Thursday, February 28, 2013

Balloon Car Race

The twins are learning basic physics in school right now and have been talking about velocity, force and motion. They received an assignment at the beginning of the month telling them they'd need to make a Balloon Car for a Balloon Car Race. The car was due today (the last day of the month) and they gave all the info out early so it would be "a fun rather than stressful experience designing and constructing the car".
Well my wonderful children who take after me and tend to forget or procrastinate gave us the note a week and a half before the due date. Great.
Very rarely will I complain about having twins. In fact I find far more perks to it than negatives and LOVE being part of the multiples club :) Buuuut in this instance. Coming up with not just one design but two different designs and having to help with double the work was a little stressful. I'm now dreading things like the science fair where again, we'll have to help be doubley creative and do double the work at the same time. You can't recycle ideas when they are twins and presenting them the same year in the same class haha.

Luckily Justin is an awesome engineer and rounded up some supplies (foam plates, cardboard, straws, popsicle sticks, ect) and let the kids look through the supplies. They each came up with an idea of what they wanted it to look like and Justin helped them figure out how to make it work. They each got theirs built in about 2 hrs or so and much to our relief they both worked! They didn't need much tweeking or re-designing and they are ready to race! They were able to race against each other to test them out (I guess there are still perks to twins even when its double the effort...its double the fun and you have racing partners) :) Today is the big race and I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Karson wanted a drag car looking design

Kaiden wanted a flying saucer looking car

Powering up the cars :)
video



Monday, February 25, 2013

questions and blessings

I never really said much about how my first ultrasound went at 16 weeks. The truth is I haven't really wanted to say how it went because I've been in a funk lately. When I saw that baby boys face and saw him moving it all became so real! (I know kind crazy it hadn't dawned on me sooner haha) I had so many thoughts and emotions and became totally overwhelmed. As I sat in that room looking at this little baby I realized my old life was over. My simple fun family of five was no more.

I remember so clearly over the summer being out running errands. We wound up next to a theater and I thought "it would be fun to see a movie" then I had another thought "We can!" We are past the schedules and tantrums phase! We could go to a movie without another adult there because I wouldn't have to worry about running kids to the bathroom while leaving others. I wouldn't have to worry about anyone misbehaving or getting bored. We could actually go to a movie spontaneously!! It was so fun and so liberating! I love being a mom but it definitely limits some of your old freedoms..it is most definitely worth the sacrifice but to be able to be a mom and get some of that freedom back was just amazing! The boys sat through the movie and laughed and enjoyed it and afterward we talked about it and laughed some more! These cute boys are at an awesome age!

Our summers have been filled with Lagoon season passes, water park season passes and a carefree schedule. They feed themselves, keep me company, help with chores and I realized how lovely and easy life had been the past couple years. When Logan started first grade it was such a big adjustment for me and it was hard but I had come to a good spot and had even enjoyed having time to myself again. And now just like that. Everything was going to change. I was having guilt for how much my older boys life was going to change. Everything was going to be so different for them. It already was so different. I'd been so sick at that point I wasn't volunteering in their classes or spending time with them really at all. I was hanging over the toilet or sleeping and I felt awful for them. I thought about how different and hard this summer was going to be for all of us as we try to adjust to a new baby and a new schedule. I really started to wonder if I was ruining my older kids life!

Then I thought about this little baby who was going to grow up pretty much like an only child. Only worse, he'll see his brothers who have each other and do everything together and have so much fun together and won't have that himself. He'll see what he's missing out on by not having a brother close in age. I'm going to have a poor loner child. So then I was having guilt for this new child too!

I had selfish feelings of not wanting to start all over with a brand new baby and I felt guilty for that! I was certain we were done. Justin and I had talked about anohter baby on and off over the years but once Logan started school we both agreed to be done. We got rid of ALL our baby stuff and enjoyed the three boys we had. Now I had the financial stress of starting all over on top of the emotional stress I was feeling. I went home and prayed and cried and wanted understanding. I didn't (and still don't) understand the timing of the way things worked out. If we were meant to have another little boy in our family why did it take so long for him to get here?

On top of that I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to hear I would never have a girl. I look at Justin with our boys and Logan in particular, who is such a mini Justin, and I love to watch them. I love to see their similarities and the fun they have and can't help but wonder how fun it might be to have a mini me to go do girly things with. I had thought about the age gap before the ultrasound but everyone around us said it had to be a girl. Justin swore it was a girl. The doctor said based on the heartbeat (which he warned was completely a wives tale and not at all something to rely on) it was a girl. I had decided it must be a girl and so the age gap wouldn't matter. I didn't even realize I wanted a girl until they said it was a boy. Luckily I got over those feelings quickly though. I love all my boys. I know what I'm doing (sort of) with boys. And I can't imagine life without any of the boys I already have. I'm certain I'll feel that way with this little guy as well.

But I still just struggle with the idea of starting all over and how different my life will now be and how abruptly I changed the other boys life and how sucky this new kids life might be and on and on more crazy feelings and worries of the unknown.

Then a couple weeks later I ran across a blog post by somebody in my ward who was having a completely different experience than mine but had the similar timing question about life and babies. She wrote about how during her struggle for understanding and answers she was asked to sub in primary and ironically the lesson was on prayer. The lesson taught about Elizabeth and how she wanted a child for years and years but was very old when she had John. Now in hindsight John was sent here to be a missionary and to baptize Jesus. Had he been sent here earlier would he have been able to do that? There was a time and a place and God knew exactly when that was.
WOW! Talk about a wake up call! I had been so concerned with my own petty feelings of selfishness about how different MY life would be and how much simpler it would have been for God to do things my way by sending this boy earlier that I hadn't even thought about how arrogant and unfaithful that was! It was definitely the answer I needed. I don't know what this child is meant to do or experience in life but I need to have faith that God does and that it is right for him to be with our family at this time. I'm trying to keep that in mind as I come to terms with things. I'm trying to keep the negative feelings and guilt I feel for my kiddos at bay by being more faithful and keeping an eternal perspective.

I wish I could say I've completely come to terms with things. I haven't yet but I'm getting there.
In the mean time I have been given a few tender mercies that I'm so grateful for. At about the time I was getting angry for not getting the answers and peace I wanted from God immediately (I'm not a patient person and tend to be very stubborn) my best friend messaged me. I hadn't even gotten into all the details of what I was feeling or the millions of thoughts racing through my mind but she made me feel validated and took away some of the guilt I was feeling. Her message was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment even though she didn't even fully know the circumstances. I couldn't help but be grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me such great friends and awesome people in my life. This same friend came and sat with me in my bed when I was a mess and didn't make me feel crazy at all (though I know I was...I blame the pregnancy hormones). I started to recognize all the other friends and family members I have in my life willing to help me and offer support in any way. It was about the time I started to recognize how blessed I was and try to be grateful that I ran across the blog post from a ward member. I believe that post was an answer to my prayers. I'm so grateful for this person writing her answer for me to stumble across and be blessed by as well and for the hand that my Heavenly Father played in that.

On top of that I'm starting to get out of my funk! Being sick in the house and the gross inversion was not helping me at all. Well I'm done puking! In my last pregnancies the sickness was nearly the whole time on and off but I've been puke free for about 6 weeks now (knock on wood)! Which means I'm able to go volunteer in my kids classes again and feel involved and make sure they know I care about them! I've been able to get out of the house and shake off some of the cabin fever I was feeling! I saw the sun and blue skies even peeked out a couple times. I'm able to go out and socialize with friends again! I'm able to jog and exercise a little again (keeps my sanity!) I'm feeling like me! I'm feeling like a productive mom and a wife. I'm feeling excited again for the future (though still totally terrified!).

I went in for another ultrasound at 20 weeks and didn't cry or feel overwhelmed! :) I even enjoyed watching how active this little guy is. If he stays this active and wild I'll have my work cut out for me but it will be a fun adventure.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentines Day

I'll start with the most disturbing part of Valentines day.
The boys came home from scouts with special Valentines gifts they had made. I saw Kaidens which had a card on it that said "To: Mom".....then Karson told me he would be giving his special Valentine to his crush at school! Oh my. It's starting already. I'm not ready for this! haha
He said he was going to keep who it was from a secret and just sneak it into her backpack.

Karson's Valentine Gift for a secret crush

I have mixed emotions about this.
It was kind of fun to see him all excited about surprising his little crush but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little terrified to think of the future and how soon the girl drama will be here.

Kaiden let me open my gift Thursday morning and it was a cute little vase he had made. Justin brought me flowers and he let Kaiden pick one out to put in the vase he had made :)

Kaidens Valentine for me :)

Flowers from my men folk

The twins both needed to make a Valentines box at home again this year (Logan did one at school). Karson chose a lego box and Kaid wanted a gumball machine box. We actually found a cool idea to do for the gumball one but we procrastinated making them until the weekend before Valentines and didn't have all the supplies and he ended up having to pick something more simple since we had to hurry. He was a little disappointed but finally decided on a Monster box. They both turned out pretty cute and were filled to the top with treats and notes from their classmates.
Karsons lego box

Kaidens monster box

That evening we continued the tradition of doing a family Valentines dinner complete with fancy glasses and candles. The boys always have so much fun eating by candlelight and toasting the glasses. We also love to hear all about the parties they had at school.

Getting ready to eat our family Valentines Dinner

My little boys making a toast


I love spending my Valentines surrounded by all my boys! It was a great Valentines day...even if my little boy gave his first Valentine to a girl :) 

Burned eggs from a thoughtful boy


Last Saturday Justin had to go into work for a couple hours. He woke up early so he could get out the door before anyone was awake and get back early enough in the day to still help with errands and spend some time with the family.
Karson asked him the night before if he would help him to make me breakfast in bed (aww isn't he so thoughtful?) Justin said "That is a great idea but I won't be able to help you tomorrow because I'm going in to work. Maybe a different day"
Karson apparently interpretted that to mean that, Justin couldn't help, but that it was a great idea so he had permission to go it alone. Can you see where this story is going??

Saturday morning I woke to the smell of something burning. I could hear Karson and Kaiden arguing and the conversation went something like this:

Kaid: I'm sorry! Mine was harder to cook though!
Kar: No mine is harder! I had to mix ingredients to make pancakes. You just had to cook the eggs!
Kaid: Ya but cooking eggs is harder than flipping a pancake.

Great. Every mothers dream to realize it is a child burning something as you become coherent to the world. Logan had come and climbed into my bed at some point early that morning (probably when he heard Justin leave) and I asked him what was going on to delay having to actually see the mess that I was certain was awaiting me in my kitchen. He said that brothers were cooking breakfast.

I made my way downstairs. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the pan I saw. It was beyond burned! It was black inside and out! It had warped and it looked like it nearly burned clear through the center of the pan! The boys had "cleaned" the pancake batter mess (threw the bowl in the sink and smeared up most of the spilled batter off the counter) but there on the stove sat the pan that had eggs in it (I only know it was supposed to be eggs because I heard the conversation between the two of them).


We had a little chat about fire safety and how yes, we let Karson flip pancakes or grilled cheese sandwiches but that there has always been parental supervision. They are not old enough to go cook an entire meal alone. They finished cleaning (by putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher which was full of clean dishes) and I ended up just throwing away the pan with the eggs.  When I went to throw the pan away I noticed TWO egg cartons in the trash! I asked how many eggs they cooked. Kaiden said 10.
Me: How did you cook 10 if there are 2 empty cartons?
Kaid: I used 4 that were left in one pack and the rest of the other.
Me: Kaiden, that is 16 eggs!
Kaid: Oh. Sorry. Only 6 were ruined by the fire if that makes you feel better!
Me: FIRE? I thought you just burned them to the pan!!!
Kaid: Well we did but there was a little bit of a fire under the pan. We just slapped it with the spatula and it went right out.

I'm guessing he somehow spilled eggs out of the pan onto the burner or something. My dad came by about an hour later to pick up Logan to pick out his birthday gift and asked what the horrible smell was in my house. I showed him the burned pan and let the boys explain how horribly wrong the egg cooking went.

Very grateful nobody was hurt.
Very grateful my house didn't burn down.
Not so grateful for the smell of burned eggs or more specifically how long the smell of burned eggs lingers! Two straight days it was good and stinky! Actually even now I'm not sure if the smell has gone away or if I've gotten used to it. Either way take it from me you don't want to burn eggs!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Logan Bear

My Logan is 7 years old today! I still can't believe it! Even though I'm pregnant right now I still think of Logan as my baby. Probably always will. He's been the baby for 7 years, can you blame me? :)
Here are some fun things about my baby bear.

He is a mama's boy! I love it! Whether the family is sitting down at the table, on the couch, at church or laying in bed Saturday morning he somehow always finds a way to, as Justin puts it, "weasel in" right next to me (sometimes much to his daddy's dismay lol). I love that my hugs and kisses can fix anything and make his bad day suddenly better still. 
Logan and mom at Gardner Village 2012

Logan LOVES jammies! The second he gets home from school or church or anywhere really he asks if he can change into jammies. Sleeping in them is a different story though haha. He sleeps in his little undies and nothing else! In his ideal world it would be jammies at school or any time he went in public and undies at home :)

Happy to get more jammies! Christmas 2012

He is also obsessed with Darth Vader! It started years ago when he was in preschool. He was Darth Vader for Halloween one year and wore his costume every day for weeks (remember the duck story??)! He still loves all things Star Wars (books, games, figurines, pez, you name it...if its Star Wars he'll take it!) Auntie gave him a Darth Vader that talks for Christmas and I thought he'd explode with happiness!

Logan and his new Darth Vader. Christmas 2012

Logan is a simple fun boy. Sometimes I just wonder what it must be like in his head because he is definitely in his own world it seems like :) But I love that about him.
He loves horses, cowboy boots, guns, 4-wheelers and anything outside!
Grandpa Allen got him his first bb gun for Christmas this year and he loved loading it himself and feeling so grown up shooting it.
He is still so squishy and little to me but he is also so grown up.
He started Tae Kwon Do this year and is the youngest in the class (though looking at him you'd guess he was the same age as the other 8-10 yr olds). His teacher is so impressed with his focus and strength. If Logan wants to do something he does it all the way. If somebody is making him do something...its a different story haha.
He has become more and more helpful this past year and he has really gotten brave. He is usually so shy around large groups or new people but he is getting better at coming out of his shell and talking to people or doing things he needs to (like talks at church or speaking parts for school).

swinging on the rope in Grandpa Allen's back yard :)

Loading his gun for the first time alone...shortly after this pic they shot out all over and hit Grandpa haha

shooting with dad

Logan and a horse

dragging the sled in the snow on the 4-wheeler
 
Logan has so much energy its hard to keep up with him sometimes but he is so funny! He is 100% boy but also so sweet! My life would be so boring without his creative craziness. Logan has taught me so much as a mom. He is the boy running around with a cape lassoing pots and pans in the mud, accidentally breaking things or scraping his knees often. He's always keeping me on my feet. I've had to learn to laugh and really prioritize what warrants getting after him and when I should sit back and just enjoy him at play. I'm loving watching him grow!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my baby Logan!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Love note from Logan

We've had several appointments every day this week for people to come walk through our house. Each day, when the kids have rushed out the door to carpool and go to school, I poke my head into their rooms and make sure they're cleaned and that beds are made. Because of the walk through's I've been being more thorough lately and walk through to check and make sure they haven't left a DS sitting out or anything else valuable that could be easily stolen.
Today when I went into Logan's room to inspect I came across the sweetest thing :)


On his art easel he got from Santa this year was a message that says:
"I love you
mom from Logan
I mis you
mom from Logan
I wil see
you aftr scool"

What a sweetheart! Love my little Logan and can't believe how big he is getting! He's got a birthday coming up soon and I've been telling him how helpful and mature he has been the past couple weeks and his reply was "I'm not mature. I'm being good because I REALLY want Perplexus and Perplexus Twist for my birthday" haha Perhaps this is one more way for him to ensure his birthday gift but even if there is an ulterior motive...I don't care..it made my day!