Monday, April 30

New littles

Courtney and i took a girls trip out to ontario to visit my sis and her new sweet baby Nina Jayne. Oh she is darling! I just looove holding someone else's baby! Haha
Courtney has loved the baby and always wants to see her and touch her. She has loved her cousins too.
The thing we have done most? Play "just dance" on the wii. We have had a dance party every night and a Few mornings to get ready for school. I sure miss them and can't wait for the day they are close!

Thursday, April 26

It kinda counts

So I have been so busy today. We had another showing and then I had a lot of errands and this and that... Anyway, I meant to go to the gym this morning, so I put on my workout gear. Well about 30 minutes ago I changed out of them (it's almost 1am) and I didn't make it to the gym at all. Soooo I feel like I got a workout, I should have gotten a workout. So really that counts right? I made a half effort. Oh, and I got a salad at chikfila today. Ya, it totally counts.

Monday, April 23

A 3 hour tour

Brian and I, along with Anna Kathleen and Eric, had the chance to attend a Love and Logic parenting conference this weekend. It was great. I have been looking forward to this ever since I started reading the book “Parenting with Love and Logic” about 2 months ago.  As I have metioned previously, I have been really struggling for parenting methods that don’t make me feel like nothing is working. Timeouts – hate them, they don’t work for me. Yelling, clearly this isn’t a parenting method, but it was my go-to. Then you have the threats, and the ignore, and lastly you have the husband do it method. UG! I was in a rut. Well, I have to say that this book so far has been awesome.
I don’t know if the kids love it, or if it is so great for my kids, but it is helping me to feel like I am a better mom and be more calm and patient.
So we headed off to the parenting conference. It was 3 hours of great tips and advice and methods to use.
We also won the free draw for a parenting package of books on Early Childhood! SWEET! If anyone is interested in my notes or my thoughts in more detail, I will blog about it if I have requests... It was awesome.

So we are still struggling a lot with what to do and how to treat all the situations but we are learning, and we are trying to make good lasting changes for their good and for our good.  

Totally unrelated but adorable note... I cut Natalie some sweet adorable bangs this week too(Courtney's were already done last week) and they look so cute. Her favorite thing about them is that her hair doesn't get in her face at the park, or during soccer, or in the wind. 
On Friday night, we planned to do a family movie night. BUT of course I decided I wasn't going to cook. So I didn't... and we headed to Chuys to eat some Mexican grub and it was so good. Courtney ate so much food! She was fist fulling Salsa into her mouth so much we ended up having to take it away. fist fulls, no joke. Then by the time we got home, it was too late for a movie so The Muppet's had to wait for another night.
Boots has been showing some very sick signs and symptoms in the last few days. He is so funny, because he will complain about something, and then 10 minutes later you think he is fine because he is so busy! Well today was not like this at all. He was out of it and so tired. We got home from the Dr.(with negative results for strep) at 1230 and he went right to bed until 420 when I went in and woke him up. I wanted him to sleep tonight! Poor kid though, 104 fever and just feeling in the pits. I hate that. The only bonus with him is that he is way more chill and snuggly when he is sick like this. 

On Sunday I was asked to do something that was kind of a big deal and  kind of stressful for me. I was asked to speak at a youth fireside for some youth in our stake. I was terrified but it went great and even though I dont know if they got anything from the lesson I taught, I got a lot and loved it! 

AND... the best news of the night... I wont say much as my sister has yet to blog about it and I don't want to steal her thunder BUT... She had her 5th baby early this morning! GO LIBBY GO! Sure cant wait to see you and meet the new addition. You are my hero! I can barely handle 3 kids, and you are an incredible mother to 4 and now 5 kids. 

Wednesday, April 18

Its Wild!

temper temper temper.

Natalie's temper has been flyin the last few weeks and days. She is 5 going on 16. Im not kidding. I dont know what to do about it and I am at the end of my rope. She has so much sas and it is wearing me down.

Boots on the other hand is so crazy, it drives me crazy! He is 3 going on six 3 year olds.

Tonight we were reading our scriptures together as a family and we have been working really hard to get the kids to sit still and listen to eachother read. Brian asked them how Kings and Queens sit, and after they explained, he asked them to sit like that. Boots sat still for about 10 seconds before whinning and crying. When asked what was wrong he very aggresively grumpily responded "I dont want to be a queen! I want to be a prince!"

This pic is mid tantrum... There have been quite a few fits coming from his as well. No ice cream, bed time, going potty, leaving the park, eating any food, reading a book... He has been tempering over everything!

I cut some bangs on Courtney and I think they are pretty dang cute! Now that she is over the 18 month mark, she has been starting her own tantrums of her own. She does not like when I fill her sippy with water and then she watches me drink Crystal Light. She throws a fit. She doesn't like to get out of the swings at the park, even when she has been swinging for 30 minutes straight. She does not like to be carried anywhere, she must walk, and she must hold boots or Natalies hand. She is learning from the pro's!

We went to our friends the other night when we were showing our home and needed to get out of the house. They have this little "river" and lake where you can see (and feed french fries) fish and turtles. The kids were all doing this and Court dropped her brand new Croc into the water. Brian had to break into the closed pool and get this scooper. The best is that right after we got Courtney's shoe back and walked away, their little guy did the same thing and we had to get it back out and do it again. It was actually hilarious.

Courtney has had to take a few naps in the car this week since we have been kicked out of our house for the most part. She cracks me up with the way she uses her blanket. She doesn't cuddle it or hug it, she doesn't rub it or snuggle it... She shoves as much of it as she can into her mouth and falls asleep... Can you say choking hazard?!

Sunday, April 15

Around town

Man, it is hard to keep a house perfectly spotless with 3 kids! We haven't really lived at home the last few days, but I cant complain because we have had 3 showings a day since we put it up on the market! Crossing my fingers!

Weve been doing the usual around here though library, gym, school, park, costco, soccer, and it is great. We are happy and healthy without a Dr visit for months! That feels good since sometimes I feel like we are always there! And discovering that the public library is a cool place to be, well that has been up at the top of my list for fun things to do and places to go. The kids all love the library. We get books, DVD's, and music each time and even Court has fun!

Of course when I got back on track to eat well (like ever monday, and tuesday, and wednesday...) There was free ice cream at Ben and Jerry's and we had to go with the kids and cousins. I didn't even eat it. I was proud of myself since Boots got my favorite flavor!

I have to just vent here for a second. I really do try to be healthy and I would love to be at my pre baby weight and goal weight, but it is so stinkin hard. I have been battling the last 5-10 lbs here for months! I go up and down 2-3 lbs each month and I cant seem to kick it. But going right along with that, I love food. I love naughty food. I dont like veggies, and healthy food takes so much preparation that honestly I just dont have time for. But I am trying to be good because I so badly want to just kick the last lets say 7 lbs.

To help me along with this, I have been meeting up with my 2 sis in laws at the gym a few times a week to do Zumba classes. They are so much fun! I am not a class person, and I have no rythm at all, but these classes are so great. We all can shake it and have fun without being scared of anyone judging me! I have also been running on the off days and doing spin classes as well. Those are another great way for me to feel like I am burning a bazillion calories. I walk out of there like someone just dumped a bucket of water on me. I love that!

So monday comes again tomorrow and here I go again! I usually dont like to write this kind of stuff on this blog, I have another secret blog with a few people that is just for eating and exercise success and struggles, but tonight I felt it was ok to share some of my inside struggle cause I am just so fed up with this crap of my spare tire.

Thursday, April 12

1572 miles

1572. Thats how many miles away Nana and Grandad are from us.

We miss them so much and wish we could see them all the time. We also LOVE having them come to visit us. When Brian and I went on our trip to New Orleans, my wonderful mother came down to watch the kids. My favorite was the phone call one night "JENI, they wont go to bed. I dont know what to do." It was serious I could tell, but I also recognised the conversation. It was the exact conversation I have with my mom quit frequently, but I am on that end and this time it was her calling me. I had to laugh. Oh I am so grateful for my mum!
So they came in for conference weekend and we packed everything we could in considering my dad was here for 1.75 days. I am now going back and relistening to all of the sessions that I didn't get to hear with 3 kids crying, shouting, pouting, fighting, laughing, and talking my ear off that day. So far, it is all wonderful!

So We decided to go to breakfast at Breadwinners, yum, and then the Aquarium for the first time. The kids had a lot of fun. Water animals are so interesting! It probably didn't matter where we went though, as long as we had fun with Nana and Grandad (which is anywhere we are together!).

Seriously, greatest mom ever to watch our crazies for us and still love us! And greatest Dad ever to come and spend time here on his few days off his busy life. We sure wish yall would move here!!

Tuesday, April 10

Lets Move

Getting ready to sell a house is hard. there have been months of preparation for the big day and then who knows how long it will take to sell?!
Well we have planted flower beds, painted the enire house including all baseboards, we have completely cleaned out every room and closet, had garage sales, got brand new carpet through the whole house and then finished it off with a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
Can you guess what color we painted the door?
You got it! RED! Court thought the extra paint Brian had left out was really fun. She even thought it tasted great. WOW! I love it when my hubby is mowing the lawn and he all of a sudden comes in yelling "JENI! Why is Courtney in the garage?!" then I see red all over her hand and body. I swore it was blood. What a mess.
When we had the garage sale, Natalie and stephen both wanted to help out. They made signs, although boots' was just a bunch of scribbles. Then they wanted them on a post so they could hold them. It was adorable to see natalie go to the bottom of the driveway and wave to cars holding this sign.

After the garage sale, we decided to donate anything that was left. These trash bags were full of so much of our junk. It feels so good to get rid of it all. The hardest things to part with were my baby items, like the basinet and car seat... tear.
We are exhausted though. As of tomorrow the house is up and I am so excited about it! I am not excited about keeping the house clean with the kiddos. I am not excited about showering, cooking, eating, or living in a house that we could get called out of at any minute. Any tips and pointers from those who have done it? I just hope we will seell quickly.

So for now, all we can do is sleep and snuggle when we can!

Sunday, April 8

Easter Sunday, and Saturday, and Friday

We have had such a fun Easter week! Natalie has been really interested in both the real meaning of Easter and the fun. We talked a lot about the crusifiction and resurection of Christ, Boots even told me on the way home from church that he got to see the resurected Jesus in primary! haha Also he was the spotlight today which means he got to tell all the kids what he likes (toast) and what his favorite thing is (going to friends houses) I think they both really enjoyed church today. I was awesome and didn't take any pictures in their adorable church outfits. Ill have to pretend another day.

Friday we had a school class Easter hunt and play date at the park.

Saturday we had a fabulous lunch and egg hunt over at Grandma and Papa's house. Dying eggs was fun too. Gotta love the stains on the kids clothes from that! This is one tradition I will never pass up. Love it. I even tried to blow a few into hollow eggs. My mouth hurt bad. I dont really understand that point to that.

Then we headed over to Yaya's house for another Egg hunt and bounce house fun!! Man, the kids were in dream land all day. Candy out their ears, easter bunnies, easter hunts, pure kid fun.

Then came Sunday. Natalie was very curious as to how the bunny would sneak in without waking anyone up and leave things in the right place for the right people. She decided that he tippytoes everywhere. They couldn't wait to find a basket with a few goodies. Then the bunny left an egg hunt in the backyard with all of the eggs we had dyed the day before.

So Happy Easter. I know that our Saviour died for us and I know that he lives again. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the resurection and the beauty of the plan of salvation. I love my wonderful children and all of the good bad and ugly that they bring into our family. We are truly blessed to know what we know and have what we have.

Wednesday, April 4

7th out of towners

In keeping with tradition of traveling to a new Temple and City for our anniversary... for our 7th Anniversary we went to New Orleans, LA.

DAY 1. It was a nice 9 hour drive, and I say nice because there were no childrens movies playing, or childrens music blasting in my ear. It was 9 hours of adult conversation and music. Ah Peaceful.
So lets just start with the hotel. It was fine and great, until we looked at the pillows. Yes that is my hand, and yes the pillow is barely larger than my hand. We called the front desk to ask about it and they indeed said "They are normal sized pillows sir." WHAT? Clearly they are tiny.

Anyway, head into town for the most delish Mexican. I THINK (and this is huge since I think Dallas has the best Mexican) that this was the best Mexican we have ever had. So good. Superior Grill... The best Queso ever. That night we headed over to a movie theatre in a sketchy part of town (by the way, I think all New Orleans is a sketchy part of town) and we saw Hunger Games. My second time, Brian's first. We both Loved it.

DAY 2. WE SLEPT IN. Seriously, I cant remember the last time this happened. So Brian loves ear plugs. He wears them all the time to not be able to head our kids. I refuse every time, you know, to be responsible. So we are gone and guess who brought the ear plugs?! Thats right, I wore them and it was right, so right. I wore them and didn't hear anything until 10. Oh 10!!!! It was awesome!
Anyway, we woke up and headed down for lunch at Central Grocery. We went for the famous Muffeletta sandwhich. Italian meats, olive salad, and yummy bread. It was good. I wouldn't go back to NO for this again, but it was good to try.

As you can tell, I have been having to eat everything with knife and fork. It sucks. Sandy's with forks? Not fun. I literally carried a set of plastic cutlery around in my purse all week. (FYI this will go on until June. JUNE!)
Took a little walk down the Mississippi and took in the nice cool breeze. Can I just add this little story. On the drive down, I mentioned something about the body of water we were following to be the Mississippi. Brian them made fun of me "Jeni, whats the River called? MISSISSIPPI! Hello, are we in Mississippi?" ok soooo I felt dumb, until we discovered that indeed the MISS river goes right through the city.

The architecture in the French Quarter was really pretty. It was a lot like Paris with the way the blocks are organized with just a small entrance every few to get into the middle of the block. So it was pretty, BUT dirty and some run down. This building was tilted. It was weird and run down. This is how much of the area was.

That night we went for Seafood. I dont do Seafood, but I made a mistake a few years ago in Boston when I made Brian leave one of the oldest best seafood places in the country because the smell was aweful. Anyway, I wont ever make him miss out of food again because I dont like he smell. He got these, chargrilled oysters. He liked them. I didn't taste them.

DAY 3. Headed out early and had Breakfast at Cafe du Monde for some Beignets. They were good. It was fun. I would call them a big fat funnel cake.

We did pay for one real live tour. It was part of the Haunted Tours and it was to a cemetary. It was totally worth it. We loved the info about the city, like how the first people to come to the city were prisoners and prostitutes from England. Clearly the city hasn't changed much! The way they bury people there in the city in crazy. Lets just say, they share these with several people. They just push the remains back after a year or so and put another one in. Very interesting. Oh, also they obviously cant bury them, so they are all above ground since the city is under sea level.

Lunch, we headed over to YO MAMA'S which was a doorway in a wall. Smokey, dark bar that we almost walked out of. Im glad we didn't. It was so good. Brian got this peanut butter and bacon burger. Surprisingly delish.

That afternoon we went to the WWII museum. This was a highlight of the trip. It was very interesting and tearful. We learned so much and heard so many of the stories of those who fought for us. We spent hours there, but it wasn't long enough and we missed out on the whole Japan side of the war. Next time. ALSO please notice the strange face I am making in all the pictures. I am totally hating my smile from my surgery and it feels weird, so I dont really do it.

Also, I noticed that my hands are totally wrinkly and old looking.

That night we headed to Emerils (Yes Lagasse... BAM!) It was so yum! Especially the desserts. Lemon Ice Box Pie, Im salivating think about it now. Now, this says a lot considering that I got food poisoning later that night from Emerils. Yes that sucked, no it didn't last long.

After dindin we went to The Lion King play. I had seen it before in Toronto, and this was just as great. It was fun to experience it with Brian. haha Not to get into too much detail, I will just say that there were a lot of cheering for the animals going on. Brian knows what I mean.

DAY 4. We planned to leave early and go to the temple in Baton Rouge on the way home. Because I am so awesome and plan things out so great... turns out you can only go once a day, at 7pm. So what are we going to do all day now? We took our time heading out and went out for Mexican again. It was still so good.

Then we headed up the road to one of the many plantations that are along the Mississippi. It was really pretty, and old, and huge. However, it was not worth 40 dollars for the tour. But of course because we are who we are, we have too much fun everywhere we go!

Finally, we arrived at the highlight of the trip. The Baton Rouge Temple. Please notice Brians great Sunday attire... shorts and a plaid shirt. Once we were almost there, we realized we had left his clothes in the closet. Classic.

And then we drove home until 4am. I really enjoyed sleeping the night away in the backseat of the accord, WITH my ear plugs in. Oh, I cant wait until next year when I can put those ear plugs back in.

Happy 7th hun! New Orleans was another fabulous trip to add to our list!!