Monday, November 26, 2012

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

In the wise words of Mr. Rogers--

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...
It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...
I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?"

You’d think I’d fallen off the blogging horse but we moved. That’s a legit excuse for taking a month off in my book. I guess the best way to get back into it would be to tell the story of the day (today) I met my next door neighbor and learned that she hates us.

Aren’t you so excited to hear this story?! Well let me set the scene for you a bit. We’ve now lived here for 24 days. I watch two extra kids 3 or 4 days a week. The weather is perfect and sunny so they’re all outside a lot, most of the time in our fenced back yard. Oh, and we have thin old windows which offer the neighbors on every single side of us a little peak into our daily chaotic and loud voice lifestyle.

The lady next door was out front talking to a guy working on her roof today. Last week Jack threw Cooper’s shirt over the fence into her back yard. I went out to introduce ourselves and apologize ahead of time for all the noise we brought with us to this very desirable and quiet neighborhood. I can’t transcribe the conversation in its entirety but here are a few golden lines from the woman next door:

(about the t-shirt) “Oh yeah, along with a bunch of rocks and apple cores your kids have thrown over the fence too.”

“I wrote you a long letter already but haven’t had the chance to meet you and hand deliver it. I wrote the letter so I wouldn’t come off so bluntly. But there you go!”

“I moved here because it was so quiet and you guys have totally ruined that!!! (while laughing)”

“A few of the neighbors have called me to ask if I like the preschool that moved in next door.”

She went on and on and also told me she’s an insomniac and she sleeps until ten in the morning because she goes to bed so late. I really didn’t know what to say other than, “So I should get you a sleep mask and some earplugs for Christmas then?!”

In all fairness she was laughing the whole time. She met the kids and said they were really cute and she feels buttered up already. And she came to apologize about 30 minutes later for being so rude and unwelcoming. She showed me what the different trees and bushes were out in the back. We have a fig tree, two plum bushes, grapes and a meyer lemon bush.

And also, for the record, I made it clear to her that we’re good people who take care of our things, who are raising our children right and have an outstanding record of being good neighbors. I jokingly asked if she’d like a list of references. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Foot snack

This little girl of mine. Where do I even start? 

Adele is just about 16 months old.
....yet....she started chewing on her toes just last week.
says the following words: Mom, Dada, Ow, Wow, Car, Cracker/Cooper (they sound the same), thank you, snack, no, rawr.
signs: more, please, milk
Copies just about every little thing we do. She particularly lives for the daily routine with each of us; brushing teeth, going potty, taking dish towels and wiping various things, emptying the dishwasher clean or dirty, "sweeping".
She is oh so sweet and loves loves loves her brothers whom she shares a room with and falls asleep with every night. They love her too. They help her and are gentle with her. They especially enjoy (and she does too) making her laugh and giggle. 

So thankful for this adorable bundle of pink who giggles and rawrs with us every day!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekends in Ramona

We have been down to Paige and Danny's twice and love it there. It was a nice getaway both times. They have lived there since May but they're back to Utah for Danny to finish school in a couple of days. We sure will miss seeing them as much as we do!

Megan's birthday

Megan's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. We had a group of friends gather at a local park up in the canyon in Oak Glen tucked in between all the apple orchards. Our friend Melanie baked a beautiful and even more delicious cake for Meg.

Daddy and Adele

Megan and her scrumptious cake

Sweet Adele
Lindsey and Jennie

Katie, Melanie, Brandon, Kim, Cutie lil' June

The cake creator, Melanie and Cadence

Meg and Adele

The whole gang


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cooper's HUGS award

Cooper's teacher called me a couple of weeks ago to inform me that Coop was receiving the first HUGS award for the kindergarteners. HUGS at the school stands for Huge Undertakings Great Successes. They recognize a different grade each Friday at an assembly and there are two boys and two girls from each class in that grade who receive the award. Cooper was recognized for his leadership, kindness and responsibility. (My mom just so happened to be here for it too!!) Just a few days ago a mother came up to me when we were dropping kids off at school and told me that her son told her about a time he fell down at recess and was crying and Cooper came to make him feel better. My heart just about burst when she told me. We tell him every day as he goes to school to be a good boy for his teacher and a good friend to his classmates.What a sweet boy he is! So glad he was recognized for his efforts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Day My Sister Became A Mother

This is the only pic I got of Quinn on my camera. I don't know how that happened.

I have to say a little about Paige and Danny and their new little girl Quinn! To make a long story (that's not even mine) short and sweet Paige was in early stages of labor for over 30 hours. And I use the technical term "early stage" because of how much she dilated in that amount of time but boy oh boy it was a long day and a half for her. When I got the go ahead to make the drive to be with her early Monday morning I packed quickly, got Cooper off to school and headed for San Diego to meet my friend Joni who would be keeping Jack and Adele for the next day or so. I ended up at Paige's around 11:30 that morning. She made a sandwich, we went for a walk outside and she showed me around. All the while she had regular contractions that I could tell were very uncomfortable. At around 12:15 when we were back inside and she was sitting, her water broke. We jumped into our cars and headed for the hospital. A long and painful 15 hours later Quinn was born! I saw Paige go through every long (2-3min) contraction with an epidural that never really worked for her completely. She had to push for a long time and that little girl's head just didn't want to come out. She almost had to go for a c-section but the vacuum, some serious pushing from Paige and clever maneuvering from the Dr did the trick. 

There was so much more that she went through but I'll let her tell the story :)

I was so thankful to be there. Thankful to sit back and watch her and her husband, Danny, do it all together. He was a great support for her. I remember at one point, when things were a little intense, seeing her looking at him to just get through it and I could tell that he was a rock for her. I was thankful to somewhat (barely) fill the shoes of my mother who I knew desperately wanted to be there with Paige. I was also very thankful to be one of the first people to lay eyes on the perfect baby that Paige grew in her tan belly. (You would laugh if you actually heard how many times Paige said how much all that hard work at the pool paid off this summer.) Paige and Danny are in love with Quinn. Paige is a proud momma and I love seeing her that way. She was meant for it. And that little girl, she's pretty dang cute. I guess making cute babies just runs in the family. I think Adele should be a little scared of her competition but I know in the end they'll be bffs.

Speaking of beautiful babies, here are a few recent pictures of my darling children:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One week down

Well we made it through our first official week of law school and kindergarten! Jake had a whole week of orientation/classes before the first real day of school but he and Cooper shared their first day. We made pancakes and took pictures (which I can't post because the card doesn't fit in the mac :/ ). Jake left shortly after me and the kids. It's nice that we have him in the morning to have breakfast with and read scriptures and pray together. Me and the kids walked Cooper to school every morning. It's about 2mi roundtrip. Can I just tell you that it is SO NICE being able to count on walking out your front door every morning into the sunshine!!! I love walking to school in the morning. Luckily Cooper got AM kindergarten and goes from 8am-1130am. Once Jack, Adele and I make it home we have a snack, work on stuff, play, Adele takes a nap and then we hop in the car to go pick Coop up. It's still too blazing hot to take the kids on a 2 mi walk right around noon. We probably walk both ways come fall. I love getting the workout and I think the kids enjoy being outside in the morning.

Every day that Cooper came home from school he was a little grumpier than the previous day. By Wednesday I had to force him to take a nap. Cooper has never been a napper but he NEEDED it. He came home everyday with stickers on his hands from being a good boy, so I think he's fine at school but by the time he gets home he just emotional and whining about everything!! We also spent a few afternoons swimming at our new friends pool with them. Another reason I love Cali. (You'll read that line a lot... just a warning.) Cooper never seems to be able to remember any kid's names or what he did at school but he is saying that he's having a lot of fun and there haven't been any tears about having to go to school. He's been excited every morning!

Jake has had quite the load so far. But considering all the horror stories we've heard I'm surprised how much time we've actually had with him. We were able to spend some of Tuesday evening with him. Also a good chunk of Saturday. I'm sure it won't be like that every week but he's been super great at working really hard every day and getting the most out of every hour he spends studying so that when he is home, he's HOME. He treats this like a full-time (and then some) job where he decides on a daily basis how long he needs to be at school so he's ready for the next few days.

Although I miss seeing him, I understand he has to be gone a lot. I feel very blessed with how smoothly me and the kids' transition has been into life without him around as much. Me especially. It was a big change going from working a lot and having him around a lot of the time and being able to run errands without kids where we're at now. I know it's a huge blessing living with our friends too. They help me so much every single day. Megan goes running with me in the evening and it's some awesome end of the day therapy! We have some good talks during that hour. Brandon comes home from 12-14 hour days and plays with the kids. They are some awesome friends. We had a nice weekend to gear up for the next week and I am ready for it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boonshoft Membership

Last week we went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles courtesy of a membership we bought at a museum in Ohio the night before online. My friend from back home tipped me off to this a few months ago. Here's the deal:

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, OH has a membership for families that is $85/year. That includes 2 adults and up to 6 children in one home. "But I don't live in Ohio," you say. Here's the awesome part--the membership has reciprocal benefits to over 300 other locations in the US including zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, etc. What that means is that because I bought the membership at Boonshoft, I can take that membership card to listed locations at just walk through the door! We live next to my sister, Paige, and there is an option to boost your membership and add on a few extra people. We added her and her hubby so the membership cost us $125 for the whole year. Here is a link to the reciprocal list for each state in the US. It's important that I note that different locations may have different rules. For example when we went to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles they allowed 2 adults and 4 children listed on the account. Any additional people would have to pay the full admission. This particular museum also required that we showed ID to prove we lived more than 90 miles away from the location. For this we showed our WA drivers licenses. Not all locations require ID for proof of residence. If you look closely at the list it will specify (IDs) after the name of the place.

I had to share because I feel like it's such a great deal!!!! The first time we used it at the Museum in LA we saved ourselves (or put toward the $125 membership already paid for) $34. And that was one place. There's a great huge list in our area and I hope you can find some in your area too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is my life now

Sad story. My camera is broken :(

A week ago we went to the alpine slide up at Big Bear Lake. I had my camera for that and forgot it on the table on the way out the door. We took some pictures on our phones but they just aren't the same. We had a minor accident on the slide...Jack and I slid off the sled on the slide (say that 5 times fast) and he got a small burn on his cheek and ear and I got a massive burn on my upper inner left arm along with a few other spots on my arm and one on my knee. It's been a rough week healing from it. Really rough: infection, tears, peeling off bad parts and stuck gauze... Tub full of blood one afternoon....I'll spare you.

This last Saturday was when the camera broke. We took the kids to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles for the day after I bought an amazing membership that I'm going to have to post about. EVERY FAMILY NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT IT! More on that later....

We got there, I took two pictures then it wouldn't zoom in or out or focus. What the heck!? So we took more pictures on our phones...But the museum was totally awesome. Just like the movie Night at the Museum. The boys loved the dinosaurs. Adele was terrorized by the stuffed polar bear. We hit up Red Robin on the way home and vegged out that night. All in all it was a great day as a family.

Jake started school yesterday. It was one of the first days in a LONG time of me by myself with the kids, ALL DAY. It went just like any other day pretty much. We did some chores, we played, we went to the grocery store, we cooked dinner, had FHE. But it was all without Jake. That will take some getting used to. There were actually a few moments during the day that I thought to myself, "This is my life now." A little daunting, a little stressful...but also a serene feeling. It's kind of hard to explain. It's like I have been given the blessing of being able to enjoy my children and slow down for a bit. Something I'm not used to and something that I'm going to have to work at. I really look forward to this time in my life though. I enjoyed the last bit but there are so many things I look forward too about being home all day and playing. All I can say is thank goodness for pinterest. I'm going to need creative ideas for things to keep us busy at home, and on a budget. If I find anything extraordinary, I'll letcha know!! Like this museum membership....tomorrow. My hubby just got home and it's my 30 minutes in his schedule for the day :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Holding back tears

This picture.....ohhhh how it tugs at my heartstrings. 

Look at this little boy! He is going into Kindergarten this year and we got him registered today. The lady in the office asked, "Are you excited to start school?" Cooper replied very matter-of-factually, "Yeah. I've been waiting for this my whole life." I'm so excited FOR him. The kid has just wanted to be in school for so long now....but as I look at his tiny little body in front of this big sign my "inner mom" weeps. I know every mother goes through this at some point, watching her little bird stand at the edge of the nest with their tiny little wings and puffed up chests thinking they could fly around the world without any worry that they're leaving their momma. It's just really hard to put into words the realization I'm having about him going to school and knowing he will NEVER again be at home all day with me. Oh how I should have savored the little things!!! Oh how I could have done less complaining about his non-stop inquiries and stories!!!  Cooper is such a funny boy who loves to make people laugh. He is a total crowd pleaser and thrives around people, both familiar and not. He does so well including others and making sure people are happy. When someone is hurting or sad his tender little heart can't help but sympathize.  He is so mindful of spiritual things and I can tell that he recognizes the holy spirit in his life. He is wise for his age when it comes to compassion, right and wrong, responsibility and the reality of a loving Heavenly Father above.

We have our children all to ourselves for such a short period of time when considering the time frame of our lives. Thank goodness for half day kindergarten. I get one more year with Cooper (mostly) to myself. Not to mention how much Jack will miss him for a few hours everyday. We'll have to make that our special time together while we wait for Cooper to be done for the day.

I sure love this sweet boy and his giant heart. What a great fall we'll have around here with a new kindergartner and a first year law student. I'm so proud of my boys!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Swami's Beach

Jake starts law school in 1 week. Needless to say we're cramming in the fun before we lose him for a semester. We met my sister Paige, her husband Danny and his son Boston along with my friend Joni and her 4 kiddies at Swami's beach in Encinitas yesterday. The weather was perfect, the water was nice, the kids had a lot of fun with each other. We met Boston for the first time and it looked like he and the kids got along well and look forward to seeing each other again. It'd been a while since I'd been to a REAL BEACH! I grew up in the military and it seemed like the beach was never too far away. It's nice to be so close, I feel like we're a beach kinda family :) I also absolutely love living close to Paige and her family. There are going to be some good memories made. I'm also really thankful to have Joni so close for a couple of months, I hope we have many more opportunities to capitalize on being so close in proximity. Our kids adore each other and play really well together.

Joni and her kids plus my boys

Isn't her baby belly SO YUMMY?!

We are still cleaning sand off of this girl 24 hours later.

Always has and always will be a bathing beauty.

So much fun!! After the beach we stopped at a little taco shop where I ate cow tongue (unknowingly) for the first time ever. Not a fan of seeing all the tastebuds but it basically tasted like any other meat I guess. Then after that we went to downtown SD to see Joni's place for a bit. LONG DAY but we sucked every second out of it!!