28 August 2016

Tale of Two Birthdays





























Everett experienced his first full kindergarten day on Monday. He asked for cold lunch of a cheese, mayo, and mustard sandwich, grapes, chocolate chip cookie and juice. He bargained with Phillip to use the ever popular spiderman lunch box, Phillip agreed after deciding he wanted hot lunch. Amelia rode the morning bus for the first time. She needs to be out at the bus stop by 7:30 to catch the bus. Amelia is so easy to get ready in the morning that the bus is perfect for her, Phillip not so much. That kid is exasperating to get ready for school. He is slower than molasses in January and more contrary than a donkey. Justin is quite relieved he does not have to drive over to North, the outlying school in his route to work. Amelia decided she loves the morning bus since she gets more time to visit with friends! The girls and I went to Walmart for food. Evelyn loves to shop at Walmart. She got herself all dolled up in a sparkly dress, fancy dress up shoes, beads, and sunglasses for the event. We scored a mega cart this trip. Evelyn immediately put her arm around Josie to hold her still since the cart was shaking over the asphalt. Melted my heart. When I picked up Everett from school he bounced over to me, excited as could be after his first day. The rest of the day declined since he was so tired, I expected that. Evelyn was thrilled to get a stroller ride with me all to herself since Jo-Jo was napping. Phillip taught our FHE lesson on Loving Your Family. Everett FINALLY got to change the FHE chart, and assign himself to choose the activity. He chose charades as he usually will choose.

Justin stayed home Tuesday with tummy troubles. He took a nice, loooooooong nap. Evelyn kept checking up on him and disturbing his slumber. I took the girls out for a morning at the park. Evelyn packed herself a lunch of cheese sandwich and two thermoses of grape kool-aid...oh can't forget the avocado. I adore that girl and her spunk. We monopolized the swings for a good 30 minutes, carefully making the rounds afterward. Once we made it back to the swings Evelyn headed to the van! Phillip got a hair trim from Deb after school. She offered to fit him in for an emergency hair fix. His helicopter hair now looks more like a faux hawk. Everett came along for the ride since Deb has cool B/W checked floors. He played some imaginary game shooting things the entire time. That kid is amazing. Phillip asked when I should start hair cutting school...a kind way of telling me I need hair cutting help.

Grandpa and Grandma Call came to visit us overnight on Wednesday. I used the excuse to clean up the house as best as possible. Josie had a very crabby day, would not let me put her down for more than 5 minutes and only took 10 min catnaps. Instead of a gleaming house I achieved a less cluttered house by the time the Grandparents arrived. I was quite impressed to actually finish cleaning Phillip and Evelyn's room, it looked clean for the first time since rooms changed around. Amelia made a welcome home sign for them. Josie took one look at Grandpa and stared on in confusion. She decided his beard was quite un-human. She has not let any other person hold her since Wednesday after Grandpa held her. Phillip chose to have his birthday dinner at Sam and Louie's pizzeria. We enjoyed the short visit. They drove off next morning facing a long drive across the rest of Nebraska. The boys were amazing helpers, offering to take suitcases up and down the basement stairs. Everett was excited to help and Phillip excited to show off his huge muscles.

Funny Evelyn story: As I was cleaning the living room I convinced Evelyn to take her babies on a stroller walk outside. She managed to get the stroller outside. Soon I heard hoots, hollers, and hoorays erupting from the porch area. I raced outside to discover the Fed-Ex guys delivered her birthday gift in it's full boxed glory. She was yelling: "Hooray, I get a kitchen!!" as she tried to drag the huge box inside. I helped her get the box in, she ran to get a knife to cut open the box. I tried unsuccessfully to explain to her the box was for her birthday. No comprehension at all, what the heck! I pulled it out and started to assemble the toy. I snapped a photo of her mid-way assembly, I asked her to show me how old she was...she flipped me the bird as her response. Not vulgar, just that finger popped up. She unfurled her index finger and thumb soon after, her face exploded with delight as she showed me three! Oh bless her little heart.

Phillip turned SEVEN years old on Thursday. I walked into his room to wake him up, he immediately popped up with a huge grin. The kids got dressed quickly for a fast morning jaunt to get birthday donuts. Phillip plopped a "7" candle on his donut and grabbed the lighter. I grabbed the lighter back and lit the candle for him. He beamed while we sang him "Happy Birthday." Grandpa gave him some birthday spankings. Amelia gave him 7 more since she enjoys spanking him and could not resist a legal pass to spank him. Justin, Evelyn, Josie, and I had lunch with Phillip at school. Evelyn once again packed a lunch, this time taking "Frozen" soup in a thermos. She was very excited to have recess with Phillip outside. Josie was surrounded with a gaggle of kids at all times. Several teachers came up requesting me to tell Amelia hello, that girl is popular with the teachers. Phillip had Evelyn by the hand showing her the ropes of school recess. I left student gifts in Mrs Hoekema's room since homemade cupcakes are banned. Phillip settled on bubble wands, punch balloons, red licorice, and life saver candy. Pretty easy! I picked up Nola and Everett from school. Sis Anderson was volunteering at the Ft Collins Temple open house, she asked me to watch Nola until her husband got off work. After school he and Evelyn had well-child Dr visits. Let me tell you, 5 kids together can make a lot of noise, six kids and an adult stuffed into an exam room will make even more noise. Phew, we just needed padding on the walls to make the effect legit. Evelyn needed a shot since the shot schedules changed and she was lacking one. The kids all left the room for the shot portion, Evelyn did not flinch or even cry. She whimpered a bit but happily jumped up with a new Dora band-aid on her leg. She promptly ripped it off to see why she got a band-aid, she could not find any blood so threw the band-aid over she shoulder. She then asked the nurse for a new band-aid! We had sprinkle pancakes (1/2 cake mix, 1/2 pancake mix, and sprinkles), sausage, and eggs for his birthday dinner. The yummy pancakes were totally lost on the kids. The sausages disappeared in minutes. After clean up and homework Phillip finally got to open his gifts. I scored too many gifts for him this year. He was completely spoiled with Rescue Bots and Mixels sets. At least I know he will play with his toys.

Evelyn was soooooo cranky on Friday. She woke up early. After the kids left she cried for two hours because she wanted a burger for breakfast. Instead we did a little thrifting. At Salvation Army the cashier asked me why my toddler was removing her clothing. Indeed, Evelyn was taking off her clothes and putting on a white and silver sparkly dress. The dress is a duplicate of one she has in a larger size. Whelp, she got the same dress in a 4t size. As soon as it was on she jammed her feet into princess shoes and headed to van declaring: "Mom! Go to Temple?" She wore the same smaller dress to the temple the week before. Justin bring her a burger home for lunch. She burst out in, "Oh, thank-you daddy!" over and over! Then she ignored her treat and ate cottage cheese and tomatoes for lunch. Toddlers are one strange breed. She took a long nap from 12:30 until 4 pm. I guess her shot from the previous day knocked her out. For the first time since Josie was born both girls took long naps at the same time. It was heaven! I cleaned the kitchen and read a bit of my book. Phillip had Cyd and Romain over for a birthday play date. The kids played with Legos most of the afternoon. Phillip showed Ro how to put the mixels together using the instructions. Cyd was thrilled to play with Josie and butt in the boy's games when she wanted. Justin took Amelia to PT this week since they rescheduled for 5 pm on Friday.

Evelyn turned 3 on Saturday. It was a pretty good day for a toddler. Amelia got up at 5:40 on Saturday to meet the other Activity Day Girls for a fun Temple Tour and Stake activity afterward. She rode up with Lily, Ella, and Grace. The girls took turns pushing her around the temple in a wheelchair! From what I gleaned the girls had a temple themed activity at the Cheyenne Stake center with other ADG from our stake. She arrived back home around 3:30 pm. Back on the home front we moved my photography props out of the house and into a storage unit. Alison and Morley spent two hours helping us move stuff from home to the unit. The unit is only a couple blocks away and quite affordable. Evelyn wanted to stomp in the muddy puddles near the storage units. I let her muddle about in the water while we moved stuff. The props I have make a huge pile of stuff. At this point in time I don't want to get rid of it since I plan on going back to photography one day. I can't even describe the feeling in my chest as all that space was cleared in the basement. We can actually walk into our storage room and access our food stuffs. Props are no longer stuffed in random corners. Ahhhhhh! I feel so much better. Thank you! The last trip to the unit we could not find the boys. We ran to the unit hoping they were holed up in the house. We got back to find them making vats of chocolate milk 10 minutes later. They were slightly worried. The little dudes had run off to visit some friends without telling me. Discovering our absence was quite the natural consequence. Everett especially melted when we displayed our annoyance over not telling us their whereabouts. He was soooo worried we were gone, so worried he made chocolate milk?! He only got upset when we got upset. Lesson learned...I hope. Evelyn wanted burgers for her birthday lunch, so we took the boys and her to Sonic. Justin went on a long motorcycle ride afterward. I took the kids swimming from 2 until 5 pm. Evelyn's favorite activities are: watching kinder egg videos, swimming, covering the walls in marker/pen/crayon/nail polish, making sandwiches, and eating apple sauce. She requested swimming, that we can do. She ran out of steam after an hour so huddled in the stroller with her towel and a sleeve of crackers. She revived when Justin dropped off Amelia around 3:35. Not much else to report about her birthday except that she fell asleep on the floor at 7:30 pm.

Justin left early this morning to fly out to Arkansas for business reasons. I managed church alone as usual. Evelyn insisted on changing her dress for one that was more sparkly than the one she first chose. She cried when we arrived at the church and not the temple. She requested a cheese sandwich for a church snack. She sat still for 20 minutes during church eating her sandwich. I might make her a sandwich every week now! I did miss my customary once a week 20 min nap after church. The kids were a wreck at bedtime without Daddy home. We miss him.

27 August 2016

Evelyn is Three




















This is a threenager...close relative to a teenager. She is sugar, spice, nice, naughty, puppy dog tails, the entire kit and caboodle. Evelyn is closely related to her "Appetite for Destruction" brother Phillip. These two could be twins, God spared me and let me have these two 4 years apart.

At 3 Evelyn is quite talented at:

getting dressed, choosing her own clothes/shoes/socks/dresses/PJs
requesting Apple Sauce packets
carrying around my old iPhone like she owns it
making messes with water, juice, food, markers, crayons, pencils, paint, nail polish, pretty much               excels with all mediums.
loves to pack sandwiches
wears dresses and fancy shoes when she has the desire to wear clothes
is quite comfortable being buck naked
singing daddy finger where are you; happy and you know it (spank your booty), wheels on the bus,         Child of God, Twinkle Star, Spider etc
eating meals at the most inconvenient times
not sleeping in her own bed and avoiding naps like the plague
licking my cheeks
whispering sweet nothings like "Go Shopping? Yes?!"
going potty when SHE WANTS to
playing with her kitchen and baby dolls

My best snugglers are Phillip and Evelyn. There must be something about being wild and crazy that drives a kid to need the most snuggles. She hogs my lap and insists on being carried as often as possible. She loves to torment human beings who are minding their own business, especially poor Everett. He really does give the best reactions when she pokes and prods that boy. Evelyn is deeply afraid of loud noises. If you want her to clam up just set off an air horn, that should solve any problem.

Her favorite foods are apple sauce, oatmeal cereal, chips, french fries, burgers, cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches,  Elsa chicken soup, avocados, garden tomatoes, cheese, eggs, and beans. She will do quite a bit if you offer her a sweet snack. She is not much for negotiation. If I could train her to throw away her apple sauce packets, pull ups, and food waste I would feel like a rock star.

She does not like to sleep alone. She does not like to nap. Instead she sneaks into our bed in the deepest hours of the night (between 10 pm and midnight). She hates covers so sleeps on top which hampers our ability to get properly covered at night. She like to sleep sideways. I put her back in bed and she pops back in like a nightmare. Our room is not large enough for a little sleeping area for her. She goes to bed at 8:30 and wakes up at 7:15ish. She is not getting the sleep needed to be a healthy, happy little girl. Half the day she is cranky. She revives once the kids get home from school.

At her well child visit Evelyn weighed 28.6 pounds, 27.5%; measured 34.5 inches, 5th percentile. That jives with the size 2T she wears. She can sort of wear size 3T, especially dresses but 3T pants are way too long. Short and ornery!

25 August 2016

Phillip is Seven












Oh. This. Boy. He is amazing at all levels. He is loud. He is funny. He is the master of the blaster. He is kind. He is crazy. He can make you laugh, cry, tear out your hair, and tickle him all at the same time. Can you spot that gleam in those brown eyes? That gleam is pure joy.

He started 1st Grade on the 17th of August. After a summer of just a spot of reading here and there this mommy was worried about his retention. Seems like he bouncing back quickly as his teachers do their amazing jobs. He hates homework. Hates it. I hate bugging him to get it done, oh the complaining over 1-2 worksheet pages. The worst for us are spelling homework and anything with repetitive writing. His favorite subjects are lunch and recess.

At age 7 his favorite toys are Lego Mixels, Legos in general, Transformers, DinoTrux, Superheroes, and Imaginext toys. He loves watching YouTube Kids videos on toy reviews and various cartoons. During the school year he only gets to watch the iPad on Saturday or special occasions.

His testimony is growing. At times it is hard to tell if he is listening since this boy is a wiggle worm. Then he will say the sweetest prayer, give a great FHE lesson, or respond to a spiritual question with the correct answers.

His famous eyebrow moves are still famous. He will waggle them at you to get out of trouble. Phillip is a classic stinky, smelly boy. He can burp on command, fart on command, and has terrible stinky feet. His farts will make your eyes water. Phillip is a constant cloud of bodily noises both manufactured and the real deal. He loves to make up silly words like: bye, burp pig; smell your feet later; smash doodles, etc.

He is so kind-hearted. He loves his little sisters. I will find him changing Josie's diapers without asking. He is the only kid who will go pick up Josie when she cries and entertain her. He and Evelyn are quite the kindred spirits. Must be a Leo thing! They think alike so get along quite well. He gives the best hugs and the slimiest kisses ever. This kid is a tank, solid with feet and hands that are short and round.

At his well child visit he weighed 57.4 pounds, 77.4%; height was 47.5 inches, 40.8%. Short and solid! He weighs more than Amelia and they wear almost the same size shoe. This past year he lost 4 teeth, the middle bottom first, the top right at the beginning of summer, and top left just a couple weeks ago. He is trying very hard to train himself out of nighttime pullups. Most of the time he does very well going to the potty at night. Seems like he's stayed dry at night for the past 10 days. Excellent work. When he does have an accident he knows how to strip his top bunk bed and stuff the sheets in the washer. He is skilled at emptying the dishwasher. He hates to help clean up. It is about as bad as homework. Sometimes it comes to throwing away his favorite toys to get this boy to move. He is stubborn as a mule. Love this kid of ours. Happy Birthday.