Friday, October 13, 2017

Kids Lately

I worry about my kids like it's a full time job - I fixate on things and can't stop thinking about how I can fix what might not even be considered a problem. Or what I did to cause the situation; if I should have done something different to make it better. Usually after I consult Jake on whatever I'm thinking about he tries to help me understand that it's no big deal... but that still doesn't stop me from obsessing over it. So in an effort to calm my worried soul I thought I would write it out to see if I can find a solution.

My current worries about June:
1. She's doesn't love school. School was one of my favorite things as a kid and I think it's because I was good at it. I'm not trying to sound conceited, but school was easy for me and I think that's why I liked it so much. June does not love it so much. She enjoys parts of it, but always comes home telling me, "Mom, we do so much stuff at school. Sometimes I just want to sit down and watch a show and relax." She has even cried several mornings when we get ready to take her because she just doesn't want to go. Her teacher has even told me she has cried at school on a few occasions. (She has been pretty emotional the past little bit, she cried at gymnastics when she got in trouble too, she was embarrassed.) She says it's because she misses me whenever I ask her about it, but I think it's because she just doesn't like it all that much. Whenever I try to review things she learned at school, or sit down and do some type of learning activity/worksheet she says, "Mom, I just want to play, I don't want to do that!" School type activities also don't keep her attention for very long. Whenever we sit down to do a craft or something similar to that she lasts about 5 minutes before she's on to the next thing. She is the same way at her gymnastics class - she doesn't like to sit around and wait for the teacher to tell her what to do and she can't focus on one thing for too long or else she just gets frustrated and wants to give up. She has a hard time with remembering things she has learned because it's not interesting to her and she just doesn't care. I have tried so hard to get her to learn just the first letter of her name and she never remembers it. She gets frustrated every time I even ask her what her "special letter" is. If she's not great at something she gets overwhelmed and just wants to be done with it. I know she's only 4, but her personality is different than mine at this age so of course I worry about it. I jump to conclusions quickly that maybe she has ADD or something but I'm sure we'll figure it out once she gets older.
2. She's overweight. Once again, I know she's only 4 and it's not a big deal. We went to the doctor and she told us her BMI is (quite a bit) above where they want her to be at this point. I love her little body - she is SOLID! It's not like she has rolls on rolls, she is just built tough. She's constantly on the move and is the pickiest little eater - but she loves her sweets and her chocolate milk. I worry about this because I know how cruel the world is, my hope is that June is confident in her body and all that it can do for her and she never doubts herself. We are working on cutting out the extra sweets but not putting her on a strict diet. So far she's not a huge fan of eliminating the chocolate milk.

My current worries about Marlie:
1. She's not very social. Whenever people come to our house to play Mar shuts herself in her room with her babies and plays in there by herself for hours. She doesn't love meeting new people or really socializing with much of anyone. Sometimes when I try to play with her she kind of blows me off because she just wants to do her own thing. She focuses so hard on what she's doing that the world just moves on around her and she doesn't seem to care who else is there. When we play with friends or cousins she's usually found playing by herself instead of with the crowd. I just want her to be able to make friends and interact with those around her.
2. She is a terrible sleeper. She won't fall asleep unless she is being cuddled and has her milk and "tag blankie." (If we ever lose that thing we are doomed) She sleeps okay for the first few hours but is guaranteed to be up around 1:00 a.m. looking for her snuggle buddy. She will fall back asleep after a few minutes but if you try to leave her side she comes and finds you again shortly after that. The girl has not spent a full night in her bed in ages! She ends up in our bed or on the couch with us EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT! Then throughout the day she is always complaining of being tired - however, if she ever naps she is up until the wee hours of the night.

My current worries about Lincoln:
1. He is a terrible sleeper too. To this day Lincoln has yet to spend an entire night in his own bed - he's freaking 2 years old!!! We have tried cry it out but the kid throws up if he cries for too long. He wakes up constantly through out the night and doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep. He will ask for a drink, or snuggles, or a blankie, or to move somewhere. If he doesn't feel someone next to him he will cry until you say something or touch him. The kid is rough when it comes to sleeping, I just want my bed back!!!
2. Is he boy enough? He's surrounded by the girliest of girls. Does he have enough manly influence from Jake that compensates for all the makeup and princesses? This isn't a huge concern but I still think about it fairly regularly.
3. Does he feel left out? The twins will always have each other - but I worry that Lincoln will feel left out. He is so close with the girls right now but I worry as they get older he might feel left out. He's still so close to their age that they will always have a lot in common, but the twins are girls and exactly the same age. There will inevitably be a gap between him and the next sibling, no matter the gender, if there even is going to be a next sibling. I just want him to always have a close relationship with his sisters and not feel left out even though they have a different bond.

I know a lot of my worries might seem vain or dumb but it's what consumes me at times. I love my kids so much and want the best for them. I never want to see them hurt, sad or struggling in any way. I don't want them to be made fun of for any differences they may have or any areas they may lack. I want them to focus on their positives and their strengths, and try hard to improve on their weaknesses but never let that consume them. I guess if I expect that of my kids, then maybe I shouldn't focus on their weaknesses either, but rather try to improve them the best I can but not let it control my thoughts. I should highlight their areas of success and thrive on that and remind them of all the amazing skills they possess. My next blog post will be on my favorite things about each kid so I can do just that: focus on their strengths to ease my mind from all the worries.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Life Lately

Just a few cute things I wanted to make a note of that have been going on with our family lately. Cute/silly things the kids have said or things they are interested in as of late.

The kids are so into scary stories right now, Jake and I have gotten pretty creative with our story telling capabilities. I tell a great scary version of basically any Disney movie, just throw in a ghost here or there and they love it!!

The kids are also really into telling jokes right now too - 90% of the jokes go something like this: "What do you call a dog with no feet? .... No feet dog!!! ha ha ha ha ha"

We recently watched the movie SING and the girls have been saying "! Look at her butt!" It's really great when they say this while we are out running errands at stores... not!!

When we were driving back from buying some new summer clothes Marlie told me, "Mom, don't tell dad about how much money we spent on clothes, he might be frustrated."

"Mom, just close your eyes."  Marlie always says this after I tell her not to do something but she wants to do it anyway.

"Is it going to take a long day?" For some reason I think it's so cute that they say this, they usually mean a long time or all day long but just get the words mixed up.

There is ALWAYS a wedding going on - usually it's June getting married to me, or dad, or Lincoln, or one of her "friends." I think in her mind wedding is synonymous with party, so if she's getting married it's because she wants to dance, wear a pretty dress, and carry flowers.

One of June's favorite books right now is a book about a little girl and her dolls. There is a line in the book that says "These are my dollies and I am there Mommy, their names are Annabelle, Betsy and Bonny." Now whenever we ask her what her friends, or dolls, or animals names are it's always "Betsy and Bonny."

The girls have gotten really good at playing with Lincoln and now Marlie thinks she is his official translator. If he says something I can't understand or if he starts crying she will tell me, "Mom, Lincoln needs his bottle." (Or whatever she thinks he needs at the time.) It's really cute.

I told June the other day that I wanted her to stay close to me at the mall because I didn't want her to get lost and she told me - "Mom, no one would take me! They know that I'm yours!!"

Lincoln has a new obsession with spiders; if he sees any lint, crumb, dirt or anything that even slightly resembles a spider he is down on all fours trying to grab it. "PIDER!!"

We lost a balloon in the wind a few weeks back and ever since then Marlie has had a huge fear of the wind. Anytime we go outside she asks me if her ponytail, toy, food, money, etc. is going to blow away. June on the other hand, walks out the front door everyday and unless it's raining she says "It's a beautiful day!" .

The twins learned that the Holy Ghost can help you find lost things, so they are always asking me to "call" the Holy Ghost to come help them find their lost bouncy ball and lost pink bottle.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Extra Income

As Jake is going through nursing school right now money is a little tight so I found a few ways to make a little extra money outside of my full time job. Don't get me wrong - these things individually will in no way supplement a full time income, but they are good little penny pinchers and really add up over time. Jake used to tease me about this all the time but now that he sees how much money we are making/saving from these things he thinks it's great too. Just through scanning items, taking pictures of grocery receipts and doing a few quick activities on these websites/apps throughout the year we were able to pay for all our Christmas and birthday gifts. (This includes cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and our family of 5!!) I've thought about posting this for a few months but always stopped myself because I thought no one would find it interesting and didn't know if it was really worth documenting, then I realized how many blogs and websites I investigated before I found these solid few that worked really well for me. I decided maybe I should do the same for someone else who might be looking for some options. I am no expert and I'm not being sponsored in any way but just wanted to share a few things that I have tried out that really help to supplement our income for anyone else looking for options.

Jake donates plasma 2x a week and makes $25 at the first donation, $30 at the second donation and there is always some sort of bonus for donating a certain amount of times in a month. On average - we make about $250 a month through plasma donations. It usually only takes him 1-2 hrs total (drive time, wait time, donation time), he has been doing this off an on for years!! Plus, you get bonuses for referring people, bonuses for it being your first time, and there's tons of random giveaways and perks. (Jake won an iPad while we were dating through donating plasma.) There are tons of locations for donating plasma, Jake goes to the Grifols Biomat in Orem off University and State. I once tried to donate plasma and threw up... I still got paid for donating even though I didn't make it through a full donation, we decided it probably wasn't worth it for me to try that any more. The first donation takes a little longer because you have to be screened but once you are screened its usually pretty quick.

Office Building Cleaning
Once a week Jake and I clean my office building and it maybe takes us 30 minutes tops. We take the kids and they run around while I empty garbages and Jake cleans toilets. (I got the easy part!!) He also cleans an office building in Orem every night. If you know someone that has a small business and is willing to pay to have their office cleaned it's a really easy side job that provides pretty good money.

Bank Rewards Programs
All banks have some sort of free rewards program whether it be cash, gift cards, trips, presents, etc. Our bank gives points for each dollar you spend and they can be redeemed on their website. We have used this multiple times for gift cards to restaurants and stores.

I never thought I would be a crazy coupon lady but I totally am!! I'm not so ridiculous that I buy like 200 toothbrushes and it only costs me $1, I only use coupons for things that I was already going to buy anyway. Trust me, when I first started using coupons I went crazy and bought a ton of things I didn't even need just because I had a coupon and totally thought it was a great deal even if it wasn't. I have started to restrain myself and use coupons when they actually benefit me, even if that means I sometimes meal plan based on my coupons. :) They are so easy to use and it's become more of a game for me, it's rewarding to see how much money I can save. I mostly get my coupons off Swagbucks (which I will go in detail about further down) or use coupons that come in the mail or are at the stores. There are TONS of coupons websites. I tried to look at several and use those coupons too but it quickly became too much for me. Many blogs are dedicated to couponing that teach you how to find coupons, how to use them to get the most bang for your buck, how to read them properly, etc. It's a full time job - seriously! I know I'm not expert in this area but I do what I can to save here and there.

I showed this app to my sister-in-laws over Thanksgiving and was so happy that were as excited about this app as I am!! You literally make money for walking into stores and for scanning items in the store - THAT'S IT!! I make it a game with my kids sometimes and let them help me find items and scan them - they love it too! It's so easy and quick, I use it every time I go to the mall, grocery shopping, and sometimes I will just drive by the store to get a few extra points. You can also submit your receipt if you buy certain items to get a rebate. Great app!

This site has several options of different things to do to earn money, it also has an app you can use as well. You can play games, watch movie trailers and other video clips, take surveys, shop on other sites and still get points back, download different things for points, clip coupons, sign up for free trials on products, and so much more. Whenever I have downtime at work I will take a few surveys or watch some video clips on my phone to get a few extra points. You can even run videos in the background while you are doing something else and still get points. You have to check out the website to see all the stuff you can do but it's great. It can sometimes be time consuming but I have still gotten several giftcards from this site through minimal effort.

These last 2 are grocery shopping apps - once again, I went crazy when I first downloaded them and bought a ton of stuff just because it was on rebate, but I've learned how to use them better now so that it benefits me more. These apps seem more rewarding to me than couponing for some reason - I think it's the fact that you physically get money back for them in a lump sum instead of just seeing the price on your groceries drop a few cents each trip. It's great!! 

Checkout 51
On this app you can stop at any grocery store and redeem the rebates that are listed on the app. It's great because you can go to any store, but they only have name brand products and sometimes the deals aren't as great on this app as on others. They also mail you a check instead of getting an instant giftcard or money put in your account. Still great, just not my absolute favorite. You have to get a minimum of $20 to cash out, and when you first sign up they give you a $10 bonus.

On this app you can stop at certain stores to get certain rebates. This app often has rebates that are items I would absolutely buy no matter if they were on rebate or not. IE: any brand of milk and you get a 25 cent rebate. Super great!! The turnaround cash back is also super quick. You also have to get a $20 minimum to cash out but if you use the app regularly that comes pretty quick. I have recently hit a hold up with online grocery shopping and this app which has frustrated me but I'm hoping they find a solution.

That's pretty much it for the side "jobs" we have to save a little here and there. To wrap the post up and give you a little motivation I thought I'd share a success story - I went shopping for diapers a few months back and noticed that they were on rebate $4.00 off on Ibotta, $2.00 off on Checkout 51, and I had a coupon for $2.00 off - diapers ended up only costing $2.00!! It was so great! Anyway... hopefully this post helped someone out there. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kid Vocabulary Lesson

Alligator - Elevator, Gatorade or actually alligator
Shreezing - Freezing
Skiz - Fix
Building - Temple (Jake and I got married in ALL the temples according to June and Marlie, any temple we pass they say, "You got married in that building")
Hoopten Hoopten Who - Horton Hears a Who (One of their favorite movies)
Bood - Food
Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - All are interchangeable, a meal is a meal no matter the name
Lady - All cashiers (male and female) and the person that draws smiles on your receipt at Costco
Nuggle - Snuggle, pretty self explanatory but it's still so cute!
Srozen - Frozen - this can either mean something cold, the actual movie, or Elsa (Can you tell we have a bit of a hard time with making our F sound, it often comes out as an S)
Junie Olivia Kay - June's true name in her mind - she is not just June and she must always add Kay, even though that's really Marlie's middle name
Machiss - The air mattress that they ALWAYS request to sleep, or jump, on every night
Pone - Phone; always meant for coloring, taking pictures, doing puzzles and watching movies
Safety Skizzers - Kid scissors, their new obsession
Dat - "that" - this is a Lincoln word, it's in the running for his favorite word along with "No" and "Mama"

Monday, October 31, 2016

Family Pictures

Girls Date

A few weeks ago,  ("Liberty Land" as we like to call it) but technically known as "Seven Peaks Fun Center - Lehi Location" had a Halloween Celebration going on. We had originally planned on going as a family but after a LONG hike up to the Y, Dad and Lincoln were a little tired (and ornery) and decided to stay home. The girls were so excited to have a mommy date and I was thrilled to give them a little extra attention. Here are a few pictures to document the fun. 

They were upset because the roller coaster shut down. June was crying just moments before I told her to just smile for the picture and she put on this cheeser. To this day they still talk about how upset they were that the roller coaster broke down and we couldn't ride it after we waited in line FOREVER!! It was a bummer. 

This is her new go-to smile. She squints her eyes up tight and does a no teeth smile. ha ha. 

Loving the Merry Go Round. 

I love going on little dates with each of my kids - it's a fun tradition I hope we always continue. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

More Kid Conversations

Marlie: Mom - you forgot to say prayers. If we don't pray, then Jesus won't want to come into our house.

I have been doing a lot of work at home lately since we are currently short staffed. I can tell that the girls have been noticing it by little conversations I have with them. For example see below:

June: Mom, you have to be quiet, it's my work calling. (She then "answers" her pretend phone) Access Home Care, this is June, how can I help you?

I used to work with a lady that got sick one day but still came into the office. The kids wanted to come visit me at work that day but I told them they couldn't because there was a sick lady there and I didn't want them to get sick. Now they are constantly asking me - "How is the sick lady at work?"
 Whenever I get a work call, "Was that your sick lady?"
Whenever they get a pretend work call on their phone - "Hang on mom, it's my sick lady at work."
This lady was sick ONE DAY, and it was months ago. She hasn't even worked with me for over a month, but she will always be referred to as the sick lady - poor lady!