5.01.2015

Flashback Friday: The Time Kyle Got Glasses

I had suspicions for a while that Kyle needed glasses. We constantly had to tell him to scoot back from the television whenever he watched movies, he squinted often when we read...a lot of the tell-tale signs were there. At his 6-year well visit with our pediatrician he had a hard time reading the appropriate line for his age on the vision chart. I wasn't sure if he was just being lazy about it (which he can be sometimes) or if he genuinely couldn't see it. My suspicions were confirmed when we got a letter from the school nurse in February: Kyle couldn't read the appropriate line on the vision chart and we needed to schedule a follow-up with an optometrist.

My little mommy heart broke when I read the letter. I mean, I was pretty sure at least one (if not all) of my kids would probably end up with glasses at some point in their lives (genetics, although cruel, are almost always inevitable), but it was just so early. He was only in Kindergarten! I got glasses in first grade, and I remember being teased about them. Kids can be so mean, and I didn't want his already fragile self-esteem to get shot to pieces. Fortunately, he seemed excited about the prospect, especially when Cole said he probably needed to get glasses as well. So, off they went to the optometrist.

Cole said Kyle did a really good job during the eye exam, and they had a good time testing out different sets of frames.

He clearly did not want to be a hipster.
This is the first set he tried on that he liked.
Kyle was a little disappointed because he didn't get to take his new glasses home with him that day. He asked me every day if his glasses were ready yet and, finally, after about a week, we got to pick them up.

Two of my handsome dudes in their new glasses
He looks so grown up every time he wears them! His prescription is a little stronger than I expected for his first pair of glasses, which means he probably inherited my eyes (poor kid!). He really should wear them all the time, but he's a 7-year-old boy and I don't want to replace glasses every month. So, we settle for wearing them at school and when he reads or does homework at home. I'm just glad it isn't a fight to get him to wear them.

Now, getting Cole to wear his is another story...

4.29.2015

Where We've Been Wednesday

So, I figured my first Wednesday post could be a general catch-up on everyone in the family. You know, just the background info on what everyone's been up to so I can leave the fleshing out for Friday posts.

~Perhaps the biggest update is that we recently moved! We found a perfect house in a...city further west from where we were...in a relatively new development. We loved our time in our first home and we miss many of the neighbors and ward members, but we know this is where we are supposed to be right now. The house is approximately twice as big as our last home, and we're really enjoying the space. We're on a super quiet street tucked back inside a quiet neighborhood, which is a nice contrast to our last house that was just off a really busy intersection.

view from the front
Moving day! Don't let Lucas fool you--we were all pretty excited!
The view from our front porch. Yes, that's a park directly across the street.
~In March we took a family vacation to visit my parents, who were living in Eugene, OR at the time. We drove up the Oregon coast, saw lighthouses and Devil's Churn, and stayed a few nights in a beautiful beach house; we visited The Aquarium of the Pacific, the Portland Zoo, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Tillamook Air Museum; we went whale watching and saw tons of sea lions; and generally just had a really awesome time! It wasn't even that stressful to fly with 4 kids. :) Hallie DID have a massive blowout while we were sitting in the airport and the nearest bathroom was at least a 10 minute walk away from our gate, so that was fun. This will definitely be fleshed out on Flashback Fridays.
~We enjoyed the outdoors by taking hikes and playing on our new swing set in the backyard.
~We said good bye to my grandmother, who passed away unexpectedly in July just shy of her 75th birthday. It was the first funeral for our kids and the first one that I really remember. It was an extremely hard, sad week, but it was also a very spiritual, bonding experience for my family.
~We helped my parents move back from Oregon! They live a little further north than they used to, but it's way better than them living in a different state! It just means we get to take mini road trips every now and then. We've had a ton of fun getting to know another new city in our beautiful state and getting to spend way more time with Grandma and Papa!
~We wore matching pajamas for Christmas Eve.

Yes, those are one-piece pajamas.
~We said good bye to our cat, Felix, who had a really unfortunate incident with antifreeze. Before we realized what was happening, he was too far gone. It was really traumatic, especially for Kyle, but it turned into (another) good lesson on the Plan of Salvation for our kids. We adopted a new cat, named Frankie, to fill the void and he has fit in from day one.
~We thoroughly enjoyed our zoo membership and recently bought a membership to the aquarium.
~We had tons of dance parties and wrestling matches...Hallie included.

Cole
~Started working at The Yarrow Hotel and Conference Center in Park City as the revenue manager.
~Helped oversee a huge remodel and change in operations of the hotel. He NOW is the operations manager at the Doubletree by Hilton Park City - The Yarrow.
~Almost singlehandedly built the new swing set/play house in the backyard.
~Got new glasses and sometimes even wears them.
~Got pneumonia in August.
~Served as a gospel doctrine teacher in our old ward (and was, in my unbiased opinion, the best one)
~Became mildly obsessed with Minecraft and had almost weekly game nights with his brothers.

Jessica
~Finished nursing Hallie in January, which marks the first time since October 2009 that I haven't been pregnant or nursing. It's nice in some ways, but it's also a little sad.
~Crafted and repurposed old things into decorations for our house, and started thrifting (DI is my new best friend). Also got a sparkly Silhouette to help with the craftiness (Thanks, Cole!)
~Volunteered twice a month in Lucas' preschool class
~Developed a serious obsession of scarves, especially infinity scarves
~Served as the ward choir director and the Primary chorister (my new favorite calling!) in our old ward
~Read voraciously
~Became a little obsessed with Pick Your Plum. Check it out. It'll change your life.

Kyle
~Got his very first pair of glasses


~Had more play dates with his little girlfriend, Avry
~Finished Kindergarten strong and started the first grade
~Learned to read and tie his shoes
~Can now make pretty spectacular fart noises with his armpit and the back of his knee (I'm so proud)
~Lost a total of 4 teeth, and has another pretty loose one
~Got to go on a fun field trip to the zoo with his new class

Lucas
~Started preschool and loves every minute of it! He gets to ride the bus ALL BY HIMSELF


~Began speech therapy in November to address a relatively minor delay. Almost 6 months later, it's almost completely corrected
~Loves going to Primary with Kyle
~Loves singing just about everything...his current favorite song is Follow the Prophet (he knows almost all of the verses)
~Has not had any serious injuries *knock on wood* since the toothpick-through-the-foot incident (thank goodness!
~Has a tender heart and is the best snuggler
~Is a great, loving big brother, especially to Hallie

Matthew
~Was finally circumcised in February 2014 (it's a long story...). He was the cutest little patient and all the nurses loved him
~Gave up his fa-fa (pacifier)
~Started talking a mile a minute, just like his brothers
~Has the BIGGEST sweet tooth and tries to snitch treats when I'm not looking
~Learned how to go potty like a champ just after we moved
~Loves to carry a baby doll around--he makes the cutest little daddy!
~Is pretty much the coolest kid


Hallie
~Learned how to sit up, crawl, and walk (at 9 months old!)
~Cut 12 teeth
~Loves to torment the cat (he tolerates her really well)
~Only says a few words, but makes the "sss" incessantly. We joke that she speaks Parseltongue fluently
~Loves to give kisses to pretty much anything

even Bumblebee...
~Loves shoes, dresses, getting her fingernails painted, and taking care of her babies, but she also loves cars and makes a great car noise
~Is the LOUDEST of our kids. Seriously. She's loud.

So, that's the last year in a nutshell.

4.27.2015

Hello, My Friend, Hello

So, I had a real stupor of thought regarding the blog the last...year...or so. I wasn't sure how much time I wanted or was able to dedicate to maintaining it, and I wasn't really sure how many people would even notice if I just sort of faded away. Plus, it doesn't really seem like blogging is the vogue thing to do anymore unless you have a niche (ie style, food, decor, etc.) and I don't really have one.

Then, I thought about how annoyed I felt when bloggers I followed (or, in some cases, ahem, stalked) stopped posting updates about their families and lives and I wondered if anyone felt the same about me (HAHAHAHA lez be honest...). Maybe there were people out there who were actually interested in my little corner of the world and missed seeing pictures of my adorable children (because, I mean, who wouldn't?)

Finally, I realized that in some ways, blogging could 1. be a much-needed outlet for me; and 2. be a great way to keep track of the things my kids say and do. They're so freaking hilarious all the time, and it's so easy to forget all their little quirks if I don't write them down.

So, even if no one else really cares, I'm blogging again. For me.

I heard it said once (by my husband, probably, since he's my only fan) that my Friday Letters posts were entertaining. I DID enjoy the stream-of-consciousness feel of those posts, so I'm going to move them to Mondays and call them "Monday Memos," because I'm cutesy like that.

Since I have a year's worth of happenings that went unblogged and catching up is always so tedious, I'm going to do Flashback Friday every week to fill y'all in on the highs and lows.

And, since blogging MWF is such a nice, organized structure, Wednesdays will be dedicated to the current happenings in the Christensen household. That will give me plenty of flexibility too..."What I Wore", "What I Made", "Where We Went", "Who's in Trouble"...you get the idea.

So, there's the plan. For anyone that cares. Even if it's just me.

And since blogs are crazy boring without pictures, I'll oblige you with some beauties of the kids from Easter. You're welcome.



2.10.2014

What I Made Monday: Hallie's Room

 
Hallie's room is still a bit of a work in progress. We've got the essentials down, but I'm still adding finishing touches and decorations to the walls and such. I figure she's not really going to know the difference anyway, so it doesn't hurt to take a little bit of time.
 
I wanted to get the letters for Hallie's name for her wall but everything I found didn't seem right. So, I decided to go with a swirly capital H instead. The ladies at The Wood Connection were kind enough to search their backstock for damask-printed paper that I remember them having last MARCH that matches Hallie's bedding. It was a pretty quick project--a few coats of pink paint, Mod Podge the paper on, finishing spray and embellishing.
 
After I got it all finished, I realized I had the letter backwards (the swirls were supposed to go the opposite directions). Oh well. It still looks cute, right?
 

 
I inherited a wooden shelf from my parents' house when we cleaned it up in the spring. I found out it was actually made by my grandfather, so it's a bit of an heirloom. I painted it black to match the bedding.
 

 
It was the perfect place to put her cute ABC name block (courtesy of one of my insanely talented friends). The tall jar in the middle of the shelf came from someone at Cole's work. When he got it it was full of Swedish fish, but after they were all gone it made the perfect container for all of Hallie's elastic headbands. The hooks were a perfect place to hang one of the tutus I made and a pair of ballet slippers Hallie inherited from one of her cousins.

 
I bought this bow hanger from a boutique, but I quickly realized it didn't have enough space for all of the bows we got for Hallie (my aunt was EXTREMELY generous). I glued a few more pieces of ribbon on to increase storage space, but, as you can see, it still wasn't enough.
 
I'm planning on getting a few newborn pictures framed for the walls and buy the wall hanging that matches her bedding. We still have to sand down and re-paint the old sewing table that we had in Matthew's nursery (it's currently green) and do a few other things, but as soon as we get it all done I'll take pictures of the finished product.

2.05.2014

Young Love and Playing Dress Up

For a few months now Kyle has been talking about his new "girlfriend" Avry. Her mom approached me during pickup one afternoon and told me Avry wanted to have a playdate with Kyle. This was a bit of a relief, because I don't want him to be that weird kid at school that has unrequited crushes on all the girls. It was nice to know that the other kids like him too. :)
 
I picked the kids up after Kindergarten last Wednesday and brought them back to the house. I'm always super concerned about making sure they have fun activities to do, which is kind of funny because this time, all they wanted to do was watch Daniel Tiger in the playroom.
 
And snuggle, obviously...
 
I had to be sneaky when taking this picture--
Kyle would have been SO embarrassed if he knew.
 
I did make sugar cookies so they could bust out the huge box of cookie cutters the boys got for Christmas from their aunt and uncle (thanks, Chris and Brittany!). They had a blast choosing different cookie cutters and snitching dough when they thought I wasn't paying attention. After the cookies were baked and frosted I let them have free reign over the sprinkles, which in hindsight probably wasn't the best choice--I had to do some serious sweeping of the kitchen floor afterward. It was worth it though, because they had a great time.
 
As much as I hate to admit it, Hallie is growing up. She's 3 months old today (!!!!!) and quickly growing out of her clothes. Last week I brought out the 3-6 month outfits to wash and fold. This prompted a lot of squealing when I remembered all of the adorable outfits we got at my baby shower. So of COURSE we had to play a little bit of dress up.
 
 
She wasn't as excited as I was to play dress up, hence the pacifier in the pictures. She was a pretty good sport, though. I'm so excited for her to wear all of these cute things! There are a lot of cute dresses and short-sleeved outfits, so I hope it gets warm soon...or I'll just have to invest in more tights/baby legs and sweaters.
 
I spend a lot of time nursing Hallie, which means I spend a lot of time broswing the internets on my phone. I'm sure I'm late to the Jim Gaffigan bandwagon, but this dude is hilarious. As a McDonald's French fry lover, this video spoke directly to my...stomach.

 

Aaaaand...now I need some fries.

2.03.2014

What I Made Monday: The Month of Love

I've been on a crafting binge lately, and since I got my fill of January decorations I moved on to February. I'm starting to think I should just have Cole always budget a percentage of his income for The Wood Connection because I'm there so often...

The center of the "O"s are grey and sparkly
I sort of fell in love with the little wood signs I made in January, and The Wood Connection had paper with the cutest Valentine's Day patterns. 

 
I couldn't choose only three of them to use, so I made the blocks double-sided. :)


I even bought a door hanger from my front door...and then I realized I already had one from last year. Oops! Guess I should take inventory of what crafts I have before I buy more. So, I'll probably end up making it as a gift for my sister's newly purchased front door (attached to the rest of her newly purchased home where she lives with her newly acquired husband).

1.31.2014

Sunday Snuggles and Not a Candy Eater

With the new year came the switch back to 9:00 AM church on Sundays. I'm a huge fan of this time because my kids are nappers and 9:00 church makes afternoon naps possible...which means I get a nap myself. :)
 
But, some days, my snuggle buddy is too beautiful and it's too easy to stare at her instead of sleep myself.

Just try to stop staring at her face. I dare you.
 I did eventually move her to her crib, but she quickly inherited another snuggle buddy.

 
Matthew loves Hallie...sometimes a little too much. I have to watch her carefully when I lay her on the floor for tummy time, because his version of "snuggling" quite often means sitting or laying on top of her. He does like to share his blanket with her...but that means putting it over her face which freaks her out a bit. He loves to talk to her...but he usually gets so excited that it ends up being more like yelling. It makes me happy to know that he loves his sister; I guess we just have to have a few more lessons in being soft.
 
We have a cupboard above the oven that has turned into the hiding spot for any food/treats we don't want the kids to get into without asking. It's such a good hiding spot that at times even Cole and I forget what we have stashed up there. So, the other day I climbed up on a stool to see what was still kicking around up there and figure out what was worth keeping and what needed to be tossed.
 
I knew we still had a bag of Halloween candy, but I was pretty surprised when I pulled it out and discovered this:
 
 
You'll notice there is a significant amount of chocolate left. Any parent knows that there is a Halloween candy hierarchy, and the top spot is always chocolate candy bars--they always get eaten first and in a hurry. Usually by early January you have Smarties, Dum-Dum suckers, the nasty hard candy that you always get from one of the old ladies on the block, and, if you're lucky, a few lurking Tootsie Rolls that can satisfy your chocolate craving if you're desperate enough.
 
Apparently I haven't had a lot of chocolate cravings lately.
 
To be honest, I'm more of a salt-craving girl. I can be satisfied after only 1 or 2 pieces of chocolate, but I can eat my weight in French fries or chips and not even flinch...well, until I realize I just ate my weight in junk food.
 
One of my friends on IG made me realize why I still had so much chocolate. You see, as long as I have it in my house, I don't want it. For example: I have several half-gallons of ice cream kicking around in my freezer, but the second that ice cream is gone I get an insatiable desire for it. Ice cream becomes the only thing I think about. It must be the same thing with chocolate.
 
I'm not usually a New Years resolutions maker. In fact, I'm pretty unmotivated, period. I was never very athletic or even physically active when I was younger; I took for granted that I was thin and had a kickin' metabolism. Well, 4 kids and 10 years later I'm neither thin nor do I have the metabolism of my youth, and I don't have any fitness habits in place to help me out. I decided I needed to make changes in my lifestyle, because I am entirely too sedentary. I didn't want to restrict my caloric intake too much because I'm breastfeeding (I did Weight Watchers while nursing Matthew, and even though I followed their directions for nursing moms I'm pretty sure I wasn't consuming enough calories to make enough milk for him to thrive...so I'm hyper-sensitive about that this time around). So, that left exercising. I have never been a huge fan of working out; I never seemed to get the endorphin rush that so many people talk about. I just get sweaty and out of breath and red-faced and uncomfortable. Plus, I'm never really sure exactly what to do, and I don't want to pay buckets of money for DVDs/gym memberships/programs that I'll inevitably give up on after only a few weeks.
 
That all changed with one "share" on FB. One of my friends shared the page called "Bikini Body Mommy." When I looked at the page, I instantly liked what I saw. It's a program created by a mom of three who used a specific set of workouts to lose 100 pounds after the birth of her third child. She was starting up a 90-day challenge of the same workouts at the beginning of January to lose some pregnancy weight (after having a miscarriage). She posts workout videos on YouTube every day for 90 days and the best part is, she is transforming her body right along with her viewers. There was something so raw and honest about her that really spoke to me. I've always felt annoyed when watching trainers and already "fit" people in exercise videos, because they don't look anything like me. They don't look like they're going to pass out if they have to do one more crunch or lunge or squat, and it's so discouraging. This woman is just the opposite. She lets her viewers see when she's struggling and she admits when she's sore and tired. Because she's so relatable I've actually been inspired to exercise every day. It's becoming part of my daily routine. I was SO annoyed when I had to take a week off to let my toe heal, and I'm getting to the point where I crave the sweaty, tired, sore feeling. I can't say that I've ever felt that before. I'm not really looking to lose weight at this point; I just want to establish a habit and make my body stronger so it'll be easier to lose weight when that becomes my focus. I'm three weeks into the 90-day challenge (one week behind because of my broken toe) and I'm loving every bit of it.
 
The kids are pretty fascinated by the whole exercise thing. One of the days I was running the basement stairs as part of a HIIT cardio workout while they were eating their lunch, and they would laugh and yell in excitement every time they saw me at the top of the stairs. I started making faces at them to make them laugh harder and I forgot how tired I was and how sore my legs were. They got down from the counter and started running the stairs with me. When I switched to jumping jacks they followed me and did some jumping jacks of their own. It was striking to me how much my behavior shapes theirs. I'm happy that I'm starting to be a good example to them.

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