Friday, April 17, 2015

That's A Bunch Of Bark!

It's been a while since we've ordered anything from Carpinito Brother's...we love to have dump trucks come to our house. When planning for our home improvements for the year we decided to order 10 yards of bark. The weeds just got out of hand last year...especially in the area where we had the tree cut down. We are hoping this will help with that! 

We kept putting off ordering the bark because of weather or due to our schedule being so full. It just worked out that the truck came during the middle of spring break. I'm so happy that we ordered it then because the bigger boys got to see it. They loves this kind of stuff. Who doesn't! 

We've had many many dump trucks come down the easement....seriously I didn't know how priceless this easement would be when we bought the house. 

It freaks me out every time they come down though...I'm sure they are going to take out our neighbors chimney, but those drivers sure know what they are doing! 

Raising the box up! 

Here it comes! 

The boys said...." stinks" to which I replied...."I love the smell of bark in the mornng!" 

It doesn't look like much since I'm standing on the deck, but the top of the mound came up to my neck. 

Later that afternoon I put the boys to work shoveling bark into the wheelbarrow. I had promised to help Michael do that later in the evening, but my friend Kim was coming over with her kids so I knew I wouldn't be able to. I still wanted to contribute and it was nice to have the boys helping me. 

Eventually the neighbor boys came out to help as well so I had 5 boys helping out. I loved it! 

The boys mainly filled the wheelbarrows and then I dumped the bark and spread it around. 

Jack looks totally thrilled here! The kids did great and really never complained. My how things change as they get older. 

They helped me with the bed near the driveway and then they played with the neighbor kids while I filled in the bed under our stairs in the backyard. 

Michael came home and added a little bit more since I didn't make it thick enough, but it was nice that he didn't have to do the whole thing by himself. The front bed looks so much better now. There is still a bunch more work to do! It's fun to the progress as we go though. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Date Night With Jack!

Tuesday night of spring break was Jack's turn to go out with me. I needed to go to Costco so that's where we headed. I was going to buy a couple things, but then found out that the coupon book didn't start until the following day. Oops! We did stop in for a little bit at the Eye Care Center...more on that in another post. Then we went to get a treat. I gave Jack the choice between the Vanilla and Chocolate or the Very Berry Sundae. He chose the berries. He loves Strawberries! 

We sat down...he was okay with me sitting across from him. I asked him if he thought we could finish it and he was pretty sure he could all by himself. 

I did get to help a little though! ;) 

We almost finished it, but not was huge! After our treat we went to The Goodwill in Federal Way so we could find him a toy, but no such luck. So we drove to The Goodwill in Des Moines and he found two for him and one for Owen. I love his giving heart! Jackson is the opposite of Owen he isn't really a talker you have to dig to get info out of him. So I started asking him open ended questions to get him to talk. I found out that when he grows up he wants to be an inventor, construction worker or a policeman. I love this cute boy! It's so hard to believe that he's going to a 7 in less that 2 months! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Date Night With Owen!

Over Spring Break I decided that it would be fun for me to take out each kid individually for a date night with Mama. Nothing super extravagant just a little outing just for the two of us. Recently we had Owen's feet measured and he went from a 12 to a 1. The kid never even complained about his shoes being too tight! Ga-Ga bought him a pair of Nike's, but that was the only pair of shoes he has in his size. My plan for our date night was to go to a consignment shop in Burien...Lollipops...and find him a pair of shoes. Michael gets home at 5pm so we had dinner and then we left. Unfortunately Lollipops closes at 5:30 and we weren't able to get there until a little after 6pm. Just down the road is Value Village so we went there instead. We were able to find two pairs of shoes. 1 pair of play shoes and a pair of muddy boots. Owen also brought his own money and was able to buy a Imaginext Dinosaur that moves and makes growling sounds. 

After shopping we headed over to Wendy's. We had already had dinner, but what's a date without a sweet treat! I got both Owen and I a mini frostie. 

At first I was going to sit across from Owen, but he insisted on me sitting right next to him! 

It was so fun to go out and have alone time with Owen. He is such a talker and I love that he will just talk and talk to me. He was cute he told me that he liked me and then that he loved me! He tells me he loves me all the time, but it was cute to hear him say he likes me too. A couple hours before it was time for us to go on our date his friends mentioned they might be going to the YMCA and Owen could go with them. He came to ask me and I was so sad and said, "You don't want to go out with me?" He said, "No"....and then a huge smile came across his face and he said, "Just kidding!" About broke my heart! I'm so glad that he really did want to go out with me....I know these days are short and it won't be long and he'll say "No" and he won't be kidding! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Messy Fun!

The first morning on spring break I hurried and did school with Ella and then thought it would be fun to make a mess. The week prior Ella, Zeke and I had made a stop at The Dollar Tree and in addition to all the other stuff I bought I got a can of shaving cream. I was hoping that this would give Zeke an opportunity to have fun and work on his sensory issues. 

All the kids got their own cookie sheet with a big pile of shaving cream and a spatula to push it around and a toy to play with. 

Jack is the exact opposite of Zeke....he LOVES to get messy and touching weird things does not freak him out in the least! 

Zeke drove his car around the outside of the cookie sheet. 

Jack stuck his hands right in and started squishing it around. 

Zeke was pretty apprehensive about the whole thing. I think it helped him seeing all his siblings playing though. If it had just been him and Ella I think he would have been done a lot quicker. 

Even Owen wasn't sure about getting all messy! 

After a few minutes this is how I found Jack! 

Ella spread her all out flat like a frosting a cake. I tried to show her how she could write her name in it with her finger, but she DID NOT want to mess it up! 

Zeke...clean as can be! 

Owen finally started getting his hands messy! 

I wrote Zeke's name in his cream! 

That's the spirit Owen! 

Then his happened! He is a total nut job!

Seriously by the time we were finished he was completely covered from the top of his head down to his waistband! 

That's when we moved the messy fun up to the shower...trays and all. 

Look at that cute tooshie! As you can imagine the shower was a bit crowded with 4 kids and 3 trays....Owen didn't want his tray. It was tons of fun and a great way to kick off Spring Break! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Is Hard!

Spring is always one of those things that sneaks up on me. It does it every year. I'll just be minding my business being a mom, planning for MOPS, organizing the house and hanging out with friends and family and then boom...I realize the date! The last time that happened it was March 15th...Ella's rescheduled birthday party. I was showing my friend Christina the wall in our room that has my belly pictures for all the kids on it. It also has Brayden's onesie and Kyan's ultrasound picture. While I was talking to her I realized it was exactly to the day 9 years since I had my D & C after Brayden had died. It still hits's like waves. Sometimes they are going out and I feel fact it's hard to admit this, but there are days that I don't think about the fact that I've lost two babies. Life is normal. Then the tide comes in and my emotions still feel very raw. I notice the gap between Ella and Zeke and wonder how our family would be different if they were closer in age. I notice kids just a little older than Owen and think that's how Brayden would be right now. Even though I never got to hold their physical bodies or get to know their personalities I miss them terribly! The beginning of May is always hard too as that's when I had my D & C for Kyan. Right before Mother's Day....which has always seemed kind of fitting and also rude at the same time. Emotions are a funny thing. Without them we are numb and I've felt that way in the past and I did not like it. It's not that I want to feel the hurt, but if I don't I think that wouldn't do their life justice. They did live! They lived inside of me...only for a short time, but still they lived! They deserve to be mourned and remembered....even if it hurts!

I was talking to my friend Kim the other day about how my life feels like it's been compartmentalized. I had my schooling life, then my career life followed by my mom life. But within that career life was our infertility struggles. It honestly feels like a different lifetime. So long ago! I remember while we were going through it it didn't seem like it would ever end. But here we are now and we have children that have now lived longer than we struggled to get them. 

Another friend, Andrea just went through a huge scare with her daughter. They thought she might have cancer, but it turned out to be TB. TB still isn't something to be happy about, but it is the lesser of two evils. My heart is so happy that Rukiyah doesn't have cancer! I know that a lot of people struggle with the question...How can a loving God let bad things happen? The thing is we live in a world filled with sin and evil. A fallen world! It's not the way God wanted it, but Adam and Eve disobeyed and let sin enter the world. It's because of that sin that bad things happen. It's not God's's our fault! I know that might be confusing or maddening, but it's the truth. 

This morning I didn't even wake up with a blog post in my head. My grief was just brought to my mind by reading a friends post on Facebook about the loss of her mom and I just felt like my fingers need to type my feelings out. God didn't promise that we'd have a perfect, happy life. God didn't promise that we wouldn't cry and struggle. God didn't promise that it wouldn't hurt and break our heart. What He did promise is that we wouldn't walk it alone!

New Glasses!

A couple months ago I had scheduled an appointment to have my eyes checked. Not that anything was wrong with my current had just been 3 years since I'd seen the eye doctor and I wanted to make sure my eyes were doing okay. My mom has macular degeneration and I want to make sure I'm keeping on top of my eye health. I made an appointment to see the optometrist on February 24th. My grandma died on February 23rd so I ended up canceling the appointment. When I got back from her funeral I rescheduled it for exactly a month after my first appointment. My friend Laci watched Ella and Zeke so I could go without them. My eyesight didn't really change...which I expected...I mainly just wanted to get new glasses. My were still cute, but one of the jewels on the side had fallen off and if insurances pays for them I might as well take advantage right? 

My eye doctor office has a wonderful selection of glasses and I did find a really great pair...however....they were super expensive! My insurance only pays $150 towards frames and lenses. After my insurance paid that these glasses were still going to cost me $370! As you know we are Dave Ramsey followers so that was NOT gonna happen. I can't justify spending that much on glasses. 

Off to Costco I went and I found these super cute ones for a total of $ I didn't have to pay a cent out of pocket...technically. Costco doesn't actually bill Regence insurance so I had to pay for them and then send in the paperwork and they will reimburse me.  

Costco got my glasses in about a week after I ordered them. Of course I had the initial shock of putting on new glasses. The lady said it would take me a few days to get used to them. I really liked them and I could times it even seemed sharper than my old glasses. At the same time I felt like I had to blink to get them to really come into focus and then there was a halo around things that were far away. I just figured I would adjust to it over time. For the first two days by about 7pm my eyes were done! I had the worst headache and my eyes had been feeling so dry! Again I just figured my eyes would get used to it.

After having my glasses for about a week I noticed there were a bunch of scratches on my left lens in the upper corner by where my nose is. I had no idea where they came from. I literally where my glasses from the time I wake up until it's bedtime. My kids never touch them and it's not like I shove them in my purse or anything. I even had my mom inspect my clip on sunglasses to see if they might be scratching them, but they weren't. So back to Costco I went...I was not going to have scratched glasses after only a week. I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't bring my old glasses with me. Of course they'd need to send them in. Silly me. She told me just to bring them in the next day and they would send them in to get fixed. That night I had a really bad headache and I figured that I would just put my new glasses in the case and in my purse so I wouldn't forget them the next day. So I put my old glasses my headache was gone! Oh no! The next day I called my eye doctor and went in to see them. They wanted to see if Costco had actually done my prescription correctly. When they saw me they checked out my old and new glasses and my prescription had not changed at all it was only the refraction part that had changed because of my astigmatism. The eye doctor really wanted to see me, but she was booked that day so I had to schedule an appointment for the next day. As you can see it was lot of back and forth from both the eye doctor and Costco. When she saw me the next day she rechecked my eyes and sure enough I kept coming back to the same new prescription she gave me. She came to the conclusion that my eyes were just so used to the old prescription they were just rejected the new one. Like I said previously my eyesight was fine. I can absolutely see with my old glasses. So she just changed my prescription back to the old one. I was really nervous that Costco would charge me for new lens again, but since it was a doctor change and it was within 90 days they didn't charge me anything! I'm so happy! I'm not going to have headaches anymore and I'm going to have super cute glasses!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter Sunday!

On Easter Sunday we went to church at 9:30 and then came down to my parents in Orting to celebrate with family and friends. 

We took our traditional Easter picture in front of the fireplace...not sure why we don't take it outside, this is just what we've always done. We took this right when we got there because I knew it wouldn't be long and the boys would be flinging their clothes off and Ella would be a total mess.

After eating and Zeke having a nap it was time to hide the eggs. Thankfully the showers had stopped by then.

We got the kid all ready with their grocery sacks...their Easter basket were upstairs filled with candy so they couldn't use those. L to R - Addison, Jack, Owen, Odin, Caleb, Ella, Zeke on Ga-Ga's lap in the background and Anna.

We had the kids gather on the outside step and talked with the 4 older boys about how they should look for the harder ones and let the girls and Zeke get the easy ones. They did great!

And they were off!

Run,'s chaos for about 5 minutes!

Where are the eggs!

Over here!!!

While hiding the eggs I told Christina I was going to put one up high on top of the play structure and I was sure Owen was going to get it.

And...I was right! I also put one in the mailbox that Pa has for the kids and he got that one too. I totally know that kid!

Checking out behind the play structure!

Found the one being held up by the bungie cord! Each of the kids got at least 6 eggs.

Then they gathered in the living room waiting for their Easter baskets to show up.

We told the kids to close their eyes or put their heads in their lap or on the floor. All the kids but Zeke listened really well.

They got so much candy!!!

Jelly beans, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, Tootsie Rolls, Kit Kats, York Peppermint Patties, Hershey Kisses.

The girls each got a stuffed animal. Anna got a ducky.

Caleb immediately started using his jelly bean stick as a lightsaber! He's so cute!

Addison got a purple bunny.

Ella got a ton of candy and a pink bunny. 

Zeke Man is all about the sweets! 

Odin is Al & Ellen's great-grandson. It was so fun that he got to come over and celebrate with us. Jack and Odin became fast friends. 

Santa Al sitting with all the kiddos. 

The whole gang...minus Uncle Ry and Aunt Stephie...they were at the Ocean celebrating with her family this year. 

Al, Ellen & Odin on the left, Norean and Jim in the back middle, Pa & Ga-Ga back right, Christina, Anna, Bill, Caleb and Addison in the very middle and Ella, Me, Michael, Zeke, Jack and Owen in the front.