Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yearly Review

In 2014:

We had between 1 and 4 extra members of our household for 11 of 12 months and a dog that wasn't ours for almost 4 months.
We made 3 trips to Utah, each lasting no more than 2.5 days, including travel. (One 90th birthday, one family reunion, one wedding)
We made one overnight trip to New Mexico. (Another wedding)
We had to skip out on our gardening adventures for the first time in eight years.

Isaac finished kindergarten and moved on to first grade. He discovered he loves creative writing and has natural talent in both music and art.
Jon started preschool and is reading up a storm! He continues to be creative in his engineering feats, which is both exciting and frustrating to his parents.
Kai learned to run early and hasn't slowed down. He (and, as a result, the rest of the family) struggles with a rather intense sleep disorder, very similar to Isaac's at that age. We're all hoping we can achieve a resolution to the problem in 2015.
Robyn has continued to teach piano and voice lessons as time and energy allow. She is grateful for understanding students! She was called as Relief Society 2nd Counselor in June and LOVES the opportunity to serve the women in our ward.
Mark continued to heal from the car accident and has seen complete healing of almost all of his symptoms as of about June. He quit his dead-end job and was unemployed for 7 weeks before landing his current (awesome) job. He also underwent LASIK surgery and is quite happy with the results. He was called as the Elders Quorum 1st Counselor in October and is enjoying his work there. He also serves as the PTA treasurer at Isaac's school - an  opportunity which has been nice to have, and will be nice to end as well.

To sum it all up: In 2014, we're exhausted, but happy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mommy School & Science Museum

We've been even busier than usual lately. (maybe it's the holidays?) One of the lame things about sleep deprivation is memory loss. I couldn't tell you most of what we've been up to... Luckily, I have a few pictures to jog my memory!

I was desperate for something the two boys at home could enjoy together. Jon REALLY wanted to go to the science museum, but we've been too busy. We got creative, and made a couple of our own "exhibits" modeled after the museum's Discovery Zone. Jon's favorite was the water play area. 

Kai enjoyed digging for dinosaurs in the rice bucket. I had a little extra vacuuming to do afterward, but it was totally worth it! 
Mark had LASIK last week, and his appointment happened to be close to the museum, so we dropped him off and went to play. All the boys wanted to do was hang out in the building area. They have these really cool new blocks made out of bamboo rings and felt. The boys weren't that interested. I could've played with them longer!
Mark's recovery has been pretty easy, all things considered. He's had to cram in some extra time at work this week, which hasn't helped him rest any, but the doctor said everything looked good at his 1 week appointment. He only did one eye, so now we're looking at getting the other one done next year. The whole idea of someone cutting my eye freaks me out, so I'm happy to let him be our guinea pig. 
Isaac finished Creative Writing Club and came home dejected. We're making a prompt jar so he can keep writing on his own. I'm so glad he was able to do the club though, since he HATED writing last year. The experience really helped him learn to enjoy it. 
I'm finishing up Jon's school application. I can't believe he'll be in kindergarten soon! He has really taken off with his reading, and he teaches himself new sight words without telling me. I think he just gets a kick out of surprising me. (He just acts like it's no big deal though)
Kai is... acting like a preteen girl. One minute he's happy scrappy, and the next minute he's sobbing. I guess this is how he is transitioning into those Terrible Twos. When I took him in for a checkup last week, he still hadn't broken 20 pounds. He's in the 3rd percentile for weight and 7th for height. He's just a bitty guy! The doctor isn't worried, but I don't like that he hasn't gained any weight in 6-9 months. (He can still get away with some 9-12 month clothes!) I'm pretty sure he could eat me out of house and home though, so we're okay there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Family

Mark's stepdad made this really cool Nativity puzzle. The boys LOVE it!  I thought Isaac was just doing the puzzle the other morning, but he got really excited to show me what he'd discovered. He pointed out that when flipped different directions, the pieces make letter-like shapes. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the original intent of the designer, but it is pretty darn cool!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Surprise!

Sometimes my kids leave me surprises. The other night, I discovered Jon's gift of an onion - all peeled and ready to go - on my bedroom floor.
Sometimes I wish they'd surprise me by vacuuming instead.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ABQ and Thanksgiving

We survived yet another whirlwind road trip! This time, we zipped down to Albuquerque to attend Mark's cousin's wedding. Somehow, we escaped without pictures. We're really good at that... The ceremony was lovely, and the decorations were amazing (his cousin is an artist, and that totally came through). Her husband just came here from Brazil, so they had some awesome Brazilian food at the reception. My kids were pretty happy. We got to see Grandpa and Grandma Bailey, which is a pretty rare treat. Kent and Paula made it too - we haven't seen them in two years, and we've missed them!
The drive down was warm and smooth, but the trip home was horrible! We hit snow, broke our windshield, and had to stop for new wipers. Luckily, Mark is good at keeping his cool in bad road conditions, so we made it home just fine.
The week before the wedding, Mark and Kai both got sick. Really sick. Nobody else seems to have caught it, and I am so glad!

Thanksgiving was uneventful, which was really nice! Isaac was a fabulous helper this year, and chopped potatoes like a pro! It was just us and Mike, so we ate and played in the backyard. Isaac was especially happy to get to play soccer. The boys made turkeys from some craft supplies Grandma Bailey had given them (I helped Kai little). Mark had been up with Kai all night, so he took a nap (he just didn't make it past the kitchen floor first).

Since the first weekend in October, we've been trying a rather extreme elimination diet to try to help Kai sleep. At first, it was awesome! For four glorious days, he slept through the night! We've never been able to replicate that though. In fact, it just went back to almost as bad as before the diet. Our food budget and my stress levels were way too high to keep going with it, since the results just haven't justified the amount of work required.
I'm really discouraged at this point. Kai wakes up less now than he did 4 months ago, but we're still averaging 4 times a night and it still takes about 2-3 hours to put him down for bed. Our pediatrician told us to just put the crib in the basement and let him cry at sleep times, but after 36 hours with only 20 minutes of sleep and a baby who was hallucinating, we abandoned that idea. We're back to taking turns sleeping with Kai in his room, and just hoping he out grows this soon.

I'll post a bunch of Isaac's creative writing soon - the club ends in 2 weeks, but he's got a lot of good stuff right now!