Sunday, May 30, 2010

One "Smart Cookie"

Abby is learning how to read and thinks that the twins should know how as well - so she has decided to teach them how the letters sound. Here is Paige with Abby - I didn't get the first part of the video and then Paige wouldn't cooperate later - I still think it is great though. Paige is one "smart cookie" (I even dressed her in her smart cookie shirt for the photo session:).

video

Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Day of Summer (kinda)

I know it is technically not summer, but after missing last summer due to either being hugely pregnant or having two newborns - I was just as excited as the kids for the last day of school yesterday. We celebrated by inviting ourselves along on Michael and Elsa's trip to Sand Hollow. We had a blast - the babies loved it, Piper instantly took to the water and sand. She walked up and down the beach (with mom's help).
Paige wasn't so sure about the water and she took a lot longer to warm up to the sand - but she loved the "picnic food". She also loves feeding herself - as you can tell from this picture.
This was such a cute picture of Piper - I had to put it in.
And this is why you don't take 10 month olds to the "beach" - Paige just managed to sneak a whole fistful of sand into her mouth - YUM. I think I have a picture of Abby doing that when she was about their age at Lake Tahoe (Frank, if you read this, can you look for any pictures from summer of 2007 - I am missing a whole year of pictures).
Abby loves Aunt Elsa - and Elsa is so cute with Abby. Thanks Elsa for not getting annoyed by the 3 year old who follows you everywhere!
Abby also loves Uncle Michael - she did not want to get left behind today when Michael went swimming so she put on her life jacket to go with him - as soon as she got deep enough that she started floating she decided that it wasn't worth it though and came back to play with me.
Ethan loves the lake - but not for the swimming. Her prefers his hair to stay dry. The boys had fun playing frisbee with Michael.
Ethan has always loved to dig in the sand - here he is in his "hot tub". The water really was 10 degrees warmer in the "hot tub" - but it was a good thing his swim trunks were already orangish red.
Miles loves the water - and the cold factor doesn't seem to stop him. I got in later and had a hard time putting my face under the water (it reminded me of a triathalon I did once in high school, where I swam backstroke the whole time because I couldn't breathe if I tried freestyle). I was sure glad we were with my brother this trip - Miles decided to swim to the "island" - (a bunch of rocks 1/4 mile away) and got frustrated waiting for someone to go with him so he just took off himself. I didn't realize he was gone until he was almost across (he did have his lifejacket on). Michael went over and got him (and I saw Michael doing backstroke too - I tell you, it was cold water) and even climbed around on the rocks with Miles before bringing him back. Miles was welcomed back by being reminded of the rule that we always swim with a buddy - it is not nice to make your mom panic (I was actually more nervous of him falling off the rocks then swimming - but still ....).
Miles begged me to take a video of him swimming - so here it is. He is turning out to be a pretty good swimmer - ENJOY!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Fathers and Sons

Frank was here last weekend and took the boys on the Fathers and Sons campout - I sent my camera with the boys with specific instructions to get pictures of each other with their dad. Instead this is what I found on my camera...


I promise he was here - maybe next time we will get documentation. Anyway, they went to Parowan Gap - which is famous for the hieroglyphics found on the rock formations - we have plenty of pictures of those.


The boys had a great time with their dad - Thanks for coming!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Hole in the Head" Gilmore

Ethan gave himself a nickname last week - he told Miles and me that we could just call him "Hole in the Head" Gilmore. We had been down in St. George watching Courtnie's soccer game - he was under the bleachers playing and fell. I heard the crying before I saw him and knew it was a "real" cry - so I quickly handed over two babies and ran to find him. I am not really good with blood and was grateful that my dad was there to help calm Ethan (and me) down. He has two pretty good sized holes in his head - I don't think they were quite big enough for stitches, but it was quite tramatic for Ethan (and me). When we got home, I threw him in the tub to soak his head so I could see the injury - his hair was caked with blood making it hard to see. I had to trim his hair and then cleaned the cut and put neosporin on it - it sounds so easy now, but I had to bite back the urge to call in backup every step of the way. These are some of the times when I hate being the only adult in the house - I always seem to second guess myself. On that note - Piper had a temperature of 104 + this week - I had her into the doctor on Monday and they couldn't find anything wrong - well, after 4 sleepless nights (and I really mean sleepless) the fever broke and she broke out in a rash - turns out it is what they call roseola (related to the measles) and she is now just fine - the rash only lasted for 6 hours. Kids are all healthy now though - and I am grateful, I need a break from worrying. Ethan had me take pictures of his head so he could see the injury - he also requested that I share them with the blog - so here is a shot of "Hole in the Head" Gilmore.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Pool Party!!!

We had Miles's birthday party last Saturday - it might have been a turning point in my life. It used to be that I would spend DAYS planning and baking and shopping and cleaning for one of the kids birthday parties. Not this time - I CHEATED, and we had the party at the swimming pool. Guess what - it was a huge hit - Miles claimed it was the funnest party EVER! I also need to brag that I got a huge deal on the price (it is the same pool that I grew up in - and my coach/boss is still in charge) - and then to top it off, Frank came that weekend and he ended up paying for it. Here are some of the highlights - we delivered the invitations wrapped around diving sticks.
The hydrotube was open - I honestly think it was in answer to my prayers. The slide had been broken, then the water was too cold, etc., but Saturday they finally had it ready to go! All the kids had a blast on the hydrotube - they had already taken the cover off for summer though, so it was pretty cold when they hit the Cedar City wind. Here is Miles - he had pretty good balance - I couldn't do that.
Miles also figured out how to do a flip without smacking his back at the party - I couldn't figure out how to get a good picture however.

Here are some of the "party-goers". It was cold water, so a few got out of the water and spent the rest of the party squirting water at those in the pool. Miles had a great turnout - 10 out of the 13 kids we invited were there - lots better that last year (3 out of 9).
I didn't dare light candles inside so Miles "pretended" to blow out his fingers - yep, he still blew germs all over the cupcakes.
This is what you get when you get more than one 9 year old boy together - they all try to stuff the whole cupcake in their mouth. Guess who got to clean up all the crumbs - me.
I found the beach balls at the dollar store and used them as the party favors.
And I forgot to mention - Miles scored in the present department. The kids were very generous. Most of them knew how much Miles likes Legos - so he had quite a few Legos to put together. True to form, Miles had all the Legos done that night - here are most of them.
It was a lot of fun and so easy that I felt guilty becasue I hadn't spent more time on the party. I am not sure if we will have many more "home" parties because of the success of this one.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

PAINT!!!

Abby love to paint - I love it when she paints on paper. We have had to establish a few rules with Abby concerning art supplies. After she painted the futon with my acrylic paints we made a rule that she could not climb up on the cupboards to get into mommy's paints (after I frantically called my parents to help me come and get it out of the carpet - I was doing all I could to keep Piper from crawling all over in it). We had to make a rule that the sidewalk chalk was only for the sidewalk - this rule came after Abby colored the house and the car, an easy clean-up, but timewise was tough since she had covered lots of ground before I found her. We have a rule that the markers do not color on her bed or on the babies carseats. We had been incident free for a couple of weeks and I thought that maybe we had grown out of the mischief - WRONG. Ethan came inside a couple of days ago and calmly announced that Abby was outside painting the house - words that for me can cause immediate panic - I know the destruction she is capable of. I sprinted outside to find blue and red paint all over the deck as well as the brick of the house - mind it was children's "washable" paint, but I scoured some of the bricks with comet and alot of elbow grease to get it off and I even managed to get it off of the deck as well. There were a few casulties from this incident though - a decorative branch in the backyard that had a birdhouse on it and Abby's clothes. Needless to say - we have yet another rule - ABBY IS NEVER TO TOUCH PAINT AGAIN UNLESS MOM IS SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO HER. Well, we had another paint incident today while we were at the Scout-o-rama, Abby decided that she wanted her face painted. The babies were tired and fussy, but I knew how much she would like it so I agreed and stood in line for over 1/2 hour with her. As soon as we got up to the front - Abby refused to sit in the seat - I was so frustrated with her that I couldn't even talk to her on the way home. I cooled down after I got two extremely fussy babies fed and down for naps - just about the time that Abby had a meltdown because she wanted to go back to get her face painted. Here is my attempt at face painting - she thought it was great.
She wore the same pants today that she was wearing when she "painted the house" - so I have included a picture to show you what blue "washable" paint does to pink pants - funniest thing is that Abby likes the pants better now. We have had to rename them however, they are no longer the pink pants, but they are now the pink and purple pants.
I sure hope that I figure out these "girl" emotions before the twins hit the terrible two's. Abby is doing her best to give me plenty of practice with the mood swings.

Accomplishment

Most of my accomplishments this year can't really be seen or measured - most days I call a success if my kids have eaten 3 good meals (well - the twins eat a lot more than 3 times a day, and yes, ramen noodles count as a good meal) and have started the day in clean clothes. And although I know that is important to spend time helping children practice the piano, do their homework, get to their scout meeting, swim team, etc., I don't have much to show at the end of the day for any of that (well, maybe happy, exhausted kids). So I have been so excited to be done with school and use some of that homework time to make something that I can show for all my efforts. Here is the first of what I hope will be more projects - I found the cutest pillowcases that were hand tatted and thought they would make such cute pillowcase dresses. Originally I had the twins in mind but when I saw how long they were, I figured Abby could wear them too. I did make two of them and they were soooooo easy and turned out quite cute I did think. Well, Abby thought it was cute too.....
...that is until she realized that it was Sunday and I wanted her to wear it to church. Turns out that she will now only wear the "princess dress" to church - if you haven't been following the posts, that is the easter dress that Grandma Gilmore sent her. It is a beautiful dress, but I am worried that our ward might start to feel sorry for us because they think that Abby only has one dress to wear on Sunday. I thought I would include the picture below of Abby pouting because I really tried to talk her into wearing the dress I made - I mean it was Mother's Day and all. Abby is just as stubborn (maybe even more so) than I am though, and so for the sake of my happiness, I helped her change into the princess dress. So this blog might be the only time you see this dress (unless you wait a few more years for the twins to fit into them).
Since I am posting about the "princess dress", I thought I would include this picture. I mentioned earlier how I found I needed to put the dress up during the week so it didn't get used as a dress up. Well, this is what happens when I put away the dress while Abby is watching me - I found it Sunday night as I was tucking her into bed - the picture isn't great, but it shows how much she loves that dress.
There are more days than not that I am not sure what to do with this child!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Golf Anyone?

These aren't great pictures - I was in a rush to get back inside to a crying baby, but I wanted to show all of our Reno friends what we are doing in our backyard this summer. When we bought our house in Reno (Sparks technically) the backyard was not finished - the boys (whom I might add, had lived in apartments their entire lives) loved digging in the dirt - in fact, all the boys and some of the girls in the neighborhood would love to come over and work in the "construction site". They would design rivers, bridges, huts, you name it - and the great thing was that the backyard looked completely different from one day to the next. Well - here we have a lawn and somewhat landscaped yard so they cannot dig, however there is a huge pile of odds and ends on the side of the house that the kids have put to good use. They have decided to build a minature golf course this summer, and the course changes daily. Here are some pictures - it really is quite ingenious - half of me is proud of their creative sides while the other half is annoyed that I am constantly picking up the backyard. It takes me longer to put their "golf course" away then it does to mow the lawn.
These pictures don't really do it justice - I don't know if you can see all the materials they used, but there were old rain gutters, cinder blocks, an old table, part of a shelving system, 2X4's, plywood pieces, tubing and an old bicycle pump.

Speaking of golf - the kids want to wish Aunt Courtnie good luck - she is on her way to up to state golf tomorrow - Go Courtnie!!!!

SUU Track Meet

The kids and I all went to the SUU track meet a couple of weeks ago. It was freezing cold -just like the old days (I remember it snowing for the SUU invitational more than once in my 4 years running there). I still enjoyed watching it though, wish I could say the same about the kids (we didn't make it to the end of the meet). I was inspired to start running again (that and the fact that I have already registered to run the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon in July) - so I have been running on my little treadmill after I get the kids to bed. My treadmill told me that it takes me 9 minutes and 15 seconds to run a mile - that was the night before Miles came home from school and told me he had run the mile in 9 minutes and 2 seconds for PE that day. I never thought I would see the day when my kids are faster than me - so I am sure the treadmill was wrong. Anyway, back to the track meet - here is a picture of Abby with her Sunbeam teacher, Sharla Manuele (a whole new story, but the primary finally let me put Abby in Sunbeams after a rough 4 months in Nursery after all her friends moved up to Sunbeams - she is a January birthday and only missed the cut-off by days). Her teacher has been shattering records all year and is already training for the olympic trials in a couple years - she is great!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Derbies

Yes - I meant to use the plural form of Derby. We did our first pinewood derby car in January and then last week we also tried our hand with a space derby rocket. It is a bit ironic - we worked long and hard on the pinewood derby car, in fact I had a huge blister on my finger from trying to whittle out the bottom of the car to put a weight in it - but even after all that work, the car just wasn't that fast. Miles had a blast though - I was worried he would only have fun if he won, but thankfully that wasn't the case, since we only won one race. So when I heard about the space derby, I wasn't too excited - and figured that since the race was right in the middle of finals, I had an excuse to not spend alot of time on the rocket. Miles did most of the work himself - he carved the rocket with a potato peeler (it was a really soft wood) and sanded and painted it. My dad helped us figure out how to put the thing together the night before the big event. Anyway, Miles ended up taking 3rd place in the derby - he was quite excited about it. Here are some pictures of the big night.
For those people who didn't recognize the colors of the rocket, Miles wore his Ducks hat to let them know that he is a big fan. He wasn't able to wear it long however, they asked him to lead the color guard in posting the flags. He did a great job in front of a lot of people!!!
Here he is loading his rocket in the launcher. The rocket is loaded with 3 rubber bands that are wound very tightly. Then the rocket is placed in a sliding "thing" and when Miles lets go of the propeller it will shoot down the track (some kind of fishing line). They measured the distances and took an average to determine the winners.
Here are a few pictures from the Pinewood Derby since I didn't post them earlier. You might recognize the colors - Oregon Duck colors, I did offer to buy another color of spray paint, but the kid is quite the proud "Duck" fan. If you look closely you will see a couple of half dollars on top of the car - we were quite a bit under the weight limit and I was not about to carve any more holes in the car to hide weights in so we just stuck them on top.
And here he is smiling - someone told him it is not cool to smile (and even more uncool to show your teeth when you smile - I have NO recent picture of Miles with teeth)
As we were leaving the night of the derby, Ethan remarked that he couldn't wait until next year. Yep - it had completely slipped my mind that next year he will be in cub scouts too, which means two derby cars/rockets. I think that we will invite their dad to visit next year at that time and see what kind of cars he can come up with:)