My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nesting in Nature

As with all of my pregnancies at this point, I am nesting...big time. There is one big difference this time around though. I have been going nuts on the yard instead of the house. I did a big change to our family room just over a month ago. The decor is totally different from what it was before, and I LOVE it! The rest of the house will be changing as well, but over time. My plans are all set, I am just saving up for the bigger items and still working through some color schemes. I think the family room change got the house nesting bug out of my system for a while.

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day. People were out working in their yards and enjoying the sunshine. Something sparked in me, and I had this huge urge to do yard work. Major yard work. But I couldn't. You see, we spent the day Saturday getting a new car. That blog post is coming soon. We love the car, but not being able to full my urge to get out in the yard, only made it fester. By Monday morning, I was literally exploding with the desire to get outside and "clean up" the yard. The weather was gorgeous again, so I slapped on my gloves and went to work. I spent 5 1/2 hours in the yard on Monday. With the help of my awesome neighbor and friend, we pulled out two very dead bushes in our front flower bed. (the roots were huge and very deep) Then I raked and shoveled out all of the leaves and junk that have collected there. Then Trudy and I did a serious trim to all of the bushes. We took pile after pile after pile of branches, leaves, rocks and weeds to the garbage. Both of our cans were filled to overflowing and weight well over 200 lbs. I couldn't budge the garbage can, and Ben had a hard time getting it out to the road today. I hope the garbage truck can lift it.
Then it was time to weed. After weeding, it was weed killer time and then off to the store to buy some top soil. After that I mowed the lawn, and fertilized the whole thing. I also got the sprinkler system all set up and made sure everything was working properly. By that evening, the front flower bed looked completely different and so awesome. The lawn looked great and I was elated to have been in the yard all day. It felt great! Not to mention I was EXTREMELY sore and sunburned. Yard work is not easy when 34 weeks pregnant.

The next day I bought flowers and planted them in the flower bed. My first flowers! I love them so much. They are my babies and I am constantly looking at them and pampering them. The flower bed went from a dead bush, weedy, leaf filled mess, to this.

The flowers, when in full bloom, will fill the full flower bed. I can't wait to see it in about a month. And I am proud. I also got weed killer and sprayed all over our back patio and around several bushes and trees.

The next day was the brutal yard work. We have a fence lined with rose bushes.  Maya chewed two of them down to almost nothing, but somehow they are surviving.

The bushes have been surrounded by rock and gravel and cinder block. Weeds have grown through the rocks, and the cinder block, and the place looked horrible. It has been very overwhelming to me to look at it.

But not this week. I attacked the place. For four hours. And it was very hard. I not only pulled weeds taller than me (the poky kind), but I had to shovel out all of the rocks and gravel along the whole fence line, put them in buckets and make over 20 trips to the trash can to dump them out.

I uncovered several ant hills, and ended up with ants all over me.  At one point I literally had over 100 ants all over my arms, neck and hands.
Along with spiders, rose thorn slivers, and cuts and scrapes everywhere, I met all sorts of creatures.
William was with me for some of the time, and he was actually a great helper. He helped put rocks in the buckets, pick ants off of me, and even pulled some weeds. Cute kid.

 I am so happy with how the hard work paid off. The rose bushes now look amazing and it made a huge difference in the yard!

The past few days I have been to sore to do any more work in the yard, but every time I look outside, I smile. I have discovered that I have a big love of working out in nature. I have known it all my life, but combined with nesting, it is awesome. I can feel that the earth is alive and I feel like I am taking care of my small patch of it. It is great to get dirty, get the fresh air, and to beautify. Not to mention, I may have filled the nesting bug...for a few days anyway.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sam's Reward

As mentioned in the earlier post, Sam earned a reward for finishing his chart. After the video game didn't work out, he came up with something else. Something that shocked me, but after thinking about, became something we all got excited about. So, after a lot of Internet hunting, we brought these home two days ago.

Guinea pigs!!! Not just guinea pigs, but BABY guinea pigs. They are just under four weeks old.

Both are male, and the kids named them Harry and Wilbur.

They are seriously the cutest little poof balls ever! They are absolutely adorable, and we have all fallen in love with them. We hold them and snuggle them several times throughout the day, and the kids are constantly asking to play with them.

Sam is especially into them. I often find him walking around with one snuggled in his arms while he is watching TV, playing, or just hanging around. It is cute to see him so happy about his choice of reward.

William is the only one who seems nervous around them. He loves to watch them, and occasionally pet them, but he has yet to hold one.

They are so cuddly and they love to be held. They are very gentle, so it makes it even more fun. We saw the parents when we picked them up, and they were just as adorable. The mother was big and fat and poofy and so cute.

They are so easy to take care of too. They just eat fruits and veggies, grass and hay. I think we have finally found the perfect pet for our family, in this phase of our lives. I even find myself sneaking over to the cage and getting one out to snuggle throughout the day.

Good job Sam in finding such a fun reward....for all of us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pregnancy Update

I had another OB appointment today, so I thought I should update the blog on the pregnancy.

My appointments are every two weeks, and then after the next one, they will be every week. Wow!

I am in the 8th month and getting so excited to meet this precious boy of ours. I have felt his sweet little spirit close to me a few times, and they have been very tender moments for me.

I look at my little family, and it feels so right to be adding a third boy to the mix. It makes me smile to think of the boys romping around, and Mary leading the way and nurturing them.

He is measuring right on target for his due date the first week of June. He is extremely active and moves all over every time the doctor tries to get his heart beat. It has become a little joke in the office.

He is head down, and getting all ready for his debut in 6-7 weeks.

We still don't have a name. We have a few that we like, but we will wait until we see him before we pick a name.

I am doing well. Of course, I am tired a lot and uncomfortable, but I am still able to take care of the home and family and get to the gym 3 times a week. I consider that a big blessing.

My placenta is still very low, but it has moved 1cm out of the way, so the doc thinks I should be able to deliver without a C-section if all goes well. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

My gallbladder started acting up again, like it did with my last pregnancy. It hurts pretty badly at times, but it isn't quite as bad as last time. I just have to watch what I eat.

I am not going to be induced, even though we don't want him to arrive on his actual due date. I am just going to hope he picks a different day to come, and deal with three Birthdays on the same day if he does come right on time.

I have been induced with the others, and it was fine. All went well, and I have no complaints. Contrary to popular belief, it didn't cause any problems with anything.
This time, I just want to let things happen. There isn't a move, or a trip Ben is going on, or Christmas to worry about this time, so we have no need to rush anything.

Other than that, we are just getting clothes, diapers, blankets, bottles, and all of the baby stuff ready.

The countdown is on!

It's Grown On Me

When we discovered that we would be moving to Utah the week Mary would start Kindergarten, I frantically began looking into the schools here. It didn't take
long for me to find that our school district here has year round school, a.k.a. the "track system."

I didn't like the idea at all, and thought it was a horrible thing. Year round school...blah! With Mary's severe separation anxiety, it was as horrible as I thought. We would spend a few weeks working through things with her, she would finally get into a routine, and then she would go off track. We would have to start the whole process over again. It was not fun.

First grade has been a whole new experience for Mary. We had some anxiety to work through the first month or so, but once she got in the groove, all has been well, and we have actually come to really enjoy the track system.

I really like how just when we are all ready for a break from the spelling tests, homework, missing Mary all day, and the crazy mornings (7-9 weeks on track), Mary goes off track, and we love it.

She is off track for three weeks. Those three weeks are the perfect amount of time for all of us to rest, regroup, play, be together, go on any trips, and then be ready to get back into the swing of things again. She starts back up with school just in time.

I have really come to enjoy the not too long breaks, and the not too long chunks of school. The timing of getting a break, and going back to school seems perfect, for us anyway.

We have started a thing in our home when Mary goes off track. I make chore charts for the kids that they work on during the weeks Mary is home. It keeps them busy and productive, and teaches them to work toward a goal. Once the charts are finished (usually takes them about a month) they either get a pre-determined amount of money, or they can pick a toy or activity they want to do.

Mary was off track last month, and it was spring break, so they got some extra long charts to work on. We also had some extra long time to play as a family...and we did! I was very impressed with how well the kids did on their charts this time. I put some things on their charts that I wanted them to learn to do and get in the habit of doing. Like, making their beds each morning, setting the table, helping with dinner, practicing piano, ect.

They finished their charts just in time for Mary to go back to school, and they picked their rewards.
Mary got a doll she has been asking for for a while now. She saved up her own money as well and got a second doll to add to the collection. She plays with them a lot and doesn't take them for granted, because she had to earn them.

Sam picked a game for the wii that he has wanted for a long time, and he was VERY patient as we had to order it and wait for it to come in the mail. He checked the mail every day and was beyond excited. Well, the game came, and it wasn't what we thought. Major bummer. Sam handled it really well, and after we returned the game, he came up with another thing he wanted. Something that shocked me, but after a day of thinking about it, Ben and I decided to let him have it. Again, I had to get back on the internet and find it, and again, Sam was incredibly patient... and incredibly excited. I was very proud of him for waiting so long and for being such a good sport. We picked up his "reward" last night. He LOVES it, and I think it is way better than a silly video game. Sam's reward will get it's own post very soon.

With the charts, the family fun time, the breaks, the excitement of going back to school after the break, and the routines, we have found our groove with year round school, and have come to really enjoy it. It fits really well with our family and our lifestyle. It is a really good thing! Not to mention the fact that Mary goes off track for the final time in 1st grade the week the baby is due. Perfect!

So, I will happily eat crow right now, and admit that year round school is great, and I am grateful that we have been able to give it a chance.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A letter from school...the good kind.

Mary came home from school a month ago with this letter.

First of all, I had no idea there even was an art contest going on!

Second of all, Mary didn't even show me the paper, I found it later that day in her backpack. Mary was very chill about the whole thing, and said that they announced her name over the school speaker to congratulate her, and it made her shy. Ha!

I, on the other hand, was very excited for her. It was a crack up to me that Mary would win an art contest, when her mother can't even draw a stick person to save her life. I found it very amusing and so cool!

She must get it from Ben. He is the one I go to when a Birthday Party requires pin the tail on the lion, and the kids have no idea that the picture I drew is a lion. Ben gets the fun jobs like that from now on.

Mary's art won her school contest, and was hanging in her principals office for a few weeks, and then went on to win in a district contest. It has been hanging up in the School District office for about a month now. We decided to go see it yesterday. Ben and I had not seen the picture yet, and we were very curious.

It was amazing! Ben and I both stared at it with our jaws down. (we are the parents, we can do that) She showed us how she blotted the paintbrush on the pot, to make it feel like a real pot, and it did! um...yeah. Like I said, not from me, but so cool!

We were so proud of Mary, and she even grinned a little herself when she saw it hanging up there in the board room.

Go Mary! I can't wait to see what other surprises will pop out of my kids as they grow and mature.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We have had a great Easter here at our house! Happy Easter everyone.

Mardi Gras Classic!

Mary had her first gymnastics meet as a level four gymnast on Friday. The meet was called the Mardi Gras Classic.
The poor girl was so nervous all day, yet she was very excited too.
I admit, I was nervous for her. I just wanted her to go out there and feel like she
did her best.

And do her best she did!!!
I don't watch Mary practice much, so I haven't seen her in a long time.
I was shocked with how much she has polished everything up.
She looked to sharp, confident and adorable out there.
Ben and I were beaming while watching her, just because we are so proud of how hard
she has worked, how much she has grown, and how far she has come. Gymnastics has been an amazing sport for her in so many ways.

Mary scored a 9.4 on vault and came in 1st place on that event!

The picture is very blurry because I had to take it through a glass door. gggrrrr

She came in 4th on Beam, and 7th on bars.

She did amazing on her floor routine as well.

She was 6th all-around out of 20 or so her in her age group! We didn't expect that at all for her first meet, and were so happy for her.

Her team placed second and they fought hard for it.

The boys were very good sports and did a good job entertaining themselves during the meet.

We were so happy for Mary, but not exactly for the scores and awards.
It was wonderful to see her doing something hard, cheering on her team, learning confidence, and growing in so many ways.

We are looking forward to her next meet in a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Not Just A Flat Tire

We decided to go visit my family in Idaho this past weekend. It was General Conference as well as my dad's Birthday. We left right on time on Friday afternoon, and the kids were thrilled that we would get there before it was dark, so they could play in my parents awesome yard.

We were making great time, when all of a sudden, the car started tilting a little and there was a weird grinding noise. I pulled the car over, Ben got out to look, and sure enough, our tire was flat. Down to the rim flat. Boo. Although it stunk to see the flat tire, we were so grateful that it didn't blow out and possibly flip the car. Blessing #1.

We were out in the middle of nowhere, but to our fortune, there was a rest stop just one mile away. Blessing #2. I drove the car slowly on the side of the road, and we all bounced away as we got to the rest stop and pulled off.

The kids and I walked around while Ben got the car all ready to change the tire. Simple thing...right? W.R.O.N.G.

The wrench we had to get the lug nuts off, didn't fit. There was no way to get the flat tire off. Huh? Double boo. The wrench that was in the car, was meant for the tires that came with the car. The dude that had the car before us had changed the tires and the rims. I guess he had a thing for super rims. Who knew.

Good thing we were right in between two small towns in Idaho and Utah where most people have big trucks with big tool boxes. LOTS of people offered to help, and were sure that at least one tool in their box could get our tire off. No one had the tool, it was crazy! It almost turned into a game. Or like Sword in the Stone. Who has the magic tool? Who can get our tire off? Who has the coolest tool box with the right tool. Our lug nuts turned out to be super lock lug nut thingys. They are meant to keep people from stealing the tires. hhhmmm

We were about 10 miles from Malad, the closest town selling lottery tickets. Since the lottery was in the billions, and there was a 3 hour long line, we had a plethora of people passing through and offering to try to help us. :)
One very kind man offered to let us use his triple A card. Blessing #3. So, we called AAA. Too bad it took them 45 min. to get ahold of the closest person who could help us.

However, the weather was perfect and the rest area had paths, bridges and lots of space for the kids to play. They thought the whole thing was great. Blessing #4

Finally, about 3 hours after our tire went flat, the extremely old, foul mouthed, upset AAA guy came. And he didn't have the right tool either. He ranted, raved, cursed, and them felt bad for us. um...yeah.

By this time it was dark and getting cold. So we changed the kids into their pj's and brought our DVD player into the rest stop building. I am sure people walking in and seeing our pile of clothes and our kids watching a movie, wondered what on earth we were doing. We were very grateful that we had the DVD player though, and shelter from the cold. Blessing #5

After the AAA guy came, we decided to call in a tow truck, and to call my parents, who were an hour away to come get us and take us the rest of the way to their house.

While we were waiting for the tow truck, two more AAA guys showed up??? Apparently, while they were trying to get ahold of the first guy, they called two others, and forgot to call them back. It didn't matter anyway, because they didn't have the magic tool either.

The tow truck and my parents arrived at the same time. After 4 1/2 hours at the rest stop, I was overjoyed to see my parents and to finally be in a car headed the rest of the way to Idaho.

Sam thought that the tow truck pulling our car onto it was one of the most amazing things he has ever seen. In fact, yesterday, as he was telling his friend that we got a flat tire, stayed "forever" at a rest stop and then got a tow truck, he ended by saying, "Aren't we so lucky!" Oh, the perspective of a child.

Once my dad pulled out onto the freeway and was picking up speed, there was a deer standing in the middle of the road. Not kidding! We would have hit it if we were going 75 at the time. The deer made a move to walk to the side of the road, so my dad started going again, and then it turned around and ran right back in front of the suburban and off into the hills. I still can't believe we didn't hit it. Blessing #6. Pretty ironic huh.

We arrived to my parents house around midnight. Not exactly the time my kids were so excited about, but we were all just happy to be safely there.

We had a great weekend with my parents and siblings. We made a fun book for my dad for his Birthday, ate amazing food, watched conference and soaked in the amazing talks and spirit that were present, played in the yard, and relaxed. It was a weekend well spent.

A tire shop in Malad, Idaho was able to get the tire off (they deserve a golden star and a cupcake or something), and we were able to get our car back on our way back home a few days later. Of course they said someone would be at the shop to give us our keys, and they weren't there. But the wait wasn't super long, and the tow truck dude had gone above and beyond to help us, so we were patient. And yes, we now have the right tool to get the tires off.

Ben and I have decided that things could have been a lot worse had it been snowing, not by a rest stop, the tire had blown out, and so on. We now look at that rest stop as a reminder to be prepared, no matter what. And for FHE, that is just what we will be doing.

Updated 72 hour car kit and magic tools, here we come.