Friday, April 19, 2013

Swing Set Insanity

We've been dreaming of getting the kids a swingset for about a year now.  Luckily, the government gave us some of our money back (thank you tax return) and we were able to splurge for one (thank you Sam's Club).

We looked forward to the day of purchase for quite some time.  For some reason we decided to do it on a Friday RIGHT after Daddy got off work, and RIGHT before Grandma Bell came up to visit for Conference weekend.  Oh yeah, and it was April which means forecasted rain for 95% of the available days we had to set it up.  What were we thinking?  Oh yeah, we weren't.  I often live vicariously through my kiddos and this purchase was no exception.  I was a giddy little school girl dreaming about watching them play on it while I relaxed on the lawn chair in the back yard.  I just didn't realize it would take two weeks before I could live that dream.  Two weeks of late evenings, day prepping supplies, and building a huge apparatus with two kids hanging off of us and wanting to be in everything we did.

Grandma Bell did provide lots of support when it came to entertaining the kids for those first two days.  We also only worked in two hour increments since it was conference weekend and we wanted to catch those sessions....or a quick nap DURING those sessions...whoopsie!

The rest of the set-up stretched out over the remaining two weeks.  Actually, it was pretty fun putting it together.  It allowed my OCD tendencies to surface and I was able to basically instruct John on what piece of wood went where and with what screw and bam....he screwed it in.  He was the physical labor, I was the mental labor.  We made very few mistakes if you must know.  However, the tricky part was trying to be a Mother to the kids during the process.  Jonas fell off the trampoline more times than I'd like to admit and also splashed in the mud the same amount of times as well.  But, they've both mastered raising themselves (for the most part) in the backyard and that is a huge blessing in disguise.  

And the end results?  Beautiful.  Gorgeous.  Done. Finally.  It was worth it to see the smiles on their faces.  Poor Addison was losing patience with the process since she knew what the end result was.  Jonas probably just figured Daddy and I were playing with sticks for two weeks straight so he had no patience to lose.  Every day I had to reassure Addison that it would indeed get finished....but not that particular day.  Thankfully the day came and they loved it.  We still go out and play on it almost permitting.  And if/when we ever move from this house, this thing is coming with us.  I see happy days in the hot sun with a pregnant Momma in our future.  Yay for swing sets!

The start of the process.  This was the beginning of chaos.  Luckily my OCD tendencies shined through and I was able to organize all these parts after two days of digging to find what we needed and where.
Making heads and tails of the instruction manual.  It wasn't too difficult to figure out...thankfully.

Happy kids on a finished swing set.  We were smiling just as me!
These people aren't as cute as us obviously but this is the only "full photo" I could find of the finished product.  Thankful our finished product looks ALMOST like this one!  ;o)

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I just wanted to put up a quick post about how thoughtful Addison can be.  I've noticed it here and there and really feel like I should blog about it and document it.  Sure, she has her lovely three-year old tantrums...quite often actually....but I'm fully expecting that to fade away once she turns four.  However, I highly doubt her thoughtfulness and consideration will ever fade away.  It's just who she is.  And I'm very grateful for that quality in her.

With this pregnancy, like the others before, I've had my bout of gagging.  Honestly, it lasts throughout the whole pregnancy.  Anything that smells foul will have me coughing or gagging.  Usually it's an "unproductive" gag (ifyaknowwhatimean ;) but it's still not fun.  

Apparently, Addison has known this and been aware all along the way.  Most of the time she seems to be the only one who actually seems concerned about me gagging.  Which is more than I can say for Daddy (thank you John! ;).  Anyway, ever since I can remember, she has always gone out of her way to help me not gag, or encourage me along the way.  For awhile lately, we've had to help her wipe her bum when she goes poop on the potty.  Mostly to just ensure it's ALL off.  And just like all of us, that cute little girly can really stink up a bathroom.  However, when she's requesting a wipe she'll politely flush the toilet (while she's sitting on it) so the stinkies are long gone when I arrive.  Or else she'll warn me of the smell before I get there. Or she'll apologize or say something like "it smells stinky in here Mommy, be careful".   It breaks my heart that she's apologizing for it.  I've never once made it a big deal.  I always just hold my breath, do my job, and leave like nothing happened.  She's just a thoughtful little girly.

And she is very helpful when Jonas has a stinky of his own.  When I'm feeling like being lazy, she'll bring me a diaper and wipes and I'll just change the guy on the couch.  She'll promptly take the stinky diaper (usually before I can gag) and haul it off to the diaper pail.  While changing his diaper today she even said "Don't frow up Mommy, just try your hardest!"  It's hilarious and adorable and sweet all at the same time.  She's such a thoughtful girl for only being three years old.  

Sometimes when the days of being a stay-at-home Mommy seem long or unglamorous, I wonder if/when my children will ever be aware of all that I sacrifice for them.  In the moment, I try to convince myself it will be YEARS down the road before they actually "get it".  However, after typing this post, I realize that I have a sweet little three year old girl that does understand and appreciate my efforts.  How lucky am I?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Three Year Old Fun

I need to post this before my pregnancy brain forgets.  I'm trying to document more of our life on this blog....especially since Instagram seems to be my "go-to" when it's discussing these cute kiddos and all the things we do.

However, I must first preface this by saying one particular "cute kiddo" was being ANYTHING but cute in this story.  At least in the beginning.

This past weekend, we spent driving through Missouri and attending two of my family's baby blessings.  My niece, Lydia and nephew, Jase were born only 4 days apart from each other and thus their thoughtful Momma's doubled up their blessing days to save us from an extra drive to KC.  They've done this once before with their last set of kids....also born very close together.  I try not to speculate exactly how they've managed to family plan so closely but I am amazed.  They are a close bunch I guess.

Anyway, the weekend was great and there was tons of cousin fun to be had.  John and I also had a chance to enjoy a visit to the KC Temple.  It was so nice to have others watch/entertain our kids.  For a bit there it was like we were living a kid-less life again.  (It was kinda nice...not gonna lie).  However, Saturday evening soon reminded us we had of them being a 3 year old that likes to throw fits.  In all honesty, it was a crazy busy weekend of fun and sleep deprived/off schedule kiddos.  I blame most of it on tiredness but it was still unpleasant.  We had headed down to a family picnic about 30 minutes away.  There was going to be an egg hunt and pizza and a park and cousins.  The perfect ingredients for a grand time for the kiddos.  Somewhere along the way Addison decided to begin her fit.  It was precisely right when we buckled her up to leave.  Screaming, flailing, yelling, tears, it was ugly folks.  And John and I were both convinced we could actually "make her be quiet"....ahhh how soon I'm reminded that isn't possible.  At times like these part of me wishes we spanked our kids but then the other part of me realizes that if I did....I wouldn't stop.  It was that frustrating folks.  Finally about 5 minutes into the drive John and I resorted to a more humorous approach.....with a side of ignoring the tantrum behavior.  It still ensued but we chose to listen to music and laugh with each other to make it a little more bearable.  Poor Jonas was such a trooper....apparently he's had experiencing dealing with her behavior too.  He dealt with it better than we even did.  Just sat there like nothing was any different than a typical day/routine.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to listen to the screaming tantrum for the WHOLE drive.  Thirty minutes of painful, ear-piercing, noise that we were supposed to be tuning out.  Instead we sat there amazed at her determination and stubbornness and speculated as to where it came from.....while chuckling under our breath and discussing the consequences that awaited her when we arrived.

Less than 5 minutes from our destination the screaming finally subsided and was replaced with her singing 'Jingle Bells' through sniffling tears.  We both looked at each other and didn't quite know what to do.  When she finished she quietly said "Let's try this again..." and started into a personal rendition of 'Frosty the Snowman'.  It was hilarious and shocking and surprising.  Kudos to her for finally deciding that her original approach wasn't working and her determination to change-it-up.  We all joined her in singing and were so glad our ears finally got the reprieve.  By the time we pulled up to the park, she knew full well that consequences were still coming her way.  She took them like a champ, accepted them, and quietly sat in time-out and helped clean up the van mess she had made.  Then she was able to join in the fun and ended up having a great night after that.

It's amazing how quickly hearts can be softened (hers and ours).  I'm so glad Addison was able to change her fit into a happy song and was willing to accept her consequences.  As much as she can give us fits, she is such a good girl and knows full well when she has to pay the price for the said fit.  She is learning and we are too.  I'm still glad I don't spank my kids - even though it's so tempting at times.  I'm excited to see the progress she has been making in the tantrum department.  I think we are seeing the sunshine on the horizon on this crazy thing they call three year olds.