Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Day of School

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I have to say, the first day of first grade was actually pretty rough for us.  I had warned Addison that this year she would have to get up earlier because school started at 8:00 instead of 9:15.  Always the dutiful daughter, she got up without complaining, put on the outfit she had carefully laid out the night before, made her bed, did her chores, ate, did her hair, brushed her teeth, and was completely ready to go by 7:30.

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The only problem was that the school decided to have a P.M. common day for the first day of school, which meant school started at 9:15.
The next hour was filled with so many “Is it time to go yet?”s that I thought we’d try walking to school: an idea everyone was excited about...except Addison. At one point she was so opposed to it she broke down in tears.  I finally caved in and we just waited around until it was time to go.  She was still recovering from her breakdown when we piled into the car, so I was worried that it might taint the rest of her day.

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Fortunately, as soon as she saw her friends at school, she got so excited I almost completely forgot it was a rough morning.  The school’s theme this year is, “Be our guest” and teachers were lined up along a red carpet welcoming the students back to school as “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast played over the sound system.

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Her teacher, Mrs. Boles was excited to meet her and while Addison was a little shy at first, she really warmed up once she was sitting at her desk.

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P.M. common days end at 3:30 and I think it might have been the longest day of my life.  I kept looking at the clock to see if it was time to get her.  I didn’t realize what an adjustment having Addison gone all day was going to be fore me.  I definitely missed her.  Fortunately, on normal days she’ll get home at 2:15, so I won’t have to wait quite as long.  :)

When Addison got home, she was so excited to tell me all about everything she did (including how she wanted to buy lunch instead of bringing it the next day).  It made all my waiting worth it. 
Addison, I’m so happy you’re so excited about school.  It’s going to be a great year!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Mobile Phone - A Day in Our Life

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So this month's blog circle theme is "Mobile Phone."  My FAVORITE thing about the camera in my phone is the fact that it is ALWAYS on hand. I love that when I see my kids doing something funny or want to take a picture of something pretty in our yard or garden, I can just pull my phone out of my pocket and click.  I'm pretty sure Instagram is my favorite app. 

So, for today's post I decided to embrace the accessibility of my camera phone and do a day in the life series.  It's going to be a long one, so if you'd rather just move on and see what Jennifer has posted, feel free.  But if not, you're in for a ride.  Here is a pretty typical day at the Francis household.  (Grandma, you're going to love this). :)

Every morning I wake up hearing the twins singing "The Itsy Bitsy spider" over our baby monitor. I don't know why, but they LOVE that song and ALWAYS sing it when they wake up in the morning.  (Which this summer has been around 7:30...much better than 6:30 which is when they were waking up during the school year.) 
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 Their little exchanges before we finally wake up and get them always make us laugh.  This was today's:

Lilly: "Down came the rain and washed the spider out!"
Maya: "Down came the rain and washed the spider out!"
Lilly: "Shhhh Maya, I'm sleeping"

On this particular day, Addison decided she wanted to make the twin's beds...and honestly, who am I to put a halt to her ambitions?
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When all the beds were made, we headed upstairs.  Before breakfast the girls always clear out the dishwasher.
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Then we read scriptures as a family.  I have to confess, during the summer we are TERRIBLE at family scripture study.  We're great during the school year (I tell you, there is POWER in routine) but not so much during the summer.  The only reason we read this day was because Addison and Hannah noticed their scriptures as I was tidying up and begged me to let them read.

Normally Bart reads while I feed the kids, but since he had already left for a meeting, Addison read for us.  She is seriously becoming quite the good little reader.  I only had to help her with one word.  Hannah also insisted on me helping her "read" too (aka, telling her what every word was and then letting her repeat it). 

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Most of the time we have smoothies for breakfast, but we were out of Bananas, so we had some peach instant oatmeal (it's known as "Peaches and Creamie" around here) that grandma brought us when she came to visit last week.  (Thanks mom!)  :)  Hannah was upset that I wouldn't let her have three bowls. Also, little tip: do your girl's hair while they're eating breakfast. It's SOOOO much easier than chasing them down and trying to get them to sit still after breakfast.
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After breakfast I let the kids play and I went to check on the garden and see what veggies we were going to have for lunch.

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There is something seriously therapeutic about having a garden.  Whenever I'm stressed, if I just take a few minutes to be alone and go work on the garden I ALWAYS feel better.  I love it!  Not to mention we get to eat fresh fruit and vegetables all the time.  Summer is the best!

When I came back inside, Addison was upset that none of her sisters  would let her practice doing their hair, so I told her she could do mine after I took a shower and did my makeup.
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Since I was taking the picture so close and it was a relatively wide angle, it made my nose look WAY bigger than it is.   At least that's what I'm going to tell myself.  If my nose actually is that big, please don't tell me.  I'd rather go on living my life in state of naivety on the subject.

When her hair-doing craving was satisfied, Addison joined the twins playing puzzles on the ground.

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I wondered where Hannah was, and as I was going into the other room to look for her, I noticed the trash was full, so I took it out and asked Lilly to put new trash bags in the bins.  Putting new trash bags in the trashcans is seriously Lilly's favorite chore. SERIOUSLY.  I'll call out and tell her I need it done and no matter what she is doing, she comes running.  She LOVES it.

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And that little fact makes it more tolerable that most of the time the rest of my house looks like this:

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I did eventually find Hannah.  She was drawing me a picture.

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At the time of this drawing, the two words she knew how to write were "Mom" and "Hannah."  She kept giving Bart pictures with "Mom" scrawled across the top saying, "It says dad!"  I finally taught her how to write Dad the other day.  She wrote it once, so hopefully it will stick.

When the other girls saw us in the front room, they begged me to let them dance.  We have a recorder that plays a number of loud and obnoxious songs that the kids LOVE dancing to.  I finally caved in to their puppy dog pleas.  (I think Lilly had more fun contributing to the loud obnoxious music than dancing).

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After dancing we had a quick game of Hide and Seek. 

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At that point Lilly wasn't playing very nicely so she had to do some bedroom time (a time out).  

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I always have such a hard time getting them upstairs when I need them to go upstairs, but whenever I get them out of bedroom time, they're happy to head up there leaving me in the dust. (I think they're worried I might change my mind).

After that it was lunch time.

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And then nap time.

Our nap time routine always consists of changing diapers, putting them in their cribs, and reading a story.  However, when I did it in that order, I had to deal with two squirming toddlers who were trying to make it as difficult as possible for me to change their diapers because they knew they were going in their beds once I was done.  I've found it's way easier if I change their diapers upstairs and then read to them on the couch.  They don't squirm because I tell them we won't get to read stories on the couch if they squirm.  Then all I have to do is put them into bed after story time.  SOOO much easier!

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When I walked into the twins' room downstairs, I found Addison like this.  She thought she was pretty funny.  The twins thought she was pretty funny too.

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Once Maya and Lilly are in their cribs, I tuck them in and sing, "Love one Another," and leave.  They usually fall asleep pretty quickly, but lately they've been staying up for a long time talking to each other and I have to go in there a few times to tell them to be quiet and go to bed.   
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After I put the twins to bed I read Hannah a story in her room and put her to bed.  Addison doesn't usually take naps, but Hannah doesn't like being in the room without her, so I've made Addison a deal:  As long as she stays in the room until Hannah falls asleep, she doesn't have to take a nap and can come upstairs.  She usually reads while she's waiting.

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After singing to, and tucking in Hannah, I went upstairs and finally got to eat my lunch.  A Yummy Caprese Salad with tomatoes from our garden and balsamic vinegar from Olive Oil and Beyond.  If you live by Balboa, don't walk, RUN to that store.  They have the most incredible balsamic vinegar I have ever tasted. Seriously, get it.  It will change your life. 

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At our house, Mondays are family night, and I knew we had to run to the grocery store too, so I decided to start a crock pot dinner.  I knew the temptation to just drive through somewhere on the way home from the store would be too great if we didn't have something already cooking at home.

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And by the way, that is the crock pot I got when I went to college some 10+ years ago.  I've had others, but she's still my favorite.  I call her old faithful.  I hope she never breaks down on me.

Hannah had fallen asleep, so Addison came upstairs.  I took this picture of her on my bed thinking she was reading, but it turns out she was just playing games on my iPod.
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When Bart got home from his meeting, he reminded me we had to re-register our Prius.
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Then it was off to the grocery store.
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And let me tell you, that was one tough grocery store trip.  Lilly had a break down so Bart ended up taking her back out to wait in the car for us.  As the cashier was ringing me up, I realized I forgot to get bread (which we REALLY needed) so I ran to the aisle to get some.  And then I realized I got not one, but TWO of the wrong type of item, so a store manager was kind enough to run to get the correct item for me TWICE.  Seriously, it was a nightmare.  It's a good thing I had that crock pot going or we would have been eating fast food for sure.

Instead we went home and had Taco Chili and watermelon.

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We were originally going to go on a hike for family night, but Hannah had worn shoes that were too small for her to the grocery store and gotten HUGE blisters that popped on the back of her heels. (Seriously, it was a bad trip).  So we opted for a nice game of Qwirkle instead. 

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Then it was bedtime.  The incentive for putting pajamas on tonight was that they got to wrestle with dad for a little bit.

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Finally we tucked them all in and said goodnight.

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And if you're still reading, You're awesome!  I'll add another link so you don't have to scroll all the way up just to move on to Jennifer's blog.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find me here.  :)