Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sleep, elusive sleep.

Eliza wakes up around 3:00AM every single day. She stopped for a while, and that was a glorious while... but for I don't know how many months now she's gone back to this 3:00AM wake up. I nurse her and she goes right back to sleep, but I'm not usually so lucky. It takes me an hour or so to get back to sleep, if I do at all. I've started several days the past few months at 3:00AM. It does not make me very happy. In fact I'm slowly losing my mind. So last night we came up with a plan. Aaron would go in and give her a bottle of formula at 11. She does go to bed early, her last feeding is usually around 6:30. So I don't blame her for being hungry at 3. That is 9 hours. So this plan sounded promising. Even if it only gave me another hour, starting my day at 4, as opposed to 3 is just much more doable. So all went according to plan. That is until the smoke detector of the devil decided its batteries needed to be changed at... guess what time. That's right. 3:00AM. On the flippety-flippin' dot. I could have cried. In fact I did cry. Until I laughed. And laughed. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal if it was one of the smoke detectors that was in a normal part of our house. But no, it was in our master bedroom that has vaulted ceilings, and the only way to reach it is with a ladder. So I had to wake up poor Aaron and he had the pleasure of also waking up at 3AM, going down to the garage and changing the batteries. As he was putting it back I'm pretty sure I heard him mumble, "I'd rather burn to death in a fire, than do that ever again."

Here's the ridiculous thing about that smoke detector, it has done this 3 times in the one year we have lived here! The first time was Aaron's very first night in this house. The next time was the only time in history my kids have every slept past 7:00AM. It is just an evil, evil defective smoke detector that we should destroy. (And then replace it, because I'm pretty sure Aaron didn't mean it about preferring to burn to death.)

So yes, another night where I was up at 3:00. And tossed and turned, until about 4:15. And guess what time Eliza woke up? 4:45. Then the rest of the crew was up at 6:30. And I'm just so tired.  I think that if my blog had a theme it would be that. Or traveling. Both common topics in my life. I just remind myself, someday I will sleep. It is crazy what sleep deprivation can do to one's mental health.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The latest.

This is my new favorite part of motherhood. Olivia draws and writes all the time. This is a poem she wrote for me.
She's still working on proper grammar. She read it to me like this, "We love you. Don't you forget it. So Dad loves you and I love you and we all love you!"
And that my friends, is what us we call a paycheck when you're a mom. It's those cute things that keep us going and doing this crazy job day after (never-ending) day.

Aaron had to work a lot this weekend, so I decided to take the kids up to Mesa. I didn't take many pictures but we stopped at Dateland because every single time we do the drive I want to stop to try their shakes, but we're usually just wanting to get there, or just wanting to get home. This time we weren't in any hurry and Nathan was crying because he was so thirsty, so we stopped. And I was disappointed. Apparently, I really don't like dates.
Coonskin cap, truck pajamas, and batman shoes. So much winning in this picture.

Even Olivia wasn't a fan, and she likes everything! She had a few sips, but then was done. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

What we can learn from Abigail...

Abigail is hands down the sweetest child on earth. Not sure if I'll be able to upload a video of her during our mommy school time, but it just was too sweet.

Here's exhibit #1...
They built this fort and then Abigail asked me, "Mom, how do you write 'EVERYBODY WELCOME'?"
She then put the sign on the front of her fort so everyone know they could come in. 
Exhibit #2...
She also drew this picture of my mom when she's old and in a wheelchair, and that's Abigail pushing her. Oh and she's holding a flower Abigail gave her.
 And exhibit #3, if it will work...

Sure love this sweet, sweet girl of mine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eliza 7 months.

This precious girl is 7 months old today. 
She has 3 teeth.
She's pretty easy going.
She's not the best sleeper.
She's not the worst sleeper.
There are few things she loves more than her siblings.
One of those things just might the dog.
The other is definitely milk.
And probably all food.
My heart just bursts when she nuzzles her head into my shoulder.
She really only does that on very rare occasions.
Her favorite books are ones with pictures of other babies.
When she sees the pictures of other babies she goes crazy. Feet kicking. Happy hyperventilating. Squeals of delight. It's adorable.
(Confession, I added that last fact so that anyone reading this blog will know that I read to my babies, and will think I'm a good mom, even though I have 4 kids. I really need to get over that!)
She does this cute army crawl, and she's getting fast every day.
She frequently ends up stuck under a chair.
She tries to mimic sounds.
She waves.
She brings us so much joy!

Sometimes I look around at my house and I go a little crazy. Today for example, I was trying to help Olivia with homework. She was frustrated because I told her she should number her sentences. Frustrated is probably the understatement of the century. It didn't say in the directions to number them, so why should she, yadda, yadda, yadda. Meanwhile, Abigail and Nathan were fighting over the computer and it was getting violent. Hair pulling. Pushing. The usual.
And during all of this the baby was just crawling around looking for choking hazards.
And just typing this is making my eye twitch. Literally.
This parenting business is no joke.

Another phone update

This baby hasn't met a food she doesn't like. In fact, it doesn't even have to be food, if it fits in her mouth she will eat it. 

These girls got cute haircuts.

Abigail thought this is what her hair looked so she asked me to take a picture. Funny girl!

We are finding our groove as we are midway through the third week of school. So far the homework battles are not half as bad as I thought they were going to be. Although Aaron's schedule has been pretty nice lately and he's been home a lot to help during that awful time of getting home from school, cooking dinner, helping with homework, while taking care of 3 other kids! It is a crazy time, and unfortunately his schedule is not as nice to me this week. But one day at a time, and we'll get through it.

So Abigail and Nathan can never remember what meal is what. Lunch is often called dinner, breakfast is called lunch, dinner is almost always dinner though. So this morning I made waffles and Nathan said, "Thank you for the delicious dinner!" And Abigail laughed and said, "Nathan, that doesn't even make any sense." Which cracked me up, since it was literally yesterday she said the same thing. So I said, "Right Abigail, what is this meal called?" And she confidently replied, "WAFFLES!"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

update from my phone.

These sisters love each other so much. Abigail is constantly asking to hold Eliza. We are all sad she's getting out of the wanting to be held stage. She'd much rather be crawling all over to find things to choke on.

My fear of the dentist has been well documented on this blog, so you can imagine my fear when I found out my babies had cavities. I do not want to pass this fear onto my kids, so I put on a brave face, and made Aaron take them for their fillings. He sent me these pictures as proof that they did great.

And honestly, have to mention Dr. Kempton at Children's Dental here in Yuma is amazing. My kids didn't even know they got shots of Novocain.  He told them he was putting a "bubble" in their mouths. When I asked about it they both swear they didn't get a shot. 
Oh happy baby, how I love you.

These faces! While Abigail is in preschool it's just us for a few hours in the morning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Unfortunately Abigail's preschool is not really working out and I'm looking for other options. 

Nathan really loves to wear his sister's pajamas. I'm sure this won't last much longer, but for now it cracks me up.

So that's about all that's been going on here lately. Thinking we're going to start piano lessons and karate soon. Trying to plan some vacations for October break (my birthday), Christmas (New Jersey!), and just really loving life. Minus the moments I'm completely overwhelmed by all these people with all their needs, and wants and cries and whines... and Eliza wakes up at 3:30AM every day like clockwork. She goes back to sleep, but I can't. So I'm really tired. And yeah that's about it!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Funny stories

So tonight while putting Abigail to bed she wanted to tell me a story. I'm paraphrasing, but trying to use her words as much as I can remember.

"Once upon a time there was a little kitten. She wanted to start her own crew. So she went around looking for people for her crew. First, she met a turtle. He told her that his brothers were really mean, and they were telling him he was too slow, and they tried to break his shell, and then the broke their dad's favorite cup, and then blamed it on him! So the dad kicked him out. Now he was all alone. So the kitten invited turtle to join her crew." This goes on and on with different stories of how each animal was abandoned one way or another and ends up in Kitten's crew. The funniest by far was a toy that was abandoned by Santa. I stopped her and said, "Whoa! Santa would NEVER abandon a toy." And she said, "No, Mommy, this was a black Santa."

I know she doesn't even know the term black, for people with brown skin, and she was just meaning an evil Santa that wore black clothes. But the sentence taken out of context just still makes me laugh so hard.

Today I ran on the treadmill, and Nathan was watching from the daycare area. After I went to pick him I asked him if he saw me running super fast. He said, "Yeah! You fast. You look like a bear man!" How's that for encouraging. A bear man! Ha!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

9 year Anniversary Trip To San DiegoI hav

Okay I uploaded these backwards, so here is our trip from finish, to start.
Kind of silly, but I took a picture of my leftovers because I was proud of them. I NEVER have leftovers, especially when it's something as delicious as this was. I was full, but it was sooo good, I normally would have kept eating until it was gone. This time I stopped myself, and asked for a box. Go me! (Not pictured.... when I devoured it on the way home, with my hands, like an animal.)

Aaand maybe it wasn't that big of a victory because we also ordered dessert. A cannoli in a chocolate shell! Yum.

Aaron's food.. probably the best Italian sausage I've ever tasted.

This was a seafood special with shrimp and scallops. It was SO good.

Calamari. Yummmm.

Got to spend a couple of hours here in the temple! We forgot to get a picture, so I took one when we drove past it again on the way home.

We did a little hike at Torrey Pines. It was beautiful! See for yourself...

Okay so we were feeling pretty awesome about ourselves for hiking up this far. It wasn't really THAT hard, but we weren't planning on hiking, until we were hiking, so I was in dress shoes, Aaron was in flipflops, I had a skirt on, etc. We were all, "Yeah we're so awesome." And then we turned a corner and saw this lady with her cane, she was probably about 90 years old, white haired, Asian lady. We felt slightly less awesome about ourselves.

Yeah... whale bones. Aaron didn't want me to touch it. But there was no sign that said don't touch. So this picture may or not may not be a picture of my rebellious nature. 

A saltmarsh. Where the rivers and streams meat the ocean, it's a weird kind of unique environment, that 90% of has been destroyed, but this one is preserved.  

These are the Torrey Pines.

Best. Gelato. Ever. Hands down. It was sooo good. This was raspberry and Tahitian vanilla.

There was a random British gift shop we wandered into. No clue what we were going to find, but Downton Abbey jewelry made this stop worth it!

A few years ago we were watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy made these fish tacos look AMAZING. I have wanted to go ever since, but every time we've gone to San Diego we've had the kids, and other stuff to do. This time, this was literally the ONLY thing we planned on doing. And they didn't disappoint. So yummy. 
This was the view from our hotel room. We took a nice walk along that trail. It was perfect.

Pacific Ocean.

Shameless Dole Whip selife.
So about 30 minutes outside of Yuma is a town called Felicity, CA. And for some reason, someone decided it is the "Center Of The World." We missed the exit to actually go and explore and see what they have there, but we pulled over and I took these pictures from the highway.

There is this random staircase, which is actually part of the original Eiffel tower. And you thought the only thing France gave us was the Statue of Liberty...

So yeah that was our trip. We went with literally no plan. Just a "wherever the wind takes us" attitude. And it mostly worked out. Minus our ill-prepared hike, which I'm now paying for with a hurt foot. There is truly nothing better than 2 days without kids. Except maybe the moment when you get to see those kids again, and the hugs and kisses and smiles.  Funny how that works. And so grateful for Aaron's mom being willing to watch all 4 of these crazy kids of mine.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last week of Summer Vacation!

So I really wanted a fun summer vacation for my kids and I think I was successful! We started summer off with a "Yes Day". I read about this somewhere, but basically I told the kids for the first day of summer I would do what I could to say yes to anything they asked. Just for today! Ice cream for breakfast? Yes! Watch TV? Yes. Go to Toys R Us? (This is probably where I should have drawn the line, but said yes anyway, with conditions. One toy each!) Visit Daddy at work? Yes. Stay up late? Yes. Read this book the 55th time? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It was memorable, and they still talk about it, and keep asking when the next yes day will be.

So then for our, almost, last day of summer I decided to surprise them and take them to SeaWorld. This just worked out because my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were already going. I wasn't sure I wanted to drive all that way by myself, deal with 4 kids at SeaWorld without the help of my husband, so I didn't make up my mind that we were going until literally two hours before we were on the road. The kids were super excited, mostly just to see their cousins.

I couldn't get both of these boogers to look at the camera at the same time... but their friendship has been so fun to watch develop. Nathan is becoming more and more a little boy, and so much less of a baby! Sad, but so cute.

These four girls. So lovable. They have so much fun together and their dynamic has changed a bit over the years, but if anything they love each other even more. It's great.
And talk about evolving relationships. This lovely lady has gone from a random person I served at Chili's, to my sister-in-law I didn't mind being around at family functions, to one of my very dearest friends, and truly like a sister to me. I know she reads this, so love you Allison!  It is so wonderful to have a person in your life who you can tell anything to, and someone who can relate so well to everything you are going through because she's right there with you going through much of the same struggles. Honestly, SeaWorld is probably my least favorite of all amusement parks, but each trip was worth it because I got to spend time with her!

We also went up to northern AZ for a family reunion, which I think I wrote about. It was a glorious few days of letting kids run and play and chatting with adults that I adore. Can't ask for much more than that. Well maybe better sleep, but you don't go to family reunions to catch up on sleep!

We swam in our pool almost every day.
We made messes.
We did chores.
We baked.
We served.

But don't let those last few paragraphs dissuade you from thinking it was all sunshine and rainbows.
We also drove each other nuts.
We yelled.
We cried.
We said sorry.
We stayed up too late.
We woke up too early.
And it was really hot.
It's still really hot.

Tomorrow brings first grade!!
And next week, preschool.
So exciting. I love watching these kids of mine grow up and make memories.