Monday, April 30, 2012

Kelsey - 2 months

Our sweet little Kelsey is 2 months old! She is so much fun and makes us all laugh with her cute little smile. I love how she does a half-laugh and makes such cute coos. Today was her 2 mo. appt. and she is looking great! She weighs 11 pounds 5.4 ounces and she's 22.75 inches tall. I'm so grateful for healthy children.

When I had Madison, everybody told me that three kids is definitley the hardest. But four has proven to be even harder for me. Kelsey's even a pretty good baby, but juggling all four is a daily challenge. Especially because Madi has had such a hard time adjusting. But I look back at where we were, and I feel glad because I can see improvement. I couldn't bring myself to post these pictures until now...maybe because of the emotions it pulls out of me. But it helps to remind me that things are getting better.

This was the night Kelsey was born, when all the kids came in to meet her. No one else was in there to take a picture for us, so that's why Kenny is behind the camera. I really wanted a picture of all the kids with me, since we've always done that on the hospital bed in the past. It didn't work out so well, though. As you can see, I'm physically holding Madi off with one arm (I had pretty much zero strength left since I just had a baby and all) because she was trying to lunge at the baby. She was so curious and interested and wanted to poke her eyes. This was as good of a smile as I could force.


Hi, I just gave birth a few minutes ago. You can't see Kelsey but she's wrapped up in that blanket next to me.
I've said several times over the last two months that time is our friend. I really think things get a little better every week, which is another good reason to keep forging on.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

6 yr. Anniversary!

6 years ago today, on a beautiful spring day, Kenny and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, UT. We were super young, and probably a little crazy, but too in love to care. All of our family members were there, and the tulips were in full was perfect. Since then we have graduated from college, had 4 beautiful children, and lived in 6 different states!! It's been quite a ride.

This year, it started off pretty tough and kept getting harder for a while. Kenny was gone the whole month of January, and I was very pregnant with 3 little ones. February moved us to Alaska and had a baby, which was an insane time. We're farther from family than we've ever been, and it's been a lot slower getting to know people this time, so we've felt a lot more alone. Kenny's also had a more intense work schedule, and works a lot of overtime. But I've been grateful for the trials because it's also brought us closer together. We had absolutley no one else to turn to, but each other and the Lord. Kenny has been my rock and really helped me get through the last 4 months, that have been some of the hardest in my life. He puts up with my hormonal mood swings, listens to me when I cry at night about my insecurities and fears, my loneliness and doubts. He has kept me afloat when I feel like I am drowning, and helps out at home when I just plain run out of energy and motivation. He teaches me what pure love really is, and I'm so grateful that he's mine, and I'm his. Forever.

We were able to celebrate a little and actually went on a date (with Kelsey) yesterday. We went to see the movie The Hunger Games, which I've been waiting to see for so long! It was worth the wait--it's so good! We both had read the books so it was fun, minus the fact that one of us was out or off to the side with Kelsey 70% of the time. We got some dinner at Qdoba (wanted Olive Garden but the wait was an hour and a half!) then headed back home. It was fun to get out, even if we did have to bring our baby.

Other fun things that happened this week...
Kenny got these two little kits for him to build with Ty and Bryn. They're like miniature greenhouse boxes for the kids. Ty really loved the hammering and it was right up his alley. Bryn had fun, but she is younger so struggled more with hitting the actual nails. It was cute to watch them.

Also, on Friday night I went out to eat at an Asian restaurant called Ling and Louie's. It was my second cousin Carmin's birthday. After dinner all the girls came back over here to my house and we had cake and watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. That movie brought back so many good memories. My sisters and I watched that movie a lot growing up and I'd forgotten how much I love it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Mother's Prayer

Oh, give me patience when tiny hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle smiling eyes;
Keep my lips from sharp replies.

And let not fatigue, confusion, or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys
So when, years later, my house is still-
No bitter memories its rooms may fill.

-Author unknown (to me)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recent Pictures

It's time to catch up. This is the part where I throw on a bunch of random pictures from the last couple weeks and sort of summarize what's been goin on lately.

My 3 helpers in the kitchen. We had just made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. They are all eating a little dough--satisfied with the results as always.

We went sledding a couple weeks ago (on the 10th, I believe)  and had a great time! We can walk to it, it's just around a couple corners from our house. It's not too big and not too steep which means it's perfect for our family. Below is me going down with Madi

It's hard to tell but that's Tyler going on his stomach, Bryn running down behind him, and Kenny and Madi at the top.

This is our house. It looks exactly the same as every single other house in our little neighborhood. I'm not lying. The only difference is the color of siding, there's quite a variety of colors.

We've been going on walks every day. Our neighborhood is just one circle of homes on both sides of the street. So we just circle around and around and around until we feel like stopping. Kelsey doesn't even have to wear this snow suit thing because it's warming up!!!

Ty and Bryn like to dress up in mine and Kenny's shoes and play "mom and dad". Kenny's basketball shoes and my red heels. Perfect.

Yesterday we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters! It was my first time ever and I was excited. Kenny and I had discussed it before we bought the tickets, wondering if we should make it a date or bring the kids. We decided that it would probably be a fun family event, so we bought tickets for all of us. We ended up leaving at the end of the third quarter because nobody was enjoying it anymore. Tyler sort of liked it, but even he had lost interest, and the girls were absolutely hopeless. Once a lady came down to try to help with Madison (I was gone taking Brynlee to the bathroom), I think that's when Kenny threw in the towel. I got back and he handed back a crying Kelsey and said, "Let's go". hahaha I guess we learned our lesson. Don't ever take your little kids to something you have to pay for.

The snow is melting so quickly! We can see grass now in the backyard and the front even more. We had no idea there was this little deck thing out back, but I like it. It's consistently in the high 40's, and even low 50's so it's been beautiful, sunny weather. I'm starting to see the light at the end of this long winter tunnel. I really wondered if the snow would ever go away, there's so much. But the sun is up for a realllly long time, so that helps.
I wanted to update on each of the kids but that will have to wait. Hopefully tomorrow?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Spoonful of Sisters

My fabulous sisters and I have teamed up and started a new food blog. Probably more than anything it's a way for us to share healthy recipes we enjoy, with each other. The 5 of us live in 4 different states, so it helps to connect us too. We each have one day to post, and so far it's working out pretty well (except for the 5th sister, but we'll get on her about that :). We've only been at it for 2 weeks, so hopefully it'll continue to be a great thing. We'd love for anyone to check it out... A Spoonful of Sisters.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Scenes from Making Dinner

Here's the thing about dinner's stressful. It's crazy and chaotic, and sometimes fun too. Last night as I was having a particularly stressful evening (my fault for trying to do bread at the same time as dinner which involved homemade tortillas for the fajitas so it looked like someone dropped an atomic flour bomb in our kitchen), I had the thought that these nights need to be recorded so I can remember it later. I know it won't always be like this, but here is what it is for now.

I think all babies have a "fussy time", and Kelsey has decided that right when it's time to start making dinner is the best time to be fussy. So she's usually crying 90% of the time. She just wants to be held, and I do try to hold her for whenever I'm able to only use one hand, or an awkward two. But a lot of the time I'm quickly setting her down on the floor or couch, running back to what I was doing, then hurrying over to pick her up when I get a second, etc. So kind of like a chicken running around with her head cut off. I might even try to feed her if I can sneak in the chance, it depends on what's for dinner.

Madison usually wakes up from her second nap towards the beginning of when I'm making dinner. So I go get her out of her crib and bring her upstairs. If I set her down, she will cry and cling to my legs, and follow me around, and start fights with her siblings, and just cause problems. So I have to stick her in her high chair and give her something to snack on, or color.

Brynlee usually likes to be in there with me, snacking on things as I make it. Or she'll be up at the sink "washing dishes" and making a big watery mess. But she's very happy there, so I don't mind. One day she even brought up her rubber duckies from the bath tub because "it was like a bath tub for the dishes". I often have her help set the table with Tyler.

Tyler is a great help, trying his darndest to keep Kelsey happy while I'm busy. He tries repeatedly to get her to take her pacifier, and he sings to her songs that he's making up on the spot. It's really sweet, but sometimes I could do without the extra noise. He loves being a big helper though, and doesn't mind helping to set the table as well.

I wish I could say that everything is peaceful and clean, and that Kenny walks in the door right as I'm setting a beautiful meal on the table. But he is never home for dinner thanks to his longer hours ever since we moved here. We're all so excited when he gets here that it is anything but peaceful (the clean house part is more of a joke around here than a reality). The kids barely give him the chance to eat, and there's usually at least one child on his lap while he does eat.

But ya know, I don't think I'd have it any other way :).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kelsey 6 wks.

 Look who turned 6 weeks old yesterday!

 I really love this picture because this is going on a lot during the day. Brynlee loves to just stare at her, and I don't think Kelsey minds a bit. Truth be told, she smiles at Bryn probably more than anyone else. I love her goofy smile, especially when she goes cross-eyed at the same time. If only we could catch it on camera.

I really, really love newborns. I love everything about them: how small they are, how their little bum fits in my hand, the noises they make, their clenched fists, and when they stretch they arch their backs and stick their bums out and bring their arms up--you know the one? I love their yawns, their soft skin, baby smell and cuddly blankets. I love that they will just be held 24 hours a day and their little heads fit right in the crook of your neck. I love their purity and innocence, how they bring such a sweet spirit into a home. There's nothing sweeter than a new baby. I feel like 6 weeks means she's not a newborn anymore, now she's grown into a baby. It's bittersweet. Here's to hoping that means more sleep for the both of us :)!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Snow and Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday morning we woke up to this:
 more snow. And it didn't stop snowing until late in the afternoon.
 In fact, with those extra few inches, Anchorage now has a new record of most snow in one winter. Pretty ridiculous that we're here the winter they get the most snow. ever. Kenny thinks it's pretty cool, but I'm just glad we missed the first (and worst) half of the winter.

After Tyler had soccer, we went to a potluck lunch/easter egg hunt. I made a fruit pizza--yum! Carmin invited us and it was mostly people from their ward. Thank goodness it was snowing a lot because it forced them to move the potluck part of it indoors, so we weren't freezing the kids for 2 hours. But the hunt was still outside. Someone said to us, "welcome to an Alaskan easter egg hunt". No kidding.
 (Don't mind that we forgot their easter baskets...I'm running on half a brain, I swear.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Making Up

I realize my last post was pretty lame with no pictures. So this post will make up for that. Tonight we went on a family walk because it was warm-ish (like 43 degrees maybe?) Just for in the future when we look back at these, my children should know that they have their father to thank for setting them up on high snow banks, tossing them into open fields of snow, and even throwing it down their pants haha (ask Tyler about that one).

 See what I mean about our roads starting to melt? I saw a piece of the sidewalk today. We were wondering if there was a sidewalk and there is, so I'm excited!

This was our trip to Costco the other night. One cart for children, the other for groceries. That's how we roll.

Tyler at soccer a couple weeks ago. Are you wondering where he is? Well just look for the ONLY kid wearing yellow, not the proper red uniform. He also didn't have on his soccer socks or shin guards...and we were 15 minutes late. I know, talk about on-the-ball parenting. Don't worry, it was only once, and they still let him play.

So we haven't really been doing Ty's preschool curriculum since we moved here. BUT I do make sure that we read every day, and that Ty does some writing of some kind. I usually just make up something fun for him to do, so it's not like some regimented part of our day. He likes to write letters to his uncle Tim, grandparents, and cousins.
Today I finally got around to cleaning my bathrooms and had him make some signs to tape on the door after it was mopped. He felt so important, and I think it's the cutest thing in the world to see how he sounds words out. The sign below says "Warning wet floor do not wok (walk), then a picture of the ocean (as he informed me) with the word Wodr (water). He often adds in these signs / or \ when he wants to clarify that there's a space in between his words. Or sometimes he'll do a random shape like the triangle in between wet and floor. He is also into arrows. I love that he will sit and draw and write things on his pictures for hours.

This one says "Bewer in the bathrom wet on the flowr"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just Stuff

It's starting to warm up! It gets above freezing every day, so the roads are starting to melt! We still have at least a foot and a half of snow on the grass, but the busy roads are all clear so it makes driving easier. They call this time of year "the break off" or "melt", instead of spring. While watching General Conference we were admiring the beautiful blossoms on tv, and watching the snow fall outside our window. The sun sets later and later every day, it's crazy. It's 9:30 p.m. right now and it's still not totally dark outside.

Madison is 16 months old today. We've been having a rough time lately. She is not only getting more and more independent and wants to do everything her siblings can (without help), but she's pretty feisty. She likes to get reactions out of people and is often picking a fight. She'll walk up to Bryn and just hit her, or they'll be playing together and she pulls her hair or hits her. She likes to chant (or scream) "No! No! No! No!" Or "don't! don't! don't!" Is it obvious what words she's heard a lot in the last couple months? We're trying to eliminate them from our vocabulary when we are talking to her, but it's difficult sometimes because she does sooo many things that she shouldn't. We've had to go to the doctor 3 different times this week and it's pretty tricky. She refuses to hold my hand in the parking lot, and prefers to run away from us or just stop walking altogether. But she is pretty heavy, especially when I only have one arm to hold/wrestle her with since I am carrying Kelsey in her car seat with my other arm. But I am trying to spend more time with her, give her more one-on-one time (when at all possible) and lots of loves. She is normally such a sweet girl, we are just going through a hard time. She gives me lots of opportunities every day to practice patience, and obviously I haven't learned my lesson yet :).

I mentioned we went to the doctor's 3 times this week. Ty and Bryn had their well visits (5 and 3 yr.) and Kelsey had an appt. too. She weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces, a day before she turned 5 weeks. I'm so grateful to have 4 healthy, happy, and beautiful children.

Last night I went to the grocery store and there were 2 moose in the parking lot. Cool.

Tyler has been playing soccer the last few weeks. Every Thursday night and Saturday morning. They don't really play much soccer at all, at least not the normal soccer games. They just play different games like freeze tag, and learn different techniques like dribbling and kicking. But it's still lots of fun for him, and probably better this way. Normally Kenny just takes him and I stay home wiht the girls, but one time I got to go and I love to watch him run his little heart out and have so much fun.

My license expired on my birthday back in February, so this week I finally got around to going to the DMV and got an Alaskan license. I guess I'm official now--and legal too, which is always good.

I am constantly behind on everything and can't seem to keep up with cleaning and what not. But I've decided it's only as stressful of a situation as I make it. I'm the only one who feels anxiety when the house is messy, so if I can just learn to chill out, things run much smoother. I love on the movie The Incredibles when the mom calls Mr. Incredible at work and says "we are officially moved in!" And he's confused because they've lived there for 3 years, but she says, I just unpacked the last box, so now it's official. That's probably going to be us too haha.

It turns out I have a second cousin that lives here with her husband and son. My mom put me in touch with her and it's so nice to have some kind of family, and a friend. She's been really kind to invite us to things and help me get a little more settled in. Ironically, her ward was the ward we went to for the first two weeks we were here, while staying in the vacation rental. We went over to their house for dinner and FHE a couple weeks ago. I also went to a gymnastics place for the kids to have "open gym" with her and her son, David last Friday. And I went with her to her ward's book club the other night, and joined them for this month.

I'm sure there's more I wanted to write about but I can't think of it now, and Kelsey's asleep so I better catch a few minutes while I can.