Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Heavenly Possibilities

I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm copying and pasting from Facebook. Am I lazy, no, I just felt like it would be good to share with two different audiences. A friend of mine shared a post from the blog Rage Against the Minivan it was about how today, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I was kind of taken aback, because I could have sworn it was October 17th, and I had been planning to say something about it.....and now, now I've all but missed it. And so I decided to share something with the world that I've not talked much about........and here it is.
Our Babies. Let's talk about our babies. Would you find it strange if I said that I don't know how many children I have? I really don't. The records of the government and of my church say that I have 3 children. I love those 3 children with all my heart. But I've had 5 pregnancies.
I've never been certain why, but a friend once asked me about family group sheets (genealogical records) and when a child's name could be added to it. I've look at a lot of family group sheets in my life (Thanks Grandma Turner!) and I know that I've seen stillborn children on them, so I told her that I was pretty confident that if a child had been stillborn they could be added to a family group sheet. She then asked how old (Gestationally) a baby would have to be, to be considered stillborn. I really didn't know. 23 weeks? Maybe 20 weeks?
According to all medical knowledge, the two babies we lost were never viable, so they are not on our family group sheets. We have not named them. And like I said earlier, I don't even know if they are my babies.
This summer I sat next to a woman on an early morning bus to a half marathon. I don't remember how the subject came up, but we started talking about pregnancy loss. She had experienced it and so had I. As a member of a local Pregnancy and Infant Loss facebook group I've read a lot of differing beliefs about when "life" begins, when a baby is, well, a baby. One woman said something about how Brigham Young (a Prophet and President of my church a long time ago) said that when a woman feels the quickening (or the movements of her baby) that is when the child's spirit has entered the child's body, and she
(the facebook poster) hadn't felt her baby move but she had seen it move on an ultrasound and she fully expected that she would meet that child in heaven.
Our church doesn't really have a hard and fast teaching about WHEN a spirit enters the body, when it becomes a soul, when that child will most definitely be with you in heaven. I do believe that my family can be eternal, and that I will be with them forever, and I found myself expressing to my bus mate that morning (yep, we're back on the bus), that I really didn't know how many children to expect in heaven, but if I find myself in heaven someday, and someone walks up to me and says "Mom, it's me! You made it" I will be overjoyed and I will say "How awesome are you! You only needed me to make and carry your body for 10 weeks, and then you got to go straight to heaven! By the way, do you like the name Bubbles, because that's all we ever called you." It could happen, I guess but, I really don't know.
And so I just try to be the best Kate I can be, so that if I do have one or two Angelic Children waiting for me, that I'll be ready and able to be with them, AND the rest of my awesome family, forever.
And those are my thoughts on this day. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Change in Perspective

Today is "National Depression Screening Day". I've been depressed at times, thankfully not for too long and not too deeply, but yeah, I've been depressed and anxious enough to seek help for it. I'm proud of the fact that I loved myself enough to want to be happier, healthier.

I learned a lot about myself while going through counseling. One of the things I learned was that I am very affected by negative self talk. When I'm not feeling the greatest, emotionally, I try to recognize what I'm saying to myself and if I'm talking negatively to myself, I try my best to stop it. This doesn't happen very often anymore, I'm pretty nice to myself nowadays, maybe even a little too nice sometimes. But I do have my moments, maybe sometimes even my days, when things aren't just as I would like them to be and I let that get me down. And that brings me to the reason for this blog post.

I've been thinking a lot about perspective recently. I find that how I feel about things, how I react to different situations can change quite easily when I allow (or force) myself to view them from a different angle. Maybe you've known about this for a long time, but for me, this has felt like an epiphany!

Here's an example of a recent encounter I had, with myself. A couple of weeks ago I was walking to church. As I walked I would occasionally look down, to check that my path was clear and probably also to check out how I looked. I saw my feet and my shoes. I have cute feet. I saw my legs, I wondered why my calves were not slimmer, they looked larger than I thought they should, I didn't think my calves were as cute as my feet. I arrived at church and as I walked towards the doors I saw my reflection, and what really caught my eye was the reflection of my legs. My calves were NOT large. Was I looking at completely different legs? What had happened in the past 100 yards? Nothing had happened, nothing but a change in my perspective. I had looked at myself from a different angle and seen myself in a completely different way. I would like to say that I will never "look down" on myself again, but I'm pretty sure that's a promise that would be hard to keep.

I started the year off weighing 183 pounds, a respectable weight for someone who was 6 weeks post-partum. I've been doing my best, trying hard, to lose weight and at the beginning of this month I weighed in at 155. I've got about 10 pounds to go, but I hope to hit the goal weight (that my doctor  and I set), by the end of the year. I'm quite possibly in the best shape of my life (I was not a very active or fit teenager). I'm feeling strong, strong and sometimes old, but mostly just strong. I really like the way my clothes fit, I'm thinner than I used to be but I'm still a woman, I still have curves. I'm also a woman who has had 3 children. Just this week I was lying on my bed reading a book before going to sleep. When I was lying on my back I had a relatively flat stomach, but then I rolled onto my side and something really weird happened. My entire stomach, skin, fat and possibly even a couple internal organs, SHIFTED and I was left with a very odd looking bulge on the left side of my abdomen. At first I thought "WHAT in the WORLD, didn't I just have a flat stomach 30 seconds ago?!?!" and then I remembered something one of my older sisters had told me before I had my first child, it was something about having to tuck your extra, stretched out, skin into your pants after you have a baby. My perspective changed and I laughed. I didn't rush to the computer and search the Internet for ways to tighten my belly, because, yeah, I earned that stretched out skin. It wobbles around, but it usually stays put when I tuck it into my pants AND I'm pretty sure that control-top pantyhose were created for women who had given birth and I'm good with that!

I wasn't planning on including that little story about my belly in this post, but this morning I saw several little teasers for articles about Jennifer Garner, an actress, who like me is also a mother of three. She was making news not because of her new movie, but rather, because she was talking about her "Baby Bump". During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres she said - 

"I get congratulated all the time by people that I know, saying, ‘I hear you’re pregnant!’ You know, this one woman who had babysat for us said, ‘OMG! I can’t wait for baby No. 4!’ and I thought, ‘What is going on?’ So I asked around and apparently I have a baby bump. And I’m here to tell you that I do—I do!......I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump, From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is VioletSamSera.”

After that recent experience I had had with my wiggly wobbly belly, I really appreciated what she said. There are so many different voices in the world today, telling us exactly what we need to do and how we need to look, to be perfect, to be loved. So many of those voices are telling us lies, but Jennifer Garner told the truth, my sister told the truth, and I hope, that someday if someone ever tells me that I look good or even that I look like I have a "baby bump" that I'll tell the truth too.I'll say, "you know, I'm getting really good at tucking my belly into my pants" I love my squishy belly, that's where my sweet squishy children grew.

So I'm recognizing that sometimes I do see things from a good angle to start off with, but other times, like with my legs, I don't. But that's okay, because I'm hoping I can stop when I'm getting down on myself and try to look at myself, my home, my thoughts or whatever I'm currently struggling with, from a different point of view. I can truly say that I've enjoyed these past couple of weeks as I've been trying to make a conscious effort to not believe my first impressions, my first "self talk" conversations, are true.

There was the day that I was cleaning my house, getting ready for friends to come over for dinner. I knew that there was a TON to do, I'm not very good at keeping the clutter at bay, and there were plenty of piles of paper and piles of toys and such around the house. I started to feel a little anxious and I knew that there was no way I would be able to get everything perfect before people showed up. But, I quickly was able to realize that I was feeling anxious. Anxious enough that the music I was listening too had started to take on a foreboding tone. I didn't go hide in my room, or yell at my family, I said to myself "Now wait a minute. Are your friends coming over to see if you have a clean house OR are they coming over because they want to see you? Of course they want to see you, they love you and they will STILL LOVE YOU even if you have clutter around the edges of every room." A new perspective, it was refreshing. I finished with the cleaning I could handle and I DID NOT go around the house stuffing clutter into a box which could then be hidden in my room until the company left. That felt awesome, I didn't hide anything! This new perspective- that I am lovable even in the midst of my clutter- came in handy when a few different family members came to stay the night a few times this last month. I'm not saying I just stopped cleaning. I did try to make my home a comfortable place to be. I'm just saying I didn't let myself get frustrated when perfection wasn't reached. That's a big thing for me. I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

I haven't given up on the idea that someday I can and will be a better housekeeper, but right now in my life, it's quite often a goal that's out of reach. In the past when perfection seemed out of reach, the only option was to give up entirely. But now, looking at it from another angle, I see that maybe I'm unable to be perfect right now, but I can still take baby steps. Some baby steps I've attempted lately, in regards to my house, have been that I set a goal to do one big, majorly not fun, chore per month. In September I washed doors and door frames throughout my house. This month I'll do something else- like washing walls or cupboard doors. There are a few chores like that, that I admit I may never have done in the 8 years we've lived in this house. In a couple of years we plan to move and I'm hoping that if I do one of those dreaded chores every month, then by the time we move those things will have been done several times over the previous 2 years and the final cleaning process won't be as horrible as it might have been. I also paid my 6 year old $3 to wipe down the baseboards, that he could get to, throughout the house. I thought that was a stroke of genius! Another baby step I've been working on has to do with our piles of clutter- I've started throwing stuff away! Sadly, it seems like it piles right back up- BUT it would be even worse if I hadn't done some recycling. Eventually I'll figure out how to keep the clutter at bay, until then, I'll do my best to not let it get to me.

Part of the clutter problem is that I'm a "Saver". You never know when you are going to need something, so you better save it. Saving things has been a blessing to us, but saving things- like clothes- also means that my dresser drawers aren't easy to close (which means I don't close them, WHICH means that even more gets piled on top of them, WHICH MEANS my dresser is a disaster area). We are also very lucky to have lots of hand me down clothes for the kids. Those clothes have saved our budget and I am VERY grateful for them. But there is an entire closet FULL of boxes stacked from the floor to the ceiling. I've wondered for a few months if we need to save all those clothes. I started going through the boxes and separating out the items that I absolutely needed to keep. Everything else we handed down to other families. I think I made it through the New Born to 6-9 month sizes of both boy and girl clothes. In the closet we have clothes through size 8 or 10. So I still have a lot of sorting to do, but it can be done. This week we made a little more room in the clothes storage closet. We had the opportunity to donate shoes to a service project the youth from our church were participating in. I realized I had a bag of shoes on top of my craft storage (that's right, they had never really been put away). I have been pondering for a while now, whether or not our family is complete, and I'm feeling more and more like it is. So when I saw that bag of shoes, shoes that we had put away to use again, I realized that, most likely, we wouldn't be using those shoes AND they could be donated. I bagged them up, along with some of my old running shoes and something told me to go to the clothes storage closet. There I found a box full of other shoes our boys had grown out of, all together we were able to donate a large garbage bag full of shoes. It felt really good, I hope that the people who handed some of those shoes down to us also felt a little lift in their day, because unbeknownst to them, they provided service as well. The change in perspective I felt about the clothes and shoes has to do with saving- the "I have to save this because I might need it again" perspective has changed to an "I can share this with someone who needs it, and if we should find ourselves in need again someday, I have faith that our needs will be met, somehow, in someway." I feel like that is a very healthy perspective.

And the last perspective change I'd like to share just happened this week, in fact it's the reason for this blog post. I really enjoyed listening to the talks from the General Conference of the LDS Church. There were lots of good messages, at one point Ken turned to me and said that we weren't hearing anything new, but it was nice to have a refresher on several Gospel topics. I've also been re-reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Those two things have lead me to contemplate loving my neighbor, loving God and loving myself. Mr. Lewis, while talking about loving our neighbor, said something about how we haven't been commanded to love only the people that we instantly get along with, rather we've been commanded to love everyone, no matter how hard we might initially find them to love. This struck me, because there are a few people in my life that I find hard to love. ( I Know! Totally hard to believe!) Sadly I find it really easy to come up with reasons that I shouldn't have to love them, because I have judged their choices and feel that their current problems (which is all they seem to talk about) are pretty much directly related to those choices. This is where my change of perspective (that is currently a work in progress) comes in, What a Horrible Realization! I've been totally judgmental, I would be horrified and sad and probably depressed if I realized that someone had judged me in a similar manner. I need to stop that, I need to change (thus the work in progress). My change in perspective showed me that I still have much to do, but I CAN DO IT, I can follow the example of my Savior, I want to do what he would do, what he has asked me to do, which is to love my neighbor as myself. Love them as I would want to be loved.

And so here I am, I'm not sharing these things because I want to say "Hey, Check out how AWESOME I am" rather, I want to say "Hey, I'm flawed! I lead a messy, cluttered life, but it's a good life. I have faith. Faith that I can be so much more than I think I am, faith that small changes will eventually refine me into what God knows I can be. I am not the cream of the crop, but I'm not the bottom of the barrel, I'm just me, good ole' average Kate. And you know what? I'm happy. Completely Imperfect, yet still happy." And I hope that out there somewhere, there is someone who might be struggling with the same things I do, and maybe, they might see this and realize that they aren't a lost cause, that they are normal just like me and they can keep making baby steps too, knowing that they can be less than perfect and happy all at the same time.

When I told Ken that I was writing a blog post "all about me and my imperfections" he quickly responded "your perfect imperfections?" That Ken, he's a smart man! (Thanks John Legend for teaching him what to say.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

See Kate Run, Running Around in Circles!

On August 30th I ran the Murdock Half Marathon. Jared made me as sign- it says Go Go Mom!
 My goal was to cross the finish line with a time faster than 2 hours 26 minutes. According to my watch I was 2:25 (once you pass an hour it stops counting seconds) According to the official race time I was 2:26.01.....I'm going by my watch :) My watch is always right!

It was a hard run. I didn't bring my hydration belt because races have aid/water stations. But for me, the water stations were a little too far apart and I felt dehydrated and tired. I would like to run this course again sometime WITH my hydration belt. I'm pretty sure I could easily beat 2:25, maybe I could get close to 2:20, that would be awesome. The only problem is, it starts and ends at two different locations. Still working on the logistics for how I could make this personal 1/2 marathon happen, BUT I hope to do it in late September or early October. I'll let you know how it goes.
 This past weekend, the whole family participated in the "Run for her life, the Susan Sandoval Run for Ovarian Cancer". Ken's boss is an Ovarian Cancer Survivor, she let everyone at work know about this charity race and we thought it would be fun to go down and participate. We were more than happy to be able to support her. Our group included two other coworkers from Ken's department at work. It was a rainy wet run, but it was good. I ran, I completed 3 laps around Sugarhouse Park for a total of 4.2 miles. Ken and J walked and pushed B and E in the stroller. I caught up with them as I finished my second lap, then I kept going and Ken and the Kids met me at the finish line after I completed my 3rd lap. I made really good time, I like running at Sugarhouse Park and it's always fun to run races that support women's causes.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about working out for 60 minutes per day. I have to admit, that post was actually meant for my other blog. I've had a second blog on which I document my weight loss and my general road to, and hope for, good health. I don't know that anyone ever really sees that blog. But I had a friend who commented and the misplaced blog post and so I figure it was always meant to be here on this blog. If you are interested in checking out my other blog, here is my latest post from See Kate Run

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Saving, Preparing, Growing!

Today, B bought a piggy bank. For his birthday, my sister Jenette gave B a TEN dollar bill. Over the past month, B has pointed out the piggy banks at the store, I don't even know how many times he showed them to me. His favorite was the Thomas piggy bank. I told him it was nice, but seeing as how the piggy bank cost $9.84 and he had $10, I didn't think it was the best use of his money, because he wouldn't have any money left over to put IN the piggy bank. Then today he once again showed me the piggy banks and I got kind of excited because I saw the price on the shelf was $5. Then I realized that Thomas was on the wrong shelf and he was still $9.84. But then I had a thought. If I was willing to let him buy the piggy bank for $5, then why don't I offer to pay half. So I asked him what he thought. Would he be willing to pay $5 from his birthday money, if so, then Mommy would pay the rest, then he would be able to put his remaining $5 into his bank. 

Well, as you can see, the piggy bank now lives at our house and B is a very, very happy boy. He has even asked how he can get MORE money to put in his piggy bank. So now, Ken and I will need to sit down and make a list of chores and how much those chores are worth. I'm hoping both boys will be excited to earn some money.
Speaking of Saving for the future. I recently started feeling like we needed to make sure we had our 72 hour Emergency Kit in order. Why? Well I think it started when I saw a friend post a picture of the food from her 72 hour kit, it was old. I think she had done a pretty good job making sure that her children's kits were updated but she hadn't looked at hers in quite a while. Seven or Eight years ago, I put together some food for Ken and I. At the time it was just Ken and I, we were set! Well, last year or maybe it was two years ago, I went through those kits (they had been sealed in Mylar bags) and pretty much everything had gone bad and or was oddly mint flavored, there had been gum in the bag too.

I remember thinking "I'm going to make the whole family some 72 hour kits". I didn't. We have even more family members now. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH. So I saw my friends picture, and quite a few of her food items were MRE's. I had just seen MRE's available in the Bulk Food section of WinCo. So I decided I would see what they had. It was PERFECT I thought. I'll buy MRE's! We'll be set for years!

But alas, the MRE's available at WinCo were not things I felt like buying. Crackers with cheese spread, peanut butter and jam. I'm sure we would be grateful for those items if we were in desperate need BUT I didn't really want to buy a bunch of them, I figured I could find something we'd like better.

It was about this point when I realized that our long term food storage was also in dire need. We had some, but not much and I had discovered that some of what we had was not the best (I had opened a can of flour and discovered that it smelled and tasted metallic, which I really didn't enjoy), also, what we had probably wouldn't last too long if we had to subsist on it, we had 5 pounds of dry milk, 21 pounds of rice, 6 pounds of pasta, 3 pounds each of dehydrated onions and carrots. I really felt like we needed more.

It was about this time that I spoke to Ken's Aunt Donna. She too was feeling the need to be more prepared and she told me about a company she was considering buying some freeze dried foods from. There are quite a few companies that offer a months worth of meals in one bucket. She told me about the sale price this company was offering and I remembered that I had seen one of those types of meal buckets at WinCo! So I looked up the company that Aunt Donna had told me about and I went to WinCo and took a look at the bucket they were selling. They were different. WinCo's bucket was a 72 hour kit for 4 people OR 12 days worth of meals for one person. After comparing the two buckets I decided that the 4 person 72 hour kit would actually work very well for my small family. It had 2,000 calories per day for each of the 4 people each day. We could totally make that work for our family of 2 adults and 3 children. It was also, in my opinion, a really great deal! So we bought one. BOOM! The food for our 72 hour kit is now taken care of!
I asked Ken if he would be in charge of collecting games and coloring books and other things to help keep the kids occupied should we ever need to actually use our 72 hour emergency kit. He's on it! We now have 2 awesome coloring books for our kit. Thanks to the back to school sales we also have crayons and markers.

I'm still not sure what to do about clothes and shoes. I'm considering going to the DI and trying to find sweatpants/ sweatshirts in a size or two above what the kids wear now- because that way I wouldn't have to switch the clothes in there every 6 months. I'm pretty sure I'd forget to switch them. BUT Sweat Pants, those stretch! So even if I did forget for a year or two, they might still fit, they would be tight, but they'd fit, right? I'm still not sure, but I'm thinking AND I'm going to get it done this time.

The same day that I decided we would buy the 72 hour food supply, I also started shopping around for long term storage. I did some research and found some sites that helped me decide what types of things to get.

We actually do have money set aside in our budget for "Food Storage" but we haven't used it for long term food storage, we've usually just used it to stock up at case lot sales on things that we use regularly. I felt like we probably should buy some more long term storage and I knew that we couldn't buy a years supply of food for the whole family so I decided that I would see what we could get. I also knew I would be really sad if we were living off my food storage and all I had was metallic flavored flour with which to make food for my family. Since 2007 I've also discovered that things made with whole wheat flour are quite yummy, SO I started pricing out hard white and red wheat, and a hand crank wheat grinder.

I discovered that had some amazing prices for Augason Farms wheat and so I ordered some of them, in fact 200 pounds worth. They are in 26 pound buckets. I also purchased 100 pounds of Augason Farms Rolled Oats from, they are in 10 pound buckets. From what I had read online, an adult will need between 300 and 400 pounds of grains, so that 300 pounds was, in my opinion a great start. I also was pricing out rice that had been packaged for long term storage and found that the LDS Home Storage Centers had the best price around here, same with Sugar, so today Baby E, my little buddy B and I went down the Lindon Family Home Storage Center and bought 10 cans of Rice (54 pounds- so we now have 75 pounds total), 10 cans of sugar (58 pounds) and one can of dehydrated apple slices. I've got about $20 left of our budgeted money, I figure I'll purchase some salt and other items like oil and leavening agents (though they won't really last long) that will make all the other storage items more usable should we find we need to use them sooner than later.

Even with all those purchases, we don't quite have a years supply for one adult. Maybe for Christmas we'll ask for 60 pounds of beans (black and pinto) or maybe some honey, powdered eggs or a pail of Augason Farms "Morning Moo" which is so much yummier than the average dry milk, mmmmmmmm and it comes in chocolate. It will probably take us 4 or 5 more years to have a complete years supply of food for our family, but it will be worth it, and I think we will be blessed for our efforts. Hopefully, should there be a major emergency in the next few years before our year supply of food is complete, we will have enough for our needs.

AND Finally, what you've all been waiting for, an update on BABY E! She cut her 4th tooth on Sunday. While I was getting her dressed this morning she was smiling so cutely, you could see her first top tooth and it was so sweet. Our camera hates us, it really does, it has this NEED to wait a second or so before it takes a picture and by then our children have inevitably moved or stopped making the cute face. BOOO, Booo to you Camera! So this is as good as I could do trying to show Baby E's darling teeth. Even in a not so great picture she's one cute baby!
Another recent milestone for the baby is that she can get into the sitting position all on her own and she does it all the time. She is also starting to try to lunge forward when she is on her tummy or her hands and knees. Crawling is probably not too far away, I remember wanting the boys to crawl but I'm kind of hoping it takes her a while longer to figure it out. Baby E has also entered the "if I can hold it in my hands then I probably should put it in my mouth" stage which sadly has been accompanied by "I see EVERY LITTLE THING on the carpet and I can pick it all up" stage. She seems to know what she SHOULDN'T eat and those things she still puts in her mouth but she just chews on them, and if we try to get them out of her mouth she shows us just how strong she is. Jaws of STEEL!

So that's a little update about a few of us and what we've been up to. Tomorrow is a busy big day, J has his first day of reading group down at our town literacy center, B has his first day of preschool and I get to go to a meeting where I learn all about how to be a Room Mom. I'm pretty sure we are going to survive but, yeah, most days aren't that busy around here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

60 Minutes a DAY!

A few months ago, I was awake in the middle of the night. I was either taking care of my new baby or just awake because for some reason my brain likes to wake me up in the 'wee small hours of the morning'. When I'm awake in the middle of the night I will sometimes try to find something interesting on TV and on this night I found a an interesting recording of a BYU Education Week session about weight loss and maintenance. I think the person who was speaking was a nutritionist and she spoke about several different studies but what stuck out to me then, and what I still remember was  specifically about people who are successful at maintaining their weight loss. She explained that while the majority of people do cut calories in order to lose weight, not everyone maintains a low calorie diet after they've lost weight BUT that something like 90% of people who successfully maintain their weight exercise for 60 minutes per day at least 5 days per week. I found that to be really interesting and I felt kind of grateful to have heard it because it gave me an idea of what I would need to do to maintain my weight once I reached my goal weight.

I decided to see if I could find more information about the studies that speaker had spoken about and so today I did an Internet search  for "Study about maintaining weight loss" and the first result was for the National Weight Control Registry. I was pretty sure this was one of the groups/studies that she had sited and the section titled National Weight Control Registry findings pretty much confirmed that for me.

I wanted to share this because it gave me hope. I hear a lot, from lots of different sources, that it's really hard to maintain weight loss, but the people who are part of this registry have done it! And if they can do it, so can I, I just have to do what they've done. I'm currently working out 5-6 days per week and 5 of those days easily hit 50-60 minutes each. I really enjoy it and I'm figuring if I can just continue to do some form of exercise that I enjoy then I can totally keep the 60 minutes per day, 5-6 days a week, for the rest of my life. I can do this! And so can you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Little Miss E, 3 Months times 3

E doesn't rhyme with 9 Months, but 9 months old she is!
 She also had a Well Child Check today (and as you can tell from the pictures) she is Practically Perfect in Every Way! Her skin is clearing quite nicely, she can roll, sit up and scoot/shimmy on her bum. She is even starting to rock back and forth on her hands and knees. She just cut her 3rd tooth- top left front- and the second top tooth will be cutting soon. She sleeps amazingly well and plays well with others!
 She has a 50th percentile head. She is 29 inches tall, which puts her in the 92nd percentile for height and she weighs 19 # 13 oz, which puts her in the 70th percentile for weight. 
The baby's infant car seat will accommodate a child who weighs up to 30 pounds and is 30 inches tall. Well, she's no where near the weight limit, but at 29 inches tall the doctor said "So, it's time to start looking into getting a new car seat" and I was able to say "Already done!" and now, I guess, I will install it tomorrow.
Both the boys turned forward facing in their car seats at a year old. But baby E enjoys watching her brothers so much that I decided to let her stay rear facing until she's two, or maybe longer. In this seat she can ride rear facing until she is 36 inches tall and or 35 pounds, I'm guessing it will be her height that forces her to turn around. If I had had this car seat for the boys, and if I had let them meet the height/weight limit before flipping them around, they would have turned forward facing right around their 2nd birthdays. At 9 months J was 29 inches tall- just like E. B was 30 inches tall at 9 months. So I guess we will see if she continues to keep up with her brothers in the height department.

The First day of the First Grade

 Have you ever discovered that you were a superhero?
J has!
Even though he's a superhero, he's still my very first baby and I am having a very hard time believing that he is in the 1st grade! But today he was up bright and early and ready to go to school. If he had had it his way he would have been down at the bus stop an hour early......luckily I convinced him that he needed to eat a good breakfast and get dressed.
 I did let him go to the bus 5 minutes early, if this had been a video you'd be able to hear B say "there's the BUS!" and J call to all the people behind him in line, motioning that they should all come forward and get ready to start the next phase of their lives.
 And with that, they were off!
 Seven hours later, a happy little first grader got off the bus. I asked him if he had had fun, he said that he had because they had played a game. I asked him if he liked Kindergarten or first grade better. He said Kindergarten because when you are in Kindergarten you get SNACKS before recess.
It was rainy today, and so not only were there no snacks before recess but they also didn't get to go outside for recess. I have a feeling, that between lunch at school and a few days of recess on the big kid playground,  the joys of Kindergarten will be nothing but a sweet memory for this big kid!

There will be changes for me this year too. I signed up to be J's Room Mother. Still not quite sure what it entails, BUT I did it. J's teacher named Miss Earl. This is her first class. Technically she is an intern, she will graduate with her teaching degree in December. She has 23 students which is, I think, about 2/3 (or maybe 3/4) the size of the typical 1st grade class at our school. I noticed that no one was listed as the room mother on the volunteer sign up sheet at back to school night, and so I volunteered. I'm sure I'll share more about my adventures in room mothering just as soon as they start.

Family Pictures 2014

 The Lehi Railroad House was built in 1872. We moved to Lehi in 2006 and started building this sweet family!
 This isn't a picture we will print and hang on the wall but I still love it.
 This picture is proof that B can levitate. 
(or at least jump at the perfect time to look like he can levitate)
 So we figured we'd try to help him fly.
 These boys love their little sister and she loves them!
 Another silly picture, to help keep the kids happy and cooperative, we'd do silly things, like stick out our tongues. Baby E did not approve and she refused to participate.
 My love, my best friend, My Ken and me.

It was Ken's idea to have the family wear superman shirts, I wasn't so sure about it at first but I will admit- it worked out GREAT!

B had a Birthday, Shout Hooray!

 The day before B's 4th birthday we had our family celebration at Grandma Turners house. B was in heaven!
 He was showered with love and gifts perfect for him, books, fire trucks, punching bags, sticker books, train tracks. He was a happy happy boy. THEN he got to eat as much frosting as he wanted.
 The next day he got to have a birthday party. He invited 4 of his friends from the neighborhood- Cousin Craig and Jared also got to come to the party. Craig actually slept over on Sunday night so that he would be there for the party on Monday morning. We borrowed a bounce house from a neighbor. There was a thunderstorm on Monday morning but not having the bounce house was not an option, SO I moved just enough furniture from the front room to make enough space for the bounce house. The kids LOVED IT!
 We love our little B. He is so very sweet and tender. He brings joy to my life every day. One of the things I love about him is that he thinks that he's sneaky, he will crouch down and sneak around the house. I'm sure in his mind if he's crouching then we can't see him. He's got spunk, that little B.
 Last year, while the Turner family was together at Bear Lake, B took it upon himself to make sure the family understood that we should NOT cross the tracks. It's just not safe, because a train might hit you. Two or three weeks ago I took B to the Historic Train Station here in Lehi. I was hoping to get some family pictures taken, and given that my boys LOVE TRAINS I thought taking the pictures at the train station would be fun. B told me that day that he would not cross the tracks or sit on the tracks, ever. Well, as you can see, we got the pictures taken and after only a short time there at the station, B finally started to believe us that these particular tracks are not used very often anymore.
 Today B had his 4 year old Well Child Check. He is 42 & 3/4 inches tall (3 & 1/2 feet) and 44 pounds. He's a solid kid. Lots of muscle and just enough baby fluff to make him super fun to cuddle with.  Our Pediatrician was very impressed by how well B is able to express himself. He can be a little chatterbox at times- especially if you mention trains.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I let them eat cake!

I like cake. If cake had no calories, I would eat it constantly. I bet there is cake in heaven.

So, for B's birthday he wanted a "train cake", and I knew that by "train cake" he meant Thomas. 
I also know my boy and I know that he doesn't actually eat cake very often. 99% of the time he eats the frosting off the cake and then leaves the sad, naked piece of cake alone, on the table. OH THE SHAME!
Knowing that he wouldn't want to eat the cake I made the command decision that he would have no input into the flavor of the cake. So this beautiful Thomas cake was LEMONY! Thomas's face was actually a 6 in inch paper plate, frosted with strawberry frosting ( the cupcakes for his party were frosted with this grey strawberry frosting) and after he blew out his candles I removed the plate and presented it with all it's frosting goodness to the birthday boy. He ate about 1/3rd maybe 1/2 of it, and then he was done. Happy and done. 
 Back in March, I made a DELICIOUS Chocolate Mint Pirate Cake. Chocolate Mint for me, Pirate for J. Sorry Ken, maybe I'll let you choose the birthday cake flavor next year :)
 I was quite pleased with how the pirate ship turned out. It wasn't too hard to make. Two 9x13 cakes, I'd never taken a rectangular cake out of the pan before- only round cakes, and so I was a little leery of how that whole process would go. But I think it was actually easier to get the rectangular cake out of the pan! Then I froze the cakes. Cut the appropriate corners off and a little bit out of the center of the top cake, I then popped that center piece up on the back and TA DA!  (once it's frosted) It's a ship! A delicious, delicious ship........Maybe the baby needs a chocolate mint birthday cake. 
And with that last comment, I realize that I'm going to be making another birthday cake this year! AAAAHHHH We now have a November Birthday! So I guess you'll see that post then :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

If you Give a Boy a Camera

If you give a boy a camera..........He'll want to take some pictures with it.
He'll take a picture of his bedroom.....
 Then he'll see his sister, he'll take a picture of her too. 

 He'll remember that he really likes taking pictures of his sister and he'll take SEVEN more!

Then he'll get tired. He'll lay down. He'll take some pictures of the ceiling.

 When his sister tries to take the camera away from him, he'll take some more pictures of her.
 As he's trying to get the camera away from his sister, he'll see the door mat, it's orange, he likes things that are orange. He'll take a picture of it. 
That will tire him out again, he'll lay back down and take some more pictures of the ceiling. 
 Laying on the floor will make him feel like contemplating life, the universe and everything. While he's not paying attention, his sister will try to attack him again.
 He'll take a picture of the corner of the table
 and then some more pictures of the ceiling.
 and then some more pictures of the baby.
 He'll go find his Mommy, because he remembered
she's making pizza. He likes pizza.
 Seeing the Pizza will remind him that he's thirsty. He'll get a cup, it's orange, he likes things that are orange.
He'll take a picture of it.
 After he finishes his drink, he'll remember that he has a brother. He'll go outside to find him. He'll document his journey with some more picture.
 His brother is playing with some friends.
 The friends have front steps just like ours! He'll take a picture of them. 
 The boys will get thirsty, they'll need some water.
 The water will get spilled. No one will try to clean it up. He'll take a picture of it.
 He'll see a car.
 And then he'll see his feet.
 Wait, is that a bush? He'll take six pictures of it.
 He'll start walking home. He'll document his journey.
It's a long journey. He see's his Dad! 
 He'll take a picture.
 When Dad see's him taking a picture, he'll ask for the camera back.
And chances are, when Dad asks the boy to give him the camera, he'll probably take one last picture with it.
As you can see, Little B got a hold of our camera yesterday. He had the camera for 10 minutes. His first picture was taken at 4:04 PM and the last picture was taken at 4:14. He took 85 pictures. I love that boy. He turns 4 in a couple of days- So be ready to see lots of fun Birthday Pictures (mostly taken by Ken or Me, but who knows, we might just give that cute little kid the camera and let him document his own birthday)