Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Break

This week the school district held parent/teacher conferences.  That meant that the kids and I had Wednesday-Friday off of school/work.  While it feels like school just barely got going for the year, it was nice to have a couple extra days to spend with the kids and we spent it with the prefect combination of relaxing and doing fun activities.

One of the high points of the week for me was going to art lab at the Oregon City library.  The library planned an activity that involved painting on foil (and paper too if the mood struck).  Carrigan is naturally more free creatively than Merrick and immediately got to work.  She didn't stop creating until it was time to go and ended up painting her very first flower.  Merrick, who is much more analytical, took his time with his paintings and always questioned whether his paintings were turning out well or not.  I think it is good for him to be involved in these type of projects where there are no rules or structure other than just to create.

Another highlight was going to OMSI with cousins on Friday.  We arrived about noon and Jeremy was able to join us for about half an hour.  We have had our membership there for about 10 months and it is so surprising to me that after all that time I still have to pry the kids away after more than 4 hours of playing.  I think it is especially fun for them to be there with their cousins.  I had fun this time going into the fetal development room and seeing an actual fetus the same age and size as the one I feel rocking and rolling around in my tummy.  You can read that your baby is the size of a carrot all you want, but it is different to see an actual baby that size.

Finally, yesterday, Jeremy got to be home with us to enjoy the last little bits of "fall break".  We had the best intentions of going to a pumpkin patch, but after a soccer game and getting sucked down the rabbit hole of finding the perfect new basketball for the basketball season, which starts tomorrow, the day was quickly getting sucked away from us.  We decided that rather than spending the money for an all-day wrist band that we would only get to use for about 1.5 hours, we would take the time to break in our new fishing poles (you may remember that Merrick got one for his birthday and I scored a cheap Barbie one for Carrigan from a friend).  I am not sure how many fish are even around at this point in the year and we certainly didn't catch anything but we had fun hanging out at the river as a family, listening to "Let It Go" Radio on Pandora.  It was kind of the perfect end to the week.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Harvest Party

I am going to be brief today.  I have a literal mountain of laundry to be folded, dished to be done, and this prego mama really wants a nap.  The highlight of this week was last night's harvest party.  As is tradition for our ward, we gathered at one of our member's "barn" (likely not like the kind of barn you are thinking of) for a chili cook off, hay rides, and games and face painting for the the kids.  The kids are also spoiled to be able to play on their trampoline, swing set, volleyball court, and zip line.  Needless to say the kids look forward to this every year.

This year the highlight for me was they kid's face painting.  They both, but particularly Merrick, knew just what they wanted and would settle for nothing less.

The other exciting thing was that my white bean, chicken chili won the award for the most "lip smackenest chili".  I guess that makes up for last year when I was robbed.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Keeping It Low Key

So we are all caught up on the big events of the last month or so, so what is there to report on today?  The answer is, not much.  Recent events, combined with pregnancy, have really worn me out and I am just trying to take it a little easy and stay out of trouble.  So what's left are the little, day to day things that have happened recently.

Despite my best efforts, Merrick has been really busy.  We are about half way through soccer season, piano lessons are rolling again, and Merrick has started cub scouts.  Pair all that with school and homework and you have one busy kid.  He has been having a rough time at school.  He has been having a difficulty with a friend who has been hitting him frequently (not out of an effort to hurt him but more out of excitement).  It escalated to the point where they both ended up in the principal's office this week.  Merrick has had a tough time with this because he had never had to go to the principal's office before and while he was not in trouble in the least and merely there to report on the situation, he has been taking it personally.  We are working on having a positive attitude this year and being happy at school and it has been a challenge.

For Carrigan's part, she has been much less busy.  Instead she has enjoyed running errands with me and we have both enjoyed spending time together playing and doing crafts.  She has been having a good school year and has been extra motivated to learn her letters and to write her name.  Her big problem has been that no matter what we are doing, she manages to get hurt lately.  Over the last week she has had some pretty big injuries and I have been joking (sort of) about wrapping her in bubble wrap.

That's it for today.  As always, more to come next week... 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It's a Girl (Again)!

It has been a long road, but I think we are almost all caught up in reporting on all this big events we missed over the last couple of week.  The last thing left is our big gender reveal.  While everyone was here for the baptism, we decided it was as good of a time as any to announce the gender of baby number 3.

We decided to go with balloon reveal.  We had 60 pink and blue balloons with papers inside that all said "Not Me!" with the exception of one that said "It's a ___________!".  The family had to pop all the balloons to reveal if it was a boy or a girl.  Unfortunately when all the balloons were popped, all we had was a sea of papers that all said "Not Me!"

At that point Jeremy and I each produced a balloon from our pocket, one blue and one pink.  We blew them up, tied them, and popped them.  My blue balloon said "Not Me!" and Jeremy's pink balloon said "It's a Girl!".  At that point all the older boy cousins fell to the ground in utter disappointment.  All the rest of us are really excited to have this little girly join our family.  We can't wait!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eight is Great!

A bit late, but it is about time we talked about a super important event that happened in our family early this month, Merrick's birthday.  This wasn't just any birthday, this was the year Merrick turned 8 and decided to get baptized.  I guess because it was such a big birthday we decided to really spread out the celebrating.  We celebrated as a family on his actual birthday, celebrated with our extended family and friends as he was baptized, and celebrated with his friends at a car engineering and racing birthday party.

Merrick was supposed to have soccer practice on the big day but we have had such poor air quality due to forest fires around us that they decided to cancel.  That meant we had a little extra time to celebrate.  We had homemade mac and cheese (the birthday boy's choice), cake and of course presents.

As special as Merrick's birthday was, it was nothing compared to what was coming that weekend.  On September 9th, Merrick was baptized by Jeremy and confirmed as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Grandpa, Lollie, Uncle Jensen, Aunt Emily, Tala, and Kai all came into town and the special day was made even more special by sharing the day with his bestie cousin, Kai, who was also baptized.  My heart swelled and I had a difficult time controlling my emotions as these two boys made this great decision.  I could not be more proud and I hope Merrick knows that.

As icing on the cake, we rounded out the celebrations with a joint birthday party for Merrick and his friend Jacoby.  It must have been because of sheer exhaustion after all the events of the previous weeks, but I neglected to take pictures of most of the party.  You will just have to rely on my description of what was a super fun party.  The idea was for the boys to engineer and create cars out of skewers, toothpicks, straws, tape, and wheels.  Once they created their car they could race it down a ramp track we created and then fine tune and tweak their car to make it better.  The kids got really creative with extra wheels, spoilers, fewer wheels, and sometimes just racing wheels down the track.  I think everyone had a great time and Merrick and Jacoby were definitely spoiled by their friends.

It has been a whirlwind!  We love Merrick and couldn't imaging our family without him and were so excited to get to celebrate him...for a nice long time.  Now I need a nap.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

First Days of School

The last two weeks have been a complete whirlwind.  Both kids started school, I started work, Merrick had a birthday, we took a quick vacation to San Francisco for my cousin's wedding, family came into town, and Merrick got baptized.  WHEW!  I am tired just writing about it.

Today I will try to start covering these many events with a post about our back to school days.  Merrick's first day was August 29th.  We were all lamenting the early August start to school this year, but things went from bad to worse when Merrick got his teacher assignment and didn't get the teacher he was hoping for.

The first day of school came and it was a disaster.  Merrick was beside himself that school was awful, his teacher was the worst, and he wasn't going back.  He came home, fell face first onto the couch and cried.  I told him we were going to get slushees and to get in the car.  On the way there we talked about his experiences and how I really wanted him to have a good year.  We talked about looking for the positive things in his teacher and his day.  I told him that I would pay him $.10/day for any day that he could tell me three positive things about his day (2 things about his teacher and 1 about his day in general).  This has seemed to turn things around for him.  Now that we are looking for the positives our outlook seems to be better overall.

As for Carrigan, her first day was September 5th.  She had a great first day and as of now seems to be doing a much better job this year of following the rules and routine.  It is exciting to see how much she has grown over her years of preschool.

One last note, over the last few weeks my preschool team (Lora, my mom, and I) have worked really hard giving our preschool room a complete make over prior to the start of the school year.  I am really happy with how it turned out.