Wednesday, January 11, 2017

To Remember December

So, what other photos from December do I want to get off my phone and on to this blog? Because let's be honest, that is what these monthly recaps have been about all year long. Sure, I got the idea from, but the goal was just to make sure there wasn't a memory I wanted to capture that didn't get shared. So here are Decembers unacknowledged moments. 

(Build at Lowe's)

For Ben's birthday, I signed the kids up to build some free ornaments at Lowe's. I'm sure that is just how he wanted to bring in his 35th year! While they were at Lowe's I took the little ones on errands around town. Then we all met up for lunch at Pizza Ranch. Seriously, Ben lives the high life. That afternoon he went wedding dress shopping (you read that right) with some co-workers. 

I don't have any pictures of it, but the next day we invited the wedding dress shopper (Angela Wang) over for Sunday dinner. It was a scaled back version of our Thanksgiving and totally delicious (if I do say so myself). Angela spent most her time playing with the kids. They had a very wild game of hide and go seek that lasted for nearly half an hour. It wore me out just watching them play, and Ben and I were so grateful she was the one to expel their energy that night instead of us! 

I tried to video Coraline calling Mara "cuey." You can kind of hear it, but it isn't as enthusiastic as usual. 

These two cute sisters kept bonding. 

This sweet baby slept and slept and got plenty of cuddles, especially while she slept.

On the 2nd Saturday of the month, I took Reid and Nell to the Hmong New Year celebration. Reid really wanted to buy one of the traditional male vests to show all his friends -- but I wasn't about to spend $80 no matter how cute he looked. We watched an amazing traditional dance, bought some eggrolls, and tried not to stand out as nearly the only white people there. Children, one day you may grow up and wonder if I went out of my way to expose you to people and cultures different from your own -- the answer is yes, yes I did. 

After the Hmong celebration we went to a friend's (Ben Ro--) birthday party at the Gymnastics Center. It was perfect for burning off energy. Coraline tagged along as well, while Daddy and Mara attended a baptism. Ben turned 5 and Reid and Nell proudly gave him a Lego Firetruck set they (mostly Nell) had picked out because they knew how much he loves firetruck/men/stuff.

Later the next week I went to Appleton to get a haircut. It's always nice to have a night out. I may have sat in the Toys R Us parking lot and just listened to music for more than ten minutes. I wasn't in a hurry to get home (even though all the kids were in bed). 

Nell was so proud of herself for putting on her pants without any help (or excessive whining). I couldn't pop her balloon, but I did have to take these cute photos to send to daddy. I had to tell someone! It wasn't long before she was asking me why her pants felt too small (as she kept tugging at them in the back). I told her they were backwards and she gave a quick giggle and fixed them. 

Reid 2010, Mara 2016
I decided I wanted to try and take photos of Mara in each of her siblings (and my own!) first Christmas outfits. We were not low on infant Christmas clothes. 

First column belongs to Reid, then Nell (with the jacket in the middle included as part of that snowflake outfit), the dress at the top (with the shoes) is mine, the tutu outfit on the bottom (middle) is Mara's, and the remaining three (dress and two footie jammies) are Coraline's.
I can't believe I'll start selling those next holiday season. It's been so fun to have a baby in our home for four of the last seven Christmases. It was the perfect little ending to have Mara fit so nicely into everyone's clothes (Reid and Nell's were size 3-6 mos and Mara, Coraline and mine were 0-3 mos, and Mara was right at the 3 mos sizing and could wear them all). I did actually get photos of Mara that match photos of both Nell and Coraline, and one day I might get those up for comparison as well. We'll see.

On Dec 22nd Reid had his holiday school concert. When his sisters saw him dressing up they both had to put on their Sunday clothes too. Here are some video outtakes. 

I volunteered to help for his class party the following day, and Reid was over the moon about that. I'd signed up to provide a treat and the mom in charge sent out an e-mail asking if any of us could actually go host the party since she might not be able to make it. I lined up a sitter and was all excited to be a part of Reid's school life. In the end, about six other mom's were there (plus the one in charge). There was hardly any need for me to be there, but I am really glad I went. I took along one of our Christmas Advent books because it went so well with the curriculum his teacher just covered (Christmas around the world) and she ended up reading it to all the kids when they got rowdy near the end of the party -- so I do feel like I contributed a little. My main goal was to make Reid feel special and proud, and I think that was accomplished. It sure was fun to see my boy in his element. 

Before I went to the party I got a chuckle out of Mara trying so hard to wake up. She really does take her sweet time coming to her senses. 

Even her sister's loud noises weren't enough to jolt her out of bed for her feeding. The ironic part is, I don't wake sleeping babies. So she had been crying enough to make me know she was ready to get up and eat. That bright eyed photo up top was taken before the video. So she had truly fully woken up and then slipped back into her slumber right before our eyes. 

Another pre-Christmas activity not pictured but worth note: our tithing settlement. Ben and I both got into the car and agreed that perhaps we were doing better at this parenting thing than we thought. Reid was so attentive and in tune. He answered all of Bishop's questions with so much thought and really surprised us with how well he is understanding the gospel. It was fun to see him act so responsible and personable in a gospel discussion. 

And now, we'll just skip over all of Christmas, since I shared that a couple days ago, and jump right into our final week of 2016.

Our week long winter break was a bit crazy. Reid caught an ear infection just as we were leaving Rick and Carol's. He vomited a few times on the car ride home (that was fun). I'm still not sure the vomits and the infection were connected (neither was the Dr), but no one else got sick so that was a bonus. Coraline did, however; take off her poopy diaper while the three big kids were playing together downstairs (that was also fun). The whole scene caused quite a ruckus and I threw her in some undies and onto her bed for a timeout (after she was washed up) while I went to the basement to hunt for stray poop. When I came back to reconcile our differences she was passed out. It was only 10:30 in the morning. The whole ordeal must have been as rough on her as it was on me because she was clearly exhausted!

New Year's Eve was really our first day out (not true, I took the kids to the gymnastics center's open gym the day before -- that was our first day out -- I forgot). We started the morning with a trip up to Appleton so I could attend the baptism of a friend's mother. I taught Mei Yer in Young Women's all those years ago and it was so lovely to see her mom join the Church. She is a Hmong immigrant so they are now attending Church up in Appleton for translation purposes. 

Mei Yer's older sister, Der, was the first speaker and she gave her entire talk in Hmong. I felt the spirit so strongly as she testified in a language I do not comprehend. I was almost moved to tears (and noticed a couple other English speaking guests were as well). It was a tender moment for me, as Church with all the littles doesn't always allow for a lot of spiritual growth. I only had Mara with me and she was sleeping peaceful, so with no other distractions the Spirit spoke so simply to my soul. I think it was an added bonus that the language was so Asian. It is a language family close to my heart.  

After we were all reunited (Ben took the non-infant kids to Goodwill) we went to get Reid and Nell much needed haircuts. Then we hit our favorite store -- Costco. Back in Oshkosh, we took naps and then headed to a wedding reception at the Church. Finally, to bring in the New Year, I took Reid and Nell to the YMCA balloon drop and Ben stayed home with the sleeping babies. 

As you can tell from the previous photo, we ran into one of Reid's friends (from 4K). It was fun to bring in the New Year with a familiar face. Prior to the balloon drop the kids ran around the soccer arena. After the balloon drop, they played in the bounce house. We got home just a couple hours after bedtime and kissed 2016 goodnight.   

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...