So, it's kinda a minor peeve of mine when everyone posts on facebook or whatever at the end of the year that they are so happy the year is over because it sucked, etc, and that next year is going to be so much better. I don't know why it bothers me, it's just a little slight thing, but it does. I've had years that seem harder than others, and it just hasn't been something I've felt inclined to say. But, 2015, you suck.
No, I'm kidding. But it's been a weird year, to say the least.
As you may remember, my company sold its asset (the hotel I worked at) in May of 2014, just as I accepted my dream job/promotion. I muddled through, and worked extremely hard for the new company, only to find out that they had no intention of keeping me on, and my job would end in December. I was happy to accept a position in January with the former company, basically running things, but of course on a lower level, since the parent company was now without its main asset and employees, but things still had to happen. That is the job I am in now, which has been really great logistically in a lot of ways, but isn't necessarily my dream work. I am happy with it overall though. But it's been a strange transition.
In March, I found out I was pregnant. I was sort of stunned. We had generally planned on having another child; four has always seemed like our number. We had some timetables in place, and thought it might be slow going; it took a year longer than we thought to get pregnant with Hannah (which ended up being the hugest blessing ever, by the way). We most certainly didn't expect to have a surprise pregnancy when we were trying not to get pregnant. But, it was what it was. I was a little sick, but not horrible. Mostly I had a bad attitude. I had to wrap my mind around having a baby in the same year I was in, due November 20th. My babies were going to be just barely 2 years apart, which was a closer gap than I had planned. Four babies by Christmas. And my aforementioned job had only been negotiated through December of this year, and nine months pregnant or on maternity leave isn't really the easiest sell to an employer... But, I worked through it, I cried with some friends, and started to feel excited. The sickness prompted us to tell the kids a little bit early, because I was suddenly throwing up and napping by turns. They were over the moon, especially Charlie, who made demands for a brother. I was starting to picture the new life I would have.
Probably, if you've seen me lately, you can guess that the pregnancy didn't quite get through the first trimester. All things considered, the miscarriage wasn't as horrible as it is for some. I had a little touch of that which sometimes comes when the hormones in your body go crazy for 9 or 10 weeks, and then take a nosedive, but nothing too serious. I feel really lucky that I have three healthy kids, and all my other pregnancies have carried to term. I think when you miscarry on your first pregnancy, it makes it frightening to even want to get pregnant again. I do feel really lucky. But, I can't deny that it was sad, and hard, and.... weird.
The day after my miscarriage, I got a call. A friend of mine (who I had just called and told of my pregnancy a few days before, and we had a nice talk) took her own life, after suffering from a very debilitating postpartum illness. She was 27 years old and left a husband and two very small children. Words fail.
Other friends have been facing intense illnesses, depression, illness of children, loss of employment, needs to relocate, so many other things. I was helping out here and there with a few friends in need, and I feel like my own problems were and are so minor in the face of the things my wonderful people are facing with grace. I am so lucky, so blessed. But, man, this year has been a rough one.
I've never been sure about sharing this kind of thing. I've seen others share it, and wondered about their gumption. But I just feel like I want to get it out of the way. It's maybe too much. But it's what's real.
I have always enjoyed blogging, and I want to get back in the swing. But I wanted to get this weird year in perspective first. There's still lots of time for this year to make a come back. We've had a really nice summer. In a few weeks, Flissy starts Kindergarten, and Charlie 2nd grade. Hannah has her second birthday in October. I have a big birthday coming up. Our 10th anniversary in December. It will be a year I remember bittersweetly, as with many of my years.
In general, we are glad.
Friday, March 27, 2015
My sweet cousin took some Christmas pictures for our family.
The top picture of all of us, and the bottom picture of the three kids are the two I printed out for the wall, which are side by side. I didn't notice anything funny at first. And probably you never would notice either, except I'm gonna tell you. The top picture was my favorite of most of us, but Felicity was making a weird face, and I was lamenting that I couldn't use it for my Christmas card. My cousin worked some photoshop magic, and face swapped Felicity's face from another picture. But now, the two pictures I blew up and hung side by side have exactly the same Felicity in both. Haha!! But no one will ever notice...probably.
Charlie is such a sweet boy. He is a friend to everyone at school. When new kids move into his class, I get an update from the teacher, because I communicate with the parents occasionally as room parent. I have asked him about the new student, and he assures me he always invites the new kids to play with him, or if he ever sees classmates sitting alone, he invites them to play.
Charlie is a good big brother. He and Felicity fight a lot. But he really loves her. Hannah, however, he worships. He would do anything for that baby, I suspect. He does frequently remind me though, that he has ENOUGH BABY SISTERS and he would like a baby brother, please. Today he actually specified that he would like a baby brother this year, please.
He is a good reader. He has to read several books from class each day (4-5), which he does, but he is quick to read to a sister when I need everyone out of my hair for a few minutes. I grabbed a couple of books to put in Easter baskets a few nights ago when Greg and I were out shopping alone for once, and Charlie had somehow found the bag before dawn the next morning, and came running in to ask if he could start reading it. We have read the kids a few chapter books (some Roald Dahl, a couple American Girls books, and the first Boxcar Children), but this (The Magic Treehouse) is the first chapter book he has been reading on his own, and of course that always makes a mama proud.
Charlie loves apples, graham crackers, and buying school lunches. I always tried to fight him to pack a lunch, but guys, I have given up. It is just not expensive enough for me to deal with. I am ashamed. But not enough to pack lunches. Also, random side note, Charlie mostly won't eat at anyone else's house than mine. Once a week while he is at the babysitter's because I am working, he stays hungry after school until I come home, at which time he throws himself at my feet and proclaims starvation.
He got a two-wheel scooter for his birthday, which is his pride and joy, along with his kendama (the random toy of the moment, which he and his sister hosted a lemonade and cookie stand to earn the money to buy).
This boy is just adored by all of us. Happy 7th birthday, sweet boy!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
A few months ago, (it's really been a while, because it was when I was still Charlie's primary teacher at church, and I haven't been since October) we had a church lesson about each person having individual talents. I asked the kids to draw a picture of their talent. Charlie drew himself singing. I thought it was pretty cute that he selected that as his talent.
Charlie lost his first tooth right after Thanksgiving. He had been waiting for this day foreeeeever. His second tooth followed a couple weeks after, and he is working on tooth number three right now. He reminds me often that his dentist "promised" it was coming out soon.
Another first: first black eye. We went to cousins' house, and there was a trampoline collision. The pictures don't really do it justice, it was really impressive.
At Thanksgiving, I did a church activity where all the children put feathers of what they were thankful for on Teddy the turkey, and we incorporated their thanks into a song. Charlie's thankful feather was for "Jesus" and the creative spelling cracked me up. He is still a fairly creative speller... but he gets pretty good scores on his spelling tests, so I'm not gonna worry about it.
I don't know if this technically counts under the "Charlie" section, but maybe. I am the "room parent" for his classroom, so kinda. I did a little pinteresting, and found a cute idea for the Christmas card from Charlie's class to his sweet teacher. I went in and got all the thumbprints. Along with a gift card to a spa (the parents in the class were extremely generous), this is what she got as a Christmas present. I was really proud of how it turned out.
There was a 1 mile run at Charlie's school, and both the big kids participated. (Most of the kids had, say, their parents running with them. But Greg had to work, and I wasn't about to run around with a bunch of children who could school me. So I cheered from the finish line. Find out how that went in the post about Felicity.) He did really well! He was actually one of the first few to finish. He isn't very competitive, something I am NOT really worried about fixing, and so to see him get so "eye of the tiger" was entertaining, and sweet. He carried the medal around for three days and told everyone he met that he was in a race and he got a medal.
We have lived in the area since I was pregnant with Charlie, and we had never once gone to the Mormon Battalion memorial museum, which is just a little drive from the house. We do NOT know what took us so long! It was amazingly fun. Charlie got to dress up as a soldier, and the whole experience was fabulous. My children were absolutely riveted.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Our sweet Pippa dog, on the day she came home.
We are so sad to report that our dog isn't with us any more. On Christmas she got out, and somehow made her way out of our neighborhood, and got lost. There was a sighting a couple days later a few neighborhoods over by a jogger who saw our posters, but when we went over there after he called, we couldn't find her. I walked that neighborhood a hundred times in the last two weeks, and she just isn't to be found. I don't know if she got picked up, or... what. She is microchipped, and we checked shelters, craigslist, and even subscribed to a service where they alerted people via email, but nothing at this point. We are starting to tell the kids that she might not come home. We feel pretty devastated. Losing a pet is like losing a part of your family.
I have a little anecdote which is in no way helpful, but it's strange, and interesting, and definitely part of the story. Christmas Day is a long day for littles, which so many treats and family members and so much excitement. And, meal and sleeping schedules are off. So, it wasn't a surprise to me when close to dinnertime, about 5pm, Felicity started to struggle a little bit. Out of no where, she started crying that she missed Pippa. I explained that we would be finishing dinner at Grandma H's house and then we would go home and see her, and maybe play with some of her new Christmas chew toys. Felicity was satisfied with that, and we moved along with our evening. We got home about 7:45pm, and Pippa was gone out of our backyard. We put the kids to bed and looked around the neighborhood, but couldn't find her. The next morning, when we were canvasing again, the neighbor told us he saw Pippa leave the neighborhood out the gate (we live in a gated community) at about 5pm. Just a weird coincidence. I'm also sad because I actually thought that morning about bringing her to Christmas, as several other family members bring their pets to the grandparents' houses, but I hadn't previously asked, and with everyone else doing it, I didn't want to add to the chaos more than I already do with my troop. Anyway, it's just a lot of sad feelings I am sorting through.
I wonder if I ever wrote how she got her name on the blog? Probably. But here it is again: in the months before we got the dog, Prince William married Kate Middleton, and she and her family were all over the news. Her sister Pippa was mentioned a few times, and I commented to Greg that I thought Pippa was a cute name. Naturally, he completely disagreed with me, and we would occasionally argue about it, for fun. When we brought home our dog a few months later, Greg immediately suggested the name Pippa for her, to preempt me from ever suggesting the name for one of our future children. ;)
She was the best dog for us, and we will love her for always.
We sent to a murder mystery birthday party which was 80's themed. It was fun, but I didn't get the murder right (I actually thought it was Greg...even though he was my character's husband.) He took the getting into character seriously. His character was apparently supposed to be kinda a douche (we were the prom king and queen, actually), and he mimicked Will Arnett's voice for like 36 hours (including long after the party was over). At one point, Felicity said "you sound like Batman from Lego Movie" which really made us laugh, because he's played by Will Arnett.