Friday, May 29, 2009

What I don't like about being a mom

Bring on the poopy diapers, the throw up and the lack of sleep, I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was being the one responsible for making decisions for my kids that will affect the rest of their lives. I had major internal conflicts over the whole immunization issue. I never worried about it with Kylie and Jayden, but with Maddox I had heard so many more horror stories and read so many controversial articles that it left me torn. Either immunize and my kid could get autism, or don't immunize and my kid could get a life threatening disease. It's the first time when I really felt totally inadequate to be making those kind of decisions. I wanted somebody else to be the mom and tell me what to do (I did end up immunizing but I think I'll hold off on the MMR until after he's 2). The next big decision that has left me torn is what to do about Jayden for school next year. He barely makes the deadline with an August birthday, but ever since the day he was born I knew I wanted to hold him back a year so that he wouldn't struggle being the youngest in the class. I had the perfect little plan to send him to half day kindergarten at a local school then transfer him to Kylie's school the following year for all day kindergarten. I got him accepted for open enrollment at the other school and all was fine and dandy until Kylie's principal told me that with all the budget cuts they are no longer allowing students to repeat a grade unless they have an IEP stating that academically they need to be held back. He's been to two years of preschool already and is ready for something more, but I don't feel like he's ready for all day kindergarten, especially at Kylie's school which has a challenging curriculum. He was excited about kindergarten and would be crushed if he had to do another year of preschool (since apparently that's for babies). I wouldn't even know where to send him since he's been in the speech preschool. I felt like my only option was to enroll him at Kylie's school, but I just didn't feel confident about my decision. Once again, could somebody just please tell me what to do! (love ya Jason, but "I don't know, what ever you decide" doesn't help much :) I know it's just kindergarten and doesn't seem like such a big deal, but if I do send him then he'll be the last to drive, the last to date and if I don't send him then he'll go straight on his mission right after graduation and things like that. So today I think I finally came up with a solution to enroll him at a charter school so that the public school won't be paying for 2 years of kindergarten and I can still have him repeat next year. I think I feel good about my decision, but it just makes me think about all the other life changing decisions that lay ahead. I love my kids so much and I just want to be confident that I am making the best decisions for them. Being a mom is like one continual guilt trip, if we're not worrying about one thing then it's another. If only all those parenting books and classes would have prepared me for this.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm turning into my mom (and that's a good thing)

One thing I've always admired about my mom, besides the amazingness that comes with being a mom of 10, is that on top of her momly/wifely duties she was always working on some project and developing her talents. I mentioned before how she is an amazing seamstress and I've always wondered why she never sat me down to teach me how to sew before, but now I understand. This was her outlet. When we were all running around going crazy, she could just lock herself in her sewing room and find her happy place. I know it's important to make time for yourself to do something you enjoy and find an identity outside of "mom", the only problem is that I don't have any talents, I don't have any hobbies and I don't have anything that interests me. A while ago they were passing around surveys for enrichment and asked us to write down our hobbies/talents. I'm emberassed to admit that I threw the paper away because I couldn't think of anything to write, unless diaper changing, mac&cheese cooking and toilet scrubbing are considered talents. I admire (and am secretly jealous) of those moms who go and take cake decorating or photography classes or something to enlighten their Disney channel filled minds. So I've been looking for something that would interest me and when my friend Heidi wanted to learn how to crochet these adorable little baby hats to give to the heart babies at Jersey's hospital, I was all over it. The first hat I made was, well, comical (what a patient teacher I had!) and I seriously was about to give up because I figured it would take me atleast 3 months to finish. I stuck with it and finally got the hang of it and now I'm hooked. I've been MIA from the blogging world because all my free time is filled with crocheting hats. I'm such a nerd. For heaven's sake I've got a freakin' crocheting tan line where the crease in my arm is white because I've got my arm bent to crochet my little heart out while I watch the kids swim. When I called my mom to tell her about my new hobby my dad said she was gone to the pick up yarn because she was in the middle of crocheting blankets for sick babies at the hospital. That's when I knew I was my mother's daughter. It's funny to look back and remember how I rolled my eyes when my mom would spend days in the kitchen canning fruit and now I just spent all day canning apple pie filling with my friend. How I used to think that my mom was so old because she liked to crochet, and now I still haven't even watched the Grey's Anatomy season finale on DVR because I'm too busy crocheting (not to mention the fact that I've missed the Bachelorette twice). How I used to not understand why somebody would spend hours sewing when you could go to the store and buy the same thing for cheaper and less time, and now I love the satisfaction that comes from making something yourself. After my baby blanket fiasco, I've been trying different sewing projects like Maddox's crib set and baby slings and I've really enjoyed it. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but it is nice to finally find something I enjoy to fill my free time instead of vegging in front of the TV or computer. I just never thought the day would come when I would have the same hobbies and interests as my mom, but now that it's here, I have to say that it's kind of fun. I just wonder how long it will take before my own daughter realizes that crocheting is not just a grandma sport.
(You know I couldn't resist. Don't judge. He sure makes one cute girl!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fathers and Sons

Oh man, to say Jayden was excited about the campout is a definate understatement. Let's just say he was wearing his beanie the entire week before (he wore it to the campout last year so he must think that it's a requirement to wear it everytime). Keep in mind it's like 105 degrees here, but when I would go to tuck him in at night I would find his head covered in sweat with his beanie on. When we would go swimming he would come out wearing his swimsuit and beanie, take it off long enough to swim, then put it back on as soon as he got out. So it didn't surprise me when I saw these pictures to see him sporting the beanie/shorts combo. They had a great time and it was good for them to have some manly bonding time (although I don't know how manly it is to sleep in the back of the car instead of a tent :). They had fun hiking and fishing where Jayden even caught his first fish. I think it lived up to his every dream and expectation. (and props to Jason on documenting every moment of the trip, I didn't know he had it in him to take so many pictures. All my nagging must have paid off :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Papa Jolley

This is my new favorite picture. I can't explain how it makes me feel each time I look at it, but it just captures so much about my dad. I've always been a Daddy's girl and it's hard for me to be so far away from my parents. I really do treasure every minute I get to spend with them and have been looking so forward to seeing them at my brother's wedding. Especially because it will be the first time that they get to see Maddox. Maddox is just starting the stranger anxiety stage and I was so worried that he wouldn't let my parents hold him, but how could I forget that my dad is like the baby whisperer. He's always had such a way with babies and it melts my heart to see him holding mine. Whenever I hold Maddox it seems like I have to constantly bounce him around, walk around, give him toys and whatever it takes to entertain him. But as soon as my dad would hold him he would just sit so relaxed on his lap and just stare at him. I have so many pictures of him just staring at my dad and studying every feature with his eyes deep in concentration. I swear there's a bond that goes deeper than this lifetime. It makes me sad that my parents can't be here to see him (and the rest of my kids) grow up, but it's comforting to know that there are certain bonds that can't be broken, no matter how far the distance is.
Lenie Jelly Beanie

It's hard being away from family, so we love every chance we get to spend time with them. We were excited to have my little sister, Julene, come stay for a couple of days then drive with us up to Vegas for my little brother's wedding. She was a celebrity in the eyes of my kids and they followed her around like her own little paparazzi. She was so cute to do crafts with them, have movie/make-up parties (yes, Jayden is getting a facial mask in case you were wondering), go swimming (where Kylie was so nice to point out to her "wow, you are really white), and go on like a 5 mile bike ride in 100 degree weather (so maybe I underestimated how far it was to Jayden's school). We had sisterly bonding time while going to the gym, shopping, going out for dinner, staying up late to watch movies and let's not forget her famous back massages. She is the best back massager (even better than the one in Mexico :) and Jason and I fought over her every night. She was a good sport while I dragged her around to all of my errands...volunteering at Kylie's school, driving carpool, grocery shopping (and CVS shopping for free. inside joke.) and she even baby-sat while I went to doctor's appointments and VT . I am such a good host. But the best part of the weekend was, brace yourself....we learned the Hannah Montana "Hoe Down Throw Down" dance. Oh we are so cool. It was so fun having her around, we're trying to find her a job so that she can move down here between semesters and be our live-in nanny again! We love you Lenie, thanks for coming!
Seven Months

It's hard to believe he's seven months old already, but I can't imagine life without our little
Mads. He brightens our home and is everyone's favorite toy to play with. We all try to see who can make him laugh the most and the kids usually win. He still sleeps great from around 7pm-6:30AM. He's an early riser but will stay entertained watching "Baby Einstein" while I go back to sleep. He rolls back and forth on one side and loves to sit and play with toys. His first little tooth is coming in on his bottom right and he is already eyeing all of the food we put in our mouths and can't wait to join the ranks of table food. We love you little man!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

More Wedding Bells

With a family of ten kids it seems like not a month goes by without a wedding, engagement, pregnancy, child birth, graduation or at the very least a birthday. This month we were excited that it was my brother Tyson who was getting married in the Las Vegas temple. I had only met his fiance, Dawn one time before and my parents met her for the first time that weekend. It's a good thing we all loved her :) It was a beautiful wedding and another fun family weekend. The Bachelorette party

We missed Janessa's family, Tyler, Margaret, Jennifer, Dylan, Jessica and Todd who weren't able to make it!
It was like 100 degrees, but I made Maddox wear my favorite sweater because I think he looks like the cutest little man. What can I say, I'm a good mom.
Kylie and her aunt Jayci
My dad did the ring ceremony, it was beautiful (it was really dark, so all my reception pictures turned out crappy)
they had the best first dance with this whole routine including classics from the macarena to the backstreet boys, it was hilarious
their photographer posed this and should have known that no 4 year old wants to be kissed by his sister and aunt, ewwww
they had these little bells on the tables that when you rang them then they had to kiss. You can only imagine the fun Kylie and Jayci had with this one

We all had fun dancing, but Jayden put us all to shame (although Grandma did give him some competition!) That kid was a dancing machine, he started the minute the music started and only took one break. For cake.
So Jayden caught the garter belt and what else is a 4 year old supposed to do with a Fredrick's of Hollywood garter belt........... ?......use it as a totally sweet sweatband, of course. I mean what kind of dancer wants to interrupt their groove to wipe sweat off their forehead???he insisted that the ribbon and sparkly heart had to go in the front
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since I was the one wearing the wedding dress they all staked their claim on the bouquet so we finally had to pull it apart and let each girl have a couple of flowers I'm sad I never got a picture with my mom, or the kids with their grandparents, or one of our family. I think I was too busy cracking up at Jayden's dancing to think about taking pictures.Jason's brother was nice to let us use their house like a hotel. We had non stop wedding stuff every day and I felt like we were just using them for a place to sleep. It was nice being able to spend time with them on Sunday morning before we left. Since it was Mother's day, Jason and his brother woke up early to make us breakfast. Jason got off the hook that day and instead of a nice Mother's day dinner I got Taco bell drive thru. Oh well, as long as I didn't have to cook or clean all day then it's all good. Besides, he got me a pressure cooker as a gift and I was excited about it. I am getting so old.
The Luckiest Mom

I always tell my kids that I'm the luckiest mom in the world because I am the only one that gets to be their mom, and it is so true. I'm so lucky that I'm the only mom that gets their hugs and kisses, the only one that gets their snuggles in bed, the only one that gets to hear their jokes, the only one that can make them happy when they're sad and the only one who gets to spend every day loving them more and more! Thanks Kylie, Jayden and Maddox for making me the luckiest mom in the world! My favorite part of Mother's day is getting the little surveys that my kids fill out in class, here's this year's editions:

How old is your mom? 28
What is your mom's favorite color? blue
What is your most favorite meal that your mom cooks? cookes
What do you like to do with your mom? play
What is your mom's favorite thing to do? play
What color eyes does your mom have? brown
What's your favorite thing about your mom? She is cool

How old is your mom? 20/40
What is your mom's favorite color? white
What is your most favorite meal that your mom cooks? carrots
What do you like to do with your mom? play together
What is your mom's favorite thing to do? clean
What color of eyes does your mom have? brown
What's your favorite thing about your mom? She's really nice