Sunday, February 23, 2020

Gnome-Mo Mess (You have to say it fast to make sense. And it still might not make sense.)

I took the girls to Kids Zumba on Monday. Because they are dancers at heart. And nowhere else. We really are awful dancers in my family. I sat in the corner and laughed as the coordinated teacher moved her legs, arms and body to the music, and Gwen just stood in place flapping her arms and June twirled in a circle over and over again. American Ballet here we come. Though really, after I saw Center Stage I decided against the whole ballet dream anyway. Cooper Nielsen was the worst. And also I was the worst ballerina ever. But mostly the Cooper thing.

Every night, the kids and I read books in my bed before they go to bed. Some nights we make it through a lot, and sometimes we make it through very little before everyone is like this:

Often I'm the first to fall asleep and wake up seconds later to the kids jumping on my bed and consequently my body. One of the mysteries of life is how kids who can't aim to save their life ALWAYS hit you in the crotch, gut, and neck when they jump on you.

It's a miracle I'm still alive.

The most beautiful picture is this next one, and yes I realize I haven't posted our Sunday photo yet. This is way more beautiful.

A friend from my ward is an expert organizer and agreed to take me on as a charity case. She majorly helped me out. If I have an organized pantry and organized closets, I can fly! 

I felt loads of stress come off my shoulders as we organized this pantry. I also went through some of the kids' rooms. Dan and I went through everything in the basement Saturday morning. We have soooooooooooo many projects to do on this house before it can be completely organized, but I am determined.

In fact, it's my goal for March. I'm going to carry over February's goal of "listening more than I talk" because while I have made progress, I still kinda stink at it. And I want to add an organization goal. Three hours a week of a household project besides my regular cleaning. One afternoon a week starting this week and through the end of March.

This week Family Fun Movie: The Gnome Mobile.

This was my favorite movie as a little girl, and Dan pretty much detests it. But he's a good sport and watched most of it. The kids LOVED it. Honestly there isn't anything as good as the ending scene in cinema anywhere. The scene where all of the girl gnomes chase Jasper the boy gnome. If you know what I'm talking about, leave a comment. I always laugh hysterically.

We had Stake Conference last night and this morning. We hired a babysitter and went together for the adult session, which NEVER happens. It was exciting. And we went to dinner. And the restaurant messed up my order and made it really spicy. Which I cannot handle. And I stayed up really late, like past 10:00. It was a wild night for me.

So today I've been super tired and dealing with a sicky stomach and have been a total grouch. Which explains the next photos.

We were running out the door when Gwen reminded me to take a family photo. I called everyone to do it, and no one came. My patience was thin. So here's Gwen for this week's family photo.

Of course, when June realized she had missed the family photo, she raced in (shoes in hand) and freaked.

And then Harris decided to join in after all.

And I was doing all this while holding Beck in my arms, so here's a pic of Beck in close proximity, i.e. still in my arms.

The End.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Fun Week that Breaks Up Winter.

I'm grateful for Valentine's Day! Thank you, Valentine's Day, for giving my family something to decorate for in the middle of the long, dreary winter. Thank you for giving us an excuse to bake, to buy and to mail things. 

This year, we asked several cousins to join us for a valentine exchange. 

Making valentines always starts out well, with a festive anticipation. The creative juices flow. Heartfelt messages on top of beautiful paper and cutesy stickers abound. 

And then after the fourth valentine is made and kids want to turn their attention to a movie or playing or getting a good night's rest, it turns into a sweatshop with a maniacal mother telling everyone that they have 12 more cousins to go and no one can be left out so they better not even think about quitting. 

Ahhhh, 'tis the season! We love to love around here!

Asking cousins to participate was smart on my part because we sent out our subpar valentines and everyone sent us truly excellent valentines, gifts and goodies. You don't always reap what you sow, my friends, and this is the perfect example. 

V-Day Eve, Dan and I decorated a little.

You think I bought that garland? I didn't. My sister in law, Shayla, sent it to me. This is what I'm talking about! Surround yourself with good people and benefit.

 I bought those balloons. Nothing else. Go me!

Valentine's Day morning!

See Gwen's glasses? I didn't do that.

See June's glasses? I didn't do that either.

A poem from June to Dad.

See Beck's bow tie? Do you think I did that?

I didn't.

Also on V-Day, the boys and I went to Gwen's school for the wedding of the letters "Q" and "U". You read that right.
Gwen's school was built in the 1920s, and I love it.

Gwen was the maid of honor. And the letter "G". 

Are you kinda like . . . whaaaaaaaa? That's how I was too. The wedding was cute. It was fun. It was over the top. It was kinda weird. But it's a huge thing out here, so we went and had a good time witnessing "Q" and "U" promise each other to make a sound together (sounds a bit scandalous) for as long as the English language shall live. Heck, Harris had such a good time, he went missing for a good ten minutes. He also thought the school was very cool-looking and disappeared to a different floor altogether. I love searching for missing kids. Such a rush!

Gwen had to hold hands with the best man. The best man's parents were awesome and got a picture of them together. I didn't. I chased a toddler and a baby. 

And yesterday, we went to Lititz for the Fire and Ice Festival.

Fire=fire shows at night. Ice=ice sculptures.

We didn't go at night so we missed the fire. We did get to see a bunch of sculptures though.

The only bad thing about an ice sculpture exhibit is the temperature it must be for said exhibit to exist. We acted like total East Coast rookies and came without gloves or hats. Or socks. We're awesome. My buns were freezing, and I was complaining like the good ol' pioneer I am. Meanwhile, my baby sat in the stroller and thought it was awesome. I guess he's tougher than I. I hope he takes care of me one day.

We stayed a good 45 minutes and then raced back home like the ninnies we are. We did have an important appointment at home, of course. We needed to watch Beethoven II, to complement the screening of Beethoven I that take took place Friday night. We're trying to introduce the kids to all of the classics of our youth. We watched Mighty Ducks last week. Now there's a terrible film. Beethoven was somewhat redeemable; the second wasn't.

Do you have any recommendations of kids' movies from your growing up years? I'm kinda over all of the new movies we've seen 938423 times.

And today we went to church.

We like doing that.

The End.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Too Many Titles, Too Little Time.

I have a lot I want to say. Maybe it's because I've been trying to listen more than I talk (sidenote: I'm failing), but I feel myself needing to tell someone all the things going on in my life right now--our routines, the little phase each kid is in, the books we're reading, the movies we're watching, etc.)--that I think I'm going to try to write a little post every day this week.

But then I go back and think--why the heck would anyone want to know what movie we're watching this week? Am I a narcissist?

I remember Dr. Scoresby's Child Development class at BYU. A famous class with a famous professor. My mom took the same class with the same professor decades before.

While discussing somewhere between the toddler and tween years of life, Dr. Scoresby said that there is a phase of life kids go through where they act like their life is a tv show and that they are the star.

I never left that phase of life.

So pardon me while I bore you with a bunch of stuff that doesn't really matter and yet which I also can't bear to leave unrecorded.

But that's later this week. As for this past week:

Dan was in Cincinnati for work, leaving Monday and coming back late late late Thursday night/Friday morning.

The first day parenting solo is always tough, then I find my groove for a few days. Then the extreme exhaustion sets in, and it gets really hard again. That last day before he came home was tough. June had a doctor appointment in order to get a referral for PT to take place at her new school. 

New doctor, new registration, new introductions, new office procedures, plus all four kids. Someone get in a time machine and tell Thursday Heather not to do it.

Harris Miracle Part II took place when Harris took yet another nap and didn't wake up until we were leaving.

June got this awesome mask as part of the deal, and she has continued to wear it in public, prompting everyone to stay clear of us. I should have thought of that years ago.

Beck kept getting away from me.

June, my typically lethargic child, had HIGH ENERGY and was going 100 miles per hour. She acted like a dog, acted like the doctor, and acted everything else EXCEPT well-behaved.

Between picking her up early from school and going to the doc and back home again, we were gone 2.5 hours. And when we came home, everyone was famished. I cooked dinner and put everyone to bed early.

Have I mentioned that we live close to a train? Everyday at the YMCA, we park in this exact spot so that we can have a clear view of a train, should one come by.

If one doesn't come, Harris CRIES. If one does come, he still CRIES because he wants to see two. It's one of those lose/lose parenting situations I love so much.

We couldn't leave story time with everyone else this week because Gwen insisted on helping Ms. Cindy put every last block away. Even though I was dealing with two cranky boys, I was happy to wait. I love that Gwen is a cleaner.

And church today. We wore pink for Valentine's Day coming up. Well, Harris had a pink bow tie but wouldn't wear it because he feels like he's being strangled. Fashion, Harris! Fashion!

And no pink for Beck because he wears the same thing every single week.

The End.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

I'm Really into Sportishness.

I witnessed a miracle this week. I had a meeting at each of the girls' schools. Two meetings in one day, and I had three kids with me for each meeting. The first meeting was impromptu, and so I did not plan for childcare. We made it through, and the principal gave everyone candy. Or I should say: we made it through because the principal gave everyone candy. I was under the impression that the second meeting was a "school tour" so I thought we'd be okay because my kids love to be pushed in a stroller. But I was quickly ushered into a conference room, and I realized there would be no tour.

The miracle was that Harris fell asleep on the way there and stayed asleep for the duration of the meeting.

I cannot tell you how amazing this was. He is not typically someone who can be transferred into a new location while sleeping. If he falls asleep in the car, that's it for you, sister! Don't expect him to sleep when you pick him up.

But. He slept through the entire 60 minute meeting. And Beck just crawled around on the floor and pulled himself up to windows and made googly eyes at the front office staff. And Gwen kept telling me she was bored, but she whispered it. I was so grateful. It was honestly best case scenario for me.

We are getting settled in. We have found a good pediatrician. We have found a good gym. They even have a youth spin class June enjoyed. And we have found a great library story time. 

Our storytime lady is SO animated that I crack up harder than the kids. I need to get out more. She has props. She has an attendance sheet where the kids "check" themselves in. She has a craft. She has different toys out each week. The moms all plan to stay for two hours. At first I thought this was insane, and then I realized it was magical. The kids enjoy. The moms chat. Everyone's ready for a nap afterward.

Speaking of books, we finished The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe this week. So we watched the movie for Fun Friday.

The kids loved it. I'm grateful for our Friday night movies. I'm useless Fridays, and I need everyone to watch a movie. 

This is also a big sports week for me. If you know me, you know I don't follow sports. There were three NFL players in our New Jersey ward, and the experience was wasted on me. They were all awesome guys, but I had no idea how their teams were doing or what positions they played. 

But. Dan scored free tickets to the Hershey Bears hockey game Saturday night, and we went and it was fun.

Of course, my hockey knowledge is limited to the thrilling trilogy of Mighty Ducks movies. I wanted to scream out "Go for the Triple Deke!" but I refrained.

By the way, why was the Triple Deke special? You circle around the puck three times and then hit it? Was it something about that third cycle that really threw the other team off?

But in much bigger sports-I-know-nothing-about news, my Chiefs are playing in the Super Bowl tonight. And my mom, sibs and I are stoked. I had everyone in my family sport some red today. Which was kinda confusing, because the 49ers also wear red. 

Dan showing off his best football moves from his huge career as his high school's wrestling captain.

Also, I was true to the my January goal--no tv. I did watch some family movies for Friday fun night, and I did watch a tv show Jan. 31st. So that was kinda silly. But I stayed away from it for the most part. Thoughts are as follows:

1. No TV is only a good goal if you also limit your phone time. I started this halfway through the month, and that's when I felt the boost in my productivity.

2. I love books. I love biographies and non-fiction, but if I'm going to read something before bed instead of watching TV, it needs to be funny and entertaining. I still need a release. Non-fiction is for listening to the car or waiting at a doctor's office. Uplifting and helpful. Nighttime is for laughter and lightheartedness.

3. Some TV is good, great even, but a lot is dumb. There. I said it.

February goal--Listen more than I talk. This one might KILL me. I'm such a talker. Every time I get together with friends, I promise myself to listen and not talk. And then I just talk. SO! I obviously need some talk time. But if I could just listen slightly more than I talk, I think I'd feel better and have better friendships. So listen 51% and talk 49%. And if I really need to tell someone something, fine. But then then next conversation, I should back off. That's the goal. I don't know how I will actually measure that. Leave me a comment with some thoughts. 

I'm still working on the personal mission statement.

The End.