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6 months!

July 22, 2014

Didn’t I just post a 5-month-old picture?

Little A is 6 months old today!!

(and it’s practically impossible to take pictures around here without a brother or two wanting in on the action)

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Luckily we took pictures yesterday after church because she wasn’t terribly happy today when I pulled out the camera, despite the fact that she is normally quite happy and content.  Today was kind of a crazy day for all of us, but I wanted to stop and reflect on the past six months of having this sweet little girl in our home and family.  We all love and adore her so much!  And it becomes harder and harder to remember our life without her.

She went to the doctor on Friday and weighed in at 14 pounds, 3 ounces.  She is 24 inches long, which is funny.  They measured her at 25.5 inches two months ago.  I really don’t think she shrunk; I always felt that measurement was a little off!  I really meant to go to the doctor with DH, but we’d have a particularly heinous night of sleep (or should I say not-sleep) and he sent me back to bed instead.

Little A has finally decided to move.  She rolls one way, then another, then scoots, and is never in the same place for long.  We’ve had a long talk with everyone about Legos and marbles and other fun tiny things I’ve found on the floor recently that need to disappear to the basement.  It’s been a while since we’ve had to worry about babyproofing!

She still drools incredibly, but there’s no sign of teeth yet. But one of these days soon, surely something will pop out.

She’s a really great napper and a fairly good sleeper at night, but just when I think we’ve got everything figured out, she goes through a rough period again.  Consequently I feel like I’m in a constant state of exhaustion, although that might be attributed to just life in general with five children along with the other stresses of my life.  The past two nights have been really good though so once again I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get some good rest.  The smiles she gives whenever I first see her after she awakes are so precious to me.

One thing that I’ve always loved about my babies at six months of age is being able to look at them happy and healthy and think, wow, I did that.  Not only did I grow that little body inside of me for nine months, but I nursed and nurtured them through their first few months of life.  I can’t think of anything I’ve been more consistent at, ever, than nursing my babies daily to help them grow. And I’m so thankful I’ve been able to do that for them; only D ever had any formula, the super high calorie formula to help preemies put on some fat, and even then it was only a teaspoon at a time in my breastmilk.  I don’t know that I ever thought I would enjoy breastfeeding as much as I have, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment from it, especially when I look at this beautiful little face!

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I’m always a little sad when we pass the newborn stage, but I really do love each new stage of life and I’m so excited for the next six months with this little girl!

 

July 7, 2014

Wednesday morning I was awakened by DH saying he was running to Walmart to buy new white dress shirts for the boys because the entire load of whites I’d washed Tuesday night came out of the dryer with brown spots all over them and we had a wedding to attend.

I just bought them all new white shirts. Bleh!

Luckily C’s and D’s shirts hadn’t made it into that batch because DH couldn’t find a single shirt at Walmart.  We have a multitude of white (well, more like dingy white-ish) shirts in the closet from sizes 2-14 so I scrounged up something for A and E to wear for the wedding, although since it was almost 100 degrees that day, A really wished his shirt had been short-sleeved.

At first DH thought a chocolate somehow got in with the laundry, but after running the washer through a cycle with just bleach water and having more stains show up inside the washer, we figured it was leaking oil from the inside.  Considering that we’ve had our washer/dryer for at least 9 years and they were not quite the cheapest of the cheap but almost, DH didn’t think it was worth it to try to repair the washer.  We figured we have definitely gotten our money’s worth out of them and it was time to say good-bye.

So Thursday he got off work early and went out hunting for a new (but used) washer/dryer set.

Now to explain our laundry–

When we first moved into this house, the washer was in a very small room off the bathroom, and the dryer lived in the kitchen.  That got old in a hurry and when one of them died, we jumped at the chance to have a new setup and put both washer and dryer in the bathroom.  Of course it involved taking out all the shelving next to the washer which left me with no bathroom storage at all (which I’ve hated) and it also involved knocking out the opposite wall and installing a fold-out door next to the basement stairs through which the very narrow washer and dryer had to be inserted.  We wanted a stackable set then, but couldn’t find one we could afford.

In retrospect, maybe we should have done a little more wall demolition remodelling at the time, because this Friday, while contemplating the stackable frontloader set he had purchased on Thursday, DH realized there was no way they would work because they were simply too deep.  We could get them into the laundry room but then there was no room to open the doors so we could actually use them.  The room was simply too small.  Luckily the guy from the used appliance shop called us on Friday morning to apologize because he had forgotten it was the 4th of July and we’d have to wait until Saturday to pick up our appliances, so it gave us time to come up with plan B.

So besides cleaning out the laundry room, (Where does all this junk come from?  Was it really hiding in there? Why does my bathroom now look like a hurricane went through? not to mention the entire load of spotted whites I still need to deal with . . .) we spent the 4th of July researching other brands of washer/dryers.  Saturday morning (which YAY!!! DH is no longer working!) he came back with an Asko brand set which if it’s centered just right, can be opened through the doorway from the bathroom.

DH told me to read the manual while he went to the store for another part needed to hook up the water hose and . . . I think I’m not smart enough for this washing machine.  There are endless combinations of wash and prewash and extra rinse cycles and spin cycles at different speeds and since Asko is made in Sweden, all the directions mention kilograms and water temperatures in Celsius and I think I liked my old washer . . .  It was easy.  There were three choices: hot, warm, or cold, and three more choices: colored, whites, or delicates.

DH worked Saturday afternoon still and then came home and had to rewire the laundry room and get everything hooked up, but  finally, we managed to get a load of whites going about 12:15 last night (this morning?)(we were desperate!) although he had to set an alarm to get up at 3 a.m. to put them in the dryer before he had to get ready to go to work. (Alas, he still works all day Sunday.) Now I get to catch up on laundry this week.  It’s amazing what happens with seven people and no working laundry for five days!

So that’s the long story of why only Little Missy had clean red, white, and blue to wear for the Fourth.

Here’s another picture for your enjoyment.

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Happy Fourth!

July 4, 2014

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from the only child that had red, white, and blue to wear today, apparently.

There’s a story there, and . . . I’m going to save it for another day.

To Idaho

June 29, 2014

When travelling with baby, one should stay at least a week.  It really wouldn’t take any more effort than just going overnight.  Unfortunately we seem to be doomed to just overnight stays this summer.

So we went to Idaho this weekend.  We left Friday and came home late last night because DH had to work today.  He barely got someone to cover his Saturday shifts and didn’t even know if he could go with us until Friday morning, but I was glad; I really didn’t want to drive by myself.

We were celebrating my grandma’s 85th birthday, which was technically in February.  I guess nobody wanted to party in Idaho in February so we had the party now.  It was beautiful weather though and it was good to get away even if only overnight.  I need to hand off the camera more often, because with my arms often full of baby I’m just not taking very many pictures.  But I caught a few good ones, including these clouds reflecting the sunset Friday night.  I love clouds, especially pretty pink ones at sunset.

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We went swimming at the hotel with Grandma and Poppa.  I was very happy to finally get E in a swimsuit.  He has never really wanted to go swimming with us anywhere. Every time I ask him if he wants to take swimming lessons, he says, “When I’m older.”  Well, this year he’s older so I just signed him up for beginning lessons next month.   Seeing how he had a lot of fun at the hotel, maybe it won’t be a huge struggle to get him to go again.

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The other boys all had a great time in the pool with Daddy and Poppa.  After Little A’s nap, we even ventured down to the pool, but the pool was too cold and the hot tub was too hot, so we just dipped our toes in the water.

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Besides swimming and going out to eat with Grandma and Poppa, we mostly hung out at Great-grandma’s house.  Some of the cousins introduced A and C to the wonderful world of Minecraft on the computer which I’m sure they’ll start begging for here soon.  I’m still debating if we want to get ourselves involved in that!

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Yesterday was the party we came for.  I hope someone else got some good photos, preferably one where we’re all looking at the same camera at the same time.  But if not, at least we got some four-generation pictures while there are still four generations to get together.

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Just the girls:

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After the party and a nap, we roasted hot dogs and smores in Grandma’s backyard before coming back home.  Actually first we said good-bye to D as we sent him home with Grandma and Poppa to stay for a few days all by himself.

When we got home, we discovered the outlet our fridge and oven were both plugged into had tripped itself off sometime yesterday.  At first I thought the fridge, that we just bought, had died, but thank goodness it was just the outlet.  Our old fridge is out in the garage and I thought I might have to spend a few hours transferring food out there from the house.  (Can I just say I love being able to buy more than two gallons of milk at a time and having somewhere to store it?!) As it was I lost the popsicles and most of the frozen fruit I just  put in there last week, but the rest of the meat was packed tightly enough that it hadn’t begun to thaw yet.  Thank goodness!!!  I was tired enough today to not have to deal with salvaging any (not)frozen goods.

 

 

Guess Who?

June 29, 2014

Last Monday morning, B called me from work and said, “Guess who’s in town?”  I had no idea.

“My dad!”

Grandpa Silver came to visit as a surprise (from Chicago!)  As I understand it, he had the opportunity to drive some stuff to Provo for someone who was coming here to teach and only had a small car.  He rented a van for the rest of her stuff and took it as an opportunity to come visit us.  Surprise!

I was still in my pajamas.  D was at cub scout camp, but the other three boys were lounging around having a lazy summer morning.  The house was absolutely a mess when DH called and the living room was covered in laundry.  He apologized for making me feel like I needed to clean, but it was just the incentive I needed to get up and get moving.  Everyone worked together and I was impressed with how we whipped the house into shape for Grandpa’s visit.

He was only with us for a short while, but we had a good time.  It’s not often we get to see either one of B’s parents, living 1700 miles away.  We had lunch together and then they surprised D when he got home from scouts.  We went to Temple Square for family (not) home evening and had dinner at the Nauvoo Cafe, then showed Grandpa the gardens and fountains and the model of the Salt Lake Temple in the Visitor’s Center before having pie at the Lion House.  After the boys went to bed, we talked family history and showed him pictures and a few artifacts we’ve picked upon ebay.  The next morning C made omelettes for breakfast before DH took Grandpa on a tour of his new building before he left town.  It was a great 24 hours!

Baby A being smiley for Daddy and Grandpa:

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E being smiley.  I love his blue eyes!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Being silly:

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5 months old!

June 29, 2014

Time is a-flying!  Baby A is 5 months old already.

Technically 5 months and 9 days now–I’m catching up on blogging tonight!

 

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A few weeks ago we realized her left tear duct was no longer plugged, so yay, no more crusty eyelashes!  I’m so glad; it took E’s eight months to clear up.

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She rolled over several times right around 4 months, but has hardly done it since.  It’s like she checked that box off and is on to bigger and better things.  Although if her brothers would leave her on the floor and quit picking her up, she might have more chances to practice rolling.  They just can’t leave her alone, but it’s a good thing.  There’s a lot of love here.

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But what she really wants to do is crawl.  When she’s on her tummy, she moves her arms and legs furiously like she’s swimming and actually is starting to propel herself forward a bit by pushing with her toes.  Life is too interesting to spend lying around!

She’s getting more and more interested in my silverware and any and all food too, but life gets more complicated when we have to start carrying baby food around with us so I’m waiting a few more weeks to get her into solids.  She’s gaining weight fabulously with her breastmilk-only diet as it is.  E always says, “Look at those ‘hunky highs’.” (chunky thighs!)  They are pretty chunky, for one of my babies anyway.  

And she is one of the happiest babies I know.  She’s a little hesitant with strangers, but she has these fabulously huge gummy grins for those people she sees on a daily basis and is a fairly content and happy little person most of the time.  We sure love her!

 

Ending, and then beginning again

June 18, 2014

Once upon a time I used to write up our school happenings on a very regular basis.  This past year was quite possibly the worst as far as that goes.  I’m sure I could blame it all on morning sickness, new baby, and the attendant lack of sleep, but the truth is also that we haven’t done very many fun activities or projects (in the past four months especially) and I lost interest in recapping the same old very basic routine we had going on.  But at least we kept a routine going through most of the craziness of adding a new little one to the family and finally reached a point where I felt we could call the school year done.

C and D both finished their math books last week (Singapore 4B and 4A respectively) and A and C reached a good stopping point in their Latin.  We also finished up Story of the World 3 with the Gold Rush.

We had a Primary activity at This is the Place Heritage Park where they actually got to try panning for gold:

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A lot of my Big Plans for the year failed to materialize.  Music and art fell by the wayside after Christmas, as did science.  Even though we finished Story of the World for history, I felt like all we did was read it and add in a little mapwork.  It wasn’t quite the in-depth history study I had envisioned for my 7th and 5th graders, but real life has taken precedence the past few months, and I actually feel pretty good about all that we did accomplish while learning to care for Baby A!

So that is over and done with.

But–

There were a few things that we didn’t quite finish up (sentence analysis for A and C and the last two weeks of Writing with Skill) so I really wanted to do some summer school.

Every year I vow to do summer school.  You know, just some math, music, and reading every day plus maybe another fun subject.  We’ll work for an hour or so after breakfast.  Every year it’s a complete failure.  School work, even for just an hour or so in the morning, doesn’t happen.  It’s hot here in summertime!  And the boys want to get up and out the door as early as possible to play before it’s sizzling.  No problem, we’ll just do a little schoolwork after lunch.  That never happens either for some reason or another.  (Last summer, everything failed.  I spent the summer pretty much flat on my back sick, in survival mode.  I honestly don’t know what the boys did; I was just glad they were all still alive by the end of summer!)

Even when we do “just a little bit of school” each day, we tend to not be very efficient and a little bit of school takes up a lot of time plus all my mental energy for the day.  So this year I’m throwing out the idea of daily work and aiming instead for one day of school, morning and afternoon, per week.  Monday School, that’s what we’re calling it.  Only this week, we watched some friends on Monday morning and did school today.  And next week, D has cub scout camp on Monday and Tuesday, so we’ll have school on Wednesday instead.  But that’s the beauty of it, we just have to fit it in once a week.  And I only have to plan for one day of school per week, so it shouldn’t be too taxing because I have some massive other projects that must get done this summer. (More on that later.)

So today we started. It poured rain most of the day so it was actually a really good day to stay inside and learn.  (And I was glad for a chance to get prepped yesterday after a Saturday where DH was gone from 7:30 a.m. until almost 9 p.m., I got up at the crack of dawn to go to the Flag Day ceremony the scouts put on at the church, then attended a baby shower and a wedding shower and made dinner for the missionaries, among other things.)

After personal and family scripture study, we left personal work for the afternoon and began together subjects, which is the opposite of how we normally do things, but an idea I’m toying with for next year.  We started with science and read chapter one of Carbon Chemistry by Ellen McHenry.  She wrote The Elements that we used last fall and A has been begging to start this one.  He has a passion for science lately although he seems to have lost some of his passion for history.  I don’t know if that’s because history wasn’t all that exciting this year or if his interests have really turned to science.  Either way, I’m a little sad about it, but science was fun today!  And sometime soon we get to make graphite, diamond, and buckyball models from jujubes and toothpicks that I finally located tonight.

That was as far as we got before lunch, but after lunch we read all about John Adams.  We really neglected a lot of American history that wasn’t specifically covered in Story of the World like the presidents, so this summer we’re going to learn about them and hopefully memorize them in order which we’ve never done.  We read a biography of John and Abigail and the boys filled out a fact sheet.  I haven’t had them do nearly enough writing this year, D especially, so I’m trying to ramp that up a bit.

A and C then did analysis of three sentences each.  They have the freedom to do more in a week, for as soon as they complete their books, they are done for the summer.  I can tell that’s a tempting prospect, although personally I wouldn’t mind dragging it out because it will keep the concepts fresh in their memories until fall.

C and D both watched their next Latin lesson and I think A did too, but I do know he worked on his writing assignment and everyone did some math.  A is working through Life of Fred Pre-Algebra II with Economics and C and D are working on Challenging Word Problems 3 with me.  With a baby in the midst, I’ve felt like math has been a very independent affair the past few months for everyone (maybe too independent.)  I haven’t spent nearly the time with them that I should have this year so I’m hoping to rectify that a bit this summer and shore up some weaknesses I’ve noticed.  I may try to do a few word problems together every day at breakfast.

Then I actually read some books with E and had him trace the letter H.  Yes, despite starting “Letter of the Week” last what, August? We are still on H.  How embarrassing.  Let’s just not talk about it, ok?  I’m a preschool failure.

So, that was it!  It was a pretty full day, but we had a great day.  Somehow knowing I only had to put forth that much effort once this week helped me do more with them than I have honestly done in weeks.  Sad, but true.  Somehow I’ll have to get back to doing this every single day by fall!  But we’ll think about that later!

For the rest of the week, they need to do piano practice and scriptures every day plus reading time and cleaning jobs they have before any computer games or playing on Mom’s phone (and we’ve got two fun new apps they really really want to play with!)  I’m debating setting time limits or making them earn screen time by reading books, but knowing me, I won’t follow through and they’re all reading a fair amount right now anyway.  So that’s what our non-school days will look like.  We hope!  Anything has to be better than last summer . . .

How’s your summer looking?

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