January 31, 2014

Alayna Turns Five

If I can survive an all-natural birth with a baby who had sagittal craniosynostosis, I can survive anything.


Pleeeeease say it is so!

Than I can face cutting back on my chocolate next week in an attempt to lose some poundage.

*breathe... breathe*

The sacrifices we make just so we don't have to buy a new wardrobe every time we have baby.

I don't know about you, but my clothes are so ungrateful.

Anyhow, our little miss Alayna turned five last week!

And to my great relief, chose a much easier cake than last years!

Totally doable.

So I was sure I was going to mess it up.

I busted out my new Bosch (which I L.O.V.E. so much I could probably write a whole post on it, but will refrain and keep this about Alayna and not my Bosch... your welcome) which was an amazing Christmas present from my parents, and we started making the cake.

The girls thought it was pretty awesome too.

My children are so much nicer than I am. I'm not sure I would be willing to share my lickage allowance of chocolate cake mix.

But share she did.

I think Jackson was jealous.

I don't blame him.

When he realized they weren't going to share with him, he dealt with the disappointment the only way he knew how.

Poor kid.

I then announced to Alayna that Granny and Papa were going to come take her out for her birthday.

She ran off excitedly to get ready.

This is how she appeared next time I saw her.

Heaven help me with this child.


My parents picked her up and let her choose where they were going for lunch.

Then took her over to Spoil City and told her she could pick out any one thing she wanted. (within reason)

So many choices!

To my everlasting dismay, she came home with this.

I can't even count how many times I've had to sweet glitter up off the floor.

No seriously. It would be like trying to count the national debt.

Alayna was even "crowned".

I guess on the way home, Alayna saw the "play place" at a fast food restaurant and wanted to play.

My parents obliged.

Yes, they are pretty awesome.

Later that afternoon, I finished her cake.

Oh pish, don't be ridiculous. Of course I didn't make that!

I mean, some things are simply impossible.

Like broccoli will never be as good as chocolate.


No, that was the picture Alayna saw when she announced she had found the cake she wanted.

To my everlasting relief, she didn't care about the fancy inside, just the hearts on the outside.

Thank you Valentine's Day candy! 

You just made my life so much easier.

She LOVED it!

She received a couple phone calls from relatives,

and held her fellow cranio-buddy.

Soon, the family and some extended family, were gathered for some cake and ice cream!

Oh yaaaaaaaaaaaa....

Once the flames are extinguished, there is always a mad dash for the candles.

There must be something about licking the frosting off the candles that's completely thrilling.

Am I missing out on a vitally important part of life?

After everyone was served up, I remembered that I hadn't wrapped Alayna's presents yet!

And the sad thing is, I was completely out of wrapping paper!

I didn't even have extra Christmas paper to back me up. 

Sad, sad day.

So I handed off Jackson...

ran downstairs and found a nice, pink bag!

It wasn't even a Christmas bag.

I know. I'm an over-achiever.

Try not to compare yourself to me too much.


Don't worry Jackson. If I end up needing a back-up gift bag for your birthday presents, I will do my very best to find one that's not pink.

But I can't promise anything.

Eh hem.

And there you have it.

The first birthday of the new year is done.

Only five more to go.

Seven, if we include us old people.

Bring it on.

January 27, 2014

A Moment in Time

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is Hubby after a tough day at work, helping a frustrated and tearful Savannah with her homework (who is now attending a charter school), while watching over a fussy Jackson, while allowing Claira to brush his hair.

Allowing the hair brushing thing is huge.

This man has come a long way in life.

He is such a fabulous father.

But you know what my favorite part of the picture is?


A long way indeed.

January 23, 2014

Jackson and the Acursed Helmet

Just when life gives the illusion of settling down into its normal, crazy un-normalcy, it changes.

That's why chocolate exists.

Tomorrow marks three weeks since Jackson's cranio surgery. He has been doing so well! If it weren't for the scars on his head you'd never know he even had surgery.

Well, that and the reddish hue on his scalp from the iodine that hasn't fully washed out yet.

I'm starting to think it would make a good hair dye.

I can touch and wash his sutures and he doesn't even flinch. 

But the little man had more life coming at him.

Tuesday we drove down to Salt Lake to pick up his helmet. 

It is the saddest, cutest thing I've ever seen.

This little torture device is the bane of my existence right now.

We are on day three of the schedule and I hate it.

There is a full, double-sided sheet of instructions for this thing.

Mostly about being careful not to let the baby get overheated, especially if they are running a fever. And because of all the sweating is causes, Jackson's head and helmet have to be washed and dried daily to hopefully avoid skin problems.

The only padding in this thing is a very thin pad where it touches his forehead and cheeks.

The inside square pieces are "spacers" used to keep the helmet from flopping around until his head fills in the space on the sides, which usually happens within the first month, while holding the front and back of his skull in place.

By two months he will probably outgrow it completely.

Then we get a new one.


The screw holds the two pieces together and is kept loose to allow the helmet to slide apart just enough to slip it on and off, which is difficult anyway and the cheek padding rubs hard against his sides as we take it off and put it on. Poor kid.

Once it's been put on and fitted into place, the strap in the back is tightened to secure it.

Jackson has done okay with it for the most part, but he obviously does not enjoy it. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's hurting him when it accidentally gets shifted around, or just when he gets moved around a lot and he cries out loud and hard.

They say the first week is the most difficult.

It's deceptively adorable that he looks like a mini football player because he really does not like it.

I just caught him in a good moment here as he woke up from a nap.

Another reason I hate it is because it interferes with my snuggling.

When my automatic reflex kicks in to kiss the top of his head, instead of his fluffy hair greeting me, there's cold plastic.

Nothing makes you feels dumber than kissing the helmet and knowing he can't even feel it.

I already miss being able to lay my cheek on his head.

 Love this little guy.

Hopefully we both adjust to it all soon!

So... any thoughts on how we ought to decorate it?

I'm thinking maybe a Superman theme for this first helmet.

What would you do?

January 16, 2014

"Soft as Cloud" Playdough (aka: Deep Cleaning Incentive)

I can still remember the first time we bought a box a Cheerios for our first toddler.

It was so exhilarating! Here we were, buying Cheerios for our baby! Eek!

What grown-ups we were!

How big she had grown!

We thought we were so cool.

But after a while, the realization started to sink in.

Cheerios are not our friends.

Cheerios are evil.

Have you ever noticed how they magically multiply once they hit the ground?

You only thought you dropped one, but really, it was thirty.

In the middle of church.

During a funeral.

And they all rolled out into the isle.

Soon you start finding them in odd places. Like your shoe, your make-up bag... your child's nostril.

I thought Cheerios were bad until we tried Kix.

Those little minions of evil are so much worse.

Though Cheerios will roll away when you are trying to sweep up the half box that somehow managed to hide under your kitchen table, they will eventually fall flat, allowing you to finish and move on with your day.

But Kix? Oh Kix just roll, and roll, and roll....

You can't sweep up those little monsters unless they have been dropped in bulk.

You have to pick them up one-by-one-by-never-ending-one.

Well, I thought run away cereal was bad.

Enter potty training.

Then, enter potty training boys.

That's a whole new world of pain I never knew existed outside of the cereal box.

But, as parents we keep trying new things so that our children will learn and discover.

So now that I am starting to feel like a normal human being for the first time in almost a year, I am coming out of "survival mode" and re-entering "actively engage" mode.

I am reinstating time limits on the television, cutting out game time on the kindle, and cooking food that doesn't come from the frozen section of the grocery store.

I feel my arteries clearing up already.

So, when I saw this "Soft as Cloud Playdough" recipe that only required two ingredients floating around pinterest and facebook, from Paging Fun Mums and Kids Activities Blog, I thought, oh ya, I can sooooo do that! 

Plus, all the comments were so encouraging since lots of women were raving about how much their kids loved this or that they used it in their classrooms at school.

And when I actually remembered to get the two ingredients from the store, I knew I was about to translated. (religious term)

I even remembered to take pictures as we went along.

I ate some chocolate to rewards myself.

We started with cornstarch and conditioner per the instructions. The food coloring is optional, but of course, much more fun.

We mixed together the two parts cornstarch to one part conditioner.

It was really messy and a pain in the bum to mix.

If it had too much powder, it would crumble apart. If it had too much conditioner, it stuck to everything.

But we finally seemed to find a decent balance and began to add the food coloring.

The instructions didn't say "beware, blending food coloring into this will give you hand cramps and frustrate you beyond all belief."

But we persevered and conquered.

I told the girls to "smile" and show off their accomplishment.

After all, they were quite demanding about what they wanted as I kneaded until my hands developed carpel tunnel, and this is what I got from them.

Silly little pickles.

Anyway, the consistency was a bit weird and hard to work with, but they were not deterred and they dug in to play.

Soon however, it became quite clear that this was really a crazy mess in playdough's clothing.

As the girls got more... eh hem, creative and set their art pieces around the kitchen, it left a trail of soft crumbs in it's wake. Every surface it touched was left with a strawberry smelling playdough mark that would dry and become a pile of soft powder that would get spread about the surface.

Not to mention it leaves your hands crazy dirty, so I had cornstarch hand prints All. Over. The. Kitchen.

So while the actual "playdough" was a disaster, I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I finally made the effort to engage the girls in something new.

And now, I need to go scrub down every surface in my house.

If you try this, I hope you get a much better result in playdough than I did.

However, I do recommend it as a way to encourage deep housecleaning.

And have fun, messy times with your children.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...