Sunday, May 22, 2016

May- Week 1- 10th Anniversary, McKenna's Opera, Tree Cut Down

Sunday Anna unfortunately had a bad runny nose so I stayed home from church with her.  Since our 10th Wedding Anniversary was coming up on Tuesday, and we knew we wouldn't be able to celebrate much on the actual day, we took the kids downtown for a picnic dinner on Temple Square.  We told them our love story and walked around taking a few pictures.  It was a little windy and chilly on the pedestal.  When we got home we watched our wedding video. :) 
We even went into the Tabernacle right after a CES fireside broadcast.  
Monday I did lots of laundry, vacuumed, ran errands while McKenna was at gymnastics, and did some organizing after the kids when to bed.  Typical "mom" day.  

Tuesday, our actual anniversary day, Dan took a half day off work.  And what did we do with his time off??  Weeding and yard work!  :)  So romantic.  Seriously though, the weather was great and working along side Dan is one of my favorite things to do!  I'm so grateful for these past 10 years!  I know some people say "we've had our ups and downs," but really, I can't think of any "downs."  Dan keeps me level headed and gives me way more praise and admiration than I could ever dream of!  We'll be celebrating MORE in September on a Mexican Riviera Cruise!

 Ben and Anna even played nice most of the time.  After lunch, Dan drove Ben to preschool and I went to see McKenna's class opera dress rehearsal.  It made me so excited for the real deal in a couple days.  Ben had soccer that evening.  
Cute Bethany noises.  
Wednesday was another normal day for us. We Skyped my sister, Mickelle, in the evening for her BIRTHDAY!! 

Thursday morning I got an oil change for the van and the kids played great at the dealership.  Ben didn't have regular preschool that day due to parent teacher conferences. So, we had Taggart over to play and I totally FORGOT to pick up McKenna (and other kids) from school!!!  The school didn't even call me until the time I would have normally been getting home.  And of course on the way rushing there to pick them up late I hit every red light and had to stop for TWO trains!  Those poor kids had to wait an extra 45 minutes!  The moms were sweet and understanding but the kids definitely spoke their minds. ;)  
We got home, kids had snacks, and then we had to have McKenna back to school by 5:15 for her opera!  Someone from the Utah opera came to their class in the Fall to teach the kids about all the elements of an opera.  The kids then wrote an opera themselves.  They came up with the setting, characters (McKenna was a princess), plot, words, painted the scenary and even helped write some of the melodies.     
I present to you...Mrs. Poulton's First Grade Class Opera (9mins): The Lego Castle
(The words are being projected on the screen behind them.  McKenna is sitting on the stage on the left side in front dressed as Cinderella.)  
Grandma and Grandpa were so nice to come and support!  
Aunt Pickle came too!
Some cute pictures with her friends.  
After the opera I went to a Relief Society dinner and then a camp meeting.
Friday I had a doctor's appt to get some blood work done to check my enlarged thyroid.  The girl taking my blood told me I *might* bruise.  Ya think?  
Friday night we went out for dinner and a movie (TX Roadhouse and Capt. America) for my sister's BD and had a great time!  
Saturday our awesome Bishop came over to cut down a tree of ours that had been leaning a little more than it should due to past wind storms.  He's very experienced in this area but I tell you what... He's crazy!  ;)  Here's a picture-- we estimate the tree was around 80ft.  He climbed up the fully extended 20 ft ladder, then climbed the tree the rest of the way.  He normally uses a rope to tie his hips to the tree while he uses a chain saw, but he threw down the rope because it was "getting in his way." Dan took a video and if you look closely after the top starts to break off the whole tree sways kind of a lot and Bishop has to hold on for dear life! 
What's even more miraculous is he had about a 20 ft spot to land the tree top between our patio room, house, and power lines and he DID IT!!  He is a blessed man! 
The rest of Saturday we worked on cleaning up the tree mess and cleaning out gutters. I braved the top of the roof and cleaned out the nastiness all by myself! Dan was so proud :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

April- Week 3 & 4- Bethany 9 Months, Stomach Flu, Soccer Pics, LPM Recital, Webster Girls Night

Friday, Bethany woke up with a little rash, mostly on her trunk and hair line and it seemed to bother her head more than her body.  At breakfast after eating her buttery Eggo Waffle, she tried to itch her hair and rubbed butter all over her head. Cute and slimy.  
I took this video of me itching her head and it seemed to give her some relief.  Poor thing.  I called her pediatrician and the nurse said she was too little for a Benadryl dose.  Pretty sure it was just a virus which thankfully didn't last long.    

After washing the butter out of her hair, we had a little photo shoot because she turned 9 months!!
Bethany's 9 Month Stats
Height: 26.2in (1.2in increase in 3 months) 8th percentile
Weight: 15lbs 4oz (3lb increase in 3 months) 8th percentile 
Head: 45th percentile
Milestones since her 6 month check up in January:
  • Cry hard when mom walks away.
  • Still a very chill baby.  
  • First time on airplane!
  • First time to Disneyland! The only thing that seemed to please or excite you were the fireworks.  First time trying crackers.
  • Tried and loved refried beans.  
  • Tried and loved Ramen noodles.
  • Slept through the night 24/28 days.
  • Eating solid foods now three times a day in addition to nursing.
  • 9th- Dropped a nursing (now down to 5 feedings a day).
  • 15th- Turn when we call her name.
  • Cries so hard she gags herself.
  • 26th- Starting to get distracted while nursing.
  • 29th- Got 2nd flu shot booster.
  • Slept through the night 30 out of 31 days! 
  • Mom started trying to teach baby signs.
  • Finally sit well on her own.  
  • 8th- Stopped swaddling arms... then later stopped swaddling all together.
  • 8th- Started clapping!
  • 15th- Started turning 180* in her crib.
  • 17th- Rolled from back to tummy.
  • 18th- Fed herself an Eggo Waffle (I didn't realize how little I had let her feed herself).
  • 20th- Fake coughing/imitate others' coughing.
  • Likes to flap arms.
  • 24th- first runny nose and fever
  • 28th- First trip to St. George and hiking at Zion's. 
  • 29th- Dropped to 4 nursing feedings a day.
  • Found sleeping on her side a lot.
  • 6th- First bath in big bath tub.
  • Clap on command.
  • Found sleeping on her tummy.
  • 15th- First rash on trunk and hair line.  Mysterious quick virus.  
  • No teeth yet... but so close.  
Saturday we did yard work and then went swimming at the rec center in the afternoon.
Sunday chill session.  Ben playing N64 while Dan and Anna nap.  So many cute cheeks in this picture! 
That evening we went for a walk around the Bountiful temple.  
Monday was all about clothing.  I did laundry, mended and patched holes, and stain treated a bunch of things.  I also went through some of the kids' clothes to put away stuff that's too small and get out shorts and t-shirts for Summer.  
Anna was pretty stoked I found these princess slippers.  Good thing I found them when I did... her chubby feet barely fit them.  
She was also pretty stoked about this faux fur vest and heart belt.  Such a fashionista! 
Tuesday Bethany had her 9 month check up.  After the doctors we had lunch at Dan's office! 
Unfortunately, that night after Ben's soccer game, McKenna threw up a couple of times.  
Wednesday, McKenna stayed home from school.  Dan went to a work conference in Midway at the Zermatt resort.  In the past, we've gotten a babysitter and I've gone with him, but we couldn't swing it this year.  Turns out he had the biggest and nicest room he's ever had...bummer!
I did some weeding in the afternoon and Ben went to play at Henry's.  

Dan returned home on Thursday around dinner time, just as Anna started throwing up.  
Friday I woke up with the stomach virus as well.  Dan was thankfully able to stay home for half the day.  He took Anna and Ben to run an errand while I rested. Because Anna had a rough night throwing up, she needed a nap and snuggled up to me when they got home.  
By Friday evening we were all feeling better and well enough go for Hokulia's opening day!  Yumm!  So excited for the Summer! Both McKenna and Ben were excited, running around, and fell and got skinned knees.  :(
Also, unfortunately, that night Ben got the stomach virus.  But miracle of all miracles he MADE it to the toilet!  I'm so thankful I didn't have to clean up bright RED tiger's blood throw-up off the carpet. 

Saturday morning we found throw-up in Bethany's crib, but we hadn't heard a peep from her all night.   So grateful for that.  We mostly spent the day cleaning, doing yard work, and grocery shopping.   And Saturday night Dan got the stomach virus and had to miss church the next day.  We were 6 out of 6 sick with that virus.  No fun! 

Sunday was a chill day after I took all the kids to church.  We played games as a family in the evening.  

Monday I went on a little run back and forth between our two neighbors houses so the kids could play outside and Bethany could nap at home.  Taggart came over to play with Ben in the afternoon.  
Bethany had a fun time playing the piano. 

Tuesday Dan and I took turns getting our teeth cleaned at the dentist then I ran a few errands.  That evening Ben had his soccer team pictures and it was a little chilly that night.  
Ben loves kicking off.  
Wednesday Ben and Anna had friends over to play.  I took this picture of Bethany because she looked so cozy and made me want to spoon up to her.  :)
"Why do I need all these toys mom? I just like the basket."  
Thursday we had one of Anna's friend over and I painted their cute little fingernails.  That evening we attended the Cub Scouts' Blue and Gold Banquet, 

Friday I went to the eye doctor for my first prescription update in 5 years.  Turns out my glasses have been over correcting so a change will be welcomed!  Dan did yard work in the evening.  
Saturday I went running in the morning, then gave Dan a haircut before he went to a funeral of a ward member. 
In the afternoon we went to McKenna and Ben's Let's Play Music Recital.  McKenna completed the three year program and Ben finished his 1st year. I've really loved this program and been very impressed with how much McKenna has learned.  
Check out all their songs:
We love Ms. Geri!  And McKenna was lucky enough too to take the class with three of the Stewart cousins.  
That evening we had a Webster girls night/mommy meeting.  We got pedicures then went out to eat.  I love these ladies and I greatly value their opinions and perspectives!  We missed Laurie and Pidi.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

April-Week 2- Park/Flying Kites, Concrete Removal, Ben Soccer, 1st Try Potty Training

Friday we went to the park with some ward friends (Alexanders and Behunins), then we went to Ladies Lunch.  Dan and I went on a date that evening to dinner at Chile Amor and then to do initiatories at the temple.  
Saturday I took McKenna to open gym for gymnastics while Dan got started on loading and hauling away all the broken concrete from our backyard.  He had some excellent helpers too, Nic and Schaefer Paulson and Jagger and Jeramie West.  They worked from 9am-2pm.  It ended up being two loads to the dump weighing 3.5 TONS!!  While Dan was working, I took the kids to the park with Swa and her kids.  It was quite breezy so we brought our kites and the kids loved it! 
This little one hung out in the stroller.  
This was what the yard looked like after everything was done being hauled away.  
Later that afternoon I took Bethany grocery shopping and let her sit in the front like a big girl.  Her sitting up balance maybe wasn't quite ready yet for moving seats, but I helped her out a little. ;) 
Sunday we celebrated the Webster April BDs.  The kids played a little peek-a-boo with Bethany.  
Monday I went visiting teaching and Taggart came over to play with Ben.  They loved winding each other up in the swing and then letting go while it untwisted.  
Monday evening we attended the Nelson Family BD party for April BDs.  
Tuesday we had another fun morning at the park with friends.  This time with Jacquie Cloud and Laura Lewis.  Tuesday evening Ben had his first SOCCER practice and game! It was beautiful weather and he had a lot of fun.  One of his best friends, Henry Alexander is on the same team too.  The coach is a little too quiet in my opinion, but that doesn't make me want to volunteer though. ;)  

Wednesday was a PJ day for me.  Also, when I gave Anna a morning hug and patted her bum, I felt that her diaper was pretty dry, so I asked if she wanted to go pee pee on the potty.  She of course said no, but Ben went down stairs and got the little potty chair.  I thought she might like that more than the regular potty because she's scared she's going to fall in.  She sat on it off and on any times, but was never successful.  After three pee accidents all before lunch, she was back in diapers.  Not a huge deal...just a good little experiment.  It helped give me a little taste of what I need to keep my cool as well.  
Thursday I went visiting teaching, I had a camp meeting in the evening and Dan helped Sam move some Hokulia trailers.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April- Week 1- Kids' Dentist, Mission Reunion,Gen. Conf., Anna Sings ABCs, "Be There," Backyard Concrete

Friday, April 1, the kids had dentist appointments with a new dentist (due to insurance changes).  They absolutely LOVED this new office!  It's pretty much a "dog and pony" show, but that's exactly what kids want, right?!  They each received superhero (Molar Man) capes for knowing a special code word. While there, the kids practiced brushing a stuffed monkey's teeth, followed a checklist throughout the appointment, watched screens on the ceiling showing a movie, and the hygienist's enthusiasm was a little over the top for my liking.  They each had no cavities and got a goodie bag with a sample toothpaste, kid flossers, a super hero trading card, and a new toothbrush.  They also got a balloon and prize from a prize box.  But that's not all...I even got a $5 gift card for tagging their office in an Instagram post.  See? Total Dog and Pony show!  Good times though.  The kids keep asking when we can go back?!?  Success!  
Anna didn't have an official appointment but the dentist was nice enough to look at her front teeth from her fall and said we definitely needed an x-ray.  He said we dodged a bullet!  The x-ray showed no broken roots!  He said the antibiotic she was on for pneumonia was also good to help prevent an abscess from forming on her gums, but we also needed to be doing an antibiotic mouth rinse (swab it over her gums).  
Friday evening we attended a mission reunion for Dan.  My sister babysat the older three and we took Bethany with us.  We went out to dinner beforehand with Scott and Kelli Moulton, who came down from Burley, Idaho.  The reunion was celebrating 40 years of the Canada Winnipeg mission being established.  Here's some who attended the reunion from Dan's mission (July 2001-2003).  
All of the mission presidents in attendance, including President Clove, gave a few words.  His closing message was something he said he spoke of often during the mission.  "If you're only sort of obedient, you only sort of get the blessings." The evening brought back many great memories of his mission and serving with such great people.
Saturday was the start of General Conference.  The kids did great playing conference bingo and mostly listened for the first session.  
In between sessions we stepped outside for some fresh air and Dan's parents and Jake and Ailin and fam were out for a walk.  
Saturday afternoon Dan worked out in the yard.  He's been breaking up concrete so we can add some more grass to our back yard.  
Saturday night Dan was able to attend the Priesthood session of Conference IN the Conference Center with his dad and all but one brother.  We had our traditional soup, salad and donuts afterwards.
Sunday during Conference we worked on a decluttering project we did for the whole month of March.  Every day we collected the number of items that matched the date...1 item on March 1st, 2 items on March 2nd, 3 items on March 3rd... and so on.  During the morning session of Conference we sorted items into 6 groups: clothing, garbage, miscellaneous, toys/books, jewelry/hairbows, and kitchen items.  
It felt so good to get rid of all these things!  Some items were no brainers to get rid of, but some were more difficult to part with.  In the end I was pretty darn proud of myself.  I found the most difficult thing was to find TIME to sort through my house's drawers and cupboards.  Almost 500 items in all! Totally rewarding to dejunk our home like this!

Sunday evening we went to Dan's parents' house for the General Conference recap with the Nelson side of the family.  It's wonderful to hear how conference is always an inspiring and uplifting time for so many.  However, I learned something about myself this time around.  DURING conference, I feel like I don't get as much out of the weekend as I always think I'm going to.  Due to having small children who have many needs and often interrupt watching General Conference, I really need to be patient and use my time wisely to study the talks AFTER conference is over.  I'm grateful for the ability I have to listen to these talks at my convenience when the kids are taken care of.  

Monday evening we had a sweet family home evening.  Ben wanted the lesson to be about resurrection.  I asked Ben to tell us what he knew about resurrection.  He briefly told us about the Easter story then wanted to share his testimony.  I used the moment to remind him what a testimony was and we proceeded to give a very sweet and perfect 5 year old testimony.  No fluff, stories, or extra stuff. McKenna then bore her testimony and even referred to a General Conference talk.  We then watched a quick video about Jesus being risen and the Spirit was strong.  I felt a distinct impression about how strong the rising generation is and will be.  I'm so grateful for their example to me!

Anna singing ABCs

Tuesday I went to Ben's preschool "be there" activity.  They did science experiments and learned a lot about mixing colors.  
McKenna got back her Spring school pictures.  Never mind that she looks so grown up! 
Thursday I took a little walk around the neighborhood with the kids.  Dan had to go to the dentist because he had a tooth crack during lunch a couple days earlier. 
We started finding Bethany sleeping on her side more and more.  I just hate having to wake up this little angel to drive carpool...such is the life of the fourth child I guess.  
Thursday evening, the weather was so nice that we did some yard work.  Dan let me have a go at knocking out the fence posts in the back.  That ax/sledgehammer was so stinkin' heavy I could hardly lift it, let alone swing it. ;) 
Try not to laugh too hard. :)