Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last one

Okay, this will be the last post.  Maggie is sleeping so I will try to get it all done.  Of course, you are reading this one first, so this is the first I guess.  No pictures with this one but I have to tell you the story of our trip home.  First off, Tyler said something really sweet.  Eric asked him if he got everything he wanted for Christmas.  Tyler thought for a second then said, "Umm, all I really wanted for Christmas was my family."  How sweet is that.  Well, now we know that next year we don't have to get him any gifts except the pleasure of our company.  I'll let you know how that goes over...  Anyway, on to our trip home.  We decided to brave it all in one day--head to St. George, the halfway point, in the morning, spend a few hours at Gpa Swenson's house there, then finish the trip at night.  So, the first half went great.  We headed off for the second leg of our journey and all was well until we got to Vegas where it was a parking lot.  We then remembered why we originally were going to leave on Saturday--traffic.  Anyone who lives west of Vegas knows that every Sunday evening there is horrendous traffic from Vegas all the way to LA--all the people going home from their Sin City weekends.  And you can imagine how much worse this was on a holiday.  So, we decide to give it a chance and if it was still bad in Primm we would get a hotel room for the night.  Well, it didn't get better--it got worse.  It took us 1 1/2 hours to from Jean to Primm (normally a 20 minute drive).  It was miserable.  We FINALLY get to Primm and stop at Terrible's casino/hotel.  We go inside and there is an hour wait just to get a room!  So I had to feed Maggie while I was sitting, fully clothed, on a toilet in the restroom (gross) where she has a big blowout poop.  All over her back and outfit.  Luckily I had a spare outfit in the diaper bag.  We hadn't brought any luggage in because it was buried and stuffed in the back of the car.  So I get her set, we get a room (at least it was only $35) and head to the buffet for dinner.  Well, let me just say that Terrible's buffet suits its name.  Ugh!  They had no selection at all, and what they did have was almost inedible.  It was the first time in my life I haven't overeaten at a buffet.  So, we disappointedly went back to our room, got ready for bed and tried and tried to get the boys to sleep.  Tyler finally fell asleep but Jacob was crazy!  He would not go to sleep!  Finally we got everyone to sleep around 10 or 11 pm.  Maggie was in the bed with me and Eric and woke up an hour later to eat.  Meanwhile I developed a migraine.  Throughout the next few hours Maggie ate, Jacob fell out of bed and hit his head and finally at 5 a.m. Tyler woke up and had wet the bed.  At that point we cut our losses, got up and left for home.  I felt like we were the Klampetts take Primm!  We made it home finally (no traffic at 6 a.m.) to a house that had no water! I guess our little pipe outside had frozen--no shower, no drinking water, no toilets!  To make a long story short (too late I know) we finally got it fixed about 4 hours later.  Phew!  What a day!  Now Craig and Sharee and visiting for a couple days and hopefully we can avoid any further catastrophes.  We hope you all had a great Christmas!

More More Christmas Fun

Maggie says Merry Christmas!
Here she is in her swing--she got hold of her thumb in her mouth and fell asleep!  Not very gracefully though.
And here is Tyler after eating a cookie with green icing.  Yuck.  It looks like paint!  And below is Grandma with most of her grandkids (we miss you Nate and Josh!) in their new Christmas pj's.  
See, Eric really is a doctor...

More Christmas Fun

Eric sledding with the kids...Jake is on the left and Tyler is on the right.  His cousins San and Ben are in-between.  Eric also took the kids sledding with Uncle Cory's 4 wheelers.  Jacob loved it.  His new thing is shouting, "Woo Hoo!" in a sing song voice when he gets something good like fruit snacks.  He kept shouting that over and over, "Woo hoo!  Woo hoo!"  So funny.
And here is Christmas Eve in their new pj's from Grandma Swenson.  This is one of many many many attempts at getting a picture where they all look decent.  Those of you with multiple children know what I mean.  I gets exponentially more difficult each time you add just one!  My kids will be cute as buttons until it's picture time, then they get crazy.  It's like the post office...my kids always go crazy at the post office!
Christmas morning--Tyler got a Star Wars spaceship and Bakugan balls among other less interesting things.
And here is Dr. Jacob with his new medical kit.  Yep, I think he's ready for surgery.  Now we just need a patient...any volunteers?

Here is Jacob sledding--they all had so much fun.  Eric us such a great dad.  It was freezing outside and snowing but he stayed out for a long time and helped them all sled and even built a fort with Tyler and cousin Ben.  Below is the picture of Jacob trying to catch up to all the others shouting, "Wait for me guys!"

Here is Maggie sleeping...now why doesn't she do that at night?!?
And her Christmas shirt.  Get a good look people, I washed it and the red bled all over the white so she won't be wearing it again!  Oh well, at least she got to wear it on her first Christmas!

Christmas Fun

Okay, my picture are all crazy--these first few take place after the bottom few.  I just had to show a picture of my boys' new favorite activity--kung fu, or kung poo as Jacob calls it.  They run around constantly doing their kung fu moves...thanks Kung Fu Panda movie....Just a cute pic of the boys--
And here is what Jake did when I asked him to smile the first time....
There was so much snow in Utah--it kept snowing and snowing and snowing.  I am resolved that if I ever live in a place where it snows I will get a heated driveway--it would be hard on Eric to have to shovel snow all the time  ;)   But the boys had a blast.  Poor Jacob was up to his thighs in snow.  The other boys would run ahead of him and he was like the kids in "A Christmas Story" movie who could barely walk.  He would trudge through saying, "Wade fo meee!"  Translation, "Wait for me!"  It made me laugh!
Could this picture have turned out any better?  What a cute kid.

Here is the starting point--this pic of me on my wedding day.  When we first got to the Swenson's house in Utah Tyler saw this picture of me hanging on the wall.  He asked, "Mom, is that you?  You look SO beautiful."  Then he paused and said, "But....you look way gooder now."  I knew I loved Tyler!  Here is also a picture of Maggie's first smile!  We were so excited.  And yes, that is a huge bug above her head--don't worry...it's plastic.  I will have to photoshop it out or something.  Too bad I didn't notice when I took the picture.  Actually, just to show you how obsessed I am with my beautiful daughter (I can't stop looking at her), I didn't even notice the giant bug about to eat her face until my mother pointed it out!  Okay, I guess I should be more observant!

The rest of the pictures were taken on Maggie's blessing day.  Sharee (grandma) bought her that beautiful dress.  She looked so pretty in it.  Eric gave her a beautiful blessing.  It was nice to have a lot of family there.  As you can see, Tyler was a very proud big brother.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Magster

First off...nothing like snow on a palm tree!Okay, quit hounding me people--here are a couple pics of Maggie (or, The Magster as Tyler nicknamed her).  

Isn't she getting big?  We love her so much, but mommy can't wait until she starts sleeping through the night!  ZZZZZzzzzzz..........

Snow Much Fun

One last post before we head to Utah for Christmas.....Here are some pics of the boys playing in the snow.  This is where Jake ended up...after his feet got too cold (he doesn't have boots)...He actually loved it--he stayed in there playing for over an hour.  Of course after I had to readjust the seat, turn the headlights off, find all the loose change thrown around the car and wipe handprints off the windshield.   Thank goodness that you can't put a car in gear without pushing on the brake or I think we'd have had an adventure!Tyler's snow angel.  He doesn't have snow clothes either so his jeans were sopping wet after playing in the snow for 2 hours.  He didn't mind though.  When I took his jeans off at home his legs were bright pink!
Tyler showing off his kung fu skills (we've recently purchased the Kung Fu Panda movie) on some big snowballs.  Hi-ya!
Jacob and his snowman that mommy helped him build--talk about a great mom...I didn't even have gloves on!  The things we do for our kids...brrr!  Of course, the lack of gloves is why it is such a small snowman....we just told Jakie we were making one his size...
Before the feet got frozen....
And the best part is, it is snowing again today!  I feel like we are in Utah already!

The Original Gift

I just watched a Christmas video about the birth and life of the Savior (thanks to a reconnection with an old friend) and it really touched me.  As I watched the baby Jesus in the video, I looked at my own little Maggie.  I thought about not only all the wonderful things Christ did for us in his life, but what Heavenly Father did for us.  I look at my children and ponder about what it would have been like for Heavenly Father.  To have your only child born on earth, to bring joy to the world, but knowing that he would be scorned, persecuted and crucified.  Knowing that you could stop it at any time but holding yourself back as you watch horrible things happening to your child, so that you could save the rest of mankind.  I look at Maggie's little face, and think of the Savior as a little baby and I know that I could not have made that sacrifice.    But I am so grateful that Heavenly Father did.  As hard as it must have been for Him,  and I feel an incredible responsibility to not waste that gift given to me. 
    I hope that this holiday season, and all year long, we can remember the original gift and the sacrifice it took so that we never take for granted that incredible blessing.  I want to quote Melvin J. Ballard: "He had the power to save and He loved His son, and He could have saved Him.  He might have rescued him from the insult of the crowds.  He might have rescued him when the crown of thorns was placed upon his head.  He might have rescued him when the son...was mocked...He saw that son condemned; he saw him drag the cross through the streets...He saw the son finally upon Calvary; He saw his body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet....and let out the life's blood of His Only Begotten Son...He looked on all that with grief and agony over His Beloved Child....In that hour I think I can see our dear Father...looking upon these dying struggles...His great heart almost breaking for the love that He had for His son.  Oh in that moment when He might have saved His son, I thank Him and praise Him that He did not fail us...I rejoice that He did not interfere, and that His love for us made it possible for Him to endure to look upon the sufferings of His only begotten son and give him finally to us, our Savior..."  I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may the spirit of the season stay with us all year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it Snow!

Here are a few more pics of the snow.  It seems to be tapering off now and melting a little, but the final tally looks to be about 4" at least.  Hooray!  Merry Christmas to us!

Christmas Miracles!

You will never believe.....   It's a Christmas Miracle!
Who would have thought, snow at Fort Irwin!  It is Christmas miracle #1.  I took these pictures about an hour ago and it hasn't stopped snowing every since--there is probably over an inch of snow on the ground!  We will have to have the boys play outside after school--even though they don't have snow clothes.    Next is a silly picture of Maggie--she looks kind of funny but look...she's walking!
Okay, my pictures are out of order, but here are the boys outside before school trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues--this is before it started sticking to the ground...  They loved it--I know they will be so excited in Utah!
And our 2nd Christmas miracle--Tyler got a special phone call yesterday from Santa Claus!  We didn't get a chance to go see Santa this year but he did make an appearance at our branch Christmas party.  Unfortunately he left after only a minute or two--he's a busy man this time of year--so Tyler didn't get to talk to him.  He was so sad, I felt so bad.  So I called in a favor to the big man himself and he gave Tyler a call...   Tyler had a huge grin on his face the whole time!  It's just too bad daddy wasn't home to see it.... but we told him all about it.  ;)  By the way, Tyler's lips are blue because he was eating a blue candy cane.  
One funny thing Tyler said last night--he didn't eat all his dinner but wanted a cookie.  I told him he had to finish his food if he wanted a cookie.  He looked at me with an exasperated expression and said, "But mom, I'm not hungry for dinner, I'm hungry for cookies."  Duh, mom.  Moms just don't understand.....

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Well, as you can see we had a pickle-tastrophe.  Let me start at the beginning...first there was Tyler, sweet little Tyler who I managed to do great with.  Time to play with him, sleep when he sleeps, limit tv time and play games with to stimulate his growing brain.  Then there was Jacob.  Ah, Jacob, the screamer.  So, Tyler got  little more tv time which I felt okay about because I was just trying to survive Jacob's first year.  Now Jacob is very sweet, stubborn, but sweet.  He always makes us laugh.  I still had time to play with them, but now comes Maggie.  Everyone says to sleep when the baby sleeps, well, that works in theory but when you have multiple children it just isn't going to happen.  Television has become a babysitter and go-gurts my snack of choice.  Maggie's sleep time is my time to get the boys and myself dressed, eat food and then before I know it she is awake again.  So fatigue is an issue, all mothers know what I mean.  But the biggest change is simple math--I am outnumbered now.  And my older kids are smart.  It took only a matter of days before they realized that when mommy is feeding Maggie, she doesn't get up!  So Maggie's mealtimes are a free for all in my house.  The boys get into the fridge (hence the pickle disaster--Jacob tried to carry a brand new jar of pickles over to me, but didn't make it very far, so I stop feeding Maggie to clean up.  I've got Maggie screaming, me sopping up pickle juice and Jacob trying to pick up pickles amid all the broken glass to eat them).  The boys also fight, get into everything and more when I am nursing.  I threaten them with time-outs but it loses it's effectiveness when I shout it (quietly shouting because I've got Maggie) from the other room.  I say, "Go to time out."  They reply, "Ummmm, no."  SO what do I do?  Every parent knows consistency is key, so I am consistent in that I let it go.  I have learned to stop threatening time outs and generally let them destroy themselves for the half hour I am glued to the sofa.  Then I clean up the mess.  Ah, adventures in mothering.  It is not for the faint of heart....  I only fear what happens with 4 kids.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Family Fun

Maggie is definitely awake more now, as you'll see here.  She is a decent baby, but has a few fussy periods.  She still wakes up a lot at night so I am tired!  The first week or two was actually okay...I guess I was running on endorphins or something, but now I am exhausted!  The boys adore her though...I drove Tyler to the bus stop about a week ago an he got out of the car and brought all his friends over.  He opened Maggie's door and stood in the doorway, announced to everyone that this is his baby sister Maggie and they all took turns, one at a time, stepping up onto the running board and looking at her--there were 6 or 7 kids!  Tyler was like a tour guide or something.  It was so funny and sweet.  
I love girl clothes!  They are so much cuter than boy clothes.  When I had just the boys I used to tell myself I thought boy clothes were cuter....but I was fooling myself!  Now that I can actually buy girl clothes and have a reason to look at them I can objectively say they are way cuter!  Of course my babies almost live in sleep n' play outfits for the first couple months, but even they are cuter!
Here's a pic of Daddy holding his little girl.  So far Maggie is a daddy's girl.  She loves to be held by him, as you can see it calms her down...
We had to buy a few items so took a trip out to Victorville over Thanksgiving weekend (the closest place to do any real shopping besides a ghetto Walmart in Barstow).  We went to Supertarget and I lost track of the boys for a minute in the sporting goods section and this is what I found.  They put the helmets on themselves (note Jake's is on backwards) and were rolling baseballs to each other.  They looked so funny I had to snap a picture...   This next shot is from the weekend too--we went to the drive-in movie in Barstow to see Bolt but stopped for dinner before we went.  At the restaurant Eric noticed some toys in Jacob's pocket.  So he started taking them out.  He took out a toy, then another, and another and another and on and on...until finally, 15 toys later, there were no more.  We were laughing so hard I was almost crying.  As you can see, Jacob was very proud of his stash and made us put them all back in his pockets.....and then I did the laundry the next day and of course forgot all the toys were in there.  Luckily no damage done, but I remember thinking how loud the dryer was--it was all the toys banging around.  I guess I need to be better about checking pockets--with my kids I am sure I'll find a dead frog or something in my washer someday!