Tuesday, July 5, 2016


I think we're starting to get the hang of four kids. We've been getting more sleep, taking more outings, and just enjoying life more. Summer is here, it's hot, and we're enjoying (most) every minute of it.

Hannah: must be the luckiest girl in the world. She and her sister were asked to be ambassadors for the Shimmer tail Mermaid company. She loves being a "model" and is currently going through a phase where she'd love to be anything famous, like an actor, so it's the perfect gig.
She's also going through a huge Minecraft phase. She spent much of June on track break, and when she wasn't swimm

ing or on a play date, she was either playing Minecraft (if Mommy would let her) or thinking about playing Minecraft.
Hannah loves being the oldest, and is a huge helper with Jonathan. She loves to hold him, and has so much patience with him. Even when he is super fussy, she can get him to calm down. Not only that, but Hannah has been trying to be more helpful with things around the house, like cleaning, baking, and laundry. I appreciate it a lot.
Hannah is looking extremely grown up, and we can't believe she is turning seven next month, even though she's acting more and more like a second grader and less like a first grader by the minute. She's now reading on a fourth grade level, and is finding more and more books to love. In my mind she's still a tiny three-year-old.

Paige: had a fantastic month! She enjoyed a brief, but fun filled track break early on in the month, in which she spent a lot of time being a mermaid. She and her sister were asked to be ambassadors for the Shimmer tail Mermaid company. We can't keep this girl out of the pool! She was lucky enough to have some swimming lessons, and progressed beautifully. Another fun track break activity was McKee Ranch. She got to ride a horse! She also enjoyed a mommy/daughter date to Spring Mountain Ranch to see Beauty and the Beast and loved it!
Paige also spent a lot of time working on other skills, like reading, writing, and drawing. She can spend HOURS drawing pictures for her friends and family.
Paige had a field day in pre-K and I was lucky enough to attend. She's so proud of her family, she kept introducing her brothers and me to all her classmates. She has some great teachers and friends, and she loves her school.

Sam: Happy Birthday, Sammy!  You are the sweetest, handsomest, most incredible two-year-old I know! You have the best personality, full of mischief and exploding enthusiasm. It is a joy to be your mother and watch you grow up.
Sam had a great birthday, since both Turney and Marsden grandparents and aunts and uncles were in Las Vegas for Jonathan's blessing. For weeks in advance Sam excitedly announced he was having a HOT WHEELS PARTY to anyone who would listen. It was the cutest.
Sam has enjoyed lots of fun activities between Paige's track break and Hannah's track break. We've been swimming a TON. Sam likes the water, but is extremely cautious, which is fine with me. He likes to stay safe. He still loves his Hot Wheels, and super heroes. He's in a very big "No!" phase, which isn't so much fun, but he's also the most grateful boy I know. He's always the first to say, "Thank you, Mommy, dinner!" Or "Thank you, Mommy, swimming!" He loves being a big brother and declares to anyone and everyone "MY Jonathan!"

Jonathan: Found his smile. His giant, joyful, gummy smile. He loves his whole family, and is happy whenever anyone is paying him attention.
Jonathan was blessed by his daddy on June 5th. Both his grandfathers, and his uncles Sean, Caleb, and Avery stood in the circle as well.
Jonathan is happy to be schlepped around all over town. He is extremely "chill" and easygoing. He has recently enjoyed going swimming (we've spent a lot of time in the pool) and never seems to mind when the temperature of the pool is slightly too cold.
He is a whopping 15 pounds and is considered the 96th percentile for height and weight.

From Facebook:

June 2Instagram
Happy birthday to the sweetest, handsomest, most incredible two-year-old I know! He has such a hilarious personality, full of mischief and exploding enthusiasm. It is a joy to be his mother, and to watch him grow up (as painful as it sometimes is to lose your baby).

I literally just called six people and none of them answered their phones. And I happen to know they are all driving to Las Vegas at this very moment, so what's up with that?

Jonathan Weldon Turney was given a name and a blessing by his father today. It was beautiful. 💙I'm grateful for his special spirit and the love he brings to our home.
I'm grateful for his special spirit and the love he brings to our home.I'm grateful for his father, too.

My kids aren't really involved in social media, except when they do or say something silly and I ask for permission to post it. Hannah knew I posted a few pictures on Instagram of her new mermaid suit. She asked, "How many likes do I have? Last time I saw there were 27." Ummmm no, I don't want her counting her "likes" on social media 😳. I'm going to have to ponder on that one...
Also, we are watching The Andy Griffith Show right now and Paige said, "Can you please turn the color on?"

What a fantastically fun weekend! We had family in town to celebrate Sam's 2nd birthday and to participate in the ordinance of giving Jonathan a name and blessing. Being part of such a wonderful family is amazing and makes me so happy my children have amazing grandparents, aunts and uncles that love them and that they can look up to as examples in life.‪#‎familiesareforever‬

I've been working on getting back to my pre-pregnancy fitness. I joined the @ourbestbites_fitclub diet bet last month and lost seven pounds and won the bet! The first month + after having Jonathan I didn't lose anything other than the initial 15 or so lbs that you drop when a human emerges from your bod, but after getting back into the couch to 5k, and eating really well, I dropped seven more pounds. I'm still about 9 pounds from my pre-Jono and 16 pounds from my pre-Sam but I feel SO MUCH BETTER and so encouraged. Yay!

The difference between my girls:
Me: Tonight is the night we are seeing Beauty and the Beast!
Hannah: Yay! I'm excited! I love Beauty and the Beast!
Paige: I need to go get ready right now. Mom, get me my jewelry... Can you do my hair like Belle? I can get a picture of her so you know what it looks like. Can I wear a dress? Can we borrow my Belle dress from Audra? I don't care if it doesn't fit perfect. I'm going to start on my make up...

We had so much fun at Super Summer Theater tonight! We saw Beauty and the Beast. We all loved it! It's one of our favorite traditions. Both my girls complained at one point that it was FREEZING! Yeah, 80 degrees is not freezing.

I shared a photo last night of Hannah sitting between Belle and The Beast after our show. In her lap was a book. I think this is the mark of a true reader. She brought the book to the show to read beforehand, and then I put it in my purse so it wouldn't get lost. After the show she asked to get it out and I said, "No, let's keep everything together so it doesn't get lost in the dark." She begged me, "PLEASE! I just NEED to hold it."
I gave in, because I'm the same way. I'm usually hauling around the book I'm reading (be it a physical copy, or an ebook) everywhere in the house and in the car to various activities. Even if I'm just going shopping, even if I'm going downstairs to watch TV I usually have my books with me. Why? I have no idea. It's comforting, I guess, and I like having the option of picking it up and reading it, even if I'm in the middle of a movie. I have a feeling a lot of you can relate to this.

I let Hannah skip school today. Why? Because it's the summer, I was taking the other kids swimming, and her days of being a carefree, daydreaming six year old are numbered. Because sometimes a kid just needs to be a kid. Or a mermaid.

While watching The Revenant Adam says, "Sometimes I feel like we're watching Home Alone and he's [Leonardo DiCaprio's Hugh Glass] Marv and Harry."

I bought some new clothes today, and got rid of all my maternity clothes. That has been the one post pregnancy milestone I haven't been sad about!

In addition to my last status I'll say my approximately 15lb 8 week old has grown out of his 0-3 months clothes and THAT breaks my heart

I put Saturday's warrior on for my girls this morning.
Paige after five minutes:
"Ugh! This movie is going to take HOURS!"
Paige after twenty minutes:
"Hannah, be quiet, I can't hear the movie!"

I have a love/hate relationship with the accelerated reader program at school. On one hand it's been a great motivator for Hannah. She's read the entire Magic Tree House series (and aced the quizzes) in a matter of months. She also took the Read Across America challenge (50 books about the 50 states). However, sometimes a book will be marked as above her reading level (which I think she's marked between late 2nd grade and late 3rd grade). If a book has a higher level "dot" she refuses to pick it up, even though I encourage her to do it. She read Charlotte's Web last year on her own, which is a 4th or maybe 5th grade reading level, but only because my mom paid her to do it. Last week she read a book because she REALLY wanted to read it, and was shocked to discover it was a late 4th grade reading level. She was so proud of herself because she "read all the words by herself and it wasn't hard." I wish she wasn't afraid to read books that may be labeled as slightly above her level.

Two months old! Jonathan is getting bigger and stronger by the hour it seems. He's a happy boy, and smiles at everyone in our family.
Jonathan enjoys being swaddled. It's a sure way to get him to sleep. My favorite is still cuddling with him right up against my body for a nap. There is nothing better than napping with him. Literally nothing.
His eyes are still blue, and I would do almost anything to guarantee they stay blue like his sister's. It would be a small way to keep him more like a baby.
...because there's nothing small about his size. At nearly 15 lbs (we'll find out his exact weight at his check up on Wednesday) he's grown out of most of the 0-3 months clothes and is in to 3-6. His chunks and rolls are easy on the eyes and tough on the back.
Holding Jono is good for the soul. I love this boy! The number 13 will forever be a good luck charm for me.

Adam: According to how far away we sit from the TV our ideal TV size would be 75 inches, which is only 20 inches bigger than what we have now...
Melissa: No.
(Actually I think I said it more with a withering look than anything else). I'm pretty sure a new TV is in my not too distant future, since It's all Adam talks about these days.

I cleaned out my purse today. I found: a diaper, a binkie, a swaddle blanket, three Hot Wheels, a sucker, seven pencils, two smashed up Rolos, a rock, a pine cone, a notebook, my wallet, an ultrasound picture, and the book Wuthering Heights. So I guess you could say it was time. ‪#‎mombag‬

I've spent the last little while processing. Processing the hate crime that was carried out by a terrorist that resulted in the murder of 49 and the injuries of many other innocent and unsuspecting people. Processing my own grief and terror as I imagine the family dealing with the death of their son as the result of an alligator attack. If I keep thinking about it I'm going to lose my mind, or at the very least have a panic attack. I've just reached a point where I just don't want to know anything. I want to remain blissfully unaware.

I asked Adam to pick a movie tonight with the caveat "Any chick flick you want." 😉 He rose to the challenge and picked A League of Their Own. I've never seen it before and I LOVED IT! So sweet and funny and tender. I needed something like that. 

Me: I just started doing the in store pick up. It's super convenient. I have four kids, so anything to make shopping a little easier, ya know?
Sam's Club girl: I know exactly what you mean. I don't have any kids but I foster kittens, and everyone I've talked to says that's pretty much the same thing. But I have six so...
Me: *smiles and nods

This man is everything to me, to us. He loves his kids fiercely. No other person on earth loves these kids like I do. I love exchanging commiserating glances when our kids say something funny or cute, or when they are driving us crazy. What do I love most about Adam as a dad? It's hard to say. I love that he sacrifices all of himself for his family. I love that he is a willing provider. I love that when he comes home he wants to spend time with his kids instead of demanding time for himself. I love that he's the one up in the night when they are sick. I love how quick he is to apologize to them when he loses his patience with them. I love that he expresses his love to them every day, many times a day. I love that he wants to take them on outings and create happy memories and uphold our family traditions, even though it isn't always easy. I love that he expresses appreciation to me often, in front of the kids, and encourages them to recognize what I do for them. I love that he never hesitates to help me with whatever needs to be done. I love that we are in this together. Happy Father's Day, Adam.

Happy Father's Day to my daddy. The one who worked so hard to give me a life full of experiences and opportunities that I loved but didn't always appreciate or deserve. He worked hard anyway. He taught me to expect a lot from a man. He loved us with all his heart, taught us about God and faith, and continues to be as dedicated to us and now our children as he ever was. I love you, Dad!!

While I was listening to the Hamilton soundtrack Adam says, "When we were kids Austin used to listen to the Top Gun soundtrack over and over and over, and while it had really good music I got really tired of it, so I cut the tape in the cassette. I'm not sure what to do with your phone..."

I can't fully express my love for IKEA. I can drop off my kids for an hour to shop. We can enjoy a cheap but yummy lunch. The family restroom has a comfy lounger for nursing (seriously). And best of all I feel like I'm getting the hang of it by now so I can navigate the store in less than 45 minutes

Poor Paigey! Everything seems to happen to her! Sam just cut off a chunk of her hair while she was drawing. Hannah cut off a chunk of her hair almost two years ago.

Hannah is on track break and I thought she'd do well if I made her a list of things to do during the day. She doesn't have to do everything (but there are certain things she has to do before she gets to play Minecraft). Today was the first day I tried it and Hannah was ALL about checking off the boxes. I forgot about the list several times, but Hannah would remind me ("When we get home we can check off IKEA AND lunch!"). This is what my mom used to do for us every day in the summer and every Saturday (only their were more chores on it...it was basically exclusively a job list).

Hannah is on a play date and Paige is at school. It's just me and my boys. Sam didn't nap despite my best efforts, so we've been playing hot wheels together. Of course Sam doesn't want to leave his brother out, so my major role is to make sure Jonathan holds onto his hot wheel. Jonathan keeps giggling at Sam and I can't help but feel like I've won the lottery in life, because there is nowhere I'd rather be than in my playroom with my boys playing hot wheels together.

Last night we went and saw Finding Dory as a family. There are some experiences you just can't have at home, and sitting in a crowded theater munching on popcorn and watching Pixar magic unfold in front of you on a giant screen is one of them. We debated back and forth on whether or not to take Sam. The girls are fantastic, Jonathan sleeps through life, but Sam is two and he acts very very two.
I borrowed a toddler leash from a friend the other day, after a string of incidents in the news led to paranoia about my ability to keep all four children safe in a public setting. I had him on said leash (which prompted many stares from said public, some amused, some wildly disapproving). If anything, the leash highlighted to me what a spastic two year old I have at the moment, as he enjoyed running at full speed until he reached the literal end of his rope and the force of the stop made him fall down flat on his face, which he thought was hilarious. He also enjoyed climbing on the railing (which led to a 9ish foot drop) Leo DiCaprio style and proclaiming "Look, Mom! Climb!" Which is two for "I'm the king of the world." The restraint device allowed me to hold onto him tightly on his back.
While we waited for the elevator after the movie an elderly woman asked me "Are these all yours?" And of course I proudly replied, "Yes!" As my leashed boy was running around me in circles. "He must be in his two's." She said, as he ran around her, causing us to lock in a One Hundred and One Dalmatian style embrace. I confirmed Grandma's suspicions with a nod as I worked to untangle us while still grappling with the leash. "You know what causes that, don't you?" She added with a conspiratorial gleam in her eye. "Yeah, I think I worked it out..."
It's at moments like this when I laugh to recall the meaning of Samuel's name: God has heard. I prayed for my boy and anticipated his arrival more fervently than all my other children put together. And even though occasionally I'm prone to ask, "For THIS child I have prayed?!" You're more than likely going to find me echoing Hannah, the mother of Biblical Samuel, saying reverently and gratefully, "For this child I have prayed."

I've been DYING to do a blind date with a book for two years and I finally set one up in conjunction with my book club. What is a blind date with a book? It's literary matchmaking at its finest. You bring a wrapped book and write a few adjectives to pique interest while not giving away the premise of the book. My favorite part was trying to guess the books based on their descriptions. If anyone in Vegas is interested we'll be doing it again in September.  Can anyone guess which books I brought?

I've been trying my best to get to the gym 4-5 times a week for the past three weeks. I have to go at 5am because I have to be home for Adam to go at 6am in order to get to work on time. It's worked out, because Jonathan gets up around then to eat. Well, I've missed the last two days because of late nights and knew I couldn't miss again. Jonathan woke up at 3am and I couldn't go back to sleep. I tried for an hour to no avail, so I went to the gym with all the weirdos at 4am. Which means I'm going to have a 6pm bedtime along with my kids. On the plus side, I ran for two straight miles, which I haven't done since before Jono, and I was up before all my kids, which never happens.

This morning we all got ready and cleaned the church as a family. Then we enjoyed a yummy breakfast at a ward activity.
Hannah and Paige played Minecraft with uncle Addison for an hour while I went to the gym.
The girls have been begging me to let them do a YouTube channel, so to mollify them I let them film a book review. I gave them some tips, and then afterward I could hear Paige practicing her lines for next time, and Hannah watching several booktubers (which led to her discovering new book titles and a virtual trip to the library for new books).
Adam took care of some car errands. What a stud.
We went to Wet and Wild which was insanely crowded, but we still had a great time. Note: all three of my capable children still hold my hand. I love it.
I finished Louise Penny's The Cruelest Month on Overdrive, started The Light Between Oceans on Overdrive, and nearly finished The Nest, so lots of reading today.
All in all it was a great day. Simple and ordinary, and I just wanted to remember it.

A note about Sam: he is always the very first to thank me for dinner, even if he never eats a bite of it. He's always very polite in every circumstance. Even when he's upset, he'll frequently shout "No, thank you!" Instead of just no.

Hannah recently found an author she likes who writes graphic novels (Raina Telgemeier). She read two of them (Smile and Sisters) and loved them. (They are marketed to ages 8-12 year olds so I reviewed them to make sure they were appropriate.)
The same author has another book called Drama that Hannah wanted me to download on Overdrive. Thank goodness I read the reviews because apparently it deals with more mature themes. One of the reviews said, "Does your child play with Shopkins, need help getting ready for school, and can't wash her shampoo out of her hair by herself? Than this book isn't for her." I had to explain to Hannah that just because you CAN read a book, it doesn't mean the book is for you, and that when she is 12 we can talk about it again.

In the book I just finished a character has her baby really fast, like her water broke and the baby was born minutes later. I always thought that was such a cliche and ridiculous thing in movies and literature... Babies aren't born that fast, that dramatically...with people rushing around and the mom screaming...what a joke. And then it happened to me

 me get everyone dressed as we were in pajamas, and by some miracle we were only four minutes late to the appointment. We looked pretty hilarious, the girls and I with our bed heads, Sam with his leash, Jonathan in his pajamas… We looked extremely frazzled. The girls were perfect and I so appreciated them. Jonathan was also pretty mellow and just hung out in his carrier. Sam was Sam… I was glad I brought the leash. He sat on my lap while they cleaned my teeth, very intrigued by the process. He had a good conversation with the hygienist. He started to unravel about 15 minutes before we could leave and it felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life. The point is we survived! And no cavities!

An elderly man at Sam's club had his motorized cart full, FULL of tuna. He had hundreds of cans in his cart. As I passed him, he mentioned to a woman that he was stocking up for the 2016 elections since we were all doomed. HAHAHAHAHA....but seriously.

It's funny when your child can read your text messages.
Hannah: Why are you texting your old boyfriend?
Me: What? I'm not!
Hannah: I saw the name said Ruth. You said you had a boyfriend named Ruth. 
Me: Do you mean Drew?
Hannah: Oh, yeah...
And now she's reading this as I type it. ("I know what you are saying about me, Mom.")

Ahhh, Minecraft. So Adam introduces all his classes to Minecraft EDU. It's Minecraft designed specifically for educational purposes. Hannah has fallen in love with it...become obsessed with it even. When she's not playing it, she's thinking about it, drawing pictures, talking about it...Last night she couldn't fall asleep because she had "bad thoughts" which she explained were based on scary parts of the game (she is terrified of getting stuck in a hole or getting killed by the monsters). I said she should probably take a break if she was having nightmares about the game. If she wants to play it she has to earn it by doing chores, or something enriching or educational (today she rubbed my back before she could play--haha!).
The problem is, she gets grumpy when she has to get off, or is interrupted. She cried today when she had to get off because she'd gotten lost and couldn't find a house she'd built. On our drive to swimming lessons I told her that she had to get her mind on something else and she said, "I can't control my thoughts, Mom." This led to a whole discussion about how it's our JOB to learn to control our thoughts and our attitude. I explained that there are three types of activities we want to participate in. Good, better, and best. I explained that Minecraft is a good thing. It is fun, for one, and it can be educational. Plus, it's a way for her to connect with her dad, uncle, and classmates. But I asked her to remember how it felt when she had to get off the game, how it changed her mood and behavior. After swim lessons I asked her how she felt, and she said she felt "Fantastic." I told her it was because she participated in something "better" because she had fun, she was outside, and she was working on a skill. I explained that even mommies and daddies have to make choices between good, better, and best. After our conversation she came to me and said, "I think I need to take a little bit of a break from Minecraft," which I think was a pretty mature decision for a six year old to come to. It made me evaluate the good, better, and best decisions I make, and the kind of example I want to set for my kids.
This is long, and there isn't really a point to it. I just wanted to remember the conversation, because I was pretty proud of her, and the conclusions she came to as we were discussing the way she uses her time.

Paige: Mommy, can I take a picture of you?
Me: No, my hair isn't done and I don't look cute.
Paige: What are you TALKING about? You look FANTASTIC!
Well, when you put it that way... I love that mothers always look beautiful to their children, no matter what they look like.

Hannah: I know what happens to Dobby. Lucy spoiled it.
Hannah: It's fine.
Hannah: Mom...
That's it. No more friends, no more school until we've read the whole series. No more Potter spoilers.