Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Am Still Alive!!!!

This past week has been crazy to say the least. I kept saying to myself... if only I can make it to Saturday afternoon..... I haven't had a moment all week to blog or read other friends blogs and only made the briefest of appearances on Facebook. It was the best I could do to check my email. Yet, despite the busy times, just not much exciting to write about. I just wanted to do a quick post to acknowledge my existence and promise to write more soon. For now, here is a run down of the past week, for those who care:

-We all got sick.....AGAIN!!! (all of us....I am so done with February- bring on March!)
-I went to the temple- the peace and Spirit that evening was just what I needed
-Tagged kid items to sell at the bi-annual Mothers of Twins club sale (two totes of clothes, a box of shoes & misc, one crib, double stroller, a few toys & misc items)
-Went to a doctors appointment
-did my visiting teaching
-visited my grandfather who is very ill and dealing with the emotions of knowing he only has a couple days left on this earth (more on this later).
-did a Pampered Chef party & earned a little extra money
-shopped at the sale mentioned above- got most of the girls summer wear and some for the boys!
-worked the above mentioned sale- about 6 hours total between Friday night and this morning. I sold all but 1/2 tote of clothes! I am thrilled!
-due to illness, exhaustion and busyness I didn't exercise much at all and eating?....well, not pretty
-Last Saturday, the boys went with my parents to the Air Force Museum (may post pictures they emailed me at some point). At the moment, the boys are at a concert with Aaron (Star Wars music and the "Planet" songs)

And now, I am tired. I made it to Saturday afternoon and it feels really good to just sit here and do nothing for a bit- watching mindless sitcoms while I catch up on my computer fun and watch the girls eat processed, microwaved chicken nuggets for dinner. I still have bills to pay, grocery shopping to do, and a house that really needs cleaned but for now, I sit and breathe. Life is good!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kenneth's Bike Stand- Order Yours Today!

My 7 year old, Kenny, is an inventor!

The school that our kids attend, as I have mentioned before, have a focus on math and science. This year, the kids were required to participate in an "Invention Convention." The Kindergartners (Jacob) did the project at school, as a class. But, all other grade were required to do a project at home on their own with the help of mom and dad.

So, we got to help Kenny create an "Invention." I was actually completely overwhelmed by this project myself because I am not very creative and always hated science anyway. This kind of thing is just not my thing. But, the teachers did have a good process set up to find something to "invent"- which, by the way, did have to be truly unique. We had to look for other patents for the idea he chose and everything. The first thing he had to do was do a worksheet on "Life's little problems." It was divided into categories- such as environment, home, school, transportation, etc. They had to think of a couple "problems" that they might want to solve with a new invention in each category. Then, once they thought of problems that need solved, they could choose one and think of a solution which would become their invention.

Kenny's problem that he chose to solve was that his bike always falls down- laying on the ground- when he isn't riding it (it doesn't have a kick stand). So, he had to think up solutions to the problem. We then had to research patents, draw diagrams, make a model and a display. Here is his solution:
He called it "Kenneth's Bike Stand." It is like a metal track (wrapped in foil to simulate metal....) that the wheels slide into which goes up over the front wheel to hold it up. It would be a stand that would stay in the place where the bike belongs, to have a place to store it neatly- keeping it upright. Here is Kenny with his display:
We are proud of him and think he did a great job! It was a tough project, but he did it and came up with a great solution, I think!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

57 Years in the Making....

Wednesday February 4th, my dad turned 57. I am a little slow in posting for two reasons so I am hoping he will forgive me. First, I was really sick on his birthday. (Note my lack of blogging lately...) Second, due to illnesses and other reasons, we only just finally celebrated his birthday today.

On his birthday, he was very excited when he exclaimed "I'm a ketchup bottle now!" This is more appropriate and hilarious than anyone knows. I truly believe that my dad does not have blood running through his veins, but Heinz (his favorite brand) ketchup instead. Seriously. He is the only person I know whose Thanksgiving dinner is ruined if there is no ketchup. When he gets down to less than 10 bottles in his food storage, he fears he is critically low on ketchup. When Kroger has a sale going, he will buy dozens of bottles at a time. He is the only person I know who will eat a slice of tomato with ketchup on it! He eats taco salads with ketchup- not salsa. He puts ketchup on his hamburger and then dips the whole thing in ketchup. Spaghetti? Covered in ketchup- even with spaghetti sauce on it. A favorite snack? Bread and butter..... with ketchup.

So, Dad, congratulations on officially being a bottle of ketchup!

His biggest wish for his birthday was to have all 8 of his grandkids together in a picture with him. It is so nice that we all live close together and were able to grant this wish.
From left "ish" to right "ish: Kaylee, Joey, Meghan, Jacob, Kristin, Dad, Savanna, Kenny, Ellie.
This has become a tradition at birthdays. My boys like to help put the candles in the cake. They don't like to fit the usual format for candles on the cake. This is Kenny and Jacobs' way of putting candles on his cake. (notice the ones sticking out of the side....). He is holding Joey, my sister Emily's son.

I had to include this one because it is so funny. Ellie is learning to be melodramatic. She was asking Grandpa for a drink of pop. (Notice the Diet Coke sitting there...) But Grandpa told her no (which isn't easy for him....I think it was more me saying no....) and gave her the pink sippy cup with milk in it. She didn't throw a fit or scream or cry, just put her hands over her eyes and dropped her head. Note the guilty look on my dads face- as if he did something wrong by telling her no- and note my mom cracking up in the background. Sooooo funny!

This one was taken back in September and it demonstrates so many things about my dad. First, he is a musician. He is an AMAZING guitar player. I grew up listening to him play and I still love it when he pulls it out. He is now passing the fun onto our kids. He loves to play for them and lets them "help" him play (notice Meghan above). You can also see how he lives for his grandkids. He is an AMAZING grandfather and father.

Dad- We love you and are so grateful for you. You always work so hard for us and are always giving so much of yourself, even though you struggle with health issues and don't feel well often. You rarely let it stop you, though you should let it more often. You always put us first. I have also always been grateful for how much you love mom. I think it is incredible that you obviously love her more now then you did when you met her 39 years ago. That means so much to me. The kids adore you and we are lucky to have you in our lives!

Happy (Belated...) Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reality Check

This is one of those stories that just must be recorded.

After taking the boys to school, I had to make a quick stop at the post office. I only needed to mail something and get a book of stamps. The girls were with me and, to be honest, running errands with two toddlers is just no fun. I know most would agree with me on that one. So, at the post office, I figured that if the line was short, I would leave the girls in the locked car and just run in really quick. Seriously, my errand would take less time then it would take just to get the stroller out of the car. And, I don't care what anyone says- it is not really hot or really cold outside and the girls would be perfectly safe in a locked car for two minutes. So, I peek in the post office and of course, the line is long- long enough that I know I shouldn't leave the girls in the car that long. Sigh...

I went out to the car, got the stroller out, loaded the girls and went into the post office. While in line, the girls were taking off their shoes and throwing them and trying to climb out of the stroller. When we went back out the car, I was definitely frustrated. My 2 minute errand had turned into a 20 minute errand. I was loading the girls and grumbling to myself about the long line, the girls causing havoc, the fact I was tired, etc. Then, as I was strapping Ellie into her car seat, she said "hug?" So I gave her a hug and she wrapped her arms around my neck and said "I yuvs you!" (I love you!)

What was I complaining about? It suddenly didn't matter anymore- it was worth it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wow...Whatta Week!

Last week is definitely a week I am happy to say Good-bye and Good Riddance too!

Last Saturday, a week ago, Jacob woke up with a high fever and I woke with a slight sore throat.
Jacob's fever lasted a couple days so I kept him home from school Monday, but his fever seemed gone by then, so I sent him to school Tuesday. My throat still hurts all this time and on Tuesday, I start to feel chilled and achy, but I didn't have a fever when I checked it.

Tuesday afternoon, I get in the van and head to pick up the boys from school. The van feels just a little off to me and there are a couple odd lights on the dashboard. I get in the left turn lane to turn onto the road their school is on and I stop for a red light- the first in line. I put the van in park and turned it off intending to turn it back on in hopes the restart would solve the problem. The car started fine, though the lights were still there, but my car will NOT get out of park. The light turns green, cars behind me, I am STUCK!!! I call Aaron on my phone and he heads out to come help me. I had put on my 4 ways and after a couple light cycles, the people behind me get the hint and head around me. I call the school letting them know I am trying to get there and then I call AAA and wait on hold. Then, a cop pulls up behind me- but didn't immediately notice I was stuck so I waved him up to me. He comes up and gets in the car (the girls FREAKED!) and got the car into drive- somehow. I think it was divine intervention because later, we couldn't get it out of park again... So, anyway, I got the boys, but never took the car out of drive (just used the e-brake) and waited for Aaron to get there since he was coming. He drove the van home and I drove his car home. Ellie freaked the whole way- I think she thought he just left me there! So, Aaron didn't make it to school that night because he was trying to figure out the problem. It basically turned out to be a fuse blown due to water built up (from ice,snow,etc.) in a rear brake light. Fun. Thankfully, a cheap easy fix.

But, by Tuesday evening, Jacob's fever was back full force and I had a low one. By Wednesday morning, my fever was over 101 so Jacob stayed home from school and Aaron stayed home to help me. I had a fever of 104 by that evening!!! This went on the rest of the week, though Jacob was better by Friday so he went back to school. I went to the doctor on Friday who's professional diagnoses was "gunk in my throat" with swollen glands and all, so I got an antibiotic. (Aaron had taken Jacob to the doctor-I was too sick- and Jacob's stayed viral). I had not been that sick in probably 15 years. I honestly had not been to a doctor, aside from pregnancy reasons, in over 10 years. I am generally very healthy and just don't get real sick. This has been a tough winter for some odd reason.

By Friday afternoon, both girls were running a fever and have been since then. It did seem down this evening, so I am hopeful they are getting better. Aaron hasn't been feeling well either, though thankfully, it has been mild in him. In the midst of all this, Kenny had a big project due for the "Invention Convention" at school (more on this in a day or two...). Despite feeling crummy, I had to suck it up and help him get his project to school by Friday.

I believe it was "The flu"- the real "influenza" that we are supposed to be immunized for each year. I believe this for two reasons. 1) It showed all signs of influenza- high fever, chills, aches, sore throat, exhaustion, dry cough, etc, etc, etc. 2) Kenny was the only one who didn't get it and he is the only one who got a flu shot. He got a cough, but that is all- never any fevers or anything else. When I took him for his check up in the fall, they offered it, so I went ahead and did it. I intended all winter to take the other kids in, but kept putting it off (you will understand why if you read the previous post...). That is what I get.

So, anyway, it has been a tough week with several interrupted appointments and obligations. But, we are on the way up and feeling better. A huge shout out to my mom for the yummy TWO pots of soup she brought that we have lived on the last few days!! THANK YOU!! For the first time ever I look forward to cleaning the house to get rid of this bug!! I wish I could just pick up my house and dip in a sterilizing bucket- but it isn't that simple.

Weekly Fitness Report:
Yah- not much to report here. Once I got sick I gave up counting points just because I didn't have much appetite anyway. I would get hungry at times, but then it was about what made me feel good- not necessarily what was healthy. Like a hot chocolate to soothe my sore throat and the fever chills. And, of course- I didn't exercise once. Who would with a high fever?!?! But, I did loose 1 pound!!!! Maybe it would have been more if I hadn't gone for comfort foods when I was hungry, but that's just the way it was. I will take my one pound and be happy!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Traumatized, but Healthy...

Today was Ellen & Meghan's two year checkup. Oh my, what an event! You thought taking one child for a check up was tough? Ha!

Before, with their checkups, I usually recruited someone to go with me- either my mom or my sister. This time, I had not yet asked anyone because I was thinking now that they were two and could walk, maybe I didn't need help. But, as the date approached, I was getting nervous, knowing that Meghan saw a doctor's office on TV and got upset and she is very leary of strangers right now. Plus, I didn't know what kind of procedure or shot they may need and I realized I couldn't do it on my own. So, last minute I asked my mom if she would go with me. Thank God, she was available. I could NOT have done have done it without her!! Thanks, Mom!!!!!

Here are their stats first, for those who are interested:

Ellen: 33 lbs 8 0z. 38 in. tall (95th percentile)
Meghan: 30 lbs. (75th %) 37 in. tall (95th %)

As soon as we walked into the exam room, Meghan started to cry. The nurse came in and mom and I started undressing the girls. Meghan didn't even want to lay on the table for me to change her diaper with the nurse in the room. Neither one wanted to sit on the scale and they both screamed like crazy when she tried to measure their head circumference and their length. (They kicked and squirmed so bad, the length above is approximate!!!) She had to prick their big toe to get a sample to test for lead (will get that result in a few days) and iron (normal for both girls!) and you would of thought she cut their toe off! They kicked and screamed so bad! And, Meghan was just as upset when she was done and put a band-aid on it afterward. Meghan does not like "gickers" (stickers- her word for band-aids...) and did not like this nurse putting one on her toe!

Jacob is home sick from school today- he had a fever all weekend but is much better today. So, he was with us at the doctors. While we were waiting for the doctor, he coughed and it made him gag and he threw up on himself, Mom's shoe and the floor. So, I go to work cleaning that up and finished just as the doctor came in.

So, the doctor came in and did his exam with both girls screaming the entire time. Don't know if he still has any hearing after listening to their lungs through screams..... But, everything is good. We do have to watch Ellie for Asthma as she has been showing some signs and we have strong family history of it. But, it is too early to test now and we do have an inhaler that seems to help when she wheezes. Just something to watch. Then he said they needed one shot each. Great...

So, he leaves and when the nurse comes in, it is different then the first nurse-usually it is the same! I think the first one had decided she had enough! So, then it was a shot for each and yet another "gicker."

Anyway, it is over and we all survived it. Both girls are strong, big and healthy. With all that chaos, I would have cried if I had attempted that on my own. But, thanks to my mom's help I was able to laugh through most of it. I am very grateful and blessed to have 4 kids that have all been so healthy and well!!

Weekly Fitness Report
Also, I don't have much to say here, so I didn't feel like doing a whole separate post. Really, it was a very blah week just like it is a blah season. Blah..blah..blah.... Anyway, I had some up and down moments and ultimately didn't stick to points as well as I should/could have, but there were good moments too- like the 3 workouts I did!! And, even though I went over my points, there were times when I stayed within my limit because I did well and planned ahead and ate and snacked well. So, it wasn't a perfect week, but not horrible either because their was lots of good moments and good exercise. No weight loss, but not a gain either- maintenance is good!