Monday, April 28, 2008

Holes

This is a picture of Charles from last month: he is riding his favorite old car.
Apparently, he has outgrown his little car, because this is what happens when he rides it:
He has a couple pair of socks that look like this:
At least he's not bothered by it

Sunday, April 27, 2008

An interesting drawing

While Grandma was here visiting, Elisabeth sat down at the table with a pen and graph paper and worked on a drawing for quite some time.

When she finished she decided she wanted to send it out to Granny Garnica for part of her birthday present. She sure put a lot of time, work, and detail into this: there is a little circle in every single one of the little squares! We've got one patient and meticulous little girl.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mere Christianity

I recently finished Spencer W. Kimball's, The Miracle of Forgiveness and I'm currently reading Sheri Dew's book, If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard. Both of these books are inspirational and have made me ponder different aspects of my life, helping me to see where improvements should be made in order for me to become more like Christ. I thought I'd share one piece, something that I'm currently working on and have been working on for quite some time, but this quote helped me see it in another more helpful way.

Sheri Dew quoted C.S. Lewis from his book, Mere Christianity, writing "that as we begin to mature spiritually, 'we begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; we begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity. I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to mind is that the provocation [against me] was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"

Before I became a parent, and more specifically a parent of two toddlers, I felt like I was a pretty patient and even- tempered person: I didn't think that was anything that needed to be improved. And just to avoid a misunderstanding, I want you to know that I NEVER and will NEVER hit or use mean language with anyone, child or adult. What I'm referring to is when I get weary from a long day of using self control and patience, I'll sometimes give myself permission(or that's what I think I must be doing) to let up a little of my self control and raise my voice a bit louder, scold and sometimes drag a child to their room for time-out when really I knew better, knew that I could have handled that situation with more love and kindness and respect for the child. So after reading this quote from C.S. Lewis, especially the part(I'm going to repeat it because it was so important to me) which reads:

On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"

I have realized that it's something that I really need to change about myself and that I am going to do. I'm not just going to try, but I really will fix this about myself and I'll fix it now. I don't want something that I know I'm doing wrong but not willing to work hard enough to fix, effect my children in later years, I wouldn't want them to behave as I behave now, I want them to behave better... so I will master that part of me and be an example for them of how a good Christ-like person should be at ALL times and not just when it's convenient or easy for me.

So anyways, these are my thoughts for the day. I'll keep praying for help because I know I can't do this on my own...putting off the natural woman isn't an easy thing to do :).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Charlie bit me (not my Charlie)

This is a hilarious (and a little sad at the same time) video clip that Angela showed me while she was here. I've watched it several times because I just love the cute accents and the facial expressions.

Also, for all you Twilight fans, click on the link below to view a movie clip:

http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1585900&vid=226476

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cannery

The thing I wanted most for my birthday was to be able to go to the church cannery to build up food storage for our family and today it happened! Angela and Krissy watched the kids, I drove to the airport, picked up Scott and then we went to the cannery in SLC (they always take walk-ins) and canned a bunch of food. I used the birthday money that my parents sent, so thanks mom and dad for that! Scott and I had a really good time and the kids did well with Grandma and Aunt Krissy. It feels so good knowing that we have food in storage for the future when times get rough. We definitely don't have a years supply for our entire family yet, but we're working on it.

Insurance complications

A few weeks ago we got something in the mail which led me to believe that we might need to pay for Annabelle's hospital bill. So Scott called the human resources person from work and found out that we were supposed to add Annabelle to our insurance within 30 days of her birth and since we didn't(at that point we were at 40 days after her birth) it is impossible for us to add her this year. So we'll get stuck with her hospital bill which is around $14oo and thank goodness for the tax rebate that they're doing this year because that will cover her bill. So now we're searching for another insurance to add her to just for this year. It won't be anything expensive, just for emergencies, which hopefully we won't have any of. It won't cover well child visits or immunizations which she's supposed to have lots of this year. I checked into how much each well child visit and immunizations cost if you're paying out of pocket and it ends up being around $100 just for the visit and then each shot is around $50-$80. I looked into some other options and found out that our local health clinic gives immunizations for $5/shot so we'll be taking advantage of that this year and then we'll probably just make one appointment for a well child visit around 6 months of age instead of at 2, 4, 6 and 9 months of age.

Yesterday I took her in to the health center and she received 6 vaccines in three shots and one as an oral liquid. I feel bad that because her parents messed up she won't have the normal statistics records with height/weight that our other children got so I decided to do that on my own. On our home scale she weighs 10 pounds and is 24 inches long. Online I found an infant growth chart percentile calculator which put her in the 15% for weight and 87% for height which are average percentages for our children.
According to 'Doctor Mom', Annabelle is a beautiful, healthy and happy baby. We love her so much and are very grateful for the sweet spirit that she brings into our home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Daddy's in Florida

Scott left for Florida yesterday for some training with his work. His family was supposed to fly back to NC yesterday but I talked Angela and Krissy(though Krissy will mostly be in Provo visiting old friends since she recently returned from her mission in Germany) into staying with me until Scott returns so they'll be with us through Saturday. Since Daddy's gone, but has access to a lap top, I thought I'd post some pictures so that he can see what we're up to. Today we went to Target and Grandma let Elisabeth pick out a fingernail polish and then this evening she painted Elisabeth's fingernails.
I put Annabelle in the saucer for the first time today(she's 2 months now), but she's still a bit wobbly so I stuck a stuffed animal(kangaroo)in the seat with her to help hold her in place. She really liked being able to sit up straight and look around. But I couldn't keep her in there for too long because the other two kids couldn't seem to help themselves from spinning her around and aggressively playing with all of her toys on the saucer which was scaring her. And here's a picture of beautiful Elisabeth that I took earlier on this week. We love you Daddy and miss you heaps!
P.S. keep scrolling down because I posted 2 others today

Let's go fly a kite



Home Improvements

Scott's family were a HUGE help to us while they were here. The guys took out part of a wall downstairs: and made some useless space into a closet turning our 2nd family room into a 5th bedroom: The rest of us took turns watching the kids and painting the downstairs:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A special day

Today was a special day. Not only is it my 25th birthday, but Annabelle received her baby blessing today, Scott and I sang a duet in church and Scott's family was in attendance for it all from North Carolina. We tried to get a nice family photo with just the 5 of us. Unfortunately Elisabeth got a splinter in her hand from our last photo shoot on the play ground and Charles wanted to be done and move on to playing with his sand bucket so this is what we came up with:I wanted an ice cream cake this year so that's what I made. The actual cake part is Funfetti and then the middle filling is an ice cream called 'cake batter' (my absolute favorite!) that I picked up from Cold Stone Creamery the other day. I frosted the top and sides with my favorite butter cream icing recipe and then added some sprinkles and recees pieces. It was very yummy!

Yesterday for my birthday celebration we got a HUGE pizza from the Pie and then Scott and I were able to attend the temple together while the family babysat the kids, which was something we haven't been able to do since Annabelle's birth.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Smiles(finally!) and getting around

Annabelle finally started smiling(while awake) about a week ago, around 6 weeks of age. We were so anxious so see her smile so we're savoring every single one that she flashes at us. I was lucky to catch one on camera this morning:Annabelle sleeps in a bassinet next to my bed. One of the sides comes off so we have it set up that way for now because it makes it really easy for me to reach in and get her at night when she wakes up and is hungry. Yesterday she was napping in there while we were getting dinner ready and I heard her stirring so I went back to check and this is what I found:
I don't know how she did it but she was laying on her back in the bassinet and somehow she must have rolled over and out of the bassinet (thank goodness it was pressed up against my bed!), onto my bed, on her tummy! Crazy girl, we're going to have to put the siding up again today.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fun test

My friend Carrie had this on her blog and I thought it was pretty fun. Let's see how fast all you bloggers can type!?
81 words

Speed test

Healthy and yummy snack

(Sorry, I know this isn't a great picture)

My dear friend Elisa (now what are the chances that I'd have a close friend named Elisa, very slim. In fact I knew zero Elisa's growing up and then I move to Utah and meet 3!) shared some granola with me while we were visiting at a park. She made it herself and man was it good! I got the recipe from her and made a double batch on Saturday, which was kind of expensive :). I know nuts grow on trees, but not in our backyard and boy those things can be pricey. And honey and olive oil aren't exactly cheap either, especially when you use as much as I did making 2 batches. Hopefully it will last me awhile, I'll need to exercise some self control. Here's the recipe just in case anyone else would like to have it:

Granola

6 cups rolled oats

1 cup wheat germ

¼ cup sesame seeds (I didn’t have these)

1 tsp almond extract (optional)

1 ½ cups honey

2 T vanilla

2 cups nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup oil (I used olive oil)

Mix grains, nuts, and seeds thoroughly. Pour oil and 1 cup of honey over mixture and stir well. Spread on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Stir occasionally while baking. When mixture is golden brown, take it out and mix in vanilla (and almond extract, if using). Put back into oven and bake 5 minutes more. Pour granola into large bowl and drizzle ½ cup honey over mixture. Stir well and allow to cool.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 5th and 6th

Yesterday, April 5, was my baby sister Becca's birthday and she turned 23. She's going to hate me for posting her picture on here, but oh well, what can she do? :) Happy Birthday Becca we love you and wish that we could've been together; the great distance from family is one of the downsides of living here. But one of the bonuses of living in Utah is that we are able to watch General Conference(a worldwide meeting where we listen to the apostles and Prophet speak) from our antenna TV in the comfort of our family room! I just think that is so cool! I remember growing up having to get all dressed up and drive 20 minutes out to the stake center to watch conference...well we still get dressed up on Sunday but it's a lot more relaxed when you can watch from home, and I am especially grateful for that now that we have three little children whom we're responsible for.

So conference was this weekend and it was neat watching the first session and participating in the sustaining of the new Prophet of the world, Thomas S. Monson. I was 11 or 12 when President Hinckley was named the 15th Prophet and I'm guessing I missed the session when they sustained him because I don't remember anything about it.

A few of my favorite talks had to do with parenting. Russell M. Nelson(one of the 12 apostles) said, "When giving necessary correction do it quietly, privately, lovingly and not publicly. If a rebuke is required, show an increase in love promptly so that seeds of resentment may not remain.... Do not try and control your children, instead listen to them. Help them to learn the gospel. Inspire them and lead them toward eternal life. You are God's agents in the care of children he has entrusted to you. Let his divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade. " This reminded me of an experience from over a year ago. We (me, Scott and the kids) were at a children's museum and there was a little boy, probably 3 years old, who wasn't listening to his father. His dad grabbed him by the arm and shoved him down in the corner. The little boy was crying and this made him cry harder. His dad angrily hit him and told him to be quiet. Of course this made the boy cry out even more. So the dad hit him again and again told him to be quiet. I had some very intense emotions well up inside of me, I felt like I should step in or say something, but what? The father kept at it so I just stared and moved closer, very close and just watched and then the father looked up and stopped. I wish that I could have had the courage to say something. I remember reading a story of a woman who had approached an offending parent and told them to stop their behavior. The parent responded, "Lady, it's none of your business." to which she replied, "It is my business, it is everyone's business." Like Elder Nelson said, children are a gift from God, on loan to us as parents, we are their agents and how we treat them is certainly His business and ours also.

I also loved M. Russell Ballard's(one of the 12 apostles) talk that he gave specifically to the young mothers. I especially liked his ideas on what husbands and children can do to help reduce the pressure for us so that we can enjoy the family. I told Scott afterwards that I would love if he took Elder Ballard's advice and scheduled evenings together for just the two of us! Wouldn't that be nice to one day have your hubby walk in the door and say, "honey, a babysitter will be here in 5 minutes so get ready and let's go out on a date!" When Elder Ballard addressed the children Elisabeth looked up from her art project and listened intently. He told them to help their moms by picking up their toys, making their beds, helping with dishes and to put their arms around her neck and say I love you...after listening to that last part she climbed up on my lap and did just as he said, and she even added a sweet kiss on my check. I love and look forward to conference. I know that Christ lives and that He loves us; He loves us so much that He gives us modern day Prophets and apostles to lead and guide us. I hope that I will remember and apply the principles that they've taught into my life so that I can be a better person.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Reorganization

Thank you for all of your suggestions with baby proofing. You'd think I'd have it down by baby number three, but the truth is that Elisabeth didn't need much baby proofing at all, if a door or drawer was closed or out of reach she just left it alone.

Yesterday I went through all of our kitchen cabinets and drawers and rearranged things so that they would be baby(toddler) safe. I moved all the medicine and our block of knives and extra steak knives up above our refrigerator in a cabinet that's even hard for me to get to when I'm standing on a chair so Charles has no chance, unless he learns how to throw a rope up there and climb :), hopefully that won't happen or at least not until he's older. I also had a talk with Charles yesterday and told him that if a door is closed and has a white handle on it(meaning child proof door knob), he's not allowed to open it and if he needs something from inside he can come get me and I'll help him. So far he's following that rule about 50% of the time which is great considering it's only been a day. I think he's just forgetting and it'll take some time to get used to. Now all I have to do is get 2 new door knobs that can lock from the outside with a key so that we can have a 'safe room' for baby Annabelle to sleep in and a 'safe room' for all of our cleaning supplies, art supplies and other things that we really don't want him playing with.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Scary stories

Yesterday the kids were out back playing while I was inside nursing Annabelle and after a few minutes Elisabeth ran inside crying. Apparently she had a run in with the swing that Charles was on. We're lucky that her eyes were closed because she got a couple of nice cuts just below her eye and on her eyelid. Poor thing. I didn't dare let her look at herself in the mirror or see any blood because she freaks herself out and ends up making things worse. But it was hard for me to keep a poker face, especially upon first glimpse.

This afternoon I got an important phone call when the kids were being extremely loud so I shut myself, and the baby in the bathroom so that I could hear. We were in there for a minute or two when I got off and heard Charles crying, I wasn't too alarmed because Char cries fairly often. I followed the sound of his voice and found him in the kitchen, on top of the counter(he'd pulled a chair over from the table), next to an open cupboard, standing up over his own vomit with an entire bottle of red gel stool softener pills scattered all over the counter! Also the kids 'gummy vites'(multivitamins) were down on the counter(they're normally up high in the cupboard with the stool softeners and other meds) and there was a single gummy vite among the stool softener pills. I stood there in horror for a second before I sat the baby down and ran over to Charles to further investigate the scene. I quickly scanned the bottle which said to call Poison Control if a child gets a hold of it so I pulled out my cell phone, called Scott and had him look up the number for me. Then I counted all the pills; there were 91 and the bottle came filled with 100 but I knew I had taken at least 5 or more after I had the baby so Charles couldn't have had more than a couple. I called Poison Control, they asked me several questions and to my relief said he'd be fine, maybe have some diarrhea, and to call if anything changed otherwise they'd call tomorrow to check up on us. After I got off the phone I found one more pill; this one was in the vomit and had a bite mark through the middle. My theory is that he opened the bottle, dumped out the red, shiny, soft pills and thought he'd try one, tried to bite and swallow it but gagged on it and then threw up. I don't think he actually swallowed any because of how many I counted and because he hasn't had any bowel movements since then and after I cleaned up his vomit he seemed fine.

As a parent, I think I've never been more scared in my life then when I walked in on this scene. I'm very grateful that nothing terrible happened and that I was able to figure out that the location of our medicine cabinet isn't working without someone getting seriously poisoned. Charles has taken baby proofing to a whole new level for us. He figured out baby gates, he can get up in very high places and can open doors with the child proof handles on them. I'm always worried for his safety now because I can't always be there to protect him, for instance when I'm in the bathroom or helping another child or holding a hot pan etc., he could just slip out a door or get into something dangerous. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this yet. He is just over 2 now and understands a lot and so I think tomorrow I'll have a couple of safety talks with him and hopefully that will do the trick. I'll also be praying for some some extra help (maybe I can get some extra guardian angels). If any of you have other ideas I'd love to hear them. I was nearly at a breaking point today and was so extremely grateful when Scott got home from work so that he could hold me for a minute and tell me that everything is alright.