12.31.2011

have a hap hap happy new year

i totally got busted for the last post! i thought for sure it would fall into the crack of times when ty doesn't read the blog for a few days. but no, he read it.

don't worry, we laughed about it all and he's been pointing out all the fungus that is probably growing in our house because of the hat comment. hahahahaha. he's so funny huh? (insert sarcastic tone here)

so anyways, happy new years! i'm so excited for 2012.
my odd years are usually a little "iffy" but the even years rock! hoorayyyy!!!!

we celebrated in extra special grand mode with the girls: a new years dinner of yummy appetizers and cream puffs and sparklers and sparkling apple cider. the best part? every kid was in bed by 7:45.  (we have church at 9am tomorrow! yikes!)


some of my new years resolutions are :

eat to live-not live to eat
 and keep a clean house. i currently vacillate between a perfectly clean house (which only lasts 2 hours-and took me all day to do), to a complete pigsty. i would like to hit a happy median here.

i have more resolutions but they are mine and i'm not sharing.

so there.

what are your resolutions this year?

12.28.2011

sometimes i just don't get my husband

ty and i have almost been married 9 years. that's not very long for some and a long time for others. we've been dating since 1998. i'm too tired right now to count the years for that.
  but i digress. the point was to put down in memory most of our conversations that leave me wondering, "am i the only wife who thinks this?" 

 for example: clothing. ty has probably gone clothing shopping 10 times in his entire life. i buy his clothes. his mom bought his clothes. the end.

for christmas, i pick out some nice stretchy skinny jeans  for yours truly (because let me tell you, nothing and i mean nothing, is more comfortable for me). they are perfect for squatting, and bending, and sitting, and all the other things moms do all day long. so i don't care if i look like a stuffed turkey in them, they work. and he squinches up his nose and says, "no one looks good in those". which means, he wants me to not wear them. at first i was all, "ok, honey buns, i won't wear these if you don't like them." and then it dawned on me, this is coming from the man who wears his holey SHIFT t-shirt from senior year. and greasy jeans with holes and tears all over them. and a boston red sox hat that has probably seven kinds of fungus growing on it. (*i should note that although i buy his clothes, he will not let me buy him clothes, and if i do, he still wears the old stuff)

so basically i said, in a really nice way i promise, "i'll start wearing what you want me to wear, when you start wearing what i want you to wear".  and i know that is not the "love language", kind-hearted, selfless thing to do in a relationship. but stretchy skinny jeans just are soo comfortable gosh darn it.

another debate is home decor. he says our bedding for our master bedroom is too "girly". i say "eat it" because i like it and it's soothing and i'm the one whose home all day looking at it. i ask him opinions and opinions and opinions on where to move/replace/swap/turn furniture. finally last night, after his 15th "mmmhmmm" reply i asked, "should i just tell you where i want things to go and not even ask?" and i swear he had a relieved look on his face when he said, "yes!".

and i don't know if its because he doesn't have an opinion, or he knows that his opinion isn't mine and if we don't do what i want i'm going to complain about it for eternity?  these are deep thoughts i'm having here people.

deep.

i better go to bed before i start divulging too much about us. ha!

12.27.2011

christmas morn

the girls slept in until 6:20, which was nice. ty asked if they wanted to just snuggle with us in bed for a little while before opening presents. abby was game, lucy not so much. we woke up phoebe and poor girl struggled all day long. talk about sugar highs and lows.
phoebe was more interested in cookies until about 8am
 abby loves her new bike
 it inspired lucy to be brave enough to take off her training wheels
never too late to learn right? we all have different talents right?
 nothing like those first few moments of christmas
santa wrote lucy a letter this year
and of course, the middle child wasn't happy about not getting a letter.


we had a great yet tiring day chock full of church and family,
and family and family and family and family!
we are so blessed. looking forward to the new year.
(i've already started deep cleaning and organizing plans in my head)

12.24.2011

merry christmas from hidden hollow




the children are all tucked into their beds, filled with sweet dreams of santa clause.

the dishes are stacked and dirty and the house is a mess, but it is because i'm blessed enough to have food to cook and children to feed. there are toys all over because there is life in this home. beautiful, blessed, overflowing little lives.

this christmas has been a lovely one. full of ups and downs. but i know the years will fly by, and i will crave, oh i know my heart will just ache for these christmas' that are full of smudgy handprints on the windows, broken ornaments and running little feet in the hallways.

we are so grateful to share our lives with you.
all the good and the bad
we know that gratitude and cheerfulness can get you through anything.

merry, merry, merry christmas to you and yours.

12.23.2011

dear santa, this christmas i would like a lobotomy

my mom always waited a lot longer to decorate for christmas then any of my friends. i thought she was just, like, so weird. when lucy was a toddler i never listened when she said, "you should wait to decorate till just a week before". what? crazy talk i tell you.

and so, every year we bust out the full on decor the day after thanksgiving. tree! stockings! decor! music! and it's absolutely fantastic.

and then...oh and then. 4 weeks later the kids are absolutely bonkers. i have so many things to get done that i get paralyzed (remember diy paralysis? i also suffer from holiday paralysis). wrapping, cards, baking, dinner, cleaning, laundry, playing, organizing, sweeping, wiping, diapers, diapers, diapers and more diapers to change.

ah. exhaustion! i just can't take it any more!!!!! and to top it off, my kids are getting more and more disobedient the closer it gets to christmas. they just can't handle the pressure. i finally put out a few, and i mean a few, kids christmas presents yesterday as i thought, "they won't be tempted to open them in just 2 days". wrongo. a child who will not be named just snapped. and walking out the door to grandma's i notice an opened package ever so gently placed back on the pile.

" who opened the present? i asked. no, i demanded.

crickets.

and then, it was phoebe.
and then it was the cat (the CAT!),
and then it was an accident ,
and then it was nobody again.

"well unless i hear the truth no one is getting that present" i stated. the best part is, it is "prancer's" present. so not knowing to whom it belongs everyone is having seizures at this point.  ( i use reindeer code for their names to discourage gift opening. yeah, that worked awesome)

fast forward 3 hours later. there has been crying. and pleading. and "i did its!" and "i didn't do its!" and a sister who is cajoled into confession. and then, i snapped. i had had enough. i didn't care that the present was opened but the fibbing and fibbing and fibbing! ENOUGH! i said. and i threw the present up on top of the roof.

that was my only option. i was exhausted of the answer of what to do. there was no solution to my tired, frazzled brain and i just wanted it to stop. i threw a present onto our roof. that sounds so crazy now that i write it down.

i called ty and said, "i just threw a present on top of the roof." 

"well, as long as it works."   he replied. (i love that guy)

and guess what, i don't think any kid in our household will open a present before christmas again. but i'm also not going to put presents out under the tree until christmas eve, at like, 9:30pm.

the avarice. the greed. i hate how it so easily smothers out peace, good will and joy at this time of year.

mom, you were right. waiting to do it all is the most brilliant idea in the world.
why do us moms with little kids make ourselves suffer so?

12.22.2011

parenting mistake #3: we thought it was like riding a bike

I wouldn’t say that I ever imagined parenthood to be “easy” or that my kids would be “perfect”. But I did imagine that I would eventually learn everything and thus “have it together” and “know what I was doing.” Enough with the quotes already.  Somehow, somewhere, I got the notion that I would figure out parenting and be comfortable with it. Granted, parenting is fun for me. I love my babies, I love kids. I still want to have more kids. I love having kids with my husband and raising them, but as I heard recently, “yes, these are all my kids, and it’s no picnic.”


The first kid came, and she was beautiful. And perfect, and smart, and cute and polite and obedient. We both thought, “dang! We must be doing something right!”. And then our second one came, and besides a rough start at birth, she was the easiest baby and toddler we have had by far. Mellow, happy, a peacemaker (thank you Abigail!).



We had our rules and our perfectly timed naps and bedtimes and our manners and our meals together. And everything was honky dory (sp?). we were good parents! We knew what we were doing! Those other parents were lame! And then, the years passed and we added another easy going baby (again, we got lucky), but something happened, our oldest one kept getting older. I know right? And then she got , like, opinions and all that crap. And oh, she’s a talker. I keep telling her she would be a kick butt lawyer.  And then she started kindergarten and we didn’t have complete control of our day or our schedule anymore, and I was pregnant with our 4th almost the entire first year of school (awesome!!).



AndI started to struggle with being “the mom”, when things weren’t so easy anymore. my kids weren't perfect, i wasn't perfect. i didn't know what i was doing at all! And as hard it was getting to manage three little independent, free spirit souls who are smart and sassy and moving a jillion miles a minute, I still dreamt that when my kids were older, I would have it “together” and “know what I was doing.”. total pipe dream.  Insert My 16 year old niece coming to live with us for a month and I had an epiphany, the mom I am today is the mom I’m going to be when they are older”. I wasn’t the fun, silly but strict, easy going mom that you could talk to. I was the harping, record playing, mean mom that gave the evil eye (hey, it works on 4 year olds) and jumped all over you the second you even wavered from doing the perfectly right thing exactly when I asked.



And here I am today, with 4 kids under the age of 7. And I have no idea what I am doing. Some days I feel that I am not strict enough and I am ruining them. The next day I’ll feel that I’m too strict and I am ruining them. We keep trying out rules and rules and chores and consequences. some stick, others don’t. I’ve found that new and exciting rules and chore charts all have a shelf life of approximately 2 weeks. Because human nature (unless you are ocd, and some days I wish I was) just can’t keep be  perfectly consistent with every single thing, all the time, every day.



So instead of boasting of my parent skills and how I have it together and know what I am doing. I’ll be honest. I love being a parent, but it is hard. Each one of our kids are so different from the next. Different personalities, different strengths, different weaknesses, different needs. It’s like having to run a different obstacle race every single day and not knowing the course. And who can do that? I can’t. so every day I pray for help that I can do the right thing, say the right thing, and maybe teach them something important for the day and that they know that i love them.



But I know now that I will never have it figured out or know what I’m doing.



And I’m ok with that.

12.21.2011

if you ever wondered what ZUMBA! is like...

wonder no more my friends.
pure awesomeness.


classes start back up next week
tuesday/thursday nights
8-9pm
Old Overton Gym

12.20.2011

you should call us

because then you could get to talk to phoebe. she just loves to talk on the phone. more than a few times a day i have a phone shoved in my face and her saying "ia calla nama!"  "call dampa?", translation: "get grandma or grandpa on the phone STAT!"

the other day her hair was actually done and she hadn't pulled it out...yet. so i snapped a few pictures of her talking on the phone with auntie danna. she is really in such a fun/cute but physically tiring age. she definitely rules the roost.




*showing me how her and dolly dance together

12.19.2011

busy and sick. sick and busy.

i was really enjoying this holiday season. i had so much joy and thanks in my heart.

and then...

ty got sick. and then the kids. and i had to rest to get over a womanly issue sickness (tmi!)

and all of a sudden i got behind in everything.

and the sadness wave hit again because it just took one little cold to rock me out of my good groove i had going on. i was really starting to feel a (little) more on top of things. and now the laundry is overflowing and the dishwasher broke (which just makes my dish problem even worse), the presents are unwrapped, and i'm doing the last minute thought mambo in my head: wait? should i give this present to A and the other one to B? or switch them and then give something else to C? when will i get all the cooking done! and wrapping! and send out the cards because we never did last year! and is it ok they won't have photos in them this year? can you send a card without a photo? does lucy believe in Santa Clause still? and my brain is already scrambled so it's just making things worse.

but deep breath here, it's the most wonderful time of the year!

and i'm not going to let social pressures and customs ruin my fun. the cards will not have photos and i'm not sending out a christmas goody plate a plenty this year. and i'm going to be merry and bright no matter what!

even typing that just makes me want to crawl into bed for eternity.

anyone else battle holiday depression?

to cheer myself up, here are some pictures i snapped while lucy and i battled out a rummikub game. (that girl cheats just like her mother used to)



12.13.2011

from a house to a home

when we moved into our house it was just that. a house. it had walls, floors, and a roof. it had doors and windows and rooms and a kitchen. getting pregnant with your 4th child after just 3 months of moving into your fixer upper home is not something i would recommend. for the past year i have struggled because the house wasn't "homey" (is that  word?).

so little by little, i've been trying to make little spots that i love. just like the coat rack i made, i've added some other things around the place that make me smile. 

 my santa collection is growing
 i love my new thomas monson drawing(that is not a photo!) from Jordan Jones
i fall more in love with it every day. 
i made the others from a geography book of the places i want to travel, africa, australia and europe. 
and gardening book sketch of a cow- both of our families have dairy farmers.
 one of the cutest additions to the house so far (sorry, couldn't resist!)
 trying to tackle our 40ft long hallway. yes, 40 feet!

and my favorite quote from charlotte's web. 
perfect for when i'm running out the door screaming at the kids to "get in the car!"
*don't mind the not painted trim and door (woops!)

12.12.2011

6 months of gratitude

little rodney byron has been on this earth for 6 whole months now.
ty always gets mad at me, because this is the part where i gasp, "can you believe it?!" 
and then i get all psycho and don't feed him his vegetables because i don't want him to grow up.
but that's a different post for a different time.

my back is starting to hurt from lugging around our {not-so-little} love chunk. he is so huge! as of this morning he weighs 21lbs (on our scale at home) & wears 12-18 mo old clothes now. i know, crazy talk. but it is all true. he's a large baby boy, and it makes me sad and pleased all at the same time. does that make sense?

 isn't he a total stud?

so today, on his 6 month mark, i am grateful.
for our beautiful boy that was given to us.
for all of the friends and family that have showered us with help and love (and boy stuff!).
for my husband and daughters.
for all of the challenges we haved faced with this baby. because it has stretched me to lengths i never knew i could go and beyond.
i will always be grateful for my baby boy- because he made me turn to my Savior for help. and my heart will never be the same again.


i am looking forward to enjoying these next 6 months.
because the first baby year is just so deliciously perfect.

*on a "growing out of clothes note", because i can't keep up with rodney's growth. my beautiful next door neighbor Tiffany graced us with ALL of their baby boy clothes. i literally cried tears when i saw the boxes. the best part? they smell just like her house, heavenly. and the girls everyday ask, "was that leo's?" "was that eli's?" and then they ooh and ahh over them.  i love that we still can feel so close to them even though there is 500 miles between us.

12.10.2011

there once was a little girl...

 who started with a strong personality from conception
 who my mom says, "must have something important to do later on". which i think is just a nice way of saying, "there must be some payoff for how difficult she is right now."
 when she is good...she is very very good. and when she is bad...she is
 horrid.
this is what i devised after an hour of putting her back into her crib. she is seriously a houdini ninja monkey when it comes to climbing out of that thing. i sat on our kitchen stool for an hour! just to hear her get out. she even learned how to open the door slowly so as to not ring the "jingle" bell i put on there as an alarm. the stroller worked really well as it would make a lot more noise. someone is going to call cps on me after seeing these photos. wouldn't that be awesome!

*apologies for the snotty faced pictures. this kid is like pig pen.

12.08.2011

parent mistake #2: we potty trained

When our oldest turned 2 we bought her underwear for her birthday. They were so cute and it was going to be so fun! They had little ruffles and bows and princesses on them! She was a big girl! I mean, she talked about the potty and would ask what I was doing when I went, so of course she was ready! My mom gently suggested, “when you potty train you are only training yourself”  a quote she famously learned from her mother, a pediatric nurse.  And in the back of my head I could also remember my sister in law jill saying, “don’t ever potty train. Wait for them”.  But what did they all know? They only have 19 kids collectively. Pshaw, pocket change.

So we did what any normal first time parents did. We read and read about potty training (ok…I read and then told ty about it during pillow talk). And set up a sticker chart…and potty trained! It was awesome! She loved it!

And then she spent 8 months crapping in her pants! And for 3 years would regress with every vacation, holiday, & change! I couldn’t get in the car to run errands without stressing out. I couldn't go to church of friend's houses without stressing out. Car trips were a nightmare where we would have to bring the baby bjorn with us (a potty I highly recommend, thanks mel!).
The saddest part is that it took years to recover our relationship with each other (her and I) of fighting over accidents and pooping on her sister (and you think I just made that last part up). 
All in all it just stressed out our entire household, and I feel like we lost those sweet moments of 2 yr olds when they are just so happy, care-free and love everything and everyone.

So with our second child we waited. And waited and waited. And when she was 3 years and 3 months she said, “ I want to wear undies today” and I said sweet! And put them on with no hopes whatsoever. And that was it. Potty trained in one day my friends. No accidents. Dry at night in 4 months (she wore pullups at night until then…I only change sheets once a week dudes, ok…more like once a month. Sorry mom!). it was so simple and easy. I wasn’t completely and totally stressed out and exhausted over accidents and public outings. I didn’t yell at her when she had accidents (I think she’s had 3 in almost 3 years) or pooped in the pullup. No stress this time around was my goal. And it totally worked, and she never pooped on her sister. Success!   

So a little suggestion (because Ty agrees 100%) is to try and resist the social pressure and urge to potty train(because it will be there)  and not potty train. Don’ talk about using the potty or if they “want” to use the potty. If you ask a 2 year old if they want a full frontal lobotomy they say “yes” too.  When they come up to you and say, “dude, you don’t walk around with poop in your pants? How do I join that club?” then they are ready.  And I know, know, know, know all you first time mom's will say, "whatever. my kid is much more mature and just so ready!" and that's cool. I did the exact same thing.

* I think I have met maybe a handful (maybe) of moms in 8 years who said potty training was easy for their kid. If you are one of them, then bully for you! Stand up, pat yourself on the back and relish the fact that you haven’t had to scrub poop out of carpet.

12.07.2011

losing pickles

our favorite kitty pickles has been with us since we've moved to our little home here. she's been gone now for a few weeks (a tragedy our neighbors told us that would befall an outdoor cat here).  unfortunately i'm pretty sure she was coyote food. the other girls don't seem to mind, but poor lucy has been in mourning. i found this while cleaning just now:

*face looks: tired. how sad is that? poor pickles. i miss her too.

12.06.2011

parent mistake #1: we didn't buy a minivan


Tyson and I agreed from day one of marriage that minivans are out. They are ugly, unattractive, rice rocket, mommy mobiles that can’t go where we need them to go. i.e: rocky dirt roads to awesomeness.  I also told ty that if we bought a  minivan my chest would automatically sag 2 inches. The topic was never mentioned again.



Fast forward 8 ½ years later and my sister comes to help take care of me after baby number 4. Our car was out of commission with the a/c getting fixed so she tossed me the keys and said: “take the van”, and with that my whole world changed. Yes, they are ugly, unattractive, rice rocket, mommy mobiles and can’t go “every”where we need them to go (but we also have a lifted 86’ suburban for that): but!…they are the most amazingly awesome invention for families. ever. Holy lower stress levels batman! I could see all my kids! They could strap themselves in! and close and open doors by themselves! And they had space! And it drove like a sleigh on perfectly softy snow! By the time the week ended and she drove away in her asian, gas hating beauty I was banging my head against the wall crying “why? why? why were we so stupid?” 

so when push comes to shove, and you have to get a bigger car. might i suggest the ugly minivan? they are badical.

12.05.2011

in passing may i suggest,

* ty and i kicked off our holiday movie tradition with this one. it is one of our favorites. joe juniah!

*i want bangs. i want them badly. i want a lot of things but those sound more affordable than an ipad.

* i officially arrived in housewifery. i had a tupperware party.  their stuff is pretty amazing.

* had fun hanging out till late with my neighbors. those girls kill me everytime.

*there are bloggers that i start to follow, and then i can barely stand to read them. some it only takes a few posts of reading, some years. i don't know if it's that i'm tired of their style of writing or i'm completely jealous at their following. nat the fat rat... no thanks. but cjane i read for a long time and now hardly remember she has a blog...but i just read her birth story. holy cow i don't even know what to think.

*i have been losing a little bit of weight with this baby...and it's been nice. i work out 4-5 times a week and it's starting to make a difference.  i still have 20lbs to lose and would like to do it by rodney's 9 month mark.

*my zumba class and tara's pilates class were in the local paper last week!

*i have really been enjoying this holiday season. our house looks nice and festivelike. and my heart feels like it bursting with joy. glory to God! glory to God! i want to sing to everyone (but my kids forbid me from singing outside of the home. just ask jed wheeler why singing is not one of my talents)

*hunting season 2011 is over. hallelujah. huzzah. goodgraciousi'mgladit'sover.

*i have some fun less-expensive but thoughtful diy christmas gifts i'm planning to make and hope i don't pull a major nosedive like i have in past years and then go out and buy giftcards. blech.

*my niece is getting married in january. i'm sorry, my NIECE is getting married? she was one of my flower girls! holly golly that makes me feel old. besides that, we are so excited to go up to Reno for the wedding. we love reno trips.

*toffee. what is the secret aunt lynne? i either grossly undercook it or overcook it till it's crunchy. luckily ty and the kids will eat anything with chocolate on it.

*we live on 2+ acres and that means mice. yuck! i swear those little buggers crap on only the things that i need to use on purpose. i found the perfect mouse trap bait though, after you make toffee, or any other candy type food that hardens, use the leftovers to coat the trigger- let it harden and the set your traps. works everytime and you don't have to replace any bait! they can't resist the buttery goodness. (if you don't bake you can also chew up some cheap gum, wrap it on there and let dry.

12.02.2011

my favorite new dessert

i think i could nibble on this baby all day long


seriously, could he get any more delicious? i think not.

i had to put this photo in, because this is how he always is...with his tongue hanging out. grandma informed us that daddy did this all the time too. it's really cute, but some days he doesn't too look too intelligent like that.
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