Sunday, April 28, 2013

The kids have something to say...

My mom told me that she had a surprise for me.  I thought the surprise would be a fun treat or maybe that we were going to eat somewhere yummy.

Instead, she took me to a building that looked like a hostibal  (hospital).  We had to sit on these chairs for awhile.  It didn't seem like a very fun surprise.  So I read my book while we waited.

Then we went to a big room with a TV on the wall and I sat down while my mom laid down on a funny chair.  But it wasn't really a TV that you watch movies on.  They pulled up my mom's shirt and squirted toothpaste on her tummy.  I thought that was weird.  Then they took a little thingy and poked it on my mom's tummy.

My mom told me to look at the tv screen.  All I could see was this weird skeleton moving around.  My mom told me it was a baby.  Then they moved the thingy around and I saw its toes.  Remember, mom those toes were so cute?  And it was in a big bubble.  

And it was moving around a bunch.  I saw its head.  I got to see its tummy and I saw the heart and its lungs and they looked good.  

I didn't see if it was a boy or a girl because it's gonna be a surprise.

I saw its legs and they were moving and kicking all around.  And I saw its fingers.  It has 10 fingers, like its supposed it.

I felt nervous when I saw the pictures because I didn't know what they were doing until they told me it was a baby.  Then I felt really happy because I wanted to have a sister or brother.

After we saw the baby, my mom took me to Dunkin Donuts for a morning treat and that was really yummy.  I got a pink donut.  I hope the baby is a girl because there's three boys in our family and I want there to be three girls so there is the same amount.

If it's a girl, I want to name the baby June, or Jemical, or Sparkle, or Kwanzaa.  

If it's a boy, I want to name the baby Ryan or Noah.

When my mom asks me to, I don't like to tell people she is having a baby because I like that it is a surprise.  Rhode really likes to tell people, though.


My mom and dad took us to eat at a restaurant.  The food was Chinese or Korea I think (it was Thai).  
Scarlet whispered in my ear, "We're having a baby." I felt really happy.  My mom says my face made a really big smile and my eyes got really wide.  

My mom says the baby is going to come right after my birthday.  My birthday is on September 13th and this baby is going to come on September 20th.  I told my mom that night that I didn't care if the baby was a boy or a girl because I was going to love it so much.  I would like whatever it is.

But if I got to pick I would choose a girl because I like girls.  I think the best name is Sparkle or Gwenny.

And if it's a boy, I think Rhode, or Toad or Black or Box or Blue.


Mommy (point to tummy) beebee

They are so darn cute, why not add another?  

This would be a great moment to add those ultrasound photos on that CD that was here just a minute ago...  I give up.  

Easter 2013

Easter can be divided into two parts this year.  The part where I was there, and the part where I wasn't.  Jon and I had the bad timing of leaving our children on the weekend of Easter with my dear friend, Mindy who agreed to watch all six of our combined children, including her 6 week old daughter.  That sounds like she would have somehow had the option of not watching her daughter... but mostly it just needed to be pointed out how awesome she is for agreeing to this crazy situation.

Not only did Mindy handle the vast load of children we have somehow collected over the years, but she went above and beyond the call.

They went on outings... several outings.

Six kids under six at Winco...

They even took the whole crew out to eat.... twice.

Then... she tackled all of the Bunny traditions for all of the children.  I contributed a few items for the baskets but didn't even have time to do anything but put them in a pathetic pile for her.  She turned them into baskets, hid them around the house, made the kids wait at the door before going searching so she could take an "anticipation" picture for my enjoyment,

then took a picture once they succeeded in finding their treasure,

and then took the whole crew to the park to enjoy their new treasures.

And here's the real kicker. 

The day before I left on my trip, I tried desperately to whip out two grey ties for my boys so they would have matching Easter ties with Scarlet's dress that I had previously made.  I couldn't find the fabric ANYWHERE!  It was driving me crazy, but I just gave up and moved on.

I get a text on Saturday saying that Mindy had not only found my fabric but had then whipped out two ties for me so they would be ready for my boys when I got home for Easter Sunday.


So not only did my family have a fantastic time in my absence with fun and friends galore, but I was able to wake up Sunday morning and dress all of my kids in their matching Easter wear.  Which totally made my day.

My lovely lady

My tie bedecked boys


Nielsen Family Easter 2013

We made our resurrection rolls Sunday morning and had a chance to talk about the story of the Resurrection while they baked.  It is so fun to see them remembering the story on their own and answering questions.

As a small token of my appreciation, we hosted Easter Dinner.  We had our family tradition of Gyros and french fries along with some deviled eggs from the Warrens.  I ate so much it almost killed me.  And then I ate one more deviled egg for good measure.

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

6 Years Older and Wiser Too

Scarlet has been planning her birthday party since Rhode's ended in September.  "I want to go to Chuck E Cheese too, mom."  I then made it very clear that the succession of events would go like this: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, and THEN we would start talking about her birthday party.  

That didn't stop the frequent updates.  The cake changed, the guests changed, the birthday dinner changed but the Chuck E Cheese location never wavered.

Until a week before the final event.

"Mom, I don't really want to have a party at Chuck E Cheese anymore.  I want a party at the house with lots of games and a pinata."


The details just kept pouring out of her mouth at an alarming rate.  I promised her my whole afternoon to discuss details if she would let me get a little work done in the meantime.  When I returned to her full attention, this is what she had created:

Front Page

Party Layout in Pictures

List of Activities

pin the tail on the unicorn
open the pinata
play outside
freeze dance
dance contest
ring around the rosie
find the unicorn

Picture of items we needed to purchase

shopping list and guest list

Order of events leading up to party:

Walmart today
Library tomorrow
Winco after that
2 days later it's my birthday party.

And after admiring her tape bound homemade birthday book guide, I realized what Scarlet wanted more than anything was to plan her own party.  So I turned over the reigns and she took over.

The shopping schedule took a bad turn when Asher got the stomach flu on one of the days but she just rolled with the punches and we were able to get everything on her list.

One thing we had decided together early on was that we were not going to be doing any birthday presents this year.  After a very generous Christmas, Jon and I noticed a very negative reaction in our children.  Instead of enjoying their new items, they had so many they hardly cared about any of them.  When they were threatened with losing any of them, the response was usually, "That's okay.  I have more."  

It was not a reaction we appreciated nor a mess that was tolerable.  So, we decided to start something we have always planned on doing, turning away from gifts and encouraging experiences instead.

We asked all of our party guests to not bring gifts.  Many of them brought very sweet homemade cards that they had made and Scarlet loved them.  Coming off of this Christmas, the party was our only "experience" gift this year, but in future years we hope to give gifts like tickets to special events or fun things we can do as a family.

So, back to the party, her guests:

Scarlet, Bennett, Blaze, Rhode, Charlie, Jane & Simon.  Sofia and Ellie showed up a little later.

First on the list, the pinata.  I let her have full control but I should have insisted that pinata was not the first event.  I was the only adult at the party at that time and keeping a pinata afloat while keeping small children from whacking each other with a big stick is not an easy task.

Scarlet helped everyone get on their blindfolds and directed them to the pinata.

The pinata itself, what do you do when you can't find a unicorn pinata?  Give the donkey a horn of course.

Bennett was the strongest swinger of the bunch.  The pinata proved stubborn so we let Bennett go to town on it at the end and knocked that donkey... unicorn down to size.

And the rewards.  Our pinata was filled with a few treats, gummy snacks, rice krispy treats, and a few dollar store toys, one of each item for each person.  Scarlet was really stressed about the idea of people taking more than they should so the little kids didn't get any, so this was her solution.  The funny part is, she is usually the big kid at the party that takes all of the pinata candy....

Pin the tail on the unicorn was a big hit.  She designed the yarn tails herself and made enough for each guest, per her list.

Her lunch choice of the day was homemade pizzas so we let all of the party guests design their own.

They were exceptionally tasty, and sadly, for us adults, most of the kids finished their whole pizza.

She even made her own cake, after I did all of the baking, frosting and fondant-ing...

Food coloring markers, what a fun invention!

 Family members have been very supportive of our alternate gift ideas.  She received a lot of great cards in the mail from her aunts and uncles, including a gift card to Dairy Queen which she is dying to spend on all occasions.

Grammy and Grandpa Earl gave her and I a really fun experience, tickets to see Shrek the Musical at the new Smith Center in town.  The tickets were for a few weeks after her birthday on a Tuesday night.  So we got in our 'hit the town' finest and had an amazing evening.

We had great seats and enjoyed every minute of the play.  We brought along a few treats just for the fun of it and Scarlet and I got to sit and chat, munch on candy and just enjoy the night.  

I have so much I can say about Scarlet, I am so very proud of her and the amazing six year old she is. I'll save her academic accomplishments for her upcoming school project post.  But what I am most proud of is the sweet example she is to her brothers.  She has single handedly taught them how to be great sharers, to be considering to the people around her, to be excited about learning, and to try every food that comes in front of you, in case its secretly better than it looks.

She is sassy and silly and oh so very fancy.  But she is also very aware of right and wrong and is not afraid to be the girl that makes sure everyone else knows the rules.  I love her confidence.

Happy birthday sweet daughter!  It has been a wonderful six years.