Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Latest and Greatest 4 Year Old

Happy Birthday Benjamin!

This is not our typical birthday celebration picture pose, but when you've got strep, this is as good as it gets.

Our grand birthday plans did not pan out, as you may have guessed, since we didn't want to inflict strep on an unsuspecting public. Ben very much did not feel well and in his disappointment for delayed birthday festivities, he had only one request: he wanted to watch the movie Planes.

The problem there was the fact that we don't own the movie Planes. I posted a few different pleas on Facebook begging for the movie from anyone who lived close, but I gave up on that pretty quick based on the pathetic-ness of his begging. Instead, Chris stayed home from work for an extra half an hour while I made a Walmart run. Crisis adverted. And, several hours of entertainment provided, as we watched that movie more than once.

Luckily, antibiotics kicked in and everyone was feeling significantly better by the end of the day. That made for more exciting times opening presents and having cake.

Ben basically hand-picked every single present he got this year, with one exception. His only surprise gift this year came from Grandma Karrie and Grandpa Jeff: superhero costumes. He is quite excited to be able to play dress up with Megan and not be limited to only a tiger (or a princess...).

He knew all of his gifts from us and still loved every second of it. First gift request was a remote controlled car.

Second and third gift requests still to come. In the meantime, cake!

By the next day, no one was contagious anymore and everyone was feeling great. So, we dropped Simon and the girls off at a neighbor's house, Chris took some time off work, and we took Ben out to the movies. Or rather, we took Batman out to the movies.

We saw Inside Out. It was cute, though I think it went just a little over Ben's head. Next: Batman at Arby's.

All in all, it was a good birthday, despite being sick to begin with. Even better, we have one more celebration coming when we go camping tomorrow. Three days of birthday makes up for being sick.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Strep Saga

It started with Simon, a week ago. He was acting a little off, kind of whiny and clingy. I didn't think too much of it, just figured he was teething or something. I gave him a bit of tylenol and put him to bed on Sunday night. By Monday morning, he had a fever up to 102.9 and wouldn't eat. I took him in to the pediatrician, who said that he had quite the swollen and sore throat. Poor little guy.

They did a quick test for strep, but it was negative. The doctor was expecting that, since it's extremely rare for someone under the age of 2 to get strep. So, we went home with instructions to wait it out and call back if he didn't get better in a few days.

I got a call back on Wednesday saying never mind, he really does have strep. Lovely. He responded well to the antibiotics, though, and was feeling quite a bit better by the next day.

Fast Forward to yesterday. Chris was already gone to church for early meeting. I had all four kids ready for church, just about to walk out the door, when Ben started throwing up. So...Chris came home to pick up the girls for church and I took the boys to Urgent Care instead. Verdict: Ben has strep, too.

Everyone else came home and ate lunch...and then Megan totally crashed. Sigh. I made her an appointment with After Hours Pediatrics since the urgent care office was already closed. Verdict: Megan has strep, too.

Let's hope everyone does as well with the medicine as Simon has, and let's hope that no one else gets sick. Especially since we're headed to Utah to go camping in two days.

Friday, July 24, 2015

To Beat the Heat

I must say, for all the heat in Albuquerque, it still doesn't seem so bad compared to last summer when I was very pregnant in all the summer humidity of Georgia. I'm sure this little immunity I've built up will wear off in time, but so far, I'm enjoying it.

But, temperatures in the nineties still warrant some cooling activities. I dug out this blow-up pool that we only recently discovered we still own.

I love being able to send them all outside to play in the pool while I watch a movie and do the dishes where I can still see them through the window. Even better is when Simon is asleep all the way upstairs where no one is at risk of waking him up. A lovely way to spend a summer afternoon.

Having this little pool out does make me think back to last time we used it...

Ben is older now than Audrey Jane was in those pictures...and then he wasn't even born yet. They are so much bigger now! We may want to get a larger pool.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Hair to go with the New House

Way back in May of 2013, I had really long hair.

I was sick of it, so I had it chopped.

That was the last time I had my hair cut. In May of 2015, it was getting really long again.

I was sick of it again, so on Friday, I had it chopped again.

Hair cuts aren't usually particularly noteworthy, but I feel like 10 inches is worthy of mention. I keep flipping my head around still because it feels so different. And it's thrown Simon off more than once--he can't grab my ponytail to pull himself up off the floor anymore. Ha. That was definitely a contributing factor in getting it cut.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

We Moved! Again.

Our family went up to Utah about a month ago, and none of us were terribly excited to come back to Albuquerque. After a long discussion--10 hour car rides are convenient for those--Chris and I determined that if we weren't completely happy with where we were, we should consider other options. A big drawback in life was our house. While it was fine overall, there were a lot of little things wrong (and a few big things, like the dining room floor). So...why not look for a new house?

The next day we visited our first potential rental house, and another the next day, and the day after that. We drove home from Utah on a Sunday and by Wednesday we had put in an application for a house. On Thursday morning, we still hadn't heard back and I was getting anxious. They were still totally within their allotted response time, but still. To kill time, the boys and I took a ride down past what would be the girls' new elementary school. While there, I drove through a neighborhood that I had never seen before. It looked really nice, so I drove straight home and looked online to see if there were any houses available.

Ta-da! There was one that had been posted for only 6 hours. I called right away and set an appointment to see it. That afternoon, I made my kids drive around with me all over town picking up money orders for a deposit and application fees, collecting paperwork, filling out applications, and getting it all turned in to the property management company. It was over 100 degrees that day and the kids were not happy with being in and out of the car so much. But, it was worth it. We had everything turned in by 5:20 that afternoon to an office that closed at 5:30.

The happy ending to that story is that we got the house! When the lady called to tell me that we had been approved, she told me that six other applications had been turned in after ours. There was one more turned in the day we signed the lease. What can I say? It's just that good of a house.

We had four weeks from the time that we first had the idea to move until we were loading the truck. It was a quick decision and a quick move. The entire truck was loaded in an hour and a half on Friday night, then unloaded in about an hour on Saturday morning. It was amazing.

It was kind of funny with the kids. They kept wanting to know when we were going to stay in a hotel. Our last three moves have been to a new state. This time we moved less than fifteen minutes away. Also, I find it noteworthy that Simon has moved twice now and he's not even one year old yet. Audrey will be going to her fifth new school, and Megan's first day of kindergarten will be her fourth first day of school. Apparently we move a lot...maybe this time we'll stick around longer.

Back to the house. I borrowed a few pictures from the online listing.

Even more amazing? We moved in one week ago, and we are already done unpacking. The only things still to do are getting rid of the boxes and rearranging the garage. But, that's a project that been on our list for months already. Now it's just in a different garage.

The kids are pretty excited about their bedrooms. We finally put Ben and Simon in together. I love that the bedrooms are all upstairs, which means Simon is no longer napping right next to the front door and being woken up all the time. We have learned, however, that Simon talks himself to sleep, sometimes for more than half an hour at a time. Ben is working on getting used to that.

The girls like that they don't have to have a bunk bed. Although, they weren't so happy with me taking pictures right at that moment.

Our bedroom is pretty sweet, too. Anything that can make a king size bed look small is impressive.

We have an awesome backyard. Grass in Albuquerque!

I even found a good place for my rooster.

My most favorite room in my house is the living room.

Everything has gone so well with us getting into this house. Not only did we beat out all the other applications, we were able to get out of the lease on our old house. The landlord was more than happy to let us break our contract in favor of renting it for a higher price than we were paying. New tenants were found very quickly--they actually started moving in their stuff the afternoon we were gone. We got our deposit back and everything, even though we technically still had 11 months on our lease.

We're getting into our new ward and neighborhood nicely, too. Already, in just one week, we've helped with an Eagle Scout project, been visited by the Relief Society presidency, gone to the park to shoot off water balloon rockets, picked plums with several neighbors, and tonight we went to a birthday party for a 4 year old. I very much feel like this is the right place for our family to be now.

And the icing on the cake? The view from the balcony that comes off the master bedroom.