Saturday, November 21, 2009

A friend of mine told all of her friends to update. So here's mine:

I am sick. I don't feel so good. Don't be surprised if you knock on my door and I don't answer it, or if you call my phone, and end up leaving a message. I'm really not feeling so hot these days.

But I love you all. Don't take it personal. I don't like to be seen or heard from when sick, and I hate 'faking it' when I'm sick, because seriously, that is what I feel like doing when I am caught sick. I don't know why, it is just one of my weird quirks.

It might be a while before you hear from me. But don't worry, I am somewhere in my house wrapped up in my bathrobe and blanket amongst my mess.

I will give a more interesting update when I feel better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It was a good summer.
The garden grew - we even learned a few lessons along the way...
like, never plant an entire row of radishes,
or, zucchini...
But when all was said and done, it grew well...


and so did all the kids.
This buddy is 8 months old now...



And this monkey turned 3...



This guy turned 6...




Also, the big kids had swim lessons.

This chick rocked. She had never had lessons before, and has a definite natural ability. By the end of the summer she was at a level 6. She loved every minute of it.


This picture of Jake cracks me up, every time.


This one just played.



We went to bear lake.


And the park...
Here I am with my two oldest.


Also, we went to Logan for the 4th...
thought I would throw in a little eye candy for you, my hubby and little brother

My sweet little ones

They grow too fast. This summer was a good one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Decongestant tablets don't taste good

.........as was experimented upon this morning by a less than happy Carter.

I of course called poison control as he was drooling, hollering, and rubbing his eyes; and also because I only found a half a tablet left out of a package that should contain two little red pills. SOMEBODY thought they were candy.

Luckily, because they expired in 2003 and had lost a little potency, they seemed to think we may be able to handle it at home. I was told if he vomited, acted drowsy, or hyper, or anything out of the ordinary to call them back. Other than a little face rubbing for about an hour, he seemed to do ok. Stomach pumping averted. Phew.

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On another random note, I walked past Bailey's room this morning to hear this little scenario taking place:

"You just sit back and belax Bailey, I've got this." Said Jacob, as Bailey sat lounged on her couch reading a book aloud. Jacob proceeded to clean up her room and haphazardly make her bed! I wonder what sort of arrangement they've got going on!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Update

The past couple of weeks have been busy - Chris came home from a job he did in Indiana for a few weeks, and we got right to work.

The afternoon he flew in, he came and got Jacob and Carter, packed them up and went to the father and son's outing. He was really tired, total travel time was 10 hours prior to the outing - but he had promised his boys, and by 10 that night they were all sacked out.

Bailey and I went to go and see the Hannah Montana movie, and out to dinner just us girls (and Brayden). We had a lot of fun and even hit the dollar spot at Target. I love looking there, they always have good stuff.

The next morning we started on our garden. Man oh man, project and a half - we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. We had to take up all the sod first - and thank goodness for awesome neighbors - one got us a sod cutter to use, and another came in with his tractor and spread all of our compost and rotatilled it up. The project was slow going - lots of interruptions with the kids and baby, and it was HOT! We of course got burnt because we didn't put on sunscreen; we do it every year, and are sorry every year. Another awesome neighbor brought us their leftover pizza from lunch - only one piece was missing - I was so happy because it was 7 pm and everyone was hungry and dirty and I was about to run and go get some! The other neighbor that brought over their tractor even invited all 6 of us over to have dinner with their 6 - even though I know we were dirty and rambunctious - we had already eaten, but I am continually surprised by the generosity and good works of so many we come in contact with. We have been so blessed with good friends here!! It sure makes up for all of the hard stuff, and I really recognize that the way my heavenly father is answering my many prayers of discouragement, is with all of the kindness that comes through our friends. I really feel so blessed.

We ended up getting the planting done the following Monday (and Tuesday morning), Chris had taken those two days off because of the consecutive weeks of work he had done in Indiana. Yay! We were so glad to be finished and see if anything would actually grow.

Well, it has been about 16 days since planting now, and everything is coming up great, except the tomato's. They are dead. I guess you aren't supposed to overhead water them. We have 3 types of pumpkins, corn, zucchini, red and yellow potatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, green beans, 3 types of peppers, onions, 2 types of peas, raspberries, strawberries, 4 types of lettuce, spinach, and... dead tomatoes.

The following weekend, we finally had some time to attack our 2 ft tall weeds in all of our un-landscaped flower beds and along the front of our house. We haven't done anything to date, because last year we thought we were selling, and besides, I was on my deathbed, and Chris was traveling constantly... so nothing got done. Now, we are trying to make a few improvements at a last attempt to sell our house in a couple of months. We always do this, make it all pretty for someone else to enjoy.

It took all weekend, but it does look pretty. The dirt is like CEMENT here! I just can't get over it! Also, our property used to have the snake river run through it (supposedly) and the soil is just overloaded with river rock! I am amazed even our grass grew! It makes it really hard to weed, dig, and plant anything and made the planting take twice as long -because I was obsessed with sifting out the rock - I want to give my plants a fighting chance after all this effort!!! We planted some trees, and it came together nicely. It has taken every night about the past 12-14 days - but it looks a lot better. I love my house, and I don't want to sell it.

Chris and I have finally decided enough is enough with the past year and a half. We are getting him back to school in August for sure - whether we have sold the house or not, and whether or not his work is willing to work with him. By this time next year, he will have his Journeyman Electrician's license, and an additional associates degree (he already has one in arts and science with a specialty in criminal justice); this new degree will be in the electrical instrumentation program at Idaho State University. He gets to skip the first year of the 2 year program because the past 4 years of schooling to get his Journeyman's license already covers a lot of the classes he needs. Everyone that graduated the program last year had a job to go to - there is a big market growing in this instrumentation field. It works a lot with new energy. We really want to him to go ahead and get the Bachelor's degree in this field - it is an Electrical Engineering degree, and I just found out is rated among the top 7 best jobs to have in this economy. So that will be next.

His work he is currently at keeps saying they have a huge education fund and they want their employees to go to school, but Chris has approached them twice and they keep saying that they won't work with him because the program is from 8-3 M-Th. It just doesn't make sense to me because having employees with this degree would be of great value to this company. Chris has since talked a lot about this program to several other employees and now 4 more have signed up for this class! I guess a meeting is now arranged between the owner, the professor, and the HR guy and maybe, just maybe they will work with these guys to get them to school and allow them to have a job in the process. I am hopeful, but am not holding my breath. Our decision is made regardless, we may be unemployed and living on student loans, but in 9 months will be able to get a much higher paying job, and hopefully not have Chris traveling as much. Totally worth it to us.

Here are some other updates:

Yesterday Carter turned my fireplace up to 90 degrees, the air conditioning was blasting, and I just happened to notice an unpleasant aroma - of melted plastic. Yes, all of my silk flowers behind my fireplace screen got the back side of themselves melted all down the front of the fireplace glass. Such a great thing to clean up, (and smell!!!) He is so busy. He turns 3 on Friday, and I love his little busy bum. The wheels in his head are constantly turning. Also, I have attempted to bring plates of cookies twice now to two friends in my ward that have had babies, and wouldn't you know it, he had gotten into them both times now. Their blankets are made, maybe I just need to go with that.

And, I totally broke my little toe on my left foot. I was in a hurry and hit it against the door jam as I was leaving the room; it is black and swollen, and I still can't fit a shoe on it. I did it this last Friday, and on Saturday, it got jumped on by Jake - he felt so bad! I totally skipped church on Sunday because I was vain and didn't want to wear flip-flops! I have been babying it so I can wear heels on this coming Sunday - we are going to a baby blessing in Utah for some of our dearest friends, and just today, I hit it again on the door - it is swollen up humongous again, and I am limping around, it really hurts!!!

Other than that, school is out on Wednesday (Jake) and Thursday (Bailey) and I am so excited for this summer. I totally missed all of last summer from being so sick, and I can't wait to do so many things. We have swim lessons set up 2x a week, we got 1$ movie passes to go to once a week all summer, reading at the library on Wednesdays, free lunches at the schools we can hit, we are going to bear lake around the 4th, and I am looking forward to having Chris home a lot more. I also am finally feeling like I can mother 4 children, and just maybe have a little bit more of a schedule in tact. I am going to try to work out in the mornings before they get up (wish me luck!) I have about 40-50 pounds I would like to lose. Who wants to be on my cheering squad?! I need lots of support. I am not opposed to phone calls checking up on me to see if I worked out and avoided chocolate chip cookies. I need my friends behind me!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Moon Trailer

Go to my friend Lori's blog to watch the New Moon movie trailer - it looks good! I can't wait!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You have to go to my friend Nicki's blog for a good laugh. They did a murder-mystery night and the dresses they wore are a serious 80's prom flash-back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jacob has a girlfriend

The kids and I were just 'hangin out' on the couch a few weeks ago, chattin it up. Bailey will chat it up for hours if I let her. She's a girly girl who like to tell you all about it. Jacob is not so much the chatty type, but likes to listen in on everything once in a while, and every once in a while likes to share random snippets from "a day in the life of Jacob." I think listening to all of Bailey's 'sharing' inspired him to do a little of his own.


"Mom, I have a girl-friend." Stated matter of factly with a smidge of pride lingering in the air. "Yeah, I do. Her name is Hannah."

"Really, Jake? How do you know she is your girlfriend?" I asked.

"Because we met, and we playded together. Me and Tanner and Bryce and Hannah. Yeah." He said.


"Oh, is she in your class?" I asked.


"No, she's in a different class. We playded on recess. Me and Tanner and Bryce makded important plans on the bus on how to get the girls. Yeah." He giggled.


I had to chuckle too. I never thought my little boy would like girls. Not yet at least. I thought Bailey would be the one liking boys first - but she hasn't been the least bit interested up until now, even though most of her friends have been boys at school. (That could be because there have been about 20 boys and 5 girls in her classes the last 2 years though.) Bailey looked a little shocked at my reaction.


"Your not mad that Jacob has a girlfriend?" she said in utter disbelief.


"I don't think she is really his girlfriend Bailey, " I whispered with a smile. "It is okay that he thinks she is pretty, " I said for all to hear. "It is normal to notice when other people are cute," I told them both. "But NO KISSING," I warned with a grin. "That, is Gross!" I told them both. To which they both melted in fits of giggles.


Then Bailey piped in with "I think Brayden is cute!" Brayden is a boy in her class.


Ahh, kindergarten love. This is all starting too soon for me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Raisin incident

Carter and I were laying on my bed watching The Little Mermaid this morning. I had one of those nights that left me delirious upon awakening. I started to doze off when I was jolted back to reality by the shrieks of Carter. I bolted upright, hovered over him, and a little panicked, asked what was wrong.


"I GOT A RAISIN UP MY NOSE MOM!!"


"What?! Are you sure?!" Duh. I am sure he was pretty sure.


"YEAH MOM!" Said in complete hysterics and discomfort.


I then of course squeezed his nostrils, couldn't feel anything, and told him to blow his nose. To which, he then sniffed.


"No, blow your nose Carter, like this," I idiotically demonstrated. I'm a mommy, what are you gonna do?


To which he said: "Huh?" in a very perplexed manner.


I then proceeded to adjust his head in various positions to aim the light up his dark little nostrils until I spotted the intruder. There it was, lodged up his left nostril just as explained. "How the heck am I gonna get this out?" I thought to myself. First thought was a q-tip with the cotton picked off. Not so much. Didn't work. Then I remembered my little mani/pedi case I got for Christmas that hasn't been used - it has tiny tweezers in it, and once I was able to hold his arms and still his writhing head and body sufficiently, it did the job. I think just in the nick of time too. It was pretty soft and mushy at this point.


I pulled the offender out, held it up in all its glory, covered in green goo (I think I just gagged) and said:


"I got it!"


To which Carter said:


"Can I eat it Mom?"


There's your laugh for the day, compliments of Carter. And, your welcome.

Muffins with Mom, and the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever

Our local elementary school does some fun stuff throughout the year to involve the families. They do a Doughnuts with Dad morning, a grandparents day where they can go and have lunch with the grand kids, and this morning, Muffins with Mom. I felt kind of bad for Bailey this year - Doughnuts with Dad didn't work out - for obvious reasons; Dad kind of has to be around for that one. Then, grandparents day rolled around, and that didn't work out because we don't have any of those here, let alone any other relatives around to go with her. Needless to say, she came home in tears because she ate lunch all alone because most of the other kids had grandparents with them! I felt so bad! I didn't even realize that I could have gone with her - I probably could have found a babysitter for that one. Oh well, next year, right? Well, I knew muffins with mom was coming up, and I also knew that there was no way I was going to be able to have the baby nursed and ready, the other three kids dressed and ready, let alone myself ready to be at the school at 7:30 in the morning for muffins. (Not to mention the physical strength and energy alone it takes to tote a car seat, diaper bag, and two year old on a leash with me while vocally ushering the two older ones along with me, in a crowd. It is a little overwhelming for me, I don't know how others do it). So I had a talk with Bailey, and told her that every family is different. I told her that if we had dad at home, it would be easier for me to go with her by myself, just her and me. I also explained the difficulties for mom to be able to get there to be with her. She was pretty sad, and I of course felt bad. I offered the alternative to have a 'muffins with mom' morning at our own house before she went to school; then she could cheerfully tell her friends that she had already done it at home. That went over pretty good. I made yummy coffee cake muffins, scrambled eggs with cheese on top, and OJ. The muffins were so yummy I want to share the recipe:

Coffee Cake

(don't know who the recipe is by, otherwise I would give credit where credit is due)

2 C flour
1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Mix these together until butter is in fine pieces. I used my hands to squish it all together until it was a crumbly texture. (Obviously the butter needs to be cold to do this). Reserve one cup of this mixture to put over the top of batter before baking.

Stir into dry mixture:

2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C buttermilk

(I used 1 C milk instead, and it turned out delicious).

Pour into 9x13 pan and sprinkle with 1 C topping mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Variation: I made mine into muffins. however, I would say this makes 18 muffins rather than 12 - I poured mine into a 12 - muffin tin and they boiled over a little, I had to tuck the extra back into the tins when I was done baking. They are pretty sticky and yummy. I am freezing the extras for another morning!

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And this is just for Kimberlee, and anyone else who wants the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. It comes straight off the back of the nestle toll house chocolate chips bag, with a small variation:

1/2 C butter (You really need butter, not margarine for it to taste really good)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar

Cream together first three ingredients. Then add:

2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla - (this is the variation. Original recipe calls for 1 tsp. I have found you need more.)

Once this is all mixed together, add dry ingredients:

2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 C chocolate chips - Semi Sweet is what I usually use, sometimes milk chocolate instead. Both are yummy.

(I also really, really like adding the peanut butter chips/chocolate chips bags they sell instead of the semi sweet. Who am I kidding? They are both dang good.)

Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

I usually make up a double batch, fill up a couple of cookie sheets with cookie dough balls and put them in the freezer, then transfer into gallon size freezer bags once the dough has frozen so they are ready to go when we want to make quick treats. This has been really great when taking dinners to friends, or for our last minute family nights we throw together; things just seem to get more chaotic as the years go by. When baking from a frozen state, I adjust the temperature to 350 for 10-12 minutes. Yum.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Projects

Projects as of late...

Freezer Jam - Totally wish I had a freezer full of beautiful matching containers for all to enjoy looking at. Okay, really, for myself to enjoy looking at every time I open the freezer to pull out one of my 30 pints of delicious Jam. But I don't. Have rows of beauteous containers that is. Being the thrifty mc-nickle pants I am, I saved old butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and frosting containers throughout the year just for this purpose. Mom if your viewing this hold back on that big 'I TOLD YOU SO!' I have teased her for years about keeping all her old containers - it drove me nuts. Yet here I am, following suit.



Haircuts - Carter and Jacob have completely different hair. Jake's is curly like his Dad's. I have to buzz both of theirs super short. Once it gets 1/2" long it is really hard to keep from going berzerk. Carter's however is straight and thick and looks better when I just cut it as opposed to buzzing it. I usually start trimming a little here, a little there, and get completely annoyed within about 5 minutes because he wont sit still and end up buzzing it all off just to save myself the trouble of having to cut it again any time soon. Well, I finally gave him a real hair cut the other day. He sat so good for me that I gave him a bowl of ice-cream at 10 o'clock in the morning just to show my gratitude. I think it turned out pretty cute.





Blankets -I have 8 friends and family members having babies in the next couple of months! Holy cow! So I have been making rag blankets out of flannel as gifts. The first one is the one I made for Brayden before he got here. I saw one that another mom had when I was out and about the other day - hers was completely random, and super cute - I decided to try it with the second blanket I made. I haven't cut and frayed the seams on the second one yet, but I think I like the random pattern better than the precise pattern on the first blanket. I am experimenting with a few more blankets to see what I like better. A girl in my ward shared her pattern with me and I am really enjoying making them - they are very simple to do.




Next up, the garden. I am a little intimidated to get going on it. I need some advice from all of you gardeners out there. I went to the nursery last Saturday and picked up a page of info on gardening for beginners - also 60$ worth of seed! I hope I don't ruin it all! I have no idea what I am doing. Why the heck didn't I pay more attention to what my parents did in our garden growing up?! The info tells what type of things grow good in the area I am living, but it also says to plant certain things in late April, and others in late May. I am so confused. Also, how do you know how much mulch and manure to buy for your plot you are planting in? And most importantly, how the heck am I going to keep the neighbor dog out of my crops!!! If you have gardening knowledge and tips - please share, I need all the help I can get!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Job Security








Time to re-clean up.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More... on my whirling dervish

My back started to go out yesterday. When this happens the only thing between me lying motionless in my bed and having to call my neighbors for 'bathroom' reinforcements is some serious hydrocodone. Thank goodness we had some left over in our cupboard from Chris's surgery last year. One of my awesome neighbors took my older boys for a few hours yesterday while Brayden slept, so I could get some rest. She then (of course because she is awesome like that) brought dinner by - without asking. She probably knows I would have said "no, really, we will be fine" because I wouldn't have wanted to bother her. She has 5 kids of her own and a very busy husband. And then we all would have eaten a bowl of Fruit Loops for dinner. Can I just say, I am SO thankful she served me! I want to be more like her. And my back is doing better today.

Anyways... another Carter update -

I was in the bath this morning, and he of course, was in something else... He came running in with his mouth gaping open, pointing to his obvious mouth ajar, hollering open mouth talk, and I had to laugh.

"Did you eat something, Carter?"

"Yeah, mom!" Said in a panicked, slash, perlexingly urgent manner. "I Drinkded something!"

"What did you drink?" I said with a little dread in my voice.

"I drinkded a potion mom!"

"Can you bring it to me?"

"Yeah mom!" he said as he scampered off. Only to return with our huge bottle of Vanilla extract, half gone.

"Did you drink a lot, or a little bit?"

"Huh mom?"

"Did you spill some?"

"Yeah Mom."

"It tastes yucky, huh?"

"Yeah mom!!!" Said in utter disgust.

As I contemplated calling poison control, I went out to the kitchen to see our floor covered with spilt vanilla extract and next to it, the measuring spoons. Needless to say, someone has observed someone else making Chocolate Chip Cookies... one to many times!!!



And on another random note, Is there ANYTHING worse than finding Big Boy Poop in their Big Boy Underwear?!

I think not!!!

Let's just say another perfectly good pair of Lightning McQueen's bit the dust!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bedtime Battles, the finale

And here is the exciting conclusion... (By the way, this three part series was meant to be told comicaly, and of course, dramatically... I really am just having fun writing it all. And although it is all very true, and I'm not going to sugar coat it... at least, I crack myself up in the process. Hope some of you can relate to having a strong willed child, and can find my humor in it all!)


Tonight was no exception. The night ensued, just as I have told. Hollering, lights turning on, giggling, WHAKING by big brother, and of course, my favorite part of the evening when I totaly lose it after he starts throwing items down the stairs.



And then it occured to me. He may be winning the battles, but I AM GOING TO WIN THE WAR. I decided to confiscate THESE instead.



And then I moved the gate up around the corner to the actual doorway. HA SUCKAH! Who's your momma?! That's right!



Next step: Actually taking away his pacifiers.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bedtime Battles Part II

I finally caved.



I told him the fairy brought them back.



I KNOW!! I couldn't believe I gave in either! I was too big and fat and pregnant, and just so dang TIRED of listening to the pleading - he totally wore me down. After 10 days, I just wanted to make it stop! He about had me crouched in a corner rocking and singing to myself. So I gave him his fix. And he actually went to bed good for like, a week. I think the experience traumatized him enough that he didn't want to lose them again. NOW, its all in the past of course and he is back to taunting me.

I recently switched all the kids rooms around so I could get Brayden out of my room and into his own. Jacob and Carter now share the room upstairs. I thought maybe Jacob's blessed example would rub off on his little brother. Not so much. Every night I usually end up letting Jacob come downstairs to go to bed. Carter is making him crazy. Here is the low down on the typical nightly battle...

I ask the two year old nicely to go potty, put on his pull-up and PJ's and go get his toothbrush. He says "Ok Mom", gets distracted immediately, and then proceeds to poke, prod, and otherwise annoy big brother and sister to which they then decide to chase him around couches, up stairs, in and out of bedrooms and under tables, until I catch said two year old, and again, firmly ask again for him to do as he was told. He says "Ok mom." To which end the same scene is then repeated. I then raise my voice at big brother and sister and remind them that they are BIG kids and are NOT helping things. All the while the baby is crying and wants to eat. I then chase the two year old around until I catch him and wrestle his clothes off which he grabs with his fists every night without fail and I yank for about 30 seconds trying to get his shirt off. He thinks this is SO FUNNY every night. (Okay, it kinda is, but just that part). I then wrestle him down to put on pj's and brush teeth. He then of course is TOTALLY disruptive while I try and read books; to which end, most nights, I totally lose my cool and get fully ticked off and irritated that I can't read a dang book without disruption like every 30 seconds.... Big Breath here... Then we attempt to have family prayer... where I snap at the kids for their complete irreverence - that could be an entire post by itself - I really know how to create a warm and loving spiritual environment... I then try to usher my unruly herd, who are by the way laughing and being overly silly, completely oblivious to my outright annoyance with the lot of them, who are also completely oblivious as well to the hollering from their baby brother which is getting louder all the while reminding me that he is HUNGRY and ready for his meal. I finally get everyone tucked in, have a lengthy conversation with Carter about my expectations for him at bedtime - that he stay in his bed, leave his brother alone, leave the light off, stay in his bed, leave his brother alone, leave the LIGHT OFF, please. I then make him repeat after me "Mom, I will stay in bed and choose the right." he then says, "Ok mom." I put the gate on half way up the stairs so he won't come down and bug me. I then head downstairs and start to nurse the baby for all of 5 seconds when I hear feet scampering, a light clicking on, another set of feet thudding, a little voice giggle, and another irritated voice holler "MO-ooooom! Carter turned the light on!" I am nursing, and really don't want to get up, so I holler back to both of them to turn the light off and get in bed. Then Carter says his believable "Ok mom." Then this battle ensues. Back and forth, hollering and clicking of lights and giggling, and jumping on beds, and undoubtedly a WHACK! and then a sob, because he had pushed Jacob over the line of tolerance. Jacob, after all is tired and he actually wants to go to bed. He has to get up at 6:15 after all. I raise my voice and holler back repeatedly during this exchange, and I always feel guilty afterwards because of poor Brayden. He is just trying to peacefully nurse and get snuggled on by his momma. He has waited all day for this time with me by himself without the rest of the crazies running around. He really doesn't demand all that much from me during the day after all. And what finally pushes ME over the edge, is when Carter starts throwing things down the stairs. Talk about going too far. I have resorted lately to putting down the baby, hurdling the gate on the stairs, spanking a little bum, and swiping a pacifier. He then throws his monstrously annoying fit to get his "PAAAASSSSSS" back, and I have been so proud of myself when he actually gets quiet and goes to sleep without it.... That is until I go in to check on him later that night and find that he has another pacifier in his mouth! That dang kid. He must have a secret 'stash' somewhere in case of emergency so he can get his fix. This happens on more occasions than I can count. Most nights he seems to be winning the battle.



To be continued....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bedtime battles

Two year old boys are the bane of my existence.

Jacob was my angel baby. He was the easiest baby ever. Slept through the night at two weeks old, hung around in his swing, vibrating seat and bouncy saucer all day, loved to laugh and smile at us, and never fought me once at nap time or bedtime. It was a refreshing help to me, because I had bedtime battles with Bailey up until she was almost 4 years old. Bedtime was a torturous time in my life for years. It hasn't helped that Chris has always had a job incompatible with him being home during dinner and bedtime 99% of the time. I even resorted to watching super-nanny for tips. And her 'back to bed' routine actually worked... like after 2 years of trying it nightly...

Although Jacob was a bedtime champ, about 18 months - to 2 years old rolled around and he became this holy force to be reckoned with. I would fight with him daily. That kid sat in time-out more times in a single day than I could count. He got into anything and everything faster than I could stop him. I even had those safety locks on all my cupboards and doors, and he still figured out how to get what he wanted. I had to have called poison control about 150 million times. I swear they knew me by name and laughed about my mothering skills every time they hung up the phone.

My most memorable 'incidents' committed by Jacob include: Black permanent marker ALL over my freshly painted walls and window treatments, and of course his humongous teddy bear that was bigger than him; the time he flushed my hard contacts down the toilet when I had the stomach flu. That was a great one. I can't see 2 feet in front of me without them let alone drive, and had to wait 8 weeks to get my new ones. And two weeks later, he got hold of them... and flushed them... again. But the one that tops them all, is definitely the time I brought home my brand new leather couches. I had them home all of 2 days. I put the kids in front of a movie and hoped in the shower. I was in and out in all of 5 minutes, when my trusty little spy Bailey came running in hollering "MOM! JACOB IS DOING SOMETHING!!! I of course came running out to see if my couches were unscathed... they weren't so much. He had climbed up to the top shelf of my pantry and gotten out the Dawn Power Dissolver that cuts tough grease on pots and pans. It works AWESOME on pots and pants. It DESTROYS leather sofas. He was turning around in circles spraying this stuff. It also took the finish off the front of my television and armour. I speechlessly escorted him to his room where he stayed for the next hour while I tried uselessly to fix what was damaged beyond repair.

Yeah, he drove me up a freakin wall. Like until he turned 5. Then all of a sudden... he became about 95% more pleasant to be around. He is still your typical little boy; gets wild and silly lots of the time, but is able to be a lot more obedient, and I can actually reason with him now. We get along a lot better these days.

Carter has now occupied the role of holy terror for the past 18 months or so. He will be three years old next month. He is exactly as busy as Jacob was. I can't believe how much damage that kid can do to a perfectly clean house in minutes. He is my little wild man. I love him so much; but he drives me up a freakin wall, every day without fail.

He was the best baby too. Seriously. Went to bed like a champ every night... until I had to put him in an actual bed. Then the torture began. The only bargaining chip I had was to take away his pacifier.

Did some of you actually gasp? Okay, before you get all Judgy-mcjudgypants on me, let me set the record straight. I NEED that dang pacifier for my sanity! I am pretty much a single parent these days. I need some solace at night after my children go to bed! Some days it is all I have to look forward to! So what did I do? I would threaten to take it away like the first 50 times he got out of bed, then of course actually take it away, to which he would then throw a monster fit for the next 20 or 30 minutes following the confiscation; to which I would argue and fight with my 2 year old just like I was a two year old and stubbornly refuse to give it back because after all, I had told him what I was gonna do if he got out of bed even ONE MORE TIME... and GOOD mothers follow through with promised punishments for the good of their children, right? Then I would of course cave and give it back just to make the torturous tantrum stop, to which 85-90% of the time he would actually then go to bed. Whew. I am such an effective disciplinarian, believe me, I know.

Well, then I started feeling guilty about 2 months before the baby came that my almost three year old still had a pacifier. So one night when Chris had just gone back out of town for work I decided to have the "Pacifier Fairy" come and take his pacifiers to a better place where new babies needed them, and not big boys. (Another Super-nanny favorite.) Carter gathered up his most beloved pass's as he calls them and put them all in a bag on the front porch, and then balled his guts out heartwrenchingly, as I listened torturously for 3 painstaking hours; he got a present the next morning in place of his most prized possessions. I made it through about 10 days where he of course would beg and plead at nap time and bedtime for hours. Gut-wrenching, whining, pleading, tantrum throwing, hollering, mourning the loss of "MY PAaaaaaSS mom, MY PAAAAAASSSS!"

To be continued.......

Friday, May 1, 2009

I never thought it would come to THIS...




But I have conceeded. It seems it must be...



And now, I'm kinda likin' it.

It's a good thing he's so dang cute. By the way, he is of course saying 'cheese.'

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

If you haven't had a chance to support this, I really hope you do. It only takes a few minutes of your time. I feel really strongly about putting money behind law enforcement to track, find, and hopefully give justice to innocent children out there - victims of horrific sexual abuse. Many of you supported the child protection safety act just passed a few months ago, this is another bill that desperately needs support. We have a responsibility to speak up. You can go to Oprah.com for further details on the subject.

It is very simple - copy their sample letter (or write your own), then click on their link senate.gov and go to your state. Then paste their sample letter into an email to your senator. Easy peasy. (That one goes out for my mom).

Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act - Oprah.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baby Fat

I love my babies, but lets be honest here.

I hate losing 'baby weight.'

Brayden is 10 weeks old now. I don't know how that happened, because I haven't yet come out of the fog. Let's face it, I am tired, sluggish in my softish type body, and although Brayden is a champ at sleeping most nights, I have three OLDER children that like to come and pay me a visit regularly during the a.m. hours of the day. They like to take advantage of the empty space next to me in my king size bed that should be occupied by one 'daddy' who shall remain nameless. 2 days ago I woke up with all four children lined up next to me, and decided I had 'had enough of the insanity!'

So in typical "Jenny" fashion, I set out to get some order and control back on the Cook family home front. I have been a little bit in denial about my life the past year. I thought that surely misery of the sorts we had been enduring couldn't possibly be permanent. I have fought tooth and nail to try and change things. I am now starting to bitterly realize that things are not going to change in the near future, and 'this is as good as it is gonna get...' so .... I guess I have to deal.... sometimes tearfully deal...anyways back to what I was saying; In typical 'me' fashion, I got myself all pumped up to get it all back under control and make my own 'happy place' and set some goals for the next two months. I was really quite impressed with myself. I even set realistic goals. I then went further and wrote detailed information on how I was going to accomplish said goals. And yesterday, I was so impressed with myself on how well I followed my rules and expectations for myself on reaching my stated goals.... Then today rolled around. It wasn't so great... And once the afternoon rolled around the cookie dough in my freezer was beckoning and I gave in to one cookie dough ball.... Then another.... and as the day got worse I said to myself 'to hell with it!' and baked a whole dang dozen... and you can guess it... ate the whole dang thing myself. What can I say? I crashed and burned today. One more day of being stuck in this baby body that I am not so happy to be in. There is always tomorrow, right?!

And by the way, why didn't anyone tell me that having 4 kids would be like this?! What the crap?! Why do you all make it look so easy? Are you all just a bunch of liars putting on a show? Or am I really just a little weak and pathetic? I think I have figured out that the timing on them getting to our family is just a little painful! Between the nursing child, the wild two year old that cannot be tamed, the kindergartner that gets off the bus at lunchtime, the first grader that gets off the bus mid-afternoon, I am painfully counting down the days until I will have 2 kids in school all day, making it possible to get to any type of store for any amount of time over 15 minutes without having to rush back home again! And oh, the thought of getting through an actual workout without a crying baby or 'wild child' constantly finding trouble I have to get him out of makes me giddy at the thought. I am trapped, I tell you! Trapped! What I wouldn't give for a partner in crime home in the evenings so I could ESCAPE the madness once in a while!

Alright, enough complaining. I really do love em all, I just didn't know it would be so hard. Cuz it is, it is HARD for me, really it is really hard for me. Did I say it was hard? Cuz it is. I'm not holding back. Did ya notice?!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Addicted to LOST



So, I have always wanted to watch LOST. But, you can't really just jump in on those episodes, I mean, what the heck is happening? So Chris and I borrowed seasons 1 and 2 from a friend, and started watching them when we had a 1 week old baby.


Big mistake.


Just how stupid are we?


They are seriously addicting. All we have done every night for the past month is eat, drink, and breathe Lost. We have watched 3 seasons in 4 weeks, and the first 6 episodes of season 4. Now Chris is in Wyoming working for the week and we are DYING a little inside every day. However, the sleep I am finally getting is kinda nice. I mean, how stupid are we? As if we aren't up all night with a new baby, a 2 year old who won't go to bed for 3 hours every night, then likes to try and sneak into our bed 80 bazillion times a night, and a bed wetter to boot; You think we would be smart enough to ya know, go to sleep at night. But we're not. That dang bowl of M&M's and our boob-tube have been beckoning. Like I need M&M's and Television sucking up my time, adding more cushion to my jelly belly. Good news is, since I have had two nights off from Lost, I finally started working out and getting to bed by 10:30 at night. AND Brayden, bless his little heart, has slept through the last two nights. Now if I could just step away from the M&M's...

I can't believe all you dummy's who have been watching this for the past 5 years. I would have poked my dang eyes out! I can't believe what they are doing to the viewers! I mean what the crap were they thinking ending season one with that dang hatch opening, and not letting you see what was inside?!!! And leaving you hanging with tidbits of information and not getting back to those important bits of info until like 3, 4 or 5 episodes later?! I think I would have died waiting for just what the heck is actually going on by now. When we finally get caught up, I don't know what I am going to do. How will I wait and entire week between episodes? And now that we have gotten rid of the love of my life (my DVR and Dish network) what's a girl to do? Life as I know it will have to stop again to watch a dang TV show. *sigh*

I think I need to get my priorities straight.
And don't even get me started on "The Bachelor"...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The newest Cook

Our baby arrived - Brayden Grant Cook - weighing in at 7lbs 80z, 20.5 inches. And who does he look like? It's like giving birth to the same baby over and over again, because they all come out looking like their dad. That's right, I do all of the work and get none of the credit. It's a darn good thing their dad is so good lookin'.


For anyone curious, and just for journaling sake - here is this round - summed up. I was supposed to be induced on Tues. Jan 27, but I went in for my appt. on the 26th to make sure everything was still on, and I hadn't been feeling to well. I gained 6 pounds in 2 weeks, my legs were so swollen I felt like I was flexing my leg muscles all the live long day, and I was seriously seeing spots. For reals. Come to find out I had protein in my urine, and high blood pressure also - which I guess means pre-eclampsia (never had any other problems with my other pregnancies). Oh, and I was also Dilated 5-6 cm. So they told me to get over to the hospital, we were going to have a baby TODAY instead. (the 26th). So I begged to let me go home and get my stuff and Chris first, and they made it sound like such a big deal to hurry up and get back up to the hospital. So we did - we got there at about 1, or 2ish, I think, and then, waited. And waited. And were seriously annoyed with all the waiting. We finally got word my doctor would be coming at 5 or so to break my water and get a move on getting baby here. At 6 I talked my nurse into getting the anesthesiologist over to get me my epidural, 'because I have babies 15 minutes after they break my water' I bragged. In fact, I had been telling my doctor all month I go really, really fast - so not to go anywhere once they break my water and start the pitocin. He finally showed up at 7 and broke my water, then informed me he would be back in an hour, he was getting some dinner. "WHAT?!" I protested, " you better not leave this hospital!" I threatened. He came back to check me in an hour and said, "you are still a solid 6". I shrugged my shoulders and could feel my ears turns bright red. I looked like such a big fat liar! I managed to throw out a 'sorry' as he left again. Then I realized they hadn't started the pitocin yet. So they did. and when he came back the next time an hour later, I was able to redeem myself. Got baby here. Chris even gowned up and got to deliver Brayden. Our OB in Washington always let the dad's help catch if they wanted to, so he got to help with the other three kids. This OB was alot of fun, and I let his student doctor come in for the delivery, so he and Chris were able to do the whole delivery while my OB 'coached.' Bring in the entourage. Brayden arrived at 9:38 pm, a sweet little piece of heaven placed in my arms. It is such a miracle. You go through so much for what seems like an endless amount of time, and in a fleeting moment, this sweet precious child is here. I feel so lucky to be a mom.







My mom came down from Seattle to stay for 2 weeks, and I would not have made it this time without her! Chris and I are so thankful she was able to come and be with us. She is so helpful, and such a good Grandma. Mom, I love you!!!



My friend Shelby came over to take pictures of Brayden. Shelby has her own photography business, and takes beautiful pictures. Here is the link to her photography site FizzieLime Photograpy. She does all sorts of different photo sessions, and we can't wait to do family pictures with her. Thanks so much Shelby!

I don't know why, but blogger won't let me re-arrange pictures on my posts lately, so I will post some pictures from the hospital separately down below.

Hospital pic's

I think he's a little disgruntled.

Chris helping with his first bath in the 'nursery'. I didn't even know hospitals still had nursery's. Chris followed after the nurse as she whisked away our new little guy just an hour old. He had to make sure they didn't switch him with some other baby.

Ah, more like it. Snug as a bug in a rug.


Aww, my baby, holding my baby.


I think Jake felt a little out of place.


That's better. I think he's warming up.


What a good big sister! And Holy crap is my face nice and swollen!


Chris looks a little tired.


But he CAN'T be as tired as I am. Wait, he did have to sleep in a recliner for two nights in a row. Maybe he is. At any rate, we were glad to get out of the hospital.


I just love his dang little mits.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Bailey!

My little Rag Doll

My Baby is 7 today. Which is kindof amazing actually, because I just brought her home from the hospital.

It was a cold, blustery Seattle night, and I was cranky and uncomfortable as I sat, beached on my couch, counting the minutes and timing my annoying 'cramps.' I was getting more and more cranky and uncomfortable as the hours passed, and Chris was headed off for his 2nd job - night shift, stocking shelves at Home Depot. He kissed me goodbye, and told me to call him if I thought it was time to go to the Hospital. I said goodbye at about 9:30 pm and tossed a 'yeah, right' after him as he closed the front door. Time to go to the hospital? Yeah right. I'm not in labor.

About an hour and a half later, I called up the labor and delivery at my hospital and told them of my worsening symptoms. They instructed me to get in a hot bath, and either my contractions would stop altogether, or they would pick up and I would need to come in. 'Come in?!' I thought to myself. No way. 'What to expect while you are expecting' tells me what labor is supposed to be like. Contractions are supposed to last 45-60 seconds and get closer and closer together. Plus, they are supposed to hurt really, really bad, right?

So, I took a bath, and about 5 minutes into my not so relaxing bath, I started to do that stupid breathing thing because I thought I was going to DIE. I quickly called Chris and told him it was TIME to go to the hospital and to hurry up and get home. He was a 30 minute drive away, and my hospital was another 45 minute drive away. Thank goodness he was a first time Dad, fulfilling the scene he had created in his own mind that wasn't that much different than the one in the movies - Wife is all of a sudden in labor at midnight and you get to fly to the hospital. He was there in about 10-15 minutes, thank goodness, because I was doing that hard core hee-hee-hoo breathing that I swore I would never do at birthing classes. I had about five contractions just making it from our little condo to the car in the parking lot. Superdad then of course drove like a maniac to the hospital probably doing at least 90 mph, because, of course, he was only doing what first time Dad's are supposed to do. All I remember of that exhilarating drive was Chris in crisis mode hollering "Those contractions are NOT 3-5 minutes apart! We were supposed to go to the hospital when they were 3-5 minutes apart!" Duh. I would have done that if they actually did what the dang book told me they were going to do.

Long story short, My labor was quick, the anesthesiologist was my hero and the man of the hour, aside from my OBGYN, and in the early hours of the day they placed the tiniest, softest, sweetest, most breathtakingly beautiful bundle of instant love in my arms. It still brings tears to my eyes. She was everything I had ever dreamt of, everything I had ever hoped for, but not in a million years could have ever been prepared for in my life. No one can ever tell you how instantly life changing it is to hold your first baby in your arms. No one can ever put into words the instantly overwhelming feeling of unconditional love that it is to hold your child for the first time. I am so lucky to be a mom. And now all of a sudden, she is 7. Where did 7 years go? I was talking to Chris the other day, and wondered aloud if the next 7 years were going to go as fast as the last. He said he thought they would probably go even faster. And I told him he better call the WAAAAAaaaaaambulance, because I think I am going to crumble at the thought.

Bailey Anne, you are such a joy. I am so thankful you came to our family. I am so blessed and lucky to be your Mom. You are amazing in so many ways. I love your sweet spirit, your gentleness and kindness; your infectious laugh, your innocence, your compassionate heart; your forgiving nature, your desire to serve others, your ability to make new friends so quickly. You are such a good big sister, such a great example, so much fun to be with, and I love you!!! Now, stop growing up! Happy Birthday my love.
Love, Mom