Daily Life

Weekend fun and Future Planning

Wow! I haven’t written in ages! Summer has been so busy and yet it hasn’t. We don’t go anywhere. Okay, not many places.This weekend Alex’s family (half of them) got together. We sat outside and ate and visited. The kids all ran around like crazy for hours. I’m glad they have opportunities to get to know their cousins. Michael and Benjamin stayed home due to having a cold. Yes, just a cold. It is still possible to have just a cold.Saturday morning I got up and did my usual workout and then since I was already sweating I went out to weed the garden. So many weeds. Gardens are so much work. As soon as I got a blister on my palm I called it quits. Luckily I had finished 85% of it. I had Alex come and do the last row. We got two wheelbarrows full of weeds. It looks so much better now.Once that was all done my sister and parents arrived. They had some business nearby and so we had some fun planned while they were here. We all piled into the van and went to the river. Luckily the last person who stayed overnight at our usual spot was just pulling away. We set up some shade and chairs and enjoyed the view while the kids and Alex played in the river.I got in the river right at the end and it was fun. I wasn’t out very long but I guess since I have kept out of the sun for the most part this year the one time I am out I get burned. Fifteen minutes is all it took.As soon as we got home from the river the kids jumped into the pool. Of course. What else would one do? They said they were glad we have the pool. They mentioned how a couple years ago I gave them an option: home pool or community pool pass. The home pool was cheaper and they chose that. I’m glad. It is easier to just go out back and swim than it is to pack everyone and everything up to go to the pool.I know you are wondering how the house project is going. It is still just a waiting game. I did go through some things to move to the basement and I have a pile of stuff for a yard sale and to donate to charity. The pile gets larger and larger (but not huge). I have baby stuff that I don’t need anymore and that is a sad thing. But a good thing at the same time. Babies are beautiful and cute and adorable. Babies are also so much work and I’ve been doing that work for over 15 years. It is a happy/sad transition. But I’ll just enjoy every stage and hold on to the memories but not the stuff.Alex said I should start tearing things apart. I would rather wait until I have all the contractors lined up and materials bought. I don’t want to live in limbo any longer than I have to.So a curious thing has happened this summer season so far. Our neighbors are dying. Yeah. It is a sad fact that when you move into a neighborhood where a lot of the inhabitants moved in 40 plus years ago that they will have aged. They were all really good people and good friendly neighbors and now they are gone. Three of them have passed away and their families fixed up the houses quickly and now they are all for sale. Plus two other families are moving out. We will have five new families moving in. I told the kids to pray for new friends to move in. All the kids friends are on the other side of town. Some new ones closer would be nice. I told Alex that the longer we stay here the higher our chances of watching all of our retired neighbors pass on and then we’d be the old people on the street. Isn’t that an interesting thought. It is bound to happen eventually.Life has a way of moving on even if the world is in chaos. I chose to ignore the mess and I’m glad I spent the time with family.

Daily Life

Making Things

It is so cold outside!! I took the kids to school this morning because I would have felt bad if they had to walk to school in -24° windchill. It was bitter. Where I grew up in Utah it just didn’t get that cold. Ever.

This morning Noah came in and said that he felt like throwing up. Great way to start the day. Alex laid a blanket on the ground and we gave him a bowl. He fell asleep for the next four hours. He felt iffy until late afternoon and then he was up and running. No puking- thank goodness. I hope no one else gets it.

I finished the one quilt. They don’t like it. They say it isn’t comfortable and it isn’t colorful enough. Well my plan was to have the room look nice and add some colorful pillows. Good grief. Puts a damper on my desire to make the other one.

I was talking to Alex on his way home from work and I was telling him about my day and all I got accomplished. None of which remotely looked done when he got home. Most of the time he just has to trust me. If I did nothing the house really would look like an episode of hoarders. No one noticed all the work. Their laundry was washed and put away, floors mopped, stuff like that. Kinda makes my life feel meaningless.

I did try a new bread recipe and used it to make pizza for dinner. They actually noticed that and said they loved it. I need to fix a couple things to make it better but since I have to feed them all meal after meal I think I have ample opportunity. My great grandmother was a great baker. Her mom died when she was three years old and she had to go live with her aunt because her father was a farmer and couldn’t take care of her. He said when she could cook she could come back home. She learned to cook and bake but said she messed up a lot. The dogs grew fond of cake and bread because they got to eat all the mistakes. She got to go home when she was nine and had to cook for all the farmhands.

Today, Lauren also finished her doll blanket. She was quite proud of herself, as she should be.

I had my nightly 15 minutes with Sam tonight. The other kids just wouldn’t stop interrupting. So rude. When it is their turn they get upset when it gets interrupted but can’t be bothered to show any courtesy. Sam chose to read a book. He’s always reading a book. But he read it to me and then we looked through a science experiment book. That was fun, too.

Then the was the circus of getting the ks to go to bed. It is always ridiculous. Gideon was crying because we didn’t help him with his spelling words (we did just not how he wanted) and I wasn’t going to help him until morning because he wouldn’t leave me and Sam alone no matter how many times I told him I’d help him in a minute if he would go upstairs. He is a my way or my way kind of kid.

Parenting so many personalities, stubborn personalities, is difficult some days. They are all fun cute people but heaven forbid you ask them to do anything.

Daily Life

Tough Morning

This morning before the sun rose, Edgar left for two years. Alex and all the school age kids were up in time to see him off. He’s my husband’s distant cousin but he’s lived with us for three years and has been like an older brother to my kids. He’s quite the social person so he wasn’t aound a lot, but when he was the kids played adn rough housed with him. They will miss having him around.

This morning Elizabeth said that when he comes back that she will say, “Hey. I ate all your nutella.” The silly girl.

This morning was another anxiety, panicked morning. Two in a row. It was hard enough sending all the kids off to school. The temperature was -9° and the windchill was -17°. It was so bitter. Benjamin started panicking because he had to carry his saxophone to school. I didn’t want to fight him another morning so I gave him the keys and told him to start the car so we could get the ice off the window. Do you know how long it takes ice to defrost in negative temperatures? It took awhile and scraping it off was tedioous and took a while. As I drove him to school, again, unfair to all the other siblings who walked, I told him that every time he makes me take him to school he owes me an extra chore. I think it is only fair.

Everyday I sit down to write out my daily plan adn end up using the same plan for the day- nothing changed. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, coooking, kids, etc.

I unplugged the internet today thinking I would get a lot done and the kids would be off the television. It seemed like a good idea, but it didn’t work out. Noah slept in my room last night and was making noises all night and kind of talking in his sleep. I found out why in the morning. He had a fever and wasn’t feeling well. I plugged the internet back in. No one wants to be sick and stare at the ceiling all day. I ended up holding him for most of the day. Actually juggling the three of them. Oh, well.

I am hoping summer comes soon so the sickness goes away and we can go outside and play. This cold is getting really old.

This past week Lauren has been bugging me to make a blanket for her dolls. I was trying to make one for the kids. But she was relentless. Fine, I’ll get it done. I cut out all the fabric and asked if she wanted to do it. She was scared of the sewing maching but we got her over that. She kept sewing the lines crooked but I made her pick them out and start over. She got better at it. She said she is going to turn it into the fair this summer. Sounds good to me. I’m sure that since she is getting more familar she will try her hand at maybe making some doll clothes. Or some for herself.

I have to end here. I have a crying baby who refuses to let her Dad console her.

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Sickness Returns

Oh my goodness. Let me sum up my day. I sat and held a child with a fever all day.

All. Day.

The poor thing. She had about an hour, maybe, combined where she perked up a bit. Only because her fever dropped down to 100.6°.

Benjamin stayed home from school today because he didn’t feel well and he has a fever tonight now too. I am so ready for summer and a long break from illness.

It snowed all day today as well. It looked pretty. Glad I didn’t have to drive in it though. There were a bunch of slide offs on Alex’s way home.

When Alex got home he took the baby while I made dinner. We switched back and forth the rest of the night.

At bedtime I realized that in holding the baby all day I neglected all the chores I had planned to do today which was mainly laundry. Specifically underwear. We wore the last ones today- there were no more clean pairs. So laundry at 10:00 it is. Then we have to stay awake to switch loads. I really dislike when that happens. But at least I noticed when I could do something about it.

I’m hoping for a miracle and all the kids are better tomorrow. If not, then hopefully we have a snow day.

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Raising Kids is Work (and I rant about something)

This morning it was up and at ’em. We had the last dentist appointment to go to and I had to get the kids all ready for the day bright and early. And I had to get Benjamin through a bit of an anxiety episode. His friends had left their backpacks at our house on Friday so I used that as a reason he needed to go. And I bribed him with something, though I can’t remember what. Since Michael was home I drove the kids to school. That was another inducement. He didn’t have to walk through the slush.

I had gotten a baby sitter for two of the little ones. It was so nice only having two kids with me. We got through the trip in record time. No kids begging for anything.

After school Lauren asked for my phone. She was a crying mess last night- I am going to blame growing up. It is a hard thing to do and she was upset by who knows what. She said she wanted to call her Gramma, my mom, and talk to her. So she talked to her last night and again today. I am totally fine with that. I think it will be a good thing for them to have a good talking relationship. Heaven knows I could use the help raising Lauren.

Evangeline possibly has an ear infection. I sat and held her all day after we got home. She slept in the car the whole time and let me hold her and she slept in my arms all day. I finally took her temp and it was 101.2. She has been touching her ear for a couple days but wasn’t complaining so I just thought to keep an eye on her. She still isn’t fussy, just wants to be held. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Since Evangeline was feeling poorly I didn’t get much of my list done today. It happens. I got the basement family room vacuumed and that was it. When Alex got home to take over the baby holding I got to work. We needed bedding and towels laundered. I had stripped the bedding of this morning antibiotic getting the laundry done. Got it dried just in time for bed.

When I’d gone to Sam’s Club today they had meat at a quick sell price. Hamburgers (and hash browns)for dinner it was. Michael had two and then after Alex and I had cleaned the kitchen Michael asked if the were any more burgers left. Luckily I had browned the extra meat for tomorrow’s meal. He ate another burger. They really do go through food at a fast clip.

I bought another box of chips today. Six pounds of tortilla chips. I need more salsa too. I told Michael we grow all the stuff for salsa this summer and he could help me can it. Then he can make it as hot as he wants and to his taste.

Okay, so this happened today and it bugged me. It shouldn’t, but it did. I was dropping Michael off at the school after his dentist appointment. I stopped at the stop sign in front of the school and then proceeded to drive forward- within the speed limit I might add- the slow speed limit in front of schools. I saw all the students playing on the snowy/slushy field across from the school and asked Michael if it was lunch recess. He said yes, it was the sixth graders. That’s how slow I was going. We had a conversation. And then one of the teachers starts sauntering towards me with this big smile on her face. I had to stop because she walked right out into the street in front of me. I waited and unrolled my window. What could she possibly want.

She asked me to drive slowly because the kids were going to be crossing the street.

I looked at her pretty confused. Why was she telling me this? “Are they crossing the street now? Do I need to wait for them?”

“No,”she said. “But they will be soon. So drive slow.”

She began to walk off.

Are you kidding me. I literally drove ten more feet, dropped Michael off and drove home. In the time it took her to unnecessarily explain the situation I could have been halfway home. I was so dumbfounded by the ridiculousness of the situation I didn’t know what to say.

They never crossed the street until I was long gone. I’m still shaking my head.

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

I am mostly better. Thank goodness. The cough is still lingering but isn’t a problem unless you start laughing which turns into a major coughing fit.

Last night I’d gotten Evangeline to sleep. I moved away from her and she didn’t like the idea and started crying. No tears at all. She was just mad at me. Alex started copying her and she quieted down and opened her eyes a crack giving him a side-eye look that said she thought he was nuts and how dare he mock her. The look would be right at home on the face of a teenager. We laughed so hard that we started coughing and struggled to breathe for a few seconds.

This morning Michael gave me a field trip permission slip to sign for an honor band trip. For today. That he needed money for for lunch and dinner (the field trip goes until 7 p.m.). Why didn’t he tell me after school yesterday? Because yesterday he fell asleep after play practice and forgot. Brother. Parenting seems to be a series of last minute “oh, yeah, this is happening today” moments.

We went to the doctor today because Benjamin was complaining of an earache. Ugh. I let him stay home from school and was waiting it out to see if he really needed attention. Hours later it still hurt. So I called and made an appointment. Yep. Ear infection. We stopped at Walmart to get the prescription and that wasn’t going to work. The line was 10-15 people long. Evangeline was losing patience (do babies possess any patience? ) and the other two kids were restless. I went home and I had Alex pick it up on his way home from work. It worked out perfectly because Michael called as Alex was waiting to get the prescription and said he’d forgotten he needed a dress shirt for the concert in half an hour. Alex quickly bought him one and brought it to him. Alex stayed to watch the concert and bring Michael home. Yay!

I called Sam up to the kitchen and asked him to help me with dinner. I actually made him do 80% of it. He made oven BBQ chicken, rice and corn. It was literally four ingredients. It is so tempting to just do it and tell them what you are doing but I held back and after the initial “here’s how”, I gave it all over to him. He was all smiles the whole time. So proud of himself. He can now make that dish. “That was easy!” He wants to cook next week and Lauren is ready to cook tomorrow night.

That is a win in my book.

The house is a mess though because half the family is sick and my voice is half gone and Evangeline was napping during and after dinner. I decided not to turn drill sargent on them and wake Evangeline up. Her fever came back. Poor dear.

Until tomorrow.

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It Keeps Hanging On

I thought I was going to be better today since yesterday was so good. Nope. I still had a fever. Evangeline was mostly better. I spent the day sitting in the chair alternating children. Then two kids fell asleep on me for a few hours. That was great. I spent the day watching Food Network’s America’s Worst Cooks. My family loves that show. I could only watch the free season on the app though.

The kids seem to be coming down with some other sickness as well. It is getting really old, kids getting sick. Everyone has this awful cough, me included, and two of the kids have something else where around their eyes is pink and they just look awful. Hopefully it is a quick one and the last one. We’ve been at this since Thanksgiving.

Because we all went to bed really early last night we were all up at around 5-5:30 a.m. Too early! Noah took a really long nap (on me) because he isn’t usually up until four hours later.

I have been really proud of my kids lately. They have helped clean up after dinner. The kitchen and the living areas. Yeah, I still have to nag and make assignments but they are getting better. I am going to make out a list of stuff that they need to learn and then have them get “certified” in each area. I’m failing them miserably if I don’t. I don’t want them to have the same struggles I have. I want them to have different ones. Hahaha. Not really, but I wonder how my life would be different if I didn’t spend so much of my time making myself do stuff, making out charts, learning how to do stuff I should already know how to do.

The bathrooms are something else. For awhile I was so on top of them (6 years ago). I wiped it down top to bottom everyday and it took me only about 2 minutes. It was a small bathroom and we only had one. I think once I’ve got the kids doing the other habits we will work our way towards the bathroom.

Because I was feeling bad tonight I asked the kids to make dinner. Benjamin volunteered and he made noodles. We heated up some alfredo sauce with it. Then Sam asked if he could make tomorrow’s dinner. Fine by me. They all need to learn to cook anyways.

Hopefully tomorrow is a less sick day.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Benjamin went to school without a fight. It was wonderful.

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Getting Better

Rough night again. But Evangeline looks like she’s doing better. My temperature is down too. Evangeline, and I stayed home from church and I had Noah stay home as well. I could hear him coughing up a storm from across the house. Guess who didn’t cough once the whole time everyone was at church. Yep.

I was feeling better than yesterday. Lost 4 lbs. Being sick is usually good for the scale. I didn’t drink enough water yesterday. I tried but water tastes nasty when one is sick. I drank more today, I think. I was able to cook today. I had planned a pot roast for dinner and forgot until almost noon. Too late for the crock pot. Instant pot to the rescue. One and a half hours and it was done. I love it! The roast could have used about 5 more minutes but I’m new at this so next time it’ll be better. I made sweet rolls as well. Just something for the hungry hordes to snack on and breakfast for tomorrow.

Oh and with dinner since I’d made the sweet rolls and didn’t want to make more bread I made biscuits. But I kept peeking at them as they were baking and they didn’t look right. I realized I had forgotten the baking powder. They weren’t going to rise for anything. Crackers. I made big fat crackers. They tasted okay. Lauren was cooking with me and I got distracted. Oh well, she got the fractions right. I had Alex make his biscuits while I finished up dinner. I wasn’t going to make another batch.

We had scriptures study tonight before bed. Alex’s style is so different from mine. He had us go verse by verse and everyone read one then explained what the read after they read it.

Tomorrow it is back to school. I feel like the kids have been home for a month or more. I’m praying that Benjamin goes back without a fuss or fit. I just can’t deal with it if he doesn’t. I’ve been prepping him the last two days so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well, I’m really tired. I should have taken a nap yesterday and today but I didn’t. So good night. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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New Year’s Eve

First of all, Happy New Year! We made it to 2020!

I woke up fairly early this morning. 8 A.M. Considering I didn’t get to sleep until after 1 A.M. I think the day will be interesting. Evangeline was having a rough night. She caught the cough most of the family has. It is only a matter of time until I catch it because the kids keep forcefully coughing in my face. Even seconds after I tell them to stop. Rude. Anyways, Evangeline was coughing and very needy all night. By eight o’clock this morning I had had it. My shift was over. I gave her to Alex and he got her back to sleep. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I finished a book, checked the news and then got up and read my scriptures.

Everyone is still asleep. We didn’t do too much last night. I dropped the ball on the party planning but what else is new. We had buffalo chicken strips, chips, spinach dip with rye chips, cheeto puffs and carrots and celery.

I also made black beans again yesterday. I made them in the Instant Pot, of course and then blended them up and had them simmering for hours. Alex grew up on black beans. He’s pretty picky and I have not done a good job of getting them just right. Until now. Alex ate them and I sat nervously waiting to hear the verdict. He said they dont taste like black beans. What? What is that supposed to mean? He said they tasted better. Yay!!! Finally! I did it!

For dessert we had brownies and apples with caramel dip. I tried to keep it a little healthy.

Several times last night a kid would come up to me and ask, “is the party still going?” Yes, I would tell them and they would smile and say, “good, because I’m having fun.” So cute. They were super excited that the party I’d been talking about was at home and that they got to participate. I have set the bar really low. And that is totally okay.

Towards the end of the night Evangeline got ahold of the bag of Cheeto Puffs and dumped them. I said it looked like the scene on Toy Story 2 where Al had cheetos all over the floor. The kids agreed and want to watch that movie today. Fine by me.

Michael had gone to a youth activity with his friends last night. They bowled, mini golfed, played Virtual Reality and ate pizza. The usual teenage stuff. They had fun and I’m glad that the church had that option for them. I went and picked him up at 11 and dropped his friend off. I was glad to have him home with us for the end of the night.

Evey New Year’s Eve I have all the kids and Alex fill out a paper that has them write things that happened the past year, favorite foods, colors, events, goals for the new year, etc. I have them going back I don’t know how many years. It’s fun to look at the old ones and see the similarities and differences. We’ll probably going to go over them today.

For our entertainment last night we were going to play Just Dance but couldn’t find the Switch. We ended up having an Even Stevens marathon. It was entertaining and we finished the series and movie. I do like that show. We ended the night watching Aladdin- the cartoon version. The live action one we refer to as Jasmine because the movie is really about her. Anyway n the kids said they like the cartoon one better and we had fun singing along. As soon as it hit midnight though Alex, Evangeline, and I went to bed. No need to stay up. The kids did and that was fine by me.

I’ll probably need a nap at some point today. It is snowing a lot outside as well and I’ll probably go shovel snow for a workout. I also want to go sledding with the while family so we’ll see how the day ends up.

Hope your New Year Starts well and continues that way.

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One to Go (Please No)

Stressful morning. Autism and anxiety are no joke. I spent half an hour this morning coaxing a sobbing mess out of the car and into the school. I understand the anxiety, I really do. I was/am similar. I think the difference is I grew up and logic took over. Life is something you just have to do. It can’t be avoided.  Only one week until Christmas vacation and then I get a break from the get-up-and-go-to-school-drama. It will be worse when he has to go back. It always is. I’ll deal with it when it comes. I’ve got other things to think about.

My parents and sister drove up today to drop of Christmas presents. We visited for a couple hours. I enjoyed that. The kids really only came in for a second or so to say hi. I think that is a good thing. This morning when my mom asked if any of the kids were sick I said no. They weren’t. Then about the time they were half way here (they live 2.5 hours away) Elizabeth came into the kitchen where I was making lunch and her cheeks were pink and she said she was cold. Ugh. She had a fever. Great. She was kept away from the grandparents.

Alex came home and said he definitely didn’t feel well. Great. Then as I was holding Evangeline she just fell asleep on my lap. She never does that. I checked her temperature. Yep, she is sick now, too. And Gideon’s temp is up as well. It came on suddenly for all four of them. Well, at least they are all down with it at once this time instead of the continued staggering we have been doing.

Gideon had taken his temperature for fun when we saw it was elevated. When I told him that if his temperature is up tomorrow that he will stay home from school he started to cry because his Christmas program is tomorrow and he has been practicing his dance. I think it might be better this way because I wasn’t going to take two sick kids to the school and try and keep them happy for the duration of a program. I told him that since Lauren knew the dance (she had the same teacher three years ago) she could do the dance with him for us. He said we need 22 people to do the dance. No, we don’t. To appease him I said they could teach us all the dance and we’d do it together. I think it worked? He might just be planning on going to school. He usually does what he wants no matter what but I will have to stop him this time.

So my week is going to consist of dealing with sick kids but then they should be all better for the Christmas break. I am the only one who hasn’t had it yet. What do you bet that will be my Christmas gift. Thanks kids. I really don’t want anything for Christmas.