Thursday, January 27, 2011

He is Three!

I mentioned before that I love Derek's personality and his sense of humor. On New Year's Eve, Garth was going skiing but we didn't want Derek to know because he loves skiing and would be upset he wasn't getting to go. As Garth was packing a lunch and gathering some things, Derek kept asking, "Where's Daddy going?" and I just kept saying, "He's going in the truck." Finally he looked at me with angry eyes and said, "Don't talk to me like that! He's going skiing!" In that moment we promised to take him skiing for his birthday. He talked about it constantly for two weeks until the big day came.
We had a great time up at Mt. Spokane night skiing. Grandpa John and Grandma Lori came which made the perfect kid to adult ratio. Olivia and I hung out walking in the snow, waving to siblings and warming in the lodge. All of the kids improved that night. Derek is so different than the older ones. They are cautious and careful, he just wants to go! Garth was using his poles to help Derek turn and stay at a controllable speed and Derek kept saying "Let me go Dad!"

Unfortunately, it was a rainy day on the mountain so it was a little wet and sticky. Fortunately, the rain deterred many skiers and we had the lodge practically to ourselves. We had some dinner, Presents. . . And winter cupcakes. We also got to celebrate his birthday with my family at home. Derek loved his chocolate peanut butter cake and was thrilled with his new toys.

Now that he's three, it's time to get serious about potty training! If he's old enough and brave enough to ski, he can summon up the courage to sit on the toilet right?!

I Resolve

My resolution this year is to be less of that frantic, frazzled, overwhelmed mother. I am often running late. I often forget things. I often don't get done what I wanted, needed, or intended to do. I know that there are a lot of things that I can't control (untimely poopy diapers etc) but I want to do better at what I can control. I don't like that feeling that I am running late and I still have stuff to do. When I feel that way and start to run around like a crazy woman, is when undoubtedly one of my children will have a crisis and need me. Here is what I'm going to do to improve.
*I will prepare what I can the night before (diaper bags, swim bags, dance bags, lunches etc.)
*I will decide realistically how long it will take to get ready. After 8 years of this mothering stuff, I still haven't accepted the fact that getting shoes and coats on takes 5X longer than it should. I will factor that in and try to be on time.
*I will ask for help if I need it and not feel like a failure if I can't get everything done I thought I should.
*I will let my older kids be in charge of themselves and let them learn from mistakes (like forgetting their lunch, gloves, homework or whatever).
*I will answer honestly "Do I have time to answer this phone call?" "Will I have to speed home to beat the bus if I run this last errand?" "Do I actually have 30 minutes to squeeze in a workout or will that make us late?" etc. etc. etc.
I know if I can do this it will make me happier not to mention my husband and kids who suffer when I am in a frenzy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Derek has been different than my other kids since the day he was born. He has those amazing blue eyes, he was HUGE (8 pounds 12 ounces), and he had a completely different look. He is still different, a little more rough and tumble and a little more independent. Lately, I have been really enjoying him. Yes, he's two and throws ridiculous tantrums but he has also been a lot of fun lately. I love this stage when kids can really express what they want/need and are showing their sense of humor. Some of my favorite Derekisms that I want to remember. . .When he sees something he wants, a treat, a toy, whatever, he says "Mom, can I want that?" It makes me laugh every time. Yes Derek, you certainly can want that but you most certainly aren't getting it. He also often looks at me confused and asks "Mom, what yer doing?"
When you tell him he is funny, or silly, or whatever, he says, "No my not!"
He is super smart, knows all of his letters and their sounds.
He HATES the toilet and screams "I'll do it tomorrow" every time I put him on it.

Here he is with his favorite accessories: a knight shield and helmet. You can tell him a million times that the shield goes on the front but he doesn't care. He'll be ready when someone tries to stab him in the back I guess.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Celebratory Moment

Olivia is in Nursery! Garth has been Superdad on Sundays for the last 2 years. When I got called to be Primary President, Derek was only 10 months old and I was 2 weeks pregnant with Olivia. Garth dealt with Derek for 8 months until nursery only to trade him for baby Olivia. He survived 18 months of her in the halls, tantruming, sleeping on his shoulder, slobbering on and smearing snacks on his freshly dry cleaned suits.

To top all of that off, all last year, I had a Ward Council meeting every other Sunday at 7a.m. so Garth had to get all four kids ready for church alone. Not only did he manage to get them there but they would look good and the girls would have hair done and accessories that matched. I am so lucky and just a tiny bit miffed that he out-mothers me on Sundays!

And We're Off

After a VERY long morning at the doctor, getting x-rays, then back at the doctor. . . Carter is officially cast-free! The morning of the big event, I asked him if he was excited to get it off. His answer? "Well, not really. I am pretty much famous at school with it on."
After the long appointments we met Garth for a celebratory lunch at Wendy's (frosties included of course) then we went home and let Carter ditch the second half of school. Turned out to be a pretty good day after all.

Keeping Me Humble

I think all women have something about themselves that make them feel confident. . . and I am sure all women have things about themselves that keep them humble. I have never had great skin. I'm a pasty red-head with freckles and break-outs. I hate it.

Insert outspoken child Carter. . .

I was putting my make-up on and Carter asked if what I was touching was a zit or a freckle.

Why Carter?

"You have so many of both it's hard to tell."

Thank you so much.

Welcome 2011

We had such a fun New Year's Eve this year. My parents came over and watched the little two so Garth and I could take Carter and Sydney to first night Spokane (which really should be called "last night") We got to go to a ton of shows, out to dinner at the Olive Garden, stayed up really late and it was ALL FUN! No diaper bags, no toddlers on and off your lap 100 times, no whining or tantrums. I love all my kids dearly, but it was really fun to go out with the "big kids" and have a stress free fun evening. These two danced like they had "ants in their pants" so well at the Eric Herman show that they won a free copy of his DVD!Gotta love the overpriced junk you can buy. Carter bought a light saber and Syd chose a pink braid that clips into her hair and lights up. Only the necessities!Our favorite show was the Brothers from Different mothers (although the Celtic band and dancers were awesome too). At this point we were getting a little worn down and went home when it was over. You can't tell in the photo that we froze our butts off. Single digit temperatures are not my favorite.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Worthwhile Tradition

I'm not sure how this tradition got started, but sometime when I was a kid, my parents started a "Gift of Love Jar." When the decorations came out in early December, so did the jar. Next to it were small pieces of paper to write down gifts of love. The catch was that you could not write them about yourself. You had to notice other people doing something nice, helpful or loving for you or for others and write it down. When we were kids, we used to do extra things just hoping our name would pop up in the jar. We might sneak around making people's beds, or do dishes without being asked etc. Then on Christmas Eve, after all the celebrations, we would open the jar and read all the gifts of love that were given throughout the month. A few years ago, my brother gave us each our own jar and we have continued the tradition in our house. For some reason, we didn't do gifts of love as a whole family this year so on Sunday after Christmas, we sat down in our little family and read the gifts of love. The value of this tradition was reinforced for me as I read paper after paper that Sydney had written. I helped her write her first one and gave her an idea of what should be written down but after that she was on her own. I was touched by the fact that she noticed the nice things people did for her and thought to write them down. If you are looking for a new tradition to start in your family, give the "Gift of Love Jar" a try. It will bring your family and increase in service to one another, and an increased appreciation for how much others do for you on a daily basis.

Our Christmas

After all that fun with the three families, it was hard to believe that my kids were going to get more. I wondered if they would loose some of their excitement. . .what a silly thought. Santa was really on his game this year and all his gifts were a HUGE hit!
Olivia loves her Dora doll. Dora is one of her clearest words!
Derek is a big fan of the CARS movie. He got this awesome garage and some new cars to go with it. This toy has been played with by every kid of every age that has come over since Christmas morning.

Sydney was so excited to get some zhu-zhu pets (and the Beauty and the Beast DVD she's holding).
The real Christmas miracle is that I bought Sydney 3 outfits and she likes them all! She can be a bit picky about colors and styles. If they make her itch? forget about it, she will never wear it.
I woke up Christmas morning to the sound of golf clubs hitting the floor. Apparently Carter needed to be reminded that when he wakes up, he's supposed to come get us. He was already downstairs checking out his big gift.
Too bad he has a cast on his arm and there is insane amounts of snow on the ground. It will be a while before he gets to use his new golf clubs.

Whew. . .it's over. I love Christmas, but I also love when it's over!

Frederickson Christmas

We continued tweaking Frederickson tradition. We usually all meet Christmas Eve for dinner, the nativity, and a program. The past few years, my mom has had 50+ people at her house. The Rippy group decided it was time to break off and do their own thing. However, Kelly, the oldest cousin decided to plan a Christmas brunch where all the cousins could get together and visit since we don't get to see some of them any other time during the year.

While we were eating, we got hit by a "flash mob" (inspired by this one on youtube) my brother Bryan stood on his chair and started belting out a Christmas song, then my mom joined, then Bryan's wife, my other brother and his wife. It was awesome and totally unexpected. Hopefully we will tweak again next year and not do a program. It was cute, but got a little long. I'd much rather play games and let the kids interact. Carter sang for us. . .
Sydney choreographed a dance to jingle bells. . .
and Derek sang "I Love to See the Temple" He knows every word to the song but at the end he sings "this is my FAVORITE duty" instead of SACRED duty. So cute.
After brunch, we headed to my mom's because we didn't want to go all the way back home. We played and cooked and napped then everyone (all my siblings and one aunt and uncle) gathered for dinner and the Nativity.
My little angel was the angel and read her whole part by herself!

It was a long day, but I loved it. This picture of the kids in their new jammies pretty much covers the emotions of the day. . . some tears, some smiles, some craziness, lots of love!

Giannetto Christmas

After our first Christmas celebration, we packed up the car and headed to Canada to celebrate Christmas with Garth's mom, Tony, and Grandma Yvonne.
On our way there, Derek kept saying "I have to go skiin' mom." He wouldn't let it go so the first day there, we headed over to the little magic carpet. I made Carter come for moral support and figured he couldn't do too much damage to his cast on the magic carpet. We started on the kid one but after 2 or 3 tries, Derek insisted on going to the bigger one to be with Carter.
The magic carpet ride.
He completely loved skiing! He wouldn't turn or slow down, I had to chase him down the hill and stop him occassionally to keep him from really wiping out. He did hit the snow a few times but it didn't bother him at all. He'd just look at me and ask if I could get the snow off his face. Right here, he was saying over and over "I gotta catch Carter!"Later I gave Sydney her first present from us, this adorable ski coat, and took her out also. She is much more cautious (she and Carter have that in common) but we had a really good time. She has mastered turning right but for some reason really struggles turning left. We'd start a run way on the left side and finish way on the other side.
The great thing about Big White is all the activities they have to choose from. For as many years as we have been going, we have never checked out Bingo night. Theresa stayed home with Olivia and we all went and had hot cocoa and played Bingo. We were surprised that the lodge was packed and I thought our chances of winning were pretty slim.

To my surprise, Sydney won a round and she won us a 2 hour family pass to the tubing hill (one of our favorite things to do!)How does this happen?
The greatest gift of the whole week was the freedom to play with my kids. Theresa and Tony were so willing to watch the kids so I could ski with Garth or take older ones while little ones napped. It was truly a gift to enjoy my family all week!