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??