Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tis the Asthma Season

Our house does not like Asthma season, especially poor Ethan.  During the allergy season Ethan's asthma is always bad.  He will do OK during the day but at night he will wake up and not be able to breath well, or cough all night.  There are many night that I will set the nebulizer up and prop Ethan up and he will sleep through almost the entire treatment.  The poor boy, I still remember his first nebulizer treatment and would have never guessed that he would one day sleep through a treatment.  

I usually lay down with him so I can take it off when it's done but this night the baby started crying so I had to go into her room and get her taken care of.  When I came back he just looked too precious and I had to snap this picture.    

One morning before school Ethan woke up early and got all dressed.  He was weezing quite bad so I told him to lay down in my bed and do a treatment.  When I finished getting dressed and came back into my room this is what I saw......
 A boy, his dog and his nebulizer....  We sure do hate asthma in our house, but we are grateful for medicine that helps make it easier to deal with.  And for sweet pictures of this boy with his mask on..... 

Sleeping Angels

The human body is so amazing and I believe our Heavenly Father was divinely inspired when he created it.  Every aspect of our bodies were thought out and planned.  Each had their own function and place.  Our eyes, nose, brain, hands, thumbs, blood, muscles...  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  We are capable of doing so much, running miles, lifting large amounts, comforting with hugs and tender touches, crying tears of joy and pain, creating life and giving birth.  Then every person, every body needs rest in order to continue to function.  It is a vital part of our daily life.  This I believe was truly inspired as well.  I don't think sleep was just an after thought, it was part of the plan, it had to be.  There is something so serene of seeing someone sleep, something peaceful and calming.  Often in death our loved ones appear to be asleep and that provides us with a sense of comfort that they are at peace.  

As a mother I have grown to love the view of a sleeping child.  Of course as a first time mother I loved when Ethan was asleep.  It meant I could sleep as well, it meant he didn't want to eat or be changed.  It calmed my nervous mother heart.  With each birth sleep was valued higher than the last.  As we move out of the newborn, up all night phase, sleep is still so calming to me.  There are days (more than I'd like to admit) that don't go so well.  Where the kids seem to find my last sting of sanity and pull with all their might.  Where scriptures are skipped and kids sent straight to bed.  And then before I climb into bed I check on the sleeping kids and am reminded anew how wonderful it is to be a mother.  How peaceful and beautiful each one of my kids is.  

I'm convinced my Father in Heaven knew I would have real rough mother days and he smiled knowing that each of my kids would eventually fall asleep and I would see them as they truly are and it would be his reminder to me how special they are, how lucky I am to have them in my life.  How fortunate I am to be called some form of mother by each one of them.  I once read a blog of a mother whose toddler child had died in his sleep.  For her the sight of any child sleeping was painful to see and would cause her anxiety due to this tragic death.  My mother heart ached so much for her, how tragic and how sad that such a source of joy and peace could cause someone else such pain.

Every night before I crawl (or fall some nights) into bed I go room to room and check on each child.  It allows me to go to sleep knowing each one of my kids is safe and sound.  One night I went into Ethan's room and he wasn't in bed.  I was a little upset with him thinking he had snuck out of bed to play or sneaking around the house.  I decide to check on Brynlee before I busted Ethan and how great was my surprise when I found him sleeping in the rocking chair in Brynlee's room.  They were both sound asleep.  The next morning I asked Ethan why he had slept in Brynlee's room and he said that he wanted to make sure she was ok all night.  (He really is a sweet boy)

How thankful I am for little reminders, such as a sleeping child, that the world is good, kids are great and being a mother is AWESOME!!!       


Mommy's Mini Me...

The other Sunday Ashlee actually let me straighten her hair..... And we were twins.
 I wasn't sure what Ashlee would think of that, she usually doesn't like things that I like....
 But I think we got her!  She loved it and said multiple times during the day how Mommy looked just like her.  It was quite weird to see her with straight hair, it changes her looks so much.   
 This girl is hilarious and stressful and beyond taxing to be her mother, but I am often reminded (mostly by my parents) that she is just like me.  Not only in looks but also in action and attitude.  Ashlee is go, go, go!  She never stops and she is relentless with silly noises, annoying her siblings and attitude expressions.  I love to say I have no idea where her looks and expressions came from, but I'm lying.  She brings our house so much joy and frustration and I think we wouldn't have it any other way!  
I loved being this girls twin, even if it was only for a day! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First day of School 2014-2015 School Year

One of my stipulations with moving was that it had to be during the summer break so that we didn't have to move the kids from school during the school year.  When we got into the new house I was excited about the school until they realigned the school zones and our house was now zoned for a different school than I was hoping for.  Of course the offices were closed for a month so I could do nothing, I couldn't get a zone variance turned in, I could call and ask questions...  NOTHING!!!  The one school I did want the kids to attend is run by Principal Hybarger, which just happens to be Grandma Alberta's son.  So I reach out to her and asked if she could ask her son if he took zone variances very often.  She called me back and gave me the scoop.  I needed to turn in their zone variance on the first day the offices opened back up and I need to stress that going to the school we were zoned for would cause a financial hardship since we would have to do safe key in the morning and the afternoon.  I  wrote my letter and did everything I was told and we were able to get the kids in to Goynes Elementary School.  I was so excited and so were the kids.  

We attended the "Meet Your Teacher" day and explored their new school.  It is much larger than the school we came from and I could see that it was a little overwhelming for the kids.  Ethan was so use to knowing exactly where everything was at Goldfarb.  I made sure to point out bathrooms, offices, classrooms, etc to help them feel more comfy.  I also got the kids signed up for Safe key which is a whole new thing for them.  Since we didn't really know anyone real well in the ward yet and didn't have Kira and Korina to take our kids and pick them up for us they would have to go to Safe Key after school.  We were able to find someone to drop them off in the morning.  The kids were introduced to Mr. Joe who would be at Safe Key and they liked him.  

Finally the first day of school came around.  I took the day off so I could drop them off and pick them up on their first day.  We were doing really good on time so were able to get a few pictures before school.  You could tell how excited they were about starting school again.

Not wanting to be left out, Ashlee joined them for a picture or two.  Katelee gave her the old backpack she used last year just so she would feel special also.  And I got her a new outfit for the day as well.

Back of bags...

We got to the school and it was a mad house, but we survived parking and got out of the car and headed to the line by the gate.  We waited for a bit for the gate to get opened and then headed in.  They had fun music blaring and it felt like the kids were going to a party, not school.  
And then my mother emotions took over.  I'm going to blame them on postpartum (Brynlee was only 4 months...  That still counts right?)  I got choked up and was trying to talk but had to just node and fake smile in response to the kids!  I don't know why, I hadn't been too nervous for them to start school, but it just hit me as we walked through the gates...  We found each of their lines and I snapped a picture and then I had to head out before they saw the tears fall from my eyes.  

Katelee was ready to go, not scared at all!

Ethan played it cool and was also ready to go.

I know I seemed like a bad mom walking out of the school when everyone else was walking in...  But the tears had started and I could do nothing to stop them.  Fortunately I was wearing sunglasses.  We got out to the van and I put Ashlee and Brynlee in their seats.  Ashlee was a little confused why I was crying.  She kept asking if I was sad and I said no, just excited for Bubby and Sissy.  It was time for Brynlee to eat and they were making announcements over the speaker so I decided to feed her in the van and listed since I wasn't there to support my kids.  Finally we drove off and the tears continued to fall.  It amazes me how my emotions hit so hard at times.  We were all good to go.  We were early and I wasn't stressed about Katelee staying all day long, I was ready for this year....  And then it hit me, my kids are one more year older and school starting means much more added stress to our lives.  Homework, school stuff, early bedtimes, Safe Key, lunches, early mornings, etc.... 

I picked the kids up that afternoon and they were so excited.  They loved school and had a blast.  I was a happy mother.  The kids continue to do well in school and we are loving our new school.  We miss our old school and our old friends there, but this school isn't too bad either! 

Katelee is SIX!!!

I don't know how it happened but Katelee turned six!!!!!

  I have been telling her for years to not grow up and just like a typical child she did not listen to me!!  Last year Katelee's birthday was a little overshadowed by her grandmother's passing.  We tried to make it as fun and uplifting as possible, throwing her a birthday party at Aunt Lisa's house in Salt Lake with cake, presents and family, going to McDonalds for her birthday breakfast and Mom and Dad being home from work during that week...  But there was a lot to distract us from celebrating her birth last year so we tried to make this year a better one. 

On the morning of Kate's birthday we woke up and got ready for school and then she opened presents before we left for school.
Katelee did not want to take treats to school, she didn't really want anyone to know it was her birthday.  I decided it was up to her and we didn't take treats to school that day.

 Of course during this time of year Ethan is always having problems with his breathing, so he got to do his treatment on the bed so he could watch her open presents.  

Ethan had a ballgame that night, so we went to dinner the night before to celebrate.  Kate picked Chilli's only if she could play one of those silly games they have at the table.  We decided since it was her birthday dinner we would let her, otherwise we don't really like those things at all.  They take away from our family dinner time, although, sometimes it seems like it would be easier to just talk to Chris and let the kids play those games....  We surprised her with having them sing happy birthday to her, which she liked, but certainly didn't need.  

Aunt Lisa came into town and her and Grandpa Snickers came to school and picked Katelee and Ethan up instead of them going to safekey.  They got to hang out with her at home and get all kinds of treats and goodies.  Then Katelee got to open her presents from Grandma and Grandpa Jiggs at Ethan's baseball game that night.  She was loving all the dolls she got and the clothes too.  

The Saturday after her birthday we had a party for her at the house.  (side note; it sure was nice having a party in a house big enough to hold all of our friends)  She wanted a Little Mermaid cake and the day of her party I was able to find a cake pan of Ariel...  I was doing such a great job until I did her skin...  Apparently Ariel spent a little too much time at the tan salon because she was more orange than skin color...  When Kate saw it she said, "I don't think it looks like it's suppose too..."  I just laughed, my kids definitely got my blunt mouth!

Katelee opened her gifts, there were so many, and had a really fun time.  She played with her cousins and friends the whole time.  The cake tasted much better than it looked and we all had a really good time spending time with family and friends.  

It sure doesn't seem like 6 years ago that this little lady joined our family here on earth.  She has grown up so fast, especially in the last year.  She is all about fashion, dresses herself and doesn't like when we pick our her clothes.  She like girly stuff, but also loves to be outside and play rough with her brother.  She has the longest and skinniest legs, still curly brown hair and the most beautiful blue green eyes.  She can still throw some major fits, but those have significantly decreased over the last year as well.  Her smile is beautiful and the gap between her top front teeth is perfect!!!  She loves to play school and church.  Loves baby dolls and jumping on the trampoline.  She is still a big help with Brynlee, loves to carry her around all the time and play with her.  She is doing very well at school, loves her teacher and loves to learn.  She is a smart girl and hates when she doesn't get 100% on something.  We sure love having Miss Kate in our lives, she makes us all smile and makes me as a mother so grateful to be called her mother! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ethan's Basketball Season

This summer a friend asked if Ethan would be interested in playing basketball.  He has never played before and so we asked him if he'd like to.  He quickly said yes and I signed him up right away so he couldn't change his mind.  Since I was back to work my friend offered to take Ethan to practices during the week and then he could hang out afterwards until we got home from work.  Ethan was really excited and nervous.  The boys he was playing with had all played before and Ethan felt a little overwhlmed by their skill.  But in true Ethan fashion he made the best of it and swore he was the best one on the team.  They had a few practices and then it was finally time for the first game.  That night he went to sleep with basketball shorts on and his uniform top.  He talked with me about being very nervous and scared and worried because he wasn't very good.  So he got the Mom pep talk, you have to start somewhere, sports is about having fun and learning to play with a team, he could do it, Ra Ra Ra!!!  Not to toot my own horn, but he was feeling better about it when he went to sleep.   

You could tell that this was Ethan's first time playing ball, he was not the best dribbler and he threw the ball at the basket instead of shooting it.  But he ran the whole time and celebrated each basket as if he was the one that made it.  He played every Saturday for about 6-7 weeks and LOVED it!    

 (Serious Picture)
One FHE we went down to the church with the Maynor family and practices basketball.  Ethan's defense progressed 100 fold and his dribbling looked better also.  He didn't score many baskets but he had fun and loved the sport.  His teammates were awesome players and passed the ball better than most professional teams...  It was a lot of fun to go and watch basketball, the game moves quick (much quicker than baseball) and we won every game...  which always helps the enjoyment of watching. 
I think Ethan would play basketball again, and if he does we'll sign him up.  He had fun, loved hanging out with all those boys and trying a new sport. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ashlee's Transition to BIG SISTER

Ashlee has been the baby of the family for THREE long years.  She has enjoyed having cuddle time with mom and dad, being the youngest and getting some things because of that.  When Brynlee was born Ashlee was beyond excited to become a big sister.  It's all she could talk about for a while, that she was a BIG sister, not the little sister any more.  Her transition was pretty smooth, although we did have a week where she had three accidents, but once we caught on to that we gave her a little more special time and she hasn't had one since.  Here are just a few pictures from the first week of Ashlee being a big sister:
We had a few errands to run one day while the kids were in school.  We took Ashlee along with us.  She was a good girl, but towards the end of the trip she was very tired and bored.  I looked back at one point and Ashlee was playing with her fingers like they were people in the sun.  It was the cutest thing ever!

One day for nap time I was able to go up to put her down.  I told her to get a book to read and she insisted that she would read it to me.  She did a good job and didn't take too long, which really surprised me!

Ashlee was so cute when she would hold Brynlee.  She would beg to hold her and then after like 10 seconds she was done.  And you better be there to get Brynlee because she would practically throw her at you so she didn't have to hold her any more.  As I looked through my pictures the next day and saw this one it struck me as so sad.  My "baby" was holding our new baby, her life was changed forever and this picture was proof of it.  It also made me smile because that smile on Ashlee's face shows how excited she is to be in her new role and have Brynlee in our family.
And this picture is just a silly picture of Ashlee one night as she slept. She sleeps like this quite often when she finally falls asleep at night.  It takes her forever, For....Ever! 
Ashlee has adjusted quite well to her Big Sister role.  She loves her little sister dearly and loves being in her face and touching her all the time.  

Brynlee's First Bath

Around two weeks of age Brynlee's cord finally fell off so we were able to give her a real bath.  All of the kids wanted to "help" so that made for a real fun time for Mom and Dad.  I could hardly reach Brynlee because I had to reach around the girls that were standing on the stool, but we got it done.  Brynlee didn't completely hate it, but she wasn't the biggest fan either.

After she got out the kids continued on their mission to help and surrounded Brynlee while she got dried and dressed by daddy.  It was so cute how much the kids wanted to help. 

Daddy put lotion in Brynlee's hair and it was so adorable.  It just kind of stuck up a bit, but you could see that she actually had some hair. 

She was nice and calm after her bath and ready to sleep again....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brynlee's First Days Home

Brynlee was quite a popular baby when she got home, of course.  Her big sister Katelee was enamored with her from before she was born. 
Maddy and Uncle Matt came over one day to meet her and Brynlee stayed awake for a while to meet them...

Ethan had baseball practice that day so when he got home and wanted to hold the baby I made him wear a cover because of his dirty shirt.  Don't blame him, he was just doing what his mother asked him to do.

We were so lucky to have GG down right after Brynlee was born.

Don't want to forget Ashlee and Aunt Anna!!!

Spring Break 2014

So last year for Spring Break we took the kids to the LVH for two nights.  We all had a blast and the kids kept talking about it this year.  I was very pregnant and there was a little concern that I might have our Brynlee before or during spring break.  We talked about it and decided that we should still take the kids and if we had a baby she and I could stay inside the room or Chris could take the kids and have fun.  Brynlee did not come early and so we were all able to go and enjoy ourselves...  Well for the most part.
We got there early afternoon, checked in and went to our room.  I had gone online and reserved just a basic room and then asked my dad if he could just get us into a larger regular room. Well he worked his magic and got us into a very nice suite, the one he got us for Chris's graduation.  The kids were beyond excited and ran straight to the Jacuzzi tub.  My parents were going to come over so we let them get in while we waited for them to join us.  
Every year my parents stay in a nice suite at the hotel for their anniversary and invite us over for night for dinner and playing, so invited everyone over as well.  Since it was a week night only Mom and Dad were able to come over.  We went to go to the cafĂ© at the hotel, however it closed at like 3pm, so we went looking for somewhere else to eat.  We ended up by Benihans and decided that we might as well really enjoy ourselves.  Plus the week before I was notified that I was getting a raise, so we decided we would splurge.  The kids LOVED it and with my dad we were able to get a good employee discount....
The next day Chris went to the library to study for his upcoming exam.  We didn't want Chris to take any study time off, so the kids and I hung out for a while.  We decided to go down to the pool and swim, then we had lunch and relaxed in the hotel some more.  When Chris got back from studying we went back down to the pool again.  The kids were loving the pool and us parents weren't minding it too much either!

The water was heated a bit, but it was still pretty cold.  When we got out the kids were pretty cold because they were all wet, but this big mother was quite hot and just enjoying the weather.  It was quite relaxing and very much enjoyable!  (Looking at this picture it reminds me how big I was...)

Brynlee played nice and let us all enjoy our time.  We got to cuddle at night, stay up late and eat junk all day long.  The kids got to have some fun on their spring break and so did the parents.  We all knew that the next week our lives were going to change with the addition of Brynlee. 
The kids were loving the cuddle time and I was loving the comfy bed and sleeping in late.  I always love hanging out with my little family.  They are so much fun and times like this remind me how grateful I am to have them with me forever!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

This Mother's day was great.  I have four wonderful children that call me Mom, and I'm so thankful for that.  Ethan made me a mother, but each kid after that has made me a different kind of mother, as they are all so different to mother.  Ethan is a boy and beyond crazy at times.  He has a sweet, kind and huge heart, but sometimes his boyish craziness gets in the way of that shining.  Katelee is a sweet, opinionated and shy girl when she wants to be.  She can flip on a dime, but loves with all of her heart the things she loves.  Ashlee is our "monster" child, she is active, loud and a free spirit.  She keeps us on our toes ALWAYS and gets called "little Hilary" far more than I would like.  And then Brynlee is our ever sweet and wonderful infant.  They each share my heart equally and my life wouldn't be complete without each and every one of these amazing kids.  They make me smile, cry, pull my hair out and rejoice.  They make me feel that I have accomplished something wonderful in the life, with more pressure and worry that I have so much work ahead of me.  I love being a mother and look forward to the day that it is my only full time job to do!