Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Super Quick Trip

Last weekend we went up to SLC to say goodbye to my sister, Siri, and her family. They are now living in the flat (or so she tells me) state of Wisconsin. It will be the first time in many, many, many years that she and I haven't lived near each other and the first time I haven't had another family member living in Utah with me. I'll be honest, it makes me sad. Even though SLC is four hours from here, it is still close enough to know that we can see each other if we need or want to. Wisconsin is a flying trip only and those won't happen nearly as much. I will miss her, but I am happy for this new experience they will have.
I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have while were there. Acually, these pictures at Bridalveil Falls on our way out of town were the only pictures I took.

We drove up on Friday and stayed in Midway with our good friends, the Spencers. We love visiting with them! They have four little boys that stagger the ages of our girls. It's so much fun to see them all together. Early Saturday morning we met a friend of Siri's at Wheeler Farms in Midvale to take family pictures. What was going to be family pictures actually turned out being pictures of the kids and a few of me with them... Andrew didn't come with us on this trip. He just started a new job and was working both jobs for two weeks and was truly on overload. Not enough hours in the day to get everythig done, as usual. The pictures turned out great, even though it was not a true family picture- I was really happy with the rest.

We hung out with Siri, Chris, Jack, and Will the rest of Saturday. We spent the afternoon swimming, playing, and touring IKEA because my kids would live at IKEA if I would let them. It was fun to see the cousins together one last time and sad to drive away.

We went to church with John and Rach on Sunday morning, which was not a fun experience. Four kids who had a busy weekend, who were with their friends at church= not a happy mom. We left after Sacrament Meeting, changed our clothes and started for home. We stopped at Bridalveil, which is where all these pictures came from. We took the path up to the Falls and back. I haven't done that in years! It was fun and it got all the kids' energy out before we got in the car for the drive home.

It will be odd to go to Salt Lake and not see Siri and her family anymore. She was the reason we went there. I guess it will make trips up North fewer and farther between.

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 More Birthdays...


So, I've officially written this post three times. This post is the reason I wanted to give up on blogging completely. I have written a novel for this post and had blogger give me an error message that deletes my writing and just leaves the pictures... twice. So, if it doesn't work this last time, I'm giving up. Poor Leah, Quinten, and Callie will have to remember their birthdays on their own from this year in their lives.

We have four birthdays in our house within a month of each other. We also add in the end of school, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, yadda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture. It's the busiest month of our year and by the time it's done, I'm done. I'm partied out, caked out, presented out, pictured out, and broke from spending so much money at one time. :)

Leah starts us out in May. She turned four this year and requested orange cupcakes. I was happy to oblige on that one. So easy, so quick, and less likely to leave a bunch of uneaten treats on my counter. We opened gifts, ate dinner as a family, and PopPop and Grandma came over for dessert.

Leah is... loud. So loud that sometimes by the end of the night I can't listen to her voice any longer. She has no volume control and never, never, NEVER stops talking. (Unless it's her preschool program at the end of the year and then she refuses to sing or say a single word. Go figure.) She is constanly making off the wall comments that have the whole house in hysterics- particularly at the dinner table. I'm not sure where she comes up with the stuff she thinks or says, but she really is hilarious.

The only gift Leah wanted was a DS. Both her older sisters have them and I think she was feeling left out. So, I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a 4 year old when I wasn't even sure she could take care of the thing. However, someone suggested I check the local pawnshops to see if I could get a great deal. And I did. Such a great deal that Leah landed herself with a DSi for cheaper than either of the other girls' DS lites that are a couple years old. They were not happy to be upstaged by their younger sister. I actually took a video of her opening it just to see the big girls' faces- it was hilarious. Andrew and I still laugh about it. Leah also officially got the very first set of Legos to ever come into our house for her birthday. What can I say? We're a bunch of girls. However, they were the hit of the night (two pictures down from here you can see them all playing with them) and Callie and Alexa both requested some for Christmas.

They were all entertained for a long time- it was great!

Leah has the biggest personality and she just makes me smile (when she's not driving me crazy). She also packs a lot of attitude into that tiny body of hers. She gives the best hugs and kisses- tight hugs around the neck that leave you feeling so loved. She also likes to play with the back of your hair when you are holding her, or in Andrew's case, she loves to rub his head right after he's shaved it. Just last week when I was putting her to bed, she made me promise Andrew would come in so she could rub his head (he wasn't home at bedtime). She makes us laugh when she kisses Andrew goodbye in the mornings because she grabs his face with both hands and kisses him right on the lips. She still loves to be held and cuddled. Leah has hair that is seriously famous around here. It's huge. Really. She has all this natural curl that I have no idea how to tame (the rest of us have stick straight hair. Not sure where she came from). Just recently my friend, Selma, cut it into an A-line. It's absolutely cute and suits her crazy personality perfectly. She is a great big sister and works hard at playing with Quin. We call Leah our champion sleeper- she sleeps long and hard and is almost always the last one up in our house, by a longshot. It's great! We had a bit of a scare this summer with Leah and found ourselves in the children't hospital in Tacoma for a few days while we were visiting home. That is a whole other post to be made, but it made me grateful for who she is- crazy personality and all. I am so blessed to be her mom.

Quin's birthday is a week after Leah's. His life revolves around Cars. Everything he wants to have, to watch, to play, to eat off of, is Cars. We are sick of the Cars movie. I was hoping the new movie would give us some variety, so we took all the kids to see it this summer. It was his first movie in a theater. It just didn't hold his attention like the first one. So, we are back to square one...

Quinten got his first GeoTrax train for his birthday. We also got him the remote control McQueen, which was the true hit of the present. This was another present that entertained everyone. We had to pull the girls away to eat dinner and we couldn't pull Quin away for anything. That Lightning went around and around and around and every once in awhile you'd hear Quin say, "Ka-Chow!" in his loudest voice. It was really funny. He laughs hysterically when we play back the video of him doing this.

You wouldn't expect anything less than a Cars cake. He still talks about it, too. Just the other day he was telling someone about his cars cake and how the Mater and McQueen came off.

It also took a lot to keep him out of it all day. I'd see him eyeing the box on the counter and I'd have to run to save the cake. Quin is such a boy. He is so different from my girls that it's crazy. He climbs and jumps and runs and teases mercilessly. When he falls down, he just picks himself up and keeps going. The girls still don't do that! They need someone to listen to their story of how they got hurt and what someone else can do to make it feel better. Honestly. Such girls. Quin is the only child of mine who has ever pushed chairs up to the counter to get what he wanted. He has broken several kitchen garbage cans because he climbs up for one reason or another. He loves to take things from his sisters and then run away from them while they chase him. And he laughs the whole time. He still hates having his hair cut, he loves bubble baths, he doesn't want to be potty trained, he wants to play outside all day, everyday (as long as someone will play with him), he is always dirty (I can't seem to keep him clean!) and he loves to cuddle in the morning when he wakes up. He loves his Dad more than anything and his face lights up when he hears the garage door open because that means Dad is home. He talks like he is well over 3- I can sit and have conversations with him and we totally understand each other. I love that- I'm never guessing what is wrong or what he wants and I know he understands me and is just ignoring me when I tell him to do something. Quinten is my sweetie- forever my baby. And I just love him to pieces.

Ten days after Quinten's birthday is my birthday. Wahoo. (Said in a monotone voice). It's another day, another year. What's in a number, anyway? I say it's all in your head. I don't mind being 32- I've got four kids, for crying out loud! I should be 32! So, instead of more useless cake, I went to the cupcake store and got exactly 6 cupcakes- one for each of us... except I picked two for myself because I knew Andrew wouldn't eat one. It's the benefit of having a husband who's not big on dessert! Raspberry Mango and Raspberry Lemonade. Mmmm... heaven. I can't remember what the kids had, but I know everyone was happy. I think I'll do it every year.

This hasn't been my year for running. I was signed up for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in Seattle in June, but ended up in the hospital with Leah and didn't get to run. I figured, no big deal- I'm signed up for the marathon in St. George in October. No dice, my friends. About three weeks ago I hurt my foot... still not running on it... so, last Saturday I should have run about 18 miles... didn't happen. Not going to happen. Don't want to talk about it anymore.

I suppose there's always next year...

Callie is the last birthday for our family for the whole year. Kind of weird, huh? I always feel bad for Cal because she has to wait through everyone else's celebrations before she gets her own. I'm probably always compensating because of it- I never want her to know that I'm out of steam by the time her birthday rolls around so I do stuff that I wouldn't normally do. Like celebrate three times. Because her birthday is always right by Father's Day, we try to celebrate with the extended family on Father's Day since we are all together. I figure none of the dads care- they've had plenty of Father's Day's. :) This year dinner was at our house. Callie, bless her sweet heart, wanted ice cream pie instead of cake. I was happy to oblige.

Mint chocolate chip ice cream with these yummy new Keebler cookies that were mint. It was good.

Callie wanted a camera for her birthday. She wanted pink; I found purple. Luckily, it was close enough.

Callie's birthday fell on a Monday this year. It just happenedto be the day were supposed to leave for Washington. Andrew planned on working that day, then we'd pack up and drive all night like we normally do. So, amid the last minute packing, cleaning, and gathering, I took Callie and three friends to see Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Up above we have Alexa Anderson, Meagan Sorenson, Callie and Jaide Bundy.

We were the only people in the entire theater. (Not surprising since the movie wasn't that great. I occupied my time by playing on my phone). The girls thought it was great. I filled them with popcorn, soda, candy, and then took them to the cupcake store to fill them with frosting... it's the best part, really.

They were lots of fun to hang out with. They thought they were so old sitting there. It's always fun for me to watch how my kids interact with their friends. I love that Callie isn't afraid to act silly and crazy around her friends with me there. She's not embarrassed by me yet, I guess. :) Callie never once complained about her birthday being last this year. She was excited for Quin and Leah when they had their days and patiently waited till hers came. I appreciate that so much. Callie is almost always happy. She has her moments, of course, but for the most part she is content. She is ready to help when I ask her to, she tries to please when she can, and she smiles a lot. I know I've said this before, but I never worry about Callie in the same way I worry about the others. Callie makes friends easily, she gets along with everyone, she does what will make her happy and isn't one who needs to follow the trends to be happy or fit in. She has a style that is all her own, thinks everything I buy for her is cute and beautiful and always thinks she looks great (which she does because she walks with confidence). She is great with Quinten and will play with him as long as he doesn't try to break anything of hers. This year we are working on reading with Callie- she can do it, she's just not that interested in it. It's such a stark contrast from Alexa, who reads with every spare minute she has. Callie would much rather do something social than sit alone and read. it's my challenge with her because I don't understand it! I'm like Alexa- I'd sit and read for hours and be content. Callie wants to be in motion. She loves to dance and sing, and I think we are going to find that dancing will be her calling in life. She's doing soccer again this fall, but sometimes I wonder if she's just doing it because Alexa is or because she knows her dad loves it. We'll see. Callie is amazing. She has a tender heart and I just have to smile when I think about her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Forgot to Mention...

So, anyone who knows me knows that I hate doing hair. I despise it. It is totally ironic that I ended up with three girls who need their hair done everyday... actually, I only do their hair if we are going somewhere. :) So, imagine my disappointment when Alexa tells me that for the first day of school she wants a french braid to travel around her head and end in a bun with a flower. SERIOUSLY?! I took several deep breaths and told her we'd have to practice the night before school started and see how it went. And, that we needed a backup plan... just in case. These pictures are proof that miracles do exist. I figured it out and made it look good enough that she was happy with it. And, it stayed in all day with not much hair spray! I took these pictures after dinner on the first day of school and it still looked decent. So, I just had to document my accomplishment to prove that I'm not a complete loser of a mom when it comes to hair.