28 September 2014

Cheer Camp

Emotional drain. All time energy low. That felt like this week. Monday was totally fine. We started out super awesome. The boys spent the morning making a tortoise house out of couch cushions. Phillip was the tortoise master and Everett was the baby tortoise. The baby tortoise had no undies on in order to save the integrity of the game. I guess undies bring it down a couple notches. Saturday while I was sewing in my craft room the kids started a rip roaring game. Phillip came tearing by me at one point dressed only in undies. I was a bit confused so asked what game involved only undies. He replied that he was Captain Undies and was saving the day with only undies on. Everett taught a lesson on the sacrament for FHE. More like he repeated a couple phrases and held up the picture for Justin. Mostly, the kids fought over the song, prayer, game, activity, and scripture. Thankfully, the treat was already made so no one argued over delish caramel apples.

Tuesday was the cincher, the cause of angst and despair in the Call family. Phillip got his 5 year old shots and Evelyn her 12 mth shots. Phillip was a whining, sniveling, little terror until today. I about tore my hair out trying to understand his needs and curb the whining. The little bedlamite was beyond terrible this week. I went to bed most nights at 10:30, totally unheard of in these parts, an emotional waste of a woman. Phillip is my most exhausting child while sick. By Friday I noticed he was not hearing out of his right ear. My otoscope showed an earful of wax. I cleaned out his ears as best I could. Phillip declared his jets and monster trucks were broken inside his ears, blocking all sound. Dr Shaw quickly took care of his ear problem with the most extensive ear wash I've seen yet. The water was a disgusting orange color. After the wax was removed his ear drums looked amazing. Phillip reports the jets moved back into his ears.

I photographed the Peters family last moment after dinner. Justin watched the kids for part of the time then brought them over while he went to help a family with home repairs. The Peters family is about the best of folks we know. Sis Peters is the Primary president. She is just awesome. She brought her husband, three kids, and their three kids for some family photos. We got those 3 cousins together and enjoyed the chaos.

Tuesday night Amelia remembered that she lost a tooth while we were in Utah at her friend Stella's home. She wrote the tooth fairy a letter asking if a lost, lost tooth still counts. The tooth fairy did not come Tuesday nights. Apparently, she only picks up lost, lost teeth on Wednesday nights. Amelia read the tiny written letter the tooth fairy wrote. After reading it she declared that the tooth fairy obviously did not know how to write a friendly letter because she did not start the letter with "Dear Amelia." Hey, writing that small must take a lot of concentration.

For YW this week I showed the Beehives and MiaMaids how to make sushi. I was so proud of the girls! They each tried at least one bite and each made their own roll. We made California rolls and Philadelphia rolls. I got to watch the Maze Runner again with a group of ladies from the ward. We all had our popcorn buckets to refill for the show. It was great fun.

The boys had a blast playing Diego and baby jaguar at the Memorial Gardens. The gardens are full of fun paths to wander. Phillip found a perfect climbing pine tree. Soon he was up more than halfway. He scared the gardener more than me with his tree skills. He climbed down on his own with no problems. The kids and I cleaned the church bathrooms after dinner. Justin had some home teaching to attend to. It took me 90 minutes to clean 4 bathrooms, granted I had Evelyn strapped on and the boys to manage. Amelia stayed home with an upset tummy.

Everett got a haircut this week. He loved going to the barbie shop to get beautiful. The barbie shop has fun plastic figurines the boys love to play with. Everett did the best he could sitting still for Cal. He did not listen and put the cape in his mouth several times trying to wipe the hair from his face. After all the hair was vacuumed off he jumped down and declared he was "BEAUTIFUL!!!" 

Amelia had cheer camp right after school on Friday. She was bouncing around with excitement. We got her hair pinned back, sprayed in place, and secured for lots more bouncing. Phillip did not want to miss a chance to style his hair so he curved it and spiked it into place with a brush, then used a reasonable amount of hairspray. We walked to the school and dropped her off. Everett was very eager to go watched a football game and players playing basketball. He chattered the entire walk over to the stadium about the game. Every new experience was the best ever for that little guy. I think he might grow up to be our sports lover. Amelia was hard to spot since she is so short. I finally picked out her pony tail ribbons right before the girls headed to the field for halftime. She was still bouncing. I sure enjoyed the change of pace and the excitement over autumn football.

Justin took the ball for me on Saturday. He stayed "home" with the kids from 11 am-8:30 pm while I photographed a wedding with another fellow photographer. Her husband's sister was getting married so she was expected to be several of the photos. I drove down to Big Springs for the event. The reception was held at a huge warehouse that used to disperse pumpkins all over the country. The warehouse looked nothing like a warehouse after all the decorations were up. I was impressed! The groom flies crop dusters for the local farmers. We piled into a party bus and drove out the airfield for some cool photos. The couple were married until death to they part. So sad, yet a good reminder of those binding covenants which keep us together. I raced back to Sidney in time to make the last part of Women's Conference and dessert with the ladies. Justin fared just fine with our pack of kids. The last time I felt them that long was two plus years ago to shoot a wedding with my friend Kelly. Well, actually to have Evelyn, but that does not count because I was having another kid. Dang, I need more vacations. Justin was alive and not hiding under then bed when I came home. Everett was quite relieved that I came home after running away for so long. Justin even FED the missionaries pizza and wings for dinner. That meant some cleaning was involved. I am quite impressed with your skills there sweetheart. You should have hid under the bed, now I might leave for more "errands."

Today Elder Rhodes of the Quorum of the 70s, came to visit our lowly ward. He gave a magnificent talk on Missionary Work 3rd hour. I missed most of his talk in Sacrament Meeting trying to keep Evelyn quiet. Darn it. His spirit and enthusiasm was hard to miss.

Just thinking about my Mom and her siblings today. They are having a rip-roaring sleepover/party at her crib this weekend. Man, I would like to be a fly on the wall during a Baerwaldt reunion. I bet they are having a blast. Love you mommy!!

21 September 2014

Do You Have a Pipes Hole?

Amelia gave a wonderful FHE lesson on the parable of the talents. She taught us the parable then applied the principle by showing us her talent for drawing minions. Then she instructed us all on how to draw one ourselves. Her lesson was amazing. Everett chose rice crispies for treat, we made do with corn flake treats. We sure love our FHE board that helps us decide on weekly responsibilities.

The weather was really, really nice this week. We spent every afternoon at a park after school. My newest strategy is to hang out at the park right after I get Amelia, she does homework in the van, the kids play until I walk up to get Phillip from preschool. Then they play until Mia goes to ballet (across the street) or we go home to fix dinner. Our week of park playing was quite satisfying. Most of the time we had the entire park to ourselves! We visited two new (to us) parks at the baseball fields and at the 3-4th grade school. Everett had poop-cidents at the new parks. I ended up throwing those undies away. Sick-o.

Justin left for Denver after lunch on Wednesday. It was much easier this time around because I had a strategy in place. Wednesday I had 3 photo sessions...on purpose. I set up my studio space, so scheduled the 3 in order to avoid setting it up more than once. I had a 4 month old, a five month old, and a six month old in that order! Annabelle is the 6 month old. Michelle took most of the photos for her daughter, just used my space. She came back that evening, with a much happier baby, for some outdoor photos.

Evelyn modified her downward dog move: she now lifts her hands in the air. It is very exciting. She also got stuck in the toy basket several times this week. I walked into the living room to find her feet kicking in the air, accompanied with violent shrieks. Amelia gave the boys hairstyle makeovers. Everett looked like Alfalfa, with his hair slicked down and a piece sticking up in back.

Madison Grunig hosted a girl party at her house. She even baked her amazing rolls with honey butter. Phillip like the butter so much he slathered a 1/4 cup of it like frosting...and ate the butter...then the roll. Madison introduced us all to some awesome professional cleaning products. I ordered enough industrial cleaning agents for about 5 years.

It was rather HOT on Friday. I filled up the water table for the boys to play with. Phillip dumped all his hot wheels into the water. The boys spent a good two hours playing dirty car wash. After lunch the play soon degraded to other sorts of shenanigans. It all started with Phillip putting his face in the water and whipping it around. Soon he had his shirt off and torso in the water. I turned around again and his bare bum was in the water, his shoes made it hard to get his wet pants off. Soon he ripped it all off and sat like Gollum in the water. I was laughing so hard because it got worse every time I turned around.

We are glad to have Justin back for the foreseeable future. We made a family trip to Walmart. It was a classic trip. Amelia was murmuring loudly, wanting to stay home. Phillip and Everett were terrible backseat drivers. We endured. Eventually the mood improved and moral increased. The rest of the day was quite fun. I started work on the kid's Halloween shirts. They are turning out very cute. Phillip chose a pumpkin with a tongue sticking out, spraying pumpkin spit (that's my boy). I finished making it and he declared he HATED it. Little stinker.

Three funnies this week:

Amelia: Mom, listen to this part of my book. She reads. I laugh. She does not. I ask her why she is not laughing. She responds, "Don't worry mom, I am laughing...in my head...loudly." Gracious, talk about emotion repression already

Phillip: I was at the table with Phillip eating breakfast. I hear him mutter, "pipes." I ask him what he meant by pipes. He opened his mouth, pointing down his throat and said, "Mom these are not my pipes hole...this is my mouth." I was confounded until I remembered Justin told him to shut his pie hole several months ago. Phillip is still offended?!

Everett: had the best time at joy school this week. He learned about the letter "A" with his friends. Friday afternoon he introduced me to his baby "a" and the big "A". The letters floated around, performed tricks, and became his imaginary pets for the day. Saturday, Justin enjoyed playing with Everett's imaginary pet A and a. He sang the "A says "Ah" song quite often this week. I think he LOVES school. 

14 September 2014


We survived 5 nights and 6 days without Justin around. He left after dinner on Sunday for Denver and returned home late Friday night. I am not sure what I am allowed to write about so will just leave that box of smelly stuff tied up for now. We are glad to have Justin home. It was a long hard, but totally survivable week. I could be a single mom if required but much rather prefer having my best friend around to share the fun. Sister Anderson totally saved my bacon this week by taking Amelia to school each morning. That helped out so much. Bedtime is the hardest time since all the kids go to sleep at the same time. It was hard to nurse Evelyn, get snacks, brush teeth, read scriptures, sing to the kids, snuggle Phillip, and keep everyone in bed. Evelyn decided that sleeping at night and naps were so passe. She cried for 4-5 hours Sunday-Thursday nights. I would go in every so often to snuggle her but she just wanted to play. Sleep training is not one of my favorite past times.

Karma totally bit me in the bum Monday evening. I spent most of the day working to clean the house, finish laundry, and get my preschool lessons prepped and planned. During dinner I realized that the boys were really quiet. I peeked into their room to find a huge pile of mess. The boys were jumping on Everett's bed that turned into a jail. Their closet was ripped apart. Phillip told me they were playing DUMP and JAIL. I almost hyperventilated thinking about everything else I needed to get done before I went to bed. At the same time I flashed back to Jana and I playing "House and McDonalds." A very fun game that included throwing everything (including our mattresses, clothes, toys, books, shoes, and ourselves) into a pile and jumping on it. The game often took hours because we were confined to our room until our game was cleaned up. Did we learn? Nope, my mom finally reduced our belongings to one outfit a piece, sheet, blanket, and mattress. We still played. I felt a smidgen of the panic my dear mom must have felt.

Amelia started a new year of ballet with Ms Margaret at Dance Steps Studio. She is very excited to dance another year. We love our experience so far, we must since this is the 4th year! 

Tuesday and Thursday Everett hosted JOY SCHOOL at our home! We started the rotation with a grand bang. I blogged about what we did on the joy school blog. Everett was so excited to have five entire friends over to play. The first day was so exciting the kids could hardly sit for more than a second. It was a smidgen of chaos! The second day was much better. Not sure if the rain and cold seeped into their little bodies, but it was a much calmer day.

Tuesday I got to meet the author of Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore. Evelyn Hornbarger knows her, Jennifer saw that Evelyn was hosting a book group so she up and drove from Utah to Nebraska for our little group. We all felt very honored. It was a fun, relaxing evening with a great bunch of ladies. Wednesday was hectic with all the kids with me at YW. I taught our lone Beehive on the basics of painting flowers.

We got a blast of winter Thursday evening, temps plummeted to 32 degrees and the clouds dropped a measure of snow on our area. I am not sure how my garden survived. I was sure my tomatoes were lost for the season. It looks like my garden will stay alive for a couple more weeks. I am so sad that my tomatoes are not ripening. I have terrible luck getting more than a couple tomatoes. Friday my new VT companion, Emily, and I went to visit the Betony family. Phillip ran out of the van as soon as we arrived to play with his best bud Jimmy. He absolutely loves grandpa Jimmy. We also VT Marcia, who is from Brazil of all places. She was not home this time around. I am very excited to get to know Marcia better.

The kids used parts of Evelyn's high chair to create band instruments. Amelia was on French horn, Everett played the trumpet, and Phillip played the tuba. I love their imaginations! We made a batch of chocolate chip cookies for Justin's return and to thank Sis Anderson for picking up Mia. He showed up as we left to deliver the cookies. Justin got a very warm welcome home!

Saturday Justin finally found some skirt steak at Walmart. He spent a part of the afternoon assembling his charcoal grill. We all enjoyed family time in the yard. Justin grilled up a perfect skirt steak on the new grill. It was delish.

**Monday Phillip gave Evelyn rug burn on her forehead by pulling her across the carpet by her feet.
***Thursday Evelyn tumbled down the basement stairs and landed on a stool. She has two nasty bruises and a surface cut from the tumble.
****Evelyn can pull herself up to stand on any object that is taller than a foot. She loves the new mobility. She takes a couple steps with her walking toy. She went from stationary to completely mobile in less than a month. so not fair.
*****I cut off her mullet last night, an entire inch of straggly hair from the back.