Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Proud Day

Last night Heath and Dawn found an outdoor table and chairs. They tried Home Depot. No luck. Then the Lowe's by us. No again. Dawn suggested they go to Wal-Mart since they already drove past it. So they took a deep breath and did it. (We're not really Wal-Mart fans in the Westover family) They found the perfect table and chairs. The funny part of the story is the fact that they didn't plan ahead very well. Dawn paid and when they got it out to the van they realized they had 3 car seats and a stroller that they should have left at home! They were creative and managed to get everything home.

Today Dawn and I put it all together. My fingers are sore from using the Alan wrenches that came with the kit. But I'm very proud of us for putting 6 chairs and a table together. We laughed that it would be great to write instructions since instructions are typically poorly written. We had to figure out a few key points ourselves since it wasn't in the instructions. Like the cross bar on the chairs being able to move. Dawn didn't want to force anything and break it but after a while it was obvious something needed to happen since the chair arms weren't lining up right. Then when we got to the table I was annoyed that part of it wasn't lining up right. We took things apart and turned it upside down only to have the same problem. Then Dawn realized that the plastic thing I screwed the middle legs into could actually slide into a better position. Then it was much easier to get the one middle leg lined up properly. But it would have been nice to read in the instructions rather than all the creative trial and error we went through. But the table and chairs are gorgeous. Thank you Dawn for spoiling us! We are so excited to eat outside in the warmer weather.

Heath has been working on a project at work hoping to save a co-worker's job. It wasn't going to work out and the guy was supposed to be laid off tomorrow. But then at the last minute he was able to keep his job. I don't understand all the particulars but Heath is very excited to not lose this co-worker.

In other news, Parker decided to get sick today. He vomited, what can only be described as bile, this morning. He was very pale all day. He slept on the couch while Dawn and I put chairs together this morning. Poor kid. Then I had Dawn babysit for me while I took Gavin to the doctor's office for a routine physical. She said that Parker vomited again, 15 min after she gave him Ibuprofen for his fever. And she had to change a messy Gwen diaper before putting her down for a nap. Sorry Dawn!

Gavin did just fine in his physical and the doctor signed the paper so he will be allowed to enter first grade next year. I would have had to do the physical anyway but I'm annoyed that the school has no record of him getting a physical before kindergarten. He got yet another hearing test (that makes at least 7 hearing tests in the last 12 months! Good heavens!) and an eye exam. He did fine on both. I didn't get a card with his stats. I think the nurse said he weighs 42 lbs. Dr. Smith said that his weight was something like the 35th percentile and his height was the 50th or something like that. I'm not surprised. Gavin has always been very thin. He used to be tall for his age but I guess he's settling into his height.

While I was gone, Dawn was watching a crafting show and saw that a Cricut Expressions was on sale so she ordered it. Which means she is leaving her Cricut machine with me. She brought it so we could cut out the vinyl I bought when we visited Seattle last fall. We did get the letters cut out but we are too short to reach the wall I want it on and neither one of us want to use the ladder. Heath? I just can't believe she is giving me her Cricut machine. Thanks Dawn! You rock!

My ice cream is getting warm and soupy so I best be off.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's Going On

What have we been up to since Dawn arrived late late Friday night? Let me tell you!

Heath brought his mom to our house pretty late on Friday. I don't remember what time it was but probably something like 11 something pm. So we pretty much said hi and everyone went to bed. The boys were so excited for Grandma to be here that they of course woke her up earlier than she wanted to be up on a Saturday morning after a long night of trying to fly to California.

We went to Fremont to shop. Dawn and I had fun in JoAnn's. Heath, the boys, and Gwen were along for the ride. I spent the rest of my birthday gift cards. Thanks again Mom and Candi. I got a new cutter since the one I had before never cut 100% straight. I also got some stickers, a Crayola scrapbook kit, and a big stack of paper. Heath always tells me to buy paper. It's Nana's Kids. So cute. Lots of cute girl paper and fun boy paper. Perfect for my kids now. Heath picked up a wire wreath thing to make a wreath out of all the jingle bells we bought for Christmas 2007 thinking we'd decorate our tree that way.

Dawn bought a few things for herself. She loves craft stores. But she spoiled my kids rotten. She bought them T-shirts and socks. Gavin got shark socks with a red T-shirt and Parker got monkey socks with a blue T-shirt. I was surprised that they chose those colors. Gavin has always loved blue and Parker insists his favorite color is green. But they are happy and that's all that matters right?

We ate at Panera for lunch. Oh the memories of living in an apartment above Panera in San Francisco. I loved waking up to the smell of fresh baked bread. I loved having Heath walk downstairs and around the corner to pick up bread for dinner. Even though we were in Fremont, it tasted like San Francisco. Is that funny?

Then we went to Lowe's because Dawn wants to buy us a table and chairs so we have a place to eat outside. Last summer we had many picnic lunches on the step outside. We were more or less only looking. We went to Costco next because it was in the same parking lot. Costco on a Saturday! I started losing steam at that point. We didn't really find anything there we loved. I did see an inflatable swimming pool that was very similar to the one we gave away before we moved from Utah. We will have to get that for the kids this year. As fun as it is for them to sit in the rubber raft filled with water I want a real pool!

After Costco we went to Fry's Electronics for Heath. I feel bad that my mood drastically deteriorated but it did. I try to be as supportive to Heath with his passions as he is to me with mine but I couldn't do it. Fry's is bigger than Costco and it was full of people (though not as bad as Costco) and electronics that I know nothing about. I was overwhelmed and tired and couldn't care less about what he was looking for. He bought two used laptops from work for about $40 a piece. He is giving one to his dad. I just realized it's a surprise so hopefully Barry doesn't read this and if Grandma Holmes reads this, please don't tell him! Anyway, Heath wanted to get something for the laptops. I felt like a little kid because all I wanted to do was lie on the floor moaning that it was just too dull in there! But I didn't.

We went home at that point. I zonked. I have not been that tired in a long time. We put Gwen down for a nap, Dawn went to her room to nap too. Heath put a movie on for the boys and I passed out for a good 2 hours or more. I simply could not force myself to wake up.

Heath grilled some chicken breasts with his new grill pan. I am not a huge chicken fan especially chicken breast but that was fantastic! We had some Rice a Roni (the San Francisco treat!) and asparagus. We got kids bathed and into bed.

Sunday we did normal Sunday things. We enjoyed church. Later our home teachers came to visit. I like our home teachers. They're nice guys and they're fun to talk to. The kids had been losing their minds all day. Sundays are rough because we start church at 1 pm. Parker was being very rude to everyone, including Grandma. He needed a nap but Gwen is sleeping in the boys' room while Grandma is here and I didn't want him waking her up with his temper tantrums. He totally fell asleep on the couch but he didn't wake up any happier. Poor Grandma will never want to visit again. She has been a jungle gym and the boys haven't been very nice to her. They've been pretty mouthy and very contradictory. I expect more from my kids than how they have been behaving. Sundays may be rough in our house but I didn't think Dawn would have to experience it to the nth degree. Sorry Dawn. After we got the kids to bed we decompressed by watching HGTV give us tips on how to sell and buy a house. One day. One day.

Today Parker was spoiled with TV before school. It was mostly to get him to stop screaming about wanting Swedish Pancakes and how he can't want to wait until Wednesday! Parker would not get dressed which was annoying me but he finally did when I turned off the TV and Grandma reminded him that he had a new shirt to wear. Gavin was having fun playing with the new hats Grandma brought with her.

We went to school and Dawn asked Mrs. Williams if she could come in to see the classroom. Mrs. Williams was more than happy to invite us in. Gavin was so excited to show Grandma his cubby. He was very proud to have his family in the room for a few minutes. As we walked to the van, Dawn said, "No wonder Gavin is having such a hard time! That classroom was a mess!" She thought it looked more like a storage closet than a classroom. The walls are completely covered which is visually overstimulating. (All day I keep telling her about a first grade teacher I student taught for and how much worse her classroom was. My heart would race as soon as I walked in the door.) There are also many blind spots in the room. There is not one place where you can view the whole room without walking around. Dawn pointed out that that is a safety issue. So Dawn felt like the 2 minutes we were in the classroom today explained a lot about this year for us.

We walked around Dowtown Pleasanton which was fun. The GR Doodlebug store is closing soon. Sad. It's not open on Mondays either. Bad luck. So we couldn't buy a magic wand. We did get to go to the bookstore. Dawn needs a new book for her flight home. She finished her book waiting while the flight was delayed. I bought Green Eggs and Ham because my boys love it. It's a lift the flap version which is super cool. One of the moms at school was impressed with the book because Parker brought it with us to get Gavin. She wanted a copy for herself. I also bought Oh the Thinks You Can Think. I think that's what it's called. No pun intended! I have always wanted to build up our Dr. Seuss library. Today was a good start.

Heath was in San Jose today doing a presentation for one of the clients he works with. He had called and left a message wondering if we were ok after the earthquake. I didn't even know there was one. I hadn't felt anything but based on when he called and what I read on KTVU's website, it happened while we were driving so that could by why we didn't notice. I made sure to call Heath back and let him know we were fine so he wouldn't worry. It was interesting since our combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting yesterday was on emergency preparedness!

After we got Gavin from school we went to Del Prado Park. The kids had fun running around imagining it was their own world. They love the concrete slide too. Gwen walked all over the place. She was getting frustrated with falling and I could tell she was tired so we went home for snacks and naps. I actually have Gwen and Parker napping in the same room! Nice.

Well, once again I have blogged too much. I better help Gavin with his homework. There is much less this week. Only 2 pages a day to get done by Friday. And it's all educational. Writing practice, math worksheets, and a journaling assignment. Much better. Not that I said anything to her about it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Have you ever had one of those days that was nothing like you imagined it would be when you woke up that morning?

I knew it would be a hot day today so I got everyone dressed in shorts. I thought it would be about 50 degrees or so on the way to school so I put Gwen in a jacket. It was 60 degrees and quite pleasant outside. So when we got home we played outside for a few minutes before snacks and putting Gwen down for a nap. I took these fun pictures.

Gwen loves to practice walking by pushing the boys' bikes. She has been walking a lot on her own too.

The dress she is wearing is size 18 months. We bought it last summer. Last summer it actually was a dress on her. Now she kind of looks inappropriate. It's beyond short. I know it comes with little bloomers or whatever you want to call them. I'm just not used to seeing so much leg on my kids. Put some clothes on that baby!

Parker thought it was cool that some rocks fit in the hole in Gavin's scooter while some were too big.

I love that million dollar smile of his.

We came in and I gave them snacks. Gwen loves to eat her snacks standing at the edge of the table. This picture was taken right before my day changed course and never really got back on track.
I'm sure you've noticed my messy table. It's indicative of my kitchen. Well, my whole house was cluttered and messy at this point in the day. Parker accidentally bumped his cereal bowl from this morning that was close to the edge of the counter. It fell and shattered all over the floor. Whoever said that Correlle dishes don't break easily never had one fall onto a tile floor. Gwen was crying because she was tired and startled. I picked her up, carried her upstairs, took her shoes off, and then heard Parker say someone was at the door.
Now let me share something about myself here. I am a paranoid person. I don't know why but I am afraid of everything! A month or so ago I had a dream where I was playing with my boys in the front room. The doorbell rang. I felt weird as I walked to the door thinking I shouldn't answer it. But for some reason I didn't look through the peephole first. I watched myself slowly unlock the door and open it. There was a really tall, thin man standing at the door. He walked right past me into my house without saying a word. He had a blank expression on his face. I turned to my kids and told them each individually to get the neighbors. Then I woke up all in a panic. The scariest part about that dream was the fact that it was the house I live in now. I never dream about the place I live. It's always some place I have never seen before. So now I get really nervous every time the doorbell rings.
I carried Gwen back downstairs to check out who was at my door. Right when I got to the door I heard a knock. It was clearly a child knocking. Then I heard, "Parker, open the door. It's Owen." My friend/visiting teacher happened to be riding her bike with her son and they decided to stop by to visit for a minute. I invited them in and she offered to clean up the shattered bowl and the Cheerios all over the floor from Gwen not eating her breakfast this morning. She swept, I put Gwen down for her nap, Parker and Owen played, and Lisa and I talked.
When they left Parker asked for a movie. I had told him he could watch a movie earlier but with friends coming over it didn't happen. I let him watch a show and a half while I made lunch. We had lunch and I cleaned up my kitchen. Then we got Gavin from school.
Most days Gavin needs some time to adjust from being in school mode to being in home mode. He picks a lot of fights as he makes the transition. Today it was excessive and I was losing my patience for all the fighting the boys were doing. We were attempting to play outside but the boys kept arguing over toys. It was so irritating. I finally took the rescue hero and airplane away. But not without dropping the airplane first. One of the wings came off. The same one that always comes off. It wasn't broken. I was just annoyed. Then I stubbed my toe on a box while I tried to put the toys out of reach in the garage. By then Gavin had stormed in the house to pout. Parker was crying and Gwen was still pushing a bike around.
I told Parker to go inside to take a nap. World War 3 broke out. I escorted Parker to his room. Gavin was in bed claiming he was tired. He was mad that Parker was supposed to take a nap. I let him throw a tantrum while I IM'd Heath. (Somewhere in all this craziness I did bring Gwen in.) I was finally ready to help Gavin end his tantrum without wanting to tantrum myself. I got him calmed down and he was still insisting he was tired. So I told him he could take a nap in my bed. Heath had IM'd me saying that Gavin could sleep on his side of the bed. Gavin agreed that he should sleep on Dad's side because he's a man. He was on my side but I decided not to say anything.
Gavin and I were about to go up to my room when I saw Gwen standing at the top of the stairs. I told her to turn around to come down. She didn't. Instead she fell. Very ungracefully like Buttercup on The Princess Bride when she rolled down the hill after Wesley. So I had to soothe her injured pride after making sure she wasn't broken. I got her down for a nap. Then put Gavin in my room.
Finally my house was quiet. I started cleaning in preparation for Heath's mom to come tonight. Then my doorbell rings again! What? I look out the peephole and it's my next door neighbors. They came to see if my boys wanted to join their playdate with friends. I let both boys go since neither one of them was asleep yet. I got my house most of the way cleaned before they came back.
Heath called saying he was on BART heading home and he suggested we go out to eat then go to Costco. It wasn't planned but we decided it was better than going to Costco tomorrow when his mom was visiting. Who wants to go to Costco on a Saturday when you have company at home? The kids were so cute tonight. They are just really funny people! Sometimes I can't listen to the sheer volume of things they have to say as loud as humanly possible. But they are funny people and we love them.
Dawn's flight was delayed. Heath is picking her up now. I didn't expect this day but it turned out ok. At least my house is clean!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity

I have been trying really hard lately to not complain so much! Hahahahaha! I know, that was the best joke ever. But seriously. Gavin has finally finished his homework today after working on it for a solid 90 minutes!!!! Today we skipped the sight word flash cards and the stories he gets sent home every week to practice reading.

He has worked on homework every night this week (as usual) for 30-60 minutes PER NIGHT!!!! He's in KINDERGARTEN! Second graders in the same school get less homework than he does. None of the homework is hard, just tedious. Cutting, pasting, word searches, find the hidden pictures, dot to dots, and color EVERY SINGLE PAGE. Most of his worksheets are poor copies of copies of copies of OLD worksheets meant to be given to students who finish their work early. I love getting his homework folder on Monday and seeing stapled packet after packet of all this tedious waste of time drivel. It's 72 degrees outside, the sun is shining and Gavin was doing homework all afternoon. How about a couple of meaningful worksheets a night rather than all this? Ok, I'm done complaining now. Go ahead and vote on my poll. How do you feel about homework? Especially now that the weather is nice.

Show and Tell

For the last couple of months Gavin's class has been asked to share an item each week that begins with the letter of the alphabet for that week. I wish I had kept track of this stuff sooner because I think we've come up with some fun things to share. Mrs. Williams has complimented us several times for our creativity. Remember what I said the other day, you have to be smart to be creative! So far Gavin has shared:

  1. A - a picture from the Seattle Aquarium
  2. B - the BYU shirt Grandma made
  3. C - a comic book Gavin made with free software from Taco Bell
  4. D - copies of the scrapbook layout I made about Dinosaur Land. That was one where I was complimented for my creativity. Mrs. Williams reads my journaling to the class. She really liked the line where I said it was a successful trip considering Gavin was 2 years old and Parker was 8 months old. That was such a fun trip to christen our new van!
  5. E - a copy of the hospital birth certificate with the footprints. It has Gavin's full name on it. His middle name is Earl which begins with E.
  6. F - the frog on Gavin's I'm the Biggest Big Brother shirt that Grandma made when Gwen was born.
  7. G - a picture of Gavin's cousin Garrett
  8. H - Heath bars. I was given this picture today of Gavin sharing the candy bars. The kids also have to say why that item is special to them. So Gavin said that Heath is his dad's name. He had a candy bar for every student in the class as well as Mrs. Williams.
    The moms were not thrilled when their kids came running out after school with a full sized Heath candy bar in their hands! Oh well. I thought it was a great thing to share candy bars with everyone rather than a wrapper or one candy bar like Gavin was hoarding it or something! Heath buys a case of these candy bars every time he has to give a presentation to a client or he teaches a class. People remember his name as well as the material he presented. I think it's fun!
  9. I - Parker's Insect book he got for Christmas
  10. J - a paper I printed from the Internet about the Jelly Belly Factory. Gavin shares on Mondays now so we didn't actually go until Wednesday of that week.
  11. K - the pictures of us flying kites at Half Moon Bay.

Next week is L. Hmm . . . I'll have to think of something good. Any suggestions for any upcoming letters are welcome!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Few Fun Moments

Gwen has not been napping well in the morning yesterday and today. I don't know if she is giving up her morning nap or if she needs it shortened or what. Yesterday Parker was in my room and we were reading books together. Maybe she heard us and couldn't sleep. Then he threw a big fit when I put him over the gate. That didn't help Gwen's napping! I've gotten so used to her morning nap that I don't know what I will do if she really is giving it up. Go to the park and work on my tan while Gavin is in school!

When we went to the park for our ward Park Day, we were surprised to see a couple kids from Gavin's class. Gavin and Parker had such a blast playing with Wyatt and Eliana. Soon Jacob showed up and they played with him too. We have been meeting Jacob at the park every Wednesday this school year and it turned into our ward Park Day. Parker could not be more excited to play with the big kids.

Gwen just did her own thing like usual. She was obsessed with Parker's Go Diego Go water bottle. I am tempted to trash that thing because it leaks like crazy and for all of Parker's whining that I take it with us to the park, he never drinks out of it! But Gwen had fun with it and even managed to take the lid off and dump the water out. At one point I was talking to Michelle. I happpened to look over at Gwen to visually check on her and that girl was walking! I don't know how she got there since she was nowhere near anything to stand up next to but she was walking on her own clutching the Go Diego Go water bottle. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited!

After Michelle left to get her big kids from school, Gwen played with Baby Donovon, Eliana's baby brother. He's 5 months old. Gwen was more or less trying to crawl over him to get to fun things on the blanket. Megan (the mom) offered Gwen an Aussie bite. It was like a mini cupcake. Gwen was so proud of herself!

The kids had found worms in the sand. Gavin asked if it could be his pet. I told him it could and he could visit it at the park. He was fine with that. But now he's outside looking for more worms for pets. Parker wants to name one Wormy. I knew this day would come. I'm actually surprised my boys haven't been interested in bugs and worms and stuff sooner. Parker used to get so excited about the bugs I would point out to him when he was a baby that he would squish them in his hands. Poor little potato bugs! But my boys are afraid of ants. They think ants are spiders. They also are afraid of flies. Sometimes they call flies spiders. My boys are funny. Worms are fine as long as I don't have to touch them. But I still dread the day they find the lizards in our backyard and catch one. Why do I have 2 boys again? Gwen is such a rough and tough girl that I can totally picture her bringing me the lizard.

When we came home I saw the sweetest thing ever. Gavin reminded me to grab the camera. I'm glad I did.

My kids are so sweet together. Gavin and Parker are still so in love with Gwen. She totally loves them back. I always tell her to say goodnight to whoever is in the room before her nap. She waves and smiles so big. When I did that with the boys when Parker was a baby, both boys couldn't care less. Gavin was good to say goodnight to Parker most of the time but nothing from Parker to Gavin. It's funny because they have always been joined at the hip even when Gavin was a toddler and Parker was an infant. I love my kids.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nuggets of Wisdom

"If you put things away you find things."

"You are very creative. You have to be smart to be creative."

Every once in a while I can say profound things as a mother! And every once in a while my kids actually listen and take what I say to heart.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Half Moon Bay

with a lot of pictures and video! I tried to get the video to be in the middle of the pictures so it flowed with the way I tell the story but I'm just glad I got the video to work at all! So be sure to check out the fun videos at the end of the post.

My mom really wanted to go to the beach. I have not taken advantage of where I live in sunny California. I went to Pfifer Beach and I believe Carmel when I visited my Uncle Chris and Aunt Darla as a teenager. I have also been to a beach in Southern California when Heath had a business trip to Irvine in 2003. My latest beach experience was in San Diego in the fall of 2007 soon after we moved to California. So we really needed to do the beach thing. We decided to go to Half Moon Bay because it is very close to where we live and we've heard great things about it.

My mom really wanted to fly kites on the beach. She has this romantic point of view of flying kites. Once when we were all young kids, my mom took us out to fly kites. I don't remember what happened but we kids didn't think it was the greatest experience in the world. My mom was so disappointed and mad that we didn't have fun. She has held it over our heads ever since! Candi and I told her not to base our opinions of kite flying on one bad day.

We had a lot of fun picking out kites at JR Doodlebug. My kids were as excited as Grandma to fly the kites at the beach.

The weather had been sunny and warm all the way until Saturday when we lost at least 10 degrees. The weather was cloudy, windy, and sad.
It was super windy at the beach. It didn't take much effort to get most of the kites up in the air. Gavin was happy to be at the beach despite the frigid temperatures. Parker and Gwen took a little more convincing that it was actually fun. They were cold and it was a new experience.

Gavin thought it was a lot of fun flying the Spiderman kite Grandma bought.

I bought a Toy Story kite for $4. I was very impressed with that price. Since it was a simple kite it flew really easily.

We got a few smiles out of Parker when he held onto the kite. But he didn't like holding it for long so Heath hooked it to Parker's pants.

My Uncle Chris and his daughter Zoe had also joined us.

Soon we had a lot of kites in the air. It was fun to watch them.

Candi and Ed had bought really cool kites. Candi had a Mustang airplane kite and Ed had a two handled kite. Well, I think that was what the airplane kite was that Candi bought. Right as we were leaving there was a helicopter or a small airplane that was circling overhead. Candi and Ed were super excited because supposedly it was similar to her kite.

There is video at the end of Ed flying his kite. Ed was really glad that Heath was there to help. Ed thought it would be so much simpler than it was to fly his kite. Heath has been to several family reunions at Cannon Beach in Oregon where there were nice double handled box kites. So he knew how to get the kite up in the air and he taught Ed how to use very small tugs on either side to get the kite to turn. If you turn the kite too much it crashes. Ed said that if Heath hadn't been there to teach him how to fly his kite, he may have assumed it was broken and completely given up. Ed had a blast once he knew how to do it.

One fun thing about going to the beach is watching the surfers. That's Heath's favorite part. The surfers were in full length wet suits with hoods. But they were having a blast in the water.

My kids were amused by the kites for a minute or two but all they wanted to do was play in the sand. Gavin had asked if we could bring our sand toys. They quickly forgot about the cold once their toys were on the beach. They like to bury their sand toys. I hope we dug all of them up!

Gwen was the happiest baby ever! She was shivering as soon as we got to the beach. Heath took his coat off since I totally forgot to grab blankets for her. He says he's used to cold weather like this since he's from Seattle. But Gwen didn't really want to have his coat wrapped around her. She had a blast exploring all the shells and dried up kelp. Parker had fun collecting shells. I told him he could bring home anything he wanted to from the beach. I told him to put stuff in his pockets. The pants he was wearing had buttons over the pockets. Parker asked me to help him because his pockets "were locked." I thought that was cute.
Gwen kept crawling towards the small drop off. Heath was down by the water with the boys and I think she wanted to be a part of that action too. I kept pulling her back so she wouldn't fall down. But that girl is bound and determined to get what she wants so I told Heath to get her. He threw the boys up onto the sand where we were. There was really no other way to get them back up. They thought that was fun to be tossed up over the edge and land with a thud in the soft sand.
Heath would walk with Gwen to the edge of the water. She was giggling the whole way. Then when the waves came, Heath would pick her up and race away from the water. She thought that was so much fun. The second video below is of them.

At one point Gavin wanted back down. I was trying to get video of Heath and Gwen and wasn't ready to help lower Gavin down yet. So he started going for it himself. I figured it would be alright so I told him if he could get down on his own he could go by the water as long as he stayed next to his dad. So that's exactly what happened. Only Heath didn't know Gavin was down there. So the waves were coming and Heath and Gwen were racing back. But Gavin wasn't fast enough. That's when Heath realized he was there. Gavin was soaked and Heath got a little wet. We were all laughing so hard. The last video is that scene.

I have been cleaning up sand ever since we got back! It was tons of fun to play at Half Moon Bay. We saw that there are places to camp nearby. Maybe this summer we'll have to go camping by the beach. But probably before that we may use our free night at the Holiday Inn Express nearby and spend the whole day at the beach. That would be fun.

The sad news was we couldn't play for long. We meant to have a picnic lunch on the beach but my sister can't have lunch meat since she's pregnant. We had a great idea of getting tri tip from a barbeque place near our house. But we didn't think of the fact that they wouldn't be open before we left at 9 am. So our plan was to find KFC in Half Moon Bay. We looked online before we left. No such luck. Zoe was getting hungry so Chris took her back up to the car to eat her picnic lunch. We decided to drive around and see what we could find. We found a Thai food restaurant. Ed and I got Pad Thai. He was pretty excited to finally taste it after watching the Pad Thai throwdown with Bobby Flay the night before. Everyone really enjoyed the Thai food. Especially when Heath surprised everyone by paying the full check! We had homemade chocolate chip cookies in our van after lunch and then headed home. Chris and Zoe went back to Sacramento while my family packed up and left for SLC.
They wanted to leave early Sunday morning like at 5 am. But there was supposed to be a rainstorm Saturday night that would be snow through Donner's Pass. So they left around 3 or 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Their was snow through Truckee and Donner's but luckily it wasn't so heavy yet that they needed chains and couldn't see. They made it to somewhere in Nevada and stopped for the night. Last night my mom called to say they were finally home safe. It was so fun to have them here. It was great to get to know Ed better. We met him once before Candi got engaged to him. We were in the process of finding a new job and a place to live. They got married 2 days before we moved to San Francisco. It was fun to get to know him in July and now at our house. My kids are so in love with him. Ed will make a great dad. We had so much fun in the 4 days my family was here. My kids still pray about having Grandma, Aunt Candi, and Uncle Ed come to our house. They miss my family. We do too. It was sure a fun visit.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Actually we didn't get to yell this word out very often on Friday. We did have a lot of fun saying "Go Bumpers!" We had kids playing so of course we had to pull out the bumpers. But after my mom bowled several gutter balls she put up the bumpers on her lane too! Since most of my balls bounced off the bumpers before successfully hitting 3-4 pins, I fully supported my mom in her bumper decision.

In case anyone was taking notes, real bowling is nothing like Wii bowling. My family had a lot of fun Wii bowling last July. We were actually pretty good at it. But the real thing left a lot to be desired.

First of all, it's incredibly boring for babies. Poor Gwen was a prisoner in her stroller. She has spent a lot of time in that bad boy before but people usually pay attention to her. Not so much when we were all bowling so poorly. I did give her some fruit snacks for the first time in her life. I hoped she wouldn't choke on them. Apparently I should have been more worried about her actually keeping them in her mouth. Her pants are covered in red fruit snack goo from her sitting on snacks that either fell out of her mouth or she purposefully dropped. I don't know which.

Second, we totally thought Ed would beat the socks off of us. He had better form than any of us. I have chosen not to share most of the pictures because they are very unflattering!

Heath actually won. He bowled a 140. That's good right? Ha ha I'm kidding! In Ed's defense, his score was really close to Heath's.

My self esteem was shot as my 3 year old's game was almost as good as Heath and Ed's game. I was nowhere close. Parker always does well on Wii bowling too. That little booger is just good at all things physical.

Gavin was a total crack up. He would roll the ball, Heath would give it a good shove (or 20 years would pass before the ball got anywhere near the pins), and then he'd do this crazy Gavin dance. The bowling shoes made it that much more classic.

Then he started doing really weird stuff. I don't know if he was praying to the bowling gods or what. But he would lie down on the floor and close his eyes. Right in front of the lane. I didn't get the camera out in time for that one but I did get this little maneuver. He would roll the ball then turn around and watch it between his legs. Oh to be 5 again!
The kids were losing interest pretty fast and I wondered why we thought it was a good idea to pay for 2 games. Except for the fact that it took us until almost the middle of the second game to find the rhythm. It was certainly an adventure!
Other things we did on Friday:
We took Gavin to school wearing red to support the teachers. Thank heavens for Shannon who had her son give us one of the 3 sunflowers they brought for Mrs. Williams. Like I said, I was not on the computer at all the entire time my family was in town. So I didn't see the 2 emails telling everyone to bring a flower for their teacher on Friday. I saw them on Saturday afternoon.
After dropping off Gavin we went to the park by our house for a few minutes. I left early to let Gwen take a nap. I woke her up an hour later so we had time to go to another park nearby. That was fun since there were a couple of women from the ward there with kids. Then we grabbed a quick lunch at home and got Gavin from school. We went to Downtown Pleasanton and bought kites for our day at the beach on Saturday. Then the bowling.
After bowling Heath made a fabulous dinner of chicken fajitas. We meant to watch a movie but ended up watching the Food Network and PVR'd shows from the Food Network. We introduced Candi and Ed to Pad Thai. They were pretty excited about it since they got a wok for their wedding. Heath and I went on another grocery shopping date. We decided to buy Candi and Ed a Pad Thai kit. They were really excited about that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

San Francisco

It's no secret that I'm kind of a freak about going into the city. I've blogged many times about this. If you're a new reader and you too would like to laugh at my expense, you may read Drama Queen or A day in the city. I'm sure there are other great SF stories but I don't readily know where they are. I swear, every time we go into the city I simply cannot believe we lived there for a month.

Just because I don't understand the tourist draw to San Francisco doesn't mean it isn't real. My family loves to go into SF so of course we had to plan a trip. I hate being a passenger in a car in the city but my favorite part about the trip to the city this time was that we were BARTing in! Hahahahahaha! Are you kidding me? That was basically my response when Heath suggested it. He rolled his eyes as lovingly as possible and told me I had done it before and that I would be ok.

Ok, my first experience with taking BART into the city was for a friend's baby shower. I went with another friend. We handled BART ok. I was glad she was paying attention and knew when to get off. But we fed the MUNI machines. I don't know what happened. We didn't plan well and ended up spending more money than we needed to. But I didn't die! My concern with this trip was not for myself as much as the fact that I had to take my babies. That filled my heart with some anxiety.

Heath was working at his office on Thursday so the plan was to BART in and meet him there. He was explaining what to do and how to get there to my mom and Ed the night before. My eyes were a little glazed over. The amazing thing is the only time my heart really raced was right when I parked the van into the impossibly tight parking spot and got out. This is it, I thought. No turning back; let's just do it. I did make Ed pay for me. I gave him my cash and basically begged that he do it for me. Being the nice guy he is he paid for me. We gathered the babies and got on.

My heart rate slowly returned to normal as I took several deep breaths and realized the car was empty. The boys were sitting just fine with Grandma. Gwen could not have been happier in her stroller. Eventually Gavin came to sit with me. He was having a sensitive day. (I found out today that he got in trouble in school on Thursday. I kind of thought so the way he was acting but I never got the chance to talk to him.) He thought the train was too loud so he laid his head on my lap and covered the other ear with his hand.

The BART car filled up with a few more people. Those people thought the boys were pretty cute. Parker was so funny. When we went through a tunnel he seemed surprised as he turned to my mom and said, "I can't see my window! I can't see out my window!" Ed explained to Gavin that we would be going under water. Gavin asked if we would see a shark. Ed told him nope. Gavin asked if we would see any fish. Ed answered nope, just a lot of concrete. I asked Gavin if he thought we would get wet. He seemed nervous that we might. We assured him he would stay dry.

Parker was calling my mom Grandma Cheeks and being a silly goose. Then out of nowhere he announces he needs to go potty. My mom tells me. Ok, she yells over the noise and I basically read her lips. I yell back, "Awesome. Of course he does!" Candi and Ed laugh because what else could any of us do? Then Parker says, "I just going to pee in my underwear!" That's his way of saying that he's serious. He doesn't want to check out some bathroom for the sake of it. He really needs to go and if we don't get him there soon he will pee in his underwear. My family freaks out. "No! Don't pee in your underwear! We're going to stop soon. Please wait!"

Luckily for us we stopped maybe 90 seconds after his first announcement that he had to go. So we are dashing through the BART station searching in vain for a bathroom. We finally ask a BART employee who says that due to security issues the bathrooms have all been shut down. But then she explained to us how to get to a nearby coffee shop or there was a hotel across the street from Peet's Coffee. So off we go. The coffee shop restroom was only for paying customers. We speed walked to the bathroom, read the sign, then speed walked back out. I considered playing the "I have a 3 year old who is about to pee in his underwear" card but chose not to. We speed walked to the hotel and like mice in a maze after a chunk of cheese, we took a couple of wrong turns before we found the entrance. I put Parker in a stall, Gavin in the next stall, and decided to go myself. I'm assuming Parker made it alright.

After the bathroom fiasco we tried to figure out where to catch the F train to get to Pier 39. I realized I should have paid more attention to what Heath told us the night before. I felt completely calm though because Ed is a smart guy, he listened to Heath, and I kind of recognized where we were. I had just never walked there before. We eventually found the F train and I was relieved we didn't have to collapse Gwen's stroller to get on. Ed carried Gwen, stroller and all, onto the train, and each boy was with someone. We sat down and away we went. Ed would look at the pier numbers and tell us how many more we had to go. That will come into play later in the story. I was so happy to see Heath who greeted us at our stop at Pier 39 right across the street from his building.

We looked at the sea lions first. We enjoyed the street performers. Ed almost was tricked by a shoe shiner who tells people he can guess where they bought their shoes, then he shines them. When you pay he sees you have more cash and tries to guilt you into paying him more. Heath has been conned by this guy once. Ed got away with saying he didn't have any cash. Everyone had a good laugh with the guy and as we walked away Heath clapped the guy on the back saying, "You almost had him. That's my brother in law and you almost had him."

The kids were getting hungry so we tried to figure out something fun for dinner. I had talked about Bubba Gump earlier but then Heath mentioned Boudin. Everyone agreed on Boudin but there was too much sticker shock. So we saw The Rainforest Cafe across the street. Stupid, stupid me. When will I ever learn? I always think that would be a fun place to go with kids. Kids yes. My kids? Not so much.

Candi and Ed are happy. They think the ambiance is cool. They're excited to try this place for the first time.
Grandma is excited. Parker actually was excited too. Nearly two years ago we went to The Rainforest Cafe on our way home from San Diego. Parker lost his mind. I totally thought Gavin, my very sensitive boy, would lose his mind but no, it was my fearless Parker. Our table was right next to a robotic gorilla that would make noise and move every so often, usually before the pretend rainstorm. It startled Parker who clung to me the rest of the time there. Heath pulled him out of the high chair kicking and screaming to sit on my lap to eat. His head never left my chest. Way to go Mom!

But this time around Parker was in awe of everything. He would walk up to the butterflies by our table and say, "Hi, how are you? What's your name? My name is Parker." He loved everything and all the animals. Heath walked him around several times to look at fun animals.

Gavin screamed as we walked by the snake in the front entrance. He shook, wouldn't walk, and I had to drag him to our table. I think I had to pick him up when we walked by the gorilla. Flashbacks of the whole dragon fear last month that also included gorillas and monkeys. This is a good picture because Gavin took care of himself very well, all things considered. He kept his head down and colored until he was calm enough. He never looked at the animals the whole time. I was pretty proud of how well he took care of himself. This picture makes me think I better start exercising again! Nothing quite like looking more pregnant than your pregnant sister! Gwen did a great job at this restaurant. She ate more Rasta Pasta than I did! She was absolutely covered in water, cracker crumbs, olive oil, cheese, and yuck.

These pics are out of order. But this is Parker squeezing me harder than I thought a 2 year old possibly could. I need to remember that The Rainforest Cafe has never been a good experience for my kids! But I'm sure I'll go again in a year or two. The fluffy tummy is ok in this one. I actually was pregnant!
It's possible that Parker never opened his eyes the whole time we ate. His head never came up and his grip never loosened on me.

Gavin tried really hard to keep it together on the way out. But he struggled so I carried him. He's a big boy to carry too. Then he lost it right at the entrance again. Yes ladies and gentlemen and everyone staring at me and my family, my child is spirited. My husband and I don't normally argue about it but when we are as embarrassed as we are now we snip at each other. Go about your business please!
It was after 7:30 pm so all I wanted to do was take my overwhelmed and tired kids home to bed. I take a lot of blame for the fact that we got into the city as late as we did. I thought Heath said he had a meeting that would go until 4:00 and that we could leave home as late as 3:00. No, I misunderstood. He hoped we would get there much earlier and play before meeting him for dinner. When the opportunity came up for my sister to get her hair cut before we left, I thought it was fine. She was done by 3:00 but we didn't leave the house for another 20 minutes. Anyway, we went to the Museum Mechanique. See the link for a day in the city above if you want to know what that is.
We tried to catch an F train but we had to wait over 15 minutes. It was well past my babies' bedtimes and all I wanted was to get them home so I was all for walking the nearly 2 miles to the Embarcadero BART station. We did. Two F trains passed us. No comment. Heath had his laptop and carried Parker on his shoulders. Ed carried Gavin on his shoulders. I pushed Gwen. Ed and Gavin played rhyming games. I thought of Ed's comment earlier about the pier numbers and how we only had 38 more to go! We made it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be to walk that far with overly tired babies. Heath sometimes makes that walk twice a day. What a guy. Of course he only has a laptop and not a laptop and a 3 year old to carry.
We made the BART train in time. The boys and my mom fell asleep on the ride home. Gwen only sleeps in her crib so she was wide awake entertaining the entire full car of people with her giggling. I think it was nice to have a happy baby entertaining everyone on the way home that late after such a long day. We got home at 10:30 pm, put kids to bed in their clothes, and then went to bed ourselves. What a long exhausting day!

Jelly Belly Factory

Can I just start by saying I feel so disconnected from the world right now! I have not gone that many days without looking at the computer in a really long time. To catch everyone up, my family came to visit. The next couple of posts are about what we did while they were here.

On Wednesday afternoon we picked up Gavin from school and then headed to Carl's Jr for lunch. We were expecting to get a phone call from my sister Candi or her husband Ed at any moment. They were visiting my aunt Darla and my cousins in Sacramento. Then they were meeting us in Fairfield at the Jelly Belly Factory. Gavin and Parker were so excited to see Grandma, Aunt Candi and Uncle Ed. They also could not wait to go to the Jelly Belly Factory. They had been counting down the days for almost a month. Parker knew Gavin would go to the library at school and then we would visit the Jelly Belly Factory. Ed called as soon as we were done with lunch so we were on our way.

It was such a nice and sunny day I decided Gwen should wear the outfit my mom gave her for her birthday. I love how she looks like a jelly bean with how colorful she is.
Such a happy baby.

I was really looking forward to seeing my sister who is 5 months along in her first pregnancy. She hardly even looks pregnant even though she was wearing a maternity shirt I gave her! Her hair was so dark it was really hard for me to get used to. My sister has highlighted her hair or dyed it red or done something with it for years. I had no idea her natural hair color was as dark as mine! That was crazy.

We took a free factory tour. Everyone had to wear these little paper hats "because no one likes a hairy jelly bean." Gwen kept taking hers off. Gavin kept bouncing so much his kept falling off. I think Gavin was a little overwhelmed with all the people but he enjoyed looking in the windows with Parker. It was interesting to learn about the history of Jelly Belly candy, how they are made, etc. President Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans and kind of helped get the company started. Jelly Belly was always sending Pres. Reagan jelly beans to satisfy his cravings. In fact, he said he never started any meetings without a big dish of Jelly Belly's to pass around. Jelly Belly created a new flavor to make a blue jelly bean for a red, white, and blue flag out of jelly beans for him. I also learned that it takes 7-21 days for one jelly bean to be made and only 1 second to eat it!

Heath had a conference call he was supposed to be on so he was getting a little concerned with how long the tour was. The tour ended without him having to leave early.

He snapped this picture of the kids at the end of the tour and then spent the next hour sitting in the van with the air conditioning on for a conference call.

Then we had a few minutes of fun posing for a bunch of pictures and taking turns taking pictures.

We wandered around the gift shop for a while. I wanted to get a big bag of Belly Flops but Heath had told me earlier he didn't want that. He wanted to make a special bag of his favorite flavors so he wouldn't have to be surprised with nasty flavors like coffee and cappuccino. I kept hoping his call would end early so he could tell me what he wanted. The boys were starting to lose their minds in the gift shop. They wanted everything but really all they wanted was to just eat something. So I took them to the cafeteria area and let them eat their complimentary bag of jelly beans. They ate the whole bag in record time! Then they played on the mechanical car. They didn't care that I never put coins in it. I sat and talked with my mom, my sister, and my brother in law. They were amazed with how mellow and happy Gwen was. Ed tried to give her the hiccups from laughing. She thought he was hilarious but no hiccups.
The factory announced they were closing and Heath walked in. So we never got anything from the gift shop. Oh well. We went to La Pinata in Walnut Creek. As we pulled into the parking lot there were a couple of guys smoking outside the building. One of them had long dark hair and a long beard. Parker said, "Look, I see Jesus!" Heath had to assure him that it was not Jesus! But we all had a good laugh over that one.
Dinner was great. Gwen ate all my rice. Some random stranger lady in the bathroom gushed about how cute Gwen was while she was taking care of business in her stall. I was standing around waiting for Parker to finish his business in his stall. That was an interesting conversation! But when your kids are as cute as mine I guess you get used to wannabe Paparazzi.
We went home and watched TV. My family doesn't have cable so anything on TV would have made their day. But the fact that they could watch PVR'd shows was even better! Gwen slept in the pack and play in the boys' room. It would have been less traumatic if Parker would have just stayed in there. But he was busy doing his usual lurking. I think he was just a little excited for people to be visiting and he wasn't all that tired. That soon changed!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Somehow there was supposed to be a leprechaun dancing. Oh well. This is how computer illiterate I am. Thanks for the card Dawn. It was cute.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hopes and Dreams

It's important to hope and dream. If you hope and dream long and hard enough, sometimes miracles happen.

First dream come true:
Gavin's class had the assignment to make a leprechaun trap. We researched, planned, and prepared with a lot of help from an article in Family Fun Magazine.

For Family Home Evening last week we brainstormed our plans for a trap. Later in the week I took the kids on a rock walk. We wanted to collect small rocks to paint gold to trick the leprechauns into thinking it was real gold. Then we put the trap together. By we I mean Heath. Unfortunately time got away from us and we hadn't started anything on putting the trap together until about 8 pm. Heath started spray painting everything but the kids had to go to bed before anything was dry. I was getting a cold from my kids who love to share (that was an earlier post) and I passed out on the couch. Heath is such a great guy to do the whole project himself!

Gavin was quite concerned about the project. Of course he wanted to help. The real concern was that his dad had sprayed the rocks white instead of gold! Primer. So when Gavin prayed that night he said, "Please bless that the rocks will be gold. Dad painted them white. Please bless they will be gold in the morning." Such faith for our little guy. His hopes and dreams came true when he saw the completed project in the morning. Gold rocks and everything!

Gavin was able to help make the sign in the morning since Heath was working from home. Gavin signed his name using the digital drawing pad we have. Pretty cool. Click on the picture to enlarge it if you can't see it well.

He was so proud of the trap.
Second dream come true:
Heath bought me a Wii Fit. We have wanted one since we got our Wii for Heath's birthday nearly a year ago. We have been in competition with each other and ourselves since Friday afternoon.
It's tons of fun and you wouldn't believe how much you sweat doing simple activities. My abs hurt all weekend from hula hooping. Heath and I did a 2 person run. His Mii ran faster than mine and I was getting left behind. I was getting a little frustrated so Heath suggested I bounce my Wii remote in my hand more without changing my running speed. I did and my Mii tripped and fell! Have you ever tried running and laughing at the same time? We thought we might die laughing at that one!
This morning I did my regular exercise routine with my fitness ball. I wasn't ready to be criticized by a talking Wii Fit board at 6 am. It tells me to step on so I do and it says, "Oh," like I'm the fattest thing ever! It says "great" when the kids step on it. It tells me I have gained a pound or so EVERY time I do a body test. Then it reminds me how much weight I need to lose in order to reach my goal. Yeah, I didn't need that this morning. I worked out with my ball that doesn't judge and enjoys being pushed around and sat on. I will brave the Wii later tonight with Heath I'm sure! :)
Third dream come true:
We entered to win a Victorian farm house. While we didn't win, we did have a Victorian farm house given to us! Sometimes you never know how your dreams will come true. Life is never how you plan it. That's what makes it fun.
Our neighbors 2 houses down from us came over and said they were getting rid of a lot of things including toys and games. So Heath went to check it out. He came home with a couple of RC trucks (that our neighbors' girls loved until they were teenagers and then they acted like the trucks weren't theirs at all), 2 dolls with several sets of clothes (Gavin and Parker took the clothes off of one saying they needed to change her diaper but when I told them I didn't want to change her clothes and they couldn't get the original ones back on, they left the doll face down on the floor right next to the stairs!) several board games, and

the Victorian farm house that was actually hand made by our next door neighbor for the girls of the other neighbors when they were little. Gwen is too little for a doll house right now but I was excited for her to have one.

here's the inside

and here's all the furniture at the top of Gwen's closet.
Everything was bagged up inside the house when Heath brought it home. But Parker keeps pulling the house away from the wall to play with everything. I don't want small doll furniture all over Gwen's room right now especially since she's too little to play with it. Parker has been into so many things lately. He drives me crazy! I am running out of places to put things to keep them out of reach of Curious George.
Parker is too funny though. I was told that in Primary yesterday he was bouncing around the room. His teacher felt so bad that she didn't realize what was going on. He normally sits quietly. But I guess at one point he stood up and pulled down his pants. Then he started to pull down his pull up. That's when Michelle R ran over to him asking if he needed to use the bathroom. His teacher was busy paying attention to the Primary President while she talked to everyone. Michelle told me about it during Sunday School. I was embarrassed.
But after church Parker was heartbroken and crying his eyes out over losing some paper. Heath had taken him back in the building to find it but no such luck. His teacher started loading her family in her car right next to us. So I asked her about the paper. It must have been from an activity the Elders Quorum did with the kids the last hour. But then Jacqueline J, his teacher, started telling me about the potty incident in Primary. She felt horrible for not realizing why he was so bouncy and for not noticing his almost strip tease. I was embarrassed for her. I told her that she was not to blame because you can never tell what a 3 year old is thinking. I told her just like I told Michelle that I would have a discussion with Parker about asking to use the bathroom.
That last story is a future hope and dream. That Parker will be 100% potty trained some day before he enters high school! Gwen had chewed on her hair clip until the felt came off today during her nap. I was annoyed with the chewing stage until I realized that when she's out of it we're all done with that stage. Then I thought about how one of my brother's reasons for not having any more kids is the fact that he already did the diaper thing for 6 years. I am coming up on 6 years of my life (that I will never get back) of diapers. Hopefully there are only about 1-2 more. And I'm crossing my fingers that girls really do potty train faster than boys! Don't hold my breath right?
I believe in hopes and dreams. I am living many of my hopes and dreams. Here's to many more hopes and dreams of the future.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Look Grandma, no hands!

Miss Gwen has been practicing walking with a lot of enthusiasm lately. She loves to use her walker as you can see in the video. But her new thing is to crawl to Heath or me (mostly me) and have us hold her hand while she walks wherever. I said in an earlier post that I have taken many laps with her in the backyard as I turn her walker for her. That girl is the energizer bunny sometimes!

Well, today Heath tried to see if Gwen would walk more than 2 steps on her own. She can totally do it but so far she has a serious lack of confidence. I don't know what finally motivated her. Maybe it was knowing that both her grandmas are coming to visit this month. But she finally walked! Yay Gwen! Everyone at church was so impressed with her.

Church was great today. Heath and I were doing a pretty good job with our kids. About the time we were running out of ideas, Judy M asked to hold Gwen. I was thrilled. Gwen had so much fun playing with Judy and her girls. Heath and I had one boy each. We were actually able to listen. Shock! Parker started getting super restless and silly. So I threatened to take away computer time tomorrow. He was an angel the rest of the meeting. At least I know what motivates him most of the time.

We had independent Sunday School in the hall with other couples of young babies. Everyone was impressed with Gwen's walking. Then I took her to Nursery for the last hour. We had a Visiting Teaching training so the Elders Quorum took care of Primary and Nursery (we now have 1 boy who just turned 18 months old and sometimes a 3 year old when he visits his grandma and great grandma). Robert R was in there with his 15 month old so I asked if I could leave Gwen in there. He was fine with it. Regan C was helping. He told me after church that of all 4 kids in the Nursery for that hour, Gwen did the best and had no crying spells like the other kids. My girl is so grown up! Just kidding.

Enjoy the video Grandmas. I put it on specifically for you!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Realities of Sharing

Society puts a lot of emphasis on sharing and other nice social skills. However, we live in a day and age where sharing is not in everyone's best interest. The following is a list of things people should just keep to themselves.

  1. Food - I know I know, I was also raised to share my food because it's a nice thing to do. I firmly believe that food stretches when one shares it. Barely enough food to feed your family? Invite the neighbors over for dinner and you'll be amazed that you have enough and then some for everyone. But the reality is you can hardly spit without hitting someone with some sort of dietary restriction, whether real or imagined. So share smiles and not food.
  2. Truth - Admit it, many broken hearts could have been spared had the truth police just kept it to themselves. Salacious gossip is a given but sometimes hopes and dreams are shattered by ill timed news. Ignorance is bliss has always been my policy!
  3. Love - This is a gray area. It's fantastic to share love and society should be more loving toward one another. I'm talking about inappropriate love and the consequences. I'm not going to make a list here. If you are a responsible adult you should know the consequences of sharing your love inappropriately. And if you are inappropriately sharing love chances are you are labeling another feeling love.
  4. Illness - Enough said! I'm so glad my kids know how to share but colds? It is ok to be selfish once in a while!
  5. Opinions and Advice - This one is just a suggestion because I certainly love to share my opinions and advice! Just remember to take all opinions and advice with a grain of salt. It's usually only worth what you paid for it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

As hard as it is to spring forward an hour I do love the extra daylight. I also love that Daylight Savings Time means winter is pretty much over. It's no longer spring fever but really spring. The other bonus of Daylight Savings is that my kids are sleeping so much longer in the morning. Yay! Their little bodies haven't completely adjusted to the time difference or the sun comes up an hour later therefore they don't get up as early. I don't know what it is but I love that everyday this week I have gotten them up at 7:30. Parker has not been knocking on my door at 6 am anymore.

I love that it's still light when Parker and Gwen wake up from their naps. Yesterday Parker told me he wanted to play outside after we got Gavin from school. But we couldn't because we had to take Gwen to the doctor. When he woke up he started fighting with Gavin. That's their new thing. They fight all the time. Drives me crazy. I told him it was still light so he could play outside. Both boys went outside which is a miracle really because most days you can't pay them enough to play outside for any length of time.

Gwen was grazing on the floor. Yep, I never need to sweep anymore. She takes care of it. Ha ha I'm kidding. I do sweep but most of the time I wonder why I even bother. It's pretty futile to clean anything around here. I clean one bathroom and finally get rid of the ever present smell of urine (that UR-In Control does work until Parker pees on the floor again! Aim son, aim!) and the next thing I know there's skid marks all over the toilet seat! I vacuum the floor and the next thing I know is there's sand everywhere. Or Cheerios. Or toe jam fuzz, paper scraps, or whatever. Phyllis Diller once said that cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. So true. Heath had a similar metaphor but I can't remember it now.

Anyway, before my irrelevant tangent, Gwen was eating from the floor but then she would crawl to the sliding glass door and hit the door to say hi to her brothers. I decided she needed outside time too. I took her to the mailbox with me. She fell down a lot. I don't know if she was so excited to be outside walking or if there was extra gravity out front or what. She walked just fine pushing her car walker in the backyard though. She's like a little wind up toy. She just walks and walks until she hits something or I turn the car. We did many laps around the yard. We played until Heath got home after 7 pm.

Today started out cold cold cold. 38 degrees is pretty chilly. But it warmed up pretty nicely by the time we had our ward Park Day. The kids had a blast with all the kids there today. It was the same turnout from our ward. Three other moms besides me and four kids between them. But there were a lot of other kids at the park besides our little group. Gavin and Parker had a blast running around with a set of twins we had met at the park months ago, Jackson and Jillian. I made a new best friend. She is 15 months old and apparently really loves chocolate! Nora (4 years old) was sharing chocolate chip cookies with everyone by asking moms if it was ok to give their kids a cookie. She gave me one for Gwen, who wasn't the least bit interested. So I offered to share with Rebekah. Rebekah loved the cookie. When it was gone she started climbing into my lap. She is so cute! I found out her adoption should be final by the end of the month. Yay for my friend Michelle! Her family is now complete with 4 children.

So I started out talking about Daylight Savings Time and ended up rambling about a bunch of other things. I have been IM-ing with Heath, talking about Kindergarten World with Gavin, putting vaseline on his chappy lips, and now he's watching PBS Kids in my room while I finish my scattered thoughts and post already so we can do homework. So sorry if my post is long and boring today. I've been multitasking!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

12 Months and change

Gwen had her 12 month check up today. She would have had it closer to her birthday but the pediatrician's office was changing from paper files to digital files and her doctor was in training. So we rescheduled.

Her stats are:

Length: 31.5" (95%)
Weight: 23.5 lbs. (80%)

I was surprised by her weight because Heath just weighed her at home and she was 25 lbs. Human error I guess. I'm also surprised that her weight is only in the 80th percentile. She has been in the 95th percentile for nearly every visit her whole life. I thought she was a big baby. Apparently she is still growing tall but she's slowed down on gaining weight. The doctor did say that 32 oz of milk was too much. I kind of figured it was. She gets 8 oz for every meal but we give her another 8 before bed. The doctor said if we limit her to 24 oz a day she may start eating more and put on more weight. But there was really no concern over her weight. It's obvious she is burning off baby fat by being active.

Once again the doctor was impressed with how advanced Gwen seems to be. She kept saying that Gwen looks and acts like a 15 month old. I guess she is reaching milestones that a typical 15 month old would. Her speech and walking are normal for her age.

The doctor told me I was lucky that Gwen puts herself to sleep and that she still takes two naps a day. My boys were down to one nap a day by this age so I guess every baby is different. The doctor also was impressed with Gwen's little pig tails in her hair. She asked how I did it. I told her I buckle Gwen up in her booster seat, give her something to eat, and work fast. Melissa is right, if you have a baby girl do her hair every day so she gets used to it. If she doesn't have much hair to do at least comb it every day and put headbands in so she gets used to having something on her head. Gwen doesn't really fight me on getting her hair done. She just moves her head a lot so my parts tend to be crooked.

The doctor was also asking about Gwen's personality. She was asking if Gwen likes her rough brothers. I said that Gwen loves them and doesn't seem to be bothered by them if they get too rough. This is almost a daily conversation at school everyday. The moms all say that Gwen is a tough girl because of her brothers. It's true. She is not a sissy! The doctor asked if Gwen was a Mama's girl. I said no because she's a Daddy's girl. The doctor also commented on how coordinated Gwen seemed to be. Coordinated tough girl? Dance and volleyball seem to be what she needs! I love planning out my kids' lives for them!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm Sorry

Those two words can mean so much or be so empty.

I have to say I'm sorry to Heath. I meant to post about him buying me roses but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Heath bought me roses on Saturday. Not to apologize for anything but because he rocks and is seriously the best husband ever! I was being a lazy bum and made him go to the store when I didn't want to. He walked in with 20 white and pink roses! What a guy. I don't know what I did to deserve him! I'm so spoiled to have my husband randomly buy me roses as a way to say I Love You! Poor guy though. The checker saw the roses and immediately asked what he did wrong. The roses are gorgeous and make me think of him every time I see them. So thank you again Heath. I love them. I'm sorry I didn't post about it sooner.

To anyone who believes the only reason to buy flowers is to apologize for something - I'm sorry.
To anyone who only receives flowers as part of an apology - I'm sorry.

Today Parker and Gavin have been saying I'm sorry so much I'm not sure they know what the words actually mean!

Me: Why is blank crying?
Guilty Child: I'm sorry.

Me: Gavin, turn off that light please. (One of my many pet peeves is when they turn on the reading lights in the van.)
Gavin: I didn't do it. Parker did.
Parker: I sorry.

Gavin: We just colored the sand toys.
Me: Are they sidewalk?
Gavin: I'm sorry.

Gavin: Parker was playing with the phone. (We have two phones in our garage!!!)
Parker hangs up the phone and says: I sorry.

Parker: My tongue is still pink.
Me: Why is your tongue pink? Don't eat sidewalk chalk!
Parker: I sorry.

Parker was crying his eyes out.
Parker: Gavin pushed me!
Gavin: He knocked my bike over!
Me: You're right Gavin, Parker wasn't being nice but does breaking another rule solve the problem?
Gavin: I'm sorry.

Gwen decided that she didn't like the way I did her hair today. She pulled out the ponytail during her morning nap. Then during lunch she decided to style her hair with peanut butter and jelly with bread crumbs for added sparkle. She hasn't said the words yet but I'm sure if she could she would say an equally unemotional I'm sorry.

Heath and I have a running inside joke. One day I will explain it. Anyway, I was whining about something that happened at school. Trust Heath to twist the knife even more! Ha ha I'm kidding Heath! So here I am with bruised pride over an implication against my parenting skills and Heath brings up our inside joke.

Me: That's just what I need now! More guilt!
Heath: I'm sorry.

And the list goes on. I write this stuff down because it does make me laugh. At least my sense of humor is still intact.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, March 6, 2009

That Really "Creaks" Me Out!

Gavin had a good week at school. When the students have a perfect behavior report the teacher lets them choose a prize on Friday. So Gavin chose these silly glasses. I wonder how long they will last since he had a similar pair for Halloween that didn't last more than a week before they were broken! Gavin insisted I take a picture of him in the glasses.

But Parker and Gwen couldn't possibly be left out of the pictures or the joy of playing with Gavin's stuff. I wish Gavin would learn to wait until the little kids take a nap before he shows me all his fun school stuff. I guess I shouldn't call them "little kids." Parker gets very offended if we give him a normal sized spoon or a little fork. He wants a big spoon and a big fork because he's a big kid!
Parker is always taking Gavin's stuff as soon as we get to the van. When I tell him it's Gavin's whatever, Parker says, "I'm just sharing!" Right. Gwen was grabbing Ted E. Bear. He spent the week at school in a bear cave with the other student's teddy bears. Gavin was relieved to have him back home. Gavin was sweet to let Gwen hold Ted E. Bear all the way home.

Gwen was adorable in the glasses. I thought it was cute that the boys helped her get them on. They really do like to share and they wanted to share with Gwen.

Gavin used to say creak instead of freak. It was so funny. But I said it correctly once today and he has self corrected ever since. Oh well.

We've had too much fun this afternoon! I love Fridays.