Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Review: January 2012...

It's hard to believe the first month of the new year has already ended...will things ever slow down?! Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of our January 2012:

Week One: 2012 started off with a stomach flu epidemic for our family...every single one of us got hit with it at some level. Not fun. We tried to stay up New Year's Eve, but I think we all ended up crashing at about 11:30. Aiden had a really bad fever that night and I was starting to come down with the symptoms...we were just too, too tired. Lightweights, I know. Doug and I should have been able to celebrate our 8th anniversary, but the day came and went without much ado, thanks again to the flu bug. I guess we'll just have to make it up next year with an extra special celebration. I thought the girls were in the clear so I sent them to school on the 2nd. After an hour and a half the school nurse called to say Reilly had thrown up on her way to recess...so, I made the executive decision to take both girls home and take a sick week just to make sure we were fully recovered before attempting to return to school.

Week 2: After having 3 weeks off from school (2 weeks of Christmas vacation + the sick week), Aiden and Reilly were more than ready to go back. They love their class, they adore their teacher, and they missed their friends. Aside from homework and make-up work, this week was filled with lots of after-school scooter rides and walks...a great way to release the pent-up energy from the previous week.

Week 3: Two wonderful things happened this week. First, Doug got to take a day off from work (thank you Martin Luther King, Jr.) and the girls and I absolutely LOVED having him home. Second, Aunt Becky, Uncle James, and baby Declan came out to visit us from Arizona. We had a great time hanging out, eating good food, visiting the beach, and simply enjoying their company.

Week 4: Probably not the most exciting week for us...Doug had a dentist appointment, I had a doctor's appointment and some labwork done, the girls had an appointment scheduled, but the doctor ended up having to reschedule at the last minute. Aiden and Reilly have been having a rough time with their asthma...the doc put us on a new medication that doesn't make them as hyper/jittery/anxious/off-the-wall-crazy (yay!!). Mac has also had some issues with wheezing/coughing...she's too young to be diagnosed with anything but we've had to do breathing treatments with her as well. Oh how I wish I could make this go away for my three little chickens.

Week 4 1/2: The girls went on a field trip with another kinder class to the Santa Ana Zoo. Aiden's favorite animal was the baby monkey she got to see...it had been born just the night before and she couldn't believe how small it was. Reilly was super stoked to see some peacocks...but she came home a little disappointed after getting to see only one, and that one "didn't even have his pretty tail feathers out...the tail just stayed there." The girls got to ride a school bus for the very first time; Aiden loved it but Reilly says she likes the seats on the city bus better. The girls also got to go a butterfly birthday party for a friend of theirs from church...they made bracelets and decorated butterfly wings...Aiden even ate the chocolate birthday cake without the slightest bit of hesitation! She is definitely starting to venture out from her "vanilla only" phase. We finished the month off by joining some friends for a delicious Sunday dinner at their home, and then two days later I met up with some of my friends from church for a wonderful night of potluck and bunco.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pumped Up Kicks...

Little Miss Mac debuted her pink Chuck Taylors today (which were a total impulse buy a few months back but a definite steal at $6)...and while I know I am totally biased on this, I think she was the coolest looking baby around. We didn't go anywhere special, she had to tag along with me to some doctor's appointments, but the nurses and staff ooh'ed and ahh'ed over her all morning.
Simply put...she rocked the shoes.

She's Moving...

In her own little army-crawl, caterpillar-scoot, rolly-poly, squirmy-worm way, MacKenzie is moving around...she loves chasing after cables and cords and all sorts of things she shouldn't be going after (like Hugo the Dog). It might take her a bit to get started, but once she decides she wants to get moving, she gets moving.
Wait for it...just wait for it...

Sunday, January 22, 2012


One of the benefits of living where we do is that we get the fun of taking spur-of-the-moment walks along the beach and pier, just like we did today...with Aunt Becky and Uncle James...on a lazy, slightly overcast Sunday afternoon.
What could be better than this?!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chocolate Decadence...

Thank you, chocolate chunk brownie smothered in chocolate malted crunch ice cream, for ending my day on such a wonderful note. My waistline may not appreciate you, but I sure do. You were delicious.

8 Months New...

Let's see...at 8 months MacKenzie has 4 teeth (2 bottom, 2 top) with two more top teeth cutting through. She finally seems to enjoy sitting and playing (she was fighting it for a while...seemed to absolutely hate sitting up. She would arch her back and throw herself backward so she could lay down and roll around). She doesn't crawl in the traditional sense, but rather moves around by throwing her arms out in front and then pulling herself along. She loves, loves, LOVES her bouncer (thanks again Aunt Cynth!) and hanging out with her sisters. MacKenzie is very easy-going when it comes to mealtime. She likes fruit and {most} veggies, and she has recently discovered the simple joy of Cheerios. We've also been making a lot of smoothies lately and she likes to share mine after our morning walks. Mac is such an incredibly happy baby...she continues to brighten our lives and we are all so happy to have her as part of our family.

Happy 8 months, MacKenzie! We sure do love you, kiddo...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Study Time...

It is hard to believe we are almost halfway through the school year...and Aiden and Reilly continue to love every minute of it. They are learning so much, both scholastically and about themselves as individuals. Aiden loves to do homework, she usually flies through the weekly homework packet without a complaint and offers to help Reilly if needed, but doesn't seem as confident in the classroom or when taking tests. Reilly detests homework...she will literally sit for hours and stare at the page if she doesn't like it. However, in the classroom, she is energetic and eager to follow directions and doesn't think twice about testing and such.

One similarity is that both girls love to help...each other as well as their classmates. Tonight before bedtime, the girls were quizzing each other on their rainbow words. I was finishing up with Mac's bath and such, but (me being me), I couldn't help but snap a few photos of such a sweet, simple, ordinary, everyday moment.

Bouncy, Bounce...and Some Giggles...

Mac sure loves spending time in her bouncer...and she loves being around her big sisters. Here are some videos I snapped of her enjoying some of her favorite things!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Good Start...

....to a wonderful day. After dropping the twins off at school, Mac and I went for a much-needed walk. We had a great time. Mac seemed content in the stroller and it was very refreshing to be outdoors, breathing the fresh sea air and enjoying the beautiful ocean views.

Visiting Teaching - January 2012

I am not big on resolutions, primarily because I have a poor track record of following through with them, but one thing I am determined to be more diligent with this year is completing my Visiting Teaching each month. To help keep me motivated, I have decided to create a handout highlighting a portion of each month's message and share it here with you. Sometimes, all we need is a little boost to get ourselves going...and I hope this boost will be just enough to keep me in touch with the sisters I am blessed to visit.

First, if you are reading this and wondering to yourself "Just what in tarnations is this whole Visiting Teaching thing about?" you may find it beneficial to visit HERE and HERE and possibly READ THIS to get a better understanding of its intent and purpose.

Second, if you would like to read the full Visiting Teaching message for this month, click HERE. The message talks about how we may provide "watchcare by contacting each sister, sharing a gospel message, and seeking to know her and her family's needs....As we provide consistent and prayerful watchare, we learn how to best minister to and meet the needs of each sister and her family." My favorite part of the message was the following quote from President Thomas S. Monson "Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another" a question concerning a person's family, quick words of encouragement, a sincere compliment, a small note of thanks, a brief telephone call... . If we are observant and aware, and if we act on the promptings which come to us, we can accomplish much good."

I have been blessed to have some of the most wonderful visiting teachers and companions over the years. I did not always recognize or acknowledge the consistent and selfless acts of kindness, but in hindsight I know that their actions were inspired by promptings of the Spirit. I will never forget Shannon Harker, who was so kind to visit me and paint my toes while I was on bedrest during my pregnancy with the twins, and that was just a few months after giving birth to a baby boy. I doubt Shannon will ever know the profound impact she had on me...offering me friendship and companionship during a time when I felt so isolated and alone. And Rachel Sugden who brought me the most delicious pumpkin spice muffins during our "quarantine period" when the girls had RSV and we were not allowed to go anywhere, unders doctor's orders. Despite the chaos and mayhem that was *always* evident in our cramped 2 bedroom apartment in Arizona, and my weird schedule of working nights/going to school/being a mom, Rhonda Michie and Megan Craghead NEVER missed a monthly visit with me and the girls. More recently, the delicious meals and spur-of-the-moment "twin-nappings" provided by Jen Jackson and Katie Garcia while I was so sick during my pregnancy with MacKenzie. I will never be able to fully repay any of these sisters for their kindness and service, nor will I be able to adequately express my gratitude and appreciation for their inspiring examples of charity and selflessness.

These sisters, whether they realized or not, were diligent in providing watchcare and ministry over me and my family...and that is something I hope I will be able to do for the sisters I am blessed to visit teach.

Here is the handout I created for this month. If you would like to download a copy of it, click HERE.
Happy Visiting Teaching!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sitting Up...

on her own, without the bumbo or boppy or anything...finally. Just like her older sisters, MacKenzie is proving to do things on her own timeline...when she wants...and when she decides she's ready.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year...

It's no surprise that 2011 was quite the roller coaster ride for our little family. To quickly summarize, we had a job, lost a job, got a job, quit a job, got another job, lost that job, had a baby, then got a really good job...and that was just in the first 5 months! The latter part of the year was spent trying to get things back to normal. Aiden and Reilly started kindergarten and have enjoyed the new found freedom, education, and friendship that school provides; Doug has worked hard at his new job and received a well-deserved promotion; I turned the big 3-0 and have been trying to adjust to momhood x 3, and MacKenzie has quickly stolen all our hearts and wrapped every single one of us around her tiny little pinkie fingers. It has been a busy year - one filled with ups and downs, uncertainty and doubt, hope and faith, and more blessings than we can count or could have imagined. We may not know what 2012 has in store for us, but we are excited for the New Year and for the opportunities/adventures/struggles/and growth that are sure to come.