Saturday, May 23, 2015

Skipping to the good part

While walking Eliza and Henry to school a few days ago, Lottie felt compelled to skip. The sight of her skipping along in her pink footie pajamas about did us in. My heart nearly exploded, it was so cute. Loving the attention she was receiving, Lottie skipped nearly the whole way there.

Soccer ended one week ago. It was a rainy affair, but we were prepared thanks to Andrew. After going back and forth a bit, Eliza decided she wanted to play soccer again next fall/spring. It was an easy choice for Henry to play again and Lottie is really happy to finally be old enough. Wish us luck as we try to balance three games next fall. Yikes!
That's Henry on the left. 
Some people have a hard time spotting him without his glasses. :) 
His team was named the "Black Knights!"
Eliza's team was the "Neon Nightmares"
Her team was so much fun to watch.
Both kids had excellent seasons. 
Classic Lottie:
pink boots and her ballerina dress,
sitting beside peonies that came from starts from Grandma Popcorn's yard.
One of our favorite Netflix shows is Cupcake Wars!
Eliza was thrilled when she found out she'd 
be decorating cupcakes for activity days.
This isn't important to anyone but myself. 
I hosted a Norwex party. 
It was a lot of work, but considering what I earned I can say it was definitely worth it.
I love Norwex, by the way.
He's still adorable.
Peek-a-boo is a favorite.
He also likes to do whatever Lottie does;
which makes it easier to take his picture.
Hooray!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To a special NINE year old! Happy birthday, Eliza!

Dearest Eliza,

Happy birthday darling girl! I will say this every year, please keep that in mind, but seriously I can't believe you are nine years old. I remember the day you arrived so clearly. The birth of my blog followed you so I don't have a handy link to send you to read about that special day. But I did write it down. And I promise, sooner than later, it will find a home here on my blog.

A lot of the emotions I felt on the day you were born are still with me now. When you were born, I remember feeling scared and unsure. I remember feeling great joy; something so potent, strong and entirely new. I marveled over you and mused out loud wondering which nurse would be coming home with us to help care for you! Nine years later, I still feel scared as I wonder if I am being the best Mom I can be. Forever a "first time Mom," I feel great stress when an unknown illness crops up. I still marvel over you; your talents, your goodness and beauty. I still feel a proud pounding in my chest, an explosion of joy, when I see you make good choices and watch you serve others.

You are my first and we both know that I make a lot of Mom mistakes each day. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father blessed you with a heart willing to forgive as He foresaw my struggles. Thank you for your patience with me and for truly being a best friend to me.

It makes me smile knowing that you will soon read this post. You are faithful in wanting to catch up on my blog! I love it. It makes my heart sing knowing that you appreciate what I write. My once large readership has gone quiet and floated over to instagram (among other places) and I am at peace with that thanks to you.

I mentioned how great a friend you are. It's true. On the weekend, you ask to accompany me on my errands. Often times, it's just us. When Dad's out of town, you stay up later than the others and we watch HGTV together (property brothers, cupcake wars, etc.) You are smart and tricky. Finding lotion, you'll begin to rub my feet, knowing full well I will extend your bedtime because I can't resist! You have discovered music and like a lot of the songs that I do. It's been fun to see you progress into tween-age things, but comforting that you'll still choose to buy a Beanie Boo with your saved money instead of a new pair of earrings. Although, I do have to say, you love fashion. It's one of the many ways you express your creativity. You are gaining stronger opinions about how we style your hair and about what you will or will not wear. You have the best laugh and know how to make your siblings feel special. I love when you include them in whatever project you've cooked up.

You continue to excel in school. The Chinese program has been a fantastic fit for you. You have a special friendship with your teacher Mr. Ma. I am so proud of you and admire your love of learning. You love activity days, sewing lessons and just signed up for another season of soccer. I hope you'll always choose to nurture your relationship with Heavenly Father. He knows what you need better than I do and knows the best way to grow your gifts so that you can be a helper to Him. He loves perfectly and I'm thankful every single day that He blessed my life with you.

Happy birthday, dear Eliza! Here's to another wonderful year together.

As for your birthday festivities, it was a pretty quiet year because you chose to allocate your birthday budget to your first ever ipod. Dad and I were coy about whether or not we'd be gifting one to you. Once we learned that we could block internet access, and familiarized ourselves with all the other parental safety features, we decided you were old enough.

Your birthday fell on a Monday. The Saturday before, Nana Marie, you and me went to dinner together at the Corner Bakery Cafe. We took you to Bennion Craft where you chose a birthday beanie boo and finished things up right at Cherry Berry.  
Sunday, we drove to Nanna Teresa and Bubba's house for dinner. Even though it was Mothers day, we still celebrated you and Forrest.
Monday morning I woke up early to buy your birthday balloons and donuts (you were quite specific on the request). When I came home, it was still early, you were out of bed and bouncing up and down. You were ready to open your gift.
While the other kids slept, Dad and I sang, "Happy birthday" and watched you open your present. You were thrilled.
As exciting as that moment was, I am afraid your ninth birthday will better be remembered for having to take a most unpleasant trip to the dentist. After our scare last January, when I heard you had developed another lump in your mouth, I freaked out and made an immediate appointment to the dentist. This lump was different as it was on your gum instead of your lip. It was an abscess/infection that was a great deal larger than your previous one. Thankfully, instead of oral surgery, all that was required was to have your baby tooth pulled which dissolved the bump. It was disgusting, the sight of blood makes me so woozy, but I still watched the entire process. Why on earth?
The bad news was, the numbing shots were horrible for you. Without the help of nitrus, you felt it all and sobbed for a long time after the shots were over. Not to mention, there was mental pain involved as Lottie and Forrest proved quite the handful while we waited for this all to happen. Seriously, it was rough.
It was an awful way to spend some of your birthday. I am so sorry! But! I am real glad it wasn't more serious than that. After that drama, we went to school together for your share and teach. With gauze still in your mouth, Daddy taught your class about how a water bottle rocket works. Your classmates and teachers were super impressed and LOVED the demonstrations.
You were so proud of how well it went. It was a definite "high" point of your day. Another special moment came when Nana Marie stopped by with a birthday gift and a visit.
Speaking of Nana Marie, it was with her help that you were able to sew some darling bags for Uintah's mini society. For the past couple months the third grade has been studying the inner workings of the economy. They voted for a class mayor, applied for "jobs" and earned scholar dollars in various ways. One of those ways was participating in mini society.The third graders sold different 'goods or services' to their peers and to the parents and loved ones who came to shop. Eliza, as I previously mentioned, sewed these bags. 
They were a smash hit! The sold out quickly both days. I suggested that she up her price but she new where she wanted to be.
Eliza, you gorgeous girl, I hope this year is fantastic. You deserve the best. I love you!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On Being Mom

At the end of a long day, I gathered the children in Henry and Lottie's room for family prayer. Andrew was out of town, traveling once again for work. I was feeling eager as I could taste the freedom that would be mine once I tucked the children into bed. Suddenly, in the middle of the prayer, Henry burst into tears. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was,

"Gee, what now?!" At the conclusion of the prayer, I mustered up a helping of compassion as I asked him what was wrong.

"I don't want us to grow up anymore! I want our family to stay exactly how it is right now." My heart swelled with guilt for my initial impatience and love for my sweet boy with the tender heart. I wanted to share with him that I feel the exact same way. Growing kids is both bitter and sweet (I am a broken record, I know)! However, I didn't want to add to his sad feelings, so I scooped him up and told him that I understood. Then, I made my request. I asked him if he would please hold off on our imaginary 'pause' button until Forrest is potty trained. Henry instantly began to laugh (potty humor for the win, mission accomplished) as I described how great it will be when our diaper days are behind us. He regained his composure and soon fell asleep. However, the emotion he shared was contagious as I went to bed that night replaying our conversation.

Like Henry, I want to press that pause button. 

(These photos were taken the week after Easter)
 
We feel blessed. But please know...

Challenges crop up constantly and I feel inadequate on a regular basis. Mom guilt is a companion that I struggle to rid myself of. There are days when I feel like I'm parenting by myself and feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities with church callings, the children's schedules, sudden doctor's appointments, school projects, etc. I try to ensure we have our social needs met which sometimes means I am saying yes to late night play dates for Eliza when all I want to do is crawl in bed. 

Acknowledging these things, I wouldn't change anything. These kids are my world. Motherhood is a noble, worthy calling. I am proud of the size of my family. When its necessary to fill in my occupation on miscellaneous paper work, I write in big, happy letters, "HOMEMAKER" (with a small disclaimer that I can't craft or decorate in pinterest approved ways). I don't take for granted that I get to stay home with the Fleglets full time. I respect completely women who choose to balance both a career and being a Mom. I do. I do. I really do! However, for what it's worth, I sometimes get the sense that people think I "lucked" into my position of being at home full time. They use the word "luxury." But that's not true. We sacrificed much, especially in the beginning, for this to be our reality. We went without many "things" and feel thankful the Lord has always helped us meet our needs. I sometimes wonder what the future holds for me when our nest is empty. The feeling I get each time I consider this is,

"You will know when that season approaches. This is your work. Focus on your work now." I don't know who I am quoting, but that's that feeling I get every time. Okay then.
As for Mother's day, it fell in the middle of Forrest and Eliza's birthdays. Knowing Eliza wouldn't be having a huge birthday party, my Mom and I took just her to dinner and to Cherry Berry for some yogurt. The first thing she said after we got into the car was,

"So what's the latest hot gossip?" Oh dear! After our outing, my Mom and I dropped her off at home and went to see a movie. It was nice to have some time with my Mom. I knew that we'd be with the Flegals for Mother's day so having some time together was important to me. Earlier that day, I had a minor emotional melt down and really appreciated my Mom patiently listening to my concerns and loving me despite my crazy. And kudos to Andrew for taking the kids to the store and cleaning up while I was away. He is the man.

Mothers day was a real treat. Andrew's church meetings were canceled which meant I could sleep in! The kitchen was decorated in pink balloons and the counter displayed cards, flowers (both real and fake) and treats just for me.
 The kids were so excited to show me everything. After Church we went to the Flegals where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and celebrated Eliza and Forrest's birthdays. I have several miscellaneous photos that need a place on the blog so here we go. 
Lottie invited me to a Mothers day tea party. I was treated to special songs and gifts. I'm thankful for my friend Megan for watching Forrest so I could spend this time with my sweet girl. The highlight was the questionnaire she answered about me and when they sang, "You are my Sunshine!"

Spirit week was dedicated to Eliza's friend Brynnli Cherry as her family was hit by a drunk driver. Ejected from the car, Brynnli nearly lost her life but thanks to the competent and inspired first responders, she was saved. She sustained severe facial injuries and is looking to spend many months at Primary Children's and it's been reported that many surgeries are ahead of her. You can read more here and here. Brynn's family is in our ward but Eliza really had the opportunity to become friends with Brynn from their time together at activity days. She's on our mind a lot and in our prayers each day. Her favorite color is green so they did their best to incorporate that color into their outfits.
Mis-match day
There are green ribbons all over the neighborhood honoring her. 
 
I love this time of year.
And, I'd like to note, I used the BBQ for the first time by myself.
I'm kind of ashamed to admit that, but Andrew's usually the BBQ King.
Welcome back Popsicles. 
I hate you Popsicle sticks that don't get thrown away.
Kind of an intimate sibling bonding moment? 
Weird maybe? Or precious? 
I like them. They are such good friends. 
And huge fans of the bunnies.
Sunshine Lottie.
Eliza recently had a program at school. 
The best part was when Bubba showed up as a surprise. 
She loves him!!

Mini Society at Eliza's school is in full swing. 
With the help of Nana Marie, she sewed these bags and is selling them for scholar dollars. 
Each third grader is selling something they've made or created.
They've been studying economics 
(supply and demand, earning, budgeting and saving money, etc) for the past few months 
and with this experience, they are putting their lessons into practice.
Her bags are darling and sold out quickly. 
For round two, she knows she needs to up her price. 
It's all so exciting. 

Well, there's a sampling of what's going on at the home front. Life is good. I love our family. But the jury is still out on how I feel about my new hair color.