Archive for May 2011

Cleaning House!

originally posted at

In a previous post I ranted about my latest struggle, keeping my house clean. Since then I have tried to put a plan into action to clean up! Our ward happened to have a RS meeting on the subject of teaching your children to work in the home and it was great. A lot of great ideas were shared and I have taken some of them and made them work for our family. Two of the things I realized weren’t working was 1) I expected Savanna and Miles to be capable of the same tasks and 2) I was expecting them to do all their chores while I was doing mine, just leaving them on their own. Now we are doing things differently. Savanna and Miles are both responsible for cleaning their own rooms and the playroom and TV room in the basement. Savanna also empty’s the dishwasher and Miles cleans the living room. Because Avery and Savanna share a room I encouraged Savanna to teach Avery how to help. It’s really cute, she hands Avery a toy or book or whatever and tells her where to put it, the few times I have seem them do this it works pretty well! Instead of walking away and leaving them to their own devices, I now “help” them with their chores by being nearby to observe and offer advice on how to do something. Savanna can handle things much better on her own than Miles, so I do spend more time with him. With Miles I try to make it fun, let’s see how fast we can put the trains away! that kind of thing. They cannot go outside or watch a movie or do computer until the chores are done. They also have to make sure they have cleaned up whatever they were playing with before they move on to the next thing. When they are done they get a smiley face on their chore chart. They are rewarded for doing chores by activities, going to lunch, the park etc. So far it’s working pretty well, eventually I will add and change chores. One of the things they talked about at the meeting was teaching your children that all that they have are blessings and they are responsible as a member of the family to take care of their things and work as a team to keep the house clean. Hopefully we can keep this going so they will grow up knowing what their responsibilities are and fulfilling them.
This summer I also wanted to make sure they were continuing to learn, especially Savanna since she will be starting kindergarten in the fall. They each have a Summer Bridge workbook and started doing a few lessons a day, when their books are done we are going to Pirate Island to celebrate! Savanna has always loved doing workbooks, so she is doing great. I was surprised by Miles, this is the first workbook he has done and he is doing great! He is working on the pre-k to kindergarten book and Savanna is doing the kindergarten to first grade. It seems not too long ago when I was just worrying about getting my babies to nurse and sleep and of course Avery is still my baby and I cherish that, but I feel like I am entering a new stage of motherhood, new and exciting things lie ahead.

Easter…a little late

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I know Easter was last month, but I’ve been a bit busy with wedding planning and the end of a school year. Anyways, here is my first Easter with the Bayless Family! Andy and I got plenty of candy from his mother.
Easter egg hunt inside the house. Savanah and Marissa were quite good at finding eggs.
Avery loved all the festivities. She is just adorable!
Here is their traditional Easter Bunny Jello, and they don’t even like jello.
Easter egg hunt outside! This is where the real eggs were hidden. Chevon had to keep turning around so I could get a picture of Avery.
Jonathan has some crazy eyes.
Here are the kids and a couple of adults. The egg hunt was a success!
Marissa’s egg even matches her dress. I think Miles is still looking for some eggs.

Brenden needed a little help from his dad (Adam) to get this egg.

Zoo Trip

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Last week my mom and I took the kids to the zoo! We had a great time, it was one of those rare days when everything seemed to go well, everyone was happy and enjoying themselves and I felt like I was being a good mom. Avery was especially interested in all the animals, when the other kids wanted to hurry and move on to the next exhibit, she was just fine to stay and observe. We attended the bird show which was really neat. The birds were flying right over our heads the whole time, a big raven even brushed Miles’ head with it’s wings. Everyone was ooh and aahing and clapping, even Avery, very cute. The weather was great, just a little cool and cloudy, but I think that kept the crowds away, which was nice. It takes some work getting there (and getting home, 3hrs on the construction laden freeway!)but it’s so worth it to make memories with my kids. I think they fit in quite nicely at the zoo!

So Proud!

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Savanna’s preschool sends home these cute certificates each time she passes off a skill. Some of the skills she had down way before preschool such as colors, shapes, letters, numbers 1-10, etc. She did learn a lot at preschool too, like right from left, memorizing her address and phone number and a bunch of others. Today she brought home this certificate, and I was so proud! I have been working with her to get her reading before kindergarten and I think she is well on her way. The school started sending home pre-primer readers for her to work on at home. I can see her progression with each book, how she recognizes the sight words and can sound words out much quicker. Today she read one of the books for her teacher and got her certificate! I was so excited for her! Learning to read opens up a whole new world and because she loves to be read to, I think she be so happy to be able to read herself. We have also been working on BOB Books and she is already through the first set! I have ordered 2 Summer Bridge work books, one for Savanna and one for Miles and I am so excited to work with them this summer! Learning is fun!

Third Time’s a Charm!

originally posted at

This year the Provo City 5K was held on May 7th and it was the best one yet! The last two years it has been raining/snowing and freezing. They were both fun of course, but this year the weather was absolutely perfect. This year I was also in much better shape than last year, who runs a 5K two months after having a baby? I set a regular training schedule and stuck to it and, surprise! It totally worked! I finished thinking, I want to run another one right now! Hopefully I can keep it up so I can redeem myself at the Speedy Spaniard this year and not come in nearly last place like 2 years ago, who runs a 10K when they are 2 1/2 months pregnant? Although I have accepted the fact that I don’t think I will ever be a marathon runner, I have really come to enjoy these short, fast races. I have even missed running this week (I allowed myself a week off) and can’t wait to get back into it. There are several more races this summer and I am so excited, hopefully I can fit them all in! James was in charge of picture taking at the race, along with being in charge of 3 highly energetic kids. Needless to say, the child watching trumped the picture taking so we only got a couple right before the race, but enjoy!
May 7th was also my birthday! I had a great day! After the race my mom came over and we made a cake and played with the kids in the yard. That evening James and I went to dinner and shopping and had a really good time. Mothers Day was also really nice, we were able to spend some good quality fam time together and then head to the in-laws for a Mothers Day/Birthday dinner where I stuffed myself with schnitzel.

Savanna’s Preschool Spring Program

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I signed Savanna up for preschool just a week after Avery was born, apparently you have to get on the preschool registration early! When I registered her I kept thinking how far away it was until she would actually start school, now she only has two weeks left! I can’t believe it! Preschool has been a very good thing for her, she has learned so much and so have I, I have a much better understanding of what things she should be doing at her age. Here are some of the things she has learned and improved on in preschool: She has her phone number and address memorized, knows right and left, can write her name and all the letters, knows all her numbers, letters, sounds, shapes and colors (she knew most of these before preschool but has improved a lot), knows opposites and rhyming, knows that reptiles are cold blooded and mammals are warm blooded, is starting to read sight words and the pre-primer books and doing really well, and a bunch of other things I can’t think of right now! I am really glad we decided to put her in preschool, I think it has been a great thing and she will be much better prepared for kindergarten in the fall (aaahhh!).
She had a spring program where the class got to show off their skills and sing some very cute songs. It was really sweet and cute. Savanna kept her eyes on her teachers most of the time and didn’t smile much, but you could tell she was happy and excited when everyone clapped after every song! I can’t believe we are attending school programs already, time is flying by and my kids are growing up so fast!