Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monkey: being her cute self.

Monkey recently learned to skip (more or less).

Friday, June 14, 2013

{More Museum Pictures}

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I don't know why I took SO MANY PICTURES at the museum.  But here they are. 
It was really a fun day, and I will pat myself on the back for even ATTEMPTING to go there with five small kids by myself : )  And it went great, really.
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I think Monkey could spend all day in the pretend store.
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I was really grateful that every room had a blocked off baby area!
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Monkey loved flower arranging...she's such a creative little soul.
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 I've put a bug in Santa's ear...I saw a pvc & suction cup DIY version of this on Pinterest (to use in the bath)
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Chick especially liked selling ice cream.
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They had really awesome musical instruments like this all throughout the museum.
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I like the aesthetics of this picture.
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The fort room was IN-CRED-I-BLE! 
Maybe I should talk to Fox about remodelling the kids' room to look like this....
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This was taken at the end of our you can see, I successfully kept them all alive : )

Something that I forgot to mention in my last post: We did a fair amount of driving during the week, so we listened to books on cd.  We got through 'Ramona the Pest' and 'Little House in the Big Woods.'  I highly recommend both : )  This last picture reminds me of that, since right after this was taken we piled into the minivan and listened to a story.  Some of the kids fell asleep that time, had been a full, tiring day.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

{sigh} A long long-awaited Catch-Up Post.

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Watching General Conference.

I'm just going to jump in....

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Otter looked just like a doll baby sitting there!
Back in March, around the time that I last wrote, Otter started to crawl.  Two weeks later Owl started (so both in their 8th month).  Now they are pros, of course, and are cruising and getting pretty sturdy.  No attempts at walking unassisted yet, but they like to do it if they have hands to hold onto.
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... ransacking the house....
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Babies make it difficult to work in the kitchen. 

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I was trying to get a picture of the babies' mirror-image hair swirls.  Monkey photobombed : )

At the start of April Otter got her first two teeth, but Owl didn't get hers until a whole month later (so 9 months and 10 months respectively).  They really like to eat, but you can't tell...they are still super small.  We've really put a lot of effort into getting them to bulk up-- breastfeeding plus formula bottles,  and we add calories and fat to all of their food. We add ground flax to their applesauce, and coconut oil to their oatmeal. They also love avocado and whole milk yogurt.   It was very gratifying to see a good gain the last time we took them in.  They were 10 months and both were between 12.5 pounds and 13 pounds.  Of course, that's not on the charts yet, but it was a good gain.

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When Monkey gives them cheese...  Constipation, anyone?
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They really look alike when they cry.

At the start of April we had spring break.  Unfortunately I was a little under the weather AND had the only fun thing for the kids was that Chick and Monkey both got to go visit Grandma and Grandpa N for a couple of days.  Easter was just before that, but that also was a pretty calm affair.  We went to a couple of fun parties the day before.

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Moose was really excited to show his friends his bucket.
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The highlight of April was going down to visit Fox's family in Arizona.  We went so that Mr. Fox could help his sister and family remodel a house that they'd he was working most of the time, but I think it was more fun than his usual work at home anyhow.

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That's the new house in the background.
And Chick and Owl in the foreground.

The kids and I got to just relax and hang out at Grandma & Grandpa J's house.  It was a little hotter than I like, but not too horrible.  We were still able to do things.  We went to the Phoenix Children's museum, played with cousins, went to parks, went to Krispy Kreme, went to see the Gilbert Temple (under construction), swam, went on walks, and went to go visit Daddy working at Polly and Ken's new house.  Their favorite thing was jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath.  They also picked tangerines with Grandma (and then made juice with them), and baked cookies in the solar oven (again with Grandma). 

I also got to go do some shopping by myself while Grandma watched the kids...and I also got to take a few naps and didn't have to cook every meal! It was quite relaxing.

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They added all of the awning since our last visit.  It was a nice park before, but now it's the BEST EVER.
We were able to stay and play for a good long time and not even worry about sunscreen.
I think Owl and Otter were in that swing like that for at least an hour!
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I love this picture. Cute people!
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Storytime with grandpa : )
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Milk time with Grandma : )

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You can't really see them in the picture, but each of the kids got a big chunk of the material used on the outside of the temple.  They're sparkly and cool : )

We stayed two nights in a condo in Phx, and it was nice.  The cousins came and went swimming there with us, and we had a pizza party.  I always love the decor of the units, and the kids love having a TV in their room.
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See that pile behind Polly? 
My one physical labor effort on the house was shovelling that pile out the nearby window

My SIL works for an airline, so our flights were free.  I was nervous about the flights with five small kids, but it really went pretty well...better than I expected.  The flight down was smooth and easy.  The babies were good as gold!  I was in a row with Monkey and Moose.  The cutest part of the flight was that as we were approaching Phoenix the plane was tilted down on our side.  Moose was looking out the window at the time.  An alarmed Monkey said, "Moose!  Get away from the window, you're tipping the plane!"
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My awesome husband on the plane

The flight back went well until the end...when Moose didn't want to be buckled during the landing and threw a massive tantrum.  Then he wandered away from me in the airport and made the security personnel nervous to see a lone child.  And worst of all, while Moose was getting away from me in the airport, Fox had Chick and Monkey with him down at the baggage carousels...they wanted to ride the escalator and he said yes, but then they were both trying to get on first and Monkey fell and cut her lip, gums, and killed a tooth.  Everything has healed up pretty well, but the tooth is discolored.  She might have to have it pulled, but we're waiting to see.

Another funny thing about the flight: when we showing our boarding passes and waiting to get onto the plane Moose decided that he didn't want to wait.  He walked past us and got on the plane by himself.  He went in (wearing his Nemo backpack with a stuffed doggy peeking out), found a window seat, sat down, and got his seatbelt on.  A nice elderly couple sat down next to him.  He's an independent guy for sure.

On the Saturday after we returned home Mr. Fox worked and I took the kids to the local YMCA for Healthy Kids Day.  The funny thing is that two years ago we took our kids there, but I never would have done it without Fox.  Somehow things that I wouldn't have done with three kids is suddenly ok with five.  It went fine (there was one sticky moment when the older two girls were hammering sailboats from Home Depot, and the baby girls both got fussy and wanted held, and the indepent Moose decided that he was ready to go to the next attraction and started walking off on his own. Those few moments are when I find the juggling to be difficult...but the rest of the time was super fun and everyone was well behaved and had a great time.  And the best part is that we got memberships and can go to the gym now : )

I found out recently that my job will most likely be ending.  Technically I own my own business, and work freelance, but I contract out to design a monthly magazine for another company.  It looks like that will be ending, and they might send me work to do still, but it will most likely be less than it currently is, and probably not as regular.  That has pros and cons:  I really do enjoy my work, and I like the change of pace, and of course I like the extra money.  But I have trouble keeping up with my life, and sometimes I think that I will be able to establish some better habits if I don't drop everything for a week or two each month.

A couple of days ago I went with Chick's kindergarten class for a field trip. (Thank you to my parents for babysitting the other kids so that I could go!) We went to Mukilteo Beach and saw all sorts of sea life.  I definitely want to take my kids back soon as I figure out how to navigate a rocky beach with two non-walkers.

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These were the kids in my group.  It felt like herding cats at times.
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I had a great mother's day.  No lavish gifts (not the pressure washer that I asked for), but I didn't have to cook at all, and I got breakfast in bed (Fox and Chick did it perfectly: grapenuts with banana slices and milk, orange juice, and toast with avocado).  I also got a picture that Chick colored for me, and some shells that she'd decorated for me at school.  Monkey made me a sweet card.   And I got goodies from church.  It really was a nice, simple day that highlighted the fact that I love being a mother.
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(They were playing store.  Monkey was buying the otter from storekeeper Moose)
Lastly, I have two birthday parties this month.  That means that I am starting to freak out about getting things done on the house and yard.  We have barely done anything since the twins were born (not surprising...I'm just happy that we've survived), but we've done some good work in the yard in the month or so, and it's exciting to see some things improving. 

Hmm, guess that's it.   Stay tuned...I'm doing a separate post with pictures from the Phx children's museum.
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There's my heart.