Sunday, May 29, 2011

Move In

The past week has been mostly packed full of moving.  But after many long days and a whole lot of help from many friends, we are finally pretty much settled in our friends' lovely home.  They are wonderful, generous, people to have opened up their home to us like this.  We really have been soooo blessed for all the friends we have the privilege of knowing down here.  The girls are having a blast playing with their friends' toys all day and playing with all the animals.  They have 4 dogs, 2 cats, a bunny, and a bunch of chickens.  (Anyone who knows how I feel about dogs can sympathize with me on that account.  Luckily they are mostly outside dogs.  I can deal with that.)  They also have a couple acres, so the girls are able to go out and play on their own without my having to worry about traffic or strangers.  Princess M has been loving the freedom.

I've also joined a meal exchange group.  We had our first exchange last Friday.  It was great!  I took 2 freezer meals that we had already eaten a lot and gotten tired of, and 3 jars of the salsa I had made this week, and was able to trade them all for 2 new and different meals, a chef salad to go with them, and a berry pie.  The same amount of food that I came with, but all new and exciting things to try.  I think I'll make a few more meals and sides for next time.

Our choir sang today in Sacrament (my last time as the choir director in that ward).  We sang an arrangement of "Praise to the Man" that my brother put together.  We only had 2 people on each part (8 total in the choir) but it still sounded great; and we got a LOT of compliments on the piece afterwards.  (Thanks Don!)  It was a great way to end my career as a choir director.  Next week, we start attending the 2nd ward, which will be fun getting to know new people, but sad to leave behind the friends we've made in the 3rd ward.  I wonder how they'll put us to work here.  I definitely will be more dedicated to attending ward choir, now that I've been a director and know how it feels to only have 1 person show up for practice.

So, we're busy, but we're doing well.  And we're very grateful!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ballet Recital

Princess M had her second ballet recital last night.  She's been working hard all spring on two different dances with her class.  Those little girls are so incredibly cute as they dance across the stage.  And Princess M had a marvelous time performing for everyone.  Congratulations my little ballerina!

Her first costume for "Blue Tulips"

Her second costume for "Precious Dancers"

After the recital

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2 Months

My Little Mouse is growing up so fast!

This was taken on her 2 month day.  She's fairly chubby and absolutely beautiful.  I LOVE LOVE to just lay beside her and watch her beautiful face while she is sleeping.  Her neck is getting stronger; Banana girl can now "hold" her without causing great alarm.  She is beloved by both of her older sisters, who often fight over who gets to hold her first. 

Sometime they love her just a little too much though. Little Mouse is often getting smothered by so many kisses that she has to arch her back to try and get some air.  I feel bad telling the girls NOT to kiss the baby so much.  What's up with that?!

Just this past week she has also started really smiling and I think I've even heard the beginning of a giggle  now and then.  If you catch her right after a nap, a diaper change, and a full tummy, you're almost sure to be graced with big beautiful smiles just by looking and talking to her.  (Come to think of it, that's the best way to get a smile out of me too.)  This shot just missed a big one.   The best part of having a baby is soon to come!  I just love the giggles!!

At 2 months old, her favorite things are being held, talked to, nursing, and sitting in her baby swing.  She's starting to suck all over her hand occasionally, trying to get her little thumb into her mouth.  I caught her succeeding a couple times too.  I'm trying to curtail that one.  

Unfortunately, at 2 months old, she has also caught her first nasty cough.  Princess M had a really bad one last week, accompanied by a fever; and now poor Little Mouse is hacking something terrible.  It's a really sad sound.  Gratefully, she hasn't seemed to have developed the fever part.  She has spent most of the past two days just eating and sleeping.  It's almost like having a newborn again. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Together Again

Alex got home yesterday from a week long work trip to Colorado Springs.  He got home just in time to put the girls to bed.  They were thrilled to see him!  Especially when he showed up bearing ice cream cones for everyone.  It's good to have him home. 

Poor Princess M has been quite sick the past few days with a nasty cough and fever.  You know your kid is really sick when they WANT to nap...All Day.  We've been layering on the essential oils since the first cough showed up and thankfully, it doesn't seem like anyone else is coming down with it.  Banana Girl had a little cough for a day or so, but nothing like Princess M's misfortune.  And thank Heaven, Little Mouse hasn't gotten sick at all. 

I just have to say, I LOVE my essential oils!  You feel so helpless as a mother when your little princess  is coughing her lungs out and sweating bullets.  I can't even give her cough drops, because they are too "spicy" for her.  However, I CAN run a diffuser in her room at night with some oils that helped her sleep through the night.  Her fever got over 104 which is when I start getting worried.  After a cold bath, it only dropped one degree.  But a couple drops of peppermint on her feet brought her down to 100 and kept her there.  It's a good feeling knowing I can help relieve her suffering. 

Not to mention my infant.  Before, all I could do was hope and pray that my baby didn't get sick.  Now I can hope and pray AND do something to help prevent it.  They're perfectly safe for using even on my newborn.  It's a very empowering feeling. 

Anyway, Princess M is now on the mend and hopefully we'll all be disease free for a long while.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday.  I woke up to a red rose by my pillow (as did my three little girls as well.)  Alex also made a fantastic steak dinner and strawberry shortcake dessert.  We also got to share some of the day with some really good friends here in town.  It really was great.  Princess M made me a hair flower as well as a framed picture of herself.  She did a really nice job with them.  Very nice day; I love being a Mom.
My own mother is serving a mission in the Palmyra, NY temple.  They're having a marvelous time, and setting such a great example for all of their descendants.  As I think back on memories of my mother, I get an overall feeling of warmth, love, and admiration.  I know I wasn't the easiest daughter to raise.  Always thinking I knew everything, and stubborn as a mule.  My parents always say that they just backed out of the way and let me do my own thing; but that is not entirely true.  My mother has a profound influence on who I've become by the loving example of motherhood that she lives every day. 

With each child and each new phase I pass through, I gain more and more understanding of what we put my mother through, and more and more respect and admiration for how well she has fulfilled that role.  My mother raised 6 rowdy boys, 1 tomboy, and 1 truly kind and nurturing daughter.  (I'll give you a clue; that last one was not me.)  And despite the broken windows, toilets, china cabinets, and bones, my mother has not only retained her sanity but managed to shape us all through her love, patience, faith, and quiet persuasion (and a needed sense of humor) into a pretty respectable group of adults (even if I do have to say so myself.) 

She taught us good principles, allowed us to make our own choices, and was there to love us through both the good and bad consequences of our decisions.  She has never tried to just tell me what to do; but she is always willing to listen and give sound advice when I have finally asked for it (and never made me feel bad, if I decided to ignore that sound advice.)  She's gone through some really hard trials, from financial difficulties to even the death of some of her children, but I have never felt her waver in her faith or strength.  And through it all, we always know that her family and God are her highest priorities. 

I feel this is all very disjointed so let me just sum up: Mom, you're my hero!  Happy Mother's Day!  and I love you very much!

(Bummer this photo turned out so blurry!)

I Did It!

I passed my AZ Real Estate sales exam, which means I can reactivate my license in Arizona!  Anyone want to buy a home in Sierra Vista?

I was also commissioned to make a birthday cake for a young man in our ward.  It's been a long time since I have decorated a cake, so I was pleased it turned out so well.  Blogger rotated the picture below for some reason, and I can't figure out how to fix it, so sorry you have to turn your head to see it.

 Princess M got ahold of the camera again.  One picture she took of Little Mouse actually looked pretty cute though. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

1 Month, Easter, and Other Pictures

Ok, so I'm a little behind.  Here's a quick recap:

Little Mouse is 1 month old now.   Here's a sleeping (usual view of Little Mouse) 

and a wakeful picture (a little more rare).

Princess M and Banana Girl both love to hold and cuddle Little Mouse.

It just warms my heart.

The Easter Bunny came to our house on Saturday morning.  I could barely get the girls to take a break from their new mermaids long enough to smile for a picture.  

So Easter Sunday we were able to focus a little more on the Savior.  And we made these cute flower cupcakes that my brother posted on his blog (Their flowers looked a lot better than ours.)  However, Princess M came up with this bunny variation of the cupcakes on her own. She used vanilla chips for the face.  If I had had time to plan on bunnies, I would have bought string licorice for the whiskers, but as it was, you take what you can get. 

Banana Girl actually let me do something with her hair!!!  She only kept it in for 10 minutes or so, but once again, I'll take what I can get.

Look, she even liked the hairdo.

And one final announcement for those who may care:  Since taking these pictures, we've received our 30 day move out notice from our landlord, so we've been frantically trying to figure out where we're going from here for the past 2 weeks.  We found out that buying a new home is not really an option at this point.  However, a couple of our really good friends here have asked us to move in with them in the meantime, and we've decided to take one of them up on it, until we're able to get a home of our own.  They have 2 girls our daughters' ages and need some help remodeling part of their home, so it appears that it will be a great situation for everyone.  We had lunch with them today, and are looking forward to moving in.  We'll send out a change of address by email soon.  And so begins the packing of all our stuff...again.