Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Trying to get Organized

It seems like I usually am gung-ho in only one area of my life at a time. Either I'll be totally in the zone with exercising or diet, or with my scripture study, or I'll be finding lots of great books to read, or I'll be totally on top of cleaning the house. I was in the clean the house zone for the past month, and that was nice. But I have noticed that I seem to only be able to do one thing full on at a time, and the other things will just be doing the minimum or trying to atleast maintain the habit. Right now it's none of the above. Bulk clean up over the weekend got me in clear out and organize mode, which never looks very organized or tidy. We're moving the "music room" over to the study, since it's close to the front room, which is where most of the musical instruments end up anyway. And moving my study into the former music room. Put in a little couch in there, hopefully it will be a nice quiet reading area. Still getting that organized...
Putting the former desk music room downstairs into the unfinished part of the basement - then the kids can craft and paint there (maybe). We'll have to set up some rules about that. But there is no carpet, so it's a good place for them to practice tidy art habits. Also, the hutch kinda does a fair job at being a wall/divider there. Someday we'll finish the basement...
There is still a lot of organizing to do~ mostly with music stuff, which I don't know what belongs to who or where, so I need the kids help with that. Right now it's just in a pile in the front room. I haven't gotten too much help yet, so the house is kind of a wreck, and I'm about on burnout mode. We're just trying to drag our family across the school finish line.  I'm not on the ball with exercise or diet. Not reading much, I am able to listen to conference or scriptures, so I guess that counts a little. Haven't felt like blogging, but so have some things from the past week that I'll try to update. But just checking in to say we're alive but just barely, I'm looking forward to summer and having my mornings back for a few months. That was one of the great things about Brazil - no outside obligations dictating our family schedule. Of course we have plently of events planned for summer: Trek is the first weekend of June, then there are quite a few band tours for the boys. I know it will fly by, but that will be good too, cause the faster it goes by the sooner September will be here and the sooner we get to meet this baby (and I get to not be pregnant). I really do not enjoy being pregnant. Too bad for me huh, since I seem to be caught in this perpetual pregnant groundhog day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

First Grade Magic

Lily had her "First Grade Magic" program at school today. You did a great job, Lil! Corey was home from work and he stayed home with the girls and Owen, which was very helpful to this tired pregnant mother. I was able to relax and enjoy the show. Only downside was that I felt like falling asleep. One thing that was funny was that she was often not paying attention to the "sit down" cue and would be the last one standing, still distracted and looking around the room for a few seconds, before she realized she was the only one still on her feet and then she'd sit down. I think being on the end of the front row had something to do with it. But it was kinda funny.
You still did great Lily, she said her part perfectly and had a big smile for the songs. 
 Lily and her teacher Mrs. Petersen
We have a few more school programs before we say goodbye to the 2015-16 school year. Most of the older kids' concerts are done. Hang in there Wrides! We're almost there!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Council

Recently at breakfast I was talking to the kids about Saturday chores. This was a breakfast that was around 11 am mind you. Yes, let's talk about working and being productive contributing members of society! I got a few rolled eyes in response. Corey came to my defense "Your mother has a dream... of everyone cheerfully waking up on Saturday mornings to do yardwork together." "...at 8 am!" I added. Yes, that is my dream. My dream has come true once or twice. And I do think that they all know that this is my dream, even the little ones ~ proved by their responses to this Mother's Day questionaire two years ago - my dream is for us all to clean! Together! And happily! They did good 3 weeks ago. We had a day where we attempted to get all the grass off of the dirt and get the bald dirt spots off the grass - done by a few transfers and a filling the garbage bin to the brim with grass and weeds. We also transferred the rocks from one trail here by the house and moved them to the trail that is used more often, between us and our back fence neighbors. Cute! That productive Saturday gave me hopes for the weekends of work ahead of us.

But then 2 weeks ago it rained on Saturday and thus the grass wasn't mowed and no grass was yanked. Again, this past Saturday, it rained. Luckily the rain stopped by 11 and the grass was dry enough by the afternoon so I still had a chance to put my slaves to work. We had to get out there, cause this past Saturday chore day was the last big chance to clean up before the Bulk Clean up today.

Well, the energy to get going was killed early with the rain. Plus the three band boys had to go down to American Fork for a CCS open house that went until 2, so with my strong boys and Corey gone that also shot the morning. Around 2:30 everyone was home and I dragged them all in for a family council. We needed to discuss how we were going to attack life this summer, schedule wise. What would be a chore system that works? (Cause their performance with the Kid Cash thing this week was pretty pathetic). Were they going to sleep in until 11 everyday? I asked "What does your perfect day look like?" And Ethan replied "Sleep in until 12, eat cereal all day, walk around doing nothing..." "You really think that would help our home life be better? What would happen if we all lived each day like that?" Nice Eth. Look, I have a responsibilities too. I have to make dinner, I go buy the food. Your father makes the money. If we didn't do our jobs, things would fall apart quickly, right? Well, you kids have responsibilities too. And we're not just giving you jobs so we can give you punishments if you don't do them, I actually need your help! I really truly need you to do these things and want you to do them, willingly. During the next 10 minutes we make a tentative summer family schedule and the kids all committed to follow it the first week of summer vacation, just so we could see how it goes. It includes going to bed at 10:30, lights out at 11, and getting up in the summer at 8. Torture, I know. They just have to do it one week, and then we'll adjust if necessary. I got verbal commitments in the affirmative, but didn't get them to sign a contract. I think I will need a written agreement though - I plan on doing that this weekend at family council. Summer's almost here, we just need to hang on a few more days.

Friday, May 20, 2016

SBO Governor!!

Well, exciting news from Junior High land. As you know, Ethan was campaigning for governor, and today was the day he had been waiting for (for 3 weeks!!) - it was the big assembly at school where the winners were announced. They do things nicer these days than when we were teenagers. The kids and their parents can find out the results the night before. Ethan was facing the same big decision Joseph did and was going to try to follow in his footsteps. But then we ended up telling him (I spilled the beans) and he was glad I did cause Corey dropped a few hints that made Eth think he had lost and he was crying and wasn't going to be able to fall asleep for sorrow. We decided it was good, cause now he gets to enjoy it twice. Here's how it happened:

So tonight we were expecting a text from the school SBO advisor letting us know if he won or not. It was supposed to come around 10 pm. Ethan wanted to be asleep before it came so he wouldn't be tempted to know. But his roommate Joseph wanted to know, and Corey and I both wanted to know. So we had our phones close by and waited. 10 o'clock came and went. 10:15... 10:30... I asked Corey "Did you get a text yet?" "Nope, you?" It was 10:30 and Joseph came in to ask us, cause he wanted to go to bed. We still didn't know. Corey said he had the advisor's number and would text her. 10:45 and I was officially irritated. I texted Corey "Well what the freak is going on?!?!" And then he came in and showed me his phone:

Then he told me that he had already gone in to talk to Ethan. Corey had told him "Just so you know, this doesn't define you..." Corey had just read "You are Special" to the little girls and talked about that - dots or stars - just let them fall off and know that what anyone else thinks about you doesn't matter - only what God thinks. And your parents too. We'll always love you. Then Corey added "Do you want me to tell you?" Ethan said "You'd only want to tell me if I lost..." and then the tears started coming. He has wanted to win for SBO since 7th grade, wanted to follow in Joseph's footsteps, wanted to be an SBO sooo bad! And now his dream was over. So he was crying. Corey told me he was crying. I went in, rubbed his back for a bit "You okay?" He was putting some MoTab on his phone to listen to to try and comfort himself. He was texting friends as he wiped his nose. I said "Eth, tomorrow will be a good day, I promise." "What?" He looked at me and I was smiling. He was quiet, then asked "Did I win?" "Yeah!" I whispered. And like Alma of the Book of Mormon (Alma 36), Ethan's sorrow turned to joy that was as exceedingly great as was his pain. It was a good lesson though for him to feel how his opponent was most likely experiencing: "Remember that sadness is how the other guy is feeling..." And Corey added "What I said is still true - this doesn't define you. I'm happy for you that you won, but don't let it define you." Joseph was pretending to be asleep for a little bit but then turned his head over to show his excited face that was wide awake. We stayed up talking for an hour, Ethan couldn't fall asleep until 2 and I think he said he also woke up at 5 - he said it felt like Christmas, he was just so excited! He was ready in a jiffy and on cloud 9 as he left for school. We went to the assembly. Boy, did they draw out announcing the governor winner at the ending though! I'm glad he already knew, or he probably would have had a heart attack. He got a picture with his friends. the theme was "Clue" - those darn lost ballots get the SBOs every year!
So, as you can see, yes, Ethan is super excited. Joseph got out of school to come see the assembly.
Owen's been a wee bit sick, but he was a trooper for the assembly. Only fussed near the end (while they were dragging out the governor announcement) and so I stood up to rock him over at the side of the auditorium - and when they announced Ethan, it was fun to have a good view of the room and see the silhouettes of arms shoot up into the air, cheering with excitement. I didn't cheer myself, I was busy smiling and laughing for Ethan's excitement - it's kinda fun being treated like a celebrity. Good job buddy, glad you won. Hope you have a great year and great experience as Governor!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Play Squares

Natalie has a new favorite game. To most people it's known as Blokus, but Natalie calls it "squares".
I have bought the game Blokus 4 times over the years, cause the kids will see us play it and want a turn, and no matter how carefully I guard the game while they play or the following days, they inevitably loose pieces. And if it's a game I like and want to play with them or Corey, I have to have one complete game with no missing pieces for myself. So with Blokus I got a new one for Christmas that is complete and carefully hidden in my closet to keep it safe. Cause we all know once the kids play with it, pieces will go missing. It's super cute seeing the kids play squares though. It keeps them quite entertained. "Mom, do you want to play squares?" The game is played by choosing a color and putting the squares on the board. And you better not touch Natalie's red squares or she'll gnash her teeth at ya.
Natalie also likes Othello. That one is called "circles". The Othello game isn't complete, We were missing just two circles until recently when I let the kids use it again, and now we are missing 3 circles. Last year in Brazil, as I was unpacking after we arrived, I found an Othello piece and kept it safely in my purse until I could return home and put it with the game. Happy moment when I was able to reunite it to the game. I doubt I'll ever find the pieces, which always makes me so happy when I do cause it's such a surprise. With just 3 missing it's still playable, but I'm sure someday I'll by a new game for myself. The OCD part of me wants to do it with all puzzles and games that I like - one set for kids that I won't care when it gets lost and destroyed, one set for me. I feel a little weird about it, but can hardly help myself. I just need a place for everything and everything to be in place, and if a piece is missing, the world is not at peace. Just one of those little quirks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Snapshots

Here are a few snapshots of recent non-news stuff. Sophi's sisters dressed her up as a doctor. It was pretty cute. Sophi has a doctor kit and walks around helping those in need. And they wasted a ton of bandaids, one of my parenting pet peeves. I did pretty good at remaining calm and let them play their game.
Mel napping with Owen after school, love!
Owen snuggling with me! I feel like he doesn't like to snuggle and usually have him with his back on me as I rock him, but then I tried to have his tummy to mine and he fell right asleep and melted my heart.
Natalie pushing Owen in the her car ~ "Owen go in NataNee's car!"
Ethan climbed the trees in the back yard and apparently took my camera (without permission) with him and took this new perspective high view of the neighborhood.
Lily's drawing of Zebras. She had it up on a magnet board in her room. Each time I walked past it, all I could think was "Radioactive! Radioactive!" cause of the lasers apparently coming from the eyes of her cute little animals - like that on that Imagine Dragons video.
Sophi's drawing of a princess.  
That's all for today. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kid Cash

My slaves for cereal idea lasted about a month. I have now updated it and we'll see if it lasts another four weeks. The first version had a few problems. One was that it seemed unfair for Mel to clean the girls' room mostly by herself and all her little sisters got credit with her for it. Also, the girls room got messy every day and was a big job everyday for Mel, whereas the two boy rooms stayed relatively clean, so that also didn't seem fair to Mel. Another problem was that the whole idea didn't even work for Joseph and Ethan (the two oldest boys, pathetic huh?) Joseph did go through the effort to make his bed a few times, which I appreciated. Would be nice to reward that somehow, cause I did appreciate it. Still he hadn't done enough to earn cereal. Ethan wouldn't do jack the first day, then knew that he wasn't going to be able to earn it, and then continued to not care or even try for the rest of the week. Last reason is that Ethan has just been so sad without cereal, he doesn't have, and I quote "anything to look forward to in life". Isn't that sad? SO, the new deal is for them to do work, I won't nag, they can work for as much kid's cash as they want to earn via this new system:
  • Bed: 25¢
  • Room: 25¢ - 75¢ (depending on the messiness)
  • Chore for Mom: 25¢ - $1
And then as soon as they have $2 in kids cash (not legal tender), they can buy a bowl of cereal, but I'm only doing mild sugar cereal, aka Honey Blenders and Honey Scooters. None of this Fruity Dyno-bites garbage (Grape Nuts are still free cereal, but I haven't had any takers the past month. Children don't recognize it as food)
So now I'm just writing in what they earn each day. As you can see, Wes and Abi did great yesterday. Joseph, thank you for making your bed.
Natalie isn't on the chart, cause she's queen and can have cereal everyday if she wants. But look at this, she likes putting the silverware away! This is her second time helping me, I thought it was pretty precious. And she puts them all in the right spot too, better than two year old Sophi did (being able to see helps with that) good job using the step stool Natalie!
Abi did great tonight, she cleaned the whole kitchen by herself and was a good worker, plus it was a bit of a mess, making it a $2 job. She happily ate her bowl of cereal this morning. The younger kids seem to be motivated, we'll see if it works for the older ones.

Wesley also suggested that they could save their cash and we could do a Mom Store like we did 3 years ago. I'm open to that. So we'll see how this chore idea goes and what tweeking we need to do to it in 4 weeks.

Monday, May 16, 2016

21 Weeks

Well, this pregnancy is officially half way done. I guess it was last week, since I intend on being induced at 39 weeks. Being induced is just how I cope with pregnancy. I was overdue 9 days with Joseph and that was terrible. Having an end in sight is wonderful. So, if all goes according to plan, September 19th will be the day we meet this new little boy.

I've been doing pretty good. I still long for the good ol' days of Hyrum's pregnancy. That was my best one, weight gain wise. I exercised everyday and was on the ball with my Marilu lifestyle that had helped me finally lose weight after 3 quick pregnancies. It might have helped to not have any kids in school back then, thus my mornings belonged to me. I got derailed from that when we moved to BYU for Business school in '04 and have never quite been able to get back on. (Plus part of me thinks it's wrong to not be able to eat fruit and nuts together, cause really - dates and pecans?! Walnuts and raisins?! Those two foods taste so good together, they just have to have been meant to be eaten together! So that is where I fall off the mental tracks with that lifestyle...) And this pregnancy is pretty close to Owen's - they'll be 14 months apart. Not a lot of time for my body to bounce back. I didn't lose my plethora of pregnancy pounds after his birth - which I blame on 1) his not nursing and drinking all these pounds off of me (my colicky/starving baby wasn't happy with my milk production and ditched me for the bottle) and 2) on his not sleeping through the night (still not regular with that), which left me pretty tired and energy drained which contributed to me not having a desire to exercise and craving carbs. I guess I also blame it on the lack of morning sickness in Owen's and this pregnancy - that always helped me lose 10 pounds. But the magnesium miracle was necessary - so no 10 pound drop in weight but I was able to function. It's a fair trade. It would be perfect if I could just get my hormones and cravings under control.
I recently got the book "It Starts With Food" and am slowly reading that. I'm hoping knowing the WHY and HOW behind my sugar dragon and how sugary carbs mess with my brain will help me be mentally on the ball and be determined with the WHAT I need to DO. I already weigh what I did when I delivered Hyrum (like I said, that was my best pregnancy) but I still have another 18 weeks go to. Hoping to not gain 20 pounds, but also want to not let the scale determine how I feel, something else Whole30 can help me with if I let it. I have put away the scale and don't weigh myself everyday like I used to. Anyway. I think carbs also leave me with a cotton mouth, which I didn't have for the few weeks of Whole30 but which I do have again and it's particularly bad after eating bread or cereal or treats. I really want to see if eating Whole30 can fix it, so hopefully I'll get mentally centered and will be able to do a little experiment with myself and see if I can keep my tongue happy.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Family Pictures 2016

Here they are! Huge thank you to Rochelle at Pointe Digital Photography who has done our family photos the past few years - 2012, 2014. She does such a great job! She messaged me around 11 pm last night that they were done, and then I was late going to bed cause I just had to see them. They all look great! Here are a few of the group shots:
I admit I was trying to hide my pregnant tummy in most of the pictures if I could. "Come here, kid, someone get in front of me!" Although since I have spent over 10 years of my life expecting, perhaps it is appropriate for it to be recorded for posterity.
And here are my favorite of the individual shots - if I were to try to narrow it down to one picture each. We'll start with little Owen!
Ok, I couldn't narrow his down. He was an unhappy camper most of the time, but we got lucky for a few seconds and luckily the camera was ready, isn't he adorable? I love baby smiles
Natalie is just a beautiful little girl! 
Sweet Sophia 
 Lily!
Abigail, growing up!
Wesley, good looking kid
 Hyrum, fine young man
Ethan
 Melodie
 Joseph
My pretty girls ~
And with their dad - how it should be. Do you like Natalie's heels? She was a pretty good rock climber in those!
My handsome boys
And a few of all the kids together
My little ducks, all in a row. (Owen was sad) 
 Love these kids!
The only note to self is for me to get the anti-glare on the kid's glasses next time. We're due for glasses after school is out, so not too far out, I should be able to remember. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Little Eyes

One of my favorite moments of the day is when I go to check on Owen to see if he's woken up from his nap. The "favorite" part comes when he is awake and I get to see his little eyes looking upside down at me through the slats ~
For a 9 month old, I don't feel that Owen moves around that much. When he wakes up, for example, he doesn't struggle or roll around or try to free himself from the crib. He just stays on his back and waits until someone comes for him. He kicks his legs or plays with his toes, looking up and upside down toward the door for someone to come in. When I see him and he sees me, although I can't see the smile cause of his binky, his eyes tell me he's got a grin ~ Yay! It's mommy here for me!
Those nap pics were from a few days ago, here his his happy upside down face for me this morning, super excited to start the day!
So again, he's not moving around too much yet, but he's starting. Two weeks ago on April 29, Owen surprised us all with his first good go at moving himself along the floor. I guess all he needed was the right motivation... and he found it in the bright colors and chinkly sounds of the Blokus game pieces. Check out these moves!

We were all so proud. Ethan said "I didn't think he'd ever figure it out!!" So, not really a "crawl" more of a "drag" but we are all still very happy with the progress he's made. Good job little man!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coming Soon

We went and had a family photo shoot tonight. The kids looked great. My only complaint from the picture prep was that Natalie refused to wear a bow in her hair. Other than that everything went very smoothly (and took most all day!) Baths, hair curling, finding the socks and shoes I had gathered, clothes, ties, don't get food on it! Once you are dressed there is no eating until after we're done!

We met up with my friend Rochelle on time (Point Digital Photography) and headed to the Temple Quarry Trail for pictures. Corey took some pictures on his phone, I'll get them from him. I didn't bring a camera, I was in charge of Owen and his Puffs and the car keys and that was about all I could handle. Will post the pictures soon.

In other news, I was very happy this past week to find a memory card with Brazil pictures that I lost last year - and found out that I lost it shortly after Owen was born (since newborn picture of him were the last photos on it) It was in a cluttered drawer in my bedroom. Hooray for the Life changing Magic of Tidying up for helping me locate it! I didn't think I'd find the card, but wasn't too sad about it, because I had uploaded the majority of important photos to the blog here. But I was glad to find it and see the hidden treasures on it. Like the little face hiding in this photo~
That was from our last day in Brazil last year before heading home. Natalie, you are so cute, and how have you grown up so much?
You and your baby, I love it. These days she's in love with my little ponies, particularly "Pinkie Pie". She can also quote whole scenes of Rapunzel that make us all laugh "What do you want with my hair? To cut it, sell it?" "Wait, wait, you don't want my hair? Hm!" "No can do" and a new part "That is my deal." I love Natalie so much. I've been wondering how she got so cute. I think maybe you have to get to the 9th edition for them to be this adorable (no offence to Joseph and the earlier editions of Corey Wride's kid, you guys are pretty good too)
But there is just something about this toddler that makes my heart full of joy and thankfulness, I love you Natalie. And another cute thing about my little girls ~ Sophi is quite a talker too. He particularly likes to ask us "WhyWhyWhy?" (making sure to get a good chunk of "why"s in her questioning sentence before giving us a moment to answer the first "why". Today as we walked home from a study group at the church, we waved to the cars driving by, and Sophi asked me "Why does everybody love me?" and before I knew what she was really thinking about she asked again "Why does all the people love me and be happy to me, why?" I was able to figure it out~ All the people that we waved to in cars that passed by or people that walked by with their dogs - when you gave my Sophi a smile she new you loved her. And she'd like to know why you are so happy at her. I told her it's cause she's such a cute and sweet little girl, That is why. Love you Soph.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bike Rodeo

Last Thursday was Lily's Bike rodeo. It had been postponed a week because of rain. She was excited when the day finally came. She was able to take a scooter ~ we'll teach her to ride a bike this summer.
Lily is a cute little girl. It's cute how excited they are for mom or dad to come to school. Corey went on a field trip with her class to the Aquarium last Tuesday (May 3rd) and boy was she excited.
Corey and I are trying to make sure we invest time in the lives of the younger children. We got the older group up and running, but now they take so much time, we've really got to work to make sure they don't take too much and that it's balanced out with the younger kids. It's helped having Joseph be a driver.
Corey reads to Abi every night. But I think we gotta get Wes and Abi and Lily involved in music or sports or dance. Wes has started trumpet, Abi isn't good at practicing flute, we gotta follow up with her a bit more. What do you want to do, little Lily? We can talk about it during the summer during our bike riding practices. Right after we drag ourselves across the finish line of this school year! Only another month to go, looking forward to summer!!
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