Friday, May 29, 2015

Update May 2015

I used to do weekly, then monthly updates.  I loved how it caught all the little things they had done that week or that month that aren't necessarily post or instagram worthy.  One of those things I feel guilty about and just let go.  I looked at my 9 blurb books a minute ago and felt happy that there's so much documentation of our lives and it's still happening even a little bit.  Anyway... I thought I'd do a update of the last month.

Family events:

We took everyone canoeing on Memorial Day.  Last summer Ryan took his scouts on this river, then we did it for a date and have been wanting to take the kids.  It was so much work.  Borrowing a trailer, renting canoes, dropping off canoes, dropping off cars, etc. etc. but it was the most fun day.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE when I can tell even my teenagers are enjoying the family outing.  Levi was awesome (except for when we put his life jacket on) and loved hanging out outside (his favorite) while we paddled down the river.  Jane and Gabe were hilarious the weeds, getting stuck in trees, having to get out of the canoe and push, racing everyone.  I loved chatting with Emma and Faith.  It was beautiful and calming and a little bit hard and after 2 hours we were done and everyone got rewarded with a jamba juice.  Great memory.


He has a beard. I'm in love with it.  He loves soccer and lives for the outdoor games he and his friends play 3 times a week. Work is for once super chill and he's home a little earlier these days because of it.  He is taking advantage of his work's Bike To Work month incentives and bikes almost every day.  He reads boring computer books in his spare time and also has enjoyed audiobooks during workouts and commutes.  He's still the best scoutmaster ever.  Seriously.


I'm running a half marathon tomorrow.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me that my knee can do 8-12 mile runs for 6-8 weeks in a row.  I still keep my mileage per week under 18 (It's supposed to be under 15 but I fudge during training).  I'm simultaneously dreading and getting excited for summer.  Levi is hard and loves his dad WAY more than me and it honestly hurts my feelings but I try to be a big girl about it.  I'm playing piano in primary but switch one Sunday a month with the chorister and do singing time.  It's kind of perfect.


FINALLY got her license.  It makes her seem so old and independent which makes me sad.  Except when I forget tomatoes for Sunday dinner and she is happy to run to the store at 11:00 on Saturday night for me!  She's easy going and fun and has the cutest friends.  She's trying to get a house cleaning business started...she has two women she cleans for and is hoping to get a few more clients for the summer.  It's hard to go on family vacations and girls camp in the summer and not work Sundays and want to be in theater during the school year and still find a job!


Finished track season as the 8th fastest two miler in the Eastern half of Washington.  He was 3 seconds away from being the fastest freshman his high school has ever had and when he missed that time at regionals, he was really bummed.  It's hard to have such high goals and such a fast rise to the top of your sport because really really good is still a little disappointing.  He's had a busy busy year and was happy to take his AP World history test because it has given him a lot more time.  He also has good friends and wants to be with them all the time but he'll talk to his mom and contribute to the family when he's home.


Turned 12 on Saturday.  We had a countdown, a birthday list, meals planned for 2 months before the big day. It was pretty fun and exciting.  She finished soccer and made her select team again next year.  She LOVES it.  She also did track this season and is REALLY good at long jump (thank you hypertonisity).  She has a 50s dance tonight and dressed up so cute in her 50s costume today for school.


Continues to work so hard on his ADD issues at school and at neurotherapy.  I'm so impressed with his determination and interest in improving.  He enjoys piano and did some art and running and a computer class the last few months, and I'd like to get him into swimming (team sports aren't really his thing..) He's had a great, tough teacher this year.


Is the funnest sidekick.  I will miss her so much next year during 1st grade.  Faith loves school and is always excited to go.  Last week Faith asked Ryan why he brushed his teeth while showering.  He told her "because it kills 2 birds with 1 stone".  He then asked if she knew what that meant.  She simply said, "it sounds disgusting".  She doesn't really talk like a kindergartner.  Jessica has started to get her beginner "chapter books" at the library.  She read 2 of them in the last 24 hours.  She is the only kid left who still wants a parent to say prayers with her before bed at night. Faith and Seth took a cooking class for kids this month and have been DYING to use their new found skills & cookbooks.


Is hard to describe.  He is a strong willed little guy who loves to explore the outdoors and play with any sort of ball.  He is always trying to sneak outside (whether or not a parent is watching).  When inside he gets bored pretty quickly and cries to be held and carried around.  However, once he is outside he will wander around for an hour happy as a clam.  He is used to being the center of attention and demands to be kept there no matter what else may need to be done.  He is only just beginning to verbalize words.  He has started mimicking his siblings and parents sounds.  He responds appropriately to us when  we talk to him so we know he understands quite a bit but he has been slow to use any words himself.  He still thinks that he is a state champion wrestler anytime a diaper or clothing needs to be changed.  He does NOT like to be put onto his back.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Christmas 2014 was just a little bit better:

I'm a tradition girl.  I kind of feel like I need to do all of the same things every year and so, mostly, the Christmases look the same:

Decorating happened (referring to pictures, so I'd know where to put everything the same as last year):

Advent calendars and letters to Santa and Christmas cookies and work parties and ward parties and school parties and gingerbread houses and fancy Sunday clothes:

We did the usual lunch (at a burger place) and a movie, Bethlehem dinner and pajamas with the Daines.

It was a great Christmas morning/day, where we just opened and watched and slept and ate and jogged.  And Levi carried around this 2 pack of starburst for about 4 hours.  

But it was also just a little bit better and this is why:

Reason #1:
The day after Thanksgiving, we were driving home from the Christmas light parade in Coeur d'Alene and I started to feel dread about the upcoming month.  I hadn't started shopping for presents and I know how much work the season is for the mother of a family of 8.  I hated that I was dreading it and I started to think it through.  

I realized that I was dreading it simply because I thought I was supposed to.  Like all of the other things I listed, it was a tradition for me to get stressed and worried about all the stuff. But as I actually thought about it, I couldn't figure out why I was so sick about it.  Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do in my life in general:

1. Cook and bake and put together meals
2. Shop with a good excuse
3. Go on outings with my kids
4. Faith filled, Christ-centered thinking
5.  Hand out with friends and family

Um...that's pretty much my entire Christmas To-Do list.  I truly enjoy those things and December is filled with them.  I decided to re-frame my way of looking at the month...I was doing the things I loved!  I wanted to be busy with the things I loved!  I love doing Christmas!  

It worked.  I had such a better attitude (or re-adjusted it when the old attitude crept in) and it was so much more fun.  It really is kind of amazing what your mind and your outlook can do!

Reason #2:
In order to complete my Young Women's Personal Progress Faith Project, I made a goal to memorize the Living Christ by Christmas Eve.  I spent the entire month muttering to myself over and over about the life and mission of the Savior.  It reminded me who He was, what He did, why He did it and made me want to celebrate Him and emulate Him just a little bit more.  It brought a whole spiritual dimension that enriched the season immeasurably.  I asked the Daines if I could recite it at our dinner (so I'd have a clear check-off point) and I did it and was very weepy throughout.  I know those words are true.  I know the Son of God was born in Bethlehem, performed miracles, atoned for our sins, was resurrected and has since restored his Gospel and Priesthood to this earth.  I am never happier than when I am remembering and acting like Him.

And that's why doing things a little bit differently, made Christmas a whole lot better.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Levi Milestones 7-15 months

There has to be some record for this stuff.  A random Notes page on my phone is probably not sufficient.

7 months:

  • Crawled everywhere.
  • Sat himself up from a crawl.
  • Pulled to stand.
  • Got his 3rd tooth
  • Started stuffing his Aden and Anais blankets in his mouth (like it's a wad of Big League Chew gum) in order to fall asleep.
  • Drank through a straw.
  • Transitioned to 2 naps a day.

  • Shy around strangers

8 months:

  • Got 4-6th tooth
  • Began showing a nut sensitivity (Welts on his face after eating a veggie lasagna with cashew cream).
  • Gave kisses when asked.
  • Began to show he knew familiar phrases. (Time for a nap, etc.)
  • Began to really show his preference for daddy
  • 19.5 lbs, 30 inches.

9 months:

  • Took his first airplane ride
  • Started standing by himself.
  • 7-8th teeth.
  • Played pat a cake.
  • Responds to phrases like "want to get out?' or "What's in your mouth?"
  • 21 lbs., 31 inches long.

10 months:

  • Learned to back down the stairs!
  • Double ear infection.
  • Folds his arms for prayers.
  • Clapped and danced to music.
  • Still not standing much by himself.  
  • 12 hours at night, short naps through the day.
  • Made the silliest scrunched nose face.
  • Began the ridiculous fighting any  time clothes or diaper changes are in order.
  • Said "Sock"

11 months:

  • Stands on his own. 
  • First haircut.
  • Throws food he's down with on the floor.
  • Said Dada and Seth
  • Refuses to do tricks more than 3-4 times.  Once we know he can do them, he doesn't do them anymore.
  • He loves green smoothies.


12 months:

  • 31.25 inches, 22.5 lbs.
  • Took his first step.
  • Waved bye-bye.
  • Pointed to hair, mouth, eyes, nose.
  • When asked what a fish says: open and closes mouth rapidly
  • Said "Uh-oh! and Mama"
  • Gave high fives
  • Really really good small motor skills.  Built towers of blocks over and over.\
  • Clicked his tongue to let us know he wanted food.

13 months:

  • Confirmed a peanut, cashew, brazil nut, hazel nut allergy.  Went on a strict no nuts policy (even the ones he's not technically allergic to) in hopes that he will be the 20% that grow out of it.
  • Got all 4 molars.
  • Did Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Could unzip zippers!

14 months:

  • First week without mom and dad...did great!  He liked Grandma...but only if Jane, Emma or Faith weren't around.
  • Started walking at 14.5 months and was really good right away...because he was so old.
  • Began to not take a morning nap every once in a while.
  • Said Hi and All Done.
  • 34 inches (90%), 24 lbs (60%).

15 months:

  • Started kicking a soccer ball around like a champ.  Obsessed with balls and started by throwing them backward, but now can throw forward.
  • Discovered play doh and often finds the jars and brings them to me pleadingly
  • Said Ni-Ni (Night night) and Ree (Read)