31 January 2012

Mother of the Year





Phillip giving daddy "kicks" (kisses)



You would think by now I'd learn how to think like Phillip. Alas, no. That kid evades me. He was being so sweet and cute this morning. I had a really short photoshoot (like 15 minutes) for a Valentine mini session. He grabbed a boiled egg off the counter and carried it around half the morning. He gently pocketed it, carried it with tongs, lovingly wrapped it in a blanket, and crooned sweet tenders to his baby dinosaur egg. We have a dinosaur activity book with a fly wheel showing a dino egg, the egg cracking, a baby dino emerging, then a mommy dino. He muttered this cycle over an over to his egg. It finally cracked under all the attention. Phillip was dissapointed to discover a boiled egg instead of a baby dino. Amelia took up the charade and carried a basket full of boiled dino eggs around the rest of the day. Last night Amelia informed Justin that he was taking her on a date the next day for lunch. She woke up this morning and her first words were "Did you know Daddy is taking me on a date of McDonalds." She would not be disuaded. So, she had a nice quiet lunch date with daddy. Since my studio was set up took some daddy/kids photos. I shooed the kids outside to play while I worked on cleaning the kitchen and dishes. After a while I heard a "psssst" noise coming from the garage. Oh, crap! Phillip found a can of spray paint. I painted something the night before but put the paint away in front of him, so he saw where I put it. The kid climbed up to the shelf (it is over 5 feet high) and grabbed a lovely olive green color. Then he decided the van was too plain so tagged the passenger side. It was lovely art work. Luckily, the paint was really wet so it wiped off with a rag and some paint thinner. Phillip's naughty act about gave me heart failure dreaming about Justin's reaction. I also cleaned out our blue plastic rocking horse, Cactus. He was rattling something fierce whenever the kids rode him. Took some tongs and removed a whole pile of stuff Phillip stuffed inside poor cactus.

Amelia came back from lunch on cloud 9. Phillip and I had a picnic outside. I ran inside to get a drink, leaving Everett to play in the grass. I came back to find Phillip pouring his dirt loaded monster-size dump truck on Everett's head. I'd say he dumped about a gallon of garden soil on the baby's head. Geesh. Everett was amused and loved the mid-day excuse for a bath.
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Preview: Letter G

This is a snack view of what decorated our basement Monday morning. Cute aren't they? We learned about the sneaky letter G. Did you know it makes two sounds, a hard and a soft sound?! The soft sound is almost identical to the sound J makes. We learned about the color gold, painted some goldfish, read a fun book, practiced writing the letter G, then had snack outside. Phillip went to play with the Siler family. Bishop Siler reported that Phillip grabbed a harmonica, played it, and then made a bow. I wonder where he got that from?!

Outside Kind of Day







Yesterday was a gorgeous day! It is so hard to believe the calendar says January. We spent some time outside for preschool, then most of the lunch hour, and right up until naptime. It was splendid. Amelia and Phillip made scrumptious mud pies. Everett ate rocks. I watched all the action, relishing every moment. I love how Everett's hair waves in the breeze.

28 January 2012

Score! Missed...






I think this week we are finally feeling and acting more normal. Amelia is doing so much better with her whining. I outlawed the words "I can't" on Wednesday. They are almost like swear words now. I hate hearing Amelia respond to a request with "I CAAAAAN'TTTT!" My first response is to say "Honey you can! You can!" It almost hurts me to hear her respond with so little confidence. We've had an ongoing dialogue since Wednesday about what she can say besides "I can't." She responds quite well to a little love with her medicine. Phillip needs a little physical reminder when asked to do something. My mom told me boys need a physical touch to spark obedience. Through experience I find that very true. Even if I just touch his shoulder and make eye contact he will listen and obey. Plus having a couple more months under his belt of growing and expanding his speech skills help. Wow, that was a tangent! LOL.

Everett loves his new high chair. He is constantly squealing as he watches me cook, clean, and such. The kids are often around me so Everett has constant entertainment. Amelia shares her toys with him. Both kids love to play peek-a-boo from under the table with him. I can also swivel his seat around so he can watch the fish.

Phillip finally jumped out of his crib on Wednesday. I love stealing peeks into his room as he settles down for a nap. He reminds me of a doggie getting his nest ready for the night. He circles around, arranges the blankets, talks with his monkey, plays with his crib light, and yammers on as he reads a book. I know he is almost ready to fall asleep because I hear a thump on the ceiling when he chucks his book overboard. Wednesday I heard the book thump then 3 minutes later a much louder thump followed by wailing. Found him on the floor, just fine but with a bruised ego. Put him back in the crib and he went to sleep. So far he has not tried to get out again. I am very surprised it took him this long to attempt an escape. Another funny story: most mornings after I remove his nighttime diaper he wants to use the potty. He went into the bathroom solo this morning while I changed Everett. I heard the normal scuffling like the step stool, the elmo potty seat, and him trying to take a seat. He came back a few minutes later like most mornings. I got him dressed an thought nothing of it. He's never peed before while on the potty. This morning he totally scored the pee part but missed the target. He must've sat with his legs squashed together causing his pee to shoot in a nice little arc right on top of the step stool. I can just imagine it. He showed me his yucky face and helped me clean up the piddle. I really want him to sit backwards on the seat but he absolutely refuses. Maybe he will potty train himself!

Justin is catching my nasty sinus junk. Poor guy. At least he is not crunching for year end accounting until odd hours in the evening. He kicked in a lot of help after my comments on the lack of house help. I really, really, really appreciate the little things and the big chores he helped me with. I am teaching a 5th Sunday class with Sherrie 3rd hour of church this Sunday. We have a temporary calling as ward profile specialists. Our duty is to help our ward get signed up with profiles on LDS.org, upload photos to their profiles, and learn how to use the directory, calendar, and how to navigate around the website. There is a lot of amazing information, activities, videos, etc on LDS.org. The church is putting forth quite a bit of effort into making the gospel readily available on the internet.

I updated *some* videos on my YouTube account. Check them out! Click me.

Flash Update: Everett sprouted his first tooth yesterday! Bottom left...only 31 more to go. 

27 January 2012

Everett is 8 Months Old










Oh. My. Goodness. We sure love this little bite of baby goodness. He is so deliciously yummy and perfect in every way. I wish babies had a pause button to extend that 6-9 month old period of time. I LOVE this age. Perfection. This month Everett really started responding to his siblings antics. He will bust out with a belly laugh over the silliest things. Yesterday he about busted a gut string laughing at Ella waggling a set of cheerleader pom-poms. Discovered today that he really likes spinach and potato baby food. He is easily entertained with a basket of interesting toys. I can set him on the ground with a basket and he will amuse himself for a good 20 minutes. He laughs, smiles, gurgles, and blows raspberries about 70% of the time. Justin and I don't really enjoy the baby food showers Everett gives us with his raspberries. I swear, he says "Hi." In the last two weeks he entered what I call "The Claw" stage. His pointer finger is always extended ready to hook something...mostly my bottom lip. His chick fluff hair is so amazing. He loves to bathe in the bath chair with Amelia or Phillip. Tuesday he discovered the wonderful action of splashing water in the bath. He went crazy spashing himself in the face for 15 entire minutes. It was almost like he could not do anything except splash.

**Alison let me use her new house to take some photos of Everett yesterday while we came over for a Mommy-Kid playdate. Love the teal wall!!!

***Little Buddy sprouted his first tooth today! It was not there yesterday! His first tooth is the bottom one on the left-hand side. Hooray! He produced a tooth the earliest between the three kids. 

22 January 2012

Shaking Up Some Changes




We are feeling much better than my last report on Tuesday! Hooray! Amelia keeps jostling her right arm doing things most normal 4 year olds do. Wednesday she was hopping around in the living room and tripped, catching herself on that arm. I had to pop the joint back in again. From what I hear other mothers say, that once the joint comes loose the nursemaid elbow injury becomes more common. We are icing it and trying to keep her from being to rowdy.

Wednesday the preschool kids had a really fun field trip to Pizza Hut with another preschool class in town. The event was so exciting that the newspaper ran a story on their trip...it made the front page! That makes me giggle! Amelia can be seen on the front page and in the continuing story. I was not able to get my hands on a newspaper so can't show you the story. Bummer. BUT I did steal a copy off Christine's FB page! Thank goodness for cntl & Prt Scr buttons on my keyboard.


I finally started to feel human again on Saturday. That was a long two week illness. I was inspired to get the family more involved in helping around the house. We are starting chores on Monday and also a new consequence program for rudeness. Amelia is quite the whiner and complainer of late. I've had enough. Usually when she whines I completely ignore her and send her to bed. It was not making an impression. Thursday Amelia was whining about getting dressed and earned the task of cleaning out the van for me. Today she was burping at the table and had to clean the dining room wall. She can choose not to do the chore and pay me to do it with some of her toys. So far she's cleaned something. Both kids love to clean so in the end they have a good time and their behavior improves a bit. I am excited the kids are getting old enough to help out a bit. So introduce the manners chart:

Friday I showed Amelia how to make her bed. Saturday she made it all by herself! She was so proud of herself that she wanted me to take a picture. I walked by her room three times looking for her. She was nestled near her animals! Made me laugh. She got a new nightgown last week. She wore said nightgown all last week too. She wore said nightgown to the Primary Breakfast...with slippers. We enjoyed the breakfast. I went with the kids to help out a bit. Phillip drank syrup out of the bottle and ate about 20 sausages. Delicious. Justin went hunting for "ditch parrots" or pheasant with a guy in the ward. He totally deserved a morning outside with his gun after working so late on Year Close stuff. Everett decided to stay awake most of Friday night. Seemed like his ears were bothering him. I noticed a white spot on his lower gum, he could be cutting a bottom tooth or it could be a milk spot. I found some homeopathic drops that numb the ear drum and clean out the ears. He did MUCH better last night with the drops.

Justin is enjoying our new Apple TV. It pretty much rocks. He's burned about 50 DVDs to the new computer and hooked up the Apple TV, the TV, and the new computer together. We can watch movies much like James and Miekka do with no DVDs just streaming the files over the computer. Pretty slick.

Oh yeah, Thursday I turned on the oven to start dinner. After 5 minutes I noticed a really funky smell. After lunch Phillip had carefully put the remainder of his corn dog, four carrot sticks, his ranch, and glass of milk into the oven. Yikes! The combo put off a really gnarley smell. He was so excited when I pulled out his charred lunch. He was jumping and yelling, "I did it! Done! I did it!" Guess that science experiment went off with flying colors.

17 January 2012

ER Visit



This morning found Amelia and I at the ER for a little visit. She was doing a fancy trick from the slide to bean bag and dislocated her elbow. I was in the shower when all the excitement went down. Amelia is quite the crier and such so sometimes it is hard to tell when she is really in distress. This time, I had no problem distinguishing her distress. My VT, Christine, came quickly over to take the boys home while I went with Mia to the ER. Our doctor's office was booked up clear through 4 pm with appts today so it was the ER for us. We were in and out very quickly. She ended up dislocating the two bones that connect to the elbow (commonly called Nursemaid's Elbow). The Dr popped the bones back in place, gave her some pain medicine, some stickers, and discharge papers. I am so relieved she did not break her arm.

I was back at the hospital an hour later for my own appt. I was getting over my sinus infection and finally feeling much better yesterday morning. After lunch my nose started running again and wham! I had a full blown infection, fever, chills, headache, and low muscle tone. Toasts to amoxicillian! Here's to modern medicine baby!

Not much else to report about the weekend. Justin worked, actually got the laundry done, fed the Elder's on Saturday, spray painted a little table, and appliqued two shirts. The house is a mess and all I want to do is lay on the couch and cry. Boo hoo! LOL.

**Phillip's newest phrase is "I DID IT!" He is all about doing it himself, if he gets some help he still claims all the praise. So endearing! Everett is working on a bottom tooth. Deb sold me a fun little high chair that clips to the table. Everett LOVES being at the table with everyone. The chair swivels around so I can feed him while sitting on the bench or on the chair. Check it out here: Chicco chair.

11 January 2012

Under the Weather

 


Gotta love this temper tamtrum from Little Everett

The anatomy of discovering an object with one's mouth

Sucking in that adorable bottom lip...sigh, sooooo cute

It feels like Friday instead of Wednesday. We are sporting some nasty colds here at the Call home. I have a nasty sinus infection and headaches, Justin is getting a sinus infection, Phillip is spurting snot and boogers all over, and to top it off Amelia and Everett got immunized yesterday. Everett is a ball of frustration and sadness. His sad/mad face is ever so endearing even when he is screaming bloody murder.

I was so proud of Amelia. She knew the shots were coming so put on her big girl pants and locked up her courage. She did not cry, rather pursed up her lips during the shots. Her eyes watered up a bit giving me some "almost going to cry" looks. She put on her ice packs and walked away like a big girl. We went to the dollar store for a small craft for her courage.

Friday I scored a big wheels bike at the local consignment store. Amelia and Phillip love it! Amelia loves how fast she can pedal. Hearing the rhythm of those plastic Big Wheels on the pavement sends me back to childhood. Watching the kids enjoy that bike gives me pleasure! The best part was that my consignment credit covered the cost completely. Whaoo. Phillip took a spill off his trike attempting to grab his fire fighter helmet that fell off his head. He scraped his little nose pretty hard on the sidewalk. While attending to Phillip's nose, Everett decided to flip out of my grip off the bathroom counter onto the floor spread eagle. It was not a fun day! We are feeling a bit better today, except Everett.

A couple weeks ago a power outage thanks to a wind storm fried the Mother Board on my old computer. We really want to get all our DVDs on the computer like the James Lance family has. So, we got a newer computer for media purposes and for Amelia's reading program (Rusty and Rosy). It came today in the mail! The ironic thing is the new computer is practically the same as my computer save the raid drives; the new one was half the price.

I am going to offer Valentine's Day mini-sessions this year for those interested. Never done that before because most photographers I know say it is not worth the time or money. Still they all do it. So mark your calendars for January 28th!

Sidney is having a nice blizzard today. I brought in the play slide for the kids to get their energy out. I showed Phillip how to race cars down the slide and let him play while Mia was at preschool. Today, Phillip insisted on wearing his "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" shirt from the Eric Carle book. He loves that book much like my brother Jared did. Jared could recite the book at a very young age. Phillip's other favorite book is "Commotion in the Ocean" by Andre Giles. He shies away from the shark, stings his finger on the ray, and toothily smiles at the whale. I read that book about 6 times each day.

05 January 2012

Smash, Crash, Bang



 


Yep, that's one hungry baby!!!

Collage of the livingroom, post Christmas, with our updated family photos; the bathroom cabinet, and my rearranged diningroom area. Moving out the wine/waterbottle rack makes the room feel much bigger.


I called the roofing company, we hired back in August, back in October. The company said they were totally backed up and most likely would not get to our roof until spring. I totally forgot about our holey roof...until Tuesday. Justin asked me if I knew where in insurance checks were. I put them in a special place that took me a couple days to locate. I called the company on Tuesday for a status update. They said the workers would be there the next day. A little while later I looked out the window to find a huge flat semi off-loading three flats of shingles. That was fast work. I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am that we had 18 hours notice. Wednesday was a bit crazy. The workers showed up around 10 am and worked until 6 pm, the entire house was filled with scraping, banging, and crashing sounds. The vents must be in the upstairs ceiling because we could clearly hear everything while in the basement. Phillip was determined to go outside and use the pneumatic nail gun. We worked on cleaning up the house and doing art projects. Amelia had preschool and a Dr appt. She woke up Tuesday night complaining of an earache. The Dr said her ears looked great (grumble). At least I got a diaper out of the visit for a poopy Everett...that was an expensive diaper. After a short afternoon resting time we geared up for a Walmart trip. I would have waited but we were out of bread, eggs, milks, and diapers. Shoot. It was hellacious. Period.

To back track a bit Miss Ella spent most of Tuesday with us. I want to commend Alison and Matt for teaching that girl to pray. When the girls started to squabble I asked Ella to say a prayer for us to bring peace and friendship. She nearly waxed obtuse during her prayer, it was so endearing. I love hearing kids pray. A while back I asked Justin to expand his meal time prayers to more than one sentence for the kid's sake. Now he says 3 sentence prayers! LOL. The girls did not argue or fight much after Ella's prayer. While the girls and Phillip played I packed up Christmas. Our house was a disaster zone for two days while I worked on rearranging and cleaning. Things look much better now!

Today the weather reached a record high of 74 when the wind did not blow. The kids and I spent about 5 hours outside in the sunshine. It was heaven. We prowled around for loose roofing nails, made mud pies, rode bikes, went to the park, and had a picnic. I even spray painted a new-to-me (Salvation Army) shelf and finally sorted through my tangled mess of jewelry that Phillip made. We miss being outside.

Everett does the cutest thing with his lower lip of late. He sucks on it then pops it out with a loud smack. He hums whenever I carry him around. He seems so grown up the past few days. Stop it! I already miss the newborn baby part. Phillip learned how to dive into his bed on Monday. He throws all his Christmas toys into the bed then dives in head first...then yells "...'elp me, 'elp me!" Amelia is constantly whining about how she can't do this or that, how she is stuck, or needs help. Phillip, hearing all her yammering on, took up her example. He will put his foot under the stool then start yelling, "I stuck, I stuck, mommy!" He will stand on a stool and try to reach something then yell, "I can't!" After he yammers on for a couple sentences he unsticks himself, helps himself out, or does what he needs. I am not sure if he is putting on a parody of Amelia for humor's sake. Makes me laugh every time!