Saturday, May 14, 2016

Getting ready, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters

I had a few days to recover and clean the house and get ready for a Fathers and Sons camp out, a YW fundraising dinner, and our upcoming Florida beach / Space Center trip with my mom! Freddy was excellent shopping buddy. Well, at least he was a super cute shopping buddy. Its getting increasingly more difficult to shop with him now that he refuses to sit in the front of the cart. 

I am fairly happy with how clean I got the house and how much cooking I was able to get done in those few days. My mom hasn't seen the new addition and I was excited to show her our house and yard. Also, I prepared most of our meals for the following week and got a big pot of Brunswick stew ready to bring to the YW fundraising dinner. 

The Fathers and Sons camp out was a stake-wide thing and so it was at a campground about 1 and 1/2 hours away. They left right after school on Friday and Gwen helped me finish stuff up around the house. 

Gwen and I planned to have a little girls night and last minute we thought to invite some friends over. My friend and I just chatted as I finished the soup while the girls played around. I was suprised how quiet and how tidy the house  remained.. even with the same total number of kids... just girls instead of boys. :)  We had left over pizza for dinner and made muddy buddies for dessert. Then I painted the girls nails and had a dance party to Frozen songs. I let Gwen stay up super late and we fell asleep in my bed watching one of Gwen's favorite shows on netflix. 

Chris texted me the next morning and told me that despite getting to bed super late, Freddy was up with the sun just after 5:00am. He did a really good job going to sleep and staying in his sleeping bag though.  I texted him back a picture of Gwen still sleeping next to me at 7:30am. 

Then Gwen and I set out to finish cleaning, doing the laundry, making meals and packing. We had the YW fundraiser for dinner where Alec won a HUGE cupcake at the cake walk and then we left straight from there to the local airport to pick up my mom!  It was SO FUN to watch her walk off the plane and have all of us lined up with our faces against the window ready to welcome her with lots of hugs. I love my mom so much. I'm glad she could make the time to come out and go to Florida with us.  Even though it was dark a little late (2 nights in a row for the kids) we still enjoyed showing her around the house. My mom always gives such good reactions. 

Fun, sunny, Florida times just a 12 hour drive away!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Girls trip with Jess and Sandra! Mothers Day

Jess (my cousin) and Sandra (our best friend from Highschool) and I rarely get to see each other. Maybe 3 times in the last 12 years? We started talking about a girls trip a while ago and never could get dates picked for sure or anything but then somehow it just sort worked out and before I knew it, I had tickets bought and it was actually happening! We decided to meet up in Las Vegas and stayed at Jess' parents house there for the weekend. It was actually cheaper for me to fly to and from Pheonix and drive up and back to Vegas with Jess. It was really fun to see Jess' house and meet her kids and see her older sister.  I mentioned that I had been wanting to cut my hair and Jess got all excited for a makeover since she has a good  and talented hair cutting friend. 

Whew! It was really scary for me to cut sooo much off, I'm really glad to have a trusted stylist and an experienced Jess around to show me how in the world to deal with short hair on my own.  She showed me the wonders of dry shampoo, round brushes, texturizing spray, hair spray, mousse, salt spray, wavy curls etc... 

After a hair cut, some shopping at taget and a big salad for lunch we dropped her kids off at a friends and started the 5 hour drive to Las Vegas!! We talked and grabbed dinner and drove straight to the airport in perfect time to pick Sandra! After figuring out the terminal stuff and getting yelled at by the crazy parking lady police we finally arrived at Jess' parents house. It was BEAUTIFUL! We chatted on the couch eating chips and special waters for a bit but still got to bed in good time. Jessica is 5 months pregnant and we were all tired.  We 'slept in' until 7:30 (which is actually sleeping in for Sandra who gets up regularly at 4:00am to drive up to Seattle to work) and exercised then showered and got ready to eat brunch. Then we had massages scheduled at 1:00. HEAVEN. 

Then we hit the outlet mall. For 5 hours. Which is a really long time to shop for me and I loved every second of it. Turns out I'm a size smaller than I thought and not having children to get back to, or a smiling-but-kind-of-not-smiling-husband holding all the bags makes for a super fun shopping trip. That and not really having discussed with Chris a budget allowance beforehand. 

Then we ate at In and Out for dinner and came home and talked some more, used Jess' awesome Gel machine to paint each others nails. The next morning we went on a hike. Who knew there was a really cool red rock park 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas?! It was awesome! We did the 'medium' hike that took a few hours. The path was hard to follow and had some rock climbing-type spots. We wondered what the 'difficult' hikes were like! 

The top/end had this awesome view of the valley. You can kind of see huge Las Vegas buildings in the background. It started raining and was a little chilly and then we heard some thunder. Perfect timing to be 1/2 way back to the car. 

We showered and got dressed up and got pedicures.  Then we did our expensive, fancy dinner at the M buffet. Holy cow, that food was GOOD. We accidentally got there just an hour before it closed but it didn't matter because our stomachs were full after just 30 minutes. We had done a really good job of not over eating or over treating all weekend long. It was fun to taste a little bit of all kinds of food and dessert. 

Then we came home, shopped online (Hello! and settled into the couch for a few episodes of TLC "Say Yes to the Dress." We had to be up early to get Sandra to the airport and then Jess and I got an early start on the drive back to Phoenix. It was Mothers Day (not something we realized when we scheduled the trip) but we got Jess back in time to go to her church ward and see her kids sing.  Then her husband Dave (and Jess) cooked a yummy Sunday dinner and we got another early bedtime since my flight left at 5:30am Monday morning.  Dave drove me to the airport and I BARELY made it in time to check my bag. Whew. 

Chris and Freddy met me at the airport in Memphis since the other kids were still in school. When we got home 3 hours later Chris had dinner going in the crock pot and the house clean and the table set for a nice m Mother's day dinner. He is so good to me....even if all he said when he first saw my haircut was.. "Its short." hahaha. I'm teasing him. Its just so not my usual look that it took some getting used to, but he was really complimentary over the following week or so. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Library, mega rain, 2 yr. old antics

We went to a special presentation at the library on bats after school one day.  Kinda gross, kinda cool. Frederick is getting more independent and vocal about his opinions. He's learned how to scream in anger and throw huge fits. Its great. I don't even remember what he was crying about in this picture..probably because he demanded candy or chocolate and I wouldn't give it to him at 9:00 in the morning. 

He's also started strongly resisting naps. He won't stay in bed and often falls asleep on the floor RIGHT behind the door (which has a child lock duct taped on).. sometimes with his fingers poking under the door.  On Sundays (when the other kids are home and noisy) its hard for him to fall asleep at all. One particular Sunday he didn't fall asleep and our dinner was pushed back a bit because some awesome family friends dropped by some cupcakes they made for Charlie to tell him he was 'right on target' because they saw him stand up to his friends who were throwing rocks at the church building (after throwing only 2 rocks himself) by saying "Hey guys we shouldn't do this" and when they didn't listen he walked away from them). That was a sweet experience and a wonderful run-on sentence to lead up to telling that Freddy fell asleep eating dinner. 

We decided our next project in the yard would be to finish up current ones by ordering more rocks to level out  and set large stones in the space between the guest house and the garage. I guess 8 yards is a LOT of rocks so now we'll also start making a few extra parking spots off the side of the driveway and put some rocks around the deck out back and do a perimeter of rocks around the entire house... and we'll still probably have some rocks left. The guy delivering the rocks wasn't sure he had the right house because we had a cement driveway... I think he assumed a load this big of rocks was for a big gravel driveway. 

The day after getting our rocks put in between the garage and guest house and making that drain better to the pipe going under the playground we got torrential rain and flooded everything. We had rocks all in that pipe and bark all over the grass and water all over the bball court. We really need to get gutters... although I think when we get that big of a storm, there's nothing to stop the flooding. We had water over almost 1/2 of our garage floor and everything. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cute Freddy and spring weather love

Frederick loves his blanket and prefers to have it with him a lot of the time. Mostly I make him leave it in the house but sometimes I let him have it outside. Sometimes we even bring it to church. I'm fairly inconsistent with it and I know thats frowned upon. I guess I'm guilty of the whole 'leniency with the youngest child' thing, which I never wanted to do. But for now it just seems like its really not a big deal... I have to save my energy for other battles. 

Recently the kids thought it would be funny to dress up in opposite gender clothes. So Alec came down wearing one of Gwen's princess costumes, Gwen was in some of Charlie's school clothes and Freddy had on a princess dress. Charlie was wearing some super-hero costume... as always. For the next week or two Frederick LOVES to wear that "pin-cess" dress. I got some pictures of him dancing for baby Adalynne in it - which she loved. If Frederick is in the room, she HAS to be looking at him and will stay facing the same direction if he moves out of her line of sight, until he moves back into it. So cute.

With all the kids preferring to ride the bike just up from theirs (Charlie likes Alec's and Gwen likes Charlie's) we thought we'd try out Freddy on the balance bike. He likes it and does it pretty well....mostly just walking along but I'm sure it won't be too much longer before he's pushing off the ground with both feet. 

The weather has been GORGEOUS recently. When we come home from school most days this week we won't even make it inside the house until dinner time. The kids have really enjoyed swinging on the rope swing and putting out cones and making a baseball diamond and playing t-ball, or baseball all together. We are soooo grateful for our new playground/bball court/yard set up.  This is the perfect time of year for Mississippi... the bugs aren't out and its not super humid or hot yet.  We even come back out after dinner and let the kids stay up later than bedtime to watch the clouds and play on the playground.

One of the kids (I won't mention any names but it rhymes with Barlie) thought that the line of bare dirt in our beauty-bark bed where the rain comes off the roof needed some grass seeds and planted thousands of seeds there. Welp, his few minutes of fun have really made a mess of weeds/grass where we don't want them. I'm trying to train the kids to enjoy weeding.... so far only Freddy has caught the bug and I'm pretty sure its only because he gets to huck the grass clump into the yard after he pulls it. 

Theres just something about seeing Chris in work boots out in the yard. MmmmmMMm. 

On one of our last days watching baby Adalynn we went for a walk and found a turtle!