Friday, May 30, 2008

Conversation with Elisabeth

This afternoon we were outside playing and our 18 year old neighbor, Katie, came out and was getting into her car when Elisabeth decided to go over and give a quick hello. She talked to her for a minute (I couldn't hear what was said) and then Elisabeth came back and Katie drove off. Elisabeth told me that Katie is going to the Doctor and then we had this conversation:

"Mommy, does Katie have a baby in her tummy?"(she's knows that I pretty much only go to the doctor when I am pregnant)
"No. Usually women don't get babies in their tummies until they are married. And Katie's not married."
"Oh, well Ashley (Katie's sister) is getting married tomorrow, so then she'll have a baby in her tummy tomorrow." (said in a very matter- of-fact tone)
"Well, probably not tomorrow. But maybe she'll have one pretty soon."
"Yeah, she will because every womans can have babies when they're married."

I think this is just the very beginning of many interesting conversations of this sort. :)

Amazing sleeper!

Annabelle has started sleeping through the night, and she's only 3 months! Now she doesn't sleep through the night EVERY night, but more than half of the time she does, and she never wakes up more than once a night. This is such a pleasant surprise! Elisabeth was a pretty good sleeper too, she started sleeping through the night around or just after 4 months(which is when she discovered her thumb). Regarding Annabelle, I was expecting the worst and imagined her to follow more of Charlie's sleep habits... he also sucked his fingers starting very early on in life but even then he didn't start sleeping through the night until he was one year old and he would usually wake up a couple of times! And so I am very grateful for this recent development and hope that it continues.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Garnica's visit over Memorial weekend

Grandpa Garnica and the girls

Wednesday my dad flew in from Seattle and my brother Fred, his wife Robin and their kids drove out from Denver. They stayed for the weekend and took off for home this morning. We had a really nice time visiting with one another. We had a lot of good laughs and in fact last night we were all laughing so hard and loud that most of us were in tears! The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins. Shaun is about a month younger than Charles and Reese and Annabelle are not even a week apart which is fun. I think they'll be good friends throughout their lives.

Shaun and Elisabeth

While they were here we made LOTS of Mexican food since my dad is an amazing Mexican chef! Friday we had Brian and Maren over for dinner; Brian served a spanish speaking mission so he and my dad got to visit in Spanish which my dad enjoyed. Sunday we had my aunt and uncle over for dinner and then afterwards the kids went out back and played for awhile. Thanks for coming and staying with us, we love you all!

Fred and Reese

Fred, Robin, Reese and Elisabeth
Me, Dad(Luis Garnica), and Annabelle


Here are a couple of video clips that we took while outside. The first one is of the kids dancing, and the second shows Annabelle and Reese. Annabelle does not like looking at cameras which you'll see :).
1.

2.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blurb.com

Our family photo journal (aka blog) for 2007 arrived today! I am so excited to have a copy of it! I used www.blurb.com to create my 8x10 hardcover book and I love it! It was easy and fun, though it does take a little bit of time especially if you want to change the format and layouts of different pages, and it only cost $50 w/shipping and tax for about 120 pages! A couple of months ago I was going to print off a bunch of pictures from the last several months from Costco and it was going to be $40 so I'm glad that I found this just in time because now I have all my pictures printed, bound and scrapbooked! And it's a really great quality. Here are a few pictures of the finished product so you can see for yourself. I also added a table of contents page and in the back I added my yearly family newsletter and a section called, "from the mouth of babes" that has cute things the kids said. This is definitely my kind of scrapbooking. (I included lots of pictures so you can see a sample of different layouts)


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy

Yesterday morning/afternoon we went to a friends house, we played on the slip and slide, played with outdoor toys, visited, ate and had a really fun time. We came home and the kids ate lunch and took naps. When they woke up we started our preparations for the guests that would be arriving today. We cleaned the bathrooms, mirrors, got beds ready, cleaned clothes, rearranged rooms, vacuumed etc. Most days I can go, go, go until around 5pm and then I start losing steam. Scott gets home at 6pm every day so there's usually about an hour there where I'm just hoping that the kids will color or play outside or do something where they can mostly entertain themselves while I get dinner together. Yesterday around 515 Elisabeth asked me to come downstairs and look at her room because she cleaned it beautifully and made her bed. As we were coming back upstairs I could hear Charles in the kitchen. I went in to check on him and he had taken out our dish detergent(the child proof lock was broken sometime earlier this week by someone...my best guess is Charles), opened the dishwasher and dumped A LOT of dish soap inside. I was too tired to deal with monitoring Charles while he cleaned it up so I sent him to his room, grabbed a spoon and then sat down (because I was too tired to stand while doing this) and spooned it all back in. 10 minutes later it was mostly all cleaned up and so I went back to his room to tell him he could come out now and I found him holding his desitin and smearing it all over his face like shaving cream. His hands were covered and it was also on his shirt. By the time we got that all cleaned up Scott was home and dinner was obviously not ready. We made and ate dinner and then we went outside and worked on our garden for awhile. It was late, we were all tired but our neighbors had extra mulch that they offered to us and so we wanted to get things ready for that. The kids weren't listening very well: they were running in the street and shoveling dirt out of the garden and throwing it everywhere. Around 8pm we went inside and the kids started getting ready for bed. I was feeling very flustered and frenzied so I put Annabelle down in her bassinet to sleep and then I found Scott and told him I was going to take a shower because I needed a 10 minute break. I turned on the shower head and then cried under the water for a few minutes(as a side note, I cry when I'm overwhelmed with some sort of emotion: happy, sad, stress, frenzy, frustration etc.). It's amazing what a shower and few minutes of alone time can do for you; when I got out I felt refreshed and ready to help get the kids to bed.

Parenting, especially parenting to several little ones, can be exhausting at times but it's also very rewarding. Children give the BEST hugs and kisses! I love getting slobbery kisses and I love it when they wrap their little arms around your neck and squeeze you tight. And it's amazing to me how quickly they forgive and forget when they've been hurt or wronged. I love watching them learn new things and progress and grow. The other day when Charles pulled Elisabeth's hair, instead of hurting him she used her words and said, "Charlie, I'm very upset with you. You are not making me happy and you are making me sad and I'm frustrated and I don't want you to do that." It was funny to hear her say that and at the same time I was very pleased because I knew that it was hard for her not to get angry and lash out at him, but she's learning to control herself and to make good choices. And that is the most rewarding thing for me: seeing my children make good choices.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Three discoveries

1.)
Elisabeth has been waking up around 630am for the last few weeks. Last week we discovered that she can read a clock(sort of), so I put one of our alarm clocks in her room and told her that she couldn't wake up Mommy until the first number (I pointed to the hour number on the far left), was a 7 or an 8. She's doing really well with this! She still wakes up early (you can't really force a child to wake up when you want), but she'll get all dressed and then play quietly until it's 7am or until she hears us because occasionally Charles will wake up before 7am as well...I might just try and get another clock for Char. I know he won't completely understand the way Elisabeth does but at least I can tell him I won't be coming in to get him until the first number is a 7; we'll see how that goes :).
2.)
Sunday we discovered Charles sitting on the tile in the kitchen cracking LOTS of eggs and dumping them into a big bowl of pudding. Apparently he wanted to start our Sunday baking tradition a little early, and on his own :). When we found him we said, "Wow, are you baking something delicious?" He smiled and said yes. Then we told him that we love to make yummy foods and we like for him to help, but that he needs to do it with either Mommy or Daddy. He agreed and later on that day he helped us make some funnel cake mix.

3.)
Annabelle has discovered a preference in which fingers she sucks. Unfortunately, she's not our first child to do this: Elisabeth sucked her thumb, Charles sucked his pointer and middle fingers,(and I know what you're thinking when you see the picture below of the 'partners in crime'. You're wishing I would come and style your kids hair just like Elisabeth's, but I'll tell you now that I don't have time to do other children's hair because it takes hours just to get hers right :)) and Annabelle sucks her middle and ring fingers. When I see her sucking them I pull them out and replace them with the binky. Despite my efforts I'm afraid that all the children that I will ever have will be finger suckers. We're going to need to invest in a good family dental plan. I wonder if there are plans that will pay for braces? Now hopefully after going through the 'quitting' problem with each child, I'll learn some great tricks on how to help them quit and it'll get easier with each child...yeah right, if only ALL kids were the same huh? :) As my friend Rachael would say with a smile (I can hear you now Rach), "Yeah, good luck with that!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Annabelle is 3 months old!



Wow, it's hard to believe how fast the time flies by! The other day a cashier asked me how old she was and I told her, "Two months." It wasn't until I got home and looked at the calendar that I realized I was wrong. I can't believe she's 3 months already! Here are some things about our Sweet Annabelle (I can't seem to call her 'Annabelle', it has to be 'Sweet Annabelle'):
  • She loves to see smiling faces and will smile and coo back at you.
  • She sleeps really well. She'll either wake up once a night or not at all! She takes one, 2-3 hour nap and a couple shorter naps during the day.
  • She likes her binky(pacifier) and if there's not one in her mouth she'll shove some fingers in there to suffice her need for sucking.
  • She enjoys being in her bouncer and her saucer
  • She's still a little unsure about her very active brother and sister. She gets an anxious and sometimes frightened sort of expression on her face when they get too close, and she'll whine and squeal when they hold her.
We love our Sweet Annabelle so much!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Who needs clothes?

Lately, the weather has been beautiful! It's perfect right now. Sunny and around 75-80 degrees, I love it! Since it's so nice, after the kids take baths or are getting pajamas on, or if they spill something on their clothes, they feel like they can just run around the house, front or back yard almost naked. Now, Elisabeth won't be without clothes in front of people who aren't in our family, in fact she is our 'modesty police girl' because she's so good about covering her tummy, wearing shorts to her knees and covering her shoulders, and she also is quick to point out whenever others aren't following our modesty code which sometimes causes awkward moments because of how her voice seems to project...and we've had several talks with her on being responsible for yourself and not correcting others because not everyone does things just like we do. Charles on the other hand LOVES being naked and doesn't really care who is around to see! In fact, when Daddy finishes giving him a bath, once he's all wrapped up in his towel he'll run out(because he literally can't seem to walk anywhere) and find me, throw off his towel, get a big grin on his face and say, "Mommy look!" Then it's my turn to say, "Oh, nakey! You're so nice and clean!" and then he'll squeal and run around in circles until Daddy catches and dresses him.

"Hey Charles, could you come put some clothes on before you go out and say hi to our neighbors please?"
Clothes, what? Who needs clothes? I sure don't! See ya later Mom and Dad! (Notice the pink rain boots. Those are Elisabeth's but they're also the only shoes he knows how to get on all by himself so he wears them when he's going outside without permission because he knows he won't be getting any help from Mom and Dad.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Host...with no spoilers

The Host arrived at my house Monday afternoon, though I wouldn't allow myself to start it until I finished reading, Parenting with Love and Logic(thanks for the recommendation Monique, it was good!) which I was able to get through that night. So Tuesday morning I started reading The Host and couldn't put it down. Okay, I did put it down sometimes... don't want you all to think I'm a completely terrible mom who neglects her children entirely. I read a lot when they were sleeping, I even woke up early in the morning before they were up(I've only done this with the Twilight series and Harry Potter), I read when Annabelle was sleeping and the two kids were playing nicely outside though I admit I did encourage them, to go out and enjoy the sun, or wind, as much as possible! :)

I finished the gripping 620 page book today. I really enjoy Stephenie Meyer's writing style. She grabs your attention from the very beginning(which one of my other favorite authors, Jane Austen, couldn't do for me until I was probably 50+ pages into the book) and keeps you flipping pages until the end. And her character descriptions are so detailed that I find myself(obviously) getting pulled into the story and feeling very much involved with everything going on.

I did like Twilight more than this book, though I think I prefer this one to her other two books in that series. Sorry Scott for not being the most attentive wife these last couple of days, though the good news is that this shouldn't happen again until August 2nd when the 4th book in her series is released! :) Now you all know my guilty pleasure!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Small and simple blessings

As previously mentioned, Charles is too big to ride his little car because when he does his long legs drag behind the car which has created HUGE holes in his shoes and in several pair of socks. Last week we put the car up in the shed and wouldn't allow him to use it any longer but I knew he'd need some sort of replacement soon, though it'd have to be something fairly inexpensive. So yesterday, Saturday morning, the kids and I got in the van and started driving around looking for yard sales. We only came across one yard sale and they didn't really have any kid items. I needed some help and decided to say a little prayer and ask for some guidance...I pray about most everything, even the small and simple things because I know that He loves us and wants to be a part of things even as simple as making our little 2 year old happy. After I finished my prayer I turned our van around and started heading toward the Jordan River temple. Within half a mile we found two other yard sales and $20 later we scored two little kids bikes with training wheels(one was a princess bike with a basket in front and a bell!) and two scooters, a princess scooter and a spiderman scooter(Elisabeth LOVES princesses and Charles loves Spiderman...even though he's never actually seen the show)! We feel very blessed to have found such great deals and exactly what we were looking for! We have one little tricycle that our friend Monique had given us last year so we'll pass that on to Charles until he out grows that and can use one of these little bikes with training wheels.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hogle Zoo

Friday we went to the Zoo with our friends the Arkell's. This was our first zoo experience...in fact on our drive up to the zoo I asked Elisabeth if she knew where we were going and she said, "yes, to the zoo." I then asked, "And do you know what a zoo is?" and she said, "Um, no. Maybe a store?"

The day started out a bit chilly and it sprinkled a little, but then the sun came out and the weather warmed up and it was perfect!
Charles watching the penguins
These are my monkeys watching the monkeys:)
My personal favorite was seeing the peacock. I know, you're thinking that's pretty lame but I'd never seen one up close and personal and here were these little peacocks walking around looking like regular birds... and then all of a sudden, BAM! They're HUGE and beautiful! And this peacock knew that he was beautiful; he was turning one way and the other showing off his very long and pretty feathers. And I'm pleased to say that all three kids did great! Annabelle slept the ENTIRE time and the other two stayed with me and if one(Charlie) started to accidentally wander off because he wasn't paying attention, as soon as I called out to him he would come back immediately! Amazing!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bean jar

I read a friends blog a couple of weeks ago and she had this great 'bean jar' idea posted on there and I decided to give it a try.Charles, Elisabeth, and I have our own little Tupperware containers marked with our first initial. When they do something positive or good, i.e. helping clean up, listening the first time I ask them to do something, saying please and thank you, if Charles sits on the potty, playing nicely etc. they get to put a bean in their jar. When one of them is naughty we take a bean from their jar and put it in mine. I'm still tweaking the reward part a little, but as of right now, once they get 50 beans in their jar they get a small reward(but it's actually a big thing for them), like choosing an item from the grocery store whether it's gum, a treat, a coloring book, fruit snacks or whatever pleases them....and as long as it's under a couple of dollars. I think I'll also tell them that if they would rather wait to receive their reward until they have 100 beans then we can go get an ice cream cone which is HUGE!Since we've started the bean jars Elisabeth's ears seem to be working so much better! We no longer need to say, "cookie" in order to get her attention. She is now listening and responding fairly quickly...she also frequently informs me when she thinks she deserves a bean, for example the other day she said, "Charlie just hit me but I didn't hit him back so I should get a bean huh?"I think the bean jar is helping her recognize that she always has choices, good and bad. The bean jars are also helping us to focus more on all of the good things that the kids do throughout the day. During the first couple of days, I wasn't sure if this was going to work with Charles because he just really didn't care about beans or rewards. For example, he was being mean to Elisabeth and when I approached him he quickly said, "You can take my beans, I don't want to go to McDonalds" (that was our original reward). But once he saw, over and over again, Elisabeth's excitement with getting and retaining her beans and once we discussed other options for rewards he changed his attitude and is doing much better. Also, it helps to have him put the bean in the jar himself because that, in and of itself, is an instantaneous reward for good behavior which is something he needs.Tonight the kids counted all their beans and they both had over 50 so we drove out to Peterson's grocery and Elisabeth got a Hello Kitty coloring book and Charles a Spiderman book for a grand total of $2.50, I think we can handle that every couple of weeks in order to maintain a happier home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reading

Growing up I was never much of a reader. I read my text books, but that's about it. In college it was pretty much the same thing though I do remember reading a book for fun just after Scott and I got married: Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley. It's one of my favorite books! She was such an amazing woman, reading her letters, talks and different things about her life, is inspiring! I'm reading this book again right now(you may notice over the next several weeks that most of my' quotes of the week' are from Marjorie Hinckley since it's fresh in my mind) and it is so different reading it as a mother of three than it was reading it as a newlywed. It makes me want to be a better wife and mother. I love reading about her personal experiences and the experiences of her husband and children, grandchildren, sisters and friends!

Just over a year ago was when I first read Stephenie Meyer's book, Twilight. After reading this book, and the next two in her series, I was hooked to reading. This year alone I've read more books than I've read throughout my entire life. Now, I'm not saying that all the credit should go to Stephenie Meyer, though she was the one to light the spark that got me started (and I've heard she's done this for thousands and maybe even millions of other people which is amazing!). There are other factors to keep in mind, for instance I'm no longer in school and so I don't have books that I have to read within a very short time frame. I'm in a book club. I have a baby that I nurse which provides the perfect opportunity to read. Also, because I have three little children, I don't go out much anymore and since I don't watch tv, and there are only so many non-cartoon G and PG rated movies to choose from, then what is there to do once the house is all clean? Read. I love to read! I read to learn things and to be inspired. I like reading biographies and books on marriage and parenting(which is probably the reason why I majored in Marriage Family and Human Development). People and relationships are very interesting to me. I don't have ONE particular marriage or parenting book that I think is THE best one that everyone should read, know and love but instead I've read a bunch of different books, most of which I take a couple of ideas that I really liked and apply them to our family life. I also like to read fiction novels; sometimes it's fun to get so involved with a story that you feel like you are there as one of the characters. The next book on my list to read is The Host, Stephenie Meyer's newest release!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Faith is like a little seed


Tonight for Family Home Evening we had a short lesson on faith, sang the faith primary song and then planted some seeds in our garden for the activity since, like the song says, "faith is like a little seed, if planted it will grow...."
Afterwards our friend Cameron stopped by who is in town for work. He didn't arrive until after 8pm which is the kids bed time but they insisted on waiting up for him and once he arrived they had to go out back and show him our swing set...hence the dark picture of our two little ones swinging in their pajamas :).
Earlier today I decorated two 6 inch cakes and some cupcakes. I mostly made these for a couple of sweet ladies who have birthdays this week, but we also kept one for our family because, well, it's way too hard to see and smell sweet things all day and not be able to enjoy a little yourself, and we HAD to have a dessert for FHE.
And just for fun, here is a picture of our sweet Annabelle. She is such a gem. Our children are our greatest treasures.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Singing

A couple of years ago, when we were living in Wymount, Natasha, a mother of 4, said that every night before they read scriptures as a family they'd sing church songs together. I commented that they must have pretty good singing voices from all that practice and she chuckled and said something like, "No, my husband and I can't hold a tune. But our children are doing well despite us." I loved this idea and it stuck with me and shortly after our conversation I decided that I wanted to do this with our family. So every night just before we read scriptures together, we sing three songs. The kids each pick one and then either myself or Scott will pick one. The first several months that we started doing this we also decided that each week we would teach Elisabeth a new church song using pictures and then practice that song each night during the week. We use pictures we have around the house, sometimes we cut pictures out of magazines or sometimes I'll draw pictures to go with different songs, and we keep them all together in a binder. These are a few of the pictures we use:We wanted to do this because Elisabeth was so young when we started that she only knew a couple of songs and this would help her(and us) to memorize more. I love this, our whole family loves this because it helps all of us to memorize words to these great songs and because we practice them so frequently we always remember them and someone is constantly singing or humming the tune to one of these songs throughout the day and it brings such a sweet spirit into our home. I remember, probably a year ago, when I put Charles into time-out for being naughty he started singing "I'm trying to be like Jesus". Hearing that song sung in this sweet little voice helped me to feel more compassionate and less irritated.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Is it Spring yet?

It was snowing quite a bit earlier on today. The kids still wanted to go outside and play so they got bundled up and did just that. They weren't out for long before they got too cold, and we all decided that they needed some hot cocoa to help them feel nice and warm again.
When Elisabeth first noticed that it was snowing today she said, "Mommy the snow needs to stop because it is April. It doesn't snow in Spring, only in Winter! The snow is not being very nice, huh?" And I have to say that I agree :)

Luckily it hasn't been snowing EVERY day. We have been experiencing a little bit of Spring. Earlier this week it was so beautiful that we got to play outside A LOT: playing at parks, going on walks, playing soccer, basketball, and baseball, and smelling the beautiful flowers that are finally starting to bloom(and in our front yard! Didn't even know we had flowers planted! Cool!). We love the Spring weather and want it to come back and stay for awhile!