Jan 30, 2010

Baby Mozart

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The Piano is our number one babysitter!

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Ellie starting putting Mia with her at the piano a few months back... and everywhere else Ellie cares to go. The difference between the piano and say sitting on her lap is that there is actual enjoyment at the piano. Mia loves that piano and goes from pounding to playing slowly and back to pounding. She now crawls to the piano, stands up reaching her little fingers over the keys and plays. We have trained Mia as our little show monkey. After she plays a few keys she will look around to see who was listening with a big smile on her face- expecting someone to clap.

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While in Utah, Mia learned to play her second instrument. The pitch pipe. My mom has had a pitch pipe kicking around for years that eventually ended up in the toy box. We think she is pretty fantastic at it.

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And so does she...

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She really, really does!

Jan 20, 2010

Dance performance and other schmergity

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It’s possible that my love for my home town has gone a little too far. We just finished up with a little fundraiser to send some dancers to China, and my class performed a little Swiss ballet. They are darling girls, and did a great job!! I must admit I was in the fabric store gung ho about creating Swiss headbands, when I had to place a call to momacita. She is the one who cranked out those headpieces for us as kids, and I foolishly believed I knew what I was doing. After a little trial and error and a few hot glue gun burns they turned out… good enough, in my opinion. The girls loved them, and I guess that’s the important part.

In my defense about the whole Midway obsession… the dances for the big recital this spring are supposed to be dances from around the world. My initial train of thought involved a may pole and hula hoops covered in flowers. It only took me a few weeks to realize that they girls just weren’t ready for the hula-hoops. If you’re going with a prop… it’s got to look good, and this did not. So, we scratched the hulas, and stuck with just dancing.

This is the perfect class...they are level II, which makes my job quite enjoyable. I am sad that I won’t be their teacher for the big recital, but my body is struggling!  Also, I will have a little wee babus before the recital, and newborns and leaving the house don’t get along. It's just too bad the timing didn’t work out as perfect as the last recital. I went in to be induced with Mia just  following that recital. Wow, that seems like forever ago. There were a lot of sweet wishes from concerned parents who knew that Mia required a heart transplant. I remember a few seeking me out after the recital to wish me good luck. Many a conversation went like this:
Person: So you’re going in soon, right?
Me: yep.
Person: wow.
Me: I know
Person: Ok (nervously)
Me: Ok (nervously)
Person: Ok (nervously)
Me: I know
Person: Ok (nervously)
Me: Ok (nervously)
Person: We’ll be praying for you
Me: thank you.

I laugh now because I distinctly remember all of the nervous “OK’s.” It’s interesting how you really do not know what to say… I didn’t.
LUCKILY- this baby’s heart is just pumping away as it should. Now the parents of my dancers just say…. “oh, you’re expecting again?”
Now repeat the above conversation, replacing the “I know” with “but this baby’s heart is fine.” I find myself making sure everyone knows this baby is healthy so they don’t have to continue with the nervous “OK’s.” Although some are still nervously thinking OK even after they know that he is fine.  he he

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Thanks to my friend JoDee, who also happens to be the director, Ellie got to be in her class for this performance. Ellie danced to a pinkarific, pinkatastic, pinkalicious song. She is my little performer!

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Besides the performing Ellie was eating up all the attention she was getting from the girls in my class. Between two dress rehearsals and three performances, Ellie was in heaven. The girls loved her, and took turns "babysitting" her while backstage. They each wanted a picture of her on their laps...she pretended to be shy, but quickly warmed up. On the way to the second performance she said, "Mom, I can't wait to see all of my friends, all of the big girls." When we walked in she gladly filled her role, and the girls sure kept her busy and well fed!

Jan 13, 2010

The Greatest Snow on Earth

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For one of the Christmas activities we went sledding at soldier hollow, or lazy sledding as I like to call it.  Have you ever been sledding where you didn't have to walk up the hill?  no?  Head up to Midway for some ultra lazy sledding.  They pull you up the hill and you get to just sled on down... it's GENIUS!  It's like mountain biking at Deer Valley in the summer.  The ski lift takes you to the top of the hill and you get to enjoy all the beauty of mountain biking, but you never go up hill!!  I wouldn't recommend going after it rains however... I feared for my life a few times.  Luckily, when you lose control you fly into mud so it's not so bad.
Anyway, soldier hollow...it's fantastic.

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Jense getting his lift up the hill.  I mistakenly took my camera up there thinking I would get some pictures.  BAD mistake.  When I got to the bottom my camera, lens, and face were soaked.  I was trying to drag my feet because I was holding onto Jense's tube and I knew he would need a good first run that didn't scare him to death.  With that kid, one bad experience and hes done, then it  takes a lot of convincing to get him to try it again.  He loved it though- he even screamed with excitement.

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Ellie loves being the oldest girl on my side of the family.  She often considers herself one of the" big girls."  She also wants short hair... like her aunts.  I did cut it the other day trying to convince her it is now short.  We'll see how long it lasts.

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Jense was all about the sledding on the hill that you can't wipe out on (see below).  He would have stayed much longer had we allowed him.  It really is the perfect place for sledding if you live in Utah.

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Can't forget the little one.  She went down a mini hill, but didn't care much for sledding.  Maybe it was the marshmallow outfit, or the hunger, or the over due nap, but she was not a fan... not one bit.  Sledding and blood draws are pretty much comin up even in her book.  We'll try again next year, or maybe we won't.  I think I'll have a difficult time allowing her to do anything that might cause some sort of injury.  We might stick with the mini hill for a few years.  Although, her daddy tosses her around non stop, and she could get injured by simply living with her dad.  She started saying "go" when he is getting ready to drop her on the bed onto a pile of pillows.  He'll hold her high in the air until she says "go!"  It's hilarious!

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We also took a mini trip to the point of the mountain for some sledding.  First I brought you lazy sledding, now get ready for death trap sledding.  I'm sure it would have been fine had there been more snow, but I saw a big concrete block of some kind smack in the middle of the hill, along with some bricks.  Good times.

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He was loving life until....

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wipe out!!  Luckily there were no bricks under him.  I was too far away to try and catch him, and probably shouldn't have tried, but it is this exact experience I was talking about before.  I did a lot of explaining how tubing is a lot safer that sledding yadda yadda. He bought it.

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Mees and her uncle "ca,woah."  Mia didn't see any sledding action, but was a good snuggler... at this hill at least.

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The kids haven't played in snow yet this year, so having snow available everyday was a treat.  We still don't have any snow here, but there is a LOT of rain.

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icicle sword.  He was very proud of his find, and protective as well.  Ellie wanted to break it, but Jensen would have mounted it on his wall if it wasn't made of ice. 

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Elvis just wanted to eat hers... yum!! Nothing like some delicious roof run-off to fill you up.  Ellie chose to play in the snow in her jeans and no coat.  There was a perfectly available snow suit, but she insisted it wasn't cold.  Natural consequence here we come.  Obviously I wouldn't have allowed her to play out there for long with no coat, but I thought for sure she would come in and get a coat at least... nope!

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Mia wishing she was outside with the kids in the snow.  Besides the reflection of the beautiful hills, I love this picture for her outfit.  I don't think I have a picture of this yet... probably because I always correct it, but notice the onesie snapped over the pants?  This is John's signature move... he does it to mess with me.  I'm not a perfectionist by any stretch, but the onesie over the pants just drive me nuts.  He claims, the pants stay on better, but we both know it's to make me laugh- which I do.

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Mia helping out in the kitchen.  She likes dishwashers, but hasn't unloaded too much.  She mostly plays the drums on the door when it's open, and dances.  My other kids LOVED the dishwasher, so I assumed she would be the same.  What she lacks in dishwasher unloading she makes up for in Kleenex box unloading. If that girl gets her hands on a wipes box, she is on the clock!  I just cleaned up a Mia wipes disaster, she's speedy.

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This is her prancing in action.  You can see there is no type of balance going on at all... but she sure has fun!  Her physical therapist wants to get her some braces to correct her foot ankle dilemma.  It's probably something that would correct over time, but I guess it's easier to fix now. 

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Thank Heaven's for a baby that allowed Ellie to hold her and even was happy about it???  This is my little niece Sydney- so sweet.  There's something about your siblings kids that make you want to eat them too.

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This little nephew got some exciting news on Christmas morning... well his mommy did.  She found out that she was having another sweet baby girl.  She is due only a few days after me, and waited until Christmas to open the envelope! Now that's control.  I would have lasted an hour or two, tops!

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My dad is the train man.  Yes, he spent more time putting them away than he did playing with them, but it's all worth it... right dad?  Trains were always a big part of Christmas. My favorite train is the one where  little men are on either end of the platform pumping the lever and they go quickly around the track until they bump into another set of men.  It seems like there were four categories to the gifts my dad would receive:  1) nuts 2) jerky 3)tie/socks 4) a village piece.  I don't know if the village made it out this year or not... but the trains sure did.

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We've got our own little wild animal. Daddy felt we needed to document her crazy hair... this is what it looks like right when she wakes up. Her hair is always everywhere...she has learned to grab a big chunk and hold it away from her face so she can see.

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A Christmas post wouldn't be complete with out a snow angel.  I hope all of your Christmases were fabulous!  Here's to 2010!!

Jan 7, 2010

Our Christmas Trip - Warning LOOONG Post

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Mr. Adorable.  Well, his ultrasound pictures sure are sweet.  From what I can tell he has a pointy nose... just like Jense's ultrasound pictures.  At my last ultrasound, two days ago, I was measuring a little big- Go figure! I feel like my stomach is going to burst... and I still have a few months to go.  Apparently I have extra amniotic fluid- not enough to be alarmed, but enough to make my stomach maxed out.  I have two more ultrasounds coming up and hopefully the number will go down.  lately I am loving the echos due to the extra sleepy time. The rooms are always warm and the humming noise of the machine gets me every time.  I wonder how many echos/ ultrasounds I have been involved in over the past two years.  Let's see... between all of Mia's fetals (one a week) and echo's on my heart, then all of the echo's at Children's 5 months worth, one a month over the past year, all of the echo's for my heart this last year, and the ultrasounds/ echo's for baby Ned--- It's A LOT!!!!  I may just need a noise machine running in my room for optimal sleeping!

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Nat and her 3 babies.  She has her two doggie babies, but calls Mia her baby as well.  She has a special claim to Miss Mia after all the hours they spent together in a rocking chair.  She spent her fair share of nights in the sleeper rooms as well. It was so nice to have her there loving Mia non stop when I came home.  At one point during our hospital stay she told me that she wanted to get a "Mia" tattoo. Although I was able to talk her out of it (too permanent), I was very flattered!!  Maybe someday we can get "Mia" tattoo's together... HA!,  Just kidding mom!

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Ok, this picture kills me... literally KILLS me!!!  It could use some cropping and editing, but I am to tired. I might just have to post some more for the full effect.

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Good thing I have about ten shots... we could be here awhile....

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alright, alright. Last one!  Yay, happy clapper!  I was pleased as punch that I could fit her hair into pig tails.  Her hair has been pig tail worthy for quite some time, but not without fly-a-ways.  She getting pretty close to a full blown pony tail.

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You would think from this picture that Mia learned how walk. Nope, not really but has the patent on happy prancing.  Her legs go up high and a mile a minute if someone is holding onto her hands.  Now we just need her to bear some weight while she does it and we might just graduate to walking someday.

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Santa Clause was loving on my nephews this year. This is Mr. E, Master of the guitar.  My other nephew stole the show with his vocal of " Eye of I love the tiger."  Not only was it his favorite song, but a crowd favorite. I'm pleasantly pleased that my older sister will be listening to that song over and over for weeks to come... sorry Rae! Rock Band was a huge hit!  My favorite is the drums by far... I can see how people get addicted to playing those drums!  I can do really really well if I don't have to do the pedal cowbell at the same time.  Nothing like Rock Band to bring you down to an awareness of your uncoordination.  And all this time I thought I had some killer hand eye.

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"PAPA" is Mia's new word.  She learned how to say it almost instantly.  My dad of course ate this up and gave her every opportunity to say it.  I think she was quite fond of all the attention and applause.  Now saying "PAPA" and clapping  are inseparable.  When we came home and tried to prompt to her say something else like, "daddy" or "sis" she would proudly say "PAPA" then follow it up with loud clapping.  We also tried to get her to "NANA" while visiting, but she was too hooked on her signature word "PAPA."  Don't worry mom, she has been saying Nana since we have been home... it's more a continual song or a chant, but it's definitely  "NA NA."  Not that you were worried...

I think Mia and my dad will be great friends... she loves animation, and boy is that "PAPA" animated!  I did let my dad show her off at church.  He is one proud grandpa of that little girl and I suppose one day at church was OK.  My kids were pumped to go to Nana and Papa's church.  They loved their new teachers and were bummed when they realized they only got to be in that class for that one week.  Ellie keeps asking me about her teacher in Utah... it's sweet. I don't even know who the teacher was, but Ellie was a fan!  It was her last week as a sunbeam... sniff sniff.  She is actually an old sunbeam, but still, it makes me sad that she has graduated.  Oh and Mia is old enough to go to nursery... crazy huh?  She will probably never see the inside of the nursery, but it's fun to think that she is of age.

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Elvis was in charge of rolling up the rolls.  She has been well trained in the art of rolling up those triangles.  When aunt Boo gave her the green light to be the head roll maker she was tickled pink.  This is a mini bun she rolled up special.  Maybe this isn't that note worthy, but in my house hold it is a coveted task to make the rolls.  I usually end up splitting them even steven then rolling the odd one myself.  My kids are equally interested in being in charge of the rolls.  Good thing Jense wasn't around to witness the six or so batches that Ellie got to do solo.

family shot

The Fam.  We walked to the top of the street to get a quick picture.  We haven't all been together since.....um....I don't know.....maybe never?  Who knows- it's been forever!  I was running to and from the camera and this is pretty much the only shot I don't look crazy in.  So... I will post this one :-)  Ellie was convinced that she was wearing her jacket and not Mia's.  Just in case years down the road she is wondering why her mom couldn't get her a decent jacket... this one was her sisters.  I love those $3 dollar yummy jackets compliments of a Target door buster. I should have sprang for different colors, looking back.

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While we were there we got to go visit Josh.  Who is Josh you ask? He is a sweet friend of ours (he's in the bed).  Anyway, John and I were live in caretakers for Joshy when we were newlyweds.  We lived in an apartment connected to his apartment that had a third apartment for another couple.  We watched him full time for one week then had a week off.  It was a wonderful growing experience for us both.  I love Josh, I feel so badly that we have been out of state since we moved from that apartment and haven't been in his life hardly at all.  Josh has cerebral palsy.  He had a chair that he could move around in, but depended on us for most of his care.

We had a lot of fun times together and it melted my heart that he still calls me "trouble."  During our time with Josh every thing worked like clock work for the most part. He had a good routine down, but I liked to spice it up.  Maybe that is why I became trouble.  I spent far more time with Josh than I did my own husband during that year. It was just him and I for a long time... John often worked nights and weekends.  When he was home him and Josh were buddies and played play station ALL THE TIME!!  Luckily Jensen showed up on the scene and then there really was trouble.  I remember just sitting down to nurse- (a lovely task for a first time mom) and having Josh need something at the same time.  I learned quickly how to schedule the two.  Jense either slept or played in a bouncer while I fed Josh and hoisted him (with a pulley device) in and out of his chair.  We called in the weather, watched Smallville together, and took care of his pets...he likes pets.  John and I tried to use his van as much as possible to get him out.  Our outings were usually to the mall for orange chicken and ice cream.  

He is no longer being cared for at home by couples, but in care facility.  I think he likes it because the local BYU girls can come by and flirt with him... instead of the same old married girl day after day.  Some of my sweetest memories are of Josh and the conversations we would have.  He has the purest soul of anyone, and has such great faith!  I love him!

I am so glad we got to see him while we were there.

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Ellie saying goodbye to Josh...she took a sweet interest in Josh.  I love that she was willing to hold his hand and talk to him...somethings about that girl are wise beyond her years.  It's funny, but I found out I was pregnant with Ellie while we were taking care of him.  There are so many memories there.  It was such a simple time.

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Christmas brought many a tower building. I was surprised how high Ellie could stack those dominoes.  Daddy built her a pretty solid foundation, but she just kept going and going.  She even starting stacking up her pets from littlest pet shop, then continued with the dominoes.

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Mia's duty was to destroy the towers.  She never took down a tower all at once... somehow she took it down layer by layer.  I kept waiting for a complete destruction, but she's just not into that.  When she did get to the bottom layer she went a little crazy spreading them all over the floor.  This is all on video... no pics.  A good invention would be a video camera that you could just snag steal shots at any point you wanted. I know this is possible, but I am light years away from that kind of video editing.

Well, I haven't even started in on the snow activities, but that will have to wait, I am all blogged out!

Jan 5, 2010

Christmas Even

Mom is this Christmas Even?

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Many of our pre Christmas activites/ traditions went undocumented... woopsie.  I did get some pics of the kids making the fancy gingerbread house.  They decorated quite a few houses this year... I made a bunch for a youth activitiy and came home with 12- yes 12 houses to decorate!  What did we do with these houses you ask???

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We went secret santa-ing.  I think this was the hi-light of their Christmas for sure.  After the first couple nights they started collecting things around the house that they wanted to drop off.  I had to reign Ellie in a few times... the girl can get carried away.  The only reason I am blogging about secret Santa is because the families that know it was us read my blog, have been informed.  Jense is a champ at keeping a secret... another member of our family, not so much.  DADDY!!

They worked out a system where one would take the sign and the other would take the goodies.  I was impressed with how quickly they made it back to the car.  I held my breath a few times thinking they would hit wet snow on a hill  and all of the fun would be over.  Luckily they always made it back slip free. Jense did insist that we park a little down the street so they wouldn't see us in the drive way.  Where he got that instinct is beyond me.  I did get a good laugh at my natural born door bell ditcher.  Maybe he picked that up while I was in the hospital.

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Dear Santa,

My mom is making me take Christmas Eve pajama pictures and I can't possibly sit through it.  I've been so good this year by the way.


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That's more like it.  Her little face can be so sweet when she's not sporting the eye roll. Actually Ellie loves to ham it up for the camera, it's refreshing to have a little attitude now and again. Mia, is just so pumped about life in general.  We like to call her happy clapper.  There's always something to clap for in Mia's world. Jense was feeling like a king in his glow in the dark rocket jammies.  The lights kept going off so he could show them off.  I suppose part of motherhood is reliving the excitement of things that glow in the dark with your kids. EVEN when you're trying to take pictures with the lights on!

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The kids loaded up the plate for Santa... and wrote him a card, and set up a candle so he could see, and gave him a napkin...all conveniently placed next to the fireplace.  So thorough.

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The goodies.  The thing that cracks me up about this picture besides the red bearded santa, is the "pes" on the side of the card. Somewhere along the path of kindergarten Jensen picked up the cool saying... "peace."  I know he thinks it's cool because he flashes me the peace sign with a little smile on his face.  Sometimes he even will run back into the house and show me those two fingers before leaving.  On Christmas even after everything was all set for the night he insisted that he forgot something on the card.  He wanted to tell santa "pes."  Love that kid!!

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Christmas morning is kind of a blur now, but the kids loved it.  Mia opened her first dolly.  She is so sweet with that doll, not quite sure what to do, but loves to eat play with the toes.  It was another wonderful Christmas morning spent as a family.  Thank goodness for video cameras to relive the magic years later.

Stay tuned for our Christmas in Utah...