Tuesday, May 2, 2017

.bits &

We are well on way into spring, and most days I feel like I drag myself into bed at night exhausted from life with three little kids.  I know I'm not the only mom who feels that we are in WAY over our heads, and it seems like lately there are a lot more days of frustration, tears, and burnout.  And even though I love these little humans with every part of my heart, motherhood seriously smothers me some days.
In an attempt to breath a little I needed to focus my small reserve of time and energy to something productive...not the productive of a clean house that never seems to stay clean, or a mowed lawn that sprouts dandelions the next day, but something I can look at and smile because it reminds of my good things.  So I'm catching up the blog in one fell swoop.

Finn turned 6.  He requested an Oreo cake (strange for a kid who doesn't really dig chocolate) and a night out at an arcade.  I didn't do much research on nickel cades before we drove to the closest one, but soon discovered we had picked the dirtiest broken down one.  Roy and I were totally disgusted, but Finn didn't seem to notice.

Finn has also become a very gross eater...ughhh.  We are constantly working on manners.

Taking E anywhere is a gamble, because there is often a tantrum thrown, and lots of laying down in utter defeat.  Serious drama!

One day in a frenzy of cleaning and organizing,  the girls were left unattended long enough for meg to find a bottle of red sparkly nail polish and gift it to E for a manicure massacre.

Meg is the master of pretend, and loves to put on her "teacher glasses" and  lead all of her imaginary class in preschool songs.

We burn a lot of energy in the hot tub during the cold days of winter.  The goggles are my favorite!

Roy is determined to teach his littles to skate.  I still can't believe they make skates that small.

FEBRUARY-  after a lot of deliberation, we decided to move Finn's room downstairs and the office up.

Finn created this pin the head on the snowman game for some entertainment one day.  He amazes me with his creative abilities!

E is notorious about taking advantage of unsupervised moments.  Like getting into a whole tub of lotion while mom exercises.  At least it was just lotion, right?  Another mom win for me!

Preschool field trip to the fire station, and yes my kids make up half our neighborhood group.  E was clearly not having any of this.

She is incredibly cute though!
 MARCH- we had a sudden warm spell and we took off to the mountains of course.  We have had such a wet year, that for the first time since I can remember, the dry riverbed at the temple quarry trail, was in full spring run off.

The girls and I spent hours just throwing rocks while dad and Finn explored.

Warm days call for doing homework outside, right?

Our really great stove decided to crap out, and through a series of events I ended up not having a stove for about two weeks.  We eventually found a used replacement

APRIL- E turns three and requested a unicorn cake.

Meg had her Easter party at school.  She really enjoyed the bunny hop game, but completely melted down when she found her allotted 6 eggs first and had to watch all the other kids find their eggs.  She kept yelling, "they're cheating!"

 Spring Break we spent a day downtown at the Planetarium, and having lunch with daddy.  Another day we park hopped.  E found a favorite slide and rode it down close to 40 times.

Finn's favorite park is the old Copperton city park.  It hasn't changed much since I was a kid and played there.  Can you see why Finn loves it?
Another day we did experiments.  An obvious favorite was the slime making.

E was obviously thrilled with Easter.  We had a great time doing a small egg hunt with my family, and enjoyed getting together for Easter dinner on Sunday.

Finn started swimming lessons, and couldn't be happier.  He is constantly flapping his arms or splashing large amounts of water in excitement while the instructor tries to teach.

we started our small garden again with peas.  The kids love watching the plants grow as much as me.

We had a run of rainy days and spent plenty of time inside.  The girls pulled out most of the dressups one day.  E was particularly cute in this little bat costume.

 With Roy's calling as scoutmaster, he seems to be constantly camping.  He often takes Finn with him on the overnighters, which alleviates some of the added stress of him being gone so often.   Last month they camped out at white rock, and really enjoyed climbing around on the rocks.

Friday, February 3, 2017

.filling in the blanks.

Realizing it's been quite a dry spell on here, and I very much want to just forget about it and worry about other things that require my attention like laundry, dishes, and the such.  But this is my mode of keeping somewhat of a history for my children and me to remember these years of little children chaos.
We will pick up with our big trip out to Nauvoo to visit my parents and bring them home from their mission.

Finn and Meg were so stoked to fly on the plane, and they did really well with plenty of shows, games, and snacks to keep them entertained.

They even got to go to the cockpit to meet the pilots.  Finn kept telling them that he knew about everything (he's such a know-it-all right now).  

 Roy sat with Meg and Finn and I had E.

E was the one I was especially worried about.  She has frequent and loud tantrums, and on a plane with no where to take her, I was on edge the whole time trying to make sure she was happy and entertained.  She did really well and only melted down for a minute towards the end of the flight, but I was able to calm her down quickly.  This trip was a good learning opportunity for her to learn to control some of her emotions.

When we landed in Chicago we got our rental car and took off for Leland IL to meet Roy's paternal grandmother who he had never met.  He was nervous not knowing how they would react to us, but the kids really helped make it a comfortable meeting.  As soon as she opened the door, they ran in and gave her a giant hug saying, "Grandma!" It was a very nice meeting, and his grandma and aunts were so kind with gifts for the kids and providing lunch for us.

I'm so glad we had the chance to make a stop on our way and meet some more of our family!

We got into Nauvoo late, and crashed...a very long day for all of us.  The next day Roy and mom took the car back to the rental place,  and I got to go explore with kids.  One of our first stops was this little park a stone's throw from the Nauvoo Temple.

After traveling the whole day before, they loved being able to run and play to their hearts content!  The hill below the temple offered a perfect place to roam and take in the view of the Mississippi river.

After we got a little more settled we went to go see Grandpa in his element with the oxen.  The kids really enjoyed that, and in the fall there is no waiting for anything.  We also got to go on the carriage ride with dad as the narrator.  It was special even if the kids had a hard time sitting still.

Instead of trick-or-treating this year we got to experience Boo-tiful Nauvoo.  We threw together some costumes for the kids and got to go see the carved pumpkins lined up along main street and enjoy a parade.

I could totally be down with candy just being thrown at you rather than all the work.

Taking three kids around to all the historical sites was hit and miss.  Some of the things they really enjoyed watching and learning about, but most of the time Roy or I had to take them outside so they could run around without bothering anyone else.  E had a good time with this play sheep at one of the sites.

The last day that my parents served, we went down to visit them at their last post in the blacksmith shop.  This is such a special picture to me to see them with my kids on their mission!

 We were lucky to be able to do a session in the Nauvoo temple while we were there.  There was a little hang up with my recommend not being activated, and people had to be called and things verified, but because it's such a small temple we got VIP treatment with them even holding the session for us.  What a beautiful sacred place!  After the temple, Roy and I also got to sneak off to carthage by ourselves and enjoy that site without three wild kids.

The thing I loved the most out there was all the beautiful fall foliage.  The colors are so bright and vibrant, I couldn't get enough of it!

 Dad took us out the stables where they keep all the working horses.  It was bittersweet to see dad saying goodbye to those amazing animals.  You could tell he had made a tight bond with them.  Finn loved the farm equipment the most and wanted to check it all out of course.

daddy and him also loved climbing all the enormous trees.

The day before we left town, we helped mom and dad pack up and clean their mission house.  They took us down to the Smith farmstead where we could see the graves of Smith family.  That night we got to see their last rendezvous performance.  I was so worried the kids would be wild and crazy, and they were for a bit, but once the action started, they were mesmerized!  So funny to see E just staring at Grandpa and Grandma singing.

 We headed out the next day and stopped in Winter Quarters.  Again it was kind of hard to keep the kids from running crazy, but for the most part they did ok.

The next day we drove all day.  Having two cars was perfect for driving with kids so they weren't all in one car driving each other crazy.
We stayed in Sioux Falls that night, and about 3 in the morning I woke to the worst stomach bug I have ever had.  It was miserable!  I wanted to stay put and do nothing but live in the bathroom, but we packed up and made our way to Mount Rushmore.   Roy documented for me...even though I looked and felt like crap.

Finn also happened to loose his first tooth that day while I was writhing in pain.  Thanks to roy for documenting! Luckily the bug was only a 24 hour one, so by that night, I began to feel human again.

We made our last stop at Martin's Cove in Wyoming where enjoyed stretching our legs before our last stretch of driving.
Our trip was a once in a lifetime trip for our kids and us to see my parents on their mission.  I'm so grateful to my parents for their sacrifice and for making this trip happen in more ways than one. It truly was a special trip!