Sunday, November 27, 2011

I have really dreaded blogging lately. Blogging has seemed like this huge task…. so much work, so much effort. A lot of the time I feel a little bit numb in my life. I try my best to do everything that I can for my two kiddos, and that takes most of my energy and emotion. Being a “single” mom with no back-up is hard. I have the privilege of dealing with every single melt down, fight & tantrum that a 3 and 1 ½ year old can throw. At the end of the day I don’t feel like writing down the things that are happening in my life because I am tired, and I don’t want to face all of the emotions. I don’t like thinking about all the things that my husband is missing as our children are growing. I don’t want to think about not knowing when the next time that we will see him will be. There are a lot of feelings that I hide from everyone, including myself, because it is easier to be strong that way…. I think they call it denial… but it gets me thru the day… and into the night where I can read, pin, or craft my way into oblivion.

BUT…. There are things that I know if I don’t document I will be sad.

So here I go…. Documenting a few events that I don’t want to forget…. Because if it’s not written down I will forget it.

Maria turned 3 September First. While we were here in May we visited a friend of mine whose girls were in school…. Maria got a little jealous and wanted to go to school with them. While we were in Honduras she kept asking about going to school. When we got back here in August I thought I would look into a few pre-schools to see if we could get her in. There was a little bit of a problem. She was born one day to late to attend pre-school this year. The cut off date was August 31st, and most places are not flexible. She kept asking though, so I kept asking around. I got a call from a friend who said that the 3 year old class at the pre-school her son goes to had someone drop out, so there was a place and that I should call the teachers and see if Maria could get in…. The heavens opened. Not only would they accept Maria, they would give her a partial scholarship, and the frequency of the class was just perfect for her. She started the first week in October. At the beginning she wasn’t so sure, but now she LOVES it… she knows that “Mommy will ALWAYS come back for her” so we go in there, take care of business, have a hug and a kiss and off she goes. I plan my errands so that we are in town while she is in class and I get some special one-on-one time with Cooper. It is lovely.

We have been doing some fun toddler activities that were discovered on Pinterest.
We painted bread with colored milk with the intention of toasting it and making sandwiches for lunch, but the kids just ate the soggy bread as they went along.
We made “mind jars”, which are kind of like snow globes. The water is thickened with glycerin which makes it so the glitter settles slowly.
Coloring lots.... with markers for Maria and crayons for Cooper.
We made ghost foot prints.... the kids loved having their feet painted.
We make built objects with mini marshmallows and toothpics.
We played balloon ping-pong.
We did science experiments with baking soda and vinegar.
We organized the toys together…. This was actually very fun. Maria is amazing at picking up and sorting the toys, Cooper is learning.
We went to our Ward Halloween Party. Maria was a ballerina (her birthday present outfit) and Cooper was a pumpkin (the same one that Maria was two years ago) They LOVED their costumes. They had a lot of fun at the Carnival that the young men & women put on, it took Maria a little to figure out that they were games and that she got a little prize at the end, but once she caught on she loved it. Cooper thought it was pretty cool too….. his favorite was the mini basket ball hoop. It was right at head level for him…. Perfect.
We are also frequent visitors to the library. We go at least three times a week. The have a nice little area for the kids and they also have a great thing where you can reserve books online and set them aside for you so pick up is easier.
We spent Thanksgiving with some friends. They opened their doors and hearts to my little family inviting us to enjoy the holiday feast with them. They were so lovely. Their family was so welcoming and gracious….. and their invitation came at a perfect time because a tree fell on our power lines early afternoon and our power was not back on until early Friday morning.
The past couple of days we have been preparing for Christmas. We set up the tree and hung the stockings. I made a Christmas Activities Advent Calendar full of fun activities that I want to do with the kids this season.
I also made a “thankful tree” I wanted to have it made the beginning of November, but that didn’t happen so I am going to keep it up thru the end of the year and then put all the thankful notes together and save them as a reminder of the things I was most thankful for in 2011.

I have had a little bit of work these past couple of months too (which I am so grateful for). I have been helping with the development of a website for my parent’s latest project ( and have helped set up a blog so people can see the progress of construction ( I also worked on a rendering for this project which was fun.

Maria didn't want her picture taken the first day of school.... but Cooper didn't mind having his taken.
 Here they are painting bread with colored milk.... we might have to do this one again soon.
 Maria really likes these "mind jars".
 We found a couple of my old dresses and Maria wanted to wear them.... they are just a little small on her... she LOVED the green one, it spun really well.

 Here the kids are with our carved pumpkin this year.  They didn't want to have anything to do with removing the "guts".  BUT the did want to eat the pumpkin raw.... I wasn't sure that was a good idea, I've never eaten raw pumpkin myself so I didn't let them eat too much.
 Here they are in their Halloween costumes after the party.
 I uploaded this one before I saw that it was blurry.... oops, but I'm not going to take it off.... Here Cooper is playing in the tupperware drawer.
 Maria fell asleep like this one day last week when I was washing the bed linens...
 It took me a minute to realize that she was underneath the nicely stacked row of pillows.
 Just in the past couple of days the kids have started playing really well together.  When they watch a movie Maria will now invite Cooper to sit next to her on the couch.  It's really cute.
 The kids loved the balls for the Christmas tree.... thank goodness they are plastic.
 They try to hang them on the tree, but they don't do too well.  Maria could get an occasional ball on the tree, but it was pretty frustrating.
 I like this picture.... they are starting to hug more which warms my heart.  At bedtime when I say it's time for hugs Cooper will run to Maria with arms wide open.
 Here is our tree.... notice how there are hardly any ornaments on the bottom now...
 This is the thankful tree I made.
 This is the Activities Advent Calendar (The list to the side is a list of "festive" scriptures to read over the course of the month.)
 The Activities we are going to do are:
unwrap & read a Christmas book
make salt dough ornaments
make playdough snowmen & christmas trees
make s'mores
take christmas photos
eat christmas oranges
open a special ornament and put it on the tree
make a gift for teachers
make christmas cards and send them to family
make silly hats and have a dance party with christmas music
color christmas pictures
make ginger bread houses
make a craft with mom
make hot chocolate and stir it with a candy cane
write a letter to santa
visit santa
make reindeer food
drive around and look at christmas lights
call family and sing christmas songs
read about the birth of Jesus and set up a nativity
have a sleepover in the living room, eat popcorn and watch a movie
make a treat and take it to friends
make cookies for santa
read the night before christmas and wear new jammies to bed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Paint & Poppins

So I saw this post a while back about painted wallpaper.  And then somewhere (I don't have a reference for it) I saw a method of using a high gloss paint on a satin paint (both the same color) for a cool wallpaper-ish effect.  So, in my parents yellow room, which is currently the kids and my bedroom (previously guest room, craft room, sister's room, brother's families room) I decided to try a combo of these methods.... it is still not quite done, but since Cooper naps in there I don't get a lot of free time to paint the wall.  I like it.... lets just hope that Nana & Bapa like it when they get back.

Today while the kids were watching Mary Poppins they dumped out the toy bins and made mini-beds... despite their faces, they both were very happy and so excited to see the picture after I took it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The glory of a working computer!!

I really hate it when the computer stops working for me.... and I hate it even worse when I can not find a solution.... Sometimes I wish my computer had this button on it.
BUT today after many many tries of getting this blasted thing to work again I finally got it up and running once again.  

I do have to admit that it has been kind of nice not having my computer working....  
I had a slight addiction to pinterest, but now its more of an infatuation...
I spent more time doing all the cute activities for kids that I've seen around, taking them to the parks and library.  We even went to the apple farm and picked apples.... although Cooper is NOT a good apple eater, he does this thing where he takes a bite, chews it up and then spits it out.... so I try to keep apples (and carrots) away from him.
Maria loved that apple farm.... she kept asking if there were going to be cows there...  I don't know if it is because we've been singing Old McDonald a lot lately or if she remembered the cow that was at the apple farm's neighbor's house last year..... we didn't see any cows this year.

Here are lots of pictures for Daddy...

Maria has started dressing herself.... and she will pick out some interesting outfits,
like this one... Boots (no socks) shorts (that she had worn the day before) no shirt, Cooper's suit jacket, her puffy coat, and a tuk.

Then there is this one.... which I hesitate to post, but I think it's so stinkin' funny..... heels, bloomers, and a pirate hat.  Silly little monkey.