27 October 2011

Trunk r Treat





 




Last night our ward Primary hosted a Trunk r Treat. Excitement was super high in our home all day. Amelia and Phillip "helped" me make cookies right before lunch. Justin came home from work a bit early to help me get ready. Phillip's costume was easy. Just let him muck around in his costume for a while, add some brown face paint, a sign, and kazam Pigpen is born. Amelia was so excited that Justin picked her up from ballet. We got her all gussied up with glitter, face makeup, fake jewel earrings, and an up hairdo. Everett wore a cute dinosaur costume from my friend Meagan. The most stressful part was trying to get the kids together for some photos. Phillip's photos are so dang genuine. Amelia looked crazy as she tried to pose like a princess, mostly she looked constipated.

The church was packed to the gills. Folks from all over show up at this once a year party. I heard that the food actually ran out before everyone had a chance to eat. Phillip's eyes were huge as he took in the loud noise and chaos. Being three feet tall can be a bit intimidating. We gathered together for a sing-a-long, then dinner, a cake walk, then outside for trunk or treating. I missed quite a bit of the action outside while nursing the baby. Still I ripped open our bag of candy and it disappeared like magic. Everett's costume was perfect for keeping him nice and warm. It was freezing outside!

First Snow





 
Like most folks along the Rocky Mountain base we received a dusting of snow yesterday. It was wet, heavy snow accompanied by cold temps. The snow was perfect for making a snowman. The middle ball was so heavy I could not lift it! He turned out really lumpy and dumpy. Regardless, the kids were pleased as pink punch. They spent 2 hours outside playing in the snow.

Fru-fru


 
This little one LOVES ballet. She loves dressing up for her lessons...and I love to play along. She chose the poofiest tutu I have on hand yesterday. I had to laugh over her preening. She thought she was Odette from Swan Lake yesterday.

26 October 2011

Five Months Old



Everett is five months old now! Yesterday he was immunized at the clinic. No stats to share this report. It seems he is thinning out again so he must be a little taller. He is wearing 6-9 month clothing just for the length. Everett started in with the baby nazgul about a week ago. He shrieks with laughter and delight when the kids maul him, when I come near by, for Justin, and most importantly for his feet. We started calling him wet sock per his wet left sock/shoe. Monday his sock was so wet with slobber it very nearly dripped. My favorite development is what I call Inspector Gadget arms. His go-go arms are always locked out probing for things to grab. He successfully grabbed my glasses yesterday. I am not very good at tummy time, instead opting for moby wrap time (it is like a front carrier). Everett will roll from tummy to back with a couple well-placed pokes. He holds up his head like a champ.

I think we will start teaching him to eat baby cereal soon. He can't sit up well enough yet but is super close! I like my babies to be nearly sitting on their own before starting them on cereal. Everett is one cute little boy. We love him so very much. That ready smile and shriek of delight is so endearing.

Primary Program









We bought a new microwave a month or so ago to replace our current one. Friday Justin found some time to take a look at the microwave situation. The folks who installed the current microwave hard-wired the appliance into the wall with a length of heavy duty wire to the main house line. Justin installed a new electrical box in the above the stove cabinet after we removed the old microwave. We went on a little jaunt to Cabela's to break up the evening. Justin got a new shirt for our family photos this week. Phillip fell in love with a camo fleecy. He hugged and cooed over his new treasure. We stopped at McDonalds for cones before heading home.

Saturday Justin let me take a morning nap. I woke up after 25 minutes but decided to sleep a few more minutes...that turned into another hour or more. I felt so groggy. After I woke up Justin wanted to get a tool to finish the microwave install. We could not find his wallet ANYWHERE. Between the two of us we tore apart the house on and off for the rest of the day. No wallet. He had it in the car at McDonalds so it got misplaced between the van and our bedroom. Most likely Phillip squirreled it away in one of his cubby holes. I had two photo sessions over the weekend. One with Miss Addy who turned one last week and another with the Bishop family. Both sessions were super fun. I got my new fancy 50mm lens on Thursday so enjoyed playing with it.

Sunday Amelia participated in her first Primary Program. She had a line which she memorized perfectly. The program was absolutely amazing. All the kids said their lines, sang with pure intent, and invited the spirit. I think about 3 non-member families were in attendance. I rarely cry but a tear or two fell during the program. The kids sang some beautiful songs this year. We went on a nice walk after dinner in 75 degree weather. The calm before the storm!

Monday I hung most of the photos in the basement. It is looking pretty homey and comfy now. My ceiling curtain track came in the mail...at least half of it did. I was bummed that half the track was not shipped. The company is mailing another track. We wanted to go to the Pumpkin Patch for FHE. Most of the local pumpkins this year were ruined by the hail. The pumpkin patch did not even open this year! So we packed up the kids and went to Walmart for pumpkins. We should get a chance to decorate them sometime this week. Amelia is learning about the letter R in preschool this week at Bryn's home. She begged for a tea party all last week. She made invitations with glitter and glue then passed them out at preschool.

Yesterday we hosted a little princess tea party. I had an order to sew up while the girls played and the boys napped. Alison subbed at the Drew's school yesterday so we had Ella from 7:45 until 3:30. The girls must be going through a developmental stage. I call it contrary syndrome. We are really struggling to teach Amelia how to be obedient, not just obedient but quickly obedient. She is using procrastination and creative excuses 99% of the time. Mostly it ends with me getting frustrated and her in time out. Ella and Amelia going through the same stage was sort of funny to watch. Poor Ella ended up being excluded from part of the tea party for some reason or another. I think she said it was because she did not want to play unicorn baby pet. The best part of the tea party was hearing little Lily use a totally authentic English accent. "Will you please pass the tea and crumpets, dearie?" LOL. The girls drank chocolate milk and ate ice cream cone cupcakes for about 10 minutes. The tea party migrated into unicorn pet games.

Phillip must be growing or teething. He is waking up quite a bit this week and is pretty ornery during the day. He bit my leg the other day and left little teeth marks on my leg,. This morning he threw an impressive tantrum over M&Ms when he wanted a tootsie roll. I think our Halloween candy will only be around a couple days. Mr garbage will enjoy the rest.

20 October 2011

Fall Fell
















It seems fall suddenly plopped into our lap this week. After I pulled up my tomato plants it promptly froze and now all the trees are shedding their leaves. It feels bittersweet to me. I love the colors, crisp air, and change of the season, however, I don't much care for winter. Give me spring, summer, and fall...maybe one or two good snows (like a month) that would be perfect. We have one more day of preschool for our turn this week. Monday was cra-zay with silly kids yelling like banshees and exhibiting a serious case of wiggle worm-itis. Wednesday was MUCH better. Tomorrow I will update the preschool blog with details.

Monday we had our upstairs carpet cleaned. It smelled so good to have clean carpets! The guy did an amazing job for an excellent price. This week I painted some walls in the basement on Tuesday. I did not like the first green color so added some brown to my limey green paint for a nicer green that coodinates with the curtains. The original coat went on super fast in about 90 minutes then finished the cabinet wall after the kids went to bed. Yesterday the paint went a lot slower because the brown paint I used to deepen the hue was a bit chunky. I had to fish out clumps of brown paint before I painted. It was sort of gross. Amelia helped me paint in her underwear much to her amusement. She played over at Ella's the first day of painting. This morning I hung the curtains amongst much muttering and a couple swear words. The west basement wall is more concrete than wood and drywall. Good thing the kids were amusing themselves with kiddie scissors. They cut about about 10 pieces of paper and Phillip successfully cut a swathe of hair off his head. No more scissors while Phillip is awake. Amelia also made a couple cute greeting cards for Reagan. Tuesday I covered our new dining room chairs with a fun damask white/black vinyl covering. That pretty much covers the basement fun. Wednesday I rearranged the living room and removed the wall collage. This afternoon I painted some frames from red to green to match the new color scheme. The end is in sight! My ceiling curtain track is en route, hopefully to be installed early next week.

I made some uber cute newborn headbands yesterday evening while paint dried. Yesterday I was sewing something and left the room to get Everett. I came back into my craft room to find Phillip at my machine with a length of fabric correctly under the presser foot and turning the fly wheel. My kid was sewing...and it was NOT the girl. You go boy! Everett got a new fun aviator hat I crocheted during the drive to Cheyenne. I added a fun pair of faux glasses for a fun finishing touch.

Phillip's new phrase this week is "op'n dis" or "open this" in regular English. His speech is improving everyday. He gets really upset when Amelia uses one of his toys, grabs something, or steps on his tender feelings. He will promptly say, "Amelia NOT nice, be nice!" Phillip is learning about ownership and the word "MINE." Unfortunately this change in Phillip is also heralding the unwanted act of sibling fights. We need to figure out some way to nip this in the bud. Amelia keeps slamming Phillip's fingers in the door, he hits in return, etc and etc. It is so ironic to me that one moment they are fighting and the next being so sweet to each other. The image of a roller coaster comes to mind. He had a total meltdown when I used his car to photograph Everett and his new hat. See the above collage and two photos below the collage. He went from meltdown to smile then realized he smiled and back to meltdown in seconds. Made me laugh.

Our evenings were quite busy this week. Usually we are always home after dinner. Tuesday I had RS enrichment meeting. Sister Hackleman did an amazing presentation on Fusion Grain Cooking. I am inspired to use more grains in my cooking. It does not make much sense right now because pretty much I cook for two people. Still getting my family used to eating fillers like whole wheat etc does make sense. I really want an electric pressure cooker. Yep, they have those now. Check out this link for the BYU Fusion Grain chef. Last night we hosted two YW and 4 YM for an Iron Chef cook off. Each team arrived at a member's home with a box of food and instructions to make an entire meal with the items. As hosts we could provide some seasonings and guidance. The kids made calzones, pasta salad, and apple/strawberry crisp. Guess what?! Our little team WON! Hooray for calzones. This evening was book club at Sister Gull's home. We read "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. An intriguing short read with lots of discussion questions. Only three people attended this meeting. Several were missing because our two Elder's are leaving their mission tomorrow so their host family threw a party. It looks like we might have full time Elder's in Sidney. The mission president was quite impressed with our little town and the amount of work going on. I photographed the Elder's shoes this afternoon! They were in an amazing state of disrepair. Good use of those shoes Elder!

Everett started using a funny little growl of delight, sort of like a bark of laughter whenever something amuses him. He is so delicious I could eat all those tickles he has under that cute double chin. Well, I think that is about it.

16 October 2011

No Boys Allowed



 



Amelia cracks me up. Period. This week she got the idea to make a "no boys allowed" sign for her door. We started listing the guys who will never be able to see her room (which is quite honestly fine with us). Mainly her sign relates to no Phillip allowed in her room because he makes a mess. Everett is allowed because he is cute. Daddy is not allowed because he reads books too fast. So when Ella came over to play on Thursday they made some signs. Amelia immediately taped it to her door. Mostly the sign says: Amelia and no boe. Ella spelled the other words out for her. Those two crack me up. Another funny: there is a popular game around, Angry Birds. Amelia calls the game Mad Birds. We saw some plush toys at Walmart and Amelia started yelling about those Mad Birds. We got a couple giggles over that.
Friday Susan and Nan came by to visit the kids. They are the ladies who helped us buy our home two years ago. They love to see the kids every so often. This time they came with pumpkin buckets filled with candy and a small gift. Talk about awesome! We enjoyed catching up with them for a few minutes. The kids were hyped up after all that candy! Before bed both kids ate their treat with the buckets on their heads. I also finally got around to yanking my tomato plants and hanging them upside down in the garage. Apparently, the tomatoes will continue to ripen on the vine just like the plant is still in the ground for a couple more weeks. Maybe I will get to can my spaghetti sauce after all.

I forgot to tell a funny story about Phillip. Last Sunday I laid out his clothes for Justin to help Phillip into. The shirt was a pink one with a navy vest over the top. He totally refused to put on the shirt! He yanked it off ran into my bedroom, threw the shirt on the floor, and yelled, "no, Amelia!" Not once, twice, but three times. He did end up wearing it but not without a fight. Once the vest was on he forgot about the color. We are still giggling that Phillip knows pink is totally an Amelia color.

This coming week should be fun! We are hosting preschool at our home. Our theme is MONKEYS, the letter M, and the color brown. We are totally ready for a monkey party. Yesterday we crammed the kids into the back of our Camry and drove to Cheyenne for new front tires and shopping. We got to browse Walmart for 1.5 hours, eat at Chipotles, shop for Everett clothes at my favorite consignment store, and stop at Hobby Lobby. Now we are ready to sell the Camry. Any takers let me know!

13 October 2011

Life Other Than Cleaning


Outside of cleaning like a mad woman life continued, gasp! I wanted to mention a couple items. Just had to post this photo again of Phillip since it is soooooo, well, Phillip!

1. Amelia is so excited for her Primary Program. We are memorizing her little part and listening to the program music all the time.
2. Amelia helped me pare down the toys in her room. She did so well giving up half of it to other little girls who don't have many toys.
3. Amelia is having a hard time staying in her bed. Sunday night she earned the consequence of cleaning the bathroom by herself. I played Drill Sargent and bossed her around for an hour. I remembered my dad playing Drill Sargent, just passing it on!
4. Phillip sucked a straw full of ranch and ketchup and blew it all over my shirt and pants. I smelled like salad.
5. While waiting for Amelia to get out of ballet Everett started laughing at Phillip laughing at him. That was a first for Everett. Made my heart sing with joy! Phillip also carried his monkey to ballet in a toy baby carrier. He coddles that monkey!
6. While enjoying dinner with the Missionaries on Tuesday, Phillip got his monkey and Grandma Jean blankie then commenced to nurse his monkey at the dinner table. What a kid.
7. Amelia went to the post office for preschool. She mailed herself a picture of her family. So cute.
8. Showed Phillip and Amelia how to slide down the stairs in a sleeping bag on Sunday. THAT was FUN.
9. Made myself 5 new "Cami-Secret" things. They are like mock camis that clip to a lady's underclothing. Used my old cami's to make the mock ones. I hate wearing shirts under shirts so this project was perfect for me.
10. Everett is not feeling well. He was up all hours of the night wanting loves. Poor kid.

Cleaning Bug

 
 
 
 

Ever since we contemplated moving the itch grew and grew inside me until I exploded with a huge can of jelly whoop clean all over my kitchen and basement. I clean everyday, it seems about a 100 times per day. Still my poor kitchen had not received a deep clean since the month before Everett was born. I knew it would take me FOR-Ev-ver to clean on my own so I enlisted some help. My basement was a thorn in my side even before we moved in. With help we made amazing progress towards a cleaner, simpler home.

Monday: Alison watched Amelia while I sorted toys. Ended up consigning about 60% of the kids toys. We have one little box upstairs, a little basket for bedroom toys, and now all the other toys fit into one cabinet. As a parent you buy your kids toys, they get gifted toys, they bring home stray toys, etc. It all piles up. Man, oh man it felt great to lighten the load to the toys the kids only play with. Pretty much I threw out all the toys that were NOT on the floor. Spent sporadic hours moving my photography props and making room in the storage room.

Tuesday: Alison came over again and helped me move furniture. Took a large load to the Salvation Army and Consignment store. Rose came over after lunch and helped me deep clean the kitchen for 4 hours. Together we scrubbed all the cabinet doors, pried dried food and such from corners, and polished every surface until it gleamed. I took breaks for piano lessons, nursing, and putting Phillip down for nap. The girls (Amelia, Ella, and Lily) all enjoyed zooming down the basement stairs in a sleeping bag. The whoops and hollers were enough to bring tears of joy to my eyes. I love happy sounds. Ella ended the party with a fun carpet burn and nose bonk. Was up until 12:30 mopping my kitchen floors and working in the basement. Alison had a great idea to hang Amelia's dress ups into the space where the previous owners had a mini fridge. Pretty much Alison gets credit for most of the good basement ideas! It is so strange how you can fashion everyone's spaces but when it comes to your own you get stuck.

Wednesday: Made another trip to Salvation Army. Alison came over and helped to organize my yarn and help put my craft room back together. Finished putting the basement back to sorts at 12:30 am once again. Found a cute area rug at the furniture store here in Sidney.

Phew! I am one tired...AND...pleased gal.

To do:
Paint the wall behind the longer couch and the TV a green color
Sew up a fun curtain to hide my photography studio area
Move my photo collage from the living room to the basement
Organize the movies into a CD case
Finish going through the rest of the closets once again

Since Friday I was super busy cleaning out my clothing, the upstairs closets, and the bathrooms. I am a cleaning maniac! Once I finished the kitchen it felt like a whitened sepulcher since all the inside cabinets are still dirty. Gleaming cabinets hid dusty shelves. Ah well, at least I know when to get help. Let them hide their secrets for a while longer.

I am so excited for this evening. Justin is watching the kids while I go have ice cream and a movie with ladies from our ward. CanNOT wait.