Sunday, May 06, 2018

Is it dust or rainbow sparkles?

I know it's pretty gross to think about this actually being dust but the light made the prettiest colors shining through the window, catching the flecks of dust in the air.  

Mostly about Felicity

The titles for my posts are getting really lame....

There really is no rhyme or reason for the following pictures, I just liked them.  

Felicity has a thing for belly buttons.  She loves them and giggles any time she gets to touch someone's belly button.  She has started to draw lately.  I find her "artwork" all over the house.  We are trying to teach her to draw on paper only but it's going to take some time before she gets it.  I've commanded Piper to hide all markers from the baby but she still finds pens and crayons.  Just this weekend I had to clean up crayon from the hand rail going up the stairs.  She also really loves sidewalk chalk.  

She is trying to say all kinds of things lately.  She tries to say bubbles, baby, ball, and yes.  She kind of says a weird "nuh" for yes.  She says "Momma," "Dadda," "Doggie" and "bye-bye."  Just this past week she started to say "done" and tries to make animal sounds.  She understands a lot.  She will let us know now when she has a poopy diaper and will go fetch the diaper and wipes when we tell her to.  She also likes to throw things away for us.  She loves, loves, bath time but doesn't particularly love to get her hair washed, which is probably pretty normal for kids her age.  She just recently decided that swimming is pretty fun and she tries to swim on her own and jumps to her brothers.  It always makes me nervous because she doesn't jump well and I always think she is going to slam her head into the concrete.  

She loves to be outside but gets impatient with the stroller.  She loves the trampoline and is starting to open doors.  She doesn't really care about watching any shows but she loves to listen to music and loves to dance.  

I wouldn't say she is a terribly picky eater but she definitely has her likes and dislikes.  She is not much of a bread person (rolls, breads, muffins, etc.) but likes most fruits and some vegetables.  She loves guacamole and cheese.

Her sleeping continues to be frustrating and I think at this point I've just decided to go with it.  She pretty much fights any sleep unless it's in her bed and even then fights that most of the time.  Her napping is confusing to me.  Some days she will only take one nap and I can get her to wait until 11 or 12 to take her nap but other days she can't seem to make it past 10 and then she needs two naps to make it through the day.  Her naps are inconsistent in length.  Some days they are great (1 1/2 hours) but that is not her normal.  Usually, she sleeps about 45 minutes to an hour and often only 30 minutes.  She generally takes the first nap without putting up much of a fight but her second nap takes a lot of work to get her to take.  Anyway, she is old enough to just do the one nap but getting her to that schedule has been painful.  Right now we are at two naps a few days a week and one nap a few days a week and usually her second nap is super lame so our evening is filled with crying and crankiness.  I am sure that part of the problem is that her siblings are home all day and even though they try to be quiet, the layout of this house is not good for noise.  You can hear everything.  The piano is right below her room, the boys room share a wall with her, the trampoline and pool are right below her window...Anyway, I put a fan in her room for white noise but I am not convinced it really does much.  Thankfully, she has been sleeping through the night for awhile now.  

This post is getting long already so I'll just say a few more things.  

We had a nice Easter.  I liked having Conference on Easter Sunday.  We did some of the typical non-religious things like dying eggs and Easter egg hunts (which was fun to see the baby participate in this year) but it was nice to have conference happening as well.  

Finally, Mike finished his first novel!  I'm super proud of him.  He put so many hours into his book and he doesn't have a lot of extra time on his hands.  He worked on it for about 8 months but that is only kind of true because he wrote parts of the book years ago in Ohio and then put it aside until he finally decided to get serious about it.  I enjoyed his book (as did Will and Isaac) but I am biased.  He hasn't made any revisions as far as grammar and such and will wait to make more revisions until he gets feedback from people who have agreed to read his book and give reactions.  He mailed off 10 copies to people and more electronic copies.  He is working on his second book but this one is much shorter.  I like to see him working on his interests and talents.  

Gators, chalk, showers, cereal...

All of my pictures are out of order.  In March we took an airboat ride on Lake Washington.  It was really cool.  We ended up having to wait for almost two hours before we got on a boat so that was pretty annoying but the kids played corn hole and got free cupcakes and Popsicles from the owners since the wait was so long.  I have never seen so many gators and it was kind of creepy to think about all these gators hiding in this river.  I've always wanted to go an airboat ride and now I have!

Felicity decided pretty early on that she wanted to eat like the rest of us so we started giving her a spoon and bowl for breakfast.  She won't eat dry cereal but she will eat it if it's in a bowl with milk.  She makes huge messes still but she's picking it up pretty quickly.  We have to be careful about leaving food on the table though because she climbs up on the table and will eat anything left out.  

Piper is such a good sister to Felicity.  She lets Felicity play with pretty much any toy she wants to.  Piper asked for this big cat for Christmas that purrs and hisses and moves.  Felicity loves this weird cat.  It's probably as big as her but she carries that thing all over the house and Piper lets her.  Recently though, Felicity has been kind of mean to Piper and will hit her or grab things away so we are starting to have to discipline her whenever she is mean to Piper.  Piper is so patient with her.  It's amazing to watch her mother and care for Felicity.  

Piper does not like to be the center of attention.  Her class had pajama day at school and she was so anxious about it.  She went back and forth all morning long about wearing pj's.  Finally, as we are getting in the car to go to preschool she decided that she didn't want to show up at school in her pajamas and changed.  I told her that she would most likely be the only person in her class not wearing pajamas but she still did not want to wear them.  After school she told me that there was one other person not wearing pajamas and she felt a little sad that she didn't wear them. She did the same thing on crazy hair day and wouldn't let me do anything crazy to her hair.  Her teacher had brought some glitter and convinced her to glitter up her hair. She has a hard time letting go and being herself and it takes her some time to feel comfortable and relaxed.  I totally get her.  She is a mini me and I can see myself as a little girl in her behaviors and even now as an adult.  When she told me she really wanted to wear her kitty ears to school I immediately said yes.  I wondered if she really would and there were a few times in the van when she said, "Do you think I should?"  or "I won't do it if you think I shouldn't do it."  I told her I wanted her to wear her kitty ears because it made her happy and there was nothing wrong with wearing kitty ears.  She did wear her ears to school and almost wore her tail too but took the tail off just as she was getting out of the van.  She wore the ears all day and I was so happy when she got back in the van at the end of the day still wearing the ears.  I had some errands to run so we went to the grocery store and she clipped her tail to her shorts and wore those ears proudly.  She even pretended to be a kitty ninja in the store.  It made me so happy to see her doing what she wanted to do without any thought or care about what anyone would think.  I want her to be confident and happy!  For this same reason I bought her hair chalk for Christmas as well.  She chalks that hair up all sorts of colors and loves it and wears it in public all over the place.  She has made progress in the crazy hair area.  :)  I hope she continues to lose her inhibitions and be herself and be proud of herself.  

Saturday, May 05, 2018

We are involved in too much right now.

I'm still trying to play catch-up on this blog.  Blogs really aren't that popular anymore but I figure that one day my kids will be grateful that I kept this family journal.  I am really far behind on making my blog books.  I just printed out 2012 last month.  I'd like to get the rest of them printed off soon but I think I'll have to do one a month to keep the cost down.  Anyway, I've been writing less and taking more pictures.  I think sharing pictures is easier than sharing thoughts and feelings but I've decided that since this blog isn't frequented too often, it's okay to write a little bit again.  

The last few months have been growing months for me.  Every new state we move to we spend the first year being sick.  We haven't been as sick as I had expected but we have had a few colds and fevers and other things that have really worn me down.  I had an awful cold a few months ago that lasted for a long time and now this current one is a doozy.  Last week the kids each took turns having fevers and then Felicity got a cold on top of her fever and passed the cold on to half of us.  It's been a yucky two weeks.  

I've mentioned before but somehow this time in Florida has been a much busier place for us.  When we first moved here we had doctors appointments for the kids for random things as well as dermatology appointments every few weeks for warts and molescum.  Thankfully, we got the molescum taken care of but now Piper has this gigantic, painful wart on her hand and Will has another wart to get checked out too.  Isaac has moles that are being watched every six months because he has a few suspicious moles.  They aren't growing as far as I can tell so I think it's fine but we have been watching them for a year.  Anyway, we are becoming regulars at the dermatologist.  I'm not sure why we have so many wart issues now.  Warts are gross.

The boys are about halfway through their braces treatment so we have check ups about once a month for that.  Eli gets his spacers off in two weeks and he is so excited about being done with the spacers.  This is just the first round of braces so we have a long road ahead with braces still.  

This year we also added some outside school activities.  I'm conflicted about it.  I really love the classes they are taking (Will takes Science once a week and they take a homeschool Art/P.E class at the community center) and they have made some great friends.  I think it's good for them to have another adult be their teacher from time to time and I think it's good for them to be around other kids their age.  It just makes more for me to have to schedule around and drive back and forth to.  I think we will continue the Art/P.E. classes but I'm on the fence about the Science.  Will loves it and I love the teacher but it is 20 minutes away and the carpooling situation hasn't really been working very well for us this year.  Next  year Isaac wants to take the class as well so I'll be paying $30 a week for the two boys to take the two hour class.  

Preschool has been a wonderful thing for Piper this year.  I honestly have all positives to say about it besides the driving.  It's not too far away, just ten minutes, but again, it's something else to have to schedule around and it makes the week tricky to figure out drop-off/pick-up while trying to get the other kids started on school.  I just feel like I'm driving places all day long instead of focused here at home and I don't like that.

Piper and Eli started taking Art from a girl in the ward.  It's one hour a week.  Piper loves to draw and a few of her father's blessings recently have talked about helping her develop her talents early so we decided that art is something she loves so we should get her in lessons.

Finally, this year we decided to keep the boys in basketball.  We were doing a homeschool basketball class weekly but I felt like we had too much happening in the day so we decided to do the Monday night class.  It's a little more competitive and challenging.  We really like the coach and I feel like the boys are learning way more than they were the previous years.  Eli wanted to do upwards with his friend again so we were taking him to basketball 20 minutes away in the other direction on Tuesday evening and then on games on Saturday and then taking the other two boys to basketball on Monday nights.  When Upwards ended, Eli started basketball like the other two but his was earlier so Mike would get home from work, change clothes and then take Eli to basketball.  I'd feed the kids and bathe Felicity and then take the other two to basketball and bring Eli home.  I'd do the bedtime routine with the younger kids and then Mike would come home around 9 with the other two boys, and finally, he'd eat his dinner.  We debated if we should keep doing it because we would keep forgetting to do Family Home Evening on Sunday and it was taking a large chunk of our Monday nights but we felt like it was good for the kids to have more social interaction and to be getting exercise and learning a skill.  Plus, it makes Isaac have serious anxiety every Monday before the class, and while it sounds mean, from all the counseling we have done, I really feel like doing the things that scare you, helps your anxiety.  It's been hard for him but every week he gets super anxious and we talk about how much courage it takes to do what scares you and how anxiety encourages you NOT to do the things you want to do.  So he goes and every single week he comes back happy and grateful to have gone.  And then it starts again the following week!  So, I feel like it's had some positives.  The session ended this week won't start again until the Fall.  I have some time to decide if it is worth fitting into our week or not.  If we choose to do it, I will have to figure out a better way to keep Family Home Evening going and I'll have to do it on my own because Mike won't be here to help take kids.  

I haven't mentioned that yet.

One of the things that has been challenging for me these past few months is that Mike volunteered for a deployment.  The last time he volunteered it got cancelled but I think this one is going to stick.  So, Mike will be gone this coming fall and I'll have to manage all this on my own.  I am really trying to figure out what is most important for us to participate in and know what to let go of. 

I guess all this is a long way to say that I have felt too busy and stressed lately.  I hate being over scheduled.  Hate it.  I honestly never thought I'd be the mom who would be driving her kids all over the place and it's funny because all they do is church, basketball, and art besides the classes they take for homeschool during the week but it feels like too much for me.  Right now, Mike is the Young Men's President so he takes care of the Wednesday night activities but when he leaves I'll have to do that too and I already just feel like I spend my day in the car.  

I've thought and prayed about what I should do with Piper for school next year.  I really like my kids to have some public school experience.  I know that makes me a weird homeschool mom but I think it's a really positive thing for kids to have other adults outside of Mom and Dad to have to obey and learn to respect.  I've seen many homeschool kids who are too comfortable with adults in a negative way and do not give the respect to adults they ought to.  I know they can get some of that from church classes but I think it's still positive for them to have other opportunities as well to be taught by other adults.  I also think that going to school allows them opportunities to learn how to socialize.  I know that some people might argue that the socializing kids are getting from school these days isn't really the positive kind.  I agree to some extent but that is a whole different post for a different day--there is too much to write about all of that.  There are other ways to get socialization and I honestly think my kids are very normal, happy, friendly kids who are doing well in this area.  That said, because we homeschool, I feel like I have to find other ways for them to interact with kids their own age and that means doing other activities.  It's stressful for me.  I feel like I am trying to manage all their school and then all their activities and appointments and it's a lot.  But, I deviate.  Back to Piper.  I think if Mike were going to be here, I'd send Piper to school for a few years to practice more making friends, learning how to be in a class environment with another teacher, learning how to take her turn raising hands and answering questions, learning how to work with other kids, practicing being away from me (she is rather timid around other people), etc.  Mike won't be here though and it's been stressful for me this year to take her to school and field trips and attend her class parties, etc. as well as be home to help the boys with all their stuff.  I think this coming year has to be all or nothing.  I think it has to be all the kids at home or all the kids at school.  So, I'm worried about homeschooling her (I've never had a kid that young homeschool) and I hope that it will be positive for her and that it's the right choice for her.  

This is why I don't write anymore...I just word vomit.  

the boys help get Piper ready some times while I make her lunch or breakfast

Science experiements

Sunday activites