Saturday, September 27, 2014


Baby Allred #5
I'm pregnant! This ultra sound was taken at 12 weeks when they were testing for Down Syndome, which tests came back normal :). I don't know how people choose to not find out the gender. I hate referring to the baby as "it" and so for the time being I've been referring the this baby as "him". We think it's a boy, but I also thought Alyssa was going to be a boy and was shocked to find out otherwise. I also can't wait to assign "him" a name. It makes the baby seem more real when you can refer to them as a person. It's amazing how quickly they grow in utero. Look at this cute little face, I can't wait to kiss it.
Like ALL my pregnancies I've been sick with this one. Not as sick as with Cami, who about killed me. But sick enough to spend hours a day on the couch and go to bed every night at 6. And wake up EVERY morning at 4 am to puke. Basically the only thing I like about pregnancy is when it is over.  I sure popped out quickly with this baby. In the picture below I'm only 11 weeks along.

Back to school
Kennan's teacher this year is Mr. Todd who he is really excited about. His friend Carson Otto (who skipped 1st grade) is also in his class this year.
Brynlee's teacher this year is Mrs. Rodriguez. She didn't want Mrs. Rodriguez, she had her heart set on Mrs. Guyer who is the most loving, nicest kinder teacher around. But even knowing this I requested Mrs. Rodriguez for her (who Kennan also had in Kinder) because she has a very structured class room, she gives a lot of homework, and she does a fabulous job preparing the kids for 1st grade. I felt like Bryn needed a teacher that met her scholastic needs and doesn't feed into her overly emotional needs.
Do you like how Cami is wearing mismatched pajamas that belong to Alyssa and Alyssa is wearing her dress from the day before. Don't judge me.

Kennan and Brynlee hate when I do Alyssa's hair like this. They always try to push it down. But I think it's cute. And sticking it up is the only way you can see that she has any hair with how thin and blonde it is.

I know this is probably "Cami overload" but i can't get enough of this cute face. And she is just as sweet as she is beautiful. And for my dear Brynlee that tends to get a little jealous: No, I didn't take more pictures of her because I love her more. I took more of Cami cause her school starts at 9 am and yours starts at 7:30. And Page came to pick you up right after I snapped only one picture of you.
Cami's eyes confuse me. They say eye color is usually set in by age one but her green, green eyes appear to be starting to turn brown. I've always wanted a girl with brown eyes, I guess only time will tell.
I feel like I won the lottery with the preschool I was able to get Cami in to. One day, many months ago, I was out in the cul-de-sac playing with the kids, and Aly Lloyd came out. She asked me if I was interested in preschool for Cami. I said of course, but hadn't really looked into it yet. Then she told me about a lady in the Timber Ridge ward who does it for free. I ran into the house and immediately called her. We literally took the very last spot in class. I asked Mrs. Bernet why she does this preschool for free and she explained that she is an empty nester and loves having kids around (it helps keep her young). She said she would charge for it but her HOA won't allow her to run a business out of her home, so she does it for free. She converted a room in her house into a playroom and is very professional as she has had years of experience. Cami goes two days a week from 9-1, and eats a snack and lunch while there. So on those days my life is pretty easy being home with just Alyssa. We usually take a blissful nap together during that time. 

Cami was devastated on the first day of school when the kids left and she didn't have school (her's didn't start until the following week). The only way I could console her was to play a game with her. "Feed the Woozle" did the trick.
We are a great arrangement for carpooling in which Page picks up the kids every morning and I bring them home (except for when Carlos' dad doesn't work, then he picks up for me). 

Brynlee and her teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez.

Dad gets glasses
The military determined that Derrick needs glasses. We didn't complain since they gave him a couple pairs for free. He looks so good in glasses and actually doesn't mind wearing them. Although this is the first and the last time I've seen them on him. And when I tried them on I laughed out loud cause they are pretty weak. He agrees that they don't do much.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The Schreiner boys challenged Kennan and Derrick to do the ice bucket challenge in which you have a bucket of ice water poured on your head to raise awareness for ALS. Derrick had one bucket poured over his head for every patient he has had or diagnosed with this terrible disease (6 in all). He was freezing. And Kennan had one bucket of ice water poured on his head.

Fix-it Kim
Kim Paulos can do anything. I mean anything. Nothing can stop this determined and knowledgeable mother of 6. She is like Handy Many, or Bob the Builder, or the Little Engine that Could. She doesn't quit. I am so thankful for that. After she literally tore my dryer apart and checked every part of it I was on the verge of throwing it in the trash. But she refused to give up and wha-la, she reined triumphant in her quest. I think everyone in the world should have a friend like Kim in their back pocket. The world would be more full of butterflies and rainbows.
Derrick is an absolute sweetheart and does everything in his power to take care of the kids and I. But don't be deceived by the picture below. He was only here for the last 5 minutes to help. He often feels guilty that he can't be around more to take care of stuff like this, but he knows I'm in good hands with Kim. He too is so grateful for our friendship with the Paulos family.
Next up Kim, can you fix our computer that crashed and is infected with viruses? Oh course she can...she will just take it home, stay up late after the kids have gone to bed, and have it back by tomorrow. I couldn't pay to have a friend this faithful and loving.

Mail Me Some 'matoes
This was an interesting experiment. I was CRAVING a garden tomato sandwich. My mom kept calling and bragging about the beautiful red tomatoes her garden was producing abundantly. I finally couldn't handle it anymore and demanded she share some with me. So she with the assistance of her secretary Miriam, she mailed me 6 tomatoes and a cute mini loaf of bread. She had individually wrapped them in a paper towel and a baggie. I don't know why or how this happened, but two of them arrived mushy and moldy, but 4 of them arrived perfect. I immediately went to work making tomato sandwiches and devoured all of them within an hour of arrival. They totally hit the spot. I'm so glad that my mom really does still love me. Oh, and don't mind Alyssa's face above, her mouth is stuffed with Starbursts that mom had sent for the kids.

Splashing in the Rain
We pulled up from school. It was raining cats and dogs. The kids asked if they could go play in the rain. I said no. I was too tired to deal with wet kids and baths. They opened the door of the car and disappeared into the rain. I wanted to yell at them for not listening, but was too exhausted to yell. So, I sat down on a box in the garage and enjoyed the sound and smell of this much-needed rare rain. Pregnancy exhaustion saved them this time. 

Singing at School
Hooray, it appears that 2nd graders aren't yet too cool to have their mom's come to school for their performance. In fact, I actually wasn't planning on attending this but Kennan gave me a hard time about it this morning and told me he really wanted me to come. I didn't know it was that important to him and that he even noticed when I was and wasn't in attendance. It does seem like a lot of time and effort to go and watch him sing a 2 minute song with the other 2nd graders, but if it's important to him I need to be better about making it a priority. 

Dress Like a Pirate Day
Dress like a pirate and get a FREE DOZEN DONUTS from Krispy Kreme! We got three dozen donuts that are mostly still sitting in our freezer. I sat in the car with Faith and Alyssa who were both asleep while Kim took the kids in to claim their donuts.

Early release Day? Sounds like the perfect occasion to throw together a last minute Pump-it-up get together. Luckily we were able to get a great Groupon which dropped the price from $8 a kid to around $3 a kid. That's the only way these frugal mamas can make it since we have a combined 22 children!

Friday, September 26, 2014


Home Depot
My kids love the Free Kids Workshop on Saturdays. The projects they make are super fun and they love to build and paint them. This week we went with the Otto family.

Chick-fil-a is one of our favorite restaurants! Their chicken is so juicy and flavorful and doesn't taste processed. We jumped at the chance to eat for free on "dress like a cow" day.  The kids had fun making their cow costumes, and we walked away with $30 worth of free food.

Canyon Lake
We went to Canyon Lake with some of our closest friends, the Francisco's, Paulos' and Lloyds (although the Lloyds had to leave early so they aren't pictured). Above are the boys and below are the girls.
Brynlee was scared to death to jump off this cliff into the water. So I took a bold move and got up there and pushed her off, not knowing how she would react. She splashed into the water screaming but bobbed up with a smile and a thumbs up as she exclaimed, "That was great!" After that we jumped again and again with squeals of delight.
Kennan is taking his turn below.
Jan was so sweet to get in the water and play with all the kids, letting them jump to her. I couldn't get in cause Alyssa just wanted to play on shore so I had to stay with her.
Canyon Lake was a super fun day trip because we carpooled with Kim and her kids. First we all met up at Chick-fil-a for free lunch, then on the way home we stopped for Free Slurpees then Free donuts at Krispy Kreme cause the Hot Light was on. Then we ended up at Costco for a pizza. It was quite the party.
Kaiya's Baptism
It was great to attend Kaiya Peterson's baptism because it gave me the opportunity to reflect upon how we are going to arrange the program for Kennan's baptism which is coming up soon.

One night after dinner I asked Derrick if he would take Brynlee to Walmart to get her glasses fixed. We have only ever bought her the cheapest $9 frames and we have taken them back several times for replacement because they have broken. But they have a warranty in which they replace them for free. And the one expensive $200 pair she had gotten through the school (for free) broke just as easily. So I figure why not get the cheap ones and just replace them as needed, which has been about 6 times..... So when Brynlee heard she was going out with Dad she excitedly ran to her room and put on her best red dress with her matching red glasses and came out exclaiming "I'm ready for my date." Derrick and I chuckled at how over-dressed she was but let her enjoy this rare time alone with her dad. Derrick even elected to stay in his work clothes so he too could be dressed for their date at Walmart.

Ear surgery...Again? Maybe...
Remember how back in December the girls went in for a double surgery date? Alyssa got tubes in and Brynlee got her left tube taken out because it never fell out on its own. Well After months and months of Alyssa's ears draining, and rounds of antibiotics we finally decided it was time to get them out. She doesn't have a history of ear infections, but a hearing exam had revealed that her hearing was decreased due to fluid in her ear drums that couldn't drain. Tubes were supposed to be a simple solution to create a passage way for the fluid so that her speech wouldn't be delayed. But for 6 months they never stopped draining, and refused to clear up with antibiotics. The ENT, Dr MCavoy, said this rarely happens, but I guess she is one of the 3% that has complications of this nature. So we removed them and ever since she has had no drainage, ear infections, or fluid build up. Hopefully it stays this way and we don't have to revisit putting them in again. 
Luckily they let Derrick sneak away from work for a bit to come and help me out with the girls. Alyssa sure loves her Daddy. 
Above Brynlee is getting the Royal Treatment as she is being wheeled down the hall. She was supposed to be going in for a three hour surgery on her left ear drum. When the tube was removed back in December, it left a hole that never healed. This is probably due to the tube remaining in her ear drum for way too long. So they were supposed to go in and cut around the hole and patch it up. She can still hear perfectly out of the other ear drum. With these complications you may be asking yourself if it was worth getting tubes in the first place and I can answer that with a resounding "YES!" Brynlee was having terrible ear infections as a baby and was constantly on antibiotics for them. Finally we had tubes put in at 18 months and her ears cleared up and she has rarely had an infection since. I really believe the tubes helped so that Brynlees language development wasn't delayed. In fact, if you remember, she was super advanced for her age and could recognize and say every letter of the alphabet before she turned two years old. But unfortunately on this day Bryn didn't end up getting surgery because just before going in the Dr came to look in her ears and saw fluid draining from them so we had to reschedule.
Instead of taking my baby away screaming, the hospital staff let me gown up and carry her in to surgery where they allowed to me hold her while putting the mask on her until she peacefully drifted off to sleep. 
This is what an awesome babysitter I am. I just wish these little one year old would stay put for more than 30 seconds. Alyssa and Faith Paulos are becoming good friends.