Thursday, October 13, 2016

Curse of the Yellow Track Suit Continues

The yellow tracksuit has been handed down for many years mainly just to see if it still holds the curse. What curse? Well, you may remember what happened when Boston wore it. You can read about its explosive history in that link but basically, anytime a baby wears it, there's trouble... tummy trouble. Trouble that usually involves a change of clothes for not only the child wearing the track suit. 

Well, it happened again. I tested it a couple weeks ago and I thought the curse must be wearing off! Logan only leaked a little out of the outfit. Today, I asked Wendy to grab him some clothes and she ran back into my room, tossing this track suit to me. I was a little nervous, knowing what kind of mess can be involved when this outfit is worn but I thought, "Well, if it happens at least it'll be because this track suit still holds its power."

10 minutes folks. 10 minutes is all he was able to wear it for. Within 5 minutes I knew we were in trouble but hoped upon hope that all that rumbling would be contained. I soon realized it wasn't going to be and took him upstairs for a change only to find it had shot down his entire leg and out onto his sock. True to the track suit curse, my jeans were also victim. A chaotic bath and new clothes for everyone later, I don't think I'll be testing that curse again since it's obviously strong as ever.

And, naturally Boston needed his picture taken too. I'm glad the track suit doesn't come in his size :)

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Toy Shop Swap

(Sharing this as a public service announcement. I hope all my friends share solutions they come up with because this parenting thing is no easy task.)

The toy struggle is real. 

Our kids and I'm assuming most of the kids I know have way too many toys. Toys are great and keep kids busy but the mess... oh the mess. When we lived in Chicago we were able to contain it pretty well because 1/3 of their toys were up high and they had to ask to get them down, another third were in a closet and they had to ask to get them out and the rest were just free for all.

When we moved here we didn't have an up high place and there wasn't a closet in the toy room. I was dying. Every single day they would take out every single toy and make the room uninhabitable. I tried just ignoring it and shutting the door so I wouldn't see the mess but there are three drawbacks to that. 1) They don't learn to clean up their toys and aren't responsible for keeping their things tidy. 2) They didn't even want to be in that room once all the toys were out because they couldn't find anything or even sit anywhere. 3) When I did ask them to clean it up they couldn't. I could hardly reorganize every toy and I'm an adult. We lived in a much larger space so the whole, "you put a toy back before you get another one" just isn't realistic.

The second option was to just get rid of their toys. Maybe the toys they don't love or don't play with that often? But, there are two drawbacks to this. 1) People, including myself, paid for those toys. I hate to get rid of something someone bought for my kids just because I didn't want to clean it up. That's wasted money and chances are, I'd probably re-buy it later. Also, we already do go through their toys frequently and weed out the Happy Meal toys and other such junk anyway. 2) The toys they don't LOVE right now are the awesome toys in my mind ( ex. Lincoln Logs) and some I had as a kid so I'm not about to get rid of those.

So, we were at a breaking point and Brandt and I finally came up with a solution that we've been doing for a month now and just laugh at how fun and awesome it is each week we do it:

The Toy Shop Swap!

We packed up every toy and bin (minus the dress-ups, stuffed animals and balls) and put them all upstairs in Logan's closet. Each Sunday (I'll explain the reasoning behind this day later) we "open" the shop and let the kids each pick out one toy/bin for the week. In order to get one, they have to pack up and return the one they had from the previous week. After they've selected their toy, we close the shop and they are stuck with it for a week and held responsible for cleaning it up when we ask. This has huge benefits. 1) They have a much more manageable mess to clean up. 2) They seriously think about what they want to play with and use their imagination to play with it the whole week. 3) Sometimes they team up to get two toys that work well together (ex. Wendy will choose magna-tiles and Jane will choose little people or animals) 4) The reason we choose Sunday afternoon is because when we get out of church Brandt and I can rest while the kids are SUPER into the "new" toys they got and are occupied for hours. 5) Things are new to them again. Maybe they chose something they haven't played with for months because they hadn't chosen it for months. 6) Less mess and not getting rid of toys.

We also started chore charts this last week and added it as an element to the Toy Shop. They have to bring in a completed and approved chore chart from the previous week with the toy they are returning and they get their allowance. How cool would it be if you were a kid and you got to pick a new toy AND get money!? My kids are loving this and I'm so super happy we figured out a solution to the toy madness. I hope that if you are having a hard time finding a balance with your kid's toys you will try this AND let me know what you think!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Logan Fox: 16 Weeks

Another lazy day today. Don't get me wrong, I've got PLENTY to do but I just have to get it done in between Logan being up because when he's awake I'm all his. Today we just sat around trying to be quiet while Boston napped, Wendy watched Dinosaur Train and the maintenance man fixed our back door. I'm not sure if I'll love the kids finally being able to open the back door themselves but I will love not having to open it for them every time they come in and out.

Anyways... back to the Fox...

It's so hard to get smiles out of this kid so taking pictures of him has been challenging. He usually only smiles when I lay him down for a diaper change and when that's happening, I don't dare try and take pictures. He also smiles VERY briefly if I lay him on my chest for tummy time. I ALMOST got a good smile on camera today so I'll take what I got.

He's loving the shopping cart hammock I got and I'm loving it too. So much room for groceries and he's happy just about the whole time. I would be too... that thing looks comfy.

He's sleeping through the night all the time now and takes about 2 out of 4 good naps a day.

He's SO wobbly and definitely still requires both hands when I'm holding him. He's also quite the spitter-upper these days. I seriously stink of spit-up at the end of the day but there's no point in changing my shirt during the day so it's the first to go after I put him down for the night.

He loves to hold onto my hand when I nurse him and it's my favorite moment of every day. Just him and me and his tiny hand wrapped around my pointer finger.

Still hates his car seat. Won't nap in it unless we've been driving a long time but those long hours of him being awake at church... worth it for this smile, even if it is very brief.

We noticed him and Wendy were twins today so we had to take a picture.

She loves him so so much. He'll always have her as a bestie whether he likes it or not :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Logan Fox: Blessing Day

We were able to have Logan's baby blessing last weekend at our house. It was the first baby blessing I've done at a home before but it was so perfect. Family came and some of our friends from Chicago were able to come to. The Bishop did an amazing job at bringing the spirit and making the blessing feel so special. Brandt gave him a wonderful blessing and Logan didn't make a peep the whole time. I think he was listening :)

Here are some pictures from Logan's special day:

 My cute little baby boy!

 I put this outfit on him 4 times that day to take pictures and then took it off in case he spit up or leaked on it. He was a champ through all the wardrobe changes!

"Is THAT why you kept changing me?! What, do you think I'm 3 months old and incapable of controlling my fluids?" Yes, yes I do.

 My studly little fox:

Our little family! I doubt we're going to get good family pictures from here on out because there are just too many of us now but this picture will bring back fond memories like 1) That's one of Jane's uniform dresses from 1st grade. She wears it almost as fast as it comes out of the wash and has worn uniform clothes 3 out of 4 weeks of school even though she doesn't have to. It's fine buuuuut, they're from a year ago and she's grown a lot since then! I guess she's just used to it after 2 years of blue and white... 2) The dress Wendy is wearing is oddly called the "bubble gum" dress. Someone gave it to us when Jane was little and they've both loved it. 3) My Bossy Boy and his cute smile. 4) Brandt and I looking like we have things together but still have no idea what we're doing! Eeek!

Grandma and Grandpa (or Papa as Boston calls him) came up from Orem. They've been so helpful as we find our way here. I'm sure we'd be drowning without them!

Uncle Joshy! I love that Logan looks like Josh. Josh has always been my little baby brother and now I have a new little baby Josh! I hope they can see each other very often.

Angela's family and Josh drove all the way from Idaho (3.5 hours each way) and back in the same day just to spend a few hours with us. What a huge kindness! It was so good to see them and share this day with them.

Uncle Brody and Aunt Jenni! Two of the most fun people I know. I'm sure glad they like our crazy family because we love spending time with them!

Logan and his half birthday/birthday twin cousin Ezra! Exactly 6 months apart, these two!

Logan with my bestie Nicole. He's so lucky to have her as a faux Aunt and I'm so lucky to have moved to the same state as her!

It was so fun seeing and laughing with everyone and even more fun making and eating the most delicious chicken I've ever eaten! 100% homemade chicken sandwiches! Brandt made the chicken and pickles, I made the biscuits and slaw and Ang and Josh made the honey butter. Heaven on a biscuit!

It was sad to see everyone go (and sad to see BYU lose to Utah later that night) but we felt happy and whole at the end of the day. So grateful for family, friends and that we have this little guy in our family. We love you Logan!

A note from Mommy:

Hey there little Fox! You're three months old now and I think you're starting to enjoy life. We sure are enjoying life with you in it! When I get you up from a nap and lay you down to change your diaper I always take a minute to look into your eyes till you see me because the smile you give when you recognize it's me just melts my heart and makes me laugh! I love your bright blue eyes, tiny nose and chubby cheeks. You're quite wiggly and are starting to enjoy sucking on your fist/fingers/wrist whenever you manage to get them up to your mouth. You're starting to sleep through the night and the last three nights slept 7pm-7am. Thanks for that, by the way! You take a bottle once a week and just started taking a binky again but you're not hooked on it. You can't keep it in your mouth long but I don't mind snuggling you and popping it back in every couple minutes. If you don't have a binky in your mouth you don't like to sit down long. The only way we can calm you is to hold you and walk around. Jane was like this... I wonder if you'll be like her.

You still hate baths and so far have only had one you didn't scream the whole time. Luckily wrapping you up and snuggling you at the end calms you down. Boston calls you "baby" and cries when you cry. He doesn't like it when you're sad and is the first to tell us when you're crying. Wendy asks to hold you all the time but we've started protecting you and saying no because you don't love it very much. It always upsets you. Don't worry, she loves you tons and will be your best friend. To her you are Logie or Foxy. Jane is kind of oblivious to you which honestly is probably for the best. She's a leeeeeetle crazy :) Daddy loves to see you when he gets a chance. He's usually helping with the other three but when he gets a moment with just you, you both love it. Me? Oh Logan/Logo/Fox my boy, I'll admit, having 4 is hard but having you as my 4th makes it worth it. I'll do my best to help you and teach you and be there to give you kisses when you're hurt. I love holding you and kissing your bald little head. You make me happy.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Wendy's First Day of Preschool (Yr. 3)

Wendy's special day has finally arrived! She's been asking, "After this day?" or "After the next day?" until yesterday when I could finally say "YES! After this day!" I overheard her exclaim to Brandt this morning, "Jane has school and I have school and you have work!" I think she's a bit excited. This is a complete 180 from the day we went in to meet her teacher. Wendy freaked out when we opened the door to walk in and right as she stepped in the building she stepped back and would NOT go in. I finally had to just pick her up and she clung to me so hard I couldn't pry her off. She wouldn't look at the teacher (who is probably the nicest person in the whole world) or even grab the bag of fruit snacks Miss Karen was giving to her (she was too shy to take fruit snacks!)! I told Miss Karen to be prepared for this not working out because if Wendy was going to act this way and it was going to be a fight I definitely was going to spend that $135 a month on massages for myself! When I asked her how school was after meeting the teacher she said, "It was noooooooooot awesome." Ha! That still cracks me up.

So, fast forward to today, her first real day of preschool... she rocked it! She hopped out of the van and walked in with her teacher. She was so excited. I understand her shyness, I was super shy as a kid (still kind of am). She's probably got it 10 times worse than I did so I feel for her. I was soooooo soooo happy her brain switched and is able to enjoy it. I'll miss getting those monthly massages but I'm glad Wendy is getting some big girl time with friends.

Here are some pictures of my preschooler!

My BEAUTIFUL preschooler!

It was so fun taking pictures of her. She was so cooperative and sweet!

She was so happy!

Gah! Wendy, you're adorable. You picked out this dress on your own and shoes to match, and asked me to do your hair. You've got a good sense of style.

I asked for her best silly face. She didn't know what to do so she did this.

Then she really got into it.

Shifty eyes! Always my favorite.

Boston cried on the way home saying, "Dede, bye. Dede bye." As I type this he's pointing at Wendy's pictures whining, "Dede! Dede!"

 Wendy, you're getting too grown up. You have two wiggly teeth, you can write your name all by yourself and impressed me by knowing all the letters in our family's names by sight yesterday. How old are you again!? You're still super cuddly and sweet. When I cry you hold me and pat me on my back not asking when you can be done. You just hold me till I tell you I'm better. You've also got a killer grumpy face and foot stomp. I will admit I'm slightly scared of your teenage years but I'll enjoy this ride with you.

Because you're funny and crazy and I love ya baby girl!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Plum Picking

One of my favorite things about this summer has been all the fresh picked produce. Grandma's garden has provided raspberries, corn, tomatoes (I can't even believe how much flavor a fresh tomato has) and much more. Boston has been a HUGE fan of her currant bush. But, their neighbors have a plum tree they let us pick from and oh my goodness they are so good! The girls started picking them when they were waaaay unripe and would pick them and eat bites just to be shocked by the tartness but about a month later the plums are big and perfectly ripe.

Here are the kids climbing the tree to pick some fruit on a lazy Sunday afternoon last month:

She was a little nervous about picking one from the branch she was on. In the past she just reached up from solid ground to pick a plum.

I told her she'd be fine. She finally believed me.

 There's the confidence. Go Wendy!

Jane picked me so many plums. I was grateful.

I love these next few shots of all of them.

They seriously loved being outdoors all summer and I loved that they could experience all the fresh food.

But oh the filthiness. Ha! They should have had baths every day but we settled on washing their feet before bed every night :) That's just too much work!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Baby Bunnies

We moved in just up the street from our cousins (we had no idea) and our cousin's rabbit JUST had babies so we definitely had to go see them. The girls are naturals with animals. We've never had (and never will have) pets but they know just what to do and aren't afraid to pick them up (I am). For instance, they keep telling people we have a pet cat because our backdoor neighbors have an outdoor cat named Mr. Bells and Mr. Bells LOVES our yard. They pretend it's theirs because he's always around. The first day we were here the cat came in like 5 times. The girls would just pick it up and bring it back outside at my request (panicked demand). I would be way too scared to pick it up so thankfully I have some animal lovers in my home.

Anyway, back to the bunnies. Here are some pictures of the girls holding the week old bunnies. Afterward they went and played with the chickens behind them (I am way too chicken to do that).