Monday, October 4, 2010


I suppose I could say time flies when you're having fun; but, in this case it's really more appropriate to say time flies when you are too busy to realize that it has passed.
I started a post last week to put up the school pictures that are long overdue, but I was fighting with our new computer and finally gave up and went to bed. I haven't had the time or energy to try again yet. I have reverted to the safety of my laptop to type this... a place I feel completely comfortable. However, the card with all our pictures is safely nestled in the tower of the new desktop. I don't have the energy to retrieve it.... So, a quick update without pictures must suffice for the time being.

I'm amazed that with four little kids I can be so busy running around outside of our home. Alexa started 2nd grade, Callie is in Kindergarten, and Leah is in Preschool. They all start at the same time, but end at different times throughout the day. Fun times! My saving grace is my friend, Melissa, who also has three kids in school- 3rd, Kindergarten, and Preschool. Our morning ritual is to drop kids off at one house or the other so we can split up the driving responsibilities. She is the best! So, you'd think with only Quinten around a couple days a week, I'd have more free time. Nope. I'm not that smart. Monday mornings we head straight to the school to help with Level Library books for both Callie and Alexa's classes. Every other Monday I help in Alexa's class after I've done Level Library, taken Quinten to a friends, and returned to the school. Melissa and I signed up to be Room Moms for our girls' Kindergarten class... (I told her I wouldn't do it alone). Once a month on Wednesdays I help in Leah's Preschool class. I trade babysitting with friends so we can help in our kids' classes, so some mornings are filled with playdates. We have piano, soccer practice, soccer games, homework to be done, schoolbooks to be read, spelling pretests to administer, etc. The list goes on and on. Primary is a constant worry in the back of my mind. There is always something that needs to be done or thought about. I'm grateful to not have Selma's calling! (Sorry, Selma... I'm quite happy just being your counselor). The days fly by without even realizing it.

But, even with the busy schedule and the minimal downtime after the dishes are done, the laundry folded, the kids are bathed and in bed, and the living room is picked up, we're happy. We're doing good. Our kids are healthy (except for Quinten's cold), I think they are relatively happy, and I truly can't complain. I would be completely ungrateful if I started listing all the things that go wrong in our life on a day to day basis. Everybody has them- mine are no bigger than anyone else I know. Life is full of surprises, twists and turns. You can't get away from them; what matters most is how you react to the surprises, and how you bend with the twists and turns. I'm still learning. I probably always will be learning because I've never been a fan of surprises and I get carsick during twists and turns. It's life. You paste a smile on your face and grab a barf bag because it's not going to change just because you want it to. So, today things are good. Tomorrow may be hard. The next day may be even harder. Who knows? I do know that I control my attitude on my hard days. I can let it get to me or I can take my five minute breather in my bathroom where my kids can be locked out. Some days I do both- hey, I'm not perfect. But, I hope I'm at least moving in that general direction. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Pictures... A Little Late

School started ages ago and I'm just getting the pictures up. Alexa started the second week of August, Callie started a week later, and Leah started a couple weeks after that. Everyone is doing well and loving it. It's so funny to see the different personalities of my kids shine through on big days, such as the first day of school. If I had my best guess, Alexa was nervous, but she'd never let us know that she was. She's ready to get back to school, for sure; she's tired of being home. She walks into her class, doesn't really want to talk to us- just wants us to leave. Is she embarrassed by us?! It's just Alexa's way, I suppose. Callie, on the other hand, is bouncing off the walls before we left the house, jumping up and down, can't stop smiling and gives me a big hug before I leave her new Kindergarten room. Everything is fun, everything is exciting and she is ready for it all. And then there's Leah. I stayed and helped in her Preschool on the first day of school and it was a good thing that I did or she probably never would have gotten out of the car. She never left my side, hardly said a word to her teacher and was ready to leave when the two hours was up. I'm happy to report it has gotten better over the past month, and I'm optimistic that she will love it by Christmas. :) It's a little crazy to think that I have three kids in school at least a couple days a week. I had high hopes that I would get lots done with just one kid for a few hours... fat chance. Quinten has turned into a busy, messy, run away from you little boy. Maybe as he gets older.... a mom can hope.

The first picture is of Alexa before school. She got a little sun the day before school started, which accounts for her pink cheeks. And, she's missing a few teeth. :) This picture is of Alexa and her friend, Natalie. They ride their bikes or wald back and forth to school together. It's so nice to have friends on our street so they can do that! Alexa didn't have any friends moving into her class with her this year. She knew three boys and one girl from church, but that was it. I'm so glad the transistion has been easy- with Alexa, you never know. She has made great friends- two girls have also been on her fall soccer team.

This is Leah on her Preschool orientation day. She insisted on wearing her backpack the whole time.

This is Callie on her first day of Kindergarten. She was giddy, excited, happy, and smiled a ton. She came home and had already made friends and was ready to go back. Callie is my most outgoing child- it's so fun to see her interact with other people because you can see she genuinely loves it.
This was Leah's actual first day of school. The smile on her face is deceiving... she wasn't as thrilled when we got there.
This is after school- probably just grateful to be home. :)

Our girls are so cute; each so different, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


These pictures should have been posted in May... I'm just so slow. However, I knew if I didn't put them up before my summer pictures, they would probably never get posted. And, since this blog is mostly for my own journaling purposes, I suppose it doesn't matter when it gets put on, so long as it makes it to my blog.
Disneyland was great... if I remember correctly. :) I know the girls had a great time. Quinten had his first good day in California and slept for the majority of our time in the park. It made it a little more difficult to take the girls on rides, but was better than the alternative of him being awake, fussy and angry that we had him out and about. It was completely overcast the day we were there; even a little bit drizzly at times. Because we were only in Anaheim for two nights, I had left the bulk of our stuff at the beach house and only brought what we needed. So, we had no pants for anyone to wear, I had forgotten to bring socks, and Andrew and I had no sweatshirts (which were actually left on the couch at home...). It meant a mad dash to Target to get at least socks and sweatshirts. We spent the whole day in the park and left for dinner. After dinner, Andrew took the older girls back and I stayed at our hotel with the little ones. We bundled the girls up as best we could and hoped they wouldn't complain of being cold. Andrew said they were fine and they had a great time picking out their favorite rides to go on again. Leah, Quinten and I watched Ponyo and had popcorn while they were gone.
This was on the roof of our hotel. The girls thought it was cool. So, I promised awhile ago to tell the story of sleeping in the car with Quinten... well, here it is:
We got to our hotel Sunday night. Everything was fine until bedtime, of course. At 10:00, Quinten started to cry. I tried everything to get him to stop and go back to sleep. However, with three other kids in the room and who knows how many to the sides of us, above us, and below us, I couldn't just let him scream. So, at about 10:45, he and I left to take a nighttime tour of Anaheim. He cried for about a half hour before he settled down, and it took about 45 minutes for him to fall asleep. So, what do you do with a sick baby who refuses to sleep when he's supposed to, who is asleep in your car?? You let him sleep. We got back to the parking lot, a reclined my seat as best I could, and I drifted in and out of sleep for hours. It was LOUSY. He woke up around 3:30 and we went back upstairs to our room. Unfortunately, he was restless till about 6:00, when he fell into a blissfully deep sleep. You have got to be kidding me. What a crummy night. I got up a half hour later to get myself ready before I had to wake everyone else and get them ready. I was exhausted. My eyes burned when I turned on the light, my stomach hurt from lack of sleep; I wanted nothing more than to fall back into bed and sleep for hours. And, I probably could have- no one even budged when I tried to get them up- not even Andrew. Yeah, I'm a good mom to push everyone into having a good time even when I don't feel like it. Let's hope they appreciated it....:)
The rest of these pictures may not be in order and may or may not have stories to go behind them... I'll do my best to remember and to not bore anyone who may be reading this.
This was on the Buzz LightYear ride. There is certainly a story behind this picture. Just as we got on the ride, Quinten decided he needed a new diaper. Actually, he didn't decide, I did.... after I stuck my finger in something nasty at the back of his shorts. Yes, I know that is extremely gross... I can't help it- it is what it is. I grabbed wipes and hand sanitizer out of the backpack, sanitized my hands and then had to hold him very carefully throughout the whole ride so as not to ruin his clothes with what was lurking outside of his diaper. Talk about a long ride. It was all that medicine that had been pumped into him in the previous 72 hours! He couldn't help it. :) So, we got off the ride, I hightailed it to the bathroom, and thankfully made it before his clothes were in need of changing and we were on our way back to the hotel.
Yes, we stood in line to see the Princesses: Belle, Aurora, and Jasmine. Poor Leah has been neglected and had no idea who any of the princesses were. We have since been pumping her full of Disney princess movies so she's not a social outcast someday...
We went to Disneyland the day before Leah's birthday. As a part of her birthday festivities, she got to pick some of the things she wanted to do. She wanted her face painted, of course.
Such cute girls. Leah's face paint was my favorite. The others were cute as well, of course. :)

The next three pictures I included because of Leah. Her expressions are hilarious. You can tell what she really wanted to do.

Once she was in the drivers seat, she was a happy camper.
We spent way more time in Toontown that I had anticipated. NOT my favorite place.
Our birthday girl next to cake and balloons in Mickey's house.
One of the only family shots we have, thanks to the run-in we had with the Bushar's.
The one ride we went on with them. Quinten was asleep, Leah didn't want to go, and Callie chickened out on me as we got to the front of the line, claiming she had to use the bathroom. She's our scaredy cat. So, Alexa rode with Selma and the girls and Scott and the boys were on there somewhere. Watching the Bushar's for the short time we were with them gave me hope: they have four kids, all close in age like ours. They just happen to be five years ahead of us. No strollers, no diaper bags, no one asleep or complaining of being tired. Everyone has a partner to ride with, everyone can go on every ride, and they all want to go on every ride. They were having so much fun together! I loved it. Someday, that will be us... when we've done our time with our little ones. :) I keep telling the girls that we won't go back to Disneyland till everyone is old enough to appreciate it. I also said we wouldn't go to Disneyland at all till I didn't have a baby... We'll see if I can stick to my guns this time.

It was a good trip. As we were leaving California, Andrew made the comment that it was one of the best, if not the best, family trips we've had so far. It's the first trip we've taken that was focused around just our family- not visiting my family or Andrew's family, no one we had to visit or felt obligated to. It was just us. And that is what made the difference, I think. It makes me realize how important family time is. There were bumps- it obviously wasn't all fun and games, but we did have a great time. I hope it is something the girls will remember.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Santa Monica Pictures

I'm finally finishing our trip pictures from May... ugh. I need to get it done so I can post our summer pictures and our first day of school pictures that will be on my camera tomorrow!
So, these pictures were from our day at the beach. The Bushar's came up from their hotel in Anaheim to spend the day with us. We had lunch at the house and spent the afternoon on a somewhat cold beach. I personally thought the water was frigid... I only stuck a toe in, but I think I would have been miserable if I had gotten any more wet than that. The kids didn't seem to mind.
This is Alexa, Ellie and Josie in the water. Callie was there with them for awhile... until a wave overtook her tiny little form and she got soaked. She wasn't happy and did not return to the waves for the rest of the afternoon. Poor Ellie had a sunburn from the day before; it looked so painful! I can see the red in her skin even from this picture.
Quinten was sick. Poor little thing. The night before had been one of the most horrible nights we have ever had with any of our children. He pretty much spent his whole afternoon curled up next to Andrew. Luckily, he had enough sense to take a nap... at least someone got some rest!
Leah never once touched the water. Last summer, we spent a week at the Oregon Coast with my family. She wouldn't even touch the sand. We had to carry her to a chair, where she would sit until we moved her again. This year, she liked the sand and was content to sit and play. We are making progress! Maybe next summer we will get her in the water.
This is Callie after her "incident" with the wave. She was freezing. Hey, I don't blame her. I was freezing and I wasn't wet!
Selma and I took the girls for a walk down the beach. Leah wanted to collect every piece of a shell that she could find. She stopped every two feet to pick something up and wanted everyone to see it. We conveniently dumped that bucket before we left the beach.
I was truly too tired to feel sorry for him at the time, but looking at the pictures now makes me realize what an angel he really is.
Alexa is getting to such a fun age. Everything is exciting, she can keep up with anyone, and she wants to experience everything. I love it!!
Quinten's nap. I was glad it was Andrew and not me....
The kids tried digging a huge hole. It was fun to see them working so hard. We were a ways up from the water, so when they needed a bucket, Ellie would run down and get it. Sometimes someone else would go, but mostly it was her. She was such a trooper!
Having the Bushar's with us was a welcome relief. We had spent so much time the previous day trying to figure out what to with Quinten, that the girls had really spent a lot of time sitting around or taking short trips to the beach with either Andrew or I. This was the first real day we had done something "fun" and I know the girls loved it even more because they had friends to play with. Andrew and I aren't nearly as much fun as the Bushar's. :) So, thank you, thank you for spending the day with us!

Monday, July 12, 2010


My sister, my mom and I went to see Eclipse at midnight on opening night. We've never done that before. Yes, it was a little extreme. No, we won't do it again. We showed up at the theater two and a half hours early, sat in a very long line and each read a book till it was time to move. We have discovered that: people are crazy when it comes to these movies, people have little respect for others when they care passionately about something (or even if they don't), and movie theater workers do not have rocket science degrees. The theater we went to have Eclipse showing on 6 screens. We had tickets for the very first theater. Little did we know that our theater also housed the patrons who paid to see New Moon before Eclipse started. While every other line for every other theater was moving, we were standing still. Honor and I tried to see what was going on and our not so friendly movie staff informed us that they were not making the people in our theater move to the theaters they had bought tickets for. So, there were not seats for any of us in our theater. They were "trying" to figure out what to do with us. Well, I was a little mad. We didn't buy our tickets months in advance and wait in line for almost three hours to get crappy seats that weren't even near each other. I finally asked a guy if we could just go in and see what we could find. (For crying out loud, the movie was getting ready to start). He shrugged his shoulders, so I took that as a yes. As we walked past a bunch of other angry Eclipse fans, I heard someone say, "How come they get to go in?" Well, the theater had plenty of seats. We got great seats and felt bad for all the other people in line who had to rush in at the last minute. Seriously, if those "helpful" staff members had just taken a look inside, they would have realized everything would be fine. OK, long story done. We liked the movie. It was way too late to stay up for it. And, I was FREEZING on the way home. Teeth chattering, turning on the heat in my car cold. Serves me right for going out at night in Washington. :)

*And, my friends at home will happy to know that I sat in the middle of my mom and my sister. Who took my place at the end?? :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Trip to Southern Cal

As a warning to anyone who may be reading this: there are a LOT of pictures here. And, this isn't the half of it. I will have to do separate posts for the rest of our trip to California. I can hardly believe it's been over a month since we were there. My memories of how the trip really was are already fading slightly. If you had asked me the day after we got home how things were, I would have told you something along these lines: "I think everyone else had a good time. I'm just really, really tired." The trip started out a little rocky even before we left. I took Quinten to the Dr. Thursday night, (the night before we left), only to discover he had a bad ear infection. We hadn't gotten much sleep the two nights before we left, for obvious reasons, so I started out tired. He had a fever that didn't break until Sunday night. Saturday night was one of the worst, if not the worst, nights we have ever had with him. He cried and screamed for hours on end... literally. Our saving grace was the house pictured below.
This is the beach house we stayed at in Santa Monica. One of the owners of the gym is best friends with the owner of this house and hooked us up for the week. It was spectacular. It had three levels: a main living area with kitchen, a master suite upstairs, and two bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry room and family room downstairs. The garage has this fabulous patio above it with a beautiful fireplace and amazing view. We used the two lower levels and only went upstairs if we wanted to see the view- the house sat right across the street from the beach. I honestly think the only way I didn't pack us all up and leave on Saturday night was because we could separate Quinten from the girls while they were sleeping. They never once heard him.
This was the girls' room. We gave Leah her own bed because the other girls say she moves around too much. :) They loved the beds because they were so high off the ground.
This was in the family room downstairs. We loved the picture behind us- it was huge and so fun.
Saturday night, Andrew and Alexa went to an Angels game. I can't remember who Andrew knows... but, someone who comes into the gym is affiliated with the team... I think. They hooked them up with great tickets. Andrew met a co-worker and his grandson there who drove down from St. George just for the game.
Apparently, Alexa didn't want her picture taken.
The rest of the pictures all took place after a great day at the beach with our friends, the Bushars (who were also going to Disneyland the same day we were), and Disneyland. They will be separate posts because there are lots of pictures. Sunday night we left the beach house and went to our hotel in Anaheim. We were there Sunday night and Monday night. (Sorry, Lauren... the story of me driving Quinten around Anaheim all night will have to wait).
Tuesday before we headed back to the beach house we went to the Griffith Observatory. I think it would have been really cool, except we showed up at the same time five busloads of kids did for a field trip. My kids are probably too young to appreciate it anyway. :)
They really only wanted to see this. We watch way too much Disney Channel. This silly sign is on every show and movie they watch and this is the only thing they wanted to see in LA. Funny girls. Now they've seen it... and they haven't mentioned it since.

This is the Santa Monica Pier. We walked down on Tuesday afternoon to look around.
Callie was terrified of walking on the pier. She thought if she stepped on one of the cracks she'd fall in the ocean. Let me tell you- it took her a REALLY long time to get to the end- even with one of us holding her hand. It wasn't busy or crowded, which was nice.
See Leah looking in the bucket? She was obsessed with finding shells whenever we were near the beach. The problem is she thinks that any broken piece of a shell is a treasure. Ugh.
Quinten spent the majority of his time sleeping in the stroller... probably because he never slept at night! I think I lived off of less than five hours of sleep a night while we were gone. We don't really have any great pictures of him because of this.
On our walk home we stopped to play. Last year when we went the Oregon Coast, Leah wouldn't touch the sand. We had to carry her to a chair from the hotel and then carry her back when we were done. She's come a long way in a year; we are very glad. The weather wasn't great the whole time we were there. We spent more time in our jeans and sweatshirts than I would have imagined. Of course, the day we left it was beautiful. That's always how it works with vacations. :)
My cute, cute girls. They actually look like they are getting along... shocker.
Tuesday night Andrew took Callie to a Dodgers game. He met Scott, Scottie, and Bentley Bushar there. Andrew said it was a different kind of game- not as family friendly as Anaheim... a little bit of a rougher crowd. :)
But, they still had a great time. And Callie even scored some free bobblehead that she proudly displays on her shelf in her room. She has actually packed it to take on our trip to Washington because, "If I am missing Daddy I can hold it and remember that it is something I got from him". My sweet girl.

So, the trip was a success. Even with only a month passing, I have forgotten the worst of moments that may have been. Eventually, I think I will forget them all and will only remember that we had great family time together; and that my kids and my husband were so happy. Vacations will always be work for a Mom, I've decided. However, it's also what you choose it to be. I choose to remember the smile on Alexa's face when she got home from her first MLB game, I choose to remember Leah laughing when she first laid down on her own "big" bed, I choose to remember Quinten trying to climb stairs for the first time and clapping when he made it up one, and I choose to remember Callie telling me about going on her favorite ride again with her Dad... (It's a Small World... twice... isn't he nice??). They were so excited and so happy; and because they were happy, so am I.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Overdue Randoms

The girls' latest obsession is pushing Quinten around in the baby stroller. He loves it, of course; and, it terrifies me because they come WAY too close to tipping him over.
My three cute girls waiting for family arrive to celebrate Leah and Quinten's birthdays.

Leah decided it would be a good idea to take black marker and put on ... mascara? eyeliner? I'm not quite sure. She was so proud of herself. It was a pain to clean up.

This was Alexa after her last soccer game of the season. She had a great season- she was the fastest on her team and finally has caught on to the idea of dribbling down the field and scoring goals. At the beginning of the season, we had to explain to her that this wasn't a game where you took turns... that ball could be hers whenever she wanted it- all she had to do was take it. Things improved dramatically after that. :) She scored more goals than anyone on her team. We are so proud of her. So, now begin the days of both Fall and Spring soccer. She wants to do it and we are happy she is improving and loving it.
Before the game. (These pictures were a little out of order.)
This is Alexa and her fabulous piano teacher, Heather West, after her first piano recital. (Heather is one of my favorite people... and she really is fabulous...) Alexa makes us laugh- she is such a perfectionist that it is almost to her detriment. If she can't get it right the first time, she gets frustrated and sometimes crazy. I think she is so used to everything coming so easy to her- she doesn't have to try, it just is. Piano has been great for her because she HAS to practice. It's painful to help her practice when she gets stuck and needs help- she drives me crazy!! But, I know she loves piano and I think everyone should learn how to play, so she will keep doing it until she absolutely refuses. :)