Monday, April 30, 2012

All is right again...

The boys are back in town!  Last week Eric and Amos took their annual April/May trip to Pennsylvania.  Eric almost always has to go for work and Amos gets to tag along.  Sometimes we all go, but this year tickets were INSANE!  Amos only got to go because Dave was SO generous and gifted Amos his skymiles.  So, thanks Dave!

While the boys go, the girls stay and have a "princess party."  There is an actual little party with our friends, the Browns, but the whole week is pretty much a princess party too.  We play, shop, and treat ourselves.  I could have sworn I took some pictures of our adventures, but I've got nothing =(

I do have a completed checklist of things I was going to do while the boys were gone.  We:
  • Went to Ikea
  • Applied our Ikea purchases (i.e. made beds with new bedding, hung curtain rods & shelves, framed pictures)
  • Went to Downeast Home
  • Went to the Temple
  • Cleaned out the car (which was the equivalent of cleaning a barn, although that's probably offensive to actual animals)
  • Video chatted with the boys a lot
  • Read my book for book club
  • Prepared a YW lesson
  • Went to Deseret Book
  • Went to Sally Beauty for Nail polish, applied said nail polish on three sets of nails
  • Grocery shopped
  • Went to Stake Auxiliary Training
  • Cleared to DVR queue of my "crap" shows Eric hates to watch
  • Washed and folded 5 loads of laundry
  • Dusted the blinds
  • Cleaned! Cleaned! Cleaned!
  • Hosted the Princess Party 
The only thing I didn't get to was freezer meals, but I am feeling so weird about food right now, it's probably for the best.  Everything sounds good, until it's time to eat it =(

Thankfully, this post does not have to be pictureless, Eric managed to take a few from their week with his phone:




A new development from this trip was that it was brought to my attention that Audrey and Maggie DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER.  I had no idea they have been just coexisting with Amos as a buffer.  The girls fought like crazy without him around, and it was something else.  Maggie just wanted to be left alone, and Audrey was SO lonely.  They really missed their brother.  Maggie kept looking at the calendar and saying, "why is [Amos' trip] taking too long????" 

Now that Amos is back, all is right in the world again.  Amos and Audrey are running wild in the yard (with the chickens) and Maggie is alone inside playing by herself.  Who knew???


If you look closely, you can see the top of Audrey's head in the coop.  She thinks she's a chick.  Amos thought it was great.

I am so glad Amos and Eric get to make it back to PA so much, but I am even more glad that they're back with us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Good Karma Day

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your feedback on the strollers.  I appreciate it a lot (and am still open to more!).  We found a store that carries both, so next week we'll go "test drive" them and make the final decision.  I am pretty sure I know which way I am leaning though =)

Today I had some seriously good Karma. 

1. I found a pb kids backpack at Downeast Home embroidered with "Audrey."  I have literally been searching the reject bins for years looking for a treasure.  I have found a couple for friends/family, but NEVER one of my own kids' names.  Either way, I am stoked and one "Audrey's" loss is our Audrey's gain!  The clearance stuff was all an extra 30% off too, so this little gem set me back a whopping $4.19.


2. We went to Ikea (Alecia, if you're reading, we didn't decide to go until we were already in Orem) and Maggie got into the Playland!  I have been to Ikea like 20 times, and 19  times the kids' land has been full.  (I have a theory about people using it for free childcare, not to shop).  Anyway, it was so nice to shop sans Maggie.  At Ikea I found new bedding for Amos' room.  I was going a little crazy with his other bedding that didn't match.  The new bedding is so much better, and doesn't give me an ulcer.



As I was putting all of Maggie's dolls/bears back onto the bed, Audrey climbed up onto the bed.  I was sure she was going to undo all of my work.  Nope.  She just wanted to sit among her friends. 

And, if you're starting to wonder if Audrey ever has clothes on, no.  No, she does not.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Strollers, HELP!

I cannot even believe it has come to this.  I need stroller help.  You might be asking yourself, how can you be on your fourth kid and not know about strollers? I have no idea. 

The only thing I do know is I am going to be hauling A LOT of tiny bodies in near future.  We have one double (a very economical Jeep that has served us SO well), but I think we need another.  The Jeep is on it's last legs, er, wheels, so I think we can time it's retirement with Amos and Maggie's transition to full-time walkers.

Anyway, moving on.  Totally disregarding price (yes, that matters, but I'll deal with that another day), what, of all the double strollers would you get? 

I have been researching Phil & Ted's and the Babby Jogger City Select mostly, but I am totally open to anything.  I am especially interested in the "glider board"/"skate board" attachments, if possible. 




Ok, go!


Eric's Birthday

Philadelphia, ca 2005

Last Friday was Eric's 33rd birthday!  If you take how great Eric is at celebrating birthdays, and then reverse it, you'll get how horrible I am.  I swear my intentions are always good, but I have had some serious flops. 

This year I was determined to raise the bar.  I did, but only because my mediocre performance was better than the usual rotten performance.

Friday night we went to Ruth's Chris because I knew it was foolproof.  Absolutely foolproof.  It pretty much goes downhill from there though.  I arranged for the kids to go to a sleepover, which seemed like an awesome idea.  It was bad for a couple reasons:
  1. Although very excited for their sleepover, the kids were heartbroken they 'missed' Eric's birthday.
  2. I surprised Eric with the empty house, and he took it much harder than expected.  He was really looking forward to seeing the kids.  I don't think he ever quit worrying about them enough to enjoy it =(  I even picked them up an hour early the next morning. 
Packing for the sleepover.

Saturday, once we were reunited as a family, we went for a make-up birthday lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.  The kids were a bit ornery from lack of sleep the night before.  Woops.  Otherwise, that part was good. 

Later on Saturday the kids and I made Eric rice crispy treats (his favorite).  I thought it would be extra fun if I let the kids loose with a frosting pen.  Apparently, Eric is a rice crispy treat purist.  Again, woops.



 
Eric is an amazing dad and husband, we are so very lucky to have him.  I wish his birthday would have gone better, but at least I'll have something to work on for next year.

Eric on Davecation, ca 2012


It Gets Better


Audrey absolutely loves playing in the backyard.  She throws on her rain boots (the required footwear for the older kids, per me), and toddles around throwing mud and swatting chickens.  She and Amos find the ultimate treasures and catch bugs.  If anyone is outside, she is with them, and last night was no exception. 

Last night Auds was sitting on one of the lawn chairs, and managed to fall off and split her head open on the concrete =(  There was a little screaming, but she actually calmed down pretty fast.  Unfortunately, it was a pretty wide split, so Eric took her to the Instacare for stitches.  Obviously, that part was much more difficult for Eric, since he actually had to see it, but for me, it wasn't too bad.  She came home all bandaged up, happy as can be.  I think the most traumatic part was when Amos asked, most seriously,

"She's not going to die, is she?"

He was so worried for her, it was so sweet.  Mags was fascinated by the blood.


At the Instacare, they were able to glue the cut, instead of using stitches.  So, hopefully she'll heal with no scar.

Audrey was up first thing this morning, boots on, banging on the back door ready to go get some chickens =) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How are you doing?

  • Yesterday the kids: re-cracked Maggie's ipad, shattered a picture frame in Amos' bed, shredded a Netflix return envelope, and finger painted a wall.
  • Last night in the car on the way home from church Amos said, "I looove girls, they are so pretty."  No more hanging out with the Deacons.
  • I've been up all night two nights in a row.
  • Today at Walmart Amos said, "I farted at school today. (insert mouth fart here =P)."  Did you say, "excuse me," I asked?  The response: "No, mom, not with my mouth, with this (sticks butt out)."  
  • Today we went through the car wash with the door cracked.  
  • Today I put all of the ingredients for dinner in the crock pot then turned it on.  Didn't plug it in though.  8 hours on low just turned into 4 hours on high.

If we're not winning, I don't know who is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Artist

Mags drew this last month in Sacrament:


All of her own imagination.  I am grateful she thinks I am 6'1'' and Eric is 4'10''.  Auds is not pictured, FYI.

While Dada was Away

Last week Eric went on a two-night campout with the boy scouts from our ward.  I was a little worried about all of the single mom time, but we stayed so busy, it flew by.

We painted the bathroom:


Remember the orange wall?  I miss it.  Amos does too.  Eric is thrilled it's gone.

I painted the accent wall for new "office space" (using the same brown paint):


We partied so hard, we had a pass-out:


The kids are playing great together these days.  It only took a bunk bed and two ipads ;)



Speaking of ipads, we fixed Mag's shattered screen.  Dave did 90% of the work, but I watched so I am ready to go next time.  Because there will be a next time:


One of the funny things about the ipads, is that the kids privately watch a lot of shows on Netflix.  Unlike the t.v., I can't really hear it.  So, sometimes they come up with these funny ideas that they saw on Caillou or whatever, and I have no idea what they're talking about.  For example, Amos came out of his room the other day and said, "Mom, can we take a picture of me and my bears?  So, if they get lost we'll know what they look like to find them again."  Sure, buddy.


 
He is getting so big.  They all are.

We missed Eric a lot, but we actually did ok this time.  And preschool was even cancelled because of spring break.



The Fat Dog Who Wasn't Fat

Auds had her 18 month check-up last week.  By all accounts she is an average girl ;)  When the Doc asked about her eating habits I answered, "every second of every day."


The stats:
Weight: 22 lb., 11 oz. (45%)
Height: 32.5 in (75%)
OFC: 47 cm (70%)

Thankfully, no excitement at all.

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Heir To Spare

I'm fairly certain most everyone knows this post was coming, so I'll get to it:



Fourth baby Horne is on HIS way.  We are so unbelievably excited to be having another boy.  We feel totally lucky and blessed.  At the ultrasound we played it really cool when the tech asked if we wanted to know the gender.  We caught him totally off guard with all of the whopping and hollering when he said it was a boy!  Our reaction put a little pressure on him, so he checked and checked again ;)

We took all the kids to the ultrasound with us, and it was really fun.  I thought it was really interesting, the minute the image of the baby popped up on the screen (just his spine and head), Maggie said, "Aw, it's a boy."  There was nothing to indicate that from what she could see, but she was sure just by looking at him.

Now that we know it's a boy, Amos has taken complete ownership of him.  It is AMOS' baby.  Amos talks all the time about all of the things he will teach brother.  

Eric is a dang proud Dada, and I think he's forgiven me for being so awful the last few months, just because it's a boy =P

I am grateful to have hit the halfway mark (20 weeks last Saturday).  My due date is September 1, and the plan for now is to induce like with the girls.  I could go on about this forever, but I'll spare you.  I did start a journal at the beginning of this pregnancy.  I didn't keep it up for too long, but I'll share what I've got (it's already weird reading it back, so I am glad I wrote down some thoughts):

January 6, 2012

Today is the day I am certain I am pregnant.  Although I haven't taken a test to prove it, it becomes undeniable when certain feelings of exhaustion, nausea, and an aversion to old favorite foods sets in.  I'll admit I was sorta've clued in when I cried through the ENTIRE month of December, but I wasn't sure.  I think our families thought we knew and just weren't telling them, but it was way too early to know at that point.

Tomorrow will mark 6 weeks.  I HATE knowing this early.  It makes the next 34 weeks feel like forever.  So, in an attempt to make the time pass quicker, I am going to live in denial.  We've decided not to tell anyone, in hopes that not talking about it will help.  Part of me wanted to keep it from Eric, but I need him for back-up when the morning sickness kicks in.

As for my feelings today, if I didn't feel so gross, I'd be really happy.  I like being pregnant, and love bringing new babies into this world.  I've been sad for Audrey a little bit.  She has no idea that she's about to be dethroned.  At the same time, I am most exited for her.  She is going to get a buddy.

I've had some funny conversations with the kids over the past couple of days.  Amos told me I was pregnant before I was certain.  He wants a boy baby.  Most of the time, Maggie doesn't want a baby, but when she does, it's a girl baby.

Eric and I definitely want a boy.  We want a brother for Amos so badly.  He's great with his sisters, but I feel like every boy should have a brother. 

We're so very grateful for this opportunity.  I find myself wondering why it's so easy for us when it is so difficult for other (seemingly much more deserving) couples.  Of course I can't understand that in this life, so I'll just be grateful for it in the meantime.

January 7, 2012

Today I took a pregnancy test for Eric's sake.  No surprise there.  I told Amos there was a baby in my tummy, and he said, "I know."  Then he asked if it was a baby for him, or a baby for Maggie.  Apparently, if it's a boy, it's for him, and if it's a girl it's for Maggie.

January 26, 2012

Still plugging along here.  I have actually been feeling a bit better.  Just so tired.  We went to the doctor and had an ultrasound.  We saw a heartbeat, which means a miscarriage is very unlikely.  The kids really got a kick out of things.  Maggie named the baby "Munchie" on the way to the doctor's office.

A few people know that I am pregnant.  It's near impossible to lie about when you're around people.  It's much easier while in seclusion.  I am still only 8 weeks now, so it's early to be telling anyone anyway.  Amos has told a few people.  Sometimes we laugh it off, sometimes we fess up. 

I've realized this is a sorta've awkward time where I know future events will be affected (like, going to girls' camp for example), but I can't tell anyone, so I just have to pretend and go along.  It's odd, really.  I'll be glad when I can tell. 

Finis.

My fortune from Saturday's takeout.

A New View

For as long as we have lived in this house, I have wanted to put a built-in study at the bottom of the stairs.  But, alas, I could never bring myself to shell out the cash.  Eric and I have toyed with various other ideas over the last couple years, but never followed through with any of them.  Lately though, I have been DYING for my own space.  We have so much room in our house, but I feel like there is not one inch that is just mine.  The three Amigos run this place, and they have marked all of the territory.  Even "Lauraland" has been overrun with finger paints and play-doh.  I use the counter in the kitchen for a very cluttered command center and it drives me bananas.  The kids are always into it.  We had a computer on that same counter, and whenever we would use it for video chatting Grammy/Grampy/Nan/Pop/Anna/Morgan the kids would destroy my piles of papers. 

You're probably starting to wonder the point of all this?  Basically, it's the long way of saying, we went to Ikea and bought a desk.



I still need to hem the curtains and buy a longer curtain rod (I thought I might get by with using one we already owned) but otherwise, I love it.  We moved the "kitchen computer" downstairs, and I have my laptop set up on the desk too.  No more destructive video chats.  It's nice to have some extra space in the kitchen too. 

The only downside...Amos has pretty much taken over.  He has been printing reams of coloring pages from PBSkids.org.  I am starting to think I'll never have my own space again.  At least not for 20 some years.  It was a nice try anyway.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Auds Went to Nursery Today

In honor of her first day of nursery, a video of Audrey:



Pay special attention at the 20 second mark.

More from the worst photo shoot ever

Since the kids were all dressed up in their Easter best and Eric's pre-church meeting was cancelled this morning, I thought it would be a good time to get some pictures of the kids.  I was wrong.  You've already seen some of them, but I promise you, they just keep coming.

Amos was really bugged with us for some reason, and wasn't afraid to show it:


Audrey was pretty impressed by Amos:





Maggie, however, was totally agreeable:


This next one might be my favorite picture ever.  When I showed it to Eric, he said, "huh?"  It might be a mom thing:


As hard as it is to tell from the pictures, we had a great day, and really enjoyed our time together as a family.  Happy Easter!

Singing with the Primary


 If you were in an LDS Sacrament meeting today, it's likely you got to see a primary (all of the children ages 3-11) sing.  Our ward was no exception.

We didn't know the primary was singing, and Eric had just taken Maggie out to go the bathroom when they announced that they would be part of the program.  I was so sad that she was going to miss her first time singing with the primary, so when she came back just a second after they started, I sent her up to the stand (the front where all the kids were standing).

She went running up, so excited.  I have no idea why, but one little boy decided Maggie shouldn't be up there.  When she got to the stairs, he put his arms out and blocked her.  She took one look at him, turned right around, and came running back right back to Eric and I, just a little sad.  When she got to us, I told her, it's ok, you can go up there...go ahead.

So, Maggie went bolting right back up the aisle.  This time, when the boy went to block her, she BARRELED right past him!  She seriously ducked her head and charged!  I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO PROUD =)  Having Amos as a brother paid off much earlier than expected.

The boy still wasn't having it though, and he grabbed her by the waist and pushed her right back off the stand.  Once again, she came running back down the aisle, this time a lot sad.  Being a mother, I picked her up, walked her around to the other aisle, and sent her up that one for a try.  She met no resistance and joined the rest of the primary for the last two lines of the song.  It was the BEST first primary performance ever.

Happy Easter

We do not photograph well.






Especially when we're ornery.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mail

You know your husband is doing something right when the catalog to your favorite store comes to the house addressed to him ;)


Monday, April 2, 2012

Struggles

Last night, as I often do, I got caught up reading the last few months of posts on our blog.  I was sorta've surprised how happy and great life looked, because it really hasn't felt that way.  At all.  I, by no means, want to be all negative and complainy, but I'd hate to think I was painting an unrealistic picture.

So, I thought I'd try to share a bit more of "reality." 


The last couple months, Maggie, who has been potty trained for over a year, has started having accidents ALL THE TIME.  EVERYWHERE.  It has been so hard for me to understand and try to work through.  Obviously, I have no previous experience in this department and I've felt unbelievably helpless.  And frustrated.  And angry.  Today, we finally went to the doctor to see if it might be medical, and indeed, Maggie may have a "spastic bladder."  There is medicine to help treat it, so prayers to heaven this will end soon.

My other challenge right now is keeping up with the kids.  With Audrey in the mix, our house goes from looking spotless to "barn animals live here" in moments.  Seriously, moments.  I know having a clean house isn't the most important thing, but messes throw me into a serious funk.  It makes me so cranky and edgy, which leads to a whole new plethora of problems.  Three kids 4 & under is hard.  Especially when they're all gifted in the art of destruction.

View from the purple park.

I suppose all of this is topped off by depression.  This winter has been rough for me mentally, and as much as I would love to pull out of it, it just doesn't seem to be happening.  I have felt better these past few days as the sun has been out more.  I really hope it lasts.  The toll on my family, Eric especially, is difficult.

Don't get me wrong, all of the happy things I have blogged have happened too, they're just not the only things happening.  I do want to be a person who focuses on the positive, so I'll leave you with this:


We bought these fruit crates a while back, and they've been sitting on our kitchen counter empty.  After our last trip to Costco, I was busy unloading the car and putting things away.  When the dust finally settled I found the crates full to the brim.  Mags had carefully arranged the fruit we'd just bought in them.  It made my heart SMILE.