Friday, September 24


Our five-year-old (FIVE!) celebrated her birthday at Build-A-Bear this year. I couldn't fathom trying to get together a party at home with Zach's crazy schedule, family in town, homeschooling, and living in three hour increments divided by a baby stuck to my chest. (I wish I could hand over a few feedings to the bottle, but I'm almost positive my body will take that as a signal to quit producing altogether, and don't want to mess with the first success I've ever had at breastfeeding.)

So I figured we'd suck it up and pay for another professional party. We were all set to schedule with the equestrian center we went to over the summer, when Mia decided she wanted to go to Build-A-Bear for her party. I didn't know if that was even possible, but after a quick look on their website, I was convinced it would be a great (less expensive) idea. Basically, the party is free, and all you pay for is the bears, which are discounted!

I thought at first that we'd be coralled into a corner to quietly play some party games, and then overtake the line to stuff everyone's bears, which would have to be the $10 cheap-o ones with limited shirt options.

When we arrived, we were told we could choose any animal up to $18, and any shirt in the entire place. We had a fun party host who encouraged the kids to yell, hop, run through the store, make silly faces, sing a boisterous Cha cha Happy Birthday song, and ring a loud bell! And we had one of the stuffing machines to ourselves. It was so much fun- Mia beamed the entire time.

Mia woke up the next day and asked her sisters "Guess how old I am!" When they found out she was a number higher they figured they must be four now. Anya keeps asking me every day how old she is.

Since the party, we've spent the last couple of weeks doing school at home. It has been surprisingly fun! Mia's favorite subject is Language Arts because she gets to act out the stories with her sisters. Anya and Bree were doing her Math courses for the first few weeks, while I had Mia do the workbook we'd been working on before school started. Her teacher finally did some one-on-one time with her and gave us some more appropriate curriculum for Language Arts and Math, so we're excitedly waiting for the materials to arrive FedEx today. Meanwhile we've been doing our own thing in those subjects. I've been surprised at what passes as acceptable supplemented curriculum. They say if she watches a science program, that can count as science! There is a limit to how many supplemental hours we can do per week, but we've never come close to the minimum, the curriculum they provide is so great.

Thank goodness for this K12 program- I know I couldn't have started homeschooling from scratch our first year, especially with the baby here and Zach always gone. It's the best of both worlds- because it is considered public education, it is entirely free. We have a teacher to work with, a new up-to-date computer, tons of awesome award-winning books, art supplies, science supplies... yet Mia gets to choose what she wants to learn that day, and it is perfectly tailored to her abilities. I've been relieved at how socializing isn't as big an issue as I thought it would be. Since we started school, we've had time to go out and meet half a classroom's worth of friends in just a few weeks. She still has her best friends to play with when it isn't school time. Between the park, dance, and tumbling classes, meet-ups with our homeschooling group, and playing with her sisters at home, she's getting plenty of interaction with people other than her mom. The biggest drawback is that housework has taken the backseat, and it's a really crowded car. We just do as much as we can on the weekend. I guess that will get better the older the kids get, though. Which is happening at an astonishing rate, by the way. Two months and BAM! this kid isn't a newborn anymore.

So, anyway. There we are. :)

Wednesday, September 15

Whatever you say

"Dat one is milk, and dat one is juice!" Bree pointing to Kael's breastfeeding options.

I told the girls they needed to be quiet for a minute or Kael couldn't fall asleep. "Because he's a really good listener," Mia explained.

"He bless you'ed!" Bree exclaimed after Kael sneezed.

"What do snails eat?" Bree asked Zach while watching them scoot around our fish tank. Zach and Mia answered at the same time: "Algae" "Allergies!"

"Anya's bum bum coughed!" -Bree

I suctioned some googers out of baby's nose. Mia told him as he flinched, "Sorry, but we have to. It's like going to the nose dentist!"

Bree failed to get my attention while I was making dinner, so tried a new approach, "Honey!?" When I turned to look at her she asked "is your name Honey?" I asked her what she thought my name was. "Honey?" "And what's Daddy's name?" "Daddy!!!" I shook my head and smiled. She thought harder. "Honey?"

Monday, September 6

A lot.

It has been a very eventful couple of weeks.

This kid started Kindergarten.


And, as you can see, is about to start dance classes.

Thanks for the hand-me-down leotards and shoes, Kiley!

We'll call these the "before shots."

All the kids (with teeth) went to the dentist for the first time.

They were all very brave.

And this kid

got his first blessing.

And refused to grin his huge baby grin for the camera all weekend long.
This was as close as I could get.


Thanks for the blessing outfit Grandma! She made it out of the leftover material from one of the twins dresses!

My sister and her family of yayhoos were here from Pittsburgh for the blessing, and my mom flew in again. I was surprised how much it meant to me to walk into the sacrament meeting room and realize that a whole row full of my family was there to see our boy get blessed. We were in Utah for the girls' blessings, and took for granted how wonderful it was to have so many loved ones around to witness those sweet occasions.

I'm really glad they could come. Even if they are a bunch of yayhoos.

And last but not least- today Zach and I turned eight.

To celebrate, we went to Wicked. I loved it! The music wasn't my favorite, but I loved the story and how wonderfully G-rated it was. Awesome! We've unconsciously made it a tradition to go to musicals on our anniversary. Which I think is appropriate, considering how we met:)

Happy Anniversary, bun.