April… snow?!?!?

So here it is, the 29th of April.

And outside, it is snowing.

4/29/17

We haven’t gotten a lot snow this winter. But now that its firmly spring and we’ve been enjoying the warm weather… NOW it decides to snow. We’ve been cooped up in the house most of the day (aside from a jaunt to the grocery store), which is never fun with toddlers who like to go places and do things. Jordan took the kids outside to make snow angels for a while, which they really enjoyed.

But it just doesn’t seem right to be looking through the last two weeks of photos on my phone and see all this nice weather when outside we’ve got about 8 inches!

Most of our days have looked more like this:

4/25/17

Empty garden beds ONLY because we KNEW we’d get a snow curve ball sooner or later. Seems to always happen. Maybe this time, we won’t have one on Mother’s Day that ruins all the tomatoes that I plan to plant (in the currently empty flower beds).

4/28/17

Jaylee insisted I take the above picture.

This little guy turned 6 months this last Thursday:

Aurora / CO / United States - 4/27/17

Its hard to believe he’s already been here half a year. Though I can’t imagine life without him. Its also strange since we didn’t know we were having a boy. But now that I get to dress him in all of Jax’s old outfits (like the one above), I can’t imagine anything else!

4/27/17

Jaylee and Jace have a special relationship – she loves him and he adores her. In fact, he thinks both of his siblings are pretty funny, but Jaylee will ham it up specifically for him. Jax is less interested in being the entertainment, though he loves his baby brother in his own special way.

4/19/17

Jace has been the worst sleeper of all my babies. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t get a “normal” nap schedule, since he gets dragged around to the various family activities. But its also about the time that we sleep trained both Jaylee and Jax. I probably need to do it with him as well, but I need to wait until school is out so I can commit to getting him his proper nap times. In the meantime, this is what he looks like at 10pm.

4/24/17

This definitely contributes to my feeling of exhaustion. I brought him into bed with Jordan and I last night, and I felt so wonderful because he slept for 4 straight hours (which meant that I also slept for 4 straight hours). Of course, I woke up sore from sleeping uncomfortably. But it was a really long stretch of sleep for me. It makes these days really hard – getting no sleep. I work from kid-up to way past kid-down with no real breaks (except for SOMETIMES, when I get to use the restroom alone). Teaching is 100% on all of the time, and so is mothering. Not to mention cooking, cleaning, keeping the budget, fighting the laundry, washing diapers… If I blow off all of my responsibilities, then I can be “done” at 8:30pm. If not, then its more like 9:30pm. I just don’t really get any rest, and its not real great for my mental health.

4/23/17

I know this is just a season, and there are some wonderful parts to it. This evening, I took a 20 minute break from the housework and sat on the floor to play marbles with Jax and Jace. It was so nice. I want more time like that, and less time like the 2 hours I spent today doing laundry.

4/20/17

But its not really like I can blow off the housework (or grading papers or emails or cooking/planning or budgeted or etc etc) – it doesn’t disappear. It just piles up and hangs over my head like a dark cloud. I’m hopeful that this summer will be better, because the teaching work will decrease significantly (though not totally disappear – we’re getting new math curriculum next year). Maybe THEN I’ll figure out how to balance all of this.

4/21/17

For now, I’m doing the best that I can. Like bringing all three of them into Jace’s room with me while I hang up his clean clothes.

4/28/17

I took this picture because it struck me that all three of my babies have slept in this crib, even though those older two dwarf the bed now. And there’s only a 4 year difference between the biggest one and the smallest one. These times really do go fast, and I want to be able to savor the sweet moments. Instead, I just feel like a Debbie Downer right now.

Anyway.

Jaylee and Jax are in a 6-week running series. This past week was the first one.

4/23/17

Jax was kinda in a mood, and seemed really overwhelmed by all the kids and adults around. And since he raced first, he didn’t get to see Jaylee do it. So he was whiny until the horn went off and all the little boys took off. He ran with the pack for about 5 seconds until he realized I wasn’t running behind him. When he saw that, he stopped immediately and started crying. I ran up to him and tried to encourage him to keep going, but he wasn’t having it. Jordan came and helped him run the rest of the way, but Jax was crying for the next 20 minutes or so.

4/23/17

Until he got his post-race banana, anyway.

Jaylee feeds off of other kids’ emotions. So she was unhappy at the start, but did well during the race. But then when she was in line at the end so they could grab her tag number, she started crying again because “Jax is so sad” (even though he wasn’t around).

They go for week 2 of the series tomorrow (assuming the snow has melted from the field). So hopefully this second round will be a better experience. If Jax hadn’t gotten overwhelmed, I think they would’ve had a fun time. I guess time will tell. Either way, I’m proud of Jax for finishing the race, and of Jaylee for running so well.

Till next time!

Posted in Family Fun, Jace, Jaxton, Jaylee, Motherhood, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Easter!

Monday at work, I asked one of my coworkers if he’d had a good Easter. He replied that he’d had a good weekend, but he was Jewish so he doesn’t celebrate Easter. I then said happy passover, and we had a nice sacrilegious discussion about peeps and the land of milk and honey and all that. It was funny.

But around here, we had a pretty good Easter.

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It was this little guy’s first Easter. Which meant lots of photos, of course.

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Though lots of photos is pretty much standard anyway.

So let’s see. We had 3 different egg hunt events. The first one was at our church. They have a fun spring/Easter festival every year in the morning, which works out well for our nap times.

They blow up bounce houses and have a bunch of different stations where you go to complete various activities. One of my favorites is the photo booth where you choose some props, take 4 photos, and they print you out a strip. This is the second year we’ve done it, and we laughed when we got home and compared our photos: Jordan chose the SAME hat this year as he did last year. Apparently his taste hasn’t changed.

4/15/17

We’ve gotten more involved with our church over the course of this year, so these events have gotten even more fun since we know more people. Our church does something pretty interesting too – the egg hunt is at your own pace. All the eggs are spread out in the field, but they’re all empty. So kids can go out and gather as many eggs as they want, and then they bring them back and trade in the empty eggs for the candy. Jaylee loves this, because she can collect as many eggs as she wants without competition.

Jax is a gather-and-open-immediately kind of kid. So he gathered a couple eggs, but since every one he opened was empty – he stopped gathering pretty quickly. He was plenty happy to trade in his eggs for candy though.

Even baby Jace “got” an egg. He’s getting pretty close to being able to sit on his own. He can do it physically, but doesn’t have the sense of balance to stay upright for very long. So photos like the one above are snapped pretty quickly. It won’t be long before he’s sitting on his own.

After the first Easter party, we came home and took quick rest periods. Then it was off to another Easter party at the church where Jordan and I met and were married (and where his dad still works). In some ways, it still feels like my home church since both of our families attended/were on staff there. But so much has changed since then, and we decided we wanted to attend closer to our home.

Anyway, its fun to go back.

4/15/17

We went to this one with my mom and my mother-in-law. Which was really helpful, since Jax fell asleep in the car.

4/15/17

Apparently the sugar crash combined with the relaxing car ride knocked him out. He woke up eventually and joined in the festivities. I’m actually really glad we were there – usually he’s a BEAR when he wakes up from a nap. But when you wake up to jumping castles and carnival games, your attitude gets adjusted pretty quickly.

The kids looked so cute in their matching egg-hunting outfits. Poor Jax’s pants were too big, so he was having a hard time with them falling down. But somehow, that didn’t stop him from grabbing lots of eggs during the hunt.

And these eggs weren’t empty, so he’s was totally into it. Even storing the suckers in his shirt pocket.

Jaylee listens to EVERYTHING that is going on. The pastor was telling jokes, one of which asked something along the lines of “Why was the Easter bunny sad? – Because he was having a bad HARE day”. Her look of concern was for the poor Easter bunny, because he was having a bad day. 🙂 She didn’t get the joke obviously, but it made me realize that she was actually listening to what was being said through the microphone – even though there was a lot of noise and other conversations going on. It was pretty cute.

Jace got an egg or two at this hunt as well. But mostly, he hung out on my mom’s hips and watched all the commotion with his huge brown eyes.

Its crazy to think that this time next year, he’ll be toddling out there with all the other babies to pick up eggs at a very leisurely pace. I don’t know – in some ways this season of babyhood has dragged by (like at night). But in other ways, I just can’t believe he’s already so close to sitting on his own. The old motherhood conundrum that matched my favorite saying about motherhood: The days are long, but the years are short.

After all that Easter fun, we walked to the park as a family and had some pizza in our nice egg hunt clothes. It was a good, but tiring day. All the kids fell asleep pretty much instantly that evening.

4/15/17

The actual day of Easter was fun too. The kids opened their Easter baskets and played with their new toys. Then we went to church in the morning, in our nice Easter clothes of course.

Centennial / CO / United States - 4/16/17

Then we came home and hung out as a family for a couple hours. We were still pretty wiped out from the day before, but that didn’t stop us from playing in the sand and trying out the new egg-shaped chalk (courtesy of Aunt Chelsea).

Then we headed over to my parents’ house for our usual Sunday family time. But this time, with bonus Easter activities. Like egg painting.

And ANOTHER egg hunt.

4/16/17

And MORE egg coloring.

I do love these wonderful family times. The kids love playing with their cousin, Jaina. And I enjoy having all the reinforcements to help keep the kids happy. We’re lucky enough to be related to some pretty cool people.

4/16/17

When Jordan and I were first married, we wanted to make a couple of our own traditions. One of the ones we started was to ditch the traditional Easter ham, and do a nice cajun crab boil instead. When we moved back to Colorado, my mom started to do the crab boil Easter dinner too. Its fun to all gather around the table and dig into a huge pile of shrimp, crab, corn, sausage, and those lonely forgotten potatoes.

4/16/17

Especially when my dad gets out his drone to function as the selfie stick for the family portrait, and everybody has to stare into the sun to take a photo.

4/16/17

Overall, it was a gorgeous and wonderful weekend. We had a ton of fun, and we’ve got enough candy to last us for a couple weeks (as long as it stays hidden).

So what else has been going on lately. Lets see – Jaylee’s BFF had a unicorn-themed birthday party.

4/2/17

And there were even real-live unicorns to ride! Both of the kids got to take two rides up and down the block – giggling the whole time. The party was a blast overall.

And funny story – we didn’t put a card in our present and had to leave before presents were opened. But apparently Jaylee had already told her BFF what we’d bought for her birthday. And when the gift was opened, Bella knew EXACTLY who it was from despite the lack of card. Her mom texted me to say thanks, and I laughed. Even though we’d discussed it, Jaylee still gave away the surprise because she was just too excited to tell her friend about the cool Moana legos.

4/2/17

Both Jaylee and Jax got haircuts – the first professional one for Jax. I’ve cut his hair myself, but I only know how to buzz it with the razor. I didn’t want it cut that short this time, so we went to a professional.

4/1/17

Other than that, life has resumed a relatively normal pace here after the luxury of spring break ended.

4/13/17

We went a visited an old house in our area from the 1820’s that used to serve as a boarding house, a ranch, and a farm. Its been on my mind a lot – how lonely it would’ve been back then with no one else around for at least 17 miles.

Jace got to wear one of his daddy’s old outfits, which was SUPER cute. Crazy to think this little outfit is 30 years old. He looks super stylish, like my little sailor boy.

4/7/17

He’s also reached the age of sink baths and pureed foods. He spent a long time not be interested in food – but has recently decided that it seems to be a good deal. So he gets to try pretty much anything we are eating (mashed up, of course). Of the baby-food lot, carrots and sweet potatoes seem to be his favorites so far. And of course, all these foods mean that sink baths are a necessity.

Its a pretty good season of life right now.

4/17/17

And soon, it’ll be summer! Only 26 days of School left for me! And something like that for Jaylee. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed pace, though definitely not the HOT weather. Spring has been just lovely.

Until next time. I hope everyone had a happy Easter (or passover or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate). 🙂

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Posted in Extended Family, Family Fun, Holidays, Jace, Jaxton, Jaylee, Motherhood | Leave a comment

Spring Break!

Well, it’s been two weeks again. I guess I’m at a point where I’m writing bi-weekly these days. 🙂 That’s ok. Perfect isn’t exactly the standard around here.

Its been nice and warm spring weather for us. This means lots of time outside for the kiddos.

3/21/17

Jaxton in particular LOVES to be outside, and will happily play in the backyard by himself for quite a while. He enjoys making messes and digging in the dirt. Jaylee has been really into Moana, so she’s been enjoying wearing her dress, finding an oar (broken rake handle), and sailing beyond the reef on her table/boat.

3/29/17

Of course, Maui comes too sometimes.

3/29/17

We’ve also walked over to the elementary school playground once to play on their equipment. Jaylee enjoyed getting to play on parts of the playground that she usually doesn’t get to touch (because its for the “big kids”). She liked getting to show off her school and tell us all the rules of the playground. Of course, we broke most of them. But we discussed how rules are different when mommy and daddy are around, as opposed to the rules the teachers need to enforce.

This little guy turned 5 months old.

3/27/17

I don’t know why, but it just suddenly struck me that he really is getting bigger. Mind you, he’s still not sleeping through the night. Not even close! But he’s also had chest congestion for the last two weeks. Still, its hard to believe that he’s almost 6 months old. It feels like we JUST found out we were pregnant. Sometimes I still haven’t gotten used to the idea that we’re having a 3rd child, not to mention that he’s already here. But I love him so much, and can’t imagine life without him now. He’s my last baby, and I’m trying to soak him up as much as possible. Even in the middle of the night.

Jaylee is on spring break for two weeks (!). She LOVES school, so this is actually a negative for her. She has to go back to taking rest time (when she normally goes to school) while the boys and mom try to nap. She handles it ok, but she hasn’t needed to nap in almost 3 years. So she stays in her room and watches her iPad and plays with her toys. It works ok, but school is better, of course. We had her BFF Bella over to play once this week, and that was wonderful for her. Those girls play together so well. I wish we could have her over more often, but the school schedules don’t often allow for that. And next year, both girls will be in kindergarten!

3/18/17

Jax has been his usual crazy self. We got the final bills for his hand surgery to remove the piece of glass. All in all, we’ll be paying $1100 for that little accident. I’m sure that’s only the beginning of the crazy doctors bills that boy will gather during his childhood. He’s just a walking accident. But at least he’s an adorable one.

We did a couple fun things for Spring Break. We went to Little Monkey Business with my sister and my niece. That was a good time of running around and being crazy on (relatively) safe surfaces. We also enjoyed the art room, where Jaylee painted a mural of everyone holding the Heart of Te Fiti.

We also visited the natural history museum. Jax had a great time playing in the water, as usual. But this time he was particularly interested in this contraption that you build to direct the flow of the water. He would stick the pipes on and off and watch where the water went. I enjoyed seeing his brain work – learning in progress!

3/30/17

Jaylee always enjoys the programming they have for the toddler/preschool set. Leaders come and lead a quick 15 minute little program about some sort of science-y thing. This time around, they explored animal tracks around a pond and thought about the different ways that animals walk. Then in her second one of the day, they invented dances to match the seasons (fall, spring, etc). The museum used photos of the seasons from their diorama area, and Jaylee enjoyed identifying the seasons scenes when we came across them later.

They both enjoyed playing with the light-brite. And on the way out, we took our picture in the viking long boat. Jax declined to be in the picture, but baby Jace got to be in it! What’s funny is that the only way I could get Jaylee out of her Moana dress this day was to tell her we were going to the “dinosaur museum”. And as soon as we got home? She needed it back on. 🙂

3/30/17

I love that we have a museum membership there. Its so nice to be able to go for a couple hours and have some fun/learn some stuff. And since we can go anytime, we don’t feel like we have to get our “money’s worth” with every visit. It makes it nice and relaxed. If we don’t see something, we’ll just catch it next time. Thanks for the membership, grandma!

3/30/17

We also went to the Children’s Museum. One of the things they offer are various little classes/workshops for kids and their parents. A while back, I had received some marketing material about the various classes and saw that there was one all about ladybugs. Jaylee LOVES ladybugs (or ladybirds, as they’re called on Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom). So she and her daddy went to that today.

Denver / CO / United States - 4/1/17

They built a house for the ladybug, painted a mama rock for the ladybug, and got their very own ladybugs to bring home in their houses. Jaylee’s is named Rosie.

Jax was too young for the workshop, but we went and had fun while the class was in session. And afterwards, Jordan gave Jax his ladybug – Chrysanthemum. He was upset at first that he didn’t get to be in the class, but he got over it fairly quickly when he realized he got to be the boss of what exhibits we went to play at.

We also met Jessie, Bucky, and Jaina at the museum. They have a membership there as well, so we got to hang out with them for a little while. Jaina particularly liked to dance when I would make it rain. So it rained a lot. 🙂

4/1/17

4/1/17

This is another place where I am EXTREMELY THANKFUL that we have a membership. When we got there, there was a huge line of people waiting to pay for their admission. And we got to go through the “members-only” checkout, where they scanned my card and let us in. Its just so nice to have a free and totally awesome place to go play.

Denver / CO / United States - 4/1/17

The classes are a nice feature too, even though our kids are generally too young for them. But now that Jaylee is getting older, there’s a couple she’s the right age for. We’ll probably do another one sometime soon.

4/1/17

Baby Jace is such a trooper. He hangs out in the carrier and watches everything that’s going on until he falls asleep. I adore it when he sleeps in the carrier – its constant snuggles and kisses. He’s such a sweet, happy baby. Anytime I take him out to change his diaper or feed him or let him touch something, he takes the opportunity to smile at everyone around. And nobody can resist his wonderful smile. Its just the sweetest.

Spring break wraps up this weekend and its back to the normal grind. I really needed this break, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. 8 more weeks of school till summer break!

3/31/17

 

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Wait, two weeks?

Wow. Two weeks have passed since my last post. That’s crazy. On one side, these last two weeks have felts months long. On the other side, its still hard to believe that two weeks have passed.

We went to JC Penny to get some family portraits done today. We were really after only one specific photo:

We have this photo with each of our children and their daddy. Jaylee, Jax, and now our last baby Jace. And this one is extra special to me because Jace is wearing an outfit that was a hand-me-down from his cousin Trek.

But of course, we got some other family shots too. Because if we’re going to put in all the work to get to the studio with everyone dressed and bribed (with candy), then we might as well get several good shots.

I do like these studio photo sessions, though I think I prefer the images we get biannually with our friends the Irons. Those photo sessions seem to be less stressful for me. And they’re more casual, while these seem more formal. I suppose they’re both good – just different. Either way, I love having professional photos of my kiddos. My house wall of fame of photos is getting super full and has begun migrating up the stairway. Good thing we just finished the basement, where I can start a whole new wall of fame. 🙂

I finished my masters degree back in December, but my diploma only arrived in the last two weeks. My wonderful mom-in-law bought me a beautiful frame so that I can hang it on the wall next to our other diplomas. I see it every time I walk up the stairs, and it reminds me of a stressful and busy time when I was able to push through despite having a ton of obstacles (see: baby Jace).

Jaylee and I went to see a middle school production of Cinderella with my mom and my sister. It wasn’t the disney Cinderella, but Jaylee had a ton of fun. She fell asleep in the car on the ride home from the huge emotional high. And she did really well! (Though, to be fair, a middle school musical production is a pretty low-risk environment to take a 4 year old).

This past week was the best (teaching) holiday of the year – Pi day! My teammates and I did a fun day where kids got to go around and work on stations of their choosing that were all related to pi. I seriously work with the best team ever – they planned pretty much all of it and just sent me my list of tasks to do. Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute more when my kids are a little older and I don’t have to leave the building so quickly after I’m off. I got to decorate my classroom with some memes shared by my sister-in-law Kimbre (also a math teacher).

Speaking of Jay, he had a moment of fame this week. I was watching my favorite streamer while nursing Jace this week, and captured this moment.

That’s Jay (Ptah) playing with my favorite HOTs player, Grubby. I didn’t get to watch the whole game since I had to go pick up Jaylee from school. But it was fun to catch that little moment. This game has been such a life-saver for us. Jordan and I (and Jess, Bucky, Jay, our friend Floj) get to play this a couple evenings a week. Its a nice, free way for us all to hang out and play together even though we’re spread out among different houses (with sleeping babies) and different states. I don’t get to play very often right now, but one day my babies won’t need me quite so much and then I’ll be able to play as often as Jordan does. Assuming we’re still into the game. But that’s just part of life, I suppose.

And overall, life is pretty good right now. It generally doesn’t take much to make these babies happy.

Garbage trucks are a crowd pleaser

And Jace is growing up right before our eyes. It seems like he was just born, but he tried his first solid food this week (he wasn’t a fan).

Jax seems like such a big kid some days. And then other days, he looks like he’s still my little baby.

We sure are blessed.

Posted in Jace, Jaxton, Jaylee, teaching | 1 Comment

Rough Week

So we’re officially into the 4-month growth spurt/sleep regression/nonsense.

2/27/17

On one hand, this is one of my favorite ages. Jace is super smily and has started to really belly laugh – usually at his siblings. He loves to pull his legs up to his chest and try to remove socks from his feet, and can someone use these moves to spin himself 180 degrees from where you lay him. He’s not rolling over yet, but he does enjoy sitting in his high chair while we eat a meal and grabbing at things on the table in front of him. He also has discovered that my watch is in easy reach while I’m carrying him, and he is constantly changing the settings.

2/26/17

But on the flip side, he doesn’t sleep. Like, at all. Naps are a challenge, and he’s up every hour at night. All the old tricks that used to comfort him aren’t good enough anymore. And to top it all off, he had to get another round of shots at his four-month appointment. So its been a rough couple of days around here. I pretty much lost my mind yesterday because Jordan was having illness issues, the kids were all crazy, and I hadn’t slept more than 2 or 3 hours at night. I couldn’t get Jace to stop crying, and I ended up just getting in the van and driving. I can’t just let things drop off my plate, because it doesn’t actually go away – only builds (like the pile of 1.5 week old unit tests sitting next to me that need grading). A full night of sleep would do me wonders, but I haven’t had one of those since October. This four-month thing is a season, but its a dang hard one. While also beautiful in its own ways.

3/5/17

I’m only three weeks away from Spring Break. So if I can hunker down and bear it, there is a warmer season on the horizon. But its a challenge for sure.

2/26/17

Apparently the entire Peppa family also wanted to watch cartoons on the iPad.

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The Basement is Finished!

So this is my current view:

2/25/17

That may not look exciting to you, but it is thrilling to Jordan and I. Our basement is finally finished! So I get to sit on the couch in front of the (electric) fireplace to write my journal entry for the week. We’re pumped that its done. Most night, you can find us down here in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed. In fact, the wifi down here was named after our evening video game shenanigans. 🙂

2/20/17

Technically we still need to finish installing the shower door in the bathroom. But we’ve already begun spending time down here. The kids have a super fun little clubhouse they can run laps through. And all their toys are stored in there as well. We’re loving the addition of this new living space. It makes our house much more comfortable long-term for us. From concrete walls to finished took about 5 weeks. But it was totally worth it.

In other news, Jax had surgery this week.

2/24/17

Back in November, I took all three kids out by myself for the first time to meet some friends at a playground. Jax and Jaylee were playing while baby Jace slept in the carrier and I talked to my mom friends. And then suddenly, Jax came walking up to me holding out his hand covered in blood. He wasn’t crying or anything, just held it out to me for cleaning and a bandaid. So I did just that. But apparently I didn’t clean it well enough, as there was a foreign object underneath that his skin eventually healed over.

2/24/17

The morning of

It was so deep down that we had to take him to a specialist to see if they wanted to remove it or not. They said because of its location in his palm, and the fact that it continued to grow in size, we needed to get it removed because it would affect his fine motor development. So we took him to have it surgically removed this past Friday at 8am all the way across town.

Turns out, it was a piece of glass.

2/24/17

The hospital was great. They had a green tractor sitting on the bed when we arrived, which Jax immediately started playing with. And they came in and answered all our questions while he played on the bed. When it was time to wheel him away, they let him keep the tractor with him. The doctor who came out to tell us the results said Jax was the best behaved 2 year old he’d ever worked on – accepted the anesthesia like a champ, followed all the instructions, and went right to sleep. I was glad to hear that he wasn’t scared when they took him away – I certainly didn’t feel happy about it. But all is well now. It should close up and be just fine.

After the surgery

After the surgery

A cute moment – they gave Jax an orange popsicle in a cup to eat after the surgery was over. He hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since dinner the night before, so he was very hungry. After he finished the popsicle, he said “I need a pink” (popsicle). So we knew he was starting to feel more like himself. 🙂

There were a couple other fun events this week. My mom’s birthday was this past Saturday, and my dad arranged for us all to be at her house to surprise her when they got home from church. That was fun.

2/18/17

And the weather has been unseasonably warm and dry. So we’ve been able to play at the park, which is always a fun time. Jace likes to fall asleep in the carrier, and I get to enjoy the baby cuddles while the other two run their energy out.

2/21/17

2/21/17

2/21/17

There’s been a fair amount of playing with toys and drawing pictures, on faces as well as on paper. Jax also decided to go enjoy a nice mouthful of sand from his sand box.

2/20/17

2/20/17

2/21/17

2/20/17

Today has been quite exhausting, as we had a lot of cleaning to do around the house. Luckily, we have the budget now to be able to afford a housekeeping service. We got several bids, and found a person who I think is going to work really well for us. I’m really excited to have some help in the housekeeping area, as I feel like I can’t keep up with the messes that form around here! I want to be able to enjoy my kids, not spend all my weekends cleaning. So ideally this was the last weekend when I’ll have to do that.

There was a little extra pressure today because we had to make a trip to IKEA.

2/25/17

But we were also having a bunch of friends over for dinner and games in the evening. Luckily, these are great friends. Because we didn’t have time to really get the house presentable. But these people (thankfully) don’t judge us on our dirt. So I was able to let go of the need to have a clean house and just enjoy the madness around us.

2/25/17

There were 7 adults and 8.5 kids running around the house. It was fantastic. I love being able to invite people over to our home for a meal, lots of playing and screaming, and some fun watching parts of Planet Earth II and a live stream of some giraffe about to give birth. It was a good time.

I love this life!

Posted in Family Fun, Jace, Jaxton, Jaylee | Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Its been an eventful week around here.

2/18/17

Our basement is ALMOST finished. Carpet was installed yesterday, and there’s just a couple things left for the contractors to do before its completely done (finish electrical, install toilet, etc). But we were a able to move a fair amount of our furniture down there this weekend. So its starting to feel like a real usable room. We won’t end up having to buy any furniture, just steal some from other less-used areas of the house. So that’s definitely a plus. I’ll save photos of the finished area for next post since it’ll all be done. But we’re pretty ecstatic about it.

Lowe's with toddlers

Lowe’s with toddlers

Life is crazy right now. I’m having a really hard time keeping up with all my various responsibilities – teaching, motherhood, housekeeping, marriage, etc. I just feel like I’m constantly rushing from one thing to another with no downtime – compounded by the fact that Jace is pretty far away from sleeping through the night. By 2pm I’m running on fumes every day. But it doesn’t feel there’s much a can do to take anything off my plate.

2/18/17

Jordan did mention looking into perhaps getting a housekeeper. We both just got raises recently. And so I’m hopeful that when we redo the budget, we’ll be able to scrape away from other areas and be able to afford some help. I just feel like I’m drowning with all of my responsibilities, and it would be really nice to have some help. Its hard because I don’t have any problem keeping up when I’m not working (like summer break). But right now? I just can’t.

2/14/17

Last weekend, we went to the natural history museum with my sister and her family. Jaylee’s favorite exhibit is this giant screen where they overlay video of the kids with images of cheetahs and astronauts and such. But when we arrived, they had that area all set up with tables full of educators so they could hear about field trip opportunities at the museum. So we got the opportunity to explore other areas of the museum that we hadn’t been to yet.

Like the hall of life area.

We played at this giant pushpin board for the long time

We played at this giant pushpin board for the long time

2/11/17

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Who can be the most empty headed while fielding requests from the babies?

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It was an absolute blast. We still played in the “little kids” area, of course. Jax definitely can’t pass up an opportunity to completely soak his shirt at the water area.

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Her face here. She looks like my baby again. I don’t know why, but this picture just makes it feel like no time has passed and that’s still the face of my 6-month old

But of course, it hits 11:00 and there’s a constant high pitch whine coming from Jax. Which means we have to go buy lunch in the cafeteria.

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But overall, it was a great time. And if the only cost to us is about $15 for lunch, then that’s still a pretty great deal. Memberships are the way to go, man.

This week was also Jaylee’s preschool Valentine’s party. Jax, Jace, and I went for the last 30 minutes of her class for the party. Jaylee spent the night before personally writing her names on each of her valentine’s cards.

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And the actual party was fun. Jax just fell right in to the preschool routine – washing his hands before the snack and waiting in line at the boys’ bathroom. The sugar crash after the party was fun.

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Interestingly enough, all the kids actually went for the grapes before any of the sweets. Don’t get me wrong, the sweets were also devoured. But the grapes were the most prized food.

Preschool has been really good for Jaylee. She’s learned to write her letters, spell her name, play with other people, work through conflict, wait in line, etc etc etc. She’s such a social little girl – its really been worth every penny we’ve paid. And its fun to play school with her at home and see her enact the same rituals and routines that she has in her class at school.

2/15/17

Recently, any time I ask Jaylee to take her picture, she makes this strange gesture and face.

2/15/17

I’m not sure where it came from. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, she also enjoys coloring on her face. She does it as often as she can. Which does get some strange looks and comments from strangers when we’re out on the town. But oh well – I can’t stop her every time (nor am I really willing). She’s a preschooler. Its probably better that she draw on her face than on her walls or furniture (which she has also done).

We went to a super fun event at our old church today. They had a Preschool Tricycle Rodeo. My mother-in-law wanted to take the kids, and I decided Jace and I would tag along for fun. And I’m really glad we did.

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It was a blast! The church volunteers really put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into decorating the building and creating all kinds of fun experiences for the kids. Plus Beth put together adorable little western outfits for the kids to wear. They had fun riding their bikes out on the trail, which included a cool blacklight cave and some railroad tracks. Jax didn’t ride for very long, but he had fun walking the trail.

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There were a bunch of little craft stations with activities for the kids. Like building little stick horses out of pool noodles, making hats, panning for gold, and photo ops.

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One of the kids’ favorites was the little fishing hole where they got to catch a magnetic fish, and then trade it in for a bag of goldfish. They were both pretty good at catching the fish! And Jax was pretty excited for the bag of goldfish.

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Of course, mommy and Grams loved all the little photo ops they had set up everywhere. My kids are pretty darn cute on a normal day, but throw in a little photo booth prop? It kills me every time.

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And then when you’re done? Ride off into the sunset of course.

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She’s really into that map reading

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It was a blast. And it was kinda fun to see some old families that we hadn’t seen in a while (since we don’t attend this church anymore). This church still feels like “home”, even though its changed dramatically (and even though we have a new church home). I’m glad I went with the kids.

Till next time! When hopefully I will be journaling from our new, totally finished basement.

Posted in Extended Family, Family Fun, Jace, Jaxton, Jaylee | Leave a comment