Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Build a House

You can ask me how to build a house.  I am becoming an expert you know.  I just wanted to give a quick update on all things Swenson Residence.  After FINALLY getting the loan approved (being self-employed and building a home do not go together easily), we were able to get things rolling.  

We started with a big empty hole.
 Eric checked it out.  Yup, it's a hole. 
 Once we got the hole squared away, it was time for foundation.  Tyler had a little LEGO man in his hand when we went down to see it.  I told him to stick it in the cement and it would forever be a LEGO house, but I guess it was too cool a character to waste.  Silly me.
 Now on to the foundation walls!  It was awesome to watch guys frame it up and fill the concrete in.  I thought about asking to try to operate the crane thingy, but since I had to refer to it as a "thingy" I figured I better not.

 Once that was all done, it was time to set in the garage floor.  We excavated under the garage as a play room so are using a suspended slab floor for the garage.  The man doing it must have been annoyed with my questions making sure this will hold up under the weight of all the cars, etc (I don't want my kids being squished if it collapses), but he was very patient with me.  It was pretty awesome to watch.  They used a huge crane and lifted and placed each piece.  It only took them like half an hour to lay them in.  Good thing the foundation was measured right!  That would have been an expensive mistake!
 Here is the basement partially framed.  The basement is actual done being framed now and they are working on the upstairs exterior walls.  It is more fun because we are starting to see the actual shape of the house and how it will look from the outside.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures yet.  But there will be many more to follow!
It seems like it took forever to get things going with the plans and loan taking a while, but now that things are in motion it is really exciting.  Nerve wracking, but exciting.

Big Birthday Boy

Can you believe my baby is turning 4!!!  It's amazing how fast time has gone by these last few years.  Although I still feel a bit like a newcomer to Utah, Joey wasn't even crawling when we moved here.  The problem is that as he gets older, so do I.  My days of mothering babies are gone and I find myself missing times. Oh, I don't miss the hard stuff, like never getting any sleep or things like that, but I love holding sleeping babies, and the sweet spirit that they bring into the house.  Joey was a pretty good baby, although as a 2 and 3 year old he definitely gave me a run for my money!  I've learned a few things from my older three so have done a few things better (I hope) and of course, like us all, I've made a few mistakes.  I've made the mistake of letting him out of the shopping cart a few times; now keeping him contained when he knows freedom is so close is hard.  One thing I've learned is the magic of the word "maybe!"  "Can we get a treat after dinner?"  "Maybe!"  "Can we watch a movie tonight?"  "Maybe!"  "Can we go to Chuck E Cheese?"  "Maybe!"  No broken promises when things don't happen, and no reasons for screaming because you've left the box of possibility open!  My other favorite (with younger ones) is "Maybe for your birthday!"  That does work like a charm with Joey.  Either, if said with enough excitement and hope works like a charm...they won't even realize they got shut down!  But Joey has been so much fun, most of the time.  He has definitely been the most expensive of all my kids in regards to all the things he has broken, but he can make us laugh and laugh too.  It is so fun watching him grow up, and his little cheeser smile always makes my heart melt.  He loves to hang with his older brothers and tease his older sister.  What a boy--loves guns, rocks, dirt, trucks, anything manly.  Joey has taught me to not sweat the small stuff---and he's caused a lot of "small stuff."  I love having him in our family.

His party went well.  It was just family.  We had an Avengers theme--he's totally into the Avengers right now.  I didn't get any real pictures since I was just enjoying myself, but here he is with his dad opening presents.  
He wanted Avengers cupcakes so I delivered like the great mom I am.  He blew the candle out so fast I didn't even get a shot!  And just like Jacob used to be, he didn't want any cake or ice cream.  What a silly kid!
Joey loved his party, and it was so much fun.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Keep calm and...go to school!

This is an historic occasion people.  A day to be remembered in history, a day to be celebrated by generations to come.  Today is the day {pause for effect} that all 4 of my kids {one more pause for good measure} are in school!  [Background me]  Yes, Tyler in 6th grade, Jake in 3rd, Maggie in kindergarten and Joey in preschool!  Okay, so it may have been a stretch saying all my kids are "in school", but I will have a couple hours 3 times a week while Joey is in preschool that I can be childless.  Ah the freedom!  I'm most excited about the grocery store.  I made the "syntax error" (as Eric calls them) of letting Joey out of the cart to walk next to me at the store a while ago.  BIG MISTAKE.  Let me warn all you mothers of young 'uns to NEVER LET THEM WALK AT THE STORE unless you forever want it to be a battle of wills.  Once they taste the freedom they can't resist.  Strapping them in is futile--my kids could always climb out of those.  And even if you could strap them so tight they can't even breathe, you will still be listening to crying and whining the whole time.  Just trust me, don't do it.  Your kid won't be "different" or "better behaved."  You will just end up doing what I do and as your kids are running like wild animals down the aisles, you will look around with an expression on your face of, "Whose kids are those????"

But of course I do like to take credit for my kids when they are behaving.  Look at what a good looking bunch I've made (I guess Eric's genes helped too...)

Hooray for school!

I joke about things that are hard with kids, as most things are.  But with all the kids going to some type of school I have thought about things that are actually EASIER once you have kids....most things in life get quite a bit more difficult with the addition of little ones, but have no fear, there are a few things that actually get easier!

1-gaining weight.  And I'm not just talking pregnancy weight here.  It is WAY easier to put on some poundage once you have kids.  For starters there is less time to work out--it seems like no matter how early you try to get up, your kids beat you to it.  Plus snacking on their treats, finishing off their lunch plates, eating the crust you cut off their PBJ all adds up people.

2-It gets way easier to decline an invitation to an event you DO NOT want to go to (so many options here, no sitter, kids sick, etc)--note: this also works for leaving an event/meeting early, getting off an annoying phone call...same excuses

3-eating sugary cereals for breakfast--let's face it, without kids you don't often get to buy the cereals you secretly yearn for (cocoa puffs, lucky charms, cinnamon toast crunch), you feel obligated to purchase oat bran, muesli, all fiber because you are a mature adult.  But now with kids, sneaking a bowl of something yummy at night is pretty simple.  (Actually, I try to stay away from cereals that are really offensive [Captain Crunch] but the first ingredient in Cinnamon Toast Crunch is whole grain wheat...take that. 

4-It becomes way easier to ignore other people's annoying/crying kids--mostly because you are just so relieved that finally this once it isn't your own kid

5-be a little lazy--I know, you think I am crazy, but despite the fact that having kids takes SO much energy, it has it's built in perks to avoid doing at least a few of the little things you don't want to do--"Joey, go get mommy a tissue!" "Tyler let the dog out" "Maggie will you get mommy a pen?" etc.

6-It's easier to appreciate the little things--the last box of diapers you ever have to buy, the first day of school, when your kids tell you they love you when you tuck them in, when your 5th grader does his homework without being asked, when they put their cup in the dishwasher instead of just the sink (although at times I'm grateful for the sink instead of leaving it out on the counter), when they can finally dress themselves (matching is overrated), when you put them to bed and they actually stay in bed...  little things that mean a lot.

7-to find an excuse to stay in your sweats all we really need a reason?

8-to not judge other moms (you know, the way you did before you had kids) when their kids don't match, have messy hair, dirty clothes, snot on their face, scream in the store, you think to yourself that "My kids will NEVER (fill in the blank). Once you have kids it's no more -- we all know that we are all doing the best we can--its' tough out there!

9-it's easier to feel smart--your kids think you know everything, that's why they ask impossible questions...all the time.  We can feel intelligent helping them with their questions and homework.  That is until about 6th grade--but then we have the magic of the internet to look things up PLUS the ever favorite excuse of telling my kid to go back in their books and figure out how to do that algebra problem--he will learn it better by doing it himself.  

10-And finally it becomes so much easier to understand what true, unconditional, unfaltering, immense love is--who would have thought that someone so small could steal so much of your heart.

Sometimes parenting is "all joy and no fun", but it's the best worst time I've ever had.