Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Long Live Summer!

We have been is full swing summertime over here and I am loving every second of it! We are at the pool nearly every afternoon, just the way I like it. I was really worried about how this summer would
go with Vivian still being so new. Pool days and newborns dont really mix because of the heat and the sun. I found a tried and true method for surviving summer pool days with a newborn! My favorite baby invention ever- Solly Baby Wrap. I just put Vivi in the wrap, and stick a little sun hat on her. She sleeps the whole time and I still get in the water with my other kids! I just get the wrap and her hat a little wet to keep her cool and we are good to go. This was the first summer that my kids have ever done swimming lessons! Georgia had been on the cusp of swimming for almost a year now, so I knew with a little confidence and encouragement she would be good to go. All three of the big kids did a swim lesson session at the rec, and Georgia and Lane did an additional session with Mary Alice! Now Georgia and Lane are totally water safe!! So PROUD of what they have accomplished this summer. They both jump off the diving board and swim to the side. Ride the big red water slide by themselves, and are totally out of their puddle jumpers. I can't believe it! I mean, I definitely still watch them like a hawk, but it's nice to know that they do actually know how to swim now. Leo is my little pool buddy that never leaves my side. She likes to just hang out by me and Viv and doesn't ever like get her face in the water. Just like her mama. Haha. She did awesome at her cute little swimming lesson too! Passed with flying colors. I keep getting the sense of urgency to go and do and enjoy every single second of this summer. Georgia starts Kindergarten in August and the looming cloud of change is hanging over my head at all times. It's almost suffocating, really. Change has always been an agonizing feeling for me. Kindergarten in particular has been one of those milestones I have happily avoided for the last 5 years. I was talking to my neighbor just yesterday and he said something to the effect of, "isn't it funny how when your kids are little all you want them to do is grow up, and when they grow up all you want them to do is be little again." I kind of chuckled but then very seriously said to him, "I have actually never wanted my kids to grow up." Haha. Maybe I got s little too real with him, but that is the most honest thing I could ever say. I never have and never will be anxious for my kids to grow up. The lady 5 years have been hard but have been so much fun. Pure magic for me! I have tried to soak them all in like a sponge. Desperately trying to imprint all these moments into my memory forever. Mike and I always talk about how time AND change are both constant forces in life. The loss of time happens with every passing minute and therefore change will always be inevitable. My goal this coming school year is to try and embrace the changes as they come. Get excited about the changes instead of depressed, and continue to live life with my kids as I always have- enjoying every minute.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sun Valley.

We have had the craziest summer! Moving and bringing Vivian home all within the same weekend set the tone for the entire summer. It has been nonstop with this house! Finishing our basement and now our yard has made life a little bit of a blur. I have just taken the approach of trying to be as laid back as possible, and snuggling Vivian as much as possible. I'm just genuinely trying to enjoy every ounce of this summer because Georgia is off to Kindergarten next month and every single one of my kids is just growing so fast! I specifically tell them not to grow up but time has a way of just speeding up and definitely not slowing down. Because we knew this summer would be a little crazy, we decided to stay put and not plan any trips like we normally do. We did go on one weekend getaway though, and that was to Sun Valley, Idaho! My Grandpa Hunter turned 85 this year, and to celebrate his birthday, my whole extended family on the Hunter side got together in Sun Valley. This was the first time that Mike and I had ever been and we were all so excited. The kids were asking every day "are we going to Sun Valley today???" for a full week leading up to it. The drive up was not the most pleasant experience in the world. Vivian does not love her car seat at all, so a 5 hour drive was a little ambitious, but with Mike driving I could sit in the back and help her keep her binky in, etc... Once we got there the kids were screaming with excitement! We got up to our room and got everything settled in and then went straight to the pool. I was surprise how much colder it was up there! I definitely didn't pack for 59 degrees, but we made the most of it, and the kids didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that it was a little chilly. There are so many things to do up there for kids! Bowling, ice skating, biking, swimming, horse back riding, etc.. It was so much fun to be with my whole extended family celebrating my grandpa's amazing life! Georgia really took to Grandpa Hunter and was sitting with him every second she could. It was the sweetest thing ever! Mike and I decided we definitely need to make Sun Valley a destination every year or every other. It is just too much fun and too beautiful to not go back! The kids loved it and I'm so happy that we went because it was our only trip this summer.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2 Months with Vivian.

How? How has it already been two months with Viv??? Life has been such a weird time warp since moving into our house. In some ways it seems like ages ago but then again I keep saying to Mike, "I can't believe Vivi has been with us 9 weeks already!" She has changed so much this month, and I can't begin to describe how cute she is. She is the sweetest baby that hates her car seat and loves to be held 24/7. She is the worst napper but the BEST night sleeper (hallelujah!) and if I had to pick between the two, night sleeper would win every single time. She normally goes to sleep around 7 and doesn't wake up to eat again until 4 am! 9 hours people. 9 hours! She is starting to coo all the time and smiles constantly. My favorite time of day is 7 a.m. when she and I both wake up for the day. All I have to do is say, "Vivs??" and it turns into the biggest, most immediate smile. The kids love her more than ever now that she "talks" to them and smiles at them. Georgia has completely taken over changing all of Vivian's wet diapers. She loves to unbutton her outfits and get the diapers and wipes all ready. She is always asking if she can hold Vivi and walk with her, to which I answer "NO" every single time, but it doesn't seem to stop her from asking. Lane treats Viv like the brother he never got. Haha, not really, but he definitely isn't always soft and gentle with her. He goes into the cutest voice when he talks to her and always says, "hows my Viv's?" It's seriously the sweetest thing. Leona is maybe the most in love. She is OBSESSED with Bivian, as she calls her. Constantly asking to hold Bivian, sleep with Bivian, and snuggle with her. Every time Viv smiles, Leo thinks she is smiling at her. I took her to the Dr. last week and here are her impressive stats:

Height: 24 3/4 inches ... 99%tile
Weight: 12 lbs 8 oz ... 75%tile
Head: can't remember but .... 77%tile

I would say that Vivian has definitely mellowed out the last week. She seems over all more content and less agitated all the time. I'm starting to wish all the days go by slowly so I can soak in all of the sweet newborn days I can get. She is definitely out of her newborn clothes and has been wearing 0-3 month clothes for the last 3 or 4 weeks. She is so chunky and has rolls all over those thighs of hers. Funny story- we took the kids to go see Cars 3 last week. Vivian was an angel and slept in my arms the entire movie. We got the three older kids all kinds of popcorn and treats (Leo can't live without her treats). When we got home I was getting her ready for the bath and noticed there was something in her neck rolls. Not one, but TWO Reeses Pieces had fallen onto her neck during the movie and completely melted in her neck rolls. Hilarious! Mike and I are still laughing about it. I think Vivian might look the most like I did as a baby, but the jury is still out. Also, I swear her hair might be red??? I don't want to get my hopes up, because a red head is all I have ever wanted, but I'm absolutely seeing some auburn tones in those teeny baby hairs. Fingers crossed! Life without Vivi would be no life at all. We are so lucky to have her in our family! I'm excited to see what the next month holds for our angel girl.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

One Month with Vivian.

I guess technically she is 5 weeks today, but wow has this last month flown by! It's so unfair how quickly the newborn phase lasts. I have soaked up every minute of her tininess and snuggles and yummy newborn smell. The only problem is, I have three other kids! Haha, it's actually not a problem, but I wish I could have stayed in bed the entire month just to hold and stare and Viv. I have had lots of help the last five weeks from my parents and Mike, which has given me more time to sit and enjoy Vivian.
I would say this may have been the craziest month of our lives up to this point, with moving in, finishing our basement, and starting to put in our yard. I feel like the last five weeks have gone by so slow, yet so incredibly fast. My house is rarely tidy, and I think I have blown my hair dry exactly one time, but the only thing that really matters to me right now is a toss up between my kids, and survival. Kind of kidding on that last one, but holy cow, 4 kids is a lot! Everyone told me that after 3 kids, you could have 7 or 8 and be totally fine... but I beg to differ. Every baby brought home brings its new challenges and adjustment period. Vivian has actually been the sweetest and most easy going baby, but this last week we all go the flu and Viv has been fussier than usual, not letting me put her down, etc... I feel like I'm kind of a zombie. BUT, I'm on the mend, feeling almost fully recovered from the sickness, and Vivian has been doing so much better today already! Life gives you hard weeks and easier weeks, and I'm learning to be a lot more grateful and appreciative of the easier ones. I'm so happy that school is out for the summer! The weather is finally starting to warm up, and I already know that this summer is going to be one of my favorite ones. Adjusting to a new baby will be so much easier when I don't have to get my kids out the door to school every morning, and pick them up. Lots of pool days and otter pops are in our future.
I can't believe how much Vivi has changed in one month! She is absolutely beautiful, and has the most delicate, feminine features. She looks so much like all of my other kids! Robin told me that whenever she would bring a new baby home from the hospital, people would joke that the new baby "definitely came with the Kimball Stamp!" I have been thinking about that recently and realized that my babies come with that exact same stamp. I wouldn't change it for the world! She is a sweet and sensitive baby, that absolutely hates being cold, and is happiest when she is snuggled in the security of our arms. It seems we have another binky baby on our hands, which is totally fine by me. She is starting to smile! Her smiles are still coming at pretty irregularly but I can't even tell you how adorable they are. All of us are on the constant quest to get her to smile- especially the kids! The love her to pieces and can't get enough of her. It's been so sweet to see all 4 of them develop their own special bonds and relationships with each other. 
A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Mothers Day. It was such a special day for me this year (and every year) with Vivian's sweet new spirit in our home. There is no hood like motherhood. It's difficult and raw, and also so rewarding and beautiful. It's the best job in the entire world and I'm so lucky to have these 4 angels to love and cherish the rest of my forevers.

Preschool Graduation!

Nothing makes my heart overflow quite like watching my kids perform or do what they love. This year we got lucky with TWO preschool programs to attend, and they did not disappoint! We have absolutely loved Bear Hollow Preschool. Miss Molly has been so great for both of my kids, and it's just the cutest preschool. They do so many fun things! This year Georgia had her very last program and graduated from preschool. Que all the tears from me over here. I just cannot believe that she will be starting Kindergarten in the fall! She is so ready, and I am so not. Very typical of the two of us. In my ideal world, I really would home school my kids and never let them leave my sight. Mike likes to remind me that home schooling our kids would be way more for me than it would be for our kids. Only because, Georgia is such a social love bug, and absolutely loves going to school! To be honest, she has loved every single part of "growing up." I can't say I haven't loved it, because I have loved every minute of the last 5 years with her. I just still feel sad to think that life as I know it is shifting, and the years I have had with my kids, I'll never get back. Thank goodness I have enjoyed and really LIVED these years with my kids. And seriously, THANK GOODNESS that Kindergarten is only half day. If she had to go full day, I really would have home schooled. She absolutely loved her last year of preschool, and learned so much. She is totally reading, can count to 100, knows some simple addition and subtraction, and is an expert at "staying in the lines" with her coloring. She won the award in her class for being the best athlete, specifically for being the best swinger. Haha! I love it! Georgia is so coordinated and athletic! Miss Molly said she would be on the swing every recess, pumping as high as she could- higher than anyone in the class. She also was super complimentary of Georgia's sweet personality and how she tries to befriend everyone. She did wonderful at her program. Got right up and said her part so loudly and clear! Sang every word to every song and exaggerated all of the actions that went along with the songs. So entertaining and adorable to watch. Gosh, we love that girl! So grateful to have her in our family.
Lanes first year of preschool completely surpassed any expectation I had of him. I was really hesitant to even send him this year. Lanes personality is one that is a little more shy and reserved, he isn't the first one to jump into something new with a huge smile and be in the center of all the action. He likes to ease his way into new situations and people, and is perfectly content to just kind of take a back seat and let other people be the center of attention. Nursery is something he never did on his own, and even now with sunbeams at church, he won't go by himself. Even though Lane is definitely young for his school year, I felt like deep down I knew that sending him to preschool would be the best thing for him. We had a lot of victories this year! He jumped into school with both feet, and totally loved it for the most part. The first half of the school year went incredibly well, but the last 3 months have been so hard for both of us. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would drop him off a school crying, which of course would end with me in my car crying as a drove off. It's so hard to see your child scared and sad. But every time I picked him up, he was happy and had a huge smile on his face! I had learned from the Christmas performance that Lane isn't one for exaggerated song actions and over the top singing, so I knew that this end of year program would be a similar performance from him. He made me promise that I would sit right behind him for the program. So there we were, Lane and I, marching hand in hand into his performance together. As expected, he wasn't really into actually performing- I don't think he sang one word to any of the songs. I was 100% sure that he wouldn't in a million years get up and do his part in the microphone. I knew that I would have to lean down into that microphone and recite his part for him. His turn for his part came, and again, we walked hand and hand up to the microphone together, and something magical happened. He said his part!!!!!!! He did it! And he did it perfectly. I couldn't hold back the tears, and I actually still can't. Seriously. Every time I think of him doing that part, I start to cry. It's a moment I will never forget and one that I'm so proud of. It seems silly to be so emotional over a preschool program part, but that moment was WAY more than that for me. 

Last Day!
Last Day!
We LOVE Miss Molly!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lane Turns 4!

Today Lane turned 4! Life is racing by so quickly and I'm realizing more and more how important it is to write down my feelings and experiences and memories of this crazy life. My life kind of fell apart last year when I had that miscarriage, we sold our house, moved into my parents, Mike was gone almost constantly for work, I was so sick with pregnancy and so unorganized from my move, and to be completely honest I haven't felt like myself at all for the last 10 months. That being said, this silly blog is something that nags at me on an almost daily basis, like I NEED to get around to catching up on the last year of life, but get overwhelmed every single time I think about it. So instead of avoiding it altogether and not documenting anything, I think I need to just focus on what is happening NOW and then maybe I will get around to catching up on what happened in 2016.
But for now, for today, my baby boy turned 4 years old. Lane is such a ray of sunshine in my life and in our home. He is my child that is constantly making me question whether or not I have this whole parenting thing figured out. He has a depth to him that is so beyond his years. Such a little feeler, that one. He craves (and has) deep connections with the people he loves and trusts, but also is very selective on who he lets his guard down around. He is a quirky little love that likes things just so. He also has the most incredible memory! If I'm ever thinking out loud, "what was that book called where we read about the two frogs in the pond?" or any other random ramblings or questions I might have, he ALWAYS knows the answer! Every time! He's like an Encyclopedia of random facts. He loves to do whatever Mike is doing, and is easily our hardest worker and best helper. A sports lover, attention hater, and conversationalist. I could go on and on about this boy of ours. I'm constantly telling Mike that Lane is such a gift. If I only ever get one boy (likely at this point) how lucky I am to have to Lane as that boy. 
This morning was rainy and cold, so unlike the day I gave birth to him 4 years ago. I promised him pancakes with candles for breakfast and realized once I woke up that I got EVERYTHING at the store last night except the candles. I text my neighbor Aleesa, praying she would have 4 birthday candles to spare, and lucky day- she did! Pancakes with candles it was. He didn't want to wait for me to wrap his presents, so Mike wrapped them up in a blanket. Haha, it's funny because putting our kids birthday presents in a blanket is actually kind of becoming a theme around our house. I just can't be bothered to get the gift wrap out. He got some new cleats for t-ball, new clothes, new socks, a football, some army guys, and my personal favorite- a new pair of crocs. He's kind of shoe guy. He notices everyone's shoes everywhere we go. Lanes worst nightmare would be having an actual birthday party with friends, so we kept it simple with his favorite dinner and my parents over. Uncle Ty came too, which was a fun surprise for Lane. We celebrated yesterday by going to the Seven Peaks Fun Center, which was a first for all of us but a total blast for the kids. Lane is a simple man, and is easily pleased. He wanted Mike to dress in all Utah Utes gear with him today, and being the adorable dad that Mike is, he happily obliged. I think that may have been the happiest part of Lanes day! He idolizes Mike, and I love to watch the two of them together. Dads are such an important part in a child's life. I'm so lucky to be married to Mike, who is constantly playing with and genuinely enjoying every second he has with our kids. We LOVE YOU LANE!!!!! I could say it a million times and it would still never be enough. Happy Birthday

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2 Weeks of Viv.

I cannot believe how FAST the last two weeks have gone! In some ways it feels like the longest two weeks of my life, but I am so sad that our Vivi Joy is growing so quick already. So much has changed since we welcomed her into our family. I told Mike tonight that I can't believe I lived 27 years without her. She is the sweetest thing! Such an easy going and content baby. We feel so lucky to have her sweet little spirit in our home! The kids are still just as obsessed with her. Lane is becoming less and less excited about helping out with diaper changes, but lucky for me Georgia and Leo are still on board for helping with every messy diaper they can get! Vivian sleeps like a champ already, and pretty much only wakes up to eat once a night. I have spent a large part of the last 16 days holding her as much as I possibly can and staring at how incredibly perfect she is. I want to run away to newborn land and live there the rest of my life. I still can't believe we are a family of 6!