August 31, 2008

Memorable Moments

...some good and some, well, not so good.

GOOD: Friday morning I was feeling pretty sick and dizzy so I was sitting on the edge of my bed. Savannah come up and asks me for something. I asked her to just give me a second because I was feeling sick. As I was trying to shake the white lights from my eyesight, I notice Savannah look at me for a second, then go and squat down behind the foot board of my bed where I can hear her whispering. A moment later she re-appears and says, "There mom, I just said a prayer that you would feel all better. Do you feel better now?" Smiling at her thoughtfulness I said,
 "Yes, I am feeling a little better, thanks!" That was obviously NOT a satisfactory answer because she ordered me to close my eyes because we were going to say a prayer together that I would feel better. So, doing as I was told, I folded my arms and Savannah said a somewhat lengthy and random prayer but she did mention that I needed to feel better. When she was done she looks at me and again asks, "Do you feel all better now mom?" Well, physically no, but I was in a much better mood so I said, "Yes". She gives me a big smile and a hug then says, "Okay mom, you can get my drink now!"

NOT SO GOOD: I was trying to get some laundry done so I was a bit preoccupied. Noticing that the boys are missing I quickly picked up their laughter coming from the other bathroom. I rush in there to find Joseph and Jacob dunking my hairbrushes and curling irons into the toilet. Seeing that I was obviously upset, Joseph takes of running while Jacob just gives me a huge smile. I step forward to grab my things from Jacob when my feet encounter the toilet water that they had managed to get all over the floor. Ick.

GOOD: "Mommy?" I look up to find Savannah standing before me in all her birthday glory. "Mom, I need to get baptized in the water in the bathtub." Trying desperately not to laugh (she hates when I laugh at her) I say, "Baptized, huh? Well, you aren't quite old enough to get baptized yet. But you can play in the bathtub if you want." She replies, "Ya. I want to get in the water, but I need to be baptized too." When I go into the bathroom, Joseph is struggling viciously to get his clothes off while saying through gritted teeth, "Need baptize, need baptize." It was pretty funny. Hopefully at some point we will get this whole baptized thing straightened out.  

NOT SO GOOD: Often, when I give Jacob a snack, I just place it of the wood bench that we have at the kitchen table. It is easy for him to reach and he can run back and forth between playing and eating. I had placed a handful of Chex cereal there which Jacob was munching on. I left for a second and when I came back, there was Joseph, stepping and jumping on the cereal. He would then sit down on the table and kick the crumbs onto the floor. Oh, and this was done with both boys laughing hysterically.

DEPENDS: I had just made a bowl of super yummy bean dip for the tortilla chips, which all the kids loved by the way, and set it on the table. Well, Joseph decided for a moment that he was a dog.

August 28, 2008

A Little Touch of Randomness

Did I miss the memo that it was national hat day?
Okay, I know that looks gross but its just Stuffed Pasta Shells with spinach in it.The only way my kids will eat their potatoes is if they make "potato babies". This can be done by taking a handful of potato and mashing it into a ball. Umm, not that I would teach them something like that... cough.
These pictures were taken at a water party given by the Public Library.Quick, eat the Cheetos before someone else does!Oh come on, can a belly get any cuter than that? I don't think so!
Okay, if I knew exactly what was going on here I would tell you. All I know is that Savannah was taping a piece of construction paper over Joseph's belly button.

The "N" Word
Okay, just a quick note on your question, Brittany, about what I am changing in my kid's diets. Well, I'm going to avoid going into depth about this because nutrition is one of those topics where everyone has an opinion and everyone "knows" that they are right. So I will try to avoid stating my opinion on things.  =) 
For me, my health kicks come and go depending on the circumstances of the times. Lately I have been buying tons of convenient foods which makes it easy to feed the kids and be done with it. Well, they aren't called convenient foods for nothing. So, I'm back to changing that. I'm starting with simply making sure my kids drink more water. My kids HATE water, so its kind of tricky. They would live on milk and juice if I let them. Also, at lunch and dinner I set out a plate of raw veggies with some dip. I don't say anything about it, I don't tell them they have to eat some, but inevitably, the plate is almost gone at the end of the meal.  The funny thing about it is they each have their one veggie that they will eat, but hey, I'm not complaining. And I FINALLY found a whole foods cookbook that doesn't call for strange ingredients and psycho spices and things. So I have started cooking from that. Its always hard to start a whole new way of eating. It takes time and often some money up front. Which is why we are starting out really easy and simple. No more frozen stuff, so there goes a huge portion of my convenient foods. No more fruit snacks, certain types of crackers, treats are limited again, just stuff like that. I finally just decided that it was worth it to put in a little extra time and make a little extra mess to make sure my kids ate healthy than to deal with the mood swings and grouchiness that comes from my kids eating junk. 
Well, I have restrained myself rather well I think. I hope that is a satisfactory answer?

August 27, 2008

Observations of an Average Mommy

Okay, so I was trying to think of a very simple answer to my friends question, "Just curious, what made you change your mind about the movie thing? How do you keep the kiddos entertained now so you can get things done?" But, knowing how long-winded I tend to get, I hope you will forgive me for this rather lengthy explanation.
First, a disclaimer. I, in no way, shape or form, pretend to know more about parenting than the next mom. These are simply observations based on my experiences with my own children.
Second, I recommend going to the "Instead of TV" link on the side of my blog. On the top left-hand side of their site, there are a bunch of articles listed on what TV does to you. Its crazy!
Anyway, we don't watch TV at all since we aren't willing to pay for it but, like I said, movies were played at least once a day, often times more. For a while I was doing good but then when I became pregnant and sick, really tired, blah blah, all those excuses, I started turning them on all the time. I started noticing a few things. One, my kids were grouchy, all the time! Two, they fought constantly! Three, they would not play on their own and if they did it didn't last very long. Somehow I just KNEW it was from all the movies they were watching. Well, that wasn't the ONLY thing effecting them but I knew that was a huge part. Still, habits are hard to change and I was worried about them screaming and fighting all the time, with no distractions which the movies provided, and I was worried I would go insane and not be able to get a single thing done! I was praying all the time for patience and for help as to what to do to help my kids. I knew in the back of my mind I should take them off the movies but I just wasn't feeling up to the effort.
Well, my break to Education Week was just what I needed. It helped me re-focus and I felt the drive and the desire to start changing things. So, one of the first things I did was unplug the TV. Second thing was to start making subtle changes in their diet... but thats a whole other topic. Kids are amazingly adaptable and the learn so fast. Like I mentioned earlier, Monday, the kids seemed antsy and cranky, they requested movies all day long, there was constant fighting and it about drove me crazy! I had to make a trip to Wal-mart for diapers and, after a small string of events, Savannah was screaming and crying at the top of her lungs right there in the store for a good 20 minutes and would not stop all the way home. Ugh.
But then yesterday, it was so amazingly different, Joseph only requested a movie once and for most of the day the kids just played together. I really didn't do much entertaining besides some reading, some holding and talking, and some crafts with Savannah. 
Kids really do mimic what they see. I have been trying to do a little more reading lately, and yesterday, for about a good half hour, Joseph and Savannah just looked at books together, didn't ask me to read to them or anything. In fact, Savannah has taken to "reading" books to the boys!
Today was even more incredible. I'm not exaggerating when I say that for a good 40 minutes, all three kids sat down and played with the vacuum cleaner together with no fighting. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! The whole day was like that. They just played together and sometimes I would just sit with them and do my own thing while they did theirs. Even if, at times, I'm not actively playing with them, just having me near them settles them right down. It seems like everyone is more happy and content and I have MORE time to get things done. Gee, how come I didn't try this sooner! Okay, not to say that they turned into perfect angels overnight. There is still fighting and screaming, they are kids after all. But the level of intensity and frequency had dropped dramatically, in just a couple days! Wow. Everyone just seems happier.

Anyway, so there is my rather lengthy explanation for a simple question.  =) Sorry.

August 26, 2008

Huh, What?

Darkness, sweet darkness. All is quiet, I'm warm and snug in my bed and boy am I exhausted! I close my eyes, anticipating sleep. Waiting, waiting... I hear soft snoring next to me. Dang! How does he do that! He just said goodnight, what, 8 seconds ago? Men... how come they inherit that magic gift? 
I flip over, trying not to squish my belly yet craving the feeling of lying on my stomach. I fish around on the floor for a second and find another pillow. I prop it up under my right side just enough to take the pressure off my belly. Ah, that's nice. Time for sleep... hmm, what time is it? 
I know its been a while, did I sleep, did I not sleep? I try to look at the clock but Luke had covered it up so the light wouldn't bother him. I toss and turn for a while, finally finding a semi-comfortable position to sleep in. I think I fell asleep, did I? I can't really tell, but Savannah is crying out for me so, slowly, feeling like someone has punched me in the back and drugged me, I drag myself out of bed to go see Savannah. She had a bad dream. We say a prayer, asking that she won't have bad dreams anymore, I give her a few ideas of what to dream about, ponies, fairy princesses, candy... whatever my groggy mind can possibly pull out of the depth of surrealism. However, I am awake enough to recognize that my words are slightly slurred just from being so tired. She tries to convince me that I need to sleep with her but, having slept with her many times before I know I certainly wouldn't get any sleep and would probably end up with an elbow in the face or a foot in the gut. (has she been taking lessons from her father or something?) She settles for a stuffed animal instead and I crawl back into the bedroom. 
Is he still snoring? Lucky, I wish I could figure out how to snore so I wouldn't hear anything either! Oh well, time for bed. Huh, what? Wait, Luke is leaving for work already? No, that can't be, I just fell asleep, or that's what it feel like. (sigh) Oh well, time to get up!

Now on a completely different topic, guess what! Two whole days and not a single movie has been played in our home! For me, this is huge, I mean like, colossal!  My kids usually watch at least one a day so I can get things done or just so I can breathe for a moment or two, but I am determined to change that. Not the breathing part, just the watching movies part. So, no movies at all. I even unplugged the TV so they couldn't turn it on. Whew! Monday was a nightmare, today, much better.

Alright, so, I guess that's not entirely true. Luke wanted to take the kids to see Kung Fu Panda, so we did. But I don't count that since it wasn't seen at home.  =)  What I saw of the show (eh hem, Jacob) I liked it! When we got back in the car Joseph was sitting in his seat punching and waving his hands all over the place while making funny noises. Great, I think we just gave him more material to work with. Oh well, what can you do, he is a monkey after all.

August 25, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, I think my exciting travel adventures are finally over. Not that driving a couple hours back down to Utah is an exciting adventure, but it was really nice to have a couple days to myself without my kids. Its amazing how a little time off can help  you refocus and rejuvenate. And, if any of you have ever been to Education Week at BYU, you know it is amazing! I even had a sit down conversation with Del Parson. He wanted to know if I regretted getting married young. Anyway, that was kind of fun.
While I was there I stayed with my sister, who is still single. Wow, I have forgotten so much of what single life is like. Lets just say my experience did NOT make me want to go back.
Anyway, when I came back I checked out my family's blog to see if anything exciting has happened. As some of you know, I grew up in Florida, and as most of you know, they have been dealing with hurricane Fay. Well, my mom posted a couple pictures of the yard that I thought you would enjoy.

Opps, talk about your water damage!

Anyway, just thought I'd drop in and let you all know I'm back and will probably go back to writing about nothing.  =)

August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Savannah!

Well, today is Savannah's birthday! She turns 4 years old. Oh boy, I feel older on her birthday than I did on mine!
We did a small party for her last night since I will be leaving to go to Utah for a couple of days later on today. It was perfect though. Her two best friends came over and they had a blast!

Savannah is "helping" me make the cupcakes.

Savannah's not really huge into princess stuff, but she likes it just fine. When we went to Wal-mart to pick out her birthday decorations, well, her choices were limited to, well, princess stuff. But that's okay, she loved it!

She tried so hard to help me blow up her balloons
She insisted we take a picture together

Ummmm... well, I'm not quite sure what to say about this. It was suppose to be a flower made out of cupcakes. It ended up looking like a giant snowflake. I guess that's one things my kids will always be able to boast about. That they had very unique cakes for their birthdays.

Don't ask... still, he could have made a pretty girl.  =)

Cake time!

Things got pretty messy there, but the kids sure had fun seeing who could get the most frosting on their noses.

Savannah opening her presents from her friends.

Ashlyn, Savannah, and Hadley. I'm not sure what they're looking at.

This was our present to Savannah, a bike! She loves riding the neighbor's bikes so we figured we had better get her her own. She LOVED it! She rode it around outside for quite a while last night.

August 17, 2008

Weekend Adventures

This weekend was the Summer Heiner Family Reunion. We had a really good time. We camped at the base of Black Mountain Friday night and spent Saturday morning and afternoon riding four-wheelers and hanging out.
Oh, and this trip has made up my mind. I HAVE to get a new camera. I had to delete about half my pictures because they didn't turn out and most of the others are messed up in some way. So, I apologize for the poor picture quality in most of these. It makes me quite sad, a bunch of cute, priceless photos ruined by a dumb camera! Grrrr...

Luke and the boys slept in the back of our car while Savannah and I shared a bed in one of the campers. It was so nice!

The kids going for a ride in the "train".

Jacob... what a clean-up crew!

Joseph being a bit pouty.

5 of the 7 cool sister-in-laws. Wow, I have some serious morning hair going on!

Daddy taking the boys out for a ride.

I love his smile!

Uncle Cliff brought his two little kiddy four-wheelers. You can see they are the perfect size for kids.

Poor Savannah, she wanted to ride one so badly. So, Cliff and I put her on on, showed her the buttons and how it worked, then she pushed the accelerate button and she took off. I started yelling at her to let go of the button but she kind of panicked and turned instead. She flipped that thing over and landed pretty hard. I was just so glad that it didn't roll over her or anything. She was pretty shaken up. But I told her if she wanted to get back on I would ride with her and teach her how to drive it. I was actually pretty surprised when, still whimpering, she climbed right back on. By the end of the day, she could drive that thing pretty well.

Taking Joseph for a spin.

Cheetos-faced Jacob on his turn. By the time we were done giving rides, my bum was pretty darn sore! Those seats were definitely made for little-people behinds.

Joseph watching Uncle Kerry pack up his dirt bike. Okay, so I just have to say, every time one of the brothers gets their very loud dirt bike engines going, they ride up to one of the other brothers, revs the engine, and grins. That's all they do, rev and grin, rev and grin! I swear I've seen them all do it. They even start the bikes just to compare engine noises. I don't quite understand the excitement.  They all sound the same to me... loud.

After we packed up camp and made it back to the house (aka Grandma Heiner's house) some of us decided we were up for a hike. So, we drove up to the Intermittent Springs. Its a natural spring that "turns on and off" about every 12 - 18 minutes. Pretty Interesting. The hike was very pretty. It was easy and short, up until we got to the springs that is.

Savannah and Cambry throwing rocks into the river.

Umm, smile Savannah!

So, this is at the base of the springs. Right around that curve the trail gets very narrow and very vertical. I was panting by the time I scaled my way up to the top.
Poor Uncle Bobbie carrying Savannah and Hannah, they were getting tired they said.

The group that came hiking. This is at the very top and right behind us is where the water comes out. But it wasn't coming at the moment... obviously. 

Savannah was getting pretty tired and she wanted to go down before every one else was done. So we started down and down is harder than up. Just as we started down, the water started flowing. Well, I have to say, I was a little nervous, being 16 weeks pregnant, carrying my 40 pound child on my back, scaling my way down a very narrow and very vertical, rocky descent with a waterfall roaring next to me. But, we made it just fine. Although, I think my back is still hurting from that.

Me and Savannah

You know, I didn't even think to put any sunscreen on. Lets just say that today, I look like a freshly roasted lobster. Okay, maybe not quite that back, but I'm feeling the burn alright. 

So, we had a good time. Today, Luke's sister Heather blessed her little baby girl Allie. Well, her husband did, but, you know what I mean. Hmmm, I'm not sure if I spelled her name right. Jacob was pretty tired, he fussed and cried most of the day. Sacrament meeting was especially, umm, interesting. The boys about did me in. Thank goodness for daddys! Savannah fell asleep on the way home, it must have been about 5:30pm or so. She didn't wake up when we got home so we just put her to bed. So, the kids sure played hard and had fun! Yea! 

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