Sunday, March 30, 2008

No more Lil' Miss Shy Girl

(the picture is from my friend Joni's blog--Chloe got to go to a butterfly exhibit with her friend Brooke for Brooke's 4th birthday! She LOVED it! Apparently Brooke took this picture! Fun!)
Well, Chloe has broken out of her shell! She's always been a bit shy around new people (and people she knows but doesn't see weekly). She use to cry and hide in her room when the missionaries came for dinner (in our old house). But, boy, that's all changed! We had four elders for dinner today and she was little miss "look at me." She and Aaron are both little hams. Aaron's always been relatively outgoing and I think Chloe finally decided she wanted some of the attention when others are around too! My mom said that she acts just like I did when I was a little girl (silly, slightly annoying), but cute (or at least Chloe is! I'd like to think that I was too at her age. . .)

She also goes around telling people that she's not shy anymore. I'm glad she's more at ease with other people now--especially extended family members!!

ITCHY

Okay, I'm still itching all over. We did LOTS of yard work a couple of weekends ago (and lots the previous weeks) and at some point we apparently were attacked by poison ivy. (okay, not really "attacked" since we didn't notice it, but it's apparently out there). My kids itched for about a week and a half and Simon and I didn't start itching until their's was about gone and we're still itching! This stuff is awful!

Plus, I'm a bad mom cause I never did take my kids to the doctor for it. I thoght they were having an allergic reaction to the new scent of laundry detergent I was using. They scratched a lot but hardly complained. I just spent a week re-washing all their stuff with extra rinse cycles and by the time their's cleared up, Simon's and mine started showing up. After about a week and a half of itching (rashes on my arms, back, neck, legs. . .)I finally decided to go to the doctor. And, he confirmed what I suspected, poison ivy. I just feel like a rotten mom cause I took myself to the doctor but didn't take my kids when they were itching. . . oh well, I guess I shouldn't worry, they survived.

Simon and I are on our third day of steroids prescribed from our doctor. So, hopefully, this misery will end soon. . . Now I need to go find out where the poison ivy is in our yard and irradicate it!! I'm sure it's along one of our fence lines. We've been cutting down trees and limbs and clearing out stuff, I've discovered that I like using a chain saw, but not a wood chipper. We rented a wood chipper last weekend to mulch up the two trees and branches from some other trees that we had cut down. Now we have lots of mulch and plenty of use for it too! Anyway, the wood chipper is a bit of a scary machine--powerful, extremely fast moving blades! I'm glad we only needed it for one day!

So, next on my outdoor "to do" list is to find and destroy the poison ivy, set up my garden--transplant the vegetables & flowers I have growing inside (lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers), dig a large hole in the back corner to deal with our drainage issue, distribute anti-mosqito things in our drains and the back ditch I will dig that tend to have standing water, distribute the mulch, and mow again. I love doing yard work. I like it so much better than cleaning inside the house!! So, the inside of my house has been a bit neglected since the weather started warming up about a month ago.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Silly Jokes & Faces

On the way home from the park today around noon, I told the kids we were going to go home and have grapes, carrots, and a hotdog for lunch today! Aaron said, "we'll eat carrots, grapes, and a hotdog at home," (slight pause while looking out the car window), "and eat cars." I smiled and told him that we don't eat cars. He laughed and said, "silly joke." Aaron's been doing that lately, saying something silly and then laughing and saying it's a silly joke.

Chloe also loves to tell silly jokes. She followed Aaron's with the following, "what do you get when you have a duck and a box?" I said, "what?" and Chloe replied, "a quacker box." ha ha ha. My kids are sooo funny :-)



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pink Fairy

As I was walking by their room after I had left them for the night I saw Chloe at Aaron's crib and heard the following. . .
Chloe "open you mouth, Aaron. Let me see" (slight pause)
"Yep, you swallowed it."
"Mom (loudly), Aaron swallowed the pink fairy's ponytail!"



I quickly realized that she was talking about the pink ponytail holder that he had been putting in his mouth that I confiscated from him during our bedtime stories and songs routine (so, no he didn't swallow it). It came from a cute pink fairy doll that her Aunt Sandra gave her for Easter. She LOVES the doll!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter




We had a wonderful Easter weekend. We went to Cleburne on Saturday to be with Simon's family. His sister Sandra (and her husband Josh and kids Alexis and Christian) were there. Also, Claudia and her fiance Scott. Cesar, his wife Vipha, and their kids Nick, Nate, Natalee, and Elijah, and Simon's mom, Esther, were all there.




We had a picnic lunch, Easter egg hung, and a great game of netless volleyball :-) I haven't played volleyball in years! It was lots of fun! I use to love playing volleyball at stake youth activities as a kid. It brought back some fun memories and created some fun ones :-)


Then on Sunday morning the kids woke up and found two Easter baskets with treats from the Easter Bunny and eggs hidden around the house! Chloe watched the video below during Aaron's nap today and laughed hard as she watched it over and over and over . . .she sure thinks her brother is funny!
After church we went to my sister, DeeAnn's, home for dinner. It was a delicious dinner! DeeAnn is a wonderful cook! The kids had a great time playing with their cousins, Beth and Josh. Of course, they also enjoyed going up and down stairs and all the toys! (of course, other kids toys are always more exciting than the ones at home!) Their Uncle Dale also played "tip toe tag" with them and at one point I heard the kids pretending to be a choo choo train. I heard Aaron and Josh both saying "All aboard the choo choo train." It was cute. Dale's parents were also there. They're always fun to chat with! We really enjoyed the day!


Sugar High

I think my kiddoes have been on a sugar high yesterday and today! They've been enjoying they're Easter candy. I just let them eat as much as they want so it'll all be gone in a couple of days and then I don't have to deal with it until the next holiday. . .:-)

They are both hilarious when they're hyper! Silly kids. Chloe dances around and she does this funny thing where she'll talk and then stop/freeze mid-sentence, wait a second, and then finish. She keeps doing it. It's like she's playing a game of freeze with herself. . .she also likes to tell jokes.

Aaron, just gets spastic and runs all around and makes animated funny faces. He also loves to pretend to grab food and eat it (he just grabs into the air and bring his hand to his mouth to eat it--like in the video on the previous post). Very cute.

We had a great Easter weekend. I'll post pictures and put details on my next post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pretending

This is just a cute video from back in December (2007) of Chloe and Aaron playing pretend. Simon saw them playing and then got the camera and tried to get them to re-enact what they had been doing.







Thursday, March 13, 2008

Little helpers & schedules

The other day we were all working in the yard--various things. One of which was transportating spare bricks to the back of the yard in a wheelbarrow. The kids loved getting to ride in the wheelbarrow when it was empty on my way back up to get more bricks. They also would help us unload the bricks by picking one up and handing it to us. After giving several bricks to his daddy (one at a time), while picking up another one, Aaron finally said "this is heavy!" Yeah, my kids are buff :-)

Aaron was also very helpful this morning with putting dirty clothes in the washing machine. He put the clothes in one at a time as I handed them to him and he let me know who each item belonged to, "Chloe's shirt, daddy's shirt, Chloe's pants, Aaron, pants, Aaron's shirt, mommy's shirt, daddy's pants, mommy's pants. . ." This was a nice change from the temper tantrum he had thrown a few minutes earlier over who knows what. (well, it had something to do with milk and water. . .he kept changing his mind and I never did figure out exactly what he was trying to communicate. Sometimes he's a little nuts and just needs time alone in his crib to cool off and be reasonable.

Chloe hasn't helped much today, but she can be a good helper. She's very good at putting her and Aaron's clothes on hangers. I guess it's probably time for us to establish some regular chores of some sort for her. I'm sure she'd be glad to do them. I just need to get a routine established. . .

That's gotta be one of the hardest things for me about parenting--being totally consistent in everything & trying to get us on a good schedule. I am consistent about some things, but need to do better in a lot of areas. . .I dream of my house being totally organized and my days planned out so my kids know exactly what to expect each day. For instance, I would love to be able to say, okay from 7-8:00 is get up, go potty, eat breakfast, brush teeth; 8-10:00 kids play by themselves while I clean, then 10-Noon I play with the kids--read books, play toys, etc. then Noon -1:00 lunch and clean up. 1-3:00 quiet time/naps (Chloe doesn't nap, but loves to read books or do games on the computer--there are a lot of educational websites for kiddoes), then 3-5:00, free play or watch t.v. while I prepare dinner. 5-6:00 begin dinner (Simon's usually home between 5:30 and 6:00), 6-7:00 baths and dishes (Simon normally does the baths while I do the dishes--by that time of the day I'm ready for some time to get things done without the kids!!), Then 7:30-8:00 bedtime routines.

Now, of course, there are many other things on different days that will be inserted into that schedule, but at least I think that's a pretty good base schedule to go by. In fact, I think I'll type that up on a piece of paper to put up somewhere--maybe that will help. . .ahh, to be organized would be great!

Okay, I guess I should start following this schedule and get to playing with my kids rather than typing this on my computer while they are watching Dora on t.v. . .

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Little Teacher & Babies

I overheard the following:
Chloe "Aaron, it's time to learn the Spanish word of the day. Estrella. Estrella means star. . ." She's a good big sister!

Earlier today, completely out of the blue, Chloe told me that if we have too many babies we'll need to "leave some at other houses for people." I smiled and asked her how many is too many. She replied "11 is too many." I agreed with her that 11 was probably too many. . .I guess she's ready for another sibling. She and Aaron would both love to have a baby around the house. I would too, but I dread the thought of 9 months of pregnancy. . .maybe the next one will be a breeze :-) (side note: definition of "a breeze"--I only get nauseated in the mornings, and the nausea ends after the first trimester, and I don't have that taste in my mouth that tastes like I've been sucking on a penny.) Or better yet, be like my friend Joni and don't get sick at all and actually feel better when I'm pregnant! She's told me she would totally be a surrogate mother if there weren't all the emotional & other issues and I would totally take her up on it, except for the big IF's. . . :-)

By the way, I'm not currently pregnant (in case anyone was wondering after reading this entry).

Naked

Natalie "Chloe you still don't have any clothes on! Please put some clothes on."
Chloe "But, I like being naked" (I certainly hoped this changes as she gets older. . .)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Example

In the car on the way to the doctor's office today:

Aaron--chewing gum and taking it out of his mouth
Natalie--"Aaron please keep your gum in your mouth"
Aaron--again takes gum out of his mouth
Natalie--"Aaron, you will get to spit your gum into the trash at the doctor's office if it comes out of your mouth again."
Chloe--"Aaron, you're not being a good example. Jesus would not want you to take your gum out of your mouth"

**I can't remember everything she said, but she went on and on about how he was not being a good example for about a minute--it was very funny. But, he did keep the gum in his mouth from that point on until he was ready to spit it out. Kids are fun.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Terrible Two's. . .well, occassional sweetness

Okay, my sweet, lovable, cuddly, and cute little boy has turned into a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde! He turned two last November. What began as run of the mill temper tantrums (ya know, crazy, out of control kid flailing himself on the floor and kicking and screaming--frustrating, but sometimes still kind of cute/funny) to pure insanity! Don't get me wrong, he still has his cute, cuddly, smiley, giggly moments, but man, he can be quite a little toot!

For instance, when it's time for a prayer (family, blessing on food, etc.) and he's not in the mood, he starts yelling "Jesus Christ, Amen" over and over. When he's in the right mood, though, he actually does really well saying prayers with or without help. It's very cute, though, when Chloe pipes in and helps him with prayers by telling him what to say.

Another cute moment, I caught Chloe in his crib with him this afternoon reading books to him. She's quite the little reader and he's finally starting to actually pay attention and sit still for a bit to read/look at books. I think Simon had put him in his crib for a time out and then Chloe climbed in to read books to him. Cute kids--should've taken a picture, but didn't want to disturb the peace!

Okay, but Aaron has really become a bit overly aggressive when he gets upset. Sometimes he hits his head against whatever he can find (wall, floor, my head, etc.). The other day he totally freaked out (ya know, the type where he wants me to pick him up, then arches his back to get down, then wants to be picked up. . .doesn't have a clue what he wants) and I knew he was exhausted and needed a nap. So, I put him in his crib so he could calm down in a safe environment. After he fell asleep, I went in to cover him with a blanket and he had pulled the fitted sheet and the fitted mattress pad off and thrown them out of the crib. He was sound asleep on the cold, vinyl crib mattress. Poor kid. He was REALLY frustrated!

I generally am able to stay calm when he freaks out, but I just feel bad because there's nothing that seems to help. I end up just letting him freak out until he finally calms down because he rejects my attempts to hold and comfort him until that point. This has especially been happening right after he wakes up from naps. I keep thinking his naps just aren't long enough (he normally sleeps about 1 1/2 hours), but when I let him cry for a bit, he doesn't go back to sleep and I figure he's slept too long to let him cry for too long cause he's probably rested enough not to fall back asleep, but not enough to be calm. . .)

Any suggestions? I'm getting a bit worried and may even make an appointment with his pediatrician just to talk about this issue. He use to be such a calm little boy, and still is, sometimes. . .

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snow. . .Finally!!!











Yeah! We finally rceived enough snow to actually go play in it! Chloe and Aaron were both so excited all day as the weather went from mildly snowing (mixed with rain and some icy snow sticking in the yard) to full fledge snowing and about an inch of snow in the yard! (and yes, Chloe's coat is unzipped. . .it zipped the last time we used it. . .months ago, but, somehow the zipper was slightly bent. . .oh well, we weren't outside too long. . .we're not too prepared for fun in the snow necessities--our "gloves" were just socks on our hands.)



Classic Aaron facial expression!




Much as we tried, Chloe, Aaron, and I were relatively unsuccessful at our attempts making snow angels (not quite enough snow). However, we were able to throw snowballs at one another and make a miniature (and grass filled) snowman! (and, yes, in the bottom picture they are trying to lick mr. grasnowman. . .)The kids loved it! Now, they're in a warm bath enjoying hot chocolate. Ahh, the life of a child. . .


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

TAG

A.The rules of this game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player answers the question about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, and then leaves a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog to get the directions.

Questions:
10 yrs ago
5 Things on my list of things to do today
Things I would do if I suddenly was a Billionaire
3 of my bad habits
Places I have lived
Jobs I have had
Things most people don't know about me

10 years ago I was the ripe age of 21 and I believe I was in the MTC preparing to serve my mission in the Salt Lake City proselyting mission. I had the coolest MTC companion--she was definitely the best!

My to do list today included 1. Help my mom with her morning routine (she is disabled and lives with us)--breakfast, shower, dressed, etc. 2. drop kids off at mother-in-laws for a couple of hours (she's only 5 min. away :-) Yeah! 3. get the chain saw out and cut down a tree in the backyard (to get more sun to our wet drainage area. . .) and other yard work. I love working in the yard!--seriously. 4. tutor a 5th grader in math 5. play with my kids!

If I were suddenly a billionaire I would pay off our house and student loans to be debt free! Give a large chunk to fast offerring and other charities. Create ready to use college funds for my kids, put a large chunk in savings/retirement. Go on a family vacation--my kids would love DisneyWorld!

3 of my bad habits: eating too many sweets, mild cursing from time to time when I get very frustrated, raising my voice when one or both of my children do not acknowledge they heard me (I, of course, assume that they really didn't hear me, so I get louder. . .)

Places I have lived: Arkadelphia, Arkansas--born and raised; Provo, Utah--attended BYU;Murry, Utah--while on my mission; Riverton, Utah--while on my mission; Alexandria, Virginia--while doing my student teaching at a high school in Washington, D.C.; Watauga, Texas--while teaching at the Tarrant County Juvenile Justice School in Fort Worth; Fort Worth, Texas--while attended grad school at UTA and first 7 years of marriage; North Richland Hills, Texas--moved into a larger house 7 months ago so I could take care of my mom in our home.

Jobs I have had: babysitting, McDonald's, Transcriptionist for grad student, BYU paint crew, teacher at Juvenile Justice School, UTA computer lab, Jr. High teacher, tutor

Things most people don't know about me. . .hmm. . .I strive to be organized and clean but am really a cluttered mess at home (stacks of papers, clothes on floor, etc.). I'm a little bit of a germ freak and wash my hands a lot--which causes my already dry hands to crack. I try to eat healthy foods but have a major sweet tooth. My mission (back in 1998) only lasted 4 months due to the deterioration of my health. . .without more than 8 hours of sleep on an extended daily basis, my body started to break down--shake uncontrollably, weak, etc. etc. I was happy to go on a mission and was happy to come home when I did :-)

I tag: Joni, DeeAnn, Beth, & Sylvia