Saturday, May 2, 2015

{April 2015}

In April we finished off our trip and reunited as a family. It was a wonderful vacation, very needed, and I can't wait for our next get three to six years. 

April consisted of a lot of outdoor time. We went on our first water park excursion, spent many hours at the park, rode bikes, and took long walks to school. By the end of April the weather was shifting from perfect to hot, a sign of things to come. 

Hannah had such a wonderful time at Grandma and Grandpa's she was loathed to leave. She decided she'd like to buy the home next door and live next to them forever. Sounds like a good idea, Hannah. She loved dying eggs, exploring the zoo, and spending time with the neighbors by Grandma and Grandpa. As the months pass it becomes increasingly apparent that Hannah is growing in maturity and bravery. We were able to bribe her with a toy to go on a water slide at the park. Imagine being bribed to have fun. It was a big deal, though, as she proved she was getting braver. 

Hannah is not only developing in reading skills, but in a love for reading too. It's incredibly freeing for her to choose her own books and be able to read whenever she wants. She is very good at using context cues to figure out difficult words. She's even been reading a third grade level book, mostly on her own. It's amazing. She continues to love school, although as the weather gets warmer I can tell she's anxious to stay outside and play instead of being cooped up in a classroom. Some days she requests that she "quit school" in order to go to the park or play just a little longer. 

Paige is growing up too, obviously. Paige was invited to "audition" as a typical peer in the same pre-K program that Hannah did two years ago. She was very brave and did a good job, even when I had to leave her alone in the classroom with a bunch of strangers. I was very proud of her. 

Paige is such an amazing big sister to Sam. She is very attentive to his needs, and is always playing with him. 

I had the opportunity to host my very last preschool week for Paige. It was so much fun. I've been amazed watching these little girls grow up and become more mature over the past nine months. They are all sweethearts. For preschool we talked about "community helpers" and what we wanted to be when we grew up. Paige said she wanted to be a doctor.

Sam did wonderfully while we were away and hardly even missed Mommy and Daddy, but it was very apparent once we got home that he was grateful we came back. He gave so many hugs and loves and couldn't stand to be too far away from me those first couple days, especially when Daddy went back to work. Sam turned ten months old while we were away. Grandma calls him an "angel baby," and I agree. He has the sweetest disposition. He's cruising walls and furniture, getting into EVERYTHING, babbling all the time, tries to have conversations with cars, and is cutting teeth like a dentist. He loves animals, stuffed animals, characters, and snuggles. He thinks it's funny to do naughty things. He loves when Mommy tells him no, just because he wants to defy me. 

About midway through April Sam started standing up on his own. He's taken a (very few) steps on his own, but he's such a fast crawler he doesn't show much interest in walking yet. He is always very proud when he stands up, and we always make a big deal out of it. 

Adam and I are doing great, and there's not much to report. One cute story...Forbuss had a "dress like your favorite teacher" day and several students dressed like Adam. One student Teagan Thompson dressed in jeans and a Forbuss shirt tucked in. Adam's "go-to" casual Friday outfit. Adam gave him an ID badge so he could be more authentic :) 

From Facebook: 

April 1 · Edited · 
This morning I called Hannah to tell her we were having so much fun we decided not to come home for two more weeks. She sounded a little stunned and I asked her if that was all right. She said, "You'll have to make sure that's all right with Paige," which was her way of saying that it wasn't okay with her but she didn't want to be the bad guy. Then I told her it was my April fools joke and I asked if she had remembered it was April Fools day. She laughed and thought it was funny, and told me that she DID remember it was April Fools day, and that she'd replaced all the vitamins in my parents vitamin case with chocolate eggs. I was so proud I nearly cried. I often see bits of myself in my children but I love when I can witness whole chunks!
Happy April Fools, and an especially happy birthday to Fred and George.‪#‎RIPFred‬
Update: I told Paige the same thing and she immediately said: "NO NO MOMMY! Come home!"

April 1 · Instagram · Edited · 
I'm so grateful to my family right now. First of all, my mom is a rockstar. She is such an amazing grandma, and my kids just can't get enough of her. I was worried about Sam because he can be quite shy and clingy but she won him over and now I'm pretty sure he wants to be adopted by Grandma. She's taken them shopping, to the zoo, to the library, to aunt Suzie's to play with the animals and toys, they are going to the Treehouse Museum, they dyed Easter eggs. My dad has been stellar as well. It is evident in the way my kids light up when he walks into the room, and that they love spending time with him. Not only have my parents been the best caregivers, my siblings and in-laws have also stepped up to the plate. Sean and Linds had a movie party the other night with the girls complete with treats and mani/pedis, and they've watched the kids when my mom had to go into work. Meg and Calebhave spent as much time as possible caring for and playing with the kids. Meg has traveled up from Salt Lake several times and tries to meet them when they go down there. It's a relief to know that my children are in the hands of people who absolutely love and adore them unconditionally, with endless patience and compassion. I can't wait to get my kids back in my arms, but until then, they lack nothing, they want for nothing, they are happy and helpful. My favorite was when Caleb told Meg, "Man, I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to Adam or Melissa but if they died and we got the kids that would be the LIFE!" Now aren't my kids the luckiest three people on the planet with a support system like that?

Have any of you ever been in The Mummy Ride at Universal Studios? I was unprepared for the type of ride it would be. I thought it was going to be a cross between Indiana Jones/haunted mansion...a tame to thrilling themed ride in a car on a track. I didn't realize it was a cross between Indiana Jones and Space Mountain a themed ride that turns into a roller coaster. Adam and I were dying over my picture at the end. My neck was elongated and the skin was stretched over my popping veins while my eyes (also popping) were wide and my jaw was clenched. My lips were stretched across my teeth revealing a terrified grin. I hope someone bought that photo and can have a good laugh at me for eternity. Maybe I'll see it on the internet one day.

g for us, and all he's wiling to do for us. I couldn't have picked a more wonderful and perfectly matched partner. I'm sad our vacation has ended, but I look forward to being reunited with our children. We haven't been together this much in six years. We'll have to make sure our next romantic vacation is sooner. I always love Adam. I'm always grateful for him and I'm always glad I married him, but this trip was a reminder of just how much I like him, and just how much I crave that time together. He truly is my best friend.

Up to no good, this little guy is ten months old! I missed his ten month mark on Thursday because we were gone. This little guy's grandma calls him an "angel baby," and I agree. He has the sweetest disposition. He did great while we were gone, and when we came back he gave us a look that said, "I knew it. I knew you'd come back for me." He reached out to Adam and I and went between the two of us, back and forth giving us tight squeezes and open mouthed kisses. At ten month Sam is cruising walls and furniture, getting into EVERYTHING, babbling all the time, and cutting teeth like a dentist. He LOVES animals, stuffed animals, characters, and snuggles. He REALLY loves his sisters. I asked Hannah to watch him for a minute today and in that minute he dove over the armrest and off the couch. He was upset but she was beside herself, sobbing, because she felt so distraught. I sat by them both consoling her and cuddling him. He noticed her big tears and patted her back, gave her a big hug and kiss, and tried to talk to her. What a good brother.

I know that my redeemer lives. Because of Him there is hope, eternal life, and eternal families. Because of Him I'll be with Adam always. Because of Him I can be forgiven and I can improve. Because of Him my children may know pure happiness. Because of Him I will see my grandmother again. Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives I know that my redeemer lives!

Man crush Monday (on a Tuesday). Samuel has been a complete Daddy's boy these past couple days. He lunges for him every chance he gets. When I hold my arms out to him he hits my face and snuggles into Adam's shoulder. Don't worry, I get plenty of cuddles and loves but when Daddy is home these two buds bond like there is no tomorrow.

Adam was out tonight so I spent the evening knitting and watching a "good murder" on Netflix (as my grandmother would say). It wasn't exactly Poirot or Miss Marple but it was British so that had to count for something.

At kindergarten drop off today Hannah hopped out of the car and Paige asked if I would roll her window down. She yelled to Hannah, "Go straight to Daddy's room, don't talk to strangers...and be kind and have courage!" 

Happy Easter! Mom confession: I totally thought I could get away with not doing Easter baskets. After all, we were gone for two weeks and got home the night before Easter. They'd done some Easter things with Grandma so I wasn't feeling like they were missing out. Anyway, we all sit down to watch conference and President Monson states that it is Easter... Hannah turned to me with an excited face and said, "It's Easter! We have to find our baskets!" Uhhhh...I had to confess, and I told her once we'd taken care of some things around the house I'd do baskets. So there you go. The girls were thrilled with their (fifty percent off) offerings and now they are walking around saying "Happy Easter!" Do you like that Sam just got a bubble wand? He tried to eat it but was disappointed.

I challenged my Sunday school class to memorize The Living Christ. I took the challenge myself, and I'm working on it little by little. I hope it will bring us closer as a class, and allow the kids (and myself) to increase our faith and testimony in our Savior.

There have been a lot of funny moments watching E.T. with my kids but my favorite was when the scientists invade the home to do experiments on E.T. and Paige says (shocked) "I've never seen a scientist go in through someone's window before!"

Sundays always bring me to my knees, and not for praising reasons. Three hour church right through the middle of nap time. I swear my children will be the death of me. Hannah's OK for the most part. At least she sits still and doesn't make too much noise. Paige is a terror. She won't sit still or be quite and she runs around if she escapes our pew which she does at least once per sacrament meeting, then she won't stay in primary, she runs amok...the other day the bishop had to catch her since she was running down the hall
 away from a poor pregnant sister. Then there is Sam, who is ten months old, enough said. By the time we come home from church, do dinner, and get them ready for bed I swear I've committed more sins and burned more calories in a few hours on Sunday than I do the entire week. It is a day I absolutely dread all week long. If I didn't believe it was essential to teach my kids that church was an important place to be I think I would have given up taking them a long time ago. Someday it will get easier, right?

I complained earlier about the difficulties of taking my young children to church, and then I came across this picture and quote. We are not perfect, but Adam and I have a strong testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that enduring through these years of difficult Sundays will help our children develop their own love for the gospel, their Savior, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We see their faith grow in their prayers, their questions, their solutions, and their actions. Recently Paige has been singing the song Child of God a lot. It's humbling to listen to her sing the words:
I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
I don't know if I'm always kind and dear like I should be, but when she sings those words I'm reminded of my sacred responsibility to Hannah, Paige, and Samuel to lead, guide, and walk beside. So though I end Sunday on a note of discouragement I always begin Monday with enough hope to make it through to the next Sunday's shenanigans.

I'm now the proud owner of a jawbone thanks to @janeharrislv. While reading ‪#‎BetterThanBefore‬ by @gretchenrubin I decided to monitor my movement and develop better healthful habits. I was shocked to note that by 10:36am I've already taken 6,619 steps with my longest idle time being five minutes...AND I HAVEN'T EVEN LEFT MY HOUSE! This is as good a portrait of a mother of three young children/homemaker as any. I'm anxious to see what it looks like in a few hours after we run errands and walk to school. My goal for the day is 10k steps. Do you think I'll make it?

We checked out a Disney book from the library called the Wonderful World of Earth. It's a nonfiction book that focuses on the science of our earth, with a huge portion dedicated to natural disasters. We read it for a long while last night and watched videos about earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Hannah was so afraid she slept in our bed last night, despite my many assurances that the most extreme weather we have in Las Vegas is heat.
This morning she's been reading her sister the book, and showing her clips on YouTube. She claims she wants to be a scientist now, and study natural disasters.

I took the girls to the Smith Center to see Ivy+Bean: The Musical tonight. I told Paige it was important to act like a five year old because technically they want tickets holders to be five and older. She say in her chair and was very still...until about twenty minutes in. Then she stood and wiggled and was a little too loud and poked the kid in front of her so she could ask her questions. "I don't want to be five anymore," she said. "I want to be three."

My other favorite moment of the night: I took the girls to McDonalds before the show for dinner. When I said the words "two Happy Meals" there was an audible gasp from the back seat and Hannah said, "This MUST be a special night because we are getting Happy Meals, Paige!" The girls beg for Happy Meals every time we go to McDonalds but they usually only get them on their birthdays (or if they go with their grandparents).

Making Strawberries Romanoff for dessert tonight. Paige found a kids cookbook at the library with recipes for desserts from around the world. We sat down to find a yummy recipe and the girls decided to make this one. That's what I love about reading/the library. Because of a book we were able to create something new together, learn about another country, and hopefully eat something delicious. Actually most of our experiences begin with a book that sparks our curiosity. Happy National Library week!

A little bird told me Paige had a tough time doing what she was supposed to be doing in preschool today and even had a bit of a meltdown over sharing some toys. When I got to the car I said, "So Paige, I heard you had a rough day at preschool."
She got a little teary and said, "Yeah, Mommy I did. None of my friends would talk to me, except Camille, and nobody wanted to sit by me except Camille."
Now, Paige is going through a bit of a stage right now...having taught this preschool class and knowing these little girls pretty well in my imagination I was pretty sure she was exaggerating her circumstance. In fact, I was pretty sure the girls probably weren't talking to her because they were trying to listen at certain points and Camille was the one who was happily led astray by Paige's naughty example. I KNOW the girls would never intentionally leave Paige out, but I'm not one to marginalize my child's feelings...(we've all had that happen to us and it's not fun.) I was about to talk it through with her when Hannah cut in.
"Are you serious, Paige?! Nobody was being a good friend to you?!"
"Yeah, just Camille."
"That is so tough. That has happened to me before. It feels really bad."
"Yeah, I felt not good."
"I bet. I hate when that happens to me, darn it!" (Hannah said, I say that to her a hundred times a week so it was funny to hear it come out of her mouth.)
When we got out of the car Hannah gave Paige a very long, very tender hug. They aren't always great to each other, but they always have the other's back.

Lately, whenever Paige gets into mischief and I question what she's up to she'll respond "Doing a science experiment." Apparently covering everything in play-doh is now science.

Our first day back to the water park! It was a huge success. Last year Hannah would only go on the baby slides. Today she went on all the slides (even the big ones) in the kiddie area. If you know Hannah you know it's a BIG deal. Sam enjoyed splashing in the splash pad but is mostly hanging out with me. Paige is loving it all, especially the baby slides. Side note: we are buying the food passes (60$ each) which will allow us one meal each day we come... AKA we are getting fat this summer 

Both my girls were walking at this point. Sam is decidedly a happy crawler. He is super speedy too. He's also a very destructive boy. He bashes everything he comes in contact with and likes to make everything into a toy car by placing it on the ground and sliding around on it. His favorite objects? Remote controls.

Have you heard of Shopkins? They're all the rage in Kindergarten right now. We tried to find them at Walmart and the Walmart associate laughed in my face and told me they hadn't been able to keep them in stock for weeks. They can be found on Amazon but the price is jacked up too high. They are the dumbest things, collectible figures in the shape of things you'd find at a grocery store like dish detergent, produce, etc...but with faces. I told Hannah I found one...I used one of her dollhouse toys and put stickers on it to make a face. I thought I was pretty funny. 

It's been 100 years since Family Home Evening was introduced. In 1915, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote: "We advise and urge the inauguration of a "Home Evening' throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord…. This "Home Evening' should be devoted to prayer, singing hymns, songs, instrumental music, scripture-reading, family topics and specific instruction on the principles of the Gospel, and on the ethical problems of life, as well as the duties and obligation of children to parents, the home, the Church, society, and the Nation."
Families have always been a focus of the church. In General Conference, April 1964, President David O. McKay reminded parents that "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."
Each Monday Adam and I strive to hold regular "family night." We sing songs, pray together, have a (very) short lesson, and usually follow it up with an activity or dessert. We aren't perfect at it, by any means. And there is usually always a commotion, tears, arguing, or all of the above, but we are trying. Sometimes it pays off, like when our five year old volunteers to give the lesson and conducts it by herself, or when our three year old give the sweetest answers and makes her mommy cry. Tonight we watched a video called "Happy Families" and then we gathered around Paige's bed to find Waldo (hint: Adam found him 90% of the time.)
I used to HATE family night as a kid. We were never allowed to do anything on Monday nights except be with our family. My mom would always go WAY over on the lesson, even when she assigned it to someone else. Now looking back I realize how fundamentally important it was for me and who I am. That's why, even though it's difficult, we trudge on. I know it will be beneficial now, and for years to come.

Watching the Dodgers crush the Rockies on TV the other day made me want to take my kids to a baseball game. I loved attending those when I was a kid. We will have to start small with a Las Vegas 51's game. Hopefully I can help them love sports.

So excited the 2015 NFL schedule was released today because now I can plan our trip to see the Green Bay Packers beat the San Francisco 49ers in October. Now Melissa Marsden Turney doesn't have to stress about a birthday present for me.

Haha, every time I hold hands with Melissa Marsden Turney and start talking about how I am going to take her skydiving for her 30th birthday her hands begin to drip like crazy!

In an effort to bond with my husband and be a more supportive wife I've committed myself to learn football this year. I started watching a football basics video last night and instantly regretted the commitment I'd made last fall. That being said I'm really looking forward to going to my first and only NFL game this October in San Francisco (the 49ers v "our team" the Packers). I think the sports mentally and community is absolutely fascinating and being there among thousands of fans might be just the thing to ignite an interest in sports. If not, it will still be a fun game, I'm sure, and I'll be there with my husband who will be elated fulfilling a dream so that alone will be worth it!

I just got a text from Adam who was extremely excited to have purchased an Aaron Rogers jersey on ebay. Great, except I just purchased an Aaron Rogers jersey on ebay YESTERDAY as a Father's day gift. So...surprise?

Is it any wonder I love being married to Adam? Yesterday I discovered a big fat dead moth on the bookshelves (you should all know I can't handle dead animals, ones, sure. Dead? Not a chance.) So last night as I went to bed I said, "before you come to bed I need you to take care of that moth." Looks like he took care of it. Some might say he went above and beyond.

In my haste to purge my house of things we no longer need or use I donated this guy to Goodwill. This is Owie Bear. We got Owie Bear on Hannah's second birthday when she fell in our back yard and split her head open and had to rush to the ER. A sweet nurse gave him to Hannah and for the last four years the need for his company has come and gone, but recently it has waned dramatically with kindergarten and growing up. 
When I told Adam I donated Owie Bear he was shocked and sad, since Owie Bear was a very sentimental object that represented so many things. After mulling it over I went back to Goodwill three hours later and they'd already processed my bag. They looked in a few different bins for twenty minutes or so and then had me file a missing persons report, er, unintentional donation report. Feeling like we'd never see Owie Bear again I went back to Southern Hills to look in the gift shop but it was four years ago and they've since rotated merchandise. Tonight I finally fessed up to Hannah. I told her that I donated some toys that she doesn't play with anymore and immediately she said, "Did you donate Owie Bear?!?" When I told her I did we both started crying. She said, "I don't play with him anymore because he's so special to me!" I told her I was doing everything I could to find him. Then we said a prayer together that they'd be able to find Owie Bear and if they couldn't find Owie Bear that he would go to another kid that really needed him. I asked her if she was okay and she said she was. I asked her to forgive me and she threw her arms around me and said that she did. When I donated The bear I felt like it was a big step for me, letting go of something that I was hanging onto. I didn't realize how strongly everyone else felt. Here's to hoping that we can find him, and if not, here's to a great kid with a big heart.

Hannah may or may not (but definitely does) believe that pregnancy begins with a poppyseed muffin. This is based on several conversations that began when I was pregnant with Sam about how babies start out as small as a poppyseed.

April 27 at 11:10am · 
I've been working on losing those last six pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. I've been working on it for about two and a half weeks. I run four times a week, I'm doing a 30 day fitness challenge, I walk Hannah to school every day, and most especially I'm watching what I eat.
In the past, the effort that I've put forth would have yielded the results I'm wanting. I would be losing about a pound and a half per week. I've lost nothing. I'm seeing positive results. I feel better, I feel healthier, I have more energy, I don't feel sick because of overeating or eating poorly... But I haven't lost a single pound.
It's frustrating. I know that it's just a number. I know I'm seeing results, but it's frustrating that I'm seeing different results than I have in the past. It's just a sign to me that my body is getting older, my metabolism is slowing etc. The third pregnancy really did a number on me physically and it's messing with my psyche.

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