Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Boys Allowed

Tonight I opened the front door to our house and found a "No Boys Allowed" sign. Cara wanted to make sure that the neighbor boys (who happen to be 10 and 11) know that she thinks they are mean and that they are not welcome at our house.

Today in a matter of minutes she sketched this artwork on our wall in pen. Gurrrrrrr.

As of last night when I started this entry and wrote the previous entry:

1. I found a hobby that is going to make me money rather than cost. I am going to be crocheting beard beanies for this company: Beard Beanie. I am going to meet with the gal today. I took 8 or so years of crocheting 4H growing up. Who know that it was a skill that would ever pay off?

2. Ali's ear drum burst so she isn't a bad baby after all. I had no idea that she was in pain from an ear infection, but it was literally dripping out of her ear this morning. Poor thing! This isn't a good sign to start her first winter with a ruptured ear drum. Both Caleb and Cara have tubes. That may be Ali's destiny as well.

3. Caleb has gone from peeing the bed four times a night to once a night for a full week. This is a major step in the right direction. (See "Mom, I've Got Great News")

4. My mom is having her third shoulder surgery in a year today. (She had a knee replacement and pins and a plate put in a broken wrist this year too.) This is the last option to avoid a full replacement. We are sure hoping for the best for her today.

Ali and Andy

I have been trying to think of a fun but free project to work on. We are in the grove of school and have a good routine that has left me with open time every day. (I know it is sick to have four kids six and younger and feel, I hate to say it, board.) I can only check my bank accounts hoping money has come in so many times in a day. I love multitasking and despise wasting time. I don't watch TV, in-fact we don't even have one. I used to sweep after every meal and vacuum at bed time every night, but I am trying to not "waist" so much time doing housework. I spend one on one time teaching my kids reading a piano every day. I could really use a hobby and it has to be free. I can't have reading as a hobby because it is addictive and when I am into a book I ignore my kids. So tonight it dawned on me that I have a new baby this year and that I needed to work on a Christmas stocking for her.

I am not crafty!!! There is not one single homemade thing in my house (except our window treatments which doesn't really count because it was more out of desperation than a desire to make something.) The one exception to this "no crafts" rule is our Christmas stockings. I started the first Christmas we were married. There was a stocking making project at "Super Saturday" and I made one for Josh and I. The next winter I was preggo with Caleb and added one for him to the collection. It was a vicious cycle because I now feel like I need to keep up the tradition. As a child I had a special stocking with my name on it so I thought that would be fun for my children as well. The stockings aren't that awesome, but they are a lot of work.

Andy was a Fall baby so I made his stocking shortly after he was born. Tonight as I went to get started on Ali's stocking I remember how special she is to our family. (This is great timing for such a reminder because some kind of crying, whining monster has taken over the body of my sweet baby. She is only happy being held. I am hoping it is her teeth and not a general personality problem. Currently I affectionately call her my "cry baby.")

Warning: the following story is personal, but I would tell any of you in person. I want to always remember this special experience. When Andy was born I felt the presence of another spirit. It was something like I have never experienced before. I remember being alone with Andy in the hospital room and looking over my shoulder knowing that there was someone else in the room. (I get teary thinking about this.) I knew that whoever was with us did not want to leave Andy. I felt like this spirit was lingering with him. Like it wanted to be with him as long as it could. It even scared me a little, I hoped that he wasn't going to die or something. I kept this experience quiet for a few days, but I kept feeling the presence of this spirit off and on even within the first weeks of being home. It was so real that at one point in my hospital stay I said out loud, "why couldn't you have just come together." I remember very distinctly telling Josh, "there is a girl lingering here in our home with Andy. She can't stand to leave him. We have got to get pregnant again right way." Josh recalls his response of totally agreeing. It wasn't until that moment that I had put a gender with the spiritual experience. I didn't really "know" that it was a girl and I didn't "know" that the spirit that was with Andy would be our next child, but that is what came out of my mouth. From that point on I felt an extreme urgency to have another baby. Andy and Ali were born 17 months apart.

So what does Ali's Christmas Stocking have to do with this? I was so certain that I would be having a girl soon and that we would name her Alice and call her Ali. I was so sure that I started her stocking at the same time as I did Andy's. When I got it out tonight the appliqué is all done. I even had her name ironed on. So here is Ali's stocking ready to be stitched and embellished, but made a year before she was even conceived.

I can't leave this entry without mentioning that Andy and Ali do have a very special friendship. Just this week I asked my friend her thoughts on Andy's special love for Ali. I wanted to see if it was just in my head, but she agreed that it isn't. He is so attentive to her. Who knows, as they get older, they may forget the special love that they had for each other in the preexistence, but they remember right now, and it is so sweet. I remember the first time Andy saw Ali at the hospital I know that it was a special reuniting. Many times a day I find Andy sitting behind Ali with his legs wrapped around her. It is nice to sit back and take a minute to remember how I love these special little babies and how I have so much to learn from them.

Monday, November 1, 2010

We made it

We made it through yet another Halloween. I'm not totally sure why I don't like Halloween. Maybe it is because I lack self control with all of the candy. Maybe it is because I threw-up in the school hall on Halloween in the 2nd Grade. Maybe because there is pressure to buy or make awesome costumes for my kids. Maybe it is because carving pumpkins is such a mess and I end up scraping all of them and then carving them too. Maybe it is because . . . I will stop.

The kids do love the holiday and I do my best to oblige. Caleb has been shopping online for his costume for months. He saved money in September and bought it as soon as he had the $13 required. He was excited about being a red power ranger although there were no masks allowed at school so he dressed as Jack Sparrow on Friday for school.

Cara had a harder time deciding what to be. She finally settled on Tinkerbell. Whenever I called her "Tinkerbell" she would say, "I'm not Tinkerbell, she doesn't wear a shirt under her dress." I am trying to teach her young that just because it is Halloween does not mean you get to dress immodest.

Andy was an adorable duck! Caleb and Cara also wore this costume when they were two. I love it. It gives them a big waddle bum and fat thighs. Andy caught right on that people would give him candy when he was dressed up so he had no problem wearing the costume.

Ali was a cute little ballerina. She loved to touch and eat her tutu.

There are a couple of other fall memories for which I just got pictures off of the phone that I would like to post.

One of the highlights of the fall was watching USU win BYU in football for the first time since the early 90s. We joined the USU fans in rushing the field. Caleb loved being on the field. You can see the event staff behind Josh and Caleb. They were guarding the goal post which the fans took down last time USU won BYU. We also went to many of the USU homecoming activities, but the game was rained out. It was crazy!

I love this picture. I took Ali and went to an evening primary meeting. Josh was tired and half jokingly told the kids to put themselves to bed and he went to lay down. When I came home Josh was asleep and Andy, Cara, and Caleb were on the floor next to our bed. They had put their PJ's on and put themselves to sleep. They are so cute.

Finally, I had to post this picture. Caleb hasn't seemed to notice that most of his dress-ups are getting too small. He has grown so fast. I have started putting away size 8 pants and he is still 6. He is bigger than most of the 8 year olds in our neighborhood. He isn't a big eater right now (unless it's candy) but I am scared for when he starts eating! Right now keeping him in pants is a big enough problem.