Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve 2014

We went up to Brighton today for big family party and New Years sleepover, just like last year (New Year's Eve 2013 and New Years Day 2014). Corey didn't go with us, as he was home sick with a major man cold, and thus his last request of this life was for me to leave him behind, but to not stop until I reached Zion. And to raise his children well.

But before he said that he told me to leave the little girls home with him, since it would be too much for me, cause it's hard to watch so many kids, plus I've got morning sickness right now, right? Thankfully not, thanks to my magnesium miracle. He looked about like how I remember feeling during all my past first trimesters. So me being sick and pregnant was one reason he asked me not to take all the kids. The other reason was that I only have room for 7 kids in the van. But since he was laying totally incapacitated for the better part of the afternoon, I decided he was in no position to be in charge of caring for anyone's needs since he couldn't even care for his own (I said as I put a straw of ice water to his lips).  I called others who were going up and two of them had room for one kid, so that took care of step 1: getting us all up there.

Step 2: Food. I was in charge of eggs, a treat, and a salad. I ran a quick grocery errand to get 5 dozen eggs and all the ingredients for a yummy spinach salad and for a big party sized bowl of Party popcorn. Then we were ready to go. We didn't have plans to go skiing, which turned out to be a good since Corey was out of commission. Other people went skiing. The kids would have liked to go. Next time.
Abi had been pretty sick with a cough this whole week, but really really didn't want to miss out on the fun. So she came and I gave a disclaimer about her health as did all the other parents ~ we all had a lot of kids coughing. 
I don't think she felt all that great, but she's still smiling. Lily and Sophi were coughing but still had energy. Natalie was TERRIBLE the whole time, super clingy, she had a fever, I kept serving her up the infant tylenol and she spent most of her time on my hip with her hand tightly wrapped around my neck... (she was not her normal happy self. Poor kid...)
Or she was asleep on me, using me as her body pillow. Not the best nights sleep I've had, but I can handle it (cause I got magnesium!)
Melodie and her friends~
Ethan photo bombing as I prepped the timer for the group photo:
The kids played games, watched movies, and we had a ball. At midnight everyone tooted horns and cheered. We took a group photo - doesn't that look like a big fun group for a slumber party? Good times.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Morning Sickness Miracle

So last week, on Christmas eve, we told the kids the big news: another baby is on the way. They are all very excited, so excited that they are all praying for twins. Uh oh. I guess we'll see if their childlike faith delivers on that, yikes. I'm due the end of July. We found out on December 4th. So, a little bit of boring pregnancy details... As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I pulled out my calendars and logs from pregnancies of years past and began to calculate to help me brace myself for the coming months of torture. A little bit of research showed that when I was expecting Sophi, morning sickness hit me hard during week 7. So, that would be December 15th. I tried to take care of essential tasks and Christmas errands while I still had energy.

Sure enough, on Tuesday the 16th it hit me like a brick wall and I was curled up bed just trying to breathe. And I was not looking forward to the next month of this. Nor did I know how our family could even function over the next 5 weeks with me out of commission. And I lay in bed wondering and asking ~ why does this happen? What causes morning sickness? There has to be some help out there somewhere, some old wives tale treatment? Anything? I can't believe that pregnant pioneer women were able to walk across the plains feeling like this, so maybe they knew or did something that helped them so they didn't feel like this.

I gave the essential oils I have on hand a try - Digest Zen helped a little to curb the urge to vomit. Lemon was also nice to smell, helped with the symptoms I was feeling, but no real treatment of the cause.

Then in my web surfing as I lay horizontal in bed that Tuesday afternoon, I came upon this heavenly advice: Mommypotamus says Magnesium is the cure.

I had some trace minerals on hand that I use for diet (recommended by the Mars and Venus Diet Solution to make "activated water") but that I hadn't been using for a while, and 40 drops of that gives 63% of Daily Magnesium. They say to start with 10 drops and work your way up to 40, but I just went for the full 40 drops mixed with water and the juice of one lemon.
AND THEN GUESS WHAT! The next day, Wednesday, I didn't feel great, BUT>> I didn't feel horrible!! I didn't have to lie down and take a nap or curl into the fetal position! I was able to load the dishwasher! I was vertical! I felt like it was already a miracle. I've been taking 40+ drops a day since and I seriously feel like it's been a miracle. I don't feel great, like compared to normal, but I was able (I think) to keep the fact that I felt ill from pregnancy hidden from family and the kids, ha! I was able to help wrap presents with a smile, even though I didn't feel great. Like I said, I don't feel great or normal, but I feel 200% better now compared with how I've felt during the first trimesters of my last 9 pregnancies. And I think that's saying something.

And that is amazing to me. So I'm telling everyone I know that I feel tolerable and it's all because of wonderful Magnesium in trace minerals. I also did buy some Magnesium oil (not the same brand that Mommypotamus recommends, but still had good reviews), but haven't been using it consistently, so I can't testify to the miracle of that. But as for Trace Minerals, go tell your pregnant girlfriends to give it a try, and I hope it works for them too.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hanging Out at the Cabin

On Saturday we went up to Brighton to have a lazy day with friends at their cabin. 
We didn't have plans to ski, but the kids came prepped for sledding and digging snow caves. Our cars don't have 4 wheel so we can't drive up the hill to the cabin, so we parked at the ski parking lot and walked. I had the kids wear their gear. Even Natalie suited up, and there is not much in this world that is cuter than a toddler in snow gear. 
Natalie had us all giggling as she toddled around with her little self all poofed out even more with her snow pants. Love it.
We headed up around 1:30 and stayed until 9 pm. It was a nice short and cold walk up to their cabin. (The kids want us to get a cabin.) 
Over the road and through the trees to the cabin we go. We had to walk for like 10 minutes.
I told the kids they were just like pioneers, cause they walked in snow in freezing temperature for 10 minutes too. Once we got in to the cabin, the kids didn't want to go outside, they were too cold, so they snuggled up on the couch and watched the rest of the movie with their friends while they warmed up.
The kids all spent most the rest of the day playing board and card games.
And eating sugar cookies and cookie pizza
and more card games... Egyptian rescue, slap jack, solitaire....
Natalie was being a clown. 
And the kids played more and more games.
Joseph liked this one, Stratego. It's on his birthday wish list now. He said it's kinda like Chess, but you can't see what the pieces are, so you don't know what move they can make against you.
So the boys liked that one, and Sophi liked sitting in the baby chair in the kitchen.
She just sat there from her little perch looking around. Funny. But seemed to enjoy herself.
Everyone's new favorite game was Telestrations. We grown ups were over in the kitchen by the fire shooting the breeze and we'd hear the kids busting up laughing, it was cute to hear them all having fun and playing nicely together.
We feel very blessed to have such great friends, the parents and the kids, we all enjoy each other's company and have a good time. We're going up again for New Years Eve. We're all looking forward to it!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I'm pleased to report that we had a very merry Christmas. First thing was was magically wonderful was that it finally snowed. 
We've had a brown December so far and the kids have been slightly depressed that they can't dig caves or make forts. They were hoping and probably praying that it would snow, and we checked the forecast regularly, and it was supposed to start snowing during the night and it did. We had about a foot by morning and the kids were very happy. 

As for presents, overall we did pretty good - only one child was visibly/verbally disappointed about not getting everything they wanted, so we were 10/11 - 91%, that's a percentage I can live with. (Poor Ethan texted us his large and costly wish list. One of the things he wanted a BYU sweatshirt, but his follow up requested specifications to Corey were such that he decided he didn't want to mess up and thus didn't get him one, but did get one for Joseph and Hyrum. We told Eth it's okay that he was sad. Mel was sad last year, so we've got a tradition of upsetting the 7th grader. Your turn next year Hyrum.

So Christmas morning; the kids woke up early at 3 a.m. Ethan's alarm didn't wake him up, but he woke up on his own as I creeped about the house, so he was awake and pretending to sleep when I took a picture of him on the couch. He couldn't fall back asleep, but stayed lying down until 3 and then woke up his siblings (except Joseph told him not to) to go see what was in their stockings. And then they went back to bed. We heard them being excited and happy kids around 6, but we didn't have anyone come knock on our door until 8. I told them to give me another half hour and make me some eggs. They did. Then Corey and I got up and had breakfast and then it was time for the party to begin. We began with the family tree in the front room - the kids had put their presents to each other under this tree.
Corey and I got coupon books and lego creations and the kids got presents that they had made or bought at the dollar store.
Then we went into the side room where the white tree is to see what Santa brought them.

Joseph and Ethan got a new saxophone mouthpiece to share. That was Joseph's favorite present.
Lily's favorite gift was Zig Zag the Zebra.
Abi spent the evening arranging all her new things on the shelf by her bed.
Mel likes her playing cards and earrings. The teenagers have been playing a game called Egyptian Rescue or something and having fun. 
Hyrum and Wesley got the Ewok village to share. Hyrum's done most of the work on it.
Wesley's been practicing his archery skills and flying his helicopter that Grandma Wride gave him. All the boys got one, they love it.
Ethan got a skateboard that he can't practice on now, but is excited to give a whirl in Spring.
Sophi got a few Elsa things that she loves, but the Elsa dress was not a hit, which surprised us. Natalie didn't know what was going on but loved Uncle Marks candy cane fudge. And we gave the kids one present on Christmas Eve - we told them that they have a new sibling coming at the end of July. :) And I'm glad that I don't have to try and pretend that I don't feel like death, but hopefully the morning sickness is half over? That might be wishful thinking. Anyway, I'll share more about that news later. The new baby will be my favorite gift, once the torture to ship it is over.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas 
at Eleven o-Three
My kids were not sleeping yet.
Too bad for me.

They were much to excited 
To fall fast asleep
So I put their energy to work
and the kitchen they did sweep

Then up to the bedrooms
to vacuum the floor
I was glad for this chance 
to have them do chores
They worked hard and quickly
So Santa could see
That they've been tidy children
since January

Then they still were not tired,
so they played cards and had fun
Around 11:30 I said
"Ok, time to be done"
They hushed up and layed still
While I bided my time
By laying in bed
and making up this rhyme
Now it's 1:49
and the stockings are ready
Time to unload Corey's car
of the spoils it does carry.

 I turned off Ethan's alarm
that was set to sound at 3
(He'll probably be a little bit
upset with me...)
But I can live with that
if it means I'll get some sleep
But now around the house
and sleeping children I must quietly creep
They started this tradition
of sleepovers under the tree
I like them making memories
I love my family!

 I hope not to wake them
And that in the morning they'll see
Lots of love for them
Under the Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unofficial Christmas Card Greetings

Tonight we had carolers come by for the 3rd time. Abi was in tears yesterday cause she missed it (she had to change clothes since they had just been playing a game where she was the boy and of course you can't be seen like that in a dress shirt and tie and everything... she changed quickly, but by the time she came down the stairs they were on their way to the next house. She was a wee bit inconsolable for a half hour...)

So anyway, Abi wants us to go caroling. I don't think it's gonna happen. It's a nice idea, but it's cold out there and we got little kids that would make it hard for them and hence for us. Maybe the older kids could? I guess we usually divide and conquer anyway. Still, not very likely to happen. Our last caroler were wonderful neighbors and they brought by treats too. And a holiday greeting card with it's family update. Then Ethan started giving us a hard time about doing a family card, cause we keep getting them in the mail... "Where is ours? You guys are slackers!!" I told him I've done pretty good for the past 10 years, but now I blog, and so people know what's going on with us if they want to know. And I did pass out Christmas treats last year, thank you very much. That wasn't too hard... I still have the gift bags I used, we could do that again on short Christmas Eve notice... I'd just have to run to the store in the morning for white chocolate chips and pretzels and a few other items. That might help us save face.  Ethan continued to tell us we had to do a card, and came up with all sort of ideas of what we could wear and what we could do. It's a little late to get those done in time for Christmas, but there's time for a New Year's Greetings card I guess... Corey told him to be our guest, you want a card done, you go right ahead. And then lookey here what Ethan did - He came to the computer and whipped this out. Not bad Eth.
Not a totally recent picture, but it could do. I still don't know that we'll print them up and mail them, but I'll post it here and share it on my facebook. Does that count as a half effort? Hey, we do what we can. Er,.. we'll do what we can with what you did. Although I guess to make it official I need to give a 2014 sum up or something of that sort? Hmm. I told the kids to go to bed, so that's not something I want to do right now. It will have to wait, I shall send out our "official" Holiday Greetings Card later.

(Ethan's had a class at school on photoshopping and he's got a good knack for it. He made a birthday card for Melodie (that I'll post here when I find it) and has made coloring books for his little sisters for Christmas with printed and a few photoshopped Disney princesses. This boy may come in handy for next year's holiday card, knock on wood.)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Yogurt Pie

We had a yogurt pie for dessert last night. Yogurt pies are a creation I remember loving from my childhood. They are simple too. You get a graham cracker crust, yogurt, and whipped cream. Mix the whipped cream and yogurt together, pour into the graham cracker crust, and freeze. The kids love it. And the left over yogurt mixture gave me a snack for Natalie to practice her fine motor skills with. 
Let's see how you do at feeding yourself. 
She used her little blue spoon at the beginning, until there wasn't enough in the bowl to make that effort worthwhile, so that was when she moved on to her digits.

Yogurt and whipped cream is a good mixture for her to practice on, cause it's not so heavy that falls off the spoon as quickly as just yogurt does.
Yogurt by itself falls off the spoon on their shirt front right before reaching their mouth. But the cream makes it lighter, and it worked great.
Kept her busy long enough for me to load the dishwasher without her emptying it as I loaded it, and there wasn't too much to clean up on the high chair afterwards, just two cute little hands and a cute little face.
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