Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Christmas Break

It has been a wonderful break, and I want to remember the highlights. It started with ALL my family coming in town (always chaos, always a blast.) Mon all the adults (minus mom, she was not feeling well) played wally ball...that made for a few good laughs. Tues Grant took the morning off and went sledding with us at Hesperus, it was fantastic. Wed we got the fantastic opportunity of seeing our HEALTHY baby boy and then I spent the next five hours at urgent care and the ER getting Mique's MRSA taken care of. That night it was family pictures. Thurs it was our tradition of soup for dessert and white elephant. Friday was magical, of coarse and the kids had a blast. Grant spoiled me, as always and we enjoyed. That night Grant and I made a most wonderful dinner (our tradition.) We had crab stuffed mushrooms and shrimp cocktail then steak, crab, salad, rosemary garlic red potatoes...oh so yummy, the best we have done yet. Then Bub got sick and we took it easy. Grant had Mon off, so we did some major food storage shopping, feels good! It has been a great week and I am not ready for reality. Thank goodness we still have the New Year to celebrate.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a......

We had our ultrasound yesterday and we have a healthy little baby boy floating around. The boys were thrilled, Jamison could only grin and hug me, and Mique does not understand. We are so glad everything looked good and excited to add another Allred boy to the family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My far

My morning in a nutshell:

7:50 drop James off at school
8:00 pick up Haiden for preschool
8:10 drop Haiden and Caleb off at preschool, head home
9:15 drop Asher off at a little preschool
10:00 Pick Haiden and Caleb up from preschool
11:00 pick Asher and Kylie up from preschool, drop Kylie off at home
11:15 put Mique down for a nap FINALLY

Ahead in the day:
Visiting teaching at 1:00 and 2:00
be home by 3:00 for James to get home, then off to run random errands.

What I am grateful for: That I do not have this same schedule after school...that I have a car that gets us around, that our kids can do things, and the recognition that this is still the calm before the storm.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I did not fully appreciate

Until I was a mother, I did not fully appreciate the value of going to the bathroom alone, quietly, with the door closed and remaining closed in peace. I am pretty sure I am not alone on this one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Something like this

The kids are very excited about Christmas...who am I kidding we are all very excited about Christmas. The other day they were a little distraught trying to figure out how Santa was going to get in our house since we do not have a chimney. A conversation went something like this:
Kids: Well how will he get in our house
Grant: He will just come in the front door
Me: We will just keep it unlocked for him if we need
Grant: I think he actually has a key to our house
Kids: Can you call him and make sure
Grant: Yeah I can do that
Kids: Do you know his number
Grant: I sure do
Kids: Can you call him right now and make she he has one
Grant: How about I just text him later
Kids: Okay
I love the wonder and excitement of the kids (it makes it so much fun for me) and I am amazed at their comfort and adeptness with technology...holy cow we are in for it!
(p.s. Santa's safety while traveling is never left out of Jamison's prayers...too cute!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

ABC's of grattitude

I am grateful for:

A-Asher, those squishy cheeks (both kinds) are irresistible
B-Butter, what does not taste better with butter
C-Caleb, whose smile brightens my world
D-Drive through, because it is so much easier to not have to take my four little ones out.
E-Elegance, A quality I do not possess but very much admire
F-Friends, life would be lonely without such great one!
G-Grant, who makes my life the greatest one ever!
H-Healing, which I have needed and accessed a lot lately
I-Ice Cream, which is the greatest contributor to my "problem area's" but my favorite treat with my hubby
J-Jamison, who is one of the bravest people I know
K-Kindness, I see examples of it around me constantly and am reminded what I need to do
L-Love, my life is filled with it and carries me through all
M-Miquelyn, who keeps me on my toes and melts me with the very occasional shows of affection
N-Nose spray, It has provided me with many nights sleep
O-Out of town, I love to travel and get out to see people and new places
P-Popcorn, one of my favorite snacks while playing games...I love popcorn.
Q-Quilts, To snuggle up in them means security and warmth
R-Reading, I love to do it and wish I had more time for it
S-Seasons, I love that we have all of them here in Farmington
T-Tahiti, heaven on earth as far as I am concerned
U-Under wire, not that I NEED it, but I won't go without it
V-Victory, over trials...somehow I come out stronger and better for them
W-Water, I love to drink it and play in it
X-X-mas, I love everything about it, the spirit, the music, the food, the giving and the constant remembrance of our Savior and his beginnings
Y-Youth, I was provided a fantastic youth thanks to my parents and siblings
Z-Zippers, how much easier are they than buttons

Monday, November 23, 2009

One of those days

It has been one of those days...the good/productive kind, and even though my legs already hurt I feel satisfied. I cleaned the house, did the kids laundry, worked out, got two visiting teaching appts done, about to be off the dance, then to Sams, pick up from dance, take kids home, get them bathed, make a salad and off to the parents house to enjoy Mikael before she is off again. Now I wish I could say that I could relax tomorrow, but I had to work so hard today because tomorrow is busy, but a good busy. It is Thanksgiving week, Grant and I are always discussing our plans for baking and cooking...and making ourselves even more excited. Yep, it is panning out to be a good week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Her Eyes

Jamison had a conversation with my mom the other day, and we talked about it yesterday. She told us that people always ask her about her eye. I tried to find out what questions they were asking. She said mostly they ask her why her one eye shuts. She tells them because she is blind. They respond, "oh" and that is about it. She says mostly kids in other classes and other grades ask her, and sometimes adults. She does not know if the kids know what blind means, but she does tell me that she gets tired of people asking her that question. Though it might be a little sad for people to hear this (Grant sighed and got a look on his face when I told him) I am glad for one thing in particular. When asked this question she calmly gives a direct answer to a curious question. She is not hurt, offended, or upset...she just tells it like it is. This is what I always wanted for her. I wanted her to be able to explain it without feeling hurt or making others feel bad or stupid. Though it is a question she hears more than she wants, she is brave and mature about it, and I am insanely proud of her! She already has proven at age 6 that she faces her challenges head on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tell me again Why????

So, last night was Monday night, hence FHE. Grant closed, so as soon as he got home we ate dinner and cleaned up. It was time for a quick FHE before bed. We always start with a song and prayer and then Grant wanted to talk about faith. The whole time kids were squirming, Mique was screaming on purpose to make Asher laugh. Caleb kept wanting to talk about something else, James was actually kind of trying. I let Mique try and offer the opening prayer because when we ask whose turn she always throws both arms up in the air and yells. I thought it might be a good start. At first all was silent and she was mumbling something after I said the words. The boys kept laughing uncontrollably, which made Mique squeal with delight...I on the other hand was not delighted. By the end of our quick little "show" and still even today I am asking myself, so why do WE even try????

Monday, November 2, 2009


Grant hates Halloween...for many reasons, but I think if he got to see how excited the kids were to dress up, it might not have bothered him so bad (he had to work that day.) We went to the trunk -or-treat, but after less than 10 cars the kids were done and ready to head home. It is kinda nice that they do not really care about the candy and just love the dressing up. (I know, I know, it will not last forever.) I could not get the kids to do a theme this year, so I guess we are done with that cute matching thing, but they were cute anyhow.
The ballerina

The SWAT guy

The fire fighter

The Lady bug.

Friday, October 30, 2009

31 for 21

I just read SuSu's post and I was reminded of an experience Grant and I had almost 7 years ago. It was the night before we were leaving to spend Thanksgiving with Grant's family. We got a call from the Dr's office saying that they got my blood tests back from some prenatal work and it indicated that our chances of having a down syndrome baby were significantly more likely than normal. I am not sure we knew how to react. I had grown up with two special DS children, so my exposure and love was great. Grant on the other hand had little exposure. Many things flashed through my the future I had envisioned for us might now have to be altered.

We were off the Utah only wanting to tell our parents about the experience so it was not the focus of the vacation. We had a wonderful time, and upon return we had an ultrasound and appt with a geneticist. It was quickly discovered that a mistake was made in the lab, and my due date was off, so our blood tests no longer indicated higher chances. I cannot recall if we felt relief, I am sure....but I am also sure I had a twinge of sadness not having the honor of having a extra special little one in our care.

After James was born and we settled into a normal routine for us, I kept having this feeling that our next little baby would be Down Syndrome. I never knew why I felt that way, but I know I felt it more than once and felt it strong. It was interesting to me when I learned that my feelings were for the next baby in the family, and not specifically my next baby. Eight months after James was born, little William surprised us all (especially his parents) by coming to the earth with a little something extra.

Though there is a a sadness in change of dreams and reality I am sure, there was a special tenderness I felt from the very beginning. Since that time I have learned a great from my family, esp the Easterlings. One of my first thoughts 7 years ago was that Grant and I would not be able to serve a mission together. How wrong I was and how I can picture Kimberly and Dave with William and Mary on a mission in Nauvoo, doing great things and touching many people.

I am grateful for the lessons I learn and for the unique challenges each of my family members on both side have had, I learn a d great deal and definitely admire my siblings and in laws for their strengths, perspectives and esp. their children!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Absolutely wonderful

The weekend was wonderful and by all means went by too quick. We got there Thursday night, had dinner and went to the hotel and relaxed a bit before it was off to sleep. Friday morning I took Grant to his meeting and then off to the mall. I thought I would be there forever because I had no reason to rush and just take my time looking at things. I did a round at the stores I wanted, priced things out and did a lap around the mall to see if there were any other store I wanted to go visit. I made my decisions, went back and made the purchases, and got some Christmas shopping done.

What I learned at the Mall: I did not want to visit any other stores than the ones I usually visit. I would look at other moms with one or two kids and think I should miss my kids....but I do not. It is so quiet and relaxing to shop by myself...oh how I enjoyed the quiet. I was not at the mall very long at all, it was so fast to shop without the kids.

Next I went to Kohls. I have only been there once and wanted to see what it was all about. I got more Christmas shopping done and realized why people love it...great deals!!!! I walked over to Toys R Us from there and just wandered, and next to Barnes and Noble. I walked in and ate lunch in the Cafe alone. It was wonderful, I took my time, enjoyed my yummy quiche without any noise or distraction. I wandered around for a bit and eventually made my way back to the car.

I went to Walmart and got one last Christmas item since I did not have inquiring minds with me. I went to Justin and Ashley's to visit just for a bit before I picked up Grant. After getting him we went straight to the temple and just barely missed the session. We sat in the chapel almost an hour and really just enjoyed it. It was so fun and nice. We are usually rushing to the temple and do not get time in the chapel. Since we did not have someone waiting with the kids I was not stressed and really enjoyed being with my hubby where it all started.

After that off to a quick dinner, another loop around Barnes and Noble with Grant, and a chill evening with Justin and Ashley. The next day Grant only had morning meetings so I went along and sat in the lobby by a fire reading a book. I sipped a Carmel Apple Cider (and burnt my impatient I know) After that we to Sportsmans warehouse and a perfect lunch a Mimi's. We headed to a dollar theater and watched a movie. After that we went to Uptown, walked around, and found a couple cool deals.

That night we had an amazing dinner and went back to the hotel and crashed. The next day we decided to take our time home. Instead of taking the usual 3 hour route we went another more scenic way. It took about five hours, but was kinda cool. We got some Subway and pulled off the side of the road in the middle of no-where by an OLD abandoned frame of a church. We had a little picnic there by the River, so Nice.

It was the perfect weekend for me. I have to admit I still woke up at night thinking I heard kids crying, but that is my life I suppose. Not long after getting home, when all the noise and crying was in full force, Grant looked at me and asked me if I was really to leave again. All he needs to do is name the time and I am there. It was a much needed weekend, and I did not take a moment of it for granted!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It is almost ridiculous

Grant has meeting in ABQ Friday and Saturday and I am going along...without the kids! It is almost ridiculous how excited I am! Grant will be in meetings almost all day Friday, so I am going to go wander the mall BY MYSELF!!!! I am so excited to walk around not having to retrace my steps four times trying to keep the kids rounded up, not being rushed from store to store to hurry and get done, and only have to keep track of my phone and purse. I seriously cannot remember the last time I was able to do that, and I am excited to get some x-mas shopping out of the way.

That night we are going to go to the temple...Much needed for my heart and soul and then out to a simple dinner. I get to go to bed only having to worry about brushing my own teeth and not having to wake up to any child.

The next day Grant is only gone for half the day, and the rest of it we get to spend together, only us, no other munchkins interrupting. He is going to take me to a nice dinner that night and once again an evening only worrying about myself (is that legal?) I want to sleep in the next day with my hubby, as long as our brains will let us and come back home at a leisurely pace.

Did I mention how incredibly thrilled I am to be going!

No offense against you little ones (though your faces are sweet now, it is not always so) I love you but I need a break so I can love you even more!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You will be glad no picture is attached

So.....the other morning Grant was on his way to ABQ and I was getting the kids up and moving. I thought I saw a little shadow move from the hall to the laundry room. I went in there and could not find anything, but looked close at the ground by the door and found a few mouse dropping...yeah great! I did not have the time to deal with it then so I shut the door, grabbed a towel and sealed the crack at the bottom of the door just in case. I thought several times that I needed to set some traps, and then remembered the traps were in the laundry room and did not want to try and mess with it while the kids were hovering.

That night Grant got home, went in the laundry room and no mouse to be found. I tend the leave the washer open and there was evidence of a mouse having been there. We could not find it vanished. We started an empty load to clean out the basin...and when it was done low and behold a dead mouse finally surfaced. The latest and the greatest in mouse traps are washing machines apparently.

Needless to say, several empty loads later with Clorox and soap, we are back in business. There is new construction not far from us, and our garage door does not seal very well, so we think that could be the cause of our problems. I have thought about getting a cat to live in the garage to take care of the problem, but then I am left with a cat after all is said and done. That is a problem itself. Oh well, a mouse hunting we go!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh if only it would last

Jamison has a fantastic teacher this year and she is really doing well in school (last year was not the best ever first experience, so we...Grant and I...are terribly grateful for this year.) She is loving school, really trying and interested in learning. She is excited to do homework. When she gets home she will ask if she can do her homework after dinner, do one practice spelling test while I am making dinner and another one after we are done. She is always asking to read...I LOVE IT!

Caleb is far enough ahead in his preschool that the teacher is sending him home with homework just to give him something to do. He is asking to do his homework first thing in the morning and sometimes actually drives me nuts with his persistence...but at least he is loving to learn too!

Now if only we could make it last!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tag, you are it!

The kids were running around the couch playing tag yesterday. I had quick flashback of playing tag in my yard growing up with a plethora of siblings. (Note it is because of all the fun we had in the grass that made me want to have a big yard when I grew up, I have since gotten over that and prefer smaller yard=less maintenance...I know I am boring.) I loved tag, all versions and it occupied many summer afternoons and evenings. Much laughter, and I am sure tears came as a result. It made me so excited that my kids are getting old enough to play it and have siblings who are built in playmates! Oh yeah, the cutest part about it all was their Dad being the ring leader and running around the couch chasing them and laughing. I have the greatest family ever!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caught the Fever

Oh how I wish it was something other than temperature fever, but alas it is not. James had it this weekend but was better by Monday for our trip to ABQ for her eye appointment. She went to school on Tuesday, and it went downhill from there. She, Mique and Caleb all got the Flu: Fever, coughing, sore throat=lack of sleep on all parts. It could very well be the Swine Flu, but Farmington is not even testing for the flu let alone the swine flu, so we just treat the symptoms and hope that after we get through this our little family will get a break.

Asher, not yet sick yet inevitable as far as I am concerned, was not to be left out. He had one day of potty training reversal and took scissors to his own hair. Thank goodness it was not bad and he is my first ever to do so, not bad record if I say so myself.

As frustrated, tired, sick of being trapped for days in a house with sick kids, someone contantly touching me (which should be sweet but right now so is not) not getting anything done, really I just feel terrible for Mique. She does not understand, and does not feel well at all, but she still does not want to sit still. It is so sad to see a baby feel this way. After days and nights of poor sleep she took a 4+ hour nap today, so maybe tonight will be better for all involved.

As soon as a ll kids a feeling healthy I am running away for an evening with my hubby to just enjoy him!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warning: Not for the faint of stomach

Last week started not my favorite week ever. Tuesday night just after going to bed and on the verge of sleep Caleb started to bawl. That usually means he needs to go to the bathroom. I swing my feet over the edge of the bed and head down the stairs. When I get to his room he enlightens me to the fact that he threw up everywhere...and all over his bed he did. I got him down, cleaned up and got the bedding ready for the washer. I made him a bed on the couch upstairs and got him a bowl. I went back to bed and was up throughout the night helping him.

About three hours after that I wake up to Asher freaking out. I go down to check on him and he wet his bed. At this point the washer is occupied by puke bedding, so pee bedding just has to wait in a bundle until the morning. I get him cleaned up and a bed made on the floor next to my bed. Back to sleep for a short time before bowl duty it required of me again.

The next day Caleb was feeling better and the two youngers had a doctors appointment. I took Caleb too so he could get his flu shot. Asher was a nightmare the whole appointment and would not cooperate at all. The doctor could not even hear his hard because he was screaming. Mique was good, but very curious and all over the place. Caleb alerted Asher to the fact he was getting shots, and it was over. Asher screamed bloody murder with his two shots, Caleb cried like a girl with his shot and Mique cried a bit with her 4 but was the toughest of all.

I went home to a full day of laundry of blankets, bedding and contaminated clothes. That evening diarrhea began for Caleb. That night he had an accident in his bed and his bedding had another date with the laundry. Asher and Mique shortly followed. Not fun for a boy that just potty trained and a little girl with a very sore behind. On to more laundry of dirty underwear and clothes. Needless to say, diapers were back in order.

The following night Caleb threw up in his bed again, and bedding washed for the third day in a row...not my week! Mique and Asher are still battling the flu beast. I have been making Asher wear a diaper to bed. Yesterday after breakfast he came up naked with underwear in his hand asking if he could wear it. I told him if he did not pee or poop in it. He said he would not and went downstairs. Less than five minutes later he is freaking out. I go downstairs and find he did keep his word and instead of going in his underwear he went on the carpet in the girls room...mind you he is still having stomach issues....NO FUN!

He was a terror all day, but eventually took a nap and gave me a break. It was not the most glamorous week of motherhood, but hopefully it can only get better from here (it sure feels like it cannot get much worse!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back from the mountains and into reality

So Grant is back from the mountains and I am back to reality. It was a fun quick little get away to see friends and family. I loved the scruffy man I got back...he still hasn't shaved and I love it! He did over 14 miles in less than three days with elevations climbing over 11,000 feet. I was so disappointed for him that his fish dinner did not work out as planned, but glad that the Ramen noodles were a hit. Now we are back to school, dance, soccer, cooking, cleaning, and a little boy who cannot seem to totally get the hang of potty training. When do I get to go to the mountains, or is there a spa resort called the mountains from which I can return after a couple of days?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Ten years ago yesterday was a very special day, though I had no clue at the time. That was the day that I met Grant for the first time face to face. We had been writing for about a year and a half (a whole other story which sometime I will tell) and that was the day we met in person. Seven months previous to that I had gotten home from my mission. One day before Grant had stepped off of the airplane into the U.S. for the first time in almost two years. He had gotten my # before he came home, and the evening of the 2nd he paged me. I was out to dinner with good friends (Nanne and Joep Wijkstra) visiting from Holland. They took several of us to dinner at their favorite place Sizzler. I got the page and called him back on the pay phone there. We decided to meet that night since the next day he was on his way to Idaho to see his sister and then off the California. He had his uncle give me directions to his Nana's where he was staying. I ate dinner with my friends, ran home really quick and then headed up to Sandy.

I do not know what I was thinking, well I was not thinking, but I was in for a treat. I rang the door bell, and not until the door opened did it dawn on me that he was just back from his mission and his WHOLE family was there. So now the interesting/embarrassing part begins. Let me give a little history. Grant and I decided that when we met we would not shake hands because we were no longer missionaries, that we would hug. So his sister who answered the door called down the stairs to Grant. Up comes someone running...and mind you I have only seen pictures of this guy. The person says hello and sticks out his hand to shake it, so I say, "Remember we said we were not going to shake hands," and I give him a big ole front of everyone. He looks at me funny, turns around, and goes down the stairs, not saying another word. I follow while thinking, man I do not remember his teeth looking so jacked up in the pics. We get down there and leads me to a room where Grant is sitting on the bed talking on the phone. Yep, I hugged his 16 year old brother. I was very embarrassed, but very excited about how good looking Grant was.

He got off the phone, hugged me, and kept fidgeting. I could tell he was nervous, and that made me a bit nervous. I still remember what he was wearing. A red flannel shirt, baggy jeans with Doc shoes and a shark tooth necklace. (Grant remembers what I was wearing too because I tried to get rid of it this year and he would not let me because that was what I was wearing the first night.) He took me upstairs and introduced me to his family, all of them. I remember feeling like a deer caught in headlights with all the names and questions. I could not remember which one was his mom and which one was his aunt. We finally decided to go to a movie and several of the family went with us.

I told them all this great new movie was out, we should go see it. It was Sixth sense. How was I supposed to know that his family did not do scary movies, my family loves them. He about died and had nightmares for a month, but he was a trooper. At some point in the movie I was thinking I really wanted him to hold my hand (and hand holding was a pretty big deal for me). I strategically placed my hand so it was easy for him to grab, but I think he was too scared to even notice. After the movie we went back to his Grandma's house and sat in the car talking FOREVER! He eventually held my hand (which I loved) and later kissed me (once again no complaints.) Though, he will argue who kissed was so him!

The thing that was so amazing to me was how comfortable it felt from the first night. I felt like I had known him forever. It only took dates with two other guys after that to know that I did not want to spend my time with anyone else! Ten years ago, who would have thought this is were we would be? Not me, and not Grant. But, I am SO glad this is where we are!

I think it is interesting to note that when Grant and I left Nana's house that night, she turned to everyone else and said, "That is the girl Grant is going to marry."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I don't normally

I did something today that I do not normally do, and it was nice! I was in my room folding the laundry when Caleb walked in and said, "Mom I want you to play catch with me." My typical response is, "Son I cannot right now I am folding laundry, but maybe after I am done." Usually he forgets by the time I am done, or I tell him first I have to....., until there is no longer time. Today I decided to respond differently, stuck my hand out and told him to throw it to me. He said, "No, I want you to do it with your mitt." So, I had him get me glove and went to the other room where we threw to each other, laughed, made amazing catches, had a few bad throws and made up little games. It was great, why do I not do this more often? I still had time to fold the laundry, make lunch, clean it up, etc, but I am SO grateful I took the time to do something out of my ordinary!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Her Entrance

It was a year ago today that Miquelyn made her entrance into this world and into our family. Her story goes as follows:

I just assumed that I was going to have to be induced, and was waiting for Wed for that to happen. At my last Dr's appointment (Tues I think) I was only dilated to a 1....maybe (which does not mean a whole lot for me.) By Thursday I had contractions strong enough to not allow me to sleep much, but they were not very consistent and came and went. Friday night we went to eat with the family and the contractions were very consistent (every 4-6 minutes apart) not strong enough, but we still thought it was going to be the night. We decided to go home, get the kids to bed and wait it out a little longer, then we would have my mom come over and head out to the hospital. As soon as the kids were in bed and we sat down to time, they went away. My mom was devastated because she was supposed to leave out of town the next day and did not want to miss it. The next day we waited it out, nothing was happening, so she left (in tears saying she knew if she left I would have the I told her to hurry up and leave.) Saturday night we went to bed, but I did not sleep a wink. The contractions were stronger and more consistent. At 2:30am I called Chels and she was over in a flash to watch the kiddos. We went to the hospital and found out I was only 2, and you have to be a 4 to get checked in. Grant and I walked an hour and they came stronger and closer, but in an hour I did not even move to a 3. The nurse had me walk another 1/2 hour with no change. I was exhausted at this point. She began to explain that she was going to send me home, which I was very nervous about. I almost did not make it to the hospital in time with Asher and did not want a repeat. I asked her to help me know when to come back (note, my doctor was not on call, so the doctor in charge did not know my history and wanted me to go home.) After all her signs...contractions consistently 3-4 minutes apart, water breaking, not being able to walk through contractions, and my explaining that none of those apply to me, she must have seen my nerves. She checked me one more time and though she did not admit it she lied about my progression and checked me in THANK GOODNESS! I got in the room at 7:30 and started to call people to let them know I was at the hospital. I went to the bath for quite awhile, and by the time I got out things were starting to get more uncomfortable. at about 10:00 the nurse checked me and said I was to a 6. Minutes later I told her I was feeling a lot of pressure. She went out to call the doctor to tell him to head to the hospital. She came back in the room because I said I needed to push, she checked me again and Mique was on her way. She called the nurses to help with the baby because no doctor was going to make it in time. Just a few pushes and the best nurse I have ever had delivered little miss Miquelyn. By the time the pain got to the point that I thought this is when I would have come to the hospital had I been sent home, she was born within the 1/2 hour-it would have been too late. At 10:33 Miquelyn Allred 7 lbs 5 oz 20 inches long (biggest baby so far) made her place in this world. Sweet baby girl, happy birthday! I has been quite a year, and you are by far the highlight of it all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is my indulgence

I am going to try and be better at journaling about myself when I have no inspiration to write anything else. So, today's question is what is my indulgence. Easy: I think this love obsession began in high school and has stayed with me since. I have spent most of the last 7 years abstaining from it (pregnancy and nursing) and how I miss it when it is starring me in the face everywhere I go...but I tell you what I have been relishing it lately! There are many other things I love: hot tamales in popcorn, almost any ice cream, heath bars....but it always comes back to the Dr! It is great with a little cherry and vanilla added by Sonic, but plain old non diet, caffeinated Dr. Pepper does it for me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Absense makes the heart grow fonder

Grant left this morning for a quick little business trip to Phoenix. He is making a little trip by golfing and playing along the way. He seemed excited and has sounded so happy as we have talked throughout the day. It has not been often lately that this side of him has come out, and I am glad he is having fun again and taking the time to "sharpen his ax," but man do I miss him! I have been kinda crabby today, for no particular reason other than I am probably dreading him being gone. He has been working A LOT lately, so i am used to holding up the house by myself, but even if the majority of our time is spent together is in REM, I need that comfort. He is my world, and to have him missing in my day just throws it off. I am missing him terribly, and hope I always tell and show him how important he is too me! Grant, I love you, miss you and cannot wait to have you back!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We must be doing something kinda right

Yesterday I was turning on a Disney movie for the kiddos to keep them entertained (i.e. not making a mess) while I was finishing up cleaning and starting dinner. I sat down with them for a few minutes until the movie started. On the beginning credits the following image came on to the screen: And Jamison immediately said, look it is the temple. It made me smile BIG, we have never been to Disneyland, but we have watched innumerable Disney movies, so this is not the first time she has seen this castle. I just love that her first inclination of a beautiful big building is that it is the house of the Lord! We talk to our kids about the temple, we show them pictures and this summer we got to take them to an open house. They were so excited. One of their favorite songs to sing is "I love to see the temple." I hope they keep the love, fascination and reverence for these amazing buildings! (P.S. James then proceeded to explain that it was a place where you danced it was called a ball-too cute!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mourning the Loss

I am mourning the loss of three things and wish I was at a loss for the other:

1. James is back in school, I miss her. I was not ready to send her back into the world and not have her playing downstairs or by my side asking me what she can do next to help. I feel like I just got her back and they are taking her away from me again. Do not get me wrong, I am excited for the learning she is going to be doing, for the socialization she will have, and the independence she will hopefully gain, but I miss my little girl. I thought it would be easier this year, but I feel like it was almost harder, maybe because I knew what was ahead. My mom informed me that it never gets easier, not fair...Though it is such a good thing for the kiddos, it is a hard thing for Mamma.

2. I no longer have a little baby, Mique is officially walking. She falls A LOT, but almost always gets right back up and keeps going. When she gets too excited she topples right over, but when no one is paying attention she can get pretty far. Of coarse crawling is still faster, but she is determined to be a big kid and walks all she can. I no longer have a baby.

3. Caleb started Soccer (T/TH for an hour) and soon James starts dance and I am mourning the loss of my freedom and evenings. I am not sure I am ready for this, but here we go. I have been dreading it with the almost sad knowledge that it only gets worse from here...but it is terribly important for Grant and I to have the kids involved in things...not too much but things none the less. Caleb of coarse loved it! And even though he is kinda short compared to other kids, he had some moments of looking so grown up!

4. I wish I was missing just a few diapers. I have started the path of potty training Asher. He goes at least 1-2 times a day on the toilet and at least that often in his underwear, and the rest in a diaper. He does not totally get it, so I am not making it too stressful for either of us, but I am trying and being a little consistent...we will get there. It might take awhile, but we will get there (my goal is by his b-day.)

Life is changing for us this year, and I just hope I can keep up (I am honestly worried!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who is who

I was doing Mique's photo book and thought I needed to document these pictures. When I looked back at these I was cracking up because the first ones both kiddos are in the same pj's wrapped in the same blanket laying on Grant in the same position.

Neither of them liked their first baths, but them again what newborn does.

They are both wrapped up in the same towel post bath (Note: I think I have used the same towel for each of the kid's first has become a special little froggy towel!)

It is amazing to me that James and Mique started out looking so similar (and not just because of the accessories) and are turning out so different in both personalities and looks!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Longer

She is no longer a baby:
She never wanted to be as young as she was, she tried to grow up to fast, and I have given up trying to hold her back. When I hold her and try and steal cuddles (because they have to be stolen) She seems so big to me. She weaned herself last week and is drinking milk like a champ. She has been camping for the first time and other than not being able to get down and crawl around liked it. She is consistently taking two or three steps and is very proud of herself. I keep waiting to hear an audible clear word come out of her mouth (she just seems to want to be older than she is.) So I look back on how quickly the year has gone and wish that time would slow down and all my kiddos would stop trying to grow up on me!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Full of Pride

This weekend Grant did a triathlon ( the first one in quite a while.) He did not train for it like he normally would, but I am insanely proud of what he did. I love to watch him compete (a chance to admire the man I married!) He gets so nervous, which I think is cute. This picture is of him waiting to jump into the water and get started. He did not know I was looking on, and lighting was really bad especially that far away, but I captured a glimpse of his nerves that help drive him! He is so fun to watch swim. He makes it look so easy. He is smooth and though I am not a swimmer and do not know much...I love his form!
The biking section was the hardest for him, he only went out twice in preparation , but he looked great coming in.

Last but not least was the run. He was off in a bit of warm weather, but looked strong. He was exhausted when he got back, but happy that he had done it. He said it was a lot of fun! I am so proud of what he did.

One of the best parts of the race was watching him talk to the kids about it after he was done. He is the best Dadda I know, and the kids all absolutely adore him! They were almost as proud as there mom cheering on their dad. I am not quite sure if it is possible for me to love this man anymore...though I am sure tomorrow will prove me wrong!

Good job Prince, I love you Forever and ever and ever! (P.S. I am still jealous that I was not doing it with you, next year it is on!)

Swim (500 meters) -8:14
Bike (13 miles)-43:01
Run (3 miles)-26:45

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A mind like mine

When Grant and I were first married and driving somewhere, anywhere and there had been an extended silence I would ask, "what are you thinking about." He would usually answer, "Nothing really." It would make me so mad. I just figured he did not want to tell me what he was thinking about, or just wanted to avoid conversation with me. Whatever the reason, the result was me feeling upset. It has only been in the last year or two that he has explained to me that there are times that his mind literally is blank, he is not thinking. He says that it has been proven (by who I do not know) that men can actually not think. Weird huh. Well now I am jealous, I want to be able to not think.

My mind is constantly going, and not at just any speed, usually warp speed. At times I will say something that throws Grant off because he is baffled at how I got from one subject to another. Occasionally I will indulge him with a review of my exact train of thought. Jumping from one thought to another might seem random, but when given the train, it makes more sense. What amazes me is that it can take me several minutes to say out loud what I have thought in a matter of seconds, and the thoughts NEVER stop.

My thoughts are even very vivid in my dreams and I realize that my mind does not really slow down in my sleep. I can be very tired and have a hard time falling asleep because I cannot get my mind to chill out long enough to welcome in a little slumber. I am finding myself waking up almost as exhausted, and off run the thinking again. The only time I can recognize my mind taking a break is when I can singing along to a song (usually in the car with the music turned up way too loud...mostly so I cannot hear myself.) Maybe that is why I liked dancing so much (and often miss it) because it is a time when I can shut down mentally.

I have become a bit envious of Grant's ability to not think, and wonder if most people are like me, or more like Grant!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last Night's Story

It is tradition that after our couple prayer Grant and I always kiss (even if we are not happy with each other at the moment.) Last night after prayer I was waiting for my kiss (mind you we were happy with each other,) yet my husband was focused on something other than me. I was wondering where my kiss was when I saw a shadow behind the blinds on the window next to Grant. Next thing I know Grant yells, "There is a mouse in the house," and a little creature started running towards us. We both jumped back on the bed and then it ran down the cords of the light and alarm clock and out of site. I ran out of the room to shut of the alarm so I could go in the Garage and get gloves for Grant. I shut the door behind me and was back in a flash. We spent a bit of time looking for the creature and it was no where to be found. I was not about to get back in bed with the chance of a cuddling up to a little mouse and all the diseases it could carry, so the hunt continued.

We looked every where and could not find it. We expanded our search to the front room and kitchen. We brought up the dog in hopes that she would help. After a little while I happened to see the little gray thing bolt into the kitchen. I yelled, "I found it, I found it." Grant rushed over and we both started looking under the hutch where it was last seen. No dice, it had disappeared again. After an extensive search of the kitchen, Grant moved to the pantry. I stayed on watch just outside of the kitchen. I eventually heard a little scuffle and Grant yell something. All of the sudden I see the culprit run into the bathroom. I yell, "Oh there it is." and shut the door. Grant runs in after it and closes the door.

After a little commotion he opens the door, mouse in hand. He heads out the front door and proceeds to take care of the problem. I am no longer tired, Grant worries and hopes it is the only one, and the dog was no help at all. And that is last night's story.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What goes in must come out

Grant got a gun, and with that comes a need for other things. One of those being ear plugs for when he goes out shooting. Scott got a bunch from his boss and brought a bunch to Grant. They are big bright reddish orangish plugs about and inch long and width to fit the ear. The other day Caleb got a few of them with which to play. He thought they were pretty cool. Now the interesting part comes. Last night as we were doing our routine and getting the kids to bed I got kiddos into pjs. I changed Mique's diaper and low and behold guess what "came out." Yep you got it two HUGE bright ear plugs. I could not believe it. That girl puts everything in her mouth and apparently swallows. It was difficult to try to explain to a 4 year old how dangerous that was for a little baby and not to leave things down that she could swallow (though I never would have thought she could swallow those things.) Oh the joy of an oral driven infant and an absent minded 4 year old boy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Rec

This was the first year I ventured into the Farmington Summer Rec program. James and Caleb both did Soccer. I was shocked and thrilled when James said she would do it. Though every morning started out doing "corner, corner, gate, gate" with this posture... By the end of the hour she was in the middle of it having fun. She did not love it, and did not choose to do another session, but I am so proud of her sticking with it and finishing it even though it is not really her thing.
Caleb, on the other hand, always got right to it. The class was 4-6 year olds, and most of the time he did not realize he was two years younger and a foot or more shorter than the other kids, and got right in there with them.

He loved it enough to sign up for another session and the fall season of soccer. Sports world, here we come!

P.S. Since James did not find her thing in soccer we signed her up for dance and are giving that a try. She is very excited!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I am Woman hear me Roar

I am having a prideful moment, so if I am going to have one of the seven deadly sins, I might as well share.

I was cleaning out the fridge, making dinner and doing the dishes when I discovered a clogged kitchen sink.....not conducive to any of the aforementioned projects. I tried a few tricks, tried to call Grant (with no success) and proceeded to take on the challenge. (I really did not want a counter top full of dirty dishes, Grant would not be home any time soon, and I did not want him to have to deal with it after a long day of work.) I cleaned out the trap and found nothing unusual when Grant called. He told me to do a few things, but it was not helping the problem and he had to go. I assessed the situation, looked at the plumbing, and started to dig in. After removing several of the pipes I found the problem, fixed it and continued with the projects.

What a great feeling to do things when the first thought that crosses my mind is "I am a girl, I do not know how to do this." There are several things I am proud I can do (even though probably every other girl/woman out there is thinking duh, anyone can do that especially me.)

I fixed a plumbing problem all myself
I can do small drywall patching and texturing like no other
I can mow and edge the lawn almost as good as my husband
I have fixed computer malfunctions all on my own (disclaimer...I learned processes from my hubby)
5 years ago I put together our grill on my own, and it has never let me down
Several pieces of furniture in our house have been assembled by yours truly

It is a small list (good thing I am not making a list of things I cannot do, it would be MUCH longer) but I had a moment of gratification and I need to remember these small things when my focus on the bigger list overwhelms me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Naked Chef

Once upon a time and little boy decided to strip off all his clothes, go outside and cook his little heart away. It is a good thing his mother had the camera close by to capture the naked chef in action!
After all the cooking that little chef was all tuckered out, so he decided to make a bed in the basket and catch a little snooze.

It was an eventful afternoon after all!

The End

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Big Girl

About three weeks ago Mique started standing up in the middle of the floor all by herself. She is experimenting with it all the time and loves to bounce clap and move all around while she she assumes her position. The doctor told me this week that probably in the next two weeks she will start trying to walk...I am thinking not that soon, but I bet in about a month she will try to be off and keeping up with her big sister and brothers. I am not sure I am ready for that.....though, I am ready for less dirty knees!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not him, he is so sweet....right?

Well, he proved just how "tart" he can be today. I have started to do my grocery shopping at Walmart (I hate it and if you lived in Farmington you would understand why, but I love saving $ even more.) Well, due to a water leak in our house and a plumber having to cut a hole in the ceiling (a whole other story) we did not get to the store until later in the afternoon. I spend half my time telling Asher to stay with me, hurry up, and you do not need to touch everything. I was being a nice little mamma and bought the kids 4th of July shirts (I love them and they are only $3). We got up to check out and my kids always take the bait with all the toys at the check out counter. I spend my time at the counter unloading my cart, reloading it and telling the kids to get up off the floor and stop touching the toys. I get everything done and go to get Asher, realizing as I walk to him that he would not relinquish his flag shirt and I did not pay for it. By now the line is huge and I do not have the time or patience. I tell him we did not pay for it so he does not get it. He proceeds to cry and repeat but I want it, I want it! He starts stomping his feet and crying louder. The sweet lady next in line says I can jump in in front of her to pay for it. I have the two older kids watching the already overflowing cart with Mique in it pulled off to the side. I am holding Asher trying to get him to stop crying. He has not yet given up when it is our turn. I try to hand the check out lady the shirt so we can scan it. That throws Asher over the edge. He pitches a ROYAL fit. His cries are no full blown screams, he starts thrashing around in my arms and throws the shirt, because he does not want it scanned....yeah I know it makes sense. He then throws it behind me and the hanger got caught in my hair. I am trying to slide my card to pay, sign, and explain to him that the shirt is in my hair since he cannot find it. He never figures it out, the lady behind me gets it untangled from my hair, the check out lady takes my receipt all the way to my cart and puts it in a bag because Asher is consuming me. I walk out holding him still crying while pushing an overflowing cart top to bottom, and baby strapped in and two others I am trying not to run over because I cannot see them. Yep I am that mom that everyone shakes their head at in the store and whispers that she should not have so many kids if she cannot control them. So even though he looks so sweet, there is a dark side!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fighting the June Gloom

It has not been a typical summer for us so far. The weather has been cooler than normal, it has rained a fair amount, and it rarely is warm enough for me to go swimming. So, we have tried to do other things to have fun. On one particular day we decided to break out the kitchen aide and make cookies together. You can tell by how dirty the thing is that it is well used and much loved! Caleb and Jamison helped to put all the ingredients in.
Miquelyn was ready and waiting to test the dough to make sure it was just right (she was instantly hooked....hmmm, must be my child!)

Then it was time to load the cookie sheets. (I have to admit looking at these pictures makes me want to go make another batch just so I can have cookie dough again!) So tasty!

Once things got going Asher was standing by as the clean up committee. He had no problem licking all the excess cookie dough away.

Jamison helped one last time to take the nice warm treats out of the oven (with my help of coarse.)

And not much later the warm gooey goodness was ready to be partaken! Mmmmm, I just love these cookies!

Caleb dove right in.

Asher was not far behind. Jamison ate so much cookie dough that she did not care to have a cookie when it was actually cooked. Mique enjoyed too (no pics to document.)

Now don't you just want to go make some cookies....I do....again! And it is so much more fun to do it together!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reading the Summer Away

I was talking to Britney and she showed me the book she was having Andrew read, and I decided I needed to jump on that band wagon with James. I ordered this book and another one very similar. I know "Dick and Jane" I remember reading those when I was a kid, and they are still around. Yep, you better believe it! They are the best books EVER for beginning readers I am thoroughly convinced. James has exploded in her confidence and ability! She reads it all on her own and is sounding out and blending like crazy! She loves it and asks to read every day. I have to admit I love it too! I would get so frustrated trying to help her before, but either she has really matured (reading wise) or these books simply rock (I am thinking a combo of both)! This was the best $ we have spent for the kids...I am thrilled.
And wouldn't you guess, Caleb just had to join in on the fun. Yep, my four year old reads these books all on his own too. He does not blend as well as James, but he reads fantastically!

What is a mother to do. A four year old with another full year of preschool and he is already reading????? Good luck Miss Michelle and K teachers! I am so proud of them both. I love reading, and I am so glad so far my kids love it too!