Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Publishing Day!

Jane's class has been working on books for the last little while. Each kid was supposed to write a book on something they were an expert about. Naturally Jane chose art. Parents were invited to come to her classroom for a half hour on Monday to see the books that they finished. I was so excited and then super bummed because I had an appointment for the baby that same morning and I didn't think I'd make it in time. I was taken back to the room on time but the doctor was doing a procedure so they warned me it would be a while. When the doctor finally came in I said, "I'm sorry but I've seriously got like ten minutes before I need to be somewhere." She went super fast and I made it to Jane's school JUST in time!

When I walked up to the door all her classmates yelled, "It's Jane's mom and baby brother! Where's Jane!?" Jane looked up and gave me the biggest smile followed by many sweet hugs. I had warned her about the doctor appointment and she was ok with me not being able to come. I think she was trying to not be crushed when I didn't show because when I did show up she was beyond excited.

Her book was awesome and also included a section (very detailed section) on how to fold an envelope out of paper. She is actually quite an expert on this subject. We looked at the other books that her friends made and then it was time to go. It was a really short, really low-key event but seeing her glow made it so worth racing there. As I left she gave me a hug, then the baby, then Boston and then said, "Mom, it's a special day and I think we should do something special after school like a fun surprise treat, like ice cream." I told her, "I think we should." And, we did!

I picked her up from school and we went to Lickity Split for a Publishing Day Treat! Jane wanted candy AND ice cream but I told her she could only choose one. They liked my idea of each getting one and splitting it. I shared my ice cream with Boston and I couldn't shovel it in his mouth fast enough.

Here are some pictures from Lickity Split:

Sisters! Jane shoved the spoon in Wendy's mouth right before this picture. Jane wanted chocolate ice cream and Wendy wanted vanilla but since they were sharing they had to agree. Jane said, "I'm going to choose vanilla because I want to be nice to my sister today." She really has been a big sweetheart these few days (usually they fight non stop so it was cute seeing them be kind to each other).

Yeah... that's more like it although this is Wendy giving Jane an ULTRA hug, not trying to wrestle her! That's how much love Wendy's got in that little body of hers and that's what it looks like apparently :)

After the ultra hug Jane needed to make it known that Wendy was crazy. She is, well, they both are and I love them.

Jane said that the next book she writes will be about tacos. She said, "I'll write it about how to make tacos because I'm an expert at making tacos and the introduction will say... You can make a taco out of anything dot dot dot." It's true. She is an expert. She turns just about every meal into a taco and I can't keep enough tortillas in the house because of it!

Happy Publishing Day!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Random January

Here is the Random January post about stuff I've captured throughout the craziness of our life in January!

Wendy has a new obsession... drawing! She went from not being a fan of art to drawing the cutest people in like a day! I remember when Jane drew like this and am loving that Wendy has started. Here is my cutie so proud of the "snowman" she drew before bed. 

And, one day she went from not being able to write her letters and having no interest in writing... to being able to write her whole name all by herself! Something must have just clicked in her brain! When she showed it to me I couldn't hold in my excitement and told her we needed to celebrate with a yummy treat. (I know... when you're happy and you know it eat some food.) After that, she wrote her name a million times expecting to get a treat. Oops. But, I'm so proud of her!

Here's one magic day, the girls being besties! Jane made Wendy a crown and Wendy wore it for like 4 days straight.

 We went to the Chicago Children's Museum with our friends Sydney and Gwen and I snapped this picture of Wendy and Boston riding in the fake bus. Just a couple of city kids!

I love this picture. Just LOVE it. 

One lazy Sunday afternoon the kids hopped on the couch with Brandt so he could read some comics to them and they were seriously occupied for like half an hour (even crowded like that). Meanwhile, I tickled Boston on the other couch and enjoyed his amazing laugh.

Wendy watching the Muppets Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Special. 

Oh, I got her attention! Love my cute girl!

And Janie! She was so funny. Right before I took this picture she told me, "Mom! Can I PLEASE just have my own phone or a piece of licorice?!" I happily gave her some licorice :)

Lastly, a sweet moment that I noted between Wendy and Boston this month:

I picked up Wendy from preschool and Boston was screaming and crying his guts out because it was 10 degrees, windy and snowing...
Wendy: "It's ok Boston. I know, life is hard. Shhhhhh. Wendy is here. Twinkle twinkle little star..."

Sometimes, they melt my heart.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Baby #4

I was able to do a DNA test for baby #4 before Christmas. All it took was a simple blood draw and 2 weeks later I got a call letting me know the baby was perfect and that it is a BOY! I was so giddy on the phone with my doctor. We really wanted it to be a boy so Boston would have a brother like the girls have each other. The girls wanted it to be a boy too and one day when we were discussing it Jane said, "Yeah, if it's a girl we're gonna be like aw man!" I told her, "No, we won't be bummed, but Dad will probably get his wish of having more kids!" (The morning sickness was so bad this time I swore off more children but now that it's gone I MIGHT have changed my mind.)

When we told the girls what it was we did it by spraying them with blue silly string. I thought it would be AWESOME but the can we had from the dollar tree sprayed for like 2 seconds so I didn't get any great pictures. Sigh. They loved it though. Wait, no, they were both terrified and I had to bribe Wendy because she was scream crying and didn't want to do it she was so scared. Anyway, they ended up liking it after the fact and loved finding out they are getting a brother.

Here is a picture Jane drew of what our family will look like later this year. Well, hopefully we won't look EXACTLY like that...

Anyway, it's a BOY! We are so excited. I've even started buying Boston even nicer and cooler clothes because I know his brother, who should have the same-ish birthday as him, will get to wear them too. Naming him has been difficult, I love some names Brandt doesn't like and he loves names I don't care for BUT, last night we finally agreed on a name as we were falling asleep. I pulled out my ear plugs and said, "What about...?" He said, Oh, I actually like that name. Add it to our list." I said, "Um, how about once we find another name we agree on we actually start a list?"

This is him at 12 weeks. I thought the ultrasound wouldn't be a big deal because I've seen the babies so many times but seeing him made me almost cry. It was real.

My little baby boy just so perfect. Well, almost perfect at this point. At my Dr. visit after this she said I had a blood clot on my placenta which could result in a miscarriage. Having gone through such horrific morning sickness (peanuts compared to others I know), having seen and finally bonded with my boy and having had a miscarriage this summer I about lost it. I found out a few hours before we had to fly out to Utah for Christmas and still had to pack. I would pack and cry and pack and cry. Brandt was the only thing holding me together especially after the Dr. called and said, "You know, after thinking about it and looking at your chart I think you need to come back in and get your Rhogam shot just in case you start bleeding." In the back of my mind I didn't want to go get the shot. I didn't want it to be a possibility. I had had a good feeling about this pregnancy after having a bad feeling about the one that ended this summer. I packed longer than I should have, putting off going back to the Dr. and when I called the lab they said it was too late (they wouldn't get the shot made before they had to close). I was kind of relieved. I was glad I didn't go in. We left for our trip and I was able to have time to think about the good I had been feeling about this pregnancy and enjoyed our trip.

Well, turns out my feelings were right because I went in today for another ultrasound and the lady said the blood clot is gone! I'm so thankful I have one less thing to worry about and that his home for the next 4 months is a healthy one. Here's my little man at 20 weeks:

If he's ANYTHING, even a FRACTION of how awesome his brother Boston is, I think he'll rock this world. Can't wait to meet my new son and watch him and crazy pants Boston be crazy together.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Utah Christmas 2015

This year we snuck out of Chicago a little early and headed to Utah after getting Jane from school on a Tuesday afternoon. Tickets were so cheap to leave the days we did so what's a few days of school compared to hundreds of dollars? A friend drove Brandt, Jane and Boston to the airport and I got to take the train there with Wendy (no room for one of us in the car). She was SO excited and loved the train ride. I loved riding it with her. We ended up getting to the airport at the same time so it was perfect.

 This boy LOVED the airplane. He loved it so much, he didn't sleep the entire flight even though we didn't land until after midnight our time. Thank heavens for glow sticks. They occupied him for a long time.

Jane was so excited to see a girl her age boarding in front of us. They made instant friends with each other and a dream come true, they sat in front of us so Jane got to sit next to her while the rest of us sat behind her. It was so weird letting her sit by herself. I kept checking on her because I thought she MUST need me but nope, she was just fine. I surprised the girls with those little Nutella dip snacks for the flight that they've been asking for for about 6 months. Jane had planned on ordering hot chocolate like Brandt did a few flights ago (she's been dreaming about it since) but when the lady came to take her order she said, "I'll have water because I already have chocolate right here." She was so cute and so proud of herself. Then the girl next to her ordered a Coke. A COKE! Jane instantly looked at me through the gap in the seats with this face of "Mom! Did you hear that!? Can you believe she just ordered that!? She's breaking ALL the rules in life!" It was so funny. I was proud of her for knowing it wasn't ok for her and for not being interested at all in having some herself. It's fine if she wants it later but no kid needs caffine. They have enough energy in their new bodies as it is.

A couple days after we got there I went to Vegas with my friend Nicole and the day after I came back from that our little family drove to Idaho to see the Arnett clan. Somehow this is the only picture I have! Some fun memories... eating gluten pies in Anna's car in the freezing snow, trying to go to the store for salad dressing with Josh to find his breaks were out, accidentally using my nephew's toothbrush, Aunts and Josh giving my girls pennies about every 10 minutes, Jane climbing a tree across the street and Josh running out there without winter clothes on to save her when she got stuck at the top unsupervised (he eventually dropped her into Brandt's arms at the bottom)... it was a fun trip.

On the four hour drive home the girls spent a little bit of time playing with wikki stix. Wendy mostly just mashed them into tiny little balls I had to painstakingly untangle but she made up for it with her cuteness when she said, "Look! My glasses are wearing glasses!" Good one Wendy, good one.

We drove home during the sunset and when Jane took notice she suddenly exclaimed, "Is THAT hot lava!?" Ha! That thought must be terrifying!

The kids had their third and final Christmas on actual Christmas. Wearing pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa, they were ready to open their last batch of gifts. I'm sure they had good intentions trying to help Boston smile.

He wasn't a big fan of it though. We intervened.

He's quite capable to smiling on his own.

My little munchkins on Christmas morning. STOP GROWING UP! Boston went down for a nap right after this, before we opened presents, but he didn't miss out... he had zero interest in gifts this year. The girls were completely spoiled by the Brinkerhoffs. Grandma took them to lunch at McDonald's and then Build-A-Bear as her present to them and Uncle Brody and Aunt Jenni got them a pass to Classic Fun Center which rocked their world (probably also because of the fact that the passes were inside jars of CANDY!).

Roy is hard to pick out gifts for. I just can't figure out this man! Though, this year Brandt and I thought of the perfect gift for him and after searching high and low, calling a million stores every day for it to be in stock we found it! Pie Face Game! This expression. Can't you tell he is SO excited and thrilled we got it for him?

 Yup, he loved it... I mean WE all loved watching him play :)

After making Roy go first, we all followed suit.

Uncle Brody got it in the face next.

Brave Jane! I can't believe she wanted to do it! She tried chickening out later but she was so brave and took a turn!

And she thought it was hilarious when she got a face-full of whipped cream. She's so funny! I went last and guess what?! I was the ONLY person who escaped their turn without whipped cream in my face!

When Boston woke up he got to open his gifts and we enjoyed spending time with our little munchkin. We watched a Christmas movie and the older kids went sledding later in the day and then got to eat Roy's delicious ribs for dinner. It was a fun day!

A few days later Jane opened her first restaurant, Pompa (pronounced Pompay) Cafe. This is her menu. Uncle Brody and Brandt were her chefs (homemade pasta and bread) and it was the most delicious pasta I have ever eaten. Must move there and have him be our full-time chef.

The next week my parents (and Josh) drove from Rexburg to SLC to spend the evening there before catching a flight home. We got together with them for dinner and to see the lights at Temple Square. It was SO cold! We bought my dad an extra layer because he was freezing and not feeling well and then we got some hot chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (amazing) before we braved the cold (my coat didn't zip up because of my pregnant belly so the hot chocolate was a must). They flew home the next day and Josh spent a few days in Orem with us. We had a great time shopping at Ikea together and just hanging out. Love my baby brother!

The girls were so excited about going skating for the first time at Classic Fun Center! It's wasn't as awesome as they thought it would be, or in other words, they thought it would be easy.

I LOVE this picture of Wendy! So much painful emotion on that sweet face of hers! You'd think she hated it! And you would be right, she did, even with the skating support thing.

Jane didn't love it either but wasn't as emotional. She just very verbally let me know when she was done. Her friend Ben was a power house and despite falling a million times ROCKED it on roller blades! Jane will get it eventually, she just needs more practice.

Grandma was too good to these kids. One day when we were out she did gingerbread houses with them. The girls did a great job and had so much fun. This is Wendy's house. Jane dropped hers while showing it to me before I could get a picture. Luckily she was ok with it (that's usually how Jane rolls). Boston was a happy camper when he woke up from his nap later that afternoon because there was candy ALL over the floor and table and we kept finding him sneaking over there, even climbing on the table, snitching candy. Can't get too upset, I would to if I were him!

Grandpa was also super amazing with them. Brandt and I took his grandma out to lunch and while we were out he played in the snow with the girls. I got a sneak peak before we left. It was so funny watching Wendy slide down the little hill Grandpa made for her and then lay on the ground forever after crash landing.

Here's a funny video of it:

And, another one:

Besides everyone getting sick and losing my wedding ring, we had a wonderful time. It's always great to see family and friends (that moved away without permission... ehem... Haley and Nicole!), eat yummy food and play, play, PLAY! Can't wait to go back!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Vegas Bowl Girls Weekend!

I'm not a football fan (didn't grow up in a sports loving home). I'm a BYU fan only because I went to a BYU school. But, when BYU got into the Vegas Bowl I was SO excited because having a father-in-law who works for the BYU Alumni means I have an "in" and opportunity to go to Vegas! Even more, Brandt let (encouraged) me and my best friend Nicole go for a girls weekend without kids! 6 hour drive? Ha! Without kids or a care in the world, even the drive was an amazing vacation! (Can you tell I needed a break after horrible morning sickness and Brandt being away for work part of that time?!)

Brandt only gave me two rules. 1) I couldn't buy any crappy little Vegas trinkets (waste of money and space) and 2) I couldn't gamble. I was fine with the first but I had a quarter in my pocket that I was excited to use just for fun. So with those rules and a vow to follow them, my father-in-law (Roy) and I picked up Nicole and headed to Vegas from Orem, UT on a lovely Friday morning!

Once we finally got there and got settled in our hotel, it was time for Nicole and I to head to the Strip and do some exploring. I had been here before Jane was born for another BYU bowl game so I was excited to see the places I saw then and make my memories a little more fresh. We barely made the last shuttle of the day to the Strip and when we got there, Nicole treated me to some yummy sushi. It was perfect and hit the spot. I think both of us were still in shock we were ACTUALLY doing this and IN VEGAS!

One of the places I wanted to see that I remembered from my previous trip was the Venetian. I love this place! So cool!

Nicole! I missed this amazing girl since she had moved from Chicago a few months before this trip. It was fun showing her this and also fun laughing about a fancy party with fancy people using fancy napkins (that they just threw on the floor when they were done because you can do that when you're fancy) that we saw in one of the malls.

I am a sucker for candy shops... get it?! No really, being able to fill up a bag of bulk candy an not have to share it with ANYONE or being able to eat it without hiding in a closet for sake of childhood obesity?? A dream come true! Also, I feel completely photobomb with that girl in the background... We walked around SO much that night and were very much ready for bed when we got back to the hotel.

The next day we started bright and early to help set up for the Bowl game. We were both still very giddy about being there. Plus, we got our own beds and an amazing night's sleep. Again, dream come true!

Working the Bowl game was actually a lot of fun. It was probably better than just coming to the game because we were really part of it.

The game... that part was MISERABLE! Well, the first 10 minutes were. The people next to us left because it was so bad! BYU ended up coming back the rest of the game but not enough and we lost but at least they stopped Utah from getting any more touchdowns, yeesh!


And, all thanks to Roy for hooking us up and being willing to road trip with two crazy girls!

After the game Roy dropped Nicole and I back off at the Strip so we could walk the second half of it. It was pretty chilly this night and unfortunately, my pregnant belly decided to have a growth spurt. My coat zipped up fine the night before but today was a different story. Should have brought my maternity coat after all! We had a blast though, trying to take it all in as quickly as we could on our last night. It was a pretty busy evening...

Where Nicole took a quick gig as the President's Secretary...

Where we randomly found a place to take a quick survey (we both love surveys... paying ones) that paid $50 EACH...

And where I found the perfect place to use my one and only Vegas quarter I'd had in my pocket the entire trip... the Fun Dungeon which was technically an arcade and I scored 52 tickets with my one quarter (which I gave to a little girl before eating some delicious DQ)!!!

We walked 25,000 steps that night and I could hardly walk at the end of it not to mention the whole next week! So worth it though. We went back to our hotel and crashed before heading home the next morning. I loved every minute of this trip with Nicole and will never forget it!