Saturday, January 30, 2010

Before Matt, Zoe, and I got sick...

Eleanor, Zach, and I went to Zoe's first band/chorus concert Thursday night. My parents were there as well. The 5th grade band went first ("Zoe's band"). I don't have a good picture of Zoe playing her flute, but I did get a good enough picture to post of Zoe singing in the 5th-8th grade chorus. She is in the second row from the bottom, in the middle.

Zoe felt like she did a good job playing her flute and singing. We had fun listening to her and her classmates. Zach said he was hungry when the performance was almost over, so I told him we would stop at McDonald's before going home. That made his night! It was nice to be out of the house, so I wasn't in a rush to get home. My mom came to McDonald's with us. The kids and I stopped at the grocery store after we ate and I willed myself not to get sick before getting home. It worked. I've been sick and useless since we got home Thursday night, though. The girls had yesterday off from school, so they helped with the little ones when Matt had to go to work for a short while. Zoe and Matt weren't feeling great yesterday, but they were well enough to be up and around.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More sickness to report - Updated

Zach threw up Tuesday night all over himself and the bedroom floor, while the throw up bucket lay beside him unused.

Emily woke me up at 5am this morning because she was feeling sick. She has thrown up twice now. Emily was really hoping to not get this illness because she HATES to throw up. I was hoping to get to Walmart today, but that's not going to happen now.

Kate has thrown up twice now. We don't do illnesses half way around here!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good news and Bad news

My post this morning was just going to be about the 7 "new" capri pants I received from a friend (I am so excited!), but I now have to add that Eleanor and Noah have been throwing up this morning. I have no hope of us all being healthy at the same time this winter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


To the Mothers in Zion
President Ezra Taft Benson Fireside for Parents
22 February 1987

"First, take time to always be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going--when they leave and return from school--when they leave and return from dates--when they bring friends home. Be there at the crossroads whether your children are six or sixteen. In Proverbs we read: "A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame" (Proverbs 29:15). Among the greatest concerns in our society are the millions of latchkey children who come home daily to empty houses unsupervised by working parents."

My kids are not old enough yet to be in and out on their own, but there is the crossroad when they get home from school that we could work on. I am always here at home when Zoe, Emily, & Eleanor get home from school, but I'm not always ready to be attentive to them. My goal, starting tomorrow, is to be waiting in the kitchen for them with a snack. My hope is that we can gather around the table and talk to each other before we dive into homework and chores.

P.S. Matt and I enjoyed being at the temple yesterday, and the kids had fun, just as they planned. :-)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Our weekend plans

Can you hear that? It's the absence of children. Too quiet? I'm not at that point yet. I dropped all of the kids off with my mom a few hours ago for a sleepover. Matt and I are going on the stake bus temple trip tomorrow and we'll be getting back late, so we have not 1, but 2 quiet nights alone. SWEET! Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor are going to spend the night with Patti tomorrow night and meet us at church on Sunday. Zach, Kate and Noah are going to stay with my parents again. The kids were so excited for this weekend to get here. I'm glad they will be having fun with family and friends while Matt and I are at the temple. We leave Bangor at 6am tomorrow morning. It will be a long day, but hopefully a good day.

Not the result I wanted

Noah had his 18 month check-up yesterday. I knew he had a cold, but I didn't realize that his lymph nodes on both sides of his neck were very swollen. The doctor checked Noah's throat and then did a strep test. I really wanted the test to come back negative, but no such luck. Noah has strep.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This talent does not come from me

Zoe asked me if I could draw a face like she did. Um, no. My stick people do not have a face like that.

Should I be offended?

Matt: "You're not wearing brown."

Me: "Why should I be wearing brown?"

Matt: "Scott Brown..."

Me: "My hair is brown"

Matt: "Kind of"

Yeah, yeah

A new challenge

I am joining Martie in striving to have a happier family in 2010. She is applying one of President Ezra Taft Benson's 10 Steps for a Happy Family into her life each month, and so am I. You can go here and read about the 10 steps and get a glimpse of how awesome Martie is! This month, we will take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of our children, whether they be six or sixteen.

Join us!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Use it or Lose it

I have been hanging on to these laminated pictures that Zoe and Emily have made. They have been sitting between a bookcase and the radio stand waiting to be used in our new house after I get them framed. I decided that I needed to use them now or get rid of them. So, I put them up in the kids' room yesterday. I took pictures of them to use for this post and Emily asked me if I was getting rid of them...because that is what I do before I simplify artwork, I take a picture of it. The pictures I took aren't great, but it's what I have to show you, so here they are.

Emily's tree, which looks like a jungle to Kate.
Zoe's tree.

Emily's flower vase.

Zoe's flower vase.
I'm hoping that the younger kids will make the same artwork, so I can add their pieces to the gallery. After taking pictures of the artwork in the bedroom, I decided to add to the theme of this post the other 2 things that the older girls have made at school that we still have and I hope the younger kids will add to these collections. So, I went into the living room and took a picture of the chalkboard ornaments that Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor made in Kindergarten. When I took a picture of these ornaments, Matt asked me if I was getting rid of them. Too funny. Of course not!

Yes, I realize my picture of our kids is very outdated!

Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor made these hand print ornaments in 1st grade. We received Eleanor's for Christmas. I am holding up Eleanor's purple ornament, which I still need to hang up on the wall, Emily made the pink one, and Zoe made the red and green one.

I hope the tradition of making these ornaments lasts until Noah makes his!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to plan A

The problem with the Yukon was solved quickly and there was no charge...a wire was left unplugged when they worked on it the first time, so Zoe, Emily, and I were able to go out to dinner with my grandmother and my mom after all. Yay! We had a fun time together and our food was DELICIOUS at the Olive Garden. I'm glad it all worked out and we were able to spend time with my grandmother on her birthday. :-)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Grammie!

Zoe, Emily, and I were supposed to go out to dinner tonight with my grandmother and my mom, but the Yukon is back at the shop (after having it home for 1 day), so we're going to miss out. :-(

Have a great day today, Grammie!

More outside fun

Thank you snow plow truck for this fun hill we get to slide down!

Kate and Noah slid down this slide instead.

I dug this car out for Kate and Noah. I pushed Kate around for a bit and then she wanted to push Noah. They both had a great time! (even though Noah doesn't look like he's enjoying himself in this picture) You can see Zach in the background playing with the shovel.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We're getting hit with everything this winter

Emily missed school last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday due to a bad sore throat. Eleanor missed school on Friday because of her appointments. Eleanor missed school on Monday because of her sore throat. She needed one more day of rest and then would be back to school on Tuesday. When I woke up yesterday, I decided to do a lice check on myself in the shower (you run a comb through your hair after you put conditioner in it) because my head was itchy and I had bumps on the back of my neck. Sure enough, I had lice. I suspected that Eleanor had brought it home and found nits in her hair after I woke her up for the day, so she spent one more day at home. I spent the day washing bedding that I had just washed the day annoying! Matt brought home the supplies for the Cetaphil lice treatment and he spent the evening treating all of us girls. I was willing to cut my long hair, but Matt was willing to deal with the long hair, so we didn't cut it. Poor Kate cried while Matt applied the Cetaphil to her hair, but she was content to sit on my lap while I dried her hair. Zoe and Emily were annoyed that they had to go through the treatment when they didn't have lice, but we weren't taking any chances.

I checked my hair this morning and didn't find any lice. After a full week, all of the girls are back to school today.

One positive thing from this is that I got a new hair dryer. :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

18 Months

Noah turned 18 months old on Friday. He went to his first official day of Nursery today. All of our kids are in Primary now!

This morning when after Noah was asked if he was ready for church, he kneeled down on the kitchen floor, folded his arms and bowed his head, jibber jabbered a prayer, and then said "Amen". Seeing an 18 month old kneeling down with arms folded for a prayer is just so dang cute!

Matt stayed home today with Kate, Eleanor, and Emily. Emily's throat is better, but she was all stuffed up, so we made her stay home. She was not happy about that!


My mom and I went to Portland Friday afternoon after Eleanor's appointments. Victoria was flying into Portland at 11:30pm, so we went to pick her up. We stayed overnight in a hotel, so we wouldn't be driving 2 1/2 hours home in the middle of the night. We ate dinner at Norm's, which was super yummy and then we checked into our hotel. We played a few games of Phase 10 and we watched several shows and a movie before going to pick Victoria up at the airport. We left the hotel a little later than we had planned so we could watch the end of our movie. It was a very good movie, but I still don't know what the title of the movie was. It was on the Hallmark channel and it was an older movie. Anyway, we arrived at the airport some time after 11pm only to discover that Victoria wasn't getting in until 1:20am. I was so glad that we had stayed at the hotel long enough to watch the end of the movie because I would have been really mad if I had missed the end of this great movie for nothing! I was also glad that we decided to get a hotel room because getting back home between 4:30 & 5:00 in the morning, getting some sleep, and then taking care of 6 children all day would not have been fun! We went back to the hotel room to play our 3rd game of Phase 10 to keep ourselves awake and then we went back to the airport and met up with Victoria at 1:20am. We were all exhausted and ready for bed!

Victoria was hungry, so we went through the drive thru at Tim Hortons (a.k.a. Horton Hears a Who...that's all I could think of when I tried to come up with the name). Everything is funny when you are exhausted and it is early in the morning. I was trying to give the young man Victoria's order, but I kept laughing so hard that I couldn't talk. I can't even remember what was so funny, but I'm sure the young man thought I was just another drunk costumer he had to deal with at 2am. I felt like I was in a movie when the young man kept answering my questions with this lifeless response, "Yup...Yup...Yup." That had me laughing, too. We made it back to the hotel and finally went to bed.

Oh yeah, I can't forget about the red light that I went through on our way to the airport at 11pm. We sat and sat and sat and sat AND SAT AND SAT AND SAT at a red light waiting for it to change green. It never changed and I think we could have waited for eternity and it still would have been red, so after checking to make sure the vehicle behind us wasn't a cop car, I went through it. My mom and I laughed (we laughed a lot after 10pm) when the truck behind us stopped at the broken red light. Good luck with that!

I got up at 9:30 Saturday morning. I can't remember the last time I slept that late. We ate lunch at Friendly's and then we headed home with full bellies on a clear, sunny afternoon after a good night's rest. :-). Have I mentioned that I weighed myself Friday morning and I had reached my goal weight...woohoo!...and then I pigged out during our trip. I've been doing Weight Watchers on and off since the day after Christmas, but Matt has stuck to the South Beach Diet. Having Matt on the diet has made it easier for me to stick to Weight Watchers. I think our scale is broken now, though because it says I still weigh the same that I did Friday morning. There is just no way that is possible!

When we got home, I followed Matt to Outback Towing to drop off our Yukon. The brakes need to be worked on, so we are down to one car until the Yukon is fixed.

Eleanor's Bad Day

On Friday, I took Eleanor to see an allergist. She was diagnosed with eczema awhile ago by her doctor, but we just wondered if she was allergic to something that was making her scratch her skin so much. She scratches her arms and legs constantly and switching to fragrance free soaps and putting lotion on (when Eleanor would let us) has not helped much. A nurse friend of ours suggested having a scratch test done, so that led to our visit on Friday with Dr. Tan. When Zoe was a baby, Dr. Tan was her pediatrician, so I was familiar with her. Dr. Tan was able to test for 8 different possibilities of what Eleanor could be allergic to. One of the tests done was for a cat allergy since Eleanor's eyes water and get red whenever we are at my parents' house where there is a cat. Eleanor was also tested for milk, eggs, wheat, feathers, dust-mites, and a few others that I can't remember. Eleanor freaked out before the test was done, just like she does before she gets a shot. Another nurse had to come in to help hold Eleanor down because Eleanor was not cooperating and I was not leaving until the test was done. Eleanor felt a quick pinch on her back and then we cuddled for 15 minutes as we waited to see how her skin would react to the tests. We found out that Eleanor is allergic to cats, which we suspected, and she is also allergic to dust-mites. She is not allergic to any of the food items that she was tested for and Dr. Tan confirmed the eczema diagnosis. She recommended a dermatologist who specializes in eczema. I want to do more research on the internet for eczema before we go see another specialist...if we see the specialist. I know eczema is pretty common, so I'm sure many of you have experience with it. From our experience, we have not been told of a way to eliminate the eczema and the urge that Eleanor has to scratch, but rather we have been given advice of what lotions to use on the areas that she is scratching. Many of the lotions sting Eleanor's skin, so she won't put the lotions on. I've given up trying to get Eleanor to put lotion on because I'm tired of fighting with her about it. Dr. Tan suggested using Vaseline. That sounds disgusting to me, but I guess it's worth a try.

Eleanor had her 6 year birthday picture taken after her doctor's appointment. It was long overdue since her birthday was in May! Her picture came out very nice, but I think Eleanor was still bitter about the scratch test, so she didn't have much fun during her photo shoot. We got her picture done just in time to start the new round of birthday pictures, starting with Kate in about 3 weeks!

Zach and Eleanor were fooling around later on in the day on Friday and Eleanor's new earring came out. My mom and I tried putting the earring back in, but part of her hole was closed and Eleanor has no tolerance for pain, especially after her scratch test. I took the other earring out because Eleanor decided she didn't need earrings until she is older. I think I'm more bummed about her earrings than she is.

Eleanor started feeling sick Friday evening with the sore throat that Emily has had. The perfect ending for a super bad day!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This is how you use the remote

The kids watched "Labou" this evening. They love getting ready for bed and then watching a movie before going to bed. It usually happens when Matt is out for the evening, like tonight. He is at his High Council meeting. I skipped through the previews using the skip button on the remote. When I was done using the remote and the movie was playing, Zach came into the kitchen to teach me a quicker way to get to the movie instead of skipping through all the previews...the menu button. He brought the remote over to me and showed me where the menu button is on the remote. He stressed the fact that the menu button would get me to the movie quicker than skipping through all the previews. Duh, mom! I thanked him for his wisdom and he went to watch the movie. I do know about the menu button, however, some DVD's won't let you use the menu button and skip right to the movie, which is annoying! I didn't bother to try the menu button with this DVD, I just skipped through the previews...which lead to the lesson on the menu button.

Use it or Lose it

My mom bought me a Cheerios Cookbook awhile ago that has been sitting on my shelf unused. It has tasty treats and clever crafts for kids to make with cheerios. Zoe used it for the first time last month to make Emily's fish aquarium. My goal this year is to make everything in the book and then pass the book along to another mom. Zach took the initiative today and said he wanted to make his own fish aquarium and then Kate wanted to make one, too. So they did. They used paper fish instead of Swedish fish however because the Swedish fish were just too tempting to eat!

I took this picture of Kate after she popped her Swedish fish into her mouth.

Here are Zach and Kate with their finished projects. Zach had a pajama day today and Kate had a dress up day. I love Kate's hair in this picture.

I'm not sure if you can see inside the jars, but Zach and Kate were very pleased with their aquariums. They were very easy to make and now I can cross this project off the to-do list. :-)


Poor Emily

Emily stayed home from school yesterday and she is home again today. Her throat hurts so bad that she spits her spit out instead of swallowing it. Zoe had this sore throat during Christmas vacation, so we're hoping that with time Emily will feel better, just like Zoe did. I thought about taking Zoe to the doctor to see if she had strep throat, but it was during the weekend, so we waited it out, and she got better. We're hoping you get better soon Emily!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Movie Night

Our family went to see "Planet 51" at the $1 theater last night. Noah made it through most of the movie before he got too loud and wanted to wander. Matt took him into the lobby until the movie ended. Emily was sick with a sore throat, but she insisted on going instead of staying home with Matt. The movie was okay. Several parts had Eleanor scared and I think Kate would have been more freaked out if she hadn't been sitting on my lap. Zoe was surprised that I took them to a PG movie that had scary parts. It IS unlike me. We had fun and I'm glad we had a family night, but I think next time I will wait for a G movie and leave Noah at home with Matt.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Vivien!

Every year I make the goal to get birthday cards out on time and then Vivien's birthday sneaks up on me and I fail at the beginning of the year! Sorry Vivien! We're thinking of you and your card will be in your hands soon. :-)

Another one of my many goals this year is to spend more time outside with the kids. So, Zach, Kate, Noah, and I went out this morning to enjoy all the snow we have. It was still snowing lightly when we went out. I think this was Noah's first time playing in the snow!

Zach tried to follow me down the hill to get the sled, but it was hard to move in the deep snow. Here he is sitting down to take a break.
Kate loves to be pulled around in the sled instead of having to walk through the snow. I would too if the snow went past my knees!

Noah liked the sled until it started to move. I got him out, so Zach and Kate could do some sledding.
Zach helped me build a snowman. He worked very hard at it!
Noah and Kate watched from the sidelines. Noah is sitting in the sled and Kate is sitting in a beach chair.

Kate was crying to go inside at this point. Noah was cold and ready to go in, too. Zach and I would have liked to work on our snowman more, but it was time to go inside.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

You gotta blog about this

It has been snowing here since Thursday. We made it to church today along with 17 other members. There were 13 children and 12 adults in attendance for Sacrament meeting. We all sat in the first few pews, which left the middle to back pews empty. Noah decided to be a rebel and sit by himself toward the back. I let him because he was being quiet and reverent. During the Sacrament, he sat as reverent as could be on the pew and waited for the bread. The tray was put in front of him and he took a piece of bread and ate it. He remained seated and waited for the tray of water. The tray of water was placed in front of him and he took a cup, drank it, and then put the cup back in the tray. This was done all by himself. It was so cute! Zoe leaned over to me and said, "You gotta blog about this!". Noah looked extra cute and grown up today in his white shirt, tie, and sweater vest.

Zach wore his new tie that he received for Christmas. Handsome boys!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year!

I rang in the new year watching "Twilight". I enjoyed it this time because I had lower expectations and just tried to enjoy the story of the movie instead of expecting it to follow the book. Earlier in the evening, Matt and I went to see "The Blind Side" at the Alamo theater. Now that is a great movie! If you haven't seen it yet, go see it!

It is 2010, so Use it or Lose it is in full swing. Yesterday, I got rid of a few Christmas things that didn't get used this Christmas season. I am happy that Matt is taking this New Year's resolution as serious as I am. When he went through his clothes, he got rid of a ton of ties that I have been trying to convince him to get rid of for years now. He would never wear the ties, but he couldn't seem to part with them. His tie rack looks great now with only the ties that he wears. :-)

Eleanor lost a tooth last night! She put her new tooth fairy pillow to use last night.

Eleanor was so happy to finally lose this tooth!

Her permanent tooth was already growing in behind the baby tooth.

We have finally named our fish. Maher-shalal-hash-baz a.k.a. Marshall Hashbrown. I wanted to name the fish Red, but Zoe said that was a boring name. I pointed out that we have a boring fish, the name fits perfectly. Our fish has barely moved, he never eats, and he is losing his fins. Matt suspects he is sick with fin rot. When the Wilson kids were here, they kept asking why we have a fish bowl with no fish in it. The fish hides in a corner where we can't really see him. So, Matt and I were surprised last night when the fish was moving around a bit and he picked at the flake of food that I gave him. I watched from a distance as he was swimming around this morning, but when we are close to him, he goes back to his corner. We hope that he will fully recover from his fin rot. It is much more fun to watch a healthy, active fish.