Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Legos

See that tiny Lego? That brick (or one identical to it) is responsible for a very long and presumably very expensive trip to our local emergency room.

I have been telling Charlie for quite a while that it’s not safe to put Legos in your mouth, so last Friday, when I walked into the living room (aka the Lego room) and saw him walking toward me with a terrified look on his face, I immediately knew what had happened. Honestly, I didn’t think too much of it, figuring it would work its way out without too much trouble, but I called the pediatrician’s office just to be sure. The medical assistant that I spoke to asked me to give him a small piece of bread. When he swallowed it, he grabbed his throat and said that it hurt. She directed us to get it checked out in the emergency room, so off to Primary Children’s hospital we went. Apparently, Friday afternoons are prime time to hit the ER, so we were there for four verrrrrry long hours, in which the twins watched TV, spun on doctor chairs, and waited for the results of Charlie’s X-rays to come back. As much as I wasn’t happy about getting the X-Rays done, it was really cool to see all the bones in his body. There was nothing of much interest on the X-rays, and no Lego to be found. The only moment of drama came when Charlie realized he wouldn’t ever be getting the red police car headlight back. I’m hoping that’s encouragement enough to keep him from swallowing any more!

This week, Emmie started selling Girl Scout cookies for her Daisy Girl Scout Troop. It is so cute to watch her be brave (and persuasive!) going to door to door. We met some interesting folks in our very eclectic neighborhood, and she managed to upsell quite a few people!

In other Emmie news, she lost her first tooth!!! This is a bit of a bittersweet moment for her mama, because it means the last of babyhood is ending. I can remember when those little teeth first came in, and it’s poignant to watch them go.

Kaila continued work on her Science and Engineering Fair project, which is a light board that helps people determine if they’ve already fed their dog during the day. I am so grateful that Mike has been helping her with this thing, because I’m really not that excited about school projects. I don’t think I was ever even excited about my own school projects. But this one is pretty cool.

Just so we didn’t get bored, I decided to foster puppies from the Humane Society of Utah. We have fostered two litters of kittens, and two other litters of puppies. This time, we just got two older puppies, and it has been a blast. We get the honor of naming them, and they have been christened Molly and Cinnamon. Cinnamon (who is actually the sweetest dog that ever lived) had a badly broken tail, and it needed to be amputated, and they both were spayed. I’ve spent the week wrapping doggie pills in cheese, and wiping up puppy prints from the floor, but it’s really been fun. And it will continue to be fun until two weeks from now, when I take them back to the shelter to be adopted. And then I will cry.

My parents have also been in town, and I think they’ve been quite amused at the chaos I bring into the house. Looking at this past week, I’m actually a little amused, myself!

 

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Utah Life

Last Friday, Kaila and I went to our first Utes gymnastics meet of the season. This is our second year with season tickets, and it is so much fun. I have never been a sports-minded person, but I have to admit – I’m a little obsessed. These girls/women are AMAZING athletes, and the show the program puts on is outstanding. The “Red Rocks” are  consistently the highest attended women’s collegiate sport in the country. At the BYU/Utah meet, there were over 15,000 people in attendance.

And on Saturday, we had our first family day on the slopes. Technically, I didn’t hit the slopes, but thanks to the Epic Schoolkids Program, the kids got a free full day of ski/boarding lessons, and now have five free days of skiing to use this season. I was really nervous about letting the twins spend an entire day outside and in a lesson, but I was able to watch them from a little lodge while having a little cafe mocha and reading time. So, pretty much the perfect day of skiing for me!

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On Friday, Kaila competed in her school’s geography bee. She has loved geography since she was a toddler, and it was so fun to watch her compete. She had to qualify by acing her classroom bee, and then she ended up coming in 2nd in the completion. This is a pretty big deal considering she’s a 5th grader (and all the kids in her program are smarty pants!). It was really neat to watch her class cheer for her and  grab her in a big group hug after the competition. It’s especially fun to watch her excel in something in which I have zero ability.

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Kaila and her formidable opponent
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So fun to see her smiling like this!

And I end the week by reading about my noble accomplishments as a mother. Thanks, Emmie. IMG_0261

Off and running…

This was a nice transition week back to the regular routine at our place. I got back into the habit of waking up at 5 am (thanks to my handy-dandy alarm clock.)

Right before school started, the kids all got their hair cut. Kaila decided that she was ready for a change and cut off eight inches to donate to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which makes wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. I think Kaila looks fantastic with her new cut!

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Before….
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…and after!

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Mike and I were able to go see a movie and had a babysitter come over. Afterward, Kaila informed us that the twins had been a little….energetic. So, I had them write apology letters to the babysitter, which I thought were hilarious. IMG_0233IMG_0234

The twins (when not wreaking havoc), also enjoyed doing a Kiwi Crate about light and shadows. _DSC0447

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Try not to be too jealous of my beautiful golden Nate Berkus scissors. 

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Lego mania has continued to thrive in our house, and Kaila made a robot that she is very proud of.

And I wrapped up the week by getting to co-op at the kids’ school. I was lucky enough to get to join Kaila’s class during music, which was SO much fun. The teacher wheeled in a piano and the kids got a chance to sing their hearts out, notate rhythms, and enjoy learning about the composer of the Star Wars music (while marching around the room like Darth Vader). So fun.

I also got to do my usual language arts co-oping in the twins classroom, and then did an adorable art project that involved painting the bottoms of their feet white and helping them make a footprint on paper. The amount of hysterical giggling while I painted their feet was too cute. It was also fun to watch the twins during their “choice time”. They really enjoy school, and it’s been so fun to watch them grow this year.

Our break was nice, but it was been lovely to have the kids back and school, and to have a routine and some order in the house again. My introverted heart loves the quiet and the time to focus on tasks without needing to stop and start every 30 seconds or so. Thank God for the public school system… On that note, I think I need to go eat a bonbon or something.

 

happy new year!

This year, I am going to try hard to honor and celebrate all the holidays, special days, seasons, and celebrations that come our way. I’ve noticed that the kids get a lot of meaning out of those kind of celebrations, and I’ve also noticed that some of our favorite memories are made when I just take a little extra effort to make these kind of days special.

I’m also going to try to document these days more than I have in the past. Sometimes it feels forced to try to remember to take photos in the moment, but I can’t say I’ve ever regretted taking the time to do it.

So, in that spirit, we had our first celebration of the year welcoming in 2016.

Kaila and Mike were wrapping up a one-night yurt and snowshoeing adventure:

 

So, the twins and I were left to our own devices for two days and one night. Some, or much, or this time involved me telling the twins to go back downstairs and finish cleaning their room while I ignored the maniacal laughter/screaming and listened to a book on Audible. (I listened to The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, which was the author’s story of learning to say yes to new and scary experiences, as well as how to be more honest with others. It was funny and it inspired me to try my own “year of yes” in 2016. )

We started the day out with a trip to the local hipster cafe, where Emmie and Charlie promptly astounded the waitstaff with their abilities to inhale massive quantities of breakfast food.

I have no idea why they put stickers on the syrup, but I like it.

A little later we decided to grab some fireworks for our big night. IMG_0219 This is where Charlie shows off his spectacular ability to grimace for the camera, as all good Reynolds men should. It also showcases why iPhone apps allow you to airbrush yourself now, but you know what? This is the year of yes, and I say yes to looking like me.

At home, we decorated and got ready to PARTY!!! That means I turned on Pandora and busted a few moves.

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And then, when Kaila and Mike arrived home, it was time for the magical eating of the New Year’s brownies. We sang “Happy New Year to You”.

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I’ve been using Walmart’s Grocery to Go service, and I ordered the  numeral 1 candle, but it never made it into the grocery bags. So, we improvised!

We lit off the fireworks we bought earlier and poured ourselves a few delightful glasses of fizzy juice.

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I feel like this picture captures their personalities perfectly: cautious, mildly amused, and thrilled.

_DSC0414_DSC0422  A little more male-grimacing for you. And I’m going to always try to stand at that angle for all pictures from now on, because I like it.

Finally, we tried really really hard to stay up until midnight. The girls binge watched Food Network shows and Charlie, Mike and I valiantly attempted to keep our eyes open. At about 11:45 pm, one of our faithful compatriots could go on no longer.

Finally, finally, finally, it was time for the ball to drop. The remaining four of us watched Times Square celebrate, we tooted our horns, and then we promptly jumped into bed. Well, Kaila repeated and almost tearfully asked why she had to go to bed, but after some verrrrrry patient and loving reminders, she went to bed, too.

So, here’s to a really excellent new year. I don’t have any major visions of changing everything about my life to perfect it this year, and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m feeling like things are on a great track already, and I’m truly excited to see what this “year of yes” holds for me and my family.

Happy New Year!