Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

30! (+4)

Before the clock strikes 12 and it is no longer August 24th I need to leave a little thought on my blog (the closest thing I have to a journal).  Its been a pretty crazy day for me as I started back to work today after 10 weeks on maternity leave.  Why did I choose to start back on my birthday?  Not sure, it just worked out that way.  The kids are all back in school and there was no reason to avoid it any longer...also the fact that I was not getting paid was hard to swallow thus the need to not delay. 

It was hard to wake up early and it was hard to leave my baby at daycare (although I have done that 4 times now, it never gets any easier) and it was hard to be at work, sorting through 1700 emails, feeling totally lost and pretending that I was OK with it while keeping a smile on my face. Thank goodness for good people surrounding me that made it bearable.

Today is the 4 year mark from my 30th b-day (in other words, I am 34).  Its funny because just the other day I was communicating with an old friend from high school and I realized that it has been 19 years since I started high school!  19 years sounds like forever but I maintain that 34 is not OLD!  I don't care what my 12 year old says. 

My 30's have been the best years of my life.  Let me explain: My teens were somewhat, although not completely, tumultuous, filled with broken hearts, friendships made and lost, stupid mistakes, and hard lessons learned.  I survived my teens, barely, thanks to my Mother's merciful heart, and moved on to start making (MOSTLY) good decisions, falling in (and out of) love and learning more hard lessons in my early 20's while also crossing some major milestones (like having my son).  My later 20's started to smooth out and look up for me with another chance at love, the arrival of my baby girl and learning to forgive and accept my love-ones for who they are; not judging them for what they do.

My 30's were kicked off by the arrival of my 2nd son and the loss of loved ones.  I started to work on improving myself and making the changes I wanted rather than sitting around and wishing I had done it. In the past couple of years I have accomplished things that I never thought I would and most recently, of course, given birth to my last baby boy.  Making the decision to be done having babies would seem like it would be an easy one, especially when I have four now.  Although, the worldly side of me says that I just can't do this again and my sanity would suffer a huge blow at news of baby #5, it makes me a little sad to think that my power to procreate is coming to an end (that doesn't mean that I am thinking about having more...trust me, I am done.) but, wow, look at the posterity I have created.  It's amazing, really. 

What I am getting at is this:  While I do tend to gripe occasionally and sometimes, whether its hormonally related or what-not, I cry and get sad because life can be hard and exhausting, I have chosen to take a hard look at my life and give thanks today and every day for where I am and how I am blessed to be what I am.  I am a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend, a mentor, a neighbor, and most importantly; a woman.  I will say it again:  My 30's have definitely been the best years of my life.  Happy B-day to me. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Adventures 2011 part 2

As previously mentioned, the summer so far has been pretty busy, what with the arrival of kid #4 and all.  The hardest part of all of it has been trying to keep the kids entertained while running on 4 or less hours of sleep and keeping a newborn fed, clean and happy at the same time. Don't get me wrong, we spend lots of days at home playing in the plastic pool in the back yard and renting Redbox movies but these are some of the things the kids have been able to do so far.

We spent a day at the Hogle Zoo a few weeks ago.  I wanted the kids to have it fresh in their head so they could compare it to the San Diego Zoo.  The local aquarium is a favorite too but I don't have any pics (too dark in there).

Paige is a little water-baby.  She loves putting on her swimsuit, playing in any body of water, and being wet.  The Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake has a splash pad that she loves.  She gets so excited I have to remind her to slow down so she doesn't run into anyone or slip and fall. 

And then there was Cameron... He on the other hand, hates getting wet.  He will toy with the idea but if anyone splashes him, that's it, he is done.  While Paige was in Heaven, Cameron stayed dry with Max.

Whitney and Ashton decided to have a niece and nephew sleep-over one weekend.  The kids loved it and so did we.  It was really nice to have some peace and quiet and the kids had a BLAST! 

The kids went crazy rolling down the grass hill.  They were super itchy afterward.  Now they know why MOM never lets them do that.

Braiden and Uncle Ashton.

We celebrated all the July birthdays on July 31st when my grandma happened to be in town.  My sister Bonnie and her daughter Abby's birthday is the 30th and Baylees b-day is the 28th.  Max also met Grandma Lundberg for the first time.

The girls took Bonnie out for a night of shopping and eating for her b-day.  We ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (on National Cheesecake Day, by the way). We very much enjoyed  the cheesecake...oh and hanging out was fun too.

Brace-Face Braiden!

Guess who got braces...

Isn't he handsome?

Summer Adventure 2011

School starts in 2 weeks.  The summer is almost over...I have mixed feelings about this.  It's most definitely time for the kids to go back to school.  They are bored and possibly getting dumber by the second with all the Nintendo DS and Sponge Bob they are currently taking in.  I have been on maternity leave all summer which I also have mixed feelings about.  Its been great to be home with my kids since, as a working mom, I don't get to do much of this.  However, since the very reason I am home with them keeps me very much on my toes, it has also been hard to be home.

I have had to think of every activity possible to try to keep them busy and entertained and keep myself sane.  We have done swimming lessons, dance camp, scout camp, the local zoo, the local aquarium, multiple trips to various parks, splash pads, McDonald's play places, and mall food courts and they seem generally satisfied with their activities this summer. 

And of course, since I am home we had to take advantage of this time and take a family trip to California to visit our very favorite place.  We decided to also throw in Sea World and San Diego Zoo while we were there.  Are we crazy for doing all this with a 5 week old baby?  Yes, a little.  It was not easy but we made it work and we had a really good time.   Think of it this way...we braved D-land on Christmas Day.  I dare say that after that we are able to do anything.  It takes colossal patience and a good attitude.  Both of which I had 93.4% of the time...good enough.
For me, a trip where the kids get to see fun and educational things while laughing and learning and spending time together as a family while we also avoided any major disasters along the way = a successful adventure.

After a couple days in the car our first stop for fun was the San Diego Zoo.  I remember this zoo from field trips in elementary school and I wanted my kids to see that there are zoos that are way bigger than the Hogle Zoo.  We had a good time despite the miles of uphill walking and the extremely humid climate.  Ugh! 

If you ask the kids they will probably tell you that what they remember about the zoo is bouncing on the giant trampolines.  Paige was even doing flips on these things.  Personally, my favorite part was the giraffes and the merekats.

The next day was Sea World.  We headed straight to the Shamu Show and the kids braved the very front "soak zone" row while Eric and I hung with the baby in the safe and dry zone.  All I can truly recall from that day was that it was stinking HOT!  The kids got nice and wet from the Shamu Show but Eric and I remained toasty.

I really think that this is the only picture I have with all 4 of my kids in it so far.  Its not easy to round up all 4 of them but this backdrop at Sea World was picture worthy.  Oh and I have to mention that Cameron is a goofball.

The kiddos show off their loot on the way out of Sea World.
So long to Sea World for at least another 5 years or so.

(I mean, is there really any other reason to go to California, anyway??...jk) 

Day 1 at Disney was for California Adventure.  We did the new Little Mermaid ride which was great.  It is really cute and thankfully the wait wasn't terrible.  There was also the Ferris Wheel, Monsters Inc, Bugs Land, and the Tower of Terror for Braiden and Eric (Paige and I don't do Tower of Terror).

That night in the tram on the way to the car the kids were getting extremely slap happy.  I caught these pics while they were playing some silly game.  Its amazing how they can have so much energy after 10 hours at Disneyland.

Day 2 of Disney I didn't take many pictures but what I did take were real gems.  Don't the kids just look thrilled

Paige is finally tall enough to ride the Indiana Jones Ride.  These are a couple of pics I took of her expressions during the ride.  Needless to say, she was terrified and will probably never do it again. 

Day 3 was a combination of Disneyland and California Adventure trying to get every last thing in that we could.  The kids got their giant pickles (ew) and Cameron finally crashed about early evening.  I really wanted to crawl into that stroller and join him.

So WHAT WAS MAX DOING THIS WHOLE TIME?  See above.  Pretty much just sleeping, eating and pooping.  He has since developed a strong hate for his car seat after spending so much time in it.  He did pretty well, all things considered.  It is not easy to tote a newborn around like we did but it all worked  out.  At least I can positively say that I will never have to do it again.

The drive home was looooooooooong.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Max, Max, and more Max


Max~ 2 weeks old

Paige and Cameron are very proud to be a big brother and sister.  Paige is especially enamored with her little baby brother Max.

Max and his Uncle Deputy Ben