Sunday, December 9, 2012

Time for Smee...

This next year I'm doing something new.  Starting in January, I'm doing something selfish- just for me and for nobody else.  After a 15 year hiatus, I'm taking vocal lessons again.

I'm a little scared and a lot excited. :)

It's been interesting as I've slowly started this process.  There was a little bit of guilt involved.  Everything I do usually is something for my family.  I usually enjoy it- so it's not all bad.

I love to sew:  I make a lot of clothes/dress-ups for my kids.
I love to shop:  I buy a lot of stuff for my kids and husband.
I love to cook:  I do a whooole lot of cooking and baking for my sweeties.

All good stuff.  Makes for a happy mom.

But voice lessons---  just for me.  I'm gonna love it like reading a magazine in a bubble bath.  After 11 years, it's my turn.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I love Halloween

       My kids:

         My kids on candy:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a conversation that needs to be had

Simon:  Mom, I love you so much.  So, so much.  8 hours at night is too long to go without seeing your  beautiful and loving face.  I want to wake up every two hours, even though though I am 9 months old.  I'm not really hungry, but I still want to nurse.  Because I love you.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Me:  Yes, yes it is.

The End.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

House before and after

We bought the house back in March of last year.  I think my in-laws took a bunch of pictures that I need to grab off of their computer, because we had already done some work at this point.
Some charming features that the house came with:  
~ a green water pump decoration
~ rocks for landscaping
~ a small wooden bridge as part of the front walk, which was slippery when icy and after we removed it, left an indent in the walk that became a mudslide every time it rained.  Fun!
~ Puke green paint color
~ half rotted through shed on right side

 Most of the changes we did this spring-
~ tore down the shed.  James did that single-handedly, when I was gone at Sams.  I swear I wasn't gone that long, but when I came back- the shed was down!
~ painted the house grey, after testing six different color samples.  Did you know that grey is actually a really tricky color?  They kept looking too brown or purpley.  But I finally settled on one that I liked.
~ hauled back countless amount of landscaping rocks, their decoration of choice.  Really?!?  Why the rocks?!
~ painted the shutters black, though I'd like to do something less traditional that has a punch more color.  I also want to paint the front door red.  We'll see if I get to that before it gets too cold.
~ replaced the light by the front door.  You can't see them, but the old ones had moose on them.  Had to go.
~ the missionaries tore up the old walkway, and James poured a new one, with a little help from some friends.  No more mud!
~ extended the landscaping pavers out, creating a curve more pleasing to the eye.  Some of these I layed and relayed and relayed, making sure that they were level.  I'd do it one day, and the next day have to do it again because they had settled weirdly.  A professional, I am not. :)
~ planted a whole bunch of shrubs and flowers and one small weeping cherry.  This was really fun for me to plan out, finding the plants and colors that I like, and making sure that they would all look good together.  I enjoyed it.

We had a hot summer, and a few of the small plants didn't survive, but most of them did really well!  We're both really pleased with how it turned out, and think it adds a lot of curb appeal.

Next step, the side yard.  The left side has raspberry bushed all along the side (awesome!) but the right side where the shed was is an eyesore.  We're trying to level it out, move some landscaping rocks - because of course the previous owners put some over there as well- and get ready to plant grass seed.  The flowers/landscaping can wait until next spring.    We love our home~  and most of the time we love the projects that come with it! :)                  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Before and After

I haven't posted very much about my house, which has been a work in progress.  But it's our first, and we still love it!!  This is showing the changes we made to the fireplace.  The "before" picture isn't very good, because we had already taken down the black curtain hanging over the TV area, and I wallpapered over the black behind the bookshelves.  

yucky 70's wood shelves
black behind bookcases
huge black mantel
painted black doors to cabinets

bookshelves painted white
beautiful mantel made by my hubbie
wallpaper behind shelves
counters and cupboards stripped and stained
decorated with the help of pinterest (decorating is hard!  I need inspiration! :))

We're about done with this room, and I'm so glad that it's not the dark cave it was before!  I want to paint it a slightly lighter tan, and paint the brass accents of the fireplace insert to be silver.  I'll have to get a picture of the whole room, but we swapped out the plaid couch for another brown one, switched up the arrangement of the room, and painted the bow window white.  

James and I are a good team, and we usually have some project in the works.  Right now we're taking a breather, but I'll try to keep posting about the changes we have made to our house in the last year and half we've lived here!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh Logan Logan

He needs more attention, obviously.  The girls and I were trying hard to look disapproving, but kept cracking up.  This was sooo bad!  :)  I just buzzed the whole thing, and then buzzed it a week later to get it evened up.  Wow.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The start of school

The girls really wanted to go to school this year.  To the actual school, with a teacher that's not me.

Honestly...   it's been really hard.  Part of me was relieved to not have the burden of teaching.  Home schooling is a LOT of work.  I felt like a failure, like we were giving up.  I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do.  I even felt rejected, like I wasn't good enough for them as a teacher.  Clearly, some therapy is needed. :)

They have loved it from day one.  They love the school supplies, the routine, the friends, the backpack, the planners, the teachers, the desks and the lockers.  I knew they would, and I am glad they are having this experience.  I miss having them home.  It's hard for me to let them go off and spend the bulk of their day with people I don't know.  It's hard for me to not know what they're doing.  I tell myself that this is the natural way of things, that they need to grow up and have these experiences.

But I'm grumpy about it.

I want to be teaching them!  I really enjoyed it, and I miss doing it.  I might just be romanticizing the experience, but I still really like the idea of home schooling.  I go into their classrooms once a week to help out, and I swear that SO much time is wasted because of class sizes, and the few disruptive kids.  Brighton gets frustrated because she is the model student and just wants to learn, but other people keep talking and interrupting the teacher.  They both LOVE having friends though.  :)  I catch them holding hands with their best buds on their way out to recess.  Brighton and Brooklyn have recess and lunch together, and usually choose to play with each other, along with a mash-up of their friends.

I don't think it's easier on me, having them at school.  I had to rearrange my morning schedule to get them out the door on time.  My two most helpful kids are gone for most of the day.  And I have this false sense of freedom because I only have 3 kids now, so I "should" be able to run errands!  And then I remember that I still have 3 kids.

I'm hoping that they will want to stay home after this year.  But for now, they are having fun and I'm adjusting.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Flood

 After a night of heavy rain, this is what we woke up to.  Ack!  I was momentarily panicked that the water would keep rising, but thankfully it didn't and was gone by lunch.  So of course we had to have fun in it.
 Our own backyard wading pool!  It was a tad chilly but that didn't stop my children from trying to float various things, such as this chair, on the water.
Spencer kept finding these GIGANTIC worms, he had a big handful of them!  Ick! :)  So there is our flood, and a good reminder that part of our backyard is in a flood zone.  Which we knew, but now we have seen it first hand!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My new view

This is what 5 kids in a packed minivan looks like. Is it shallow of me that I am not looking forward to getting a 10 seater van? I won't be able to park it in my garage and I've waited 10 years to have a garage.


I wasn't looking forward to three kids in a backseat and the fighting and mean elbows that were sure to come, but it hasn't been too bad. There were a few of those elbows at first and arguments about not being able to reach their buckles, but after about a month they settled down and got used to it.

Being completely honest- five kids is hard, yo. I've been feeling really overwhelmed. Mostly because of homeschooling, but also because of a big house and me not allowing the kids bigger responsibilities. Well no more of that! During spring break, the kids mastered: (well, kind of) vacuuming, doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom. We also employed good ol' Mr. Gunny Sack who promptly ate up two pillow cases full of their toys because they weren't cleaning up after themselves.

Since they've been helping with more of the cleaning, things are going MUCH more smoothly. I just need to allow myself more than three weeks time to adjust to adding a new baby to the mix. Most of the time I love my kids and can be the happy mom. If not, I shut my bedroom door and snuggle my baby for a few minutes. That always helps. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Stuff I've made recently...

We took some plain t-shirts and jazzed them up a bit using fabric paint and a freezer paper stencil. This was my first try with freezer paper, and it was really easy and fun! On to painting everything!
This idea I saw on my family fun magazine, using a heart doily as a pattern. The trickiest part was poking out all the little paper hang-ons on the doily. I don't know if that makes sense. But I was really pleased with how they turned out.
And I made this little guy a few months ago. :) Simon is two months old now and is a very sweet mellow baby. (Thank you!) He's chunking up (well, as much as my skinny kids ever do) and loves to smile at us. The kids all love to hold him- we're so glad to have him!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby #5

Simon David Hall
January 14th
3:04 am
6 pds 6 oz
19 inches long

And only four days late, that good boy! This is me, recovering from being slightly freaked out because my labor was really fast and I didn't have time to get my epidural. I had been slowly laboring the night and day before, and then after an evening of no contractions I figured that nothing was going to be happening. I woke up at midnight with pretty painful contractions (back labor again, ack) but they stayed about 8-10 minutes apart. After an hour I woke James up so he could help with some counter pressure on my back. I called my midwife and told her I was about ready to come in, and we called James' parents to come over and woke up my mom who was coming with. We left for the hospital at 2am. When I got checked in I was dilated to an 8. I asked for an epidural and they were really coy about it, like, "well, we need to get a bag of fluids in you and get you all checked in and then we'll see where we are." I guess that's better than saying, "there is no way there is going to be enough time, silly lady, you are on your own." My midwife came in and checked me and said that I was complete and crowning and that the best pain relief would be to push that baby out. Eep.

In between contractions I was going to a deeply zen place also known as exhaustion, and trying to relax as best I could. I know a lot of ladies put a lot of stock into "natural" childbirth, sans drugs and all, but I have never been one of those. I have always appreciated my epidurals, but mine have never made me a limp noodle. I can still move my legs, feel contractions, and even get up and walk afterwards. But I only have mine going for a few hours, not all day. Mebbe that makes a difference. And maybe in a month or so I'll be talking about how beautiful and naturally wonderful it all was, but right now all I can remember is HOLY CRAP MY CROTCH. 'Cause that's what it felt like. And the stitches afterward? I remember reading something about how you're all numb because of the pressure and all that, but that is BUNK. Felt. Every. Tug.

I really loved my midwives and the hospital I delivered at. James actually got to deliver Simon, isn't that cool?! After the head was out, he got to pull out his shoulders and body, wipe him off with a towel and put him on my stomach. He said it was "fun". And I'm SO GLAD. SO GLAD that this could be a fun experience for him. Snarky sarcasm aside, I am happy for him that he was able to do so much. He's wanted to since baby #1.

I'm really big into asking for lots of help with my other kids the first week after a baby so I can get lots of rest. So of course as soon as I bring this baby home my other kids all get sick with yucky croupy colds and are stuck at home. And I tell you, I'm not responsible for what I might do if they all keep coughing incessantly. It turns out I'm really short on patience and sympathy when I'm tired. Hmm.
So to sum up this long post, I now have 5 kids (ack!), my bottom hurted, I like epidurals, and sleep. The End.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Made me giggle a little too hard

I was trying to explain this cartoon to my husband a few nights ago, and seriously I could not stop laughing long enough to get to the punch line. But it's so true, right? And then after a few weeks you calm down and don't need to be on Pinterest all the time.