My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Monday, December 31, 2012

birthmasversarynewyaptism, and then some

That is what you get when you smash a Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, New Years, and a baptism all together...and that is what we have been up to lately.  (notice I made this post BEFORE Luke's illness, so take out the baptism)

Due to a serious lack of pictures, lack of time, and to spare you a blog post the size of the encyclopedia, here are some highlights from the events of our 10 day holiday excursion last month.

We loaded the Pathfinder with ALL of the Christmas and Birthday presents, plus the guinea pigs
Mom took Luke and William with her in the pathfinder and drove to Idaho
Dad took Mary and Sam skiing and then drove to Idaho

Two cars, LOTS of gifts and luggage, kids traveled really well.
Made it to Pocatello Friday evening.

Mary's 8th Birthday
Celebrated at Grandma's house
White Chocolate covered oreo truffles for a Birthday cake.
Littlest Pet shops
Gift Certificate to Claire's
La Dee Da doll
Gift Certificate to Justice For Girls
Birthday dinner: steak, mashed potatoes, pistachio marshmallow salad, rolls
Taking truffles to school for treats
Streamers and balloons covering doorway
Interview on the video camera
We love Mary so much and enjoyed celebrating her and her life
Christmas Eve
Breakfast with everyone at Butter Burr's
New Pj's
Watching movies with everyone
Hearing Santa's sleigh bells and "ho ho ho"
LOTS of excitement and anticipation
making gingerbread houses
Party with relatives, Mary was Mary, Luke was baby Jesus
Driving through Santa Claus Lane and checking out the lights
tracking Santa on the Internet
treats for Santa and the reindeer
the traditional stocking picture
Mary "catching" mom stuffing stockings, and mom coming up with an amazing story. few!
Becky and Kelsey playing super mario until 3:00am, when the screen blacked out
Christmas Day
Waking up at 6:00am, then going back to sleep and waking up for real at 8:00
Santa left a trail of magic dust through the house
Lots of joy, smiles, excitement, and happiness
Sam's literal jaw drop when he saw his motor scooter
Laughing our heads off at William opening gifts while wearing his mask and cape and eating a chocolate Santa.
nap for mom
lots of setting up toys
watching movies
9th anniversary
went to see "The Hobbit" and loved it!
So happy to be married to eachother and spending our lives together
smashed everyone in the Subaru
mary and sam shared a seat
40 minute stop and go traffic due to a 30 car pile-up
arrived in Boise Thursday evening
hung out with family
worked out at the gym
went to a trampoline/bounce house and everyone had a blast!
dinner with the girls
gun shopping for the guys
good times
rushed back to Heber in order to make it to Mary's baptism preview program Sunday evening
New Years
New Years Eve-spent 7 hours unpacking from the trip, cleaning the house,  and getting Christmas toys set up
grocery shopping and a trip to Park City
Subway for dinner
movie night eating yummy nacho dip and still more truffles
New Years day- snow skiing for the older two and dad,  hanging out at home for mom and the younger two. Enjoying a day off and being together.
Mary will be getting baptized this Saturday at 10:30am
We are very excited for her and for the decision SHE has made to be baptized.
Family and friends are invited to attend. 
Mary's baptism didn't occur because of Luke's pneumonia.  It will hopefully happen soon.  We are still figuring it all out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

he eats! (and my hair decision)

My older three children were very aggressive eaters as infants.  We had no problems introducing solids to them.

Around 5 months, we would test them out with squash or some sweet veggie, and they would go nuts sucking the stuff down. They would squeal with delight, and then cry between bites because we couldn't get the spoon to them fast enough.  We figured Luke would be the same.

We were wrong.

At five months, I got the food out, put Luke in his little chair, got the camera all ready, and watched with anticipation for the big "solids" moment for Luke.  He ended up crying, pursing his lips, turning his head, and absolutely refusing the food.

This has continued on since then, and has been pretty frustrating. 
At his last check up, the pediatrician mentioned that Luke is constipated, and therefore will not be interested in solids.  Solids would just register as pain to him.

So, we pulled out our good friend Miralax and have been putting it in Luke's bottles.  In the main time, Luke popped out his first tooth!  It is adorable, and his little gummy smile is even more cute now.

With the tooth in, the poop regulated, and his pink eye/croup/cold/horrible cough almost completely gone, I decided that today would be the day to try again.

I got him all set up in his chair, pulled out the squash, and got ready for battle.

Imagine my joy and surprise, when this was the reaction!
He was literally squealing with delight and waving his hands with excitement.  He would grin between every bite, and he gobbled up the entire container! 
The pediatrician was right, he just needed a cleared out tummy.
I am so glad he is eating solids now.  He is overdue, and I can tell he is more than ready for the added nutrients.
Hooray for Luke!
Oh, and I had my hair appointment on Saturday.  I went in having decided to keep my hair long.  Then, while I was waiting, I found a magazine with hair styles, and decided to go for it, and cut it. The bobs were so cute!
I told my hair lady what I wanted, and she gave me some pros and cons I hadn't really thought about.
I ended up keeping my hair long, and getting a trim, layers, and highlights. Let's face it, I just can't give up the ponytail.  It is so convienient, especially for running and working out. :)
I still plan on chopping my hair though.  I really want to try out the hair do I saw.  I am probably going to do it in the spring. We shall see. :)

the nutcracker

When I was a little girl, my mom and I had a tradition.  We would dress up, go out to eat at Remo's, a fancy italian restaurant, and then go to the Nutcracker.  It was a wonderful night that I eagerly looked forward to every year.

I have so many fond memories of this "girl date" with my mom.  When my sister was FINALLY born, she came along too.  The tradition continued until I moved out of the house, and I have really missed it since then.

On Friday night, I got all dressed up, and so did Mary.  We curled our hair, painted our nails, sprayed the perfume, and slapped on some heels. 

Ben brough home Red Robin (our favorite lately), and we all ate together. 

And then was just us girls, off to see the Nutcracker!  I was so excited to take my little girl to her first Ballet, and to continue on a wonderful tradition.  Mary was excited for the time alone with mom.

It was a local showing, so it wasn't anything like the shows I grew up watching, but it was perfect for Mary's first time.  I could see the magic in her eyes as she watched the Sugar Plum fairy dance, and the Nutcracker come to life.  She giggled at the cute little mice and the funny clowns, and she picked out a friend of hers that was performing.  It was a great night.

We went to our favorite local ice cream place afterward and talked about the Nutcracker and also about how Mary is doing with friends, school, life in Heber, and so on. 

We had a really good time together, and it was so fun to connect with my daughter, and bond as girls.

Next year, we plan on going to Salt Lake for the Nutcracker and possibly joining up with my mom, my sister, and any available sister-in-laws.    The tradition will live on!
someone is a little excited   :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

hair hair everywhere

I have been having a bit of a hair crisis lately. 
My hair is EVERYWHERE!!!

If I run my fingers through my hair, big clumps will come out.
Every time I brush my hair, the brush is so full of hair that I won't brush well anymore.
The shower drain is clogged.
The sinks are, I am not sure how that happens.
My shirts have to have a lint roller on them at least once a day.
Poor Luke even had my hair in his diaper when I changed him the other day. That must have itched like crazy! Poor kid.
My family is finding my hair in their dinner, on their blankets, on their clothes, and all over the car.

I don't know what to do! I feel like a shedding dog.

I guess it could be post-pregnancy hair loss, but common, I had Luke 7 months ago! seriously.

Speaking of Luke, he isn't helping the situation.  He grabs my hair and pulls every chance he gets.  Not helping baby.

I have been cursing our vacuum for months now, because it isn't working. It starts smoking and doesn't pick anything up.  And then today it hit me, I tipped it over and looked at the roller things under the vacuum.  Guess what I found.
It only took 45 minutes to pick this all out. Yup, go me.
Oh yeah baby, this much hair, and then some. Yummy!

Eat crow Becky, your vacuum is great, it just didn't appreciate eating hair all day.

I am getting my hair done this Saturday.  I am loving my long hair, but there are some issues.  It takes FOREVER to blow dry, and even longer to curl and style.  I have become the pony tail mom.  Boo.
It is also everywhere, and Luke grabs it a lot, as previously stated.
I do really like it when I do it though, and it takes me a long time to get my hair this long.  I may just get a trim, bring my bangs back to life, and do highlights.

On the other hand, I may just be up for something fresh and new.  Something to spice up my do!  If I get the guts, I may just do this.
I would stay blonde though...I am not THAT brave.

Or I may just wait until Spring, when the weather is warmer, I am ready for a change again, and when I am more brave.

Decisions, decisions.

Monday, December 10, 2012


The past few days, we have had some scares.  I have always believed in guardian angels, and this week only made that belief even more solid.  Honestly, I think our family has an entire troop of them just assigned to us. Heaven knows, we need it.

Scare #1
I was upstairs doing one of a million things I do during the day, and I went downstairs to get something.  I thought William was eating his cereal, so I wasn't too concerned about his whereabouts.  Yeah, you think I would know by now that William is not predictable, and probably shouldn't be left alone...ever.

Anyway, as I came down the stairs William yelled for joy at seeing me and came running toward me. Normally, I love it when he does this, and I always catch him in a big bear hug.  This time was different.
In his hand was a huge butcher knife he had gotten from the knife rack on the counter. (it was supposedly out of reach of the kids)
Just as I began to try to calmly ask him for it, so he wouldn't freak out like I was inside, he tripped. 

Um yeah, go ahead and cringe.  I sure did. But, it gets even better.

He fell on top of Luke, who was sleeping in his car seat.  I think my heart literally stopped beating.
William began screaming, and so did Luke. In the one second it took me to get to William and Luke, a lot went through my mind.

A knife through Williams chest or stomach, or a knife through Luke's head.  I seriously got sick.

I pulled William off of Luke and frantically surveyed his and Luke's bodies, tears right on the brim.

To my complete shock, there was nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

The knife had stabbed into Luke's car seat less than an inch next to his head.  William was screaming because the handle of the knife had jabbed into his chest, right where his heart is.  It left a huge red mark and a welt, but at least it was the handle of the knife, not the blade.

The implications of what could have happened still haunts me, and totally freaks me out, but I also feel so grateful for the divine intervention we had in our home that day.

Lesson learned: Find a spot for the knives high enough that no child can get to them, and then put them up even higher than that.   And pray daily for safety, actually, make that hourly.

Scare #2
Early this morning around 4:30am, Ben and I awoke to Mary's voice calling for me. Her voice sounded frantic, scared and kind of far away.  It didn't sound like a normal bad dream yell.

It was enough to get both Ben and I out of bed in a hurry.  I quickly went into Mary's room, and she was not there.  I got really worried, but tried to tell myself that she must have gone down to the toy room for some reason.  Ben and I called for answer. 

I started to rush down to the toy room, and stopped dead in my tracks.  The front door was wide open. The darkness of the morning and the snow falling were the only thing I could see.  In shock, I told Ben that the door was open and ran outside calling for my little girl.  Ben was right behind me.

I can't even type the thoughts that were going through my head, but I will say that I have never been so scared in my life. 2 seconds felt like 2 hours. 

We live in a good place, but it is a community of townhouses, and a few things have happened lately that have made me be a little more on alert.  The cops have been here twice, I have had a lady banging on our door, higher than a kite, asking for my phone. She used my phone (actually she had me use my phone) to text her estranged husband, who then continued to text me all day.  I was a phone service for a domestic problem, and their child who was missing. (but later found in the high ladies laundry room)  Awesome. That is its own story for another day though.

We have also had a really angry, big dude, come looking for the guy who used to live here. The tenant that was here before us, did not leave on good terms with many people I guess..including our landlord.  This big dude has come to the door demanding to talk to "james" and also parked outside our house and watched it, as if we were hiding this guy or something.

So, all of this was going through my mind as I was looking for my daughter who hollered and then vanished at 4:30 in the morning.

I continued to yell for Mary and look for any car speeding away or anyone running.  I was beyond horrified.  And then I saw her.

Mary was across the street and a few houses down.  She was in her shorts and tank top.  No shoes, no coat. It was snowing and very cold.  I yelled her name and ran to her, and she to me.

Mary was shaking like a leaf, and so was I.   Even though I was holding her, or more like clinging to her, it took me a while to register that she was ok.

Ben and I brought her back into the house, and she told us what happened.

She had come into our room for something, and couldn't see us for some reason. 

Those of you that have followed our blog, or know us well, know that Mary has pretty bad separation anxiety.  She is getting better with it, but she still can't be left alone.  If I am not in the same room as her in the house, she gets scared, really scared.   I have to tell her where I am, all the time. She cannot be left in the car, even if I am just running to get a Red Box.  She will completely panic.

So, when Mary couldn't see Ben and I, she completely freaked out.  She ran outside crying, and went to a neighbors house to get help.  I didn't find out until later this morning, that she had actually rang their doorbell and knocked several times.   Good morning neighbors...geesh

It shook all of us up quite a bit.  In fact, I never fell back to sleep, and Ben went back to sleep holding Mary, in our bed.  It totally freaked me out.  I was so grateful that Mary was here this morning, that I made chocolate chip pancakes for the first time ever. I hugged her about a thousand times and told her I loved her until she started rolling her eyes. 

Lesson learned:  Cherish every moment, every single one.   And even though the big huge down blanket is so cozy and fun to snuggle up in, at least have an arm or a leg hanging out, in case a child comes looking for you.

Scare #3
So this morning, I was a bit rattled, because of the above story.  I was very proud of myself though, for making chocolate chip pancakes, getting everyone dressed, feeding Luke, and even having the house cleaned up, all before taking Mary to school.  I was thinking about how the morning didn't turn out so bad after all, as I went to get the car keys.  Heck, we were even going to be early taking Mary for school. Wow!

Well, the keys weren't on the hook.  I checked the diaper bag, my purse, and my jacket.  No keys.  So, I called Ben to see if he knew where they were.  No luck.
And then the frantic run around to find the keys ensued. 
I was running all over, shouting orders to the older two to look in their rooms and other various places in the house.
Luke was bawling because he was hungry again.
William was in Mary's room getting into her "accessories."
I continued running all over.
Mary and Sam continued tearing the house apart helping me look.
Luke continued crying.
William came downstairs grinning covered in Marys bright red lip gloss and carrying fake keys.  He was so proud to have found the keys.  Silly boy,!
And so it continued, and the clock kept ticking.

I called Ben one more time, and he said that there might be a spare key in the gun safe.
So, I ran upstairs to where the gun safe is, but I couldn't reach it.
I had the phone in one hand and I grabbed a stool with the other.
I got the safe open, and Ben reminded me that there was a loaded gun in the safe and to be careful.
As I stood on my toes reaching around for the keys, I slipped.
I fell, and so did the safe with the loaded gun.
I dropped the phone and covered my head, waiting for the gun to go off and the safe to smash onto my head.
I felt the gun slam into my head and then watched it fall on top of Ben shoes before slamming into the wall.
And then the entire gun safe fell on top of me.
I sat there, crouched in a ball with my hands over my ears.  I think I was bracing for the sound of the gun going off.

The gun never went off.  I had some scratches, but no real harm done. betcha!

Mary and Sam and William all came running into the room and came to a screeching halt when they saw me on the floor, covered in the contents of our safe, gently picking up the loaded gun.

Sam, wide eyed, but totally matter of factly, said, "well, now we know where dad hides his gun."

Oh great.

I shuffled the kids out of the room, put everything back into the safe, locked it, and made sure it wouldn't open again without the code.

And yes, I got the dang car key.

Mary was late for school, and I was frazzled to no end, but once again, I was pouring my heart to the Lord, full of thanksgiving, for another tragedy spared.  As I apologized to Mary for making her late for school, she just hopped out of the car and said, "It's ok mom, I will just tell my teacher that you lost the car keys and  had a loaded gun and lots of money fall on your head."  And then she shut the door and walked into the school.  I sat there for a second and then laughed my head off as I drove away. It was so sad, but true.

Lesson learned: Don't talk on the phone, balance on a stool, and rummage through a 10+lb. safe above your head, with a loaded gun in it.  And make sure you know where the car keys are well before you need to go anywhere.

I still haven't found the keys. I can only imagine where they will be, if and when I find them.

On a lighter note, we drove by the house today and saw this.

They are putting the footings/foundation  in, even though it is snowing.  Yippee!
There are some guys down in the hole guiding the cement thingy.

Maybe I should bring those guys some hot chocolate.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

dig day...part 2

I was finally able to get the camera and the computer to become friends again, so I was able to download the rest of the dig pictures.  These are mainly for journaling, so if you are sick of digging pictures, just ignore this post.  We are so excited that we could look at these all day.  So without further adieu...


our lot is on the corner...cul-de sack on one side, Huckleberry Lane on the other. Fun!
this is across the street from what will be the front of our house
Yup, that sign is ours!  It should have a big SOLD sticker on it.
Our lot is on the left.  Looking straight ahead is our circle. The circle ends where that white truck is.  The house you can see, is our next door neighbor.

oh yeah, check out those mountains.  Timpanogas is to the left, and is gorgeous!


Mary and Sam, the evening of the dig.

Friday, December 7, 2012

dig day

D day is today.  And for us it now has two meanings.  Of course, the remembrance of Pearl Harbor, but it also means DIG DAY!

This morning, I loaded all of the kiddos up in the car and drove Mary to school.  I was careful to remember my purse, have everyone buckled in the proper seats, and to drive the speed limit this time.  :) 

Then we drove straight over to our lot, where we found this happening!  I forgot the camera, so we rushed home, grabbed the camera and rushed right back over to the lot.  Unfortunately, the camera will not download to the computer, so you get some good ol' cell phone pictures.
I was so excited that I literally shouted for joy, the boys thought it was hilarious, but they soon joined in the hollers and yells of excitement and joy. Even our poor ear infected, sinus infected, hacking cough, pink eyed, penicillin loaded Luke was smiling.
I took about a million pictures, and also got a bunch of video footage.  It is just so exciting to see that this is all for real, and that our home has begun!
The guy driving the digger, saw me taking pictures, and came over to me.  He asked me if I was the homeowner.  I grinned from ear to ear as I said yes.  He then walked me around the site and showed me where everything was, and talked about the process for the next few weeks. 
Sam got out of the car and came over, so I introduced him to the "digger driver." Sam's eyes were as big as saucers.  He just met one of his heroes, and he was actually speechless.
It was cute to see the boys so into the machines, and the thought of knowing that they were making our house. They felt special knowing that all of these machines were making something for us.

We will go back and check it out again when I pick the kids up from school, so Mary can se it, and we will probably check it out one more time when Ben gets home. I wish I could stay there all day, but life goes on.

And so it has begun!    These next few months are going to be so much fun watching the progress of our home, and counting down to move in day. Our dream is finally becoming a reality!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3rd time's a charm....and a suprise

     On our way home from spending Thanksgiving in Idaho, we were driving along, minding our own business, when we passed by a cop who had just finished pulling someone over. I thought to myself, "poor person, that is not a fun way to end your Thanksgiving holiday." We continued on, when we noticed that the cop had pulled out and was tailing us. And then the lights came on. Crap. Ben wasn't speeding, I mean common here, people don't call him "grandpa Ben" when he is behind the wheel for nothin'. Love you Ben! We were all buckled up, everything seemed fine, we were stumped. The cop walked over to our car and asked the usual, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Ben said he had no idea, and the cop said that our registration was outdated. Oh man! Ben was very polite, but the cop was really stern and not about to budge with anything. He spent forever doing whatever they do in their car, before coming back over and slapping a ticket in Ben's hand. Rats! Rude cop. Bad luck. Guess we need to get things registered and up to date.

A few days later, Ben was driving the other car, for work. And what do you know, he gets pulled over! Again, he has no idea why. The cop, a little more politely this time, tells Ben that the registration for that car is overdue. Seriously! It was almost comical, aside from the fact that Ben got a fix it ticket. Boo. What are the odds. Twice in a week, for the same thing.

  Fast forward to this morning.
Setting: Ben is frantically getting ready for work. I am cleaning up from making the kids pancakes, while fixing Mary's hair for school. Luke has a huge blow-out, probably from the penicillin he is on. Ben is up to his elbows in Lukes poop, while I am trying to eat oatmeal, get Mary out the door, and clean up from Breakfast.

Story: Ben finishes up with Luke, and runs out to his car for something. He leaves it warming up for me and Mary. So sweet. I am still in my mis-matched pj's, my hair is all over, no make-up, you get the idea. Mary and I start heading out the door and William freaks out because he wants to come. I grab William who has no shoes, no jacket, his diaper from last night still on, and pancakes all over his clothes and face. The back of Ben's car is full of snow skii and work gear, so I hurridly buckle Mary and William together in the front passanger seat, and we take off for the school. No, I did not grab my purse. I barely get Mary to school on time, but we make it. Few! As I am driving away from the school, I notice that a cop has pulled someone over. I think to myself that this morning, of all mornings, would be the worst possible time for me to get pulled over, and thank my lucky stars that the person on the side of the road is not me. And then the car behind me, which looked like a normal car, all of a sudden has lights blaring and is tailing me. argh...undercover cops! I quickly glanced at my speed. 35mph, few, I am not speeding. And then it hits, I am still in the school zone, and my heart drops to my feet. I pulled into the rec center parking lot and waited for the inevitable. And then I quickly assessed the situation. I look like absolute white trash. I have no make-up, my hair is everywhere, I have my pj's on (which do not match at all), I am wearing slippers. William has no shoes, no coat, is covered in syrup, is in the front seat, and is not in a booster seat. Double bad. The back of the car seriously looks like I am living out of the car. There is stuff everywhere! And to top it off, I don't have my purse, which means no lisence. Oh yeah, and the registration is outdated. Rock on. I basically sink down in my seat and wait to be arrested, have my child taken from me, or fined thousands of dollars. The cop walks over to the car, and I roll down the window. He glances over me, William and the car, and instead of instand disapproval and rage, his face shows pity. And then I get it. He thinks I am homeless, can't afford shoes or coats for me or my child, I am living out of my car, (which is a nice car, but maybe he though I won it from a drawing or something:) )and we will be having no Christmas this year. He asks me how I am doing. Not the usual, "do you know why I pulled you over?" It is amazing what can go though a person's mind in just a few seconds. I was tempted to totally play up the situation, start bawling, and talking about our dire situation, me being a single homeless mother, raising my filthy child, and living in the car. But, I went for honesty. I tell the cop, that I was in a hurry because my husband was late for work, and I took his car to drop my daughter off at school. (yup, I let him know that my husband did in fact have a job, I was married, and I may have been speeding) The cop kindly smiles and asks me if I can give him my lisence. ugh. Here we go. I say, "This is my husbands car, and I rushed out the door. My purse is in my car at our house. (great, now he knows we do in fact have a home, and we even have another car. The hole just gets deeper) I decide to just be humble, so I say, "look, I really am sorry for whatever it is I did, I know this looks really bad." The cop actually chuckled! He said, "well, your back break light is out. But since this isn't your car, you wouldn't know that. Just tell your husband to get that fixed asap. And you have a good day and get him off to work on time ok. Merry Christmas." I literally almost pass out from shock. And then the cop looks at William and asks him his name. I glance over and William and my eyes bulge out. Not only is my two year old child in the front seat, and not in a booster (two major no no's), he has unbuckled himself at some point. I figure the Mr. Nice cop thing is over. I am toast. I hold my breath as William chats away with the cop. He shows him his cars he is holding, and his gum he is chewing. The cop just smiles. Then the cop gives William and hand shake, me a nod, and leaves. I sit there frozen in shock for a few minutes, before heading home. I am still reeling from the whole thing. What a huge blessing! It literally made my day. So, we have now been pulled over three times in a month. Third time is a charm I guess.  I feel lucky.

And to top it all off, here is the suprise. While I have been typing this post, Ben called. THEY ARE DIGGING THE HOLE FOR OUR HOUSE TOMORROW!!!! I am so giddy right now I can hardly stand it. We were just hoping they would dig by Christmas, so this is a suprise. A great one. It really does feel like Christmas today. I am headed out to take some "before" pictures, and then tomorrow we will go as a family to watch them break the ground. Hip Hip Hooray!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012


I am going to let you in on a little secret.
We have germs in our house.
  Yup, guess which ones we have. Or maybe I should say, guess which one's we don't have.
Here is the list from the last 5 days:
Mary: pink eye, cough, sore throat (possibly strep)
Mom: laryngitis, yeah I know, weird huh. nasty cold fever chills
Sam: pink eye, cough, fever.
William: croup (was just put on a steriod to try to keep him out of the hospital. His oxygen levels aren't great), strep throat, which will be treated after the steroid is out of his system, Fever, chills, and rash.
Luke: pink eye and infection in his right ear, fever and rash
Dad: awaiting the inevitable, but good so far.
Thank goodness for snuggle time, movies, motrin, tylenol, advil and prescriptions. Few! p.s. anyone out there know why blogger won't let me do paragraphs, bold, or normal pictures?

green gross

Growing up, my mom made this salad dressing, or something. It was actually really good, but in a child's eyes, it was green and therefore gross. The dressing became known as "Green Gross."

As mentioned in a previous post, I am really backing off of sugar and white flour. I also decided to try to drink a really healthy vegie juice once a day. The sugar and flour thing is going well. I am noticing a difference and shedding these last few stubborn pounds. The first few days were rough, as my body (mainly my gallbladder) went bezzerk getting rid of all of the crud stored in there. I had some killer gallbladder attacks, and then I got all cleaned out and went on my way, feeling great.

I have been seriously putting off this whole juicing thing though. The thought of blended up vegies, a green juice, and drinking a lot of it, is just scary to me. But I took the plunge. I bought a bunch of green vegies. Kale (whatever the heck that is, I just heard it is good for you), zuchinni, cucumbers, spinach, brocolli, and green peppers. Go me. I felt special at the check out counter, all healthy and stuff. Oh yeah. Then I brought it all home, I chopped like a mad woman, and then smashed it all in the blender. I decided to add carrots and 1/4 cup of apple juice at the last minute. I guess I was trying to somewhat help the flavor. Or at least give myself some mental help that there was something at least kind of sweet in there. And there it was, my own version of green gross...staring me in the face.
Once it was all blended, I juiced away. I put it all in a paint filter bag (no, I am not the smart one to think of this, my sister in law is, thanks Jessica), and squished and squished and squished until all of the green, runny, non-chunky stuff was in the pitcher. It was weird, but kind of fun.
Mary sat on the counter and watched the whole time. She was completely amused by watching her mother go to great lengths to make a nasty drink. And then it was go time. OK, not really. I totally chickened out. I just put the pitcher in the fridge "to let it chill a little," and walked away. I waited until dinner, and pulled out the green gross. I told Ben that it was great and to have some. And then I watched closely. He didn't flinch at all. He didn't gag, or spit it out, or die. It gave me try it the next day. That day is today. I can proudly say that I drank an entire pitcher of green gross by 10:00 this morning. I tried to plug my nose, but then my ears would pop, so I gave up on that. I just put it in my water bottle, shoved the straw down my throat and gulped away. Sam watched me do this with his little nose wrinkled the whole time.
It actually didn't taste terrible. It tasted just like grass. So I guess, from a cow's perspective, it was amazing. I am not a huge fan of it, but it is something I am going to keep doing for a while. Maybe it is an acquired taste. So, here I sit, with a stomach full of vegies, all healthy-like. Cool huh. Thank you green gross.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

once upon a christmas

Each year, as we are picking out our Christmas tree and decorating it, I can't help but flash back to one particular Christmas.

Ben and I were in school, Mary was almost 2, and I was 7 months pregnant with Sam. We had absolutely no money at all. We had exhausted our student loans on books, tuition, classes and living. Ben was working part time, but that money went toward our car and living expenses. We were getting our food from the Church food bank, and we were purchasing whatever things we absolutely had to get at the DI, or just going without. We were both about to graduate, and move in with my parents as Ben was looking for a job. We knew our situation was not permanent, but it was still very hard, and there wasn't an official end in sight, just a hope for a better future.

It was Christmas time. My absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about the season. The softening of hearts, the desire to give, the love, the magic, the decorations, the music, and so on. My all time favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas tree. The smell of the tree, the lights glowing in the darkness of the night, spreading magic and cheer into the home, and just the beauty of it. I have fond memories of sneaking down the stairs at night, and snuggling up into a chair that was across from the Christmas tree. I would just sit there looking at the beautiful tree, with the lights and ornaments glowing, and let my heat feel the joy and the excitement of the holiday. I would get lost in the joy of the season and the magic of the tree.

I was really struggling this particular year. We could not afford gifts, which I was ok with. Mary was getting a little toy from Walmart, and then whatever family gave her. Ben and I were just going to enjoy the holiday being together, without gifts. We were going to make the most of it. We also could not afford a Christmas tree. Even if we did find a tree, we would have no money to purchase decorations or lights to put on it. It just wasn't going to happen this year. It was way down of the list of "needs." In fact, it wasn't even on it. I was trying so hard to count our blessings, and to be grateful for what we did have. Becasue we really were blessed, and we wanted to recognize it. I knew that my parents had a tree in their house, and we would be there for Christmas, so that would be the way I could enjoy a tree. Then finally, one day, it all just hit me. It was a very cold evening, we were studying for finals, we were stressed, and I was yearning for some sort of excitement or break from the hard stuff. I looked out the window just as our neighbors were bringing home their Christmas tree. I finally let go, and just cried. I had a little melt down, and I let myself be sad for a little while. I remember looking up at Ben, who was holding me, and saying, "all I want is a Christmas tree. I don't care about the gifts, or the decorations, or anything else. I just really miss having a Christmas tree. I just need something to remind me of the magic of the season. The carefree feelings of my childhood. A reminder that life has wonder and amazement. A symbol of hope."

Just a few short minutes later there was a knock at our door. I wiped my eyes as Ben answered the door. There stood a member of our ward with a big, huge, real, wonderfully smelling Christmas tree! We absolutely could not believe it. Our friend said that his family had been chopping down a tree, and they had the feeling that they should get one for us as well. They asked if we would like a tree. My eyes welled up with tears all over again, and I just smiled. Ben told them they were an answer to a prayer, hugged them, and let them in. The husband brought the tree in, and then his wife followed him in with boxes of lights and decorations for the tree. I could not believe it!

 The tree alone had seemed like more than enough. I thought my heart would burst with joy and thankfulness. This family that brought the tree had just had twins and were in a similar situation as ours. They were our age, in school, and struggling to get by as well. They sacrificed for us and obeyed a feeling in their hearts to help a family they didn't even know was in need.

I will never forget them. Later that evening, in the dark of night, I sat crying once again. I was looking at our beautiful Christmas tree, smelling the evergreen smell that took me back to my childhood memories and the magical moments, and shedding tears of absolute gratitude and humility for a Father in Heaven who heard the plea of his hurting daughter and sent angels her way to make a magical season alive in her heart once more, to remind her that even the simple things matter to God, and to bring her a symbol of hope in a time of need.

The remainder of that month was full of angels coming our way. Envelopes of money were left on our doorsterp more than once, anonymous gifts were sent our way, people stepped in when we needed them most, family surrounded us and helped where they could, and everything ended up ok. I am so grateful for God's angels, especially this time of year. And each year, I hope to pay it forward and be and angel to someone else. Because heaven knows, we all need them.

a magical evening

Last night was magical in our home. 
We turned on the Christmas music, filled up the mugs with hot chocolate, wrapped presents, put lights up, and decorated the Christmas tree.

The smell of the tree, the hot chocolate, the beautiful music and the lights glistening from the windows and tree, warmed our hearts and brought smiles to our faces. Even Luke seemed to catch the spirit of it all.

Because we are in a smaller place for a little while, we had to get really creative with the Christmas decor. We have way more decor than we have room for.  I ended up just handing it to the kids and letting them put it where they thought it should go.  Normally, I have certain places for everything, so it all matches and looks all OCD like.  ;)  The kids would help with some things, but not everything.

I must say that I loved the way we did it this year!  The house is exploding with Christmas decor, and it is all hodge podge and fun.  It feels so much more fun, relaxed and cozy. And the kids love it, because they did it all.  I think we may be on to something here.

We did the same with the tree.  Normally, they help decorate it, but I am there showing them where to put things, and I am there later that evening, when no one is around, re-arranging the tree to make things even. Before you begin to think I am some order freak that makes my kids miserable, let me make a disclaimer: We still have fun decorating every year, and the kids do enjoy it. I am not all beasty and stuff, but I definently "guide" the children with where to put things, and how to do things. Yes, I have issues.

This year, we just let the kids go at it.  I completely forgot to get those little wire things to hang the ornaments with, so we pulled out the yarn, and made some ourselves.  I cringed a little at the idea, but I am so glad we did it.  The tree has even more character than before!

 I only hung one ornament, and I let the kids show me where to put it.  They completely did the whole tree on their own.  William suprised me the most, and really got into it.  He hung most of the ornaments.  The smile on his face was priceless.  The ornaments he hung are mainly on one area of the tree, but I am finding myself smiling when I look at the cute cluster of ornaments hung by my chubby fingered little boy, instead of a yearning to even it out and change it.

The home just feels more magical with the children's touch all over it.  Sure, it isn't even, orderly, we decorated with multi-colored lights (a big "eek" for me), things aren't perfectly placed, and of course, a few things were broken, but our home feels more Christmasy and has more character than ever before.  Each scratch or nick holds a memory, and each decoration was placed with childlike imagination. And I love it!

The kids drew names this year, and each made or purchased a gift for eachother.  They sat and giggled and squirmed as they wrapped the gift and placed it under the tree.  Even William got into it.  He scribbled all over the tag, helped put tape all over the wrapping, and giggled the whole way down the stairs as he carried the gift to put it under the tree.
  Mary spent an entire day at school trying to figure out what Sam would like, and Sam spent a long time in the store trying to find the perfect gift for Luke.  It made me happy to see my children thinking of eachother. 

So here we are, all decked out for Christmas, presents under the tree, and excitement and joy in our hearts.  I am loving our hodge podge Christmas, and I am so grateful for my children who bring the magic into our hearts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a day of thanks

Thanksgiving Highlights:

Going to Pocatello to be with family.

Watching the kids talk with Santa.  It was so cute, and William just chatted away like they were old pals.  Seeing the magic in their eyes was priceless. 

Watching movies.

Painting fingernails.

Playing games.

Seeing Mary's face light up when she was invited to play a game with the adults.  She is still talking about it. Why do they have to grow up so fast?

Letting the kids play at the mall with cousins, eat pretzels and cheese until they almost burst, and ride the quarter toys.  (this is rare, and they thought it was so awesome)

Very yummy food.

Finishing up Christmas shopping. Yup, I am DONE!

Going to a gymnastics gym and watching Ben and the kids go nuts.  Sam just went and went and went.  He absolutely loved it!
Mary can still do all of her routines, and it was fun to watch her do her thing again.
 The poor girl broke down and cried because it made her miss gymnstics.  Oh, if only we were millionaires. 
She will be starting up a tumbling class here in Heber at a phenominal tumbling gym pretty soon.  That should help.

Laughing so hard at "The Best of Wipe Out" that I was in serious pain.  It was awesome.

And of course, remembering what we are all thankful for. 

I am always thankful for the Gospel and for my Savior Jesus Christ, but this year it was magnified.

I felt my Savior very near me as I faced some difficult circumstances the past few weeks. 
He lifted me up, when I felt like I couldn't possibly get any lower. 
He helped me lift my chin high, when I was being torn down.
He reminded me that me and my family are precious and special in His eyes, and His eyes are all that matter.
He reminded me that I am worth it. I am a daughter of God, and I matter.
He gave me the ability to humble myself and say sorry when it was needed.
And he gave me the power to forgive, when I was too upset or hurt, and could not do it on my own.
I am coming away from the past few weeks a stronger person, with a better knowledge of my worth, and the worth of my family. I have joy in my heart for the amazing husband and children I am blessed with. We are happy, we have been so blessed and life is good.  I will not let a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks ruin that.  We are in a good place, with great things to come.  And I am exited.

I am so Thankful for the Gospel in my life.  I am so grateful for my very precious and very special family. 
My children are a gift from God, and there are moments each day (amist the chaos) that I feel that my heart could burst with the love I have for them.
I am thankful that He paved the way for us to be here in Heber, where I know we are going to be so happy. I can feel it, I can see it, and I have already experienced it.  We are in a good place.

I am who I am, my family is happy being us, we are who we are, and we have fun doing it.

  Some people may like it, others won't. But in the long run, if God is happy, and we are, then that is all that matters to us.  From now on, no one will make us feel differently. And that, is the lesson I am most thankful for learning this Thanksgiving. 

Life is good.

6 months

We made it!  6 months is the age I always look forward to with my babies.

 With the older three, I yearned for it as we spent month after month with sad, crying, hurting babies, due to acid reflux and their protein breakdown issues.  Six months seemed to be the age where it all finally smoothed out.

Luke has been a different story.  He still had reflux and protein breakdown issues, but because of everything we have learned with the others, and because of an awesome doctor, we were able to get everything taken care of within his first two weeks of his life.  The difference has been amazing!

Not that we loved our other infants any less, but our experience with Luke has helped us to see why people actually enjoy the infant phase.  When it isn't all about crying, puking and walking them all night long, it can be so fun!

We have honestly really enjoyed Luke's infant phase. It has been so amazing for us.  Four kids is hard, and can feel so overwhelming, I will not lie, but I am so grateful that the Lord blessed us with an easy infant this time.  It has really helped with the adjustment to four and has as made the transition easier.

Luke had his 6 month check up yesterday, so here are the stats.

Weight: 16 lbs   27%
Height: 25.75in.  13%
Head Circ.  17.2 in.  58%

He is small, but healthy.  We call him our little squatty body.  He does have rolls though, and we kiss them all day.

We are currently trying to transition him out of the expensive protein breakdown helping formula, and into a normal gentle formula.  So far, so good. 

He is completely off the acid reflux meds.  Hooray!

He is our first child to not go crazy over solids, but the doctor thinks that once he poops more he will enjoy them more.  We will keep on trying.

He can roll all over the place.

He can sit up with support.

He loves to play with the remote and my cell phone.

He loves paper, bags, and anything crinkly.

He is VERY quick to smile and laugh. He is extremely happy and playful.

He plays with his toes a lot, and sucks his fingers all day long.

He sleeps through the night!!!!  He does wake up early, but I will take it.

He babbles, blows raspberries and coos a lot. We love it.

He sleeps on his side.....his choice.

He grabs at everything, especially mine and Mary's hair and earrings.

He is most happy when his siblings are around him.  He loves to watch them and interact with them in his way.  They are very good to him, and help so much.  He is a lucky baby.

We sure love our little Luke. He is a very sweet and tender baby.  Happy 6 months squatty body!