Sunday, May 25, 2014

Our Family: Week of 5/19-5/25

On Monday, Mike went into work for a couple of meetings he had to take care of (it was his day off).

The school called, and I didn't hear the phone.

So, they reached Mike at work (who, luckily, happened to be there).

Grace had gotten sick at school, and needed a change of clothes.

She felt fine, and didn't have a temperature, so the nurse said we could keep her at school.

So we did.

It ended up being the beginning of a weird week-long virus for Grace.

That afternoon Mike slept.

We went to Sam's Club (our mysterious membership is still good, so we stocked up on the bread and milk).

Ate an afternoon snack of samples.

And came home to wake Mike up so he could grill for us (aren't we nice?) and eat with us, before he went back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.

We love him (and his awesome grilling skills).


On Tuesday, Mike took the new van to the hotel to work... and it broke down on him on the way home.

We are so thankful for our awesome roadside assistance!

We got him to work (and made him promise not to drive his new van until it was fixed).

Adam surprised me that afternoon with a new read he borrowed from a teacher:

It has nothing to do with wimpy kids or Origami Star Wars characters or underwear.

I have been begging him to stretch himself in the reading area... and he willingly did.

And he's loving it.

Score for classic books!


On Wednesday Grace had her last cheer practice.

I am so thankful she got to be on the team this year... she learned so much.

They have one more performance at the talent show, and it is so bittersweet, as her cheer instructor is moving to Colorado next year.  Her cheer instructor is a 7th grade teacher at their school who was a cheerleader in high school, and wanted to continue with her passion, so she spent her after school time 3 days a week making a cheer team.  There's a good chance there won't be a cheer team next year, so I am thankful she got to be a part this year!  It's been sooo good for her!

That evening, Mike got to go to several of his young men's spring choir concert.

He had a great time listening to those super-talented guys.

After school, Grace started feeling tired.

She came down with a high temperature that evening, with no other symptoms, and went to bed early.


On Thursday morning, Grace was still fever-ish, so she stayed home from school.

While she slept, the rest of the family woke up to healthy carrot-oatmeal-whole-wheat-Greek-yogurt muffins for breakfast.... in Christmas wrappers (it's how I roll).

They tasted... very healthy.


Several hours later, Grace was back to her usual self.

And making my favorite baby boy smile.

The check engine light had come on in our van (again) so Mike checked it out, changed the thermostat, and took it on a test drive.

It worked great.


We had a fun evening together as a family, until Grace started complaining about not feeling well, and she came down with a fever and sore throat again.


On Friday morning, our doorbell rang bright and early at 6:30.

My brother, Morgan, was at the door.

He had gotten to Las Vegas in the middle of the night and slept in our backyard.

The kids were super-excited to see him.

We hung out and began getting ready for our trip to Phoenix.

Grace was feeling fine... until that afternoon when she broke out with a weird rash on her face.


On Saturday, my brother noticed that our tire had a huge bubble in it.

And it needed to be changed.

So they took care of it.

It made me start thinking about Phoenix.

Nothing just was going right; we had $500 in un-expected car repairs this month.  Everything just seemed to need replacing.  Grace was having the world's weirdest illness.  I couldn't find a sub for my Primary class. And I had an insanely painful clogged milk duct that I was worried was bordering on mastitis, so I spent my time pumping/nursing/sanitizing the pump like crazy trying to get it un-clogged, taking away from packing time.  Nothing was working out.

But, we hadn't been to Phoenix for 2 years, and wanted to see Mike's family and attend my brother's wedding reception.  Grace had been fine all day... no fever, sore throat, or cough.  Her rash was going away, and we thought she was doing better.

So, we decided to leave at 3:30 in the morning, early Sunday, get to Phoenix in time to go to church with Mike's family, and have a great weekend with family.


At midnight on Sunday, Grace woke up screaming that her ears hurt.

Her neck and chin were full of swollen lymph nodes, and both ears "killed."

We decided that Phoenix just wasn't meant to be.

Mike and I celebrated our 13th Anniversary on Sunday.

And by "celebrated" I mean we took care of a sick Grace and scraped together a random assortment of food for dinner.

(We had planned on being in Phoenix, eating dinner with Mike's family, so I hadn't made a grocery trip/menu plan).

We had been hoping to sneak in a date while in Phoenix, because the last one was in October.... but that plan got scratched with us staying home, too.

But, that's real life, people!

And, honestly, I will take real life with this guy by my side, any day.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our Family: Week of 5/12-5/18

On Monday, Adam went with his advisory class to a field trip to the "Lion Habitat."

The MGM hotel here used to have a live lion show.  They ended it a few years ago, but the lions that were a part of it live on a farm here now.

I let him take a camera, and he had a great time with his friends watching the lions get fed, watching them play, looking at some new baby cubs, and learning about them and other animals.


On Tuesday, I took Sam and Josh to the dentist.

Sam's tongue tie is doing great.  We have one more re-check in 3 weeks, and hopefully he will be good-to-go after that.

Josh had his check-up and he did great.

We love our new dentist... she is so fun and patient.

They had some dinosaurs for him to brush and examine while he waited.

And some cute sunglasses to wear, so the light didn't bother him.

He had perfect cavity-free teeth, and got a treasure from the treasure box.

Yay, Josh!

Afterward, we cleaned out the car and went through the car wash.

It had been way too long, and it's on my list of things to do before we leave for Phoenix for Nate's wedding.


On Wednesday, Grace was in her school Spelling Bee.

She knew the words (we had practiced like crazy) and was doing sooo good!

On the 4th round, her word was "shadow."  She got too excited, because she knew it, and went too fast, and mixed up the "d" and "o" in her haste.

She was sooo bummed, but is determined to get the trophy next year!


On Thursday Adam and Grace went on a school-wide field trip to watch the school's play, "The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever."

(Their school is too small to have everyone in one room, so a church let them use it for the performance.)

While they were off having fun, Josh and I took Sam to the doctor for his 4-month well check.

Baby boy is determined to be the world's biggest baby:

He weighed 20 lbs 14 ounces and was 26.5 inches long.

Josh wasn't that big until he was 15 months old!

After school, I found out we were in charge of taking home the class tree frog, Cosmo.


I think Adam volunteers extra because he just loves this guy!

That evening, I held Activity Days at the park, so we could work on our physical fitness.

Josh quickly found the water feature, though.

The rest of us ran and played volleyball.

And Sam slept.

Those shots just wore him out.


On Friday, Mike's co-worker gave us a van.

He had been given one, and wanted to pay his old one forward.

It has 200,000 miles on it and breaks down spontaneously while driving.  Mike is determined to fix that thing so he has his own vehicle.

And, man alive, it would be soooo nice not to have to drive him to/from work every day.

He only works 5 miles away, and it's on the way to the kids school.  Which is a huge blessing.  But, we have to wait for him to get done each day.

And sometimes things come up, and after we wait outside for 30+ minutes, he comes out and tells us to come back in a few hours.

So, while I'm not complaining about it (really!) it would be a huge convenience for him to drive himself.

Because, waiting in a car with 4 kids is no bueno.

(We are so thankful for his kind co-worker, Bond.)


On Saturday, we picked up our Bountiful Basket.

I only order one if Mike works late on Saturday, because there is no way I am hauling 4 kids across a parking lot, carrying a heavy basket of produce, at 7 in the morning.

Ain't nobody got time for that!

(Sorry.  I had to.)

We love getting Bountiful Baskets, so I am so glad that we were able to this week... this kids go through a lot of fruit, I tell ya!

That afternoon, we went to Adam's basketball game.

He did great, and made 9 points, including an awesome 3-pointer.


On Sunday, Sam started sticking out his tongue!

He was all ten kinds of jealous of his cousin, Noah, who sticks out his tongue all of the time.

But, Sam's tongue tie prevented that.

It is sooo cute how he keeps playing with it and sticking it out.

That evening we had a wonderful dinner with our good friends, the Chidesters.

I am so thankful for good friends.

And babies who can stick out their tongues (finally).


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Family: Week of 5/5-5/11

On Monday morning, my kids woke up to some "Star Wars" pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Thanks, Aunt Kayty, for the wrappers!

Later that day, my faithful Boppy died.

It's given many years of service.

It fought a good fight.


After getting only 3 hours of sleep the day before (due to Grace's ER visit), Mike came home and fell asleep, thinking he had the day off to make it up.  Around 10:00 we got a text from his boss, asking where he was.

Apparently there was a mix-up in the schedules.

So, Mike went in to work an 8-hour shift, came home and got 3 more hours of sleep, and then went to work at the hotel.

Have I ever mentioned how thankful I am for that guy?

Because I am.

That evening we "celebrated" Cinco de Mayo with some enchiladas, homemade salsa, and chips.


On Tuesday, Sam went back to the pediatric dentist for a re-check.

One side is healing well; the other had started to re-attach, so she broke it open with massage, and instructed me to continue another week of massage.

It's horrible; but the only thing that gets me through is that if it re-attaches, we have to go through the entire thing again, and my Mama heart can't take that.

So, I will be more diligent about the massaging.

That evening, Adam and I had a pirate-themed "Mother and Son" activity.

We made sculptures of scripture characters, made a flag of things that were important to us (like Captain Moroni), played Article of Faith jeopardy, dodgeball, and ate ice cream sundaes.

It was really fun to get to spend one-on-one time with him.

And, in case you wondered, the things that are important to Adam on his flag are his family and bacon.


The best part of the night, though, was just watching him.

Because it made me remember some important stuff.

Of a few things I am certain:

Adam talks too much.  He will lose anything.  Even the pencils his teacher tapes to his desk.  He can be way too silly when it's a time to be serious.  He forgets everything - to hang up his towel, bring out his dirty clothes, and to do his homework.

And all of those things drive me c-r-a-z-y.

However, tonight I watched him stop in the middle of a dodgeball game to help a missionary pick up all of the items that had fallen out of his pocket when he bent over to retrieve a ball.  I saw him pick up a game by himself, when the other boys who had been playing left.  And I watched him go out of his way to talk to a boy in Cub Scouts who doesn't have many friends.

After the activity was over, on the drive home, I thought, "If he never, ever, ever remembers the rest of his life to bring his dirty clothes out to the hamper, maybe that's okay."

Because he is good and kind.

And I think that those things matter much more than a lost pencil.


On Wednesday, I made Josh's day by letting him play on the computer and buying Capri Suns (we gave up juice boxes/Capri Suns up this school year).

I think I am feeling a little guilty about all of the "Sam" time and am trying to make up for it.

And he is such a doll about sharing me with Sam... how can I not spoil him a bit?


We still "have" a "pet" cat.

It made its way inside and we found him all warm and cozy in the window.

Though, honestly, judging from this picture that Josh snapped of Grace that I saw after-the-fact, I have no idea why he stays.

Bologna must be mighty tasty.


On Thursday Adam was awarded "Owl of the Month."

This would be Adam's rendition of a tearful acceptance speech...

I love this about their school.

Each month each teacher chooses one child from their class that reflects the character attribute of the month that the school is focusing on that month.

I love that it gives kids that aren't absolutely perfect (because, really, what kid is) a chance to be recognized for the good they do.

This month's attribute was "courage."

They chose it because last month Adam's class went on a field trip to the rollerskating rink.  Lots of kids (including Adam) fell over and over.  Most gave up after a few falls.

Adam got up each time.

And several teachers told him how awesome and courageous that was, and he got recognized for that.

I love it.


Originally the Father & Sons campout had been planned for Friday and Saturday.  Then it got cancelled, but Mike already had the days off.

So we got a 4-day weekend with him.

I went early Friday morning back to the lactation consultant for a re-check to see how things are going.

Sam is still learning how to suck properly, but he's doing much better (and he gained the 7 ounces he needed to for the week, so it's not holding him back.)

My supply had started to dip again with Sam having a hard time nursing after his procedure, so she ordered me to bake a batch of oatmeal cookies and add 4 tablespoons of Brewer's Yeast.

And I mean, if someone's going to force me to eat a cookie...


It seemed to do the trick.

After my appointment, the car was waaayyy slow to start... it took a few tries.

So, when I got home, Mike and the boys replaced the battery.

And did a little relaxing.


Sam loves me and all, but I adore the way he just lights up around his brothers and sister.

You have to see it... he just beams.

He really loves those guys.

And he loved having an extra-long weekend with them... he was so smiley and giggly.

We went to Adam's basketball game, where he made two baskets, and had a great time.

Then we went shopping.

Mike was responsible for the treats for the ward for Mother's Day.  He went with cheesecake and strawberries.

The best prices were at Sam's Club.

However, we haven't renewed our membership for 2 years... every time we went to do it, something would come up budget-wise.

We went in to try and see if we could do a one-day thing, when they told us that our membership was good through August.

We were honest and said we hadn't renewed it, but they insisted it was fine.

So we went with it.

I'm thankful for that tender mercy.


On Sunday it was Mother's Day.

The talk were beautiful, the cheesecake was delicious, and the kids gifted me a necklace they had made in Primary, and a card from Grace that she had made at school.

After church, Mike took his normal Sunday-get-ready-for-the-hotel nap, while I tried to not pout.

I haven't had more than 4 hours of sleep in months... I have never been so exhausted.

I want a nap!

I'm such a baby/whiner.

I know.

But, it was Mother's Day.

I wanted a nap, too!

So I pouted a bit.

And took care of the kids.

I had planned to make one of my favorite meals that evening, when I decided that I would gift myself the gift of not cooking.

So I made boxed mac 'n cheese instead.

These sweet kiddos that I have the privilege of mothering were pleased as punch about that dinner.


And happy kids are always a good thing on Mother's Day.