Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Ate Way Too Much Candy Today

We had such a wonderful Easter today.  The kids weren't allowed to come into our room, where the baskets were, until 7:30.  We heard Alyssa shouting out the countdown every few minutes.

"It's 7:23!...It's 7:26!"

Becca actually came into bed with us around six or so, and she woke up around 7:20, so she was the first to be able to get her basket.  It was fun to watch her discover her goodies without the older, busier kids around. 
"I've got Dad all to myself."

The boys were playing while they waited.  We're between bed frames right now, and Marcus doesn't have a bed sheet, because every time I put a new one on, he cuts or rips it somehow.  I've given up.  He usually sleeps with Ethan anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter.  We'll make their room nice when Marcus is old enough to not ruin/break things.  That boy...

We had a slow morning with lots of chocolate and candy.  I meant to do a real breakfast, but it just didn't happen.  By the time dinner rolled around after church, I was so ready for real food.  I tried to get some pictures of the kids before church, but we all know that never works.  They are cute, though, and I love them lots.

We had a special Singing Time in Primary about the life of the Savior.  I cried while picking the songs for it, so I was afraid I would cry while singing them, but I did okay.

Becca wet her pants during Nursery.  Actually, they brought her to me to take her potty just before I had to do Junior Singing Time, so I texted Brian to come get her, and she wet while she and her leader were waiting for him.  Lesson learned: next time I'll just take her no matter what time it is.  So I gathered the kids, because Sacrament Meeting was about to start, and I didn't want them sitting on their own, so I thought, "Let's just go home."  Then Alyssa reminded me that the choir was singing, and Sister Carroll told us that none of the sopranos were allowed to be gone, because there's not that many of us, and I was actually excited to sing with the choir.  Instead of staying home, I just grabbed some fresh clothes for Becca and we went right back to church.  I'm so glad we did, too, because the talks were awesome!

After church we picked up the hams and headed to my parents' house for dinner and an egg hunt.  The weather was perfect, and the kids had a great time playing outside together for the first time since Autumn.

The dads hid the eggs in the yard.

These lilac bushes make the whole yard smell heavenly!

All lined up

The little ones get a head start.

Becca just took off.

She was very intent on getting those eggs.

She did stop to give a "Cheese!"

before putting an egg in her basket.
Ethan was a hard time to keep up with.

There's his face!
This is all I could get Marcus to hold still for.

Alyssa tripped over the wagon and hurt her foot, but she was ready to run around by the time the hunt started.

Brian and Marcus worked together when the finding got difficult.

In other news:

1. Did you notice that Becca's hair is gone?  She cut a bit off on Tuesday, but it blended in enough to just leave it.  On Wednesday she wacked off some more, but I still don't know where and exactly when she did it, because I haven't found the evidence.  She cut off most of the right side, but left enough to give a little bit of side-swept bang action when we took her in to get it fixed.  I'm so sad that we had to cut off all her curls!  I think they're gone forever, and I miss her long hair, but the new cut turned out very cute, and it is easy to do each morning!

2. Brian and I have been asked to go on the youth Stake Trek this year, and we had training out at Bing Canyon yesterday morning.  Brian's parents were nice enough to take all the kids to their soccer games while we were gone.We had a great time, and it was so nice to know the kids were where they were supposed to be and well taken care of.

3. Ethan had his own room for a while.  He's been complaining for a while that Marcus makes the messes in their room and he cleans them, which is basically true, so he requested a room of his own.  After thinking it through for a few minutes, I decided to put him on one side of the school room, just to try it out.  He enjoyed it for the most part, but he also got lonely at night, so we moved him back to his old spot last night.  His clothes are still in an old dresser in the school room, but his bed is back where it belongs.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Break, General Conference, and Spring Break 2

It seems like half of the pictures don't want to show up.  I'm having some serious issues with Dropbox and transferring my pictures from my phone to the computer and such.  A real camera should be coming soon!

We weren't originally going to take a Spring break, but the kids convinced me, and honestly, I enjoyed it so much.  We had school as normal on Monday, and when the kids kept asking why we weren't on vacation like everyone else, I told them what they had to get done in order to take time off.  You wouldn't believe the record time they got done their full week of Grammar, Spanish, and History.  Even with the break, we did a lesson of Math every day.

We went roller skating with cousins.  Here's some blurry shots of it. 

Alyssa had a sleepover, Becca got the stomach flu, Marcus got an ear infection and the flu bug, and we just enjoyed not having to go to ballet, gymnastics, or soccer.  It was so nice to not have to go anywhere!

We loved General Conference!  The kids are getting so much better at sitting and listening, especially Alyssa.  She loves watching Conference.  We made french crullers, and played Conference Bingo.  I love so many of the talks, and I can't wait to get the next Ensign so I can start reading them.  They were all so powerful, and I learned so much.

We started up the next week as normal, and we actually had a really great day of school.  We went to the library and the park with our friends, the Burtons, and enjoyed the sunshine.  Tuesday was going well, except Alyssa woke up with her ear hurting, then school was quickly cancelled right after Literature when Alyssa started throwing up.  We thought we were over it all, but Alyssa hadn't had her turn yet, I guess.  We took Wednesday off from school, which was really nice, because I wasn't feeling well either.  Then everyone was well enough for MCP and McGee on Thursday, and since the first half of the week was already shot, we cancelled school on Friday and spent the day Spring Cleaning.

We moved Ethan's bed into the school room that we don't have school in anymore, because he said that he's tired of being the one to clean up all of Marcus' messes.  We stuck him in the short side of the room where the little green door is.  He slept in it on Friday night and loved it, then asked if we could move him back last night, because he was lonely.  So last night I just had him sleep with Marcus, and we'll see what he requests tonight.  We'll figure this out.

Life is really good right now.  I still don't know if we're going to homeschool or not next year, but I'm not rushing the decision.  It depends on how the kids do with out new school schedule over the next few weeks, and also on what classes will be offered at MCP next year.  I've got lists of pros and cons for both public school and homeschool, and they're pretty equal.  I think the kids would do well either way, we just need to decide what we want to do.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Marvelous March

March is great, because it has my birthday in it!  march this year was not so great, because all the good was slightly overshadowed by the fact that I accidentally left our almost brand new, most-expensive-than-any-other-we've-ever-had-because-we-finally-wanted-a-nice-one camera at a park, and it was gone fifteen minutes later.  I had just taken the most adorable pictures of Marcus and Becca playing at the park in the sunshine, and I'll never get those pictures back.  We were leaving for Camp Zarahemla the next day, and I was so excited to take pictures there, but that couldn't really happen without a camera.  I'm still kicking myself for being so stupid to leave the camera on the bench.  It was all chaotic with Ethan and Alyssa walking from the Christensen's house from piano lessons, and then all the school kids getting out of school, and me running to the van to get Ethan's scout stuff so he could be dropped off by my mom while the rest of us were at a doctor appointment.  I left the camera on the bench while I ran to get Ethan's stuff, then because of the way I met him on the sidewalk and sent him to my mom's van, I never went back for it.  Still kicking myself.  I think some school kids is probably having a great time with a wonderful camera.

The rest of the month was wonderful!  Now that we have the sad out of the way, we'll move on to the fun, and I'll try to find some pictures from my phone that I can add in.

My Birthday:
My birthday was on a Sunday this year, so we went out as a family to Fujiyamas on Saturday.  We had the kids' first soccer games of the year in the morning, and it was cold, but then we relaxed and had fun the rest of the day.  On Sunday the primary kids sang to me, and Becca made sure to be extra wiggly during Sacrament meeting.

Camp Zarahemla:
I think this was the best year at Camp Zarahemla we've had yet.  We slept in family groups, instead of having the kids spread out all over the room.  It made it nice to keep all of our luggage and bedding and everything in the same place, and it was especially nice to not have to search fro Marcus when he woke up in the middle of the night needing to go to the bathroom.

This was also the first year that we've given the kids official chores to do.  We split them into a boys group and a girls group, and they took turns cleaning up after meals and straightening oter parts of the lodge.  It made it so much more enjoyable to us parents.

I was able to take a couple naps during the weekend, which was wonderful.  We played Farming Game, and the kids played Sleeping Queens, and we watched Frozen for movie night.

Brian had continuing education classes in Seattle, so we decided to bring the whole family along.  While he and his dad were sitting in classes, his mom and Eric and Claire and the kids and me checked out the Children's Museum, the Seattle Science Center, and a glass flower exhibit that has a name that I don't even remember.  Alyssa went to see the glass flowers with Diane and Claire while Eric and I took the boys and Becca to the science center.  It was so fun! We've never gotten a chance to hang out with Eric and Claire so much, and we really enjoyed it.  It was also really weird hanging out with Eric without Brian there, because it was like hanging out with Brian but not exactly like hanging out with Brian.  That's the only part I didn't enjoy was not spending much time with Brian.  I don't think we'll be doing many more family vacations during CE classes, because I want him to be able to have fun with us.  We also went to the zoo, and the guys were able to join us after their classes.

"Mama, look me! Packed up!"

Grandpa needed a hat, and Becca went into the gift shop with him, so she got a hat, too.


Ethan got the Wolf badge at his first pack meeting for completing the first part of his Scout book.

My Back:

While we were in Seattle we discovered that I was becoming addicted to the pain medication that I've been on for the past few months.  A fun part of this medication was that I noticed that after a couple hours of taking the pill I found myself saying things like, "I love you, Brian.  We have the best kids.  Don't we have the best kids?  Our kids are awesome.  Life is really good.  I love you so much."  Really, it would go on and on.  Then we looked it up and found out that the medication had a slight anti-depressant quality to it, which was pretty fun.  While we were doing that research, I found out that although doctors sometimes claim that this particular medication is not addictive, there were many reviews of people becoming addicted to it.  Because of this, I decided to only take a pill when I absolutely needed it.  I ended up usually taking one in the morning and then in the late afternoon, so about two pills a day, when the dosage was four pills a day.

I assumed that being addicted would be more of a mental thing, like I would find myself thinking, "I NEED that pill!"  I was surprised to find out how physical it was.  I missed my afternoon pill while we were in Seattle. I was actually doing fine pain wise, and we were busy, so I just didn't take it.  A few hours later I started getting chills and cold sweats.  They lasted through the night, and I actually hardly slept at all.  The sad part was that was the night we took the kids swimming in the hotel pool, and I just stood in the corner of the pool by the stairs, shivering, and we only ended up staying down there for a half hour.

So while I was laying in bed in the very early morning hours, I started to wonder what was causing the chills, and then I remembered that I had actually gotten a lot of chills and cold sweats this winter.  I put two and two together and realized that the chills came when I didn't take my pill.  If I skipped the morning pill, I would freeze and sweat through the day, and if I skipped the afternoon I would freeze and sweat all night.  After Brian got up on Sunday morning to go to his classes, I pulled out my phone to search the internet, and found out that, yes, chills and cold sweats were one of the first withdrawal symptoms of the medication I was on.  I just felt lucky that I had only been taking two a day for a short time, because there were many withdrawal stories I read that contained all sorts of horrible symptoms.  Experiencing chills was very mild in comparison.  I decided then that I would take my morning pill so I could be comfortable while on vacation, then I would be done.

Coming off the medication wasn't a huge deal.  Just more chills and cold sweats for a few days.  And honestly, I don't even miss the medication.  It didn't help my back pain all that much.  I think the stretches, core strengthening exercises, and sleeping with lumbar support has helped more than anything.  Plus, while I was researching, I discovered that a few of the other side effects of the medication was sluggishness and tiredness.  While reading that I huge light bulb went off in my brian.  No wonder I wanted to nap all the time!  No wonder I went back to bed after Brian went to work!  Other than those couple of weeks, I have never done that.  Since stopping the pills, it has felt like I've come out of a fog.  Everything is so much clearer, and I have so much more energy.  Plus, I'm not craving sugar as much.  There was a while there that every afternoon I would get a powerful urge to eat sugar.  Crazy.

Now the plan is to continue with my exercises and stretches and such, and possibly go back to a chiropractor.  We'll see how this all goes.  I think sleeping with the lumbar pillow is helping the most.  My back feels better each morning than it has in years.

Home School:

We're thinking of putting the kids back into public school.  For a while we were 99% sure, now it's kind of 50%.  It's a huge decision, and there are so many positives and negatives to each choice.  I think the main things holding us back are the possibility of losing our friends from MCP and not being able to use my favorite curriculum anymore.  I'll write a post on this later.  I have so many thoughts on it.  I went to the General Women's Conference with scratch paper so I could think things through and jot down any inspiration that came, and the clearest answer I got was during the closing song when we sang, "...the Lord alone we will obey."  I know I need to do what Heavenly Father wants me to, but I haven't gotten any clear answers as to what that may be.  I think I'm going to wait for next year's MCP schedule to come out before we make our decision.

The kids sometimes seem excited at the possibility of going back to school, but they also really want to stay home.  This decision is huge!  I'll get back to you on this later.

A few random pictures from the month: