Saturday, December 19, 2009

Whoever You Are...Thank You Santa!

We had a knock on our front door the other night. When Adam opened it, he found a generous gift from "Santa". We don't know who Santa and his elves are, but we are very grateful. Thank you, Santa, for making this Christmas extra special for us!

I am excited for the day that Adam and I can do some large-scale "Santa-ing" of our own, you know, for families who need it. I've always loved being able to give secretly to others, and Christmas time is my favorite time to do it. I'm thankful that I have fantastic examples of charity, kindness, and generosity in my life, and also thankful that wonderful people are thinking of us. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If It Walks Like a Duck... must be big, humongous Natalie waddling around the house. I have one week left until induction and I can't remember ever being this uncomfortable with my other pregnancies. I was running every day until I gave birth when I had Amber, and with Karli and Rex I could push the double stroller and walk four miles each morning. This baby has rendered me nearly useless, as I can barely walk from the kitchen to the front door without suffering. I guess my body is just worn out from being pregnant for 40 out of the past 60 months. Yay for no more pregnancies!

I am starting to get really excited to meet our new little boy. I am also super nervous to see how he changes the family dynamic. I hope that Rex will be nice to him and that my girls can be good helpers. I am gearing up to give lots of extra attention to the three older kids, but still I worry that it won't be enough or that we'll suddenly have a family of bed-wetting children or worse. Hopefully, things will work out well and everyone will adjust by having the expected and tolerable side-effects of adding a new one to the brood.

We're still debating on names; we have a few that we all like. Some of us like one name more than others, so I'm curious to see who the baby looks like and the kind of vibe he gives off. Call me crazy, but I just can't name a baby before I've met him or her. It never works out (Karli was going to be Kandice...but, no). I think we're all ready as far as laundry, sewing, organizing, etc. goes, so now I'm just waiting around to HAVE THIS BABY! Let's hope it's sooner rather than later.

Magic or Tragic? Either Way, It's a Trip to Disney World

Amber and Karli had their first cheer competition of the season on Saturday. They looked adorable and did a great job! Both of them competed in the Tiny division (age 5 and under) with their cousin Gracie. Amber also competed in the Mini division (under 8) and did a grand job considering she had two minutes to run off the mat after Tiny, change her uniform, and line up to go on with the older girls.

The Dazzles (Mini division) are the class that my brother-in-law taught in October. Their routine has a military theme and they were darling! They ended up in third place, which is downright respectable and impressive to me as their coach. They worked really hard and it was so fun for me to watch Amber in a "big girl" routine.

The Twinkles (Tiny division) were so darling, mostly because a few of them including Karli were off in their own world for a majority of the routine. There were a few girls who really rocked out, improvising and dancing their little hineys off for the judges. Eventually, most of them came together and did the routine like they were supposed to. I was really proud of them for being as composed as they were and for remembering most of the steps.

Once both of my teams competed, we raced out the door. As much as I love cheerleading, I just can't stand to be at one of those events for more than 20 minutes. It's loud, crowded, craziness that I simply can't tolerate. We didn't stick around for the awards, since (bad coach!) I didn't think my girls would place. They were great, but comparatively, I didn't think we had a chance.

You can imagine my surprise when Angela called to tell me the Twinkles took third place. I was thrilled and so excited to tell them what a great job they did. Little did I know, she actually said "first place" but I couldn't hear because she was still in the gym. I nearly wet my pants when I found out they earned a winning score. Additionally, they won a trophy that is the same size as some of them AND a bid to the national competition at Disney World in March (the weekend before Amber's birthday). Since most of the Twinkles have older sisters on teams that also qualified, we are trying to work it out for their team, too! I think it will be a blast and am really excited and proud of my little girls.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures because I was running around like a crazy person and answering all sorts of (I thought) dumb questions from parents, students, etc. and trying to get my teams where they needed to be. I'll round some up from my dad and Leslie and post them later. Rah rah rah! Gooooooo Flash!

A Visit with Santa and His Reindeer

Thanksgiving Point is one of my favorite places in Utah County, so I was thrilled to find out about their Christmas activities this year. I took the kids to visit Santa and see his reindeer, and I was surprised by their reactions.

All three of them loved the reindeer. There was a mommy and a baby reindeer who had more than enough food to eat, thanks to the handy quarter-dispenser and lots of eager children.

Rex was thrilled to see live usual. He couldn't take his eyes off of them.

Karli was really excited to meet Santa (that surprised me; usually she's more timid). She wore her glasses so she could show him what a good girl she's been. When asked what she wanted for Christmas, she immediately yelled out, "A CAR!". I don't know if she meant a car for her Polly Pockets or something like that, or a real, bona fide car like a...oh, it pains me to say van or something for our family (which we will need in a week!). She was fascinated by Santa and was very brave.

Amber took one look at St. Nick and immediately changed her mind. She wanted nothing to do with him! She told me in a very grown-up way, "I'm not interested anymore so I'll just wait here by the stroller". It was so funny to me to see the look of horror on her face when it was our turn to talk to Santa. She won't even talk to him on Leslie's iPhone. I thought for sure she'd be excited, but when I think about it now, she's never liked to sit on his lap, even in infancy. Let's hope she changes her mind about Santa once he brings her a few Christmas gifts.