Friday, November 30, 2012

journal catch up

I can't get enough of this little roomate. 

  3 of my boys, this morning. Very typical.

 Emmett's own words,
"I am umpa and you are hama." (umpa is my dad, hama is what he calls my mom)
 a cute picture Chelsey took of the kids last weekend. Really shows each of their true colors.
 love this girl and this common face!!!
 again, everyday life. boys wrestling, Adelle loving on Gage.
 last nights craft project
 the finished product... awesome. Found it here
crafting last night, again.

Man, time, don't have much these day!!!
It really kills me that my journal writing and my blogging is taking the back burner. I think it's so important and I love doing it.
Here is a catch up of life these days.
For the record!!

Jeff is the best.
Jeff helps me so much.
Jeff wants a farm.
Jeff and I are a team.
Jeff and I are reading "Life of Pi" slowly.
Jeff is my anchor.
Jeff is patient.
Braxton is rocking 1st grade.
Braxton wants to read all the time. 
Braxton loves school!
The girls at school (older and younger) love Braxton!! (he is a bit oblivious, but his teacher told me)
Braxton took the picture he gave to me of himself, back, to give to a girl in his class.
I didn't take it personally.
It made me smile.
Braxton tries so hard to do what is right.
Braxton is asking curious questions about Santa.
Braxton is emotional.
We made chore charts for FHE this week.
The kids love their new chores.
The chores are making for more one on on time with each kid.
The chores are set table, clear table, help with dishes. 
The chores rotate daily.
Adelle is a social butterfly.
Adelle got to go on a special date with my mom.
Adelle wants to eat cookies and candy all day.
Adelle thinks she is Emmett's mom.
Emmett doesn't like Adelle telling him what to do.
Adelle loves preschool.
Adelle doesn't like to do homework.
Adelle loves to dance and sing.
Adelle is so much help with Gage and Emmett!!!
Adelle is dramatic.
Adelle has been having nightmares.
Emmett loves the bath.
Emmett is diaper free day and night.
Emmett comes in our bed every morning/night.
Emmett comes to bed with us to play with the moles on Jeff's arm.
Emmett prays by himself now.
Emmett is a daddy's boy.
Emmett asks me for homework.
Emmett loves nursery at church.
Emmett is a ham.
Gage loves the shower.
Gage's hair spikes after he's had a shower.
Gage poops all the time.
Gage's mom eats a very fiberous diet.
I do laundry, constantly!
Gage is sleeping up to 5 hours at a time at night.
Gage is a beautiful baby.
Gage smiles all the time.
Gage weighs a whopping 14 lbs!!
I can't get enough sweet potatoes and squash.
I love making my kids healthy pancakes.
My mom gave me passes to a yoga class.
I have been going to yoga.
Yoga is exactly what I need.
I have been doing zumba.
My sister is an awesome zumba instructor.
My room is clean.
My bed is made.
Jeff and I  fight over the Kettle brand potato chips. 
I buy them and he eats them and I get mad.
I buy more and try to eat them before he gets to them.
Potato chips are so good!!!
I like the length of my bangs.
I wash my hair with baking soda.
I rinse with apple cider vinegar.
I have been making time for friends.
This is good.
I love people.
I went shopping with a friend.
People thought our babes in their carseats were twins.
I cut my aunts hair.
Christmas crafts are started.
My kids love doing crafts.
I love a tidy house.
I love doing crafts.
I can't figure out how to do both, at the same time.
Our weekends are busy until Christmas.
I want to give presents to everyone.
I don't have a wish list.
I want to go to Hawaii with my husband and kids.
I don't ask for much ;)
The end

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

 most of us....
 Bryce and Chelsey
 from my seat on the carriage
 from Jeff's seat on the carriage
 waving to the passerby's
 the cutest thing ever, Emmett looking up and telling Santa that he wants legos for Christmas in his soft, slow, speech.
comfy cutie.

I love this time of year!
Let the festivities begin!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I love Thanksgiving so much but apparently I was too busy baking pies, directing a play and getting my ZUMBA on to take any pictures.

I love Thanksgiving for multiple reasons. Here are the highlights for this year.

 I made homemade pumpkin pie with real pumpkin. We cooked the pumpkin in our crock pot, roasted the seeds, and didn't use any sugar! It was so delicious and my sweet little Emmett told me that the pumpkin pie was the best part of his Thanksgiving. Win.

Jeff and Braxton played in the much anticipated Turkey Bowl which left me home with 2,3, and 4 to bake and hang out and read books.

My sister who just started her own ZUMBA class did a free class on Thanksgiving and it was wonderful and exactly what I needed! Go Lesha! 

The day was clear and gorgeous.

We gathered out at my parents on the bay and enjoyed a wonderful meal with wonderful family and friends.

Jeff made a pear pie and it was a hit  (do you all know how much I love this man!)

I helped the kids put on a Thanksgiving play. It was fantastic. We had the cousins over for 2 practices, made hats, created a Mayflower boat out of cardboard, and they even sang a Thanksgiving song they had memorized. It was sweet. Adelle is a natural actress and Braxton is a bit of a perfectionist. 

Gage and I tagged along with Chelsey to hit the mall Thursday night. I didn't buy anything but I was happy to go and hang out with a lady who I love and who is so good to me and my family.

Chelsey also brought me more hand-me-downs which are always soooo appreciated. Especially after being pregnant it's so fun to get new, super stylish clothes!

We spent Friday at my parents again where we watched football, ate leftovers, and I even got a nap in their bed (there is something about a parents bed... it still feels like home and is so soft and comfy).

Then Saturday we hit up Fairhaven for free carriage rides and a visit with Santa.

I love where we live. I love growing up here and going to town and running into 500 people that I know. I love it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thank you sisters

This post has been on my mind for at least a month. I have been writing it, and re-writing it in my head when I shower, when I walk, when I am driving in the car... Over and over and over. How do you express your heart felt thanks? How do you tell someone how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness? How do you ever begin to repay someone who has so easily and freely offered a service on your behalf. I feel so grateful. So full. So loved.

I like to be the one who hears, "thank you," from others. My kids thank me multiple times a day. I serve them constantly and I like it that way. That is who I am. I serve my husband and my family my friends and my neighbors. Not all the time, I'm just saying, I like to be the one who is doing the service.

Lately I have been more on the receiving end. It's a humbling place to be. I have thought a lot about the words "thank you." Are they enough? When I say them does the person I am speaking too actually understand how I feel? Do those words really express my heart felt gratitude?
Not really, right.
I don't know for sure but my heart is grateful.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my sisters. The women around me who see a need and fill it. The women who aren't even my good friends, but who are just other women who get it. Who have been there and who have the innate gift to give.

My mom, my sister, my grandmas and aunts, of course. My friends, yes. They have all helped me more lately than ever before. Folding laundry, bringing meals, watching kids, listening.... They are wonderful and I am not undermining them whatsoever. The visits, phone calls, prayers, emails and texts have all buoyed me up and I am so grateful for all of them.

But then there were the others. The other women.

There was the mom of the girl in Braxton's class who brought me dinner and homemade cookie dough when I had Gage. We know each other from dropping off our kids at the same school. That's it. She doesn't really know anything other than that and the only reason she knows where I live is because she drives by as we are walking to school and we wave.

There was the friend, of a friend, who I haven't seen or talked too for a good 3 years who called me the week before I went into labor and during our phone conversation said a prayer for me and asked God to bless my baby's delivery.

There was my dear midwife who delivered Adelle and Emmett and who saw me throughout my whole pregnancy with Gage and then was out of town during his delivery. (I knew this would be the case going into it by the way). The woman is in Europe for 3 weeks backpacking with her son and husband and on my darkest day after Gage was born she calls me, all the way from across the ocean, because she couldn't get me off of her mind. What? Just called to see how things were going.

There was the package we received from my brothers new mother in-law with the homemade gift for Gage.

There was Mary, a woman I had never even met, who was at my bedside during Gage's delivery holding my hand and offering encouraging words. Honest, a complete stranger who is interning to be a doula, in my room talking me through my labor. I can still see her face when I close my eyes. She came by the other day just to see how Gage and I were doing. I don't even know her last name.

Then there was the message I received on my phone a couple Sunday's ago. It was from someone who had never called me before. Never been to my house. Never gone on a play date with me. Never even really had a conversation with. We know each other very casually. This person takes her son to the same preschool my sister takes her son too. She had talked to my sister, heard I had had my baby, heard about the complications and called to say that she was bringing me something. That night she showed up on my doorstep with food, for me. Not for the family, just for me. Quinoa, apple and walnut salad, Cesar salad with homemade dressing.. Then she told me something like, "this is all for you. You need to take care of yourself and I know as a mom that is a hard thing to do."

These women all get it. They get me. We are all the same, really.

I don't know how to really thank these people. These women. These daughters of God who know who they are and why they are here.  Who know what it is like to think outside of themselves. I am so grateful. So proud to be one of these sisters. To be blessed with the divine quality of being a nurturer.

I want to be the woman who serves those who she doesn't even know. Who notices life outside of herself and acts on it. Who offers charity because she gets it.

I want to be the woman who changes someone else's life, for the good, because she noticed her.

Thank you sisters.

"We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together." Lucy Mack Smith (Joseph Smith's mother).

Monday, November 19, 2012

la bebe

As of last week Gage was a whoppin' 11 lbs. 4 oz.
la bebe' is growing like a champ.
*and for the record I think his eyes may eventually be green, the green towel told the whole story*

Adelle's New Do

 Saturday was hair cut night for the boys.
 This happens often around our place. There are lots of boys here with lots of hair!
 Adelle had never had a hair cut. The girl is 4 years old!
Her hair was so cute and funny. It was long in some places, short in others. Curly in some spots, stick straight in others.
I have never suggested cutting Adelle's hair. Part of me has always wanted too but I wanted it to be her choice. You know, princesses have long hair and she is really into princesses right now.
Well, sure enough as I am cutting Emmett's hair she decides she wants her hair cut!
I asked her if she was being serious and she was. She really wanted a haircut.
So... after convincing Jeff that I could do it, we got started, I Pad in hand.
I watched a youtube video for cutting a girls bob and cut right along with it, pausing it so I could keep up.
 Wa la!
Could she really get any cuter than that?
The cut was supposed to give her hair more body too which it really does.
 I can't get over how grown up she looks. I love it. I think this haircut fits her personality so well.
All day today and yesterday I just look at her in disbelief at how old she is getting.
Of course when we got out the camera she wanted a picture of her holding Gage.

Holy Cuteness!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today's Top Eleven

1. Today our little Gagey baby is one month old!

2.  Emmett was officially in underwear all day!!!

3.  Emmett only gets the immediate urge to use the bathroom while I am nursing Gage. Needless to say Gage  has learned to latch a little tighter during the times in which I jump from our comfy nursing position and run to the bathroom to help Emmett.

4. Braxton had a meltdown today when I told him to just wear the pants, who cares if they are a little too big. We were getting ready for a bike ride/walk and he came out in tears.  I shortly told him to knock it off to which he very sadly and innocently replied, " I just want to be modest," before bursting into tears. Talk about breaking my heart and cracking me up all at the same time. 
Needless to say it stopped me in my tracks and I was able to talk to him and listen to him tell me that he didn't want his underwear showing. Dear boy.

5. Gramy stopped by with homemade banana bread.

6.  I walk in the bathroom to see Adelle standing up and peeing in one of the cups she was playing with in the bath. I ask her what she is doing and she says, "going potty in the cup like you do at the doctor."
Maybe she has been to one to many of my prenatal appointments.

7. Emmett pooping on the toilet! Times 2!

8. Emmett excusing himself from Family Home Evening because he had to go potty. Yes!

9. Showing emotions during our Family Home Evening Lesson. For our lesson we talked about our Veterans, our freedoms and our county and then we watched a video that brought me to tears. It was really a touching experience to teach my children about something that I feel so strongly about.

10. Emmett asking me, "are you happy?" as I am crying during the lesson.

11. Gage following me with his eyes after I set him down. love that :)

November pictures thus far

Monday, November 5, 2012

um, handbook please?

Today started out just me and the littlest boys. After going to story time at the local library we headed into town for more errands. We had to stop by Value Village because there is a program at church on Wednesday night and I wanted to get some old, vintage looking frames for some pictures I took to display. So we go into the store and Gage of course wakes up and shortly after that he starts to cry, his hungry cry. I find some frames, not all I need, but some. I throw them in the cart and Emmett patiently walks up to the register with me where I quickly pay and get the heck out of there. We walk across the parking lot, hand in hand, and I load M into his carseat. As I am strapping him in I notice that he is chewing something. Before I have time to have him open his mouth, so I can see what it is, he swallows. So I nicely ask him, "what are you eating Emmett?" He gives me this look, the one that only a mother knows, and he seals his lips. Meanwhile Gage is still hungry so I grab him and start to feed him in the front seat. I am still asking Emmett what he ate, still being calm, and he is still being completely silent.

Gage finishes eating and I put him in his car seat. I ask Emmett again and he doesn't tell me. I then try to bribe him by telling him he can't eat the chips in his lunch box (remember it's Monday, the day he gets a lunch box lunch like the other kids) until he tells mommy what was in his mouth. This doesn't work. He holds onto his chips and doesn't seem to care that he can't open and eat them.

We stop by my Grandma's for a minute and before we go in I sit in the car by him and I hold him and I patiently talk to him about what was in his mouth. I ask him to tell me where he got it and he doesn't say I word. I ask him if it was in the store? He doesn't answer. I ask him if it was in the car. He doesn't answer again. His bottom lip starts to quiver. I remind him that I am not mad, I just need to know what he put in his mouth. He needs to ask mommy first...We go into my Grandma's and try to forget the situation for a moment. I change Gage's diaper (that was the purpose of the stop) and Grandma gives Emmett a treat for the car and we get back on the road. I bribe him again. It doesn't work, again. He doesn't seem to care if he eats treats or chips.

We pick up Adelle from school and come home. We read books and he goes down for nap. After nap he wakes up and grabs his bag of chips, still unopened. He comes and sits on my lap and starts to cry. I comfort him and he holds up his chips as if to say, "please let me eat them now." I ask him if he wants to whisper what he put in his mouth in my ear. He shakes his head. It is almost time to go get Braxton from school. I go and get Emmett's shoes and coat and I am helping him put them on when all of a sudden, chips in hand, he quietly admits without any coercing from me, "the floor at the store." "The store," I say, "you ate something that you got on the floor at the store." "Yes," he whispers.

I am so happy. I smile and tell him he is a very good boy for telling mommy the truth. I am so happy. Victory! Him telling me what he put in his mouth was huge. I seriously was beginning to think he was never going to tell me and I would never know and that would drive me crazy. Now at least I know. I feel better. I still sometimes feel like I need a handbook to explain this whole mothering thing to me, step by step, but at least today I know that my little boy told me the truth, and that's hard to do sometimes.

When Braxton got home me and all of the kids were reading some books on the couch. One of the books at the end said something like, "if you are an artist, shout it out loud for the whole world to hear." The next thing I know Braxton has opened the back sliding door and is shouting at the top of his lungs, "I am an artist!" Then Adelle goes and does exactly what her big brother just did. Next it's my turn. I go and open the door and as loud as I can I yell, "I am the best mom in the whole world!" The kids crack up laughing. Then Emmett goes and screams, "I am the best Emmett!"
If you have never done that, you should, it's actually really empowering ;) 

So there you have it.
My name is Andrea.
I have 4 kids, one of which ate something (he said it was a cherry??) off the floor today at Value Village.
I am the best mom in the whole world!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Comparison Photos

Aunt Tina requested comparison photos. This took some doing. I really need to organize my digital pictures better but here they are.
What do you think?
Any similarities?

Braxton Allan

Adelle Dawn

Emmett Douglas

Gage Joel

and it's very true that I need more pictures of Gage by himself. Most of the pictures of him have a brother or a sister sticking their head in ;)


Halloween was beautiful and blustery this year. The morning was cold and rainy and then it cleared up and it was warm and beautiful. By dusk, however, the winds started blowing and the rain started pouring. All through dinner Jeff and I looked at each other like, "do we really have to go out in this??" We tried to convince the kids that it would be just as fun to walk up and down the hallway and knock on all the doors of the house and trick or treat from room to room but they would have nothing of it. So.... after dinner we ventured out. It actually wasn't bad. We were bundled up and it wasn't really even cold, just wet.

I have been reminding myself of the motto, "know your limit, stay within in." It is constantly running through my head these days. I can't even remember what it is supposed to be for but it's helping me balance.  That being said I knew it would be a busy day. We had a fun party that afternoon at Adelle's preschool. Emmett was thrilled to get to go to school with sis and all of us had fun. So thinking ahead I decided that rather than load all the kids up and go around from relatives to relatives we would just go around our good old neighborhood. It would beat the heck out of loading and unloading 4 carseats all night. I called my sister and invited her and her family over for chili and cornbread and to trick or treat with us. Then my mom offered to bring hot dogs for chili dogs and her and my dad hung out with Gage so that the rest of us could venture out. And last, our Grandparents came to us and brought fun decorations to entertain the kids for the next couple days.

Halloween was a spooky success!