Saturday, June 29, 2013

9 months old!

 Ten days ago, V turned 9 months old.  She is into everything.  She loves to crawl and loves to stand up on anything she can lean on....even things that aren't so stable.  She has a perpetual bruise on her forehead, from hitting it on different things as she either falls or leans over, but misjudges the space she has available.

She continues to be such a happy baby, though.  She is very content most of the time.  She sleeps through the night.  She is a daddy's girl.  She loves to visit CK in his home office (since he works from home).  She has a smile for him that she has for no one else. 

 When she went in for her nine month check up, she weighed 15 lbs, 12 ounces, which puts her above 25% on the charts.  :)  I don't remember her height, but I do remember that she is not yet on the charts there....still below 5%.  Still, I think the scare is past.  She is healthy and growing.  She is just small. K was about 18 pounds at a year, so V could easily be following in her big sister's footsteps.  She does have a sensitive tummy and difficulty swallowing.  She is old enough to try many new foods, but without teeth, sometimes the foods just sit in her mouth.  It takes her a while to figure out how to swallow them down.  And, some of those new foods just come back up a little later.  So, she still has a sensitive belly, but she is growing, so I cannot complain.  :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Baby Girl!

K turned 14 today!  14!!!  I am ready and not ready.  She is amazing.  She has matured into a wonderful young lady.  I see a very bright future ahead of her as she begins high school this year, but 14!  That makes me feel old as her Mama.  I am so blessed, though, she is amazing and I am the luckiest Mom ever.  So blessed indeed!

 I always make the kids whatever they want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on their birthdays.  Breakfast was donuts at the donut shop.  Yum!

 K and one of her best friends went to the movies today.  They saw Monsters U.  I think they liked it.  Before they went, however, K decided she wanted her one present from us.  I know she suspected what it might be....especially since we only gave her one present!  It used all our budget and more, but she is worth it.
 Because we only had one present, I wrapped it and wrapped it and wrapped it.  At least, she had a lot to open!  She enjoyed it as evidenced below.

 Finally, she saw what it was and her face says it all....
 It is a smart phone.  It isn't fancy, but it is a phone that we can afford to pay monthly for her.  She is so excited!  She is enthralled with the Internet away from Wi-Fi.  :)
 On a side note, look at the is getting crowded.  That is because V gets into EVERYTHING!!!  This means that we are finding places for some of our treasures to go, especially those that were on the hearth.
 WOW!!!  Isn't she beautiful???
 And, then after her lunch of BLTs (with homegrown tomatoes!!!!), homemade chicken noodle soup, and applesauce, her siblings got to give her the gifts that they chose.

 And...I had to have a picture with us together.  As K says, it should be my day too....I birthed her!
 This is the cake she requested....exactly as she requested it. The thing is....we have never used this frosting recipe on a layer cake.  Hmmmm....see doesn't work so well.  It sure does taste good, though, although this extra frosting makes the cake extra rich. A bite or two is all you can have.

 And...I have a funny story to share....and I can imagine us laughing about it in blog books in years to come. 

I always have candles.  Always.  This time I knew I was getting low and I planned to buy them when I went grocery shopping.  Somehow I forgot.  I went to a different grocery store this morning and I remembered, but they didn't have any.  Oh well....I probably had 7-10 at least, so maybe she would not get to blow out 14, but at least some. 

Nope.  I was wrong.  NONE!  And, by the time I discovered that it was NONE, it was too late to run to the store and buy some...we had to eat the cake and get the kiddos to their dad.  Hmmm... What to do?  Well, I went to the neighbors' house and asked them.  They had one...a Thomas the Tank Engine one...Ha Ha...K got to blow out a Thomas candle on her 14th birthday.  Luckily she is a very good sport and we just all found it funny.

 My sister and her kiddos dropped by with a surprise for K.  She loved it.  And I love this picture of them....except that S's eyes are closed.   Oh well, look how beautiful she is anyway.  She got the beauty genes as well as the funny genes in my family!
 Now for a cousins picture.  Only V is missing for all cousins on my side of the family.
I took another, since E's hair was covering C's face in the first one, but I loved them I used them both.

Happy, Happy Birthday, K!  I love you!  I am so proud of you.  You are so talented in so many ways.  You are a friend to all.  You are such a helper to me.  I don't know how I would survive without you.  I love our are truly one of my very best friends and I hope it will always be that way!  You are intelligent and you are willing to work to achieve your desires and dreams.  You are a great big sister.  All four of your younger siblings look up to you with such love and respect.  You are willing to stand for what is right and that takes courage.   I love you, my sweet girl. 

In other news, I do have a few posts to catch up on.... -sigh-..... behind again.

Friday, June 21, 2013


It has been a crazy busy week and I am plain tired. I have not been good at posting. But I am in the airport and have the chance. Last Saturday, I used part of my Mother's Day gift and got a haircut from my favorite friend and hair stylist. Her salon is really nice.

I was not sure if I wanted it shorter or just trimmed or in the middle. I do know my hair was hot and heavy for me. I decided to go shorter, but once I got there, I decided that if I was going to cut it, I may as well donate it. So I chopped it off...10-14 inches. And I love it!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Popsicles in Pajamas on the Porch

Tonight was awesome and I don't have pictures, but I still want to document the memory. 

I won't lie.  It has been a rough few weeks.  For us with all our kids, it has been just one thing after another with no break and no time to catch up.  I feel a little overwhelmed and it just doesn't look like there is any relief in the future.  As I look at everything coming up this summer, there just isn't a break.  I am really not looking forward to it.  :(  Oh well. I chose to have 5 kids.  I chose this crazy life.

Tonight, K did a bunch of work for me and then watched V while I did some that I had to do myself.  Awesome, right?  Yep, I have an awesome daughter for sure. 

We had tried to go swimming earlier today.  It took over an hour to pack up, change, and drive to get K's friend.  After all that work, the pool was closed.  It was contaminated and closed.  :(  The sign said that it would be open this evening.  So, after all K's help, we changed again and off to the pool we went. Closed again.  I am grateful that they clean it for us, though.  I cannot complain too much.

On the way home, I asked the kids if they wanted to have a popsicle.  They responded yes and they wanted to change to their pajamas and meet outside.  We ended up eating them on our back porch.  It was a great night.  There was a breeze and we were in the shade.  Very comfortable indeed.

I didn't enjoy my popsicle, so I offered it to the dog.  Jazz took a while to decide it was okay to try it.  When she did, she licked it and licked it and licked it.  It was so sweet.  I wish we had a camera, but we didn't so I told the kids to just take a heart picture.  :)

I am glad we had this moment to relax and spend time together.  What a breath of fresh air (literally) in an otherwise crazy week.  :)

J's Kindergarten Award Ceremony (May 31, 2013)

May 31st was a busy day for us.  It actually began before the award ceremony.  A and V and I went over to Cabella's to shop for Dad.  It was a surprise that we went because then he might know what we bought, but since we already did our Father's Day stuff, I can post the pictures.  The blessings to writing my blog post almost two weeks after the fact.  :)

 I didn't happen to be taking a picture, but that fist that is swimming towards and A and V....scared V to death.  She was so upset.

 I took this picture of this mountain lion just for me.  I am a cougar through and through.  Go BYU!

 A loved, loved, loved going to Cabella's.  It might be on her bucket list next time she is here.

After our quick Cabella's trip, we ate quickly and went to J's Kindergarten award ceremony.  Almost every picture I took has the name of the school in it.  I am a paranoid mama and I try to do all I can to protect identities and locations.  Doesn't always work, but I try.  So...I cropped the below picture so that you could see Ms. C. giving J his award.
 E Citizenship and Kindergarten Completion.  The only one he didn't get is perfect attendance.  Hard to get when you get sick.

J sure loved Ms. C.  She is an amazing Christian woman and I am so grateful for her.  She loved my J like he was her own.  She taught him the skills he needs to move on to the first grade. We were blessed this year.  So blessed indeed.

I guess it is the end - and I am sad. :(

V is done nursing.  It snuck up on me and I don't feel prepared.  I don't feel ready.  Every baby has been so different. 

K I stopped nursing at exactly 12 months.  I thought erroneously that it was what I had to do.  -sigh- First babies.

C I stopped nursing at around seven months.  He was a bottle taker and nursing wasn't nearly as interesting as a bottle.  When he bit me so hard I bled and bled, he was done.  I blame myself for the bottles, though.  We moved and then I started a crazy job that took 16 ish hours a day....bottles were more convenient and he loved them.  The end.

J loved to nurse and would have nursed forever.  At approximately 15 months, however, I was getting tired of him not sleeping through the night and I heard that the solution was to wean.  It sure worked for him.  As soon as he was weaned...he slept through the night.

Now to V.....  She wasn't growing.  We needed to supplement her with super-strength, double calorie formula.  For a long time, she nursed AND took her bottles.  It worked well.  But...she is an active kid.  She struggles to finish her bottles since she gets so distracted.  She gets even more distracted while nursing.  I long ago had to give up looking at my phone or a book while she ate, she would focus on that instead of nursing.  Still, she gets distracted by the fabric of the chair that I am sitting in.  For the last 3-4 weeks, she has only nursed when she first woke up....I guess since she is still asleep enough to not get distracted.

Well, next week I am traveling for the weekend to be with a friend as she goes through the temple.  I am not taking V, so I won't be able to nurse her.  In addition, I went to the grocery store early in the morning yesterday and she awoke while I was gone.  So....I didn't nurse her yesterday.  I probably just won't any more.  I am sad.  I miss that bonding with my baby.  I don't know if we will have another baby and so it might unceremoniously be the last nursing of my life.  It is a sad moment indeed.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Welcome summer: Our Mini Stay-cation

 As you know, school ended on Wednesday, CK and I had planned a little vacation with the kids.  They didn't know anything about it.  We originally had planned on taking a different.  When we realized that wasn't really going to work with school and the dates we had A, CK had the idea to stay at Great Wolf Lodge.  It is less than an hour away and, although it is super pricey, we still figured we would spend less than our other trip we were planning.

So, Thursday afternoon, I called a family meeting and told the kids to pack one change of clothes and swim suits.  They were excited and curious.

When we drove up to Great Wolf Lodge, there was a lot of screaming and excitement.

 It was a pretty cool place, indeed.  V HATED the water.  She did not enjoy getting wet or having her face sprayed.  I hope it didn't taint her for a summer at the pool!  She actually did better the second day, so I think she will be fine.

After a couple hours of swimming, we checked in to our room and unpacked our things.  Then, we went out to dinner.  We ended up eating at Five Guys.  I have only eaten there a couple of times and it was YUMMY!!  For me, the best part was having mushrooms on my burger.  Everyone ate well, though.  Everyone like their meals.  Success!!

 When we got back to our room, we relaxed a little then everyone that wanted to went to play at the water park again.  In the end, it ended up being me with V and K.  That was fun...we just went exploring.  I couldn't take V back again.

 After K and V and I got back, as well as our swimmers, we left K in charge and CK and I went down a big slide together.  I am so glad that we have a daughter than not only is old enough, she is mature enough to take care of everyone, including V. 

When CK and I got back in about half an hour, she'd even put V down to sleep in her pack and play.
 While K and I walked around, we noticed how much the ice cream was.  After CK and I got back, I took all the kids and we each got some ice cream to eat in our room.  My grandma would be proud.  :)
 This is the kiddos the next morning - all hanging out together.

In the morning, CK went out and brought us breakfast.  We had to check out by 11, but could swim until 9 pm.  This was our view as we left:  I hadn't noticed the light fixture before.
 And...another photo op.

 We played outside first, since we had not done that on Thursday.

 J really wanted to lay down for a minute in the sun.  His life jacket made it difficult.
 Ahhh!  Much more comfortable.
 V and I watched from the shade.
 A wanted to take a turn in the sun, too.
 After inside, we went back to the water.  I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few:

 After swimming for a bit, we took a little break.  We went to eat lunch (the kids ALL agreed on Steak and who are we to complain?).

 After lunch, we took the kids to a very important place indeed:
 the temple!!!

At the temple, they have a "Walk About" book with pictures and information regarding the temple.  We borrowed it and walked around, learning about the tiles, the spires, and the Angel Moroni.  It was very interesting and the kids all loved it.

 Isn't it beautiful?  I feel peace just looking at this picture.

 Such a special experience.  I am glad that we could all go together and I am grateful that our children get to see the love we have for the temple.

We took a vote and decided to go back to the water park before going home.  At this point, we had already checked out and put everything in the car, so I left my camera in the glove box, thinking we wouldn't do anything new.

I was wrong.  I really missed my little camera.  I ended up taking Jarom to the Cub Club where he colored and painted.  V was with me and looked so cute too.  I would have loved pictures of it all.  I also would have loved a couple more of the water park.  K and I got to go down our favorite slide again together while CK had V.  Then, K watched V and C watched A and J while CK and I tried another slide.  It was fun.

After we changed and got dressed, it was about 8:00.  We were all exhausted.  We thought about eating at home, but the kids were ready.  We stopped and ate a bunch of chicken nuggets.  They were all so tired.  These pictures are a little silly since I asked them to look tired and these are the poses I got.

All in all, it was a great trip.  It was only about 32 hours and we packed it full, but we had so much fun.  I think it is vacation that we will never forget.  (It is also one that we are still recovering least me!)  I love my kids.  I love that I have each of them in my life.  I love how they get along so well with each other.  I love that we got to spend this time away from daily life and just being together.  I am so blessed.