Happy New Years! Welcome 2018! I am relieved to start a new year, seems like last year was a bumpy ride. While the learning curve is steep so is the discomfort. We spent most of the day with Justin sleeping on the couch. The family cold/flu finally caught up with him. Jacob Goddard spent the afternoon with us while his family went on a technically difficult hike. He made everyone origami boats! The boys spent a chunk of time playing with their nerf guns. I crack up each time I pass a window and find Everett deep in imaginative play with a weapon, dart, stick, etc. At 3:30 pm we packed up the kids for some playtime at the park. I had an engagement session while Justin managed the kids, more like herded cats. Sister Ferolino referred the couple to me, her sister's daughter! Turns out her sister, Eve, moved from Louisana recently. After chatting a bit we discovered Eve was in the same ward as Ashley Jarreau's parents in Baton Rouge! Ashely's brother was good friends with Eve's sons. Small world. I had a great time taking John and Arianne's engagement photos. We started our New Year with a break for mom from cooking. Cafe Rio tasted ever so amazing, most anything I don't have to make tastes amazing.
Tuesday was the day to undress the Christmas decorations. Seems like our house was in quite a mess for the rest of the week. I ended up buying a tree bag for the newer tree for the kid's decorations. I found a $15 tree at Goodwill for the kid tree. By Thursday the decorations were stacked in their place in the garage. This time I packed the boxes expecting the boxes to suffer through 115-120 degree heat come summer. A couple decorations actually glued themselves together during our move down. Amelia was quite the helper taking down most of the kid tree decorations. Phillip and Everett had items to pack away. By the end of the day the decorations were boxed up but the regular decor was scattered here and there. The kids spent the afternoon running a stuffed animal salon. Their game looked much more amusing than cleaning up Christmas.
Wednesday we took a break from our house. Amelia is turning into a teenaged bear, her attitude leaves much to be desired most of the time at home. She was good until after earning and then enjoying a special day out. I took the kids to Urban Jungle, an indoor trampoline recreational place. The line was crazy long, waiting for the line to shorten was something close to agony. By the time our turn came to pay the kids had a really good strategy in place to enjoy their 90 minutes of play. I had to buy socks, socks! Special socks the company requires, in my opinion just another way to make money. The toddler area was pretty fun. The little girls were quite amused for over an hour. Josie loved the merry-go-round. Both girls monopolized a slide area for the rest of the time. I barely caught glimpses of Everett. He was by far the most elusive of the older kids. Amelia and Phillip came to check in several times. The littles finally had enough of the baby area so we checked out the rest of the areas until our playtime was over. I had to laugh watching the girls in the ball area, stuffing balls in tubes like their lives depended on it. Amelia and Phillip helped Evelyn around the other areas. The level of body odor was evidence of the fun had by all! We had lunch at a nearby McDonald since it was almost 1 pm.
Thursday was by far the worst day of our vacation. The kids were all ornery, I was ornery, and the house a mess. I asked for help cleaning up the family room and got blank stares from the boys and attitude from Mia. With my short fuse the situation escalated quickly to me throwing out Phillip's favorite toys and yelling. I hid myself outside to take a break and recover shreds of sanity. Sister Godard noticed me chilling outside, she came over to chat. The kids discovered my hiding place. I don't understand why kids have such a hard time understanding that cleaning the house is NOT my JOB. It is the responsibility of the entire family. I have a hard time getting my actual job of raising kids, I'm sidetracked by constant messes and clutter. Drives me nuts. Phillip and I apologized to each other and I gave him his monkey Cager back, with more chores to do for whining and procrastinating. Everett turned into the super helper child, he cleaned up things that did not need cleaning in an effort to stay on my better side. Mia just stayed ornery. By the time Justin got home I was a mess. Went to bed almost in tears.
Friday was the end of our Sidney chapter. We FINALLY closed on our 1209 19th Ave home. The 5th of January, 2018 was a huge day for us. After all the delays we both held our breath until the deal was finally wrapped up and tied. I am hearing all kinds of rumors about the troubles in Sidney, was almost certain the entire house deal would fall through. Phew. It's done and sold. The kids cleaned up their rooms after all the drama on Thursday. They enjoyed a morning with friends over for a couple hours. Phillip invited his friend Jonathon over and Mia had Chloe to play with. Chloe's brother, Ronald, stayed to play as well. All the boys had an epic Nerf war out in the back. Ronald pestered me off and on for hours about getting our wifi password. He was unwilling to do chores for that privileged, ha ha. Chloe and Mia babysat Josie while I went food shopping with Evelyn. A mean driver yelled obscenities at me in the walmart parking for driving my van the way I should, he was trying to drive his huge house boat like he owned the lot. After he was done being rude Evelyn yelled, "Mr, you need a nap!" Take that you meany pants! The girls sent me several texts while I was gone so random and hilarious: "Mooooooom, we're so bored we could die. iPad malfunctions. Could we uuuuuse shaving cream? Do wwwwwweeee have borrrrrax?" And lots of emojis. The girls made slime and a mess to accompany their art project. I did not mind, at least they were creatively involved and cleaned up their mess. Justin and I went out to dinner and a movie for our anniversary celebration. Laura and Spenser watched the kids for us at our home. What a relief to have the night off. We dined at Rodozio Grill, gorging on meat and Keto friendly food. Justin was quite happy it was bacon celebration week! We got tickets to see Star Wars again at a different theater. The theater was not busy...the reason was it is overpriced and messy. It cost more for two drinks than for a theater ticket. Silly folks. We walked around for 30 minutes before our movie, enjoying some time to talk and walk down our dinner. The movie was even better a second time. Justin even fell asleep!
Saturday morning we went to a Primary breakfast so the kids could meet their new teachers this year. The breakfast was at an outdoor pavilion with a firepit area. All the boys soon had large pieces of wood covering the firepit area. Why are boys so drawn to mischief? Evelyn's soccer cleats (her favorite shoes) were covered in mud which she smeared all over her seat area in the van. I got fed up with the dark blinds in the dining room area. My idea was to either spray paint the blinds or pasted lace in the windows. I tried the pasted lace first. Yes, yes, I am my mother's and Grandmother's progeny. The lace panel ended up a bit to small even after careful measuring and cutting. The paste (cornstarch mixture) was spotty and looked a bit crazy. Now my plan is to use some static cling panels that filter light. Even with the blinds down the area looks larger.
Melia and Matt Kelly are visiting the Phoenix area for the next week or so. They came over for Sunday dinner. Michael and Aislinn seemed quite happy to play with our kids. The kids made a loud boisterous group! I hope the Kelly's enjoyed their time here as much as we did. We heard first hand about their experience and escape from Puerto Rico and the hurricane that destroyed the island. We are loving all the family and friends who come visit us.
My heart is sad and happy at the same time. President Monson passed away this week. We will miss his dedicated discipleship to the Lord. I can only imagine his joyous reunion with his wife and loved ones in heaven. Around the same time Grandma Baerwaldt was hospitalized with a nasty flu virus, it almost undid her. Coming that close to death gave her a new lease on life. Dying is what she wants but is also quite afraid of it.
My 2018 goals:
lose 10-15 more pounds (water intake, eating healthy, adding exercise)
solve my low-energy and tiredness mystery (finishing the medications from Dr Godard, searching more avenues if still tired)
take several photography courses (video) to keep my skills sharp
work on improving my attitude at home, to not react negatively when I feel so tired