So we are over the hustle and bustle of Christmas, as you can tell with all my postings in one sitting! But the wonderful hustle and bustle of everyday motherhood is never over! My sweet Miss Miriam got a huge coloring book from Santa that had crayons and servant of Satan's - a marker! I neglected to take the marker out and when she was suppose to be napping she got creative instead. This marker was not only on her wall, but on her bed, carpet, her new princess pillow and of course her hands and face. The really funny thing is when I went in her room to get her up from her nap I never even noticed her artwork. I did notice that she had a really stinky diaper. As I started to change her I was pulling out wipes that were just shoved in the wipey box that had blue ink on them. I had one of those exhausted mother moments where I just thought, "Huh, that's peculiar." and just reached in until I found a clean one. Theo asked me later if I noticed what she had done on the wall. I was completely oblivious, so I ran to her room and this is what I found. The red on the wall is from a previous artistic epiphany, but you can see where she tried to cover up some of the evidence from the blue marker. Good thing she is so stinking cute! We just bought some Magic Erasers tonight and I plan on standing over her with a whip as she scrubs it all off!!! Or she pretends to wipe the walls while I use some real elbow grease, just whatever comes first!
Here we all are ready for church the Sunday before Christmas. We were all matching with our black, red and white. Emma is in her Little Red Riding outfit. She has on a cape with a hood that really does play the part of Little Red. Miriam is finally growing more hair that I can actually attempt hairdos on! And boy does she love it! She is always saying how she is a little princess. Tobie is looking very handsome in his tie and vest! (He put the tie on all by his self!) I'm in my standard Christmas sweater and black skirt, and you can't really tell, but Theo's tie is all Christmas colors. I love Christmas and Easter because you have a reason to go shopping for pretty dresses and handsome suits and not feel guilty!
It has been a long tradition of my families to make gingerbread houses. The only catch is that they are made of graham crackers! It never bothered me that they were graham cracker houses posing as gingerbread houses until Tobie's friend, Evan, was over and decided to dispute the name of our festive creation. "Why do you call it a gingerbread house when it is made of graham crackers?" I had to pause and think about it. It has always been called that, and who am I to argue with tradition. I basically told him I could call it whatever I want since I made it and the arguing ended. Tobie did an excellent job on the snowman on the side of the house. And Theo added the skylight in case you were wondering what that was on the side of the roof. We actually did this for FHE the week before Christmas. It's a great activity and I recommend it for all. When I was younger we would deliver the houses that we made to friends. It was such a fun experience. When our kids get older and start making their own I plan on carrying on that part of the tradition. Right now with 3 little ones, I have just enough energy to barely get one made for us!
Theo unexpectedly got sent to Hawaii again and we had planned to go to the Temple last night. Instead of saying "Oh well, maybe when he gets back." I sent out an e-mail to all my friends asking who would like to come with me. I am so thankful to Nathan and Cicily for taking me up on my offer. It was such a fun time that started with Fentons and ended with running it off in awe at the beautiful Temple lights! Emma and their son Enoch in the booth at Fentons. The food was sooooo good!!! I got this ginormous sundae, but then Tobie had to go to the bathroom, so typical. So by the time I got back it had turned into a milkshake. But it was still good!!! Tobie insisted on wearing his new Christmas outfit for church to the Temple. He wanted to look his best. He was such a handsome boy! Cicily was super nice and took Miriam and Tobie to walk around the roof. It was such a beautiful sight. Tobie looked over the edge down into the city and noticing the smog says,"There's a dust storm!". It did look very dusty!=) Nathan took all these pictures, my camera wasn't being nice to me and all my pictures ended up being blurry. This is just a wonderful picture of the Temple and all the lights. I was really surprised at all the lights, it was absolutely wonderful! Thank you Nathan and Cicily for going with me!
This was the real reason I threw a party. I wanted an excuse to make this cake. (just kidding, but not really=D.) This was a bittersweet project. It was super fun to work on and the the result was awesome, but it took away from family time and it was pretty stressful. I was up until 1 am the morning of the party putting the finishing touches on it, and I started it on Wednesday. I think it took me about 16 hours to complete this cake. Now I know why cake decorating places charge so much for a cake! My camera was acting kind of spooky last night. Most of my pictures came out a little fuzzy. The towers and the front roof are a part of a castle kit I bought and I just covered it in fondant. Fondant is kind of a playdoh consistency, but I don't really like the taste of it so I covered the cake in buttercream icing instead of covering the whole cake in fondant like the instructions call for. That is colored coconut around the base and a marshmallow fence to hold it all in. I just happened to have some black spray food coloring that I sprayed them with. Had to get every angle. It really was a sad thing when I had to pull all the towers out from the top and start cutting into it. I understand why Duff from Ace of Cakes doesn't hang around for his cakes to be served. It's like a little piece of you dies when you cut into your work of art. I was totally bragging about the cake all night long, but I figured with all the work I put into it I earned that right!
We just had our Post Halloween party last night. It was so much fun, but I have to say I am ready to say good-bye to Halloween for another year. I was suppose to have this party last Friday, but because of the fires in San Diego Theo was deployed to help the efforts of getting them under control. I felt silly having a party for him with him not even being here, so I postponed it for yesterday even though it was after Halloween. But it was fun and we had great food and friends, so the night was a success in my mind! I have this huge comfortable red couch, but most people opted for the patio furniture and the floor. Go figure! I created a haunted hall through one section of my house. It was blocked off by black garbage bags, and when you walked through this is the first thing you saw. I actually had a black light down this hall but the flash lit the hallway. This was really dark and spooky! This picture was motion sen censored and when people would walk by he would have some silly phrase and then stick his eyes and tongue at you. Pretty funny. I had these shrunken heads hanging from the ceiling that people would bump into. On the wall in the background was a mirror where a witchwould light up and start cackling. This guy was in Tobie's room. This is Miriam's room and it actually had a strobe light. When the door opened it would set off the guy in the rocker. On her bed is a cauldron that is holding all the goody bags. I told the kids that if they wanted their goody bags they had to go get them.Some kids were brave enough and didn't care, but there were a few that couldn't force themselves into the room. Their parents helped and got their bags for them, so everyone went home happy.
Some party goers. A Coastie family and member of the ward. They just had their first child and she is adorable! Another member of the church as a Geisha. Her cute little boy, Enoch. I just think that is an awesome name! He was a dragon, but it was a little warm in the house with all those people and it was just a warm night in general. This is another Coastie wife who really helped me with setting up the party. She even came over the night before and helped with my masterpiece, the Haunted Castle cake. Thanks Bebe! The clan! I may look like a sleep deprived Snow White because I was up until 1 am finishing my awesome cake that I am so proud of. Theo was a helicopter pilot, Tobie a vampire, Miriam a fairy princess and Emma was just adorable. Daddy and Emma celebrating their birthday. Emma was fighting Theo to get to the cake, I just wanted her to look at me, but it wasn't going to happen. We all sung Happy Birthday and then the saddest part of the night, I had to demolish my cool cake. Oh well, I will always have the pictures to remember it by. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache in the middle. Pretty tasty! It was such a fun night and now we have a ton of props for next year!
This has been one CRAZY BUSY day! But it is just too much fun to pass anything up. First we started out our day in downtown where they have trick-or-treating at the stores. They are all little boutiques or restaurants and you go from store to store getting candy. It was a lot of fun, but a little stressful since I was an only parent watching over 3 little ones on very crowded streets.
Emma is my little monkey this year. She was so cute and didn't even mind the costumes hat. Usually she is ripping that stuff off her head. Tobie was a scary vampire, he sure is handsome for the role! Miriam was a cute ladybug, although she kept calling herself a butterfly. She was adorable no matter what she was. One of the stores had this up so families could take pictures. They took one with their camera and are going to put it on their family wall. My kids are going to be famous! =) They have this one area that has rock climbing, which I couldn't get Tobie down from, and bouncy houses. They even had a little train you could ride around the parking lot on, but I couldn't take one or two kids and leave another hanging. That was the hard part about this area. Tobie wanted the wall and Miriam took off by herself to the bouncy houses. Emma was asleep for half of the commotion and woke up when it was almost time to go. It was a lot of fun. We collected more candy on the way back to the car and then it was off to another party! This is at the Coast Guard Halloween party. We were a little late and there wasn't too much to do when we got there, but I thought this was a really cute picture. And yes, I walked all over downtown dressed as Snow White. Later that night was our Ward Halloween Party. This was the most fun of all! They had trick-or-treating in the classrooms, they had a cake walk, a bean bag toss, a fishing pole and some other things. They even had a Spook Alley. The Spook Alley was really fun, but really scary for my little man. When you walk in the overflow they had a black garbage bag draped so you couldn't see down the main part, but Tobie peeked a little. When it was time for us to go through he was so afraid that I had to pick him up and carry him. As soon as I started to walk through the curtain he yells, "No!!! I don't want to DIE!!!!" They had one of the YM on the table with blood on his shirt and the "Mad Doctor" sawing him in half as he yelled in pain. It was pretty funny, but Tobie didn't think so. We made it through and after a trip to the bathroom all was fine with Tobie.
At the Ward party Miriam wanted to be a princess. We had a fairy costume that someone had given to us, so she was a fairy princess! Very beautiful! Here is my little monkey again with her buddy the dragon. And here I am as Snow White. It was so funny how all the little girls downtown where staring and whispering to their parents, "Look, it's Snow White!" I just smiled and waved as if I was in Disneyland as the real Snow White. I even had the Mayor stop me on the street and ask me if I worked for Disney because I look so much the part. I thought that was pretty cool. I have always wanted a good costume and now with kids I can get dressed up and not look too much like a wierdo. This costume is definitely a keeper! Happy Halloween everyone!!!
It never fails that when Theo gets deployed somewhere something happens to my kids. Tuesday night, the night that Theo left I was at the church for YW. Miriam was having a wonderful time with some of her friends. They were running up and down the hallway just having a blast. Suddenly I heard Miriam screaming. I ran to her and saw blood gushing out of her mouth. I ran her into the bathroom and as I was cleaning up her mouth I noticed this ginormous bump on her forehead that was 4x's it's normal size. I finally saw that she had a huge gash in her lip that I got to stop bleeding after about 10 minutes, and after 15 minutes she was back up running around as if nothing happened. Apparently she had tripped and smacked her face into a door frame. These are pictures from the next morning. The bump on her head went way down, but today it is a spectrum of color and still has a little lump on it. But as you can see from her expression she doesn't seem to be too bothered about it.
In fact I think she may have been a little proud of her swollen lip. She seemed to show it proudly.
Well she has actually been 1 for over a week now and I am just now getting the motivation to post her pictures. Some of her milestones in the month leading up to this day have been cutting two bottom teeth, crawling on her knees and sporadically mimicking a few words, like "Ouch". She thought it was funny to whack mommy on the head with a toy hammer and make me say "Ouch". It was so cute when she tried to repeat it. It sounded more like "Out". Anyway, I brought some cupcakes to work and we celebrated there. We are planning a big combo party for her and Daddy since his b-day is at the end of the month! Here are the pictures in sequential order, so you can get the real feeling of the eventful day. I placed her cupcake on the tray and she just beamed for about a whole minute just admiring it. Almost as if saying, "That's great mom, but, uh...what is it?" She got the nerve and dug in with both hands, no holds barred! She totally freaked out and was probably cursing my name with this face here. I have completely betrayed her trust. " Mom! What is wrong with you???!!!" I dipped my finger in the frosting and put some in her mouth. She stopped crying just long enough for the frosting to melt, then she would look at her hands again and start screaming. She did this 3 times until I got smart and put some of the cake part in her mouth. She has discovered the joy of sugar and all is well in the Mommy and Emma universe. WHEW! I thought this picture was priceless. Lainie's boys really enjoyed the cupcakes. She told me they would get messy, but I have no idea that Spencer would wash his hair with the stuff! This is a boy after my own heart. If I could bath in icing I just might do it. (Lainie, that is Spencer, right? ;)~ ) So that was the big day. We let her have another cupcake at night so Daddy could celebrate with us also. And you know she had the exact same reaction as she did that morning. She seemed to have a great time though. And as Tobie puts it, she is a number now, she is 1.
Theo has been gone for almost 3 weeks now, and of course that is when all the kids and myself get sick. It's Murphy's Law and I am a jinx, so I knew something was coming. Two Sundays ago our whole family stayed home from church because Miriam and I were up until 3 am throwing up and dealing with diarrhea. A friend of ours from church brought dinner for us that night. Up until this point Tobie was chomping at the bits to go outside. He was totally unaffected. Our friend before leaving told Tobie that he is the man of the house now that Dad is away and that he has to take care of us all while we are sick. Well at 6:30 that night Tobie started saying he wasn't feeling good and shortly thereafter started throwing up. This sweet little boy looks up at me from the toilet after just throwing up and says, "Now who is going to take care of you?" He was so sincere that I just wanted to give him a huge squeeze. I didn't since he was still in the process of emptying his stomach, but what he said really really touched me. Now this whole week he has been battling a fever that just doesn't want to stay away. I took advantage of the priesthood around me and had some brethren come and give him a blessing. I was overcome with emotion at the opportunity that we have this wonderful power at our disposal. And there is no one more deserving of the blessings than this sweet spirit who was so determined to step up to the plate and be the man while Mom and sisters were sick. He really is my hero!
"And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven." Doctrine and Covenants 137:10
I met a perfect spirit. I knew a very sweet lady who would bring her boys into childwatch. When I was pregnant with Emma, who was a surprise, she told me that she was pregnant also, and this one was a surprise for her to. She had her third boy, Anthony, in April and shortly after he turned 7 weeks she started to bring him in to childwatch. This little baby was the sweetest and most loving baby. As soon as you started looking at him he started to smile. He never complained, whined or cried. In fact I feel guilty about not being able to hold him more because if there is a fussy baby the happy babies get put down so the fussy ones can be tended to. The last time I saw little Anthony was August 24th, then we had shut down in the YMCA and we were closed for a week. Yesterday I was told that sweet baby Anthony passed away on August 31st. He was only 4 and a half months old. SIDS took his life. Today I attended his funeral with some of my co-workers. I know that this infant suffered no pain and that he was taken because he was perfect. But my heart was breaking for the emptiness that the mother must be feeling. Not to be able to ever hold your sweet squishy soft and cuddly baby ever again. The mother in me was screaming "WHY?". But I know why, it just doesn't make the separation any easier. As I watched her walking away from the grave site where the tiny casket was lowered, she kept looking back over her shoulder. I could feel her forcing herself away from her baby. A mothers instinct is to protect her baby with her life and now she has to leave that lifeless body all alone. His spirit is no longer there, his body is now just an empty shell. It served it's purpose, he gained his body and now he can return to Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom. There is no chance that he will stray or that he will never hear the gospel. He will never fear terrorism or disease. He lived a simple happy and love filled life and now his journey is over. This sweet baby is in a better place that so few of us will ever see. I know these truths, but I am still weeping. I still ache for a mother who had to say good-bye to her precious baby. This little 4 1/2 month old baby has taught me how precious life really is, so I will hold my little ones closer and tighter and longer tonight. I ask that whoever reads this that you will keep Anthony's family in your prayers.
As you all know, Tobie started Kindergarten and has had a little problem with the adjustment. Even though he spent a year, 5 days a week at a very nice pre-school, he is still finding it hard to manage his wiggles in class. He tends to play-fight and he can get carried away and that's when accidents happen. I keep telling him that he needs to control his body,but he responds, "My head keeps telling me to do it!". So after the teacher called me after one week of school and told me that he had lunch in the principals office I decided to take action against the voices in his head and signed him up for Karate. I figured that sports might not work since you can't wear down Tobie, and it isn't wearing him down that I think needs to happen. He needs to gain control over those naughty voices and command respect from them. He needs inner discipline! I really hope that these classes will help him in his efforts to be the victor over the impulsive, spasm-esque behavior he is portraying at school. I will keep you posted on his progress, or regression. (Heaven forbid!) Pray for me.
Miriam is only 2 years old and has already mastered the Bluetooth. She was really upset that I wouldn't give her Emma's yogurt and started yelling for Daddy. She spotted my Bluetooth on the table and exclaimed, "I want to call Daddy." So I called him for her and she immediately calmed down. She is really getting the hang of it and just talks up a storm. She was talking to Theo one day when I was walking into the school to pick up Tobie. This parent was looking at her and she pointed to the Bluetooth and said, "Daddy." She looked so professional, and many parents stared and laughed, but she is so technology savvy!
I was actually having a very somber day when Tobie found this plastic ball that you could stretch out and put on your head. We had a great time with it, we just couldn't decide who's turn it was since I only had one. The silliness of children is a true joy, and a blessing. I think this was the only time I smiled that day.
The benefits of working in Childwatch at the YMCA is that I get the discarded toys. This toy was loved, but loved a little too much and the kids were constantly beating each other up just to have their turn. These "fighting toys", as they are referred to, are either given away or tossed out. I was the lucky recipient of this neat little piano that Emma absolutely loves! Even if she falls off the seat she will reach up with all her might just to push the keys. She loves music, I think the most out of all three kids, so it will be interesting to see what talent is locked away inside this tiny little odyssey.
Last weekend we had our first family camping trip. A guy in our ward found this camp site off the Russian River and reserved a bunch of spots and made it a Ward thing. There were 9 families and a lot of kids! We went up on Saturday morning and came back Monday morning. It was so much fun! Theo was so excited that he got the opportunity to buy a big tent. It's amazing how many offers we got from people saying we could use their tent. It was very nice, but Theo was set on getting one for the family. This was a nice roomy 8 person tent. We could fit a queen size mattress, a twin mattress and the pack-n-play. What was cool about this tent is that it had a doggie room on the back. Friday went in there once and we thought she ran out, so we were calling her and she was in the tent in her little room the whole time! I don't know what's up with Tobie's face in this picture. Emma was relaxing in the best seat there, her pack-n-play. Friday had a blast. Although she did have to be kept on a leash the whole time, I think she was just excited to be included. Chef Theo! He really stepped up to the plate and kept the family's belly's full. I tried to offer help, but he insisted that he could handle it, so who am I to argue with that. This is the after the first night and Theo is preparing pancakes, Yummy!! Miss Miriam on her bike that she insisted on bringing at the last minute. We had the car completely stuffed with camping gear and she started to fuss for her bike. Daddy, being the softee that he is, shoved the bike on top of the food and made it work. This is the first night, everyone gathered around our camp to roast marshmallows because we had the best fire going. Some of our fellow campers. I don't have a lot of pictures of the actual campsite because we were basically sitting in the front yard of an RV park where people lived. It was right off a busy road and we only had a small patch of grass for all of us families to set up on. It was a unique experience to say the least, but the best moments were at night when we all sat around the fire making s'mores and just enjoying each others company. It really made the surrounding area disappear and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We will definitely go camping again, and even if the scenery is better you can't beat the company of friends to enjoy it with.
I am a SAHM of 5; Tobie, Miriam, Emma, Hannah and Charlotte. We live the military life through the Coast Guard. Semper Paratus! We love having the opportunity to explore this wonderful country of ours and make great new friends along the way.