of the year and it's been fun to see how much she has changed in that short amount of time. She makes friends easily and seems to get along with everyone. She has become my helper on the days she is home, now that Alexa is gone all day. And, she makes me laugh. I was getting ready to leave to get my hair done last week and she says to me, "You don't need to get your hair done. Just stick it in a bun and throw it in the oven!" Where do they come up with this stuff?? We had a bit of an allergy scare with Callie a couple weeks ago. She managed to get a small Snickers bar from the Primary program practice and ate it before she got home and I could check it. She came up to me and told me her chest hurt. Alexa then informed me that she had eaten a Snickers. HELLO ALEXA!!! You could have stopped her! Anyway, I got out her Epi-pen, thinking I would have to use it and rush to the hospital. She threw up over and over and over, but her breathing seemed OK. Her lips were a little swollen for awhile and I got up every hour through the night to check on her, but she was OK. I hope it means the allergy is getting to be less potent. We'll have her tested again soon to see what's really going on. Callie still sings and dances every chance she gets. Andrew and I love watching her. She really is entertaining!

The big girls recently got haircuts. They are so happy with shorter hair! I am glad only because it's less to wash, dry, and brush. Alexa's big news is she lost another tooth a couple weeks ago. She also has four more that are loose. She loves talking about her loose teeth and about who has loose teeth in her class... we are quite sick of it. She's doing great in school and still loves it, of course. She loves to read and will sit down and completely zone everything else out just to read a book. It's great! Her best friend will be moving the end of December, so we've been trying to prep her. Alexa is still quite shy around people she doesn't know well. We can always tell because she folds her arms, looks down, and has a scowl on her face. She looks like she has an attitude, but really it's her nerves getting the best of her. I'm constantly telling her to keep her arms at her sides, chin up, and smile! She hates hearing it. :) The other day I had her and Leah in the bathtub and I was leaning over the edge to wash Leah's hair. Alexa says to me (with a laugh), " Mom, your stomach looks like you're going to have another baby!" Thank you, Alexa... thank you.

That's about all for us these days. This was a long post... phew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

David and Angie's Wedding

A couple weekends ago, Callie, Quinten and I went home for my little brother's wedding. It was such a quick trip; I always find myself needing one more day when I go home- just one day to sit at my parent's house and do nothing. It never happens... I'm just glad we got to be home for a couple days. We had such a great time!! Callie was asked by David and Angie to be the flower girl in the wedding party. She was thrilled, of course. The wedding was great, the reception was so much fun, and we had a great time with family and friends. We LOVED Angie's family- they were so wonderful. I always think it's a good sign when you get great in-laws; David is very lucky. I had it easy the day of the wedding- my Dad and stepmom kept Quinten for me, so I was pretty much on my own. Callie ran around with her cousins the whole time and loved every minute of it. She looked beautiful, of course, and everyone kept telling me how pretty and sweet she was. I think so!! There will probably be a lot of pictures to follow- mostly for the sake of the family who may not have seen them. Sorry to everyone else who may find them boring. :)

This is Callie showing off her cool shoes. These were her gift from Angie, who was wearing matching shoes. Callie LOVED them.
This picture is totally out of order... not sure how that happened. I know it's blurry, but I had to put it in because the story behind it is so funny. It's blurry because I was shaking because I was laughing. This is Callie walking down the aisle of the church with the ring bearer behind her. As she drops a pile of leaves, he comes behind her and stomps on the pile with both feet. It was hilarious. He was such a cute kid.
Isn't she just so pretty??
Callie with Grandma and Grandpa before they left for the church. It was great- they took Callie to the rehearsal on Friday night and I got to stay home, and they took her to the church early for pictures on Saturday and I got to come later. Unfortunately, I forgot her pretty sash (as you can see in this picture, it's missing). I had to make a mad dash down to the church to take it to her, which really cut into my getting ready time and my dropping off Quinten time. We still made it; it was just a little more rushed than I had hoped it would be. My sister Karen was my saving grace- she watched Quinten and let me use her car so I could run to the church.

My cute parents.
My little brother Damon, his date Nikelle (someone tell me how to spell her name so I can get it right, please....), and my sister Honor. I tried to convince Damon he didn't need a date because he could just hang out with me since I didn't have a "date" (Andrew, of course) with me. He didn't go for that. Want to know what he told me?? "I guess if I can't find a date I can hang out with you." Talk about being chopped liver....
Honor and her husband Matt. And the ball of sweater she is holding is Quinn.
My sister, Karen, and I.
Cousins: Jacob, Callie and Brielle. They ran all over that reception area. It was so fun to watch all the fun they were having. :)
Angie and Callie showing off their matching shoes.
Angie, David and Callie just before I dragged Callie home; she would have stayed all night if I had let her.
This is the day after the wedding. Grandma with Quinten and Callie. We love going home to visit. Callie cries everytime we say goodbye to my parents- she hates to leave them. We wish we lived closer to home so we could visit more often. I tried to console her by reminding her that her other two sisters had to stay home and didn't get to come at all... she liked that. :) As a sidenote, Alexa and Leah had a great time with Andrew and Grandma and PopPop Hench, who took care of them while Andrew was at work. So, we think everyone won over the course of the weekend.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Babies

This is a picture of Quinten (on the right) and his cousin, Quinn. Honor, my sister, laughs and says Quinten looks like he has a hairpiece on... OK, he needs another haircut. This picture was taken just before my brother's wedding last weekend when I was home. Quinn was born just three short months after Quinten. Today was his blessing day. We wish we could have been there!! We had intended on getting pictures of all the new babies together while I was home: Quinten, Quinn, Charlotte (my brother's baby born in August) and Ryker (my cousin's baby born in June)... I ruined it by leaving Quinten at my Dad's house during the wedding. Sorry everyone!! Just think of the torture we will have to go through next summer when we try to get pictures of all of them and they will be mobile! Ugh...will we manage to get a decent picture?? My sister, Siri's baby will also be added to the group by then; she is due the middle of January with another boy. It's just been a baby season for our family- what fun! I love it that they will have cousins to play with when we all get together.
I plan on posting wedding pictures soon. I've got some great ones of Callie, the flower/leaf girl. I'm just too tired to do it right now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Toothless Grin

So, here's the picture of Alexa's toothless smile in all it's glory. For some reason, she had a hard time smiling a REAL smile for me... So, this will have to do. I am also pleased to report that the other bottom tooth is now loose as well. She is thrilled.
Alexa heard from Kinzlee that if she wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy, she would respond. Kinzlee asked the Tooth Fairy what she did with all the teeth she collected. Alexa, of course decided that a proper question would be: how do you get the teeth to other people? After all, "she can't give them to babies, their teeth just grow in by themselves." She also decided that it was illogical for the Tooth Fairy to give them to adults because the teeth would be too small. So, a big THANK YOU to the Tooth Fairy who came to Kinzlee's house and told her that she gave the teeth to other people. I hope you had a good laugh at our expense... especially when you heard what the Tooth Fairy had to come up with in order to satisfy our curious daughter.

So Cute

My good friend, Melissa, was at Old Navy last night and found these shirts for our girls. Aren't they so cute?? Kinzlee called this morning and told Alexa that her Mom had bought them matching shirts and she wanted them to wear them today. Alexa ran down to her house and left for school from there, so I had to catch them on the way home. We just love Kinzlee. If she wanted to move into my house tomorrow, she'd be welcome. We will be more than sad when they move... devastated would be an appropriate word, I think. Let's just not talk about it, OK??

Friday, September 25, 2009

I am a LIAR...

Yes, I am a liar. But, what choice do you have when your six year old is about to ruin the novelty of the Tooth Fairy for the rest of the family?? Alexa lost her first tooth this morning. It's obviously been loose all week, so she's had too much time to think about what will happen to the tooth when it finally falls out. This was a conversation we had at the dinner table this week...unfortunately, Andrew wasn't there, so I had no backup...

Alexa: Mom, is the Tooth Fairy real?
Me: Well, what do you think?
Alexa: I want you to tell me the truth. Is it or not?
Me: I really want to know if you think the Tooth Fairy is real.
Alexa: I think maybe it's real, but I want you to tell me if it is or not.
Me: Well, I think there is a fairy who does come and take your tooth and replaces it with money.
Alexa (staring RIGHT into my face): And that's the truth?
Me: Sure.

WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE???? She had yet to lose a tooth. The other girls were sitting there. I couldn't possibly ruin it for the whole family before we even got started. They already don't believe in the Easter Bunny because of her. (Long story) I can't let her superior logic ruin everyone's fun all the time. Can't I put on some of the girls' dress-up fairy wings and be a fairy for a few minutes when they lose a tooth? I'm sure there is a way to justify lying to all my girls right in their faces...
I will put up a picture of Alexa- I just need to take one first. :) She pulled it out herself while brushing her teeth this morning. I hope they are all that easy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Callie Starts Preschool

Callie started preschool a couple weeks ago. Excited doesn't even describe the way she felt. She is so happy to be in school and I am happy to have her gone a couple times a week. What do I do with only two kids at home?? It hasn't exactly been what I envisioned yet, but hopefully we will settle into a routine soon. What I did the first day of school with the two little ones should be a post of its own...I'll just say it was not what I wanted to be doing. Callie wanted everyone to see her backpack in this picture. Yes, it's almost as big as she is. She was quite jealous of Alexa's first day of school post and the comments that people left. Alexa claimed they were HER comments and Callie was determined to have comments for her first day of school as well. So, if you feel inclined... Callie will be thrilled. :)

I just put this in because I thought it was a funny picture of Leah. She is a little sad when Callie leaves, but we are managing. I was hoping that it would end up being nap time for her, but she has since decided that naps are no longer a necessary part of her schedule... she's killing me.
The walkway to preschool is rock shaped like feet. Leah thought they were cool.
Miss Keri, Callie's teacher. Thank goodness for hand sanitizer... We have been living with bottles of the stuff all over our house lately. Yes, I am paranoid.
Callie and her best friend, Jaide. They kind of stick together like glue... it's really cute.