Monday, November 30, 2009

And a Happy Fried Chicken Day to you!

Funny story... we had chicken on Thanksgiving. Really. My sister-in-law had her husband put the turkey in and she went to visit their son in the NICU. When she got home the house smelled awful! Turns out the turkey was bad, and with no time to thaw and cook another one, she sent my father-in-law to the store for some fried chicken, and a roast chicken. My mother-in-law had done some ham too, so we had that. But what matters is the company, and it was good! Not to mention the cheesecake that my future brother-in-law brought. Yumm!

We had a long and crazy weekend, with far too much to blog about. Mark and I braved the crowds at 12:30 am Friday morning to snag some things at ToysRUs. Will never do it again. We got several nasty looks walking to the end of the line in the parking lot with a baby carrier, but Daniel was well wrapped and warmer than Mark and I were for sure! After 20 mintues though, Mark took him back to the van to wait until I was almost at the door. I was freezing, but my kids are worth the awesome prices on stuff I wouldn't have considered for Christmas otherwise. This year anyway. 45 minutes just to get in the door. Then the walking around, and another 45 minutes or so to get to the register. We missed the blue 3-wheeled scooter for William by 5 seconds, some guy snagged it first. So he's getting a pink one that we'll spray paint blue. Hey, we don't care and he won't notice! :-)

We got to have a double date with Mark's little sister and her new hubby, which was fun. And we got to venture over to the NICU to see my newest little nephew. Almost 6 weeks early, he's 3 weeks old now and weighs a mere 5lbs 11oz. Such a cutie! He has cleft lip and palate like his mom and brother, and it was really neat to get to see what the palate actually looked like. It's amazing what modern medicine can do for these babies. He liked me, but threw up all over Mark. Hee Hee!

On a serious note though, we have a dilema about Oren. He's been having trouble at school even though we just upped his medication dosage and he's doing wonderful at home. His teacher is gone a lot, she's recovering from cancer and when she gets a cold she's out for a while, and she has lots of appointments. He needs somebody that's there all the time. He's also acting out in other classes, and we're not sure why when his behavior at home is much improved since adjusting his meds. The staff all know him, and sometimes I wonder if they expect bad behavior from him simply because of his history from Kindergarten or something. After being cornered in the hallway and told that his meds aren't working and he's worse than he was at the start of the year, in front of and in full hearing of Oren by the way, that she doesn't know what else to do with him.... Mark and I are now trying to decide if we want to switch teachers next semester first, or go straight for homeschooling. Anybody have any insight into homeschooling or how to help resolve the issue with the school? We would be most likely do a homeschooling program with books provided and a teacher that checks over the work and stuff. So it would be easier than figuring it all out myself, curriculum wise.

What would you do? We'll be praying about this pretty hard, but any advice would be welcome. We've also decided it would be wise for me to call my psychiatrist and get back on my bipolar meds and ADHD meds, if they are nursing friendly, or find some that are. I can tell I'm starting to go a little manic lately, and the ADHD has been hard to control. If I end up homeschooling, me being stable is absolutely vital. But I was able to stay med-free the whole pregnancy, which is a huge achievement, and I'm proud of that. Ahhh.... life. Does it ever get easier? Having kids is wonderful, but I never thought I'd have to make this many hard choices, big ones that will affect them for a long time to come. Wow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Handsome Boys and Happy Holidays!

Whew! It's been a busy little while at our house! I will say, having 4 kids isn't "hard" per se, just busy. What people were telling me is true, in a way having just 3 was harder. But only because the other children are older and help more is it easier. The laundry increases, but not that I notice with so many to wash for already. Dishes haven't gotten more, but the boys help unload more oftern. There aren't any more toys, but I pick them up a lot less often, since I didn't make the mess.

Going out isn't that bad. Daniel nurses, so it's just an extra blanket and some more diapers in the diaper bag. William holds my hand, and the other boys know to walk close. Daniel goes in the cart in his seat, William "helps push", and the others hold on to the side same as always.

What really makes it easier is that our family has a routine now. There is a way that our day has to go with school and meals and lessons that just makes everything work. I've learned the value of a crock pot meal after 2 hours of piano lessons when I walk in the door. Or making the casserole in the morning and keeping it in the fridge all day until crazy hour hits and I need to make dinner. The boys know what time to expect what, what day has which activities, and I know how much time to allow per child to be ready. Plenty of downtime, and being selective about what we try to get done helps too. I think all this is why I can truthfully answer "yes!" when friends ask if I still feel sane with 4 boys. :-)

It amazes me how old they all look now too! We got William some proper Sunday Clothes, even though they barely fit and he'll need different ones by the end of the winter, and they just all looked so handsome sitting on the couch waiting for me to get ready for church! (The only reason they were sitting still is the Veggie Tales movie that was playing. Shhhh..... don't tell)

And I'll be posting this recipe in a bit on my food blog! Oren's teacher asked if I would make the cupcakes I volunteered myself for earlier in the year to ensure Oren had a party option with no food coloring. And Nathan asked if I could make a treat for his party too, and how could I turn down those big blue eyes? Nathan's had to be pumpkin themed for his Harvest Party, so these are pumpkin cupcakes with a special cream cheese frosting! These were much more gratifying than Rachel's apple pie episode, the students ate them up, the teachers had some of the extras, and Oren passed some to a happy school office! I had one myself and was quite pleased. I loved Rachel's little apple pies, and my kids gobbled them fast, but what kid doesn't like cupcakes? (Will be making those pies again soon, got the crust in the fridge. Yumm!)
Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree....

It occured to me yesterday that with Mark's little trip, the dates that we can all be together as a family to put up the Christmas tree are limited to next weekend, or the week before Christmas. This weekend coming up is far too early. The next weekend is Thanksgiving and we'll be out of town. The one after that he's gone! Can't do a weekday because Oren wouldn't be able to help.

I guess it's going up right before Christmas this year! Probably a good thing anyway, because last year we did it at the beginning of December and it looked awful by the 25th thanks to the kids playing with the ornaments and the cats trying to sleep in it.

This isn't deep or profound, just the random revelations of a sleep-deprived mommy who likes the pretty lights on the Christmas tree in the evening.

Wait a minute.... how is it just 2 weeks until Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 13, 2009

1 Month Old!

Daniel turns 1 month old today! It's hard to believe that a whole month has passed. Wasn't I still pregnant just the other day? He's growing so fast, all my babies are. Oren is 4 feet tall, and Nathan is just 2 inches shorter. William is exactly 3 feet now, and Daniel is just about too long for his newborn sleepers, and wears the actual 0-3 month sizes! Although, I find it amusing that even though Oren is so much bigger than Daniel, he only weighs about 5 times what Daniel weighs. Just 5 babies to 1 Oren. :-)

Mark is back at work now, we've sure enjoyed having him home this last month. He was much more helpful this time than with the other babies, and I miss him a lot in the evenings. He came home from his first day back and said they are sending him away for 2 weeks in December. It's just 2 weeks, but he'll miss my birthday. At least he'll be here for Christmas! He was at an appointment this morning, and it was really hard trying to get all 4 boys out the door so Oren could be to school on time. We made it, but wow, that was stressful. 2 weeks of it will be interesting. But I have the rest of November, and I'm just grateful that this is the first time he's been away since his deployment when I was pregnant with Nathan. That's almost unheard of nowadays, that long being home. I wonder what the house will look like when he gets back?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oren's abstract art
Frankenstein finishing touches

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here ya go!

See, so much better than a frizzy ponytailed mess. And I never realized just how full my poor bookshelves are until these pictures. So many more books I want to get, but don't know where I would put them!
I went to go give Oren a hug today, and it struck me just how tall 4 feet is. My oldest will be as tall as his Mom in just over a foot! I put Daniel in clothes Oren wore as a newborn, and now Oren is so tall. Where did the time go?

Halloween 2009

update by Mark:
vampire dad


Oren wanted to match dad

face painting at a haunted house they only made it through 3 rooms. We went back later and Nathan still didn't like it. I carried Oren through while they watched Nathan outside

Oren did most of this I just carved out the harder spots. He even did the mouth, eyes, and some of the branches.

Nathan did this all by himself. He even made ears.

I did this same one last year but alot smaller. I added staples on his forehead and bolts on his neck, both with fake blood of course. It took a very long time! I'll take a picture and add it later. Also on the back of Oren's pumpkin, he did an awesome job at cutting abstract art into his pumpkin, but it's drying out, so we have to rehydrate it in a bucket and take the picture, hopefully, that works. Or it will just add to abstractness of it. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Feeling like me again.

The past few weeks have been amazing, finally having Daniel here and safe. But you know those lovely baby blues?

Thank heavens Mark has been here to help, because with a little guy nursing constantly until just 2 days ago when it finally seemed to be a schedule - crazy, but still a schedule - nothing was getting done by me.

And sure, my clothes fit, and I can bend over again, but my hair was driving me nuts. What's the point of long hair if you just ponytail it all the time? How are you supposed to feel good about yourself if you are just throwing a scrunchie, jeans, and a t-shirt on and calling it good for the day?

The few things I have baked haven't turned out so good, and cooking is the thing that I do! Did being so good with food this whole time cost me my chef skills, and therefore the thing that I consider makes me more desirable to people, aka. my husband?

Well, today I took a step to reclaim myself. It took me 2 weeks of thoughtful consideration. Is this what I really wanted? Was I going to wake up and hate myself for doing it? Was this one thing really going to help me feel like me again, like I am special and attractive and talented? Okay, nothing is ever a magic cure, but I was pretty sure that I would at least feel better about myself.

I chopped my hair off again. It was nearly to shoulder length, and looked great curly which I never had time for. Now it's back to short with lots of layers, kind of like that picture that Steph had up when she trimmed her own hair on her blog. Maybe I'll get brave and snap a photo to post.... Every curl that fell to the floor made me feel so much better. I was out, doing something just for me. And I just felt freer and freer with every snip. There was so much hair left on the floor, all these red curls, and I just looked at them and grinned. I have a new bounce in my step today, I am smiling today, and Daniel's latest blowout didn't even phase me! I know the other stuff will come back in time, and of course Mark loves me for more than my food. It's amazing what a haircut will do for you!

On a different note, Daniel is growing so fast! He was 7lb 1oz on Friday, and today I had to get him weighed before some routine lab work. 7lb 12oz! That's 11 oz in only 6 days! I guess all that nursing is working pretty well. :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween fun!

Let me start by saying that I was acting my costume Saturday night, and forgot the camera. And forgot to take pictures at home before hand, and was way too tired afterwards. But the boys were totally cute!

Our ward had our party the same hours as the base trick-or-treating, which was fine with me. Dinner was a chili cook-off, but I never found out who won. We entered a Spicy Pork Chili, which I didn't realize until I had a bowl of it at dinner that I had totally forgotten the fresh cilantro at the end. The cilantro is what makes the chili taste so good that you want to eat 2-3 bowls of it, so although it still tasted good, it wasn't a winning chili. *sniff*

Mark set up his scary skulls with eyes that light up, his strobe light with the sound sensor and spooky noises, and all of our jack-o-lanterns around the trunk of the van, and I handed out candy while Oren took himself collecting and Mark escorted the younger 2 boys to obtain their treats. Daniel hung out with me in his seat in the trunk of the van, since he was asleep and can't eat the candy anyway. We managed to come home with more candy than I handed out! Yikes!

Mark vetoed me dressing up as a witch, like I do every year. So I took some of Oren's face paint from his vampire set, and gave myself some spectacular under-eye bags, pulled my hair back into a questionable ponytail, and wore a shirt about hearing voices that only talk to me.... I was a new mom with no sleep! That got some laughs, but not as many as the husband whose wife got him to dress up as a very pregnant nun. (He actually pulled it off quite nicely...)

And Mark finally found an excuse to yank out his retainer. He had gotten a set of vampire fangs for his costume that came with what it said was impression putty. Turns out it was more like plastic. He melted the little balls, poured it into the fangs, and set it on his teeth. When he went to go pull them off, they wouldn't budge! He had forgotten about his retainer that had been cemented onto the back of his top teeth over 10 years ago, and the plastic had molded around them. After an hour of wiggling, he got them off, but in the process tore the cementing off of one side. So he gave a good yank, and the whole retainer came off. Half the cement was left on his teeth. Now he's got to get down to the dentist and have the cement sanded off, and get a referral to the orthodontist to get a new retainer cemented in before his teeth move crooked again. I thought it was hilarious! Especially when he started asking if I thought my embossing gun could melt the plastic without burning his mouth.