Monday, December 5, 2016

Stayin' Alive

Corey left for Chile this morning. He's going to be in Chile for a week and then fly to Brazil for another week. I took him to the airport at 4 a.m, his flight left at 6. I didn't get a nap today, but the kids are still alive, so that's good. I'm on my own for 2 full weeks. 10 kids and a newborn, a busy Christmas season, performances and concerts... no sweat, right?
 
Should be no problem as long as I keep perspective and channel a little bit of my great grandmother Mary Williamson. Her husband, Ambrose, left her to serve a mission to England for over two years, twice! And she was left on the American frontier raising a family on the farm. I ain't got nothin' to complain about. As we drove to the airport this morning, I also mentioned to Corey a dream that Mary had... Once she had a dream and was asked by an angel what she would like for her faithfulness. She asked for more children, and then went to a pond where there were fish swimming and chose two - one gold one (that would end up being her blonde boy Julian, my grandpa) and a dark one, that would be her dark haired Mark. Corey asked "...So you're saying you want two more kids cause I'm taking this trip?" The way he said it made me laugh ~ no, sweetheart, I'm fine if you want to be done with the baby stage of our lives. We have been doing this for a while, and yes, we're a little old to try and keep it up. Still, I'm willing to revisit the subject in a year or so (not that we're getting any younger... clock is tickin') but I just offer it as a slight explanation for my addiction to babies. It's in my genes.

So, anyway, if I was behind on blogging and life before he left, then it's probably gonna get worse here for the next 14 days. Ya do what you can, I have over a week to catch up with blogging here. Good luck me, and remember, Everything's Amazing!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day

Last night Corey headed up to Park City with a van full of kids. They received permission from me to go after they finished a list of jobs. Joseph and Melodie didn't finish their house work cause they were doing music and home work all day, so they stayed home with me and Daniel and Owen. They were nice to stay, I enjoyed having an extra pair of hands around. Joseph and Mel also appreciated how quiet and calm the house was ~ pretty weird just having 4 kids! Mel and I enjoyed staring at this little face:
Oh he is SO cute. 
One of the jobs to do yesterday was to find all their winter stuff - snow pants, gloves, hat, etc. I was responsible for finding all the gear for the little kids. Since Owen had all his gear, and since there was freshly fallen snow about, Mel really wanted to take Owen outside to see the winter wonderland ~
He didn't like it. 
But he looked so cute in his snow pants and boots!! Little toddler moon boots, so sweet. Well, luckily the roads were clear enough that the Park City group was able to come back for the feast prepared by my amazing sister and her husband, and my mom did a lot too. We all met at their church and the kids had plenty of room to run and play and crawl?... (I was laughing at Natalie)
Jared is like a full on professional caterer - food was amazing
I was ready to pass on turkey and just eat the shrimp dip - this is a must have recipe!! Make it for your upcoming Christmas parties - you'll be famous, I promise! Zesty Shrimp Spread - Jared added crab meat too, it was so good. (It's especially delicious with Ritz crackers!) Four banquet tables and there was enough room for everyone. Wes is pretending he is a poor boy who only got one blueberry for thanksgiving...
Visiting after the feast
Corey headed back up to Park City with kids tonight. They are going to go hot tubbing and enjoying time with cousins. We were all going to go but I needed to swing by home first to grab diapers for Owen and Daniel. Then the plan changed after we got home cause Owen and Natalie fell asleep in on the drive. Owen is a little under the weather anyway. Plus all I'd just be worthless up there with Daniel. But that left them with one extra kid still, so Melodie missed out again and stayed cause she is an angel. I'm going to try to finish sorting the clothes and get the front room cleaned up before they get back home tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

Ahh! The wonderful week of Thanksgiving is upon us. That means we only had 2 days of school!! So Monday morning I told the kids to just pretended it was already Thursday, aka Friday Eve. So Tuesday was really a Friday and now it's Wednesday but it's already the weekend!!! Yay, a nice long school free weekend :) It is nice to not have a morning school rush. So we've just been hanging out and enjoying the break. Corey's family is going to celebrate the holiday up in Park City and we're also getting together with my family tomorrow afternoon for the Thanksgiving meal. The kids have received permission to go to Park City tonight if they complete the following tasks: Bed, Room, Clothes/Closet, Outside Chore, Inside Chore, Find Winter Gear. It took a bit of nagging to get them to stop playing, but most of them earned the right to go up. I made a huge mess in the front room of all the winter stuff. I think I'm going to spend the break organizing clothes... Lots of snowpants, hats, gloves, coats... trying to sort through what we have and see what can still be handed down and of use and what we've got too many doubles of or what has served it's purpose in life and needs to move on. Like we have over 20 gloves that don't have a match, it's crazy! Gloves and mittens are as bad as tupperware lids and unmatched socks. I think Corey was glad to leave me in my mess. Getting organized is always a process that looks really messy before it looks better.

So Corey took them up around 5 - he had a phone call at 6 so he wanted to be up there before that, plus there was a storm coming it. They made it up before roads were bad, good. And 5 minutes after they left Owen threw up in the kitchen, (on the tile, yay!) so I was very glad it hadn't happened in the car. So I'm here with Owen and Daniel and Joseph and Mel. Joseph and Melodie didn't finish their "you're free to go to park city" tasks cause they were too busy doing homework. Good kids. They didn't mind staying though as it allowed them more time to finish up. Before they headed up, the kids had spent the morning and yesterday playing the usual creative games and Legos. Lily and Sophi dressed themselves up as Lemon and Plum from Strawberry Shortcake. Complete with yellow and purple hair made with some shirts. It made me laugh, they are pretty creative kids
Melodie made a guinea pig out of sculpy clay for the kids to use as a pet in their Lego City. Wesley made a cage for it, complete with water bottle, timothy hay, and an igloo. Again, I was very impressed with his creativity~
Natalie and Sophi also have a new game they play with all the ikea cups in the house. Natalie calls it "castle"
Owen is addicted to the train game on Corey's phone. We can't get out phone out without Owen coming and crying for it. So I haven't been on my phone much lately, which is probably a good thing. Sometimes we can distract him with his toy phone.
I think Corey is enjoying his night without Owen, no offense Owen. But you're sick anyway, so I'm glad you're here. Aside from the throwing up he's had a bit of a fever. Hopefully we'll all be well enough to make it to the feast tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Marshmallows

Owen is just a sweet little head with big blue eyes. He's been getting brave enough to stand up on the kitchen step stool. (Only fallen off once so far...) It's cute cause he just barely reaches the counter top. Joseph met Owen at his level and shared some peppermint marshmallows with him.
But Owen wasn't interested in eating marshmallows. He did like to play with them though.
He'd lift them up sooo high and then let them drop.
But they would stick to his fingers. But it was cute and he played with them for 5 minutes while we watched his sweet simple toddler game. He's so cute.
Here is Joseph and Owen being cute again - Joseph teasing Owen as he ate potatoes and tried not to share. This is a little similar to what was happening with Ethan and the sucker ~ sweet little Owen, we love you! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Baby Blessing

Daniel was given his name and blessing yesterday at church. Here are some pictures of when Owen was blessed last year. So the fun tradition here is that all our boys have been blessed in the same outfit Corey was blessed in 40 years ago. Pretty fun. I took some pictures of Daniel before church - after I'd nursed him plenty and then topped him off with a bit more formula. He was nice and full.
He looked a little uncomfortably stuffed actually... Like he was communicating "If you touch or move me while I attempt to digest all this stuff or there's a good chance I'll throw it up all over you..." So I just let him sit there while I took pictures. He did give me this nice "thinker" pose all on his own~
...and a smile!
I'm in love with this little guy, we're so glad he's here. One thing Corey said in the blessing was that he would be a comfort to his mother, which sounds innocent enough, but the way it was said made me think he'll keep me company and be my help as I'm a widow cause Corey died of stress from work. Hopefully a wrong impression...
Family came for the blessing, I didn't try to short hand it at all this time cause I have a voice recorder on my phone! For most of the kids I have a few things from their blessings written. but Owen's and Natalie's blessings weren't documented at all. Lucky Daniel has got the whole thing, lucky boy. 

What else - he had his 2 month appointment today - he's 11+ lbs and was sad today if his legs got touched or moved at all. If he moved them on his own, that got him upset and then he'd kick out of frustration, making them hurt and him cry and kick even more - vicious cycle. He did much better after a little bit of Tylenol. So, that's the Daniel update. He's a keeper.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Maid Day

So, we had a maid come on Wednesday. About 10 days ago a guy from our neighborhood who served a mission in Brazil and always talks Brazil stuff with Corey told him that he has a friend from Brazil who is a maid and is looking for more work. Corey said sure. So he got Patricia's number. She came by Tuesday to look around and give an estimate of the time and cost, and said she'd be back in the morning. That's fine. Corey told her that I wasn't so sure about it, cause in the perfect world that I'm striving for my children help with all that cleaning stuff. So Corey told her in a nice way that I'm not very committed. So Wednesday worked out pretty good cause I was gone for a few hours for a scripture study group at church and I'd kinda prefer to not be here when another person is in my domain. She came at 7:30 a.m. A good thing about that though was that it made me get up and exercise and bathe before she showed up. So, I was up and ready for the day. But also couldn't relaly relax at all the whole day. But she was nice and it was fine - a little long time wise, she was here for 8 hours. Still, I really can't complain, it was nice to have the main floor so clean. She had a fresh pair of eyes to notice things that are dirty that are too low on the list of things to clean for me to notice. She worked on the main floor and I stayed upstairs most of the day folding laundry and cleaning up there. I also got to spend a lot of time enjoying this little piece of heaven:
It is too pricey for our budget to do regularly right now, but we were glad to do it once to help her out. And again, it was super nice to have the main floor so clean. And with me working upstairs, that's 2/3 rds of the house that is decent looking right now, yay! It was a little weird though - to have a part of our life in Brazil up here in this life and house - a little twilight zone going on. The kids noticed it too when the walked in from school - it was all clean and it just smelled like chemicals, like a Brazilian maid had been working her magic or something! Yes children, that is what happened. Don't get used to it though, slackers! I told Corey I'm willing to have Patricia come again, and she was super sweet and nice, I even said that with a little bit of time to get more familiar with her, I could see myself letting her come every month or every 3 weeks if he'd like - but we just have to have the money to blow for it first. But if any of you want to try it out, we'll get you in touch with her :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

First Snow

The first snow for this winter season began to fall last night. We were watching Studio C in our bedroom and stopped to point out the cold white stuff falling from the sky to Natalie and Owen. It's magical! This morning was kinda crazy as the normal school rush got escalated as kids searched for their snow gear - leaving a pile of disarray in their wake. I should have managed the winter clothing search last night, but oh well.  So we woke up this morning to snow. Natalie and Sophi went outside to play. I don't think there are many things as cute as a toddler dressed to play in the snow.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Play Nest

Natalie and Sophi have a new game. They call it "house" but I call it "nest". Cause it really doesn't look like a house. So they'll start gathering all the couch pillows and I say "What are you doing?!" as I'm suspicious they are ruining my efforts of creating a house of order. "We're going to make our house!" they tell me. "Okay, but you have to put all the pillows back..." "We will mom!" (lie) And then they continue to gather every pillow and blanket they can find from beds and sofas and they put them in a big high pile on the ottoman. Here is one of their designer homes ~
They like to snuggle in down and deep in the couch with pillows and blankets all around them and then they just sit there still and silent, like bubbles frozen in an ice cube. The older kids will walk by and look at them... "What are you doing Sophi?" "We're playing house!" We think it's a little funny, but they take this game quite seriously.  And on some afternoons Natalie will take a break from playing to take her nap in the demolished house.
Then there is another fun game they play with this great set up, a favorite of kids everywhere: jump from the couch onto the pile of pillows. Nice and fluffy, and luckily they haven't fallen off onto the floor yet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Suckers

This past Saturday morning, the kids found some suckers above the fridge and passed them out. There was a stash up there that they had forgotten about, provided by Joseph when he got asked on a date. Corey saw the kids and said "Who gave the little kids suckers?!? WHY do we have SuCkERs in this house?!?!" He thought I had passed them out from the Halloween loot, but no my dear, there are no suckers left there. But yes, these also came into our house by no choice of ours. Corey and I have an equal dislike for suckers. Mostly cause when Owen sees people with them he wants one, and then leaves sticky hand prints and slobbery drops of drool all over the carpet and couch and windows and tables etc. I am glad there were suckers in the house for this sweet moment/memory on October 16th. Ethan had a sucker, Owen came up and sat on his lap, and each time Ethan brought he sucker up to his mouth, Owen opened his mouth like a little bird, hoping for a taste. I wished I had the video camera recording cause it was so cute... Owen would watched it come up and have his mouth open, then see it go in Ethan's mouth, and he'd close his mouth as he watched Ethan enjoy the sugary sweetness ~ Ethan pretending he didn't notice the babe on his lap who was dreaming of suckers. They repeated it several times, Owen just being their hopeful and patient. Then Ethan turned and looked at him and Owen gave him the cutest cheesy "OH, HI! HOW'S IT GOING, Oh I'm just sitting here having a good time" smiley grin we'd ever seen. We all laughed at how sweetly adorable and patient he was being. Then we gave him a sucker.
Then the kids got the camera for me (I was stuck on the couch nursing) but yeah, wish I'd gotten a video of that, it would have gone viral for sure.
Owen you're such a sweetie. 
So back to Saturday, other than the sweet sucker moment above, we hate suckers. Corey took the remaining suckers and was going to throw them in the garbage, but then thought a "will it blend" experiment would be more fun. Cause we do have a Blend-Tec. Into the blender they went. The kids were watching excitedly. And now we know that suckers blend very well. Corey left the paper wrappers on. Plus the sticks made paper confetti too...
Smelled like cotton candy "Don't breath this!"
Lily was upset with her father after that. "I didn't think you'd really do it!" And Corey had to spend some time tickling her as he taught her the evils of suckers and cotton candy. Cotton candy is pretty easy to avoid, but suckers and other hard candies are trickier. We'll see how long we made it without hard candy around here. Candy canes anyone?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Toddler Bed

Natalie has been sleeping on our bedroom floor for a while now. The shag carpet is her bed. This past Friday night - Saturday morning, she got in bed with us and Corey had a horrible night's sleep. He woke up and said "I'm going to go buy Natalie a bed..." NO, I'll do it. When Corey has a problem, he admits that he tries to just throw money at it, aka buy whatever is necessary that will make it go away. But we have #toomanykids and thus can't throw money at all the problems that come up. Thus why I said I'd take care of it. Cause I'm a thrifty mom and bargain shopper. So I sent Corey back to bed and got on the classifieds. There were several white toddler beds. (I wanted white to go with the girls' room). I texted, they were available, I said I was available to come look right away, so I headed out to Herriman to buy a $25 bed and mattress, MUCH less expensive then had I let Corey go get one at the store! As I was driving there with Abi, the lady from South Jordan texted back - hers was $15 for a bed and mattress! So I pulled into a parking lot and asked if I could come get hers right away... if not, I'd just go get the one in Herriman. Texting back and forth and I was able to pick it up for $15 bucks, I felt like a champ and brought it home, washed it off, and presented the "surprise" to Natalie so that she'd feel it was really special and want to sleep in it. She and Sophi played in their beds all day, she went to bed in her bed that night, but woke up Sunday morning and found her on our floor (that's the picture from above). Doh, strike one. But she started the night in her bed, so that was good. Natalie is okay to sneak into our room, heck we still get Soph and Lily sneaking into our room at night too (if we forget to lock our door). This morning we had success though - I snapped this cute picture of Sophi and Natalie asleep in their beds... cute!
Natalie made it through the night! Hooray! Bedtime success!! Good job you cute kids, and way to go me for getting such a steal! I like being a thrifty bargain shopper, woot! :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Juggling Eggs

Another Friday is here, and I'm trying to catch up blogging. Life is happening fast. This Calvin and Hobbes cartoon pretty much sums up how things are going 'round here...
It's kind of a mess. Work for Corey is as stressful and burdensome as ever as he continues to boot-strap things along. And after a hard day at work, he has a whole house of broken eggs to come home too. It's just hard. So, in an effort to give him some space, we have two things: 

1) Corey now has an office. A real "no one is allowed in but Dad" office. He had an office before but as we talked about why that didn't work, it was discovered that it wasn't really a space for him. I cluelessly put music stuff in there, cause I figured "Corey helps the kids with music, so we'll put this in 'Corey's' space too..." So he wasn't able to go in there and really get away and I'm glad we discovered my error. I've been shaking my head at him for years wondering why he sits to work on the couch in the front room - "we'll of course the little kids are gonna get at you there!!" but there was no safe space for him to go. And we all know how important safe spaces are these days. So I had recently designated that room as my office, but I spent Nov 2nd moving all my files and papers out and now it's his. Complete with a sliding lock to bolt the door. This was my office looked like before:
It looks about the same now, same 3 pictures on the wall, but all the books are off that shelf and I put a little coffee table in front for Corey's laptop. So I'm moving things around. All my stuff is now all over the floor in the basement. Need to get that organized, but atleast its down and hidden where my beloved won't see it. Unfortunately it is within the reach of all the little hands around here. But fortunately the toys get their attention before my books and papers do. Corey's office is now the cleanest room in the house, and will stay that way if he has the will power to not open up when little kids come a knocking. Natalie got a bobby pin and was using it to try and unlock it recently. Corey thought it was cute and opened up for her. But now he knows he does it at his own risk - door open means he's fresh meat, and he can prepare himself to handle that. 

So that is thing 1. Thing 2: Corey's asked to have a maid come. A Brazilian maid. Wesley is a guy in our ward who served in Campinas and she's started to clean their house... she's looking for more work... Wesley said he'd ask around. So he asked Corey at church and Corey offered to have her come for a trial clean. I still have the fantasy of the kids helping me out enough that even with a newborn baby there is no need for a maid, but it might be a fantasy that will never turn reality. So, I've stepped it up a little but relented that I'm willing to give it a test run. So she'll be here next Thursday, hope she can get some of these eggs cleaned up for us... we should probably stop juggling so much!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Talk or Text?

Ethan has a good friend from his band in American Fork. And it's a girl. And they like to text. But then Ethan for some reason had his phone privileges restricted. So he couldn't text her. So last night he called her... and miracle or miracle, those two teens talked! And they talked some more... for three hours. Corey has been trying to get the boys to actually call girls and have live conversations and now Ethan finally understands the wisdom his father was trying to impart. "It was fun! I learned a LOT about her!" Then after a reflective pause... "...and that would have taken YEARS to text...."
From what I can tell they have a fun silly teasing relationship that seems like how my relationship with Corey was back when we were teens (although I don't know if their friendship includes her totally obsessing over him in private...) Long phone calls into the night were a part of our courtship. Glad to see we're passing a bit of the tradition on to the next generation. Good times
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