Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifts

I am lucky that Dave is really good at picking out gifts. This year, he got me a ski pass. I have been wanting to go skiing forever but I have been pregnant or had a baby for the past several winters. I about had a heart attack when I opened it because I was so nervous and since it's already paid for there is no backing out. Now I realize that I am super excited and can't wait to try it out. Hopefully I am an expert skiier. Another thing I'm really excited for is season tickets to the Centerpointe Theater. We love going there. I was a bit nervous about that one, too. I was hoping the next thing I would unwrap would be a babysitter. But thankfully as soon as Kelly found out she offered to watch the kids (I bet it's written in permanent marker on the calendar!).

I am okay at getting gifts for Dave. Some years I think of something totally awesome, and other years I just can't think of anything. Dave is not gracious when he doesn't get something good. He totally has disappointment written all over his face. The first year we were married I didn't wrap Dave's stocking stuffers. Mine were never wrapped so I didn't even think of it. Dave was so disappointed I swear it ruined his Christmas! And he was not afraid to show it.

Long story short, Rock Band for the Wii is no longer made. I looked on KSL but only found sellers who were offering it with the Wii console, which I didn't need. I decided I would call everyone of them to see if anyone would sell me just the Rock Band. I asked Kelly to come with me in case the KSL posters were murderers trying to lure me in with their sweet "Rock Band". She agreed and we planned to go the next morning. That night we were going to go to Temple Square to see the lights. Well, the first person I text from KSL agreed to sell her Rock Band to me at a crazy awesome price, I knew if I waited til the next morning it would be gone (she had just posted it that day). So I text Kelly and she HAD PLANS WHICH DID NOT INCLUDE GOING WITH ME TO AVOID BEING MURDERED! So here is our text conversation, so Dave can fully appreciate the trouble we went to for this awesome gift (which is SO MUCH FUN!!!) I also had to make up a lame excuse to him as to why we weren't going to Temple Square. It was easy with the kids, they were disappointed until they found out they were going to play with cousins.

So I text Kelly...

Me: She just text me back and is giving me an awesome deal. Can you go today at 4:30?
Kelly: Boo, I have to pick jeremy up at 430 & Zack has a practice at 445. Would it help at all for u to drop the kids off while u go? I guess that doesn't solve the problem of u getting murdered...
Me: That would be great, but do you think Trev could come with me?
Kelly: Can Trev come with u to possibly witness and or be murdered? I'm sure he'd love to!
Me: Great, I'll pick him up at 4.

I'm so glad Trev (and Lance!) could go be my protectors and it was all worth it because Dave loves it and so do I (and Allie)!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the Christmas Eve sibling gift exchange. This year, having four kids and all, we drew names instead of all the kids getting each other gifts. As they exchanged gifts, they gave a love and said what they love about the person they were giving to. It was awesome!
On Christmas morning, Dave woke us up (accidently by really loudly shattering a mirror into a million pieces) at 6:45! It was TORTURE waiting til 8 to wake up the kids.
I'll be honest, we weren't thrilled about going to church on Christmas. Nothing against church. Well, nothing except for it makes me want to harm my children because they are so awful when we are there. But we loaded up and went. I thought it was going to be a slow day at church. I figured a lot of people would "lose track of time" playing with their gifts and the like. Well, it was packed. Everyone was there, and for good reason. The meeting was so amazing! The spirit was so strong and it was time very well spent. I did, in fact, want to cause harm, but only to one of my children (you'd never guess which...). It ended up adding so much to our day rather than taking away.
Allie has been asking for this dang Pillow Pet since last Christmas, or maybe even her fifth birthday. I have thought they are the biggest rip off ever, but everyone I talked to whose kid had one said they loved it. So when they were ten bucks this year, I got one. For twenty, which is what they were last year, I would have held my ground and not bought it.
Cute little Maci looking like a little guy in her (hand me down from Detmer) Rudolph jammies. Poor thing had a cold on Christmas. Thankfully it hasn't slowed her down much. She had NO interest in opening gifts, but loved crawling around and checking in on everyone.
We got the kids their own 3DS this year. I did some painstaking research and decided a 3DS was the best option as far as handheld consoles go. As far as I know, none of my kids had ever touched a DS before (it's possible they've played at a friends house, but I don't think so). So when they opened them Detmer said, "DS is my life!!!" It was a great reaction and he has done his best to make it true that DS is his life. We went mini-golfing today and on our way home Det said, "I can't wait to get home so I can play my DS." Allie is in heaven with hers as well. We didn't even need to buy her any games, as her favorite feature is being able to record herself and play it back again and again and again...
Cookies and milk for Santa.We had so much fun on Christmas Eve playing tons of games. I think it helped the time go by super fast for the kids. We played Minute to Win It, Missionary Tag, Elf Elf Santa (duck duck goose), freeze dance, and the stupid unwrapping a present game that the kids love but I'm never doing again (it sucks for the poor kids who don't get a turn!).
My dad also came over with his gifts, since he knew we would not have time to open them on Christmas. The kids' were so excited to open something as they impatiently waited for Christmas morning.
Christmas Day at Grandpa's. We had a delicious dinner and lots of fun playing.
After my dad's we went to Dave's parents with just enough time to say hi to the Hyer's and the Baldwin's. We got some super cute gifts--I especially can't wait to post pictures of the gift Jenn got for the kids!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Letter

I love the Christmas cards and letters we receive in the mail each year. However, I've never sent a Christmas card out. I've never even really considered it, a lot to do with my tumultuous relationship with the post office and also to do with my lazy. And some lack of desire. The blog is as close as I will get, so please enjoy this year's Christmas letter.
Allie: (age 6) Allie is growing like crazy, as evidenced by her conversation with Detmer the other day. They were flipping through the Netflix Queue when they came upon a once beloved favorite. Allie exclaims, "ohhhhhhhhh, I used to love that show when I was little!" (Even way back then?)
She also surprises us with all the words she adds to her vocabulary. The other day I told her we were going to cousins, "tremendous!" She replies.
She is not lacking in the self confidence department, either. She had her dance recital the other day. When we got home and she got into jammies I said, "you sure looked gorgeous tonight at your dance recital." She looked at me, unimpressed. "Um. And I looked gorgeous before my dance recital. Remember? I was wearing my black Christmas shirt and my hair was like this (holds her head in pigtails)." How could I forget?
Detmer: (Age 4) Detmer's highlight of the year came all the way back in January when our precious Maci was born. I think both Dave and I are a little shocked that out of all the children, it was Detmer who formed the strongest bond with our baby girl. I don't think it's an overstatement to say he's obsessed. He wants us to have seven more babies, and will not hear of it if we tell him we aren't having more babies. A couple months ago he said, "Mom, I want our next baby to be a boy." Then he turns to Maci and says in his baby talk voice, "unless it's as cute as Maci, then I want it to be another girl."
So imagine my shock when I picked him up from the gym daycare the other day and he was going on and on about another baby. "Mom, Alex is sooo cute. I love way Alex says, dada. He's SO cuuuuute. Mom?" He pulls out the big guns, "Alex is cuter than Maci!" I was shocked and appalled. Who was this baby that had dethroned Maci? Did I work out side by side with his mom each day? How old was he, anyway? I started asking Detmer some follow up questions and finally discovered the (new) source of his affections:
Detmer has made some good new friends this year, but his number one remains the same. The other day, I asked him to tell me what he wanted me to write in his journal. I wrote as he told me, "I love Daddy. Daddy's my best friend. Daddy does a lot of things for me. Daddy plays with me. I love Daddy." "Okay, great!" I encourage, "anything else? I mean, you can talk about anyone else you want. Is there anyone or anything else you want me to write about?" He thinks for a second, "um. I love Daddy. We like to plays guns. Daddy loves to play with me." "Okay. So that's it then?" I ask. "Nothing else you want me to write? No other important people you want included in there?" He thinks for a second..."nope. That's all." And runs off to play.
Kendall: (age 3) Last week I scheduled Kendall's three year well check. She was not going to be having it. I tried every encouragement I knew how ("you will NOT be getting shots!" "you can get a sucker!") She didn't fall for any of it. I'm attempting to wean her off being so spoiled and getting everything she wants (oops) but after the disaster visit at the dentist, I knew this was not going to go well. So I told her I'd cancel. I "called" the doctor's office. I told them Kendall couldn't make it, but could we stop by and grab Maci some food? (I always pick up a formula sample at the doctor, and Kendall knew that since she went with me to Maci's last appointment.) I told her while we were picking up the formula, I should introduce her to my friend Silas (the doctor's name). She was excited to meet my friend. She said, "how old is she?" Not wanting her to be intimidated that he was a man, I said, "Silas is as big as Daddy. And you are going to love his awesome glasses." The medical assistant did all of Kendall's measurements and I asked her, "Hey can my friend Silas bring in Maci's food. Kendall really wants to meet him." A minute later the doc comes in (wondering why he's handing me formula). He checks Kendall out from head to toe. But she was none the wiser. To this day, she thinks she got out of going to the doctor. And that is the story of how the bamboozler became the bamboozled.
She loves to dance anytime there is music, and this video from back in February will always be one of my faves (curse whoever thought of having the DDR boo a bad dancer! What if your two year old wants to try it?)

Maci: (age ALMOST ONE!!!) I'm a little worried about Maci's post. I don't want any other mom's to feel bad if there babies are a little, well, slow. Just remember, all babies learn at a different pace, and just because Maci is a little more advanced than most babies, it's no reason for other (lesser?) mother's out there to feel bad. But, it's true, just this week at just shy of one year old, my baby Maci has LEARNED TO CRAWL!!! I know. It's crazy. I should probably consider contacting the Discovery channel or something. I sense a "genius babies" special in her very near future. Now, she's not doing it consistently quite yet, but after months of watching her drag her little gut along the floor, she is occasionally getting up on all fours. If she's not careful she might be walking before the age of 2!

We also discovered tonight that she can climb up stairs. I wasn't sure if Dave put her in bed or left her downstairs, so I asked. He walked into the front room and said, "well I THOUGHT she was downstairs but she's right here." She had the biggest smile on her face and was so proud of her accomplishment! (Stair climbing AND crawling in the same week? Uh-oh. Looks like I've got a little over-achiever on my hands!)

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

I don't get how people do not LOVE the beautiful Christmas season. If you have had emotional trauma related to Christmas (such as I have with Thanksgiving) than I can excuse you from loving all things Christmas. BUT that is the only excuse I can accept. Please allow me to give these three pieces of advice:

#1: You are not TOO busy. Promise. Most who know me know it is my biggest pet peeve to hear people moan and groan about how busy they are (sometimes it's like a contest, I swear!) but this is not acceptable during Christmas. The most important thing is making memories, keeping traditions, spending time with family, and learning about the birth of Jesus. Almost all other things can be set aside. You do not have to say yes to each and every invitation that comes your way.
#2: Go ahead and shop in advance. If you are waiting for a Christmas bonus, that's fine. BUT please be sure you know all the things you want and how you are going to purchase them (online or in store? If in store, what store?) I saw this mom at Target complaining about how bad she HATES CHRISTMAS SHOPPING THIS CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS. You know what? I love it. Probably because I really don't NEED anything. My Christmas shopping has been done for months (in my head). One thing I knew I wanted I kept my eyes open and found the sweetest deal ever and ran to the store to grab it.
#3: My friend's husband had the day off work and I told her she should be out doing something fun. She said, "it's hard to have fun when you don't have money." But really, it's not. I proceeded to give her a list of things she can do for free or very cheap. Please contact me if you need any ideas, but don't cause yourself huge amounts of financial stress at Christmas. If your financial situation doesn't allow you to buy the things you want this year, make it special for your children in whatever way you can. Memories and traditions are what they will remember.

(You are welcome for that helpful list-may it make your season brighter.) Here are some things we have done to make our season bright:

Took the kids to Chuck E Cheese. Maci had lots of fun but was not so good at Deal or No Deal.
Maci was really good at this game though. I don't recall the name of it but I pulled the lever and set Maci's bum on it to stop it and she won 100 tickets. I know it's disgusting that she was crawling around on the floor of Chuck E Cheese but she had to gather her 100 tickets.
This was after we got home from our "Christmas Sweater" party our friends had. It's very unfortunate we did not get a group shot. They had a photo booth at the party, and I heard the pictures turned out terrible so hopefully we get to see them soon!
Tonight we went to Corben's choir concert. I took this picture to show my dad that his phone takes better pics than my camera and could he please be in charge of still shots at Allie's recital tomorrow.
I walked down the stairs the other day and the kids were sitting like this. It's times like these I wish I had a camera surgically attached to my person, but after a very quick trip up the stairs and back down, I gratefully found they held the pose.
This day of our advent calendar said, "family date: movie with popcorn". I like how they are all eating popcorn but none of them are even looking at the TV. Incidentally, we ended up turning off the first ABC Family movie we picked because it was "too scary".
Kendall wanted to feed Maci. Poor Maci. She's pretty much eating upside down. That's can't be comfy.For another advent, the kids' got to open a gift from under the tree. They each got coloring books. They go through coloring books like they are going out of style, plus the coloring books cost a quarter. Win/Win.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fwee

I already wrote a very lovely post about Kendall turning "fwee" (as she likes to say). But it disappeared. Actually, worse. It was on my screen and I couldn't save it or post it so I just had to x out. Boo. So here's is a little bit about Kendall:

Kendall is my spoiled and naughty girl, but also a huge charmer. She does the naughtiest stuff but in the funniest way. And even if I wanted to punish her, I swear she has no conscience. She does the same naughty stuff over and over. Just come to my house and find the coloring on the walls/furniture/and as of today PLATES!

Kendall was the easiest baby ever. Seriously rarely fussed, slept great. I think she was about 9 months when things changed and my sweet baby turned into, well, Allie puts it best: "Kendall! You naughty naughty girl." We say that a lot!

She loves Allie, Detmer, Kendall, Disneyland, princesses, Mickey and Minnie, family dates, dates with daddy, monkeys (especially her blankey), cousins, grandparents, Owen and Emmett, coloring. I can't really name her favorite foods because she has no appetite, unless of course it's junk food.

She will not watch TV yet constantly asks "can we watch Netflix?" And I'm like, "YES! Will you PLEASE!!!" But once it's on she's on to the next activity. The one show she will watch is my nemesis: Caillou. Now, I'm no kid-TV hater. Heck I even love Barney! But if you're not familiar with Caillou he's a whiney little brat who talks baby talk and always gets his own way. (hmmm, now that I think about it maybe Kendall's watching it a little too much!)

Kendall loves to sing and dance. The other day we were driving around and she was listening to Dave's iPod and starts singing, "gotta get get. gotta get get." When a song comes on that she likes she needs it turned up as loud as possible. She says, "Mommy, it's my faveut song! Turn it up!"
Cuddling with Grandpa Greg on the night of her birthday-exhausted from so much fun!
Fun birthday at Boondocks!
Kendall and her monkey cake.