Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!

We had a rather eventful Halloween, but first let me introduce you to my costumed cuties.

Note to self: I must remember to get a picture of her with her hands down. 

 Kaelyn decided a long time ago what she wanted to be for Halloween. Way back in January just before Aliya was born we visited the Settle aquarium. One of the first exhibits we walked past was the two giant octopi. Kaelyn was terrified of them, come to think of it she never cared for them. She clung tightly to my arm and refused to look at them. So I was a little surprised that later when there were octopi costumes made of towels Kaelyn was game for dressing up as one of the dreaded creatures. That experience must have some how been therapeutic for her, because she decided within a week that she would like her own octopus costume to wear on Halloween. 

My many thanks go to my sister in law Crystal who helped me with the sewing one morning. We made a great team: me pinning and positioning, and doing a few things on my sewing machine and her flying through seam after seam on her surger. I feel like it turned out well. Despite the fact the hoodie patten I used was a children's size 7 our first attempt ended up way too big for my little girl (as in it fit me!) So Crystal re-sized it to fit Kaelyn a few days later. By the way I love my Kaelyn bug and her silly bone, the picture below is of her just being goofy.


Kylie was "Kylie the Carnival Fairy", and why not? As she excitedly pointed out they have the SAME name. That was reason enough for her. Wait is that a bit to obscure of you? Here is the source of her inspiration. It is from a series of books that my girls rather enjoy.

When she asked if this is what she could be I pointed out that she would need to be more modest, but other than that sure. We worked hard to get it as close to the real deal as possible including rainbow wristlets and leg laces (those didn't survive the day at school). I had Kylie paint her necklace white, she loves being able to do things like that by herself. I loved the fact that I already had the rainbow fabric on hand from a failed project, whipping up that skirt was easy peasy.


When asked what she wanted to be for Halloween we got a blank stare. After all what on earth does that mean to a two year old? Nothing. So we explained it meant she would get to dress up and pretend to be someone else, no one was surprised to hear she would like to be "Fia the Burst" or for those of you that do not speak adorable two year old, Sofia the First. This little Disney Jr. show is her current great love. I am glad that her being two means she wasn't picky about how to accomplish becoming Princess Sophia. A purple dress and crown from the dress up closet was good enough for my little princess.
I get a kick out of this costume. A friend gave me this cute little trench coat when Alyssa was a baby and I love it. However, it has always made me think of a detective. So I found a patten and asked my talented mother in law to make that adorable hat! And the mustache on the binky was something Crystal just happened to have laying around her house. I think it is the perfect finishing touch.

Now that you have been able to enjoy the cuteness, I'll fill you in as to what made yesterday so particularly eventful. The story begins back at the beginning of October when I got a little cold. I was sick over that first weekend, then fine by Monday morning, well except for the stupid cough, which would not go away. I've had a cough ALL MONTH LONG. It was annoying but a minor annoyance and nothing else. That is until Saturday afternoon when it started to get worse.It was a deeper yucky kind of cough. by Monday my chest was hurting  a little bit when I coughed, Tuesday it hurt a lot when I coughed, and Wednesday it hurt a lot all of the time. I decided it was time to go and see the doctor. An office visit and a couple x-rays later the Doctor informed me that I have mild pneumonia and a lovely little side effect called costochondritis. He advised me to take more ibuprofen to try and get the inflammation on the cartilage around my ribs to go down  and gave me an antibiotic for the pneumonia. To look on the bright side, 6 pills is a much more pleasant way to deal with pneumonia than the chalk I had to swig when I had pneumonia in the 7th grade.

So on Thursday I made sure to take the recommend meds, then went to help at Kylie's Halloween class party. Lest you consider me neglectfully I  triple checked with the doctor to make sure that I wasn't contagious,  and he assured me that by this point I definitely am not. It was a fun little party and Alyssa had a good time helping me work the behind the scenes magic of the fishing booth. Then after picking the girls up from the school bus we went straight over to a friends house to check and see if her back yard would be suitable for taking pictures of Jon's family over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I figured a good way to do so would be to go and take pictures and since I needed to capture all of the costumed cuteness I figured it would be perfect. We got home from that adventure at about 5:00 PM. It was later than I had planned, and I was trying hard to figure out what to throw together for dinner since we were planning to go trick or treating with a friend's family at 6:00. Jon arrived home before I had even finished getting the kids unloaded.

I was carrying Aliya up the stairs when I felt a pop, and all of a sudden my chest hurt A LOT MORE than it had been, which is saying something! I nearly dropped my baby, thankfully Jon was right behind me on the stairs and took her. I rather gingerly finished climbing the stairs and settled into a chair. For a couple of minutes I diluted myself into thinking that this meant he would have to take the girls trick-or-treating without me and I would stay home to hand out the candy. It didn't take long though for me to realize that was not going to work. I decided I needed to drive myself to urgent care, Again it didn't take much more time to realize that was foolishness and that I would not be driving myself anywhere! We then got a little bit panicked and moved fast to find someone to watch the girls while Jon drove me to the Urgent care. I tried to think of someone who did not already have kids to take trick or treating. I felt bad that our kids were going to miss out, but sometimes the plan HAS to change.

Well Michelle saved the day. Not only did she hurry over super fast, but she offered to take the kids trick or treating according to the original plan. I cannot thank her enough. Our trip to the urgent care went smoothly. As it turns out the  costochondritis is the culprit. You can think of my situation like a piece of cereal box cardboard. There are kind of 4 different states of being:
1. The cereal box as it stands- This is when you feel fine.
2. You can bend the cardboard and have it show no signs of wear and tear. It isn't exactly designed to bend, but it can and recovers fairly quickly. This is like costochondritis. The inflammation is present and hurts but not  a big deal.
3. The cardboard gets bent so far out of shape that it leaves a crease. This is like when I "popped" for lack of a better word. The damage is more substantial and will take longer to heal  (especially with pneumonia continually aggravating the issue), but I am not in anyway
4. Broken. My metaphorical cardboard box is not in two separate pieces.Which again looking on the bright side, things could be worse. I do not have a cracked rib, or a broken rib, or broken anything. I just have a very sore bunch of cartilage.

As it stands I have a stronger pain reliever/ cough suppressant and am trying to rest as much as possible. Silver lining Jon doesn't have to take any days off to stay at home and be the awesome husband he is.  He has already taken over all baby care duties, done laundry, herded the kids into cleaning up, done the weeks grocery shopping, made meals, and taken Aliya to her 9 month well check appointment. Jon truly is the best, I am feeling very blessed even if it has been a rather painful 24 hours.


Monday, October 28, 2013

The story of my life

I was about 6 months into my pregnancy with Aliya when I realized I had done an awful job of taking Belly Bump pictures. For my other girls I had taken a monthly (well almost monthly) picture of my growing belly. As I was going through my pictures I realized I had only taken one! I am not kidding! I took this one at 2 months. That is it! I thought about it but with how hectic life was I just kept forgetting to pull out the camera and tripod.

I made an attempt to fix my picture taking neglect by taking a picture (most) every day in January. I was due on the 30th and this collection makes me laugh because it kind of documents how my month went. I am so glad I got over being sick the week before she was born.

Knowing I had done such a bad job of documenting the pregnancy I promised myself that I would be really good about taking weekly pictures for her first year. It was a great idea and I was faithful about getting that picture taken...

 ...for a while anyway.
...then the whole idea just kind of died! These last two weren't even official car seat pictures. The middle one is one I happened to take while she was sitting in the the car seat. Then the last one is there just because I wanted to include something that shows what Aliya is looking like now.

It is the story of my life. I have what I feel is a good idea I try and implement it and after a shamefully short period of time the project looses salience and I forget. Everything from craft projects, home organization, chore charts, time management plans, blogging, and things to do with the kids suffers from my inconsistency. All the while my babies are growing faster than I can keep up with. I know that in the blink of an eye they will be heading off to college and I will look back and wonder if I have done enough. Have we taught them what they need to know, will they have fond memories of growing up? I try to be consistent about a great many things but it is probably my greatest vice. Why can't I seem to see something through to the end? Will I look back and wish I had finished more things or will I look back and say the time I spent (like the 4 hours spent on this blog post alone) wasn't worth it and would have been better spent in other ways. I just don't know. What will be of value later on?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silly Sacrament Meeting

Some Sundays when we go to church I feel blessed enough to actually be able to pay attention to what the speakers are saying. If not that at least I usually feel the Spirit that comes with attending sacrament meeting even though I may be distracted by attending to my kiddos. Then there are a few weeks where it takes all that I have to not bust up laughing at the funny things my kids say or do and I almost completely miss what was going on in the actual meeting. Two weeks ago was one of THOSE weeks...

First exhibit of our silly sacrament meeting, Kylie drew the above picture and thrust it in my face when she was finished.

"MOM!" she didn't exactly whisper, "Guess what this is!"

"Umm, is it two girls?"

"No. The green one is a girl. The colorful one is a boy!" she said in a tone that was somewhere between hurt and 'hello duh Mom'.

"Oh well they look like they are happy." I tried to fix my obvious error.

Kylie heaved a large sigh, "No, she is happy. He is NOT happy." She paused for a brief moment then asked again, "So what is it a picture of?"

"Um, I don't think I can guess."

"You have to."

"Can you please give me a hint?" I asked feeling completely baffled.

"Ok," she agreed to give me a little help, "It is Somebody that I Used to Know." Which just so happens to be one of her favorite songs on the radio, we have watched the music video a couple of times on youtube. Don't you love the fact that her hint was flat out telling me what her picture was of?


Yes, of course that is what she was drawing. Now that I know what it is I am also surprised I didn't guess it right off the bat. Can you see it too? I had to stifle a laugh, but I kept it together. Little did I know my ability to keep it together was about to be seriously tested.

It cannot have been more than a few minutes after figuring out Kylie's mystery picture that Kaelyn moved very quickly and with a fair amount of urgency from her seat at the other end of the bench by Daddy over to me. She was trying very hard to keep her voice down but apparently she was very, I repeat VERY, concerned about something. "MOM!" she whispered brusquely.

"What?!" I responded somewhat jarred by the suddenness of it all.

I fixed my eyes intently on Kaelyn's desperate face. "Mom, is it true that Daddy is growing hair in his armpits so that if he ever goes bald he can cut it and use it?"

My eyes shot up to meet Jon's. He was silently laughing his head off (Is that possible?) I don't know for sure what look I had on my face, but I know I was thinking, "Did she just say what I think she said?" She had a rather nervous look on her face. A look that said something along the lines of "What Dad said sounds crazy, but it just might be plausible! I don't know what to believe!" I let her know that I did not think that was really Daddy's plan. It was super funny. Jon later explained that he had his arm up on the bench and Kaelyn had caught a glimpse of his hairy armpits and asked incredulously, "Why are you growing hair there?" She made it sound as if he had planted it there like you would a garden, so he figured he'd better come up with a good plan.

So yeah, it wasn't exactly a reverent worship service for us. It was, however, pretty memorable.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Excited to be 5

Now I know you may have been wondering if life has continued on despite the fact that I haven't blogged in eons! It has. I have dreamed up and planned out so many blog posts So many fun times, so much drama, so much learning, and so much growth. Realistically though I am going to be excited if I can get a post up about each of the girls birthdays. Our camping trips would be a nice bonus, but let's not get our hopes up.

My story today begins with this adorable little girl. A sweet little 3 year old with golden curls. Newly learning to talk and express herself. Clearly showing that she has an astonishing amount of determination at times. if she sets her mind to something she can rarely be deterred.

My 3 year old Kylie
Well that little girl had a birthday in June of 2012 and though she had turned 4 she refused to claim that as her age. She emphatically insisted that she "Would be 3 FOREVER!" Now I have heard about females lying about their age, but I thought that started much MUCH later in life! Kylie would not budge on the matter. She continued to insist that she was still 3 to strangers, teachers, friends, and family for quite a long time. I figured it really didn't matter. It was funny at times, exasperating at others (like when the rules at a given place would say 3 year olds could participate and I would have to figure out how to make her understand she could not, even if she claimed to be 3.)
My 4 year old Kylie

Kylie round about the time she decided to be 4

To this day I am not sure what was so great in her head about being three years old. However, she did eventually decided that it would be okay to be four. Six (6) long months later! I am fairly certain it is because of that whole ordeal that I am kind of having a hard time remembering that she is now in fact 5! That or maybe, just maybe I am not ready for my sweet little girl to grow up...
My 5 year old Kylie

We had a great time celebrating her birthday this year the partying went on for the better part of a week! I can't remember how exactly it was that she decided that she wanted a puppy birthday party with friends but she and I had a good time looking around on pintrest for ideas. I went ahead and let her pin whatever she wanted figuring that we could go back and talk over her ideas when it was actually time to do the legwork of the party.

As one might suspect she had a long list of wants/must haves when we sat down for that talk. In fact she insisted that we had to use every single idea that we had pinned. Given that my budget for the party could never hope to stretch that  far I came up with what I felt was a rather ingenious idea. I printed out a page with all of the pictures from pintrest and wrote the approximate cost of each idea on each picture. Then I gave her a number of beads equal to the amount I had budgeted for her party.

I then let her choose how we should spend the party dollars. I gave her the power to choose, and got out of looking like a meanie who is always saying no. I was rather pleased that she seemed willing to accept the fact that when the beads run out she would be out of money and that she could not get everything. I think this was a way of showing her that helped her to understand in a way that telling her never could.

So on the Friday before her birthday (which was on a Sunday this year) we threw a Puppy Paw-ty!

Front and inside of invitations
The Decor
 The decorations for the party are probably what made me ask "Really? Are you sure?" the most during the whole budgeting with beads session. The doggie swirls hanging from the ceiling she simply HAD to have even though the ones we'd pinned on pintrest were $10! I did not want to spend that much on those! I was really glad when we found some locally for much less. She also budgeted for balloons, which we handed out to guests, but those didn't actually get put around the house because by the time Jon got back from his dentist appointment with them the party had already started. Oh well.

The party was set up in 4 stations. When the guests arrived, they first stopped at the Puppy Shop where they chose their puppy and filled out their puppy adoption certificate.  It was fun to see how excited they were to choose a puppy.

Next stop, the Pet Supply Store. The girls shopped for goods for their new puppies.  They received:
A puppy mat (a rectangle of fleece which Kylie helped me pick out)
Puppy Chow (little bags of Cocoa Puffs with a bone label)
Ball for playing fetch (wiffle balls from the dollar store)
A supper cute bag to keep all of their pet supplies.

After the girls had collected their puppies and supplies they moved freely between the next two stations. For most of our party time. Stop #3: The Dog Groomers where I had some doll bathtubs, brushes, sponges, and yummy spray. There were more than a couple of puppies who went home a bit soggy from all of their lavender scenting ;-)

Stop #4: Kylie's Animal Hospital
Our guests were able to pretend they were vets.  I had borrowed a couple of pretend doctor kits and set them out. The girls loved going back and forth between the two activity stations. The girls went back and forth between being a vet and a being a very concerned puppy owner. They also each got a little bag of doggie Vitamins (gummy bears) to take home .

The pink dog house was a pretty popular play spot.

As always we had cake and ice cream. And as always when the kids were "done" with said cake and ice cream I wondered, "Why do we do the cake thing?" Kids just don't seem to eat much of it. It is almost as if they like the idea of cake a whole lot more than they actually like cake. Then I remembered why I always do a cake, I love decorating cakes. This time I just tried to copy the image we had used on the invitations. After tracing it 6 times when making the invitations I felt like I'd do alright trying free handing that adorable pink poodle again.

It was a very fun party and I'll have to tell you more about Kylie's birthday week later because it is now 2 AM, and I don't want to wait to post this until I am done, because it might just be another forever before I get around to it.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Hey, I was using that!

So Google, in an effort to "improve" things, is shutting down Google Reader in July of this year. Don't they know that I am using that to keep track of all of the blogs of friends and family. I am a little upset about this discontiunation for a number of reasons. There are good reasons that I took blogs off of my sidebar and started using Google reader to begin with.

1- Google reader is a place that I could go and have all of the 50+ blogs I was interested in together.
 (Not that big a deal since having them linked to my blog does the same thing.)
2- Google reader told me when new posts were made on each of those blogs. (Apparently a list in my sidebar can do that too.)
3- Google reader also made those blogs disappear off the list when I had read the new content.
4- The blogs I read are for my eyes only.

I have some people in my blog list that would like to have a private blog, without going private.  In other words they try to keep their names off of their blogs. Then there are those who don't want people to know that they even have a blog. They could be in my reader list without other people knowing that they have a blog.

Somehow I need to transport all of my blogs to the sidebar again so that I don't lose them. I don't know how to input them so that I can tell who they belong to, but I want to respect the privacy of those friends. Curse you Google for complicating my life! I liked things fine just the way they were! I could bookmark all of these blogs, but that wouldn't tell me if new content had been added. Google reader was doing exactly what I needed it to do. Maybe for now I'll just throw them in by their given blog name. Suggestions would be much appreciated, especially from friends who care about how your blog shows up on my list. You can email me or send me a private message on facebook about it.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Are we Irish? No, not one little bit. 
There, there Aliya, we can still celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

I've had fun today coloring our food. Green pancakes for breakfast. This for lunch...
Later we will have the traditional corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I do love holidays. There is something almost magical about taking an ordinary day and making it special. Hopefully something my kids will look back on fondly. Ok they will probably never look back at avocados with fondness, but what can you do?

 My special thanks to Molly H. for making it possible to dress Aliya for the occasion. I got so many compliments at church about this adorable dress. I have never had such a fabulously dressed child for St. Patrick's day, and I love it!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

She is growing so fast

Aliya has been able to hold her held up quite well since day one.

This week Aliya has started to smile. Baby smiles melt my heart.
I am always amazed at how quickly a tiny baby grows. I mean she looks nothing like that tiny infant anymore. I am excited to watch as she continues to grow. I know that saying so out loud might jinx me, but my goal is to take a carseat picture each week for at least 40 weeks. Just so that I can watch her grow. It may prove to be more interesting for her scrapbook than the belly pictures which I neglected to take during my pregnancy. This is as close to the belly bump pictures as I got.

I wasn't even able to do that as well as whoever it was I stole the idea from on pintrest. Super cute idea, that was super hard to duplicate. It is incredibly difficult to get the same perspective in two pictures. Especially when they are taken on different days (or weeks or months).


Monday, February 11, 2013

More than one reason to celebrate.

As I mentioned before my mom came up to help us the day after Aliya was born. I very much loved having her here. She helped me in more ways than I can count. Two things that I am most thankful for is that she helped Kaelyn feel confident enough to walk home from the bus on her own, and Mom helped me remember that I needed to rest too. The girls loved having her read stories and enjoyed playing on her new tablet. The weekend of Kaelyn's 7th birthday my dad also felw up to join us. He also helped us out a lot. He even did added an outlet and a light to my house. However, he came up for more than just meeting a new grandbaby and helping with the house to do list. Jon and I had made arrangements to bless Aliya in our home on Kaelyn's actual birthday. It made sense because my mom was already up here and so that is why my dad came too.

Kaelyn pretended to be very put out about our choice of date. She said something along the lines of not wanting to share special days. She even went so far as to say that a 7 year old should never have to share anything with a baby. So here she is putting on a poorly acted grump face on their shared special day. 

The above picture makes me think that perhaps Aliya wasn't all too keen on sharing HER special day with an unwilling sister. Don't you worry though, Aliya had a plan to make sure we remembered her story best on that day. Only about 20 minutes before our guests for the blessing would be arriving at our home she had a massive blowout that required her to get her very first at home bath, and required me to get a change of clothes. Way to go little one.

My sweet little angel

That dress looked so huge on my tiny baby girl.

Surrounded by loving grandparents

Alyssa is loving her new role as big sister.
it was a lovely evening with the blessing, Kaelyn opening birthday presents, and cake with ice cream. As it turned out Kaelyn didn't mind sharing her special day after all. We did have more than one reason to celebrate..


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kaelyn's Epic Party

I don't remember exactly when it happened, but I do know late last year I asked Kaelyn to start thinking about what she would like to do for her 7th birthday. I knew that I would have a newborn, so all of the party planning and prepping needed to happen before the baby's arrival. She immediately responded that she wanted a Kirby's Epic Yarn birthday party. If you have never heard of Kirby's Epic Yarn go ahead and click on the link, it is a short demo of the Wii video game, and seeing a bit of it will give you context for our  ideas. That and you should check it out because it is seriously the cutest video game of all time.

Kirby and Prince Fluff balloons

Unlike last year, when I had no clue how she came up with Wild West as a theme,  I knew exactly where she had come up with the idea. We got a Wii back in October and this Kirby game is one of two that we own. The girls love it and have spent a number of hours playing together. I was completely baffled though as to how you theme a birthday party around a video game, that is without letting the kids play said video game. I thought and thought...and here is what I came up with.I am actually pretty excited about it, because unlike many parties past I actually came up with all of these ideas on my own.

The first idea I had was for the invitations. In the video game Kirby is changed into yarn and transported to Patchland (a land made up entirely of fabric) where he meets Prince Fluff. So I thought it would be fun to use up some scrapbook paper scraps to make a patchland of my own, complete with a yarn Kirby and Prince Fluff. Making characters out of yarn proved to be a lot more work than I thought it would be. I am glad that she was only allowed to invite 7 kids.

Now for a very funny story about the invitations. I made 8 of the invitations (the cutesy part you see above) about a month before Kaelyn's actual birthday. However, since we weren't sure where we would be holding the party I didn't put the actual information in them until the night before I wanted Kaelyn to hand them out. I typed out the info, had Jon look it over to make sure there were no errors, printed them, and tried to glue the first one in with some past its prime rubber cement. That didn't work at all so I trashed that insert and switched to elmers glue. Gluing the remaining 7 inserts into the invitations. The next morning I helped Kaelyn write her guests names on the back of the invitations and sent her to school with them. It was much later that day when I realized that one of the invitations I had sent with her was the blank one. Yep one person got an invitation that looked like the one above and when they opened the fold they discovered a whole lot of NOTHING! We spent the entire next week trying to figure out which friend did not get the party information. That would have been a completely impossible task, except I inadvertently FORCED people to rsvp. We had forgotten to include our address! So I got more than a few, "Sure my child would like to come to the party, but where am I supposed to take her/him." kind of phone calls/emails. I just let them know in no uncertain terms. Sorry about that, but I just had a baby the brain is not yet functioning again.
Waddle-Dees all ready to be knocked down

As for party activities I created a Waddle-dee bowling game. Where the kids got to throw big balls of yarn at one of the "enemies" from the video game (waddle-dees). I found the image of the Waddle-dee online and had copies made. It was a fun little game, and I just let them play over and over again until they seemed to be getting bored of it.
When the kids seemed to be losing interest I had them each play one more round so that they could earn their bag of beads. In Epic Yarn as Kirby defeats enemies he collects beads of different sizes and colors. The big star beads are worth the most. The beads can later be traded for furniture and fabrics to decorate Kirby's House.

So each child at Kaelyn's party earned a bag of beads by defeating the Waddle-dees. They were then able to spend some of those beads at our treat shop.Kaelyn was thrilled that I let her choose what we would have available to purchase: fruit snacks, MandMs, licorice, gummy bears, and mini marshmallows.

We finished off the party with cake, ice cream sandwiches, and presents. I had fun creating the birthday cakes, one for the birthday party and one for the next day, her actual birthday. I am glad that I got to make two cakes, because I think the second one turned out so much cuter. I learned a lot from the experience like the ups and downs of using spray coloring and how some tastes should never be mixed. I am confident that if I ever need to make an Epic Yarn cake again I could use the best of both cakes to have a truly awesome cake.Kylie is currently claiming that she also wants a Kirby's Epic Yarn birthday party. I hope it sticks because that means less work for me in the future.
Picture I found on the Internet to use as cake decorating inspiration.

Cake I decorated for the party. FYI- sour punch straws and frosting should NEVER be mixed.

Cake for the actual birthday.

I think the party was a great success. I am thankful for Jon and my parents who were all there to help things go smoothly. They helped me wrangle kids, took care of my little ones, etc. I am especially glad that Jon was willing to take all the party goers downstairs to play for when I had run out of party and still had time left before parents would start arriving to pick up the kiddos.