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Sunday, April 19, 2009

A week of ups and downs

Dear Friends and Family,

Lots of good things this week and a bunch of bad ones. The story of our lives, it seems. It was spring break so kids were very excited to be out of school. Monday we schmoozed around the house, played with friends and enjoyed the sunshine. The rest of the week looked like this:

Tuesday was rainy and by Wednesday we were a winter wonderland! But by Friday it was melting and Saturday we spent the day working on the yard.

For Spring break we really were a bunch of lazy slobs, sleeping in every morning till 8 at least. Allison by Friday was not moving till 10 am. and then thought she should stay in PJs and eat cereal from a box even longer. It was a good reminder to myself of what to gear up for with summer. Monday evening the girls helped me set up for an old ladies' luncheon put on by the stake. It brought back memories as they "rode" on the serving cart passing out the salt and pepper shakers and laying out the silverware upside down. Tuesday I took them all grocery shopping and realized that yes I can do this! Spencer pushed Taylor, Allison entertained Robyn while I manned the cart and tried to prevent too many "want to have it junk foods" from making it into the cart. We all celebrated the realization that we could go grocery shopping for the week together by getting sodas afterwards. It sounds like such a small outing but I am pretty wimpy and for me it was huge. Wednesday we had the cousins over for a play day - all had a good time. Thursday we headed to the children's museum. Robyn loves it, Allison thinks its OK and Spencer thinks he needs to do something more grown-up. So he chased Robyn around with a camera for me. He thought that was fun and tried to be a spy while doing it. One of his picts:

Friday we headed to the zoo once the snow melted. With the cold weather the place was pretty deserted. Spencer tried to have some "this isn't cool enough" attitude:

But he couldn't help cheering up with the sun and the animals:

The girls were in heaven, especially Robyn who walked everywhere despite me pushing the big double stroller. Allison realized when she got out of the car that she hadn't brought a sweatshirt despite me asking her to bring one several times. So she froze not wanting to wear mine because she didn't think it was cool enough. But then she got cold enough or enough self confidence to think it might look neat after all. Where do they get these self-esteem issues? Not like I with my buck teeth and coke bottle glasses and early height and boobs EVER struggled with those!

I was reminded that you cannot seriously walk by a carausel with a 3 year old and not give her a ride. While putting her on her grasshopper I got a close look at the side of her head and realized her hair wasn't tucked behind her ear - it just wasn't there!

After I had done her hair and was running on the treadmill she took scizzors to herself and Rocky. Found clumps of hair hidden by the back door when we got home that afternoon. Robyn obviously was not phased by my scolding:

That night I tried to trim it. Couldn't decide which was worse short all over or mullet style instead. So I did the very short, can you tell its a girl type haircut. Pretty sad.

I am going to invest in some big headbands and bows this week and hope I can keep them in her hair.

One of the big downs this week was finishing up all our taxes and having to write enormous checks and watching our hard won savings go down. And then having to prepay next year's taxes for the first quarter. Just very hard to do.

One of the big ups is that we got our new van. Its a metallic slate green (it really looks more like a light blue) Honda Odyssey. Our kids were almost more excited than I was. It has a DVD player in it so our 2 trips to SLC were one of the highlights of the week. Even Taylor chirps away in his new big captain chair and Spencer is enjoying not being drooled on.

Saturday we worked at cleaning the yard. Jeremy labored on the lawn which can no longer could be called flat as mowing feels more like you're walking on a roller coaster. He scraped up all the dead pee spots from Rocky, shaking his head. That night for our date after the temple we went out and bought these supplements that are supposed to help. See if our lawn improves. I am trying to focus on how many weeds we have pulled out instead of looking at how many are left. It just felt so good to be outside again and have the faint sunburn on the head to prove it.

Robyn has her ups and downs with the whole toilet training. She will do great for a couple of days and then have several "accidents" requiring me to do loads of laundry and crawl around on the floor sniffing to find the pee spots versus the tea set got dumped out spots. Not my finest moments. Kayla informed me that her mom never gets mad at her when she pees on the carpet. Since I swear Robyn does it on purpose sometimes, I felt like my anger was justified but decided I better tone it down if my neice if lecturing me on it! I just keep trying and assume someday it will all click.

Allison has another loose tooth, has a new set of American Girl doll books to read from the library and amazes me with her ability to tune the world out when she reads (wonder where she gets that from?). She built a snowman Wednesday for us.

Spencer has had a super up day today bringing me flowers and random hugs. Makes up for the down days earlier! He wants so hard to do grown-up, cool things. We went to the library Monday and he only wanted to check out the adult mystery section - everything else was too "babyish". So he is reading a collection of Agatha Christie books and the like. See if he realizes the young adult/junior section really is more his speed. I remember at the age reading all the Alfred Hitchcock books in the library so it must be something about 4th grade. This week reminds me I need to work on the idea of toning down the neediness. Seriously hours will go by where he has not left my side and just want to constantly talk, ask questions etc. Its great for a while but after a few hours you just hide in the toilet and tell him he can't talk to you for a few minutes till you come out. So he sits on the floor outside, tapping his feet, just waiting! Need to build up my patience I guess.

Taylor has been happy and cheerful since the sun came out Friday and visibly perks up when we go outside.

Jeremy had a city ask to use one of his rodeo pictures for their city rodeo publicity which I thought was cool. He was able to go help out with a photo class this week which he enjoyed. Tonight watching him make a fire for the kids' to do s'mores and then helping them dunk the basketball just reminded me of how much he tries to balance everything out. A hard job sometimes around here. Saturday Jeremy tried to take pictures of the girls for a project Christina was working on. Allison was especially ornery about being too big to dress up like a fairy and Robyn tried to copy her attitude. But I thought he did amazingly well considering the attitudes he was working with. You can see the pictures here:

My life is just keeping on top of everyone else's and periodically sneaking away to eat chocolate and read a chapter or two of a new book. I ran to Jeremy's office yesterday to meet everyone to clean it. It felt so good to be able to run outside although today I can't touch my toes - muscles are a little tight. This coming Saturday Allison and I are running a 5k for her school. See how it goes. And the best news for the end is that Meredith is going to be staying around for another year!! Yeah, we are all doing happy dances.

A few more pictures and love to you all, Heather

Robyn at the city easter egg hunt. Jeremy was with the big kid section.

Dying easter eggs. Went extremely fast. Next year I need to come up with some more elaborate designs so the process takes longer


Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Hall said...

*mild laughter*
Sorry to hear about the attitudes, they *will* grow out of them though, you both have the love and patience to get through this. (Yes, even Jer has the patience, honest!)

As for Alison being too big to dress up as a fairy, the folks up here just laugh at that. We had a fairy festival at the local mall and there were literally hundreds of all ages dressed up!

The Skeehan Family said...

First off, I am laughing because I told Dan the other day when I went to the grocery store with Claire that I know once baby number 2 comes along I'll reminisce about how easy it was to go to the store with "just Claire," but right now even that is hard sometimes! And so seriously, FOUR kids in the grocery store is NO. SMALL. FEAT. You deserve fun sodas, hopefully from Chevron so that you can put the flavor syrups in them :)

I can't remember what age appropriate these books are but I LOVED the Boxcar children series - too young for Spencer?

And the pixie cut is much cuter than you think.

And, your Easter pictures are just lovely - please tell Allison she gets more beautiful every picture I see of her.