Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Out on the town

Today. Was a great day. And I took pictures. Well, it started with last night: I got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Little H has been nursing every two or three hours for over a week, around the clock. Some nights, more like hourly :'( But last night, that awful streak finally broke, Hallelujah! (haha - that's not going to make anyone want to have kids. It's just that newborn stage, I promise.) Well, so at 5am when he finally woke up to nurse, I was awake and waiting. I was up before either of the other two and had a load of laundry done before breakfast, go me! We cleaned the house a little and got ready for the day and then headed to the library, finally! We have lived three months without a library trip, sadly, but I'm in "check off the to-do list" mode this week, and the library card was next. By the way, our new library = super cute.

Funny story: so after Henry's week-long binge-eating sesh, today, suddenly he's barely interested in food at all. In fact, he's more into pretending to eat, and grinning while looking up at me side ways to see if I'm watching. Sooo funny :) He decided to pull this in the library. I had a nursing cover on kind of, but he kept popping his head up to see my reaction to his antics, so it was basically useless. Then I look over at the boat to check on Riley and Joe and I'm met with a stare from a little three'ish year old girl, looking at me through binoculars. She wasn't shy either. She waved, I waved, we had a good laugh. Ahhh me.

We loaded up on books and then they wanted to go for a walk. It was another scorcher, so when our walk took us near this little soft serve place, how could I resist? Such a fun spot, and very busy.

Yeah, it was picturesque. Then we came home and Joe had a belated birthday present. Oh my goodness - our new best toy is not a toy! Coolest bank ever. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

How fun is that?! They spent the rest of the evening filling it up and emptying it out, over and over. This is a great toy for Joe, i.e. old moneybags. Literally! He keeps ziplock bags of coins in his drawers and random places throughout the house. There was some confusion about how money put in the bank somehow should disappear and go magically to "the real bank," but I think I cleared it up. Although it's hard to say. Remind me to tell you about the time I explained alcohol to the kids and they somehow got that alcohol is pool water and if you drink it you will go to jail. Oh yes. Super awkward when they got to the pool and pointed at every person they passed with a beverage and said, "That guys' got alcohol. That girl's got alcohol." Erm, ahem, cough cough. Of course, mostly they were right, but it was still awkward.
I guess he came to the dinner table still hyped up, because he used his plastic plate to bat his plastic cup off the table, just something he gets a thrill out of doing sometimes. Alas, this time his cup actually had milk in it. I never realized how literal the saying, "cry over spilled milk" was till I had kids...so much spilled milk. Or rather, exploded milk, as in this case. Milk on the walls, the floor, my hair...it was quite the clean up.

For dinner I was feeling the veggie vibe and I made a pretty scrumptious stir fry with chicken and rice. Of course, I always have to over-sell veggie dishes to get the kids on board. I said, "I am loving this stir fry guys - all your favorite vegetables and a few other ones to try, chicken, soy sauce and honey (Joe likes honey)...Oh! And I made rice too!" Joe's response: "Yeah, but tomorrow Mom, can you please make something yummy for dinner?" Wah wah... And then Henry spit up on me.

So yeah, great day! haha! In review, it looks like a big chaotic mess. I guess what made it good, was one, feeling rested. Two, my plans actually worked out and the kids actually had a fun day. Sometimes, it's the little things.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What Summer Looks Like Now

Today was kind of a funny day. Fun, even. That's the way this week has been, in retrospect. I know I was pretty tired for most of it and woke up with...low expectations, but you know, it's summer and you just got to make the most of it. There's been swimming - pool and lake - ice cream, a 4year old birthday party, sugary cereal, toons... well, here we go.

Riley loves her new roller skates, even though she has to hold someone's hand to use them. Joe got a new big-boy bike and is very proud of it.

 Last minute one day this week, we decided to go to an outing with the church playgroup. Alas, I didn't do my research - when we got there I realized, too late, that it was a lovely little swim beach. Luckily, these guys have a super chill mom (haha) and we don't care about swimming fully clothed.
 Joe's birthday was this week too! Four! Or "sore," as he says. Bless, I didn't get it together for a huge party, but I did get some patriotic popsicles for he and his friends to enjoy out by the pool. It was the perfect day for a swim, and no one got burned (I now apply sunblock every 90 minutes or so, at least to Riley. That girl burns!) Winning!
Picking up birthday packages
 That night Don joined us and made it a party. We had pizza and mint-chip ice cream cake by request ("Because Emmy loves ice cream cake." Even though Em wasn't even there? I don't know, guess he really likes Aunty Em and respects her dessert choices.)
Too much smoke from this bonfire! :)
He loved his presents. I found some Pez candy refill packets in a package from home and threw those in with his presents and he was over the moon! First thing he did was go find his Superman pez dispenser and fill it back up! haha! He also got a wooden train set, magnetic tiles, cars, and a fisherman's vest. The vest was my idea - he needed something with lots of pockets to put all his treasures in, i.e. rocks, cars. He literally has filled his pant pockets to the extent that his pant snap poppes open and his pants fall off! So now he has this vest and it has already become more like a weighted vest, full of cars and marbles ('narbles') and what not. He's going to be so strong!

Joe has a grateful personality. He was so thrilled with it all, and I loved the way he lit up during this rare opportunity to be in the spotlight. You knew he felt special. I have a goal to create more frequent moments like this. I know from experience how awesome it is when your family shows you how special you are to them; it matters!
Goal number 2: get more pictures of Joe's face. When I was looking for pictures for a previous blog post about Joe, I noticed that there aren't a lot of good ones of our happy boy. Plenty of sister, but not so much for Joe. So the past couple days I've made it a point of snapping his smile. Although honestly, I think he is just not as much a picture person. He doesn't seem to care if I get his picture, or if he does, he wants to do a goofy smile. Well, he's only four, after all.

A few more pictures from this week (lazy blogging ahead - twill be another "pictures are worth a thousand words anyway" moment. But I'm tired!)

Saturday mornings with Dad home: "I'll start kickin' and you start flippin'! Just like the circus!" haha!
Henry wouldn't let me sleep in so I took selfies. ha :)
But at least he's cute.

Torrential downpour this morning, and throughout the day. Riley: "we are just watching to see if it floods the earth." (Apparently they hear at least parts of the scriptures we read at bedtime, while they are rough housing and crazy. We read about Noah last night :)

Dave took them out to play in the rain while I watched from the balcony. They had a blast, right up till they came in when the lightning started. Joe is certain he was struck by lightning, actually. There is a scratch on his face we asked him about and he insists it was the thunder.

Dave also took them to see Finding Dory today, another huge success. Riley was so excited when she was telling me about it I could barely catch a word of what she was saying. As for me, I was glad to have some quiet time at home with my napping baby, being not very productive. I was supposed to take a nap. Nope! Painted my nails, watched Dan in Real Life, aaaaand...compiled videos on my phone for this blog post! I give you:

Summer Times!

To finish the day off, we went to Snuffy's Malt shop for dinner, where everyone got along and laughed and had fun, like we loved each other and everything! Then a little shopping (light throw pillows - hooray!), a tad late bed time, and an episode of "Stranger Things," on Netflix. Now I call that a good day. Tomorrow's the Sabbath and I strongly suspect we will be hearing Riley, Joe and the rest of the primary to sing in Sacrament meeting in honor of Pioneer Day next week. I heard a  whole lot of "pioneer children sang as they walked. And walked. And walked. And waaalked," this week. So here's hoping! I do love a good primary program!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blessed Henry

A couple weeks ago we had our sweet baby blessed in church by his Daddy, Grandpa Don, the bishop and family friend, Trent. It was a beautiful experience. Henry was happy as a clam, looked dashing in his blessing outfit handmade by Grandma, and even refrained from spitting up on it, which I was certain was going to happen.

As much of Henry's extended family was missing, I promised to take copious notes and pictures. Alas, Dave talks a lot faster than I write. I got about two lines worth written down. But luckily a nice friend at church writes super fast and I believe she got the whole thing down!

Here are the hilights:
  • blessed with an even temperament [thank goodness!] 
  • parents who love you and a loving brother and sister to watch over you. Your family is so grateful you've come to live with them.
  • the Spirit will guide and direct you as you make decisions and receive the ordinances of the gospel
  • you will have opportunity to share the gospel
  • you will have an open mind and desire to learn
  • you will make decisions based on logic and will seek out the spirit to know Heavenly Father's will.
It was a very special and spiritual moment in our family history. The bishop got a little chocked up when addressing the congregation after. I wanted to share my testimony after but all that blessing had worked up lil h's appetite so I nursed him instead. I'll go ahead and share it here though.

I have a testimony of the power of the priesthood. God's power delegated to us on earth has blessed my life and the lives of all my family. Growing up, we received blessings from Dad, when we were sick or struggling, before starting a new school year, job, or big life event, and they always brought such a feeling of peace of comfort, and assured us God was mindful of us. I think that is huge, knowing that God is mindful of you, in good times and bad. I have a testimony of families. I think families are one of the ways God shows his love. If done right, a family is the perfect environment to develop and learn and become more like our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that He has provided a Savior and a way to be with our families forever, that death is no end to anything. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. No one has lived a more perfect and sinless life and withstood the pain and temptation that he has. He loves us perfectly and without reservation. I believe the sciptures, the Bible and Book of Mormon, are His words. Their being available to us is a miracle, but we can experience it every day. Reading the scriptures with my family every night has brought the Holy Spirit into our home and has softened my hard edges.
In Jesus Christ's name, Amen.

To babies! To sweetness and hope and new life and magic of that first smile, laugh, kiss and hug!
To life! La hiem! (Fiddler on the Roof nod. Definitely not spelled correctly. You google it and let me know. I'm going to bed.)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Joey, joey, fo-foey, foey, sh-showey showey...

Baby Joe, almost four years ago.
 Tonight I'm thinking about Joe. Partly  because his birthday is coming up and partly because lately I've been thinking about how he's in the middle. He's between a very sweet, beaming sister and an adorable baby and he himself isn't much for posing for camera's, or acting cute for attention. He's more likely to headbutt for attention. Because of these factors, I don't think he gets as much credit as he deserves but his is. Freaking. Awesome.

I love Joe so much. He is such a little sweetheart, smart as they come, and very adventurous. He loves to rough house, but he is also sensitive and anxious about things, and is so brave every day. Example: Mall of America yesterday when we were looking down on the rotunda from the third floor, nothing but a glass wall between us and the drop. I see him backing away and ask if he would hold my hand, to which he replies, "Thank you, Mommy. I'm scared of the tippy top." I could tell it bothered him, but he didn't freak out, just held my hand. I held tight as long as he'd let me.

Also, he is such a defender of his loved ones, and especially Riley. Once, Riley was singing on the playground and dancing around like Maria on Sound of Music and he and the little boys he was playing with stopped to watch her, in awe. The other little boys started to giggle (not viciously - they were younger than Joe I believe) but Joe got defensive and told them not to laugh and planted himself in front of her to block them seeing her, crossing his arms over his chest. She of course, was trying to dance around him so that her audience could see, but he didn't want anyone laughing at his adored sister. He thinks a lot of Riley. And he always knows just what to say when she is performing. "Oh yes, very boo-tiful." Something like that.

He always jumps at the chance to help Mommy or Henry - he's the official binky-getter. In the car, when Henry cries, Joe sings him songs about how cute he is and how we will help him. He has yet to turn me down when I ask him to bring me anything (it might be a wonderful stage, but it's great).

He loves to get up early before Riley and Henry to have some one-on one time. Yesterday morning he and I made cinnamon rolls, his favorite, and he chatted the whole time. Told me about his dreams last night, asked me about ingredients...I don't remember much of what was said (it was early), I just remember how happy he was. He and Riley are both kind of morning people. Huh.

 Well, it is hours past my bedtime, and I'm typing away in bed and probably really annoying Dave who has to get up early, but I felt like I needed to put these thoughts on paper. On screen. It's good to dwell on how awesome people are sometimes, so as to appreciate them more consciously. I appreciate you, Joe. And when you wake up tomorrow I'm going to read this to you. You make our family so much more fun and exciting, and bring joy to your friend, teachers, extended family, and a whole lot of others. I am so grateful you are my son.
Oh, and PS: if you're wondering where he gets his ravishing good looks:
Yeah, we're definitely related.
G-night! Morning! Dang it!