Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ocular Albinism Update

The end of November we took Hagen to Salt Lake for his semi annual eye appointment.  I was excited to see what they had to tell us because we hadn't been back down since he got his glasses back in January.  He wore them really well for about six months and then refused to wear them much.    It didn't take them long to figure out why...

When we got there they tested his glasses, tested them again, and then one more time only to find out they weren't even the prescription that was prescribed.  I was pretty frustrated by that because how in the world was I supposed to know that? And... how will I know in the future if they are ever right?  

As far as the appointment went though, Hagen did great.  Every time he gets a little more helpful at telling us what he can and cannot see.  I was sick to my stomach when he didn't know some of the flashcards that I could see so plainly, but his eyes are healthy and that makes me happy.  The doctor gave us a new prescription and ensured us that his eyes had grown and changed but not to panic too much because things were still good.    

As much anxiety that fills me when I enter that hospital, I leave with an equal amount of gratitude every single time.  I have yet to be there without seeing multiple children with severe health problems.  Our challenges are very minimal and for that I am so grateful.

We just had the two little boys with us for the first night of our weekend and we took the opportunity to take them to Hogle Zoo.  It was perfect! There wasn't any people there, the weather was chilly but nice, and we had two very happy boys.  They loved the animals and the lions were out roaring which was so fun!  It was fun to focus just on the two little boys for a day without Kallie and Cole stealing the show.  

Later that night Kallie and Cole came down with Brett and Mindy for a fun filled weekend and a Jazz game.  We shopped, swam, toured The Grand hotel and ate yummy food.


The Jensen's car had a brake issue so we had to all cram in the suburban for awhile until it was fixed. That was interesting.  As we got out of the car at Zuppa's for lunch I overheard some people say to each other "Did you see how many people just got out of that car?"  Awesome.


Uncle Brett is always campaigning to be the favorite. (He really doesn't have to try hard either) He bought Hagen this giant piece of pizza.  He ate nearly the whole thing and let Hayes have his crust.  


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Few Little Things

With the amazing school teachers my kids have this year, the number of fun projects is endless.  After hours of hard work making a landform map of Idaho out of clay or painting a foam ball to be Mars (no easy feat) nobody wants to throw their projects away.  However I am the mean mom that can't stand "stuff" laying around.  We have compromised... after a week or so of these projects being displayed we take a picture and then toss them.  I love Cole's newest modeling skills.  Never a dull moment with him!

We have a "best spot on the couch".  It is coveted and fought over.  The other day Weston and I were cracking up at this sight though.  All three boys were totally mesmerized by Mickey Mouse.  They must've been tired because they sat like that for a long time without moving a muscle.   

My sister Chelsey had her sweet little baby.  We are all so in love.  She is sweet, cuddly and so tiny.  I hope she grows up fast so I can quit being jealous!



Monday, December 15, 2014

H & H

These two boys keep me on my toes I tell ya.  They are a busy, busy duo and oh so much fun.  
Hayes has become fiercely independent and will only accept help if his tricked into it. This business of convincing my kids that my ideas are really their ideas is exhausting! Hayes really wants to feed himself, I really don't want him to feed himself.  The only compromise is if he holds his own spoon while I feed him.  He still makes a big mess but at least i know he is getting something in his mouth!

This scene is too common for my liking but at times it is so necessary.  Hayes is the only baby I have ever had that would watch T.V. He loves Mickey Mouse.  Sometimes a thirty minute episode is my saving grace to get some dinner on the table or to be the homework helper.  He loves it and so do I.  (In very small doses of course)



Hayes plays games and does adorable tricks.  Peek a boo is my favorite. We say "Where's Hayes" and he instantly covers his eyes and then laughs hysterically when we say "peek a boo"  It never gets old to him.  One day we were hustling around getting ready to head out the door.  Hayes was missing and I frantically said "Where's Hayes".  Then I look around the corner and he is sitting at the bottom of the stairs covering his eyes and giggling in anticipation of the "peek a boo"  It was so adorable!


Hagen is a total goofball and the instigator of most fighting in our home.  He teases Hayes mercilessly and is oblivious that the kid is a mere two pounds smaller than him.  Hagen better watch his back.  It won't be long before Hayes will be able to best him.  

The binky needs to go.  We all know it and we all dread it.  Its the source of peaceful nights and quiet car rides.  I love it as much as he does.  Maybe we will wait awhile.  As long as its gone before kindergarten then its okay, right? 



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Halloween 2014

I am so far behind, but I have worked to keep this blog up for years and I intend to catch up and continue.  Halloween seems like ages ago and only yesterday all at the same time.  The last three months of the year always seem to fly by and this year was no exception.  

Carving pumpkins with the kids was fun this year.  They basically did it themselves.  We put grumpy Hayes to bed and had an enjoyable evening.  In the past this event has been such a chore but I am beginning to see how much fun holidays are with bigger kids.  



We had a creepy Halloween dinner at my mom's and Weston impressed us with his creativity by making the lasagna look disgusting.  


The kids had a blast trick or treating.  All except Hayes who was completely annoyed with his costume and all the hoopla.  I didn't even get a picture of him by himself, and that suit only lasted 5 minutes.  

Cole doesn't branch out much, as he is either a cowboy or a ninja basically every year.  I love that kid!

Libbie got a new little poodle named Cosmo, Hagen is a bit obsessed with that dog and insisted he be Cosmo for Halloween.  He was adorable and I relished the idea of him being something cute for probably the last year.  Lets face it the cowboy/ninja phase is just around the corner!  Anyway Hagen was in heaven and wore his costume for weeks, crawling on the ground barking like little Cosmo!

This costume was some sneaky parenting on my behalf.  Kallie really wanted to be Maleficent, which I agreed would be so cute!  (We loved the movie)  Anyway, I found nothing in a decent price range for her to be Maleficent and my lack of creativity and craftiness left us dry.  I found this cute Indian costume for ridiculously cheap and used my best convincing voice to talk her into it.  Knowing that she had Indian day coming up in school I figured I would kill two birds with one stone.  It was really a win, win, win! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Prep


I'm behind.  This blog has been neglected I still haven't posted Halloween! There are inches of dust in this house, and the pantry looks like a bomb went off.  Our calendar is filling up fast and I am constantly fighting to keep my holiday anxiety at bay.  It is no secret that this is my least favorite time of the year, however it holds so much magic and excitement for kids that I have determined to make it just that.  Magical and exciting.  After decorating the house, ordering Christmas cards, making lists and finishing all my shopping; I am now finding joy and magic in the holiday season.  I have determined to focus on my gift to the Savior this year instead of all the nonsense. That gift is to celebrate instead of stress.   Because in reality The Grinch said it best, "Perhaps Christmas doesn't come from a store, Perhaps Christmas means a little bit more"!  The Savior Jesus Christ is Christmas, only in and through him can we be redeemed.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Updates

There have been some wild happenings around here lately.  I just wanted to do a quick update on each  member of the family.

Hayes: Hayes is cutting molars which has made for a cranky baby!  He still sleeps all night anyway though.  Hayes loves the stairs and can climb to the top in no time at all.  He has only tumbled down the stairs once but that may have been Hagen's fault.  In fact I was upstairs helping the kids put laundry away, I ran down to grab another load and in the meantime I heard a tumble and cry.  I ran to the stairs to find Hayes tangled in the laundry basket at the bottom.  Hagen was standing guiltily at the top of the stairs.  He said "I just wanted to give him a ride, I told him to hold on but I guess he didn't!"  Oh these boys of mine!   Hayes has mastered drinking out of a straw and could live on smoothies.  He does the cutest fake cheesy smile whenever we tell him to show us his cheesed!

Hagen:  Hagen is constantly up to plenty of mischief.  Aside from sending Hayes down the stairs, he genuinely loves his baby brother.  They cuddle on the couch and watch Mickey together.  Hagen has managed to break his glasses three times in the last month!  Hagen was playing with play doh sand the other day and was picking out a cookie cutter to use.   He saw a gingerbread man one and said "Oh look at that Holy Ghost one, I want that one!" Hagen is in gymnastics and loving it.  He goofs around a little too much for my liking but he is learning to follow instructions and his strength and coordination has dramatically improved.

Cole:  Cole makes us late for school every single day.  He can't seem to follow my instructions and is constantly reminding me of Regg in that manner.  He must be following directions at school though because he is doing really well.  He enjoys reading and has started chapter books.  His reading has improved a lot in the last few weeks.   Cole has become pretty good help to his dad lately and can be trusted with a lot of work outside.  He likes to run the drill and all three boys fight over who gets to go in the tractor to get hay for the bulls.  Sometimes Cole displays some OCD behaviors that I find humorous.  Just the other night he asked me if I could iron his bedsheets, he explained that when they are wrinkled it bugs him and he can't sleep well.  I of course told him no!

Kallie:  This girl is getting too grown up! She is all about socializing lately and wants to go to every ball game or social outing that she can.  She spends hours watching hair tutorials on the computer and  has mastered some pretty impressive dos!  Kallie has really had to study for school this year and I love it!  She is constantly reviewing flashcards and studying math facts.  She has decided she doesn't enjoy reading and I have made it my mission to change that!  Kallie is also enjoying clogging this year, even though it is way more challenging! She has had to practice that a lot too.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Birthday Party #2 and Reality

Hayes shares his birthday with my super cool nephew Kade.  We had a little party for the two of them after Sunday's Conference.  Kade turned 12 this year but we reminisced last years birthday for a bit.  Kade's birthday party was ruined because Hayes decided to make a dramatic entrance into the world. Misti got a phone call in the middle of hosting Kade's party saying that I was headed to the hospital, hemorrhaging and things didn't look good.  Being the great sister she is, she dropped everything and came to my aid.  Poor Kade was left with only half a party! He has since forgiven Hayes and is working super hard to be his buddy. 

These two girls so kindly stole my camera and practiced up on their photography skills which obviously need some serious help! 


They captured this gem of my mom! Nearly every picture I have of her looks like this.  When she dies we will have no choice but to put a picture of her hand in the newspaper obituary.  

At least Misti looks nice as she nonchalantly clears the table.  

But don't you worry, I'm pretty sure I win this contest.  Mid bite! That's reality right there.  Always feeding my face, and I look ridiculous doing it! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Conference Traditions

I look forward to General Conference every six months.  It is so nice to hear the inspired words of our prophets and to enjoy church from the couch! We always go for a drive during the Sunday afternoon session.  We take fun treats and the kids bring a game or a toy to keep them occupied.  This year Weston was in search of a horseback riding trail.  We got a bit lost and drove around for quite some time, but eventually we were able to find our destination.  The head of the trail had a fun campground that was set up for people with horses.  The kids were so excited and wanted to run home and get the camper! 









Just a side note: Hayes was with us and part of the family, but he fell asleep just as we pulled into the campground.  I was not about to wake him!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Late Nights

The decision for us to be a sleep over free family came slowly.  Its been years in the making really.  It started when Kallie was about four years old.  She would get invited to sleep over at a cousin's house.  This, I was completely fine with until the next day.  Kallie would throw a fit because she didn't want to come home, that would be followed by a huge meltdown over asking her do to the simplest of things later in the day and a very tired girl that needed literally days to recover.  (Kallie has always required a lot of sleep) I began to dread any family functions that landed on a night that had "sleepover potential" She asked, every. single. time! I either had to be the bad guy or pay the price the next day.  I hated it.  

In the midst of this ugly phase came the General Conference talk by Elder Larry Lawrence of the seventy titled "Courageous Parenting" here .  In that talk we are strongly advised to be wary of sleepovers.  Weston, being the more faithful of the two of us, took that as a very clear answer to our problem.  "No more sleepovers" he said.  I was more hesitant.  Some of the funnest memories I have with friends growing up was sleeping over.  Nothing bad ever happened.  We were good kids.

I continued to let the kids have their sleepover fun and not only did I pay the price the next day with grumpy kids, I had a grumpy husband too.  It always ended up in an argument, he just felt strongly we shouldn't have them at all.  I was finally convinced recently when I learned that the first time both my brothers ever saw pornography was at a sleepover, AT A COUSIN'S house! I have great cousins, and great aunts and uncles who would all be crushed to know such a thing took place in their home.  I also have great siblings and inlaws that work tirelessly to teach their children the same things I am trying to teach mine, but Satan slips in way too often.  You never know what is going on at someone else's home, heck sometimes I don't even know what is going on in my own home when the kids are upstairs playing.  We all do our best, but we all come up short.  

We have now become a sleepover free family.  Of course there are exceptions; sometimes we babysit nieces and nephews and sometimes our kids need babysat overnight.  We did let Cole go overnight with a friend to attend a BYU football game a few weeks ago and I am sure there will always be things come up, but for the most part this is the rule.  

We have now begun to institute the idea of "late nights".  I  insisted on this one since I don't want our kids to feel left out, or picked on and resentful.  We let the kids have friends over or go to friends house until 10:00 or 10:30.  They play, eat junk food and have a great time doing all the things you would do at a sleepover except when they get tired, everyone goes home.   So far it has been a huge success that we all feel good about and the best part is; in doing this I have found that 75% of our kids' friends' families have the same rule! That makes it so much easier.  

Kallie and Cole each had their own late nights during our 3 week harvest break.  The girls were all about the food! They were adorable, polite, and super fun.  The boys didn't care at all about food, they were much more interested in beating each other up the entire night and running around like little crazies!  Weston and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know their friends better and had fun.  We did realize that our 9:00 bedtime is to be enjoyed for the next few years before we have teenagers! Staying up until 10:30 kicked our butts! Ha!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

12 Months Sounds Better

Hayes turned 12 months on October 4th.  I realize that is the same as one year old, but I can't stomach the thought that my baby is no more a baby and so to me he is now 12 months old.  How did he go from the tiny, fragile infant above that was clinging to life and being sustained through tubes and cords; to the wild, havoc wreaking, precious toddler below? I am usually not one to succumb to depression, but Hayes birthday was a really rough day for me.  I cried, a lot! I don't do that!!  EVER! I was grumpy that my kids wanted to make a birthday cake, decorate the house, and heaven forbid wrap a gift.  I wanted to skip this day!

Alas, the kids won and we did have a party.  A very small, pathetic party I might add but it was a party.   I couldn't muster the energy to make a cake but we had some cupcakes that honestly tasted like crap.  Hayes doesn't seem to have taste buds so that didn't matter much.  We plastered the fridge with pictures from the first year of our little man's life, sang him a birthday song and let him eat his cupcake.  













Needless to say he enjoyed that cupcake very much (he enjoys all food) and delighted the children with his messiness.  

We presented him with the gift you can only give unknowing babies; a new carseat! I will insert now that the new carseat was actually for Hagen and Hayes got his old one, so I actually got him nothing for his birthday!  The transition to an upright carseat had been needed for quite some time as he was bursting out of his infant seat, but that was a tough one for me.  No infant seat means no infant:(

I was pretty glad when the day was over and I could forget all the birthday nonsense.  But I have to say just how much I adore this kid.  Seriously he brings so much happiness into our home.  He is rarely grumpy, still eats and sleeps like a champ, giggles hilariously, bosses us all around, and gets into everything.  We all dote on him terribly and even as I realize we are creating a "youngest child monster" I can't help it.