Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Just before Carson was born, it was the start of the school year - the year where Amie just happened to begin school. She also returned to another season of dance class, and Alisa began gymnastics.  It was also when Jeff switched to the graveyard shift.  You might guess how this made for a lot of changes all at once, and life got kind of crazy.  Luckily, thanks to a natural delivery and it being the third time, I was up and at 'em MUCH more quickly and able to take over when Jeff went back to work.  I feel like it's taken us these last weeks to really find our groove, but we are finally settling in.  It is nice to have a regular schedule working, with weekday activities and Jeff off on the weekends... we haven't had that for years! Unfortunately, our schedule has us driving a lot... which puts Carson to sleep a lot... so, he's still waking up pretty much every two hours at night, but he almost always goes right back to sleep after he eats, so I can't complain too much.  (Plus with Jeff's night schedule, I usually get one night a week where I just get to sleep most all night and recover from zombietude.)

The many faces of Carson

 Check out these money shots!  He's a great smiler!!


In order to keep up my license and certification as a recreation therapist, I have to attend/get continuing education units.  I was taking a look at the hours I had and realized I was probably not going to make it, so I had to attend this year's national conference, which was in Phoenix.  We had been wanting to get out of town (as always) and thought I'd still be nursing Carson, so we made a family trip of it.  We took off early in the morning (about 5) and rolled into Pheonix right about the time the first session started. (It totally snowed in the middle of the drive down!) The girls were surprisingly great on the 11.5 hr drive there.

Look at the crazy weather that weekend!
We have a couple of condos in AZ, so of course we stayed at one, since it cost us less than a single night at the hotel.  The only prob was that the closest one was an hour and 45 away.  The conference was great, I enjoyed pretty much everything I attended, and got lots of CE hours.  I feel like I only spent the rest of the time in the van, though.  Jeff troopered it out with the kids at the condo, but luckily they had a pool, kiddie pool, playground, etc. and they all enjoyed themselves.

We pulled back into home at maybe 5 or 6 am on Tuesday and had to get up a few hours later for preschool and gymnastics!  That was super fun....

Amelie - 4 years!

My oldest, Amelie, turned 4 this month.  It's so unbelievable how quickly time goes by, and yet it feels like she has always been a part of our family. (Seriously, Jeff and I can't remember life without kids.)

Amelie is back in her dance class and started preschool this year (at Challenger School,) and she is very into it.  She plays school a lot, practices writing and sounding out letters/words.  She's learning much and loving every second of it.  She is a great help to me with the chaos that is 3 kids.  Usually, she is very happy to help and put herself in the category of older, more able people, though every now and then she won't want to help but does it anyway.  She and Lisie are turning into the best of friends.  They still have sister fights, of course, but they seem to love being together more and more, and it's a good thing, because they are almost always together. :)

On the actual birthday, we always spend the day together as a family, letting the person of honor choose where we go and what we do.  Amelie had school in the morning, where I came in for her birthday spotlight, that was fun (although I felt kinda silly doing it.) 

From school, we went to McDonald's for lunch, then the Living Planet Aquarium.  We all enjoyed that.  From there, we picked up Jeff (who was sleeping off the grave shift from the night before.)  She had mentioned she wanted to go to the Church History Museum after that, but when we asked her that day, she said we should get a pizza and go to grandma's.

For her party, she decided she wanted a tea party, so I made my first foray into the world of true little kid birthday party.  We found a pink and yellow flower tea set, homemade tissue paper balls, and had lots of tea party worthy food (heart- and teddy bear-shaped sandwiches, jam cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, and cherry-flavored jello.)  And our "tea" was strawberry watermelon crystal light, Amie's choice.  They decorated little lace hats beforehand so everyone could be fancy for tea.  We had teapot cupcakes, sang happy birthday and opened presents (she got lots of dolls!)  I had a few games and dress ups planned for after that, but the girls were all playing happily in the bedroom together, so I just let them be!  It seemed to go well, though everyone was SILENT at tea time - can you imagine 8 silent little girls? (Playtime was NOT so silent.)

Here are some pics:

Since it was just a kid party, we had cake (she picked red velvet with purple icing and blue polka dots) and ice cream with Jeff's family after the party, then celebrated with the Radcliffe's at that week's family dinner.